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Pau Gasol: Man with a full plate

With the Finals still fiftysomething hours away, the tension is still building.  Writers are still putting out Pau Gasol shoots over Dwight Howard previews, America is still weighing in on who will win.  For the record, people- or at least those who vote in SportsNation polls- overwhelmingly favor the Lakers, picking them at a nearly 60% rate.  (The numbers rise to over 95% among Lakers Blog readers... but I fear that demographic may be slightly biased.)

At the same time, there are some nuts and bolts issues to discuss.  One guy at the center of it all (metaphorically and literally) is Pau Gasol, who throughout the series will have about as varied a set of defensive responsibilities as a man of his size can take on.  First, run around the perimeter with Rashard Lewis, who may be 6'10" but took 554 three pointers this year, 68 more than any other player in the NBA.  Then, Gasol gets to pound inside with Dwight Howard, whose effective shooting range may not equal his near-seven-foot height, but still had the league's fourth best FG% because he's pretty good at getting shots from mighty close to the rim.

On the other side, Pau will try to back down Lewis, and exploit Howard in space (here's how it broke down at the Olympics, courtesy of Forum Blue and Gold).  At least he won't get bored.   

Not that you'd expect a blase attitude from a group trying to erase last June's disappointment.

More analysis/news:


Kobe Bryant, on all sorts of issues.  Asked if he thought a title here might mean more, since this is clearly "his" team?  "Probably."


Phil Jackson, on prepping his team:

"This issue of being prepared and the preparedness of a team is always what your coaching is about. Most of the time, you want to go to a game and anticipate that what they've gone through in practice is going to prepare them for what they have to go through in a game...  Last year, we weren't quite prepared for the type of game we were going to have to play against Boston. It has nothing to do with Boston as it has to do with the playoffs."


(Photo: Reuters)

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2 things:

1) No Nelson

2) been there, didn't do that

Lakers have the fire from last year raging. 6 games max.

Go Lakers!

Is it too much to ask for a 6 game win streak?
Posted by: Charles | June 01, 2009 at 12:27 PM
Hey Charles,

I think asking for a six game win streak is definitely too much to ask for!

But I love to see a four game win streak!!!!


Did I mention home court?

Given the state of this state, Thursday is bigger than just a basketball game.

Stomp and shout, Laker Nation

All this talk about the "O" when it's the Mamba they gotta handle.

repost and improved (hopefully...) to this more appropiate threat.

Orlando doesn't have as much to lose as the Lakers. Nobody expected them at the finals and I'm sure they are pretty excited to hear that the Lakers are the favourites. They continue to work in silence and shaking off all the pressure. The true fact is that right now they have a better center than the Lakers and better shooters (Turkoglu and Rashard). Who says Jameer Nelson can be a liability? this guy almost an All Star this year might not have the rythmn but he can still bel a problem for us.

Very interested to see the match up Gasol-Lewis and Lewis-Odom in and out and also Bynum-Howard and Gasol-Howard.

Turkoglu is the real clutch player there and the real PG in the key minutes. Be aware of the pick and roll with Howard on the post with all the shooters wide open in the arch...

Still the Lakers are a better team, more experienced, they have home court advantage but if we don't play at 100% (which unfortunately can happen sometimes) we will have a tough series. For sure the Magic will have their momentum hitting tons of 3 pointers and also an unstoppable Howard and we have to stay calm and keep our good work, move the ball and keep it clear that one player (i.e. LBJ) won't beat the Magic even if his name is Kobe or Bryant.


Out of all the matchup examinations in this series I've yet to see one that examines the coaching...........which will be the biggest matchup in this series.

This series is definitely a chess match. A chess match that concerns me because of all the variables. Will Pau be able to check Lewis? Will Bynum be able to stay out of foul trouble with Howard? Will Phil stick with his robotic rotations? Will Phil resist the urge of his Luke Fetish?

If there was any series that will show all of Phil Jackson's shortcomings......this is it. Orlando should worry Laker fans much more than Cleveland ever could.

How will we defend the pick n roll and what adjustments will Phil make with our defense?

Will Phil have his finger on the pulse of the game by making timely substitutions and calling timeouts.........or will he "let them fiigure it out for themselves"?

Phil Jackson was totally outcoached in the 2004 Finals and also last year with the Celtics. Van Gundy is an excellent coach........Will Phil be able to match wits?

I'm concerned

It's official.

Bynum and Mbenga on Howard.

Gasol on Lewis.

Ariza on Turkoglu.

I like it. Time for a breakout series for Bynum.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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



Haha! But we already won two in a row for the four you wanted...

One Love


That's why it's earned, 16 Wins The Hard Way.


I hope the following link reminds all Laker fans that our chance for redemption is finally here. We cannot and will not waste this precious opportunity.
Warning: Please have a tissue handy, as this link is both touching and inspirational.

David Stern is going to talk to Queen James:

NBA commissioner David Stern says he has reached out to LeBron James about James' refusal to speak with the media after the Cleveland Cavaliers were eliminated from the Eastern Conference finals.

wow, more than smooching his behind....


Ridiculously funny!

If we lose a single home game before we win a road game I'm going directly into cardiac arrest and skipping the heart palpitations.

We cannot, CANNOT lose a home game.

That means game one. Game two. Game six. Game seven.

But that's a hard row to hoe, depending on home wins in game six and seven to get the championship.

I don't know if my mind can handle the pressure. I'm already starting to crack. When I drive I see passing lanes and instead of driving lanes. I went to the DMV this morning and what did I do? I blocked out the old handicapped lady trying to in line-- Bada boom!

Lets go Lakers



"All this talk about the "O" when it's the Mamba they gotta handle."

Or in other words how do they intend to stop his unstopableness ...

I predict that, in one moment, during the finals, the strap on Bynum's leg will be thrown away. And that will start the end for Orlando's hopes. The Beast will be freed... the Armageddon Will start... and the new Dynasty will begin.


