Hey, I'm stepping in for wondahbap here to provide you with today's links ...
It's closing time for the Lakers tonight (6:30 PM Pacific, ESPN), so I'll start off with an oldie but a goodie,and refer you back to an old Fanpost of mine. This is a scene from Glengarry Glen Ross that Phil Jackson loves to play for his team in close-out games (warning- some foul language).
We all know Houston is going to respond (at least I would hope so), so the Lakers are going to have to to bring it full force tonight. Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired.
Without further ado, your links...
Houston Chronicle - The Last Stand? 3 points shot must fall
"That’s our team," Shane Battier said. "When people are ready to write us off, we come out with a great effort. It happened in Game 4. There’s no reason to think it won’t happen in Game 6."
There is ample reason to think they could rebound again. There also is cause to wonder if they have tested the theory once too often.
The Press-Enterprise - Which Lakers will show up?
"There's a mind-set you take into a close-out game that's different than other games," point guard Derek Fisher said. "You smell or sniff the opportunity to advance . ..."
Too Much Rod Benson - The Name Game
Remember the days when a fade-away jumper was called a "Jordan"? A shot off the glass used to be called a "Duncan"? At least that's what we called them where I played. Antoine Wright(notes) opened up a whole new way of naming plays on the court that I had never thought of before.
For example, an extremely hard intentional foul is now a "Derek Fisher." No matter what, it's a term coined forever.
The Dan Patrick Show - Jerry West
"Houston, when healthy, is the only team that could play with the Lakers," West said. But West said without Yao, they don't have enough scoring.
L.A. Times - Andrew Bynum and pals: young at heart and on court
If Farmar is a celebrity, Bynum is second in popularity only to Bryant among Lakers fans, according to our page views.
AP/Denver Post - List of top 15 cable shows in Nielsen ratings
Rankings for the top 15 programs on cable networks as compiled by Nielsen Media Research for the week of May 4-10. Day and start time (EDT) are in parentheses:
1. NBA Playoffs: Houston vs. L.A. Lakers (Wednesday, 10:43 p.m.), TNT, 4.78 million homes, 6.32 million viewers.
2. NBA Playoffs: L.A. Lakers vs. Houston (Friday, 9:51 p.m.), ESPN, 4.43 million homes, 5.95 million viewers.
3. "ICarly: I Date a Bad Boy" (Saturday, 8 p.m.), Nickelodeon, 4.37 million homes, 6.47 million viewers.
Detroit News - Shane Battier's text buddy? Obama ... sort of
According to a Houston television station, Obama sent Battier a text message, through one of his aides, after the Rockets beat the Lakers in Game 4.
Suns.com - Shaq Named to All-NBA team
2008-09 ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM
Position Player, Team (1st Team Votes) Points
Forward LeBron James, Cleveland (122) 610
Forward Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas (35) 383
Center Dwight Howard, Orlando (116) 598
Guard Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers (119) 604
Guard Dwyane Wade, Miami (103) 572
ESPN - NBA's 65 in 65: Allan Houston
John - San Antonio: Hello Allan: How do you think is the better "all around" play Kobe Bryant or LeBraun (sic) James?
Allan Houston: Until Lebron wins a championship, I'll have to go with Kobe. But the thing I love about LeBron is that he has more of an impact on is team in his leadership. He knows he's the man but he doesn't act like it. He wants everybody to win. You can see that he loves his teammates and he lifts the team moral up. But Kobe still has something in him that makes him a winner.
Slamdumb - Hilarious NBA related comics (some adult language and situations)
These are some well illustrated and funny comics lampooning the latest NBA issues and news
Picture - Lamar hangs out with cast of "Trueblood
hat tip to Hardwood Paroxysm
OC Register - Bynum has a sore heel
It turns out that Bynum has some heel soreness, which is why he removed both shoes during the third quarter and had Lakers assistant athletic trainer Marco Nunez replace the orthotics in both of Bynum’s sneakers.
Slamonline - Lakers/Rockets Game 5 recap
–Luke Walton and Sasha Vujacic check in together, maybe because Phil wants to keep the game close. Von Wafer comes and checks Vujacic in the "streaky shooters with wild hair and questionable attitudes" matchup
Bill Simmons and Malcolm Gladwell exchange emails (from Truehoop)
Here's the point: Let's send 2006 Kobe or 2009 LeBron back to 1993 in a time machine. Suddenly, Jordan can't walk away, because he would look scared. More importantly, he wouldn't want to walk away because, deep down, he'd know that those guys would bring the best out of him. In my book, I make the point that we spent so many years searching for an archrival for Jordan -- the Frazier to his Ali, someone who'd bring the best out of him -- when really, that player was Lenny Bias, and one cocaine binge ruined what should have been a fierce rivalry.
Video: Joel and Stu Preview Game 6
Daily News: These Lakers are a study in exasperation
"I've been around the city for quite some time whether local media or national media, we're always going to be the more popular, easy target," Derek Fisher said. "It's L.A. We have the personality and individuals that people recognize. There's a target on our back, good and bad. Once you understand that, you're able to deal with it, and it's not as big of a deal. You can concentrate on the guys in the locker room and stay on task."