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Mavericks 94, Lakers 80: Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln...

That'll take some shine off Tuesday's ring ceremony, no?

More commentary below.

Allow me to summarize that which was positive in tonight's effort from the Lakers:

Shannon Brown. 12 points on 5-7 from the floor, three boards, two dimes, two steals in 21:43 of PT.

That is all.

Moving along, all that's left is a Festivus style airing of grievances, and as Frank Costanza might say, "I got a lot of problems with you people!"

    -Generally, opposing teams will always have some sort of shot available to them in any given possession. The defense's job is to limit palatable options at the offensive buffet. At least as the screen and roll was concerned, the Lakers provided Dallas with the dinner spread at the Bellagio. Plenty of choices, all very tasty. Mid-range jumper? Sure. How about an alley oop? Check. Dribble penetration? Go for it. There just wasn't any continuity in how the Lakers defended on the perimeter. Some of that was caused by foul trouble and the rotations that came out of it, some from a small Dallas lineup, some from general disorganization and lack of communication. All if it was pretty bad. When they did get stops, too often the Lakers gave up untimely offensive rebounds.

    -On the other hand, 80 points won't win many games outside the Big 10. Talking with Lakers assistant Brian Shaw after the game, he noted the Lakers did a very poor job managing their offense, particularly when the Mavs went with a zone. It was one pass, then a shot or an attempt to go one-on-one. There was no ball movement, no ball reversal. The Lakers stuck to one side of the floor, often goaded into threes that didn't fall (through three, the Lakers were 5-18 from beyond the arc). Lamar Odom was particularly off kilter. While he started strong on Dirk Nowitzki, as the game went on I felt he got lost in that matchup and forgot the game around him.As you'll see in the video below, PJ agreed. LO's final line (10/6/7) isn't awful, but his five TOs are more indicative of his performance tonight than anything else in the box score.

    Without Pau Gasol in the lineup, the Lakers need to be more conscious of ball movement and shot selection. Tonight they went the other way. Kobe noted below that the Lakers haven't had many opportunities to play against a zone (this being the second game of the year and all. Talking to Shaw, he told me they haven't practiced against it much, either), but he expects as things go along, they'll improve. Gasol is particularly effective against the zone, since he's such a versatile operator out of the high post, able to pass and shoot out of soft spots. 

    -In his press conference, PJ noted that Ron Artest wasn't able to adapt to the game in front of him, playing more aggressively than the refs allowed and getting himself into early foul trouble that essentially neutralized any positive impact he could have on the game. The same point could be made about the rest of the team. The lack of connectedness was palpable.

    -Derek Fisher shot the ball poorly (2-9, including some wonky shot selection) and struggled to contain the quicker members of Dallas' backcourt. Not good. But while Brown had a strong game, Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar weren't any better than Fish. Over the course of the season, the Lakers will need more support from the crew of backup guards if they're to make the rotation work. Farmar looked good against the Clips, less so tonight. Sasha was a non-factor in both games. Fish needs to improve, and so do the guys behind him.

    -Kobe Bryant, coming off an 11-26 performance Tuesday, was 6-19 Friday night, with three turnovers against a pair of assists. It wasn't a particularly strong game, and I noticed at least a couple people on the live blog expressing some concern over his field goal percentage. I certainly wouldn't go hitting the panic button quite yet. Remember, Kobe shot poorly to start last season, too, and we all know how that turned out. Focus instead on his 21 trips to the line over the first two games, an indication he's still plenty able to put pressure on the opposition. When he goes to the stripe regularly, good things happen. The shots will even out with a larger sample size. They always do. 

    The same can be said for the Lakers, really. Tonight they were bad, over the course of the season, they'll be good. That doesn't make night's like this any more pleasurable for fans, nor does it excuse LA's performance Friday night. It might help keep your Saturday from being ruined, though.

BK

Among other issues, I thought one of the major aspects killing the Lakers against Dallas was rebounding, specifically on the offensive glass. Judging by the box score alone, you would think a 13-13 offensive rebounds apiece would signal a perfectly equal degree of success.  But that only reflects the ends, not the means.  After the first quarter, theLakers had grabbed six offensive boards against just one for the Mavs (which just happened to coincide with a three point deficit, the lowest for the Lakers of any quarter).  From there, they allowed Dallas a dozen more over three quarters.  That's just not acceptable. 

As he's often known to do, Lamar Odom used a football analogy to describe what went wrong.  He compared rebounding to gang tackling a running back.  When everyone joins forces to prevent forward progress.  Going all out as a unit to ensure a first down isn't surrendered.  "Tackling as a team," as Odom put it.  In LO's eyes, rebounding is all about "second effort," particularly when you're trying to deny a second chance for your opponent.  If I may take LO's sports mash up one step further, theLakers didn't focus nearly enough energy towards protecting their red zone from Dallas' glass eaters.

AK 

VIDEO:

Phil Jackson, on Brown, LO, the flow of the game the quality of Thursday's practice:

PJ, on Artest, LA's mistakes, Dallas going small and playing zone:

Andrew Bynum, on the game generally:

Kobe, on playing against the zone, their energy, and Gasol:

 
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Kbros - I love how you always try to keep us calm but you know the trolls (me being one), are coming out after THAT performance!!

Do we have to watch this team under perform another entire season?!?!? How do we get rid of Walton, Sasha, and Farmar?!?!? I realize it was only one game and we got 80 to go - but come on - that was like watching a high school game!

Meanwhile - the green weenies are crushing their opponents - their bench looks solid - come on mitch - get rid of the losers mentioned above and bring in a real PG. I just bought NBA league pass and I won't be able to stand watching a season of this nonsense.

Jordan had some horrendous plays against Dallas. The Lakers need to try to use Farmar and Morrison's expiring contracts to try to acquire Hinrich. I see him as the Lakers pg of the future. PLEASE DO NOT RESIGN FARMAR.