Its finally our time to play every game like we should. Lakeshow only plays under pressure and since we wanted the finals so bad,we're not gonna become lackluster. Not for one quarter,lakers will be victorious once again. Same way we was last year,the magic is this year. We was not suppose to be in the finals but we got there and we had nothing to lose (but since we the lakers,we always do). 2-3-2 format is great for the home team. Come back home with 3 wins and win it at home,I myself will be right outside of staple's cheering.


>>>How will we defend the pick n roll and what
>>>adjustments will Phil make with our defense?
>>>Will Phil have his finger on the pulse of the game by
>>>making timely substitutions and calling
>>>timeouts.........or will he "let them fiigure it out for
>>>Phil Jackson was totally outcoached in the 2004
>>>Finals and also last year with the Celtics. Van
>>>Gundy is an excellent coach........Will Phil be able to
>>>match wits?
>>>I'm concerned

Don't be concerned, pfunkadelic.

Phil has something that SVG can't match. No, I'm not talking
about the triangle offense or 9 rings or Kobe Bryant. I'm talking
about Phil's secret weapon. The X-Factor. The thing that will
be that extra little nudge that will push the Lakers over the

Phil has Luke Walton.

Game. Series. Championship.

Start planning the parade.

Latest article of a noted NY sportswriter, mark Kriegel compared the Lakers to Apollo and Magic to Rocky. Of course, we know what happened to Apollo at the end of the movie. Well, Mr. Kriegel what use as an analogy came from Hollywood creativity, so don't foment your hate against Team Hollywood! As usual, Lakers are trashed by NY writers but praise them first before sending them to the slaughterhouse. If lakers win like in the Nuggets series, they say: that's what we expected with the most talented team. If they lose a game, they say: they are arrogant, lazy and questionable. haha - will you all settle down and express your loyalty either to the opponent of the Lakers or Lakers all the way. We are on our own in this Finals. It is Lakers vs. NBA as a whole or ESPN as a whole including ABC. No love for the purple and gold except the devoted Laker fans.


>>> Will Phil resist the urge of his Luke Fetish?

The biggest worry is whether Phil will resist the urge to bench Drew and play Lamar to match up with Rashard Lewis. In other words, making the same mistake that the Little General made against the Warriors when they upset Dallas in the first round, matching up with the small ball team rather than punishing them with big ball. There have already been several analysts who think the Lakers should start Lamar rather than Drew. Of course, these analysts totally discount the defensive presence that Drew provides.

Phil needs to remember to keep the pressure on Orlando by having Pau punish Rashard to the extent that the Magic have to bring in a big man to stop the Lakers inside game. Pull Bynum back to the free throw line and have Pau play the low post. Drew can then hit him with a pass or shoot an easy free throw line midrange with Pau ready to control the boards. This series may well be decided by which coach blinks first and is forced to match up with the other team. That better be the Lakers if we are going to win it all.


Wes -

I'd fire up the paddles right now if I were you because the Magic are a damn good road team, as their game 7 win in Boston showed. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if the Lakers split at home to start the series. The good news is that Orlando, while tough at home in the playoffs, wasn't so intimidating at the O-rena during the season. And the Lakers are just as good a road team as the Magic. The most likely scenario is...


... but I wouldn't be shocked at all if the Lakers played catch up from the get-go and were forced to go 7.

Edwin: "It is Lakers vs. NBA as a whole or ESPN as a whole including ABC. No love for the purple and gold except the devoted Laker fans."

And you, just now, have come to accept this?

Brother, I've accepted that truth ever since the Nissan got permanently parked in my Uncle's driveway back in 85. It's always been hip to be a Laker hater - even MORE HIP when LA natives and residents are card carrying Laker Haters...and they're out there.

Yeah, play Jameer Nelson so that there will be no excuses. If Stan Van Gundy can play, dress him as well. I am afraid he might have a heart attack with his yelling as if all his players are deaf. Have we ever seen PJ get animated of these ball games? He won't call time outs, he won't stand from his high chair, his best move will be cleaning his spectacles or fold his arms as if he's chilling from anger.


"No love for the purple and gold except the devoted Laker fans."

Hmm but the love of the devoted is immeasurable ... so the advantage is still ours actually

Steak and Chives

Wait, first you say that your all about experimental food. Then you say street vendor food is for the hapless. I feel you need to check your "foodie-dom" world. Street food is the most connected form of ENCULTURATION of an ethnicity. It's what the people make out of what's left over, food for the masses, and their own improvisational survival turned into a delicacy.

Sure you can drop Flemings, La Bernadin, and what Morton's type conglomerate expense-so-pinky-up-top-coin joint as a place to eat. That's easy to find. You may go to city search or type that up on any steak house Boolean type search. Next thing you know, you'll be recommending the Kogi truck. They too are getting "jiggy" or commercial.

But in social-economic strife, you limit the suggestions to people with money. It is the the food on the run, stall for the soul, and explosive transportable food that makes the daily's to one's life.

Keep hanging in there, man. You can't put down a culture due to one bad experience from a vendor that was closing up and you got the remains from. Keep digging for that money dish...

Considering they beat the Lakers twice during the regular season, I'd be a bit more worried about the Magic winning two against the Lakers if I didn't see that one of the games fell on the second night of a back-to-back for the Lakers, and the other was the Lakers' 3rd game in four nights. For anybody putting importance on the two regular season contests, this is noteworthy.


I can't wait to see him play. I mean "Sir Unstopableness" that is.

Great take Pfunk, we all believe on the Lakers but it is nice to have a devil's advocate among the fans. Remember the Piston in 2004 and the Celtics in 2008. Never we will be fooled again by complacency and over-the-hill optimism. Lakers have to dig deeper, aim higher and make everybody believe on what they are scared of. What we ask from the team is NO MERCY, NO PRISONERS, SO SECOND GUESSING this time. There is only one message from the fans. We want a parade in Figueroa NOW.


"The biggest worry is whether Phil will resist the urge to bench Drew and play Lamar"

How did it make you feel to see latimes refer to Howard as the beast?

