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Know thy enemy: Utah Jazz


Last season: 
48-34, third in the Northwest division, 8th in the Western conference.
Key additions:
Drafted Eric Maynor and Goran Suton.
Key losses: Unless you consider Morris Almond and Jarron Collins game changers, then nobody.  I do, 402237_Bruce-Springsteen however, reserve the right to change that "nobody" based on Matt Harpring's health.

For reasons I can't fully understand, I've never been a big Bruce Springsteen fan.  I totally respect his talent as a musician and lyricist.  I recognize his songs' craftsmanship.  His passion as a performer is undeniable.  He's obviously enjoyed staying power.  He's pure rock and roll.  And it's not like I hate the guy's music.  Springsteen's got a handful of songs I enjoy.  "Rosalita (Come out tonight)."  "Streets of Philadelphia."  "Badlands."  "Born to Run" is among the great rock anthems. And I absolutely love "Hungry Heart. " (Semi-little known fact: Springsteen originally wrote "Hungry Heart" for The Ramones, but his manager wisely advised him to keep it for himself.)  Springsteen just seems like an artist I'd really dig.

But for whatever reason, I've never truly bought in with The Boss.  Given my rep as a music geek (and, honestly, pretty much a music snob), people are typically surprised when I inform them I'm largely indifferent to Springsteen.  In particular, my buddies who are Springsteen fans, which, by definition, means they're passionate about Springsteen.  Without fail, Bruce fans LOVE them some Bruce.  They'll follow that cat to the end of the Earth.  It's serious business digging The Boss. 
The Utah Jazz are basically my NBA "Springsteen."  They're talented enough to merit my respect.  They put on quite a show at the top of their game.  And just like The Boss, their fan base is the very definition of "undying dedication."  Much being brought to the table, worthy of acknowledgment and a tip of the cap.  But similar to my relationship with Bruce, there's something preventing me from buying in, particularly when "in" is defined as "treating the Jazz as a legit title threat."  They're definitely good, with the ability for occasional flashes of "great."  But "elite?"  Not in my opinion. 

I suppose it's a possibility if Utah can stay healthy enough to avoid last season's patchwork follies that prevented the continuity necessary for great chemistry.  That quest is already off to a bad start with injuries to C.J. Miles and Matt Harpring, who may end up missing the entire season.  Some might suspect those rotational shuffles may be the culprit for last season's horrific defense, although I think the issue has more to do with Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur forging a front court sieve than discombobulated lineups.  And any team with Deron Williams running the show has a chance.  The personnel is hardly cruddy.  But there's a ceiling to my enthusiasm, despite every positive I'm aware exists.  Like Bruce, the Jazz just don't move me on a consistent basis.  I respect their importance, but I don't own any of their albums (although, ironically, I own tons of actual jazz albums).

The 2010 version of the Utah Jazz is damn near identical to Utah Jazz version '09.0.  Thus, my KTE breakdown from last season more or less covers the high points I'm expecting in the immediate Deron Williams layup future.  Precise and flexible offense, whether you're talking D.Will's ability to direct traffic while getting his, Carlos Booze/Paul Millsap tandem's low post scoring prowess or the bombs outside courtesy of Mehmet Okur and Kyle Korver.  Underrated contributions from Ronnie Brewer.  A little bit of everything from Andrei Kirilenko.  A mix of good and bad defenders evening out for largely pedestrian results.  Oodles of fun attempting the correct pronunciation of "Kyrylo."  Absolutely zero fun permeating from Jerry Sloan.  You saw it last season.  You'll see it again this season. I'm thinking 53 wins, plus respective third and sixth place finishes in the Northwest Division and Western Conference.  More or less a 2009 carbon copy, including the first round playoff exit.   

But that "same as it ever was" doesn't leave Utah's season devoid of any intrigue whatsoever.   The Jazz and Bruce Springsteen share one more commonality: A fan base that appreciates a "salt of the earth" persona.  Ain't nothing flashy about either The Boss or Sloan's tradition established in Utah.  You give an honest day's effort for an honest (if generous) day's pay and respect the everyday Joe funding your career.  Which brings us to Boozer, who's establishing quite the "have double-double gun, will travel wherever the bucks are best" persona.  Last December, he created quite a stir with his announcement that opting out of his current contract was a given.

        "I'm opting out. No matter what, I'm going to get a raise regardless.  I am going to opt out, I don't see why I wouldn't, I think it's a very good business decision for me and my family, but I'd also like to see what happens with the Jazz and stay here." 

Allaboutthebenjamins Safe to say, the Boozer blood lines can't be traced back to Nostradamus, because much happened the PF didn't see coming.  He chapped the hide of the Jazz's late owner Larry Miller, who referred to Booz's statement as "one of the top 10 stupidest things I've heard an NBA player do in 20 years."  Ouch!  But kinda accurate.  Especially in light of the intention being voiced while nursing an injury that took nearly two additional months to heal and an economy's collapse that prompted franchises to watch their pennies and Boozer to eventually opt back in.  But for what it's worth, if Miller had been aware the (former) franchise player would not only publicize front office conversations about working a possible deal, but specify the Bulls and Heat as preferred destinations (complete with plans to eventually unite Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade), he'd have labeled the "opt out" announcement merely one of the "top 11 stupidest things I've heard an NBA player do in 20 years." 

