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Fire up the quote machine: Derek Fisher and more!

Quotes gathered in the wake of LA's 115-111 win over the Hornets Friday night at Staples, the bulk from Derek Fisher (starting immediately below), but with a smattering of others as well below the jump.  Read in good health.

On the play that sent the game to OT:

"The play is drawn up that way, but obviously we're not going to look at me as a first option.  The play is designed to read it- all our plays are designed to read the defense.  Pau did an excellent job reading the defense.  Both guys stayed with Kobe, which happens a lot, obviously because it's Kobe.  I was open and he made the read.  And I was happy for the team more so than anything that I knocked the shot down."

On having had a poor shooting night (2-8, I believe) to that point:

"Some of the shots that I missed earlier in the game were good looks, they just didn't go in.  There will be nights like that where it seems like no matter what's going on, the shot doesn't fall for you.  And when you're defending a guy like Chris Paul every possession, offense is not necessarily going to be your focus.  You're barely going to have enough legs to be active offensively, which is why a lot of times the best players don't guard each other, to try to save some legs for offense. 

I always know the sacrifice for me is going to be offensively, depending on the matchups.  I had a good look a couple minutes before that one but it was just a little bit long.  So when I got (the one that tied the game) I felt confident I could knock it in."

On wiping the slate clean after picking up a critical offensive foul with 2:43 remaining, and turning things around to pick up a charge on CP3 with 20 seconds to go (Note: the whole exchange amounted to a great roundball-karmic balancing act.  When Fish drove the lane late in the fourth, James Posey had a heel in the restricted area.  Should have been a block.  On the other hand, the whistle that went against Paul could have easily been called on Fisher, though Paul's decision to drive was so bad he couldn't complain about the result.):

"That was a big play, in terms of momentum.  (When Posey drew the charge) I felt like I had gone into my shooting motion before he was actually set.  Sometimes those calls go the other way.  I was fortunate to get the one on Chris Paul.  I wasn't sure he was going to pull the ball back out since there was no shot clock. I was just trying to read the situation.  Had he pulled it out I was going to have to foul, but when he made the commitment to go to the basket I just took a shot at it and was able to get back in front of him and pick up the offensive foul."

When the whistle blew, did you know the ball was going the other way?

"No. You never know, really.  I took a quick look when the whistle blew and saw him pointing the other way, and obviously I was pleased.  Those are bang-bang plays and they can go either way, and the officials will tell you that.  Those are the toughest plays for them to call.  Sometimes they miss them and you have to live with that, but we were fortunate to get that call at that time because had he either pulled it out and we had to foul or had it been a blocking play, that could have really sealed the game for them.

On the value of OT games:

"I think they're good for you as a team in terms of understanding certain things you need to do down the stretch in a game. Taking pride in taking care of the basketball, not turning it over, being able to get key defensive stops and then get secure the rebounds.  Those are things that you learn in overtime.  Other than the Charlotte game, I think we've come out pretty decent."

You don't like the questions that imply you're an old man, but when Jordan Farmar was out there were concerns about your minutes.  With him back, your PT seems more manageable.  Do you feel the difference?

"The biggest difference is not really in the game, it's those in between days.  And even before the game, the morning of shootaround.  When Jordan's in the lineup, it allows me to spend more time on some of the individual things I like to do.  Additional shooting, weightlifting, some of the things that I feel help keep me sharp out on the floor.  So when the minutes go up to 40-plus, it's hard to put the energy into practices and some of the things in between that I feel like keep me in rhythm, keep me feeling like I can go into the game and always be ready to play.

So in addition to our team needing Jordan, I need him as well.  He helps me be a better player.  I think we help each other by playing against each other in practice every day, and it allows us to perform better as a team."

On the challenge of chasing Paul all over the floor:

"You just have to be patient, and understand that you're not the only guy and you're not the only team he does those things to.  We're talking about a guy who finished close to second in the MVP race last season and is going to be an All Star every year that he's healthy enough to play in the game. You don't try to take things too personal in terms of him having success out there. The main thing is that defensively as a team, you're doing the things that you practice doing to try and slow them down as a team. 

If one guy or two guys have great nights offensively it looks great on the stat sheet but we win the game, that's what most people will remember.  So when you're playing against the best players in the league that's what you have to keep in mind.  The goal is to win the game, and if your team wins, who cares how many points they scored?"

Hornets coach Byron Scott, on his team's decision making late:

"We tried to get to the basket a little bit more, but (Paul) didn't.  I wasn't happy with the fact that with 22 seconds left when we got the steal, the first thing I did was look up at the clock and start yelling "No shot!" but obviously with the crowd yelling and screaming he went down to get an offensive call. At that point we were up three so if we get the foul and send a couple of our best free throw shooters, Chris, David (West) or Peja (Stojakovic) to the line there's a good possibility to be up five with 14 seconds left in the game.  We just made some mistakes.  The last thing I said in the huddle was don't gie up open three's.  Two's can't beat us, but we gave a three to Fisher.  Bottom line, we gave them a win."

Lamar Odom: Nothing on the game, but given how much time we've spent on the economy over the last few days, I wanted to get his perspective on the deadline and this summer's FA period. I asked him a couple Q's on the issue before the tip:

So much of the deadline talk was about money, franchise health, teams looking to shed payroll, and so on.  Is that something that players talk about? 

"It's something that's out of your control.  It's up or down, it's out of your control.  Our job is to come out here and take care of our business.  That's to perform and entertain on the court.  that's our part of the bargain. 

Does it make it more nerve wracking as a guy who will be a free agent this summer?

No.  I'm blessed, we're blessed.  We make good money.  Everyone will.  Everyone who is involved in the league will.  It's different if you're a coal miner, you know what I'm saying? 

Earlier in the month, when asked if he'd take less to stay in LA, Odom replied "Less is still a lot," he said before the game. "I've been blessed. Basketball has given me everything I wanted, and I'm far from greedy."  It's a far cry from Patrick Ewing's "We might make a lot of money, but we also spend a lot money."

BK

 
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One more reason to like Lamar Odom.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!

Not a single comment on Amare on this blog? Have the Suns fallen so low they're no longer worthy of comment? Haha.
I'm rooting for the Suns Sunday & you should all too. As you know, hating a team is a type of respect. I'll always root against the Cs, so at least I respect them. The Suns... Haha.
Do wish for a full recovery for Amare though.

Dara,

Stop dissing Pau Gasol. Gasol was a top 10 forward when he was in Memphis and was an All-Star Without Kobe Bryant and had Mike Miller as a 2nd option!!!

I don't like dissing my favorite player Kobe Bryant but I have to face facts:

You want to say it wasn't Kobe Bryant's fault? Sure it was the bench's fault more than it was Kobe's but guess what:

17 shots missed!!! Without Derek Fisher hitting that game winning 3 oh looks like Kobe nearly shot the Lakers out of the game! Looks like old D-Fish bailed Kobe out of this one. Sure Kobe's presence opened up Derek I'll give you that. But 17 missed shots missed!!

Your absurd criticisms of Pau Gasol is just as unwarranted as Kobe being a ball hog.

-KB Blitz

i really like this team.

great comments by Fish and Lamar.

The Lakers need to pick up Mikki Moore because he could along with Powell play both the 5 and 4 spots and even play together at times and they would be our Predators on the court(hairdos folks). Moore has a good midrange game, rebounds well, sets good screens and hustles. We could definitely use some more juice off the bench. His addition could only be a plus for us.

I Like LO's attitude.

Towards the end of the game people started whining. People counted us out. I never did. RALLY CAPS WERE AHOY!!!

Folks, this is the greatest season. Last night was the greatest game. Lots and Lots of fun and suspense. PHEW WHAT A WIN!!!!

When the live blog on the last game goes to "Hold Them Comments," When the season has ended in victory, we will miss this year! We will miss its moments of frustration, suspense and glory.

LETS ENJOY THIS, EVERY DARN GAME!!!

And collectively say,

GOOooOOOOOO LAKERS!!!!!

