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Lakers have mixed record in securing close games

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With the Lakers facing a far from certain outcome with four minutes and 39 seconds remaining last week to Golden State, a member of the Lakers coaching staff approached Coach Phil Jackson and offered him this statistic.

"The difference between the teams that win and lose in this period of time -- this is significant -- there's a stat that says 75% of NBA games are decided within the last four minutes of a game," Jackson said following the Lakers' 104-94 victory over the Warriors. "That tells you something about the closeness in games in the NBA. Teams that win know how to defend at the end and know how to execute at the offensive end at the end of games."

The outcome was far from pretty, with the Lakers tied, 89-89, with 4:39 against a not-so threatening team. But the Lakers prevailed by going on a 15-5 run and holding Golden State to two of nine shooting the rest of the way. Having to make the difference in the game's final minutes is certainly nothing foreign to the Lakers (42-14). 

Consider their record during close games. The Lakers are 4-0 in overtime, 8-3 in games decided by three or fewer points, 3-1 in games decided by four to six points and 6-2 in games decided by seven and nine points. One of those games included a 95-93 loss Feb. 1 to the Memphis Grizzlies, who the Lakers play Tuesday night. For better or worse, those outcomes have often come down to late-game plays. 

Game Winners

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has taken care of that responsibility, netting five game-winning shots this season. The most recent one came in the Lakers' 90-89 victory Jan. 31 over the Boston Celtics, where Bryant drove left,stopped at the free-throw line, pump faked and then swished a fall-away jumper over Boston guard Ray Allen with 7.3 seconds remaining.

Bryant also bailed the Lakers out in a 100-95 victory Jan. 13 against the Dallas Mavericks, in a 109-108 victory Jan. 1 against Sacramento, in a 108-107 overtime win Dec. 16 at Milwaukee and a 108-107 win Dec. 4 against Miami. 

Against Dallas, Bryant dribbled past guard Josh Howard and pulled up for a 19-foot jumper, giving the Lakers a 97-95 lead with 28.9 seconds remaining. Against Sacramento, after making contact with Kings guard Sergio Rodriguez, who slipped and fell, Bryant took a wide-open pass from Pau Gasol in the left corner. The shot swished in as time expired. Against Milwaukee, Bryant drilled a 15-footer over Andrew Bogut as time expired. And against Miami, Bryant banked in a fall-away 27-foot shot from the top of the key as time expired.

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These final shots haven't always worked out in the Lakers' favor, however. In a 106-105 loss on Jan. 24 to the Toronto Raptors, the Lakers had only 1.2 seconds remaining to get a shot off. Luke Walton's inbounds pass went slightly out of Bryant's reach, but Bryant got the ball and then pulled up for a fall-away three-pointer that ultimately rimmed out. In a 95-93 loss Feb. 1 to Memphis, the last 21 seconds didn't go exactly as planned. Bryant brought the ball up the court, Gasol ran a screen and roll at the top of the key, O.J. Mayo and Marc Gasol effectively switched and Bryant had nothing open with three seconds remaining. He passed to Ron Artest in the near corner for a three-point attempt, but the shot went off the rim as time expired. And in an 87-86 loss last week to the Boston Celtics, Derek Fisher was forced to muster an off-balance 21-foot shot with only 2.2 seconds remaining. But it resulted in an airball.

Late-game lapses versus Big Plays.

Though a final shot can ultimately determine a victory, it's not the leading indicator for what leads to a loss. The Lakers found that out the hard way during their eight-game trip in January with late-game losses to Cleveland, Toronto and Memphis.

In a 93-87 loss Jan. 21 to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Pau Gasol's two missed free throws that could've tied the game with 24 seconds remaining proved costly. In the Lakers' loss to the Raptors, it appeared numerous times that the Lakers could pull away. They had a 14-5 advantage with 5:07 remaining in the first quarter but Toronto fought back to trail, 24-21. The Lakers built a 48-40 lead with 3:31 remaining in the first half, but the Raptors cut the lead by halftime to 56-54. The loss became more frustrating for the Lakers since it was essentially decided on a controversial foul called on Gasol against Hedo Turkoglu, marking the first time in the season that the Lakers lost in a game decided by three points or fewer. And against Memphis, the final minutes accurately reflected the Lakers' overall sluggish play. Lamar Odom missed a layup, Bryant missed a three-pointer and Odom was called for a foul on Zach Randolph. Bryant answered Randolph's two free throws with a trey. He answered Rudy Gay's three with a three of his own to make it 95-93. But he didn't answer on the final play.

