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Lakers beat Jazz 101-77: "D"-cent win

Pau Gasol blocks Carlos Boozer As far as inspirational sports cliches go, "Defense wins championships" has enjoyed some quality legs over the years. Right up there with "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing" and "We make a lot of money, but we spend a lot, too." It's a saying here to stay, and in Laker Land, preached by coach Phil Jackson and players alike. Over the past few seasons, the Lakers have worked hard to offer lock down as a calling card, a hat rack for their metaphorical chapeau. Well, last night's 101-77 win over the Utah Jazz saw the second half transform into nothing short of a hard hat haberdashery.

After shutting down the third quarter on 18-8 run, the Lakers proceeded to allow a scant six points in all for the Jazz during the ENTIRE follow up frame. And oddly enough, what ended as one of the best stands the franchise has seen in quite some time began as a second half filled with poor execution, turnovers and poor focus. Time out called. Heads regrouped. Then, instantaneously, the Lakers began rolling like a train with faulty brakes and Casey Jones at the helm after blowing off his NA meeting. Forget sucker punching the Jazz. The snowball effect was so sudden and dramatic, it even threw the bullies for a loop:
"I didn't even know we played that well because I was caught up in the competition," (Jordan) Farmar said. "The first time I really looked up to focus at the score, we were up 18. We scored again to go up 20 and it was like, 'OK, we've got this one under control.'

And with that, young Farmar took home the "Understatement of the Year" Award. Predictably, the buzz around the media campfire centered mostly around the head-spinning defensive clinic offered the Lake Show.

The O.C. Register's Kevin Ding, on the individual elements culminating in collectively great fortress:Ron Artest gets a rebound

Besides his unique defensive intensity, Ron Artest has brought a far superior grasp of team defense, especially when compared to the combination of Trevor Ariza, Vladimir Radmanovic, Luke Walton and Sasha Vujacic that previously occupied Artest's spot on the court.

But Andrew Bynum getting better at avoiding injuries, fouls and attention lapses is certainly part of it, too. Strongmen Amare Stoudemire and Carlos Boozer have come through Staples Center the past two games and basically resigned themselves to jumpers in the face of the Lakers' interior, which usually has two towers from among Bynum, Odom and Pau Gasol casting shadows at the same time.

Beyond all that, the Lakers just look like a team that actually enjoys playing defense – aggressively hustling for proper position as much as eagerly digging for steals. Gasol's greatest show of emotion Wednesday night arose from chagrin after he'd perfectly lined up and timed a help-defense block against Utah's Wesley Matthews, but Kobe Bryant fouled Matthews at the last moment instead of trusting a teammate would be there behind him.
The Daily News' Ramona Shelbourne, describing a defensive sequence that transformed into a highlight reel score:
(Jordan) Farmar stole a bad pass from Utah's C.J. Miles, then found Odom leading a fast break. Odom passed the ball back through his legs on a bounce to a trailing Ron Artest, who then found Farmar with a one-handed touch pass. Farmar grabbed the pass in full stride and laid it in for a 94-73 lead. Why no dunk?

"I don't know," Farmar said, laughing. "I guess I didn't have it in me. I could've given it to Pau and let him dunk it, but sometimes you can have too many passes. "I was right there and I just put it in."

By that point... the Jazz's heads were spinning.

The Salt Lake Tribune's Ross Siler, sharing Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan's thoughts on the display that crushed Kobe Bryant splits a double team his squad:

"In that fourth quarter, they came out and just destroyed us," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "We were hanging in the ball game but that shows you what a great team they have, the ability to be able to get up and make us turn the ball over as much as we did.

"We had a tough time getting a shot off. Their defense just stopped us. We missed a couple of shots and then we lost our confidence, it seemed like. We had some shots we couldn't put down, but they were too much outside shots."

The Jazz missed 14 consecutive shots spanning the third and fourth quarters and went 10:05 without a field goal before Williams hit a 13-footer with 4:35 left. Hard to believe after the Lakers won the fourth quarter 28-6, but the Jazz trailed just 73-71 after the third.

MORE LAKER NEWS

    -Luke Walton's time behind the mic this weekend won't include heavy critiques of Phil Jackson. After all, dude controls his PT.
    -Could former Showtime staple A.C. Green serve as an example for Tiger Woods?
    -Armed robbery in Kobe's neighborhood? Not funny at all. How Phil learned of the news? Kinda funny.

LAKERS VIDEO

Phil, on the defensive surge, LO's struggles offensively

Phil, On bynum's rebounding, bench:

NBA NEWS

    -Tim Thomas is not to be disturbed while grubbing at your local Denny's.
    -A look at the "NBA quarter pole" good and bad from CBS's Ken Berger.
    -Dwyane Wade isn't letting his future summer affect his current season.
    -Robin Lopez's next paycheck will be light "one door."
    -Matt Barnes is questioning the amount of his appealed fine.
    -Rajon Rondo is a passing machine.  Brendan Haywood is a blogging machine, and an oft controversial one at that.
    -Greg Oden's latest injury nearly drew tears from Kevin Durant.
    -Shaun Livingston is thrilled for another shot at an NBA career.
    -The Bulls are in a free fall (losing to the Nets at home will create that vibe) but for now, Vinny Del Negro seems to be donning a parachute.    -And finally, Shaq says LeBron could be an elite NBA coach right now. Will this emerge as a dig at Mike Brown or merely praise for a current teammate he'll eventually criticize while playing for his next franchise?

AK

Photo: Pau Gasol blocks Carlos Boozer. Credit: Alex Gallardo, Los Angeles Times
Photo: Ron Artest grabs a rebound. Credit:
Alex Gallardo, Los Angeles Times
Photo: Kobe Bryant splits a double team. Credit:
Alex Gallardo, Los Angeles Times


 
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Lakers = MVF (Most Valuable Franchise)

Forbes has the franchise's worth at $607 mil.

AK,
"As far as inspirational sports cliches go"

You left out my favorite:
"We didn't want to get into a scoring contest with that team!"

Good luck Shaun Livingston!


I'm on a 30 days of "positive" diet for the holidays...

So, I positively won't comment on Andrew's rebounding. I agree with the consensus.

And I think he's great at grabbing the rebound when it bounces to him.

"Will this emerge as a dig at Mike Brown or merely praise for a current teammate he'll eventually criticize while playing for his next franchise.

AK"


always room for one more shaq joke. although i guess that is less of a joke that a statement of reality that just happens to be funny.

good one.


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

great teams are always expanding on their way to win games---saw another avenue last night by the Laker contigent---simply awesome defense in the late third and entire fourth guad...

our team is more than scarey good---and again just gettin' started, as it were, seemingly...

but I have a sneaking feeling we will get ambushed in Utah on Saturday---hope I am wrong, and if I am, it will really show the league what they are in store for this year even more than we have so far etc.

I love beating the Jazz, as I live in south east Idaho which is essentially a satalite of Salt Lake and there's a lot of obnoxious Jazz fans here, thar's one under every sagebrush and cow pie..

I can't even begin to express how much I dig this current Laker squad--DY-NAS-TY BABY !!!

"tuned to a natural E"

"oh King is it? oh very nice."

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

GO LAKERS !!!

Part of the equation is simple: We're just taller at almost every position most of the time, we're just as quick, and the position where we are of average height is typically the shortest position on the floor.

however, our gang point guard position has Derek, who is fairly strong, and Jordy/Shannon, who can both jump higher and run faster than most other points.

Sure, there are other bigger factors, but having a foundation such as being taller, but just as quick as everyone else, is a big, big factor that shouldn't be ignored.

Does anyone still say "Ariza was better than Artest"??

Morning All.....

Yesterday my wife worked from home so i followed the game from my iphone..
This is how it went for me.

I was with a client at the start of the 3rd..At the end of the 3rd i checked the score.73-71....I then started with another client and did not check the score for another hour..When i checked again on my phone through espn i had to refresh the screen because i thought they had not done the update yet.....WOW.....