Chris Paul a Lakers in 2011? Do we really need to sign Kobe for 132 MIL contract extension this summer? Paul a free agent in 2011 entering his prime to be teamed with a dominant center in Bynum.

If you notice Hornets are a cellar dweller without CP3. How good is this guy?

Dara,

your post seem to represent a very limited knowledge of basketball and basketball players, either that or you are completely delusional..

especially concerning your opinions about Pau, who is, regardless of personal opinion by anyone (including me), by far one of the most talented and skilled players in the league, not to mention his knowledge and vision of the game is stellar...

the Lakers are extremely fortunate to have Pau and I believe Kobe will be the first one on the planet to agree...

the more the ball goes through Pau, the better for everyone, including Kobe...

watch the game closer and you just may be enlightened...

GO LAKERS !!!

KBblitz

"17 shots missed!!! Without Derek Fisher hitting that game winning 3 oh looks like Kobe nearly shot the Lakers out of the game! Looks like old D-Fish bailed Kobe out of this one. Sure Kobe's presence opened up Derek I'll give you that. But 17 missed shots missed!!"

You're right my man!! Kobe was a ballhog last night. Nights like that Lakers deserved to loose, Kobe sucks! Kobe must have been watching Lebron dropping 16 pts in 3 minutes. Walton, Gasol, Odom, Fisher played well. I am also impressed by these four guys not deferring to Kobe, they tried not to give him the ball even when Kobe was posting and asking for the ball everytime. I think Gasol and Fisher's presence had given Walton and Odom more BALLS unlike before with Kwame and Smush. This is no longer a one man's team. Kobe when he plays and helps others is when the Lakers are at its best.

Unfortunately Kobe can still be selfish at times. That's why I would prefer not to give Kobe the extension and go after a superstar who is also a team player. After next year's season, Kobe will be entering his 15th year in the NBA, that's a lot of mileage for anybody, who would be in his right mind to pay him 30 MIL a year.

Jon K

"One more reason to like Lamar Odom."

I believed Odom would have been a better player if he did not have to play with Kobe. If he would have stayed in Miam with Wade and Butler, he would be an all-star already. You put Odom in Knicks right now and he will be fantastic.

Maybe Suns will be interested in him too. Odom has to be in a system where he can run and play freely. The triangle and Kobe has hurt Odom's career in the last five years.

How awesome is Fish? Seriously, can anyone imagine where we'd be if he hadn't come back... or for that matter, where we'd be without Pau? These guys have affected so many facets of the team, its success.... not the least of which is the way their presence has contributed to Kobe's positive frame of mind.

kobe shoots the lakers out of 4 or 5 games a year. it happens. you are a nut to wanna get rid of him tho. lebron shot the cavs out of the game vs the lakers. cp3 lost hornets the game but you want him over kobe. I know you're a troll it's ok. but... if you're not a troll then you need to get some perspective. why was fisher open? lolol. anyway, looks llke odom will stay for less. pay him 8 and trev 7. kobe should opt out and sign for 18. think long term. at any rate he is worth double that. just saying.

Staples 24,

Kobe was no ball hog yesterday. Did his shots miss yes and I felt he did force some questionable shots but some shots simply did not fall in.

My point to Dara was that the opinion that Pau is a player who only is good because of Kobe Bryant is comparable that Kobe is a ball hog.

Read it again Staples 24 since your opinions bounce one way and the other as fast as the Indy 500:

KOBE IS NOT A BALL HOG.

-KB Blitz

JohnnyP -

HEAR, HEAR!!!!

BK

KUDOS for sharing your experience with DFish and LO. It exposes their human side versus their professional side for which we admire them when they are on the court!! However, no quotes from Pau??? (aka as El Conquistador!!) I'll let it sly this time! :-)

ON THAT SAME NOTE:

Kobeblitz

"Stop dissing Pau Gasol. Gasol was a top 10 forward when he was in Memphis and was an All-Star Without Kobe Bryant and had Mike Miller as a 2nd option!!!"

*Thank you for setting the record straight in regards to Pau.

*Our co-bloggers seem to forget that just last summer KB was completely frustrated and demanding to be traded until Mitch K. had a revelation from the Master of the Universe and brought Pau Gassol to Laker Nation.
Pau Gasol gave KB and our team the finesse player with a great basketball IQ that changed last season's outcome. LAKERS got to the Finals!!! You might argue that we didn't win the Championship... but Pau Gasol was instrumental in us getting there. Furthermore, this is what D-Fish says about Pau:

D-Fish - "Pau did an excellent job reading the defense. Both guys stayed with Kobe, which happens a lot, obviously because it's Kobe. I was open and he [Pau] made the read. And I was happy for the team more so than anything that I knocked the shot down."

*This is what Pau brings to the LAKERS. He does all this in a humble manner- like his almost unnoticeable triple double - never boasting about his physical and intellectual prowess (FIBA's Best European Player for 2008). People, we are VERY FORTUNATE to have Pau in our team. HE, w/o disrespect to his other shining star team members, is what makes this LAKERS team so GREAT!!!

GOOOOOOLAKERS!!!

well said JohnnyP!

In the big picture of things, ignoring all variables, there is one very favorable thing we have learned about this team throughout all these games...

Poise. The have it. BScott called them a "mature" team (per LA Times) last night, and I have to agree. Poise is learned. Poise is not something we showed last year. An 8-0 run would balloon to 16-0 and we'd be ran out of the court...now, with our without (though mostly with) Kobe we're in games regardless of the score, regardless of the refs, regardless of the variables.

That is something to be proud of. Certainly something that will pay dividends come playoffs time.

Go Lakers!

Imagine Derek Fisher retiring in 2011 and a starting line-up of:

Chris Paul
Kobe Bryant
Lamar Odom
Paul Gasol
Andrew Bynum

Just imagine it.

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

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

GO LAKERS!

ok first of all there are times when Kobe does shoot terrible. But again:

THAT IS WHAT KIND OF NIGHTS SHOOTERS WILL HAVE.

Kobe has an all around game but his biggest strength is his shooting. In fact Phil has said that Kobe is the better outside shooter than Michael was. Kobe while having good hands doesn't have the bigger hands that Michael had and can't control the ball as well as Michael did (Kobe does take good care of the basketball). Some of the best shooters in NBA History such as Glen Rice and Mitch Richmond NEVER shot more than 50% and has there been sayings that Reggie or Mitch shot their teams out of games when they had terrible shooting nights?? NOO!!

Kobe's current games is more of the post up and shoot, fadeaway jump shot that Michael did in the last three peat of the Bulls. Yet no one ever said Michael shot his teams out of games when he had nights of 9-25 shooting!

Just cool it with the "Kobe shot us out of the Hornets game" thing. That was merely me saying how he does make mistakes and Pau Gasol wasn't great solely beause of Kobe. Gasol was an all star caliber player before joining the Lakers!

Kobe Bryant is one of the top perimeter players of all time and is 2nd on the list of greatest SG and he's not done yet.

And Staples 24 come on man now you say Lamar Odom is not flourishing because Kobe? Get real Lamar when he was drafted was a good player but did not have the will power to truly take advantage of his skills. I recall a few months back how you *wanted* to trade Lamar because he was playing bad and now you are saying he's bad because of Kobe?? Get real. Stop thinking so shallow of the Lakers.

-KB Blitz

Take another look at the picture of Byron Scott in the latest LAT article: damn, that dude is a sharp dressed man!

Sure would be nice to have him back in Laker land when PJ decides to call it quits. And no, not just because his a sharp dresser... :-)

Staples 24 , if LO had been in Miami or NY, he would have become an All-Star or All-NBA whatever, but he would NOT have a had to chance to be in a championship caliber team...

And would you think if he's an All-Star, just because of that Knicks will return their loyalty and keep him in their team?? No, they'll only be looking for 2010 and a chance to trade him.....

