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Kobe's no Von, but he's pretty good in his own right

Kobe_fist_2 The Houston Rockets are down Tracy McGrady and Ron Artest, Yao Ming is a great player with a fairly meat and potatoes style and the Lakers are working with a revolving short roster themselves.  Sounds like the perfect setup for an evening with the spotlight firmly held by Kobe Bryant, right?  Well, not quite. 

The 105-100 win over the Houston Rockets provided more evidence as to why The Mamba is often summoned to take a curtain call at the end of a show, but as for the opening act material, Bryant found himself upstaged.  And by a familiar face, one of legendary status on this particular blog.  Former Laker rook Von Wafer.   Von hit the floor sporting a Mohawk and a very hot hand, racking the game's first pair of points and barely slowing down from there.  A career-high 23 points and for the game's majority, an upstaging of the future Hall of Famer he used to provide third string relief.  Early in the game, Kobe and the bucket were anything but simpatico.  13-32 shooting entered into the box score, but there was definitely some "best" saved for last, and it sure did come in handy.



With 27 ticks remaining, Kobe ignored Shane Battier's obstructing hand to hit a three and put his boys up by a pair, capping a thirteen point fourth quarter.  That triumphant finish didn't appear in the cards for Kobe during most of the night, but as Phil Jackson noted afterward, necessity is often the mother of invention.

       "Need," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said of Bryant's rally after a cold start. "It sends him to a different level."

Before those heroics, the game was mostly about keeping things tight.  Defensive mistakes were countered by limiting the turnovers to seven, which prevented even further damage.  Pau Gasol struggled to score and Andrew Bynum dealt with foul trouble, but the Lakers got a brilliant night from Trevor Ariza (6-7 shooting for 14 points, plus 5 boards, three assists, a steal and a lot of havoc) and an emotional boost from Lamar Odom, who played through some pain to help his shorthanded squad.  Gritting and bearing it is nothing new for LO (Think back to his busted shoulder/knee tendinitis 2007 playoffs against Phoenix), nor anything he plans to ever trumpet himself over.

"What the (expletive)," Odom said afterward, still sitting in front of his locker and wearing nothing but dried sweat, a towel and two icepacks after many of his teammates had already left the arena. "That's what being a sportsman is all about. You're going to play banged up sometimes."

Victory in the books, it's off to San Antonio for a game against the Spurs and a trip down Controversy Lane.

OTHER NOTES

 
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Wed. Jan 14, 2009 Lakers(31-6) vs. Spurs (24-12)
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Posted by: | January 09, 2009 at 06:34 AM

I think Kobe took some good shots, they werent falling, and I would say about only 5 of the shots he took, were forced..And he got RAPED on the others...no foul called.

Nonetheless, considering the game going as it was, he was STILL our best option, Pau didn't seem interested in being aggressive and then when he did shoot, he was lofting up his shots for the sake of shooting....I dont particularly care for his 1 game every 5 game brilliance..

Bynum and ONE rebound is not going to cut it..He needs to realize he has to go after the ball with a vengeance..To me, he is trying to become more of a scorer, which is what we don't need as much from him as rebounding and defending...Then when PJ calls him on his SCHIZIT, he gets a 'tude..But bump that, he needs to recognize....

Lamar played great and I was impressed that he manned up out there...One thing he is, is a reliable rebounder....

After all these years of complaining, I have nothing to complain about.

Let's Go Lake Show.


What up Mamba!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey Blog Fam -

Nice seeing you all last night on the blog. Always a great time! The rally caps worked this time! But I miss the polls AK/BK. Those rock.

Thought we played decent enough. It was nowhere near what we want from the d, but the o was good and while the great 24 got the lions share of the points, I like the fact that there were multiple players in double digits. I thought LO did exceptionally well considering the injury. That shot he made while falling down was total circus. It was great! Powell had a good game, Trevah had a great game (loved the won tap vs Yao) but I can't wait to get our regular rotation back.

