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Mark your calendars

It's schedule day!  Many of you have seen it by now- Andy and I were on the road all day for work, hence the slow post- but I thought I'd toss in a few quick at-first-glance thoughts about what the NBA's computers spit out for the Lakers this season:

  • Opening night, Lakers host the Clippers. Am I the only one who thinks it a little cruel to make LA's weaker sister open against the Lakers, particularly on a night where the purple and gold will get their championship jewelry? Was the NBA's goal to make the LAC feel smaller than normal?
  • The home heavy schedule: As it was last year, the Lakers spend most of the season's first quarter at Staples. 17 of the first 21, to be precise. They need to take advantage not simply because of simple math (home games early mean road games later), but because the opposition isn't overwhelmingly strong. 11 games against playoff teams from '08-'09, but only two (at Denver, vs. Dallas) against teams considered upper (or potentially upper) end. The competition is good enough to keep the Lakers on their toes, but nothing they can't handle. In that sense, I think it lays out perfectly for a team that, just as it was last season when Pau, LO, and Andrew Bynum were adjusting to life with each other, will have a few early-year adjustments to make, namely integrating Ron Artest.
  • I'm curious to see if the media run-up to the Christmas Day against the Cavs will be Kobe vs. Shaq or Kobe vs. LeBron. If talent vs. talent is the measuring stick it should be the latter, but given how Shaq is likely to place himself in front of a camera or nine- I'm picturing an enormous red suit, jaunty hat, and songs about St. Shaqolas- it'll likely be the former.
  • The Lakers finish their first long trip of the season (eight games) with a Feb. 1 visit to Memphis. Bynum needs to have the flu. If he doesn't, the Lakers should hire sick people to cough on his food. A lot. For good measure, let Drew sit when LA returns to Grizzlyville on the 23rd.
  • Over the last three-plus weeks of the season, the Lakers see the Spurs twice. Assuming good health for both teams, early money says these games could determine the west's best record. Last year, the Spurs title hopes were scuttled by injury. I genuinely hope they stay whole this season, because the basketball world deserves one more go with the Lakers vs. this incarnation of San Antonio, and the clock is ticking.
  • The Lakers get 20 back-to-backs, about par for the course in the NBA. 
  • Their longest trip may be in January, but LA's toughest probably comes at the end of March. Five games, including the Spurs, Thunder, Rockets, Hornets, and Hawks. All at the end of a month where the Lakers play only four games at Staples.

There will be plenty of time to debate potential records (I don't think they'll win 70), the importance of earning the league's best record (always helpful, clearly not required to win a Larry O), and more. But at least Lakers fans can start daydreaming about the '09-'10 campaign with a little more specificity.

BK

 
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"I don't think they'll win 70"

65 last season, this coming season with a healthy Bynum and an integrated Artest, my money's on 70+. But hey, I'm a Laker fan not a Clipper fan.

People got to stay focused . . . and healthy.

Was the NBA's goal to make the LAC feel smaller than normal?

BK

good point. already on various blogs the saying is: this is the closer the Clippers will ever be to a ring. Griffin's baptize with fire, not pretty.

who will be the Santa Claus and who will be one of the rain deer? Le Bong or Snaq?

Not sure if its been posted yet but Sasha hurt his knee...Not sure how bad,maybe minor sprain.....Not a great start kids...

I'm not sure what to hope for more, that Bynum (who is already a respectable starting center) has a break-out/AllStar season, or that it's one of the second-tier players...someone like Brown, Farmar, or even Morrison. It would be sensational if the team actually had a back court threat besides Kobe.

lmao @ d fact Kobe is featured every christmas but yet some think the torch has been passed ... dwade, lebron, etc etc ... when y'all gonna b featured every christmas ... the mamba is the league ... yup i said it

24 + 16 + [1]7 = The Purple Tinted Golden Age

I agree, they won't win 70. This Laker team hasn't show the type of game to game focus it takes to win 70 games. They're prone to phoning in a few, especially against the so called "easy teams." Nonetheless, they'll likely finish with the best record in the association and should get off to a confidence building great start. I'm predicting 18-2 after 20.

Actually, I think it's great for the Lakers to open against the Clippers on ring night.

Historically, teams have sort of struggled in that ring game - and it's somewhat understandable since their mind is elsewhere.

Can you imagine having to open against a team like Portland, while half the team is just thinking about jewlry and living on their laurels?

At least this way, we have a competitive Clippers (assuming they'll finally be healthy) but they aren't too dangerous. The Lakers, led by Mamba and Thriller will not let the Clippers spoil the party. Afterall, Thriller himself will be feeling a little left out of the festivities

Opening night is the classic trap game for the Lakers. The Clippers were bad last year mostly due to injury. There's a lot of talent on that team. They'll be sky high for the champs that night. Definitely a good test of the Lakers' focus right off the bat.

Don't really care how many they win, just as long as they have the best record when all is said and done. They play the same teams every year so they know what to do and how to manage the trips. Really need to take advantage of the early home schedule, just like, they did last year. My prediction is 62-20 with that getting them number one seed in the west by 5 games and best overall in the league by 4 over Boston or Cleveland.

