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Vlad Rad Is Now Destitute

And by "destitute," I mean, "wealthier than 9 out of 10 people receiving five lifetimes to earn their ducats, but banking less than he could have." 

As noted earlier, the Lakers reached a final decision regarding "The Artist Slowly Turning Back into Vlad_rad Cat Stevens" (The requisite beard is about 3/4 full) and Snowboard-Gate.  Shoulder-impaired forward Vlad Radmanovic will pay a fine he described as "a lot of money," the actual dollar amount remaining undisclosed by the team (although from what I hear, it's about half a mil).  "I made a mistake and obviously there is a price for that mistake," nodded Radmanovic, who acknowledged it would have been the "legal right" of the Lakers to void his contract.  Vlad expressed gratitude for the decision to keep him around and has no plans to appeal a sentence he deemed "fair for what I did."  And having just watched former teammate Shaun Livingston come within  whispering distance of a forced retirement, Vlad feels even worse about the foolish risk he took  during the All-Star break.  "I did a bad thing for myself and my team.  I could have (ended) my career in Park City."  For that matter, the entire experience has been pretty sobering, especially his time spent under the microscope.  "It's tough.  It's not a nice feeling when people are looking at you a different way.  But that's part of life and there's no way back.  I have to find a way to put it behind me and learn from it." 

Now that Vlad's status for tomorrow's game against Sacto is officially "out... and poorer," we turn our attention to the stati (my invented plural of "status") of various other wounded Lakers.  Kobe Bryant had an MRI on his hyper-extended elbow and everything came back groovy.  He's also more or less recovered from Monday's horrific sore throat- His voice sounded better, for what it's worth- and he'll definitely be suited up.  Phil Jackson figures Andrew Bynum will also be ready for action, despite having missed the last two practices due to a flu bout.  Mo Evans, who also didn't practice today after having his knee drained, is considered "questionable".  Luke Walton, who did get on the court today for some run, was nonetheless listed as "doubtful."  And finally, there's Kwame Brown, who got tagged with "doubtful to questionable."

According to Kwame, that description apparently means "playing," because he talked like that was the plan.  Jackson was "feeling better" about Brown's chances of getting on the court (as opposed to Walton's), although the center still exhibited some question marks over timing and reaction during defensive situations.  All in all, however, he was encouraged by what he saw, a thumbs up that took Kwame a bit by surprise.  But even if Phil was in no way pleased, Kwame would like to make a run of it, given the team's current situation (and the simple realization that he may not reach a pain-free point this season, anyway).  He feels ready-ish for a return, but an added sense of urgency is definitely motivating him.  "We're in a tough situation.  Andrew's been sick all week, so I gotta step up and come in a little earlier."  He expects to come off the bench (which he agreed was the best call, despite the natural desire to start) and acknowledged he'll have to pace himself, maybe playing in 4-5 minute stretches.  And if the PT get too heavy, he's got a plan B.  "I'll maybe take a quick foul, get some rest," joked the 7-footer. 

Should Kwame end up getting some run, he's expecting rust galore.  "I'm out of sync a little bit.  They put in some new plays and new defensive stuff.  I wasn't around for that, so hopefully they can catch me up tomorrow.  I'm just trying to focus in on the stuff that I can do, not the stuff that I can't."  He also offered a warning.  "If you thought I couldn't catch before, wait until tomorrow."

AK

 
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"If you thought I couldn't catch before, wait until tomorrow."

More encouraging news from Mr. Brown.

Hey guys,

Whats your take on this article by Travis. This guy must be on some cheap drugs or what. This is is flat out wrong. Can we debate reasons why we know our lakers team will beat Jazz in the playoffs? This is pretty staight forward isn't it. The answer is Kobe. We have a super star, but the Jazz don't. When its time to take over games at the crucial moment, neither Derron Williams nor Carlos Boozer can do that. When the game is on the line, for the Jazz who can step up their game to that super star level? Nobody. I will guaranty a win in six.

Jazz: Lakers in the Playoffs? Bring it on!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Travis Heath
for HOOPSWORLD.com
Mar 1, 2007, 18:56


On Monday night, the Los Angeles Lakers rejoiced after beating the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City. This led some in Los Angeles to infer that the Lakers should hope to see the Jazz in the first round of the playoffs if the team wants to have any real chance of advancing.

Jazz fans should respond to such sentiment with three words: bring it on!

