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Luke Walton out a minimum of six weeks

Word just arrived from the Lakers' Media Relations Department.  Luke Walton, who missed last night's game Luke Walton vs. Utah against Houston with a back injury, met with a specialist and was diagnosed with a pinched nerve.  The injury is expected to sideline him for at least six weeks. 

Given how the mere mention of Walton's name sparks "pitchforks and torches" hysteria in this particular corner of the blogosphere, I'm not going to bother breaking down the impact of this absence.  I imagine whatever I said will be drowned out by the "sound" of reader debate.  I'll just leave it at this: It ain't a good thing.  I'm not saying the Lakers can't win without Walton.  That would be ridiculous.  But I do think he'll be missed on some level, especially with other guys dinged up.   

My extended practice report will be up ASAP.

AK
 
Comments () | Archives (56)

The comments to this entry are closed.

remember when Luke missed 20 or so games during the 06-07 season? He got injured against the Bobcats and we went downhill from there. I really feel Luke Walton would be the next Brian Cook if he is not playing with the Lakers.

"pitchforks and torches" - that is classic!!! LOL!!! Yes - Walton you beeeatch!! How did you get into this league let alone the Laker organization!!!!

Taking up Lakers important payroll - along with sasha, farmar, and morrsion.

How the heck we going to defend the title with losers like that and Dfish losing it by the day?


NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! What's next for Luke? Will he miss another two months from a chipped fingernail?

The Lakers are in deep DEEEEP trouble. Who's going to miss the wide open shots now? Who's going to try to force the pass while being ignored by defenses now? Who's going to shoot a 3 foot open shot and miss it 3 feet wide now? Who's going to choke when the pressure is on now? Somebody better step up for the huge void that Luke has left. Like everyone on this blog says, Luke Walton is the "glue" that brings this team together. This team is going to fall apart without Luke's glue.

Since AK is finishing up today' s info from practice, I'll add my take here...

I realize there's a very strong anti-Walton contingent among readers, some of whom are probably popping corks. Those people are wrong. It's not that Walton gives them some sort of amazing advantage or is the key to long term success- he's not- but he provides depth and flexibility, someone who can operate the offense and pass effectively off the bench, and not having him around has an impact on the rest of the rotation. The good news is at the three, Ron Artest wants and gets big minutes, and once Pau Gasol comes back he'll be able to spend more time there than having to move to PF when the team goes a little smaller. But with a healthy Pau and RA on board, it's likely Kobe wouldn't have to play quite as much at the three, unless PJ wanted to go that way for matchup reasons.

Now, there's a good chance 24 will get more minutes there, meaning the need for the backcourt situation to straighten itself out goes up. It matters more if they get good minutes from BroFarmAcic. And as Andy just noted in an IM- we do that sometimes- PJ liked putting Walton on the floor with Brown, because he gave Shannon some support in organizing and running the offense with his passing skills. So it has a ripple effect on the rest of the rotation, and limits some of the flexibility PJ has at his disposal. As a side note, this seems to open up some chances for Adam Morrison, who is looking to save his career. That's a subplot worth watching.

Again, we're not talking about losing Kobe or LO. Walton is a role player, but one with a specific skill set that fits into the system very well and comes in handy. If you happen to be in the "Woohoo!" camp, you're way off.

BK

AK,

You're not going to bother breaking down the absence of Luke because you think the haters on here won't like it? That sucks man! I come here for the Lakers lowdown because this is one of the bests Lakers sites on the web. You and your brother have never held back on giving us every morsel of Laker news before and I feel that right now(with Pau's absence) Luke's departure is a worth breaking down. With Lamar in the lineup, Luke was an alright facilitator for the second unit. What do you think?

dan

Dave--- I added my thoughts, if you're interested.

BK

Dan the man,


"With Lamar in the lineup, Luke was an alright facilitator for the second unit. What do you think?"

Of course, he was. But your point's obvious truth, and the fury that will likely come as a result of noting it, underscores my original point, which was made somewhat tongue in cheek. Not entirely, because I think bogging down my time to endlessly debate a role player who plays 15 mpg (tops) is, to say the very least, wasteful. But it was meant as a joke as well.

