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7 or 8? What's your pleasure?

Tonight, Golden State plays Dallas in a game that could affect the Lakers' playoff seeding.  Should the Warriors come out on top this evening (completing a improbable-but-true sweeping of the Mavs), a Wednesday win against Portland combined with a Laker loss to Sacramento means the Bay Area playoff drought will not only end, but the Lakers will go from a 7 seed and a series against Phoenix to an 8 seed showdown with Dallas.  The Lakers obviously control their own destiny (win tomorrow and it's a moot point), but if you could control destinies, how would you prefer the dust settle?  A rumble with Phoenix or Dallas?

Let me preface this question by stating, to be blunt, I don't think the Lakers can hang with either team.  I'll root my head off for it to happen, but I'm just being honest.  Yes, last year's team was a consensus underdog and ended up pushing Phoenix to 7 games.  But that team also rolled into the postseason.  Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown and Luke Walton caught a near simultaneous fire, creating with Kobe the groove necessary to make this team better than the sum of its parts.  The Lakers crossed the 2007 finish line running on fumes.  Injuries killed their chances of creating any flow or cohesion, especially on the defensive end.  Kwame, Walton, LO and Mo Evans are playing at considerably less than 100%.  Smush Parker lost his starting gig 80 games into an 82 game season (Try to remember the last time that happened.).  Vlad Radmanovic, their big free agent signing, is a non-factor.  And frankly, Kobe looks pretty tired.  He's had to do a lot of heavy lifting with players in and out of the lineup and the playoffs at stake.  I think it's catching up with him. 

None of this bodes particularly well heading into the weekend, which is why I think of this question as a big time "relatively speaking" thing.  Kind of like, "Which would I rather eat?  A tin can or a glass bottle?"  Neither will sit well, but you gotta pick a poison.  I don't know if it's because cartoons have convinced me that goats eat tin cans and go on to live long and healthy lives, or because I remain permanently scarred by an episode of "Oz" where Adebisi and Ryan O'Reilly killed an Italian gang leader by putting a daily dose of ground glass in his food, eventually inducing internal bleeding.  But in any event, I think of tin cans as "better eating."  In my mind, Dallas represents that can.

The way I view the Lakers, their collective weaknesses hurt them considerably more than their collective strengths help.  Therefore, my #1 criteria would be to pick an opponent that exposes fewer weaknesses, and if possible, the mack daddy of them all (as opposed to weighing matchups in the Lakers' favor and going from there).  So what is the Lakers' #1 problem?  Defense. And specifically, transition defense.  It's a non-existent and often crippling weakness, so I think it behooves the Lakers greatly not to play a running team.  Dallas runs considerably less than Phoenix.  I still think Dallas can pick apart the Lakers in a half court set (or something between that and a sprint), but again, this is about what I think gives the Lakers a better, if still slim, shot.  That relative lack of running will also make things easier on the injured guys, especially Kwame, who'll only have two games under his belt before the postseason starts.  Obviously, the matchups aren't great (Dirk Nowitzki's always a nightmare, and the Lakers don't really have anyone for Josh Howard, other than maybe Kobe), but the Phoenix personnel don't exactly scream "easy covers."  Plus, in a close game, I consider Steve Nash much scarier than Dirk.  I can remember quite a few occasions where the Big German missed a big shot down the stretch, even free throws (which says a lot, considering he's a 90% guy).   I recall few, if any, times the Big Canadien crapped out in the clutch.  Honestly, I just think Nash is mentally tougher than Dirk (for that matter, I also think the Suns are a scrappier bunch than the Mavs).  And despite Kobe arguably having no equal in a "clutchness mano y' mano," I'd still rather square him off against the lesser competitor. 

In the meantime, the Lakers may actually match up to better against Phoenix, at least player to player.  LO has given Shawn Marion fits at times and Kwame can actually put a body on Amare Stoudemire.  Unfortunately, with Kwame just coming back, I don't know how effectively he'll be able to do it over the course of a series.  And it still comes back to the frenetic pace and game plan that hurts the Lakers.  In my mind, Phoenix's constantly pushed tempo more than offsets any individual matchups potentially working in L.A.'s favor.  The Denver Nuggets are basically the "Phoenix-lite" of running teams (and play even worse D), and the Lakers couldn't hang with them.  I don't see it playing out better against the actual Suns.  Phoenix becames, as a team, the least favorable matchup, and one that I think causes more problems than any individual matchup issues with Dallas.   

That all being said, I firmly believe the need to win against Sacto supercedes any opponent preference.  It's always best to go into the postseason with momentum and the Lakers will take any scraps they can get.  As always, I'm rooting for a win.  And like I said, this entire analysis is to a large degree much ado about nothing, since I don't picture either series a purple and gold victory.  But if you're asking which one strikes me as the ever-so slightly bigger upset candidate, I'll shrug and say Dallas. 

But you may not agree.  And will probably tell me why.

AK

 

 
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AK, BK, and all the regular bloggers

I was just watching the NBA Coast To Coast on ESPN and they were talking about a player from the Indiana pacers stated Jermaine Oneal wants to be a Laker and plans to have a sit down with management to determine his future in Indiana. My question is what would we have to give up 2 get Jermaine Oneal?

Paul Lee,

It would depend on how Indiana wants to proceed from here (which will be interesting, considering they'd be best served blowing things up and starting over, except they have a bunch of expensive players in long term contracts). But spitballing, I'd say it'll likely require Bynum as bait, then either LO or Kwame for the biggest salary to match Jermaine's and maybe someone like Cook to balance the numbers. There might also be other players mixed in from both sides, depending on if Indy says they'll give up O'Neal if L.A. takes on another of their big contracts. It could also require a third team.

AK

Ak

I would prefer the suns and not because of match ups. I do not believe we can beat the Suns, Dallas and the Spurs back to back to back. And Nelson seems to know how to beat his old team. A Golden State upset would eliminate one elite team that we would have to deal with. If we got past the Suns then GS would play the Spurs and we would get either Houston or Utah, and we can match up with either, then a show down with the Spurs? We can match up with them as well. So go Dallas! Beat the warriors tonight then lose in 6 in the playoffs!!

Bynum and LO seems like a lot

LO, Vlad and Cooke I do pretty easily...Kwame and LO I struggle with slightly.

