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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Lakers Lose Game 4 @ Staples Center, with some help!

The game and our seats for Game 4 of the NBA playoffs series between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns was pretty good. I say that with the exception of 3 plays at the beginning of the 4th quater -- it was a pretty good game. (more on the below)

Overall, we had a pretty good time and were happy to finally attend a Lakers playoff game. While we had tickets last year, we happened to be on vacation in Germany -- so we missed out on two great games at Staples Center.

The main issue I had is that Kobe Bryant took very few shots from the outside in the 4th quarter. Everyone seemed to beg him to launch a "3", but he continued to pass it to the interior -- even with a 10+ point defecit. Perhaps he wasn't feeling it?

The Lakers interior defense was awful. I cannot tell you how many layups they gave to the Phoenix Suns. To the Lakers credit, the game was at least close through three quarters.

Here are a couple of videos I took at the game:

Los Angeles Lakers Lineups:

Phoenix Suns Lineups:

Here is my rant on the game:

Simply, I do not want to take anything away from the Phoenix Suns. Amare Stoudemire and Steve Nash both had monsterous games. What I want to point out that there were a series of 3-plays that changed the nature of the game at the start of the 4th Quarter that altered the game and rather than the lead going down to 6 points, it swelled to 14.

Every team has a couple of calls that go against them in the game. Rarely do they alter the course of the game. In this case, the blown calls by Dan (Danny) Crawford, Ron Garretson, and Tim Donaghy were a travesty to a great game and they should be ashamed of themselves.

In quick, successive order -- the sequence looked like this -- Kobe Bryant, offensive foul call (no foul, even on replay), Kwame Brown offensive foul where he was hacked by Boris Diaw, and then a Boris Diaw 3-point play when Boris was clearly guilty of an offensive foul on a clear out. And just like that, the game went to a 14-point mountain from what should have been a 6-point defecit.

Would the Los Angeles Lakers win the game without these calls? Your guess is good as mine, they still likely could have loss. What is definitely true is that Danny Crawford and the officating crew robbed the fans of a great finish by blowing these three consecutive calls. Of course there were others, but these three impacted the outcome of the game.