First, let us not forget Deron Williams was out of the line-up on Monday because of a variety of ailments. Yes, the same Deron Williams who is averaging over 17 points and 9 assists and might very well be the NBA's most improved player -- not to mention perhaps the best point guard in the Association not named Steve Nash. Even despite Williams' absence, the Jazz still had a great chance to win Monday night's game coming down the stretch.

Also, understand that All-Star Mehmet Okur played perhaps his worst game of the season scoring just 9 points on 3-19 shooting. And while some Laker fans might like to believe that was because of L.A.'s defense, the reality is that Okur missed open shots that he has made the majority of this season. Moreover, anyone who has watched the Lakers play the last month or so understands perhaps the team's biggest weaknesses have been defensive effort and execution.

Still, the end result on Monday was a win for the Lakers. In reality, though, that win was nothing more than fool's gold, and anyone who says the Lakers have a viable chance of beating the Jazz in a seven games series in which Utah has home court advantage is fooling themselves.

That said, the chance that the two clubs get to meet in the first round appears to be pretty high. Coming into play Thursday night, the Jazz occupied the fourth seed in the West just one game behind the surging San Antonio Spurs, while the Lakers were in the six spot four games ahead of the Denver Nuggets. If the Lakers stay in the six seed and the Jazz can surpass the Spurs, than the first round series between the two teams would become reality.

If that turns out to be the case, the Lakers would be lucky to survive even six games for several reasons.

1. The Lakers have no one on their roster capable of controlling Williams. He would run circles around Smush Parker, Jordan Farmar and any other stiff the Lakers might try and stick on him.

2. Andrew Bynum would be rendered essentially meaningless in the series because of Okur's shooting ability. In other words, Bynum is lost trying to defend people on the perimeter and Lakers' coach Phil Jackson would be forced to take him out of the game after Memo nailed a couple of treys in succession.

3. Andrei Kirilenko would have a good chance to make an impact defensively. Of course no one man can stop Kobe Bryant, but if you look back in history, players with length (think Tayshaun Prince in the 2004 NBA Finals) have bothered Bryant fairly substantially. Don't believe me? Well, recall that Bryant averaged only 22.6 points against the Pistons in the 2004 Finals, which included an alarmingly low 11 point output in Game 3.

4. Carlos Boozer would eat the Lakers alive in the low block and the mid-post as he has most teams this season. Sure, some Laker fans would respond by suggesting that a healthy Kwame Brown would help neutralize Boozer. C'mon people. If you're touting Kwame Brown as your defensive savior against a guy who has had the kind of season Boozer has . . . well, let's just say you're in for quite a disappointment.

5. Derek Fisher wants to stick it to the Lakers -- badly. You'll never hear Fisher say as much publicly because he's such a class act, but that doesn't change the fact he feels like the Lakers kicked him to the curb in the summer of 2004. By the way, if you'd like some empirical support to back-up such a claim, here's something to consider: Fisher scored 23 points against the Lakers on Monday which was a season-high. In addition, he also took 15 shots, which as you probably guessed, was also a season-high. Probably just a coincidence, right?

Please note: listed above are just five reasons the Jazz would whip the Lakers in the playoffs, and by no means should this be considered a complete and comprehensive list.

It might be popular to pick Utah as the team which has overachieved in the regular season only to become easy pickin's come playoff time. However Laker fans, if you need proof of just how good this Jazz team really is, just peruse their schedule. The Jazz have already beaten Phoenix three times and San Antonio twice. Oh, and they also defeated the Dallas Mavericks -- you know, that team which has won 13 in a row -- by 22-points earlier in the season.

The moral of this story? Be careful what you wish for, because if Laker fans get the Jazz in the first round as they hope to, it will be a quick exit.



first, kwame boasts about not wanting to return against phoenix now he's bragging that he's so behind that he doesn't know how to catch passes

his "warning"...was that supposed to be a cute attempt at humor?

seriously, dude...grow a competitive streak

Ya gotta love the Kwam, dude got jokes. Since he was predicting Tuesday to avoid the track meet on Sunday, a Friday run would be above and beyond. Don't know where he was when the staff passed out the new plays and defenses but I'm assuming it was company biz.

Do these guys live a charmed existence or what?
The Vlad equation:
1.5 mil in games missed - 500K fine = cool mil net profit and 8 weeks off.

Wait they put in new plays...for defense? Why oh why didn't we do that before...it seems to have worked! Well better late than never lol.

