sad lakers bench
Hey, Lakers bench...

kobe facepalm
...you make Kobe facepalm.

The Los Angeles Lakers: Going into the final 12 minutes of Game 4, the Lakers were leading 62-60 and looked ready to put a 3-1 Ric Flair-style figure four leglock on the 2010 NBA Finals. All they had to do, really, was outplay the Boston bench.

Yep. That's all.

Only Boston's bench -- plus Ray Allen -- scored on the team's first nine possessions of the fourth quarter. In fact, at one point the Celtics' pine riders had outscored the Lakers 25-15 in the final period. For the game, Boston's reserves outscored their L.A. counterparts 36-18, led by former throwaway draft pick Big Baby (22 minutes, 18 points, 7-for-10, 4 offensive rebounds) and Knicks castoff/U Dub alumnus Nate Robinson (17 minutes, 12 points, 4-for-8, 2-for-4 on threes). Rasheed Wallace and Tony Allen didn't contribute much to the box score, but they provided plenty of grit and defensive tenacity.

What's more, T.A. even assisted a huge trey by 'Sheed with 6:18 left that gave the Celtics a 79-70 lead.

Boston's towel wavers were playing so well that, with a little over four minutes left in the game and three Celtics starters (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo) about to check back in, Doc Rivers made the call to keep his super subs in he game...and ride the awesome wave of their momentum.

To which I ask: Who are you and what did you do with the real Doc Rivers?!

Said Doc: "Hell, Rondo and all of them were begging me to keep guys in. 'Don't take them out. Don't take them out.' It was great. That was the loudest I've seen our bench, and it was our starters cheering from the bench. I thought it was terrific."

It was quite a scene. After the Celtics lost Game 3, Kendrick Perkins complained about being left out of the game in favor of Big Baby. Not so last night. In fact, during one sequence Baby went down and Perk rushed onto the floor to pick him up.

But getting owned by guys who wouldn't start for most NBA teams wasn't the only reason the Lakers lost. After Game 3, I noted that, in these Finals, the team that wins the Battle of the Boards is probably the team that's working harder and wants it more. Well, Boston owned a 41-34 rebounding advantage, including 16-8 on the offensive glass. For those of you who enjoy the Four Factors, the Celtics had a 38-24 advantage in Offensive Rebounding Percentage.

Usually, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum feast on the offensive glass. Last night, Gasol had only 1 O-board. Bynum had none. Excuse me, Lakers? Allow me to introduce you to the Celtics' pimp hand.

More pro-Celtic numbers: Boston outscored L.A. 54-34 in the paint -- wait, which team has the inside game again? -- and 15-2 on the fast break. The C's attempted 32 shots at the rim, compared to 17 for the Lakers, which is a pretty good indication of which team was more aggressive. The Celtics pushed. They fought. They rammed the ball down the Lakers throats. And trust me, you do not want to know where that ball has been. Feel free to ask Hedo Turkoglu, tho'.

A couple last points: The Lakers are at their best when the ball is moving. Last night it wasn't, and they finished with only 13 assists.

Kobe Bryant: On the one hand, Mamba scored a game-high 33 points, his shooting wasn't awful (10-for-22), and he was actually pretty hot from downtown (6-for-11). On the other hand...how good was he really?

Before the game, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson were (as usual) fellating Kobe and predicting a "signature performance" if only because Bryant hadn't had one yet. That's kind of like predicting Lindsay Lohan will do something slutty at some future time, but I digress. Anyway, it appears Kobe was thinking the same thing because he basically abandoned the Triangle. He's playing Hero Ball right now, and it's disrupting the flow of L.A.'s offense.

For quick reference, here's a breakdown of Kobe's shot attempts: 1-for-2 at the rim, 0-for-2 inside 10 feet, 2-for-2 from 10-15 feet, 1-for-5 from 16-23 feet, 6-for-11 from beyond the arc. That's right: 16 of his 22 field goal attempts were dialed in from long distance. And let's be honest: Most of them were bad shots forced over tough defense. The only thing that saved Kobe (and the Lakers) from catastrophe is that Mamba hit well over his normal three-point percentage.

But as a Celtics fan, I was thrilled with the shots Kobe was chucking up...even when he made them. When your team forces the other team's best player into a steady diet of crap shots, that's a victory for the defense. I'm guessing the Celtics would love for Kobe to keep taking those shots, because he's probably not going 6-for-11 on threes again.

At various times throughout these playoffs, Kobe has been the facilitator of the Lakers' game plan, setting up his teammates and shooting within the flow of the offense. During those times, he's been awesome. But the Mamba returned in Game 3 when Kobe went all shot happy, and the snake was still slithering in Game 4. Every time Kobe got the ball, it seemed like he wanted to score first and pass only out of desperation as a last resort. It's not surprising then that Bryant finished with a game-high 7 turnovers (compared to only 2 assists). And this was the most crippling of his bobbles:


I know people are going to look at he 33 points and fantastic three-point shooting and claim Bryant had a great game, but Kobe did as much to hurt the Lakers as he did to help them, especially in the second half. Hence the plus-minus score of -8.

Here's some extra insight on Kobe's shooting from Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles:

When the Celtics switched to Tony Allen sticking Kobe Bryant for the second half of Game 4 instead of Ray Allen, who checked him in the first, it was a different ballgame.

Bryant was 5-for-8 from the field in the first half and the Lakers led by three. He was just 5-for-14 in the second half with the guy the Celtics call "T.A." playing textbook defense on him, and the Lakers lost the game by seven. Allen's harassing presence contributed to Kobe coughing up seven turnovers.

"[He's] just a guy that's in the rotation who thinks about nothing but defense, hustling, getting loose balls," said Paul Pierce, who had the assignment, along with James Posey, of guarding Bryant in the Finals two years ago. "Every great team needs a guy like that. He takes so much pressure off me and Ray, the scorers, working so hard to get points."

And he puts that pressure squarely on Bryant.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Bryant is now just 5-for-19 (26.6 percent) in the Finals with Tony Allen as the Celtics' primary defender on him. Even when he doesn't cause Bryant to miss a shot, he deters him from even taking one. In the 73 possessions that Allen has guarded him this series, Kobe has touched the ball 79.5 percent of the time. In the 234 possessions when it's been somebody other than Allen checking Kobe, Bryant has touched the ball 88 percent of the time.

All 19 shot attempts by Bryant against Allen have been with a hand in his face too, while he's been able to get off eight uncontested looks against the rest of the Celtics' crew.
This isn't really all the surprising if you watched what T.A. did against LeBron in the Celts-Cavs series. Allen is aggressive, fearless and absolutely relentless. He doesn't care which player he's defending. He never stops. He never gives up.

You know what else I think? I think that Kobe doesn't totally respect Allen, that he takes Allen defending him as a personal challenge, which has always been Bryant's M.O. against lesser players. I think when T.A. is all up in his mug, Kobe transforms into the Mamba and becomes determined to make something happen. Which sort of plays into the Boston game plan.

Pau Gasol: His scoring was reasonably efficient: 21 points on only 13 shots and a game-high 10 free throw attempts (of which he hit nine). But his rebounding was, for him, sub-par (6 total, only 1 offensive). He also lost the ball 4 times, which means he and Kobe combined for almost as many TOs (11) as the entire Celtics teams (12).

