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San Antonio - Not Too Shabby

Some think there's no such thing as a good loss, but I disagree in the case of the Lakers 90-84 loss to the Spurs. Put that first quarter aside (a tempting offer, considering how ugly L.A. played) and I think this was the best The Lakers have looked in a while. The Spurs are a team they have no business beating. Seriously, their bench smokes the Lakers' starting five. By miles. And the Lakers are missing Devean George, Kwame Brown and Slava. The Laker Nation should actually feel pretty stoked about this one, despite clocking another "L." It was far from perfect, with that "Okay, for real... Can Kobe and LO actually play together?" matter still a bigger mystery than the Iraq exit strategy. But the team was more energetic, more so than the usual Kobe-watching strategy. Keep up that kind of effort on a regular basis, and they'll inch themselves closer to .500... And maybe further.

Anyhoo, the game...

First half Observations:

I've seen turnovers before, but 90 seconds into the game, Mihm lost a pass from Cook because he was facing the opposite direction of the action. He didn't even see the ball. It was actually mystifying. Seriously, where the hell was he looking? Must have gotten a look at Eva Longoria in the crowd (and kudos to Stu, Joel, and the KCAL production staff for limiting the Tony-Eva segments to just one, and a brief one at that. Paying attention, TNT?)

I can totally understand getting beat on a rebound by Duncan. Happens to everyone. But seeing Rasho Nesterovic beating 3 Lakers to a loose ball for a put back? Fellas! Pick it up! Later on, Duncan's bounce pass from the high post to a cutting Rasho (who seemed temporarily Godlike) was just silly good. That's why the big Fundamental could always win MVP, even with his new natty lid.

Honestly, the most overlooked problem the Lakers are having right now is their FT shooting. Outside of Kobe, no current rotation regular is hitting 75%. That's ridiculous. Smush isn't even hitting 60%! I have one of the worst strokes in North America, and still might not bring this crew down too much.

Finley's first attempt comes on a wide open jumper, which he sank. While it was nice of L.A. to help acclimate Michael to his new squad, I would have guarded him instead.

Odom's referee issues hit varying high and low points throughout the game. LO's first basket came after a clear foul, and against his typical grain, he didn't immediately bark at the refs and let his head to leave the game. Just as I wondered if maybe he was en route to killing this bad habit, he drew some contact, seemed to anticipate a call, and didn't finish, no whistle coming. I'm actually starting to wonder if Odom's recent problems finishing layups are coming from the expectation of a whistle and getting distracted upon not hearing one. Later, he made a great play putting back a miss, but slammed the ball after it wasn't "and one," drawing a delay of game. Again, he had a legit gripe, but he's gotta learn to pick his spots. Otherwise, the refs are just gonna think of him as a whiny chick, if that's not the case already. Plus, compared to #8, Odom didn't have jack to bitch about (more on that later).

The first quarter's low point (a tougher moment to single out than the worst scene in "Gigli") came after a Lakers basket and Joel Meyers commented that they "were now back within 14."

Andrew Bynum came in during the second and really did a great job. He got 3 quick boards, and tossed a quick bounce pass to a cutting Smush for a reverse layup. He also snatched a board from Tim Duncan. He followed the theft with a missed dunk, but his debut mano y' mano with the 2-time MVP basically was a draw, which ain't bad for an 18-year old.

The refs must have just been watching "Slap Shot" before the game or something, because they were allowing a hockey match to go on out there.

Early candidate for the Best Lamar Odom Move Of The Season Award (BLOMOTSA): LO cruises down court off a rebound, Duncan in pursuit. LO puts on the brakes for a split second, then hits 90 mph, beating TD to the rack for a layup. Sick. Duncan had no idea what hit him. Laker fans had no idea why he can't do this stuff on a consistent basis.

An 11-2 Lakers run in the last five minutes leads to a 43-38 halftime score. That the Lakers are this close would qualify as a bigger miracle than a Beatles reunion tour.

