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Thunder, lightning: The way the Lakers won was so frightening

Well, maybe more "mildly jittery" than "frightening."  After all, the Thunder being referenced are Kobe of the Oklahoma City variety, a squad not necessarily known for pulling upsets.  Let's be honest.  They rarely win (particularly this month).  Thus, I can't truly claim to have been "worried" about the Lakers losing.  But stranger things have happened, so along those lines, the Lakers better knock, knock, knock on wood they didn't let a horrendous third quarter prevent them from coming out on top 107-93

After staking themselves a cushion of one dozen to better enjoy some halftime Gatorade and orange wedges, the purple and gold pushed it to sixteen, then saw their starters get a little careless, followed up by a bench mob that grew straight up "that former Stone Temple Pilots singer on a six-day bender" sloppy.  Offensive execution became non-existent, which led to misses and bad fouls... which led to a lead reaching as precarious a state as one point... which led to Kobe Bryant eventually back on the floor and taking over. 

Between the 9:14 and 6:31 mark in the fourth, The Mamba notched ten points of his 36 total points, restoring a sense of order to the proceedings that was never again threatened.  Derek Fisher hit a pair of "Seriously, we're done screwing around" shots in the last few minutes for good measure, Luke Walton had a solid 11/5/4 and Oklahoma City managed just 42% from the field, reflective of how their mistakes (like, says, 16 turnovers) benefited OKC more than the 13-44 squad's own skills.   But in the end, the box score equals W #47, which is more important than any style points accrued along the way.

Finally, congratulations are in order to Kobe not only for a terrific game, but for passing Adrian Dantley and taking ownership of the 19th spot on the all-time scoring list. Fun in and of itself, but even more so when you take into account a few dipsy-doodle shots Bryant canned to make history.  My personal favorite was him dribbling just along side the paint to meet Kevin Durant, then a side dribble to separate from the youngster, followed by a double pump J through the Longhorn's arms after a pretty good recovery.  Teacher taking it to a student whose game he's praised quite a bit.

AK 

 
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just realized that our lakers is the only team who won a road game today. love those pumps and fakes of kobe. restoring order when the game is on the verge. we are so lucky to have the best player in the world..
Go Lakers!!!

More important than the OKC game, is the Knicks waiving the well known cancer. And if Boston picks him up, that will fortify the Celtics for their playoff run.
I say that Marbury's honeymoon with the Celtics lasts until the end of this season. For next year, all bets are off.
But this year, even a rusty Marbury is going to be better than any guard the Celtics currently have on their bench.
I don't think Laker fans s/d be too confident that this is going to implode the Celtics. That's just wishful thinking.
At most, if he doesn't end up playing, it's a wash.
If he does play as a bench sparkplug, he's just improved one of Boston's biggest weaknesses and that's their bench.

Hey Long Time Laker Fan,

Interesting stat: As a starter Luke is now shooting 38.9% from 3 point land.

He's not the shooter that Vlad is or Derek is but I'll accept that over the 35.9% (updated) from 3 point land shooting that Sasha is shooting like.

-KB Blitz

AK/BK,

I'm concerned about our bench particularly Sasha and Jordan who appear to be in a serious slump. I believe we could us some more muscle and energy off the bench for the stretch run. Banking on just Andrew returning healthy and back to his form before he got injured is risky even for this deep team. Tonight Pau seemed gassed more than he has all season long. Do you guys think the Lakers will fill that open roster spot and if they do, who is on their radar? Celtics are bolstering the roster for another title run with addition of Mikki Moore and likely Marbury. Who do you think the Lakers should pick up? My choice would be Bonzi Wells or go after Joe Smith.

If Kobe averages 27ppg for the next 24 games he's going to surpass both Robert "The Chief" Parish and Sir Charles Barkley aka the Round Mound of Rebound this season

-KB Blitz

Sasha is a shooter and he has to play with the first team to be more effective. Period. Put Luke on the 2nd team and see if his shooting % comes anywhere close to that number. For a shooter to be effective the pass should either come from a double team or a play must be run for him..Sasha on the 2nd team gets neither..

Finaly kobe stoped posting up so much and started to face up and shoot quick befor the double team started to come and that is why he shoat + 50% He is so much more effective when he shots quick in rythem with alot of time left on the shoat clock. When pj told reporters after the toranto game on the road that kobe is a better shooter than mj and that mj is much better at posting up, ever since that kobe has been posting up almost about 90% of the time and and almost never whent for his pull jumpers or quick jumpers with alot of time on the shoat clock. He was trying to prove to pj that he could or be better at posting up than mj. Which did not work out for him so much. Kobe should just stick to the way he plays not try prove him self to pj. Paul is really getting exhausted it is showing in his d not moving legs. We need bynum back healthy befor the season ends, so paul can get some rest. Looking forward to the suns game!! Are bench was better at this game than the timberwolves game but the gotta step up man specially sasha.

Me thinks playing with Kobe has a lot to do with that stat.

Didn't Smush Parker once average a career high in everything?

