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Caught in the Web: Lakers afternoon links & pre-game video

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The Lakers embark on a two-game road trip starting tonight at San Antonio with their pieces in flux.

Although a recent Sports Illustrated players poll ranked Kobe Bryant second behind Suns guard Steve Nash as the player a team would most want at the free-throw line at the end of the game, Bryant has gone 28 of 88 from the floor in the past three games because of an aggravated right index finger. He told reporters after Sunday's win against the Milwaukee Bucks that the recent slump has coincided with his decision to remove the hard metallic splint that protected his finger because it decreased his flexibility and touch. But with the splint giving him extra strength, Bryant hopes that will provide the extra push to prevent shots from falling short.

Lakers forward Pau Gasol traveled with the team for its trip to San Antonio and Dallas, but he will not play in tonight's game. Forward Luke Walton practiced Monday, but he also won't play tonight.

And although forward Ron Artest had asked out of the Lakers-Bucks game on Sunday after suffering a fall, he didn't need any follow-up tests.

With the Lakers' 8-5 road record, The Times' Broderick Turner thinks this two-game road swing against San Antonio and Dallas will be a good test before the Lakers play eight consecutive road games beginning next week.

More Lakers links after the jump

--The Spurs view tonight's matchup as a good "litmus test" in measuring their worth to the defending NBA champions. Despite a 9-9 start, the Spurs rebounded by winning 13 of 17 games with a lineup that boasts the Big Three -- Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili -- plus Ian Mahinimi and off-season acquisition Richard Jefferson.

--This should certainly rile Lakers fans up. Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix & Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus release their NBA rankings, and the Lakers aren't No. 1. Hey, that's what happens when you lose two games in a row. ESPN's John Hollinger writes there are a number of Western Conference teams that could threaten the Lakers, and that includes tonight's opponent. The USA Today rankings strictly pay attention to the Lakers' league-leading 29-8 record.

--Here's the latest sign that Lakers backup guard Shannon Brown is on a roll: The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore noticed Brown attracted lots of media attention after Monday's practice.

--Andrew Bynum's inconsistency may forever remain in question and trade rumors involving him will surely be a widely discussed topic in the comment threads and game chats, but it appears he's at least disciplined with his reading. USA Today's Jeff Zilligitt reports Bynum has gone through Robert Greene's "The 48 Laws of Power," William Paul Young's "The Shack" and Mitch Albom's "The Five People You Meet in Heaven." On a related note, Silver Screen and Roll provides a pretty comprehensive breakdown on this whole Bynum-Chris Bosh trade story.

Tweet of the Day: "but I'm not going to beef with you. See you should be worried about your spot. Shannon Brown??? That's all imma say" -- YUNGBUCK3 (Milwaukee Bucks' Brandon Jennings to a fake Jordan Farmar Twitter account.

-- Mark Medina

Follow the LA Times Lakers blog on Twitter and e-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com.

Photo: Kobe Bryant and the Lakers will have their hands full tonight when they take on Tim Duncan,  Manu Ginobili and the San Antonio Spurs.  Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times.

 
Comments () | Archives (17)

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Jon K -

Sorry for the late response.

Despite having played basketball, football, volleyball and track through high school and part of college, I didn't have my first run-in with plantar fasciitis until I was nearly 23 (I'm now almost 26). I have very flat feet that pronate and at that time I was training for my first marathon, I hadn't run heavily in a few years, I was 30 pounds heavier than in high school and I was running with non-orthotic running shoes - a horrible combination for me and a perfect combination for plantar fasciitis.

The bad news: I'll be prone to having flare-ups for the rest of my life, especially if I'm not very careful about my exercise regimen. The worst thing about plantar fasciitis is the only complete cure is rest and patience, much like hamstring injuries.

The good news: Proper orthotics, ditching walking around barefoot and in sandals, careful attention to rest and healing, calf-stretching exercises and maintaining a lower weight have helped me go almost a year since my last flare-up. For me, it was all about education on how to avoid it.