Its a real shame we havent been able to get the measure of the players or the team this season.

Paul Lee,

I've got an idea. Why don't we relay this news to KG to JO wants to be a Laker. There will be a competition between KG and JO, they know we can only get one. What do you think of that? It's possible nothing will happen because Cupcake can only offer MLE and BAE.

Kiwi,

I can't picture Indy ever going for it without Bynum. Especially not just LO, Vlad and Cook. Think about it from the Pacer perspective. Jermaine O'Neal is better than LO and Cook and Vlad (who's coming off a career worst season) are extremely similar role players. And all three bring no cap relief. That's a pretty lopsided deal, with little incentive for Indiana.

AK

"Oh Me Oh My!"

Is this guy broadcasting the Clippers game for real?

Sounds like Judy Garland after a sex change operation.

AK:

I live in NorCal and the Warriors definitely want to play the Mavs rather than the Suns, to the extent that Nelly will probably lay down against Portland tomorrow night if they beat the Mavs tonight. Unbelievably, the Warriors are 3-0 against the Mavs this season. Part of it is due to their running style and part to Nelly knowing his old team and assistant coach too well. No way does Nelly want to meet the Suns in the first round or be in the same bracket. They play the same styles and are a much tougher matchup for the Warriors.

The playoff brackets in the West portend a playoffs for the ages. The top bracket has the Warriors against the Mavs, with the Warriors so far owning the Mavs 3-0 in the regular season, and the Jazz against the Rockets. It is not impossible that the Warriors could take out the Mavs in the first round and lost to the Rockets who will likely put down the Jazz. Unfortunately, I don’t think they will be able to beat the Rockets, who I think will be the surprise winner in the upper bracket.

Then there is the lower bracket with the Suns versus the Lakers and the Spurs versus the red hot Nuggets. Just as the Lakers think they can upset the Suns, the Nuggets are really confident that they can take out the Spurs. Could you say Lakers and Nuggets in the second round game, which would mean the Lakers would head to conference finals to play the Rockets after beating the Nuggets in a high octane seven-game series? It could possibly happen, After all, we know now pigs can fly. lol.

The finale, of course, would be the Lakers taking the Rockets in a seven-game series for the ages and then sweeping the Heat in four games to win the NBA championship. Anyway, that’s my latest hope-filled prediction for the Lakers to avoid the Mavs and Spurs, put their foot up Shaq’s big ass, and win it all for Kobe. Hey, guess I am no longer GHE. lol. Thank God! Hope Andrew didn’t tear up his $20 betting slip on the Lakers.

Tom

Have you also noticed these Laker players are inconsistent when it comes to dealing with their HAIR? MO, LO, Mckie prefers no hair & shinny eggheads; Kobe, Luke & drew like the 5mm. in ht., Kwame, Ronny and Vlad are lazy to visit a barber. The story of their games this year is reflected from the management of their hair which is .500 either too much and none at all.

Every game this season (and last season) the Lakers have demonstrated an ability to slow the Phoenix game down if they read the lines just like Phil has scripted them. Once Phoenix is slowed anything can happen. With Dallas there isn't much that can happen besides 4 individuals on the Dallas team outplaying 4 individuals on the Lakers team to an extent cumulatively greater than Kobe can compensate for. AK has committed a grave folly in choosing the Mavs to be the Lakers first-round opponent.

JO, LO, and Kobe would be a dream team. But the cost to support that dream would be one large pot o' gold. I just can't see Dr. Buss paying that kind of lux tax. I wish he would, but I'm not so sure.

AK:

Here are the Likely NBA Playoff Brackets:

UPPER BRACKET:
Mavs vs. Warriors
Jazz vs. Rockets

LOWER BRACKET:
Spurs vs. Nuggets
Lakers vs. Suns

The Lakers want to be the 7th seed and the Warriors want to be the 8th seed. The best shot the Lakers have to pull off an upset would be against the Suns and the same could be said about the Warriors with respect to the Mavs. A double upset would throw the west wide open by taking down the #1 and #2 seeds.

Throw in the realistic chance that the red hot Nuggets could also pull an upset and take out the #3 Spurs and it becomes easier to see how the Lakers could end up winning the West without having to go through the Mavs or the Spurs. How about that for GHF? Am I back or what?

What is really fascinating about the brackets is that is not impossible to see the Rockets advancing to the NBA Finals without having to face the Mavs, Suns, or Spurs. For sure, this is going to be one kick ass Western Conference Playoffs. I really don’t think the Lakers could ask for a better seeding than this. If we can beat the Suns, we may find the road to the Finals wide open. Now if we can just bring our A-game…

Tom

AK

I totally agree LO,Vlad Cooke isnt enough...Im all for making a move and Im all for trading Bynum...but LO/Kwame or LO/Bynum would be with a heavy heart....

1) Ive always felt JO is slightly overated.For me hes one of those guys that as good as I hear he is whenever I watch him he always seems to play badly...in my mind I know he must have good games...lots of them but I nevr seem to see them.I wonder how much better off we would really be trading LO and Kwame...yet trading LO and Bynum seems so steep Id have to think about it.


2) Although Im more or less alone here... Im not convinced a Bynum trade with a collection of laker contracts (minus LO and Kwame) for a cheaper player might not improve us more if we found the right deal.

On the whole though...its tough not to take JO and gets harder the more the idea sinks in.

Fatty...glowing with pride I accept my fatty award...I would like to thank the lakers as without them there would be nothing to write about,Ak and BK for the blog as without them there would be nothing to write on,all fellow bloggers as without them there would be none to write to,without my teachers I couldnt write at all so I suppose I better thank them.

As coincidence would have it I have had a few tonight which explains my harsh and somewhat pointless assassination of LAguy or whoever he was on the the other thread.

I close with a small poem to express my gratitude

There are tears in the beer glass
As I clutch my fatty made of brass...

...hang on a second...

um...GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, i like tom's scenario. and i also think PHX is the team we have a better chance of beating. It seems plausible, but it would be ridiculous if we made it through the west without playing dallas or san antonio. but i have my finals tix. i am ready.

Fire Kupchak ASAP

PS: Roll out the red carpet, and hand the keys back over to Jerry West

G.H.F. Laker Tom,

Your scenario makes sense to me.

