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No surprise -- Kobe Bryant to play tonight

As expected, Kobe Bryant will play tonight against the Denver Nuggets.

"I think he wants to see his way through this game and see what it's going to be like," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said Friday morning.

Bryant initially sustained the sprain last Friday and aggravated it Wednesday after Lamar Odom stepped on his foot in a game against Charlotte.

Bryant walked through the defensive part of this morning's shoot-around but did not take part in the shooting part of it.

-- Mike Bresnahan

 
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LakerTom,

re: phil and the use of the word Gasoft, you'll have to ping pfunk36.

CornerJ & Jon K,

In terms of our bigs and position. In the audio from the Memphis game:

There is mention of the following: defense of the post pass by Memphis,
Our bigs got run off the block, & Our bigs didn't establish position.

times are 2:50, 3:40, 3:57, 4:05 & 4:37

In one of the road games last year where Kobe played despite flu-like symptoms, he mentioned that he owed it to the fans who paid good money to come and see him play.

True dat, no surprise indeed. Kobe is an excellent specimen of devotion to his body in the form of getting it ready for an NBA game. His mentality is such that pain is merely an inconvenience where it would force lesser men (Carmello Anthony, just kidding, I believe his spain is more severe than Kobe's) to sit out a few games.


The K-Bros have an interesting post up right now with some LO video, I'd post the link, but it's so easy to remember if you like butter as much as I do (if anyone knows where the quote, "Butter, mounds and mounds of butter!" comes from I owe you a hug! Hint: The quoter is vicariously watching movies from space on the Satellite of Love) also, I'm wondering whether or not we still have to tiny URL it before posting?


I can't believe I wrote that statement as a question? OMG? ENOW! By Odin's beard I am coming out (shockingly) in favor of a Laker victory tonight. Luke Walton will play some bigger minutes tonight to give Kobe some R and R and will go for season highs across the board. LO will keep on keepin' on and groove his way to a near tri-dub with assists being the only stat lacking double-digits and I look for Farmar not to shoot 6 3 pointers but a more managable...2. He's never been close to automatic from behind the arc and he needs to utilize his speed and quickness to break down the defence. Of course he's wide open, he's like a 35% career 3-point shooter, I'd leave him open, too. Brown needs to settle down on offense, too. He's been throwing up some early shot clock bricks and he's always better when he gets the kick-out from the re-post. It opens up the floor, sometimes even clears the run way.


I'd like to see Bynum and Gasol get 15+ shots, each and Artest 10. That's where I feel the bench fails the team a bit. They have to realize their impact can be measured in more than scoring, I was STOKED to see Brown tied for the team lead in assits after the 'Cats game, that will heat up the PG battle a bit.


We might see a lot of Sasha tonight, he plays well against Denver and gets under all that ink right down to their actual skin! Ahhhh the choke. If Kobe is struggling to get lift off his foot and keeps leaving them short, expect Sasha to play 15+ minutes and I kind of hope he does. It would be nice to see what extended, meaningful floor time would bring from our young sharp shooter. My feeling is decent offense, some rebounding and some good D.


Last hint for the hug:
In the not to distant future...

@The Snake


That's why he's the man. He gives a shout out to the little guy who done come to see him hoist a few miracle shots and hit 'em. Or yell at him for missing. But mostly, they just want to see Kobe play.

Kobe has heart, not like Marshmellow... thats why Kobe is the best

hobbitmage,
- - - - - - - - -
I assume you did not see anything wrong with repeating a quote from pfunk where Phil Jackson allegedly calls Pau “Gasoft” even though you probably agree with me that Phil Jackson undoubtedly never would have called Pau “Gasoft.” In fact, you chose to legitimize the alleged quote and utilize it to make another spurious point. That is not what I would consider kosher but to each his own.
- - - - - - - - -
Tom

Kobe Bryant is the toughest player in basketball, if not sports.