When Pau dominates the boards, the Lakers almost always win. Last night, that didn't happen. And his wrestling match with 'Sheed may not have taken him out of the game offensively, but it sure kept him off the boards.

TrueHoop's Kevin Arnovitz broke down the duel between Gasol and 'Sheed:


Think 'Sheed is getting under Pau's skin? Gasol was definitely is a pissy mood last night. On one Celtic free throw attempt, he was lined up inside of Rondo. As the freebie was going in, Rondo was actually backing away from the basket, but Gasol reached over, grabbed Rajon's jersey and gave Rondo a little shove. Rondo whacked Pau's arm and Pau shoved back and then they had a mini-faceoff.

Said Phil Jackson: "I thought their animation and their activity level affected us. Guys wanted to get back into it with them a couple times."

When a big man feels the need to rough up a guard for no reason whatsoever, I guess you could say either a) he's really frustrated or b) he's Kevin Garnett.

One last thing: I have a pet theory that Gasol is at his rebounding best when he's got Bynum around to watch his back. However, I've got not real evidence other than what I've observed. Any of you statheads got any numbers on this?

The Lakers' bench: How to put this? Oh, yeah. I know: Fail.

sad lakers bench 2
L.A.'s bench is so deep...it's unfathomable!
Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week...

Kendrick Perkins: Has anyone else noticed that Perkins is starting to edge toward "Starter In Name Only" status? Perk played 25 minutes, finishing with 6 points and 7 boards while shooting 3-for-5 from the field. Not a bad night's work...but there's a reason Doc is going with Big Baby down the stretch. Here's the reason: Perk is an offensive liability against L.A. The Lakers know he can't score. He can't or won't shoot short jumpers. He can't finish quickly at the rim -- he almost always needs at least one slow, shambling dribble -- which means the Lakers can just thug him. Oh, and he's not a great foul shooter.

Meanwhile, his defender -- either Gasol or Bynum -- can play way off him, disrupting passing lanes and preventing drives. Perkins is a better defender and rebounder than Baby, but Doc can't afford to leave him on the floor if he wants his team to score. And defense may win championships, but teams still have to outscore their opponents to win.

The Nate Robinson and Rasheed Wallace techs: With 7:24 left in the fourth quarter and the Celtics leading 74-66, 'Sheed was called for a technical foul for wigging out about bad foul call that went against him (he whacked the ball and Kobe's hand, and as we've already discussed at length, the hand is part of the ball). Fortunately, the Basketball Gods made Bryant miss the free throw.

Then, with 5:39 left and Boston up 79-72, Krypto-Nate earned a couple freebies when he got decked by Lamar Odom. Unfortunately, Nate got all up in Odom's chest and earned a tech for taunting. But the Basketball Gods once again stepped in and Derek Fisher bricked the foul shot.

So those technical didn't hurt the C's...but they sure could have. And if the Lakers had come back to win by a couple, who do you think would be the goats today?

Said Doc: "Unfortunately, it's probably our most emotional group when you have Nate, Tony and Rasheed on the floor at the same time, so the techs happen. That's the only thing we didn't like."

Paul Pierce, The Punchmaster: When you punch a ref in the face while celebrating, chances are, you're celebrating a little bit too hard.


Big Baby, drool machine: Want to see some apeshit intensity? You sure? Then here:


And now Baby's primal scream from another angle:


Big Baby, quote machine, Part 1: "Let me tell you something, when you're in the moment, you're in the moment. If I slobber, snot, spit, please excuse me. Kids, don't do that. Have manners and things like that."

Big Baby, quote machine, Part 2: "I just felt like a beast. Really, I'm going to just be honest with you. I just felt like I couldn't be denied. If a rebound was in my vicinity or if the ball was going to be laid up, you know, I just felt like I just couldn't be denied. And it kind of started off with me missing those two [shots] -- a layup and then the jump shot. I was really upset at myself, and I said I've got to seize the moment here. There's not too many times you get a chance to be in the Finals and be a part of something so great that you can never really imagine yourself even being here. I just couldn't be denied today."

Big Baby, quote machine, Part 3: "Just will, that's all it is. This is what legends are made of, this is where you grasp the moment. ... Just play in the moment."

Nate Robinson: Regarding his relationship with Big Baby: "We're like Shrek and Donkey. You can't separate us."

Master Blaster
"Who run Barter Town?
MASTER BLASTER RUN BARTER TOWN!!"

Tony Allen, quote machine: "Did Doc coach with his guts or his brains? Well, first of all I think Doc is the best coach in the world, but I don't know about coaching-type stuff. That ain't left up to me. I just know about playing. So to answer your question, I would have to say he was thinking with his brain."

Labels: , , ,

91 Comments:
HE HAS THE MIND OF A CHILD!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
To be fair with Bynum, he did play only 12min due to injury which probably/should explain his 0-off reb game.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
To be fair with Bynum, he did play only 12min due to injury which probably/should explain his 0-off reb game.

True enough, which is why I didn't give him his own entry. I was only highlighting the fact that L.A.'s starting frontcourt had 1 offensive rebound, which was a huge advantage for the Celtics. And it'll be a big blow to the Lakers if Bynum can't contribute as the series continues.

One thing that occurs to me is that, as things stand, these teams are actually very evenly matched. Basically, whoever blinks is going to lose. That's the way the first four games have gone anyway.

Anonymous Karc said...
I think it was during the press conference, but Krypto-Nate referred to Bib Baby and himself as Shrek and Donkey. Someone photoshop that, please.

There was a sequence during the second half, at the timeout, where Kobe was trying run in-between Perkins and the Celtics bench. It was obvious (and in a couple of other spots), that the Lakers were trying to get Perkins his seventh 7th T.

As for Bynum, he lasted three games. I think he's done, no more than 15 minutes a game from here on out, and that's not enough. This is pretty much 2008 now, which means Celtics win this going away.

Blogger Daniel Sanchez said...
Man, im big fan of your blog. Funniest shit in basketball media. keep it up.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
There was a sequence during the second half, at the timeout, where Kobe was trying run in-between Perkins and the Celtics bench. It was obvious (and in a couple of other spots), that the Lakers were trying to get Perkins his seventh 7th T.

Yeah, I saw that, and yes, I've noticed all series that various Lakers have walked into or bumped into Perkins. The fact that he's keeping his cool only goes to prove he should have worked on keeping his cool a little earlier...then it wouldn't even be an issue.

As for Bynum, he lasted three games. I think he's done, no more than 15 minutes a game from here on out, and that's not enough. This is pretty much 2008 now, which means Celtics win this going away.

IMHO, with a healthy Bynum, the Lakers are the better team. With a hobbled Bynum, the teams are very evenly matched...making it a toss up.

Anonymous The Other Chris said...
These games are UGGGGGLY, offensively. The Celtics, OK, we know they're going to struggle to score for long stretches. They have a point guard who can't shoot, and can't shoot free throws. A HOF 4 who is rapidly trending into Robinson Shell Mode, as pointed out by another poster recently. Kendrick Perkins is relatively useless on the offensive end of the floor. So if Artest can guard Pierce effectively and you can chase Allen around those (moving) screens, the Celtics are in deep shit.

