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Extra! Extra! (11.6)

Obviously, the Lakers weren't going undefeated on the season, so you had to expect a final result like last night's at some point. That said, a result can still come off a quality effort, which isn't how most would chalk up the 117-101 loss to the Sonics.

Perhaps the Lakers peaked too early, hitting their first seven shots before coming up dry. But thar "lucky 7" naturally went down during the first quarter and once it ended, so did the Lakers' fortunes. Apparently, the Lakers didn't enjoy having ownership of the ball- or just wanted to make Slick Watts smile — because they became dead set on giving it to Seattle at every possible opportunity.

It was also not the best night for either Kobe Bryant or Lamar Odom, the former still searching for his burst after returning from knee surgery, the latter simply not as aggressive as during his first three games (or stranded without as many opportunities to be aggressive, depending on whose opinion you'd like). The evening also spoiled a potential "stick it to my old team night" for Vlad Radmanovic, who spent almost five seasons in coffee and grunge country. Instead, the Northwest defector had to settle for boo birds and a crummy box score.

It ain't easy sharing Ronny Turiaf and Fred Hoiberg's bond. But at least they're alive to share it.

If you've got a little extra time on your hands, this baby's about as long as The Odyssey and has absolutely nothing to do with the Lakers, but it's without a doubt fascinating.

Because what would a day be without a "KG to L.A." scenario?

If further evidence is needed to show "Scarface" has influenced many an NBA player (and trust us, it's not even remotely required), here ya go.

 
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Since I’m trying to stay positive, I’m glad that we lost as a team (we all sucked at the same time). We played good basketball the first 3 games as a team, and yesterday the entire team drank from the same “suck” water-cooler and lost together.

While I am concerned about our “D”, I reserve judgment until Kobe gets back to 100%. We’re getting shredded on the perimeter, and part of that has to do with Smush’s lackluster defense and frequent gambles. But with Kobe at 100% Smush’s defensive woes are reduced to not being able to stop dribble penetration. Last night our rotations on the perimeter sucked. That has a lot to do with Kobe being a step slow and not having his game-rhythm down yet. As he improves so will the perimeter “D”. I guess we’re just going to have to take some licks out there until KB24 gets back into game-shape.

As someone else pointed out, we need Kwame and Mihm back, pronto. Our interior “D” is hurting right now, and it is being compounded by the poor perimeter “D”. Kwame brings a better defensive presence in the middle that is lacking right now (which is why I think he is better suited as a center). Hopefully he can jump right into the flow when he gets back this weekend.

As much as I like what Bynum has shown so far, I still think he has many more fundamentals to work on before he takes away playing time from Kwame or Mihm (who I am still on the fence on because I don’t think he will be as effective as he used to be because of the severity of his injury; it has Devin George written all over it). Still, I think Bynum will get plenty of minutes with the 2nd unit to develop his game.

THE JACKSON JOURNAL: 4th Game- Seattle Supersonics
By Michael C. Teniente

This game doesn’t get a thumb’s up or a thumb’s down. It’s one game in a long season. Loses are to be expected. This is a pattern game (Think trends). Since I mentioned most of this stuff in the last Jackson Journal entry this is just a continuance of what was said before.

A QUOTE FROM SILENCE OF THE LAMBS:

Clarice Starling:
“You see a lot don't you doctor (PJ). Why don't you turn that high-powered perception at yourself and tell us what you see, or, maybe you're afraid to.”

That line has been running through my mind for a couple of days now. It reminds me of PJ. There’s no doubt he’s a great coach. There’s no doubt he’s an intellectual. But he seems to only want to see the game through his own eyes. He doesn’t seem to want to turn his eyes on himself and count himself as part of the equation.

KEY OBSERVATION:

Once again, it’s the rotations. As one of my fellow bloggers mentioned in the game thread: Why the massive rotation change?

I repect Phil’s quote of Tex Winters’ line: "… a win covers a myriad of illnesses or problems." I see the problems, too. It’s the defense. The points the Lakers scored in the first three games were deceiving. I think, if you look at it clearly, we’re missing Kwame Brown more than what we realize. But that doesn’t give PJ an excuse to go with that line-up he had in the second quarter. Brian Cook as the big? We’ll get killed every time. My point is: Sure there are problems, but PJ doesn’t have to expose those problems by putting the whole 2nd unit in at the same time. Especially when he only plays Turiaf for 4 minutes in the 2nd quarter in favor of Cook. I assume PJ’s quoting of Tex Winter was about the defense. How does putting Brian Cook in the middle fit into that thinking? He compounds the matter because…why?

A win does cover a myriad of illnesses or problems, but you don’t get to say that when you create situations that expose those illnesses/problems when you know it’s something we need to cover. We still have injuries and you have to cover for those injuries. It’s questionable, to me, for a coach to press his point while we’re still not dealing with a full hand. The schedule is soft right now. We have to put the best possible combinations, while we have a chance to do well during this time of injury.

I’m not disappointed with the 2nd half rotation patterns. We had a little run. PJ mixed well, or at least differently, in the 2nd half, I thought. But it was too little, too late. But we saw the potential of what this team can do with the right combinations.

Although it was desperation with Kobe, Vlad Rad, Sasha, Farmar, and Cook in the line-up towards the end, I still don’t understand why Cook was in the middle. You have shooters with Kobe, Vlad Rad, and Sasha, but no defense with Cook in the middle. I mean if you want to make a run you have to have a little defense, don’t you? I like the idea of Vlad Rad and Sasha in those situations but only if you have a balance of Kobe and Lamar, too. That is, of course, with a defensive presence. I don’t know why, but it seems PJ wants to go small too much. The Lakers have the potential to go big…but PJ, it seems, is looking for excuses to go small when it’s not necessary.

I’m going to stress this one more time. Sure it’s early in the season, but we’re missing our starting center and defensive anchor. This is not the time to experiment. This is the time to survive the lack of a defensive anchor, especially against teams like the Seattle Supersonics.

OK, now I’m going to say something that might get a few of you a little heated with me. I’m not sure but I think PJ isn’t happy with the idea of playing these young guys. My feeling is that PJ feels he HAS to play Bynum and Turiaf because of the injury to Brown and Mihm. But it looks like, to me, that he has a preference for “experience.” That’s only logical, but when that “experience” is wrapped up in Brian Cook in the middle, anchoring the defense…pride cometh before the fall.

I feel that PJ can’t deny the production of what Bynum and Turiaf have brought to this point. But I don’t think he’s comfortable playing these young guys. Not because they don’t produce but because old habits are hard to break. Seriously, I think PJ is going to be challenged to break from his old ways of thinking of not giving these young guys the proper playing time to develop. I’m thinking he’s looking for an excuse to have them sit.

I’m marking this one down as a rookie watch. In other words: lets watch how he plays Bynum and Turiaf when Kwame Brown returns. I feel both Bynum and Turiaf deserve big back-up minutes, but I have a suspicion that PJ will find a reason to decrease their minutes disproportionately when Brown returns. I got a feeling he’s going to go with Brian Cook over one of those two players. That’s just something to keep your eyes on. It may not be true, but lets write it down and see how it all works out. I’m not going to mention Jordan Farmar because he just can’t be denied playing time.

2ND OBSERVATION:

I don’t like the idea of Kobe Bryant’s lack of aggressiveness. Team ball is great! Super great! But without a deadly Kobe Bryant…it’ll fall short. We need Kobe Bryant to be Kobe Bryant. We need teams to double and triple team Kobe. They’re not going to double and triple team Kobe if he’s just a part of the fabric. We need the mamba as a game tactic. The problem with that is the other players’ becoming passive. It’s almost like it has to be one way or the other, when it doesn’t have to be. I mean: Didn’t we get rid of Shaq because he didn’t want to play 2nd fiddle to Bryant? The offense has to revolve around Kobe Bryant to make everyone else effective and not the other way around. Right now I think we’re over passing like it’s the “in” thing to do.

I would like to see more Mo Evans playing with Kobe and Lamar in the game at the same time.

3rd OBSERVATION:

Vlad Rad and Sasha…come on guys! Quit trying to do everything with a politically correct mind-set. Vlad Rad was brought in here to shoot the ball. But what I’m seeing is Vlad Rad trying to show us he can do other things. I think that’s a mistake. He has to plant himself at the 3 point line and shoot away first and then incorporate the other parts of his game has the season goes on. I’m talking about his offense. I like his defensive effort. Sasha has to shoot, too. Quit thinking too much. Establish the shot first then do all that team stuff as the season progresses.

