Lakers Suns Basketball
This game in a nutshell. A crazy nutshell.


Originally when I wrote my oft-misinterpreted Shrodinger's Playoff Team word of the day article, I imagined the term being applied early in a series, as hope for a win combined with a Game 1 loss can typically combine to the state of simultaneously dead and alive. By Game 5, I figured anyone could tell if a team still had a chance, or was in a hopeless situation.

I guess I didn't expect this case.

Officiating: So bad. So very bad. Tried to take the Lakers out of it early (similar to the Suns in Game 2), missed and inconsistent calls against both teams throughout, and of course missed Kobe out of bounds on that final play. What more is there to say? If your NBA team can't fight the opponent while keeping composure in the face of shitty refs, (or getting away with shit the refs can't see), you're not winning a championship.

The Los Angeles Lakers: Good work jumping to that correlation-with-success good 1st quarter, falling behind 17-11 with 3 minutes to go. Now of course the refs were not on your side for this stretch, so props for keeping it close to allow...

The Phoenix Suns: ...to blow it, ending the 1st quarter at 21-24. The slaughter continued through the second, as the Suns found themselves down by 17. Shout out to Dragic for doing a pretty good job defending Kobe, only Kobe was hitting his stupidly stupid shots. (Also, loved the feisty Slovenian altercation). But hey, it only took until now to give that zone thingy another shot, leading...

The Los Angeles Lakers: ...to close the half surrendering a 17-8 run. For the remainder, the Lakers kept letting the Suns hang around, making a 7 point lead feel like 20. Oh, and way to finally figure out the Vujachick and Farmar combo to disrupt Barbosa and Dragic. Of course running this combo more would require less of Kobe's head up his ass. *gets called for a technical by Bennett Salvatore*. Side note: that was a hilarious technical on Kobe. I wish more over-the-course-of-the-game-whiny superstars would get techs like that. Anyways, they were able to bring it back to an 18 point lead over...

The Phoenix Suns: ...with about 4 minutes to go in the 3rd. Seems about like the time for the Suns to quit, the way Suns guards not named Dragic quit attacking Gasol on pick-and-roll switches. In addition, Barbosa please stop dribbling the ball. Every time you hold the ball for more than 3 seconds, I die a little on the inside. Give the goddamn rock back to Dragic. Anyways, a special mention to ...

nash pass

Steve Nash: ...for continuing his stupid bullshit on these switches. Yes, I will continue to mention this every single damn game, because it's painfully obvious that Phil Jackson knows this, and is perfectly happy baiting Nash into stupid jumpers over Gasol. Sure, tonight he sank a good amount of the shots, but it's really aggravating to see the same thing we want done to Kobe being done to Nash. Well at least this time it sorta worked out, as the zone came back and a couple of crazy assists and shots later...

The Los Angeles Lakers: ...found the lead cut to 1, then to 3 with 1:21 to go in the game. And thus began the night that...

Defensive Rebounding: ...died. I'm sure everyone and their mother's statistical consultant will have looked at and memorized the end of game sequence, so since I'm still oscillating from the emotional roller coaster, I'll skip the recap. I don't think this sequence will top the Duncan 3 in terms of heartbreaking moments, but it sure was something.

60582367
I guess this is a reason why this wasn't as bad as the Duncan 3.
Oh and also that this win came off one of the purest Kobe Bryant Assists I've ever seen.

(Aside: Did everyone catch Artest walking back to the tunnel, and getting slapped in the butt by some guy and Artest snapping around with "that crazy look" in his eyes, before getting pushed forward by security? I wish I knew if this helped or hurt the Suns, but it's something.)

This was one of those games where it felt like both teams were doing their worst not to lose. And honestly, I would have thought Suns teams in the past would never overcome the mental break of this kind of game. This year's team? A slim, very slim chance. Which brings me back to the beginning: the birth of a Game 5 Shrodinger's Playoff Team. The Suns have looked good enough to win, and bad enough to be swept. They have a history of mental weakness, yet have shown exceeds-expectations chemistry this year. Smart enough to do the right thing, yet stupid enough to surrender bad turnovers, avoidable points, and winnable games.

And IMHO, what's the one key that can show these Suns are ready to fight for a championship?

Pride: Just suck up your pride for 2 games, Suns. The 2-3 zone works. Don't overthink this. However, do overthink eating...

Fried Artichokes: ...at your next pregame meal. I have zero basis or evidence to support a "classy move, Lakers fans", but I want to say it anyways. Perhaps if we had some BasketBawful readers with experience in the food service industry, y'all could enlighten us with anecdotes and stories of how easy it is to mess with people and their fried food.

I mean this was Gentry's fault too. How could you not be following the Nash Diet on an away game in the playoffs? Also, I know that it was reported during the game that it was Deep Fried Avocados, but for what I hope is the last time in my life, I will trust Twitter for journalistic integrity, courtesy of Alexis Gentry.

Derek Fisher: Get your hand the hell out of Nash's face. *word that KG says loudly into sideline microphones* you, you're almost a more hateable Lakers player than Kobe right now.

Lacktion Report: Does chris offer his sympathies and advice for enduring the Lakersmug?

Suns-Lakers: Robin Lopez laid a little bit of an egg tonight as Phoenix's starting big man, countering two boards in 11:24 with a trio of bricks, a trio of rejections, two fouls, and one giveaway for a 3:2 Voskuhl. Jarron Collins joined the fray by earning himself a 1.3 trillion (1:17).

Despite being inserted in the first quarter as a momentum-shifter, Bill Walton's son Luke baked three bricks in 3:43 for a +3 suck differential.


-AnacondaHL

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92 Comments:
Blogger The Dude Abides said...
Oh, Anaconda, those tears taste like sugar water to me ;-)

PS...every replay showed that Kobe never stepped out of bounds on that last play. Great D by Grant Hill forced the airball, RonRon said he thought Kobe was fouled so he anticipated the airball and beat J-Rich to the ball. I sure am glad RonRon thought wrong. And yes, Pau Gasol was intentionally fouled hard by Amare to prevent that dunk with about 20 seconds left, and the refs swallowed their whistles. No wonder there is a huge FT discrepancy in this series, when even intentional hard fouls to prevent dunks don't get called.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I'm utterly convinced the Suns made this one close just so the ending would be more heartbreaking. A blowout, I expected. A Ron Artest offensive-rebound/putback buzzer-beater I did not...I could not.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
what happened to the funny? who replaced it with emo?