Shannon Brown 6

Jackson mentioned in the video above the need to make a defensive stand, and he used an interesting example to illustrate that. After Paul Pierce missed a layup with 5.8 seconds remaining last week, Odom was in the position to score a fast-break layup. But he missed the layup, a shot that would've been nullified anyway because a timeout was called with 2.2 seconds remaining, something the Lakers say they called immediately after the miss. Let's not forget the Lakers wouldn't have been in that position had they mustered more than a field goal in the final 7:14.

There are other examples of those type of stops benefiting the Lakers, however. The Lakers appeared sluggish in a 99-97 victory Feb. 3 against Charlotte, an outcome that wasn't safe until Lakers guard Jordan Farmar deflected an inbound pass from Stephen Jackson with 7.9 seconds remaining, resulting in a Farmar dunk off Gasol's pass for the eventual victory. Fisher made a similar effort with a late-game steal in the Lakers' 103-102 overtime victory Nov. 5 against Houston.

In the Lakers' win at Boston, Artest made some big plays in the final minute. After Bryant kicked the ball out to Artest in the far corner behind the three-point line, Artest drove past Kevin Garnett, brushed off Pierce's help defense and Kendrick Perkins' double team and made a four-foot runner. It cut the Celtics' lead to 89-88 with 45 seconds remaining. Moments later, Artest fought through Allen's screen at the top of the key and locked down on Pierce. As he tried going in for a pull-up jumper, Pierce tugged at Artest's jersey and was called for an offensive foul with 27 seconds left, setting up Bryant's game winner.

And in a 98-92 victory Jan. 19 against the Orlando Magic, Shannon Brown's 22 points and Farmar's nine of 11 points in the fourth quarter proved instrumental in the Lakers' putting together 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. That was a role usually reserved for Bryant, who led fourth-quarter charges in the Lakers' 101-98 overtime victory Nov. 4 against Oklahoma City and against Milwaukee where he made the game winner.

What this means

Pay attention to the number of variables Bryant, Jackson and Gasol rattle off after I asked them the keys to executing in close-game situations. Bryant ticked off open looks, high percentage shots and defensive stops. Jackson and Gasol also cited defensive stands as a main component. And Gasol added making the right pass.

Those are many areas that can define breaks in a game. And when a contest comes down to a last shot or a few possessions, sharpening on all those factors becomes a necessity to secure a win.

--Mark Medina

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

Photo: Lakers forward Pau Gasol heads off the court while Memphis big men Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph celebrate their 95-93 victory over L.A. on Monday night. Credit: Mark Weber / Associated Press.

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who made only eight of 20 shots and two of his four free throws, is forced into a difficult shot by Boston forward Glen Davis (11) and guard Ray Allen (20) during Sunday's game. Credit: Jim Rogash/Getty Images.

Photo: Lakers guard Shannon Brown, who had a career-high 27 points against Golden State on Tuesday night, splits the defense of the Warriors' Anthony Morrow, left, and Devean George in the first half. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times.

 
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FCM- well researched, good points. Bit longish for my attention- impaired self today, but most days i would appreciate the extra information and attention to detail.


Well, I’m tryin.

‘Kobe’s back in Town’

Sing along to the tune of Tin Lizzy’s ‘the Boys are back in town’ (very original, I know)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ham6vFy8v2I


Guess who’s comin’ back today?
That Mamba dude that’s been away
He thinks he’s better, he thinks he can play
But man, I hope the team is ready

They were ballin , passing the ball around
Played some smart defense, locked some players down
They did miss a bit when they shot from downtown
Overall, they’ve been pretty steady

But Kobe’s back in town
I said
Kobe’s back in town
Kobe’s back in town
Kobe’s back in town
Kobe’s back in town
Kobe’s back in town
Kobe’s back in town

You know that Ray Allen got to shoot a lot
On that night when we let Boston on our lot
Some guys went nuts, said some of our guys should be benched
Overall, ‘Dom stepped up and Fish got fed,

He did alright. Those games in p town, san antone,utah’s place
Youtube stepped up, he really set the pace
He was shooting so well, he could hardly feel his face
Andre Miller had to go home to get his teddy.

