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Extra! Extra! (3.27)

Kwamebrown326_iwruykkn It's all about creating space between the Lakers and anyone looking to snatch their playoff spot, which is why last night's 105-94 win over the Hornets can't be taken lightly. A four game winning streak coincided with creating a four game cushion between themselves and NO/OKC.  Actually, cushion might be the wrong word, since the Purple and Gold can't afford to get soft during these final ten games. "Soft" also wouldn't describe the play of Kwame Brown, whose recent offensive prowess continued despite suffering an early bloody bloody nose. Smush Parker's thumb and Kobe Bryant's back joined Kwame's shnoz on the in-game casualty list. Throw in the ankle Andrew Bynum sprained before the game, and it's been a fairly painful 24 hours. Luckily, no ouchie appears terribly serious, but enduring all that discomfort for a loss would have sucked. Perhaps even the Hornets felt L.A.'s pain, because their second half numbers were bad enough to suggest they were trying to hook the Lakers up. Or they just can't play a second half to save their lives. But NO/OKC did show a little pride, even if you wouldn't know it from the box score. With five seconds left and the game in hand, Sasha Vujacic inexplicably went for a lay up as opposed to just running down the clock. His own teammates didn't seem to mind Speedy Claxton's reaction.

(photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty)

 
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I remember Roland Lazenby came on and posted after the Boston game that the team had met with its old shrink....I forget his name. Possible coincidence that the players have taken their game to another level? Just some food for thought.

If we contol the tempo,
We can frustrate the opponent with proper defensive rotations. (the game is ours)
If we control the tempo,
We don’t have to shot too many 3’s. (the games is ours)
If we contol the tempo,
We have Kwame Brown to man the defensive paint. (who’ll score 100 points on us?)
If we contol the tempo,
We have Lamar Odom to post up his man. It’s usually a mismatch.
If we control the tempo,
We have the Black Mamba ready and willing to strike. (who doesn’t not fear the Mamba?)
If we control the tempo,
Great teams become mortal.
If we control the tempo,
We win the NBA Championship 2006
If we control the tempo,
We make NBA history. (who cares about NBA scoring titles or MVPs?)
Bring home the history!

mike

GO LAKERS!

Screw this good sportsmanship crap!

Nice job Sasha!

Teach them fear!

You gotta love the focus of this team right now. Phil has got them peaking at the right moment.

We've got 4 days to rest up, work on our metaphors, punctuation and expletives and then the entire NBA turns its collective head when the Lake Show takes out San Antonio...again.

Michael T,

Love the optimism dude!!

And you have to be seriously pumped with the Kwame surgence. I have to say that even though Kwame plays really good position defense (he's incredibly quick footed and balanced for a man his size) he has yet to become a force in the middle like a Shaq, Mourning, B. Wallace. I'm not saying he can't but his numbers for blocks seem low to me, but again that could be playing time.

Needless to say, I'm loving the kid's energy and I love seeing his confidence sky rocket. If he keeps this up we could do some damage.

Jon,
I agree. I think it would have been bad ass if Sasha would have dunked it. (I still think he had the flagarant coming).
I was hoping that he got the ball after the free throws (on the inbounds) and burried a 3 right in their colective face !!!!
That would have been sick, and I probably would've never said anything about Sasha again ....

--Scott

Can the Lakers be the George Mason of the NBA?

Comments about Kwame on ESPN Chat:

What's your take on Kwame Brown's recent play? he seems to really be taking advantage of the consistent minutes he's getting. Is he teasing us or is he finally going to fulfill some of his potential??

Marc Stein: (12:13 PM ET ) My take is that it's been four games. But it's a good snapshot to justify why the Lakers gambled on him. Friends in LA tell me that the Lakers are regularly trashed on talk radio for gambling on Kwame, but it's a three-year deal at not-so-outrageous money. Even if Kwame flames out for good, I would have made the same gamble. In the Lakers' position, you have to swing for the fences.

bayarealakerfan,

No. Phils's teams always play better the last 10 games of the season going into the playoffs. I think the players are just realizing its crunch time and its now or never if they want to make the playoffs.

As far as I heard, he said they should see the shrink but the Lakers had no plans of doing it.

Obviously it didn't work for Boston College. According the Roland, they should have won it all.

You can't completely fault Sasha for what he did. After all, the Hornets kept needlessly fouling the Lakers. The final minute lasted entirely too long. I really hate it when teams foul at the end when they do not have a chance to catch up. I think Sasha’s point (and I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he had one) was that if you keep fouling like you have a chance to win then I will put more points on the board as if you have a chance to catch up.

That being said, I agree with what ensued. Speedy should have whacked him and Speedy should have gotten the flagrant. An ejection? Ehh, I guess.

This situation is just like a pitcher hitting a batter after the opposing pitcher hit one of your players. Does he need to retaliate? Yes. Should he be thrown out after he beams the other player? Of course. It’s part of the game. (Now if Sasha would have pulled a Ricky Davis then homeboy should have been clotheslined.)

