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BK's Season Preview: Who's Bringing the Advil?

Coming off a season where many — OK, not necessarily you guys, but media types — wondered if the Lakers would win more games than they lost, the Lakers notched 45 victories and as you may remember, were one now infamous nonrebound from advancing to the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. The growth of Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown, and Luke Walton conspired with a soft schedule down the stretch to push the Lakers to an 11-3 finish.

This offseason, L.A. added shooting in Vladamir Radmanovic, defense in Maurice Evans, a dude with a big noggin' (literally) coming off a nice season overseas in Shammond Williams, and they drafted their point guard of the future in Jordan Farmar. Andrew Bynum is a year older, L.O. has a year of the triangle under his belt, and Walton seems to be evolving into a poster child for Tex Winter's O. (Seriously, if the EPA covered basketball, they'd protect the triangle offense from extinction, because it's the natural habitat of Walton. If it goes, Luke might follow. He's the spotted owl of hoops.)

That's the good news.

Now the bad.

The Lakers achieved their 45 wins in a season where almost everything went well. Kobe was as monumental an offensive force as the league had seen since M.J. left the Bulls to try his hand in baseball (not his best choice). It's reasonable to wonder if he'll be able to reproduce at the same level. Hopefully, of course, he won't have to. More importantly, the Lakers lost very few man-games to injury in '05-'06. Kwame missed a handful at the beginning, Chris Mihm missed a bunch at the end. L.O. played 80 games, and Kobe would have played in all 82 had he not gone all WWE on Mike Miller. Bynum was out a few, and the Lakers lost out on a season of Aaron McKie (though we'll all remember where we were when he scored each of his seven points). That's basically it. Meaning L.A. was, relatively speaking, blissfully unaffected by the injury problems that can infect NBA teams the way computer viruses knock out Windows. I've said since the end of the year that scenario was unlikely to repeat itself.

Sometimes it sucks to be right. Not sure if you've noticed, but this year? Not starting so healthy. Kobe says he'll be ready for Tuesday, but missing the preseason makes him far more likely to break down once the real games start. It could be the knee, some other body part Kobe hurts while favoring it, or something that comes up from missing the chance to work himself into genuine game shape and get up to game speed in a more measured fashion.

Then there's the, um, let's call them "issues" in the frontcourt. Kwame Brown and Chris Mihm will both miss substantial time at the beginning of the year (just a hunch, but I think Mihm's injury will end up keeping him out a while). Bynum has played well in the preseason, but seriously, if you're excited about the prospect of entering the season with a combination of Bynum and Ronny Turiaf at the five, well, you are one rosy glasses wearin' fella. Toss in the bad hand that has slowed Vlad Rad's introduction to the triangle and seems destined to bug him all season (if foam pads on shooting hands were a good thing, everyone would wear them) and the funky abdomen of Williams, and the practice facility in El Segundo has been more hospital than hoops lab. The Lakers are more of a bruised purple than the regal shade we're used to. At least P.J. is looking spry these days.

The Lakers finished last season on an uptick and certainly didn't get worse over the offseason, adding Radmanovic and Evans, who I think will have a bigger impact, in terms of veteran imports, along with Williams and Farmar. A year of familiarity will help guys like Odom and Brown, and Walton's not the same guy he was a year ago, either. So last year's win total certainly seems, on its face, meetable and possibly beatable. But the general improvement of the Western Conference would have made it hard for the Lakers to get too far above that win total even before the injuries. There aren't nearly as many gimmies, and it should cut into everyone's win totals.

Six weeks ago, when Kobe and Mihm were expected to be back, while Kwame and Radmanovic were healthy, I figured the purple and gold were good for 47-49 wins. I think the damaged frontcourt could cost the Lakers a couple games early, so even if guys come back healthy, reaching that number will be tough and cracking 50 is a long shot. Obviously, if things don't get better on the injury front, things could get ugly, even to the point of missing the playoffs. The Lakers dodged a bullet last year. Can they do it again?

But back to optimistic thoughts. Should the team — and most importantly Kobe, then the frontcourt — heal up and play, the Lakers have a good chance to be playing some serious ball come postseason time. Why? A quick rundown of team strengths:

• Kobe. If you need me to explain this to you, you're on the wrong blog.

• Increased depth. The Lakers rotation ought to go a player or two deeper than last year, which will, if the plans go right, create a better second unit more capable of taking some of the load off Kobe's back. (There were times last season Bryant seemed to carry more dudes than K.G. in that Adidas commercial.)

• Increased versatility. L.O. is a Swiss Army knife. Walton can play multiple positions. Vlad Rad can fill in at a couple spots, as can (at least theoretically) Brown and Mihm. Smush and Sasha can and would likely succeed at the two if Farmar or Williams man the point and Kobe slides to the three. Basically, Jackson will have ample opportunity to force matchups or at least throw a wrench in the works of any playoff opponent. It never hurts to have a few extra cards to pull from the deck.

• Mo Evans. Outside Kobe, the Lakers didn't have a backcourt defender capable of consistently solid all-around perimeter defense (as opposed to Smush's tendency to overplay passing lanes or his man and get burned, or Sasha's tenacious defense often accompanied by fouls committed 35 feet from the hoop). Now they do. It'll come in handy.

Weaknesses? How about a rotation with some positionally challenged defenders in Walton, Radmanovic, Cook, and Parker/Vujacic. A frontcourt that will be seriously up against it while Mihm and Brown are out. Yeah, I know Bynum has looked good in the last couple games, but is he ready to be a plus player on either end once the real games begin? I doubt it. Maybe better than hoped, maybe pretty good for a (barely) 19-year-old, but not enough to adequately wallpaper over the post for a couple weeks. Same for Turiaf. Better than you'd have thought a year ago, but still not what they'll need, especially if Kobe isn't up to full speed. Hopefully the soft early season schedule will dampen the blow. Then there's the point guard spot. Farmar's not quite ready, Parker and Vujacic aren't quite good enough, and Williams hasn't been healthy. Fortunately, the triangle doesn't demand nearly as much from the spot as your average offense.

