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Extra! Extra! (2.12)

It is, after long last, over.  That's about the best thing you can say about the Lakers eight game roadie (unusual enough to be mentioned here) that ended Sunday afternoon in Cleveland with a 99-90 loss.  To put things in perspective, it was their longest trip since 1989, when the music charts looked something like this, back when Bobby Brown was in the news more for his music than his (disturbingly watchable) reality show.  So the Lakers limped home at 3-5 over the octet, a far cry from the 6-2 Phil Jackson was looking for.  Not that they didn't have their chances, but in the end, a lack of defensive intensity (and communication) broke them down.  Oddly, it wasn't LeBron who did them in down the stretch Sunday, but Anderson Varejao and Sasha Pavlovic.  If this were an Orlando Magic game, Brian Hill would be saying, "You can't let the Anderson Varejao's and Sasha Pavlovic's of the world beat you."  It was all part of the whuppin' the Cavs bench put on L.A.'s, as the box score shows.  At least Vlad Radmanovic responded to some harsh Jackson criticism with his best effort in a while, though he sat in the fourth when the Lakers went small. 

One of the littles that finished the game?  Mo Evans, who has been all or nothing from the floor lately.  So has L.O., though unfortunately, that equation has been short of "all" more often than not since his return.  Then there's all the snipping, and the growing daylight between the W.C.'s top teams and L.A. (by the way, who's going to sneak in behind them?).  Given all that, it's no surprise to see the Lakers slide a bit in the ESPN.com Power Rankings

No slide for Kobe, who still ranks #1 in the NBA Jersey Rankings (it's about the hoops, people!), but a big drop for Atlanta, whose airport stores have apparently taken a huge hit in Phil Jackson's Sundries Shop Rankings.   

Like Jaws 3, with more balls.

 
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THE JACKSON JOURNAL: 52nd Game – Cleveland Cavaliers (30-22)
By Michael C. Teniente

A thumb’s down for Phil Jackson!

KEY OBSERVATION

Over the last few games the Lakers have struggled offensively. That was plain to see just by glancing at the games. The past few games it’s exactly what I’ve been doing. Glancing at the games. But not against the Cavaliers’ game. In this game I paid attention to what was going on and it’s plain to see.

I have to wonder if PJ is doing this stuff on purpose. Does he want Walton to succeed so much that he doesn’t want anyone to do well at the 3 spot, while he’s out?

THE BREAKDOWN

http://www.nba.com/games/20070211/LALCLE/playbyplay.html

With 1:43 left in the 1st quarter Radmanovic had 9 points and 4 rebounds. That was pretty good but what’s puzzling is that PJ didn’t go back to Rad until 5:15 left in the 2nd quarter. Radmanovic then picked-up 2 more points and another rebound to finish the half with 11 points and 5 rebounds. When Radmanovic left the game the Lakers were up by 2 points. When he reentered the game the Lakers were down by 7 points. That’s a 9-point swing. The Lakers lost 4 more points by half. So that’s 5 points on the positive side with Radmanovic in the game.

In the 3rd quarter Radmanovic picked up 5 more rebounds and 2 blocked shots. The guy played above average defense in the 3rd quarter. At the end of the half the Lakers were down by 11 points. At the end of the 3rd quarter the Lakers were up by 3 points. That’s a 14-point swing.

So, that’s a 9-point swing from the 1:43 in the 1st quarter to 5:15 in the 2nd quarter. Take away the 4-point loss from the 5:15 of the 2nd quarter to the half and it’s 5 point positive. Now add those 5 points to the 14 points from halftime to the end of the 3rd quarter and you have a 19-point swing.

That’s incredible! That is on PJ. If that were Luke Walton, PJ would’ve put Walton in the game whether Walton was playing good or bad. Now tell me that’s not true.

Anyway, I think I know why the offense has been struggling. It’s not that Luke Walton makes the offense go. It’s that the other Lakers’ players aren’t involving Radmanovic. That’s why Radmanovic looks lost at times. When they don’t involve Radmanovic the Lakers are playing 3 ½ players against 5. Now if the Lakers do that the offense will look sluggish.

I saw Smush Parker look the other way a few times when he had Radmanovic wide open. When the Lakers don’t involve Radmanoic it causes the 3 other players, Bryant, Odom, and Parker to hold the ball too long and disrupt the flow of the offense. I say 3 ½ because the ball doesn’t go into Bynum too much to begin with, anyway.

In the 2nd and 4th quarter in which Radmanovic didn’t see much playing time the Lakers only scored 18 points in the 2nd quarter and 23 in the 4th. In the 4th quarter most of those points were by Bryant. There is your sputtering offense.

The Lakers need to involve Radmanovic and I believe our offensive woes will be somewhat cured. That doesn’t mean our defense will be cured.

By the way, I think it’s more about Bryant, Odom, and Parker being used to playing with Walton. It’s like natural for them to not think about passing the ball to Walton. They do it naturally and therefore the offense flows smoother. With Radmanovic the Lakers are hesitating to pass the ball to him. In doing so they’re holding the ball too long and the offense looks sluggish. This is on Bryant and Odom because Parker is doing what he sees them doing.

One more thing; Radmanovic played excellent defense against that Cavaliers and a lot of that was against LeBron James. Luke Walton would have never been able to do that. It behooves Bryant, Odom, and Parker to involve Radmanovic on the offense because in return Radmanovic will contribute on the defensive end where Walton can’t.

It’s clear to me that the difference between Radmanovic and Walton’s defense is effort versus ability. If Radmanovic plays with effort on the defensive end, Walton’s abilities are no match for Radmanovic. Radmanovic must to continue to play that type of defense. If he does and PJ doesn’t play him, I’ll skin PJ alive, right here on the L.A. Times Lakers Blog for everyone to see.

Koben needs to recognize and make the effort to involve Radmanovic on the offensive end. If Radmanovic plays defense like he did last night, he’s way better than Walton can ever be. Now if that happens, when Brown returns, the defense will be solid in 4 positions. The 2, 3, 4, and 5 spots will be solid. Kobe and Lamar must not leave this in PJ’s hands. They must involve Radmanovic on the offense to make him look good and watch how he plays defense. When they see that Radmanovic is better than Walton on defense then it’ll force PJ to make the change. If he doesn’t I’m here to expose PJ. Do it!

By involving Radmanovic I don’t mean an over reliance but just to pass him the ball as part of a functioning unit. In my opinion, when you see Radmanovic not touch the ball on the offensive end, that’s on Kobe, Lamar, and Parker. When you see that, then you’ll understand why the offense has been struggling. If Radmanovic’s defense in yesterday’s game was for real, that’s too valuable to not involve him on the offensive end. I say because no matter how good Radmanovic plays defense PJ will not play him because of PJ’s love and over reliance on the triangle. Then we’ll be stuck with a slow-footed Walton on the defensive end.

When healthy, we have the players to win. PJ is the one who’s in the way. For the 26 minutes and 46 seconds that Radmanovic was on the court the Cavaliers scored a total of 40 points. And it wasn’t just luck. The guy was playing aggressive defense. That means that the Cavaliers scored 59 points in the other 21 minutes and 14 seconds of the game. How could PJ go away from Radmanovic in this game?

Here we are at the end of a grueling road trip. We’re tired, we’re 3-4 with the opportunity to go home with a 4-4 record for the trip and this guy goes into one of his “mind game” episodes. Without a defensive center, for a while, every win is important and he pulls this? You know, I can take the losses because of Bynum’s inexperience. With the injury to Brown it becomes beyond our control, but with the effort that Radmanovic gave yesterday and not to play him in the 4th quarter? That is in our control. And that is a thumb’s down for PJ.

Oh yeah! Radmanovic 5 of 8 shooting for 12 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assits, 2 blocked shots, with excellent energy and defense after 3 quarters. That’s it for you, pal, we’ll take it from here. Trust us, this is in the best interest of the team and for you as a player.

Yeah right!

This guy, PJ, is going to lose the team. Brian Cook already dropped his warm-ups in PJ’s lap. Brian Cook had no right to do that because of his lack of defense, but Radmanovic has to be wondering if PJ is taking it out on him.

mike

How do I start? Well, it was a pain yesterday to watch how Kobe alone try to keep us in the game. It was even bigger pain to consider the most productive years of Kobe carreer will be wasted unless something is done. Did anyone noticed any difference between Cavs and Lakers? I think biggest one was that with off night for LBJ Cavs won carried by his supporting cast and with Kobe playing very good and making 50% of his shots we still loosing because nobody can help. One more time - basketball is TEAM GAME and unless Kobe surrounded by good role players we, as a Lakers fans going to endure this pain over and over again.

Look, I love the Lakers. They have been my squad for over 20 years now.

Seen some great squads, some good squads, and some average squads (most of the 90's).

And as much as it pains me to say it, this is an average squad right now.

They have become pretty predictable on offense, and remain a poor defensive team.

They are nothing special. They aren't horrible, yet they are far from being an elite team.

The Pistons loss proved we can't hang with the Eastern Conference elite.

The Raptors loss was ridiculous.

I had the Cavs game on in the background because I was pretty damn sure the Lakers were going to lose.

And I am pretty damn happy that I didn't waste 2+ hours watching this team underachieve, not communicate, turn the ball over, and not execute.

This isn't about hating on the Lakers.

It's about facing reality.

They are an average team. Nothing more.

I still got their back and will root them on the rest of the year.

However, the losses have become less and less aggravating because I now realize this is an average squad.

And average squads do pretty well at home and pretty poor on the road.

And nobody is without blame. Not even our beloved Kobe.

Here's my quick critique:

Kobe: Best player in the league. Simply turning over the ball too much right now. Maybe Smush is finally rubbing off on him. He also just stands there after turning it over, doesn't really make an attempt to get back on d.

Smush: No need for a critique. He is garbage. Whether or not the triangle offense requires a true point guard, IT DOES REQUIRE ITS GUARDS TO BE ABLE TO MAKE CONSISTENT QUALITY PASSES! Smush is sorry.

Sasha: The effort is there. Not as bad as I thought he once was. Still makes plenty of mistakes, but never because of a lack of effort.

Farmar: Great potential. Kinda seem him hitting the proverbial rookie wall.

