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A few thoughts on the afternoon after

No question last night's carnage will sting for a while.  It should.  In terms of product quality, what the Lakers trotted out Tuesday night in Boston was the basketball equivalent of expired olives and curdled milk.  Inedible.  Indigestible.   Unfit for human consumption.  It was a tough way to end what was a remarkable season, but on the bright side, the foul taste it leaves in the mouths of players and coaches should help push them through the summer and into next season.  The Finals was a reminder that the Lakers still have work to do and holes to fill. 

Obviously, we'll have a lot of thoughts on the season past and the one upcoming as the Lakers work through exit interviews, the draft (though on the surface, they won't have much to do there), and the NBA's free agency period.  But here are a few quick thoughts on the series, the season, and looking forward (as they float through my head, in no particular order):

  • I understand the disappointment with losing in the Finals, and certainly once a team gets to that point in the season, there is a reasonable expectation of a title, but overall people should be exceedingly pleased with the 2007-2008 season.  It was a huge success, especially given the grim state of the franchise only one year ago.  To go from there to losing in Game 6 of the championship series is remarkable.  That the team is poised to compete on that level for the next half-decade or so should only make people more excited.
  • The Lakers didn't put their best foot forward in the Finals, but it's important to give credit where it's due- the Celtics.  Boston's defensive schemes brutalized the Lakers offense, and more than that, the Celtics offense was patient and exploited holes in LA's defense. Before the series, I looked at the way Boston struggled to score on their playoff opponents, and thought they'd be at a disadvantage against what I felt was an underrated Lakers D.  Fair to say I was wrong, not just about that, but about the strength of the Celtics generally.
  • They were the better team, made better by the matchups.   LA wasn't a good fit with Boston.
  • Boston's bench outplayed LA's, but not simply because they have better players, but a better variety.  It was a great mix of experience (Brown, Cassell, Posey), muscle (Powe, Brown), and  shooting (House, Posey), defense (Posey, Tony Allen, if you want to include him) and so on that helped Doc find the combinations he used so effectively.  The Lakers bench isn't necessarily bad, but it lacks variety.   This offseason, the Lakers should look to fill roles.  A bruiser, a defensive specialist, and so on, until they have true balance up and down the active roster.  As good as LA's bench was at times this season, at others, they really struggled.  This experience, though, should help guys like Farmar and Vujacic.  
  • Along those lines, playing with the lesser team and therefore a smaller margin for error, the Lakers needed Phil Jackson to be superior during the series, and he wasn't. 
  • The Celtics proved that when it comes to defense, the sum is often greater than the parts.  The Lakers took positive steps defensively this season, but received six chances to see up close and personal how it well it can be done.  It was too easy for Boston to pull LA out of their defensive rhythm, and the Lakers were prone to too many big, series shifting mistakes.
  • I thought Pau Gasol had done a better job in the series than he had been given credit for, particularly on defense... until last night.  He was bad from the start, and the misfortune he saw early only compounded his problems and that of his team.  LO's play improved as the series went on, once he calmed down and figured out how to stay on the court.  While he had trouble finishing around the rim- something we've seen before- I think the knock that he was soft or unaggressive isn't fair.  He generally attacked the rack and was active on the glass over the final three games.  Asked to do a variety of things defensively, Odom did a pretty good job.  Could he have played better?  Did the Lakers need more?  Yes, to both.  But while it's always easier to cast people in roles, to say "If that guy did more, the Lakers would have won," it's not that simple, and to pin the loss on Odom doesn't sit right with me.      
  • Kobe: Clearly had trouble shooting the ball, thanks to some extremely aggressive Boston defense. It wasn't a good series for him, but at the same time, I don't think we saw much of the "old Kobe." After Game 5, when asked if he needed to go for 40+ for the Lakers to have a chance against the Celtics in Boston, Kobe told the media that he could probably force his way to 45, but that's not the way they were going to win.  He's right, and he didn't.  Not that he didn't (or shouldn't- he is Kobe Bryant after all) try to look for his space.  But despite what I'm sure was an overwhelming temptation to start jacking shots left and right, for the most part Kobe tried to continue moving the ball, recognizing that he couldn't shoot the Lakers to a win.  Boston wouldn't let him.
  • The Lakers needed to elevate their play as a team, and weren't able to do it. As a team, from Kobe on down.  
  • Regarding Odom, people should be careful when they demand he be moved.  First, he's among the team's only rebounders.  When Drew returns, they'll have another, but LO is as strong a force on the glass as the team has.  That would have to be replaced.  Second, with Odom the Lakers have a guy who is completely willing to play the role of "third or fourth guy."  He doesn't need, or particularly want, to shoot the ball 18 times a game.  Given that they'll have Kobe, Bynum, and Gasol next season, it might not be a good idea to bring in someone who "needs his."  Yes, he can be frustrating, but it's a question of the devil you know vs. the devil you don't.  The devil they have isn't so bad.   
  • I'd love to see if they can make the Bynum/Gasol/Odom frontcourt work, or perhaps see if Odom could be a kind of Super Sixth Man, rather than deciding it won't and moving LO in the offseason.
  • The Lakers, and this could be solved naturally next year with LO at the three, need to improve that spot on the roster. Even if Odom moves there to start, they need help.  Ariza is a good place to start, but if there's a focus in free agency this summer, small forward should be it.   
  • This team needs tweaks, not a sledgehammer.   
  • Few teams, including the Shaq/Kobe Lakers, win the whole thing so soon after returning to potential championship form.  The Celtics are an exception to that rule, but then again, that roster is an exception to the general laws of roster construction as well.  What they did and how they did it is a rare, rare thing.
     

There are plenty more things to kick around.  Like I said, this is just a stream-of-consciousness list.  It's not all inclusive, by any stretch.

BK 

 
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I can't believe these writers are judging the Lakers and their future, based on that last game! "Bynum better keep developing, or else". First of all, you put a healthy Andrew Bynum in the mix for this series, as he was back in Jan., and the Lakers win this series as is. People don't realize how many shots he alters. So next season the Lakers will be even better, there is no doubt about it. Why are these writers saying "they better improve, or else" or "Bynum better keep developing, or else". Please! How about this:

Boston should be worried about their future!

They're the ones who have no missing starter coming back. No one expected to have huge development, just Rondo becoming a better point guard. The eventual retirement of Cassell and PJ Brown. They actually are in dire need to sign some bench players. And the big 3 isn't getting any younger.

I didn't hear enough of the Celtics saying they would be back next season, which gives the impression, especially for Cassell and Brown, that this one single championship is enough for them. That after all that losing, they finally won. They're "certified" now, as KG put it. Where's their hunger for more?

The Lakers on the other hand sound very hungry for a championship, very determined to make it work with Bynum, starting this October.

And man, how lame was KG during the ceremony!?!

Some of the dumb stuff he said: "anything's possible...ANYTHING"S POSSIBBBLLLLE!". Hilarious!! He should be a comedian!

Then he curses on live TV. And then. And then....he says to Michelle Tafoya,...

"Michelle, you look good tonight, girl! You look good!"

KG hitting on the interviewer. wow.

I there was any doubt earlier, it's gone now. I hate the Celtics. And KG, Allen, & Pierce. Interesting how the Celtics had the commercials with Pierce & KG holding the championship trophy, before they've won it mind you, while there was no such commercial for the Lakers.

I'm proud of my Lakers. This experience will greatly and positively transform the young Lakers for their future championships.

73-9 in 2009! Home court advantage in the Finals!

Listen Lakers Nation:

There ARE NO GUARANTEES when it comes to sports!!! THIS loss hurts like hell because we lost to those friggin Evil C's!!! Man, i hate those green weenies.

I do not want to hear about this team being young, we'll be back next year, blah blah blah.

Sure, no one expected this team to get to the finals, BUT when you get there -- you HAVE to win the damn thing!!!

I wrote before the series started. I was worried. Concerned. It scared me that most of the national sports media was picking the Lakers to win. I've suffered (along with many of you) over the years to an assortment of STRANGE happenings that added up to losing series after series to those damn Celtics: crazy bounces, stolen passes, getting clotheslined and beaten up, their towel waving, taunting, bullying, and the list goes on and on!!!

And, now having to endure these fricken Celtic's trolls coming to OUR blog is beyond unbearable!!!

Is it any wonder that some of the long-time posters (like LakerTom) are now where to be found? I TOTALLY understand and share the pain!

Before the series began, I was gonna write that the NEXT time the Lakers beat the Celtics would be the FIRST time this season. The Lakers just seemed to be out of synch and not themselves during their 2 regular season losses. And, both games weren't even close. It was like the evil C's had some kind of weird spell over us.

Then, it got worse when we lost both opening games in Boston. I exhaled just slightly when we FINALLY beat the C's in Game 3, but then Game 4 happened -- and the whole city got its heart ripped out.

In hindsight, I think the series was lost right there! Win that game, and its 2-2 with all the momentum on the Lakers side.

What the hell was Phil Jackson doing while his team was folding like a cheap tent? He was just casually sitting there as if he didn't have a care in the world - he should have used every T.O. he had in that pivotal 3rd quarter to try to turn around the momentum. But, he did nothing. He didn't try different combinations of players. Ariza just sat on the bench, even though he played inspired ball in the first half. And DFish sat for too long while Farmar got abused. Little actions (or lack thereof) tend to snowball into bigger consequences, and PJ's quirky coaching habits have built and built and been exposed on the biggest stage of all: the NBA Finals.

UTTERLY PATHETIC.

For these reasons (and more) the Los Angeles Lakers NEED a coaching change at the top. I understand that PJ has one year (and 12 million) left on his coaching contract, but when it expires -- HE NEEDS TO GO!!!

The game has passed him by. I'm sick and tired of his stubborn and headstrong ways. I'm tired of him 'saving' his TO's and sitting there like a wooden indian when his team is getting blown out!!!

