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Extra! Extra! (3.28)

So aside from Kobe's back, Smush's thumb, Kwame's hammy, Bynum's ankle, Mihm's ankle (plus Jim Jackson apparently hurting when it comes to learning the offense), really, why would the Lakers want a few days off? Professional athletes. So needy! Actually, as ideal as the break is, it wouldn't be stunning if Kwame preferred no gap in the schedule at all, considering the roll he's on.  No doubt, everything's coming up "Kwame" right now, and he's making headway towards erasing bad memories. But what do these recent good outings do for his future as a Laker? In the world of the NBA trades and contracts, you simply never know. But one thing is a certainty. The future is a topic analyzed heavily at the El Segundo offices. So are the Spurs, we imagine.

Good to see Kobe's maintained a sense of humor over recent issues getting to the stripe. And some of y'all have wondered why Shaq's hand on Jermaine O'Neal's throat during the JO-Haslem skirmish didn't merit a fine. Probably because both sides knew all along it was a peacemaking "choke."

 
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morning lakerville.. i don't know about this few days off.. scares me a bit.. keep them focus Phil! GO LAKERS!!

Assuming that upper management thinks it is realistic that the Lakers will at least have an outside shot (hopefully one of Kobe's, not one of Smush's) at being a contender by the end of next year's regular season, here are some of the things they need to consider: The better Kwame plays, the more it will cost to retain him after next season. And the more trade value he will have this summer. What is management's prediction for Mihm's development? How much trade value will he have this summer, and next summer (presuming that he continues to improve steadily, like he has this season.) Would either Kwame or Mihm be effective as a power forward? Is there any hope of Cook improving his defense, rebounding, and inside game enough to make him a legitimate starting power forward on a contender? Is Rony Turiaf a future starting PF? What will Smush be like by the end of next season? Will Sacha be good enough defensively and consistent enough with his outside shooting to be a good match with Kobe? Can Devean be counted on for anything at all (considering his injury history and his overall inconsistency.) Will the real Luke Walton please stand up? Is the Lamar of the last three weeks what we can count on for the future? The only player with no questions attached is Kobe.

I can't wait until Kwame proves the difference maker in the playoffs, and the TNT crew has to find a graceful way to take back everything they've said about the Lakers and their playoff chances this year.

WHY THE DEFENSE?

As a life long Lakers fan I’ve seen a lot of great things. My earliest memory of the Lakers was when they were down to the Phoenix Suns 3-1 in the playoffs and we came back to beat them 4-3. It was pure radio for that series. That was the year (1970) Jerry West hit the half court shot against the Knicks. I remember jumping up and down, with my brother, like we were really into it. We saw that one on t.v. We were serious basketball fans, even back then. I was only 11 years old. Jerry West had to get around Willis Reed to get the shot off, and he did it. To bad it wasn’t a 3 pointer or we would have another Championship to our history.

I forgot what year it was, but I remember having the magazine that had the image of Jerry West (Sports Illustrated or something), which is now used as the NBA logo. I remember when the NBA started using it as a logo; right away I knew it was Jerry West. To me, that was so cool because it was a Laker, and it made me feel good about my team influence on the league. Awwwhhh, the memories! Don’t get me started on the 33 game winning streak, my of favorite Lakers memories…just for the record; I saw the game when the streak ended. The Milwaukee Bucks, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, beat the Chamberlain led Lakers. Of course, we won the Championship that year. We had a 69-13 record that year, which was, at that time, the NBA best ever. The Jordan Bulls broke it, 95-96. What a great year. Records will come and go, but 33 in row; I’d like to see someone break that. That’s my favorite Lakers record.

Well, that’s just something I wanted to share…

Anyway, now to my defensive discussion, with a historical twist to it. I remember when the Lakers lost to the Pistons a couple of years ago, it was frustrating to watch that series. I remember when I would go to the computer café, in my neighborhood, we would always talk basketball, and, of course, we would discuss why the Lakers were getting beat. As I said then, I’ll say now. We got beat because we weren’t playing any defense against a weaker offensive Pistons team.

The people would ask me: how and why is that happening? And this was my answer:
For a team like the Pistons or the Spurs to win a Championship with defense, you have to break down what is happening. Specifically: It takes a lot of energy to play defense, and with a reverse psychology type of approach they get their rest on the offensive end. How does that work? In other words, they rely on the opponent to be slack on their defensive end. If the opponent would make the Pistons or the Spurs work on the offensive end (by playing proper defense), then over the course of the game, the Pistons or Spurs would lose it (their legs) at both ends of the court. It takes far too much energy to play intense defense and then have to work just as hard on the offensive end, too, especially when your offense relies on open jump shots. When both teams are defensive minded, then it comes down to smarts, physicality, and youth. The Lakers have the physicality and youth, hands down. But will they bring the smarts? With a team like the Spurs, who are up in age now, it behooves us to make them work on the offensive end. If I’m correct, and I usually am, their legs will fail them on both the defensive and offensive end as the game progresses. When your legs fail you, your shot comes up short. The Pistons beat the Lakers that year because the Lakers didn’t make them work on the offensive end. The Lakers underestimated the Pistons. The Lakers thought they could Shaq and Kobe them to death, and it didn’t work. Another Championship slips our hands.

This year the Lakers would beat the Pistons (who have no bench and the starters have played far too many minutes), because if we make the Pistons work on the offensive end they’ll be exhausted, and they will crack over the course of the game. But what does all that mean? It means that by the time the 4th quarter arrives; they will have no answer for the Black Mamba.

mike

P.S. Isn’t that something? From Chamberlain to Bryant, I love my Lakers, that’s for sure!

Man it's great, all this love for Kwame. Last night I decided to pop in NBA Live '06, no games to watch so might as well play. And with all this Kwame love, I was like "you know what Kwame this is your game" I was playing the Bucks (scheduled opponent in my season). Kwame had 48 points 12 rebounds and 6 blocks (of course he/I missed like 8 free throws) and won by 88-57 (3 min. quarters). Man that would rock!!!
Well guys not much to talk about on a off day.
At least the Hornets lost again, but the Jazz beat them so it didn't really matter that much.
The way the Nets killed the Suns makes me happy, I think we could do that.
As long as we're in the playoffs who cares who we beat...

--Scott

That article about possible personel moves for the Lakers sure does paint a pretty picture, doesn't it?

My take is that you will see a lot less players move around if it means a paycut. I think 99.9% of players say that they want a ring more than anything, but when it comes to taking millions less they think twice about it. With that said, I think we're stuck with what we have with the exception of adding a couple mid-level guys or overpaying someone a max contract when they don't deserve it. The way the new collective bargaining agreement is structured, franchise guys would be foolish to leave a team and give up so much money, even if it means playing in a place like Canada. Look at Kobe for instance. He was going to jump ship and head for the Clippers but when the dust settled and he saw he would be leaving almost $25 million on the table, he re-upped with the Lakers. It's all about the Benjamins people! That's why we need Kwame, LO, and hopefully Bynum to develop because we already have those guys.

Michael Teniente,

Real nice post. Wish I could have been there for the West shot; however, I had just been born.

I started being a fan around 1978, listening to Chick on the radio in the garage while my Dad would be working his old Buick.

Good memories.

A lifetime of Chick's voice accompanying the growth of your life, watch Magic in your living room, hanging out with friends for the game, drunkenly screaming with insane joy as Robert Horry makes a last second shot, having Derrick Fisher's shot save your life because you are just about to get into a fight with members of the Russian Mafia because you are so upset with the outcome of the San Antonio game... memories of a lifetime.

