Wednesday, April 29, 2009

One of our own

SarcastiPundit approves of this.

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Utah Game 5 thoughts

I'm still unhappy with giving away Game 3, not holding leads, defensive rebounding, Luke's injury, and Drew's lack of progress, but I said at the start of this thing I'd ultimately be happy if we got it done in 5 without significant injury and we mostly did that.

First quarter:
* Okur looks much better, moving well and getting lift on his shot (in that limited way he normally does, anyway).

* It turns out that Ariza rolled his ankle last game DURING PRE-GAME INTROS, during one of those jumping chest bump things. The Lakers' were apparently very calm during tonight's intros, and I expect that will continue.

* Another flat offensive start.

* I guess Ariza is feeling better tonight, after a spectacular come from behind rejection in transition and an equally pretty putback slam shortly after. Dude's got more hops than a brewery.

* 6 turnovers have led to 7 Jazz points, and that sloppiness is why we're 26-26 after 1.

Second quarter:
* Kobe has 6 shots and 5 free throws early, while that's impossible to keep up I'd like to see him get to the line for half as many shots as he takes from the field, so this is encouraging.

* Bynum may be struggling, but that doesn't keep Utah from doubling on him hard with two bigs. R-e-s-p-e-c-t.

* We have an 8-1 offensive rebounding edge so far, I think that message has finally gotten through.

* A nice 30-17 quarter for a 13 point halftime lead. Lamar has been brilliant with 16 and 8 to Boozer's 3 and 3.

Third quarter:
* Stretched out to 80-58 with a 7-0 run...series over.

Fourth quarter:
* The only question now is whether we will tank the pointspread or not. As unlikely as it looks right now, I'm betting yes.

* And on that note, Paul Millsap goes on a personal 11-0 run (with lots of help from the energy of Ronnie Price) that turns into a 13-0 and then a 16-2 run to take it from 93-73 to 95-89. And it could have been 95-91 had Deron Williams not botched a fast break in the lane. The crowd and I'm sure most Laker fans are panicked, but I really think this is all about letting Utah cover so I'm just not really concerned about losing this game.

* What I do wonder anybody in Utah still watching, or did they turn the TV off in disgust before the comeback attempt?

* Suddenly, Utah is getting a ton of offesnive rebounds...hmmm.

* And since the aforementioned Price came in Utah is on a 30-15 run.

* Utah seemed to have a lot of chances, especially off offensive rebounds (some multiple) to really put the game in doubt, but somehow did not. And now Fish hits Lamar with a great bounce pass in transition for an and-1 (he misses the FT) to make it a 9 point game and put it away officially.

* But Utah is still fighting, two more offensive rebounds and more energy from Price.

* The game ends on 11, with the lines ranging from 11.5 to 12.5. Coincidence? I know better.

So on to face either Houston or Portland. Houston was up 3-1, but Portland won at home on Tuesday to extend it to at least Thursday's game 6 in Houston, so I will not go into any matchup stuff until we know who is to be the enemy, much less when it will start. I will say that I think that the angst being shown over a possible Portland matchup in some Laker fan circles is way overblown, each of these teams poses its own unique set of challenges but we will deservedly be prohibitive favorites over either of them.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Utah Game 4 thoughts

Sad news in the afternoon leading up to the game - Tex Winter has suffered a stroke, falling in the bathtub while at Kansas State attending a reunion of one of his old teams. Our prayers are with Tex and his family.


On to happier things...
Well, that was (finally) a championship performance, wasn't it?

1st Quarter:
* Kobe taking lots of shots. Making them, but you hope thsi doesn't encourage him that it's a good idea to take 30+ (he did not, only 24, a sign of maturity).

* Okur looks ok early - he misses a 3 and runs a long way to get to his own miss (but he did not look ok afterward, maybe he re-tweaked it?).

* Kobe finally goes to the hole to make it 15-14, a good sign in that he is not always settling.

* Offensive rebounds are killing us AGAIN, 4 early ones are why we are behind at this point (they ended up only getting 11/49, nice turnaround).

* Ariza hurt his ankle, I did not see it but hope he returns (turns out he hurt it by stepping on Powell's foot in pregame warmups!)

