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Don Nelson on Kobe's magical play

Don Last night's ugly win for the Lakers, 124-118, over the Golden State Warriors offered little for Lakers fans to get excited about.

The lowly Warriors (9-22) shot 55% and had 31 assists on their 46 field goals as the Lakers defense was invisible for the second straight game.

After the game, Warriors Coach Don Nelson told the San Francisco Chronicle: "We did a couple silly things and you can't do that down the stretch."

But Nelson was dazzled by Kobe Bryant's play, including his 44 points. "He amazing. To be able to shoot like he did with a finger problem on his shooting hand and to take a game over without the same shot he usually has is something," Nelson said.

Bryant was 13 for 27 from the field and made all 16 free throws.

"I love watching him play and it's always a pleasure to coach against him," Nelson said.

-- Barry Stavro

Photo: Don Nelson. Credit: Bill Haber / Associated Press

 
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LAKER BLOGGERS WE INTERUPT SERIOUS BASKETBALL TALK TO NOW PRESENT THAT MOST REQUESTED ANNUAL RETELLING OF: YES VIRGINIA, THERE IS A PRINCESS JIMMY.
*
"DEAR Mamba24: I am 8 years old. "Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus or Princess Jimmy. "Papa says, 'If you see it in THE Lakers Blog it's so.' "Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus and Princess Jimmy?
"VIRGINIA O'HANLON. "115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET."
*
VIRGINIA, your little friends are right and wrong. Santa Claus, HELL NO!! But Princess Jimmy. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Princess Jimmy. He exists as certainly as hype and crassness and exploitation exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its most UTTER despair and pain. Alas! how wonderful would be the world if there were no Princess Jimmy. It would be as wonderful as if there were no David Sterns. There would be no Crab Dribbles then, no silly @zz dances, no Bias against the Lakers to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal insanity with which Skanks like Paula the Truth and that freakin ballheaded giant green lunatic fills the NBA would be extinguished.

Not believe in Princess Jimmy! You might as well not believe in the honesty of Bernie Madoff ! You might get your papa to hire men to watch and see if in the NBA Finals they catch Princess Jimmy, but even if they did not see Princess Jimmy win a Ring, what would that prove? Nobody sees Princess Jiimmy commit a foul or travel or take 5 steps before he shoots, but that is no sign that there is no Princess Jimmy. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding except the total ruthless ness with which Darth David Stern will go to to promote Princess Jimmy.

No Princess Jimmy! OH God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to foul and take 5 steps to the basket and make glad the heart of David Stern.

A night with Kobe's season high in assists, Pau's season scoring high, Lamar and Andrew playing well (at times) and still a tough game at the end. The second half, once we woke up and realized that the Warriors are playing well lately, was very entertaining basketball with the right outcome. True that having more of a cushion is always better for a fan, yet this was just fun to watch. Turiaf stopping Kobe's dunk COLD then smiling about it, no grandstanding, that was fine D to be appreciated even by Laker fans.

We just played four hot teams. Sac and Golden State have both been winning lately, the Warriors are not Run-TMC but they are playing hard and shot lights out last night. The Cavs are running over teams like a mongrel horde assisted in LA by the refs leaving their whistles in their locker room. Its the Suns game that was a disappointment. You could truly look at the lack of defensive energy and the poor offensive execution and see where the game could at least have been competitive.

A break to regroup before Friday. Time to figure out what is going on with Ron. His half-time appearance last night was not reassuring in the least.

Looking forward to Jan. 30th when nothing short of redemption2 is called for.

i dont know why im up so early, maybe because of the way lakers have been playing these days i cant sleep. We look like the old lakers with smush parker kwame brown and kobe taking over games. We cant play like this for much long.But what can we do when bynum is not healthy for some strange reason, ron is not playing and kobes finger will get to him if he has to keep playing like 40 min every game. I think the two big things that are bad is one as a team we lack energy that we had during the preseason and two bynum is not working in the system at all and three LO is not getting it done on the off side and four the bench cant keep up with any team in the nba when the some of the starters are taking a break. We need the two day off. HAPPY NEW YEARS EVERY ONE!

One thing is clear from last night's game: Phil knows what he's doing a whole lot more than anyone on this blog.

Trade Bynum? Fuggedaboudit. The kid showed up big in the first quarter. Phil knows he's got something special in him and he's going to nurture him into full-game readiness as long as there is even a glimmer of possibility. So shaddap already.

Farmar and Sasha are worthless throwaway bums? Yeah, right. Phil not only gives them major minutes, but also keeps them in throughout most of the 4th quarter with the game on the line. And what happens? Steals, 3's, great energy, and decent defense. Nothing like knowing your coach has your back when the blog pack is yapping at your heels like a gang of chihuahuas on speed.

