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1-0 in games where Mom co-blogs

As a matter of fact, the fans always get tacos when she's in the press area and sticks around for the live blog, as was the case in tonight's 116-99 win over the Nuggets.  And these happy developments provided Mom and Lakers fans quite the blast.  To say the least, it's something of a tenuous period for the Purple and Gold, given how Trevor Ariza's recent foot fracture has combined with Andrew Bynum's "Subluxation Heard 'Round the World" to cause worries of deja vu all over again for the Lakers.  After all, the team's hot '07 start was derailed by injury, so why wouldn't the same happen again with the injury bug apparently still carrying a grudge?  Well, the Lakers seemed determined not only to thwart a historical repeat, but didn't even go into "Carry us, Kobe" mode doing it.  Five Lakers chucked the rock more times than the New Jack Bauer, the same number of guys (Kobe included) that hit double figures.  Obviously, this won't (nor should it) be the case in every go around, but the box score could serve as a statement of sorts.  These Lakers are better equipped, mentally and physically, to weather this storm, and as a team.

The breakdown is below.



Derek Fisher: At least for one night, Andrew Bynum's scoring was picked up, and then some.  28 points.  6-7 from behind the arc, including four makes on four attempts in the third frame, a barrage that helped swing a sputtering momentum back in L.A.'s favor.  As I've said many times, I've thus far grossly underestimated how much Fish's play would make a difference this season.  Tonight would be one of those occasions demonstrating how off I was.

Lamar Odom: Three assists were all that prevented LO from a trip-dub, but there's very little complaining involved with a 15/11/7 effort.  Actually, I suppose one could quibble about going 33% from the field (4-12), but Lamar made up for it with nine trips to the stripe, a septet of which were good. All the mark of an outing with an aggressive mindset, which is so key for Odom.

Kobe Bryant: The first half features only two attempts (both good), six points, five assists, and a Laker lead of 10.  The third quarter features six more dimes, four running in back-to-back-to-back-to-back fashion over fewer than two minutes, helping the Lakers bump a dwindling Laker lead from four back up to digits.  By the time the dust settled, Kobe had taken only seven shots to rack his 17 points, involving his teammates the entire way while never seeing his influence on the game's flow decrease.  Games like these truly demonstrate The Mamba's ability to put a contest on a string. 

Kwame Brown recovering from the bad experience against Phoenix: The "Is booing okay?" debate has been discussed to death by now, so I'm not looking to spark Round 1438.  But it was nice to see both fans give Kwame some love during the player intros (all kidding aside, a clean slate of sorts needed to be expected by then) and Brown play as if the fiasco never happened.  It also helped that there were no missed chippies and he snagged a season-high 11 boards.  Mom in particular was very happy to see Kwame bounce back in reputable fashion, as the boo birds of last Thursday struck her as fairly heartbreaking.  While Phil Jackson didn't appear blown away by Kwame's night, he praised some "moments" on Brown's part, whether a couple of early dunks or being active in the glass eating department. "He got involved in the game and lost himself in it and that's what's important."

Jordan Farmar and Ronny Turiaf combining for 30 off the pine:  With the rotation now "Britney Spears' skirt short," it's imperative that bench players step up and prevent the load from falling too heavily on the starters.  Ronny and Jordan did just that.

Coby Karl getting some PT against his old man's squad: Save his converted technical free throw, the game won't strike the uninformed eye as much to write home about.  But despite airballing a three ball (his only attempt) and sailing a bounce pass into the stands about two feet from his dad's mug, I have a feeling it's a game people will never tire talking about.

Getting to do this with Mom: Not to sound like a big softy, but it really was a good time.  Mom is a huge Lakers fan and spent the entire game bouncing up and down in her seat and reacting with great enthusiasm.  Besides, it would have never dawned on me that court mops would sell huge on QVC.  Mom notices these things.


