Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wha Hoppon?

After taping a terrific podcast on the New York technology scene with my friend Andrew Hage, watching the fascinating 30 for 30 Documentary about Ricky Williams, Run Ricky Run, painfully watching the Cavs get the benefit of some shaky officiating in eliminating the Bulls from the playoffs and watching the Heat not even trying to help Dwyane Wade stay in their series against the Celtics, I was hoping to cap the night off with another terrific installment in the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder First Round Playoff series.  However, Game 5 played out like the opposite of Game 4 and turned into an absolute blowout. I tried to remain strong and provide my play-by play commentary, however, I had to concede to the priorities of other projects once the Lakers' lead hovered around 30 points in the third quarter. So, here is the abbreviated play-by-play from the disappointing Game 5 of the Oklahoma City vs. Los Angeles Lakers First Round Playoff series:

Tip-off at 10:52 EST.

First Quarter:

12:00 - Lakers win the tip.

11:47 - The Lakers throw the ball away early.  Maybe they will be pressing a little too much tonight now that the Thunder have given them some push back.

11:35 - Durant misses his first shot.  He has been starting slow.

11:16 - Gasol makes an easy baseline hook. He makes it look so effortless. 2-0 LAL.

11:02 - Durant misses another jumper and Sefalosha misses the tip-in opportunity.  The Thunder can't come out and have a poor shooting night.  They need to get in this game early if they want to win.  The L.A. crowd wants a win and Kobe will make sure to deliver.

10:47 - Westbrook drives and gets tied up by Artest. Jump ball.  OKC fouls on the tip and L.A. gets the ball.  Kobe throws the ball away on the other end.  Sloppy start for both teams.

10:00  - OKC misses another shot.  They have started 0-6 from the field.

9:52 - Fischer drives and shows some youth in his legs.  Nice lay-in.  Fischer looking like its 2002.

9:30 - Kristic misses a baseline jumper for OKC.

9:20 - Kobe with an alley-oop to Bynum.  6-0 LAL.  The crowd at the Staples Center are getting into it now. The Thunder are just ice cold.

8:41 - OKC misses yet another shot as Westbrook tries to make a sloppy layup.  How many shots have they missed already?

8:27 - Bynum fights his way through traffic and makes a lay up.  8-0 LAL. There is definitely blood in the water.

8:07 - Kobe with a steal from Durant  and feeds Bynum for an alley-oop at the other end.  The crowd is going crazy, they love seeing Big Boy Bynum dunk. 10-0 LAL.

7:41 - OKC misses their 20th shot, but luckily the rebound bounces off the Lakers.  On the inbound, Westbrook drives and gets fouled.  He makes one of two free throws.  10-1 LAL. Ugh.

7:00 - Gasol draws the defense and makes a pretty dish to Bynum. Dunk.  When those two are passing like that, its hard to stop. Gasol on the other end makes a sweet 10 footer. 14-1 LAL.

6:16 - Westbrook drives and is blocked by Bynum.  Kobe travels.  That's his third turnover.

5:47 - Durant finally hits one. 14-3 LAL.

5:36 - Fischer with a long two.  16-3 LAL.  Durant comes back and draws a foul on Gasol.  He only makes one of two free throws. 16-4 LAL. Keep that lead manageable!

4:36 - Westbrook with a drive and a bank.  20-6 LAL.

3:59 - Green with a nice hook shot.  Maybe his involvement can drag them out of this hole.  20-8 LAL.

3:34 - Odom with a layup.  22-8. LAL.  Lakers are executing everything efficiently (how is that for alliteration!).  OKC has dug themselves a deep hole tonight.  I don't know if they can fight back from this. They look terrible.

3:10 - OKC with a 24-second violation. No, really?

2:58 - Kobe with a fadeaway jumper.  24-8 LAL.

2:04 - Collison with a put back.  26-12 LAL.

1:03 - Westbrook drives, dishes to Ibaka for a lay-in.  LAL 26-14.

