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March Madness round 2 results

The second round is in the books.  Here's how you voted.

  • #8 seed Andrew Bynum's physical therapist (69%) defeats top seed Won Wafer's rookie card on eBay (31%).  Major upset of two arbitrarily seeded entries!!!
  • #2 seed Derek Fisher's gravitas (58%) defeats Luke Walton's appearance on "The Young and the Restless" (42%). 
  • #3 seed Sasha Vujacic's headband smokes Jerry Buss' unusually orange hair.  74% vs. a scant 26%. 
  • #4 seed Shannon Brown's hops garners 60% to take down #5 seed "We want tacos."  Tightest battle of the bracket.

The next round of voting on a date TBA.

AK

 
Comments () | Archives (46)

The comments to this entry are closed.

REPOST from earlier thread,

JustaLakerFan,

Thanks for your comments.

>>> I think Drew will be back but how effective he will be will depend on PJ
>>> will determine his use and contribution.

While I am a big fan of Phil’s, I know exactly what you mean. It’s like when Phil ridiculed Drew’s comments early in the season that he would like to average 20 points per game. Turns out, once Drew broke out of his shell, that’s what he did average in January.

Phil got my confidence back though in the way that he handled Drew in his 45 point break out game. Rather than pull him out to hold him back, as I feared Phil would do, he left him in the game and let the team give him the ball. Phil realizes now that Drew has his head screwed on straight and can handle being the number two option on the team.

So I don’t really think that Phil will hold Drew back when he returns unless it is because he really is not ready yet. I just hope that Drew remembers Kobe’s reminders to him right after he got injured to come back strong as the Beast he had become. Whether or not Drew’s body will allow that we don’t know yet but I sure am hoping he is the Beast.

>>> I guess that is how the NBA gets away with cheating is by creating a myth
>>> and making everyone buy into the lie. Truth is the Bets let the Celtics be physical
>>> and no calls. Then called touch fouls or non fouls as fouls.

While a full-fledged conspiracy theory seems improbable, there is no doubt that the refs often do determine who wins the game by how much physicality they allow in the game. I don’t know if the calls ever do balance because I think there is a definite bias against Kobe by many of the NBA refs. The refs also usually allow more contact in the playoffs. To me, those games are like bad weather. You can only play so long until you get one.

>>> Actually LO was holding the mob squad together and facilitating or the younger
>>> players. When he was moved to starting the bench took a hit and further hit with
>>> TA going to starters. The worst hit was the departure of Vlade. Bench is weaker
>>> especially with Luke and then they are being overly criticized

You are right. The only saving grace is that the domino effect that losing Drew had on the Bench Mob will occur in reverse when he returns from injury. When you look at the growth of the team this year versus last year, the big plus is that the team’s top four players have all at various times played dominating basketball. For Kobe, Drew, and Pau to all have won Western Conference Player of the Week awards is tremendous and a case could be made that Lamar was more deserving than Pau the week that he won.

The flip side is the diminished play from Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic, who were two very important cogs in the Lakers success last year. Hopefully, we are starting to see signs that they may finally be emerging from their respective funks.

>>> Sorry no agreement here. Once the loss of Vlade's outside shot teams have
>>> packed the middle with little fear of Lakers outside shooting. To pound it inside
>>> you need effective outside shooting so paint can't be packed in and crowded.
>>> Spreading the defense helps pound the ball inside.

You’re right but there were many negative aspects to Vlade’s game also – poor focus, attitude, defense, passing, ball handling, rebounding, And while I still cringe a little when he does it, Ariza is proving that he is not afraid to take the open 3 when teams give it to him and surprisingly is shooting at a better clip than I thought he could. Bottom line, I am not worried about our 3-point shooting, especially if we play inside-out basketball.

What worries me more until Drew gets back is our 3-point shooting defense. When Drew gets back, I would like to see us force the midrange by shutting down the 3-point shot. It is really the only way that other teams are going to be able to beat us with us our size.

JMNSHBO!
DNFTT!

Tom


Posted by: LakerTom | March 21, 2009 at 02:18 PM

=============================
LakerTom,

Thanks for your comments and although we don't always agree you are a class act.

With that I know we can go back and forth about the details on the of opinion differences but I will choose to respectfully agree to disagree.

With that I respect your passion on your convictions whether I agree or not. Or if your opinions are humble or not so humble!

Blog on as I enjoy your insights.

To those PJ supporters who claimed PJ made great coaching decision on using LO with bench mob, I sated LO was the glue holding the bench together.

So am I a great coach or maybe PJ stealing my observations. LOL

See? Who DOESN'T love Andrew's physical therapist?

And Sasha's headband is a given. DUH.

blitz,

>>> Still lets not get too excited people…
>>> it has to be a SUSTAINED effort all the way to June.

Tough not being able to bash the bench, isn’t it, blitz? JK.

>>> Any venom the PJ haters want to say about him sticking with
>>> the bench *only* having 1 starter??

I’m with you on this one. PJ has shown that he is still capable of surprising his critics.

>>> And look no Bynum!

Now, why would you go and throw that out, blitz? Still cruising for a bruising trying to claim that Pau is a better center than Drew or more valuable than Kobe or Drew? We’re blessed to have 3 great players, even though it will be years before you admit to it.

On another note, even though I agreed with you that Lamar should be the starter at small forward when Drew returned, I think it is obvious that Phil has decided that the starter will be Trevor Ariza. I also think he made the move at the time he did in order to defuse the issue of Lamar returning to the bench once Drew returned to the starting lineup. Bottom line, hobbitmage made the right call on the starting small forward being Trevor Ariza and you should be man up to it rather than beating around the bush and trying to thrash him.

Peace. :)

JMNSHBO!
DNFTT!

Tom

Who makes the schedule? All of our road games come with the opposing team having 1 day or more of rest. While the Lakers play 2 back to backs on this roadie, I still think we come out 7-0. Conspiracy or Coincidence? It shouldnt matter, if the "BENCH MOB" continues to play good basketball, and i think they will.
Ugly or pretty, I'll take a "W" over a "L" any day. How many of those W's were ugly? Im not sure, but i dont see a column for style points anyways. Positive energy is all we need. Like Faith brought with her BANDWAGONS, great job

GO LAKERS!

LTLF,

Way to call out the Fair Weather Fans. And before all the politically correct pundits descend, there is a difference between comments made in the heat of the moment disparaging the team or a player, which we all occasionally do, and the serial offender who only lives to malign the team or a specific player and whose agenda is really not for the team do win but for the offender to be right, also known as the Mike T. syndrome.

What we are seeing is a young and relatively inexperienced team growing up before our eyes and we cannot expect them to perform with the consistent precision of a veteran ball club. Take Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic for example. If both of these players performed almost every game as well as they did last night, fans would be raving at what great and valuable players they were, the next Tony Parker and Steve Kerr.

