Lakers Now

Round-the-Clock Purple and Gold

« Previous Post | Lakers Now Home | Next Post »

Caught in the Web: Lakers aware of their competition

6a00d8341c506253ef0128776e9121970c-320wi

The Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks are on the Lakers' radar.

The Nuggets (37-19) trail the Lakers (42-14) by only five games in the Western Conference standings, recently defeating the league-leading Cleveland Cavaliers (43-14) and the Boston Celtics and are victorious against the Lakers twice already this season. The Jazz (36-19) isn't too far behind, sitting 5.5 games out of first place in the West after finishing 4-0 on a its most recent trip. And the Dallas Mavericks (35-21) are in the mix too, winning their past three games and recently acquiring Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood from Washington.

"We're all aware of what other teams are doing around the league, how teams are playing and who's playing well collectively and individually," Fisher said. "We're aware of how Denver is playing and how other teams are competing. But we know until you play that team, there isn't much you can do about it but focus on yourself."

But The Times' Broderick Turner wrote the Lakers are more worried about themselves. After all, the Lakers (42-14) currently lead the West by five games and will remain in that spot so long as they keep winning. The Riverside Press Enterprise's Dan Weber reported that mindset has extended to the Cavaliers (43-14) sitting only a half game above the Lakers for the league's best record, even if Fox Sports' Charley Rosen correctly observed that the team's third consecutive loss shows the "Cavs' aura of invincibility has vanished."

The Lakers aren't just aware of teams such as Denver and Utah creeping up in the standings. They're also cognizant that they're currently going through a quiet part of their schedule that's featured a four-day All-Star break, two games the following week and a four-day stretch between games before the Lakers resume competition Tuesday against Memphis. It picks up in March, though, where only four of the 15 games are at home. But the Daily News' Elliott Teaford noted that Lakers Coach Phil Jackson is "looking forward to it, actually."

More Lakers links (after the jump)

--Lakers forward Lamar Odom may not be watching much of the Winter Olympics, but ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin explains how Team USA's bronze finished in 2004 remains fresh in Odom's mind as he gears up for another Olympic run in 2012.

--Lakers executive vice president Jeanie Buss often shares her thoughts on Twitter. But this is the next best thing: Buss' thoughts on video. NBA Fanhouse's Jon Weinbach talks to Buss about her dad, the NBA and Jackson.

--One side effect of Lakers guard Kobe Bryant sitting out is that he's no longer first or second in the MVP race. NBA.com's Steve Aschburner, who ranked Bryant third behind LeBron James and Kevin Durant, said he won't punish Bryant for his injury, writing "There's a saying in sports that you don't lose your starting job to injury, and The Race has a similar version: An MVP candidate doesn't lose his Top 3 ranking to an injury that doesn't require surgery or figure to sideline him for more than a few weeks."

--Bryant isn't just the cover subject in the latest issue of GQ. He also graces the front cover in the latest issue of Dime magazine. Those wanting to read the story can go to pages 62-69. If that's too hard, well tough luck. I'd link each page individually but the address is still the same.

--You may as well stay at the Dime website for a little bit. They compiled a Top 10 list ranking the NBA's frontcourts, with the Lakers' Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest boasting the league's most dangerous tandem inside.

--Magic guard Jameer Nelson told NBA Fanhouse's Tim Povtak that he'll do his part to prevent a Lakers-Cavs Finals matchup. The reasons likely extend beyond finding the Nike puppet commercials to be annoying.

Tweet of the Day: "Nah bro, I don't think Reggie would appreciate it. Lmao" -- RealLamarOdom (Odom to a follower on why he couldn't hook him up with sister--in-law Kim Kardashian, who is the girlfriend of Saints running back Reggie Bush.

--Mark Medina

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

Photo: Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups dishes off after Lakers forward Lamar Odom provides help defense in a recent game. Credit: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times.

 
Comments () | Archives (31)

The comments to this entry are closed.