Second Half Observations:

Smush absolutely posterizes Nazr Mohammed. It ain't the first time he's thrown down on a big dude this season. Mark your calenders for the Houston game, and see if he can match the classic "Kobe on Yao" jam.

Physics lesson.  A moveable object, Tony Parker's layup, meets an immoveable object, Andrew Bynum's big freakin' paw. Guess what wins?

I always try not to use refs as an excuse, since most of the time bad calls go both ways and end up evening out, whether fans wanna admit it or not. But Kobe would have taken less abuse getting jumped into a gang. As the game continued, he kept attacking, despite a dwindling success rate (he only hit 3 in the second half). Part of me was wondering why he didn't let Odom, the serious hot hand, take over. The other part of me felt like Kobe was just on a mission to get a call, just one call, and wouldn't give up no matter how many misses it took (Hardly a legit reason, but I still wouldn't blame him). In the meantime, Odom really had a great game, a nice recovery from Sunday's lethargic showing. Unfortunately, his best moments still came with Kobe off the floor, which can't be providing Phil Jackson solid REM.

Nice offense from Bynum, who took it to Nesterovic, using his left hand to bank one in. He also may have gotten away with a right hand shove, making him seem even more like a real pro. On the defensive end, he also successfully jostled with Duncan for position, forcing him to take a missed outside jumper. The kid seriously did well, and could find himself maintaining his minutes even with everyone healthy.

Not that I doubted Sasha's 31% from the field, but I was still pretty shocked seeing him sink 3 treys in the same game. He even drilled one after getting fouled by Tony Parker. Whatever flavor Gatorade he sucked down before this one, keep it in the cooler, buddy.   

Go figure. Ginobli, 78% at the line, misses 2 FT's down the stretch, but Duncan, typically crappy at the line (although solid this season), sinks both of his. That's why this is a really tough team to beat.  Which the Lakers didn't.

Your Box Score:


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Why not let sasha be pepin's role and let odom the power forward. after all sasha is a good defender and can fire threes. he'll be more effective as pepin than odom. just a thought.

why not try to get Jalen Rose and let him play the role of a ron harper in the past. his versatility will be good for the triangle

Too bad Bynum didn't start the game. He could have helped stop the early run that Nestorvic was a big part of in the first quarter. Good teams are going to keep trying for an early lead on us and make us play from behind.
Kidrew got some valubable playing time. If he's got the lungs. Play him.

The Lakers are going to have a few of these important losses. But, as long as they build upon each one it'll work out...It would be nice top get into the playoffs though...

I was watching Cold Pizza this morning, and as usual Skip and Woody were going at it talking about this game. Of course Skip said that Kobe was being too selfish and shouldn't have taken 33 shots (good point), but Woody made the point that Kobe would take less shots if he had more reason to trust his teammates (i.e. hit open shots when you get them). There was one play last night where I wanted to come through the screen and choke someone. Kobe pushed the ball up the court with Ginobili and Bowen trailing him on both sides. Kobe brought it to the sideline and passed it to Smush in the corner (screening out Bowen and losing Ginobili who gambled on the steal and fell out of bounds). Now, if that were Fox, Shaw, Horry, Fisher, or even George, they would have shot that open three (like you're supposed to). But what does Smush do? Drive RIGHT INTO THE DEFENSE, misses the shot, Spurs go down and score on the next play. Smush, my man, if Kobe works to get you an open shot, TAKE IT, otherwise he will think (know) that you don't know what to do (LO that goes for you too, even though you had 27 and 16 you blew a couple of open shot opportunities yourself).
I am very optimistic about Bynum. If that off-vertical dunk had went down over Duncan, that would have changed the momentum of the entire game. At the rate he's going, he could average 10 and 10 in 25-30 minutes by the end of the season. When he had that block on Parker in the 3rd, Spurs color commentator Sean Elliott said "wow, that's the first time I have seen the Lakers play help defense ALL GAME". Ummmmmm............yeah Lakers, we need that on EVERY POSSESSION.
Elliott also pointed out during the telecast (I watched in on NBA-TV since I live in DC) that it's obvious to everyone that this team doesn't know the offense at all. Most of the Lakers treated the ball like a "radioactive globe" and would give it to Kobe.