I love this team but you can't seriously argue that Drew will be a major factor in this series when he's been at best a good role player for us in the playoffs

Let the big boys carry us all the way to the promise land, after all they got us this far. Drew will do his part and perharps next year he'll have an injury free season and be the guy we ride into back2back

But ahem let's not get ahead of ourselves talking about next year ... starting thursday we'll find out whether superman can stop the unstopable purple tinted golden dynasty

24 + 16 + [1]7 = A very happy LakerTom?


"It's always been hip to be a Laker hater - even MORE HIP when LA natives and residents are card carrying Laker Haters...and they're out there."

They are out there.

Nothing worse than a L.A. resident who thinks they're somehow "above" being a Lakers fan.

It's that smugness that makes me want to act like King Leonidas of Sparta and kick them into a pit.

I mean, seriously. These kind of people suck because they're not "FOR" anything. They get their sense of self-worth by being anti-/against things that other people cherish.

What good is that?


What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


Wow, pfunk. PJ's a weak coach and Van Gundy is an "excellent one". What are you basing this on? Phil just fumbled his way though a series against Denver (who in my opinion would have beaten Cleveland). Do you think George Karl is an "excellent coach" too, and the Lakers just got lucky? Seems as though Phil's Luke phetish was well deserved in game 6, huh? I guess guy's like you won't appreciate the best coach in the league until he's gone. Maybe we can get Jeff Van Gundy when Phil leaves he needs to find a new job because he really sucks at his current one. And what a great record of championships he has, huh???

What an idiot...

Hey Charles!

What do you think about Odom eating three pounds of candy a day?


What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Utzworld and Taliq,

Beware on those who praise the Lakers and then stab them at the back. Always assume that you are dealing with Brutus or Judas unless proven otherwise. They are all here to praise the Lakers because they are the honorable team. Deep inside, there is jealousy on those actors, actresses paying mega bucks just to see the purple and gold play. There is cheap envy on the achievement of a West Coast team who are supposed to be laid back and extension of Mexico. That's why i said only the devoted Laker fans in the East Coast and Midwest are the true allies. If they don't talk like Jon K or Mamba24 BEWARE, when game starts we are on our own.

gasal is a good PF, but let's remember that he hates to bang in the paint, and also that he hasn't had a real test against the past trio of playoff teams because they all lacked genuine, equally-sized bigs. Excepting Yao, but he went down of course.

Last season, pau was humbled by the CELTICS because they thrashed him soundly. Don't think that ORL isn't studying the tapes from last year's BOS victory in order to prescribe a physical beating for gasal.

One reason I really like ORL is that they are a more defensive version of the SUNS from a couple years back. Those SUNS teams consistently destroyed koby and phil jackson, even crushed koby's spirit in the 2006 playoffs when he refused to play in the 2nd half of Game 7. But ORL might be better, even, because they play excellent D too.

If ORL wins this series, it will be a victory not only for them, but of course O'Neal and D'Antoni.

I think all this talk about Bynum being a "BEAST" is just ridiculous. The guy has never done anything to suggest he is a force down low. Look folks, Bynum is going to be in foul trouble throughout the series, that's going be reality folks, Bynum can't handle Howard, be honest with yourselves and stop being delusional......

For a team that is 0-2 vs. Orlando alot of you sound mighty confident, just like those confident celtics fans and again just like those extremely confident Cavs fans, I really think your the next ones to fall......

I think the Lkaers will win the championship in 5 games if not 4. Had the Lakers not played the 4th quarter of Game 5 against Denver and all of Game 6 vs Denver the way they had, I would have picked the Lakers in 6 or 7. But I believe the Lakers had 3 big things happen to them:
1) Re-energized due to the lackadasicalness against Houston and early against Denver
2) Realization that if they feed Gasol in the post, he will either use his great offensive skills (post up, or shoot a mid-range jumper) or he will find an open man to pass to out of the post
3) Resurgence of Lamar.

The biggest key that I feel separates the Lakers from any of Orlando's other opponents is the size of the Lakers and the athleticism of the Lakers. Remember how Denver was lighting it up from 3 point land when they played both New Orleans and Dallas. That is exactly what Orlando was doing. But none of the Thuggets opponents or the Magic opponents had the size and athleticism that the Lakers have. Couple that with the abilities of Pau, Arize with his defense (not to mention his 3 point accuracy), Bynum as a big body to play against Dwight, oh yeah, and some guy named Kobe that is hungry as heck to win this one.


You have everyone picking LA as the favorites but really and truly outside of die hard Laker fans, no one really believes we can do this! I've heard so much about the match up problems Orlando gives the Lakers, what about the match up problems the Lakers can cause for Orlando. I mean come on, commentators, analysts, writers etc only say we are the favorites because its a popular thing to say, but deep down they know they are picking the magic dudes. They want to see the mighty LA fall. You'll ain fooling nobody especially us die hard Laker fans! Lets go Lake Show and get this thing on the road! We conquer our adversaries by overcoming all magic!


"Don't think that ORL isn't studying the tapes from last year's BOS victory in order to prescribe a physical beating for gasal."

Though most of your post was gobbletygook, this point is accurate, I think.

I'm sure that every coach for every team that has played the Lakers this playoffs has spent A LOT of time watching last year's Finals. This is smart. However, there's also a problem with this logic.

We're a different team from last year, in particular because we now have a healthy Bynum and Ariza. We will have beaten last year's Celtics team with this team.. So... if teams want to play us like last year's Celtics, let 'em.

It'll do them no good.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Utz and Jon K,

Speaking of the Laker natives, you can't find a place in LA today and its environ of not seeing those car flags. In some homes, the american flag was replace by the gold and white flag. Everyone is identified with the Lakers. You go to any mall, Farmer's market, Garment district, East LA, San Berdo golf courses, Santa Monica delis, Venice Beach, Laguna Beach all the way to San Diego and in north Woodland Hills it's all Laker spirit flag, shirts, towels, banners, pposters, car stickers etc. I wear a Laker underwear too. LMAO! This town is ready to rise up on Thursday, even the resurgent Dodgers and/or 2nd place Angels understand what's going on in Los Angeles today. It is the Lakers pride egging for the parade. When was the last time we had that parade, it was summer of 2002 Chick and Shaq were still with the team. The town is ready for the rumble and tumble...therefore, we ask Lakers to win, they will win this time.