If everyone gets and stays healthy, Bynum and Vujacic improve considerably, Turiaf blooms, Radmanovic shoots, and Kwame thrives, a run to or just under 50 wins will be tough, but not impossible. That's a lot of ifs, and it's a best case scenario. More likely they'll be a better team, but finish closer to the 45 wins they had last year. And obviously, if a serious injury befalls Kobe or L.O., or the frontline can't get healthy, all bets are off.

As for playoff seeding, I don't think they have a realistic chance of cracking the top four in the West, but that fifth spot is golden because it'll likely mean a date with whoever wins the Northwest Division, probably either Utah or Denver. If the Lakers can get that slot, the second round is a real possibility. Unfortunately, I don't think they'll reach it (curse you, Clippers!). Sixth or seventh is more likely. And if that happens, I don't think the Lakers will beat any of the likely big three in San Antonio, Phoenix or Dallas. In theory, they'll have overcome any early season struggles and will be strong come playoff time. Similar to last season, I anticipate them being a tough team other squads would just as soon avoid in the postseason, but one that will get beaten in round one.

A better team? Yes. A better result?

Not this year. Sorry. 46-36, squeaking out the six spot before a first-round exit.

BK

 
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Dang, I would be tempted to bring in Jalen Rose. Wasn't he a point guard at the beginning of his career?

JACKSON JOURNAL INFORMATION:

As for the Jackson Journal, I haven't really worked out all the details, but I have the beginnings of a grading system.

It's really simple. It's broken down into three categories. The first is a thumb up. The second is a no comment. And the third is a thumbs down.

Since, as it's said, winning cures all, every win gets an automatic thumbs up. But the Jackson Journal will still contain observations pertaining to Phil Jackson patterns.

The no comment and the thumbs down are reserved for losing.

The no comment is for when we lose because we got out played but not out coached. That mean it can also have a thumbs up.

Since losing is part of a long NBA scedule it's only fair to have the no comment rule.

The thumbs down is reserved for serious questions with what PJ is doing.

Let the fun begin!

GO LAKERS!

mike

BK,

Very nice analysis, but you better duck, you made too much sense.

Just caught the end of the Jerry Buss Hollywood walk a fame thing on T.V.. Next is in my own words with Dr. Buss.

mike

I agree wiith your judgement BK, but only at the beginning of the season. At first, I looked at the beginning of the season for the Lakers as a chance to get a jump start on everybody thanks to the heavy home schedule. Now, for obvious reasons, the standards had to be lower. But I still think that the Lakers season will go whichever way the first 20 games takes them. Now, instead of getting an early lead, the Lakers have to hold down the fort until the reinforcements arrive. If they are at about 11-9 after 20 games, I think they still have a serious shot at being a drak horse in the playoffs. Of course, this is assuming that they are closer to full strength by then, which supposedly, they will be. By then, they "should" have Kobe and Kwame back.

Needlass to say, the biggest point is Kobe's health. If he's ok, the teams ok. If he's not, we're screwed. I think the first couple of games of the season will be the telling signs. If Kobe can play fine, and his knee holds up, then everyone can exhale a sigh of relief. But if it doesn't, and he has to get back to rehabing it, and won't be back until even LATER in the season, and this becomes a season-long situation, then everyone close your eyes. It's gonna get ugly.

Tomorrow we'll know... after all these months...

FINALLY SOME REAL BASKETBALL!!!!!!!!

B.
Cali King

BK
Your assuming the other western confrence teams won't have their share of injuries as well. Phoenix is still having problems with Stoudemire not being able to cut and turn, and they don't have Tim Thomas this year to pick up the slack,( they would have lost to the lakers with out him last year), The Spurs and Dallas are strong but other than that I don't see that much of an improvement on the other squads.

TK

Mike T.
Gotta agree with you about Jalen Rose. He is the type of veteran player we've been advocating. And he should be reasonably cheap because he will get his full final year salary if he was waived by New York. Even if he took a buy-out, he probably got a good chunk of change. And, he is the type of veteran player Mitch and Phil might like for one or two years. And he plays SF, which right now is a weak area. If Rose has any gas still in the tank, go get him Mitch!

In fact, why dont the Lakers get real creative and find McKie a home with New York in an exchange of veterans?

BK,

I didn't read it all but I'm wondering why when there's a question about a player potential or situation about this or that happening or not, you seem to always go with the negative side of the question.

Each question has 2 potential answers. Yes or no. It seems a lot of your estimations lean towards the no part of your observation.

Another thing.

"...Sasha's tenacious defense often accompanied by fouls committed 35 feet from the hoop)."

I think that statement isn't fair. Sure he picks up a foul "35" feet for the basket now and then, but it's not like Sasha is in constant foul trouble. As a matter of fact I don't remember Sasha fouling out. I don't agree with your statement concerning Sasha's defense because he hasn't had enough time on the court to say one way or another. But you take it as a question mark concerning Sasha. Again, two possibilities exist. Yes or no. I go with yes. Sasha will do well this year and eventually replace Parker in the starting line-up. Will that translate to more wins? Only time will tell.

mike

TomK-

I don't think I'm assuming anything. The Lakers are already hurting, moreso than other teams. As for your contention that nobody else really got better, I disagree. Houston, NO/OKC, Utah, GSW, and even Minnesota all underwent some degree of improvement (some more than others). The Clippers should be as good if not a little better. Even Portland could be a more motivated bunch if the malcontents can be moved (don't worry, they're still garbage, though). It's just a tougher conference from top to bottom.