But Kobe’s back in town
I said
Kobe’s back in town
Kobe’s back in town
Kobe’s back in town
Kobe’s back in town
Kobe’s back in town
Kobe’s back in town

phred’s passing the word around
Guess who’s back in town
Y’all spread the word around


Tuesday night we’ll shoot to kill
Down where Elvis overdid his pills
We just hope and pray Drew won’t take a spill
And something something rhymes with ‘ready’

Cause it was on short notice that phred wrote this song
But he’s been working, it’s been kinda long
He’ll practice more, he’ll get off his butt
Now that he knows who won’t be cut

But Kobe’s back in town
I said
Kobe’s back in town
Kobe’s back in town
Kobe’s back in town
Kobe’s back in town
Kobe’s back in town
Kobe’s back in town
i said

phred’ll throw the words down

Kobe’s back in town
Kobe’s back in town

(yadda yadda, Mamba’s baaaack)

He’ll be playing down in Memphis…
Cause Kobe’s back in town.

Couple of things I wanted to say

1- Re, but not necessarily directed at, Rick, FCM- Pau knows how the message game works. I get that he is saying that he wants his share, and I don’t think Kobe is going to get his armband in a bunch about it. Off course, I actually think that while I think that particularly in the Portland and San Antonio games that Fish actually fed Pau pretty well ( i think), ultimately how many touches Pau gets will come down to how well Pau and Drew can pass.

1.5 - You guys know what I like to see? I like to see any post player, be it Pau, Drew, Lamar or Kobe, get the pass, work themselves closer to the basket, and then IF THEY ARE DOUBLE TEAMED, PASS THE FREAKIN BALL! Then you know what I like? After they pass the ball, they work inside again and see if they can get open, cause the defense had to adjust to cover the open man. AND THEN IF THEY ARE, THEY WILL GET THE BALL PASSED BACK TO THEM! Crazy, but it has been known to work

2- Re, Hollinger article and comments about team’s strength with and without Kobe- good points from Hollinger, for once. I definitely think that our defense was a bit improved without Kobe, and I think that that is for one reason- Kobe hasn’t been playing very good defense since his finger and his ankle have been hurt. No real mystery there. It’s still contingent upon Kobe to understand when he is hurting or helping the team, cause there is no question, if he is healthy, they are better.


3- The endless Farmar/Fisher debate- I think Farmar has been playing better. He is now in my opinion definitely getting close to the ‘mediocre starting pg’ range. If I had to rank both of them just in pure talent terms, I think Farmar has passed Fisher AT THIS POINT, NOT PERMANENTLY, don't get carried away, y'all. We’ll have to see about that. There are a couple of things that Fish still does better, though- understand the triangle, and play team defense. Not always, but in general he still has those advantages, which I would argue are pretty dang important to this team.


Another comment-

Man, the *&^% Peter Vecsey has to say to get attention nowadays.

Puddle- interesting trade scenario. I think there are a lot of things, like Peja’s contract, that are going to be interesting factors in trades once all the FA crap winds down after this summer and/if they significantly change either the cba or luxury cap. All the guys in the media are going to have to throw out all the stuff they’ve been reprinting about trades and salary for the last two or three years and start over again. Should be interesting.

finally- i love that the spell checker on microsoft word has no problems with the word 'y'all' Not sure what this says about anything, but there y'all go.

THE LOVE NEVER LEFT TOWN

THE LOVE IS STILL AROUND

AND THE LOVE REMEMBERS THE TIME DOWN AT DINO'S PLACE IT SLAPPED JOHNNY'S FACE...OH MAN, YA DA DUM DE DUM DE DUM DUM....

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE LOVE

GO LAKERS!

Kobe's refreshed, but so am I. Expect an intense and sustained blog attack on any Laker who doesn't prove himself from this point on. Pau and Fish, you're on notice.

Aztronut,

you wrote: It’s always easier to create your own strawman and beat on that with a stick, instead of actually addressing logically valid points raised by others. The strawman fallacy is a well know tactic, a textbook method of intellectual dishonesty which invalidates even true arguments.

my response: I like this. I respect this. What were your thoughts when I
posted the *second* kevin ding article which had direct quotes from PJ
on Gasol being soft & weak?

you also wrote: I don’t know about you, but I’ve never claimed that Bynum is a better player than Gasol, although I do expect him to be eventually.

my response: Bynum Tom has *never* used the words that Bynum is
better than Pau. He has clearly stated the following:

1. Bynum is a beast.
2. We should spoon feed him on offense to keep him interested in defense.

Two serious questions for you.

