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Kobe Bryant's 25,000-point milestone overshadowed by Lakers' lapses in 93-87 loss to Cavaliers

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It appeared to be an ordinary reaction to an ordinary shot.

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant swished a free throw with three minutes remaining in the second quarter against Cleveland, briefly high-fived Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom and then went back to the stripe. Bryant's facial expression bore the same scowl and determined focus that's defined his relentlessness during his storied 13-year career.

Yet this shot wasn't necessarily ordinary.

Bryant's free throw brought him to 25,000 career points, the 15th player to reach such a level and the youngest. It was the same basket that was his first point as a rookie in 1996 and his last point in his career-high 81-point performance Jan. 22, 2006 against the Toronto Raptors.

Beyond the symbolic notion that the shot came full circle for a career that consisted of ups (three NBA titles), downs (Colorado, feuding with Shaquille O'Neal and Phil Jackson) and then more ups (Olympic gold medal, fourth NBA championship and two league scoring titles), the shot itself doesn't exactly make for good theatrics for ESPN Classic. 

But at least for now, that's the way Lakers fans should want it to be. The Lakers' 93-87 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday will temporarily overshadow Bryant's milestone because of the stakes involved.

The win gives Cleveland (33-11) home-court advantage against the Lakers (32-10) should they meet with identical records in the NBA Finals, an outcome Nike (more puppet ads), reporters (more Kobe-LeBron debates) and fans (more Kobe-LeBron debates) would like. The Lakers reached the Finals last season, and largely credited their six consecutive road wins in late January and early February as a major confidence boost once postseason play began. There's certainly plenty of time before the schedule reaches that point, but the Lakers' eight-game trip through 13 days didn't start off with a good first impression.

It left a bad taste for the Lakers, even with the milestone for Bryant, who accomplished it at the  age of 31 years and 151 days and surpassed Wilt Chamberlain's feat, achieved at 31 years and 186 days. Watching a video spouting Bryant's storied career, such as the one below, seems inappropriate because of Thursday's loss.

That's because scoring milestones ring hollow when a team shoots 38.6% and its inside presence, in Andrew Bynum and Gasol, is pushed around. Bryant's big night seems sour when his 20-point first-half performance and strong defense on Delonte West ended with 31 points on 12-of-31 shooting, while James had 37 points on a 13-of-25 clip. Blaming Bryant's fractured right index finger and his absence in the fourth quarter until the 5:22 mark seem petty when Cleveland managed to win without its second-leading scorer, Mo Williams (sprained left shoulder), who scorched the Lakers on Christmas day with a season-high 28 points. Reliving Bryant's free throw that reached the 25,000-point milestone only reminds fans of the team's 15-of-24 mark from the stripe, including Gasol's two missed foul shots that could've tied the game with 24 seconds remaining.

Ticking off Bryant's scoring accomplishments, such as his 40-plus points in 103 games, his 50-plus points in 24 of them and his league scoring titles in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons, isn't the best idea now. Surely, those feats will be appreciated in years to come. But there's a reason why Bryant expressed indifference as he neared this feat.

It's because winning is everything.

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Times Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant wears a grimace  during the final seconds of a 93-87 loss to the Cavaliers on Thursday night in Cleveland. Credit: Jason Miller / US Presswire.

 
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"The win gives Cleveland (33-11) home-court advantage against the Lakers (32-10) should they meet in the NBA Finals"

No, if the Lakers have the better overall record, they would get the home court advantage.

I don't care if Bryant just scored 1,000,000,000 today. They lost. They lost because they couldn't make a free throw. Kobe and Gasol was worse from the free throw line than Shaq.

When Gasol was on the line and the Lakers down 2, I knew we were going to lose.

Pau Gasol revealed his true colors tonight. He chokes late in games. He cannot score one on one late in games against elite teams because the other team has their best post defender against him. His missed free throws against the Kings earlier this season is not a one time thing; Gasol wilts under the pressure of the bright lights and big games. He has to improve his play against elite teams in order for the Lakers to repeat.

Lecrybaby James was arguing every single call, yelling at the refs, taking 4 steps after stopping the dribble, and still crying like a little baby. That's why I hate the guy. Every time he gets touched, a foul is called. That foul called on Odom when Odom was giving way the entire time was ridiculous. It's obvious that the little troll, David Stern, wants his little cry baby to be the next big star. I Lecrybaby James never wins anything. All that screaming at the refs and not one T?

dj855, are you kidding me...do you actually watch the games !!! Kobe does the exact same thing...throwing his arms and screaming at the refs. Fish who is pathetic, goes over and discusses every foul called on him with the refs. Bynum scowls and argues every call. Lebron had a great night period !!! And the Lakers front court got outmuscled !!!

Jon K, wasn't sure if you were mad because the Lakers got beat ? or your DIRECTV signal was down !!

I forgot to mention this in my post above. I would not be at all surprised if Gasol and Bynum get bullied and pushed around by Garnett, Perkins, and Wallace against the Boston Celtics at the end of the roadtrip. The Lakers big men better start showing some toughness or they will have a disappointing playoff exit. Kobe Bryant and Fisher cannot be the only players on the Lakers to want to play at the end of close games.

The Lakers got lucky last year with their Finals matchup with the Magic, who really only had one truly physical post man in Howard. Against the Celtics or Cavaliers this year, the Lakers have to deal with either Garnett, Wallace, Perkins or BIG Z Shaq and Varejao, respectively.

