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Friday, May 15th, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  176 responses

Kobe and the Lakers: ‘Nothing to Worry About’

by Marcel Mutoni

During the postgame press conference, though visibly upset, Kobe Bryant repeatedly delivered the company line: We’re not concerned, and we just need to get through this and start worrying about the Nuggets. This, despite the superior team being pushed to the limit by a squad that’s playing without its two biggest stars.

Phil Jackson had similar feelings following Game 6, and believes the Lakers won’t have any problem closing this thing out on Sunday afternoon.

From the AP:

Like Bryant, Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson tried to put a positive spin on his team’s predicament.

“There’s nothing to worry about,” he said. “We are just going to go out and play. It’s our home court and it’s what we play for. We play a different game on our court, and that’s pretty obvious to see.”

Maybe they’re right, to a degree. After all, not too many people expect the Lakers to lose on Sunday.

But even if they do win, and advance to face Denver in the conference finals, there’s definitely cause for concern (though Phil and Kobe would never admit it.)

With the competition getting stiffer as the postseason moves along, the way this team has played up to this point doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

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  • http://slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/fear/ Freedom Fries

    Either way, the only way they’re gonna see lebron is on TV and postcards – they toast and erryone knows it. Hunger trumps arrogance every time.

  • Justin

    i am pullin for the lakers but they should be worried because the rockets aint going to give up just cause its on there home court

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    You are a different team at home, huh? Well, guess what Phily, you don’t have home court in the Finals (if you luck into getting there) against the Cavs….so you’ll not be seeing title 10 this year either.

  • Ken

    Yes, the Lakers play better at home. And yes, they have homecourt advantage versus the Nuggets (though the Nuggs will be a lot better rested). That said, the Lakers WON’T have homecourt advantage versus LeBron, so they shouldn’t get too comfortable with the thought that they play better at home, because it’s not going to keep bailing them out.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Boston had two seven game series before taking the championships. I’m rooting for the Cavaliers, but I wouldn’t exactly write the Lakers off….

  • http://slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/fear/ Freedom Fries

    Am I the only one praying that they get thoroughly humiliated at home in front of the plastic LA people and fake fans? The only scary wildcard is the refs – who’s on the take for game 7?

  • thegfunk

    The lakers will definately have their hands full if play denver in the wc finals. I know we can crticise teams for what they dont do but the rockets,lakers,denver,boston,orlando and especially cleveland are all in my opinion giving teams the business or at least a fun for their money. I don’t know what to expect in the semi game 7′s

  • Harlem_World

    Battier’s D shouldn’t be overlooked, but Denver should be a tougher match up. From what they’ve shown thus far (especially playing away from home) Lebron is going to bully the spit out of them enroute to his first chip. That makes me happy.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    “If you’re scared…..”

  • http://slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/fear/ Freedom Fries

    What do you mean if E? You know someone who knows someone who knows someone in Vegas who has a line on LA . . . . . is the fix already in? HOU in foul trouble as of the 5 min mark of the first quarter?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    The Rockets better not be looking for ref help Sunday afternoon, that’s for sure.

  • Harlem_World

    Much as it would cement this playoffs as the best overall of all time if the Rockets could pull the upset. It’s not going to happen. Sternbot will not allow it, you can bank that.

  • cdef28

    Lakers have no heart. If they think the Pepsi Center will be any easier than at Houston(if they make it, which they will because of Stern) , they have another thing coming.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    You know, I remember after Game 1 of this series when everyone was razzing the Lakers for the loss that everyone that thinks they either A) know basketball or b)thinks the Lakers haven’t lost a game since 1980, said we were all so stupid for thinking that game wouldn”t bother the Lakers in the least and they would close out in 5 or 6. Late Sunday afternoon can’t come soon enough to let the most embarassing team loss in professional sports history commence.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Arrogance is bliss, apparently.

  • AlbertBarr

    Honestly, although it would be awesome to see Kobe get ousted by the Rockets, I dont want the Rockets to advance because Rockets/Nuggets would NOT be a good series. Trust the Nuggets wont forget their basketball heads at the door of the Toyota center ans let the Rockets run wild. I WANT to see nuggets/Lakers so…

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Eboy- the Rocket’s havent really had any help this series anyways. They won’t be expecting anything.
    They deserve this series more than the Lakers do. But it sure as he1l won’t be given to them.
    I’m looking forward to game 7. Should be brilliant.