What's the Lakers' excuse? They don't move the ball, they don't run sets, they just look... terrible. Is it the Celtics' defense disrupting them that much, or are they just stagnant? Are the starters completely gassed from having to play so many minutes because their bench is completely useless? Is it the fact that people who were on fire in the first few rounds (Artest, Fisher) have gone ice-cold? Bynum's injury? Honestly, I'm baffled. Bawful readers what do you say?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
@Basketbawful

I thought you were pointing out that the Celtics were pretty much the reason for their bad offensive rebounding night. Re-reading it, I get your point.

Anonymous Bateman's Legal Counsel said...
When Big Baby was slobbering at halfcourt, I totally figured out how to explain Big Baby's (and to a lesser extent, Krypto Nate's) behavior. I have a feeling that Big Baby watched some/much pro wrestling growing up - and, to clarify, he's still growing up - and that heavily influenced his on-court behavior. KG would be just as big a jerk if he were playing pick-up hoops over the summer, but I think Big Baby's only does his antics if there's an audience.

Anonymous avoozl said...
Yeah, I saw that with Perkins too. Kobe was smirking as he walked away. It does look like Perkins is liable to take the bait.

Although I hate the lakers I do feel bad for Bynum. It was pretty tough to watch him trying to play limping up and down the court obviously trying to hide the pain when he came back in the third quarter. He's a tough competitor.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
What's the Lakers' excuse? They don't move the ball, they don't run sets, they just look... terrible. Is it the Celtics' defense disrupting them that much, or are they just stagnant? Are the starters completely gassed from having to play so many minutes because their bench is completely useless? Is it the fact that people who were on fire in the first few rounds (Artest, Fisher) have gone ice-cold? Bynum's injury? Honestly, I'm baffled. Bawful readers what do you say?

It's a combination of factors. First, Kobe's playing Hero Ball. He's goes all Mamba against the Celtics for whatever reason. When Kobe works as part of the offense, the Lakers are unstoppable. When he breaks off from the offense, they're vulnerable.

Second, Bynum's injury is huge offensively, defensively and on the boards, with affects both the O and the D. Furthermore, Pau Gasol is better when he doesn't have to do all the dirty work inside. Pau misses Bynum a lot.

And the Celtics have awesome defense. They're forcing guys into bad shots, plain and simple. Honestly, L.A.'s best offensive player is Pau Gasol. The Celtics can't figure him out. They should be force-feeding him 20+ shots per game.

Blogger Cortez said...
"On the other hand...how good was he really?"

Not very.

We talk a lot about Garnett's reanimated corpse lumbering across the hardwood, but the more I see Bryant, the term 'smoke and mirrors' is starting to come to mind more and more.

Is it just me, or does he lack the ability to manufacture an easy shot at the basket to save his life?

And despite his 'improved' demeanor, Gasol's game still resembles a tub of Cool Whip.

Once, over the summer while in college, I worked for the transit authority's engineering department. We used to inspect and repair the turnstiles.

Lamar Odom was the human equivalent to one of those turnstiles.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
@Karc
Easy buddy. Don't know if you noticed, but this isn't 2008, and KG and Pierce look a lot older. There's a reason why Big Baby looks like a stud (he's younger) compared to those two, who look like they're playing games like old guys at the Y.

This game played out somewhat as expected. Celtics playing gritty, leaving everything on the floor, as well as getting the 50/50 calls that normally go the home team's way (Ex: the "blocking" call on Kobe at the end of the game). (BTW, not complaining about the officiating, which was good this game...they let them play.) And some Lakers (especially Lamar) have a bad habit of shutting down their aggressiveness when they're not getting calls.

On Kobe's shooting a lot. As bad as it sounds, that's the Lakers game plan for road games. During the season and playoffs, Phil has said that road games are for Kobe to shoulder the offensive load. I don't like that strategy, because he's better as a facilitator, but when you're entire team is told that Kobe should be shooting more during road games, as his teammate, you just start defering to the guy (and stand around and watch him). That said, if he shoulders the burden, he needs to shoulder the responsibility.

Final note, Bynum needs either to shut out the pain and play or get the same "treatment" KG got before Game 3. He's absence was felt during that fourth quarter Celtics run, since he's the only guy that can really slow BB (since Gasol has to guard Wallace/Garnett).

Blogger Cortez said...
"They should be force-feeding him 20+ shots per game."

Contrary to my Cool Whip statement this is 100% accurate.

I would (probably because I'm stupid) go as far as abandoning the triangle and send Bryant and Gasol into pick and roll, iso-kill mode.

You want to manufacture shots, Ace? Get it done then.

Also, can anyone tell me (Matt?) if Kobe's roaming strategy is effective? It look pretty futile to me.

Release the Kracken!

Anonymous avoozl said...
Bynum needs either to shut out the pain and play or get the same "treatment" KG got before Game 3.

That's ridiculous if you think he wasn't playing because of pain. It was obvious he could barely move it. You trying running with a dead leg. He wasn't playing because he knew he was a liability.

Anonymous FarmerTome said...
Big, crying, drooling Baby is the most aptly nicknamed player in the NBA.

Anonymous Phil said...
That Big Baby emotion-cam moment would be a lot more touching if Sheed's lazy ass weren't slogging through the frame.

I think Big Baby stumbles and then actually hustles PAST him while he trots towards the action. Does he even make it to half-court?

Blogger Wormboy said...
"There was a sequence during the second half, at the timeout, where Kobe was trying run in-between Perkins and the Celtics bench. It was obvious (and in a couple of other spots), that the Lakers were trying to get Perkins his seventh 7th T."

I saw this too. I also saw the smarmy smile on Kobe's face afterwards. Dicks will be dicks, y'know?

"What's the Lakers' excuse? They don't move the ball, they don't run sets, they just look... terrible. Is it the Celtics' defense disrupting them that much, or are they just stagnant? Are the starters completely gassed from having to play so many minutes because their bench is completely useless? Is it the fact that people who were on fire in the first few rounds (Artest, Fisher) have gone ice-cold? Bynum's injury? Honestly, I'm baffled. Bawful readers what do you say?"

Good defense and Kobe turning into Mamba.

Re: Bynum. Bad luck with the injury, but I've always said that the best athletes are injury resistant, either through a combination of good genetics and hard work on their conditioning.

Anybody going to talk about Sheed's "pulling the chair out" on Gasol and getting a foul called on him? May be the single worst call I've seen in the playoffs. Sheed didn't even touch him, and Gasol just threw himself on the ground while flinging the ball up. An absolute travesty. Sheed had good reason to be pissed this game. But I also felt like the officials have no tolerance for his antics (nor should they). Well, Sheed, you made this bed and now you need to sleep in it.

Oh, and Sheed was also totally jobbed by the defensive 3 seconds call with 20 seconds left on the shot clock. Well done, NBA officials! So I'm going to have to correct myself: THAT was the worst call of the playoffs, and Sheed experienced both of them in the same game. You gotta admit, that's pretty harsh.