THE LAKERS BIG MEN NEED TO STEP UP AGAINST ELITE TEAMS.

The Lakers are 3-5 against the division leaders. That's pathetic. Totally pathetic.

Andrew Bynum with four early fouls and a no show on the road against another top contender, sounds familiar. Either this player has to grow a heart or we wont be winning the title again.

Posted by: yellofever | January 21, 2010 at 07:11 PM

again that was NOT me.. idiot troll strikes again.

Their best record is an illusion. They will flame out in the playoffs like Cleveland did last year because they have just been beating up soft teams.

kobe and gasol was worse from the free throw line than shaq, its true.
When kobe 12-31 I know we going to lose.
Bynum play today?
Ron 3-10 and 2-8, good match.
Brown 1-6 regular player.

The Lakers bigs are soft, Why are so many people surprised it's nothing new. Boston, Cleveland can take the Lakers at this point, mid season victories don't count for nothing. Having home court is nice, If we don't have it, SO WHAT.

Questions of the night...
Why was Farmer yanked right after hitting game tying 3pt in 4th?
Why is Pau double clutching when open within 2ft of the basket with under a minute to go?
Why don't the Lakers give Bynum the ball and let him attach Shaq?
Why did Artest leave Parker open in the corner to double team Big Z at the free throw line?
In the 4th why didn't the Lakers trap Lebron and force him to give up the ball like the Cavs did Kobe?

Unfortunately this game provided more questions than answers. Oh well at least its the regular season so the Lakers still have time to figure it out!

Reading the other blogs, everyone came to the same disturbing conclusion: Just as the Lakers destroyed the Cavs on the inside last year (especially LO), the Cavs won this time because Shaq, Big Z, and Varejao outmuscled Bynum, Gasol, and LO. The Cavs didn't have to double the Lakers big men, freeing them to collapse on Kobe when needed. On the other side, the Lakers had to double Shaq, freeing LeBron or leaving others wide open. Not a good sign.

The Lakers biggest strength, besides Kobe, is their front court. Neutralize that, as the Cavs did, and the Lakers are in big trouble.

I was one of the few people who thought the Cavs getting Shaq could potentially pay off. Well looks like it has so far, at least against the Lakers.

"THE LAKERS BIG MEN NEED TO STEP UP AGAINST ELITE TEAMS"

Agree. They did last year on the road as you know. But first they need a clear idea of their roles ... this is a mess.
PAU: He has to demand the ball during the WHOLE game and be a threat on offense to provide easy looks for perimeter guys.(He is not and he'll never be Alonzo Mourning in D).
DREW:He has to focus dominating the boards and be agressive on D. His offensive chances will appear accordingly to this task. (He is not and he´ll never be Laker Shaq on Offense).
If this not the case (and both keep focused on offense) then trade Drew or Pau for an inside beast + fast pg.
The truth is Pau cannot be a D beast (annoying deffender at his best) and seems that Drew doesn't want to.

DFish,

I'm sorry if I offended your hero Lecrybaby, but I never said that Kobe doesn't do the same thing. He used to but stopped because he doesn't want to get a suspension. He'll get a T just like that from the refs. Same for Fisher. But Lecrybaby does that every time, even when he gets ALL the calls. I watch almost every Cavs game (rooting against that Lecrabwalker - I played it slo-mo and he took 4 steps!!!!!) since I have League Pass and he gets away with murder. Even DWade doesn't get the call that Lecrab gets. Look at that crybaby yelling for a foul when he got hit AFTER he shot the ball. What a crybaby. Even the announcers who love Lecrybaby were saying the refs made the right no-call.

Yeah, he made some open shots, but because the Lakers could not let him drive because he can take 4 steps and get touched and a foul is called (he got 3 and-1s. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THAT!!!!! It's totally ridiculous.

When Lecrybabycrab finishes his career with zero championships, I wonder what they'll say about him. All of that help from David Stern and zero rings!

Maybe the Lakers should have tried to get Shaq back. He played pretty well today. Totally schooled Bynum and Gasol.

''''''''''''''''''''
Andrew Bynum with four early fouls and a no show on the road against another top contender, sounds familiar. Either this player has to grow a heart or we wont be winning the title again.

Posted by: yellofever | January 21, 2010 at 07:11 PM

again that was NOT me.. idiot troll strikes again.

Maybe it wasn't you, but I agree with that statement. Bynum is not ready for prime time.

DJ85 - you're right forgot to mention if they're tied....

Thanks man MM

1st time post. Longtime Lakers fan. Lingering question I have is a "What if?" Had Kobe been 100% what could have been the outcome?

It's a shame we'll never know this Cleveland reg season series. Hopefully, might get a better determination if Kobe gets healed come playoffs.

Seriously, stop whining about the refs and LeBron. Fans around the league say the exact same things about Kobe and the Lakers. And unlike LeBron haters, they have historical evidence to prove their assertions that the refs favored the Lakers. Do any of you actually realize that the Cavs were called for more fouls than the Lakers tonight, even with the intentional fouls? You complain about the Crab Dribble rule. How about those hand check rules that make it tough to breath on Kobe near the perimeter without being called for a foul? Lakers fans have some nerve complaining about the officiating.

By the way, I've watched Kobe play many games. He's a lot more whiny about foul calls than LeBron. Unlike LeBron, however, Kobe doesn't know when to shut his trap and stop being obnoxious. LeBron also doesn't commit cheapshots the way Kobe and Fish do.