* Harpring is hurting us again - with his play, not his banging.

2nd Quarter:
* Lamar bricks his second long jumper...time to put on the shock collar.

* Luke, then Sasha, then Brown hit consecutive 3's to go from 7 down to 2 up, big swing at a time we looked a little down.

* Sasha hits another 3, we keep kicking ass, and in some great defense and the run extends out to 20-2 for suddenly an 11 point lead. Wow.

* Ariza is apparently ok, but not moving as well as normal.

* Bynum checks in and immediately lets Boozer rebound a missed free throw (not his own) and score. That's a good way to lose minutes.

* 14/20 shooting int he 2nd, and a 40 point quarter, great stuff, but...

* You've got to be the end of the half, Walton is inbounding and everybody runs downcourt...he throws a 50 foot pass toward Kobe that is easily picked off, and DWill gets a driving layup and the and-1 to cut it to 7 (from 12 with 10 seconds to go. That is just awful.

3rd Quarter:
* Kobe starts the 2nd half hot, and is now 14/17 from the floor. Don't shoot out of it, Kobe (He doesn't, finshing with 24 shots).

* Boozer airballed a free throw and they let Utah rebound it - how did all 3 refs miss seeing that?

* Seeing the coaches wearing the Chuck Daly pin makes me wonder if they will add a Tex Winter pin, or maybe combine the two? That this man who has been so influential in the game for over 6 decades is not in the Hall of Fame continues to gall me, and now it may be too late for him to enjoy it if he does get there...bastards.

* Man, there are lots of blondes in Utah crowds. I can see why Beau moved there.

* Luke was mugged twice in a row, hope he left his wallet in the locker room!

* If Utah had this Carlos Boozer all year, the healthy beastly version, they are a 60 win team. It will be interesting to see if he exercises his early termination option and tests the market in this economy.

* ESPN is showing promos for Spankees-BlowSox Sunday night. Id rather wax my car using a toothbrush than watch that crap.

4th Quarter:
* Lots more Luke, and not as much Ariza, hopefully he will be ok. Ending it Monday will help him recover. (It turns out that Luke also hurt his ankle, and I don't like the way they described it as it was not a normal roll, hopefully HE'S ok. This is why you need ot get these things over as fast as is possible).

* Kyle Korver's mom once scored 73 points in a game, wow.

* As you can tell by my rambling from mid third on, no blown leads today!

Okay, back home for the Monday game where we shoudl get this thing finished. Houston is up 3-1 on Portland and looking like the likely second round opponent, although games 2-4 were very competitive so it's not a lock. I suspect that we would not start before next Sunday anyway, so you get a nice rest and time for the injured Ariza and Walton, as well as time to get Bynum some work, by closing it out tonight - let's get that done.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Utah Game 3 thoughts

They made a movie about the Lakers' performance in this game.

This one was painful, because it was there for the taking but we again had no interest in putting forward the effort to take it. Everybody except Lamar shares in the blame here.

Again, some "as it happened" musings:

First quarter:
* I turned the TV on expecting Lakers-Utah, but a San Antonio-HOuston game broke out.

* Bynum's health looks ok but two quick fouls.

* The Lakers lack energy and intensity in the early going; not surprisingly, the Jazz are back to killing us with offensive rebounds (they ended up with 14 of 38, an unacceptable 36.8%).

* Boozer ends up with 9 and the quarter (23 and 22 for the game, good Lord).

* After shooting 71% and 85% in the previous first quarters, the Lakers shoot 24% (6/24) in this one.

Second quarter:
* A Sasha sighting! He hits a 3, grabs 2 offensive boards and outrebounds Utah 3-1 in the first few minutes.

* Bynum picks up his third foul early; some nights trouble just finds you.

* It's a hockey game; muggings inside and almost no free throws, have to fight through it some way but this favors Utah.

* The bench starts out on a 6-0 run! In related news, Farmar is not playing.

* Except for Lamar, the offense is terrrrribull.

* But the defense is pretty good, keeping us in the game.

* Kobe is short on most of his shots (finished the half 1/10).

* The Lakers shoot 14/46 in the half, including a ghastly 11/40 on two points shots.

* 4 assists to Utah's 13, 24 rebounds to their 34, amazing to only be down 4 at the half.