1. How do you define "better"?
2. Why do you believe that Bynum will be better?

To qualify my questions:

It is a fact that Pau has played more basketball than Bynum. It is obvious
that Pau is better defensively, offensively, has a higher BB IQ by looking at
his passing, his use of the off hand in the low post, & his ability to play C/PF.
In the above sentence, the use of the word "better" is related to physical skill.

FYI, I think this:

Tweedle Dum on his burro. The Dynamic Duet. Prevaricators and stat cherry pickers with a single minded objective to misrepresent and misinform.

was pointed at KB Blitz & I. I find it amusing in a way. You have two people
who post stats and quote articles and give evidence to support their view.
This is compared with someone who, as a general rule, uses no verifiable
information to support his claims. When his claims are intellectually
challenged he does not support them, but instead resorts to name calling.

prevaricator - a person who has lied or who lies repeatedly - Bynum is a
beast.

KOBEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!

LTLF and KB Blitz -

My take on the Farmar vs. Fisher debate:

Farmar is a +.4 in production. Fisher is a -9.1. Farmar's simple rating is -1.0. Fisher's is -3.2. (82games.com)

Farmar has a PER of 13.20. Fisher a PER of 9.12. (espn.com)

Farmar has a 1 year adjusted +/- of -1.61. Fisher has a 1 year adjusted +/- of -3.86. (basketballvalue.com)

Farmar has .056 WP48. Fisher has .004 WP48. (wagesofwins.com)

Farmar has a regularized adjusted plus/minus of -3.15. Fisher has a RAPM of 1.52. (hoopsnumbers.com)

Basically, every advanced statistic except one (RAPM) shows Farmar to be the superior player. And my eyes tell me that Farmar is the FAR superior player. Does he make frustrating decisions? Yes. Does he sometimes break the offense for his own? Yes. But he's a better shooter, finisher, creator and yes, defender, than Fisher is at this point in his career. I don't think Farmar should be starting, and I think Fisher has proven himself enough to be counted on at the end of games, but I think Farmar has earned more minutes throughout the course of the game than Fisher has at this point.

Ok, I’ve had this song stuck in my head for a couple of days, and I had another player to check off the list. I’m invoking some irony and poetic license a bit with the allusion, though, I think.

Adam Morrison in ‘Guard Without a Place (Un jouer sans un place)”

To the tune of Billy Idol’s “Eyes Without a Face (Les yeux sans visage)”

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

I’m all out of hope
One more bad game could end it all
I don’t feel at home
Playin in this dome
I feel so alone
It’s easy to get benched
It’s easy to get sat
But it’s hard to get some minutes

Un jouer sans un place; a guard without a place
Un jouer sans un place; a guard without a place
Un jouer sans un place; a guard without a place
Got no minutes in this place, I’m a guard without a place

I spend so much time at practice
But I’m afraid the fact is
I can’t keep my career alive
Now it makes me cry
Like that game in the tourney
When we lost to UCLA

Un jouer sans un place; a guard without a place
Un jouer sans un place; a guard without a place
Un jouer sans un place; a guard without a place
Got no minutes in this place, I’m a guard without a place


Can I make a shot? Can I make a bank?
When Kobe comes back I’m gonna get the yank
Steal the ball, try for the fastbreak, ooh, the turnover, fool

Hangin out in the trainers room
Tryin to shake off this sense of gloom
Cutting my hair
In the back of the bus, on the road trip
Got these funny hairs, all over my lip
I’m trying to fit in so I
Pass the ball
Pass the ball
Pass the ball

Now I close my eyes
And I wonder why
I can’t shoot straight
I cash my checks,
I wait out my contract
It’s a miracle girls still
Like to talk to me

Un jouer sans un place; a guard without a place
Un jouer sans un place; a guard without a place
Un jouer sans un place; a guard without a place
Got no minutes in this place, I’m a guard without a place
And now it’s getting worse.

would you guys believe i spent like two hours on 'kobe's back in town' and about 15 minutes on this one? i think there is definitely an advantage to using a better song.

Oh, and MM, great post. Fun read.

It's time!


It is time for Kobe to show his leadership skills. Shoot the ball Kob, shoot it, shoot it , shoot it!!!


As they say it is what it is, A MAMBA SHOW!


Team and the Lakers come second. First the Mamba.


Where is Magic Johnson when you needed one?

phred,

y'all is a southern thing.

This will be a perfect time to make changes in the starting PG position.


