Lakers Now

Round-the-Clock Purple and Gold

« Previous Post | Lakers Now Home | Next Post »

Pride or Playing the Percentages?

With ten games left, those who put in for playoff tickets are breathing relatively easy. Not that the Lakers should rest on their laurels or begin starting a Devin Green-Von Wafer-Aaron McKie-Jim Jackson-Ronny Turiaf lineup (they're going really small). But barring injury or some monumental collapse, they're wading in reasonably safe waters. The team's in a pretty nice groove at the moment. And save Sacto, nobody trailing behind seems capable of back to back wins, much less a threatening win streak. No slacking allowed, because every game still counts big and bad. But assuming the Lakers treat their business as such, I have a hard time picturing a 9th seed finish.

That being said, I don't see them rising past 7, either. Never say never, especially since they could do some damage by beating their Staples roommates on April 9th. But both Memphis and the Clips are playing pretty well. The Clips are deep enough to absorb Cat Mobley's ankle injury. Pau Gasol and Mike Miller are making life without Damon Stoudamire pretty tolerable. Therefore, I wouldn't bet your metaphorical farm, much less my own, on a 6 or 5 seed (Unless I just wanted the property off my hands, since I have absolutely no interest in farming).

But I could buy L.A. and Sacto swapping the 7 and 8 spots. And that's a scenario keeping the blog abuzz, since everyone is weighing first round pros and cons. The general consensus is that Phoenix, the probable 2 seed, will run the Lakers out of the arena. I happen to be a part of said consensus. The Lakers have crapped it up against teams like Atlanta, who don't even run particularly well, but do it all game like decapitated chickens. Against the Suns, a team that actually knows what they're doing, I give the Lakers worse odds than me hooking up with Scarlett Johansson. By getting the 8 seed, they'll theoretically face the Spurs or Mavs. Both tough match ups, but better on paper. The Spurs play a slower pace. Kwame's had some nice moments against Tim Duncan. And there's always a chance "Manu Girl" will return to Staples for that series, a definite plus in my mind. The appeal of Dallas can be summed up with one number: 62. I don't care how much Dallas' D has stiffened. Getting outscored by one guy stings for a while. Neither is a cakewalk. But both are undeniably better, so many folks could live with a loss or two. Assuming the Lakers make the playoffs either way, they'd view a slightly worse finish as a postseason survival mechanism.

But if you're a fan, especially during a season where a title is unlikely, would you prefer the team finish as strong as possible and let the chips fall as they may? Does the idea of a 7 seed provide more bragging rights and pride on the season? And can you stomach the idea of finishing behind the Kings? Cow Town/Cow bells? Tainted cheeseburgers? Mike Bibby's dance? You're cool lagging behind them in the "W" department? And for those "Kobe for MVP" campaigners working overtime, the lower the Lakers finish, the less likely Kobe will clear space on his mantle come May. And it's not like the Lakers are a lock to win against either Texas squad, anyway. If the same first round exit is a possibility against all three teams, does it really make a difference if it's a 4, 5, 6 or 7 game defeat? Wouldn't a better overall record provide you with a bigger sense of satisfaction when it's all said and done?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Better record and rolling the dice. Worse record and a "safer route."  Both arguments have some merit. I really don't think there is a right answer, but I'd like to know what yours is.


Comments () | Archives (115)

The comments to this entry are closed.

I for one want them to finish strong. Because, you never know. What if Memphis or the Clippers crack. The Lakers would be better off trying to win every game, period. You don't tank games.
Finish strong Lakers and the 6th spot could fall in your lap....


Don't they (Sac, Memphis) have more games to go than us? Then I say, do as best as we can, grab whatever seed, 6,7, and if in the end, they end up with a better record, and we take yay 8th. Plus if worst comes to worst we face Phoenix, I'm hoping we'll have a strong slow down, physical strategy cause after all the playoffs are relatively slower and it's a matter of which team will force their tempo on the other. Don't write us off yet (if you are).

On a non-realistic, totally emotional side. I wish we'd take 5 or six and push the clippers down.

I really don't get why Phoenix is considered so formidable vis a vis the Lakers. L.A. played them twice this year. Yeah, they beat L.A. both times, but I don't see why the Lakers can't adjust after playing them a couple times.

It just doesn't seem so obvious to me that Phoenix's fast pace will definitely give the Lakers problems.

However, I will say that this upcoming game against the Suns will say a lot about how the Lakers can fare against Phoenix, so I am prepared to eat crow.

I just don't think we've seen enough to just say "well, Phoenix's style is not suited to the Lakers".


Your use of "safer route" was smart. There is no safe route with the teams the Lakers would face up, therefore I say play all out until a spot in the playoffs is clinched and then give Kobe, Lamar, and Kwame some rest. Of the three people we might face, I don't think we have a better chance against one more than the other. Obviously Phoenix gives us fits, but that's nothing compared to the playoff and championship experience we'd face in SA. You know, maybe Dallas is the team I want to face. But then that would mean them playing well going into the playoffs and us losing out the 7th seed to Suckramento, which I don't want to see.

I want the Lakers to play as well as possible the rest of the year, gain some serious momentum, and shock the higher seed in the first round.

My point being, the Lakers lost to San Antonio twice as well, before beating them.

i say we should wait till after the phoenix games to decide...

Go Lakers...

We should actually just be happy to be in the playoffs...if we get there. Let's not count our chickens before they hatch here people.

I would like to read a blog for the Spurs/Mavs/Suns and see what team(s) they would rather play and which they would rather not see in the first round. I'd like to see the idiot fan for one of these teams that would want to play Kobe in the first round.

Here's my side of it...

I'm kinda looking at the big picture, which is the CHAMPIONSHIP run.

If we take 8th, we havta take either San Antonio or Dallas, and if we pass that round, the next round will end up with the same two sides, so I don't see anything good with that.