I'm starting to believe that maybe red auerbach's evil spirit is hexing PJ's attempt to get that 10th ring. 0-2 in the past two NBA finals? Where's the heart? Where's the passion? Where is stupid 9rings???

Another thing that ticks me off about PJ is that it is never his fault. He never takes responsibility for anything: it's always the refs, or his own player's mistake, or some other outside circumstance.

Bottom line is, PJ is a hired gun. I want to see a Laker Lifer coaching this team next. I want to see BScott, or Rambis, or another Laker at the helm.

I want to the see the Lakers make a STRONG PUSH to get some tough-minded players like Artest!!!

The pain is too fresh... I don't want to hear any GHF crap about next season. Not yet. Maybe by the time Labor Day rolls around...

P & G R

It amazes me how so many are willing to apologize and apologize for Odom.
He needs to go.
The Odom experiment is over; as was the Kwame Brown experiment.

PRAY ARTEST OPTS OUT AND COMES TO THE LAKERS....................PROBLEM SOLVED.

I couldn't have said it any better myself. I am extremely depressed about the ending to our season, and I don't know how soon I'll get over it. That doesn't take away from the fact that this was a FREAKIN' AMAZING! season considering where we started in November.

We (Lakers and fans) have very little to be ashamed of and much to be proud of. Hold your heads high, wipe the tears and look forward to next season. We can only go up from here, right?

LAKERS FOREVER!!!

BK - only thing you got right was calling out PJ. . . LO LAMAR must GO should Go and will GO. . . I / we [the real los angelenos] have tolerated 4 years too long of his weak / inconsistent play, lack of a vertical leap, no dunking ability, smiling gameface [only he is smiling b/c of his big fat pay days for part time work] . . . dont you have a B team in ST Louis you can critique?

The key is to NOT PANIC !!! Yes the Western Conference is tough with Utah & New Orleans becoming even more of a factor next season. I can see RAD-MAN traded. But Sasha and Ronny will need to be re-signed. We've forgotten what Turiaf brought to the table throughout the season. I still say like I've said all along that Kwame, yes Kwame Brown will be brought back at a even for Kwame bargain rate. I think we could use a small-forward with perimeter shooting skills. I'd love to see a line-up like this:
Kobe
Sasha
Odom
Gasol
Bynum

Ariza also needs to be re-sgned if he opts out. Last I heard Mihm had a player option. Luke plays better as a starter !

Well said, even shaq and kobe couldn't win it all their first years

i am proud of the lakers. They were picked by everyone at the beginning of the season to finish 8th or out of the playoffs. But I would was reading some articles and thought that we have to add someone like Ron Artest or Shawn Marion, or even Gilbert Arenas or Elton Brand. Get rid of Luke Walton and Radmonivic. Just imagine Fisher, Kobe, Odom, (Marion, Artest, Arenas) Gasol and Bynum the 2009 Champs

Okay, I don't mind keeping Gasol as long as we can still get Posey and R. Artest. We must keep Lamar for rebounding only. I'll give Gasol one more year to see what he can do, especially at the 4 spot.

I still say we keep Sasha, because the guy is young and will only get better.

We have to keep Kobe, Fish, Lamar, Bynum, Gasol (reluctantly), Sasha, Roni. Everybody else can be traded.

On the positive side, I really think we have a team for the future. Miami and Boston are teams for right now, the Lakers are teams for a few years.

We basically traded 1 guaranteed championship for a dynasty. I don't mind that.

Great times ahead for us, bloggers.

Lakers Forever!

I respect your views, I just don't see how Bynum, Gasol, Odom is going to work. If you were playing the Lakers, wouldn't you pack the middle against that lineup? Lamar, Kobe and Fisher would be free to shoot as many jumpshots as they want. Kobe or Fish could get hot for about a quarter, then Lamar would lose interest and disappear for the rest of the game, rinse, recycle and repeat.

We could trade Gasol... but... for who? I have no idea... Also, how would Odom fare on defense against the better/quicker SF's in the league? I just don't see the Odom at SF experiment working out though the Lakers could sit on him through training camp and into the season, waiting for somebody to become disgruntled... like, say a Carmelo Anthony? Wouldn't that be a doozy?

The first domino might actually be at PG. I'm sure there are ideas flying around Lakertown right now with the draft and free agency coming up so fast.

BK - The only comment you got right was calling out PJ!! LAMAR must GO and will GO. Maybe you're okay [your not a true Los Angeleno] w/ mediocrity and Lamar' inability to leave his feet, contest a drive, poor FT %, smiley game face, and inconsistent overall play, but we the Laker Los Angeleno' expect greatness, expect when you strap on the purple & gold to be leave it all out on floor. . . Maybe your eyes and weak basketball mind are better served critiquing a high school basketbal teams somewhere in St Louis. . . Bad write up at your end DUDE!!

Yes, AK, small forward is the weak link of the Lakers lineup. I'm anticipating a healthy Ariza next year, which will be great, but we definitely need to address that glaring hole in our roster.

Good, solid analysis.

Go Lake Show!

Lamar needs to be traded for someone who doesn't have a "Clippers" mentality. If Shawn Marion opts out, I would think the Lakers have to be interested in a swap. We need some bangers on this team!

BK said: "No question last night's carnage will sting for a while. It should."

I'm already over it.

I cried for a bit during the 4th quarter. I tossed and turned and struggled to sleep last night. I woke up hesitant to even read a single word on The Blog today.

And then I saw Faith, Mamba, Edwin & the Patriarchs reminding us to keep our heads up. And then I prayed and thanked God for allowing us to overcome the trolls & haters to get here.

And I saw my fellow Blog Family expressing hope and faith in the midst of this loss.

And then...POOF! The sting was gone. THE STING IS GONE!

Knowing Kobe, I think he will take this personally.
I think it will be his lifetime goal to beat the Celtics in every imaginable way just to get the W from them.
Be ready for next year.

BK - your write up was as SOFT as the team you were writing up. . .

Watching the Lakers have their way through the semis and western finals I though they would surely match up better against Boston. The, "Intangibles", were not glaringly evident before the finals started, they are now and the eastern conference is once again the bully of the block and has a psychological edge in the NBA until someone plays smash mouth against them and wins.
What really jolts me is trying to imagine any other western conference team that could have looked any better the against the Celtics. What a scarey thought.
The Lakers will need a tweak or two at key positions, but overall, they need to click as a team; one mind one purpose and seamless execution.
I think the entire western division needs to step it up to avoid being dominated by an easter conference that has its mojo back and will be bringing it all next season.

One thing that might have cost a game or two during the finals, or a least a mental edge. Home court advantage throughout the playoffs. There is alot to be said for starting off on the right foot.

BK, do you know when the Olympics start for basketball? I can't find it online.

Sure Odom can get rebounds..but his problem is one night he scores 20-27 points and the next he is like Vlad Rad.....he isn't consistent......I think Vlad/Mihm/Luke should leave...

frequent reader, infrequent poster.. i agree with BK on most of this. I'm more concerned with Pau's softness inside (and that the team seemed to have no heart for three quarters of do or die basketball... If Pau was more of a bruiser I think we'd have had the advantage. If Bynum was playing it would have been a completely different series.

Do you think its possible to trade like Pau and Radmonovich to the Clippers for a sign and trade of Elton Brand? A front line of Brand/Bynum/Odom seems more intimidating to me...

is it even a possibility?

I am really surprised why at this point we are still talking about Kwame. Kwame????? come on. Between Kwame and Gasol, who will you take? Even a grade schooler can give you a sensible answer. Let's not waste our time and space deliberating on the merits on Kwame, as there is none. Definitely no regrets with Gasol. But having said that, he has to improve his muscles so he can defend well.

Aloha B.K

There isnt a point you made that I disagree with. I also believe a banger is in order and maybe an upgrade at the 3, if Lamar cant hit the outside J consistantly. But dont you also believe that at least one of our current 3's might need to be traded? If we bring in another 3(Posey is a free agent) our roster would really be out of balance with just to many small forwards. What do you think?

MH

Thoughts for 2008 & 2009-

2008 NBA Finals: Let's be honest-- we did overachieve reaching this point. We were riding on a high ever since Gasol got here, and that carried us all the way into the finals. AWESOME- but no home court and a super Celtic D knocked the sweet taste out of our mouth. GOOD- we needed to eat some crow. I honestly think this is good for us long term. Players now have to look at themselves and see where they need to improve if they want to be champions.

Which leads us to 2009 Needs:

1.) LO- Use this summer to refine your game. Primarily a.) You are moving to the 3 spot now- work on that J so you can keep the defense stretched. You've got a J- you just need to shoot it 100 times/day this offseason so you don't think about it when you shoot next year. You have shown the past 2 postseasons that you have heart-- refine the game and put the time in in the offseason-- stay FOCUSED.

2.) Gasol-- Hit the weight room. You may be moving to the 4, but there are plenty of 4's that can use their stregth as an advantage against you-- especially on the glass. Bynum/Odom will obviously be eating up boards now, but you still need to be a force on the glass. Seriously that's it-- just get STRONGER.

3.) Bynum- Keep working, Keep working.. MAKE SURE YOU ARE CONFIDENT MOVING ON THAT KNEE. We need you to be a physical post presence-- you have shown that you don't back down to anyone (even Shaq) but you need to feel good on that knee. Rehab/Rehab/Rehab. Learn the triangle O. Spend some time picking Tex Winters/Kobe's Brains. Most of all, just keep doing what you've been doing. If you come back strong from the injury you are our future and key to the title.

4.) Kobe-- IF you are REALLY focused on winning titles NOW, the best thing you could do is sign your extension and show your commitment to the team. I guarantee that would have a Huge Impact on taking away this sting to the rest of the guys-- Reward Mitch for the work he's done this year. Show some humility and loyalty to this team to help reverse what you did last off-season. Other than that- get your gold, have your surgery, and then REST. You have been rolling strong since last Summer's Olympics and you started to look tired in the finals--- the first time I've ever seen that from you. Age is probably starting to CREEP up on you just a little. Rest when possible.