I recommend Jordan Farmar to start and play starter minutes.


Now!

"It's the ONLY example in the last 2 seasons of a game where Jordan started the game, played started level minutes (>30), and played mostly with the starters. "

LTLF,

Yes again that is the *ONLY* example. Yet you do the fallacy of showing that because of Game 3 Jordan Farmar is very capable of defending Brooks or becoming a very good starting PG.

Again: Jordan Farmar hasn't proven OFF THE BENCH that he should/is capable of handling the starting duties full time.

Remember Luke Walton example? Remeber in 05-06 that he grabbed the starting job off of Cookie? Luke is by no means the most athletic or awesomeness of all the Lakers but his play off the bench earned him more time and as a result Phil gave him the SF slot and having Odom go to PF.

Had Jordan Farmar *consistently* produced those numbers off the bench let me say it again->He would earn more minutes->More minutes should mean better consistent production->Better production means more than likely he should start and is proven capable of a starting gig. Same thing about Andrew Bynum in 07-08. He was outplaying KWAMAY Brown and while he got the starting gig only because Brown went down Bynum kept his starting gig even when KWAMAY came back from injury because Bynum was playing *better* than Brown.

And you complain how Jordan gets yanked? Well maybe if he wasn't playing one on one and going outside the offense he wouldn't be yanked (and there were times he wasn't because he was playing within the offense). Kobe can get away with it because simply he can do better one on one than Jordan Farmar could do!

Jordan at the moment is shooting better than D-Fish. But ball handling wise the fact remains that Fish is simply doing a slightly better job than Farmar who is just more flashier than Fish is.

Start Brown, Farmar and Odom.

Bryant, Fisher and Bynum comes off the bench.

I have found the solution on how to strengthen the bench of the Lakers.


Keep the winning five together and let them start.


The 2nd best player in the world KObe B comes off the bench, the young beast Bynum comes off the bench, and the veteran leader and Mr clutch DFish comes off the bench.

Puddle,

I think Jordan (while I think playing for his contract is a factor) has done enough to possibly stay for the Lakers (though we know what happened to Sasha). And yes skill wise Jordan has always been better than Fish even if I put Fish's prime against Jordan. The thing is Jordan is more suited for an offense where he has the keys more than Derek even has at the time being. Jordan isn't as bad as Bynum is when he comes to defense...I mean he can play it better even without offense but neither Fisher or Farmar are great defenders...Farmar maybe better at steals though Fish has a better edge in taking charge or even flopping.

The thing that I think is holding Jordan back from being a good PG in this offense is that he feels he must be ball dominant. I mean I know he can be the more spot up shooter style that Fish is seen as I just think he doesn't really prefer that role as much and prefers to dribble penetrate more often. Until Jordan shows that he can be a better capable ball handler for the offense instead of simply putting better production than Fish then he should remain as a good back up guard. If he did what I said he should be starting but the fact that Fish remains starting is a testiment as to how Fisher remains the better PG for Kobe Bryant.

Staples 24, Don't you mean it's the BYNUM show first then the Lakers show?

Kobe is back!!! Glad to see him play again. Go Lakers!!!

Let's see who will have touches. Nobody on the Lakers team can go to media and complain about Kobe, touches, running offense etc. These players should talk among themselves in the locker room, I don't care if they punch each other in the process, the fans do not need to know. If some players are not happy, they can always demand a trade next season. As Edwin Gueco said before, it is a great honor to wear the Purple and Gold.

With that, I hope all is well within the team. In order to three-peat, everybody should be on the same page.

BLITZ… “Still with the childish name calling?” You can earn back my respect by stopping your outlandish exaggerations and outright lies about what my position is with respect to Andrew Bynum. Until you do that, I have no respect whatsoever for your posts and opinions. It’s fine to have disagreements but you have even admitted that the purpose of your posts is to irritate me. If you want to start fresh without the prevarication and antagonism, I would more than happy to do so. I for one would like to see this type of crap stop but I will not sit back and allow you and your buddy to distort and lie about what I have said and what I believe about Andrew, his potential, and his value to the Lakers. The ball is in your court as it has always been…
- - - - - - -
TOM

Mamba24, see below...

phred: "The endless Farmar/Fisher debate- I think Farmar has been playing better. He is now in my opinion definitely getting close to the ‘mediocre starting pg’ range."