Outside of a dicey third quarter where the game was knotted at 77 before the Lakers reblew the doors permanently open, not a whole heck of a lot, really.  Yeah, you'd like to see do more of the lead expanding that happened in the final frame, but at the same time, this is a team playing without its second best player (Bynum) or perimeter defending specialist (Ariza), with a brand new big (DJ Mbenga) while two others (Chris Mihm and Vlad Radmanovic) sit on the shelf, plus Kwame Brown, Sasha Vujacic and Luke Walton all not operating at 100%.  In cases like these, you'll sometimes have to disregard a lack of continual neck stepping and just take the win.


Those threes late in the third from D.Fish and Farmar (all assisted by Kobe) that put the Lakers back in the driver's seat.  From there, they never rode shottie.


Comments () | Archives (132)

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zen - I hear you on the Farmar/Parker comparison. Their games are similar, even if Parker is way further along.

Here's another comparison. Mbenga and Ruffin. If DJ gets comfortable in the system, he'll be a nice shot-blocking back-up - the same thing Ruffin provides in PHX.

"We don't, but there's no reason why we need to broach such a serious subject on a Lakers blog. Especially not with individuals who believe Andrew Bynum is being punished for the actions of bloggers he'll never meet.

I think that gets funnier every time I write it. I don't think I've ever seen someone so out of touch with reality."

Hee,hee you have a point, well at least Mike T. makes us laugh. On the brighter side of things I found great Laker tickets for less than $100 bucks. YAY :)

Could the silverlining of the Ariza/Bynum injuries be that other players step up and play at a high level to make up for their absence? Which would mean a team in playoff form before the playoffs even start. Maybe the bumps and bruises aint so bad!

Mike T.
Why do you tell everyone to shut up, or that they are stupid? Is that what it takes to make you feel good about yourself? Grow up already, just freaking grow up. Your infantile little retorts when some one posts something you don't like are irritating to say the least.

As I posted earlier the truly great don't need to go around telling people how great and smart they are. They have the ability to communicate their point and persuade people to their point of view. They don't tell those they disagree with that they are stupid or tell them to shut up.

Are you just a punk that wants to try and bully people? Does it make you feel tough or what? This blog is supposed to be fun - for sharing thoughts and ideas about something we all enjoy - Lakers basketball. We can all agree or disagree on players, strategy and the like. But some people like you insist in name-calling and denigrating other bloggers that you don't agree with. Hope you enjoy yourself, but I think I can speak for a majority of the blog - we can really do without the name calling and 'stuff'!.


(01) AMAZING HAPPENS - Owner and Driver
(02) Mamba24 - Riding Shotgun

I want to make sure you people comphrend what is being said here:

The Doctor says this:

"The problem with the injury is a high recurrence rate and the danger of developing loose bodies or OCD's (osteochondral defects). Loose bodies are small pieces of cartilage that tear off and float around in a joint. They are usually a result of a traumatic injury but can also develop chronically (see Ron Artest's elbow). "

The part that says "high recurrence rate" concerning Bynum means this:

Bynum goes through the 8 week rehab and seems to be fine. But when he steps on the court, again, BOOM! It happens, again. That is what "high recurrence rate" means. If that were to happen, then the Lakers would be talking or thinking about the possiblity of microfracture surgery to remedy the matter.

And as for Jackie Johnson! LOL! From what I see of her TV personality...she isn't the type to put people down. She's an upbeat person.

Uneducated fool? LOL! Well, at least you say you're not going to respond to me. LOL! Of course, you're not! Because I broke you down and I broke you down because you have fear and emptiness in your eyes. Chump!

Now get in the back of the line and be quiet until I speak to you, again!


Great game. Kobei s simply showing his team that they can do it. They will have to do it. They are going to do it. With Bynum. With Ariza. Or without them. Watch him earn his MVP. They will be fine this year, for the simple reason that this year, Kobe can trust that his passes will end up with the ball in the bucket. But Denver is a mess. Every game coming up for 2 weks is a statement game, and this team gives me a good feeling. Watch. the Lakers will surprise most and especially these so called "experts." I'd like to hear what excuses Barkley, John Hollinger, Chad Ford, etc, will come up with now to discredit the Lakers and Kobe. Or what reasons they come up with to validate their LBJ sack riding. No disrespect to LBJ, but I call it I see it. If they want to reward him for last season, then say so. But if it wasn't about the year before...puh-lease. 4 games over .500 in the East. Oh by the way....why does Wade get a free pass on leading thr WORST team in the League???