My guess is that Vlad doesn't consider it 8 weeks off. Also, I suspect he will have lots to study and video to go over during this run.

He also offered a warning. "If you thought I couldn't catch before, wait until tomorrow."

Kwame is really using cryptic language here.

Loosely translated it means..

"The brother has been practicing 24/7 on catching the ball. Its like I got bit by one of those atomic spiders. I got Spidey Hands now. The ball just sticks to my fingers like super glue. I will catch and dunk like there is no tomorrow."

Kawame is starting to relax in Los Angeles. This is really a good thing. It means he can get out there and just play. No looking over his shoulder and no being afraid of what people will say.

I bet his improvement curve starts going up pretty fast now. Also, that Kobe and Lamar will force feed him.

kwame sounds like a seriously good guy...the self depreciating humour is refreshing...

best of luck kwame the lakers need your defensive presence.

I had a good read of the article that Travis Heath wrote and what he forgot to mention is can the jazz stop KOBE...hello mcfly...and a fit odom.The last time i checked Matt Harpring was not on the nba 1st 2nd 3rd or 4th devensive team of the year.This season we have beaten them twice even though we have lost some dumb games give a team this unlucky with injuries a break Tavis heath

Cbuck,

Yeah, Kwame was definitely just kidding around. The quote was in the context of recognizing he'll be (understandly) rusty.

Admittedly, I've questioned on many occasions how badly Kwame wants it when he's on the court (mostly when it comes to his rebounding, which I think is way too inconsistent for his size and athleticism), but he's clearly trying to push up his ETA for a return, even if he's not totally ready. I would cut him some slack, at least in terms of that remark. While I do occasionally grow concerned that the continual self-deprecation is in part to lower his own expectations, as opposed simply reducing the post-Washington spotlight on himself through underselling (and hopefully overdelivering), it's hard to get on him too much right now, since he's likely gonna play through some pain.

AK

"The brother has been practicing 24/7 on catching the ball. Its like I got bit by one of those atomic spiders. I got Spidey Hands now. The ball just sticks to my fingers like super glue. I will catch and dunk like there is no tomorrow."

lol, spidey hands...hey whatever works. I personally think super glue will do the job.

AA Los,

Yea, after reading the article, I sensed "Fear" in what he wrote. But if he wants the Lakers, than we shall give him the Lakers! Funny how he didn't mention Lamar Odom in his article. Geez, I wonder who can guard Boozer now???? Hmmmm!

But I will give him his props on Deron Williams being able to get around Smush...BUT...Who can't. But like you said, they don't have a All-Star with a killer instinct like we have in Kobe.

But all in all, I think the Lakers will end up facing San Antonio in the first round. Will be a fun series to watch.

Maybe Vlade can get a loan from the Dodgers' Matt White.

Kwame has to be by far the funniest guy on the Lakers, at least the funniest publicly. He has said some seriously hilarious things this season. I think Craig is right, it's a sign that he's comfortable here. I doubt he made those kinds of comments in Washington.

Wait, so Kwame's sprained ankle somehow affects his ability (or lack thereof) to catch the ball?

No wonder I had such a hard time signing my rent check today, I just remembered I stubbed my toe last week!

"Derek Fisher wants to stick it to the Lakers -- badly... he feels like the Lakers kicked him to the curb in the summer of 2004."

Huh? Fisher was demanding a huge raise, which was the reason why the Lakers didn't sign him. He got a great offer (one that was probably over-valued) from GS. Don't see how that's kicking him to thr curb.

reaction to Travis Heath:

1. With Deron Williams out, D.Fish scored 23 points and handed out 8 assists (quite a nice D.Will impression if you ask me) and the Jazz STILL lost.

2. Bynum hasn't exactly been a force to be reckoned with.. so, I don't understand the point this rookie is trying to make.

3. Easy answer - different Kobe, different AK47. In other words, Kobe has become a better team player, which will neutralize the "effects" of AK47. Plus, AK's game has seriously dropped - he doesn't look happy in Utah.

4. Kwam played solid defense against Tim Duncan and other notables last year when he was healthy. Carlos Boozer is no Tim Duncan (even if Teemy can't jump).

