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High times of late for the Lakers

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.

 
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Good Morning My Fam! Today is game day! Yesterday the blog was a hotbed of exchanges and I loved it. The activity was non-stop. It was in anticipation of the game while the fans in the stands were stomping their feet, waiting for the players…

Thank you Captain for calling Lamar Odom a “Swiss Army knife on both ends of the court.”

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/kareem/2008/02/star-wars-nba-1.html

http://tinyurl.com/394986

Hope you all have a good one at work.

Glad to be alive and well….

Lakers Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"He's a great scorer, but he's just now learning to become to playmaker."

Amare's comment is totally asinine. I expect this type of talk from jouranlists who don't know a skyhook from a sweeping hook. I don't expect it from an all-star player. I'm not sold on Stat's longevity in this league if his mind is that unaware.

While the Blazers always get up for games against the Lakers, this should not even be a game tonight. This should be a 30 point blowout and anything less than that would be our team slacking off. Without Brandon Roy, these Blazers are as toothless as any lottery team out there. Friday's game, on the other hand, should be a much better match up since Roy might be able to get back and they have the home crowd that hates the Lakers even more than PHX or BOS does (you've never heard MVP chants in Portland, have you?)

All this talk about who will come off the bench or who will start or who will get traded in the offseason is just out of place right now. We all have our opinion, we've stated it, now it's time to just let the team play. We have plenty to talk about, how we can improve our defense, how the other teams in the West are looking, and what free agents we should or should not pick up. Let's stick to territory that actually has some merit, seeing as our primary roster for the rest of the year is pretty much set.

When Charley Rosen says that Shaq makes Phoenix worse, I take that opinion to the bank. I still say they make the playoffs though... Denver cannot beat a dead horse, let alone a viable opponent even with the pressure on them. Phoenix would have to go on a monster losing streak, and I just don't see how that happens.

LakerTom,
Do you think that Mavs game we have coming up is an easy win? I know New Orleans took it to them, but the Mavs seem to be playing well with their new Hall of Fame #1 player. I think we can take them, but can take and will take aren't necessarily the same things. Still, I agree, it's likely a win. We need a win against the Mavs because they've owned us the last several games and it's time for us to put the foot down.

Good morning Charles!
GAME DAY BABY!
Every Laker fan is loving life right now, especially (as has been said) everyone else is hating on us!!!
GO LAKERS!
KOBE FOR MVP!
Looking forward to reaching a "magic number" tonight - winning 40 before losing 20!!!
Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' 'bout!!

You guys are doing a good job of discussion. While I have questions, doubts, etc, I think we should all take a moment to live, ahem, in the moment. The Lakers are atop the Western Conference standings, a spot they vacated after Bynum got injured. Its beautiful.

The game has become beautiful again. With most of us being point guards, I know I'm not the only one who sees where a pass should go next or even 2 or 3 passes ahead. On the other side of that, seeing people be in the right spot or make the right cut is beautiful too. Well, I'm happy to say that I'm finally seeing that again. Maybe not on the level of Showtime, but much better than anyone else in the league right now.

See it in mind and see it happen on the court. BEAUTIFUL.

Got some work to do today, so my last contribution for the daytime will be...

LET'S GO LAKERS clap clap clap CLAP CLAP!!

...Have a good day and a good time at whatever you are doing today.

#4

LA will pound the Blazers to submission tonight!!!!

Wowww you guys are going to enjoy this...

Amare is talking about Kobe "LEARNING" how to be a playmaker...

http://www.azcentral.com/sports/suns/articles/0225suns0226.html

Right now we've got home court throughout the playoffs.

Now that we've got it, we can't afford to let it go.

That has to be our motivation right now--win every game and keep the home court advantage.

We can do this!

Wes


Watching the game tonight with my cousin, a die-hard Blazer fan...I actually told him I don't want him coming over to watch, as his anti-Laker diatribes can get pretty vehement...and listening to Joel and Stu only pours gas on the hate fire. He laughed me off, but I'm serious... when the Lakers blow his boys out tonight it's going to ruin his week...

Man, is it me, or is this "new" playmaker Kobe that NBA guys talk about seem not so new at all? I seem to remember Kobe passing to guys a lot in the past...they just never have kept stats for passes-that-should-have-been-assists-but-someone-missed-a-wide-open-shot/layup. Not to mention the number of passes he makes that lead to the assist pass.

Anyways, looking forward to tonight. Have a good one guys.

Go Lakers! Put out the blaze!

Happydaze

The Pistons are a serious team. It'll take every bit of Bynum and Gasol's best effort if we're going to take them down.
Flea is thinking what I am.

That this is a very special team with an unprecedented mix of youth, talent, experience with an amazing team spirit.

These guys like each other and it shows.

Wes

I didn't read that article about Amare's comment, cuz I had a "feeling" he said some ISH I wouldn't care for. Why are soooo many players quick to coment about Kobe's game ??? Do they go to sleep with Kobe on their subconscious, I mean, hell, make me understand????
I can recall clips from the FIBA games and they would show clips of Kobe in practice giving Amare's ass instruction! Now, as soon as he gets one on one interview time with the press he wants to pop ISH!? How come mofos that never WON nothing always got big chat?

Kobe has always been a playmaker! Amare should be focus on Suns basketball and acclimating Cactus Fats to their team..


This is just such a textbook hater column by Mark Kriegel at foxsports, it almost reads like a parody ...

http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/7839988/On-the-Mark:-Kobe-has-a-chance-to-shine-

Today is the day Peps! Aint no need in saying what's been said already..but all I know is..were #1 right now..The Hornets lost yesterday (haha) The suns fan oner on there message board wishes Nash and Company to exact punishment on the Griz for sending Pau to the Lakers...oh I hope they (Suns) win..cuz if they dont..there will be a lot of finger pointing haha.

