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Mo' O(T): Lakers beat Rockets 103-102 in overtime

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It was about as pretty as a Lohan family reunion these days, but when the dust settles, all anyone Andrew Bynum reacts with displeasurecares about is the final tally.  This one wrapped up at 103-102, the Lakers on top and the Rockets just short. I already summarized some high and low points from the contest during the intro to last  night's postgame chat, but here are a few more talking points to aid your mouth's mission:

-Kurt Helin over at Forum Blue and Gold notes how, after five games, the Lakers are "letting opponents grab 32.8% of their missed shots."  Last night, it felt like 132.8%, and during the young season's lone loss to Dallas, offensive rebounds surrendered came back to bite the Lakers in a big way. I imagine this failure is caused in part by not having Pau on the floor, but no matter what the cause, it's unacceptable.  Rebounding is the most underrated part of playing defense, in my humble estimation.

-Derek Fisher's stat line was pretty lousy, but dude's got one hell of an ability to be in the right place at the right time when that time and place count the most. Doesn't change the fact that his minutes ideally should decrease on the season, but between his game-clinching steal and some outstanding high screen and roll D during the late fourth quarter, he proved why PJ wants him on the floor during crunch time.

-The "Ron Artest-Trevor Ariza, together again for the first time" storyline definitely added some spice Trevor Ariza tries to operate against Kobe Bryant to the proceedings.  Ron Ron admitted to me that a date against the Red Nation would likely carry some emotion, but both guys still tried to poo poo the game as anything truly remarkable.  Clearly, both guys were lying, as tempers flared while often matched against each other.  Double T's in effect, although Artest was mostly content to check himself and take whatever physicality Ariza offered up.  37 even helped soothe Bynum's nerves during one of a few occasions where the center lost his composure.  During these tense moments, perhaps Artest takes himself to his mellow "Venice Beach" place.

As for TA, he's been fairly impressive since joining the Rockets as a first/second option in training, but last night was a stinker.  5-21 from the field.  Several misses badly forced.  An abundance of "head down" dribbling.  Yeah, he drilled a clutch three to push the game into OT, but all in all, I thought Ariza played like a guy way too focused on burning the Lakers. Instead, he mostly burnt his current employers.

  • In the meantime, if Artest v. Ariza was the top billed match, Kobe Bryant was clearly unwilling to  accept "undercard" status.  And it wasn't just ESPN's John Hollinger (or yours truly) praising Bryant's efforts in postgame analysis.  Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer thought this was a standout performance, even by Mamba standards:

     "...Kobe Bryant was so picturesque perfect in this game, and I don't mind telling you that this is just about as good as I've ever seen him.  He's, literally, scored nearly twice as much as he did tonight (41 points). He's done brighter, flashier things on bigger stages, with more to lose, with more going on. Doesn't matter. Against Shane Battier, who knows exactly what to do, Kobe did something he's never done against Shane - take it to the post.  Take it to the post, to that triple-threat, and drive the Rockets mad. Make them his absolute creature. Just run things. If this is latter-day Kobe Bryant, then latter-day Kobe Bryant will be dominant. Completely and utterly dominant. Jordan-esque, dominant, in a way that Kobe just wasn't even when he was dropping 40 by hitting contested jumpers from21-feet away. Just the perfect game. As I mentioned before - he's faced scarier circumstances. But the game's most dogged competitor put dogged those instincts aside tonight, in favor of a brain that ranks amongst the game's elite. The game's all-time elite..."

    AK

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    "and reported, as soon as anything breaks" I hope that pun was intended.

    What is about that in BSPN's rumors section about Le Crab coming to Lakers??

    I think a fine title of the next Gasol-focused entry would be

    "Waiting for Gasol"


    Said Ariza: "It was a good play. If I would have gotten fouled, the referee would have blew the whistle."


    shows character, which is why I still like TA


    ARTEST IS LAKERS' CALMING INFLUENCE?
    by Kevin Ding for the OCRegister.com
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    http://tinyurl.com/yfw3x6r
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    They stand to be the difference makers in this Lakers season, as far as we can tell right now.
    -
    We're going to find out just how much greater good the Lakers get out of letting Trevor Ariza go and bringing Ron Artest aboard – and simply how much greater Andrew Bynum can become.
    -
    On Wednesday night in Houston, we got an early peek at the candidates: All three had their moments – particularly when Ariza answered Artest's go-ahead 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation – but Bynum was the biggest man, and the Lakers won in overtime.
    -
    At least until yet another injury (sprained right elbow) befell him and had him talking to himself after the game: "Wow, that's really sore." Bynum was optimistic it wasn't a major injury – at the very least, he should be able to dodge Friday night against Memphis, against whom he has seriously hurt himself the past two years – but he said an MRI on Thursday is scheduled.
    -
    For now, he could be in good spirits because he helped win the game with a free throw despite the pain – after he helped win the game the night before by getting a hand up in help defense against Kevin Durant. Asked how hard it was to make that second foul shot with a bum elbow, Bynum laughed and said: "(Expletive) hard!"
    -
    Bynum showed more stamina than ever before in logging 49 and 45 minutes on consecutive road nights. And he was able to keep his head in the game despite a heated exchange with Phil Jackson after being pulled in the second quarter.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    But Ariza shot 5 for 21 from the field. And the game ended with Ariza losing the ball to Derek Fisher while trying to slip past Bryant.
    -
    "Ariza tried to go through three people," one fan could be heard explaining in the stands.
    -
    Such is Ariza's new plight without the Lakers, although Bryant still keeps in regular contact to advise and encourage his friend. Ariza will keep trying to spread his wings and become a complete player at both ends, just as Artest already has and Bynum is beginning to prove.
    -
    Jackson even praised Bynum's pick-and-roll defense after this game. If the MRI is similarly kind, Bynum seems to be on his way.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Tom