Jon K,
"I mean, seriously. These kind of people suck because they're not "FOR" anything. They get their sense of self-worth by being anti-/against things that other people cherish."

That is brilliant. I was looking for a definition like that for a long time.



Jameer Nelson closer to getting nod for NBA Finals

By Brian Schmitz | Sentinel Staff Writer
1:22 PM EDT, June 2, 2009

Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson looks to be closer to playing in the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers as observers said he was flying down the floor, running with the second team in Tuesday's practice.

Teammates are convinced that Nelson is making a return after missing four months of the season.

Nelson has been trying to come back early from Feb. 19 shoulder surgery and the club is using practices on Tuesday and Wednesday, in Los Angeles, to evaluate whether he can play.

"I'm pretty sure he's going to be given the benefit of the doubt. I expect him to be out there sometime during the series," said Anthony Johnson, the veteran back-up point guard to starter Rafer Alston. "You got to play the guys who give you the best chance to win."

Johnson might be losing playing time to Nelson. "I'll support whatever decision is made," Johnson said.

He said it was up to Coach Stan Van Gundy. Van Gundy said after Tuesday's workout that Nelson "looked good" and that he'd make a decision after Wednesday's practice in Los Angeles.


Yes Bynum is not a beast yet, but teams are afraid to leave Bynum alone in the post, he can get wild with his wide span of arms. He could melt and disappear but he could also explode and be destructive to any team. Well, Dwight is great with his Superman cape on a one-on-one game. Unfortunately, this is a team game. Kobe, the new playing coach know what are weakness of Superman, Ariza who played with Dwight know how to foul bait and take him out. It is not the muscles and brawn alone but also the wits and smarts that will dictate the tempo of the game. Nobody can stop Dwight but nobody can stop our poisonous Mamba too.

"If you want something enough and your heart is pure, wondrous things can happen" -Joey-

And remember:
"NBA, where amazing happens"


Posted by: BUTLER | June 02, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Hi Butler. You seem to have made a mistake. This years version of the Suns isn't ORL, its CLE. C-L-E.


Lets go down the list:

Whiny MVP?............................ check
#1 overall? ............................check 1 2
Fake camraderie? .................chizzeck
Ball Hogging star? ................Checkity check
Overrated coach? ................Czechoslovakia
Angry star?............................chugga chugga check check!!

....and finally NOT MAKE THE FINALS? ch ch ch....Oh wait. The Crabs did. Well, at least they lost to the Spurs, I mean, that's exactly equal.

SEZ chicken little.


Watching SportsCenter (like a masochist) earlier today, I was happy to see all the Dwight Howard loving. A "Superman" montage, some "Dwight vs. the Lakers" bit, more of the Jameer Nelson talk. General Magic love. This pleases me because I'd be extremely worried if they showed the Lakers any love. I mean, they haven't gotten any so far and things are going pretty well. Wouldn't want them ruining a good thing now.

Ooh I can't wait for ABC to focus on the Magic during the Laker home games. And during the Magic home games. And in the commercials for the Finals. Can't wait to hear from Phil "wired" once while I hear Van Gundy's out-of-breath squeals seven times. Can't wait to see the inspirational half-time story of some random Magic player who'll surely have a breakout game the night his story's featured. And the entire time, the great theme: "Can the scrappy, underdog Magic beat those arrogant, inconsistent, lazy-ass Lakers?"

Sorry, but it's not happening. And by "sorry", I really mean "not even remotely sorry".

Lakers. 2009 Champions.

If ORL wins this series, it will be a victory not only for them, but of course O'Neal and D'Antoni.
So if the Lakers win, it will also be a defeat for O'Neal & D'Antoni?

I can live with that.
Two birds with one stone.

Jon K

"Nothing worse than a L.A. resident who thinks they're somehow "above" being a Lakers fan."

That's what we call a Clippers Fan.

For whatever reason they left the fold, like the KL character who said he used to be a Lakers Fan, but left and became a Clippers fan because he was disgusted with the Lakers.

No loyalty through thin and thick. Ready to jump ship when things don't go their way. Imagine the insecurity of his partner, not knowing when they would leave for some perceived wrong?

No, Lakers Fans are loyal. They have that stick-to-it-ness that keeps them supporting their team all the time.

And for their loyalty, they will always be rewarded, unlike those shortsighted ones that left.

Gasol definitely has a ginormous herculean task ahead of him in the finals... its very likely bynum will be in early foul trouble so phil will have to go small with gasol on dwight. That will most likely take away from our #2 option and so kobe may have to carry the scoring burden again. Not good. If that happens THEN WE HAVE OURSELVES A SERIES and probably 7 games

Now if bynum can stay out of foul trouble and is half the beast he was in the reg season then we're probably talking 5 games.


Ps... Wassup wup with Lestern not fining Lesoreloser for missing the postgame conference?? This Leleague is such a lejoke. Dude that is so lewrong I just want to lepuke right now!


"Beware on those who praise the Lakers and then stab them at the back. Always assume that you are dealing with Brutus or Judas unless proven otherwise."

Bless me Father, for I am about to sin.

Oh, you mean people like Troy and all the other folks who post on the Live Blog...the same folks who were screaming in ALL CAPS for Phil to call at timeout when our 22 point lead got shaved down to 18.

IDGAF about them or who they represent. They're all posers to me. I don't deal with them. I respect as humans, but I DON'T RESPECT them as "Laker Fans."

When we march to Figueroa 2 weeks from now, I will remember you, Mamba, Faith, Rick F. Taliq, Jon. K., LTLF, Charles, Generic_One, Laker Tom, Psyched Laker Girl, East Coast Jessie and all the FAITHFUL Laker Fans who stayed on LA Times Lakers Blog through good and bad, rough times and smooth, heartache and heartbreak, Smush and Kwame.