Think of the Shaq and Kobe Lakers before the Three-Peat. Think of a team on the verge of emerging as a dynasty but not yet there. Think of a sneak preview of next year’s team with Drew and everybody – knock on wood – healthy and playing all year. Sometimes it feels as if we spoiled Laker fans expect this team to miraculously transform themselves into a totally disciplined, mature and experienced, veteran smart basketball machine, despite the injuries, changing lineups and youth and inexperience of many key players.

Slowly but surely, Phil Jackson is building another championship dynasty.

JMNSHBO!
DNFTT!

Tom

Laker Tom,

The no Bynum comment was for those people who said the bench was worthless without Bynum/Odom in the lineup.

Not a diss at Bynum or Odom in any way.

-KB Blitz

131-92,

I'm going to say the Cavs have a good chance to win in Boston even though they lost both times in Boston. Even last year's series Game 5 and especially 7 they had a good shot to steal one in Boston and win the series.

And like I said 6 OR 7 game series. I say 6 because who knows Lebron could steal one in Boston. Have to take that into account. Also could take into account Boston could steal one in Cleveland who knows. But my prediction for you greenies is 7 games Cavaliers win. The loss of Posey will hurt more big time in the playoffs.

-KB Blitz

mikefloss,

The argument about "Laker Fan since 1970" or whenever was just me venting about those Laker fans who say they have been fans since then and attempt to use it as a lame excuse to shield themselves from other readers criticisms and prevent them being called "BandWagon Fans". I do apologize if you felt I included you (that wasn't my intent I did not mean to include you) but to know in the future, those lines really do get annoying from those "Laker Fans" who really are nothing more than Cowardly Lions.

That being said it is very hard to be a distributer and be the focal point of the offense in this type of offense. The Triangle offense is meant to discourage this type of thing. Sure Lebron and Wade do that but their offenses are specifically designed for them. Pick and rolls this pick and rolls that. Rudy T. during his time had Kobe do that and Kobe did average 6.6 apg at the cost of 4.4 turnovers per game since he was the main focal point and initiator of the offense.

Michael Jordan averaged 8.0apg one season but he never got past the Detroit Pistons. Why? Because the Pistons knew he was the one who was going to be the playmaker and they targeted him greatly.

1990 Game 7 ECF Scottie Pippen wasn't in the game because of migraines and MJ had to do the same thing that you are wanting from Kobe: trying to be the main playmaker and be the focal point of the offense. No matter what Michael tried to do he was again stopped by the Pistons. Only by giving up the ball and not be the main playmaker did Michael Jordan finally dethrone the Pistons with a sweep and threw away the mantra that Hobbitmage loves to spew out "defense wins championships" when the "defensive minded" Pistons were swept. Kobe thinks he could do it but fact of the matter is that that is simply too much work and goes against the offense that Jackson and Tex Winters teach if he has to be the main playmaker and main scorer at the same time and that will cause problems for the offense.

Could Kobe get more assists? Maybe but I'd be more happy with 5 or 6 averaging. Anymore than 7 is excessive and taking away the point of the triangle offense which is to have EVERYONE potentially be a better playmaker.

And again I don't have a problem with Kobe getting 25+FGA. If he makes 20-25 why bother him? It's where and when and how he makes his shot attempts that bother me the most.

And Laker Tom,

Until Bynum does more than score in the post, I will still say Pau is the better option at center. Pau may not be as strong as Andrew but remember: Any great defense (The Spurs nearly did this when Bynum was around but Kobe and the bench stepped up their game) could neutralize any great scoring center. That's what the Celtics did to Bynum back in December 2007 even though Bynum torched Amare Stoudemire in the Christmas Game. I'm looking more than just scoring for Andrew to be a true franchise player. Otherwise every 20 and 10 player should be a franchise player shouldn't they? (There are those who do average 20 and 10 yet still aren't franchise players).

-KB Blitz

KB Blitz,

You're a funny dude. Bandwagon Laker fan? That's hilarious. I guess if I've been going to Laker games since 1971, (I was nine) I'm a bandwagon fan? What's with you KB? You the only one who can make basketball commentary on this blog? Get over yourself, it's not that deep. Let's just say we're both passionate Laker fans and leave it at that.

As far as Kobe is concerned, you don't seem to want to acknowledge the fact that Kobe doesn't have a Pippen to play with. That being the case, he has almost 2 jobs. To be a Pippen and an MJ as the situation dictates. Believe me, he believes he can handle it, I do too, he's that good. I don't think Kobe needs to get 10, but I do think if he averaged 7-8 dimes and kept it under 25 shots as a rule, we would the championship hands down.

The bigger point is that Kobe must trust and utilize his teammates more. He needs to be a leader the way Magic was a leader. Reward your teammates, play unselfish within the system, pump them up. I get the feeling he has yet to fully grasp this concept completely. It's the last step to winning it all with this team.

Kobe,

I believe we have won the last 9 in Boston and lost the last 6 in Cleveland. I dont know how many times they "almost" won in Boston but I do know they havent won any of the last 9.

We almost beat the Lakers both games this year but I dont hear you talkn about that. The game in here was tied with 3 minutes left and the game in Boston went into OT. Boston coulda won either or both. But of course nobody mentions that cuz they didnt. So until I see the Cavs "winning", not almost winning in Boston, Ill assume they cant.

Im not saying its gonna be easy but we will beat them. Then we take care of busines vs the Lakers.

BTW YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST .... WATCH OUT FOR BILL WALKER!

From the other thread,

I totally agree that this team will live and die by Kobe's leadership. One thing I noticed Kobe does is play some pretty lazy defense from time to time, especially early in the game. Sometimes when he knows he won't get to a shooter in time he won't even put a hand up. You don't see anyone else doing this, but this kind of attitude filters through to the rest of the team. When Kobe seems to turn it on towards the end of a game the rest of the team turns it on as well.

It's wrong to ask for full throttle effort for 48 minutes a night, but stressing effort and dedication is something Kobe hopefully plans on doing come playoff time. I really don't care about the regular season much more at this point.

I think Sasha's headband will sweep this competition. Just like the Lakers will the Finals! haha.

Go Lakers!

BLöG CRüE
I missed the game against the Bulls because we went spring skiing in Monarch. What a treat.

Great to see the Lake Show never give up.

Colorado loves the Lakers!

Justin N,

Kobe can lock down almost any perimeter player but when he's facing somebody that he doesn't respect he instead roams more rather than really taking care of his man.

Lebron and Wade get more highlight reels with their blocks and steals but Kobe really tempered down his steals and went more on one on one defending. When he went on a switch against Jason Terry, Terry had no way to get through him and the energy Terry spent trying to get through Kobe helped cool down his super hot hand.

