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Extra! Extra! (11.28)

Philjackson1127_iqnjyskn Kobe went off for 46, but again the Lakers suffered from a lack of balance, falling to the New Jersey Nets in OT Sunday 102-96.  Bryant dominated the offense, taking 36 of Los Angeles' 95 shots, making only 14.  Still, his 39% shooting bested the Lakers team total, an ugly, rim clanking, child scaring 34%. 

Lamar Odom chipped in 10 boards and 5 assists, which was good because he didn't do much else.  Coming off his best stretch of the season against Seattle, Odom's 1-11 showing from the field, including 0-4 from beyond the arc, was good for only 8 points (thank god for free throws). The Lakers got off to a horrible start, digging themselves a 16 point deficit after 1 quarter that they spent the rest of the game trying to overcome.  Bryant brought the team back in the 3rd and 4th to force OT... and the rest is (unpleasant) history. 

Luke Walton went straight from street clothes to the Lakers rotation, clocking 35 minutes in a successful return to game action after his torn hammy sidelined him for the first 11 games.  But like many Lakers, he had little left in the tank when OT came around.  Phil Jackson, for one, saw it coming. 

Despite, um... let's call it "modest" early season production, Jackson believes that Aaron McKie is improving and will become a valuable member of the rotation.  As for Kwame Brown and Devean George, neither will travel with the team to San Antonio or Utah, Brown because of a bad right hamstring, George for a sore left foot. 

The Lakers are just one of the NBA's storied franchises struggling to get back to the top- a tough deal for fans in those cities... and a real tough deal for the league. 

After roaming the sidelines for the Sparks and as an interim coach for the Nuggets, Michael Cooper is now coaching the Albuquerque Thunderbirds of the NBDL.  While he's not complaining, like most NBDLers, he hopes to make it back to the big leagues soon. 

Sam Smith of Chicago Tribune wonders whether or not the Lakers cap-clearing plan will work, reports that Carlos Boozer has bought a pad in LA...

"You wonder if Phil Jackson and the Lakers can continue to be patient. There was some leakage last week with the first non-sellout of the season and Lamar Odom saying he needed to shoot and score more. Said Jackson, "What we love about Lamar is he'll give the damn ball up." The Lakers' plan has been to restrain themselves for two years and then have salary-cap room. Los Angeles doesn't seem as enticing anymore and the potential free agents the Lakers targeted - Amare Stoudemire and Yao Ming - already have signed extensions.

One hot rumor more than a year ago was that Utah power forward Carlos Boozer was going to the Lakers. Boozer was criticized last season by team owner Larry Miller, who had signed him to a $68 million deal. He hasn't played this season because of a hamstring injury. Last week, there was a note in the Los Angeles Times that Boozer had purchased a 5,600 square-foot home with 10 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms, a guest house, elevator, racquetball court and tennis court in L.A. for $8.6 million. Could something be up?"

(photo by DANNY MOLOSHOK/AP)

 
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Dear K Brothers,

It's time to take on Cupcake and begin to beat the drum for his removal. You guys could lead the charge. It could become one of the missions of this website. FIRECUPCAKE.COM

On the bright side, last night's fiasco means we're one day closer to the inevitable firing of Crapcake. Yippee!!!

No Loozer, it makes no sense.

About the game...Lamar's discontinuity makes me real bored.

Hey Laker fans

It is amazing to me how the writers of this blog and the media in general continue to analyze the problem of more Laker balance but nobody has asked Phil Jackson what his plans are to achieve balance. The question should go something like this....."Hey Phil, since you are making 10 mil a year I assume that you are one of the better coaches in this league, what are your plans to achieve more Laker balance juxtaposed to you counting Kobe's shot attempts (since it appears he is the only one able to create his own shot) Do you plan to stick with the triangle offense....which by the way no other team in the league runs....or do you plan to devise a system and run sets specifically for Lamar Odom and Smush and others to get them involved in the offense....ya know do you plan to coach? Oh and by the way Phil should players "fit" into a coach's system or should you create a system that fits your personnel?

It is amazing how the L.A. media focus on Kobe for everything and fail to place any responsibility on the coach.....it is done sometimes by commission and other times by ommission......for instance, I have read all the local accounts this morning and no writer has mentioned that not only did Kobe do everything offensively he dogged Vince Carter the whole game and totally destroyed him defensively....is this just a coincidence?

