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Caught in the Web: Lakers try to move on from loss to Denver Nuggets

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So how to react to the Lakers' 126-113 loss to the Denver Nuggets?

Silver Screen and Roll doesn't want you to panic, but thinks the latest loss raises concerns about Pau Gasol, point guard play, offensive efficiency and Phil Jackson's substitution patterns. Forum Blue and Gold takes a more 'it was them, not us' approach arguing, "when a team that is as explosive as the Nuggets finds their groove the way that they did in the second half, not much is going to knock them off their trajectory." After all, when a player in NBA Jam got on fire, any shot was a good shot.

The Lakers surely would like to hit the reset button. Though they have an immediate chance to turn it around tonight against Portland, a) that doesn't escape the Lakers' latest problems and b) they haven't done exactly done their best at the Rose Garden.

Nonetheless, Jackson says he isn't going to "berate" his team, but ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamanetzky makes a fair observation that Jackson's apparently calm attitude doesn't necessarily reflect the rest of the team's reaction to the loss.

Just look at Bryant's frustration level. Look at Ron Artest nearly considering throwing a punch to Joey Graham. Look at how close the Nuggets (34-16) are to the Lakers (38-13) in the Western Conference standings.

That's why Denver left the win with a soaring amount of confidence. With the Nuggets already beating the Lakers twice in the regular season, Coach George Karl to think his team has a "respectful belief" they could beat the Lakers in a playoff series.

More Lakers links (after the jump)

--One of the only positives that came out of the Lakers' game against Denver was that Bryant scored 33 points on 11 of 22 shooting despite nursing a sprained left ankle that left him as a game-time decision entering the contest. ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin hopes that will end the debate regarding whether Bryant should rest or not.

--Knowing Bryant, he would want to play all 48 minutes in the NBA All-Star game. "If we were playing them Tuesday after the All-Star game I would," Western Conference and Denver Coach George Karl joked. You may recall Karl also coached Bryant in the 1998 All-Star game, and the main incident that sticks out in his mind was when he waved off Utah's Karl Malone in a pick-and-roll.

--Bryant wore the latest Kobe Zoom V shoes against the Nuggets, but the O.C. Register's Janis Carr says not all of Mamba's teammates were impressed with the new kicks.

--In letters to the editor to The Times, sports fans debate where Bryant stands among the all-time Lakers greats. There's been plenty of this conversation before, but it never hurts to get more voices.

--ESPN 's Marc Stein offered a theory on Bryant's refusal to sit out any games beyond his unquenchable desire to compete all the time. Writes Stein: "One theory in circulation: Kobe Bryant is determined to play in all 82 games, no matter how badly he's banged up, to send a message to Lakers management that the delay in finalizing his long-anticipated contract extension is an insult given how durable Bryant is even at age 31."

--Trade Talk. Though ESPN's Chad Ford (insider subscription required) reports that Toronto appears reluctant to trade Chris Bosh, he says the likelihood the Bulls will trade Kirk Hinrich is pretty high.

--It's rare for basketball fans to speak of forward Lamar Odom within the same breath of Larry Bird, Chris Webber, Kevin Garnett, Oscar Robertson, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor. But Odom is five assists shy from becoming the eighth fastest player in NBA history to get 3,000 assists and 6,000 rebounds.

Tweet of the Day: "Finally at team hotel in POR, Odom insisted that some staffers get into elevator 1st. Another simple reason every1 likes Lamar." --LakersReporter (Lakers.com Mike Trudell)

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant drives for a layup over Nuggets defenders Arron Afflalo and Nene in the first half. Bryant drew a foul on the play. Credit: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times.

 
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Maybe the biggest problem has to do with team chemistry right now. If PJ says he doens't want to berate them, he must be feeling pretty sorry for them, which is not a good sign. It might the whole Bigs v. Kobe thing or something else, but perhaps they need one of those "Team Meetings" to clear the air. Part of D is trusting the other guys, they don't seem like they have that right now.

Mark Medina.

I think your doing a really fine job with the way your running the blog.Well done.
I will say though,that its becoming a harder place to visit with all the idiots that post trash 4 or 5 posts in a row.

I don't post often,but the hate level is something that prevents me from being able to air my thoughts about the team.

Sit back and read through a complete thread and its hard to find 10 good posts out of 50..