Shammond: Can't critique the kat, because he doesn't get a sniff of playing time. He can't be THAT MUCH worse that the trio of Smush, Sasha and Farmar, can he???

McKie: N/A (a waste of a roster spot)

Mo Evans: I like the athleticism he brings. A slightly overrated defender. A good role player to keep on this squad.

Walton: Great passer, knows the offense pretty well. Giving us more than we expected. Not too much of a defender - but then again NOBODY ON THIS SQUAD likes to play defense.

Vlad Rad: His game is coming around. He will make an amazing, clutch 3 point shot on one end and come back down and commit a stupid foul on defense. The jury is still out.

Lamar Odom: A great all around player. Still coming back from that knee injury. Don't know if we can ask more from Odom. The guy is doing all he can, imo.

Cookie: Lose him. Don't need a jump shooting power forward. We need a rebounding, defending, shot blocking power forward. He does none of these things.

Turiaf: Great effort, gives all he can. Commits stupid fouls from time to time. Mistakes are not because of a lack of effort. A keeper.

Bynum: Plenty of room for improvement. However, in his first true season playing at the highest level, he has contributed. Hope to see his game improve.

Kwame: Time to let this guy go. I thought he was ready to take it up another level this season. I guess I was wrong. Bynum already provides the numbers that Kwame puts up, in 5-6 less minutes.

All in all, this is an average team.

I love them to death, but that's what they are.

Once again, it's not about hating - it's about telling it like it is.

C'mon Lake Show!

There is also another big change that the Lakers have done over the last few games if youve noticed. Kobe is initiating the offence a lot more than he was to start the season. This is hidering their offence. Dont get me wrong, Kobe is amazing at initiating the offence. But this specifically takes him OUT of his best role (which is being down low and either being the finisher, or the assist man who passes to the finisher). Further though, it is taking away Lamar's strength. Lamar should be the one initiating the offence and bringing the ball up. Just watch the last 3 or 4 games. I was at the Toronto game. It drove me nuts. Too often is Kobe at the top of the 3 point line standing there and swinging the ball from side to side. Kobe has been much much more effective this year so far when that has been Lamar doing that, with Kobe down low and running off of screens set by the other Lakers for him. Right now, he is stagnant, and therefore so are the Lakers. Maybe there is something that we are missing as mere spectators. Maybe they are trying to conserve Kobe's energy more for the 4th (where they lakers seem to go back to their beginning of the season form with him starting on offence down low). I dont know. But lets see, they started out the season playing AMAZING ball with Kobe and Lamar playing the roles they are most comfortable with, now they are playing VERY poorly with them not. Im not getting paid $10 million, but perhaps its time to switch back to what was working before. Again, yes, Luke is out, and that hurts the offence. But right now our offences is extremely stagnant. Having Kobe drift above the 3 point line for 17-20 seconds of the 24 second shot clock is NOT going to change that.

What happened to Nick Van Exel?

Wes

We need Jason Kidd.

Thoughts about the Kidd trade talks? Is it wise to get him for the Lakers? I think it's wiser for us to get a younger PG like Miller from Philly. Kidd is in his 30s. He only has a few more years left in him. Should we give up on Kwame and just ship him off? Should we throw in Farmar (our future PG) for a seasoned vet? I'm not too sure about the Kidd deal. I want to see a change in LA because this team is falling apart. But I'm not sure if its worth it for Kidd, he's an incredible passer, scorer, and leader but is it worth it? Thoughts?

MT,

PJ on occasions makes these poor substitutions. It's not always the same player who's playing well nor the same squad out there making a good run. This has happened a few times where you subsequently gave PJ a thumbs up.

If Vald plays that way all the time, great, that's why we brought him here. But to make this an issue about Walton, come on Mike, you're better than that. I realize you're not in favor of PJ playing Walton 30 minutes a game, and that's perfectly okay, but to say that PJ sabotaged Geico (Vlad) specifically for the purpose of being able to keep Walton's starting position... preposterous.

Ak/BK,

Is the Laker Nation at all worried about our window of opportunity to win a championship?

I love this team this year! I feel we are a bunch of working class heroes with a great leader (Kobe) that are doing something special. But, we are not anywhere near a championship form. So when will we be. When is the rest of the team going ready to compliment Kobe? Is he still going to be able to play when they are ready? 28 years old is young but 11 years in the league is not. So are we worried about our timeframe to win a championship? Should we ditch this team and give Kobe some winners now? Do we have any options?

By the way, great job Ak/BK.
Ryan

From cnnsi.com:

One local report yesterday suggested the Nets and Lakers are mulling a deal that would send Jason Kidd to L.A. in exchange for a package of young players. But Kidd's name coming up in talks between the teams doesn't mean anything is imminent.
-- New York Daily News

Kid makes 19 mil this year, so who would the Lakers trade?

Whoever it is-whichever of the 'young' players they want-I say do it.

My trade offer would be this:

Kidd for Kwame(8 mil), Walton (1 mil), Cook (1.5)
Vlad (5.2) and (McKie 2.5)

I might even give up Farmar...

Wes

I was right about Lamar he just couldn't handle the pressure, the expectations for him coming back and making this team much better were and are too much for him.

I feel sad that after all the hard work by other players to keep this team on the right track and Lamar comes back and everything falls apart.

3-9 since Lamar has been back, if Phil wants to sit him, he should. This is no time to worry about what Lamar might feel.

I felt for Lamar before, but not anymore, he does not try enough. Kobe is also hurt, he hasn't recovered from his various injuries, but he works hard, unlike Lamar.

30 games to go and I don't even see them winning 15, before I was really optimistic about the team, not anymore.

I don't like the attitude of most of the players, they don't take pride in winning. Yesterday Lebron had a bad game, but his teammates won the game for him. And Lebron's supporting cast is not better than Kobe's supporting cast.

The only difference between them is that the Cavs care about winning and work hard to win. The Lakers supporting cast could care less if they win or not.

A question for everyone. Are the Lakers getting a new point guard? I am sorry for Smush, but he cannot play at this level. Forget about the last few losses and the lack of defensive intensity and offensive flow; this is just a bad streak. My concern is that Jackson gets stubborn on Parker. Should I have any hopes to see a new face anytime soon?

wow no ones saying it..

MO SHOOTS TOO MUCH... way way too much.. he's becoming a black hole and its hurting the offense.. i'd really rather have vlad jack up 3's than mo forcing it in..

the difference b/w this year and last year? less weight on kobes shoulders, yes.. however... there are drawbacks to that.. last year if kobe played a monster game, the lakers would tend to win.. this year.. when kobe has a monster game.. a lot of the times the others dont come through and its hurting.. however it is a growing experience for the others.. no reason to panic

we miss kwame.. once again.. plz stop shooting so much mo..

i'm just tired of the lake show not doing anything for a trade to improve the team.

A Couple of Pieces

Last year Phil said it, Kobe said it, Mitch said it. "We're a couple of pieces away", and then we got Vlad Rad [jury is still out on whether Vlad fits the definition of an actual "piece"] and then a bunch of existing pieces got hurt. So, if my math is correct, even healthy, we're a piece away. Now it could be that Williams was a piece but pieces that don't play don't count.

Before Phil arrived, no one could figure out how the Lakers weren't winning it all with all those pieces. Today, we're wondering how we're over 500.

We're young and proud of it. That's only a positive if you're winning consistently. Besides we're not all that young. We've got 4th year players and up that aren't doing much these days. We're youngish, meanwhile the ancient world champion Miami Heat and Detroit Pistons have a bunch of old veteran contributing pieces. They've recently picked up more. And in the crunch of the 4th quarter, guys who've been there and know the moment are handy to have around. While it's fun to imagine a future world in which Andrew Bynum dominates on brilliant feeds from Jordan Farmar, it's a future that's paid for by Kobe Bryant.

So we'll get healthy, get energized, work the mind games, stoke the press, get the stars courtside and get to the playoffs with some kind of win streak to keep everyone entertained. But if you're waiting for championships, wait for the championship pieces.

without lamar, we'd be a lottery team.

lamar even said it, "we don't communicate on the court."

the lakers recent form falls on all of the players and coaches.

you can't single out one player.

the entire team is not playing well.

Man Jeannie Buss really needs to watch out if Phil loves Luke so much he's willing to sabatoge the Lakers' 5 year 30 million dollar investment. We've got a serious man-crush on our hands.

tp,

I've got to agree on the Mo thing. Once he catches the ball he's looking to put it up. I like Mo's defense and hs energy but he's not playing the triangle offense. He's playing the catch, iso, and brick offense.

We should be commited to winning rather than losing.

By admission of Phil, we are one good player away from being a serious contender.


The question is what kind of player is this and what we need, a good perimeter player, (Kidd) a small guard or defensive stopper (artest) or a inside player (Gasol).

Are the Lakers conmmited to live with Lamar inconsistencies?

Are the Lakers waiting for a gift coming from the sky?

Do you seriously believe that Kwame is reliable player to win a championship?

"Commit to winning rather than losing".
Kobe prime time can't wait.

I don't blame Kobe if he suddenly get tired of this proyect for the future, just to save money.

I don't blame fans if they feel robbed and suddenly see the real picture here: Or the Lakers management are completely blind or they aren't commited to winning at all cost.

Are we the new Clippers?

where are all the naysayers who said it would be pointless to bring in chris webber or eddie jones?

both of them were supposed to be finished.

yet they seem to be doing pretty damn well for the two best teams in the eastern conference.

and they will most likely be battling it out in the eastern conference finals.

these guys weren't "good" enough for the lakers, yet they are already getting significant playing time with the past two eastern conference champions.

hmmm.

Why KIDD will be a LAKER.

First, he is available and to hear NJ say they might not trade him is comical. They have to.

You don't think Buss dreams all day of bringing SHOWTIME back to the Los Angeles Fans. KIDD would provide this immediately. SMUSH OR KIDD??
Laker fans, come on, this is a no brainer.
Get the damn ball out of Kobe's hands, why is he handling the ball? Should he not be the scorer on this team? He can't do everything. Do we ever have a fast break on this team anymore? Smush must avg 1 assist a game. Pathectic!!! The Lakers owe it to there fans to get a legit guard in the back court with Kobe. 2 years of Smush leading the most storied franchise in the NBA is really a joke. Magic had Nixon and Scott, Kobe gets Smush.
Tell me that's not a joke.