I just wonder if his injuries can get better without rest. I'd rather have a healthy, rested Mamba in the playoffs than a battered, bruised, but still going Rocky-Balboa-in-the-final-round-against-Apollo-Creed-in-"Rocky II"-Kobe 'Bean' Bryant in the playoffs.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Of course he wants to play. It's the COACH's decision to limit his minutes or not. I hope PJ uses his common sense and let the mamba rest a bit.

hobbitmage,

You're right... regarding that game.

The Memphis game is not every single other game in regards to the play of our bigs.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

@Jon K

Agreed on the Memphis game being an aberration. It's unlikely we'll see too many more games where Pau and Andrew both shoot less than 10 shots. Maybe one or the other (but for the life of me I don't know why) but not both.

If Kobe's Rocky, than is Phil Mickey?

Jamie Sweet- Mike Nelson is the name you're looking for. Spent a bunch of time watching MST3K while recovering from a broken neck. Shouldn't have ever used the B word around the wife :)

These days I spend an awful lot of time sitting on the edge of my seat wondering whether or not the next time Kobe goes into traffic will be the end of his season. I was really hoping that he would at least take this weekend off and let the rest of the team take measure of themselves.

Then again, the guy is a warrior and believes in giving the customers what they pay for so ya have to give him his credit. I just want to see a completely healthy team go into the playoffs.

Predictions for tonight:

1. Kobe stays outside sinking 3s and facilitating for his bigs and slashing backup guards.

2. Pau has been reading the blog and breaks one off on Nene and The Chicken Man.

3. Drew actually jumps and puts his body on people.

4. Lamar has spent the day mainlining sugar babies and is awake from the 1st quarter on.

Denver goes down in flames and tonight is the new season jumping off point.

JR

Who is the coach of this team, anyway, Phil Jackson or Kobe Bryant? Jackson just said that he'd like to sit Bryant for a game or two. Just because Bryant wants to play to prove he's tough and to extend his games played streak, doesn't mean he has to. I suppose it's sort of admirable, but I think it's better to have a rested and healed Bryant for the stretch run and the playoffs than to have him out there now with the risk of further injuring the ankle.

LakerTom,

you wrote: I assume you did not see anything wrong with repeating a quote from pfunk where Phil Jackson allegedly calls Pau “Gasoft” even though you probably agree with me that Phil Jackson undoubtedly never would have called Pau “Gasoft.” In fact, you chose to legitimize the alleged quote and utilize it to make another spurious point. That is not what I would consider kosher but to each his own.

my response: To be honest with you, the use of the name "Gasoft" was not
the reason why I re-posted the quote. Given the disparaging remarks PJ
has made regarding other Laker players, such as "Space Cadet", is Gasoft
really worse? The reason that I reposted the quote was because it addressed
the topic of what the bigs were/weren't doing vs. what Kobe was/wasn't
doing.

In an earlier post today, I made that *I* had listened to a particular clip and
at what time I heard various issues addressed. I also made clear that I was
directly quoting what pfunk had said/written.

The issue is *NOT* about if PJ called Pau soft. The issue is *NOT* about if
PJ made a disparaging remark about Pau. The issue *IS* about how our
bigs are playing and about how that affects what Kobe does or does not do.

With that being said, those who choose to focus on what Kobe is *NOT* doing
are looking at the problem from the wrong angle and out of context. This is
the same thing that has been done earlier when when multiple people/posters
refered to Kobe as Ko*ME* and also called him a ballhog who could never
play with other elite players. He was a cancer. etc. etc. etc.

Kobe is not perfect. He can miss things and he can be selfish. Those are
facts and I wouldn't argue against them. If we are going to be honest about
what is going on, don't we have the responsibility to look at the whole
picture? Are we people of integrity or are we Cav/Celtic fans who wear
Purple & Gold?

These are facts. A few things happened this summer which are of note.

