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Benched bench

Garden_bench On the surface, arriving back in L.A. after a 2-1 east coast roadie would appear celebration for, if not a four alarm celebration, little reason to grow worry lines.  But God is in the details and the ones surrounding some Laker wins deserved anything but worshipful treatment.  There was a propensity for blowing large leads, a bad habit Derek Fisher is reminding teammates can't continue during a championship season.  And seeing the Laker bench- considered by some to be the league's best- continually at the center of these collapses also garnered a bit of concern

Perhaps Trevor Ariza's mind was wandering with thoughts of a new business venture, but then again, Westchester's finest played fairly good games as a whole.  Instead, it was Lamar Odom- who played poorly enough to prompt Phil Jackson to give Luke Walton some rare PT- standing out as a super sub more in rep than intensity.  The move sat about as well with LO as his play did with PJ, leading some teammates to try and talk down the lefty Swiss army knife.  Perhaps a day or so to decompress will do the entire mob some good.  Then again, second units tend to struggle on the road.  Which makes tonight's game against the Milwaukee Bucks (6:30 pm PT) a welcome opportunity for redemption.

OTHER NOTES

 
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Game day, and a chance for redemption. I've said it before (and I know that Jon K. does NOT agree), but I think that the Sunday whites have a special sort of power. I'm hoping that power rears up as a defensive force tonight. Let's see quick rotations, lots of talk, and penetrating guards landing on their asses.

At 16-2, I'm not one to complain. And I think the Lakers are only scratching the surface of their collective abilities, which makes me pretty happy.

Go Lake Show!

I think the only real good guy from the bench is Trevor (when his energy is up) and Lamar (when he is involved and not lethargic).

Jordan Farmar at the time being wants to play too much Bruins only ball in the 4th quarter and only hog it for himself or to the only other Bruin (Trevor) and make the crowd go "ooh and ahh" and again bring bad image to the Lakers who had dominated the games (by letting leads go down). He has the ability to get Sasha out of his slump but does he care about him? At the time no and he's in fact ignoring Bynum as well. Sure nice PG to have.....

Sasha Vujacic. Geez why the hell was he trying to handle the ball instead of trying to be a shooter? Was it to get it out of Jordan's hands or simply trying to show off that he could really play the point? Either way one of the reasons he was benched along with his poor shooting and poor defensive play. I mean come one, 3 SHOOTING GUARDS already toasted him and he allowed them to get baseline cuts and score. Maybe the LA times article will say something:

"First of all, I don't think it's on purpose when we're not playing good basketball on the road," Vujacic said. "From a personal point of view, it's hard for me. I've got to adjust to the minutes I get. It's completely different from last year and I'm struggling."

Well Sasha, part of it is Jordan's fault for not trying to get you involved so teams don't clog the paint and get turnovers when he attempts to pass the ball to Trevor for a dive but also is your fault. But it also is your fault as well. You were the 6th man last year since our SF did not have any kind of defense and KB shifted there. Now you are just a SG with a Jordan who wants to play Bruin ball and no one else to set you up. Your defense off the ball is pretty pathetic (which hinders the team and allows easy baskets) and you haven't adjusted already?? Jeez Drew adjusted with being a 3rd option, Pau adjusted to PF, Trevor adjusted to the Lakers play, heck even Lamar adjusted to a certain degree but not 100% and Sasha can't adjust?? Man maybe we should have let him stay if he doesn't want to be aggressive (off the ball not dribbling it).


"I think their own impulses of youth get away from them sometimes and they want to score too much. They have to monitor that and understand the team play."

Phil Jackson hit it right on the money. With the exception of Bynum the starting 5 is a championship caliber squad who can play defense and score well. Bynum knows this too and is playing great defense and scoring/rebonding well as well. Probably the only young one to understand be like that.

The bench: me me me! Only Trevor surrounded by KB and the rest of the starting 5 understands his role and plays good defense when he is out there with them. When surrounded by the Jordan Farmar led squad: Me me me! again comes out and while it is good when the 1st unit is playing bad it is worst if they just want to show off in the 4th quarter when the deficit is double digits and ruin the image of the starting unit who DOMINATES games.

Thanks so much bench mob for ruining this road trip!

-blitz

This is a great team!

We are built to go at least three rounds into the playoffs.

We are better than 28 other teams in the NBA! That's pretty good!

But we don't have enough Muscle to get us past Boston!!!!! I'm telling you!!!!!!!!!! They are physical! I've watched EVERY game they have played this season.

-After Bynum, WHO DO WE HAVE? MBENGA????????

-So we basically ONLY have Bynum!!!!!!

-We have a roster imbalance with a high paid player not even playing!!!

-We still have time to make a move and groom him for the playoffs.


