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Houston 101, Lakers 91: Kobe Bryant's groin was one of many painful things

Well, that sucked.


Breakdown below...

THREE GOOD :

    -Andrew Bynum: He was LA's most effective player on the floor, hands down. 21 points on 8-12 from the floor, 11 boards, five blocked shots. Over the course of the second half, he was growing fairly frustrated with a lack of touches. So was I. Bynum only had one shot in the third, two in the fourth. It wasn't for lack of effort, the Lakers simply didn't have the patience to work the ball inside. Defensively, he got caught up in the ragged play of the Lakers from time to time. Certainly he didn't show enough respect for David Andersen, who finished with 19 points on 9-14 shooting, but as a team the Lakers were lacking in that regard. Nor was the Andersen-inflicted damage all on Bynum. Some of it, as you'll see in the video, was on the coaching staff, some on team rotations.

    -Shannon Brown: The only notable spark off the bench for the Lakers, who were shorthanded (no Pau Gasol, gimpy Kobe Bryant, no Luke Walton). 12 points on 4-6 from the floor, three boards, three dimes. I certainly would have liked to see more from him than the 15:25 of PT Phil Jackson gave him. Not necessarily because he clamped down on D (effective P and R defense is a team thing), but rather for his offensive spark. Derek Fisher was very active early on the defensive end, but just as it was against Houston last year, he was brutal offensively. That's where the damage was being done, and Brown was far more effective on that side of the ball.

    -Ron Artest: 8-16 overall, with three triples on five tries. 22/6/2 with three steals. Overall, it's a pretty solid line. It wasn't 48 minutes of consistent brilliance, but a) that's a lot to ask of anyone, and b) he was clearly not the problem Sunday night. Plus, I promised "Three Good." Feel free to include the very warm, very well-deserved standing ovation given to Trevor Ariza before the game when he was awarded his championship ring. It was a classy moment from Lakers fans for a guy who earned such a reception.

BK

THE NOT LIMITED TO THREE BAD:

        -The back court, save Shannon Brown: From a guard-centric POV, not a night for the purple and gold time capsule.  Derek Fisher had issues at times checking Aaron Brooks, but that didn't necessarily bother me.  In part, because most players can't stick anybody that fast.  In part because I thought he also had moments on the defensive end, whether against Brooks or just in general.  But mostly because I think Fish's offense actually hurt the Lakers considerably more than his D.  It wasn't necessarily that Fisher went 3-13 from the field (although make no mistake, that hardly served as an asset), but the shots he was missing.  Pull up J's in transition.  Early three's in the clock off little ball movement.  A driving layup where the impending block was visible a mile away.  Fisher's obviously past his prime, but has often been able to offset that age through smarts developed over the years.  This wasn't one of those nights. 

Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic were a combined 2-9 off the bench, the latter especially guilty of some infuriating shots, the worst an immediate step back jumper that neutralized the good that came from tracking down Lamar Odom's downtown miss.  I'm no roundball expert, but I would have... I don't know... utilized more of my brand new 24 seconds.  But that's just me.

As for Kobe Bryant, this was pretty tough sledding.  5-20 from the field for just 18 points, along with four turnovers.  Health may have played a role in his struggles (more on that later), but assuming his body wasn't the literal "explanation," I thought Kobe's problems also were the result of forcing action, particularly while working his post game.  BK and I have both praised his efforts in the paint this early season and by and large, I think it's been a terrific asset for the Lakers.  But as we saw Friday against Denver and tonight, teams have begun adjusting to this approach.  Kobe needs to be aware of this and make adjustments of his own.  I don't think we've seen enough recognition from 24 over the last two games. 

        -Rebounding: The Rockets may be height-challenged, but you wouldn't know it from the numbers after the dust cleared.  60-38 in Houston's favor, including a baker's dozen on the offensive glass (which led to 16 second chance points).  Depending on who you asked, it was a matter of... Inferior effort... Poor recognition of flight path... Lucky bounces at times for Houston.  Bynum even likened the team to headless chickens.  ("They're running out and then we're all over the place on the defense.  We've got guards trying to box out bigs.  Bigs trying to box out guards.  We're all over the place.") 

Any and all of these reasons- and maybe even others- could be held liable, so it's best to just correct them all.

        -Lamar Odom:  Just five points, matching his tally for fouls and turnovers.  Even worse, he only took four shots all game and none during the second half, which simply isn't acceptable.  Period.  I've said many times over the years that LO's career is often evaluated/criticized too heavily by his ppg.  Considering everything else he does, I don't think it's important that he scores eighteen per night rather than fifteen.  What is important, however, is that he remains a continual threat to score and stays aggressive enough along those lines to make an impact.  Even taking into account his six assists, Odom still has to be more active on the offensive end.  Tonight's output just won't cut it.

        -Ball movement: 23 assists look pretty good, until you realize that seventeen came during the first half.  And ten of that seventeen happened in the first quarter, the frame the Lakers succeeded most at creating opportunities for others.  From there, everything kinda fell to pot.  Generally speaking, when a squad this skilled at whipping around the ball endures a half sporting just six assists, the issue tends to be settling as opposed to working the Spalding for the best shot possible.  Tonight was no exception.

Fish commented on what went wrong for them offensively, and the lack of discipline they showed as a team. Summarizes things pretty well.

