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Extra! Extra! (12.18)

Arenas Perhaps the Lakers have gotten overly self conscious about their exorbitant ticket prices, so they've made a point of providing extra roundball for the folks dishing out the bucks.  After giving Friday's crowd 10 extra minutes of game, they followed suit with five more last night.  Unfortunately, they didn't remember that a) They were playing the Wizards, who shouldn't push anyone to OT while outside the confines of D.C. and b) Fans only like bonus entertainment if it leads to very specific result.  Therefore, Lakers fans don't necessarily get a "money's worth" feeling after a 147-141 loss.  Well, unless they also define "economic" as "My Lakers lost, but I got to see them chuck a bunch of 3's, plus Wizards PG Gilbert Arenas set a franchise scoring record, so that was kinda cool." 

The 60 points put up by Arenas also represent the heftiest tally in Washington/Baltimore history, a particular delight for the sizable Arenas posse in the house.  Kobe Bryant downplayed Arenas' achievement (or the style in which the points were accrued, if nothing else), but perhaps he was just miffed that- Vlad Radmanovic's 27 points and OT aside- most of the Lakers' scoring duties had been dumped in his lap all game.  Or that Shammond Williams was the only Laker who couldn't be blamed for some form of bad D.  But either way, the evening produced a box score for the ages.  Just one that won't be celebrated by Lakers fans anytime soon.

Remember Caron Butler?  Used to play for L.A.  Got sent to Washington for Kwame Brown.  Well, he's evolved into quite the baller these days, but the Lakers stand by their swap.  But had Butler remained a Laker, Kobe would likely display a willingness to defer his way as well.

 
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I think Kobe's comments were in poor taste. From a guy who jacks up his fair share of horrible shots that are fine when they go in, he should have given Arenas his props for lighting him up and kept his mouth shut. No one likes a sore loser.

I don't know if he remembers, but he had his fair share of crappy shots go in when he scored 81.

Zen Report
-----------
"My short and sweet attempt of drawing attention to myself because I have no life like others on this blog. lol"

The Lakers defense was awful. But the Lakers kept fouling and then got the refs in a pattern.

Walton was not pouting.

On the 570AM radio show this morning, they were "claiming" Kobe's comments about Arenas were hitting him below the belt.

When I heard Kobe's comments, I thought they were funny because those same comments can be said about him. Taking awful shots and making them? That's been Kobe his whole career!

Kobe looked tired last night. He did not have the same bounce in his step that he normally does. In fact he's been that way the past two games.

I think Kobe is thinking ahead to Duane Wade.

How about that fight over the weekend!!? I don't think Isiah should get in trouble for ordering a bounty. Teams have been doing that for years and the NBA is just now noticing?

That game over the weekend became "personal" before the fight. George Karl left his starters in the game to try and embarass the Knicks. Why? Because of what the Knicks did to Karl's buddy Larry Brown. In other words, it was personal before the opening tip.

In my opinion, that whole thing with Brown was the fault of the Knicks. Larry Brown never sticks around for a full contract. He always leaves. I think he wants to coach every team in the league for a year, make 30 million, and then leave. I think its an absolute joke and Larry Brown should not have gotten paid anything from New York.


Step 2?

It was a shame the hometown refs couldn’t make it to Staples last night. Harry Potter had nothing on the Wizards when it came to making phantom fouls appear. That was the game, but it shouldn’t have been.

If you consider this step 2 of the process, it's win some, lose some. If you're dreaming higher and watching us lose to a growing list of sub 500 teams at home while Phoenix tears up the league, it's a harsh wake up. Elite teams don’t lose at home this many times to teams the rest of the league is feeding on. So, are we back to step 2?

Gilbert A. was in Kobe zone. We know you can’t guard that. Kobe looked like he could have easily gone for 60 himself he was so hot. He deferred when they double teamed him and we never returned the favor. However, it would have been nice to stop 10 more points in the paint. We have a problem there no matter who starts or pouts. I'm guessing the teams coming up down the road have noticed. Buckle up, this could get bumpy.


About the Kwame Brown trade: I still would have done that deal. Unfortunately, no matter how hard he tries, Butler couldn't have provided us an inside presence. Sure it would've been nice to keep him, but we have players already that do what he does. We needed inside muscle.

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Do you guys remember the story of Arenas using a a special "mile high" machine 24/7. Supposively he has a special tent while on the road that simulates the Denver air so that he is exposed to it everyday? He says that will eventually surpass everyone in cardio vascular conditioning. It seems to be working. He didn't look out of breath yesterday at all.

I am no NBA forecaster but I have 2 bold predictions which I am pretty sure will hold up:

1) Kobe is going to go off big time in the next game

2) Kobe is going to go off big time in the next game against the Wizards.

Sorry Chicago. You lose.

GO Lakers!!

Andrew Z, I agree completely. A guy has a game like that, just give him his props. Especially when it's you he's burning late in the game.

Bottom line is, we gotta play D better than we did this game.

Vman, the difference in free-throw shooting had more to do with the fact that we were taking way more threes. The Wizards were more aggressive than we were, so they got more calls. That's it.

The tally form "Saturday Night Fights" at the Garden is in.

Melo - 15 games
Robinson and Smith - 10 games
Collins - 6 games
Jeffries - 4 games
Nene and James - 1 game

And each organization was fined $500,000.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=ap-nuggets-knicksbrawl&prov=ap&type=lgns

That was a little low by Kobe. I'm a big supporter of his, but I thought he had outgrown that childish mentality. Arenas lit us up, plain and simple. He deserves all of the kudos.


I guess Mike T is sleeping in today. Must be nice!

***** A FEW COMMENTS & DISAPPOINTMENTS *****

This was a very discouraging loss. I had this game pegged as an easy win looking at our schedule for the rest of December. If this is what an easy win looks like, then I really do not want to see what the close games and tough games are going to look like without Lamar.

I was truly disappointed by Kwame Brown and Smush Parker, who had good reasons to have great games but basically reverted to playing uninspired. I was pleased by the play of Andrew Bynum and Jordan Farmar and think that we need to play both guys more with Lamar out of the lineup. Both are young players with bigger upsides than the guys they share their positions with.

This was Kwame’s first chance to show the Wizards what they missed out on by trading him for Caron Butler. Don’t think the Wizards were crying last night. What did he do? He played 25 minutes and scored 3 points, grabbed 6 boards, and dished out 5 assists, while only turning the ball over once. He also had one steal but no blocks. His main accomplishment was basically playing Brendan Haywood to a standstill. Brendan who?

Andrew Bynum played much better. In 22 minutes, he scored 14 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, but no assists or steals. He blocked one shot and had one turnover. He did make 8 of 11 free throws. Phil needs to give Andrew some shots at starting again. If nothing else, Andrew was hustling and showing that he can make the free throws when he is fouled. There will be no Hack-a-Bynum strategies by the Van Gundy’s of the league.

This was also Smush Parker’s chance to show that he has “turned the corner” as the Smushkateer’s had all claimed based on Smush’s great second half against the Rockets. In fact, Smush actually came out ready to take over as the team’s number two scorer. Unfortunately, he couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn, going 4 for 14 including 0 for 5 from 3 point land. He pulled down 2 boards and dished out 3 dimes but turned the ball over 3 times and came close on numerous other occasions due to bad decisions and executions.

But wasn’t it on defense where Smush had done so well against the Rockets? After last night, I cannot even remember that game. Smush on defense reverted back to going under the screen and he failed to make even one steal. His attitude also reverted to sitting and pouting on the bench after Phil inexplicably banished him from the lineup as the game entered the fourth quarter, probably because of how poorly Smush was running the offense and playing defense.