"Broussard: Very sad to see Andrew Bynum go down for two months with a knee injury. The Lakers looked to be headed for a special season; now they may have to wait until next year."

Think again... Broussard!!!!

Last year I commented here about how the Lakers are a group of nice young gentleman (who can get wild and crazy at times-ahem Cake-gate).

Here's a Daily Dime looking at the Celtics' on-court behavior. Very interesting.

Ray Allen's always been a butt, but now it's putrid. KG was always Mr. Nice Guy, but he lost my respect when he slammed the front office in an unprofessional manner. Pierce? Who the hell is that? He's done nothing special. There's a reason his teams stunk until this year.

I still like our group of young men. Kobe keeps 'em sharp and Fish keeps 'em humble. Farmar's following in their steps.

Cool your jets... I saw some positive in his play but some very disturbing negatives.

Basically, he's so happy to be on the court that he doesnt have the appropriate court awareness.

One time down he ran down the court, found his man and started bodying him at the free throw line. BUT, he neglected to see that there was an opposing player right behind him at the rim.

So I really can't see MBENGA contributing at all if he is going to play like that. Maybe he was too juiced for the game and those mental mistakes are correctable. I hope that.

But I have a sneaking suspicion that that is the reason he was available for a 10-day contract.


Stranger in the Night,
Your posts are really great. Keep it up, I don't even need caffeine in the morning when I read your posts.

Colorado loves the Lakers!

purplehaemoglobin -

Your "alpha" points are right on...

Some people also have hard time delegating responsibility. They adhere to the old adage that"If I want something done right, I'll do it myself."
I'm sure that whatever line of work you are in, you do the same thing and that is why you are successful.
"i want to make sure that i am assisting the person that I believe has the greatest competency outside of myself. " This is exactly what Kobe was so frustrated with over the summer. There was noone other than himself who was an accomplished and consistent performer on the team. Now with Fisher, and Bynums development, we see how truly great Kobe is!

Greatness is often misunderstood and it is a damn shame b/c time goes by so fast, especially for athletes. The league won't really appreciate Kobe until he is gone. It is too busy marketing players who haven't done jack in order to sell their product.

Nice game for the Lakers last night. Fisher was on fire! Bryant, Turiaf, and Farmar looked good too. Mbenga didn't really impress me to much. He commited 3 fouls in 5 minutes. He did have 2 rebounds and a steal though. Overall, I don't think he is our backup center answer. I would at least like to see them bring in Webber for a work out.

Mike T. is Big Joe McDonalds brother

lakers_sth - was that before or after MJ had won his first title? Point being MJ wasnt accused of not trusting his teammates when he won the MVP and didnt start winning until he did. Kobe has already won titles so he should already know that.

DJ Mbenga this guy has been through alot of strife at 19 his father was killed and then he was thrown in prison for 9 months and sentenced to death, escape went to belguim and started playing B ball late. Maybe the Cap can work with another seven footer?

Kudos to the Lakers for giving me a little spanking last night -- I was too much of a doubting Thomas!

Laker Lover - That was before he won his first title and he was not only accused of not trusting his teammates at that point, he was vocal about it.

Once again, you're talking about SHOULD and the rest of us are talking about the way Kobe is. We should probably also clarify that it's not about whether or not his teammates are making shots, it's about whether they're confident and ready to execute. That's how PJ characterizes it and it seems to be consistent with what ends up happening with Kobe's play. People can talk all they want about "which Kobe will show up tonight is anyone's guess" when the reality is, it's up to his teammates. Kobe respects aggression and confidence and doesn't respect tentativeness.

