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Lakers March Madness, round one!

Here it is.  The first half of the opening round of the first annual (maybe) Lakers March Madness Tourney.  Try not to get in trouble at the office because you're too deeply invested in the results here.  Remember, just about everything involved in this process is totally arbitrary, therefore the seeding committee doesn't want any guff from the peanut gallery.  Today, the Ced Ceballos Region.

#1 Adam Morrison's Facial Hair vs. #8 Trevor Ariza's tattoos.
Strong matchup, indicating the depth of this side of the draw.  AmMo owns the sort of scraggly, all-too-thin 'stache/beard combo (seemingly connected to each other only as acquaintances) oft seen on dudes you went to high school with.  On the other hand, it's a signature look.  TA has ink all over his body, including the neck... but like most of his game, it's kind of subtle. The ink doesn't leap out, but it's there, and it brings its A game.  Always the A game.

#2 LO's fashion vs. #7 Kobe's fadeaway
A powerhouse matchup.  Much has been made of LO's unique style- we mentioned last night his red/white striped, short sleeved, button down complete with hood and cuff links- which (much like the player himself) is often spectacular and occasionally mind boggling.  At the same time, Kobe's fadeaway is a thing of beauty.  Still, 24's J enters the tourney having slumped in its previous two games.  Did he work too hard to get himself off the bubble? 

#3 DJ Mbenga's martial arts skills vs.#6 Pau Gasol from the elbow

Force vs. finesse.  Strength vs. savvy.  Two very tall men enter, only one very tall man leaves.

#4 Kwame Brown's calves vs. Phil's zen
We know how one member of the Lakers Blog family would vote...

Click below for the poll boxes. Voting closes, let's say... 6:00 pm PST. 

BK

 
Comments () | Archives (30)

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whats the line on these? anyone know?

EASY MONEY!

How the heck is phil's zen winning out over kwame's magnificent pair? mike t where you at

PLAY INSIDE-OUT BASKETBALL…

That is the simple answer to the Lakers’ problems letting other teams back into games and blowing big leads. Even without Drew, the Lakers have a huge mismatch in the front court that they need to take full advantage of by pounding the ball inside to Pau and Lamar. The Lakers need to make playing inside-out basketball their top offensive priority.

You can go back and look at the play-by-play whenever the Lakers cough up a lead and see that the difficulties are almost always the result of turnovers or missed jump shots, which then ignite the other team’s offense as we saw last night with the Warriors. While most games are a series of runs by both teams, the reality is that most of those runs are ignited by the team with the lead not taking care of the ball or playing smart basketball.

If the Lakers would just play inside-out basketball every single time down the court, they would be invincible, especially once Andrew comes back. Pounding the ball inside will result in a higher shooting percentage, more offensive rebounds, foul trouble for the other team, and lots of easy baskets and free throws for the Lakers. When you have a big edge in the front court as the Lakers do with Andrew, Pau, and Lamar, you need to make that your top priority on offense if you want to consistently dominate other teams.

There is no doubt that human nature makes it difficult to continue to pound on the other team once you have a built up a big lead. We see that all the time. However, establishing an offensive priority that demands the team initiate every half-court possession by feeding the ball inside would go a long way to providing the team with the offensive discipline and focus needed to maintain and build on large leads rather than losing them.

Even without Drew, the Lakers have great low post options in Pau and Lamar and should focus their offense on getting the ball inside to these guys or to other Lakers players with mismatches they could exploit in the post, such as Kobe or Luke. Not only would that help the Lakers win crucial games as they battle Cleveland for the best record in the league and home court advantage in the Finals, but it would also get the team ready for the return of Andrew Bynum, who had become an offensive beast before getting injured.

JMNSHBO!
DNFTT!

Tom

LO's fashion should win the whole thing.

Anyway, here's my take on the Lakers supposed inability to finish: They're bored. I know home court throughout the playoffs is supposed to be this huge thing, but the Lakers already have home court in the West, so what would the best record in the league get them? One more game in LA versus the Cavs? But San Antonio's not going to catch them. Boston is resting Garnett. In other words, they already have home court against every other team. (In a way, trying really, really, really hard to get home court throughout is a sign of insecurity, isn't it?) Besides, the Lakers have the best road record, too. But will the Cavs even make it past Boston? Or, put another way, if the Cavs do make it past Boston, will they have any fight left against the Lakers?

Also, the Finals 2-3-2 format -- not sure why 2-2-1-1-1 isn't still good at this stage of the playoffs, by the way -- doesn't necessarily advantage the home team, particularly if the away team steals one. And the Lakers have proven they can win in Cleveland (more importantly, they've proven they can bottle up LeBron).

So, the Lakers seem bored. And, for the most part, so am I. They've already proven what they have to prove in the regular season, and I personally do think they have a switch they can flip in the playoffs. But I guess we won't know for sure until the playoffs actually start. I wish they would already.

ex,

I hear what you're saying, but I really think that this Lakers squad is a lot better than last year. And they CAN turn it on against the elite teams.

No, I'm not okay with losing to Philly. To be honest, I'm not okay with this team losing to ANYONE. But it's gonna happen, and I trust that certain lessons will be learned.