Jordan Farmar played very well, giving the team a real spark off the bench. Farmar played 19 minutes and scored 13 points on 5 of 9 shooting, including 3 of 6 from downtown. He grabbed 2 boards, handed out 4 dimes, and only turned the ball over once. Strangely, Farmar joined Smush and sat out the rest of the game on the bench, with Sasha, who really played terribly, playing in the waning minutes of the fourth and in OT.

I think this game illustrated why maybe we need to see how Bynum and Farmar would do starting the game. They ran a couple of beautiful pick and rolls and both played with more energy and effort than it seemed that Kwame and Smush did. It can’t hurt to try some new combinations while Lamar is out. And it wouldn’t hurt to stay with the hot hand rather than some crazy rotation from our coaching staff. And for God’s sake, take the ball to the hoop rather than casting off 3-point shots.

Tom

THE JACKSON JOURNAL: 24th Game – Washington Wizards (16-8)
By Michael C. Teniente

A thumb’s down for Phil Jackson!

KEY OBSERVATION

That was the worst coaching I’ve ever seen. This game was lost in the 2nd quarter.

I have to wonder what PJ wants from Kwame Brown. I thought it was about defense and rebounds. Kwame Brown in the 1st quarter had 3 rebounds. If a player gets 3 rebounds a quarter does that not equate to 12 rebounds per contest? PJ pulls Kwame Brown from the game with 1:14 left in the quarter, which was the about the right time for the proper rotations patterns for centers. At that point the score was 22-17. That’s a five-point lead for the Wizards.

When the next substitution pattern for the centers occurred Kwame Brown didn’t return. That was at the 6:09 point of the 2nd quarter when PJ pulled Bynum. At that point the score was 39-33, which says that there was a 1-point loss with Bynum in the middle. That’s a good thing because you want your back-up center (the 2nd unit players) to either hold the differential of the score as it is or to score points to increase the lead or to cut into a lead. Bynum did his job. A one point loss in his time isn’t bad. In other words the Wizards outscored the Lakers 17-16 during this time. A five point Wizard lead went to 6 points.

If the substitution patterns would have went as normal, then Brown would have re-entered the game at this time. Except Brown didn’t return to the game. Turiaf replaced Bynum at the 6:09 mark.

At that point Walton had fouled Jamison to stop the clock at the 6:09 mark, and PJ replace Walton with Radmanovic and Bynum with Turiaf. That left the Lakers with a line-up of Radmanovic, Turiaf, Evans, Farmar, and Bryant.

Jamison made both his free throws to make the score 39-33. In other words: That is 17 points in 7 minutes and 23 seconds of playing time from the 1st substitution of the center to the 2nd substitution. That’s a lot! What does it mean? It means that since we scored 16 points during that span that offense isn’t our problem. This season, offense has never been the problem. Defense is the problem. But what happens next is the kicker.

After Jamison makes his free throws, Radmanovic hits a 3-pointer to make the score 39-36 Wizards. 12 seconds later PJ pulls Bryant and Farmar and replaced them with Cook and Parker. That leaves a line-up of Turiaf, Radmanovic, Cook, Evans, and Parker. Absolutely no middle whatsoever! The Wizards had Arenas, Jamison, Butler, Daniels, and Haywood. Except for Stevenson being replaced by Daniels…that’s their starting line-up.

This group played together for the next 2 minutes and 14 seconds. The Wizards outscored the Lakers 13-4 to make the score 52-40 during that time. But what makes it so bad is that the Wizards went to the line 10 times and made 10 free throws with Turiaf picking up 2 shooting foul violations (that’s 4 of the 10 points from the line). That means only 3 of their points came from the field, and it was a 3-pointer.

That group of players couldn’t play defense without fouling. But did anyone expect something different? This is the point where PJ let the game go from a defensive game to an offensive game. As I was watching the game I knew it was the turning point but I didn’t have to take notes because all I have to do is go to: http://www.nba.com/games/20061217/WASLAL/playbyplay.html and just interpret what I saw from that play-by-play account.

At this point, with 2:55 left in the 2nd quarter, PJ does a mass substitution by replacing Cook, Turiaf, and Evans with Brown, Walton, and Bryant. From this point the Lakers outscore the Wizards 9-7 to make the score 59-49 at the half.

During this time Kwame Brown grabs 2 rebounds to bring his total to 5 for the game. I bring that up because people keep on pointing out the lack of rebounds from Kwame. He pulled 3 rebounds in the 1st quarter. And in less than 3 minutes his pulls 2 more in the 2nd quarter. But my point is that PJ’s substitution patterns don’t really allow Kwame to get into a defensive rhythm. PJ says: OK Kwame, come in with less than 3 minutes left in the half and change the course of the game with your defense. This is PJ letting the clock play him instead of PJ playing the clock. That doesn’t bode well for Kwame’s stats and for the Lakers in general.

Consider this: In the 13 minutes and 41 seconds that Kwame played in the 1st half, the Wizards scored 29 points. And this is without getting a chance to get into a defensive rhythm is the 2nd quarter. In the 10 minutes and 19 seconds that Kwame wasn’t in the game the Wizards scored 30 points. That substitution pattern in the 2nd quarter killed the 1st half and put us in a 10 point hole.

By bringing in Kwame with only 2:55 left in the 2nd quarter, the game went from a defensive tone to an offensive tone. It was over for the Lakers right there. Think about it. The Wizards scored 22 points while Kwame was playing in the 1st quarter. He left with 1:14 left to go. That is excellent!

For the next 13 minutes and 41 seconds PJ lets the Wizards score 30 points before going back to his starting center in favor of a 3rd string power forward in Ronny Turiaf.

But now lets do the 2nd half.

Kwame Brown played 8 minutes and 21 seconds in the 3rd quarter. He only picked up 1 rebound. That brought his total to 6 for the game. During this time the Lakers outscored the Wizards 23-19 bringing the score to 78-72 for a Wizards’ lead. You see? It’s not about one individual’s rebounds as long as your team outscores your opponent during a time span. As long as the scoring during this period isn’t ridiculous it’s acceptable. It shouldn’t even matter as long as your team is making progress.

I thought it was a little too early to be pulling Kwame from the game at that point. But I thought PJ wanted to make sure that Kwame was well rested for the final 8 minutes of the game.

For the next 10 minutes and 51 seconds, while Kwame Brown is out of the game, the Wizards outscore the Lakers 33-32. That brought the score to 111-104 in favor of the Wizards. That’s 111-points with almost 5 minutes left in the game. 111-points! That is not acceptable! That is not Kwame Brown’s fault! That is PJ’s fault! He allowed the game to go from a defensive tone to an offensive tone.

So, up to that point, in Kwame Brown’s 22 minutes and 2 seconds of game time the Wizards scored 48 points. In the Bynum/Turiaf combination of 24 minutes and 32 seconds the Wizards scored 63 points. So in the additional 2 minutes and 30 seconds that PJ went with the Bynum/Tuiaf combination the Wizards scored 13 points. But it wasn’t even the 13 points. It was the flow of the game that was so insulting.

Up to that point there’s 4:48 left in regulation. Can you imagine that? 111 Wizard points with 4:48 left. To me the game was out of hand and ridiculous and I had to sit there and watch it unfold. This is when the game was going from a big Wizards’ lead to a miraculous Lakers’ comeback. Back and forth! Are we or aren’t we? Yes! Cook hits a 3-pointer to send it to overtime! YEAH!

‘F’ that shyt! That was the Washington Wizards. There’s no way we should have lost that game.

What’s my point? My point is that with Andrew Bynum and Ronny Turiaf all the Lakers do is trade baskets. That’s why Bynum is a back up. So that he can keep the differential close to even whatever the score might be. That’s why Bynum has a 1.3 differential in the games he started. That’s why we were 7-5 with Bynum as the starter. That’s what a 1.3 differential means. Up to the 4:48 mark, of the 4th quarter, those numbers weren’t even close to the 1.3 differential. That’s not a coincidence pal.