That 4th quarter is the type of game play that makes other NBA players have to go to the toilet and do a nervous wee.....I loved it.............

IT IS TOO PREMATURE TO LABEL DREW A "BEAST".... simply because

1. He is still wet behind the ears, only 22 years of age (wisdom)
2. Has not logged enough competitive games (experience)
3. Lack of defensive fortitude and desire (willingness)

CAN he become a "Beast"....

1. By design Drew is human being and not some animal and thank God
2. Drew does have all the attributes that would make him into a one of the great laker centers
3. Until then I am not buying into “greatness” just because I am in need of an emotional high to over come life’s daily grind.
4. So the jury is out and I am a very patient man..tik tok tik tok..


AK: Great words, my Laker friend.

Wow, the D in the forth Qtr. in a word, NASTY. Bring the road games. Let's see who we really are. The Denver lose was disturbing, but so far my Lakers aficionados this season looks like a winner.

Kobefan in Cupertino:

YOU wrote: Does anyone still say "Ariza was better than Artest"??

1. Ron Ron meets a very specific needs for this current laker roster and once again the laker brass made the right decision

2. Ron Ron is great for the Laker today and for the next 3-4 years to come

3. Ariza will become great in the next 3-4 years (hope)

4. I believe the decision was purely based on needs over talent. Both are talented in their own rights

5. Ariza's growth may have been stymied had he chosen to stay with the lakers

6. Net net both Ron and Ariza are in the right situation

May Allaha bless you

It amazes me all the "love" Shaq now has for Bronzo! Shaq is nothing more than a "knob slobber"! LeBron coaching an NBA time right now, yeah right? Having a "high basketball I.Q." doesn't solely equate to coaching -- hell, lots of players have that, they HAVE to, to play in the league!! Still, it takes far more than a high IQ's to coach at the NBA level...I don't know LeBron like Shaq does, but I doubt he is all the way there yet! Win a title and hollabackatme!

While I can appreciate the discipline and commitment that permeate A.C.'s chastity vow, and also concur with the dignity aspect of monogamy being an ethical matter, I find really disturbing seeing abstinence being presented as a wise choice by the media; a choice that has any benefits, besides those one could benefit from practicing safe sex.

All the rhetoric falls flat and eventually reveals the fanatic religious background as the only legitimate reason one might choose such path.

And even then, thinking God cares whether you have sex for pleasure, is not far removed from thinking God would like you to attack people from other faiths, or homossexuals, or Black Sabbath fans and other atrocities conducted 'in the name of God.'


I love it when PJ repeats exactly what I, captain obvious, said in the live blog. When we get into one-on-one mode we die. And that was happening for a few possessions where they double teamed Gasol and he lost the ball and then Kobe forced the issue. In both possessions, it was like the Shaq days of old where the rest of the team became spectators and no one cut. The defense had no confusion as to what would happen; the person with the ball will eventually shoot.

At those times we need cutters, we need to find holes. Because one-on-one becomes one-on-three. And, with apologies to Kobe and Pau, that is not our strength.

BAD AZZ D !!! BTW I would still love to know what the lowest scoring NBA quarter ever was. 28 - 6 must be a near record disparity. Are people not talking about this because the record was actually game 6 against the Celtics a couple of years ago? I wanna know.

GOOooooOOOO LAKERS !!!!

Are you telling me Bynum wasn't injured last night? With that energy level put out by Bynum last night maybe he and Artest are drinking into the morning hours of game day. Maybe PJ pissed him off again I don't know but nobody is that lazy in the NBA are they?


Nice to see Fish on the bench. Please PJ give me more of TWE (Transworld Earlines-Farmar ) and SuperFly and a lot less Fishwrap.


After Friday it is nice to see that the season finally starts. I don't know about you but we have to get the heck out of Staples now before boredom causes a loss. I don't think I have ever looked forward for the Lakers hitting the road as much as I do now. This team really needs a challenge.


BD



CHARLES:

By the way here is the link to digital hearing aids, next time might help you listen to Luke in his Baritone voice :


http://www.hearingaid2020.com/?OVRAW=hearing%20aid&OVKEY=hearing%20aid&OVMTC=standard&OVADID=18377821521&OVKWID=1501642521

Peace

@Mark, are you me, just another guy named Mark, or an imposter? I have to assume you're not me, if you are, my problems are worse than I thought and this blog is then the least of my problems. If you are just another guy named Mark, I will gladly, alter my nick to accommodate the situation though I think I was here first. If you are an imposter, then I say, . . . , I say. . . ., yeah I'm at a loss here. @#^%$*!

K Bros, must I endure such indignities?

That was one of the great defensive quarters in NBA history, this is what the brass envisioned when they let Trevor walk, but i am sold it was the right thing to do, this team makes me proud when they lock in like they do, cant wait to go on the road, I have a sneaky suspicion this team will play just as good on the road. GO LAKERS!! Great year to be a Laker fan. This makes up for Smush, Kwame , MIKE T and his love for calves and the whole wild ride, its good to be at this point now. Can you say DYNASTY?

@ lakerfan

What? What??

All star ballot votes are in, and Gasol is third in forwards, and Bynum is second in centers, with Artest and Odom trailing as well.

As Laker fans, we understand that the All Star game is not important, but we can all make a difference if we vote. We are the most popular franchise in history, and if everyone of us votes for our laker players, they can make the team. I think it is important for Gasol and Bynum to be represented, so I urge all of you to go vote twice a day. It is really simple!

So go do it, with everyone's help we can show everyone that the Laker fanbase is greater than any other team's.

lakerfan:

"May Allaha bless you" - Are you a moslem, or are you thinking I am one??

I have never seen that statement being used here. Just curious, do let me know :)

Lakerfan,

"(regarding Luke) I wonder if there is a device that translates a mezz-soprano to Baritone."

There is such a device, it's called balls.

The D was amazing. We didn't blow the Jazz out 'cause they were playing poorly. No. We killed 'em on D. And I, for one, loved it.

GO LAKERS!

Why is Amar'e Stoudemire listed as a C in the All-Star ballot??

That is a very savvy move by the Suns, I would say. If he is listed as a PF, he has serious competition from Dirk Nowtizki, Pau Gasol and Tim Duncan, and would NOT top the votes.

In fact, Duncan plays more as a Center than he plays as a PF!!

Being listed as a C, Amare is gathering more votes, and this could eclipse Bynum from being a starting C in the All-Star game. Not a good thing for the beast :-(

Imagine if we would have kept Ariza and signed Artest. If we are great now. What kind of defense this would give?


Bynum C
Gasol PF
Artest SF
Ariza SG
Bryant PG

We could have locked this line up for years to come.

ESPN is showing ANDREW BYNUM as BIG AND TALL, young best Center in the league.

Charles:

YOU WROTE: @ lakerfan What? What??

AND I ASK: Having difficulty hearing again? Key word hearing aid.

Peace brother

LAKER TRUTH:

YOU WROTE: There is such a device, it's called balls.

As the laker side kick would say "OUT FREAKIN STANDING!!"

Funny response!!

THE 79-3 BANDWAGON…

Remember when we used get those glassy-eyed dream-like glimpses of just how good this Lakers team could be once they get all their tools and weapons back and healthy and clicking? And I’m not talking about how they might be a little better than last year’s championship team. No, I’m talking about a team so tall, big, long, physical, smart, talented, motivated, rich, and deep that they are going to dominate the NBA over the next five years and maybe even for a decade depending on Andrew.

Last night’s 4th quarter 6-point defensive head-lock the Lakers administered to the Utah Jazz was one of the greatest single-quarter defensive efforts I have ever seen. Watching Jordan Farmar dominate Deron Williams and block his shot brought chills up my spine. The Lakers have now won ten straight. Nine of the ten have been double-digit wins where the purple and gold held the opponent under 100. But the defensive intensity of the last two wins, 20-point romps holding the Suns under 90 and the Jazz under 80 have been incredibly impressive victories. The Lakers have become a juggernaut.

