The Lakers’ Fab Four last night was Pau, Kobe, Derek, and Shannon.

My Sweep Lord:  By George, Pau is Leenon towards a Ring-o, as Gasol and Kobe Come Together and Beat the Help!-less Jazz 111-96 Yesterday, to Best them 4-0 and Get Back to the Western Finals — but Here Come The Suns (and LeBron is thinking:  “I’ll Follow The Suns”)

Hello, Goodbye, Utah.  Your Magical Mystery Tour is over, and your Long and Winding Road has come to a dead end.  I Imagine that you want to sing “I Buried Pau!” but instead, next Monday is just another Day in the Life for you, while Pau and the Men in Yellow-gold will be trying to Submarine the Phoenix Suns in the Conference Finals.  And there’s nothing you can do but Let It Be, and nowhere for you to go.  Nowhere, Man.

And the Wall was Pau.  Utah really suffered a Hard Day’s Night, as Laker Star(r) Pau Gasol was working like a dog.  He led all scorers with 33, and he collected 14 Rebounds, 2 Assists, and 2 Blocks, as the Lakers dominated for most of the last 40 minutes of the game.  Utah came out as if they weren’t already a defeated team, and they led for the first 9 minutes of the game, but Utah decided not to double-team Gasol, so Pau started to assert himself underneath.  He scored 17 before Intermission, as the Lakers built a 22-point lead in the 2nd Quarter, and took a 17-point advantage into the locker room.

Jerry Sloan’s Jazz, to their credit, did NOT give up.  It would have been very easy to throw in the towel, considering that no one has ever survived a 0-3 Series deficit, and considering that the dead Salt Lake crowd was so deflated.  But the Jazz, led by Deron Williams and Paul Millsap who each scored 21, went on a tear in the 3rd Quarter, and cut the margin all the way down to 5.  But then Kobe scored 4 in a row, and it spurred a 16-4 Laker Run that put the Series away.  Kobe finished with 32, and now gets a week to rest all his ailments before the Suns hit Staples Center.

As you will read and hear all week, the Lakers took 3 out of 4 from the Suns this year, losing by 15 in Phoenix in December.  And you will also hear that Phoenix has improved quite a bit from earlier in the year, while the Lakers haven’t.  But what you won’t hear is that the game the Lakers lost to the Suns was L.A.’s third game in four days, starting with the Christmas loss to LeBron, and more importantly, Ron Artest MISSED that game in Phoenix with a concussion.  So the Lakers are actually an undefeated 3-0 against Phoenix this year when at 100%.

Kobe says that Phoenix is the exact opposite type of team from Utah.  And most people think that the Suns will try to run the old Lakers off the court, ala OKC.  Experts think that a slow pace gives the Lakers and their Twin Towers the edge, but if they allow Phoenix to force a quick pace, the Suns would have a distinct advantage.  Sounds like it’s a good thing that the Lakers have home court advantage — and a healthy Artest — waiting for the Suns.  And they may have a little extra Jordan Farmar waiting for them too — Farmar matches up better with Steve Nash than he did with Deron Williams (and possibly better than Shannon Brown does), and also, Jordan doesn’t mind a faster pace, so maybe this will be the Series were Farmar breaks out.   

I’d settle for Lakers in 7.  Koo koo ca choo.

“They were just 17… you know what I mean.  And the way they looked, was way beyond compare…”    



  1. Hey Jude Avatar
    Hey Jude

    Mr. T-H/Laker Lover, I would be interested in your take on Bill Simmons’ description of a night at the Staples Center:


    If you get to home games enough, do you agree?

    [T-H’s Note: First of all, let it be known that I was a die-hard Laker fan a long time before Dr. Trojan Buss came to town. I was even at one of the 33-Straight. So, I root for the Lakers DESPITE the Owner. And UCLA will always be a part of the Laker Legacy, with Kareem, Gail Goodrich, and Jamaal Wilkes, and to a lesser extent, Keith Erickson, Lynn Shackleford, Tracy Murray, Jelani McCoy, Trevor Ariza and Jordan Farmar.

    And as far as Simmons’ article is concerned: I had Laker Season Tickets for many years, including for the Three-peat. I gave them up when Buss idiotically signed scumbags Karl Malone and Gary Payton, who both ruined the potential Four-peat. So I do have enough Staples experience to make some observations:

    The article is basically correct. Simmons certainly has a handle on the 3 types of fans, as well as the entire FEEL of the event. And Simmons is actually UNDERSTATING the difference between a regular season game and a Playoff game. During the regular season, a lot of Laker fans give away their seats to less knowledgeable fans, or they take their kids, whose attention spans don’t allow them to watch the whole game. During the Playoffs, the more experienced fans show up, and the level of hotness of their dates skyrockets exponentially. The same things happen for Kings Playoff games: Suddenly, Staples is crawling with Supermodels, Movie Stars, Rock Stars, Porn Stars, and other Laker Girl-caliber escorts. There might as well be a red carpet leading into… Oh wait… There IS.

    And I know that the East Coast blows L.A. away when it comes to boorish fan behavior, but to say that Laker fans don’t get drunk and yell at the refs would be an exaggeration. It’s just that when you are sitting next to Lisa Leslie, in the good seats, there is a lot more security, and no tolerance of Celtic-type fans, so Bill didn’t see it as much. But still, compared to Boston, he is correct in that L.A. is, obviously, 100 times more laid back.

    One thing he didn’t mention was the usc Band, which is at all Laker games, playing their insipid “Air-Ball” riff, and Tusk, and just generally infecting the atmosphere with their low-class act. Maybe since they are stuck so high up in the rafters, Simmons didn’t even hear them. If so, he should consider himself lucky.

    And as far as the surrounding area: Absolutely. They SAVED Downtown, with the new L.A. Live development. It used to be a haven for scary homeless panhandlers and gangbangers, but now your Great Aunt Sophie can stroll across the intersection of Olympic and Fig after a game, at 10:30 at night, without any fear. It’s an amazing transformation that you have to see to believe… but I still rather attend a game at Pauley. The Laker Girls are great, but the UCLA Spirit Squad is even better.

    And one final note: Even though Simmons is a Celtic fan and even though the article went on and on, I still liked it, EXCEPT for the two scatalogical references. And it was especially lame and disrespectful to make a toilet joke in reference to Nicholson.]

  2. Hey Jude Avatar
    Hey Jude

    T-H, thanks for your extended comments! And I agree, Bill’s single image of a Laker Girl was nothing compared to the Spirit Squad. 😉