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Practice video and a sweet Question of the Day

It was a busy day for the Lakers in El Segundo, meaning there's a fair amount of video and quoteage to upload, so rather than do it all at once, I'll post 'em as I make 'em.  Call this an appetizer, with a special, bonus, today-only-offer of a Lamar Odom Candy Related Question of the Day thrown in for fun (scroll down for that).  I'm channeling my inner Billy Mays.  You really don't space age toilet bowl cleaners to enjoy this blog post.  

First, Kobe video.  Don't focus that much on what he says (there's not much in there you haven't heard), but how.  It's clear Kobe is over talking to us- can't imagine why- and wants to get on with the show: 

Phil Jackson on Orlando's explosive offense, the difficulty of defending Dwight Howard, and why he'd still start a franchise with the big Magic C if building one from scratch. 

It's fair to say PJ has a healthy respect both for Orlando's ability to score, and for Howard's skills.  "I don't think a lead is too large against Orlando.  They are very capable of getting 12 points on four trips down the floor," he said.  "That just changes everything up.  You have to play consistent defense and continue to score against them."

On Howard: "I don't think since Shaq came into the league 18 years ago or whatever have we seen a player this dominant power-wise.  There's a tendency for players to (concede) that power.  To give him the power base he wants.  We have to take that away from him... He is the first and foremost force that they're going to have, and behind that they threaten you with three point shots." High praise for sure.:


Andrew Bynum hit again- though not in this clip- on the notion of "doing your work early" against Howard. Hustling down the court to pick him up closer to the free throw line, as opposed to deeper in the lane. It's a tough challenge, because there may not be a true pivot who gets up and down the floor as well as Howard.

Here, Bynum talks about the process of coming back from his knee injury, and his excitement at the challenge in front of him:

And now for the sweeter stuff (pun!).

A few weeks ago after practice, I was sitting in the media room uploading video and typing my report.  Lamar Odom came in, as he'll often do, to sit down and have his guy give him a haircut/beard trim.  In his lap was a post practice piece of chicken, with some veggies on the side.  He saw me staring. 

"What?" he asked.

"LO," I replied, "this is the fourth year I've covered you guys, and in all that time I don't think I've ever seen you eat anything that wasn't candy."

He started laughing.  And by the way, I should have added "peanut butter and jelly sandwiches," because I've seen him eat those, too.  So while it's probably unnecessary to call the folks at A&E to see if they need a candy related episode of Intervention and no question the dude also eats plenty of real food, I can vouch for the authenticity of his sweet tooth. 

But with the Finals upon us and LO's candy habit in full view of the media's collective glare, there's no margin for error.  If Odom is going to eat candy, it needs to be the right candy.  Winning candy.  Championship candy.  Which leads to today's Question of the Day:

What would be the best candy for Odom to eat, with a goal of winning a title?

Some candidates, just to get the ball rolling:

M & M's:

Pro
:  It doesn't matter what hue you're holding- really, anyone who claims to be able to differentiate once they're popped into the mouth is lying- or when and where you buy them.  Those little candies deliver the same crunchy, chocolate experience every time. That's what LA needs from Lamar: Different looks that are always good.  Some nights he's the green (means go) scoring M & M, other times the red (means stop) shotblocking/defensive variety.  Maybe he rebounds (blue, for glass cleaner).  It's all delicious.

Con: They melt in your mouth, yes, but slogan be damned they also melt in your hands.  Frankly, they tend to melt everywhere, and for a guy who sweats as much as LO, is that a good idea?  Given their small size, there's also a good chance of accidents.  A chocolate smeared uni, for example, would be particularly bad with the Sunday whites. 

Snoop Dogg and Nerds Nerds:

Pro: We're always reminding Lamar to be more intellectual as a player.  To avoid stuff like this or this.  Nerds don't do that sort of thing.  They're always making the right calculations.  Plus, Snoop likes 'em (left). 

Con: The candy may be well named, but have you seen the actual cartoons on the package?  Look closely.  They hardly seem the picture of intellect, cavorting and capering about with little regard for their own safety.  Plus, they seem to lack arms (a problem for basketball players) and pants (a problem for everyone), should LO choose to emulate.  A better choice here might be Smarties.

Skittles:

Pro:
A favorite of LO's, so their consumption puts him in a good mood.  Just as the M & M colors provide options to fit every mood and playing style, so to do the Skittles.  Original, Sour, Tropical, Wild Berry, Crazy Cores (never heard of 'em), Smoothie Mix, and so on.  Plus, they mix well with vodka.  Or, if you prefer, SkittleBrau.  (Sorry, that's why AK should... does... "eat" Skittles to help him get through the day.)

Con:  Tasty, but I fear they have lost their way.  Have you tried the Skittles gum?  Wrong on a few levels.  Then they totally sold out their fruity heritage to produce a chocolate flavor.  C'mon, Skittles, be true to yourself.  Odom is a guy for whom roots matter.  He carries his Queens upbringing like a badge of honor. Should he be eating a candy experiencing an identity crisis?