5. Okay, sure D.Fish wants to stick it, but honestly, a 6yr/36million contract? That's a big time contract and although I love D.Fish, his numbers and intangibles don't quite call for that huge of a payout. Fish isn't going to score 23 ppg every night against the Lakers. When the Jazz beat the Lakers on Nov.24th, Fish had 13 points and 4 assists. When the Jazz lost on Nov.30th, he had 6 points and 1 assist. HARDLY the monster scorer that Heath is talking about - granted those earlier games Fish had ~14 minutes, the last game he took on 40 minutes. However, looking at D.Williams stats, he averaged about 14 points and 10 assists those 2 past games, playing about 35 minutes per. Even if you add those two guys' numbers up, they'd only put up ~20+ points and ~13 assists.


Man, this guy is an idiot. What kind of sports writer is he???? Real deep, in-depth analysis there buddy. Maybe next time he should take longer than 4 minutes to write an article (about as long as I just took to note my observations).

Screw the Jazz. GO LAKERS!!!!

j.walter:

yeah, i think that his hands are so bad that not being able to walk affects his catching ability. I wonder if he's talking more about rhythm and things of that nature. Either, it's poorly worded.

Craig W.

If Kwame can make fun of his own shortcomings that drives us all nuts, then that's pretty good and your right. Kwame is more relaxed and comfotable with LA.

Kwame loves LA.

Maybe he will start to do more stuff to make us love him more.

Is it just a coincidence that Vlad goes down and the Lakers go on a winning streak? The guy just doesn't fit and wasn't a good pickup to begin with. He does the same thing Brian Cook does, but with less consistency. But for a whole lot more money.

Socalife,

I'll give it to you there man, you said it right on the money. Send you comments to the sportswriter himself, and I bet he'll get a new career. LOL

What is the obsession with the Heath article? Not only has it been posted, but it's been posted at least 3 times in several posts here today, in its entirety each time.

It's an opinion piece. It was so obviously biased and the man is obviously blinded by his anger. If at least 3 of Okur's misses would have dropped then the Jazz would have probably won that game.

Teams who aren't professional like the Lakers don't know how to deal with new found success. It's like they have a hot season and feel a sense of entitlement. Like the Clippers did last year. Do it year after year with successful results in the post season and then you can be worthy of respect.

And while I'm ranting please tell me why Jerry Sloan can get away with comments like "discouraging" Kobe from going into the paint. Who was the coach that made a similar comment after Kobe's 81 point a-bomb? Was it Sloan? Funny that nobody listens to him. They don't want to be the turd that dropped the hammer on Kobe. Kobe's got some major respect from players in the league.

We may or may not succeed in the post season, but you'd think the "experts" would have learned their lesson last year and stop underestimating Phil and Kobe. They keep saying and writing stuff. Playoffs are a different animal and Phil has been very successful in the playoffs.

And while we're at it. Boy, didn't Wade sound really sour after the All-Star game? And you gotta admire the way that Livingston handled himself on the court after his injury. Wade cried like a baby and his injury wasn't even career-threatening.

Sorry for the rant, it's just these long breaks between games are really tough. lol.

If Kwame is truly out of sync, can we ask him to renegotiate his contract by deducting all the games when he has been absent? we could find several 10-day contract players who will be cut who could catch the ball in the post. He may be joking but by game time, he is really telling the truth.

So Kwame, what have you been doing while you're on vacation...going to nite clubs?

AK/BK,

Is there a chance for Chris Mihm play at the first round of the playoffs? We need his height at the post.

The Lakers played well against the Jazz..and regardless of Deron not playing or Okur not making 3's..doesn't matter to me..the Lakers won that game and that's all the matters..hopefully this Sunday they can beat Phoenix...though it'll be tough I am hopeful they can pull through.

Mel,

I agree with everything you said, particularly the Livingston/Wade comparison. I don't know which injury is more painful, but I would imagine Shaun's due to the severity of it. He looked totally composed on the court and seemed to handle it very well. Wade, on the other hand, well you know what he did.

LOL man that article was funny. Kwame wouldnt be able to neutralize Boozer wow thats a big lie. One thing about Kwame is he gets up for games against the big name 4's and 5's in the NBA. And AK47 on KOBE LMAO LMAO LMAO LMAO.. Did this guy forget the Nov 30th game LMAO. Deron Williams played that game and they still got torched.