Don't put too much emphasis on losing leads or who to trade b/c the team is just going in process, all they want is a W. Most important stats so far, they are the best road team at this time, in fact they are the only visiting that won tonight. They can win in front of opposing fans and also without Bynum. Starburry or Moore they have no charm and no luck, if Horry can still play why not a former Laker? This is the game where Morrison and Brown have a chance to show what they've learned so far....another pass from PJ, he has no confidence on his bench newcomers against Thunder. Therefore, the bench from Vlad to Mihm now replaced by Morrison and Brown, still on the bench.

Another lousy win over a lousy team. Are you Fakers fan proud of that kind of win? You should be scared of your team, the way they're playing lately. They can't even dominate weaker teams like the Thunder, Wolves and Warriors. Your team record (the best record in the league) don't really speak how weak is your team. You will find out come play-off time. Mark my word!!!

Farmer should go.

If Sasha could not improve, he should go too.

I do not think the Lakers should sign Ariaza for more than $5M a year next year.

Look at Sasha, Luke, valde and Mihm. I hope Lakers mgmt learned a lesson here.

Though I like Ariaza a lot, but I do not think he worthes more than $5M., period.

Blitz - My take on the bench woes. To me, the rotation before Drew's injury was usually 6 starters and 3 bench players. I didn't consider LO entering midway through the first quarter "going to the bench" b/c it was basically last year's starting unit. What that meant was you always had 2 starting calibre players minimum on the floor at all times. Now PJ has gone to a rotation where the bench mob spends most of their time with only 1 starter (usually Pau or LO) to accompany them. It's changed the dynamic, workload and overall comfort level for those guys.

To me, that's a macro explanation. As far as individuals, I think that Farmar is playing pretty efficient. Ariza has been inconsistent and there's just something plain wrong with Sasha's shot. Powell is a lot better when he's in his spots but now that he's spending more time on the floor, he's had to try to convert from a wider range of locations.

Get this, I had two tacos for lunch at a local mexican restaurant. Delicious and prophetic. Every Laker fan needs to start having tacos for lunch before game-time. And this includes the roadies. Come on Lakerville, show some confidence!!!

Durant will be scary once he gets more focused on D. His length has gotten him multiple interceptions in both games against the Lakers and he really bothers Kobe's mid-range shot when he's on him. He could become Tayshaun times 10.

I. Love. Derek. Fisher.

http://tinyurl.com/bh3efw

REPOST: Question to the community.

Tonight PJ had to reinsert his starters early in the fourth b/c the team had basically lost the lead.

So, here's a question for those of you who believe rest is more important that home court. Does that mean, tonight, you would've rather seen PJ wait longer before bringing back the starting unit even if it meant losing the game? Or are you guys proposing PJ actually give starters some games off? He already gives players practices off but that doesn't factor into "rest" v "home court".

Another lousy win over another lousy team?

Awww c'mon Let's Go C's, you really shouldn't talk about your team like that. I know we beat you twice this year, broke both your winning streaks, but c'mon. The Celtics really aren't that bad. You've got to stop taking things so hard. I know you hate our team, but that's because you're afraid. It's ok little guy. If Boston doesn't win this year, you can always curl up with your dvd of last season and sing "Memories" while you cry into your tissue.

Go on now lil' fella - shoo! That's right - go on home. Bye Bye now.

How come every available veteran goes to play for the Celtics? The last time this happened to the Lakers was Malone and Payton when the Lakers were dominating. This only means one thing the Celtics are still the best team in the NBA.

Can the Lakers get Jannero Pargo. Much needed at PG/SG for the bench. Sasha and Farmar does not play well together, it seems like they hate each other?

131-92,

If it's one ball then shouldn't Pierce have been better when he didn't have Ray Allen or Kevin Garnett? Sure he put better production but he wasn't as winning much.

Mo Williams means less work for Lebron not to mention Lebron can't be targeted as much as he did last year. Mo already have 2 40+ games so if all the focus is on Lebron then Mo will probably go off.

And the loss of Posey will hurt the Celtics big time. Even if Moore provides the same kind of production as PJ Brown did the lost of Posey will affect the Celtics against Lebron big time. Posey gave at least 20 min of guarding Lebron which spared Pierce from working too hard defensively. Now no Posey, Tony Allen isn't the defender Posey is and he's out till the playoffs at least, and now left on Lebron is Pierce and Pierce will have to work harder than before.

That's why I say to you and the other Celtics fans who come here: You guys should be worried more about the Cavaliers than us. You have to face them two more times (1 could be without Garnett) not to mention will probably do so in the playoffs. Nice to see you without caps btw.

Let's go C's,

When Lebron dethrones Pierce willyou be here still or be crying in Bean town?? This time just for you: 98-83!!!

-KB Blitz

Let's Go C's said to mark his word!!!!

"Boston Sucks" = Let's Go C's word! Let's mark it!!!!

BOSTON SUCKS!!!!!!!!

No really, it's time for you to go little guy. You need your rest and beauty sleep. What? I know, your beauty sleep won't really help, but go on home anyhow and cry into your milk. That's a good little guy.