This team has forgotten how to win, that's what concerns me. But the last 3 minutes of the Seattle game we did something I haven't seen in awhile. With the pressure on, the Lakers turned up the Defensive pressure and took control of the game.

Is that what we will see against the Suns? If it is, we will challenge them like last year. If not, I share AK's realistic pessimism.

Ya gotta believe.

G.H.F. Fatty

I've always said as long as we're playing up to our capabilities...if not rolling, it doesn't matter who we play. That said, I don't think you can say that of us, or of our situation right now. So in all honesty, I'll say The Suns. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we can take them, I'm also not saying we have no chance (I don't know what I'm saying lol)...but I think just "logically" you're always gonna have a chance against a team that doesn't play defense (or plays less defense). Which is not to say we do...we DON'T. But the question was opponents.

I think with Dallas, even though you can argue that Kobe owns them...they are a team that will get on you in defense, and are like AK said, less likely to run thereby giving you less chance to get back (unlike the Suns theoretically)...so in a sense their offense is helping their defense. The same cannot be said about the Suns. At least theoretically. Regardless of who you play, even with a firepower like the Suns...running always gives the opposition a chance (more of a chance) to get back. Now while that may mean getting hot, and playing some defense yourself, it doesn't erase the fact that there is still that aspect of their game...the game just goes too fast, there's always time to get back, to get going, to take control. And I think we have shown that more than anything else, we come to play against them...that doesn't necessarily lead to wins, but we come to play.

That said, Phoenix does have an underrated defense. They do get on you, especially dangerous with our propensity for mental collapse and lapse in execution...but I think their defense is nowhere near the Mavs. Hence the edge going to the Suns.

It's all about the defense lol.

I like JO, but I, too, think he overated. Do you remember the game when Kwame Brown scored 17 points on him? The guy is too light.

You know, when we played the Nuggets in Staples center on April 3 the FSN announcers had the Nuggets announcer on the broadcast. FSN announcers asked him how he saw the Nuggets now that they had Anthony and Iverson playing together. The announcer said that everyone in Denver knew what the Nuggets problem is. Penetration. He said that they were giving up too many easy lay-ups. Now that was interesting because their center is Marcus Camby who is one of the league leaders in rebounds and is the league leader in blocked shots. And now there are rumors that Camby is expendable. That sounds strange.

Anyway...I'm under the impression that grabbing rebounds and blocking shots doesn't neccessarly mean good defense. I mean if we look at Kwame Brown we see that his rebounding numbers aren't too high. And we see he doesn't really block shots. But with his big body, speed, and strength he seems to be able to clog the lane. Now it's obvious that clogging the lane doesn't mean a lot of rebounds or blocked shots.

I think JO falls into the catergory of Camby. He grabs rebounds, blocks shots but can't clog the lane.

mike

AK,

I would rather us face PHX, just for the fact that it is a re-match of last
years series and i really really really really want us to upset them...
lol

Dude, I still have nightmares of Tim Thomas hitting that 3 pointer
to tie up game 6... if we only could have secured that rebound !!!!
I want us to take out PHX...

Ray

JO averaged 20 and 10 this year despite injuries. That is better than anyone else in the Laker frontcourt. If Lamar and Kwame make the deal I am for it. It doesn't sound like the management is going to part with Drew so I think we can forget him being part of any trade package. Bynum with more playoff experience and another offseason of growth and workouts with Kareem, add JO in the mix, and Luke finishing off the frontcourt. Kobe and maybe Gerald Wallace in the backcourt (probably pipe dreams). If not Farmar and Kobe. I like that starting 5.

AK,
I think so much depends on Mihm's availability next year. Do you have a good feel as to whether or not he is going to be fully recovered? If so, that gives the team much more flexibility. (Assuming they re-sign him, of course.)

Lakers Looking Good for 7th seed...

Warriors are killing Dallas 48-26 with 2 minutes left in the first half. The Warriors are going to go into their first round matchup with the Mavs owning a 4-0 season record against them. How sweet. Nelly will throw in the towel tomorrow night to make sure the Warriors get the 8th seed and not the 7th. Bring on the Suns.

Tom

Does Kobe want another O Neill?

The most sensible thing I've heard on the subject was the AK/BK notion that it's either Kobe or Bynum but not both. Trade Kobe while he's worth everything and the bag of chips or deal Andrew for someone on Kobe's schedule. I've voted for the latter since I saw Andrew in the summer league last year and I'd vote KG over JO but few GMs will deal within their own conference. It would be great to have LO at the 3 with Kobe and KG but without a low number 1 pick and salaries to match, that's a pipe dream.

If I was Kwame's shooting coach I would make him practice the way that Nash shoots his freethrows. He's at the line and shadow shoots the ball twice before actually shooting it. But he does it with focus. Kwame just needs to prepare his shooting arms for the free throws by shadow shooting twice (with rythm, which takes some Energy)then actually shooting the freethrow. Don't rush your freethrows Kwame.

IT LOOKS LIKE THE MAVS ARE ROLLING OVER TO GOLDEN STATE,MAYBE THEY WANT TO PLAY THE LAKERS?.........IN THERE MINDS THE LAKERS ARE EASY FODDER.

I guess the Lakers have to win tomorrow to play the Suns. That's the way it goes.


You mean if we succeed in doing what we haven't been able to do with a healthy roster let alone an end of the year banged up one, the road to the finals is wide open? That's great, Laker Tom.

The more we blog the deeper into the playoffs this team goes. By the time the they actually jump it up, we'll be talkin' back to back championships with stats to prove it. Go Lakers

Ex,

According to Mihm, ever since the most recent surgery (that basically put him out for the season), his rehab has progressed nicely. Obviously, there's much work to be done before anyone knows how well he's recovered, but he seems optimistic.

As for the Lakers resigning him, I get the sense there is interest. Obviously, a lot depends on how the ankle heals up, but the Lakers will have little to no cap room to make moves. Thus, the ability to use Bird rights to sign a 7 footer with offensive skills at what'll likely end up below market value (because he hasn't played in so long) is probably intruiging.

AK

Dallars don't run that much, so it's a better matchup considering our lack of transition defense. Alos Kwamw can't make layups against the Suns this season.

Vman,
why do AK/BK get all the credit for suggesting
trade Bynum or trade Kobe!!!

Hey I deserve props too for bringing this up, since AK was responding to my post!!!....