Hey at least the sportswriter reps his home team

The basic problem with that Utah guy's analysis is that he seems not to have watched the games. He says that Okur would negate Bynum's defensive presence ... well, Odom is the one that guards Okur because Okur cant punish Odom in the post. Even more, Bynum played some serious defense in the post against Boozer. His length really bothered the shorter Boozer. And of course, that is without out best post defender, Kwame. We match up pretty darn well with the Jazz. Id rather see them than just about anyone else in the first round.

last time I checked the Lakers beat the Jazz by 32 points with Deron Williams playing.

Kobe scored how many points in the third quarter without missing?

And the Lakers would've won the first game if it wasn't for the mistakes the Lakers made.

And by the way we as fans(at least me) don't care who the Lakers play in the first round.

They won the series against the Spurs and the Jazz, we have to wait for the Suns and the Mavs, but still who cares, sooner or later if they want to advance the team has to play the power teams.

i hear ya AK, and respect what you have to say, understanding that you're there to observe them daily and you have a better feel of what they're saying and how they're saying it...

but i simply can't see this guy as a competitor. and that's alarming. when everything quoteworthy that comes out of his mouth is self-deprecation, that's all we have to gage him on...i mean, how are we supposed to see this guy as anything but vlad rad's cosmic twin?

how 'bouts a little: "i can't wait to get back on the floor to help my team." or "i may not be 100 percent, but i'll try my hardest."

"i suck! hardy har har har" just doesn't have the same ring to it, ya know?

is it a coincidence that he's been the butt of many phil jackson jokes this season? the playing through pain thing is nice, but it's clear from previous PJ quotes, kwame has a hard time staying healthy anyway and he's always complaining 'bout some ailment. now, i see phil as a prince of pricks, but still...there's gotta be something to his ocassional lampooning of kwame. ... and here kwame is lampooning himself. *smacks head*

just grow a set, dude.

Another quick quip about that guys article:

He mentioned that the Jazz have beaten the top three teams in the West a few times... But I believe the Lakers have too.. in fact, they beat the Jazz twice now.. one was a blow out and one was on the their court. The one loss we suffered was early in the season and even then the Lakers were beating them by double digits in the fourth quarter. This guy's smoking fast glass.

Ahlayn

I like how Travis Heath only looked at the defensive side of the court for the lakers and determined that that was enough to grant the Jazz a series win in the first round. He totally neglects to understand that the Lakers love to play teams that don't run and gun and that rely on set offenses to produce points (ala Orlando, Utah, San Antonio, Minnesota, etc.) What I've noticed this year in Lakers victories is that when the Lakers start to groove on the offensive end, they are almost unstoppable and it demoralizes the opposing teams offense. It seems to me that when the games are close and the Lakers are trading baskets with the other team in the fourth quarter, we begin to lose our composure and the other team makes a run in which we're playing catch-up by the end. I think the positives outweigh the negatives in this last losing skid if you consider the big picture. Like Rocky getting knocked to the mat and everything seeming completely lost, the Lakers are gonna rise up against the Ivan Drago's and Mr. T's in the West and take the belt where it belongs. (You get it? Kobe's from Philly.. anyone?) We came one rebound last year from a huge upset against the Suns so who knows with the potential of this team. One game at a time.. GO LAKERS!! BEAT THE QUEENS!

travis is sipping on that hater-ade. first of all, he mentions that deron was out, but does not mention that the lakers are playing w/o two of their starters. also, the game was on a back-to-back in utah, so that evens out. he also says look at utah's wins. they beat san antonio and phoenix. hmm, did the lakers not beat those teams? yeah, okur sucked but is that our fault? did evans not suck as well that night? sure, we may not be able to stop deron, but who is going to stop kobe? travis, your a pompous prick.

THE JAZZ: come on, jerry Sloan had Stockton and Malone and couldnt win it all, but big names like BOOZER and DERON WILLIAMS will get them over the hump???? YEA i got a bridge in Brooklyn for sale too.

Watching tha CAVS-MAVS game i made 1 observation about DALLAS, get ready for this, but they are exactly the same team they were last with more pressure this year. They missed 8 straight shots in the 4th letting the cavs back in the game and if the cavs were half way decent offensively they would have won. Thats the same way they collapsed in the playoffs with 10 minutes to go in the final three games and lost the finals. I also think the pace of MAVS-SUNS will slow down coming to the stretch run and we will get stronger with all our injured players coming back. One thing for sure is i like our chances against anyone, i dont think anyone is saying "lets get the Lakers in the first round," Remember if we had gotten 1 more defensive rebound last year against PHX instead of giving them 3 shots at making a 3 we would have won. Cant wait until LO gets a hold of DIRK, he has never had a monster game against LO!!!!! Dirks worst nighmare, a player that can guard him outside and inside .