BK

BK,

OK I'll live with your predictions, no complains.

Just finished watching the "In my own words" with Jerry Buss. He right...we're Lakers for life. God, I've been blessed to be following for all these years.

Funny thing happened to end the show. The interviewer asked Dr. Buss about the other team down the hall...about it being another team. I had to laugh when Buss said no it doesn't bother him. But he referred to them as the team from Anaheim. LOL! The look on his face when he said it. LOL! Great stuff!

Jerry Buss...I'm a big fan! I'm pulling for Jim Buss, too. Go Jim!

GO LAKERS!

mike

Mike-

It's not a question of picking the negative for every coin flip, just assesing the chances of all the "ifs" working out in the Lakers favor. Some might, and others won't. I don't know which parts you read, but for example, if you think Bynum and Turiaf are enough to hold down the fort, you can be optimistic if you want, but I don't think they are. Just one example.

As for Sasha, he doesn't foul out b/c he played about 17 minutes a game last year. Hard to foul out in that time, but he has a nasty tendency to pick up bad fouls away from the hoop, because he has to stick so close to his man to be effective as a defender, use his size, and compensate for his lack of quickness. Even if he plays well, for him to play in a way that translates into multiple wins for the team will require a serious leap in performance. Bully for him if he can pull it off, but I need to see it first before I'll chalk that sort of thing up in the Lakers win category.

BK

Like I said, I didn't read it all. It just seems to go in line with the like of the Lakers writer from the other day.

mike

BK

i don't like your predictions, but I can live with them. If we only win 46 games this year and are in the playoffs thats not to bad. If we win more than that and are three rounds deep in the playoffs, well thats just frosting on the cake. It's good not to get our hopes too high.

Bob-

It's what I think will happen. If I'm wrong, they win 53 and reach the WCF, more fun for everyone.

BK

Wow BK, I'm not sure that analysis had any place here. I'm sure you'll get your share of death threats before the end of the day. Hater!

:-)

Michael A-

In my first draft, I had them going 82-0. hahaha.

BK

BK,

Good analysis even if all of us here don't like it. However, I hope, like all the PJ teams before, they will pickup after ALL STAR weekend. We also need to remember one thing, get additional W in deep Western Conf will be even tougher, but picking up couple more wins against Eastern teams should not be such a problem. We should remeber how many games was lost to low teams last season and hope Lakers will deliver this year.

GO LAKERS!!!

I can't believe how negative you are!!

Nice job, BK...a realistic outlook.

All the more reason for the need to be hungry, to bust *ss, and crush all comers this year.

Personally,

I'm willing for us to take a step back this year, if it means that we can take two steps forward next year.

In other words, I'd rather see Kobe take his time getting healthy (Phil too). I'd rather see Lamar take some more time off if that's what he needs to get his head right. I'd rather have Vlad get surgery now, so that he makes sure he doesn't create a career long problem. Most of all, I'd like to see Farmar and Bynum get minutes without worrying about making mistakes (in other words, I'd rather have them airball three 3s at the end of a close game than be afraid to miss because they'd get pulled).

BK good job - to the rest of you all REALITY SUCKS...

Does this make you feel any better BK?
Did AK have to spot you any comments for posting the last column? There should be a handicap, like say 25 comments for the last post. I think that would even it out. But to be honest, I don't think you'll get it. I'd say that AK takes you out with around 30 more comments because of the higher seeding and the latest post.

you are also hurting your cause by posting on his side. You should just respond to as many people as possible to take out AK. Even if you don't get to count your own comments you'll instigate more response. It'll be worth the investment. Just look, I'm posting on this side because of your response on AK's side. You need to lure more people over, this way. I'd say pick a verbal fight with Mike T. He's good for at least 10 comments, say some negative things about Farmar (although LakerTom will probably only give you one lengthy comment and one post-comment) and just throw some outlandish claims like you invented the question mark. That should seal the deal. Let the best K win.

Honest Appraisal - Muchas Gracias!
Worth Debating - Not Degrading !
Although you are completely wrong on win total, I can see your pts
Maybe if your momma hugged you more as a kid you might've given us 48 wins ! ha ha
we got much to talk about tonite

BK,

Your analysis is, IMHO, the best I've read. ESPN and LA Times included. Reality sucks. Don't agree with the first round exit though. At the very least the WCF.

OK, BK, you are the blog-master...Based on your prediction I will go ahead and put down $50,000 on the Lakers to win more than 42 games this year...(Hope you don't let me down!)

bk i got your back u may be right with ur predictions but if we are healthy by mid november then all bets are off we are gonna make some noise this conference isnt that much better than last year same ol bums that we saw last year we are still the youngest so that means everyone else got oder and slower including, nash,ducan,marion,and a list of other stars so i give us a fighters chance to do more than alot of people think so barring injury i think youre wrong but it makes for good banter

There will be more parity in the Western Conference this year. 46 wins can give you a real shot at that fifth seed.

Also, there is a flip side to the injury-coin. The fact that Bynum and Turiaf are going to get an oppurtunity to get their feet wet early in the season can be a monumental leap for the entire Laker frontcourt/team. Anyone remember when Chris got injured? K. Brown stepped in and went to work, which, turned out to be a big lift for the Laker faithful in the playoffs.

Think about this scenario:

Andrew and Ronny are able to hold the fort and gain invaluable experience in the first month of the season. When Chris and Kwuame come back, that will give Phil & Co. a bevy of big, physical defenders they could plug in -- each with their own strengths. Playing Duncan? Throw in Kwuame. Playing Amare? Throw in Andrew, etc,.

In fact, I would go out on a limb and say that this is the best thing that could have happened to the Lakers.

- Ken Rambis, The International Committee for Basketball Brilliance (ICBB)

[Repost]

[Repost]

I promised it. Now you've got it.