Note:  At least something good came out of the chocolate Skittles debacle.  This commercial made me lol:

I bet that sort of thing happens all the time to Pinata Man. And it's worth noting that there are a ton of entertaining Skittles commercials on YouTube.  Moving on...

Tootsie Rolls:

Pro:  A candy, to paraphrase Abe Simpson, you can set your watch to.  The candy Kurt Rambis would have eaten, if he ate candy before games.  Tootsie Rolls set a good example for other members of the candy family by getting out there every day since eighteen-hundred-and-ninety-six and doing its job.  No more, no less.  You wake up tomorrow, Tootsie Rolls will be there.  Next week?  Tootsie Rolls.  Next month?  Tootsie Rolls.  That's something Odom can invest in.  Literally.  

Con: While delicious, the Tootsie Roll is kind of one-note.  That ain't Odom's game.  Nobody who dresses like this can be considered one note.

Salt Water Taffy:

Pro: The chewy factor combined with the often labor intensive process of getting the stuff out of its wax wrapper means LO can spend more time eating the candy but potentially consume less, thus making himself lighter on his feet.  The same principle applies for Jaw Breakers- more so, even- and other heavy suck/chew fare like Now and Laters (an admitted LO fave) and the perpetually underrated 100 Grand bar, to toss in a more chocolatey offerings.  A best-of-both-worlds situation. 

Con: At Tuesday's practice, LO admitted he has had a few cavities.  Nothing out of the ordinary (the man is a committed brusher), but enough that fillings are present.  You know, the kind that can be ripped out by a wayward taffy bite.  Personally, I don't want to see Odom's performance impacted by that kind of pain. Bottom line, taffy is just too dangerous. 

Those are just a few suggestions, of course.  This is an enormously important question requiring the full attention of Lakers fans.  Given the full universe of candy available, we can't be limited simply to the five things I mentioned.  Okay, I kid (in all seriousness, the dude really does eat real food, too).  But it's fun to play around with, given we're still two days away from real games. 

Thankfully, at least for Odom, who is being a good sport for sure but would probably like to talk about other things ("People are making it like I sit there and eat a whole plate of candy before I play a basketball game," he said today with a smile.) proximity to actual game action should push CandyGate off the front burner.

Actually, Odom himself had the best solution.  "Now I'm gonna go from candy to salad.  I'm gonna say my favorite thing to eat is salad.  Then I'll be like the altar boy."

BK

 
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lamar should eat pay day and stay away from those butterfingers.

Candy for LO

Snickers
Pros: Taste great with the excellent chocolaty taste and the savory Nugget.
Cons: More addicting than nicotine. I had a Snickers addiction for a year,or two (of which I now have recovered) and every time I pick one up I nearly succumb to my addiction. Point being, if anyone every needs to provide LO with motivation, give him a King size Snickers.

I'm thinking that he should eat ring pops - that way, you'll know what's on his mind while he eats his candy. :-)

BK,

None of the above.

Snickers. It has peanuts.

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Man, I LOVE Bynum's attitude in that interview clip.

We WILL see the Return of the Beast in the Finals!

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Mmmm... skittles. Does anyone know if L.O. likes candycorn? Cuz he does seem to lean toward candy that's nothing but sugar, adhesive agents and artificial coloring. Every time I read this stuff I get a craving and I don't usually have candy in the house. I'll have to make do with chocolate ice cream (with chunks of fudge and reeses cups).

Jackson's respect for Howard isn't surprising, remember, he came to L.A. to coach Shaq. I think Odom has to sit down with young Andrew, tell him what it's all about. Counsel him in the ways of gummi savers, sour patch kids, skittles and old school snickers. Get that lad jacked up and ready to run.

Caliphilosopher , that is a great idea. who knows this might help all the lakers. kobe just needs to tell Lamar that a championship ring is even better than a ring pop.

Ok for all you haters out there can we agree on a few things before the series starts:
1. The lakers will lose one, maybe two and possibly even three games in this series. It does not mean that the Lakers are terrible, or that the sky is falling. It is a normal thing in the playoffs.
2. No matter how many games they lose and even if they lose the series, PJ is still the best coach we have ever had and possibly the best coach in the history of the NBA.
3 Luke Walton is not the reason we win or lose the series. period!

It was embarrassing in the Denver series how many people were jumping off the bandwagon after a couple of losses. Even in showtime era we lost games in playoffs. Heck we even had one year where they played 3 straight seven game series. Just enjoy the journey as the final destination will be awesome indeed!

How Lamar plays is gonna decide the Finals. We know Kobe is gonna bring it. We know Pau is gonna bring it. Will LO?

Twix Bars, Starburst, Jolly Ranchers, chocolate-covered almonds...

Yum.

Oh, also. That's "altar boy." Easy mistake to make.

It would be cool if Lamar had an alter-ego of some sort though. That explains a lot.

Best interview I've heard Bynum give. He said all the right things. Now he's got to back up his words with action. WE WANT THE BEAST! Go Lakers!