  • vtrobot

    Dikembe will be laying on the court again, with the ball raised above him. He’ll just do it in a suit this time. If the C’s can’t win this year, at least Kobe can lose. Can’t wait.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Actually Albert, I think Rockets/Nugs could be a decent series. I think they matchup pretty well.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Hursty, you know the Rockets will have a ton of bandwagoners giving of good vibes Sunday.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    *off

  • AlbertBarr

    Tad: If the Rockets advance, what is their best matchup to exploit and where is the biggest mismatch? I think they will have a hard time guarding Melo

  • http://slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/fear/ Freedom Fries

    Tick tock – tick tock. Can you hear it? The Countdown begins . . . . . the countdown until Kobe demands a trade. Again. And blames all his woes on his team –again. And Phil publishes another book on what a knob KB is again . . . .. oh and LA doesn’t win a ring – again. Tick to the tock

  • Harlem_World

    If (and who thought we’d be contemplating this when Yao went out?) Rockets advance, we’re looking at a Melo/Lebron Finals. While that will have snuck up on alot of folks, it might actually turn out to be much more entertaining than a Kobe/Bron Finals.

  • BostonBaller

    They should be just as worried as my Celtics b/c no matter what history says, the games still have to be played. With that said I believe both the Lakers and Celtics will win their game 7′s.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Albert: Billups struggles to stay in front of quick guards like Brooks. Always has. Artest would probably end up with the Melo assignment. Hayes/Scola/Battier/Landry/Lowry/Wafer all have heart. They may be small without Yao, but they are tough.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Yeh that tends to happen Eboy. I mean, once your team is knocked out, all the loosing fans have to cheer for someone else. *sends out good vibes* haha.
    And, as it has been said, it’s pretty difficult to dislike/hate this Houston squad.
    If there was a mismatch playerwise for the Nuggets, it would be guarding Ron Ron. JR and Melo are both below average defenders ( most of the time). But they try hard. Whereas Ron can play on Carmelo most of the time, out wide, or down on the block.

  • AlbertBarr

    At the same time that Billups cant guard Brooks, I dont think Brooks can guard Chauncey…Big Shot will be living at the charity stripe from taking brooks inside. But I agree with you…the rockets are tough as Grandma’s Jerky, they could force the Nugs into some bad decisions with their hustle and grit – they could win a couple just off of the vapors from this Lakers series

  • vtrobot

    the rockets have done A LOT the past couple years when they weren’t supposed to. let’s hope that continues.

  • http://thegayestwebsiteever.com Ben

    All this Kobe Lebron crap is really starting to ruin basketball for me. Sheed was right: it’s the WWF, with good guys and bad guys. Entertainment for the part-time fans. I’m just so tired of this getting forced on me, who’s a star and who’s the next Jordan. Maybe people would like it as much if you just let the teams play and see who comes out on top. Do we really need to make all these one name stars? Ok, I’m done now…

  • cdef28

    Hursty you are dumb. Ever hear of Dahntay Jones? I might have spelled the name wrong, but at least I know about him. Ron Ron’s offense consists of holding the ball extremely long. That would help Denver.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Just because of the new cover: Remember a couple years ago when the reason Kobe was so clearly better than LeBron was because Kobe had that insatiable killer instinct? Yeah, me neither.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Ryan Jones: In All His Glory.

  • bulldog

    Hmmm – My mommy sez Houston is gonna whup the Lakers and beat them up and make them die and kiss the girls and make them cry…you just wait and see..huh-huh I told you so..and my daddy sez…STOP!!-ENOUGH ALREADY! Lakers in 7!!! These kids today..sheeesh!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    I’ll probably cut and paste that in The Post Up, too, just to share the love.

  • AlbertBarr

    Lakers fans are really losing it today…I think with their backs against the ropes they start acting like they are up 3-1…Wake up Lakers fans, this is for real. You are 48 minutes away from NOT advancing to the WCF.

  • babygab

    Did anybody see Tracy these last days looool !!! The way houston plays right now, should probably teach him a couple things. These guys make me feel like I’m back in the early 90′s. Hustle, dedication, pride. Battier can’t guard Kobe, but still he works hard on limiting him doesn’t back down. Ron-Ron leadership, just great ! The way the others guys elevated their game. A mano to mano confrontation. Guys don’t care about the establishment who decided the lakers were the better team because they have superstars. This is great. I got goose bumps thinking of sunday’s game. If the rockets can keep their poise in this one, then it should be a packed pressure one, with a suprising outcome may be ?

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    The Lakers are the definition of “fake swag”. You know how teams seem to take on the identity of their best player? I want nothing more than to see them lose.

  • Harlem_World

    If the return of Ron Ron and Battier as THE duo in Houston that really matter, and the rise of Brooks and Yao coming back healthy, if I were McGrady I’d be contacting the Realtors right now.

  • bbfan

    Why is everyone saying the Lakers will have a hard time against the Cavs, they’re having a hard time NOW! I love the Lakers but if they are gonna play like this throughout the series i’d rather they not play in the next round.

  • AlbertBarr

    bbfan…no one is saying that today.