That March schedule can decide homecourt advantage in the playoffs...only 4 home games; that hurts. We need to be able to rest Kobe, Pau, Fish around this time.

Ask Jon K, our resident Clippers expert.

Do the Clippers have a chance to ruin the Lakers "Ring Ceremony"?

I think they will be highly motivated to do so. It would certainly make their season and put them on the cover of every journal.

Plus, the Lakers will be on a celebration high and could be out of focus.

This has happened in the past. A Lakers ring ceremony, a lousy team, equaled a Lakers loss.

"Those who don't learn from history are destined to repeat it in a bad way"
- Fatty

From espn.com:
"Sure, they might have pushed the eventual-champion Lakers to seven games in the conference semifinals, but with Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady on the mend and Ron Artest's having flown the coop, the Rockets now apparently have no national appeal at all. None. Their total number of national television appearances on ABC/ESPN and Turner Sports: zero."

Buyer beware ... this is what David Lee can do to your career ... even if Ariza balls out of his mind, nobody will see it ... yikes!! ... gluck mate

NBA computer spits out schedule? Why does it want to spit the Lakers out on Christmas Day? Don't they know we want to spend time with our families? :)

I would like to know if there is a solid player out there with no contract that we can use in our bench?

The release of the sched shows the backs to backs about equal, right?

Its the 2nd game is the tough one and who are you playing.

2nd game on road:

Lakers: 15- 20 (Lakers many tough games, with long travel distances).
Xmas game is followed by a back to back.

Celtics: 9-18 (Most are easy teams, not much traveling.)

NBA "screw you" conspiracy?

Factors: Lakers live out West, distance is greater to travel. Some of the games were obvious TV sched. to get the best game on the tube. The price the Lakers play for being America's favorite team.

Can they still win 70 with a much tougher sched. than the Celtics and secure home court advantage?

I think they can.

Another way to look at the comparison.

37% of Lakers road games are at the end of a back to back (15-41)

22% of Celtics road games are at the end of a back to back (9-41)

LeBron and Shaq are going to cry on Christmas Day.

This from foxsports.com on young stars who need to step up this year:

"Andrew Bynum (21 years old, four seasons): This young man must show improvement in several physical categories — like staying healthy and developing better footwork on both ends of the court. Even so, his biggest problem is his attitude.

Like so many other young hot-shots, Bynum believes all of the butt-kissers who constantly tell him that he's already a great player who deserves to be playing 35-plus minutes per game and, after Kobe, being the secondary option in the offense. Besides his L.A. buddies, the chorus prematurely celebrating Bynum's game also includes many of the local media.

The truth, however, is that Bynum is still a work-in-progress. He continues being befuddled on defense, and he's convinced that he should be getting many more scoring opportunities than he does. In fact, rather than accepting his role as a defender and rebounder, Bynum thinks that he is primarily a scorer.

Because of all of these factors, Bynum doesn't work as hard as he should and is becoming a perpetual malcontent.

What he absolutely must do this season is to simply buckle down and get busy learning how to play in the NBA. It's now or never for Bynum. If he fails to figure out what's what, he could quite possibly wind up being a career underachiever — a Benoit Benjamin with better hands."

That's a rough take, but I will say this. The two players who frustrated me the most last year were Bynum and Farmar. Sasha played worse, but Farmar had an inexplicably bad attitude and Bynum was a haunted brain-cramp machine ready to perform ridiculous fouls even without a quarter.

I think Bynum does need to get his head on straight. And I do see him tilting alarmingly close to the Eddie Curry / Tyson Chandler school of young players who never get it or get it only after they've already worn their knees out.

In retrospect, that playmate on the shoulders deal, was sold-gold stupid. Not cute at all.

For me, Bynum has a TON of expectations that he needs to fulfill this year. 14 million dollars worth of expectations. I’ll be watching him really close.

Farmar too. Farmar is really immature at this point in his career but might be able turn it around. He’s a big part of our team because he and Bynum and Brown are the only youth we have left after losing Ariza and Turiaf. I don’t know if Morrison counts toward team youth because he’ll be gone after this year. Farmar too--expiring deal, so he may be on his way out.

I don’t know if I have a point, but if I did it would be that Farmar and Morrison have to have big years for us, even if we can’t keep them. And I agree that Bynum has a lot to prove.

Wes

Good morning Mamba24 and the fabulous Laker morning CRUE!!!

Ya just gotta feel sorry for the Clips. Little brother just can't catch a break. I guess the good news is that they will now be able to SEE and ring and know that they, in fact, do exist. That's gotta count for something, right?

Mamba24 and Taliq - after yesterday's blog craziness, I hope you both realize how vital our Mayor and our Sherrif really are. Please stop stepping back, vacationing, abdicating or otherwise failing to perform your duties, get your asses in gear, and get back to the business of Blog Leadership. Sheesh - you'd think you guys would know that you just can't let the crazies run loose around here. All hell breaks loose.

Kobe vs shaq xmas.. U didn't need a crystal ball to see that one coming. When will stern the antichrist realize nobody cares and its gonna be like rocky V all over again.

Last year, we had 2 injured players = we didn't play to our potential.

Last season, Bynum was recovering, Sasha was missing even the sky and Farmar was having growing pains = we didn't play to our potential.