BAD KOBE, GOOD KOBE…

One thing even the Machine knows about shooting is that you can’t be bashful and when KB24 goes into “Kobe” mode he is relentlessly un-bashful, aggressively posting up every single time down the floor and demanding the ball from his teammates. Hard not to pass the ball to the MVP since he is the NBA’s primary weapon of mass destruction and as such needs to honed and allowed to go ballistic every once in a while. In other words, if you want Good Kobe, then you occasionally have to accept Bad Kobe. Like we did last night.

One reason why I would love to see the Lakers get a true point guard is to take advantage of defenders fronting Lakers big men in the post. While the team overall is an excellent passing team, one area where they do not excel is passing the ball into the post. There must have been a dozen times when Kobe or Pau or Lamar had their defender sealed and were looking for a lob pass over the top, which is a pass that has to be timed perfectly and thrown the instant that the potential rotating defender is leaning the other way. A great true point guard like Magic Johnson could have gotten 10 assists last night on that play alone.

I really dislike the ESPN commentators. You wonder whether these guys are watching the same game you are, discussing whether the Lakers are a better team with Pau Gasol at center rather than Andrew Bynum, while the Hornets make one uncontested layup and dunk after another without Andrew’s defense. As a center, Pau is Good Pau on offense but Bad Pau on defense as he can’t patrol the lane or protect the rim like Andrew Bynum. Nor can he offensively overpower a physical defender like Andrew is able to do.

The Lakers are fortunate to have a player like Pau who can fill in so well at center and a team so talented and deep that they can still win after losing their 21-year old budding superstar center Andrew Bynum. But if you cannot see how badly they miss Andrew on defense, then you just have not been watching the games closely enough or understand the different mentality that it will take to play defense in the playoffs. The Lakers are so deep and talented that they probably could win the NBA championship without Drew but with a healthy Andrew Bynum, they would likely sweep the Celtics or Cavaliers.

Finally, I think the dominating play of Lamar Odom as a starter should finally pull the plug on Phil Jackson’s project to bring Lamar off the bench as the team’s sixth man. There is no way once Drew returns and is healthy and ready again to start that Lamar returns to the bench. Drew starts at center, Pau at power forward, and Lamar at small forward. Luke returns to his proper spot on the bench. With Kobe and Fish, that is the lineup that should start and end games for the Lakers. That is the lineup that will win the championship.

There is really nothing that Luke brings to the starting lineup as our small forward that Lamar cannot also do. As a small forward, Lamar would often be mismatched with a much smaller player that he could post up. Like Luke, his job would be to improve team ball and player movement. Lamar cutting into the lane without the ball has become a staple of the Lakers offense as has his coast-to-coast excursions. He can do this as small forward.

Couple of bunny road games coming up, then a chance to spank Denver and put them in their place, as well as couple of poundings of the Amare-less Suns. Let’s hope that Good Kobe and Good Pau can overcome Bad Kobe and Bad Pau and the Lakers will be 50-10 and riding an 8-game winning streak after punching out the Suns on Sunday, March 1st.

As always, JMNSHBO!

Tom

There's an article in the Daily News about both Moore and Horry? I guess Teaford's been reading the blog.

This was a quality win. My only complaint is in the 4th quarter with about 5 minutes left we get away from the things that give us the best chance for success. We don't go to Pau in the post or run screen for Lamar at the top of the key.

Regarding Sasha Vujacic and His Truggles as They Relate To The Success of the Team:

Last year at this time was when Sasha started drilling 3s. He was left open until there were about 10 - 15 games left in the season and the scouting report had been altered because he went from a 10 AM player to a nighttime performer. This season he has regressed to his earlier form, although he does get the ball to cutters pretty well.

The bench's production last year increased because Sasha was in for a lot of late game situations with Kobe as the 3. This year it's Ariza and Walton getting those minutes, for the most part. Production is falling off, mainly with Sasha, although it seemed like both Farmar and Ariza went away from him in the corner for a lot of plays. I don't think it was to send a message, I just think the ball went to the other side of the court for a number of reasons (One of which is to get Posey in foul trouble by taking it at him, I hate how good a defender he is).

Will he get hot? He was for a stretch in December, he was huge on X-mas Day and in Boston, he often seems to 'get up' for the bigger games, last night being an exception. I think we'll have to really slog through the playoffs if we're not getting some reliable outside shooting from Vujacic. Farmar isn't a good spot up 3 point shooter, he's better off the dribble. Walton and Ariza are very streaky from 3, although both make up for a lack of solid outside shooting with exceptional play in other areas (pick your poison, playmaking or hustle). Sasha gives the Lakers a respectable threat...if teams believe he can make them.

I don't think the Lakers won't advance through the playoffs, however it'll more resemble General Sherman's March to the Sea than a Shock and Awe campaign if Vujacic isn't producing. I just think that if he could give us 15 - 20 minutes a game we'd be saving a lot of wear on Kobe. But those minutes aren't a good idea right now, it remains to be seen if they will become one this year.

This was a quality win. My only complaint is in the 4th quarter with about 5 minutes left we get away from the things that give us the best chance for success. We don't go to Pau in the post or run screen for Lamar at the top of the key.

Regarding Sasha Vujacic and His Truggles as They Relate To The Success of the Team:

Last year at this time was when Sasha started drilling 3s. He was left open until there were about 10 - 15 games left in the season and the scouting report had been altered because he went from a 10 AM player to a nighttime performer. This season he has regressed to his earlier form, although he does get the ball to cutters pretty well.

The bench's production last year increased because Sasha was in for a lot of late game situations with Kobe as the 3. This year it's Ariza and Walton getting those minutes, for the most part. Production is falling off, mainly with Sasha, although it seemed like both Farmar and Ariza went away from him in the corner for a lot of plays. I don't think it was to send a message, I just think the ball went to the other side of the court for a number of reasons (One of which is to get Posey in foul trouble by taking it at him, I hate how good a defender he is).

Will he get hot? He was for a stretch in December, he was huge on X-mas Day and in Boston, he often seems to 'get up' for the bigger games, last night being an exception. I think we'll have to really slog through the playoffs if we're not getting some reliable outside shooting from Vujacic. Farmar isn't a good spot up 3 point shooter, he's better off the dribble. Walton and Ariza are very streaky from 3, although both make up for a lack of solid outside shooting with exceptional play in other areas (pick your poison, playmaking or hustle). Sasha gives the Lakers a respectable threat...if teams believe he can make them.

I don't think the Lakers won't advance through the playoffs, however it'll more resemble General Sherman's March to the Sea than a Shock and Awe campaign if Vujacic isn't producing. I just think that if he could give us 15 - 20 minutes a game we'd be saving a lot of wear on Kobe. But those minutes aren't a good idea right now, it remains to be seen if they will become one this year.

KBblitz

"Read it again Staples 24 since your opinions bounce one way and the other as fast as the Indy 500:"

Hey! That's why I am a Lakers fan. The world changes by the minute too. If yoy don't you'll be left behind. We almost lost last night because of Kobe. I do not smoke screen my comments. I'm just saying the Lakers are much better when he involves the team.

... and what's wrong with my opinion of what I think about the Lakers being better of not committing to one player for 30 MIL a year for 5 years? If Kobe wants his extension it should be 100 MIL 5 years. We need others to win championships. But if we can get a younger superstar to play with Bynum the better, don't u think?

KBbllitz

"KOBE IS NOT A BALL HOG."

... and the world says he is since he came to the league. Only LA fans says he is not? But I am A LAKERS fan. Like what I said the team needs Kobe not to be a ballhog. We were lucky we won last night.

There's an old adage that says...be careful what you wish for.

Well for every laker fan that calls Kobe a ball hog...be careful what you wish for. Because we will lose a lot of games without the Bean.

We're already losing leads without the Bean, or in some cases, a not so aggressive Bean.

Blitz, Johnny P, and Longtimelakerlover --

You guys must have been reading my mind. Some of the thoughts expressed during Friday night's game chat really fried me. Sure, it's easy to get carried away by the intensity of the moment, but most of us "usual suspects" manage to maintain some perspective and intelligence.

But Dara and some of the late arrivals like "PJHater" had nothing to contribute but ignorance and bile.