  • cdef28

    Ryan, there are 5 people playing on each team at the same time. So lets blame Kobe for everything that they did wrong, like Pau and Bynum allowing an easy lay-up and1 to start the game.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    When Kobe isn’t making like 55-60% of his jumpers he doesn’t really do that much to help the team win. He played above average D last night, but he still doesn’t create shots for others consistently (like Bron and Wade) and he has struggled against squads that play solid, rotating, “team defense”. It really is great to see a team like the Rockets fight through adversity and step up to the challenge. The Lakers really don’t have ANY heart.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Hey there, cdef. I guess I was more thinking of blaming Kobe for missing 16 shots and having an otherwise negligible impact on the box score in a close-out game. ‘Cause he’s the most clutch, ruthless, deadly-snake-nickname-having guy in the League, right?

  • cdef28

    Who is Kobe going to create for? Gasol didn’t even show up and Bynum looked like he would rather be at the Playboy Mansion than in the game. Kobe deserves blame, but LA lost last night, not just Kobe.

  • http://lacuevacrosscountry.com Slick Nick Da Ruler

    Isnt it time for all Lakers fans to blame Odom?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    I was just about to type that same thing, Jones. Like, almost exactly. Can we now favorably compare Kobe to someone more like Clyde Drexler than Michael Jordan’s sweat?

  • cdef28

    No he might not be. What does it matter? The Lakers shouldn’t need him to be to beat the Rockets, but no one else wants to step up when Kobe has two leaches on him at all times. Blame Pau and Bynum, I mean it’s not like Yao is out or anything.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Michael played with Bill Wennigton, Luc Longley, a close to retired Bill Cartwright, Will Purdue and the ghosts of James Edwards and Robert Parish. Kill that sh*t that Kobe NEEDS center help. Kobe needs to “unleash the Mamba” whatever the fu*k that stupid sh*t is, that no one has ever seen.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Unless you consider an in his prime Shaq the biggest mamba in creation.

  • cdef28

    Even Jordan had Pippen. Stop that garbage. It’s not Kobe vs the world, it’s the Lakers vs the Rockets

  • http://www.ericgordon.com nate the great

    NA NA NAaaa NA… NA NA NA NAAAA. HEY HEY HEY… GOOD BYE!

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Hey, I was out buying an Aaron Brooks jersey and a red blazer. Did I miss anything?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    The Rockets? The same team that was compared to something less than a CBA team once Yao went down? Yes, it seems like a team of Hall Of Famers would be needed to beat them, huh?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    I hear this is a good time in the year to go to Disney Land anyway.

  • http://slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/fear/ Freedom Fries

    Relax everyone. Kobe’s just laying the groundwork for his upcoming trade tantrum – t-minus one loss/elimination . . . .

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    I made my position on the whole “Andrew Bynum’s return = guaranteed Laker title” known well before the playoffs started, and I’m happy to say he’s proving me correct pretty much every night. As for Bean, I’m just saying, he doesn’t really look like THAT dude right now… just like he didn’t in last year’s finals… or against the Suns in ’06… or in that parking lot a couple summers ago.
    But you knew all that.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    The funny thing, of course, is that the Lakers could totally win Game Seven (and probably will), and could even possibly beat the Nuggets (but probably won’t). And I don’t recall everyone falling over themselves to crap on Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett when the 37-win Hawks took them seven last year. But that’s neither here nor there, I supppose.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    And really, me bringing up all this stuff now, it’s not constructive. Guess I need a reality check. Is there a Spike Lee joint that can set me straight?

  • cdef28

    Eboy, no 1 person can beat an entire team (minus 2001 Allen Iverson)

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Russ: I actually flew to Boston last June in an attempt to do just that, but the combination of air-travel-induced dehydration and crapping-on-NBA-star jitters kept me plugged up. Which is too bad. What a story that would’ve been!

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Russ is such an apologist. Seriously though, I think part of last years deflection of hate for the Celts that the Lakers get is that everyone then was rooting for KG, more than anyone else, to get a ring. This year he turned into a complete asshole, moreso than he had been in any other point in his career, so now he joins a short list of guys in the lig that people are loving to hate. The Celts aren’t supported the same way they were last year either by bandwagoning fans.

  • http://slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/fear/ Freedom Fries

    Seriously, where does Kobe demand to get traded to once they get got? New York? I mean he’s such a big market guy, I can’t see him in Minny . . .

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    This is all I can say at this point.. The celtics faced the same problems last and they still won the title… not that anybody will say that the situation is comparable.

  • AlbertBarr

    I do love to hate KG

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    ^Dope.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Meant for Bryan.

  • http://slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/fear/ Freedom Fries

    Bryan – no – they did not. And you know it. They did not once mail in a game and look like they didn’t care. Getting beat and not giving a crap are not the same at all. They had heart thru every win and loss. And the Softshow has proven time and time again that heart they have not. (Except for Fish when he decked Scola – that I LIKED)

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Yes, I’m totally an apologist. It’s clear I’m on Kobe’s payroll, and I don’t just think he’s still an excellent player. DONE COMMENTING. Enjoy the rest of your regularly scheduled hating. Bye!

