Shoq & Awe

Shoq & Awe

Postby Johnnysee on Thu Apr 10, 2003 12:19 am

For whatever it's worth <insert personal insult here> here are the feelings of one Laker fan in regard to the rest of the western conference and how it effects LA. (The eastern conference is, of course, irrelevant). Those suffering with attention deficit disorder should probably stop reading now.

The Kings. Healthy, talented, deep, more experienced after last season's little seven game skirmish, and a helluvalot more motivated. They're on a Crusade. They want this thing. Their self-respect depends on this thing. They need this thing... maybe just a little too much if you ask me.

The question is, what have they done with the experience (which, as we all know, is a playoff thing and won't be proven till then, regardless of regular season improvements and the laughable insistance that they somehow <snicker> "deserve" it). In two of the three games they played vs LA this season, the Kings, as is their wont, made it harder than it needed to be for themselves by falling into their old trap of playing th a helluvalot more motivated. They're on a Crusade. They want this thing. Their self-respect depends on this thing. They need this thing... maybe just a little too much if you ask me.

The question is, what have they done with the experience (which, as we all know, is a playoff thing and won't be proven till then, regardless of regular season improvements and the laughable insistance that they somehow <snicker> "deserve" it). In two of the three games they played vs LA this season, the Kings, as is their wont, made it harder than it needed to be for themselves by falling into their old trap of playing the Lakers and the refs. When it comes to playing LA, Sacramento - like Portland - just can't help itself, in spite of their claims to maturity. It's an act, and ya just can't fake maturity. It's not about when a team is playing well, it's about when they're playing badly that a team's poise, patience and, yes, maturity enter the picture. All teams seem poised when the shots are falling and the offense is running effectively, but as we all know, NO team plays like that from tip to buzzer - no team stays hot all game long.

The key this year for the King's, IMO and contrary to popular belief, isn't Deon or Bibby or the even the far more dangerous Bobby Jackson. It's Chris Webber. King fans swear he's become "clutch" - and God knows he certainly wants everyone to think so - all because he's pulled off three or four big shots in the regular season and now professes to actually want the ball with the game on the line.

Again, "Clutch" is a playoff thing and whether he's developed or acquired it or not won't become known till all is said and done. "Clutch," isn't about hitting buzzerbeaters in big games, it's hitting buzzerbeaters in THE big game - game seven, or whatever game it is - the one that delivers you the prize, as opposed to the onee Lakers and the refs. When it comes to playing LA, Sacramento - like Portland - just can't help itself, in spite of their claims to maturity. It's an act, and ya just can't fake maturity. It's not about when a team is playing well, it's about when they're playing badly that a team's poise, patience and, yes, maturity enter the picture. All teams seem poised when the shots are falling and the offense is running effectively, but as we all know, NO team plays like that from tip to buzzer - no team stays hot all game long.

The key this year for the King's, IMO and contrary to popular belief, isn't Deon or Bibby or the even the far more dangerous Bobby Jackson. It's Chris Webber. King fans swear he's become "clutch" - and God knows he certainly wants everyone to think so - all because he's pulled off three or four big shots in the regular season and now professes to actually want the ball with the game on the line.

Again, "Clutch" is a playoff thing and whether he's developed or acquired it or not won't become known till all is said and done. "Clutch," isn't about hitting buzzerbeaters in big games, it's hitting buzzerbeaters in THE big game - game seven, or whatever game it is - the one that delivers you the prize, as opposed to the one that gets you to the game that eliminates you. Everything else is just conceptual and baseless conjecture. Who the hell cares if you're clutch in relatively meaningless games if you're still a coward in THE game of your season or career? Although it'll probably never happen vs. the Lakers, put Webber on the foul line with everything riding on him sinking two free throws for a title and then let's see how "clutch" he is.