I'm not looking for him to change b/c I think the only way it happens is in the twilight of his physical ability. I believe it's a lot more reliable to expect his teammates to step up. It's not a matter of "should" for me.

It's not "trust" it's that for once they're actually dropping the shots down.


>>>You do realize Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Baron Davis, Nash, Iverson, etc.
>>>will be holding down the All-Star PG spots for years right? Not to mention
>>>Roy will start making them eventually too.

Yes, of course. That's why I mentioned the rookie challenge. It's probably the
only All-Star light of day Jordan will see for a long time.

I think there's a tiny chance he could make it four or five years from now if he
takes over as the starter and the Lakers are serious contenders every year.
It would also be AFTER Baron Davis and Nash and Iverson were either
retired or producing at a low enough level that they wouldn't be voted in as

And I also think that if Farmar takes over as starter for the Lakers and isn't
quite good enough to beat all the other great guards in the West to make the
big game, you might see him one of the side events, like the "Skills
Challenge" or possibly even the 3-point shooting contest.


>>>Also, I thought Crit played well. He is the only person, other than Koby
>>>who can really create his own shot.

Presumably you mean Kobe and not Coby.

Farmar can create his own shot. Lamar can create his own shot, as long as it
involves driving to the left. Fisher can usually create his own shot. Luke can
create his own shot (though lately he's been missing most of them - get that
ankle better, Luke). As long as the other team are reasonably soft defenders,
Ariza can create his own shot.

Laker Lover,

>>>Make that 8 shots for the machine

Nine points on 8 shots. And Sasha's 3's (even when he goes 1 for 4 on them
like last night) force the defense to come out of zones.

And I disagree about Sasha's defense, it's actually pretty good. He's not a
lockdown defender like Kobe, but he hustles on defense, tends to stay with his
man well and he's pesky.

Sasha had a +10 on the +/- last night. Who do you propose to give his
minutes to? Let me guess. Crittenton. -7 last night. -7 against the Suns.
Let his man (Barbosa) run back two straight plays undefended for 5 points.
When Critter can finish a higher percentage of those million dollar moves
of his and put in consistent effort on defense, he'll get lots of PT.

Fearless Whack Job,

>>>But, for once I'd like to say that those who point out that the Lakers are
>>>undefeated when Kobe scores >>wag the dog. They don't win those game BECAUSE Kobe scores >>scores less then 20 BECAUSE they are so handily winning those games

Extremely good point.

dude... Lamar Odom is now going to DISAPPEAR for the next 3 games, BANK ON IT!!!

also, I'm rooting for Kwame, I don't want to hate the guy just because Mike T is busy setting the guy up for a fall with his crazy posts... Kwame's a good guy and you could see some of the work he did with Kareem - just getting back to basics.

AWESOME game by Kobe! I hope he really heard the fans after the behind the back pass to Turiaf. I'm sure Magic Johnson was nodding his head in approval...

I've got to give Farmar props. I didn't think he had it in him to be a starter and to play this well this far into the season but he has so, dude, here's to you! I swear his defense has improved but it's hard to tell without really studying it...

WHAT is going on with Luke Walton? He looks completely unsure about his shot. Lindsay Lohan is super hot but is she worth this much bad play? Luke, DUDE, get back out on the practice court!!!

Javaris is starting to get a little more comfortable. Can you see it? Don't get me wrong, he's going to be a "project" all year but... can you see it? This is going to be an exciting group, Bynum, Farmar, Crittenton and Ariza can make things happen.

Mbenga seems like an ok guy. Maybe some work with Kareem will make him serviceable? We just need to get 10 good minutes/game out of him, he can use his full 6 fouls, what does it matter? Mbenga definitely needs to watch some film and recognize when people are sneaking around behind him. A lot of the things he did last night were correctable so if he'll listen to Kareem... we'll see... I don't see how we can depend on Mihm since you never know how his ankle is going to react so possibly, if Mbenga can improve his game some, he could hang around for the rest of the year. Chris Webber can sit on his couch and sulk. Dude's not even in shape??? Unreal! How many weeks would he need? 3? 4? What's the point of bringing him in then?