Blogger bambooboy said...
Sorry, will finish reading the article in a sec but Kobe's foot was almost assuredly out as seen here.

http://i452.photobucket.com/albums/qq248/bamboob0y/foot.png

Anonymous K said...
alvin gentry's reaction to the artest putback ;) http://i50.tinypic.com/vse6mf.jpg

Blogger The Dude Abides said...
bambooboy, that pic shows Kobe's foot to be inbounds. That's what you meant, right?

Anonymous Barry said...
I wish Artest hadn't anticipated that air-ball. It'd be nearly as hilarious as Z-Bo's failed dribble/ awkward open 3.

Dodgy refereeing is running rife in these finals, and no one is really benefiting from it.

Anonymous Karc said...
@bambooboy - Looked at the picture. Kobe was in-bounds. His foot's down at that point before he jumps.

Blogger bambooboy said...
Anonymous

This is probably the angriest rant I've ever read on Basketbawful.

That's funny in its own special way.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
bambooboy:

Almost isn't

Your screengrab shows his right foot inches from out of bounds. It was a catch and shoot and he was 3 or so inches from being out. get over it.
Unless their is another angle which shows his foot on the line...

Doug Collins summed up everything as artest's putback was in the air "NOOOOO!!!!"

I like the format, the bawful flowed nicely.

Anonymous Spocked said...
I agree with the anonymous guy above,

the funny died in this post,
I'm as heartbroken that the suns lost that way,

But it's also a bit sad to see basketbawful like this...

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
I'm going to throw the writing this at 2am excuse out there, as I just kinda sat around for a few hours or so wondering what to do.

Here's one picture of the last play, although it's bad quality and he's already jumping: http://twitpic.com/1rpulk. Honestly it happened so fast even on second viewing I wouldn't expect NBA officials to catch it.

I can't believe no one likes my KBA joke. Despite my cripping mental state of sugar-sweetened tears, I still managed to remember one thing =(

Blogger Dan B. said...
It's hard to be funny when you're that completely heartbroken. :(

Anonymous Heretic said...
If you're a suns fan you should have built a tolerance for heartbreak from years of supporting such a shitty team.

Blogger Dan B. said...
Heretic -- There's losing, and then there's getting punched in the stomach. This was definately a stomach punch. The range of emotions went like this:

Richardson banks in ridiculously lucky three -- YES!!
Kobe airballs predictably double-teamed three -- YES!!!!
Richardson doesn't box out Artest, and Artest is lucky enough to be in the exact right place for grabbing the ball -- NO!!!
Artest's shot actually goes in -- FFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK

Blogger Will said...
anaconda hl- don't worry, the first thing i thought when artest made the game winner was "that was the best KBA i've ever seen." (that's best as in best example)

Blogger kingofkansascity said...
I don't know where to start.

Officiating was horrible, but this is the playoffs, we have come to expect that. There were some pretty terrible no calls in last night's game, which are by far the most frustrating because you never know when they will dial in a make up call for some horrifying crime against humanity that somehow wasn't called.

But the night defensive rebounding died is right. The Lakers seemed intent on seeing how many open looks the Suns would miss and hope the clock ran out on them, because I counted no less than 2 players standing and watching on EACH shot instead of either 1) finding someone to box out or 2)pursuing the basketball. The fact that Richardson banked it in is the height of bawfulness.

I am disappointed with one thing, though. No mention of the Ron Artest brainfreeze after Gasol's rebound gave the Lakers a chance to run the clock inside 40 seconds? Or maybe that's not a brainfreeze at all, but just Ron-Ron being Ron-Ron.

Queensbridge! Say it. Queensbridge!

Blogger BadDave said...
Faugh.

It's always the role players. Artest? ARTEST?! Come on. And shame on you, too, Richardson. You are the KING of REFUSE. You may have hit the garbage three, but when Artest was, you know, getting the ball over your head, putting a hand in the face is a MUCH better option than thegay elf defense.

Blogger reuben said...
Alright so I know its almost sacriledge not to talk about last nights game... cause seriously, in the history books I think this is up there with the duncan 3. ( And that sketchy pic of Kobe being out of bounds while in the air doesn't make any sense when you consider the angle of the shot. He was totally in bounds. I know you guys wants another Waltons foot, and I feel for you..)

But, Can we please talk about why Jordan has a hitler mustache in the Hanes commercials? Did he lose a bet? Maybe its too early. I should have come on the comment section in the afternoon.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Also, here's some more obligatory legitimate basketball talk, where I mention Odom going off on the Suns again courtesy of Stoudemire et al., and why the hell was Jarron Collins in the game. Keep it at 10-man or less, please.

Heretic: hey, the troll factory called, you're due for maintenance tia.

Dan B and kingofkansascity: Ughh, fine. Now that I've had the night and a few hours to mentally prepare myself, it was more like:

YES! Artest taking the midrange jumper!
NO! Get the rebound you stupids!
YES! Artest chucks up an early three!
YES! Nash with a p good look to tie it!
NOOO!
YES! Nash with the OReb!
NOOOO!
YES! Another rebound!
NOO-
YESSS! lol did he call bank
YESSSSSS! Perfect defence, double team, and even Kobe floating out of bounds! Shot looks off!
NO! Ball completely misses the hoop! Who's got it...
...uh, did that just happen...
...
......
(3 hours later)
.........

Blogger Viscant said...
Kobe's foot was not out of bounds. The back foot is not fully touching the ground. Sportscenter showed a replay from a better angle that shows that Kobe's foot was not only out of bounds, he had obvious clearance with a few inches to spare.

This is just like the Sacramento game winner where the entire world exploded with rage that Kobe's foot was out of bounds, except for the Sacramento bench that was right there, staring at his feet and said repeatedly that he was in bounds.

Blogger Paul said...
"Here's one picture of the last play, although it's bad quality and he's already jumping: http://twitpic.com/1rpulk. Honestly it happened so fast even on second viewing I wouldn't expect NBA officials to catch it."


