I have this theory that in order to be a Championship contending team you have to have a set style and be able to really enforce it on other teams. For example, the Spurs play a slowed down defensive half-court style and no matter who they play, they are going to play that style.

The pre-Shaq Suns were the same way. The advantages to this are pretty obvious: If the Spurs are playing a team and they are both playing Spurs style basketball then the obvious advantage will be with the Spurs. That was one of the big reasons why I felt the Lakers weren’t at that elite level more than anything else because they really don’t have a set style that they enforce on their opponents. If their opponent are bad, they tend to play bad. If they play fast, they play fast. If they play slow, etc. etc. This pretty much carried over into the playoffs.

I think the most amazing thing about this victory was not that we blew them out, but that we blew them out at their own game. We didn’t beat them by thirty points by speeding up the tempo and outgunning them or anything like that. We beat them by thirty by holding them to 71 points. If anything else we slowed the game down (at least defensively.)

Another important thing I noticed about this game, was how they increased the lead in the fourth quarter. In Games 1, 2 and 6 of the Jazz series, the Lakers came into the fourth quarter or the half with big leads and every time the Jazz fought back and came close to stealing each game. That was a big concern I had when the fourth quarter started, but Pop decided to clear his bench.

Giving up in a playoff game? The Spurs?

I don’t think they have the firepower to come back against the Lakers if they take a big lead and I think they know it. Unfortunately for them, I think the Lakers know it now too. Even more unfortunately for them, the Lakers are the best team in the post-season at coming out the gate with a big lead.

The Michael Jordan Award for MVP of the Game: While this could very easily go to Kobe for doing his typical Kobe thing, I really have to give it to Lamar. His help defense on Duncan and Parker and whoever else dared entered his one man zone of terror was the big key to our victory. He realized Ben Gay Bob was a ghost of himself and punished the Spurs for believing in him. How low the mighty have fallen…

The Dominique Wilkins Award For Highlight of the Game: Jordy’s block on Udoka. The NBA: Where Redeeming Yourself After Being Brutalized by Deron Williams for 6 Games Happens.

The Vince Carter Award for the Half Man/Half Hearted Performance of the Game: Greg Popovich. I like him a lot as a coach, but pulling his starters when there’s still a full quarter left is just not a sane move. In fact, it looked like a pretty VINsane move.

The Lamar Odom Award for Getting the Same Amount of Points as Rebounds: After recording his second true Lamar of the post-season last game with 8 points and 8 rebounds (he did have a about 4 near Lamars) Lamar Odom follows it up with a very un-Lamar-like +8 points to rebound differential. The Big Fundamental on the other hand must have been paying extra close attention to Lamar Odom the last game, because with 12 points and 16 rebounds it looks like he picked up the fundamentals of the Lamar Odom stat line pretty well.

Final Thought: When the Pau Gasol trade went down nobody on the Lakers expressed any real joy but instead expressed sorrow that Kwame Brown would be leaving their family. Even Phil Jackson who is probably third behind Michael Jordan and Gilbert Arenas on the all-time list of most shots taken at Kwame, only had kind words to say about him. By all accounts, he believed very much that he could still turn it around.

So what does this have to do with today’s game?

During the TNT post-game show, Charles and Kenny were throwing a lot of jokes around about how the Gasol trade was a swindle and how they got Gasol for nothing. Kobe was also sitting there with them, and after deciding he’s had enough, he butts in and says Kwame’s still his man and basically to lay-off him.

Now think about that for a minutes. This is Kobe. During his career in the NBA, he has at various times thrown Phil Jackson, Shaqille O’Neal, Tex Winter (I think), Del Harris (probably), and most recently the entire Buss family (except for maybe Jeanie), Andrew Bynum and Mitch Kupchak under the bus.

And yet he has never said anything even remotely unkind about Kwame Brown.

You know what that means don’t you?

Kwame Brown must have been one hell of a guy to party with!

  • kblakeshow2k

    gotta love the lake show when they are clicking and having fun. I like how they kept a level head and know that game 3 is gonna be a war and that they want it, bad. Kobe’s a killer and now so are his teamates. 10 down, 6 to go. go lakers!

