First off, that was a great game. I really envy basketball fans who are more or less neutral towards the Lakers and Jazz because they can really absorb what is easily the most exciting series of the post season so far.
Throughout the game, the commentators were continually mentioning how the winning team in all of the five games thus far has not given up the lead in the last 35 minutes of each game. Add that to the fact that all five games went down to the wire really goes to show you how much both The Jazz and The Lakers want this.
It’s a shame all this exciting postseason action will more than likely end in the Finals. I mean have you seen any of the Cavaliers‘, Celtics‘, or Pistons’ games? I’m not saying they’re bad teams, but dear Lord do they play some ugly, unwatchable basketball. I bet David Stern is really kicking himself for booting the New Orleans Hornets to the Western Conference.
Anyway, this is a post game report so I should probably start talking about the actually game at some point right? Right.
This game was in many ways a very typical Lakers game, and by that I mean it was a tale of two halves. In the first half The Lakers played really “loosey goosey”, playing the passing lanes, fast breaking and turning the ball over every which way. Even though playing this fast had it’s drawbacks, it was a really smart move on Phil’s part because the Jazz really can’t touch us when we run.
However, the Jazz are too good of a team to be goaded like that for an entire game and in the final two quarters they slowed the tempo down and forced the game into more their speed. Luckily, all their big pushes came up short as they failed to take the lead the entire game. It was mystifying really, because on every run they would be making in everything and then miss everything when the time came to capitalize. Maybe it’s nerves. If it is, that really bodes well for us.
I said before the game, that the Lakers would come out playing really good team ball and in the end that is what they did to win the game. Kobe’s back is obviously limiting on what he can do, so they will need to keep this up if they want to win this series because even though we’re up 3-2… it’s definitely not over yet.
The Michael Jordan Award for MVP of the Game: Lamar Odom. This could have been given to Pau, but I decided to give this to Odom because while Pau hit a lot of important shots and got a lot of important offensive boards, Odom really played excellent on both ends of the floor all game long. I think he finally realized that he is impossible to stop if he dives and slashes and that constant pressure is what made all the difference in the game.
The Dominique Wilkins Award For Highlight of the Game: Pau Gasol’s rebound and dunk off of Sasha’s missed 3-Pointer. Now that Pau is playing for the world class Lakers, he really needs to maybe consider getting some dunking lessons from Kobe. As important a dunk as that was, it had to be the stretchiest of all stretch dunks. It was probably the stretchiest stretch dunk since… the last Pau Gasol dunk. Learn a windmill or something, man! Nah, I’m just playing. I love you Pau. Keep doing yo’ thang.
The Kobe Bryant Award for the Bricking the Most Late Game Shots in a Playoff Game Against the Jazz: Go Sasha! Is it mind numbingly painful to see a guy brick 10 (!) shots? Yeah, but you got to love his chutzpah. Of course had we lost, I’d be singing a different tune, but we didn’t so there you go. Winning truly does cure all ills.
The Lamar Odom Award for Getting the Same Amount of Points as Rebounds: Mehmet Okur. 13 points and 13 rebounds. That’s the problem when you’re too smooth like Lamar. You get all the haters biting your style.