LO lost in a Kardashian fog? Yeah, you should be so lucky. The guy was everywhere in the 2nd half. A real warrior around the basket, with key rebounds and put backs when the game was in doubt. I love this guy, fog or no fog. So get the fogouddahere.

And, last but not least, Kobe hogging the ball? 11 assists (including several thunder dunk lobs to Bynum) to go with the 44 pts and 16 for effing 16!!! FT's. Yo, Kobe-haters, on your knees! You are not worthy.

Don Nelson knows...Phil knows...LAKERS NATION RULES!!!

Mamba... Really, really...REALLY outstanding post. My resolution for the new year is to read that post of your everytime I need a lift up in mood.
Exquisite and awesome.

On this post... Well I liked to read what Warriors coach had to' say. Saw Bryant ( the God, ya'll) interview from the locker room on NBA tv and it amazes me how he feels honoured by such praise. I was also interested in catchin how my current ideas about our shape state is not great, and how these struggles Are "just to deal with" in a long season.

Once more you just gotta admire his focus and burning devotion to the game. When he pushes teammates... THAT is an honour. An honour for them in being pushed by such a wonderous athlete.

Btw... I was and still the first stating the past game is nothing to' be' excited for... But I am not really into the first paragraph of the above article, dishing about Lakers in a way that sounds snobish in a cold way to me. I might be' wrong there, which would just make me happy in being.

Collective hug at our dear Lakers for the best possible of New Years Eve. They deserve being the crowned champions, the current best record of the league AND, most important, the heroes of us all hanging in here.

Well, trolls and adversaries excluded, of course ;)

I do like how Sasha has been playing under control recently - Making the extra pass, being active on the boards, and playing (for the most part) smart defense. Jordan has picked it up on the defensive end as well.

If the bench mob can come in with a defense-first mentality, I think we'll start to see them round into form offensively.

A positive game tonight. Looking forward to see if they continue on Friday.

Well, here we are. Every team, no matter how good, goes through at least one really crappy stretch over the course of an NBA season. The Lakers are going through theirs. On the bright side, we don’t have to hear about 72 wins anymore. And in the long run this stretch won’t matter much.


The Lakers have so many weapons. In theory they should be pretty bulletproof. They have three talented bigs and only need two to play well to be successful. They have Kobe and Artest. Having enough dudes playing well to win should be simple. But lately the Lakers have had a lot of those dudes MIA.


Bynum has struggled to find himself since Gasol’s return. It’s not that he can’t do it. We saw early this season what he can do. He can dominate most NBA teams in the post. I’m still a long term believer. But he looks lost lately. Some combination of Bynum getting his act together and his teammates looking for him and getting him more involved is needed.


Odom has not played at a real high level of late either. Normally when Bynum is struggling it would be OK. Odom would come off the bench and make up for it. But Lamar has not been the aggressive, versatile player that opposing coaches fear.


Artest? We knew, didn’t we, that there would be some strange Artest issues at some point this year. Still, I can’t remember a stranger injury. The good news is Artest had some memory loss. If Ron forgot the right stuff ….


The PG spot has been about what we would have expected this year. Fish is a bit past his prime, but still serviceable. Neither Farmar nor Brown are ready to step up. They are growing, but not there. So this is a position where the Lakers are in transition with three decent, but not great, solutions.


Which leaves us, for a stretch, with Kobe and Pau. Enough to beat some teams, but not enough to beat the better teams. Kobe has been heroic at times. But at some point he needs to lead in a different way, getting Lamar and Drew’s heads back in the game, looking for them instead of scoring so much.


Ron will be back. Drew and Lamar will kick in. And we will all forget December. This team is still good enough to win it all. Stretches like this are inevitable. Maybe they help us appreciate it more when everything works.


Tom Daniels

Some folks on here are saying that Drew has no hoop skills, he is just big. That is a load of crap. Drew is big and long. He has great, soft hands. He has a soft touch around the hoop. He has good footwork. He is loaded with skills. I think where the jury is out is on his heart and his head more than his skills. But I wouldn't bet against Drew being a solid NBA center, at a a minimum, long term.


Tom Daniels

Kobe is clearly "the most interesting man in the basketball world".

In 2nd overtime he destroyed the Kings' morale with a pair of treys. And in Q4 last night he did the same to the Warriors, creating the distance needed to finish the game.

Here's the tagline of his new commercial:

"I don't always make treys, but when I do I prefer "dos puñales" (translation: two daggers). Stay hungry, my teammates."