I can't believe the Lakers aren't running more plays for Gasol. He's awfully tough to defend without a double team, and will shoot 50-60% if you run the right play. Perkins is playing good D, but he's outmatched by a finesse game rather than a strength game (which Howard played). Let's face it. Gasol was the real Finals MVP last year, and he will be this year if Kobe can turn off his ego and do what's best for his team.

@Cortez: I dunno, I think Kobe's roaming tends to clog up interior passing (and, BTW, he could). He certainly doesn't need to honor Rondo's jump shot, which is very stinky. But I wouldn't call the roaming a huge effect. Good but not great. I think Rondo should just get his ass into the lane. Even if he misses foul shots, he gets the Lakers bigs in trouble, which goes twice as far now that Bynum is hobbled. So if I'm Doc in game 5 I have every other play a Rondo drive into the lane. Shoot some, dish some. That will demolish the Lakers. He'll get blocked and fouled, but the Celtics will win. So, balls check for Rondo. It will hurt.

Anonymous The Jorge said...
Said Doc: "Hell, Rondo and all of them were begging me to keep guys in. 'Don't take them out. Don't take them out.' It was great. That was the loudest I've seen our bench, and it was our starters cheering from the bench. I thought it was terrific."

This is probably bad news for the celtics. How deep can a team actually be when the starters play the role of the benchwarmers better than the actual bench?

Blogger dc said...
--One thing that occurs to me is that, as things stand, these teams are actually very evenly matched. Basically, whoever blinks is going to lose. That's the way the first four games have gone anyway.

i totally agree... bynum's effectiveness in this series is going to be key... hoping lakers dont blink.

not sure about force feeding Pau 20 shots though... I just dont think its in him to just 'dominate' a game... evn though he has the skill sets to do so, he is the best big men in the series afterall. but its a matter of his mental game~ i think hes getting plenty of touches in the series..

personally, i dont think perkin's 7th tech is going to help lakers much at all~ baby and sheed playing relatively well~
and there is always that 'we are missing perk, so we gota step it up a notch' factor. we see this phenomenon often in the regular season.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
That's ridiculous if you think he wasn't playing because of pain. It was obvious he could barely move it. You trying running with a dead leg. He wasn't playing because he knew he was a liability.

That's exactly what I'm contending, even injured, he would have been a defensive improvement over Odom, who can't contain BB, because Khlomar is a waif.

Look, Bynum was slower, but he was moving around. As someone with both knee issues and a bad back, and I've played on both, and you can always make up for weak (and even dead) knees. If KG can drag his leg around for 35 minutes a game (which he's done two years in a row now), then Bynum can too. Sorry, call it old school thinking, but if you dress, you better be ready to play. After next week, he's done and getting surgery, and he has five months to rest his knees whether he wins or loses.

Anonymous Baal said...
the best thing about that Davis play was: he's down on the floor and still faster on the offensive glass than Sheed and Jordan Farmer... who is that even possible? Sheed doesn't acutally start running, before the celebrations begin...
the best part of Pierce punshing the ref: the basket was actually waved off... I'm sure the refs will never do that again...
and unlike the Fisher play everybody talked about, that Rondo steel really was a big play

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Also, can anyone tell me (Matt?) if Kobe's roaming strategy is effective? It look pretty futile to me.

It's effectiveness is a possession-by-possession thing. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it does not. It seemed less effective, IMHO, when Perkins wasn't on the floor. When the Celtics have two non-shooters in the game, his roaming can really hinder Boston's offense because there are only so many places the ball can go.

But for the most part, Kobe is playing pickup ball defense. Not impressed.

Anybody going to talk about Sheed's "pulling the chair out" on Gasol and getting a foul called on him? May be the single worst call I've seen in the playoffs. Sheed didn't even touch him, and Gasol just threw himself on the ground while flinging the ball up. An absolute travesty.

Yeah...that was bad. There was about half a foot of air space between 'Sheed and Gasol. Another case of "Ref sees flailing after two guys have been wrasslin', rewards offensive player based on a hunch."

Blogger Mintz... said...
I know Paul Pierce's "Ref-Punch" was accidental... But I still feel like a technical was an option.
I mean... He straight up punched a ref in the face.
Thoughts??

Anonymous AK Dave said...
'Bawful:

I was wondering if there was a reason you are in the habit of mentioning that Nate Robinson went to UW. I only ask because you don't usually mention a players alma mater, and it would be just as easy to call Nate a former Knickerbocker or former stand-in for Gary Coleman (too soon?).

UW has quietly become a little NBA factory of late: Nate Robinson, Brandon Roy, Spencer Hawes, Jon "The Brock-Ness Monster" Brockman, and watch the fuck out for Quincy Pondexter next year. That guy is going to be scary in the NBA once his Jumper comes into form. Isaiah Thomas (not the shitty GM one, the little point guard at UW) looks like he'll get drafted as well when he goes.

Not that all of these guys are world-beaters or anything, but UW was never known for anything other than Detlef Schrempf until Todd McCulloch and his peanut-brittle back came into the league in 2000, and now they're sending players to the league every year.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I know Paul Pierce's "Ref-Punch" was accidental... But I still feel like a technical was an option.
I mean... He straight up punched a ref in the face.
Thoughts??


It was entirely accidental. Accidental contact with officials happens all the time, although I can't remember a ref getting jacked up before (a new NBA Finals record!). At any rate, as long as the refs are near the action, they're in danger of contact, and I don't think a tech from accidental contact is warranted.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I was wondering if there was a reason you are in the habit of mentioning that Nate Robinson went to UW. I only ask because you don't usually mention a players alma mater, and it would be just as easy to call Nate a former Knickerbocker or former stand-in for Gary Coleman (too soon?).

First, it's never too soon for Gary Coleman jokes. The day he passed away, my buddy Statbuster posted the following message on Facebook: "Now we'll never know what Willis was talking about."

Anyway, I have a close friend who attended U Dub and always texts me when little Nate does something good. It's basically my private little callout to my friend.

Anonymous Karc said...
The Celtics starters were pretty old in 2008, but they had a bench that backed them up. Sub in Big Baby and Nate Robinson for Leon Powe, James Posey, and Eddie House. It's the same result. Meanwhile Turiaf and Vlad-Rad went the Warriors and Powell and Vujacic have had no playing time.

By the way, as I did in the Suns series, here is the Lakers scoring through 4 games - 102, 94, 91, 89. Unlike the Suns though, the Celtics defense is far more consistent, so I do not see the Lakers breaking 90 for the rest of the series, especially, as Bawful mentioned, Bryant insists on being the MVP instead of sucking it up and conceding it to Gasol. A 30 point game from Gasol is a blowout, simply because that might trick the Celtics into double teams, which worked in Game 1.

Very reminiscent of 2004, where it got to a point where the Pistons were completely unafraid of the everyone but Shaq and Kobe, that they went at Shaq and Kobe and blew the out of the building. The Lakers need a third option. It's not going to be Ron Artest. It was Bynum to start, but now he's hurt. It was Derek Fisher in Game 3, and that was the only reason they won. It should be Odom, and that should panic Laker fans.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
A 30 point game from Gasol is a blowout, simply because that might trick the Celtics into double teams, which worked in Game 1.