I was actually glad to see Amare Stoudemire have a solid lead on Andrew for the starting center spot on the West All-Star Squad. Amare had 447K votes to Drew’s 299K (thought I had voted at least 310K times, LOL), which is a pretty good sized lead. While I am not overly concerned about Drew’s recent play, I think he has kind of leveled out and is a little too content with how things are going. I don’t really disagree that he needs to hit the boards a lot harder. Far too passive in my point of view.

I am hoping that Drew has another gear yet to shift into this year and that trailing Amare, whom he had clearly outplayed every time they’ve met the last three years, will trigger him to take his game up a notch in effort and in beastliness. Some one needs to mail Drew a copy of the Making of a Beast. Now that he has the basic stuff down, we need the beastly stuff – dunks in traffic off the glass, shots crammed down opponents throats, enemy bodies scattered like bowling pins. That’s the Drew I want to see back on the floor. Here’s hoping the All-Star votes will wake Andrew up. Unleash the Beast.

On a final note, I have to commend Jordan Farmar for yet another outstanding performance, especially considering it started with back to back sloppy turnovers. At any rate, it was great to see Phil give Jordan the shot against Deron in the 4th and to see Jordie respond. That is the kind of all-around backup performance by a point guard that will earn Farmar a qualifying offer and another year to prove he can be the Lakers next starting point guard. Just keep doing the right things, Jordy.

It’s funny. The idea behind the 79-3 bandwagon was never that we could or would finish 79-3. The point was to not allow one game or a couple of losses in an 82-game season distort the fact that the goals still attainable by this team so far are frankly UNBELIEVABLE. We may not set any record for the best record ever because all we really care about is winning home court throughout the playoffs. On the other hand, Drew may not yet be a total beast but this Lakers team is already a BEAST.

Too tall, big, long, physical, smart, talented, motivated, rich, and deep for the rest of the NBA to handle. Could Pau actually finish the season 73-0? Wonder what the record is for double-digit wins while holding the opponent under 100? For points in the paint? Not many teams are going to score over 100 points against this Lakers team. Now imagine adding the real Beast that Drew can become to that formula. Then get ready to really rock because THAT’S EXACTLY WHERE WE’RE GOING.

Tom

Hollingers Top 12 Young Centers:


1..Dwight
2. Bynum
3..Al Jefferson
4..Lopez
5..Gasol
6..Horford
7..Noah
8..Perkins
9..Bogut
10.Oden
11.Speights
12.Thompson


Looks about right to me. If Andrew ever finds the FIRE to play D he will take over the #1 spot.


BD

@ lakerfan

What? What??

Think if we could get some DNA from Scottie Pippen and clone him, and put Pippen2 through an accelerated growing process so that he would have matured by the time the playoffs start. Think how good this team could be then!!

@ BD

I would put Gasol as #3 on that list. Thanks for the list.

Nicolas Cage,

"And even then, thinking God cares whether you have sex for pleasure, is not far removed from thinking God would like you to attack people from other faiths, or homossexuals, or Black Sabbath fans and other atrocities conducted 'in the name of God.'"

The thing is, at least with Christianity, is the much of the issues of sexual repression began with the personal issues of Saint Augustine. Saint Augustine--who was also a spiritual genius--was a sex addict and his personal addiction became his greatest barrier to spiritual growth. To overcome this barrier, Augustine HAD to embrace sexual abstinence, the level of his compulsion/addiction was so profound.

Unfortunately, Saint Augustine extrapolated this personal challenge to all other people and the brilliance of his writings convinced orthodoxy to embrace Augustine's personal trials as dogma for the religion itself.

I don't disagree that for certain people chastity is the only way to build and maintain a healthy spiritual relationship with God, but, unfortunately, the guilt produced by this IDEAL contributes far more to the greater separation from the spiritual as is present in our (and most other) society(ies).

Now, while I personally reject the absolute necessity of chastity, in regards to Tiger's "transgressions" my sympathies are entirely with his wife, not Tiger. Monogamy is a spiritual commitment. Once that commitment is made, it must be adhered to (ESPECIALLY if a couple decides to have children). Everything else is just pure arrogance.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

exheldovr,

"Think if we could get some DNA from Scottie Pippen and clone him, and put Pippen2 through an accelerated growing process so that he would have matured by the time the playoffs start. Think how good this team could be then!!"

I laughed.

Shouldn't we integrate some wolverine and spider monkey genes in the Pippen2 clone? Think how good this team could be then!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Can someone with espn insider post Hollinger's piece on the top 12 young centers here? ...Particularly Drews' part? Thanks

It has come to my attention that these "Lakers" are quite excellent at this "basketball" of which you speak.

Carry on.

AN EXAMPLE OF A BANDWAGON MENTALITY:

http://sports.yahoo.com/golf/blog/devil_ball_golf/post/Fellow-PGA-pros-speak-out-on-Tiger-Woods-quot-?urn=golf,207961

When people join in start stoning people..Shame shame on these golfers who are part of this Tiger bashing bandwagon.

A smart thing to do is:

http://sports.yahoo.com/golf/pga/news?slug=ap-tigerwoods-nicklaus&prov=ap&type=lgns

LakerTom,
Your lengthy discourses are always a must read for me. I'm rabidly UCLA, and it influences my affections for who plays the game.

It's entertaining to watch you get all worked up over "The Beast." One thing is for sure, if ever Andrew had a believer, it's YOU. Of course, you have every reason to believe in the Kid. However, it's good to see you think he needs to find another gear. Maybe Sasha could transfer a little of his aggression (not too much, mind you!), we would see the AB we know is in there. How could we not know when you've told us so much? And now, you're exercising a little tough love by telling him to get his *** in gear! Gotta love hearing that from you.

As for Jordan, like you, I am too attached. But I am glad to see he has decided that being a team player is more important than building his personal glory. As for the sloppy turnovers, let's not forget it's not unusual to have problems getting in snyc when you come out of the gate: our starters often have slow starts that take a few minutes or even a few quarters to turn around. The bench gets slammed the minute they first make a mistake. If you don't think so, all you have to do is read the "live" comments on this blog during the game. Sasha and Farmar were instantly the recipients of demeaning, expect the worst comments. I'm glad for the wisdom of Coach Jackson: says little, but works wonders. Look at Brown and Ariza, two players who had not found their game. Wow! It appears Jordan's finding his. And wonder of wonders, is Sasha beginning to see the light....?

Anyway, LakerTom, guys like you and other true believers here make this blog a daily must-read. Thank you.

I'm having an issue with an article on ESPN where Shaq claims in his opinion that LeBron could be a coach in the NBA "right now", and also placing him ahead of Mamba as far as bb IQ. Seems like he's just trying to stay in Brons good graces in light of their recent slippage in the standings. Remember what he did to Phoenix??

Here is the article from ESPN Insider: Top 12 young centers in the League:

Top 12 young big men in the NBA

Lost in the rubble of the Hawks' blowout of the Bulls on Wednesday night and what it portends for Vinny Del Negro in Chicago was an always-compelling matchup at the center position. Al Horford and Joakim Noah are two of the many good young centers in the game and are especially fun to watch because they're both such team-oriented players.
However, the former Florida Gators teammates are having big individual years, too. Noah ranks fourth in the league in rebounding, at 11.6 per game, and is averaging double-figure scoring (10.2 ppg) for the first time in his career. Horford, meanwhile, rates seventh in the league with a 57.2 shooting percentage from the floor and is just shy of averaging a double-double himself, with 13.3 points and 9.5 boards per game.
But the two aren't the only young centers making strides this season. A profusion of young centers has stepped forward across the league with All-Star-caliber first months of the season. The result is the most promising batch of big men in the league since the mid-'90s.
So let's rank the best of the bunch, which features a dozen young pivot men who stand out above the crowd. "Young," in this case, means players age 25 or younger. (Sorry, David Lee and Nene, you just missed. And apologies to Zaza Pachulia, but nobody believes you're really 25.)
These are the players who will be fighting for All-Star berths and other such hardware over the next 5-10 seasons. And from what we've seen this season, it should be a heck of a fight for the top spot.
The honorable mention list of players who couldn't quite crack my top dozen includes Indiana's Roy Hibbert, Sacramento's Spencer Hawes, Toronto's Andrea Bargnani and Orlando's Marcin Gortat. Yep, we've got some pretty good centers right now.