If KIDD wants to come to the LAKERS, I think Buss will pull the trigger.

I will praying every night till the 22nd that some how BUSS and KUPCHAK make this happen.

If not, I will be looking forward to next year hoping for a lot bigger, stronger, more experienced Bynum. Trade anybody except KOBE and BYNUM!! The majority of the team is avg players and most are not mentally tough. And I can't think of a better position to upgrade then the guard position. The Lakers will never contend with a Smush in the backcourt.

Buss, go all in, roll the dice and make it happen!!!!!


bd

There are two groups of fans in this blog, those who would continue experimenting this YOUTH and mercilessly find way to convince everyone that the sky is not falling. Anybody saying bad about their idols or so called favorites are haters, whinners, girlymen and so forth. The other group go for a revamp. Not totally but partially whatever is fair in a trade just to force new chemistry that will support Kobe & Phil.

I pity our lone superstar with all the efforts he has been making, he is not getting any kind of support. He feeds the ball when double teamed, what is the result? A turnover or a missed shot, a freakin' missed shot and nobody is guarding the guy! I wonder how Magic Johnson would have felt if his assists to Wilkes or Coop or Byron were wasted, I think he would have asked for a trade too. Well, it was a different situation cuz' he was surrounded by players that helped him in getting those 5 championships. Well, in the case of Kobe, he is in a no-win situation, those freakin' scrubs would not even go for rebounds or attempt for follow-ups, knowing that they have a 60% shooter doing all the scoring. All they can do is HELP or SUPPORT him, that's also called teamwork not only creating an opening in the triangle. If this goes on and on inconsistently, I don't see any kind of improvement in the near future. Besides this is professional sports not high school or college basketball.

Therefore, in this blog let's part our ways and allegiance, those who are in favor of status quo, go for it, cheer your favorite players in your journals, we'll not bother you. Those who are advocating change will always suggest trade for better players. Let's have a mutual respect on our stand, no need of name-calling, testing our wills or insulting us. Nobody really knows the future, we are all guessing in our experiments. We all have the same ultimate objective but take a different outlook or route to accomplish that objective.

Triangle???

What the ****?? I thought the triangle was for ball movement? I didn't know it was for setting up 3 pointers for the team. When did we become a 3 point shooting team? What is going on with all the ball movement at the top of the key for Lamar to take a 3 pointer?? Mo?? what the heck, every time on the 3 point line he is entitled to take a 3? No defense and we take 3s all day? Other than Kobe, can anybody break down a defender and get to the hoop? Everybody just makes layup upon layup on this team and all we can do is shoot 3s.
Is it to much work to drive the lane? Are the players not capable of driving? I am just sick of the 3s!!!


bd

Well said on the "effort vs. ability" Mike T. Though to be fair, Vlad is also much taller, so that tends to add to his advantage defensively. Still, good point.

Well said on the "effort vs. ability" Mike T. Though to be fair, Vlad is also much taller, so that tends to add to his advantage defensively. Still, good point.

1) Mike T....I like your thoughts and you crack me up. I havent laughed this hard in I dont know how long. What cracked me up?

This line:

"If he does and PJ doesn’t play him, I’ll skin PJ alive, right here on the L.A. Times Lakers Blog for everyone to see."

To this day, I dont know if you like PHil or don't like him. So many thumbs up and yet so much criticism.

2) I have been berated at LG for making one simple claim and ill do the same here for all of you:

We Simply are NOT a talented team. If you remove Kobe and Odom, our 3-12 players are of the WORST in this league.

Its why we have trouble making trades.

Ask yourselves this question and only this question:

If you remove Kobe and Odom from the lakers AND also remove the two best players from every other team in the league and Just look at the 3-12 players from every team in the league and stack them up against the lakers, we have one of the 5 worst supporting casts in basketball. YES, its true.

Take any of those 3-12 supporting casts and put them next to Kobe and Odom and Phil and the triangle and I GUARANTEE we do better than we are right now.

How about some examples.

Toronto: Take of Bosh and TJ Ford. I wouldnt mind having Calderon, Mo Pete, Anthony Parker, RAsho Nesterovic, Jorge Garbajosa, Andrea Bargnani...would anyone else here??

Charlotte: Take of Felton and Okafor. You are left wiht Gerald Wallace, Sean May, Brevin Knight, Melvin Ely, Derek Anderson, Jeff McInnis, Matt Carroll

Even the Knicks are better, the Warriors are better. The sonics might even be better 3-12 than we are. Heck, evne the blazers.

Im telling you, Ive gone through the exercise. This isn't just some guy's opinion. Do it yourself. Take off the 2 best players from each team and the lakers supporting cast from 3-12 is BOTTOM 5 in this league.

We have NO ONE who can take any pressure of Kobe.

We have NO ONE that can conssitently create their own shot outside of Kobe

We have NO real consistent ballhandlers out side of Kobe.

Who, WHO do we have. Smush, Sasha, Farmar, Evans, etc. Even Odom is left handed and lackadaisical half the time. Walton is as slow as molases.

All guards who cannot handle the ball, be trusted to make good passes and create a shot for themselves.

Is their any wonder why we are beginning to struggle??


I guess I'm going to have to chime in on Mo.

I think it is time to sit him down for a few games.

WHY?

#1 IT IS ALWAYS HIS MAN, that gets open for a back-breaking 3 in the last minutes of the 4th quarter! Mo, IDENTIFY who you are guarding. Whether it's Morris Peterson or Sasha Pavlovic if you have the shooter, DONT HELP! and if you do help, you better get back on D in time. This is maddening and stupid of him.

#2 HIS IMPATIENCE ON OFFENSE. Mo takes some really quick shots, right behind Sasha Vujacic and Brian Cook in "I'm trying to get my shots up". Mo should NEVER take a fadeaway jumper or anything like that. He needs to play within himself and stop doing crazy things on O.

For that Mo Evans, you need to sit for a few games and re-evaluate your game.

Xodus, I kinda disagree and agree. When Mo came in, he wanted to be known as someone that didn't just play defense and would hinder you on offense...he wanted to show that he can score...and in a time when EVERYONE is hesitant to shoot or run the offense, I kinda think it's good that he's at least shooting. Don't get me wrong, I don't ever like early shots for whoever that takes them...but I commend him for at least shooting and not passing the ball around until 2 seconds left and Kobe's gotta hoist up a 30 footer...the way everyone else, though in this case to Lamar (who's also struggling) for 3 pointers. At the same time though, he's been struggling for a while now, at a certain point, you have to be smarter about your shots. Part of the reason why he's been struggling like crazy is that he's shooting 3s more than he's capable of...Mo is a midrange guy, he should always look for those shots instead. So agree and disagree lol.

I do admit, Luke gets a ton of playing time versus other players. Check the minutes per game; he's second only to Kobe. I think they have him in there, as opposed to VladRad, because he's better at getting the offense going. I've heard interviews with Laker coaches commenting on how Vlad gets lost, thus compromising the effectiveness of the triangle. But I still feel that that can be solved with ample playing time.

Bottom line, Vlad is a better player than Luke; he makes more money and he has more skills. So, why isn't he playing as much as Luke???

Everyone hates Luke, but when he went down the team fell apart. He really is the glue.

Did you guys catch Flea on the Grammy's? I know what it was he was wearing, but he was wearing the purple & gold with the Lakers logo. He said they were using the Lakers locker room as a dressing room. I wonder whose locker he stole the uni from?

We need a take charge, vocal leader and veteran for this team. Kobe is worrying about being too politically correct to handle that chore. Lamar is not smart, nor motivated enough to do it. And everybody else on the Lakers, including PJ, is afraid to speak up for fear of offending Kobe.

I like Smush, but I'm starting to agree with the pro-Jason Kidd desires. We need a Sam Cassell-like player who can be a leader (well, not that Sam is doing the Clippers any good).

Also, let it be clear, LO is mentally a 3rd option player. He has no desire to be a 2nd option. He can't handle the pressure, and I don't blame him for that. It's just his personality.

Vlad MUST play more. The only way for him to get going in the triangle is through on-court, in-game experience. PJ's obsession with Luke is costing us the effectiveness of a player the Lakers invested a lot of money it.

As far as Phil is concerned, I have to trust this man. He makes mistakes, and he admits them. He's got to see what us fans are seeing, so there must be some reason as to why he does his subt. patterns as he does.

Someone made a brilliant analysis of why Miami does so well. Miami is full of shot-makers who know how to win in the 4th quarter. Antoine, Mo and crew can really hurt you during "winning time". This is what the Lakers sorely lack. Someone who can come up in crunch time and really break your back. We really need this, and Lamar isn't the one.

Anyone know the Lakers record on games broadcast on ABC? I seriously can't remember the last time I saw them win one.

Faith,

"Though to be fair, Vlad is also much taller, so that tends to add to his advantage defensively."

That makes it that much better.

mike

Well - Walton is going to be out for longer than expected.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2762090

It's going to be a tough climb in the second half of the season... I hope the all-star break gives these injured guys a chance to rest and heal up. It's been so long I don't even remember what our team looks like when they're all on the court together.

I wonder if they even remember!

tha show,

The reason we didn't get Webber or Jones is because this Laker team is rebuilding, even though they won't publicly say it. If you got Dr. Buss, PJ, and Mitch Kupchak together in a room and got their honest opinion, I don't think any one of them would say they realistically think this team is a championship contender this year. It's obviousl that they feel it's better for the franchise to develop the young players they have, rather than sign vets who would make the team better right now. And, neither Eddie Jones or Chris Webber makes this team better than the Mavs, Suns, or Spurs, so its kind of pointless to give them minutes our young guys can get.

Plus, Webber and Jones are going to make a bigger impact on the Pistons and Heat respectively because those two teams are better than we are anyway.

Not one of the problems we've had this year has gotten better. We are not a good rebounding team, not a good FT shooting team and atrocious defensively.

Is coaching the problem? Is Jackson coasting on his rep? Is anyone on this team outside of Kobe listening to Jackson?

