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Lakers Coach Phil Jackson: Many steps Andrew Bynum must take to co-exist with Pau Gasol

In the Lakers' 126-86 victory over the Clippers on Friday, we learned that Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol indeed can play with each other on the court, as they scored 20 points apiece and complemented each other inside.

A Lakers blog poll reveals that currently 79% of you voted that the two can sustain that on-court chemistry throughout this season.

But Lakers Coach Phil Jackson suggested after Sunday's practice that there are still many steps Bynum needs to reach in order to establish that consistency.

--Mark Medina

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Here it is: Bynum, please listen to your hall of famer coach! He knows what he is talking about. Think of your team first, not you and you and you. Forget about the All Star and focus on your team. When you do what your coach wants you to do, then you can go to all the All Star games you want to go! Go Lakers!!

Mark, if you were to create a poll right now asking if the Lakers would win the NBA Championships this year, I guarantee you you'll get at least 98% yeses on this blog. Why present polls when you know what your responses will be? Polls on this blog mean nothing.

Pau and Bynum had plenty of time to establish chemistry on the court together, and one game in 40 doesn't erase an entire season of subpar performence from the two of them.

Only time will tell if they can co-exist, but my belief is Andrew Bynum doesn't have the mindset to work hard on defense and rebounding. At some point, I believe he will demand a trade, which won't hurt us one bit.

We've already proven we can win a championship without Bynum. I say let him walk, or trade him.

I'm pro-Bynum and anti-trade (his). And, I usually try not to fall into the trap of delving too deeply into Phil's remarks. So, I'll just chalk it up to the usual motivational rites. Just gonna whistle a happy tune.

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JON,
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Too bad you can’t put money on your dunk contest outcome. The correct term for what you are predicting might happen to Shannon would be “dominiqued” as in Shannon got dominiqued. But then we already knew that some misguided fans already think LeBron has surpassed Kobe AND MJ
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TOM DANIELS,
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It’s obvious why you’re the better Tom, TD. All three posts were just great. You have a great knack of making the same points I do without antagonizing the extremist elements (LOL, see what I mean?)
Excellent use of stats. The thing that is really great about the Lakers front court – Drew, Pau, Lamar, and Ron – is that they are versatile enough that we can cover all critical minutes at the 3, 4, and 5 with these 4 guys – much like we covered the 4 and 5 last year with just Drew, Pau, and Lamar. If we stay healthy, then hopefully we won’t need DJ and Josh except in rare cases.
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I also agree with the shot distribution being slanted more to the front court. I have long proposed 15 shot attempts per game for both Drew and Pau. Not only do they both shoot a higher percentage than their teammates, but they both also get to the line in addition, which increases their efficiency. I am hoping that will become a staple of the offense as we near the playoffs. Inside-out basketball.
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Finally, your response to Blitz was right on. One of the unfortunate aspects of the free style posting in the blog is that certain posters persistently misinterpret the positions of bloggers with whom they disagree to such an extent that perception distorts reality. Thanks for helping stop that.
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TROY,
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You miss the intent of blog-sync-think. Just because something becomes blog-sync-think doesn’t necessarily mean that it is right or correct – just that most bloggers think that. As we all have learned through the years, perception and reality are often very different animals. Interestingly, one of the results that I often see in the final blog-sync-think on issues is definite influence from minority or even negative commentators. The point I was trying to make was how exposure to the varying points of view on a issue and the ensuing debates and comments usually results in a more balanced and often more objective collective view of the issue. I don’t disregard your comments because even though I disagree with them because I know you are a die hard fan and even though I disagree, I can usually see why and where you are coming from, which deserves the respect and expectation of a friend. Hopefully, you will rethink blog-sync-think because is just another tool like stats.
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BLITZ,
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So what do you do when Drew scores a basket? Cheer or boo? I can’t envision you cheering.
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TOM

Starts and ends with Kobe. If and when he takes his game outside Pau and Drew will be monsters in the paint. Kobe outside with Drew down low works a lot better that the other way around. Three low post (Drew, Pau and Kobe) players just wont fit in the paint.

So I guess that "shooting touch" is different and distinct from "natural" athletic ability, as Jackson noted that one of the gifts Bynum has is shooting touch, but that he does not have the athletic ability of a Dwight Howard (who shoots poorly from the free-throw line). Funny I thought the two went hand in hand (can't make an experiential reference as I can do neither). Is defense a natural athletic ability? Hazarding a guess (but here goes) - very much so.