12. Jason Thompson, Sacramento Kings
Sacramento's second-year center has impressed scouts with his quickness for his size. The 23-year-old likes to face up opposing big men from the block and drive past them as if he were a perimeter player, a strategy that's helped him average 17.0 points per 40 minutes this season. Thompson's rebound rate also is strong, and he should continue to improve given his age. The one caveat about listing him here is the question of his long-term position -- because he can face up and has some perimeter skills, some talent evaluators see his long-term position as a power forward.

11. Marreese Speights, Philadelphia 76ers
An explosive scorer who can rain in jump shots off pick-and-pop plays but also knows his way around the basket area, Speights kicked off a tremendous start to his second season before a knee injury sidelined him. Speights, 22, shot 60.5 percent in 10 games while averaging 22.2 points per 40 minutes, building on very strong offensive numbers in his rookie season (50.2 percent shooting, 19.3 points per 40 minutes).
His defense is miles behind his offense, and at 6-foot-10 with limited dexterity he'll continue to struggle on the defensive end of the court. Nonetheless, his exceptional promise as a scorer could land him in an All-Star Game down the road.

10. Greg Oden, Portland Trail Blazers
Oden is a more effective player than several of the ones ahead of him on this list, but the fact that he's played only one-third of his possible career games forces me to drop him to 10th. Before fracturing his patella this past weekend, Oden, 21, was enjoying a breakout season, averaging nearly a point every two minutes on 60.5 percent shooting and ranking third in rebound rate. Despite missing the past three games, he's still second in blocks (2.3 per game), which is pretty impressive considering his limited minutes (23.9 a game).
What holds down his minutes, however, is that Oden still has issues with committing fouls. Thus, his problems staying on the court exist on two levels -- staying healthy enough to put on the uniform and preventing the clumsy fouls that have plagued his career thus far. But when he plays extended minutes, he can dominate.

9. Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee Bucks
As with Oden, Bogut might rank higher if not for the health worries. The 25-year-old played only 36 games last season and has already missed six games this season. Otherwise, he's having a career year. The Bucks are going to him in the post more and he's averaging a career-best 18.1 points per 40 minutes. Defensively, Bogut's willingness to play physically and take charges offset his lack of shot-blocking ability, plus he's a very good rebounder (9.3 per game). His ability to stay on the court is likely the key to Milwaukee's playoff hopes, as the Bucks' season went off the rails after he went down almost a year ago.

8. Kendrick Perkins, Boston Celtics
The classic "dirty work" guy, Perkins, 25, rates among the best low-post defenders in basketball and is quite possibly the best screener in the game. He picks up offensive fouls crushing opponents on picks, but otherwise he's a low-mistake offensive player with an improving post game. This season he leads the league in shooting percentage at 65.1 percent and has added nearly six points to his 2008-09 40-minute scoring rate of 11.5, a whopping increase that is one of the less-trumpeted reasons behind Boston's early-season success.

7. Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls
Within a span of 24 hours this week, I had two different people tell me that Noah was the best defensive center in the league. While "best" may be a bit generous, there's no question that Noah's mobility makes him a tremendous pick-and-roll defender and that his effort level on D is near the top end of the spectrum. Noah, 24, fails to rank higher, however, because of his severe offensive limitations. He'll get points on putbacks and by running the floor, but he has no post game and a sideways-spinning jump shot of dubious accuracy.

6. Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks
Horford outranks Noah thanks to his more refined offensive game. The 23-year-old can face up from 15 feet and has a strong enough low-post repertoire to take advantage of mismatches against second-rate centers. Horford's best asset, however, may be his ballhandling prowess. No center is better at dribbling his own rebound up the floor to start a transition opportunity, a skill that becomes incredibly potent with all the high-fliers Atlanta has to finish the break.
Additionally, Horford (6-10) defends well despite his short stature for a center. Given the Hawks' early success and the lack of compelling options for a backup center in the East, it's quite possible he'll make his first All-Star appearance this season.

5. Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies
Pau's little brother might be the league's most unheralded player right now, posting All-Star-caliber numbers over the first month of the season to help the Grizzlies teeter on the brink of respectability. After losing a big slab of baby fat over the summer, the svelter Gasol is shooting 60.1 percent from the floor and threatening to average a double-double (14.4 points, 9.7 boards). Plus, he's a deft passer and an improved defender.
The scary part is that he could be doing a lot more -- the Grizzlies still don't get him the rock enough. At a paltry $3.3 million this season, the 24-year-old is one of the league's biggest bargains.

4. Brook Lopez, New Jersey Nets
I thought Lopez, 21, got jobbed in the rookie of the year vote last season, and now we're seeing why. Although the Nets have been awful, Lopez has been fantastic. He's averaging 19 points and nine boards a night while ranking third in the NBA with 2.2 blocks per game.
Other than the fact that he shoots too many long jumpers instead of overpowering opposing big men on the blocks, it's hard to quibble with his offensive attack. Most impressive is the fact that he's more than doubled his free throw attempts from his rookie season, taking six a game. He's also one of the most accurate big men from the stripe, at 83.3 percent.

3. Al Jefferson, Minnesota Timberwolves
At the moment, Jefferson isn't playing as well as the four players below him on the list. However, based on his spectacular output prior to tearing his ACL a year ago, his skillful low-post game should again make him one of the league's highest-scoring big men once he fully recovers.
Jefferson, 24, has tremendous hands and can loft in hook shots from incredible distances, enabling him to score effectively even when he's pushed out from prime post position. He's a very strong rebounder as well (14.8 rebound rate), and those numbers should bounce back as his knee mends. While Jefferson earns demerits for his shaky defense and dormant passing ability, he's still one of the game's most dominant post players when healthy.

2. Andrew Bynum, Lakers
Injuries are the only lingering concern with Bynum; he missed big chunks of the past two seasons with knee problems. Nonetheless, he's such a factor when he's on the court that it's impossible to place him lower than second. Bynum owns a soft touch around the rim, shooting 56.7 percent for his career while averaging a point every two minutes this season and last. That makes him one of the league's top low-post threats. Additionally, he's a deft passer from the block who can burn double-teams.
Bynum, 22, may provide even more value at the defensive end, where his size and mobility transform the Lakers from a decent defensive squad into a dominant one. L.A. was an elite unit prior to his injury a season ago. With him back in the lineup, the Lakers are doing it again, ranking second in the NBA in defensive efficiency.

1. Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
Orlando's overpowering center is unquestionably the dean of the league's young centers, leading the Magic to the Finals last season while winning the defensive player of the year award. This season he's redoubled his effort, shooting a sizzling 64.8 percent from the floor (second in the league) and ranking third in rebounding (12.0). Howard, 24, boasts the league's top defensive rebound rate among centers at 29.0, while his 10.5 free throw attempts per game rank second only to Dwyane Wade's 11.0. Sure, it would be great if Howard could make more than 58.3 percent from the stripe, but that's the only weakness in the man who has replaced Shaquille O'Neal as the league's most dominant physical specimen.

BD,

I'm surprised that Shaq didn't make the list at all.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

I remember about a week ago, there was a lot of discussion about Sasha's role and it was interesting to see him inserted last night during some actual "need" moments. I hope it helped his confidence. He seemed to be playing the right way.

Jon K.

The reason Shaq did not make the list as it clearly states: Top 12 YOUNG centers in the League

and Shaq is in his twilight years, not young anymore by NBA standards!!