As I always understood it, good coaching involves getting a team to grasp the fundamentals and play with a good attitude. To me, the Lakers fundementals are lousy. Many of our defensive problems stem from players not knowing where they are supposed to be (like on the pick-and-roll). Free throws are a fundemental, and we are second-worst in the NBA. Turnovers are a major problem and have been all year.

Attitude? The old expression is that rebounding is more about attitude than skills. If that is the case, what does that say about us? It says to me that the attitude is soft.

Outside of the competitive fire of Kobe, this strikes me as kind of a meek team. We shy away from all the dirty work. Defense. Rebounding. Free Throws. When was the last time you saw a Laker other than Kobe give a hard foul or play like they were pissed off?

This started as a season that promised to be a lot of fun, but is is spiraling downward. A trade for Kidd would be a spark, but we are going nowhere until we see more fire from players 2-12.

lol Faith, I dunno if I should pat you on the back or yell at you.

I do agree that to a certain extent it's good that Mo is aggressive but he needs to slow down a bit. There was one point in the first half where he picked up a loose ball and we had a 4-3 break with Farmar close by. Instead of passing off to Farmar who's a much better ballhandler and creator he decides to take it himself and is a little out of control the whole time and gets bailed out by a foul as he spun into the rim for a shot.

That whole sequence drove me crazy.

I have been a laker fan since 1983 when they got swept in the championship against Philly. All you guys (females too) or just crying right now because they have just finished a horrible east coast trip. I am sure you same so called fans were praising them when they were 13 games above .500 about a month ago. Look, they have had injuries. No one has mentioned that. When they were all healthy, Lamar, Luke they were doing fine and leading the pacific. Injuries are part of the game. I am not saying they would be the number one, two, or even three seed in the west but they would be doing a lot better if they were still all healthy. Lets face it, were not a championship caliber team right now but be patient. Laker fans are spoiled me included. We want them to win all the time. I just cant stand when fans get all butt hurt when things are not going well and want to change everything, blame people in the organization, and throw in the towel. Lets play out the season with what we got. Lets try to get healthy and build some momentum by playoff time. I belive we will win 60 percent of the final 30 games. Need Luke to return after the All-Star break.

True Laker fan.

troy,
how is Vlad playing better than Luke?

Luke isnt even playing now and Vlad cant solidify his starting spot in the lineup.

What you "people" dont understand is that Phil isnt basing Vlad's playing time on Point Scored.

It's about taking the right shots, playing the right defense, and playing good basketball... not "space cadet" ball.

Phil could care less if Vlad is 3-3 and every shot is a quick shot that goes in.

Vlad needs to get better and play better PHIL'S WAY and not VLAD'S way.

It has nothing to do with Luke Walton's play.

So get over it. Luke has been out for a while now.

We got problems in Laker Land.

Is everyone happy with the defense being displayed? Where is the rotating needed in defense? Where is the communication? Do the Lakers practice defense? I am tired of the Smush Parker of every team getting a career night on the Lakers. Phil, you make 10 billion, figure this out, I can't take much more. Nobody is showing the EFFORT on defense. NOT one but Turiaf?
I love Bynum but he is spent. He is again loping down the court, sure sign of fatigue from Bynum. Is that part of it? I dont know but I know Phil gets paid a lot of money to figure it out. I just have a hard time that a road trip just deflates a team as much as it does. Didnt they look like they were sleep walking most of time on defense and offense? Good thing this road trip is over because if not, any more games would have been losses. They were done, they had nothing left in them.

bd

An open question to Laker fans:

Who is the best Laker player that no one remembers?

Wes

Ryan-

That's a lot of questions (haha). Regarding the first- is the Laker Nation worried- I think it's fair to say they (at least in terms of how they're represented here) are a lil' concerned about wasting Kobe's prime years, though optimistic about the performance of the team this year, recent roadie notwithstanding.

The last question is the most important- do they have any options? The answer is... not really, at least not as far as bringing in big FAs from outside, because of the cap situation. Trades are always a possibility, though they're in an interesting situation there, too. Mihm's contract expires this year, so does McKie, etc. so they have a couple options there. Kwame comes off the books for them after next season. Vlad Rad is there for a while. Unfortunately, they don't have a ton of guys with huge appeal around the league, I think, aside from Kobe, LO, Drew and Farmar. It'll be interesting to see how they can continue to fill out the roster in the next year or two, and who will be around for it. Will they keep/resign Mihm? Will Kwame last after next year? How long will they be patient with Odom?

Lots of questions. They're an improved team from this year over last, and I doubt any team wants to fact Phil and Kobe in the playoffs, but to put them in the same class as the big dogs in the conference? They're not ready for that, yet.

BK

Steve (NY,NY): Why is it that sports writers always put "Lakers" and "mid-season trade" in the same sentence? Don't you guys know the Phil Jackson Lakers never trade mid-season?

SportsNation John Hollinger: (2:53 PM ET ) I'd ask Glen Rice for a second opinion.


wes (santa barbara): Do you see the Lakers making any moves, or just wait until everyone gets healthy?

SportsNation John Hollinger: (2:12 PM ET ) I think the Lakers would love to make a move, and of course the Jason Kidd rumors cropped up over the weekend. The issue for L.A. is that they want to keep Bynum, and everybody else wants Bynum as the price for a deal. So completing a major transaction could get tricky.


Stu Knotts (LA, CA): Um John, when Glenn Rice was a mid season trade, PJax wasn't the coach of the Lakers at that time

SportsNation John Hollinger: (3:02 PM ET ) I stand corrected. This is the danger of trying to chat in real time. Lakers have made minor tweaks under Phil (signing Jim Jackson last year, for instance) but never a big mid-season deal.


Jay (Ocoee, Florida): By season's end, will Dwade be the MVP?If not then who?

SportsNation John Hollinger: (2:57 PM ET ) I stll go with Dirk, with Wade second and Nash third. Plenty can happen in the final two months to change my mind though.


Thought you'd all enjoy the last question. Wade above Kobe and Nash. Its funny how theres a double standard when it comes to Kobe. The Heat were on a 41 win season (in the eastern conference) without Shaq. Kobe's the best player in the league and he has the Lakers 47+ season despite the injuries. The media is so blind.

john hollinger has a podcast report on espn.com saying he would be very surprised if the Nets pull the trigger on a Kidd trade to the Lakers unless Bynum is included in the deal. He said, however, that Kidd on the Lakers would make them an instant, absolute championship contender and that he(Kidd) would in fact fit perfectly into the offense.....

under Ford's podcast on the front of the NBA page under Kidd's picture.....

this is pathetic! where is your guys' faith?! okay, we had a bad road trip. this is supposed to be a blog for laker fans, real fans. real fans should not give up on their team and start talking about us being "average" and not going to win a championship, etc etc. HAVE FAITH GUYS!! c'mon. that was our longest road trip since 1989 or something. its too bad we didnt go 6-2 like jackson wanted, but we are okay. we're back home were we have been pretty dominant so far. in case you guys forget- kwame and luke are still both injured, once they come back we will start playing better. Actually, we may even get Mihm back this year, and that would help as well.

What is even more ludicrous to me is this Jason Kidd talk. We will not get jason kidd, and even if we could, why would we want him? almost all of the guys on the team have been together for 2 full years now under the triangle and its finally clicking. remember how long it took lamar and kobe? we dont need to wait that long for kidd to grasp the triangle and form a chemistry. Also, i do not understand why so many laker fans seem to think we need an upgrade at pg spot. the trianlge does not need a great pg. the bulls did it with bj armstong and ron harper and the early lakers did it with derek fisher. these guys are not better than smush. we only think of them as better because they have won championships. the triangle has never really had a gifted pg like kidd, and i dont know if would help, or even work. kobe, and especially lamar handle the ball the majority of the game anyway.

If we were to make a trade, which i do not believe is neccesarry, i would hope it would be for a dominant big man, not a pg.

In conclusion, i wish laker fans would stop moaning and complaining about their team right now. we are going to be okay, and we dont need pessimistic fans like this. Real laker fans have seen their team in much more trying days, this is not that bad. If you asked yourself at the begining of the season would you be happy to see the lakers at 30-22 right before the Allstar game i think most of us would say yes. If you are only going to complain about how much the team sucks, go become a clipper fan- and let the real fans celebrate when we win the title in june.

why do people keep saying we need to get rid of Luke. Dude hasn't played in weeks yet he is the reason we are losing? I just don't get it with some of you bloggers. This team sucks balls without Luke, so you need to start looking at the people who are playing now and see what they bring to the table.


The PG position sucks and the only people who get
a pass are farmar because he is a rookie and those other two guys they say are on the team but never get any playing time. Smush and sasha have had a year to run with this team and need to pick it up or ship out. Everyone else on this team was hurt or is new and is just learning the O/fence. Sure Mo shoots too much, but if you watch the game, kobe kept setting him up to shoot. He just needs to hit his shots.

Vlad is coming along and is working hard.

Lo got hurt, but before that you can tell he was getting it. Dude had all-star numbers.

I think we are one PG away from wining it all. Kidd seems to be the answer but i'm not willing to put farmar in that deal to get him. If all I wanted was to win it all this year, then I would give up farmar but if i'm building for a couple of rings then you have to keep the rook.

But this is not my job. It's MK's job thats why they pay him the big bucks. Dude needs to fig it out and I have faith that he will. If he traded farmar and Luke away I could not careless as long as we get a couple of rings. Not one ring like miami with their shaq deal but a couple(2 to 5).

Go Lakers

It's all about what we look like in June....

lakofan

we can't give up Lo, he is the only guy on the team that rebounds...

bob,
L.O. seems to be the only guy on the team to give up CLUTCH offensive rebounds.

Phoenix in the playoffs that led to a Tim Thomas 3...

Anthony Parker against Toronto off a FREE THROW!!!

I love L.O. and his rebounding but DAMN, those hurt.

Mike T

Brilliant article!!

As I read your post I had to ask myself "Did I write this earlier and forget to post it"?

Phil Jackson began his "propaganda" against Radmanovich earlier this season when he referred to him as "space cadet". Now you even see some bloggers referring to him as "cadet". These are some of the "subtle" tricks that Phil plays on the uninitiated. Phil even have people believing and perpetuating the "myth" that Vlad Rad can't play defense. People just except it as fact without further examination.