And the Lakers were always there.

God Bless the Lakers!

Go Team!

Great post, Mike!

KOBE FOR MVP!!!!

All year we have talked about the Lakers being one year away from being a title contender, and that is true. Various scenarios that would bring either Ron Artest and KG have been bandied about the blog. But what we failed to realize is that the player may already be on the team. Actually with the exception of Mike T. we all failed to realize that Kwame Brown may be that player.

Now I do not believe that the Lakers will make it past the first round of the playoffs this season. But I do believe that if they continue to grow and build momentum into next year they can definitely be a Western Conference contender next season. And one of the biggest reasons I believe that is the recent strong play of Kwame Brown. If he is capable of giving the Lakers a solid 12 and 10 or 12 and 8 the Lakers are a tough team to beat. I don't like making references to the Bulls, but he could definitely be a Horace Grant for the Lake Show.

If the Lakers finish strong I would be against adding a big-time free-agent in 2008. I think it would be better to keep a core of Kobe, Lamar and Kwame (assuming Kwame continues to progress), because continuity is as important in sports as anything else. Look at SA or Detroit they have had the same core for years now and they are the best teams in the league. Adding solid role players may be the key at that point not adding a Chris Bosh. Especially since for all we know Andrew Bynum may be a solid center by that point.

I just pray that Kwame doesn't revert back to his old ways. He's teased fans before and we won't know if he has finally turned the corner for a long while.


P.S.
lETS GO FLORIDA GATORS! Bring the National Championship to Gainesville!

I, myself, like what LeBron said, he does want to jump into a Championship situation, he wants to build one. I think that is the smartest thing I've heard in a long time.

I think we have the making of a great core with: Bryant, Odom, Brown, Bynum, and Turiaf. Barring injury, I wouldn't trade for Bosh, KG, or anyone else. I would just build a Championship not try to create one with superstars.

mike

Xodus,

Screw you.

The Bruins are taking the championship!

The Bruins are the college version of the Lakers!

Go Team!

Mike T,
My thoughts exactly. When was the last time a team of superstars won a cnahpionship. Maybe the 80's Lakers, but even in that case everyone sublimated their egos and knew their roles.

Jon K,
I respect UCLA, I'd like to see them make it to the championship game against my Gators. Mostly because I've seen plenty of LSU and haven't really seen UCLA, seen they're a west coast school and all.

Watch out for my boy Joakim Noah though, he's a bad man! I'm just praying he doesn't leave for the draft.

UCLA is eternal!

Time to restore the order!

GO BRUINS!

The Florida Gators are the future! We made it to the Final Four this year and have the top rated class coming in next year!

Two things.

One: There are only 10 games remaining, the players know it and the coaching staff know it. They will use the days off wisely and will come out focused on Thursday.

Two: The only teams that we had not won against this season are the Nets and the Suns. I am one of those who believe that the Lakers always find a way to win when it really matters most to them.

Let me elaborate on the second thing.

The Nets are not really a rival, since they are in the Eastern conference and our losses to them are actually more like not trying hard.

Meanwhile, we still have two upcoming games with the Suns. The past games against them were actually close, even though the final scores showed margins of 10 and 13.

We were right there with the Suns until some calls went in their favor. Just a few minor unnoticeable calls but enough to break the momentum for the Lakers.

At that time I was so mad, I was thinking of conspiracy. (You know, Coangelo having a position in the NBA board and on the Suns management, while Nash who was considered old and on the decline when he left Dallas and failed to get it done alongside a top player in Norwitzki suddenly was looking like MVP caliber for two years in a row.) But it was just me thinking unreasonably as a fan.

If past seasons are an indication, the team with Nash on the helm will fold as pressures get real come playoff time.

Bottomline, I will not worry facing the Suns in a seven-game series. Lucky breaks and favorable calls may trump efforts in one or two games but usually not in four out of seven.

Kwame Brown would have been a Florida Gator.

Yeah I wish he had gone to college here. One because I think he would have helped the Gators a whole bunch when he got here, (I wouldnt have been in school here at the time anyway but it would have been great). And secondly, because he would have been able to develop his game in a good environment, instead of having MJ shatter his confidence.

The 3 regular season games against Spurs and Suns are critical in my opinion. It will not bode well for the Lakers' playoffs performance if they get chased off the court in any of those games. If Phil wants to play a good postseason mind game, he should find a way to get the Lakers to win all 3...

HOW TO BEAT THE SUNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

play everbody one on one,do not, i repeat, do not double team steve nash, even if he is killing us. let him have 30 points, and 3 assists, and we would win. the shooters for the suns aren't slashers,they can't create for themselves except they are wide open(play em' close). then shawn marion, who ever is guarding him, should forget about gambling for rebounds, box him out on defense, let someone else get the rebound. on offense, sprint back and forget the rebound, the cat is quick. good thing he can't create his own shot(all you have to do stay really close to him on d so nash can't find him open) check prior stats, and you would see that when nash has very few assists with alot of points = LOSS (MOST OF THE TIME).
another thing, if the lakers played the way they are playing now at the beginning of the season, we would be seating at a very comfortable spot. i do not want an overhaul with our team, save all these trade talks, b'cos with a new team, they would be learning the triangle allover again, i rather they add one or two solid pieces without trading our core players.
I do not care who we play in the playoffs, I REMAIN POSITIVE! (awhile ago we were begging to make the playoffs)we would take it a game at a time, we lose=o well! we win= great, who's next! i'm a true fan, i'm never scared, it's not over until it's over!

University of Florida sucks as a school! UCLA rocks because not only does it have a storied program, it is a top 12 college in the United States!

Do you know how difficult it is to balance incredible academics with a top notch athletic program? VERY DIFFICULT!

Half the athletes at University of Florida can barely read or list in "Color Identification" for their major.

By the way, no team has had more Bruins on it than the Lakers!

Take that, punkass!

to win a championship, you need at least two stars, and atleast six role players that are solid. with may be three of them outstanding at something, either rebounds, 3point shooting, blocks etc. we are almost there,we need a swing man and a point guard(with three point shooting capabilities). depending on how kwame and bynum develop, we may not need a major a center or power forward.

Jon K,

I don't think UCLA is top 12 Academic school in the country. Maybe public schools, maybe over a certain sixe, but I could probably list 12 that are above it right now. That's not to knock the UC system, I'm a product, I'm just saying that UCLA may not be as high as you think.

Im loving this win streak we are on right now. However, has it occured to anyone that the reason we might be playing much better is because Mihm is out of the rotation?

I love his heart and everything, and he seems like a good enough guy, but he does not protect the paint and scores inconsistently, and that may be the reason why we never seemed to string up a decent win streak. If and when he comes back from injury, i think he should remain on the bench.

Provided we make it to the playoffs, i think the starting five should be as follows:

Smush PG
Kobe SG
Lamar SF
Turiaf PF
Kwame C

That lineup has the most potential to suceed.