YOU are the TRUE FANS. As long as WE stand united, WE CAN'T BE STOPPED! i may be the self-proclaimed Banner Holder, but each of your thumbprints are engraved on every stitch!

Sorry about the wrong post guys...



What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


Yeah, it sucks to have Pau Gasol as a BU center and Lamar Odum as a BU power forward.

Really really sucks.

observer - hush puppy.


you forgot also "through Chucky and Rudy."

Jon K,

First of all, How are you? What the word on moving back to LA?

"Hey Charles!

What do you think about Odom eating three pounds of candy a day?"

I think it is a bad example and hopefully he checks his diet.

At the same time I envy his metabolism and him not having diabetes. There are times LATE NIGHT, I just want to put away a whole order of fried rice, Or a Large pizza, Or a Portuguese Sausage-Spam and Eggs over rice. Sometimes I walk by the Ice Cream section and just stare at the slow churned Dreyers and imagine. I allow myself two or three bad meals in a week and but that's just me...

Overall so far, the team has played better with Odom than with Bynum in the lineup. It's up to Bynum how much PT he gets.

ENOUGH of the Rashard Lewis Match up Conundrum already!!!

Pardon me for my outburts and pardon me if this has already been touched on but... Shouldn't Rashard Lewis be equally worried about Pau's Post Up?!

Many pundits are arguing that the Lakers must put the pressure on Dwight Howard so that they can put him in foul trouble. However, virtually no one is talking about Pau posting up Lewis and getting him in potential foul trouble. If Rashard Lewis is on the bench, he can't shoot threes. Simple - Done and Done. No more talk of Rashard Lewis

There is a myriad of problems that Pau will present to the Magic. Let's say the DPOY comes from the weak side to help out Lewis, that leaves Bynum on the otherside to clean up or receive a pass from Pau. Not to mention the pressure it will put on the defense to recover - leaving open Kobe, Fish, and Ariza.

I just don't get it?! So... Enough of the madness already.

Hi HBMatt,
What's up? I'm guessing you live in HB. Where is the best sports bar to watch a Laker game on Main St? or anywhere in HB. Just curious, thanks!

Edwin Guerco,

"The town is ready for the rumble and tumble...therefore, we ask Lakers to win, they will win this time."

I hope so, man. It sounds good.

When I watch the game on Thursday, I'll be so proud if the crowd at Staples is screaming their lungs out from start to finish.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Folks, never worry about what happened in the regular season... It means nothing to what will happen in the playoffs.

In the Away game against Orlando, we lost by just 3., and another thing to be considered was it was the SECOND game of a back-to-back games... (We had lost a tough game to Miami the previous night). Also, the Orlando game went to the wire and it could have been anyone's.

The Home game was also only a 6-pt affair, and it also could have gone either way. It was tied with 52-sec to go, and instead of a 3 pt game, it wa a 6-pt since we had to foul..

So, the ORL losses need not be worried about a lot. Both were close games and could have gone either way.

Also, during the regular season we beat a healthy Houston team (incl Yao I mean) comprehensively (4-0), whereas in the playoffs we had to struggle and win 4-3.... If regular season was any indicator, then we should have won 4-0 in playoffs as well against Houston.

So, just erase that we were 0-2 against Magic during the reg season. It could have been 2-0 or 1-1. The Finals is a clean slate, and whoever puts 4 W's in it 1st will get the trophy, and I am quietly confident that would be us Lakers!!


Thanks, man, for the kind words.

Now, let's beat us down some Mouseketeers from Orlando!


What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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


Banner Folder,

That was beautiful. Is your spot still being reserved for you from last year? Or did they build condos on it?

Did YOU not stand UNITED last YEAR?


>>>gasal is a good PF, but let's remember that he hates to
>>>bang in the paint, and also that he hasn't had a real test
>>> against the past trio of playoff teams because they all
>>>lacked genuine, equally-sized bigs. Excepting Yao, but
>>>he went down of course.

Nene is 6'11" and 250 lbs. In the series vs Dallas, he averaged
16 points on 58% shooting. With Pau guarding him, he averaged
9.8 points on 54% shooting.

In the Portland series, Yao shot 56%. Playing vs Bynum & Gasol,
he shot 51%.

Dwight is 6'11" and 265 lb. So he's in between Yao and Nene
in size. He shot 65% vs Cleveland, since they had absolute
stiffs guarding him, but only 55% vs Boston, who had Kendrick

Dwight Howard shot 57% for the regular season, but was
held to 50% shooting by the Lakers (though he rebounded
VERY well vs the Lakers).

I have no doubt that Bynum and Gasol will continue to slow
Howard down enough in the finals.

As a Laker fan, I want a guarantee from Kobe Bryant that the Lakers will win the Championship! Come on you guys, make us in Lakerland proud this year, lets end the decade the same way we started it, by winning Championships! Can I get a guarantee?!?!

Hi Edwin Gueco, Lakertom, the K Bros and the others Lakers fans,

I'm still in Montreal, Canada. I've been hiding after being badly hurt by our loss against the Celtics in 2008 Finals. Guys, be reassured, I read my favorite blog every day. Thanks to the K brothers. Keep the good work!

Glad we're to the top of this mountain again. By sending this post, I wanna join you all in this final march to victory. Guys , there's more Lakers' fan out there than you think. My spirit, will... hope are really high. Just 4 more wins to heal my wounds!!

Last thing, where is Mike Teniente?? Still rooting for Kwame Brown... now in Detroit??? Just teasing...don't be mad.
Be ready for Thursday...the first win sets the tone.

Ajax: Rudy doesn't count, as he was only here for almost half a season. Chucky REALLY doesn't count because he was a halfway decent PG - EONS better than Little Willie Parker - his only faux pas was/is his inability to keep his boca shut in regards to Kobe. He may have stuck around for another season had he been able to STFU.

Copperstein and Del Harris both thought the Lakers will be able to defend the Majic's 3 point shooters and play a 1/2 court game, that favors the Lakers. Defense will win. Mavericks played this game in victory vs. Orlando in February.