Jon K -

The list was only centers 25 and under. Shaq certainly far from qualifies. Ha.

Say Charles,

did you hear me?

@ Kobefan in Cupertino

Thank you and best regards!

dave m -

I noticed that about Sasha as well. It was a good night for him overall. I hope it was the shot in the arm that he so badly needed.

Shaq's act has grown tired and predictable... and yet... still entertaining!

Talking up BronBron is just Shaq being Shaq. He's done it everywhere he's gone: First it was Penny, then Kobe, then Wade, then Amare, and now King James.

I'd be worried if he DIDN'T have something to say.

Don't worry - Shaq will be fading off into the sunset soon enough, and the only thing I'll miss about him is the entertainment value when he opens his mouth!

Maybe he'll move to NY and try his hand at Broadway when he retires. Can you see the marquee?

"Guys & Dolls - starring 'The Big Apple'"

I'd buy TWO tickets.

... The General.

Is anybody else upset over the first returns for all-star voting? Don't get me wrong, I have much respect for Amar'e and T-mac but those two should not be headed to the starting spot for their respective positions.

T-Mac hasn't played a game all year and somehow he might start in the All-Star game. I understand its fan voting but come on people...He has to play to be an All-Star!

And since when is Amar'e Stoudemire a center? Just because he can't compete in the west among the top forwards (Pau Gasol, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, Carmelo Anthony) does not mean we should give him a free pass and put him in with the centers. If he were place among those forwards he wouldn't be voted in by the fans and he'd have a tough time being voted the gm's and coaches.

That spot belongs to Andrew Bynum. I know I am biased because I am a Laker but IMHO he deserves that spot. We need all the Laker Fans to come together and vote for him and get him the starting spot he deserves. Put Amar'e in with the forwards where he belongs and see how he does.

Anybody else see my point of view?

Jon K,

I agree with your view on the Tiger situation, being monogamous is a CHOICE, and you have an ethical responsibility towards your partner.

Regarding abstinence, like you, I respect people's search for plenitude, both physical and mental (or spiritual), as long as it doesn't affect other people's lifes. Abstinence is not my cup of tea, but like I said it's a legitimate choice.

What really bothers me is the BS being told to young people.

Describing sex to young people as something dangerous, that'll give you diseases and an unwanted pregnancy, is like describing a pool as "a place where people drown, crack their heads open and is filled with germs"; while not a lie, it's a fallacy, focusing on aspects of the thing that are avoidable with a MINIMUM amount of precaution and completely ignoring all the benefits and good things associated with it.

So I'm Ok with A.C. saving himself for his wife, but I'm not Ok with someone spending money and time telling young guys being virgin is a virtue.


Isn't Bynum a shoo-in as the coach pick for the All-Star game? With Oden out, I can't even think of anyone else in the West that comes close.

Amar'e as center is indeed bogus but they're just setting him up for humiliation as he'll be opposing D-Howard, hehe.

CHINALAKE…

Thanks for the kind words. The single most encouraging thing about Drew and criticism is that he has so far always shown that he gets it and has usually responded to bad performances (zero boards in a half surely qualifies) with focus and attention on the problem. Last time he was criticized for his rebounding, he responded by going on a big tear dominating the boards.

It is almost at time that he lets the older big men – Pau and Lamar – take the boards. What I want to see is Drew instead take the attitude that every board that goes up is mine – not Pau’s, Lamar’s, Kobe’s – but mine. No more deferring. Take the issue into your own hands, Drew. Go back to playing ABOVE THE RIM. We know you can jump much higher than we see you jump. We saw it before. Now is the time to focus on getting those hops and dominance above the rim back.

As for Jordan, he is playing his best basketball at exactly the right time. Just keep it up and he will get his qualifying offer and chance to continue to wear purple and gold. Right now he is looking like a bargain. How he does on the upcoming road trip will be an important sign.

Tom

I don't know if I have the legal authority to do this, but I just invited Kevin Ding to visit the Lakers blog as a visiting intellectual basketball pundit. I couldn't help myself. I just love his substantive approach to writing about BB, and he seems like he might be a natural allie of the Kambros. Just have the boss at the Times call me if there are any problems.


Wes

Nicholas,
Don't see how abstinence is BS - it limits a lot of problems, both physical and emotional, that sex at a young age can lead to.

shaq is just talking trash to the coach

Laker Tom,

How dare you criticize Drew's perfomance? He's going to be greater than Wilt, Kareem and Shaq combined. You must be just another Bynum basher.

To Nicolas Cage & Jon K,

Nic, you wrote: Describing sex to young people as something dangerous, that'll give you diseases and an unwanted pregnancy, is like describing a pool as "a place where people drown, crack their heads open and is filled with germs"; while not a lie, it's a fallacy, focusing on aspects of the thing that are avoidable with a MINIMUM amount of precaution and completely ignoring all the benefits and good things associated with it.

So I'm Ok with A.C. saving himself for his wife, but I'm not Ok with someone spending money and time telling young guys being virgin is a virtue.

my response:

Main Entry: dan·ger·ous
Pronunciation: \ˈdān-jə-rəs; ˈdān-jərs, -zhrəs\
Function: adjective
Date: 15th century

1 : exposing to or involving danger
2 : able or likely to inflict injury or harm

— dan·ger·ous·ly adverb

— dan·ger·ous·ness noun
synonyms dangerous, hazardous, precarious, perilous, risky mean bringing or involving the chance of loss or injury. dangerous applies to something that may cause harm or loss unless dealt with carefully

By this definition, sex with multiple partners is dangerous. i.e. it qualifies
as perilous or risky. *one* of the reasons why this is so, is because you
can't verify what your partner has or hasn't done.

You talk about precautions. Studies show that despite the information out
there many people either don't look at the information or ignore it and still
practice sex with strangers without protection. Therefore, it doesn't look/
feel like a stretch to refer to it as perilous/dangerous.

It seems to me that your bias precludes you from thinking/talking about
the less savory aspects of it. You focus on the reward aspects of it because
you like it. You ignore the other aspects of it and are not looking at
pregnancy rates, HIV, STD's that don't kill, broken homes, broken
relationships, $$ spent on some skank/sleaze-ball that you could have
spent on Lakers tickets ... How about talking about both sides and letting
people reach their own conclusions?

re: virginity.

Main Entry: vir·tue
Pronunciation: \ˈvər-(ˌ)chü\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English vertu, virtu, from Anglo-French, from Latin virtut-, virtus strength, manliness, virtue, from vir man — more at virile
Date: 13th century

1 a : conformity to a standard of right : morality b : a particular moral excellence
2 plural : an order of angels — see celestial hierarchy
3 : a beneficial quality or power of a thing
4 : manly strength or courage : valor
5 : a commendable quality or trait : merit
6 : a capacity to act : potency
7 : chastity especially in a woman

Chastity & Virginity are synonyms, so .... virginity is a virtue. According to
the English language. I appreciate that your morals aren't A.C.'s. That
doesn't mean that his are wrong. More importantly that doesn't mean
that yours are right. Unless you are responsible for the universe & all that's
in it.

re: spending $$ on importing morals to young people/others. Umm ...
According to your statement, you're against the use of $$ for encouraging
people to be sexually virtuous. Are your for the use of $$ for encouraging
people to be sexually immoral?

Temptation Island comes to mind. Various soap operas and sitcoms that
make light of adultery. Sex ed in schools.

Make some quick choices for me:

Abstinence vs. party girl/boy. Which one do you want your kids to marry?

Adultery vs. Monogamy. Which one is better for the kids? Which
one is better for your bank account?

If everyone in our society is monogamous and hetero-sexual, what does our
society look/act like?

If everyone in our society is polygomous and homo-sexual, what does our
society look/act like?

I do not want to get into a morality conversation. Especially on a basketball
blog, however I think you've over simplified a complex situation to justify
your own actions.

