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Lakers 108, Phoenix 88: Second verse, same as the first

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes the camera battery kicks it before a postgame Jordan Farmar dunks against Phoenixvideo can be recorded. Sunday night at Staples, there was a little of all three. With a 108-88 victory, their ninth straight, the Lakers made losers out of the Suns, and as you can see, we ran out of talking picture juice. But honestly, had Andy and I recorded something, it would a) likely have forced us to miss games and head to Cannes to seal some sort of three picture deal, so good it would have been, and b) sounded a lot like the one from the first time these teams met, a 121-102 win for the purple and gold back on Nov. 12.

There were certainly strong similarities between the two games, beyond the large margin of victory. Start with another great performance from Kobe Bryant. Sunday night, he went for an easy, breezy 26 on 9-16 shooting, including a pair of triples in four attempts, with seven boards and three assists to round out the line. Just as it was in November, the Lakers built out a nice halftime lead (10 points) and increased it in the third quarter (up to 21). 

But the biggest similarity was in the style of game the Lakers played. It was smart. It played to strengths. It was efficient. It was disciplined.

And once again, it nourished fans both figuratively (Monday morning is always better after a 20 point win) and literally (tacos for all the people). Breakdown below...

I think we can all agree that if asked to create NBA kryptonite for this year's Suns squad, it would look a lot like the Lakers. Length, mobility, dominating post play, and so on. Generally speaking I like to avoid grand proclamations so early in the season, but I'm comfortable declaring that there is absolutely no earthly way Phoenix would beat a healthy Lakers team in a playoff series. None. Something under zero, really. But the Suns are 15-4 vs. the rest of the league. That's worth something, and Sunday night the Lakers beat them by 20. That's worth something, too.

Some highlights:

    -Defense, defense, defense: In the first quarter, things didn't look so good. The Suns shot 57% from the floor, fueled by a 4-6 frame from Amar'e Stoudamire (eight points), and 3-4 from Steve Nash. The two-time MVP also dished out seven assists, and overall the Suns had nine helps on their 12 field goals. Meaning they were getting into the lane for layups or setting up open jumpers at other spots on the floor. Once the second twelve kicked off, though, it was all Lakers. They put a lid on the Phoenix, limiting them to 30.4% in the second quarter, and rendering Alvin Gentry's Big Two (just saw them play a killer set at the Wiltern, by the way) ineffective for the rest of the game. Despite the fast start, Nash finished with 12/10, and Stoudamire scored only 10 points in the final three quarters.

The Lakers did great work against the pick and roll, and their defensive versatility was on full display. Because the Lakers have so many guys who can guard a wide variety of players, as the game went along it was hard for Phoenix to create mismatches off high screens. Whenever Phoenix made a push, as they did in the third quarter, cutting LA's lead to nine with 3:40 to go, the Lakers created pressure and forced turnovers. Three of 'em in the last three minutes of the third (threes are wild, apparently) helped the Lakers push their lead back to 21 heading into the fourth. All of this good defense came without fouling. Phoenix averages 25 free throws a night. Sunday, they visited the stripe only 11 times.

    -Offensive discipline: A game against the Suns is as much about what a team doesn't do as what it does. Most pros like to run, get out in the open floor, and score. That's all well and good, except the Suns generally speaking do it better. The Lakers ignored the mermaids. On an average night, the Lakers attempt a league leading 87 shots a night. Sunday, they slowed things down, worked the clock, and finished with 81. They took plenty of threes (21), and while poorly timed treys can serve as tinder to ignite Phoenix's running game, the way the Lakers generally did it- from the inside-out after the Suns collapsed on entry passes to the post- provided the home team with a staggering amount of wide open looks and mitigated the damage from long rebounds. It's hard for Phoenix to get out on the break when most of them are milling about near the paint.

The Lakers may not have a reputation as dagger tossing gunners from downtown, but they're more than capable of sticking shots taken in rhythm with nary a defender in sight. That helps explain how LA lit up the Suns like a Christmas tree from beyond the arc (46.7%).

The Lakers also took care of the rock, turning the ball over only 11 times. Combine that with good shot selection and solid transition defense, and it's easy to see how the Suns were limited to 12 fast break points, one fewer than the Lakers. Are these offensive statistics? Defensive? Both? I'm going with both. One impacts the other. Good offense lends itself to good D, while tough D creates easy points at the other end.

    -On an individual basis, just about everyone who stepped on the floor for LA played well, or at least contributed in one form or another. Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum didn't pile up numbers in the post, but helped control the flow of things by drawing fouls, scoring, and effectively moving the ball out of the post when the Suns collapsed into the lane. Ron Artest had five steals and three triples. Jordan Farmar was 4-8 with four rebounds, and Shannon Brown rebounded from a slow start (two turnovers in the second quarter) to finish with 12 points. Lamar Odom led the team in rebounds (eight) and while he was fairly scattered offensively (three TOs against three dimes) had some great sequences guarding Stoudamire down low and helping to shut down Phoenix's pick and roll game.

