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Fisher Is Among the Missing

May 09, 2003|Tim Brown | Times Staff Writer

Derek Fisher, through two games against the San Antonio Spurs, has tried four three-point shots.

In the last round, his 21 three-pointers against the Minnesota Timberwolves established an NBA playoff record for a six-game series. Two years ago, he made 15 of 20 three-pointers in a four-game sweep of the Spurs.

In the Lakers' search for offense, they have been unable to free Fisher against Tony Parker or unable to find him, so much of what they've done so far going through Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant and no one else.

Bryant said Thursday he'd spoken to Fisher about getting him some shots, and Fisher said he assumed Coach Phil Jackson would tweak the triangle to broaden his involvement.

"A lot of teams feel like the [Laker role] players can't beat them, but [the Spurs] know that we can," Fisher said. "So they would rather take their chances playing Shaq and Kobe one-on-one, because they have guys they feel can do that, which makes it hard on the rest of us. It's not like I'm getting opportunities and I'm passing them up. For me to start forcing shots is not the answer."

Fisher has been the Lakers' only reliable perimeter shooter. Without Fisher's 24 three-pointers in 38 attempts, the Lakers are shooting 28.6% from beyond the arc.

"I'm sure Parker is feeling comfortable right now, coming off a series in which Stephon Marbury was at him for 48 minutes," Bryant said. "Now he feels like he can coast and stay attached to Derek. So we have to make these guys work somewhat."


Everything would loosen considerably if Robert Horry were to make some shots, and the Lakers aren't necessarily even asking for that. Jackson said he'd be satisfied if Horry would simply take them.

Horry started the postseason poorly, made two long jumpers in the span of a few possessions in Game 5 against the Timberwolves, then returned to his slump.

In eight postseason games, Horry is two for 25 from beyond the arc.

"It's somewhat bewildering to us," Jackson said, "because we have so much confidence in him."


The Lakers do not expect Devean George to play until Sunday's Game 4, at the earliest, Jackson said.

Though he has shown improvement, and an MRI exam has confirmed the original diagnosis of a severe left ankle sprain, George, who was injured in Game 1, is still limping and not ready to play.

"We don't have a hope for [Friday]," Jackson said. "We can probably talk about Sunday."


Those attending tonight's Game 3 at Staples Center are reminded to bring ticket B1 to the game. Sunday's tickets are labeled B2.... Bryant has three assists and 10 turnovers in two games.... The Spurs have made 14 of 28 three-pointers in the series, led by Bruce Bowen, who is nine for 13.... The Lakers have 21 assists in 70 field goals. The Spurs have 46 in 72.

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