More sophisticated blog software would allow us individually to block these posters. Currently, there's no transparency about who anybody is. I know things are so tight at Tribune that they've done everything short of robbing Col. McCormick's grave to keep the ship afloat. But social media add-ins like on Facebook would create profiles for all of us, eliminating the cloak of anonymity it is so easy to hide behind. Not everyone is comfortable using their real name like I do. That's fine. Profiles would still create a greater sense of responsibility. Then, maybe, those who only want to trash talk might have an incentive to go elsewhere.

STaples 24,

Without Kobe, we lose in OT. And I was fustrated with Kobe last night but nothing compared to the pathetic bench last night. They were horrible and gave up both leads the starters built up.

We don't want to lose the best player in the world. And I don't want CPpunk on my team. I'll take DWill 10 times over Paul.

I still wished the Lakers would've unloaded Farmar for a more proven PG. Jordan still doesn't seem to ready to step in Fish's shoes which are getting bigger each game when Fish retires. Farmar always seems to shrink against topnotch PG's and for all his supposed athleticism, he gets beat more often than not. Lately he seems to be timid, indecisive and lacking confidence. His shot is erratic and inconsistent and he and Sasha always seem to play keep away from each other. This is his 4th year now and he still hasn't improved enough to the point where he can supplant the ancient but clutch Derek Fisher. I really don't think that Farmar is the good choice as our future PG. The Lakers should trade Farmar for a draft pick or another veteran PG because I don't think he's the answer when Fish leaves.

Tom,
I really dont understand why you insist on banging through the Lamar Odom at SF theme.

It's not happening. Sorry.

And the basketball logic is so simple, that I dont understand why you dont connect the dots. I mean, everyone and their mama's mama swears you are the next LA Times columnist!!! hahaha....

But seriously, look at the facts:
1) Lamar Odom is a rebounding machine.
2) Small forwards play away from the basket primarily, and what is Lamar's 3pt%? Not only that, Lamar is getting points off of drives against the opposing 4s in the league. They arent quick enough for Lamar. If he's going up against 3s (since HE IS playing SF) then he has no quickness advantage. And when he drives to the lane, then he has Bynum and Gasol's man in the way!
3) You say post up Lamar against a 3. Well what are Bynum and Pau going to do? You want Bynum or Pau on the 3pt line while Lamar posts? The spacing doesnt even make sense on offense. Bynum isnt leaving the paint area and Pau isnt going out further than 20 feet.

4) If LO, plays SF and continues to pound toward the glass then you are asking Bynum or Pau to get back on D consistently. AGain, that means Bynum or Pau has to run back on D anytime Lamar drives to the lane. That's unrealistic and you know it. You have 3 guys in the paint going for a rebound. If you dont get it, then that's 3 on 2, 4 on 2 the other way all day.

5) Lamar has a history of playing on the perimeter with the Lakers and it aint good.

6) Lamar has shown that when you ask him to do too many things he can't handle it. If you want Odom to be this Odom, tell him to rebound, play D, and that's it. You start telling Odom to rebound, play D, and matchup on the perimeter and YES that's too much. He'll start taking 3s cuz they look open.

I'm guessing Tom, you'll continue to preach LO and the Triple Towers and how it's so great with little reason to back up the notion except "rebounding" and "lamar posting up". The Lakers are already the #1 rebound team in the league. How much can you improve that?

The bottom line is Lamar or Bynum off the bench has weigh more pros than playing them all simultanteously to start a game.

I really dont understand why people crack on Luke so much. When the Lakers find a 3 that can shoot the 3 consistently and play D then replace Luke, but until then he's not making or breaking games for us!

Tom - I agree with you about Odom but it would also change his style of play. It seems like a bit of a conundrum... he probably wouldn't want to go back to the second unit as a second option but he starts to fade from view as the 4th option in the starting lineup (Kobe, Drew and Pau are going to get more looks and even Fish slots in earlier if he's unguarded outside).

Any thoughts on this? Am I not seeing it clearly? Do you think Kobe reverts to the facilitator role in the first half, giving Odom more opportunities and confidence?

I'm truly happy that L.O. is playing so well now, but we all know how he easily he becomes a chameleon - he's too much of a selfless player sometimes... he doesn't seem to rise to the occassion unless the occassion demands it.

Sorry people, I'm really not trying to be a naysayer here.

Regardless of whether you think Kobe is a "ballhog", I think we can all agree that he was "inefficient". There's already one Allen Iverson in the league. We don't need someone else who only scores a lot of points b/c of the volume of their shooting. The Lakers need Kobe to be "unstoppable" all the time. Then, it doesn't matter if he's dominating the ball.

Last night, Kobe was very "stoppable". His fadeaway was too short. His open midrange shots were too strong. His opposite direction spins were anticipated well by Posey who managed a timely block and bothered the rest of Kobe's shots enough for several of them to go in and out.

No matter who you are, if you take contested shots when there are open teammates around you, you better make them.

Staples 24,

Jeez don't every one save for a few fanatic Kobe fans would agree that team effort would be better off than having Kobe Bryant dominate the ball every minute? You are just blandly suggesting that because he takes so many shots that equals being a ball hog. First off this game went to overtime so duh it stands more reason why Kobe would get of 33 shots. And second Kobe had MORE TIME on the floor because of the poor play of the reserves did could not even finish near the damn basket.

If Kobe played less than 34 minutes and he attempted 33 shots then yes that would be a sign of excessive shooting. But Kobe is no ball hog.

If you think so then consider Michael Jordan, David Thompson, Dr. J, Clyde Drexler, George Gervin and every dominant SG to be ball hogs!

Do you honestly think the Lakers would even think to consider 30 million to Kobe? Sure Kobe is a great player but Buss would never even consider giving that to Shaq who was the most dominant center of his time (in his prime). Kobe will get around 20 mil. And besides Kobe is the best player right now. Gasol can't lead this team as good as Kobe can (he can lead it good though) and Bynum is not yet a true franchise player. Yes Laker Tom I don't consider him to be a franchise player because at the time being all I see is scoring/rebounding and some defense which is good but does not necessarily mean "leader". When Shaq was traded Kobe was nearly one of the best players in the game.

I don't care what opinions you have Staples 24 but when it comes to crappy comments such as Kobe being a ball hog it's really annoying and considering how you were on his bandwagon not too long ago.

-KB Blitz

LakerTom,

you wrote:
Finally, I think the dominating play of Lamar Odom as a starter should finally pull the plug on Phil Jackson’s project to bring Lamar off the bench as the team’s sixth man. There is no way once Drew returns and is healthy and ready again to start that Lamar returns to the bench. Drew starts at center, Pau at power forward, and Lamar at small forward. Luke returns to his proper spot on the bench. With Kobe and Fish, that is the lineup that should start and end games for the Lakers. That is the lineup that will win the championship.

There is really nothing that Luke brings to the starting lineup as our small forward that Lamar cannot also do. As a small forward, Lamar would often be mismatched with a much smaller player that he could post up. Like Luke, his job would be to improve team ball and player movement. Lamar cutting into the lane without the ball has become a staple of the Lakers offense as has his coast-to-coast excursions. He can do this as small forward.

my response:

I addressed this thought earlier, but I didn't see anything
from you.

So. Let's try again.

If you move Lamar to SF, how many rebounds will he
get when you have Bynum and Gasol in the game at
the same time? For purposes of conversation, assume
that Bynum is averaging ~ 11 and Pau is averaging 9.

Right now, Lamar is playing out of his mind. Does Lamar
feel the same impetus if Bynum is in the game? He has
not shown this type of determination for the last 3 years.

If you put Lamar in the starting 5, then the second unit
consists of: Farmar, Sasha, Powell, Luke & Ariza.

Do you take that over Farmar, Sasha, Ariza, Lamar &
Powell?

To be clear: Fisher, Kobe, Luke, Bynum & Pau vs.
Fisher, Kobe, Odom, Bynum & Pau

with Farmar, Sasha, Powell, Luke & Ariza. vs. farmar
Sasha, Ariza, Lamar & Powell?