With deepest apology to Midnight Oil, I heard "Beds are Burning" today and this just seemed to fit:

Out where the defense broke
The Rockets and the Nuggets both
Pau and Trevor crash the hoop
And Kobe drains the 3's

The time has come
To say fairs fair
We've paid our dues
We've paid our share

The time has come
A fact's a fact
It's up for grabs
Let's take it back

How can we doubt with the offense working
How can we rest with the Ring still lurking

The seven footers scare the foo's
From Orlando to Figueroo
The Western Champs they will succeed
With Sasha drainin' threes

The time has come
To back up fact
It belongs to us
Lets TAKE IT BACK ! ! !

"For example, Bynum likes to stay attached and bang with other big guys instead of being pulled away from the basket, and putting and keeping a body on Howard is a key issue. Bynum has been watching footage of how Boston’s Kendrick Perkins did it in the second round to limit Howard to 16.4 points per game."

Bynum will be pulled away from the basket because Howard is the one who sets picks for Rafer/Hedo/Rashard/Jameer possibly and give them openings for either rolls to the basket or more likely open 3 point shots. Since all of them are good 3 point shooters Bynum better come and hedge and get back to position quickly otherwise Howard will roll forcing Gasol or another teammate to rotate and free up a 3 point shooter. He needs to give his teammate who will be caught up in the pick and roll time enough to recover back and RUSH back to Howard because D12 will be rushing looking for an easy dunk. Same applies to Gasol though he is much quicker off his feet than Bynum. And Bynum BETTER grab that rebound on the defensive glass because there is a reason why that Howard is defensive player of the year and rebounds are a big part of it.

If Bynum doesn't RUSH back to the defensive end because he is unhappy he didn't get a touch and Howard gets a dunk consistently he'll be pulled. Howard became the best big man in the league not just because he was dunking on the offensive end as he was blocking shots and denying penetration and rebounding and he treats his defense independent of offense (even when he complains about his touches). Bynum better have gotten rid of that Shaq attitude of "If I don't receive the ball I won't defend" and focus more on defense as his points will come and could be a good chance for offensive put backs.

"Bynum called Howard “a much tougher cover” than Yao Ming, another top-flight center — and one against whom Bynum didn’t do much in the second round. Where Howard really differs from Yao is in running the floor: Howard is outstanding, and Bynum isn’t. Bynum has been fully briefed on how it could ruin the Lakers’ whole transition defense if he doesn’t get back, because not only can Howard prey on whoever does pick him up — usually a guard who is further back — then the guard’s usual man can break the Lakers’ backs with transition 3-point shots while uncovered."

Bynum better do it otherwise he'll get pulled. This isn't Kendrick Perkins after all, this is D12.

Best bet to contain Howard? Offensive fouls. If he really comes charging down take the charge from him and make him sit on the bench. That is the best defense against Howard. Otherwise if that is not possible and he secures position then FRONT him. The more Bynum fronts Dwight if Dwight is in the post (without the ball) then the more Dwight will come out to re-establish and hence FURTHER from the basket. Sure Dwight can jump so high but he isn't as tall as Yao is so Bynum does have a better chance of knocking the ball away should they try to throw the ball up to Howard. Plus if Howard don't re-establish then they will pass it out around the perimeter and that makes the game plan more easier.

Deny Howard the ball but come out and help on screen and rolls.

AB talks the talk. On Thursday, we'll see if he walks the walk.

Dave M,

Coach Kobe will assign each Laker player to bait Howard into foul trouble, let's see one for Bynum, one for Gasol, one for LO and two for Kobe, Bingo he sits down and gets back late at 4th quarter, attack him again. Don't double him but deny him the ball, once he gets foul him if you're mbenga or powell but if you're Bynum and Pau, put your hands inside your pants. Give him the two but don't leave the men perimeter with a 3. Game after game, this will be the strategy, take out Dwight first before closing the Magic.

TWO DAYS ‘TILL TIP-OFF…

Nothing like getting stung last year to keep Lakers fans unreasonably wary of the Magic. The problem with that thinking is that the inexperienced Magic are not the Boston Celtics and this year’s LA Lakers are not last year’s happy-to-be-here first-timers. The worrywarts and naysayers would have you think that the situation is the same but the truth is probably that the Lakers are a far superior team than the Magic and will prove it on the court.

So I’m taking back my earlier prediction of the Lakers in 6 games, which has since been seconded by common logic, ESPN, and President Obama. It’s the Lakers in a sweep! What was I thinking? That Rashard Lewis had an edge over Pau Gasol? That anybody on the Magic could stop Kobe from winning his fourth championship and first Finals MVP? That Stan Van Gundy is a better coach than Phil Jackson? Not in this universe.

Have you guys imagined how amped up Kobe is going to be for this series? This is all about his career and redemption – for everything from the Shaq split to Game 6 last year. Orlando has nobody who can stop or even slow down Kobe Bryant. Now with LeBron out, you know Kobe smells greatness for himself and his team. He will be unstoppable. He knows how rare these opportunities are and there is no way he will blow this one.