VLADAMIR RADMONOVICH'S BIO-CHRONO READING!

Here it goes:

Rad Vlad is a special case (not unlike Kobe and Bynum). Rad is (nearly) as entirely mental as a person can be. He is extraordinarily so.

For those not familiar with Dr. Arthur Mikaelian's Bio-Chrono Analysis here's how it goes:

There are four basic levels of experience: Physical, Emotional, Mental/Social, and Spiritual/Creative.

Each can be experienced relative to one another. So, one can experience the physical physically, emotionally, mentally, and/or spiritually.

How one's Bio-Chrono pattern is established fixes a person's relationship with experience. As such, fulfilling these foci of attention are essential to a person being able to realize their potential, for if these foci are not fulfilled, a person will feel a disconnect from themself and their relationship with life.

Here is how Rad Vlad (Vladmir Radmonivich) is set up on the four basic levels of existence: Physical, Emotional, Mental/Social, Spiritual/Creative

PHYSICAL: (Dual process) Vladmir Radmonivich experiences the physical world primarily mentally (like Shaq and Andrew Bynum). This means that Vladmir's mental state (and social environment) has a strong impact upon his physical state. When Vladmir is in a good physical state (or powerfully impacted by a positive mental state) he feels confident. This feeling of confidence is crucial to Rad Vlad's physical success. Confidence-orientated people are truly "mind over matter" types of people. When they are in a positive state, they can literally will themselves to do things other people cannot. They can overcome great hardships (including real injury), and acheive feats of endurance, athleticism, and physical focus that other people cannot. It is not a matter of them being physically superior. It is a matter of them being able to will their bodies to acheive goals that others may not otherwise have the physical focus to acheive.

The opposite is also true with Rad Vlad. Mentally-orientated physical types are particularly vulnerable to poorly focused or self-destructive mindsets. When in a negative physical (or social) state, they become fearful, insecure, lack confidence, and make poor physical decisions. These are the types of people who can be prone to hypercondriacism. They can make themselves sick, simply by thinking negatively.

The whole reason a confidence-orientated person like Shaq cannot make freethrows has nothing to do with his body. It's his mind. He is not confident about making freethrows, thus when he wills himself to physically act when attempting freethrows, his body does not respond effeciently and he performs a terrible freethrow action and flings up a brick.

However, we have all seen Shaq perform physical feats seemingly beyond his hulkish physical capacities. Why? Because he is confident in certain actions, so his body responds with extraordinary effeciency, and he amazes.

This same scenario is true for Rad Vlad. If Rad Vlad is confident (as a result of a discplined, positive mind supported by a stable, positive social environment) he has the ability to be a remarkable (almost supernaturally so) shooter. When not, he will throw up bricks.

So, it is very important for Rad Vlad to maintain and deepen his sense of personal confidence.

(Dual Process) Rad Vlad also experiences the physical world with heavy emphasis upon the creative/spiritual. (Though this is not as significant as his mental influence upon the physical.)

This means that it is also very important for Rad Vlad to feel attractive in life and feel attracted to new experiences (like Luke Walton). It is important for Rad Vlad to acheive his physical potential that he be able to be creative in life and feel that people are drawn to him. In short, it is important that he stand out, that he not just be part of the crow.

Rad Vlad's spiritual life is very important to his physical effeciency. He needs a significant spiritual meaning and creative freedom to acheive his full potential. Infusing his understanding of basketball with spiritual metaphors should be of great benefit to him.

The opposite is also true with Rad Vlad. If he feels outcast, unattractive, and most importantly STAGNANT in his life, it will significantly negatively impact the inventiveness of his physcially creative decision making process. He will make stupid, inflexible decisions and he will be unable to learn new physical skills.

EMOTIONAL: Rad Vlad perceives his emotional world primarily from a mental/social perspective. This means the most important factor in Rad Vlad's emotional life is his ability to feel trusted and to trust others.

Ah... trust-orientated people. They are your best friends... and your worst enemies. They are classically inflexible emotionally. So, it is best to stay upon their good side, for once you are on their bad side, it is very, very difficult to regain their trust.

Trust orientated people love open, honest communication. It does not always have to be positive. It simply has to be honest for these people are human lie detectors and they hate liars. They forgive people easily, when they are honest. They condemn people with hatred when they are deceptive.

Their social environment is very important to them. When they trust their social environment, they will sacrifice themselves from them. When they do not trust their social environment, they will insidiously work to undermine the individual members of their group.

Trust-orientated people are people who you can trust above all others, but they are also the most untrustworthy people (when they are in a negative state.)

If you want a trust orientated person to be trustworthy (like Rad Vlad), honestly trust them, and they will rise to the occasion. It is that simple. They feel a need to perform and prove their trustworthiness, for when their word is valued, they value their word.

It is terribly painful for a trust-orientated person to be distrusted (particularly by those they care about or respect). It causes them to lose perspective and their sense of self. They become untrustworthy.

However, when they view others (not close to them) as liars, untrustworthy, or "bad" they are literally your worst fricken enemy. Perhaps even too viscious an enemy. They feel a duty to "cleanse" their environment of people they distrust.

Don't go into battle against a confident, angry, trust-orientated person who thinks you are a conniving liar who is out to hurt the people he cares about.

You will lose.

MENTAL/SOCIAL: Rad Vlad experiences the mental aspect of life mentally/socially (like Kobe). This means that it is very important for Vlad to feel respected and (in particular) IMPORTANT in his social group.

It is very important for Vlad's mental state that he feel right and that he feel respected. When Vlad feels respected and that he has a pattern of making the right decisions, he acheives great mental clarity. He is able to make decisions that are not only good for him, but good for others. His mental focus (and, oddly enough, unselfishness) becomes extraordinary.