One bad thing about the Lakers current string of GREAT games. The freaking line is out of control now for Lakers games. I haven't been able to put any money on our boys. I am up big-time this year, but I think I will be hard pressed to find another game I can put some cash down.

Tonight has the Lakers favored by 86% and are taking 16 points from them. ARRRRG.

A slight drawback I didn't think about when I wished for a killer team. HaHa.

justanothermambafan,

Finger point and chest pound at cha'.

It truly is a delight to read Cap's blog and his insight on Laker's team, Spot On!! Just can't wait to see the team in full strength (Bynum/Ariza) as noted by Cap and hopefully have Chris back in the mix. Simply WOW!!!! Deja Vu (Cap/Magic/Worthy/Silk/B Scott/Coopaloop/Mthompson/macadoo) and let me throw in Swen Nater in too LOL. I remember back in Magic/Cap era I almost got into a fight with a Boston fan at an airport bar while on transit during playoffs ..hehehe.

Both Cap's and Magic's contribution (post showtime era) to Laker organization are very invaluable, can't buy Cap's wisdom and Magic's passion but glad we have them on our side to share with. Bynum should be very thankful that he has two great teachers PJ and Cap and big brother in Magic :).

Lakers Rock!!

Tim -

Couldn't agree more. It's silly to have the "Bynum vs. LO" or "Bynum vs. Pau" argument. This is something that Phil will work out once it becomes an issue, and he will do what's BEST FOR THE TEAM. Period. End of story. As far as what happens over the offseason, let Mitch take care of that - hasn't he proven that he knows what he's doing? Maybe the hugest result of the Gasol trade that no one is talking about it that it will give Lakers faithful enough confidence in their GM to shut up and let him do his job.

I would never consider the Mavs an "easy" win, but I definitely feel better about playing them than any other top team right now. The Lakers have always owned the Mavs, and always will. When you're a mentally weak team like the Mavs, things like that get inside your head. We came back from down 24 in the fourth quarter, remember that? Kobe dropped 62 in three quarters, remember that? I assure you, THEY remember all that, and it will affect them.

Having said that, I wouldn't take them for granted, and I don't think Kobe, Fish, or Phil will allow the team to let up. I'm looking forward to another statement game in a season of statement games.

GO LAKERS!

Xodus/AK

Kenny Smith thinks were good, but not good enough to beat Shaq and the Suns in the WCF.. Can you believe it?

At least Cuban's beef is with Kriegl, not Phil. Dude need's to get a life and stop living vicariously through your players. Even Dirk had to tell Cuban to back off last year.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/7836120/You-want-ridiculous,-Mark?-Try-that-Kidd-trade

And another thing, if another NBA player not named LeBron does say something halfway decent regarding" Kobe, most of the time its proceeded with a "BUT"..(ex, He's a great scorer, BUT, He's a great player BUT, He is the Best BUT .WTF is that all about?? Usually when a person says that, they DONT really mean what they are saying in the first place!


Most of us already know the Suns have Dantoni's personality and possess his arrogance. They think and act like him but they need to remember the only they have to show for it is a couple division titles..Sorry, but that is not the doesn't come close...

Zen,

How are you? Do you have a link on the K Smith comment? Or was it on TV?

Fish says they still have some things to prove to themselves.

Most of the team is just learning how to swagger.

The best part is, Kobe, Fish and Phil are experienced in such matters.

Good morning, Lakers Nation,

Damn, I excited for game day! I've never been this busy in my life before, but I still plan my calendar around the Lakeshow. It'll be great to see the boys back at home tonight. Love to hear that home crowd! I've been giddy since I woke up this morning...

Go Lakers!

The Lakers are on a roll and need to maintain this momementum. Kobe needs to keep his cool regardless of the bad calls against him. I predict the Lakers to lose today. Hopefully everybody skipped that sentence.

So Magloire to Dallas
Sam to Boston
Barry to the Suns?

That's alot of dog years. haha.

POLL:

Has anyone here posted a question on Kareem's blog and gotten a response from him?

frank rizzo,

They'll probably cover that spread, but at 16pts, now you're gambling. An advantage player never really gambles. Give us a 5pt spread and that becomes an easy bet that we win 9 times out of 10. Plus, 86% favs? Does that mean you're putting up more cash to win less? Crap. If they're going to adjust the line that much, give me 2-1 to make it fair.

BK, I really appreciate your answer. Wow a 7 footer with that much of weight walking with a surgical screw is amazing. It just gives an idea of what these athletes go through with various kind of injuries. I hope that didn't Put any Steel inside Bynum's Knee.

" Sorry. I thought you were joking. The screw was placed in as part of a previous surgery. It's common, and it's also common for things like that to have to come out, sometimes, even after they've been inserted for medical reasons. But it's not like he stepped on a screw, or a surgeon simply left it in there and sewed up around him, or anything like that. He's having complications from some of the earlier work done on him. Again, it's an indication of how bad his injury was to begin with. The entire joint basically blew up.

BK"

BREAKING NEWS

ESPN JUST REPORTED YAO MING OUT FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON DUE TO A STRESS FRACTURE

Looks like Yao is out for the season... T-Mac forever cursed?

Beautiful Queen reference. As Freddie Mercury (R.I.P.) put it, "Don't stop me now/ I'm having such a good time, I'm having a ball."

#40 tonight! Keep it going Lakers!

Lakers vs. Celtics in the Finals is good for the team than Lakers vs. Pistons.

I'm thinking Lakers-Detroit in the Finals. Detroit worries me. I hate the Pistons.

GO LAKERS!

Wow... Yao is done...

Go ahead and shut T-Mac down with a phantom injury. Try to salvage the rest of his career...