To the Blog,
Now I know I've been posting some crazy stuff on here over the past couple of days, I'm sure some of you must be getting pretty sick of it by now. I ask that you please stay with me. The success of this team means a lot to me, and I am concerned because I see a glaring weakness on our second unit and I think It needs to be addressed.

WE NEED A REAL CENTER FOR THAT SECOND UNIT AND SIT PAU WHEN WE SIT KOBE AND ANDREW!!!

So for now, MARK BLOUNT is My choice for an upgrade. Now I feel funny for saying that MARK BLOUNT is an upgrade from Pau Gasol, but for pure defensive muscle purposes, Something like that has to be done if we don't want to end this season again in FAILURE!!!!

If you want want me to stop the MARK BLOUNT campaign, just let me know. If I get three or more posts from regular bloggers on here telling me to quit, I will. But it has to be from 3 blog regulars! I've been reading the blog every day since November 05' and have been an active poster on here since, so I will know who you are!!!!!!!

Until then:

MARK BLOUNT
MARK BLOUNT
MARK BLOUNT

GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Taliq,

"ok then but watever happened to reacting to in game situations ... fine hold on to your belief that the players need to figure it out themselves so u wont call a timeout, but what about the numerous times when the solution doesn't lie with them, e.g. if the opposing coach decides to go small, doesn't that dictate a lineup change on our end as well"

GREAT POST!

Korey,

Great post last night at 7:57. The pace of play of the second unit while trying to maintain a lead is the biggest problem they are having. While I don't like them giving up 30+ points in 4th quarters it is not unusual for that pace of play. The truth is that if they were scoring the 30+ points on offense as well they would still have a big lead at the end of the game.

Since they can't seem to score at that pace in 4th quarters then maybe slowing down the pace and running the offense would be a better solution. In other words getting outscored 40-20 is much worse than getting outscored 24-12 in the fourth as one surrenders a 20 point lead and the other would only surrender 12 points.

Personally I think when we get home (tonight) that trend will change as the biggest problem with younger players is playing on the road. Hopefully by May PJ can get them to play with some intelligence on the road as well.

46thst.baller,

I hate to drag you away from the MENSA meeting that you must be attending, but I will try to FURTHER explain my point earlier.

My point has NOTHING to do with which position is tougher to guard (Point Guard, Center, Small Forward, etc). My point was that relative to other teams our point guards are doing the second worst job in the league. Point guard is probably the toughest position to guard, due to the speed of the players, and the frequency of possession of the ball, but that doesn't mean our point guards are doing an adequate job. To put it CLEARLY, our point guards are doing a very poorly at their TOUGH job. If I was comparing how our point guards defend relative to how other teams Centers defend then maybe you would have a point, but I wasn't.

Maybe guarding the opposing center is much easier, but relative to other centers OURS are the third best in the league behind Boston and Cleveland. When you factor in differential (the difference between our centers PER and their opponents) our Centers move up to FIRST.

Now in your next MENSA break please respond to THIS post and not the one that you seem to think I am making.

Thanks,

P.S. I am not sure what being born in1978 has to do with credibility, other than having less life experience than most of the rest of us.

the fact that I am posting the first comment is so telling at how disappointed the fans are. this was not a championship team on the road. this was a team whose reputation supersedes its reality.

Phil says Goodbye
And I say LO

Any mention of him brings up frustration and love and marvel at his physical skill set.

Personally, his choices are concerning. The choice not to shoot, to shoot 3s, to make the highlight pass, to go left left left and more left.

He's never been able to master a Scottie impersonation and for whatever reason, consistency just doesn't seem to be part of his impressive package. He's a team player, a Laker lover, and a sympathetic figure until you review the financial cost of the production.

If Andrew, Pau and LO can't coexist in the end game, sitting Andrew against the big boys creates a lineup that already didn't get it done.

It all gets back to LO's lack of confidence in a shot and subsequent floor spacing. Maybe his versatility never forced him to find a place on the floor where he could dominate ala the Malone 15 footer.

It's been battered around this blog for years, but this year the story will come to a conclusion. We all want him to succeed though he's never had an All Star or even "great" year. This year's 6 man campaign is good, with his plus / minus exceptional at home one night and MIA the next. Has he risen to his level of inefficiency? Is the Big 4 one too many? Is it just about a pay cut? Could a need be filled with a trade? Yes and no, that's LO. Here's to a happy ending.

Milwaukee will pose and interesting challenge. They are getting healthy although it seems like they're not 100% there yet.

Bogut and Gadzuric are serviceable centers and ones that always seem to play solidly against the Lakers. Villanueva has had a handful of games since recovering from his hamstring injury. He's yet another PF who Pau will have to come out onto the perimeter to defend. Redd loves playing against Kobe. LOVES it. He took pride in slowing down Kobe in Milwaukee's win at Staples last year, talking about how he followed Kobe's example on defense playing together for Team USA. I think the added wrinkle Milwaukee has this year is Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. He had drawn the assignment of trying to slow LeBron down and my guess is he'll be guarding Kobe whenever Redd isn't.