Shawn Marion is badly missed in Phoenix. His performance at Staples tonight was nothing new for us PHX fans, as he's had many memorable games there. It's no fun seeing him in a DAL uniform but hey, at least PHX dumped Shaq onto CLE. That alone improved the team.

Speaking of, the Suns appear to be sitting atop the Pacific Division with the win over GS. Nash is looking like the MVP already - 20 assists tonight.

James-

Do you have to watch the team underperform for another entire season? Seriously? They won 65 games and a title last year. How much better should they have been?

To get wrapped up in any one individual game doesn't make much sense, no matter what team you're talking about. If the Lakers get into a rut, that's a different story, but at 1-1, it's kind of impossible to say they've reached that point.

BK

BK,

Yes, I agree that I have over reacted to one game but are you defending their play tonight and vs. the Clippers (without Griffin?)

Of course it's going to take time to get Ron comfortable in rotation but that game was horribly played by even high school standards. The amount of turn overs, fouls, selfish play, terrible shooting, lack of movement, I could go on and on.

AND - it's the same players doing the same mistakes. It's like they didn't improve their skills over the summer.

AB fortunately looks great. Shannon - terrific. Kobe is Kobe.

Lakers have such a talented first team - but when you get to the bench it's the same old thing. Meanwhile, we watch the celtics steamrolling over teams. Yes, it's a long season but I expect more from a team that just won the ring. I NEVER expected them to even win 72 games this year but I surely did not anticipate them losing in the manner they did tonight. That was an embarrassment.

And who would have thought that the little fool that vanished over the summer returns after a loss......what did you do after the finals?...Let me guess...sat in your room and cried yourself to sleep......wow,what a real man.....


As for the loss...When you play that bad,you deserve to get pounded...And we did...That was a lesson....I really hope that hurts for the whole team....

I wont even go into Farmar and Sasha.......And try as you may...You cant defend the way that they came off the bench and served up that junk.......Thats right JUNK.....

Now we know how good Gasol really is....

Exposed and welcome back to reality. Laker bench is terrible and Fisher is the worst point guard in the NBA; anyone still think they have the best talent in the league? This team will struggle against athletic and talented Atlanta on Sunday and will end the season a 4 or 5 seed in west.
Meanwhile, KG is not 100% but he will be and even now without Davis and Scal the Boston bench is the best in the league and the Celtics are crushing teams; 75-80 wins for the Celtics?? It is possible but only if Doc decides to keep the pedal to the metal after home court is secured which should be about the time of the All-Star break.

Hey champs-- The Celtics are 3-0 to start the season! Looks like we'll see you game 1 in the finals-- at the Boston Garden! (IF you can make it past the Spurs!) A great cast, but so far you haven't shown much this season-- let's hope for a good matchup down the stretch. Here's to a great year in LA!

PS-- Who's prediction do you like now-- Pippin's or Wallace's?

Pau we miss you......

I am still hoping Farmar finds something. Its funny, he played better in the clips game, and had a negative +/- and played poorly last night and had a positive +/-. A good young PG would be awesome, but i dont see one coming to the Lakers unless Farmar or Brown really step up their games. The Lakers still need to take advantage of their early season, and put tons of wins on the boards, losses like this are almost unacceptable.

So What James,
Oh I know the Lakers are suppose to win all games, PIPE DREAMER that you are. Really they played the clippers in the first game and Dallas actually played defense for once. Jason Terry no answer and that pretty much was the game although maybe Phil shouldn't have ripped the refs before game. But like the K-Bros said there is 80 more games and with your league pass you can watch other games so have fun.

At some point, the ongoing poor shooting by Derek Fisher will have to confronted. Yes, he's a vet who saved us with his big shot, but for the season, I just don't see him being our starting PG.

When will Phil Jackson finally make the brave decision to bench Derek?

Ron "Thriller" Artest---2 Games into his Laker Career :

4 for 16 {.250%} from the Field

1 for 7 {.143%} from the Free-Throw line!!!!

{Meanwhile, Trevor Ariza scores 25 to lead Houston over GS}

On behalf of Celtic Nation...Thank You, Mitch!

Hey, LA fans...There are good reasons why RA is on his 5th team in 7 years. I know it`s getting harder by the day, but keep trying to "con" yourselves into believing that Ariza for Artest makes sense!

That was ugly! Plenty of blame to go around. Sometimes shots just don't fall, what are you gonna do? The biggest problem I saw was Ron just isn't in sync at all right now but we all knew that going in, it WILL get better. No worries.

Oh, man! All that wear and tear on Kobe is catching up to him! Lamar has lost the focus he had the first game! I knew this Artest thing wouldn't work out!! Gasol is injury prone. Bynum got into foul trouble early!! Jackson didn't call enough timeouts!! Fisher is old! The season's as good as over!!

/offtopic

Do you guys know LATs Lakers' page shows your last blog entry as "Lakers/NBA items: Funsie and not as funsie" @ 10/30/2009, 10:09 a.m. ????

Note to LAT tekkies: This *is* the 21st century dudes. Shouldn't this stuff be automatic? blog update ==> autoupdate rss feed ==> autoupdate LAT Lakers page, i.e., "Round-the-clock purple and gold."

Or are you guys dependent on some staffer re-typing blog entry updates to the blog section of the LAT Lakers page?

Gulp.

/ontopic

Note to self: Do not see, hear or speak the evil of 72-10 again ... until or unless a team, ANY team, reaches 70.

Re Marion.

I saw Marion with Miami. He was *not* The Matrix there. He wouldn't be The Matrix here.

Not without a Nash, Kidd or similar point working within a *system* that routinely exploits his skills/hops.

