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Thursday, June 17th, 2004

Subject:a bar full of posers
Posted by:damnlakers.
Time:1:40 am.
Game 5, NBA Finals - Pistons 100, Lakers 87 - Pistons 4-1

:: So the Shah man and I took it to Central Square last night - for beer and Detroit playing the Lakes like harmonicas.

The Game, The Lakes and their cronies - pundits - "dynasty," are history, of course.

What had me picking up jaws off a dirty bar room floor was this, coming from the mouth of an ancient wino:

"I'm actually a Lakers' fan. I mean, I'm a Celtic fan first..."

I imagined a dude walking into Fenway in the middle of the September playoff push. The BoSox could be down, 2-1 say, to Toronto. Then this dude looks at the scores from around the league, sees the Yanks have a 4-2 lead on the ChiSox, and turns to his Fenway neighbor:

"I'm actually a Yankees fan. Well, a Sox fan first, but they're down, so..."

I imagine walking into any St. _ , James, John, Jude, whatever Cathedral, and turning to my neighbor Catholic and telling him: "I'm rooting for Satan tonight. I mean, I'm a fan of God, but the way the Devil took down Eve... I've been a fan since day freakin' one."

Rooting for the Lakes in Boston?

Damn.

---------------
At the end of the game, there was applause, from the Shahster and me, and clumps of other drunkards.

Hatred of the Lakes, I suppose, can make us all feel the Pistons. Deep down, we all want hair and muscles like Big Ben, ... or we want a nickname like "Rip," or the Prince's bones-and-skin moves. We want the soul of Motown, of Lindsey Hunter. We'd dress in red, white, and blue jerseys if we could get away with it.

And who doesn't want the Temptations singing before we take the court...

---------

In the end, the Shahman, Farbman, and I agreed that we haven't seen basketball played at the Pistons' level since...

Shah said the Bulls.

I said the Lakes - as much as I hate that - rolling off a 17-1 playoff record a couple of years ago.

But, I'm not sure that I've ever enjoyed watching basketball as much as I did this month.

Not only did the Lakes go down, which would have been enough for me to enjoy this series, but every Pistons player threw something at the Lakes. Even freakin' Elden Campbell. The defense beat the Lakes offense to positions. The offense took care of the ball, shot fairly well, and took advantage of offensive boards, long defensive rebounds, and turnovers. The Pistons (minus Ben Wallace) even kept the pressure on the Lakes by running things right at the charity stripe.

So there you go, the finer team, the finer coach, the finer D will hoist up a banner next year.

Here's to the Pistons.

- damnlakers
Comments: Add Your Own.

Monday, June 14th, 2004

Subject:In a perfect world...
Posted by:damnlakers.
Time:10:59 am.
Game 4, NBA Finals - Pistons 88, Lakers 80 - Pistons 3-1

I'll be watching the Pistons win the NBA championship on Tuesday from a bar in Central Square (Cambridge, MA) with the Shahman.

As it stands, all I know is: I'll be watching Game 5 of the NBA Finals from a bar in Central Square (Cambridge, MA) with the Shahman.

------------

I'm not sure there's anything left to say about this Series, especially the Pistons play. They've made most pundits - especially those at espn.com - look silly. Before the Series, I was reading praise of the Pistons' D, but with this condition - as good as it is, it's still likely that the Lakes will get to 80 points. After that, the question was, "Can the Pistons actually score 80?"

We know how that turned out.

What impresses me most about the Pistons' D is that it's so athletic. They don't play slow-ball and thug their way to low scores (as one mid-90s New York team did). And I wouldn't say that the only difference between the Lakes and Pistons is "hustle." To me that implies that if only the Lakes chose to play a littler harder they'd beat the Pistons. The difference is - as Doc Rivers has been saying - the Pistons athleticism and speed. They've got the physical talent and the desire to pursue - shots, long boards, breakaways (evidence: Prince's rejection of Miller during the Pacer series). Their defense practically hunts the ball. And that's a reflection on the character of the players and, I think, the coaching job that Larry Brown has done.

