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Different Strokes

June 05, 2002|Jim Rhode

The Lakers' run to the NBA Finals this season was a Rocky Horry Show compared to last year, when virtually the only suspense in the

Western Sweepstakes was when Mad Dog Madsen would get into the game. A comparison of the two Laker teams in reaching the NBA Finals:

Note: Statistics are per game.

*--* 2001 2002 The Difference Record 11-0 11-4 A very un-Zen-like Phil Jackson annoyed with actually having to get out of his seat to call timeouts Points 104.6 95.7 Laker offense downgraded from a cruise ship to a cargo boat ... anchored in the Bermuda Triangle Opponent Points 89.2 93.3 Been a long time since the Lakers have been pick-and-rolled like they were by the Kings Points Differential +15.4 +2.4 13--almost unlucky for the 2002 Lakers, who did it with mirrors in the Western Conference finals Field-Goal % 468 430 Ruben Patterson stripped of Kobe Stopper title by a room-service cheeseburger Opponent Field-Goal % 401 423 Lakers were plumb worn out by the Drain Man, Mike Bibby 3-Point% 343 310 No Three-Peat for Derek Fisher, whose shooting from behind the arc was far off last year's mark Opponent 3-Point % 266 311 Kings' Game 7 clanking from three-point range was louder than all the cow bells at Arco Arena Free-Throw % 676 718 Who is the man whose free throws gave the Lakers the upper hand? Shaq. Right on Rebounds 49.5 45.8 Lakers had a spring in their step last year. This year, they're wearing Ground Samakis Opponent Rebounds 39.9 43.1 Kenyon Martin is checking the incentive clause for rebounds in his contract Rebound Differential +9.6 +2.7 Lakers should consider having a block-out party in the NBA Finals Assists 22.7 18.7 Another category in which the 2002 Lakers couldn't pass for the 2001 Lakers Turnovers 13.5 13.3 No turnover at completion of these NBA Finals: Keep-the-Ball-Rolling Lakers will make it a Three-Peat

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