I guess I am just Kobe sitting under the the MJ cloud of AK/BK!

Problem with getting O'Neil is that Kupchack will be dealing with Larry Bird. Will a true blue (er..green) Celtic do this deal if he thinks it will help out the hated Lakers?

Also to repeat what I've said for the last week,
the Lakers cant trade LO and Bynum in the same deal.

It's one or the other and I'd rather see Bynum go since L.O. is the much more mature player and he is still a young player (28!!!).

KB+LO+JO/KG is a contending team no matter what the spare parts...

Haha, Korey.

It's okay, you'll get yours...a "Fatty" in the future lol.

Laker Tom,

If the warriors lose to Portland tomorrow and the Clippers win against the Hornets, then they will be tied 41-41, by virtue of the fact that the Clippers have better records against them in the west the warriors will not make playoffs. Please, Golden state will not throw the game away tomorrow because if they do and Clippers win, they are out.

I just had a strange thought looking at the way the seeds could be falling. I have said we are capable of pulling an upset over one elite team, just not 3 in a row. Now say we get our upset against the suns (we should have confidence against them), unlkely but not impossible. Golden State seems to own dallas this year and they pull an upset. And Denver has been hot and they have the athleticim that give the spurs fits and they pull it off. Could you imagine a 2nd round of say the rockets vs golden state and Denver vs the Lakers. I mean again, highly unlikely but each of the elites seem to be playing the lower seed with the best chance of beating them. Wow what would stern think if his 3 powerhouses all lost out in the 1st round? Cool to think about .

Korey,

My bad, I didn't know there'd be an exam haha. In that particular post I was struck by the image of AK/BK driving away from the El Segundo facility talkin' Bynum trade options instead of chicks. That's like blog overtime. I should have remembered it was your post 'cause I normally remember the guys I agree with.

Does this mean that Kobe would find it as hard to defer to KG as you do to the Kamenetsky brothers? haha

Well, Lakers better win SAC.
Warriors is going to beat the Mavs and have a good chance to beat the Blazers.

I much rather have Suns than Mavs on the first round.

What about rebounding? I'd rather see the Lakers trying to contain the Suns' transition game (which they've been able to do reasonably well) than to watch the Mavs grab 30 offensive rebounds on 38 missed shots.

In my opinion, i will take KG over JO, Minnesota have to make a trade this summer or they will loose KG in 2008. I want a great player to play against Dallas, San Antonio, Phoenix and may be Houston in the future, KG is a player who has enough experience, with KG and KObe, we have players who can play against good teams in 7 games series, you can add good young players to Lakers teams, but do they have enough wise, experience in tough 7 games series?, that's the key.JO still can't take Indiana to Eastern conference finals before and now.

Man the NBA is pretty whacked up. Look at that, Golden State blowing out the Mavericks for a 4th time (8 minutes left, but Dallas is down 31 points). Garbage time.The Clippers also beat the Suns by a slim but still significant 4 points.

I don't know about you guys...but I find it sad how far the Lakers have fallen when teams like Golden State are showing up the Dallas Mavericks and our cross town rivals beat the Suns whom we've lost to the last 6 out of 7 games.

Jerry West...come back to us.

Edwin, Lakertom, and Korey

Jerry Buss said if its a player out there that can have an impact on the team he was willing to pay big money regardless. If we can somehow keep LO and Kobe then we can bring in O'Neal and that would be an awesome trio with a growing Farmer and resigning Mihm. We would still have Vlad and we could probably get rid of Cook also because we dont need both of them in reality. Resign Luke and then with Jermaine we will finally have the post presence we been dying four

Faith,

Way to pick up on the NBA's best kept secret. Despite the popular belief, Phoenix is not a terrible defensive team. Obviously, they're not a lockdown squad, but if you look at their FG% defense, it's not that bad, especially for a team that allows as many points. They also have 3 very good individual defenders (Marion, Bell and Thomas) in their rotation, plus Diaw is decent.

AK

if the lakers play the suns, they have a much better chance of winning than against dallas, as if you slow the game to a crawl, all the suns become effective and dont get into a rythm, so loose balls dont go their way as much, and the threes dont drop as easily.

AK,

Hey I didn't win a Fatty cause I bribed the judge(s) haha. But for real, yeah...they are. They're very athletic, and are able to force you into creating mistakes. At worst they can play zone on you, and we all know that that just serves to give them more of an advantage fast break wise.

But again, they aren't as good as Dallas, so for that reason alone I'll go with them lol.

AK,

In my opinion the Suns get away with murder. Why don't teams play big and slow down the tempo against them. Mo Evans, Kobe, LO, Luke, Kwame lineup would dominate them because there is no one on the court for nash to matchup with. And although nash is quicker than our guards they just have to do an acceptable job against him. Just make nash the scorer he wont ever drop 50 points and the Suns will win, just take away the shooters and Kwame and Turiaf can slow down Amare.

What does everyone think?

The Clippers must win which will force Golden State to a must win situation which will give the Lakers the final say on which seed they want.
Seeing as Sacramento could now care less about this game and probally the Lakers also. The starters will be rested from both sides and the Subs will ultimately decide who we play and what our seed is.

Go Cookie, Sasha, Bynum, Smush, and Farmar! Our fate is in your hands!

Good night and sweet Laker Dreams.

I want Dallas too. I also think we should rest our guys a little more than normal. Dallas didn't even try tonight, we're not going to gain any effective mo by trying to beat the Kings. If anything, we might lose and then really get a blow to our confidence. Or a guy might get hurt.

In my mind, I'd rest 'em, just like Avery did tonight. I'm sick of playing the Suns to be quite honest, and Dallas doesn't have the same mojo and "synch" they had earlier in the season. Injuries have been nagging at them and Kobe has traditionally killed them.

So, I'll take Dallas. Rest Kobe, LO and Kwame so they don't get hurt. Keep Farmar starting and have Smush key the 2nd unit with Ronny. Give Drew some quality minutes again as a starter to beat up on the Kings.

Then, we head into the playoffs rested and ready just like the Mavs, having won our last serious game. As AK says, do we really want to run with the Suns right now? I'm not convinced we do, at least not until Kwame works back into better game shape. This is a different story than last season when I was over at Lakersground WANTING the Suns because I knew we matched up well with them, we had the size advantage, and we had major mojo working for us to end the season.