However, if it's 7th, life will be easier, Phoenix, which I think is the best team to face out of the 3 because of the lack of defense, and if we pass Phoenix, next round will only be Denver, Memphis, or Clipps, all three of them favor us.

My dream run:
1st round: 4-2 Phoenix
2nd round: 4-2 Clippers
West Finals: 4-3 Sacramento!!!
Finals: Miami... I don't wanna predict the outcome lol

It doesn't matter because whoever we play we must dictate the tempo. If it worked with Detroit and San Antonio, it will work with Phoenix. Just make the playoffs!


It's always dangerous trying to take it easy going into the playoffs, operating under the assumption that you can just "turn the switch" in the first playoff game. That is especially true with a team like this year's Lakers, who are still trying to get their rotation set, figure out exactly what their roles are, and get comfortable with those roles. i.e. Kobe still needs to learn how best to work with Kwame and Smush on offense, Devean (presumably) needs to be worked back into the rotation, the team as a group needs A LOT of work on defense (just look at the first half yesterday). So I think that the best bet is to keep going pretty darn close to full speed.

a possible garnett sigthin in purple and gold next year?...judge for yourself

Go Lakers...

O YE MEN OF LITTLE FAITH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i don't know what the hell y'all talking about. i personally want the lakers to finish as strong as possible, i do not care who we get in the playoffs, suns, spurs, mavericks, it doesn't matter to me. if you are a true fan, you would believe. and guess what i believe! if the suns beat us, oh well! and if they don't, great! mind you, its going to be a whole new ball game in the playoffs, and the laker team that's playing now is not the same team we had a few weeks ago. well that's how i feel, and only time will tell. GO LAKERS, I BELIEVE, AND I'M NEVER SCARED. (that's why i made money on the heat, and piston games, but lost on the rockets game).

I would wait to make any kind of prediction, they've played the Suns a while back, so come next game we can see how things unfold, in the mean time the Lakers have other teams to take care off, and they need to fight for their playoff spot, they are not there yet. We'll have to see.

We will not beat the Spurs stop dreaming.

Just think, if the Lakers beat Memphis those two games at home after leading most of the game, the Lakers would be closer to the 6th Seed with 40 wins and 32 loses compared to Mepmphis 40-31 record.

I think Mav would definitely be ideal because i think Parker and Nash would kill us with penetrations.

but i wouldn't mind playing against the suns. yah they got nash, marion, and amare. but i think the lakers should try to build momentum into the playoff and be able to play their best games. amare, while a monster, is not fully healed (6pts last game) and might actually ruin their chemistry. if not and goes on avging 30 a game... sorry kwame... you'll get posterized a few dozen times. but i think lamar, whos peaking right now, would have a tremendous series along with kobe. i really think lamar can avg a triple double against them and i rather have bell guarding kobe then bowen.

it'll be a great high scoring show. much more entertaining to watch then the slow half court game spurs play. and i really doubt we can beat the spurs in a series.

I believe in going as hard as you can and taking whatever you're given. A Championship team should be able to beat any team they face, I find searching for the 'safe route' to the Finals to be a very cowardly attitude. I'd much rather have that sense of confidence and sportsmanship instilled in my players and fans rather than have them looking for an easy way around a real test. Championships are supposed to be difficult, granted the Lakers have very little chance this year, but if they got to the final by blowing a couple of games in order to avoid Phoenix, I'd be embarrased.

Ak isn't Pau Gasol...I don't think I've ever heard him called Paul...just needling you lol

we should try to win as manny games as possible.. and at the same time.. keep our troops well rested... if we can get some games where we jump on them early and build a lead... then we can let our reserves play a little longer... and keep our main guns rested.. but with the way we handle leads.. the chances of that happening are slim... GO LAKERS!!

And further more:

Whatever road we take, it's to the Championship. ANYONE who gets in our way is going to be crushed. Phoenix, San Antonio, Dallas, Denver, Grizzles, or the Clippers bring them on. It doesn't matter, we are going to crush them! Destiny is calling and we will answer the call.


Thanks for catching that, Faith. Spell check always changes Gasol's first name from "Pau" to "Paul" and I never pick up on it.


I'd say you have to go all out and try to win every game. The Lakers have a bit of a cushion but not enough for us to root against them so that they'll land the 8th spot.

I think that the Lakers waited a bit too long to turn the corner and play god ball, (the jury is still out on whether they have actually turned the corner)and probably won't catch the Grizzlies. But that does not make playing SA or Dallas something we should root for either. Those are 2 of the 3 best teams in the league who the Lakers probably won't beat anyway. Basketball is a game of matchups and while I think that they match up better with SA and Dallas it's not as if the Lakers have a marked advantage in any are that would make playing them desirable.

In short, without even thinking about the possible playoff scenarios I don't think you should root for your team to lose unless they're so far out of the playoff race that you need to be thinking about the draft. When you take into consideration who the alternative teams are and it's two of the best 3 teams in the league you don't root for your team to lose so your team will have the "opportunity" to play them instead. It's just a ludicrous thought, especially when the Lakers are to a certain extent fighting for their playoff lives.

Mike T,

The Suns dictate the tempo against whoever they play against why would the Lakers be able to do it. No team in the NBA is able to slow down the Suns.

There are two ways to beat the Suns:

1. Take full advantage of what they give you on the defensive end, and have a hot night as well. Just about any Suns loss I can remember had some ridiculous final score.

2. Have a defensive team like the SA Spurs which is able to slow the Suns down just a little bit. While being a talented enough offensive team that can score in the 100s, because "slowing" down the Suns still necesitates that the opposing team score 100 points, that's how good they are offensively.

In my mind there are only two teams in the NBA that can beat the Suns. It's the two NBA finalists SA and Detroit.