I wrote on this blog before, I did not like the trade Vlad for Morrision and Brown, i want a veteran player who can play now, Lakers don't need any more young players. The important is Lakers got to win this year, next year who knows? Mitch Kupchak still don't understand this goal, after Shaq left LA , Mitch still did not realize very well. Last year, PJ Brown and Sam Cassel did good job for Boston. If the Celtics have Marbury , plus Miki More, these players are not young, they have experience. and they don't have to sit on the bench to learn the offense. The problem with Mitch and Phil, they did not make right decision,last year Lakers want PJ Brown, he signed with Boston, this year,Lakers want James Posey, Brent Barry, they sign with other teams, Pargo was available, Lakers signed Sasha,and don't tell me Lakers don't have money, Phil's salary is the highest in the NBA.

K-Blitz,

Q : Why do we stink up the Lakersblog, and not the Cavs?

A : First, Cleveland fans really don`t invade the Globe`s Celtics blog. However, Laker fans have all but moved in and rearranged the furniture! That includes you, "NickVan Exel" and "Cannibus Hog".

Second, Lakersblog is ground-zero for every Celtic hater on the planet. It`s where they all come to gulp their daily swig of Celtic Haterade! I`m not talking about "haters" from Encino or Culver City. I`m talking haters from India, Brazil, Bronx, etc.

Q : Why does it seem that we don`t focus enough on our most immediate threat {Cavs}?

A : Because we`re still waiting to see the Cavs win when the Celts are firing on all cylinders and have all their swagger.

The 93-82 game was at the tail end of that 2-7 skid. Boston was at it`s lowest point of the season. There was a real crisis of confidence taking place. We weren`t really expecting a win that night to begin with. Still, it was a 5 point game well into the 3rd...on a night where Pierce & Rondo shot 5 for 23.

If the Celts and their fans are candid, the Laker win in Boston was the "eye-opener". We didn`t see that one coming {Xmas game meant squat to us}. But, the Feb.5 game told us that 131-92 was now ancient history. It`s a new year. It`s time to look in the mirror. It`s time to re-dedicate and re-load!

Not sure why all the vets go to Boston. Maybe they like green? Besides, we aren't really looking for one. Our team is full of tried and true vets.

Look - they played ugly but they got it done. You can pick apart how it happened but I'd rather leave that to the coaches. Right now it's just nice to see the 1-1/2 games we are above the Celtics. Not to mention the rest of the league. Our guys are working hard to keep us there.

Things I'm most proud of this season:

1. Beating Boston Christmas day and ending their winning streak.

2. Beating Boston in their house and breaking their winning streak.

3. Being the only team to beat the Cav's at home this year.

Wait - you mean BOSTON didn't beat the Cav's at home? Ohhhh that's right. They didn't. Because they dominate every game, don't they? That's right.

Gotta wait 'til the end of the season to know who is going to be where in the standings. We could fall, the Celtics could fall, the Cav's could fall, etc.. infinity. We'll know when we know. We have to contend with the W coast and Boston and Cav's have to contend on the E coast.

Bottom line: Can't be too sure about any of it.

Good luck to us all.

Nemaia - Joe Smith would be a good choice. Horry as well of course, the Cav's are supposedly in the hunt for him. Scott Pollard would be worth taking a look at - he was always a pretty smart player, could probably pick up the triangle, at least enough to anchor a few minutes per game.

Looks like Mihm might get waived by Memphis... Denver and the Cavs are supposedly both interested.

Is it too much for me to wish for Z-Bo, B-Diddy and the Camby-man to put a hurt on the Celtics tomorrow to represent for the City of Angels?

Durant is better than Lebron, Kobe and Michael at age 20. Scary? THis should be reall hard on Portland missed out on MJ and KD to have Sam Bowie and Greg Oden. Wheww!

Celtic fans are still cocky yet Eastern Conference is not a sure deal. Win the East first before you talk about the Lakers. Our team is comfortable with the commanding lead of 8 games ahead of their nearest rival, so if they keep on winning on the road the home court is on the bag all the way to Cleveland. I say the Cavaliers not Celtics in 2009. Celtic just suck this season after making a bad decision in dropping Posey and PJ Brown. They will make another bad decison of getting washed-out players like Moore and Starbury. Next season, Celtics would surely trade one of their three stars or else pay gargantuan luxury taxes.

Lakers_STH,

As one that has advocated "rest" especially for Pau...I'd have rested some players definitely.

Either I'd have rested Pau all the way through, or I'd have put in Kobe at the 3 minute mark.

In all honestly I'd have taken a loss in OKC...I know dismal but there's something to be said for being "fresh-er" come playoffs. Last year like I said before, we were out of steam.

I wouldn't have been surprised if there was more Pinkbury-Lakers talk. He and Kobe are pretty tight - at least that's the way it appeared when Kobe was doing all the KB24 re-branding. Steph was his right hand man during that time.

Let's Go C's---who cares how the Lakers do against sub-par teams? They have a point differential of +7.6 against the top 10 teams. The Celtics point differential is a measly +2. And the Lakers beat the top 10 75% of the time. The Celtics are 50-50 on that score. Maybe the Celtics and their fans should worry less about the bottom dwellers and more about the teams they're actually going to meet in the playoffs.