Go Lake Show!

The Outlaw,
This roster (even without Bynum) is potentially MUCH better than last year's, with the increased triangle experience of Gasol and Ariza, the health of Ariza, Powell being better overall than Ariza, and the general increase of experience of the roster.

However, the inconsistency of Odom, the poor play recently of the bench, the general lack of focus on defense, and the unwillingness to take advantage of the favorable mismatches on offense has lowered their ceiling noticeably.

They are still an excellent team, but instead of being (IMO) a virtual lock (assuming no further injuries) to win the title, they are now (again, IMO) a slight favorite.

Someone on the previous thread recommended that the Lakers should read "Twilight" on their road trip. I'd rather they read Anne Rice's "The Vampire Armand" and learn from her character Marius how to truly feed off their victims.

Keep the spirit up MrNano, Lakers will win for you! Good luck.

Posted by: LakerinBC | March 20, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Thank you, LakerinBC, that lift my spirit!!

But, now i'm worried because Kwame's calves!!!
My lost job now seems irrelevant!!
hahahaha

"Don't underestimate the power of the Calves"


GO LAKERS!!!!

BK-

Great stuff. I really like it, the Cedric Ceballos region haha.

Lamar = Finals MVP

GO LAKERS

Sorry, that should be "Powell better overall than Turiaf"

Rick Friedman,

I think they should read "Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony Bourdain.

Friends show you what you CAN do, Enemies show you what you MUST do.

Rick:
It was me who talked about twilight, because i didn't like the vampire novels (or movies), and that was the first thing that came up to my mind (that's the power of marketing) ... but that's the idea XD

GO LAKERS!!!

BK,

I like it, man. This is the kind of creative, interactive, truly time-wasting content I can really get on board with.

I have to say I love the use of "AmMo!" That one caught on like wildfire during the live blog. I'm going to want the help of Lakers bloggers to get my proper credit when Doug Collins starts using that, but erroneously attributing its origin to Morrison himself.

I will say I'm extremely disappointed in Kobe's J being matched up in the first round with LO's wardrobe. Who determined the seedings around here? I'm thinking, along with Phil's zen and Tex's triangle (hint hint), those two should be some of the top overall seeds in the tourney.

Tell me the next bracket is the Sedale Threatt region!

MrNano,

Good luck on your search for a new job. Things are definitely tough out there. Mrs. LakerTom has been wanted to get out of her horrible high-paying super-high-pressure job but craigslist is like a vacant parking lot when it comes to new job opportunities. So far this year, I have had to lay off three good employees, none of whom have been able to find new jobs so far. While I am lucky and “think” my job is secure, nobody’s job is really secure when we have economic conditions like we have right now. We are in uncharted territory so enjoy every minute of this marvelous Lakers season. Meanwhile, I better get back to work or my job won’t be secure. LOL. Best of luck to you in these troubled times. Maybe one reason posts seem to be down is everybody else worrying about the boss looking over our shoulders and catching us blogging about the Lakers, especially when you live in a city with another NBA team like I do.

Tom

The problem with running the offense through gasol every time down is that he's already getting the most minutes of anybody, has been picking up even more to carry the bench, and has been doing even more work with kobe struggling the past two games. Now you want him to completely carry the whole game?

it all boils down to two things: first kobe was slumping the past 2 games, he was the only starter with a negative +/-. if he were producing normally, these games would have been blowouts.

the second thing is that farmar just can't hack it. his skill doesn't back up his aggressive style, and his defense is pathetic. he needs gasol at the 5, mbenga and powell get into easy foul trouble when they have to stop the opposing PG that just blew by farmar again, and they aren't one man offensive forces that can somehow coax a half-court set into success after the rest of the team trips over itself because somebody messed up the triangle.

i'ld complain about sasha's poor decision making, but he only ever makes one decision: shoot the ball. it's what the factory designed him to do and really, it's not that hard to properly utilize a shooter with a mailing address in 3 point land. people actually managed to find him when he was open last game and it worked, here's a clue: he can't shake defenders when he has the ball or shoot while distracted by them. i'm not saying he's good, i'm just saying he's usable and won't screw up like jordan does at both ends of the floor.

LBJ IS CLEARLY A BETTER PLAYER THAN KOBE, ADD TO THAT WADE ALSO. THEY ARE JUST MORE EFFEICIENT. IF KOBE ISN'T SHOOTING WELL HE IS JUST AN AVERAGE PLAYER. WADE AND LBJ CONTRIBUTE MORE IN OTHER WAYS. IT WOULD BE WISE FOR THE LAKERS TO LET KOBE OPT OUT AND TRY TO GET ONE OF THESE GUYS.

PHIL JACKSON HAS LET THE GAME PASS HIM BY. OTHER COACHES GET BETTER HE GETS WORSE. THE BEST COACHING STRATEGY RIGHT NOW WOULD BE TO REST THE STARTERS FOR THE PLAYOFFS. FORGET ABOUT CLEVELAND, THEY HAVE BEST THE BEST RECORD LOCKED UP. WERE UP ON BOSTON THATS ALL THAT COUNTS. GET THE RESERVES MORE PLAYING INSTEAD OF PLAYING KOBE AND PAU TO EXHAUSTION.