JJ’s Journal: 3/28/06 Part - 1

With 10 games left in the regular season for the Lakers, I am happy to see that the Lakers are just about exactly where I thought they would be at this time. In reference to their overall record, I privately projected that they would end the season with roughly 45-48 wins. However, at the time, I believed that that would be enough o give them a 5th or 6th place finish. Instead, it appears that they will end up in the 7th position. Not a bad position for them to end in, considering the transition of a new season with new players and coaches. At 38 wins currently. They need to go 7-3 over the remaining 10 games to achieve that 45 win total. That seems like a sizable undertaking to some, however, it really only requires winning 2 out of every 3 games and then 1 more. That’s not a serious winning streak by any stretch of the imagination. If you couple with that the fact that 7 out of those 10 games are at home, it becomes an even lesser feat.

The 7th seed has been considered a deadly seed in the many posters on here today and in recent weeks. However, I strongly disagree with that concept. I believe that the Lakers can and should beat the Suns in a 7 game series. First, anybody that continue to use last years’ stats when comparing the Lakers to anybody else in the league should be excluded from these discussions, because they are using irrelevant information. There is NO comparison that could be made to last years’ team at this point. That would be like the Bulls comparing the two seasons in between championships with the first full season in return of MJ. The changes were too significant to allow a comparison to be valid. The same is true for the Lakers. Furthermore, it is wrong to use a stat that says that the Lakers are 0-6 against the Suns, doesn’t hold much water. They are 0-2 this season. They were 0-2 against the Spurs before they beat them.

The Suns play an up and down game that is highly offensive, but lacks stability and control. They can have games like Portland, followed by games like Seattle, followed by games like New Jersey. You never know which game they will have since it is heavily contingent on their perimeter shooting percentage for that night. The way to slow them down and ultimately beat them is to have solid interior defense that is able to run the floor, as well as a structured half-court offense to make them play defense. The Lakers have only recently had both of these areas working. In their first two meetings this season, the Lakers were very shaky on offense and lacked consistency in the front court. However, both areas are starting to work fluently. What many people fail to realize is that it is not only an issue of how the Lakers match up with the Suns; it is also an issue of how the Suns match up with the Lakers. Who ever is able to impose their match-ups first, will win the series. The Lakers have two clear match up advantages over EVERY team in the league….Kobe and Lamar. No team in the league has the personnel to match up with the two of them, including Detroit and San Antonio. The key for the Lakers therefore is execution. I will break down this whole thing further in Part 2.

You have a serious problem Jon K. You have an unhealthy habit of turning casual conversations about sports and turning them into personal conflicts. I probably shouldn't even keep going before you boo me like you did to BK a couple months back. Just because you disagree with someone doesn't give you the right to say whatever you want.

You act as if you're so intelligent yet you often act like the biggest child on the blog. You knowledge of sports is limited to simply rooting for your home team no matter what. And anyone who criticizes them is inferior and thus open to criticism in your eyes.

And once again in this case you know nothing about UF and our athletes. UF is one of the top state schools in the nation and is rising in the rankings every year. I've met and talked to the players on the basketball team (and football for that matter) they are all articulate and get good grades.

Why don't you do everyone on the blog a favor and stop speaking out of your ass, and stop attacking people who happen to disagree with you.

Let's Go Gators!

AK/BK

I'm sorry for cursing on my earlier post. But i'm not going to have someone criticize my school when he knows nothing about it. The worst thing a so-called "writer" like Jon K. can do is make snap judgments without even knowing the facts, and I wasn't going to stand it.

Olawale,

I think LO and Kwame completely stepping up at about the time Mihm went down has more to do with our team's success than Mihm not being in there. I have never watched a game with Chris Mihm in it where he didn't give a ton of effort, something others have been critisized for in the past. However, if he did come back I too agree that he should come off the bench (I actually think Mihm is a great back-up center-not a starter), why screw with good chemistry?

I for one, am not convinced about Kwame yet. Boy can defend, and board when he wants to, but not at an elite level yet. The key is consistency - if Kwame can give us 15/10 consistently then yes, he's a good fit. But if's being pencilled in as PF, he will need to make an open jumper or too.
Bottom-line - too early to pass judgement on Kwame. As BK put it, lets wait till the end of the season [c'mon BK - at least 17 games, not 15 :)] before we anoint Kwame as our savior.
And to all those think KG will not help this team, can I jog your collective memories back to Rasheed Wallace and his mid-season trade to Detroit? What happened then?
It's all well and good to say we have a nice, young core, but to think that we can win a championship with this band of brothers is a little too much. Yes, Bynum and Turiaf *may* become great, Smush *may* develop into a starting caliber PG, but I don't wait 3 years to find out, by when Kobe will be 30.

OLAWALE!!!!!!!!11

why would you say something like that, that mihm being out of the rotation is why we are winning now.
first of all, mihm is the most consistent scorer after kobe on the team for the whole season, contrary to your beliefs(check your stats). secondly, you mean to tell me that lamar is scoring more consistently now that mihm is gone? you all seem to have short memories, you remember when mihm hurt his shoulder, and we were losing close games, and praying that he come back fast or else we would not make the playoffs. now kwame is stepping up, and mihm ain't good no more.kwame is a better one on one defender, but mihm is a better help defender, if not for the stupid fouls they keep calling on him, he would be averaging at least three blocks a game, but he has to be careful. i love kwame and mihm, but i do not think it's right to degrade one to elevate the other, they are on thesame team, my team. mihm and kobe are the only lakers you can guess their stats before the game and not be far off(only productive stats count,or else jim jackson would be there too, with no points). kwame has the potential of getting better than mihm, but right now he is not.when mihm comes back, i recommend he comes off the bench until fully fit, after that if they both play great, start both. if kwame fails to keep this up, which i hope he does, then back to the bench again.

UCLA is a top 12 school.

By the way, University of Florida SUCKS!

I have no respect for your lame-ass swamp infested school!

Take that, pal!

GO BRUINS!

Sometimes being civil is nothing more than an excuse for being lame.

Xodus,

Your school sucks.

HARIYAHU!!!!!!!!!!!

you make sense about winning right now with kobe being young. i just don't want the whole roster tweaked to get in,kg, bynum and lamar must remain, the rest can go. bynum is our future, 18yrs and now 7'1, mobile with finesse i might add, lamar is the ultimate mismatch(walking triple double). the rest of the team is totally expendable.

What bothers me is people wanting to take the easy way out to win a Championship. Yeah, sure we would contend for a Championship if we got KG, but Kobe will never be considered to be one of the greatest ever with another super duper star playing along side of him. You have to equate Kobe's legacy when thinking of Championships with him. His legacy would be cemented with the greatest if his game helps develop Lamar's and Kwame's game into Championship ball. Why? Because Kwame and Lamar weren't really consider the stones that were needed to help Kobe win a Championship. Kwame wasn't even considered anything until recently, and Lamar was being discussed in trade scenarios at the trading deadline. Now these two players are stepping up and we're seeing that it is quite possible that the ingredients for Championship ball are already here.

mike

And I have no respect for washed-up writers who have jobs they hate so much they live on a blog all day.

I have no respect for people who feel the need to act high and might on a blog and make them selves appear to be more intelligent than anyone else on that blog.

I have no respect for a "man" who is pushing 40 who chooses to make himself feel better by putting down a 19 year old's college of choice.

I have no respect for a man who makes judgments about issues and people he knows nothing about.

Keep it coming Jon K. keep making yourself look like the idiot that you are. You've gone from making yourself look like an intelligent man and basketball fan to a man who picks fights with people over infantile matters. Is your life so destitute of fulfillment that all you have to make yourself feel better is trying to make yourself appear better than everyone on a Lakersblog?