One other thing about Pollard - his best years were with the Kings, when they were our actual rivals. I'm sure he has a pretty decent understanding of our system. Don't know about his health though, he had that torn tendon that finished him for the Celts.

Just was over on the Celtics Blog (no I do not post there Red's LC) and they are mostly freaking out about getting Marbury. They don't want him! Wow - never thought I'd cop to Celtics fans having even a modicum of sense but they seem to on this issue.

I wonder what a green implosion looks like?...

Staples 24,

The Celtics traded away all their youth so they can only go for veterans. The only youth that they spared were Rondo, Davis, and Perkins. Once the Big three ages they will be seeing less fantastic results.

The Lakers made sure to win now and in the close future. They are using the draft and hopefully they can develop. They got a big one in Andrew Bynum and another potential one in Trevor. Jordan and Sasha are question marks though.

Keen observer and Faith,

First off Sasha was playing much with Kobe last year and true Kobe does make his teammates better. BUT and a big BUT was Sasha really that more effective when he was with Kobe??

In the 08 playoffs Sasha spent tons of time at SG when Kobe shifted to SF. It can be argued there that Kobe made Sasha better that he did the same thing with Smush. But *HOW* effective??

8.1ppg (okay I guess), 39.2% from 3 point land (solid), 39.9% overall from the field (not good)

That is okay.....but if all Sasha can do is primary shoot then that is just bad efficiency. Not to mention how overrated his defense is.

At least Luke can pass the ball LOL!

And RLC,

Okay understandable why you guys come since there are Laker trolls in Celtics blogs as well (I don't troll really but do go in more NBA blogs to do more non biased NBA talk).

But I repeat myself again: The Cavaliers are going to be healthy and are coming in Bean town while you guys don't have KG. If the Cavaliers beat you guys there you'll have to beat them in Cleveland where the Celtics haven't won in Cleveland since March 29, 2003. That is far longer than when the Lakers last won in Cleveland until the last game. Plus so far they have the edge in records so if they win you have to win at least one game in Cleveland assuming you guys beat the Cavs all the time in Boston.

And you are right: It is a new year. Now make that 131-92 guy change his name LOL!

-KB Blitz

Tiger Woods is back. It's eerie how all his competitors (esp Mickelson) are basically giving the same talking points - giving recognition to how fortunate they are for Tiger's presence (i.e. how much money and visibility he's driven to the sport).

@KobeBlitz - After seeing the "Charles Barkley" rule get called on Kobe, it occursto me that that is one more advantage that offensive players in the 80s and 90s had besides not having to deal with zone help defenses. The offensive player could continue pounding the ball and backing the player into the basket, with no five-second rule. That's a huge advantage over today's supposed "no hand checking" rules. You could just turn your body and back a guy down.

Kobe's offensive skills rival Michael Jordan's. MJ has the obvious advantage on consistent defense, but Kobe would score just as well in the 1980s, if not better, than he does today.

although the faint of heart were worried, the Lakers DOMINATED the Thunder. make no mistake about it. the Thunder played hard and with heart....and lost by 14. we would LOVE to see the Lakers remain focused for 48 minutes and that's always the goal. reality is that these are men, not machines, and that's why we actually play the game. a human being just can't maintain his focus on exactly what he's supposed to 100% of the time. one can only contiinue to make the effort to improve.

if you don't think the Lakers are making the effort, i guess you haven't noticed that they win about the same number of games at home and away and have the best record in the league. always, i'm more concerned with health. physical, mental and spiritual. the Lakers will win the championship, if they can stay healthy. i've seen championship teams since the first LA championship to the last, and this team is as good as any of them. true it's not Showtime, or Lakeshow or Kobe/Shaq or Wilt/West, this team is different. it's not like MJ's bulls either, but it's as worthy as any, providing that, God willing, they stay healthy.


"You will find out come play-off time. Mark my word"
A leprechaun let me tell you something, lakers may play down to there opponents but only to weak teams but when it comes to the elite ones and when it is on (abc, espn, tnt) bright lights with all the presure we do play hard and win. Lakers know they can blow out all those teams but the rather beat them with offense instead of waisting so much energy on defense on back to back games and with this long season. A win is win by a 100 or by 1 a win is a win. And wait didnt warriors beat the Celtics with three of there startes injured, Yea Thats What I Thought Shut UP! And you guys have it easy in the east all the team that beat celtics at home are from the west and you guys cant compete in the west coast playoffs or have the record you guys have now if you were in the west. The only team that is a challeng for you guys is the cavs but out here in the wild wild west its a war a win is a win by 100 or by 1 a win is a win.
NOW GO FOLLOW THE RAINBOW BACK TO YOUR LEPRECHAUN BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!

The biggest problem the Lakers have had all season is playing 4 quarters of good basketball. I really think Jordan Farmar has the most problems when asked to just hold onto a lead. He seems best when he is told to push it. I still think he is going to be a good PG in the system, and I hope he continues to find his shot as the year progresses. It was good to see some many "generations" of bruins on the court.

Two ugly wins over bad teams. I'll take it, just get W's baby!!!

