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Who Wants to Set a Personal Scoring Record?

Mercifully, Kobe Bryant decided to sit this one out, figuring that his injured ankle needed the rest more than the Lakers needed him for Friday night's game against Atlanta.  (Yeah, the Hawks are better, but until further notice, they're still the Hawks.)  In the end, the Lakers got their cake (time off for 24) and ate it, too (a 106-95 win) before a rather generally somnambulant crowd at Staples Center.  In fairness, they don't get jazzed up for the Hawks in Atlanta, either.  It wasn't exactly pretty, but the Lakers got the job done in fairly convincing fashion, more or less controlling the game throughout.  Not surprisingly, it was a group effort, full of personal achievement.  Luke Walton led the way with 25/4/6 (a career best in points), Mo Evans, starting in place of that Bryant guy, poured in 22 (a career best), including a very Kobe-esque and-one in the fourth, flipping the ball off his hip with nary a peek at the basket while getting hammered.  (For my next trick...) Kwame Brown flirted with a trip-doub (13/7/7), and Jordan Famar continued to chip away at Smush Parker's playing time.  23 minutes (including the entire fourth quarter), with a career high 15 points (you guessed it, a career best), four dimes, and three steals. 

More on the game to come. 

BK

If you're interested in hearing audio from L.O., don't hold your breath.  His interview was cut relatively short by his constant eating of Starburst throughout, much to the chagrin of PR guru John Black, who apparently has a strict no candy during interview rule.  By the time everyone was done laughing and L.O. was finished chewing... nobody really had any questions for him.  Could this conflict with his potential Mike and Ike endorsement deal?  We ask the big questions around here.  Moving on...

While this was a big game career wise for Evans, Farmar, and Walton, it doesn't seem like it'll stick all that much in P.J.'s memory bank.  It sounded like he was having trouble coming up with much to say in his traditional postgame "opening statement." Download phil_jackson_12.8 postgame ATL.mp3

What did make an impact was Farmar's play.  Jackson didn't say anything about JF taking the starting gig over for Smush, but did say he's been very successful on teams where guards split time, and appreciated the energy that Farmar has brought to the court.  "I've had a number of teams where guards have split minutes, and I've been very happy with it," Jackson said.  "It gives us an opportunity to play with a little more momentum and a little more energy out there, particularly in that position which has to be real active."  Download phil_jackson_12.8 on PG rotation.mp3

Kobe was a late scratch.  He was hoping to play, but couldn't get the ankle pain free.  First, PJ, then Kobe on the bum body part.  Download phil_jackson_12.8 on Kobe ankle.mp3
Download kobe_12.8 on ankle, late scratch.mp3

24 had some good things to say about the supporting cast, who came up big in his absence.  Particularly Mo Evans. Download kobe_bryant_12.8 on guys stepping up.mp3 

Plenty more on the game coming tomorrow, including more on Walton's big night.

BK

 
Comments () | Archives (43)

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Great 3rd Quarter. Set the tone for the second half. Kwame was great. Farmar was great. Everyone was good. Sasha...well...good defense, I think. I'm ready to join the start Farmar clan.

3-0 without Kobe. The offense flows, players step up unafraid. They don't worry about options, don't worry about Kobe, they just play. Great confidence builder for the "other guys" tonight. If Kobe isn't 80% I sure hope he sits Sunday and comes back ready for the road.

Great effort...good game. I mean let's face it we had to win...if not might as well throw the towel lol...but great game nonetheless. Our players brought a concernted effort out there...good to see.

I also liked that Kob sat this one out...he'll def be "ready" come Sun.

Just watched Phil's press conference on FSN! They asked why no Smsuh in the fourth, he said Jordan had it going and inserting Smush may have messed with the momentum. Phil went on to say that he's been successful in the past with his point guards splitting minutes & it's a formula he'll be using going forward!! Smush your time is up, baby!!

Farmar was a thing of beauty tonight!! The funny thing, Smush wasn't that bad tonight but the offense runs better, more fluidly with Jordan at the point!! I'm a NY guy and I've got love for Smush and in NY fashion, I've got to keep it real, Farmar IS the future!!!

Quick note...the next couple of games will be a big test for Jordan. Tony Parker, Jason Terry & Devin Harris (Rafer Alston is a push) so let's see how it goes!!!

Great win!!!

Also wanted to give LO a quick shout out!!! Way to bounce back, big boy!!! You were eating glass tonight and those two blocks on one play were incredible!!! Loved your floor game!!! Keep it going againgst San Antone'!!!!