Smart play by Sasha: those extra points can't hurt in case at the end of the season the Lakers are in a tiebreaker with the Hornets. If Sasha "deserved" the flagrant (whatever that means), then he also deserved the 2 free throws, and Speedy deserves the fine and suspension. I guess everyone wins.

The boys looked great last night! Really good defense in the second half & I think the chemistry is really starting to get "playoff ready"!!! The b-ball purists in me didn't like Sasha's late game shot but the rabid Laker fan that I am loved the nastiness that Sasha diplays!! It's amazing what he was able to do to Bibby the other night and I like the frustration factor he brought to the game last night. As far as playoff's go, I'm becoming a fan of a Lakers-Mavs matchup!!! I believe that we're mentally in there heads a lil bit. With Kwame playing so well, I'm looking for him to dominate the center match up & open up things for our shooters. I'm growing in my confidence that Kwame can get it done on a nightly basis!!! I'm starting to feel like we'll get out of the first round if Dallas is our opponent because they always choke in the playoff's (see: Dirk screaming & whining at the refs, teammates, etc.) & we've got the Mamba as a match up nightmare.

It was debated on the blog a dew days ago that when Mihm comes back we should move Kwame back to the four spot, well due to Mihm's penchamt for getting the whistle I'd like to see him come off the bench with Devean, Luke, & Sasha (hopefully Jim Jackson can get some burn too!!!) Overall, Phil should be Coach of the Year because nobody thought we'd be here (most projected us at 11 in the West)

Let's get San Antonio!!!

There are mind boggling improvements that can be seen that led to our 4 game winning streak. What are these things? Movement, effort, aggressiveness, confidence. Now LO is not only becoming more aggressive, he's also become more fundamentally sound (like stepping into his shot). When once we were all thinking in the lines of him being electrecuted if he shot more 3 pointers, now I dare him to take them, cause he makes them. Now when Kobe is triple/double teamed, I see movement. I see cutting, I see screen and rolls being well covered (not great but good)---if you ignore the occational lapses. I see other players stepping up at quarters end, at 3 seconds in the shot clock, instead of forever asking Kobe to save us. Now I see the bounce in the step of our players, I see the oozing confidence of Kwame Brown leading not only to impact defense, but impact offense. I see veteran-like adjustments at 2nd halfs. I see a determination to play better (defensively) and to not play a whole game without pride in our game.

Do we have slip ups, yes like last night's 1st half. But we're learning to adjust, we're learning that if we want to win, if we want to be competitive it has to start in the defensive end. From 60 points in the first half, we held them (did they fold on their own...not really) to 30 something points in the 2nd half, giving ourselves the win. Does this mean we'll never half bad games? Of course not, but it shows that we're becoming more and more mentally a good team, if not physically.

I'll always root for my team, but these past several games have made me not only want to root for them always, but to be proud to root for them.

Go Lakers! Go KB x2! Go LO!

LoLo has a good point too, I didn't think of that. The Hornets just kept fouling and Sasha probably thought he was going to get fouled anyway so might as well try to get to the rack before the foul....

--Scott

Look who's leading the MVP race according to the casual fans (Yahoo)!! Yeah..that's right! The one who is supposedly hated by all is leading them all!!
Thinking of it, I'm starting to see that this whole hatred thing might just be residing in just one place: THE MEDIA!

If Kobe doesn't get MVP this would simply be grand larcony! Whe was the last time a player had this type of a season? MJ! He won 50 games that year.
So you guys think that if the lakers can somehow win 46-47 games Kobe doesn't deserve MVP!! I would love to hear your argument!!!

Andrew Z.

Honestly, I glad Kwame is doing well, but, in my opinion, he needs to remember that it's his defense that is most important right now.
I did my research on the guy. I won't get into a long explanation of why this or why that, but I will say this: the Kid was projected to be a Kevin Garnett type player. I honestly believe, without doubt, this kid could easily be a 20-10 man. Heck, if he would hit his free throws he would be doing that right now. With that type of production we're talking Championship Basketball for the next 5 years. Of course, that's with Kobe and Lamar leading the way.

mike

Andrew Z.

I think the blocks are going to come in time. Remeber this is a kid who is barely playing 30 minutes a game for the first time with a bit of maturity to go along with it. He played 30 mintues a game a few years back but was like 21 years old when he did. I anticipate that he'll be everything that he was projected to be as a number 1 draft choice. Michael Jordan did not make a mistake in making him the number 1 draft choice. Michael Jordan made a mistake coming back to play, which hindered Kwame's growth. If MJ didn't come back the Wizards would have used Kwame like Orlando uses Dwight Howard, and we would be seeing an all-star type Kwame (as a Wizard) and MJ would still be running the show in Washington.

mike

What happens if Kwame keeps getting better and turns into a consistent 18-12 center in the league? It's not completely out of the realm of possibilities, he was a #1 pick four years ago and is only 23, it's not like he's maxed out his potential yet. So what if something in his head clicks and in the next two years he becomes an All-Star caliber center, what the hell do we do with Bynum?


Just food for thought.