Watching Kobe play basketball is a painful experience. Is there a more selfish, self-centered, team-wreaking creep in the league? He was 9 for 33 from the field with 0 -- yes 0! -- assists. Disgusting.


Is it Kobe's fault that players he was passing it to either MISSED open shots or didn't take advantage of the open shots they had?
Per my previous post, was that Kobe's fault too? That had nothing to do with selfishness. Granted, some of the shots Kobe took late in the game were questionable at best, but if you had to choose between Kobe and Cook (who I think didn't make a single shot all night), who would you pick?
If it wasn't for Grant's amnesty contract, Jalen is an option the Lakers could easily pursue. However, Buss would look at paying 31 million in salary, and the same in luxury tax until 2007 (along with the remainder of Grant's contract). Now if you were an owner (other than Mark Cuban), would you spent $62 million dollars and your team would (at best) win 50 games? I don't think so. For those who wonder where I got those numbers from, check out the link below and it gives you the salaries and contract lengths of every player in the league.
Check that site out, and let's really play "Who's Better than Kupkake"

Ahhhhhh, Do you remember the days when other teams were calling a loss against the Lakers a "Moral Victory" or how the Lakers played down to there weak victims or maybe another case of Kobe trying to make it a close game so he could be the hero. We now have come full circle and the Spurs are assuming the Lakers are just another notch in the W column on their way to home court advantage in the finals. Let's face it the Lakers are 5/8 and last place in the division, they can have "Moral Victories" all day long and you will still be in last place. A "Moral Victory" is nothing more than a spin on I'm not good enough to win but I try real hard. To quote a very famous wise man "Phil likes to hand out books to his players, well he needs to hand out bibles to this bunch, because God's the only one that can help them."

I only managed to see the first quarter on this one before I needed to go to a family event. I'm a consistent defender of Kobe, but his shot selection in the first quarter was just terrible. Methinks he was taking the challenge of being guarded by Bruce Bowen a little too personally.

Specific example:

Kobe is out on the fast break. Normally when you are leading a fast break you keep going to the hoop until the defense commits. In this particular case, two or three defenders DID commit and converged on Kobe. Two different Lakers are trailing the play. He has only to drop the ball back for an uncontested dunk. Instead he goes up with it (SHOULD have gotten a whistle) and has it swatted away hard off the backboard.

You guys may remember this play as the one right before the announcers said, "It is a good thing that Kobe had his mouth closed on that one...etc."

Again, I didn't get to watch the whole game this time but in NO case should someone who plays as many minutes as Kobe end up with ZERO assists for the game.

Do Kobe haters only watch the offensive end of the floor? He plays both, full out, no nights off, all the time. There really aren't many in the league that do. He got ganged and banged by a great defensive team and made some bad choices at the end, but if LO [huge], Drew and Sasha keep it somewhere near that level, with the way Cook's playing, this will get interesting. The D is close, the O is catching up.

People might say Odom had a great game last night. It was so obvious to me that San Antonio was letting him score. Odom never goes to his right and all the defenders were letting him go to his dominant left. Why would a defensive minded championship team do that? Probably because they were toying with him. If this was a playoff game, Odom would have had 3 points. He needs to practice his outside shooting and get a little better going to his right. Rebounding is all about effort and he at least showed that last night.

The Truth about the Lakers '05

Is it me or is everyone afraid to tell the truth about this '05 Lakers team (this Lakers team meaning I take it personal, when we lose a game). I’m upset at this team right now, we have the talent, we have the coach but we can't get wins? I have been a fan since the mid 70's and I have seen players come and go, but I do know enough to say this team is perfect for the triangle. If we could just get everyone on completely on board, and trust every aspect of it. I blame first Phil Jackson for not being honest about what the problem is....KOBE!!!!