So like Carl Spackler and total consciousness, Boozer's got that going for him, which is nice.  

Salt Lake City may feature a heavy Mormon population, but "Utah Jazz" is as prominent as any religion practiced in town.  To say the least, these are not casual fans.  They're as loud and dedicated as any in sports.  Thus, Boozer's swelling rep as a player primarily in it for the money (is there such a thing as a basketball mercenary?) doesn't strike me as simpatico with the average Jazz fan's mentality.  But maybe I'm wrong.  I recently asked a Salt Lake writer about Boozer's reception these days, and he said it was fairly positive.  The writer was also surprised, but perhaps folks have gotten past whatever misgivings they felt and have since decided to cheer on Boozer, since his success will hopefully drive their team's.  Maybe the circumstances behind Boozer's arrival led them to expect little loyalty from the outset.   In the world of professional sports, loyalty is often rare under the best circumstances.  But I'm curious to know how y'all would feel (and subsequently treat) a player like Boozer if he were on the Lakers. 

Would you be counting down the days until his contract expired, then salivate at the idea of showing him the door, regardless of any void?  Would you regard Boozer as a businessman first, and as long as he fulfills his job requirements- if you covet points and rebounds, he typically does- you're cool with him perhaps listing "winning" second on his priorities?  Would you put the issue behind you entirely once the season was underway, because bottom line, dude's a Laker and you get behind anyone donning purple and gold.  The Laker Nation used to find ways to support Smush Parker.  If rallying behind William Henry is possible, you can get behind an all-star forward not necessarily married to your franchise.  Obviously, it's nice when a player puts a ring on it, but should he feel obligated to? 

Thoughts?

AK

Photo: Deron Williams scores a basket.  Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Image

 
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ANDREW BYNUM PRE-SEASON STATS


After 6 pre-season games, Drew is averaging 20 points, 8 boards, 1 assist, and 1 block in 30 mpg.
In last 2 pre-season games, he has averaged 20 points, 11 boards, 2 assists, and 2 blocks in 30 mpg.


Tom


LakerTom,

Why are you giddy about Bynum doing well against GS & the Clippers?

If your 18 year old son was beating a 14 year old in basketball, would you
be this excited?

However, I don't want to be labeled a "basher" or a "baiter", so let me pay
homage to the soon to be beast and LakerTom.

woo. bynum did work against the pop-warner teams of the NBA. woo.

AK,

Some songs that you left out, and I would like to add to the list. Born In The USA, Dancing In The Dark, Glory Days and Fire.

I wasn't a huge Boss fan either, but he had some good stuff.

Jason Collins never played with the Jazz. It was his twin brother, Jarron Collins. You might want to get your facts straight if you want to be considered legit.

This Decade:
Lakers 4 championships
Celtcs 1 championship...notice there isn't an s on championship


And you wonder why Boston Fans are on this blog. LA is where it is happening. Sometime visit the Celtic blog and you will know why they are here.

SM,

"Jason Collins never played with the Jazz. It was his twin brother, Jarron Collins. You might want to get your facts straight if you want to be considered legit."

You are correct. Brain freeze on my part. Thank you for the pick up. Although conceptually, I think my point that Collins' absence doesn't really affect the Jazz dramatically still holds, regardless of accidentally naming the wrong twin. I honestly do know which one is which.

At any rate, I appreciate the pick up.

AK

EagleBoy--

You made several good points.

I agree, Daniels does NOT completely replace Posey. Posey was also a big emotional/inspirational leader in the locker room. But, Daniels has shown in the pre-season that he will be a very solid backup to Pierce, Allen, and perhaps even Rondo. The "drop-off" will not be great at all when he`s on the floor.

More than Kobe, Gasol is a greater concern to us. For that matter, so is the concern of Bynum finally gaining maturity and putting all his tools on display.

Fact is, Kobe is NOT going to beat us shooting 3`s or playing outside the paint. That won`t happen! His "slashing" days are pretty much over. Kobe is still at the top of his game, but he is also immediately ready to start his downward descent.

However, Pau seems to score every time he touches the ball down low. Plus, there`s the concern of him getting KG in foul trouble {he fouled him out last Feb.}. This is where the addition of Wallace helps.

Perkins is in the absolute best shape of his life, and has clearly been working out all summer. His body is "cut", he`s quicker, and has developed a very effective, close range turn-around jumper {not just a jump hook}.

KG`s knee problem seems to be in the past, although he was limping in training camp. He said it was just overall stiffness from not having played since Feb. From the looks of him playing in recent games, he seems to be right!


131,

The greenie weanies remarks are in retaliation from your irritating approach in your post. You get back what you throw in to this blog.

Just to give you a glimpse of the past of other fans who blogged with us like Sonnybelfast, he is a Kings fan no longer posting ever since he moved to Southeast Asia. He used to come here with an attitude, a former resident of SoCal who moved to NoCal, well, he calls all Laker fans as legion of Brokeback Mountain (you know what I mean if you saw the movie). He always end his posts as good luck to brokebacks. That was the time of Smush, Cookie an Kwame and bunch of our loser scrubs, of course we all felt denigrated by the remarks. Our team is a mess and here is a Kings fan adding more fuel on the fire. In return, he got back a stirring rebuke on Kings record as a team from Kansas to Sacramento as they moved to a city that was developed by cow bells, now the seat of State Capitol. As time went by, Sonnybelfast mellowed and started conversing with us as a regular NBA fan still favoring his Kings but giving us also some level-minded advices on our players reasons why we can't get go beyond Round One of the playoffs. He became a friend of this blog, chats regularly w/ LT, w/ MT, w/ JK or JJ on NBA topics in general. Same story with KL in another perspective.