"I think we respected Phoenix's pace more than we did Houston, even though our coaches told us that this is a team that loves to play in the open court. I don't know if we really took that message to heart. We did take some early shots that did allow them to kind of stay in more of a flow game. They didn't always have to score against our set defense and so that's definitely a mistake we made, and I'll take some of the responsibility for that. Because we aren't doing some things on our execution in the half court, I think we have several guys that rhythm offensively and sometimes in transition that might be your best chance to get a good open look, but your heart's not in it because it's probably not the best shot to take at the time. So there's a little bit of a cat and mouse game with some of our guys. Ron's been a victim of it, and we've had some other guys, including myself, who have kind of been in and out offensively. So I think as we improve in our halfcourt execution, then you won't see so much inconsistency with taking early, quick shots."

Q: Just because you're open doesn't mean you have to shoot?
 "Yeah. But I think a big part of that is knowing and trusting that because we will execute offensively, those play opportunities will come back around. We've always fought that, though, with teams that I've been on here because we have so much talent. Every night, everybody's not going to be happy and from time to time, you're going to think about your own performance, you're going to try do to a little bit more. You wouldn't be here (in the NBA) if you didn't try to assert yourself and be aggressive. Tonight was just a night where it didn't work out well for us."
AK

One Big Thing:

    -Kobe's groin: I have no idea how bad it is. If it was terrible, Kobe wouldn't let on. He says he won't miss games, but whether that's the best thing, I have no idea. What the Lakers can't have is a lingering problem with another muscle pull. Groin injuries, like Pau's hamstring, are slow to heal, easy to re-injure, and can suck the athleticism out of even the most athletic of players. That Kobe had his shot blocked three times tonight can probably be attributed to the bum muscle. The Lakers have been hit with early season injuries pretty hard. Pau is yet to suit up (in something other than a suit), Bynum has missed a pair of games, and now Kobe's groin is flaring up. They need to get healthy.

BK

VIDEO:

Kobe, on his groin, the game, and early season concerns (he uses that term very loosely). Asked how he feels, he responded "I've felt better." So have Lakers fans, hearing the words "Kobe" and "groin" in the same sentence:

Bynum, on his night, and LA's issues on both sides of the ball. It seemed he was reasonably frustrated with a lack of touches, but to his credit deflected numerous chances to get deep into that question.

Phil Jackson, on the game, Kobe's groin, defensive rotations, and the like. You'll be interested in his responses both to questions about why he stuck with Fish as much as he did, and also what the problem was with their defensive rotations on Andersen:

Lamar Odom, on the rebounding advantage of the Rockets:

Artest, on the game:


 
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Hey, Magic said that winning the second Championship is harder than winning the first.

The problem is, as I see it, is that this team has begun to believe its press a bit too much.

And that Pau Gasol isn't on the court.

This whole 73 win season is kind of nonsense. What matters is that this team is focused on getting better and rebounds from bad patterns of decision-making.

I wish they would have won, but I'll deal with it.

This team is still special.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Said it many times, but will say it again ....

Lakers should play inside out with Bynum the number 1 offensive option.
(Gasol number 2 and Kobe number 3)

This mean Bynum should get as many FGA's as Kobe.

So far this season, every time Kobe has a low FG% game Lakers lose.
Before you Mamba lovers blindly fire back review the game tape.

Bynum should touch the ball at least 1 out 3 half court sets. Clearly not the case presently as he only had 1 FGA during 3rd quarter demise.

Just like Denver it was a poor 3rd quarter that sank the Lakers. This loss and Denver is on the first unit and Kobe.

Neither loss is the "Bench Mob" fault.
Loss can be attributed to not exploiting Bynum inside, too much Kobe and D. Fish who can't stay with Aaron Brooks.

Farmar will bust Brooks' butt as he has been doing since college, but PJ gives the minutes to D. Fish. If Farmar had received 30 minutes the out come may have been the same as it was in playoffs Game 3 last year. (Before you respond gashing Jordan review playoff game 3 box score. It was the only game Farmar started all season and received 30+ minutes.) Farmar had only 17 minutes last nite.

Farmar looks for Bynum like no other Laker.

Okay, I tried to hold on the pain that bites my stomach first through reasoning, then to disbelief (moderate), and last but not least drowing in Hershey's Cookies&Cream bars bought in New York and transferred straight to my Italy. I tried to not start this post. Eventually failed so here am I. Need this pouring out as a therapy.

So... I saw Denver coming. I expected it: Denver were strong against us on the finals, they have a way of playing that mismatches ours and they REALLY wanted to prove us they are as good as we are. Or at least that they can beat us at times. I didn't really worried much, also for the way the game followed a bare sleep and rest. I thought it would have been the classic wake up call and put as I always do my faith in my beloved Lakers (I still have that, don't question that for a single second, right?), that against Rockets we would have rocketed back up high in the space.

I woke up at 3h30 am to catch the game against Houston.
I melted for Ariza'z cheerings (I will always love the guy) and saw Fish and Kobe's faces right there with him and thought : "Okay: they're up and all for it. This game will be fine."
WRONG.

We already had troubles in Houston, but slow paced starts for Lakers are never a surprise. Their attitude is fluctuant till they don't see THE moment coming.
Well, somebody wakes someone else's up cos ALL moments are worthy in a season.
I have the frightening feeling that they're thinkin just because we are the champions we have some sort of magic touch over destiny.
I think we can still have that, but these awful games are giving our adversaries that kind of confidence they can be US and therefore starting to become really a trouble you know... in real world. On the real court. That kind of confidence elevates skills from moderate to good, from good to relevant, from relevant to mighty.