Spurs tonight. This is gonna be really hard. They will remember that last series against us and how we just totally embarrassed them. Plus they're playing really well right now. Not sure we can pull it off but we do have the Mamba, and while he isn't Von Wafer he's pretty stinking good.

Best record in the league!!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE LA!!!!!
WE LOVE IT!!!!!
GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Mamba24 -

Loved the shout out to baby Outlaw - "Waaaaaaaaaa"

Very cool.

An interesting stat popped out at me in the box score...

All of the Houston players were negative in the +/- column except one...
and it's not who you would expect...

Brent Barry was the only one with a positive at +2

I usually don't look at box scores that closely so I don't know if that's out
of the ordinary or not, but it just seemed unusual for such a close game.

Go Lakers! Remind the Spurs who leads the League!

"I think Kobe took some good shots, they werent falling, and I would say about only 5 of the shots he took, were forced..And he got RAPED on the others...no foul called."

Wow... most inappropriate comment ever? Next are you going to talk about Lamar giving his opponent SIDS, or Magic "infecting the defense with his tainted blood?"

Well, the Lakers took care of business, now it's onto the main course. Tonight has got to be one of the season's true tests... on the road, back-to-back, short-handed and up against the Spurs who've had a light schedule this month. Drew and Pau need to play strong... I'm hoping for a good, old-fashioned stomping. I want to see Timmy with that haunted-eyes look, getting a beating in front of the home crowd. Nothing personal.

Good morning Laker Fans!

I thought last nights game was a good one, considering the Lakers being short on players, and Kobe's "often done" late game heroics. However, I was a bit disappointed in Pau Gasol's game lastnight, but we're all human. Point is, we won the game, and that is all that matters when it comes down to it.

Tonight however, we have a bigger challenge and the big three in San Antonio are playing tonight. This will be a difficult challenge for our Lakers and a big win for the club if we can pull it off. Slowing down Tony Parker will be the Lakers biggest challenge in my opinion. But also, we need to keep an eye on Ginobli. We'll see how Radmanovich will cover him, otherwise, I wish just this once, Coach Jackson places Lamar Odom into the starting line up. I think his length will help cover Ginobli. As far as Timmy goes, I think Gasol and Bynum can take care of that together.

The other night against Miami, Robert Horry was being interviewed and the first thought that came to mind was, "Why don't the Lakers re-sign him?" I mean, it will bring help behind Gasol, and helps spread the floor even more, allowing more room for guard penetration. Also, Big Shot Rob not only looks healthy and in shape, but he also knows the Lakers offense, so that helps.

Besides, after watching the few seconds of Sun Yue in action, he needs to take a trip to D-League Basketball. Still, I think Sun Yue is talented and will be a factor in the future for the Lakers or one of the other teams in the league, but for right now, he is obviously not ready.

I havent posted in a while, but after watching Von Wafer light it up...I HAD to say something since Im sure there would be lots of discussion about the assasin shooter that is Von Wafer..and sure enough there was a whole thread dedicated to him. Gotta love it. LoL.

Hey Kambros I think that Senor Wafer reads this blog! As do some of the other people you guys antagonize. You know why?
Probably Mr. Wafer googles himself and what comes up first is your analysis of Wafer. Thats funny. You guys should have gotten an interview. But by the way, hes been playing an awful lot lately and is taking T-Mac's spots. Thats just crazy!

How is it that Sun Yue was the only Laker last night to get fewer rebounds than Andrew Bynum?

How is that possible?

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

If you DVR'ed the game, play back the sequence in the closing seconds where Yao took a 2-point attempt with the Rockets down by 3. In the background, PJ's amused smirk was priceless...

AK/BK,

"Last season, the Laker got blown out 105-79 by the Pacers on the road.... "

That's the line that resonated with me the most on the von wafer thread. As we complain about effort, defense etc we often forget how far our fortunes have turned. It was not so long ago that making the playoffs was very debatable and we'd all suffer through articles of kobe being selfish in his exploits to put that debate to rest.