The free agent article is interesting, but I agree with what Xodus said about continuing to develop chemistry between the core of the team. Asides from Garnett, who fills the hole in our team perfectly and is one of the best players in the game, I would be against all the named free agents outside of Shawn Marion. Shawn Marion is the ultimate garbage man.

He does everything, he cleans up rebounds, he puts them back, plays great defense, he catches alley oops, he can hit jump shots and he just overall has a very high basketball IQ. Sliding Kwame over to Center permanently until Bynum is ready to start, and pushing Odom back to Power forward, putting Shawn in as our small forward.

As long as smush is continuing to progress, I don't see a line up that could match up with that.

PG - Smush
SG - Kobe
SF - Shawn
PF - Odom
C - Kwame


Jon K,

I agree with Xodus, I think you are getting a bit personal here. And do you have a link to a ranking that shows UCLA as a top 12 school? I don't think they are and I was also wondering how much time you have spent at the University of Florida. Also, what school did you go to? I'm just sayin'.

LMAO!!! Jon K, are you drinking at work again? Is Khan using your ID? I agree, we should have a log-in system to this blog.

Technical on Jon K for picking fights with no basis. Or should I say, "BOO".

Go Cal Poly SLO!!! The Mighty Mighty Mustangs!!!

I hate this many days off between games...the blog resorts to this type of banter.

JJ’s Journal: 3/28/06 Part - 2

The playoffs are rapidly approaching and I like what I am seeing. I think this is going to be a highly entertaining playoff season in many ways. As a Laker fan I am eager to see what the Lakers will do in their return to the post-season. However, there are a few other areas that are capturing my attention as well. I would like to cover those first.

I would like to begin with the Eastern Conference seeding and potential match-ups. For those that do not know, I don’t like the Miami Heat for several reasons. They don’t appeal to me for several reasons, some obvious and others not so obvious. Let me also state that as an Ohio guy I do like the Cavs as well as the Pistons (Detroit is 45 minutes from my house). That being said, I like what I see happening in the East right now. If things continue to move in the direction which they are right now, The Heat will be facing the Pacers in the first round. I’m already predicting an “upset” by the Pacers in that series. I place quotes around UPSET, because it really shouldn’t be considered an upset when you look at their head-to-head match-ups this season. The Pacers clearly have an advantage on this team which will be seen greatly in a series. Not only that, I see the Cavs not only hosting a playoff series; I see them also winning a round. That will be huge for LeBron and the organization as a whole for the future. They won’t get very far as Detroit will be waiting in the second round, however, it will be nice to at least see them there. The ECF will be very interesting as it will once again put either the Pacers or Nets against the Pistons. It will be like back a few years ago when those 3 were going at it, each trying to get to the Finals. It should be a great series whichever pair meets.

Now, let’s shift gears and look at the West. First, as with the east I do have a team or two that I dislike…..that would be the Sacramento Kings. There’s just something about them that just doesn’t sit well with me. Outside of them, I have nothing against any of the rest except that I would always pick the Lakers over them. That should be understood. Furthermore, I always want the Lakers to have what I would describe as the best opportunity to win a title. Oddly enough, I don’t see that the same now as I did earlier in the season. For most of the season I was saying that the Lakers needed to end up in the 6th spot as the ONLY way that they could possibly move to the second round. After their second win over the Mavs I said that they could end up in 8th only if the Mavs won the conference. A few weeks ago I changed again and said that they could even face the Spurs and still possibly advance. This was in light of their win over the Spurs. However, with only 10 games left, I’m really starting to like where they are right now. This is not out of a necessity to accept the inevitable. I actually do like the match-up. This is surprising since the Lakers are 0-2 this season against the Suns. First, I would still like the Mavs to win the conference. I think that it would be a great thing for Avery, as well as it would make for a very interesting first round match-up against the Kings. I believe that the Mavs should win that round, but they will be pushed to the limit. In the 4/5 match-up between the Spurs and Clippers, I am actually going to go against the grain and pick the Clippers. This is strictly because they really match up very well against them at every position. IF they play the way that they are capable of, they can and will beat them. Remember, the Spurs have not been in the finals 2 years in a row yet. The 3/6 match-up between the Nuggets and Grizzlies would not have seemed that interesting a few weeks ago, however, the Nuggets are now playing good basketball. Seeing Carmelo against Eddie Jones, Camby against Gasol and Miller against Bobby or Damon sound like interesting match-ups. To be honest, I really don’t care who wins that series either.

The leaves the 2/7 match-up between the Suns and the Lakers. I know most are saying that the Lakers don’t stand a chance. Not only were the Suns better than the Lakers earlier in the year, the re-emergence of the presence of Amare makes this seem like the makings of a sweep. However, there is more here than just that. First, the playoffs are about adjustments and execution. Both areas are very strong points in favor of Phil Jackson. Don’t let the seemingly fearful statement by Phil from earlier in the season (“We haven’t figured out the Suns.”). The coaching core of the Lakers has already begun scouting out a plan to beat the Suns. Now, you won’t see it completely in the next 2 games. No smart coach shows everything he has before it’s time. However, you will see it if they meet in the first round. For now, I will say that it would be wise to not count the Lakers out of that series. I will cover greater detail of this match up in the coming weeks….as it becomes more clear that it will happen.

In Part 3 I will cover The FUTURE for the Lakers.

Xodus,

Kind of sensitive about your school, huh, pal? Whenever someone starts talk that begins with "you need to know all the facts" that means at least part of the facts point to the conclusion that YOUR SCHOOL SUCKS!

Tell me UCLA sucks and I will laugh off your petty attempts at insulting my fine atheletic and academic institution!

It would be no more insulting that saying the Lakers (the greatest team in the history of sports) sucks.

Only fools would make such a comment.

However men of genius will clearly state the obvious:

THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA SUCKS!

GO BRUINS!

Jon K,

You will see the University of California at Los Angeles ranked 25th in this report. Just for your FYI.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/brief/natudoc/tier1/t1natudoc_brief.php

Xodus,

Also, I'm not doing professional writing here. I AM talking out of my ass for the most part (though occasionally I try to make forays into the serious).

For me this is mainly about loving my team, not doing sports journalism. I'm not a sports journalist.

I thought a good portion of this blog was having fun and, being a "guy", guy's like to insult one another on occasion.

ESPECIALLY WHEN YOUR SCHOOL SUCKS AND IS ABOUT TO GET BEAT DOWN, SWAMP BOY!

GO BRUINS!

Jon K and xodus both your school teams are good. I'm just glad you're both Lakers fan.

Meanwhile, before you guys run out of a-words for each other, let's go back to the current Lakers scenarios and hear you usual fresh inputs.

I think he has more upside because he has more physical gifts, but Kwame reminds me of Elden right now. Elden always struggled at power forward, but when he was at center and in the flow the offense he was a much better player. He needed to be in middle of the offensive action or his attention wandered and his defense suffered.

With Mihm out Kwame is a focal point in the offense and dialed in mentally. He has more upside than Elden or Mihm. He should get the starting role at 5. Mihm is a great backup 4/5 in the NBA, plays hard, I like him. But he is not a starter for a winner.

Kwame? Jury's out but he has the potential.

I hope the Lakes are watching how UCLA plays defense!

Sick Post JK,

What did you expect Xodus??? Tying to build up a Florida school on this blog? Its all about UCLA!!!!