When was the last time Dallas or Phoenix have been to the finals? These high powered offenses are always cut down in the playoffs. Sure they run amuck in a 82 game season, but the playoffs all that is out the window.


Look at what is happening right now in New Jersey. Nets 50 Suns 31. These teams always slow down at the end of the year because teams start slowing the game down, ALWAYS!


I really need to get off the Lakers Blog and other sports related sites I have a paper to write. I just thought I'd post this article I saw on about Kwame.

His strong play recently is opening a lot of eyes, including my own. I openly bashed Kwame a few months back for not soliciting the help of Kareem, but like Kobe says in the article we don't know what's happening in practice. All we have to go on is what we heard in Washington, from The Jordans, Micheal and Eddie.

Mike T,

I don't think that Dallas or Phoenix will make the finals. That said I am going to go out and say that IF Dallas beats SA in the second round, I think the Suns would be in the Finals.

The Mavs have inproved defensively, but are still a team composed of offensive-minded players. And in a battle between two offensive teams the Suns would win.

Offensive teams don't make it to the Finals or win championships in any sport. But the Suns are the best offensive machine in 10 years, and they proved in last years playoffs that they're not going to be slowed down in the postseason. Think back to last year's playoffs, did the Spurs slow the Suns down? No! Like I said I believe that there are only two ways to beat the Suns and I don't think the Lakers are capable of doing either of them 4 times.

As long as Steve Nash is running the show over there, I don't see any team beating them other than SA or Detroit. And I'll stand by that until someone proves me wrong.

We played the Suns a while back before we got in this groove which hopefully will last agaist the Spurs. I think we have a chance against the Suns in the playoffs because we have the best pure shooter in the NBA, the ocho, and Suns have horrible defense. Anyone up for 82, regardless just as long as they get the win!Oh and props to Lamar and Kwame....finally Kobe has a supporting cast.
Smush needs to work on his jump shot and defense. Making dunks all the time is not going to help us win games.

why people always predict suns in 2nd place while dallas or SA in 1st.. it's weird, like u go for 1st or take the 3rd?? coz 2nd place has already been booked (Suns), is it because head to head records between those teams? anyway i just wana see LAKESS in playoff and definetly doesnt care bout who they'll macth up against..coz to be the champion u have to beat the best, right?


What article? here's the link I forgot to post it on my earlier post. I've gotta stop doing two things at once lol

sorry miss typed i dont mean to write LAKESS its LAKERS.. btw is it my score board right NJ-SUNS 79-39?
come on we can beat the suns.. GO LAKERS

Leading MVP Candidate Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns are playing New Jersey who just played a hard game at Detroit yesterday.

Score New Jersey 80- Suns 41 late in the 3rd.

I don't remember Kobe getting waxed for 40 points this year yet.

O yeah, I read that one. Thanks anyway.


Kobe fans

The reason why the Suns are #2 is because they have little chance of making up the # of games to be #1. The way the NBA seeding takes place is the TOP team in EACH division gets 1 spot in the top 3. That is why even though Dallas and San Antonio will have the 2 best records in the West, they are in the same Division so 1 team will be at #1 and the other team will be #4 at best.

The Suns getting blown out by the Nets certainly doesn't help my argument. But I still can't say that there are more than 2 teams in the NBA capable of beating the Suns 4 times in a series.

kobe fans,
the division champions get the first 3 playoffs seeds
The Suns will finish 2nd because they lead the pacific division. The Spurs or the Mavs will finish 1st or 4th depending on who wins their division, they are in the same one.
After that the 4th and so on goes to the better records.

That article about Garnett is very interesting.

It's a break from his consistent loyalty to Minnesota. I have a feeling they're going to trade him. They seem just that stupid.

Mitch, if you're listening, we expect you go give up anything other than Kobe for the guy and preferably not Lamar. Kwame would be nice to keep, but let's face it, right now Garnett is in another class.

He's worth any luxury penalty we might have to pay.

And while you're at it, it would be very nice to get Artest as well. After you sign KG, send Kobe and KG on a diplomatic mission to get Artest. The three guys crave winning and being competitive more than just about anyone in the league and would be awesome together.

The young Lakers need confidence. Winning breeds it. Win as many as possible. Phil wants a STREAK going into the playoffs and so should we.

Kobe fan,

Phoenix is always listed at #2 because they lead our division. Dallas and SA are in the same division so one has to be #1 and one has to be #4. That's just how it is, the top teams in each division get the first three spots regardless of whether another team in another divison has a better record.

You always have to play for pride. Getting the 8th seed might give us better matchups, but would any of you feel comfortable knowing we threw away games, just so we could have a better matchup? I take pride in the fact that we have a winning record, and can have the 7th spot in the west. Do I like having to play Phoenix? HELL NO!!!!! But i'd rather see us man up and lose a series, than see us take the easy way out to win a series.

People always dog out pro athletes cuz they play for all the wrong reasons (money, fame, etc...) but any of us that has played a game of streetball, or football on the blacktop, or any other sport know that when your on the streets busting your a$$ the only thing you care about is your pride and winning the game. And anyone who expects the Lake Show to do anything else is wrong.

call me crazy but I wouldn't want the Lakers to trade Lamar not even for Kevin Garnett. I think this team can go far, they just need to develop and we are seeing it right now. I think the team just needs 2 or 3 good players(power forward, point guard and a good veteran player, one that's not injury prone.)

I really like this team, Lamar and Kwame are proving that they have heart and passion to win.

If we can do a possible trade with Garnett which invovles Kwame Benjamin then it would be a great mistake. We need Kwame as our center and defender and while KG is a great player, he would only bring very little progress to the Lake Show. In a way, Kwame for Garnett would practically switching our big men with no real improvement. Garnett would score but with Mihm as our center our defense would be blasted away. If we could get Garnett without trading away Kobe, Lamar, Kwame, maybe Smush, or Bynum, we would have a championship caliber team. But until then, these players, with the possible exception of Smush, are our untouchables. And dude forget Ron Artest. The Kings are probably gonna extend his contract and anything less than Kobe would be unacceptable to them.

