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Lakers 102, Rockets 96: Something to talk (and talk, and talk, and talk) about

Sometimes even elite squads need a victory, and Wednesday night in Houston, that's where the Lakers, losers of three straight on the road, found themselves.  It wouldn't be easy.  No Andrew Bynum (knees will do that sort of thing), no Lamar Odom (suspensions will do that sort of thing), facing a Rockets squad that had won 11 of 13 coming in and 12 straight at home. 

No worries. 

Led by Kobe Bryant's 37 points, 18 of which came in the final frame, the Lakers knocked off the Rockets 102-96.  The win was big enough to put LA in a chatty mood when it was over, in part because Bryant, who hadn't been all that communicative over the last few days, send all sorts of messages during the game.  Rick Adelman threw both Shane Battier and Ron Artest at him, but Kobe still lit up the Rockets and (it's fair to say) won a war of words with Artest that had the Houston forward knocked off his proverbial and always unstable gourd, as noted in last night's postgame

Double bonus for Lakers fans.  First, the smack talk, like tugging on Superman's cape or separating AK from his favorite Kajagoogoo album, didn't exactly do Houston any favors. Second, it made for some great television:

Generally speaking, Artest made some abysmal decisions on both ends as noted by BDL's Kelly Dwyer, and the game illustrated how much an advantage Kobe has in the mental battle between the two players. 

But it wasn't just the Kobe/Artest on-court slam poetry fest that had the chattering classes a-twitter (or, for the more technologically savvy, a-Twitter).  Josh Powell stepped up in place of the suspended Odom Pau_gasol_shoots_around_yao_as_lake and, as the box score shows, came through big with 17 points and nine boards as the Lakers effectively used his face up game with a bunch of pick and pops. Pau Gasol added 20 points, and also four steals as he helped keep the ball out of Yao's hands in the post. 

Good ball denial and effective double teams limited the big Houston pivot to nine shots and two trips to the line. 

LA's starting five also prompted a little conversation.  Powell was added by necessity (hopefully Lamar Odom, who by rule was not allowed in the arena last night, will have plenty of motivation to play a good game tonight in San Antonio against the Spurs), but Phil Jackson also inserted Trevor Ariza for Luke Walton.  The change, suggested by Walton, was designed to add a little more ball movement to a second unit that had become stagnant, and also free up Ariza to get back to his slashing, attack-the-rack style that made him so effective earlier in the season.  It's an arrangement that will continue going forward.

More recaps, from The Dreamshake, who agree that Artest went off the reservation against the wrong hombre:

Ron Artest screwed up tonight.  He chose to pick a bone with the best player in the world, and as usual, the best player won.  Normally I appreciate Ron's passion and will to win.  But his passion was misplaced tonight.  His focus was squarely placed on the "Ron versus Kobe" matchup, as opposed to the Rockets versus Lakers matchup.  And I think it cost his team the game tonight.  Many of his shots or reckless drive attempts down the stretch were merely responses to what Kobe had done on the other end of the floor.  Ron was playing streetball, when it was anything but.  Our All-World center, Yao Ming, returned to the game late in the fourth having shot 7-8 from the floor, and on the next two possessions, Artest missed a three and tried to drive through three defenders, unsuccessfully.  Remember those Gatorade commercials, the "anything you can do, I can do better?" ads?  Ron had that song playing in his head the entire night.  Kobe just played his game, and his game is much better than Ron's game.

 
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Thur.Mar. 12, 2009 Lakers(51-13) vs. Spurs(43-20)
The Force is in Balance as is Laker Nation
Good Morning: Sir Charles(
Good Morning: Mom Kamenetzky(Mother of Laker Nation)
Good Morning: JustAnotherMambaFan, LakerTom, Jon K., KBlitz, David Whang
Good Morning: Morning Crew( The Heart & Soul of Laker Nation)
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Good Morning Laker Nation (Rulers of the NBA!)
Welcome: Bruzer, Lakers-World, Kat, Chad, Sky-Time-Jones, Buddy Monk,
Phil is Lord of The Rings, ZEE
Kudos to :The Double Trophy Award Winning KamBrothers(gods of the Blog World)
*
CALLING ALL LAKER ORIGINALS: JJ, Ken , Fatty, Stargazin, BOB, LOLO
JOREMA, JMAN, AFRO JOE, MITCHELL, MIKE T. JCOOL, GDCHILD COMPTONS_FINEST
Time to come back home to the family Folks. We need you to lead the victory parade in June.
RDLee that means you too!
********
Don’t let their injuries fool ya, these Spurs are still dangerous critters! Lakers put them
Out of their misery switly and don’t play with this team. Machine this game belongs to
You. You are Tony Parkers shadow tonight. Ariza Roger mason jr is your’s.
Pau we need 30 from you tonight. DFish keep them all in line. Mamba, do what
Ever you want.
*******
.LAKERS , LOOK TO YOUR FAITH FOR DEFENSE! I just like to look at Faith.
*
*AINT NOT STOPPING THIS CHAMPIONSHIP EXPRESS!
*
JUST…….DO IT!!! WE ARE THE FREAKING LA LAKERS!!!
*
SIXTY FOUR DOWN, EIGHTEEN TO GO, Before you know it Playoffs will be here..
ENJOY THE RIDE PEOPLE!!!
*
WHAT DO WE PLAY FOR RINGS!!!! @JONK.
*
ROLL CALL:
*
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(YOU_EVER_NOTICE.…>Holding The Line Against CHAOS) MAMBA24
*
* ALL TOGETHER NOW
WE ARE THE FREAKIN LA LAKERS, WINNERS OF 14 NBA TITLES
Beginning Our 4th Dynasty - 2 More Than Any Other Team
The Team With The Best Winning Percentage In NBA History.
The Only Team with 2 HOF Coaches, The Team With The Most Players
On The “50 Greatest Players of All Time List(9)” The Home of the reinging
& Future MVP – Kobe Bryant. The Home of Wilt, Kareem, George Mikan
SHAQ, MAGIC, Elgin Baylor, The Logo(Jerry West), Pat Riley James Worthy,
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Sportscaster Chick Hearn -The Legend. Coached by 9 time Title Winner
Phil (9RINGS)Jackson & Owned, By The Winningest & Best Owner In
Sports Dr. Jerry Buss & The Only One who Can Ever Defeat or Divide Us Is Us
WE ARE THE FREAKIN LA LAKERS, WHO THE HELL ARE YOU