1. Ariza left.
2. Artest arrived.
3. Pau played in Europe
4. Bynum didn't work with Kareem.
5. Bynum didn't train with team USA.
6. Kobe worked with Hakeem.
7. Our defensive coach left.

What have those *facts* done for this season?

1. We lost speed & youth with Ariza leaving.
2. We got a better/stronger defensive player with Artest.
3. Our offense got weaker because Artest doesn't know the offense.
4. Pau missed the beginning of the season with an injury.

What do we have now?

1. Artest has plantar fasciatius
2. Kobe has a broken finger.
3. Kobe is knicked up.
4. Pau is not playing with the same passion that he did last year.
5. Bynum is inconsistent and it's not clear why.
6. Bynum didn't get better due to a lack of mentoring this summer.

What have we, as fans talked about?

1. Bynum's importance to the team.
2. Pau's importance to the team.
3. The bench's play.
4. Kobe's importance to the team.
5. Kobe's influence on the team.

There appear to be 3 main thrusts of conversation.

1. You believe that Bynum needs to be the focus of the team in order to
speed/help his growth as a player.
2. Offense is more important than defense.
3. Kobe should be more like Magic and less like MJ.

The reasons for these conversation is: We *ALL* want the team to do GREAT
and WIN the CHAMPIONSHIP.

I have been in opposition to:

1. The importance of Bynum's offense.
2. Offense is more important than defense.
3. Kobe should be more like Magic.

To clarify my position:

1. Character comes 1st.
2. If Bynum played better defense, his offense totals would go up.
3. If Bynum played better defense, the Lakers would play better.
4. Pau needs to play with more aggression.
5. If Pau & Bynum had better position and played harder, Kobe would
help them get more shots.

How do I get to #5? The last two seasons show how Kobe is willing to work
with the team. Nobody complained about not getting shots the last two years.
We have the same people, so what's different? It's not Kobe. He's been
the best in the NBA for the last 8 years. It's who he's playing with & what
they bring to the court.

Kobe's game is sooo polished he figures he can just alter his game despite whatever injury..

I expect to see him in facilitator mode and maybe sometimes on the block..

Hey, you can tell it's a "big game" day...the blog crue is juiced, baby. Posters and opinions are bouncing off the walls. Love these head-butting, wall-banging, chest-thumping, call-you-out, in-yo-face posts. Gawd, I wish the Lakers would play this game tonight at least half as juiced as we are.

LET'S RIDE!!!

I think it's great that the Nuggets say they aren't scared of the Lakers. It will be even more embarrassing for them when they lose again in the playoffs.

Phil Jackson owns George Karl like a pair of Air Jordans. Walks around in 'em.

This is going to be a fun game tonight, with big contributions from everyone who plays. I guarantee it.


Anyone notice how difficult these last 3 weeks have been for us and how easy the Cavs have had it? We still have all these tough games to play before the all star game, and the Cavs get the Knicks and Nets the next few nights. I think we start to balance things out with the competition a week after the all star break.


It's actually the 19th of this month when we start to balance the scales. The Cavs start a road trip against tough teams and we play some home games with days for rest in between. But that's 4.5 weeks of the Cavs having a much easier schedule than we've had. Lets make it these next two weeks without losing too much ground and we'll be good.


Off topic, I seriously love crazy artists like Van Gogh, Virginia Woolf and this old crazy guy named Henry Darger, who when he died left a 15,000 page novel, a journal 15,000 words long about his life growing up in an insane asylum for children, and 300 10 foot long murals about his novel "Realms of the Unreal." This guys writing is odd and a bit clumsy, but his journals are so fascinating and his paintings show some wicked composition and a color palette as good as any 20th century artist I've ever seen.


On his death bed, his neighbor of 20 years who he had never spoken a single word to, went to his bed side and said, "Henry, I've seen some of your paintings, and they're beautiful." Looking like someone punched him in his gut, Henry's last and only words were, "too late now."

His 15,000 page novel is about 7 twin blond cupie-like little girl generals who lead a war against child slavery.