Perhaps you Lakers fans should be introduced to the saying: "People who live in glass houses should not throw stones."

Translation: Stop crying about LeBron and the refs.

Lebron has now officially passed Kobe as the best player in the NB,bar-none.Cry in your milk Kobe lovers.

No prob MM, glad you're here to take over for the KBros. I think you're doing a great job!

beatlemarc,

Good observation and keep on posting for the 2nd time. After this road trip, Kobe should rest and miss also the All Stars or if ever just a cameo appearance like when he was injured a couple of years ago. Lakers will always have a problem if Kobe is not 100% we lose the offensive advantage and his defense.

Gasol is a finesse player, we have known that a long time ago. Bynum is an all-offense player, we have known that too since the playoffs last year. Lamar is an inconsistent player, we have known that for almost 5 seasons back. Fisher is a on and off player eversince he joined the Lakers and eventually age caught up with him. Therefore, under these known facts why can't the Coach pick up the right ratchet or screw driver in his tool box. He made some decisions that were questionable....we were swept by the Cavs. The Assistant Coaches have a share to the blame, they did not prepare the players on fundamentals like free throw shooting.

My last observation for this game - Why are the Lakers wearing the gold & white uniform? isn't it when they're on the road they wear the purple and gold and the home team wears their light uniform?

What happened to Bynum's passion? Where's the fire? If you can't get up for this game, it's time to hit the road. I'm saddened by this waste of potential. Nothing you say, LakerTom, can make Bynum try harder. He's got to do that on his own.

Go Lake Show!

Maybe it wasn't you, but I agree with that statement. Bynum is not ready for prime time.
Posted by: dj855 | January 21, 2010 at 10:36 PM

i disagree.. jurys still out on bynum.. bynum was the least of our problems tonite.. i felt he showed up to play but the refs and phil totally took him out of this game.. got called for some tickytacks and tonite he actually deserved the last 5 min over gasol.. BUT PHIL NEVER ADJUSTS.. i saw fear in his eyes esp at the FT line and he just had the deer in the headlight look all nite...

dfish another 35MIN shannon 13 farmar 12... (yawn)

lecrybaby danced and pranced around some more.. wow.. this guys really has no class.. makes me sick how this spoiled little brat actually has the audacity to whine about calls... in his defense he did hit some clutch shots tonite but common when you have the refs on your side THE GAME COMES EASY.. theres no struggle no pressure.. i'd like to sick this lecrybaby play some ball when the refs are actually not on his side... that would be some sight to behold.. then he might just earn my respect.

Crybaby Basketball Fan,

I have League Pass and see every Crabs games. ABSOLUTELY NO WAY that Kobe gets the treatment Lecrybaby gets.

Yeah, it's true that David Stern handed the Lakers the Championship in 2002 by giving the Lakers game 6.

Crab dribble??!! Four steps!!!!! Four steps!!! I played it slo-mo and I have not seen something that outrageous in almost a decade, at least not from someone else. But Lecrybaby does at least 3 steps on EVERY drive, like some players carry over on almost every series.

Lebrick's problem is that he thinks and acts like he's some god but he's nothing but a big crybaby. That's the same reason why he's a Yankees fan despite growing up in Ohio. He's one of those types of people who always root for the front runners. Like the guy who used to be a fan of the Bulls in the 90s but is a Lakers fan now, who lives in Los Angeles but is a fan of the Pats in the early 2000s but is now a Colts fan.

I get the impression that Mike Brown outcoached Phil in the 2 regular season games this year. I thought that would never happen. In both games, the Cavs just seemed to know how to get inside the Laker's defense and I didn't see any adjustments from PJ. And again, in the second half, the Laker defense time and again got burned by simple screen rolls from the Cavs. On the other side of the court, the Lakers could not seem to do anything offensively other than jack up threes and long jump shots.

I think that PJ is actually so smart that he can "play dead" during the regular season, and then spring a surprise on the same opponent in the Finals. I think he did that last year with Stan Van Gundy and the Magic, especially with the defense that the Lakers so effectively put on Howard in the Finals. They didn't show their hand in the regular season games versus the Magic.

lakers better seriously hope and pray they do not face the cavs in the finals..

can you imagine?

written and directed by david stern.. lebron as protagonist, refs as his bodyguards, kobe as the main villain.

and the soundtrack:
http://tinyurl.com/yzwqzkb


Their best record is an illusion. They will flame out in the playoffs like Cleveland did last year because they have just been beating up soft teams.

Posted by: dj855 | January 21, 2010 at 10:14 PM

-

That's not accurate. Of the Lakers' 32 wins, 16 are against teams that are above .500.
-
Cleveland on the other hand: 18 of their 33 wins are against teams BELOW .500. The Cadavers and LeCrab are the ones who have been beating up soft teams.

Why is Fisher on the floor at such a crucial time. As soon as I saw his face I knew that he was going to make a stupid foul. Shouldn't someone who is quicker on D be there on defense? Someone like I don't know Shannon Brown. Phil's equation is wrong when it comes to having certain key defensive players on the floor at such a key moment in the game. I would have liked to NOT have seen Fisher at that moment, he's only there for offensive big moments not defensive (such a huge liability in my opinion). But I just don't understand. Fisher is a transition to Farmar in the future but more every day I think Farmar won't get there if he's constantly looking over his shoulder worrying about being pulled. But maybe this loss can be a good thing only if it can create a hunger for Farmar to be there in that similar a moment next time around I guess.