  • aymanlovelakers

    arent u forgetting arizas comeback today. hes been gone 4 3.5 months ad u dont even mention him. i think de deserves at least a mention;.

  • Lakers 24 7

    Kwame may not be able to score but he could have been a defensive monster, like a Ben Wallace type player in his prime, he had potential but didnt pursue anything, and we had to trade him

    Awesome game by the Lake Show, gave the Spurs their worst loss of the 2008 playoffs..I now believe we can take this in about 5 games.

  • Sopi

    where is my broom???

  • ab4sure

    Actually Popovich was smart in pulling his guys out. He knows this is a war and that this is just one battle. He has a vet team that has been playing alot games and minutes and alot of travel time with an over nighter on a plane. Not too mention that Ginobli has an injured ankle and shouldn’t have even played. The lakers have finished their series earlier and have had more home games since they had the 1 seed. The lakers are much more rested and it showed.

    As far as Kobe defending Kwame it is not because he was a party guy but that he thought they were taking cheap shots at him. Also, Kobe knows Kwame is a very sensitive guy and their is no doubt kwame was probably even watching. Got to give Kobe credit for doing it.

  • http://mrsfox411@aol.com FOXXY

    LAKERS ARE REALLY LOOKING LIKE CHAMPIONS!!!!!

  • http://mrsfox411@aol.com FOXXY

    OH ,AND WELCOME BACK TREVOR…WE’VE MISSED YOU ON THE COURT!!!!
    I KNOW YOU GUYS WILL DO WELL IN SAN ANTONIO!!!! GO LAKERS!!!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/androsaysitsok androsays

    stupid brent barry for messing up what was gonna be a sick toss up to ariza

  • http://thelakersnation.com lakerslover

    ei guys 2 wins more to go we will get the champion.. pls guys focus ur game game 3 is very important right now i know you can do it guys… PURPLE AND GOLD rules…

  • Nikko

    well that’s brent barry’s job lol

  • Young

    pop was smart for pulling the starters. there was no way he was coming back with that hobbled team. and given that if he tried, he be in bad shape for game three having run manu ragged. it seems pretty clear that manu has nothing left. im not fond of him by any measure, but i do have to give it to them for laying it all out there. but he needs the rest.

    pop is probably kicking himself for not having rested manu the entire game.

  • PeanutButterSpread

    no, the reason why Kobe didn’t say harsh things about Kwame was because during this year’s summer camp, the entire team was trying to elevate Kwame’s self-esteem. They were trying to make him believe he was a good player with his build, etc etc. Kobe has repeatedly expressed disappointment with the Lakers fan crowd at home when they booed Kwame because he said that Kwame was trying hard and fans booing was not helping with his confidence or development as a player. I think for a player, Kobe understands what it’s like to be ridiculed – I don’t think it has anything to do with Kwame being a fun guy to party with, although Kwame is pretty humorous with his self-depreciating humor – but still, Kobe probably knows better than anyone what it’s like to struggle.

  • berks24

    pop was scared since d gasol trade and hestill carry those thing…gasol is the ghost…..and the pop believe in ghost …..how scary!!!ahooooooohhhh!!!

  • http://thelakersation.com/blog PauKobeBynumDynasty

    If anyone predicted this margin of victory…you’re even better at predicting games than Kobe!

  • http://lakers.topbuzz.com Mamba2410

    [Comment ID #36856 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I believe it too, but I still doubt that Gregg Pop will let this thing end early, he’ll make some adjustments for Game 3, but I think Game 4 is all ours!

  • http://swishtheball.net kobe-drew-pau-l.o.-fish

    hey we got dacos, ariza looked like he was in game shape

    remember kobe also wasn’t ean to smush parker

  • DCLAKER

    I watched a GOOD TEAM become GREAT yesterday,UNBELIEVABLE……a 30pts.butt kickin’,GREATNESS IS UPON US!

    WEWONBY30.com,I’ll make a prediction,this team in 3 yrs. will be ONE OF THE GREATEST TEAMS OF ALL TIME!

  • kPoAbUe

    got 3 things to say

    WELCOME BACK ARIZA!!!!!!!!

