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A quick hit from Lakers practice

I'll have a more detailed practice report soon, but for now, a couple of points that address what I imagine is occupying the most space inside the average Lakers fan's mind:

1) Kobe Bryant took part in practice and, during the moments the media were allowed to watch, looked considerably more comfortable than during last night's game against Houston.  The treatment for his strained right groin was ramped up last night and he's responding better.

2) Pau Gasol was a limited participant in both half and full court scrimmages and felt pretty good afterward.  Suiting up tomorrow against Detroit is likely not an option, but Gasol and Phil Jackson both felt Thursday's matchup with the Bulls could be in the cards.  Given how slow El Spaniard's hamstring has recovered, the optimism was more guarded than gushing.  But Pau looked reasonably confident expressing hope.

More to come later. 

AK

 
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In the official practice report, I'd also be curious to know if you sense any shifting of the starting 5 other than Pau Gasol... (I think you can figure out what I'm talking about here)

I'm on a limb here, Gasol back in a week and not before. Good reporting KBros, where would we all be without you?

Oh, I know... we'd be forced into watching Bucher report garbage and forced to read Simers worthless drivel.

Praise the Lord for the Kamenetzky brothers. The angels must have sang that day, and I'm not even talking about the ones from Anaheim.

Iverson has had his contract cut..Or a payout has been reached...

Its time to let one of the other point guards have a shot and rest the legs of the fish...Stukey and Wil Bynum are going to be a huge handful for our guards...

They also have Wallace to guard Bynum and please never forget the cousin of Greg Oden.....Kwame cake chucker Brown..

I can't wait to see Pau back on the floor. The Hairy Flamenco Dancer brings a level of organization and calm to the court that is badly missed right now.

Note to team: There are now TWO seven foot gentlemen waiting for the ball PRIOR to you launching any ill-advised long-range jumpers. Thank you.

Go Lake Show!

Jamie,
- - - - - - - -
>>> Have to disagree with some on Fish and Kobe shooting us out of the game.
>>> Quite a few of both of their attempts came with the clock winding down after
>>> much fruitless dribbling by multiple Lakers.
-
With all due respect, the majority of both of their shots came early in the clock with nobody in offensive rebounding position without even giving a look to see if Drew were open. I thought Kobe had the worst shot selection I have seen in the last two years. Just what would you define shooting 8 for 33 while Drew was shooting 8 for 12? If that is not shooting us out of a game, then what is?
- - - - - - - -
LAKERTRUTH,
- - - - - - - -
>>> Have you ever tried playing basketball with a strained groin? Yes, teams are adjusting to
>>> Kobe's post game, but the majority of the shots he missed last night were shots he made
>>> before the groin injury. It was obvious he could not spin quickly or get much lift in his
>>> turnaround last night as well as the second half of the Denver game (as Phil noted).
-
Kobe Bryant is my favorite player but that does not mean he is always right or can’t receive some constructive criticism. Last night was an example of terrible leadership and horrible shot selection. If Kobe was so hindered physically by his groin, he should not have taken those 20 shots of which he made only 5. Have you ever heard of playing the hot hand? Kobe may be the best but he was not the hot hand last night and should have found ways of getting the ball to Drew. That is the smart play.
-
>>> To group Kobe with Fish, who has been struggling with his shot for the last 13 months,
>>> as reasons to change the offense is LOCO. Kobe also looks for Bynum, while Fish continually
>>> ignores Bynum in the post.
-
You think so? Then tell me which of Kobe’s 3 assists went to Drew last night. You are right that most nights Kobe is the best player on the team getting the ball to Drew but NOT LAST NIGHT.
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>>> It's interesting how you pick the two games that Kobe played hurt as an argument to revolve
>>> the offense around Bynum, after giving Kobe all the credit when he carried this team to the
>>> other victories. It's also interesting that you criticize Kobe's 1 rebound while playing injured,
>>> and deflect any blame towards Bynum for giving up so many offensive rebounds to Houston.
>>> That's like blaming Josh Powell for giving up open 3's to Aaron Brooks. You wanted Bynum
>>> to be the #2 option ahead of Pau. Than you realized how silly that idea was and backtracked.
>>> Now you are suggesting that Bynum should be the #1 option ahead of Kobe? Huh?
-
When Kobe is on, he is without a doubt the #1 offensive option on the Lakers and will be for the next few years. But anybody who thinks that Drew is not #2 option in this offense even after Pau returns is living in the past. Drew is going to be the starting center for the West All-Stars this year.
-
Drew is going to average over 20/10/2/2 this season. The smart move by the Lakers is to play inside-out basketball, something that is literally impossible if you have your starting guards taking 33 shots and your center who shoots over 60% from the field taking only 12 shots. With due respect, anybody who argues that that is not the smart move for the Lakers to make is barking up the wrong tree.
- - - - - - - -
Tom