My thinking is that everyone wants to do the right thing with this team ball concept, which is great. But don’t let it strip you of what you do best. Walton, I can understand his mind-set. But Vlad Rad is not Walton. Sasha is not Walton. Quit trying to do Walton things. When you have a shot, take it without thinking about it. We have Odom, Walton, and Farmar to do the creating. Vlad Rad and Sasha need to do what they do best. They need to shoot to spread the defenses. They need to shoot to create room for our bigs. In the words of Jerry West: What the “F” are you guys doing? LOL! I don’t know if Jerry uses those types of words, I just heard that he did. J

22 turnovers?

INDEPENANT THOUGHT:

Yeah, this team is deep. But it’s not so deep that you can just replace 5 guys with 5 other guys at the same time.

In the last Jackson Journal entry I talked about “strange/questionable rotation patterns.” This entry is continuance of that thought. But I also want to make sure the rookie/young player watch is recorded, too. I’m not really writing this stuff as an original thought or observations. I’m going on PJ’s reputation. Everyone knows about his strange/questionable rotation patterns. Everyone knows about his treatment of rookies and young players. That’s why I’m writing this stuff down. To see what it looks like when it’s pointed out for everyone to see on a game-to-game bases. Also, I’m writing it down because I think we have a championship ball club on our hands. Obviously the experts don’t think so. That’s all right because I don’t care what they think. My feeling is that PJ might not be the right coach to take these guys to the next level. PJ might not think this is a championship ball club, either. If that’s his thinking he’ll coach with that mind-set, hence, the experiments.

Many of you on this blog might not think this is a championship ball club, either. If that’s the case, you’ll praise PJ no matter what he does as long as he get between 45-50 wins and gets to the playoffs. You’ll say, well, look at what he was working with. He did a great job! His best coaching ever! I don’t buy that. I think this is a championship caliber ball club and the only thing that will prevent that from happening is PJ stubborn ways. So, I’ll just continue to write the Jackson Journal and let the observations speak for themselves.

One more thing: I’m also writing it because of how the media loves to praise PJ and kill Kobe Bryant.

NOTES:

Man, Danny Fortson is one dirty player. Did you see how he hit Kobe in the face? The other day, against Seattle I saw one of the Sonics’ players, basically, throw Kobe Bryant to the ground. Kobe responded by doing some push-ups. Now, how those acts don’t get a technical foul is beyond me. This is David Stern’s pure hypocrisy. He has the refs calling technical fouls for players “expressing” themselves to the refs, but he allows this brutal behavior? I thought he was trying to civilize the game.

I also heard that Steve Nash and Kevin Garnett have been getting away with yelling at the refs. What is going on? If this technical foul rule is going to be strictly enforced, doesn’t that include Nash and Garnett? I thought it was no tolerance. I read that Garnett was yelling at the refs and the refs were telling him to: Calm down! Calm down! But never gave him a technical foul for complaining. What kind of hypocrisy is that? This guy, David Stern, has the nerve to say there is no partiality in how his refs are calling a game? Give me a break. Better yet, fine me.

This guy, David Stern, is tinkering with the game to the point where it seems like he’s bored. He’s done a great job in marketing the game, but at some point in time there’s a limit to what a man can do. Stern may have reached his limits, and, again, he’s just tinkering now. I think the league has outgrown David Stern. It might be time to hand the baton to another.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/photo?slug=adb5f90ea8dd40849a3e31b07e75ee73.lakers_supersonics_basketball_wakc110&prov=ap

Come on Phil…figure this out and lead us to the Promised Land.

mike

p.s. AK/BK that new logo on top with the “ultimate Lakers blog” heading. I like the idea but the graphics look like an amateur did them. I guess what the art department is saying that the comments are being provided by amateurs. Right?

I'm so tired of this KG to LA scenario!!

Radmonavic should have very limited minutes cuz he is playing like sh*t. maybe he should heal up first.

put more minutes to Evans !!!!!!

No matter how everyone sugar coats it...this team will not be effective with Kobe in the lineup. The team plays tight and is not as agressive with him playing. He still demands the ball and continues to attempt his save-the-day shots all during the game.

I have never liked Phil's rotations off the bench, and I particularly didn't like it last night. Maurice Evans and Ronny Turiaf need more time on the floor. Especially with Kobe getting back into game shape, he doesn't need to be playing 39 minutes. We brought Evans over here for his athleticism and his defense. We could have used both last night. Steady rotations of Evans, Walton, Farmar, and Sasha are good for this team. Not throwing them in for a few minutes when Kobe and Odom are exhausted. Good teams like the Spurs, Mavs, and Suns all rotate players in constantly keeping them in the flow of the game.

REPOST:

Two things:
1. The biggest reason the Lakers lost last night is defense. Period. Not Kobe's passing, not the many, many, many turnovers (though that of course contributes) since if you defend after a turnover you can avoid the points off turnovers, which is what you want to stay away from. They couldn't do that. I had a feeling they would lose this game, but I think it will be a good loss in the long run. Maybe they'll finally listen to the preaches for defense from their coaching staff.

2. I have always been a Smush fan (well since last season anyway) and have wanted to give him a chance this year. I am starting to notice, though, that he has a really bad attitude. The not-so-kind words by Spero Dedes are really troubling, and I think if that's really the case he needs to be cut or traded right away. We have very good team chemistry and don't need anything to ruin it. His $800,000 salary (or whatever it is) can easily be chalked up as a loss by Dr. Buss if he is cut.
(See 7:48 post by Lakofan in previous thread if you don't know what this refers to).

Sorry, but like Mike T, I'm not feeling the new banner. Maybe you can hold a contest for Banner Art. Change it every all-star break. Winners will have the bragging rights in Laker Blog lore. =)

Rookie rankings:

7. Jordan Farmar, G, L.A. Lakers
MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3P% FT%
17.9 7.8 1.5 1.8 0.00 0.25 .667 .333 .833

Preseason: Unranked
Farmar scored most of his 14 points in garbage time on Sunday, but in general, he has been solid off the bench for the 3-1 Lakers.

http://www.nba.com/rookies/rankings.html

LakeSHow,
The other team's you mentioned all have bench players who can take over from the starters, at least for short periods of time, without the team losing much. Players that would be able to start for a lot of other teams. That is not the case yet with the Lakers. Sasha is a shooter who isn't hitting his shots, and a defensive liability; Vlad is a shooter who has a bad hand, and a defensive liability; Turiaf shows promise, but is still learning the game; same with Farmar; Evans is a mediocre shooter; Cook is a great shooter, but limited defensively. Bynum is very limited defensively; has a pretty good offensive game. Kwame is very limited offensively, poor help defender. Mihm has a good offensive game, good help defender, poor one-on-one defender. Not to mention the weaknesses of some of the starters: Smush, Walton, Lamar. This team is still very young, has not played together very much, and is still learning. Which is why this is a growing year, not a championship year.

Great post MT! I think you're pretty much dead on.
Hey Terry, you must be on crank!!


GO LAKE SHOW!

Progress Report

Well, we are 4 games into the Lakers’ season and they are 3-1. Part of me wishes that they were 4-0, however, a larger part of me is actually happy that they aren’t. I have learned from watching Phil Jackson the benefits gained in failure. He has made benefiting from a loss, an art form. I recall famous words from him back during the first championship when he stated…”You’re never as good as you appear to be when you’re winning, nor as bad as you appear to be when you’re losing.” I believe that those words will come back to the surface this season for the Lakers once again.

Furthermore, I am pleased with the Lakers thus far, and am VERY optimistic about the future for this team THIS season and beyond. First, I believe that the fact that they loss this game is significantly positive. If they had loss Game 3 which was against the Sonics in LA, it could have had a negative effect on the growth of this team. That being Kobe’s first game back, it would have led to much speculation that Kobe’s presence was hurting the team. As preposterous as that seems, the precluding comments since the beginning of the season attest to that being possible. However, the Lakers played a solid game on Friday, whether or not the critics want to give them credit. I actually liked the fact that they didn’t blow the Sonics out Friday, because that adds more opportunity for this team to learn and grow. Most seemingly never really paid attention to what happened this past year with the Pistons. They won all of those games and basically appeared to run away with the season. Yet, in the playoffs, they self destructed. I understand what happened, right away…they well into the success trap. Phil just mentioned the other day after they won at Golden State, that winning has a way of masking flaws. That’s not a positive except when the win is more important.

Thus, in defeat, the Lakers now have an opportunity to grow more. Plus, there were some very subtle positives which emerged during this game….did you notice? Vladimir Radmanovic appears to have slowly begun regaining his shooting stroke. It’s quite dramatic that this would happen in Seattle of all places. He also appears to have regained his confidence as well. This is an extreme plus as the Lakers look to begin moving forward. The second very positive thing is that Sasha Vujacic also appears to be regaining some of that preseason confidence we saw during training camp, along with an improved perimeter shot. If he is able to build upon that, the Lakers will begin heading up the road. Another thing that is now being clearly seen is who needs to remain on the active list. Kwame Brown is about to become available again next week, and if that is the case, it means that someone will have to sit. Before the start of the season, it might appear that the person needing to sit would have been Vlade, Sasha or even Ronny. However, after these first four games, I believe that the best choice right now would have to be Shammond.