This season, we swapped Artest for Ariza, a better defender and overall player.

Ergo, we haven't reached our potential yet. For two years we played at 80% to 85% to our real strenght. Adding Artest we added a 5% plus to our overall potential (being cheap, some optimistics could rise it to 10% ).

Whatever Sasha, Farmar and Bynum add to his play in this summer, plus whatever Ammo can bring will make us even better than last year.

(i will suppose that UPS reached his potential -not realistic, but only fot his theory-)

Sasha from 0% to 30%
Bynum from 80% to 95%
Farmar from 65% to 75%
Ammo from 0% to 50%
From Ariza to Ron (5% plus to team's overall )

If anyone want to cross this improvement with the EFF rating, (i dont have time right now) we can have some tangible idea how this improvement can make us better overall. Just an idea.

We are good, we are scary, we are The Los Angeles Lakers and we are going to repeat (70+)

GO LAKERS!!!

Ron ron is the gonna be the grinch that stole crabbrons xmas.

I got a good feeling shaq is gonna be a clipper nxt year. What better way to end ur career than in the city u love... He loves LA for the marketing dollars and he resigns with burger king they bring back his famous whopper combo with nacho fries

Kobe was in China one week before Sasha (This part IS true, look it up!) and was seen at Tonya Harding's nightclub, "Sluts 'N Skates," having a few cold ones with Shane Stant, Jeff Gillooly and Shawn Eckardt. Word is that three men attacked Sasha with a collapsible baton. He was found holding his knee, crying, "Why, why me?"

Not sure if its been posted yet but Sasha hurt his knee...Not sure how bad,maybe minor sprain.....Not a great start kids...

Posted by: Thirty2 | August 05, 2009 at 01:10 AM


Where did you hear/see that news?

Greetings from Blog Vacation Paradise! I've been reading and watching but did not feel a need to post anything - L.O.C.O. included. I've just been kicking back workin hard, playing with the Mini Banner Holders and enjoying life on the mountaintop!

Anyhoo...I'm very disappointed that we're not getting the Greenies on Christmas Day. Shaq vs. Kobe is soooo 2005. I was looking forward to Bill vs. Sheed. Oh well. Looks like a trip back to Yard House @ LA Live is in my future come January to see us flush out the Ceptic tank.

Glad to see Psyched Laker Girl back in the fold. Think of your Daddy everytime Kobe makes a basket.

Welcome to the NBA, Blake Griffin.

That's all I've got to say.

Speaking of downloading calandars, is the Outlook version ready to to downloaded fron Lakers NBA.com?

I think the real contest in that Xmas day game will be between Bynum and Shaq. I wonder how long it's gonna take Bynum to get up to speed again this year. His rehab stint in the playoffs should help but he still needs to rebuild his confidence in his game again.

He should be all he can be by Xmas and if he is he should make Shaq look like the old man that he is. I'll also be interested to see how well Artest can do against James. This is what we got him for, to guard those big, physical SFs that Ariza couldn't yet handle too well. Of course I don't expect him to shut LeBron down but it would be nice to see Artest make him struggle for his shot and miss at least half of them.

Wes,

My take on Bynum is that he has benefited in the past from a little tough love (ship his __ out) and that Kobe benefited from tough love (Del Harris: "sit on the bench", Shaq: "it's my team"). Therefore, a little tough love might do him some good.

For the life of me, I can't tell you why this kid has not thrown THE shot. He did it one time on a bet from Kobe (your MVP trying to give the kid a nudge) but the shot barely resembled the shot and I haven't seen him attempt it since. I get the feeling that he's not tapping his potential even when he was at his best (physically dominating weaker opponents)

This kid has oodles of talent and really COULD be the next great center like LakerTom (and Jim Buss) think... but he needs to start having some courage out there. He's fully capable, but maybe he needs some more nudging. If he thinks he can be like Shaq and just be a physical presence, then he's sorely mistaken. Shaq was great because of genetics, but Andrew will only become great with developed skill and improved physicality.

PJ has given him some nudges, but maybe fans and media (such as foxsports) will help apply the pressure that turns Bynum from a piece of coal into a diamond.

Just curious, do the Clippers and Lakers have separate locker rooms at Staples? If they do, there must be a third locker room just for visiting teams?

wes,

I respectfully disagree with the Foxsports article. I thought Bynum played really well especially the few weeks prior to his injury. In my opinion, he did a decent job on defense. He didn't get a lot of rebounds because opposing guards always blew by our backcourt and thus forced Bynum to help. Let's not foget all the other shots he altered with his length and how he shut down Chris Bosh's hot streak in the early season. Albeit, Yao Ming did score on him, but hasn't Yao Ming scored on? During the Finals, Bynum's defensive performance against Dwight was underrated. He wasn't only a big body to absorb the blows against Dwight but he also disrupted Dwight's rhythm especially in game 4 before scrupulously being called for his 5th foul.

If Bynum is still considered a work-in-progress, then how scary will it be for other teams when he is in progress?

" Besides his L.A. buddies, the chorus prematurely celebrating Bynum's game also includes many of the local media."

Laker Tom is part of the local media now? :)

BK

Snake-

Yes, they do, and yes, there is.