A tend to agree...or, if not a blowout, then at least a Lakers win. That's what's deceiving about big men. A 30-point game for a dominant inside scorer is worth a 40+ game for a perimeter player because it opens up so much action for the inside player's teammates. A guy going bananas inside will inevitably cause the defense to collapse, which creates more open shots than Kobe's gunning.

And, really, shouldn't Kobe know that by now? We'll never know for sure, and hell, Kobe might not even know it himself, but that inner Mamba seemed to hear the whispers after Games 1 and 2 that Pau was playing better, was the more important player, and now Kobe seems bent on proving otherwise.

If Paul Pierce plays the Punchmaster (it's even more fun out loud), who's Popsicle Pete?

With the World Cup kicking off, I have to bring up the main reason I hardly watch basketball any more: the games are too damn long. An ostensibly 48 minute game takes 2 1/2 hours, while a 90 minute soccer game is done under 2, with commercials only at the half. It's value for money.

In both sports, however, the officiating is complete crap.

I really wanted to start another "hand is part of the ball" argument, but I used up all my unfocused anger on Cricket customer service this morning.

Blogger 49er16 said...
Nate Robinson mistakes Big Baby as a kiddie ride at Disneyland.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Sheed has now joined Perkins as being only one technical away from a suspension. Something to definitely keep an eye on.

The Lakers' main probelm is they are too easily baited into playing away from their strengths. Before you simply credit the Celtic defense for causing that, keep in mind that the defensively-challenged Suns were able to do it too. Hopefully this loss will re-focus the team so they simply play smarter on Sunday.

Blogger Solieyu said...
I'm surprised there was no mention of the bad blocking call with a minute and a half to play in the fourth on Kobe. Pierce charged him and they called it wrong, putting the Lake-show down eight instead of four if Kobe had hit both freebies. Four points with a minute plus to go is very doable, whereas down eight is soul crushing.

That said, Kobe's crappy pass to Odom was pretty much karma after the way he's played the past two games.

He's got three and a half (Rondo was floating) defenders on him and he can't find an open man because all his teammates are waiting on the other side of the court. I guess they're so used to iso-Kobe that they don't even bother with dive cuts and back doors. Hopefully this loss will convince Kobe to actually run the offense.

Just to make this tl;dr: Odom, athletically is closer to LeBron James than anyone else in the league right now with the possible exception of Kevin Durant. He should be utterly dominating games with his size, speed, length, and range. If Odom ever goes off, the Lakers run away with it.

Pau Gasol is the Laker's best player right now, yes. That doesn't change the fact that he's letting the Celtic's big bully him off the post and way out into the wing.

Remember in Game One when they tossed it to him at the top of the post and he ghosted KG for profit repeatedly? Hasn't happened since then because Kobe dominates the ball even when he doesn't have it. His teammates aren't looking to score or run the offense, they're looking to get the ball to Mamba.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
I don't understand all the talk about Kobe's roaming. If Rondo's on the floor, that's what he does. Rondo couldn't hit his ass with both hands let alone a shot longer than ten feet, why would Kobe play up on him as if he was Ray Allen?

Kobe roaming is not the defensive issue, Odom's lack of ability/strength to contain big bodies like Big Baby's is. For whatever reason, he's not using his length (Khlomar's advantage in that match-up), instead he's bodying up Big Baby (BB's advantage) and mis-calculating BB's quickness (which is a draw for the two). Of BB's shots and fouls drawn, I feel like 70% came against an Odom defense. Not coincidently, Powe dominated Odom in 2008 for his big bench performance.

Call me crazy, but I'd consider putting Ron-Ron on BB and Odom on anyone else if the mismatch happened again.

@ Mintz. What if Paul Pierce's punch knocked hit Joey Crawford or a Salvatore? That might be an ejection since those guys don't like being shown up. Would there had been a more bone-headed celebration?

Blogger Drake said...
Alternative title to the Nate Robinson and Big Baby picture (not that the Mad Max 3 reference wasn't awesome)? How about "Nate Robinson re-enacts his 'jumping a buck-naked Malik Rose in the shower over a $2 bet' incident with Big Baby"?

http://deadspin.com/143599/nate-robinson-naked-shower-jumper

Anonymous Tree said...
@Bateman's Legal Counsel - to further clarify, Big Baby is actually growing out, not up.

Anonymous Bryan said...
So wait were you saying the techs were dumb for the refs to call or for wallace and nate to pick up? A little confused because they definitely seemed deserved to me.

Blogger Adam said...
Bryan: By my totally subjective standards, Nate's was deserved because he was taunting and getting in Odom's face (er...stomach) but Sheed's wasn't really deserved and was probably more on reputation than anything.

I think when it comes to players showing frustration or whatnot without actually talking back to the refs or mouthing off in general, just let them blow off steam and get back to the game.

Anonymous ChrisLTD said...
Adam,
Sheed's tantrum was pretty damn animated not to mention completely uncalled for since he definitely committed a foul.

I'm just thankful that the refs didn't ruin last night's game like they did in the other three. Sure, the crappy offense made it nearly unbearable to watch, but you can't blame the refs for the Celtics missing open shots or the Lakers best impression of Cavaliers style ball.

Blogger Cortez said...
"Odom, athletically is closer to LeBron James than anyone else in the league right now"

What the hell?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Odom isn't even a top level athlete period. Nevermind being close to Lebron James.

Odom is impressive (so to speak), at 6'10", because of his basketball skill set. That's it.

Lebron James is a athletic freak of nature.

The reason Odom isn't blowing by his defender is because...

...he's not fast enough and doesn't explode of the ground hard enough.

If Big Baby even dreamed of attempting to guard Durant 1-on-1 on the wing, Durant would burn 17 pounds of lard off of his ass with the speed in which he would leave him off the dribble.

"If Odom ever goes off, the Lakers run away with it."

That's likely true.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
The Lakers' main probelm is they are too easily baited into playing away from their strengths. Before you simply credit the Celtic defense for causing that, keep in mind that the defensively-challenged Suns were able to do it too. Hopefully this loss will re-focus the team so they simply play smarter on Sunday.

Did anybody "simply" credit the Celtics' defense? Beyond that, isn't baiting a team away from their strengths part of any good defensive game plan?

I'm surprised there was no mention of the bad blocking call with a minute and a half to play in the fourth on Kobe. Pierce charged him and they called it wrong, putting the Lake-show down eight instead of four if Kobe had hit both freebies. Four points with a minute plus to go is very doable, whereas down eight is soul crushing.

Well, first, there were bad calls both ways (such as the 'Sheed chair pull on Gasol mentioned in this thread), but it was pretty equal both ways. Second, Kobe wouldn't have gotten free throws had it been called a charge because foul shots aren't awared on offensive fouls, so it was only a two-point swing.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Sheed's tantrum was pretty damn animated not to mention completely uncalled for since he definitely committed a foul.

No, it wasn't. 'Sheed hit nothing but hand and ball, and as we have already discussed at length, in the NBA, hand is part of the ball. It was a good defensive play, but the refs bailed Kobe out.