Mike,

Man can you imagine if Kwame became a 20, 10 guy, LO became a consistent 20, 7, 7 guy and Kobe a 30, 9, 5 guy and bench/cook-chris/smush- someone else adds occational pts, with our tough D ....we'd rule the nba for sure!

Andrew Z,

I think it all depends on how well Bynum will be...and all about money at that point. Can we still afford Kwame...is Bynum paying off? But man can just imagine them becoming both so good...we'll be out of this world (combined with Kobe and LO of course)

Again, my theory has always been that it was just a matter of getting Kwame in the flow. Once he's in the flow it'll be like a run-away frieght train, there's no stopping it. Again, I believe that is occuring before our eyes. With that said, it is my belief that once we have a fully confident Kwame, we drop him to the 4 spot. I believe the Lakers feel the same way. On Saturday, Kurt Rambis came on KCAL 9 and said the same thing. Kwame is going to be our PF.

mike

Sasha is an idiot, I think it safe to say that he deserved the elbow from Kobe last week.

Andrew Z,

There's nothing wrong with having a plethora of riches.

do you guys get the feeling that they're building Lebron to be MVP? I mean with all his crunch time heroics (which by the way Kobe's been doing all season, all his career long---yet never really gets mentioned, it is expected). I would be sooo upset if he gets it. Not cause he's not good, he's good, but Kobe's better right now.

In response to chosen#23's post,

Nothing would be greater for Kobe & the Lakers of 2005-06 than to have the MVP in purple & gold!!! However, I feel Kobe needs one more MAJOR scoring game, say....60 pts. to stay in the arguement. It would be even better if he did it against a premiere defender, say...Bruce Bowen!

I think the curse of the 81 game is that is was against a poor defensive team who nobody in the league (either fan or media type) respects in the Raptors. But if we can put together another great game agains't the Spurs & Kobe can school Bowen in the match up...the MVP will reside in L.A.!!!!

P.S. Does anyone know how I can order a copy of the Kobe's 81 game? Fortunately, I was at Staples that night! (Yes I'm bragging, Blog Brothers) But unfortunately, I don't have that game on tape to go with the 62 in three quarters game! Please, someone help me?

Bynum still has a few years to develop. As young as Kwame is, Bynum is 5-6 years younger. I think it's going to take a few more years for Bynum to start making an impact on games.

If I were Mitch, I'd keep Bynum, Mihm, and Kwame. Like someone else has said, the idea of Mihm, Kwame, and Lamar all crashing the glass and defending the paint sounds very appealing to me at this point. But in a couple years, if everything(Kwame) is the same, I'd trade Mihm for an up and coming young player and slide Bynum into the back-up center spot.

Basically, I'd keep Bynum.

Andrew Z,

I was thinking the same thing last night watching the game. If Kwame's recent play is not just a tease or an apparition, he could easily be an 18-10/16-12 guy, which would be plenty from the center position along with good defense. If he works on his hands over the winter, he could be a second--or third--team all-star. So what, then do we do with Andrew Bynum?

Maybe Andrew is the key to a trade with Minnesota for Garnett. I'd give them Bynum and anyone else on the team they want--except Kobe, Kwame, Lamar and, maybe Smush--plus a second rounder.

Wouldn't that be sweet?

Michael T,

I would love to have Kwame as our 4 if he could find his comfort zone there and excel in that position. To me he is in the Dwight Howard/Amare Stoudamire mold more than the Yao/Kareem (no one is in the Shaq mold) mold like Bynum is. We'll have to wait and see. It's really nice to see this team starting to develop some confidence and swagger. I don't know what they're feeding guys like Kwame and LO, but give em seconds!!

I truly think that although Kwame's recent play has a big part to do with our recent success, this team is going to live and die by the aggressiveness and success of Lamar Odom. Kobe just looks like he has it so much easier with LO taking charge a bit more offensively. Seriously, the man got 30 points on 19 shots last night, that's what I'm talking about!

I'm going to laugh my ass off if these guys continue to play well and surprise people in the playoffs and the Shaq-led Heat fizzle out again. Everyone will be saying what an incredible GM Kupchak is!! Giddy up!!

By the way, life through winning-streak colored glasses is quite beautiful.

Wow, I can't believe people are jumping all over Sasha. If Speedy hadn't insisted on being a dick, no one would have given it a second thought, but now somehow it's Sasha who's the jerk. I hope Claxton's dumb ass gets fined and suspended.

BK/AK,

Do you guys know if Kobe's back spasm problems are as bad as McGrady's? Cause I know it's build us not so bad...but the next day always tells the true story on one's injury.

ANDREW Z

if kwame becomes an all star and bynum becomes a really good player, we'll keep him both, one comes of the bench or even play him both. afterall shaq plays with mourning, tim duncan is considered a 4, but he is a 5 to me, and he played with d.robinson. in the triangle they both can take turns posting up, and on defense kwame 4 and bynum 5, i have never heard of two many big men being a problem, ask detroit, may be too many swing men or guards can be. keep em' all, if kwame becomes an all star, that means he is good enough to adjust to power forward. i know one thing for sure, all the good 6'11 and 7 footers want to be power forwards, just ask jermaine o'neal, garnett, gasol, duncan, amare,d.howard,dirk, the list goes on and on. my point is, if kwame is good enuff to be an all star, then adjusting would not be a problem.