This was on ESPN 103.3 Dallas today. Coop predicted a 5 game series victory, claiming the weakness of the Celtics and Cleveland.

Go Lakers!!!!!!!!!!!


I get no specific Laker love from you???

I thought we were buds, pals, Laker soul mates if you will.

Nothing like getting ignored right before the Finals. And that's when I break out all my best stuff too.....

Thanks a lot.

*sniff sniff*


I think I'll bust out a prayer right now. Hope you're in good with Big Daddy cuz IT'S ONNNNNN!! LOL!

Jon K,

Thanks for the LeBron link. That article couldn't be more true.

orlando better contact shane battier for his guarding Kobe manual..kobe will go for the kill i can feel it.

Chickin Little sez:

"Hi Butler. You seem to have made a mistake. This years version of the Suns isn't ORL, its CLE. C-L-E."

Nice! I like the creativity, especially the use of the word "Czechoslovakia!"

But in reality, ORL plays a SUNS game, at least on the offensive end. Given that the triangle is vulnerable to 3-pointers, and a dominant big, I think it's very interesting that ORL is in the Finals. Any other team from the east would have fallen short in terms of competitiveness. Should be a fun series whoever wins.

Chicken Little,

If you are convinced that bynumb would have won the Finals for LA last season, remember to check the facts. Here's a highly respected writer from ESPN, who has never been known to be wrong, talking about bynumb and Mighty Dwight:

"If Lakers center Andrew Bynum could have just lived up to expectations, his upcoming matchup with Orlando's Dwight Howard would be the talk of the NBA this week. It could have been the best center duel in the NBA Finals since the mid-1990s, when Hakeem Olajuwon took on Patrick Ewing, then Shaquille O'Neal....

It would have been a nice parallel, the two young centers (Howard's 23, Bynum is 21) taken a year apart in the draft, both competing in their first NBA Finals. Only it's pretty hard to compare a guy whose defining moment of the spring was putting the Magic on his back in the conference championship-clinching game to a guy whose defining moment of the spring was putting a Playmate on his shoulders at a pajama party.

Howard's averaging 21.7 points and a league-leading 15.4 rebounds in the playoffs. The only noteworthy thing about Bynum's playoff numbers is they make a palindrome: 6.3 points, 3.6 rebounds."


I'm moving back to Los Angeles as soon as I can get a decent job in Los Angeles OR as soon as I save up enough money to fund the move and a transition period before I get a job.

"The Cleveland Experiment" failed. Time to start considering other options in a more Lakers-friendly environment.

Hey, I'm sorry about all your struggles with diabetes. That just sucks. Hopefully with stem cell research we'll be able to come up with a solution in the next decade.

I understand Lamar needs a vice to deal with the stress or whatever, but I agree that eating three pounds of candy is neither good for Lamar Odom or setting a good example.


What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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



You I shall remember too!

One love.


I too dislike the term. For now, we need to support AB and hope he gets in the Mutombo frame of mind.


I agree. The Lakers have no choice but to take this series from the 1st jump ball. They know this, we know this, the media know this. Everyone knows this.

Start losing games and the media will jump on the Lakers like crows on the gallows.

There is so much at play here, so much history to be made, so many destinies to be completed or stained.

Kobe wins, he's an all time NBA great. Probably top 10 I'd say. Kobe loses and he's one of the top 50 still, but he never got one without Shaq, as they say.

The Magic team, offensively, is like the Lakers with Shaq in the middle and Fisher, Kobe, Horry and Fox hitting 3s. That team was beaten by the Pistons defense which went one on one with Shaq and threw surprise double and triple teams at Kobe.

I'd like to see a similar approach with the Magic with the double teams going Turkalu and Lewis. Odom and Ariza should be long and quick enough to sag off their man, double quickly and get back to their guy in time to block out or whatever.

WE need a plan because we NEED this championship. The Magic can have it next year I've decided. I've already made the deal with God. Us this year, them next. Signed the paper last night at midnight down at the crossroads.

Go Lakers,

Go defense,

Go intelligent coaching,

Go late-night texts between Kobe and Pau,

Go momentum,

Go clutch play,

Go fans,

Go Lakers.



>>> Overall so far, the team has played better with Odom than with Bynum in the lineup.
>>> It's up to Bynum how much PT he gets.

I agree that the Lakers have played better offensively with Pau and Lamar in the game but not defensively. And if Drew gets his game together offensively, that will be a big weapon to force Dwight to stop him without getting into foul trouble. Bottom line, the Lakers need their 3 beasts to outplay Orlando’s 1 beast.

I hope you read the Kevin Ding article about how Bynum’s defense was a big key to the Game 6 win over the Nuggets and how Phil actually was applauding Drew as he came out of the game in the third quarter with the Lakers ahead by 16 and George screaming at his players not to allow Bynum to intimidate them and turn them into a jump shooting team. Drew may have only scored 2 points and shot 1 for 6 but he did not allow that to deter him from being very active and effective at the defensive end.

Like Phil says and anyone can see whenever Drew leaves the game, Drew is the key to the Lakers being a great defensive team. Offensively, I would agree with your above comment that the team has played better with Lamar in the game. However, the big move in the close out game versus the Nuggets came when Phil pulled Pau at center and inserted Drew into the game with the Lakers trailing 31-30. The Lakers defense forced the Nuggets to miss 10 of the their next 11 shots and the Lakers pulled away to take a big halftime lead. By the time Phil pulled Drew in the third quarter and stated clapping with Frank Hamblen, the Lakers were up by 16 and had the game well in hand.



>>> Pardon me for my outburts and pardon me if this has already been touched on but...
>>> Shouldn't Rashard Lewis be equally worried about Pau's Post Up?!

You are absolutely correct. Phil has it right this time. We make the small ball team match up to us and try to stop Pau in the post rather than changed what we do to try and matchup with the Magic. This is a basic tenant of basketball 101. He who blinks first usually loses the matchup, like Avery Johnson trying to play small ball against the Warriors in the first round of the playoffs two years ago. Imagine Drew with the ball at the free throw line and Pau sealing the smaller and light Rashard Lewis under the rim. Whether Drew shoots a midrange or hits Pau with a pass, Lewis is going to struggle to keep Pau off the block and off the glass.



