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Pau Gasol: Western Conference Player of the Month, but can he shoot par?

Pau Well, that remains to be seen.  Or perhaps not, as El Spaniard had no plans to swing the wrenches in today's charity tournament at the Riviera Country Club to benefit the Lakers Youth Foundation.  Like all of his teammates, Gasol was there after practice to meet and greet participants and benefactors (which works out fantastic, since attendance was mandatory).  But Gasol said he wanted to avoid expending any additional energy, what with all the minutes he's logging these days.  But any lack of enthusiasm for the links shouldn't be mistaken for indifference towards his latest honor, earned for a February sporting numbers of nearly 21/11/5, with a block and just 1.4 turnovers along the way.  Stats worthy of celebration, as even the typically modest Gasol would agree.  "I think I've played pretty well (last) month.  I'm very satisfied with my contribution.  There are a couple games I would have liked to have played better, but you can't play always at your best every single game." 

For fans of the seven-footer (or just those tracking research to eventually pen his unauthorized biography), this not only marks this the first time Pau has received this honor during his eight-year career, but he's also the first Laker not named "Kobe," "Bean" or "Bryant to win it since the departure of a certain center named "O'Neal."  (Seriously, I did the research and shocking as it may seem, Brian Cook never won.)  While proud of Pau and certainly in agreement of his worthiness, Phil Jackson felt those digits could have rounded out more gaudy.  "I just chided him in there that he should have had 50 points yesterday (against Phoenix)," smiled PJ.  "The reality is that he had a lot of easy looks, easy shots that he was shooting well, hesitated a little bit and didn't shoot them."  While that unselfishness needs to be curbed at times, in the bigger picture, the coach can easily live with an instinct to involve his mates. "That's what makes him a really good player, that he's a team player and does the right thing."

That "squad-first" mentality Jackson cited means Pau won't brazenly pad his stats in an effort to remain the plaque owner when March wraps up.  Asked if he thought the team was better served with a more balanced effort, rather than a "big two" (or often three) leading the way every day, Gasol didn't hesitate to pick the former.  "I think that would be better than two guys having huge numbers and the rest of the team not having as many opportunities.  That doesn't give us balance.  It might happen for a game.  It might happen for two games.  But I don't think it's the best formula for any team to be a championship team, so we have to get back to having a little more balance offensively." 

By and large, Lamar Odom has done his part to make sure that wealth remains spread, although the last couple games saw him struggle to make his mark due to foul trouble.  In particular, yesterday's game against the Suns saw him drenched in whistles until he was finally told to take a permanent seat.  So how to go about reversing this trend?  Well, the answer doesn't come by tiptoeing through the metaphorical tulips.  "I have to keep playing aggressive.  I can't let fouls being called against me take away my aggressiveness.  I (also) have to play smart.  Play with my feet and not my hands.  As LO acknowledged, that balance comes through a referee's benefit of the doubt, a little luck and some common sense.  "I've had a couple of calls where it could have gone either way, I guess.  And that one call I would like to take back is that jump shot on Grant Hill (for his fifth foul against Phoenix).  That let me know I was out of it, if I make a bonehead play like that. It's just something that can't happen."

It's easy to figure LO can bounce back tomorrow against Memphis, given how well he's played since Andrew Bynum's injury.  The bench unit he vacated, however, remains tougher to extend the same confidence, as their rut has been quite steady during the same time frame.  I asked Gasol, who's seen increased PT with Jordan Farmar, Trevor Ariza, Sasha Vujacic and Josh Powell, what he felt could be the reason for the drastic struggles.   He didn't hesitate to get pointed with his suggestions. 

"Youth, that's a factor.  And I don't know.  Maybe a little bit of a lack of maturity at some points.  And experience.  We all have to understand our roles.   Whichever role that is and what's best for the team and what you need to do, and understand what you need to do, and not (necessarily) what you like to do.  Some nights, it might be getting three steals and four assists instead of scoring ten or fifteen points.  Some nights, those points aren't going to be needed.  It's just a matter of understanding that and doing the best for the team and sacrificing yourself sometimes, which for some players, is a little harder to understand."

And there you have it.

Kobe's tooth update:  As most of you probably know, Kobe took a whack to the face while fouling Leandro Barbosa and was left with a loosened chopper.  I was told by a member of the Media Relations staff that he's wearing, in layman's terms, a splint across his two front teeth.  For how long remains to be seen and hopefully, the device won't be obtrusive.  Although, let's be honest, something honkin' and ridiculous would be more fun.  Say, something along the lines of the headgear BK had to wear at night as a kid.  And you thought Vad Rad's bright orange shades were good for a lark. 