Laker Tom,

How dare you criticize Drew's perfomance? He's going to be greater than Wilt, Kareem and Shaq combined. You must be just another Bynum basher.

Posted by: LAKER TRUTH | December 10, 2009 at 06:12 PM


==========================
Now that takes the cake! LOL

A couple games on TNT tonight that I'm not that interested in... except that Washington came back against the Celtics which is mildly entertaining. Oh, and the Wizards went an entire quarter without ONE rebound?!

Nothing like the Grateful Dead to get the Blog rolling.

Thanks K Bros. The dirty hippy in me just got a little dirtier.

No way should Amare be voted as the starter at center over Drew. Not even close!!! Channing Frye has been playing the center position for the Suns not Amare. What a joke.

Drew needs to play at a higher level especially on the defensive end and on the glass. Offense comes pretty easy for him, so he needs to focus and concentrate on other areas of his game.

I was very disappointed in Drew's game last night, particularly in the area of rebounding and defense(lapses at times), but on the live game blog last night I took exception at some bloggers constantly blasting Bynum on nearly every possession it seemed. Again, I'm not defending his lapses at times, but it's ridiculous how some people rant and blame him for any and all defensive breakdowns. What's even more funny is how some bloggers seem to criticize him as if he were Luke Walton or a player that doesn't contribute in any way. I've always said that Bynum is still a work in progress and by no means a finished product. I know some bloggers on here will say that they're just pointing out what he needs to improve upon and blah, blah, blah. That's fine. At the same time be thankful for the positives about his game as well.

Both Denver and Boston in pretty tough games tonight. Nuggets lose again tonight after losing their last game against the Bobcats. Not impressed by the Nuggets at all. It's the same ol', same ol'.

No way should Amare be voted as the starter at center over Drew. Not even close!!! Channing Frye has been playing the center position for the Suns not Amare. What a joke.

Drew needs to play at a higher level especially on the defensive end and on the glass. Offense comes pretty easy for him, so he needs to focus and concentrate on other areas of his game.

I was very disappointed in Drew's game last night, particularly in the area of rebounding and defense(lapses at times), but on the live game blog last night I took exception at some bloggers constantly blasting Bynum on nearly every possession it seemed. Again, I'm not defending his lapses at times, but it's ridiculous how some people rant and blame him for any and all defensive breakdowns. What's even more funny is how some bloggers seem to criticize him as if he were Luke Walton or a player that doesn't contribute in any way. I've always said that Bynum is still a work in progress and by no means a finished product. I know some bloggers on here will say that they're just pointing out what he needs to improve upon and blah, blah, blah. That's fine. At the same time be thankful for the positives about his game as well.

Both Denver and Boston in pretty tough games tonight. Nuggets lose again tonight after losing their last game against the Bobcats. Not impressed by the Nuggets at all. It's the same ol', same ol'.

Posted by: Nemaia Faletogo | December 10, 2009 at 07:17 PM

========================
I agree and even if they put Amare at center, Bynum has dominated him every time.

Espn says kobe is leading in most votes for the all-star game. Anybody know where gasol and bynum are on this list? Also, Ron Ron is an all-star, I don't care what anyone says. Guys do you realize almost the whole team is playing good right now! If LO decides to shoot more (minus the freakin air balls) then we're really rollin Lakerland. And I mean chicago bulls defense rolling. We literally have defensive stoppers everywhere you go on the court. It's crazy.

Let me say this though. We haven't hit adversity yet. Yeah I know gasol was down for a while, but I mean 5,6 game road trip adversity. Two losses in a row diversity. You know when all of sudden the shots aren't falling. Quite honestly, the lakers could not play any better than they are right now. Inside, outside, perimeter, the paint, steals, assists, its all good right now. But I'll hold my breath till after this road trip. A sweep and I'm sold, play like champions fellas. Play with the pride in knowing that showtime is back. IT'S BACK BABY! BRING ON THE CELTICS!

The new Kobe's and the new Jordanne's yall. Tiz-zite!

“It has come to my attention that these "Lakers" are quite excellent at this "basketball" of which you speak.
Carry on.
Posted by: The D | December 10, 2009 at 02:45 PM”

Just in my own humble opinion, this might be the best post ever. Or at least today.

Mark- yeah, maybe you should work on a more distinctive blog handle. I don’t know which Mark you are either.

Nic Cage- I actually have a bit of an issue with public swimming pools. Possibly this has something to do with the people at the last apartment complex i lived in letting their babies swim in a pool with full diapers, or possibly it’s because every time I appear in public without a shirt I am deluged with ardent women and the occasional male driven wild with lust, but either way, I don’t need to get doused in chlorinated water that bad, thanks.

On an unrelated note, personally, I don’t know whether god or God or whatever endorses sex for pleasure or not, but he or she or it does seem to oppose me getting any lately, the vindictive bastard.

Congratulations to anybody who has read this far. Yeah, I’m not serious again. I just figured after hobbitmage’s extremely long declaration of whatever I couldn’t possibly do worse, but I at least had to try.

“…What's even more funny is how some bloggers seem to criticize him as if he were Luke Walton or a player that doesn't contribute in any way…”
Posted by: Nemaia Faletogo | December 10, 2009 at 07:17 PM

Yeah, that would be very unfair to Drew.

What a late third/fourth quarter run by the Lakers. Loving the defense and the effort of each player during that stretch. But just imagine if Bynum grab each offensive and defensive rebound that's available..that would just be awesome for the team. I believe if he improves in his rebounding and defense, oh my God this team will be unstoppable! He should focus on these two things and for sure by then i will then call him the "Beast" Go Lakers!

Nicolas Cage,

"All the rhetoric falls flat and eventually reveals the fanatic religious background as the only legitimate reason one might choose such path.

And even then, thinking God cares whether you have sex for pleasure, is not far removed from thinking God would like you to attack people from other faiths, or homossexuals, or Black Sabbath fans and other atrocities conducted 'in the name of God.'"

Wow. I come on the blog to read insightful comments and what do I get? An ignorant comment by a fool trying to take a not-so-subtle shot at religion. I guess we should beware of guys like AC Green who take chastity vows - they're only a step away from becoming terrorists.

@ Nicolas Cage- "So I'm Ok with A.C. saving himself for his wife, but I'm not Ok with someone spending money and time telling young guys being virgin is a virtue."

I'm guessing you're talking about govt. support for abstinence only programs, esp in places like Africa. You're right, it's moronic.

I was just rewatching the game from last night again. Especially the play starting with 5:17 left in the fourth.
Deron Williams brings the ball up court, guarded by farmar, backs out again, farmar stays inside. Williams passes the ball to okur, who is guarded by odom. Okur passes the ball to I think Miles, who is guarded by artest. Odom leaves Okur and he and artest envelop miles almost into the backcourt. Miles or whoever tries to pass it, but he can't see where it's going, passes it right to farmar. Farmar streaks down the court, passes it to Odom, who stops just in front of the basket and passes to artest, who flips the ball to Farmar. Farmar jams it in and looks askance at Gasol, who was right behind him going in. Gasol is raising his hands 'hey, what's with not giving me the extra pass?' crowd goes nuts. Lakers never look back.

Man it is good to be Laker fan with League Pass. I am going back to watch the whole thing for the fifth time now.

BynumforStarter,

Yes, I had mentioned the same a few comments back :) Amare is trying to make things easier for himself by enrolling as C, than as PF.

Nicolas Cage,

"So I'm Ok with A.C. saving himself for his wife, but I'm not Ok with someone spending money and time telling young guys being virgin is a virtue."

Agreed.

What a lot of people in power don't fricken get (and it drives me mad) is that when you tell a HUGE section of the population "YOU CAN'T DO THAT!!!" it makes them want to do it three times as bad... especially in a freedom-based, individualistic society like our own.

External repression always produces a terrible counter-response. Always. It's human nature.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

exheldovr,

"Don't see how abstinence is BS - it limits a lot of problems, both physical and emotional, that sex at a young age can lead to."

