Told y'all this is like WCF, Kobe calls shaq again

Told y'all this is like WCF, Kobe calls shaq again

Postby Reddy on Sat Apr 26, 2003 6:54 pm

http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/ ... 725293.htm

Lakers calling for a winning strategy
BY KEVIN DING
The Orange County Register

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -(KRT) - Along the same lines as that 2:30-in-the-morning Kobe-to-Shaq phone call before the Lakers won Game 6 of the Western Conference finals against Sacramento last season, Kobe Bryant decided Saturday it was again time for a private conference with Shaquille O'Neal - just to make sure the Lakers' stars have united states of mind.

"We talked about the serious nature of these playoffs and how challenging these playoffs are going to be and what we need to do to help us advance," Bryant said. "We have to take this team and lead this team."

The Lakers, in the alien position of trailing a first-round playoff series, face what Coach Phil Jackson termed a must-win game "psychologically" on Sunday with the Minnesota Timberwolves ahead, 2-1.

Bryant and O'Neal, coming off a loss in which they combined to shoot 20 for 54 (37 percent) with seven assists against seven turnovers, have reason for pause. Minnesota's Troy Hudson and Kevin Garnett have formed the better duo so far.

The tricky part is that this isn't as straightforward as Bryant and O'Neal trying harder. Because of the way Minnesota is double-teaming both players on their catches, Jackson said the best thing Bryant and O'Neal can do for the team is pass the ball better to teammates Rick Fox, Derek Fisher and Robert Horry.

"We really think we have to make Minnesota pay for double-teaming Shaquille and Kobe," Jackson said. "And those players most often have to be Rick, Fish and Robert Horry, the other three players in the lineup with them."

Assuming Fox and Horry can start hitting shots again - Fisher is already 72.2 percent from three-point range this series - more space will open up for Bryant and O'Neal. And Bryant said part of his chat with O'Neal, which came on the practice court while both were shooting baskets, included "how to get these other guys involved."

However, Fox and Horry are no locks to produce on Sunday. Bryant and O'Neal are supposed to be locks every day, which led them to discuss some adjustments to aid their individual production.

Expect to see O'Neal refrain from automatically chasing the ball on offense so much Sunday and instead being more patient about lining up on the weak side of the offense. He hopes to get the ball on the move instead of in that static post position where second defend
The tricky part is that this isn't as straightforward as Bryant and O'Neal trying harder. Because of the way Minnesota is double-teaming both players on their catches, Jackson said the best thing Bryant and O'Neal can do for the team is pass the ball better to teammates Rick Fox, Derek Fisher and Robert Horry.

"We really think we have to make Minnesota pay for double-teaming Shaquille and Kobe," Jackson said. "And those players most often have to be Rick, Fish and Robert Horry, the other three players in the lineup with them."

Assuming Fox and Horry can start hitting shots again - Fisher is already 72.2 percent from three-point range this series - more space will open up for Bryant and O'Neal. And Bryant said part of his chat with O'Neal, which came on the practice court while both were shooting baskets, included "how to get these other guys involved."

However, Fox and Horry are no locks to produce on Sunday. Bryant and O'Neal are supposed to be locks every day, which led them to discuss some adjustments to aid their individual production.

Expect to see O'Neal refrain from automatically chasing the ball on offense so much Sunday and instead being more patient about lining up on the weak side of the offense. He hopes to get the ball on the move instead of in that static post position where second defenders can easily attack.

"I'd like to see him move a little bit more and get some easy baskets that way instead of having to pound it in all the time," Bryant said.

Said O'Neal: "I would like to get the ball in better position, in position where I could do something and not in position where I've got three or four guys on me."

Bryant and O'Neal come into this game gradually becoming free of minor distractions. Bryant's sore right rotator cuff felt good enough for him to get in some practice jump shots Saturday. O'Neal phoned the daughter of his college coach, Dale Brown, and was told that Brown should be OK despite suffering a stroke Friday.

Bryant set the tone for Game 1 with impeccable passing and dead-eye shooting early, and he would love to do that again: "This is it. We're down, 2-1. This a big game we have coming up."