During this game everyone was cheering Andrew Bynum for being a scoring option/hero but what all you nuts aren’t observing is that with Andrew Bynum in the game the opponents are scoring more than what Bynum is contributing. And you’re crying bloody murder about Kwame Brown? Anyone who talks about Kwame Brown’s influence on the game in a negative way doesn’t know what the ‘F’ they’re talking about. All those people who cheer Bynum over Brown remind me of the look that a cow has in its eye, while it’s chewing grass. Have you ever seen something like that? It’s just this stupid blank look in their eye. All the cow knows is that it’s chewing grass. But it doesn’t know that it’s being fattened up for the kill. Just feed me…that’s all I care about. That’s what all these people who rave about Bynum and speak very little about Kwame Brown remind me of. Especially that nauseating Joel Meyers. I just get the impression that it’s all politics and marketing when I hear that dumba*s Meyers.

I complained about Kwame not dunking it from point blank range. Outside of that I don’t feel comfortable when he’s not on the court. Why did I even say anything? The stupid game was out of reach. Those stupid shots didn’t mean a thing. That was my stupidity. The defense Kwame played on Yao Ming won the game for us. He worked his a*s off on that unstoppable scoring machine. He made Yao Ming miss all kinds of shots in the 2nd half of that game. It wasn’t Kobe Bryant’s 52 points that won the game for us. It was Kwame slowing Yao Ming down. Without that we don’t win that game.

Without Kwame Brown we can’t beat the Washington Wizards. Kwame, I am so sorry for being so stupid. I’m the fool! I’m ashamed of myself. Without you the Lakers are a 500 ballclub.

147 ‘F’en’ points! Walton almost had a triple double but what does it matter when you give up 147 points? Those are deceptive numbers. Think about it. 126 points in regulation!

You know what? PJ is a pretender. He acts like he’s about defense yet he keeps his defensive specialist out of the game at key moments and lets the game get out of control. This guy puts more value in Luke Walton than he does in Kwame Brown. Caron Butler averages 18 points a game but he scored 27 points tonight. That was on Luke Walton. Walton scored 15 points. That a 12 point differential. Jamison scored 25 points but Radmanovic scored 27. That’s a 2 point differential in the Lakers favor. Arenas scored 60 points but how many of those points were against Parker? Does it really matter? What matters is that there’s a defensive problem here and Luke Walton is not the answer to that problem. Kwame Brown is the answer. Not Andrew Bynum. Not Ronny Turiaf. Not Kobe Bryant. Certainly not Radmanovic or Brian Cook.

KWAME ‘F’en’ BROWN IS THE ANSWER! With Odom out, either Kobe Bryant or Kwame Brown needs to be on the court at all times.

Vladimir Radmanovic showed what he could do today. He’s the one who should be starting at the SF position. Ronny Turiaf should be starting at the PF position to help Kwame Brown control the game. But I don’t think it’s going to happen because PJ is a pretender. He’s not interested in defense. He thinks he can outscore teams with Radmanovic, Walton, Bynum, and Kobe. He wants to throw offensive power at teams. 95% of the players in the NBA know how to score. We can’t outscore teams without defense. This game against the Wizards was a laugher. The Wizards kicked our a*ses in regulation. It took a miracle to force overtime. Is this how we want to play games? Do we want to rely on Kobe Bryant to score mega points to keep us in games?

This guy, PJ, is such a freaken hypocrite that I don’t understand why Kobe Bryant doesn’t see it. I don’t understand why Jerry Buss and Mitch Kupchak don’t see it.

Well, let me point it out to you so you can see it plainly.

In Chicago PJ went with a front line of Bill Cartwright, Horace Grant, and Scottie Pippen. The Cartwright/Grant combination at the 4 and 5 spots were there for rebounds and defense. Pippen was the all around player to compliment Jordan. The 4 and the 5 spot were for defensive stability. That combination won 3 championships.

The next 3 championships were with Luc Longley, Dennis Rodman, and Scottie Pippen. Again, it was with the same intentions of rebounds and defense, and Pippen as the complimentary player to Jordan.

Here, with this Lakers roster, he has the same ingredients. With Kwame Brown as the center, and Ronny Turiaf as the power forward for rebounds and defense with Lamar Odom as the complimentary player to Bryant. But no, he decided to go with a defensive liability in Luke Walton over a rebounder like Ronny Turiaf. He rather play Odom out of position at the 4 spot than to do what he did in Chicago.

Now that Odom is out he compounds the matter by overvaluing Luke Walton’s ability to play defense in favor of Waltons heady play? Walton’s heady play can’t stop players from abusing him on the defensive end of the game, especially when Kwame Brown and Lamar Odom aren’t there to cover Walton’s a*s.

What PJ is doing with this Lakers’ roster is in complete disagreement with his philosophical view of the game. Just look at the front lines of those Bulls’ championship teams. There’s no way Luke Walton belongs in the starting line-up, especially now that Lamar Odom is out with an injury. Radmanovic should be starting at the 3 spot. Turiaf should be starting at the 4 spot. Bynum should be backing up Brown. Walton should be backing up Radmanovic. And we should be looking to sign a back-up power forward while Odom is out.

Kobe Bryant is a scoring machine. With or without Lamar Odom he should be averaging at least 30 points per game. That’s what Michael Jordan did. But with Kobe Bryant, PJ has a different philosophy?

Once more time. By going with Walton, Radmanovic, Cook, Bynum, and Turiaf without Kwame Brown in the mix, PJ is going against every philosophical basketball principle that he believes in. The question is why? By going with Luke Walton he violates every principle he used in Chicago. That is a serious breach in the trust he says he and Kobe Bryant now enjoy. Either that or Kobe Bryant is a gullible young man.

I read that Kobe said that he plays to please PJ. I remember reading that Kobe said that he trusts and that he was buying into what PJ says because this is the way PJ has always done it. Well, Kobe, you better wake up because this isn’t the way PJ has always done it. He’s short changing you, kid.

Just look at the 3 championships he won with the Lakers in his 1st three years here. Look at those front lines. Well, just look at the 3 and the 4’s. In 2000 it was A.C. Green with Glenn Rice. One scorer (Rice), and one dirty player (Green). In 2001 it was Horace Grant and Rick Fox. Fox was the scorer and Grant was the dirty player. In 2002 it was Horry and Fox. At that time both Horry and Fox were good defenders. Now PJ has Odom playing the 4 and Walton playing the 3? It’s Turiaf who should be doing the dirty work with Odom playing the 3 spot. Now that Odom is injured it’s Radmanovic who should be starting at the 3 spot with Turiaf doing the dirty work. I know Kwame is no Shaq but neither was Cartwright or Longley in Chicago.

Nowhere in PJ’s 9 championship has there ever been a Luke Walton type as a starter. That is not the way PJ does it. Starting Luke Walton is nothing but politics and marketing at Bryant’s legacy expense.

I’d like to hear Steve Kerr’s punk a*s justify this when he knows damn well that everything PJ’s doing with this Lakers roster goes against what he did in Chicago and with the Lakers for their championships.

All these idiots want to praise PJ when they understand enough about basketball to see that what he’s doing is in complete contradiction to what he did in Chicago. All because of Luke Walton? That tells you that these guys are complete phonies.

mike

Is this the most that any one individual has scored against a Phil Jackson coached team? If someone knows, that would be great. Thanks.

We'll ALWAYS have problems against teams that are gonna SHOOT (and I am not saying FG%, premeter shooting shots I mean) the ball well. Let alone with Mr. LO, one of our best premeter deffenders, OUT. So, we'll take it and go on. Is it ONLY me or Caron Butler and Gibert Arenas do look like they think they're MJ.

Andrew Z

I agree, Kobe should have left it with "tip your hat" but that's part of what makes him Kobe. It eats at him. He can't control it. It's not the money, it's the pride, the drive. Sometimes it doesn't come in a gracious package.
It's a mental competitiveness that pushes him to get up and come back at him, probably tossing up the exact kind of no conscious shots he was accusing GA of. Duh?