Last night's loss to Dallas is an example of why I'm not a big Phil Jackson fan. Watching the game on TV, even the commenators realized the Lakers were not getting into their offense, choosing instead to take ill advised three pointers all night. So what does Jackson do? Nothing. Nil, Nada. Jackson needs to be a coach during the games. He sits on his cushion, and makes moves according to his script. He has never seems to me to respond to game conditions game and make necessary changes as the game dictates. With this present cast, I'm sure the Lakers will win 60 games with Jackson at the helm. The key is what he does (or doesn't do) during games he shouldn't lose, like last night. Equal blame goes to the players who got totally out of their offense and to the coaches who allow it to happen.

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

so much for the rapture and euphoria overdose...

Chick used to say everyone has a bad day at work sometimes, even pro basketball players...last night's game was another example that Chick was truely a sage indeed....

Bynum, Powell, and Brown the only Lakers that decided to earn their paychecks last night seemingly, as it were...

hopefully last nights "game" can be used as a motivational film for the season, sure can't be used as trade inducement fodder for other interested teams...

Lakers had won the last 6 games verses the Mavericks, if that's any consolation / reason...

now Atlanta comes in and has owned us the last few seasons, hopefully a trend that can be erradicated or so...

Artest still seems to be trying to aclimate, but I see a lot of great things to come once he does...

our white guys bench needs a swift kick in the flanks as my dad the Colonel used to say, as it were...fairly painful to watch them to say the least...

Shawn Marion looks extemely strange to me these days, not a good looking bald dude at all... Mr. Clean need not worry about being replaced...

Dallas' white guys appear to be a lot better than our white guys (except Pau of course---please come back soon El Senor De Espana)

Dallas misses Devin George terribly (it's so obvious)

Mark Cuban needs a full frontal labotomy, seemingly...(anyone have a hammer and chisel handy?)

the Dallas coach looks suspiciously like Jim Carey

don't know how I am going to take another season of ESPN / TNT announcing...good thing those broadcasts are in the minority...

is is Sunday yet for the love of all that's good and wholesome (Quaker Oats)...

even after last night's debacle...

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

GO LAKERS !!!

Hard to replace a grade A and all-star Pau Gasol.His passing and scoring are truly missed.Lakers need him to stay healthy.Artest still needs time to adjust to the complexities of the triangle offence.Way to early to panic.You folks crack me up.I`m still picking my Boston Celtics in 6 over the Lakers In the NBA finals.IMO Raseed Wallace looks like a stronger Pick-up vs the violtile but talented Ron Artest(Artest looks mad and uncomfortable)Celtics one up on the teams pre-season acquisition`s.

I'm not particularly upset by the loss. It's never fun but maybe this one can get us past the euphoria of the rings and all the talk of being invincible. The Mavs played good and Marion's got his matrix back. Kidd set the table for his teammates. The refs did not hurt the Mavs' cause at all. Drew played with good effort. Ron did as well. Maybe he wasn't always effective but he went for it.

Fish hasn't shot well yet, in the preseason or the first two games. He's doing what he always does which is to try and shoot his way out of a slump. I love the guy but I wish he'd work on upping his assists. It's never been a huge part of his game and as age becomes a factor, it's something that would add an important dimension, help the team and help him to prolong his career as a starter.

Kobe - here's an observation that might not sit well with some. Like Fish, he was looking a little old to me last night. Don't get me wrong, he's still the best player on the planet but time will mark every athlete. He was playing the classic Kobe way, he started by setting up teammates (whose shots weren't falling) and when that failed he started going strong to the basket. The only problem was that he didn't seem to have that last little bit of strength that allows him to make the improbable finish - he was getting slammed, the shots weren't falling and the refs weren't giving him many calls. I'm not faulting Kobe but on nights like this the other guys have to step up. Brown gave it a good shot but he may have been subbed in a little too late and that one's on Phil.

All in all, a learning experience. James admitted to being a troll so I can understand him putting this on Sasha, Luke and Walton but we all know they didn't lose the game - this one was squarely on the starters and the coach. I've always admired Phil's tendency to let his players play, to let them figure it out rather than to call time. This game, it seemed more like stubborness, or even being conservative. It's a little ironic, the guy who literally wrote the book on being a maverick, got schooled by them.


I love this team this team loves us. This is just one fame yes it hurts but we love you all .

lakers loce jordan farmar love him also lets go lakers I am the best fan.


No way this team lives up to blog expectations and only expectations took a hit last night. Should we expect to beat good teams having a good night without Pau? Asked and answered.

This is going to take the same hungry effort last year took, a little injury luck and a few players playin' at peak potential.

The silver lining? There's a game tomorrow.

Meanwhile, speaking of expectations:

CELTICS win October! scary, happy halloween

Guys,

You can blame the loss on me. I was attending a Halloween party last night and had no access to the blog. Therefore, I couldn't give my predictions. I'll take one for the team.

Anyway, Kobe's game worries me. He's been missing layups I usually see him make. Albeit, they are difficult shots but I've been used to see them going in. The whole game is different without Pau. He usually defends Dirk pretty well with his length.

lmao at everyone who is trying to devine ANYthing about the season yet. this is why we actually play the games, to see what will happen. bummer last night, there'll be some bummers in a season. the important thing is not to make bummers a long term trend. they'll have to play more games before it can be said to be a long term trend or not. personally, i highly doubt these guys are into depressing trends.

game on Sunday!

gee BK, i shoulda read your reply to James before posting...

hey, BUTLER!
are you here to fufill your promises?

actually, it was Kobe and Lamar and Fish and Ron who played badly, oh with a dash of Farmar. the bench played pretty well against Dallas. just one of those days....

Never - thanks for taking one for the team.

Ex, thanks for putting it into perspective - we overthink and over blame here, me included.

Happy Halloween fellow blogsters!

Remember how cocky the Celtic Trolls were last year at the beginning of the year? I do. It was, were gonna come back and crush you again, were invincible, we are beating teams by 20 and 30 points, blah blah blah. then the season wore on, and the 82 game season took it's toll on those tired old legs and body's, I say rest Pau till he's ready, work on jelling as a team, and I hope we peak about 10-20 games after all star break, about then, one or more of the Celtic's big three will be out with another injury, because you can't build a team with tired old, creeky players and then hold them all together with chewing gum and bailing wire for 82 games plus the play offs.

