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Extra! Extra! (12.7)

Freezing cold temperatures in Milwaukee didn't keep the Lakers from lighting up the Bradley Center Tuesday night.  L.A. shot a smooth 48% and had four starters score in double figures, whipping the Bucks 111-92.  Kobe knocked in 33 (on 14-24), while Lamar Odom contributed a near triple double.

Phil Jackson played the matchup game, starting Sasha Vujacic in the backcourt, bumping Kobe to the three, and sitting forward Brian Cook, all to counter Milwaukee's three guard lineup (not a bad idea, considering what Minnesota did to the Lakers when they went small).  It worked, as the Lakers got on a roll early behind Kobe's scoring and the very disruptive play of Smush Parker. 

Milwaukee was expecting a boring, one-dimensional squad on Tuesday, while the Bucks were supposed to have great team play and outwork the opposition.  Didn't happen. 

First Kobe, now Odom.  The Lakers forward/guard/handyman is once again ready to throw his hat in the Olympic ring.  Odom was one of the few bright spots for Larry Brown's disappointing Athens squad, wants another crack at gold, and is ready to make the required three year commitment.  One Laker who probably won't be heading to Beijing is Kwame Brown, who accompanied the team on their six game trip, but isn't yet ready to play

Like Wednesday night's opponent, the Raptors, defense has been a struggle for the Lakers, who are trying to find an identity while fighting an illustrious history.  The Showtime roster of the past is at this point a distant memory (at least, apparently, to Canadians).  Regardless, the Lakers will go for their first three game winning streak of the year (baby steps) tonight against Chris Bosh and the Raptors.  C'mon, raise your hand if you miss those old, cartoon dinosaur uniforms they used to wear.   Don't be shy. 

Finally, ESPN's Greg Anthony predicts both the Lakers and the Clippers will make the West's Elite 8 and play some playoff basketball... but not by much. 

 
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"ESPN's Greg Anthony predicts both the Lakers and the Clippers will make the West's Elite 8... but not by much."

The "but not by much" thing is wrong. Clippers are going to be a 3 seed. The Lakers are going to be a 7 seed.

Man, the team looked pretty good last night and we're going to look better...

January is the month, guys. January. Things are going to come together in January. Mark my words!

By the way, I hate the Raptors. It's not that Canadians have no right to play basketball (they did birth Steve Nash) its just that they clearly don't get it.

The Raptors? The Raptors? Their fricken team is named after a monster in a Steven Spielberg film! Tell me, it Toronto rich with Velociraptor dinosaur bones? Is it? NOOOO!

Why the hell would they name their team the Raptors? I'll tell ya. Because they want to be big and bad, but instead they just come off as ridiculous.

They should have named their team the Mounties or the Run-Away Film Production Assistants or something like that.

The Raptors. Heh.

Chris Bosh! Get out as fast as you can!

Jalen Rose! Come to L.A.!

Jon- Right... because there are so many lakes in LA?

Jon, thanks for catching me up on Greg Anthony, he's got no idea what he's saying but he's sure he knows how he wants to say it. What position did he play again? I agree though, the Clips behind Brand will get up there somewhere since the league ain't all that this year. Ya gotta like Phil's chances of keeping everyone on the same page till April and that can only mean better. Like it or not, folks, we're going to need Kwame playing big down low, matching up with the likes of Brand, and Amare toward the end. Drew Bynum will be a rook at the end of a long season. I know, that's asking more for Christmas than Santa allows.

Brendon, They came from MN (10,000 Lakes) hence Lakers

I am I the only who has noticed that we don't need Kwame? Why does the press keep asking about him? Hopefully he will not come back as a starter and will have to earn his spot in the line up. Perhaps a blow to his ego will be enough for him to get a game together and start making some contributions from the bench. If not, perhaps he can just give us 6 fouls and clog the lane.

All that aside, it was great to see the Lake Show look like they should. If we can play with that kind of intensity on both ends of the floor, we may actually make the playoffs this year. I'm in it for the long haul, but man would it be nice to be over .500

Go Lakers!

Man I can wait watch my boys tonight face to face,Guys I`ll keep y`all posted,

Brendan,

The Lakers name comes from our history, a proud history of championships in Minnesota (also "Lakers" sounds great with "L.A.").