Another thing that these first four games have provided is a better insight into the benfits of giving Bynum, Farmar and Turiaf minutes. All 3 have produced when given solid opportunities. Although, last nights game demonstrated that there is still a need for Kwame Brown’s presence. I don’t see him as a starter anymore, as I believe that Bynum needs to get off early to be really effective, however, either way Phil breaks it down, it will work for this team. Finally, I am pleased with what the key mainstays have provided, Kobe, Lamar and Luke. Kobe is having more fun now than he has since the second year under Phil. Lamar is finally in a solid groove for this team. Luke has become a reliable producer and leader for this team as well. I also like what Brian Cook has provided. Smush Parker concerns me because he can provide solid moments for this team and has at times thus far, however, he also has his not-so-favorable moments as well. I am concerned that come the end of the season, those moments may hurt us. I would rather give more minutes to the others to prepare them for the end of the season than keep giving the bulk to him and then at the end of the year lose out because he has a meltdown.

In closing, great 3-1 start, to coincide with the 15-5 start I am hoping they will achieve. That will be a solid beginning for this team. I still hold to my statement right before the season…in which I said that IF the guys progress as they are showing the potential to do, both Smush and Chris should be let go or at least relegated to the Inactive list. The lineup that will give this team its best chance of winning is…

Starters: Sasha, Kobe, Luke, Lamar, Andrew

2nd Team: Jordan, Maurice, Vlade, Ronny, Kwame

Utility Players: Brian, Shammond

FYI – I have Sasha starting over Jordan for 2 reasons…First, Jordan is needed to GREATLY to run the second team. The second unit with guys like Evans, Radmanovic and Turiaf, is a transition lineup and Jordan is the best one for that. If he is starting the game, it limits his ability to play in those second lineups. Second, the first team needs more perimeter scoring to offset the low post interior play. Granted Luke and Lamar are doing admirable jobs from beyond the arc, and Kobe is sure to be doing the same shortly. I still believe that Sasha or someone else is going to be needed in that starting lineup to stretch the defense out more. Jordan did hit 2 last night, which really made me happy, yet, I haven’t seen enough yet to show that this is a consistent part of his game. IF Sasha can get his confidence up (which playing alongside Kobe should do), he will be that person.

terry,

did you even watch the game last night?

Just thought u guys might like to know that the Lakers jumped from 19 to 9 in Marc Stein's power rankings.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/powerranking?season=2007&week=1

Mike T,

On your jackson Journal, your right he does have some questionable rotations, he likes to experiment especially early in the season. He usually looks at teaching lessons by putting different people out on the floor so they will be more ready in the playoffs. I think though the biggest thing was why he went away from both Kobe and Lamar to start the 2nd quarter, that was really the breaking point of the game. We had noone out their to anchor the team when the wheels came off. And the fact that you say that Phil never looks at himself I remember him quoting himself saying he did things that probably hurt the lakers from winning certian games from holding off on timeouts and leaving certian players in the game longer then he should have. But the reason I see Phil does these things is to get us to be a smarter team in the playoffs and get us to that championship level. I still can't see Phil taking this job unless he thought he could win his 10th ring, he has no other reason to coach again other to be the only coach with 10 rings.

Will Bynum's and Turiaf's minutes go down when Kwame comes back, yes because there goes 30-35 minutes a night.

Plus we really don't know how Phil will look to play Rookies on a young team, he has never had any rooks to play before so to say it is a fact is hard thing. I think the bigger question is once Chris Mihm gets healthy is if we trade Mihm so AB can get any minutes because if we keep him there goes Andrews minutes.

ZZ

So, who was Lamar pissed with last night? Was it Smush? One thing's for sure - I like the new Lamar!

Mihm needs to get some playing time this season when he comes back. That way he can have some value as a trade. This is a contract year for him so I would imagine that he would go out and produce. That being said, if he is sucking in practice when he returns, then keep him on the bench because it will only decrease his value.

"Wins cover myriad problems..." - PJ
How true. The game yesterday exposed the Lakers' vulnerabilities especially in defense. It was like a "perfect storm" of events - the Lakers had poor defense coupled with poor shooting while the Sonics had terrific shooting and played good D - so I wasn't surprised at the Sonics' lead that ballooned up to 26 at one point. I'm glad that it happened at this point so that they can fix it during the early stages. The team has a ways to go.

I do love this team, but I was sorry to see that they really haven't played much defense this year at all...It finally burned them last night...Why can't anybody stop dribble penetration?...The defense has to be better if the Lakers expect to do good things this year...I guess it doesn't help that Kobe is still trying to get his legs under him...a very sorry effort last night..that's all I was mad at....even Lamar said so..4 games into the season and the effort isn't there?...what's up with that?

Last Post

Being the last post on the prior thread is like showing up during the end credits of a movie. But I won't repost about how this is all just finding it's balance, it wasn't all that anyway.

These last two games have felt like the pre season we didn't get to have because of injuries. Having half a Kobe out there is cause for a lot of the indecision but that will improve. We see flashes of the kind of flow this team is capable of. Nobody's dominating the NBA and you can't win a championship in November but...

Is Smush giving in to the Dark Side?

It's got to be tiring holding his head up and I'm sensing some displeasure with his decisions. Has he risen to his level of inefficiency? I know what a favorite he is on the blog, but I'm sensing a disturbance in the force.

Sasha hasn't been much to telegram SLovenia about but ya hate to see the early signs of trouble in Lakerland. It would have been nice, if not expected, to see a step up in the overall guard play.

Jordan has that light in his eyes, a touch of arrogance, and isn't daunted by mistakes. That's probably weighin' on the Sash/Smush tandem but if you can't deal with that, how you gonna deal with Nash? With this year's version of the Lake Show, if it's not your night, the bench got ya covered.

So... all Bio Chronology aside, I'm thinkin' Phil might have to pull off some kind of Indian Exorcism to get that boy right. Or just trade him, which I think has been mentioned here before.

V

JJ,

I agree with you on almost everything other then Sasha still has so much to prove. It was nice that he hit some shots last night finally but after hitting two he took a bad shot early in the shot clock that stopped ball movement. Also he can't not foul, and these no hands on the perimeter makes it really hard on Sasha who would be a reaaly good tenecious defender if he was allowed to hand check but since he is not all he does his foul which hurts the team more then Smush on the defensive end who has some lapses but still plays good D at times and will throw in a couple of steals. I want to see Sasha do good but he has never proved he can handle lots of time on the court, and his best chance was last season with Mckie going down and an opening in the starting lineup that was a glaring hole and he lost the spot to Smush who gave us a solid season for coming out of nowhere and will look better once he starts playing with the second string players more then always facing the #1 point gaurds on a team for so many minutes.

Oh also I don't know if Kwame can handle coming off the bench, it might kill his fragile confidence. And we need him to play his strong D from the get go.

ZZ

Micheal T.

Those are excellent observations that you made in your Journal entries. Phil's strange substitution patterns are..... to use another Clarice quote "desperately random". Sometimes I even question his motives.....is this guy trying to win the game?

Remember we had Bynum and Turiaf last year and used them sparingly against Phoenix during the playoffs.....could they have helped against Phoenix?.....we will never know.

Also, Lamar Odom's comments about the teams lack of recognizing situations is right on.......however this team while using the triangle are not taught this concept......they are taught that the system will get them shots....which is absurd!

Lamar will always be up and down while playing in the triangle because the triangle is not designed to run isos or recognize situations to exploit obvious advantages in the offensive talent. There are times when a play should be run to specifically get Kobe Bryant shots.....there are other times when a set should be run to get Lamar in the game offensively, everyone should understand this and be on the same page.

There should be sets called that will get Radmanovic a wide open look......these things are the responsibility of the coach....something every other team in the league does.......except the Lakers and Phil Jackson.

Smush Parker does not recognize where the ball should go at times because he is not taught that from the coaching staff. He thinks all he should do is run the offense and pass the ball to ANYONE THAT IS AVAILABLE.....This is Phil's equal opportunity influence in thinking.

If they ran more isos and screen and rolls in practice they would see it more and be better prepared for it in games.......but all they ever see in practice is that damn triangle, which could be a reason they consistantly look confused on defense in games.

WHY ARE THE LAKERS THE ONLY TEAM IN BASKETBALL THAT RUN THIS TRIANGLE OFFENSE? Will someone please answer that?

I guess I still have to listen/read a blogger saying Kobe is no good for this team and should be traded, buy WHY???