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    It was a joke Russ, see how I typed seriously right after? Jeez.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Sorry russ I stole your line I guess. Of course objectivity is overrated.

  • http://slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/fear/ Freedom Fries

    Where can I go online to bet how soon before Kobe demands a trade ? And I’ll take anyone’s action who thinks otherwise. That whiny mambiatch will jump ship faster than a greased up weasel (again).

  • http://www.myspace.com/weezyleezy337 weezy f. leezy

    yo i cant wait to see that Kobe Doin Work Spike Lee joint!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Russ isn’t an apologist, but he does have a nasty meth habit that keeps him from thinking straight. We’re working on it.
    But let’s get back to the topic at hand: Bean’s a fraud!

  • http://slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/fear/ Freedom Fries

    Maybe he could shake things up in Golden State – if he hung out in Oaktown enough he could learn to get a real swagger – not one imported from Milano.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Ryan is trying his best on a Friday to drum up discussion. Somewhere, Ben is smiling.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    I think Ben’s in Southern California, Tad, so I hope he’s oblivious of anything to do with this site and smiling regardless.

  • http://slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/fear/ Freedom Fries

    Well it’s just about happy hour time here in Freedomland. Have a good weekend y’all and thanks to the nba for giving us game 7′s – I really appreciate it.

  • http://slamonline.com/online/category/blogs/fear/ Freedom Fries

    PS. Kobe could go to Toronto – leave the country – it would make headlines for months.

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    “He talked to himself when he need someone to hate on // The black McCain campaign negative debate-a-thon”

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Maybe he’ll retire and go play in Europe where he could actually have a shot at winning something. Now THAT I would like.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Maybe Kobe’ll win a championship this year?? You guys are freaking hypocrites.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Especially Ciolkstar and Eboy. All you guys did in the regular season was whine and cry about Lakers fans being too blind to admit the possibility that the Lakers actually CAN LOSE IN THE POSTSEASON. Now you guys are freaking pranting around like the Lakers have already been eliminated. Incase you guys didn’t realize, the Lakers are going back to where they won by 40-freaking-points and then advancing to play a well-armored but clearly not invinsible Denver Nuggets who, if not for one of the biggest playoff blunders in history, would be playing game 6 tonight.
    Christ.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    I want my boy Lebron to win a ring, but if Kobe takes it all and looks at the camera and goes “AND THIS IS FOR ALL MAH BOYS AT SLAM WHO DOUBTED ME” and waves his d*ck around at the camera, I’d be just as happy.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    And of course, right when I clicked “submit comment” I realized I just admitted I’d be happy if Kobe showed me his crotch, but whatever, my message was delivered.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Why am I a dope? Last year the celtics were pushed to the limit by far inferior squads to the point that mostly everyone gave them no chance against the lakers but everyone was saying how facing down adversity helped them become champions. The only difference I see is that lakers don’t fake being humble and aw shucks about it. The celtics won a championship and turned into a bunch of arrogant pr*cks. The lakers have been arrogant pr*cks all along. That’s the only difference.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    I bet you would Jukster.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Shia and Jukai should share a sandwich and hug. Two girls, fighting the good fight, like Romy and Michelle.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Ah, it’s the pot calling the kettle black. Ciolkstar and Eboy must spend a lot of time around each other, because they’re beginning to rag at the same time.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Too many “c*ck” and “pr*ck” commenst to my liking. Didn’t any of ya’ll learn anything from yesterdays convo?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Or Thelma and Louise.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    I wish I was in SoCal too, Jones. Minus all the Lakers fans, that is.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Jukai: I’m surprised that you need to hear all of this again. The Lakers don’t defend well. They’re too arrogant to make adjustments. The only have 1 consistent scorer. the second best player is kind of a big puss. Their bench is limited and they don’t have any interior defensive presence. The playoffs are VERY differenct than the regular season (something your precious Suns never figured out)
    I just don’t see them beating Denver or Cleveland, not at all.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I’ll just say this: the Lakers are making it very hard for people to jump on their band wagon with their arrogance. I mean, I make it a point in my everyday life to not associate myself with arrogant pricks. Why would I want that to be the dominant trait of the team I root for. Arrogance and lack of respect for the opposition is different from confidence.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    I just want to know what the difference is. Asisde from kg being universally loved before he won and kobe being universally hated.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Right on, Z. Again, I think that may have something to do with the whole concept of “Team’s taking on the personality of their best player”
    You know how Kobe just keeps screaming three championship rings in that commercial? Thats really all he’s ever done. And he just happened to have the most dominant player in the post MJ era on his team for all three of those. And the more he kept saying “three championship rings” the smaller his leagacy really seemed.

    The Kobe era is over. But I’m not sure if it ever really existed outside of dropping an inconsequential 60 or 81 every once in a while.