I just hope that the team gets confidence and plays better. Kobe's been trying hard not to take over the game and get everyone involved.

Vlad played well last night, maybe if Vlad and Luke were not fouled out the team would've won the game.

The past two games it has not just been Kobe, it has been a team effort, contributions from everyone.

Sometimes things don't work out (last night) and sometimes they do work out(Houston)

It's just growing pains, but hopefully they'll go 3-3 this road trip.

But hey put it this way, if they lose all six games they will still be 2 games over .500. hahaha.

Michael A

True about the 3s but I don't agree with the "period". Phil and Kobe had a problem with the disparity and they had a better view than you or I.

how about Jordan tucking Andrew's shirt when Andrew was at the foul line? that was funny. Like if Andrew was a little kid, haha

I have a feeling Jordan has taken like a big brother approach with Andrew. Jordan always tries to keep Andrew involved in the game.

Seeing Jordan tucking Andrew's shirt was funny to watch.

Arenas only made two more baskets than Kobe. Take away his free throws and it was a draw. Without free throws they scored about the same amount of points. Arenas had 24 points on 2 point shots. 15 points on 3 point shots. Total 39 points. Kobe scored 16 points on 2s and 21 points on 3s. Total 37 points. Kobe also had the same amount of rebounds and two more assists.

The ridiculous aspect of the game (outside of lousy defense and 3-mania) was the free throw discrepancy. The refs put Arenas at the line 27 times. Imagine if he hit them all. He'd be lauded for scoring 66. By contrast, Kobe gets to the line only 10 times. Veteran player. Superstar. On his home court. Put Kobe on the line 27 times and the Lakers would've won by +10.

Once again Bryant gets no love from an officiating crew. I wouldn't be surprised if a couple of them have a history of non-calls regarding Kobe. Mitch should pull a Cuban and hire some eggheads to crunch the numbers, then publically release their findings. Look what it's done for Dirk in Dallas. Someone on an opposing team merely swipes at the air in his vicinity and he's on the line. Same with league-mandated golden child D-Wade in Miami.

Yes, I'm looking at the "conspiracy" through Purple-colored glasses, but the bias that I and many other fans perceive makes the game increasingly difficult to enjoy -- especially during the playoffs and finals where the favoritism is painfully obvious.

Almost assured that the next time you see the NBA run promos on nationally televised games, you'll see footage of Arenas -- but nothing from Kobe's amazing performances this year.

Stern needs to check the hate on former number eight and realize that Kobe is fulfilling the promise that everyone recognized ten years ago. The Lakers sell out games on the road for two reasons -- they're the most storied franchise in the league -- and they've got #24. Contrary to the league's efforts to hold him down, the fans recognize.

One thing about Bryant -- adversity only makes him stronger. Expect +.500 ball on the road and an absolute rampage from #24 until Odom returns.

Mike T,

Are you serious? I can't speak for anyone else, but your good cop/bad cop reporting style which changes with each games' outcome, has grown very stale. Here's a suggestion...Why don't you create your own website and begin posting your comments there. Let AK/BK know the address so that they can make sure that James Worthy and the guys you say you are writing for can see it.

It is ridiculous how you attempt to praise Phil Jackson for his coaching style and approach one game and then rip him to shreds when the Lakers lose a game. Either he is a good coach or he isn't. Make your mind up! It is obvious that you base your reporting on Kwame Brown. Everything you write ends up being about Kwame Brown. In a way I wish that he was the one injured and not Lamar so that you would leave, having nothing left to report. Until you are in the NBA with 9 rings, making 10mil a year....I will put my money on Phil Jackson over you!

amen jj, mike t. is a phony glory hog who tries to talk people down

JJ,

You don't know what the hell you're talking about. Everything does come down to the play of the center on the defensive end. You've got to be on stupid guy to not understand that.

mike

"Everything does come down to the play of the center on the defensive end."

That's why the Bulls won all those titles. They had such great centers.

Hey JJ, chill out!

Can we please stop with the "refs cost us the game" crap? Kobe got away with at least two egregious fouls, in addition to the ones he was called for: a) raking Deshawn Stevenson in the face, and b) diving in front of Gil on a drive to the basketball, which was incredibly called a charge on Arenas.

The Wiz consistently went to the hole; the Lakers sat on the perimeter the entire time and chucked up 3s. They almost never took it inside; they were feeling confident in their stroke, with good reason, I might add - they made a ton of them. But when you do that, be prepared to lose the free-throw line battle. It ain't rocket science, folks.

Anyone who wants to present thenselves as a basketball analyst and doesn't use the defensive center as a foundation for their analysis is using a flawed approach to how they interpret a game. That's why when guys like JJ say stuff it's always way off. They're using offense as their foundation.

As for being a "glory hog." I guess I must be doing something right for you to describe my post as glorious or you're just too dumb to know what you're saying. smoothd...come on. Don't go down that road.

mike

exhelodrvr,

No the Bulls didn't have great scoring centers. They had defensive centers to compliment what Jordan was doing.

What the Bulls had in Jordan we have in Bryant. All we need is defense from the 5 spot.

mike

It's not about defensive centers it's about your sickening obsession with Kwame Brown.

I understand that defense is the key. I also understand that the traditional way to have a well-structured defense is to start with a strong defensive presence in the middle. That is not what I am talking about at all.

I am talking about your on again off again approach to critiquing Phil Jackson and your method or style in expressing your analysis of a Lakers' game. Explain how you can consider Phil to be a great coach one game and then totally degrade him the next. Is he a good coach or isn't he?

I disagree with your "what the Bulls had in Jordan we now have in Kobe."

Jordan spent very little time being the facilitator of the offense. Scottie Pippen held that responsibility with guys like Harper as backups in that role. That allowed Jordan to put more focus on defense when he wasn't scoring.

Also, until his latter years with the Bulls, Jordan was not a solid 3-point shooter. IF hot he could make a few, but his focus was getting closer to the basket. He very rarely would have a night where he hit multiple 3's. In his latter years, he became a more reliable outisde shooter.

So the Lakers have something different (I did not say better) than what the Bulls had.

PLAYOFF SEEDING by JJ
As of December 18, 2006

The following current playoff seeding predictions are a compilation of current performance as well as potential to maintain that performance over the remainder of the season. As each month of games has been completed, the overall records will become a greater factor when offering these predictions. However, for now, they are only partly responsible for the review. Please note that the seeding order is in accordance with current league rules for the playoffs (i.e. division winners). Also note that I have left off actual records as it is still too early to determine the max and min totals that will be necessary for the 16 teams to make the post season.

Eastern Conference
1 – Cleveland Cavaliers
2 – Detroit Pistons
3 – Orlando Magic
4 – New Jersey Nets
5 – Chicago Bulls
6 – Miami Heat
7 – Indiana Pacers
8 – Washington Wizards

Atlanta, Boston, and Milwaukee are potential playoff teams that may crack that top 8 if someone falters.

Western Conference
1 – Utah Jazz
2 – San Antonio Spurs
3 – Dallas Mavericks
4 – Phoenix Suns
5 – Los Angeles Lakers
6 – Houston Rockets
7 – Denver Nuggets
8 – New Orleans Hornets

Golden State, Minnesota, and Sacramento are potential playoff teams that may crack that top 8 if someone falters.

JJ,

"Explain how you can consider Phil to be a great coach one game and then totally degrade him the next."

It's called a Journal. It goes from game to game. This Journal is going prove whether PJ won all those Championship because he had great players or was it because of his system.

That's the whole knock on PJ. Did he win those championships because of great players despite his questionable coaching. By the end of the season we're going to know.