We needed to hold onto that name to continue to acknowledge that proud tradition of being a champion.

The Raptors CHOSE the name of giant lizard for artic cold Toronto. Lame. It in no way reflects tradition, continuity, or local culture.

It just reflects how totally lame the ownership of the Raptors is. The moment they're moved from Toronto to another city, they'll change their name and do away with their cartoon, basketball-playing dinosaur.

For God's sake, they're team's mascot is practically "Barney the Dinosaur." Would you want "Barney" to be your mascot? I think not.

GO LAKERS!

Hey guys what do you think was the main diffrence in last night's win against Milwaukee? Was it the new lineup that created such synergy within the team?

Everytime they have a good game like this I'm SO tempted to sit back, take a breather, and tell myself "OK... they're going to be alright" then I get disappointed when they go on an immediate 3-game skid.

How do you think Phil and the guys can learn from this win?

The Lakers played a really good game last night. I was very happy with the outcome. This is what we need on a more consistent basis. Kobe shooting no more than 25 shots a game, Smush and Lamar being agressive, and Mihm playing solid, not flashy, just solid enough to get it done. If they can keep this going there's no telling how good they can become. I really believe that Smush and Lamar's play last night was not a fluke. They really do have that ability. Now, let's not forget it was the Bucks, but they played great. If they can play anywhere near that this team will be fine. They need someone to help take the pressure off of Kobe. Sasha has stepped his game up lately and I'm glad to see that.
If they keep this up, they'll be fine going into January and February.

I think so many of you miss the point. Being a fan (a real fan)involves cheering through the highs and the lows. When you are a fan, that is what you do, you stand by your team. It means that when Kobe has an off night you reconize it and cheer louder the next night and believe that he can rebound and have a great game. You dont scream TRADE HIM when they loose and HES THE MAN when they win. Leave that to the press. The same goes for the whole team when they lose the blog is full of CUPCAKE...BALLHOG....LAMER ODAM...PHYLLIS.... LOTERY TEAM..ETC.

When they win its KOBE THE BEST.....SASHA IS GREAT..WE ARE GOING TO THE PLAYOFFS...ETC....

You guys need to relax and enjoy the ride

In the middle 90s when the team was Ceballos and Jones and Divac, Van Excel etc. We were not very good but it was fun to watch the taem evolve and change and become what they were 99-02. Enjoy the ride. Maybe theywill make the playoffs and maybe they wont, I'll stiil be a Laker fan either way.

Last night's game makes total sense. Weve gotten leads and lost them with confusion and tired legs. We've yet to be blown out, we're going to be fine. Look at everyone's record, a little streak here and we're in the thick of it. Getting all the way there is another story. When we play Detroit on the road, we'll have some idea how far off we are. Milwaukee plays small and we matched it, it's the teams playing big that worry me. We can't just be a jump shooting team that wins when they go in.

Larry is right. The team just NEEDS to make their open jumpers and that will allow EVERYONE including Kobe more room to work the floor. 25 shots is nice if he can convert like the last few years. 9 for 30 is not so good.

As far as Kwame. I think he needs to earn his spot back. Cook can hit better shots and who knows, maybe Kwame will be better as an enforcer when the likes of Tony Parker keep driving the lane. We need a brick wall to just level these point guards who should stay out of the bigs paint.

I am ready for the Smush exhibit and the Sasha road show!!

Go lakers!

Todd,

You're right, but I think everyone is still a bit traumatized by the last five Kobe/Phil/Shaq years. Not that they were really "traumatic" (Four Western Conference Championships, Three NBA Championships, One elimination to an extraordinary San Antonio team), but those years created incredible expectations as well the strange sacarine aftertaste of "We should have won more championships" (which we should have).

Everyone is slowly returning to reality and once we all stop freaking out, we'll realize its a positive reality: We've got a good team that's going to improve over the year and can reasonable be expected to lay the groundwork for future teams/seasons in which we can compete for a championship.

That championship. It will be in the back of everyone's mind every year until the end of time. That's part of being a Laker and a Laker's fan.

Vman,

I think you're right about us facing Detroit. However, I don't think we should take too much out of it (unless we kick the crap out of them), because they'll be pretty beat by the time they reach Motor City (aka hell).