If you don't like Kobe, stop supporting the Lakers. He is the face of the franchise right now - per Mr. Buss, Mr. Kupchak, per all the paying customers around the league (see Laker sellouts last year).

I'm not asking you to quit criticizing Kobe, but don't make really DUMB statements.

The horror!!! Say it ain't so!!! I don't know about you guys but it was actually kinda difficult to go on this blog today. Hahaha... I didn't even want to read any of the articles that I normally read.

At any rate, this loss was a good loss. It exposed a lot of the weaknesses that Jackson and Winter have been trying to address with this team. I can't help think if Jackson intentionally put that unit in the second quarter, the one that loss the lead and eventually the game, so that he can teach the team a valuable lesson about being behind in a game and the ability to stop the hemorrhage and bleeding in order to fight your way back (they failed the test miserably, of course) It is, after all, very early in the season and they were 3-0 coming into yesterday's game. I'm not saying Jackson wanted to lose the game - but given Jackson's very Zen like approach to everything, I think it's a pretty valid argument.

JJ,
Great post and analysis. I agree with almost everything you were saying. However, (isn't there always a 'however' or a 'but') I still think Phil is really making some mistakes in his experiments. He is playing with a very young club and he hasn't done this before. Also, he can be almost as hardheaded as Kobe. Losses may allow him to teach, but poor substitution also reduces respect if it is an obvious flaw - thus making it harder to teach.

I will repeat this 1000 times over. - If you think Sasha Vujacic should start for the Lakers you have eaten too many fruit loops and you are officially delusional!

So making two garbage time jumpers vaults him past other players?

Know what, it's not even worth me arguing about.


O YEA, I forgot to blame Smush for the loss. IF it wasnt for his bad attitude, bad passing, non-shooting, poor ball-movement, non-defense self, the LAKERS could've won that game.
(sarcasm)

ahlayn,

I agree with you that Phil lost last night's game to prove a point.

Phil this past week has said the Lakers were not doing or executing very well, but that winning was hiding all those problems. I think Phil thinks is better to loose now than later.

When a team is winning the players tend not to pay attention to their mistakes. They think 'oh if we're winning we're ok.'
That's not true and I think Phil wanted to prove his point before the long road trips, with teams that are much better than the ones the Lakers have played.

By the way, happy B-Day to Lamar.

Loved his attitude after this lose, he wants to be the best and gets upset if for some reasons doesn't happen.

ALl the best to Lamar on his B-DAY!!!

Mike T,

One question for you, of everyone available who would you have coaching this Lakers team. I don't know of another coach right now that could command the respect of Kobe and have an offense that will involve everone. To coach the Lakers you have to have someone Kobe respects and will listen to. Other people I could see are Coach K, but he wouldn't leave Duke, and it is hard to say if he would be effective in the NBA like he is in college. Or Byron Scott but he is with the Hornets right now so that would not be an option.

ZZ

Pfunk36,

“WHY ARE THE LAKERS THE ONLY TEAM IN BASKETBALL THAT RUN THIS TRIANGLE OFFENSE?”

My two cents: The triangle is a VERY difficult offense to run and understand. As proof, it took Lamar a year to learn it and figure out how to thrive in it. Many players never end up getting it at all. Not only that, it seems that we have all the “resident experts” sitting in the coaching box, so that greatly aids the process. Switching over to the triangle is virtually a complete turnover that many clubs aren’t willing to do.


Craig W,

“I guess I still have to listen/read a blogger saying Kobe is no good for this team and should be traded, buy WHY???”

Why do you even bother addressing people who say things like that? They’re obviously saying things to get a rise out of people.

I have to agree with those who are down on Smush right now. To me, it doesn't look like he's playing with the same aggression he had last year, and the moodines- Smush has always been a moody dude- is more destructive this year than last. He seems to be more frequently both starting and quitting on plays a step to slowly and early. Not all the time, but too freqently for my tastes. It's hurt him on both ends.

Granted, at least regarding last night, singling out the worst perimeter defender the Lakers had was like identifying a single penguin on an ice sheet- it's hard to identify any one individual in the crowd. Everyone, from guards guarding guards to bigs guarding bigs was terrible. Kobe, Smush, Sasha, Farmar, Vlad Rad, Odom, etc., all got used. And, just for fun, the rotations were horrible. Too many half rotations, too many time where two guys went with one player. Very, very ugly.

As for the substitution rotations, in my mind, the game was lost not when PJ put in the second unit (half of me thinks either Kobe or LO should be on the floor at all times, and the other half knows that a) limits sub patters and matchups, and b) makes it hard for the rest of the guys to grow when there's always a safety valve), but when the Lakers stopped shooting about 80% from the field. At that point, everything they were doing wrong, in terms of turnovers and especially defensively, became very apparent. LO and Kobe were back by the 9 minute mark or so in Q2, I believe. They have to sit at some point.

I'm as encouraged as anyone at the three consecutive wins to start the season. But there are nights when the team is going to play poorly, when the limitations of their roster (deeper yes, but still with issues, especially with the front line depleted) will show. I'm sure they're excited to see a team tomorrow that doesn't try to score 120 points a night.

BK

I should add regarding Smush that I think there's still plenty of opportunities for him to bump up the level of his play, but if he doesn't, it wouldn't surprise me if JF started eating more into his playing time (not so much Sasha, who has some issues of his own), or if PJ went to a lineup more often w/ Evans that gives ballhandling responsiblities to either Kobe or LO, if JF isn't quite ready for big minutes.

BK

pfunk36,

The triangle will get you shots but it's up to the players to recognize when to go one on one, when to drive and kick etc. The triangle is a system that will get players into position and helps players with lesser talent get open shot opportunities.

But, if followed to strictly it can limit the offensive brilliance of more talented players. It's all about finding a balance. In the first two games the Lakers played beautifully within the triangle but Lamar Odom was still able to get his shots. In the post, driving and on the perimter. From what I've heard about last night's game (and Lamar's comments) it looks as if guys weren't recognizing when to get him the ball and go to work. And it still looks like Kobe's working himself into the mix, because he didn't look that aggressive Fri. and only took 10 shots yesterday.

Kobe and Lamar are our assassins. We need them to be that or else we won't get very far. I'm all for sharing the basketball, but like Michael Jordan said when told him he was running the triangle, we can't run an equal opportunity offense.

First, I have to admit that I am an idiot for thinking that the Lakers would stumble out of the gate. I said 1-3 and they proved me wrong by coming out 3-1. This is one instance where I am happy to admit that I was wrong.

I agree with the above posts that PJ lost this game in the 2nd quater. Either Odom or Kobe should be on the floor at all times. I think Seattle managed a 18-1 run and completely turned around the game. Of course this was probably PJ seeing what he has and tinkering with the rotation which is what makes him a great coach, but I really don't think the Lakers can afford to sacrifice games in such a manner. PJ's absence in the preseason is going to hurt.

Also Odom needs an opportunity to be on the floor without Kobe. It gives him a chance to control the ball and run the offense.

Zach Zeeman,

I disagree with you. First, dribble penetration has been a problem for most teams thus far this season due to the ever changing league rules. Second, you speak about Sasha as if Smush is providing so much more on defense. Plus, you never know if Smush is going to bring enough effort to be effective and benficial to the team. I'd rather have someone that is going to give us consistent energetic effort than going with a guy that has flashes of greatness surrounded by moments of mediocrity.

I too look forward to MIN. Lamar will really have his hands full and it will be interesting to see how AB does.

Another "KG to LA scenario"

"It seems as if Garnett will play out this season in Minnesota and then they will face the question of whether to try to trade him and get something or risk losing him after next season. It wont be the first management mishap for the Timberwolves.
"Garnett lives in Malibu, Calif. He has an escape clause in his contract after this season. My guess is that he uses it, even with the $23mil he has left for one season, and joins Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom on the Lakers"

--Sam Smith on Pro Basketball--11/6/06-(see post)

Keifo,
Smith is just another guy that thinks this is a possiblility. You and other naysayers cannot bury your head in the sand. This issue will continue to exist until the day Garnett makes a decision.

There is nothing new in Sam Smith's remarks that has not already been discussed here on the blog, but it does point out that, 1) the possiblity still exits, and 2) its not just us homers saying these things, because the last I checked Sam Smith is from Chicago.

Now, before some of you get your necks all out of joint, nobody is saying that our current team is not going to be pretty good, once the team jells around Kobe and the injured players return. But articles like this just offer more ammunition that such a move is still possible, despite what a few nay-sayers think.

Kupchak has stated repeated that he will continue to look at ways to improve the Lakers. If the organization were able to ackquire KG without decimating our key players, who wouldn't make the trade. Any decision by this organization, if it ever gets that far, will depend upon what it will cost us, and at that point a value decision would have to be made. I dont think Kupchak would mortgage an increasingly bright future just for a short term gain, unless he had the support of PJ and the Buss clan in that kind of decision.