The heath guy is actually an idiot. I can handle it if he thinks the jazz would beat the lakers in a seven game series...their record is better they have played better etc

BUT I could come up with better arguments why the jazz would win without trying nearly as hard...I could also come up with a bunch of reasons why they would lose beginning with the fact that they are (apart from fisher) very inexperienced at playoff basketball.As someone pointed out yesterday, teams like the jazz have a history of not succeeding in the playoffs.

Debatably the part of the article that provided the best example of Heaths overwhelming idiocy is when he says Williams wasn't playing and then said Fisher posted season highs in shots and points...it stands to reason that Fishers role might be slightly exapnded with Williams out...vehemently stating that the reason for this was Fishers desire to stick it to the lakers is laughable logic.

My guess is the jazz are going to struggle in the playoffs whoever they play but the lakers have played well against them this season and the jazz however you look at it are the least intimidating out of the far more experienced San Antonio,Phoenix or dallas...teams that have proved something....The jazz may well be respected after the playoffs but it is common sense for the lakers or any team to want them in the first round.

Hoopsworld "Homer" Heath.

If Zackee were to write for Hoopsworld, that's sorta how I would picture his style. Ignoring the obvious and manufacturing thoughts to prove a point.

Hoopsworld Eric Pincus
Loves the Lakers but writes objectively.

Hoopsworld must hire its writers according to what it feels the local fans need and want.

Utah Fans - All is perfect in Utah. Bad things never happen. Emotionally can't handle losses. Need silly homeric? articles to lift spirits. (We didn't really lose that game, and will win when it counts)

LA Fans - Love the Lakers, but want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. But love to argue what the truth really is.

Pray to God that AK/BK never become Laker "Heath" Homers. It would be a sad day if they did, and LATimes Laker blog would be awfully boring.

socalife,

6yrs/36 mil for fish might be a lot, but didn't we just dish out 5yrs/30mil for vlad?

Is it just me, I'm pretty sure all my fellow bloggers noticed there has been some key things happen in the NBA that biases analyst have ignored.


1) Dwayne Wade getting torched by Jamal Crawford for 50. 17 buckets straight on him.

2) Steve Nash the MVP?????????????? He isnt even the best player on his team lol. Shawn Marion means more to that team than people know. But we know Lamar can neutralize him thats why they have problems matching up with us in the playoffs. And remember when the lakers have Kwame, Bynum and Turiaf for Stoudmire. LOL this team couldnt even beat the Sixers without Marion

3) Kobe will never get the respect he deserve from the media. He will forever be a marked man. And I know he cant wait for that rematch against Michael Redd now lol. Kobe shoot the ball take the hearts from these teams the supporting cast is better they need you to lift them up and give them that boost.

4) Mo Evans gives us a big boost. Phil has some decisions to make here. Because with Mo starting, Lamar isnt require to score as much and that takes the pressure off of him. Mo is aggressive enough

5) The Mavericks havent played us a full strength not 1 time this year.

6) Teams in the East refuse to run pick and rolls with Shaq. Man when he played with the Lakers we were always torched on those lol. Shaq would defend those horribly. Man I just dont get it why teams in the East don't run that on the Heat

Email I sent to the writer of the Jazz article.

November 30th,2006. Deron Williams, Boozer, Kirilenko, and Okur all started for Utah. Kobe was guarded by Kirilenko, Brewer, and everbody else but Jerry Sloan and scored 52 on Utah with 30 in the third quarter. And Kirlienko has not been the same stopper in about two years. And he can be an offensive liability.
Okur has scored a total of 38 in three games against the Lakers. I say that's no coincidence. The Lakers are doing something right on him.
Carlos Boozer has already been busting the Lakers asses, and the Lakers have still taken 2 of 3 from Utah. You talked about Williams missing Monday, but did not mention Luke Walton, Kwame Brown, Vlade Radmanovic, the list goes on and on. Lakers have weaknesses, but have taken 2 of 3 from Jazz, won season series against Spurs, lead series against Rockets, Suns, and have beaten the Mavs. It will be a good series if they meet, but I think the Jazz got alot more to worry about than you think bro. And what playoff experience does Utah have outside of Fisher and maybe Okur? None. Lakers have a slight advantage across the board in my opinion, but you're story was well thought out also. I just want you to see the other side.
What do you guys think?
Peace, Jerry.