From a distance - thanks for the kind words. im sorry some of the negative responses turn you off. From a pure moderating standpoint, i approve all comments so long as they don't have foul language, have personal attacks or have any racist or prejudice comments. i see it as the market place of ideas. well reasoned debate should be encouraged so even if you see posts that you disagree with or that are just plain insane, debate them back and forth. i never see dialogue as a bad thing.

MM

I'm finding it hard to blame the bigs for their defensive effort. Gasol is what he is and I'm seeing Bynum jumping all over the place on defense, covering for people and expending a lot of energy. Bynum hasn't developed a nose for the ball so he does miss out on some rebounds which I think causes some people to think he is lazy or so forth. Our defensive scheme funnels all these speedy guards straight at our bigs, perhaps it is time we acknowledge we don't have the personnel for this type of defense? I mean... Fisher funnels his man towards our bigs... oh my, does he funnel... and Farmar never plays his man straight up, he's either funneling to the left or right. How about some kind of modified zone? Something... because this funneling defense is being carved up with any guard with a decent level of speed.

Mark Medina.

Thanks for taking the time to reply..Cheers

WOW! I have been reading all the posts since last nights game. They have been MANY and the emotions are running very high right now.

I think the opinions about DFish are spot on. Some of the newer bloggers have been pretty hard on Fish, but it doesn't make them wrong. IN fact some of the outspoken among us have been harping on it long before this last stretch of poor play from Fish. MY take is that Dfish is in obvious decline and it isn't his fault that the team doesn't have a "Plan B" for the transition to the PG upgrade.

Fish is giving us what he has, it simply isn't enough right now. MAYBE PJ is witholding the starter role from Farmar because Farmar will not bend to what PJ wants from him. It is after all the ultimate level of control for PJ to withold it (starter role) from Farmar. MAYBE PJ will begin the transition to Farmar after the Allstar break and begin saving Fisher for a deep playoff run and play Fish off the bench. That's what I'm hoping for.

If I remember correctly, the way that PJ is with Farmar now is the same way that PJ was with Fish during the 3 peat. In fact, Fish left the Lakers for Golden State over what I think is that very reason. Fish wanted a bigger role is what I remember.

For those of you that are burning Fish in effigy, I (we?) hear you. I'm sure we can all agree that he isn't doing well (understatement). But again, I don't see that as his fault. He IS at the end of his career and he is playing with everything he has. He should be playing from the bench to give the starters a rest and giving us a few minutes.

After the Memphis loss, Kobe received much criticism from team mates (especially Fisher) and the coach. Given that precedent, wouldn't it be justified laying this loss on Fisher? Billups killed them on mostly uncontested shots. For many of those shots, Fisher was lost on the other side of the court. Farmar wasn't any better. Yet, where is the criticism? Yes, the bigs were soft once again but the dribble penetration took them out of the game. It's time for a little berating.

I love the screenand roll article.

MM your doing a great job, always on point. O.K. blog community everyone take 10 deep breaths, PJ has a plan. No need to panic, every things under control. 10 championships, the greatest mind in playoffs history, enjoy the journey.
Sometimes he may get out coached in regular season games, but so what, it's not about the regular season. It's about money time in the playoffs, It's PJ at his best, the Lakers will respond. DFish will come alive like Robert Horry did so many times. Have a little faith, come playoffs you want remember the bad time, JUST CHILL THE CRAP OUT.

Lumping Farmar with Fisher then saying Lakers PG's didn't, don't, and can't so we need to bring a new player is FALSE.

Farmar has only started 2 games in 4 years.
Fisher gets 25-34 minutes while Farmar gets 12-20 minutes.

Farmar has not had a chance.

He is a talent.

Play Farmar 35 minutes and Lakers will win.

Hey guys, just a question:

Can Jordan and Shannon play together? How about Kobe, Gasol, Lamar, Jordan and Shannon? Am I getting crazy? Artest coming from the bench? Bynum sitting his baby on the bench?