Mitch,

You can get the 81 point game at videos.google.com for 3.79 or something like that...unfortunately you can only watch it in your computer.

NBA Development League Announces 2005-06 All-League Selections

No Von Wafer! did not even make the all "Honorable Mentions List"! what a waste of a draft pick. But then what else is new, afterall we are talking about a "Cupcake" pick right?

arg...typed too fast...I meant to say build up to be not so bad, but the next day, sometimes it's worst

McGarnagle,

Sasha was absolutely being an idiot. Period. Even his own teammates apparently thought so. You don't show up another team unnecessarily. That's just bush league. He should have dribbled the ball out and if the Hornets decided to foul him, so be it. Take your free throws and shut up.

If the situation were reversed, with the Hornets having the game in hand and Speedy making the worthless lay up, you'd be applauding Sasha for shoving him. So it works the other way, too.

Like I told another guy before, I got nothing against Sasha whatsoever. And I think Claxton should have been ejected, for that matter, because you shouldn't get away with that penalty free. But that was plain dumb on Sasha's part. I'm totally siding with Claxton on this one.

AK

FLEA IS AWESOME!!!

read his nba blog at

http://www.nba.com/blog/blog43.html

Faith,

Kobe didn't seem to worried after the game. But like you said, it was probably too early to tell for sure at that moment. Hopefully, it's nothing bad.

AK

Lebron won't be MVP because his team's not doing that great. He's in the East remember. Nash gets it.

Furthermore.. Kobe never gets mentioned?! Huh?

There are some.. in ESPN that have put forward this doozy: the MVP votes will be split between Nash and Billups, and so Kobe, like the Republicans in 2000, will get in (with all the secondary votes) and win MVP.

And you can't say that the Lakers are in bad shape: they said that if KB had the lakers at or over 500 he'd be considered for MVP... well they're entrenched at 7th in the west.. that's pretty good I'd say..

Regarding Sasha's surperfluous lay-up,

We're approaching the playoffs and we need a bloodthirsty spirit right now.

We need to communicate something to people who are in the playoff run with us, which is "FEAR US!"

It's not like we're playing Atlanta at the beginning of the season up by 15 points with 8 seconds left. Then there would be no point to shooting a last second basket.

However, up by 8 points against San Antonio with 4 seconds remaining? You pass that ball into the paint for a last second slam dunk!

Right now it's about more than winnning. It's about making a point.

This is the time when mind-games should exceed "good sportsmanship."

Good job, Sasha. You just gained a lot of points in my book.

What date was Roland Lazonby's last post?

It's good to hear that psychologist is back with the team.

Andrew Z.

You're right about Lamar. When he posts up it changes the whole game. It allows Kobe to play different, which is easier on his body. 30 points on 19 shots is evidence of that. That's how it's suppose to be. Kobe is going to get his regardless if it's with 30 shots or 19 shots. But when it's with 19-22 shots, that means others are doing their job, which can only be good for the Mamba.

mike

Mike,

I meant his 4th quarter, crunch time heroics, never gets mentioned anymore. Like it's Kobe being Kobe, which it is...but the Lebron love is too much for me. I know, we all know he's (Kobe) getting mentioned as one of the mvp contenders, not much to my satisfaction frankly, but he is mentioned.

Man I would love it if Nash and Billups cancel each other out. While it's just MVP, and not a championship, which we're all hungry for, he does deserve it.

The first summer time question is going to be what to do with D George? Do we match any offers 'cause of his play with Kobe in the triangle skills? He's probably going to step up huge or die trying in these last games. In a Phoenix matchup he'll sure have the opportunity to prove himself again, but for how much?

I want to love Sasha and he sure tries on D but, sooner than later his shot has to start falling a la Steve Kerr. We've heard how well he shoots in practice, it must be just another psychological Rubics cube for Phil to master... now that the Kwam has found his inner BEAST and LO has found enlightenment and the Mamba has found the next level of perfection, the rest of roster will follow.

I dont remember Roland saying that a psychologist is actually part of the team. As I remember it, he's suggesting that this team more than any other team could use it. He was pointing out the impact of that particular shrink during our championship years, and would be valuable to our team today. It was 3 days ago I think.

First off, Nash is winning the MVP. I'm not saying I agree, it's just happening.

Maybe Kobe's back is spasming from carrying the team all year..ba dum bump. Come on people, we had 42 posts before someone made that joke, you're letting me down.

I agree with the "you can never have too many good bigs", its just that I see Kwame being a lot closer to being a top line guy than I see Bynum. Anyway, not to get all worked up over Kwame's 3 good games, just makes you think is all.

Everyone is praising Kwame (his play over the past two weeks merits it, and that is coming from one of his detractors), Smush and Lamar have been getting generally positive reviews here lately, as have Turiaf and Bynum (given their inexperience). So where is the acknowledgement that Mitch K is responsible for them being Lakers?

