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Lakers defeat Spurs without Bryant, Bynum

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Lakers 101, Spurs 89 (final)

The Lakers have played two games without Kobe Bryant now, 1 1/2 half games without Andrew Bynum, and they still have been successful.

Bryant missed his second straight game because of a sprained left ankle. Bynum missed the second half of the Portland game Saturday night and didn't play Monday night because of a right hip contusion.

After snapping a nine-game losing streak in Portland on Saturday night, the Lakers followed that up by defeating the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night at Staples Center without two of their key players.

Pau Gasol, the Lakers' other All-Star along with Bryant, was the man for a Lakers team that had five players score in double figures.

Gasol had a double-double with 21 points and 19 rebounds, three shy of his career high.

Gasol also had five blocked shots and eight assists.

-- Broderick Turner

Photo: Lakers forwards Ron Artest, left, and Lamar Odom pressure Spurs forward Antonio McDyess during the first half Monday night. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

RELATED: Photos from Lakers-Spurs game

 
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So now that everyone believes me that this team has players outside of Kobe, can you imagine how good they could be WITH Kobe playing WITHIN the offense?

If we can keep this balance with Drew and Kobe in the line-up, WE ARE UNBEATABLE!

box score: http://tinyurl.com/ylao9bt

Good win.

GO LAKERS!!

Great team play by all the Laker team. The last two games have been magnificant and every player has played their role. I can only say there is no big need for Bynum. He is only avg about 5 points and 3 or 4 rebounds whenever he plays. I would like to say he is trade biat and Bosh sure looks good. With all the injuries Bynum has his stock is ging down hill fast.

Farmar played a great game.

He showed speed and his potential to be an all star.

Starting Farmar is the best option for Lakers wins.

Kobe or no Kobe.

While Kobe & Drew heals, the Lakers rejuvenate as team. The Lakers are starting to like the defending champs again. Sometimes Kobe needs to watch to see what his team can do then plug himself in the system. I finally can see the light at the end of the tunnel for the Lakers. We can dismiss the loses against Cavs and the Nuggets cause they played against sleeping Lakers team. OMG I've been waiting all season the tenacity of this team, especially with Artest; He's finally coming out. Ron has so much respect for the team, he became so passive like Lamar. Now with Kobe on the sideline, both of them are playing like All-Star. Of course without the other MVlaker, Gasol...It's nice to see him happy too.,....keep it movin fellas.....

That play in the first quarter where LO split the double-team at the elbow, took one big step down the lane and dunked with authority was the best offensive move I’ve seen him make all season, hands down. Lamar seemed to finally realize tonight that the best way not to miss layups is to dunk the ball every chance you get. If he can carry that attitude over into his play the rest of the year there’s no doubt that the Lakers will be a better team for it.

I’ve been seeing a lot of Pau’s little jump hooks come up short lately, a sure sign that his legs are tired, as he freely admits. I’ve also noticed Bynum having the same type of trouble recently. Hopefully taking a few games off to rest his hip pointer and swollen knee will rejuvenate him a bit.

To bad we can’t get Pau to sit out the All-Star game too, as I assume Kobe plans to, but I’m sure the league office would have a conniption fit if the Lakers tried to pull that one off. Maybe we could send them LO and Artest as substitutes for Kobe an Pau, since they’ve both been playing like All-Stars recently, although Ron could probably use the time off as well to rest his sore feet. He sure looks better lately though, so either his puppies aren’t bothering him anymore or he found some way to workaround the concrete boots problem.

Not so funny how TNT joined the game in progress, missing the first bucket and landing about ten seconds in, after showing an obligatory commercial between games of course. I hate when these networks sacrifice game time to squeeze in extra ads, even though I always fast forward through them anyway. They should get dinged in their next broadcast contract for every second of play that they miss for commercials, but I’m not gonna hold my breath waiting for that to happen since I know the league wants every dime of revenue they can get and

Looks like Sasha decided to show up tonight, with three bombs, two 3s, in the second quarter. Fish dropped some rainbows too, and Artest continues his season-long aerial bombardment from downtown. Shannon Brown opened the second half with a monster dunk, warming up for the All-Star weekend dunk contest I presume. Monster game for Pau, 21/19/8/5. Wow, talk about putting up numbers and filling out the box score!

