The Lakers return to the Staples Center for Game 5. The series is tied at 2 games apiece but that means that the Western Conference Finals is now a three game series. The Lakers need to win two games and they’re in the Finals.

The Lakers had a terrible effort in game 4; the team was out-played, out-scored, out-rebounded, out-hustled, out-fought and got blown out, 48 hours removed from playing very well and taking game 3.

The Lakers need to make the following adjustments tonight: 1) get Pau Gasol more shots 2) Lamar Odom & Derek Fisher need to step their game up 3) It’s time to give Jordan Farmar more minutes as well as insert Josh Powell & DJ Mbenga into the game.

I’m making this statement due to the fact I’m tired of seeing the Lakers settle for jump shots and stop attacking the basket when teams get physical with them. Powell & Mbenga are both physical guys that are on the bench when teammates are being pushed around.

I know that Phil Jackson has his regular rotation that he rarely changes. Although when the team is out rebounded as badly as they were in game 4 some changes have to be made. Granted a lot of that can be eliminated but adhering to the basics such as boxing your man out.

The Lakers will bounce back and win tonight but the game four loss could easily signal another seven game series unless the team wins two games in a row. Kobe Bryant will make amends for his poor outing, he will set the tone and the team will follow his lead but his teammates have to knock down shots.

The Lakers have to control the tempo, the glass, get back in transition, and stop the dribble penetration as well as rotate out to three point shooters. Not accomplishing these tasks has killed the team. The Lakers will need to slow Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups & JR Smith.

The Nuggets bench needs to be slowed down as well but in concert with that statement the Lakers bench needs to show up. Lamar Odom is a ten year NBA veteran but isn’t playing like it. He needs to stop acting as if he is allergic to attacking the rim and get the idea that lay ups will work out of his system.

This is the sure basket time of the year. Chris Andersen is a good off the ball defender for the Nuggets but the Lakers front line needs to remember that he is also three pump fakes away from being in foul trouble. He cannot stop Pau one-on-one and that is the match up that needs to be exploited.

The Lakers are shooting way too many three point shots and need to start their offense from the post. The Lakers need to come out and play this game as if it is an elimination game and they’re on the verge of being ousted from the playoffs. Role players tend to play better at home and the Lakers need a solid contribution from everyone. Most importantly the officiating crew that let game 4 get out of hand won’t be in Los Angeles. The Lakers need to make a huge statement tonight.

Tipoff: 6:00 PM PST

Television

  • Los Angeles: ESPN
  • Denver: ESPN

Radio

  • Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
  • Denver: KCKK AM1510 (Jerry Schemmel)

Injuries

Lakers:

  • None to report.

Nuggets:

  • None to report.
  • MeloMamba

    u queers betta win tonite, i dont need anymore gray hair watchin yall play, Bynum better do something….PLEASE

  • Farmars_inner_Jordan

    Pivotal Game 5 tonite… come out with the win, come out with the series!!! Rebounds will win the game!!

    No more lacadaisical plays please! Take em to the rack and show them who is boss

  • Anthony

    It seems as though an eternity goes by when the Lakers lose a game. Realistically it’s only been 2 days.

    Seriously just win. I’m tired of this team not having motivation or coming out soft or blah blah blah. It’s the NBA bit*hes. Play like men! Play like professionals.

    For the love of God, win.

  • LakerFaninAtl

    I’ve invested to much time for the Lakers not to win.. there is no excuse. We are so much better than we’ve played. I’m riding with them to the end though! Let’s blow these mf’s out tonight!!!! Lake Show time!

  • http://www.myspace.com/on3s3qu3nc3 123kid

    F*CKING embarrass these chicken nuggets out of L.A. im already bored and tired of their hopes and dream speeches on how they are better than us and think they deserve the title. NO WAY GTFO!

  • L.A. All The Way

    “Out-scored”, “out-played”, etc? What about “out-casted” by the officials? Please no more stupid calls or turning the other way when our Lakers get fouled…It’s starting to get stressful watching these games more than enjoyable. I understand stepping up the aggressiveness during the finals and it does make for good games, but BE FAIR! If we lose to the Nuggets (and I mean IF), at least let it be for the right reasons. Lakers – c’mon guys! Enough with the “Jekyll & Hyde” thing. Make sure the right team shows up for the next game. You’re starting to make me think these games are fixed. What makes me angry is that I know Lakers have all the potential in the world but just do not use it sometimes. I would rather we suck and lose cause we suck than to be an awesome team and play stupid. Lakers I’m really praying you all wake up. Kobe has been doing a HELLUVA job saving us and proving he’s the best player in the league…period…but it does no good when his team doesn’t back him up. Look at what’s happening to LeBron.

  • lakerfan

    LETS GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ooop

    lets roast!!! double doubles for all! lets goooooooooo!