NBA code of honor does not allow for things like what Sasha pulled last night. He's a young guy so I won't be to hard on him, but it was wrong.

mike

Personally I like what Sasha did. I think we need a dirty player...I don't know if that qualifies him as a dirty player per se, but it would be interesting.

Hey Speedy, if you need to make any more "statements", how about not losing 11 of your next 12 games. There's a statement that might mean something.

Okay, I need to get over this...

AK, it's time for you to come clean: are you on Scottie Pippen's payroll?

I think that Kwame and Lamar are finally playing to their potential, and it's good to see. I just don't think they can get much better though, they may have maxed their potential by now. Just continue to play this way and we'll be fine. Who knows maybe they can still get even better.

Kwame can't average 20 ppg because he can'tcreate his shot. It is the Odom and the attention Kobe gets makes him look so good.
In lakers board they argue they won't trade lamar for KG.
Suddenly kwame and odom become the most overrated due by the lakers fans.
Calm down ! Don't forget we're still fighting for the playoffs.
Lakers need better talents. They are going to waste kobe's best years.

MVP is a poularity contest sometimes dependant on random varying factors, just like an Oscar [see 360 Mafia vs Martin Scorcese]. It's great Blog fodder but the ring is the thing.

The media will have a hard time not giving Kobe his hardware if the Lake Show continues the STREAK. It's all about wins now.

McGarnagle,

Is Pippen a particularly big Anti-Sasha Vujacic enthusiast? I don't understand the question.

AK

What Sasha did was stupid, it wasn't dirty. It's just one of those things you don't do. I like tough players, like PJ Brown and his foul on Kwame, but the Sasha thing is just disrespectful and against the players "code".

dido,

I think Kwame can definitely create his own shots. He has extremely quick feet and some decent post moves. The biggest knock on the guy this year is his inability to finish. He definitely needs some work but to envision him as a 20 ppg guy isn't too farfetched. although, on this team with Kobe and Lamar I would think he would be more like a 15-18 ppg guy, which would rock.

if he's a center he doesn't necessarily have to create his own shots, Shaq never really does, it's all about position. Plus Kwame has the speed. Now as PF, then he needs to use that speed, and that power.

I don't agree any player (Speedy) should do that no matter what the circumstance. Who cares that the Lakers were already winning? Honestly, Speed should be more upset his team lost. Why stress out on stupid stuff?

Hate to rain on the parade here, but with Mihm gone, we are going to have *big* problems soon.
For us to be effective, we need to have LO at the SF. Not only does it give us a matchup nightmare where LO can score at will against smaller SFs, but also frees up Kobe to the extent that he will have SGs on him. Lets take San Antone for a second - They are going to have Nazr M and Tim D as their power players. If we don't have Mihm, we will need to have LO guard either of these folks. Which means that we will have to play a smaller SF to guard Bowen [unless you think the Cookie monster can do it :)]. Not only does TD on LO take away LO as an offensive weapon, it frees up Bowen to do his dirty crap on Kobe. I positively **abhor** that piece of poo-poo.
As a matter of fact, Denver, Clips are all bad matchups for us with Mihm gone.
Now let's look at who we played over the last couple of games:
Sacramento
NOK
Milwaukee
Boston

Not exactly the cream of the crop when it comes to quality at the 4 or 5.

I'm going to temper my expectations for the next 10 games.

I think Mihm (and some pieces) could get us Boozer in the off season. It would take Bynum, a couple of #1's, and a resigned D. George to come close to getting KG.

evrything kobe does would never be elaborated on except it's negative. kobe got 40 points against the pistons, shooting 50%, but sportcenter cited it as a "miserly 40 points by kobe bryant", he had 28 on the win against the kings on 11-20 shooting and they said artest held him below his season average. i don't really get mad when they do that, it shows me they have respect for him, wade or lebron gets 40 and we can't start stop hearing about it, but kobe? well that is normal for him. it shows that kobe is not in the same category with these players. so fellow bloggers when the love ain't coming for kobe's performance, don't get mad, just look at it as respect. look at it this way, kwame gets 17 and 6, and we all called him a beast, if garnett gets 17 and 6 would you call him a beast in that game? nothing is new, so kobe got 40 in a game, duh! nash got 12 assists, duh! kidd had a triple double, duh! b.wallace got 10 rebounds, duh! i'm sure you all get the point.

Zen,

Speedy was mad/concerned they lost, and that's why he reacted that way. It's basically, "Yeah. I get it. We lost. Don't rub it in." It's because NO/OKC lost that he shoved Sasha.

FYI. If anyone had told me before last's night game there would be a Sasha Vujacic-Speedy Claxton discussion thread going the next day, I'd have accused them of crack smokage. Can't say I saw this one coming.

AK

I agree with VMAN,

In my mind the MVP is secondary to a championship or even a conference championship. It looks and feels a lot better when your team gets both. Every one in the league knows Kobe is the best player but that's not how they vote for MVP. Can someone help me out here, I don't think there has ever been an MVP that didn't at least win his division (Charles Barkley?)

