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Lakers' rest-heavy schedule comes at the right time

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Beware of any movement within the Lakers organization the following week. We're not talking about trades. That deadline has already passed. We're talking about the repercussions if Lakers guard Kobe Bryant isn't healthy enough to play Tuesday against Memphis.

"If not, I'm firing everybody," joked Bryant, who has missed the past five games because of a left ankle and tendon injury. 

All kidding aside, Bryant anticipates playing against Memphis after he practiced Saturday, but he'll have a much better idea how he feels tomorrow when he gets treatment.

The Lakers' schedule this week couldn't come at a better time. After their 87-86 loss Thursday to the Boston Celtics, the Lakers had the day off Friday, a short practice Saturday and plan for another day off Sunday before playing Tuesday at Memphis . With Bryant's sprained left ankle, Andrew Bynum's injured right hip, Luke Walton's pinched nerve in his lower back and Sasha Vujacic's sprained right shoulder, the Lakers hope the extra rest is the right subscription for full recovery.

The most urgent case obviously involves Bryant because of his skill level and because he's on pace to recover fairly soon. Bynum has already returned to the lineup for the past two games. Walton is out indefinitely. And Vujacic is expected to miss "a couple weeks," the team said Saturday.

And after today's practice, Bryant says there were several things that pleased him, including his elevation ("I can jump."), his conditioning ("I'm really fortunate I got these really huge lungs.") and his level of pain ("The ankle is still a little sore in certain points, but it went away." )

He joked that he would've stayed in the lineup had he known he was a game away from playing in 1,000 career contests, a feat guard Derek Fisher ultimately reached before Bryant ("I would've just limped through the game."). He kicked around the idea that Walton proposed when the Lakers trailed Boston Thursday by one with 2.2 seconds remaining ("He said next time what you do when you can’t play is sit on the bench in your uniform. If it comes down to that situation, just send yourself in like Mariano Rivera."). And then the interview came to a screeching halt when Bryant was asked what he thought of Tiger Woods' apology ("I'll catch ya'll later" as he walked away with a frustrated look.).

As soon as Vujacic bumped into Celtics center Kendrick Perkins nearly midway through the fourth quarter Thursday on a down screen, Vujacic fell to the ground hobbled in pain. He later found out he suffered a Grade-1 right shoulder sprain.

Yet, Vujacic remained in the game and was fine enough to attempt a field goal, but he felt much worse after the game and the following morning. That was evident in Saturday's practice, where he shot extra free throws with his left hand since he can't stretch his shoulder.

"It’s pretty painful," said Vujacic, who is receiving ultrasound and laser treatment but has declined to wear a sling. "It’s frustrating."

That feeling has permeated throughout most of the season with Vujacic playing a mostly limited role. But his minutes had picked up ever since Bryant's absence, and Lakers Coach Phil Jackson credited his defense in last week's game against Utah and in Thursday's game against Boston. There was also a clear increase in production in the last five games during Bryant's absence compared to his season average, including points (2.5, 4.4), rebounds (1.1, 2.0) and assists (.6, 1.8). Obviously, Bryant's injury is the most consequential, but Vujacic's absence definitely strikes a blow to the Lakers' rotation.

Per usual, Jackson maintained his stance that ultimately it's up to Bryant when he'll return to the lineup. Though Jackson thought the time off between games was helpful in that regard, he was leery of how it might affect team chemistry.

Jackson specifically cited the team's poor outside shooting since the All-Star break (27.3% from three-point range against Golden State and 25% from downtown against Boston) as something that could remain stagnant because of the time between games. That's why Jackson said Saturday's practice mostly centered on what he called "high energy drills" including fastbreak drills and practicing pull-up jumpers.

Even if the down time proves detrimental to team chemistry, Fisher and Lamar Odom welcomed the rest. After all, the Lakers' schedule will be far from forgiving fairly soon. In March, the Lakers play 10 road games and only four home games, including three sets of back-to-backs. Fisher expected the slow schedule now to ultimately help the team sustain energy when they need it most next month during the tough stretch.

--Mark Medina

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

Photo: Lamar Odom and Sasha Vujacic force a jump ball after tying up Boston's Kevin Garnett in the fourth quarter of the Lakers' 87-86 loss Thursday at Staples Center. Credit: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times.