After what he did against Phoenix with Smush Parker...I'm putting this guy on display. That way all those basketball people out there can see PJ for what he really is. A myth.

mike

I'm all for freedom of speech, thought, etc....but isn't this blog running out of "freedom of space" with Mike T's endlessly long winded, sometimes contradictory diatribes?

It's beginning to get harder to even scroll past his entires as they keep getting bigger and bigger...

I wonder how much he likes to hear himself talk?

GO LAKES!!!!

Teniente;

i'm with JJ on this one. if you hate PJ just come out and say it and be done with it. the man obviously makes you so mad that you forget to follow your own "format." it's ok to hate him bro, you don't have to humor us with your thumbs up.
as for last night's game, i thought the only puzzling move by him was to insert sasha at a crucial moment at the end of the game and into the OT. then again he did go on to make a big three for us so there goes that. for a better assessment of PJ's coaching, read yesterday's link to Roland Lazenby's talk with Tex.

"It's called a Journal. It goes from game to game. This Journal is going prove whether PJ won all those Championship because he had great players or was it because of his system."

A Journal is for recording what transpires. You are putting your spin on the facts and twisting them to fit your already preconceived ideas. Isn't it a bit arrogant to believe that simply by you putting some notes on this blog, it is going to reveal to the "basketball world" whether or not Phil is a phony? Besides, who made you his judge in the first place?

"That's the whole knock on PJ. Did he win those championships because of great players despite his questionable coaching. By the end of the season we're going to know."

I use to believe that same thing until he came to LA. After 3 championships with the Lakers, I have no further doubts.

"After what he did against Phoenix with Smush Parker...I'm putting this guy on display. That way all those basketball people out there can see PJ for what he really is. A myth."

If you are so unliking of Phil Jackson, who would you prefer to coach the Lakers?

G-man,

What? You don't like the way I broke that game down? I put details just so I can show people what PJ is doing. You don't like that do you because it exposes PJ. That interfers with your worship of PJ. There is nothing wrong in what I said. I just used a lot of details because I'm not going to leave doubt in what I'm saying. Get used to it.

PJ is going to do the right thing and I'm going to point it all out. Especially with that play-by-play account of the game to enable me to be precise. Yeah...get used to it.

It's not about what I said that gets you upset. It's that it's true and it's about PJ that makes you angry.

mike

"It's called a Journal. It goes from game to game. This Journal is going prove whether PJ won all those Championship because he had great players or was it because of his system.

That's the whole knock on PJ. Did he win those championships because of great players despite his questionable coaching. By the end of the season we're going to know.

After what he did against Phoenix with Smush Parker...I'm putting this guy on display. That way all those basketball people out there can see PJ for what he really is. A myth.

mike"

so if what you're doing is trying to give us an assessment of PJ's coaching ability, you seem to forget the most important thing about studies: you don't presume anything. your mind is already made up so your judgment is biased. you already have your conclusion (PJ is a bad coach) so why put us though this charade of pretending to analyse him objectively?



Mike T,

LOL! I want a full report on every regular season game when Chicago won its 3 championships, then I will believe your argument. How do you know Phil didn't experiment in 91/92/93 with other players?

One thing I know about Phil is that the first time he sees a team during the year, he experiments and lets the players get away with a little more than usual. Then, the second matchup is all about adjustments. Its just like the playoffs!

PHIL WAS EXPERIMENTING WITH DIFFERENT LINEUPS.

Gee, thats a news flash! That is what Phil Jackson does. Honestly, I do believe that Phil will sacrifice wins to do his experimenting with different players in different situations. Its not about coaching every game to win at all cost. At least from Phils perspective, it isn't.

It's about learning what his team is capable of doing in certain situations. I think thats part of Phils game plan - to see what he can learn from his players when they are put in certain situations. It's not always about getting the win with him. It's a learning process for him and the players.

That is what seperates him from other coaches in the league.

If he can keep Sasha's confidence high by putting him in a certain situation, he is going to do that as well. Its also about managing egos, helping the players improve at a pace that doesn't hurt their confidence.


Keithinator

You're right, the refs didn't cost us the game...the free throws did. JK.

Phil and Kobe mentioned it, they know the game somewhat. 2-1 disparity on your home floor is not a non issue no matter how many 3s you took. It's not why we lost, but it's a factor. We should have adjusted and taken it to the hole more because the refs were callin' it that way. Then there would have been even more free throws. Great viewing.

"After what he did against Phoenix with Smush Parker"

Absolutely!! He should have played Sasha more. We've seen how Sasha has stepped up to the plate this season!!

Instead of being angry at PJ you blame me for being long winded? Well...I guess you need someone to vent you frustrations at. And since it can't be Kwame Brown, and since you won't hold PJ responsible...I guess I'm your next best choice.

You see that? Where's all the Kwame Brown hating? You can't do that because of what I wrote.

Leave no doubt! That's my intention.

mike

Mike...My thing is that you can't praise him for making right moves one night and then criticize him the next, when you are basing the quality of the moves on that of the outcome of the game. In essence, if the players make it work, you consider it to be okay, but if the players fail to come through...you blame PJ...and then Walton.

Outside of the the loss against Dallas, I haven't seen you say much negatively for Kwame. Do you honestly believe that he has gone from the guy known only for his mistakes to being infallible? Newsflash, sometimes, it is Kwame's fault when something goes wrong on the defensive end. It isn't always Walton's fault or Vlade.

M T,
The Lakers have a decent roster, not a great roster, with a lot of young, inexperienced players. Most of the players have notable flaws/gaps in their games. The only ones who don't are Kobe and Lamar, and even those two have their issues. (Lamar inconsistency, Kobe with getting too wrapped up in personal duels at times). So it is very much a juggling act for the coaches, trying to find the best combination.

To give an accurate portrayal, you can't simply look at everything through the spectrum of Kwame Brown. And when you look at how he performed in 11 minutes, and then pro-rate that, your accuracy suffers even more.

JJ,
The Clippers should be included, too, at the very least in the "potential playoff team" category.

"You know what? PJ is a pretender. He acts like he’s about defense yet he keeps his defensive specialist out of the game at key moments and lets the game get out of control. This guy puts more value in Luke Walton than he does in Kwame Brown. Caron Butler averages 18 points a game but he scored 27 points tonight. That was on Luke Walton."

so what's you answer, Mike? put Kwame on Caron Butler? That should work nicely...

You see? This isn't even about the game anymore. It's about me and my post. I stole your every reason to vent at Kwame Brown. It's all about me now. What don't you have anyone in the game to attack? Is this the point where all the finger pointing goes on? I broke that game down so cold that only PJ could be left responsible but you won't point your finger at him.

Thank you very much. I'm very proud of what I did. I killed you every reason to blame anyone but PJ. And since you can't blame the players...I'm next in line. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I've succeeded in my intention.

mike

"Instead of being angry at PJ you blame me for being long winded? Well...I guess you need someone to vent you frustrations at. And since it can't be Kwame Brown, and since you won't hold PJ responsible...I guess I'm your next best choice."

Instead of you taking your frustration out on PJ and sending these long-winded diatribes directly to him, you subject us to scrolling through them. If your real beef is with him, send this journal to him!

zen -

Excellent post about the way Phil experiments with lineups, etc., during the season. He still wants them to win the game, but he wants them to win on his terms and with the players he chooses, demanding that all of his players step up and perform their roles in the system on a moment's notice.

M T,
The Bulls centers, other than Cartwright, were not that good defensively. They were adequate at best. But the Bulls had absolutely superb perimeter defense. So no, defense does not all depend on the center.

JJ,

Now you're making things up. I've praise PJ's coaching moves as brilliant when he deserves it. But I've pointed out questionable things when he deserves it. It's that simple. Give credit where credit it due. And hold them responsible when its appropriate.

mike

SERGIO,

I HAD A DREAM AND IN THAT DREAM YOU WERE LOSING ALOT OF MONEY.

exhelodrvr,

I agree with your last post except for you mentioning Kobe's "flaw" being that of getting wrapped up in personal duels at times. Do you not think that MJ ever got wrapped up in personal duels? Name one NBA player that was never driven by personal duels. It's just that the latest "kick" for the league is this whole team first concept.