It seems to me that part of the resurgence of Lamar has
been his rebounding. Does it make sense to move him
to a position where he'll get less rebounds?

It seems to me that the Lakers are stronger when he
comes off the bench. i.e. We DOMINATED the Celtics on
Christmas in LA vs. winning in Boston.

wins = wins

nuff said.


These are the dog days. The only thing about the last game that is relevant is the W. IF it were a playoff game we would have won by 18.

The schedule is teeming with winnable games from here to the end. There are pitfalls in the schedule but not on the court.

A 12-13 loss season is possible, even reasonable.

Kobe is a ball hog, but he's the best ball hog whose ever laced them up, so deal with it as he leads us to a championship.

No question Kobe gets into a zone at times when it's all about him and everyone else be dammed. It can be awesome to watch, true basketball superiority at it's finest. However, when it goes bad, it's some of the ugliest most selfish ball you've ever seen. Almost ridiculous in it's selfishness and lack of team. I've watched him to long to question his motivation, dude wants it bad, maybe more than anyone ever. You can never question Mamba's desire to win. He's a killer. If he wasn't on the Lakers, you'd be shaking in your boots anytime you faced him. So let's all be thankful we have the greatest player on the planet.

That being said, I'll go back to what I've been saying all year. Kobe needs to average 8 assists a game to guarantee the championship. We can't be beat if he does that. We still can win it if he doesn't, but it won't be as easy. Kobe doesn't love easy, so I'm sure he'll go for the higher degree of difficulty. Wish he'd just pick teams apart with his passing as well as his shooting. He can do whatever he wants out there, 8 assists a night would be so easy.

Staples 24,

" We almost lost last night because of Kobe. I do not smoke screen my comments. I'm just saying the Lakers are much better when he involves the team."

Actually I'm pretty sure that if it wasn't for his overtime heroics we WOULD HAVE LOST the game.

Just because he had an off shooting night 13-30 (43% while not great, still not absolutely awful), doesn't mean he didnt "involve his teammates". If he had made a couple more shots you probobly wouldn't be complaining about it.

Sure he could have had better shot selection, but that doesn't mean he was being a ball hog.

Anyways, who cares? We won!

LG

mikefloss,

Kobe isn't going to average 8 assists because it is not in the offense's best interest for him to be the biggest playmaker.

*No* person in Phil Jackson's system EVER averaged more than 7 assists per game (Scottie Pippen). When Kobe averaged 6 assists per game in 02-03 he pissed Jackson off since he was not playing in the ball movement offense and trying to dish it out himself which is not what the triangle is all about.

If Kobe is averaged 5 assists and everyone else is averaging similar amount then the Lakers will win because there is more ball movement and easier time scoring than if there was simply one big playmaker. MJ averaged 8 assists in 88-89 but didn't win because the Pistons played tough on him and he couldn't be the playmaker because he was getting hammered!

Korey,

Kobe posts up as well as a SG! You forget that Jackson gives Kobe and even Pau looking at games isolation post up plays to give them operate to get into the paint. Kobe posts up when he's at SF too and forces Bynum/Pau/Lamar to the other side.

Luke is better at SF primarily because he can play like a Guard in the perimeter at the SF slot. Plus he is a better playmaker than Lamar. That's why I support Luke at SF.

And no Hobbit you seem to forget your games but we did *not* dominate the Celtics on Christmas. That game was close till the final minute. Your bias against LO screws over your memory.

-KB Blitz

Staple24, sorry your point is not most welcome to the Lakerville. So what if Kobe is a ball hog, we can gamble with his shots than waste it with others. His percentage will eventually catch up with the game score that produces a W. Try to imagine Lakers traded Kobe to Chicago in '07 with Hinrich, Deng, Gordon and Nacione plus Gasol, Ariza, Bynum and Odom plus the mighty Walton. I think Lakers will be competing today for the 8th slot in the Western Conference or even below GS. Learn to count your blessings and accept realities as they are.

Korey,

"And the basketball logic is so simple, that I dont understand why you dont connect the dots. I mean, everyone and their mama's mama swears you are the next LA Times columnist."

You are one of admirers in this blog of Luke Walton. I guess you too must move forward, not all what you liked or you believe, others will just follow. Sometimes you come up headstrong in admonishing your opinion as if others have no right to air their views. Buddy, tone down your style you come up superior or angry with your posts.

Ok for all this talk about Kobe being a Ball-Hog....get the heck over yourselves. This theory is such old news. I mean you guys sound like a racist white minority who still goes around dropping the derogatory N word instead of realizing that this is not the 50s and get over it. It is old news, a fallacy...

You obviously missed the part where the bench blew the lead twice with Kobe OUT of the game (when he was in they were up except for parts of the fourth quarter). You obviously missed when Phil Jackson sat there and almost cost us the game by not calling time out or slowly bringing back some of the starters...the same way he cost us the Pacers game and a couple others. And don't give me that learning-through-it thing neither.

Kobe missed a lot of shots yes but he will not be the very first superstar to brick 17 out of 30, especially on multiple nights in a row (which Kobe hasn't). Kobe's problem was that against a guy like Posey, he should have put the pressure on him by attacking and attacking. All this season, and last season and even the one before that Kobe has dished the ball, or at least assist the assist. And the years before that as a younger Kobe...watch the tapes: Its not an assist if he passes you the ball and you brick/turn it over thus in turn encourages a lack of trust.

You name me one superstar that is not selfish, name me one superstar that is not a hogger of the rock at times and I will show my hand to my face so I can smack myself. And as for that one who suggested Kobe must have heard of Lebron going off for 16 and was trying to match him? Tell me how you got that hell-of-a backstage pass to see what Kobe does, think the things he think.

Unbelievable, in Philosophy we learned of freedom versus license...license is in a sense the abusing of freedom. You guys got the freedom of speech but with off-the-wall statements such as the above...that is exemplary of utter license.

For the record: I do not condone Kobe taking 30 shots, but think about it, had he taken 17 fewer you people would 'Charles Barkley' him (calling him selfish for taking too few shots like he "did" in Phoenix)

GO LAKERS!

Ok one more thing, and I hate name calling but I HATE shallow-mindedness. Your lack of ability to think outside the box, be objective thinkers....not what you instantly feed yourselves. The evolution of perfection in the cognitive process should not be treated to a quick fix spurned by the flaws of raw emotion:

My Point? If Kobe Bryant was NOT in the game in those final seconds in regulation...the Hornets really would not have to double which in turn would not allow Pau to read the defense and pass it to an open Derek Fisher. With all due respect to Pau...Kobe was the only player on that court who demands a double team with the game on the line. His presence was the best thing to happen to Derek Fisher making that shot. Kobe didn't have to be a team player. He could have demanded and forced the ball or disrupt the read by running around ala Rip Hamilton but where he was at on the floor provided spacing.

My favorite thing to tell people: Watch the Tape!

But noooo, nobody thinks about that. Kobe has to be our favourite little Mr. Piggy.

Edwin/KBlitz,
since when have I said I admire Luke Walton?

Just let me know when we have a better more consistent option to play the SF position ...

It's so short-sighted to single out Luke Walton it's funny...

Who do you want to play then? Ariza? OK, Ariza is a shaky 3pt shooter (like Walton), doesnt make good playmaking decisions (unlike Walton), and doesnt rebound as well as Walton.

Ariza's skill-set SCREAM 2nd unit. He finishes (the 1st unit already has 3 finishers at the rim) and plays uptempo. Ariza will eventually snag the starting 3 spot when he ups his 3pt game or more importantly gets some meat on his bones.

But now that Vlad is gone, who else is going to start at SF?

Walton would not be as good W/O the 1st unit players. His sole purpose is to create situations to get them the rock. He only shoots when wide open.THIS is a good thing! The 2nd unit, Walton isnt nearly as effective because of who he is playing with.

I dont understand why 75% of people on this blog get so worked up on this blog about Luke Walton when he only plays about 20 mins a game and his role is well-defined. You when champs. by well-defined roles.