One thing's certain - cowardess notwithstanding - CWeb is absolutely deadly from either elbow and has recently added an extremely accurate right-handed hook shot to his arsenal. Personally, were I Phil, when the Kings play the pinch-post or high pick-and-roll with he and whoever - usually Bibby or BJ - at least in crucial parts of close games, I'd throw a trap at Webb and try to smother his abiltiy to pass or dribble out of it. Test his poise. See if he doesn't lose it when he doesn't get a call he thinks he deserves. That's usually when the fun starts with the zebras and this guy. As for the hook shot, Phil might want to try running the occasional blindside-double-team at him (Deavon? Rob?) and try to slap that thing away before Chris knows the guy is even there. Not all the time, just once or twice - enough to rattle him and make him rush the shot the rest of the night.

Speaking of rushing, Sac's gonna wanna play up-tempo and will try to r that gets you to the game that eliminates you. Everything else is just conceptual and baseless conjecture. Who the hell cares if you're clutch in relatively meaningless games if you're still a coward in THE game of your season or career? Although it'll probably never happen vs. the Lakers, put Webber on the foul line with everything riding on him sinking two free throws for a title and then let's see how "clutch" he is.

One thing's certain - cowardess notwithstanding - CWeb is absolutely deadly from either elbow and has recently added an extremely accurate right-handed hook shot to his arsenal. Personally, were I Phil, when the Kings play the pinch-post or high pick-and-roll with he and whoever - usually Bibby or BJ - at least in crucial parts of close games, I'd throw a trap at Webb and try to smother his abiltiy to pass or dribble out of it. Test his poise. See if he doesn't lose it when he doesn't get a call he thinks he deserves. That's usually when the fun starts with the zebras and this guy. As for the hook shot, Phil might want to try running the occasional blindside-double-team at him (Deavon? Rob?) and try to slap that thing away before Chris knows the guy is even there. Not all the time, just once or twice - enough to rattle him and make him rush the shot the rest of the night.

Speaking of rushing, Sac's gonna wanna play up-tempo and will try to run the Lakers off the court. Alertness will be key. So will clogging the passing lanes. Horry and Kobe often kill the Kings with steals in the open court in the second half of playoff games. But the Kings often return the favor (albeit, more often in the first than the second half - the Lakers are too adept at making halftime adjustments for it to continue much beyond that).

The insertions of Rush and Pargo into the rotation could truly pay off when it comes to Bibby and BobbyJ. When Phil plays Rook & Rookier in the backcourt with Kobe, Shaq and Horry or George up front, very nice things happen - just ask the Mavs - and I think these kids are fast enough to keep up with the Bibbys, Jacksons and Parkers of the world. Tonight they showed they're fast enough to keep up with Nash and Van ExLaker. Gotta take your hat off to Phil on his strategy with these two.

And that brings me to the Spurs, probably the Lakers stiffest competition and most serious obsticle to the 4Peat. Pop is gonna rest Robinson pretty much the remainder of the regular season, but I just don't see the Admiral having much impact against Shaq, rested or not.

Parker's no longer a rookie and isn't going to be making too many of the mistakes he made last year, but he continues to have a tendency to press it when he's having a bad shooting night, and that plays right into LAs hands. That said, he%un the Lakers off the court. Alertness will be key. So will clogging the passing lanes. Horry and Kobe often kill the Kings with steals in the open court in the second half of playoff games. But the Kings often return the favor (albeit, more often in the first than the second half - the Lakers are too adept at making halftime adjustments for it to continue much beyond that).

The insertions of Rush and Pargo into the rotation could truly pay off when it comes to Bibby and BobbyJ. When Phil plays Rook & Rookier in the backcourt with Kobe, Shaq and Horry or George up front, very nice things happen - just ask the Mavs - and I think these kids are fast enough to keep up with the Bibbys, Jacksons and Parkers of the world. Tonight they showed they're fast enough to keep up with Nash and Van ExLaker. Gotta take your hat off to Phil on his strategy with these two.