You heard it here first! I'm going out on a limb and saying Dirk will get his first MVP.

right on Jerry you hit it bro...except you were too kind... it wasnt well thought out.I'm not sure I'd say the lakers have an advantage...with a significantly better record and home court advantage you cant really say that.I'm so used to laker injuries that I factored in the Williams injury but not the fact we were minus two starters...

Is it jsut me or was this team dangerously close to complete collapse a week or two ago...sure its a three game winning streak and two wins came against below average teams but I think we have to hand it to the lakers for turning it around and showing some character.

Vlad was also a gentleman by not feeling hurt on the imposed fine, he accepted it peacefully and would like to get healthy and help the team. I think that kind of class exhibited by this team and Vlad is worth more than $ 30M in five years' time, it shows dignity in holding back one's edge and attend to other real Laker problems. Future players from Europe and here will remember this organization when they decide their fate in playing with an NBA team in the future.

With regards to other teams, sportwriters and media in general like ESPN, trashing anything that's located in Southern California, get used to it. Under the cold winter in Utah, the Jazz basketball is the remaining indoor fun in town. Here comes the glamour beach boys of California headed by Kobe proclaiming that they are sick, they lacked front line players, they're just relying on their benchwarmers, while Utah have the Da Fish, a Turkish, a Russian and Bulldo'boozer with them - they came to this sacred Mormon City pillaged their court like those fake Pirates of Disneyland, took away their winter pleasure who have promising talents that will someday be NBA Champions. Now the Jazz fans are equally in doubt whether they could ever pass these underachieving and malcontent Lakers. So what do they do? In disgust, they threw back the garbage that littered their hopes and dreams.

As Jazz fan, I would feel: "These glamour boys seemed to be dissatisfied, who came from a warm place that just held a successful Oscar Ceremony, now their city just announced that they're ready to hold another Summer Olympics for the 3rd time, I believe this is just too much to bear to take everthing including our only winter pleasure, the Utah Jazz."

Bill Walton is chatting live on espn....why is he such a Laker Hater.....considering his SON is a Laker, it seems fishy....hmmm Luke?....and when the hell is he coming back....
and I'M SO TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT NASH FOR MVP, can these blowhards PLEASE PLEASE pay attention o the fact that this so called "MVP" HASN'T EVEN MADE A FINALS YET? HE SHOLD BE INELIGIBLE BY DEFAULT FOR THAT REASON ALONE!! The 2nd was a "gift" anyway......AHHHHHH! Vlad should be sent to Boston as punishment for his stupidity, his fine should've been more considering all the injuries, everyone should be EXTRA careful...AND HE LIED!.....ugh

Zen,

You call that going out on a limb?

Edwin that was a superb little piece on Utah...

For all my outrage and suggestions of castration and the like it was probably a good decision by the lakers to go easy on Vlade in the end...its always a good idea not to burn ones bridges...the best thing they could do as an organisation is make it go away as quietly as possible...hear this now though...all eyes will be on Vlade and its a big black mark for him.They will be quietly looking to offload him.The less of a big deal this incident is the easier that will be...

I just dont get the bit about him being a gentleman...he was very very very lucky if you ask me.Even if he had the audacity to be unhappy about the decision saying so publicly would be career suicide.

Update time...

Wes

Edwin

"like those fake Pirates of Disneyland,"

You mean they're fake, shoot, all these years I thought they were real? What's next? No Santie Claus?

We really put some doubts in those Salt Lake City fans, Didn't we?

Now, let's do the same to the Suns Fans on Sunday.

For those who don't have ESPN insider. Here are Laker related questions from today's chat with Chris Sheridan. The first one is by me, gotta stick up for our boy Kobe. That guy is the heart and soul of this squad!

Mike: LA: Chris please answer my question buddy. Everyone always makes it seem like Dirk and Nash are both shoe-ins for MVP this year. How about Kobe Bryant? Despite all their injuries they are still 7 games above .500. The way the NBA judges the MVP is majorly flawed. If you take Dirk and Nash away from their teams they will still be playoff teams since they have other all-stars to help out. If you take away Kobe from the Lakers they will likely be a lottery team. Who do they have? An inconsistent Odom, a few other guys that show up some nights and not the other? Seriously how can you say that that the way the NBA determines the MVP is fair. It's based too much on wins and losses. You have to look at what the team has and what a big impact the player will be if hes gone. There is no person more deserving then Kobe. Last year Kobe should have won it, this year Nash is having an awesome year as well. Maybe the best season of his career, but will he win a 3 in a row? Probably not, it's going to be tough to beat Dirk. This MVP thing is a joke to me now.

