New 710 ESPN.com Lakers podkast!!!
-We discuss what the return of Pau Gasol means to the Lakers. Through eleven games, the Lakers have been mostly solid, occasionally fantastic, occasionally bad, but rarely resembling the one that took home an O'Brien last June. As we noticed last night, Pau's presence goes a long way towards restoring that dominance. Between his scoring abilities, passing skills, underrated D and general smarts, an awful lot has been brought to the table.
-Lamar Odom will now guide the bench, and at the risk of sounding critical, they're in need of guidance. Beyond the attention he draws as a focal point, LO can make plays for others as well as himself, areas where Jordan Farmar, Shannon Brown, et al often struggled when asked to do both. That Luke Walton will miss six weeks (at least) accentuated even more the need for, at the very least, a table setting presence.
-We recap Ren McCormick's battle to express himself through dancing as a Beaumont teenager. (Judging by this trailer, the folks over at Paramount decided this tale might be too convoluted to explain in 90-ish seconds, so they instead opted to go heavy on the Loggins, light on any explanation of what the hell the movie's actually about. Judging by the box office bankroll, a wide choice.)
-Former NBA player/current ESPN analyst Jalen Rose drops by the studio and chats with us. Rose thinks the Lakers are still the team to beat, Ron Artest will need to make mental adjustments with this squad, and like Derek Fisher and I, approves of Phil Jackson's methodology. One advantage he cites for the Lakers: They have a successful system, a commodity not shared by everyone. We discuss Kobe Bryant scoring 81 against the Raptors and Rose. He's learned to live with that afternoon by reminding himself that it was Kobe racking those points, as opposed to some shmoe over at the Y. There's also a little talk about The Fab Five, which was truly a cultural phenomenon. And an often controversial one at that. "We were our own daytime series," nodded Rose. "It was much bigger than basketball.
-Brandon Jennings' 55 point against Golden State is the highlight of what's been a fantastic rookie season. His success may- or at the very least, should- prompt the NBA brain trusts to rethink the age rule, before kids decide it makes way more sense to make cash overseas rather than do the obligatory "one and done."
-Monta Ellis: Quite the leader.
-Derrick Rose's hair just got a little longer with last night's loss to the Lakers.