And that brings me to the Spurs, probably the Lakers stiffest competition and most serious obsticle to the 4Peat. Pop is gonna rest Robinson pretty much the remainder of the regular season, but I just don't see the Admiral having much impact against Shaq, rested or not.

Parker's no longer a rookie and isn't going to be making too many of the mistakes he made last year, but he continues to have a tendency to press it when he's having a bad shooting night, and that plays right into LAs hands. That said, he's also added the one shot I fear the most from those speedy little bastards - the floater. For those who can shoot it, it's a killer. I hate it. Merde! And I'm sure Shaq hates it too and, damnit, Parker shoots it well. Real well. Keep the little French-fry out of the paint, and if he sneaks in, make him pay a steep price - make him think about it next time.

The Spurs are deep. Very deep. At least as deep as the Kings. But when you examine their depth a few interesting things emerge. Ginobli's a great addition - no two ways about it - but he's also a rook in NBA post-season play and while he'll have impact, he'll also make mistakes. Lots of 'em, I'm guessing. Bowen's gonna be key. He's one of only two or three players in the league who can actually make life difficult - though by no means impossible - for Kobe. Offensively, he's streaky as hell. He can click off four or five 3 pointers in a row from the dead corner - so long as he's wide open - like it's nothing. He can also clank four or five in a row - ya never know with this guy. He's attrocious from the FT line, we know that much. A hand in his face and he's no shooter, either.

Malik, along with Bowen, can take over the boards and that may become key in a series - it should be a concern and focus for LA. That's where Madsen, George and Walker come in. With the Spurs and Kings, 27s also added the one shot I fear the most from those speedy little bastards - the floater. For those who can shoot it, it's a killer. I hate it. Merde! And I'm sure Shaq hates it too and, damnit, Parker shoots it well. Real well. Keep the little French-fry out of the paint, and if he sneaks in, make him pay a steep price - make him think about it next time.

The Spurs are deep. Very deep. At least as deep as the Kings. But when you examine their depth a few interesting things emerge. Ginobli's a great addition - no two ways about it - but he's also a rook in NBA post-season play and while he'll have impact, he'll also make mistakes. Lots of 'em, I'm guessing. Bowen's gonna be key. He's one of only two or three players in the league who can actually make life difficult - though by no means impossible - for Kobe. Offensively, he's streaky as hell. He can click off four or five 3 pointers in a row from the dead corner - so long as he's wide open - like it's nothing. He can also clank four or five in a row - ya never know with this guy. He's attrocious from the FT line, we know that much. A hand in his face and he's no shooter, either.

Malik, along with Bowen, can take over the boards and that may become key in a series - it should be a concern and focus for LA. That's where Madsen, George and Walker come in. With the Spurs and Kings, rebounds will be crucial.

Duncan's money - we all know that - but he has a real monkey to get off his back where the Lakers are concerned, and frankly he's having the kind of year that has to make him feel like he can finally do it. I'm not convinced. Don't get me wrong - he's brilliant, a leader, a ligitimate MVP candidate and easily the best PF in the NBA - he's also the most poised player in the game, other than Kobe perhaps, and he'll no doubt be brilliant against LA.... but.... he's always seemed defendable (read: containable) in series against the Lakers. Horry's quick hands bother the hell out of him - poking and snatching at the ball whenever he goes into his post move or when he faces up for the jumper - but unless Rob dislodges the rock before he gets it higher than his chest, it's two points, automatic - and all too often, it's three with an "and-one." In crunch time however, Timmy's usually Shaq's cover and Big always has great success with that matchup for thoserebounds will be crucial.

Duncan's money - we all know that - but he has a real monkey to get off his back where the Lakers are concerned, and frankly he's having the kind of year that has to make him feel like he can finally do it. I'm not convinced. Don't get me wrong - he's brilliant, a leader, a ligitimate MVP candidate and easily the best PF in the NBA - he's also the most poised player in the game, other than Kobe perhaps, and he'll no doubt be brilliant against LA.... but.... he's always seemed defendable (read: containable) in series against the Lakers. Horry's quick hands bother the hell out of him - poking and snatching at the ball whenever he goes into his post move or when he faces up for the jumper - but unless Rob dislodges the rock before he gets it higher than his chest, it's two points, automatic - and all too often, it's three with an "and-one." In crunch time however, Timmy's usually Shaq's cover and Big always has great success with that matchup for those brief but intense last five minutes or so of close playoff games.