Dude, really?

I was a monk. Were you a monk?

This whole notion that ALL people should live in celibacy is absolutely fricken crazy.

CRAZY!!!!

SUPER-FRICKEN-CRAZY-PLUS!!!!

Almost every person I've ever know who ascribes celibacy to the masses has NEVER been celibate.

[Including Saint Augstine who spent the majority of his life as a sex fiend.]

PERIOD.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!!

Can I ask you people around (and th Mighty AK/BK bynomium) if all the blabs revolving on Twitter that Shaq may retire have any credit at their basis?

I mean, I was so entertained when he said LeBron's got HIGH Bball IQ I would miss him too much... (detect load of sarcasm there).

I am on Twitter from work and got like 130 messages about this Shaq thing. I have to ask.

I'm so eagerly awaiting today and tomorrow games to see what my Lakers are up to.
As usual I hope their own hype won't cause troubles to our babies. That's pretty much all that could stop us.

I discovered I can't vote for the All Star thing so PLEASE!!! Put Pau where he belongs... WAY higher than he's ranked now.

(I'm listening to Woman by Neneh Cherry.. darn how soothing and melodious that voice was there? )

Just one thought before lunch time over here: Abstinence?
Really?
As long as you protect yourself, why should you follow that? I Never saw the purpose of cutting off the fun from living. Plus it would force me to practice way less entertaining kind of gym to stay half as fit.

But I agree about choice of commitment. If you do it, you should stick to it.
Of course this won' ever apply to ANY famous, egocentric, narcissist out there in The Land of Rich & Famous.

And I am not saying this judging anyone. I am nobody to judge anybody.

I would never trust any cut clean image in any case, I sometimes quietly pity those who do, cos they are so tenderly naive to my eyes, in a way that I come to admire them and their trust. Seriously.

Never met a famous guy/girl who could give up on pleasures. Of any kind.
They might be like albinos on a regular population: surely they exist, but if they do, you can count them on a palm fingers.
And I don't find that quest any easy to practice, anyway.

This Tiger thing will end with a "confession", a "sex addiction admission", " a rehab stint", an "image rebuild" series of PR steps and then all we will remain with will be tons of bad jokes on him, and way too many hours of wasted tv specials about this nasty story.

People talk about this, but not cos they care at all deeply for it: it's a way this society can have 15 minutes of "expert of life talk" for each single dude/dudette out there. It's a fake mechanism. (I think I just used 3 minutes of my 15 of expertising talk show scenery to create this post, anyway...)

Fakery: just what caused Tiger's double life in the first place.

Glad The Age of The Fakes we live in has so far saved at least one thing: our pleasure to follow the best Bball team on Earth.
You can't darn fake that way we create magic on the court.
And I am content with this.

Call me simple girl.

About the All Star. Its somehow ironically counterproductive to have many good players in our team. Seems that both Bynum and Gasol won't make the starting line up and it won't be likely that the coach chooses 2 Laker players to complete the roster (in addition to Kobe). So unless one of them secure a spot on the line-up, they will be fighting for one spot.

Jon K, how many lives do you have? I am starting to think that you come from the past and you have lived more than 3000 years already. I'm trying to find out whether you were also a Barbarian King in Europe. LOL!

I gotta say, Tiger Woods, what a scum bag.


Wes

Apparently, we're the best fans too (on the same Forbes report). I'd rather be the most knowledgeable, but who the heck rates that? I know our announcers and places like this Lakerblog, SS&R etc, indicate that we have more knowledgeable folks, but.....

Doesn't make us any better, but still, its nice to have an outside party say that sort of thing.

Jon K,
Take your medicine before posting. Please.

Who said that everyone should be celibate? Reread my post.

WELCOME BACK KOTTER - http://tinyurl.com/ye28jmw
WELCOME BACK KURT RAMBIS – TO TUNE WELCOME BACK KOTTER
Welcome Back, Your Rings were your ticket Out
Welcome back, To that same Staple center that always sells out
Well some names have changed since you coached rebounds
But the Dreams have remained since Twolves not turned around
Who’d have thought they’d lead you, Come back cause Twolves are thru
Yeah we tease him a lot, Tinmberwolves got him on a spot
Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Back

I gotta say, Tiger Woods, what a scum bag. Wes Posted by: wesjoenixon | December 11, 2009 at 07:04 AM

You didn't have to say it but you did anyway. Why?

I'd rather see Phil leave after about 3 championships, and let Rambis take over after his stint in Minnesota.

…What's even more funny is how some bloggers seem to criticize him as if he were Luke Walton or a player that doesn't contribute in any way…

At least you used "or", which allows us to infer that you do believe Walton contributes in at least one fashion.

--Fearless

mamba24,

Welcome Back Rambis. Brilliant, as ever!

--Fearless

HOME – FROM THE WIZ WITH DIANA ROSS & MICHAEL JACKSON
http://tinyurl.com/yajockc
LA – TO THE TUNE HOME FROM THE WIZ – As sung by Kurt Rambis
Think of LA Kurt, LA
When I think of LA, I think of a place where there's Titles overflowing
I wish I was in LA, I was back there with the Rings Kobe’s showing
Wind that makes the Palm tall trees bend into leaning, Suddenly Basketball has a new meaning
Sprinklin' the scene, Oh God I want one more Ring
Maybe there's a chance for me to go back, And sit in the Asst coaches section
It would sure be nice to be back in LA where I face no rejection
Maybe I can get me a buy out, If I stay in Minnesota I’ll lose clout
Time be my friend, Get me out of Minnesota and let me win again
Suddenly my world has changed and I know where I’m going
Minnesottas blew my mind and it never stops snowing
If you're list'ning God, Please don't make it hard, For Lakers to take back me
Tell me should I quit today, And fly back to LA, and rejoin Kobe
Or would it be better just to let things be?
Living here, in this Timberwolves world is a Fantasy
But it taught me Skills gave me dollar bills So it's real, real to me
And I've learned, That we must look inside our hearts
To find a world full of love
Like yours
Like me
Like LA...

*
WELCOME BACK KURT RAMBIS WITH OVATION - BANDWAGON
*
(01) MAMBA24 - Owner

Call me simple girl. Posted by: ZairaAmaterasu | December 11, 2009 at 03:34 AM

No, I'd call you a very smart woman.
Mamba24

Mamba24, please put me on the welcome back Rambis bandwagon. When PJ steps down Rambis' experience with the triangle and coaching will serve us well.

And, Laker Tom, I am with you on the 79 - 3! Absolutely, we can objectively say it was the fourth was one of the greatest defensive efforts you have ever seen. 6 points !

I would like to know how low the lowest score per NBA quarter ever was. And, Laker Tom's question about what is the most double digit wins in a row is a good one.

GOOoooOOO LAKERS !!!!

mamba24,Welcome Back Rambis. Brilliant, as ever!
--Fearless Posted by: Fearless | December 11, 2009 at 08:17 AM

Awwww you old smoothie you! Thannnnnks!
Mamba24

CELIBATES:

NOW we're getting somewhere,

The true measure of how well a team is playing is a blog emotionally committed to their success digressing into a debate about celibacy.

The Lakers must really be ballin' (no pun intended but, undoubtedly are by the way), the win streak secure, the roster set, to go there.

Very informative, I studied Augustine and never thought to party with him.

ROLL CALL IN HALF AN HOUR!!...That is all
Mamba24

Mamba24

Put me on the Welcome Back Cotter, er Kurt bandwagon, please, as 'Wear some funky glasses.'


To throw my two cents in on AC Green, he isn't going around saying, "Be celibate! It's the only way!", he's saying that there is an alternative to the hip-hop culture being crammed down youths throats. You don't have to be a playa or a pimp or a ho, you can just be you. Find your path.

AC's path happened to include celibacy, until 2002, and it also included an above average NBA career. IF I was a kid struggling with my identity and the blue print most often presneted to me was from what's on TV, the radio and in popular culture, I just might appreciate someone talking about another way.