 
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All players need rest at some point.Like right now.
I don't mind a few mental days off..It lets me relax.

I just checked in on the Knicks game and that Tracy guy has 19 points already.
Eddie House is playing well to boot.

Do you think the Celtics are going to regret the Nate/House trade?.

I do.

And another thing.
Whats to say Martin wont continue to have a bad injury run in Houston and turn out just like Yao and Tracy.

People say it was a great trade,but Martin has missed huge chunks of time over the last 2 years as well.

Imagine going 0-12 in your first game for a new team?..Ouch.

Ok final post.

Looking at at the Cavs/Wizards /Clippers trade..

I know its early but the Wizards did ok.Better than ok.

Maybe Butler or Jamison could have been chemistry killers.

I'm a huge Lakers fan and I'm from Los Angeles, but I have to admit. It's great watching McGrady back out here in NYC. It's awesome.

Mclyne,

you wrote: Bynum would be a BEAST IF, IF he did these things:
1. play with energy the whole game, not just the first half
2. play defense
3. run the court on offense and defense
4. play big in big games
5. learn to pass well out of a double
6. play well alongside Pau
7. REBOUND

Since he's proven he can't or won't do any of these things on a consistant basis

my response: tsk. tsk. tsk. Don't you know? It is the responsibility of the
coach to call plays for Bynum instead of having him exert himself. It is the
responsibility of every Laker not named Bynum to pass him the ball.
Spoon feed the y0ung fella to help his growth. Training with Kareem is so 2008.
It's a new decade baby. Year of the spoon feeding the beast.

Defense? What is this thing called defense? It's so obvious! If we spoon feed
him and give him lobs, he'll consent to play defense. sorta. Have you not been
paying attention

Pass out of double teams? Nonsense. *THIS* is where he shows he's a
franchise player. He's got to get those points because next year he *IS*
going to be an all-star! If he passes out he'll never get the ball back.
Some lowlife, with more years of experience, will score and then the playboy
bunnies won't sit on his shoulders.

Play big in big games? Sport. He has! Don't your remember December?

Play well with Pau? Dude! When Pau came back, after the hamstring, Bynum
went off! It was the return of Wilt! Those games will be shown to every
up and coming big at Podunk University! HOF material, I GUARANTEE!!!

Posted by: hobbitmage | February 20, 2010 at 05:22 PM
==================

Damn Hobbitmage is on a Blitz against the Heavy Bynum fans.

It's odd though about how a 22 year old solid role player is a lightning rod amongst the Laker community. It's not just on this blog, Lakers Nation also has the Bynum fans vs Bynum stans war going on.

Another interesting factoid: If the playoffs were to start today, LeBron would have to face the Bobcats in the first round. The Bobcats have already beaten the Cavs 3 times this season.

hector - it's good to see McGrady in a position to play again. He's too good not to get a real chance to make it back.

Oooops, Lakers lose a game, Kobe is wanted again. Oh how soon we take for granted the mega star that gave us Championship after Championship in 21st Century. We got the best player in USA in our team, the best player in Europe and the winning-est coach, still many of us unhappy. Why? Because they're still surrounded by crabs and scrubs that slow them down. Unfortunately we have also the best scrubs and crabs in NBA!!! lol

Why can't we not produce a Showtime team and give honors to these 3 special individuals?

Sasha and Luke are sidelined not intentionally but due to normal wear and tear of a long season. Sasha shoulders were conditioned in the bench while Luke's back is more appropriate in an armchair cushion answering question from quizzical sports press. When it comes to basketball, their bodies are still not prime for big games, so they're sore and need to be rested.

What an opportunity for the other benchwarmers whom I think have better chances of making it in the big games. I am referring to Josh Powell PF 6'9" and Adam Morrison SF 6'8". One is a rebounder and the other is a shooter if you try to mix them with Kobe, Gasol, Bynum, LO and Artest, you'd see the contribution that they can yield in this team. Unfortunately, the verdict has fallen into their heads while on the bench. These two don't belong to the scrubs of '06 & '07, they have not been tried in longer stretch. Like for example Morrison, give him some screens and ask to shoot the ball 10-12 times per game not just four and if he only made one, he's 25% ppg. This player is a go-to-guy of Zag and if his confidence is boosted, he will produce.