BK

oh great. wes, why didn't you just go to LakerTom's house and insult his womenfolk? that foxsports article (not a terribly well researched one, i think, but whatever) was like waving a giant raw sirloin wrapped in a red flag around in the air while walking down the street that connects Ole Toros bull ranch and michael vicks pit bull finishing school. and whatever justa thinks, we were doing so well yesterday.

Call me crazy, I think Blake Griffin is going to come out with guns blazing on that night. The kid's got real athleticism, and he has a rock solid, stoic demeanor so I don't think the lights or big stage is going to upset him.

Maybe not against our starting 5+1, but Mbenga, JP, or someone on that bench is going to get dunked on.

Add to that, the championship ring ceremony post-daze that most championship teams exhibit will be in full effect here.

Though I don't wish it, its a very possible scenario that Blake Griffin will have a decent first game.

more on bynum- it's a pretty old trick of sportswriters to complain about a players attitude, while ignoring the effect of injuries. The guy was hurt. I haven't seen anybody who knows anything about medicine say he could have made it back faster last season if he worked harder, more often the exact opposite, he should have given his knee more time.

Drew was playing hurt, and that affected his game. Don't give me any of this 'attitude' crap, fox sports guy.

and now BK is grabbing the low hanging fruit...

yellofever: "Kobe vs shaq xmas.. U didn't need a crystal ball to see that one coming."

True, but I think it's because it's the NBA's Christmas gift to everyone who wanted to see an LA/Cleveland Finals.

phred - whoa there cowboy - take it easy. I may have thought it was Looney Ville around here yesterday, but if you read my posts I nominated you as sherrif of this here blog. Might as well put one of the head crazy's in charge of the funny farm....lol !

Again - it's all about the love.

And by the way - WE WON!!! WE WON!!! WE WON!!!

yello & Marty - I think you're both right, but still - don't you think if you were Orlando and finding out about this, you'd already be starting the year with a chip on your shoulder? If I were them, I know I'd feel I just got B-slapped.

Lakers won.

Hi laker nation, just found out thru the OC Register News, Vuyacic has some minor knee injury, hope he is smart enough to rest it and get it healed so that it won't be a problem this up coming season.

Lakers Forever!!!!

Tim-4-show

"My take on Bynum is that he has benefited in the past from a little tough love (ship his __ out) and that Kobe benefited from tough love (Del Harris: "sit on the bench", Shaq: "it's my team"). Therefore, a little tough love might do him some good."

Dude take that back right now. Bynum is not in Kobe's class. There's been a question mark around his work ethic from day one, though I'll admit his off-season efforts in recent seasons have made it less of an issue. Still you here PJ griping every now and then about conditioning etc. And that really is what the fox article is saying too, the kids potential has been acknowledged by all. But how badly does he want it, marbury had talent at some point to and we all see how he wasted it. The nba is the best of the best, talent alone will not take you to the top of the pack. We call him a beast but when Orlando showed up there was no question that the true beast was dwight. Grab some rebounds young man, give us a run of 15+ rebounds and stop looking at your offense.

Never,
"I respectfully disagree with the Foxsports article. I thought Bynum played really well especially the few weeks prior to his injury. In my opinion, he did a decent job on defense. He didn't get a lot of rebounds because opposing guards always blew by our backcourt and thus forced Bynum to help."

I remember seing bynum do a jab step on offense and take it to the rim. I was like wow this dude just stole kobe's move and he's 7ft. And on defense I've seen him comeup with some pretty impressive plays to. But for every one of those there are 2/3 plays were he stops running the floor hard or his favorite move "this is me acting like i dont have a brain, i'll just hack is hand 9 feet from the basket cuz geez PJ will bench me soon anyway and truth be told i think i'm running out of breath". He's about to start earning 5mil more than Odom, best believe he better be ready to shut up and play whatever minutes is dished his way as hard as he can. And if he doesn't know how, then he should watch what Gasol does on the court.

The man's in the equation ... but I'd like to take off the [ ] and not keep needing Odom as Bynum's insurance policy ... then again, half a bynum + half an odom will get us another ring ... and that ain't even factoring any decent contributions from artest ... such is the luxury of having the black mamba captain your team

24 + 16 + [1]7 = The Purple Tinted Golden Age

Re: Sasha and his knee, it was reported on his website that Sasha suffered a minor knee injury in conjunction with his national team play. It doesn't seem serious, but obviously it's tough to say, given his location (far away) and the self-reporting aspect of a guy's website.

But until it shows itself to be worse than a minor thing weeks out of training camp, I wouldn't worry.

BK

Tim-4-show,

And oh when I'm saying he ain't in kobe's class ... I'm not comparing him to mvp kobe, that wouldn't be fair ... I'm comparing current Bynum to rookie Kobe ... the latter had a stronger work ethic and that's why I think comparing their progression is like discussing apples/oranges.

i have the lakers winning 68 games. the cavs will win 64 games. the celtics will win 66 games. the magic will win 58 games. and the spurs will win 60 games.

I think the "local" media would be more toward Kevin Ding who is a very enthusiastic supporter and only brings the positives yet ignore the negatives to bynum's game.

I think though that he was way offline with making a comparison to Bynum to Chandler/Curry. Bynum is better than either of them.