Don't worry with Troy, Never, KL, Gunner these are all Laker fans perhaps not unanimous with our favorite players but when tough gets going, they bleed purple and gold. No doubt about it, they are cautious when they see no effort out there, too much chutzpah yet no winnah, they hate to lose on miserable teams so they produce a miserable stand. What I am worried Utz are the half purple and half gold, when Lakers are losing and people here get into whining, they snatch Kobe-san to NuYok. We love LA and we stick with LA. Players will come and go but the city will live on. It has been the tradition of this city to be the winner so i hope you distinguish a homer and a disgruntled fan who want to use a hammer on players who can't move their feet and butt to go forward. haha!

Jon K, the town is ready, it's all about the Lakers. Nobody is listening to Governator threats of bankruptcy, nobody is minding the LA mayor womanizing again with a new reporter, nobody is crying on the LA teachers about to be laid off, it's all about Lakers...every important activity including graduations are on hold, one eye & one ear is tuned up on the Lakers.

Got to do it this time man, if not heads will roll, blood will flow at Pershing Square, got to do it, Lakers. You owe the fans the Championship in 2004 and 2008.

Good afternoon Charles, Edwin, et al,

It's another great day to be a (true) Lakers fan.

Friday morning, ten o'clock'
Sitting at my desk
Checking facebook, thinking rock
And shopping smut, no less,
When a message did appear
From Colorado Mia --
"Lakers tickets in club level,
Sure would love to see ya."

So to
I next did point my mouse
Three hours later, on the plane,
From Portland toward her house.
The flight was smooth, I had some toughts
Of arena food for dinner
And prayed my Lakers would end up
The Western Conference winner.

After landing, met our girl
And rolled us up a jay
And Rocky Mountain high we sang
To Marley on the way.
Got our tickets from a dude
With birdman tattoo sleeve
Who in the end became a friend --
Patron -- it helps men grieve.

Anyway we found our seats
Just in time for tip
And on the faces of the Lakers
There was no sign of grip.
Boom, a bucket, swish, a trey
Now, THAT’s the start we wanted
It wasn’t long before the faces
In Pepsi became haunted.

And me, as things moved on that night,
I kept emotions buried
But like the team, I was the cat
Who swallowed the canary.
No celebration, no elation
Just the business on our plate
This our year, our destiny
Another round awaits.

So bring it on, Orlando Magic,
Dwight and Stan Van Gundy.
Stan, I’m sorry, I’ve worked with the man and
You are no Ron Jeremy.
Remember we smoked the Nugs by 30
When we made our defense staunch
Like we blew up the Rockets who thought they’d avoided
The dreaded failure to launch.

So Magic, you’re next, you’re hand has been seen
We know all of your tricks
I won’t be surprised if we sweep you --
But for now I’m calling six.

All the Bynum "matches up with Howard" crap keeps on coming.

True Bynum in theory is the better match up than Pau Gasol would be for Howard but Howard OUTPLAYED Bynum in both regular season games (though it matters not now). Gasol in the Olympics wasn't crushed by Howard neither especially in the final round and if Kobe hadn't stepped up Spain would have won.

And these "Bynum the beast" is so old. Bynum putting up good numbers on weak teams as the Clippers and Wizards and shooting only 40% against Tim Duncan's defense so overrates that statement. Kareem would never let "fear" get him out of his game, neither would Shaq, Mikan, Chamberlain, or even Howard. Heck even a guy like Chris Webber still put up decent production after a real serious knee injury that required microfracture surgery even though his athleticism was gone.

Simply trying to cover up Howard isn't enough. Both Bynum and Gasol has to make sure he doesn't get that offensive rebound and slam it down.

That is all dependent on Bynum being able to cover Howard which at this moment looks (can be different in the Finals of course) a no as to how Howard threw down 20 rebounds on Bynum's measly 3 and Howard owns a 3-0 record against Bynum since 2007-2008 (His time playing against Gasol is 0-1). Bynum couldn't cover Yao or Kenyon Martin as much (though part of it was rotating to stop dribble penetration from Carmelo). Howard is the best pure center in the game.

And as for Jameer Nelson? Being out since Feb sure takes a toll. First off he hasn't played since then so his conditioning will be down for sure and what makes it seem he'll be playing at the level he was playing then? Plus Rafer Alston will be vying for minutes as well. Jameer could make them a bit better but he won't be 100%. Plus if he does start look for Kobe to guard him even more aggressively like Kobe did to Chauncey (Kobe held Chauncey to 40% shooting compared to 46% that Chauncey was averaging prior to the Lakers series). And unlike the Cavs series the Lakers have the size/another defender that the Cavs starting lineup lacked as Trevor or Luke aren't as short as Delonte/Mo so it won't be a mismatch as the Cavs had (Hedo posted up Delonte quite a lot since Lebron switched over to Rafer). Fish has proved he can guard taller SG such as Ray Allen and JR Smith. So Kobe guards Jameer/Rafer, Fish on Lee/Pietrus, Ariza on Hedo, Gasol on Lewis should be good defensively. Only yellow mark would really be Bynum on Howard.

What's up with all the love and respect for Orlando?

You guys haven't been watching the same Laker and Magic teams that I see meeting in the finals. Are the Magic a nice little team? Sure they are. Can they compete with this Laker team on the biggest stage of all? Not a chance!

The Magic will be lucky, I repeat, LUCKY, to win one game in this series. The Lakers are by far the better team. Please put your thinking caps on and look at the reality of the two teams.

Don't be so respectful of Van Goofy's brother's coaching skills. He will not out-coach our staff and his team can't beat ours.

By the way Jon K., Can you confirm the Cleveland Wal-Marts are completely sold out of fishing gear?


Bynum's gonna show Dwight Howard who his Daddy is. By the time Bynum checks out of game 2, we'll be chanting, "BEAST! BEAST! BEAST!"