Yeah, that shot is from the opposite angle with Kobe already airborne.
The shot from the side where he took the jump clearly shows he is inbounds.

Anyways, I think the Suns are the ultimate Schrodinger's playoff team. Year after year after year after year they manage to put together a Schrodinger's playoff team.
Maybe the Jazz are up there with them on the number of Schrodinger's playoff teams they've put together throughout they years?

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
1) His foot is in bounds no question. Non-issue.

2) What is Jared Dudley, and to a lesser extent, Grant Hill, doing on the last play, after the shot goes up? Memo to teams (hi OKC, I can haz rebounds?) playing the Lakers in the playoffs: THE GAME ISN'T OVER UNTIL THE BUZZER SOUNDS.

Artest crashes the glass hard and is in the right place at the right time. The two aforementioned Suns.. stand around and watch. What.. the hell?

Carbon copy of the Gasol tip-in in the first round. You've got a Laker going hard to the rim and a bunch of guys on the other team standing around and watching. I get that that's probably human nature, but you're - supposedly - a professional basketball player, and have probably been in the same situation many, many times before. You should be telling yourself "As soon as a shot goes up, CRASH THE GLASS, BOX OUT LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT" over and over again. How many games are won on tip-ins like that? You know it's the last play and the zebras are going to swallow their whistles, you have to amputate someone to get a foul called on you.

So, Phoenix Suns and Oklahoma City Thunder, just what in the HELL are you doing standing around?

The fact that the Lakers let the Suns hang around that long is baffling in and of itself. Such a clear and overwhelming size advantage.. Is there anyone that doesn't think Boston will give them serious trouble, if the refs can stop tossing out their players for no reason?

And that J-Rich banked three to tie it was totally redonkulous. I got up and did some self yelling and fist pumping in my condo. Yes I am a giant loser.

Anonymous Heretic said...
@Dan B

After Duncan's 3 anytime the suns are tied and the opposition has the ball with seconds to spare it's almost certain that the basketball gods will move aside their togas and take giant dump on the suns.

@Anaconda

Its not trolling its a fact. Lakers are playing horrendously and the suns can only win if either:

A) Amare has a monster night

B) The bench has a huge night

and even then its not a decisive victory its a single digit win at home. Lakers played hard early and got a huge lead but they slacked off and the suns chipped away....and lost. Their bench put in more points than the laker bench, the refs were giving them favorable calls and yet they still lost. That's not bad luck or conspiracy, that is just plain sucking.

Blogger Adam said...
Since I have nothing to much say other than to agree with the bad officiating and that Kobe was perfectly in bounds (as if you people need to actually look for another reason to hate Kobe), I'll just say that the picture at the top makes me think of one of those crazy Grecian or Roman sculptures depicting either a moment in battle or a whimsical party (take your pick). I'm expecting a stream of water to start flowing out of Farmar's hand.

Oh yeah, even if he saved the game for us smug types, Artest totally deserves a WoTN for chucking up two ill-advised shots in a row, the second coming on a fresh shot clock they could have run down to help avoid all the hilarious Suns fan ragetears.

Blogger alexlee382 said...
"Richardson doesn't box out Artest, and Artest is lucky enough to be in the exact right place for grabbing the ball -- NO!!!"

Give Artest some credit. He just wanted the ball more than J-Rich. Richardson was ball watching and Artest ran over from the weak side and took the ball away from him. The shot was pretty lucky, but he wanted the ball.

Blogger Dooj said...
I wholeheartedly agree that Fisher has become the most despised Laker (excepting Mister Mamba of course). I really can't stand him, I can't believe I used to like the guy (when he was on the Utah Jazz)...

Anonymous Sorbo said...
His foot is in. ESPN has a pretty good replay on it. With the angle from that twitter account, it looks like he's jumping or just off the ground. I know I'm a biased Laker fan, but it looks like his foot was in.

BTW, loved that someone called out Doug Collins on his Darth Vadar like "NOOO!" when Artest got that pass/rebound. I don't understand how the biggest Suns fan and all-time Laker hater is allowed to call this series. At least Jeff Van Gundy calls out his brother when the Magic play poorly. Collins has so much Nash-love, you'd think that the Canadian never intentionally makes bad plays because he's incapable of making mistakes.

Will Collins be able to find a way to gush about Nash during 76ers press conferences next year? I hope so.

Blogger Adam said...
@The Other Chris

I don't think Boston will give the Lakers "serious trouble", but of course it won't be a cakewalk. The Suns are vastly different from the Celtics. More than playing "physically", I'm concerned with speed when it comes to not letting the Lakers get their defense (such as it is) set.

On paper the Lakers are obviously better than the Suns, but the way the Suns play with speed and by pushing the ball, the Lakers can easily get stuck being purely reactionary, and that's why I didn't expect this serious to be the breeze that the second round was. Boston, however, is much slower, with the exception of Rondo when he's playing well. If the Lakers can get their defense set, protect against Ray Allen (god I hate him) coming off of screens and force Rondo to take jumpshots more than passes, it's going to be a good competitive series, assuming both teams make it.

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
The sad thing about Gasol's missed dunk attempt in the 4th, foul or not, is that it was one of the strongest moves to the hole he has made in his entire career and the ball didn't go in. People (myself included) get on him for being soft, for laying it in when he should be throwing it down, etc so this must be pretty discouraging. It's kind of like one of those rare occasions when Vince Carter actually tries but then his team loses. Carter usually winds up going "meh, why bother?". I hope Gasol doesn't.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
But, Can we please talk about why Jordan has a hitler mustache in the Hanes commercials? Did he lose a bet? Maybe its too early. I should have come on the comment section in the afternoon.

I think MJ has become so bored with ruling the world from on high that now he's trying crazy shit just to prove to everybody he can get away with.

MJ: "Yeah. Yeah, I got a Hitler mustache. Say something about it. I dare you. SAY SOMETHING."

Only, just like in his playing days, nobody will. It doesn't hurt that he has Charles Oakley in his back pocket.