5.) Farmar- Push to take over that starting PG job. Tell Phil you want it. You have great athletic ability and work ethic, and you are a warrior. Fish would be a great veteran option off the bench. Keep working on that J, and keep learning the triangle. Watch the finals tape over and over til you puke.

6. Luke- Rest your aching body. You've never been a quick/athletic player, but you used to have just enough when combined with your brain/willpower that you were effective. This year you were too slow that it didn't matter how smart you were and then you started pressing. Get healthy- work on conditioning and shooting.

7. Vlad- I wish we could lose him, If not, go see a shrink-- for real. Go to Michael Cooper's basketball camp and work on D.

8. Ariza- Work on the 3 ball, and try to get stronger. You have a great future on this team.

9. Turiaf- Need to learn how to finish around the rim- especially with defenders around. You look scared when you catch the ball in the post and chuck it back out to the 3 point line ever time. You at least need to be a threat to score down there. Your D is solid.

10. Vujacic- Watch Finals Tapes til you puke. You are a young (dorky) warrior. We could see the fire but you weren't ready to combine it with intelligent play in the finals. Gotta stop turning it over and taking dumb shots. Also, the refs are tired of your flopping/acting. Concentrate on just playing solid D.

11. PJ-- Great Job this year. Everyone who says otherwise F off. I know it would have been nice to win this series, but you know that this pain the team has now is going to spark the championship fire needed in much of our team. I beleive in you-- you are not a rah rah coach- that is not your thing. You develop compentent, savvy, Champions who don't need someone screaming at them to know what they need to do. Great 1st step this year-- we are ahead of schedule.

PLEASE LAKER FANS CUT THIS WE WANT POSEY CRAP.
HE IS A GREEN WEENIE..ARE YOU GUYS KIDDING ME.

I DONT WANT POSEY..HE CAN SHOVE HIS MOUTHPIECE WHERE THE SUN DONT SHINE.

SORRY.

POSEY POSEY?

HMM NO THANKS..AGAIN HE IS A CELT AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED..WE DONT NEED THEIR STINKING GARBAGE ON OUR TEAM.


BYNUM IS THE ANSWER.....

BK,

Why are you interested in keeping Odom? Do you not
believe that another rebounder can be found?

re: the team needs tweaks not sledgehammer. Did you see
the game *I* saw? We got out coached, out hustled &
out played! Lamar has been a Laker for 3 years. The
only time he has played well was after we got Gasol.
If you put Lamar at the SF position, he will be beaten by
all of the athletic SF's. He's TOO SLOW!!! He's too
inconsistent. He's too soft.

I am not suggesting wholesale slaughter of the team.
Many of them are young and blooming quite nicely.
I
We *NEED* a defense presence on this team if we're
going to have any chance of beating the Celtics for
the next 3 years. MJ had Pippen & Rodman. Shaq had
Kobe. Who does Kobe have as a defensive presence?

For what it's worth, I expect Sasha and Farmar to
work on their defensive games because they're
competitive enough. I don't believe that about Lamar.
I'm not worried about Gasol, because putting Bynum
at Center will allow Pau to go back to his natural
position PF. He won't be so physically dominated
there.

STOP STOP everyone STOP making excuses for LAMAR the LAMAR experiment has FAILed. . . LAMAR that chant last night was for you. . . NA NA NA NA - NA NA NA NA - hey hey hey GOOD BYE!!

Lets get Ron Artest!!

Hes the perfect 3 we need and he is defensive minded.

We should sign him.

Then I believe we should trade for Chris Wilcox.
Hes the perfect bruiser/rebounder that will fix our problems.

Here is a trade I propose:

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/features/
traderesult?players=1016~2027~3029~1731&teams=
25~25~13~13&te=&cash=

-Or sign and trade vujacic with that deal maybe???

In general though, here is a list of players I wouldnt mind trading:

Vujacic (lets be honest, hes never going to have more trade value than he does right now..you have to give up something good to get something good in return)
**We would have to do a sign and trade.

Radmanovic: enough said
Walton
Turiaf
Mihm


Players to keep outside of starters:
Farmar
Ariza

What do you guys think???

I’m very surprised by people saying that they are ashamed to be Laker fans, after all they did this year it is a sad and down right disappointing to have people dismiss them the way so many fans seem to be doing. Let me ask, how many of you were ashamed when they had the best record in the west? How many of you were ashamed of them when they won the Western Conference Finals against the Spurs?

This is our team. They gave us a darn good season, a season that no one ever thought we would get but now after a great season we have fans that are ashamed of them? That’s just wrong. People lets keep this in perspective, this is the team that once had Smush Parker and Kwame Brown on it and now a season later we made it to the Finals! How can anyone fail to see what a great accomplishment that is?

This is my team. Yeah I’m sad they lost, in fact I’m heartbroken, it hurt to see them go down the way they did last night but they are still my team and I’m proud that they made it as far as they did. In the immortal words of Flea, “I bleed purple and gold”.

This season has been spectacular for the Lakers. Save that ugly ugly bittersweet, crushing defeat last night, the Lakers' future looks promising. How many of us can honestly say they saw the Lakers making it into the Finals?

Trade Pau? No way, we all seemed to forget what a huge difference Pau made when Andrew was injured. The Lakers couldn't have have been #1 in the West or in the finals without Pau.

Trade Lamar? I don't think so. Lamar is the X factor, he'll get it together, he's talented, versatile enough.

So many people are ready to blast the Lakers after this series, but they've all forgotten the journey, the amazing journey and development of the players this year. I'm confident that the players, all the players, will take this experience and learn and grow from it.

Nobody in the West was going to beat the Celtics this year. Not the Spurs, not the Suns, and definitely not the Hornets. We would have had a better chance with a healthy Bynum in our lineup, but even then, our defensive skills need tuning up.

Maybe a few tweaks in the roster here and there will be beneficial to the Lakers, but I'm damn proud of them this year. I enjoyed the journey, the ride. I mean, how fun was it to watch the Lakers destroy the Suns? After those two first round exits, the Lakers avenged themselves this regular season against the Suns. It was beautiful to watch. How fun was it to watch the Lakers battle their way up to the top of the West after suffering injuries after injuries?

the Lakers didn't win the ultimate prize, but it's been a great year. Lakers fans, be proud of your team and be excited, because next year, it's going to be another helluva ride.

It's not that Odom should be blamed for the Finals loss, it's that Odom (and his $14 million salary) ain't worth the inconsistencey!

Look, the guy has been in the NBA for NINE years and he's just learning to go to his off hand, or make a mid-range jump shot. So when it's Finals time (time for strength) he tries using his weak hand. Gimme a break!

Lamar is a wonderfully gifted athlete with the experience of a schoolboy. It's time to use that $14 mil more wisely.

Cheers.

BK, I agree with most of what you said, but I think that he only reason the Lakers should keep Odom is to lure Artest from the Kings since they're friends. I do like Odom's rebounding and if they could keep him, they should but he's such a valuable trade commodity this year that it would be a mistake to keep him. He's made so many bone headed plays with the Lakers throughout the years and it was extremely frustrating to hear that he partied after game 5, if that is true. Otherwise, I agree with pretty much what you said. Also, I think the Celtics really mortgaged their future by signing three players making $20 mil. Although they'll still be awesome next year, even without resigning Posey and Tony Allen, their salary is $78 million and three years from now, their team will be Perkins, Baby Face, Rondo, Allen, and Posey. Another 20 years of failure.

Odom = Laker for Life

GO LAKERS

Bynum does make aggressive defense easier. Think about it. He patrols the paint, the perimeter players can go wreak havoc. The defense can be much better with him because he frees up the need to protect the basket.

We can still use some tough minded vets, but we haven't seen the final form this team will take or can take.

Lakers need Shaq or someone who can control the paint in defense. Trade Gasol for Shaq. He has 2-4 years more left on his tank. Get Shaq and win Championship for 2009.

The arms race has already begun based on the recent article on teams bidding for the services of one, Ron Artest.

http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=9112

Lakers need a shut-down defender of Artest caliber if they're to shed its defensively soft image.

BK - your ridiculous write up of excuses and probabilities just FIRED ME UP more [your glass half full attitude sickens me on this topic]. . . 6 games of NO D, NO heart, and NO shows. The lakers didnt win 2/6 - the Cs lost 2/6. . . Worst BB play I have ever witnessed. . . I'm embarressed for the City of Angels. . . I'll get over this, but for now my line is LAMAR must GO!!

All I have to sayand what I've been saying all along... Just bring on Artest and we will be fine... Odom for Artest swap is a no brainer, I would even throw in Vrad for one of their bad contarcts like Kenny THomas ( he sure is a willing banger than any one of the current front court Laker players.... I can go on and on about how much of an advatage Artest would be over Odom with AB getting back to the starting line-up, and please don't ever anyone on hear say anthing about trading Pau, yes he is soft but the guy is a great fit for this Lakers team..... There is a lot of of positives there for just one negative......

Was this season a success?

YES IT WAS

BE PROUD.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailydime?page=dime
-LALPreview0708

It's not that Odom should be blamed for the Finals loss, it's that Odom (and his $14 million salary) ain't worth the inconsistencey!

Look, the guy has been in the NBA for NINE years and he's just learning to go to his off hand, or make a mid-range jump shot. So when it's Finals time (time for strength) he tries using his weak hand. Gimme a break!

Lamar is a wonderfully gifted athlete with the experience of a schoolboy. It's time to use that $14 mil more wisely.

Cheers.