I dont love him or hate him, I just dont care really. Luke Walton isnt going to decide the season for us.

Kobe/Pau/Lamar will.

KBlitz,
"Kobe posts up as well as a SG! "

OK, so I think you were agreeing with me about the SF spot.

So yea, damn. If you have Kobe posting up then you have 3 7 footers on the perimeter during an ISO which isnt exactly a good thing...

This is why I so L-U-V-E the blog ... cogent, coherent, concise yet comprehensive discussions of Lakers' basketball issues.
Keep up the terrific work/words guys -all of you. I learn at the feet of your collective wisdom.

Mikefloss,
I think that the Bynum/Gasol assists are more important than the Kobe assists. The more the offense starts inside, the better things go.

LakerTom,
Odom does not have enough of an outside game to be an effective combination with Pau and Bynum, and he has never played this well when playing with Bynum. Their games just don't mesh yet, and the last two weeks of the regular season is NOT the time to be trying something brand new.

kobeblitz,

1st. I actually wasn't talking to you.

2nd. I did not mean that we won by a lot of points.
I meant that we were actually more physical
than they were. Compare this to the finals last
year. Since you're a stats junkie go to espn
and look at the box score. NO CELTIC HAS
A + UNDER THE +/- COLUMN. For comparison:
KG -3 Gasol +1
Rondo -3 Fisher +10
R.Allen -2 Kobe +2
T. Allen -11 Ariza +9
Pierce -6 Lamar +17

Read that last one again. Lamar was +17, coming
off the bench, against the best team in league not
named Lakers. With the best record in the league.
In the biggest game of the regular season
to date.

3rd. regarding being biased against LO. If all you can
say about my post is "you're misremembering
the game. the score was close all night" then
once again, you're just talking to talk. Perhaps you
should ask questions to clarify someone's
thoughts/statements before you publicly
misconstrue them.

Let me help you: http://tinyurl.com/bgpzca

That link is to "Mastering the Art of Communication".
Pay particular attention to items 5 & 6. i.e. You don't
elicit feedback ... other than people telling you you're
wrong/here are some offensive stats. You don't
strive for understanding of what someone meant
before you try to shoot them down and lift yourself
up.

To contrast this, in my post to LakerTom, you'll notice
that I "asked questions" about his post. This is my
attempt to elicit feedback in a non-confrontational
way. You'll notice that I seek unity in talking about how
well Lamar is doing. I give him a chance to make his
point clear by asking more questions. This is also my
attempt to duplicate *HIS* understanding in my own
mind.

For what it's worth, I'm not the best communicator either.
I am trying to get better.

dave m,

A fair share of journalists read this blog.

I've seen more than a few blog posts/subjects be ripped off by journalists as their "own" article, often borrowing specific phrases and outlooks from other bloggers.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I guess.

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

GO LAKERS!

Kobe averages less shots than LeBron, Iverson, Mello, Wade. He has improved his game so much over the years. The nights that he takes more than 20 shots stand out now when they used to be the norm 5 seasons ago. What's with the hating? How could you want Kobe to end his career somewhere else? 24 belongs in the rafters. If Chick was still around he'd be able to describe just how valuable Kobe is. Every great player is great in his own way. There is room for Kobe's greatness just like there is room for LeBron's, AI's, Mello's, Wade's. Stop hatin'!!!

Good Morning Laker Nation!

It's time for...

Jon K.'s Early Thoughts That He Has Not Put Too Much Thought Into Yet:

1. For some reason, I'm not concerned that the Lakers are going to underestimate our opponents on this road trip. I think they've reached that level of maturity.

2. I AM concerned that Pau Gasol is playing too many minutes. Too many minutes = susceptibility to injury. I wasn't really happy about the Chris Mihm trade for this reason, especially since we really got nothing out of it. I just hope that Mbenga and Powell's minutes go way up. Let's not run Gasol ragged before the playoffs, okay?

3. My expectations for Adam Morrison are plummeting. I had a dream last night we traded him for a box of peanuts or some other equivalent. Obviously, we can't trade him until the summer, but my patience for mediocrity for a player who was lauded as the "next Larry Bird" is short. I will not give the benefit of the doubt to Morrison as I did Jordan's OTHER wunderkind choice, Kwame Brown. Sorry, Adam, this is a Championship year. No one is allow to slack. If you've got personal issues (as your Bio-Chrono reading suggests), get over 'em. We need production, not excuses.

4. In contrast, I am EXCITED about the bargain pick-up of Shannon Brown. The kid is thrilled to be a Laker and has been playing like it. This is a player Faith and I can get behind: A positively-minded, energetic, defensively skilled guard. I like it!

5. Lamar Odom is finally being the player that he should be. How awesome is that?

6. I'm concerned about my UCLA Bruins. I saw the loss to Washington State at Pauly. How do we lose to Cougars at Pauly? That's not supposed to happen.

7. The L.A. Times is taking it to Baron Davis. Good. He's been playing like crap. He's supposed to be the engine behind the Clippers. Instead he's been playing like a distracted, spoiled brat. I have zero tolerance for players who don't play hard.

8. Any word on how Andrew Bynum's re-hab is coming along?

9. I think the tide has turned and that Kobe Bryant is not the favorite for the league MVP.

10. The Suns have set. {Jon K. gleefully smiles to self.} When we do finally retire Shaq's jersey and we go over his career accomplishments, Mitch Kupchak will have to include, "And who can forget when Shaquille O'Neal literally DESTROYED the Suns organization? Ruining a hated rival from the inside! Thank you, Shaq!"

11. I am very happy to be a Lakers fan and am deeply grateful that Dr. Jerry Buss, Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak, Phil Jackson, and Kobe Bryant have put together such a wonderful. This year officially begins out next dynasty. Enjoy the ride.

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

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

GO LAKERS!

People, people, people...

KOREY is right!

All this talk about Lamar earning the starting role and going to a triple tower line-up is hogwash. Like I said before, it's that commercial where there were 5 Shaqs on the court.... you're thinking way too simplistic if you like this idea.

PJ will face a bit of a puzzle... the team playing well without Socks, Lamar's emerged play...

The solution is to revert back to last season and have Socks come off the bench. I'm not saying PJ will do this, but this solution seems to fit best because:
1. It keeps the current starting line-up, the one that's playing well
2. Keeping the line-up reduces the chance of chemistry issues late in the season
3. Lamar has proven a few things... that he can play well at the 4 spot (this is the ONLY place he's ever played well) along Gasol. The two of them work well together, and putting Lamar off the bench means the bench will have to look to Lamar to be the leader of the 2nd unit.... he's TERRIBLE at being the leader.
4. Having Andrew off the bench gives the bench a legit scoring threat besides Farmar's drives. Usually PJ has to have Gasol in there to stabalize... now it will be Andrew and the offense WILL go through him
5. PJ has a built in excuse to do this... it's probably the best reason of all 5.... Andrew has been out, he's not in rhythm, yada yada yada.... we'll have hime come off the bench until he's ready to start... then lo and behold he won't start until next season.

Just a guess, but I think this will happen.

And let me repeat, Lamar at the 3 spot is a DISASTER. Put it to you this way, if LO wants to keep his starting job next season, work on his perimeter play during the offseason.

How about that?

Tim-4-Show - that actually makes a lot of sense, all 5 points.

Jon - I read the Simers article, interesting stuff. What would you think about bringing Harper in to coach? At least he wouldn't be blindsided by Sterling - he played a lot of years with the Clips.

Game day!

I'd like to see the starters with ice on their knees for the majority of the fourth. I think it'll happen.

Go Lake Show!

Hey guys, kinda haven't been posting because I've been so busy but great win on Friday, what a great game. DFish is the man.

It's nice that everyone else is experiencing injuries (I'm not happy players are injured but its nice that they are on our level with Drew out). Lets see how the Celtics and others deal with the adversity that we have been dealing with for the past two years. I bet these other teams don't do as well as the Lakers did last year and have been doing this year.