  • AlbertBarr

    Dropping 81 was not inconsequential, maybe in terms of championship legacy but for a dominant scorer, that was his crowning individual acheivement.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Ciolkstar: you’re blind. Really, you’re blind. They have one consistent scorer but an entire TEAM of streaky shooters, with usually two or three people who are able to knock down shots on any given night. Just like the 2006 Miami Heat (don’t say Shaq was a consistant scorer, dude was having single digit games in the playoffs). Their interior defense has been pretty awful, but it seems like that comes from being outgunned early and having too many fouls later in the game to want to toughen up. Denver and Cleveland are not going to run anywhere near as much as the Rockets have been running. And for a team that doesnt’ defend well, it’s funny how the Rockets only have one game over 100 points and an average of 94 points. Their bench has been incredibly shaky and that has been one of their weaknesses, but there are nights where the entire bench can catch fire, aka the Rockets 40 point r*pe three nights ago.
    Can the Lakers lose game 7? Probably not, but if the bench doesn’t show up, it’s possible. Will the Lakers beat the Nuggets? It’s not certain, the Nuggets are going to grind it out and if the calls don’t go the Lakers way, they can lose a couple very quickly.
    Are there any glaring faults of this Lakers team that makes me think they aren’t capable of beating the Nuggets?
    Not even remotely.

  • vtrobot

    ron ron’s comment about the subway song last night is the best thing going. if it wasn’t obvious that he’s mentally on another level than everyone else, it’s 100% clear now.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Does anyone think there was ANY chance of Shaq winning those three rings without Kobe? Could they beat the Kings or Spurs of that generation? Could they even beat the Mavericks or Nets?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Jukai: I’m sorry, but were you inferring with your 11:57 comment that the Rockets run more than the Nuggets?

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    I mean, jesus: you guys are such brainless zombies, I HAVE TO ACTUALLY DEFEND THE LAKERS.
    That’s just disgusting.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Uhm….the Heat won a title and Dwyane was dominant throughtout the 2006 playoffs. What was your point in referencing them, Jukai? Kobe has been less than dominant and the Lakers are about as certain to win a title as you are to make a pertinent argument.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Eboy: Yes, no doubt Kobe was less dominant than Dwayne, Eboy. My point was that that besides Wade, there was no SECOND OPTION on the Heat. It was whoever would step up that day. Shaq stepped up a bunch of games, but also disappeared and the Heat had to depend on White Chocolate, The Shimmy, Posey, or Haslem to score for them. Ciolkstar said the Lakers only had one dominant scorer and no one else, and I was saying how the Lakers depend on random people getting hot sporatically to win.
    I actually think a big problem with the Lakers is that everyone but Kobe seems SCARED to try and score. Like, they’re not hitting their semi-option shots like they normally would. Maybe they’re scared of being socked by Kobe?

  • http://vnsny.org Spaceship Jay

    Even as a guy that really wants to see Kobe get one without Shaq, I gotta aggree with Z. I can’t stand the way the Lakers straight disrespect the Rockets ability to hit shots or play defense. Their lack of urgency is the EXACT opposite of Playoff basketball. Who would want to be a Laker fan after seeing this bulls***?

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Ugh, and your last line… you’re such a hypocrite Eboy.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    semi-open*

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Is this some new Jukai who doesn’t like conflict and asanine comments? Funny. And sorry to inform you, but Shaq was the huge presence the Heat needed by drawing doubles and triples on 80% of his touches which left the lanes open to be freelanced by Dwyane. Shaq may not have averaged 25 and 15 but he made it possible for Dwyane to go from the little Flash to the superhero Flash. Don’t think he didn’t do the same ( X=times 20 being in his prime) for that guy you’ve been coddling for the last half hour or so.

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    But…but…but…they have 60+ wins! Surely that must count for something! Isn’t that right, Dallas Mavericks?

  • http://antwonomous.blogspot.com Antwonomous

    Nothing to worry about, huh? Man. With these guys, it’s always nothing to worry about. I just don’t know if my team has what it takes, guys, I really don’t.

  • Brandon33

    The aggorance of Lakers is disgusting. They going to get punked out by the Thuggets, if they even beat Houston. (please let them have a chance Mr. Stern).

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    i hate this comment box.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Rockets matchup well with denver, i believe they beat them 3-0 this season and ‘melo was kept in check,

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    so if houston gets by LA i think they should make it competitive, but eventually will run out of gas.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Denver doesnt have any at the C spot, so that would actually make it easier for Hayes/Landry to compete.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    and brooks played very well in like 2 of the 3 games, billups was contained by team d