Good morning everyone! Good victory! Yes!

What is Kajojo?

Early thoughts...aside from ^ lol. We played perhaps the best defense we have played in awhile (not since Cavs imo). And we out-defended what is considered by most to be one of the best defensive teams in the league, but we don't get the victory without the Bean. No siree. M.V.P.

Proud of the team. Go Lakers! Spank a Spur tonight! (Or is it pull on a spur briddle? What is a spur?)

Two great threads in a row Kambrothers, keep em comming!
AND THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO!

Re-post from previous thread.

Mamba 24

I'm going to check the air pressure in the bus tires because I think the bus is going to be loaded again. All the bandwagon fans that were jumping off the last couple days will be trying to board again this morning They don't realize all the good seats are occupied by the Laker fans that remained on board. Some of those bandwagon fans are going to have to hang on to the outside of the bus for the rest of this trip to the championship parade.

Oh! Look Mamba, there's the 4th seed bus stop right up there. One more win by the Lakers, or one more loss by the Suns. We'll be there this evening. Do you want to stop and pick up a few more fans?


Posted by: Laker Larry | March 12, 2009 at 08:57 AM

"Double bonus for Lakers fans. First, the smack talk, like tugging on Superman's cape or separating AK from his favorite Kajagoogoo album, didn't exactly do Houston any favors."

Simply awesome.

"HUSH! HUSH! Too shy, shy! HUSH! HUSH! Eye to eye!"

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

GO LAKERS!

Grant Hill was interviewed by Dan Patrick this morning. He was pretty candid and offered a sobering state of the union for PHX. He said he didn't know if any of them would be around next year. They have the 5th highest payroll in the league and are talking about missing the playoffs so he wouldn't blame management for making wholesale changes. I hope they emerge from their collective depression long enough to give the Crabs a game tonight.

Let's Go L's!,

>>> Last night's game vs. Houston was a sampling of his many geniuses
>>> taken for granted...

Thanks for the props. This was definitely a great game for the Lakers and more proof that the reining MVP deserves to repeat the honor this year. If the Lakers finish the year with the best regular season record, I think the voters will give Kobe his Two-Peat as MVP.

As for Phil, no doubt his move to the top of the key pick and roll with Kobe and Pau was genius. It totally took Artest’s and Battier’s defense out of the picture. With respect to Ariza and Powell starting and Luke going to the bench, as Mike T. always says, I will address those issues later. LOL.

>>> However, one Bynum gets back sometime in April, the Lakers will have the
>>> RECIPE to STOP IT! Sure, the paint is susceptible to guard penetration and
>>> a host of other offensive sets utilized at the moment by opponents...That
>>> will all CHANGE in the near future when the BEAST returns to his DOMAIN...

As great a player and as valuable as Pau is to this team, I think everybody understands now why the Lakers are such a better team with Andrew manning the center position and Pau playing his natural power forward position. I am looking for Drew to return on our April 3rd home game against these same Rockets.

JMNSHBO!

DNFTT!

Tom

It's a good thing we didn't trade for Artest. You gotta love the guy's passion and competitiveness, but Ron Ron is too emotionally unstable and makes bad decisions on the floor, esp on the offensive end. His offensive game lacks the smoothness of the other stars in the league.

Big props to Josh Powell. The guy will be a good insurance policy in case we lose LO next year. The only problem is that if he plays too well, he'll become unaffordable for the Lakers.

Good win last night, but last night is gone. We need to look ahead to tonight's game with the Spurs.

Here's the key to tonight's game..... attack the basket! This is the 2nd of the B2B. With all the effort that went into last nights game, Laker legs are bound to be heavy. Outside shots are likely to be short and hitting the front of the rim so work on the mid-range and closer. Famar, Sasha, & LO will need to come up big. Their legs are fresh due to limited, or in LO's case no, playing time last night. At least one of them needs to step to the plate tonight and I think it will be LO if he can stay out of foul trouble. Kobe needs to realize the lift in his legs will be somewhat diminished tonight and force feed other players to make contributions on the offensive end.

"re: overating Trevor. How do you define "over rating"?
Is it to optimistically believe that the GM was telling the
truth when he said he wanted a defensive 3? Is it to
predict, with qualifications, that he would work on his
game over the summer?

I'd knew you bite Hobbit and here's my response:

You overrated Trevor by telling about his "improved" jump shot, his defense which while steals are good is showing itself to be overrated when he left his man wide open. You said all those things and they were simply wrong. Luke "voluntereed" to go to bench because in order to win championships you need to have a bench that could contribute and for the past few road games the bench has performed quite poorly with Farmar and Sasha and Trevor trio performing quite poorly against Denver, Phoenix, and Portland. They failed in their job to bring offense off the bench.