PJ is wearing a wire and in an early huddle calmly says, “We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the ball.” Immediately afterwards, Doug Collins relates that the Spurs are leading the Lakers 10-0 in points off of TOs, proving once again that PJ is a master of understatement. He also told the Lakers in that same huddle that they definitely wanted to continue running Timmy up and down the court all night long, which reminded me a lot of what George Karl was telling the Nuggets the other night when the game with the Lakers was still very much a contest. He said something to the effect that they had to keep pushing the Lakers all night long cause eventually they would wear them down, and lordy was he right about that! In hindsight it was obvious that he knew exactly what he was talking about and It gave me a renewed respect for Karl’s coaching skills.

The other thing I noticed in that Denver game that really hurt the Lakers was their inability to pass the ball into the post. I counted only four post-entry passes into Drew the whole game, and he kicked two of them back out. Even when the Nuggets took Nene out to rest the Lakers couldn’t seem to get the ball into the bigs in the paint. Fish in particular has disdained the post-entry pass this entire season.

LO got the halftime interview and when asked how the Lakers are adjusting without Kobe he said, “we just go out there and do what we always do, run the triangle and be aggressive when we get opportunities.” Which begs the question of whether they really do always run the triangle, or take every opportunity to be aggressive with Kobe on the floor. I found his answer to be somewhat ironic, in a completely serious kind of way.

It was near the end of the third quarter when the Lakers got five offensive rebounds on one possession, and Artest ended the spree by throwing in a bank from the lane, getting fouled and making the FT to complete the and-one, that I knew the Lakers were gonna win this game, even though they were only up by eight at the time. In the between quarter interview, right after that sequence had occurred, PJ said that he wasn’t happy with the way his team was rebounding, go figure. If his guys were within earshot I would think he was just fuckin’ with ‘em, but I don’t think they were. So either he was scoping out some babe in the crowd while the Lakers were playing solo ping-pong off the backboard or he just couldn’t think of anything else to complain about. I’m guessing it was the latter since we all know PJ never wants to be seen to be at a loss for words, or a smart-aleck remark in a sideline interview.

Another great, complete team victory. The Spurs looked as discombobulated as the Lakers were before that win over the Blazers the other night. Which just goes to show that every team goes through highs and lows over the course of the regular season. The players know this, and the coaches know it as well. It’s the fans, sportswriters, and rabid blog scribes that are the ones who seem to forget. It’s amazing to me that professional athletes can keep their objectivity amidst the adrenalin-fix of the competition, and thus become less emotionally involved during the course of a game than the fans. They almost always reserve their emotional reactions for the aftermath, and generally hide even those from public scrutiny. There’s a few folks around here who might learn a thing or two from their example. No worries about tantrums tonight though. As my southern belle ex-girlfriend used to say, “we’re shittin’ in high cotton!”

DFish...Your like the Jordan of idiots...
A six time MVP.....Go play world of war craft or try Knitting.....Clown...

If you use the triangle correctly,you get this result..
Look who led the team in assists....Pau with 8...
Start it in the post and the rest is history...
Good win..

IT'S NOT ABOUT KOBE PLAYING WITHIN THE OFFENSE WHEN HE COMES BACK, IT'S ABOUT THE PLAYERS PLAYING AND HUSTLING AS THEY ARE NOW WHEN KOBE GETS BACK

I hardly recognized this team.
Players running and cutting when the ball is out on the wing.
Players running down court in transition on both offense and defense.

When Kobe gets on the wing, for whatever reason, the players stop, and that is not Kobe's fault.

So quit acting like without Kobe this is a better team, the players are hyper-active right now, but it can't be sustained over a significant period of time.

GOOD team win.. glasshoppas are back on tlack...

Man who run in front of the car get tired.
Man who run behind the car get exhausted.