Wes,

>>> Like so many other young hot-shots, Bynum believes all of the butt-kissers who
>>> constantly tell him that he's already a great player who deserves to be playing
>>> 35-plus minutes per game and, after Kobe, being the secondary option in the
>>> offense. Besides his L.A. buddies, the chorus prematurely celebrating Bynum's
>>> game also includes many of the local media. – Charley Rosen.

I was actually very surprised at this take from Charley Rosen, whom I do respect. I do not agree with it at all. Here is what Charley had to say recently about Drew in response to a fan’s question, which almost sounds like one of the reports that he is denigrating:

>>> Q: Is it possible that the Lakers would consider trading Andrew Bynum?
>>> I know that 7-footers with skills are rare, but it's obvious that the Lakers' best
>>> lineup is Gasol at center and Odom at power forward. I just think that $14 million
>>> is a lot to pay a player who is never on the court during the last five minutes
>>> of a game. – Vern Butchio, Coburg, OR

>>> A: Fourteen million is a lot to pay anybody for anything.

>>> However, Bynum is still a few months shy of his 22nd birthday. And it used
>>> to be axiomatic that, even after they'd played four years in college, the bigger
>>> bigs needed three seasons in the NBA to accurately evaluate how their pro
>>> careers would develop.

>>> During Bynum's four seasons in L.A., he's averaged 21.5 minutes in 213
>>> games. Let's say that his experience thus far is (very) roughly equal to four
>>> college seasons and one NBA season. That means he still has two years on the
>>> clock before his status as a professional hooper can be accurately determined.

>>> Meanwhile, the young man is an extraordinary athlete with adhesive hands
>>> and way above-average speed and quickness. Injuries have interrupted his
>>> education, and his lingering adolescent mindset has been another impediment.

>>> I don't think there's any doubt that the Lakers were wise to make an expensive
>>> and long-term commitment to Bynum's future. Unless they could get somebody like
>>> Dwight Howard in exchange, trading Bynum would be foolish. – Charley Rosen.

Obviously, at 21 years of age, Drew is still a kid and has some growing to do but I think considering his age, the Lakers have to be pleased with his work ethic and how hard Drew has worked on his game. Does he think he can be a dominant center on offense. Yes. Does that mean that he tries less or does not work as hard on defense? Not that I have ever seen. Is he more of an alpha-male like Kobe who will demand the ball rather than more passive like Pau. No doubt, but that is a good thing in my opinion.

>>> That's a rough take, but I will say this. The two players who frustrated me the
>>> most last year were Bynum and Farmar. Sasha played worse, but Farmar had
>>> an inexplicably bad attitude and Bynum was a haunted brain-cramp machine
>>> ready to perform ridiculous fouls even without a quarter. – wesjoenixon.

Thanks for the quotes from the Fox Sports article. You’re right that that was about as rough a take as I have seen on Andrew this side of the Celtics blog. My only question to you is whether your frustration was after he came back from injury and was not 100% or earlier in the year before he was injured? To me, it is unfair for analysts to base their opinions on his showing in the playoffs. While he provided some valuable minutes, it was obvious that his knee was not yet 100% and that the brace limited him severely.

>>> I think Bynum does need to get his head on straight. And I do see him tilting
>>> alarmingly close to the Eddie Curry / Tyson Chandler school of young players who
>>> never get it or get it only after they've already worn their knees out – wesjoenixon.

Personally, I love Drew’s attitude and think it is a big part of why I think he will be great. This is the kid that wouldn’t back down against Shaq as a rookie. This is the kid who won NBA Western Conference Player of the Week the month before he got injured. This is the kid that Phil says can transform the Lakers on defense when he is in the game. This is the kid that Kobe Bryant declared makes us a championship caliber team.

Anyway, I think we will see Drew mature greatly this season, stay healthy, and make the All-Star team for the West as the starting center. But as you and others have said, now is the time for Drew to start earning that big new contract. I agree with that 100%.

Tom

man, some of guys are so harsh on Bynum. He was just starting to put it together last year when he got injured. Then he came back EARLY, everybody seems to forget this, he came back EARLY when he would have been better off sitting out the rest of the season and letting his knee fully heal.

He came back EARLY and went straight into playoff basketball intensity for the first time in his career. What did you guys expect? For him to put up 20 and 10 every night? Physical exertion that would have "passed" during the regular season wasn't enough for playoff basketball and Bynum figured that out fairly quickly. He didn't have the strength in the knee to do what he wanted on defense but he gave us some valuable minutes whether you guys realize it or not.

Geez! We've got THE most exciting young Center in the league, the dude works HARD in the offseason and people still rip on him...

phred,

[Drew was playing hurt, and that affected his game. Don't give me any of this 'attitude' crap, fox sports guy.]

Except the guy was also carrying a play boy bunny while hurt and he was demanding for more playing time during the playoffs despite his penchant for fouls and despite being hurt as you claim. Look we won a ring and Bynum did his part last season. But you can't on the one hand call him Mr. Franchise as the press/contract he was given indicates and then get all touchy puffy when someone says but hey Gasol/Odom are outperforming this dude easily. You even had Karl going you have to wonder if they're a better team without Bynum. Sure he was hurt then, but it speaks volumes about how hard he's got to bring it every night in order to truly earn his spot in the rotation. Similar to how young Kobe came in and just outplayed the likes of van axel, eddie jones etc ... not so young Bynum needs to silence his critics by having an injury free season where he makes BK come out and say "ok i figured 70+ ain't happening cuz the wily veterans will save it for the playoffs, but if this dude keeps patrolling the paint like he is that bulls record just might go down in flames" ....