Have you noticed that every point guard on the opposing team has a career night against the lakers.

Smush has to be put on the bench or waive him.
I hate his attitude and his poor defense.
Lakers will never make it to the top with a Smush starting.

The hell with waiting till all-star break to start Farmar, start him now!!!

Play the kids, Bynum, Turiaf, Farmar, who cares if we dont win it all this year, but giving the kids the experience this year will help next year when I do expect a championship.

Having Kwame back will help, but were not getting beat up inside, the outside perimeter is killing us, we cant guard anyone. Smush can play after Farmar fouls out.

bd

Zach Z,

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Other than the weed, everything he touches prospers. Well, Michael Olawakandi didn't. But that was because the Kandi man blew KAJ's advice off. And look at Olawakandi now.

KAJ has the teachings of John Wooden in his blood. The man understands basketball. If KAJ was coach we wouldn't even need to toss the triangle. KAJ played the triangle while he was a Buck.

KAJ commands the respect of everyone. Kobe will respect his elder.

Some may say that KAJ has an image problem. That may be true but I think with the camera in his face from game to game that would be cured.

KAJ is an intellectual and it's showing in Bynum. I also think that James Worthy should come down from his lofty KCAL 9 job and get on the bench with KAJ. James has a passion and is brilliant in his observations. The players we have right now are young and are operating like spunges. They would take everything in. I say that because I know KAJ and James Worthy will demand perfection. Demanding perfect with a group of players who are self-willed would back fire. Look at N.Y. with Larry Brown last year. But that's not the case with this group of players. They are hungry. I think it's a mistake to play mind games with them. They're buying into what PJ is saying right now. But if his stubborness continues...they will grow weary of it.

GO LAKERS!

MAKE THEM OBEY!

mike

Lakofan-

Thanks for the link in the last thread. Perhaps these are just growing pains for Smush. Right now he is in his surly teenager stage...you know, the kind that doesn't want to be seen in public with their parents. Only he doesn't like to be taken out of games. I bet he is the one that has been doing doughnuts in the Staples Center parking lots after games!

Also, it seems like Smush didn't work on his game in the offeseason. Am I wrong???

BK,

Honestly, I haven’t been paying too much attention to Smush other than to verify that he didn’t improve defensively over the summer (same ol’ Smush). I haven’t witnessed any of these tantrums that people are talking about, but hearing about them is discouraging enough. I am hopeful that Smush will take his rightful place on the bench or be packaged with Mihm for someone that can be a smart and defensive minded starting PG. Otherwise, I don’t think we have any good alternatives for replacing Smush as a starter at this time.

Now if he starts to poison the chemistry then all bets are off...cut the S.O.B!

Last nights game was the first that I have seen this season.

General observation:

Everyone was terrrible - but especially Smush. He was a negative factor when he was on the floor - played matador D, took bad shots, and did not make any good decisions.

It't early and I'm going to chalk it up to a bad night.....but how many of these can we accept.

Rence

BK,

You point about Kobe and Lamar always being on the floor isn't crazy at all. Anyone that watched the Bulls win those titles knows that very few times did you find MJ and Scottie both on the bench. It makes perfect sense that when you have 2 superstars, one of them is always on the floor. That's a Phil trademark which he used even during Kobe's and Shaq's days together.

BK,

Do you know why Phil hasn't gone to with Mo Evans starting at the 1. I know after just one loss we shouldn't be panicking but I've been thinking about this since preseason. Evans is a capable scorer who can hit open shots and he's a better defender than Smush. And considering that Phil used Harper as a starting PG for 5 years in Chicago and LA, I'd think that'd be right up his ally.

I know the rules and the game have changed since Harp left, but I think it's definitely worth trying.

Because of mood swings and a somewhat undisciplined nature, I think Smush is destined to wind up on the 2nd/3rd string on the Lakers. Can he take this? If he can, then he has a good chance to beat out Sasha for #2. If not, then he is gone after this year. This will all play out naturally over the year and Phil is going to give them all a chance throughout the season - regardless of our tirades. I forgot about Shammond, but he has to learn the triangle and his shooting has to come back - a longer shot.

If the behind-the-sceens stuff continues, then Smush will probably be dealt by the deadline, along with possibly Chris and McKie. We could probably get a useful piece/draft pick for this combo.

BK,

BTW, always either Kobe or Lamar in the game isn't so ridiculous. Phil always had either Jordan or Pippen in the game at all times. And he did the same with Shaq and Kobe.

"Also, it seems like Smush didn't work on his game in the offeseason. Am I wrong???"

Nope, you'r right. He's the same player he was last year except that he doesn't have the same hunger he displayed when he was trying to make the team last year.

Does this shock anybody? Smush had a bad relationship with his college coach. How many players end up hating their college coaches, especially when the feeling is not mutual (Smush's former coach still cares about him). Show me a player who hates his college coach and I'll show you Latrell Sprewell choking out PJ Carlesimo.

Xodus,

I know you asked BK, but I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents. I would imagine Phil hasn't made Evans the starting PG for two reasons.

1) Smush knows the triangle much better, with Evans being new.

2) Evans is not a great ball handler or passer. While Phil's triangles haven't traditionally required a "true" PG, they still have needed someone with a certain amount of skills in both areas. Smush, while defensively lacking in comparison to Evans, is still moves the ball around better and has a better handle.

I still think, though (as I've thought since the moment they picked up Mo), that you'll see Evans closing out games a lot at "the 1," where he's a PG in name only, but picking up defensive assignments. Unless Smush cranks it up a notch, of course, which thus far hasn't happened.

AK

Are Jackson's mind games aimed at his team...or at Buss and Kupchak??? Just wondering!

JJ,

It is not that I think Smush brings so much more to the table defensively. If he can stay focused I think he can be a decent enough defender especially once Farmar takes over at the point and Smush comes in off the bench he won't get used like he does against the best of the NBA. Also I just don't like Sasha on D, sure his energy is nice but if he continually fouls people outside of the 3 point arc then that hurts us a lot by giving away fouls.

And Smush isn't the pure shooter that Sasha is, but he makes a a servicable percentage from outside the arc and midrange. Plus he can use his athleticism and drive the lane.

I think overall he brings more to the table then Sasha, who other then luckily getting hot in the playoffs last year hasn't proven anything on a consistent basis other then that he can't play D without fouling his man.

ZZ

I agree with most of what has been said here about the loss last night. However, part, and only part of the reason the D sucked so bad was the inability of the referees make proper calls. I was at the game, in the 14th row, so I could actually see what was going on. While I realize the foul calls were pretty much even number-wise (Lakers 29 fouls, Sonics 26) a good share of the calls against the Lakers were invented. Every time our guys tried to play any defense, especially in the 2nd half, the refs blew the whistle. Ray Allen carried the ball on almost each possession, and was allowed to get away with it. Now, having said that, and getting my tirade at the officials out of my system, we simply had no energy last night. Even Ronny looked tired; his usual cheerleading not up to par, but still being really the only guy who looked half way interested in being in Seattle. Overall, I think the loss will be good for the team. As for the officiating (sorry, but I must make ONE more comment).......possibly the league hasn't much money left after paying for Miami's rings; therefore the medical benefits for the officials have been cut. Perhaps us Laker fans should get a fund together and help them purchase eyeglasses or contacts, so that they can actually SEE what they need to see.

You know what?

I am not going to let you Smush haters bring me down!

I am not going to let it trick my psyche and have me subconsciously root against Farmar upstaging Smush on any given nite.

I am going to root for Farmar like I did when he was at UCLA. I am going to keep rooting for Smush too. I hope both do well and I could care less who starts.

Smush will continue his evolution into a combo guard the Lakers can use or trade.

Farmar will evolve into a future PG.

GO FARMAR, GO SMUSH, make it happen for the Lakers.

Korey,
55-Win Club Originator

Korey,

Do you think that the more dramatic you make your statement, it makes it have more impact? I don't care what you equate my believing Sasha should start to, I still believe Sasha should start.

Let me explain my reasoning in a different way, since you haven't understood it yet. Do you remember last season before Chris Mihm went down? Most if not all would have never thought about Kwame Brown being effective as a starter. Let me add to that another example. Do you recall earlier in the season before Luke walton became a starter. No one would have thought about him starting either. Niether of those two were demonstrating the ability to effectively provide solid minutes as starters. YET, when given the opportunity to do it...they came through with flying colors. I believe that Sasha can do the same thing...if given a serious opportunity. I mean that if he is given the starting role and there are no strings attached or hidden hooks in case he messes up, he will rise to the occassion. Players need to know that they are counted on yet trusted. Several players in the past have suffered at times from being in a similar situation as Sasha. How easy is it to keep your head straight when you have pressure from the starter as well as the young rookie. You are still very young yourself and in a the blink of an eye you could be on the inactive list or even traded/waived. For a player which relies heavy on their shooting...it's got to make those shots tight. However, I beleiev that the fact that so many on the team over the time he has been have repeatedly commented on his shooting in practice, it says that he can shoot.