Shalin Monk

Tom, I miss you

where is tom?

Okay. At work finally and so I can write more.

It has been an awesome team play.

Awesome.

For the very first time this season, we had a constant time clocking transition from D to O, and back and forth.

It has been so great to watch.

Hugely rewarding.

All of our players today did their job at their current best and delivered a really flattering game as singular entities and - WAY MORE important - as cohesive unit on the floor.

The current best I was speaking of is in Pau's case is not nearly 60% of what he can do: he still heavy on legs, but as game progressed, I saw he was getting better. Not "well enough" yet, but at least better.
By the time he past the All Star Game, he'll be in shape, and he will be back being the monstrous player who makes every other one of his opponents pale as a global skill level. Uh.. and did you see? Being at his 60% he was the best player tonight. Pau bashers.. please, get a life. Or a basketball teaching book. It's for your own evolution. Seriously. This man is the player who can make all of his teammate reach their very best on court. Kobe knows it, PJ knows it, every single one of his teammates knows it, and the opponents also do (did you hear Popovich's interview on the floor? right).
Whomever is unable to get this adamantine evidence quite simply is not fit to understand the basketball game.
Forget statistic. Open your friggin eyes and WATCH what happens on court, not just who handles the ball, but how the players are spread on the floor, how they move, how they cross, how they penetrates, split, interact.
Pau is the highest QI player around, hands down the best PF of the league.
He's not in shape right now.
He will be there soon enough.
About dunking, he doesn't need that.
Let Shannon dunk.
Pau is there for way different and completely useful things.
Pau doesn't punch and never will.
But when he's on shape, he doesn't need to punch: he will dance around all of others punks and fool them with technique.
It has already happened.
It will happen again and again and again.

This team has committed guys out there.

And these guys are making me proud tonight.

All of them.

Whomever will bring up the usual "we don't need Kobe" nonsense will once again prove himself not particularly bright, or senseful.

This team is a great team also without Kobe when everyone is up to their par, but with Kobe at it as well, in his shape, man, we just don't have competitors.
Kobe hopefully will rest and I hope also bail out from the All Star Game. With a healthy Kobe and this team in check (we are not in check yet, still, but at least we're building up bonding links on the floor) quite simply nobody can have us.

It's about global talent.

The way the different skills can create a variated approach to the game, may it be defensively or offensively.

It's about game experience and killer instinct.

It's about ALL that we are best at.

A smart player will always win over a brutally energized one.

A smart and skilled team will always have it against a brutally energized one in a 7 series.

Always.

So, this is again JUST a game.

Don't start singing choirs cos it's JUST regular season and we still a work in progress. Don't forget and don't go nuts for it's not a healthy or useful way to watch at this win. It's a satisfaction. Nthing more and nothing less. Let's go on, forget about this, focuse on next task and start it all over again, hopefully improving through experiences.

But one thing is clear and I hope the usual whiners can see it: this team is so full of talent and skill it gets ridicolous at times.
To despise what we are blessed to witness the way some here are keepin doing is quite frankly disheartening and puts under question the love for this game (before it does for this franchise) some of the most bitter around have.

We are friggin Lakers fans.
The worst that it can happen to us would be buyed as GOLDEN from anyone else in this League ALWAYS.

I try to never forget that.

And I always try to be grateful for this amazing ride this team makes me live all years of my life.

Thank you guys.

Keep going.

;)

Another great win, & great to see Sasha stop pushing his shot, just playing loose & having fun. An opportunity to let some other guys step up & find a way to win rather than relying on Kobe & particularly, diddling around with no real purpose & then desperately passing to Kobe as the clock runs down in the hope that he can bail them out. Get back to some basic basketball, run that triange, pass, & don't be afraid to shoot the open shot with confidence.


I hope Kobe skips the All-Star Game altogether. And I would send the League a clear message. He needs the protection of the rules against the Tom Thibodeau/Celtics style defensive tactics increasingly employed against him (& certainly picked up upon by the Thuggets). The refs are supposed to regulate the game by calling legitimate fouls. When teams get away with beating up on him, they will be more & more encouraged & keep doing it until they start paying a price for it. Why should dirty defense be allowed to triumph over skill & talent? Isn't that what the rules & the refs are for?