YF… “Haha.. Enjoyed ur last post.. I'm goin switzerland here and not takin sides but I've had a few chuckles reading all ur xchanges..” LOL. Hey, after all, it’s just a blog, although “the” blog in my opinion. I have no problem being told I’m wrong, crazy, stoned, too polyanna, or whatever – just as long as they don’t lie about and misrepresent what I said. That is the one thing that will make me go ballistic. Of course, you have now made sure that Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum will have to repost some of the latest greatest hits. LOL.
- - - - - - - -
TOM

CyberCosmicX (from several blogs back),

>>>Problem is though, Farmar isn't starter quality in my opinion. He hasn't been
>>>able to corral his erratic nature, too often he continues to take ill-advised
>>>shots. Too often he also seems to miss obvious passes he should be making,
>>>the same types of passes that D-Fish effortlessly makes.

Oh really.

Farmar's only start (and starter level minutes) in the last two seasons was game 3 in the Houston series in the 2009 playoffs (when Fish got suspended).

In that game, Jordan played almost 33 minutes. He made 3 of 7 of his shots and 6 of 8 free throws for 12 points. He also got 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and a block.

Jordan's opposing starting PG was Aaron Brooks, who usually lights up the Lakers. In that game, Farmar held Brooks to 8 points, 1 assist, and 3 turnovers.

In that series, Derek Fisher and his "effortless" passing (according to you), never got more than 2 assists in a game. In two of the games, he got 0 assists. In fact, for the WHOLE 2009 PLAYOFFS, Derek Fisher never ONCE got 7 assists in a game. His best was 6 assists in game 1 vs Denver. He averaged 2.2 assists for the whole playoffs.

And Fish is just as likely as Jordan to take ill-advised shots. With Derek, any time he drives to the rim if there's ANYBODY there, it's pretty much a guaranteed miss and he does it once or twice a game. Jordan can finish at the rim, even in traffic, and is also better at driving into the lane and kicking out to an open shooter.

Is it Tuesday yet?

My Lakeraholicism is giving me the shakes.

I sure hope that we destroy Memphis when we play them. That might actually shut up the chicken littles for a couple hours.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Phil Time

Time to get a run goin'. TIme to shut everybody up, tighten rotations, run the offense and get on the center line of the road to the Ring.

This is goin' to be fun. Some other teams believe but we've got a another gear.
Go Lakers

That would have been like Kirk Gibsons HR for the Dodgers in the 1988 World Series VS the A's. Bottom on the 9th, 2 outs, down 4-3 in game 1, man on first. Gibson is called to pinch hit, limps up to the plate. He falls quickly behind with an 0-2 count against the premier reliever at the time, Dennis Eckersly. He then works a 3-2 count and then amazingly hits it out of the park to win the game. And he wasnt even in the dugout, was back in the training room during the game, too injured to play. That turns out to be Gibsons only at bat in the series but Dodgers beat the heavily favored A's 4 games to 1. What an awesome moment in LA sports history that was.
Ok, so Kobe coming in to beat the Celts with a last second shot would NOT have been that big, but it would have been pretty cool.
Posted by: Art-FL Laker Fan | February 22, 2010 at 08:30 AM

Ahhhhh.... Art, that is my all time favorite sports moment. I still have a hard time believing it actually happened. It was like a moment out of the movie "The Natural".

A close second would be Magic's baby sky hook in Boston. That too was just unbelieveable.

Jon K. -

It might, but depending on how we win (if we were to beat Memphis), they'd have something else to complain about.

it's almost like defining one's position merely as the opposite of another.

In that series, Derek Fisher and his "effortless" passing (according to you), never got more than 2 assists in a game. In two of the games, he got 0 assists. In fact, for the WHOLE 2009 PLAYOFFS, Derek Fisher never ONCE got 7 assists in a game. His best was 6 assists in game 1 vs Denver. He averaged 2.2 assists for the whole playoffs.

And Fish is just as likely as Jordan to take ill-advised shots. With Derek, any time he drives to the rim if there's ANYBODY there, it's pretty much a guaranteed miss and he does it once or twice a game. Jordan can finish at the rim, even in traffic, and is also better at driving into the lane and kicking out to an open shooter.

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan


Nice post LTLF,
The average fan just listens to Phil thinks he can do no wrong and doesn't understand what really goes on in the game. He is too consumed with watching the score and not really watching the action on the court.