Usually the guys Kobe are facing don't get enough Kobe's respect to lock down defensively. Some are legit some are not. And it can be a good thing or it can be costly. When it is against Lebron or Wade though Kobe's ego goes after the best scorer and he can be deadly.

Basically you have to really either piss Kobe off enough or make him realize you are a gifted scorer enough that he feels his manhood is threatened if he doesn't go after you seriously.

I wished Kobe was pissed off more though that would also mean less energy at the offensive end.

-KB Blitz

"We almost beat the Lakers both games this year but I dont hear you talkn about that. "

Um no. Let's Go C's kept saying crap about "if they called that foul on Gasol we wouldn't have lost". Fortunately at least one of the Celtics boys "Red's Love Child" manned up and said the Lakers won legit.

"So until I see the Cavs "winning", not almost winning in Boston, Ill assume they cant."

Well then I'll flip your words against you: So until I see the Celtics "winning", not almost winning in Cleveland I'll assume they can't and going by how Cleveland has the home court they will win the series against the Celtics.

-KB Blitz

LakerTom,

you wrote: Bottom line, hobbitmage made the right call on the starting small forward being Trevor Ariza and you should be man up to it rather than beating around the bush and trying to thrash him.

my response:

1st. Thanks.

2nd. You notice that he didn't respond.

To everyone else: Watch while I make
KBblitz avoid my question and
pontificate about something completely
irrelevant to the question.

KB blitz,

you wrote:
Only by giving up the ball and not be the main playmaker did Michael Jordan finally dethrone the Pistons with a sweep and threw away the mantra that Hobbitmage loves to spew out "defense wins championships" when the "defensive minded" Pistons were swept.

my response:

http://tinyurl.com/ddg5nw

Scottie Pippen was all nba defense 2nd
team. MJ was all nba defense 1st team.
Horace Grant was 3rd in offensive
rebounds.

Steals
1. Alvin Robertson-MIL 246
2. John Stockton-UTA 234
3. Michael Jordan-CHI 223
4. Tim Hardaway-GSW 214
5. Scottie Pippen-CHI 193

Defensive win shares

1. David Robinson-SAS 6.8
2. Patrick Ewing*-NYK 6.7
3. Dennis Rodman-DET 6.6
4. Hakeem Olajuwon*-HOU 5.5
5. Michael Jordan-CHI 5.5


Please explain to me how the Chicago
Bulls won the championship without
commiting 2 defense when they had two
players on the all defensive squad,
Both Pippen and Jordan are in the
top 5 players with steals & MJ is in the
top 5 defensive players in the league

While you're at it, if "Defense wins
championships" is not true, please
explain the following:

1987-88 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
1987-88 NBA All-NBA (1st)
1988-89 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
1988-89 NBA All-NBA (1st)
1989-90 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
1989-90 NBA All-NBA (1st)
1990-91 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
1990-91 NBA All-NBA (1st)
1991-92 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
1991-92 NBA All-NBA (1st)
1992-93 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
1992-93 NBA All-NBA (1st)
1995-96 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
1995-96 NBA All-NBA (1st)
1996-97 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
1996-97 NBA All-NBA (1st)
1997-98 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
1997-98 NBA All-NBA (1st)

That's 10 yrs in a row MJ was 1st team
all NBA defense. Concurrently:

1990-91 NBA All-Defensive (2nd)
1991-92 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
1991-92 NBA All-NBA (2nd)
1992-93 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
1992-93 NBA All-NBA (3rd)
1993-94 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
1993-94 NBA All-NBA (1st)
1994-95 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
1994-95 NBA All-NBA (1st)
1995-96 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
1995-96 NBA All-NBA (1st)
1996-97 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
1996-97 NBA All-NBA (2nd)
1997-98 NBA All-Defensive (1st)
1997-98 NBA All-NBA (3rd)

That's 8 years in a row that Scottie
Pippen was either 1st or 2nd team all
NBA defense.

But hey, no commitment to defense
right?

Incidently, the 1989-90 Pistons
had the 2nd best defensive rating in
the league at 103.5. The next year
the bulls wear at 7th with 105.2. If
my math is right, that's less than a
basket difference or 1% pt depending
on if the number represents points or
some other metric. Please explain
how either differential points to a lack
of commitment to defense.

KB Blitz,

Cool, let's just agree to disagree on the assist point. I would have a hard time convincing any triangle purist that the Lakers run that offense. Sure, the idea is to run it, but I would say 35% of our possessions are not triangle oriented and whether it be pushing the ball for early offense, leading a break or isolations where Kobe has the ball and is going one on one, he could make some better decisions getting his teammates a shot, other than trying to make the circus shot on his own. At times of course we need Kobe to do his thing, just not all the time.

Which leads me into shot selection. Usually if Kobe takes more than 25, he's jacking up to many crazies. I'm not counting games where he is so in the zone that he burns someone for 50, 60 or 80. But games where his shooting percentage is in the 35-40% range but he's taken 30 plus shots. There's always a better shot on the floor in these scenarios. I would like him to recognize that more often.

Finally and most importantly, the main point behind all this is for Kobe to step into all his greatness as a team leader, not just the greatest player in the game. I would like to see him make the game easier for all his teammates, thus making the game easier for himself. Kobe tends to thrive on the spectacular, which is entertaining as hell, but can have limited returns when it comes to winning a ring. It also keeps his teammates from fully participating in the game with him, thus taking them out of the flow. This will hurt us when it matters most. Maybe I just have a Magic Johnson fixation, but nobody understood the value of galvanizing the team like 32. I want 24 to fully comprehend the necessity of that concept. If he does, we'll win multiples in the coming years.

Kobe,

I "manned up" and said the Laker won legit (unless you ask me about the 6th foul on KG) but the refs made the call and you have to live with it. If Pierce makes both free throws they win so they only have themselves to blame.

You are flipping my words after I flipped yours. So we are back to where we started. You claim Boston cant win at Cleveland but think Cleveland can win at Boston. We've beaten them 3 more straight times than they have us. Thats 50% more ... so how you arrive at you conclusion is beyond me ... especially given the fact we blew them out w/o KG last time.

If the Celtics keep their turnovers down, they will beat them ... no doubt. The only time the Celts lose is when they turn it over. We will get a preview in a couple of weeks. By the time we meet them Marbury and Moore will have another couple dozen games under their belts.
Especially Marbury!

We are getting healty and even though we dont have Pose ... we are a much better (at least more talented), deeper team than last yr. Rondo, Perk, Baby, Powe are all much much better. And I LOVE Bill Walker. And dont ask me why Ainge didnt draft Chalmers in first round but Ill cut him some slack cuz he has done a great job otherwise.