Yeah, so I read just after the game from journalists that my God Kobe had an injury, and still feeling its bad effects on himself.
Bad stuff.
But it's so also and moreover cos he thinks and others let him think he can play 50% always (without Pau, without a consistent team work, without a clockin timed schemes swallowed perfectly by all teammates around him) and this won't in the end shows on the floor.
Well, it shows.

I'm not a Bynum blind fan (I actually criticize him often though I reckon he has an awfully powerful potential) but damn, if they don't trust him against Houston midgets, then when?

I still doubtful at our bench. I see a worrying decreasing of focus in those who should be our shield when hard times as these are sneaking up. But so far I have been trusting merely Farmar and Brown. I have seen Vujacic in Italy, and this is NO WAY the player I was so happy joined the Lakers. Trade him. And trade him along someone else too. There have been moments in this game when I wanted to enter the flat screen and slap in the face a pair of us. They wouldn't take it from a 5'9'' blonde chick but I would have really liked to check if they would have moved their damn asses a bit more after the trial of mine. YIIKES.

Will these trades break locker room balance? Well, I'm scared to show my doubts here on that, but I am afraid something in that locker room is not completely as we'd wish it to be, already. It's like they all got lazier. I am sure it's just a moment. I really believe they are not that naive, or pretentious. They love their role in this team and we love them. But something gotta change and fast or as I said the worst effect of our TOO slow pacing will give others in the league that kind of confidence they can beat us that is so motivational and useful to build a REAL road to victory.
To get on top is easier than remain there.

I'm sure all of the guys have this well clear in their mind. And YES, we are still the team to be beated. We still the strongest team, and I really think we can get a double, better, I do believe we will. But they have NOT to believe their own hype. That mutes confidence into swagger and swagger is not good on a team sport.

I don't wanna say a thing on Fish cos I always think in the worst of all moments he will surge back. Years of total trust can't be erased in four games.

Now I get back to Hershey's bars. I fell ill while still in New York and I have to get back some weight. I think today after this kick in my face I will easily get back two pounds.

Darn.

Still a Lakers forever. C'mon guys... let's get outta this fog. Luv from Italy .

Hi AK and BK
Haven't posted in awhile.
I think our bench issues are gonna catch up with us this year. The Lakers have the starting talent to win it all, but the worst bench in the league. The league is getting younger and faster(Houston, Atlanta, Indiana, Denver, Sacremento,Chicago just to name a few). The game is changing and teams that have been losing are stocking up on young talent. Everyone was talking about the Celtics 2 losses and look at the Lakers now. Look at the Spurs, they added Richard jefferson but they also look old. Age is catching up with the older teams,(at least the Celtics have their young draft picks for after KG/Pierce/Allen),the Spurs always draft well, the Lakers have none. We have Drew and that's it. You add that to the fact that every team is gonna give the Lakers there best shot and we are in trouble. I would like for Fish to do like Luke did last year with Trevor and ask Phil to start Brown in his place. I know Phil has always liked big guards but those days are over with. The pg's now are fast and quick and the Lakers are getting killed by them. The point guard issue should have allready been addresed. I love Kobe but he is stubborn also, if you are hurting don't play. Yes your new post moves are great but teams are adjusting to it. It should be a given by everyone to pass the ball to Drew not an option. (I know that when Pau comes back it will make a differnce it just looks ugly right now) As much as Farmar and Sasha get on my nerves, our young players are always looking over their shoulder ready to be yanked. Mitch do what you have to do keep Brown/ trade Sasha, Morrison, Farmar (we can't give Luke away). Superstars are great to have on your team, but sometimes you need blue collar workers who do what needs to be done. The second straight game outrebounded unacceptable

Am I the only person to whom Fisher's quoted responses read like legalese word salad? "I sucked, and so did a bunch of other guys, and there probably isn't much we can do about it except hope on some nights that this doesn't happen."

That's what I read at least.

I clearly understand that the season is long..

How could you go up the court that many times and ignore Bynum?....

It seems like every time they start that pattern of going into Bynum and it working,they then almost say to themselves now lets try it this way until the hole gets way to deep to get out of...

I love Fisher..but like its been mentioned above he had a shocker..Farmar and Brown needed more burn..Brooks went on a rampage and Phill still decided that Fisher was the option for Brooks...Not sure about that one..

Last season i think at times Gasol was frustrated with touches and now Bynum is going through the same problem..It will get sorted out...Good teams adjust...we have in the past and im confident that the coaches will iron it out...

When Kobe has an off night its up to the rest of the team use option 2 or 3.They dont need to be told that..

David Anderson...Being an Aussie i like to see fellow Aussies do well..His mid range game is really good but when Bynum had touches Anderson had no answer for him..

The Lakers have contracts that are attractive and its only a matter of time before they are used for the benefit of the team..

something's wrong here.
phoenix leading the west.
atlanta and miami leading east.

Good morning,

Hmmmm. What to make of that spanking? PJ's sound bite above seemed to withhold more than it revealed. After giving the team a pass after the Denver debacle (sleep deprivation, lack of oxygen) I'm feeling far less charitable today.

First, if Kobe has a groin injury, why is he playing when Pau is not? Kobe is our best player, Pau is next in line. Protecting Kobe should be just as or more important. If Mamba can't shoot, let him sit. He certainly wasn't able to help the team Sunday night the way he usually does, especially in the second half.