Finally, I asked Phil if the newfound availability of guys like Joe Smith, Drew Gooden and Luther Head were of interest to the team.  That would be an "Oh, yeah."  Said Jackson, "We're definitely gonna talk about that.  Today is kind of an unusual day for us here in the Laker organization, but we'll huddle up and talk a little bit when we have an opportunity."  Hopefully, people who paid big money to hit a tee shot in Mitch Kuphcak's vicinity will forgive him if he excuses himself to take a cell phone call with the ID "Gooden agent."

AK

 
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...what headgear BK had to wear at night?

I WANT PHOTOS! AND INCRIMINATING VIDEO!!!

Ben, hop to it.

AK,

lets not joke with kobe's good looks, please. he needs his beautiful smile back ASAP...

do we really need another power forward?

Nem,

First off don't go that far deep lol. Farmar is no Smush Parker.

That being said,

Again LT it's not that Jordan shouldn't try to do the best he can is that he does moves that sometimes are detrimental to the team. He tries to do the one on one moves a bit more than he should and since he's not good as even perhaps Rondo it hurts the team in that way similar to how Kobe shoots a super long 3 pointer. The only thing Jordan reminds me of Devin Harris/Tony Parker is his speed. That's it. He's not as athletic as either one and his personal defense is hindered by his penchant for steals, not so good lateral quickness, and poor defensive reads.

LTLF (and Rick),

Like Nem says you can't compare Nate to Jordan. Nate's job is more scoring off the bench more than playmaking. That's like comparing Jordan Farmar to Toni Kukoc. They had different roles (not to mention different positions). I'm not a "hater" as other people here but I do recognize that Jordan *hasn't* exactly taken shown that he could take over the PG from Fish. Otherwise he would be starting now would he??

And please don't bring me up assists. The only assists that matter in the end is how much assists the team as a whole can bring especially in a system like the Triangle offense (which is why I'm bothered by mikefloss and his Kobe must give out more assists instead of the team).

And like I said before it wasn't that one play by Jordan that led to his benching it was his play overall. Otherwise Jackson wouldn't have benched him after that turnover. You can say this and that about how Fisher was burned more by Leandro but you compare Derek who played 30+ minutes to Jordan who barely played 13 minutes. Had the minutes been more equal then you could have a legit argument but you failed to factor in *minutes played*. Hence I why I don't buy into those times when Jordan seemingly did better defensively against Leandro when it was less minutes.

I know that Sasha too has his own weaknesses (overrated defense and jumper) and Trevor who is more a jump shooter now (believe me teams love it now he prefers to shoot from the perimeter) but Jordan isn't either doing the job. He's the "leader" of the bench yet isn't acting like it.

I don't know if the solution is to limit his minutes since he'd feel even more frustrated and this could lead to more serious problems. At the same time though his play has been plain bad and Jackson himself said how disappointed he was with them with ball movement. Farmar is the one who runs the team so he has probably the biggest share of the problem since he is not directing the team enough for ball movement (the bench).

Remember the issue is not him passing because I agree with LTLF that he indeed does pass the ball. The problem is that he's not directing the offense well enough and hence less ball movement and that is what Jackson blasts about the bench. I agree with Jackson on that one there.

To be fair to Jordan, it's not completely his fault and he isn't the only one (though his leadership on the bench is getting to be not up to standards). Next post will be a critique of how overrated Sasha's jumper and defense is so it's to show that as bad as the bench has been playing, Sasha's play is a factor too and the whole pie is not on Jordan's back.

-KB Blitz

I made an error:

Farmar doesn't run the team he runs the bench mob.

-KB Blitz

I hate to say this but we laker nation must chear for Celtics on friday because the cavs are on our butt and we need them to loose so we can have some space for us when we loose. We are up 2 games with celtics but we are tied with Cavs - the tie breaker.

One more thing, Pj does not know what he is doing anymore he cant make up his mind with the subing.

"we laker nation must chear for Celtics "

Blasphemy! Take it back, take it back! Those words should never EVER be put in a sentence!

I wonder which Lakers are good at golf? I remember reading somewhere that Sasha had been playing a lot but that he couldn't break 100. I bet Fish has a pretty polished game and I can see Lamar being pretty bad.