And of course we can fill in the other gaps:

"He once had an awkward moment in Colorado just to see how it feels." But since then "His reputation is expanding faster than the universe".

post game comments:

-- don nellie gave us that game... how do you bench curry and randolph the second half?? that man is either going senile or is going for lottery again

-- how does vlade get so many minutes? he is the worst player on that team

-- GS is just loaded with guards i would give up 10 farmars and 10 sashas for any one of nellies guards.

-- nobody flops more on the offense than maggette.. he knows how to create contact but hes the lowest form of basketball to watch. just dirty.

-- its a miracle we won with sasha/farmar getting so many minutes but then again dfish sat the entire 4th...

-- opponents are just driving in our key at will... absolutely no resistance... lakers minus ron ron is back to being soft and we're gettin punched in the mouth again.. lamar had to be our enforcer last nite. barely winning against GS AT HOME was pretty painful to watch


Don Nelson is real with his...I like him for that. He knows whassup..

Kobe Bean Bryant is a very very specially gifted basketball athlete..Very rare specimen..

Don't hate, appreciate...

When Bynum has his head in the game, he does fine. The question is if he is willing/able to keep his focus, and not get distracted by whatever it is that is distracting him. (Not scoring, concern about his knees, ???)

Tom Daniels, completely agree on bynum. I personally don't think its heart....I think its a lack of guidance, a de-emphasis on footwork, and a mandate to keep his weight down that's leading him astray.

I, of course, don't know what his coaching situation is (Kareem's gone), but I do think he needs to revisit some fundamentals of footwork. About every year in January, he was showing the kind of moves that had everyone amazed, all based on his footwork. His footwork allowed him to use his height and soft touch around the rim. He used the mass that he gained in the offseasons to impose his will.

However, he's been advised to keep his weight down this year for injuries sake. So, I think its taken him time to adjust, and he is getting knocked around more easily. his body isn't withstanding the rigors of the game because he hasn't adjusted to being svelte as opposed to strong.

So, in my opinion, if he's not going to carry 300 lbs around, he's got to get his footwork right. He's relying on being not only tall, but big, and its not working right not. Offensively, he has to boil his game down to a move and a countermove on both sides of the block. A sweeping hook to the middle, or a drop step for the off-the-glass lay-in or dunk. Use that jumper that he has as well.

Defensively, he's just got to be in the right place. If he's going to be a shot blocker, know how to back off until the player shoots. He's done it in the past with great success, but now that players are jumping into him, he swings down at them. The challenge has to be for a player to shoot over him, not drive into him. He can't give them something to run into.

Anyways, that's my opinion.

And another thing about Kobe. When asked how he is able to shoot with the finger, he answers ever so casually like, "oh, I just "had" to change my shot up a bit, that's all.???

That's all?? Damn! Is he for real?? Nothing fazes this guy and that's why he's the best..he is sooooooooo prepared he is always able to adjust him game for whatever reason..

Remarkable trait. He could easily be milking it but he's not like that! Gotta love him! Kobe is the sh#t!

-Happy to see Sasha getting some meaningful minutes. I don't think the joust for minutes between Sasha and Shannon will be resolved unless one of them is traded...its always going to be decided on what we need in the game at hand....

-Jordan's confidence is as predictable as earthquakes.

-Kobe got up on that dunk attempt....Ronny got higher. Miss that guy, Ronny. Hate playing against him.

-I watched the game while having Thai food with some friends from outta state. I hate it when I enjoy what I'm eating, but I'm angry at the game. Something not right about that.

-Luckily it got better in the second half, when I awoke from the food coma.


Tom D

Refreshingly sane take on the whole of it.

Kobe's the straw that stirs the drink but Kobe ball is fools gold. Magic used to say if he got 40, the team was struggling.

Ron, Andrew and Fish a year older adds up to slower. Last night's end game, Phil had speed on the floor. Encouraging to see the option working. If that group can produce on the road, it'll speak volumes. The roster has options but the players need confidence that comes from playing.

The Lakers are the team to beat. Coaches have been plotting, GMs have been trading to beat us. It's not gonna be a victory lap to the parade but the parade is inevitable.

Tsphere -

Hilarious - all I gotta say about that. :-)

With the Lakers featuring Farmar and Sasha in the 4th quarter with the game on the line, and the burn that Sahsa been getting recently. I smell a trade coming real soon.

Not so sure about the comment :

"Don Last night's ugly win for the Lakers, 124-118, over the Golden State Warriors offered little for Lakers fans to get excited about."

