Tag:Spurs
Posted on: June 2, 2008 1:07 am
Edited on: June 2, 2008 1:24 am
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Out With The Old In With The New: Laker WCF Recap

I had a huge blog written out and my computer froze me up thus I lost it all I can't even believe this so bare with me as I try to write this slightly less in depth version I'm so ticked right now!!!!!!!

Lakers With Western Conference Trophy

The Lakers defeat the Spurs in 5 games as this series proved to still be entertaining as the Lakers passed what many doubters believed to be there first true test of the post season.

Game 1- This game saw the Spurs come out and dominate the Lakers for 2 and a half quarters as the Spurs ran there way all the way to a 20 point lead with just under 6 minutes to go in the third. This prompted many Lakers fans including myself to be very mad and even caused several of us to stop watching including myself who left for a whole 5-10 minutes before I just had to come back and hang in with my Lakers. The Lakers wouldn't let us down on this night as they came storming back to win by a score of 89-85 they where led by Kobe Bryant who scored 25 of his 27 points in the second half and proved once again to the world why he is the best player in this league and why he is the MVP. Pau Gasol had his best game of the series with 19 points and 7 rebounds. As the Lakers prove they could win games when the score is under 100 much less 90.

Game 2- This game was interesting in the first half as even though the Lakers seemed to be dominate the Spurs had us in a tie with the first half nearing an end however the Lakers ended the half with an impressive run that took us to a 9 point led at the half. In the second half it was all Lakers as we saw the bench's clear and the Lakers run to a 101-71 romp of the Spurs. We saw the official return of Jordan Farmar as he scored 14 big points. Trevor Ariza made his long awaited return from injury and nailed the first shot he took. Kobe was Kobe scoring 22 points, grabbing 5 boards, and dishing out 5 assists.

Game 3- Game 3 saw the return of Manu Ginobili for the Spurs as he showed where Manu goes the Spurs go. He scored 30 points and led the way to the Spurs romp of the Lakers after the first quarter. Tim Duncan had 22 and Tony Parker 20 to help propel the Spurs to a 103-84 romp of the Lakers. The Spurs hit some ridiculous 3's that helped along the way as they shot hot and played there best game of the series. The Lakers got 30 points from Bryant and 15 from Gasol.

Game 4- Perhaps the game of the series the Lakers came out and rolled to a 22-8 lead however the Spurs had cut that lead down to 5 by the end of the first. The Lakers and Spurs then played about as even basketball as can be as the Lakers only outscored the Spurs by 1 point in each of the next two quarters to take a 7 point lead into the fourth. The fourth quarter featured two teams that could not really find the bucket for much of the quarter but then the Lakers got a spark as Lamar and Kobe led the Lakers to a 93-86 lead with just under a minute to go and Gasol at the line shooting free throws however Gasol would miss both and the Spurs would go down and Manu Ginobili hit a 3 to cut the lead to 4 in what would be 3 of Manu's 7 points only.
On the next Laker possession Kobe made a rookie like mistake taking the ball and driving it all the way down to the hoop and shooting a layup early in the shot clock the shot would be missed and the Spurs got the ball to Tony Parker who was able to get out in transition and put up a layup that would eventually be called a goal tend by Lamar Odom. This left the Lakers only up by 2 with some 30 seconds left. The Lakers took the ball down court and ran the shot clock down eventually giving way to a Derek Fisher 3 that missed but hit of Robert Horry's leg and went out of bounds keeping the ball in Lakers hands. However the officials despite the replays showing the ball had hit the rim on Fishers shot never reset the shot clock so this left the Lakers with 2 second shot clock and 5 some seconds left in the game. Kobe Bryant took the inbounds pass and threw up a fade away jump shot that would miss the Spurs would get the timeout and advance the ball setting up a potential game winning shot.
The Spurs inbounded it to Brent Barry who pump faked Fisher into the air however instead of going up and drawing contact Barry tried to drive around Fisher he was then forced to throw up a miracle shot that was way off sealing a 93-91 win for the Lakers. This would draw controversy however Charles Barkley put it best on inside the NBA after the game Barry did not sell the foul as in he should of gone up and got contact which would have rewarded him free throws for sure instead of trying to go around Fisher. Plus Brent Barry may have traveled and when you consider calls where in the Spurs favor most of the game everything pretty much evened out despite something that may or may not have been a bad call. The Lakers hang on take a 3-1 series lead led by Kobe Bryant with 28 and Lamar Odom with 16.