    AK/BK - any chance at finding someone to do some video magic? I saw Kobe do what looked like the dream shake during the same (I think Stu mentioned it too), but I would LOVE to see a side by side comparison. Someone? Anyone?

    Steel Mohawk,

    Pun definitely NOT intended. haha

    AK

    I like that Drew can be that aggressive on back-to-back nights. Must be nice to be in your early 20's.

    I like that Ron seems to have all-of-a-sudden just fit in to the offense.

    BTW, that brawl in Indiana has cost Ron-Ron a WHOLE pile of cash that he'll never get back. He is good. Franchise player good. He pretty much goes anywhere he wants to on the court and does whatever he wants. Like all great B-Ball players, he bends B-Ball rules of physics when he's on the court.

    I like when he's thinking to himself that he's stronger that Scolla and definitely stronger than Ariza, and that the two of them should remember who they are elbowing in the chest.

    That play where Ron got hacked on the arm going to the basket and Ron just sort of ran over the secondary defender and continued to the basket after the whistle had blown like the guy wasn't even there was classic. It was like watching Shaq do that to people, only Ron's a lot smaller.

    You know, with Ron, Gasol, Bynum, Odom, and Fish the Lakers would still be a strong playoff contender. Their bench would suck, though, so their regular season record wouldn't be all that great. They'd be in the top 4 in the WC, though -- I think.

    Other excitable players around the league should learn a lesson from this.

    Ariza can do a lot of things, but he cannot do the things that Ron does. Not many players can.

    Mitch Kubchak is good at his job.

    --Fearless

    Pau's probably going to be out until next Thursday at least.

    Okay Floyd - since you won't answer, here is my all-time "scumbag" (great word, man) team:

    PG - Calvin Murphy
    SG - Michael Ray Richardson
    SF - LEN BIAS _ _ _ _ _ _ :(
    PF - Derrick Coleman
    C - Shawn Kemp
    Have a great day and happy posting!!

    People C'mon -- how can you say the Lakers need a Point Guard when Farmar played only 15 minutes and Fisher played 34 minutes last nite? What is needed is for Phil to play Farmar 30-35 minutes per game.

    Rockets playoff game 3 last season was crucial. Farmar played better in the biggest game than any game Fisher had all season. So what does Phil do?

    Play D. Fish 30+ minutes ever since.

    D. Fish's stat's last nite - 2 steals.

    Some one please inform Coach Ten Rings that
    D. Fish hasn't attempted a free throw this season.

    Tell him to try starting Farmar and giving Shannon Brown meaningful minutes.


    Fearless,
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    >>> Like all great B-Ball players, he bends B-Ball rules of physics when he's on the court.
    -
    Great observation. Just like Uri Geller bending spoons. LOL!
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Tom

    Good Morning Everyone....

    Wow...Talk about stress...If the rest of the season goes like this im in strife..
    Talk about high blood pressure..What happened to a good old fashioned blow out?.Jeeeeezzzz...

    Kobe Bryant..I guess all i can really say is that we as fans should not take this guy for granted...He is like a bottle of Penfolds Grange Hermatige....The stuff just keeps getting better with age...Damm he is so good.....One of those moves at the top of the key was just jaw dropping and then the camera pans over to Hakeem sitting court side as if to say did you teach him that?..

    Ron Artest= Raw emotion...
    Bynum..Slowly creeping towards that scarey stage we saw a while ago..
    Lamar Odom..Thank God he signed with us again..Really thank God and Jerry Buss...

    If Bynum starts Mbenga could have 2 points and 18 blocks...

    Did i mention that Grag Oden is related to Kwame ...I swear he looks like Kwame at times....Really bad....

    I meant if Bynum misses the game..