I had a thought during the overtime to place Kobe on Jason Kidd since nobody else could stop him....but then with Kobe checking Vince and Jason the topic would be how can the Laker's achieve more "defensive balance"?

My fear is that the brilliant Kobe Bryant exhausts his prime years in the Laker's purple and gold with little help from his teammates and now it appears an inept management i.e. Mitch Kupchek and a media with little knowledge of the game!!

Kobe is by far the best player in the game. How these guys are 5-7 is beyond me. I don't know they have won 5 games,without Kobe I don't think this team would've won a single game. Lamar is the most frustrating player to watch, he has the abilities to be a star, but he takes bad shots and dissapears too often.

I also wanted to mention even though Kobe has been taking alot of shots, he's been sharing the ball lately and I've been impressed that he would pass to open teammates now whereas he would take a jumper before.

Lamar isn't aggressive enough, and has no killer instinct whatsoever. The other guys stand around and watch Kobe jack up shot after shot. Gee, who wouldn't like to be a fly on the wall in that locker room. Things are going to get ugly with upcoming road trip. A trade may be only hope or Kobe may want out sooner than later. Bottom line is, they should be better than last year's team, and they are not. Sad, sad, sad.

Kupcheck does not play the games and if he did we might win a few more. Boozer to LA that might actually be some good news. While we are at it if ya'll want to drum up some energy for a dismisal, can we plaese send Sasha to D leauge of anyplace where he does not where a Laker jersey. He is awfull. No defense, no hustle, no shot no dice!

Oh, it was nice to see Luke back

If the Lakers can somehow bounce back and win in San Antonio I would be impressed. The play of Brian Cook last night was extremely reasonable. I hope he can step up on this road trip and prove he didnt play just one good game. Could Cook be our answer for the post postitions?

If Lamar shoots 50% from 18 feet we have 4 more in the win column than we have now. No 3's, forget the drives that don't finish, shoot the 18 footer the triangle gives you... but practice them first... 1000 or so a day... with arc. Then Kobe will pass the ball, the Cake will make some brilliant mid season additions, and Phil will marry Jeannie.

Even if Kupchak is let go, it will not change the basic makeup of this team. That is, Bryant will continue to take the bulk of all shots and the players will continue to stand around while he hogs the rock. Until this team plays like one (seen the Spurs play ball?), at best they'll be a .500 team, period.

This is not entirely the GM's fault. It is also ownership's fault for implementing a system that elevates one player (Bryant) ahead of the others on what is supposed to be a "team." Jerry Buss ought to sit down and compare how this team plays relative to the Laker teams of the 80's.

How is Kupchak losing games for us right now? Is he secretly drugging Odom's meals so that he seems confused and un-confident? Is he secretly making Kwame a second slow to make every decision he needs to make?

Fact is he didn't have much to work with. The whole basis for the "wait for '07" plan is that we can't do anything until Brian Grant's contract comes off the books that year. Would you rather have him make a bunch of panic moves like Isaiah Thomas? He's not the greatest executive in the world, but let's not get carried away.

8 quick randomt thoughts after last night's game:
1. Kobe is the man. He's got a heart of a lion and he showed some serious basketball maturity last night after passing the ball off during some critical moments in the game

2. Lamar really stunk up the joint last night

3. Is it me, or are we a better rebounding team on both ends of the floor when that kid Bynum is out there. I mean I don't understand why we sat him during the fourth quarter cause we were getting killed on the boards especially with second chance oppurtunities for the Nets. I say we give Bynum more minutes in the game.

4. We will not make the playoffs

5. www.firecupcake.com didn't work for me ...is it really a registered a website?

6. Fire Cupcake

7. The game also reeforced for me how I would do anything for a consistent three point scorer right now...i mean thats what made the triangle almost unstoppable in Chicago cause Jordan always had guys like Hodges, Paxson and Kerr to dish the ball to whenever he was double teamed (ala Kobe right now)

8. Regarding my last point about a consistent outside threat, I am thinking Lamar and George or some first round drafts picks for PEJA...sound good?