Teammates said O'Neal had an excellent practice Saturday. And O'Neal vowed to be more aggressive than the Timberwolves on Sunday: "They've had more will, they've had more fight, than we've had. We just have to pick it up. It's all about us and what we do. ... We need to take it to `em. And we will."

If Bryant can again inspire O'Neal to produce a big game - O'Neal went for a playoff-high 41 points after that Game 6 phone pep talk in which Bers can easily attack.

"I'd like to see him move a little bit more and get some easy baskets that way instead of having to pound it in all the time," Bryant said.

Said O'Neal: "I would like to get the ball in better position, in position where I could do something and not in position where I've got three or four guys on me."

Bryant and O'Neal come into this game gradually becoming free of minor distractions. Bryant's sore right rotator cuff felt good enough for him to get in some practice jump shots Saturday. O'Neal phoned the daughter of his college coach, Dale Brown, and was told that Brown should be OK despite suffering a stroke Friday.

Bryant set the tone for Game 1 with impeccable passing and dead-eye shooting early, and he would love to do that again: "This is it. We're down, 2-1. This a big game we have coming up."

Teammates said O'Neal had an excellent practice Saturday. And O'Neal vowed to be more aggressive than the Timberwolves on Sunday: "They've had more will, they've had more fight, than we've had. We just have to pick it up. It's all about us and what we do. ... We need to take it to `em. And we will."

If Bryant can again inspire O'Neal to produce a big game - O'Neal went for a playoff-high 41 points after that Game 6 phone pep talk in which Bryant said, "I need you" and "Let's make history" - Jackson knows the game will look much different.

"When he's playing forceful basketball, aggressive basketball, he sheds bodies like a bear sheds dogs coming out of the woods," Jackson said. "It's amazing to watch players fly off him. In the past couple games, it has not been like that. That is such a dramatic force for a basketball club to have that."

GO LAKERS! FOUR PEAT!
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Postby Snakell Beast on Sun Apr 27, 2003 2:55 am

The single largest (no pun intended) factor for our destiny in this series will be the play of Shaquille O'neal and Derek Fisher. Kobe will get his if they get theirs. Rick Fox has had plenty of bad games and we still won easily, but when Fisher has a bad night, we tend to lose a lot. If we can get Shaq and Fisher off to a hot start and then get Kobe into the mix, Horry, Fox, George, Pargo, Madsen, Walker and Rush should all find it easier to get into the game and make an impact.
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Postby Reddy on Sun Apr 27, 2003 9:01 am

I think its Kobe and Shaq that will be the monsters int his one, they know they need it!
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Postby Lakers Dynasty 2000 on Sun Apr 27, 2003 10:20 am

I think Fisher plays well in playoff time. Hes played very well in this series, We need Shaq today though.
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Postby Kobe_One_Kenobi_8 on Sun Apr 27, 2003 1:25 pm

Reddy,

Once the Lakers get Game 4, everything is dependent on Game 5. So far both teams have won on each others court, so Game 5 is pivotal.

ALL I AM SAYING IS LAKERS ON 6. IT WILL BE FUN TO MOVE ON THE NEXT ROUND IN FRONT OF THE HOME CROWD.

GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!
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Postby Reddy on Sun Apr 27, 2003 3:33 pm

I AGREE 100%!!!!!!!!!!!
LAKERS GO ON 3 STRAIGHT WINS TO CLOSE OUT DAH SERIES!!!!
KOBE AND SHAQ WERE HUGE! 31 ADN 34!!!!!!!
TALK BOUT TALENT!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Postby Lakers Dynasty 2000 on Sun Apr 27, 2003 3:42 pm

Well, game 5 should make the Lakers play confident like they did in game 4. No more stress anymore, they'll be able to pull off game 5 in my prediction...
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Postby Reddy on Sun Apr 27, 2003 5:34 pm

I totally agree.
Game 3 was the last victory fo rthe t wolves this season........
LAkers know the importance of thsi game, and they will win it! :bow: Go LAkers!
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