Now they got Amare, let's save them for Round 2 or 3.

I agree with AK and myself (Jimm). :)

Let's go for Dallas, start fresh.

DID YOU HEAR THE NEWS????

Jerry West officially resigned as Memphis GM today!

Please PLease PLEASE Dr Buss can you pull back your son for a while and put a man in charge who KNOWS how to use Laker History to entice a money player like KG to come and be a part of it. Kupcake can be a consultant or scout or coffee gopher but BRING BACK MR CLUTCH!

Oh and as far as Jermaine O'Neal goes, he's a fine addition but not at the expense of LO or Bynum. Give them Kwame and Vlad or Sacha and draft choices. KG on the other hand would turn our franchise around and is worth giving up ANYBODY but Kobe for.

But I'd trust ANYTHING Jerry would do. Dr Buss, tell your son and his friend Mitchie to sit back and let a REAL GM run the team. BRING BACK MR CLUTCH!

I don't know about you guys but I have a good feeling going into these Playoffs. Sure they've limped in but when they have it going on, they can beat anybody.

I think our Bigs are going to abuse the Suns. We have Kwame, Ronny, Bynum, Odom, Cookie and Rad. That's 6 big dudes compared to their 2 (Amare and Kurt Thomas) Diaw doesn't count. And then there's Kobe.

This year's Suns are weaker than last years. Sure they have Amare but they lost that dude to Atlanta, no Tim Thomas and Diaw sucks. The bench is horrid after Barbosa.

Slow down the game, don't double team Nash and there's no way the Suns will compete.

I say, try to make Mihm part of any trade. For all his size and skills, he's just not very bright and makes a lot of mistakes, especially stupid fouls.

If not Mihm, I'm also ok with trading Bynum, if that's what it takes to get KG. Everyone gives him a skate because he's so young, but he's got the same deficiencies as Smush Parker: he's not mentally tough.

Playing successfully in the triangle requires not only skill, it requires smarts even more.

Somebody might take Cook, if they're a good defensive team and he won't hurt them as much as he hurts the Lakers. A defensive team lacking a three-point shooter might find Cook very attractive. Getting rid of his salary would really help.

LO, when healthy, can be a contributor. I'd hate to see the Lakers give up on him.

There's likely very little market for Walton. He showed under Rudy that with his skills, he's of little value to a team that doesn't play the triangle.

Now that the team is marginally healthy, as I said before, everyone is playing for the right to return next season.

Go, Lakers!

Absolutely, postively, 100% I WANT THE LAKERS TO PLAY DALLAS!!!!!!! Think about it, after we beat Dallas, we only get Houston or Utah, rather than San Antonio. That's an easier road to the finals.

Faith: "I've always said as long as we're playing up to our capabilities...if not rolling, it doesn't matter who we play"

It's obvious Faith & I have been watching two different Laker teams this year. Outside of KB24 just what are our capabilities?

Many of you have been crying all year about the lack of depth surrounding KB24 and now all of a sudden because we barely beat a downtrodden Seattle team (at home no less) and sneak into the playoffs through the back door everybody's got us to the NBA title game.

Amazing ...

The mavs are going to light candles tonight and pray the Lakers or the warriors don't win tomorrow.

the warriors own the mavs, even if they don't want to admit it they do.
the mavs didn't play their top three players thinking the lose wouldn't matter but it does, dallas has lost 5 consecutives games against the warriors, and on all the other games every one played. So dallas needs to be worried and afraid.


As for the Lakers I prefer dallas only because of the history with the suns, it would be better I think to play the mavs.

But in the end I don't think the Lakers can win a series with either team, so who carees.

I want Lakers to play Dallas too. Somehow I get a feeling of desperation ,watching Nash torch Smush , distributing the ball left and right in the paint to Amare and Marion for alley oops or kicking it out to a 3 point shooters.

I always figured ol Joe was crooked, He just happens to be always in the wrong spot, on the opposite side of the play, but comes up with a completely wrong call, i would like to review his games and i am sure this was not the first time he has made bad calls to take games away from deserving teams, and the scary thing about it is that if he did not do this he would still be out the there screwing things up for anyone he does not like. Joey has already been convicted of Fraud in 1998 and his buddy Stern brought his crooked ass back, what can you expect, he comes from a long line of proud Refs, i mean who aspires to be a Ref ? I dont Know but id like to check his Bank Account!

WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?

HELLO If you don’t think the Lakers can claim victory over the Suns or the mavs what the hell is the point of watching the games. It's a fore gone conclusion in you peoples minds. What the heck is that crap. Are you people Lakers fans or what? The first rule of being a fan is to never give up on your team no matter what. There is no reason for me to type the numerous reasons why we can win because you people should know that by now if you’re truly Laker fans. Mark my words people I've been around the game long enough to know that nothing is a sure victory in this profession and absolutely anything can happen so for me to hear all of you Laker fans give up on this team makes me sick. We may not win but why give it away to the opposition.

Luigi, thats the way it goes on this blog one decent win against a D league opponent and the Lakers are title contenders! haha

I agree with Faith on the Phn defense, I made that point 3 weeks ago since the sign of a good defensive team is not points allowed but point differential and/or FG percentage against.

The top five teams in the NBA in pt differnetial:

Spurs
Suns
Mavs
Bulls
Rockets

The Lakers by comparison are ranked 12th at -.2 which means on average they give up more points per game than they score.

I'd rather see phoenix just because I can't stand dallas (not in a rivalry, I really hope we beat them sort of way but in a I have no respect for that organization or their owner sort of way). That crap with not playing anyone tonight was total bs and typical Dallas. Those fans PAID to watch an NBA game where their team was fighting for their playoff lives, not a bunch of backups because Dallas didn't deem them worthy of an actual game.

Dallas had a reason to try (GS owned them this year) and phoenix had nothing to play for but phoenix still showed up including fouling at the end to stretch the game. I'd rather see us play a respectable oppenent win or lose.

I dont know if anyone heard the Rambis interview on Roggin and Simmers the other morning, but Kurt said the coaching staff has been pleading with the laker players to stop relying so heavily on Kobe and pass the ball around and run the offense. He added many times players pass to Kobe at the wrong time and that is one of the reason Kobe shoots so much.