IT WAS REPORTED BY THE LAKERS ORGANIZATION, its official, bynum has added an extra inch since being with the lakers, 18 years of age and is now 7'1. he is projected to get to 7'2. can you imagine him being 25 yrs and 7'2, as mobile as he is now, and then stronger? this kid would be a beast, he is only 18yrs, never played against people that could block his shots, he played against 6'4 centers( so he said), just a little more time. i am not trading him for garnett or anybodyelse. this type come 1 in a million.

i'm more impressed with Kwame then Odom. Odom's played this way before with Miami, but kwame havn't. now Kwame's producing consistantly on both end of the floor. i'm impressed.

as for Kwame and Kobe being a better rebounder than odom? hm... im not sure about that Faith. you have odom avg 7, kobe 9, and kwame 10? rebounds are Odom's bread and butter. only a handful of players can outboard him.

im hoping it'll be...

kobe 35 6 6
odom 25 12 8
kwame 20 10 3

Depending on who the Lakers meet in the Playoffs will determine the MVP. If they play Phoenix in the first round and Lakers Win in 6 or grind it out in 7 or if this Laker team goes to the WCF as an 8 seed then, Kobe is the MVP hands down.

Given that they don't say who's the MVP until the Conference Finals, they might play it for hype to a Finals matchup like they did with Barkley (1993) and Malone (1997)against a certain player wearing #23 in Chicago before meeting in the Finals. If it's Phoenix vs Detroit or San Antonio vs Miami. (If Wade were to get the MVP before a Tony Parker, that's just fuel to guarantee San Antonio back-to-back. Or If Nash were the MVP before a match-up with Detroit, you think Billups and the Pistons will let that go unchecked?)

Don't these scenarios sound like pitches you'll hear on the Commercials.

good point emman

Hari,
Bruce Bowen would be the perfect complement to Kobe for this team. An excellent defender who can make an open three pointer. We need someone in that mold (which Fisher did in earlier years). Parker shows that very occasionally.

What I thought was just a stupid play on Sasha's part last night might actually be more intriguing. I assumed, when I saw it live, that Sasha got caught up in the moment and simply pulled a bonehead move. As I read some of the comments of others on this blog, I have to agree that if it was done intentionally, it was a great move. Why not? To hell with NBA etiquette. There's nothing in the rules against running up the score and right now the Lakers need that killer-instinct. That's how a team get's into the playoffs and advances to the next round. Maybe Sasha was trying to send a message to Claxton and the Hornets and maybe the rest of the league. If so, I also wish he'd had the ball in the last couple of seconds and drained a three. Then there would have been no question about his intentions. Way to go Sasha! Hope the rest of the team takes the same attitude into the playoffs.

...forgot to say---about the Kobe level thing

what's wrong with me today? lol...too happy with lakers winning that's what...lol

Lamar Show,

sorry...I didn't mean any particular numbers with rebounds, just really put the first number that came to my mind in rebounds. Frankly I think LO can average a triple double...since he's been teasing us with it all season long.

Dear AK, I started this Sasha-Speedy commentary on the previous blogs. Sasha had a quizzical face after being pushed hard. The poor fellow was unaware of this code or whatever ethics to follow at the end of the game. In Europe, they don't stop playing before the end of the game or else they will hear whistles & catcalls for lack of efforts. Claxton may have some reasons to get mad but why hurt a fellow player? As a professional, he could have approached Sasha after the game rather than exhibit his barbaric ways.

Go Sasha, you're not dirty and you're not stupid, pour more points.

Who read that article about Kareem's point total? When you really think about it Kareem and Stockton's records are truly amazing.

Its too bad the whole Kobe/Malone meltdown occurred. It would have been nice to see Malone reach that record as a Laker. It would have been the only way that I could have tolerated Kareem's record being broken was if it was broken by a Laker.

The current Lakers roster is pretty solid in the four and five spots -- especially with the consistent output of Mihm and recent emergence of Kwame.

To get to the next echelon I'm of the belief that the team needs to add a quality point guard in the off-season. A floor general with sound decision-making skills to run the offense and set up guys for easy scoring opportunities. More importantly, a point guard who can defend in the backcourt against the dribble penetration, a persistent problem area that the Lakers must rectify in order to become an elite team.

Lamar is adequately doing the job as a point forward position, facilitating the offense and setting up guys. But I think he could be better served as scoring small forward given his height advantage and versatile inside/outside presence.

Edwin,

I don't buy that Sasha didn't know the "code." He's been in the league two years. He knows the drill. I've seen him dribble out a clock before. And afterwards, he and Chris Paul looked to be jawing a bit, and Sasha seemed to repeatedly pointing at the scoreboard. I have a hard time believing he didn't know what was up. Most of your fellow bloggers thought he was sending a message.

Look, I'm not proposing the kid be put in front of a firing squad or anything. There are worse things you can do, and I don't think he's a bad guy. But he did something dumb, and basically got an appropriate punishment, a shove and a whack. And Claxton got the appropriate punishment as well, the ejection. All's well that ends well, more or less.

Thanks for the comments, Edwin.

AK

got some great stats here laker fans.