Anonymous Heretic said...
@dooj

Yeah fish is a great player, one of the few besides Kobe that was actually trying to do his job. He did a pretty good job of funneling Nash to make him a shooter instead of a passer. Nash was actually hitting them but I can live with that. What I can't live with is the fact that the Lakers decided they were too good to play D half way through the game.

Blogger Dan B. said...
I think MJ has become so bored with ruling the world from on high that now he's trying crazy shit just to prove to everybody he can get away with.

We can only dream of the extents he could take this attitude. He could provide us with a lifetime of content if he wants.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
This be lumped in with the bad officiating, but I can't remember the last time I saw so many no-calls on traveling in one game. Nash had two in one offensive sequence. On the second non-call of that sequence, he took three steps (the third being such a heavy step, the hardwood buckled from it) before passing to A''''mare, who barely beat out the shot clock with a lay-up.

Horribly officiated game, just like all the bizarre Celtic techs in Wednesday's game. I think the last 10 years of the league will be remembered for how shitty games were called, as much as for the games themselves.

Random Artest terrible 3-pointer note: The entire Lakers crowd gasped or screamed "NNOOOO!" when he took that shot. So awesome to see a crowd know how the game should be played (even if they show up one quarter late sometimes).

Blogger Ash said...
Two quick things.

For one, no, the zone isn't "working" per-se. The Lakers are scoring something like 106 points per 100 possessions against the Suns' vaulted zone defense. That is not good.

Two, that intentional foul on Gasol was pure hilarity.

Stoudemire: "Damn, my man beat me again, since it's a close game I better take the foul and stop the clock." *slam*

Refs: "......."

Blogger Basketbawful said...
For one, no, the zone isn't "working" per-se. The Lakers are scoring something like 106 points per 100 possessions against the Suns' vaulted zone defense. That is not good.

When people say it's "working," that is a relative term. Since the Suns started using it, they've won two games and were one crazy play away from forcing OT in L.A. The Lakers' bigs aren't going nuts, the Lakers aren't shooting nearly 60 percent and averaging close to 120 points per 100 possessions.

The zone is working in that the Suns went from having no chance of beating the Lakers to having a chance. So...it's working.

Anonymous Heretic said...
@Basketbawful

A large part of that is just due to the lakers getting lazy and fucking up. Its not bothering guys like Kobe, Fisher or Gasol that much, they've been pretty consistent at shredding the suns' zone. The the rest of the team is floundering not cause of the zone but because they suck ass on the road and the bench is made up of a rec center team.

Lakers are still scoring at will, its their defense that's lacking.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
The zone: I don't understand why L.A. doesn't stack one side of the floor with three players (a post, a wing, and a corner guy).

Here's how every Laker sequence should go: Fisher takes it up, Kobe on the weakside, Fisher passes to Kobe. Two scenarios will happen: (1) Kobe will be iso'd on a wing defender, or (2) a baseline defender will come over to help.

Have Kobe take his man if iso'd in scenario (1). If scenario (2) plays out, have your post player set a pick for either strongside wing or corner man, or just have that guy cut to the basket while the zone is shifting (whenever zones shift, holes open up). You don't even have to run this for Kobe, you can run it for Gasol out of the high post, or for Odom (but never for Ron-Ron).

Blogger Wild Yams said...
It's starting to look like BasketBitter around here. Where's the trademark humor? Also, AnacondaHL, it's not cool to keep calling other long term posters "trolls" just cause they root for a team you dislike. People can have different takes and opinions without being trolls. Additionally, being snarky around here isn't trolling, as it's usually what the posts themselves are literally dripping with (this one being the exception, apparently).

Back to basketball though, when a team ranks second last in defensive rebounding all year, it's not just luck for the other team when they lose after not securing a defensive rebound. Also, can someone explain why Kobe was more deserving of a technical than Kendrick Perkins was? I know everyone was pissed he got his second T the other day, but generally if you throw your arm and stomp away (aka showing up the refs), you risk getting a T. Kobe deserved his for this very reason, but who knows, maybe the league will rescind his too.

Blogger bambooboy said...
Sorry to all.. I meant he was inbound, not out, I had just woken up and hurriedly made the post before heading to work.

My bad =P

Anonymous DKH said...
Lakers are playing horrendously and the suns can only win if either:

A) Amare has a monster night

B) The bench has a huge night


HEY GAIS. DID U KNOW SOME1 ON THE SUNS HAS 2 PLAY WELL FR THEM 2 WIN?

No kidding, man. You want to hear an equally tautological assertion? The Lakers can't even win when Kobe hits 68% of his shots and has a near triple double with 38 points. They must need someone else to step up, too.

=======

Yams, being that you've been one of the trolls recently, albeit while also including some actual commentary, I wouldn't expect you to have the honesty to see other Laker fan-trolls. And that's one reason people don't care for Laker fans.

=======

Anyway, I saw only a few selected parts of the game, including the last few minutes. Looked like early on, the refs were just hopping on the train with whatever team had momentum, then at the end, they just let everything go.

=======

Yea, Kobe Bryant with the KBA. That's immediately what I thought of, too. :)

Blogger Basketbawful said...
@Basketbawful

A large part of that is just due to the lakers getting lazy and fucking up. Its not bothering guys like Kobe, Fisher or Gasol that much, they've been pretty consistent at shredding the suns' zone. The the rest of the team is floundering not cause of the zone but because they suck ass on the road and the bench is made up of a rec center team.

Lakers are still scoring at will, its their defense that's lacking.


That doesn't address the fact that their O-Rating, FGP, and eFG% have all dropped since the Suns started using the zone. My point wasn't that the Suns are stopping the Lakers, only that they're now slowing them down enough to compete...which didn't happen in Games 1 and 2.

But if the last three games, two of which the Suns won, the last of which (in L.A., not on the road) the Suns very well could have stolen, were just a function of the Lakers being "lazy" and "fucking up," okay. Then I guess that L.A. only won Game 5 because the Suns were lazy and fucked up on the boards, not because the Lakers are generally a better rebounding team or that Artest wanted the rebound more than the Suns, blah, blah, blah.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Also, can someone explain why Kobe was more deserving of a technical than Kendrick Perkins was? I know everyone was pissed he got his second T the other day, but generally if you throw your arm and stomp away (aka showing up the refs), you risk getting a T. Kobe deserved his for this very reason, but who knows, maybe the league will rescind his too.