Very interesting, My question then is

Why do the players feel it necessary to pass the ball to Kobe all the time?

and

If the coaching staff, including 9 rings, has consistently preached this, why are the players not listening?

I think the Lakers are a better match with the Phoenix Suns, because the Lakers have little answer to Dirk. I would also like to see Kobe Bryant vs. Raja Bell, Round 2. :P

So who do you want? The Mavs or the Suns?

I can't figure out who to root for tonight.

I really think if we are trading for a guy like JO the price will be Odom and Bynum...it seems to me that Bynum is the bait (as AK says) and Odom would be required to make the deal possible financially.

Seems to be no way around it....but this equates to 'blowing up the team'which is something that there will be a certain amount of reluctance to do as the early signs with this team were promising.

I guess it all depends how positively or negatively you view the state of the current team....I tend to feel they are not as good as their record may have indicated early on and not as bad as its been lately...you could come back next year with the same basketball team and with a relatively injury free season they would be competing for home court advantage.No team has been so severely hit by injuries but done so well this year.Before you start about the possibility of being injury free...lets remember how injury prone JO is.

The question is do we need to blow the team up or just tweak it and see what happens...after two years of building with largely the same roster is it worth seeing out one more year to try to see where we stand?

The main issue with this would be if the play of Lamar and Bynum regressed.I guess someone would always take a shot with Bynum but one more season could be the difference between attracting teams looking to trade Kidd's and JO's and attracting teams offering considerably less...

Kiwi,
i need you to start realizing the truth man. Of course trading Bynum and LO would blow up the team. Why would you do that?

Also,
the financials do work, Go use the ESPN NBA trade machine or something.

You have to include Kwame and Vlad with Bynum to make it work...

Most bogger trades want JO because he has better offense than Kwame. Oh, and he also blocks more shots and gets more rebounds.

Does almost everyone talk defense in the first sentence, then forget everything they just said in the second sentence???

Kwame's job on our team is to stop up the middle - period. He does this as well as anyone (except possibly Shaq and Motombo) in the league today. Without Kwame, our PG woes get much bigger. Phil's system (he is going to be the coach next year, isn't he?) is not run-and-gun so we are best when we can defend an opponent in the middle. All the people talking about trading Kwame seem to forget these facts.

We are not going to change our system, we are not going into the stratosphere with luxury tax. We should be VERY CAREFUL about trades that involve Kwame. He is a key commodity in our environment.

Oh, Jerry W. is 69 and not likely to sign on for another round with Phil Jackson at this point in his life. I say we sign him on as a consultant, like Tex Winter, and have him work with Mitch and the Buss's - Mitch is, after all, his protege.

Kiwi,
"after two years of building with largely the same roster is it worth seeing out one more year to try to see where we stand"

I don't think this roster would be a contender next year. Theoretically, they could be the year after that, if there is significant improvement from most of Lamar, Bynum, Kwame, Farmar, Vlad, Sasha, Turiaf and Walton. But that seems unlikely to happen, and waiting for two years to confirm that would be wasting two more years ok Kobe's career.

The best chance to win a title would seem to be to make a move now for a significant addition, and probably one other (lesser) addition. What we don't know is what management honestly thinks about Bynum's future, and how much they care about going into the luxury tax. Those will probably be the deciding factors in what moves are made.

I'd rather play the Suns in the first round because no matter what's being said by the players during interviews its personal w/ the Suns. This is a shot to avenge what happened last year and for us to advance I think beating PHX is the mental test we need. Winning that series will give the team confidence for the next round(s), and with PJ and Kobe to guide the ship from that point anything can happen.

Personally, I would not trade any body good for Jermaine O'neal. Reason - he is injury prone. He is either not playing, or playing hurt and not effective. We don't need another player like that. There is something to be said for players that seem to avoid injuries and can be relied upon. Or at least players that have the will and desire to bounce back from injury relatively quickly - like Kobe. Only two players for the Lakers sucked it up and played every game for the Lakers this season - Smush Parker and Andrew Bynum.

Roger

Luigi we are watching the same thing, and contrary to how I sound, I know it's going to be a tough road either way. My next words after such quote was..."That said, I don't think you can say that of us, or of our situation right now. So in all honesty, I'll say The Suns. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we can take them, I'm also not saying we have no chance (I don't know what I'm saying lol)"

But I do happen to believe that any team, when rolling can take anyone. Us included. We're just not right now. We MAY not have as much talent as say the Clippers, but we have two things going for us, we can compete with any team on any given night if we play our best (Spurs wins, though admittedly regular seasons) and we have that Kobe dude.

Ex, Kiwi,
I think everyone is forgetting one significant fact. Phil is now negotiating on a new contract and I don't think he would be doing that unless he was assured that significant improvement was on the way. I'm betting something has already been worked out with KG much like it was with Michael Jordan. Jordan had one of the lowest contracts in the league until his final 3 years with the Bulls and he never compained, why? Because the league had a wink wink deal were by Jordan made up for his low salary and more with Nike. So he could opt out of his contract and still get paid. What do you think

Korey,

If possible Lakers would like to retain Lo & Bynum but we have to be realistic in any kind of trade. If we like a Superstar like KG or JO, one of them or both will be sought in order to make the trade happen. By all means I will go for KG, but if he's not available and his agent is not willing to help in getting to the Lakers, then JO has to get into the picture. When there is a competition, you create awareness and immediate action.

I think if we cant ger KG than we HAVE to go for JO, Yes hes injury prone but he plays good D.

In a side note I was reading somewhere earlier this week that Steve Francis is done in New York and may be available.

Personally I dont like him much but overall I think hes an upgrade to Smush/Sasha/Fartmar.

ANd maybe Phil can bring him around, there is no doubt the guy can score.

What does the panel think?

Mamba,
"I'm betting something has already been worked out with KG much like it was with Michael Jordan"

It is certainly possible, but I would be surprised if it was, after what happened to Minnesota with the Joe Smith deal. (That would be tampering.) Garnett would need to be willing to come for about $10M max(Kwame and Evans contracts), so he would be taking a huge pay cut.