However, if Vlad does not feel that he is important, nor respected, he loses clarity and becomes extremely disrespectful to others. He will make categorical judgements without thinking them through.

Respect-orientated people have a strange paradox. They have a tendency to be very judgemental (on both a positive and negative level), but they HATE to be judged by others.

It is important to be compassionate towards them (even when they're being a jerk) and acknowledge their social importance constantly.

In addition, they need a nurturing and supportive social environment (which they can trust). A negative and/or parasitic and/or dishonest/untrustworthy social environment will completely unbalance a respect-orientated person.

They need people with clear-cut values and they thrive upon those kinds of social environments. Rad Vlad is not exception.

SPIRITUAL/CREATIVE: Vladmir experiences the spiritual/creative world primarily mentally (like Larar Odom). This means that the most important thing in Vladmir's life is faith--faith in others, having others believe in him, and faith in ideals (what is right and wrong).

When these things happen, faith-orientated people (Vlad, Lamar) are able to accomplish amazing things.

They literally use their minds to will reality to shape to their sense of what should happen.

General Patton was faith-orientated. Faith-orientated people make great generals because when they believe in victory, victory is acheived.

Faith-orientated people like to have clear goals and focus their minds upon their goals. When they do so, they focus their perception of reality upon exploring what they already believe is real. Thus their reality begins to conform to their belief and they begin to experience their belief.

This is true both positively and negatively.

It is very important for faith-orientated people to have positive, beneficient beliefs because when their beliefs are negative, the negative begins to become manifest in their lives.

Even worse (for these people) is when they lose faith.

Faith-orientated people need direction. They need focus. When they lose it, they really lose it. They become like people lost at sea, hopeless and unsure of anything. While this experience is painful for anyone, for a faith-orientated person accustomed to navigating life with a warrior's sense of strength, this sense of helplessness separates them from all life and they suffer enormously.

And they must struggle with incredible energy to regain their focus, or they are consumed by their last of focus and meander forever through life like ghosts.

So is true for Rad Vlad.

(And Lamar. You can see why the death of his child was so incredibly painful. It has caused him to reassess everything he believed in life. Poor guy. We don't know how bad he suffered. He has been in hell.)
-------------------------------

Analysis:

So Rad Vlad has a particularly POWERFUL (and unbalanced) Bio-Chrono chart.

He is INCREDIBLY mentally orientated. The mind is a double-edged sword, it can cut a path forward with amazing power and precision. It can also trap a person in illusion and suffering.

This is the crux of Vladmir Radmonovich's life.

If any man is a true coach to Rad Vlad, they will respect this fact and strengthen his potential.

They will do so by helping provide a supportive, trustworthy social environment.

They will do so by being honest with Rad Vlad.

They will do so by having respect for Rad Vlad's potential and the incredible power of his mind.

Since Vlad is mental (primarily) on all four levels of perception. Each of those levels magnify the others. Thus, Vlad is even MORE confidence-orientated than other confidence-orientated people. He is even MORE trust-orientated that other trust-orientated people. He is even MORE respect-orientated that other respect-orientated people. He is even MORE faith-orientated that other faith orientated people.

In short, his mind is incredibly power. He literally is psychic. That is no bullcrap. He is.

He is also incredibly vulnerable to negative social environments. Social support is remarkably important to his life. Lack therof will ruin him.

(Andrew Bynum is mental on three of four levels. He is also a very powerful [and vulnerable] Bio-Chrono.) Quite frankly, this team (Lamar, Bynum, and Kobe included) have a hell of a lot of mental energy associated with them. It's a good thing, but our coaches better fricken manage it properly or there is hell to pay.)

In short, Vladmir Radmonovich has the potency of remarkable power. If he (and his social group/coaches--because literally he cannot do it alone) are able to unleash it, he is unbeatable.

Period.

GO LAKERS!

P.S. Jordan Farmar also has a great Bio-Chrono reading. Not as extraordinary/unbalanced as Vlad's, but solid. Farmar's next!

P.P.S. Another thing about Rad Vlad (and Lamar Odom for that matter). They are very much about the concept of "TEAM". "Team" is a state for them. If they are with their team, they will work their hearts out for their team's victory. If they feel out of place or unappreciated by their team, they will be particularly uninspired, even unconsciously undermining their forced "team".

So it is very important for these two players to feel important in their team and feel that their personal values are also the values to their group. When this is so, they excel.

Et tu, BK? Et tu?

Time for you to get in the dungeon with Mark Heisler!

GO LAKERS!

Jon K,

In fairness to BK, he does have the Lakers making the playoffs and winning only 2 less games than me, so I'm not sure he's quite earned "dungeon" status.

Then again, we're both Shakespeare fans, so an "et tu" reference is always appreciated. haha

AK

AK,

The only way we are not getting out of the first round is through a viscious act of God and/or injuries!

Do you honestly think this team is not as strong as last years team?

It is stronger.

The league, in general, is not significantly (if at all) stronger than last year, so why wouldn't the Lakers have a stronger finish? Last year wasn't happenstance. It was an expression of quality.

The quality has improved.

[And I don't want to hear any cockeymaney sense of learned wisdom and all that crap! Truthiness reigns here, buster!]

In all honesty, AK, seriously, I don't doubt.

I have faith in my team.

It can't be fully rationalized.

But I have a real faith in this team.

And all I have to back me is the observations of a life as a Los Angeleno and a lifetime Laker fan. There's something different about this year. Something special.

I can't wait to get started.

GO LAKERS!