Can't agree more about Jordan Farmar. Why do some people **cough** **cough** LongTimeLakerFan **cough** try to make the argument that Farmar is a long-term solution for the Lakers? I am SURE that Mitch would have given him a multi-year offer if he saw it that way. Farmar is a mediocre NBA-talent at best. Look, he's on the Lakers, I root for him whenever he's on the floor (as I'm sure everyone here that has chimed in on the neverending Fisher/Farmar debate does). I WISH he went out and got 20/10 everytime he goes out there - I HOPE HE PROVES ME WRONG! But phred and others, we are REALISTS!

One needs not do more than look around the league, there are so many really good point guards in the league right now, Jordan is a nice backup and he's an L.A. kid and seems like a genuinely nice person. He's just not starting material on an NBA championship-aspiring team like the Lakers are. Honestly, the Lakers in my mind have not had an 'above-average' point guard since Nick the Quick. I would have liked to see them give Lue more of a shot when he was here. Other than that, it's been steady D-Fish and Farmar the past few seasons and they could get a lot more production from that position than either of them are giving them.

Yes, John Hollinger is knowledgeable and he points out how Farmar helped contain Aaron Brooks during last years playoffs (as LongTimeLakerFan also did - wonder if he read his post here???). The Lakers got a break during the finals because Ron Jeremy -errr- Stan Van Gundy totally misplayed Jameer Nelson, who yes was an all-star last season, but was totally unprepared coming off the injury to be put into starters minutes in the middle of the NBA finals - especially since Rafer Alston had been playing real well.

If you look back, point guards haven't really hurt the Lakers in the playoffs, outside of Nash killing Smush Parker in a few years back, but the position hasn't contributed much either or AI giving the Sixers game 1 of the '01 Finals. The Lakers advantages in other positions have been the determining factor, this has been the case throughout this past decade. At some point, the Lakers need an upgrade - Farmar is not that. Can you imagine this team with an Aaron Brooks or even a Devin Harris running it? This is why the Lakers SHOULDN'T settle for mediocrity at the position, give Fisher his time to finish out the year, have him provide his experience and veteran knowledge as a backup ala B-Shaw/Ron Harper and then MAKE A MOVE to either sign/trade for a point guard!

===================================================

MAMBA24 - I'm happy as always to be included on your Black Mamba list, YOU however are THE MAN! You are always bringing together the love for the Black Mamba, uniting this board and represent the heart and soul of Laker love for the best player in the NBA - KOBE BRYANT!!! I CAN"T WAIT for tonights game, been going thru massive Kobe withdrawls, it was especially tough though to not see him in the All-Star game where he not only epitomizes how style meets substance but personifies what an all-star truly is, someone that is totally committed to his craft and excels through hard work. Kobe easily could rest on being the best player in the NBA, already amongst a handful of best-ever players, but instead he increases his training and fitness level, attempts to finds new mentors like Hakeem Olajuwon to learn from and still out works probably every other player in the game.

As I've said before, we are all LUCKY to follow a team that features the player who very well may become the greatest to every lace up a pair of sneakers, who is still currently in his prime. We are all FORTUNATE to have an owner that is willing and does WHATEVER is necessary to not only compete, but to create a DYNASTY. Our team personifies all that is GOOD about sports, and has hand-down been the best franchise in professional sports since the middle of the last century, a team that has only missed the playoffs 4 times in that span and has been to half of all NBA Finals played. A franchise that boasts the richest tradition in the NBA, the greatest players and history. These are glory days, we should all soak it in like a sponge and THANK OUR LUCKY STARS we get to see one of the greatest current athelete's currently walking the face of the earth play for the team we support!

I say again, WELCOME BACK BLACK MAMBA - WE LOVE AND MISSED YA!!!!!!

um, thanks for the citation, cyber- but i think i should maybe restate what i said, and set it relative to what you (and some others) have said or perhaps have not said- I really think that jordan farmar is improving. not a steady, hey he's gonna be great trajectory, but he is better than he was a month ago, and a month ago he was better than he was last year.

I have to give him credit for that. And by 'he is getting to be in the mediocre starting pg range' that's exactly what i meant. He is good enough to be starting on some real teams, and he has earned that.

Of course, I have a lot of respect for Derek Fisher, if that hasn't been clear. I have no patience for haters. If there are flaws to Fish's game, maybe, but that doesn't take away from the man he is, the experience he has.

