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Caught in the Web: Lakers coming off much-needed day of rest

Kobe Bryant Spurs Jan 12

Talk about good timing. 

The Lakers got a much-needed day of rest on the very day the average sports fan never feels like doing much beyond watching the Super Bowl. So while fans watched the New Orleans Saints defeat the Indianapolis Colts in dramatic fashion, Kobe Bryant's Super Bowl XLIV prediction go wrong and Lamar Odom's appearance in a Taco Bell ad, the Lakers also had time to recover from fatigue.

"My legs are so heavy right now," Lakers forward Pau Gasol offered to reporters as the main reason why he was looking forward to "just chill."

Gasol probably wasn't the only one feeling that way. Bryant missed his first game of the season Saturday in the Lakers' 99-82 victory over Portland because of a sprained left ankle. Center Andrew Bynum, who wore a brace to treat swelling in his left knee, missed the second half because of a right hip bruise.

The team has listed Bryant as "day-to-day" and Bynum as "doubtful" for Monday night's game against the San Antonio Spurs. But there's no doubt that the day of rest and relaxation helped. The Spurs are anticipating Bryant will play, but there is also the suggestion that Bryant may shut it down until after the All-Star break.

We'll soon find out if a day off and a Super Bowl fix is all that Bryant and Bynum needed to feel ready to go.

More Lakers links (after the jump)

--It's pretty clear the Chicago Bulls will ship guard Kirk Hinrich before the Feb. 18 trade deadline, the Daily Herald's Mike McGraw is reporting. He also suggests that the Lakers would be a good suitor if they offer Adam Morrison, Jordan Farmar and Josh Powell.

--There's many of them, but NBA.com managed to create a Top-10 list of Shannon Brown's best dunks. Consider it the appetizer before the full-course meal that is the NBA All-Star dunk contest. Those looking for what theatrics Brown will provide, well, he's not telling.

--The two-year anniversary involving the Lakers' acquisition of Gasol may wax nostalgia among Lakers fans, but no one else around the league has that same mindset. Spurs Coach Greg Poppovich originally lambasted Memphis for making the deal, but has since softened his stance. Still, the San Antonio Express-News' Jeff McDonald says there's no other way around the fact the Spurs have gone 2-7 against the Lakers since the Gasol trade.

-- Ball Don't Lie's J.E. Skeets isn't too keen on Odom's Taco Bell ad.

--Lakers great Jerry West, executive director of the Northern Trust Open, gave credit to the golfers and fans who weathered the heavy rain during play on Friday.

--Lakers forward Ron Artest has shot 43% from three-point range this season, a number the Riverside Press-Enterprise's Jim Alexander says is a pleasant surprise to Lakers Coach Phil Jackson.

Tweet of the Day: "According to Phil, Tex Winter said to Lakers B4 game: 'There is no substitute for hustle and if you don't hustle there will be a substitute.'" -- JeanieBuss (Lakers' executive vice president Jeanie Buss)

-- Mark Medina

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

Photo: Kobe Bryant looks to get past George Hill of the Spurs during the Lakers' 105-85 loss in San Antonio. Credit: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

 
Comments () | Archives (20)

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All fast food is nasty. Taco Bell is less nasty than a lot of fast food joints, but if you're comparing it to "real" Mexican food, then yeah, it's awful. Anyways, the commercial was extremely lame. LO was the best part. I hope they paid Charles a lot because that spot is almost as bad as Magic's San Manuel spot. Magic in that San Manuel commercial is a total mystery to me.

The Leprechauns are on Garage Sale offering Ray Allen for Kevin Martin.

If Jerry Buss has some loose change why not exchange our trash sale with Celtics, then put Ray Allen to a dog house in El Segundo or a fishing expedition on LA River. During his prime, he is a Laker tormentor, trash talker now at the twilight of his career it is our turn to make the last laugh. bwahahaha, even a leprechaun can get old and no longer threat except his expiring contract. How sweet life can be, sometime you are up, no you belong to Goodwill Stores. lol!

After the Celtics lost to Orlando, Doc Rivers said:
"Orlando's better than us right now. Atlanta's better than us right now. L.A.'s [the Lakers] better than us right now. Those are the teams that have beaten us. That doesn't mean that we can't be better than them at some point. But right now, those teams are better than us."

~~Yes, the Leprechaun Coach admitted that they re baaad!
If you are a true Laker fan, this is our annual dream or ritual - that a Leprechaun admits that he is baaad! That's 50% achievement for the season, the other 50 is the Repeat. Fire Danny Ainge!!!

Here is a good strategy for tonight. Lakers will play the same starter in the Blazer game tho' Kobe will be there watching on the bench just in case they need the Master. It brings no advantage if Lakers will pre-announce that Kobe is not playing (but that is the intention of the Coach). If he's there, it gives a psychological boost to our players and put the Spurs on their toes just in case PJ puts him in on limited minutes.