Tom needs to go to a Cavs blog, ASAP.


I happen to remember that last year, the lakers SWEPT the cavs, and no one declared Kobe the best in the game. If you take winning 2 games as a measuring stick for being the best, then you my friend need help. It's January, why cant you people understand this. I hope everyone realizes that we were 2 free throws away from tying the game and potentially winning. If we won, people like Tom would say how Kobe is the best and bla bla. Honestly, if we made our free throws, we coul'dve won. But you know what, it's life, and those people who are unable to understand the ups and downs of a season should really not be a fan of the game. You are embarrassing other Laker fans and myself. A loss in January really doesn't signify ANYTHING. So please, get your facts straight before you toss out unnecessary dramatic thoughts and overtones. I highly doubt any Laker player looks to you for advice.

The Snake,

The Lakers are 3-5 against the top teams of each Division. It's not much better if you add in San Antonio, Portland, Phoenix, Utah, etc. Many of those 16 wins are against opponents like Oklahoma, Houston, Memphis. They are good teams, but not quality opponents like Boston, Cleveland, etc. The first loss to Cleveland, the Lakers had been beating crappy opponents even while playing really poorly, such as a lot of 1-1 stuff, etc. They were playing much better ball the last several games even with Kobe hurt, so I was hoping that they could beat the Cavs without Mo Williams, but they choked. I think Kobe's back is still hurt. The win in Orlando was not indicative of how things will be in the Finals if the Lakers even get there. Orlando was in a slump and the Lakers were on a mini-roll.

I think Denver, with their ability to raise the intensity, will be tough to beat in the playoffs since the Lakers for some reason, just can't match the intensity.

By the way, if the Crabs 18 of 33 wins are against teams below 500, then 15 are against teams .500 or above. Conversely, half of the Lakers wins are against teams below .500. Having said that, I think the Lakers still have a higher strength of schedule than the Crabs, since the Crabs play in the Leastern Conference where only 6 teams are above .500, with two who are just barely above .500. Also, on their road trip, the Crabs barely beat the Clippers and Golden State, and lost to Utah who was without Deron Williams in the 4th.

GROW UP BYNUM, GROW UP.

We're paying you $12 million a year.

What do we get? 4 fouls and a whimper.

GROW UP BYNUM, GROW UP.

DJ, were you living under a rock during the early 2000s? If a player so much as breathed on Kobe on the perimeter he would be whistled for a foul. Kobe directly benefited from all those pathetic hand check rules designed to help offensive players long before LeBron came into the league. Let's also not forget that he's always swinging his elbows and committing cheap shots.

"The Cavs have been beating up on soft teams."

Yeah, easy for the Lakers to beat good teams when they're playing most of their games at home. You beat the Mavs on the road. I'll give you credit for that. After that, the best teams you beat on the road are the Thunder and Rockets. Pretty much every other win came at home against teams like the Hornets, Jazz, Heat (which you guys won by luck), Suns, Grizzlies, and other so-so above 500 teams. You guys did beat the Magic, Mavs, and Hawks, at home of course. When you can actually beat elite teams on the road like the Cavs while playing 25 road games so far, then you can claim that the Cavs are beating up on poor teams.

Funny how the Cavs and Celtics (and maybe Grizzlies) are the only good teams the Lakers have to play on this road trip. Their previous road trip earlier in the season featured the Jazz as the only decent team. Oh well, I guess David Stern and his corrupt cronies really intend to screw the Lakers and favor LeBron and the Cavs.

This is my last post, for I tire of arguing with Lakers fans. It's like trying to explain to a child that the world doesn't revolve around him. Good luck getting past the Nuggets!


Oh well. I guess there's always next year.

It was a good season while it lasted....wait. It's January!

Lakers are finding it difficult to match the other team's intensity this season as Champs. I've seen it before. WHEN WE WON 2 MORE CHAMPIONSHIPS WITH SHAQ!

That being said. They need to big up and get hangry (hungry and angry).

dj855 writes, "Yeah, it's true that David Stern handed the Lakers the Championship in 2002 by giving the Lakers game 6."

You're either a Laker-hater or an uninformed Laker fan. Did you see Game 5 of that Sacramento series? If not, go take a look. Shaq was fouled out on a COMPLETELY PHANTOM CALL, with 3:35 left in the fourth quarter, and the Lakers lost by ONE POINT.

Are you telling me that Shaq would not have delivered a single point in nearly 4 minutes? And believe me, the foul on Shaq was monumentally ridiculous! Watch it! And I can't help think that if the Lakers were given a more preferential treatment in Game 6, it was because they were ROYALLY screwed by the refs in Sacramento in Game 5.

The refts gave one game to the Kings and one to the Lakers, so it's even, but no, you think that Stern handed the Championship to the Lakers in 2002.


That's patently ridiculous, if not highly uninformed.

Crybaby Basketball Fan,

I never said that the Lakers have played and beaten any quality opponents this year, and I never said that Kobe didn't get star treatment in the early 2000s. He did! But the key word is that he did, but he definitely doesn't get it now. But Lecrab does.

"Oh well, I guess David Stern and his corrupt cronies really intend to screw the Lakers and favor LeBron and the Cavs."