If you read BK's recent comment, he covers a lot of the high points (including one I made about regarding Shannon Brown). In addition to the flexibility Walton adds to the rotation (or his absence decreases, depending on how you look at it), I also think Walton helps other guys play their individual roles well, because he's not out there to do anything else. BK and I have talked with scouts and other coaches, and to a man, they all say the same thing. He helps other players play to their strengths. That doesn't make Walton "Wonder boy" or "the key to winning." He's obviously not an elite role player, much less an elite player. But he does help, despite what others may scream.

AK


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


Luke is not a cog in the Lakers but while I won't miss him from his injury there is a little "ummm...." thing going on because now we have Adam Morrison to step up and that is very scary. The guy still hasn't been proven to shoot reliably (don't say Pre-Season Sasha was hitting shots in Pre-season and he's shooting 36% atm from the field in the regular season). Morrison isn't a great passer, he's even worst than Luke at defending (there is such a thing) and to cheer him as an upgrade than Luke is a scary throught.

Artest better be ready for more minutes.

AK,
"He's obviously not an elite role player, much less an elite player. But he does help, despite what others may scream."

You are correct that Luke can help, but you can also make the same argument for guys like Smush, Cook and Kwame, or basically any NBA player in the league, and that includes Ammo, who will hopefully step up.

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

>>> But at this stage in his development, Bynum is not quick enough to respond to defenses to have
>>> the offense "go" through him.
-
Thank you, ex. I agree 100% with your post. Aside from LAKER TRUTH and Blitz trying to twist my words and points, I have always said Pau was the best player for the Triangle Offense to run as he is the best high post player on the team. It is in fact the perfect position for him. But Drew is going to get more points because he is bigger and longer, closer to the basket, and will demand the ball more.
In my opinion.
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Tom

Laker Truth,

"You are correct that Luke can help, but you can also make the same argument for guys like Smush, Cook and Kwame, or basically any NBA player in the league, and that includes Ammo, who will hopefully step up."

Your point is technically correct, but it also ignores a basic reality, which is that some players help more than others. Walton has a track record of helping more and at a higher stage than Kwame, Cook or Smush. Or Morrison, for that matter. It's not even close. Thus, I don't think the example you're providing really holds.

AK

Here comes Gasol
Do do do do
Here comes Gasol
And I say, it's all right
Do do do do do do do do do do do


Wes

K-bros, neither of you would be drowned out by my thoughts, namely as I agree. Luke being out helps nobody. He's a vet, a role player and serves a purpose.


Now, on to more entertaining matters - the Golden State/Charlotte trade, which in my mind was a sweet one for the Warriors. They get rid of a headache, get one helluva salary dump and add a couple guys who could fit perfectly into their "system". Imagine the sage advice from Nellie to his two new acquistions: Nellie to Vlad Rad, "just go out there and shoot all you want." Nellie to Raja, "go out there and trip a few guys... and shoot all you want."


Meanwhile, Stephen Jackson's gonna be coached by Larry Brown. Seriously? Does anybody think this will be a good mix?


dave m


LAKER TRUTH
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
>>> You are correct that Luke can help, but you can also make the same argument for guys
>>> like Smush, Cook and Kwame, or basically any NBA player in the league, and that includes
>>> Ammo, who will hopefully step up.
-
If you have ever played on a team that won a championship of any sort you would better understand that point that AK and BK both eloquently made. To compare Luke with three players who at times were “cancers” on the team that needed to be leached is crude, insulting, and just plain wrong. If you asked Kobe or any player on the Lakers what they think of Luke as a teammate, I think you would be embarrassed at your Lakers fandom. Smush, Cook, and Kwame? Come on, LT. You’re better than that. You may not like Luke, his salary, his play, his dad, or his ribs but he is no cancer.
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Tom


KB Blitz,

I completely agree with your assessment about Kobe being option #1 and Pau being second fiddle. But to come out and say that Bynum is overated over the top even for you. Other than a few people on this blog and some in the Laker organization who view Bynum as a potential star someday, Drew came out of the draft without much fanfare and to many experts and scouts a surprise that the Lakers took him 10th overall out of high school. So who in your estimation rated Bynum really high coming out??? That's what makes your "overrated" comment surprising to me.

Andrew was a young chubby tall kid that has worked really hard to make it at this level and would be further ahead in his development had it not been for those knee injuries. I love Kobe and Pau to death, but I find nothing wrong with hoping that Andrew becomes that next young, rising star for our beloved Lakers.