VIDEO: A bit lean, because most of the squad disappeared after the game like Mickey Rourke's career between about 1988 and The Wrestler. But that doesn't mean you can't have a little moving picture fun...

Gasol, on his D, and the team's generally:

More Gasol, on this win and facing the Jazz:

Brown on how the team played on both sides of the ball:

Kobe, on beating the Suns:

QUOTES:

Alvin Gentry, on his decision to double/triple/quadruple aggressively against LA in the paint: "Last time we were here, obviously they had 78 points in the paint, so we tried to take that away. You take that away, you gotta give up something, so they made three point shots, and it's just tough... I thought we did a good job on Bynum for the most part, and Pau creates just all kinds of problems for you. He's such a skilled guy, a great passer, and so even when you double he finds the open guy. When you don't double, you know, he's skilled enough that he can score on the inside."

Gentry, on LA's defense: "They're a long team and they bottle up everything they try to do. You know, they switch and they knock off. We could never really get anything going. We're not so much a fast-break team but a rhythm team, and they just take you out of your rhythm. They really do."

BK

 
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great win lets keep it rolling and i hope no one gets hurt knock on wood.

Anytime the Suns are held to below 90 on a 20-point win by the Lakers is a good game... miscues and all. It shows how much the P&G has matured. Sure, the Lakers get unravelled at times, but the collective (and average) basketball IQ of the group is so high that mistakes are easily rectified.

One thing I'd like to see is consistent double digit rebounding from Andrew and Pau, especially against an undersized team like the Suns. I acknowledge that the Lakers forced a slow-paced game and that limited the number of possessions, but there is no way Drew and Pau still couldn't get to 10 rebounds each.

It's not about the stat line... it's about heart and ferocity; and the more these two fine gents become consistent double digit rebounders, the more definitive the Laker dynasty becomes.

The target on our backs may be getting bigger but the bullet holes we leave after games are leaving massive exit wounds...

Farmar wants a contract..Good again...

To long..

To strong..

To good..

Missed to watch this as it were happening, and still it was enjoyable to watch it a few hours later.

Loved Ron Ron's steal, and the entire team's focused effort.
When we do what we only can do this way, sorry, there's no frickin space for anybody around.

Like Suns coach admitted, we are simply the best of the League by far, if nothing happens to injury our best players.

As long as our kids won't buy this (reality) for too granted, seriously, we have just to be there and enjoy the game.

PS: missed a lot the chat. Hope to never be forced to miss it too often again.

Good morning Laker Nation!

Just wanted to make a quick note about Pau Gasol's great free throw percentage so far this year. He is shooting at 90% and ranks 6th on the NBA. It wouldn't be wrong to say that while he might not keep that 90% he will still keep a nice percentage during the season. I think this clearly shows how important is to be in shape both mentally and physically. Gasol had been playing a lot and he had remarked many times that he was a bit mentally fatigued.
His injury came right on time; he is now rested and this along with Drew back on the starting lineup, will keep him "fresh" during the regular season and ready to rumble on the playoffs. Just hope both 7 footers (as well as the rest of the team) stay healthy!!

Mamba24, now that we finally got all our weapons and we are on the right path to dynasty, we might need to have a weekly group prayer to let this team be and let the entire world enjoy watching great basketball.

AK and BK,
When are we going to start getting virtual tacos from you?

Bynum and Gasol did a much better job last coming out of the paint when necessary, and Bynum had some nice passes out of the post, too.

The great things about the Kamenetzky Brothers as sports writers are...

1. They're talented.

2. They're intelligent.

3. They're entertaining.

4. They have personality, but they don't make their subject matter about themselves (as compared to someone like T.J. Simers).

5. They're biased, but they're fair, which is the best one can hope for in a sports writer.

When it comes to the Lakers, I only read other L.A. Times sports writers as an afterthought. In all honesty, they don't really offer anything of depth. I've been spoiled by the Kamenetzky Blog. If you want to know what's going on, you go here. Otherwise, it's kind of a waste of time.

I kind of choke on writing these words, but, for L.A., the Kamenetzky Brothers are being passed the torch of Chick Hearn's legacy. They can't do play-by-play like Chick (no one can), but as Chick built a community based upon his passion, intelligence and love for the game, the Kamentzky Brothers are doing something similiar.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

