Lakers’ Shaw sees lots to fix
The door opened to the Lakers coaches’ office 30 minutes after Sunday’s Game 2 at Staples Center and there sat assistant coach Brian Shaw, slumped, tie askew, his chin resting in his hand.
Shaw is in charge of putting together the Lakers’ game plans for their games against the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals, and he had just witnessed his team escape in overtime -- and even then only after Courtney Lee missed a layup off a lob pass at the end of regulation.
Shaw shuffled out of the office and stood with his back against the wall.
“That was draining, man,” Shaw said after the Lakers won, 101-96. “We made it harder than it had to be.”
Shaw expects it to be even harder with the next three games to be played in Orlando. Game 3 is tonight.
Sunday’s game “probably gave them some confidence,” Shaw said. “I’m happy that we came away with the win and that we’re 2-0 in the series. But there’s going to be a lot of things on the film that we’ll want to correct.”
Orlando challenged Kobe Bryant higher on pick-and-rolls and paid much more attention to him than it had in a 25-point loss in Game 1. The Magic also moved better on offense, getting into the middle of a Lakers defense that likes to keep opponents pushed against the sideline.
By getting the ball into the middle, Orlando disrupted the Lakers’ rotations on defense. When the Lakers had opportunities to switch “like size” -- such as when Trevor Ariza and Lamar Odom came together, or Bryant and Odom -- they didn’t communicate when Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis, Orlando’s primary wing threats, came off screens.
Looking ahead, here’s what Shaw wants to see from the Lakers:
1) Better recognition on defense. The Lakers were baited into double-teaming Dwight Howard in the post and were not quick enough getting back out to Magic shooters. If Orlando shoots well from the outside, the Lakers have to play Howard straight up and not give up open looks.
2) Play defense without fouling. “For a stretch there, it was just a foul-shooting contest,” Shaw said. The Lakers committed their fifth foul with 7 minutes 21 seconds left in the fourth quarter, putting the Magic at the free-throw line with every foul thereafter. Andrew Bynum and Odom each finished with five fouls.
3) Execute on offense. The Lakers didn’t move the ball or their bodies enough. They force-fed Bryant too much, then stood and watched him. “Execution-wise on offense for us, it wasn’t there,” Shaw said.
The Magic has to feel better about how it played in Game 2. Now it returns home more determined that it can compete with the Lakers.
Orlando will look to:
1) Get Howard going. He had 17 points in Game 2, giving him only 29 in the series on six-for-16 shooting. Orlando needs Howard to be a force in the middle.
2) Shoot better from three-point range. The Magic probably will shoot more three-pointers in Game 3 and needs to convert a higher percentage -- it was 10 for 30 in Game 2.
3) Keep Lewis and Turkoglu aggressive. They combined for 56 points in Game 2 on 20-for-38 shooting, including nine for 18 from three-point range.
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