BK,

I respect your views about the Lakers but I noticed that you put a lot of emphasis on the preseason injuries and surgeries that sidelined some core players. Injuries are part of NBA experience but to relate it to the slowing down of Lakers Train Express would be too premature. I will not consider Clippers, Utah, Golden State and NO/K better than Lakers. I believe there will be two kinds of Lakers showing up, the first two months will be the Lakers winning of 6 out 10 games (.600) and the second half, it will explode to 8 out 10 (.800) because they will gel in getting acquainted with everyone's move. I believe this roster is better than the Lakers of Tomjanovich, much better than last year when Smush, Sasha, Cook, Walton, Kwame were at a loss, standing around in watching Kobe. At this time, there are 16 players in the roster, I would consider only 2 players who will be left outs as benchwarmers while the 14 players can immediately contribute to the team at any given day. The Lakers could only play 12 players, so they can really afford to sit down two guys whether it is Kwame or Mihm.

There are two things that I regret that did not happen this year. The Front Office did not really lure a Star Player with the likes of KG or Harrington that could directly help Kobe, Lamar Vlad & Baby Bynum. Secondly, granted that they settled in acquiring middle of the road players, they did not compensate their inadequacy to an early preseason training (or early decision on surgeries sic!) that could have accelerate the formation of a strong a cohesive team since many were really interested in practicing at El Segundo gym. Because of these situations, I'd consider the first two weeks of November as a spillover of the preseason in getting to use with the positioning in the triangle, getting to use with the favorite moves of teammates and switching their defenses by helping one another. All of these matters a lot in the synchronization of wheels of Laker Train Express that could move smoothly towards the season, it is just unfortunate they were riddled by injuries. As a Laker fan since Jerry West era, once the season starts and the ball is on play - forget those statistics, forget realism, what counts most is the passion and the spirit to WIN at all costs.

I WANT ANSWERS AK! YOU CAN'T HIDE FROM ME! YOUR PALTRY DESK IN SOME RATHOLE CUBICLE AT L.A. TIMES ISN'T ENOUGH TO ESCAPE MY WRATH!

ANSWER ME, PUNK!

ANSWER ME!

YOU FEEL LUCKY, PUNK? WELL, DO YOU?

GO LAKERS!

ONCE AGAIN- DO NOT CONFUSE WITH LOGIC.PLEASE??????

SURE WISDOM AND LOGIC.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE SPIRITUAL DIMENSION OF THE
GAME.

THATS GOTTA GET US ABOUT 5 OR 6 WINS RIGHT THERE.

Jon K,

A) Calm down.

B) I work from home, not the Times offices. And my apartment is rather pleasant, with nary a rat in sight.

C) Calm down.

D) I would disagree that the league has gotten no stronger. I think the West's elite teams all either added good pieces or, at the very minimum, didn't lose anyone important enough to make me think they can't get simply stronger by building on what they did. In the meantime, those teams strike me as having fewer "what if" scenarios than the Lakers, who added some nice but not monumental pieces. Thus, I think the Lakers will be very competitive with these other teams, but not quite as good.

E) Calm down.

F) By your own admission, your faith isn't entirely rationalized, so to some degree, you have to chalk it up as a bit of "homerism." Nothing wrong with being a homer, of course. It's a requirement of all fans. But these posts were written with a "homer-free" mindset, so that doesn't apply.

G) Seriously, buddy. Calm down. I'm worried about ya. haha

AK

THE DARK ARTS OF REASON AND LOGIC WILL BE YOUR
DOWN FALL IN THE END. ALL WHO PRATICE THESE DARK
ARTS BELIEVE THE TRUTH CAN BE FOUND ONLY IN THE NUMBERS AND THE FACTS. HOWEVER THE HUMAN SPIRIT
CANNOT BE MEASURED BY SUCH REASONING.

AK= HOW DARE YOU ACCUSE US OF "HOMERISM".

ALL OF US BLOGGERS PRIDE OURSELVES ON OUR NEUTRALITY

AK/BK- AFTER READING VLAD'S BIO-CHRONO READING ,
YOU STILL ONLY PREDICT 46-48 WINS????????????????

WE GET REALITY SLAMMED DOWN OUR THROATS EVERYDAY
WE GO TO WORK. WE COME HOME ONLY TO GET IT SLAMMED DOWN OUR THROATS AGAIN ON THE LAKERBLOG. UNFAIR.

IF I WANTED REALITY I COULD WATCH THE NEWS.

DON'T CONFUSE US WITH THE FACTS>

Edwin,
So the Lakers will win 70% of their games this year? 57 games? OK, now I understand!! You're increasing your win prediction as the injuries increase!! I had not realized the direct correlation between the two!! This injury to Kobe was a blessing!

Hey guys,

Don't ever ask the opinion of Ak/Bk of the Lakers, you will not surely like their answer. Just assume that they are NBA basketball fans not necessarily the Lakers.

Being the author of Laker Blogs, nothing is personal, it's just business!

You see Ak, you have to understand in talking to Laker fans which is essentially the market of your blog. They have expected an extra passion from you since you started this blog but it appears as though you're out-of-towners running the blog contradicting with every flow of that passion and consider yourselves as rational thinkers then these fans are the opposite which is therefore irrational carried by too much homerism.

I compare you to Chick Hearns, he rationalizes with every fan's query but he was not a contrarian. He inspires his listeners by telling them how to improve the ideas and not to discourage it. In my view, both of you are contrarians leading the Laker Blog. It really does not connect, why are you in this business if your heart does not jibe with your mind to be with this team? You belonged to the alliances of John Ireland that categorize these bloggers are a bunch of "whack jobs" and yet you make a living out of these fans. I hope you get what I'm trying to put across.

Stargazin-

I did consider bumping the win total a few ticks, but the I realized that frankly, I have no idea what Jon is talking about in those posts.

bmurph-

Thanks for the help in running up my comment totals. I appreciate it.