Saying Trevor is our best SF may be true but that is like trying to say Kwame Brown was our best Center back in 2006-2007. It is more of a lack of options beyond Luke's passing ability and bit better jump shot.

Besides it wasn't Trevor in the starting lineup that won the game it was Kobe! Trevor could not handle Ron Artest (don't you say Ron Ron's stats he was guarded mostly by Kobe after the initial quarter) and showed his "defensive" skills by getting his ankles broken by Artest by not using his feet more and using his hands. And Ariza could not be much use offensively as well save for a few offensive rebounds that led to put backs. Otherwise why else would Luke be on the floor in crunch time while Trevor while sitting his butt on the bench until from 1:15 left in the quarter and come back in less than 28 seconds left in the 4th?

It's hard to cheer for Trevor when you so love to overrate his defense and jump shot.

Besides Powell performed well last night but he also had a similar performance against Golden State. Does that mean he's a not as good defensively version of Horace Grant, go back to sleep boy.

With all your gloating you should be on the fair weather fan bandwagon. I mean you didn't come when the Lakers were embarrassed in Portland and Trevor and Powell performed terribly.

And with it's getting to be pathetic about that "working on his game" BS. Allow me to bring up Game 5 2008 Finals when Kobe couldn't find his shot and had to be bailed out of the game by Pau and LO yet was guarded by merely the likes of Ray Allen and Posey. I thought he "works on his game" but Kobe couldn't shake off Posey in the Finals. Jee I guess you are wrong there!

-KB Blitz

Yeah!

I was sure we were going to beat this rockets boys!

Go Lakers!

Magia32,

Yes I did. The Tapout guys sent an email blast to almost all Jiu-Jitsu schools in Southern Cali for the funerary services.

Sad indeed. He ripped that sports car in half.

Laker Larry,

>>> I'm going to check the air pressure in the bus tires because I think the bus
>>> is going to be loaded again. All the bandwagon fans that were jumping off
>>> the last couple days will be trying to board again this morning They don't
>>> realize all the good seats are occupied by the Laker fans that remained on
>>> board. Some of those bandwagon fans are going to have to hang on to the
>>> outside of the bus for the rest of this trip to the championship parade.

That was great, Larry. Reminds me of a heavily loaded San Francisco cable car with all of the “True-Blue” Lakers fans riding in reserved seats while the “Fair Weather” fans all jostle for hand and foot holds in order to get a ride.

Of course, the Fair Weather fans will probably file a class action suit claiming that they were unfairly slurred because they lost faith and suing to be allowed back into the first class section. Unfortunately for them, Obama is a real basketball fan and will order the Supreme Court to refuse to accept the case, stating that the back of the bus is the best that “Fair Weather” fans deserve. Case Closed. LOL.

Tom

WOO HOO Mamb24 roll call!

I'll let bob and Fatty you're thinking of them lol.

Go LAKERS!


Big road game tonight.

As good as kobe is playing
and as much of a Kobe homer i try to be


i think if the HEAT make the playoff, Wade deserves the MVP . . . . seriously . . . he's been ridiculous all season . . . AND on my fantasy bball team

"As great a player and as valuable as Pau is to this team, I think everybody understands now why the Lakers are such a better team with Andrew manning the center position and Pau playing his natural power forward position. I am looking for Drew to return on our April 3rd home game against these same Rockets."

True that Laker Tom. Pau is great but we need Andrew to win a 'ship.

I love when Kobe gets killer mad! He goes from great to amazing.

Mamba24 has there been a Josh Powell bandwagon?

Olf,

One love.

Ron Artest is a fricken lunatic. Look in his eyes. At any moment he could lose control and attack a hapless nachos vendor in the stands! You think I'm joking. I'm not joking.

I'm so happy he's not a Laker.

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

GO LAKERS!

LakerTom,

When Andrew Bynum gets back, what do you think about him coming off the bench? I'm a little concerned about just throwing him back into the starting lineup.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!

By the way, I think we should all admit that Luke Walton approaching Phil Jackson to play off the bench to help The Bench Mob is a clear sign that old Cool Hand cares more about winning than he does his ego. A good sign.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!

LakerTom,
"I think everybody understands now why the Lakers are such a better team with Andrew manning the center position and Pau playing his natural power forward position."

No one has ever disputed that point, assuming a healthy, relatively rust-free Bynum.

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

great and much needed (for my mental health anyway) victory--great to see us fight back and come from behind, execute down the stretch...

of course it would have been easier if we would have made free throws at a better clip---sorry to always have to type this (believe me) but I am not going to take it anymore---make your frickin' free throws men !!!

key was Pau getting off to (and continueing throughout) a great start, and the same for Fisher---if Fisher makes his early shots it definitly helps set the tone...

I liked the idea of starting Powell and Ariza last night, though Ariza didn't really come through or get out of his slumping slump ---we really need him to get back to early season form (and thought process) by the play offs...

Powell did (as always), however, take advantage of his opportunity and played really well, hope he is Laker for a long time...

hopefully Lamar comes back with a corn cob or three up his rectal area and some fire...really need him to display consistent (as ever) form and the level of play before the trade deadline...as Lamar goes, the Lakers go as far as the play offs and our championship asperations go I believe...

don't think Kobe and Artest could co-exist on the same team, but as he is a free agent, maybe him instead of Lamar would be an upgrade (?), though he is a physco seemingly...

would really like to have heard the trash talk exchange, had to rely on poor lip reading skills..

Mr. Walton needs to shoot that in the lane fall away more...he is pretty good at that and it eliminates getting stuffed and is a better percentage than his long range crap..