His problem is not ability...it is mental. Much the same, Smush's problem is not ability, it is attitude. I'd rather have Sasha than Smush any day because his attitude about the game and his contribution on the floor is right. He hasn't had a bad attitude yet even though his minutes dropped thus far as Farmar's has increased. Let those minutes continue to increase for Farmar and you will see how much Smush dislikes it.

In a perfect world, we would be able to take the basketball IQ of Farmar, the energy and hustle of Sasha, and the athleticism of Smush and put it together to form 1 point guard. However, that isn't possible. Thus, choices are to be made and if I have to make a choice between Sahsa and Smush, I choose Sasha. Now, Farmar will be the starter eventually, yet, I am skeptical of starting him now because I believe that it hurts the bench. Sometimes your best player at a position is the sixth man or someone off the bench. Your starters aren't always the best 5.

Mike T,

KAJ could be a great coach, so if Phil fumbles that could be an option. But we don't know how KAJ would handle the ups and downs of the season, and he is unproven as making gameplans, and very few unproven coaches lead teams to championships.

ZZ

bd,
I think PGs have been killing the Lakers for the last 10 years WAY before S. Parker time.

It traces back to Shaq days of porous P & R defense.

I remember Marbury poppin us for 40 and who can forget Tony Parker serving us in the playoffs?

Officiating -- It seems to me we have been saying for decades that the team with the most energy gets the benefit of the whistles.

This is another very good reason to come out strong in a game and maintain good focus and discipline. You maintain your own momentum and stunt the other team's. This is also the basis of the 'when you get your foot on the other guy's neck, cut it off'.

Zach Z,

"...and very few unproven coaches lead teams to championships."

It's what Pat Riley is all about. The chemistry is there for the Lakers. Right now it's just a matter of managing it correctly and not playing games. I think we just need a coach who recognizes what these players bring and lets them play, instead of playing with them. Just like Pat Riley did with the Lakers of the 80's.

mike

JJ,
Another great post - this on on Sasha. Points on the strengths of each was 'spot on'. I like your idea of giving Sasha the start right now. He plays better with Kobe, he has the size, and he might just relax enough to start shooting straight and slow down.

I want to fully examine Smush's attitude first. If it turns out he is historically a troublesome teammate and looks to be going that way again, then this is really a no-brainer. The organization should look into this first, before any move, however, as he has earned that look.

"...and very few unproven coaches lead teams to championships." It's what Pat Riley is all about.

hummmm...seems like Riley won one in his first year as a coach - and from the broadcasting booth the previous year to boot.

I know, a more veteran team, but still you did make the statement.

Mike T,

I can't disagree, I think KAJ would do a good job, would he do a better job then Phil. No way of knowing. I think Jerry Buss wanted to go with someone who was proven as coach, so Phil was really the only choice, because the Lakers failed so miserably under Rudy T. and under Phil I see a definate postive direction that the whole organization is going under Phil's lead.

ZZ

I don't have much to say about last nights lost, just one or two or three or four things.

1) I think phil wanted us to get a big fat L in this game. Which at this time in the season i'm willing to live with if we end up learning any thing from it.

2) I think phil will sit sasha some more...It just makes sasha want it more...Phil is messing with his mind and it's working.

3) Many people have said that smush didn't work on his game during the offseason but I think you're wrong... It looks like he worked on his O but not his D....

4) START FARMAR NOW!!!

JJ,
Do you think that long posts equate to credibility? Do you think that a long post "looks" like you make a lot of sense?

I am here to tell you dont. I am not the only one to tell you this. Look man, I dont have too much against Sasha but he is not a good player and has NEVER shown to be. Since you dont understand this obvious point, let me break down your argument, make you look foolish once again, and then wait for another long, meaningless, post by you.

"Niether of those two were demonstrating the ability to effectively provide solid minutes as starters. YET, when given the opportunity to do it...they came through with flying colors. I believe that Sasha can do the same thing"

Um, I think the starting PG spot was up for grab's last year right? Sasha had every opportunity in the world to be the starter. HE let an undrafted Smush Parker win the job. So your points about "opportunity" dont make sense just on the fact that he had training camp, preseason, regular season, and postseason to take the job from Smush last year and he couldnt. He only had to beat out one guy!

Let me quantify this for you:
He played all 82 games last year averaging 17.7 minutes, averaging 3.9 points, 1.7 assists, shooting 34.6% from the field (on 3.8 FGAs).

If a guy gets nearly 20 minutes a game, how is that NOT an opportunity for him to shine? How does a "shooter" only shoot 34.6 from the field? If you play that much, how do you only average 3.9 pts if you are a scorer?

It's not like he didnt play EVERY game, and it's not like he didnt get shots AAAALLL last year.

"I believe that Sasha can do the same thing...if given a serious opportunity. I mean that if he is given the starting role and there are no strings attached or hidden hooks in case he messes up"
So JJ, you want us to "give" Sasha does the starting job? NO. And he had 82 games with no real competition last year, so that's as bout as easy as it can get. Finally, who needs a player with that "fragile" of a psyche? The guy has been in the league 3 years, the time for babying is over.

"I'd rather have Sasha than Smush any day because his attitude about the game and his contribution on the floor is right. "
What contribution? Need I break out the numbers again?

"Let those minutes continue to increase for Farmar and you will see how much Smush dislikes it."
Hell yea. I like that Smush doesnt like NOT playing. NO player should if they are a true competitior and a baller. Now Smush needs to learn how to channel in a better, more team-oriented fashion. but to be "OK" with not playing and not contributing is worse than being mad about it.


JJ, I hated to have to shut you down like that but,
NAIL...IN...THE...COFFIN...

I am eager to see how you conted with my aforementioned statements because as I have obviously shown, Sasha has been given plenty of opportunity and he has sucked then. If he cant do it in 18 mins a nite on a 8 seed team, how is he going to do it on a much improved team?

I dont think he can.

Xodus-

It's not that I think LO and Kobe ont eh floor at all times is a bad idea, just that it's limiting. There's a great deal of advantage to knowing you can give those guys a rest, perhaps even at the same time, without the wheels coming off. Especially early, b/c it means then they can be on the floor together longer in the second half. I certainly wouldn't do a lot of it, no question. If the second unit can't handle it so be it.

As for Evans, I basically agree with AK- he's not quite a stron enough ball handler to do it. Harp wasn't exactly lightning quick, but he could handle the ball.

Smush, as someone mentioned earlier and we have said repeatedly on the blog, is really a backup caliber NBA guard. It's just a question of whether or not they have anyone available who is better. Right now, they probably don't. Farmar isn't there yet. It's not necessarily something specific and tangilble that Smush isn't doing now that he was doing last year. It's just a step slow, a lack of follow through and finishing plays (that play in preseason when he didn't track Bibby (I believe) at the end of the half and gave up the board then the three is, in a nutshell, what I'm talking about). Maybe it's a sense of complacency, or perhaps like he's entitled to something he hasn't earned.

I'd like to see Smush get that intensity back, because I'd like to see someone who worked hard to get back into the league last year and did an admirable job under difficult circumstances succeed. But he needs to pick it up. The gap between him and Farmar shouldn't have closed as fast as it has, despite Farmar's solid play.

BK

Korey,

You are correct. But you can correct today not the past. Start Farmar. What do we have to lose?
I still would like to know what Smush brings to the table.

bd

I'm a bigger fan of Kareem's now that he's on the Trivial Pursuit, Totally 80's version, and has "Optimus Prime" in his line.

Gotta love the Cap.

Zach Z,

I agree, when Rudy T. went down, Phil was the right choice. But no one really expected a quick turn-around. Tell me, did you expect for the Lakers to have this kind of club so soon?

I know it has a lot to do with Kobe and Lamar but with the maturation of the other players the expectation have come along faster and the need for Phil may have passed at the same rate.

Now, don't get me wrong. PJ is a great coach, but he's holding on to techniques that I feel will frustrate instead of nurturing the players. It's a different era. Players don't respond to the same techniques as the mind expands.

mike

Is it just me or did it seem like whenever Vlad Rad was in the game, our deficit seemed to get larger. He must have had a turnover every time he put his slick paws on the ball. We gave our MLE for that? I was kind of infuriated by his lack of ANYTHING positive, albeit he has a sore hand. Hopefully this isn't an omen for the future.

Chris H.
CLub 55 forever.