I've noticed your infatuation with Pau rivals that of mine and LakerTom's for Andrew, LOL, but we should be happy that we have two very good 7footers on our team. Sure, Pau is more savvy, experienced and better at this stage in his career, but that shouldn't be an indictment on Andrew's improving game and skills.

What people forget is that Pau has been just as much a beneficiary of playing with Kobe and vice versa. Before becoming a Laker, Pau was the #1 option on a Grizzlies team that could never make it out of the first round, but with the Lakers he's become better and the made the Lakers better as well. It could be argued by some of us on here that if you were to put Andrew Bynum right now with say Chris Paul and David West, that the Hornets would possibly be a playoff team with Drew possibly as the second option or maybe even 1st option if Paul decided to scale back on his own scoring. You put Drew right now on some of these teams straddling the fence and he could either help them become a playoff team or contender. How would teams such as the Rockets, Wizards, Bulls or even the Thunder would do if they had a post presence like Bynum??? I think that Drew and those teams would do pretty well.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Bynum has to stay healthy and prove that he can consistently play the way he's been playing lately, especially against Howard and Shaq whom you mentioned. Pau is a proven commodity and I believe that Drew will get there.

wesjoenixon: Very nice!

KB Blitz,

Now Kwame Brown was overrated. I mean for MJ, considered by many to be the greatest to ever play this game to rate and select Kwame #1 is way different than Jim Buss gushing over Andrew Bynum.

At least Bynum is Benoit Benjamin, Michael Olowokandi, Jim McIlvaine(still can't believe the Sonics gave him more money than Shawn Kemp)and several other more hyped big men that never panned out.

Andrew has been injured two years in a row. What was Benjamin and Olowokandi's excuses?

Iverson released...Mr. Kupcake, absolutely no way do not entertain the thought of bringing that synaptic challenged moron to LA.

One lithium nut case (Artest) is one more than any team needs.

KB Blitz,

Sorry for typo. I meant that Andrew "isn't" like those guys mentioned in my previous post. You could also add Darko Milicic to that list as well.

I would also like to say that I think that Chris Mihm was a serviceable big man that was unfortunately derailed by injuries.

AK,
"your point.....ignores a basic reality, which is that some players help more than others. Walton has a track record of helping more and at a higher stage than Kwame, Cook or Smush. Or Morrison, for that matter. It's not even close. Thus, I don't think the example you're providing really holds. "

Yes, and another basic reality is some players hurt more than others. My point is that you can take any player in the league, and find good things about their game. The question is does the good outweigh the bad, and this is where our opinions differ regarding Luke.

The contributions are difficult to compare since Luke has been a Laker for more years than the other players mentioned, and was given more opportunities than someone like Ammo, but if you compare the contributions of these players (Luke, Kwame, Smush, Cook) while they played together, I do not think it is so clear cut. Despite all their faults, Smush and Kwame played pretty heavy minutes for those teams, and made their share of contributions.


Nemaia,
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Outstanding response to Blitz regarding Andrew and Pau. Bottom line, EVERY Lakers fan should be thrilled that we may have the BEST shooting guard, BEST power forward, and in my opinion, soon-to-be the BEST center in the NBA today. Has any NBA team ever had the BEST player at 3 positions?
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Tom


i think there is a silent majority of luke appreciators out there, or at least people who have a realistic view of his value as a role player.

porky pig- you are in elite company now. (joking)

Laker Tom,

You are right that Smush was a cancer to the team, unlike Luke, but when it comes to Kwame, is there really much difference between Kwame and Luke? I find much more similarities than differences when I compare the two. Here is a list of traits they both share:

- Both got along with their teammates, and by all accounts, were very much liked by all their teammates.
- Both were grossly overpaid.
- Both were injury prone, and recovered slowly from injuries.
- Both never improved their game from year to year.
- Both played scared and nervous during crunch time.
- Both frustrated Laker fans to no end.
- Both could not make an open shot.
- Both were getting minutes and starting over better players (Bynum and Ariza).

The biggest difference is we only had to endure a couple years of frustration from watching Kwame on the court, while Luke has provided us with 6 years of frustration.

If Luke is disabled, therefore Ammo will have more playing time or Josh Powell. Ammo has no defense but have a shooting accuracy that needs to be encouraged. Frankly, at this point I would rather see Ammo shooting than D'Fish, tho' I love Derek's energy and decision making. Please tell Derek to be facilitators and stop shooting those long treys, Lakers can't experiment when they are two men down.