    KIRK HELIN

    -Derek Fisher's stat line was pretty lousy, but dude's got one hell of an ability to be in the right place at the right time when that time and place count the most. Doesn't change the fact that his minutes ideally should decrease on the season, but between his game-clinching steal and some outstanding high screen and roll D during the late fourth quarter, he proved why PJ wants him on the floor during crunch time. DURING CRUNCH TIME IS FINE BUT HE IS THE WORST STARTING POINT GUARD IN THE LEAGUE,THIS GAME 0 FOR 5 FROM THE FLOOR,NO REBOUNDS,NO POINTS,NO ASSISTS AND HASN'T ATTEMPTED A FREE THROW AFTER 5 GAMES,I LIKE FISH BUT COME ON,TIME TO UTILIZE THESE YOUNG GUNS,FISH IS KILLING US !

    RELENTLESS BYNUM TOOOOTER.......Hey noticed Bynum fan is out again tooooooootin..and toooooooooootin.. every opportunity is Bynum tooooooootin.. NICE WORK..CAN'T FAULT SOMEONE FOR BEING OBSESSED..

    farmer dribbles the ball to much thats why phil does not give him much time. He can score a lot but he needs the ball in his hand most of the time. Fish did not make a shoot but he ran the offense and gave the ball to kobe thats what phil wants. I hope bynum can play on friday.

    Fearless,
    "Franchise player good"

    I think that Artest was arguably the second-best player in the league for awhile. I don't think he's quite at that level right now, but I think he's still in the top 20-25.

    I love how Bynum keeps the ball above his head at all times, but his pick n roll defense last night impressed me the most. His rebounds also were not just falling into his lap, he went and got them and that is what we want to see.

    Put me as the president of the Artest bandwagon, I’ve been saying since day 1 it was a coup. I love Ariza as a good young player, but the swap was perfect for both teams needs. Artest the last 3 games has been exactly what we need him to be.

    Todd:

    Once again, are you Farmar’s brother? I too am frustrated by the heavy minutes that Fisher is getting, but he is the only PG I want playing in the last 5 minutes. He fits in perfect with this talented squad, and even more so when Gasol returns.
    We don’t need a PG’s stats, we just need solid play. He may have had 0 points, 0 rebounds, 0 Assist, but the 0 people seem to miss is the 0 turnovers! Farmar and Brown force the issue and make dumb mistakes we can’t have when the game is on the line.

    The issue of toughness comes up again whenever the Lakers play Houston. It could come up again when they play Boston in the future.

    The Rockets tried to intimidate the Lakers last night perhaps deliberately provoking Ron to be thrown out of the game because they knew his weakness. Their shorter frontcourt bullied the Lakers' taller frontcourt. I think the wack job on Drew's arm was done on purpose.

    We should have an enforcer on the Lakers bench who thinks his job is to protect the meal tickets. Kobe is obviously a meal ticket, but so is Drew now. There was not enough time, but next time, an opposing player is overly rough on the Laker meal tickets: KB, Drew and Pau, the enforcer s/d put the hurt back on the perpetrator. You don't do that to our assets. I nominate not the obvious choice - DJ - but Luke Walton. I think Luke is tough and can fight.

    The Lakers still won but other than Kobe and Fish, none of the Laker players know how it is to defend the O'Brien. It means that every game in the regular season is going to be treated like a playoff game by the other team and by the fans in road arenas. The Lakers have a bullseye on their shorts so they will be in for a fight (figuratively speaking) in almost every game because every other team in the NBA will bring their A game versus L.A.

    I watched most of the game last night. I can watch games and be objective. So, as someone who didn't really care who won (I don't hate the lakers), and as someone who is a high school coach, my observation is this:
    I really think Ariza is better than Artest. I think he is beter right now, and I think his upside is MUCH higher. At 24, he is just starting to figure it out after bouncing around for a couple of years. I think his next contract will be huge, if he continues to improve. He can be a shut-down defender and a 15-20 pt scorer.
    Artest is good, but inconsistent. VERY strong, but he also gets called for many unnecessary fouls by trying to physically impose his will on opponents. Refs don't really go for that. They prefer finesse on the wing players, let the big men battle it out. Case in point, when Bryant is in the low block, chances are he will get fouled if he shoots. Same prinicple for Artest....he will probably foul. That is just an observation from someone who really doesn't care either way, I just love to watch hoops, and the Celtics weren't on!!

    Kobefan in Cupertino,

    Here's the text of that rumor on ESPN:


    There has been a lot of speculation about what LeBron James will do after this season. He can become an unrestricted free agent July 1 and re-sign with the Cavs or sign with another team. The Knicks and Nets are mentioned most among potential destinations followed by the Heat, Clippers and Bulls. But what about the Lakers? Lakers? Sam Smith writes for Bulls.com and describes a scenario that could pair James with Kobe Bryant.

    Smith writes: "Going to the Lakers makes all the sense in the world, and, at least to my view, fits LeBron better than it would other players of his caliber. ... The obvious reason this never gets discussed is no one can see James hooking on with Bryant."