Last night made my head hurt. I think it was the energy from the Sonics' Legend celebration. They didnt want to have the all-time G's of the team and not show a strong effort, I can respect that I guess. I dont want to dwell on it, so I am putting the loss behind me. I knew we'd lose one eventually, just hoped we'd shown more.

I think Sasha may be in his last season in the league. His window is beginning to close. They say he is awesome in practice, its not translating to success during games. I hate it too, because I like Sasha, but this may be the beginning of the end.

Mike T,

I think for this team Phil is the absolute best coach possible. At first I was hoping for Coach K or a Brian Shaw/Kurt Rambis-type, but as time has gone on I think that this group of players is better served with a guy at the helm who brings some swagger and the ability to get the most out of his players like Phil, rather than a pure X and O's guy. Just my opinion. Obviously Phil's strength throughout his coaching career has been managing stars and getting guys to play up to their potential.

We're 3-1 dude, and last year we overachieved. Again, if there's a better candidate out there in your mind, I'd like to hear it. And no, Kareem wouldn't be one. He's been a special assistant his whole career, which is a far cry from a head coach position.

Of course, if Kareem wore the goggles on the bench, it would so be on.

Chris H,

I think the dude's hand is bothering him more than he lets on. He's had an inordinate amount of awkward left handed shots for a guy who normally doesn't use his left. I give the guy kudos for even suiting up.

We're the walking wounded right now, so an extra guy in a uniform is welcome. he'll get better once his hand does.

Have you guys seen latest Steve Kerr ranking?

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=sk-rankings110606&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

I don't pay too much attention to rankings but one simple question arrise

'Steve, are you on drugs?'

I am a Kobe loyalist so it hurt me to say this but Kobe play apart in this lose he dominate the ball moor than is health would allow him to be affective (that hurt) Odom could have been moor affective if he hade allow it.

The Cap is one fascinatin' dude; smart, profound, all world athletic, concerned, learned, prolific, but he ain't a guy you pull up a chair and rap to.

Successful coaches come in all forms, but usually "people skills" is a line on the resume you look for when interviewing a head coach. THat doesn't mean John Salley should be coaching somewhere, it's just means ya gotta be able to communicate with all kinds, which has never been Kareem's strong suit. His work wtih Andrew is working to change that perception, but I'm pretty sure if they recalled PJ's hip tomorrow, it would be Capt Kurt.

Andrew Z,

"We're 3-1 dude, and last year we overachieved. Again, if there's a better candidate out there in your mind, I'd like to hear it. And no, Kareem wouldn't be one."

Last we underachieved, in my opinion. I already said KAJ. That's my choice. If you don't like it. Fine, but you don't get to say if theres a better candidate out there in your mind, I'd like to hear it. You heard it.

You seem to enjoy the glass half empty view of things. I say underachieved, you say overachievied. In other words our players are limited in their talents. That means they overachieved. I disagree with you. Our players are very talented. I think they're being miss managed. But only time will tell. That's what the Jackson Journal is all about.

It's crazy to argue about at this point in the season. But we lost last night. We blew a 20 point lead the other night because of questionable rotations. We blew a decent lead last night, too. We came back from 19 points down to beat Phoenix. We could easily be 1-3.

mike

Just read the Hollinger Chat on ESPN and he makes mention of the Kwame-Bynum starting combo not working defensively. In my opinion it works perfectly defensively.

Lesson: Don't take national columnists views on the Lakers too seriously, they don't watch many games. Unless it's Ric Bucher who has an aversion to K's and likes to kiss Laker a$$.

Mike T,

Last Season was expectecting about 48 wins and a playoff birth. The only real surprise I ahd was how well Smush Parker played last year. This year if we don't get between 50-55 wins and show a strong showing in the playoffs I will consider this a bad year. And I have said since Phil was hired that by year 3 of his taking the helm we would win the title. I have not seen anything to make me think otherwise yet.

So you thought our players wouldn't be playing this goos soo soon, usually when players are all giving more than what was expected would be correlated to the coach, so how is this team and it's players exceeding what most pundits in the media think this team should be able to achieve and what it is achieving not be contributed to the great job Phil is doing leading this team.

ZZ

ZZ

I think Farmars presence has disrupted Sasha and now its seeping into Smush...like they both know they are on borrowed time...obviously by the time the season opened Sasha knew he'd had it and with the willingness to play Farmar I'm sure Smush feels it's a matter of time.

Mike T

There could be a number of reasons for Cook playing...giving Cook to show his stuff,showing Cooke himself he firsthand why hes going to be benched getting his stats up for a possible trade who knows...I hear what you are saying but I'm still going with the idea that theres a method to it and alot of stuff going on in practises etc that we dont see.

Kobe is building strength and its a good opportunity to allow the other guys to have more responsibilites...nobody would be happy if Kobe came straight back and shot 25 plus times...hes doing the right thing easing into it for himself and everyone else.He will be more aggresive in time.I'm actually kinda suprised you brought this up.

Youve got to remember that not only is it early in the season but Jackson has a roster packed with players who all bring something,in addition,he missed the preseason and has already he said he doesn't have feel for who can do what and who will respond how...If this really is, as you believe, a championship calibre team you will understand early season 'sorting'if nothing else he is probably doing the opposite of what you say and making sure he leaves no stone unturned in discovering exactly who is capable of what in which situations.He may well have realised they werent getting abck in the game or felt a loss would actually be beneficial in the long run.

I still think the lakers are the type of team that are going to feel they can win in the playoffs from any seeding and getting the mix right then building on it to peak late is key.Anyway rock on with the journal it's great reading...

Hey all,

Step away from the blog for a few days; a couple thousand posts later, and I can only imagine all the nice comments people have made, especially about me and Kobe. Sorry I missed them.

-Associated Press-

"Bryant was given a technical foul with 5:18 left for throwing the ball against the base of the basket after Brian Cook was called for a foul. Bryant indicated afterward he was UNAWARE of the leagues new emphasis about technicals for reactions after the whistle"

-Kobe-

"Actually, the time that they had the meeting, I was doing rehab...They surprised me with that one"

Oh, really, and that's just the kind of maturity and leadership all Laker fans want to hear from their beloved leader.

Every fan on this blog (who didn't attend the meeting) was aware that the league had tightened up, but not the Saint.

Listen up young Lakers. That's how you handle those situations. With honesty and integrity. Be just like Mike, er, Kobe, and yes, I did manage to say them in the same breath. Amazing.

bd,
I believe the following things you can't deny Smush brings to the table
1) Triangle-knowlege - knowing the offense is an invaluable thing and it's not something that is learned easily.
2) Playmaking ability - He is one of the few players that the Lakers have that can create a play from nothing. (My list would be: Smush, Kobe, Lamar, Farmar, and Walton).
3) Shooting ability - While we do have shooters on the team, he has shown the ability to make the outside jumper with consistency (except for those PLAYOFFS!)
4) Matchup plays - with his size and speed he would be perfect for a combo guard. He is not really a PG and not really a SG, but a tweener. If somebody can get in his ear to be a DOG on defense then he will be infinitely useful for the team. Having a "combo" guy is invaluable for matchup plays across the league and while Evans is a combo guy is non-ballhandling ability takes a little luster off of his appeal.
5) Steals - He does create turnovers when focused. Check last year's stats. But how does he weigh the need to gamble with the need for defensive rotations. Guys like Scottie Pippen really master this (NO SMUSH ISNT EVEN CLOSE TO SCOTTIE)

So there ya go, 5 things that Smush brings to the Lakers at a minimal cost (LESS than a MILLION per year)

AK/BK,

How intrigued should we be that Rashard Lewis is not seeking an extension and will be a free agent after the season?

Mike T.,

I dont think this team wins without Phil leading them to it. Whether that is with him as head coach or leaving the team to one of his assistants, who do you get? RudyT was a common sense pick at the time, but I didnt see him getting us there. He didnt do well handling the personalities when he had Barkely and Pippen in Houston, I question whether he could handle the personalities in LA. Plus, I was one of those people who always thought it was great to see Kermit punch his lights out, I'm biased. But I believe in the Zen coach. He gets players to more than over achieve. But my question is, who can we get that is better for the job? I cant name one...

Also bd,
give me 25 games into the season and I may revise my Start Farmar stance.

Then we will see how fast Farmar learns and how much Smush can (or will) raise his level of play this year.

If I'm not mistaken Smush didn't play basketball or worked on his game during the summer.

He said he gain muscle weight. But that he needed to get away from basketball because the season was too intense. That he needed a break from it, because he was not use to playing that many games.

I disagree...Phil was brought in to bring some credibility and becasue Kobe would listen...last season he was not considered ideal because he wasn't used to teaching young players... his speciality is taking contending teams built around a superstar or two and getting solid role players to buy in and fill the gaps...if thats the case he's perfect...the need for him has passed? I just cant fathom the statement...