Hey, glad to have you back in the fold. Mike T. dropped by for 1 quick post after a loss but then the Lakers won so he crawled back under his rock for the rest of the playoffs. Just finished talking to a wonderful lady at one of my company’s suppliers in Montreal. God, I just love those French-Canadian accents. Go, Lakers.



Well, we often hear the whining of Chucky, Rudy and Pfunk, LAfan, since when did u hear them cheer for other teams. NO, they blamed the weakest link team players when they play baaaaaad!!! especially the favorite child, Luke and favorite menudo, Fish tho' when they are making those shots, you can't hear a single complain, same with Farmar, same with Sasha. Ajax, those are the LA fans with diversified views but with one objective. We're not Clevelanders that will embrace what is wrong or Houston to embrace thuggery, laker fans love to whine and complain, that's part of the city make up. Laker fans expressed their fandome in so many ays, some prefers idolatry even though these players are multi millionaires, others go on tearing up an erring player while others have no opinion they just want to go home and avoid the traffic. LOL! Don't compare Chucky to Butler, 131 or those who come to this blog to spit at the Lakers. If I'm not mistaken Pfunk has been on this blog from its onset together with Jon K. These people will not stay that long to be disloyal to purple and gold.


I guess Centerfield would be good, but I'm usually home watching it on the big screen with my two boys. I usually go to Johnny's for drinks, but it's not a good place to see a game.

A buddy at work wants to watch game 1 at Centerfield, so I'll probably be there Thurs.





You were talking about sticking through the hard times in Lakerdom, and you say the Chucky and Rudy era doesn't count? You can't ignore the 2004-05 season when talking about hard times. That was one hard season to make it through. I watched/listened to almost every game and enjoyed what I could. We had a losing record and didn't make the playoffs, but I still bled purple and gold. Gotta get through the hard times man!

Charles - no need to apologize for the food post, it was truly great.

Jestaguru - that's spittin' out verse with purpose!

Hello Laker fans. We are looking forward to another group of people and analysts who have yet o understand this Magic team. I hope to enlighten you over the next couple of days to help you realize how much trouble you guys are in:

1. You forgot some things. Orlando is 3-1 against LA in the last 2 years.
2. There is no one on LA front line that can stop Howard. Just look at Gasol vs Howard in the past. Neither can Bynum. Have lots of fouls to give does not stop a player. Very poor reasoning.
3. Since LA cant stop Howard that will open all of Orlando's offensive weapons. The Magic will be able to score plenty of points to win this series.
4. So it comes down to the one thing you did not mention. Orlando has the best team defense in the league. The can slow down LA's offense enough to win. That is the one thing eveyone keeps missing every time experts predict the Magic will lose, Philly, Boston, Cleveland, and now LA. Big mistake. We know this here in Orlando and you guys keep missing this.
5. The last thing you miss is, as the series goes deeper Orlando has the advantage, we have the best frontline in basketball and have great backups in all three positions. Pietrus, Battie, and Gortat would be starters for most teams in the NBA. This leads to two false conclusions about the Magic.
A. Get Howard in foul trouble and they are in trouble. Not true we lose very little when he goes out for even 20-30 minutes in a game.
B. By the time you get to games 5,6,7 we have worn out every teams frontline and they collapse. Boston, Philly, Cleveland and so will LA. So change your prediction while you can. We can score against anybody but our defense is what wins our games. With 5 minutes left in a game and with the lead Orlando is 48-1. No one is as good as that in the NBA.

Edwin - I enjoyed the lead up and especially the finishing line.

"......every important activity including graduations are on hold, one eye & one ear is tuned up on the Lakers."


Good form man, good form.

Man is there some quality stuff flying on the blog or what?


You're back, I thought you were buried by snow or lost your VHS recorder, computer etc.

Here is another example of Laker fan, all the way from Smush era who will travel 100 miles to watch Lakers lose against Toronto Raftors. It takes sometime to remove that hurt, to remove those warts who call themselves laker players yet performed like scrubs. Because of them we wasted the height of Kobe's years. He carried the team alone, in the end who is to be blamed Kobe carrying Luke, Kwame, Cook, nevermind lets forget the dark era or the Laker Plague.

Welcome back Guy O, you better post every game win or lose.


The Lakers team that showed up in Denver last Friday night is arguably the greatest Lakers team in history, and there is certainly no team on the planet capable of defeating them. We know that Gasol, Odem, Ariza, Fisher and Bynum are capable of 20+ points per game when they show up, not to mention the bench, when they are mobbing. If Kobe delivers his usual output on Thursday, and the rest of the Lakers are already warmed up, the Lakers will win the first two games at home and the next two in Orlando. Maybe the Laker starters should scrimmage the bench mob somewhere for about 15 minutes just before tipoff time so they can hit the floor running and make that triangle offense really smoke! Then just look for the open man and get about 10 guys in double figures! This has been a great season! Great job, Phil! Here comes your 10th championship and the Lakers 15th!

Mark Overt Skilbred

Go Jesterguru, another great composition. As always you're the best in prose and poetry.

Mamba24, you got to answer the beautiful lines of Jesterguru, where are you mamba24, I thought u are now free to blog in the evening.

Sorry Ajax on my last post, i thought you were referring to the bloggers named rudy and chucky. I realized it was Smoochie and Tomjanaquit. Go Lakers.

JG - in da hizzy with the righteous verse!

Charles - that was funny. I was reading your post wondering what the hell was wrong with me that I didn't get it...! Whew - insanity averted one more day.

Laker Larry - LOL! Are the Cleveland WalMart's sold out of fishing gear HAHAHAHA!!! I wonder if they should put a more severe restriction on buying hand guns there too. Or locking roof access doors. I'm just sayin.... if they're Lebroniac zombies and he is now LeLoser AKA Princess Jimmy - would that not send many of them over the edge? Maybe more suicide hotlines would be in order. I'm just sayin.....

Tom, Edwin, fatty, Charles,

Thanks for the ups. Good times! The blog is indeed rolling of late (just like the team, yo)....

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