Kobe didn't deserve the T, and karma made Barbosa miss the free throw. I expect the NBA will let the T stand only because Kobe isn't close to a suspension...otherwise they likely would.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
"Its not trolling its a fact."

"Also, AnacondaHL, it's not cool to keep calling other long term posters "trolls" just cause they root for a team you dislike. People can have different takes and opinions without being trolls. Additionally, being snarky around here isn't trolling, as it's usually what the posts themselves are literally dripping with (this one being the exception, apparently).

Back to basketball though, ...[words words words that are actually trolling masked as basketball talk]
"

No, this is all standard trolling, in addition to stuff not quoted, regardless of what team you support. Make special note of the words "fact" and "literally". Again, nothing to do with what team you or I like. I'm calling you trolls because you are trolling. I'll say it a third time since you are trolls: nothing to do with team affiliations or opinions or the takes of either party. You bring up 0 good points or topics to discuss, and incite backlash from others.

The most respected opinion I had on yesterday's events was one single Lakers fan (not here obviously) that took Game 5's win with some grace, knowing with that lack of effot letting the Suns back into it they didn't deserve that game.

Sorbo: But...but...the triangle!

BasketBawful: I know, right? On the other side, what was the Lakers' rank in DRebs again; and they gave up 2 in that last segment as well, which is why I lumped it all together as the section "The night that Defensive Rebounding died". Ughh, feeding the Lakers trolls...

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Oh yea, on Kobe's T, it was a culmination of lots of bickering he'd been directing at Salvatore the whole game, which is why I didn't really feel bad when it was finally called. Honestly, it was probably the right thing to do, since from that point there were less Suns-friendly calls and more just flat-out crappy officiating.

Anonymous UpA said...
Come on guys, stop the trolling round against LA Fans.

I think ________ (fill in the blank) likes to create controversy (only when the Lakers win) but not every LA fan is like that.

Every ball club has a number of Trolling Specialists within the fan base, LA just happen to have a bigger fan base full of band-wagoneers, which is what other clubs fans dislike so much about the Lakers.

But lets get on the fun back again!

Blogger tonious35 said...
Anaconda and B-Bawful,

Steve Nash missed a technical FT (due to an illegal 3-second) in the 1st half, and Barbosa missed the Kobe technical in the 4th quarter.

"Taking-advantage-of-totally-free-things"-FAIL!!!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Steve Nash missed a technical FT (due to an illegal 3-second) in the 1st half, and Barbosa missed the Kobe technical in the 4th quarter.

"Taking-advantage-of-totally-free-things"-FAIL!!!


In the words of Team America: Freedom isn't free...there's a hefty fuckin' fee...

Blogger Basketbawful said...
As an aside the the painful disappointment felt by Suns fans, let's hark back to the words of Wild Yams after Game 1:

What an ass-kicking. I told you guys the Lakers were going to have a cakewalk to The Finals. LA is too big and they led the league in 3-pt defense this year. Phoenix is a dream matchup for LA, and this is why I said back in December that LA should blow them out every time the teams play. Phoenix might get a game where they have a really lucky shooting effort, but LA is just a really horrible matchup for Phoenix.

Now, am I bringing this up to give Yams a hard time about his cakewalk prediction? No. Well, okay, maybe a little. ;)

But didn't most of us openly or secretly think he was right? Instead, we've got a pretty good series going on, and last night's game was the most exciting Conference Finals game this year. So it's not all bad, right?

Right?

...right?

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Bawful: Too soon =(

If the Suns won the series, I was planning on going back and thread-mining every single "Lakers rule, Suns have 0 chance" post I could find here and just paste them all in a big post. I'll still do it if it happens, but it's not like I'm setting aside Memorial Day Weekend for it anymore.

Here's some more frowny faces =/

Blogger BadDave said...

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Bawful: Too soon =(

Yeah, this loss did feel pretty catastrophic. And normally, I'd say it would kill the Suns' confidence for Game 6 or (if necessary) Game 7. But these Suns have been surprising us all season long, so I'm gonna hold out hope until it has been ripped out of my chest and eaten with some fava beans and a nice Chianti...

Blogger Adam said...
I try to keep things as civil as I can, but if it's a Boston-LA finals and the Lakers win, you can bet I'll be giving all sorts of middle fingers to Boston fans. Not just as payback for 08, but FOR TEH RIVALRY!

One can complain about the Lakers fanbase all one wants - and one would be right to an extent - but as far as sports in general goes, they don't hold a candle to New York or Boston. Even with the whole "Hollywood" stereotype, the west coast has NOTHING on the east coast when it comes to sports fan douchiness. (Not talking about anybody here, just in general.)

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
See, this is exactly why you should have posted your Western Conference 30 reasons why this season kinda sucks. I wanted it in stone saying that I wouldn't let the Suns drag me into "I wish I knew how to quit you" hope territory this year. =/

See you all at 9am EST tomorrow. More frowny D:

Anonymous AK Dave said...
I am reminded of 2005 (IIRC) when the Lakers were up 3-1 on PHX.

I know I know. Different players yadda yadda. But do we all remember what happened in game 7? With the whole Kobe not playing anymore to prove a "point" with the game still on the line? Yeah. I honestly think that the Lakers are about to quit. If PHX wins game 6 at home, I am predicting another game 7 meltdown by LAL.

AnacondaHL: does calling somebody a troll count as trolling? Survey says??

Blogger manic said...
Although I am a Suns fan, I think a big WOTN has to be given to Kobe "Airball" Bryant for his..well...airball of a game winner. I thought it was fitting that TNT showed all of his game winners from this past season and yet he throws up a big, bad stinker.

This series is going back to LA for game 7 ladies and gentlemen just so the Suns can get hosed yet again by the NBA.

Blogger reuben said...
Kobe "Airball" Bryant. Genius bro. That dude airballs everything.

Blogger Japes said...
That game hurt. Before the series began, I predicted Lakers in 7 because even though they're a better team, the Suns looked awesome sweeping the Spurs (which was a better team than injury-riddled Utah). After watching the first two games, I thought it would be a sweep. The last 3 games have been a pleasant surprise to say the least.