Game 5- Was very much like game 1 the Spurs came out and took a big lead as they had as much as a 17 point lead at 33-16 early in the second quarter. However much like game 1 the Lakers came storming back this time much earlier as the Lakers cut the lead to 6 by the half giving myself a very good feeling that we would win. The Lakers played an excellent third quarter which was capped by a Vladimir Radmanovich 3 that gave the Lakers a slim 1 point lead heading into the fourth. Kobe Bryant came right out in the fourth nailing a 3 that would set the tone for the Lakers. Jordan Farmar made an incredible reverse layup that turned out to be one of my favorite shots of the series to help the Lakers pull away. The Spurs wouldn't quite die but Kobe Bryant proved to be too much hitting some big shots down the stretch and the Lakers hit some key free throws as they where able to finish of the Spurs at home with a big time 100-92 win. Kobe Bryant had 39 points and Pau Gasol had a career high 19 rebounds.

Biggest surprise of the series

Return of the bench officially especially at home. The bench was so key and helped spark the Lakers main guys in many instances in this series. They where led by the return of Jordan Farmar who came up huge in this series hitting several key shots. Also Sasha Vujacic played some solid defense on Manu Ginobili for the most part.

Biggest disappointment of this series

Pau Gasol he was just not good on the defensive end as he shows why we miss Bynum. Duncan was able to pretty much get whatever he wanted on the offensive end of his game. Pau Gasol was not very good offensively either as he only averaged 13.2 points in the series which is unacceptable. As he missed many easy shots and just was not very aggressive to the basket. A close second could be D Fish who really struggled offensively however he did do a pretty solid job on the defense of Parker I thought.

Areas that need improvement

The Bench- They came back in a big way this series but there is always room for improvement especially on the road where they are still having struggles. We will need more from them on the road in the finals against Boston.

Pau and Fisher- We need more from these two they are both so key to our success see above for more comments on them.

This was such a great series as the Lakers just showed me even more. I was so impressed with there play and there big comebacks which where so impressive. Kobe Bryant amazed me once again as he just put on a show in this series a show that many compare to MJ now. Kobe may just be on the fast track to being better then Micheal Jordan and that is just amazing. I'm so dang proud of this team what a season it has been as the dynasty torch was hopefully passed in this series. The Lakers showed how there youth and talent was far better then the Spurs old, tired, and streaky offense. On to the Finals it is as we get the dream matchup of Lakers v Celtics please stay tuned for my Finals preview blog coming up very soon but for now feel free to leave comments on this one.
Posted on: May 21, 2008 4:28 pm
 

Preview Of The Future?: Lakers R2 Analysis

TheLakers v Jazz series turned out to be a lot closer then many expected. I predicted the Lakers to win in 6 games pre playoffs and I stuck to it even after the first round sweep. However I did not think it would be as stressful and as hard as it actually was. Which leads me to believe this clearly was a preview of the future. So here it is my analysis of the Lakers round 2 series with the Jazz and also a look ahead to the Western Conference Finals.

Game 1- The Lakers came out and squashed any questions about rust right away. It was really maybe the best game played by the Lakers all series outside of game 6. The Jazz made a run but the Lakers took care of business and one fairly comfortably when it was all said and done.

Game 2- Kind of a carbon copy of game 1 except for the fact that the Jazz kept it a lot closer. However in the end Kobe Bryant used the momentum of getting his MVP to provide a night to remember for Lakers fans as we took a 2-0 lead.

Game 3- I didn't watch much of the first 3 quarters and still haven't gone back to watch them however it appears the Lakers played pretty sloppy and just not there best ball yet they nearly pulled it out. Carlos Boozer had his shinning moment of the series when he hit 3 killer shots in a row after the Lakers had cut the lead to 3.

Game 4- Again didn't see much of the first 3 quarters due to the Holiday. It was the Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom show in the 4th quarter though bringing us back from a 12 point deficit with 3 and a half to play to get it into overtime. Then in OT the Lakers got dumb and decided to have bad back Kobe take all the shots. I just didn't get their plan in the OT it appeared they where hoping the Jazz would just wilt. But thanks to Andrei Kirilenko who came up big blocking Kobe a few times and had a big game clinching 3 point play. In the end it could of been an instant classic for Laker fans but now that we won the series I think I can still consider it a classic.