Here's some of the illustrations:


http://tinyurl.com/ygqwokz


Wes

Kobe play's because Denver beat us eariler at there place. Have you ever heard

not in my house or not in my yard. We have been talking about our big's now is

the time for them to make there money. Martin will Nene also, and Anderson those guy's hustle.

So maybe this will push Drew and Pau to put up or shut up.

If Kobe's Rocky, than is Phil Mickey?

Posted by: Jamie Sweet | February 05, 2010 at 01:29 PM

A better quote would have been if Kobe is Rocky is Phil Bullwinkle. LOL

hobbitmage,

You're right... regarding that game.

The Memphis game is not every single other game in regards to the play of our bigs.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Posted by: Jon K. | February 05, 2010 at 12:50 PM

-
Actually, that 'blueprint' on how to beat the Lakers may have been picked up by Memphis from the two Cleveland games. If you noticed, CLE had their best defender (LeCrab) guarding the post pass. The ball had to be swung around to the weak side of the triangle. It looks like Shaq may be giving pointers to coach Mike Brown on how to disrupt the triangle.

Of course Kobe will play. In Kobe and Phil we have two of the most unique personalities in NBA history.


Kobe is one of the most driven athletes ever. He won't let some minor annoyances like broken fingers and sprained ankles slow him down. He wants to play every night. He wants to dominate every night. He works his butt off. Sometimes he gets carried away. He gets a lot of Ts. He sometimes tries to do too much himself. He sometimes plays when the best move might be to sit. But all that comes with the good, no great, Kobe stuff. You don't get to pick and choose. Kobe, like any of us, is a package. And the great stuff far outweighs the bad.


Same with Phil. He is, in my opinion, the greatest coach in NBA history. Yes, he has had talent, but he got the most out that talent. Thrice he has won three in a row. Riles couldn't do that with Magic, Kareem, Worthy, Coop, Wilkes, Scott, McAdoo, etc. There have been a lot of very talented teams. Only Phil's seem to win it all consistently.


And Phil has his quirks as a coach. Timeouts. Substitution patterns. Letting players work things out. Sometimes it works, sometimes you yell at the TV. But it's all part of Phil, how he works. And, like Kobe, the great, over time, far outweights the bad.


I'm just glad to have both of them as Lakers. It will be a lot less fun when we don't anymore. And of course I will still complain about their quirks now and then. As I sit down tonight and a badly banged up Kobe plays when he maybe should rest, Phil leaves it up to him how to play it, and he tries to take over a game on one foot with a bandaged shooting hand. And, maybe, he does.


Tom Daniels

hobbitmage -

I liked your summation of the blog so far. I think reasonable people can disagree on how to fix those things (or the importance of certain players, like you said) WITHOUT having to just spew the same "It's Kobe's/Pau's/Phil's/Jordan's/Andrew's/etc. fault".

You think people would take a step back and see that while the team is not playing to its fullest capacity, that we're still 1st in the west and that we have plenty of room to improve. That's a pretty fantastic situation, I think.

Gawd, I wish the Lakers would play this game tonight at least half as juiced as we are.

LET'S RIDE!!!

Posted by: CornerJ

CornerJ - if that happened, it would be the best game of the year. If they were as fired up as we were....I shudder to imagine.

hey guys a new post is up

MM

hobbitmage,
- - - - - - - -
Whatever, man. Pull whatever rabbits you need from under whatever rocks to justify or validate your interpretations of what you THINK is in players’ minds. Using the Gasoft quote when you knew it was not true is just typical hobbitmage. As is imagining that you have an inside track into each player’s mind. A house built on your musings is not the same thing as a well reasoned premise.
- - - - - - - -
Tom

Hobbitimage,

Good post, I agree with a lot of what you say. But I wonder about this:

"We have the same people, so what's different? It's not Kobe. He's been
the best in the NBA for the last 8 years. It's who he's playing with & what
they bring to the court."