James, I agree they were awful across the board last night. No question. The Lakers sucked and deserved what they got. But I'm not sure why people are complaining about Tuesday's win. They were in control of the game throughout, pulled away for good in the fourth quarter, and so on. The bench didn't play well in the first half, but when PJ came back with reserves plus a couple starters (a more conventional rotation) in the second half they were fine. I agree that the backup guards need to develop some consistency, but we knew that coming in... and they've played two games.

As for comparing what the Lakers are doing to the Celtics? I wouldn't, and I'd say the same thing about Cleveland Orlando, or any other team. I'd say the same thing if the Celtics had lost a game and the Lakers had won two by 25.

BK

82-0 out; 73 wins bleak; 34 consecutive wins, not possible with this team; 20-1 precariously improbable; repeat or back2back, in danger. Therefore back to being realistic of why we lost the game.

First and foremost, here are my wishes:

Jerry Buss - get angry and ask for a better return on your investment of 110M and 12M on Coach who is not coaching.

Mitch Kupchak - back to drawing board and find another Ariza or Gasol by consider a trade of any of the bench. Why prolonged a tumor? Cut it, swap them before it becomes a cancer and affect the bulk of the team.

Merge Lakers and Clippers - indeed, this is impossible wish but what an ideal one if we have only one team in LA. Half of the Clips should be dropped and the other half combined them with the best of the Lakers. The 2nd team becomes a minor triple A team falling between a D' League and NBA. Send them 2nd team in Europe and compete in the Euroleague.

oh and about SHAQ the BIG STATUE

cleveland finally wins but mostly because of shaqs LIMITED MINUTES. with shaq on the bench (18 MINUTES PLAYED) they regain their identity from last year and were runnin and gunnin. WOW looks like they got a real life 350LB PROBLEM on their hands. .. big z played 30 MIN and they win. go figure?

oh wait and how bout phoenix they're now 2-0, nash had 20 assists and everybodys happy again. HOW BOUT THAT FOLKS???


Why do we even call this bench bench mob anymore. I am not overly concerned about the loss. This is an 82 game season and a few times a year, frankly it could just have easily have been on ring night teams do not show up to play. Ron artest will find his way by January. My biggest problem is with the "bench mob" IN order to justify that stigma the bench needs to mob. I am so sick of Jordan Farmar. He overdriibles which subsequently causes the offense to stagnate. I am sick of this kid. People have bad nights; kobe included. He is never going to be the answer and Kupcheck knows this. We need to either give farmar's minutes to Shannon Brown or we need to go out and bring in a vet who a plays D. Farmar has been in the league for 4 years--any talk of potential is busted!!! He does not play defense; bring me someone hell i would even take a 39 year old lindsey hunter.

On the question, why we lost the game?

1. Phil Jackson has abandoned coaching responsibilities. He's back on the Zen mode daydreaming, while coaching.

2. The Showtime Lakers namely Kareem and Kurt are no longer assistant coaches, the remaining three stooges subservient are loyal to Phil. Meanwhile, PJ lost half of his brain in Tex's absence, he's now dependent on Jeanie for inspiration to pray for his triangle.

3. The Laker diseases are back: overconfidence, playing with the lackadaisical "switch on-off game", lack of team work, standing around and watching Kobe goes by. They have similar traits to those Northwest Airline pilots who overshot the Minneapolis airport by 150 miles while blogging while our players were enamored by media spotlights as the Champs in '09.

4. Kobe couldn't handle 2 or 3 guards and kept on forcing shots. His assist passes to Bynum were too risky closer to a t/o than an assist.

5. Artest was tentative but at least he's not afraid to go on defense whether it is rebound or defending his turf. he's rusty on the f/t just nervous and conscious of the celebrities watching him. Why is Artest not being used as a power forward to guard Dirk instead of Odom? Beats me, ask the Zen coach.

6. Fisher is again on a slump. He's now a shooting guard and forgot his bulldog image of going for layups. It is either laziness or afraid of getting hurt.

7. Odom is running the PG on offense and PF on defense, as such, he becomes confused what to do with the ball. The Odom disease are also back those are: traveling, forcing thru and long tong shooting.

8. Bynum has a decent offense but poor in rebounds and defense. He was being boxed out for two games now, last night by Humphries and Dampier and often got frustrated in getting rebounds. Why is he not playing in the 4th quarter? Beats me, Ask the 10 ring coach, maybe he's reserving him for future games being cautious in getting another injury after a murderous 4th quarter.

9 Brown is the only positive player in the reserve and yet, used sparingly. The order of PJ substitutions are: Farmar first before Brown; Vujacic second before Brown and lastly, the favorite Walton third before Brown. Brown is the last option when those three players are messing up. Why? Beats me part of the experiment of the 10 ring coach on the second game of the season.


10. Walton making one assist, one field goal, for 8 minutes for a salary of 4.8M - nice life.

11. Vujacic made one steal, one assist, one t/o for 13 minutes for a salary of 5.0M much better life.

12. Morrison played for 3 minutes in garbage time making a salary of 5.2M and a cheer leader on the bench, that's the best life.

13. Gasol is the 2nd best player who played a major role with the Lakers in the last 2 years, played also for his home team, Spain for two summers. Finally, fatigue caught up with him with those hamstring pains, however he will be receiving 16M this year while resting on the bench, that's an excellent life.

13. Farmar is trying to prove that he is the starting PG since the time of Smush. The Halloween fairies and witches would bet on this as a long shot trifecta, they foresee him as a reserve PG in another team.