------------

A lot had been made of the Malone-Rasheed matchup. How Sheed has the youth, the speed, the health, and the skills to make Malone look terrible. How the Pistons needed to exploit that.

Well, the Pistons got through the first three games of the Series with only minor contributions from Sheed.

Who knew that it would take a little bit of a tussle with Medvendenko and Sheed nearly blowing up at the refs to get him into this series. Sheed went for 11 points over the first 31 minutes of Game 4. After the third-quarter technical, Wallace went for 15 and hit the boars like a madman.

------------

Anyway, till next time...

- damnlakers
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Sunday, June 13th, 2004

Subject:Making a list...
Posted by:damnlakers.
Time:8:51 pm.
Pre-Game 4

Inspired by a reply to an entry, here's the official list of which Lakers and in what I order I hate them:

5 Horace Grant - George and Horace are the two players on the Lakers' bench that the ABC camera's seem to find. He's got 3 rings with Jordan and hasn't played a playoff minute (injured), but he moves off the bench like he's got more invested in this series than most of the (apathetic) Lakers on the court. Now, Horace isn't some 40+ year old bench player contributing some desperate energy, hoping for his first ring (aka: Kevin Willis). He isn't an good story gone sour because of injury (he ran himself out of Orlando after getting in a spat with T-Mac through an ESPN.com article). That, and because, frankly, no one really likes bench cheerleaders anyway, earn him this space here.

4 Phil Jackson - A guy who's coaching abilities consist of "dealing with superstars egos." He's won 6 wins with - the two best big game scorers of the last fifteen years, three of the top man-to-man defenders of the last fifteen years (Pippen, Jordan, and Kobe), and the most dominant big man of the last decade. He's become notorious for "undercoaching;" some probably think that's his speciality - his "skill" - letting his players play. But over the last two years, it has become abundantly clear that Laker games depend on the whims of Kobe and Shaq and the number of three point buckets Fisher, Rush, and Devean can knock down. His team gets beat to positions, beat to the ball, and they can't defend the lane. Phil's also got that goddamn soul patch and those supposed Zen-master skills. Gotta hate him.

3 Devean George - Why freakin' not?

2 Derek Fisher - For putting away the Spurs. For flopping. And for that dumbass grin.

1 Kobe Bryant - I hate him because I fear him. No one matters more to the Lakes than Kobe and his goddamn elevation. He flat out jumps guys on his three-point shots. There are murmurs of him being so aware of his "legacy" that he consciously chooses when (aka: 20 minutes after returning from Colorado) and when not (the day after anyone dare speak ill of his game) to perform. I hate him because he's great and a Laker. Put him in Memphis next year, and I could care less...

Course, Karl Malone. Unfortunately for Karl the irrelevance of his game doesn't justify ranking him in that top 5. The reasons? The hacking, the Jordan-in-reverse hanging on too long (if you recall, Jordan played past his prime in an attempt to make a floundering team a little more mediocre; Malone has chased a ring and the point scoring record as an afterthought on the freakin' Lakers).

Anyway, they should be throwing up the jump in the next 10 minutes...

Screw the Lakers,

- damnlakers
Comments: Add Your Own.

Friday, June 11th, 2004

Subject:I've got 99 problems. Being a bitch ain't one.
Posted by:damnlakers.
Time:11:12 am.
Game 3, NBA Finals - Pistons 88, Lakers 68 - Pistons 2-1

I'm trying to keep myself from getting too excited. I mean, the Spurs were up 2-0 and looked as good as the Pistons did. None of us believed that the Lakes could win 4 of the next 6, let alone 4 in a row against Duncan and his role players. But it happened.

And I said it somewhere below - cover the coffin with whatever crap you need. Sacrifice Bill Laimbeer to the NBA God of Physical Play and throw him on top of the pile. So, yeah, I'm suspending my belief until the Pistons get the 3rd win and take a 12 point lead into the final 24 seconds.

