June 02, 2002

"I'm going to play aggressive. If they call (Game 7) like they're supposed to call it, the outcome will be the same it was (on Friday). You've got to foul me to stop me. Period." -- Shaquille O'Neal, promising to do a bang-up job when the Western Conference decides tonight which team will cut down the Nets.

posted by rcade to basketball at 01:02 PM - 24 comments

My pick: Sacramento by 10 on the strength of some lights-out three point shooting. The Kings' advantage of playing Game 7 at their court is going to be more than Shaq and Bryant can handle.

posted by rcade at 01:06 PM on June 02, 2002

I love Shaq.

posted by Succa at 05:44 PM on June 02, 2002

The Kings will win, and Shaq is a brainless bully,counting on the refs is not a wise move.

posted by jbou at 05:56 PM on June 02, 2002

Game's about to start- the fact that "the refs" seem to be such a factor is really sad. Please, just let the officiating be consistent. I.E. that elbow that Kobe Bryant gave Bibby at the end of game 6 should have been called an offensive foul, no matter what point in the game, who the player is, inadvertant or not. Sacramento seems a little tense as they start out, they need to chill out!

posted by jeremias at 06:45 PM on June 02, 2002

Game just went into overtime, this is shaping up to be a phenomenal game. As far as the refs, I can't tell you how happy it made me to see them call a foul on Kobe in the last 10 seconds. Of course he had to complain like it was the end of the world. Try as I might I can't find much to like about him (except that he is a great player).

posted by jeremias at 09:25 PM on June 02, 2002

I wouldn't write of the Eastern Conference so quickly. Before the season people had already given the Lakers a trophy. Now it's OT in game 7 of the Western Conference Championship. So they might not even make the finals. If it is the Kings they had a one point win and a 34 point loss to the Nets.

posted by srboisvert at 09:29 PM on June 02, 2002

Ah, crap. Other than Mike Bibby, no one was apparently playing for the Kings for that last 10 minutes- he did an admirable job of playing 5 on 1 basketball in overtime. I can't believe the ineptitude of Doug Christie (or any King from 3 point land)! Any of those puppies fall, and the game turns out differently. It looked like the Kings lost all their energy, and every shot was short or off. But this game was lost by the Kings at the free throw line. It was a cleanly officiated game, the refs wisely saying, "Guys, just play- no cheap fouls." And how about Kobe acting all shocked on the foul call near the end of regulation when he literally ran Bibby into the ground to prevent him getting open- Kobe, shut your yap and accept that you got the foul, you prima freakin' donna! Anyway... Go Nets! Beat LA! Beat LA! Beat LA!

posted by hincandenza at 09:48 PM on June 02, 2002

Sigh... As much as I'd like to see the Nets win, I just can't see it happening. Who's going to compete with Shaq in the middle? I see him averaging 30 points a game. The Laker's role players are running at full steam now. Kobe and Jason Kidd cancel each other out. Another year of the Lakers on top.

posted by jeremias at 09:54 PM on June 02, 2002

it was a great game, just like this whole series... the officiating was better than friday, but still not great... and yes, kobe is a little bitch... oh well... i guess i have to root for the nets now....

posted by PugAchev at 09:54 PM on June 02, 2002

I can't believe Christie laid that brick; if the guy missed a shot in the Dallas series, I must have been out of the room. I don't think you can complain much about the Kings when they took the Lakers to game seven and overtime, but it sure felt like they made all of the mistakes from the fourth quarter onward. Webber's technical, all the missed free throws, Divac's sixth foul, Turkoglu's pass in the paint to three Lakers ... except for Bibby on offense and Webber's terrific late-game defense on Shaq, the Kings disappeared at the end of the game. It's too bad, because I don't think the Nets are anywhere close to putting up the fight the Kings did.

posted by rcade at 10:05 PM on June 02, 2002

DAMMIT. Every team I've rooted for this playoffs series in basketball and hockey has lost. I hope we are all underestimating the Nets, and may God have mercy on their souls, because Shaq and Kobe certainly will not.

posted by insomnyuk at 10:13 PM on June 02, 2002

I'm glad the Lakers won, and I feel the Kings' pain. This was a thrilling series. The Lakers winning in overtime was a perfect ending for me.

posted by neuroshred at 11:38 PM on June 02, 2002

I'm really surprised the Lakers pulled it off. Make no mistake, I've been a life-long Laker fan, but even I would admit they were being beaten silly in this series. The Kings were a better team in every game; when the Lakers were kicking ass and playing well, they'd only be up three or four points and in the course of a few seconds Sacramento could turn the tide and be up by five. The officiating Friday night was crap and it was the only reason why they won the game.