If KOBE does not win the MVP then this a joke. In the 87-88 season the bulls won 50 games and had the fourth best record in the east. This sounds good like wow fourth best record but lets look at the facts if we go to http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_1988.html we see that the next best record was 42-40 (cavaliers), 42-40 (bucks) and a bunch of way sub 500 teams. In other words this was like one of the weakest conferences in the history of basketball. When we look further we see that according to the link http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_1988.html that the bulls had charles oakely which led the lead in rebounds and was one of the best defenders and also Sam vincent 8.4 assist per game good for 6th in the league. So the point here is a chicago bulls team with the leading rebounder in the league, a top six assist man, scottie pippen, sedalle threat, HORACE GRANT and BRAD SELLERS OFF THE BENCH (granted that these players were still young) had 50 games in a weak conference (one of the weakest in league history) and Jordon wins the MVP where he the only the only thing he really did better than KOBE was shoot a slightly better percentage from the field in a far less athletic league. So come on so called "Analysts" u tell me that KOBE's season is so bad and he has much better help? In the west 50 wins will barely get u into the playoffs as we are seeing. (the lakers can run the table and still finish 7 if memphis goes 6-4). So Come on give the man his props, KOBE for MVP the man deserves it, this is downright ridiculous. I AM OUT.

What Sasha did is a major no-no in Phil Jackson's book. A few years ago I believe Phil actually fined Slava a coulpe thousand dollars when Medvedenko took a last-minute shot like that - it was also in a game the Lakers had well in hand.

Was there any time left in the game when Sasha took that shot??????????

If we have lil' Sasha taking lay-up when we're up double digits with four seconds to go as our "sending a message" and showing our "killer instinct" we are in a world of hurt, Kwame playing well or not.

KOBE FOR MVP!

QUICK QUESTION!

if shaq had done what sasha did, would he have been flagrantly fouled? what about artest or either of the pistons' walaces? i guess not, didn't rasual butler hit a three recently, in the same situation, and later apologised. let's forget about it, it's not that important.

if kwame's production keeps going throughout the playoffs i think the lakers will most likely trade mihm and keep bynum as kwame's back up, i wouldn't place Kwame at the 4 spot, he is a center in a PF's body, and even so, look at his body, he is meant to be banging in there with the big boys why place him farther away where his size will most often than not lead to a charging call? the closer he can get to the basket the better he will be for it, this production just didn't pop out of nowhere, even kobe said. why mess with success?

Go Lakers...

kwame keeps it up we got the championship next year, who knows, maybe we will have a parade this summer

I think Cook can get better. Bulk up a bit and put out 25% more effort on D and he could be somebody. He's hard to watch some nights but I like his shot, held high, quick release, and I like that he can put the ball on the floor.

I'm on the Kwam bandwagon, but his best games this year have been at center if the distinction makes a difference. On offense, it's nice to have Cook space the floor with his deep threat. Gives the Mamba room to roam.

Really hope Andrew B can play by Thursday. He played some nice minutes on Duncan back when. We're going to need all the bigs we can muster.
I bet Kareem could still get us 15 and 8 off the bench.

12th night,
You don't need a point guard to run the triangle.

exhelodrvr,

It does help to have a small guard who would play the "point" on defense. We get killed on that against every team with a good point.

One thing I noticed last night which was really strange, is that Smush doesn't really go over or under picks, he kind of just runs into them. It's really weird but I watched the game again this morning and he knows the pick is coming but just kind of smushes (yes, pun intended) into the screener. It's the strangest thing I have ever seen, just watch it for yourself!!

Kevin McK,

Slava took an unnecessary shot??? Get out of town! I refuse to believe that.

Andrew Z,

You hit the nail on the head with that statement. There's no statement to be made when you're beating a sub-.500 team who'll probably miss the playoffs. And if there is one, pick a dude who's actually threatening to deliver it. No offense to Sasha, but I doubt San Antonio, Phoenix and Dallas sat up and went "Whoa!" after that layup.

AK

exhelodrvr,

Your point is well understood on the premise of the Triangle not requiring a major role from the one spot. But given that the Triangle is being deployed about 40% of the time (per Kurt Rambis on AM 1540), it's necessary to have a point guard during that remaining 60% of the time when the Lakers are just freelancing and stagnating offensively. I am concerned about those moments during the game where there is no ball movement and players stationary on the court waiting for Kobe to bail them out from the 20-foot perimeter. At that juncture I think a point guard with passing skills and court sense would be needed to take command of the offense.

Whoever this point guard is would also be needed to defend the backcourt. It's apparent that Smush is being killed out there against opposing guard dribble penetration.

exhelodrvr,

I agree with you 100%. I always read where people on here repeatedly criticize Kupchak for everything. Yet, he is the one that has made these moves and brought the Lakers to where they are right now.

Great job Mitch!!!

VMAN,

forget it, cook is not gaining any weight, he just lost weight prior to this season, and he claimed that has helped his game alot. he is big enuff, just not snart enuff on d.