Blogger Adam said...
ChrisLTD:
Point taken about how animated he was (and the foul was as clear as day), but I still think a lot of the call was based on his deserved reputation.

I guess my real point was that a lot of those "animated" reactions to foul calls from any player really don't need to become technicals unless they just don't stop or if they've been repeatedly doing it all game. Not all players can just shake their heads and internalize it and emotion shouldn't necessarily have to be suppressed if it's not celebratory.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
I'm still wishing it could have been the Suns bench vs the Celtics bench.

*still bitter*
*watches some soccer*

Anonymous Anonymous said...
the foul on sheed was a fair call. i'm not saying it would *always* be called a foul...but he gets the arm before he gets the hand or ball. watch the replay. the person that bailed out kobe was sheed himself by trying to go for the ball instead of going up straight. don't let sheed's overreaction fool you.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
the foul on sheed was a fair call. i'm not saying it would *always* be called a foul...but he gets the arm before he gets the hand or ball. watch the replay. the person that bailed out kobe was sheed himself by trying to go for the ball instead of going up straight. don't let sheed's overreaction fool you.

Would you like to post some video of the play in question?

Anonymous Grok said...
@Sorbo:. Don't know if you noticed, but this isn't 2008, and KG and Pierce look a lot older. There's a reason why Big Baby looks like a stud (he's younger) compared to those two, who look like they're playing games like old guys at the Y.

I've noticed. I've also noticed that Kobe doesn't like to drive to the bucket as much as he used to. Kobe is the same age as Pierce, and he came into the league two years earlier. Kobe is old.

But beyond that... the starters are all exhausted. I've long railed against the playoff schedule as too long. I think it ought to be a 3 game series for the first two rounds, then a 5 game conference playoff and then a 7 game finals. Minimum of 11 games (all sweeps) and a max of 19 games (all full...) total. The C's have already played 21 games and LA has played 20.

Meaning both teams have already played over 100 games in the season. Frankly, I think that's insane. I'm tired just thinking about it...

And some Lakers (especially Lamar) have a bad habit of shutting down their aggressiveness when they're not getting calls.

I think that, since basketball is a team sport, shutting down happens mostly when the best individual player on the team disses his teammates by trying to hero the win all by his onesies...

The Celtics are the better team because they are an actual team. They are the better team because nobody shuts down. If one player has a bad night, they don't have a pity party, but the others rally around him. That's how they were able to come back from Cleveland beating them with a 29 point ugly stick.

Anonymous DKH said...
I felt the Nate Robinson tech was deserved. No reason for him to be taunting Odom after the foul call.

The tech on Rasheed was borderline. Of his five fouls, three of them were pretty ridiculous. The foul call that led to 'Sheed's tech was one of those. On the other hand, he kept trying to show up the refs after every incorrect foul they called on him, and I think it got old.

All that said, this was the first Finals game that I found somewhat exciting as a non-fan of either team, and the first one that I didn't feel the refs took over, even if they couldn't go a full quarter without making an obviously terrible call.

Blogger stephanie g said...
Not much to say, except I was following a game thread last night and saw this after Pau sold a call:

"I hope Gasol flops out of his hotel bed tonight and dies."

Anonymous Karc said...
Hat-tip to...Kyrpto-Nate?

http://twitter.com/account/profile_image/nate_robinson?hreflang=en

Anonymous Sorbo said...
@Grok
Don't give me this "actual team won" bullshit. The Celtics offense and defense is structured to get everyone involved, and for everyone to do equal work. It's like a Chinese factory, no man is better than the next, all are replaceable.

The Lakers are not built like that. They're a role-player team. Kobe scores, Gasol plays an all-around game, Bynum covers the paint, Ron-ron defends the best perimeter player, Odom does a jack-of-all trades on offense, and Fisher shoots threes and flops. Much like an American corporatoin, each man has a role to fill, and some harbor more responsiblity (Kobe) and blame then the others.

One is not better than the other, per se. It's simply two different types of teams: The Communist model (Celtics) and the American model (Lakers). Looks like you've choosen your side, Comrade.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
"I hope Gasol flops out of his hotel bed tonight and dies."

I don't want to say lol, but lol.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Hat-tip to...Kyrpto-Nate?

Damn...that image isn't loading for me...no Twitter account...

Anonymous laddder said...
Big Baby's primal rage move reminds me of a Walrus and a hippo. Just funny to watch!

Solieyu said...

"Just to make this tl;dr: Odom, athletically is closer to LeBron James than anyone else in the league right now with the possible exception of Kevin Durant."

I would say Melo is athletically closer to lebrick more than anyone else.

But I do agree that if Odom went off, there goes Celtics bench advantage. Which was the difference last night.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful - Sorry, that wasn't directed at you, I was just making a general statement. I think LA's biggest problem is they lose focus and are prone to not playing as disciplined as they should play. A big part of that is Kobe going off script, but guys like Odom who may or may not show up to play at all factor in as well.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Which group do you figure should be most embarrassed by the Boston bench's performance? Boston's starters? Lakers starters? Or the Lakers bench?

LA's bench better hope Bynum is OK because if they thought their bench was thin before

Blogger Basketbawful said...
But I do agree that if Odom went off, there goes Celtics bench advantage. Which was the difference last night.

Just a general comment, not necessarily aimed at laddder or anyone else in particular. But I think we all make the same mistake when we say, "If Odom goes off..." or "If Paul Pierce goes off..." or "If the bench does this or that..."

Not everybody on every team is going to go of every night. After a game is over, it's easy to say, "Well, if KG had scored 20, the game would have been different." But in reality, you don't usually see a team's top two or three guys have fantastic games together.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
you can look up the video yourself....
i mean, if you want to say it's not a definite sure call foul I'll agree with you. but to act like there's no grounds for calling the foul...do you not see him hit the arm? maybe my eyes are just really bad. not eating enough carrots these days.

Blogger michal0501 said...
Basketbawful: "Anyway, it appears Kobe was thinking the same thing because he basically abandoned the Triangle. He's playing Hero Ball right now, and it's disrupting the flow of L.A.'s offense."

While I agree that there were stretches in last 2 games when Kobe was too iso-happy, to blame Lakers‘ offensive problems solely on him being an asshole and trying to win it himself is a bit unfair.

It’s not like his shotjackery is ruining what would otherwise be a perfect triangle offense by the rest of the team. Artest has been a total disaster on the offensive end, he can’t drive, he can’t shoot, he can’t pass and every decision takes him half an hour. A glacier moves faster than Lamar Odom when he brings the ball up, so the Lakers start their offensive sets with 16 seconds left on the clock. Then he just stands there on the perimeter and doesn’t do shit. Farmar and Brown wouldn’t be able to throw a good entry pass into the post if their lives depended on it.

Kobe is not 25 y. o. anymore and after 14 years in the league his first step and explosiveness are not nearly what they used to be. So I wouldn’t expect him to start beating a great one on one defender like Tony Allen off the dribble and dunking on KG’s ass nuts on Dwight Howard‘s neck style (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvDtBZI0sNs) any time soon.