Therefore, in retrospect if you, Red, Baloon, and others from the Celtic world will treat this blog with a kinder and gentler post without compromising your allegiance perhaps you will be reading pleasant tones imbued with utmost respect accordingly.

As the saying goes, you reap what you sow.

Good Morning Charles....Good Morning Everyone....

another solid pre season game---good to see the reserves play well and indeed secure the victory...

the depth and talent of this team continues to impress, albeit pre-season, there are a lot of indications that bode extremely well for the regular season and beyond...huazah indeed !

if Morrison can continue (or even improve) to play at the level he is currently playing and can hit his shots consistently, Mitch's trade for Morrison and Brown for Rad Vlade will begin to look like another very uneven trade...

currently it appears that Morrison is an upgrade to Vlad all by himself, let alone the Brown factor (who I thnk could become the new Ariza or so)...

Morrison is definitly a better passer than Rad ever could hope to be, they both play about the same level of stinky defense, and perhaps Morrison can become the consistent outside threat that Vlad was supposed to be...

still voting to keep Gaffney, hopefully Dr. Buss can win some extra cash at the tables that he'll throw Gaffney's way...

we seem to have an overabundence of these schniveling pathetic Celtic fans that are infesting this blog---can we go back to the icon thing, but only for them so I can instanly skip over their insigificant drivel without having to read even a few words before I inevitably do--the icon could be something akin to a hot steaming pile of green dog excrement (with fries)...

I think a Blog survey is in order...what is the perfect icon to preface any Celtic lover's posts?

AS ALWAYS, AS EVER, YET ANOTHER GREAT DAY (AND CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON) TO BE A LAKER FAN !!!

GO LAKERS !!!

So there is no Collins in the mix, but still a Boozer.

In a mostly Mormon city.

Floyd,
"what is the perfect icon to preface any Celtic lover's posts? "

A picture of the Hindenburg in flames.

Co-sign @ Edwin Gueco.

We may be enemies on the basketball court, but there's no reason why we can't be respectful towards one another. Of course, whoever wins during our head to head matchups is entitled to trash talk. But that should subside after a few days. Y'all have made this war last for a year and a half non-stop.

And NO, y'all haven't been keeping the convos to civilized and intelligent basketball talk the whole time. If we go back and read through YOUR OWN WORDS the Blog Archives from June 08 onward, y'all would see that you're just as guilty of what you accuse us of.

Bottom line...the past is in the past. Y'all won the title in 08. We own it in 09. We will see what happens in 10. But as long as you show Laker Nation the respect we deserve, we will respond in kind to you, the proud keepers of the Celtic legacy.

What say you?

I know this is none related. But does anyone know where the Dodger Blog is. I cant find it anywhere. I would love to vent but there's nowhere to vent.

CrzyFan

131,

I never said the Lakers couldn't get hurt. Show me where I even implied that. My issue about KG is because he is older and the wear and tear doesn't get less as athletes age. Have you ever done competitive sports at a high level? I have, and the abuse athletes put their bodies through, especially a guy like KG takes a toll. Kobe would be in the same boat in my opinion if he was coming off of knee surgery. If KG were 5 years younger, I wouldn’t say it was an issue. It is simply a matter of age and mileage. I also am not arguing that there is no way come hell or high water that he won’t be close to the same level. Given KG’s age, minutes played, and psychotic playing hard – he has a bit more to prove.

Secondly, I think you are underestimating the impact the Posey/Peirce combo had on Kobe, but at least you agree he is not as good defensively. We disagree again on the impact Posey had – real shock there huh?

Third: I said Artest can help carry a team – help being the key word. Check what he did in the Portland series when Yao was healthy. Ron may not be as capable of carrying a team as RuPaula - but the guy is good and I think he can do more in that respect than Ariza. I would bet with certainty that if Ron had signed with the C’s you would be singing his praises about his defense etc. That is fine you are a C’s fan.

Fouth: Remind me again how many titles has Daniels won? How many All-Star appearances? How many DOPY awards? I get it you think Artest is a crap player and will drag the Lakers down. We all know that coaches of NBA teams, GM’s and other players don’t know anything about basketball so why in the world would we use comments from them to help support an argument. Daniels on the other hand is clearly the greatest player, along with Wallace to sign with a new team over the summer. I guess they should cancel the season and give the C’s the trophy. How can any team hope to even stand a chance?

It all comes down to playing the game on the court. If the Lakers and Celtics play for the title, in all likelihood the best team will win assuming both sides are for the most part healthy.

One more time, I am stating that I think the Celtics have more concerns going into the season than the Lakers. That does not mean I am saying at the end of the seasons the C's will no way be on top. My view is simply that the Lakers, the current champs have less questions to resolve than a team that didn't make it out of the second round. I also thin the Lakers are a much better team than the team the C's beat two years ago, while the C's may not be as good as the championship team.
As for the health issue - I just qualify KG because he is so vital to the C's chances and he ain't a spring chicken anymore. Get it? KG was still limping a bit last I saw and will that be an issue in real games, playing real minutes? BTW Allen may have had similar surgery on his ankles, but do you really equate a perimter jump shooter to what KG does?