*
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAKER TOM – BANDWAGON
*
(01) TIM-4-SHOW – OWNER - Please make me owner/driver of the Happy Birthday LakerTom bandwagon (Lakerblog icon's birthday is TOMORROW)...
(02) KB-BLITZ – DRIVER - Happy Birthday dude. Hope you get better and better
(03) JUSTA-LAKA-FAN – Happy Birthday my fellow BBF (Big Bynum Fan)
(04) #4 - I'm down for my typically spot on the LakerTom happy birthday bandwag. He kinda like everyone's basketball uncle, love him or hate him.
(05) JUSTANOTHER-MAMBA-FAN – Happy Birthday Laker Tom.
(06) RICK FRIEDMAN – Happy Birthday Laker Tom. You are an undisputed blog treasure, agree with you or not. Mostly, I just marvel at his insight. His enthusiasm is part of what makes Lakers Nation so special.
(07) LAKER-NORTH – Happy Birthday Laker Tom. He is one of the prime muses on this blog and I think we all appreciate his reasoned diatriabes.(Of course I am a charter member of the Adore Andrew tribe.)
(08) JON K. - Despite the constant slings and arrows hurled at him, he remains one of the most intelligent, optimistic voices on this blog. I firmly believe that this blog would not have the readership it does without Laker Tom's presence.
(09) THIRTY2 – HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAKER TOM
(10) FEARLESS - Put me on the LakerTom B-Day bandwagon forthwith! Hurry, without delay, I say! This is of ultimate importance!
(11) MAMBA24 – Happy Birthday LakerTom. In a Laker nation with The Best Team, Best Coach, Best Player and Best Blog, I nominate you sir BEST BLOG WRITTER. Have a good one and be good to Mrs. Laker Tom.
(12) TOM DANIELS – Happy Birthday Laker Tom
(13) CAPS-GOOGLES – Happy Birthday Laker Tom

Lakers are a better team this year than last year.

Among the reasons is Bynum, Farmar and Shannon Brown improvement. They are all extremely talented and young. The great news is that they will continue to improve making the Lakers even better.

Absent injuries, this may be the best Lakers team ever.

(Yes, that is a mouth full)

Todd

THE LAKER TIMES OF YOUR LIFE
They doubted us once with our 20 point win so OK “FUNS” now we did it again.
It didn’t come after a Road trip this time, So you’ll have to make up a new whine
The heart of champion is what this team’s got, Ask Miami after Kobe hit the shot
And just before Mamba’s shot went swish, Don’t forget the 3 of The Man DFIsh
If there are any doubters who didn’t take a hike, now would be a good time to see a Psych
This is not just a Team of Destiny, This team is about to go down in history.
The Show Time teams were great that’s true, But could they do all that this team can do.
Sure Magic could play 5 positions, but we have 5 that can interchange without a step missing
You say the Bulls had MJ & Pippen too, but against this Laker team that just wouldn’t do
So Laker Fans in this season of giving, Give thanks for your team & the times you are living
In years to come you will be able to say, you were there when a Sock became a Beast one day
You were there to witness all the fantastic three’s , from Dfish and Kobe and Robert Horry
We all witnessed the alley oop from kobe to Shaq, We watched as we won after being 19 points back
We witnessed a laker team we had begun to doubt, Get to the playoffs and almost run the table out
The world gasp to see a team of Smush And Brown, Almost to the Suns give a Playoff beat down
A Blog blossomed into a Laker Family, then into a Laker Nation strong and mighty
We witnessed an owner who would not rest, until the Lakers would again become the best
How is it possible please tell me, Best Team, Owner, Coach and Player in History.
All these riches were given to us, All I can say is God Bless you Dr. Jerry Buss
I need no Xmas presents this Dynasty will do, We’re the Champion LA Lakers Happy Holidays to you

Another very impressive win. Great balance, with six guys in double figures. Kobe with 16 shots. This team is better with that kind of balance.


Great defense. Artest led the way with five steals, but recognition has to go to D Fish, who kept Nash in front of him pretty well. Nash got some dimes, but he did not take over the tempo of the game or live in the lane. And huge props to Pau Gasol. On screen rolls Pau was out on the perimieter, down in his defensive stance and digging in against Nash. It was beautiful.


After all our talk here this week, Drew was a more willing passer. That was great to see. (no I don't think teh blog had anything to do with it)


The teams the Lakers will be tested by are not going to be the run and gun guys. It will be more athletic teams like Denver. But keeping Phoenix a dozen points below the Taco Line is great example of how this team is digging in on defense night after night.


I could get used to this.


Tom D.

Good morning,

What's the most important number in Sunday night's box score? 24. That's the number of minutes Derek Fisher was on the floor. Why? The Lakers have become such a juggernaut that PJ can now focus on the number of minutes the vet must burn, to save his energy for the late season run and the Playoffs.

With all the starters finally in place, it's tuning up the Bench contributions for the run to the Finals that may end up determining this edition of the Lakers' place in history. Jordan upped his minutes to 20 by continuing a string of solid performances. UPS earned 19 minutes by breaking out of his slump.

Sure, there will be games like Friday night's against Miami where the outcome will be in doubt. That's a given. But finding the right rotations to control all 48 minutes is a critical part of the coach's mission right now.

So, when looking at the final box score, go to the minutes column. Unless one of the starters gets in foul trouble, it'll be the Bench minutes that I'll be following most closely. Getting the Bench firing on all cylinders has become the key to another Championship season. Go Lakers!

LAKER TOM ... Happy Birthday. I love this game and I equally enjoy the thoughtful analysis you bring to the Lakers and NBA basektball! Hope you enjoy a "triple-double" on this special day for you!