Tim-4-Show-

I totally agree with your post. Lamar is playing out of his mind right now and PJ would be out of his mind to start Drew once he came back. The problem is when Drew starts playing like he did before he got hurt. They can't all start and I would imagine it is pretty much out of the question for Pau to come off the bench. It will be interesting to see how PJ deals with it all but I am pretty confident he will make the right decisions. Plus, its all about who ends the game and that has been Odom and Pau for most of the season with Drew on the bench, even when Drew was healthy.

Lamar = Finals MVP

GO LAKERS


KBlit.

Why do not you say Derek shot poorly?????

Can't you read the stat by yourself??? And you can calculate Laker's overall shot percentage excluding Kobe's. What do you get?

Just think about it, If Derek did not make the last shoot. hw would be liek 1 of 8. then shouldnot we say it is still Kobe's fault to lose the game???? Well, in the end, people would still blame it is kobe's poor shooting caused Laker the game.

On Paul, nobody said he was not a good player. What I said he was defintely NOT top 10 players in the league.(Sure he is top 10 power forward). I would not bother list 10 players in the league better than him.

Korey, Jon k, Lakertom, Faith, kobeblitz, exhelodrvr, Edwin Gueco, longtimelakerlover, hobbitmage , and all my other fellow orginal bloggers.

Hello Everyone....I'm back for another cameo lol


Wasup wit this Staples 24 guy? Does he understand how Kobe Bryant makes the game easier for other players.

AND DURING A BAD GAME HE STILL WENT OFF FOR 39PTS 5 REBOUNDS 5 ASSIST 1 BLOCK AND 1 STEAL.

he ended at 43% of his shots but made the big ones when it matter MOST. thats the difference with Kobe. He's so strong willed that missing the last shot doesnt bother him. I go to war with a strong minded player like that anyday.

BTW I love to see Shannon Brown get some more minutes. We actually got somebody who can stay in front of these very fast PG's. Give him some more time Phil and he'll start making those jumpers. I also liked his movement without the ball he made some strong cuts

BTW also Where has Mike T gone? I respect his opinions but Kwame brown has given the pistons absolutely nothing

Here's my 2 cents on the LO argument. Should he start when AB comes back? Hell yes!

Why? Well, look at it this way, first, the playoffs are approaching and the rotation is going to be shortened anyway. Second, is LO any worse as a perimeter player than Luke? I mean, Luke isn't a good outside shooter, not a great rebounder, not a good post up player and is only a mediocre passer. Luke has some success on defense, but which of Luke's overall skills are better than LO? Why wouldn't LO at point forward scare other teams and force them to plan and play around him. We saw PJ try to feature Luke on the low blocks a couple games ago. Wouldn't you have thought LO in the same position against the same defender would have produced different results?

When PJ shortens the rotation we need to have our best 5 players on the court as much as possible. Anyone who doesn't think LO fits as one of our 5 best players had better watch the games a bit closer. LO doesn't have to have the personal scoring and rebound stats to be effective and PJ can rotate rest time for Bynum, Gasol and LO depending on the game at hand. For all those worried about Luke's playing time, don't. He will get plenty of rest sitting over there on that chair, right next to Phil.

Jon K,

You can see what most of us already thought... that Shannon Brown is the likely contributer THIS year. He'll have his chances and if he can learn the offense and hit some shots, he WILL play and he will contribute.

Morrison, on the other hand, isn't likely to help much at all this season. His lack of defense means he's a liability and his lack of time in the triangle means he's not much better on offense. His knee is still not at 100% and we're entering the final stretch for the title. For Morrison to get much PT now would be a miracle.

Having said that, I DO think he has a shot to be a big boost off the bench next season.

Here's the thing Jon K... to have a championship team, you need champions. Champions are highly driven individuals that work their butts off to improve and to win. We know Morrison was this way in college. Since his injury, however, he's shown a different color.

It's too early to put a verdict on this kid. He had a decent rookie season... but next season is his do or die if he's to be part of the new NBA dynasty. Let's see what he does between now and training camp!!!

KB,

I agree it's unrealistic in the triangle to expect Kobe to get 8 dimes a game. However, if he consciously went out there every night with a mindset that he'll create for his teammates and get them the ball where they can be most effective, he'll get close to that nightly, with less wear and tear on himself. It also keeps his teammates comfortable on the floor, getting touches, staying in the flow. I get concerned, especially in crunch time, when the ball starts and stops with Mamba. The degree of difficulty at that point is so tough. Everyone knows Kobe is going to take the shot or make the play, which is fine, but passing to a teammate for a wide open look would make him and the team more dangerous. Just sayin. Lebron and Wade are averaging 7 apg with less scoring talent at their side than Kobe. I know our record says it all, but think it can be easier, that's all.


I've seen many guys accused kobe a ball hog when his shooting percentage not so high.

Then we can say most of NBA players are ball hog,because not many guys(except those centers, every few) in the league shot 50%+.

Or Kobe did not pass a ball to a open man like luke or derek, then they will say Kobe is a ballhog. You truely believe luke or Derek will make the shoot? Why donot you check luke and Fisher's shooting percentage before you say that?

Did you see Lebron or MJ always pass to open men? I've watched lots of games of MJ's 6 champion years, I'd like to say MJ is much amore a ballhog than kobe. Why MJ's shoorting pecentage is higher than kobe, because refs would give MJ more fs when he did not make the shoot, the league is defintely biased. Just like nowadays Lebron would get fs much easier than everybody else.


I just saw enough kobe haters everywhere, even during 20005-2008 when kobe himself alone brought lakers into a very competetive west postsean.(think about it, he played with smush, brian cook, mihm, kwame, those guys are D-Leauge players, ok?)

This whole will LO start when Bynum comes back conversation is irritating basically b/c, as soon as Drew went down I was screaming this line of thinking was bound to happen. On the pre-game for the GSW game, Money asked Spero and Mychael whether this team is better without Drew. Their answer was an emphatic NO.

Everyone think back to last years playoffs. The team played fantastic all the way through the Conf Finals. Looking at the team, you would've thought - these guys are playing amazing - who needs Drew? Now look at what happened to them in the Finals and remember that all the talk afterwards was, if they only would've had Drew - that he was going to be the difference for the team this year. Why would you allow yourselves to get sucked into that thinking this year when it was proven wrong last year?

Here's what is frustrating about the thinking that LO is playing out of his mind and how Drew is brought back should be done in a way as to not mess that up. That's 100% an attitude situation and, therefore, LO SHOULD be able to put up these numbers once Drew comes back. If he doesn't, that's his own fault. There's nothing about Drew being back that would stand in his way. Fact of the matter is, PJ used the Drew/Pau/LO line-up only once all year. LO will be on the court with either Drew or Pau at all times - what about that would keep him from being just as effective as he is now other than his attitude? Can someone explain that to me?

Tim-4-show,

Korey is right, no question about that. His point of saying Luke is better with starters than with the 2nd unit as an SF is right to the point when Bynum is back. LO slides to 2nd and helps the bench mob. In the end, they all scramble in different combination during 3rd and 4th, do we all have say on that? however LakerTom just prefers a good presentation, a different outlook of starters. LT rewards good players by giving them the starter role, whether it was Drew or Farmar now Lamar. He wants to fill in the PJ role in the blog that is his expression of love with the team and passion on some players.

What I just noticed with Korey, his vision gets lost by the way he carries the message, I don't see any carrots or persuasion but more of sticks in a commanding language that bridges towards mockery and deceit. A reader reacts not on the content but on the peripherals of manner of delivery. Phred reminded Korey on his strong provocations, Compton's Finest one time lost his cool in replying Korey's posts, LakerTom and Korey were partners in the 55 bandwagon but parted ways on their endless debate between Farmar and Smush. His ensuing debate with LTLF & Blitz were strong enough as if we are all gunslingers here in the blog ready for a high noon duel.