In the half-court, just like the Kings, the Spurs will try and pick-and-roll us to death, when they're not trying to run us to death in the open court, of course, so it's gonna likely come down to preparation, rebounds and quickness on rotations where that's concerned. I know, duh! One thing's certain, it's gonna be a symphony of whistles - count on rebounds and foul shooting to be a big factors, as they usually are between these two teams.

The Mavs. Fuggedaboudit. If they meet the Lakers in the first round, it's either a sweep or five and out. Who'm I kidding? It's a sweep. It's axiomatic in the NBA - "Live by the three, die by the three." Well, buy your plots and headstones now, fellas, because until Allas learns how to D-up or brings in some inside presence, they're a paper tiger - always will be. Nice regular season record, kiddies, now get the hell outta here. (As I said after they went on their streak to open the season, "Big boots, big hat... no cattle.") Next!

The Blazers. Doubt we'll see 'em, but on the off chance they're able to convince their doctor/judge to let 'em out of the loony bin and they somehow manage to eak themselves o brief but intense last five minutes or so of close playoff games.

In the half-court, just like the Kings, the Spurs will try and pick-and-roll us to death, when they're not trying to run us to death in the open court, of course, so it's gonna likely come down to preparation, rebounds and quickness on rotations where that's concerned. I know, duh! One thing's certain, it's gonna be a symphony of whistles - count on rebounds and foul shooting to be a big factors, as they usually are between these two teams.

The Mavs. Fuggedaboudit. If they meet the Lakers in the first round, it's either a sweep or five and out. Who'm I kidding? It's a sweep. It's axiomatic in the NBA - "Live by the three, die by the three." Well, buy your plots and headstones now, fellas, because until Allas learns how to D-up or brings in some inside presence, they're a paper tiger - always will be. Nice regular season record, kiddies, now get the hell outta here. (As I said after they went on their streak to open the season, "Big boots, big hat... no cattle.") Next!

The Blazers. Doubt we'll see 'em, but on the off chance they're able to convince their doctor/judge to let 'em out of the loony bin and they somehow manage to eak themselves out of round one and get on a roll and against all odds meet up with LA... oh, it's just too horrifying - not to mention ridiculous - to contemplate... if you're a Blazer fan, that is. Four, and not one game more. But it's not gonna happen.

Minnesota or the Suns. You're kidding, right? Stephon Marburry can score 100 points all by himself for all I care, the Suns can't beat the Lakers. Minnesota's the same sad story. KG, great as he is, is all alone out there on that frozen tundra. This guy deserves better and so far, he hasn't gotten it. Gotta feel bad for him. I wouldn't be surprised to see him wind up in LA someday, playing next to Kobe.

Which brings us to the Lakers. Where is this team, finally? Are they the underachievers whose prematurely dug grave the haters danced on in the first half of the season, or are they the Phoenix the haters refuse to believe has risen from its ersatz crypt in the second? For my money, they're the latter, and the ease with which they get back to another parade on Figueroa may just wind up being directly proportional to the degree to which other teams believe they're still the former.

Wipe out the first half of the season - it's utterly meaningless to all but the most desperately myopic and fearful of haters - ut of round one and get on a roll and against all odds meet up with LA... oh, it's just too horrifying - not to mention ridiculous - to contemplate... if you're a Blazer fan, that is. Four, and not one game more. But it's not gonna happen.