People-- Piss off on the Lamar Hate... Did you forget how he warriored up in the Phoenix series last year after he was hurt all year? Throwing off his elbow brace and going in there and getting boards, throwing down and showing emotion?? Finally this year he was healthy-- his role on this team has always been confusing. When Pau came in he had a clear role and played GREAT. Did you all forget about our most impressive series-- the Utah Series?? LO was a beast- doubles doubles every night and hit a clutch 3. He is finally healthy, in tune with everything going on and I beleive he is going to touch up that jumper this offseason to become a solid 3. You talk about him not being able to guard other 3's-- well how about other 3's not being able to guard him. Playing with KB past few years is not easy-- KB didn't play in the flow of the offense until this year-- LO flourishes when he plays in a consistent system-- which is what Pau brought. PEOPLE-- CHILL THE F OUT! We just went to the finals! We won the West! We only had Pau for 20 games! Everyone got too high with how great things were, but the Celtics just dosed us with a little reality- We are young and WEREN'T READY TO BE CHAMPIONS-- NEXT YEAR WE WILL BE! With Lamar and with most our team as is.... The only guys I'm shaky on are Vlad R (actually just ship him out) and Turiaf (needs to finish around the rim).. The rest of the core is solid- CHILL OUT!

Wow. Lot of angst out in the Laker community tonight.

Let me give you guys a brief rundown on my position here. I live in Australia. I've been a huge fan of the NBA (and basketball in general, obviously), since playing "Lakers vs. Celtics" on my PC at the tender age of six. My Laker love began way back then, playing off Magic, Kareem & James Worthy against the Green and White... and hasn't stopped since.

Given that I live in Australia, I've been downloading the games all season. That's right - I have every game this season downloaded. Win or lose. And I never, ever look at the results until I've watched the game.

I'm as heartbroken as the rest of us over this series - I really thought we had a good chance to win. And on paper, I still think we did - we were simply outplayed, outhustled, outdefended, through the entire series. Boston completely disrupted the Lakers offensive rhythm, and never allowed us to maintain any form of momentum (right, Phil?), even in the wins.

I agree entirely with BK's comments up the top. I think next year, we stand a much better chance of winning it all, and here's why.

CENTER - A HEALTHY BYNUM

Obviously, the guy was going off earlier this year. Even if you just look at the number of dead simple plays (let's lob the ball over the D and watch Drew hammer it down) that he created through his sheer size and athletic ability, you're looking at a player whose upside is massive. All the complaints about softness on the inside can be obliterated right there. Drew has the size and strength to match up with anybody in this league. ANYBODY. His shot-blocking ability is underrated, his rebounding is excellent, and he has certainly grown into the kind of defender and offensive presence that is absolutely perfect for the triangle offense - not to mention a luxury that Phil's teams have almost always lacked (Shaq excepted).

POWER FORWARD -

The addition of Bynum into the lineup will allow Pau Gasol to play the position he prefers (and as someone people continually refer to as "soft", he'll fit better at PF than C, I'd imagine), while shifting LO down to the 3 spot.

SMALL FORWARD -

I agree with the comments on issues at the 3. Paul Pierce carved us up all series, with the exception of that one (VERY) quiet game, which can be put down to some excellent D and an off-night for the man himself. Radmanovic was never going to get that defensive assignment sorted, he's simply not up to the task (though his defense is, I think, underrated, he's not fast enough laterally or smart enough in terms of using his body to defend a player like Pierce). The addition of Bynum at Center moves LO down to the 3. There have been some questions raised over the viability of this move, but I think it's going to be a real plus for this team.

Does LO have the quickness to guard the league's elite small forwards? I'd have to say yes. Look at the way the guy runs the floor on the break - it was mentioned several times during the series, he's one of the few players in the league who can grab a rebound, run the floor, and finish. He has lateral quickness to match, BUT, as we've seen during the finals series, needs to work somewhat on his defensive decision-making.

As a team-wide criticism, we need to take a serious rethink over our defensive commitment. Far too often we looked for blocks where a simple 'stand-your-ground' drawn charge would have been more effective. This led on many occasions to foul trouble for LO (and others), and allowed Boston to operate in the lane far too easily. Many of the fouls led to bail-outs, three-point plays, and foul trouble for the Lakers.

Regardless, LO at the 3 is an improvement over anyone else the team has to offer. With Ariza back to full strength, the team has an excellent defensive backup for LO (and let's face it, LO sometimes disappears completely on offense, so Ariza's lack of offensive ability at times (though he is an excellent slasher) will be a non-issue), the team looks far stronger at this position either way.

SHOOTING GUARD -

Kobe clearly had a down series. He was played almost to perfection by the Boston defense, whose single greatest achievement was that they never allowed Bryant anything easy. Bryant is the kind of player who fits perfectly into the description of "give them an inch, and they'll take a mile". Being utterly ruthless is one of Kobe's greatest assets, but Boston never allowed him the space to really dig in, with the exception of game 3, where I thought Kobe was particularly focused, and the Boston D was a little tentative.

Unless you plan on bringing certain players out of retirement, there's no way you can improve on this position. Kobe had an MVP season (as he has many times in the past, I might add), and had the team played better as a whole, I think Kobe's performance would also have been better during the series. I think that the team's inability to perform on a number of levels gave Kobe less room to operate and do his thing. Look for this to change next year also. Bynum's return is really going to be the crux here too. This is a guy you simply can't leave alone in the paint - and will draw plenty of double-teams, freeing up Kobe for open looks... which leads us to...

POINT GUARD -

D-Fish had an amazing playoffs. From Denver to Utah to San Antonio, the guy played some amazing basketball... until Boston showed up. He then disappeared almost entirely on offense, played patchy defense, and failed to hold his own against a PG who is extremely limited in a number of areas (sorry, Rondo, you won't ever be an elite PG until you can shoot a jumper with more accuracy than Jason Kidd). A disappointing series from Fisher, but at the same time, I think we must credit many of his struggles to the Boston defense. They simply outplayed the Lakers at every position.

Yes.

Every position. Sorry, Kobe.

So... while yes, this was a rough defeat, as BK has said repeatedly, there's a lot to look forward to. Really, in the finals series, nothing clicked the way you'd hope for. Next year will be an entirely different proposition.

Oh, and Lakers? Do me a favour.
Learn some pick and roll D.

Thanks.

- Ben

BK - WHAT GAME / FINALs HAVE YOU BEEN WATCHING. . . WHAT PLANET DO YOU WRITE FROM. . . THIS TEAM NEEDs TO MOVE PLAYERS AND ODOM IS NUMERO UNO. . . DONT YOU GET IT? 4 FRIGGIN YEARS. LETS ALL STOP w/ THE EXCUSES, HAVE SOME STONES AND HELP DR BUSS w/ THIS EASY CALL. . . NA NA NA NA - NA NA NA NA - HEY HEY HEY ODOM BYE!!

It amazes me how so many are willing to apologize and apologize for Odom.
He needs to go.
The Odom experiment is over; as was the Kwame Brown experiment.

PRAY ARTEST OPTS OUT AND COMES TO THE LAKERS....................PROBLEM SOLVED.

Posted by: Ben | June 18, 2008 at 03:51 PM

Nice point Ben!

DEFENSE! DEFENSE! DEFENSE!

Kobe said it during game 6's post game. We need a legitiment three man to put pressure on someone like Paul Pierce. Granted that Lamar Odom is a versatile player, we need to get ugly on defense. Sort of like how Boston got ugly on us.

As far as the season goes in a whole, I was very impressed with how the Lakers did this year. I under-estimated Boston's capabilities on the Defensive side, but I blame more the bench of the L.A. Lakers.

Boston's plan was to contain Kobe as a whole. If you noticed how the team tightened up the middle whenever Kobe looked to drive the ball. This is where our bench failed because they couldn't hit the shots. Also, our defense was horrible to say it nicely.

But the Lakers are young and I see this team winning some championships as early as next year and putting a string of them together. This experience was actually a positive experience for the younger players on the Lakers.

Who would I like to see go!

Chris Mihm, DJ Mbenga, and Newble.

Who the Lakers could use for trade bait!

Lamar Odom and Luke Walton

Who the Lakers need to keep now and in the future!

Kobe, Gasol, Bynum, Fisher, Farmar, Vujacic, Turiaf, Ariza.

Who I like to see the Lakers get in the off-season!

Ron Artest (Defense and Perimeter shooting)
Benoit Benjamin (Just Kidding)
Shawn Marion (Would Miami take Odom back???)
Lottery Draft Pick (Trade Lamar/Walton of course)

Go Lakers 2009

Here's what I saw....

Ala Sponge Bob Square Pants Style, we got booted from the Toughest Bar in Bikini Bottom and told to go to the "Super Weenie Hut Jr." across the street.

oh well.....more time to spend with my kids now....

janaya

Just a thought on the Artest for Lamar trade chatter. Dont you think that the Kings, a team re-building for the future is looking more for drafts picks and prospects?

MH

hobbitmage, sclakerfan-

It's not that Lamar is irreplaceable, but it's harder than you think. Remember, at this point, we're talking about someone who would be a third or fourth option in the offense. No team's 3/4 guy is an every night star (or he'd be a 1/2) He wouldn't be expected to pour in 20 a night, nor would they need him to. Meanwhile, he's the consummate company guy. He'll crash the glass, distribute the ball, try to play D, etc. Is he perfect? No, but getting someone with his skill who will also be content with that role isn't so easy. Shawn Marion, for example, chafed in Phoenix because he thought he was overshadowed. You think he'll like it better here? My point is it's a trickier proposition to replace him than people might think. Instead of focusing on everything you don't like about him, think about the things he brings.

If Odom goes, in a lot of ways I think the Lakers would be better off replacing him with a set of role players, rather than one "star." As for his salary, down the road I agree if he costs 13 mil a season, it's not worth it. But I don't think it will. 7-8 a season for 4 or so years could probably get it done. He likes it hear, he wants to stay. He wants to play in the system.