Great interview, Mark!!

Doug

jimjoyce,

you wrote: Recall his "pecking order" comment from last week? When he said that Pau's touches come before Andrew's? It's crap like that that holds the Lakers back.

It's up to Kobe to dial back his shot attempts from 25-35 per game to 15-20 per game. The question is whether he has the maturity to do it. History suggests he does not. But hope springs eternal.

One disagreement though: Phil Jackson has nothing to do with this. He hasn't got the balls to confront the way his team plays. He didn't during Kobe/Shaq. And he still doesn't.

my response: You've got this wrong. Again, I believe.

Let's address the "pecking order" comment, because it really seems to have
rubbed you the wrong way.

1. Can the Lakers be successful without Kobe? No. Do I really need to spell
this out?

2. Can the Lakers be successful without Bynum? Yes. 2008 in the NBA finals.
2009 with an injured Bynum, championship.

re: #2. It was Gasol who made that possible. LO had already showed that he's
not #2 option material. Do you really want to put that responsibility on
Bynum, the novice, who didn't play a lot in high school & didn't go to
college & went to Italy instead of working on his basketball?

re: Kobe's shot attempts. Why don't you go back and post the #'s from the
rest of the Lakers? In general, you'll find that the rest of the Lakers are
being timid or are having horrible shooting nights. To put this a different
way, when Kobe starts off cold, he keeps shooting so that he can warm up.
When the rest of the Lakers start off cold, they *STOP* shooting!

Do you believe that Phil knows what he's doing? He's got 10 rings, but that
may not mean anything to you. I ask because he has constantly chided his
non-Kobe players about becoming more aggressive. To quote: Artest, look
for your shot. Odom, shoot the ball. Farmar, you're of no use to us if you're
not taking your shots. etc. etc. etc.

Kobe has explicitly said: "If you want the ball, come take it!" That's who he is.
That is the ONE who has gotten us to the playoffs and won games for us
over the last 5 years. Do you honestly want/expect him to become passive like
Lamar? Do you honestly want to see 5 lakers saying:

I don't want the shot, you take it. I don't want it, you take it.

That just seems .... stupid! It is an undeniable *FACT* that Kobe's
determination & personality are driving this team. He is not perfect in any
sense of the word. However, you can not name another player on the Lakers
who has consistently played his heart out in attempting to win games &
championships.

With that being said, why are you trying to turn our Mamba into a
"peace-loving" sheep? He's not a rabbit. He's not an ox. He's a
cold-blooded killer, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Posted by: hobbitmage | January 17, 2010 at 08:57 AM


Count me as a disciple. I could not have expressed these sentiments and better. A blogger last year pointed out an article from someone who actually analyzed the games where Kobe shot 25+ times in a game to see if Kobe shooting a lot lost the game, or if the Lakers where loosing so Kobe shot a lot to steal a victory.

What he found, and what these Kobe haters (including jimjoyce) have managed to ignore, is that Kobe usually shoots that much when needed. BTW, this is the only game scenerio where Kobe has a loosing record. Turns out, the Lakers were going to loose those games anyway.

So, jimjoyce would have us blame Kobe for inevitable losses. Shortsighted. Vindictive. Wrong.

But, if we turn off that Kobe, we don't get 61-point Kobe against 60-point Mavs for three quarters. Or, 81-point Kobe. Both performances (just to show that this isn't fluke, or a coincidence) were in games where the Lakers were going to loose.

I take the good and bad in all people including my sports heroes.

--FEARless

MM,

Thanks for saving my last post. Now, I actually look intelligent!

Much appreciated.

--FEARless

Damn PJ, tell it like it is!!!

Hopefully that "experience" curve will happen in the course of a season without injuries and not over the course of the next 6 years.

I am, btw, confident that PJ has told Bynum all of these things to his face. If Bynum CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH, PJ has to call him out in public.

PJ does not like young players. Probably the reason is that a lot of NBA players have lots to learn and think they are so good they won't listen to anyone. I think these statements reflect a certain frustration with this young player that PJ could have with lots of young players.

Bynum seems like a nice kid, but his "all - star" attitude and inconsistent effort don't belie a terrible hunger. And, that is a key component to coachability. So perhaps, only being called out publicly will work. After 10 rings, it is not just an act of faith to say I trust PJ's judgement.

GOoooOOO LAKERS !!!