Still think Kobe can make it easier. Another game with only 5 assists. He played his usual stellar game, but would like to see him not have to work so hard in every game. Need better bench play in the next stretch. Would really like to see Sasha get his confidence back, he's not looking good right now;

Call me crazy, or maybe just wishful thinking, but I think the Clippers get the C's tomorrow.

the schedule this week is terrible. Phoenix/@denver as b2b and @phoenix on sunday. 3 pretty tough games after this mini road trip were the starters played a lots of minutes.

the bench mob's decision?! to play so bad it came at the worst time. and phoenix started to run lately, so not too much rest there

the cavs will start a texas 2 steps as b2b, atlanta/miami as b2b, bucks at home and the next is in boston. will see what happens. hope we can pull 3 more wins, and after we have memphis and minni for an easy week.

also we have maybe an advantage in the sense that in the east there r many teams that r fighting for the 7-8 spot for the playoffs, so they will play the cavs and boston hard. i hope so.

Regarding Marbury to Boston:

The same thing that's being said about him, has been said about the likes of Rodman and J.R. Rider, and they both brought a lot to the table ( especially Rodman under PJ), despite sometimes doing stupid things and living up to their bad reputation (although they got themselves in much more trouble after retiring.)

So I don't see why people are lauding this potential deal as something good for the Lakers; this is like a gamble with a HUGE downside for us and almost no upside at all.

If it doesn't work, it's not like Boston won't be a contender anymore or that Marbury will cause KG to demand to be traded.

And if it works, even a little, it will address one of the major issues with their team.

I really think the 'cancerous potential' of Stephon is way overrated.

Amazing_Happens

the "Charles Barkley" rule. lol. maybe we should ask that commentator mark jackson?!

blitz,
" I'll accept that (Luke) over the 35.9% (updated) from 3 point land shooting that Sasha is shooting like."

Those stats are deceiving. It ignores the fact that Sasha is being guarded out there, while defenses ignore Luke on the perimeter.

Well, BK Nostrodamus is 5 for 5 so far on his predictions post all-star. Here's hoping his 7th game is off target.

Hey BK, 6 for 7 aint bad.

mud

thanks for the little history lesson and for reassurance. the idiosyncrasies of this team makes them "unique" (i hate the word, same as original) and fun to watch, especially when they r ON. also when the OTHER team matters.

mikefloss

last night the only game on was the Clip-warriors. baron, camby and zach played very well and they beat nelly with his own medicine. also gordon played very well. the C's will have a hard time with the size and gordon can stop rondo. i want a surprise myself.

THI

roadman was a big distraction as private/public life. but ha was SECURING the ball with his rebounds. the difference is that when Starsbury has the ball, he thinks he is the best point guard in the history of the basketball and one never know what he will do with the ball. and he ALWAYS has the ball in HIS hands. now, that's the scary part. will he pass or will he shoot?


Can we keep all the noise down to a minimum here? I appreciate the analyses from LakerTom, blitz, Jon, and others. Laker crazies, please don't troll the Celtics forums. I don't like digging through all the mud.

What's with all the trade Farmar/Walton/Sasha talk here? Have you seen what kind of second stringers other teams have? Watch a few non-Laker NBA games sometime, you might have a new opinion.

Amazing Happens.

I'm VERY tempted to upload my video about how Kobe struggled against the Celtics at Boston but I will hold that off till I feel is the proper time but I will another related video:

Jordan vs the New York Knicks who were one of the best if not the best defensive teams of the 90's:

http://tinyurl.com/ap9ysj

Illegal defense then? Less enforced!!

-KB Blitz

How easily we forget when Sasha shot 60% in the playoffs...not that long ago either.

He was playing with Kobe then.

talking about scoring history in the making:

in 2 more seasons, kobe is easily in top 10. it will happen in front of our eyes, screens.

he needs 17 more FT made for a total of 6000. aprox. there r only 14 players who made more FT. obviously 2 greats, wilt and shaq are/were poor FT shooters and even if they r higher in scoring have less than 6000.

i hope he/the lakers will get a few championships in a row so all these accolades will be branded during this ride. never a dull moment.

LGL

ps.

Lakers continue to do what is necessry to win against the team they are playing. What concerns me is the tendency to let teams of the hook when they build a lead. It is become almost axiomatic that no lead is big enough for this team because of that tendency. I hope that this tendency is only a reflection of the occassional complacency that comes with a team's knowledge that their superior skill will eventually overpower their opponet and that when the playoffs arrive, that complacency will not be present.

I hate when I have dreams like these ones!

Not that I love basketball games o anything like that but the reality is that the "CELchicks" with their human-stars of Kevin GARLIC, Ray ALLIEN and, Paula PIERCING will bouce off the playoffs on May 26.

I checked my cards and little rocks from here "India" and I saw Boston having a hard time against the Pistons on the first round but then .... being spanked against the Heat on the second round.

I really couldn't see which one the human-stars got hurt but I saw the guy on the floor denying a wheelchair.

May 26 will come!

Before this Marbury thing happens, I want to go on record and say that the Lakers should make an effort to sign Marbury. He will act like a Boy Scout the rest of this year, he may, in fact, give us a higher level of play than Sasha has been so far. And it would hurt Boston.