Mike

Good Lord! The Suns gotta enjoy facing the Lakers like they enjoy getting a root canal with no laughing gas!

Ha!

Our only rival is Boston. Period.

As it should be.

Anyone on this blog remember the PC Game Karateka? It's about the Karate champion hero that must fight his way through all the bad guys who guard the floors of this large pagoda. At the top, there is the master bad guy. (I know, this is now a much cliched plot).

We are the good guy Karate champ. The Celt's, of course the top bad dude. The rest of the league are those other bad guys, of course. Sucks to be them.

They are just fodder. So the game has some drama, length, and challenge. But, the real contest is the finals, as everyone knows.

Bring them on.

--Fearless

Mamba24, now that we finally got all our weapons and we are on the right path to dynasty, we might need to have a weekly group prayer to let this team be and let the entire world enjoy watching great basketball. Posted by: Ganapia | December 07, 2009 at 03:53 AM

I couldn't agree with you more Ganapia. I will pass your suggestion along to utzworld THE BANNER HOLDER.
Mamba24

Well said about the K-Bros. John K. I think Chick was the best in the game. He told it like it was - didn't matter if the Lakers were playing great or playing like this years version of the Nets. You could count on Chick to be entertaining yet accurate and I think the K-Bros bring that approach to the Lakers blog. There may be a touch of homerism at times but for the most part they break it down as they see it and only Laker haters or Laker can do no wrong lovers would see them as overtly bias.

Keep up the good work K-Bros. You have a lot of fans on this blog and we appreciate all you guys do.

EagleBoy

The target on our backs may be getting bigger but the bullet holes we leave after games are leaving massive exit wounds...Posted by: Thirty2 | December 07, 2009 at 03:03 AM

oooooo weeee OUT FREAKIN STANDING!!!!!
Mamba24

It's not about the stat line... it's about heart and erocity; and the more these two fine gents become consistent double digit rebounders, the more definitive the Laker dynasty becomes. Posted by: LakersFaithful72 | December 07, 2009 at 02:02 AM

And once again...OUT FREAKIN STANDING

mamba24,

add me to the lakertom bday waggon ... sign it "we all know your real gift happens in feb when the beast makes his first all-star game, try n have a blast today too though"

Mamba... put me on the B-day wagon

Happy birthday Laker tom!!

EagleBoy-

Looks like the "old men" are holding up! KGs seems to be getting better and better. Averaging under 30mins per ... I think we may make it to the finish line afterall.

I think Brett Favre is starting to show his age ... did you watch that game last nite? It must be his age. A 40 yr old cant last a full NFL season. He should retire. He just doesnt have it anymore.

* Not bragging ... I dont want that bad karma to bite me in the @$$ like it did Laker fan!

Mamba-

That crazy bald headed lunatic will be in town soon. Better keep all the women and children indoors after Xmas.

Happy Birthday Laker Tom!

*
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAKER TOM – BANDWAGON
*
(01) TIM-4-SHOW – OWNER - Please make me owner/driver of the Happy Birthday LakerTom bandwagon (Lakerblog icon's birthday is TOMORROW)...
(02) KB-BLITZ – DRIVER - Happy Birthday dude. Hope you get better and better
(03) JUSTA-LAKA-FAN – Happy Birthday my fellow BBF (Big Bynum Fan)
(04) #4 - I'm down for my typically spot on the LakerTom happy birthday bandwag. He kinda like everyone's basketball uncle, love him or hate him.
(05) JUSTANOTHER-MAMBA-FAN – Happy Birthday Laker Tom.
(06) RICK FRIEDMAN – Happy Birthday Laker Tom. You are an undisputed blog treasure, agree with you or not. Mostly, I just marvel at his insight. His enthusiasm is part of what makes Lakers Nation so special.
(07) LAKER-NORTH – Happy Birthday Laker Tom. He is one of the prime muses on this blog and I think we all appreciate his reasoned diatriabes.(Of course I am a charter member of the Adore Andrew tribe.)
(08) JON K. - Despite the constant slings and arrows hurled at him, he remains one of the most intelligent, optimistic voices on this blog. I firmly believe that this blog would not have the readership it does without Laker Tom's presence.
(09) THIRTY2 – HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAKER TOM
(10) FEARLESS - Put me on the LakerTom B-Day bandwagon forthwith! Hurry, without delay, I say! This is of ultimate importance!
(11) MAMBA24 – Happy Birthday LakerTom. In a Laker nation with The Best Team, Best Coach, Best Player & Best Blog, I nominate you sir Best Blog Writter. Have a good one & be good to Mrs. Laker Tom.
(12) TOM DANIELS – Happy Birthday Laker Tom
(13) CAPS-GOOGLES – Happy Birthday Laker Tom
(14) KOBE-AN-IN-CUPERTINO – Happy Birthday & get well buddy.
(15) LAKER-MIKE - Happy Birthday. I love this game and I equally enjoy the thoughtful analysis you bring to the Lakers and NBA basektball! Hope you enjoy a "triple-double" on this special day for you!
(16) KEIFO - put me on the B-day wagon Happy birthday Laker Tom!!
(17) SEGEBOY fka TALIQ – THE SHERRIFF - we all know your real gift happens in Feb when the beast makes his first all-star game, try n have a blast today too though"
(18) SIR CHARLES - Happy Birthday Laker Tom!
(19)