Minnesota or the Suns. You're kidding, right? Stephon Marburry can score 100 points all by himself for all I care, the Suns can't beat the Lakers. Minnesota's the same sad story. KG, great as he is, is all alone out there on that frozen tundra. This guy deserves better and so far, he hasn't gotten it. Gotta feel bad for him. I wouldn't be surprised to see him wind up in LA someday, playing next to Kobe.

Which brings us to the Lakers. Where is this team, finally? Are they the underachievers whose prematurely dug grave the haters danced on in the first half of the season, or are they the Phoenix the haters refuse to believe has risen from its ersatz crypt in the second? For my money, they're the latter, and the ease with which they get back to another parade on Figueroa may just wind up being directly proportional to the degree to which other teams believe they're still the former.

Wipe out the first half of the season - it's utterly meaningless to all but the most desperately myopic and fearful of haters - all it did was distort and somewhat obscure what the Lakers have done since, which is to put themselves on a sometimes steady and occasionally head-scratchingly meandering search for their game... which, oh my God, looky there - they found... and just in the nick of time.

In fact, the timing couldn't be better. It's the blessing in disguise I taked about early in the season. That slow start - frustrating as it may have been for some fans - is the very thing that insures them another title this year IMO. It took them this long to find their stride and they're hitting it exactly the same way they did last year - in the last eight games of the regular season after a shaky March. The Lakers are starting to peak, in other words, just as they reach teams who've been playing at their respective peaks for weeks now. Months, in the Mavs and Spurs case. Something's gotta give. It always does. The Lakers are rising - sharpening their game and finding their stride - while their likeliest opponents have been there for a little while now. So far as trajectories go, I'll take LA's.

Key, as always, is Shaq and that's what has to give a Laker fan the most confidence and fills haters with the most dread. He's back, and he's better than he's been in three years, IMO. More exploall it did was distort and somewhat obscure what the Lakers have done since, which is to put themselves on a sometimes steady and occasionally head-scratchingly meandering search for their game... which, oh my God, looky there - they found... and just in the nick of time.

In fact, the timing couldn't be better. It's the blessing in disguise I taked about early in the season. That slow start - frustrating as it may have been for some fans - is the very thing that insures them another title this year IMO. It took them this long to find their stride and they're hitting it exactly the same way they did last year - in the last eight games of the regular season after a shaky March. The Lakers are starting to peak, in other words, just as they reach teams who've been playing at their respective peaks for weeks now. Months, in the Mavs and Spurs case. Something's gotta give. It always does. The Lakers are rising - sharpening their game and finding their stride - while their likeliest opponents have been there for a little while now. So far as trajectories go, I'll take LA's.

Key, as always, is Shaq and that's what has to give a Laker fan the most confidence and fills haters with the most dread. He's back, and he's better than he's been in three years, IMO. More explosive, quicker, stronger and most importantly, wiser. He's had three years of opponents fronting him, zoning him, weak-side doubling up on him, strong-side tripple-teams, flops - you name it, he's seen it... and stepped over, through or on it. Either way, he's figured out how to get beyond it. Remember the Hack-a-Shaq? Dead. Oh sure, you'll see it resurrected from time to time and occasionally when he gets the ball with great position and the double-team is late or doesn't come at all, but in crunch time down the stretch? Nobody's that stupid anymore, are they? Can't be.

Key #2, of course (and ah, the luxury of rooting for a team that has two of 'em) is Kobe. The kid's on a mission to be the best basketball player who ever laced 'em up and no matter where you stand on the whole "MJ wannabe" debate, he [Swearing is not permitted at Clublakers. You must edit this post prior to submitting.] kills in the playoffs - tears your heart out with his bare fists and stuffs it down your throat - especially down the stretch. We know it and talk about it all the time - the haters know it and will never cop to it publicly. And here's the kicker - I doubt anyone in the history of the league was ever more adept at coming up with an absolutely brilliant last five to ten minutes of ballgames that might otherwise have been considered - at least sive, quicker, stronger and most importantly, wiser. He's had three years of opponents fronting him, zoning him, weak-side doubling up on him, strong-side tripple-teams, flops - you name it, he's seen it... and stepped over, through or on it. Either way, he's figured out how to get beyond it. Remember the Hack-a-Shaq? Dead. Oh sure, you'll see it resurrected from time to time and occasionally when he gets the ball with great position and the double-team is late or doesn't come at all, but in crunch time down the stretch? Nobody's that stupid anymore, are they? Can't be.