Let me say, I don't like Marbury's attitude or his game. BUT, he WILL adjust his game and his attitude for the rest of this year, if he has any hope of ever getting another big deal. Even if he had a terrible attitude for the rest of the year and was a true locker room cancer, I would rather have him grumbling on our bench than hitting five threes in a game that kills us.

Forget the cap implications three years from now, we need to win NOW. Sitting back passively last year while Boston added Cassell and PJ Brown was a mistake. It hurt us. To just sit here smugly pontificating about how signing Marbury is a dumb move in the long run does us no good in 2009. This needs to be our year. We need to go a little outside our comfort zone to do this.

One quick post b4 work:

Faith it was 60% from 3 point land from Sasha in the 06 series against the Suns. He shot 42% overall in that series.

Sasha in one big playoff run of 08 averaged 40% from the field which then isn't a promising number from the field

-KB Blitz

Marbury is . . . whatever. The Lakers don't need him. He hasn't played basketball professionally in over a year, and he doesn't know the system. Why would the Lakers attempt to incorporate his cancerous personality into the mix?

Let him ruin the Celtics and disrupt their Unbutu or whatever it is. The Cavs are going to smash the Celtics in the playoffs anyway.

Mamba can you believe Lamar he has finally found his way laker for life. How you all doing, and Kam Bros you guys are the best still mtss you on dodgers.

What do tou all think about Marbary is he a dude or a dudeet, a vahto or vahtolena, a man or punk?

Below is an article from John Hollinger of ESPN why he believes Boston and Cleveland are better team than the Lakers. Interesting how he deflected his critics.

-------

Since the e-mails wondering how the Los Angeles Lakers aren't atop the Power Rankings keep coming in , let's run through this one more time.

The Lakers are 46-10, the Cleveland Cavaliers are 43-11, and the Boston Celtics are 46-12. This does not constitute concrete proof that the Lakers are better than the Cavs and Celtics -- not at all. Standings margins this small are almost always the product of how things swing in a few close games, rather than a beacon of a substantive difference in quality.

The Lakers are 4-0 head-to-head against Boston and Cleveland, but sorry, that isn't proof either. Not when there are more than 50 other games besides those on each team's profile.


Daily Gems
Here are John Hollinger's top five NBA observations for Tuesday. Insider

The effect of long road trips
Did Boston get Moore or less?
East could make playoff history
Northwest Division up for grabs
Nate making noise in Sixth Man race

And if you really want it to come down to that, what you are in effect saying is that the entire difference between the three teams comes down to a noncall on Ray Allen's last-second shot in overtime Feb. 5, and that we can disregard the rest of the season entirely. Because if that one-point Lakers win turned into a one-point Lakers loss, we'd have three 11-loss teams vying for the league's best record from here on out.

That's the thing about relying on win-loss records -- because every game is just a binary result, a 1 or a 0, a lot of information is lost. The margin between the two teams is distilled down to one win, one loss, regardless if the winning team prevailed by 40 points or won on a half-court shot at the buzzer.

That, in turn, is why I rely so heavily on scoring margin -- it's a better predictor of future success than win-loss record. Yes, believe it or not, it's even a better predictor of a team's future win-loss record.

Using scoring margin makes it easy to see why L.A. is still a close third behind Boston and Cleveland. Despite their recent success, the fact remains that the Lakers have the league's third-best scoring margin, and were fourth behind Orlando for some time; they still are more than a point per game behind Boston and Cleveland.

L.A. has also done this against a lighter schedule than Boston (.497 opponent winning percentage versus .512 for the Celtics), and with more home games (30 to 26). Based on that information, how could I possibly put the Lakers first?

Yet the e-mails keep coming. So perhaps it's time to address them point by point.

• "Can you possibly be any more biased toward Boston?" asks Tony in Syracuse.

Remember, people, the Power Rankings are 100 percent automated -- the little gizmo in Bristol updates them overnight while I'm sound asleep. Besides, if I'd had the foresight to develop a method over two years ago that would screw the Lakers in 2009, I'd be in Vegas bankrupting the sports books, not in my little home office writing basketball columns.

But it's comforting to know that the presumption that I'm biased against Team X is universal -- I got the same type of letters early in the season when I had the 27-2 Celtics ranked slightly behind Cleveland.

• "Either you really hate the Lakers or you rely on a computer to calculate your rankings like the BCS," begins Ciprian in Carbondale, Ill.

For some reason, I get e-mails like this a lot, even though the Power Rankings and BCS have virtually nothing in common and, in many ways, could not be more different.

The Power Rankings do rely on a computer, but that makes them unlike the BCS, which is mostly driven by human polls and win-loss records. Further, to the extent that the BCS does use computer rankings, they've been specifically instructed to ignore victory margin -- which is precisely the thing that my rankings use most heavily. Also, my rankings historically have been more favorable to teams from Utah.

• Ciprian's letter continues: "How far ahead of Cleveland and Boston does L.A. have to be to become #1? 10 games ahead? Or will your computer say that Cleveland has a better point differential so 10 games isn't good enough?"