  • Eidraq

    i really hope they dont come out thinking that today’s game will be a cakewalk

  • iamthetie

    Keep the Nuggets off the line, play aggressively, and knock down the three when the opportunity comes.

    Let’s go!

  • AL the Laker Fan you should meet.

    I expect the Lakers to be upset after the game in Denver with all these fools showboatin’ in front the bench that should elevate the Lakers play ten fold i expect a huge game out of the entire squad!!! MBENGA NEEDS A FEW MINUTES AND GIVE A FEW HARD FOULS AND BLOCK SOME SHOTS!!!

  • lakers1fan

    All I got to say is this….”What can Lakers fans expect in Game 5?”

  • WifelovesLuke

    “The Lakers have to control the tempo, the glass, get back in transition, and stop the dribble penetration as well as rotate out to three point shooters. Not accomplishing these tasks has killed the team. The Lakers will need to slow Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups & JR Smith.”

    Have you been copying and pasting this paragraph for every pre game report of the playoffs? lol

    The dribble penetration has been a huge problem since Utah. If the Lakers can control it better tonight, bash the boards and feed Pau in the post we’ll be fine.

  • RN

    I hope the Lakers girls will stransform to female lions tonight especially Ms. Odom and Miss Adrew Bynum.

  • jc

    lets hope the refs let them play. but since they wont im assuming at least 30-45 free throws for each team and a 3 hr game. i hate the officiating in the nba. ive never seen so many reversed calls after a game in the freaking post-season. somethings gotta change.

  • kobe8

    Play aggressive basketball.

  • gugy

    I have faith.
    We will win tonight.
    Go Lakers!

  • spongebob

    gasol just can’t guard nene, we need bynum and mbenga to guard nene, j-peezy to guard martin, and gasol and lamar guard chris “the fluke of the 2005 dunk contest” andersen,

  • lakers2000

    Time to play like a pack of hungry wolves. Let’s put these fools away!! Showtime baby!!! Sasha, please clothesline Smith. Do something tonight! Bynum, Please show Nene that he isn’t ish. Go Lakers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • JFK-analysis-at-TLN

    my soccer team MANCHESTER United just got beat by Barcelona in the finals…..
    come on LA it’s our year..it’s kobe’s legacy….we got this….PAU in aggressive mode….can we have Bynum and LO show up tonight..we would appreciate it..

  • kobe8

    ^^well Kobe will be happy tonight coz Barcelona won

  • WifelovesLuke

    You guys do remember that LO is injured, correct? He has a bump on his back the size of an orange. Give him credit for not bitching and moaning and suiting up for physical playoff games. LO is a true professional.

    Yes the paint is a problem for the Lakers but I think most of the damage done against our team throughout the playoffs has come from too much dribble penetration. Wasn’t Brown supposed to help slow Chauncy? And what about letting JR Smith get to the rim? Enough is enough!

  • sketch

    Tell me why Phil and the Lakers got fined for $25K each when the League actually reassessed the Bynum call and corrected the Dirtay Jones no call to a flagrant 1? Doesn’t that mean the refs have been fcukin up? If that were the case, why couldn’t a specific team, coach, or player speak out against it? I think that Stern and Stu Jackson are the new Fidel Castros and Kim Jung Ills and the NBA is actually a communistic dictatorship! Don’t you dare speak out and make us look bad otherwise you’ll locked up and/or be put to rest! RI-FCUKIN-DICULOUS! The NBA’s a FCUKIN JOKE! Organized crime thinks that the NBA’s outta control!

  • Josh in D 310

    The Lakers have 2 play backyard ball style and take it 2 these punks. Just bcuz they have tattoos and act super Ghetto don’t mean sh*t, stop acting scared and smoke these fools already! The Chicken Nuggets are laughing at our faces and taunting with every shot, where is your self respect Lakers?. Man up, this is a mans world.

  • L.A. All The Way

    Yup! When I heard Phil got fined for his comments my jaw nearly dropped to my feet. I listened to the clip and he did not say anything unprofessional in any way. This is absolutely RIDICULOUS. The officials are a joke.

  • http://yahoo.com markco2

    same series like houston.. tied at 2-2.. game5 we won by 40 ryt?.. we got this..

    lets go lakers,, in 7 games though..

  • 808lakers

    cmon lakers take care of business tonight. blow these thuggets out and showboat in there faces, show them what the real lakers look like.

  • Chris Brown

    All I Know Is That We Gotta Kick Ass Today!!!

    Maybe I Should Teach The Team How To Do It

  • Yoni

    I have a feeling lakers will win 103-94

  • sketch

    [Comment ID #73334 Will Be Quoted Here]

    But you only do that women! Well, I guess then Dahntay Jones is in trouble, cause that guy’s a B!TCH!

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