The good news, Lakers came back to earth and start playing again the Laker basketball putting the ball in the hands of Kobe, Bynum, Lamar, Artest and Brown. I think those five players will bring us back to prominence and hopefully Gasol in the next few games. The rest of the players are classified as reserves in other teams. They are just old, slow, on slump for too long and probably not competitive enough with the youth movement in NBA today.

Sorry guys for being harsh but those are the realities why we lost in our homecourt.

Ahh... the parade of Chicken Littles has begun. How delightful.

It's one game and it sucked. The Lakers just looked out of sync, to put things simply.

It'll get fixed.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Oh my! Woe is us! The sky is falling!

Good grief, people. It was one game. The second game of the season. The let down that could have happened Ring Night happened Friday night.

Yes, the team played sucky. Yes, Kobe wasn't Kobe. Yes, Lamar seemed in a coma. Yes, Thriller was a chiller.

Next!

In case you've forgotten, it's a long season. Sure, it seems the team has a lot of work to do. Sure, it's different without Gasol.

But I'm not thinking I should spend the month of June in the Amazon, where there's no access to the NBA Finals. The Lakers have a coach with ten rings. What's wrong with championship jewelry as a toe ring? Ok, well, maybe that's wrong, but you get my drift.

It's not how you play in autumn. It's about how you play in the spring. My belief isn't shaken; it's stirred. Go Lakers!

Line up the excuses, it's panic time in lakerville:

I have actually read all of these on this blog today:

10. Gasol was out
9. The refs screwed us
8. Artest is still not used to the offense
7. Walton plays too much
6. It's only one game
5. It's a wake up call
4. Farmar to0k horrible shots
3. koME actually looked human, and had an off game
2. LO looked out of sorts

but the #1 reason the lakers lost, submitted by "lost my mojo" on another thread:
1. Phil manipulated the subs to lose on purpose!!!

What a howl!!! Only in LA, guys, if someone made a comment like that on Boston.com, we'd laugh them right out of there.

Yes, Edwin, read your comments.
Perhaps Mitch can trade Walton, Sasha AND Farmar to Memphis for OJ Mayo and two #1 draft picks.
Edwin - wake up, no one wants your subs - not even you guys. You are too far over the cap to do anything. THIS IS YOUR TEAM.
Love 'em, hate 'em - and pray no one gets hurt!!

MAIN REASON WE LOST: DFISH 29 MINUTES

- yes kobe and artest threw up some stinkers but DFISH IS KILLIN US. when this guy cant hit his outshot shot he really is absolutely useless in every sense of the word. phil obviously rode him too long AGAIN and went to shannon way too late.

- that fifth foul on artest was BS. looks like these biased predisposed refs are already targeting him and took him completely out of the game

- phil just let them play but he should shoulder some of the blame himself. again not surprised but NO ADJUSTMENTS in second half... nothing changed and he left lamar on dirk straight up and 36 year old jkidd looked like a rookie running circles around dfish.. gotta do a better job of defending that kidd/marion pick n roll nxt time cause dfish was going under the pick EVERY single time. phil's SUBSTITUTION also left a lot to be desired. when artest got in foul trouble how do you explain sasha for like an 8 minute stretch? we needed DEFENSE and maybe some transition defense and to get us back in the game and phil turns to sasha.

- and luke? normally i'd devote a whole post to luke cause he only played 7 minutes but his presence was IMMEDIATELY felt with an errant pass to farmar that got picked off for an easy fastbreak layup and then he bricked another WIDEOPEN jumper in the corner. dont be fooled by his +/- ratio either.. that was ALL SHANNON.

Giant Green Bald Headed lunatic,

Yes, these are our garbage but we will take care of them from here. We are still the reigning Champs, it will take another 100 games before you can write the Lakers off. Our former Lakers have values in other teams Ariza, Kwame, Cook, Evans, Radman. As the saying goes: One man's trash is another man's treasure.

This is just not just one game, the symptoms appeared during the preseason games when we lost big to Golden State on the 2nd game. It was repeated by another lost to the Nuggets on their 2nd game. It is known as the On-Off games going back to the good old auto piloting days.

The cure for this malaise: we got to admit it, we have to be humble again, our players got to be focused and our coaches should play the best players on the floor.

As the great Winston Churchill said: "Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to unhealthy state of things."

I am not surprised after Lakers lost to Dallas. Ron Artest has to show Lakers fan that he can play with his brain not with his hair, can he help Lakers to win big games ? we will find out.

Mitch Kupchark should let Sasha, or Luke, or Morrision go instead he lets Ariza go. Odom as usuall, a player who we can't trust night in and night out. Jonh Ireland said on 710 AM that James Worthy believes one day Bynum will be in the Hall of Fame, is he going to be another Patrick Ewing or Hakeem ? Time will tell.

Gasol, Tim Duncan, Rasheed, Garnett, they don't have strong body like Shaq. San Antonio couldn't win back-to-back championship. Gasol did not have enough times to rest in the last two summers. If Lakers will go to the Finals this year, this is three years in a row, it's amazing.

As a Lakers fan, we want Lakers to win back-to-back this year; Kobe, Gasol, Odom, Bynum can win 2,3 more championships, but if they won't, we will be dissapointed, but we understand the reality. Right now, without Gasol, Lakers is just a playoff team, that's it. I still don't believe the Celtics, Garnett and Rasheed are old.

Rick Friedman / Jon K.

thanks for being here as always...

GO LAKERS !!!

Giant Green-

I dont think Mitch would do that. That trade would leave the great Laker bench 2 players short. I think we would probably rather trade them to the Hornets for CP3 and Posey. I know how much Laker fan likes Posey and Mitch would like to please Laker fan. I bet he would even be willing to throw in Mbenga if the Hornets throw in David West.

Laker fan ... I already told how to improve your bench. Start them and have your starters come off the bench.