Lamar Odom should be traded, plain and simple. He is inept and has no heart. He will never be effective playing alongside Kobe or in the triangle since he has to dribble the ball too much to be able to score. Also, I think he is not smart enough to figure the triangle offense. He has very low basketball IQ. At least Kwame is new and he gets to rebound, but this is Lamar's 2nd season so there is absolutely no EXCUSE! TRADE LAMAR ODOM RIGHT NOW, PLEASE!!!

I agree, Lamar has a low basketball IQ, he and Kwame just don't get it. If you watch Jason Kidd last night, there's a guy who has a high IQ for basketball. He doesn't necessarily have the athletic abilities of some of the other guys but he just knows how to play.

Kups should trade Kobe at the end of the year, once his no trade clause expires. It's impossible build a winning team around a selfish gunner like Kobe. He's a sociopath in sneakers.

Lamar???? low basketball IQ???? Me think not. For those on the board that may have a low basketball (or overall) IQ let me clarify for you. Lamar Odom leads the team in rebounds per game and assists per game. He is doing exactly what he is being asked to do. It would be nice to see him score a bit more but really if you are frustrated try pointing your fingers at Phil, he is the coach. Lamar low basketball IQ..give me a break.

I want Lamar traded too. But there is no way Lakers get good return of value for Lamar. Odom gets $14,$15,$16 millions in next 3 years. I think cupcake will blow this one too. He will get people like Damon jones and some junkies who got no values( similar to shaq trade).

The best thing is to keep Lamar and do not expect him to be a 2nd scorer. He is good for Assists and Boards. He cant shoot 5 footers, misses layups and cant do simple fundamentals of putting the ball in the hole. Lakers should concentrate on getting one more consistent offensive scorer.

Brian cook is really coming up good. He is the only one in the team who dares to shoot when Kobe is also playing. All others thinking if they are doing right thing or to pass it back to Kobe while the shot clock expires.

Wow, losing really does make people crazy! Kobe "jacking up shots" only looks that way because he's surrounded by mediocre players who aren't aggressive, creative, accurate, poised, or little else worthy of being called "professionals."

Here's a statistic for you. Laker starters are EACH averaging more than 2 turnovers per game. Compare that to the current Pistons roster, or any championship teams in the past. Turnovers of 2+ (on good teams) usually only happen with two players... the primary ball handler and primary scorer... NOT your entire starting five!!! What does that say? It says that Kobe is surrounded by players who not only lack talent, but make too many mistakes and can't seem to learn this offense (recall, the 99-00 Lakers picked it up right away). The problem is, we are waiting on sub-par players to live up to "potential." How many rosters have 4 starters that must dramatically improve as individual players in order for the team to play .500? For all those defending Kupchak, this roster is the direct result of his work over five years, and it speaks for itself.

The Lakers could really be bad for years, thereby wasting the outlandish talent of the best pure scorer since Jordan. But as a leader, Kobe has to learn how to be a motivator. If you listen to his comments, he's chosen a hands-off approach to leadership (ala Phil), but maybe he'll learn that this approach isn't working (and maybe Phil is learning that as well).

I agree, Lamar has a high basketball I.Q. Kobe's the b-ball dumbbell. Let's face it, once Kobe steps on the court, he turns into ding bat who only thinks about jacking up shots, to the detriment of the team.

Anyone who says Kobe was "jacking up shots" obviously didn't actually WATCH the game.

The first six minutes of the game (you know...when we went absolutely scoreless?) were utterly painful to watch. The Nets stacked the court against Kobe to the point that it SHOULD have led to absolutely wide open looks for anyone else on the team.

Later on in the game, after Kobe had pulled the team back in it virtually singlehandedly, he dished it off on several occassions to a wide open person who just. flat. out. missed. it.

At the end of the game, Kobe drives and gives Lamar a WIDE OPEN look from three point range to win the game. Clang.

In overtime, Kobe drives and gives Lamar several WIDE-OPEN-NOBODY-IS-WITHIN-TEN-FEET looks from three point range. Clang.

Anyone who is playing with Kobe when Kobe is passing the ball (which he was, frequently, all game long) should be absolutely delighted because they are going to get wide open looks.