Spurs are complete with their reliable three plus Jefferson and McDyess. All of them are old but can beat the Lakers again if our players are not focused. On the Blazers team, they're mostly young players but the Spurs are veterans that is the reason why we need a healthy Kobe. If Bynum can play with a bruised hip, do it. As long as he is capable of running, play and be counted.

I'm going to the game tonight with my son, so far Lakers have not lost a game on our watch.

The above trade proposal for Kirk Hinrich works for me. I dig Josh Powell, but dude's too darn spotty. Don't know if Mitch is playing possum on purpose, but darnit WE NEED A POINT GUARD! PULL THE TRIGGER, MITCH!

Hey guys, the real key player is Pau Gasol. With Pau in the starting line up, LO, Artest and Fisher been betters (remember last game vs. blazers) Pau is the real point guard this team, he make run the triangle. Kobe is the scorer and maybe the best player around the world, but Pau is the answer for this Laker team. Pau Gasol is the Key Player for repeat.

Kirk Hinrich is not better than Jordan Farmar.

Hinrich is slower, worse fg%, higher salary and can't defend quick guards any better than D. Fish.

Hinrich + D. Fish are too slow.

Good morning Mamba24 & the fabulous Laker morning CRUE!!!

GAME DAY BABY - YYYYYEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

YYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

(That's an extra one in honor of The Who who did a pretty respectable job during Super Bowl half-time yesterday....!)


Mamba24 - a game day roll call ALWAYS perks me up and gets me ready for the game. Just as if I was going to play myself. Thanks!! LOL!!!!!!


Sidebar - Yeah Saints!! That coach has some seriously big cajones - HUGE.

I'm really looking forward to the game tonight. I hope Kobe continues to rest, but it wouldn't surprise me too much if he played either.... He's another dude with the huge huevos.


Either way - should be a good game. I'm pretty excited about it actually. If the kids are running the show I expect to see more of the same "Portland-esque" inspired play, and if Kobe is there I suspect he will the epitome of "facilitator" - see y'all on the live chat!!


Oh - and by the way - to all of you people out there thinking that we don't need Kobe - I suggest you get a prescription for some serious psychiatric medicine, cuz that can be the ONLY POSSIBLE REASON you'd ever be suggesting such idiocy. And I am totally serious and concerned for your mental health when I say that.


GO LAKERS!!!

Nothing but another title will suffice.

LakerTom,

"According to Phil, Tex Winter said to Lakers B4 game: 'There is no substitute for hustle and if you don't hustle there will be a substitute.'"

No BS. In your mind, does this comment indicate that Tex is unhappy with
how *ALL* of the Lakers have been running his offense or how Kobe has been
running his offense or how Lakers not named Kobe has been running his
offense? Keep in mind that Kobe wasn't playing.

I'm asking because you've said that Kobe has been waving people off vs my
comment that our guys haven't been putting in the effort.

JimJoyce,

Don't be scurred.

Is CHRIS KAMAN in the All-star game just because he was complaining about it? Kaman just made a visit to David Stern. He should NOT be in the game. END OF DISCUSSION.

don't know about latimes, but it seemed everytime i post the latimes would delete it. what's wrong with my posts, am i being singled out as a vermint?

Jobato,

you wrote: Hey guys, the real key player is Pau Gasol. With Pau in the starting line up, LO, Artest and Fisher been betters (remember last game vs. blazers) Pau is the real point guard this team, he make run the triangle. Kobe is the scorer and maybe the best player around the world, but Pau is the answer for this Laker team. Pau Gasol is the Key Player for repeat.

my response:

1st. Hello.

2nd. ummm ... 1 game has made you say this?

Ok. So if a team denies the post pass ... Like Denver/Cavaliers did how is Pau
going to make the Triangle run? If teams are physical with Pau like Denver &
Cavaliers have been, how is Pau going to make the Triangle run?

As of February, Artest has matched up against Anthony & LBJ. He has not
been able to shut them down. Both teams have been shooting great from
outside. How is Pau going to affect their outside shooting?

And I really want to know: 1 game against the Blazers who were without Oden,
Pryzbilla, Outlaw & Brandon Roy has made you believe that the Lakers are
suddenly a finely tuned machine capable of Denver, Orlando & Cavs?

Mine don't get posted either.

If you are a true Laker fan, this is our annual dream or ritual - that a Leprechaun admits that he is baaad! That's 50% achievement for the season, the other 50 is the Repeat. Fire Danny Ainge!!!

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | February 08, 2010 at 11:10 AM

-
IMHO, if you are a true Laker fan, you would wish that the Greenies emerge as the EC champion so we could have the pleasure of smacking them during the Finals. You would also wish thay they are all healthy so that they would have no excuse when the Lakers tear their hearts out and stomp on them on that darn parquet floor.

I agree Artest hasn't shut down Melo/BronBron, but hell its easier said than done. Those are two of the TOP 5 players in the league. I agree that he needs to be able to "neutralize" their games. A pedestrian 25pt 5reb 5 assists for Bron would be wonderful and we probably get a win when you can shut out his ability to make as many plays for others, likewise, a 22 point 5 reb game for Melo would be great but the thing is with both of their teams now respectively, they have BETTER supporting casts around them and have been playing with each other for a while now (Bron) and Chauncey is a proven winner so adjusting wasn't that hard for him to the Nuggetts. Their teams have simply much improved and way deeper than we are, in my opinion..