If he is a franchise center ... and he's got kobe as his guard and Gasol as his pf ... he's got no excuses ... he doesn't have to live up to his contract for us to win 3 more championships ... but if he does, then what you have is shaq-kobe with a better supporting cast ... and u wonder y they hate us ... lol ... i digress ... somewhere in the middle of ranting about bynum ... i lost myself in the potential this team has ... just imagine if farmar plays the entire season the same way he plays the first few weeks or if sasha rediscovers his shot ... jeez lemme just shutup cuz really i got no complaints ...

As a laker fan, every game next season is a celebration of our greatness ... and oh we won the 2009 championship right ... did we really? ... i'll go home and watch the dvd again ... u never know, this time around jameer just might foul fisher ...

It's the same crappy schedule as last year.

Last season we had a stretch of two weeks with only 4 games in that time frame, all home games,no travel required.

The second half of the season was a long road trip with a few home games sprinkled in here and there. We still won the ship, but it ran our guys ragged.

Forget the 70 wins, I would rather rest our starters at the end of the season. It's gonna be a tough second half.

BACK2BACK BABY!!!!!!

Taliq,

I never said Bynum was in Kobe's class. I said that Kobe benefited from tough love early on. Of course, I could also argue that those incidences I cited actually held him back. The other thing is that Kobe never actually NEEDED nudging regarding work ethic.

The jury is still out on Bynum. I think he has the potential, but what has worried me to this point is that he seems more focused on just overpowering the opposition (ala Shaq) rather than outskilling his opposition (ala Kareem).

I'd much rather see him showcase skill than just raw athleticism, but that's just me.

Since the Lakers are 21 million into the red, chances are this roster is it. I'm extremely excited to watch this team play. As is. For me, the most rewarding action happens when an underachiever (listen up Luke, Farmar, Ammo, Drew bashers) comes into his own. The big 6 will carry the team, but its so satisfying when the unexpected happens...

And I still miss Chick. Remember how excited he got when Sedale stole the ball? "The Thief.. Sedale Threat" --how he kind of rolled his r's when he said Threat....

Seriously, I am completely surprised there is no news here of Sasha. In the slow days of the NBA, it's your jobs as bloggers/journalists (blournalists?) to take advantage of ANY piece of news...no matter how unimportant.

"Sasha suffers minor knee injury in Slovenia"

http://tinyurl.com/m8azro

The Lakers should have opened against the Rockets. Would love to see the look on Ariza's face after getting his ring and getting trounced opening night. Dr. Buss could give Ariza's agent complimentary front row seats. Classic.

strange story...

http://tinyurl.com/mxarsm

You may have seen the item on a man who hacked markmadsen.com in order to sell it to White Vanilla himself. But it's worth delving into it to debate just what is the most insane part of this story.

Daniel Goncalves of north Jersey hacked into the account of one of the owners of the domain name, and shifted ownership to himself. He then put the URL up on eBay, where it was purchased by Madsen himself for more than $100k.

How many blogger's feel that they could have come right outta high school and made an immediate impact in the league? That's what i thought. So why are people so critical on AB for not doing so?

AB is learning on the fly, and against much tougher opponents than he would've faced in college. He has to match-up against seasoned NBA giants.

The view is much clearer if you STEP BACK and focus on the big picture. Give him time, he is still young. It's not like the Lakers aren't NBA Champs.

phred, tell them who WON!

Ah, sorry, hadn’t had my coffee yet. Much better-

See? Went and got Tom all fired up. I didn’t realize that was Charlie Rosen writing. Either Phil is using him to send Drew a message, or Rosen is just being Rosen and trying to start something. He used to say the same stuff about Kobe, and look how he turned out.

Justa- hey, it’s me. Did you really think I was mad? I thought yesterday was a good kind of crazy, the kind we need around here every now and then, especially with all that summer left in front of us. But you’re right. Making me sheriff would be like giving the keys of arkham to the Joker and watching the fun. (I’m not saying that’s good or bad, but I ain’t a sheriff, no way no how. I’m too cute to be sheriff.)

Taliq- When I saw him carrying that bunny around thought it was a dang good thing he was a pro basketball player, cause he’s to dumb to survive in the real world. But he wasn’t carrying the bunny cause he wasn’t hurt, he was carrying the bunny because he was being stupid. He was hurt. And he came back too early. But probably one of the main reasons he came back too early was because of stuff like this article that implied that he was slacking and having a bad attitude. I think Bynum can use some tough love, sure. But I think he needs to get healthy and stay healthy before I’m going to judge how he’s doing.

And hey, I never said he’s the future of the franchise. I think he’s got the potential to be a real center and an all star, but if he’s ever the best player on our team we won’t be going to the championship that year. Just the truth. Not harsh criticism. Chamberlain, Shaq and Hakeem, I think are the only big guys who were the best player on their team when they won it all, and Chamberlain is barely in that category. But I think he’s going to be on a few championship teams.