I think these are crazy things, but I miss my Lakers playing w/ some more ENERGY! The slow, paced plays are made for the clock shot. We need to get inside quick.

what happened to our twin towers last night? they were torpedoed by deven's sears tower. bynum forgot to take his inhaler last night. he may as well be playing bare footed, he has no desire to carry the team. he's more than satisfied to place faults on the other players. his infammous line of critique is. "i didn't get enough touches." he should critique himself and ask himself why isn't the ball coming to him. i'm sure, hopefully, he can figure that one our. kobe must continue to measure who, on his team to trust. it's only fair

I don't post often,but the hate level is something that prevents me from being able to air my thoughts about the team.
Sit back and read through a complete thread and its hard to find 10 good posts out of 50..
Posted by: From a distance | February 06, 2010 at 12:04 PM

From a distance, what I will say is that the Lakers have been playing very poorly lately. They lack a fundamental flow and they haven't been very successful incorporating Artest and Bynum into the starting lineup. Most will say "Oh don't worry, wait until the playoffs". But clearly something is worrysome and alot of fans don't like it.

We are slow:

See Artest injury and playing outside due to two bigs under the hoop

Fish losing a step (or two!) his shot is way off and averages very low assists

Gasol is playing like he is in Mid Life Crisis and trying to figure out how to play alongside Bynum. He also has had stone hands lately.

Kobe injured and dominating games always demanding the ball as it's being brought upcourt. Kobe isn't a point guard and yet we seem to be wanting him to play like one and create shots for others. Kobe is a dominant guy and if he senses danger, he WILL take over.

I have the sense that Kobe should pass more but in truth, I also think it is a set up. If we had a better PG, Kobe wouldn't be in the position to "Make something happen". I'm not sure Kobe is sold on Bynum either. Gasol was a weapon for Kobe and Gasol is somewhat out of synch due to the two towers project.

I'm not sure what the answer is. But I can clearly see (like the others posting) that the Lakers are struggling and it isn't just fatigue.

"DFish will come alive like Robert Horry did so many times." No. DFish is DEAD. Cut him, trade him for a bag of chips...anything would be better. He is the worst point guard in the league. Not just starters, I'm talking all of them. DFish would probably get cut in the D-League.

From a distance said only 10 good posts. huh

I missed the inglorious optimists, who may be hiding or hibernating.

When the Lakers win tonight in Portlandm ahh, we will be flooded again by dynasty, beasts and euphoria. For the moment, it is back to reality. This is the Laker roller coaster ride.

Take a note, Jerry Buss has opened his pocket for these guys for $91.3M although reported by Mike B. on his article at $93M. By the end of the season, Lakers will dole out additional $ 21M for the luxury taxes. The Coach is paid $12M, the highest among all coaches because of his 10 rings and Zen reputation. EMBARRASSING for a lousy performance last night.

Don't be a fan for the sake of being a fanatic. Express your passion honestly and devotedly for the overall benefit of the team. In my book, that is the definition of a Laker fan.

I’m going to blame this one on Phil. What is with his substitution patterns? When I saw Josh Powell in there I was wondering if LO was hurt. Why does he even play Sasha? He is horrible and shouldn’t even be in the NBA any longer. Take a timeout and set the defense.

My observations for the season is that Kobe takes way too many shots and the part that kills me the most is that he has taken even MORE since being injured. On top of that he went away from playing efficiently, to jacking up ridiculous shots. The other night against Memphis at the end of the half he had Artest wide open and sealed from a run out (same spot as the miss at end of game) but he forced up an impossible shot, I rather see Artest miss a wide open shot then see that garbage.

Shannon Brown is good and will get better, but on this team at this time who does he think he is? Ron Artest in Sacramento? Dribble Dribble Dribble launch a shot? You will get open shots if you work in the system with these other great players, ask Ariza about that.

Farmar is showing promise but he still makes the dumb mistakes and turnovers that Fisher doesn’t make. He tries to force things way too much. If he can control those things he should be starting. That brings me to Fisher.

Fisher, love the guy. He doesn’t force anything (except his out of control layups that he NEVER makes) he rarely has turnovers, and he goes away from Kobe. BUT, man every time he shoots I cringe because I know 7 out of 10 times it is NOT going in. I would complain about his defense but it’s not like Farmar or Brown does any better.

Bynum, just needs to be more consistent I was thinking. But it’s not his fault; I look at the box score and see he is 5 for 7 while all the role players are jacking up shots here and there. If he is being efficient go into him more, the team needs to be more consistent with his touches, don’t go to him early then not. Phil will take him out right when he gets going or has the advantage. Saying all that, he doesn’t play all out unless he gets his touches, and he is great against the lesser centers in the league but is horrible against some of the better centers in the league.

It’s a long season; still a lot that needs to be worked out and that I believe will be worked out. That is why Phil gets paid the big bucks, but just like Kobe, Phil has his good days as well as his bad. Like Brett Farve’s last throw, you are puzzled at what Phil was thinking with that rotation in such an important game.