Pau Gasol shooting more is a matter of Pau wanting to shoot more as much as anything else. He just has to be more selfish, stop passing the ball to Artest on the perimeter and shoot it.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
"Just to make this tl;dr: Odom, athletically is closer to LeBron James than anyone else in the league right now with the possible exception of Kevin Durant."

I think in terms of raw athleticism, strength, and jumping, Tyrus Thomas has similar ability to LBJ.

TT, however, has no handle, a shitty jumper, poor passing skill, poor leadership aptitude, nothing resembling 3-pt range, on and on.

But I bet they would have similar numbers in a combine! (/thumbs-up!!)


"I would say Melo is athletically closer to lebrick more than anyone else. "

I would go further and say that Melo is athletically superior to LeBron insofar as he is stronger, bigger, equally as quick, equally as explosive hops, better shooting stroke, and better touch around the basket.

Let the flames fly.

I'm not saying Carmelo is a better player, but I am saying he is a better SCORER. LeBron is vastly superior in terms of passing, and has a better handle than Carmelo, and I think there is an argument that he is a more versatile defender as well.

Fucking hell. Why the hell are we talking about LeBron???

AAAGH!! (/tromps off to join AnacondaHL watching soccer...)

Anonymous Karc said...
Here's a better link.

http://nbaoffseason.com/post/687714502/were-like-shrek-and-donkey-nate-robinson

Blogger Rich Muhlach said...
Big Baby and Krypto-Nate remind me of Anthony Anderson and DL Hughley in Scary Movie 5... especially that Brokeback Mountain spoof hahaha

Blogger Dooj said...
@anonymous

trolls will be trolls.

Anonymous Karc said...
"Which group do you figure should be most embarrassed by the Boston bench's performance? Boston's starters? Lakers starters? Or the Lakers bench?"

Lakers bench by far. Cannot expect the big three and Rondo to play 48 in the middle of a series (Rondo was gassed after games 2 and 3). Conversely, Kobe and Pau had to play the entire second half because of Bynum's injury and the suckitude of the bench. Kobe and Pau getting all of those turnovers late was not a shock, they were not as sharp because they had no rest. But Odom nearly played 40 minutes. Bynum was far more productive with less time, and Odom was schooled by Davis. The Celtics starters now know they have support (9 deep), the Lakers can only go 6 deep (Farmer and Brown can't cut it this late). If the Lakers had won Game 2, that's another matter, Bynum could have skipped this game altogether and get nearly a week of rest.

Bottom line, series may be even, and Lakers may have home court, they may have the best two players, and they may have the records forecasting a win, but they are the team in trouble. Not because they lost, but because they are in a position now where Kobe and Pau can play lights out, and the Celtics can still beat them, consistently.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
I'm not saying Carmelo is a better player, but I am saying he is a better SCORER

If Lebron is this generation's MJ, then Carmelo is it's Dominique (without the hops).

Blogger Cortez said...
"in the NBA, hand is part of the ball."

At the risk of starting another fire storm...

It's not just the NBA. It's high school and college also.

When you've spent as much time on the bench as I have, you have plenty of time to study rulebooks for hours on end trying to gain an edge!

Specifically, the NCAA has explicitly addressed this issue during recent seasons. Refs are instructed not to call fouls no matter how hard the hand is hit. Doesn't matter about the noise level or the pained look on the player's face.

I was going to copy a link to this but for some people it wouldn't matter anyway.

Clearly worded sentences and ideas don't mean much in some circles!

Blogger Tristan said...
Cortez:
"Lamar Odom was the human equivalent to one of those turnstiles."

True.

"Odom is impressive (so to speak), at 6'10", because of his basketball skill set. That's it."

He was touted as the next Magic, if I recall correctly, even while he was playing for the LA junior varsity squad (Clips). His hoops IQ and drive, sadly, are both inversely proportional to his skill set.

Karc:
"The Lakers need a third option...It should be Odom, and that should panic Laker fans."

Double true. We Laker fans have been waiting for this idiot to be the second star, the Worthy to Kobe's Magic, Pippen to Mamba's MJ (not wanting to open can of worms or whup-ass here), for seven years running. Realize his potential (10 or 11 yrs after entering the league). Looking back, the Shaq trade that netted O-dumb back in '04 was a toss-up; Kobe--as the Man--finally got his top dog/tag partner in Gasol, after that Hans Gruber-style hijacking/heist from the Grizz.

Trade Lamar Odom. Win or lose this year (the latter being ominously likely, unless LA starts caring again and turns things around), cut this mutha loose (take Shannon Brown too). Sick of watching his apathetic and stupid BS on the court, especially given the stakes.

Blogger Cortez said...
"the foul on sheed was a fair call. i'm not saying it would *always* be called a foul...but he gets the arm before he gets the hand or ball."

I thought he hit his arm a bit too.

...not enough to call a foul though! the ball was still below his waist. Didn't look to me as if he disrupted his shot!

When Wallace pulled the chair on Gasol, he swipes down with his arm making it 'look' like a foul. I'm not surprised the refs called that. What I don't understand is, why can't he walk over to the ref and say "Don't let his flopping antics fool you, I didn't touch him. Look out for his nonsense."? That will get a better result than his bitchy histrionics.

Are these guys men? They seem like emotional wrecks.

Anonymous Grok said...
@Sorbo:One is not better than the other, per se. It's simply two different types of teams: The Communist model (Celtics) and the American model (Lakers). Looks like you've choosen your side, Comrade.

The difference, it has been said, between Communism and Democracy is that in Democracy everybody starts off equal and that in Communism everybody is kept equal.

Basketball is a team sport. Michael Jordan made multiple early playoff exits before Scottie Pippen showed up... Just like Lebron will do until he gets a team. Bird couldn't have won with Maxwell, Johnson, McHale and Parish. Magic had Kareem and Scott and Worthy. Kobe has an excellent team, which he occasionally refuses to be part off...

On a pure individual talent level the Lakers and the Celtics are fairly evenly matched. But the Celtics play as a team. They play basketball together. The Lakers occasionally cohere... but they mostly just play on the same court at the same time as Kobe.

Blogger Chris said...
Tyreke Evans reminds of LeBron lite at times as well, especially when he puts his head down and goes to the basket.

Also, love the Hook reference there (re: unfathomable).

Anonymous kazam92 said...
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f266/kazam92/10_davis_nate.jpg

A very hastily made microspft paint job. I thought it was funny. Anyone with photoshop wanna outdo me?


and I hate to say it, but really these games all kinda suck. I mean its just not well played basketball.

Blogger Wormboy said...
"Anyway, I have a close friend who attended U Dub and always texts me when little Nate does something good. It's basically my private little callout to my friend."

I went to UW for my PhD. The one college basketball highlight was seeing a game with Jason Kidd. Very impressive, too. A couple of hundred percent more intense than any other player in the gym.

Oh, and I saw Tyler Hansbrough shopping in trader Joes last year with his totally smokin hot girlfriend. But that's UNC, not UW. :)

"A tend to agree...or, if not a blowout, then at least a Lakers win. That's what's deceiving about big men. A 30-point game for a dominant inside scorer is worth a 40+ game for a perimeter player because it opens up so much action for the inside player's teammates. A guy going bananas inside will inevitably cause the defense to collapse, which creates more open shots than Kobe's gunning."