We should trade Sasha Vujacic for Allen Iverson.

farmar.

say no more.

nice win, i wouldn't classify it more than that... the lakes' turnover problems are still troubling but the great news is they hardly turned it over in the fourth quarter. progress.

3-0 without kobe. looking at the teams we've played in those three games (and the circumstances surrounding them) i wouldn't go crazy about this stat.

i'm happy we won. see ya sunday, kobe.

AK, BK
So Kobe should of sit the Hornets game too, we probably would be 14-5 by now. But can't blame him for being competitive.

As for Farmar, looks like he might take Smush's spot earlier than expected. It says a lot when a coach put you for the whole 4th quarter!!

Sasha Vujacic for a bottle of Allen Iverson's brand of body spray?

"We should trade Sasha Vujacic for Allen Iverson."

nice deal

Look at the boxscore:

Laker Turnovers:
Starters (16)
Bench (3)

Right on Mannie Jenkins...and for good measure throw in Aaron McKie!!

No, we hold onto Aaron McKie to trade for Kevin Garnett.

Oh my goodness! I was a huge Smush Parker fan last year and loved what he brought to the Lakers. However his time as the number one point guard for the Lakers is up!!!!!! I'm sorry homeboy you got madd game but you aint playing with no passion like my boy JF is. JF knows WHAT HE HAS TO IMPROVE ON TO BE SUCCESFUL IN THE ASSOCIATION AND IT SHOWS. (I.E SINKING THEM TREYS ON A REGULAR BASIS AND TAKING IT TO THE RACK WHEN YOU GOT THE CHANCE) Smush my boy you just aint showing the passion for the game that you should. Your think waaaaaaaaay tooo much out there. Just let the game come to you and pull out some of those And 1 moves every now and again. DONT BE SCARED!! In conclusion our boy Farmer is looking REAL good. OUR BOY Smush is looking like he needs to see a sports psychologist to get his sh@t straight. Don’t trip though Smush cuz I know how you feel out cuz I need to see a shrink too.
POURING PURPLE N GOLD IN THE HOOD, THE BURBS, AND THE LIMIT!

xyz: the turnover stat comparing bench to starters is highly deceptive. starters play more minutes than bench players, not to mention that even when bench players are on the floor, several starters are still on the floor and, as a result, are still handling the ball. More handling opportunities equals more opportunities to turn the ball over. simple as that.

Idea:
Since we're 3-0 w/out Kobe, maybe when Kobe plays he should wear a mask that hides his identity from the rest of the players. That way they'll still play confident and not think too much about having Kobe in the game.

Also, that 3-0 stat that Vman threw out, like Cbuck mentioned, was highly deceptive. people, stop putting up stats to prove a moot point. our starters (generally) are better at taking care of the ball than our bench and are more effective players in general. our team is indeed better with kobe on the floor (if he's healthy) than without. phil jackson IS a good coach (yes, he makes mistakes, but so does every other human being on this planet). throwing out stats that imply a fallacious assertion won't do anything but expose your ignorance (and maybe convince other ignorant people that you're right)

No brainer, trade Lamar for KG. For those of you who point out his 15 boards, KG had 14 boards along with 31 points and completely shut down Boozer. Lamar is so inconsistent it is scary. He was horrible against the Hornets and offensively inept against the mighty Hawks. For those of you who say we do not need KG, wake up and go fishing for a clue. KG is the key to a championship now and for several years to come. He is a consistent force on both offense and defense. Unfortunately, if Philly sends Iverson to Minnesota we will never get KG and we will be lucky to get past the first round of the playoffs with Lamar(aka the rollercoaster). It is also time to start Farmar, he is going to be exceptional. Kupchak, make a deal for KG before it is too late.

So, not only may we not get KG, but he could get that other star to work with... this could get ugly. I hope AI goes to Boston.

Saw the game last night and rewatched it on tape this morning. I thought Jordan Farmar had a great game, that he was the key to their 10 pound bulge. But after watching it on tape, I realized they had a 10 point lead before he came into the game...while Smush was on the court.

Nevertheless, Farmar is a much better floor general than Smush will ever be. And when his shot is on, he shows flashes of Jason Kidd or Mike Bibby. He's going to be the starting point guard of the future. The FUTURE.

In the meantime, and for this season, Smush will be starting. Jordan will have his off game when he can't hit a shot. And the 82 game season will probably take its toll on the rookie. That's just being realistic. So I don't see him taking over the starting role this season.

Maybe next season though...

Last year the Lakers were 0-2 without Kobe against the Jazz (who sucked last year).