Key #2, of course (and ah, the luxury of rooting for a team that has two of 'em) is Kobe. The kid's on a mission to be the best basketball player who ever laced 'em up and no matter where you stand on the whole "MJ wannabe" debate, he [Swearing is not permitted at Clublakers. You must edit this post prior to submitting.] kills in the playoffs - tears your heart out with his bare fists and stuffs it down your throat - especially down the stretch. We know it and talk about it all the time - the haters know it and will never cop to it publicly. And here's the kicker - I doubt anyone in the history of the league was ever more adept at coming up with an absolutely brilliant last five to ten minutes of ballgames that might otherwise have been considered - at least in Bryant's case - sub par up to that point. And he almost never has one - and absolutely never two - of those in a playoff series, even when he's poisoned. Capable of hitting 42 points in a half, reeling off a dozen or so straight threes, dishing for double-digit dimes, throwing in an 80 footer or snagging 15 rebounds - and sometimes doing all those things in the same game - Kobe poses the kind of threat that legends are made of. And he knows it - which, frankly, is what burns hater's hides.

Incidentally, all the talk of Kobe being befuddled by the coaching staff's seemingly ever-shifting demands that he play this way or that, I think is a bunch of hog-wash. I think Kobe's just playin' with everybody - saying what he wants Phil and the rest of the guys to think, but laughing up his sleeve when their backs are turned. I think he knows exactly what he's doing - he's experimenting all the time, night to night, game to game, with every aspect and element of his talent and with new and more inventive ways to help the rest of the team. And when the playoffs come, I think we all know that it's all gonna come together. Prepare to be astounded. My new names for Shaq and Kobe... "Shoq & Awe."

Everyone else: another day older (except for Devean and the Rooks) and in Bryant's case - sub par up to that point. And he almost never has one - and absolutely never two - of those in a playoff series, even when he's poisoned. Capable of hitting 42 points in a half, reeling off a dozen or so straight threes, dishing for double-digit dimes, throwing in an 80 footer or snagging 15 rebounds - and sometimes doing all those things in the same game - Kobe poses the kind of threat that legends are made of. And he knows it - which, frankly, is what burns hater's hides.

Incidentally, all the talk of Kobe being befuddled by the coaching staff's seemingly ever-shifting demands that he play this way or that, I think is a bunch of hog-wash. I think Kobe's just playin' with everybody - saying what he wants Phil and the rest of the guys to think, but laughing up his sleeve when their backs are turned. I think he knows exactly what he's doing - he's experimenting all the time, night to night, game to game, with every aspect and element of his talent and with new and more inventive ways to help the rest of the team. And when the playoffs come, I think we all know that it's all gonna come together. Prepare to be astounded. My new names for Shaq and Kobe... "Shoq & Awe."

Everyone else: another day older (except for Devean and the Rooks) and deeper in debt; Fox, Fish, Horry and BShaw have already been written off, thanks in large part to their collective disappearing act in the first half of the season. We know the fans have a short memory - do the teams? Laker role-players are overlooked every single year, and every single year, in one way or another and at usually just the right moments, they kill their opposition. These wily old gents have the smarts and the experience all the youth in the world can't buy or make go away. How Fisher's terriffic shooting since the all-star break could escape anyone's notice is beyond me, but it sure seems to have done just that. Well, don't look now, but Fisher's three-point shooting is rounding into 2000-shape. Remember what Fisher did in the 2000 playoffs? Horry'll continue to be Big Shot Rob, breaking hearts in arena after arena, and Shaw will, as is his habit, do just the right thing at just the right time, hit the timely three or hook up with Shaq and Kobe on the alley-oop - and, like Fish, Fox has found his shot (now if he would just take more of 'em).