**JANUARY 31, 2010 A DAY THAT SHALL LIVE IN BOSTON CELTIC INFAMY**
Will you be there when The Freakin LA Lakers totally destroy the Boston Septics!
Will you be there when a Green Giant Bald headed Lunatic
becomes a Green Midget Squashed headed Lunatic
THE NBA WHERE LAKERS STOMPING OF CELTICS HAPPENS!!

QUARRELS WITH ANDREW BYNUM

I have many quarrels with those who say Bynum is a top-10 center in the league today.

I mean, look.

He has absolutely no range on his jump shot.

His handle is suspect.

And is not a "real veteran" in the sense that he hasn't really had a successful run through a season while adding solid contributions.

I have all the respect in the world for his mother, father, and extended family that raised him so diligently.

But they have failed.

Andrew Bynum is a the sore point of the great Laker Nation and we will regret ever signing him.

Long live Vlade Divac, Kareem, and Shaq.

Let's hope Andrew doesn't screw this Championship run up by trying to hard, practicing too much, or laying too long in bed with LakerTom.

There is only so much we can take.


Jason Bielman

Good morning Mamba24 & the Fabulous Laker morning CRUE!!!!


A week-end chock full of hightlights and Laker W's and I'm on cloud 9 this morning! Even though it's raining - I'm calling it liquid sunshine - nothing can get me down.


Looking forward to the Boo-tah game - should be another good one to test our championship mettle.


There is nothing better than being a Laker fan. Except for maybe getting virtual taco's.... Get it done K-Bros!! LOL!


Guys - thanks for the live chat - always a pleasure.


GO LAKERS!

Nothing but another title will suffice.

Anyone on this blog remember the PC Game Karateka? It's about the Karate champion hero that must fight his way through all the bad guys who guard the floors of this large pagoda. At the top, there is the master bad guy. (I know, this is now a much cliched plot).
Posted by: Fearless | December 07, 2009 at 08:00 AM
-----------------------------------------------------------

Luckily I speak Spanish AND Video Game Nerd...and I beleive the title of the video game you are refering to was released here the U.S. as Kung-Fu Master http://tinyurl.com/5d6j58
I remember dropping so many quarters into this game only to be done in by the stupid dude throwing the invisible knives (not really invisible but the poor graphics made it a B to see it heading your way because it blinked across the screen.

But to stay on topic...Awesome win by the Lakers last night.
I can't state enough how bad the PHX Play by Play team was.
It almost made me appricate Joel Myers.


Mamba 24 Larry alert

Birthday shout out to Laker Tom.

As I've said, if they could bottle his enthusiasm I'd take 2 a day.

Funny thing about that Karateka analogy - the last bad dude is actually one of the game's easiest, once you've figured out the strategy - keep backing up and kick him while he's advancing...maybe this can be applied to KG's moving screens...

The target on our backs may be getting bigger but the bullet holes we leave after games are leaving massive exit wounds... -Thirty2


-Couldn't agree more, right now we're dropping bodies like Clint Eastwood in Pale Rider.

Mamba24...Please put me on the Happy Birthday LakerTom Bandwagon as: Gag candles that don't blow out, unlike the Lakers who are consistently blowing teams out.


Overall, a well executed game. Lots of kick outs from the post that resulted in wide open looks. Some games those shots won't fall and I'd expect most teams to start packing the paint to force us to hit from the outside. Hopefully we can add a few re-post passes to the offence and keep our ways-a-winning.

Sasha played great defense over the last couple of minutes. Or was that a referee core too tired to call a foul. I hope he doesn't get too frustrated sitting over there, I have a feeling we may need him to step up in some games. I'd play him some meaningful minutes every so often, just to keep him in the team flow.

Good win. Not too much to critique.

Happy Birthday buddy. On your natal day, our weather is wet here in the South, it goes with you being under the weather. Keep that swine at bay and start counting backwards from this year hence.

Eagle Boy and Jon K, I second to what you said about the KBros compared to LA Times print media and including the broadcast media except the former Lakers like Mychal and Norm. I could hardly find a substitute for Chicks' intelligence, wit, integrity and fairness. Deep in his heart is an avid Laker fan, yet he was unafraid to criticize his team, praised the opponents and most of all had the patience to keep on teaching basketball to those who vaguely understand the sport. In this day and age, I cringed on broadcasters who do not listen to the public. Most often they talked too much on the air and comes up with an agenda as if they played with Jerry West and Magic Johnson. Like this Van Gundy with Napoleonic instincts, he makes lot of judgment calls on players as if he has prepared the code of ethics.