CHOP CHOP CHOP - SLICE & DICE - HACK HACK HACK:

Kobe fan in Cupertinio you wrote:

billy in slo:

You have said "probably covered allready but did you'all see the crab sulk off the court after the loss to the nuggets and a fantastic battle with melo..."

Did you actually see the game, or were you stoned?? I think when you said "Crab", you meant Lebron due to his famous "crab dribble".

So, if it was Lebron, where did they play the Nuggets today?? Dude, they played and lost to the Magic!! Megic = Orlando Magic and NOT Denver Nuggets. I am not here to support Lebron, but what you said is totally incoherent and lacks facts!!


hahahaha...no mercy..

You hear that Elizabeth, I am coming to join you!!

Jonny Boy K,
Maybe there are some many chicken littles because the Lakers on paper are a dominating team and the Lakers on the court are not !!

JohnnyV,

This one was pretty good too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp19op8uK1E

Kobe misses. Shaq misses.

Horry SWISH!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

I was a little surprised that in that Dime Magazine interview Kobe states that he'd be content just winning one more Championship. I didn't expect that.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Horry Swish! LOL, Mr Jon K, that my friend, was a good call.

How would you rank that in LA Sports history?

DFish you are a chicken little like everyone else who is worried or nitpicking about the little stuff that needs to be worked out in the regular season when it doesn't matter how "dominant" we are. In fact this has been one of the most boring seasons in awile because there is NOTHING to worry about! Is it June yet?

That reminds me, how is Robert Horry not part of the LA Lakers? Big shot Rob. I miss that guy. I heard that he had a beef with the Lakers and when he left was real upset.

Anybody know the story on him? Why he seems so distant from the Lakers? I guess I can understand that he was associated for so long after us with the Spurs. But I sense there is more to the story.

I can remember listening to the dodger game on the radio, well my dad was, and I stopped and sat down, when they announced Gibson coming in, he simply said, and I SWEAR to God on this...."home run, game over, dodgers win".... and sure enough he was right...I believe he has that "gift" of foreseeing the future, which I believe I do at times, of course it could easily be explained as coincidence, and think of how many times we were wrong, but I tell you, when I got those premonitions, I will just say things out of the "blue"...and they usually are not within the normal parameters of what could possibly happen. And don't bother asking me about lottery numbers or stock performance, doesn't work there....

As I said before, I think that with all the time that has passed from Kobe's first run, to the magazine's "one more"....say it happens in 2 years, that would be like a 12-13 year span between first and last, what was MJ's????....an 8 year span, Kobe has grown from that 175 pound rookie that was never tutored by anyone, into the consummate professional on and off the court. I'd say his reputation is so strong he could probably recover from another incident with a "leecher" of a woman. I say if we don't find a point guard to replace fisher, than Kobe moves over, and becomes the coach on the floor, and I wonder if he has any aspirations to be a coach on the bench.In the triangle the 1 thru 5 numbers overlap anyway, look at how much Odom brings the ball up??? Why, because the man who could probably rebound at Rodman rate if he set his heart to rebounded the ball....When the Lakers signed Odom for his $8mil/per, they were basically getting 4 players....so think of if as Lamar Odom, the "$2 million dollar a year ($4 million with tax penalty) player. Why do we still have Morrison? They should have just cut him. I'll bring it up again, they should have give Sun Yue more than 29 minutes over a 4 year period, he's obviously better player than Morrison now, and would probably be a way better shooter than Walton. Think of him as a smaller ball handling Kirkilenko. But all my pleads went for naught, and the next time we see him will be in London in 2012.

I can remember listening to the dodger game on the radio, well my dad was, and I stopped and sat down, when they announced Gibson coming in, he simply said, and I SWEAR to God on this...."home run, game over, dodgers win".... and sure enough he was right.
Posted by: humanomaly | February 22, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Funny story here, I was watching the Dodger game last summer and I use my DVR quite alot. I can watch a game in 90 minutes instead of the 3 hours it usually takes. So I see that someone hit a homerun and I roll it back to the beginning of the inning to watch it in context.

My nephew walks by and sees that the Dodgers are playing and sits down to watch the game with me. We are chatting about the game when I see that the guy that hit the home run is coming up. I look over at my nephew and say, "This guy is due. I say he hits one out." Of course he does and my Nephew is VERY impressed with me. LOL, I had alot of fun with that one.