Steve Kerr had a fantastic article about Kobe's shooting and the Lakers in general on Yahoo. It had both the good and the bad of Kobe shooting the ball a lot. This guy played with Jordan. I think he might know what he is talking about.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AsdKOknXBi05o37oXLnt50S8vLYF?slug=sk-lakers112505&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

Wow is it Xmas time in LA already? these are some pretty frosty comments about a team that is much better on paper that the record. Fans enjoy the ride and don't get too crazy. refrence all fustrations to MK and PJ period. was the staples center sold out?

The tears are in full flow for the Laker faithful. What is happening? Kobe is the only consistent player, showing each game why he's the best player on the planet. But he's the only one. Unacceptable.

I think Lamar is an excellent player, but where is the consistency? This is the NBA! A player of his caliber is expected to have some off nights, but there have been more off's than on's thus far.
If Lamar doesn't become the bedrock second option, we have no chance to make the playoffs.

Also, get Bynum some more minutes, Phil! This dude has the fire in his heart we need.

Phil needs to feel more of a sense of urgency. Granted we're not even a month into this season, but like a pregnancy, you can't undo damage done to the fetus during the first trimester! Our Lakers are in danger of ending the season with fetal alcohol syndrome.

But I will hold on to the faith...

Kobe needs to shoot due to no one else stepping up and making their shots. He has been trying to get them involved early and nothing happens until they notice that he is on the bench with fouls. Kobe is making a great example with his defense and yet nobody can stop an aging J. Kidd from going straight to the basket. TEAM DEFENSE GUYS! Lay off Kobe people. He is doing his part. Where is the help???

Yup, Kups is wasting Kobe's prime by surrounding him with projects like Kwame Brown and 'Drew Bynum. Our front office is clueless.

Kobe passed to open shooters all night long? Not during last night's game, he didn't. I watched the game again today during the replay at 12:00 noon, focusing almost exclusively on Kobe. On offense, he shot the ball almost every time he got it, rarely passing it to anyone else. I've rarely seen anyone at the professional level ignore his teammates to such an extent.

If Kobe's selfishness and crazy shot selection leave alot to be desired, his defense at least has been stellar the past few games. He stifled both Ray Allen and Vince Carter. So props to Crazy Eight for his effort on D.

Thank you Jimbo for the first realization for what Kobe was trying to do - run the offense. But what offense? EVERYONE (including Kobe actually) are satisfied with taking outside shots. Kobe is only taking those because there is no inside presence. The only difference is that #8 makes them. I will say it again - bring in Bynum NOW. We've seen the interior from last year. This "Kidrew" wants to play. He has a positive sign of life each time he is on the floor. If we have people like Kobe, Cook, Odom, jacking up shots, wouldn't you love someone down low to rebound one?? Mihm, you're a sweetheart 7-footer but don't play like you're 6'2" with your weak hook follow up. Extreme times call for extreme measures...WE NEED REBOUNDS!!!!!!!!!!!

Kobe's crazy D? Listen I think Kpbe can once again be a great defender, but hats off to the refs for shutting down Carter. When Kobe plays grat D I'll be cheering louder than anyone. But right now he's overly aggressive, gambling and it's hurting the balance of his game and wasting his energy. If that game had been in NJ, Kobe would have picked up four fouls by halftime.

If Kupkake has the guts, he should a sign and trade this summer to get Al Harrington and either Marvin Williams or Josh Smith. Granted, it doesn't fit into his 2007 plan, but just throwing the idea out there since Harrington might bolt and Williams is not getting much playing time.

Hey J. Anaya, your comment is very inciteful, but you didn't realize what you said, I suggest you read it again. Matter of fact why don't all you laker fans should read it. The other players all of a sudden start shooting once Kobe is on the bench with fouls?..I work in an office, what you are witnessing on the basketball court is that the majority of the people on the Laker team are is fed up with your lil Kobe, so they refuse to play when he is on the floor. I say we should add Allen Iverson because he is the answer to your problems...oops I forgot the Lakers already have AI, in Kobe, he shoots all the shots refuses to pass the ball, wants to be "The Man" on the last shot...yup Allen Iverson is on the East Coast as well as the West Coast..Bookends!

Let us give Andrew more minutes. Let there be no more than 29 shots for Kobe per game. Let the transformation begin.


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