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Eboy: I don’t like hypocrisy. If you’re going to whine and cry to Lakers fans for not admitting there is a possibility of the Lakers not getting the chip, you also have to concede that they are fully capable, if they find that “spark” they had in the regular season, to go all the way.
    Shaq was never triple teamed once during that entire run.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    i also dont get the comparison the celts being taken to game 7. It’s much easier for ANY team to to step up whent hey have their full squad than for a team who lost their 2 best players, their back up center and has to change their offense on the fly during a series. It’s even more difficult when your weakness is height and you lose you’re 2 tallest players and are facing a tall lineup. Not even close to the same thing.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    and Jukai, the comment you made about houston’s scoring…houston has never been a high scoring offense, so they probably won’t avg over a 100 against anyone, a lot of it has to do with their defense, which slows down possessions…and they take long on O as well, therefore the overall number of posessions for both teams is low, making it unlikely for the game to be high scoring anyway.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    “Shaq was never triple teamed once during that entire run.” What? They basically played the entire Bulls series that year with Shaq being doubled and tripled on every touch. And then the Nets went a similar route as well. It wasn’t until they played the Pistons and to a lesser degree, the Mavs, that the triples went more or less away ’cause Dwyane was on some otherworld sh*t at that point. You’re out of your fuc*ing mind, Jukai. Whatever bro, fight for what’s good then, kid. None of their other fans seem to want to make the argument for them out of embarrassment, so do it for the integrity of the game or whatever righteous reason you find to placate yourself.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Jukai, they are fully capable, but their chances dropped significantly..they’re worried, maybe not about houston, but overall they are. You can tell Kobe’s got doubts about his squad based on some comments he’s made. All this just gives Cleveland that much more confidence, if they face LA they just have to play their O and take notes on what Houston did on D, they already have close to the same effort and hustle..

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Jukai: Houston runs more than the Nuggets will? Do you even watch the games?
    Also, I’m not sure if you know what the word hypocrite actually means…

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Kobe just doesn’t have that “force of nature” aura that Bron is carrying right now. Not to mention the Cavs and Nuggets (and Rockets) seem to actually, you know, like playing basketball with each other. the Lakers are just punching a clock right now and expecting to get past teams just because they’re the Lakers. Maybe it’s cliche, but attitude and mentality are HUGE in thses situations. Outsde of Kobe, who’s clearly on the decline, I don’t see anyone on the lakers who can “will” them to victory. Kobe used to be enough in some situations, I don’t see that anymore.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    Jukai just likes to be the devil’s advocate, especially since NO LAKER FANS ARE HERE TODAY. shocking, i know.
    and just to echo on the rockets’ inability to score over 100: there’s something call controlling tempo. a defensive team execute on offense to get the best possible shots. the rockets only really initiate their attack when there are around 10 seconds left on the shot clock, and then they sprint back to prevent fast break. limiting turnovers and missed shots so the Lakers don’t have opportunities to get easy buckets. you should have known that since that’s how the spurs beat the suns every single time.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    Game 7 coming up, besides the refs. The Rockets have absolutely nothing to be scared of. Yes, the Fakers might win, but that is expected. Rockets can play with no pressure at all. Whereas Kobe & co. is basically playing for their legacy (slightly exaggerated, but still so much more on the line). How will they respond, my bet is that LA’s bench will choke. Whether Kobe and Pau will be enough to beat this gritty H-town team is doubtfull, especially when it seems that Battier/Artest pulled down Kobe’s pants and uncovered his tiny pecker in front of all the Laker-girls. + I really really like Eboy and Ryan’s commenting today. Really.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    in all fairness though, Jukai, i do agree with you on “if lakers can lose, they can win also” angle. one-sided bashing are no fun like a blow-out win.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Lz, i think the lakers will start off well, houston catches up, stays close until int he 4th when Kobe pulls the Lakers away. There’s no way LA doesn’t come out going 100 mph with their backs against the wall.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    RV; there’s a good chance of that scenario. I for one is not counting LA out (for this series anyways, they wont win the chip I’m willing to bet on that) But I don’t think Kobe is going to be the main protagonist. Like I said he’s having a tough time against Battier/Ron. I think Pau is the key. If Houston’s bigs(little bigmen) gets into foultrouble he could have a blast.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    RV: Lakers have held them under scoring average… Chances have dropped significantly, still favored…
    Eboy: Chicago triple teamed cause had no bigmen… Nets really didn’t…. Detroit didn’t triple because had bigmen who could handle Shaq, not cause of Wade… Dallas didn’t triple because they’d just foul…
    Ciolkstar: Meant the ‘runs more’ on the inside. Denver likes to run but opts for jump shots instead of more attacking the basket. Rockets like to cut.
    albie1kenobi: the Spurs beat the Suns because of David Stern and the mafia. Thanks for reminding me though…

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Intense pressure will make crazy things happen to. Just saying. The Rockets have none of that on their side.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Jukai, Nets really did. Believe me.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Eboy: It’s my recollection vs your recollection. It’s not like you’re a diehard Heat fan, right?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    and was the ron-kobe fould ever cleared up in here?….i just saw Kobe actually gave ron a forearm to the mouth….last night we all thought it was an untentional head butt…it didnt look too bad, but it was still too high, i guess u cant really call an offensive foul when you just called a def foul, so that’s prob why they T’ed him up.