Edwin-

It's not simply a question of teams being better than the Lakers (though I think the Clippers are), it's a question of there being fewer teams in the conference that suck. Games that might have been considered chippies last year will be tougher this year. I think the distance between teams 6-12 could be pretty tight.

BK

Exhelodrvr,

What I said that due to injuries and lack of a real preseason training, the first two months will be a hard climb winning only 6 ot 10 games which (.600) but after the All Star Break, I see some fluidity due to their familiarity with each other and assuming of course, they are healthy they'll win 8 out of 10 games (.800) I don't know whether that results to 57 games, I prefer to deal with probabilities without any exact number. Eventhough I belonged to the 55 wins bandwagon, I said in the past I value playoff wins rather than season wins. To me, the second season is the only ones that counts for Conference leading to Championship.

Edwin,

Actually, I think understand our readership-who seems to enjoy what we do very much- quite well. What you don't understand, however, is that BK and I were hired to focus our passion into making the blog as great as possible, not to be cheerleaders. We were also hired to give our honest evaluation of the team, not to be cheerleaders. We've never told any fan to stop thinking the team could win 55, 60, or 82 games. But we also won't lie about our opinions simply for the sake of being "rah rah." It's both insulting to our readership's intelligence and damaging to our credibility.

Also, anyone who ever spent five minutes listening to Chick Hearn knows that he was the last guy to ever blow smoke up a fan's ass and make any team out to be better than they were. Chick was a straight shooter who had too much respect for fans to simply tell them what they wanted to hear. I try to emulate that quality and hope, on my best day, I can maybe do the half the job Chick did.

AK

Edwin-

I think what people want is a site in which they get a place to communicate with Laker fans, talk hoops, get some information they may not otherwise get (in the form of interviews, additional stuff from practices and games that doesn't normally make it into game reports, etc.), and hopefully get all that in a fun, entertaining environment. As far as I can tell, that's what we try to provide. I don't think anyone here is asking us to be homers, and frankly if they were, we still wouldn't do it, because for us to approach this in any other way but honestly hurts the blog. People are smart enough not to need a cheerleader at every corner. They want a place to talk and debate Lakers basketball.

If you want to believe that my saying the team will make the playoffs and win 46 games is all that contrarian, go ahead. Frankly, it's actually better than the projections of others in my industry. I don't think they'll win 55 games, I don't think they'll make the WCF. You want to debate why you think they will? Go for it. We can do it every day. We don't "discourage it" or any other form of debate and ideas, as you seem to suggest.

Finally, yeah, I'm not a born and bred Lakers fan, but I like the team and enjoy covering them. And I certainly have no vested interest in them losing. What do I gain by that? And as for AK, I'd put his die-hard, bleed purple and gold credentials against anyone posting here. Your statement, "you belong to the alliances of John Ireland that categorize these bloggers as a bunch of "whack jobs" and yet you make a living off these fans" implies that AK and I treat our readers with contempt, somehow exploiting them to make a buck, and frankly I think that's out of line. We communicate with our audience, take suggestions, try to provide content tailored to what readers want. Rather than exploit our audience, I think we show a great deal of respect and responsiveness.

If you want homerism, you may be on the wrong blog. If you want what we provide, I hope you stay.

BK

AK/BK,

Deep in my heart, I always praise your professionalism in running this blog. When I said that in your statements, in your opinions, in your threads you guys lack that passion of purple and gold in line with your audience and yet you make a living out of them, indeed, it may appear really hurtful and a direct assault as though I'm questioning your existence. It is better to be honest on what we feel rather than hide it because sadly, that's the reception we are getting from your views. BK provided an honest opinion that this team will only win 46 that's fine, but to accuse Laker fans as homerism, what do you expect from us? We are here in LA, THIS IS OUR TURF and it is understandable that we support our home team. Am I not being honest in saying that you are in the business of promoting exchange of opinions about the Lakers and yet, there is small iota of support from the promoters? Is it not true that you really don't have that passion and prefer not to be cheerleaders? BK, even we have to be cordial and respectful with each other eventually, those two point of views will surely clash. You would be asking to yourself, why are these people so demanding? In our case, we will also be constantly asking how come they don't show loyalty to their product? Let's leave it from there.

"Oh, spite! Oh hell! I see you all are bent
To set against me for your merriment.
If you were civil and knew courtesy,
You would not do me thus much injury."

LOL...just kidding BK.

Like I said...bummer, but like us, you're entitled to your opinion. Plus it will just make it so much more fun to prove you guys wrong lol.

Goooo Lakers!

K bros,

I just want you let you guys know that one of the reasons that I appreciate you guys so much is that you are a step of an LA tradition and that means you give an honest non biased opinion. Chic Hearn, Vin Scully, Jim Murray. What made these guys, excuse me, legends great is the fact that they were/are the utmost professionals. The emptiness left by Murray and Hearn's passing have left big shoes to fill, you guys have had the best start of any of the LA journalists in that you have made the best attempts to embody their journalistic integrity. One of the things that I hate about other cities reporters/announcers is that they are complete homers. The Angels announcers drive me absolutely crazy. One time I actually heard an announcer say on radio "I don't know what to tell you, I just love the Angels." It made me want to puke. And its not even regulated to Anaheim.

So just keep up the good work, stay true/professional, I'd love to see you guys get a print column (I'd love for you to replace Plaschke, guy is a drama queen in black and white). As for me, though, I'm a fan so I'll probably keep on with my bias (55 wins baby!).

Thank you K bros

Breene Murphy

Plus you guys have great puns

Edwin,

How am I not loyal to the Lakers? I root for their success and have taken a very active interest in that success long before I was paid to write about them. And we've never told fans not to be homers. We encourage it, by all means. But we also call it like we see it, so if we think that homer mentality is clouding a reader's perspective on a topic, we say so. That often creates a debate, which is hopefully enjoyable for everyone involved. And again, that's what our readership (except you, perhaps) seems to like about us.