WOW! Yao is out for the season I didn't even know he was hurt. I feel bad for him he's had a rough time with injuries since being drafted.

This may have just decided who the odd team out in the West playoff race is going to be.

Charles,
It's on Yahoo Sports..Just go to the NBA section on Yahoo to see Smith's article.

Bad news for Yao & the Rockets. He's had foot problems before, no?

Wonder if Burns will adjust his rankings. (still bitter...)

Zen,

When did Kenny say that? I thought he was smarter than that. There's no way the Suns beat us in the WCF. And the biggest reason is, I don't see them even getting there. I think they'll be in a dogfight in the first round.

I've got Detroit going to the Finals this year too. This is their deepest team since the 2004 title team. I wouldn't mind exacting a little revenge upon them.

Zen

Thank you sir...

Mornin' Bloggers

That sux about Yao, I think your right about T-Mac being cursed.
I know we are done playing them, but I would have liked to have seen our streaking team against their streaking team.

Shaq's project: To make Amare more stupid.

The funny thing about Amare's comment is that he basically showed how Shaq's influence has slowly been creeping in. Kobe has been a playmaker ever since the start of his career.

Amare's comment, just like comments from other wannabes (i.e. LeBron James) only gain merit by attaching themselves to Kobe Bryant. Shaq knew this a long time ago. One way to get the media's attention is to mention Kobe with whatever you want to say. Amare learning to be a playmaker like Kobe, LeBron saying Kobe's the best player in the NBA. Those get the lights focused a little more on them.

Notice how Amare has become more vocal about himself, his importance, marketability and the like. See how the Suns have slowly turned into a "selfish" ballclub. That's a direct result of Shaq's whispers to his ear and his influence on the team. This guy would eventually take on the selfish, "slacker" mentality of Shaq. And we know how that turned out for the Lakers. So good luck to the Suns. They may or may not (I'm leaning towards the latter) rise and beat the Lakers this year. But let's see who the better ballclub, the team people talk about 5, 10 years down the road.

Wow,

That's eally bad news. I really like Yao.

Nothing is certain in the NBA. Injuries could take any team down. Always an asterisk, if we stay healthy, we can contend for the title.

no comment

So our Lakers went from the team with the most question marks and downside at the beginning of the season, to the new favorites when Bynum took us to the no. 1 spot in the west; oops my kneecap took us back to well, "better luck next season"; and with good ol' Mitch, back to the favorites- as all Power Ranking polls tell us as of Monday (with our new Spaniard friend). Whohoooo! Two things I think Laker fans need to start doing as we approach the final stretch of a roller coaster ride season are: 1)shout from the top of a mountain who is (and has been for quite some time) the MVP this season, KOBE MO BETTER BRYANT and 2)examine the pros and CONS of this years Los Angeles Lakers (we have been doing the former lately, but not the latter).

PROS- If Bynum comes back a 100% percent by the playoffs then its a wrap. We are No. 1 (without Bynum) in the West and the consensus is that the EAST is the LEAST which means we are currently on top of the world. Our bench is the deepest in the league. We have the best player/MVP of the league in Kobe, and Lamar is playing the best he's ever looked in a Laker uniform. We also have the best coach in league, especially at managing egos and winning championships. Nuff said.

CONS- Odds are, and I hate to say it, Bynum is probably not coming back. He said friday that he would probably be back in 6-8 weeks. That doesn't sound like returning in March to me, that sounds like Maybe April. He's running in the pool now and we expect him to play full court NBA playoff basketball against Duncan, Yao, Shaq- well Shaq doesn't count, but you know what I mean. We might get the Warriors first round, ask Dallas about how a 5 game series works. Kobe's finger could become an issue if playoff instensity takes it to Charles Barkeley level. And most importantly, folks we are up half a game on the defending champs! Parker is back, Ginobli is on fire and Duncan is, well TIm Duncan (2 time MVP). How far back are all the other teams in the west, like 2 or 3 games.

MAN, THE BANDWAGONNING HAS TO STOP! I love the lakers! My favorite player ever is Magic. I believe Kobe will overtake Jordan when its all said and done, but I do not think we are the favorites to win the title. We have to get homecourt advantage in the west and maybe even over the East the way Boston has looked against us. I do think we are on the rise and that things have never looked so good (especially coming from where we were at the beginning of the season), but hold on to your rational thinking cap. Don't believe the hype, at least not just yet...

Good morning Charles and my fellow Lakerfreaks.

"Friday's game, on the other hand, should be a much better match up since Roy might be able to get back and they have the home crowd that hates the Lakers even more than PHX or BOS does (you've never heard MVP chants in Portland, have you?)"

I WILL get the MVP chant going in the Rose Garden. Even if it's just me.

Larry, I need to be on that bandwagon. Hell, put me on that all-inclusive-of-everything bandwagon someone made up last night.

Two notes on all the debate about lineups and rotations when Drew gets back: We don't need to run many plays for Drew. He'll get his on putbacks, lobs and dunks created from penetration by 24 and 7 and p&r between 24 and 16.

I look forward to our defensive improvement with his return but there is no reason to stop running the offense through Kobe and Pau. And NO REASON not to start Odom.

That said, I'll leave the strategy to Phillip and his crew and continue to enjoy the ride.

Glad to see that, little by little, everyone is realizing we should be celebrating! (Not nitpicking. Though it's a free country, so go ahead an be less than stoked if you want....)

Xodus,
Yea. I've respected Kenny Smith in the past, so I don't know! It sucks!

Here is the article:

http://tinyurl.com/2q2dza

I know it's early but after seeing a list of free agents for this offseason i must say, i have always been intrigued about gerald green. Wouldn't mind us taking a swing at him...he has the tools and with Kobe helping him....who knows!