I like what AC Green is doing, it never hurts to present kids with all the alternatives and when diseases like HIV and the fun and exciting plethora that is STDs are running just as rampantly as ever it never hurts to say, "Wait, think, decide. Don't just emulate or react." That's a very positive message.

Anyhow, I'm feeling a tense game tonight. I think Kurt is going to be pulling some rabbits out of his hat and I think this T-Wolves team is starting to gel. K-Love is their Lamar Odom, maybe without the handle and with more hair, but he's a very skilled glue man and he has been missed. Jefferson looks like he's starting to come back around and Johnny Flynn is going to put pressure on our defence.

Here's hoping we help effectively in the post, patiently run the offence and see the bench maintain it's recent uptick.

GO LAKERS!!!!!

Also, I listened to Casey Jones again, is that patchouli I smell?

Thanks K Bros.

Very informative, I studied Augustine and never thought to party with him. Posted by: VMan | December 11, 2009 at 08:40 AM

Yeah man, many people didn't know it but that Augustine was a Freak man! Lol!!

Vman,
WE just don't want them to go off halfcocked.

I'm obliged to your kindness, Mamba24 :)
And please, put me on the Kurt Welcomening Back BW (I actually love all of your bandwagons... I never ask to be included due to untimng, but this has to be signed by me for sure. Kurt is a Laker Forever, ain't he? :))

Tonight my insanity will force 10 of my friends (and my bf... but he doesn't count: he always wake up with me for this...) to wake up in Cormayeur, set the tv set through my pc connection and follow the game. The same tomorrow. I would wake them up anyway in the chalet we are pretty much hanging at all winterly weekends. I know I will scream. So I just told them either to put something in their ears or just follow... my personal "Support Lakers or Leave the House" bandwagon.

Not very democratic, sigh... and it's not even MY mountain chalet ;) LOL ;)

Catch you all in the chat, hopefully.

CU ;)

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Fri. 11, 2009..- LAKERS vs. TIMBERWOLVES – Welcome Back Kurt Rambis(Laker For Life)
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Vman,WE just don't want them to go off halfcocked.
Posted by: exhelodrvr | December 11, 2009 at 09:10 AM

ROFLMFAO!!! THIS IS HALL OF FAME MATERIAL IF EVER THERE WAS ANY!!!! HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAH!!!!

Kevin McHale on LBJ's dancing. Hoops World

May I have this dancer?

That’s how LeBron James and his Michael Flatley routine would have been adjudicated in the old-school NBA.

“If a guy was doing the Riverdance like that, coach would come over and say, ’Who’s got the fewest amount of fouls of my big fellas?’ " said ex-Celtic and TNT analyst Kevin McHale. "If you raised your hand, he would say, ‘We will let him drive and then we will throw him on the ground.’

“When he is laying there we would say, ‘Do you feel like dancing now?’

“And that pretty much solved the dancing problem.”

YOU KNOW THIS IS REALLY A VERY MORAL BLOG, ... AND THAT'S GOOD!
"If you don't stand for Nothing, You'll fall for Anything"
@ AUTHOR UNKNOWN

To all abstinence guardians:

All the physical perils associated with promiscuity can be prevented using protection. ALL OF THEM.

Including unwanted pregnancy, which it's not a peril per se, but something to be avoided for being, well, UNWANTED.

From a mental point of view, (safe) sex is a healthy practice and being monogamous or promiscuous are both legitimate choices.

If you choose AND can handle being promiscuous, and don't cause any harm to yourself or to others, go ahead. If you choose being monogamous AND can handle it ( Tiger clearly didn't), go ahead.


" re: spending $$ on importing morals to young people/others. Umm ...
According to your statement, you're against the use of $$ for encouraging
people to be sexually virtuous. "

Huge fallacy. Pushing an agenda, backed by the misinformation is not 'importing morals'. Being abstinent is not being 'sexually virtuous'.

"Are your for the use of $$ for encouraging
people to be sexually immoral?"

I'm for the use of $$ for encouraging people to be ethical, respectful, responsible, tolerant, and being promiscuous doesn't clash with said values. At all.

"Temptation Island comes to mind. Various soap operas and sitcoms that
make light of adultery. Sex ed in schools."

Reality shows and people's obsession with fame are stupid. Now THAT'S something I would spend money getting people educated on. Adultery is ethically wrong, because it breaks a commitment. It's no light matter, but then again, people old enough to watch soaps and sitcoms should be able to handle the fact that such things do exist. Sex Ed is important, information is always good.

"Make some quick choices for me:

Abstinence vs. party girl/boy. Which one do you want your kids to marry?"

I'd like my kids to marry whoever they want and love, who loves them back and treat them with respect. But if I have to choose, I'll go for the party people, whom at least are more informed than someone who chooses being a sexually abstinent, which is a clear sign of ignorance and dogmatic values.

"Adultery vs. Monogamy. Which one is better for the kids? Which
one is better for your bank account?"

Adultery and monogamy are not antonyms. That would be Adultery vs Fidelity or Polygamy vs Monogamy.

Adultery vs Fidelity - Fidelity always. Adultery is plain wrong, involves being dishonest to someone you're commited to. Not cool by any measure.

Polygamy vs Monogamy - it's a matter of culture and choice. I choose being monogamous, because that works for me, it's neither better nor worse then being Polygamous.

For the kids is better having responsible parents, that teaches them how to be good, ethical people. It's irrelevant the marital agreement chosen by the parents.

And regarding bank accounts, I don't treat personal relationships like business agreements, therefore that's not something I'm taking into account when making this kind of choice.

This kind of poor argument is the same as cultures where people marry their cousins to keep the family money intact, or people who hate each other but don't get a divorce 'because of the kids'. Neither is a valid argument for being unhappily married, or leading an unhappy life.


"If everyone in our society is monogamous and hetero-sexual, what does our
society look/act like?

If everyone in our society is polygomous and homo-sexual, what does our
society look/act like?"

What a society looks/acts like is not related to people's sexual preferences, simply because what makes someone 'good' or 'bad' have nothing to do with it.

What make a society good is (again), ethical, respectful, responsible and tolerant people.

And one of the HUGE factors of a 'bad' society is people that think they should dictate how other people should express their sexuality, or whom they choose to marry, and all these kinds of intolerant dictatorial postures that plague our society.

If the 'moral police' got their way, we'd be on our way to an Orwellian, V-for-Vendetta kind of future. God forbid.


"I do not want to get into a morality conversation. Especially on a basketball
blog, however I think you've over simplified a complex situation to justify
your own actions."

I don't have to justify anything, I'm monogamous ( by CHOICE) and faithful to my wife. I'm defending people's right to lead their lives as they see fit, as long as they're responsible and ethical.

I won't be discussing this anymore, just thought it was important to make my opinions as clear as you guys made yours. This is a basketball blog, indeed.

Jon K: Coherently and well put. While I have the impression we wouldn't see eye to eye regarding organized religion ( I'm a Bill Maher 'disciple') , we share the respect for one's pursuit of 'spiritual' and moral elevation, regardless of the path chosen.

Phred: funny as always!

Zaira: Well said!

ex,

>>> Don't see how abstinence is BS - it limits a lot of problems, both physical and emotional,
>>> that sex at a young age can lead to.

I don’t disagree with the basic premise of your comment that many young people would definitely be better off postponing sex until they’re more mature and better able to deal with the complex feelings and emotions involved.

What I find to be politically, religiously, socially, and intellectually naïve and reprehensible however, is thinking that abstinence is some form of legitimate substitute for or alternative to properly teaching and educating young people about their sexuality, its relationship to love, and the need to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases.

I have no problem with teaching young kids abstinence. But as we saw with the Palins, it needs to be presented along with the basic sex education and social instruction young people need to function in today’s laissez faire society rather than in an atmosphere of naïve ignorance and religious bliss.

Tom

 
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