We saw it clearly displayed in the late 3Q against Denver when he was fouled on three successive possessions, the third time fouled by all three defenders ganging up on him in a a triple-team. No call, all three possessions. Instead, they called Kobe for his 4th foul. Understandably frustrated, Kobe lashed out at the refs. But that call sent him to the bench. From that point on, we went from a 9 point lead to losing badly, with Denver scoring 50+ in about 15 minutes. In our house. The 3 straight possessions where Kobe was clearly fouled was so obvious even the usually clueless announcer on TNT picked up on it. But quickly passed over, of course, & not even worthy of a mention in the sometimes excellent ESPN Recap of the game. (Not sure about the LATimes coverage.)


That's just one blatant example of how "non-calls" & bad calls (especially putting a star on the bench) can dramatically alter the outcome of a game. Not to mention the 6 FT's he should've received, & that's 5 or 6 with Kobe on the line. Superstars are entitled to legitimate calls in this league. Especially at home. So is any player, too, & anywhere -- but particularly superstars & particularly at home. We all know that, & so when it so obviously goes the other way, something is very, very wrong.


And I'm not suggesting that his many nagging injuries are caused by these "physical defense" tactics used against him(but it's certainly possible). I'm saying more that the league owes him fair play as one of its elite stars. He simply does not get the foul calls he deserves. How many times have you seen the refs swallow their whistles on "and-ones" with Kobe? (This problem is noticeably worse throughout the league, but particularly for Kobe.) Non-calls are costing Kobe especially (but other Lakers, too) A LOT of points per game.


So Kobe -- go ahead & sit out the All-Star Game. Maybe the NBA will get the message that (as the song says): "Love is a Two-Way Street."

It's funny, Pau had a very mediocre shooting game. I mean he missed a LOT of shots that should have gone in, or that he should have dunked. Even with all that, he still had a great game. He moved the ball, he rebounded, he blocked shots. He really makes the triangle run smoothly. Can we stop with the Gasoft crap yet?
One more thing, the Machine showed signs of life. Certainly one game doesn't mean the end of a 2 year slump, but if he can just start knocking down open 3s again, our bench suddenly looks a lot stronger.

ZairaAmaterasu:
Totally agree. This is basketball no more, no less.

Kobe really needs to rest up and watch how the team is playing perfact team ball without him.

Remember in 2001 when he was injured and sat out a few games, he saw how the team was playing perfect triangle basketball, then came back, quickly incorporating himself within the triangle and the lakers went 15-1 in the playoffs and won the championship beating Philly in 5 games.
Shaq even called him the best player in basketball at that time.

Sometimes time off where you get to watch from the sidelines can really help your team become better when u return.

Jerry Buss must have done something in his previous life to deserve all this luck. Just when the Lakers are starting to have chemistry problems from "Kobe shoots too much vs. other Lakers just stand around"gate, Kobe gets an ankle injury.
Forcing other Lakers to play better team ball and to remind people that Artest and Odom are stars in their own right.
Right before the All-Star break which means more healing time for Kobe and Bynum, and more rest for the leg weary like Gasol and everybody else.
Sometimes, luck does play a role in championships and so far so good, Laker fans' prayers still seem to work better than other fans'.

I would like to think that Mitch is still working on any trade possibilities that can improve the team. I'm still not comfortable with our margin for error this year. I think the Cavs are for real this year, unlike last year.

Sure, Lakers already have the highest payroll in the NBA, but think about this: How would you feel if you had the highest payroll and still DID NOT win the championship? That's why contrary to some logic, it is pretty logical to expect that Buss can go for a few more millions to improve the team, because if he does not, the 90+ million in payroll is wasted without the trophy.