If Chick were alive, I wonder how he would treat the new technologies like blog, tweeter, facebook, podcast, liveblog. Can these technologies beat Chick supposing he was still in his 80's those were the heights of his broadcasting. I think listening to Chick is the live blog itself, you don't need to share your inputs nor distracted by others while miss those precious moments of Chickism.

Did anyone listen to the ESPN broadcasters Friday. Van Gundy sounded like he was lobbying the League to suspend or fine Ron for the drinking he was supposed to have done while with Chicago' his job is to call the games not insist what type of punishment Ron should get comparing it to players Twittering. Ron was never caught so end of discussion. Hopefully the League will continue to see it that way and not listen to the Bias of the annoucers. At least Mark Jackson saw it for what it really is. Ron telling kids do not look up to athletes because they are all human and hopefully they can learn from his experience. Ron is great guy and so far he has brought his Agame everytime on Defense and starting to look preety good on offense. So many Haters because tghe Lakers have so much talent. The repeat has all but happened.

Speaking of LakerTom... where is he? Perhaps out celebrating his birtday today?

Our present is a 20 point victory over the Funs.

That will get it done pretty much every time.

Ron Ron is Thriller and is taking this defense thing to heart - he REALLY sees himself as the defensive cornerstone (or defensive option #1)... wow, isn't this wonderful?

We did well by ourselves - Thank you Mitch, and Thank You Thriller for (finally) making the career decision that will define your career (instead of that, uh, brawl)

And where are all the Farmar haters? They seem to have gone away... he can play, has always been able to play (made some negative statements in the offseason) but the guy can GET IT DONE.

Great game. The team is really clicking. What i really like about this squad is how well they are defending. To watch Bynum and Gasol cover the pick and roll. To see Artest body up on Amare. Just great basketball. I wish Ariza was still here but boy Artest has really been fine. He adds a physical toughness that Ariza for all his abilities lacked. This will be critical against the Melo's, LeBron's, and Pierce's of the world that gave Ariza problems. As fans we simply need to savor it all. It is not everyday that your team is a championship contender let alone one that can play at this high a level. This team could be the best we have seen since the 80's. Lots of fun...

131,

Wow after a long absence you make a return. The season is only about twenty five percent complete – let’s wait a while before we declare Boston or the Lakers as making it the finish line – whatever that means. There are 82 games to be played before the playoffs – let’s see where the teams are at that point OK?

I get your little barb about Favre. I know you are trying once again to imply that I have said old guys can’t play. We know that is not true. I have only said that with KG’s age and injury I wasn’t certain he would return at the level he left off and that over a long season he could wear down as age catches up with him. Still too early to say he won’t break down…we are only 25% through the season.

If I was a C’s fan, I would be concerned that the Celtics have lost more often than not to quality teams and strugglig more than a few times to eek out a win vs. an inferior foe. I know you can only play the schedule but losses to the Suns, Hawks and Magic while only beating Cleveland for a quality victory would be concern. I would be concerned about the Lakers losses to Houston, Denver (what a thumping that was) and Dallas – two quality teams – but the Lakers haven’t lost since Pau returned.

Are the Celtics winning even when they don’t play well? The Lakers are and they have been dominating teams and even when they throw out a stinker, they still win. Not sure that is true for the C’s. Really at this point it just doesn’t matter; let’s check to see how the playoffs work out. I would think both squads are feeling good about their chances.

Cheers,
EagleBoy

With regards to the game last night, well we won. No problem at all for our starters and the two pinched guards are also improving in every game.

In the short run, our victory looks good on the 8th consecutive wins that started from Suns on the night Pau came back from injury.

In the long run of the season, I find it troubling that we are only playing 8 players. It is similar to the rotation of College basketball players with young legs and lots of energy. In NBA, it is a game of attrition too, once the Lakers hit the road, the aches and pains of playing basketball in different time zone, being yelled at by other fans. Oftenly, the weak heart old legs would not give way that may lead to defeats. It could also lead to injury if only 8 players are long minutes. Sasha, Ammo and Josh have to contribute meaningful minutes both in offense and defense. There is no need of Taco Defenders when Lakers are on the road. They need to help the team, relieving the starters and also as a pay back to the generosity of Jerry Buss in paying them with millions with full benefits. During recession, how many employees do you know who ditched, stay a prolonged absence, being unproductive with their workload and still survive the cut-off at year end? Our unproductive bench need to earn their money by doing a due diligence labor as a professional player.

Thanks, Jon. Very kind of you to say.

BK

EagleBoy-

Laker fan complains when I (or we) come in and post on "their" blog so I took a little time off. I figured 25% of the season in and we could take a look at how things were going. Certainly neither team is a finished product.

Are the Celtics winning when they dont play well? They havent played well all season and we are 16-4? Their last couple of games have been more like it but still have a long way to go. I think they may not have been in the best playing shape to start the season since they didnt play a lot of minutes during preseason.