But, damn. One shot doesn't fall for the Lakes and this series is 3-0 Pistons. Course, as it stands in the real world, it's 2-1. Forgetting ABC's attempt to give Game 3 to the Lakes by flipping the final scores at the end of the game - putting Detroit 68 - Los Angeles 88 up on the screen - everything is going right for Detroit. I mean, there's not much you can say after a game like last night's. The Lakers are in "crisis." Detroit's in "control." bla. bla.

And, now the most Marc Stein can come up with is the obvious truth - are the Lakers done? "No." Course, cuz the Pistons still have to play two. Kobe, even when he's asked (aka:required) to play 48 minutes of trascendent D and offense to give the Lakes a chance in every game, is still one of the top-3 players in the league and, without a doubt, the best player in the final 8 minutes of the 4th since MJ. We already know anything can happen. So, no, the Lakers aren't done. But it doesn't look like Mr. Stein will go out and expect the Lakers to win more than a single game in Detroit. He won't even go out and say that the Lakes can win 2 in a row at home. And, if my brain's working, this is the same tool that said that after Game 1 we should all be expecting the Lakes to win 2, if not 3, in a row.
(http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playoffs2004/columns/story?columnist=stein_marc&id=1819726)

So yeah.

We may be down to the Lakers last 96 minutes of life...

- damnlakers
Comments: Add Your Own.

Subject:hahahahahahaa...
Posted by:upstateblues.
Time:10:38 am.
I guess it's cliche: but that was a good, old fashioned ass beating that the Pistons applied to the Lakers last night.

Man, oh man, those were some good times.

Jared
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Monday, June 7th, 2004

Subject:hells yeah.
Posted by:damnlakers.
Time:12:26 am.
Game 1, NBA Finals - Pistons 87, Lakers 75 - Pistons 1-0

You hear that O'Neal and Bryant go for 59 points, 23-43 from the field, and 12-16 from the charity stripe and you assume it's a typical Game 1 in LaLa land.

Course, when the rest of the Lakes go for 16 total points, go 6! for 30 from the field, and attempt 2 free throws, ... you're left with a Pistons upset and disappearing home court advantage.

I like the Pistons strategy: match up 1-1 on Kobe and Shaq (except to swarm em now and then to force a turnover), keep them under 70 total points, and match your league leading defense against the rest of the Lakes average-at-best offensive players. Then, you pray you can shoot 45%+ from the field and the arc.

And though they played something close to resembling their best ball... Rasheed Wallace only put in 27 minutes on the court. Elden Freakin' Campbell - an original Minnesota Laker, I believe, a hundred and fifty years old - put in 19 minutes. That's 6 minutes more than he averaged during the regular season and about 11 more than he's been playing in the postseason.

There's a reason for that.

I think Elden Campbell lost two of his legs during the Clinton administration.

So it goes - the Lakers stars can't play much better and the supporting group can. The Pistons can protect the ball a little bit better and Rasheed can get 30-35 minutes.

Screw the Lakers.

- damnlakers
Comments: Add Your Own.

Saturday, June 5th, 2004

Subject:Tell me that it isn't true.
Posted by:damnlakers.
Time:10:36 am.
The Day Before

The last time that I dreamt about the NBA playoffs, I dreamt that actual final score of the 7th game of the Kings-Wolves matchup.

Last night, I dreamt a 33-11 first quarter lead for the Lakers against the Pistons. Not likely to actually happen, what with the Pistons D, but it gave me a fright anyway.

Now, all superstition aside:

Despite all the hoopla about the Kobe-Hamilton matchup - (they played against each other in high school..., Hamilton would like nothing more than to have Kobe guard him so he can run Kobe through three or four picks a possession), - the most interesting matchup is certainly Malone-Wallace. Malone had all kinds of trouble against the young power forwards of the West, which as of a half season ago Wallace was. If things get tight and the Pistons come up with a couple of games, look for some patented "physical play" from Malone. Then, if Malone throws a couple WWF-type hacks at Wallace, we could be in for a real treat - a bunch of mouthed "motherf***ers" (unless ABC does the right thing and mics Walllace so we can hear the words), a couple post-game, outside the locker room duels, ... and somehow , thanks to the likes of Marc Stein (*see below), Wallace will come out looking like the out of his mind, dirtyballer, while Malone remains the old-school, future HOF'er who's just searching for a ring. (On the freakin' coattails of two of the top four players of the last five years, it's worth pointing out.)