Arenas is a part of this commercial talking about it takes 5 and it's about 5. Yet...was it about 5, when he was scoring all those points last night? If i recall caron and he had some negative comments for Kobe when he went off for 81. I bet it looks different now that the shoe is on the other foot.

Mike T,

Ain't nobody making anything up. Your comments are right there in black and white. You have published every journal for us to read and clearly you sing a different tune depending on if the Lakers win or lose. How can the same guy that you call brilliant one night, be the same guy that you call a phony the next?

You are the one that is a phony.

I'm a huge Kobe fan, but I have to say I was a little disappointed in his reaction to Arenas' big night. Arenas is a huge fan of 24 and even praised him after the win. I know Kobe's competitive drive is part of what makes him unstoppable, and I'm sure he was upset with a loss after a fantastic near triple double wasn't enough to win the game. ...but you've got to give credit where it's due. Kobe's bread and butter is taking it to the rack, creating contact and finishing. I whine about the calls as much as anyone, but last night Gilbert earned what he got - he was aggressive and the refs rewarded that.

I don't think Kobe was wanted to insult him, but man - no conscience? That's pretty much a description of Kobe last year. Don't be a hypocrite! You're better than that - we know because we've been seeing it all season.

Great game from Kobe, and fantastic night from Arenas. If we had played an ounce of defense, that would have been a big win to take us on the road with a little momentum. Instead, we'll have to settle for a tough lesson.

Either way, there were positives to take away from the loss. Vlade's confidence building performance and Luke's continuing growth as a table-setter were both part of a silver lining in what turned out to be a cloudy night.

These are great lessons to learn now, and will only make this team stronger when Lamar is back in the mix! Don't lose the faith. I think it's good for this team to learn it can't always depend on a late rally to compensate for a sluggish start. It showed they have the ability to put together a run and scrape out of a hole - when they learn to start a game with that same energy, that ability to push will be put to use as they pull away and put the hammer down on their opponents.

Keep the faith!

You see? This isn't even about the game anymore. It's about me and my post. I stole your every reason to vent at Kwame Brown. It's all about me now. I broke that game down so cold that only PJ could be left responsible but you won't point your finger at him.

Thank you very much. I'm very proud of what I did. I killed you every reason to blame anyone but PJ. And since you can't blame the players...I'm next in line. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I've succeeded in my intention.

mike

i read a lot of "I" and "ME" in there... was that your intention? were you not hugged enough as a child?

And here we go again. I'm not sure why all the arguing about Mike T's little blog, just ignore it if you don't like it. It's not like he's going to listen to your arguments anyway, and the arguments just fill up even more screen space with stuff people aren't really going to read. It's repetitive after a while. He makes a wild statement, people complain, he defends himself, yada yada... you should know by now the essence of what he's going to write anyway - Kwame is king, and PJ sucks.

Although I gotta say that statement about defensive centers is a bit overblown... those Bulls teams never had a great defensive presence in the middle, their perimeter defence was outstanding.

Mike T,

Because no one is criticizing any of the players, doesn't mean that fault can't be placed on some. The point is, that right now, the fact of how you sway back and forth with each post is the issue. We'll get to the players, including your precious Brown in a minute.

JJ, that whole "team game" thing? It's not new. It's how the game used to be played pre-90's. Just so you know.

Vman, anybody involved in a game thinks they didn't get calls. Phil probably is trying to get inthe refs minds for later - trust me, he knows the Wizards were more aggressive. You just can't look at the number of calls and say there was a problem. There's a problem if the calls are inconsistent.

We took too many jump shots and didn't make enough stops. That's all it was.

JJ,

Again...it's about me and my journal. It's not about that strange substitution pattern that PJ used last night.

Nothing you say goes back to last nights game because PJ is responsible. What we have are people justifying what happened with giving PJ credit for experimenting. You see? It's not that what PJ did was wrong. I was clearly wrong...but he was experimenting. That justifies his actions.

Well, at least no one is attacking the players. Just justifying PJ's wrong doing.

mike

serieously mike, get your own blog. your thumbs up/thumbs down commentation is retarded. its so predictable. every time the Lakers win its a thumbs up for him and every time they lose its a thumbs down. the people who actually agree with you or care about your journal can go to your site and read all your nonsense for themselves. you're not an expert, the latimes blog was not set up so you could piggyback own wannabe blog or build some sort of wannabe writing career. please save us all from your craziness!

JJ,
"I agree with your last post except for you mentioning Kobe's "flaw" being that of getting wrapped up in personal duels at times."

But it hurts the team, whether or not MJ did it. And one or two possessions that are "wasted" because of that attitude would make the difference in probably 5-10 games the Lakers lose this year.

Michael A,

I disagree. We never heard so much said about "it's all about team" or were players criticized when they scored a lot of points. Players were not criticized when they had points and nothing else. However, the NBA is putting out commercials and doing promotions all in the name of promoting TEAM. You can't tell me that this isn't new. There has never been another time in NBA history where so much was made of playing TEAM ball.

Just like, if what Steve Nash is doing is so noteworthy and makes him eligible to be the MVP each season...why didn't Magic get MVP each year? While Nash racks up points and assists...Magic had triple doubles.

It's because the league is trying to change the perception of things.

zen

True. His ex players have said Phil's first 30 games are all experiments to see what he's got. He plays mind games, throws combinations out there that shouldn't be together and starts reelin' it in after all the data is processed.

In a sense, that makes us all correct in our observations, including Mike. Conclusions might be off now and again but if it looks a bit strange at times, that's undoubtedly just the way Phil wants it.

kb4ever,

I broke that game down, baby! What you don't like is that it points out PJ and Luke Walton. Go figure!

And I'll do it here on the L.A. Times thank you very much. I don't have to piggy back when it's the Times' intention to get this type of responses.

If you don't like what I say, comment on what AK/BK are saying. Isn't that interesting enough for you?

mike

Michael A,

Amen to that brother.

When a team scores 147 points on you, EVERYONE played sh*tty defense. Including Kwame. It's a team game at the end of the day, no matter what one player did in 12 minutes and 37 seconds of the first half.

As for PJ, and whether his 9 rings are because of players or his ability, you need to give the guy credit as a great coach, no matter the personel. Every coach to win a ring has great players. Did Red Auerbach win only because he had Russell, Cousy and the like? How about Riley because he had Magic, Kareem, Worthy, et al. Every coach EVER to win a ring has had great players, because rings are won by the dudes on the court when all the dust settles. Coaches are there to get their players minds in the right places to win, to bring the best out of them. That's where Phil Jackson excels. Is he the best X and O guy of all time, maybe not. But that's not what wins championships.

Mike T,

Again, there you go dodging the fact that your posts are wishy-washy!

exhelodrvr,

That "flaw" as you call it...also has won the Lakers quite a few games as well.

Michael Teniente,

Your breaking down the game isn't the problem...your conclusions and rash judgements on the abilities of the players and coach for the future are the problems. You have it in for Luke when you fail to realize he is a vital part to making the team function. You have a problem with Lamar at the 4, but you fail to realize that if he was at the 3, he wouldn't be at his best because he would have to play outside. The four allows him to play in the post as well as take slower big men off the dribble.

You claim to know the game but you miss these basic concepts?

Mike,
my 6 year old niece could "break" the laker game down too, but that doesn't mean anybody cares about what she's saying or takes her comments as some sort of gospel. the reason you won't start your own blog is because you know no one cares about your crappy journal.

JJ,

"Again, there you go dodging the fact that your posts are wishy-washy!"