EagleBoy

I know this is none related. But does anyone know where the Dodger Blog is. I cant find it anywhere. I would love to vent but there's nowhere to vent.

CrzyFan

Posted by: CrzyFan | October 21, 2009 at 10:57 AM

CrzyFan-

It was probably taken down because the Dodgers are "irrelevant" since they havent won in 20+ years.

OK ... Ill stop. I just had to get that one in there. It was too easy. Like Ray Ray going around Sasha. Sorry there I go again.

In all seriousness ... Im down with the trash talk without all the insults but I must warn you,if fired upon ...! Like Brando said in Godfather I in the cease fire meeting with the other Mob bosses, I actually dont remember exactly what he said but here goes ... "Im a forgiving man but if something should happen to Michael then Im not gonna be so forgiving!" Or something like that.

Pre Season Cleaning

A good time to tighten up our blog game. We'll be the target again this year, and trolls will rage because we are feared. Our TD, Tom Daniels said it best ... whatever he says, he says best. We thrive in the dark, the showtime dark of Staples. OK he didn't say that but as Edwin G. did say, be kind to the less fortunate of the league.

Condescending? OK . Adjust, it will take work knowing it's hard to be humble when we all sing the list of things to love about LA. 6th street? btw, isn't it time "Lakers" appear in the second verse of a remix. Rand?

We can coexist with Boston fans even with the inevitable battle brewing. As Edwin mentions further, let us focus on the hope gleaned from our long relationship with, Sonny Belfast who's enjoying the fruits of Southeast Asia, and btw, "fruits" is not meant to demean a guy with a Brokeback obsession, not that there's anything wrong with that.

We are the class of the league, respond to trolls with dignity and solid basketball analysis. Patience. The key. And when patience wanes, in the words of our Taoist Chronology Professor, rip their throats out.

Two other great Springsteen songs, from someone who is not a Bruce fanatic:

Blinded By The Light--which is way better than the Manfred Mann version.

Thunder Road--easily one of the best songs he's ever written, a classic.

131: Are you SURE you can resist calling me "Banner Folder?" I don't think you can. :)


Mike,


Sweet post. You’re already in regular season form, my man. Excellent points top to bottom.
-
1. Regarding Drew and fouls, one thing that I think is easily forgotten is the judgment players have to exercise on defense to know when NOT to challenge or try to block the shot. I think most of the foul problems Drew suffered were the result of frustration over the limitations upon his physical ability. Now that he is healthy and thriving at the offensive end, he exercised more caution not to commit the stupid or silly fouls we saw at times when he came back to early for the playoffs. I think as the season progresses, we will see Drew slowly start to become more aggressive defensively.
-
2. Regarding Lamar’s 3-point shooting, I think you might be right. I also noticed that his mid-range shot has looked a lot better. Now if he can work on those 2 or 3 blown layups every game...LOL.
-
3. Regarding Farmar and assists, I think Jordan has actually been playing very well. I was very pleased to see him really keep playing smartly even though his shot was off. He is probably the best passer on the team next to Kobe. I also think he has shown a lot more determination and hustle on defense. Most importantly, Jordan has taken great care of the ball and is making solid decision on the court.
-
In 6 pre-season games, Jordan has averaged 9.0 points on 48%/35%/76% shooting percentages, 2.7 boards, and 4.7 assists against only 1.5 turnovers in 20 minutes per game. Meanwhile, Shannon has averaged 8.0 points on 42%/15%/77% shooting percentages, 2.5 boards, and 1.7 assists against 1.5 turnovers in 20 minutes per game. Without a doubt, Jordan has outplayed Shannon this camp.
-
4. Regarding Fish’s (or anybody’s) ability to shut down opposing point guards. You are absolutely correct that the only way you stop the Parkers and Pauls from penetrating is with solid team defense. Once the Lakers get in sync defensively, I am confident we will see the problem diminish. Also, Fish is by far the best Lakers guard at anticipating and stepping into the path to draw a charging foul.
-
5. Regarding Stephen Jackson, I don’t Captain Jack was really disrespectful to Kobe. He has always been a hard charging competitor. I think his comments were more in the heat of the moment rather than premeditated smack like that from Paul Pierce. Jackson is pissed because the Warriors told him they were for sure trading for Amare or Bosh to get him to sign an extension before reneging. Still, we all know Kobe loves to store those little memories away until the next time he meets players.


Tom

Jazz will never truly compete until they upgrade their wing players and get a true big who can protect the rim.

hobbitmage,


>>> woo. bynum did work against the pop-warner teams of the NBA. woo.


LOL. Compared to the Lakers, most of the other NBA teams ARE Pop Warner teams.
But I do get excited about my 21-year old second favorite Laker beating up on all of
those older NBA centers and cannot wait to see what he does to Shaq this year.


Tom



AK & ChikNStu,


You cannot make such a list without Thunder Road and the River. Bruce is the greatest.


Tom

Jazz will always be tough as long as they have Jerry Sloan, THE best coach in the NBA for the past 20 years!!