Actually, that last part is correct. If the Lakers keep beating Minnesota by 3, and the Celtics keep beating Denver by 38, then the Celtics are going to keep being No. 1 regardless of who has the better record or by how much.

It's worked out that way before, actually -- two years ago San Antonio finished No. 1 despite being a whopping nine games behind Dallas in the standings. I got a lot of letters then, too, but it worked out OK in the end when the Spurs hoisted the championship trophy.

• "Your method is either useless or you are biased toward Boston," says Dexter from Michigan, which is a kinder letter than most -- it leaves open the possibility that my method might be useful, just as long as I'm biased toward Boston.

His letter continues: "The Celtics are neither playing the best basketball nor have the best record. They have been beaten at home and away to the Lakers, and the Spurs beat them recently on their home court. The Lakers are clearly the best team in the league."

I think this is the basic crux of the problem, and it's the same problem I had with Celtics fans earlier this season: Lakers fans are absolutely convinced that they're rooting for the best team, because L.A. beat the other good teams and has the best record. Anything that challenges this worldview inevitably creates problems.

But actually, it's the Celtics who are playing the best basketball of anyone right now -- they just happened to lose twice in front of large national TV audiences. In their past two games they beat two playoff-caliber teams on the road by 20 and 38, respectively, and since their midyear "What's wrong with the Celtics?" slump, they're 17-3; in that same period, the Lakers are 16-4 and the Cavs are 15-5.

Whether that continues remains to be seen, of course. As we know, both Boston and L.A. have important big men injured at the moment.

But if your starting point is trying to rank teams in a way that reflects likely future results, rather than just starting at "Lakers rule!" and working your way down from there, at this point the Celtics and Cavs simply have to rate ahead of the Lake Show.


John Hollinger writes for ESPN Insider. To e-mail him, click here.

Oh and how did you all feel about Sour Grapes Man Mike VanGunde annoucing the laker-orleans game.

Remember he has said all year that Houton would beat the lakers in a seven game series.

I take back everything I've said about Memphis. Grizzlies point guard Marko Jaric is THE MAN!

http://tinyurl.com/dbtqev

Rick I don't get it. Adriana has disappointed me.

kobeblitz,

>>>Interesting stat: As a starter Luke is now shooting 38.9%
>>>from 3 point land.

I'll reiterate what I said a couple of weeks ago. Luke is coming
back from surgery and I think his ankles are healthy for the first
time in a couple of seasons (knock on wood). His stats have trended
upward pretty much the whole season. Here they are to this point:

Field Goal % - Nov - 33%, Dec - 39%, Jan - 47%, Feb - 45%

3-point % - Nov 25%, Dec - 29%, Jan - 33%, Feb - 54%

Yes, you read that last stat right. Luke is hitting >50% of his
three pointers for the month of February.

Also, there's these:

Assists - Nov - 0.4, Dec - 2.8, Jan - 2.1, Feb - 6.4

Rebounds - Nov - 0.9, Dec - 2.7, Jan - 2.7, Feb - 3.7

Steals - Nov - 0, Dec - 0.36, Jan - 0.43, Feb 0.45

If Luke could just keep playing as well as he is now (45%
shooting, 50% 3-point shooting, about 4 assists and 4 rebounds
a game), that would be a huge improvement over what he
produced last year (not to mention an improvement over Rad).

Mamba24 - where are you?????

Good morning CRUE!

This is the worst BEST TEAM ever. Man are they frustrating to watch sometimes! However, I think I'm starting to understand what the heck PJ is doing when it looks like he's doing nothing. He knows our starters need some rest so he leaves them on the bench at times. He knows that the bench guys need to build their confidence because they WILL be needed come playoff time so he leaves them on the floor when they're not playing so well. Hence the crazy come back runs by sub-par teams and us crazy fans screaming for someone's head on a stick!

When the parade is meandering it's way down Figueroa, and the P&G are hoisting Larry in the air, we will all calm down and smugly say that we KNEW he knew what he was doing, and that we never doubted him in the slightest.

I will trust in 9-rings. Even when I don't.

Lakers STH: I am in the boat of let them fail with a loss to get them seething mad and wanting to change their focus, attitude, shot selection, ball movement, practice habits, etc. - whatever it is that ails them.

From what I saw last night - they seemed to play well when LO was with them in 2Q - moving the ball, building the lead, etc. But we need LO to conserve his minutes too. He didn't have a great rebounding game last night (as I now expect) but I think he might be a little fatigued.

If LO is expected to be the leader of the bench mob to create the necessary ball movement because the young-ins just want to shoot, he is expending a lot of energy as ball handler, rebounder, points, etc.

And as you know, we have a huge roadie next month. During that stretch there are only 3x where there are 2 days off from now until April 14 (and two of those are away/travel days).

And we play 25% of our total b2b games between now and then. Over the last couple games, we have seen how conserving Fish's energy has led to hitting shots when we need it most for either score or momentum. I believe blogthink would want a few more of those come June when/if needed.