    How does LeBron get to the Lakers? Here is Smith's scenario: "The Lakers certainly have no salary cap room. They are in no position to pay James, which remains the No. 1 priority for all free agents. James just has to explain to the Cavs he's leaving. If they don't accommodate him, he's going to New York or Miami and they get nothing. But if they do in a sign and trade to save the franchise, they get a young, potential All-Star center in Andrew Bynum. Maybe Lamar Odom as well or Ron Artest. Draft picks, some pieces like Jordan Farmar. The Cavs can compete in the East with a star center and some pieces added to what they have. It's better than nothing as cap room doesn't mean anything in Cleveland. No one's going there."

    I'm surprised to see Kelly Dwyer write something positive about Kobe, much less completely glowing. I generally don't believe that writers are "haters" or have "beef" with individual players, but I think Dwyer and, to a much greater extent, Henry Abbott have had a little bit of that in the past with Kobe. Not to say that Kobe cannot or should not ever be criticized, but these were two guys that seemed to have a hard time saying anything good about him, so it was nice to see KD give some props.

    Now, to work on Henry Abbott. (scoff!)

    --------

    On a separate note, it's great to see Kobe staying ahead of the game and predicting what he'll need to do to stay a dominant player. He's known for some time that his athleticism is waning, so improved his footwork, then his midrange game, and now his post game. This is the #1 reason why he'll go down in history as one of the top 10 players to ever play the game - the ability to adapt his game to stay on top. It's why guys like Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter will be remembered as really good players, and Kobe will be remembered as the best of his generation. Never satisfied. Never unwilling to work or learn.

    I'm just glad he's on our side!

    again, on a back-to-back with Fisher playing the way he is and still getting heavy minutes because Farmar can't take any minutes from him? This is a total NO CONFIDENCE vote from Phil. I don't know if Luther Head is a shell of himself or if there is somebody younger but similar that's available but what we've got right now backing up Fisher is disturbing. God forbid Fisher goes down...

    Thrity2,
    -----------------------------------
    Kobe Bryant..I guess all i can really say is that we as fans should not take this guy for granted...He is like a bottle of Penfolds Grange Hermatige....The stuff just keeps getting better with age...Damm he is so good.....One of those moves at the top of the key was just jaw dropping and then the camera pans over to Hakeem sitting court side as if to say did you teach him that?..

    Ron Artest= Raw emotion...
    Bynum..Slowly creeping towards that scarey stage we saw a while ago..
    Lamar Odom..Thank God he signed with us again..Really thank God and Jerry Buss...

    If Bynum starts Mbenga could have 2 points and 18 blocks...

    Did i mention that Grag Oden is related to Kwame ...I swear he looks like Kwame at times....Really bad....
    --------------------------------------
    All right on the money!

    --Fearless

    Those ESPN insider stories are a joke! They always put some dumb line like “Lebron to the Lakers?” it’s just a way to sell their dumb subscription. I’ve had one for two years and that is all it is; a bunch of hype! Anyone who doesn’t see that, buys into it, or thinks what was said has any value at all- well, is just naive. Why would we want Lebron for the pieces mentioned? Lebron to the Clippers- that is what I’d like to see!

    ChinNstu

    Just throwing stats out there on luke and dfish. Take it for what's its worth. Not trying to ruffle any feathers around here. I know how sensitive this blog can get with dfish and luke.

    I think its obvious to everyone what dfish brings to the table. He'll always be the ultimate competitor and even with crappy statlines like yesterday he'll always bring other intangibles that shannon or certainly farmar don't or may never possess. Other than kobe there's no one else I want talking that last shot (provided he's wide open) but its also painfully obvious to everyone watching that along the way he's also hurting the lakers in a multitude of ways. I don't think one steal at the end of the game can make up for all the other pts he cost us...

    I know questioning anything phil does is like taboo around here and I dare proceed with caution.. My point is that its absolutely stifling how you can limit shannons PT to 10minutes a game... Makes no sense whatsoever.... I don't mind dfish starting and closing the game given the right matchups but shannon and farmar are young and need PT to develop... Maybe we can even beat the celtics with dfish and 30MIN but make no mistake there's much more upside with shannon/farmar 30 MIN..... Phil is phil and sometimes that will never change but sometimes that can be our biggest achilles cause u know the man is stubborn as a mule

    I see no reason to even think that phil will be reducing dfish minutes anytime soon. He rode walton till the bloody end as a starter and the only reason ariza ever started is cause luke delegated himself. Had that not happened who knows maybe we never get a ring and ariza never gets HIS CHANCE to blossom.

    I'm a fan of phil myself but let's not play dumb here and pretend the man has no flaws. 10 rings may earn him some immunity but he should always be open to criticism.

    As for luke, no comments necessary. He is not even worthy of further explanation

    LakerBC,
    "I nominate not the obvious choice - DJ - but Luke Walton. I think Luke is tough and can fight."