Third quarter:
* Odom starts the second half, probably a combo of his effectiveness and Bynum's foul trouble.

* DWill is an 85% free throw shooter, but he bricked 4 in a row.

* Time to stop the game and issue Lamar a Gammy Award for his Grown Ass Man performance so far.

* Our third quarter woes are over for now, as a 25-8 run turns the 4 point deficit into a 13 point lead.

* Harpring has picked up 4 fouls in a little over 3 minutes of play - remember what I said about trouble finding you some nights? (he would be huge later)

* Bynum re-enters and picks up his 4th and 5th fouls in rapid fire fashion. He will not return, finishing with 4 fouls in 7 minutes.

Fourth quarter:
* For the third straight game, we have given up a big lead. The 25-8 run to start the half was followed by an 8-25 run, and the 13 point lead is back to down 4 where we started.

* Missed FT are really hurting us (we end up missing 10 of 26 on the night).

* Uh oh...a terrible case of Kobeball right after Utah takes their first lead in a good while, dribble dribble dribble try to crossover jack up a contested 3 pointer with 5 left on the shot clock. That is an ominous sign.

* Utah has hit 9 shots in a row, and not all of them easy.

* They are really mugging Gasol inside; no calls.

* More Kobeball - he's completely out of control, driving into a triple team and bowling over the middle guy for a charge; 72-75.

* They get us into the penalty at the 6:51 mark (they get there at 5:23, so not as bad as I thought).

* Millsap duplicates the Fish play from game 2, gathering the ball as he's going out of bounds and throwing right to Gasol at the rim for an and-1.

* We have made 2 FG in 6+ minutes.

* More Kobeball, he backs down into a double team with 10 seconds on the shot clock and never even looks at Fisher standing alone at the 3 point line, clanking a double-contested jumper instead; 76-all. He's killing us with these classic selfish Kobe decisions.

* With Utah leading 79-76 and 3:28 left, DWill walks it up and gets called for an 8 second violation that is not even close - TNT times it at 9.04 on replay. Good Lord, how can that happen?

* And even more Kobeball, he dribbles into another double team and agian refuses to pass it in favor of a falling left, fadeaway, off-balance 22 footer; 78-79. Awful decision after awful decision.

* Finally a good decision by Kobe; he draws the double and hits Lamar for a layup. See?

* Alas, more Bad Kobe - he dribbles into a double team and traps himself in the corner, but amazingly takes a 20 second timeout instead of firing off the expected spinning 22 foot miss.

* And somehow Utah fails to cover Kobe cutting to the basket off the inbounds play, layup for 84-84. And that gives us the 2-1, unbelievable defensive gaffe by the Jizz.

* Boozer gets away with a hook (not the first time tonight) and dunks over Gasol, 84-86. Even with Bynum haivng played so little, I'd like to see him at the rim to contest there instead of watching from the bench.

* Kobe makes his second great decision in the closing minutes, drawing another double team and hitting the cutting Gasol for the easy deuce, 86-all with 11.7 seconds.

* DWill running screen roll with Boozer, but he reverses away from the help Gasol and Odom is late with help as he drills the elbow jumper. Two mistakes here: lack of communication between Gasol and Fisher, or Derek would have funneled him into Gasol with Odom and Kobe rotating, can't tell if this was Fisher or Gasol most at fault but they both deserve blame; and Odom for some reason does not rotate off his man to help, despite having Kobe (and Gasol, for that matter) to help behind him, no reason he does not alter or block that shot. Bad defensive possession and great play by a great player, 86-88 with 2.2 seconds left.

* And, since we all know the ball is going to Kobe, you know the defense knows it, and the result is a turnaround 30+ footer that never has a chance - 5/24 final shooting line for Kobe, much of that self-inlifcted. The stubborn insistence on having Kobe take every last shot is why the Lakers are so easy to defend in those situations, and why they have one of the worst last possession records of any team in recent years. Some diversity there might win us some games.

Other random notes from this game:
* We finally cut down in the turnovers (9), but missing almost every shot was an odd way to celebrate.

* Korver (3 big threes), Millsap (14 boards) and especially Harpring (10 huge points on 5/8 shooting in 13 minutes) came up big at big times in this one.

