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High times of late for the Lakers

February 26, 2008 |  9:30 am

What with their perch atop the Western Conference standings, their widely acknowledged improvement, and their consistent ability to turn an out of town arena into a home away from home this season.  But it'll be no bed of roses, no pleasure cruise maintaining this level of play, which is why backs are off-limits for patting.  There's a mission at hand, one that lasts another 26 games and begins anew with tonight's game against the Blazers, who'll be missing the services of its Roy/ROY. Planting a purple and gold flag in the ground requires continued production from a newly freed Lamar Odom, a seriously fired up Jordan Farmar (now looking like their lead guard of the future) and even Coby Karl, who may not play a lot, but the fans (and writers) are inspired whenever he succeeds. 

In other words, if you wanna see a Lakers-Celtics finals beyond simple projections or simply results as rosy as the future John Ireland sees, the pedal must remain affixed to steel.  Thankfully, the requisite focus won't be diluted should Phil Jackson get hit with a fine for his criticism of ref Brian Forte (captured here with new-fangled video technology).  Whether sincere or sarcastic about his odds of getting billed, writing a check to the league is pretty old hand for The Zen Master.

Sam I am about to leave the Clippers any minute now.  He'll have to get in line when it comes to "name-ish" players looking to hook up with contenders.

Most of y'all seem to hate D-Wade, but would you smack talk a baby named after D-Wade?  He's also 1/3 Quentin Richardson, if that makes him somehow easier to stomach.

Along these lines, C-Webb ain't the most popular guy around these part, but even his detractors will admit, this is a pretty cool project.