Shane Battier still is reigning champ of the lowest forehead in the league---challanger Nate Robinson has officially conceded...

Alderman still looks like Hitler's long lost son-- a mustache trim would alert the Nazi hunters to his whereabouts, as it were...

tonight's game is another one of those cliche "telling" games...can't wait indeed...

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

GO LAKERS !!!

Mamba24 has there been a Josh Powell bandwagon?
Posted by: Fan of the Mamba | March 12, 2009 at 10:12 AM
There is NOW Fan of Mamba
***
LETS START JOSH POWELL - BANDWAGON
****
(01) JON K. - OWNER
(02) MAMBA24 - DRIVER
(03) FAN-OF-THE-MAMBA - RIding shotgun.

AS ALWAYS, AS EVER, YET ANOTHER GREAT DAY (AND SEASON) TO BE A LAKER FAN !!!Posted by: Floyd | March 12, 2009 at 10:34

As always and ever great hearing from you Floyd. Your
Post MADE MY DAY. Keep em comming Floyd. GREAT POST

Jon K.

You should know by now the Phil Jackson haters will just never shut up.

Just like a certain guy who likes to overrate young players lol.

-KB Blitz

Your boy canibus hog has converted to a Celts' fan..

What's up with the face guarding? Are they waiting for Kobe's eye to be taken out?

No one has ever disputed that point, assuming a healthy, relatively rust-free Bynum.
Posted by: exhelodrvr | March 12, 2009 at 10:24 AM

A bit low key. EX.

**
LUKE WALTON 6TH MAN OF THE YEAR(And good Guy)
BANDWAGON
****
(01) P ANG - OWNER - Luke offering to be with the benchmob tells you
his desire to win
(02) KOBEBLIZ - DRIVER
(03) VMAN - Great Call from Luke to start Trevor.
(04) BENJAMIN - And good on Luke for sacrificing to try to help the team
(05) JOHNNYP - I very much respect Luke's willingness to come off the
bench if n it will help the team
(06) SBPIMP - As far as Luke is concerned, I think we should all be grateful
to have this cat on the team.
(07) JON K. - By the way, I think we should all admit that Luke Walton approaching
Phil Jackson to play off the bench to help The Bench Mob is a clear sign that old
Cool Hand cares more about winning than he does his ego. A good sign

more thoughts seemingly,

Kobe seemed to be all business, not even high fiving his teammates after his "determined" plays---he just walked stoically and looked at the crowd..a man on amission indeed...

refreshing to hear some announcers who were pretty under control--Clyde Drexler had some fair and even complementary comments directed toward our team and Kobe in particular...

ANOTHER STREAK BUSTED!

got streak?

GO LAKERS !!!

Its funny, Josh Powell really intrigues me. He could possibly start on other team. Yet here, he takes a tertiary role. Let's face it, when Drew was around, he barely got off the bench. Lamar and Pau were both ahead of him at that position, and with LO, PG, and AB they can pretty much play the whole game without him. So.....why is he here?

Certainly, I understand that a player's motivation isn't always playing time, money, or noteriety. But seriously, though undersized, he has a pretty good game. He's a starter or 6th man on a bad team. Excellent shot, good energy, decently athletic, knack for rebounding. What's not to like?

Just wondering what you guys think.

Proud of the team. Go Lakers! Spank a Spur tonight! (Or is it pull on a spur briddle? What is a spur?)
Posted by: Faith | March 12, 2009 at 09:26 A

FAITH!!! Stop celebrating so early!! LOL!!
and thanks for passing our best to Fatty and Bob. Tell them to come on down!

Proud of the team. Go Lakers! Spank a Spur tonight! (Or is it pull on a spur briddle? What is a spur?)
Posted by: Faith | March 12, 2009 at 09:26 A

FAITH!!! Stop celebrating so early!! LOL!!
and thanks for passing our best to Fatty and Bob. Tell them to come on down!

SA :

I feel you on WADE and trust, I never woulda said that in months past or years past, plus KOBE is my MAIN MAN to steal Ahmad Rashad's phrase, but DWade has def been playing out of his cranium with wreckless abadonment day in and day out, DEFENSE, assists, points, everything. I love KOBE but DWade's all-around game has def gotten significantly better. No doubt Miami will make the playoffs and its all because of Dwade and I think that he is much better than when he did damage years ago with Shaq as his sidekick...Void from injury, I would NOT want to be an EAST foe and have to face him in a playoff round...He is just that scary and plus, he has motivation and alot to prove...I think he is the MVP removing Kobe from the equation and if its just him and LeBron..yeah, its Wade cuz he has done so much for his team overall....

I still don't like him. (LOL) but it ain't about that..I have to admit, that bubble gum lip fool, got game!!

Your boy canibus hog has converted to a Celts' fan..
Posted by: 131-92 | March 12, 2009 at 10:45 AM

SAY IT AINT SO JOE!. Mother of Zod can this be the end of Rico.

I can not stay silent when some, so called "fans" keeps saying PJ dumb, stupid, can not coach and etc. Those people looks like have a very short memory and needs to be reminded about 2004-2005 season.This is like basically repeating Red's idiotic statement that anyone can win with MJ. Just to refresh your memory:

1. MJ never won anything before Phil took over Bulls
2. After the first 3 peat Bulls completely rebuild their roster around Jordan/Pippen and Phil coached them to another 3 peat in 96-98.
3. Shaq and Kobe never won anything before Phil's arrival playing together since 96.
4. In his 1st season coaching Shaq and Kobe, Lakers won, followed by 2 more wins.

