The Lakers eased our minds early and completely dominated the Rockets in Game 7, showing us the team we expect to see night in and night out.
the defense was great last night. Mainly because Pau and Bynum actually played the screen and roll properly and aggressively, and protected the basket as well. Without Brooks controlling game for the Rockets, they were lost. Battier isn't a scorer, Hayes can't score, Artest can't take a good shot, and Scola was played much better. All of this because Fish wasn't left out to dry. See what happens when Pau has a clue, and Andrew blocks shots?
That being said, I'd like to give a slight apology to Fish. He played Brooks the same way he had been, only yesterday, he had help. Brooks got nothing easy. The Rockets got nothing. Period.
Silver Screen and Roll's Tempo-Free Boxscore Breakdown
Now we get to endure a bunch of boring articles about our Jekyll and Hyde complex.
Here you go.....
Click on through for the rest of your Lakers Links...
When the Lakers play. People care. Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinal series between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets was the most watched basketball game ever on ESPN.
Yahoo's Johnny Ludden: Lakers learn lesson - for one game
"Somewhere amongst all the warm embraces and fist bumps, Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers would have been wise to tell their worthy opponents something more than goodbye.
Something like thanks.
The Lakers needed the Houston Rockets to push and drag them through the 13 days and seven games of this series, even if the greatest drama usually filled the headlines on the mornings in between.
They needed to be humbled, even if the feeling isn’t certain to stay with them.
They needed Sunday afternoon, when, prodded – shamed – into raising their effort and energy, they realized how good they can be."
OC Register's Keven Ding: Defense looks possible again for Lakers
"That's important, but the way the Lakers did it is the critical part. They defended their honor by defending … the only way they're going to be good enough to be an NBA championship team."
The Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan: The Lakers are strong survivors
" 'I think the Lakers will be favored,' Houston forward Shane Battier said. 'I just don't think Denver's really been tested at this point. They played a New Orleans team that was sort of coming apart at the seams at the time. The Dallas team without [a full-strength] Josh Howard is a remarkably different team. It'll be very interesting to see how the Nuggets react when they see adversity for the first time in the playoffs.'
The Lakers know all about adversity."
LA Daily News' Ramona Shelburne: Ka-Pau! Lakers Gasol dispels 'soft' label"Sunday, with his howling, scowling effort in the Lakers' most important game of the season, Gasol finally put his stamp on this team.
He growled. Fixed his jowl hard and fierce, and screamed into the purple-and-gold-colored afternoon.
'He really is totally different than what people think he is. He's a killer,' teammate Trevor Ariza said. 'Killer Pau.' "
Sports Illustrated's Arash Markazi: Lakers show full potency at home
"As amazing as the Rockets played in taking the Lakers to seven games, what's even more impressive is that they did it with little to no help from Artest. After scoring a combined 31 points in the previous three games, Artest scored only seven points and was 1-of-6 from beyond the arc Sunday. Even though the Rockets seemed to improve with each star player that they lost, they probably weren't expecting to lose another one who was perfectly healthy."
Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer: Behind the Box Score, where the Lakers are moving on
"He is radioactive. And not because he got in a fight or threw a camera or messed with his coach. He's radioactive because he has the ball in his hands, and he thinks he's a much better player than he actually is. That's a radioactive combination. He also turns 30 in November. This is as good as he's ever going to be.
Listen, Ron Artest played hard for the Rockets this year. He put up with a lot, and he worked his tail off for this team. He played hard, but he didn't play smart."
The Los Angeles Times' Bill Plaschke: The Lakers prove they do have two sides
(Ironic. Plaschke only has one side. Being boring bobblehead. Original thought and Plaschke have never met.)
"They turn it on and decisively win Game 7 against Houston, but how much can we trust them? The Denver Nuggets will have the unlikely role of the more emotionally sound team starting Tuesday."
The Los Angeles Times' Mark Heisler: Dose of reality cures what ailed Lakers, at least for a day
"Getting through a tough seven-game series against Rockets forces Lakers to raise their level of play, which they needed, and introduces them to a new and important concept: humility."
Hardwood Paroxysm: Where The Inevitable Happens: Houston at LA
- The LA Lakers are tall and better at basketball than this Rockets squad.
- The end.
The Los Angeles Times' T.J. Simers: Lakers figure out how not to take the easy way out
(Continuing his assault on Phil, Kobe and the Lakers...)
"But I wonder. I wonder if Jackson does anything.
Before the game I asked him, 'Do you feel you've been on top of your game in this series?'...
...They get Carmelo Anthony, who plays a brand of basketball so selfish -- it's only a matter of time before he plays Denver out of the series. And our guys will probably stand around waiting for that to happen, because they have previous experience standing around and watching a selfish player at work."
(Why do I bother to link this guy???)
Andrew Bynum Comes up big, thinks bigger
Bynum listens, learns, and attacks
Bynum looking sharp at the right time
Kobe needs to take a break from doin' his work? (Here's an absolutely moronic article from a Portland Tribune writer, who goes out of his way to bash the "leadership" of Kobe and Jordan, then praise Clyde Drexler being the opposite while a Blazer. Two players who have 9 rings total. Meanwhile, Drexler didn't win any rings until he left Portland, and Jordan the left te NBA for 2 years. Typical.)
Kobe's biggest game of his career was on Sunday?
20 Second Timeout's Los Angeles vs. Denver Preview
Forum Blue & Gold's "No Time to Rest - First Denver Thoughts
Nuggets' belief system in place
Nuggets refreshed, ready for West Finals, but will they be rusty?
Lakers will see new-look Nuggets
Pau Gasol says he's ready for Nuggets' Martin
New Kobe/LBJ Puppet Commerical: