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Monday morning crickets

This is a strange time of year, especially for a team like the Lakers, who currently hold a 9.5 game lead in the Western Conference and have for virtually the entire season looked down on their brethren like the tenants of Mount Olympus did more earthly types.  Obviously LA still has work to do. Six games remain on their seven game trip, continuing tomorrow in Oklahoma City against a Thunder squad that has played reasonably well of late.  There's the pursuit of the league's best record, which provides for a modicum of scoreboard watching to best keep up with happenings in Cleveland, and, of course, talk of Crickets the MVP race. 

D-Wade's late season push aside, it's still Kobe vs. LBJ, and while my money is on LeBron hauling home the hardware, it'll likely go down to the wire and could ultimately be determined by what each writer decides is, in the words of ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan, his Ultimate Deciding Factor.  (Cue fan frustration.)

What else is there?  The matter of getting Andrew Bynum out on the court (looks like next month, as it has for a while), of shoring up the bench play (hopefully Saturday's win in Chicago was the start of something good), and adding more consistency to the defensive end of things.  Forecasting playoff pairings is tough- it looks like Dallas, but the Mavs are only 2.5 games out of fifth, matching the gap between the six teams behind LA- so that'll have to wait. 

All of it leaves fans feeling a lot like the players, ready to get the business of playoff basketball under way.  While there are the aforementioned nuances to flesh out, by now we know what the Lakers are (a very, very good basketball team), something that isn't going to change before next month.  Without much to distract, all the extra days do is add tension before the good stuff starts. 

Tom Petty was so right.   More NBA news below the jump.

BK

 
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Mornin Fam!

Good Morning Sir Charles. Good to see you at the top of the heap as usual.

Good morning, Laker Family,

I missed the Chicago game (I was in SD at a jiu-jitsu event), but I watched it last night when I got home (late!).

When this team wants to play some D, they can really get after it. I'm looking forward to more consistent intensity come playoff time.

7-0. Do it.

Go Lake Show!

GOOOoOOOO LAKERS!!!

Do you all think that Bynum would rehab faster if we'd waited until the end of the season to resign him? Would he hurry to show his value? Do you think, now that he's shown himself to be "Mr. Injury," he has as high a market value as he did then?

Of course these two injuries could be a coincidence and not a pattern. But I've heard he is knock kneed or bowl legged and so always prone to injury.

That said, yes, not much to do but to wait and see if Bynum disappoints us in his scheduled reappearing for yet another season. If he disappears in the middle of next season it will start to get reaaally old.

So glad to see TA kickin butt and Sasha doing well in a pair of consecutive games.

GOOOooOOOO LAKERS!!!!!

When this team wants to play some D, they can really get after it. I'm looking forward to
more consistent intensity come playoff time. Posted by:
The Outlaw | March 23, 2009 at 10:03 AM

Hey brother Outlaw. How's that magnificent son of yours. You know Phil likes
to play games. Remember when the season started and when we WERE shutting
down teams left and right. Then all of sudden we didn't. Don't be fooled that "D "still
works, Phil just did not want to use it to much during the regular season.
Phil uses the regular season like other coaches use the presseason, to
test strategies and seee what works. For these 69 games, bit by bit, they have
been adding and subtracting to a Defensive System that will be unleashed
come the playoffs. Not so much for the Western Conference. But the Finals.
I keep telling people look between the lines in comments by this team
This team is so confident it aint funny. When the Finals come I said The
Lakers will win in 5 but I truly believe they will sweep who ever they play.
Phil and The Lakers got something for the NBA that they aint seen since
Show Time & The Bulls. run. Just enjoy the ride brother WE GOT THIS!!!!!!


Mamba24,
I actually believe it's your spot homie.

The Outlaw,
I didn't know you roll. What system and which instructor do you train with?

MAMBA24,

For these 69 games, bit by bit, they have
been adding and subtracting to a Defensive System that will be unleashed
come the playoffs.

i totally agree with that mamba i really think that they're still in the experimenting process of the season but as the season goes on and the playoffs start all of these experiments will play off

let hell be raise LAKERS!!!

The Outlaw, I didn't know you roll. What system and which
instructor do you train with? Posted by: Charles | March 23, 2009 at 10:48 AM

How bout that most of us work in IT, and most of us are in to the Martial arts.
Almost sound like some spy thing. LOL!

I don't think anyone can argue with LBJ winning the MVP this year. The guy is putting up amazing numbers on a team that's doing great things. No complaint here if LBJ wins it.

I just hope LBJ doesn't team up with D-Wade in 2010. That would be one hell of a team. The only thing better would be a team with Kobe, LBJ, and Pau/Drew.

I totally agree with that mamba i really think that they're still in
the experimenting process of the season but as the season goes on and the playoffs
start all of these experiments will play off let hell be raise LAKERS!!!
Posted by: hellraiser526 (certified mamba fan) | March 23, 2009 at 10:54 AM

Let Hell Be Raised Brother!!!!!! And it will come playoffs I would go so far as to say
The Laker Team you will see in ther Playoffs you won't even know but will know.
People keep forgetting 9Rings is getting ready to retitre. These playoffs will
be his final pages in the Hall of Fame Carrer. Phil has an ego a mile high
and the more I think about it. The lakers will do something no team as ever done
4-4-4-4 SWEEEP BABY!

Monday morning crickets may be better than Monday morning crabs, but Monday morning crabs signify a better Sunday night.

Wes

Charles,

I'm a total novice. Just started rolling about three months ago. I didn't compete over the weekend, but went to SD to support a couple of our guys. My instructor is Rob Lewis, a brown belt in BJJ who trained under Joe Moreira. We're Drunken Monkey Jiu-Jitsu. Check it out here:

http://tinyurl.com/ckpfr3

Go Lake Show!

***
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!!

***
DAVID STERN IF NASH CAN WIN MVP TWICE THEN KOBE
BRYANT BETTER WIN IT TWICE ALSO – BANDWAGON
***
(01) MAMBA24 – OWNER – No MVP for Mamba No Peace David Stern
(02) JUSTANOTHERMABAFAN – DRIVER – David ZStern 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.
(03) MIKE FLOSS - Retire Cooper's number!!!!!

Mamba24 - thanks for the bandwagon!

WE GOT THIS, baby!! (Works nicely with ENGLISH, BABY - don't you think? lol!)

GO LAKERS!

MAMBA24,
I hope you were right with what you said, because I have not been in the parade for 7 long years now. Nevertheless, I do hope the Lakers is not as too overconfident and cocky like you, for they have not proven anything yet. The way they are playing right now I will not be too overconfident like you. How many games have they won consecutively? I guess the most is 7 or 8. By this time of year they should have been blowing up teams and winning 10 to 12 games consecutively. Look at the Cavaliers they have won 9 consecutive games. That is a sign of a team that is gearing up and preparing for a strong run in the play-offs. What you're saying regarding the Defensive sytems that will be unleahed during the play-offs and finals is only your sole opinion and maybe most of the die-hard Laker fans here in this blog. Do they really have that plan? Are they capable of adopting that plan if there is any at all? I want to see that in the play-offs and would be so happy to see it. Until then, I still don't have enough trust in this team the way I have that trust and confidence with the team of Magic, Kareem, Worthy & Co.

The Outlaw,

Good luck with all your Martial Arts endeavors. Stay healthy and keep training.

Best,

Do they really have that plan? Are they capable of adopting that plan if there is
any at all? I want to see that in the play-offs and would be so happy to see it.
Until then, I still don't have enough trust in this team the way I have that trust and confidence
with the team of Magic, Kareem, Worthy & Co. Posted by: RUDY | March 23, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Relax Rudy. Just Enjoy the ride! Enjoy seeing one of the the greatest Basketball players of all
time at his peak win his 4th NBA Title. WE GOT THIS!!!!!!

Morning all.........Yesterday i watched the Heat/Pistons game and i must admit the refs are in love with Wade...i felt a little sorry for the Pistons in the last period.....That guys gets the most pathetic calls all the time.....I think he is a shoe in for the MVP....They love his head...

Wow...that piece from SI concerning athletes and their finances should be required reading for every pro athlete in the nation. It's amazing the money that these guys earn and then squander.

The funniest part of the article was the story of how Dikembe Mutombo refused to marry his intended when she declined to sign a pre-nup. I can just see Deke now...at the altar, growling with that deep gravelly voice of his and wagging his finger, saying "No pre-nup, no ring"! LOL!!

Hello everybody!
Mamba24, i think RUDY has a point, i don't think the team has a microchip inside his chests like the ones we saw in "I robot", that Phil can turn on whenever he wants.
I hope they have one, at least The Machine can...

GO LAKERS!!!!!

Man, it IS a quiet day in Lakerland. I think the rest of the games on this trip are trap games - if the Lakers lose it'll be because they don't bother to show up mentally.

So to keep it interesting for tomorrow I think Phil should invert the line-up. Start the 3rd string, bring in the 2nd string and only play the starters 15min. each max. especially Kobe & Pau & Fish.

At least it would be different, get everybody's attention and rest some of the starters too.

GO LAKERS!!!

PS. Yawn, Please wake me in April.

Off day, wah-wah-waaaaah.

Some thoughts...

Bynum will have about a week ( 4 games at most) to get ready for the plaoffs, hopefully, he's not as rusty as he was at the beginning of the year when he seemed very tentative on offence and wasn't much of a factor in the rebounding dept.

Lamar is playing OK, too many fouls, great D, his jumper looks pretty good. I'd like to see him go to the J after his first foray or two to the rim, just to keep the defence from sagging off him.

Ariza should shoot 100 free-throws/ day. If he's going to be an effective slasher, he needs to shoot a minimum of 70% at the line. Same with Farmar, a PG that shoots LESS than 70% at the stripe? C'mon.

Powell is a good spot up shooter, if he stays a Laker, I'd like to see him develop a back-to-the-basket move or two...that ISN'T a fade-away.

Fish is a rock. A goddamn rock! An inspirational rock, but a rock none-the-less.

Hate to say it, but LBJ should win the MVP. Barring a sensational late season swoon, LBJ has done more with less and taken the Cavs to great playoff position and a franchise-tying win total. Impressive.

Conversly, Phil should win COY. He's taken the same team to the best in the West by a greater margin than last year while dealing with a glut of 7 footers at the beginning of the year (talented individualy, but we must assume clumsy when all played together since we never got a glimpse, really), contract years with Ariza and Odom who were both finding their way early (especially Lamar, but Ariza, too), a rotating small forward position, humungous fan expectations and above all the pain of last years finish.

Sasha needs to bottle his last couple of games and drink that elixir before every game.

Can't wait 'til GAME DAY!

MAMBA 24

dont set your self up for disappointment. Lakers havent proved anything yet. Once they win the championship then thats the time to celebrate. NOT NOW.

Speaking of insects. The LakerGirls, the gold standard, are about to be ousted from the NBA dance team bracket in the first round by the upstart NO Honeybees!

http://tinyurl.com/ct4tq2

AK,

Browsing around the various Lakers sites and found this terrific picture of you hoarding those pocket aces. Scroll down the page until you see yourself. Talk about fat cats. LOL!

http://tinyurl.com/dzwyt9

Tom

I have a question for everyone: I've been lurking on this blog for a while now (love reading everyone's generally articulate and insightful comments) and I always see random Celtic fans posting here. I guess my question is, do Laker fans go to Celtic blogs to bother those (admittedly misguided) fans? As a Laker fan I care about one thing and one thing only: My Lakers. There's barely enough time in the day to properly accommodate my obsession, so I can't imagine wasting time on the (admittedly misguided) blogs of opposing teams! How could anyone be so bored?

Seriously, Celtic fans: If you want to cling (oh so desperately) to the belief that your team's winning a championship this year, that's fine. Just do it in the confines of your own blogs. Think of them as support groups. Though your ramblings are occasionally amusing in their complete lunacy, they mostly just waste blog space.

Also: Hello! My name's Eli, I'm a girl, I am a Laker obsessive, and you can go ahead and file me under "Pau" in the "Laker Players Towards Which You are Completely Biased" category. Hey, at least I'm honest.

Wow.

That Sports Illustrated article is phenomenal.

BK,

Way to create a well-written, detailed blog thread when there is almost nothing to write about. That takes some serious journalistic kung-fu.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!

Laker Tom,

It's looks like me, right down to the surrounding bottles. haha

AK

BronxLakerFan/Jon K,

Yeah, that SI article is nothing if not eye opening. If this doesn't convince various athletes to take extra caution before tossing around/investing their cash, nothing will. Particularly in light of the current economic parameters that will place a ceiling on players not truly "elite." Not that any of these guys will be "hurting" with a new pay scale (as Lamar Odom once put it, "less is still a lot), but it becomes that much easier to burn through cash if you're not careful. Or simply "careless."

AK

Eli,

I personally feel that some of the Celtic trolls are not Celtic fans. They are either Laker fans who get off from the reactions, or they are frustrated Laker fans and tend to point out our deficiencies in their own maniacal manner as a troll. I have personally attempted to get into a Basket Ball conversation on other blogs (Suns twice, and Celtic blog twice) and most of my post's were deleted. They were nowhere near taunting, actually most of them were replies to their post's with factual riposte.

I even feel the Butler the post's here is not the same user "Butler" at the AZ Central Blog.

This blog is great because the host's actually blog's right back and allows sport like "school yard" exchanges. Maybe because they actually understand the concept of a blog and have played competitively in the recreational-amateur sports level.

It's a great blog. I am on two foodie blogs, and a music blog and it is nowhere near the caliber of poster's on this site.

Hope to see you post more.

Welcome to the blog family, Eli.

Go Lake Show!

I've got a feeling if LBJ does not want to stay in Cleveland, it's going to be LA or BOS. Let's assume he wants to go o a big city. That leaves: NY, LA, BOS, CHI, HOU. But he also wants championships, and that requires good mgmt and teammates. LA and BOS have great mgmt, NY is lousy and CHI and HOU are all right. NY doesn't have any good players, CHI only offers Rose. HOU isn't bad, but does anyone see him going there? So LA or BOS? If it's LA, this would probably require losing Kobe or one either Pau or Bynum. If it's BOS, it would cost them Pierce and Allen.

So here's the question. If it costs us Kobe, who is for getting LeBron?

People are still yakking about Kobe winning the MVP this year???

Hit me, Jon K., one more time!

Welcome Eli - stop lurking & keep posting!

Personally, I couldn't care less what troll-people are saying on their teams' blogs. Never been to one & don't care to. Not enough soap in the world to wash the stench off if you ask me!

GO LAKERS!

Let me tell you 2 weeks in Vegas is to long. Just got back and let me tell you...I am depressed. Not from losing but from the news Andrew is out till playoffs.

LakerTom will tell you there is nobody a bigger fan of Andrew than myself. Bottom line..he is my favorite Laker.
I , like Tom believe there is something special in Andrew and could be one of the all-time greats.

BUT......the Lakers must get more than 3 weeks out of the year from Andrew..

YOUR KILLING ME ANDREW!

Get you @@@ out there put on the Titanium Braces
and help your team. It just feels like groundhog day all over again from last year with the Lakers always pushing it back. What next 2 weeks before the season ends he is out??? After listening to Dr. Karlan after his injury it sounded like he would be ready to rock and roll
in 6 weeks to possibly 8 weeks and Lakers just being conservative with the 8-12 weeks time period. Taking the full 12 weeks to recover can't be good for just an MCL injury.

Here's hoping Andrew gets healthy because this is one fan who believes Andrew is the Magical Key to winning it all. With our PG's unable to keep a paperweight out of the key Bynum will be needed.

BD

Mamba24,

Enjoyed your post today. My mother always told me to hang out with positve people. HaHa!

I think I will take your advise and Enjoy the Ride.

BD

Purple&Gold

Assuming there is a structural problem with his knees (and we are secretive about it), I would go with AB. I would look into him. He has a 4 year contract that starts this summer. It would not be a bad risk.

It would be fantastic, Kobe, Le Bron, Pau...

What a sight. The Basketball Beatles.

Keep Kobe brotha...

AK,

Yeah. I found it particularly interesting that so many professional athletes feel the need to have their money handled by friends or family members (their "inner circle", isn't that what Andrew Bynum is doing right now?)... who overwhelmingly blow it due to lack of knowledge, understanding and/or experience.

Kind of tragic, actually.

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

GO LAKERS!

utzworld,

We didn't get to be the Greatest franchise in sports history by playing for MVPs.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!

No it's time for ownage of you by me Hobbitmage:

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

So I take it, 80's showtime Lakers, 80's Boston Celtics, 2000's Shaq-Kobe Lakers, 2006 Miami Heat championships did not count? Oh don't dare bring up Cooper, Dennis Johnson, Kobe. While those guys were very important to the team with the exception of Dennis Johnson who won the Finals MVP?? Most times it was an offensive minded individual! (Magic, Larry, Shaq who weren't bad at defending but weren't as defensive minded!).


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

I won't disagree with New York but you are talking about Magic Johnson's Lakers that were in decline (not to mention Magic's 2nd retirement) and Larry Bird's last days (out of his prime, back problems quiet frequently). The Bulls, Suns, Knicks, Hornets, Pacers, Rockets, Spurs, Supersonics, Jazz were amongst the rising teams of the decade. What does 2 players who were the best both OFFFENSIVE and DEFENSIVELY have to do with the team that was the one responsible for winning? It was a team effort! And yet later on you cry about not me factoring age/injuries??


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

Owning Barkley's Suns by a combination of both offense and defense! You can't win without the other!

[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.]

So I take it Raja Bell's All Defensive teams men the Suns were practicing defense? Or that Cooper's Defensive player of the team award meant the Showtime Lakers were practicing Defensive oriented play instead of fastbreak? If Jordan and Pip's accolades meant the team was practicing defensive oriented play you keep preaching about (less offense more defensive), then wow the Bulls sure scored more points than what they should have been.

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

Nope Jordan was busting the "Defensive Oriented" Detroit Pistons who were focused more on defense yet tore them through offense. How else could you score 100+ times on the Pistons despite their "defensive oriented play"?

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

If the Pistons were healthy enough to defend in the ECF then they weren't necessarily "injuried". All the starting 5 of the Pistons were available by the time they met the Bulls of Thomas-Dumars-Rodman/Aguirre-Edwards-Laimbeer.

Example of injuries affecting team: :07 seconds or less Phoenix Suns. First year an injury to Joe Johnson lowered down their offense to the Spurs. Next year was Amare Stoudemire and Kurt Thomas. The next was the suspensions of Amare Stoudemire and Boris Diaw. Those examples you factor when you don't explain why they don't win. Otherwise it is my opinion if the Suns didn't have those injuries/suspensions they could have won 2-3 championships with an offensive type mindset.

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

Interesting. Using *your* method then that 30.6 were too old to win titles??

2007 San Antonio Spurs average age: 30.8.

But wait how the old men Spurs won the title that year! Only Tony Parker was 25 years of age!

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

Interesting then how the old man Celtics could serve the "young" Lakers in the 2008 Finals??
Perkins and Rondo were both hurt that series yet old men Celtics just owned the Lakers!

"[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???]

I won't disagree with Doug Collins as a more defensive oriented coach but Doug Collins didn't get past the defensive minded Detroit Pistons now did he? Of course MJ would say that since he did take pride more on his defense than offense. The Knicks were the most defensive minded in the 90's under Riley not when Jackson was playing on the team (otherwise consider the current Knicks to be defensive minded as well!). And yet there were many other defensive all team members that weren't on Defensive minded teams?

I'm going to love this part since you given Thomas and Dumars such pathetic excuses like you do to young Lakers. Prepared to be owned.

Fact: Dumars was 27 years old when the Bulls dethroned the Pistons. He could played till 1998-1999 at age 35. Dumars was by no means an "old man" and while he did have a bad toe lingering on him that did not stop him from playing did he? Those excuses are just as pathetic as Kobe's back in Game 4 of last year's Semi Western Conference finals at Utah.

Fact: Isiah Thomas was only 29 when he got surgery and was back in time for the playoffs. Didn't that remind us of certain someones on the Lakers?? Like Fish back in 2000-2001 when he had foot injury yet came back very effectively for the playoffs? Or how Jordan (Farmar) at first rebounded after suffereing a torn meniscus? Or even Scottie Pippen in 1997-1998 missed half the season yet returned in time for the playoffs. Fact of the matter is if they are healthy and can play no excuse should be given to them to the fact they got owned by the Triangle offense and paid the price for trying their "Jordan Rules".

The only thing their injuries affected was losing home court possibly to the Bulls. But wait they got swept in the playoffs that year!

Owned again Hobbitmage by me!

And quit trying to keep point out articles of this and that. Point is that the Detroit Pistons the "Defensive Oriented team" were picked apart by Jordan and Jackson's triangle offense when they tried to use the "Jordan Rules".

-KB Blitz

glad as i was to see the bench get some life, was anyone else bothered by the fact that most of it came off of 3-pointers? haven't we been down that road?

for you to become mvp, beat the defending and current mvp. but lbj failed to do that.

its tough on the western conference, but lakers and kobe were able to weather the storm.

lbj, he can't weather celtics and lakers..

>>>So here's the question. If it costs us Kobe, who is for
>>>getting LeBron?

But why would Cleveland do that trade. Kobe would be 31 at
the time and LeBron would be 24 (or something like that).

If the Lakers wanted to trade for LeBron, the minimum entry fee
would be Bynum, probably with Ariza and Farmar thrown in for
good measure. But I doubt even that would be enough for
Cleveland.

But when the Lakers win the championship this year, they'll
look to keep as much of the existing team together so they can
win 2 or 3 more. They don't need LeBronze

Welcome Eli - stop lurking & keep posting!

Personally, I couldn't care less what troll-people are saying on their teams' blogs. Never been to one & don't care to. Not enough soap in the world to wash the stench off if you ask me!

GO LAKERS!

Posted by: justanothermambafan | March 23, 2009 at 03:10 PM

====================
Justa come on now, don't be justa shy guy. Say how you really feel!

Justa kidding!


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