That's sad news about Yao. I couldn't even hate the Rockets when we played them in the first round in 2004. We just owned them. And Yao's a great player, a good guy in the NBA. T-Mac must be freaking out. Go ahead and scratch them out of the WC race.

Speaking of... who would you like to meet in the first round? I'd love to see Denver in Round 1. The Lakers would take them in four games. A clean sweep.

The west just got a little easier!

Good morning Lakers Fans!

Enjoy the hate coming from all corners...writers, analysts, players, coaches, fans....they all see the writing on the wall, and it stretches for years to come. We are YOUTH & EXPERIENCE, we are THE PRESENT & THE FUTURE, we are THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS!!!

KOBE FOR MVP!!!
KOBE FOR MVP!!!
KOBE FOR MVP!!!

lakersrydeordie,

How many division titles have we won?

Actually, scratch that... what's our longest streak in winning the division? No wait, that one's too lopsided too...

How many times have the Lakers won the western conference? Even that's lopsided because we've won the West 27 times in Laker history.

How about this, to make it fair, PHX can put up their division winner flags against our NBA trophies... then it's like what, 14 to 6 or something like that?

What makes D'Antoni so funny is that he has that level of arrogance with nothing to show for it. Shoot, PJ has more titles by himself than the entire PHX franchise has division winners in their whole history!

Vman,

Posted 3 times, no response.

Of course my posts criticized him for his history of being unapproachable to fans.

Still, he should try facing the issue some day. It would make his blog more interesting.

Wes

Xodus,

Well there goes this thread.

Now BK will put up a new thread...

I guess that's the least of our worries... thank the Lord that we're not the Rockets. Hot as hell and Yao out for the SEASON.

Well, I'm going down to the Pepsi center to buy first round playoff tickets. I should be able to see two Laker wins in that first round!

Woooo!

I am really bummed for Yao. He's a good guy, an excellent player and I'd like to see him out there competing.

Denver and Golden State better not miss the playoffs now or there will be a full on mutiny in those cities.

Maxximo!

That article of Amare is classic! My perception is that you kind of felt the same as I am right now. That dude thinks he's the next great PF out there... is he thinking that'll get to the point of Duncan and Garnett??

That kat is good offensively of course... but I doubt if he can be that good without Nash and Shaq on the court with him and he's already talking about learning how to be a playmaker!?!?

Was he dishing or some KB by saying that nr:24 is LEARNING!?

Did he ever watch the Lakers when Shaq was here?? He (Kobe) was making play for almost those other four on the court and now this kid comes with that argument?? Just classic!

Classic

Tim-4-Show,
where's the link to the Amare article?

Tim-4-Show

Just to add to that...Kobe has more Rings than they have Conference titles 3-2 biatches!

Kenny Smith thinks were good, but not good enough to beat Shaq and the Suns in the WCF.. Can you believe it?

zen

(THESE ARE NOT FIGHTING WORDS)

but why do you sound so surprised?
The playoffs are a different beast, you have to play a more defensive minded game. During the season a team can take blows and not go down, but in the playoffs a team can only take so many blows before your knocked out.
SHAQ is not the best in regular season play anymore, but for a 16 game season he is completely capable of delivering a knockout punch to any team. Kenny is judging by what SHAQ playing with the SUNS (who BTW are a very good temam regardless of how you guy's feel about them) can do in the playoffs.
Kenny is also going off what has happened in recent years with the lakers getting booted in first round by the SUNS, yes you got the season series this year but in a playoff series it still remains to be seen.

classic,

Amare is getting a bigger head, because Shaq is there. I call it the "Shaq effect". Shaq tries to make everyone on the team believe the are the best and they can win..It's really a tactic that Kobe started doing a little bit this year to get him teammates to believe. Although Kobe would never say "This is the best team I've ever played on" because he remembers those championship teams..

Every team Shaq has been on it's the same thing:

1) "Kobe is the best player in the NBA"
"Wade is the best player in the NBA"
"Nash is the best point guard in the NBA"

2) This lakers team is the best I've ever played on.
This Miami team is the best I've ever played on.
This Phoenix team is the best I've ever played on.

He probably tells Amare everyday that he's the best power forward in the game.

It's all about giving them confidence and inflating their egos.

BK,

I recall you saying in 2006/2007 that you think Dwade is a better player than Kobe despite the fact that Kobe was carrying a team with Kwame Brown, Luke Walton and Smush Parker as starters? The same Smush and Kwame that are about to wash out of the league. How about amitting you were wrong then?

Here's a part of Kenny's article... Zen... Maybe I'm reading something else but I think he's praising the Lakers here...

1. Los Angeles Lakers: Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton and a couple first-round draft picks for Pau Gasol? It doesn’t matter if you want to rebuild. You just helped an opposing team build a possible dynasty.

The Lakers go from playoff team to championship contender overnight, and Andrew Bynum hasn’t even returned to the lineup. The Lakers have the rest of the league on notice that they are now the team to beat. They also are the only team that has set itself up for a bright future.

2. Phoenix Suns: Any time you add one of the 50 greatest players to your team, you’ve improved.

Shaquille O’Neal is smart enough to figure out how to fit into the Suns’ high-powered offense. He has played on international teams as well as All-Star teams where he wasn’t always the first option. I also believe players start to lose their lateral (east-west) quickness as they get older, but can still be effective playing an up-tempo north-south game like the Suns. Shaq’s value wont truly show until the playoffs.