What's with Lamar? Is Khloe having the Jessica Simpson effect? He's had at least three stinkers in a row.

Why is Sasha getting minutes? His decision making is horrible.

Where was Mbenga, especially with Luke out? Yes, the team still had ten blocks. But we sure could have used more rebounds. A lot more rebounds.

Then, there's the heart of the matter. Yes, heart. For most of the last 36 minutes, there didn't seem to be any heart. The Lakers just let the Rockets have their way with them. The will (and the smarts) to shut the Rockets down wasn't there. Settling for low percentage outside shots time after time was absolutely infuriating.

Also disturbing was PJ's admission that the scouting report on Anderson was inadequate. Why? Why were there no adjustments after Anderson starting making shot after shot?

After a solid start in the first five minutes, the Lakers did a quick fade, just as they did in Denver. Only this time, there were no excuses. No adjustments. No rebounding. No Defense. No Offense. No discipline. Did anyone think the Rockets were coming in and rolling over, after the Lakers stole the overtime game in Houston?

Simply put, Sunday night's game was an abomination. A game hardly worthy of the defending NBA champs at any level. The boo birds had it right. The Lakers had it wrong. Maybe I'm being harsh. But the box score don't lie.

The only problem I see is Derek Fisher.

Kobe's going to have his on/off games, Bynum's been our best player, Lamar is doing his job rebounding, Artest is fitting in well. The only weak link is Fisher. The problem is Phil Jackson is too loyal to Fish, a team leader and the only Laker than can talk down a willful Kobe. Benching him may compromise a much needed Laker chemistry. And who can he really rely upon?

I see other teams' PGs. Farmer is not a competent NBA pg. He is serviceable, yes, but he can't be relied upon. His shooting isn't good, he D is so-so. Brown is much better but a stubborn Phillip Jackson won't commit to him.

The Lakers have only one serious problem, and it started last year...the PG spot. To solve this problem, Fisher, a spiritual Laker leader and Players Union leader, must show his maturity and leadership and tell Phil that he would prefer to play from the bench, that his wisdom, along with Lamar's talent (when Pau gets back), will be a much needed stabilizing force for that 2nd unit. Phil then needs to first start Shannon and see how he'll do, and then give Farmar a shot at starting. May the best man win.

This MUST be done early in the season. We have to start gelling soon, and this is the time to fiddle with the lineup.

But this is a question of selflessness and bravery...will Fish and Phillip show both of these qualities? Will Fish step up, in spite of his ego, and admit that the younger Brown or Farmer should take over now?

Will Phil Jackson be brave enough to insist that Fish go to the bench?

stay tuned...

Big deal.The real season begins with Pau`s return and all components firing in symmetry. Lakers will hang 2010 NBA championship banner in staples center rafters.

IS ROME BURNING
Another loss well that’s it, OK Lake Show it’s time to quit
Quit reading your clippings and feeling smug, the last 2 games you got mugged
I understand that Championship afterglow, but shake it off men it’s time to go
Pau strap it up and get out here, unless your injury is worst than we fear
Does the Laker Training staff always hold back, we want the truth, that’s a fact
If Pau’s injury is worst than you say, then adjust the lineup and keep it that way
WesjoeNixon bought it home, when he equated the Lakers to the collapse of Rome
Hubris and pride brought Rome down, it may also cause you to lose the NBA crown
Kobe if you’re hurt then say so, then get some rest till you’re good to go
We know you can stand intense pain, but only a whole Kobe can maintain our rein.
Beast your scoring is good as can be, but one small criticism pick up your D.
DFish we love you & you’re our Icon, but it’s becoming plain your best days are gone
So how about taking one for the team, Although I know this is not as easy as it seems
I know Shannon is not a cure all, but whenver he’s played he’s played good B-ball
Lamar I know you are a newlywed, but for God sakes shake the cobwebs from your head
Ron-Ron you are coming along just fine, No much to criticize at this time.
Who’s coaching the defense is anyone, life is not all run and gun
Don’t get me wrong this is not panic speaking, Just an attempt to help you start peaking
Right now no team looks all that great, So there’s time to get it together it’s not to late
That’s it for me, I put my 2 cents in, no malice intended just win baby win.

It's a good thing that Bynum is a quiet kid with a mellow disposition. He handled the questions very well, though obviously frustrated with a lack of touches. If he were anything like Shaq, we'd have a Shaq/Kobe sequel happening in LA. Bynum also knows that he still has a lot to prove before moving up in the pecking order. He's doing well so far. Go Lakers!!!

The Lakers are not in a good place right now.

http://bit.ly/bMnMm

Where to start? Undersized team of mostly journeyman players out-hustles, out-rebounds, out-shoots, and totally out-plays our Lakers...after being blitzed 16-2 in the opening minutes! Lakers snoozed in the second half again.

Our guards can't penetrate the middle, can't hit open shots, can't guard ANYBODY.

Kobe (gasp!) is beginning to look mortal. Second game in a row he can't create a shot or hit one when he does. Getting blocked, getting the ball picked. If it ain't the groin pull, this is seriously scary.

Everybody either standing around or moving in super slo-mo. Nobody rebounding except Bynum. Nobody hitting any shots except Bynum. Nobody getting the ball in to Bynum. Maybe we need a play where Bynum dribbles the ball upcourt and goes in for the slam.

No Pau.

OK, now that I got all that out of my system...Mamba24, put me on the 79-3 Bandwagon! Like Jon K says, rings are what we play for, baby, not style points!