Ex, don't forget KG took a paycut from 27 mil. to 20 mil. so Miinnesota could sign Spree and Sam-I-am. Plus unlike some NBA fools KG has invested his money well and also has a home in California. If the mailman could go from a salary of 17 mil. to 2 mil. to play for the Lakers and win a championship I think KG might, just might go for it. As for the Joe Smith thing that was the club doing the tampering, I'm talking about the league agreeing to this on the side or even if they don't agree how can you tell another company how much to pay an endorser to endorse their shoe. Either way, i think major changes will be coming after the playoffs.

Edwin,
the point I am making that just one of L.O. & Bynum are likely to GO, not BOTH!!!

giving up both would be equivalent to starting over because you have two stars and nothing else on the team...

Giving up one would give you 2 proven players & a potential star or 3 proven players in the league...

Paul Lee,

Yes, Jerry Buss is willing to spend but there are two hurdles he has to cross even he is willing to spend: 1). Lakers is over the cap, cannot sign a Superstar F/A except thru trading of players; 2). A team with a Superstar is willing to trade with the Lakers or other teams are willing to go for multiple trade scenario. It's possible that what happened last summer will happen again that we're on a deadend of MLE, BAE and the draft picks while disposing some of our F/A's. I find this as an inherent weakness of our Front Office lack of foresight in trading players during the season or making sacrifices in the off-season in clearing cap spaces. One good example is D'George, of course we're second guessing after the event, we could have packaged him with some of our players and get a decent PG in return. As a GM, he should always be looking for possibilitites in improving the player stock. He cannot rest on his laurels that this team good or coming around, he has to keep on tinkering to reach its peak. A good GM should be in close colsultation with the Coach & the Owner but he's independent minded free totake anyone based on the paramenters of standard that has been established. Right now, I don't know whether Mitch is the horse or the cart when dealing with PJ and Jim Buss. I think that's what was great with Jerry West, he was always anticipating for the worst, looking forward on what is good in the market. That could be the reason why he can't watch games or settle down cuz' he's aware of what's coming down the road? People are blaning him for the performance of Memphis this year. Well, for almost half of the year, Gasol was not playing. He was the one who cautioned the former owner to stop spending while he clear the caps for future acquisition or low draft picks. JW is already working how Grizzlies would look like in 2010 that would be his lasting legacy in his retirement.

With regards to the posts in getting Jerry West back to the Lakers as I read in the previous threads, well he has spoken in Memphis Commercial (Newspaper) that he will retire for good in West Virginia. His properties in Memphis are up for sale, i don't know whether he has sold his property here in Bel Air, CA. If you were JW, would you still need this kind of pressure at age 70? He's a Hall of Famer, been a coach, been a GM, still a logo, known that Jerry Buss is not willing to share a percentage loot of the Lakers, known that he can't change PJ romantic affiliations with the Buss family, known that inexperienced son is now running the show. With all these conditions, will he be willing to go back as a second fiddle in cleaning up the mess?

LakerTom,

I totally agree that Lakers will be in a better position in the 7th seed and match up against the Suns. There are two bigs of Suns that they have to neutralize i.e. Amare and Thomas. That problem can be solved. However, the biggest headache with Suns how to stop Nash/Marrion/Bell/Diaw/Barbosa in that order. If Lakers can stop those perimeter shooting through zone defense, definitely we have a chance against the Suns.

Unfortunately, LakerTom, I'm not super optimistic that we can pass the Kings in Sacto. You know the bloody feud between these two teams. Remember we were gloating few weeks ago when we won by 23 here at Staples, that the Kings are out of the playoffs but they can SPOIL the Lakers on their last game, that Lakers are playing on the road with those cowbells and rowdy Kings fans in front of them. Lakers has to play perfect defense from the get-go in order to win, I find them underdog in this game tonite.

Why don't we wait and see how the team does in the playoffs before we start talking about what is next. Who knows... LO might show up for an entire game for a change. JF might find a way to slow up Nash. I am not a big believer in Stoudemire. He is constantly doing stupid things like that goal tend late in the game last night and we have seen that strong players like RT and KB can make his life miserable.

People also don't give Chris Mihm credit for where he was with this team last year. Go back and watch Kobe 81 and you will see he was the only other player on the court playing hard.

Truth is, this team can win but not if they don't stop going stupid at the end of games - or whenever they get a big lead. Of course, most of that has to do with a lack of defense and a lot of that has to do with Smush playing usher to every PG he faces - just showing them the way to the rim. That and KB and LO being out. I mean what would you expect if your 2 best bigs are out? Of course RT is looking awfully close to being ready for prime time.

Anyway, JO or KG... especially KG, it would be nice to have either but no need to talk about blowing up the team until we really see what we've got.

Getting to the main topic: i would rather see the phx sun's. Point #1 I think we have a better chance against them. Point #2 I think it will be funny to see Mark Cuban lose to the Warriors. But realistically i think we will lose to both teams in 5 or 6 games. Sorry Clippers i think you are SOL. Now going off subject just like everyone else, KG or JO? Forget that for now. How about Dr. Buss opening his f-ing wallet and go get a free agent that we do not have to give anything up for. "Say I don't know. Maybe a point guard, like Chaunce Billups or Mike Bibby." I know it must be hard for Dr. Buss being in such a small market and having to compete against the teams of large markets that have higher payrolls like Sacramento, Memphis, Indiana, Minnesota, and Portland. Or maybe Jimmy Buss can formulate a "2011 PLAN" after Kobe leaves in disgusted after playing on dead average teams for 7 years. Or maybe we can resign Brian Grant to his $15,570,625 a year contact.

I can't believe so many of you think we've got a better chance against the Suns than Dallas. What were you watching this year? Frankly, I think AK has it pretty much nailed, so I'm not going to add anything except this: if we play Dallas, we don't have to play all three of the top three teams in the West to make the Finals.

No, I don't think we're getting KG. I rather doubt we're getting JO, not with Larry sitting over there.

Mike T, I doubt the lay-up line Phoenix continually runs against us thinks that Kwame clogs the lane. You're basically saying he clogs the lane because you say he does, not on any other evidence...I'll pass on that. He's a decent one-on-one post defender. That's about it. You might not notice that from where you're sitting, but you're doubtless too close to the situation.

Korey...Just to clarify are you saying that it would be silly to trade LO and Bynum and therefore we should trade Vlad,Bynum and Kwame?

I agree with you Bynum and Lo is one heck of a price...BUT it comes back to the same old thing...would the pacers accept that deal? possibly I guess if they had nothing better from one of the other teams but it is a steal from the lakers point of view.Would I prefer to trade the three you suggested? of course.