These are the guys I always keep my eye on because, as we all know, when Rick's shots start falling and Fish is knocking down the threes and Rob is hitting the ones that break teams spirits, the Lakers sdeeper in debt; Fox, Fish, Horry and BShaw have already been written off, thanks in large part to their collective disappearing act in the first half of the season. We know the fans have a short memory - do the teams? Laker role-players are overlooked every single year, and every single year, in one way or another and at usually just the right moments, they kill their opposition. These wily old gents have the smarts and the experience all the youth in the world can't buy or make go away. How Fisher's terriffic shooting since the all-star break could escape anyone's notice is beyond me, but it sure seems to have done just that. Well, don't look now, but Fisher's three-point shooting is rounding into 2000-shape. Remember what Fisher did in the 2000 playoffs? Horry'll continue to be Big Shot Rob, breaking hearts in arena after arena, and Shaw will, as is his habit, do just the right thing at just the right time, hit the timely three or hook up with Shaq and Kobe on the alley-oop - and, like Fish, Fox has found his shot (now if he would just take more of 'em).

These are the guys I always keep my eye on because, as we all know, when Rick's shots start falling and Fish is knocking down the threes and Rob is hitting the ones that break teams spirits, the Lakers simply can't lose, and never will. Why? Because these guys have been through the fire together and they know how to get the job done in situations the rest of these teams - for the most part - haven't even faced yet. Ya can't have what you can't imagine.

The Madsen/Walker debate. It seems that some in here feel strongly that Maddog is at best a marginal commodity - at worst, a proven liability. Others feel LA's 14-3 record when Mark starts, proves otherwise. There's plenty of evidence to support either conclusion. Far as I'm concenred, 14-3, while impressive, is a little misleading and a lot - though not completely - coincidental. After all, does anyone really believe Maddog's why LA won those games? I love the kid, but please. Even at my most supportive moments, I sure didn't, much as I enjoyed pointing out that astonishing record. What Mark does, folks - win, lose or blownout - is play his [Swearing is not permitted at Clublakers. You must edit this post prior to submitting.] off on defense and suck up rebounds like a 7 footer. What he doesn't do is draw defenders to him, allowing - many contend - Laker opponents to double-down in the paint, especially when Shaq's in the ballgame. While that's undeniably true, it's also a double-edged sword. Shaq, Kobe, Fish and Fox have all found Madsen, sitting at a card table, playing a nicimply can't lose, and never will. Why? Because these guys have been through the fire together and they know how to get the job done in situations the rest of these teams - for the most part - haven't even faced yet. Ya can't have what you can't imagine.

The Madsen/Walker debate. It seems that some in here feel strongly that Maddog is at best a marginal commodity - at worst, a proven liability. Others feel LA's 14-3 record when Mark starts, proves otherwise. There's plenty of evidence to support either conclusion. Far as I'm concenred, 14-3, while impressive, is a little misleading and a lot - though not completely - coincidental. After all, does anyone really believe Maddog's why LA won those games? I love the kid, but please. Even at my most supportive moments, I sure didn't, much as I enjoyed pointing out that astonishing record. What Mark does, folks - win, lose or blownout - is play his [Swearing is not permitted at Clublakers. You must edit this post prior to submitting.] off on defense and suck up rebounds like a 7 footer. What he doesn't do is draw defenders to him, allowing - many contend - Laker opponents to double-down in the paint, especially when Shaq's in the ballgame. While that's undeniably true, it's also a double-edged sword. Shaq, Kobe, Fish and Fox have all found Madsen, sitting at a card table, playing a nice leisurely game of solitaire right under the basket on many occasions this year, and while his baseline jumper remains an adventure of dubious and wildly inconsistent distinction, he seems more confident at the free-throw line, a place he's being sent, finally, by refs who, heretofore, refused to let Mark anywhere near. Madsen, whether he starts or not, could just wind up being relatively - if intermittently - key simply because he's almost certain to be completely overlooked and if he plays as aggressively offensively as we know he will on the defensive end, he could definitely have impact.

