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Westsider Rider

Monday, April 24, 2006

Close but not quite good enough

The Lakers opened up the playoffs with a tough 107-102 loss at Phoenix yesterday. Although it was a tough L to take I am definitely pleased with what I saw yesterday and still have confidence in this team to win this series. Kobe ran the gameplan and did not force anything unnecessary to try to get his. The plan is to pound the Suns inside because of their lack of size and it would have gotten the job done had Kwame and Lamar not missed so many point blank looks from 10 ft and in. Also would've helped if Lamar didn't shoot 50% from the Free Throw Line.

There are numerous mismatches the Lakers can take advantage of in the low post and they tried to do that for most of the game. Some of those shots just didn't fall, add that to the fact that Kobe had one of his worst games of the season shooting I can't really complain about the loss. Sure Kobe got fouled late in the game with no call and a couple of the block/charge calls were questionable but still the Lakers should have pulled that one out. Tim Thomas cannot shoot like that for the entire series and Kobe can't shoot that bad for the rest of the series as well.

I was extremely pleased with the good start by everyone on the team as it was a very balanced attack, something we're not used to seeing lately since Kobe used to have to put up 40+ for the Lakers to win but that's not the case now. Smush Parker and Luke Walton had good games, Kwame played pretty good but could have done better so it's definitely something the team can build off of.

Heading to Staples tonight to check out the Clippers-Nuggets game maybe it will be as exciting as the past two matchups the teams have had. Wonder which jersey's the Nuggets will wear tonight as they sported one of their alternate jerseys on Saturday, which look pretty tight by the way. Does anyone have more jerseys than them? I think the Clippers will take this series and as long as the Lakers can hold up their end of the bargain it could be the battle of LA in round 2.

Finally some Michigan news as the Florida State Scout site is reporting that Ryan Mallett will have his decision this week. I would assume this would be a good sign for the Maize and Blue as we are the only school that he has visited out of his finalists which also include Florida State, Oklahoma and Alabama. It has been long rumored that Michigan is the team to beat and hopefully by him moving up his timetable it will be good for us. It's always a big help when a big time player, especially a QB gets on board early and helps recruit other players as well.

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