Uh... You realize that all teams eventually play 41 home games and 41 away games. It doesn't matter how many home games the Lakers played at home so far or who they've played so far. They'll still have to play Boston 2 times. Yeah, maybe they'll lose. As you can see from my post, the Lakers don't have the intensity they had last year. And I agree if the Lakers face Denver again, I think Denver will win this time. So will Portland. And maybe even San Antonio. But the Lakers will beat Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, or Oklahoma. Utah, if everyone is health, may be tough too. If the Lakers make the Finals and Boston is healthy, the Lakers will lose. If Orlando gets hot again, the Lakers will likely lose. If they face the Crabs, they will certainly lose, unless Shaq fizzles out, which he likely will. But depending on the seeding and the health of Garnett, Mo Williams, and how Orlando is playing in the playoffs, it may even be Atlanta.

We need to dump Bynum for Bosh!! Yea - Bynum was good after he heard the trade scenario but Lakers played weak teams and at home. Now it's on the road against teams with a real center and he turns into crap. Just like Gasol. We need someone who can play without fouling and can score. Bosh!! Bosh!! Bosh!! Stop banking on Bynum's "potential". We need someone who can play now!!!

Also heard that Mitch has been marketing Luke?!?!?! Come one Mitch - package up Bynum, Farmar, Luke, Sasha, Morrison...and get us some real players!!!!

We won't repeat with the team as is. Get some help!!

AND - we cannot let crybaby get a ring. He is such an ass - I really, really ,really hate him!!!! I'd rather see the celtics win the ring than for the cavs to win it. WOW - I can't believe that I hate another team more than the celtics.

Only 1 game learn from mistake, my observation coach move in the fourth quarter, Gasol are soft going to t

One game only learn from mistake, Wrong move from coach in the 4th quarter, Gasol is soft in playing down low,James block him aND Varejao, Bynum and Pau my observation afraid to play physical with Shaq, Shaq is always block by some small physical player playing physical games with him, He's slow why bynum and pau not using their speed and strength to counter shaq?.... Counter shaq with physical play to get foul trouble...James play physical,Bynum and Gasol is more of afraid than to block the shot...This is only an observation base on what I see... thanks

LakerTruths,

Hey, I totally agree that the Lakers got robbed in game 5 in that series. Even that last second shot by Kobe, he was fouled, but no whistle. So I guess you're right, that if you count that, it's even. But game 6 was ridiculous.

I bleed Laker purple man. After Gasol got fouled with Lakers down by 2 tonight, I was in a fetal position on my cold hard floor because I knew he's brick at least one. But 2 in a row!!!

As for Shaq, his only goal in life seems to be to beat the Lakers. He has 20 crappy games where he rides the pine, scores 5 points, does nothing on defense, and then he focuses himself to play a game like this. Ugh. I'm still pissed about this loss. Will ruin my entire week until we play the Celtics.

Karl, I hate LeCrab too, but no way do I want to see the Celtics win.

This is the order of the teams that I never want to see win:
Celtics
Yankees
Patriots
Red Sox
Raiders
Crabs or any team LeCrybaby plays on unless he joins the Lakers
Notre Dame Irish
49ers

DJ855's top 5 NBA Rankings for Jan 21st
Crabs
Nuggs
Lakers
Celtics
Portland and Atlanta - tie

Okay.
Gotta write something or the bad taste in my mouth after this loss won't go away.

I am still bitter and disappointed and fully shaken by this loss.

Not because it's anything irreversible, nor because this makes me any less convinced that we are FAR superior to the Cavs (I am trying to call them with their names correct this time. It's hard but I will).

In fact I am really disappointed cos I saw that we are still superior, and I saw then how my team forgot about it, playin in a no forgiveable way (for the single game) and ultimately throwin away in major dbag style what we should just have secluded with those da*n FT.

You know that I am mourning the way Pau especially played tonight.
I am not camping excuses for him here. He played poorly and let just go too much away.
He did that.
But I know this isn't him. I know he won't play so in the Finals. He's not soft. And today he has definitely learnt the hard way that FatShaq can own him physically. So he better own him mentally next time. It's about different skills. But brain will always win over brutal force. Especially in multiple reiterated games.
I am just angry Pau - and many others - did that bad it today. Cos I swallowed my own pride along his homerun FT tonight, and I had to confront my Laker faith with all the angst our glory constantly generates in other people.
I wrote in my blog it was like Pau throwed that FT ball right into my face. Pain was just the same as he did it in real life.

The main point to me is that we allowed Cavs to play THEIR way.
They are more physical than we can achieve to be.
Is that a problem?
NO.
Because when we played our way, tonight too, we owned them completely.
We have brain. And we didn't use it all along tonight.

THIS is why we lost.
We tried to be a physical team more than a smart team. Didn't work today. It won't work tomorrow.

I am not convinced of the reasons for we decided to play the thug card tonight.
That fuzzy, dizzy way we played with in the fourth is out of my reach. I kept asking myself WHY?
I tried to watch and see what the Cavs were doing on our players. Maybe some provocative moves (and in any case, those are part of the game still, so we better don't be childlike and accept them and moreover... move away from them)?
Maybe some lacking of breath, and consequent unclear mind to keep our act together straight?
For how awful referees might have been, I repeat: we can't count on them. We just have to go on even if they are not calloing right on us. That won't change. But we are a team made of so much talent we have to be STRONGER than that. Not physically. Mentally. That would have helped us in remaining balanced and avoid insane play at more than one point during this game.