Ex ...I dont really have the answers, just questions...but I will say that the risk in adding a couple of players and hoping for the best is mirrored by trading LO and bynum...as great as it could turn out it IS a high risk deal becasue it is an unknown quantity...I dont believe the team would contend next year without a big trade although if they remained injury free and add a couple of players they could be vastly improved and heading in the right direction.

I guess my point is that simply by adding JO especially if the cost is as high as that (bynum and LO) you have no more certainty the team would contend.In all liklihood it would take until the following season anyway as the roster would still need some tuning.

mamba24... That was a good point about Phil.I think on the whole there are many reasons for optimism and I for one feel Phil wouldnt sign on if there was little to look forward to...however it is my duty to give the other side...lotsa money,giving ALOT of credibility to the family business...also redemption...hes not in a place where he can quit now and come out looking ok and hes well aware he needs more than one more year.

Something in the pipeline withKG is perhaps optimistic but theres no reason to think the lakers future isnt relatively bright.

JA,
what do you mean see if what we really got?

WE KNOW WHAT WE REALLY GOT!!!

A sub-par, mediocre team featuring 1 all-time great, 1 2nd/3rd-tier player in the league, 1 extremely young center, a couple of hard-working big men, and a bunch of other nobodies playing the swingmen/pg spots...

This team is just good enough to beat anybody but not good enough to dominate anybody...

You keep this team as it is and we will never, i repeat NEVER win the finals.

It's just not good enough to do that...

so we do know what we got... Even PHil says that keeping the same roster as last year would not be progress...

Too bad what we got now sucks (unless 1st and 2nd round exits dont suck for you)

Korey you remind me of a line in the big lebowski

"My thinking on this case has become very uptight"

Now Im not suggest you stick to a grass and white russian regime like the dude did BUT

i dont think anyone is suggesting the team stay exactly as it is but the idea that health,development,and a couple of upgrades in certain positions may be enough to set the ball rolling....certainly the chances are about as good as winning with JO but minus LO and Bynum AND the chances of landing JO without giving up Odom are really pretty slim

SO what do you do?

You guys probably smoking something or what? No, I’m not about being pessimistic, as someone would call me. How about being a little bit more realistic? Upset Suns or Mavs? You got be kidding… Yes Lakers almost did it last year, but they also finish last year on 11-3 run unlike this year. I was watching last game against Sonics and they almost gave away that game playing against one of the worst team in the West playing without their best player and another starter. In fact, they would definitely lose if not a Kobe’s heroics for 50 pts on 18 for 25 shooting. Just a short reminder for some people who forgot one little thing, for them to pull up upset they need to win at least ONE GAME AWAY not to mention take all the games at home. Does anybody here can honestly believe it’s possible the way Lakers are playing now? If you’re saying YES, you’re probably watching some other team, or maybe different channel.

LAL_Fan, Michael A,

Come to think of it we do not have a slight chance whether it's Dallas or Phoenix, but what is the use of this blog if we will not post a dream or play with LakerTom's optimism? After reaching the 82nd game, we still say Lakers will win the Western Conference, that's a dream in the 7th heaven!!! lol!

On a subject of trading. I would give up LO and Bynum in order to get JO and keep Kwame. Reason, by giving up Kwame we are loosing best post defender this team has, plus next year is contract year for Kwame, he’ll have something to play for or Lakers will have something to bargain for (9M + expiring contract). Yes, it’s difficult to give up LO but as someone said in order to get something good you need to give up something good. With Bynum jury is still out, even with all the ‘potential’ talk we can not waist Kobe’s prime years waiting for this ‘potential’. Plus imagine this so called ‘potential’ never realized and other teams aware about it.? By getting JO we’ll have a proven ALL-STAR 20-10 guy and by taking care PG problem via free agency or another trade we will have championship caliber team. I think problem for JO was essentially the same as KG, necessity to carry the whole team every game. Plus he would not need to be a big scorer every night, we have Kobe. He will fit perfectly into second scorer’s role, plus he is a natural PF, someone who can defend elite PFs in the West.

To be grounded, my wish is the Lakers pass the first round beating the Suns.
I'll take that.
There is no way we are going to the finals or winning. This team just don't have it. Sorry, I want to be more optimistic but I rather be real.
Next season if we acquire KG and a great point guard, I see the Lakers as a contender.
Until then we settle for less.

Bmo,

Do you honestly think Chaunce Billups going to leave Detroit in order to come to play for Lakers? Why in the world he'll do something like that?

The Lakers play better on the road, but they will not get past the first round. The Mavs and Suns are too athletic and/or experienced at the 1 and 3, and have better benches. In a 5-game series, I'd feel better. But there's no way the Lakers, who've been playing, what, .350/.400 ball over the last 2 months, can beat either team.

As for the future, AK is spot-on. If a player is moved, it has to be Kobe or Bynum. I say move Kobe and rebuild, as the windows of opportunity will narrow for Phoenix and San Antonio in the next 2-3 years. I say the Lakers rebuild this team on the "Lake Show" model, which has been aped by Sacramento, Phoenix and Dallas in the last 5 years.

Depth, athleticism and versatility will be the way back, and regardless of which direction the team goes, it will take 3 seasons minimum to get back to the Finals.

Exiled,
rebuild around Bynum is nuts.
I rather get rid of him and bring KG and a superior point guard to play alongside Kobe and smell championship.

Bynum is a big IF, and at this point I rather sacrifice him and be a contender than build a team around him and then what happen if he just becomes another big man.

Sorry, we have the best player on the NBA. We need one or two more pieces to make us champions.

LAL_Fan you asked why would Chaunce come. #1 because he knows he could vastly improve the Lakers, becoming an LA legend. #2 because he is the 4th highest paid Piston at $6,364,400 (that is $2.5 million less than Kwame will get next year). You don't think Dr. Buss would be willing to pay more for Chaunce than Kwame. #3 because LA=big advertising contracts. #4 because he lists his idol as Laker's owner Earvin Johnson, Jr.

But the main reason is #2. If Dr. Buss would open his wallet Chauncey would be a Laker.

Does the title, "7 or 8? What's your pleasure?" have anything to do with sex?

What's wrong with being sexy? - Nigel, Spinal Tap


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