How ironic that PETEY just said in an earlier blog that Kobe is for MVP. He said even earlier that Wade was the MVP and that he was gonna wear them rings this year. While that is certainly NOT gonna happen, it just shows that PETEY is nothing more than a bandwagon person and therefore has an IQ of 1.

Didn't like what I said about you Sonny? Well glad you are cow tipping in Suckremento with the Governator. After all it is very embarrasing to lose to the Warriors. Especially on your homecourt. And I'll say this. Better to be Broke-Backers than transexual weenies up there.

Go Lakers, f%$@ haters.

I agree with Mike T...Just make the playoffs. Its crazy to be saying the Lakers would rather face the Spurs than the Suns! C'mon..The Spurs are a legitimate FAVOURITE to win it all this year, what makes you think that they're gonna fold to the Lakers?

This Laker team were not expected to make the playoffs at all this year. Should the Lakers finish 7th or higher, it will be a good enough slap on the face for most sports writers.

Remember, we have Phil Jackson, one of the best post season coaches in league history, and we have Kobe, arguably the best player in league/ post season history. Should the Lakers play the Suns, it is extremely vital that they dictate the tempo from the offset.

Anyway, I don't think it makes a whole lot difference who we face in the playoffs. The top three, four teams in the west are no pushovers

the Lakers should watch the video of how New Jersey beat the Suns by almost FORTY point,110 to 72 WOW!!!
Did someone watch that game? Was it defense?? or what was it? or just a lucky day for New Jersey? Or is New Jersey that good?

Name Min Reb Ast PF Pts
S Marion, F 33 12 0 3 17
B Diaw, F 30 4 6 2 8
R Bell, G 21 5 1 3 7
A Stoudemire, C 14 2 0 3 0
S Nash, G 26 3 5 2 0

WOW!! 0 points for Nash and Amare , now that is defense

We get the Suns on the 2nd game of a back to back. I hate that NBA scheduling. It may help a terrible team play a great team close for one game but for the most part it just makes players tired and injury prone. It shouldn't matter, like with NJ tonight, but it usually does.

Great that NJ is playing well of late. We definitely handed them 2 games. That's a team I know we can beat.

This is unrelated but have you guys seen the highlights of the Heat-Pacers game. Haslem and J O'neal got into a little scuffle. And in trying to separate them Shaq uses a choke hold. I don't think Shaq was actually trying to choke Jermaine but it looked bad. Of course Shaq was able to get out of it with out even getting a T.

Damn you serious? nash and amarae didnt score? man i need to watch those highlights..

Go Lakers...

beating the suns is not as hard as people think. all you have to do is stop nash without double teaming him and you can win. new jersey beat them because they have jason kidd, a point guard who can play defense and run an offense. it will be difficult for us to beat the sun because smush can't play D at all. getting steals is not playing D. i actually think sasha can play better D than smush.

There's your MVP candidate Nash! 0 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in 26 minutes! Check the box score.

By the way, how many times did the sports writers awarded John Stockton the MVP for all of those assists he had with the Jazz? None. Malone got them instead.

Why the double standard all of a sudden? Because more writer it seems are still on the "or hate me" side of the Kobe divide.

Guys. Fellas. Did anyone see the Dallas/San Antonio game like a month ago, where Bruce Bowen shut down Dirk Nowitzki? I'm sorry but the NBA is about matchups- who can guard who. Dallas is in a better position with us, with similar problems- they TRY to play hard nosed defense and are getting better at it, like us. They have a an MVP candidate- in Dirk, we have Kobe. Phil Jackson can shutdown Dirk, and he has already shown that he can affect Mark Cuban, and the refs. I want to get to the finals, and I know we can upset Dallas, who NOONE really believes can win a championship. Now playing SAn Antonio and beating them in 7 games, gives INSTANT credit to the Lakers, literally puts Phil Jackson on a mantle for stellar coaching. Honestly though, if we really want a challenge than we should shoot for San Antonio- I WANT THE CHAMPS. Phoenix is the only team that has spanked us twice, and right now we still have a young team that KNOWS that Phoenix has spanked them, the playoffs are purely MENTAL, thats PJ has thrived in the playoffs, because that is his specialty. I'm Ranting, GO LAKERS, lets get Dallas and sweep'em.


Wow, just saw the box score for the phoenix game, Nash didn't score a point!
You have to figure the East coast writers will store that one away come MVP vote time.

The Suns do great in the long NBA season when no one wants to D up and Nash is the real thing but they have yet to prove they can win playoffs with that style of play.

Till about a week ago - Phoenix was way down on the list of teams I would want the Lakers to meet. As you said - Phoenix would probably run the Lakers out of the gym.

But two things have changed my mind -

a. Remember that both Phil and Kobe have always said - the ultimate goal is the championship. They are not playing for 6th and 7th seeds.

About a week ago - Phil says he doesnt expect the Lakers to move from the 7th spot AND he is not worried about meeting Phoenix in the playoffs. If PHIL isnt worried, why should I be. After all, I didnt get the Lakers to the playoffs by shouting myself hoarse in front of the TV. Phil did. Lets remember - all those people who say Phil is an idiot, we have basically the same team as we had last year which went 34-48. Except - the addition of Kwame, again which till a week ago - people kept saying - better to have kept Butler instead of Kwame - so yeah, if anything Phil has inherited a team WORSE than last years and taken it to the playoffs. If HE is not worried, neither am I.

b. After his 1st game back with 20 points, Amare Stoudamaire has not been playing well. The ONLY hope for Phoenix is that Amare starts playing well - then God help the Lakers!! But I see it more likely that he screws up the chemistry and Phoenix implodes in the playoffs. Lakers will be the beneficiaries of that if it happens.