Vlad Rad has all the physical tools to be an excellent defensive player, I have said this from day one.....despite what pill Phil would like for us to swallow. I don't need VALIDATION to know that my opinion is correct either........I look at Vlad Rad and say this guy has excellent foot quickness for a guy his size, he has length and most importantly he is athletic. The only thing that limits Rad on the defensive end is mental.....and that defense is not a premium for this coaching staff.......why else would Walton and Smush play so much?

Let me start with a comment Tim made in reponse to Mike T's column....

"but to say that PJ sabotaged Geico (Vlad) specifically for the purpose of being able to keep Walton's starting position... preposterous."


Why is it preposterous? Because YOU don't think that Phil is capable of it? How do you know that?
You don't know what Phil is capable of......and neither do I. All we have is the EVIDENCE.....is that right?

Sherlock Holmes once said "the best way to avoid suspicion is to do the obvious"

in other words If I am well respected in your eyes and I wanted to conduct "underhanded business" I wouldn't hide it from you.......I would do it very smoothly.....right in front of your face.

This is why it takes so long to apprehend serial Killers because good natured people such as yourself Tim can't fathom it being......your neighbor. You say to yourself "I know this guy....we know this guy"......but do we? A person like you Tim would say "My neighbor......THAT'S PREPOSTEROUS"!!

Granted I am not saying that Phil is a serial Killer.....but he uses the same principals.

There is no logical reason that Radmanovich should not have been in that game in the fourth yesterday the way he was performing......can anyone think of a reason? He deserved an opportunity to help Kobe score some points....God knows noone else besides Kobe could score.

Why would Phil sit this guy? Why? Would Phil "sabotage" games to play "his guys"? I know most of you like Tim would say "THAT'S PREPOSTEROUS".........but is it?

The mind is very funny, sometimes we don't like to believe something about a person although the evidence is staring us right in the face.....it's understandable that few would believe that Phil is enept at his job not because it can't be true but because of the "domino effect".

If you accept that as being true then you would have to draw other conclusions......like the one I have reached.......WE CAN'T WIN ANOTHER TITLE WITH PHIL JACKSON AT THE HELM!

I suggest everyone go back and re-read Mike's post and study it!

One last thing, after reading the stories about the Laker defeat and the strange quote from Phil Jackson, that went something like this

"According to Kobe, no one else wanted to step up in that sequence," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "That was something we were looking for: somebody else to try and get going."

These are the "subtle" statements that Phil makes to let me know he does not want to except responsibilty for anything. Why would he place that weight on Kobe and not claim that statement himself? A very crafty statement......leaving Kobe as the fall guy for sportwriters to interpret
that Kobe is not trusting his teammates.

Thanks BK. I completely agree. I knew are options were few.

What do you predict is the age when Kobe starts slowing down? How many good years do we have left?

Jeez... I feeling like I am talking about a horse.
Ryan

Just to clarify what AK/BK have been guessing as the reason - Going Small ,for not playing Vlad in 4th quarter. First Vlad is not your typical big guy that you have to take off the court when you want to go small. He plays more like a small forward/guard and is athletic enough to do that. you go small to matchup with players who can take you off the dribble and are much more athletic than your guy at that position. With Cleveland except for Lebron and maybe Larry Hughes(to some extent), there is no one who is a threat to take you off the dribble. So Vlad should have had no problems defending Sasha Pavlovic(who is primarily just a shooter), who was being defended by MoEvans. And also Vlad was having a heck of a game until that point and was in good shooting rythm. I just cannot figure out why Phil did not play him at all in the fourth quarter. It seems that Phil is getting the matchups wrong too frequently now (after Detroit debacle)and almost coming dangerously close to being outcoached by young coaches like Mike Brown or Sam Mitchell during critical stretches in 4th quarter.

Note: for guys who think Vlad is the same as Brian Cook as in another shooter. Just watch the first quarter against Cleveland and look at how Vlad got his points. He is clearly more talented than Brian Cook in many ways and will be valuable once he gets more consistent in his efforts.

Just a reminder for bloggers expecting return of Luke Walton like 'second coming'. Don't we have the same expectations for LO return? Did not happened then, not going to happened now. If I'm correct Lakers started to loose playing with Luke, remeber losses at home? What just extremely frustrates me and probably majority of the fans, total lackadaisical approach to defense, with few exceptions, like Turiaf. Smush playing like he is saving himself for better days, never takes charge never hard foul anyone, yesterday breakaway was a latest example of it. Maybe this is why he never got injured. Lamar stopped fighting for the rebounds, never box out anyone. Even Bynum, our future center in making, playing without any competitive fire. They never pissed-off about loosing, with exemption of Kobe I think. Where is this competitive fire that drive them past Mavs and SA just month ago?

AZ,

great points about the lakers rebuilding. their lack of moves in the offseason and right now pretty much proves your point.

so then you obviously feel that the lakers brass would rather rebuild during kobe's prime than make moves to win right now.

so while kobe continues to play injured, overexert himself in games due to a lack of surrounding talent, the lakers continue to rebuild with the likes of smush parker, brian cook, sasha vujacic and kwame brown.

kind of depressing.

whose idea was it to extend brian cook's contract?

kupchak's? jackson's? or dr buss since he signs the checks?

that was a horrible move, almost as bad as devean george's contract a couple of years back. at least george contributed to some titles.

so we'd rather pay a very limited, unproven brian cook than seasoned, proven vets like webber and jones.

not much logic there...

#1 Laker Fan,

i guess laker fans' patience is pretty thin.

however, when you have the best player in the league and choose to surround him with NOT ONE SINGLE ALL STAR player - it is pretty damn frustrating.

Korey and Jtimes

55 wins huh? This is a little late, but the point of my post was not that I'd expect the Lakers to get 55 with 12 men injured, but that it was not a condition of the bandwagon when it was created. In fact, quite the opposite, I remember bandwagoners very adamantly saying they took injuries into account.

Would I expect 55 wins if I knew the injuries ahead of time? Of course not, but the wagoners very clearly stated that any amount of injury was taken into account with the prediction. Now you can't tell me that "oh so many are injured, so there goes 55." All that tells me is that anything short of 55 wins this year will be accompanied by trivial excuses.

Yup. Jtimes, I don't mind you taking my keyboard away, I only ask that you learn to think before you do.

I trade anyone but Kobe, Lamar and Bynum-as I've said all year long.

Wes

korey

where was kwame? what was kwame's numbers on the board that night? Lo can't get all of them. But he trys to get a lot.

korey

where was kwame? what was kwame's numbers on the board that night? Lo can't get all of them. But he trys to get a lot.

gabe,

You probably watching some other team or some other game. Just FYI - to win in june, you need to star winning wright now, like Mavs and Suns and Pistons. In fact to get there you need to go through Mavs, Suns and playing without home advatage. If you honestly believe this is possible with current roster you're living in fantasy camp. I'm not saying Kidd is answer, not sold on this either. BUT SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE!!! And last thing, are honestly believe LO playing like ALL-Star? Forget ALL Star, at least like himself before being injured? If you are, than you're watching some other team then all of us here.

wesjoenixon

trading isn't the problem, it's who we keep that is.

you would keep smush over farmar

or sasha over smush

or cook over luke or vald

those are the real questions...becuase Kidd doesn't want to come here if you give up have the team for him.

I don't want anymore the cover-up "we are building for the future". We want to win now.

Fans want to win now. How come you will start a season without the priority to win it all?

Lakes already passed inn two reliable players. Eddie Jones and Webber.

Who got those players?

Guess what? Two teams that had being in the finals in the last three years: Miami and Detroit.

I heat Shaq, but one thing I liked about him and jordan is that they demanded better players for the team, if they saw somebody lacking talents or with mental weakness to raise their game in critical situations
they talked openly about that.

Kobe should demand the "win it all now" mentality. If you don't have players available to improve your team, fine. but when an avalanche of players are there for the take and you have a lot of spiring contracts and useless players, this is a shame to keep the team without improving. Kwame won't be more than what he is right now and he was with Washington. The same phantom injuries he got in washington to avoid trade or to play hard. I'm tired of his pussycats antics. 6 years in the league and you have to motivate him hard to produce a mediocre game. Lakers fans are accustome to play hard players: A.C Green, Derek Fisher, Magic, Worthy, Jabbar. Players with pride, not sassy primadonna turning effort on and off.

If Luke is so valuable for this team, why the lakers doesn't extend him a contract?


Don't give us the triangle excuse curve of learning. Shooting, playing defense and talent capabilities are usefull in any situation.

Enough with this nurturing stuff, that silly "we won't morgage our future to win one year". No more "we are young", pretenses. No more "enjoy the journey", words while we see a mediocre team that just win by miracle in most games.

Winnig is a now thing, not a bulding for the unknown future bla, bla, bla.