Just watched the Charles Barkley series on the golf channel and it was the funnies thing I've ever seen.

Lamar = Finals MVP

GO LAKERS

Nemaia Faletogo,

>>>First of all Farmar's assists have more to do with
>>>who he's surrounded by(Kobe, Pau, LO, TA, Luke.
>>> I won't count Sasha ...

As I said in an earlier post, here are Jordan's assists in
the last 5 games:

3 were to Trevor Ariza
3 were to Josh Powell
2 were to Pau Gasol
2 were to Kobe
2 were to Sasha
1 was to Lamar Odom
1 was to DJ MBenga

Jordan's minutes really don't overlap with Kobe's minutes that
much. Usually there's one of Pau or Lamar or Bynum on the
floor with Farmar, but not Kobe all that often.

And most of Jordan's assists come from passes to second team
players like Ariza, Powell, and Sasha (despite your imagined
disdain of Farmar for Sasha).

>>>Besides David Lee, name any other Knick that surrounds Nate
>>>that is anywhere close to a Kobe, Pau, LO or TA

Well first of all, as I pointed out, Farmar spends much more
of his time on the court with Ariza and Powell and Sasha than
with Kobe or Fish. He does share the court with Odom or Gasol
quite a bit because one of those two is usually on the floor
with the bench mob.

Let's start with the other bench mob players -

Sasha is hitting 37% of his shots this season, 35% on 3-pointers
Ariza hits 46% of his shots, 33 % on 3-pointers.
Powell hits 48% of his shots.

He also shares the court quite a bit with Odom or Gasol:

Odom hits 50% of his shots (only 31% of his 3-pointers)
Gasol hits 56% of his shots.

Nate Robinson plays 30 minutes a game, so he plays minutes with both
the starters and the bench guys. In other words guys like:

David Lee - 56% shooting
Tim Thomas - 46% shooting (42% on 3-pointers)
Al Harrington - 44% shooting (35% on 3-pointers)
Chris Duhon - 42% (40% on 3-pointers)


Sure, that ain't up to the standards of Kobe & Pau & Bynum, but
if you're kicking out a pass to the 3-point line, you're a heck
of a lot better off passing to Thomas, Harrington, and Duhon
than Vujacic, Ariza, and Odom. And in general, your odds of
getting an assist passing to any one of those four or Danilo
Galinari (45%), Chris Wilcox (46%), Jared Jeffries (43%), Wilson
Chandler (42%) or even Quentin Rchardson (38%) is more likely
to get you an assist this year than passing to Sasha.

So in other words, yes passing to Kobe, Pau or Bynum is an
advantage. But when most of your passes go to Vujacic, Ariza,
Powell, or Odom, then you don't have an advantage over passing
to the Knicks.

""I just chided him in there that he should have had 50 points yesterday (against Phoenix)," smiled PJ. "The reality is that he had a lot of easy looks, easy shots that he was shooting well, hesitated a little bit and didn't shoot them." While that unselfishness needs to be curbed at times, in the bigger picture, the coach can easily live with an instinct to involve his mates. "That's what makes him a really good player is that he's a team player and does the right thing."


AK

It sounds like Phil Jackson doesn't know Pau Gasol's history......... Has Gasol EVER scored 50 points IN A GAME ANYWHERE?

Gasol is not a "dog" he doesn't have the mentality to go out there and score 50 points as much as Phil would like to see that happen (thus his minutes increased last month while Kobe's was reduced.....doesn't Gasol need rest as much as Kobe?......I'm just saying)

Let me state for the record that Gasol being named player of the month for Feb. confirms that LeBron will be named MVP..... it almost doesn't matter what Kobe does from here on out.

Kobe for the month of Feb?

31.3ppg 47.4% from the field, 5.1 rebounds and 4.46 assists

While doing this he placed the team on his back after the loss of Bynum with a MSG record 61 points on 61% shooting and 20/20 from the line........... AND GASOL IS PLAYER OF THE MONTH?

Don't get me wrong.....I ain't mad at Gasol but Gasol is the beneficiary of playing with Kobe Bryant......That's very important to remember.......I mean has Gasol ever even been considered for player of the month before.

Kobe should get player of the month for making Gasol player of the month.LOL Talk about making your teammates better.

Can you imagine Pippen getting player of the month while Jordan had a month like that? Wow!!