I heard Pau is coming back on the Bulls game, this is another running game that Lakers cannot afford to lose in their home court. One of the biggest drawback of Lakers losses are those hurried offense without any clear path. Those alley hoop passes are high percentage T/O, we have no Magic Johnson in this line up nor Worthy or Wilkes who could finish it but we have Kobe. He can be a combination of the three Showtime stars. On the other hand, if he's surrounded by 3 guards, he's not WaPaKman (manny paquiao's movie) who can be invisible or super elastic. He needs to pass the ball to an accurate shooter. Not Fisher, Not Odom, Not Farmar try something new......I hope Sasha and Ammo can help this team and make those shots. It is their professional livelihood, have a little pride from Zag or Slovenia, those are money in the bag. We used to shout a wager when I was a young boy, I will bet the house of my parents, breaking of eggs, abandoning my g/f, those shots are 95% swishhh!. C'mon Ammo, Sasha, if your eggs are at stake for the miss, you will do it LMAO!

LUKE out? = Lakers done for the season! Jerry Buss! please go get La Diva Lebron for us.... we need a replacement for Luke. hehe.

laker truth- just out of curiousity, are you ever going to listen to anyone else's viewpoint? How about phil jackson, or kobe, or any of the reporters who cover the lakers? anyway. also i'm not much for drag out blog arguments, as they usually degenerate into nit pickery and misquotation, but i am also curious how luke has been given 'more of an opportunity' than than adam morrison, who was a #3 draft pick for a rebuilding team and basically played his way out of the rotation.

anyway, sorry to single you out, but like yellofever, you are generally pretty knowledgeable and cognizant, so i find your anti luke prejudice odd. i mean, everybody knows that Luke has his limitations, but if he was a better player, he would be a starter somewhere, not a role player on the lakers. And it has been pointed out before, his salary is something like 4.7 M, not exactly breaking the bank.

anyway. if you won't listen to the approximately 10 or so comments above from people who are smarter than me, you probably aren't going to change your mind because of what i say. i just had to go out of my way today because i really think we're going to miss having the extra depth.

BK what kind of man love you have for LUKE, spending his whole career with the Lakers,he should know the offense. He want be missed, no way.

AK & BK:
Luke is garbage.
So what he's a great passer.
So what the triangle flows with him on the court.
He can't defend.
He can't shoot.
And more important: he can't stay healthy.
I'll take my chances with Adam Morrison.
6 years at 30 million dollars.
The worst Lakers contract in Lakers history.

HOW ABOUT WE MAKE A DEAL.............TRRAAAAAAAAADE

"soon-to-be the BEST center " for Hollywood Lebron NOW!!

My time on earth is very short and rather not wait on "soon to be" to show up any sooner than soon?

Nem,

Have to disagree with you. Right now all I see from Andrew Bynum is a better defensible version of Al Jefferson. Offensively both can score (Jefferson has better range but Bynum has more post skills) but again options doesn't not necessarily mean the "leading scorer". Leading the team Bynum I have not seen though understandable because Kobe is the undisputed option of the team. Like Ex has said,

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

Only two players on this Laker squad has the ability to lead this team and that is Kobe and Pau (Derek is a leader but he's no go to guy). A Big reason that is said because they not have the ability to score but also make (most of the time; hey they do make mistakes too) the right play to get their teammates involved. All I see is Bynum just going to the post and score. If he isn't in the post or even on the free throw line all I see is just a jumper which is at most semi-reliable compared to Kobe when he did get the post scores almost automatically (post moves wise). Bynum is good but blasting Kobe (yes he does make horrible shots at times) for "ignoring" Bynum and point out his FG% is what set Laker TRUTH off. Yeah fire 12 shots and wow does that make Bynum the one who automatically the one gets touches? Wait before Kobe or Pau or a great coach like Jackson isn't there and see how much more difficult it would be for Bynum to even score as efficiently if he had a coach like Rambis (sorry Kurt but hey look whats going on in Minnesota who has a good big man too (but he ain't no Bynum). Yeah Pau was a beneficiary of playing along side Kobe and vice versa but the infatuation that you and Laker Tom gives to Bynum but yet points out Pau and Kobe's shortcomings is what Laker fans who aren't on Bynum is an All-Time great...yet gets so ticked off about especially after coming a bad loss against an undersized Rockets team that somehow out rebounded us!