For the millionth time, people are jumping overboard and offship; nothing new going on in the blog. It was a horrible road trip, no 6-2 like Phil wanted and what I would have liked or 5-3 which was my real prediction, instead 3-5, disgusting. Are we out of the playoff race or something? Nah, still the 6 seed, middle of the pack. Are we elite? Hell no, oh hell no. 5 or 6 seed is around where we should be, due to all the circumstances of the season, that seed is respectable. But everyone is forgetting, seeding looks good to the eye and that's about it. Remember last season? We were a 7 seed, SEVEN!! But everyone looked at the bigger picture and TRUELY believed that if Tim Thomas didnt make that shot, we would have gone on to Round 2. And everyone TRUELY believed we could have taken that Clippers, myself included. And on top of that, most people think, myself included, that we match up well with the Mavs who we would have played in the Conference Finals and possibly beat. Yes, this is a different year and what not, but seeding is overrated. The Steelers were a wildcard and won the superbowl, just one example out of a gazillion. The reason we want a higher seed is because it looks good to others and that makes others have a better opinion of the Lakers. Oh look, they have the 5th best record, Kobe must be doing his thing, blah blah blah. Guess what, we got the 6th best record and Kobe is doing his thing with the same group of people mostly everyone believed could have gone atleast to the Conference Finals last year and they are a seed higher, with more season to go! This is a bad stretch of the season right now, no doubt. But remember last year when we would win 3 in a row (rare occassion) and lose 4 or 5. Improvement people, what else do you want? A season to season improvement is a sign of progress. There are plenty of things this team needs to work on to improve this season but dont burry them like the critics. All of us are the ones that open their eyes to their ignorance. If we start turning on our team, who will be left to defend our beloved team? Take it in stride, like a man/woman (whoever you feel is more dominant), suck it up, gut it out, push forward damnit. This is why you dont join bandwagons and stuff, because once you do that you set these expectations and things and you lose focus when things arent going the right way. Not that I'm bad mouthing bandwagons, I mean I just don't come out and say I support a certain statement because I don't wanna look like a fool later (later could equate now for some), haha, just kidding folks!!! I don't hop on wagons because I don't want to burden myself as a fan and think negatively when the statement doesn't seem to be panning out. Nonetheless, those who are on varios bandwagons should not lose hope. You joined them because you believed in this team and you cannot completely lose faith with so many games to go. Anyways, we got 2 home game this week, lets go into break on a positive note and attack the last few months of the season like we did last year, but better. I'm not asking people to look on the bright side (many of you belive there is no bright side anymore), all I'm saying is that look at the real side, we could end up 8th (i hope not) but the playoffs are a new season and anything can happen. So until we are out of the playoff picture, don't lose all hope.

to all the laker super fans,

calm down. any true fan can criticize his/her team.

just because we are questioning the desire of the players, the tactics of the coaching staff, and the intelligence of the front office DOES NOT MEAN we are fair weather laker fans.

it does mean we seek improvement no matter good or bad we are supposed to be.

it does means we wish for this franchise to be proactive, rather than reactive.

if you want cheerleading, post on the laker girls website.

now grab your poms poms and get outta here...

i prefer REAL fans with REAL opinions.

and who would want smush or cook or anyone else on our team?

the only people we can really talk about a trade with are LO, Bynum, and maybe farmar, Kwame, Luke and Vlad....

No one wants our other players....If we trade these player away, what are we left with?

I stand corrected.

PJ is not about winning. He's about securing personal friendships and maintaining the old boy network.

You are also correct in the idea of PJ winning us a title. After all, he only has 9 of them and he was merely the best we could get after all the top tier coaches were taken once Rudy T went ill.

tha show,

That's the interesting thing, the Kobe factor. The dude is obviously in his prime, yet he is surrounded by teammates who would all have to play well above their career averages in order for the Lakers to even have a chance at a title.

I've thought all along that this team was short in overall talent, and waiting for it to "develop" was silly since it was more than likely that it was only going to develop so far.

I do like some of our young talent (i.e. Bynum, Farmar, Turiaf) but not a single one is a blue chip talent (i.e. Lebron, Oden, Wade) that I wouldn't be willing to part with if the right deal came along.

The interesting thing will be to see how long Kobe is okay with the whole "growing" and "developing" spiel he's been preaching. At a certain point I think he's gotta look around the locker room and realize it's not his job to coach or develop players, it's to be the best player in the league and win rings.

jorema,

PERFECTLY WRITTEN. wow. easily the post of the day. could not agree more.

tushar 24/7,

can i introduce you to the paragraph? tough to read.

oh yeah, and the suns were missing this one player last year...i think his name is amare stoudamire. he's pretty good. that had a little bit to do with us hanging with the suns (no inside presence last year). they couldn't even contain kwame brown.

as for the mavericks, they have too much speed and athleticism for us to cope with in a seven game series. smush on terry/harris? walton/vlad on josh howard? yeah we match up awesome against those guys.

we only match up decently against the spurs because they are old. and with that said, they would probably outlast us in a seven game series on experience alone.

hate to burst your bubble, but that's the reality of the situation.

I'm going to say a sacrilegous statement here:

Phil isn't a good "on game" adjusting coach, because he wants the player to find answers while playing and expect them to comeback and take the game by themselves: that will be mostly by stars taking over.He fails to reacts quickly to matchups problem and when he reacts most of the time never work.

And it shows that Phil isn't that effective with a lesser talent team. I bet you that Rudy Tomjanovich with this team will have the Lakers in better position than Phil.

I seriously doubt the abilities of Phil to motivate players...see differences of Shaq with Pat Riley. See how Derek Fisher is playing better with Utah. See how Riley worked well with Payton. See how Horry is well treated and loved in San Antonio.

To everybody whining about us not getting Webber or Eddie Jones...
as much as the team (Buss/Kupchak, PJ) might want a player, they have to want to come here. It was clear that Webber wouldn' t come to play in the triangle mid-season (he said so himself). And Jones wanted to return to Miami. We couldn't do anything about that. It wasn't that we didn't want them or go after them. Kobe, PJ and Mitch all called Webber. It was his decision and he chose Detroit. So stop ripping Lakers management for that.

We're turning into last years Lakers again. Everyone's standing around waiting for Kobe to take over the game during the 4th. It's getting old and Kobe's getting tired. Also what's going on with Odom. The guy has skills but he doesn't take advantage of them. He's faster then the big guys and taller then the little guys. Either drive or post on them. But he's doing neither. I don't undertand this at all. He needs to play with his brain and stay focused. We have 3 point shooters, thats why we signed Vlad and still keep Sasha around (I think). But I've been saying this all along we seriously need to trade. If we can get Kidd without trading Odom, Bynum, and Kobe that'd be insane. Everyone can go, Smush is not cutting it. We've given him all the opportunity in the world and he still hasn't produced. The guy is complaning about play? He's lucky that he even gets a chance to start on a team like this. I guess I understand why those AND 1 guys never get drafted in the NBA. No fundamentals, too flashy, score first attitude, turnovers. The AND 1 guys that think they can hang with the big boys in the NBA must be smokin (with the exception of Austin from Houston). Smush belongs in this group, the guy should count his lucky starts that he gets to even play. And I agree with MT on the substitutions. PJ tends to do that and I still don't understand why. He did the same to Evans when we had the road game against New Orleans a while back. The guy was on fire, didn't miss all night and he took him out. I just don't see another coach in the league that does that (unless the player has foul trouble). If a guys hot get him the ball, plain and simple. 10 days left to make a blockbuster deal, but I have a bad feeling management won't do anything. If the rumors are true and Nets have already agreed, it's really a no brainer. As much as I like Kwame's defensive presence he's an offensive liability. If we can get Kidd maybe we'll finally be able to defend the pick and roll. If things go well and he likes where the team is headed then after his huge contract he can resign with us like Sam I am did with the Clips. His time is running out and I can't imagine Kidd being against this trade. It's pretty obvious the Nets are going nowhere fast. So the trade was Kwame, Mihm, Mckie, and Farmar? For Kidd and Collins? I'd pull the trigger right away on that deal. Could be wrong but I'd do that deal in a heartbeat. Kidd, Kobe, Vlad/Luke, Odom, Bynum. Lol damn, that's nice.

In the words of the most photographic member of the L.A. community, "why can't we all get along?"

tha show

I said I think we match up well, not perfectly. All you are considering is the matchup. There are other factors that contribute to beating any team is a seven game series. Matchups might not even be the biggest key in certain series. And you are taking my thoughts out of context. My point was that seeding is as important as it is cut out to be. Say we are on a 7, 8 game winning streak into the playoffs against say the spurs; that momentum could lead to us winning the series. Winning that series provides momentum in itself as well as some confidence against the next opponent. I reffered to the Suns serier last year as an example of how a lower seed possibly can upset a higher seed. I wasn't implying that we can beat them this year, not the way were playing right now. So don't worry, your not busting my bubble, but your welcome to keep thinking you are.

According to the Jersey papers, there's almost no cahnce of that deal for Kidd going through. Which makes sense to me, because I've never thought Rod Thorn was dumb. So, next topic.

S Tan,
If one person on the 55-win bandwagon declared that they considered injuries when joining our bandwagon, that doesn't mean we all considered it. Who could have predicted the magnitude of injuries the Lakers have sustained?

We've endured lengthy absenses of LO, Kwame, Mihm, and now Luke. (Did we forget Vlad's injured hand that has altered his game!) And still, we're on pace to win 47 games. Are the injuries to four starters worth 8 games off our goal? Could have been much, much worse. Am I disappointed we won't win 55? Yes. I certainly don't enjoy losing. Am I griping about it? Heck no. I'm proud of the way this team has played, despite the injuries, despite the inexperience.

On the upside, more playing time for Bynum, Farmar, and Vlad means an accelerated learning curve. I include Vlad in this because it takes some time in the Triangle to get it. We saw it last year with Kwame, too. Vlad's an asset. You'll see.

We'll be back nearly at full strength in a short time. We'll still have time to rediscover team chemistry before the playoffs. Don't PJ's teams always finish strong? Who knows, with a few good bounces here and there, this team can still get to 50 wins. Wouldn't that be amazing?

James

AZ,

yep. if we can't get a blue chip young talent, why not sign/trade for an all star vet? garnett or jermaine o'neal would put us back on the elite map immediately.

having kobe and an inside presence worked pretty well last time. i think it got us 3 titles in a row, right?

jorema,

"Phil isn't a good "on game" adjusting coach, because he wants the player to find answers while playing and expect them to comeback and take the game by themselves: that will be mostly by stars taking over. He fails to reacts quickly to matchups problem and when he reacts most of the time never work."

good point.

however, i think phil isn't polished with mid game adjustments because he is used to having a tandem of michael jordan/scottie pippen or kobe bryant/shaq o'neal to steer the ship. with savvy vet role players like rodman, paxon, kukoc, harper, grant, cartwright, fisher, fox, horry, and shaw - he could always rely on these guys to figure things out on the fly.

and now he doesn't have the luxury of these stud tandems and solid role players. he has kobe bryant, a shy lamar odom, subpar role players and plenty of rookie-type players.

i have noticed him taking more timeouts this season.

so maybe he is trying. maybe he just needs to try harder.

anyhow, great posts.

peace.

Smart Fans aren't going to fool themselves.

Lakers keep telling us they have great plans and they are looking for another star.
It won't happen in free agency.
Mitch last free agency signing:

Vlade Divac,
Shammond Williams,
Mackeee.
Vla Rad.