EagleBoy-

Point 1. Yes, KG is coming of an injury. But correct if Im wrong ... doesnt Kobe have a messed up finger? He can hurt that very easly. Pau ... didnt he also just mess up a finger? Bynum? Coming off 2 straight years with knee problems. Fisher ... older then any of our starts and definitely show signs of slow down from a less then elite level to begin with. When was the last time Dribble Dribble played 82 games in a season?

2. I dont disagree with Poseys' contributions. But he is gone and we have to move on.

3. Dribble Dribble is slowing down defensively. I dont think he can keep up the with the quick 3s of the league like Ariza did. He will be better vs the bigger 3s of the league. I dont like his shot selection. He may try change his ways but thats not easy to do. (Check out Mannys act)

4. You may have slightly upgraded from Ariza. We on the other hand are upgrading from Tony Allen. (Who I would cut yesterday)The rest of the stuff about nobody having a chance ... I wont even address at the risk of sounding like a Laker fan.

Finally ... yes we my have more concerns then the Lakers but these are concerns that every team has. Maybe to a lesser degree because they are younger then us but concerns none the less.

BTW Allen may have had similar surgery on his ankles, but do you really equate a perimter jump shooter to what KG does?

EagleBoy

Posted by: EagleBoy | October 21, 2009 at 11:19 AM

EagleBoy,

Forgot to address this even though I cant believe I have to. HELLO! A perimeter jump shooter needs his legs under him. I know you know this. I shouldnt even have to tell you! That is basic. Just like a pitcher needs his arm.


EXPERT PREDICTIONS: LOS ANGELES LAKERS
From ESPN.com


http://tinyurl.com/yf4xb9g


ESPN speaks up about Western Conference and 10 out of 10 prognosticators picked the Lakers to win the Pacific and the West.


Tom

>>>>
Jazz will always be tough as long as they have Jerry Sloan, THE best coach in the NBA for the past 20 years!!
>>>>

Agree on the first part, not so much on the second part.

Sloan: .602 winning pct, 0 rings
Jackson: .705 winning pct 10 rings
Pop: .675 winning pct 4 rings
Tomjanovich: .559 wining pct 2 rings


See, I was able to do it without insulting anyone.

Like 131, I'll refrain from starting anything.

LA Lakers NBA 2009 Champions

AK,

"For reasons I can't fully understand, I've never been a big Bruce Springsteen fan. I totally respect his talent as a musician and lyricist."

We are on the same page with Bruce. And there are moments he amazes me (such as the album "Nebraska" and the song "Atlantic City"); however, his whole romanticization of East Coast working class bullies is something I just cannot connect with on a visceral level.

I think that's what it all comes down to.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

AK,

This whole 'analysis communicated via metaphor'-thing you've got going with "Know Thy Enemy" is working out rather nicely.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

AK,

"But I'm curious to know how y'all would feel (and subsequently treat) a player like Boozer if he were on the Lakers."

I would be screaming to trade the guy. I couldn't stand having a player like that on my team. Period.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

hobbitmage,

Belittling Andrew Bynum AGAIN?

I don't get it. By the way, Chris Kaman is a very good center. Andrew Bynum's success against him is further proof that Andrew is coming of age.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Andrew Bynum already a legit true Center in the NBA is also showing flashes of Tim Duncan putting the ball on the floor and making way to the hoops.

Who in the recent NBA Center is he most similar too?

Patring Ewing or Kareem Abdul Jabbar?

131,

Is being a comedian the way you earn your living? You are so funny, I said the Lakers can get hurt. Tell me exactly what part of that you don’t understand? Do you lack the ability for understanding the simplest of concepts? I know Kobe and Pau both have issues with their fingers – last I checked most people don’t run up and down the court on their fingers. Maybe they do things differently in Boston – I know KG likes to get down on all fours like a dog. Kobe has said his finger can’t get any worse and has been playing with it for some time without being too detrimental (that means bad) to his game. Pau is healed and his finger didn't stop him from winning the European chip.

I also stated KG may well come back and be fine. The reason I don’t take that as a certainty is because of his age – plain and simple. Youngsters tend to heal faster and more completely than a guy in his 30’s. Right now you say he looks same as before the injury. Fine, that is a good sign, but when it is the middle of January and you are playing the second of a back to back after playing multiple games that week will he still be OK? He is human – though he has a penchant for acting like a dog with rabies. Any and all teams will deal with a multitude (that means a lot) injuries throughout the course of the season we all know that. How difficult is it to understand an older player – it could be Kobe, Fisher – whomever you would like to use as an example – if they have an injury like KG had I would be more concerned than if it were Farmar, Bynum, Rondo, Perkins etc. Why? They are younger and more likely to heal. That doesn’t mean the outcome is certain, I just would put my money on a young guy coming back more completely than an older guy. If you don’t agree with my assumption – fine but I think my position is more logical than saying an aging player with a lot of years of pounding will bounce back with no ill effects.

In regards to Allen, yes a jump shooter needs his legs. But do you honestly think that explosiveness for a shooting guard that spots up for threes is more important than for a power forward that relies on his ability explode for rebounds and to contest shots? KG is not a bulky PF that can just shove his way around, he needs his quickness and hops to be effective. Or at least that is what I see when I watch him play. I am sure you will enlighten poor little old EagleBoy who doesn’t know nothing about nothing.