I LIKE THIS MATH
You know, for every Shannon Brown YouTube moment this year there's been an equal DJ MBenga posterization. Posted by: Rob | November 14, 2009 at 01:31 PM

This is basically the same set of problems that the Lakers have had for awhile:

They aren't real disciplined.

1) Kobe tends to force shots.

2) Bynum is not effective yet against centers who can shoot from outside, it appears to be due to a lack of interest.

3) The team doesn't get the ball inside on offense as much as they should; whether it's Bynum or Gasol inside, either of them is a better option than anyone else, including Kobe.

4) Odom is still inconsistent, apparently due to focus issues.

5) Fisher has poor shot selection.

6) Bench play is poor.

7) When Bynum has the ball inside, he tends to take too long to decide what to do/is slow to react to double teams/puts the ball on the floor too much.

8) They are inconsistent on effort on defense.

9) They don't put in the effort to position themselves for rebounds. This is especially true of Bynum and Odom, who tend to rely on their size/length advantage. That is good enough most of the time, but against a team who hustles and works for position, that's not good enough.

If enough of those occur on the same night, the Lakers won't win. The good thing is that it isn't likely that this will happen very often. The bad thing is that they seem to be ingrained, with the exception of #7, so I don't think they are likely to change.

Still a Lakers forever. C'mon guys... let's get outta this fog. Luv from Italy . Posted by: ZairaAmaterasu | November 16, 2009 at 01:45 AM
GREAT POST!!

USC, OOOOH WEEEEEEEEE!

Rome is not burning yet but as usual the Lakers switch is OFF again. I guess this is what we get from our players, easy come easy go. The starters were leading at the opening bell with all the energy and right things in combination, then at the middle part of the game they fall asleep and went with those gamble treys playing the Russian roulette. They stopped implementing the triangle, Drew was so aggressive to go to the hoop, Artest trying to prove something to the fans that he belongs here, Kobe shots were groining bricks and LO still have a hangover of his reality honeymoon. Lakers look tired and haggard out there in the highlands or in the lowlands. They seemed not hungry for repeat and put their game on autopilot.

Btw, Farmar is a true point guard because he loves pointing at his teammates then, dribble, dribble, dribble lose it or shoot it. Lol!

mamba-

The groing (or as it now known, The Groin) wasn't a secret- it had been mentioned over the course of the week- but wasn't a particularly big issue until last night when he yanked it again. Obviously it wasn't a problem against the Suns as late as Thursday night, but flared up again last night.

BK

Wow now we have a fake Mamba24 also. Maybe this is a Troll new tactic. I shall limit my contributions to Roll call's and poems so there is no dispute. Im not talking about Mamba0824 that's a differnet thing. I'm talking about a fake mamba24.
Mamba24

Wow, we loose 2 games, and all of a sudden "we have the worst bench in the league" (never mind that injuries have depleted our bench) and "we need to make trades for gaurds, Fisher is done..." ect.

Injuries are hard and that is what we are dealing with. Wait for the team to heal up and all will be well. Keep that faith Laker fans!

Everything that can be said about this game has been said by the esteemed K-Bros and the Morning Blog Crue.

Crappy play = crappy loss.

Enough said. Time to focus on the next challenge.

Go Lake Show!

"As for Kobe Bryant, this was pretty tough sledding. 5-20 from the field for just 18 points, along with four turnovers. Health may have played a role in his struggles (more on that later), but assuming his body wasn't the literal "explanation," I thought Kobe's problems also were the result of forcing action, particularly while working his post game. BK and I have both praised his efforts in the paint this early season and by and large, I think it's been a terrific asset for the Lakers. But as we saw Friday against Denver and tonight, teams have begun adjusting to this approach. Kobe needs to be aware of this and make adjustments of his own. I don't think we've seen enough recognition from 24 over the last two games."


AK/BK


How many games have you seen Kobe play? ........and you STILL don't know him or what he's all about? AMAZING!


I wrote on the live blog during the Denver game that "something" is wrong with Kobe physically. It was obvious to me or anyone who knows basketball. Don't listen to Kobe......just watch him and observe his gait which is drastically different than normal. I really noticed it against Denver because with the strained groin Kobe couldn't HOLD his position in the post. Afflalo was able to contain Kobe better in the post because of this.......had nothing to do with Denver's defense.........Kobe can make these adjustments in his sleep!

What compounds Kobe's injury is that he has no pressure release when he can't perform normally. What should be in question is Phil's decision making (which by the way you guys totally omitted in your analysis) concerning Derek Fisher. This guy gives us nothing......especially if he can't hit an open shot as the ball rotates to him.

Derek Fisher's problem is a result of bad coaching.........as it becomes increasingly obvious that Derek does not know what his role is on this team. This is why Derek is out there attempting things that he simply can't do......yet Phil keeps him in the game. Why?

AK/BK you and I both agree that Phil's ego is larger than the Pacific Ocean but you guys fail to ask yourself this question........How does Phil's ego affect his stubborness and decision making? One of Phil's problems among many is his need to control Kobe. Phil sees Fish as an extension of this desire and applies a value to Fish because of it.

During the postgame conference from the Finals last year Phil said that Derek's unwillingness to submit to Kobe's desire for the ball is a virtue. WTF????? Derek Fisher has yet to learn how to play OFF Kobe........he could extend his career if he learned how to do it..............instead at times he appears to play keep away from Kobe at the directive of Phil Jackson because THAT'S how he will stay on the floor. Shannon Brown is the exact opposite ALWAYS giving the ball to Kobe where he wants it in the post and playing OFF Kobe knowing that Kobe draws so much attention that if he positions himself correctly he will have open shots or forays to the basket.