Nice Hobbitmage aka Mark Jackson just flip flopping to make a point. Guess Hubie Brown aka KB Blitz is here to save the day!:

"Please explain to me how the Chicago
Bulls won the championship without
commiting 2 defense when they had two
players on the all defensive squad,
Both Pippen and Jordan are in the
top 5 players with steals & MJ is in the
top 5 defensive players in the league"

Love how you spent the summer crying about 101.4 points given up and yet the Lakers made a marginal increase in defense this year 100.4 points given up now use defensive rating (which I spent the summer using) You are more inconsistent than Lamar Odom and Sasha's Shooting combined! You have a much better chance at convincing me of your Tournament seedings than you do with your current argument!

In any case accolades mean nothing to the *team* defense. Raja Bell was 1st Team All Defense and Shawn Marion was also a defensive force but were the Suns were "Defensive team"?? Joe Dumars has only 5 Defensive all team awards (4 1st team, 1 2nd team) yet he is one of the greatest perimeter defenders of all time not to mention the one Michael Jordan said defend him the best yet he has only 5 defensive team awards compared to Michael and Scottie?? Kevin Garnett got 2nd Defensive all Team in the 2006-2007 NBA season but wait Minnesota's defense gave up an average of 100.3 points and had a losing record. Gee great sign of defense there from Minnesota eh??

And gee here's another attack on Kobe's defense despite having 8 Defensive All team (9 probably this year). Guess who? Tex Winter!

The main message that Winter, a Lakers consultant, would like to get across to Bryant is that the problem is not his offense.

"I’d like to see him play better defense," Winter said, adding that he had addressed the issue recently with Bryant but didn't come away with the idea that Bryant was intent on changing his approach.

"You know Kobe," Winter said with a chuckle. "He has his game plan. I think he heard me. But he feels there's a certain way he’s got to play the game. But it doesn’t involve a lot of basically sound defense."

Because the Lakers need so much of his effort at the offensive end, Bryant has adopted a save-energy plan on the defensive end, Winter said. "He's basically playing a lot of one-man zone. He's doing a lot of switching, zoning up, trying to come up with the interception.

"The way Kobe plays defensively affects the team," Winter added. "Anybody that doesn’t play consistently good defense hurts the team. That's not only Kobe. Our other guards tend to gamble and get beat. Another problem is that the screen and roll is not played correctly."

Gee Mr. "8 All Defensive team awards" dude got called for his defense? You sure you want to keep bringing up accolades as visible proof?

Source: http://tinyurl.com/c7srxs

Since you also want to point out steals here's a counter argument said by Phil Jackson:

"Steals aren't a good indicator of great defense".

Hmm let's take his word for it shall we?

John Stockton the most steals ever yet only get 5 2nd team compared to 8 first teams by Michael??

Clyde Drexler number 6 yet not a single defensive all team award??

Allen Iverson 12th in career steals and led the league in steals 3 times yet not *ONE* defensive all team award!!

Isaiah Thomas: 14th in career steals yet not one defensive all team award? Gee I wonder who the other two who won the awards?? (If you don't know Joe Dumars and Dennis Rodman).

"But hey, no commitment to defense
right?"

But it wasn't Scottie's nor Michael's defense that tore to shred the defensive minded Detroit Pistons defense was it?? You could blabber all you want about this person's defensive accolades but even Michael Jordan in 1988 when he won the Defensive Player of the Year award couldn't "defend" against the Detroit Pistons defense now could he despite his "accolade".

Not saying defense is not important but you fail to see so much more of the offense and not executing your offense will make your defense almost irrevelant.

"Please explain how either differential points to a lack
of commitment to defense."

Never said there was a lack of commitment to defense but that it was the offense that busted through the "Defensive minded" Pistons *team* defense. And the Bulls offense torched the Pistons 100+ points 3 out of the 4 times in the first title run.

"However, this time when the Pistons employed their "Jordan Rules" defense of doubling and triple teaming Jordan, he picked them apart with passing."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/r2fgy

Please explain why I nay see *any* mention of the word "defense" when it came to the Bulls defeating the Detroit Pistons? I just see "defense of doubling and triple teaming Jordan" with "picked them apart". And how did Michael pick them apart? The Triangle offense.

True Trevor is starting but lets face facts: It was Luke who volunteered to go back to the bench because the bench was being so unproductive with the trio of Farmar-Vujacic-Ariza because there were few playmakers. If Trevor's play forced Jackson to start him then I would be saying "good job Hobbitmage" but you keep gloating and keep showing how classless you are. I'm more than willing to admit things I was wrong Hobbit but will you keep gloating or will you show some class?

"But *I* think Ariza on Pierce will be good and he can handle it".

Phil Jackson Quote February 5th, 2009 Lakers @ Boston via Reggie Miller:

"Paul Pierce usually bumps him (Ariza) off he's (Ariza) is not strong enough".

Ariza got smoked when he had to guard Rondo (to be fair, Derek got smoked too) and only Kobe had the mind not to mention quickness to handle Rondo fully. Ariza didn't do a fairly good job on John Salmons neither and instead had to be place against Derrick Rose which while worked against the Bulls, not every team has a 6'3 (Ben Gordon) as a SG that Fish/Farmar might be able to defend. Sure Ray Allen Fish guard fully but try any other SG that you think Fish can guard well? (And do you remember who the SF was on the floor in the end of that game in Boston?)

Sorry Hobbit but this team is an "offensive" team. They will win by offense (note that I did not say lack of defense ). This team is not a Pop team or a Larry Brown team or heck even a Mike Brown team. This is an offensive minded team who while not as bad as the Golden State Warriors when it comes to defense isn't in the elite category of defense that you kept whining and crying like Kobe did in 2007 over the summer.

"But Rambis and Walton says they want to improve their defense and I will show the articles here!"

Before you can do something stupid as that try this one: http://tinyurl.com/cbepua

"Phil Jackson says, "We are what we are. A good offensive team."

If the Lakers have a problem, it's on defense, although Coach Phil Jackson insists it's not a problem. According to Jackson, they give up a lot of points, they score more, so what's the problem?"

Los Angeles Lakers 2008-2009: Offensive Minded Team

Btw Hobbit, I wanted you to be the first here in the blog to see this: http://tinyurl.com/d24m2r

The question I want you to answer is: Can better defense (assuming this team can become a San Antonio like defensive squad) make Kobe Bryant shoot better?

Point is that "Defense" isn't everything to winning titles when you have *that* (Hint while not taking away anything from the Celtics Defense Kobe did make quite a few questionable shots....so don't bother putting it solely on the "defense" of the Celtics).