Ron Artest's case is tricky. He can ice it, take anti-inflammatories and pain killers, stretch it and get proper shoes, but he doesn't have the most valuable healing agent: time. It took me 4 months of very light exercise to get to where I felt no pain, but a month later I had a flare-up because I tried to go back too quickly. That's what I fear for Artest. He doesn't have that luxury and may not be completely pain free until next season. But he has a great training staff who will work with him all the time, so maybe they're able to help speed up the process. I know for me, it took many months before getting back to running shape.

It's an unbelievably painful injury for anyone, much less an athlete. Imagine being a professional guitarist, but every time you pressed on a string, it felt like there was a nail being shoved into your fingertip. It's like that for a basketball player's heel.

Though plantar fasciitis doesn't get the same reaction from the fans that a fracture or strained ACL might, those who suffer from it get all my sympathy.

BynumTom,

"I think the way Pau has played so far this year makes him the #2 option on offense."
---I think the way Pau has played this season, the last two seasons, and basically his entire career makes him the #2 option. Bynum has a LONG way to go to surpass Pau as a basketball player.

"Bosh is a finesse player and his stats would never hold up playing with Pau and Lamar."
--I don't care about Bosh's stats. I only care about how he will fit into this team and how much chemistry he will have with Pau. One thing is certain, Bosh's chemistry with Pau cannot possibly be any worse that Bynum's chemistry with Pau.

"Pau cannot handle any of the real physical centers in the league. Shaq or Oden will just back him down and dunk on him. You claim to spout truths that are usually exposed as LIES."
--Huh? It still amazes be how much you disrespect Pau, the same Pau that got us a championship. Good thing "softie" Pau didn't have to guard Dwight in the finals. Oh wait, he did? How did Bynum do against 50 year old Shaq this Xmas? Pau might not be as strong as Bynum, but Pau has better anticipation against the hefty centers of the league, and has a knack for drawing charges. Sure, Pau got plenty of help defending Dwight, but his defense, even against big centers is highly underrated. Since ALL of your predictions have been wrong, and since you can't respond to any of my arguments with any facts, I guess you have no choice but to resort to elementary school taunts "liar liar pants on fire".

Lakertruth,

The answer is Bargnani, Bosh and Turkgolu are SOFT in the middle.

Bynum or Howard will make a minus Chris Bosh in Raptors NOT a soft team.

Lakers are Known to be soft with Gasol and Odom, Bynum makes us bigger and stronger in the middle.

Bosh is almost a duplicate of Odom and maybe Gasol too in some ways. Andrew Bynum brings a different dimension to the Lakers. ONE that is very hard to find in the NBA.

Bosh = Lamar Odom, Anthony Randolph, Amare Stoudemire, Al Horford, Lamarcus Aldridge, Carlos Boozer, Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Mehmet Okur, David West, Dirk Nowitzki = a lot of decent power forwards... get the drift?

Bynum = Dwight Howard only! Shaq and Tim Duncan are both old already.

Supply and Demand.

I will go on record and say that I would stick with Bynum, as opposed to Bosh. If effort is all you have to improve, that's better than trying to improve height.

...and to be honest, for a 22 year old, he's got a much better head on his shoulders than alot of people in his position do.

Great post Puddle.

I guess that explains why we see Artest flat footed alot of the time. People here have been commenting on his lack of "hops" lately too.

I am late in posting this, but it's something I want to do. Mark Medina, I have liked VERY MUCH what you are doing here with this blog. You have been timely, efficient, attentive, responsive, etc etc.

We are a tough group and we're upset about something alot of the time. It reminds me of my Italian Family playing their special brand of cards from Naples. They always seem so ANGRY at each other but they play ALL THE TIME! Haha.

It's not an easy spot you occupy, but you are doing VERY WELL at it. I thank you for your part in keeping this special blog very special.