He is one of the greatest coaches of all time, and without doubt greatest Motivator, and sometimes it's more important then coaching, because in truth, he is dealing with adult multimillionaires and corresponding egos and biggest task at hand, to motivate those athletes to work and play hard and smart. How many great players finish their career without winning ever. Just look at Stockton/Malone and Jerry Sloan pretty good coach too, I’m pretty sure. Or Rockets, for example, after acquiring McGrady it was billed like Yao/McGrady tandem going to win, they never got out from 1st round.

So, stop bashing Phil, and enjoy, as you enjoying Kobe before he finish.

thanks and right back at you Mamba24 (Larry) indeed Sir...

GO LAKERS !!!

Just having someone on the team that makes a selfless jesture like Luke did is important for team dynamics. I feel a little bad that I have been a total Luke hater (I didn't always hate him mind you, in fact I was hoping he would be drafted by the Lakers however many years ago that was). The current Laker team is so much more "there" mentally than the team 2 yrs ago. It is just fantastic that the weak minded Lakers who did not have a championship mindset are now gone (Cook, Kwame, Smush).

I still don't like him. (LOL) but it ain't about that..I have to admit, that bubble gum lip fool, got game!!
Posted by: lakersrydeordie | March 12, 2009 at 10:54 AM

GREAT POST LAKERSRYEDORDIE!!!! LOL!!
I agree. DWADE bubble gum lip and all is a Baller

Just wondering what you guys think. Posted by: #4 | March 12, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Josh Powell is a good guy who has found himself around good guys. Once you
make so much money other things in life matter. He knows The Lakers will win a title
this year and he'll get a ring at which time every bodys price tag will skyrocket, But
sometimes it's more about liking where you at and what your role is even though that
role is not set. Besides IF YOU ARE A LAKER WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO BE
ANYWHERE ELSE ? Being a Laker means you can have your cake and eat it to.

"I still don't like him. (LOL) but it ain't about that..I have to admit, that bubble gum lip fool, got game!!"

Posted by: lakersrydeordie

I was thinking he was more Gumby Eyed.

Mamba24 - as usual please add me to the rolling bandwagons - the one for Luke, the one for Josh - seriously man - NO LOVE! LOL!

Jon K - I am dying laughing with the picture in my mind of a crazed RonRon attacking the nacho vendor - ROTFLAO!!! That is some kinda funny!

Sure wish I was a better lip-reader. Kobe & Testes jawing at one another was something. I'm actually very surprised the refs let it go on like they did. I am SO glad that we didn't sign him. The guy is a nut job fo shizzle. Anyone who thought (or still thinks) he'd be a good pick up someday needs to special order a little white coat for themselves and book their vacation time in the padded room. I hear it's comfy....

GO LAKERS!!!

Kajagoogoo??? Noooooooo, say it ain't so!!

If you put Ron Artest and Dennis Rodman in a ring together, who comes out on top?

I think it'll be close lol.

I'm sorry guys but I just can't roll on this Wade MVP ish. Kobe = MVP. Any day of the week. Plus I can't stomach giving it to a guy that cried in a wheelchair for a shoulder injury. Yeck.

ABOUT ARIZA AND POWELL…

I want to start out by saying that I really like both of these guys and hope they will be valuable players for the Lakers for many years to come but creating bandwagons for these players to start is as silly as creating bandwagons to trade Luke or Lamar.

Let’s start with Powell, who has some skills but is nowhere near a good enough player to start on a championship team. Josh’s best attribute is that he knows his strengths and tends to play within his capabilities. He has already shown that he is a clutch midrange shooter who doesn’t hesitate to take the shot when he is open and usually knocks them down, whether in the first quarter or the fourth quarter. The Lakers should definitely look to resign him to multi-year contract.

The reality, however, is that Josh has some serious holes in his game that really limit him, primarily that he does not defend or finish well. There were numerous situations where players schooled him badly on defense last night and at least a half dozen times where he got passes right underneath the hoop but could not finish. He is basically a better shooting Turiaf without the dance moves. There is no way that he is ever going to start in front of Pau Gasol or Lamar Odom.

Starting Trevor Ariza over Luke Walton is a move that many of us expected to happen earlier in the year when Ariza was playing great. Considering how poorly Ariza has been playing, however, I don’t think he adds anything to the starting lineup that Luke was not providing. Last night’s stats basically back that up. While the hope is that starting will somehow help Ariza get his mojo back, as he is not the player he was earlier in the year on either offense and defense.

Body language tells you when something is wrong with young players like Trevor, Jordan, and Sasha. In Trevor’s case especially, his body language clearly suggests that he has hit a wall and lost a great deal of his earlier confidence. Ever since he had the concussion in fact, he has seemed to be hesitant and a step slow, settling for perimeter shots on offense rather than attacking the rim and for steal attempts and gambles on defense rather than staying in front of his man.

I hope that Trevor turns the situation around but right now I don’t see him being a strong enough player to start. Unless he regains his confidence and learns to deal with more physical players, Phil will have no option other than to demote him back to the bench once Andrew returns. Bottom line, at this point in his career, he does not bring anything more to the starting lineup than Luke and a hell of a lot less than Lamar, assuming that he recovers from his horrible mini-slump, which I think we will see happen in San Antonio tonight.

JMNSHBO! Drew will return on April 3rd for the home game against Houston.

DNFTT! Starve them and watch them disappear.

Tom

Faith,

Have you been in contact with Fatty? How is he doing? We really miss his great sense of humor on the blog. As for Bob, we have not heard from her in years. Tell her to come back and join us.