But after last night, I have a feeling that this series is pretty much over. I don't think even this Suns team can win in game 7 on the road against a bigger and more talented Laker team. :(

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"The most respected opinion I had on yesterday's events was one single Lakers fan (not here obviously) that took Game 5's win with some grace, knowing with that lack of effot letting the Suns back into it they didn't deserve that game."

As the only respected opinion from Suns fans are those that don't use weird angles from Kobe's foot IN THE AIR to say he's stepping on the line while there's much more reliable footage of that play proving he's inbounds.

It's easy to hate on Fisher and not saying a word about the missed calls on Stoudemire pushing Gasol (that on the dunk, not a single comment?).

Blogger geremy said...
wow. just... wow.

suns fan, and i'm filled with optimism. while LA won, game five showed PHX can take down LA on its home floor, something LA has yet to prove in PHX. so i see this as more pressure on LA than PHX.

should we go back for a game 7 i think LA fans ought to be worried.

either way, amazing series. kobe constantly has me cursing at the television. such an amazing player.

i'm so glad my suns never made the playoffs like everyone claimed they would... otherwise any real playoff team would just walk all over them ;)

Blogger manic said...
Kobe "Airball" Bryant. Genius bro. That dude airballs everything.

I guess he just wanted to airball that last shot bro, wasn't it about 3 feet short bro?

Anonymous Heretic said...
@DKH

Kobe has been playing pretty much consistently through out the series. So has Gasol(aside from being soft, fisher has been steady too. The rest of the team however has sucked. So 3 guys are playing well and the rest aren't . I'm not saying someone the suns has to play well I'm saying some one on the suns has to have an incredible night. The bench don't usually score extremely high and amare doesn't usually have 40 point nights. What I'm saying is that ALL the suns can be playing well and there's a good chance that they still lose to a terrible playing laker team unless someone goes off. But of course you had a need to oversimplify it by stating it like a retard, bravo that's some grade A matlock like reasoning skills. Maybe next time you can make it even simpler by saying "Did you know that the lakers win 100% of their games when they score more points than the Suns?!?!?!"

@Basketbawful

You'll notice that despite the zone kobe, fisher and gasol are still playing well. The zone has little effect on them. The rest of the team have always been questionable whether or not its zone or man to man. The problem is simply D. If you stop the suns at the defensive end then it saps their energy when its their turn to play D. It doesn't take a genius to know the suns get their energy off of their offense unlike the Celtics who get their energy when they're making stops. Suns are easily frustrated and tend to make terrible decisions defensively when their 12 second offense isn't flowing. So although the zone may mess with the role players the "big 3" are largely unaffected by it. Hell Kobe seems to be thriving on it.

Lakers downfall is their own doing it has very little to do with the suns laughable zone or their "improved defense". Plus there was an 18 point lead when the lakers actually played defense that in itself is a glaring point.

Then again these are suns fans I'm dealing with, I'm better off yelling "nah nah nah you lose fags" then actually attempting to argue logically. Maybe during the next post they can bring up kobe's rape case.

Anonymous Heretic said...
@Manic and Reuben

And yet they won. Thats how awful the suns are. Dear god are they awful.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
AK Dave - That would be like, some sort of crazy recursive trollage!

And I'm not really reminded of 2005. Kobe's changed. They got Gasol. It's too much of a difference. For the Suns, the Frye+Dudley defensive combo is the secret MVP workhorse of the series. It's time for PHX to start rolling the dice, live and die off the Fyre 3.

manic - He did exactly what he had to do. Chuck it up because he's da man, and allowed the easy rebound for the KBA.

And it's not like his low % on clutch/game winners is new news or anything. 82games.com.

Japes - Like I said, in previous years, 0%. This year, slim, slim chance. I'm watching Twitter like a hawk today and tomorrow for words, and pictures, to see if the Suns have the confidence to force Game 7. And the aforementioned 9am EST check of NBA.com's ref assignments.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
AnacondaHL - You are an enormous hypocrite. I'm "trolling" every bit as much as you are. The only difference is I'm on the wrong side of the Laker double standard around here. I like my team, I root for them to win, I laugh when their opponents fail, and I openly root for that to happen. It's somehow OK for you (and others) to do this because, duh, you're just hating on the Lakers. But when myself or other Laker fans do anything remotely similar, we're trolls. This type of nonsense drives commenters away from this site. I know because it did to me for a while (and still has me eyeing the exit). If you guys want a site that is blissfully Laker fan-free, you're well on your way.

Lakers in 6 :)

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Anon - Yea, I knew that picture was iffy, but I posted it anyways. Oh well.

And I think I've said over and over that the Lakers did not get the majority benefit of the calls last night. I obviously picked out the examples against the Suns since that's what I looked out for, but just for you, yes, that Gasol biffed dunk was probably a foul, and was the only strong move you will see Gasol attempt every 2.5 games. A ton of the other blocks in the game were questionable non-calls too.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Yams - Hey, that's not nice, I'm not fat, I'm a normal-sized hypocrite. I also love how I typed it three times in three different ways how it has nothing to do with which team anyone does anything with, yet you still continue your delusions that I'm out to attack all Lakers fans. Keep it going there buddy. Literally, a Lakers-fan free zone would make this website the best in the world, that is a fact, literally.

Suns in 5 :)

Blogger nohandle said...
Damn, I see where Yams is coming from, calling this place BasketBitter... I dunno if it's just hot blood with this being the playoffs and all, or whether the popularity of the site is attracting more instigators (or maybe the heat is making everyone a little testy?) but these comment pages are starting to look a little bit like the ESPN comment forums... no disrespect intended to Mr. Bawful and the rest of the site contributors.

Would it be too much to ask to tone down the personal attacks a little bit? Personally I think it's a little sad when I can't even get my morning dose of funny by coming here because everyone's too busy tearing eachother apart to put a smile on my face... it makes for a long-ass day at work.