    Luke is the biggest wuss on the team. Remember when Kobe got clotheslined by Raja, and Luke just stood there with a deer in the headlights look. He would be the worst enforcer ever. People like to call him the "glue" guy, but any glue guy will always get a teammates' back.

    >>>God forbid Fisher goes down...

    The last time someone other than Fisher started was game 3 vs Houston in last year's
    playoffs. Fisher got suspended for the body check on Luis Scola, so Farmar started.

    Farmar had 12 points (on 3-7 shooting & 6-8 FT), 7 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, and 1 turnover.

    When's the last time Fisher got 7 assists in a game?

    The opposing starting PG was Aaron Brooks. He scored 7 points on 5 for 11 shooting,
    and had 1 assist and 3 turnovers.

    The Lakers won the game by 14 points.

    In the next game, with Fish back to starting, Fish scored 2 points on 1 of 4 shooting,
    Aaron Brooks scored 34 on 12-20, and Houston beat the Lakers by 12.

    Farmar would fare very well with the Lakers as a starter. It is MUCH easier to
    play well when you're sharing the floor with Kobe and Pau and Bynum than it
    is when you're sharing the floor with Sasha and Powell and MBenga.


    - KOBE and the coaching staff's early strategy is for Kobe to carry more of the scoring load while Gasol is out and Artest still is assimilating into the offense (especially on the road and with Fish struggling). When the team is at full strength, Kobe should get back to how he played last year - facilitating, picking his spots, and taking over in crunch time.

    - THE BENCH is obviously struggling, but I am surprised to see Phil yank the bench for the starters so early. That's not his normal style. Phil seems to really want to win these games. I wonder if he's thinking that the team will need home court against Boston (or Orlando) to repeat.

    - BYNUM's defense and rebounding looked much improved last night, but our big men still allowed too many easy layups and offensive rebounds against a group of midgets. On offense, although he missed some chip ins that he normally makes, he was patient on offense and was always scoping the court to make the right play. He is getting better by the game.

    - FISH - sigh........Remember Horry's last year with the Lakers when Phil rode him to the bitter end? Horry's cold shooting and poor defense against the Spurs in the playoffs lost us that series. I hope that Phil does not make the same mistake with Fish.

    Ball movement stops when Farmar is in the game. Too much perimeter dribbling. The team needs to play inside out to be effective. BUT, I do notice that the fist unit has been passing it into the post much more frequently so far this year, and this seems to stop as soon as the second unit comes in. Inside out people! Bynum is no Pau, but he is not a black hole either. 5 dimes from the big fella last night, he will hit the open shooter or the cutter to the rim.

    I think the reason the first team is going into the post more consistently now is Artest. He is now our best post entry passer, something which Fisher has never seemed to be able to do.

    I agree with most here who are puzzled by how much PT Farmar is getting. To me UPS is the future. But I can see the Zen Master's logic, UPS is mainly playing back up SG now, giving Farmar the bulk of the back up PG minutes. Sasha has been rightfully languishing on the bench.

    Farmar is being given his shot now- he better start using his head more and run the offense, otherwise Mitch is gonna use his magic wand and turn his expiring contract into another Ariza or Brown.

    I am annoyed that Farmar is still playing,

    NBA4ever,

    >>Those ESPN insider stories are a joke! They always put some dumb line like
    >>>“Lebron to the Lakers?” it’s just a way to sell their dumb subscription.

    Very true.

    Though I'm sure the Lakers would like to believe LeBron is a possibility, I can't
    see Bronnie reducing his ego to play on the same team as Kobe.

    >>>Why would we want Lebron for the pieces mentioned?

    For Bynum, Odom, Farmar, and picks? I'd do that deal in a hot minute.

    Kobe + LeBron + Gasol + 9 high school girls players = championship.

    And you know there'd be a line around the block of quality veterans who wanted
    to sign on to the Purple and Gold Dream Team Machine for Veterans minimums.
    They'd have no problem filling role players around those 3.

    And you also have to consider that Kobe is getting near to retirement, while LeBron's
    barely begun. He's probably still got 10 good years in him. So when Kobe fades,
    this allows you to build around LeBron.

    >>>Lebron to the Clippers- that is what I’d like to see!

    That has much much more potential of happening. It's still unlikely, but it
    has potential.

    I think the most likely outcome is that LeBron will stay in Cleveland. And he's
    seemed to favor New York as the team he leaves for if he does leave. But if the money
    were the same and you had a choice, would you go to a team where your teammates
    were Eddy Curry, Jared Jeffries, and Danilo Galinari, or a team where your teammates
    were Baron Davis, Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, Al Thornton, and Chris Kaman?

    We need to trade for better bench players. Walton is our most overpaid player and he is making some bad passes..sometimes he looks lost. Can someone please tell Shasha to slow down when he takes a shot? So far we don't have a bench,I quess then Gasol comes back and Lamar goes back to the bench then we might have something.

    Fearless....Cheers man...