There could indeed be trouble integrating him with Pau and Bynum, but the flip side is if it does work, if the Lakers can come up with the right combinations and plays (adn if Odom can solidify that jumper) the Lakers would have something almost unheard of in the history of the NBA in terms of three players with the sorts of ball skills with that length on one frontline. Like I wrote earlier (and will continue to write this summer), I'd like to see if it works before assuming it won't.

Lamar shouldn't be immune to criticism, but he shouldn't become the point man for the team's collective failure in the Finals. Who stepped up and played well throughout? Again, consider the things he did well, and the role he played in getting them there in the first place.

The Lakers should look to improve (on paper, at least Ron Artest would be a good fit-- except he's a little crazy, if you didn't get the memo), but not overreact to being the 2nd best team in the NBA this year instead of the 1st. It's a lot easier to screw it up than it is to get over the hump.

BK

I think the most important questions on next season are on Larmar. I have three:

Can Lamar guard strong small farwards like Lebron James, Paul Pierce and Rashard Lewis? Since no Lakers player, even Kobe, could guard Pierce in the finals.

Can Lamar post up on either Pierce or James since he has quite bit height advantage?

Can Larmar improve his out-side shooting to draw his defenders away from the basket?

If yes, Lakers will need very little change. If no, then they really need someone like Ron Artest or Shawn Marion.

How do we maintain our Western Conference supremacy? There are threats next year. The hornets and Utah will still be viable. The Spurs may regroup, although without an influx of talent, they might go through a down year.

But what does scare me is the prospect of teams with big men to challenge our height/skill advantage. Portland is an unknown commodity, but they certainly give us lots of trouble. Houston has proven players, though their perimeter leave much to be desired. Still they have Yao, McGrady, and Scola. If they win the Artest sweepstakes, they are just as much contenders on paper as we are.

Though I am a fan of letting our current roster "bake" for another year, its imperative to make a deal if we can get one that'll benefit our team, especially defensively.

THE FUTURE IS NOT BRIGHT LAKERS FANS

The Celtics will be even better next year. Perkins and Rondo will have another year under their belt. Does anyone recall how Perkins manhandled Bynum this year. Open your eyes, Rajon will dominate our PG's.
Do you think that all of a sudden that Phil Jackson is going to become a defensive minded coach? Do you think PJ will ever dispose of the Triangle Offense? He doesn't know anything else.
Does anyone believe that Luke will morph into Bill?
Does anyone believe that tiny Jordan Farmar will not be dominated by the majority of point guards in this league? Does anyone believe that Fisher who will be 35 next year won't lose another step?
Does anyone believe that Lamar Odum will not disappear?
Does anyone believe that Sasha is Steve Kerr?
Does anyone believe in Vlade?

DOES ANYONE BELIEVE THAT PORTLAND WITH ODEN WILL NOT DOMINATE THE LAKERS? THEY DOMINATED US THIS YEAR WITHOUT HIM.

DOES ANYONE BELIEVE THAT SAN ANTONIO WILL NOT MAKE ANOTHER GREAT MOVE IN THE OFF SEASON AND HAVE A HEALTHY SQUAD NEXT YEAR.

DOES ANYONE BELIEVE THAT NEW ORLEANS WILL NOT BE GREAT NEXT YEAR?

DOES ANYONE BELIEVE THAT UTAH WON'T BE TOUGH AS NAILS?

If you believe, you are delusional.

IF YOU BELIEVE THE LAKERS WILL GET BACK TO THE FINALS NEXT YEAR, YOU ARE DELUSIONAL!!!

##################################

CHANGES NEEDED AND TRADE OPTIONS

1. FIRE PHIL JACKSON.
THEY WON'T OF COURSE BUT HE HAS ONLY 1 MORE YEAR, BECAUSE WHEN THE LAKERS DON'T MAKE IT TO THE FINALS NEXT YEAR, HE WILL BE FINALLY BE EXPOSED FOR THE FRAUD THAT HE IS. REMEMBER, HE DID NOT COME BACK TO HELP KOBE, HE CAME BACK FOR THE MONEY. HE CAME BACK FOR THE MONEY PEOPLE.

2. TRADE LO, VLADE, AND LUKE IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. FOR ANYONE AND ANYTHING.
LO= 14.5 MIL ....VLADE= 6 MIL.... LUKE4.4 MIL

THERE ARE A LOT OF FREE AGENTS OUT THERE A SIGN AND TRADE SHOULD BE THOUROUGHLY PURSUED BY MITCH.

OTHER PLAYERS IN TRADE SCENARIOS

JERMAINE ONEAL 21.3 MIL THIS YEAR ..23 MIL FINAL YEAR
ELTON BRAND 16.4 MIL

THE FUTURE WILL NOT BE BRIGHT WITHOUT GETTING RID OF CLOUDS

I don’t know what to think right now. I’m in pain, but thankfully the shock is numbing most of it. What the “H” happened? (Rhetorical question…) I was surprised that we did so well against Utah & San Antonio (which were ‘Celtic Defensively Strong’ & ‘Celtic Wisely Older’, respectively,) then we got destroyed. Losing is one thing, but those weren’t even losses, they were annihilations.

I agree that it starts at the top and the slop runs down from there. Phil did a terrible job; utterly, pathetically, disgracefully terrible. This is the first time I’ve thought we should let him go.

Then, there are the two softies up front: Lamar & Pau. Lamar is so inconsistent I can’t stand it. The worst part is that the talent is there. It’s not like he has to fight to be good; he is good. It’s that he has to fight to be aggressive to let his skills come through. I wouldn’t care so much if he wasn’t costing us almost $14,000,000. I think Ariza could be almost as effective (and get better over time) and is a bargain. But, who’s going to pay LO that kind of money? Then, Pau starts playing ‘Euro ball’ against our Finals competition and seems to get more comfortable doing it as the series goes on. Obviously, he’ll never bring what Bynum will. Thank heaven we’re getting his 21-year old, already-getting-dominant potential back next year. However, two 7-footers & a 6-10 SF in our front court? Can that actually work? Where’s the space for each man to do his thing? But if history has taught us anything it’s that we need bigs, good ones, to cover for potential (and inevitable) injuries.

Then there’s Fish & Farmar; leadership – yes, production – no. I’m grateful Derek is a great mentor. Farmar, on the other hand, is young and has potential. He’s already decent at running the Triangle and he’s great on the fast break, but will he ever be Paul, Williams, Nash, or even Rondo, caliber? Perhaps with Sasha in the back court (and one other experienced acquisition to accompany him) we’ll get more production from our PGs. (Even if it’s just with our woefully low assist numbers.)

Our SGs are our saving grace. At least Sasha isn’t afraid to do his thing; that’s how he’ll continue to get better.

Inconsistency aside, which hopefully will become less of a problem over time, our mids-to-bigs on our bench are fine. Ronny brings the energy and solid defense. Trevor brings freaky athleticism in a big size; someone that can play the two or the three. Luke can run the offense, make passes, and play decent defense. But, how he went from having the league’s best 3-point percentage at the beginning of the 2006 season (before his injury) to what we’ve seen with his overall shooting percentage this season, I do not know.

We can jettison Mihm, Benga, Karl, Newble, and Radmonovic. Check that, we need to get rid of Radmonovic. He’s given us nothing for his $6,000,000 salary. Let’s get either toughness or consistency with our SFs, then my pain will turn into the promise of championship potential.

magic isn't walking though the door. kareem isn't walking through the door. jerry west isn't walking through the door.parade in city of champions ( BOSTON ) tommorrow

BK - i don't know what to think with lamar. it would be nice to win with more homegrown players than hired guns (like the celtics). i would definitely love to have him get an opportunity to hold that trophy as a laker.
my biggest concern is, despite his rebounding and skill-set, the man can't shoot. i gave him a rule for the season that he was basically allowed 2-3 outside jumpers per game. anything more is a turnover. as great as they're passing skills are (lamar, Pau, Drew), can they really play hot potato in such a crowded area? only pau has decent percentage (at least i think) outside of 15 feet.

I HATE this time of the year for two main reasons:

1. The Lakers aren't playing.

2. Because the Lakers aren't playing Fakers and Haters don't have to be curtailed by statistics and the results from games, thereby resulting in crazy trade scenario after crazy trade scenario.

It gets SO tiring listening to people who to paraphrase BK think that the team needs a sledgehammer not a couple small tweaks.

They don't take into account salary caps.

They don't take into account notions of team unity, team psychology, and complimentary personalities.

All they take into account is the insane notion that if we can pack a team with all-stars and compose our bench of players who start on playoff quality teams that we'll TAKE IT ALL!

Morons.

With few exceptions, there's very little reason to these scenarios.

In addition, the Fakers who show nothing but disgust at our loss in the Finals and this season in general, after all we've gone through over the last four years, show how little they know about basketball and the Lakers. These are the ones who scream "THE SKY IS FALLING!"

True Fans know that the sky is not falling.

Andrew Bynum.

Anybody remember Andrew Bynum?

Well, he's coming back next year.

As are almost all of a team that went 4-2 in the NBA Finals and lost (through boneheadedness and terrible lopsided calls) two games they should have won.

Anyhow, I'm going to do my best to ignore them.

My suggestions for next year?

Bring on Quinton Ross, Sun Yue, and maybe (but probably not Kwame Brown). Let go of Ira Newble and (maybe) DJ Mbenga.

That's it.

GO LAKERS!

AK/BK

1. A stream of consciousness report is weak after you've had one entire day to digest it in this 24/7 world.

2) If the lakers were good enough to get this far, I do not accept that boston is so superior to utah or san antonio that we could lose by 39 points in the last game, and play so inconsistently.

3) This is a young team. Historically, PJ does not do well with young teams.