And then there's the team's attitude. Some call it confidence - most label it arrogance; that swagger. It just galls some people. How can they act so smug, the haters fume, after playing such a miserable season? Don't they remember 3-9? Have they forgotten 11-19? How dare Shaq say "the only team we fear is us!" Why, the unmitigated temerity! The hubris! The disrespect! The Spurs swept 'em in the regular season, right? Remember that lump of coal Sacramento left in the Lakers' stockings on Christmas Day? (And my personal favorite) "Nobody fears 'em anymore."

Not that it matters, but wanna bet?

Fear the Lakers - don't fear 'ee leisurely game of solitaire right under the basket on many occasions this year, and while his baseline jumper remains an adventure of dubious and wildly inconsistent distinction, he seems more confident at the free-throw line, a place he's being sent, finally, by refs who, heretofore, refused to let Mark anywhere near. Madsen, whether he starts or not, could just wind up being relatively - if intermittently - key simply because he's almost certain to be completely overlooked and if he plays as aggressively offensively as we know he will on the defensive end, he could definitely have impact.

And then there's the team's attitude. Some call it confidence - most label it arrogance; that swagger. It just galls some people. How can they act so smug, the haters fume, after playing such a miserable season? Don't they remember 3-9? Have they forgotten 11-19? How dare Shaq say "the only team we fear is us!" Why, the unmitigated temerity! The hubris! The disrespect! The Spurs swept 'em in the regular season, right? Remember that lump of coal Sacramento left in the Lakers' stockings on Christmas Day? (And my personal favorite) "Nobody fears 'em anymore."

Not that it matters, but wanna bet?

Fear the Lakers - don't fear 'em. Won't make a damn bit of difference. Nobody's taking four games from this team in a seven game series, no matter how much they need or think they deserve to.
---
Johnnysee

 

Postby Lakers4PEAT on Thu Apr 10, 2003 1:33 am

why is every paragraph repeated ?
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Postby Johnnysee on Thu Apr 10, 2003 2:04 am

Lakers4PEAT wrote:why is every paragraph repeated ?



Good question, and why are the paragraphs all jumbled? It was fine when I posted it.
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Postby clublakers on Thu Apr 10, 2003 6:25 am

Johnnysee, did you paste the text in there? If so, what format was it in originally?
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Postby ZenMaster on Thu Apr 10, 2003 7:03 am

Great analysis Johnnysee...
But hey CL, they're right, I think there's a glitch or something going on, it happened to me too (the repeating of paragraphs) and I didn't copy or paste anything, just typed my stuff like normal...?
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Postby Slayer Alstarx on Thu Apr 10, 2003 10:19 am

well, could you edit it please? I tried reading it, but my eyes kept kaboggling :freak2: when I reread a paragraph...
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Postby clublakers on Thu Apr 10, 2003 12:49 pm

Affirmative on the glitch. I'll look into it.

Do ya'll have the option to edit your own posts?
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Postby Reddy on Thu Apr 10, 2003 2:35 pm

I do :man10:

Thats great analysis!
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Postby ZenMaster on Thu Apr 10, 2003 5:48 pm

I do CL, I do...I'll put it to good use next time. :man1:
Hey Slayer, if I push the red button, does something REALLY REALLY bad happen to Excremento?...*ahem* I mean, Sacramento.....
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Postby Reddy on Thu Apr 10, 2003 5:51 pm

HAHA :man10:
I'M GONA PUSH IT ALL DAH TIME IF HE SAYS YEEEEEES!!!!!!!!1 :man10: :man10: :man10: :man10: :man10: :man10: :man10: :man10: :man10: :man10: :man10: :man10: :man10:
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