Home court will be ours because I believe from actually watching many games this year that the East is equal 1 through 4 and we don’t know who will come out of the east, which gives Cleveland a 25% chance. Denver is good,but we just need to play our game for 7.

And- how about Fisher, Kobe, & Brown ZERO (0) assist?

The Lakers are not the team they were last year: Artest does not have Ariza''s energy or speed, Fisher can't guard any opposing point guard anymore and shoots a dreadful percentage, Sasha was 0-for-5 on threes last night and generally is even worse than last year. Gasol frequently goes soft and tentative, Bynum tends to foul too much and is only effective in the opening minutes of a half.

On the plus side, I like Brown's energy and ability to score off a dribble or a break, and Kobe is remarkable, given his injuries. Lamar is a better sixth man than starter. Gasol is great when he's focused.

But the team chemistry is inconsistent at best. Maybe it will gel in post season, but right now Denver and, if necessary, Cleveland would beat LA.

At this point, I say they need to trade for a guard. Get rid of Sasha and Morrison for someone like Iguodala if possible (I think draft choices would need to be thrown in). The team needs a better shooting guard to back up Kobe or a real point guard. PJ could try starting Farmar. But I still think they're one good guard short and it drags the whole team down.

I have admired and adored Fish as a clutch player and person through the years.

But now - the time has come. Fish MUST go. He is playing NO defense at all, he isn't shooting well, and where are the assists a PG is supposed to provide??

When he's on floor, in terms of D, it is just 4 on 5. Or else he does some bad foul!!

Earmar can start, and lets see how he plays. If he does better than Fish, then lets keep Fish for the play-offs to that he can(??) hit those clutch shots.

Yesterday it was lack of focus from Fish and bigs that killed the game for us. From down 6-7, Nuggets bombed 3 3pts over 4 possessions, and suddenly they had the lead. Billups is killing Fish there, and still PJ is just letting him stand there.

Fish, do a Luke walton, and ask yourself to be moved to the bench. It would increase the respect you would be getting, and also allow Farmar/Brown to develop further.....

The Lakers are struggling with defending against speedy point guards and big strong PGs. I have a hard time with PJs desicions to keep starting DF and geeting the team on its heels early in the game almost every night. Every team the lakers play expliots that advantage. If PJ had given Farmer serious minutes two years ago the Lakers would not have this problem today. Look at the young PGs in the league that came in with a similar skill level as Farmar (Rondo, D Williams, and now Ty Lawson) these guys get and got serious minute and their teams point guard position is stable. Farmer has great speed he is very atheletic and smart, (he is cocky, but PGs need to have a little of that). I would say if the Lakers want to invest in furture talent PJ need to let the Lakers young talent run with the rest of the league; Bring Fisher off the Bench.

By the end of the season, here are the expiring contracts:

Farmar 1.94M
Morrison 5.25M
Fisher 5.0 M

Total 12.197M

PLEASE, PLEASE don't re-sign any of them. That is a savings of 12.1M or 24.2M in a luxury taxes scenario. Offer Sasha a negotiated buy out similar to what was done to Vlade Divac for his remaining $ 5.475M, maybe 50% that is another savings for the Lakers in luxury taxes.

Replace all these players with D'League and/or Euro League players who are energetic, young, athletic, good shooters and willing to be a Laker for initial contract of 1.0M each one year only using the bi-annual or MLE.

M/M or LTLF, is this feasible?

I believe with that move the Lakers will be better of from the players standpoint and a lot of savings too.

An ideal move also is to package Bynum/Walton for another superstar like D'Wade for PG assignments. You can interchange Kobe and D'Wade as PG and Shooting Guard.

I find the reactionary negativity by so many so called "fans" to be striking.

I understand criticism and the desire for improvement, but I find this chicken little stupidity to be sickening.

These people have no heart, have no faith, have no commitment.

They are whiney little children not worthy of the Greatest franchise in sports.

We are experiencing a blip in the road of a long journey. We have injured players. And we are finalizing the right strategy.

As I posted on a previous thread, LeBroniacs have stated to me, "Who is really going to be able to beat the Lakers in a seven game series in the West? No one!"

People might want to spend a little more time thinking about that reality and spent a lot less time crying like spoiled little children because we lost a game.