I don't know. We will figure it out what made us underachievers tonight. It was not what Cavs did. They are always the same, I have seen many of their games this year. I knew they would have put on a strong second half. To be honest, I expectedthem did more on that side. They were far from mindblowing even at their best. It's just a physical Chinese Wall that they put up. Sure it might be concerning. BUt I don't know how much they will sustain this till the end of June. And on multiple games one after the other. I am rather convinced they won't. And then all of our upposed physical advantage will fade away.

If I have to see and compare, we played way better than on Xmas. Which is what I wanted to see.
If those FT would have gone right where they had to, we would have taken this home. No doubt there at all.
So in many ways we stepped up against Cavs compared to the appalling Xmas.

But this certainty only makes the loss more painful. Cos we didn't provide nor team effort nor brain nor pride when it was more needed.

This is something we have to work on.

Trades... I don't really see need for that.

If we want a physical team, and to cheer about a physical team... well I fear we have to turn our necks elsewhere cos we are not a physical team primarly. I don't want a physical team either. I want my team to play the way it can play, and not letting go.

To have Artest doesn't mean we are physical. It just means we can get MORE physical. But when we pay out our reasoning on court in favour of ohysical play... those are not Lakers playing. Hence we won't see Lakers winning.

This loss hurts, but it's hella useful again.
I am not scared of Cavs.
Not a single bit.
I am scared of us and the way we switch off at times.

We wanted to win (wow... PJ truly showed that clearly at some point...). And we failed. This has to glue the team together, and no way it has to be a reason to drift apart.

It's January.
I see two more losses in this trip.

Of course I will be happier if they don't come.
But I am no dramatizing. There's no need and moreover it won'tbring us anywhere.

Players who did not do what they had to today (fairly anyone beside Kobe) will definitely bash their own self enough to be more than ready when /if we meet Cavs again when it matters.

And there we will have to oppose style play to force play.
It's about that.
I am confident our style will prevail.
It would have today as well, if only my beloved Pau didn't play the last quarter like he did.

But it can happen. It's sport. It happens.

Let's make a rose blossom out from this muck we have been struck into tonight.

The most beautiful roses come actually out from the stinkier of it.

Have all a safe night. Tomorrow is another day. And we gotta play like this loss is part of a remote past.

With all my Laker heart... go Lakers. It's all part of the way.

Let me start by saying that i was very dissapointed in seeing the lakers lose to the Cavs. At first it seemed like the Lakers were gonna win it in the first quarter. i was blaming odom for not guarding lebronze closer, jackson for holding kobe on the bench longer,kobe for trying to outshoot and to out performed lebronze; and gasol choking on the free throws(again).
but come to think of it Cavs didnt win it; lakers lost it. and that tells me if it came to the finals Lakers will win. what happened last time lebronze was there; he was swept. at least kobe's team wins one game or wins it all, lol. but he won't lose to lebronze and especially to shaq which i can bet he won't be healthy enough to play in the series.
it seems harsh, the criticism of bynum in not being able to stop or slow shaq. tell me one player that was able to do it in the past 16 or so seasons that shaq has played, well besides flopping? NONE. our team is doing good, despite the loss the bench showed up and actually kept us tied in the game. WE LOSS cause gasol missed 2 free throws; dude miss one and i know down deep kobe would of made the game tying/winning shot at the buzzer. ask lebronze how many does he have that dont include regular season?

We don't need trades, all we need is consistency. Last time the lake show lost games that were questionable to their title run, what happened? we went on to win the championship on the best record in the playoffs; 15-1

it's funny how anytime the Lakers are defeated by any other team in the league it makes big news on espn and on espn.com.

Oh my God...there is nothing worse to go to bed than a loss like that. I couldn't sleep!

There are two things we already know about our Lakers: When Kobe attempts +-30 shots the Lakers are likely to lose not only because he doesn't hit at least 50% of those but also because the rest of the team enters the spectator mode. That is not Kobe's fault alone but we know that very few teammates at the Lakers can stop Kobe from doing his thing. The second thing we all know is that when we don't have a good ball distribution and play inside-out feeing our post players we are also likely to lose.

Then we have Pau's awful performance (specially in the last quarter).
During the game he made bad decisions and took unnecessary fouls ; he also hesisated a couple of times when he had wide open shots. Thats something that I see as an accident.
When it came to the last quarter I had a flashback and saw that Pau Gasol from the finals against the Celtics in 2008. I think last night most of us had that common feeling with Pau Gasol that is like a hearthbreaker. That dissapointed "Come on Pau!" Scared of being blocked and missing shots that bounce at the front rim, taking rebounds under the basket and not being able to define twice, being boxed out by Varejao on the rebound of LBJ's missed free throw and then committing the frustated fault.
Yes, he also missed two key free throws but we already know he is not a clutch player and feels the pressure highly. I don't know how you train to become a cold blooded clutch player.

By the way, I have that feeling that make me hate Lebron more than any other player right now and this unfortunately means that the guy is doing very well.

We need to start taking the Cavs seriously. They won at the Staples with a huge Jamario Moon and a huge Mo Willians. Both were out last night but the Cavs still showed a pretty good team. We got 4 stars in the lineup but we are not playing as a team and that could lead to another 2004 fiasco.