Then again the month Kobe had 9 straight games of over 40 points I think in the 03' season and averaged over 40 for the whole month of Feb of that year........ and landed on the front of SI for that feat............. Kobe didn't win player of the month that month either......... so when Kobe is concerned all bets are off.

AK - "or just those tracking research to eventually pen his unauthorized biography".

Hmmm.... dim lightbulb crackles in poor blogger's head. "It was a fine day outside and a sprightly young lad with peach fuzz strolled through the streets of... (check wikik)... Barcelona! And then a bunch of years later he was player of the month!" I'd probably put some other stuff in there too. Like maybe about hot rods and chicks and surfing but I'm not sure. Maybe something about europe and cafes. Would have to check that out. Anyway, I'm already figuring on a six-figure advance. Got any writing tips? I think I'll call it "Conquistador-odactyl". Pretty bitchen, huh?

"I start crying if one of my froot loops pops out the bowl. But I pop it back in. Right back in the bowl baby, where you belong.

Kobe is tough, though.

Wes"

Posted by: wesjoenixon | March 02, 2009 at 05:35 PM


That is some good stuff Wes. Hilarious.

Just to clear something up...

Jordan has played a total of 810 minutes this season. Here are
the total minutes that Jordan has spent on the floor with specific
players this season:

Trevor Ariza - 715 minutes
Lamar Odom - 579 minutes
Sasha Vujacic - 551 minutes
Pau Gasol - 438 minutes
Kobe Bryant - 280 minutes
Andrew Bynum - 265 minutes
Vladimir Radmanovic - 30 minutes
DJ MBenga - 22 minutes
plus a smattering of mintues with Sun Yue, Luke Walton,
Chris Mihm, Adam Morrison, and various other guys.

The three most common 5-player combinations that Farmar
plays in are:

Farmar - Vujacic - Ariza - Odom - Bynum (159 minutes)
Farmar - Vujacic - Ariza - Odom - Gasol (135 minutes)
Farmar - Bryant - Ariza - Odom - Gasol (116 minutes)

So basically, Farmar usually has one high quality player and
Odom to pass to on the floor. Odom is high quality from about
20 feet in and low quality on 3-pointers.

Ariza is similar. A pass from Jordan to Trevor on a fast break
is an almost guaranteed highlight reel play. Pass to Trevor
behind the 3-point line? not so much.

And I want to stress that Jordan isn't getting some huge benefit
of sharing most of his minutes with Kobe, as some people
conjecture. Only about 1/3 of Jordan's minutes are with
Kobe on the floor. And you can bet dollars to donuts that the
ball is in Kobe's hands more than Jordan's when the two of
them are on the floor together.

pfunk36,

you are right, noticed that mo williams has had 40 point games, today he had 17 points in the 4th quarter, he brought the cavs back.

he has NEVER won player of the week or the month. it's all 'fixed' for lebron to win the mvp. the league wants to make sure not to give 'props' to lebron's teammates, they need that in order to push the mvp towards lebron.

on the other end they are making sure kobe's teammates get recognized with weekly awards, to justify kobe not winning the mvp this year.

it's so bad that they are not even promoting wade this year. and lets be honest he deserves serious consideration. what about chris paul or dwight howard? it's not just kobe here. the league and the media are ignoring worthy candidates and pushing lebron to win it.

AK,
"(Seriously, I did the research and shocking as it may seem, Brian Cook never won.) Phil Jackson has coached both big men,"

It's not clear if that refers to Cook and Gasol, or Cook and O'Neal.

I'm watching the Spurs-Clippers game (go Spurs!!! Timmeh!!!!), and it's halftime right now.

The Clippers commentator just went "Whoa, Steve Novak!" after seeing Novak's point total.

That number?

Eleven.

I'd feel sad for these guys, but they get to watch the Spurs (and the Lakers) play their team. So I'm just jealous instead.

Also...sad face for Dwayne. It's because he's no longer wearing the lucky bandaids I KNOW IT!!!!! (He still had a great game. Tough. But it IS LeBron....)

Okay, let's look into the "Farmar never passes to Sasha" theory.

Since he came back from his injury in January, Farmar has gotten
44 assists. Here's who made the shots for him:

12 were to Trevor Ariza
7 were to Sasha
7 were to Josh Powell
6 were to Kobe
4 were to Pau Gasol
4 were to Lamar Odom
2 was to Luke Walton
1 was to DJ MBenga
1 was to Andrew Bynum

Considering the fact that Sasha has been hitting less than 1/3 of
his shots during that time, and Powell and Kobe are closer to
50% of their shots, Farmar clearly passes to Vujacic more often
than any player other than Ariza.