As for Dwight Howard, it may not be Kryptonite but the Lakers have the height, length, and personal fouls to make life hell for Superman. More importantly, they can do this while not doubling, which is going to severely limit the Magic’s 3-point shooting game. Offensively, the Lakers are going to relentlessly pound the ball into Bynum, Gasol, and Odom. Dwight had foul problems in both Lakers games and against the Cavs in the East Finals.

I am still seething about the way the NBA folded rather than treat LeBron like any player. James has surrounded himself with his homeboy posse, all of whom he trusts but none of whom has the courage or wisdom to put him in his place. That’s a shame. Just think how differently LeBron have grown if coached by Phil Jackson, who knows how NOT to kowtow to a star player, something Mike Brown, Cleveland, and the NBA never learned. Having been coached by Phil is another advantage Kobe Bryant has over LeBron James.

Contrast how LeBron and his posse have handled the recent situation with how Andrew Bynum’s team approached Drew after Kobe’s call to “trade his ass.” Drew’s leading advisor got in his face and asked Drew if he wanted to be remembered as the reason that Kobe Bryant left the Lakers. There is a kernel of truth is what we just saw from LeBron. In my mind, more of a indication that he sees himself above everybody. I think Kobe had a little of that but not to the level that LeBron has. Hopefully, he will find his Phil Jackson.

Which leads to the other big reason for Lakers fans not to worry about the Magic: Phil Jackson versus Stan Van Gundy. 9-Rings versus 0-Rings. Ironically, the national sports media has it right this time in universally predicting the Lakers will defeat the Magic. There will be no repeat of last year because the series will not reach 6 games. Dwight will smile a lot. The Lakers will score a lot. The TV ratings will flutter, then die. Just like the Magic.

Tom

BK/AK,

Do you think Lakers would be better off if they exclusively played Brown & Farmar at the point?

Many folks, me included think DFish is a handicap. Please don't tell me about his "veteran" status. Statistics, turnovers, poor defense, and overall slowness counts.

Basically, DFish playing a business decision. The basketball decision is that DFish sits while Farmar & Brown get it cracking.

Phil really trips on DFish. No matter what Brown and Farmar do positve or no matter hard much DFish gets smoked on defense PJ will put DFish back in the game.

Lets say Lakers are on a 16-2 run and up by eight in the fourth quarter. Shannon brown has 8 points during run. 5:21 remaining in game. Timeout

Game stats at 4th 5:21
DFish
19 min 4 pts 1 reb, 2 TO.

Shannon Brown
11 min 9pts 3 reb, 1 ast, 2 st, 0 TO

Phil will replace Shannon Brown with DFish!

Phil will replace Brown with DFish no matter what positive Brown does. Brown could hold Magic guards scoreless while Magic guards toasted DFish prior.
DFish replaces Shannon Brown.

Phil has made no adjustments. He has even said really dumb stuff like "we have get better guard play". Phil you would have 48 minutes of better guard play if you played Farmar & Brown. Orlando wouldn't like it much if the Lakers did that.

A big IF, but IF the refs let them play, Bynum will play Howard to a standstill.

This series will be eerily similar to the 1995 finals between the Magic/Rockets with the exception of the Magic not having homecourt advantage and no player like Penny Hardaway to compliment Howard. They do have the basic philosophy of having a beast in the middle(Shaq/Howard) and deadly outside shooters(Dennis Scott, Nick Anderson/Lewis, Turkoglu, Pietrus, Alston). The Lakers somewhat resemble the Rockets with Pau having an assortment of post up moves and mid range jumper a la Hakeem Olajuwon(by no means am I saying that Pau is close to being what the Dream was because he isn't, although he's a fabulous player in his own right), Kobe/Drexler(although Kobe is a much better player than the great Drexler), outside shooters in Fish, Trevor, Shannon, Sasha/Kenny Smith, Sam Cassell, Robert Horry and Vernon Maxwell. LO would be similar to Mario Ellie coming off the bench. Oh yeah and Andrew Bynum is a bigger, but less polished version of Horace Grant. We'll see how things turn out in this latest addition of the Orlando Magic. They have a great team this year.

Go Lakers!!!

Really. What an opportunity.

Dwight Howard is an amazing player.

But the amazing opportunity is with Andrew Bynum.

THIS is the series to begin his mark for Greatness.

THIS is the time.

Now.

Dynasty.

[I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday who made a mistake that he was down about. The truth of life is that ourselves (our real selves) are exposed during moments of crisis. The best and the worst of us come out during those moments. BOTH of them are the real US. The truest us. The Finals are nothing but crisis. As such, it is a beautiful opportunity for each of the Lakers to express the best of who they are. Not the best of who they can be. The best of who they are in the most real sense of the question. Andrew Bynum. brother, we all have faith in you. It's time.]

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

LakerTom,

I loved your evaluation. I think you are only over-optimistic because you disrespect how good the Magic are. Sure we're better. We are better. But as would-be Champions we should never be complacent, because the Magic CAN beat us... if we let them.