    As for Lebron ever playing for the Lakers...I dont think that i want him..

    Call me crazy but that guy we have already,sort of makes Lebron fade into the back round of the super stars of the NBA...Is he good?...Very good...

    Kobe Bryant seems to have another gear that Lebron does not have yet..
    Every time time you think can Kobe do it again ...He does and then some...

    The rest of the world along with the entire NBA knows it..and so do all at the LA times blog...Kobe is way at the top of the mountain and the rest are still looking up.......Damm the guy is good...The best...

    LTLF,

    If Phil could magically create his ideal PG for a championship team running the triangle offense, he would want the following attributes:

    - Tough defense
    - Ability to hit the open shot (especially in crunch time)
    - Ability to play well off the ball
    - Smart decision making
    - Good chemistry with his teammates
    - Improves his game every year

    Farmar does not have any of these attributes except possibly his outside shooting. There are very few NBA PGs that are a worse fit than Farmar in this system. Shannon Brown, on the other hand, has most of these attributes or at least has shown potential to acquire these attributes.

    LTLF -

    You bring up some valid points about Farmar. When given the opportunity to play bigger minutes, he's generally done a yeoman's job. But I think he's mentally incapable of playing in smaller reserve role. Although some of this has to do with his inflated ego (he somehow believes he's starter material), he also seems to know that with one bonehead play (which, let's face it, he does at least once a game) he's going to be yanked, and I think this has shaken his confidence, belying his outwardly bluster. Plus, Farmar is at his best when he is freewheeling, and the Lakers are just not a freewheeling kind of team. Farmar would be a better fit with a team like Memphis, New York, Golden State, or Phoenix where players are given free reign to run, shoot and occasionally pretend to play defense.

    I'm very torn about Jordan because I feel he still is so young and could still be so good, but there's no denying that he's been flat out putrid for about a year now. My gut tells me that if Jordan is to fulfill his potential, it will unfortunately be in another uniform.

    Is this question crazy, Allen Iverson is so unhappy, would you trade him straight-up for Jordan Farmar? Let's say to improve our bench, which is sorely needed, we traded and started Iverson at point with Kobe, Artest, Gasol and Bynum, then brought Fisher and Odom off the bench to lead the reserves.

    Just read a report from hoopshype that sasha is dating sharapova?? Wow! Maybe the man does have some game?

    Kbros, any truth to that rumor?

    G-dammit! My beloved Lakers are frustrating the crap out of me. It's amazing we can be champs when displaying this kind of play night after night (yes, we played like crap in the playoffs too). 4-1 with this level of play is an absolute break! Turnovers, total lack of D at times resulting in layup parades, inability to grab rebounds - which leads me to my next target: Baby Bynum. How the hell did he manage to grab 17 rebounds against the Rocket(te)s??? The thing that stays in my mind is all the fumbles and and dropped boards he was guilty of. For F's sake, at times it looked like he had Kwame-hands! And then mouthing off to PJ? Cheesus... Bynum almost cost us the game. He should be dominating against a small lineup like Houston and even though he DID grab an impressive 17 boards I saw nothing dominating about his game.

    Okay, so I'm frustrated after just having watched the game but to me the Lakers should be playing at a much higher level even without Gasol. How come those turds from Boston can keep on playing at such a high level all the time and this lazy Laker bunch can't? We're the friggin champs for crying out loud! Show some pride!!!

    Like so many times before on this blog, I thank the great powers of the Universe for Kobe Bryant. I am soooo glad and thankful he's on our team.

    Oh and by the way, I ain't no Bynum hater. I'm just frustrated with the kid as I am with the whole team. He could really be the next big thing!

    Lebron to the Lakers:

    Charles Barkley made a very noteworthy point today on the Dan Patrick show. He thinks Lebron might stay is because both Ilgauskas AND Shaq's salaries come off the books after this year. That's 31.5 mil in salary. Add that to whatever Lebron himself is making (and will be taken off the books when he's a free agent) and that's alot of cap space.

    While everyone is clearing cap space to get lebron, Cleveland is at a significant advantage in both keeping him and attracting a quality free agent. Given the market will be saturated with them and CLE being one of the only teams that would be willing to stretch their finances out to win a championship (and appease Lebron) we could be looking at a nice collection of talent in Cleveland.

    So while Lebron+Kobe would be nice and Lebron in NY would be interesting, I'm more inclined to think he'd stay in Cleveland. Just a hunch.