And no, I'm not going to go back and watch every game and log every
pass that Farmar makes to Sasha where he misses a shot.

So go ahead and have your little conspiracy theory that Farmar hates
to pass to Sasha, but it's all in your mind.

And lest you start a theory that Farmar hates to pass to Odom (lots of
minutes played together, only 4 assists from Jordan to Lamar in the
last 18 games!), that's not true either. With Lamar, it works like this.
More often than not, you pass to Lamar Odom on the wing. Lamar
either shoots a 3-pointer or drives to the basket (to the left of course).
If Lamar shoots a 3, he's shooting at 31%, so the odds of getting an
assist are pretty low. If Lamar drives to the basket, there's no chance
of getting an assist. Jordan probably passes to Lamar about as often
as he passes to Sasha. Sasha is just more likely to take the 3-pointer
and make it.

'"we laker nation must chear for Celtics "

Blasphemy! Take it back, take it back! Those words should never EVER be put in a sentence!

Posted by: LG | March 02, 2009 at 07:55 PM'

LG that is exactly what I was thinking! We must never, EVER cheer for the Celtics. *shudders*

LTLF and Kobeblitz,

Thanks guys for the great responses and posts in regards to Farmar. All I can say at this point is I hope that Farmar can contribute like I know he can so the Lakers can be MORE successful as a result. I take back my earlier post stating that JF is no better than Smush because I'd take JF over Smush any day. Go Lakers!!!

longtime,

Thank gd, I'm not the only one!

I do agree with LTLF on the silly notion that "Farmar doesn't pass it to Sasha" because he does. While Farmar hasn't run the offense well recently he nevertheless does pass the ball. Plus with Trevor now in there who is more scorer than a playmaker it is harder for Sasha to get as much touches he did last year since Trevor was out with injury.

In other words I don't buy into the theory of Jordan doesn't pass to Sasha ala Isaiah Thomas not passing to Michael Jordan.

Still though, Jordan hasn't done an effective job at running a half court set. To get penetration he uses the big man as a screen and roll too much times and while he is faster than even Kobe he is not a finisher as that Kobe is and cannot convert as much without using a screen. Hence why Bynum and Gasol aren't on the block as much (as well Mbenga). If he used his big man more (and they are much much better than Kwa-may Brown) he would be better but he hasn't done that that Tony Parker has done with Tim Duncan.

-KB Blitz

Cactus Berry,

Funny you should mention the Clipper announcers. Since it is a slow night in the NBA, my wife and I were surfing the TV for a later game to watch and stumbled onto the Clippers game. I hate to admit it, but we decided to watch for a while. After watching the first quarter my wife all of a sudden said, "You know what has to be the hardest job in the NBA?" No, I said, what? She replied, "It has to be the Clippers announcer job. How can they make up all that stuff to talk about instead of basketball because the team is so crappy every year?"

I think she might be on to something there. Think about it. That has to be a tough job to come up with things to talk about year after year after year and to make new excuses for losing so many games. Poor Clippers. Poor Ralph.

pfunk,

>>> … when Kobe is concerned all bets are off.

Damn straight. If Kobe got the same love from the refs that MJ got, he would average another 10 points per game. I find it unbelievable how the refs allow defenders to hand and body check Kobe no matter where he is on the court. Where Dwayne Wade or LeBron James get a foul call on any contact going to the hoop, defenders are allowed to be physical when guarding Kobe, especially guys like Bowen who have a defensive rep.

I guess the rule is that you have to make your teammates better but NOT too much better. How else can you explain why the great play and development of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol are seemingly now held AGAINST Kobe when evaluating possible MVP candidates.
The truth is that Kobe Bryant, the reining MVP and hardest working player in the league, through his leadership and play on the floor, is clearly one of the primary reasons why both Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol have developed into great players for the Lakers.

The problem is that Bean is just too good. They have to find some way to chop him down. Behind all of the praise and positive publicity, there still lingers a hard core group of Kobe haters in the media. You know it and I know it even if the Kam Brothers shine it on.

That’s the real truth, pfunk! JMNSHBO!

Tom

Laker Larry,

Mostly everything beats playing for the Clippers.

