Discussion in 'All Other Sports' started by -Scar-, Mar 7, 2008.
I heard DJ Mbenga has been standing out in practice, and even versus a rusty Bynum, has started to break out. With him and Josh Powell looking better and better in games, having Bynum back soon, and Gasol and Odom still rolling, our bigs are looking studly.
Even with a bum KG and Leon Powe, the Celtics bigs are pretty good too. Perkins, Big Baby, Mikki Moore, and (I guess) Scalabrine are pretty solid.
GO LAKERS !!!
Bynum Back = *please refer to thread title*
The second season has begun...
Round 1 - dispose of the Jazz quickly, nobody get hurt, rest up
LOS ANGELES -- The Lakers won the West in a runaway and they stuck to a similar script in their playoff opener.
Kobe Bryant scored 24 points, Trevor Ariza added 21 and Pau Gasol 20 as Los Angeles defeated the Utah Jazz 113-100 Sunday.
Allowing a Phil Jackson-coached team to win Game 1 of any series doesn't bode well for the opposition. Jackson's teams improved to 42-0 in series openers, including 18-0 with the Lakers.
The Lakers wrapped up the top seed in the Western Conference with 2 1/2 weeks remaining in the regular season, and eventually won the West by 11 games.
They pretty much had their way against the Jazz, leading by 22 points at halftime and then answered resoundingly both times Utah got within nine in the second half.
Bryant's total gave him 3,710 career postseason points, moving him past Magic Johnson and into ninth on the NBA's list. He trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (4,070) and Jerry West (4,457) for most points in the playoffs with the Lakers.
• Kobe Bryant's 24 points (9-for-17) helped him pass Magic Johnson for third place on the Lakers' all-time postseason scoring list (behind Jerry West and Kareem-Abdul Jabbar).
• The Lakers have won 11 of their last 12 home playoff games.
• Pau Gasol added 20 points and nine rebounds for the Lakers before fouling out. Trevor Ariza chipped in with 21 points (28 total playoff points in previous 12 games).
• Deron Williams added 16 points and a playoff career-high 17 assists. It was his 13th career double-double in the playoffs and sixth against the Lakers.
• The Jazz have lost five straight road playoff games.
• Phil Jackson's teams are 41-0 in his career when winning the first game of a series and 29-0 when winning game one in a best-of-seven series.
-- ESPN Stats & Information
Carlos Boozer led the Jazz with 27 points and Deron Williams added 16 points and a career playoff-high 17 assists. Both were in foul trouble, with Boozer getting his third just before halftime when Williams already had two.
The Jazz sorely missed Mehmet Okur, who sat out with a mild right hamstring strain. He averages 17 points and 7.5 rebounds and gives Utah a much-needed inside presence against the Lakers' twin 7-footers, Andrew Bynum and Gasol.
Bynum had seven points and three rebounds playing in foul trouble most of the game.
The Jazz were 15-26 on the road during the regular season, and their luck at Staples Center isn't any better. The Lakers have won 10 in a row, including playoff games, at home against them.
The Jazz outscored the Lakers 33-24 in the third quarter to trail 86-73 going into the final 12 minutes. They opened the quarter on a 9-0 run, then a 9-2 burst got them to 72-63, their first single-digit deficit since late in the opening quarter.
But Bryant scored three in a row and Shannon Brown hit a 3-pointer that kept the Lakers ahead by 13.
The Jazz got to 98-89 on a 3-pointer by Andrei Kirilenko with 5:46 remaining in the game. Bryant answered with four points in a row and Gasol hit two free throws that pushed the lead back to 13 points.
Williams stole the ball from Bryant to start the game and the Jazz hit three quick shots to take their largest lead of four points.
It was all Lakers after that.
Bryant spent the first quarter getting his teammates involved, dishing off to Ariza and Brown for 3-pointers, and the Lakers built a 30-10 lead while shooting 71 percent.
Bryant sat down to start the second quarter while Lamar Odom and Bynum combined to score the Lakers' first 12 points, stretching their lead to 42-29. Twice the Jazz got within 10 in that span, but the Lakers took off on a 20-8 scoring binge the second time.
Bryant contributed by reeling off nine consecutive points before Luke Walton's 3-pointer gave the Lakers a 62-40 halftime lead.
The Jazz struggled on 35 percent shooting from the floor, and hit just 1-of-7 from 3-point range in the half.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson is breaking with his playoff tradition of wearing the most recent championship ring from his collection of nine NBA titles. "I'm tired of wearing that ring," he said about his 2002 bauble. "I've been wearing it for seven years now." ... Utah coach Jerry Sloan, Bryant and Odom each received technical fouls. ... Lakers G Jordan Farmar played despite tendinitis in his right pinky toe. ... Kanye West, Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, Eddie Murphy and Kelsey Grammar were among the celebs at the game.
2 down, 14 to go.
damn you Donald Sterling
Everyone seems to think that LA is so sure to take it all this year but in reality I think someone is going to lift thier skirts well before the finals this year.
In this series now Houston has a much much more dominant force in the middle with Yao. If the Lakers can't find an answer for him it will be a wrap. Artest matches up well with Kobe; granted Kobe for as much as I can't stand him is one of the best the NBA has ever seen; guess when it comes down to it with all the tension I see Artest and Kobe getting down; and Artest beating the **** outta Bryant.
I say it takes 7 games to decide this one; with the Rockets pulling it off. In the following series stupid castaway Denver will be a beast. They are yet to lose a game and will be the team coming out of the west; eventually no matter what happens Lebron and the Cavs will take it this year.