Now we have a fighting chance, now we're contenders ... I'm taking this moment to enjoy that fact and not nitpick at all the reasons why we're not blowing people away and making a stronger case for being the favorite to win it all come june (at least until the next loss)

It's good to be back yo ...
24 + 16 + 17 = Gold

SBPimp, most inappropriate -- wasnt trying to be, but if I was, dayum, I EFFD up -- geez..not perfect.....

SBPimp - I don't even think Ryde was thinking about things in that context. I certainly didn't think anything of it when I read it.

In fact, I think your response was the weird one.

After all these years of complaining, I have nothing to complain about.
Posted by: Zakee | January 14, 2009 at 09:32 AM

Then that can only mean that the title is assured this time.
Zakee where you been brother? Missed you.

LongTime -- thanks for the Piggyback......You of all people know I am NOT one on this blog to make inappropriate commentary on here and or be offensive to any group or individual and ESPECIALLY the team......

I just know I have to watch my words around certain individuals.. And being a FEMALE myself -- I am usually very good about that.

any ole wayz, I am outta here...Pimp has run me away for the day!

Zakee, for not complaining - Zakee sucks! That statement came from Smush

One under-the-fold story you might have missed in your "Other Notes"
section...

Darius Miles played for Memphis last night and had 13 points
in 13 minutes against Cleveland's vaunted defense.

So much for the "so injured he can't play any more" BS that Portland
was trying to spew.

One more game and Portland's cap space goes out the window.

Yay.

"I think Kobe took some good shots, they werent falling, and I would say about only 5 of the shots he took, were forced..And he got RAPED on the others...no foul called."

Wow... most inappropriate comment ever? Next are you going to talk about Lamar giving his opponent SIDS, or Magic "infecting the defense with his tainted blood?"

Posted by: SBPimp

Let me just add my two cents into this statement made by lakersrydeordie and SBPimp's response. The meaning of "Being Raped" in basketball terms is the same thing as saying, that a player was getting hacked, beat up, or fouled hard without receiving a call from officials. This statement by lakersrydeordie was by all means, appropriate, understanding to the IQ'd basketball fan and in my judgement, found no wrong in the statement.

HOWEVER!

The response made by SBPimp was by all means, inexcuseable, inappropriate, and should have not been posted on this blog. Comparing basketball terms to a players personal lost or another players unfortunate health issues is like comparing apples and oranges.

any ole wayz, I am outta here...Pimp has run me away for the day!
Posted by: lakersrydeordie | January 14, 2009 at 10:13 AM

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Don't go! Please!

Ok. I do have one suggestion though!!

That we trade LO and Farmer for

Kirk Hinrich and Tyrus Thomas.

What do you guys think about that trade??

Only a suggestion. I like the Lakers the way they are, but at the same time I think this would be an upgrade.

Edwin is Smush still playing in the league?
I mean since you speak to him you should know that answer. LOL


Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Bynum's injury..Im glad he made a year.

Also, my prediction came true and I'm looking to collect from my bets last night!!!

I told you Bynum would be in foul trouble and not play very much in this game..

Man, I am good.


LakersRydeOrDie don't sweat it. Some of us are more touchy when it comes to Kobe than others. But yet in still we are family and as such we acknowledge the others feelings and go on about the family business
which is Posting about the lakers


Call me weird, but I almost feel this foul trouble is intentional sometimes..If he knows he's close to getting there, he will do a stupid foul.

When you look at his track record on the first night of back to backs, he doesn't stay that long on the court..This may be intentional by him and/or the coaching staff.

LTLF,

Thought I had something in there. Thanks for the pick up. It's been added.

