We all play pick up ball. Atleast, all of us somebodies who aren't nobodies. You've all experienced that first time when you caught the ball at the top of the key, hit your triple thread position, and took your man off the dribble. You were faster than him, too, so you glided by him effortlessly; the next couple seconds, though, would shape your entire experience at your local gym. Did he simply let you blow by? Did he try to poke the ball out from behind (via Ron Artest via Kobe Bryant)? Did he clip your ankles (via Westbrook game 5)? Or did he get a nice hold of your fancy sleeveless shirt and slow you down just enough (via Boston Celtics 1898-present) to remove your balance and lower your successful drive percentage by atleast 30%? Did he wait for you to take your lay up in the lane and challenge you with a hack to the back of your arm only to exclaim how clean his defense was? Or was he fat and out of shape, exhaustively and lamentably gushing at your nubile movements that reminded him of years gone by....
This, my good sirs, is the makings of the basics of the game. It is only the tenacity of your defender that determines the style of basketball one must play.
This, my good sir, is the Lakers conundrum.
The Lakers play the basketball game the officials present them with, and live or die duly.
They must not do this, we bloggers and bloggettes exclaim. They must cut and slice and pound and punch that ball in the hole. We must contend with our greatest common denominator, our length and inside presence.
TO THE NUMBERS MY BRETHREN AND BRETHRETTES!
Shots from the paint OR close to: 36
Fouls for: 19
Fouls against: 30
FT Attempted: 28
Shots from the paint OR close to: 35
Fouls for: 30
Fouls against: 19
FT Attempted: 48
Shots from the paint OR close to: 47
Fouls for: 25
Fouls against: 19
FT Attempted: 31
Shots from the paint OR close to: 40
Fouls for: 19
Fouls against: 25
FT Attempted: 24
What does all of this information say? Well, it speaks volumes. Volumes and volumes that can be cliff noted into:
Don't Believe The Hype.
The Lakers didn't wake up. There was no arisen monster. The Lakers just played basic Laker basketball, and the officials obliged. The Thunder average 33 Free Throws taken per game while giving up 30. They didn't get their just deserves on the line in game 5, and they didn't get nearly what they've been getting this series.
This game, though, seems fairly skewed as it was clearly over by quarter 3, but almost the same could be said about game 4. So, save that argument.
Look further into the stats... when fouls are called less on one team in these games, what other stats seem to SKYROCKET for them? Steals, Blocks, and Turnovers For. It doesn't take a Rocket Surgeon Geologist to figure out that 'blocks' and 'steals,' when happening on a home court, are the self-same calls that are Personal Fouls on the away court and, simply enough, zap the energy and aggressiveness away from the team that is being flagged for such offenses. Watch the Steals and Blocks tonight, and engage yourself in analyzing how they are interpreted by the officials. This is not some master plan, mind you; I chalk it up to 'human instinct/human error/human interpretation.'
Look Further! What happens when the Lakers realize that they can drive without being hacked, pushed and prodded every step they take in the lane, and they will have to be guarded 'fairly'? They do what you guys beg them to, because, at that juncture in time, it is possible. Their shots 'at the goal' Spiked in game 5. *wink*
One cannot harp and bag and cry foul over Laker basketball when there is no paint to be had due to Stifling, Dirty, 80's Baby, Joe Dumars, Bill Laimbeer,
Kendrick Perkins(wannabes don't belong on this list), Dennis Rodman, Charles Oakley, Tree Rollins, Kevin McHale (Love you on NBATV big man!), Kyle Korver**, Leave Your Weak Shit At the House defense in the paint. When this happens, and it will on the road in over 80% of arenas we will play in, the Lakers are going to have to hit the damned becursed godforsaken demonspawned Outside Jumper. Yes, that dirty, dirty, slut will have to be tamed. Albeit, if only on the road, if only with a condom, if only after a hard night of cocaine with Derek Fisher and Ron Artest, that dirty little corner three will have to be the ace in the hole atleast 3 pivotal times during the game.
Yea, I said it. Sue me. The Lakers will lose if they don't hit the damn outside shots, because the interiors gonna be tighter than my 2Fast3Furious pink honda s2000.
Go to HoopData.com, and remove thine ignorance.
Disclaimer: My s2000 is not, in fact, pink. A black man in a pink car will only be found in Atlanta.
PS: Sorry Atlanta, its true.
Lebrons Elbow > *
Kyle Korver**= http://dandoesit.blogspot.com/2008/03/kyle-korver-you-bitch.html