The 11th commandment states:
The Florida gators will always be mediocre and sucketh.

Sorry Exodus, your posts are like the old testament, old and tired.

Michael T,

I don't think getting a superstat would taint Kobe's legacy if they were to win a championship together. People argue that Magic is the greatest of all time and he had Kareem and Worthy on his team. Larry Bird had Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, Jerry West had Wilt Chamberlin and vice versa and even Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen (and Phil JAckson if you want to argue that way). I would have no problem bringing in a superstar player if it was the right fit, and I'm sure Kobe would love to have someone like KG alongside him. All I'm saying is that every player who ever won anything and is considered great has had a superstar right there next to them. My hope is that in a couple of years, Lamar and Kwame are those guys and we don't have to go outside to get someone.

Jon K.

Unlike you I don't have the desire to put down UCLA. I know it's a great school and they have a storied basketball program.

Once again you are making comments with absolutely no basis. How does saying "You don't know anything about UF" logically mean that part of the facts point to my school sucking? The reason why I did say it is because you don't know a thing about the school academically or athletically. All you can say about it "your school sucks" those aren't the words of someone who actually has the facts.

I have nothing against insulting each other, but there's a certain line that you don't cross. I'm a Florida through and through and attacking it academically is a shot at my intelligence, especially when we ARE one of the top schools in the country. And attacking us athletically has no merit either, not when UF along with Texas are two of the top athletic institutions in the country. We excel academically and athletically.

Frank,

All I did was give my team props for a great year, there's no laws against that, whether this is a LakerBlog or not.

JJ’s Journal: 3/28/06 Part - 3

Last summer it was said that the Lakers may not make it back to the playoffs for quite some time. They were described as being a team that had fallen so far that they may never get up again. This happened even after it was reported and confirmed that Phil Jackson was returning to the franchise. Now roughly 10 months later, many of those same people are now very quiet or have in fact changed their message as if no one remembers. Even television and internet commentators have changed their opinion of this team several times during the season as if they don’t realize that people have memories. What surprises me more than anything else is that these same people and others don’t realize the simple concept of progressional improvement. That is the process of getting better over time. Maturation, familiarity and consistency all play a factor in this process. It is the process that takes a group of individuals and turns them into a great team. What people fail to realize is that in many cases it is the SAME group of individuals that grow. That is why when assessing a team you can not simply look at it at face value. Many looked at the poor performance of the Lakers at times this year and quickly came to the conclusion that they were never going to be great, because Kobe and Lamar couldn’t play together, Kwame would never play above terrible, and any team relying on a point guard named Smush would never succeed. Well, Kobe and Lamar are playing well together, scoring, rebounding, passing, and playing defense. Kwame HAS BECOME a consistent player (in short because of finally getting consistent minutes and confidence). Smush has demonstrated his ability to match play with the quality point guards of the league…..except Steve Nash which is still to come. The Lakers are now, the team nobody thought they could be, and yet they have the potential to go so much farther.

That being said, after the season is over, no matter where they end up, this summer will be a very busy one for the franchise. You can scratch all of the talk about 2008. It is a known fact that the Lakers always take the low road with expectations publicly, with the internal intent of exceeding those expectations quicker and greater. Remember Phil Jackson’s first press conference in 1999 when he said that the Lakers would most likely start slow? They were 18-3 after the first 21 games. He said that whole year that the Blazers were the best in the league, yet the Lakers beat them and won the title. Never underestimate the psche-out of a Phil Jackson statement. He has 2 more years officially to go even farther with this team.

This summer will be the summer when Mitch sets himself apart from all the other NBA GM’s in the league and moves into the class of Jerry West and other past Laker greats. The Lakers are in a very peculiar situation because they are at the point where they can either take a huge leap forward or a huge leap backwards with the decisions that they make this summer. They know that changes are necessary, but the wrong changes could really hurt them. Sometimes teams get rid of a good player in an attempt to get a great player and in turn hurt the chemistry of the team and suffer greatly. Instead, sometimes keeping a good player who may become a great player works out better. Here are the moves I would make during the summer….and then I would only make marginal moves from here on out after this.
Kobe, Lamar, Kwame, Ronny, Smush and Luke are the current core of this team. Andrew, Brian and Sasha should be kept most likely because of their potential to continue growing for the future of this team. The REST should be used as trade pieces and/or moved to make room for new rookies this summer. KLK is going to be the future 3-some of the NBA for years to come. When the Pistons, Spurs, Suns and Heat are slowing down, this 3-some will still be riding high because of the age game. They will still be so much younger than the others that they will be prime to run a dynasty in this league. Ronny and Smush are going to be key reserves for this franchise for the next few years. I realize that Smush is a starter now, but I recommend that he take a step back and become a reserve, similar to like Fisher did when Harper came in. The time as a reserve working behind Harper did wonders for Fishers game and it could do the same for Smush. Sasha should be moved to the two guard position. His ballhandling just isn’t strong enough to battle the like s of other point guards. If he continues to work on his shot and his defense, he could be a solid utility guard. I like Luke, and really can’t see the Lakers letting him go. It’s not that he is so great. It just that he offers a lot of intangibles that have a way of rising at times when most needed. Andrew and Brian have serious flaws defensively and Andrew still needs more work offensively. Yet, I would like to give them at least another year to see what they can bring to the table. Andrew could be the next big thing….or not. It is too early to tell. Brian is a solid shooter, which is necessary in games where shooting is poor and needed. He’s a good one to have around. However, when the roster is right, he could see few minutes on a nightly basis.

As for Chris Mihm, Devean George, Aaron McKie and Jim Jackson, I see them being used for trade bait. Mihm is the biggest trade bait the Lakers have right now and I actually believe that he is worth something on the open market. There are teams that could use a guy like him and he has proven to be a consistent performer. He is really playing out of position with the Lakers as he is realy a power forward in a centers body. This is conversely the opposite of Kwame, who is a center in a power forwards body. I think that the Lakers could actually work a trade with Utah and give up Mihm and George (sign & trade) for Boozer and a draft pick. I would then release McKie. If they are able to do those 2 things, I would then keep Jim Jackson for another year. Finally, I would look to free agency and sign a free agent point guard to the mid-level exception. After seeing what the Lakers have done this season, somebody will want to come play in LA.

The starting roster would be New PG, Kobe, Lamar, Carlos and Kwame. That is as good a starting 5 as any in the league. Off the bench they would have Smush, Luke, Sasha, Jimmy, Ronny, Brian and Andrew. With the added year of experience and maturity, that would be a solid roster to work with. Small changes are all this team needs to continue to get better. Major changes will hurt the chemistry of the team.

The only thing I might would do differently is that I might would trade Jimmy with Mihm instead of Devean, if Utah would take that. Jim would most likely refuse to play there and the Lakers could possibly resign him once he is waived.

Xodus,

Jon K is baiting you plain and simple. Don't fall for the trap.
May the best team win :)

Back to the Lakers....I would have agree with Mike T.'s comments to a certain extent. If KG were to come to the Lakers and be the same player he's been throughout his career, Kobe would definitely take a hit in the greatest player ever category.

The reason is Micheal Jordan is widely considered to be the best player ever and he did it without the services of a great big man. People will then be able to use that against Kobe and say that he is simply the second-best 2-guard ever to play the game. Which isn't bad at all, I think most 2-guards would love to end their careers as second to MJ.