4) The Zen Hen makes 10-11 million a year. He should have figured something out to at least not lose by such a ridiculous amount. Nothing else is acceptable. If the lakers could lead the celts by 30 points, come back from a 24 point deficit, it's unacceptable to lose like this. He needs to come out and take the blame. Be a man Phil.

5) Walton was ineffiective as was Turiaf.

6) Kobe needs to accept some responsibility for not playing as well as expected. Obviously, the celts were forcing the issue on him. He's got to find a way to figure it out and motivate his teammates to play better. That's what leaders do.

7) This is LA. Championships is all we care about around here. If you get that far, and we certainly appreciate the effort, you cannot go out like that.

8) There's no guarantee we'll be back next year. It will take more than tweaking. You can tweak players, but we are not physical. We get discouraged easily. We do not play hard on defense as well as we should have (hello Phil again).

9) Bye Vlade. Hello James Posey - I hope.

10) We have to wait and see on Bynum. But given his limited playing time and his knee, I'd be open to trades by February if a good one comes up, but I don't think it will.

11) Next year will be tougher. Portland will be better. It was very tough to get in the playoffs this year - it was only a couple games separating the top from the bottom. Everyone who watched this series just got a primer on how to beat the lakers. Whether they have the personnel or not is another question, and whether the lakers come back the same or not is one too.

In case anyone didn't notice, Artest is crazy.

What we need a lunatic to screw up the team unity when next year with Bynum back and a group of stronger collective personalities with the overall confidence they've developed from this season and this playoffs?

NOT!

Quinton Ross is available. He's cheap. He's a GREAT defender. He's a hard worker. He's humble. And he can score if needbe.

GO LAKERS!

REDHOT SPAZ- LAMAR STAYS-- I am not changing any of our core players after getting to the finals (without Bynum) for the 1st time. We are a YOUNG TEAM. The only thing I'll concede is come contract time, he does need to make less dough. I don't think he's going to have a problem with that.

Mitch Kupchak

BK - My Final Q / Comment. . . Are you a NASCAR FAN? Maybe you should be. . . What happened last night and over the course of the finals was obvious to the seasoned Laker Fan. Your Laker POV must be targeted at another Laker team on another planet. From my end this engagment is DONE. . . Wasnt it you that said "Mark McQuire is telling the truth?

FIRE LAMAR!!

Fisher ( Calming Presence, Role player)
Kobe (Enigma)
Artest (Too Crazy)
Gasol ( Too Soft)
Bynum (Cant call it yet)

Odom (Confused) Coming off the Bench

Championship

REPOST from Live Game Thread.

Ex,

Fineally something I can wrap my hands around.
I respectfully disagree that Doc had better players. I think the Lakers had the better team.

JustaLakerFan,
It's very simple - PJ did not have the options to work with that Rivers had. A wildly inconsistent Lamar Odom, a Kobe whose shot wasn't falling, point guards not quick enough, Vujacic three point shots not falling, Gasol playing decent defense and rebounding, but being over-powered while on offense, Turiaf not getting any rebounds, Radmonovich playing horrible defense, Luke Walton playing poorly. Ariza and Mihm not ready for playing yet, as they showed when given the chance. Overall a significantly less amount of experience.

[ OK yes LO was inconsistant but who had him out there? Pull him out and TALK to him and let him you what you expect out of him. In other words coach him.

Same as Kobe tell him to drive to rim and shoot lay up or dish or expose illegal D more. No more fade away jump shots if they are not falling.

As for quick point guards I saw positive things especially from Farmar when he dribble penetrated attacking the rim. Even Fish did good when he did the same. PJ should have told them to continue to do the same.

Radman did decent job against PP and way much better than Luke. As soon as Rad went out and Luke in PP had green light and lit him up for 8 straight points. The only thing about the last game is Rad did decent defense but his shots were not falling.

Vujacic shots not falling in last game but if so why leave him in? That is coaches decision. As for Turiaff playing out of position as well as Pau (both are PFs) then why not go for size with Odom at sf to guard PP Turiall to hassle KG and Pau/Mbenga vs Baby, Perkins and Brown. PJ has the players just does not use them. Also Cassel was eating JF and DF but was shut down by Ariza. Ariza could have then posted Cassel up. Mihm should never have been on the court as PJ refused to give him PT to shake off rust before playoffs. Mbenga would have been the go to guy as big off bench.
Luke never should have been on court as he is too slow and can't shoot a lick. He is bad matchup for playing against Celtics. And Ariza was ready when used properly as he held Cassel to zero points when matched agaist him and made steals. But again PJ did not give him many minutes to play to shake off rust.]

The Celtics had three scorers in the starting lineup; the Lakers had one, and two "sort ofs". The Celtics had three scorers on the bench (counting Cassell), the Lakers had one "sort of". The Celtics had good rebounders on the bench, the Lakers didn't.

[ Sorry but the Lakers had size and rebounding strength and that was left unused. Defense wins games. Lakers had a team but you need to use the cards you have and not mis use them and then throw the players under the bus after the game.]

The Celtics roster was better; JAckson did a very good job getting the Lakers two wins, and coming very close in three other games.

[ again I respectfully disagree as Lakers had the better overall team but they were not used. Doc kept telling his players we are team of 12 but PJ used only 7-8 and in the wrong places. Jackson did nothing especially coaching as the players stepped up for those 2 games in spite of PJ not doing a thing coaching wise all series.]

Posted by: exhelodrvr | June 18, 2008 at 08:11 AM

JLF

Posted by: JustaLakerFan | June 18, 2008 at 04:58 PM

FOR THOSE BLOGGERS WHO ARE ASHAMED OF US LALER FANS FOR NOT CONGRATULATING THE LAKERS FOR A TERRIFIC SEASON. SHAME ON YOU

SHAME ON YOU FOR CONGRATULATING A TEAM THAT
1. SHOWED NOT HEART
2. SHOWED NO COMPETITIVE SPIRIT
3 BECAME A TRIVIA QUIZ ANSWER FOR BIGGEST CHOKERS
4. SHOWED NO BASKETBALL SKILLS
5. SHOWED NO COACHING STRATEGY
6. LAID DOWN AND DIED
7. EMBARRASSED LAKER TRADITION
8. SHOWED NO CREATIVITY
9. PLAYED LIKE SISSIES
10 LOST TO THE CELTICS BIG 3 PERENNIAL LOSERS

CONGRATULATIONS

agree 90% on you BK

i think what we need is a good defensive coach... someone to focus on the only weakness that was exposed this series.

one player out... defensive banger in.

if theres a few people inthe roster which can be dropped, it can be Mihm, radmanovich or walton (newble maybe).

Benjamin,
You didn't discuss the bench at all.

utzWorld,

Did you not know??? "Death hath no sting"

Jon K,
I responded to MT and I'm guessing others did also because I found his posts so funny. There were times I'd literally be rolling on the floor laughing hysterically.

Now that it's off season, I'd like to encourage some of those funny posts. Better yet.... Stranger in the Night will probably return and we'll have an all out laugh riot.

Dooo Beee Dooo Beee Dooo

Come on, give us some love guys!

I just read the Lonnie White article. I like the guy's style - he just kind of lays it out there, straight forward. It was refreshing after the piling-on from Simers, Plaschke and Heisler - those guys should get over themselves.

The Celtics wanted it more. Plain and simple.

Trevor Ariza should have played more minutes. That block he had on Ray Allen was amazing.

You will never hear me say a bad thing about Phil Jackson, as I have too much respect for him; but benching Ariza after that block... well... I just don't get it.

Purple,
Not sure what game you were watching, but it wasn't the Lakers v Celtics. "Ariza just sat on the bench" - Uh, no he didn't. He was in the last half of the third quarter, while the Lakers were a -11. Not gonna bother reading the rest of it.

I have a feeling that Phil Jackson will be on the hot seat this summer! The way the Lakers lost this series was embarassing not to mention to the Celtics of all teams.

PJ again went into this matchup with a one dimensional mindset, I thought we scouted this team? But to be honest we looked like a fish out of water, scared and unprepared! Others may want to give this guy a pass but I choose to deal with reality!

Someone once said you can't teach an old dog new tricks! Phil Jackson may not be a dog, but his unwillingness to change is pathetic! PJ is in the comfort zone of his life and should be put out in the pasture to graze on the past. Because that's all he sees!

So long Chief 9 Rings!

This particular team will be alright next year. Especially with Andrew back. I do believe he would have altered the series considerably. There's no denying the fact that he's 280lbs and over 7ft tall. The only players that should go should be: Vlad and Walton. You gotta remember people, Trevor Ariza returned from a season long injury, Mihm had an ankle operation and AB was out. I would like to see Lamar as a bench player, rather than a starter. Could you imagine him as a sixth man? Also, why is nobody mentioning the fact that we need a good defensive assistant coach? That could make a world of difference you know. Ron Artest wouldn't hurt either.

FROM PALM BEACH, FL

A BIG THANK YOU TO THE KAMBROTHERS CUZ YOUR BLOG MAKES ME SO POPULAR INTERNATIONALLY. WHEN YOU SEARCH MY NAME, SHEKOBE ON THE WEB, MY COMMENTS FROM THE BLOG APPEARED IMMEDIATELY. I AM GRATEFUL FOR THAT AND FLATTERED.

SPECIAL THANKS TO MAMBA 24, JON K, LAKERTOM WHO ALWAYS HAVE POSITIVE VIBE ON THEIR WRITINGS FOR OUR TEAM.

WE HAVE A CLASSY BLOG WITH CLASSY AND INTELLIGENT PEOPLE. I THINK THAT BLOG IS THE MOST POPULAR IN SPORT.

VIVA THE KAMBROTHERS AND THE LAKERS FOR LIFE.