AK

Ok. I do have one suggestion though!! That we trade LO and Farmer
for Kirk Hinrich and Tyrus Thomas. What do you guys think about that trade??
Posted by: Zakee | January 14, 2009 at 10:39 AM

The Bulls probablly would take that trade in a second. They are shopping
Captin Kirk right now and Tyrus well lets see where you have heard this
before. Tyrus has tremendous potential. I also heard he's somehwhat of a
head case. Good idea but I wouldn't make that trade. Farmer has more upside
than Captain Kirk and is more athletic. Also I think Kirk has lost some belief in himself.
So I vote no.

When you look at his track record on the first night of back to backs, he doesn't stay that long on the court..This may be intentional by him and/or the coaching staff.

Posted by: ocho8 | January 14, 2009 at 10:43 AM

This post is so out there it's inappropriate. I'm offended

rydordie -

No worries - I wasn't trying to slam on you, just pointing out something that I figured was totally unintentional, but still sort of messed up.

Everyone else -

Get a life!

Thanks for the shout-out to my baby boy, Mamba24. You're a good man. He was especially fussy during the game last night. And, let's face it, he had good reason to be.

I'd like to see a much better defensive effort from Bynum tonight. When Parker penetrates, put him on his ass and make him think about it the next time.

Go Lake Show!

Ryde,

No sweat. I knew what you meant. Got your back, girl. After all, we gotta stick together... ;-)

LTLL

Is Mitch still employed as the GM? What is he waiting for? Why has noone been signed to at least a 10 day contract to give the starters a rest and field a practice team?

SBPimp,

You just need to think before you react. I mean seriously, how did you come up to that conclusion. For one, you can't give players SIDS, and giving the opposing defense Magic's tainted blood, just was WAY THE HECK OUT THERE.

AK/BK,
Nice blog post title...Nice...

I think will have to induct you into the "FANEDIA" Hall of Fame...haha....

(NOTE; FANEDIA is crossing fan + media since media is such a derogatory term nowadays!)

As much as I hate Lamar's inconsistency,
His overall game is what makes this team special and a matchup nightmare for teams in the league.

Teaming him up with Bynum can hopefully cover up the nights where Lamar is playing soft so for now we gotta keep Lamar.

Gasol isnt that every game "THREAT" that he should be as evidenced by last game.

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

nice little victory indeed....

hopefully we had a good reason to cut Von Wafer--that reason may be under some scrutiny today or so....his hair style might be catching...

glad Lamar played and Ariza was a lot more focused which was good to see...missed Sasha...

do I always have to type this department: again free throw misses substituted with makes would have taken out some tension at the end of the game---Kobe with some (4 of the 6) uncharacteristic misses...wish we could see our name posted up with the free throwing leaders of the NBA (top 5 are all over 80%, but barely)...

The Houston announcers never think (well they admited it once or twice was all) that their team ever fouls--they made a big thing about their perception of bad calls, but didn't re-examine questional calls against us---especially that late one on Bynum when he blocked someone from behind and that fantom reach by Lamar...anyway they made me fairly sick...

they also made some statements so wrong about our team and players that lead me to beleive they haven't watched us at all this year, relying on a scouting report that was clearly lacking...

good to see us finally win the first game in a back to back--hopefully we can win tonight so as not to reverse that trend etc.

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

GO LAKERS !!!

Magia32,

Hey I'm just stating the obvious..If you look back at all the first game of the back-2-backs and you will see. He doesn't stay on the court long for one reason or another.

lakersrideordie & SBpimp - two blogger stalwarts in an unintentional dustup!! Hey, don't be going all blitz/hobbitimage on us, haha.

zakee - interesting trade but i don't think now's the time... we're on such a roll, even with injuries. i say, just let it ride (other than bringing in a vet PG for the 15th slot).

ok, mihm was mentioned a few times... a couple threads back and i agree... tough to see the guy just sitting there on the bench. so here's a question... what would you rather be - a guy who gets a ring but only plays some meaningless garbage time now and then... or somebody who gets major minutes with an average team?

personally, if i'm mihm, i'm thinking about getting out of dodge.