Number 8, is killing the triangle, When I heard the announcer say Kobe is 6 of 21, and no sooner than that was said Kobe steals a pass and forces a shot, missed it; then later he gets a pass takes it all the way down court against 4 Spurs and shoots a clinker, but wait there’s more, the very next play he does the same exact thing same results.

The game I was watching Odom was the man; he was scoring, he was rebounding, he was facilitating the triangle. How can Phil as a coach, could not see that, and he could have used that to the Lakers advantage, better yet everyone claims Kobe to be the greatest thing since Jordan, give me a break. What made Jordan the basketball genius was he would make you good. I do mean make. He would force you to be good at every position by giving up the ball, (he would pass it!) and you would have to finish the play and if you didn’t, you would hear it from him not just the coach. Jordan would stay within the offense and when he had a bad game, he would use his other talents like assists, defense, and rebounds. So please don’t compare Kobe to Jordan...not even close.

You cannot expect these Lakers players to learn a complicated system, when the main player is playing outside the system. No matter how great a player Kobe is he can not do this alone, he can have the scoring title (that would be his alone), but how about proving to the NBA, and the world that he is the Lakers franchise player by making the play offs and possibly making it to the finals (it could happen, I did say I was a LakerFan!). Until Kobe play team ball this is going to be a long rebuilding.

Whats your take?

After last night I feel Bynum is going to be better than an average player. He is the youngest player in NBA history. The fact that he showed agression last night puts him over the top from a lot of players in the league. His arms are making teams think twice about coming in the lane. He is going to be an excellent player for L.A. Mitch Kupchak has done 2 great things this year: drafting Bynum and getting Smoosh. This is Mitch's second season to really prove himself because during the championship years his hands were tied. I think he is doing a decent job.

Watching the game yesterday I realized everything is going to be alright.

Lamar is going to be the Laker he is destined to be: A great one.

Kobe is going to a truly historic Hall of Fame player spoken in the same breath as other Laker Greats--Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlein, Jerry West, James Worthy...

Andrew Bynum will be an All-Star by his third year and will shut up all those Mitch Kupcheck (sorry if I spelled your name wrong, big guy) haters. These same haters will be screaming drunkenly at bars three years from now that Mitch K is the most brilliant GM in basketball since Jerry West held the reins at the Lakers front office.

Sasha is an unpolished jewel whom Phil will polish to brilliance.

And injuries will heal...

Give it a month. In a month these losses will turn to winning streaks.

Now we can play toe-to-toe with San Antonio, a team who I have nothing but respect for.

Soon we will be beating them, and most everyone else.

Go team.

At 5-8, the Lakers don't look as bad as it sounds. There have been no absolute blowouts so far. With the talent and youth on this team you would think a blowout or two might be on the menu. But these Lakers are warriors, especially Kobe.

I like Smush. I like Sasha better. I think Sasha is just more fundamentally sound and plays the game with more energy. But I do like the rotation the way it is right now with Sasha coming off the bench and getting those crucial minutes in crunch time.

The pieces on this team are slowly coming together. Bynum has to be a part of this. He's the best big man we've got. If the Lakers can get about 15-20 minutes of hard work a game from Bynum off the bench without him hitting the so-called rookie wall, the playoffs will be on the horizon for sure.

You can always tell who actually watches basketball, and who is a hater.