Phoenix will NOT sit Amare through the rest of the season and the playoffs. They've pushed and pushed for Amare to come back - now they cant tell him to sit down. I know I wouldnt take it - I dont think Amare will. And for WHAT ? Does Phoenix think they can win the championship without Amare in full form ?

Therefore, I feel, the Lakers have a gamble in front of them. If the Lakers have to win against Dallas and SA, it will require hard work, smarts and precision. Against Phoenix, plain dumb luck. Im all for luck. :)

This is a great blog, but anyone who thinks the Lakers are getting Garnett for less than Odom + Kwame or Odom + Bynum is not thinking straight. Garnett usually rates out as one of the top 10 (and until very recently, top 5) players in the league. A team with Kobe and Garnett is an automatic contender for the championship. Assuming the Lakers get to keep someone who will help on the boards (Kwame or Bynum), the Lakers might be considered the prohibitive favorites coming out of the West.

hey guys thaks 4 ur info... i didnt know that.. sorry.. but i still think we can match up with any teams in any given day.. we just need consistency from kobe(he always did), odom(doing it lately), kwame(welcome to the club man), smush(in defense), and hope mihm come back in time. anyway it'll better to watch high scoring game againts the suns than defensive game with suns, altough mavs is the perfect one.

Just checking... Fun stuff AK (Manu Girl) realyy funny... Go Lakers!

Man, if we can sign someone like Nene or Chris Wilcox this summer for the $8 mil per year, we might just be able to use them as trade bait for KG. nene + mihm + Cookie + a couple of number 1 picks ~= 18 mil which is what we will need to cough up for KG.

C - Kwame + Bynum
PF - KG + Turiaf
SF - LO + George
SG - Ocho + Profit
PG - Smush + Sasha

Bench Warmers - Mckie, Wafer, Luke, JJ ...

Ok, back to reality.

But still, it's possible, right?

Hell even if it doesn't work out we get a good prospect in Nene, who with Kwame and Mihm can give an *excellent* front court.

KG - do it. Bring out the inner Shaq in you! What did being nice get you so far? Nada.. Time to act like a perp and haul your @$$ to LA.

But have to get rid of that a-hole McHale first. No way a Celtic is going to trade anyone to a Laker - remember Bird and Artest?

This is a no brainer for me: the Lakers should try to extend this streak of good play for as long as possible. Aside from getting the 6th spot, I just want to see the Lakers play as good as I have felt they should play all year.

I am loving the emergence of the next level of Lamar's game and I just can't imagine trading him (even for KG). Speaking of KG, you gotta feel really bad for him, he is one of my favorite players and is just in a completely inept orgnization. It would be nice if the T-Wolves would just let him go to whatever team he wanted. But alas, Kevin McHales heart has frozen over up the on the frozen tundra of Minnesota and other teams can probably make a better deal than the Lakers.

What happened to the Suns is that Amare isnt AMARE!

I welcome the Suns with broke down Amare. Lamar will drive around him and Kwame will beat him up down low. He's just not as quick as he used to be.

It's not his fault, he just had surgery!!!

Similar to Webber coming back to the Kings late season, Amare's late comeback is almost a blessing in disguise for us western conf. foes.

Lakers play great and take on all on-comers. Including the Suns!

I would rather face the Suns, because in the playoffs, shooting 3's all game won't work. Mark my words, Lakers WILL BEAT phoenix in 6 games in the first round!

We need someone slowing down Nash like Kidd did tonight... we can beat Pheonix if we can do that...

In case plan KG does not work out, we should try and pry Hinrich from the Bulls for Mihm. Yes, we are trading big for small, but Hinrich is just the PG that LA needs - tall..ish :), good shooter, excellent defender and ball-handler.

C - Kwame, Bynum
PF - Nene, Turiaf
SF - LO + Devean
SG - Ocho + Profit
PG - Hinrich + Smush

This would be an awesome team that has youth across the board => potential dynasty

Yes, there is a risk with Nene not panning out, but we should be able to gamble just like we did with Kwame - 3 years, 25 million [if not less], with the last year as a team option.

Good thing is that since he's coming off a season when he hardly played, there prolly won't be too much interest in him.

Other players that can possibly be had at $8 mil per year -

Desmond Mason - more of a SG than a PG, but with Kobe and Lamar on the team, ball-handling won't be that much of a concern.
Mike James - PG, but at 31, maybe too old?
Chris Wilcox - PF another bruiser in the Kwame mold.
Vlad Radmanovic - SF outside shooter
Peja - SF Outside shooter
Matt Harping - Utah SF - tough as nails, excellent defender and good shooter
Bobby Jax - PG - too old?
Al Harrington - SF/PF - possible missing piece to the puzzle.

All in all, a most interesting summer for LA. I don't think we should expect a top-notch player to magically show up in 2007/8. However, if we assemble a good corps of a young players, we might be able to entice other teams into a trade. Till then, however, we get a realistic chance of contending.

Don't try to get cute with Dallas or San Antone. Lock that 7th seed down and take Phoenix by the horns [or wings:)]. Amare is still coming back from his injury, and if we come out hot, we may be able to surprise them. Plus, I kind of want to see Dallas and SA fight and kill each other - make the path to the finals that much easier for the teams in the other half.

On a related note, we are 4.5 games behind the Clippers, but their schedule is absolutely brutal over the last set of games. I wouldn't count us out of a shot at the 6th seed. The fact that we play them once may help us here.