So, being 3-0 without Kobe this year says, at the very least, that in addition to being deeper, our bench is stronger mentally.

All year long i've been saying that Farmar will start after the all-star break, which I still feel is true, but unless MY MAN SMUSH steps his game up, and starts playing more consistently we will have a new starting point guard a lot sooner.

It's hard for me to just say Farmar should start because it's a slap in the face to Smush, who did a hell of a job for us last year, and he doesn't get enough love for it. I think Smush can be a good player in this league, but he just has to step up and prove that he really wants to be. Regardless, he'll still be MY MAN SMUSH!!!!!!!

Chris

Did I say we were better without Kobe? Being 3-0 without Kobe is a good thing for Kobe and the team. THe point was they don't defer and seem to play with instinct and flow. Kobe's is trying to get them in that space, sometimes it's hard. When he goes off, it does tend to distort the game. Tough to consider him just another player to pass it to within the flow. All part of the kid's learning curve. They'll get it, we all hope sooner than later 'cause the window on Kobes' career will close oneday.

I certainly hope the Lakers trade for Allen Iverson. AI makes them a better team immediately.

Someone please tell me that this guy is ranking players by their "fantasy league" value, and not their actual rank in real life. Kobe Bryant #14, UP TWO from #16. In fact, Kobe didn't crack his top 20 until Dec 1. I tried to find a reference to "fantasy league" in there, but didn't find one.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers/kelly_dwyer/12/08/player.rankings/index.html

I answered my own question...

"And please, do not confuse this with a fantasy basketball list. While pure numbers are fine, we're also going to consider the intangibles and look at variables that don't always show up in the boxscore. "

This dude is a joke. You mean to tell me that if he started picking people for his team he could pick Kobe 14th? Un-F'n'-believable!! How is it possible that these guys hold jobs as writers? At SI no less!! Is it ammature week at the improv?

If I were his boss I would fire him on the spot and send him off to Home & Garden magazine where he can rank the top 20 fondu sets. Dude is a walking cluster-f**k as a sports writer.

I also agree you need to pull the triggfet on a KG Deal now. Lamar Odom cant hold KG jock strap & he will always be the inconsistant player that he is. The experement with him is over if we can get KG. I suggest L/O Kwame and mimhs contract and Aaron mckee contract. for KG straight up

LoLo, SI has been garbage for a while. Pay no min de to it.

Chris,

I don't have an agenda and wasn't trying to prove a point. Lamar and Kobe are the biggest culprits, but I don't think they should be benched. The coaches make decisions regarding starting and rotations. I just enjoy the games.

The reason I pointed that the TO stat was because it was the only thing that stood out from the box score. I'm sure it stood out to Phil, too. If his starters handle the ball that much, then they should be taking care of the ball.

But since you chose to respond to my post, I'll throw some more misleading stats at you and be done with it.

5 starters with 16 TO's and 6 bench players with 3. That's 3.2 per starter and .5 per bench player.

I understand that the starters handle the ball more, but the bench took care of the ball. Props to them.

In regards the Smush/Farmar debate, I more or less agree with Laker Seth. Farmar just looks like he will be one of the best PG's in the league. Even the Smush fans should agree that Farmar looks like he is going to be good.

The debate is with a rookie, do you want to put all that pressure on him and do you want to risk him hitting the wall. He will make "rookie" mistakes, but I for one sure think he looks like he will be a very good NBA player if not borderline great player.

I think PJ likes what he sees - but is trying to bring him along without flat out overwhelming him. Smush in my opinion is more of a solid back up type and brings certain things to the table that the staff likes and that is why much to the dismay of many bloggers Smush is still on the roster and still starting.

Phil and his staff have more championship rings than any of us here and to a certain extent you have to trust they all know what they are doing. Sure it would be great if all the players the Lakers had played perfect defense, shot the ball at better than 50%, rarely had turnovers or hardly committed fouls. Then again if that were the case they would go 82-0 in the regular season and sweep through the playoffs.

No matter what - the players any team puts on the floor the are all not going to be the greatest in the game. It is not all-star or fantasy basketball we are playing. Despite the weaknesses of certain players we don't like it doesn't mean they can't contribute in other ways. That being said, it is fun to read other peoples takes on the players and the games.

Michael A and KO:

"Unhappy 76ers guard Allen Iverson is headed out of Philadelphia, but apparently not to the Lakers, according to one source. Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak stuck to his policy of not commenting on player transactions."