LOL ... 2 games into the season and Laker fan wants to get rid of half its roster and fire 10 rings. Just last week the Lakers were gonna win 75 games. Now they need to blow up the team. LOL. I cant say Im surprised. Laker fan 3 months ago said Dribble Dribble was a nut and a thug and now he is the nicest guy ever and just misunderstood.

The deepest team in the NBA ... LMAO! The guys we have injured(T. Allen,Scal,Baby,Walker) are better then that bench of yours.

Scared yet?

said 10/29 "It should be taken out and maybe made a contract business with someone else entirely, so we contract the labor and somebody else runs the business of the referees, so we really have integrity," Jackson said.
and on 10/30 32 Free throws for Dallas 14 for LA

Edwin - great stuff, from Winston Churchill to merging the Lakers and Clips - outstanding! Would we call them the Lappers or the Clakers?

131 says "are you scared yet?" Of who? Just wondering because I'm a little unclear of the context. Are we scared of Dallas after their excellent play last night... or are we somehow scared of the Celtics because we punted against Dallas last night? The scariest thing I personally saw last night was some of Mark Cuban's manic expressions - anyone ever notice how uneasy the people around him often look?

These annoying green pests are at it again. is this gonna happen everytime we lose?? this is really getting out of hand... K bros??

Mitch Kupchak - back to drawing board and find another Ariza or Gasol by consider a trade of any of the bench. Why prolonged a tumor?

Giant Green Bald Headed lunatic,

Yes, these are our garbage but we will take care of them from here. - Edwin Gueco

Well, Edwin,which is it? Trade them or keep them. Your argument? Contradiction!! Not going to work on me, but thanks and keep trying.
Have a great day and happy posting!!

dave m - scared in general! Scared that you guys worship a team that is more up and down than a manic depressive? Scared that your savior, Ron Artest isn't all he's cracked up to be? Scared that the injury to Gasol has exposed how weak your bench is? Scared you might have to rely on Phil Jackson actually COACHING? Scared you won't go 82-0, 72-10 or win 34 games in a row? The smack talk on here during pre-season was unbearable. You have a great team - yes, but not perfect. And, as we know, once you have the bullseye on your back, it is tougher to repeat. These guys are all pros, and all good. You may win, it just won't be easy!!!
Does that scare you at all?

would all of you guys RELAX, its OCTOBER for gods sake.

Damn, I would have thought last year's championship run would've taught you people a lesson. The real season starts in MAY people, not October. So relax, Artest is still getting acclimated to the system, and we are missing our 2nd best player, a player who is very underestimated.


THE 81-1 BANDWAGON…
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Trolls, Laker haters, and fair weather fans have never had it better with the defending NBA champs stumbling clumsily in an embarrassing Friday night loss to the winless-until-then Dallas Mavericks. The blog reminds me of a muddy field after a heavy rain littered with resurrected carcasses of little creatures that you usually don’t see squirming and slithering in daylight unless you pick up a rock. Fortunately, they will go back where they came from as soon as the Lakers post another win.
-
What was obvious from last night’s game is that there IS a definite formula for beating the Lakers, specifically get the refs to gift you a 32-18 “road” advantage at the line, resulting in a 16-point swing, key players in constant foul trouble, loss of composure, and total frustration for the “home” team.
You would think that the NBA champs and the greatest player on the planet would get some respect on their home court. Instead, it was as if Marc Cuban had just given Nubeo watches to the refs.
-
When you look at the box score, field goal percentages, 3-point shooting, rebounds, assists, steals, and turnovers were all fairly even. The single big differential in the stats was the number of free throws awarded and made by the Mavericks. I realize I have “homer” vision but even an imbecile could see that every time a Laker player slightly bumped Nowitzki, he went to the line whereas Kobe was subjected to constant physicality and contact without a whistle until the game was long gone.
-
I fully admit that patience has never been and never will be my game. That is why I sometimes find myself ranting alongside Pfunk about Phil’s in-game coaching philosophy and mentality. Last night, I thought I could detect that Cheshire cat grin of his every so often as he seemed to be saying that this will stop that foolish talk about 72 wins and make his team pay more attention. There are times when I suspect it might actually have been Phil rather than Cuban who was giving refs Swiss watches.
-
I still do not understand the logic of sitting Andrew Bynum for the entire 4th quarter. But then I didn’t understand why Phil put five bench players in the game in the 2nd quarter in the opener, only to see a 15-point lead suddenly disappear. I get the whole this is just one step on a long journey bit and I know that his resume proves that his methodology is sound but damn it, I hate to see us lose a game that we shouldn’t. That it was a great teaching moment doesn’t reduce the sting of losing.
-
Kudos to Shannon for an excellent game. That 45-inch vertical sure looked sweet on that jam back. That was one sweet play above the rim. Lakers need to regroup, play with more discipline, and not allow the game to be taken out of their control. Atlanta will be a bigger challenge than expected.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Tom

Last night's loss to Dallas is an example of why I'm not a big Phil Jackson fan. Watching the game on TV, even the commenators realized the Lakers were not getting into their offense, choosing instead to take ill advised three pointers all night. So what does Jackson do? Nothing. Nil, Nada. Jackson needs to be a coach during the games. He sits on his cushion, and makes moves according to his script. He has never seems to me to respond to game conditions game and make necessary changes as the game dictates. With this present cast, I'm sure the Lakers will win 60 games with Jackson at the helm. The key is what he does (or doesn't do) during games he shouldn't lose, like last night. Equal blame goes to the players who got totally out of their offense and to the coaches who allow it to happen.

Posted by: Bruce Beck | October 31, 2009 at 09:30 AM

============================
Completely agree!

I hate to push the panic button after 2 games. They are a great team. But they're definitely not a 70 win season team. I don't think they're even as good as the Shaq-Kobe or Showtime Lakers.

These are the reasons:
Their defense is terrible. Their team defense seems to have slipped a little from last year, which is saying a lot, since their team defense was not very good last year. Bynum's team defense is better. He must have studied some film during the summer. But overall, it's worse, particularly by the bench.