Kobe passes the ball quite often, and if you actually watched the game (this is going out to one or two people) you could see him trying to hit people. Smush driving into the lane, when he had open 15 footers... come on. Kobe will get 5-6 assists a game when people start hitting their open shots. If I were kobe, I'd be taking it to the rack every play too, right now, its our best chance to win. It is blatantly obvious to everyone who has watched the triangle enough, that our team is not in position at all. I can recount at least 10-15 times in the 2nd half that I saw guys practically running into each other. Anyone remember the first season we implemented the triangle? The first 2 months of the season even shaq and kobe were running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

Alright so I have a question with the amnesty thing. The lakers cut Grant and he is with pheonix now, so is he on the lakers cap for this season/next season? I keep rooting for Minnesota to lose. KG is upset with Mchale and would be a good fit in LA

I agree with Jon, Bynum is a gonna be a pretty good player. Sasha is a good shooter, unfortunately it took this long for him to get his shot together. If Odom can play like this consistently with bynum, the Lakers are gonna be back to dominance in 2 years. Maybe 1?

To answer the amnesty question, Buss still has to pay Grant's salary for this year and next, and it is part of their salary cap for this year and next. However, the luxury tax that would be paid on Grant's contract is waived.
And on that note, to LakerFan, you must not have watched the game last night. Like I said before, Kobe passes the ball as much (if not more) than he did when he had Shaq and won titles; the players around him are not executing the offense, not hitting shots, and don't have a clue most of the time (Dee Brown pointed this out on NBA Fastbreak last night). Kobe is taking the hands off approach to his teammates because the media is looking for any excuse to say "I told you so" if he gets on his teammates in public. This Laker team, on paper, is just as good as the 89-90 Bulls team that Phil Jackson took over, but play like the 85-86 Bulls team that Jordan was on (when he had Orlando Woolridge and Dave Corzine on the team). And take into consideration that Jordan was more unselfish when he had better and more trustworthy teammates around him. Kobe will pass more when the team makes better decisions. DO YOUR HOMEWORK, WATCH THE GAMES.
On that note, I present the following two questions: For those who think Wade is better than Kobe, do you honestly think he could do a better job being the man in LA than Kobe would (Wade has never been the primary offensive focus since he's been in Miami)? And the second question, why doesn't anyone seem to remember that the media said the same things about Jordan (pre-championships) that they are saying about Kobe now?

I have to agree with LakerFan. I too am a life long Laker fan (remember when Mel Counts was on the front line?) and I have been a big Kobe defender but this season he has become the reason we loose just as much as the reason we win. Too many times Kobe forces up a shot when he could give it up to an open teammate. What difference does it make who misses the shot Kobe or any other Laker? If Kobe was hitting shots I would be the first to defend his shot total but he misses and misses and you get the point. Phil has to get through to Kobe and make him give up the ball or sit him down and let him watch. Also, if you're going to play defense then play defense! Against Ray Allen Kobe played stellar 'D' but against Bruce Bowen Kobe got lost all night. Take away those open jumpers Bowen knocked down and we win last night.

O.k. Laker fans, I'm a big fan of Kobe. But i do have a problem with the way that he is playing so far this year. Kobe needs to take control of this team and quit worrying about the scoring title or the MVP award and start getting his teammates more opertunities to do something. Kobe is being too selfish with his game...when was the last time he got a triple double?...anyone? He needs to take the role of a Magic Johnson like the glory days. Magic looked for the pass first and the shot second, and developed role players on the team and went on to win. If this team is going to win, it's not going to be with Kobe putting up 35+ shots a night. Kobe IS the lakers offense right now and that needs to change. Kobe is one of the best players in the league and when he gets going he's the most exciting to watch. In my opinion he needs to calm down and run the offense. In my opinion, the Lakers will not win unless the ENTIRE team starts to play as a whole. If the rest of the team continues to just stand around and watch kobe play then pay me millions of dollars and i'll go out there on the floor and watch too. I'm a huge Laker fan and right now a frustrated and very patient one. Let's hope that something changes sooner than later. GO LAKERS!!!!!!

From a basketball players perspective, who has played organized ball and play ground ball, you cant expect a team to follow you and play team ball if your best player is selfish and to tope it off your not getting touches. The game is no longer fun, its just a cardio workout for the fans, what other choice do you have but to watch the game like we do?