WUTTUP CRUE!!!!


Jon K - I have to agree with you on a couple of points here:

1. I cant' wait until tomorrow too - this has been too long of a break between games (although for the team it's a good time to heal). STILL - this is about US and my Lakerholism must get it's fix!!! LOL!

2. I too was very surprised to read that Kobe would be satisfied with 1 more ring. Surprised isn't even the right word here..... more like I got stun-gunned or something. Seriously - I sure would like someone (MM!!!!) to ask him more about that.


Not sure who mentioned about how the Princess walked off the court after her last second shot missed - with a tear in her eye and not shaking hands with anyone. NOT that I expected the handshake, but a nod or wave would have been some kind of sportsmanship-like gesture ya know? LOL! What a freaking cry baby, little punk ass beeeyotch. IF it comes down to us and them in the Finals (and I'm not holding my breath there cuz I'm pretty sure she ain't gonna make it that far) I would settle for NOTHING less than an all-out total domination, slap down, beat up, kick ass KILLING of her and her crab team. Seriously. The princess and her tea party of crab friends are a waste of space. Of course that's JMHO....


GO LAKERS!!!!


Nothing but another title will suffice.

"Ben Wallace didn't think much of the strategy the San Antonio Spurs used Sunday evening to overcome a late deficit and force overtime in their 109-101 loss to the Detroit Pistons. Either that, or he just didn't like being asked about it. The Spurs fouled Wallace away from the ball on five consecutive possessions to send the career 41.9 percent free throw shooter to the line. Wallace went 4-for-10, and the Spurs cut what had been an 11-point deficit early in the period to four points by the time Pistons coach John Kuester replaced Wallace with Richard Hamilton with 2 minutes, 5 seconds on the clock. Wallace threw his headband to the floor as he made his way to the bench. 'It's garbage,' Wallace said when asked about the strategy. Wallace was asked how he felt about Kuester showing confidence by leaving him in so long while the Spurs employed the strategy. 'That's garbage, too,' Wallace said, then quickly ended the interview."


Man, that is just so strange. Because I remember that Ben Wallace had no problem employng that strategy on Shaq in the 2004 Finals. Weird, maybe Big Ben was referring to the head band he tossed. Although, if it's garbage you might get a fine for littering, Ben.

Yup, in addition to Gibsons HR in '88, Magics baby sky hook over the Celts, Horrys last second shot after Kobe and Shaq miss, thanks for bringing those up johnnyv and Jon K.
Speaking of Horry, wasnt that shot against the Cowbells in that ridiculous 7 games series that the Lakers won in OT in game 7 in Sactown? What a squeaker of excitement that one was!
And there was that Portland series that same year (forget which yr that was), Lakers down by 15 in the 4th quarter of game 7 in LA, what a comeback.

I'm sure theres more but the brain is kinda blank at the moment, too excited remembering those great times right now.

We LA fans are really lucky to be given so many awesome sports memories. Think about all the teams that really dont have much of anything like that to fall back on.

If theres more of those special times would love to see them revisited here if anyones up for it.


>>>Maybe there are some many chicken littles because the Lakers on paper are a
>>>dominating team and the Lakers on the court are not !!

Well, let's put it this way.

The Lakers have the largest average point differential in the league, at 6.7.
Cleveland is at 6.6.

So on the average, the Lakers are about as dominating as the Cavs are, though 6.6/6.7 isn't really that dominating an average margin of victory. If you're averaging 10 point victories, then you could said to be a dominating team.

Kobe as a coach? Like, a head coach?
I just cant see that. I think he would be about as good as Magic was as a coach, not very.
I dont think many of the greats go on to be good coach's, I cant think of any but maybe there have been a few.
Not sure why, maybe their expectations are too great, none of their players can ever be as good as they were?

JohnnyV,

"How would you rank that in LA Sports history?"

Definitely top ten.

Regarding your question about Robert Horry, I don't know why he isn't more intimately still tied to the Lakers. I was a big fan.

In fact, I have only met two Lakers in person in my life: Rick Fox and Robert Horry.