Can somebody fool us about Mitch good signings?

If Luke is that important for this team: Why we don't extent his contract?

Also, Mitch is manipulated by Jackson. What Jacson says is what Mitch does.

After Jerry West left, not lidership balance, Phil got away with bashing Kobe and destroying his reputation even before Colorado.

Last Year, Phil was the first one to give Nash the MVP over Kobe.

Mitch can't let Phil direct his office and impose his will in all decision making, because he will wash his hands as Pilates when things goes wrong and will manage to put the blame on others.

well, another game and another loss. I'm curious that why Smush plays so many minutes? What are his accomplishments? Why Lamar throwing all these long bricks? Is he afraid to drive or get closer to basket? Why are we talking about Walton? How many games has he won for Laker. Whats happening with Bynum. The guy makes no effort to rebound...plays 30 minutes and grabs 2 rebounds. Is there someone who will coach this kid to earn his money and work hard? Is Kareem earning his money?

Anyone who does not put 100% of the effort should be parked on the bench immedately. walton and Smush play long minutes with no productivity. Mitch, you and PJ, swallow your pride and dump Kwame...you made terrible decision and now dont prolong the agony.

I see laker's players showing no sorrow for loss or their terrible performance. It seems they all like eachother as they feel this way they all can keep their jobs and also keep Kobe as their ring master. While Kobe plays well and try about70%, he is throwing the ball away, appears without energy, shows no sorrow on losses. And Mr. Phil jackson, the $10 million dollar man, the media made man, is a total flop. I have not seen him doing anything coaching wise that warrants his paycheck. He can not even substitute properly. I would like lakers to win, i would like to see them play hard, I would like them to earn their money. But, unfortunately this is a group of people with no self pride. Media should stop showing them on TV...they dont deserve it!!!

mik3y

After that deal who are you left with?

Most people here always think about the starting line up....you don't think about the whole team. You need a bench to win a champ.

Does Kidd or Collins play D? Because thats what this team really needs.

Now, we are going to turn on Phil? This is real crasy. Phil don't need to prove anything, his place in The Hall of Fame pretty secure. Any other candidates for scapegoat?

I was wondering why he did not played Vlad. Probably he sees something we're missing here, after all we're fans and he's coach. Vlad was playing pretty good but we're still be down by 12. MO was not playing good at all but we catch Cavs and have a lead for some time.

I agree with BD....all the Lakers keep talking about is defense and rebounding..No matter how often they say it, they just don't do it except for maybe 1/2 of one quarter..What is wrong with these guys?...Even Jeff Van Gundy's teams can learn to play great defense..they are known for that...I'm tired of the excuse.."This is a young team"...not true..lots of teams are younger that are better...the only elite team we have a chance against is the Spurs because they are older...They stand under the basket, except for Roni have no idea how to rebound...And now we're scoring like 14-16 points in the 1st quarter if we're lucky...They were better in the beginning of the year..that's what I don't understand..How do you get worse the more you play????I see no improvement..I see a team who is playing worse together..I don't get it.!!...I do think having Luke out hurts because he is a better passer...I say let's get Kidd...the only thing I hate to give up is 2 draft picks which I heard might be part of the deal....but someone has to get these guys playing better...and not just at home.!!!

The Lakes have struggled on BOTH ends. The defense is what we all complain about, and rightfully so. The effort hasn't been there consistently enough to produce consistent wins.

However, the triangle has also stalled out lately. We looked like some highschoolers against the Pistons, we struggled against the Raptors, and by that point, I have self-induced amnesia regarding the Cavs. Here's the thing, in the triangle, the object is ball movement and moving with the ball... really, that's a successful offense no matter if you call it set plays or you call it a circle, triple post, or what have you. One reason players struggle with the triangle is because they can't move well without the ball and/or they lack the ability to see a play develop before it does or they can't execute what they see. Our players have learned to see things develop, and now they're not executing well at all. My my issue right now is that very few of our guys are moving well without the ball. Essentially our triangle has turned into a post pass, followed by some meaningless cuts to the weak side and/or off-ball screens. Again, this reminds me of some high school kids who are running an offense without understanding what they're doing.

To say that Kidd would need time to "understand" the triangle, I don't really agree. There's a huge difference in Kidd's understanding of the game and LO. He may not be M Johnson, but he's got the understanding down in a simiar way. In fact, I think Kidd would thrive in the triangle, because those passes that are late, would get there on time, he can still hit the mid range, and he's got fabulous leadership skills.

Kidd has always wanted to play for the Lakers, even when he was at Cal Berkeley. Sure, he's "old" but that fits PJs style perfectly. Buss and Mitch will make the right decision, I have confidence in that.

The only trade on the table for the Lakers to get Kidd is Mihm, McKiee, 2 1st rounders, and Farmar.

Jason Kidd can't guard the lane. He might "perfect" the offense, but it's our defensive middle that's the problem.

We're you people listening to Mitch Kupchack?

BK: Yes. Or does not knowing the exact time frame affect whether or not you need to add someone just to help fill the frontcourt?

Andrew Kamenetzky: Even if it's just a stop gap guy with less talent.

MK: No, I don't think so, because we like the experience that Andrew (Bynum) is getting. And Ronny Turiaf has come off the bench- I'm not sure he's a back up center, but that's what he's been playing for us this year, and he's done a more than adequate job for a guy who is in his second year, but not really. He played a little bit last year, but as you know, the whole Ronny Turiaf story, it's just incredible that he came back to play last year. But this kind of should be his rookie year. So I think we're okay to maintain winning at a certain level. But to become a team that's going to maybe play at another level, we are going to have to get Kwame back.

BK: So knowing that you're going to have Kwame back makes it so you don't necessarily have to replace his roster spot?

MK: There's less urgency, but even if you knew he was out for the year, once again, are you going to get a (quality) big guy? Big guys in this league, you just can't get them. Everybody wants one. There just aren't that many centers out there. And if they are, they're not available, (if they're) any good. So that would be another factor. Even if you knew he was out, that doesn't mean you can replace him. You may just have to go with Ronny, (Brian) Cook, Andrew, Lamar (Odom). Mix them around. The coaches are just going to have to do deal with it.


Do you not get it?

"So I think we're okay to maintain winning at a certain level. But to become a team that's going to maybe play at another level, we are going to have to get Kwame back."

Kwame isn't going anywhere.

"The coaches are just going to have to do deal with it."

That's the GM talking. This is his team. And I'm pretty sure he's talking on Jerry Buss' behave.

Even yesterday on the Sports Zone, Norm Nixon was asked how important it was to have Kwame.

Norm looked at Rob Fukuzaki and said: As you can see the Cavaliers started scoring when they attacked the basket. Then he said: Without what Kwame brings on the defense, you aren't going anywhere in this league.

All that stuff is true. And if there's a Kidd deal in the works I can tell you right now Kwame Brown isn't part of that package.

mike

jorema,

Um, all those players you mentioned (Fish, Horry, Shaq) and Phil's inability to motivate them, he actually did quite well motivating them. Don't know if you forgot that he got them three rings each, but that did happen.

No chance of the Kidd trade going through?

Because it was for Mihm, McKie, Farmar, and 2 1st rounder and maybe Cook. New Jersey said no! Throw in Kwame and the Lakers said, no!

Gee I wonder why?

mike

Wow!!!!!!!
Glen rice,Mitch richmond,F@#K it even J.R rider an now Vlad,these are very good players allstar quality type players that fell short of the(TRI)do that make them bad players HELL NA!!!!.
I think Vlad should be are #2 an L.O. are #3,no one on the lakers besides #24 has better offense skills than Vlad,Weve seen a little of what he can do when he came out aggresive before he was yank from the game,when he left we were up by 7 only played the last 2 minutes in the 2nd we lost the lead at half down by 11,came back in the 3rd we outscored them an took the lead an got yanked again in the 3rd,an didnt play the 4th BALLGAME.
Let me simplify this for my key-board basket-ball players the only time they pick up any balls is when they have to wash under there's.It was late in the 3rd,Phil yanked Vlad from the game we had a 4 or 5 point lead kobe drives to the cup kicks to who? MO for 3 not once but twice BRICKS,shea's of luke walton.When vlad's on the court they couldn't double kobe,enabling him to go off in the 3rd(IT'S CALLED SPREADING THE FLOOR)neither LUKE-MO-LO can do that.Why did we lose that game because they ran a second defender at kobe took the ball out off his hands an no one step-up in the 4th,this happens time an time again forcing kobe to go back to 04 kobe shoot first pass later,how many time's this year where we had the lead going into the 4th an lose(TO OFTEN) an 98% of the time Vlad doesn't play the 4th.This is what pisses me of is we have a guy who can shoot,drive to the cup an can use either hand around the rim an can finish strong,a guy other than kobe that can create his own shot,can we say that about any-body else? Well L.O. but he get all the way to the rim going left an blow's the lay-up ,vlad is a very under-rated passer,an is active on defense an once phil's take the handcuff's off an make him are 2nd option,How many big shot's he hit this year alone NEW YORK-SAC KINGS-THE SPURS BIG TIME THREE'S UNDER A MINUTE.So let's play him in the 4th maybe we can close out some these games.
IM JUST THINKING OUT-LOUD
COMPTON

It's not Phil Jackson people, its the talent of players on the floor.

LAL fan

Phil need to prove he can win without a team full of two big superstars.

Phil need to prove he is a better coach than Pat Riley as Shaq says.

Phil need to erase the image of traitor with that unethical book about the lakers.

Rmemeber the three RRR that Phil mentioned in his press conference when came back: Redention was one.

Isn't happened yet.

Mitch need to prove as a general manager that he can win a championship.