Hopefully, they both have peaked too soon and will be burnt out trying desperately win the regular season record wise whereas maybe we are looking to shut everyone down in the Playoffs on our way to a back-to-back..


Shannon is gonna win the Slam Dunk so just hand him the damn trophy now and cut out all the semantics!! Those hands, his explosion! Hell, its a WRAP!

besides I dont know what else Lil Nate can come up with, he already jumped over DHoward so if its not Thabeet sitting on Yao's shoulders, what else could he possibly do that would impress and no one has ever seen before from him??

That'll be good for Shannon..That's the only thing about the All-Star game I am really looking forward to. If Kobe doesn't play, I have no interest even with Pau in the mix.

@hobbitmage

Your pen is quite mighty this afternoon. You bring up an interesting point that I believe bares further scrutiny, you said, "If teams are physical with Pau like Denver &
Cavaliers have been, how is Pau going to make the Triangle run?" First off I am interpreting this question as a quasi statement and I realize you are responding to a pretty epic conclusion posted by Jobato (one I don't necessarily agree with, the triangle flows through the whole team, not one player).


I think that this is actually a two-way street. It goes back to when Shaq was a Laker and he would have trouble in the post with aggressive, physical defenders (Ben Wallace, for example) we'd veer away from working the ball into the post and would settle for jumper after jumper, generally shooting our way out of wins. Shaq would complain he didn't get his touches, Kobe would say he should have worked for better position, ESPN would have a field day wondering when they would draw swords and duel on the precipice of Staples.


But it's not so cut-and-dry. It's not just, "Pau's not working hard enough to establish good position." It's also, the perimeter ball handlers aren't working hard enough to establish proper spacing and often don't know, or haven't demonstarted an ability to, execute the correct pass.


For 3 years Farmar has shown an alarming lack of ability to deploy the ball into the post without Pau or Drew establishing EXCELLENT post position. Clear seal, arm free, no arm-in-the-back call from the officials, he holds the ball over his head (already he's off to a bad start by telegraphing his pass) double clutches the pass and then kinda just...lobs it in there.


Fisher is better at dumping it down low, but I don't think I can remember him ever throwing a successful lob pass to a cutter or post player spinning off his man. He usually hits the rim. So if you're looking for Pau and Drew to establish EXCELLENT post position every time down, then you're probably disappointed about 40% of the game.


Pau is fantastic at establishing good post position. Andrew less so, he doesn't seal his man very well because he seems to still be lacking some lateral mobility. I'm not sure how much trust he has in his knee still, it seems lacking so far. He started real strong and has tapered off, save for a flash or two here and there. Good post position requires your team to step it up a bit in working the ball down low. Maybe swing the ball to the weak side and back, maybe try a (gasp) repost pass and try to get a fore arm in the back call (something Pau has not been getting all year).


My main point is that Pau and 'Drew just can't seal their man and wait. It just doesn't happen that way, especially when Fish isn't on the floor. If Luke's in, he can work it down low well, too, but he's been a non-factor so far this year and probably is still working his way into game shape. I figure he'll be ready come playoffs. I feel thatwhen Farmar and Brown are the in the back court, our post play suffers considerably due to their inability to establish it in the offense?


I definitely agree that one game does not a trend make are domo origato Mr. Jobato needs to maybe see how the trend looks in, say, 2 weeks or more.


Whatcha think, mang?

I hope and pray Kobe remains in injured list this week, so we prove to all that without him we are a much better team!

Go Lakers

If you are a true Laker fan, this is our annual dream or ritual - that a Leprechaun admits that he is baaad! That's 50% achievement for the season, the other 50 is the Repeat. Fire Danny Ainge!!!

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | February 08, 2010 at 11:10 AM
===========================
Edwin my friend. I think a better fate for Ainge is to keep his job and watch the Lakers destroy his Ceptics knowing he can't do a thing to stop us.
=============================
-
IMHO, if you are a true Laker fan, you would wish that the Greenies emerge as the EC champion so we could have the pleasure of smacking them during the Finals. You would also wish thay they are all healthy so that they would have no excuse when the Lakers tear their hearts out and stomp on them on that darn parquet floor.

Posted by: The Snake | February 08, 2010 at 01:02 PM
===========================
Snake
That scenario is one I would love to see!

@Jamie Sweet,
Great Post! Maybe that's why Phil wants tall PG's. To somehow get the pass over the big that's guarding our big in the post. Our PG's (Fish and Famar) aren't tall and I do notice that they don't seem to be willing to risk the pass over the top to our bigs in the post. Though if that were the case, Kobe's 6'6 and I guess ....oh I dunno! LOL.

I have read your post twice now and I will read it yet again. Interesting stuff to digest Jaminus.


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