By the way, no one wants to read your screamy little posts calling for players heads and screaming that this team sucks. No one wants to read them. So, do what you will, but you (and YOU know who YOU are) are scrawling the equivalent of crappy ghetto graffiti along the walls of whatever, otherwise, is a very nice place to visit.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

SCK,

"The Lakers are not the team they were last year"

Right. The coach of the Celtics said we're better than last year.

Every loss sucks, but no loss is the end of the world.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

last night's game reminded me of the 2004 finals against the pistons. the lakers looked slow and always a step late. think gary payton, rick fox, karl malone. now substitute fisher, artest, and kobe. yeah kobe. is it just me or is he getting torched more on the defensive end? the nuggets are very athletic. never thought aaron affalo would be so effective. not to mention the lakers bench sucks. the lakers need an athletic player to come off the bench and bury jumpers while giving kobe a break. oh yeah, and somebody to stop the other team's point guard once in a while

Johnny V - Very well said. I think DFish (the player) would respond better coming off the bench for 12 to 15 minutes a game. His heart is willing but his old (Geez, he's only in his 30's) legs can't.

I think Phil is playing a game with the league to make sure he has the right match for the first round. I just don't see logic in some of the substitutions he's making making and we know that means something else is up. His plots have as many twists as an episode of NCIS.

I do wish that Phil and the team would read the copies of my medical records I keep sending them. I had to turn the last game off in the last 5 minutes because the BP was up so high I was getting dizzy. This can't be good for me

"The Lakers are not the team they were last year: Artest does not have Ariza''s energy or speed, Fisher can't guard any opposing point guard anymore and shoots a dreadful percentage"-SCK

Thank you very much! I have been saying the same thing all year long. Mitch needs to do something NOW to offset the loss in speed that happened when he lost Trevor. I'm sure RonRon would be much better if he weren't injured, but he and the combo of Fish's rapid decline still wouldn't be fast enough.

So I predict a trade is coming for a few reasons:

1. Kobe has not signed an extension.

2. Phil's substitution patters are whack!

3. All of our shooters are having problems.

4. Morrison was in street clothes last night.

Jon K, I am still a believer that no one from the West can beat the Lakers in 5 or 7 game series. What I am not confident about is, can they repeat?

I hate to admit but Cavs are playing better basketball. They are utilizing Shaq properly. They have multiple 3 point shooters which the current Lakers cannot defend. Deep in my hearts, I want to believe that the Cavs will choke again come playoff tme, like they will lose to the Hawks, who are so good as well.

I hope every Lakers are playing for RINGS!!!

I am a Laker fan no matter what, no matter who plays for the Lakers. If Kobe will walk after this season I will still cheer for him but not when he face the Lakers.

I find the reactionary negativity by so many so called "fans" to be striking.

I understand criticism and the desire for improvement, but I find this chicken little stupidity to be sickening.

These people have no heart, have no faith, have no commitment.

They are whiney little children not worthy of the Greatest franchise in sports.

We are experiencing a blip in the road of a long journey. We have injured players. And we are finalizing the right strategy.

As I posted on a previous thread, LeBroniacs have stated to me, "Who is really going to be able to beat the Lakers in a seven game series in the West? No one!"

People might want to spend a little more time thinking about that reality and spent a lot less time crying like spoiled little children because we lost a game.

By the way, no one wants to read your screamy little posts calling for players heads and screaming that this team sucks. No one wants to read them. So, do what you will, but you (and YOU know who YOU are) are scrawling the equivalent of crappy ghetto graffiti along the walls of whatever, otherwise, is a very nice place to visit
Posted by: Jon K

Laker God has spoken. From now on if anyone says one negative word regarding this storied franchise. Do not pass go...you will immediately be banished from the Laker family and have to go worship the disaster that is the LA Clippers. Jon K is right, we all need to sit around the old Purple and Gold campfire and sing multiple verses of Kum Ba Ya. How dare anyone real fan say a negative word regarding the "Stubborn Master" . Greatest coach in the history of the game. How dare anyone say anything negative about Mr. 0.04, one of the most clutch players in the history of the Lakers. And how dare anyone say anything about Kobe...he should be shooting 40 shots a night instead of 30 !!! If you are a real Laker fan you will never utter a negative word. If those fans at Jonny boy K's bar say we will come out the West, we will come out of the West. Doc Rivers said we are better...so we are better.
There is absolutely no reason to utter one negative work on the blog. It upsets Jonny K...and we can't have our little boy upset !!!