* Our defense pretty much dominated Williams; kudos to Fish, Shannon and the team defense.

* Lamar was just huge - 21 points, 14 boards, good team defense, a diamond amongst the poo-poo.

So now you've given away three big leads in three games, and on the road that resulted in a loss. I'd like to say that this will shake this team into playing hard even when they have things in hand, but having seen the pattern repeat itself all season you start to wonder if they have it in them to do so. And they won't be playing teams where the "light switch" approach works forever, even looking beyond the extra wear and tear and injury potential that comes from playing more games on the way.

Now, if you don't win tonight you turn this into a long and stressful series. Will that be enough to bring 48 minutes of focus? Who knows at this point?

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

A green caught being honest

Priceless exchange recounted by Iain Murray:

REP. CLIFF STEARNS, R-Fla.: Last September you made a statement that somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe, which at the time exceeded $8 a gallon. As Secretary of Energy, will you speak for or against any measures that would raise the price of gasoline?

SEC. CHU: As Secretary of Energy, I think especially now in today's economic climate it would be completely unwise to want to increase the price of gasoline. And so we are looking forward to reducing the price of transportation in the American family. And this is done by encouraging fuel-efficient cars; this is done by developing alternative forms of fuel like biofuels that can lead to a separate source, an independent source of transportation fuel.

REP. STEARNS: But you can't honestly believe that you want the American people to pay for gasoline at the prices, the level in Europe?

SEC. CHU: No, we don't.

REP. STEARNS: No. But somehow, your statement, "Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe," doesn't that sound a little bit silly in retrospect for you to say that?

SEC. CHU: Yes.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We're crying too, Deke

As those of you who were watching last night suspected, Dikembe Mutombo's career is over. His words say it all:

"I'm going to need surgery. For me, basketball is over. I cried so much about it when I was laying on the floor."

This is one of the great defensive players ever to play, a funny and engaging character, and an even better man.

The game is a little worse off today.

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Happy Tyranny Day

At some point in the day you'll probably be beaten over the head with the some kind of propaganda connected to today being Earth Day.

But did you ever wonder why Earth Day is this particular day, April 22? And why the first one was April 22, 1970?

Because it is Lenin's birthday, and because the original was the 100th anniversary of Lenin's birth. Which kind of tells you all you need to know about the modern green movement, and its vision for the world.

There has always been an anti-American segment, now concentrated mostly in academia and far left political circles, that sought to cover up and/or downplay the crimes of communism, the greatest evil in the history of human civilization. Even with the conclusive documentation of tens of millions of victims (of the roughly 150 million overall) and the voluminous historical proof offered by the release of Venona and Soviet archives, Soviet and communist apoligists still exist.

It just goes to show that if one hates/hated America enough, he will always find defenders on the fringe, no matter his sins. See Castro, Fidel and Chavez, Hugo.

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Utah Game 2 thoughts

Game 2 musings, as they happened with later additions:

1st Quarter:
* Bynum is off to a huge start (he faded and ended up with 10 points on 5/11, still out of sync).

* The defensive rebounding looks much better (it faded a bit in the 4th, but I'm happy with 23/32).

* Fisher's 3 point shooting tough is returning, a welcome development.

* D Will's 3 point shooting - not so welcome (he finished 6/11 but was once 5/7, fluke game).

* Just an incredible offensive display by the Lakers, if a little sloppy. 18/21 shooting (!) for the quarter with a streak of 11 in a row at one point.

* I like seeing the game called looser, but I don't like the 5-1 disadvantage in calls. Utah is pretty physical to get whistled for one foul in a quarter.

2nd Quarter:
* The second unit is flat again. Then again, Farmar is on the second unit so what did you expect?

* Many fewer free throws so far (they made up for it in the second half, but FTA were only 11-7 Utah in the first half).

* The offense has again gone into a long lull, which should not be happening against this team. Some of it has to be laziness after things are so easy early.

* Fisher made an extremely dumb hustle play, running the ball down and flipping it over his head while falling into the crowd...but toward Utah's basket, resulting in an easy layup. Inexplicable, he had to think he was throwing it to the middle of the court instead but you have to be sure there.