1-1 defense is worse. Although adding Artest helped, Kobe got burned disrespecting of some players by sagging off them or conceding shots. Fisher and Sasha are worse than ever. Calling Fisher a traffic cone is an insult to traffic cones. At least a traffic cone can slow down something.

Poor shooting. It's really bad when their "shooters" are Fisher and Sasha.

The Lakers have no true point guard. You have guys like Nash getting 20 assists. What does Fisher and Farmar do?

I'm just hoping that Phil is just using this time of the year to "teach" the younger players.

I am a little concerned that Boston is blowing out opponents by 30 because it shows that they are a good team now, but the key word is NOW. If every team in the league played every game like it was a playoff game like the Celtics, the games would be much closer. But that's not how teams play. It's like those great Knicks teams of the 90s that never won it all. They played all out defense every game but when the playoffs rolled around, when all the teams played all out, they were only able to beat the Bulls once, and only because Jordan retired AND they got a lucky call.

Um, has anybody on this blog been an NBA fan for more than a year or so? In the course of an 82 game season, you will have numerous atrocious games. Every team does, without exception (like, for example, last year's world champions losing TWICE at home to Charlotte). The Lakers have played all 5 starters on this team all of one time (the first preseason game). Their second best player is out (and has been out, unable to give the team a chance, in practice or games, to incorporate a healthy Andrew and a new Artest into the lineup).

So, panic if you must, and gloat (Celtics fans) if you will, but this is going to be a long season that ends, like last year, with the Lakers in the finals against an inferior eastern conference opponent whose small forward will have the pleasure of being defended by Ron Artest....

Anyone out there still thinking that it was O.K. for Pau to play summer ball for Spain?

Andrew - no one is gloating here. Just laughing at 82-0 and 73-10, and how fickle the fans are. Now, it's "It's only one game, it was a wake up call, Gasol was out, we'll be fine by the playoffs." No gloating, who has even mentioned any other team. You guys just amuse me, that' s all.
Have a great day and happy posting!!

To All The Celtic Fans On The Blog and LakerTom,

First of all, I just want to say to the Celtic fans on here that right now the Celtics are playing the best basketball of any team in the league. Also, I won't make any excuses about how badly the my Lakers played last night because they totally stunk it up with the exception of Andrew Bynum, Shannon Brown and Josh Powell. I'm really hoping that the Lakers can get their game back on track so that we can face your Celtic team in the finals(I picked Boston to represent the East in the finals). I'm really hoping to see a completely healthy Lakers/Celtics squad for the finals so that we can put to rest which team is actually the best at full strength because you guys missed KG and Powe last year and we were without Bynum and for the most part Ariza in the 2008 finals. That's not making any excuses, just stating the facts.

LakerTom,

I was just as perplexed and dumbfounded as you were by PJ's decision to bench AB for the entire 4th quarter. Sure, there were some things that Drew could've done better on the defensive end, but at least he was active last night and all of the shots he took were good shots with some going in and out. Here's the major problem that I have with all the PG's that the Lakers have. None of them are good at penetrating into the paint and passing the ball. I mean the best we have right now at getting into the paint and finding people are Kobe, LO and Pau.

Even the PG's taken in this year's draft are already having an impact because of their ability to break the defense and get into the paint. Ty Lawson and Johnny Flynn immediately come to mind along with the usual suspects, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Tony Parker, Devin Harris, Steve Nash(I nearly puked just mentioning him), Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Monta Ellis, etc. Fisher can't drive to the hoop, Farmar makes terrible decisions and like Fish would rather shoot jumpers and Brown while ultra athletic, isn't a good passer. That Kobe has to create for himself and everyone else is too much of burden for one man to carry in my opinion. I hope that Mitch makes one more trade at the deadline for another PG with speed and the ability to get into the paint(why not Watson from the Warriors?).

Hopefully the Lakers don't get away from going inside to Drew because I really don't think that there's any Center in the league that can stop him one on one. For the first two games Drew is averaging 20ppg and 11.5rpg, which is great for us. He needs to protect the rim better on defense by altering and blocking shots, but I believe he'll get in going defensively. Keep feeding the beast!!! Go Lakers!!!

Green baldie - no actually, I'm not scared at all. I've been a fan of the game for a long time. The season's long and has just begun. I like our chances, just as you like your's. The Celtics obviously went through a long stretch of lean years and I'm sure you hung in there with them. I don't think last night's Lakers loss is anywhere near a doom and gloom scenario... I certainly don't think the rest of the league's now licking their chops.

At any rate, there's times when I'm not satisfied with aspects of the Lakers' play, or individual performances, etc. It certainly doesn't translate to fear.

- - - - - - - -
Nemaia,
- - - - - - - -
Who knows why Phil does what he does in the short term. Thankfully, it all seems to work out in the end. Maybe he wants Drew to be hungrier. I don’t know. Drew played pretty but like Kobe never seemed to get the call despite quite a bit of contact every time he shoots. He needs to use a spin move to get inside so that he doesn’t get the cheap calls by the ref for going over the top. I liked the couple of drives that ended up as left handed layups. We probably could have used some interior defense in the fourth quarter too because easy layups and put backs were killing us. Anyway, it will all be fine.
- - - - - - - -
Tom
- - - - - - - -

Don't know if anyone's been watching the Rockets/Portland game on NBA's free league pass preview but Trevor's having a sweet game.

My fellow UCLA Bruin Trevor Ariza lit up Portland with 33 on 5-8 3pt shooting (11-17 from the field). That follows up a 25 pt night.


I didn't see the game but I honestly didn't think he had that in him without the Laker stars enabling wide open shots for him. I'm thrilled for him (no pun intended).


It's obviously too early to make conclusions, but so far, Houston looks like they've come out ahead. Ron Ron will find his groove. The free throwing is quite hideous for a career 72% shooter, so he's clearly got a mental obstacle he needs to play through.