Tom

FOR THE RECORD RECORD 0-1

So how was I to know that with Lamar's suspension, Josh Powell would play like a perfect puzzle piece in the Triangle Offense. Add to that, who would of thunk that PJ (I really doubt it was at Luke's request) would come to his senses and realize that Walton has no business in the starting line-up. Finally, with Kobe having one of his rare efficient games of late, I start out on a losing note.
I'm not totally convinced that the Kobe of last night will show up for the remaining games, it's all about whether he's making his shots. He's more likely to shoot 11-31 tonight and take the Lakers out of their offense. But if PJ starts Powell tonight and Josh continues to play like the missing link, good things could be in store. No one more than me would like to see my predictions for the remaining games be the laughing stock of the Laker Blog. I don't mind eating crow.

Back to reality, update ----- Lakers go 10-9


Prediction......Outcome
LOSS.............WIN....... at Houston
LOSS.............3/12 at San Antonio
LOSS.............3/15 vs Dallas
WIN................3/17 vs Philadelphia
WIN................3/19 vs Golden State
LOSS.............3/21 at Chicago
WIN............... 3/24 at Oklahoma City
LOSS.............3/26 at Detroit
WIN................3/27 at New Jersey
LOSS.............3/29 at Atlanta
LOSS.............3/31 at Charlotte

April
WIN................4/01 at Milwaukee
LOSS.............4/03 vs Houston
WIN................4/05 vs LA Clippers
WIN................4/07 at Sacramento
WIN................4/09 vs Denver
LOSS.............4/10 at Portland
WIN................4/12 vs Memphis
LOSS.............4/14 vs Utah


THAT'S 9-10 THE REST OF THE WAY TO FINISH THE SEASON AT 59-23.

I still don't like him. (LOL) but it ain't about that..I have to admit, that bubble gum lip fool,
got game!!"Posted by: lakersrydeordie I was thinking he was more Gumby Eyed.
Posted by: Charles | March 12, 2009 at 11:14 AM

SO IS THIS GUMBYEYED SQUARED LOL?

Jon,

>>> When Andrew Bynum gets back, what do you think about him coming off
>>> the bench? I'm a little concerned about just throwing him back into the
>>> starting lineup.

I am sure that Drew will come off the bench for the first few games back but any thought of keeping Drew on the bench will be discarded as soon as he is back to being the Beast. If we are lucky, he will quickly get his legs and game back and be ready to start by the time the playoffs begin. At worst, he will give us solid minutes on defense and better rebounding. At best, he will be the Beast he was before the last injury. Either way, he will be the difference that will win the championship.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for your job prospects back in SoCal.
And glad to see that you didn’t leave the blog.

Tom

Lukes pregame analysis of the matchups was a key adjustment. Maybe he would make a good Asst.Coach.

Belated Good Morning Laker Nation!!

I'm fresh off last nite's victory in Toyota Center. The Laker faithful were in full force and the purple and gold threw a pall over the red and white "Beat LA" t-shirts. It was the "silencing of the rockets" and by the end of the fourth quarter there were definite chants of "MVP" for Kobe (who kicked Ron-Ron's ass) something I've never witnessed in Houston.

Go Lakers!! On to San Antonio!!

NO, I DON'T SEE WHAT YOU SEE.

BUT WHAT I DO SEE IS THIS:

YOU'RE THE WORST KIND OF FAN OUT THERE. ONE WHO PUTS UP THE MOST NEGATIVE EXPECTATIONS. THEN, IF YOU'RE RIGHT, YOU GET TO CELEBRATE. AND IF YOU'RE WRONG, YOU GET TO SAY, "WELL, I'M GLAD THAT THEY PROVED ME WRONG."

FROM NOW ON, I REALLY WON'T SEE WHAT YOU SEE. 'CAUSE I'LL SCROLL RIGHT PAST YOU, SON.

Lakertom,

Just like with Mamba24, I'll be sure to send your regards.

Fatty's fine. He's gone through a tough time personally-family wise and hasn't really had time to blog over here. But I'm sure when he can he'll be back here to hoorah with the rest of us.

Per the team, I think it's interesting you said Powell can't maintain the starter role, considering that's how I feel about Luke or felt about Luke. But you know I don't disagree with you per Powell. I think the value of Powell is that he's an unknown and a hard worker to boot. Not sure how that will go over in a long season because 1.) He hasn't logged that much minutes ever, so you have to worry about fatigue. 2.) He seems undersized and will be exploited when the teams catch up.

That said he's given us a lift, the kind that imo LO needed to continue to bring but hasn't of late. Therein lies the strength of our depth, when one person is down there's someone else to step up. But if you're talking, "Powell is LO's replacement" I don't know about that. LO has been up and down but he's still heads and shoulders better than most of our 3s/4s.


With all there was to talk about last night, Powell got ink but still kind of slipped under the radar. Kobe singled his game out, maybe not enough to get Phil thinkin' about starting him and that would be too bad.

The first unit doesn't need LOs versatility. Josh Ps midrange game is perfect for spot ups when Kobe and Pau draw doubles.

Worked last night, with playing time it could work even better but Phil never listens to me.

Do You See What I See...

no I don't.

Charles/Mamba24: I just had to go there about DWade and to think he got on a list back when Miami was on their championship run for "most beautiful people in the world" WTF?? Who picked him? Cuz I don't see it...Though I admit money has the tendency to make any and everyone look like a lil' somethin somethin' I suppose..I mean, look at all the ug mugs in the league from BronBron to Greg Oden and Wade..They are not the handsomest cats in the league but because they got dough, whoever is their image consultant or whatever has managed to make them look halfway bearable..