Lakertom,

NO way NO how bynum is tougher than bosh.. Bynum doesn't have a single tough bone in his body... He has no natural strength and never has.. Has little leg strength and a very weak center of gravity... Probably explains why he keeps getting pushed around in the post and has trouble boxing out.. Bosh is no more of a finesse player than bynum is... Bynum relies more on length than anything... Maybe this improves as he gets older but definitely NOT now.. I'd take bosh in a street fight anyday

Maybe lakers get smaller but also get smarter, tougher, faster, so definitely not weaker and softer.

Ur vastly and almostly ridiculously underestimating boshs game... He can still guard any center in this league. He outrebounded perkins the other night and we all know how intimidated bynum can get against the likes of strong centers like dampier perkins shaq... At least bosh puts up a fight

No I haven't lost faith in the kid.. I'll still support bynum almost everytime but over bosh? Ur better off arguing this trade aint gonna happen from an economic perspective but to argue lakers are better today with bynum?? I don't think so


BYNUM'S PROBLEM:

1. Too much fan and media hype has gotten into his head
2. A tad bit on a lazy side
3. Personal goal of all wannabe all star versus team goals, like let me help and do what ever it takes to win another ttile…playing defense, becoming the king of the paint on defense.
4. IMMATURE, IMMATURE KID based on response, ""I don't really care," Bynum said. "I love playing basketball. I'll play this game anywhere. I’m always mentioned. I think it’s a good thing."
5. In this society no one remembers a great player in a losing team. We all have selective memory and only remember winners
6. For Bynum to say that he would play anywhere shows how dumb the kid is, doesn't he realize the best place for an NBA player to be is with the Laker organization, especially the team looking to win titles for years to come.
7. It appears he has been sand bagging and to me as a professional player who is making millions is in poor taste and poor CHARACTER.
8. WAKE UP call for Bynum that he is not the 2nd option, not an all star, nor the beast but just a player who can be traded at any given moment.
9. I hope he embraces humility and always give his best and not sand bag (slimy thing to do).

"Posted by: lakerfan | January 12, 2010 at 01:47 PM"

*Clap* *Clap* *Clap* The real perspective a fan who isn't in over their heads on a 22 year old who has a BIGGER MOUTH than he has a HEART.

""Pau cannot handle any of the real physical centers in the league. Shaq or Oden will just back him down and dunk on him. You claim to spout truths that are usually exposed as LIES."
--Huh? It still amazes be how much you disrespect Pau, the same Pau that got us a championship. Good thing "softie" Pau didn't have to guard Dwight in the finals. Oh wait, he did? How did Bynum do against 50 year old Shaq this Xmas? Pau might not be as strong as Bynum, but Pau has better anticipation against the hefty centers of the league, and has a knack for drawing charges. Sure, Pau got plenty of help defending Dwight, but his defense, even against big centers is highly underrated. Since ALL of your predictions have been wrong, and since you can't respond to any of my arguments with any facts, I guess you have no choice but to resort to elementary school taunts "liar liar pants on fire"."

*clap* *clap* *clap*

Now people are getting it. Bynum is a good player but to even put him in Pau's level is so so laughable.

Sometimes Bynum's fanatic fans sometimes has much as a Big Mouth as he does.

Lets get these bench players doing this on the road vs a few tougher opponents before we sing their praises.

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | January 12, 2010 at 12:21 PM

~~ I did not post this one. MM, please watch our email address, I don't change emails nor change name so I hope if the two does not go together, it must the blog impostor.

The reason why there are impostors because there are no punishment attached to it. We just take it for granted and move on.

LakerTom,

With regards to your comment on Bosh ppg, I'm quoting the present while you always dwell on the future based on your spin. Comparatively, on ppg and rpg, he and Bynum are miles apart at this time. I don't want to predict on a different situations, it is possible CB ppg will go down so with Bynum so it is not accurate guesstimate. If you mee another basketball fan in Bay Area who is not necessarily affiliated with this blog, but just an NBA afficionado, I'm sure he know Bosh and Bynum - ask him in order to get an objective point of view.