Their schedule? You dont REALLY want to talk about schedules do you? Some would consider the Spurs on the road as a quality win (apparently you dont). Also beating Oklahoma at their place to end a 4 game road trip and the 2nd of a back to back could be considered a quality win (apparently you dont). Remember the Laker game at Oklahoma? We just beat Miami on the road ... that could be viewed as a quality win(apparently you dont). How did the Lakers do at home vs Miami? I wouldnt rely on 30ft bank shots at the buzzer to win games.

Not trying to make excuses because they didnt play well but some of those loses had a lot to do with some very good play by the other team. In the loss to Phoenix JRich hit like 6 of 7 3s. Vince Carter hit some wild shots in the loss to Orlando. And Atlanta kicked our @$$ on the boards. Those things happen in the NBA especially when you are not playing well. But those things will get fixed!

Poor Favre, outplayed by that youngster ... Kurt Warner!

131,

What about schedules did you wish to address? The fact is the C's have struggled against the good teams, and have also had several games against crummy teams that they squeaked by. According to the strength of schedule analysis the Lakers have had one of the most difficult. Sure the schedule has been home heavy but I don't see Boston in the top 5 as far as SOS is concerned.

Look - it is early, but I think most people agree that so far the Lakers are the class of the NBA. Ron has given the Lakers an upgrade on defense - having a healthy Bynum and Gasol is doing wonders as well. Just wait until we get Luke back - he is soooo key to the Lakers - OK not really. Could the C's win it all? Yes (but they won't!). Are the Lakers - the defending Champs, currently holders of the best record in the league the favorites at this point? Yes. It is like horse racing - sometimes the favorite goes wire to wire and sometimes they get beat in the home stretch. No one will know who the champ will be until the end of June. I happen to think the Lakers are likely to go wire to wire save injuries. The C's might battle it out but the Lakers are the better horse in my opinion – they are leading at the ¼ pole and will be leading at the finish line. Book it!

Cheers,
Eagle Boy.

the Lakers are the better horse in my opinion – they are leading at the ¼ pole and will be leading at the finish line. Book it! Posted by: Eagle Boy | December 07, 2009 at 11:33 AM
LET IT BE WRITTEN LET IT BE DONE
MAMBA24

X&O,

"There is only so much we can take."

I find your negativity towards Andrew Bynum to be utterly bizarre.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

EagleBoy-

What about the schedule do I wish to address? Well lets start with the fact you have had 13 of your first 17 at home. We have played 10 on the road and are 9-1. In your 4 road games youve won 2 in ot and the other was Golden State with 6 guys in uniform.

I dont care about SOS. This is the NBA not the BCS. You beat a Phoenix twice at home on the second of back to back for them. And you beat Atlanta and a decent Houston team. Who else have you beaten? Dont tell me Oklahoma cuz if it wasnt a quality win for us then its not a quality win for you. Weve lost to some good teams. Does that make them better then us? Only if you think Denver is 30pts better then you.

You have a slight lead at the 1/4 pole but last time I checked ... they dont cash tickets at the 1/4 pole. And it wouldnt be the first time the Lakers were the chalk at 1to 5 in June and came in 2nd in a 2 horse race.

SO HOLD ALL TICKETS ... THERE IS A STEWARTS INQUIRY!

131,

How did the C's do against the Suns?

Funny how you don't care about SOS because it is so clearly in favor of the Lakers. Dismiss it if you want - I don't think it means much, but it means at least as much as your assertion that the C's are back.

The Lakers are on a roll right now. How many games have the Lakers lost with their true starting unit? ZERO. How many games have the Lakers lost to sub 500 clubs? ZERO. How many times have the C's beat the Suns? Zero. How many times have the C's lost to the Suns? One. Hurray!!! We found something that the Cs have done that the Lakers have not.

It will be settled on the court end of story. But so far this season the Lakers are the better squad. Boston may be close in record, but how come so many coaches keep saying the Lakers are the best team they have faced? Hmmm, oh yeah because they are the BEST! Face it pal - the only way the stewards inquiry comes off in favor of Boston is if the guy is on the take.

Cheers,
EagleBoy

>>>What's the most important number in Sunday night's box score? 24. That's
>>>the number of minutes Derek Fisher was on the floor. Why?

While the correct first order answer is that Shannon and Jordan have been
playing much better, there's a second order answer that is the cause of the first
order answer.

Phil has given up trying to play long minutes with 4 or more bench players.

When Phil plays Jordan or Shannon with 4 starters (or 3 starters & Lamar),
they're fine. When Phil plays both Jordan and Shannon with 3 starters,
they're fine. What was killing those two guys much of last year and the start of
this year was putting those two and Powell and MBenga and Sasha on the floor
all at once (or even four of those five with one starter). Powell and MBenga each have
some small value (Powell as a fixed jump-shooter, MBenga as a rebounder & shot
blocker), but the rest of both of their games is so much weaker, that you can't afford
to have more than one of them on the floor at a time, and generally even then only
if there are at least 3 starters on the floor.

I guess Phil decided that since Artest can sometimes play PF, that he can get
by with only using Drew, Pau, Lamar, and Ron-Ron until games are DEFINITELY
decided.