Mark Kriegel's article on Fox Sports: http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/7839988/
On-the-Mark:-Kobe-has-a-chance-to-shine-

---------------------------
My comments:

While Kobe has been playing amazing basketball this year and raising his team's level along the way, it's also amazing how some people expected a team of Smush, Kwame, Luke and a Odom who had been a career underachiever to be world beaters or close to it.. and claim Kobe has "never made teammates better" as Mark does in this article.. yeah, like Jordan and Barkely have said before, it's easier to "make teammates better" when they are talented.. You know what's interesting? Almost every teammate that's come on to the lakers have had their best FG% playing alongside Kobe.. (and not to slight LeBron, but, that's the opposite with his team.. all his teammates have struggled.. assists don't tell the whole story.. while people can talk about LeBron's stats, their offense looks awful and a major part of the blame goes to his coach and not having a true system but have LeBron dominate the ball.)

Kobe has had to carry a team of bench players (or even less in the case of Smush and Kwame) to the playoffs in the tough west, with players like Tierre Brown and Atkins playing significant minutes earlier and people have the audacity to claim that Kobe was doing too much and not making them better. Yeah, some people would rather fail like the Miami Heat than have a leader who has the ability to shoulder the load according to what he is working with.

Kobe always molds his game according to the situation.. this is a given. If the Olympics team needs defense, that's what he'll give. If the lakers need facilitator and defender, that's what Kobe will give. If they are in a drought and need some points, he will try to do that. A leader always tries to provide what the team needs. There is no one better in doing this: mold his game according to the situation.

The only time I was really disappointed with Kobe was in 2004 against the Pistons.. but that was also some of the best defense I've ever seen and the refs allowing Pistons to manhandle the lakers (like Phil said in his interview yesterday with AM570), get charging calls against Shaq and load the paint area.

Finally, I'm proud that Kobe is getting better in other aspects of leadership this year. Fisher and Kobe will provide the necessary leadership to take the lakers to promised land.

Ah.... My bad... I didn't read the bottom part...

Sorry Zen...

Kenny Smith is an idiot... He goes to say first thet the Lakers are the team to beat... Then down below he says the Funs will beat them?? WTF???

LoL..

RandallJohn,

While I appreciate your "wait-and-see" attitude, it sounds to me like you're just being a negative nelly.

I will grant you that the Spurs and Pistons are proven champions, and we should fear and respect them. So MAYBE the Spurs are still the faves of the West, MAYBE. I'd say it's about even considering our depth and championship experience (though not as deep it is significant - don't forget Pau won a real World Championship too). And the Pistons run 3 rookies in their rotation (well two rookies plus Amir Johnson who is getting his first run this year), plus they are coached by Flip who hasn't proved anything in the postseason yet.

So who is your favorite? And by how much?

Also, the first round is 7 GAMES now, same as last year when GS beat Dallas. Only the Spurs and Pistons even have a chance if we're healthy, and I'd say it's about even between the three.

KOBE FOR MVP!!!
KOBE FOR MVP!!!
KOBE FOR MVP!!!

Fire32,

I would never underestimate Shaq..I know what kind of physical impact he can have on a game..The problem is that when you look at history, everything goes against the Suns right now...

Shaq has been hurt most of the year and a team picks him up with 2 months to go in the season. I think it takes more than 2 months for a team to adjust to Shaq. And when you look at history, when a star player has been hurt most of the season, they usually get beat in the playoffs.

I just don't see Phoenix clicking in time to reach the finals.

YAO MING!

I am here and sad to say that this injury of Yao will only help Denver and Phoenix!

I was really sure that with the H.Rockets surge, one of those two teams would not make the playoffs and somehow I was 99% sure that it would be the Suns!

I'll tell you why I was so positive about what I am sayong here...

Houston and Denever has an easy schedule ahead while the Suns... you guys already know.

Not that I am wasting my energy on the Suns failure but... I am positive that they will go 6-8 in the next 14 games including today's game.

Maxx

Lakerfan,

Well said.

Im kind of offended by the Lakers/Celtics story, where the supposed "NBA insider" suggests Rondo has an advantage of Fisher. Are you kidding me????? Rondo is in his second year, whereas Fisher is a three time NBA champion and added to that hes been in the playoffs almost every year he's played. Although Fisher was not the starter during Indiana finals, he did face Mark Jackson who was a stud at the time, played extremely well versus Iverson during the Philly Finals and added to that he played well vs. Jason Kidd in the 3 peat year. Fisher has tremendous heart and plays extremely welll at the defense end, whereas Rondo has never been tested in anything.
Moreover, Fisher has been vital for the Lakers dramatic improvements this year. Fishers shooting nearly 50% from the field and 40% from 3-point range. And one should not argue that Rondo is a better point guard in regards to distribution of the ball because lakers have Odom and Kobe who both make the majority of the assists in the triange offense. Fisher makes the passes when he needs to and makes the tough shots when the team requires it (example .3 second shot vs. the Spurs)
Give a brother some respect!

Ugh...poor Yao; that really sucks. I've never been one of those fans that roots for the other team's best player to get hurt. I like to beat them when they're at their best.

Mark Kreigl's column points out that the Lakers are 9-1 with Pau "against mostly weak competition." Hey, Mark, how about 39-17 against the 2nd toughest schedule in the league so far? Good thing Byant is playing at a MVP level...which, according to you, he has never done before(?). lol

Mamba24, what's up, man? No roll call? Get out of bed, Charles is getting antsy.

Here's to stomping the blaze back into their trail tonight. Go Lakers!

Happydaze

cdub0512,

Yea he does kind of contradict himself..He says the Lakers are the team to beat, but he's saying he thinks the Suns will beat them. What I want to know is what happened to the Spurs!

Tony Parker has been out a lot this season, but he's back just in time for them to make a push..The Spurs will be tough.