I'm just curious.

How can anyone blame Kobe for this?

He's played through a bad back.
He's playing with a broken finger.
He's playing with a sprained ankle.

Kobe at 70% is better than every other Laker at 100%.

Would it be better if he sat down?
Have we seen anything from any other Laker that
would make us think they would step up and shine?

Just askin'

Artest, oh boy, he must be hurting. My feet hurt just watching him last night.
Why in the world isnt he being rested.

I see the Bulls pulled Noah because of planter fasciitis and he will be out for a while getting serious rest and treatment. Certainly the same should be done for Ron. It would be nice to have a healthy Ron later than to have him struggle all year and through playoffs.

Also, it looks as if Kobe doesnt have any lift, that ankle again. Will that ankle heal if he keeps playing? Geesh, if I were Karl I would play Kobe the entire all star game, feed his ego, pretty easy to do. Kobe can be his own worst enemy sometimes.

PJ is the man in charge, he needs to rest these guys for their own good. He says he'll leave it up to the player whether they can play or not. Has he lost his will to coach and take charge. Maybe PJ is just ready to go. He said a few days ago in an interview when asked if he will be back next year it depends if we win it all. Maybe, even subconsciously, PJ is ready to call it a career and is unintentionally sabotaging the team so he can walk away after we get dumped in the playoffs.

Its not DFishes fault, not Pau or Bynums, not the bench. We win as a team and lose as a team. These guys are just not in sync and neither is PJ.

Jon K,

"By the way, no one wants to read your screamy little posts calling for players heads and screaming that this team sucks." JK

~~ Of course, nobody want to read or deal with negativism but we have to face realities. If they improve, well and good but under the similar circumstances we have to be loyal to the team not to individual players. Players come and go and we have known that since the blog started, we all thought at that time Smush and Kwame would bring us Championship someday but it didn't happen. Changes were made and improved the team by a light year. Based on reality, Fisher has passed his prime and it's noticeable in many games. Farmar is not enough as a replacement, can't guard any of the PG's of premier teams, not even the sub 500 teams. Like for example for tonight, there is Brandon Roy, who can guard BR except Kobe again? Kobe is severely handicapped by injuries, he can't do the normal things he is capable of.

Somehow, Lakers have to make a decision. Therefore, let us not be emotional on players whose name is not Kobe. They are all replaceable by a better stock who will continue to carry the Laker banner. Our is good but not the best out there to do a *guaranteed repeat.

Let us not be afraid in improving the team, that's why we are here for the team, not for individual personalities and forgive my language, some of them really suck to the bone that is why people are mad as hell. Can you blame them for their unfavorable opinions and ranting?

Hey, remember that infamous cell phone video showing Kobe going on a rant when the Lakers wouldnt trade Bynum for a quality PG a couple years ago, (was it Jason Kidd) ?
Ya think that is still in Kobes mind, or in Bynums?
Ya think it still might play a factor in young Bynums head?
Ya think young Bynum, who has his ring at just 22, not realizing most players go an entire career wanting a ring and never get one, thinks maybe getting traded where he can be the BMOC might be better than where he is at now?
Ya think young Bynum, who recently said he can play anywhere, was sending a message?
Ya think young Bynum was traumatized by the 2 knee injuries and is just only going to do as much as he feels he needs to, that he is paranoid against getting another knee injury?
Ya think young Bynum, who was given too much money too soon, really thinks he needs to work any harder than he is now?
Ya think the Lakers should get a psych work up done on the entire team including PJ?
Does anyone know where their heads are at nowadays?
Do ya think the Lakers outward showing of cockiness is masking a growing feeling of doubt?

I think a lot is riding on what happens to the Lakers in the last three games prior to the All-Star break. If they go 2-1 in the next three games, you will see a "stay the course" approach figuring that they should just stay pat with their roster and see if they can play through their stuggles. But if they go 1-2 or a miserable 0-3 (as much as they've struggled I don't see them going 0-3), I think you will almost certainly see a move by the trade deadline. I doubt Buss will have the patience that some Laker fans have by just dismissing this team's obvious flaws with a "hey, it's just a regular season game." Which is obviously a rediculous argument.

When LA played Boston last Christmas and beat them didn't you all feel as though it was more important that just a simple regular season game? It turned out to be the catalyst that catapulted LA to the title. That game seemed to alter both team's fortunes.