NEXT YEAR, DEFINITELY WILL BE BETTER


LOVE TO ALL


SHEKOBE FOREVER


BK, I agree with most of what you said, but I think that he only reason the Lakers should keep Odom is to lure Artest from the Kings since they're friends. I do like Odom's rebounding and if they could keep him, they should but he's such a valuable trade commodity this year that it would be a mistake to keep him. He's made so many bone headed plays with the Lakers throughout the years and it was extremely frustrating to hear that he partied after game 5, if that is true. Otherwise, I agree with pretty much what you said. Also, I think the Celtics really mortgaged their future by signing three players making $20 mil. Although they'll still be awesome next year, even without resigning Posey and Tony Allen, their salary is $78 million and three years from now, their team will be Perkins, Baby Face, Rondo, Allen, and Posey. Another 20 years of failure.


Posted by: sclakerfan | June 18, 2008 at 04:38 PM

I think also that LO if he works on jumper in off season and Artest comes as FA then LO can come off bench at SF or spell Pau at PF. We would be very deep. When LO comes in at PF then Ariza can spell RA.

I agree with the no trade LO thing completely. Not only is he a very good player but also a very good teammate. At least it seems that way from the outside. I think someone players like is a big plus.

Is it possible that as a team the Lakers are too nice? I do not think so. First Kobe has an awesome will to win. Second I never confuse nice with weak. I really loved the fact that the Lakers seem to have a bunch of nice decent guys playing for them now. I suppose fans of other teams might go what...but they seem like a good bunch.

And the Wizard of Westwood was a very nice and decent guy and he did a fair amount of winning. Can be nice and still have a desire to win. BTW Garnett also seems like a geniuely nice guy who recognizes the people in his life who have helped him so I am happy for him that he won. I think LO is important for team chemistry and he could be great as a super 6th or maybe that imposing front line.

It is exactly correct the team needs tweaks nothing more. Or I would venture even so far as this. Another year of playing together, Bynum back, players getting better, and the team learning from this year I would gladly take the Lakers against any other team for next year in a bet and a heartbeat. However a Bowenesque addition would go a long way as well.

So major changes are NOT needed. As for Kwame coming back. Seems like a nice enough guy but he REALLY can not play basketball. I thought the Pau trade was great not only for getting Gasol but also subtracting Kwame.

Good post Benjamin from Australia. You are one true Laker fan. Like i said before, i am willing to part with Vlad and Luke for a player that plays tough D and makes jump shots. Otherwise, let this team play one whole season without injuries and i gaurantee a Championship!

Big Al,

I like all of your suggestions and I'll add a few:

12. Bynum & Gasol: sky hook. Talk to Cap. Learn it. Live it.

13. Sasha: Work on two things: finishing when you drive
to the hoop (get Farmar to help you) and faking a defender
in the air to draw a three point foul. Sasha could have
had half a dozen of these against the Celtics, but he
always dribbled around the defender and shot.

14. Kobe: Work with your players, especially your young
players. Start building the timing so that it's instinctual,
so that there are no passes thrown wizzing past someone's
head.

15. Ronny: Work on your 12-15 foot jump shot. With Bynum
back and Gasol playing some minutes at the C, you'll be
playing more PF, and that mid-range jumper will come in
handy.

16. Mitch: You've got a decent core of players with only a
few weak spots. Re-sign Ronny & Sasha, but you can
probably do better than Newble and MBenga. Having just
made the finals, there will be some veterans who would
love to join a near-championship team (like Posey and
PJ Brown for the Celtics this year). Find them. Sign them.

Edwin ,

Some one posted the site again about RA as FA. Here is the article.


RUMOR HAS IT…
Today's section is geared exclusively towards the latest rumors floating around the NBA …

Opting Out? Multiple sources tell HOOPSWORLD that Ron Artest is seriously considering opting out of the final year of his contract. Artest can stick with the Sacramento Kings for one final year at $7.4 million or choose to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Should Artest choose to opt out, he would likely look for a full Mid Level Exception (MLE) deal with a championship contender such as the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs or even the New Orleans Hornets.

The current MLE starts at $5.356 million. While it may climb slightly, Artest is said to be open to the idea of a five-year, $31 million contract. One source says Artest believes he's worth far more than that, but is coming to grips with the NBA's tightening economic climate.

Very few teams have cap room this summer. Unless the Kings are willing to give Artest a long-term extension, he'd be in a similar situation next year. There may be a few more teams with space, but there's a high probability they're unwilling to spend it on a player with such a "difficult" reputation.

Artest has somewhat avoided trouble in Sacramento but he did have numerous run-ins with Coach Reggie Theus this past season.

If Artest embraces the notion that he may never get a deal larger than the MLE, he may forgo the additional ~$2.1 million to stay with the Kings and lock in as much long term money as he can this summer.

The Spurs are said to have tremendous interest. The talent alongside the big three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili is waning. Artest would give San Antonio a worthy successor to the 37-year old Bruce Bowen.

It's a little trickier with the Lakers considering the contracts they have committed to Vladimir Radmanovic and Luke Walton. Since neither has made a particularly high impact this season, LA may be open to the idea despite the financial repercussions.

Coach Phil Jackson has always been interested in Artest. Imagine the team currently playing in the NBA Finals with the addition of Artest along with the return of Andrew Bynum. Artest also has a strong relationship with both Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom.

>>>We can jettison Mihm, Benga, Karl, Newble, and
>>>Radmonovic.

It ain't quite that simple. Mihm, Benga, Newble and Karl are
all fairly cheap to let go. If you cut Rad, his salary still counts
against the books for 3 more years. And it's not like there's
some better player who's a free agent who will play for free.
If he could be traded for someone better, they should do it.
If not, they should put him as far down the depth charts as
possible. He's there as an insurance policy in case a
player or two gets injured. Or he's a designated shooter
off the bench.

And what's more, since they're going to have to pay Mihm
for next season whether they play him or not, I'd also keep
him around unless they can trade him for someone. If you
cut him, you can't just spend that 1.5 million on somebody
else, and Mihm's already familiar with the triangle.

With a summer to get back in shape, Mihm could
conceivably look promising enough early next season
that the Lakers could trade him for someone decent (lots
of teams would pay 1.5 million for a year of Mihm if he
was playing at the level he played before his injury.
Maybe they could get back a young player with some
promise who hasn't blossomed yet. Memphis needs more
size... how about Critter? How would that be for irony?

So basically, if Elton Brand, Shawn Marion, and Baron
Davis all opt out of their contracts and agree to play for
the Lakers for 1 million each, yeah, cut all those guys.
But if you don't already have a better guy signed up,
then you might as well hang onto Rad, Mihm, and even
Karl
until something better comes along. I'd give Newble and
Congolian Beef their walking papers now, though.

Lakerz4Realz,

>>>HMM NO THANKS..AGAIN HE IS A CELT AS FAR AS I
>>>AM CONCERNED..WE DONT NEED THEIR STINKING
>>>GARBAGE ON OUR TEAM.

Let's see... hard nosed SF who can hit 3's and roughs up
players on the other team. And he's a Celtic right now, so
you don't want him...

Ever heard of Rick Fox?

I don't understand!

Whats with all these propositions here? The celtics were just a better team period.
I don't think we should be satisfied with what this Laker have accomplished this single season. Howerer, its necessary to understand that the Lakers were not at full potential (not an excuse when you beat the champions).

We as human being are so hard to please! and the most disgusting thing is that some people continually keep changing their mind about certain players that this team has. One minute they're saying the Laker should keep Gasol and Odom, the next minute they're saying the Laker should trade them.

This was just one season together that it! Stop judging the team base on their single performance in the finals! They got too far for what everyone were saying at the biginning of the season.

I've seen some people saying that we should get this X and Y player to help this team! This is not about an All Star Team (Kobe, Artest, Melo, etc etc) this is about players who know their role and are willing to help the team the hard way in those positions they occupy on the court.

Its ok for Kobe to burn his defender in our point of view but its never ok for those other all stars such as Ginobilli and Pierce etc to burn our defenders??? We are embarassing ourselves with all these comments here.

Its ok to be mad! its ok to be upset! Its ok to be sad! whatever we are right now! But the reality is, the lakers need to focus on improving the areas where they are weak and that don't necessarily mean we have to trade role players for all stars!

Role players helped the Celtics win it all! They had only three all stars on their starting lineup and a couple of old players on the bench who were hungrier than a couple of our young role players on the bench.

Yes! Vladimir was the weakest link in this finals in terms of scoring and defending his position but so was the rest of the team! So, do a good job acquiring player to substitute Gasol, Odom, Kobe, Fisher and Bynum... I am personally ok with Sasha, Farmar, Ariza and uhmmm Turiaf! ... Vladmir, Walton, Mihm, Mbenga sorry they definitely have to work hard and understand that this is not about just scoring and help foul the oposition! Its about doing a Posey and Powe type of job.

Oh someone said that the lakers should acquire Posey? Did you hear what he just said about Garnett?? hmm interesting...
I don't remember the right words but it was an indirect shot to Kobe Bryant when he said that "Garnett is not the type of all star players like many who cry about leaving a team thats is struggling"

Now... whatever! I am definitely happy for KG and sad because it was in the expense of my beloved Lakers

IS KOBE BRYANT MINUS SHAQ
ALLEN IVERSON

I DON'T WANT TO BELIEVE IT
NO, AI COULD NEVER WILL HIS TEAM TO THE FINALS

IS PHIL JACKSON MINUS A STUD TEAM FLIP SAUNDERS?
YES

Jon K,

>>>Bring on Quinton Ross, Sun Yue, and maybe (but
>>>probably not Kwame Brown). Let go of Ira Newble and
>>>(maybe) DJ Mbenga.

All good ideas.

How `bout this one... The hoopsworld article says that Houston
is pushing to get Ron Artest, and insinuating that Artest may
opt out and take less money to play for a contender. If
Houston gets Artest, what would you think of LA making
a play for Shane Battier. Good defensive SF who's a
decent, but not great 3-point shooter.