Re: Kenny Smiths comments. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and clearly he agrees with his old TNT pal Steve Kerr. No big deal. He knows the game and really thinks Shaq will help when the games slow down in the playoffs. Kenny seems to think that the big knock was on the Suns not having a post presence. Well Shaq is a presence - just not a very good one any more. I think there is a chance Shaq could elevate his game come playoff time - I just think it is not that likely and I would disagree with Kenny on that. But they play the games on the court and not in the papers/internet columns.

The big thing remains Bynum being health along with the rest of the team of course - and how well he can play with Pau. I don't see it being much of a problem. Pau is a guy that is good enough to be a top tier player - but he doesn't crave being "THE GUY". He is a team player - but has the ability of a star player.

The potential this roster has is amazing - it is almost too good to be true. Sure they lack a true physical, pound it out center like Shaq in his day, but Bynum while more finesse is not a wimp. Gasol is finesse but he is a sneaky defender and decent shot blocker. Then of course there is Kobe. D Fish is a clutch player and great floor leader. And as Kareem said LO is a Swiss army knife at both ends. And Farmar, Sasha and Ronny are great hustle energy players. Ariza if he comes back gives the Lakers a tough perimeter defender that will help shut down the opponents hot smaller player. These guys can score and can defend at least at an OK level right now. The D will improve with Bynum and hopefully Trevor coming back. It is all good. The Lakers are in the position to win it this year and for more years to come.

Go Lakers.
Eagleboy.

Sorry but Yao Sucks. He is so soft like a Lo-Mein Noodle and more like a chinese version of Upgraded Shawn Bradley.

Zen

You're right!

I really believe that Shaq is trying to bring the best out of Amare and I think he is doing it because he (Shaq) wants to win more titles since he realized he can't do it anymore, he has to bring the best out of someone.

NOW... look what he did to D.wade... I believe Shaq wouldn't win with the Lakers if he did not have Kobe as well as he would not win if he did not have Wade.

He gets the credits because he is always on the team that wins right!? Now think the other way around... Put Kobe with Duncan or Garnett or even D. Wade with Duncan or Garnett... don't you think they could win as well??

Although I think Wade has a weird and annoying game because he is always looking forward to shoot lately, I think he could win with those two guys on the Heat team.

Talking about Shaq' mouth... I don't care what everyone say here... but he definitely runs his mouth to much... why doesn't he just keep quiet and make happen in stead of saying bla bla bla! ... Is he realizing that he's just an experiment in Phoenix??

If he is the championship formula why is everyone getting rid of him??

Lakers and now Miami... $20 MIL for a guys who is averaging less than 10-10-4??? and people are complaining about Odom with his $14 while averaging... more than 10-10-4

TIM,

--------------------

Back when I thought we were only going to win 25 of our last 30 games, I was really worried about the Mavs. Now that I’m looking forward to 34 straight, I think they will be just another speed bump in the Lakers road. lol.

What is going to be a big advantage for the Lakers is no Diop or Harris. Diop, with his height and length, is the kind of center that can give Pau trouble and Harris, with his speed, is the kind of point guard that gives all the Laker guards trouble.

Jason Kidd, on the other hand, as good as he is, hasn’t really been a major problem for the Lakers to stop. I see this game as being a pretty easy win that will show the real separation between these teams. The Kidd trade made the Mavs easy marks for us.

As for Amare, like usual, your comments were exactly my thoughts. This guy has no depth of character or insight as to how to play basketball. He is nothing but a physical marvel with weak heart and questionable character. The Suns traded the wrong guy.

--------------------

Tom


Wow!! I did not realize that Kenny Smith's remark that Shaq and the Suns will beat Lakers en route to NBA finals has some Laker fans concerned and scared, yet another roller coaster ride for the weak fans ..hahaha!
Kenny Smith is intimidated by Charles Barkley (never won a title) when it comes to voicing his opinions against anything that Chuck endorses. If there were to be no NBA then Chuck would be a working as a circus 'Clown" and I bet he would be the best at it. Chuck has never endorsed Lakers and rightfully so because of the can of whup ass Magic and Cap put on him during his informative years in NBA. Poor guy he has never been the same and thank god all he is now left with is motor mouth hahaha!! If you notice and observe when Magic makes his TNT guest appearances then both Kenny and Chuck listen intently and acknowledge what the Great Smiling One has to say. This is the only time Chuck listens LOL. Kenny is a door mouse who sits next to Chuck and dare not speak against the man who is liable punch both Kenny and the other host on the show.

Did you all realize that when one is having fun one never says stop stop stop, only when one is in pain then we yell stop stop stop, so grasshoppers enjoy enjoy enjoy the surging Lakers!!

Cheers!!

Dear Mamba24,

I hereby submit the Medical Bulletin Calendar as of 2/26/08, the ETA (Estimated Time Appearance) of following players:

1. Drew Bynum - March 31, 2008

2. Vlad Radmanovic - Day to day approximately March 15, 2008 (depending on the snowboarding conditions in the mountains. lol!)

3. Trevor Ariza - April 30, 2008 It could be the start of the 2nd round playoffs. (Unless of course they could find a good duco cement that could mend the broken foot.)

4. Chris Mihm - Indefinite but on players option till next contract year. They have to find and unscrew the missing screw embedded between the elbow and the heel. LMAO! When he got injured two years ago, it was the elbow, after a while he didn't make the playoffs a second operation needed on the elbow, and then the elbow never healed until contract time. Contract was reduced but renewed in 2007, played few games we thought it was elbow, oh no it was an ankle on the heel. Lately, it was reported he has a screw. Sorry, I'm mihmFUSED, I just stop asking.

Kobe Bryant - strained, torn pinky ligament, depressed by haters from referees, sportwriters, jealous fans. Because of the catalan effect, the battery is still running.