ah, the good ol laker blog crue. where the entire season is one long single elimination playoff.

I never thought I'd say this but... as bad as Fish has been and with Farmar clearly not being the heir apparent... would... no, seriously, would Iverson agree to be a pass first guard for us? Starting is no problem, IF Iverson is willing to be more pass happy and open to taking more outside shots...

Oh my... how many starting slots for guards on championship capable teams are available right now? We have one... wouldn't that be something? Iverson in the yellow and gold? That would be a strange picture...

LAKERTOM

-Agreed on Kobe's shot selection. It's incredible when you got Ron and 'Drew working wonders against a team, you think, "OK, they're good, now for me to score 40!" Not saying Kobe was going for 40, but he wasn't going to give up the ball.

REPOST

Okay...

So it really looks like we need to get Lamar the ball at the top of the key more often. He's at his best taking his man from the 3 point line into the paint and dishing or shooting.

Not working the ball into the post well is inexcusable by our guard core. Farmar looked so hesitant dumping it into the post it often resulted in a telegraphed pass that forced the post player to come out and meet the ball in no mans land.

Lots has been said about the early shot clock hoists. Kind of don't buy Fish's comments to the tune of "sometimes you want to assert yourself as an NBA player". First off, you should always want to be assertive, second this has nothing to do with playing smart. Contested 3 pointers are there all game long, good looks inside have to worked for.

The last two games have been some of the worst I've ever seen Kobe handle double-teams. Ever. It was like he forgot what to do when a guy came to double. Some of this is on the team for not moving into better position to get the ball out of the trap. But a lot of it was Kobe waiting too long to make a play, the double got set and he would have little to no room to operate.

Against the Liliputians you must use your Giant. Otherwise our slower, older vets will be blown away by every speedy, mid-level NBA talent and there are grips of them. The discipline and poise we saw against Phoenix vanished over the last two games.

I said it already but it seems like it's creeped up over the last two, can it with the griping to refs. It never gets you anywhere, so it seems. Instead, don't play down to your (seeming) level of competition.

Ahhhhh, now I feel better. Prognosis for success? Watch some game tape, get our PGs to work on getting the ball inside to a guy with good position. Basically pay better attention to detail. And not to freak out.

I love Kobe, but I think LakerTom is right. Let's go inside to the BEAST and allow him to go to work. Now, if Kobe becomes willing to pass off the post, it could make the Lakers extremely hard to guard. However, he could also stay on the perimeter, pass it into Drew and slash to the basket. I have not seen him do that all year. He could be dangerous on a two man game with Drew. Why isn't he doing that?

Also, when Pau and Drew are out of the game, then he can work the post. This would give the Lakers a much more dynamic offence. Right now, he just seems to be hell bent on posting. Regardless if it's working or not.

I've given thought to Iverson to the Lakers. I don't think it would be a good idea. The Lakers need to learn how to maximize their current roster on offence. However, that won't be an issue for long, not with Phil. However, the Lakers need a good defensive guard. Something Iverson is not. I don't see it happening or working to be honest with you.