Richard Jefferson makes them a lot more athletic at SF. He gets his numbers but, in the few games I've watched, hasn't really been a game-changer for them. Luke Rindour is yet another pesky PG set up perfectly to wreak havoc with his speed and passing ability. Ramon Sessions had a great earlier part of the season when Milwaukee was injury-ridden and needed offensive production. He's been quiet lately with the return of other players but is one of those names you don't want to hear Lawrence Tanter saying over and over again.

As a team, Milwaukee has been a top 10 team defensively but bottom 6 team offensively. A lot of that has been due to their injuries. Even though their records are worlds apart, this is a team that, I believe matches up well against the Lakers. Let's hope the Lakers come out focused and with a solid effort.

Good Morning Charles....Good Morning Everyone...

Here is an updated stat list that includes the last game...

I hate to sound like other posters who keep harping their same message over and over, but missed free throws really rips my craw (as if you haven't noticed)...

and again missed free throws contributed toward what happened in Washington...

hopefully this list will be easier to read with the dashes put in:

Interesting (for some maybe) Crap Department (don't kill the messenger)

Free throw percentages (oh the humanity):

Player--- this season--- this season attempts--- career

Kobe ---.864 ---125--- .839
Pau ---.750--- 92 --.733
Bynum ---.711--- 76 ---.660
Ariza ---.660--- 53 ---.647
Fisher ---.923-- -26--- .812
Lamar ---.606--- 45--- .707
Farmar--- .649--- 37--- .680
Rad--- .833--- 12--- .756
Sasha--- .857--- 14--- .867
Mihm ---.750--- 4 ---.704
Powell--- .833--- 6 ---.744
Walton ---N/A--- 0--- .727
Mbenga ---N/A--- 0--- .568
Sun--- N/A--- 0--- ?

AS A TEAM THIS SEASON: .757 % (down .003 from previous game)

Repost /rehash department but maybe still thought provoking (?):

Free throw shooting percentage is something (I believe) that with practice every player can improve on---GREAT TEAMS SHOOT FREE THROWS PROFICIENTLY....

Interesting to see there is some improvement (so far---early in the season etc.) by some players and drop offs career averages by others....

also interesting to see the amount of free throws being shot by each player (and to think of why etc)--would be nice to see some of the guys shoot more (ie going more to the basket etc.)

would also be nice if our better shooters would get to the line more as well. (see above)...

This Laker team is poised to be one of the great all time Laker teams---better free throwing will help see that idea come to fruition...

PRACTICE , PRACTICE and ....wait for it.....PRACTICE !!!

So anyway sorry for the long post----as always I am looking for some real focus and effort on both ends and ....wait for it ....converted free throws (surprise surpise Sgt. Carter)

Michael Redd is a Laker killer (and yes he would look good in Purple and Gold)...

Hope to see Bynum assert huimself against Bogut (his name sounds like a candy bar)...

Toningt I hope to get some revenge on the Bucks...for past years---most of you know what I am talking about---I have never forgot....

"I do a roadhog""

"try Crelm toothpaste,,,"

AS ALWAYS, AS EVER, YET ANOTHER GREAT DAY (AND SEASON) TO BE A LAKER FAN !!

GO LAKERS !!!


Wow! Now that is a change of heart! God is in the details? How many times have I read you guys say: The Devil is in the details.

You must have had too much to drink last night and are feeling guilty about something. Repent!

mike t.

Actually, to say the Devil in the details is to say this: If we work on the details...we kick the Devil out of his playground.

LOL!

mike t.

Mike T,

"Wow! Now that is a change of heart! God is in the details? How many times have I read you guys say: The Devil is in the details. You must have had too much to drink last night and are feeling guilty about something. Repent!"

Actually both expressions are pretty famous, and the "God" version is the one I personally tend to use more.

http://tinyurl.com/552x29

AK

AK,

I never heard it before. I must have lived a sheltered life.

God is in the details! I'll remember that for sure.

mike t.

Mike T,

No worries. I just wanted to make sure you weren't dissing Mies van der Rohe. haha

AK

Dear Pistons Lovers....Please get a copy of the Pistons,Knicks game and watch a how a team that plays no defense dismantled the Pistons who dismantle everyone else

"P.S. I am not sure what being born in1978 has to do with credibility, other than having less life experience than most of the rest of us."

That's pretty much it, but it just sounds cooler the way I said it.


46sth.baller.

I too ask that you stop with the Mark Blount crap.

He is even worst than Chris Mihm.