    LTLF,
    - - - - - - - - - - -
    >>> Farmar would fare very well with the Lakers as a starter. It is MUCH easier to
    >>> play well when you're sharing the floor with Kobe and Pau and Bynum than it
    >>> is when you're sharing the floor with Sasha and Powell and MBenga.
    - - - - - - - - - - -
    I have always said that players play better with better players. That is what chemistry is all about. Funny, but when I tuned in to the game on Tuesday, NBA.com was listing Farmar as the starter at point guard and I thought maybe Phil was giving him a chance to showing him off for a trade. Unfortunately, it was just a TV screw up and Jordan proceeded to play so poorly that I was yelling at Phil to bench him. He did play well against the Nuggets, however, and I think he would do so again if given a chance to start. With Fish playing so poorly, maybe it is time to put Jordan in and let him play. Some guys just play better as starters and Jordan may be one of them. At worst, maybe some other team will show interest and offer us a deal we cannot refuse.
    -
    I think you are right that the Lakers would jump at a chance to trade Drew, Lamar, Farmar, and picks for LeBron and it would be a better deal for the Cavs than letting LeBron walk. Personally, I hope that such a deal never happens as I can’t stand LeBron and his poor sport attitude. Let the sucker rot in Cleveland. He is more loser than winner in my book and I have as hunch he will NEVER win a championship or ever make the Finals again. He will be Dominique to Kobe’s MJ. Ringless forever.
    - - - - - - - - - - -
    LAKER TRUTH,
    - - - - - - - - - - -
    I agree that Drew did a much better job on offense, defense, boards, and passing out of the post. He recorded season-highs in rebounds, assists, and blocked shots. I especially loved the excellent decisions he made as to when to pass the ball out. He made a couple of excellent passes in traffic that led to some easy points. The one thing every fan needs to realize is that a guy Drew’s size is not going to have the quickness and explosiveness of those midgets who seem to run circles around him.
    - - - - - - - - - - -
    Dr. Funkbot,
    - - - - - - - - - - -
    >>> I agree with most here who are puzzled by how much PT Farmar is getting. To me UPS is the
    >>> future. But I can see the Zen Master's logic, UPS is mainly playing back up SG now, giving
    >>> Farmar the bulk of the back up PG minutes. Sasha has been rightfully languishing on the bench.
    - - - - - - - - - - -
    Even though the Triangle Offense does not need a true point guard, it is important that the point guard be able to bring the ball up the court safely and run the offense, two tasks that Shannon has not proven he can do successfully. The reality is that his skills are better suited to back up Kobe at the 2 rather than to back up Fisher at the 1. That is not to say that in certain point guard match ups, Shannon’s defense will be enough to play him over Jordan as the backup point guard.
    -
    What I would say is that I am surprised that Shannon did not get some time at point guard with Lamar starting because then Shannon would not need to bring the ball up or start the offense. In any event, Phil seems to have tentatively decided that Shannon’s potential is as a 2 more than a 1. That is completely separate from whatever happens to Jordan Farmar, who will have to pick it up greatly if he ever wants to be the point guard starter on the Lakers or any team at this point. Let’s see how the backups play once Lamar returns to his 6th man role and everybody can start to get into their roles.
    - - - - - - - - - - -
    Tom


    Just a few observations from that awesome game last night:


    -Hopefully Kobe doesn't need to dominate like this all season but, man, it's so much fun watching when he does.


    -I know Ron Ron's game pretty well, but I'm not sure how he does with the pick and roll. With Scola guarding him, I thought we should have gone to that a few times and forced Scola to go through screens to try and stop him. It worked the few times when Artest threw the ball into Bynum and cut inside to the hoop. Scola had no idea what to do.


    -Great game from Bynum, but he needs to refrain from the histrionics he shows when he gets a foul called on him. If he continues, he won't get any respect from the refs and will hardly ever get the benefit of doubt. It's ok to do it now and then, every player in the league shows disdain for calls that go against them. When you jump up and down and run down the court, though? Repeatedly? It shows lack of maturity and he doesn't have the tenure nor superstar status yet to garner respect from the refs.


    -I thought it was interesting that Rockets fans booed Artest. The dude got you into the 2nd round, finally, and it was managements decision to let him go, not his own.

    Spero Dedes' pronunciation of "Scola" in a Spanish accent made me turn off the radio. If you're going to pronounce it SKOH-LAH (and did so in last year's playoffs as well), you better pronounce all Latin names in the same manner. He doesn't even pronounce Gasol correctly if that's the case.

    SO ANNOYING

    I hope he stays consistent and pronounces some other players correctly as well:
    Rudy Fernandez
    Jose Barea
    Fabricio Oberto
    Jose Calderon

    LTLF,

    Farmar got so overrated by the *one* game. *One* game out of how many? Not to mention Farmar in the regular season Phil also gave extended minutes before Shannon got more minutes and yet wasn't a 12 point 7 assist game.

    Since so much big time Farmar supporters point out Game 3 lets go to Game 4 when Ron basically gave a 3/4 lob to Aaron Brooks at the buzzer while Farmar (who supposedly got the highest vertical at his draft combine) was just staring while Brooks got the lob and scored on the buzzer. I mean Jordan didn't even *try* to even contest just looking while Brooks and Artest got a half court alley oop and celebrated on him.