Now, this is just my opinion I'm a Clippers fan so guys take it with a grain of salt, I obviously don't have the best judgement when it comes to b-ball... but I know that Kobe is all LA has and this time around it won't be enough.
You must not be from SD. The Clippers are like the Raiders to a SD fan.
But I do agree with you about the Cavs and Lebron. It's time. I have no problem with that. Otherwise it should be Gasol's time. He deserves a ring
What a game by the Celts!!!! WHOOO!
Suck on that one Rockets fans. Lakers aren't going anywhere but the West Conference finals.
Consistency proving elusive for Bynum
LOS ANGELES -- Momentum. It's something everyone likes to talk about: "They have the momentum now," media types and fans often proclaim. And it's certainly something the Los Angeles Lakers would like to think they have as they head to Houston for Game 6 on Thursday.
But Lakers co-captain Derek Fisher, a veteran of 163 playoff games and three championship teams, says game-to-game momentum doesn't exist, just as the Lakers' 118-78 blowout of the Rockets in Game 5 wasn't the "statement game" all of Los Angeles had been waiting for.
"Every game is different," Fisher said. "To say we recaptured the magic [in Game 5] means Thursday we'll play the same way. That's just not how this works. Thursday, we might shoot 39 percent, and you just got to play defense and rebound and hustle and take charges and figure out a way to win the game. It's going to be different than it was [Tuesday]."
And that could include the play of their on-again, off-again man in the middle, Andrew Bynum, who started in place of the ailing Lamar Odom in Game 5 and came up with more points than fouls in the first few minutes of the game, unlike in the first few games of the series.
"I got into a little rhythm," he said after a 90-minute practice Wednesday before boarding a flight to Houston.
Bynum, who finished with 16 points in 20 minutes of play, has been called everything from soft to lazy to, perhaps worst of all, nonchalant. He has been crucified for admitting that most of his problems have been mental, rather than physical, in returning after tearing the medial collateral ligament in his right knee. And he's a key part of a Lakers mystery: Since his absence seemed to be a key reason L.A. lost to Boston in the NBA Finals last June, why hasn't his return helped the team this season?
"You've got to remember he's a 21-year-old kid coming off sitting out 32 games with injury," Fisher said.
Bynum entered the NBA as the youngest player to ever play in the league and still is developing muscle on his baby-faced body. He is soft-spoken and mannerly, hardly the image of someone who viciously prowls the paint. Lakers coach Phil Jackson usually has had an enforcer on his teams, someone like Dennis Rodman, Ron Harper or Robert Horry to send a message. Fisher tried to be that guy in Game 3, but he's a point guard. Many have hoped Bynum will be that player for L.A. in the playoffs, but he hasn't been.
Part of the problem has been the knee injury, which requires him to play with an awkward brace that he says restricts his mobility and lift and reminds him he missed 32 games and is just "85 percent" healthy.
His mellow personality is misleading, Fisher says, but Bynum is sensitive enough that the Lakers have been cautious about how they talk to him, how they encourage him, how they deliver the criticism. They might want to get in his face and tell him to step up to his enormous potential, but some guys just don't respond to that, Fisher says, and Bynum is one of them.
"We push Andrew, but we respect who he is and we don't ride him in a way that we feel like it would disrupt his confidence or his ability to go out there and help our team," Fisher said. "We have to use Andrew the right way. We can't just put him out there and if he doesn't come back with 15 points and 15 rebounds, now everyone is upset, saying, 'What is Andrew doing?' We have got to put him into position to do those things."
Which they did in Game 5, in part by starting him. Even big-time, professional, millionaire ballplayers still get jazzed about starting games. That includes Odom, who was in so much pain the night before Game 5 that he slept in a chair, unable to lie out straight on his bed -- but he still wanted to start.
Odom did play through the pain of a badly bruised back when Bynum came out in Game 5, with Jackson sensing that Bynum was favoring the injured knee. Odom remains day-to-day and was "no worse for the wear," Jackson said, after his efforts in Game 5.
The Lakers likely will go big again Thursday night to take advantage of Houston's Yao Ming-less small lineup. But they know that alone won't do it. They know they need to reach back and find even more energy and passion than they displayed in Game 5.
Because, as they say, they can't count on momentum.
Bynum is 12. Give the dude a chance, he's coming off another major knee injury.
Watch how much chance Denver gives him.
That is going be a TOUGH series.
Chauncey gave a big ole FU to Detroit
I love it!
WTF IS Wrong With Us???
that was FUGLY!!!
Rockets took it to them early and never looked back. Game seven should be good...won't tne winner have to face Denver the next day?
Boston is functioning on old legs and very little gas in the tank. Allen can;t shake the pics and get his shot off. The winner takes on Lebron and the cavs Monday. When Boston slows down the game, they become vulnerable.
Theres A Small Part Of Me That Actually Wants Us To Lose This And Im Not Scared To Say It...
I think the Lakers win game 7, but I really doubt that they get past the Nuggets who are winning games by 16+ points.
Lakers up 2-1
Would Be 3-0 If It Werent For Trevor Losing His Footing And Falling Down....
Trevor Ariza = The Ed Reed Of The NBA...
Kobe....the guy is from a different planet. Ariza outplayed Carmelo down the stretch....ugly kind of game. I'm getting exhausted watching both conference finals series.
Will there be a blow-out game in either series? Back to Orlando this afternoon.
ON TO THE FINALS!!!
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