Chris Sheridan: (12:40 PM ET ) Easy Mike. It's March 2, so the MVP debate is \far from over. You can't help but single out Dirk at this point because of the Mavs' 49-9 record, but there are stioll 6 1-2 weeks left, so there's a lot of basketball left to be played. Kobe can still make a run, but he's going to need the Mavs to falter.


Phil (LA): Chris, with Luke getting ready to return, will the Lakers keep Mo Evas in the starting lineup or will Luke reclaim that?

Chris Sheridan: (12:09 PM ET ) I took some flack from my e-mailers in L.A. who pointed out that the Lakers were 5-0 with Evans as a starter when I took a mild jab at Evans in this week's Pippen column. I still think Luke will reclaim the starting job by the end of March, but I'm becoming more and more of an Evans believer the more I watch him.


I was being sarcastic.

AA Los,
Totally agree with you. The guy must be smoking crack. Kobe has more playoff experience then their whole starting 5 combined lol. Other then Fisher who has been in the playoffs more then 2 times, maybe Okur but I'm too lazy to check. But there is no other team I would like to see more in the playoffs then Utah. We match up well with them and with Kwame back we can hopefully bully Okur in the middle. Remember that loss we had against Utah a while back? Kwame was bullying him on the inside all during the 4th. This idiot columnist has no idea what hes talking about. I don't know how or why these guys get paid.

From BasketballNewsServices.com:

Travis Heath
Covers the Denver Nuggets.
Based in Denver, Travis has covered the Denver Nuggets for the past season, and is considered one of the foremost experts on basketball in Denver. Travis is a regular contributor to radio and is available for both radio and television appearances.

Those boys in Denver and Utah will always live in LA's shadow. No doubt the fan base is worried back there in Utah and Colorado. You may have the better record right now, but we'll be the one's competing for Western Conference titals and hopefully championships come May and June.

Thats more like the golden gate bridge... than a limb.

Berkeley laker...

'Travis Heath is considered one of the foremost experts on basketball in Denver'

well all I can say to that is...if Heath knows more about basketball than anyone else in Denver it explains why the nuggets are never very good.

OK people... first of all, please don't write to that idiot writer... you are only increasing his hits or what not and making him look better in the eyes of his employer....

second... tell Utah to bring it on.. they are weak... sloan has gotten owned by phil over the years and this year will be no different...

about kwame... THANK GOD you are coming back.. kwame is perhaps the most underrated player on our team.. YES he is not the best.. but does our team look like its filled with superstars? Kwame is definitely needed and as lakers fans we should ALL support him...

about luke.. i am not too much of a fan of luke's because his defense is too weak.... however i do love his aggressiveness... even though sometimes shoots too much.. still.. except for kobe and evans.. no one on our team seems to really want to take over a game... his offensive-mindedness is something that helps push the lakers... we need him as well...

oh ya.. can't forget chris... dude we so need this guy... as much as everyone on the blog loves bynum, (as many of u kno i ain't a real big fan of bynum's game this year.. i mean i kno he'll get better but putting too much faith in him this year will definitely not work out... ), I'd rather have a healthy Chris Mihm in the middle. As of this point, Bynum is too unreliable in the paint. Don't get me wrong, I hope Bynum can prove me wrong and make me look stupid.

and Vlad... you have been given a second chance.. please hurry up and heal and while you are recovering.. please learn the damn triangle...

ANYWAYS... if Phil can take this team deep into the playoffs... that will be perhaps one of the best coaching jobs... how he can take a young damaged team and set rosters while people are recovering.. and make it work... I BELIEVE IN YOU PHIL!!!!!!!!!!


GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Beat the Queens today!!

I love Kwame's attitude. My biggest knock on him is that he plays too quickly, especially on offense.

Maybe this relaxed, dare I say, comfortable attitude will allow him to slow down a little on the court. Read then react...

The return of Kwame is key in the development of Bynum too. The kid's been playing too many minutes as it is. On that note, the recent additions of McKie and Williams to the rotation will allow a seemingly tired Farmar to recharge. I look for our bench to bring the same kind of spark late in the season that they were bringing early on.

J-


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