We should never let them. We're better than that and I firmly believe we willl.

Lakers in five or six games.

WE ARE THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS AND WE RISE!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

jon,

We’re all worried about nothing. It’s just the ghost of last year haunting those of us who have been weakened by the turmoil and ups and downs of the season. The Magic are not the Celtics and these Lakers are going to finish them off in 4 blow-out games. We will see the launching of the next great Lakers dynasty beginning this Thursday. And we will be the first Lakers fans to blog about winning an NBA championship. Two days to launching.

Tom

AK, I think you really have to reconsider this railroading you're doing of chocolate skittles.

I admit, they are an acquired taste. You blast them for not being fruity. That sort of expectation is exactly the reason you may not have liked them the first time. They are not fruity, they are themselves - they are chocolate skittles. Don't hate them for breaking the mold and being different.

I am going to vote for chocolate skittles. They have great texture that makes you feel like you are eating real food. They have a great sugar content. Being chocolate skittles they may remind Odom of how special and different from the pack he is. Plus, I recommend them specifically because they are NOT fruity.

EAT SKITTLES!!

GOOOOooOOOO LAKERS!!!!!

starbursts. just the strawberry ones.

and if i was making millions of dollars, i would just buy hundreds of bags of starburst and pay someone to go through and throw out all but the strawberry ones.

have you ever seen a bowl of starbursts out at a function or party? like the cashews from a bowl of nuts, only much more so. everybody goes through and picks out the strawberry ones. i have no idea why they can't just sell bags full of strawberry ones.

yup, i'm rambling. it's a long two days left until the finals.

Its a conundrum...

Websters 2. b: an intricate and difficult problem

Superman, in The first Movie had a decision to make. It was life or death for Lois Lane. He promised to save someone else, but time wouldn't let him fly to Hoover Damn and save Lois. Lois died.

The Magic's Superman can not guard the entire lane by himself with all the Lakers attacking throughout the game. The Magic have no one else to save them from their death and defeat.

Its only Howard. The self proclaimed Superman will have his hands full with Pau Gasol, while Bynum, Lamar, Kobe and Ariza will slash to the rim.

He will give a valiant try, he is amazing, but he will not prevail. Its not the Kryptonite that will finish him off. Its too much Lakers, and not enough of Dwight to go around.

Unlike the Movie, he will not be able to alter time to change the outcome.

Sorry Howard, you are not the REAL Superman. You will get tired, you will foul out, you will lose your cool, and you will lose the series.

Utzworld - How's that for developing a Movie theme into a comment? lol

"Many folks, me included think DFish is a handicap. Please don't tell me about his "veteran" status."

I take it you forget the charges Fish has made and that he has defended JR Smith really well, still the one who brings up the ball in the court and calls out the plays for both the offense and defense and is the voice of the team even though Kobe is the face.

I also take you forget that Farmar isn't exactly playing well enough to force minutes away from Fish and his choke job in Game 4 2008 NBA Finals contributed to the collapse. Or that Shannon still is learning the offense and still not yet fully capable of running this team allowing Kobe to do other things such as playmaking/scoring.

True Fish is struggling offensively but then again so has Sasha and Jordan/Shannon aren't putting big numbers either and Chauncey had his better production against both Fish and Shannon. Or that JR Smith in Game 4 of the WCF shot damn good over Shannon.

"Brown could hold Magic guards scoreless while Magic guards toasted DFish prior."

REALLY? HOW COULD YOU KNOW?? DO YOU HAVE A TIME MACHINE THAT ALLOWS YOU TO TRAVEL IN THE FUTURE?? IF SO TELL ME SO I CAN LAY A BET AND WIN!

Besides Derek both times he has faced Rafer Alston while Rafer was in Houston held him to 39% so "Skip to my Lou" didn't exactly torch Fish in those two games did he??

And remember Derek played 41 minutes without a break in those two games because Farmar was injured and you had a Sasha Vujacic who was even worst at defending/shooting/playmaking/running the team than Fish and that is way too much especially for a 34 year old. Fish will more than likely averaged 28 minutes while Shannon/Jordan eat the rest .

"He has even said really dumb stuff like "we have get better guard play". Phil you would have 48 minutes of better guard play if you played Farmar & Brown."

Oh really so even worst defense from Farmar is what you like and another guywho so far still isn't fully detailed about the offense not to mention defense can call out plays offensively and defensively? You FAIL miserably this case. And of course you need better guard play because if Kobe was shooting 1-10 you would want better guard play from him as well! Of course you aren't the coach so that makes most of everyone's nights much better regardless of what happens!

"Orlando wouldn't like it much if the Lakers did that."

Orlando wouldn't like it either if there was ball movement that was resulting in an open shot or layup/dunk instead of forcing Kobe to create and be ball dominant (not ball hogging) which they succeeded to Lebron James and despite James's spectacular numbers the Cavaliers lost the series.