  • http://swishtheball.net Farar-Shash-ariza-ronny-the laker bench

    [Comment ID #36876 Will Be Quoted Here]

    alright free dacos
    dacos dacos dacos

  • http://myspace.com/sonicussj Whatsa

    [Comment ID #36856 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I concur.

    So yeah I like how Kobe is still defending his ex-teammate and probably the worst NBA player of the year.

    I’d like to give props to Kwame Brown for.. being traded for Caron Butler so we can .. a couple of years later.. trade for Pau Gasol which would probably lead to an epic dynasty.

  • http://swishtheball.net sasha>stojakavic

    http://www.nba.com/games/20051220/DALLAL/boxscore.html

    look at the mavericks roster on this page

  • kobedasnowman

    We don’t even have the full team yet with Bynum out and it scary how good we’re going to be next year as well.

  • True Lakers Fan

    great news welcome back ariza lets take game 3 PUMP UP THE VOLUME CHAMPS 08

  • http://thelakersnation.com kb24 4life

    trevor and dj looked very good out there…

  • gugy

    WOW,

    Lakers are playing like champions!

    Congrats. Let’s steal one in SA and close this at Staples.
    Lakers in 5.

    Bring Detroit and let’s avenge 2004!

  • Laaffiliation024

    are you kidding me? why are we even talking about kwame..

  • http://Yahoo Jcritt

    heck yeah, go ariza

  • Sako

    I wonder where all the children who were crying in the series against Utah saying(not naming names):
    “I don’t know what happend to farmar he has just lost all of his confidence and when he is out there it 4 against 5 so in the offseason we need to upgrade that position via trade or free agency…”;

    “jordan farmar huh..no offense no defense no play making ability.simply he does not have it…..d-league player….”;

    “fu-ck farmar he aint a playoff guy………”;

    “Farmar has been such a HUGE dissappointment..

    best case scenario this summer…

    1.) baron davis opts out and only wants to be traded to the lakers
    2.) sign him for a long contract at a cheaper price, by trading farmar, sasha (re-signed, S&T), radmanovic, a future second pick, and chris mihm… “;

    “Farmar is not the guy as I’ve said all along. We need to keep looking for the PG of the future!”;

    “do not resign farmar Ira Dj Cody. Instead sign Baron Davis.”;

    “farmar,sasha, coby karl, v.rad, and mihm… for baron davis and micheal pietrus!!!”;

    “Farmar..Scoreless/Disappointing! I really hate how he missed that fast break layup. Takes me back to the Kwame Brown days of missing easy shots.”;

    “i will tell you something.farmar heis not belong nba you know i know he is d-league player.”;

    “farmar has no chance and will never have a chance on any point guard that is fast or big in this league.”;

    “Farmar is not the pg of the future! career backup like i’ve said all along.”;

    “I knew we traded the wrong gaurd when we let Crittenton go, Farmar is just not the PG of the future for this team as simple as that…”;

    “f uckin farmer pissed me off so bad i felt like breaking my tv, he coulndt make an easy layup or open jumpers. f uck him his not a playoff guy……never had an outstanding game like wish this past laker 7 playoff games……f uck u whiteboy!!!!!!!!”;

    “Start looking for another PG to take over when Dfish retires…cause it ain’t gonna be Farmar.”;

    “Straight up…Farmar sucks and that being said you guys here think he is “our future point guard” what a joke.”.

  • playdefense

    [Comment ID #36883 Will Be Quoted Here]

    amazing how bad the lakers roster was. my goodness

  • John from OC

    Hey guys check Ronnie in the Friday’s wireless clip on NBA.com … he’s the best

  • ab4sure

    Sako,

    Try the direct approach. Name names… much more effective.. lol

  • west213

    doesnt matter if he had a good game this past 2 games, we’ll see his real side on the road “farmar”

  • http://swishtheball.net sasha>stojakavic

    [Comment ID #36906 Will Be Quoted Here]
    notice dj mbenga wa on that mavericks team

  • http://www.superstarbasketball.org Superstar Basketball

    I’m a big Lakers fan but for the Lakers to win Game 3 would be an incredible feat. Rudy T said it best, “Never underestimate the heart of a Champion.”

    Eventually fatigue will catch up, the Spurs are tired and there’s only a 1 day rest in between games for the whole series. Lakers in 6.