For guys who have found success after playing for the Clippers, I'm glad for them since they got out from the basketball waste dump of Clipper land.

The LA Clippers organization is the NBA's Purgatory. No wonder why White Chocolate decided to retire instead play for the Clippers.

-KB Blitz

I'm starting to think Bynum won't be back this year. Or if he does get back for playoffs, he won't have enough rehab time.

Shouldn't we at least look at someone like Gooden, in case Bynum doesn't make it back this year?

And Jordan and Sasha better start playing right and acting appropriately. Especially Jordan. I'm getting tired of him sucking on the court and then looking like it's PJ's fault.

Wes

I love how some people see one thing and others read another...

Hey, we're all rooting for the same thing here. We want Jordan to pick it up. To show us he can be the PG of the future like he's touted.

Right now that's not the case. I agree with Nemaia there. Pass or not, he's not getting it done.

The youth factor can only fly so much.

CONGRATULATIONS, PAU…

Winning NBA Western Conference Player of the Month is a well-deserved honor for Pau Gasol, in my mind the best power forward in basketball today. It was definitely a great day in Lakers history when Mitch pulled off the Kwame for Gasol trade. Addition by addition plus addition by subtraction. Too bad he wasn’t able to do the same with Smush. LOL.

To the bloggers who chastise me for saying that Andrew Bynum is a better center for the Lakers than Pau Gasol, let me say that offensively, Pau Gasol is the perfect center for the Lakers Triangle Offense. He can hit the midrange, drive to the hoop, and finish with grace or authority. He can rebound the ball and is one of the best passing big men in the league.

Pau’s problem at center is that he can play the position offensively but not defensively, as we have seen with his inability to protect the rim from constant dunks and layups as well as his inability to contain very physical centers like Shaq in the post. That is why Andrew Bynum is a better center than Pau Gasol, even though he is nowhere near as polished offensively. That does not take away from Pau’s awesome skills or value to the Lakers. We would never have survived Drew’s injuries last year or this year with the Spaniard.

So thank you, Pau, for still wanting to be better. May you be a Laker for Life.

JMNSHBO!

Tom

Greetings Lakeshow Fans,

Nice OPEN and HONEST thoughts by Gasol concerning the "benchmob" fellas and their recent play...The bottom line is that each one of them, particularly Farmar and Vujacic, have to refocus and rededicate themselves to rediscovering their ROLES and SACRIFICES for the team SOON. Everyone knows they are instrumental players when it comes to changing tempo and making key perimeter shots...They also spell the strating backcourt from playing TOO many minutes...Time DOESN'T STOP for ANYONE!

Farmar and Vujacic...Hmmm...As millionaires and professional athletes, NO ONE is going to feel SORRY for them...Why should they?

If they TRULY want to win a championship (which I know they want badly), they have to somehow get past their wavering confidence and recent injuries by continuing to BELIEVE...I don't see that in their play and body language thus far...They shoudn't wait for Phil to stroke their ego (which Phil is a master at doing) as well as probably Kobe, Fish and Gasol.

Currently, they seem to be behaving like first-timers, which is very unusual given their steady play last year. Looks like Phil going to have to spend more time with these guys...Given their injuries this year, I expect at least a bit more UMPHHH! on the floor...They have a leader in Kobe who has played through the worst of them...They just have to BALL! PERIOD!

SACRIFICE is the word...No question! If last year's 131-92 exit from the Finals didn't make them HUNGRIER to reach the summit of "redemption" this season, I don't know what else will...These are young GROWN men!

It's time for them to wake up and face the overall problem that plagues them. It's called playing with a PURPOSE and bringing undeniable EFFORT, SMARTS and ENERGY through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY! The ADVERSITY on the court of play and public opinion where doubters reign supreme...

If not, they will face the REAL possibility of FAILING miserably as a whole when given the opportunity to TURN things around and contribute positively...on the court that is! The time is NOW!

As a Lakers fan, I EXPECT them to improve their play as the season winds down well into the playoffs...I BELIEVE they will and haven't given up on them...When focused, Farmar and Vujacic are LIGHTS OUT! Heck, they've done it before...

Let's check the PASSION and DETERMINATION meter of the Lakers players:

Speaking of DESIRE and DETERMINATION, there is no question that Kobe and Gasol have been the headstrong folks when it comes to giving A+ effort each game out...

LO has recently taken his game to a new level that we have been begging to see for years (although still a work in progress). When locked in, he is a force to be reckoned with...