Fish is probably the ONLY guy who has the balls to get the ball out of Kobe's hands if Kobe is becoming too ball dominant and is bricking his shots and instead running the offense to get better shot selections for Kobe instead of shooting a 3 pointer from half court. Gasol tried to demand but won't always get it and Bynum's hasn't given enough effort to seal his man in the post to get an open pass.

There is nothing more than Orlando wouldn't love more than to let Kobe shoot 40% for a series like Boston did. That would mean more success for them. They would also love to shred Jordan's even worst defense and Shannon just standing there not knowing where to pass or shoot.

Jeez Todd the next thing you will probably say is that Josh Powell could stop Rashard Lewis from scoring I bet!

So it looks like DJ Mbenga is going to get in there for some minutes/fouls. I sure hope I'm able to find and buy one of those "MBangin with MBenga" shirts. In honor of Orlando's coach, maybe they can also create a "MBangin with Ron Jeremy" shirt. I'm just saying...

I say Nestles Crunch, ITS CRUNCH TIME BABY!

Keep him away from the Rocky Roads.

GO CANDY MAN! aka LO

Mamba!

That candy has winner written all over it

To heck with this team better than that team, my money's on Phil Jackson.

"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."

Posted by: HBMatt | June 02, 2009 at 04:25 PM

To HBMatt,
What a small world! I used to hang out at Johnny's a lot but lately, not so much. Love that bar! I know them boys behind the bar (Johnny&Bruno give me free drinks hehe). Yah it's not a good place to watch Laker games but they sure have good Croatian beer (Karlo') and the famous Ottor/Iggy Pop! Hehehhehe Anyway not sure where Centerfield is but enjoy the game. Go Lakers!!

Attention all Kobe fans. That means YOU. At last someone in the media has got it right. Howard Beck, writing in the New York Times, acknowledges that when it comes to Kobe Bryant, there is no rival.

http://tinyurl.com/pfckem

Beautiful writing, and a reality check for all the poseurs.

LO,

Now you guys got me thinking of candy.
My favorites are:

1. Pink Cotton candy.
2. Yellow Easter chicks
3. Wax miniature pop bottles with colored syrup inside.
4. Orange Marshmallow peanuts.

Especially after a good smoke.

Tom

Tom's on fire with this sweep business, I love it!

Edwin, wise words about baiting Howard with fouls.

And JohnnyP - I have long been a fan of skittles but have not yet experienced the chocolate ones. You advocate powerfully on their behalf - I must now experience this wonderous thing for myself.

P Ang, good one.

My money's on the Bean.

Insane things Bynum can do to guarantee a Laker win:

1. Get into a double technical foul situation with Howard, TWICE. Both get thrown out plus Howard suspended for the next game due to 7 T's. 2 game win already.

2. Get into a Fight with Howard, both get ejected.

3. Send Sacramento Hamburgers to Howard's hotel room.

4. Give LO pure sugar before the game.

5. Show up and PLAY.

kb blitz,

HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND?? HAVE YOU NOT SEEN A SINGLE PLAYOFF GAME? i love dfish but he obviously aint the same intense floppin dfish we came to love. hes now old, extremely slow and with his game slumping lacks intensity and has been nothing but DEAD WEIGHT A DEAD ANIMAL. HE HAS BEEN NOTHING BUT A COMPLETE HORROR TO WATCH THIS ENTIRE PLAYOFFS.

farmars defense is also way below average but HOW CAN YOU EVEN ASSUME DFISH's DEFENSE IS BETTER THAN BROWN. R U KIDDING ME??

i dont have a problem with dfish starting provided phillip knew when to take him out but his blind love or loyalty for him obviously has severlely impaired his judgment. houston btw would probably NOT gone 7 games if it wasnt for dfish. in fact we might've lost that series if he wasnt suspended for that one game.

hes also way more ineffective and painful to watch esp without his jumper and i'd like to see him come out of his slump more than anybody BUT COMMON THIS IS THE PLAYOFFS and we aint got all these shots to waste ESP not when he's not wide open and he tries to jack it up or when he drives into traffic with absolutely no chance of drawing a foul....

No contest - chocolate chips that are kept in the freezer.

Rick Friedman,

Nice article about Kobe. About time someone actually got it right for once and I'm not just saying that because I'm a Laker fan. The other thing that stands out to me about Kobe in comparison with some of the names mentioned in the article(TMac, Pierce, Grant Hill, Vince Carter, DWade and Iverson who has been pretty durable until this season)is how durable Kobe has been and how he's continued to play at the highest level. He is truly an amazing player and I'm glad that he remained a Laker.

How Lamar plays is gonna decide the Finals. We know Kobe is gonna bring it. We know Pau is gonna bring it. Will LO?