In some final news, Marc Stein of espn.com is a tool. In two articles, he's handed the Lakers the NBA Finals championship and the label of the greatest franchise ever. I understand that he's an LA man and all, but come on, at least wait until the Lakers actually take 4. But again, maybe I can only believe that the Pistons have anything resembling a chance because I...

Freakin hate the Lakers...

- damnlakers
Comments: Add Your Own.

Tuesday, June 1st, 2004

Subject:paranoia sets in.
Posted by:damnlakers.
Time:7:49 pm.
Mood: pissed off.
Game 6, Western Conference Finals, Lakers 96 - T'Wolves 90, Lakers 4-2

I've been saying it since before the playoffs. Until someone digs the whole six and a half feet deep, drops the Lakers down in, pours four feet of concrete on em, piles three feet of dirt on top of that, then reads a Eulogy for the Lakes, I'll fear em. They've got a way - got one guy bigger and stronger than anyone on the court, got a guy who'll go down as the best 4th quarter performer since... guys named MJ and Reggie, got Malone and Payton, got Fuckin' Fisher, and now... Kareem Freakin' Rush.

(And now I know how Webber felt when he said (this was two or three years ago) that he's always worried about Shaq. Always. I imagined Webber darting around corners in his own house and his own bathroom like a fool, fearing and trying to avoid The Man. That's how I am. People shout, "they've got four-tenths of a second to get up a shot" and I flip out. I smash the TV. I dive under the bed. I fire up air balls in pick up games. I weep. Openly. In public.)

Of course, the Wolves never bothered to dig the hole. You can't do that with a single digit lead - going into the fourth - in LA. In that situation, you expect Kobe to drop a dozen on you and Shaq, even with 5 fouls, to get a couple put backs and a couple crappy free throws. And you expect the cardboard cutouts of the two future HOFers to add a couple of baskets.

But no one expects Kareem Rush to do his best Rex Chapman imitation and hit 6 of his first 6 three pointers. RIP: Wolves.

And, I suppose, you can't anticipate a Derek Fisher prayer with two-fifths of a tick left on the clock. RIP: Spurs.

So now I'm gonna get a little delusional. I'm gonna pull for the Pistons and pray that an Eastern Conference team without home court advantage can do what the two best West Coast teams couldn't: get it to a Game 7 where, I've been telling myself, anything can happen. I know the Pacers would have home court against the Lakes, I know that they have a better record than Detroit does against the West and the same record as the Pistons against LA (1-1), but I'll take the healthier (Detroit), better defensive (Detroit) team. Gotta figure (because I'm still illogically optimistic and not convinced that LA is that good) that any team that blocks nineteen shots in one game has a chance in pretty much any game.

Gotta figure.
(Yeah. Sure.)

- damnlakers
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Subject:Lakers suck
Posted by:steven_q.
Time:8:01 pm.
Mood:Lakers suck.
Just thought I'd profess my hate for the lakers. I hate them. They suck. If they win the title, it will make me mad. If they lose, I'll be so happy.

So that means with my luck they'll probably win.

Damn them Lakers.

-Steve-
Comments: Read 1 orAdd Your Own.

Monday, May 31st, 2004

Subject:Freakin' Lakers
Posted by:damnlakers.
Time:10:53 pm.
Wolves +9 in the 2nd.
Wolves +2 in the 3rd. (So far.)

It's no exaggeration - but the balance of good and evil in the world depends on this impending (and a Game 7) Wolves victory.

God, I hate the Lakers.

- damnlakers
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Subject:damnlakers.com's "Freakin' Lakers" Community.
Posted by:damnlakers.
Time:1:21 pm.
Welcome to damnlakers.com's "Freakin' Lakers" Community.
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