Once in a while, you have to get out of the box in order to see full view of the box.

The Beast! lets see it in Alamo Dome. Settle this thang for once, yo! (hattip to missing Sheriff).

also does Joakim Noah *really* belong in that list of strong power forwards? Bosh equivalency list could be stream-lined, cleaned up.

Doug

Staples,

"Lakers are Known to be soft with Gasol and Odom, Bynum makes us bigger and stronger in the middle."

---Bynum makes us bigger in the middle, but (as Yellofever pointed out) Bosh makes us smarter, faster and tougher. I'll take that tradeoff any day of the week. By the way, the "soft" duo of Gasol and Odom got us to back to back finals and a ring. Not too shabby.

"Bosh is almost a duplicate of Odom and maybe Gasol too in some ways."

--and that's a bad thing??? Imagine if we had two Pau's, one playing C and the other playing PF. That would be an awesome frontline!

"Andrew Bynum brings a different dimension to the Lakers. ONE that is very hard to find in the NBA."

----Bynum also brings laziness, individual goals over team goals, lack of chemistry with Gasol, and immaturity.

"Bosh = Lamar Odom, Anthony Randolph, Amare Stoudemire, Al Horford, Lamarcus Aldridge, Carlos Boozer, Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Mehmet Okur, David West, Dirk Nowitzki = a lot of decent power forwards... get the drift?
"Bynum = Dwight Howard only! Shaq and Tim Duncan are both old already."

----These comparisons are silly. Bosh is better than most of the players on your list (Randolph, Hordford, Aldridge, Noah, Okur, West, Boozer) and Bynum can only be compared to Dwight in potential only. Did you watch Shaq and Chris Kayman dominate Bynum? Here's a better list for the Bynum comparisons: = Brook Lopez, Roy Hibbert, Chris Kayman, Marcus Camby, Andrew Bogut, Mark Gasol, Greg Oden, Kendrick Perkins, etc.. get the drift?

Guys, we got the Live Chat coming up so feel free to post there as well.

For all posters - please use either your name or the handle that you go by. If you try to hijack someone else’s name or handle we will ban you from the site immediately. If anyone feels they were hijacked, feel free to comment and we'll look into it promptly.

-Mark

LAKER TRUTH:

The reason LakerTom is not answering to you calling him out is the fact he is on his way to Thyangboche Monastery, Mt. Everest region to understand what is real versus what one can imagine it to be.

LakerTom wrote many grandiose posts highlighting merits of Bynum of the future based on glimpses of the beast and just got swept away. He has many followers (Nemaia, Edwin & many others) and his followers out of love & reverence call him BynumSwami aka BynumTom. These guys live to see a post on Bynum by their beloved Swami.

I do admit Bynum is a true, legit center with skills and it would be a shame that he chooses to settle for a mediocrity in his profession. This may have a lot to do with the folks he is surrounded himself with (emperors new clothes) and the fans who gloat on him.

Bottom line laker blog is simply a figment of fan’s imagination and emotions.

You may have to smoke the varmint out of the cave, hahaha!!

HAHAHAHA:

LAKERTRUTH You wrote: Bynum comparisons: = Brook Lopez, Roy Hibbert, Chris Kayman, Marcus Camby, Andrew Bogut, Mark Gasol, Greg Oden, Kendrick Perkins, etc.. get the drift?


But but but what about Kareem and but but but I heard that Bynum was going to be the next greatest laker center. My bad, i get the drift not a great company to have your name lumped with, all the future wannabees


puddle,

Thanks for the information.

I am concerned.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!!

Here's a YouTube video that presents an effective therapy for plantar fascitis. I used it and made my case disappear.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3KaOdd87fA

Be Well!

Do you need more information on plantar fasciitis, you can have a look at

http://www.foot-care.org/plantar-fasciitis/
or
http://www.foot-health.info/fasciitis/

They have some general and detailed ideas of how to curb it.


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