The reason I said overrated was because people put him already as a Beast when he has done very little aside than have 2 Januarys and so far a good November run when Pau Gasol is out whose own arrival make the Lakers squad good enough to even make the Finals in 2008 and WIN the Finals 2009 despite Bynum shooting 36%. Is Bynum good? Yes one of the top young prospect but there is a difference between a good scorer versus a GO TO GUY which Bynum so far is not compared to Kobe.

I just knew though when the Lakers would have a bad game and Laker Tom's pet boy Bynum didn't get enough touches that he would blast Kobe for shooting inefficiently.


LAKER TRUTH,
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Fair enough. That was a good comparison of Luke and Kwame. I could create a list of differences but the main one is that Kwame was playing a primary role and preventing Andrew Bynum from getting playing time that he deserved in my opinion. And yes, I agree that same has often been true of Luke. However, you really ignore many other important issues when you paint with such a broad brush. Luke definitely can be a great facilitator and coach’s helper when he is healthy and playing sparingly. Of course, he has rarely been healthy. And like Kwame, he chokes under pressure. But he at least can catch the ball. But I get your point that you feel about Luke like I did about Kwame. That we agree on.
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Tom

Luke haters suck.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Nemaia,
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Outstanding response to Blitz regarding Andrew and Pau. Bottom line, EVERY Lakers fan should be thrilled that we may have the BEST shooting guard, BEST power forward, and in my opinion, soon-to-be the BEST center in the NBA today. Has any NBA team ever had the BEST player at 3 positions?
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Tom


Posted by: LakerTom | November 16, 2009 at 08:18 PM


LakerTom,

Exactly. It's as if some people here(I may be wrong, but if I am may they forgive me)don't want Andrew Bynum to become a star or be successful which is shocking to me as a fellow Laker fan. Some here seem offended that Bynum may be the starting center on the West All-Star team this season. At least Drew set for himself a high standard and goal of being the best center in the west(I believe he still would make the All-Star team this year even if Yao Ming were healthy). He's also willing to grasp that which has always eluded our other should be All-Star but can't quite get there for one reason or another even when he was the second option behind Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom.

Think about that for a second. The vastly advanced/experienced, immensely talented and popular Lamar Odom may be surpassed by a 22 year old center in becoming an All-Star. That's pretty incredible. It's not a slight against Lamar as it is a testament to how hard Drew has worked and how far he's come. Credit LO for his great attitude and taking it all in stride because there's no doubt that we don't win a title last year without LO's contributions, especially in the WCF against Denver.

Although Bynum was taken 10th in the draft, he was more a project and gamble and wasn't close to being hyped up as other big names that I mentioned in my post to KB Blitz. Even Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry whom I failed to mention in said post were more hyped up than Bynum and yet Bynum when healthy is better than any of those guys. The key with Bynum is obviously health and playing well consistently over an entire season which is why I can understand the angst and doubt of some on this blog regarding him. Fair enough. But everyone should at least reserve judgment on him until we've seen him play an entire year first and then the rest of his career.

BK,

"I realize there's a very strong anti-Walton contingent among readers, some of whom are probably popping corks. Those people are wrong."

Good job, sir.

Sometimes you have to set things straight. I know that Luke isn't LeBron James or Tim Duncan, but he has consistently made his teammates better... and that is important.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

LakerTom,

Even Greg Olden has been hyped way more than Andrew coming out, but in fairness to Olden, he's suffered an even worse knee injury than Drew. He seems to be getting better for Portland, but the jury is still out on him.

AK,

"He's obviously not an elite role player, much less an elite player. But he does help, despite what others may scream. "

As I've noted earlier, Luke understands the Triangle and runs the the Triangle, so when Phil puts Luke in, he has a tendency to get the other players more focused on playing within the system... which is good.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

This injury is so devastating. We gotta sign AI now.

Odom has to step up too.

KB Blitz,

Thanks for responding to my post. We can agree to disagree and still remain loyal LAKER fans. I understand where you're coming from and respect that. I wasn't pointing out Kobe or Pau's mistakes to bring Bynum into a more favorable light, just pointing out that while Bynum still has a lot to improve upon and learn, but you can't deny that at the time being he's more than adequate as our starting center.