32.0 - After Kobe finishes off a three point play, Harden is fouled and makes two free throws.  Can he possibly help them?  28-16 LAL.

13.2 - Artest nails a three to close out the quarter.  31-16 LAL.  They shoot 78% in the first quarter. 

Second Quarter:

9:14 - Farmar steals a bad pass from Ibaka and makes the lay-in. 35-17 LAL.

8:16 - Green gets a jumper to fall. 35-19 LAL.  Keep that lead manageable!

7:53 - Offensive foul on Shannon Brown.  Maybe the Thunder can build something here.

7:17 - Beautiful pivot move by Kobe as he leaves Durant in his dust.  37-19 LAL.  That was just perfectly done.

6:58 - Green draws a foul on Odom.

6:41 - Durant takes another terrible three pointer and misses.  But Fischer throws the ball away.

6:20 - Ibaka nails an 18 footer.  37-21 LAL. If he makes that a bread and butter shot then he is going to be a very dangerous and valuable player.

5:57 - Bynum just dunks right on Ibaka.  No one in the game can stop him.  39-21 LAL.

5:49 - Durant at the line.  He makes both free throws.  39-23 LAL.

4:02 - OKC can't make a shot and LA can't miss.  43-25 LAL after an Odom layup.

3:44 - Artest with a nice move, explodes to the hoop for a dunk.  Vintage Artest.  I recently heard some war stories about Artest when he was a kid.  Tough upbringing.  I love Ron.

3:20 - Durant nails a three.  45-30 LAL.  Odom answers with a three of his own.  48-30 LAL.

1:53 - Westbrook with a steal and dunk.  50-32 LAL.

1:19 - Gasol with a short jumper.  52-32 LAL.

53.0 - Westbrook is fouled.  He makes both.  52-34 LAL.

07.7 - Kobe sinks a floater and Westbrook misses at the other end.  What else is new?  55-34 Lakers at half time.  Normally I would give the Thunder the benefit of the doubt, but based on how they played, this game is over.

Third Quarter:

11:44 - Kristic opens the quarter with two free throws.  55-36 LAL.  Lakers miss and OKC brings the ball back down. They move it with some really nice ball movement, but Kristic drops the ball.  He had an open look.  Kobe drives on the other end and is fouled.  Kobe makes both. 57-36.

10:33 - Kobe drives again.  Misses.  Bynum follows and misses but he is fouled.  He makes both. 59-36 LAL.

9:48 - Gasol turnaround jumper, fades, drills it and gets fouled.  That was a smooth 16 footer.  Gasol makes the and one.  62-36 LAL.

8:15 - Kristic with a baseline jumper.  67-41 LAL.  Big deal.  I feel like Bob Uecker in Major League 2.  Take over Monty...I'm in the bag.

And that's where I dropped off on the play-by-play. Basically, the Thunder continued their dangerous tendancies: they were cold shooting, they got behind early and no one really helped Westbrook and Durant.  The main difference in this game was that the Lakers put Kobe on Westbrook and his defense and size made the difference.  Westbrook had a problem with him and if you saw Kobe, he looked insanely determined.  At one point in the third quarter, the camera stayed on Kobe for about thirty seconds and he had a look on his face that said "there is no way that these kids are going to beat us tonight." We'll see how the Thunder adjust in Oklahoma City on Friday night.  It is an elimination game and that crowd will be wild.  They will have to come out fast and Westbrook will have to go right at Kobe.  Kobe isn't young enough to stick with Westbrook for two complete straight games in a row.  Kobe has mastered his pivot game, but he is looking his age for the first time this whole year and is working extremely hard for his points. Anyway, despite the back to back blowouts in Games 4 and 5 this series still remains interesting.  Stick with me as I continue to cover the series.

Tomorrow we have the David Stern (not the NBA Commissioner) podcast and on Friday I may just put up a rant all about writing.  A friend of mine piqued my interest today when he mentioned a theory of Tolstoy's and I may just want to run with that.  We'll see what I can come up with.  I've got a few projects in the works and I will keep you all updated.

Until Podcast Thursday...

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