This statement was taken from L A Times notes on the Lakers. I don't know if there is any activity at all with the Lakers Front Office. It seems their strategy is to stay the course since it's the most "profitable". Now analyze this - to any team that AI will go in the West, he makes them an immediate contender. If AI goes to Minny, the "KG going to the Lakers" becomes moot & kaput. Minny will surely win their division while in the case of the Lakers after the road trip this December, nobody can make an assurance that Lakers are still on the top of their division.

In the previous thread, I said, I'm a dreamer and expressed an extreme optimism that we can get the duo, AI first and KG will follow. If the three stars are alligned Kobe, AI and KG, this blog will rock to its optimum, NBA will be in the state shock and Lakers becomes the team to beat all the way to the Finals. That optimism can be supported by facts, AI wants out, KG wants a ring and Lakers are the leader in their division. Philly may be attractive at our players, or combination of our draft picks and $ 2.1M extra money. If AI does not go to Minny, KG will surely bolt out and Minny may want something in return NOW rather than losing KG in the off season without any good prospects on hand. If we get only one out of the two, it creates immediate impact. With regards to AI problems, leave that to PJ, he can convert an ex-con into a better role player that's just putting it in a metaphorical analogy.

As I said, it is a dream move we still need a super salesman to make it happen. It is better to lose in trying rather not try at all.


KO,

There is no way that Iverson would end up on our squad. He doesn't offer anything that we don't have. He can't be a second scoring option, because he refuses to defer, and he really isn't good for much on defense other than steals. Think about it, when was the last time you heard yourself, or someone else say "Iverson shut down so, and so tonight"? The answer you haven't.

Like I said yesterday, The only team that Iverson has a chance at getting to the finals with is Minnesota. Seperate him, and KG haven't done anything, but together they could be one of the greatest tandems ever....if Iverson learns to share. KG, and Iverson will work because KG doesn't demand the ball every possession. He is one of the rare superstars that doesn't care about scoring. With Iverson as their first option, and KG as their second Minny definitely could make some noise.

There was a nice but inconsequential sequence when the Farm drove and kicked to Smush who missed the 3 with the clock winding down but they hi fived, smilin’ all the way back to the bench. It has to be tough to be pushed for your job but I think Phil diffused it well by saying he’s had a few teams where he platooned at the point. The Texas guards will be a great test of that method.

Meanwhile, AI to KG would pretty much end a whole lot of blog banter. AI to the Clips would certainly spice up the town. Those sound interesting but once the receiving team depletes its roster to match AI money, it might be more about entertaining than winning.
ug

To those who are saying trade for KG now before it's too late, bear this in mind: T-wolves won't be considering anything other than the AI situation while it's in play. They're going to do anything they can to make that deal. We just have to see how that turns out.

Re: the 2.1m injury exception - we have to use it or lose it before the end of the month, correct?

It seems what we could use for that money is either a short minutes shooter, an enforcer or somebody who knows the system already. I keep wracking my brain, going through the free agents out there and the players that teams are looking to move. Most of the names have already been bandied about. One guy that comes to mind though (laugh all you want bloggers) is RICK FOX.

I have no idea what kind of shape he’s in. He’s been out of the league a couple years now. But think of the positives. He was never afraid to lay a hard hit on somebody. He could score when he had to. He knows the triangle as well as anybody. Jackson called him the consummate system player, the team’s conscious, the guy who sacrificed more than anyone else. It seems to me that (depending on his conditioning) he could plug in pretty quickly as a second unit stabilizer.

I don’t know whether the Celtics still hold any rights on him after the ‘04 trade - he retired rather than show up. I’d be surprised though if somebody in the Lakers organization hasn’t had at least a casual conversation with him recently.

dave m

Lamar Odom is more than an scorer in the Lakers, he didn't need to score to much in the last game, just with his assist and rebounds were enough, so for the people that think for trade him, forget it, come on people! The deal with Kevin Garnet will never happened. It's just a dream, a good one, but never will happened. Also, A.Iverson isn't a good option, he damaged more the team than help it. How Kobe and Iverson can play together? Can't happend. Kobe/Iverson= 50 shots/game, its crazy. Farmar played good baskeball last night. However, as I said yesterday, when Kobe's back I would like to see that ball to Kobe from Farmar more frequent, but more important in that 4th quarter. Sorry for write Farmer instead Farmar yesterday.

AI or Kg are doable, so is Bonzie. But do we want them for what it would take?

First, AI - Our pt is our biggest weakness. A guard who can penetrate, shoot, pass, play solid D, and is tough as nails could help big time. Can AI co-exist with Kobe? Can LA afford more gang members? Could Jfar accept a back up roll for a few years?