Shannon understands his role as it relates to Kobe........Fisher just doesn't get it.

Phil Jackson's substitution pattern is VERY disturbing as he continues this Sasha, Farmar mess instead of sticking with Shannon to develop him for the playoffs because we will need him to be ready against the likes any of the guards we may have to face in our trek to another title.

All of this "tinkering" by Phil as AK puts it will prove to be counterproductive bcause eventually the team will adopt this very spastic characteristic.

This should be a time where Shannon can grow and make his mistakes NOW and develop into the potential I think he has. Will someone tell Phil this doesn't take half a season to realize.

With this team, we can win without Bynum, they have also proven that they can win without Bynum and Gasol on the road. However, if we put Kobe on the bench, then we're in trouble. Kobe is still the face of the Lakers and every team prepares their defense through Kobe. Last night with a groin injury, Kobe continued playing but his shots were not falling on the outside. He could not go for lay ups with an aching groin. Under a situation such as this, the best players on the court should be assigned major roles like Artest, Bynum and Shannon. Unfortunately, they were on the bench, PJ was playing match-ups on what the Rockets have on the floor. The way I saw it LO was mismatched against Landry or Scola, Fisher and Farmar were mismatched against Brooks, the other night it was on this Lawson. How many more games do we have to undergo and finally convince the Front office that our guards are SLOW and s l o w e r compared to the youth guards of other team. Lakers have no rookies since the time of Farmar and Bynum. Our development comes from trades, faith and hope. If I were PJ, I will lay down the hammer and close all doors and windows of distraction. Stop those socializing with the media and start focusing on games. If I were the old man, JB I will ask for the return on investment of 110M and 12M for the coach. Just zipped those lips of braggadocio of greatness and dynasty, prove it to the fans this season. The 110m came from fans, give it back through command performance.

Yes the sky is not falling, Rome is not burning yet at the start of a long season but time to address this team and front office to WAKE UP and face realities, no more reality TV.

The groing (or as it now known, The Groin) wasn't a secret- it had been mentioned over the course of the week- but wasn't a particularly big issue until last night when he yanked it again. Obviously it wasn't a problem against the Suns as late as Thursday night, but flared up again last night. BK Posted by: Brian Kamenetzky | November 16, 2009 at 08:32 AM

Thanks BK! LAKER TRAINING STAFF I SINCERELY APPOLOGIZE FOR MY STUPIDITY.
mamba24


I moved away, so I don't attend Laker games anymore, but I've noticed that Staples Center is really quiet when I watch the games on TV. Where are the real fans at? You wonder why Utah always has a great home record, it's because their arena is so energetic and loud. All the fans at Staples Center just wants tacos and so they are loud at the end of the games. Phil Jackson's mantra of having good energy also starts with the crowd. I know Lawrence Tanner has been the Lakers' announcer for years, but his voice is very boring. I see announcers get the crowd revved up for games and it shows in their home team playing with that energy. Come on Staples Center, show your energy so that our Lakers can play with it.

Btw, Farmar is a true point guard because he loves pointing at his teammates then, dribble, dribble, dribble lose it or shoot it. Lol! Posted by: Edwin Gueco | November 16, 2009 at 08:31 AM
Edwin Stop that! Stop that right now! Lol!

7-3 with our All-star PF/C and second best player injured?

>>I'll take that all day everyday.

A loss on another Ring ceremony night?

>>No worries here.

Getting all the injuries and nags early in the season?

>>Where do I sign...

Having to deal with a loss on Monday?

>>Ya, actually that does suck. No getting around that.

Having to deal with a Laker loss, but a Manny Pacquiao win?

>>That takes the sting out ever so nicely. Still a great weekend.

Still defending champs, still haven't seen the best out of them. It still takes a career night from someone to beat us, this early in the season.

We will be fine.

Uhh...

I was wrong.

Sucks.

What's up with the bench?

--Fearless


I’m torn. Should I announce a ‘spot the phony phred comment’ contest or a ‘best imitation of phred in a comment’ contest?

Or should I have all my comments contain secret coded messages, the key to which I will secretly email to the K Bros?

Stephen Jackson and Acie Law for who? Raja Bell and Vlad Rodwhovacic? What? Wait a minute. Uh, um, huh….what?

Ok, I posted this in July. Had to bring it out now, just to see how I did.

just making my predictions now
game one, next season, beginning of second quarter, lakers have four point lead..
live game thread;

"oh my god. this is what happens when the lakers get a sense of entitlement. we're never going to win with this kind of lackadaisical attitude"

"My god, did you see luke's turnover? Now all the puke lovers on this blog are going to start defending him, just because he has a double double in the first quarter"

"NO! how can we be losing to whoever already!"

"BK/AK- can you ask phil whether the lakers need a little more eye of the tiger or a lot more eye of the tiger in order to get back to the playoffs?"

"this is why we're never going to win a title as long as phil keeps playing luke"

yup

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE LOVE

GO LAKERS!

Still defending champs, still haven't seen the best out of them. It still takes a career night from someone to beat us, this early in the season. We will be fine. Posted by: #4 | November 16, 2009 at 09:24 AM

Sorry #4 but I got to say it...OUT FREAKIN STANDING!!