It's one thing to hold Nash scoreless, it's another thing to keep him at 5 assists. But how come they played so little minutes? Is that normal? If not, then I guess their coach is keeping them fresh for the post-season, with their tempo, they need their starters to have fresh legs.

great topic, AK ... and to an extent, i've been thinking about this during our recent winning streak. whenever i catch myself sighing about our seeding in 7th spot and impossible road to get the 6th... i slap myself


just a few weeks ago, i wrote here that we didn't deserve to be in the playoffs... we were losing, we looked awful, we let opportunities waste away, laker nation was in disarray

but now, we got a solid lock on a playoff berth and altho i get greedy sometimes, i have to wake up and just be content. actually, i'm more than content. so no, don't blow the rest of the games. just keep winning, and we'll face who we'll face. i'm just happy to be here

*and yes, i actually call myself "CBuck" in my inner thoughts*

The Suns seem to be getting tired, they're only 5-5 the last 10 games. All the minutes are starting to add up just like what we're seeing in Kobe right now.

The other reason why the Suns and alot of teams will lose is because of Nenad Kristic...this guy can ball and is quite overlooked when you have Vinsanity, JKidd, and Jefferson on the team. Nenad also torched the Lakers the last time too. These 4 guys are playing some serious D and I think they are for real as long as Vince's knee holds up.

I don't think we can get KG without losing Lamar. KG's one of my favorite players and so is Lamar so I dunno. KG is uber skilled right now (he's 30), Lamar is the better long-term prospect.


I disagree about KG v. Kwame. KG gives excellent defense. His offense also allows him to create his own shot. And he's one of the best if not the best rebounder in the leage. He's led in rpg many different years, including this one. And he's got playoff experience.

While Kwame has shown bursts of excellence in his defensive abilities versus some great players, he's otherwise inferior to KG in every other way right now.

It's a very serious upgrade.

Kwame is looking like he has upside, but we should probably keep in mind he's only been good on both ends in a few games. His upside may not ever reach KG's production.

Oh, and KG is almost never injured...

This is what Nash and Marion said:

"I don't think you can blame this on one thing. We are a perimeter shooting team and you are going to have some cold nights. Give them credit. They were pretty stingy and outstanding defensively."

The Nets also got 16 points from Jefferson and 11 from Clifford Robinson.

Shawn Marion paced the Suns with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Eddie House added 15 points.

"It was stunning," Marion said. "I came out in the third quarter and I looked up and saw we were down by that much. Man, the game was over. There was nothing you could do about it."

I did see the highlights of the "fight" between Haslem and Jermaine, and it looked like Shaq was choking Jermaine,it looked bad, maybe it wasn't his intention to do that, but I think a T was due. Shaq is very strong,poor Jermaine.
If Shaq was trying to keep them away from each other that was not the best way.

The Lakers can beat the Suns. All you have to do is look at what the Nets did to the Suns tonight. The Nets played great defense. It shut down the Suns' offense. Defense wins championships. The focus has to be on defense.

EY, NASH cannot be MVP. He hasn't been Player of the month this season. Nor player of the week. A man he hasnt been the best in a month, can be the best in a season? How is it possible? HE SCORED 0 points, is this the MVP the NBA DESERVES! if nash wins MVP, many loyal fans would think NBA is all about moneY. NASH is not even the best PG in the league!!!!!!! Kobe, billups, lebron, nowitszky and and brand should be all nba first team. Any of them may deserve an mvp award, BUt NOT NASH!!


Do you think Phil can make miracles with his injured or lame-duck centers: Mihm, Kwame & Bynum and a shallow bench? If they make it to the playoffs let's be grateful and move forward from there for 2nd round, if successful move on to the third and so on...There are still 9 games to go, the pendulum could sway again in other direction. In other words, - "we can't really count all the chicks until they are hatched."

On the other hand, we can speculate #2, #3, #4, #5
#2 that Kwame or Bynum could be transformed into SuperShaq like in '99; #3 LO could be Mr. Fox, that's possible; #4 Smush could become Mr. Fish, probable except in D; and lastly #5 Cookie could become Mr.Horry - #1 Kobe is Kobe. Are we there yet?

GO Lakers GO! We're happy with the four consecutive victories. Indeed, there is really a remarkable progress on LO-Kwame-Smush. However, power teams in the West are not intimidated by recent Lakers "leap-frog" success. Show us more evidences that you can beat: the Spurs 2x, the Clippers 2x and the Suns 2x this season. Those are signs of power in the making, only then, we can dream big, display our Laker flags on top of our cars, for we're absolutely confident that our team has arrived to the pinnacle of being a Championship Team again.

I'm part of 8th-seed gang, but I'm starting to be swayed by the argument that you should simply try to finish out the season by building momentum.

How many times have we seen teams pack it in at the end of the regular season, and then lay an egg in the playoffs? The NFL is notorious in this respect.

I also admit to being swayed by the "Amare will hurt the team" argument, much like Webber's return hurt the Kings a couple of years back.

But the bottom line on the Suns versus the Spurs/Mavs is this: Even when the Lakers lost to the Spurs, the games were really close. They've never even been in the games they played against the Suns.

Faith, the Suns stars played so few minutes because it was a blowout. When you're on the losing end of a 40 point lead, your starters will get replaced by the nubs for extended garbage time.

Hirayuh, your players are a little bit off. Desmond Mason is a small forward like Lamar, Luke Walton, Deaven George, Devin Green (we have too many). Mike James isn't much better than Smush. Chris Wilcox is too inconsistent.

I like your Radmonovic idea, that guy is deadly and we can get him for cheap. Al Harrington would be perfect but I don't think the Lakers will be able to get him.

And please no Hinrich, that guy is like Houdini, he disappears too much.


No one is trying to intimidate anyone. We're just playing one game at a time with the intention of winning those games. I like our chances against anyone.


Edwin Gueco,

You mean the flag is not on top of your car anymore?
Tsk Tsk!