Not to mention the shooting will always be a much higher percentage. Can't beat the dunk or layup for percentage. Every bad shot Kobe takes is basically a turnover. As are a fair number of attempted steals that leave a guy open (and yes, I have you in mind, too, Allen Iverson!)

"And, really, shouldn't Kobe know that by now? We'll never know for sure, and hell, Kobe might not even know it himself, but that inner Mamba seemed to hear the whispers after Games 1 and 2 that Pau was playing better, was the more important player, and now Kobe seems bent on proving otherwise."

Damned straight! I'm so pleased that Kobe is such a self-absorbed pecker!

"He was touted as the next Magic, if I recall correctly, even while he was playing for the LA junior varsity squad (Clips). His hoops IQ and drive, sadly, are both inversely proportional to his skill set."

Most of all I question his taste in women. :)

Hans Gruber has made an appearance. My work here is done.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
While I agree that there were stretches in last 2 games when Kobe was too iso-happy, to blame Lakers‘ offensive problems solely on him being an asshole and trying to win it himself is a bit unfair.

That's true...but shit flows downhill, as they say. As Kobe goes, so goes the rest of the team. When he keeps his shit together, they seem to as well.

Also, love the Hook reference there (re: unfathomable).

Dear lord, can it be? Someone else knows that movie? Good catch.

and I hate to say it, but really these games all kinda suck. I mean its just not well played basketball.

I don't totally agree. We have two of the best defensive teams, two of the most determined teams. Each game, there's some adjustment. Allen goes off one game, KG gets aggresive the next, PP starts making good decisions, etc. Each game, there's a new wrinkle.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Mr. Bawful - You're definitely too old to be a fan of Hook. I know cause we're the same age, meaning you weren't a young child when it came out so you shouldn't have the nostalgia-goggles clouding your view of how poor that movie was. I mean come on, Rufio? Bad form.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
I saw "Hook" in the theater, but even as a child I thought it sucked wang. That wasn't a fahg/ghey joke.

Speaking of "the ball is part of the hand" and all obvious dick-jokes aside, WTF are kids DOING these days?? Have you people SEEN this??

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/sack-tapping-boys-punch-testicles-game/story?id=10762563

(too lazy to hyperlink today)

Blogger senormedia said...
>>"in the NBA, hand is part of the ball."

>It's not just the NBA. It's high school and college also.

HS must vary by state, as I have sat in refs conferences in two states where hitting the shooters hand is a foul.

senormedia - No, no, just walk away!

Each game, there's a new wrinkle.

So even you think the C's are just creaky old farts.

I have to agree that the games are quite tedious, with little to recommend them as spectacles, like any game involving Uruguay.

Blogger Miles said...
For the most part unrelated, but amusing nonetheless -- namely because as far as I'm concerned the worthwhile NBA season is over and I'm biding my time waiting for something worth caring about to happen.

Oh what's that? American Eagle is playing Hollister? Let me put my cap on sideways and grab a case of Bud. Or is it Miller that's cool these days? SHIT I CAN'T REMEMBER! WHAT DO I BUY? Golly, I'm sure these finals are fun for two metropolitan areas with some damn generic tastes in NBA teams, but castrate me sideways. The only thing that keeps me going is the look on Garnett's face when he loses, and the hope that a journalist will have the balls to ask Pierce "So about that never going back to LA comment..."

Sorry. My bitterness has lead me to sidetracking. Check this link out, pretty interesting. I particularly like the Italy comparison. The Ginboli expression is priceless.

http://theunlikelyfan.blogspot.com/2010/05/disclaimer-im-new-to-this-site-and-im.html

Anonymous Mladen said...
Fran Blinebury looks like a 40-something lesbian, and is an absolute idiot:

http://www.nba.com/2010/news/features/fran_blinebury/06/06/top.free.agents/index.html?ls=iref:nbahpt1

Check out his cover on the NBA's 5th most sought-after free agent, Joe Johnson (!?):

"After he turned down an offer for a reported four years and $60 million from Atlanta last season, the Hawks have ramped up their efforts to keep their star shooter. If Johnson gets away, the Hawks' climb up the ladder of Eastern Conference contenders is halted. The question is whether the big-time offensive gun thinks he can be patient and wait it out in Atlanta or if he should jump into the express lane and join LeBron or Wade as their wingman. He'll get plenty of attention from Chicago, New York and New Jersey, all of whom have plenty of money to burn."

I would only agree with the "money to burn" part...

Blogger Basketbawful said...
A very hastily made microspft paint job. I thought it was funny. Anyone with photoshop wanna outdo me?

Why is the Incredible Hulk trying to ram his man region into Baby's mouth?

Blogger Will said...
On the topic of disturbing cultural trends, check this out.
http://deadspin.com/5557348/the-awful-epitome-of-brahsomeness-bros-icing-bros?skyline=true&s=i

Anonymous Anonymous said...
@dooj
it ain't trolling. i'm just not agreeing with bawful. and if he's going to mockingly respond to my comment then i have every right to do the same, no?
but back to the point: does kobe get hit on the arm or not?
as i said, sheed should have went straight up; the space an arms-length away is not his space.

Blogger senormedia said...
Bodenlosen Schweinrei said... senormedia - No, no, just walk away!

If we could just teach that to Sheed and Perkins.

Word Verification: orsitt

Perkins, keep your mouth shut orsitt out a game.

Anonymous ChrisLTD said...
Here's a video of Sheed's foul and technical.

Sheed brought his arm down and hit one – if not both – of Kobe's arms.

Blogger Fishy said...
Every time I've seen Hook, I've really wanted to like it... to no avail. Although I do love Dustin Hoffman

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I'm sure many here think it's fitting that Captain Hook is frequently seen at Laker games, no doubt wanting to have Rondo placed in the "boo box".

Anonymous DKH said...
I could maybe concede that they are calling Rasheed Wallace for the contact in the air, which I still don't think is a good call (at least, Bryant established earlier in the series that as long as you go straight up, it's not a foul). On the swipe, I'm still not seeing any contact with Bryant's arm that warrants a foul (there is contact after Wallace blocks the ball). Also much cleaner than many of the blocks Gasol has had this series.

If you're seeing something I'm not, please point me to a time in the video at which I can see it.

Blogger Vasco said...
Please clear this up for me as am I confused.

The hand is part of the ball. So when I'm defending I'm allowed to hit the hands of the player with the ball as hard as I can when he is dribbling and shooting?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
the main replay....he gets some of the ball and the hand perhaps but at the very least gets bryants left arm on the follow through while kobe still has control of the ball.
listen, again, i'm not saying it's the biggest foul ever and i'm not saying it couldn't have gone either way. but to say there is no grounds for a foul call is pure bias.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
God why are you all being so stupid about this.

When the hand is on the ball it is part of the ball. What the fuck is so hard about this.

Anonymous Sorbo said...
The only exception to the "hand is part of the ball" rule might be if you strike a guy's hand and throw off the follow-through of his shot. Even then it has to be very blatant. This argument wouldn't happen if we all played soccer.

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