I myself I like Korey's ideas and basketball knowledge next to Mike T. LOL! However, it's hard to digest his style b/c they lost in the translation. Reminds me of my good uncle that I want to argue during Thanksgiving dinner, but fear than once the argument starts, we lose your appetites & ruins the essence of love on a holiday. If there are times when we can acquiesce and still forgive a bad Kobe, can we also request or dream of conversing with a good Korey?

Lakers_sth - I'm not sure that anyone's really making this an L.O. vs. Drew thing, or saying that we don't need Drew. Obviously we need Drew very much, especially in the playoffs. It's more a question of where to fit L.O. in - he obviously plays better at the starting 4 than anyplace else (at least in this system). You're right that L.O. SHOULD be able to fit in anywhere... unfortunately that's not reality. So the question, is how best to serve the team. Drew's a center, pure and simple. He can start or he can come off the bench - he's still going to hold down the middle for us. Personally, I don't care who starts, as long as the job is done. As I mentioned in a prior post, L.O. tends to become a chameleon all too easily - it's advantageous to the team to keep him involved and motivated. Anyway, I thought Tim-4-Sow's argument had merit.

Here's a heads up for those that think LO coming off the bench is light years different than him starting. When Drew was healthy, LO was in with the starters at the 6 min mark of the first quarter of practically every game. Go to 82games and look at their breakdown of 5 man units. LO has been on the floor without a starter beside him for a total of only 26 minutes this entire year. Look at how often he's on the floor with Pau OR Drew. Look at how often he's been on the floor with Kobe or Fish.

This isn't hockey where there are wholesale line changes. The only thing that would hold LO back from being as effective as he is now if he didn't start is his attitude and if you have paid attention to his press interviews, you'll understand that his attitude and focus is the reason why he's been playing better lately.

Laker Larry,

We have the same sentiments on Luke Walton. He's the odd player in this team that creates controversy whether placed on the starting group or in the bench mob. What I like with Luke in the starting role, his handicaps are shadowed by his superior teammates. Whenever he passes the ball to Kobe & knowing Kobe what he will do with the ball, it is turned into an assist. If he passes it to Fisher on the top of the post, Fisher will shoot it blindfoldedly and turned into an assist. When Drew is in the post, Luke passes to Drew, you know what is the next move from there. Luke becomes the hero in all the assist stats of LTLF & Blitz but in reality it was the ball receiver that made it happened, not Luke. Therefore, Luke's strength are properly utilized when mixed with the all stars, we notice his BBIQ#1.

When Luke slides in the 2nd unit, he ruins the chemistry of the mediocre 2nd unit aspiring to be ball hogs too, like Farmar and Sasha whose mindset is focused on the basket rather than the play. They don't consider time management or court management but a gunner mentality once they get the ball, run for your lives of blind aggression like a surface to air missile attack, while Luke is left behind admiring the action, his lazy feet could not keep up with fast pace.

Mark Jackson and JVG are calling out the PHX players for their poor performance under Porter. I agree. This is what I'm talking about with attitude. It's their own fault that they dialed it in and the way they're playing now gives clear evidence that they did, in fact, dial it in. They pouted the same way D'Antoni did. Horrible attitudes.

The refs aren't doing themselves any favors in this PHX-Boston game. Twice already, they've waited until the Boston player has missed the shot before blowing the whistle.

mikefloss,

That's because the Cavs and Heat are built primarily on those two as the main playmaker. In the Triangle there are supposed to be more than on playmaker. That is what makes the triangle offense working best: If everyone was a playmaker, then defenses don't know WHO to stop and makes it difficult to solely target one person.

Dara,

As a stalwart defender of Kobe Bryant I also make sure that I do not get too blinded by his greatness. Yes Derek shot poorly but who was the one who hit the game tying shot TWICE this season?

When Kobe was moaning in the summer of 2007 Derek had to take him to lunch and calm down his nerves after the Houston lost.

And yes Kobe's poor shooting really sucked. He did the same kind of crappy shooting he did in the Finals when he faced off against Posey. Don't bother to even try to penetrate and create opportunities for him or his teammates and instead settle of *contested* jump shooting. I've always been a critic of Kobe's shot selection at times. Michael Jordan's shot selection in generally was better than Kobe Bryant and it is shown how Kobe *NEVER* shot more than 47% in a single season while MJ shot more than 50% for several seasons. Kobe has been forced to struggle offensively by Bowen, Tayshaun Prince, James Posey, and even Paul Pierce on a consistent basis!

Since you want to push stats at me fine then consider how Kobe in the 2004 Finals shot like crap against the defense of Tayshaun Prince. 38% in the Finals while Shaq was securing deep position and had monster game in the Finals and Phil himself why was Kobe firing up so many shots when Shaq was on his way to monster games to score 40+ppg in TWO games that could have made a difference in the Finals.

I don't buy into the "Kobe is a ball hog" theory. What I do criticize though is his shot selection which in general is not as good as Michael's ever was!

And Hobbitmage,

Yes indeed you have forgotten the Christmas game so much. You want to say the Lakers were more physical than the Celtics? Well the Celtics out rebounded the Lakers in BOTH GAMES.

The difference on Christmas was Kobe's healthy shooting night where he played true to the offense and made smarter shots. The match up in Boston Kobe shot like crap, made some really BAD shot selections, and the biggest difference was LO and Pau.

I'm making a vid at the moment and is nearly complete about the Lakers game in Boston and how pathetic Kobe's shot selection was at times and also some other stuff like good passing BEATS any defense. I will wait till after the Lakers game to upload it. Part of the reason why I made the video was your notion that "Kobe works on his game" would mean he would succeed in the tougher, more physical, and more fundamental era of basketball of the 80's and 90's.

-KB Blitz

Tim-4-Show,

Shannon Brown is a real bright surprise in the Vlad-Morrison trade. I'm actually hopeful that Brown may be able to more meaningfully contribute to a championship that Rad Vlad would have.

My concern with Adam Morrison is his Bio-Chrono reading. It doesn't lend itself to fortitude nor mental toughness and he's showing all the signs of a self-sabotoging mental state based upon his experiences in Charlotte. Knee injury or no knee injury, I can tell just by his body language that Larry Brown really undermined this guy's sense of confidence in himself.

Perhaps Phil can reverse that, but, quite frankly, I doubt it. Not because he can't, but because Phil's own ego often gets in the way. He's not one to really build up a player's sagging confidence. He's more one to needle a player when he's not reaching expectations.

In short, Adam Morrison needs a sports psychologist and he needs one pronto.

If not, it will be a tremendous waste of talent. It's no accident that this guy was so amazing at Gonzaga.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!

lakers_sth

It's terrible here in Phoenix the way that the fans and media put it on Terry Porter. Steve Nash is the crux of the problem for the Suns. He has always been a poor defensive player and when the Suns tried to change the philosophy to defense, he revolted. Nash is the primary reason that Porter lost his job, despite being above .500 for the year.

This Celtics game is showing why the Suns will have a difficult time making the playoffs this season. They don't play defense and PGs kill them. The Suns never take responsibility for their mistakes either. Every play they fight the referees even when it's plain they made the right call.

Laker_sth,
"if they only would've had Drew "

Drew playing 20 minutes per game off the bench would have made the difference against the Celtics. At this point, unless he gets back unexpectedly early, it would not be wise to put him back in the starting lineup. There just won't be enough time for that group to get in synch before the playoffs.

LakerTom,
Lamar is not as good a passer as Luke, not as good a team defender, and not as good at initiating the offense in the half-court. I don't think he is as good a three-point shooter, but I might be wrong about that. He is a better individual defender, but his main strengths of rebounding and an interior offensive game will be limited quite a bit by playing with Bynum and Gasol.

You are correct that he has not started with Bynum since last season; that, combined with the way the Lakers have been playing lately, are the biggest reason not to change the starting lineup when Bynum returns. At this point in the season, you don't make significant changes to something that is working so well. Now if the team goes cold, and "limps" into the playoffs, then there would be more reason to start Bynum. Or if Bynum has a string of monster games prior to the playoffs. Then it would be worth considering. But not otherwise.


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