But yeah Charles, I usually refer to WADE as a FROG cuz of his bulging eyeballs but those big greasy lips make it hard for that to stick considering frogs don't have any....(he, he, he)..

lemme stop Cuz the boy his ballin'...He's doin' it all.


Hell with that tho, GO LAKERs beat some SPURs tonite...

LAL_Fan,
its interesting that you think '9 rings' Red is stupid, while '9 rings' phil is a genius beyond criticism.

What a game!

- I can't understand why the Lakers don't implement more pick and rolls? Kobe can be the most lethal pick and roll player in the league. This strategy takes full advantage of his skill set, unlike the triangle. Cleveland and Miami get the most out of Lebron and Wade's skills by playing this way. I would like to see 50% triangle and 50% pick and rolls. This will keep the opposition guessing and on their heels.

- Luke offering to go to the bench is the biggest contribution to the team he has made in his entire career. Thanks Luke! You obviously care about winning. The next step is ask Phil to reduce your minutes.

- In his first year with the Lakers, Josh Powell is already mentally tougher than Lamar.

- When Kobe and Artest got physical, Kobe's teamates (especially Josh Powell) showed they got his back. What a difference from a few years ago when Kobe got clotheslined by Raja Bell, and his teamates (Luke, Smush, Lamar, Kwame) just stood there, confused, with their tails between their legs.

- If Bynum does not come back for the playoffs, our championship hopes rest on Lamar's "ability" to perform under pressure. HOLY #$%$#! Be afraid, be very afraid.

- Who is this idiot who won't stop dissing Ariza, and actually compared him to Kwame? Either you are joking or you are a moron.

- Great quote from last night's thread (can't remember who said it) - "Without Kobe, the Lakers are another version of the Grizzlies with Gasol".

KBblitz,

You *MISS* the point. I merely reposted what I had written months ago.

I'll say this differently:

Who did I say the SF would be?

Who did Phil Jackson say the SF would be?

To quote KG: What do you say now? What do you say
now?


Picture if you will:

KobeBlitz, with PJ's book in his hand, standing in front
of the rim. Pontificating on the triangle offense and the
large hands of Michael Jordan.

Hobbitmage: This is my Trevor Ariza impersonation!
Then dunking over KobeBlitz.

Lukes pregame analysis of the matchups was a key adjustment. Maybe he would make a good Asst.Coach.
Posted by: ChicNstu | March 12, 2009 at 11:35 AM

There you go.

I'm fresh off last nite's victory in Toyota Center. The Laker faithful were in
full force and the purple and gold threw a pall over the red and white "Beat
LA" t-shirts. It was the "silencing of the rockets" and by the end of the fourth
quarter there were definite chants of "MVP" for Kobe (who kicked Ron-Ron's ass)
something I've never witnessed in Houston.
Posted by: HoustonLaker | March 12, 2009 at 11:38 AM

Stand Tall HoustonLaker you are our 6th man. Thanks for the info.

Laker Truth,

great post--especially the part about the pick and roll--if the Lakers used all their pick and roll weapons and options we would probably average about 140 points a game--

is Phil just waiting to unleash the Pick and Roll regularly during the play offs and blow everybody's minds completely out of their skulls? hope so...

really liked most of the rest of your post as well...HUZAH Sir indeed !

GO LAKERS !!!

Charles/Mamba24: I just had to go there about DWade and to think he got on
a list back when Miami was on their championship run for "most beautiful people
in the world" WTF?? Who picked him? Cuz I don't see it lemme stop Cuz the boy
his ballin'...He's doin' it all. Hell with that tho, GO LAKERs beat some SPURs tonite...
Posted by: lakersrydeordie | March 12, 2009 at 11:46 A

You said it all lakersrydeordie I was thinking the same same.

NO I DONT SEE

BLINDNESS IS BLISS, BLIND IGNORANCE IS BORING BRING SOMETHING TO THE TABLE
SON

AK, are we not not supposed to ask about Kajagoogoo?

That's alright, man. I can see why'd you'd be a little, you know, shy. Hush hush, I know why.

Fan of the Mamba,

Thanks for the props. I agree about Kobe. With games like last night, how can anybody say that he is not the leading candidate for MVP? He totally torched two of the best defenders in the league last night. Totally torched and dominated them. This is the Kobe time that I like rather than the isolations at the pinch post. Pick and rolls with Pau or Drew from the top of the key with Mamba will impossible for teams to stop. This was a great second half adjustment by Phil on offense, just like his doubling Yao from the baseline shut him down in the second half.

Tom

Who is this idiot who won't stop dissing Ariza, and actually compared him to Kwame?
Either you are joking or you are a moron. Posted by:
LAKER TRUTH | March 12, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Easy Truth, Easy. Some people take longer to understand
than others. lol. Where you been Bro?

Larry(Mamba240

Faith.

Thanks for the update on Fatty. We really do miss the guy.

I agree on Josh. He is not a starter but could be a valuable role player because of his clutch midrange shooting. And while I criticized his defense and finishing in the game last night, he played with energy and overall had an excellent game. He is just not good enough to steal many minutes from Pau or Lamar.

Tom

is Phil just waiting to unleash the Pick and Roll regularly during the play offs and blow
everybody's minds completely out of their skulls? hope so...
Posted by: Floyd | March 12, 2009 at 12:12 PM

You know what Floyd. Once the playoffs start I say the Lakers don't lose one game.
Phil is going for his tenth and going for revenge. The Lakers got all kinds of
surprises in store. Phil is looking for revenge and I would not want to be the team
playing aaginst the Lakers. I promise you these playoffs Phil will pull out all the
stops. That's why the Kambrothers say enjoy the ride, because before you know
it the season is over. This team willl be devastiing in the playtoffs.