We are the Freakin' Lakers, never satisfied of anything, dissatisfied when we were down and still not happy when we are No. 1. We want to be on top of No. 1. LOL! Therefore, Mamba 24 by the power vested in you by the blog could you tame the debates, hide those inflated egos, corral those overflowing optimism, make love not war to fellow laker fans. Show no mercy to opposing teams, get that 40th W. tonight. Go Lakers!

knowing is half the battle -- That's real talk your posting about Shaq's "negative influence on Amare". I belive Shaq did the same ISH when he came to the Heat. Just listen to Wade's old soundbites back then and his entire attitude about Kobe thereafter. Why else would Wade have formulated such a negative perception and attitude towards Kobe ? Hell, he, himself never played with him and as far as I know never interacted with him! Shaq was doing that in the locker room anyway when he was a Laker, anything to DETRACT negativety from himself by dogging Kobe. Any wayz, I hate going there. So I am gonna stop now and move on to something FAR MORE interesting..

YAO and a stress fracture?? How did they even know, he looked OK the other game from what I saw..That's the NBA though..Then they give up Bonzi, could sure use his athleticism now and ability to go after the ball. Maybe Houston will try and do biz with Isaiah for Zach or maybe try and get Magliore..I cannot see them standing pat after this..Though they are solid without Yao, he is def the catalyst for that team.

Classic!

Loved that comment of yours it is pretty much clear of what I been thinkin lately!


Now... let's stop talking about Shaq because he still Shaq! Certainly he doesn't do what he used to but he can certainly bring the best out of every Phoenix opponents.

About K. Smith... well that his opinion... we should not enjoy only when people talk good things about the lakers but also enjoy when they start to doubt it.

The Lakers have proven that when people doubt 'em, they perform well! just like what happened last WED when lots of people thought the Lakers were going to lose due to the inthusiasm of people seeing Shaq in phoenix and his promises of being in the best team he ever played for.

SBPIMP

“Couldn't agree more. It's silly to have the "Bynum vs. LO" or "Bynum vs. Pau" argument. This is something that Phil will work out once it becomes an issue, and he will do what's BEST FOR THE TEAM. Period. End of story. As far as what happens over the offseason, let Mitch take care of that - hasn't he proven that he knows what he's doing? Maybe the hugest result of the Gasol trade that no one is talking about it that it will give Lakers faithful enough confidence in their GM to shut up and let him do his job.”

Well spoken, SBPimp. I think most of us would agree with that assessment. Phil and Mitch have pretty much earned their spurs. Still doesn’t mean we won’t say what WE think Phil or Mitch should do, though. lol. Fortunately for us, we have Phil and Mitch to make the real decisions.


Tom

Idiot. That's Amare.

sam,

Right on! That supposed insider is a fraud, I think. Rondo over Fisher/Farmar really showed that this guy knows nothing about the Lakers and Celtics, whoever he is. Kobe over Ray, sure thing. KG over Pau and Pierce over Odom, maybe but Pau and Lamar might surprise. Andrew over Perkins, however, will be the big difference.

In fact, when you look at the guys playing center in the NBA that Andrew will be matched up against, you see that center is the position where we are going to have the biggest advantage – next to Kobe at shooting guard, of course. Pau has a lot tougher match-ups at power forward than I think even Lamar has at small forward. Pau has to match up against KG and Duncan while Drew gets Oberto and Perkins while Lamar gets Pierce and Thomas.

I missed two games this year for various reasons and both were the Celtics games. What happened in those games? I know Perkins had a career game against Bynum in one game but what about Kobe and Lamar? How did they play? Who hurt us in those games? I would be interested to hear other opinions of how we match-up against the Celtics.

After all, no need to talk about how we match-up with the Suns or Rockets any more.

Tom

"You got it right. Michael Jordan is the "Most Marketed Player EVER!" I don't think he's even close to in the same league as Wilt Chamberlein.

It's the same thing with LeBron James. I don't think that LeBron James is even in the top five players in the league RIGHT NOW, but he is the Most Marketed Player Right Now, and whether or not people want to admit that, it does effect people's perceptions.

They asked Chick Hearn who was the greatest player he ever saw, and Chick had seen them all. He said, "Elgin Baylor." How much do we hear about Elgin Baylor? He's practically an afterthought among the Greats. Why? Amoung the Greats he was one of the Least Marketed Players Ever."

It is interesting that you put Wilt over Jordan based on his bigger numbers (it’s certainly can’t be rings) and then choose to slight LeBron James who is currently having the best season numerically of anyone in the NBA (30.1 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 7.5 apg, 2.06 spg, 1.06 bpg, .486 fg%).

You’re also entirely wrong. Jordan was by far a better basketball player than Wilt.

Wilt was the Shaq of his day, that is to say someone with an incredible physical advantage over everyone else playing combined with an unusual level of skill for someone of his size. However, like Shaq, he lacked focus (joining the Globetrotters, acting, his sexual escapades) and didn’t make the most out of his talent to ensure team success for most of the seasons of his career. Also, like Shaq, Wilt’s playing level faded quickly and badly in his early 30s as he lost his physical edge. That’s why, despite the ridiculous numbers that Wilt put up early in his career, he ended up scoring the same career ppg as Jordan and ended up with less overall points scored.

Sure, Jordan was also incredibly talented physically. But, the bottom line is that the guy was only 6’6” playing in an era of great 7 footers, while Wilt was a 7 footer who played in an era with 6’9” centers. What set Jordan apart from Wilt (and virtually everyone else who has ever played) was his mental prowess with which he mastered himself, the flow of the game, and eventually the psyches of his teammates and even his opponents (this is the level that Kobe has not quite reached yet, although I think that he is getting there). It was this difference in mental ability as a basketball player that allowed Jordan to win 6 championships with far less talent (and zero post presence) than with Wilt was able to win only 2 championships.