Let me break this down so it will forever be broke.

K.O.B.E. is the man, he actually is, if not the best all around player in the NBA, one of the best and defiantly one of the top five players. With that said, he also controls what happens on the floor. Good leadership is needed, you cant be a leader and don’t want to lead (that hands off approach sucks!). Good play (passing in particular) is contagious. If Kobe would just play unselfishly he would still get his points, his stats would improve, but more importantly his teammates would get better and gain confidence, plus we would begin to win games as well as getting the calls; but if we are a team that is always playing catch up, we will never gain the respect of the officials or the league.

In response to Rich1906, I have and do watch every single game, but I am a realist. I see the game from a team perspective and apparently you see the game from an individual players perspective. All you need to do is look at Kobe's stats it is clear he takes way more shots than he makes, and further more as Lakerfan2 said what is the difference if another player misses a shot, if Kobe is missing more than he makes. Can you imagine how nice the team would look if they are playing the triangle to perfection. How sweet would that be?

Isn't it amazing the Lakers have the 6th highest payroll and the Spurs have the 10th. While the Spurs own an 18mil a year bench player. And the Piston are the 17th highest! Are those guys playing for free? Is it all because we traded Shaq? Brian Grant's fault?
Where has all the money gone?

The other night I heard Mychal Thompson compare Kobe to Michael Jordan during a game radio cast. Kobe was having a good shooting night and Mychal said something to the effect that Michael was certainly no better than Kobe. I'm having a hard time with that comparison. Michale won 5 MVP titles. Kobe has none. Michael won Defensive Player of the year in 1988. Kobe has never won and didn't make the All Defensive team last year. Michael was Rookie of the Year. Kobe spent most of his first year on the bench. Michael was 3 time All Star MVP. Kobe did win it once, but was booed by the Philly crowd. Michael won two Olympic Golds for our country. Kobe could not participate in the last Olympics due to "personal issues". Michael's career field goal percentage is 50%. Kobe is 45% (and dropping). Michael won 10 scoring titles with a career average of 30 points. Kobe is still trying to win his first scoring title and has a career average of just 22.6 points. So other than that one All Star MVP award, Kobe has won zippo to date. Of course, the argument always goes that Kobe is still young and will probably easily surpass all of Michael's accolades by the time he retires. As Spock would say "Highly improbable." Kobe is certainly one of the best individual players in the NBA today, but unfortunately, basketball is a team sport.

Would someone please tell me what is up
with Tim Duncan's hair ??

Does anyone else notice what Allen Iverson is doing? He is literally trying to make sure he wins the scoring title this year over Kobe. You want to talk about a ball hog? Look at Iverson! Guess again if you think he doesn't want the scoring title this year. He got another 38 last night.

Rich1906, you are absolutely right. The game has changed somewhat since 1988-89 (thanks to Shaq) and that does matter, but we have a talented team. People used to talk all kinds of smack about Jordan until massive commercial marketing programs converted him into MICHAEL JORDAN: SUPREME GOD OF SPORTS AND FRIEND TO PUPPIES AND CHILRDEN EVERYWHERE!

The truth is that Jordan is a hypercompetitive freak and were it not for this marketing campaign, which converted him into something more than human in the eyes of our culture, he would have always received criticism.

Because of past scandal, Kobe will never have the perceptual freedom Jordan was given. Even after he wins three more championships (which I expect him to), he will still be dogged by criticism. People will always be impatient with him and suspicious of his spirit.

It doesn't matter. He is and will continue to be one of the greatest players in the history of basketball and as his team evolves with Phil that will become more and more aparent to everyone but the haters who will always be blinded by their insecure, petty hatred of anything imperfect.

Faith is so much better than hatred. Especially when your team is worthy of faith.