* Just a half of lazy defense (they shot 60% for the half) and a quarter of careless offense, letting another 20 point lead to get cut in half pretty quickly.

3rd Quarter:
* Another flat start to the second half, this is now a trend, and not one I'm enjoying.

* Great work exploiting the mismatch when Collins left the game, leaving Boozer to switch to Bynum (also a mismatch) and Millsap to come in and try to guard Pau. This time we got the ball right to Pau to get some easy baskets and force them to double and scramble.

* But ultimately, another poor offensive third quarter.

4th Quarter:
* Both teams are in the penalty already, with 10:11 to go in the quarter! This is going to be a long one, good thing I didn't want to sleep tonight.

* After spending most of the quarter letting them chip away at the lead, they had gotten it to 3 when Lamar came up with a classic Kobeball play - a twisting three pointer with 12 seconds left on the shot clock. Luckily Korver gave the ball back on the other end, but you cannot make those kinds of plays late in a competitive game.

* Not to be outdone, Kobe gained possession off a Fisher steal, up 5 with 1:42 to play, and threw a 60 foot pass downcourt that was easily picked off by Brewer. Somewhere, Bret Favre was smiling, and it's a tough call between Fish's "save", Odom's 3 and Kobe's pass for the Idiotic Play of the Game award.

* Trying to put it away, up 5 with the clock ticking down to half a minute, we go to...Ariza for 3?!? He drains it, making him 3/3 from distance for the game and I think 6/7 on the series, but it would not have been my first choice to say the least.

Box score notes:
* I mentioned the sloppy play, and I wasn't kidding - 21 turnovers. That...will not...get it done.

* 60% for the game, including 55% from 3 - without all those turnovers, this would have been a truly special offensive performance. 33 assists on 45 made baskets, nice.

* When Kobe is taking 17 shots and 10 free throws, this team is going to be VERY hard to beat.

* Utah again had the free throw advantage on the road, this time 29-24. We have to clean that up or it could get ugly on the road.

* Ariza with 9 assists? Can that be right? Wow...

So it's off to Utah, home of the loudest and most intimidating arena in the game and a place where we've lost 7 of 10, including games 3-4 in last year's second round. Get game 3 and put the series on ice, lose game 3 and face a very dangerous game 4 situation. This will be a big test for this team, which has seemed bored with the end of the season and the first two games of this series. This one will not be boring.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Utah Game 1 thoughts

You can never argue too much with a win where nobody gets hurt, but since we're working toward a championship here I'll mostly be looking at areas for improvement.

* Way too many turnovers in the first quarter, this thing could have been over really early but for some really sloppy play.

* As I noted as a concern in the preview, Fisher picked up two early fouls. Credit to Brown for an excellent game (9 points on 3/4 shooting and a team-best +20 in 22 minutes) but Fish falling into early foul trouble will come back to bite us, especially on the road.

* Utah got into the penalty with 7:45 to go in the 2nd. Again, we managed to survive it today but that is something that can cost us a game.

* Even with the first quarter turnover woes, shooting 66% (!) in the first half makes for pretty damned good overall offensive production.

* After the first half offensive explosion that gave us a 22 point halftime lead, you can't like the flat play to start the third quarter. Half of that big lead disappeared quickly, and while we were able to keep them at arm's length the rest of the way we also never really put the game away, and it was because of that stretch of poor execution and effort.

* Bynum played in foul trouble in foul trouble throughout, picking up his 4th early in the third and his 5th early in the 4th, limiting him to only 20 minutes and greatly limiting his aggressiveness and effectiveness. Obviously he is still working back from the knee and a little out of sync, but he has to play smarter.

* The fast break points (19-10 LA) do not reflect it, but the transition defense was really poor in the second half. Too many easy baskets off of secondary breaks and transition screen rolls.

* Very, very poor defensive rebounding in this game. Utah rebounded 20 of their 51 misses (39%), which is just way too high. That's just effort and technique. Millsap's 7 offensive rebounds helped them catch up and keep the game close, over and over.

* Pau also fell into foul trouble late, picking up his 5th with 4:15 left and fouling out 43 seconds later. Had the game been a little closer, that could have been a difference-maker. Combine the foul trouble and the rebounding, and the theme there is that our bigs need to match the intensity of Utah's undersized frontline.