I wouldn't mind seeing KG join the Lakers but I believe we should let this team grow together. They've shown a lot of cohesion lately and could very well be a title contender by 2007/08 if all goes well. Hopefully the Lakers can continue to their strong play through the playoffs and build momentum towards next season.

Andrew Z,

I'm a Bruin. Class of '93. Summa Cum Laude.

hariyahu,

You are absolutely right. I am baiting xodus. May he and his crappy Florida school get beaten down by God's favorite team THE UCLA BRUINS!

Florida sucks.

Jon K, I knew you were a homer through and through. Good for you and your loyalty though, UCLA has seen some tough times as of late.

By the way, Xodus, how is it that having 17 more years of life experience an insult?

Ah freshmen, they know nothing.

They even think the University of Florida is a quality school when in fact THE GATORS SUCK!

Dude, you should be on a Heat blog. What are you doing on a Lakers blog? Are you trying to somehow build a career in sports journalism by writing on a blog for a premier sports team?

Pshaw.

No wonder you root for the Gators. THEY SUCK!

GO BRUINS!

I will end my baiting of Xodus now.

Michael T. that was a cool post...

You make a strong case for defense with a good explanation.

If you put in the importance of the bench as a way to relieve fatigue by the starting five I think you'd have something.

As much as I like the Lakers, I think that we are really vulnerable off the bench. Walton has only been good lately with his shooting. Devean's hurt. The Cook/Kwame/Mihm trifecta is now only two of them starting. Turiaf is inexperienced and not so great yet. Bynum is way inexperienced and just sort of outclassed in the NBA in his youth. Sasha I actually like pretty well. He's got energy, makes some shots and plays pesky, annoying defense. Green, McKie, JJ haven't really entered the rotation so I'd guess they're in a bad position to actually be playing (either because they aren't used to the offense, because PJ doesn't think they're ready, because they're simply not playing enough to play well or some combination of the above).

We got guys with lots of upside, but right now doesn't look so good, nor for this season. I think our bench is far too weak to allow us to win a championship.


Ok, I hate to be the obsessed guy bringing up the same point like a stalker or something, but I have a few more things to say about KG that didn't get said.

A lot of people are looking at pure numbers and not being completely fair.

Over the last 4 seasons, KG has averaged within the range of 22-24 points and 12-13 rebounds. I think that alone beats 15 and 10 handily. When you consider the fact that he could go off for more to exploit mismatches and because he doesn't have to run an offense single-handedly, you get something a little bit special. The ability to stretch defenses with a strong inside-outside threat is going to make the game easier for every other player (think a few rotations producing an open J every possession). He has a very similar impact on the game as Tim Duncan basically, except he looks prettier doing it. Oh, and KG's been first team defensive the past 5 years in a row. I guess maybe his defense might have some impact as well.

That said, I can really understand apprehension about trading Kwame or messing with the current roster. We've gotten a nice little offensive success streak with the guy and a number very strong defensive performances. And he looks like he may have a strong upside (30 and 19 anyone?).

We also have a lot of interesting players that could develop into something very special besides Kwame. Smush could develop some D, a midrange shot, free throw shooting, and make more 3s and he'd be great. He's certainly got the athleticism already. Turiaf could become a strong power forward. Bynum could become the next coming of Kareem or some beautiful hybrid incorporating the strengths of Kareem and Shaq.

I think it's a serious mistake to hold onto potential when the realized being is here, however.

Maybe Bosh, Howard, or Boozer could become KG or really close to it with their currently close numbers on offense, but to get the whole package of a champion with great D, competitive fire and some intangible winnerness. KG can also bring up the ball and play point forward, running the offense when KB8 is on the bench.

And if that's not enough, KG is way unselfish. We'd never have what went down with Shaq and Kobe with KG. KG is humble even though he's a franchise-player superstar and would happily allow Kobe to be the in the spotlight superstar that he wants to be (and he wants it some, nowhere near the extent that Shaq does).

If we're waiting for anyone to come to the Lakers to make a championship run, it's Garnett. His athleticism and patient, thoughtful approach to the game is a match-up nightmare for almost any other player in the league. That's even now in his supposed slump in which he has 2 less points per game and one less rebound per game than his peak the season he got MVP (which btw was only 2 seasons ago).

I'd rather get the pieces next season for a championship run in two seasons that try to just build off of Kobe/Lamar/Kwame. Building is good and having the same starting 5 for a few seasons is great, but I don't think we have the five yet that we need. I am a fan of being patient, but if you have the opportunity and don't pull the trigger (e.g., not getting Artest), I think you're making a big mistake. Gambles for great two way players like Artest or Garnett (not really a gamble except a player we trade might develop into something special) are the best ones we can make. It's obvious that any trades have risk. You just need to best evaluate those risks on what you know now. But, you can't be afraid to take big chances for big players. Nor should you fall in love with potential over current reality.

I wasn't going to call the cops on you. Don't worry.

I never said you were breaking the law, just barking up the wrong tree! :)

Kwame Brown is the missing piece to the Lakers.

There's talk about what the Lakers need in terms of position players, but in actuality Kwame is developing / progressing into the dominant big man that many scouts projected him into becoming out of high school.

There are a lot detractors - myself included - that say Kwame lacks the aggression or attitude of a Ben Wallace or the scoring production of a Jermaine O'Neal. But the similarities in strength and size are there.

I'm convinced that during practices, Kwame shows his teammates and coaching staff what he is capable of doing. He's just beginning to show glimpses on the big stage at the Staples Center. The question is can the Lakers and coaching staff rely on him perform and he execute day and day out with modest numbers to start at 12 pts. 8 boards; and if possible 15+ pts. 10 boards.

If Kwame becomes a bonified, write into the score book double-double player, the Lakers will give teams something they haven't seen before in the playoffs -inside, post-up presence.

It's an insult because 36 year old men should be more mature than you are. You boo BK because you didn't like one of his posts then stopped posting for a few days because the blog called you out on it. Earlier today you had a mini-argument with AK/BK over semantics. And now you pick a fight with me over college basketball and use hariyahu saying that you're "baiting" as an excuse so you can save face because others on the blog were begining to call you out once again.

BTW i'm not a freshman, I'm a sophomore and I'll be a junior in less than a month. And I'm on the Lakerblog because I've been a Laker fan for 10 years, despite the fact that I've lived in Miami and now Gainesville my whole life.

And I'm now done with this innane argument that you started. You're a sad middle-aged man who gets his kicks by picking fights on the internet.

Xodus,

I find no joy in being mature. Waste your life being a tightass. I don't care.

The thing with bringing in KG, if we were to do it THIS OFFSEASON, is that with our current situation of being over the salary cap we have to send players back to Minnesota with salaries that come within 25% of each other. Because KG makes something like $18-20 million we would have to have salaries that match. That would include sending Lamar to start, and probably something like Chris Mihm and Andrew Bynum. Now, I'm a huge KG fan, but can Kobe and KG plus scrubs really win a title? I don't know. The way Kwame plays the rest of the year will be HUGE in deciding what the Lakers do this offseason.

I anticipate that Kwame's game is here for good. Why? Because even when he was playing the 4 spot, he was sealing his man beyond belief, underneath. I noticed that his teammates were not passing him the ball in those situations, almost never. I mean almost every time Kwame runs down to the offensive end, he seals his man. Now that he's been converting or finishing, I expect his teammates will be looking for that situation as an on going option. Kwame game is here to stay.

mike

Xodus,

You may be in college, but your coming off on this thread looking pretty ignorant.