Nice to hear both guys practiced, Tim-4-Show, right on with Simers and drivel belonging in the same breath. How much longer must I skip past his section (even when he covers a team I like, now) when I know several 4th Graders who could report with as much objectivity as does he.


Hopefully we find our defense over the next day or so. That would be nice.

Pau, does not engage in contact unless he is pain free, this is very good news, barring something odd expect him Thursday

let's face it, Fisher isn't making his man work on offense or defense. I believe Farmar is being showcased right now, he's clearly not the long term answer. Shannon Brown can do some great things but... it seems he's more valuable providing a spark off the bench. Iverson would be a MAJOR gamble, probably bigger than Artest but... he's vastly superior to anybody we have at that position, ESPECIALLY if he's willing to pass more, at least he would be a credible threat on offense so his man couldn't cheat off him to double on somebody else. Iverson's defense couldn't be any worse than Fisher's...

BynumTom,

"But anybody who thinks that Drew is not #2 option in this offense even after Pau returns is living in the past."

Living in the past??? Do you mean in the olden days of yore, some four months ago, when the Lakers won a championship with Pau as the #2 option? That's funny. If living in the past means going back to the finals (for the THIRD TIME in a row) with Pau as the #2 option, than I will gladly continue to live in the past.

"The smart move by the Lakers is to play inside-out basketball, something that is literally impossible if you have your starting guards taking 33 shots and your center who shoots over 60% from the field taking only 12 shots. With due respect, anybody who argues that that is not the smart move for the Lakers to make is barking up the wrong tree."

Again, please stop lumping Fish and Kobe together to bolster your argument about Kobe's ineffectiveness while being hurt. That is an insult. I 100% agree with you that Fish shot too much last night and I agree with you that Bynum deserves more touches, but that is a far cry from declaring Bynum the #1 option over Kobe or Pau.

Last week, you were praising Kobe's post game. Than he struggles after pulling his groin, and this is your basis for revolving the offense around Bynum over Kobe? A few months ago, you were saying that Bynum should be the #2 option, than you backtracked and admitted the offense will run smoother with Pau as the #2 option, now it's back to Bynum again. You were the biggest advocate to let Lamar go because you were worried about Bynum's touches, than you suddenly became a Lamar "lover" after he was signed. It's difficult to take your opinions seriously when they are so Bynum-centric and seemingly change on a weekly basis.

Seriously, Bynum is going to be great, but he is still young and inexperienced. He has yet to play a full season, let alone being the focal point of an offense. What is the rush? His time will come, but for now, this is Kobe and Pau's team. They are proven champions. Their combined basketball IQ has no equal in this league. The notion of running the offense through Bynum over Pau is just plain silly.

is anybody going to do a post on how bizarre it is that anybody could get stephen jackson for basically two guys who shouldn't even be starters? I know he has that contractual equivalent of a 500 lb anvil, but jeez.

It seems to me that the biggest problem is the lack of outside shooting. The last two games any out side shots by the Lakers allowed all 5 of the opponents to go into the paint. It was amazing to me that Drew shot 8 of 12 on sheer strength with 4 or 5 guys hanging on him. If we can't find someone to open the floor it is going to be a long season.

Jack

One more comment on Kobe (besides "get better soon, Mamba").

His new post-up game...all things considered, I don't like it. Yes, it's amazing when he's got it working (Phoenix game). Yes, I love watching him muscle and spin his befuddled defenders when he's got it working. But here's the deal, the net effect has really slowed down if not totally stopped team movement, with only Bynum remaining near the basket for a rebound while everyone else clears out to the perimeter. If Kobe misses or gets the ball stripped, the other team is off on a fast break while Kobe stays behind yapping or scowling at the refs.

In fact, it's a different version of the "old Kobe". Except instead of dribbling around on the perimeter before he serially goes 1 on 4 to the basket, it's now 1 on 2 and all 5 defenders in potential rebounding position (ergo, midget Rockets out-rebound Lakers 186 to 19, or something that seemed like that).