* A 35-32 free throw advantage for Utah, on our floor. Between that and the offensive boards, they shot 87 field goals and 35 free throws to our 72/32. And had three fewer turnovers. That's a lot of extra chances to score, and we can't continue to count on them just missing those shots.

* Our length indeed bothered their shooting, a 9-0 edge in blocked shots and a number of alters as well. Need to take better advantage of that on the offensive end going forward, that is a huge advantage to exploit.

* Rumors of Carlos Boozer's death were greatly exaggerated; 27 and 9 on 11/16 shooting.

* Trevor (21 on 8/10 shooting including 3/4 threes, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, a couple of spectacular dunks, generally causing chaos) was the best player on the floor for LA. I'm not sure if it was his best game of the year, but it was certainly his most important big game.

So, in summary, a win is a win but there is a lot to work on between now and Tuesday. The season-long tendency to give away big leads has to stop. I don't know Okur's status going forward, but this team showed that they are troublesome no matter who suits up, effort and execution cannot let up.

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More pre-series reading

Good team stat breakdowns from BP are here and here.

And there is superb work from Daruis S. and Kwame A. on the Utah offensive sets and action and how the Lakers can counter them at FB&G.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

We’ve seen the enemy, and he is…

…those silly Utarr Jizz. And I can’t say that I’m really pleased. And not just because it was looking like I had a great chance to see Laker playoff games in person for the first time in a while.

Make no mistake, Utah is the second best team in the West when healthy. And they are a particularly tough matchup for the Lakers.

But there’s the rub.

They are healthy on the surface, with everybody expected to be available when they tip off in Game 1 Sunday. But Boozer has been back for 20-something games and still does not look like himself completely. He’s taking mostly jumpers (which Pau’s length bothers) and has not the inside force that we expect.

And they limped to the finish line, losing 7 of their last 9 games (including inexplicable back to back home losses to Minnesota and Golden State) to drop from the fifth seed to the eight that everybody was trying to avoid.

Utah is very much like Portland, in that they are great at home and do not beat many good teams on the road. But you have to go play games 3 and 4 in their rowdy gym. And if you don’t win at least one of those, or slip up at home, you have to do it again in game 6.

And they are just uncomfortable to play. Because they make you so damned, uh, uncomfortable.

They play basketball like it’s hockey. They hit, they check, they bump, they bruise, they hit you hard when your get close to their goal. You will come out of a series with them with some bruises, maybe a chipped tooth. Hopefully nothing worse, because we’re still a month and a half from Cleveland.

Our length gives them trouble, but they mitigate that somewhat by dragging one of our bigs out on the perimeter to guard Okur, who loves to nail that 3 from the left wing extended.

Coppell’s own Deron Williams is a great player, second only to Chris Paul among the league’s point guards, and probably the most physical in the league. Fisher is strong enough to compete with him, but had trouble with foul trouble in last year’s series, leading to DWill heaping a lot of abuse on backup Farmar. Keeping Fish out of foul trouble, and how well Shannon Brown is able to serve as his backup and avoid more Farmar beatings will be key.

You also need to get out on their shooters, they have a lot of guys who can hit the 3. Weakside rotations will be big.

Their cutting, backscreening offense is beautiful to watch (as a fan, not an opponent). They will get some layups and free throw attempts, but you must be disciplined enough to keep them down a bit.

When we have the ball, they have some serious matchup problems. We should pound the ball inside early and often, as (while strong) none of their front line guys have the length to bother Bynum and Gasol. Beat them down the court, get good post position, and you can just turn and shoot over them.

And they really do not have anybody to guard Kobe. AK47’s length is an asset, but he is not quick enough to stay up for extended stretches. They have fouled him a lot in the past, and that gets lots of free throws for not just Kobe but other guys as they get into the bonus early in quarters.

So run the offense and you will score, be disciplined and don’t overfoul and they will not be able to keep up. Their crowd and thus their home court advantage is the best in the game, get an early lead and you can take them out of the game and plant the seeds of doubt in the players.

Bottom line, I will be very happy if we finish this up a week from Monday in Game 5, and everybody stays healthy. And I will not be very happy if we face a Game 6 in Utah a week from Thursday, or enter the next round with injuries.