Nemaia - just catching up here and was very saddened to learn of your great loss. I'm truly sorry for the pain you and your family are going through. Along with your "real" friends and family, don't forget you have your Laker family here ready to support you in your time of need and cheer you in your time of grief. Much love.....

Jon K - I'm totally LOL'ing at the trolls on here trying to jerk your chain. Someone noted they're not worthy of carrying your jock. I'd like to add they're not worthy of even reading your words, much less attempting to respond to them. Bunch of pitiful losers - they must all hail from Cleveland and actually LIKE it....

MM - next game chat it's initiation time - bring your vodka & shot glass. It's going to be a loooooooooooooong night!

WHY are there still people wanting to trade Bynum????

This makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever....


Do you not recognize a strength when you see one??? Our height, length, youth and energy is one of our greatest assets - not to mention the Bean. Why would you want to mess with that????


You must be the kind of people who'd cut off your nose to spite your face.

It has to be asked again - when Socks makes a basket, or a great block, or grabs a rebound, or throws down the oop - do you cheer??? Or would you rather see him completely fail???


If you answer the latter - you're a troll. Plain & simple.

DECIDING WHO GETS THE TOUCHES…
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One thing you are sure not going to see is Phil Jackson telling Kobe Bryant to shoot less. Phil is smarter than that. Instead, he trusts that Kobe will see that taking advantage of Drew and Pau in the post is the key to the Lakers taking their game to the next level and really dominating opponents.
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Phil knows that the only way Kobe is going to shoot less is if he knows it is going to help the team win. Just like not calling timeouts in order to force the players to make the right adjustments, Phil has been fortunate because events have created the perfect scenario for Kobe to step in and make the necessary adjustments to keep Andrew playing at a high level along with Pau. Phil could not have orchestrated the situation better in his dreams. Kobe, Drew, Pau, and the entire Lakers team know that they must keep Drew playing at an All-Star level to continue to win NBA championships.
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That is what we saw work to perfection against the Clippers Friday night. And it was Kobe leading the way to feeding the post. Yeah, he was partly facilitating because of his back, but mostly he and Pau were going out of their way to keep Drew playing at a high level. We may revert back to Kobe ball from time to time but that is probably necessary to keep KB24 primed and ready when we need him.
But the high percentage, sure fire path for the Lakers to dominate is their ability to punish other teams in the paint. And it’s not just Pau and Drew but Kobe, Ron, and Lamar who can post up.
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As for Phil’s comments about what Drew needed to do, I agree with Dave that it is just Phil prodding Drew, which I do not have a problem with. I trust Phil and I trust Drew and I trust Pau to do whatever is needed to take the team to the next level, where our big 3 are Kobe, Pau, and Drew.
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Tom

LakerTom,

I didn't know that Laker Sync thing came from you. I don't always look down at the names at the end of posts. Since it did, and I'm familiar with your posts, then it must be okay, since I respect you as a blogger and you've posted up some great stuff. So if I misunderstood it, then my bad.

I'm watching the Denver-Utah game....


It's amazing how improved Melo is since he shared court time with Kobe on Team USA.


All those guys should pay homage to The Bean for sharing his wisdom with them.

They should all have an asterick beside their name for that gold medal. Or a plaque to hang with it saying "You're welcome. Love Kobe"


Seriously - they are not fit to carry his jock. Seriously.

These so-called sports announcers are a bunch of moronic idiots.


They all drank the kool-aid Stern's been serving up.

HOW can you say Princess Jimmy is currently the league MVP???? HOW????

Stern is evil and his henchmen are moronic lobotomized losers.

Maybe a little vodka right now would do me some good....!

Doug,
Shooting touch is hand-eye coordination.
Generally, athletic ability is considered the combination of quickness, speed, strength, endurance, balance an individual has.
The two are different - lots of great athletes are not good shooters, and vice versa. There's a place for both of them in the NBA.

Jon K - didn't the Lakers do a black jersey when Malone & Payton were on the team?

TROY
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No problem. I’ve disagreed with the blog-sync-think myself a few times. We’re all Lakers fans in the end. I would always prefer to have my team win than to be right about my amateur sports opinions.
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Tom

LakerTom,

I SALUTE YOU. Thanks for the kudos to us all. Not only do you know what you're talking about but you know how to put it together!

~ MM

Thank you for keeping us informed and for earning your keep.... In my book, you are already due for a rai$e!!!:)

What do we have to do to get a VIP Pass for our All Star Dunker??? Any ideas??

He is definitely a keeper!!!!!!!