Kobe need to prove he can win without Shaq, and that he is something more that Dwame Wade, perfect sidekid, and secure a better legacy in history.

tushar 24/7,

right on, you have hope the lakers will do what they did last year. struggle to make the playoffs, get hot as the season closes and make some noise in the playoffs.

i hope it happens as well.

i personally think we don't match up well with anybody right now. the entire team (kobe included) looks confused & lazy on both sides of the floor.

and this isn't the dynasty lakers squad that could always flip the proverbial switch late march/early april.

we simply aren't talented enough to do so, imo.

however, like you said: matchups aren't everything.

should the suns, mavs or spurs lose a major player to their squad - anything could happen.

and having phil, kobe & a 100% mental/physical lamar: we have a shot versus anybody.

keep that bubble floating man, i don't mind being wrong if it means the lakers are winning.

it's just really difficult to watch this team play right now. you would figure an inexperienced bunch (most of this squad is) would place a bigger emphasis on communication.

apparently they do not.

excess fat that should be removed:
smush
cookie
mckie
kwame
sasha
mihm (if ankle is not right)

we'd be lucky to get a cup of coffee for those six players.

time for some housekeeping.

MT

How many championships had the Lakers won in Mitch tenure as general manager?

NONE CERO NADA

Mitch's answer are never clear, always bogus. On til he can win one, his words will be take it as a grain of salt. .

On til phil win without a strong general manager keeping him in check or without 2 big superstars...he won't get the benefit of the doubt

Reality is this.

Phil need a boss who keep him in check like his days in Chicago, like Jerry West here, who never backed down to Phil's tantrums.

Mitch isn't a very good negotiator, as we all know since Miami trade. So, not respect for him, he have to prove himself.

Michael Teniente

the said throw in farmar and the lakers said no lol

stop trying to turn it around....

Let's not worry about Phil guys. Yes he does do some quirky things, you can't figure him out but at the end, he usually has his team playing good ball.

I am more concerned about the talent on this team. When you have a Smush as your starting guard in the back court with Kobe, we have some some serious issues regarding the make up of the team.

If the Buss empire doesn't get KIDD or some other great player by the 22nd I am afraid it is wait till next year. Right now we are looking at first round and out. That isn't the Laker tradition. I think if they don't make a trade by deadline, they must think they will have a shot at Garnett. Only thing I can think of that might keep the Lakers from making a big trade for an All-Star.


bd

Bob, just so you know, Kidd is a really good defender. Really, the only he can't do is shoot,a nd he's gotten better there. he literally does everything else on the court.

Collins? All he can do is play defense, against bigs. That's it.

Mike T, that deal was never getting done, Kwame or no Kwame. It doesn't actually help the Nets with anything they need, except a little cap space, and they're not at a point there they're willing to crash the whole season. But keep thinking it's about kwame if you like. I'm sure JB and Mitch keep you up to date on the way they approach big decisions, because you're so important to the way they run the team and all.

This team has really lost its way since Luke went down. Gotta get that kid back in the line-up, numbers don't lie.

RP-

I'm surprised PJ didn't play Vlad in the fourth, but not so much because of the matchups, but because I think it would have been a nice reward for a guy who had finally put in a good game, after a bunch of bad/inconsistent ones. That said, this isn't a charity operation, it's the NBA. The guy, despite a solid defensive effort Sunday, has generally been terrible on that end all year. If you're going to put your best defensive unit on the floor in the fourth (especially in conjunction with going small), he wouldn't be in it. You'd choose Evans over Rad in that situation, especially with the lineup Cleveland had on the floor.

That lineup, w/ Mo in it, was doing fairly well, too. They were up by three when Bynum fouled out and Evans came back in at about the 4:30 mark, and had done a good enough job bottling up Cleveland. The problem came in the last four minutes, when the Cavs scored 21 points. In four minutes. That's awful. Could Vlad Rad have helped stop that bleeding? Or helped spread the floor a little more to give the rest of the offense some space? The problem at the end was rebounding and defense, neither of which VR is known for, but both of which he was doing well Sunday.

But like I said, I would have found minutes in the fourth for him, if only because he's been so all over the place, showing confidence in him on a day when he'd played well could have paid dividends down the line.

But rather than focus on Vlad vs. Mo, I think some of this points to another problem they have right now- a low scoring L.O. I know he's coming off an injury, but at some point, he needs to be able to take pressure of Kobe in the fourth. 27-72 in his last five games isn't going to work. There are very few situations I can think of where I'd say a high functioning Mo Evans or Vlad Rad is the obvious solution to a problem, but a high functioning LO is. When he is passive, as he was yesterday, too much of the O has to go through Kobe. The Lakers become easier to defend.

I do think people need to step back from the ledge a little, here. They were at the end of an eight game trip and are down two of their better players on what is not the most talented roster in the NBA. Their #2 is coming off a fairly major in-season injury. This is not exactly the best formula for running teams off the court.

BK

tha show,
doesnt seem like you are providing many solutions.

ALSO, you fail to realize that we just ending a greuling 8-GAME ROAD TRIP. That's like one of the longest road trips in NBA history.

More than likely we get back to our winning ways when we return to our normal NBA scheduling ESPECIALLY with this recent 4-game homestead.

So in your mind, the excess fat is:
smush
cookie
mckie
kwame
sasha
mihm (if ankle is not right)

So what do you propose we do? Cut them all right now? Trade them for who?

How can you call Kwame excess fat and he isnt playing right now?

Are you not considering Walton's extended absence in our recent losing?

I would really hope that you and similar Laker fans would calm down considering 3/5th of our starters ARE NOT 100% and 2/5th aint even playing?

What, team in the league do you know, loses two/3 starters and keeps winning.

The Suns lost without Nash & Diaw to ATLANTA.

The season is a rollercoaster. These things happen. It's good it's happening. BECAUSE it places stress on the team to get better. It forces the team to focus. And coincidentally it is right before the All-Star break.

Expect a 2nd half Laker surge.

And expect me to say I told you so!

Mike-

Not sure if this is what you meant or not, but the quote you pulled from Mitch's interview about the coaching staff having to "deal with it" wasn't in the context of them having to suck it up and live with the idea that Kwame won't be traded, but that they may not get another big man to help fill the void until he's healthy.

I agree that Kwame isn't going anywhere this year, certainly not unless they get another big in return. They literally can't trade a big right now. They don't have enough of them. Toss in the fact that he may not play for another month+, and he's not exactly the most marketable guy, especially to a team in a playoff hunt.

But they definitely need him back, and healthy, ASAP. He'll make a difference. Toss in a healthy Walton and a healed Odom in pre-injury form, and theoretically, they'll be in about as good of shape as possible. If Vlad Rad can have more games like yesterday's, all the better.

BK

Jorema,
You are crazy if you think Rudy T. would be doing a better job then Phil.

what, you wanted to see more ISOS for Kobe and jacked up 3s? The team is infinitely better than the Rudy years... A lot has to do with Phil...

Michael A. & KIDD supporters,
GET OFF the J. KIDD is so great on D talk. Yes he is good for D on TWO GUARDS. But he is nowhere near quick enough to hang with the Tony Parkers, J. Terry's, or Nash's of the world. So putting J.KIDD in the lineup isnt going to magically put the clamps on opposing PGs. I love KIDD. Too bad we arent getting him except on NBA LIVE.

It's not that Kwame can guard the lane, but that's he not marketable. Yeah, right! You should read what Mitch said to you.

Whatever you think, in Mitch's mind, Kwame is a quality big man. Something which is hard to get. Quality because there aren't much big men who can guard the lane. Chris Mihm sure can't. Right now Bynum can't. But it's because Kwame isn't marketable.

Yeah right!

mike

It is Phil's fault because he plays to many people.

Phil needs to start cutting time for the right reason and start to understand what he is dealing with. I believe the Lakers have all the utensils to win this year, but Phil uses the same people the same way every single time. I guess he will let them figure it out huh? Isn't that what he always says.

Korey,

sorry if my post irritated you.

sometimes the truth can do that.

hey, your optimism should be commended.

you seem content with the lack of consistency, lack of communication, lack of defense, lack of rebounding, poor free throw shooting, etc.

and i am not, especially with a superstar's prime hanging in the balance.

a 2-6 road trip, you forgot to mention that. against predominantly (if not all) eastern conference squads.

23rd best defense in the league.

26th ranked turnovers per game.

2nd worst free throw % team in the league.

and this is all gonna improve with some home cooking, eh?

once again, i commend you for the optimism.

so to your questions:

i recommend removing the excess fat at the end of this season, i didn't think i would have to point out the obivous. however, in your case - i now know that i have to. through trades and/or out right releases.

i can call kwame excess fat because i believe he is resorting to his washington wizard habits of milking injuries. kobe plays (and at a high level) with a bum ankle. just look for the tape wrapped up above his sock line. i am not asking for kwame to perform like kobe, i am asking for him to toughen up a bit and play through his injuries. he is out for another 4-6 weeks yet he has time to hit the club and toss cakes at people. like i said, remove the excess fat. his per game averages are very similar to bynum's, and he average 5-6 more minutes and makes plenty more loot.

i am not considering walton's absence because i believe vlad rad and evans should be able to compensate for luke's absence. the jury is still out on that assertion. i am not saying they can replace walton, but they should be able to hold the fort down til he comes back.

injuries? of course they have an effect. however i feel it's how you adjust/respond to those injuries that matters most. if key people are out, we have to change our game to the personnel we have. and i don't think we do that. we expect bynum to be kwame. we expect cook to be like lamar. we expect evans/vlad to be like walton. and that is unrealistic.

you have to alter the game plan to the personnel. not the other way around.

and after all this, i hope you will be able to tell me that you told me so.

it ain't about being right, it's about the lakers being as successful as they can be.

and in my opinion, success for this current squad will be a playoff appearance and winning a couple of playoff games. nothing more.

once again, i commend you for the optimism.

i will just opt to keep it real.

c'mon lake show!

Heat on a winning streak and now Pat say's he is ready to go after the All-Star break. Amazing.

bd

Mike-

You missed my point, which is only that it seemed like you pulled Mitch's quote out of context. You are correct that Mitch thinks he's a quality big on the defensive end, and certainly I agree with him that the odds of them finding someone better than him at the deadline is pretty small, and that they need him back and healthy quick. But in regards to trading him, there are issues that go beyond simply Kwame's value to the team. An injured player's value is always lower in a trade market, and in terms of trading a big (any big, Kwame or otherwise, save Mihm who may not play this year) for Kidd, it's a tough thing for the Lakers to do unless they would get another big in return. They're that short of bodies.

BK

 
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