-KB Blitz


Sorry Mikefloss was responding to Hobbit,

"but I would say 35% of our possessions are not triangle oriented and whether it be pushing the ball for early offense, leading a break or isolations where Kobe has the ball and is going one on one"

Well then that begs the question if 35% of the possession is not triangle offense related how much of those 35% is controlled by Kobe himself? There are other ball handlers on the Lakers and other playmakers as well from Pau, LO, Fish, and Derek when running the fastbreak or dives into the basket. Still hard to get assists when 35% isn't a triangle offense related play as much as 100% is it?

"There's always a better shot on the floor in these scenarios. I would like him to recognize that more often."

I agree too but again I don't mind 30+ shots as long as they are *good* ones. Sure some will be contested and it happens but if he can run the triangle fully he can get closer, post up more (with better success) not to mention scoring much efficiently. If he can get 20-35 (not including 3 pointers and free throws) then that's 40 points right there and above 50%. Most times that will be a win (though not always).

"Maybe I just have a Magic Johnson fixation, but nobody understood the value of galvanizing the team like 32."

I can understand but you also have to understand there will never be another Magic Johnson just like there will never be another Larry Bird. Actually Kobe's father during his time in the NBA tried to be like Magic but he wasn't as good as Magic. Kobe's game is more like Michael's and while not as good as Michael's is still very good.

And not being a leader? Come on, I may bash Kobe on somethings but he really matured as a leader last year. While I wish he became more stricter he's doing a fine job of leading. And you cannot simply say "I want him to be like Magic and rack up assists" because of the role differences. Michael was credited for making teammates better but had a different role. Simply a different role between Michael and Magic. Was Magic's role the only way make guys better"? No, just a different role.

Larry Bird averaged "only" 6.6 assists per game in 1983-1984 season compared to Magic's 13.4. Yet Bird was the one who won the MVP and the title despite getting less than 1/2 of the assists that Magic gained.

Did Magic make his teammates better? Yes. But so did Larry Bird despite not getting as much assists. Different roles by each other. So Magic's way wasn't the only way to make "teammates better".

Kobe may be a good playmaker but his game along with the triangle's system can't make him into a double digit or even 8+ assists per game kind of dude. His game isn't like Magic's so don't compare the two. Their roles of making teammates better vary.

131-92,

"especially given the fact we blew them out w/o KG last time"

And they beat you in Cleveland with Kevin Garnett. Like you said we'll see soon enough if the Celtics can win at the Q.

"The only time the Celts lose is when they turn it over."

That could be said of most other teams but the game in Cleveland Celtics t/o equaled Cavaliers (15 both) yet the Celtics lost 98-83.

"We are getting healty and even though we dont have Pose ... we are a much better (at least more talented)"

Maybe more talented but not necessarily better. Posey's absence is a big lose down the road and his defensive presence lose will hurt in the playoffs worst, especially that Ray Allen and Pierce have to defend more instead of Posey keeping pressure off them.

Again until the Celtics win in Cleveland I'm still going with Cleveland in 7. 6 if Lebron does one of those games against the Detroit Pistons in Game 5 or Game 7 last year. Conversely I could also say 6 games for the Celtics if you steal one in Cleveland. But for now my original prediction stays because who has the edge on home court:

Cleveland.

-KB Blitz

I wonder (as I often do at 5:20 am EST),

Will a Kobe / LeBron finals be the most watched in NBA history?

Wes

Another post Hobbitmage since you just avoided the *team* defense and point out the *individual defense*

Okay you just like posting up individual accolades hmm let me counter with one who was a great defender in his prime:

Gary Payton:

9 time Defensive All-Team member.

But wait only "1" ring? I thought defense wins championships? Surely the Glove should have won more than 1 championship that he gained out of his prime with Shaq and Wade in 2006!

Another "Defensive minded" player(s):

Dikembe Mutombo:

4 time Defensive player of the year. 6 time All Defensive team. ZERO rings. And he had Larry Brown for quite a bit yet couldn't win a title!

Ben Wallace:

4 time Defensive player of the year. 6 time All Defensive Team. Only one ring?? (That was Chauncey's ring). And he had Larry Brown for 2 years.

Jason Kidd:

7 time Defensive All Team member: ZERO rings. Wasn't he supposed to win more rings being an able defender at the PG/SG slot?

David Robinson:

8 time Defensive All Team member: Two rings. But they weren't his rings were they?? They were Tim Duncan's rings! And both times (especially the last one) Robinson was out of his prime!

And last but not least Kobe Bryant:

8 time Defensive All team member: Three rings. But who won those rings? The fatman Shaq who only has 3 and they were "only" 2nd team! Kobe has 6 first team yet he couldn't "hold down" the Celtics in 2008 could he?

I'll even add my favorite Laker of all time: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:

Kareem won most of his defensive all teams in the 70's but only won one title in Milwaukee (1971) with Oscar Robertson. The rest of the 70's till 1980 Kareem kept racking up All Defensive teams yet no ring? Guess who finally came in to help Kareem:

Earvin "Magic" Johnson who while wasn't bad on the defensive end was far more offensive minded than defensive. Kareem won 3 more Defensive team selections but only one of them resulted in a title (1980) and Magic was the one who won the Finals MVP.

Sure Cooper's defense was extremely important but who was the one who won the Finals MVP's in those years? (Magic-Offensive minded) (Kareem-Both but was out of his prime) and (James Worthy-More offensive minded though played good defense).

Michael and Scottie were fantastic defenders and rank amongst the best. But they couldn't win the title until the Triangle offense began coming around to defeat the "Defensive minded" teams that you Hobbit love to dream about.

And here's another list of accolades I want you to see since you went all through the trouble of posting All-Defensive Teams and All-NBA teams.

Finals MVP's.

2008: Paul Pierce. Defensive minded? No (more offensive minded that doesn't mean he was a bad defender).
2007: Tony Parker, Offensive minded
2006: Dwyane Wade: Offense
2005: Tim Duncan. Defense
2004: Chauncey Billups (more offensive minded than defense as he kept torching Gary Payton)
2003: Tim Duncan
2002: Shaq no brainer was way more offense minded
2001: Shaq
2000: Shaq
1999: Tim Duncan.

So 7 more offensive minded Finals MVP's compared to 3 more defensive minded Finals MVP's. Did "individual" "defensive minded" players won those Finals MVP's (that most time save for 1969 won the title) more than offense? Looks like no. So "Defensive minded" players don't always win titles do they?

So Hobbitmage do you see my point or will you counter by pointing out team defense? If you choose to do so you will only prove *my* point that it takes team defense rather than individual defense to win championship and made all those accolades you posted of Michael and Scottie really pointless.

Though I do give you credit for listing all those awards. I can also point out the flaws in listing Michael's accolades in defense because while his defense was important it was more (note I listed more) his offense that won those Finals.

-KB Blitz

131-92,

We`re going to need you for the playoffs...so, like the Celtics, conserve your energy for when it`s really needed.