Laker Lover,

>>>Let me ask this- do Nash , Magic and Lebro to name a few stop passing to
>>>the open guy because they are "not making shots"?

I don't know about Nash and Magic, but LeBron does sometimes stop passing
and start playing 1-on-5 every time down the court. The most notable example
was game 5 of the playoffs against Detroit.

And both Nash and Magic have had games where they were the leading scorer
for their team or took the most shots for their team. To give you a specific
example, in all three games against the Lakers this season, Steve Nash has
taken more shots than any of his teammates. On November 2, 2006 against
the Lakers, Nash took 15 shots and only dished out 3 assists.

Amazing Happens,

>>>In 82 games for the Utah Jazz all last season, Derek Fisher had 12 games
>>>in which he made mulitple-three pointers.
>>>In 33 games for the Los Angeles Lakers this season, Derek Fisher already
>>>has 9 games in which he has made multiple three-pointers.

DFish has been amazing for the Lakers this season, and has outdone any
previous season of his work. He's shooting a much higher percentage than
he ever has in the past, both on 3's and in general.

I hope he can keep it up, because the team is hard to beat on nights when
he's shooting well.

zen & lakers_sth,

Actually, Farmar is a much better shooter than Parker. Parker gets most of his
points by driving the lane and getting layups or little floaters in the paint. If
Farmar continues to progress, he could eventually be BETTER than Parker.

Long Time Laker Fan,
"He's shooting a much higher percentage than he ever has in the past, both on 3's and in general"

That is what has pleasantly surprised me about Fisher's play. I expected the leadership and the smarter defense, but did not expect him to shoot this well.

Long Time Laker Fan - there is a difference to me between taking the most shots and not looking to pass. Magic and Nash always looked to get their teammates involved first then score.

As I have stated before its not just the number of shots taken its shot selection, are they good shots, is the player "hot" and how does it impact the rest of the team.

I believe there is an ongoing power struggle between Phil and Kobe still as to when to play Kobe -ball vs team ball. Phil has always preach team ball , Kobe at time, example Seattle game, makes us his mind prior to the game, how he is going to play that night. There is a huge difference between taking what the defense gives you and playing based on what a player thinks the team "needs".

To me, thats the main reason you see so much polairzed play in Kobes game. When has Kobe ever had more assists that FG attempts in a game? As if he was trying to prove a point to Phil and the national TV audience. Thats what I mean when I say yes Kobe wants to win but on his terms. Most times those are in line with team goals but not always. Thats exactly what Phil referred to in his book.

Faith - on a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rank Sasha's overall defense, 10 being a lock down defender?

lakers_sth - would you agree its up to the leader of a team to help give his teammates confidence and by not passing to them when they are not making shots, that decreases their confidence?

After all Kobe and his temmates made a point of feeding Kwame against Phx when he was obviously lacking "aggression and confidence" to help him get into a rhymthm. No player in the history of the NBA got confidence by his teammates NOT passing to him, or her for the girls on the blog.

The difference between what Kobe does and what Nash does has to do with the way teams defend them. Teams can't afford to double Nash because he will pick them apart by finding the open man and getting the ball to him in a position in which the open man can score. Over the past three years (and throughout his career, really) when Kobe thinks he needs to take over a game, he takes too many shots with two, three, four, and sometimes five defenders draped all over him. Many times he gets fouled in a situation like this, but no call is made. I can only surmise that refs think he's forcing the issue too much so they don't make a call, or that he's actually surounded by so many opposing defenders, that the refs don't see the foul.

I'm not a Kobe hater like some of the other posters here, but I do think he has a ways to go, from a team chemistry standpoint, before he makes the players around him better enough to win a champoinship. I think the Denver game was the best game he has ever played, because he made the players around him look really good. Aren't these pretty much the same players everyone said he couldn't win with last year?

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