Posted by: MJR |

_____________________________

is this what laker nation has come to? are we actually becoming reliant on a consistent LO? are we actually pinning our title dreams on LAMAR? yeah he had 2 good games to close out denver but WHERE WAS HE ALL YEAR? in fact WHERE WAS HE THE LAST 4 YEARS?

i agree when lamar's confidence is high the lakers are unstoppable but how often does that happen?? how can you pay a guy 14 MIL who cant even average half his salary in pts for the playoffs?

candy or no candy this guy has some much deeper mental issues.. he simply too soft and cannot handle pressure and frankly never will... are people already blocking out last years finals debacle from their memory? i mean how can you pay a guy 14MIL who cant even be a reliable 3rd option??

yes he presents matchup problems, yes hes a rare big man who can rebound run the break and finish but his entire life hes' been nothin but POTENTIAL

i really dont mean to hate on him esp when he's playing well but lets remain calm and get a grip here.... i sure hope he surprises me this finals but if theres anything i learned as a laker fan is number one dont rely on lamar and number two hate luke walton.... waiting for lamar to show up is like waiting for your abusive alcoholic father to come home whos left you as kid ten years ago. its a pleasant surprise when it happens but definitely short-lived

i really dont mean to hate on lamar but WE CANNOT RESIGN HIM. its obvious phil will never play lamar with gasol and bynum so what's the point of paying a guy 14 or even 10 MIL to come off the bench and play 20 minutes... theres way better and consistent talent we can get for that kind of money. kobe aint gettin younger and hes gonna need some consistent guys who show up every night.

Tom, OMG, peeps, the wax bottles... those gritty orange marshmallo peanuts!!!!

All this talk reminds me of when I was a kid (long, long ago). I used to go to a corner store with a nickel and the owner would let me fill up a little brown paper sack with penny candy. Remember penny candy? Two for a penny mint julips and banana splits, mary janes and bazooka joes, on and on.

How great this blog is, that we can talk about matchups and candy, that we can laugh and hurl insults and talk about the game... we have this global lakers family and it's awesome. Many thanks to blogger brothers and sisters.. and to the K-bros for providing such a great forum and filling it with links and videos and some very strong and fluid writing.

"HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND?? HAVE YOU NOT SEEN A SINGLE PLAYOFF GAME? i love dfish but he obviously aint the same intense floppin dfish we came to love. hes now old, extremely slow and with his game slumping lacks intensity and has been nothing but DEAD WEIGHT A DEAD ANIMAL. HE HAS BEEN NOTHING BUT A COMPLETE HORROR TO WATCH THIS ENTIRE PLAYOFFS."

I admit Fish is struggling but so is Farmar and Brown hasn't really proven to "steal" Fisher's job entirely.

"farmars defense is also way below average but HOW CAN YOU EVEN ASSUME DFISH's DEFENSE IS BETTER THAN BROWN. R U KIDDING ME??"

That is where you FAIL to see the point. Sure Brown's personal defense is better than Derek's but what else can Brown do for the team? Can he run the team? Can he make the offense go or will he just give the ball to Kobe and stand and pray Kobe will pass the ball to him? Can he really understand what plays should be run and when to take the shot or let Kobe handle the ball? What makes you think that some guy who while I'm rooting to be the starting PG next year do the same THINGS that Fish has been doing for the LAST TWO YEARS?? Not everyone can have a Pau Gasol type impact!

This is why this is a TEAM effort and not so dependent on one's individual skill/weakness. If it weren't then Lebron would be seeing us in the Finals now would he??

"in fact we might've lost that series if he wasnt suspended for that one game."

Really?? How could you know?? Farmar nor Shannon couldn't stop Aaron Brooks either! Last time I check it took a TEAM effort in Games 3, 5, and 7 especially from Bynum to stop Brooks.

"hes also way more ineffective and painful to watch esp without his jumper and i'd like to see him come out of his slump more than anybody BUT COMMON THIS IS THE PLAYOFFS and we aint got all these shots to waste ESP not when he's not wide open and he tries to jack it up or when he drives into traffic with absolutely no chance of drawing a foul...."

Farmar and Shannon at times tried to penetrate and hardly drew the foul too! And wasn't the same said about Ray Allen in the Cleveland series when he couldn't hit a pea in the ocean only to torch both the Pistons and the Lakers in Boston's title run. Fish in fact in Game 6 looked like his semi good self again. Not to mention he played good defense on JR Smith while Kobe was on Chauncey.

Fish's production and defense is no longer what it was even in the regular season I agree. But like Bynum who does change/alter shots in the paint (though his rebounding really needs to improve) Fish brings more to the table than just being a spot up shooter. He is the voice of the team and on the court. Kobe is the face of the team and has a voice as well but so far NEITHER JORDAN OR SHANNON can bring the savvy leadership or intangibles that Derek can so far though I expect Shannon to be in the starting lineup next year regardless of what happens (assuming he is re-signed of course).

Odom had a terrible Denver series until Game 5 and 6 when he came alive. Will he keep it up? Dunno and he probably will have inconsistent games again. But Derek has last fuel in the tank to get this team to win the Finals.

All this talk about LO and candy actually drove me to buy a bag of Starbursts today and my, are they tasty (cherry being my personal favorite). LO should definitely be getting a cut, with all of the candy promoting he's doing.