Also, keep in mind that Laker fans are "praying" that Cleveland {home court and all} wins the East. They live in constant fear of another Finals loss to the Green!

Keep in mind, when they write how the "refs allowed Boston to win" or how the Lakers were "upset" by Boston last year...they are not only showing how delusional they are, but how deep their pain is!

Finally, Bro, remember that history is on our side. This is the 40th anniversary {May 5th to be exact} of Bill Russell`s last title.

Nobody saw the Celts winning in `69...until they did!
Nobody saw the Celts winning in `09...but they will!

***
DAVID STERN IF NASH CAN WIN MVP TWICE THEN
KOBE BRYANT BETTER WIN IT ALSO – BANDWAGON
***
(01) MAMBA24 – OWNER – No MVP for Mamba No Peace David Stern
(02) JUSTANOTHERMABAFAN – DRIVER – David Stern we are watching

***
RETIRE MICHAEL COOPERS NUMBER NOW – BANDWAGON
*****
(01) THE SNAKE – OWNER – If we can’t retire “Coops” number we can at least
Add it to the Roll Call
(02) MAMBA24 – DRIVER – retire the greatest defensive player of all time number
Right now.

MAMBA24 PREDICTIONS FOR FINALS LAKERS VS. CLEVELAND
*
GAME1 @ CLEVELAND - LAKERS WIN - This makes the 2nd time LA has beaten Cleveland at home
and the cockiness begins to disolve
GAME2 @ CLEVELAND LAKERS WIN - cleveland storms out at the begininning to a big lead at
the beginning but tires and la wins 92 - 90.
GAME3 @ LA CLEVELAND WIN - Lakers get to cocky and Cleveland turns on Defense in desperation
and wins 100 - 90
GAME 4 @ LA LAKERS WINS - Lakers mad at loss at home and Kobe takes over scores 45 Pau 33
a total domination 117 - 92
GAME 5 @ LA LAKERS WIN - DYNASTY BEGINS - sure to be considered one of the greatest games
of all time Lebron & Kobe duel point for point, the game goes into 2 overtimes with Kobe hitting
a three with 0.03 seconds left to win 111 - 110. Kobe named Finals MVP

humanomaly said,

"yes lamar is the difference maker, not always, don't be so adamant. He is the difference maker sometimes when they win, and ................sometimes when they lose."


ur last statement makes me correct.


isang

131-92,

I've finally seen you posting here in this blog.

For some reason I always suspected it was you but now, I saw you yesterday. My question to you is... you have so much money, why don't you use your own computer?

Paul Pierce... that was a nice wig you worn... looked like Paula Piercing.

**
GET WELL SOON BYNUM THE BEAST PRAYER BANDWAGON
***.*
(00) utzworld THE BANNER HOLDER –CO/OWNER/CHAPLAIN – LET US
PRAY FOR DIVINE HEALING. Dear Lord you create all greatness so let
your child Andrew heal quickly in order to express that greatnes and thus
give tribute to thou greatenss - AMEN
(01) LAKER-TOM CO/OWNER - Drew will return for April 3rd home game against
Yao and the Rockets as the Lakers return from a 7-game road trip..
(02) MAMBA24 - DRIVER - I shall drive to the ends of the earth to get a healer
(03) WESJOENIXON = This is mickey mouse. If Bynum's people can't be on time,
they needn't be involved
(04) SHE-KOBE - Don't worry, Guys, everything will be fine with Bynum.
(05) BLUESKY - He is youing, he will recover soon
(06) DAVE M. - Has Laker Tom posted since this happened? He's probably holed
up with Nepalese temple ball worry beads... don't worry buddy -
the Beast WILL be back!
(07) GOLAKESHOW - ahhhhhhhhh the anxiety! i cant take it!!! My
heart skips a beat every time I refresh the blog.....
(08) KOREY - To say we need Bynum to win a championship, is an understatement.
(09) NICK ESPI - lets just hope hes going to sore for a bit and he will be fine
(10) LG - The suspense is killing me. Feel better soon Drew!
(11) THE LAKE SHOW - Drew if you read this, keep your head up and prevail!
(12) FLOYD - it felt like our chance for a championship just went out the window
and the wait for next year just began
(13) JON K - I don't like this at all.God, please bless Andrew Bynum,
his knee, and his doctors.
(14) RICKY - I'm glad Bynum chose to forgo the Laker's supposed specialist and
went back to see his own doctor.
(15) MRBARNEYDANGLES - Lets just all pray that he is able to return asap.
(16) SBPIMP - Honestly, we're doing just fine, people. Let the dude rest up as long
as he needs, and we'll get back at it when he can. In the meantime, we've got
games to win. Don't forget that sending positivity out to the universe brings it back
to you. Let's not badmouth Vitti and the staff - they did just get us Farmar back in
half the estimated time.
(17) LEONARD BAST - i'm going to remain optimistic that this won't
be season ending, and will just be sprain.
(18) FAITH - Let's continue to have faith that things will work out. Hopefully.
(19) ROCKY - Dear LakerGod,Please don't allow the MRI results
to be devastating
(20) JUSTANOTHERMAMBA - SOCKS - get well soon buddy!
WE NEED YOU!!
(21) PSYCHED LAKER GIRL - Hi all: I am leaning toward the Laker conspiracy theory
in that the Lakers PR office (and PJ with his psychological mind games) wants the
Cavs, Celtics to think something is wrong and he will be out for a while and to prepare
for him to be out...........BUT that he will miraculously play in BOTH games and
those teams will not be prepared for him........Thoughts????
(22)MIKE AND MIKE - Please Drew come back soon. I saw the look on
Kobe's face, made me feel depressed.
(23) CBUCK – I was with Bynum when nobodoy else was.
(24) LAL_FAN - Your biggest Fan
(25) JOHNNY P. – I want the Beast to come roaring Back
(26) BD - I think we will need 2 Bynums down low. Andrew we need
you...hurry up and get back so the defense doesn't look pathetic and
at the same time you can shut up the Homers who think we might be
better without you or the Lakers play better with LO. No Bynum No Championship!
Get Well Bynum!! No Bynum No Championship
(27) TALIQ - skobe said u make us championship caliber, lakertom says you're mr. franchise,
I say that ring wouldn't be as sweet without u yo"
(28) BD - ANDREW GET WELL--WE NEED YOU! OUR REBOUNDING SUCKS!

Paul Pierce... that was a nice wig you worn... looked like Paula Piercing.
Posted by: Classic | March 23, 2009 at 07:55 AM

LOL! Stop that! Paul Pierce is "The Truth" and the Truth
is Paula Piercing has a much better jump shot than Paul
Pierce and she needs no one to push her Wheel Chair.

I think people are getting ahead of themselves assuming that we will be playing the Cavs in the Finals.