THE LAKERS BENCH WILL INSURE A QUICK EXIT FROM THE PLAYOFFS.

BYNUM WILL NOT BE BACK, THE LAKERS GET WHAT THEY DESERVE WHEN THEY GIVE A GUY 50+ MILLION WITH SUSPECT KNEES AND A SUSPECT HEART.

Man, I can't wait for the return of Drew.
4th quarter line-up in June:
Drew/Spanaird/LO/Black Mamba/Gost (a.k.a. Trevor).
That's 7ft/7ft/6ft 10"/6ft 8"/6ft 6"
Lakers vs LeCrabs.
Lakers in 5.

passionate Lakers fan

When we lost to San Antonio during the first Big Balls Dance, that line up of Bynum,Powell,Odom,Ariza,Bryant was sick as hell. I loved it. It won't work the whole game, but man in shorts burst is exciting as hell to watch.

Do you guys know you can vote twice? Seems like it could be "fixed" that way lol.

Kam Bros. -

What happens to the votes that are not assigned to either of the two choices you presented? How are those supposed to be allocated?

Just a curiosity question. Hope all is well.

AK BK
How petty are you going to be?

I prefer not to talk to you but your bosses

Tank you LakerTom. Being around the blog will be a good therapy.

Truth Hurts,

This isn't being "petty." I informed you yesterday that we don't want people posting under a variety of handles and "personalities." Pick one screen name and stick with it. I had been posting your "Troll Man" comments because I assumed that's the one you were sticking with.

The use of one handle is a preference we've stated before and has nothing specifically to do with you. In our opinion, posting under a large variety of "personas," some of which directly conflict with previously written items on the same thread by another "persona," feels like you're just messing with other readers. We'd just prefer that be avoided.

As I said yesterday, I don't consider the matter a particularly big deal. I'm not "upset" with you or anything like that. I also said that if you wanted to talk further about it, email us at kambrothers@yahoo.com. Either way, if you want to write the Sports Dept., that's perfectly within your rights as well. But I really don't think it's necessary, nor worth either of our time. We're not asking anything of you that we don't ask of other readers.

AK

AK BK

I remember a past comment from one of you when other bloggers were requesting that only one name be used that your reply was was in effect, how surprised everyone would be to see who was blogging under different names and that it would not be practical to enforce it.

So if you have changed your position, i am assuming that this rule aplies to everyone and not just the bloggers that you don't care for.

Which is it? I will blog under one name only, but what guarantees do I have that you will enforce this rule on all?

Am I to take your word on it?

I admit some sadness at the early exit of LO's fashion.

BK

Faith-


Hmmmm.... stuffing the ballot box is not supposed to be permitted! The competition committee will have to take a look at that before the next round.

BK

celtics got green shoes

rivers has green note pads for plays

I DEMAND A RECOUNT!!!!!

The results of this "election" are a sham!

And ABSOLUTELY NO FUN!

Why am I assuming that Troll Man sat there for six hours just voting for the lame topic?

Urgh.

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

GO LAKERS!

i guess the polls ended yesterday? i wasn't aware of the poll until today. oh well. i voted anyway, and i think it was counted.

i was surprised to see the 1st round match-up of LO's wardrobe and Kobe's Fadeaway. i was hoping they'd see each other further down the road.

and Truth Hurts, if you're right about LBJ being better than Kobe, how is it that Kobe is the guy on the team with the two wins (head to head), and NOT LBJ? and who performed better in those two games? who shot that amazing turn around jumper (with LBJ all over him), and nailed it, in Cleveland, in the 4th Quarter? LBJ is pretty good, but he can't guard Kobe. Kobe's all defensive team, year in and year out. He can make LBJ (and D-Wade)'s night a living hell if matched up for an entire night.

let's see Kobe and LeBron play one-on-one, with one impartial ref, and first person to 100 wins. (just like back in highschool for Kobe)

leoanardblast, what's this about "like back in high school one on one to 100", We never played that way...We would play one on one to 11 or 21, those went quick, too quick, so it was usually 2 outa 3.... you get the ball if you make the shot, which I always disagreed with. I liked another way we played was 3 on 3 ($50 per person) to 50, Loser gets ball)...Most of the time I just played one on one and we didn't keep score, cuz we had time to worry about, interruptions...
Winner gets ball is hokie, cuz a guy can get on a roll and the other guy may never get an offensive shot. I believe that the loser (guy scored on) should get ball just like in games.

This blog started out with something about Adam Morrison's facial hair...I think there is something beyond just the facial hair, in college he was the man...the flowing 60's hair and stache, his confidence level, coming out of the Pacific Northwest....so damn good he was picked #3, then his world turned, injuries, adjusting to NBA life. Looking at him now, he looks like he's just praying to hang on...He obviiously is not healed, I would say he's about 8-12 months from running normal....he doesn't run on the court, he steps around. avoiding contact...I did not like him in college, but I hope he turns it around, and becomes the player he once was....at that point, he can grow his hair out and do what he wants.....and I hope he becomes our "Pistol Pete" shooter.


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