    If I had to make a comparison of Jordan Farmar (like nbadraft.net does) it would be Luke Ridnour+Beno Udrih. And look at those two PG's they can't even hold down the starting gigs in two struggling franchises.

    Farmar is at best a career BACK UP *or* mediocre starter. His defense besides picking the passing lanes at times is mediocre and if played without Kobe Bryant would just be even more garbage than what he is viewed as already by most non Laker fans.

    First off, I'm a big Farmar fan, as all you guys know. I've been high on him since he was drafted when everyone poo-pooed the pick. What some of us are forgetting is that he is a small guard who came out of school early.

    In the NBA, this is the slowest maturing group of atheletes possible. PG's generally need to be in school for all four years to have an immediate, or even a short-term impact on the game. He's only now reached a point in his career where we could resonably expect great, not just good stuff out of. We have to let this season play itself out to see if he's really gotten it.

    Sometime around the middle of the season, Fish's minutes are going to drop dramatically, so Farmar's time is approaching. It is during that period that Farmar will get his true audition.

    Dude has to step up. I think he will.

    Oh yeah, put me on the Artest Bandwagon pronto. I'm riding shotgun, with my head out the window, yelling like my hair is on fire!

    --Fearless

    Farmar's "true audition"??? Farmar has been given ample opportunity to "step up" he just doesn't have that next gear in him to step up to. That's why I always said comparing Bynum to these other stiffs around the league wasn't fair. Bynum has the equivalent of a 7 or 8 liter engine and he's racing against guys with 1.3 liter economy engines. Those little guys may race ahead to start but eventually all of Bynum's physical gifts will overwhelm those guys and look what the kid can do, darn close to a 20 and 10 every night with a couple of blocks and eventually the lane defense is going to get better too.

    Farmar doesn't have another gear, he may pull a 20 point, 10 assist game against somebody we are blowing out but then the next 5-10 games will be 5 points and 3 assists. These little guys shouldn't be able to blow past him but they do and Farmar has short arms so all a slightly taller guard has to do is hold the ball over his head and then decide whether he wants to blow past Farmar or make a great, uncontested entry pass to somebody down low. THEN Farmar gets frustrated and tries to make something happen on the other end which usually leads to some kind of demoralizing fast break dunk by the other team. I like Farmar, he works hard but this has clearly been the wrong offense for him since he started here. You would think the Knicks might have some interest in him if they could get him on the cheap.

    FredJ - yes, it is a crazy question. koME and Iverson could never co-exist!!

    Well here's what I've noticed with only 3 games into the season,as I dust off my crystal ball.

    Perhaps, Laker and nationwide fans have become immune to Kobe's greatness. The guy drops 41 and it's like "Oh, the mailman came by and dropped a few bills in the box", Who cares anymore? This my friend must come to an end or else.

    As I turn the ball in at a feverish pace I see D Fish. Mr old reliable. Hey i'm here to tell you his age is not a problem. Just ask the Houston Rockets, they played old guys like Hakeem, Barkley, and Drexler well into their wonder years. But there does appear to be a problems. WAIT FOR IT!! WAIT FOR IT!! There's someone behind him tapping his shoulder to step back. Hum, wonder what that means? Perhaps he should limit his minutes to under 20. I for one would like to see Shannon Brown at the point position.

    Stop, stop the ball....Oh, there's the bench. I almost missed it.. Let's see that's Sasha, MBenga, Brown, Farmar, Powell, and Luke and his cousin what's his name. I have never in my life seen such an unproductive bench. I don't see a trade but one sure must happen. Can we send away Sasha, Luke, Farmer, and Luke's cousin for one solid point guard. But of that entire group, I would keep Luke (only if we desperately needed to). He know the offense and he knows when to pass the rock unlike Sasha and Farmer who should return to the D league to the session where they taught "defense".

    My ball is getting tired..

    i'm out for now.

    -Great game from Bynum, but he needs to refrain from the histrionics he shows when he gets a foul called on him. If he continues, he won't get any respect from the refs and will hardly ever get the benefit of doubt. It's ok to do it now and then, every player in the league shows disdain for calls that go against them. When you jump up and down and run down the court, though? Repeatedly? It shows lack of maturity and he doesn't have the tenure nor superstar status yet to garner respect from the refs.

    -I thought it was interesting that Rockets fans booed Artest. The dude got you into the 2nd round, finally, and it was managements decision to let him go, not his own.

    Posted by: Rob | November 05, 2009 at 02:47 PM

    ===========================
    You have to understand that you have to get a clear message from your coach as how to react. he is told to be proffessional and not get angry but remember it was PJ who dissed AB for being calm when AB tried to diplomatically protest a call to ref. Let me refresh your memory.
    http://tinyurl.com/cg2cuf
    Can't have mixed message from coach.

    Kobe did some offseason work with Olajuwon this offseason and
    it seems to be paying off. Olajuwon was a beast in the low post.


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