Kobe = Worthy of Faith
Lamar = Worthy of Faith
Bynum = Worthy of Faith
Phil = Worthy of Faith
Rambis = Worthy of Faith
Shaw = Worthy of Faith
Smush = Worthy of Faith
Mihm = Worthy of Faith
Kwame = Worthy of Faith
Luke = Worthy of Faith
B Cook = Worthy of Faith
Mitch K = Worthy of Faith
Jerry Buss = Worthy of Faith
All the Lakers = Worthy of Faith

Go team.

Kobe is a part of the problem, as is the rest of the team AND coaching staff. Phil should mix up the triangle with P & R plays for smush, odom and kobe, all of whom are smart enough to make the correct choice between pass or shoot.

We miss Devean's shooting more than Kwame's big body. How I wish that weren't so.

Smush should keep driving the lane, even if he has an open three. It's simply percentages here guys. He just needs to improve his FT % (as do the rest of the guys).

Kobe needs to work on his off the ball D. If he is going to cheat off a supposed non-shooter (Bowen), then he needs to communicate with his teammates so he doesn't get trapped off a pick.

Bynum is a bright spot. Lakers need to make sure noone tells him he shouldn't be able to do any of the things he is doing.

Phil benched Mihm during a critical stretch in the fourth in favor of Bynum. Now, can Mihm respond positively in his next start?

People say Kobe has no help, that his teammates aren't making shots, and that's enough reason for Kobe to not trust them. This is exactly the wrong thinking for a team leader. If you want your teammates to improve, you have to start with their confidence. SHow that you believe in them, and they will believe in themselves. Now, it's easy to do this when they are all making shots and cruising, but it is much more valuable when they are struggling. Kobe will not be a successful leader until he stops taking 35 shots a game. Really, it is absurd, and any of you who think it's justified are ignorant of the game.

Thank you rich1906. finally someone else says what I have been saying for a while. Jordan was what Kobe is now, a player who can't trust his teammates and will take all the shots because of it. By the second half of the season these lakers will have the triangle down and will be winning these games. Oh and Rob you can't ask Kobe to be Magic, Magic was one of if not the greatest Laker of all-time, but he and Kobe are different players, Kobe's job is to score, and help make his teammates better, Magic's job was to make his teammates better then score

As the ultimate laker fan, let me just say one thing: the lakers are re-building. This takes time. we are not going to win it all next year. The key thing this year is to get kobe and LO to mesh together and hopefully develop a few diamonds in the rough such as bynum or sasha or kwame. If someone can step up his game to the next level, then you have 3 to build around and repeat the process next year. then in 2 years, maybe you are in a position to sign a free agent that will add to that core and be in a position to really elevate the team to a continuous champoinship contender. this is a slow process and it takes soem luck...the key is to get lucky with one or two guys every year and hope the rest (parker, cook, etc...) blend in. forget the kobe vs joran comparision...the point is it doesn't matter who is batter, we ahve kobe and must and can build around him.


Phil sat Mihm out because Bynum was simply a better defensive matchup against Tim Duncan. At that point the Lakers needed defense to get back into the game. Bynum was the only one on the floor who can (and did!) block Tim Duncan's shot. Chris can't do that because he isn't tall enough or long enough. It's just that simple.

Chris' job as a starter is still secure.

Raised in Chicago, and later moving to Los Angeles (1997), I have been blessed to watch two dynastys at home. Being the biggest Bulls fan to date, I loved the lakers in the 90's and throught the Shaq era. All this comparison crap of Jordan v Kobe is absolute bullshit. The fact is no one will ever be greater than Jordan, due to the impact that he has had on the league and the sport worldwide. People are starting to compare Wade to Jordan... give me a break. People were comparing Isiah Rider "Baby Jordan" to him... nuff said. The fact is that Michael Jordan is so great that his name and figure has become a symbol of excellence so everyone who will excell in the future (and in ANY sport, ie Tiger Woods) will be compared to Jordan...

Bottom line is the Lakers are missing Jerry West badly... the rebuilding will be for a while, and eventually Kobe will get his own ring. BUT maybe not with Phil.



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