Much love, y’all

Good attitude, soft hands, great wingspan, solid footwork pre-injury, and a teacher that's one of the most skilled and cerebral centers in the history of the league.

There's alot to be said about having the right tools. If you have the right tools to begin with, you can build things.

The question is, will Bynum use his tools to build himself into competent center? I still think so, and I don't think we are even close to being able to assess him. But I do believe he will get a to a point at which he can dominate a game. Iit may not be necessary that he dominates a geme with Kobe, Pau, and Lamar in the lineup, but having him on our team is better than playing against him.

Organized summer basketball, whether it be Rucker Park or playing for your "national" team, is a reckless endeavor. One is either a professional or an amateur. If I were an owner, I wouldn't allow it.

Taliq

I haven't heard anybody question Bynum's work ethic. If anything they have praised how hard he worked to come back from injury. Where did you get that from?

Shelden Williams has left the building (btw u were never in d building)

"Geez! We've got THE most exciting young Center in the league, the dude works HARD in the offseason and people still rip on him..."

Again I dont think people are ripping on him so much as saying dude better live up to his contract next season. I'm yet to see anyone that goes, oh jeez I wish we didn't have Bynum (ala what you might hear about luke or farmar). But when you have lakertom acting like Bynum's already Kareem, then you've got to expect people to come hard at him. Also even Bynum himself is guilty of thinking he's arrived as opposed to still in the potential zone, yeah he got hurt but next time he starts demanding the ball in the paint during the playoffs he should remember he's coming off an injury and not pop off @ d mouth to his coach.

And lakertom that's really all Charlie Rosen is saying ... yes he thinks the lakers did well to sign Bynum and as per his latest article he's simply reminding the young lad to be the beast you keep claiming he is ... even kareem has said Bynum needs to let the game come to him ... take a page out of Howards book oh potential beast and just be a monster on the boards and pay attention on the defensive end etc ...

even in the first article you referenced from rosen, he points out Bynums immaturity via the few years of basketball experience he has ... the 2nd article is simply saying that immaturity is no longer an excuse and should be made a thing of the past sooner rather than later

Bottom line just as you've been claiming recently, his critics are saying the same ... the time is now for baby bynum ...

right, Tim Duncan and Bill Russell were big men, and they dominated for much longer. And KG. And maybe Pau or Dirk could do it, maybe. I guess i should say -'prototypical center' or something like that.

justanothermambafan,

the sheriff is retired on this blog ... i am borg now ... 1 of many mamba faithfuls ... prepared to laugh at the haters till my jaw drops ... i say laugh cuz umm we won already and we're gonna keep winning ...

24 + 16 + [1]7 = The Purple Tinted Golden Age

There is a legitimate basis for the concerns about Bynum's willingness to concentrate on what this team needs from him.

There is also a legitimate basis to look for great things from him.

Hopefully it will be the latter.

shelden williams was never in the building,
"Daniel Goncalves of north Jersey hacked into the account of one of the owners of the domain name, and shifted ownership to himself. He then put the URL up on eBay, where it was purchased by Madsen himself for more than $100k"

Wow, who knew Madsen could afford 100k for a domain name? I thought he was the 12th dude off d bench in all d teams he's played for ... Oh what fun it'd be to earn nba dollars ...

Tim,

>>> PJ has given him some nudges, but maybe fans and media (such as foxsports)
>>> will help apply the pressure that turns Bynum from a piece of coal into a diamond.

Come on, Tim. Coal is what we leave in Celtics and Cavs stockings on Christmas. Something worthless. No way Andrew is a piece of coal. That is an insult. How about from a raw to polished diamond? That makes more sense, right?

Tom

Forget about 70 wins. I would rather see the Lakers lock up the best record on the league with about a week to two weeks to go and rest all the starters. Okay, two weeks may be a stretch.

Also, Bynum will be getting paid big money this season. Before everyone HOPED he would break out. Now with the change he is getting pad he BETTER break out. I think he did well this past playoff run. But I expect to see more from him this season.

Phred
"I think Bynum can use some tough love, sure. But I think he needs to get healthy and stay healthy before I’m going to judge how he’s doing."

Fair enough ... I've got 0 problems with Bynum ... personally i gripe just to counter lakertom's bullish outlook on him ... but he wouldn't be in d dynasty equation if i didn't respect his contributions so far ... h*ll i cursed kobe out the night he ran into bynums knee and it wasn't until he passed the 50 pt mark against nyc that i forgave him ... for a mamba faithful to be mad @ kobe is beyond huge

"Chamberlain, Shaq and Hakeem, I think are the only big guys who were the best player on their team when they won it all"
San Antonio in my humble opinion was the biggest road block in our Shaq 3peat and Kobe to me was the best player in those series ... 2 me, those finals mvp deserved to have been shared ... I'm with you on Hakeem though ...

BK,

>>> Laker Tom is part of the local media now? :)

LMAO, Brian. Only by hanging onto you and Andy’s bootstraps. I actually thought Charley’s article could have been ghost written by blitz. Since all of other local writers are so anti-Lakers, does that make you guys the Andrew Bynum “butt-kissers?” LOL.