The bottom line is that Jordan only played with 2 HOFers in his career (George Gervin, if you’re willing to count the 18 games they played together the year Jordan broke his foot which was also Gervin’s last in the L, and Scottie Pippen, who isn’t in yet in the HOF but will be). Chamberlain, on the other hand played with 8 HOFers (Paul Arizin, Tom Gola, Nate Thurmond, Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham, Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, & Gail Goodrich). That’s not even counting two players with whom he played who were multiple All-Stars in Guy Rodgers (4 times) and Chet Walker (7 times).

As far as Baylor is concerned, I agree that he isn’t nearly as appreciated as he should be. Kareem also says that he was the best that he ever saw. You do have to keep in mind though that guys like Chick and Kareem were/are a bit prejudiced because Baylor was the first great creative 1 on 1 wing scorer who played above the rim and changed what people thought was possible on the basketball court. How could they be as impressed with the guys like Dr. J, Jordan, Kobe, and now LeBron who are merely continuing the path that Baylor blazed out of nothing? So, no doubt the guy was a great player and an absolute original, but he also won a big fat 0 championships (he was an unimaginably painful 0-9 in finals appearances between college and the pros).


wow I rather have grant hill or barbosa injured than yao because then the sun will realized how important marion to their team when they shipped his ass to the last team in nba

Sean P,

Phil Jackson said yesterday in an interview that Jordan was the greatast interior offensive player in the history of the NBA. He said no one could score inside with the variety of ways he could. In was in large part with his freakishly big hands. He said in the post, Oscar came close, but Michael was still the best.

Wilt Chamberlain had freakishly long arms! And he was tall and athletic. I don't think anyone in the NBA now has arms like that! I can see why he dominated that era. Unfortunately, if he was truely special, he would have found a way to get his team to be successful against the Celtics. Just my opinion. He should've tried to become an even bigger defensive force like Russel was.

Wilt chamberlain came close to blocking Kareems hook once at it's peak...He was a physical freak!

Wes

"The Pistons are a serious team. It'll take every bit of Bynum and Gasol's best effort if we're going to take them down."

I hope to meet the Pistons in the FInals before the Celtics next year. I want for the Lakers to take back what they took from us four seasons ago! The Pistons dismantle the mini-lived Lakers dynasty, Kobe would sure love to meet them one last time and crashed them to the ground with his able helper Bynum and Gasol waiting to prove their worth!

Let's deal with the Pistons first, I would love to crash them in my hands!

On the way to the Motor City!

Sweep the SUNS! what we should have done two yeas ago! 4-0.

Tell the HORNETS, they are not ready yet as currently constructed 4-0.

Show the Spurs how mighty the Lakers are and their back at being second best in the West. 4-2.

Squeezed and crashed the Pistons for what they did to Kobe, Shaq, Malone and Payton it's payback time!Rasheed Wallace admitting the Lakers are now the World's Best and Kobe Bryant has elevated to another level in his game. 4- 2.

In summer: Odom and Walton are traded!

In to-day's Mike Bresnahan's Lakers report , I saw a picture with a girl holding a sign which reads " HONG KONG for Kobe MVP 2008, we love U " . I am from Hong Kong ( living in LA ) too, anyones from HK too ?
fyi : Hong Kong used to be a British colony , it's now a Special Administrative Region of China in Southern China.

Check out this great, in-depth analysis of statistics in context:

http://www.respectkobe.com/?p=18

The author at RespectKobe.com shows why you can't just compare two players statistics straight up. So, when evaluating field goal %, rebounds, assists, etc., he shows that Kobe is a MORE EFFICIENT shooter, a better rebounder, and at least as good a passer as LeBron.

It's a fascinating read, well worth the time.

KOBE 4 MVP

Check out this great, in-depth analysis of statistics in context:

http://www.respectkobe.com/?p=18

The author at RespectKobe.com shows why you can't just compare two players statistics straight up. So, when evaluating field goal %, rebounds, assists, etc., he shows that Kobe is a MORE EFFICIENT shooter, a better rebounder, and at least as good a passer as LeBron.

KOBE 4 MVP

Shum another ex british colonoial member from Hong Kong:

Yeah them damn brits and their colonoies..Basically brits are the mordern day thugs who have looted their colonoies and refuse to return national treaures they hold at britsish museum..it makes no sense as these artifacts hold more value to the countries they were looted from..glad the sun has finally set for the british empire and soon to set for Phoenix suns..

Bloody cup of tea anyone?

Great article about Chris Webber and his involvement with African/American documents and artifacts and how he uses them to engage youngsters in meaningful dialogue. Stories like this and efforts like the "Day of Service" during All Star weekend should recieve more publicity.

Who cares what Kenny Smith thinks? His mouth ain't no prayer book!l

I hope the Portland announcers don't call the game. They along with snapper jones and the sac kings announcers are horrible, and are haters that are always trying to crack dry jokes when it comes to the lakers. I wish Chick Hearn were still around because even though he was the lakers announcer, he called the game for what it is. If you were bad he would say it, if you were good he would say it without being totally biased in favor of the lakers. He always knew facts and had good insight about the other teams and their players. He is sorely missed.

Well said RealZen Master, I like "the sun set for the Brit Empire and soon to the Phoenix Sun "

laker fans r jackasses, u guys win a few games in the regular season and already think u won the west...what a joke. the spurs in 5... u guys did get better, maybe u can win 1 game ha ha..... spurs own your ass and deep down u know it... it gets real quiet in staples when ever the spurs score more that 2 baskets in a row, in the fourth u could hear a pin drop. it's like daddy coming to spank that ass..you can act like you're not afraid but, u no u R !!!!!!!


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