Well, at least I have your attention. You can't deny that.

mike

Why is every one getting so riled up about a loss to a team the Lakers should beat? It sucks that it happens, but it seems to be a hallmark of this team.

I agree that he does some things that seem downright stupid in the context of winning a particular game. However I think anyone that watches him long enough should realize that it is not always about winning a single game (a battle) but winning the war (getting to the playoffs). Mike T. makes a lot of good points - but, PJ and Co. have shown they know what they are doing over a long period of time. Maybe a little faith is required...


Phil's teams have won 9 titles so far. Great players? Yes. How many teams with crappy players have won titles? Has he had some luck? Sure. It seems the Heat were kind of lucky last year themselves. I didn't follow the Bulls that closely, but I know his Lakers championship teams seemed to have a lot of these types of games too. Games where we all say what the "bleep" was he thinking???

If you like him or not, I don't think 9 titles happen by accident. It takes more than just talent - there is more to it than X's and O's, it is a combination of factors and Phil seems to be pretty good at finding the right combination, even if it doesn't always make sense.

If the Lakers are meant to win it all this year they will. It is still a young team and a team that is still learning how to play together. The rotation has been disturbed with LO going out, and now they are learning again. It will take time for them to hit their stride and frankly I want them peaking come playoff time, not before the All-Star break.

Eagleboy.

AZ,

Exactly. Couldn't we say that Pat Riley was an opportunist when he took over the Lakers? The team had just won a title and returned many of the key players for the next 4 he would go on to win. Couldn't we say he was an opportunist when he stepped in at Miami? He kicked Van Gundy out and took the team on to a championship. How do we know that Van Gundy couldn't have done the same?

Don't even let me get started on Red. Not only was the league short, the talent was heavy in one direction....The Celtics. When 3/4 of your championship teams from before Bird, were filled with players that eventually made the hall of fame...I think you should stay quiet about someone benefitting from talent.

How many players from the Bulls championships are in or heading to the hall? How many from the 3 in LA?

JJ,

Gotta disagree that the NBA is all about promoting TEAM. They have been critisized in the past few years of promoting the superstar (i.e. Lebron, Wade, Kobe, etc.). It got to the point where the play started declining because it was in the best interest of a player to do more individually than the success of their team. The leagues marketability will only go as far as it's superstars, and at the end of the day that's what the league cares about.

The only reason TEAM is even getting any publicity these days is because the expansion has caused the talent pool to be diluted to the point of parity. At the end of the day it's an individual superstar driven league.

Mike T,

"Nothing you say goes back to last nights game because PJ is responsible."

Questionable substitution patterns aside, the players gave up 147 points!!! I could see if we gave up 105, 110 maybe, and then saying PJ was responsible in some way, but 147, are you kidding me!?!?

Mike T,

Obviously...you can't defend yourself either....

kb4ever,

Well, you sure read it. For someone who doesn't care about my crappy journal it sure has your attention. It's the same old song and dance.

We don't like your journal Michael T.! But you keep on reading it! LOL! You could stop if you wanted to. And if you did stop...that would please me very much.

mike

i'm sick of hearing about teams not getting calls on their home court. do you really think dick bavetta says before walks into staples "oh! i forgot i'm in LA. better give walton all the calls!"

teams getting calls at home is a fallacy. we just didn't get the calls b/c we just didn't get the calls. second quarter, WASH is in the penalty at the 8 minute mark... we don't get to the line until 2:43 remains... that's punctuated by kobe getting pushed out of bounds and there's no call. then compound that with four consecutive possessions for WASH ends up at the line. pretty frustrating but we've had similiar situations happen on the road, too (read: Utah)

btw, i guess ya'll complaining about kobe's sportsmanship didn't catch him praising yao ming to the hilt just the other night. ... i thought arenas was friggin' unstoppable, clearly kobe thought differently

if the dude felt like arenas is a gunner with no conscious, then so be it. can he be honest with his thoughts or should he lie and "tip the hat" just to give another false, watered-down soundbite?

it's funny. i bet the same people who talk about kobe's insincerity and contrived politeness gets pissed whenever he speaks his mind. ...sheesh

re: Kobe's comments

I think the LA Times posted the most complete version of Kobe's reaction:

You tip your hat and say, 'See you next time,' " Bryant said. "First of all, he shot 27 free throws. We as a team shot 30. Think about that.

"But him individually, it's funny. He doesn't seem to have much of a conscience. I really don't think he does. Some of the shots he took tonight, you miss those, and they're just terrible shots. Awful. You make them and they're unbelievable shots. I don't get a chance to play him much, so I haven't gotten used to that mentality of just chucking it up there. He made some big ones, but I'll be ready next time."

I don't know the context in which he said this but it's ironic that he wouldn't be self aware enough to realize that his comments/criticisms hold more true for himself than almost anyone else in the league. It's the epitome of the pot calling the kettle black.

summary of mike's retarded journals:
IF THE LAKERS LOST:

a thumbs down for phil jackson!

worst coaching job ever! i thought kobe . . blah blah. phil's rotations . .. blah blah. I knew at the beginning of the 2nd quarter . . . blah blah. Everybody's an idiot but me ...blah blah. I hate Luke . . . .

IF THE LAKERS WON:

A thumb's up for Phil Jackson!

i thought kobe . . blah blah. phil's rotations . .. blah blah. I knew at the beginning of the 2nd quarter . . . blah blah. Everybody's an idiot but me ...blah blah. I hate Luke . . . .

THERE YOU HAVE IT, MIKE'S RETARDED JOURNALS.

vman,
I agree.

Mike T,

Everyone deserves an opinion and I love the dialog you create on this blog. I'm sure the K brothers do too!

Just like the some of us, you've been watching the game a long time and its nice to have different insight.

However, when are you going to understand that you cannot "breakdown" a Phil Jackson regular season game? Especially this early in the season.

Phil Jackson's substitutions are created based on a dozen different factors and some of them we can't even dream of figuring out. They are in his head. Phil Jackson is not about winning every game. In the 4th quarter of a close game he would probably not experiment much. But the rest of the game is open to his experiments in this early season.

Everyone who has respect in this game says Phil is a great coach - if not the best of all time. Leave it at that. Sit back, chill, and watch Phil turn Kwame into the player he should be come playoff time.

Michael A

I agree, Phil probably has an agenda, and Kobe knows 27 freebies for Arenas and 30 for the whole Laker team is a number he's gotten from time to time, but this was record setting on the home floor, so it sticks out a little. I shouldn't have said "that was the game", it's never just about free throws. I thought the points allowed in the paint was the biggest issue on D. Truth is, they were just hot. They hit every shot and kept us down the whole night. They didn't fold when we caught 'em. They won it. Next.

btw, you boys are ruining the flow of this 'Extra! Extra!' post

seriously, we're trying to read what other fans thought about the game, not ya'lls personal pissing match

take it to e-mail.

Eagleboy,
ANd "luck" is forgotten unless you get your team to a point where "luck" makes a difference.

CBuck,

I agree. My post was a break down of the game. The rest is people talking about my journal not the game itself.

mike

JJ,
The problem is that there are times when Kobe takes it too far. That is something he still needs to work on.

AZ, not to split hairs but you just agreed with me in essence. I didn't say anything about or when the league shifted. I only said that the League has shifted to a TEAM first concept and it is very obvious that they are going overboard to make people buy into it.

That was my point.

Hey MT:
If u criticize the game so much then why don't u coach the team and see if u can do any better!
I would think that someone with 9 championships isn't earning $10mil for nothing!

zen,

"However, when are you going to understand that you cannot "breakdown" a Phil Jackson regular season game? Especially this early in the season."

You say I cannot breakdown a PJ game this early in the season? I say it's never been done. What does it matter? At the end of the season we can look back and see it for what it really is. Game by game. It's like an embryo...it's developing.