It really makes you wonder if the other NBA journalists ACTUALLY DO cruise the blog looking for ideas or smack they can throw against the wall. There definitely seems to be a correlation between blog-sync-think as a predictor of future media created content.

LA Times Lakers Blog – where amazing happens FIRST. Lol.

Tom

phred - you said "Justa- hey, it’s me. Did you really think I was mad?"

Abso-freaking-lutely NOT LOL!

Just messing with you, man HAHAHAHA!!!

I think it's time for a few people on here to dust off their sense of humor from it's summer vacation and put it back on. There too much testiness - and it's not the good kind. Cuz - the good kind would be about stuff like who's the better center, or who should take a pay cut... you know - stuff that really doesn't matter AT ALL.... wait a second....

(And no pred, I'm not including you & I in that lol !)

Andrew Bynum is the world's best center. Always has been - always will be.

Andrew Bynum sucks. He'll never be great. Too lazy or too injured or too immature.

Andrew Bynum may or may not be great. Jury's still out.

That about sums today up - did I miss anything?

All Drew has to do is put in the effort and play Rebounder and Lane Defender.

Especially Ron is now the 3rd option, all he has to do is clean up the boards, block shots and do the Ooop to the Alley.

LakerTom,

Don't undersell coal.

Coal has HUGE amounts of potential energy and is powerful enough to run electrical generators, powerful enough to run a locomotive, and powerful enough that you can actually distill it down into gasoline where you can fuel cars, trucks, and planes!

So, yeah... maybe what we've been giving those Ceptics isn't actual coal, but maybe charcoal

ha ha ha

Charles,

On the money, as usual.

Bynum has the opportunity to work on his moves and his offensive skill set without having to RELY on it.

If Bynum ONLY focuses on rebounding technique (boxing out, getting position, and reading shot angles) along with drilling defensive assignments and reactions, this guy will be all we ever need or ever want.

Justin...Like BK said its on his web site...Sorry for the late reply,its 5.00am over here...Just woke up.

Message to nobody in particular:

Didn't Dwight Howard mention something during the FINALS about he and Andrew Bynum working out???

If true, it would be cool for Drew to work on his power game but YET not give Dwight any of his tips on his offensive skills Kareem has taught him...

Laker Tom,

I think Bynum will be fine. But at 14 million a year and this team now stacked full of vets, Bynum's the one with the bull's eye on him. No more Kwame to pick on.

Wes

And I still miss Chick. Remember how excited he got when Sedale stole the ball?

Posted by: used to care | August 05, 2009 at 10:35 AM

Yes. I do. I remember that well.

Wes

Andrew Bynum is the world's best center. Always has been - always will be.

Andrew Bynum sucks. He'll never be great. Too lazy or too injured or too immature.

Andrew Bynum may or may not be great. Jury's still out.

That about sums today up - did I miss anything?

Posted by: justanothermambafan | August 05, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Andrew Bynum likes fuzzy bunnies on and around his neck...

Wes

I say if bynum gets one more big injury (specialy befor the trade season is over like the past two seasons )then we should trade him for chris bosh or get rid of him. I know if he does not get a injury to his knee or feet he will be so good that he will be the finals mvp not kobe, only of kobe passes the ball to him lol. so this season will make or brake bynum. It will be the last straw for him to break. Third time must be a charm. Good luck bynum.

Bynum has the opportunity to work on his moves and his offensive skill set without having to RELY on it.

If Bynum ONLY focuses on rebounding technique (boxing out, getting position, and reading shot angles) along with drilling defensive assignments and reactions, this guy will be all we ever need or ever want.

Posted by: Tim-4-Show | August 05, 2009 at 12:24 PM

=============================

Gotta give counter point here which is I disagree in the opinion stated.

Bynum stated coming out of draft picked by Lakers is he wanted to be the best center. He was cocky but not arrogant and confident that he even dissed Shaq stating that he would at least make his free throws.

He worked out with trainer on his own and each year improved himself even with the PJ diisses and teamates injuring him on freak plays. Busted his butt to get back with strong desire and work ethic. That is the Bynum I feel strong about.

Now PJ stated he needed to focus on rebounding and defense. I say bs. If he is to be great he needs to develop his whole game on both sides of the court. PJ is just trying to mind control him and I hope AB has the will to fight this and not be held back.

PJ tried this with Kobe but we all know about Kobes drive and dedication to be the best. PJ tried to use Kobe as side kick only to Shaq and publically took sides with Shaq instead of using locker room to sort out differences. Kobe then continued to develop even if PJ did not like it.

In fact PJ did not like it and went to FO to have Kobe traded as PJ deemed him uncoachable. FO turned down PJ's request. Kobe stayed. Now if PJ was so determined why didn't he say trade Kobe or it is either him or me? I will bet my bottom dollar that he didn't because he knew the answer to that one. PJ pack your bags and clear out your office.

Kobe developed into the best in the NBA and Bynum desearves the opportunity to develop to the best he can be and not half developed. AB is awesome when not freak injured on both ends of the court. So why hold him back? I think he would be much better and more than we expected but wanted. Forget PJ, develop AB's total game.

Now that is my opinion.


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