I was plenty excited! The warriors played hard, recently beat the Celtics and took the Cavs to OT. To slap the moniker "Lowly Warriors" on them isn't cognizant of their recent success and high energy level. They are an exciting team to watch of late. As a bay area resident, I can tell you the locals are excited about the team. The Warriors deserve more respect than that IMHO. Hats off to the Warriors for playing so competitively, and YES, I am excited the Lakers took control late in the game with solid defense late in the 4th quarter.

We are in the middle of the season, admittedly in a lull, and did well enough late in the game to say that the Lakers won "decisively".

Agree with comments about Bynums footwork - it doesn't seem he is getting the attention from the coaching staff that he could be / should be. But it is difficult to say, given I don't attend the practices.

This is the kind of game which showed improvement, although the flow of the triangle still lacks fluidity, it is the kind of win that can be built on. Good to see Farmar in there late in the game, I think he handled it well. Sasha did ok, though I didn't like that late in the game corner three (with 4 minutes to go in the game). He needs to be played so he can try to get in sync. He played hard out there, you play hard and that goes a long way for me.

Call me a nut, but I liked this game! It was an improvement. Remember - Lakers right now have the best record in the NBA!

Doug

Good Morning Charles...Good Morning Everyone...

another entertaining game--I actually like these kind of games somewhat. Even enjoy that "nervous time at the Great Western Forum" feeling...

I think games where we really have to grit it out are extrememly good for this team...it also shows just how much talent there really is in the NBA, with every team having something to offer and some really talented players out there...

I do wish we had a consistent outside shooter (other than Kobe)or two...seems some of these other teams have an abundance of them...

it was good to see Odom play agressive, especially rebounding...though he still had his share of lame brain plays...but when he is somewhat focused and into the game the Lakers are a different team...

pass the ball to Pau more...a lot more...a hell of lot more...

Bynum played well...he will emerge from this present funk...

how cool is it to see Kobe not only get 44 points but double diget assists?---if he could do that fairly consistently we would be pretty decent or so...

Phil did give Sasha some extra burn, as it were, and overall I think he played better as his time increased---if he would have hit that one three point attempt at that seemingly crucial juncture he would have helped his cause somewhat more, but hopefully he can get back to some consistent shooting...

Farmar needs to get to the paint a lot more...a lot more... it really helps his overall game when he is using penetration regularly...

hopefully some serious film sessions of the last few games helps get our defense back on track...giving up way too many points, seemingly...

Friday is a long way off, but I think we need it or so...

Don Nelson has an extremely thick neck...

where was Azubukie? missed hearing his name repeatedly, as it were...

Ronny is a secret double agent for the Lakers...helped us down the stretch for sure...

Ronny's beard arrives about 3 minutes before he does...can someone be called for foulng with their beard?

"no one will be watching us, why don't we do it in the road?"

"I don't care how excrementally runny it is, hand it over"

AS ALWAYS, AS EVER, YET ANOTHER GREAT DAY (AND CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON) TO BE A LAKER FAN !!!

GO LAKERS !!!

Of course trade rumors are beginning to fly around and that's always fun to see what will come out of it.

Hoping Tmac goes to Bulls and somehow Lakers end up with Hinrich. Farmar/Sasha gone!!! Can we get Ariza back somehow or someone who can slash or hit open 3s.

Tsphere,

"I don't always make treys, but when I do I prefer "dos puñales" (translation: two daggers). Stay hungry, my teammates."

Sublime my friend, simply sublime...

GO LAKERS !!!

I miss Trevor- we have no real gunners from outside. Yeah we beat the Warriors, but it took 44 from Kobe and a season high from Pau. Someone mentioned Bynum had a great first quarter- big deal. He was still excruciatingly slow on defense and should have helped out more in stopping the GSW guards from getting all the way to the hoop. Maybe Ron Ron will help out with the overall lack of team defense when he gets back.

Thanks Cali.

Hey, I'm serious about this new rivalry... with the Dos XX guy!

For all his billiard tricks, jai alai moves and space adventures, MIM (Most Interesting Man, not Chris MIHM) has never laid 81 on an opponent, banked in a buzzer-beater on a telephone pole from a bicycle, increased his shooting percentage with only three working fingers, demoralized countless opponents or calmly taken away 5 rings and counting.

As for Vman's comment, Kobe does it when it needs to be done because the teammates are missing their shots and multiplying turnovers. Kobe had 11 assists last night, 7 in the first quarter, but should have had 15 or more with the wide open shots he put in Fish's and other guys hands, who subsequently missed them and let the hole grow to 15. It's the same pattern as the 81 point game where the Lakers were down by 18 well into the 3rd quarter.