We're not in grade school anymore. This nyah-nyah-you're-stupid-cuz-i-said-so b.s. is getting tired. Why don't we go back to taunting the people who get paid to play games for a living (and the people who officiate, hire and manage those athletes) so the rest of us can continue to enjoy a quality site that a few people have worked hard to build?

Blogger nohandle said...
Also, R.I.P. Gary Coleman.

Saddest thing I've heard all day.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
nohandle - Hey, it could be worse, we could start going RealGM on everyone. Like, honestly, it's the Internet, just go to their WCF thread to find readily accessible stupid.

Blogger Paul said...
@ Anaconda
"anonymous said:

As the only respected opinion from Suns fans are those that don't use weird angles from Kobe's foot IN THE AIR to say he's stepping on the line while there's much more reliable footage of that play proving he's inbounds."

and this:

It's starting to look like BasketBitter around here. Where's the trademark humor? Also, AnacondaHL, it's not cool to keep calling other long term posters "trolls" just cause they root for a team you dislike. People can have different takes and opinions without being trolls. Additionally, being snarky around here isn't trolling.

Most of your stuff is insightful and straight up funny but when you become one of the biggest trolling contributor isn't cool at all.




Back to the series now, Laker fan here but really hoping for a game seven. I want to see more of the Slovenian rivalry. Who knows maybe "The Machine" and "The Dragon" end up going at each other before it's all over? I'm already laughing about it, it would be like Will Ferrel and John C. Reilly fighting in "Step Brothers"

@Bawful
Completely agree with you. While the Lakers are still putting up good numbers on the offensive end. If it weren't for the Suns zone this would've ended up being a sweep. Maybe the most embarrassing playoff showing in Suns history.

That said though, The Lakers should've been able to take their defense a notch up as well.

Basically it boils down to both offenses coming down to a stand still right now. With the Suns zone working the next two games could be anybody's UNLESS they Lakers get more applied on the defensive end.

BTW, when is Dudley's contract coming up? he is becoming a very dependable option both offensively and defensively and if he manages to become consistent he'll be making some serious dough on his next contract.

Anonymous Heretic said...
Holy crap, Nohandle's right, Coleman's dead. Somehow I know I'm going to blame the Lakers defense for it as well.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
One of these day, I'm probably going to quit blogging to pursue an advanced degree in Clinical Psychology. I'm not kidding, look for that to happen in the next year or two. You've been warned.

Anyway, I'm very interested in how our primitive instincts affect our perception of the world. The following text is an excerpt from an essay on Hierarchical Behavior, which is one of the five main primitive instincts. Ever wonder why Suns and Lakers fans snipe at each other like a bunch of kids who are basically saying, "I'm better!" and "No, I'm better!" at each other? Maybe this will help explain it:

Of all of the primal instincts, the behavior associated with hierarchy is, by far, the most consuming. Living organisms that possess a significant neural network in the brain develop powerful social behaviors, and interact in ways that allow them to dominate the resources of the environment. The same neural chemistry and structure that forces bees, ants and other insects to divide up their societies in order to survive as a group, as well as individuals, is present to a greater degree in mammals. Because of the evolutionary oddity that allowed Homo Sapien brains to diversify over other organisms, the primal instincts as a whole are more pronounced and varied in humans, and the instinct of hierarchy in particular.

Remembering the definition of hierarchy: competing for resources through position and dominance; it is essential for human beings to excel over others in every interaction. This behavior is evident from the simplest situations to the most bizarre. The consequences may be benign, or they may be devastating. Whatever the case, hierarchical behavior seems to dominate all other instincts in most individuals. Remember too that powerful emotions are involved in the orbiting cycle of challenge and satisfaction. That is to say, our hierarchical neural pathways are constantly being challenged, leading to the behavioral reaction, followed by satisfaction, and back again. The emotional tides ebb and flow accordingly and the individual experiences the full gamut from, say, sadness to happiness. This cycle may repeat as many as a thousand times a day to some degree depending on the perceived needs of the individual. Note that perceived is important because the need is not always essential for survival. The perception in all of us is that we must dominate, in some way, those around us, or natural selection will eliminate us.

In other words, it is not in our nature to be kind and pleasant to others. This sounds horrible until one understands that the primitive brain evolved in nature for the purpose of survival, and civilized behavior is the product of intellect, not instinct. All of the rules, regulations, policies, procedures, laws and social applications we practice as humans, are the invention of the neocortex alone, and not the meanderings of the R complex and the Limbic system. While it is true that house pets and other higher mammals can use their neocortex, it is not as well developed as humans, hence, they can be trained, but cannot take this behavior to the next level and adapt it permanently. Once they are removed from the interaction with humans, they will revert to instinctive behavior, and the civilized training they received will be ignored.

We all have the capacity to revert to primitive instinctive behavior. What holds that in check is the intellect. That is where our conscious efforts toward civilization reside; neural pathways inundating the neocortex. ... But that conscious choice can be and is often abandoned.


Indeed it is.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Paul - Sorry, I'm just a guy, BasketBawful is the pro. I'll have my ups and downs. I hope I can make it up to you with this photo of Andrew Bogut in a car sticking out his tongue.

Also, Dudley's on the books next year, with a qualifying offer the following year.

Bawful - Post of the Month.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Sorry, one more annoying Twitter update: Dragic and Vujachick were swearing at each other in Slovenian. This will/better be the greatest subplot heading into Saturday.

Anonymous Heretic said...
I wonder what they were saying and if it doesn't translate over well from solvenian to english e.g. "Your mother feeds apples to goats!"

Blogger Paul said...
I don't know if it was here or not.
But somebody made the analogy that there were victories and there were punches in the stomach, referring to this Lakers victory as a punch in the Suns abdomen.


I rather think of this series as a bitch-slapping contest.
Both teams taking turns at bitch slapping each other.
Like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuyaCtIEpL4

My question is, will the bitch-slapping fest continue all the way through game 7 or will the Lakers put the ultimate bitch-slap on the Suns ailing (Nash) face, like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oznnUbYb01s&feature=fvw

Anonymous Matt said...
Holy crap, bawful. If that's what we have to expect from PsychoBawful in a couple of years, count me out. Waaaay too many words.

Blogger Paul said...
Heretic said...