Rick Fox was a jerk and had some girl tailing him the whole night while he was married to Vanessa Williams.

Robert Horry, in contrast, was a gentleman. He was very cordial and patient with me and I appreciated that.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

The good news is that chicken littleitis is not limited to Laker Nation.

Presently among Cavs Nation people are clamoring for the firing of Mike Brown upon this three-game losing streak.

Interesting.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!!

Art -FL Laker Fan,

"I dont think many of the greats go on to be good coach's, I cant think of any but maybe there have been a few."

Lenny Wilkens immediately springs to mind. I had the pleasure of seeing him play back in the day and if you need more confirmation than his HOF selection then I can vouch for him. The guy was great player and then a great coach!

Art -FL Laker Fan,

I too just can't see Kobe Being a head coach. Maybe I'm wrong on this, but the Greats generally haven't translated well to head coaching status.

Let's have a look:

Magic Johnon: Lousy coach.
Jerry West: Lousy coach, great GM.
Michael Jordan: Lousy GM
Isiah Thomas: Lousy coach, lousy GM
Larry Bird: Good coach, lousy GM (Note: Bird quit coaching simply because he couldn't handle not playing and personally implementing coaching decisions on the court. He was just too competitive like that.)
Bill Russell: Good coach

I just wonder if Kobe is too personally competitive to coach. It seems there has to be a certain degree of detachment for a coach to acheive excellence.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

aztronut,

Isn't Lenny Wilkens also the losingist coach in NBA history? Do I have that right?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Thinking about the Thuggets..Carmelo complaining that they don't get respect -- if I am not mistaken, it's earned when one wins a championship -- not regular season games and few playoff series..Which they haven't done yet.

Last year, Chauncey was killing it from the 3pt line and then when we met up with the in the Conference finals -- we D'd that ass up and his percentage went wayyyyy down.. I think they live and die with Chauncey -- how he goes or doesn't. I think that'll be key this year too if we meet them again down the line in the Playoffs. Also, cooling off their role players like Ty Lawson, J.R. Smith, Arron Falafel Afflalo and Birdman -- keeping them in check -- we should be able to beat them in like 6 games if it comes to it..

Just sayin.'

Jon K.,

"Isn't Lenny Wilkens also the losingist coach in NBA history? Do I have that right?"

As far as I know that is correct. Which just confirms what a great coach he was, because we all know that you have to be a pretty damn good coach to set that record!

Of course, he also has the most coaching wins coach in NBA history, although Don Nelson is closing in. Nelson was a rather mediocre player himself.

Another great player who made a great coach was Jerry Sloan, one of the best defensive guards in the league throughout his long career.

Well, let's put it this way.

The Lakers have the largest average point differential in the league, at 6.7.
Cleveland is at 6.6.

So on the average, the Lakers are about as dominating as the Cavs are, though 6.6/6.7 isn't really that dominating an average margin of victory. If you're averaging 10 point victories, then you could said to be a dominating team.

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan

Numbers don't tell the whole story. Watch the games...Lakers have been bailed out 5 times by Kobe. And really have not looked dominant most nights. Great record but not really indicative of their overall play. Cavs have not been that dominant either. Not like the Bulls of the late 90's.

Thinking back to Jerry Sloan's playing days got me remembering the Bulls starting five from way back...

Tom "Bullwinkle" Boerwinkle
Chet "The Jet" Walker
Bob "Butterbean" Love
Norm Van Lier
Jerry Sloan

That was one tough bunch and they always gave the Lakers all they could handle...

Ya know, this is one of the few times that I can agree with DFish. Our Lakers haven't been dominant as far as winning with a large margin. That being said, they've done enough to put themselves in the position to win games and trade the best record in the NBA back and forth.

We're now in the best part of the season, when teams start putting their A-Game together running down to the playoffs. Now we're going to see what dominance in all about. Hide and watch!

JR


Connect

Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video

All Things Lakers »

Your database for all things purple and gold.

Find a Laker

Search a name

Select a season

Choose one of our lists



Categories


Archives
 

About the Bloggers


Bleacher Report | Lakers

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More Lakers on Bleacher Report »



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists:


In Case You Missed It...