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    When its all said and done, the Lakers will be in the WCF, like I posted earlier though they need to get it together and stop underestimating the opponent they face. That’s something that can be fixed now. I love how the hate has kicked into overdrive.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Jukai, still favored?? C’mon now. I dont think anyone outside of LA is favoring them anymore. serious contenders? Sure, but favored? (i’m hoping you’re refering to their chances of winning it all, because i am, i wasnt refering to their chances of winning this series)

  • t-man

    every body hates kobe y? he’s the best thing since jordan i dont like to compare them but come on if kobe wasnt with the lakers theres no playoffs at all give the man some room to take down the houston sooners and the chicken nuggets

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    And I guess playing in Staples in front of a home crowd isn’t going to help the Lakers like playing in front of a home crowd in the Toyota center didn’t help the Rockheads last night?

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    And – “force of nature” aura??? Wow. Are we talking about basketball or mythology?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Zee, have you given houston props at any time during this series? You’ve backed up your team like a true fan, but during losess i’ve never seen you post more than “La didnt try, they gave up”…..maybe “underestimating their opponent” is indirect props, but still…

  • t-man

    once we “lakers” take down houston and they will sunday then the nuggets get ate with fries i could go on and on but i will say this phill does need to be a coach again we miss u phill

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    RV: I guess I sould have specified, but I was talking about their chances getting to the NBA Finals. I’d say the Cavs are favored right now.

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    RV I think Houston has been playing flat out hardbody. They haven’t backed down like I the Lakers thought they were going to, and they actually put up buckets. Whether they win or not, props are due, and hopefully they will successfully wake the Lakers up outta whatever dream they’ve been living in the last couple of weeks.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    and do teams make it habit of selling tickets to the next round before game 7 is played? and i’m asking in a serious way, not trying to hate in LA, just never heard of it doen before..

  • http://slamonline.com DONONE

    “LAKERS GONE’ FISHING”
    SUNDAYS HEADLINE!!
    NUGGS WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPS!!

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    @RV: when warriors got into the playoffs two years ago, they were selling playoff tix package for round 1 and TWO (6 games total) before the playoff began. i thought there was no way dallas would not advance so i laughed it off. well, we all know how that turned out.
    @Jukai: i knew you were gonna bring up darth stern and the refs, but hmm, i’m pretty sure the spurs beat the suns 4 years in a row in the playoffs, so your argument is only 25% valid at best.

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    @ Albie- I remember that!! Do you remember when the Dubs didn’t have any type of order at the arena when playoff tix when on sale? People were running over each other to get to the ticket offices.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    @Zee!: so you are in the Bay? did you actually go to see the games? i went to game 4 of the first round where Baron threw in the half-court/half-time buzzer beater. that was bananas.
    as for the tix package, no i wasn’t there to witness the chaos. i can only imagine. there was a fight that broke out near the end of a lakers/warriors game this year in the nose bleed section. tragically hilarious.

  • KeS

    If you want to know why the Lakers and their fans are perceived as arrogant; it’s exactly this. The Lakers are facing a game 7 to advance, primarily due to their own lapses against a severely undermanned opponent; and they are *still* talking about how they will play against the Nuggets and Cavs. How about worrying about winning the game SUNDAY, against the team IN FRONT OF YOU; the one that’s beaten you with and without their francise player, at home and on the road?!

    KeS

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    albie1kenobi: I’M NOT LISTENING LA LA LA LA LA LA LA

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    where’s BET anyway? he spits hot fire.

  • jumpin white boyz

    The lakers have proved their mediocrity. Any good team (not Utah or Houston) will handle them easily. They are not long for the playoff.

  • http://www.showmeyourwits.com showmeyourwits

    This is cartoonish. The only reason we’re having this conversation is because everyone expects the Lakers to play for the ‘ship- even the haters. Yes Houston is missing 3 major players, but they are a 5 seed being coached by someone who’s missed the playoffs twice in 20 years. A team that was better than 2/3 of the eastern playoff field. It’s not the Clippers- its the Rockets, they should give the Lakers trouble just like Denver should. When the Lakers won by 40 nobody had much to say about them going all the way but now the Lakers are incapable of even winning game 7? This is ridiculous.

  • Josh D

    That Attitude is what’s making them lose games in the first place

  • http://sjsu.edu davidR

    albie, how could you believe dallas was gonna beat gstate that year? i remember watching their last meeting in the regular season thinking, “dallas benching their starters is going to kill them when gstate sneaks in.” almost everyone on gsom knew it was over for the mavs before the playoffs started

  • http://sjsu.edu davidR

    i didnt try buying tickets at the roaracle, but i tried buying online. i remember they had a bulletin on the main site saying tickets will go on sale at 10:00am. when i checked at 9:58am, it already said sold out haha.