Furthermore, just because the C's have more issues, in my opinion to resolve doesn't prohibit them from getting to, and possibly winning the Finals. Those issues could be resolved in the affirmative. Not likely because the LAKERS are going to win it all. Book it. Bet your biggest can of baked beans on that!

Utah Jazz fans are hateful, deluded lunatics. I admire their passion, but not their energy.

I will agree that Jerry Sloan is a fine coach. The Jazz would be nowhere without him. Being as good as a coach and as competitive as he is and never winning a Championship must haunt the guy. I bet he has a profound bitterness towards Phil Jackson. I can't imagine being beaten over and over and over again in the playoffs by the same guy (be it with the Bulls or Lakers). It would just drive me mad.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

After watching the tape of last night's game there really is only 2 things to talk about.
Kobe and Andrew.


Kobe--Captain Jack you want some of this???


The BEAST


It is clear the Beast is rounding into shape and when you compare it to the tape of him in the Orlando series you can tell he is moving a lot better but I want to talk about the BRACE on that knee. I don't care how much the brace slows him down this guy can never go without a brace. Something about his knees, they attract bodies. Last night he had Kobe crashing to the floor right at Bynums knees again just like last year and then Fish got pushed right into his right knee. Tell me you weren't holding your breath. Add that with Marc Gasol crashing into that right knee last year also...good thing he was wearing a brace.


Word of advise for Bynum....Wear a brace on both knees!!!


BD

I'm getting feeling a big chunk of time here spent to argue with C's fans here, instead of discussing issues of interest for us, LAKERS fans here on LAKERS BLOG. What are we arguing about? We're the champions and until proven otherwise, just deal with it. I'm being polite not mentioning 2 losess from the regular season.

exhelodrvr

A picture of the Hindenburg in flames.

LOL!!!

Wut up CRUE!

I really enjoyed the game last night - lots of highlights! Shannon skying for some rebound or pass - not sure what it was cuz the broadcast didn't catch the whole thing - but man - it looked like he could actually jump over the backboard if he really wanted to! Socks becoming more and more beast-like with every game. One really sweet drop-step to the hoop for the bucket - beautiful. Kobe with the no-look behind the back pass to Fish for the trey - unbelievable for anyone but the Bean.

I'm most excited about our scrubs putting it on themselves to win the game instead of just caving cuz it's preseason. Seems like they all want (and need) to prove something. I want to see our starters with ice on their knees by the end of the 3rd EVERY GAME!!

Less than a week away to the REAL SHOW!!

Keven Mchale has been added to the NBA telecast? Who in there right mind would want to listen or look at Frankenstein?

Staples24,

"Who in the recent NBA Center is he most similar too? "

Good question.

I think your Patrick Ewing option is best: A skilled, power center.

I WISH Bynum was more like Kareem, but I don't think he has the skill set, grace, and diversity that Kareem has. Bynum is skilled, but his game is fairly narrowly focused and when in doubt he returns to power game to dunk.

That's fine. The league is presently filled with power-based centers on elite teams and we need someone at the center position to counter that, and it looks like Andrew is going to be a better-than-fine fulfilling that role.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

oh dude, Bruce Springsteen hit the big time because he had a young Courtney Cox in his video back when... MTV actually played videos and people actually watched... those videos... Otherwise, the Boss would be in total obscurity now, just like Whitesnake with no young, Tawny Kitaen to lay on the hood of their car... you never would have heard of them...

just like... Thomas Kelati... if he had been on the Milwaukee Bucks roster and got released... would anyone have noticed? No. Therefore, the moral of the story is, Thomas Kelati needs to start dating a hot Lakergirl very soon or he will disappear forever...

This from a gossip site:


I told you the other day that Khloe Kardashian finally signed her prenup. Well now more details have surfaced regarding the marital agreement and it looks like Khloe definitely married Lamar for love and not money.

Initially, Khloe’s lawyers were saying that if her and Lamar divorced, she wanted $500,000 a year for every year they were married, a new $6 million house, a brand new luxury car, $25,000 a month in general support, $5,000 a month for shopping and beauty - and courtside Lakers tickets for everyone in her family.

But Lamar’s lawyers had a counteroffer for Khloe — nothing. No alimony, no cars, no house . . . nothing, nada, zilch!!

And Khloe must really love Lamar because she decided to give in to his lawyer’s demands and signed an iron clad prenup giving her nothing if they divorce. Someone get me her attorney’s name so that I will be sure to NEVER EVER use their services. It makes you wonder if they ever heard the term NEGOTIATE!

So what’s next? Well according to insiders, Khloe and Lamar were getting their marriage license yesterday and are expected to have their official wedding as early as today….at his lawyers office.

131 -

If I were a Celtics fan, the thing I'd be most concerned with is that NONE of the "big 3" are the same players they were the year the Celtics won the championship, Garnett especially. All Celtics players, besides Rondo, are trending downwards in their production. This is simply what happens with age. The further you get from 30, the more rapidly this decline becomes apparent.