If the Lakers can get Bosh for Bynum, they need to pull the trigger. Kobe is not getting any younger and the window of opportunity is closing. Bynum may eventually become a star, but he has a long way to go. He can score fairly consistently, but his defense is still poor. Not only did the 112 years old Shaq score at will, but he shut him down on offense as well. Bynum was completely intimidated, it was truly a pathetic effort. Bosh is a warrior. He has a great stroke, is a good defender and rebounder, finishes strong around the hoop, and is a deserving all star. We won the title last year with no help from Bynum, and with Bosh we should repeat. I hate to say it, but I do not think we can beat Cleveland or a healthy Boston with this roster. We may not even get past Denver. The front court is soft ( Gasol ), erratic and underachieving ( Odom ) and lazy ( Bynum ). Bosh would change that and make us the team to beat. Get it done if possible Mr. Kupchak, Please, before it is too late.

THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST


Once upon a time there were two great mid 80’s teams called the Houston Rockets and the Boston Celtics.
Houston Rockets had a twin tower couple whose names were Hakeem and Ralph. One of them was an inside beast and the other was a finesse and smart player. For 3 years they both were healthy and they scared the whole NBA even reaching the finals in their second year together (burning our legendary ’86 Lakers in five on the Conference Finals). Then tragedy took over and Sampson got seriously injured.
Boston Celtics had a twin tower couple whose names were Robert and Kevin. One of them as a veteran inside beast and other was the most lethal post player in the last 30 years but never averaged more than 9 rebounds per game in his whole hall of famer career. For the whole 80’s decade they scared the whole NBA, winning 3 nba finals and bringing several nightmares to our fan community back then.
Some years later something happened in San Antonio and Detroit that we all know for sure (Twin Peaks and The Wall Aces).
Even Boston was capable to assemble a great couple recently (and unfortunately) with KG and KP.

Once upon a time there were two big men called Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. Andrew was supossed to be the next big scary thing since Dwight Howard …. the BEAST.
Pau was signed to bring Post scoring and passing for the Lakers to become a contender again, he was supossed to be as he has been since he was 18 years old and played small forward in Barcelona… finesse , great fundamentals, a great scorer with high basketball IQ …. The BEAUTY.

¡¡ what an amazing couple !! eeeer ¡¡ NO !!

Bynum started to look himself in the mirror asking who was the prettiest of the two , I am …I am …he repeated, I’m the Prince of Bel Air,…I’ve been at the Playboy Mansion !!!! I don’t want to be ugly like Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace , I am a dancer on the paint ¡¡ Kareem told me !!,I am the future of the franchise ¡¡Mr. Buss told me !! Angeline Jolie ? no way man, no way, I’M THE REAL BEAUTY….. OF TORONTO.

One day the Lakers traded Drew to the Raptors for Chris Bosh, and Drew played happily ever after with Andrea Bargnanii. They were both seven footers and they were known all around the world as … The Brokeback Mountain Dudes.

Meanwhile Frodo Bryant, with Gasol and Bosh on his team, won so many rings that he was putting a couple of them on his toes …repeating to himself with a big smile on his face … ¡ oh lord ! … ¡ Kwame and Drew ! … god bless them.

IT'S TIME FOR BYNUM TO BE ON THE SECOND UNIT. PERHAPS THAT WILL HELP WITH WHATEVER IS WRONG WITH HIM.

IT'S ALSO TIME FOR KOBE FIX HIS FINGER, THIS IS NOT HIS PINKY.

PERHAPS THE TEAM WILL BE BETTER OFF IN THE LONG RUN WITH KOBE GETTING REST.

Lebron has now officially passed Kobe as the best player in the NB,bar-none.Cry in your milk Kobe lovers.

Posted by: Tom | January 21, 2010 at 11:01 PM


whatever. there's still the fact that one is playing with two broken finger, the other isn't.
Lebron was great, but Kobe didn't lose this game. Pau and Drew and Lamar etc did.

With 24 seconds to go in the 4th and down by 2, why didn't we play for a stop? Why did we decide to put them on the line that early? That was a strange, and cowardly move by PJ. It just gave the Cavs 2 free points and made it a two possession game! WHY PJ? WHY?

GOOOooooOOOO LAKERS !!!!

The Lakers don't have "it" this year.....no fire.....not hungry.....and I'm disappointed.....

http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-lakers-cavaliers22-2010jan22,0,5667256.story

Kobe Bryant officially suggests what I've been saying about the Laker front line of Pau/Bynum since last year; they're mentally and physically soft, and ineffective, championship-wise, in their current state.

I have said countless times that our front line cannot sustain effective play against physical (thug) teams, such as Denver, Boston, and others. I've said that Pau is great so long as he's not challenged with tough, stressful events. And I've said that I don't know who's softer between Pau and Bynum. I've said that Bynum is a complete waste of a Laker paycheck because he only focuses on trying to score points, which we don't need him for. And again, I've said that our frontline will not propel us to win another championship.

No more controversy about this; no more debating. Both Kobe and Phil have indirectly suggested what I've posted about at various times, and most non-biased Laker fans see the exact same thing. I will not waiver with my opinion. Thanks Kobe.

For those of us who've shared these opinions of the soft and weak tandum of Pau/Bynum-- we've been vindicated.

Real simple the Cavs are better than our Lakes. Regular season anyway...............

POLL QUESTION: Even if we win the next 7, does this mean nearly nothing since we can't seem to pass Cleveland?

ANSWER: We can beat Cleveland, we have not yet, but we can! So don't cry, that was a close game, we can figure them out in 7 and beat them.