posted by mathowie at 11:46 PM on June 02, 2002

I salute Bibby for not punching Jim Grey in the nose. "So, Mike, tell me about the horrendous, soul-crushing despair you must be feeling right now. In detail, please." What an a-hole.

posted by kafkaesque at 01:19 AM on June 03, 2002

*groan* There was no reason whatsoever that this series should have gone to seven. That said, I kept screaming for Adelman to go with a small lineup at the end and put the ball in Bobby Jackson's hands. Peja and Christie had no business shooting the ball. *double-groan*

posted by avogadro at 06:33 AM on June 03, 2002

We've been over this ground before, but I don't see what the big deal is about Jim Gray. What's he supposed to ask the guy about after the game, if not his disappointment over the loss?

posted by rcade at 07:54 AM on June 03, 2002

No SAC. No balls. No finals. SAC cracked under pressure, with the exception of Bibby. Webber played "D" but seemed to be afraid to shoot. He always seems nervous when things are on the line (like he's about to call a timeout). You have to hand it to Lakers who relished the pressure. That's why I have no sympathy for athletes like Michelle Kwan. If you can't perform when the pressure is suffocating, then you do not deserve a gold or a championship. You may be good. You may be great. But you need MOJO to win it all.

posted by jacknose at 09:30 AM on June 03, 2002

The Lakers share a trait with a lot of the greatest teams -- to beat them, your margin for error is razor-thin. I don't think Webber or Sacramento performed that dismally. I just think every mistake they made against LA was huge. If Divac hadn't given Horry that last-second assist a few games ago, I think we'd be toasting Sacramento for knocking off the champ.

posted by rcade at 11:23 AM on June 03, 2002

But you need MOJO to win it all. Ack...I apologize in advance, but shut up! You need mojo, champions find a way, blah blah blah. The team was fricking robbed, on more than a few occasions. This isn't about honor, or heroes, or any such crap. The officiating was horrendous and the Lake Show should've ended.

posted by BlueTrain at 01:17 PM on June 03, 2002

Huh. I don't remember the officials interfering with the Kings' free throw shooting in Game 7. Must have been when I went to get a coke from the fridge.

posted by grum@work at 03:46 PM on June 03, 2002

grum: well, sure, in the last few minutes of Game 7 (or really, Game 7 as a whole for the most part) the officiating was fine. Look, when the Celtics lost against the Nets, I was sad, but recognized the Nets just outplayed the Celtics and Boston didn't play the right game. Fair enough. Likewise, Sacramento played brilliantly well for about 43 minutes... and after that, they made silly, tired, rushed mistakes (inability to hit wide open 3's on shaky legs, Turkaglo's insane pass into heavy traffic in OT, etc.). Sacramento lost Game 7 fair and square, and in a deciding game LA won it as champions are supposed to. But the complaint of many fans is that the Lakers should never have even had a chance at Game 7 to begin with; that Sacramento in the first 6 games of the series, sans the alleged bad officiating, would have won at least 4 of them and ended the series before that winner-take-all final game. It would be like an umpire calling a horrible and biased strike zone for 8 innings, then faulting your team for not winning it in the 9th.

posted by hincandenza at 07:28 PM on June 03, 2002

The reason Sacramento lost the series is because in game 7 they were unable to shoot anything better than Shaq-like at the free throw line. Everything that happened before that game should be ignored. It happened and it's over. Blaming the series loss on the previous 6 games is the equivalent for blaming the loss on the fact that the Lakers stole Kobe Bryant from Charlotte by dangling Vlade Divac in the Hornets' eyes 5 and a half years ago. IF the refereeing in game 7 was biased in favour of the Lakers, THEN I can understand complaining about it. Unless something has an effect on the actual deciding game (injured players, bad officiating, etc), then blaming anything else is just sour grapes. Complain about it when it happens, but as soon as the next game starts, it's no longer an issue.

posted by grum@work at 08:50 PM on June 03, 2002

The team was fricking robbed . . . I was rooting for the Kings, but I hardly think they were robbed. Divac probably fouled Shaq 30+ times a game. That Divac stayed in the game as long as he did was a gift. Say what you will about Shaq, but he rarely complains, even though he constantly gets hacked. I wanted the Kings to win so bad, but I was getting tired of seeing Webber whine after every shot. Just play basketball! The fact is, one day Lakers will lose (hopefully against the Nets). When that day comes, it will be because a team beat them, not because a group of referees decided to stop favoring the Lakers. Honestly, the Kings could have and should have won. Please, it was not simply because the referees did not let them.

posted by jacknose at 09:24 PM on June 03, 2002

Well said, jacknose. Bad officiating goes both ways. All the players can do is make their shots.

posted by neuroshred at 09:51 PM on June 03, 2002

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