2:34 into this clip, a player finally doesn’t do something that we’ve seen him do all series. We see him not do something that he really has no excuse to do every time he touches the ball.
Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, Farmar did not pick up his dribble at the 3-point line. All series long, he would stop his dribble at the 3-point line and look to pass. This, more than anything else in the series, really pissed me off. This was Derek Fisher’s backup. This was the guy that we needed to be productive so that Fisher didn’t have to play 3 out of every four quarters.
So kudos to Farmar becauses, as Marc Jackson says “you’re better than that.”
Marquee Matchups -
Point Guard – Derek Fisher and Jordan Farmar vs. Deron Williams: So far, Derek Fisher has done his part, but Farmar has been abused by Williams. There’s a good article by Jill Painter in the LA Times about Farmar’s contributions in Game 5. In it, Farmar speaks about his confidence and how Phil wants him to be a spark off the bench. For me, it’s simple. To be a spark off the bench he has to attack, and he can’t attack if he picks up his dribble outside of the 3-point line. If he sparks, we win this match up, it’s really that simple.
Shooting Guard – Kobe Bryant vs. Ronnie Brewer: to paraphrase Charles Barkley, Kobe had a good balance of shooting verses passing and generally took whatever the defense gave him. Barkley also made a good point in mentioning that, even though Kobe only took 10 official shots, he had 17 FTAs, which meant he shot closer to 16, 17 times. There’s an article on Kobe’s game by Johnny Ludden, from which the following except is from.
“He was showing the trust in the guys we developed throughout this year,” Luke Walton said of Bryant. “It paid off huge for us.”
Bryant didn’t always defer. After Jazz point guard Deron Williams tied the score with a three-pointer in the third quarter, Bryant posted him on the other end of the floor. Williams lunged left and Bryant spun right, elevating only for a soft layup. He did launch himself for one dunk attempt in the quarter, drawing a foul.
“I didn’t know if I was actually going to quite get up high enough to do it,” he said. “I kind of felt like Luke Walton.”
Kobe’s roaming defense could prove worrisome if Brewer continues to get easy dunks off back cuts, especially in an arena as raucous as SLC (although I’m watching the Spurs-Hornets games right now and apparently SVG does not believe in crowd noise LOL).
Small Forward – Vladimir Radmanovic vs. Andrei Kirilenko: Okay, go back to that clip I linked for Farmar. Start watching from 0:25. After he makes that second three, tell me Vladdy isn’t doing his best Wolverine impression ever! Good stuff. Unfortunately, Phil took him out soon after that but it was undeniably his best impression of a basketball player this series.
“I’m guessing Phil might put Gasol on Boozer and make him shoot those mid-range jump shots. If he makes them then at least Gasol is avoiding foul trouble, and if he misses then Gasol has inside position on him. Hopefully Lamar can shut down Okur, as he should be fast enough to stick with the drive as well as tall enough to contest his shot.”
That was me, I said that two games ago. Haha!
Center – Paul Gasol vs. Mehmet Okur: As we have all seen, Mehmet Okur was clearly flopping on that final dunk by Gasol. One thing I find about Gasol, is right after he’s done something really manly he has the “I’m the man” walk, but he looks like he’s sad to the point of tears… and this is literally all the time.
People might get on Gasol for not getting 10 rebounds a game this series, but I don’t think we need him to get 10 rebounds for us to win this series, but we do need him to get 5+ assists. So far, so good.
It was so sweet seeing Milsap get into foul trouble, just as it was refreshing to watch Korver contained offensively. Sasha missed a lot of shots in Game 5, but those were a lot of in-and-out shots. Best of all, they were all decent looks, if not great looks, so I’m not to worried about him, he’ll turn it around.
Honourable mention to DJ Mbenga for getting a Super Mario.
I’m still wondering what we’re paying Newble for.
Advantage: Lakers, but only if two reserves step up (Game 5 it was only Farmar).
Statistical Predictions -
Alright, I’m going to keep track of statistical predictions for the post-season!
Here’s how it works, copy and paste the below and enter your picks instead, Closest prediction wins. Posts will only be accepted before the game starts, in this case 7:30PM PST.
20+ Points: Kobe and Gasol, Lamar
10+ Rebounds: Lamar.
2+ Blocks: Gasol and Turiaf.
3+ 3-Pointers: Fisher, Sasha.
Closest To A Triple-Double*: Kobe.
Point Margin: Lakers by 12.
Out On A Limb: both coaches get kicked out of the game for taunting each other.
* a 20/10/6 will be considered closer than a 20/7/7 because player A is only short 4 assists while player B is short 3 rebounds and 3 assists, or 6 stat points in total, as opposed to 4 for plater A.
Game Information -
Radio: KLAC & KWKW
Burning Questions -
Can Farmar release the inner Jordan? (see what I did there haha)
What’s up with the home court advantage?
Lets win this one for Lakers Pride!