I've read a lot of bashing of Fisher for his lax defense on the point guards like Rondo and Billups, but where is the criticism for the bigs?

Bynum and Gasol are not just out there to score and rebound but to protect the paint. Unfortunately, they are so-o-o-o slow on defense in their rotations that they allow guards and aggressive forwards to get into the paint unmolested. Nobody fears that Bynum will block their shot. They know he is slow and foul prone. I would drive on him too. Can you ever imagine somebody driving on Shaq in his prime?

When the Lakers lost last night to Denver, I felt a bit of frustuation as if I'm part of the team, but yet I'm only a fan. The second half was basically a nightmare for the Lakers and Denver has proven that they can play the Lakers.

Does this mean anything when playoffs come?

You bet it does. The Lakers felt down after this loss, maybe more down then they have felt throughout this season. It's sort of like the guy down the street coming into your house, whoopin your butt in front of your friends, and laughs as he leaves the premises.

So with that being said, the Lakers have every right to feel sorrow after this defeat. So what can they do now? Make adjustments, fire the coach, make a trade, or maybe, should the Lakers just continue playing the season, as they find the kinks and resolve them before the playoff's start.

One thing the Lakers can't do is start pointing fingers at each other. It isn't one individuals fault or a few. Basketball is a team game, and it's up to the coach to make this team co-exist with each other.

We as fans need to follow suit and not place the blame on a particular player(s) when things don't go right. Basketball is a competition and with that, every player and every team will face challenges. You can't expect the best out of everything and if you do, you'll end up having nothing. This goes with Life as well as basketball.

Jonnyv,Edwin and others...

Do i follow the Lakers?....Yes i love them..
What we post are our opinions.

When someone posts to upset others or a blogger that's not an opinion.
That's hate..

Maybe its just me and nobody forces me to visit daily..That's my choice.
And by the way i have plenty of heart.

Teams have ups and downs..Like someone once posted..adversity does not build character it reveals it.

@Rancher

"I think Phil is playing a game with the league to make sure he has the right match for the first round. I just don't see logic in some of the substitutions he's making making and we know that means something else is up. His plots have as many twists as an episode of NCIS."

There is definitely a reason PJ is playing games here. I don't think it is for playoff seeding, as we're too far from the end of the season to see what it is going to look like. Besides, wouldn't the preferable 1st round seeding be against the number 8 seed? PJ has gone on record and stated clearly that he knows the value of home court in the playoffs. That said, PJ probably realizes home court for finals is not gonna happen. So he has some flexibility to only maintain home court for the Western Conf. side of things.

I would maintain, PJ is more likely doing some things with his rotations in order to get this team to WAKE UP and bring the team into an optimal psychology for the play-offs. Or, bring the drama queen players to some point where "self awareness of plight" settles in. Or, he is trying to strip the lethargic gloss that has characterized play. Or he is working along some other "futility" meme. Again, within the limit of still obtaining #1 seed in West.

In any event, one has to either conclude "PJ has lost it/now stinks" or PJ is doing something purposeful. I tend to opt for the latter.

BLOG CRUE
What an ugly defeat. The game brought back memories of the Boston Masacre in the 08 Finals! What happened to defense, contesting every shot with arms up? I was at the Denver game in Nov and left at the end of the third Q. This was worse because it was at home, no Melo, and we had Gasol. All I could do was laugh like a crazy man. I had to deal with the Nuggets fans here in the CO.

Last year we were lucky enough for Portland to be taken out in the playoffs. If things continue like this, we'll be lucky enough for someone to take out Denver in the playoffs. If this happens, then we'll see lights out by Cleveland or maybe even Boston. LAKE SHOW- wake up and smell yourselves. You currently stink.

Colorado STILL loves our World Champion Lakers!

Hey guys a new post is up

MM

Jon K,

With much respect, you are out of line here. As MM put it, this blog is a community of free thinking Laker fans, from which quality dialog and debate are welcomed. As someone who doesn't always fall in line on this blog, I disagree with any criticisms of opinions that may or may not be popular. If the Laker head coach can criticize his team, if Kobe, Pau, Fisher, et all can criticize each other, if the sports media, local and otherwise, can criticize our Lakers, then why can't we bloggers do the same?

There's room on this blog for a diverse set of opinions. We're all entitled to state our mind, and we're all entitled to love our Lakers.


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