Like BK suggested, if you're looking for an unabashed, "rah rah" presentation, you're probably best off seeking out another blog. We were neither hired to do that nor have any interest in it. The "passion," as you accused us of lacking, is in our efforts to make this blog as entertaining, insightful, and energetic as possible. We don't need to be cheerleaders. Our readers handle that task quite well on their own.

AK

bmurph-

Thanks. Those are landmark names in LA sports journalism. That you get even some of the same enjoyment from us is rewarding.

And I'm glad you like the puns. Frankly, I often find them hard to resist.

BK

Lebron is on the daily show....

Bmurph,

Frankly, it's a little embarassing to be mentioned with those names, since I'm nowhere in their league. But I nonetheles appreciate the nice words.

AK

AK,

We are speaking in different frequencies. I am all praises the way you run the blog which is really entertaining, insightful as you said. I enjoyed the debate and the readership that you referred. On the contrary your rationalization to JK was also insensitive, you struck some discordant chords on the subject of homerism.

Perhaps, I am questioning your desires and interests as Laker fans based on your rationalizations. In a way, you will say, our opinion is personal so why bother to question? But being the authors of this blog, I compare you to a Marketing Manager who is about to launch a Sales Campaign. Being that manager, you don't let your sales people do their own thing on the eve of the campaign, you call them to arms, rally them to make them aware that you are with them as they go to their field assignments. It is like Napoleon Bonaparte talking to his french army on a very cold winter night that they were about to march to Russia. Perhaps that is the misconceptions we are experiencing, you are not that leader nor that manager that will lead these Laker fans but merely moderators and reporters. You cannot be cheerleaders because it's against your principles as a journalists, you have to air your honest opinions whether it is favorable or unfavorable to these bloggers. So all of my posts were asking "why not?"

With that analogy, we expected you to say something good about the Lakers or don't even bother to mention it on the advent of the season. On the other hand being a balanced reporters, you did not sense that excitement from these fans. You believe it was time for you to reveal your choices. Was the timing right to air your "personal" opinions right after of series of perceived negativism from Ireland, Simers, Heisler< I don't know. Had you continued your balanced reporting and never reveal your personal views maybe people will not be as emotional and touchy.

So I hope I was able to bridge our different frequencies. In the end, to keep us all calm for the rest of the evening I apologize if I appeared to be that vociferous blogger that treated you with contempt. Nothing personal just asking questions, if it is not true, then I am sorry I asked.

Edwin, the bloggers on this site a) are not all of one mind (in that they think the Lakers will win 55+ games, for example), b) not in need of pacification, and c) smart enough to read something, agree or disagree, and move along. As far as I can tell, our season previews created no great popular uprising or discontent. Just some folks who think we underestimated their win total (and plenty, I'd imagine, who think we overestimated it). We're not blind, we recognize the excitement people have for the start of the season. We're excited, too. You say "we" expected AK and I to say something "good" about he Lakers. I would argue we did- since when did good exclusively mean 55 wins and a trip to the WCF?- but that's beyond the point. I don't think you accurately represent the opinions of the "we" as you think you do. "We", I would imagine, expected us to give our season previews in a (hopefully) entertaining and informative way. Our audience is a diverse bunch.


BK

AK/BK

Thank you for your season predictions. Frankly, the only reason I read the blog is to get a better feel for whats going on with my team, as they dont televise many Laker games where I live.

And to be honest, I agree that most people on this blog don't see the glass half full, they see it overflowing with ambrosia. It is sometimes difficult to remember that we are one serious injury away from the lottery when people are screaming about 55 wins, and the WCF; so your sober appraisals are appreciated.

Personally, I think even you guys are being a bit too optimistic. I would put the over/under for this season at 44 wins. And just to add further sobriety to the discussion, the Las Vegas odds makers, who make a career out of predicting these sorts of things, put the over/under at 43. (That means that there is a 50% the Lakers will win more than 43, and 50% they will win less than 43.)

Is 55 wins a possibility. Yes, but its a possibility for the Jail Blazers as well. Is it going to happen. No way, not this season.

I've been shouting it this blog since last year for the Lakers to acquire Jalen Rose.

He can be a Scottie Pippen or a Ron Harper in the triangle.

Go Lakers.
1-0 in team standings tommorow.

AK,

I was just joking.

We all know that you (and to a lesser extent) BK are not the enemy.

Thanks for your response.

Go Team.

GO LAKERS!

Edwin,

Don't worry just pen AK/BK under the "we told ya so" category. They'll be all merry and cheerful with nothing but positive things to say about the lakers by all star break, probably chide themselves with some not so funny remark about how they along with all the critics underestimated the heart of this team. So for now kick back and relax, and every time Bynum dunks tonight, scream out loud "throw it down big man, throw it down, BK don't know nothing about you, AK never heard of u yo, and the suns are getting 2 know ya" ...

To h*ll with the critics,
In Kobe, Lamar, & Co we Trust,
Go Lakers

BK,

Happy Halloween, trick or treat.

We have cleared the air, bridged some frequencies though it produced static reactions. Undoubtedly, it was an honest exchange. Today is another new day. What was aired last night,let's leave it to yesterday.

Let the games begin, Go Lakers.

Putrid,
I think 44 will be much closer than 55 for the win total, but remember that the oddsmakers place the odds based on how they predict people will bet, not on what they think the actual outcome will be.

Happy Halloween everybody,
I going to go as KG. Maybe it will bring us luck!

AK/BK -- from a rational fan and a fellow journalist -- you're doing a great job. Stay honest, keep channeling Chick, and keep giving the depth of insight, the humor of writing, and the personal touch that makes this blog more informative and enjoyable than 99% of basketball and Lakers writing out there.


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