And in fact, Houston is lacking in 3-point shooters. Only
Steve Novak shot over 40% on 3's for them last season,
and he only plays 7 minutes a game. So what if the Lakers
offered them Rad for Battier? Houston gets a better shooter
to back up Artest, Lakers get a lock-down wing defender.

Jon K.,

I agree completely.

To everyone calling for major changes. Look at what Dallas and Phoenix did this year. They were pretty legit contenders and they blew heir teams up only to find themselves eliminated in the first round.

Everyone wants to find someone to blame, but the truth is that we got beat by a team that wanted it more and played with more passion and heart than we did. I don't think our young team can quite grasp what it means to be in the finals, and as a result they didn't play with the heart and passion that they needed to in order to win the series. Having gone through I think they have a better understanding of what it takes to win a championship, and I think that every guy on our team is willing to do what it takes.

Experience really is underrated. You never really see these young teams win, and it's because somewhere along the way they get beat by a team that has more experience and understands what they need to do to get the job done.

We got the experience, now let's get the championship.

GO LAKERS!!!

Well, that last game was terribly painful. Still, it was a good year, much better than I would have thought at the beginning. I think there are some questions we need to answer before preparing for any parades next year though.

I'm not sure how the frontline is gonna work with Bynum next year. Specifically, I've wondered since the trade whether Gasol could handle being a third option, and what we do with Lamar with a frontline so big and without a lot of range.

We're really going to need Farmer to step up at point next year. I thought Fish was breaking down during the playoffs, and that's only going to get worse, not better.

I've never been sold on Vlad, and we need to get more from our bench, or get different people for it. It's the inconsistency that bothers me. They're all capable of really helping, or really sucking, and there's no way of knowing what you're going to get.

We got out-coached in the Finals. By Doc Rivers. I think that might be more shocking than losing.

We have to get better than we are right now. There are at least three young teams in the West I can think of that are only going to get better, and I like their young guys better than ours.

Still, it was a really good year. I hope we can build on it.

Oh, gotta say it. Kwame Brown? MIke T, you are completely out of your mind, but then, that was always true.

I'm definitely not saying give LO away for nothing. There are good reasons to keep him since he'd match up well against other PF like David West and Boozer. If he can make 35% of his 3 pointers, and most players usually improve on that over time, I'd definitely keep him. And I agree that he'd be a decent back up power forward even if he doesn't improve on his outside shooting, but any offers such as Baron Davis, and even Marion if they don't get Artest, or Brandt in a sign and trade, or something of that nature would be worth it. I'd definitely would not do it for just a couple of veteran role players. That would be a huge mistake.

As for Gasol, trading him would be a huge mistake. I think if you think about teams like Portland coming up, they'll have Aldredge and Oden, and the Lakers will need both Gasol and Bynum to match up to these guys.

ron artest..........

HELL NO.........

I rather have JOSH SMITH are MIKE MILLER.........at SF both are young players to go with are young team......an let them develope together.

FISHER
KOBE
JOSH SMITH........MILLER
PAU
DREW.

would compete with any team.

Bench

farmar
sasha
ariza
vlad
ronny........the real bench mob.........no luke.

I never understood why the Lakers didn't play LO at the one. That really would have help open the lane more for Kobe against boston. Oh well hindsight is 20 20.

I'm torn when it comes to LO, I really want to see him succeed in a laker uni but he was a little hard to watch in the finals. I agree with BK that Lo was agressive about gooing to the lane ot just that he was going for to many layups and not enough dunks ala Pau. But t be fair the celtics made the whole laker squad look bad including kobe, I haven't seem him look that bad since the detroit series...ugh!!!

I think the lakers should see how LO works out with bynum, pau and kobe before they make any drastic moves. i understand they got their asses handed to them in the finals but remeber the last time the lakers made a drastic change after a finals loss we got 3 yrs of mediocrity, kwame brown and a pissed off kobe that wanted to be traded. The lakers and we fans need to just sit back take a breath, enjoy the olympics, aquire artest or marion (i prefer artest), try to get a backup big with balls ( I like obryant if he can keep his head on straight but he might not have the body type we may need), and I think its now apparent that trading Vlad (especially if sasha is resigned) and possibly Luke need to made top priorities. I totally agree that this team needs to be tweeked not blown up.

The lakers had the same issue when the first played boston in 82 -lakers were the favorites - lost -tweeked the team- beat boston the following year and became a dynasty. History can and will repeat itself

what about LO and luke walton for baron davis if he doesnt opt out and then we sign ron artest for the mid level exception

I wouldn't trash LO just yet. We have yet to see him play with Bynum, Gasol and Kobe together. We have yet to see what PJ can do with the same combination.

Turiaf has so much heart and talent and is so young. He could start for many teams.

We need toughness and consistency in the rest of the line-up. This means Walton and Rad-man must go!! No team can afford such inconsistency and weakness. Package them (even with a draft pick) to bring in a pounding veteran forward with strong stat history. Look what the Celtics did to get KG and Ray Allen.

Look what the Lakers did to get Pau!! Good Grief!! Do that one again Mitch.

Keep the kids. Jordan and Sasha will continue to develop and are stronger for having been through this NBA FInals experience (disaster). The Lakers are one of the youngest teams in the NBA. Be Smart!!

AK/BK -

Thanks for keeping the blog in fantastic shape for the past season. I really appreciated it (being out here in the alcohol-filled bubble that is Lubbock, Texas).

Family - Good Evening Everyone! I hope your day is ending well, preferably with friends or family (or both).

Jon K. - Quentin Ross? That's rather intriguing. I'm curious if he shoots well enough from 3-point range to play small forward for the Lake Show. Also, he seems to be a bit too skinny without being tall enough to counteract that (see Tayshawn Prince). All of those other superlatives you mention are spot on.

Family - There is NO way I'm trading L.O. That man (as a SF playing out of position) had to guard the other team's C (who outweighed him by a considerable amount). What I suggest is that we have a year in which we have health for the entire season; then we can gel as a unit, and really go from there.

There's a bunch of stuff that needs to be sorted; I'm not advocating that we shift anyone around except for possibly the last two spots. Jordan will work hard this summer (especially on that 3-pt jumper), and we'll get this thing back down pat.

Thank god people on this blog aren't the Laker GM. If that were the case we wouldn't have Bynum or Odom and instead an old Jkidd or an overrated Jermaine Oneal. Keep all the big pieces in tact i.e. DON'T TRADE LAMAR ODOM.

Lamar = Laker for Life

GO LAKERS

No need for JO on this team. He always injured, Artest is crazy but he's the type of baller the the Lakers need to take them over the edge. Overall he hasn't been much of a trouble maker in Sac. And in LA artest would be perfect replacement for vlad. The hard part is trying to find a team willing to take his God awful contract. It's times like this you wish Isiah was still in charge in NY

I guess the off season has begun when the Kwam is the subject of the blog.

Resume- 6'11 center, great calves, comes with A fan, will do anything to win except : shoot, dribble, rebound, catch, block, play team defense. Led league in assists in scoring for the other team. Great trade bait, twice traded for allstars. Starting center on teams with Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

I have a suggestion to Lakers in case they feel it was a mistake to give the current contract to Luke Walton.

Since Lakers will be way over the cap space next few years, Luke's contract could cost Lakers about $10 million years with Luxury Tax included. Why not simply waive him with full pay under a clause that if he plays for another Pro team, the pay from Lakers will be offset by the income from another team. Since Luke is likely to get a veteran minimum contract from other team worth $1.2 million a year, Lakers will be saving over $6 million dollars a year from their mistake.

I remember PJ saying before the finals that the Celtics playing 2 7-game rounds may have played to their advantage because a team learns from that. I think that is exactly what happened. Boston got tougher as the playoffs went along and was a much different team by the time they faced Detroit.

We, on the other hand, had a much easier road to the Finals. We never really had our backs against the wall throughout the Western playoffs. What if we won the San Antonio series in 7 games instead of 5? Would it have given our guys the mental toughness that they seemingly lacked during the Finals? Maybe not. Or maybe.

I still love this team. I love this group of guys, but I do agree that the SF position needs an upgrade if possible. I will support whatever happens to the makeup of this team this summer. I am so looking forward to the next season.

I believe our journey to the championship has started. Thank you, Lakers for a good year. We got to the Finals this year. We lost to a good team, but man, what a great ride that was to get there.

I will always be a Laker fan.

Go Lakers!

Benjamin..Great to have another Aussie Laker fan around.
Good post as well...The Lakers need to address the future of a few players...Luke Walton..Despite what some bloggers say about look and how well he complements the triangle,he has become a liability ..Vlad..I think Phill may have hurt his head a little with the way he was used in the rotation eg,starting alot of games and not finishing them.Some players lack self confidence and Vlad is one of them..Ronny..The most worrying thing about Ronny is the lack of rebounds someone of his size didnt have...Very few..The big problem that the front office faces is the amount of money owed to Luke and Vlad...

Lamar and Pau together for an entire season will be awesome! For all but the Finals, they've showed great chemistry. And with Drew back, that is simply an amazing frontline.

Don't overreact after one bad series.

The future is bright. The Celtics are old, and the Lakers are young.

does anyone if the lakers are going to do exit interviews ?

and if so when?

losing the finals feels like losing your girlfriend to another guy.

Laker fans. Please stop whining. I promise when your young
pretty team beats our old, ugly team next year that I won't
whine. I'll shrug my shoulders and say the best team won.
Then I'll go on with my life - because I have one!

Hello Family,

San Diego in the blog! Trade rumors should rest till July. Let's love this team that over achieved.

I just want to say how awesome this blog is.

Charles, thank you for exterminating that troll. I mean damn! That dude is out for the count. I respect you amongst a majority of the bloggers.

AK-BK for Co-Presidents.

Jon K I like Ross but he might be too small for the starting SF's like Pierce, Anthony, Artest, James. Maybe as a back up 3?

 
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