The Cavs can't beat the Celtics in Boston, but Boston might be able to beat the Cavs in Cleveland.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!

still don't believe that this team is a cinch to go all the way to the BLING BLING world. I still don't have faith that they will destroy every team that will come their way to the championship. Every game is a struggle, either they blow their lead or get blown in the early part of the game. I don't have that kind of feeling (like I had during the Magic,Kareem, James Worthy days) wherein you just relax watching the games because you know that even if they're losing on the early part of the game they will eventually catch up and win that game. Or if they have a big lead you know for sure that the game is over because they rarely give opposing team a chance to recover. With this present team of Kobe, Pau, Lamar and company a 20 points lead is not safe at all because you know that in a matter of 2 minutes that lead will be gone. Or if they are losing big in the early part of the game, they rarely come back at all. You just turn off the t.v. and read the internet the next day and find out how many points
they lost. Watching the Laker team of the 80's is so much fun because they dominate almost all the teams they faced. With the current team all I experienced are countless of stressfull games. A lot of bloggers here are just blind, avid, know-it-all pretenders who thinks this team is unbeatable eventhough the games itself says otherwise. They just think that all is well for the path to the championship even if the recent games of the Lakers will not even hold water against the likes of Utah, Spurs, Cavs or even the hated Celtics. If you put a negative blog against "our" beloved Lakers you will be bombarded by not so good remarks, and will be branded as fair weather or fake Laker fan. But all you want to say is the fact about how our favorite team is underperforming. All these avid fans wants to see are only good things about their team eventhough they are really playing under the level of being a "championship caliber team" So sad being with these kind of fans nowadays. How I miss the Magic days!!!

Posted by: Jon Kavulic | March 23, 2009 at 08:49 AM

Thank you Jon K. I also dislike the fact that people assume that the Lakers will make it to the finals. Gotta stay grounded and ride the humble road.

I think people are getting ahead of themselves assuming that we will be playing
the Cavs in the Finals. The Cavs can't beat the Celtics in Boston, but Boston might
be able to beat the Cavs in Cleveland. What do we play for? RINGS!!!!
Posted by: Jon Kavulic | March 23, 2009 at 08:49 AM


No, No, No. Jon K. It's a Lock. Just as David Stern wanted The Celtics to be in the
Finals against the Lakers last year so they could have a classic LA Boston Finals.
This year he wants Cleveland to be in so he can have Kobe against Lebron.
The Past MVP against the next MVP. But if David Stern does not want to go to jail
Kobe will win a second MVP this year. The referee scandall has not been forgotten Dave.
What does Kobe play for? The Rings!
What does Lebron play for ? The Bling!

Retire Cooper's number!!!!!

I will not rest until 21 is in the rafters.

personally, I dont feel like we need to blow out teams in effort to signify whether or not we will be worthy of holding a Larry O'Brien at this season's conclusion. Boston, last year, is a perfect example of this in that the playoffs, the first couple rounds they struggled through 7 games series in every round, everyone questioning whether or not they had the mentality or wherewithall to get it done, and then when they figured everything out, they waxed our asses in that dreadful game 6 of the Finals..they learned HOW to put teams away. I think we will do something similar mainly because, I believe and don't allow myself to think any other way..Besides, winning is a process and it takes time to manifest..Sounds simple, but its not. Just ask any of those other teams and or players who've never sniffed winning it all much less gotten to the finals like our Lakers.


Go Lakers!

Besides, winning is a process and it takes time to manifest..Sounds
simple, but its not. Just ask any of those other teams and or players
who've never sniffed winning it all much less gotten to the finals like our Lakers.
Posted by: lakersrydeordie | March 23, 2009 at 09:29 AM

OUT FREAKING STANDING!!!!!!!!!!!!
THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!!!!

Good morning Mamba24 & morning CRUE!!

Why so much angst?? Seriously, people - we got this!

Now, granted, I'm a homer (and proud of it), but this team is on a mission. We need to tighten up the D, get the Mob back to form and have Socks back - all doable and foreseeable.

Really, there is NO WAY that this team does not go on to win it all. We have the talent - that's a given. We have the determination - we're gritting out the "ugly" games. We have the heart - it's championship or bust.

YES - there is room for improvement. YES - we need to get on a roll. YES - we need some of our mojo back. BUT - PJ is a master of motivation and the owner of 9 coaching rings. HE WILL get us to the promised land. There are no alternative endings. Write it down & laminate it.

ENGLISH BABY!

GO LAKERS!

***
SERIOUSLY PEOPLE WE GOT THIS - (NBA TITLE ) BANDWAGON
**
(01) JAMAMBAFAN - OWNER - Why so much angst?? Seriously, people - we got this!

(02) MAMBA24 - DRIVER - Yes We Can!!!! We Got This!!

YES - there is room for improvement. YES - we need to get on a roll. YES - we need some of our mojo back. BUT - PJ is a master of motivation and the owner of 9 coaching rings. HE WILL get us to the promised land. There are no alternative endings. Write it down & laminate it.Posted by: justanothermambafan | March 23, 2009 at 10:39 AM
Tell it like it is JAMambaFan - WE GOT THIIS is our new anthem

Mamba24,

Holla at me on the WE GOT THIS Bandwagon!

To Everyone,

I apologize for the long post. I feel the
need to posterize KBblitz for his
preposterous comments about MJ, the
Bulls & Defense. Grab some popcorn.
Take a picture. See if you can catch my
foot on KBblitz's forehead.

"On with the Body Count!"

KB blitz,

1st.

I want you to put this in print:

MJ did not believe in "team defense".

2nd. You've forgotten a bit of history.
I'm going to help you with that.

3rd. Let's be clear what we're talking
about here.

You wrote: Only by giving up the ball and not be the main playmaker did Michael Jordan finally dethrone the Pistons with a sweep and threw away the mantra that Hobbitmage loves to spew out "defense wins championships" when the "defensive minded" Pistons were swept.

[ The issue of note is the mantra:
Defense wins championships. ]

3rd.

http://tinyurl.com/c8us2m
[note: en route to the 3rd of the 1st 3
championships. ]


some direct quotes from the article:

Perhaps the difference between Chicago and its contemporaries, the Suns in particular, has been its ability to handle every type of opponent, as evidenced by its dismissal of the league's best defensive team in New York and its early advantage on Phoenix, the NBA's best offensive team.

For almost three years the Bulls have been better at both ends of the court than any team in recent memory, including Magic Johnson's Lakers and Larry Bird's Celtics.

[ note: both ends means that they were
playing team defense. that would
coincide with 2 NBA 1st team def. ]


Phoenix's quest for a title is failing not because of its offense, but its defense. The Bulls may be known for Jordan and his highlight-film offense, but they have taken a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals because of their defense.