I have a class suggestion for your fall semester... CommonSence 101.

Here is why (since you probably can't figure out why on your own). Your on a Lakers blog that is hosted by a West Coast newspaper. Even worse Its the LA Times. Incase you didn't realize, Florida and UCLA (The LA in UCLA stands for Los Angeles) are in the Final 4. How can you expect to come on this blog and even mention the word Florida (let alone UF) and not expect some harsh reactions??? That just boggles my mind.

Were you raised in a big bubble down in Florida? I'm pretty sure your mom and dad weren’t actual alligators. By now, you should have learned how sports work.

But for some reason you didn't know this stuff. No harm done. Now you know. Don't expect to be able to blog in the hometown of a rival and expect a warm welcome. If you do, you'll only look like a recently transplanted Amish (sp?) farmer who went to UF to experience the "World."

Michael T.,

I love your faith in Kwame. It will be fantastic to see him make the difference in the playoffs.

Jon K,

It has nothing to do with faith. More like physics. The guy is so strong, he seals and his man is helpless to stop it.

mike

FrankRizzo.
I don't think it's common sense he's missing.
I think he'd understand if people bashed UF a bit.

I think it's the aggressive nature of Jon K's post that put him off.

I think Xodus is right onthis one. But I'm one of few who have butted heads with Jon. I've figured out that's how he is. It spices up the blog. Don't let it bug you. Once we get back on Laker-speak, we're all gravy.

Michael T,

Physics also require Kwame to consistently put the ball "down" through the hoop which he only has recently done. The knock against Kwame so far hasn't been his ability to seal and get position, he does that well, or his ability to put a move on someone, he pretty good at that too, it's his ability to finish. I'm as excited as the next Laker fan for the possibility of him continuing this play, but I've learned one thing, and that's not to get too high on anything until we've seen it for awhile. I will give him huge props for his play lately, especially because he's stepped up with Mihm going down, but now with raised expectations it will be interesting to see how he reacts.

Andrew Z,

I basically said that:

Now that he's been converting or finishing, I expect his teammates will be looking for that situation as an on going option.

mike

WAY TO GO MIKE!

I'm lovin' it!

KWAME BROWN - MASTER OF PHYSICS!

That's his new moniker, baby!

S.Tan,

Maybe its just me, but if I was on a Miami Heat blog and I mentioned the Bruins, I would expect alot worst that what JK threw out there.

I would not have a foot to stand on, I brought it up in the wrong blog, I got flamed for it, and I would take all the Bruin bashing accordingly.

If the tables were turned and I was getting my panties in a twist on their blog because they were calling my school lame... I would be pretty ashamed of myself.

Bottom line, if you can't take insults, both personal, toward your state, and your school (heck I'm surprised no one mentioned his momma yet)... don't blog about your final four school in the hometown of another final 4 member!!! He did just that, and had the reaction that he did??? How is something not wrong with this picture???

Your looking at it differently because JK is the one that flamed him. IT DOESN’T MATTER! Even if it was Khan butting heads with this guy I would be on his side (OMG that's pretty scary!)

:)

Frank,

Thanks, man.

Finally someone showing a little local pride and not trying to be politically correct.

FLORIDA SUCKS!

GO BRUINS!

This is a test. Go Bruins. Go Kobe & Lakers.

man, i'd love for kobe to some day be considered the greatest ever, he's definitely on the right track. but being a laker fan, what I want more than anything is another championship, or another ten, so bring in KG, or Lebron, or both, or bring Jordan back and Magic and Bird, I don't care as long as we win.

UCLA and Florida aren't even playing each other yet, we should all be jumping on someone from LSU.

Michael T,

One thing I noticed last game is that Kwame stopped working hard to get position in the second half when he was shooting 100% from the field. I thought maybe I was tired or something when I watched and then went back the next day to watch the replay and it was true. I was yelling for him to keep demanding the ball. I know going from someone booed at home to the "key to the playoffs" is a quick rise to the top, and maybe that's why he isn't totally comfortable with demanding the ball, but when you're hot you're hot. If he can sustain his confidence, even if he starts slow or bobbles a couple passes, that will be much more important than him scoring points right now.

by the way GO BRUINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No problem JK,

Since when did march madness become a lovefest between the rival schools?

Its pretty sad that you were the only guy on this blog trying to run Xodus back into 6000 B.C where he belogs.

Bruins Rule!!!

Gaters can swallow my swamp crud.

LSU sucks big fat sweaty basketBALLS.

George Mason... lol
Thats just a stupid name for a school and they should never get to the final 4 again.

I listened to the game on radio, so I didn't see the interactions. But I do know that the Hornets scored 60 first half point and only 34 the second. I think it's great if Kwame score points in bunches like the first half of the game against the Hornets. But what good is that if they score 60 points on us? That's the same thing Mihm was doing. If Kwame can hold the paint and keep teams from scoring hugh points per half, heck, that helps the team more than scoring 15-20 points a game. Who knows, maybe he can do both.

mike

Lakers could beat the Bruins any day of the week.

Everybody keeps talking about what additional pieces the Lakers need to be champions. But why decide now when there are 10 games left and X number of playoff games? Playoffs will add a whole new dimension to the take on Kwame and Smush, for example, for good or ill. There will be pleasant/unpleasant surprises that will point the way for corrective actions over the summer as all these young players test to see how much further this year's newly developed skills can take them as a team.

AK,

I wish there was weak little LSU fan in here for us to flame. But if there was a LSU fan here, he wouldn't have the guts to speak up.

JK caught himself a Gator, so we were poking it with a stick.

<-- I’m sitting patently watching my cat trap. I have it baited with old tuna because LSU student's/alumni love the smell of it.

Frank,

I only know one person who ever went to LSU and I haven't spoken to her in years. Can't help you out.

AK

JJ,

Boozer is owed 11.5 million for the next year and approximately 60 million over the next 5 years. What that means:

a. We can't package Mihm and Devean for 11.5 million, even if we include a draft pick - unless we sign Devean for $7 mil per year.

b. We are locked into Boozer for the next 5 years.
c. Utah has to want Devean George.


I'd rather we sign a young stud like Nene or Wilcox to 8-9 mil per year [for 2-3 years], and use them with Mihm and draft picks to get KG. If not, we still have a young stud to beef up the front line.

Just want to clarify a little on the half-court shot West made against the Knicks (unfortunately we lost in overtime), but that game was not on TV. I remember listening to Chick call the game. It was a home game and FSW was not in existence then (i.e. no home games on the tube). Sometimes we see things replayed so much on these classic channels that our mind convinces us that we saw it live. Not knocking Mike, but just remembering with you bro. Anyhoot the way Chick used to call it on the radio and the imagination of a kid, it was almost as good as seeing it live, sometimes even better. We miss ya Chick. GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Well... Shaq's a LSU alumni?

Wouldn't it be a good time to stoke up a little good old fashioned Shaq hatred?

I mean the only reason he's ever one a championship is because he played with Kobe. Kobe was able to overcome the ancient "I graduated from LSU, thus I am a complete loser for life" curse.

But I'm sure it's gone back into effect as soon as he stopped playing with Kobe.

LSU SUCKS!

Guys, Has anyone looked at our schedule for the next couple of weeks starting this thursday , we have a SA/Sea back to back and next week have a Denver/Pho back to back on road. This is a killer schedule and we could easily lose all the four games. I think the Lakers should continue to play hard and go for wins in all the games regardless of back to back situations and not depend on other teams losing.