I just think that it's hard to argue that with Pau out that he's done more than a solid job of holding down the fort in the paint(doing what a big man should do, which is finish at the basket), been our consistent second scorer behind Kobe and according to PJ should be getting more touches. You have to give Andrew some credit for stepping up big time so far in the absence of Pau and shouldering some of the offensive burden and helping us to a 7-3 record, especially with LO being off and on, Fish playing subpar to put it lightly, Artest trying to find his way and the bench giving us very little some nights. Surely your pride and battle with LakerTom shouldn't stop you from giving credit where is due. As great as Kobe was in those 7 wins, he didn't do it all by himself(I give Mbenga credit for playing well in the two games Drew missed)and in our three losses, fact is Drew still got his averages with less touches, but we fell out of balance because Kobe struggled and no one other than Drew helped filled that vaccuum.

Again, I know the pecking order and that Kobe and Pau are at the top of the food chain. But if the Lakers truly run the triangle, I see Andrew being the third point of that triangle. Go Lakers!!!

KEEP on DAY DREAMING.......

KB Blitz:

I agree that Bynum at this juncture is merely a work in progress and sky is the limit "if" the kid remains healthy and continues to develop his game. However, he sure is not a "Beast" rather a young kid who wants to excel and contribute. So when I see fans fantasizing about Bynum it merely means an escape to fantasy world.

I am curious to see how Bynum holds through the rigors of NBA through playoffs and then we can all agree on his "beastliness", until such time keep on day dreaming and it is free!!

Luke Walton may be slow, but he's still a good player. He's solid in all phases of the game, and will definitely be missed.

I may have commented about his slowness, but if so only for comedic purposes. He's pretty vital for our squad.

Nemaia Faletogo:

No one is oppose to Bynum becoming the best center ever, maybe, not if you read Karim's accomplishments spanning over two decades first. We all hope that Bynum will last that long. What we are trying to message here is that it makes no sense to script Bynum's NBA career, instead, why not let it unfold, enjoy as it happens and then celebrate. But I know fantasy is fun.

LUKE HAS GOOD PEGIREE, do you have a good pedigree as Luke's? Please use mouth wash before you bad mouth Luke.

I'm going to be vocal here and defend Luke. Anyone remember who was killing the nuggets a couple of years ago when we swept them in the playoffs? Anyone remember who was playing solid D on Carmelo that year? Anyone remember who helped us to almost push past the suns 3 years ago? Anyone remember how our squad got off the schneid last year once VladRad was glued to the pine?

I challenge any of you haters, if you think you're actually better than Luke, to call up the lakers and audition for a roster spot. If you're not, then there's no reason to keep harping on him. He is on OUR team after all.

lakerfan,

Fair enough. We'll see what happens the rest of the year. By the way, I don't consider myself daydreaming or fantasizing, just predicting what I think will happen if Drew stays healthy. Cool name by the way. Out.

Caliphilosopher,

That is lame of you to call out bloggers to contact the Lakers to try out? No one is claiming to be better than Luke - he is way overpaid and no other team would be dumb enough to pick him up in a trade with his overinflated contract. Then, he's not even well enough to earn the money that he is paid.

On a lighter note,
the high point of Pau Gasol's acting career to date:

Lying dead on the slab on CSI Miami. Classic!

I have seen worse though, the name was Shaquille O'Neal.

Bynum “got three shots in the second half and he was our most effective scorer out there,” Jackson said. “That’s a shame.”----Taken from an article on Yahoo.

Really, Phil....really? I won't even say more, I do blame this on the team and Bynum.

The Team: These guys have stopped looking for Bynum COUNTLESS times...that whole "fronting" notion is illogical btw. You are kidding yourselves, if you have the game recorded, watch it again. Especially Fisher who has been doing that rubbish since last season and the season b4 that!

Bynum: Dude, it is your time to stake your place on this team. DEMAND THE BALL! UGH!

And lastly....GO LAKERS!

Luke by the numbers (source: basketball-reference.com 11/16/2009 @ http://bit.ly/br_lal )

AST%: 27.4 (1st)
STL%: 2.7 (2nd; cf. Kobe at 2.9/1st)
PER: 15.0 (4th; cf. Artest at 13.1/6th)
DRtg: 103 (5th; cf. tied with Kobe)
ORtg: 105 (5th)
TOV%: 15.4 (5th; cf. Artest at 15.8/4th)
eFG%: .500 (6th; cf. Kobe .481, LO .472)
TRB%: 8.5 (6th; cf. Artest at 7.3/9th)

The numbers back up the KBros on Luke.

Senseless, overwrought haters hating on Walton? Pick a number. Any number.