Andrew Z,

By the way, Zach Z. asked me a question. I answered it. It should be taken in the context of me answering his question. Not as an indication that were 3-1.

mike

Najja-

I wouldn't get too excited, because short of a sign and trade, the Lakers can't afford him. But if you want to have some fun, start seeing what salaries might match up for what will be a very big contract.

BK

Again, to everyone...Zach Z. asked me a question about a replacement coach and I answered it. It should be taken in that context.

mike

Hey All,

I can't really pinpoint why i think we loss last night but i do have observations. First, i think Kobe is playing too many minutes and not playing enough like Kobe. It's like the 2 and 0 start has him worried about playing his game because he's worried about everyone blaming him for messing up the team chemistry.

Second, why isn't Bynum getting more time. He seems to dominate while in the game. His low post scoring and rebounding is what helped us jump out to a lead last night.

Lastly, since you guys are debating heavily on the guards. They all are playing pretty poor defense but i think the order should be; Parker, Farmar, then Sasha. Smush is too athletic and strokes the three too well for me to give up on him yet.

Thanks for the the responses AK/BK.

Zach Z,

I think our players are good. I thought they were good last year. Again, in the spirit of answering your question. I think they're being mismanaged. I think they could have done better last year. And I have high expectations this year. Despite the coach. That's my opinion.

mike

LOTS OF GOOD COMMENTS, GUYS.

THE MOST TELLING QUOTE I HEARD AFTER THE GAME WAS
FROM KOBE." WE COULDN'T MATCH THEIR INTENSITY."

SONICS WANTED THE GAME MORE THAN THE LAKERS DID.

SAD TO SAY.

THATS THE WAY IT LOOKED. WE WERE ALWAYS A STEP SLOW. ALMOST LIKE IT WAS THE BACKEND OF A BACK TO BACK. I WONDER WHY???????????????????

Q-Why did we lose?
A-We didn't deffend the TREY and we, actually KOBE, gave out too many careles TOs.

Q-are we that GOOD or are we this BAD?
A-We are that GOOD when we out rebound and don't give out TOs and we are that bad when we don't DEFFEND the 3 line and TURN it over.

Q-Is Phil the RIGHT coach for us?
A-That's an stupid question rayray. NEXT.

sorry
Q-Is, KOBE coming back, helping us?
A-Hell NO. He is giving out too many turn over and is keeping the ball too much. But it's not as much Kobe's fault as it is others. WE ARE STILLL SITTING WAITING FOR KOBE DO HIS MAJIC. The only player that can play without Kobe's shadow on thier face is VLAD.

Q-Are we a TOP team in the WEST?
A-Yes we are. We are JUST playing JUSTIN, SASHA and COOK at the wrong places and aren't getting our big men INVOLVED right now (right places for JUSTIN on the bench, SASHA 2nd PG, and COOK SF not C)

Q-What is the best roatation for now?
START: 1 - 24 - 4 - 7 - 17
18 for 1, 6 for 24, 10 for 4, 43 for 7, 21 for 17
But whatever the coach thinks needs to do to get the guys ready.

Q-Who's surprised you the MOST one week into the season?
A-ChrisPaul. My MVP of the 1st WEEK.

Q-Who's disappointed you the most?
A-The HOuston Rockets team.

LakerReg-

Hey. Interesting you mention Bynum. I went back and looked, and it didn't seem to me that he dominated in traditional post play style. Three of his baskets came off dribble penetration and a pass (good for him for filling the lane, finding seams, rolling to the hoop, etc. as he should- good fundamentals)- two dunks and a nice lay in. Not to say that he didn't play well, but to say Bynum dominated down low didn't seem accurate to me. I think he only had one basket in the first half where he was fed the ball in the post, made what would be considered a traditional post move, and scored. But most of those baskets could have been Turiaf or Cook, because both of those guys are fundamentally strong and roll to the hoop on penetration.

I think you can make a solid arguement that the Lakers didn't go to the post enough, either with Bynum or Odom, or anyone for that matter. The Sonics did a better job sealing the low post than they did on Friday, but the Lakers could have pushed it more. They took too many threes, although having to play catchup does lend itself to that.

BK

Korey,

Let me ask you a question? If Chris Mihm had never gotten hurt, would Kwame have ever become the starter last season? Would anyone have thought that he should?

Plus you have missed my whole point behind starting Sasha. It has never been that I think Sasha is so much better athletically, or anything else for that matter, it is because of his attitude and his energy when in the game. I believe that that energy needs to be cultivated, and I don't think that it will be if pushed back and relegated to the 3rd string guard at best.

Let me ask you this question...in the post season last year, who showed up better, Smush or Sasha?

AK/BK,

Thanks for the answer to the question. I agree with AK in that if Mo Evans can't play a whole game at the 1, I'd like to see him end the game there,

Andrew Z,

I also don't listen to national columnists when it comes to the Lakers. I trust the guys who get paid to cover the team everyday.

Mike T,

Got it. You think our players are at one level, I think that they are at another. Good stuff and you've made some good points from that standpoint. To be honest, I'm beginning to think our guys have made pretty big strides this year and we're in the top 20% of talent this year.

My ultimate assessment is that as goes Lamar, so go the Lakers. You can have anyone you want as the coach on the bench, but if they don't scream for Lamar to run this team, we ain't goin' nowhere. I love Kobe, but LO needs one year as the man. Plain and simple. Give him the rock, the reigns, and get the f*ck out of the way. We'll be one of the best teams in the NBA, if not the best.

rayray, whos justin?

Mike T

I asked you the question re your prefered coach the other day and im glad you answered.I respect your opinion but I disagree...that doesn't matter...I think it's a very inexact science to say 1) that an unproven head coach could do better

2) that the team would be better with a different coach...the team is has improved markedly from last season and the one before... how can you say jackson has nothing to do with that or isn't entirely responsible for that matter...Odom is now playing the best ball of his career,Kobe arguably had a career season,Luke Walton went from potentially out of the league to potential star,smush went from out of the league to servicing (in your words) a contender at the starting point guard spot,your boy Kwame believes in himself...I just dont get what you want...how can you say Phil hasn't had a part in all that...??

First, you all are jumping the gun to react so drastically after 1 loss. This is the same team that won those first 3 games. A loss isn't the end of the world, it can in fact be a blessing in disguise.

A few key players had bad games and that impacted everything else. Anyone that wants to blame Kobe for the loss in saying that he is messing things up...you are missing the whole picture. He is trying to work himself back into game shape which is more about timing and rhythm than anything else. He will be fine. Some of his TO's are more a case of overpassing than anything else. Phil mentioned that after the loss and actually said that if he had to choose a way to mess up...over-passing (vs. under passing) would be the choice. He'll be fine. Lamar will be fine as well. He has one bad game and you all either jump on his back or want to jump on everyone else's back for him. Much like when the Bulls were winning titles and the Lakers w/ Shaq and Kobe, Lamar must have just like Pippen and Kobe did. In this offense, Lamar is the key to ball movement. Kobe is the key beneficiary. I believe that people are putting too much focus on point totals and that is causing a problem in the minds of the players. Everyone is trying so hard to distribute the ball that they are messing up the flow. The Triangle Offense requires that the open man shoots the ball. How many times in the first 4 games have players been called for 3-seconds because the persons on the perimeter kept passing while the rebounder was set in the key? I appreciate the passing but somebody has to shoot. What folks miss is that when the Bulls won their titles and the Lakers won theirs, the main 2 stars clearly scored more points than the rest. The idea that several should average around the same isn't necessary. The Blazers tried to do that and they could never win when it counted because each thought that they equally had the right (because they had the same point totals) to score the key baskets. There has to be an understood pecking order.

As for this talk about the point guard role or any other role...I will leave it at this...I want what is best for the team to win. If it is Smush, so be it. If it is Jordan, so be it. If it is Sasha, so be it. All i know is this, when Smush was needed to hit the open shots and play defense in the playoffs last year...he didn't come through for the team. At that same time, Sasha was 4 for 7 from 3-pointers for the series.

AZ,

I agree that Lamar needs to ball, but I don't feel about it like you seem to. It doesn't make Lamar the man because he has the ball. I disagree with your take on that. Was Scottie Pippen the man in Chicago? Was Toni Parker the man in San Antonio? Kobe is the man on this team and I don't believe there should be any question to that. Lamar knows that and has stated that he is fine with that. His role is to drive the offense, which he can do. Now, to expect him to do it effectively all 82 games this season is unrealistic. However, he will grow as the year goes on and by the end of the season he will be fine.

Rayray, Chris H,

I think he means Jordan Farmar, shows how much he knows the team. On opening night the ESPN play by play announcer miscalled his name all night and called Jordan, Justin.

ZZ

 
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