I want to see the slashing, penetrating Kobe again! Get that ball moving and get the team moving again. Use the post-up on a case by case basis only, and then only sporadically. Kobe Effing Greatest Bryant is a slasher, not a masher.

Laker Truth,

Bynum should not be the #1 option. I also don't think that Pau is now effectively the #3 option either. I think that in the Triangle Offence, it can all depend on the match ups of the night. For example, when teams are collapsing their team on Kobe, then he needs to either pass it out for a rotation, re-post deeper on smaller defenders or reset to the perimeter and then do the inside out game with Drew or Pau Gasol. Now, if the Lakers are playing the Nuggets, then I think Bynum is a more appealing option. If the Lakers are playing the CAVS, then Pau is the better option. It all depends on the night and opposing team.

Now, Kobe should always be the first option. He is a match up nightmare for 99.9% of the NBA. However, he does need to learn to adjust his game to who is playing him. Trust me when I tell you that he won't be able to effectively post on the Celtics or Cavs. Both of those teams have size to stop him on the post. He needs to go to perimeter and mid post play against them.

We will see if Kobe starts becoming dynamic, but it could all be because of his injury. Perhaps that's a good explanation for the lack of perimeter play from him?

MATHEMATICS FOR DUMMY:........................................

1. NO PAU = No repeat title
2. Experience, maturity and High basketball IQ = Pau
3. Ultimate team player = Pau
4. Perfect complimentary player for Kobe = Pau
5. Could be, Would be and Can be = Lack of experience, resilience/durability and uncertainty = Andrew Bynum
6. Future great = Andrew Bynum

MITCH KUPCHAK,PLEASE bring Allen Iverson in,he's not a problem he's a solution,the guy just wants to win,that's all,he can play point guard for L.A,a proven scorer that knows he's a third or forth option on this team and will accept his roll,and you can get him for probably under 4 million, that's a steal considering his resume,at least sit him down and talk with him,he is a man of his word.You gambled on Artest who is another player that gets a bad rap,forget the media,we want Championships, LAKERS BIGGEST FAN !

It should be inside out. Why can't the Lakers do that? Drew does well in the post, so feed him the ball and have him muscle for low position. He is big and stronger than anyone out there. We also have Ron Artest and Odom to post up -- utilize their skills, instead, they keep throwing up bricks. I can't understand the PROFESSIONAL players on this Lakers team.

Hector,

I agree with you that it will depend on matchups, but for the most part, the offense should run through Gasol over Bynum because Pau is a better playmaker, and simply put, he is much smarter and more experienced than Bynum at this point. Pau is also battle tested. Bynum might score more points, but the initial post entry should go to Gasol more times than not. If Bynum is open or has good position, Gasol will find him.

I respectfully disagree that Kobe cannot post up against the Cavs or Celts.
Who's going to guard Kobe in the post? Mo Williams, Anthony Parker, Ray Allen, Rondo? He will dominate these guys in the post. If adjustments are made by putting a bigger defender (i.e. Lebron or Pierce) on Kobe, than defenses will be forced to defend Artest with a much smaller player, or Kobe will dissect the defense with his passing. Either way, Kobe in the post, even against elite defenses, is not a bad idea.

Hurry back Pau before D.Fish's pathetic play drives my crazy. Please hurry back!

Fisher is horrible, but please don't bring in Iverson.

Corner J,

We all want to see the slashing, penetrating Kobe again. But he is 31 with a lot of MBA miles, and he has played through a lot of injuries. Kobe will never be the old Kobe again. The new Kobe is fine (last 2 games of HORRIBLE shot selection aside). If yoou want to see the old one you have to watch EPSN Classic.

Tom D.

Laker Truth,

On second thought your probably right, but I still think he needs to become more dynamic. That applies to the team as well. If the post to Kobe fails then rotate it or look for another option.

I guess I made it sound like AB over Pau Gasol, but I still think it depends on match ups. I think that AB can be the second option in some games and Gasol the second in other games. I also don't see why Kobe can't be second or third in games were they are hell bent on stopping him.