I wonder what they were saying and if it doesn't translate over well from solvenian to english e.g. "Your mother feeds apples to goats!"


Maybe, feeding apples to goats is the equivalent to smoking cigarettes for human beings after having sex?

Blogger BadDave said...
I call shenanigans. You would be the worst psychologist ever. Some degree of empathy is required.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Paul:

Best. Youtube video. Ever.

Thanks for sharing!

Blogger Dan B. said...
Speaking of the now-deceased Gary Coleman, here's a random picture of him with Mr. T rocking a mohawk. You're welcome.

Wow, Dr. Bawful. My brain hurts now. Can you get me a prescription for psychiatric drugs that I can sell on the black market to NBA players for profit?

Blogger nohandle said...
Dan B., thanks for the new desktop background! I pity tha fool that doesn't let him in to short-people-Heaven

Anonymous Bryan said...
Good luck in your new profession Bawful. I hope your hard work brings basketball fans together across the globe and the word troll disappears from all sites. You're doing God's work, my child.

Blogger David Robinson said...
I'm gonna go ona rant a bit here, read if you dare:

Yesterdays loss was one of the hardest that I've ever had to endure as a suns fan. Even the Duncan 3 wasn't this bad for me because it was only the first round. Ron Ron misses that shot, and we go to OT...I just frankly can't see them winning in OT, the Suns would have taken it, meaning a trip to the finals after closing out in 6. Maybe my stomach just hurts because the Bdubs that I ate last night was bad, I don’t know, but I'm telling you, this hurts about 100x worse for me than the cardinals super bowl loss...and I was pissed about that for a week straight.

I hate Kobe Bryant. I usually reserve my hatred for the Bruce Bowen's of the world; the no talent hacks that cheat their way up. I usually have respect for the greats. I was never a fan of Jordan, but I respected the hell out of him. Kobe is flat out amazing, yet I hate him for every shot he makes, cheer more loudly for every shot has missed, and pray before bed every night that he tears his ACL while walking under a latter, breaking a mirror and seeing a Black cat cross his path. No curse is strong enough from him.

Blogger Jesse said...
Didn't see this posted, although I may have missed it. I'm not sure why this makes me giggle as much as it does:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_CqDk4jAv_Y4/S_9WNx0ItDI/AAAAAAAADu8/FDvuFN9iAT4/s400/15.jpg

Anonymous Heretic said...
@David Robinson

Two things would have happened in OT:

1) Ron Artest would have been shanked by either Pjax or Bryant and i'm not talking about a quick 1 or 2 stabs. I'm talking about a stabbing that would have made the robocop shoot out seem like a pillow fight between sorority girls.

2) Kobe would have either single handedly destroyed the suns or caused the lakers to lose. Its a toss up of which one would have happened, he's done both.

Blogger David Robinson said...
LOL @ the thought of Ron getting shanked. That would be awesome

and I agree heretic, the game would have been in Kobe's hands. I would have seen that going down like it did in the 4th quarter of game 4. Kobe just being Doubled all the time, and the rest of the Lakers standing around. That's why I liked the Suns chances in OT. and also Heretic...Suns fans aren't stupid, we just hate Kobe, so sometimes we come off as a little emotional, Sorry about that.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful - This series has been far more competitve than I ever thought it would be. I give the Suns credit for making (or baiting, whichever it is) the Lakers into playing as poorly as they have over the last three games. I continue to be amazed when LA isn't dominaing in any of these games because I think on paper they should be. LA seems to have almost every advantage and yet it's been a highly competitive series. I just have to figure that the Lakers will eventually figure out what Phoenix is doing and put them away, but you never know.

In a way this reminds me of the LA-Phoenix series from 2006 in which the team which was so much worse on paper (the Lakers) turned it into a real dogfight of a series mainly through a gimmick (going inside to Kwame Brown instead of zone D). Those Suns eventually figured out how to not get caught up in LA's gimmickry and won going away, and maybe these Lakers can do the same.

Blogger lordhenry said...
All I have to say is, as a Lakers fan I feel we got lucky. I was watching the gamecast play-by-play at work and when I saw "Kobe Bryant misses 25-foot 3-point jumper" I thought, "Ah, shit, we are about to be waxed in overtime." I even looked away from the gamecast, told a co-worker we were going to OT, and got up and walked away. I almost shit my pants when I came back and saw "Ron Artest offensive rebound" and then the "Ron Artest makes tip-in" and then the score changed before my eyes from "101/101" to "101/103 Final." My first thought was "ROn Artest just won a playoff game for us." I had been telling my roommate all playoffs about how I thought RonRon would win us a playoff game, but was stunned in the fashion it happened in.

Steve Nash is a god. He kept his team in the game and controlled the possession where the Suns got 3 attempts to tie the game. He got the first O-re then, on the second miss, ran in and tapped the ball to the open man for the make. He never gave up on that play, and I was disgusted with the Lakers rebounding at the end. Thank God that RonRon is a crazy man who ALWAYS thinks he can save the day, and did not give up on that last possession. Ron is close to that ring, and he felt it slipping away. Sometimes it is good to have the crazies on your side.

Credit the Suns, they played with tremendous heart, and would not go away. It was definitely their game, which is why, as a Lakers fan, I'm happy to come away with the win, but you hate to see anyone lose like that.

Anonymous Heretic said...
@David Robinson

I know the feeling. Suns fans, Lakers fans, Nets fans (if there are any left) are usually ok during regular season but during the playoffs we tend to turn into gorillas flinging feces. I fully expect this to continue though, Celtics fans and Magic fans will get into it tonight. Once a team hoists that trophy there will be a week of rage/despair and then everyone will settle down and convince themselves that next year will be their teams year. Regular season will go by with few flame wars and then during the post season I'll go back to accusing suns fans of being communist turd farmers sent by the prince of darkness. What a wonderful vicious cycle we're trapped in.

Blogger Barry said...
Can't we all just get along?!

Sometimes it's almost like Ball Don't Lie, an excellent site with great contributors but very few good commenters and a whole load of knee-jerk reactions and flame bollocks.

I as a Celtics fan have immense respect for Kobe and even the Lakers, but I never let that get in the way of a good time, like ripping on Kobe and the Lakers.

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