Vince Lombardi the coach of Green Bay Packers addressed his team when they lost a game, it was an ugly loss. He grab the foot ball and he said.." Today you will learn the basics of football"...What we've seen for the last two games were the basic's of triangle offense..triangle offense thrives on basic basketball...sets screen, ball movement, look for open teammate, cut to the middle, give and go play....in defense, backs out for rebound, hustle for loose ball....the lakers, kobe or without kobe sometimes forget these fundamentals, but once they operate on it...they are very dangerous....Tex Winter's presence in Portland's game perhaps reminded them the basic of basketball.....great win lakers.....carry to the finals...

Teamwork is what the Green Bay Packers were all about. They did not do it for individual glory. They did it because they loved one another..Vince Lombardi

What happened to Sun Yue?

Great breakdown, aztronaut. Artest really does look more comfortable out there, it seems like these days he is not only doing an excellent job fitting in, but I absolutely love that he doesn't force anything. I was afraid he would resort to the same type of over-dribbling he did the last few years, especially during the Houston series. But he really has done a great job learning and adapting to the triangle offense, but sees that he doesn't have to carry this team like he did the Rockets minus Yao and T'Mac in last seasons playoffs. While Ariza has struggled some for the past month or so, Artest has begun raising his game and at this point of the season Artest is doing a superior job as the fourth option than Ariza is as the first or second option on the Rockets.

ZairaAmaterasu, yes it is just basketball and we are all lucky to be on this wonderful, long trip that this franchise has taken us on. There are two types of fans: there are Laker fans, and people who WISH THEY WERE Laker fans! Lakers have been to half of all NBA Finals played, no other sports franchise can match that!

I really thought that Kobe's absence in Portland would spur the team to come together, as it has. Today though I thought they'd have a tougher time than they did, it seems like they are really playing with renewed energy. This is a great lesson for Phil to try to put a little bit of a limit on Kobe's minutes as his shot has been struggling as he's dealing with his numerous injuries. This team is more than capable of winning games without the Black Mamba having to dominate possession (ala LeBron James does). The freedom and great play in these past two games hopefully can carryover when Kobe shows up, I think he see's that he doesn't have to take over and carry the team for them to win.

This win was great, let's go out with a road win against the tough homecourt Jazz on Wednesday and head to the all-star break with some excellent momentum. Kobe, just make a token appearance in the game, play for a couple minutes and save yourself for the stretch run so that we can regain the homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs...

Look at the Troll, still ripping on the Lakers and hanging off of Kobe's groin. Do you really not see that the Lakers are a solid team? This wasn't like Golden State making a couple of surprise "energy" wins - the Lakers looked better than the Spurs, even without Bynum or Kobe on the court.

What a treat this game must have been for Phil Jackson.

I mean, imagine: Telling your players what to do, and having a reasonable expectation that in fact ALL of them will do it!

LA Guy: Couldn't agree more with you. Two starters out, and they take down the Spurs easily. Even without KB and AB, this team would make the playoffs.

Did anyone notice that the blogger known as DFish as the "Fakers?"

He's not a fan.

He's a troll.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Name,

"What happened to Sun Yue?"

He was cut by the Knicks during the pre-season.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

ZairaAmaterasu,

"It has been highly rewarding to watch."

Absolutely. That was Lakers basketball we witnessed last night. It was a treat.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

@Monk

I read your reply to my reply a couple of threads ago. Well I made several points as to why I thought you where incorrect about your assesment of our bigs getting pushed off the block. And your reply was "Are the games televised? My info is all heresay."

To which I reply...Just because the games are televised does not mean you watch them. If you think my points about Pau & Drew are incorrect, by all means feel free to give me your counter point.

But to stay on topic, last night's game was a perfect example of why the first thing the team should do when on offense it dump the ball down low and let the Triangle do what it does. Great team win. Even if Kobe decides to sits tomorrow Lakers win in Salt Lake City.

Shalin Monk,

>>>GOOD team win.. glasshoppas are back on tlack...

Is that supposed to be a fake Chinese accent? Are you mocking Chinese people?

Me no rikey.

>>>Man who run in front of the car get tired.
>>>Man who run behind the car get exhausted.

LOL


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