Everybody assumes the Toronto game is a gimme. Even forgetting the fact that they've won 2 of 3 and pushed last night's game to OT, we never play well when we assume the game's a gimme. And no game's a gimme with this squad, no matter how good we looked last night.

While I'd say last night's Odom is what we all hoped for, if he averaged what he put up last night he'd win MVP of the league- then Kobe would get jealous and sabotage him somehow and it wouldn't work out...

Im very impressed by sasha, he can stroke the ball. He is really stepping up his gmae. Smush is phenomenal, i think that was the biggest steal any team has gotten in a while. I rarely see smush miss an open three, he is clutch . Lamar is also stepping up big time, almost had an impressive triple dub last night. Its about that time guys, i see kobe is beginning to trust the guys more, especially smush and sasha. 6 gmae win streak coming up.

It's great to see most of the Lakers are now contributing or have contributed.. I hope when kwame and Slava comes back that they are able to help the team as well. I would like for every Laker to feel good about themselves. It seems like, it is becoming contagious to play smarter, play harder, and play every night. I LOVE my Lakers win or loose.

Hey Guys,

Here's something I don't know, but know I should. I heard that Shaq specifically dissed Lakers fans after he was traded to Miami.

Does anyone on this blog know what he said exactly?

Congrats to Kobe for not being as selfish as normal last night. About a third of his shots were ill-advised, but that represents progress for the most selfish player in the game. Go Lakers.

Kobe Bryant is NOT the best player in the league no matter how some on this forum try to state in their own minds that he is. Kobe is a player that BENEFITTED from having the BEST Center in the league as his teammate. Having Shaq in the middle and requiring all the attention and double teams gave Kobe freedom to be creative and imaginative with his game. I would imagine half the posters on this forum that are the least bit athletic, could score NINE (9) baskets in THIRTY-THREE (33) attempts!!!

The reason Kobe had so many dunks, spectacular shots as well as great defense was because teams were DOUBLE TEAMING Shaq with his dominant inside presence.

With Shaq gone, Kobe is exposed for what he is, and that is just another 6'6" ballhog, doing a very poor impersonation of His Airness Michael Jordan.

Kobe is going through the same thing that happened to Penny Hardaway when Shaq left Orlando. Gone from Kobe's game are the drives, the dunks AND of course the DEFENSE!! It takes more energy to play defense, the type of energy that Kobe has failed to provide since the departure of Shaq.

The Laker organization should TRADE Kobe while he still has some VALUE for a LeBron James type of player, one who is in the Magic Johnson type of mold. A player with COURT SAVVY that can make the other players around him BETTER and is also is a TEAM LEADER.

Buss as owner of the team should realize a basic marketing strategy, in that to keep fans coming to see his product of the Lakers, he needs to get an exciting player like a LeBron James. Trade Kobe for LeBron, FIRE Mitch Kupchak and build around LeBron in thus bringing back the EXCITEMENT, the thrills, the smiles and the SHOWTIME era back to Lakerland.

I agree with a majority of what Todd is saying, but here's what I don't agree with. Back in the early to mid 90's the Lakers weren't very good, but they didn't have a SUPERSTAR!!! This Lakers team has a SUPERSTAR, his name is Kobe. Even though they were down in the mid 90's you could look at the roster and see that they had NICE players, but they didn't have that one guy who could take them over that hump. What makes this team so frustrating to follow is that they have the best perimeter player in the league..#1. And they're worse now then they were then. Sure Van Exel, Jones, Cebalos, and Divac were nice players. But they weren't even all star caliber players.. I think Ced made like one or two all star teams, Nick probably the same, Eddie probably the same, Vlade the same. So they had some talent, don't get me wrong. I loved Nick when he was a Laker. They way he'd shoot the 3 Ball, he was awesome. But he wasn't great, and nobody on those teams were GREAT..Kobe is GREAT, so we hold him to a much higher standard, as well we should. He needs to figure IT out before it's too late. And I think that he will. Sooner or later Kobe, Lamar and Smush will learn how to play off of each other. The one bright spot this year is their defense. They're trapping, stealing, creating turnovers and holding the opponent regularly under 100. If it wasn't for the improvement on the defensive end, there's no telling where this team would be right now. Laker fans, I know it's VERY HARD, but let's have some faith in our boys, huh? Give them a chance, they will improve, I know this. I really believe that by the end of the year Kobe will learn to be a MUCH better leader and teammate. All of this inconsistent play has to be frustrating him. He'll get it together before the season is over, you'll see. Just in time for the stretch run for the playoffs.. PLAYOFFS? "YES, I said PLAYOFFS" Our boys will be their Lakers fans..We gotta believe in them, nobody else outside of Los Angeles does. I've been critical of them on this blog, and it's easy to do sometimes, but the negativity stops right here. I'm going to be optimistic for the rest of they year, because I'm a TRUE, DIE HARD, Lakers fan...I BLEED PURPLE AND GOLD, and I have since 1986. So what I think we all need to do is show a little more patience and we'll see how good this team can become.