A most interesting man's got to do what a most interesting man's got to do!

Morning Dudes and Dude-ets..........

Im really hung over again...My head really hurts..Late nights-bright lights...

Anyhow...we won again..yeah baby...

Um..I watched the Rockets -Hornets game and Ariza takes a lot of 3s and shot really badly but managed to attack the rim and score as well...So those people who think he is the down town gunner that our team needs are still stuck with the finals in their heads.....He was 1 for 6 at one stage...

Am i a bad person for wanting the Suns to win today?

And the Hawks as well?.........

Its really hot here ..Its New years eve today and its 41 degrees C......Yesterday was 39.......

So you all stay classy Laker fans and i will make sure that i have a few beers for all of us.......Cheers..........

Holy carp Mamba24, that post was very, very funny. I felt like I was reading Woody Allen there for a minute. And speaking of Woody Allen, there's a reason he's famous. Check out "The Kugelmass Episode," to see what I mean.

And I really hope T-Mac considers joining the Lakers' bench for a 1-2 year deal at the mid level after this year. We may be able to afford him by letting Farmar and Morrison walk this year and Sasha next year.


One this is certain, T-Mac could be the perfect instant offense fit this team needs in its reserve corps.


Wes

Boy that halftime media session with Thriller was weird! Still, his concussion is not the most bizzare NBA injury I've ever heard of...that honor goes to Dirk Nowitzki who in the '01-'02 season somehow managed to a strained left ankle tendon while trying to put on his shoe at home, resulting in a missed game. Gotta love the NBA - where careless happens!

TMac on this team?? That's a dream that probably will never happen but if he could get with Joe Carbone and get his body right, man, that would be something...if only!!! lol

Just imagining the length the Lakers would have with he and Lamar-- Tmac would never go for coming off the bench..

I don't see that happening..He's gotta have the ball in his hands too much..

Good pick up for the Bulls if they can pull it off..

"...So those people who think he is the down town gunner that our team needs are still stuck with the finals in their heads.....He was 1 for 6 at one stage..." -thirty2
wow, 1 for six is usually how Kobe starts out. You can't compare Ariza on the Rockets to Ariza on the Lakers. He had open shots because of all of the work done by Kobe, Pau, Bynum, etc. to get him open looks. Currently, he is the focal point of Houston's office so it's totally different.
All I know is that Sasha, Farmar, Ammo, Lamar, and almost everyone else on this squad escept for Kobe(and he's not that great from behind the arc either)are terrible long ballers who keep jacking up threes instead of trying to develop a mid-range shot.

Is it just me, or does it seem like every time the boys play GS that Nellie just gushes about Kobe (not that he doesn't have good reason to)? I get the suttle vibe that Nellie is setting himself up to try and move into PJ's spot when he decides that Montana is just too nice to give up for 9 months a year. Good, bad, I don't know, just a thought...

Wes and lakersry - I'm a fan of TMac but don't think I'd want him on our team - the dude is a starter all the way and I can't see him happy on the bench. It's no knock against him at all but he's not a role/system player and never will be. I hope he lands someplace where he can have one more run at being a number 1 or 2 option.

TMac is complaining about PT- he's not going to any team that won't start him. Plus, we are way over the cap already.

Tsphere: in re 'the most interesting man in basketball'- wonderful!

yellowfever: perhaps you forget that GS just beat both Phoenix AND Boston. they are playing at a high level right now, and clearly very confident- this combined with their fast-paced game is a potent combination. i give 'em props for being so competitive.

Don Nelson and Ron Artest need to stop drinking and walking.

In 1960,Los Angeles Lakers moved to Los Angeles. This is a dynasty team, since joined the NBA has been from 1948.At that time the team's biggest name is George - Mikan. 1951-1954 years, the Lakers won a third consecutive on NBA history. In 1979,Los Angeles Lakers select the "Magic" Johnson, the Lakers'"show time" began to come, Johnson's rookie season won the championship for the Lakers. 1981 Pat - Riley became head coach of the Lakers, he was the next nine years as the Lakers won four championships. 1999-2002 season, Phil - Jackson joined the Lakers, The Lakers success of three consecutive Albert. Since O'Neal's departure, the Lakers are going down, the team began to become the edge playoff team . In the 2007-2008 season, the Lakers traded for Pau Gasol , he assistant Kobe Bryant, then re-entered the Finals . Although the final match could not won the Celtic . But in the 08-09 season, the Lakers finally playoffs walks of the pack, the ultimate victory.
Kobe Bryant has won the firstchampionship without Shaquille O'Neal participation trophy.


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