The Lakers won't let up until their seeding is finalized. Don't let Phil fool you by saying he wants #7, he actually wants #6 and a date with 'Melo

I see alot of trade talk but looking at the Lakers roster, one thing comes to mind...Showtime...maybe not THAT good but hey I'm a fan, I want to watch entertaining basketball, not that crap that the Pistons, Spurs, Memphis play. Let's not trade in our excitement for "defensive specialists".

WIN WIN WIN, that's the important part of the Game. We'r not in VEGAS for the Gambling, that could generate more problems. I think The Lakers will be dangerous coming Playoffs time, cause Phil will have them good prepare for any Match up. Phoenix is not more dangerous than San Antonio.
Kobe for M.V.P.(Nowitzki 2nd, not NASH)

i've got a question to both AK and BK.. now that Kwame improves a lot on his game.. do you still prefer Mihm to be the starting 5? i remember before you started a topic of something about booing kwame.. now that kwame start to deliver i hope you will stop making fun of kwame.. and maybe you owe an apology to this guy.. kudos to Michael T. who always have faith on Kwame's game.. love to read your comments anything about Kwame..

Garnett is a loser...leave him in Minn...we don't need him.

I think that it is important for the Lakers to try and win every game down the stretch and treat each and every game like a playoff matchup. Until they are locked into a specific playoff position, resting key players is really not an option. Our young team needs to learn to win tight, pressure packed games. Had they been more skilled at this during the season, their record would be at least 5 or 6 games better. What all Laker fans should be enthused about is the amount of progress shown by the team this year. Just making the playoff dance is BIG. For us to make the second round, it would mean beating a good team with a better record than the Lake Show. All the teams above the Lakers have played extremely well at one point or another during the season. I'm not saying that these teams can't be beaten but it would a tall order for this young and inexperienced team. Looking down the road...I would love to see Chris Wilcox in a Laker uniform. The guy always seems to bring it against the P&G. I also think that Kirk Hinrich would be a good fit in L.A. I am not in the KG at all costs camp. I think that this team has a lot of upside and their best days are close at hand. I would hate to see the entire roster gutted for a player who seems just a little bit vulnerable at present. Yeah, I know that Garnett is a great player but I don't think that he and Kobe alone could produce a 'ship. Teams that are on the verge of the title these days have a great deal of depth which helps them withstand the long grind of the regular season as well as achieve playoff success. I personally would like to see the Lakers go this route and build the team around Kobe and Lamar and add pieces that will augment their games.


Desmond Mason is 6'5". He's played at SF before [Milwaukee] because the team already had a SG [Ray Allen]. Bottom Line - he's a very athletic guard [slam dunk champ] who is also a good defender.

Here are Mike James statistics for the year:
19 ppg, 6 apg - not much better than Smush? The only think Smush has on him is youth and an inch in height. Again, I'm not suggesting that we replace Smush with MikeJ, just that we beef up our PG spot.

And finally, on Hinrich-
Check out his stats for the last couple of months. Dude is nothing if not consistent. Plus, he's All Defensive team potential.


Is Chris Wilcox definitely a free agent this summer? If so I think we should definitely make a run at him. He is the perfect pf for us. He rebounds, he's athletic, and dude plays above the rim. I don't know how he is defensively, but if he is a sound defensive player he would be a perfect fit. I also like your idea to pick up Hinrich, he is a good jump shooter, and a "true" point guard

Starting 5:

C- Kwame
PF- Chris Wilcox
SG- Kobe
PG- Hinrich


C- Mihm
PF- Turiaf
SF- George/JJ
SG- Wafer or Profit if were lucky
PG- Smush+ a veteran player

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 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 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.

Yep, Wilcox is a FA this year. A restricted FA, mind you, but considering that he's scheduled to earn $ 3.6 mil next year, and that Seattle is close to the salary cap, we might be able to make him an offer "he cannot refuse" [sorry, I'm a Godfather junkie:)]

I do think it is within the realm of possibility to get KG without having to give up Bynum, LO, Kwame, and of course Ocho. It will take Mihm, young studs like Nene or Wilcox and a couple of draft picks. Why? Because KG wants to come here [title contender]. You never trade someone like KG and hope to get equal value [remember Shaq], but I can't see too many better deals out there.
Yes, the Knicks can offer Marbury and/or Francis - but their stock has crumbled over the last couple of months.
Chicago? Who can they offer to match salaraies? Chandler?
Denver maybe - Kmart. But that dude is hurt these days, and there is no guarantee he will ever reach his peak again.
About the only competition I see is from the Warriors - a combo of Baron Davis and Troy Murphy. But if Minnesota were to go into rebuilding mode, and they will, this would mean that they have to pay these guys for the next 3 years at least.

Nice topic, AK.

Yeah... when you put it that way, have Sacramento finish higher than us? I don't know if I could stomach that.

And since I will personally see to that Steve Nash's kneecaps are crushed in a bizarre Boggle accident just before the playoff series begins, I'm not too worried about Phoenix.

(That's a lie.) I'm very worried about Phoenix. I also don't like the fact that Phil hasn't figured them out yet. It seems like no one has.

Honestly, to me, Phoenix is the only truly "scary" team in the league. Nash is the only other player whom I feel has a similar ability to Kobe to just destroy the competition.

Thus the necessity of a bizarre Boggle accident befalling that damned Canuck.

Anyhow, go for the best seed we can. It's the honorable thing to do.

Then trust in Phil, Kobe, Lamar, and Kwame in the playoffs.

God Bless the Lakers!

Go Team!

Hi Hirayou

Desmond Mason cannot realistically be a Shooting Guard, his shooting is terrible, especially in the 3point area. Triangle offense guards need to be able to hit the open 3s. Putting Desmond Mason at point guard might not be a bad idea though as long as you don't let him shoot out there.