It's kind of like this financial situation - if we had let one really big bank fail, it might have been good for the system to put more focus, attitude, good habits and life into the others...but this is a baksetball blog.

However, doesn't basketball imitate life?

GO LAKERS!

Nemaia Faletogo,

>>>I'm concerned about our bench particularly Sasha and
>>>Jordan who appear to be in a serious slump.

Sasha is definitely slumping, but Jordan's doing fine.
In February, Farmar is hitting 38% of his 3-pointers and
48% shooting overall. And he's getting 3 assists a game
in 17 minutes, which is pretty good.

With Sasha, he's just very streaky. He did hit 42% of his
3-pointers for December, but in January and February he's
way down from that. To be honest, I'd rather have him slumping
now and get back on a roll right at the start of the playoffs.


I believe we could us some more muscle and energy off the bench for the stretch run. Banking on just Andrew returning healthy and back to his form before he got injured is risky even for this deep team. Tonight Pau seemed gassed more than he has all season long. Do you guys think the Lakers will fill that open roster spot and if they do, who is on their radar?

Bluesky: It's not the money today. It's about the money to be spent coming down the pike.

Frankly, its to position the team for next season when the salary cap will be even lower and the distinct possibility that less season ticket holders re-subscribe. All of that is part of the complex balance sheet management Mitch has to manage.

You might not like the AMo or Shannon trade but it gave us the flexibility to re-sign Trevor and Lamar. And if you think we don't need them or they aren't vital to our team, then you have a point. However, the good majority of us would like to keep those guys.

Lastly, we still have a MLE and extra roster spot for a vet but who out there do you think can be that "vet" presence to stabilize the bench?

I'll let you think about it for a while and scour yahoo sports or whatever other data out there - but given all the group think and wisdom amidst this great Laker blog - we haven't been able to come up with anyone either. Rick Fox??? Robert Horry?

Mitch said it himself - he doesnt see anyone either.

GO LAKERS!

JMan449,

>>>Before this Marbury thing happens, I want to go on
>>>record and say that the Lakers should make an effort to
>>>sign Marbury. He will act like a Boy Scout the rest of
>>>this year, he may, in fact, give us a higher level of play
>>>than Sasha has been so far.

It's funny, but I was thinking pretty much the same thing.
The Celtics have very weak bench guards and Marbury
would be a huge improvement. If the Lakers snatched him
out from under the C's noses, there is no other guard available
who would give them half of what Marbury would.

Kb,

I only use caps when Im responding to stupid trash talk. If we are talking serious basketball without all the gargage of how great the Lakers are then I dont use caps.

I dont worry about the Cavs or post in their blog because what can I talk to them about? As much as I hate the Lakers ... I do respect the fact that they have been the 2nd best franchise in NBA history. But next time the Cavs win a Title will be the first.

>>>You might not like the AMo or Shannon trade but it gave
>>> us the flexibility to re-sign Trevor and Lamar.

Good points PLG. I'll add to that what I said about AmMo yesterday.

If Morrison improves and starts scoring like he did in college,
then he's like Radmanovic II, the shooter non defender.

And if Morrison doesn't improve, then he's a 5 million dollar
expiring contract at the trade deadline next season right when
everyone will be looking to free up cash for the Summer or LeBron.

The only way the Morrison trade could be a loss is if LeBron,
Bosh, Wade, and all the other big name potential free agents
for 2010 re-sign with their current teams this summer.

Great article in todays times. Must reading for all NBA fans ... I highly recommend it!

MARK HEISLER / ON THE NBA
Lakers-Celtics rematch? Be careful what you wish for

“It was my ankle, but I’ve got ankle insurance,” Bryant said with a smile. “I’m fine.”

Yeah he does, he invented it! I still think that commercial is hilarious, when the ankles 'blow up' on the dummy, I still laugh out loud!

"""Let's Go C's---who cares how the Lakers do against sub-par teams? They have a point differential of +7.6 against the top 10 teams. The Celtics point differential is a measly +2. And the Lakers beat the top 10 75% of the time. The Celtics are 50-50 on that score. Maybe the Celtics and their fans should worry less about the bottom dwellers and more about the teams they're actually going to meet in the playoffs.

Posted by: ZLakeShow""""

These are stats we can believe in to tell the truth. The leprechauns struggle against real opponents whereas the lakers have met and even exceeded the task when given a 35+ win team.

"""""""How come every available veteran goes to play for the Celtics? The last time this happened to the Lakers was Malone and Payton when the Lakers were dominating. This only means one thing the Celtics are still the best team in the NBA.

Can the Lakers get Jannero Pargo. Much needed at PG/SG for the bench. Sasha and Farmar does not play well together, it seems like they hate each other?

Posted by: Staples 24 """"""

Oh Staples 24, ye of little faith. I think you mean the championship years with john salley and ron harper were better. Malone and Payton never got a championship with the Lakers though they wanted one. I think this Lakers is more old school in that they are young players and so they are more possibilities and more potential in where they go. The Celtics are so predictable that losing to the Lakers sends them in losing skids not seen in a long time.
Lakers are the best this season because they have turned a doubter into a contender and a squad full of rag tags into men.

GO LAKERS!


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