Pfunk,

I acknowledged that Kobe's groin may have been an issue, and I'm not "listening to what Kobe says." Or you, for that matter, because you're not "revealing" any grand discovery. Kobe's groin has been a known issue for a week. It flared up worse more recently. But it doesn't change the fact that if Kobe's going to play through this injury, he needs to play effectively and efficiently. Last night, he absolutely wasn't, and that's hard for anybody to deny, assuming they're willing to be even slightly objective when it comes to Kobe.

As for Fish, I agree that he should have been pulled last night, which I thought went without saying, given my criticism of his play. I also agree that Shannon needs to be getting more minutes. BK and I were actually talking about that last night. However, I don't think the most immediate solution is slashing Fish's minutes (save situations like last night's, where he simply needed to be off the floor), as pulling Sasha from the rotation. Not because I think there's a risk of Shannon going "undeveloped," (I think he'll be fine) but because I think PJ is trying to avoid "losing" Sasha for down the line, which I find a waste of time. Sasha's been in the league long enough that the onus is on him to remain engaged, not the staff. Plus, Sasha's mentality won't likely allow him to flourish in the 5 minutes stints he's likely to be used, so for all intents and purposes, he's lost, anyway. I "get" the mindset of Phil's approach, but I don't agree.

But having said that, I simply disagree with you that Phil's handling of Shannon is THAT big a deal at this VERY MOMENT or that his approach is dooming the team down the road, even if I'd personally make certain decisions differently. Mid-November is very early be worrying about direct effects come April. A month or so from now, when Phil said the much of the experimentation period is done, if there'a still a five guard rotation, I agree it's a problem. But for now, I think your doomsday outlook is mightily exaggerated.

Nor do I think he's putting Fish on the floor to "control" Kobe. Yes, PJ likes that Fish doesn't automatically defer to Kobe, but that's actually a good thing. And you of all people should know that, because you've complained for years that Kobe's had no help. Well, you can't have it both ways. If you want Kobe's load to be lifted during the course of a game, then you have to allow others to do the lifting and not just automatically defer to Kobe over everyone else, no questions asked. Sometimes, another player has the better positioning or shot, and that's where the ball will and should go.

Also, your take that Fish hasn't learned to play off Kobe is patently absurd, and the first person who would tell you so is Kobe himself. I think four rings and six trips to the Finals makes it fairly obvious. And no, it wasn't "all Kobe, with Fish just along for the ride while playing poorly," either. The guy earned his keep.

Did Fish play badly last night? Without question. Does he sometimes get shot happy? Without question. But frankly, part of the issue you have with Fisher is that Phil trusts him and you criticize EVERYTHING Phil does. Your track record makes it undoubtedly clear that you'd find a reason, even flimsy, to criticize Phil if Fish had played well, a microcosm of why your analysis of anything involving Phil is very difficult to take seriously.

AK

into every life, a little rain must fall.


the important thing is that they learn something that will help pull a win out of bad games like this, at the end of the year. as the players have been coached by Phil to say, it's about the journey. it's still too early to say ANYthing of certainty about ANY(well almost any) of the teams in this league. there are still too many thing that can happen in a season. i'm sure they will avoid a 3 game losing streak, but the main thing to pray for is health, especially down the stretch. if the team struggles all year just to make the playoffs, only to become fully healthy and energised by then, the Lakers would still win the finals. if they are crippled by then, it'd be pretty doubtful. pray for health, first.


the personel on the Lakers squad will do just fine. if the FO gets a chance to improve the team, i'm sure they will, but the team already has more than enough help in all positions. all teams will have a weakness. nothing will be perfect. that's the beauty of watching the teams struggle for position. in fact, the league knows this. that's why there are actual RULES to keep one team from getting all the talent. relax people and cheer. right now, the front office is doing the right thing in presenting a quality team. now, the players need to be encouraged to "play the right way".

NO CRYBABIES ALLOWED IN SPORTS!
at least not until something really, really, really, truly bad happens.

1. Relax.

2. Guard rotation should be decided on now. Brown over Farmar. Cut Fish's minutes (don't start him on the 2nd of a back to back!) Trade Farmar for a veteran guard. Bury Sasha on the bench. Give his 5 mins to Morrison (can't be worse). I'll take Adam's hesitance to shoot than Sasha's shoot whenever.

3. Get Pau and Kobe healthy.

4. Relax.

I think PJ is trying to avoid "losing" Sasha for down the line, which I find a waste of time. Sasha's been in the league long enough that the onus is on him to remain engaged, not the staff. Plus, Sasha's mentality won't likely allow him to flourish in the 5 minutes stints he's likely to be used, so for all intents and purposes, he's lost, anyway. I "get" the mindset of Phil's approach, but I don't agree.
AK Posted by: Andrew and Brian Kamenetzky | November 16, 2009 at 09:54 AM
OH THE HUMANITY! DON'T LET FAITH SEE THIS POST!! LOL!

Not sure if you already talked about this, but apparently Phil JAckson said before the game Gasol had been practising for 5 days already and even took a few shots on Sunday. I hope this means we will have him healthy very soon.

Exhelodvr, I agree with your points. Specially on # 3 and # 6.

People seem to think Kobe cannot have a bad shooting nite and perhaps not play above whatever, especially when he is laboring. He is not the SOLE reason the team lost! They did not hustle, or act like they wanted to win the game, bottom line, they barely showed up. Everyone forced shot after shot, we have no playmakers beyond Kobe really in terms of getting the ball down low, hell they don't even want to make an entry pass down there. Everyone jacks up jumper after jumper and they aren't all that GREAT shooters to begin with.