---------------------------------------

In regards to BYNUM.... True LAKERS' loyals DO NOT trash their team... [only trolls do that]. True LAKERS' loyals defend their COLORS and their TEAM MEMBERS... like DFish when they messed with PAU and when they messed with Ariza.

This blog is so prolific that everyone's opinion is welcome. However, PJ is The Coach, and he realizes that AB has speed limitations due to his size but that he also has athletic abilities such as jumping and attacking the basket which - if Drew was listening- can be used on both ends of the court (O/D)

GOOOOOOOOLAKERS!!!!!

My comment is that not all the time feeding Bynum even though he is missing his shoot, He must force himself to get offensive rebound becoz Kobe, Pau and his teamates get attention from oppossing teams, not standing always at the back of his defender, I always observe him in the game, I like Bynum so much, this is only an encouragement to drew, more efforts in rebounding and defense....


Amazing that the most divisive player on the blog isn't Ron Artest, or a sometimes underachieving Lamar O, 24, Luke or the bench. Andrew Bynum wins the ink slingin' contest.

Andrew's getting better every year, and since he's had so little basketball experience, he'll probably keep gettin' better past the usual 5 years it's said it takes to play the center position well.

The twin tower experiment didn't overachieve with Sampson and Hakeem so it's suspect. It's not Andrew's fault, the concept looks good on paper but it hasn't won a chip and the Lakers won without it. It's especially defensively challenged in the era of 7 foot 3 point shooters and teams that fire every 7 seconds.

So while the jury's out, what a luxury to have a twin tower option.

I’m using Pau as the other example below just for perspective, not as a Drew v. Pau thing (please, that would be silly). For another perspective, throw in Josh Powell’s figures for four pro years (far fewer minutes than Drew) but add in his two years at NC State.

Bynum

251 NBA games played
5820 minutes played
0 college, world championship/Olympic games and minutes
Private tutoring from Kareem (and Kurt),

Gasol

607 NBA games played
21,634 minutes played
Who knows how many games and minutes played for Spanish professional and national teams?
Two basketball playing parents and two basketball playing brothers


There’s a reason Pau has such a high BB IQ aside from his being a bright guy.
We forget how inexperienced Drew still is when it comes to real GAMES, and how much of the game is LEARNED only in those situations.

This Blg N Sync reminds me of a lot of the Blogstreet Boys. What a treasure.


Wes

I find it interesting that this blog implies that Bynum must find a way to coexist with Pau.

Part of the reason Drew is having trouble coexisting is because Pau's hammy has turned him into another center who can't shoot a mid-range jumper or drive to the bucket anymore. Pau needs to work to get back to being a PF again, just as much as Drew has to work on being productive alongside him.

On top of that, our role players have to learn their roles. We can no longer have Shannon Brown having nights where he decides to take 9 attempts in 13 minutes of action. In the Clipper game, Fish had 5 attempts, Shannon had 5 attempts, and Jordan had 4 attempts. Our bigs and Kobe should always get the rock more than our role players should.

Justa...

I don't think anyone wants to see Bynum traded, so long as he figures it all out. Having 2 seven footers obviously has its benefits. But how many times is Phil and us fans going to scream to Bynum that he must become a rebounder/defensive force, not just a finesse scorer?

My only problem with Bynum is that he doesn't want to do what the team needs from him, and as such, I fail to see his value to the team, UNDER THAT CIRCUMSTANCE.

If Bynum gave a damn about doing the dirty work, I'd praise him to death.

Kobe is a great player because he is the most intensely competetive player in the NBA and because he is supremely confident. Kobe can miss 10 straight and be certain the next 10 will go in. He can help his team with defense, passing, rebounding. His competetive drive is off the charts.


Kobe's drive also causes him to shoot aggressively at times. I'm fine with that. You can't have the benefit of that crazy drive and not sometimes have Kobe maybe try to to too much. I certainly don't "condemn" Kobe as someone suggested, for his shooting.


Kobe does, at times, get over hyped-up and start taking overly difficult shots. But his teammates, at times, defer to him too much, look to him to do too much. When the Lakers' offense gets unbalanced, it is as much his teammates' at fault as Kobe's. They have to be aggressive offensively as well. They can't pass to Kobe every time he wants it. They have to get good post position and demand the ball. They have to attack, and not stand and watch. It's a TEAM thing.