Game 5- This was the story of just a hard fought game. The Lakers lead the entire way basically as the Jazz missed ample opportunities to take the lead. It was amazing they could cut into any kind of lead the Lakers made for themselves but once they got down to where 1 shot could give them the lead they just couldn't do it. TheLakers get a huge game from Pau Gasol and it helps propel them to the must win game 5 on there home court. Big props to Jordan Farmar to for hitting a few big shots in what was probably his one shinning moment of the series that big 3 point play.

Game 6- The Lakers utterly dominated the first 3 quarters and it looked like it was going to be a cake walk all the way. However the Jazz made a run and got it close. Then Kobe Bryant went for 6 points in a row that I thought had sealed the game putting the Lakers back up by 11 with Carlos Boozer fouling out. However the Jazz showed just why this series was never easy as they hit an insane five 3 pointers in a row capped by Andrei Kirilenko who hadn't made any all series nailing the last two. It became a nail bitter and the Jazz had two chances to tie it in the final seconds but they finally missed there 3's. As the Lakers held on for the 3 point win.

The Jazz really showed me just how great they are they have a great core of young players headlined by Derron Williams. I always knew Derron Williams was good I remember having to see my Badgers play him in College when he was at Illinois. However I think he is even better then I expected. If they can hang on to this great core I think we can see the next budding rivalry in the NBA. The Jazz and the Lakers may very well be battling it out for Western Conference glory in years to come. I think I can see the next big 3 in the West Lakers, Jazz, Hornets while the older big 3 is on there way out the Spurs, Suns, and Mavericks.

The Star Of The Series

It would be easy to just say Kobe Bryant but I think the unsung hero of this Laker squad is without a doubt Lamar Odom and that is why he is the star of this series. He came up so big for us on so many occasions. I would give a close second to Derek Fisher.


Key Matchup

Derek Fisher and Jordan Farmar defense on containing Derron Williams. I felt this was the key matchup of the series going into it and it proved to be. Derek Fisher did a solid job of at least slowing down Derron Williams and at least holding him in check. He didn't stop D Will but he did a nice job when he was not in foul trouble of at least limiting the damage.

Areas Of Improvement

The bench play needs to improve I felt our bench was lacking in this series again. Sasha Vujacic came up big for us in a few games but especially in game 4 the bench was outplayed by the Jazz's bench. This points at Jordan Farmar to who has not been very good in this post season. But he is youthful so we should cut him some slack.

Well it is pretty obvious we got killed on the boards however it did not hurt us in the end. So I must say this always has room for improvement.

Defense was pretty good but it was not great. I feel the Lakers have just been playing good enough defense to just get by now it is time for it to really to step up.


Preview of Western Conference Finals

Well the Spurs it is a rebirth of a classic rivalry from earlier in this decade. I think the theme of this series in the end will be out with the old in with the new. As the Spurs may be passing along that dynasty torch. The key to this series for the Lakers is the defense on Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. They both are going to get there's you know it's going to happen so maybe it will be about stopping the other Spurs. I'm just not too sure but without a doubt the one advantage the Spurs have on us is Tony Parker against Derek Fisher. It will be up to Fish to do what he did to Derron Williams and that is to limit the damage. We also get Trevor Ariza back which could prove to be of big help on defense.

In the end I say the Lakers win a classic 6 game series. Pre playoffs this is the series I had envisioned and it has happened. I said it would go 7 but I think the Lakers youth, talent, and speed will prevail. I think the Spurs older legs will have an effect especially in game 1 which I see as the only game that could be a potential blow out.

I'm predicting a Lakers 99-88 game one win, Lakers take game 2 by 5, Spurs take game 3 by 6, Spurs take game 4 by 3 as Kobe misses a tying 3 at the buzzer, The Lakers come home and play a classic with the Spurs in game 5 as they find a way to pull it out late for a 104-99 win. Then in game 6 theLakers make a big come back in the second half to win and advance to the finals with a 97-91 victory. Should be a lot of fun and as always best of luck to the Spurs and Go Lakers!!!!!!! The rebirth of a classic rivalry as the torch is passed!!!!!!!

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com