Mike James is playing on the Toronto Raptors, where he is a 1st or 2nd option on offense. Put him back in Miami or the Lakers where he'll be a 3rd or 4th option like Smush and he'll average 12 ppg again. Or about the same as Smush right now.

Kirk Heinrich shoots inconsistently...he's one of those streaky shooters like Brian Cook. Look at his past few games in your log. He has extreme fluctuations in his shooting percent... 77% (great), 60% (great), 46% nice, then you have 33% (not good), 27% (terrible), 22% (terrible), 0% (????). We don't need another streaky shooter, we already have Brian Cook.

You do have good points though, and I wouldn't mind having Desmond Mason. But those other 2 guys I really don't think will do well here.

Asaad Weaver,

While I like your idea on the surface, the problem is that Chris Wilcox has no work ethic. As a Clipper fan (Yes, I'm a Cliper fan. I'm from L.A., okay?) I've watched Wilcox for years. The kid has so much ability, but doesn't push himself.

I honestly think he's playing great for Seattle right now just so that he can pad his contract when he becomes a free agent.

For all of you Stat readers. If we see the Suns in the Playoffs. The way to beat Phoenix is to Contain Shawn Marion!!!

A side note with Kirk Henrich, I don't care about his jumpshot. Hell Derek Fisher was a streaky shooter, remember that 2001 series against San Antonio were one of the intangibles as to why we destroyed SA 4-0 with the last 2 games with an avg margain of vicotry of 34 points!!!

If Kirk can stop his man from penetrating inside, you know stopping the other guys from scoring then I'd consider that a great pick up. It's easier to teach offense than defense cause defense requires more balance in paitence yet assertiveness.

The Lakers should go after Chris Bosh in the off season, he has similar numbers as KG 22.5PPG, 9.2RPG, is only 22years old and we wouldn't have to give up much to get him.Big upside.


To answer your first question, it depends on how quickly/strong Mihm returns and how well Kwame (or Mihm, I suppose) get used to playing PF. All things being equal, I think a Mihm/Kwame pairing is better than Mihm/Cook or Kwame/Cook. But if that can't be done, it just comes down to who PJ thinks would be better off the bench.

To answer your other question, No, I don't owe Kwame an apology for anything. The "Boo Kwame" post you're refering to was a discussion about whether fans have a right to boo Kwame, not BK encouraging them to do it. Reread it. We've never rallied readers to come down on Kwame.

And when I've been critical of Kwame, it's because he wasn't playing well. That's my job. BK and I were hired to give an honest, objective, and (hopefully) entertaining analysis. I'm not a paid cheerleader. But I've also never taken cheap shots at Kwame's character. I haven't hammered him for past issues that happened in Washington. I've also never declared him a bust or a lost cause. I've never said there was no prayer of him getting better. Go through the entire blog if you want. You won't find me saying that. But I don't owe him an apology for not sugarcoating any problems he was having as a Laker. Not gonna happen.

I imagine even Michael T. would admit that I've never stepped over the line in criticizing Kwame during our numerous debates. My points were never personal. We simply disagreed. That's both of our right.


Correction to my earlier post. Nash got 5 assists not 4. Strange how I misread it.

Win as many games as you can, then see where you are at the end of the season. Honestly, do Lakers or Kings fans have any business smack talking to each other over the 7th and 8th seeds in the playoffs? "Dude, we won 44 games, you only won 42! You suck!" C'mon.

If you're talking the upper half of a conference, then maybe you get some bragging rights. Down near the bottom, that sort of thing doesn't really have a place. Fun debate.


Good Morning Lakerville,

AK, how did I get in that discussion? Anyway AK, I never though you stepped over the line. I only thought you were blind if you were backing Mihm over Kwame. In my mind there was no comparision, which made me wonder what the heck you were basing your opinion on. Well, we've been over this a thousand times, it seems, so why beat a dead dog? I won the debate, LOL! Well, at least for 4 games.


Michael T.,

I only brought you up because Arnold mentioned you (giving you props) and to help prove my point that I don't owe Kwame an actual apology. As you basically put it, you don't think my criticism was cheap shot based. You just think it was wrong. And fair enough, we both have our opinions. But I'm not looking to bring up old debates, for sure.



Let's face it. You haven't always been Kwame's biggest supporteer. The glass has been half-empty.

I always smirk when you guys say you are objective. You're not. You just moderate and tone down the emotionality of your words when you want to appear objective. There's a difference.

However, criticism aside, it may be impossible to be truly objective when it comes to sports. Anyone interested in writing about the subject probably has so much passion in it that they their ultimate objectivity will always be at least slightly schewed.


I don't understand how not being Kwame's biggest supporter somehow removes me from being objective. I was giving what I felt is an honest assessment. That's the definition of objective, at least in my mind.



That's just it, I don't see any Arnold posting in this thread.



Sure, in the sense that we deliver an opinion, we're not objective. We're not just delivering straight news, but analysis as well. But we're objective in the sense that we don't have a particular agenda that we're looking to push that would otherwise color our opinion. We basically call it like we see it. Does that make us always right? Of course not. No question we've been critical of Kwame, but until about the last week or so, he deserved it. He's playing well now, and we've acknowledged that. And, on my end at least, if he proves over the last 15 or so games the Lakers will play this season (again, hidden prediction in there), that he is a solid NBA center, then I'll give him props for that.

If you don't like "objective," maybe "agendaless" is a better word (assuming, of course, that it is actually a word).



O..I see it. Thanks Arnold.


1 2 | ยป



In Case You Missed It...


All Things Lakers »

Your database for all things purple and gold.

Find a Laker

Search a name

Select a season

Choose one of our lists



About the Bloggers

Bleacher Report | Lakers

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More Lakers on Bleacher Report »

Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists:

In Case You Missed It...