When they are more balanced, they are harder to defend. That's not a criticism of Kobe at all. It's just a fact. This is a talented team and when they all are on the attack they are really hard to stop. Look at the game at home against Dallas, even short handed they were a handful.


Tom Daniels

Mike,

Thanks for this interview with Phil. He seemed to measuring his words very carefully, but he said what most of us think. Drew is talented but yet not the player we hope he will be on defense or the boards. He is young and still learning, and as Phil says "experience is a great teacher."


You coan sense his and his staff's frustration with having to watch Bynum learn for himself how to play D, but also their commitment to it. Phil clearly can see Drew's strengths (size, touch) and his weaknesses (foot speed, quickness and youth). He has a lot to learn yet. Until he learns to read on defense, he will susceptible to athletes like Dwight Howard (the best center in the league right now) and savvy vets like Tim Duncan.


You have to look at players for what they can do more than what they can't. We can see Drew can be a prolific scorer. He can learn how to be a real presence on D with his length. He will never be quick and fast, but that really won't matter IF he can learn to use what he has.


Tom Daniels

LakerTom,

re: Bynum/Pau/Kobe & the Clippers. You do realize that Kaman wasn't
playing, don't you?

what I'm saying is: feeding Bynum when he's not playing against a
potential all-star and crowing about him having a good game just seems so ...
USELESS!

And with all the basketball knowledge that you have, why do you consistently
point out Bynum's good games against mediocre teams/players and say
nothing about his mediocre games against good teams/players?

Has it occurred to you that the NBA finals will not host two mediocre teams?

Non-sequitor:

"Young Frankenstein" is such a magnificent film. So beautifully shot.

Would it even be possible to make such a hilarious film so artistically shot today? I don't think so.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Jon K,
"Frau Blucher!"

The Gene Wilder-Mel Brooks combination was absolutely brilliant.

If I could sleep having PJ voice sereneding a mantra to me, I know I'd be a better human being.

His words are obviously right. He's also adamant about the fact he considers Drew not only part of the future of this franchise, but the player whose future developement will mean the most to this franchise.
It's good that he is verbalizing these impressions after an universally tipped good performance by Bynum. "Fly Low, keep learning, be humble, be hungry for your own perfectibility" is surely a golden champion rule and he naturally wants Drew to follow that.
After all, our one and only leader, The God Kobe, is the more truthful example that no matter how immense you are, you always have to practice and get better and better and better with your game.
Being a legend (and being a Laker worthy to me) is a bit like becoming a surgeon, a physician or a molecule engeneer: you gotta keep study. All of your life.

Bynum has lots to learn. But the difference between him and let's say... 95% of others players in NBA is that he starts with 120 skills to develop better, while the rest par is about...90/100. Goes by itself that will be way more rewarding to wait for a 120 plus man to develop than getting a 90/100.

This is what Phil looks forward to.

On the matter of touches, and who gets what and how, well, our scheme is an answer to many questions, but at times t's the question in itself.
Kobe will optimize his share of the touches. He has always done that, when surrounded by a valid cast. Remember last year's finals? He relied on his teammates.
He will again. At the convenient time.
When he has overshot, there was the Gobli desert around him.
And in that case, I would rather put my money on Kobe's shooting than anybody else anyway.

BUt Kobe, Pau, Derek, and also Lamar are great executors of the Triangle. Option A, B, C, D... they read the court as a chess floor and this doesn't come easily.
Which is why, among brackets, I would never ever put anybody else's in place of Bynum right now: wasting all of his training about that? No way. He might be still not really quick, he must certainly be not yet completely clever at the optioning feature, but he will surely beat anyone of his supposed substitutes in that role at this point of the season.

I appreciate PJ's words and what I read behind them. I am sure Drew understands what he meant. He should be flattered of all PJ's care about him.He wouldn't waste a word on him if he didn't trust him.

Good week, Laker Land ;) Let's make it start and end amazingly :)

Zaira,
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Bravo. Superb post. Trust in Phil and we will reap more rings.
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Tom

Kobe with Pau GASOL and Andrew BYNUM is like Michael Jordan having Tim Duncan and David Robinson in the same team.

Kobe with Pau GASOL and Andrew BYNUM is like Michael Jordan having Tim Duncan and David Robinson in the same team.

Plus, KOBE with Ron Artest is like Michael Jordan having Dennis Rodman in Chicago Bulls.

Credit to Phil Jackson's quiet stillness of immense desire to create (imagination) and attract 'extraordinaire' athletes in his world...... law of attraction in motion.


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