Average age of Allen, Garnett, Sheed, Pierce and Rondo - the Celtics top 5 players? 31.67

Average age of Kobe, Gasol, Odom, Artest and Bynum - the Lakers top 5 players? 28.48

Average age of Marquis Daniels, Baby Davis, Kendrick Perkins and Eddie House - the Celtics next 4 best players (and the ones to get significant playing time)? 27.21

Average age of the Lakers next 4 best players - Derek Fisher, Jordan Farmar, Shannon Brown and Sasha Vujacic? 26.87

Fact is, the Lakers' best players, as a whole, are still at their peak while the Celtics' best have past theirs. The rest of the Lakers rotation is younger and has more room to grow than that of the Celtics. Bottom line: Lakers, still trending up. Celtics, trending down.

AK,

I may be wrong, but don't you make a season record prediction for "Know They Enemy". I didn't see your prediction on here.

Chicnstu,

You missed it. Here 'tis...

"I'm thinking 53 wins, plus respective third and sixth place finishes in the Northwest Division and Western Conference. More or less a 2009 carbon copy, including the first round playoff exit."

AK

BD,

I'm glad to hear about the prenup. Smart.

LaL_Fan,

I am sick and tired of talking about the Celtics. I hate the Celtics. Why are we talking about the Celtics (who just got beat last night by the Knicks, I might add)?

We're the Champions. We've set a goal this season for another Championship. We've got the best player in the NBA on our team and a bunch of exciting young players. Let's talk about that.

DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

This is seriously getting out of control. I'm about to go ballistic here..

First I didn't so much mind but now I'm gettin really sick of scrollling past these annoying troll posts. Is this a damn laker or celtic blog?

puddle -

You started your last post with "if I were a Celtics fan"...

Of course you continued with some excellent points, but I'm thinking you really meant to end that sentence with "I'd kill myself"...right? :)

EagleBoy-

"Kobe has said his finger can’t get any worse"

Well then it must be true. A man who didnt even go to college is now a doctor and can predict if and when he will be injured.

"I am sure you will enlighten poor little old EagleBoy who doesn’t know nothing about nothing."

Glad you said it ... not me. But Im not tryn to enlighten you. Im just tryn to point out that injuries are a concern for every team. Doesnt matter if they average 31.02746 or 26.01124 yrs of age. Look at Bynum. Probably the youngest of the 10 starters yet he has been injured two yrs in a row.

Didnt Jordan get hurt his rookie year? But he never got hurt after that. Age is a factor but LUCK is also a factor. Didnt Kareem play til 100 yet Walton could never stay on the court.

BTW guess what year the "old slowing down" Ray Allen shot his hightest FG% and FT%? Bet you dont know. Ill bet you 2 big cans of baked beans.


BD - I hope the prenup gossip is true.

If LO married for love - and she did too - it will make for a happy LO this season! No distractions - yeah!

Jon K,

Believe me, I'm with you 100%, don't care about C's, don't want to know what happened to them here, on the LAKERS BLOG. I'm more interested to discuss Lakers; after all, we're LAKERS FANS here.

For example yesterday, I've noticed one weakness in Drew's game (I beg your pardon LakerTom), he is slow to react when defense collapse on him, like passing out of the post to open player. His instincts probably tell him to go and overpower defense, which is not always productive. I'm it can be corrected with age and experience, bearing in mind a bunch pretty good shooters we have on team.
I was really delighted to see Ron's playmaking abilities on the full display (8 assists), and we're talking about someone who has only like less than month of the triangle under the belt, and still feeling tentative in this offense, future looking real exciting...

It's ironic that a guy as intelligent as Carlos Boozer should say those dumb things about being traded and looking forward to playing with other teams. These well publicized comments, together with that fiasco with the Cavaliers many years ago, earned him a reputation as self-centered and only in it for the money. (What NBA player isn't, to a large extent, "in it for the money"?)
In any case, I think Boozer has gotten a bad rap, about this, about his defensive play (nowhere near as bad as often described) and especially with regard to his injuries. Although his history of injuries is no worse than many other prominent NBA players, when Boozer has an injury it is somehow viewed as character flaw, by many Jazz fans, and some less than brilliant Salt Lake sports writers, . We see these ridiculous observations about his not being willing to "play through the pain".
The fact of the matter is that Boozer obviously loves the game and plays hard. Moreover, he is a very decent guy- highly responsible off the court, always very supportive of his team mates, never inclined to say nasty things in response to stupid things said about him.
And he is a heck of a basketball player. No, not another Karl Malone, but excellent.

131-92,
"Age is a factor but LUCK is also a factor. Didnt Kareem play til 100 yet Walton could never stay on the court."

That is more genetics than luck.

131,

You said: "Im just tryn to point out that injuries are a concern for every team." We agree, show me the post any post where I have said the Lakers are immune to injury. You can’t because I have never stated that the Lakers can’t get hurt or that injury is not a concern.

Ray Allen shoots the best of his career. Great, I never said he couldn’t shoot. The only thing I said was that he doesn’t rely on explosiveness as a jump shooter. I said KG is more reliant on his explosiveness – am I wrong on that count?

Bynum has been hurt – both by collisions with other players – they can happen to anyone. There is a difference between a player with chronic issues – issues that are from repetitive use or wear and tear and a guy that happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Most intelligent people know the distinction; I thought you fell into that category even though you are a Celtic fan. If I am wrong and you are truly that stupid, I apologize. Bynum may well end up “injury” prone, but two freak accidents, I would say don’t make someone injury prone. I don’t think KG is injury prone – the dude has been a rock. I do wonder how well his knee will recover – don’t you? I think the same thing about Duncan - he isn't getting younger and he has had issues - can he keep op his level of play? Or are you so all knowing that you know for a fact it won’t be an issue for KG? I personally have no idea if the Lakers or any team will be healthy or busted up with injuries.