We need to get rid of Sasha and perhaps another play if possible because guard inconsistency has and will forever remain an issue as long as we have the players we have. In addition, our four spot lacks a mean and aggressive player. Lamar demeanor and Josh's demeanor is too nice, too soft. They need to develop a mean streak and geez, dunk the ball ALL The time!

I am not gonna panic it's early but obviously there are quite a few players hanging their hat on that one ring they just won and don't realize the hunger needs to be there in every game..Don't rest on your laurels and get complacent! Keep grinding.

Go Lakers!

Did Fish play badly last night? Without question. Does he sometimes get shot happy? Without question. But frankly, part of the issue you have with Fisher is that Phil trusts him, and you want to criticize EVERYTHING Phil does. You would (and have) made the same criticisms when Fish has played well, a microcosm of why your analysis of anything involving Phil can be very difficult to take seriously.AK Posted by: Andrew and Brian Kamenetzky | November 16, 2009 at 09:54 AM

I'm sorry but I just have to say it. you expressed the thoughts of a lot of us and so...OUT FREAKIN STANDING!!
mamba24

I’m torn. Should I announce a ‘spot the phony phred comment’ contest or a ‘best imitation of phred in a comment’ contest? Or should I have all my comments contain secret coded messages, the key to which I will secretly email to the K Bros? Posted by: phred | November 16, 2009 at 09:40 AM

phred you should know no one can imitate you. when we see that silly crap from the imposter we just pass right over it.Keep on doing what you doing brother. I was alo imitated once but who cares, I'm here for comic relief. Don't sweat it bro. They can't be you so they want to be like you.
mamba24

The fickle finger of fate award goes to lakers fans:
what happened to 73-10?
81-1 Bandwagon?

Your team is very very good. May still be the best in the league. BUT, this is a good reality test for some of you guys. I still believe Boston and LA in the Finals.

NO CRYBABIES ALLOWED IN SPORTS! at least not until something really, really, really, truly bad happens. Posted by: mud | November 16, 2009 at 09:56 AM

Well said my brother, well said!
mamba24

This was completely Disgusting, this team is not focused everybody what's to be a scorer. LO not interest at all, Kobe's hurt, still going gangster with his post moves, that's not working. Pass the DAMN ball, Fish need to reconsider wanting to play another season, I can't see it. Only positive Drew, Brown, everyone else return your pay, you don't desire it.

I am not gonna panic it's early but obviously there are quite a few players hanging their hat on that one ring they just won and don't realize the hunger needs to be there in every game..Don't rest on your laurels and get complacent! Keep grinding. Go Lakers! Posted by: lakersrydeordie | November 16, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Now that's what I'm talking about! GREAT POST!!

Still alot of ball left to be played. However, the front office, coaching staff and scouts need to be scouring the free agents who are still out there (Stackhouse and whoever else) and players on other teams because the bench needs a makeover. Still seeing the same inconsistency from last year with everyone except for Drew and Brown. Sasha has seen his better days and its time to get rid of him like they did Vlad last yr. Lakers need to find a guard/forward who can score and take someone off the dribble as well as play half decent defense. Mitch, please address these issues ASAP because there is no excuse for this team not to have a fire in its belly. Or is it because everyone has a ring now that they are satisfied? Shake some things up and get some people who aren't scared to get in there and rebound and do the little things it takes to win.

I can't find anything to add or to disagree with from AK/BK.

I was at the game last night and the Lakers were simply outplayed.

They took a 14 point lead and just let off the gas. Kobe started getting doubled and tried to force things - which lead to turnovers, and he was just COLD last night. He missed some shots he normally makes.

NO ONE COVERED ANDERSON while he LIT US UP. In fact, Houston was doing a spectacular job with ball movement to find the person left open by the SSZ. A lot of Houston's points were scored with WIDE open jumpers. Brooks especially seemed to find himself with DFish or Farmar or Shannon having wandered away from him.

The Lakers seemed completely discombobulated by the doubling in the post. The only way to fix that is really to hit open jumpers. No outside shooting will do that to you.

Where was the effort on rebounds? Sometimes it was there and we just didn't get the bounce, but most of the time, it was our guys waiting for the ball to come to them rather than going to get it.

I'm not too worried though. For as many points as Brooks scored, some of those were just amazing shots. Those threes were DEEP threes. He wasn't at the line, he was 2 to 5 feet behind the line when he made some of those.

The Lakers will adjust. But someone's going to have to hit a few open jumpers or threaten to drive the lane to free up double-teams.

I'm somewhat looking at Lamar, but I'm not sure what the status of his back is at the moment.

"I am not gonna panic"

I am!! This team obviously peaked three games ago against Phoenix, and it's all downhill from here.

Kupchak should trade Kobe while he still has some value (as the last two games have shown, clearly his age has caught up to him), Bynum before he gets hurt again, and Artest before he blows up.

Laker fans please relax. Remember basketball is still a business. Don't worry, we will repeat. " Hey boss, you tink I should go down to L.A and talk to der lakers about tonights game?"

Did Mamba24 REALLY cheer my post? Well... wow. Thank you. That was flattering. I admire your Laker's devotion. And I always enjoy to read your posts (or bandwagons threadmills, as well).
Thank you :)
(I feel cheesy writing back this way, I apologize to everyone, I just felt flettered.)


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