It's a nice problem to have though. I haven't even gotten into Artest. He can be used to abuse certain matchups as well as Odom. Wow! It's just a matter of getting everyone to play to play D to be honest. The offence will work eventually, the defence is my longer term concern. Especially at the point.

I am totally on the Iverson bandwagon if they can convince him to play the role he's needed in. Even if he can't defend - we can't get worse than what we already have. Fish? Farmar? Sasha? Iverson is one who can penetrate the lane, dish off to Bynum, create shots....this would give Kobe time to rest the injury. People keep saying we don't need more scoring options but that is not true as seen in the last 2 games.

Even if this didn't work out - I'd much rather the Lakers gamble and make this an exciting team then watching the last 2 pathetic games with no effort. Yes, only 10 games into the season but Artest has been true to his word. The guy is a beast and at least he's contributing and plays hard. every time I see Sasha, Farmar in the game i cringe. Or watching Fish start dribblinb - you know he's going to jack it up.

I'd so much rather watch Iverson - at least it wouldn't be a continuation of the same ol' crap from last season. (Yes, I know the Lakers won the ring - but they continue to play with the same faults as last year.)

Ok, I don't know if this is a fact yet, but sounds like Luke is out for 6 weeks with a pinched nerve. How the heck did we end up with this loser and commit so much payroll to him? Then Sasha? Farmar? Ammo? Come on Mitch - Bobcats got Jackson for Bell and SpaceCadet....we need some good trades to make the Lakers able to defend their title.

Artest was a good start - we still need a PG - one who can defend or one who can really run the offense.

Laker Fam,

I like to weigh in on the Kobe/Pau/Drew discussion. While I agree with most of what LakerTom has posted and many on here know from the game blog how adamant I've been about the lack of touches and trust from Drew's teammates, I've a little different take on it.

I agree with those on here that Kobe is our #1 option, Drew is #2 until Pau returns. My frustration is not whether or not who is the number one option, but rather the lack of ball movement, entry passes into the post and as LakerTom adequately put it, go with the hot hand. It's also a matter of getting high percentage shots, recognizing and exploiting the mismatches on the floor which many times is whoever is guarding Bynum. Bynum has developed a nice power game, deft touch around the basket and has added a mid range jumper to his offensive arsenal.

What we're seeing right now is the confident Bynum that we saw before his two knee injuries and the best is yet to come. Even PJ in the most recent LAT article which stated that Bynum has been the most consistent offensive player for the Lakers so far said it was a shame that Drew's mates didn't get the ball more to Drew in the loss last to Houston. For me it's just a matter of better ball movement, offensive recognition and execution and shot distribution.

Don't confuse how many scoring opportunities someone will have with what their position is in the hierarchy of "focal points." Bynum should not be the focal point of the offense; that should probably be Pau (once he comes back) or Kobe. The result may be that Bynum ends up with the most points, based on how the defense reacts to Pau/Kobe, and what they do in response to the defense.

But at this stage in his development, Bynum is not quick enough to respond to defenses to have the offense "go" through him.

Love the "Dump Kobe put Bynum as the number one option" thing. It's so melodramatic.

"The notion of running the offense through Bynum over Pau is just plain silly."

Bynum is the most overrated player on the Lakers despite his good production. Despite having a skill set better than Dwight Howard he's only par to par with Dwight (who offensively is arguably worst than Shaq). Take Kobe out of this team and what happens to Bynum? Mad doubles that Kobe is used to seeing now goes to Bynum and forces him out of the post (which was done quite a bit against Houston against both Kobe and Bynum not to mention against Dwight in the 2009 Finals). Even Shaq couldn't win without a dependable guard at his side (Kobe and Wade). Now I expect LakerTom to blast me but oh well.

"The smart move by the Lakers is to play inside-out basketball, something that is literally impossible if you have your starting guards taking 33 shots and your center who shoots over 60% from the field taking only 12 shots."

Hmm that happened on Game 4 of the 2009 Finals and who won that game despite firing 31 shots and missing 20 of them?