After that game and seeing how Von Wafer took us to town,
I found the player we need to improve the facilitating of the triangle and to shore up the defense.

TIERRE BROWN

Do it Mitch!

MJT

what would you rather be - a guy who gets a ring but only plays some meaningless
garbage time now and then... or somebody who gets major minutes with an average team?
personally, if i'm mihm, i'm thinking about getting out of dodge.

AS JON K. SAYS"WHAT DO WE PLAY FOR? THE RINGS!!

dave m,

"what would you rather be - a guy who gets a ring but only plays some meaningless garbage time now and then... or somebody who gets major minutes with an average team?"

I'd rather have a ring.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

MJT: "TIERRE BROWN"

Have you checked his myspace page to even see if he's available or not?

Zakee, you're still funny as usual, you should be posting more than normal. Without your insistence during those smudgy years, I don't see any end of Smuschie tunnel. It was ZAkee that drove everyone to nuts! Haha Remember those threads when people were forecasting, we are only one or two players away b/c we are getting to the playoffs with no name players except Kobe. We need Sefolosha, Tyrus Thomas, Darius Miles etc. Nobody knew that Kobe was getting pissed off even though he was making 40, 50 pts a game and breaking all records. Everyone was looking for Kobe miracle in every game. In a greater perspective, that was not good sign. Kobe is a special player, he should be used as a weapon for special occasion not a bread and butter weapon that will wear out easily during the playoffs. Aanyway, Zakee keep on posting same with Guity, Weave-man, JJ, Mike T, Compton's Finest, Tsphere, jaworski, Dantheman, Lamarworld, Pete, lolo, nyla, bobbie, AZ you used to populate the posts in this blog, why sudden silence? Are you intimidated by the presence of LTLF & Blitz? LOL!

Kobe shot too much last night. Good thing he redeemed himself by making that long 3 pointer like he did in the NO road win.
He was more balanced in the 3 previous wins vs. GSW, Indiana and Miami.
But this Laker team isn't winning a championship if the other players get used to standing around watching Kobe do his thing on offense.
Hope we get balanced Kobe back for the SA game vs. hero Kobe.
LO was a big part of the win last night and we would have lost the game if he was still out.
As it was, LO missing games was a big reason why the last 3 previous games were closer than they s/d have been. We also had a rare sighting of PJ playing LO at the SF position last night so we may see more in the future.
TA was also a big part of the equation again after missing most of his mojo in the last 2 games.
Drew and Pau who had big games vs. weak interior defense teams showed how much more work they need to do when their performance level dropped off vs. Yao, Scola and Landry, a pretty good interior team.
Now, SA is actually a weaker interior team than Houston these days, so Drew, Pau and LO s/d be able to pull off a win by overwhelming Duncan and his sidekicks.
With the minutes he played last night, Kobe might not be at his best although he still seems to get it up more than for others versus San Antonio and the dirty Bruce Bowen.
If the Spurs have a big lead by the 4th quarter, PJ s/d just sit his starters and key bench players, and give the PT to Mihm, Mbenga and Sun. Kobe and the rest need the rest for the big game vs. Orlando on Friday, and Crabaliers next week. Magic and Cleveland are closer to the Lakers in the standings and we may well have to fight one of them off for home court in the Finals.

whatthef?

>>>Is Mitch still employed as the GM? What is he waiting
>>>for? Why has noone been signed to at least a 10 day
>>>contract to give the starters a rest and field a practice team?

So let me ask you this...

When you're cooking, if you take a taste and it tastes really good,
like as good as any other version of that dish you've ever tasted,
do you just throw in another random spice just to see if it'll taste better?

Chemistry.

If you take something good and add something to it, that doesn't
always mean you get something better.

More KUDOS for our purple and gold. A big W last night and counting!

Today however is a new day and a different beast. Additionally, it is a back-to-back, but our Lakers thrive on that. We MUST EXERT a 'supreme effort to reach the tape'.