Kobe is different from last year as well. Your own list of "what do we have now' cites Kobe's injuries twice. He has been injured and struggling with his shooting but continuing to shoot a high volume of shots. See my last post, I get it, it's Kobe and it comes with the territory. But it is different from the Kobe we saw last year. He didn't have a broken finger. A lot is different, as you say, plus Kobe is different too.


What if someone had told us before the season:

1) Kobe will break his finger on his shooting hand
2) Kobe will have back problems, ankle sprain, etc.
3) Pau will injure both hamstrings and miss a lot of games and take awhile to get back to last year's level
4) Artest will have platar fascitis plus a strange fall at home where he gets a concussion. He will be much less athletic than we hope, and will struggle to find a place in the offense.
5) Walton will essentially not play before the All Star break
6) Fisher will look a year older
7) Drew will be back and contribute, but will not be aggressive, either mentally or physically slowed by his past injuries


Would you expect the second best record in the NBA? Injuries take players out, and they also affect them when they come back. Look at Pau.


I still believe that, in the stretch run, this team can get healthy and powerful. But first they have to get healthy. If they do, they can beat anybody. If not? They could, amazingly, still win. but it will be a battle every night.


Tom Daniels

Hobbitmage,

Some words to back up your argument.

I hate to use the Celtics as an example but the way (some) Laker fans are imploring Kobe to give the ball up to Bynum is VERY similar how Celtic fans were dissing Bird to give up touches to Parish. The Chief was a very good player but him over Larry Legend? ALL NBA fans would (and did) laugh at those fans and without Larry the Chief wasn't all the effective.

Bynum is no doubt (to both of us) a good player and an integral (though he wasn't in the 09 title) part of the Lakers. The thought of having to give touches so Bynum would have the gut to play defense is what separates him from the legends. Even Mark Eaton would play defense despite the limited touches!

hobbitmage, i also liked reading your post.

i'm also hoping for more consistency and passion from both Pau and Andrew. i just hope they get inspired soon and that kobe, artest, and fish step-up in their leadership roles and light a fire under pau, drew, and lamar.

i get the feeling that Lakers fans, myself included, see how much talent is on this roster (particularly in five of our players), and wonder why aren't we dominating like the 72 win season Chicago Bulls, or at least as dominating as the Lakers (when Shaq played w/ Kobe).

the problem could be expectations. this current incarnation of the Lakers is a young team (minus Kobe, D-Fish, and Artest). guys like Pau and Lamar have plenty of NBA experience, but are not really that battle-tested. and i think, when we look at previous NBA dynasties, they're all veterans, battle-tested, and from up to bottom, have that personality that they must win no matter what.

in the recent past we had Lakers fighting with Kings players in EXHIBTION GAMES! today's Lakers don't fight with anyone (with the lone exception of D-Fish throwing that dude down in the playoffs last year). even Ron-Ron has been a model citizen.

well, i'm gonna end this diatribe now. i don't know what i'm trying to say. i guess i just want the Lakers to be more aggresive. let's not take the "Charles Barkley" approach to the regular season (cuz he has never won a ring), but rather the "Michael Jordan" approach to the season. every single game should be an outlet for our extreme superiority. there shouldn't be any two point victories against Charlotte or two point losses to Memphis.

somewhere, Magic and Jordan are watching highlights on ESPN and are shaking their heads.

I don't know what to believe anymore. Because if he is really injured and it is not just to say it to make the game more exciting, like that time at Memphis, although he was injured so badly, but still scored 44 to lose the game!!!

If he is so stubborn to take the wise action, then sombody preferably PJ (if he dares) should not play him tonight, or only few minutes. Because if he is really injured, it will get worse (god forbidden) and eventully sidelines him for the rest of the season.

Fish,

Showing championship leadership once again...0 for 2 on on easy layups.
Couldn't finish if his life depended on it !!!!


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