Steven may i ask you what Shaq is doing right now in Miami and who it looks like benefted who more? Shaq cant even average 20 points anymore.

How can u say Kobe benefited from shaq on defense? lmao. to diffrent positions bud.

Steven,

Jerry Buss and Mitch Kupcheck have forgotten more about basketball than you will ever understand.

Kobe is staying with the Lakers. Get used to it and appreciate it.

What in your crazed mind thinks that there is going to be a mid-season (or post-season or future season) trade for LeBron James for Kobe?

You may as well be screaming to the sky that we need to trade Kobe for the Green Lantern, or, at the very least, Aquaman and we need to do it NOW!

Its not going to happen. Take a deep breath, let it out, its okay to cry... there you go, there's a big man... doesn't that feel better?

Kobe's not going anywhere.

GO LAKERS!

Jon,...you are probably right, Kobe is not going anywhere. However, neither are the Lakers with him on the team.

OUT!!!

Steven,
Dude you're a buzz kill! The teams won three straight and you're screaming how much everyone sucks and we should trade, trade, trade. How can you call yourself a lakers fan? If you're not, you should stop blogin here!

Michael, as you stated the Laker 'teams won three straight'. Okay lets look at THOSE three straight along with the other SEVEN titles the Lakers have won in their past. The common demoninator in ALL of the previous NBA titles the Lakers have won in the past hinged on having the BEST BigMan in the game at the Center position, starting with George Mikin and the Minneapolis Lakers.

Least you forget, the championships the Lakers won in the 70's was because of the dominance of Wilt Chamberlain being in the middle. Wilt was grabbing rebounds, making outlet passes to Jerry West and Elgin Baylor as well as scoring with his patented 'finger-roll' in the paint.

The NBA titles the Lakers won in 1980's were contingent upon having the BEST BigMan in the game at the Center position in Kareem Abdul Jabbar who was the anchor and 'The Captain' of those Laker squads, with Magic Johnson as the 'sidekick'. Kareem caused MANY opponents to change their shots or make bad passes while driving lane. Kareem's sweet precise passes to cutting teammates was beauty to behold. The blocked shots and lest we not forget,...the patented killer SkyHook.

Next we come to Shaquille O'Neal who was and still can be considered the BEST BigMan in the game at the Center position. With Shaq at Center the Lakers did nothing more than help the Lakers win THREE STRAIGHT titles or as Magic would say,.....threepeat, 'Back-to-Back-to-Back'!!!

Each of the above HALL of FAME Centers that CARRIED the Laker Teams to NBA titles had a knock on them. With Wilt it was he was often injured. With Kareem it was he didn't hustle. Now with Shaq there are these petty arguments about his weight, disagreements with Kobe's shot selection, etc.

There is only ONE Michael Jordan, a player who dominated play and was not a Center, nor played with a QUALITY Center. Jordan WILLED his teams with his athleticism, defense and adopatation to what defenses gave and took away from him. So we can all agree that Jordan was one of those 'special' athletes that come along once every so often.

I challenge ANYONE posting on this board that IS, WAS or HAS BEEN a Laker fan, to name ONE (1) Laker team that has won and NBA title WITHOUT the BEST BigMan in the game at the Center position!!! It ain't happenin' because as the Center position rolls in the Laker organization,....so do, and will, the Lakers.

My take: the Shaq trade was a terrible one for the Laker organization and the reprocussions will remain for quite awhile.

OUT!!!

Stephen,

Your ability to state the obvious is outstanding. But i am confused about something, are you saying that good teams win championships? again obvious. Or are you saying that bad teams with great centers win championships? Now that is not so obvious and might require a little more insight (an oxymoron) from you.


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