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    @albie- Born and raised until I moved to NY for 8 years. But I came back out a few years ago to live. I got to go to game 3 against the jazz in the second round. Last game I’ve been to was against the Celts this year, where they beat them WITH a healthy KG. And yeah some of those fans…. ESPECIALLY the guy near 120 who always yells ” make your free throws please!!” I hate that guy.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    apparently the game drew the largest viewing audience EVER for a basketball game on ESPN

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    and if anyone at SLAM wants video of JVG doing human bowling prior to the game i’ll post the link in my next comment..

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    OK, it didnt show and now it says it’s a duplicate…i’ll post it in the sir charles video post..

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    nevermind..now it’s there..and Ron had a stomach virus and shane had the deadly sore throat/respiratory infection yesterday…

  • http://myspace.com/2grownup2beshownup Jack

    Next SLAM cover: LeBron with Mo, and Melo with Chauncey. I can just feel the dopeness from here. You wouldn’t do it if that’s the Finals match-up SLAM, you wouldn’t.

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    @RV: “Ron had a stomach virus and shane had the deadly sore throat/respiratory infection yesterday.” seriously?
    @davidR: of course i knew warriors gave mavs all kinds of trouble during the regular seasons (they just had mavs number even BEFORE baron arrived that year when they were at the bottom of the league), and i thought they’d give mavs a run for their money in the playoffs. but i expected the mavs to actually advance because they DID have the best record in the league that year and thinking playoffs would be a different story. i was just dumbfounded when the mavs just could not make any necessary adjustments to take the series, or even make the series competitive. they effing lost in 6 games.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Yes albie. I believe ron had it bad during the early morning shootaround, i think he may have even missed it, but got better as the day went on…shane had issues too, i guess that’s part of the reason Scola decided to come out so aggressively…oh and i was kidding about the deadly part, i dont want to confuse anyone lol..

  • http://www.broy7.com nate the great

    houton vs cavs.
    o-4.
    .
    lakers and cavs.
    3-3 game 7 idk.
    .
    nuggs vs cavs.
    up in the air.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Freedom Fries Posted: May.15 at 9:05 am
    Either way, the only way they’re gonna see lebron is on TV and postcards – they toast and erryone knows it. Hunger trumps arrogance every time.
    ________________________________________________
    Who are you if your arrogantly hungry though…?

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Nate, houston can win at least one game against any team that’s left, at least…almost 48 mins of effort gives you at least that much in a 7 game series.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Nate- you are aware that Houston beat the Cavaliers by 15+ points at home this year aren’t you? If they make it that far, at least give them one game.

  • Colombi

    Woah I’m a gigantic fan and even though I have extreme confidence in closing out this series on Sunday. WE CAN NOT have that attitude about just worrying about the Nuggets.

  • http://kb24.com Bigi

    Can we just wait after Game 7?And Nuggets…You are comin’ to Lakerland for games 1&2.Regular season is a BIT*H!

  • http://sjsu.edu davidR

    @albie, yea and the oaktown games were absolute blowouts. still were fun to watch though. man, losing baron really changed the atmosphere of roaracle this season. the electricity and good vibes dont feel like they’re there anymore

  • vic

    for those of you who are spending all of your time evaluating how the lakers will match up with the nuggets or the cavs, you may find yourselves talking about what could have been. The rockets are playing good, sound, basic b-ball and are taking it to the next level using the basic fundimentals of the game. IN games 4 and 6 the rockets dominated the lakers, and basically did it with 8 players. The lakers are a strong team at times, but those who choose to dismiss the rockets chances in game 7 either do not understand b-ball, or they have simply chosen a team to win the series. if the rockets play as they did in game 4, the lakers must be flawless in order to advance. Even koby must be more efficient in that situation.

  • swifthammer

    another thing for people comparing the ’08 celts playoff struggles to the ’09 laker playoff strugles, the celts didnt face a team missing 1/3 of its normal rotation because of injuries. Give the Rockets credit for playing like there is tommorrow, but the Lakers “should” prevail in a one game situation at home

  • http://neworleansbasketball.blogspot.com Caleb

    “Can we now favorably compare Kobe to someone more like Clyde Drexler than Michael Jordan’s sweat?” That’s probably closer to the truth.

  • Brian

    A bit arrogant? No? What will they say when they get beaten by the Rockets? Can’t wait to see what they’ll do

  • Jackie Moon

    “Kobe Bryant repeatedly delivered the company line: We’re not concerned, and we just need to get through this and start worrying about the Nuggets”… and he was right.

    “Brian Posted: May.17 at 7:41 am
    A bit arrogant? No? What will they say when they get beaten by the Rockets? Can’t wait to see what they’ll do” … didn’t happen DONONE Posted: May.15 at 1:57 pm
    ““LAKERS GONE’ FISHING”
    SUNDAYS HEADLINE!!
    NUGGS WESTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPS!! ” … didn’t happen

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