[ Note: what is the reason why they're
beating Barkley and the Suns? ]

If the Bulls could grind down the game's best offensive team, particularly on its home court, then defense, as Reinsdorf suspected, mattered at least as much. "When I bought the team I said we're going to build it around defense," says Reinsdorf, who took over the franchise for less than $ 20 million at the 1985 all-star break.

"I always believed that in team sports defense is more important than offense. You look at Super Bowl winners, you look at World Series winners. The teams with defense win. But when I bought the team people really were laughing at me. So I was in Washington and I decided to go see Bill Bradley."

Bradley was a member of those great Knicks teams. Since 1979, he has been a member of the U.S. Senate.

Reinsdorf says of that meeting, "I said, 'Bill, tell me, am I crazy? People are telling me that defense no longer wins, that these guys are too good and that you can't stop them by playing great defense. Am I nuts?' He said, 'You can't stop them but you can make them take their shots two feet further, or three feet further. You can make them use a few more seconds off the clock. Don't waver. You're not nuts.'"

No one, particularly Jackson, thinks Reinsdorf is nuts. It might have been that philosophy, the idea that even with a player of Jordan's stature defense must come first, that has landed the Bulls at home and in control of another title run.

"Defense wins games," says Jordan, whose improvement at defense has mirrored Chicago's climb. "A lot of teams talk about it, but we play it. We know it works. It's been good to us."

Still, Jordan managed to lead the league in scoring despite becoming even more of the Bulls' offense than at any time the previous two seasons. And he remained, despite obvious fatigue, perhaps the game's greatest perimeter defender.

Still, Jordan managed to lead the league in scoring despite becoming even more of the Bulls' offense than at any time the previous two seasons. And he remained, despite obvious fatigue, perhaps the game's greatest perimeter defender.

*** end snippets

You wrote: In any case accolades mean nothing to the *team* defense.

My response: Please tell me how the
accolades of Jordan & Pippen do not
support their commitment to team
defense in light of the above article.

Please tell me how Jordan's own words
do not support my mantra: "Defense
wins championships."

http://tinyurl.com/cw7zr6

At the same time the Piston's armor was starting to crack by old age and injury.

[ note: Jordan was throwing away the
mantra: "Defense wins championships"
--kb blitz ]

http://tinyurl.com/dj86xo

The Pistons' championship run came to an end in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals, when the team was defeated by the eventual NBA champion Chicago Bulls, 4 games to 0. However, the Pistons were batted and bruised throughout the regular season. Thomas had surgery on his wrist prior to the NBA Playoffs.

[note: KB blitz, why didn't you talk
about injuries and age? ]

A quick scan of our favaorite site has
the average age of the pistons at: 30.6
dumar, edwards, laimbeer, rodman thomas

average age of the bulls at: 26
jordan, pippen hodges, armstrong, grant

The age difference would support the
earlier line from wikipedia about age
and injuries.

speaking of injuries: http://tinyurl.com/depnm5

interesting snippets from the article:

The Detroit Pistons had just finished practicing one day last week when a man in a white shirt open at the collar started walking uncertainly toward coach Chuck Daly. Daly examined the approaching specimen carefully—taking note of the inconsequential build, the receding hairline, the advancing years—and then immediately began sizing him up for a Piston uniform. He had point guard written all over him.

The defending, two-time world champions have had to take their guards where they could find them this season, and they have found them practically everywhere. There are intramural-league guards, old guards, older guards, school crossing guards, elite Republican Guards—and the Pistons might yet have to tap them all. Once the scourge of the NBA, Detroit's backcourt now includes one guard with a hole in his wrist, another with a hole in his shoe, and a 34-year-old Microwave with a hole in his game.

[ I like that paragraph. :) ]

This startling reversal of the Pistons' fortunes began on Jan. 29, when surgery was performed on Thomas's right wrist to fuse three bones he damaged in a game a year ago.

The cast will be removed next week, at which time there will be about a month left before the playoffs begin. Thomas's rehabilitation period is expected to last from six to eight weeks, so there is a real question as to whether he will be able to play at all in the postseason.

The Pistons opened with a record of 13-2 in November, then lost seven of eight at the start of December. They were still healthy, but the erosion was already beginning to show.

Even wounded—perhaps especially wounded—the swaggering Bad Boys of other years would have seized those opportunities by the throat.

"Anytime you have injuries when there are already problems, the problems are going to be magnified," says Dumars. "Our concentration hasn't been as keen as we're used to. Before all the injuries, maybe we could overcome those occasional lulls, but now the lulls have become paramount

After more than a month of trying to carry the team on his shoulders as Thomas's replacement, Dumars finally began to break down piece by piece. He has played more than 41 minutes a game, most of them with a hole cut in his left sneaker because the hyperextended big toe on that foot is so swollen that it won't fit into the shoe.

and finally:

Most of the Pistons' recent blessings have come disguised as retired guys or, as in the case of 34-year-old guard John Long, a guy who had retired twice. The Pistons found Long playing pickup games in nearby Southfield, Mich., and signed him for the rest of the season. Thirty-five-year-old Gerald Henderson, who had played for Detroit for part of last season, was running a transportation company that shuttles the elderly and handicapped around Philadelphia when the Pistons signed him to a 10-day contract. His first assignment, on Feb. 24, was to guard Magic Johnson in a nationally televised game against the Los Angeles Lakers. And where did the Pistons find their old teammate? Playing in the St. Joseph's University intramural league.

*** end snippet.

I think those support the injury clause
pretty well.

recap: The team owner built the team
with a defensive philosophy in mind.
Jordan says defense wins games.
Jackson & Bradley were teammates on
the defensive minded knicks. Jordan &
Pippen were all NBA defense for 8
years straight. Thomas had surgery.
Dumars had a bad toe. A bus driver
found at a pickup game???

recap: The team owner built the team
with a defensive philosophy in mind.
Jordan says defense wins games.
Jackson & Bradley were teammates on
the defensive minded knicks. Jordan &
Pippen were all NBA defense for 8
years straight. Thomas had surgery.
Dumars had a bad toe. A bus driver
found at a pickup game???

Posted by: hobbitmage | March 23, 2009 at 01:06 PM

==========
hobbitmage,

I posted advice to you regarding KBBlitz. He is not knowledgable and twists things around as to not admit he is wrong. He makes things up as if it is your opinion and belief to deny being wrong.

I suggested that you no longer engage him as he will only frustrate you with his illogical banter.

After going through much frustration I got the best advice from AK. He said to move on.

You are an adult and I can only say to you the same thing AK said to me. Move on. Dang if he was right. He was right on.

JustaLakerFan,

Thanks for the tip. Starting heading
in that direction, but the ludicrous
statements about MJ and defense
were a bit much.

Be well!


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