Since he started doing that this year, there have been no huge leads completely
blown. Last night was a good example. The Lakers started the fourth quarter
with a 21 point lead. In the past, Phil would have thrown 5 bench players out
there and it would have gone from 21 down to 8 and they'd bring the starters
back in. Instead, Phil put in Jordan and Shannon with Kobe, Lamar, and Andrew. Phoenix did manage to pare the lead down to 13, but then the Lakers
kicked it up a notch and got it back to 20. It wasn't until the Lakers had a 20 point
lead with 5:35 left that Phil brough in AmMo and Sasha and DJ.

Farmar and Brown are actually both pretty good role players. When you put them
on the floor with starters, they get open looks and shoot a decent percentages.
In the last 5 games, Jordan has shot 57% (47% on 3's) and Shannon has shot
41% (okay, he had a bit of a shooting slump vs New Orleans and Miami). When
their floormates are guys like DJ and Powell and AmMo and Sasha, the other
team KNOWS those guys aren't going to beat you, so they put more pressure on
Jordan and Shannon, thus increasing turnovers and decreasing open shots.

I'm really liking the 8 man rotation they've been going with. My guess is that
when Luke gets back, he may get a few minutes of PT as well, but barring an
injury to Pau or Drew or Lamar, I kinda hope Phil sticks with a "garbage time
only" policy for MBenga and Powell and Morrison and Vujacic.

EagleBoy-

You are gonna win the Title cuz you beat Phoenix twice and Alvin Gentry and other coaches say the Lakers are the best? LOL ... were they the same ones that said the Lakers would win the Finals in '08. Im glad we showed up anyways. I guess thats why they play the games and Gentry is a coach instead of handicapper.

Phoenix? LOL ... When did they become the measuring stick to winning Titles? So we lost to Phoenix. I guess the season is over. I guess the Celtics didnt get the memo that said that if you lose to Phoenix your out. Speaking of league memos ... Did you watch Donaghy last nite on 60 minutes? Interesting comments about Kobe and the Lakers! Im sure you dont believe him since he is a convicted felon. You prefer to believe Gentry and the other coaches I bet.

You still have not told me what victory (besides mighty Phoenix)are you so proud of.

131,

I said it will be settled on the court at the end of June. What is it in that statement that you are having trouble understanding? I say that so far the Lakers have the best record and more than a few coaches are saying they are the best team, they have faced. The stats SO FAR back that up. They have among the toughest SOS so far, they are a top defensive team, they are moving steadily up in offensive ranking. The are looking good right now - the best in the NBA and it isn't even close. 9 games in a row scoring over 100 while holding the oppenent under 100. In the last nine games the average margin of victory is roughly 14 points. If not for the very end of the bench giving up big leads and not scoring their numbers would be even more impressive.

Again, Boston is a good squad. They just are not as good as the Lakers right now using any measure you wish to use. I would be concerned if the Lakers were struggling consistently against bad teams - it was a problem for the Lakers the year the lost to the C's. And I think it could be a problem for the C's if it continues.

BTW. No I missed 60 Minutes. I have a life and better things to do than watch TV unless it is the Lakers, or my Cardinals - love that Warner guy - he is good. I will have to rely on you and a convicted fellon for my opinion of Kobe.
Cheers,
EagleBoy

131,

I said it will be settled on the court at the end of June. What is it in that statement that you are having trouble understanding? I say that so far the Lakers have the best record and more than a few coaches are saying they are the best team, they have faced. The stats SO FAR back that up. They have among the toughest SOS so far, they are a top defensive team, they are moving steadily up in offensive ranking. The are looking good right now - the best in the NBA and it isn't even close. 9 games in a row scoring over 100 while holding the oppenent under 100. In the last nine games the average margin of victory is roughly 14 points. If not for the very end of the bench giving up big leads and not scoring their numbers would be even more impressive.

Again, Boston is a good squad. They just are not as good as the Lakers right now using any measure you wish to use. I would be concerned if the Lakers were struggling consistently against bad teams - it was a problem for the Lakers the year the lost to the C's. And I think it could be a problem for the C's if it continues.

BTW. No I missed 60 Minutes. I have a life and better things to do than watch TV unless it is the Lakers, or my Cardinals - love that Warner guy - he is good. I will have to rely on you and a convicted fellon for my opinion of Kobe.
Cheers,
EagleBoy

EagleBoy-

BTW is "wins with their true starting unit" a new column in the NBA standings Ive never heard of? How about this SOS you keep mentioning ... does that help you make the playoffs? Or does it help you get homecourt advantage in the playoffs. Whats the minimum SOS to make the playoffs? Does the team with the highest SOS go straight to the Finals? Whats the minimum times a team needs to beat Phoenix to be playoff eligible?

I know Ive been away from this blog for a while maybe thats why Ive never heard of this new rules!

X&O...

I find your comments distasteful and inappropriate.

Mike

131,

Are you really that dim? Seriously, are you?

Eagle Boy


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