As Skip would say, let ‘em play.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lamar is a good man

This is really cool: Lamar Odom, via his twitter, is holding a scavenger hunt for a pair of tickets to Game 1 of the playoffs. Here's the rundown:

First person to send twitpics of the 7 challenges will get a pair of playoff tix.

Disclaimer. 3 rules. All pics have 2 b taken outside. Not in a store or home. u gotta wear a Lakers hat in every pic. No photoshop.

1. you wearing a clippers Odom jersey
2. you with the Hollywood sign anywhere in the background. The real Hollywood sign
3. you standing next to a sign with a "7" and an "O" on it. You can't make sign.
4. you wearing purple shoes
5. you standing next to or in a car with a lakers flag.
6. pic of you wearing a Lakers top. Jersey, tee, tank ok.
7. you wearing an authentic Rich Soil Clothing T-shirt.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Getting an education

A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat, and was very much in favor of "the redistribution of wealth."

She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.

One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the addition of more government welfare programs. The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by asking how she was doing in school.

Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.

Her father listened and then asked, "How is your friend Audrey doing?"

She replied, "Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies, and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She's always invited to all the parties, and lots of times she doesn't even show up for classes because she's too hung over."

Her wise father asked his daughter, "Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct a 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA."

The daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired back, "That wouldn't be fair! I have worked really hard for my grades! I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!"

The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, "Welcome to the Republican party."

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Are you a child? etc.

April Fool's jokes are pretty funny. And then you enter junior high, at which point...not so much anymore. If you are still telling them as an adult, shame on you.


Obama’s "Organizing for America Pledge Project,” asking Americans to pledge:

“I support President Obama's bold approach for renewing America's economy.
I will ask friends, family, and neighbors to pledge their support for this plan.”

Seriously…a loyalty oath? Will gulags be constructed in North Dakota to house dissenters?


Phoenix’s switch back to “7 seconds or less” is producing some historic offensive performances. They scored 140+ (in regulation) in 4 of their first 16 games under Alvin Gentry. That had been done just 8 times total in the previous decade.


I would say if your prank can be seen by Google Earth, it’s a success.


The big lie: Obama Used ‘Invest’ or ‘Investment’ 18 Times in Press Conference to Describe Government Deficit Spending

You might say he’s trying to put lipstick on a pig.


Hope and change! Obama Town Hall Questioners Were Campaign Backers


Welfare: not just for the poor anymore:

One of the workers here [Warren County, Ohio] just approved an ongoing food stamp case where the family has over $80,000 in the bank, owns a 2001 Toyota and 2006 Mercedes Benz, and a $311,000 home that is paid for. Monthly benefits of over $500 in FS, received over $300 in expedited.

3 household members — husband, wife, and child. Wife recently lost job, husband receives SS benefits.

Keep your 80 grand and Mercedes, force the taxpayers to feed you…it’s change we can believe in!


At least one group thriving in the down economy: lobbyists, for whom the Obama administration has been a godsend:

In a Down Time Everywhere Else, K Street Bustles
Lobbyists Find Plenty of Work as Clients Contend for Stimulus Package's Billions

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The "green jobs" myth

Via Powerline, the Institute for Energy Research presents some facts on green jobs:

* The U.S. can expect 2.2 jobs to be destroyed for every 1 renewable job financed by the government.

* Only 1 in 10 of the jobs actually created through green investment is permanent.

* Since 2000, Spain has spent €571,138 ($753,778) to create each "green job," including subsidies of more than €1 million ($1,319,783) per wind industry job.
Those programs resulted in the destruction of nearly 113,000 jobs elsewhere in the economy.

* Each "green" megawatt installed destroyed 5.39 jobs in non-energy sectors of the Spanish economy.

* The total over-cost--the amount paid over the cost that would result from buying the electricity generated by the renewable power plants at market prices--between 2000 and 2008 amounts to 7,918.54 million Euros ($10 billion).

* The total subsidy spent and committed to these three renewable sources amounts to €28,671 million ($36 billion).

* Consumer energy costs in Spain would have to be increased 31 percent to repay the debt generated by the green jobs subsidies.

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