Floyd,

It's understandable for Pau and Drew to be in the average area of the free throws department. They are above all big men and most (not all) big men don't have ideal numbers at the free throw line. Heck even Kareem had average numbers (71% at the line career wise).

Our bigs are really dominating in the inside contrary to what most bloggers think:

Gasol: 17.4ppg (56.0 FG%) 9.3 rpg

Bynum: 13.3ppg (56.0 FG%) 8.8 rpg

Rebounds=important part of defense for big men.

Why are we blowing close games? Lack of defense and ball hogging by Jordan Farmar and a lack of everything from Sasha Vujacic.

Thirty2,

Indeed the Pistons again got beaten by a team that plays no defense. The "defensive" Pistons get beaten by New York! Now if we can get better back up
guards than Jordan and Sasha. Derek is solid and no one (save for jimjoyce) doubts Kobe. Now we have to fix the weakness of Jordan Farmar and Sasha on defense.

Don't think Jordan can play "defense". At UCLA, they had to put Collison on PG because Jordan was weak on defense at the college level. It's not going to get better on the NBA level.

-blitz

Che - you were the 6th post. Does that still support your theory? Oh, and it's "supercedes".

My bad, Milwaukee won in Milwaukee last year, not at Staples. Bynum tends to have a good game against them. He was quoted in one of those articles about how teams have been taking their centers away from the post against them. I think he'll get his wish tonight. He, Pau and LO better be hungry for rebounds b/c Milwaukee is a good rebounding team. They are also a jump-shooting team so being ready for those longer rebounds that killed them against Indy will be important.

The teams that the Lakers can trade with freely. I'm talking about teams that are NOT arch enemies and who would even maybe be willing to lend a hand(maybe).

-Bobcats: M.J.'s ties with Phil and the fact that they are in the East.

-Nets: Kiki Vandeweghe played at UCLA and maybe we can get some West Coast love?

Toronto: Phil's comments on Bosh a couple of season's ago didn't fall upon deaf ears. But they are not having the start they expected when they picked up O'Neil. Anythings possible!

Milwaukee: Still trying to recover from the loss of Kareem, but may be ready to deal again.

Miami: As long as Pat's still running the show, that door will always be open!

Chicago: Hell NO! If Kobe isn't a part of the package, their hands are in their pockets.

OKC: Not that we'd want any thing they could offer. Although, Lil Russ will be coveted by the Lakers for his whole career.


Rummage through those teams amongst yourselves...

Xodus,

Good piece man, Props!
But even though we can't call the Lakers "soft" , we definetly can't call them hard!

-San Antonio was a "soft" team towards the end of last year and you know it. Beating them should not earn them more than a pat on the back. That's what we SHOUL have done.

And WHAT the hell has Utah done EVER to even classify them as a "hard" team to beat.

Many questions are still left unanswered.


Blitz,

So far You are the only one. but even your theory is flawed.

Chris is better scorer than Mark, but is NO WAY the better defender!!!!!!

That's what we need: BENCH MUSCLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

MARK BLOUNT!!!!!!!!!!!

Hmmn...there is a perceived mutiny going on with the Lakers with Bynum questioning his PT on Sixer's game and LO not happy of being replaced at the start of 4th Q., young players are on rampage not listening to the Coaching Staff. Not good, a voyage with mutineers on board will lead to shipwreck b/c they're not dedicated crews. Winning should cure all ills and there should always be one captain in the ship. If there are questions about the journey, do it in a calm environment.

Well, PJ replaced LO to send a message but sent in Walton, I think that was the time also when the lead went down to single digit. Luke is supposed to be the patched-up solution not the source of defensive weakness. I think Luke will be effective only if he's mixed with the starters or with 2nd unit during garbage time. I still believe in inserting Bynum and Powell for defensive purposes, the games may be slower but Lakers don't give easy baskets.

I remember when I was young in the Philippines, NBA players visited the country with Dave Bing, Calvin Murphy, Baylor, Hayes, Monroe, Frazier, etc. these guys were retiring and visited Asia, played tune up games against the Philippine Olympic team. During the game, there were oh's and ah's as the young olympians beat their professional elders in the running game, they were nimble, fast, athletic but small, while the NBA retirees were tall, slow and methodical, experienced and super talented. What was the result? 40 pts. differential at the end of the game and no mercy to the host country to the delight of audience. My point is, if the coaching staff sense the 2nd unit is not working, they should capitalize height advantage in beating teams use the Kobe power to attract double teaming, put up a screen on Vlad's lucky rainbow shots (if they're working), go for Bynum's/Gasol's advantage in the post than try to be political in spreading playing time in equal minutes while cringing helplessly in dismay in watching the lead disappear and blame ourselves.

Blitz.....Could not agree more....Well said


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