The deal, 15 miilion in salary match.

Smush 1.5
Mckie 2.5
Mimm 4.2
Cook 3.5
Sham 1.5
Excep 2.1
If necessary 15% over under allowance.
This would not break up team, nor chemistry. I would like to know how you would guard this team as an opposing coach. Rotation would be great and it would make our all energy 2nd unit awsome. Lead by Jfar, Luke, Ronny, Mo and Bye.

KG - Power forward is not our greatest weakness in fact is one of our strengths. Kg can shoot the 15-18 footer, post low, on defense, can guard the bigs without help, rebound, block shot, has quickness for switching, has great court awareness, a proven team leader. Any team would love to have his good attitude that he brings.

The Deal - 21 million in salary match.

Odom 13------Kwami 9
Mimm 4.2-----Mimm 4.2
Cook 3.5------Cook 3.5
excep 2.1-----excep 2.1
-----------------Mckie 2.5
15% over/under allowance

Garnett is not out of reach, but how will it effect team chemistry. If Odom goes, it would take major changes and sometime to adjust. You would lose playmaking, 3 pt shooting, and some match up advantages. LO kills Dirk.
If Kwame goes, we don't lose much, but gain a lot with our offense, and defense. With Kwame as the kicker the Twolves would want the pot sweeter, maybe draft picks at least. Even with pt guard weakness it would make LA a contender. But not a dominant team, just a contender.

Bonzi, Is a monster attacking the basket, plays agressive D, has a good short range shot.

The Deal - Bonzi 1.5
Trade Sham 1.5, Houston needs guard.

Where to play Bonzi? Mo does some of what Bonzi does but shoots a better three, has a better attitude, and loves playing in LA. on the other hand Bonzi has some serious attitude ques. If we didn't have Mo, I might consider taking Bonzi, like Sac did last year for a try him, you might like him deal.

Any trade, espeacially a big one takes time for a team to adjust which is why most are made off season. Adding a player can help espeaciall y after an injury(Mimm) or a big deffiency (Pt)

Conclusion - AI might help us the most this year, and could make us a legit contender. KG would be too much of a shock to our system and we should wait for the off season for that type of deal if it all.

jfatty -

Neither team (Philly or Minn) will go for those trades. Smart money says AI's headed for the T-wolves anyway. I think they're pretty far down the line at this point. Bonzi's in freefall - really don't think we want the guy messing up team chemistry.

dave m

dave m, thanks for your response,
I wouldn't go for those trades either, just trying to show that we can put something together for possible trade, would we want to, and how it would effect chemistry.
We need a point guard bad, in fact, it might be the one thing that keeps us from 55 wins and going deep in playoffs. Maybe we stay the course and Jfar will mature and lead us to the promised land, but I know for sure it won't happen with Mr.Smush.

this Laker team is a good team not a great team. people say we don't need any trades ,but has anyone taken a look at the suns lately? there right on our bumper. We keep losing silly games, and then bloggers saying we beat the haws without KOBE!!!! Wow there still the hawks. what about SAS tomorrow and the road trips to come, these are the tests of time. peolpe may be singing a different tune then. All any of us can do is post game stats, our opinions and scenarios of trades or for games. However the organization will do what they think is best.

No KG or Garnett is one thing, but it can't hepl this team is those two team up. The best is already stacked and having the best player on the planet is definately a plus, getting other really good ones does'nt hurt either. LO is still just Mr. 50/50. LO is like a box of chocolates....... u guys know the rest of that statement. Presently Minny is at 500. who konws where they'll b if they get AI, or where we'll b after tomorrow and a couple road trips.

KG is better than LO hands down if a trade can be made it should be made. I'm a Lakerfan, not just A Kobe fan, as well as everyone else hear. However KObe's in his prime now and that window will soon start to close. As the next great Laker he deserves a shot and all the help he can get.

KG to LA!!!!!!!!!!

The guy we should try to get is Earl Watson. How about Watson for Mihm's expiring contract and a 2nd round pick, or Vujacic? Would fill our need for a defensive PG and we can get him learning the Triangle before New Year's. How would a Farmar/Watson platoon look come Playoff time?

Jman449,

That makes sense, we shoot two birds with one stone. Sonics wants to get rid of Watson, they get Sasha and 2nd rd draft pick.

Philly is looking for young talent. Who has better young talent than the Lakers. Send Smush, Odom and Brown to Philly for Iverson. or Smush, Brown, Walton and 1st rounder.


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