We're going to see what this kid looks like at the end of the season for sure.

mike

exhelodrvr,

It isn't fair to criticize a guy when he makes one mistake here or there, yet he is laso responsible for gaining so much overall for the team. At some point you should overlook his mistakes considering how much he brings to the team.

Ex,

I agree, but to our benefit Kobe has improved on checking his personal agenda at the door. Still, like the end of the Dallas game a few days ago, the old Kobe reared it's ugly head and he looked like he was trying to beat Dallas on his own.

JJ, players don't get criticized when they get a lot of points now. They do get criticized if it's obvious they're shooting poorly, or playing outside the team concept. But trust me, that used to be the standard operating procedure back in the day. And I must have missed the part where Magic and Bird didn't win a ton of MVPs. That was all about their tem play. The only stat Magic ever led the league in (I think) was assists, and I don't think Bird did in anything... but they were great team players.

And before that? It was all about team play, people using their talents for the team. Well, that's what the league was trying to push anyway. Certainly some players didn't play that way, but it wasn't considered acceptable until the '90s.

Kobe had a great game against Houston and if they'd beat Washington we'd all be saying the same thing. Kobe is one of the best players of all time but let's be real, he's not the defender he was when Shaq was here. It's a lot easier to roam on "D" when you have a Shaq behind you. And it's not just Kobe, with the rule change, no one really plays "D" anymore. Arenas did a great job, he deserved the calls he got because he kept blowing pass Kobe and getting to the rim. This season the Laker backcourt has been getting torched. (Ray Allen, Michael Redd, Gilbert Arenas) but because Kobe at least plays "D" some games he'll probably make first team defense this year.I'm sure the Lakers will be fine once LO gets back. Somebody in this thread compared these Lakers and Kobe to the Bulls and Jordan. That's blasphemy, Jordan was Defensive player of the year while leading the league in scoring. All of those Bulls teams were great defensively. These Lakers aren't even top 10 right now.

Good point about the coaching AZ.

Michael T,

My friend, I can't be upset if you said anything negative at all about PJ, because I didn't even read your post...and even then, I'm all for agreeing to disagree....this is what makes blogs and posts so great...but it requires respect in that sense.

If you maybe tailored down your thoughts and understood people do value your ideas but maybe not at a "Gone with the Wind" style length, you'd have more interaction.

I love PJ. I also know he makes moves that puzzle me at times.

At the end of the day, we're Lakers fans and that's all that matters.

- G-man

JJ,

Sorry, I see what you mean. I'm still too upset at PJ for giving up 147 points last night Although I watched the game, I can't for the life of me remember him being on the court.

And honestly, maybe its time to realize that we just don't have the defensive personel to be an outstanding defensive team. We may have our bright spots but when we tend to have slower than average perimeter players and our post defenders are either young and inexperienced or centers that are weak at help defense, it makes it tough to find the correct recipe for consistent team defense. This is the reason that I like having PJ at the helm. I think his ability to see things in the big picture will help a young team like this. We need to find out our team's defensive identity and what combination of players fits that mold the best. There's going to be some bumps on the way, some personel changes (my guess) and some successes. But unlike some, I don't get too worked up over one game, and I sure hell don't think playing one guy more would have changed things too much. Seriously, even if Kwame played 40 minutes last night, we still give up 125 or so, right? No player in the NBA is worth 47 or so points on the defensive end.

Mike T,

I agree with you that Kwame and Bynum are the keys to the Lakers. Even Phil Jackson said that.

Bynum is not ready, but he's getting better.

Kwame has his faults too, but he's getting better. Remember when Odom said Kwame should lead the league in rebounding?

I think the issue with Kwame is that he doesn't totally understand how good he can be. Lamar Odom had the same problem before last year. Phil Jackson is helping him through that. You have to believe. It's a belief issue with Kwame.

exh-

Yeah, I agree completely, Kobe needs to work on that aspect of his game. Initially I would suggest three hourly sessions a week:
-Mondays he could draw up a mind map of his thoughts and feelings, to see where this hostility to opposing guards might be coming from.
-Wednesdays would be devoted to an anger management session, so he can learn how to play hard without needing to become so impolite in the face of the opponent.
-Finally, Fridays could be spent with Kwame, learning how to put more energy into doing up his hair instead of getting into all these "personal duels".
For now, he could replace his conditioning workouts with these therapy sessions. It's great that Kobe likes to work on his game, but until he learns to become a gentleman, there's only so far his abilities can take him.

Who ever thinks Kwame B deserves his 8.9M salary is an idiot.... Outside of his 7feet 270lb body, and a decent low post defense, there is nothing else this guys has in his game... Anyone that gets 25 to 30 minutes a game in the NBA with a body like hes, will post the same numbers as he does... Were just asking him for some consistency... I'm perfectly fine and I think the coaches are to with Kwame not scoreing a lot, but grabing at least 13R a game and being huge in every other aspect of the game... The Lakers shot 30% I believe in the 1st quarter and on to the 2nd quarter, were is Kwame grabbing those offense of rebounds.... Kwame needs to step up his game.... Again I will mention this one more time, he has to stop acting like a nice guys all the time...

Mike A,

You are missing what I am saying. I'm not saying that it wasn't about team play...I'm saying it wasn't shoved down our throats that it was about team play. Teams played...and that was that. Now, if a player breaks out and has a dynamic game it is analyzed to see if it was in the team concept or outside of it.

You say that the only time a player is criticized for shooting too much is when they shoot poorly or their play is against the team concept....why is Kobe still criticized by some for his 81? Why was he criticized by some for his 53 this year?

Is AI's shooting outside the team concept? If the concept of the team is to have him shoot a whole lot...is he outside the concept if he shoots a whole lot? Isn't Redd shooting a lot this season? Is he outside the team concept?

Folks use to kill me with saying that the Lakers weren't a team when they had Shaq and Kobe because Shaq and Kobe scored so much. However, isn't it possible that within the team concept for that team, it was right for them to score that much? Isn't it possible that within the current team for LA, that the concept could be setup for Kobe to score a lot and that still be within the team concept? The truth be told, today, teams are praised for playing a team game when they have multiple players in double figures. Since when has having players in double figures meant that a team concept was used, however, not having it meant that it wasn't?

As you can see, I have a huge problem with all of this TEAM concept stuff.

Several points today in this dark dark defensive day haha.

If it's a foul in the first minute, it should be a foul in the last. Heck if it's a foul called on us, it should be a foul for them.

Granted, I hated that chuck it up mentality that we demonstrated last night. Memo to our team, we're tall, we're athletic, nowhere in there does it say we shoot 45% 3 pointers as a team. Stop killing yourselves with the 3. And yes in that case it's somewhat a PJ responsibility (I say bench the dude that isn't making it lol). We should have been making a living in the paint, even with LO out. If we can do that against the taller Jazz, we should have been able to do that against the Wiz.

No rotations whatsoever all night long. None, Nada, zip. The only reason we got back in this game was cause they suck defensively, and that's not saying much in terms of our offense. Yes, Kobe was essentially being Kobe, but the difference between this game and the last, is our defense (incidentally, is also the difference between this loss, and the other night's win). We at least buckled down and played defense in the early 3rd, late 4th, and 2 overtimes the last game...can the same be said for this game? 147+ points? Unacceptable. How in the world did they get so much? Oh yeah, we kept chucking up 3s, that were missed, equaled long rebounds, equaled oh, transition points. And when that wasn't the case, it was about "touch" defense. I see. Rotations, rotations, rotations...move your feet and even the refs can't miss the call ALL THE TIME. I'm not even gonna get started on the rebounds.

That said, I expect a better effort on the next game. Sometimes we play so good, or in certain games so "veteran-ish" that we forget we have a very very young team, that is not only missing it's second best player, it's still really learning the triangle. So patience is definitely called for. If anything, ups and downs should really be expected, and we haven't had much of that really. All I really ask for is effort lol.

Go Lakers!

 
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