SASHA...
As for Sasha, what is done is done. It's over! Now let's get behind this guy because he is a pure shooter. If we can get him on track we can be that much stronger. What are the suggestions for getting Sasha on track? I think he should start with the mid-range jumper to build his confidence. If you think about it, it just doesn't make sense, for what is basically a rookie, to come in and try to make a name for himself with a 3 point shot. Tell me, what rookie or 2nd year player ever came in and started with 3 point shots as his bread and butter? Again, low basketball IQ. What he's going to do is destroy himself if he continues to shoot the 3. Again, I say, shot the mid-range jumper. 2 points are better than none.

mike

Michael T,

The only problem with Sasha getting that mid-range jumper is that it seems his spot in the Triangle usually has him spotting up for a 3. i would say he could try and get himself a shot from mid-range, but when was the last time you saw Sasha create off the dribble (other than with four seconds left last night)? The mid-range jumper is an awesome tool to have and that's why the players who develop a consistent one like Kobe and Rip Hamilton are dangerous scorers. Now, if Lamar Odom spent the summer developing a pull up, mid-range jumper the guy would be incredible. He still either needs to shoot from long distance or take it all the way to the rack. He's had quite a few offensive fouls this year where a pull up jumper would have been the ideal shot.

I think Sasha is placed in a position to shoot threes, like Steve Kerr in Chicago before him. Actually, there's a guy who made a name for himself shooting 3's. How about Craig Hodges? Dale Ellis?

Sasha shoulda dunked it. (can he?)

Nick Van Exel.


I'm not impressed with the Lakers yet. But I am glad to see them seperate themselves the 8th seed race. They beat all of those teams, Kings Hornets & Jazz. Are they good enough to compete and take the higher seed from Griz & Clips?

If I was to make the wager of the year it would be on next game against the Spurs. Clearly this season, the Lakers has not gone up to 5 games over .500. That has been the biggest monkey on their back. Its very unlikely to happen again, especially against the Spurs. Sure, they beat the Spurs in San Antonio in their last meeting. I know the Spurs are looking forward to get a redemption. I see the Spurs beating us by 13 points. Any comments?

mike t.

i agree with you on sasha taking more 2's, but to answer your question on what 1st or 2nd year comes in taking threes = kyle korver took more threes than twos his first year, i do not know about now. although it doesn't really bother me, b'cos he only attempts about 1-3 a game, none in the last game.

A few points...Enman: You are absolutely right when you say that Kobe's excellence has caused the rest of the league to take him for granted at times. The guy scores 30 points with a bad back and the big story is Sasha not running out the clock in a fashion acceptable to the Hornets. Well, Speedy, losing sucks and we know how you feel. It's the same feeling that the Lakers had when you guys beat them down in OKC and acted like a bunch of jackals, whooping and hollering when you had the upper hand. What goes around, comes around. I can remember Chris Paul in that game getting in Lamar's face after a good play. The NBA is about competition. A player like Sasha is fighting for his NBA life...he has no guarantees. He's is supposed to feel that he's better than CP3 and Speedy. It's his job to get the best of them. If they can't live with that, too bad. One other thing... Kwame will continue to get excellent opportunities at the basket within the triangle offense. It is most encouraging to watch him seal smaller oponents and have easy chances at the rim. I expect to see continued improvement in this area.

Michael Teniente,

point well made about Sasha's low B-Ball IQ. He's delusional in his three-point shooting mindset. It behooves him to go for driving layups and/or mid-range shots as opposed to shooting low-percentage three-ball. Better yet he may be well served to master the tear-drop shots that Avery Johnson and Tony Parker made famous. Sasha should take advantage also of his great free-throw shooting in the event he gets fouled while driving for layups. I think sometimes Sasha and Smush are trying to emulate Kobe in three-point shooting department.

""I think it was my halftime talk to them," Laker Coach Phil Jackson said. "I told them that in their white uniforms, they looked like a bunch of elves and fairies out there just playing basketball.""

Another thing I agree with Phil on. Can we get those Sunday Whites banished?

-dreamin' of my Lakers in Gold

kobe 35 6 6
odom 25 12 8
kwame 20 10 3

-------------------

you'll never get that out of Odom. Otherwise, Kwame at 20 and 10 is not that hard. He'll hit more free throws over time..

When you double team Duncan on the post, they start swingin the ball which they do so well. they move the ball and they move without the ball which would set free their shooters.

The key? KB54 guarding TD one on one.(yes, he is very capable of doing it). No need to double TD. then we can prevent them from moving the ball, prevent penetrations, and take the Spurs out of their game.

GO LAKERS!!!
BEAT THE SPURS AGAIN!!!

KB8 to KB54 for a SLAAAM!!!!

What Sasha did may have been unnecessary, but it was not "dumb" or "dishonorable" or any of these other things. Claxton's retaliation was however stupid and malicious. This so-called "code of honor" is a figment of some people's imagination, and suckers go along with it. How many people's "code of honor" would Horry's and Ginobli's flopping violate? The bottom line is, it doesn't break any rules. If you're seeking honor, go pick a side in the Middle East, or better yet go fight windmills and save damsels like Don Quixote. Romantics...

 
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