We all know about Fish and the importance of keeping his minutes down during the season, as the playoffs tend to bring out the best in him...

Walton, when healthy, can do some things out there...SERIOUSLY!

Bynum...Oh, Bynum! He is the HUGE link in the championship chain...If he can start basketball activities by the end of March, early April, the Lakers are in a very good position to make it happen. This would give him at least 3-5 games to get rid of the initial cobwebs/rust while reacquainting himself to the court of play (speed, timing, running plays, stamina, edurance).

As for the other guys, to be determined upon further observation and playing time...Powell seems like a find thus far.

BTW, the business regarding a roster spot opening Mitch and Phil...Sign good luck charm BIG SHOT ROB this week and no later! Why not?

We need as many bodies, especially a BIG one, for the upcoming "money"season. Horry knows the system and plays savvy D as a proven 7-time NBA champion...You need a guy who makes things HAPPEN!

If PJ Brown could do it in Boston last year, why not Horry?

Who knows? Maybe he (Horry) might be the voice (a fresh one at that) of reason for the benchmob besides Kobe, Fish and Gasol. It's well WORTH a ROB!

After all, ANY and ALL ADVERSITY builds UNITY!

The Lakers have played too well this season to let ANYTHING deter them from the GOAL...A GOAL of winning it ALL!

No more excuses, pouting, and uncertainty...It's time to REFOCUS, REDISCOVER, REDEDICATE and claim the ultimate PRIZE Lakeshow!

Like I always say, Laker pride through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY!

Tom - I'd agree - no doubt, Drew's the better center. I think Pau would agree as well... he much prefers playing the 4 and he was doing such a great job starting there and playing back-up 5 before Drew went down. Pau's been a terrific stopgap measure as center, both last year and this... and has a more polished offensive game at the position. Drew however, has the power, the size and untapped potential. The team's at its best when Drew's healthy and in the lineup.

Besides Lukes clever passing what does he bring to the table that make opposing teams shake in there shoes when he is left open for what should be for any HOF son who playing in the NBA. Nothing is my answer! I've watched as Luke has made better passes to the other team than his own teammates most were unforced bumbling turnovers that cost us key possessions.

I realize that turnovers happen but dammit it when Luke does it's frustrating because he just made a decent play before then gives right back to the opposition. Luke giveth and he taketh!
My personal feelings are that Phil erred when trading Vlad for players he won't be around to coach when they finally play. Vlad was a feared deep threat for us and teams feared leaving him open when on the floor with Kobe even when he was off they still feared him because teams knew he could really shoot it.

With Luke out there they pray for him to shoot and on key possessions are able to leave Luke and double on both Kobe and Pau which makes spacing the floor difficult!

Luke groupies continue to believe that Luke is an asset to our team but no team in the NBA are telling their players don't leave Luke he is what we say in the hood self checked! I also watched as key rebounds are easily missed by this no basketball playing hippie who has Jordan Farmar wearing the same hairdo both of these guys should have been put on waivers.

I hope Phil wakes up out of his euphoric state and put Luke were he belongs on the beach!


LakerTom,

Regarding your post on Pau...Well said! There is no question that his presence makes the Lakers a championship contender...No question at all!

However, for the Lakers to win it all, Bynum will be the KEY to that REALITY! No question about this as well!

I'm sure we will see Bynum by late March/early April.

Also, I'm looking forward to better bench play from here on out...

Laker pride through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY!

BK

UnderArmor or Underoos? LOL

Wait, what? Chuck23 is criticizing Luke? Wow, I'm shocked!

>>>I realize that turnovers happen but dammit it when
>>>Luke does it's frustrating because he just made a decent
>>> play before then gives right back to the opposition.

You know which Lakers turn the ball over less frequently than
Luke?

Gasol, Ariza, Fisher, and Vujacic.

You know which Lakers turn the ball over more frequently
than Luke?

EVERY OTHER LAKER.

Once again, chuck23 decides to criticize Luke for something
that he's better than 2/3 of the team at.

THIS IS ROBERT HORRY: http://tinyurl.com/2zl7zq

No more excuses, pouting, and uncertainty...It's time to REFOCUS, REDISCOVER,
REDEDICATE and claim the ultimate PRIZE Lakeshow! Like I always
say, Laker pride through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY!
Posted by: Let's Go L's! | March 02, 2009 at 10:32 PM

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


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