Sure it was, I watch it from Blythe Ca. It may have been tape delayed, but I assure I watched that game. That was for the Championship! You better believe it was on t.v.

mike

"I, myself, like what LeBron said, he does want to jump into a Championship situation, he wants to build one. I think that is the smartest thing I've heard in a long time."

Hm.. was it smart when T-mac said it? Or Al Iverson? Or Steve Francis?

People have been saying that for years.. What was particularly enlightening about Lebron's interpretation?

Wouldn't it be sweet if UCLA played UF in the NCAA tournament, and LA played the Heat for the NBA crown? Florida v/s Cali

BOOYEAH!!

I've never seen the game on classic.

mike

Hey fellow Laker fans, I just read a really funny book called “Foul Lines,” by SI hoops writers Jack McCallum and Jon Wertheimer, and I thought you would enjoy it. It’s a great satire of the NBA today, with the names changed to protect identities (but it’s very easy to figure out who is who). The book takes place entirely in LA and focuses on a team called the Los Angeles Lasers. Besides the Kobe-related material, there's also some funny stuff about LA life, from the wild drivers to the trendy clubs. Everyone gets mocked, from rich owners in the mold of Mark Cuban and the Maloofs to the flamboyant GMs to players like Jason Williams, LeBron, A.C. Green, Doug Christie and others. Wertheim and McCallum also have some funny scenes spoofing David Stern’s obsession with globalization, Stuart Scott’s fake-gangsta persona, and Master P’s attempts to cut it in the NBA. It’s a quick read with an enjoyable plot and solid characters. Here’s the amazon link with some reviews if you want to check it out:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743286502/sr=8-1/qid=1143390003/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-2277728-3954519?%5Fencoding=UTF8

wow lots of tension today... a girl gets late to show up on the blog and all hell breaks loose...lol...jk

all in all, it's all gravy baby!

Lakers won 4 in a row, trying to see if we can make it 5. I'm not that worried anymore about Kobe's or Kwame's injury. Kobe's tough, and he's shown our other players that they need to be tough too. Remember when LO played so soon after he got hurt...impressive! Now Kwame's kinda doing it.

As for the florida, ucla thing, they're not facing each other are they...so cool down, cause one or the other will win (and if both...fight on! lol).

Mike T,

I totally see your point about defense. The other thing is though, what made those teams so fun to watch is with a tough D, they had a potent offense. Kinda like our team today. If we became a powerful D, we'll have the greatest offensive player (I'm labeling him as one okay?) and one of the great/if not good offensive mismatches of the game today (LO) put in Kwame when he becomes that freight train you like to talk about. I love being a fan!

G-Man

The game was on ABC.

mike

This read was pure comedy! I just hope Jon didn't put the jinx on the Bruins with all that talk. Lighten up Ex.

Go UCLA!

thought this was a LAKERS blog...Not UCLA...WHO CARES ABOUT THEM!!!!!

Did anyone watch American Idol on FOx last night? Well if not, check out this link with Mark Cuban singing with gray hair stressing over why his sorry team hasn't won a championship yet. hahahaha....http://www.idolonfox.com/contestants/taylor_hicks/

frank,

I've got nothing against trash talking and ribbing, I've got very good friends who go all over the country. Two of my good friends go to FSU, and another goes to Texas, you think we don't talk a little smack? Like S.Tan said it's the way he approached it plain and simple. And I will continue to tout my Gators for all their worth until they lose.

Let's Go Gators!

Wow, there's a lot of fireworks on the blog for an off day!!! Kavulic is at it again!! Xodus, Kavulic christens us all at one time or another (me included) so don't trip on it, dude! And fyi, when dissing a blogger you should never say "...live on a blog all day" In an attempt to insult Kavulic, you insulted all of us purple & gold obsessed! But I ain't mad at ya, it's just words dawg!!!

Now on to Laker bidness!! I love how all the media types are starting to come around & give up some love (except for Bill Simmons & Charles Barkley but F them) & the article in the OC Register is interesting simply because all the talk at the start of the season was how the Lakers wouldn't be attractive to free agents because of Kobe's ball hoggin' & bad attitude! It's amazing how quickly things change!!! I don't know who in the Lakers organization is so in love with Boozer that his name is constantly brought up but if there is a way to get KG without fleecing our core...then get'em!!!

The thought of a Kobe-LO-KG threesome would put fear in the hearts of every team in the NBA!!! Some of my blog brothers in earlier posts debated that adding KG would effect Kobe's legacy? I, for one believe (well, hope actually) that Kobe has grown to understand that he needs a dominant post presence & outside of Shaq or Duncan, KG is it!! I think the perception rather would be that KG came to the Lakers cause he knew playing with Kobe offered him the best chance to get a ring. It would put Kobe in the, dare I say it, Shaq mode of "come play with me & I'll help you win a title because I know what it takes to win one!" I love that Kwame's playing well and hope he continues throughout our playoff run to the Western Conference Finals!!! However, if you have Kwame (4 games) Brown in one hand & Kevin (THE MVP JUST 2 YEARS AGO) Garnett in the other (along with Mamba & the Package) that my blog brothers (& sista, Faith) is MONEY!!!

Michael ,
When it comes to Kwamie, i agree, he's here to stay . After a very dificult couple of years with washington and getting destroyed mentaly by jordan, there is no better place for a player like kwamie to develop and show his talent then LA. The first couple of games where dificult for him , but he never stoped doing what he does well.DEFENCE.On the other hand his last five performances showed me how good of an offesive player he could be and if he could continue to play as well on both sides of the court , we have a serous chance of making the western confrence finals . What do you think?
Rami A. Die hard laker fan, montreal Canada

Rami,

If Kwame continues with his current play, I'm thinking Championship. I hope you keep posting as your added support to the Lakers momentum would be great.

mike

frank's OT & xodus' parents smack is hilarious (even tho I'm a 100% proponent of 100% of the bible, both OT & NT haha)

xodus,

You've got plenty against trash talking. Don't give me that crap.

You're a politically correct wimp!

Stop lying to yourself you wimply apologist!

YOU, YOUR STATE, AND IN PARTICULAR, YOUR CRAPPY, SWAMPWATER LOSER SCHOOL SUCKS!

FLORDIA SUCKS!

GO BRUINS!

Rami A-when did u shift to canada??just curious

xodus,

" I will continue to tout my Gators for all their worth until they lose."

UNTIL THEY LOSE! EVEN YOU IN YOUR DEEPEST HEART REALIZE THAT YOUR TEAM IS GOING TO LOSE YOU LOSER!

Listen, pal, I will continue to tout my Bruins even if they did lose (which they is not going to happen.)

I love my team.

Go Bruins!

FLORIDA SUCKS SWAMPMUCK!

Obviously you misunderstand me, I guess I should have said it more clearly. I'll always bleed Gator Orange and Blue whether they win the whole thing or not. What's the point in going out of my way to talk about them on a Laker Blog if they lose?

BTW, I love how you act all tough while you're behind a computer across the country. That's the ultimate sign of cowardice, so don't feed me that wimpy bull. I was unaware trash talking on a blog made people "tough guys."

And in case you were unaware, Florida is the most complete team left in the tournament with the best player left in the tournament. Let's see what happens once the games start up again this saturday.

 
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