So, yeah, if Fisher is getting to the point where it isn't a slam dunk to start Fish over him, that's complimentary to Farmar. And again, for the money Farmar makes, and for where he was drafted, that's ok. And when you play PG for the Lakers, you don't have to be an elite PG for the Lakers to contend for a title, obviously. Farmar isn't a 'key' guy. He's a role guy, and he's becoming a usable role guy. Good for him.

Just to qualify what i think of the guy. I'm not coming down into anybody's pro or anti camp. I do appreciate being called a realist though, cause i figure that's the least anybody should do around here, as hard as that seems to be

ALRIGHT, THE LOVE IS SICK WITH THIS, STRAIGHT GANGSTER MACK

THE LOVE IS GETTING RIDICULOUS

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE LOVE

GO LAKERS!

*if Farmar is getting to the point where it isn't a slam dunk to start fisher over him. Although it works the other way, too, but that's what i meant. It is game time yet?

We're all good Phred. NHNF, as it were...


wes

Fearless, there's no rule that statement games are for teams in 2nd. They are just games where one team wants to send another team a message, like "I'm still king of the hill." The Lakes don't have to win on Sunday, but it would a good idea to send a little message to the Nugs. Denver will be tough no matter what in the WCF, no need to give them anymore confidence.
Tomorrow's game v. Mavs is also significant. I agree with the idea that they did well in their trades.

What up Laker Nation - where's the Live Chat?

OMG, the feed from Memphis is like watching the Blair Witch Project. What's up with the satellite?

phred, and others, I hear what you are saying. I agree that Farmar is better this year than last, and last year from the year before. Yes, it is becoming a harder call to start Fisher over Farmar. I could live with that if PJ does convert Farmar into a starter. I can't see it happening though, because not only of Fisher's experience and the stability he brings to the position (keeping in mind that point guard is not a possession-type position in the triple-post as it traditionally is under different type of offensive schemes) but the Lakers aren't going to make him a starter if he is leaving at the end of the season. At least, that's the way I see it, not only is he probably leaving due to the Lakers being way above the Salary Cap and the fact that Jordan probably wants a raise (meaning it would cost the Lakers double in a dollar-for-dollar salary cap figure) but also due to he probably hasn't blossomed quite as much by now as they would have liked to see, and also that he most likely would have been offered a contract last offseason.

I like Farmar, I root for him, I really want to see him succeed. It is possible that given a starters position and the stabilty/minutes that go with that he might very well blossom into a Tony Parker-like guard that I always envisioned him possibly becoming. He has improved and some nights he comes in and totally outplays how Fisher was playing, he increases the tempo of the game some nights. He competently runs the bench-mob. I don't want to be a negative voice against him, I try not to come off that way. Look, I'd trade anyone (not named Kobe!) if I were Laker GM on the team if it brings in better talent. I just watch NBA games, most teams I feel have better talent at point guard than the Lakers.

I love D-Fish, I love Farmar, I love EVERYONE on the team, but am trying to keep it real at the same time...

Laker's have problems from past play-offs due to announcers were blamed for affecting the game by scouting or spying at broadcaster's table. Example: Bill Walton use to be Clipper an worked with Ralph Lawler in broadcasts. Revenues from broadcast companies affect the game based upon amount of viewers watching games. Example: TNT broadcast group has 1.9 million viewers per game. What is revenues to teams, players, and owners per game? Jerry Buss lost revenues from championship series not going seven games but won a championship last year. He made 40 million profit as reported in newspaper. NBA TV is a start to correct past problems with networks. Finals are broadcast by ABC a Walt Disney Co., ESPN, TNT, KCAL9, Foxsportswest, and other broadcast companies. Los Angeles Times and other newspapers don't affect broadcast of games in Staples Center. Should City of Los Angeles receive a cut for security, police, entertainment, and travel expenses of teams? Fans shouldn't be blamed for affecting games during play-offs due to wire tapes, police taps, illegal searches, and protection of players who contracts and salaries are in millions of dollars. Lesson learned that players contracts, lifes, and income are affected by fans and broadcasters. It hard to find 5 million dollar jobs after losses in play-offs unless NBA has trust fund to help players in transition between teams. Example Ramonivic with Golden State. Everyone who attends a game is interacting with players, teams, fans, and owners to improve their enjoyment and experience at game. Bill Walton shouldn't be blamed by Jerry Buss for playoff problems with Detroit. Walton and others were rookies against veteran players that were defending a championship. Lesson that rookies aren't prepared or experience for championship games.


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