"1. NO PAU = No repeat title
2. Experience, maturity and High basketball IQ = Pau
3. Ultimate team player = Pau
4. Perfect complimentary player for Kobe = Pau
5. Could be, Would be and Can be = Lack of experience, resilience/durability and uncertainty = Andrew Bynum".

Whoever does not recognize Pau as the 2nd fiddle was the reason we still ran among the NBA's elite with Cleveland and Boston last season either has their heads in La La Land or a Big homer to not recognize that. Bynum may score more but heck there's a DIFFERENCE between scorers and go to guys. Bynum may have improved his scoring but as a go to guy? Look at what happens when the double team happens. One of the biggest things of a zone was to limit the dominance of a big man as was clearly seen when Yao was doubled like crazy in 2009 First Round against Portland. People say give it to Bynum? From where? Midrange? Bynum doesn't have the dribble penetration moves that Kobe or Pau has. When the double came at him on Denver he struggled. To say to simply "pound with Bynum"...well get him to be a better passer then we'll discuss a Kobe vs Bynum thing until then Kobe is the MAN and Pau is the 2nd FIDDLE. Bynum may score well now but lets see against Dwight and even an old Shaq if he can truly score against them. Dominating Amare Stoudemire is one thing.


you've got to be kidding, I've got a stalker? How many people even post here? and... one of them couldn't come up with a different name than... Porky Pig? ??? ok...

Lord Porkus Pigus the VIII, RULER of his Majesty's Divine Vegetarian Council...


LAKER TRUTH,
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
>>> Living in the past??? Do you mean in the olden days of yore, some four months ago,
>>> when the Lakers won a championship with Pau as the #2 option?
-
I love how you now try to turn my comments into some form of disrespect for Pau Gasol, whose absence is obviously one very big part of why we are 7-3 and struggling and not 10-0 and cruising. The past I was referring to was training camp, preseason, and the first ten games of the season where Drew has been playing as well as he did the last two Januaries before getting injured.
-
Actually, I think Drew is starting to play better every game now and that is really scary. The biggest thing I saw last game was more aggressiveness on blocking shots – a season high 5 blocks – and a several rebounds where we saw Drew finally soar way above the rim to snag a rebound.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
>>> The notion of running the offense through Bynum over Pau is just plain silly.
-
I certainly hope that we run the offense through Pau on the high post because Pau is a great passer and will be able to find Drew more efficiently and easily than perimeter feeders. Pau will be a triple threat on the high post who can shoot, drive, or pass. Drew is going to prevent doubling him.
-
That doesn’t mean, though, that we won’t pass the ball straight into Drew in the low post because that is going to become a bread and butter part of the Lakers offense that you are going to see 10 times a game. So you better get used to seeing Drew scoring in the lost post because it is going to be there.
-
I don’t really care how you characterize it because in the end the #2 scorer on this team is definitely going to be Andrew Bynum partly because of his position and the inevitable gimme lobs and dunks that he is going to get and partly because he will have the biggest mismatch to go against and teams will be hesitant to double him because of Kobe and Pau. And there will be times when we should go to him as our first option, such as when Kobe is injured or ice cold from the field or Drew is hot.
-
Don’t let your emotions try to turn this into some form of disrespect to Kobe or Pau when that is not the point at all. Kobe took too many poor shots and didn’t play good smart team basketball the last two games. Cut it however you want but that is the reality. He is only human after all. He is not perfect. And how is it an insult to Pau that Drew is suddenly playing dominating offense? It is only going to make Pau’s job and the team better. And frankly, Pau could care less if he is #2 scorer. That is not his nature. Drew, on the other hand, has more of a Kobe Bryant attitude toward scoring.
-
In the end, it is the mix of alpha players like Kobe and Drew with the glue guys like Pau, Lamar, and so far Ron that provide the raw materials for a great team chemistry AND performance. So let’s not argue about such silly things or get needlessly upset or defensive. After all, we can still go 79-3. :)
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Tom



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