Trevor is doing a great job making me miss him. I had a feeling he would!

Meanwhile Ariza scores 33 in Houston's win over Portland

805 - I don't know that Houstin came out ahead. I still think Ron's the guy who will help up in the ways we most need it throughout a long seaso. I was happy though, to see Trevor playing so well.

Meanwhile, I watched the Dallas/Clippers game. Clips had come back late in the 4th quarter to tie it up, then Telfair started jacking up shots from outside. No wonder the guy can't stick with a team.

dave m (not Dave in Santa Barbara but I sure wish I did live there!).

James,

>>AB fortunately looks great. Shannon - terrific. Kobe is Kobe.
>>
>>Lakers have such a talented first team - but when you get to the bench it's the
>>>same old thing.

It's ironic that you're attacking the bench for losing the game last night. Do you
understand what wins and loses games? It's scoring more points than your opponent.

The +/- stat is the clearest indicator of who's helping the team win and who isn't.

Here are some of the +/- stats for last night's game:


Kobe Bryant -20
Andrew Bynum -20
Derek Fisher -21
Lamar Odom -27
Ron Artest -2

So basically the starters handed the bench mob a 20 point deficit to try to
overcome. The Lakers "talented first team" lost this game, not the bench.

Shannon Brown 0
Josh Powell +8
Luke Walton +7
Jordan Farmar +7

and
Sasha Vujacic -2

Part of that was the bench mob scoring a quick 5 points against Dallas at the
very end of the game, but as a group, they mostly kept the team even during
their time on the floor.

Your free to have your opinion all you want, but if you're blaming the bench
players for this loss, then you are deluding yourself.

Starters: 15 turnovers
Bench Mob: 4 turnovers

Starters shooting 44%
Bench Mob shooting 52%

Yes it's true, Farmar & Walton and Vujacic (and Brown as well) make a lot more
mistakes than the starters and sometimes have bad games. They're bench players.
No team in the world has 15 All-stars. But they also sometimes have monster
good games, where they carry the starters through bad spots and contribute a
LOT to wins.

I just re-watched game 4 vs Utah recently. The starters played pretty crappy and
got in a 7 point hole. The bench mob cam on. BAM 3-pointer by Luke. Defensive
stop. BAM 3-pointer by Shannon. Defensive stop. BAM 3-pointer by Sasha.
Suddenly the Lakers have the lead and the starters are re-invigorated.

Most nights, the bench mob don't need to carry the starters for even part of a
game. If they can mostly just play even with the opponents, then the Lakers
starters are good enough to win. But it's unreasonable and unfair of you to blame
a loss on the bench mob in which the starters handed the bench a 20+ point defecit
and the bench were unable to dig them out of it.

Does not matter what Ariza does - we could not sign him. He wrote his own ticket.

GGBHL,

>>Does that scare you at all?

The only thing that scares me at all is that I'm going to have to wade through a
virtual ocean of your drooling posts. I'm sure they'll last well after the Celtics have
lost out of the playoffs in the second round and you'll be telling us how Portland
is going to own the Lakers and then how San Antonio is going to sweep the Lakers
and then you'll be telling us how Orlando is going to get revenge on the Lakers.

That's what scare's me. That I'll have to read your banal witless posts until next
June when the Lakers wrap up another ring.

I miss Ariza, Thrillers a bust.

Kobe talks about missing Gasol, just make some shots, and stop gambling on defense your man is killing us.

Is Ariza another Caron Butler?

Check out the +/- in the box score for the game. Artest was -2; other starters all -20 or worse.

Farmar played 19 minutes and was +7.

I am just a lurker, been reading nearly every post since last year and only posted once last year when I said I thought Trevor was an up and coming Worthy. Time will tell, but I think he is a rising star and Ron Ron is over rated. But no matter, we're stuck with him.
All this analysis about whats wrong after the loss to the Mavs, but its simple. The Lakers didnt become a top team until they got Gasol. Say what you want about 24, Gasol is their MVP, or maybe Co-MVP. Without Gasol they are a playoff team, not a finals team.
Gasol changes everything. If he is out for an extended period, the Lakers are going to struggle. The bench snobs don't matter, Ron Ron can muddle through, DFish can struggle all year as usual,with Gasol healthy they are a top team, without him, not. Its going to be a long season until Pau is back and healthy. He's the key to Lakers success.

Long Time (great song by Boston, by the way) -
Ah - who mentioned the Celtics?? Me? I think not.
Are you scared because YOUR team, the great and powerful la lakers, may not be as good as advertised? All these ridiculous bandwagons? Artest WAY better than Ariza? Not the least bit concerned? You have a great team, yes, but you will actually have to work for the title this year. It will not be handed to you. And, except for koME, given the volatile personalities on this team, does that worry you just a little?
See, here's the difference. I AM a CELTICS fan, and I'm worried. Just don't get why you guys aren't. Please enlighten me!!

GGBHL - I wouldn't watch the NBA, if I thought the Lakers wouldn't " have to work for the title this year." At the upper echelons, this league is very competitive and on any given night, (just about) any team can beat any team. The Dallas game was a good example. A talented team comes in super-motivated to play, and the Lakers show up with play that is disorganized, ineffective, uncoached. We need these kinds of games in the regular season because the Lakers need to be reminded that they'll get punched in the mouth if they think the names on the back/front of their jerseys mean that other teams will roll over for them (especially come playoff time).

That said, I also think the Lakers are "as good as advertised." They are the reigning Champions. They replaced a good player with a good player. The liabilities are still the liabilities. I truly hope to see a full strength Celtics (if you guys can take care of Orlando) in the Finals, and may the better team win.

Downtown Attorney - Amen, brother, that's all I've been saying for weeks now. You take care of SA, and we'll handle Orlando.
Good luck and may the better team win - as I've said a million times, the better team will win, because the better team always does.
Thank, man


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