On the other hand, we now have AB and Ariza in the line-up so we'll see how they match up against Manu,Tim and Parker. Pau is rested for today also, so we should be just fine.

GO LAKERS!!!!.

My understanding is Sasha took a flight out today to SA but got on the wrong flight and is now in India. Do we know if this is true?

My 3 Keys to Victory Post yesterday were:

Bynum and his fouls
Don't let Wafer get free to shoot
Coaches wake up Phil in time for tip-off.

At least they woke him up in time.

Tonights Key to Victory:

Give Kobe the ball and get out the way.

Something tells me this will be another game that goes down to the wire and either we make the last basket to win or we miss the last shot and lose.

All I know is I want Kobe with the ball in his hands with the clock ticking down.

GO Lakers and spank the Spurs tonight so we can have a shot of going 4-0 over this next week with Cleveland being the Epic Battle!

Lebron vs Kobe-does it get any better...NO!!

I think the NBA gets its wish this year with a Finals with Lebron/Kobe going for the Title. Must see TV and you know the NBA loves that.

BD

>>>"what would you rather be - a guy who gets a ring but
>>>only plays some meaningless garbage time now and
>>>then... or somebody who gets major minutes with an
>>>average team?"

Is this for my full career or just one season?

Let me change it to specific players to make it more clear...

Would you rather have had the career of Jelani McCoy or
Zach Randolph?

If that's the choice, then I'd take the Z-bo career and no rings.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Kobe is a special player, he should be used as a weapon for special occasion not a bread
and butter weapon that will wear out easily during the playoffs.
Posted by: Edwin Gueco | January 14, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Jon & Mamba.... yeah, of course the ring is the thing but still, has to be very bittersweet if you're not actually playing for it. Anyway...

Edwin Gueco,

As always, Ur right on the money!! About KB, for that to happen, we would need to clone KB @ least twice.. one for the BREAD and the second one for the BUTTER!! (ha,ha,ha) lol

Good for Darius.

I'm glad the Blazers are going to get screwed by this, but only because of their threatening e-mail.

Lakers dominance will continue for the foreseeable future.

Also,

I hope the Lakers don't re-sign Kobe to a contract that will take him past 2012. OJ Mayo will be a free agent then, and he wants to be a Laker.

Bynum/Mayo in 2013.

REPOST FROM THE NEWER POST:

wow yet another new thread....

how about a thread on the Great Incomprable Old Golden Throat himself, Chick Hearn?

I find myself saying Chickisms throughout the game and even in everyday life situations sometimes...

trying to teach my kids all the cool Chickisms of course is a daunting task--it's really amazing how many standard B-ball terms he coined...

some of my favorites include "call it with braille" and "my Grandmother could guard him and she doesn't go to her left" as well as "lots of referees in the building and only 3 gettin paid" and "it's nervous time in the Great Western Forum" and of course "the mustard's off the hotdog"...

here is a link to a site that has an amazing number of Chickisms:

http://www.abbaroo.com/lakers/chick.html

LONG LIVE CHICK !!!

GO LAKERS !!!

Man, you guys got me jonesing for Chickisms, so I started trolling YouTube and found this AMAZING clip from a game the Lakers were DESTROYING the Suns in 1988. Mychal Thompson was making all kinds of shots, and he goes up for an off-balance bank shot and Chick was like, "replay that... we're going to frame it and mail it to him in the Bahamas..." Later on Chck says "The Lakers could beat King Kong on a ladder and all his playmates tonight."

GOD I miss Chick!!

http://kr.youtube.com/watch?v=5LUQSidVYvw&NR=1

NEVER,
You predicted the Lakers will lose to the Rockets yesterday. Can you please predict that the Lakers will lose tonight against the Spurs. Please I beg you.

Another road game where Bynum gets in foul trouble....COME ON DREW!!

You don't get the same calls (or non-calls) on the road as you do at home! Figure it out!

And boy, Pau sure couldn't throw it in the ocean last night, eh? Thank God we have Kobe.


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