This could be a blessing in disguise. Save Walton for the playoffs. Bench players can now get a little more playing time.

AK, BK,

You will get no argument from me on Luke. I know all the things Luke CAN'T do, trust me fellow posters, they are obvious. But all role players have things they can't do. That is whay they are role players.

Shannon Brown is a PG who can't run an offense (or a SG without a consistent shot your choice). Powell is a PF who doesn't defend or rebound as well as he should.

When you get below your sixth man everybody's game has obvious holes. Luke's are his speed and his shooting. The shooting bothers me, I will admit. I think with work Luke good be a better shooter.

But Luke comes into a game and makes the other four guys in the offense more effective. He understands floor spacing, movement and flow in the triangle better than any other Laker. And he shares the ball. And even though it doesn't get you on Sports Center it matters. A lot. It was failure to get spacing and flow and failure to share the ball that caused the Lakers to lose the last 2 games, even with all that talent on the floor.

Luke is also a pretty good rebounder in spite of his physical limits. And he is a willing defender. He plays hard. He gets beat by athletic SFs, but when he does get beat he keeps playing. He follows his man and doubles with the help guy, or he picks up the help guy's man, or he finds a way to the boards. In other words when he does get beat he keeps trying to nelp his team, and often successsfully.

None of these skills will get him in an all star game. But on a lot of nights Luke helps the Lakers win. And he provides Phil with a stable rotation player and an example for the younger guys.

I do wish he could hit an open shot. I wish he was a s quick as Aaron Brooks too, for that matter. But his loss is not good news. He takes a tool out of Phil's arsenal on the bench.

Tom D.

The loss of Luke is crucial to the Lakers rotation. Don't get it twisted and think that it doesn't matter that he's gone, because it does in many ways. Not only does Luke help the offense flow more smoothly with the sporadic second unit, he helps keep everyone involved when he is on the floor regardless of who is out there with him. I always felt the Lakers were fortunate to win the title last year with a very unreliable bench. And now the bench is even thinner, and some of the same players on the bench (Farmar, Sasha, Odom even though he's starting) have all continued to play like garbage like they did most of last year. Mitch Kupchak if you read these blogs, please dispose of some of the trash that is on the bench and bring some real players in here are still hungry to win a ring. The bench really needs help because the Lakers are gonna have injuries all year long as well as other teams in the league. Depth is gonna be key for every team in the league this year whether the bloggers want to believe it or not. Only the strong will survive and the weak (benches, management) will be at home in May and June.

We wound't miss him at all. I wish Lakers trade
Luke and Sasha.. they are horrible . My goodness !! how could they call themselves a basketball players and draw that kind of salary we, normal Ameican can't even get that much $ during our lifetime. It' shame..
I am dying fan of Kobe, hope Lakers wake up and bring some deccent players..let Luke and sasha go. I know PJ loves Fisher,,, but best champ team should have PG who can score the basketball..He can't do a thing..we need PG desperately.. I love S Brown..he is pretty good. but how about CP..convinces him to come to Laker ,, he is outof world with eyes back of his head high B Ball IQ..

Ed,

There has been WAY too much vitriol directed at Luke on this blog. People act like he's not good. It's less lame to call them out when their level of hate insinuates that they are better than Luke. All I'm saying is that if they think that they can do better, then they should put their money where their mouth is.

Regarding teams wanting to pick him up - there are plenty of players who are worse than Luke, so it's not like teams won't pick him up. He's better than plenty of those high-flyers who are stuck playing in the D-League.

latopia

Right on with those stats showing exactly where Luke fits on the team. For all the fun I have at the expense of the Luke haters on the Blog (I really don't think he'll be the slam dunk champ or MVP, y'know) I am a big fan of his un selfish play and general hustle. When he's on the floor he's like a 2nd or 3rd PG (sometimes he's a better passer than the PG see Jordan Farmar) and he takes pride in picking up the team's over all play. He makes guys like Josh Powell and Vujacic better because, even though it takes some time, he can back his man into the post and kick it out to a 3 point shooter or deliver the ball to a post player. He's decent at finishing around the rim (not in a Sports Center kind of way, but if the ball goes in I don't care what the shot looks like) and he keeps any gripes he has about anything in the locker room.

Is he fragile? Well, he's a Walton so that answers that question. Is he a super-star? Of course not. is he a Laker? Yes, and as such I will root for him no matter what.


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