PS, What was PJ thinking when down by two with 24 secs left in the game he decided to go into fouling to put them on a line mode?

GOOooooOOOOO LAKERS !!!

As a Laker fan and Kobe fan I must say they were outplayed down the stretch. Let's not talk about the refs or anything Laker fans. We have to be real with ourselves. The bigs got out played on Thursday and LeBron right now is front runner for MVP hands down. The Lakers have to re-group as a team and learn to execute more consistently through the course of a ball game and play more aggressive when need be.

As fans you gotta shake off the lost which I know is hard and move on to the next. Lakers have some issues on both sides of the ball that they need to figure out and luckily the season isn't over. I still think Kobe is the best but Thursday night LeBron was better. Now the whole rapping on the sideline and shaking his jersey I didn't like but its part of competing. I think will get the last laugh Lakerland!! At any rate I know its frustrating to watch because these bad habits can come back to bight you in the playoffs. We just have to trust they can move through it and use this loss as a tool to get better from here on out.

I would trade Bynum for Bosh in a heartbeat.

Bosh is a more complete player and more versatile player. He is the only 20 and 10 player in the NBA, has a more consistent jump shot, can shoot the three, plays better one on one defense, and it only 3 years older than Drew.

Trade Andrew Bynum.

Yeah, everyone's bummed about the loss, including me. Our weaknesses were obvious, so no need to pile on.

But I must say that in an objective assessment of the Cavs, you have to give them credit. LeBron played under control, within their system (Kobe didn't). They had great ball movement and team movement (wesure didn't). And their big men played with great intensity and urgency (ours??? not so much...OK, not at all). We can whine about bad calls (plenty of them). We can beat up on Bynum (deserves it). But the ugly truth is, the Cavs played better in every way than we did. Learn from it. Fix it. Be ready next time.

One more thing. I've got to say that the Cav's move to get Shaq was brilliant. Really brilliant. Everybody (including me) thought he was washed up and would break down before the season was half over. But he played a very solid game. More importantly, he totally intimidated, bullied, and completely neutralized BOTH Bynum and Gasol. The trade to get Shaq was made for one and only one reason: to beat the Lakers, nobody else. And it worked, and I hate to say it, but it would also work in the playoffs too. He's still got enough moves and enough juice left to do it for one more playoff series. Our only chance, in my view, isn't Bynum for Bosh (Shaq would squash him too), but to get a premier PG (like Deron Willians) and run high screen-rolls on Shaq all night long (like Stockton/Malone did even in Shaq's prime. We will NOT beat this team with our current PG's.

dj855,

"Crab dribble??!! Four steps!!!!! Four steps!!! I played it slo-mo and I have not seen something that outrageous in almost a decade, at least not from someone else."

As you may know, I am interned in Northeast Ohio and as part of my punishment I am forced to watch more Cavs games than any healthy Lakers fan should ever have to watch.

I will back up your statement with another one: LeBron James travels more than any other player I have seen in my life and he is very rarely called for it.

Ohio is filled with LeBroniacs. It's cultlike. That much said, if you challenge a LeBroniac with LeBron's pathalogical traveling, they will simply chuckle and respond with a slim, knowing smile.

It's so bad that I've heard weathermen on local news make fun of how much LeBron travels. It's an open secret.

The problem is "the chosen one (by David Stern)" has ALWAYS been allowed to get away with it and so he continutes to get away with it.

If he was forced to follow the rules, as most players are, he would have to change his whole game. Watch closely. Most players aren't willing to take a charge from LeBron because he has so much momentum going to the basket BECAUSE HE'S NOT DRIBBLING, HE'S RUNNING WITH THE BALL LIKE A FULLBACK FOR THREE OR FOUR STEPS!!!

If he was forced to follow regular rules, people would take the charge and he'd have to alter his game.

Problem is that it's not going to happen. David Stern has tampered with the game too much.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

>>>All that screaming at the refs and not one T?

I have to agree with DFish on this point. Kobe has been t'd up MANY times for half as much lip as LeBron was giving the refs. The one positive was that several times the TV commentators went back and reviewed the play and confirmed the that refs made a good call and that LeBron was whining about nothing.

And Lamar DESERVED a foul for running away. What he needs to do is FOUL LeBron, not give up the layup, and force him to shoot free throws. In the last half of the fourth quarter of games, neither Shaq nor LeBron should be allowed to get a shot above their shoulders. They're both notorious chokers at the free throw line late in games... (but then, now Pau might get that rep as well)

Does anyone else on here ever catch the cameras with LeBron literally gawking and staring at Kobe especially when someone is shooting free throws..if he is anywhere near he is staring at him, not like, hey I want to make sure you don't move up and get a rebound off a free throw miss, but a "beyotch" typa look -- like chicks look at females they envy...that kinda look...I mean he is checking Kobe out from head to toe and back up and down again...

Weird!

Last year we were 0-2 against Orlando.

"With 24 seconds to go in the 4th and down by 2, why didn't we play for a stop?"

JohnnyP, you're joking, right?

dj855,

Just curious, what are your NFL and NCAA football teams??

dan

AXLE, Trading Bynum for Bosh would be a mistake. It may be good now, but you would regret it later.

UMMMMM, Johnny P,
"With 24 seconds to go in the 4th and down by 2, why didn't we play for a stop?"

A little thing called: THE 24 SECOND SHOT CLOCK!!!!!!

If we would have played for the stop the Cavs would have just let the clock wind down.


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