Regarding Kobe. He and the medical staff have both said it can’t get worse. He has had it jammed a handful of times since and it hasn’t stopped him from playing. If someone rips his finger off then I will worry.

The other thing I find odd is you seem to imply somehow time doesn’t impact the play of Celtic players – particularly KG. It will be three years and one significant injury later should the Lakers and C's meet again. Even Kareem who played longer than anyone saw his effectiveness dip as he aged. It is part of the human condition – we eventually peak and then decline – some more rapidly than others. I also never mentioned anything about average age. I see that as useless as “blanks” on a bull. Who cares about average age? Not me.


Furthermore, if you are intelligent you should know that a college degree, medical degree doesn’t necessarily mean a damned thing. I personally know people that don’t have college degrees that are smarter than any MBA or PHD’s I know. I also know people that have advance degrees from respected institution that could spell cat if you spotted the c and the t. Bill Gates dropped out of college. He is an idiot right? A degree may be useful as an indicator but it isn’t that reliable do you think?

I don't get why you want to argue with me so much, when I say Boston is my pick from the East. I think they should be clearly the leader of the pack in the East. I don't see it being unreasonable saying KG is a question mark because he is coming off a season he missed substantial playing time due to injury. He is vital to the C's success. Bynum on the other hand was not vital to the Lakers winning it all so his coming back is not as big of a question mark. If he stays healthy and plays like he is capable, it is a huge plus for the Lakers. No hate, no boston weenies suck, just my opinion - and quite logical analysis the way I see it. So rant on about me being the stupid one when on several points we agree and where we don't you throw up a bunch of stuff that is irrelevant to the discussion.

EagleBoy

The difference between Carlos Boozer and Smush is that Boozer goes out of his way to make shady business decisions and Smush is just kind of a moron.


Oddly enough, we Americans seem more willing to embrace morons than shady business men.


Nobody can deny the well spring of talent that Carlos Boozer has, but his commitment to staying in shape, to a team concept that doesn't include him padding stats for a big contract or to do anything but himself is what would make me shudder if the Lakers ever signed him.


People change, some of them go out of their way to improve themselves (Artest getting a therapist is an clear indicator of that), but Boozer has yet to do anything to shake his shady rep as of yet. He's as good as Karl Malone without the heart. Which is why I don't think he'll ever be a center piece on a team that wins it all, he just doesn't have the heart and passion for the game.


He probably wishes Han Solo never went back and bailed out Luke Skywalker when he blew up the Death Star; afterall, what did it truly get him in the end. Frozen in carbonite, that's what. But obviously Boozer never saw Return of the Jedi where Han's loyalty to his friends pays off in the form of getting together with Princess Leia. Hell yeah, Han, hell yeah.

EagleBoy-

I didnt say that you are stupid. Im glad we can have this dicussion. Most others just try to run smack and say nothing worth reading. You are taking my comments the wrong way. Lets just ended here. I agree with 99% of what your sayn. Especially the part where you think the Celtics will come out of the East.

BTW are you or were you in the FX business?

AK - seems like you got a fair amount of agreement re: the boss and I was a little surprised, was half expecting some hellacious indignation raining down on your head. For the record though, I also concur - respect the guy but have never gone out of my way to listen to him. And, I like most everything from the Avalanches to xylophone music with the Germs and Mamas and Papas in between. And anything Phil Spector produced. He didn't produce anything by Bruce did he?

Ak,

I would find the blog more entertaining if you would link the correction in the original post.

Dave M,

Think how excited you'd get by an album of xylophone punk produced by Phil Spector!

AK

Lkr-luv

I don't understand what you mean.

AK

Jon K,

I know what you mean about Bruce's "east coast-ness," but that doesn't have anything to do with it for me personally. As I said, I'm not even sure what it is that's kept from really getting into Springsteen. It just never happened.

AK

AK - haha, well he did throw just about everything into the wall of sound and I wouldn't be at all surprised to find some vibes in there along with the tom-toms. And, he produced the Ramones. I spent some time at Gold Star and I kid you not, there was a bullet hole in the ceiling from one of Phil's guns.

Puddle - your comments are way, WAY, WAAYYY off.
Wallace doesn't start, Perkins does.

Rondo, Allen, Pierce, KG and PERKINS - avg age 29.4
FISHER (strange you "forgot" him in your calculations), Bryant, Artest, Gasol and Bynum - avg age 29.2 YOUR POINT??????

Bench - Celtics bench - Daniels is 26, House is 30, Davis is 24 and Wallace is 35. Again, your point? 5th off the bench may be Shelden Williams (26-27) or Lester Hudson (24). Aside from Odom (30), your bench is suspect, right now, and Adam Morrison me no Adam Morrisons

Lastly - did you know our leading scorer, Paul Pierce is 10 MONTHS older than your leading scorer?
Also, counting playoffs, Bryant 41000 NBA mins, Pierce 33000 NBA mins

At 82 games and 40 mins per game, that's 2.5 more YEARS Bryant has played. So, I would say, despite the phenomenal shape he is in, that he is an OLD 31.
Didn't the lakers age a year also, or was it just us?


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