"Sure Brown's personal defense is better than Derek's but what else can Brown do for the team?"

obviously we've just seen a tip of the iceberg from shannon considering hes barely breaking the rotation but look at what hes done so far when hes gotten minutes... lakers biggest run this entire playoffs was game 5 end of 3rd/start of 4th and shanon played the entire stretch.... he has proven to be an excellent perimeter defender against some of the elite pt guards in the league as shown against deron/chauncey and his defense creates offense and his speed gives the lakers a lot of athleticism esp on the break... his jumper is also a lot better than most people think and only playing time will show.

___________
"Farmar nor Shannon couldn't stop Aaron Brooks either!"

maybe they didnt shut him down completely but theres a huge difference between letting brooks score AT WILL and farmar/shannon being able to contain him
_____________
"NEITHER JORDAN OR SHANNON can bring the savvy leadership or intangibles"

oh no ur not pullin that "intangible" card are you? you must be desperate. regardless what happens dfish should match up much better against rafer and he better pray jameer dont play but cause bottom line if his jumper aint fallin than he better run to that bench.

dave,

LOL. You’re showing your age. When I was a kid, it took at least a dime to make any dent in the corner candy store. But a nickel would get you a coke. And yes, just like Starbucks and drug dealers, those candy stores were always on the corners.

Reading a person’s candy jones is like checking the rings in a tree stump. Great candy lives on like rock bands. The best brands never die but may have to move down the line in the distribution channel. From the movie snack bar to the motel vending machine.

And then, of course, there are the knock-off Hostess Cupcakes, which always reminded me of Kwame. They looked great but never delivered. They were always dry and stale. Love a good caramel apple, too. And See’s milk cherries would really get Lamar going. Brown sugar and banana and strawberry sandwiches. SUGAR HIGH’S ARE SWEET.

Tom

Love what i'm hearing from the team, we know when they are focused and respect their opponent they usually play their best. I sense that every guy on that team will be playing like its their last game of the year and we will win this series in 6 or less. Even our president predicted Lakers in 6. And since i havent had to chance to post my thoughts on Lebaby, here is a media guy that actually calls out that "winner" err, "loser" on his true character.

King James left the playoffs as a loser
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-lebron060109&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

No green M&Ms! LOL!

PB&J sandwich for sure. ☺

Candy for Odom...

As the former clerk for a liquor store, I have extensive interaction with a wide variety of candy. I consider myself a sort of expert. We had free reign over the candy aisle during the course of our shifts.

My suggestions:

Whatchamacallit

Pros: Odom can spend most of the time doing that Abbott and Costello routine about the candy bar's name rather than eating them.

Cons: Good enough to be dangerously addictive


Warheads Sours liquid drops

Pros: Extraodinarily sour, enough so most people can't have a ton. Also, possibly no longer in existence as it seemed to be a limited trial item.

Cons: Odom probably has the resources to track down the remaining in existence. No solidity means no filling so he has even more.


Bit O'Honey

Pros: Tasty, even more effortful than taffy to eat. Probably a little more on the healthy side of candy.

Cons: Odom might lose a few teeth from this one.


Raisinettes (sic)

Pros: Healthier than most candy.

Cons: High fructose content in raisins causes terrible flatulence.


Most importantly, I have to agree. Feed the big kid championship candy!

Clearly, big leauge chew is what he needs...

http://tinyurl.com/zbkuf

If you want pure (flavored) sugar, there is always Pixie Stix.

Bynum has played soft all playoffs long. What makes everyone think that he's going to suddenly turn it around when he has to play against one of the strongest guys in the league? Sure, you'd hope that he'd rise to the challenge, but I think he's going to be too intimidated by the stage.

Dwight Howard is a major problem, especially given how confident he has become (he has visibly improved just in the playoffs, which is really impressive), but he is not Shaq. Shaq was completely impossible to guard in his prime because he had so many moves. And he was much bigger than Dwight. Howard doesn't have that. His speed and hops are what make him special (for now, until he develops more moves). He can be stopped (Kendrick Perkins did a great job on him) by staying with him, keeping him from the front of the rim, and attacking him on defense. The Lakers have the personnel to do it, though I'm worried that even if his head and heart are in the right place, Bynum with his recovery just won't have the legs to stay with Dwight too much.

The Lakers can't be cocky, but Dwight is not Shaq yet. They shouldn't fear him that much.

i'm not sure which is worse, kb blitz trying to find a logical argument or laker tom reminding me that i used to like those nasty styrofoam orange peanut things. ick. I think that between the little waxy sugar bottles, the orange styrofoam and peeps that comes very close to the worst candy trifecta ever. to that i might add those taffy looking peanut butter things with the actual peanut butter in the middle. I used to have a neighbor that handed those out for halloween. they were always the last in the bottom of the pile to be eaten, next to the green suckers that tasted like quick lime.

in the good category,also, one that wasn't mentioned, spice drops. good stuff. and do they still make sixlets? they weren't chocolate, they weren't not chocolate, i have no idea what they were, but they were good.


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