>>>- Great quote from last night's thread (can't remember
>>>who said it) - "Without Kobe, the Lakers are another
>>>version of the Grizzlies with Gasol".

Except for the fact that the Grizz don't have any point guard
as good as either Fisher OR Farmar...

and they don't have a center as good as Bynum...

And they don't have any player (other than Rudy Gay) as
good as Lamar Odom.

This Laker team without Kobe would probably make it to
the Western Conference Finals before losing.

DB,

Red Auerbach is a Celtic after all.

It's difficult to appreciate anything in a green uniform or coaching green uniforms.

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

GO LAKERS!

ChicNStu,

"Lukes pregame analysis of the matchups was a key adjustment. Maybe he would make a good Asst.Coach."

That's why people have been saying that Luke Walton has a high basketball IQ for some time now.

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

GO LAKERS!

I hate the Spurs, but also respect them, something I can't rightly say about any other Lakers rival.

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

GO LAKERS!

LakerTom,

Thanks for the kind words.

Let's hope The Beast is back in action as soon as possible.

I want to see The Beast and The Spaniard laying waste to opponents.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!

So has Stephon Marbury started eating homeless Boston children or spiking the team Gatorade with LSD as a "joke" yet?

It's bound to happen. It's only a matter of time.

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

GO LAKERS!

Yeah, AK! What's all this about Kajagoogoo?

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

GO LAKERS!

What's up Mamba24? I usually only post these days when I'm angry about the team's play. This blog gives me a venue to vent. I've been relatively happy about this year's team, so I've become more of a reader than a poster. If you don't hear from me, that means the team is playing well. haha.
I am still addicted to your roll calls.

Thanks Floyd. I am hoping Phil unleashes the pik and roll in the playoffs as well.

jon,
You made my point. LAL_Fan was being an old fashion homer in his comments defending phil. If phil was still the bulls coach, many of the same people saying he is the best ever would trash him as no good.

Mamba, please put me on the Luke Walton bandwagon. i've been a supporter of him for a long time.

i think if you watch him play closely, you'll see that he provides many intangibles. i just read that (much talked about) NY Times Battier piece, and i think Luke helps the Lakers (particularly offensively) similarly (to Battier on Rockets). i see Luke as a guy that looks at the make-up of the team, identifies the weaknesses, and tries to address them. he DID (according to an LA Times article) volunteer to come of the bench, to help facilate ball movement of the 2nd unit.

last night, Luke did his Odom impersonation, and grabbed rebounds, and then pushed the ball up the court. then, passed, thus saving time in the shot clock. sure Odom would've probably taken it coast to coast, but Luke knows he doesn't have that ability. WHY Luke is in the game is because of his understanding of the triangle, and his willingness to pass to the right player at the right time. if you watch him play, you'll understand that he knows he's not the best shooter, so that's why he'll pass up some open shots. it's because he believes that he'll find a teammate with an ever better shot, or get it to kobe or pau, who can go out and get a better shot on their own.

don't get me wrong, i'm not saying Luke Walton for MVP or anything. sure, the guy has major limitations to his game, but the man deserves to be out there. and after the Vladdy trade, you only have Luke, Ariza and Morrison as true SF. unless if you wanna play Odom, Kobe or Sasha at the 3. but problems arise with such options.

interesting stat: last night: Luke's +/- was 0. Ariza = -8. i can't seem to find +/- for season, though.

Mamba, thanks for the roll call! i'm pumped about tonight's game, and hope the Lakers put the smackdown on the Spurs, too!

i also hope Lamar comes out agressive and has a big scoring & rebounding night. 20/15 would be nice.

Long Time Laker Fan,

I was referring to Gasol's team when he was in Memphis, not today's version. Gasol had a decent supporting cast that made the playoffs 2 or 3 years in a row (although he didn't win a single playoff game). His teamates included two elite defenders, James Posey and Shane Battier, one of the best shooters in the game (back than), Mike Miller, along with Jason Williams and Bonzi Wells. Not too shabby. Bynum did not play in last year's playoffs and is still a question mark for this year, so he was not included in the equation.

And by the way, since you were referring to this year's team (I assume), the Grizzlies have a point guard, Mike Conley, who is a better player than Farmar. I will take Fish's experience and clutch shooting over Conley right now, but Conley has much more talent, and is still very young.

"This Laker team without Kobe would probably make it to
the Western Conference Finals before losing."

Uh, no. The Lakers w/o Kobe wouldn't even make it out of the first round.

Jon K: "It's bound to happen. It's only a matter of time."

They've just dropped 2 in a row...so it's pretty much safe to say that it has begun.


Do You See What I See: Your blog priviliges have been revoked, son! We saw you gleefully predict the Lakers to lose last night. Man up, admit you lost faith in your team, and resume blogging tomorrow...

...of course, should be slay the Spurs, you'll be banned tomorrow too. Makes me wanna root for them...for your sake.

:)

Never...EVER lose faith in your team!

Seems to me LA is a bit worried. Amy time you can’t win by the rules you might as well take it to the cheap seats. I mean really is this Hockey or basketball? Street ball or Pro? Kobe can score at will on anyone. Does he really need to be a punk about it? Where’s the class. At least the Rockets still have class and don’t sink as low as fish and the rest of the Hollywood goon’sit


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