BTW, Thunder just beat the hell of Knicks after OT, Russel Westbrook got 31 pts. Hey that's the Bruin PG, a consistent producer. Tmac 26 and Eddie House 24 hoho, I think Celtics and Rockets made a bad decision. What is the rationale of not sticking with Tmac till end of the season really beats me? Then, Eddie House, a proven 3 pt specialist with Suns and Celtics to be replaced by a small dunker. Can this small dunker dunk over Gasol, Bynum and Lamar if he was given an umbrella shield in the post? Danny Ainge panicked again as Starbury effect, they barely beat the Lakers last Thursday. I think that is the last meeting between 2 teams for the year.

If the Memphis game is close all the way to waning minutes of 4th Q, here are the players I want to have on the floor

1 LO
2 Kobe
3. Artest
4. Gasol
5. Bynum

Mano por mano and give all the strength and see what Memphis can answer with that match-up. I don't know why PJ keep on using players who are referred as "sometimes" at the crucial part of the game. I'm referring to our 3 PG's as "sometimes players who can be good for inconsistent teams only - sometimes good, sometimes bad." That's the description of the Clippers.

We saw how LO handles the ball like Magic, then if you have Gasol and Bynum in the post as 1-2 punch and Artest and Kobe synergism in the perimeter, is this not the triangle we are talking about? There is threat in all sides and weakest link is eliminated. I don't care if they Zach, OJ or Marc but I don't think they have chance of repulsing the attack from all sides by the players mentioned.

However, I'm not a Coach, only a blog kibitzer, PJ will be stubborn in giving the ball to Fisher during the 4th because he is the first love in '00 and first love never, never die in '10. (Same with Smush in 07 season, he played him 81 games as a starter and finally conceded on 82nd game to try Farmar.) LMAO.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/02/20/laptop.suit/index.html?hpt=T2

FBI investigates allegations webcam used to monitor student in KOBE BRYANT's school district. Doug Young, the spokesman mentioned in the article, was Kobe's captain back in high school.

After reading this story on CNN, I went to google Doug Young and came upon this Sports Illustrated article. A MUST READ FOR ANY LAKERS FAN. Wait. A must read for anyone who plays basketball.
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1138936/2/index.htm

Has anybody realized that Ilgauskas WILL NOT be eligible for the playoffs if he goes back to the Cavs again?

Playoff rosters have to be finalized by March 1.

However, he can play if he is on another contending team as they don't have to wait 30 days to re-sign him.

Drew was too deferential to Pau the last time the Lakers played the Griz, which is understandable given the situation of two brothers playing against each other. We all know, at least those of us who have brothers, that there’s no one you want to pwn more on the court than a brother, and I’m sure that Pau is no exception.

Drew did grab eight rebounds in twenty-six minutes of that game but he only took three shots, and thus allowed Marc Gasol to focus almost exclusively on offense during his stints on the court. That needs to change this time around. There’s something to the old saying that the best defense is a good offense, and in basketball that’s more than partly true.

Marc is a big guy that Drew should be able to dominate, but he certainly didn’t the last time they hooked up. Even with the residual injuries, this game will be a good indicator of how Drew expects to close out the regular season. He shook the Memphis hex the last time they played and now he has the chance to put his fears behind him and return to the more aggressive style of play that was his signature before his major injuries moderated his activity under the basket.

When Michael Jordan won his first and only NBA defensive player of the year award after the 1987-88 season, it made five of the first six DPOTYs awarded to perimeter defenders. Since then, only one perimeter defender has won, Gary Payton in 1996. Twenty of the last twenty-one years the DPOTY has been won by an interior defender, culminating in Dwight Howard’s first award last year. This is more a result of the way the game has changed over the last twenty-plus years than it is of any dramatic increase in interior defensive talent.

Most everyone can agree that Howard is a beast under the basket, even more so on the defensive end of the court. If he wins the award again this year he will be the eighth player to win it twice, seven of whom were interior defenders. The defensive efficiency rating calculated for Howard so far this year is 0.175, which represents a measure of his contribution to the defensive goals of his team. The ultimate goal of team defense being to reacquire possession of the basketball without allowing the opposition to score.

This gives some reference frame for LO’s DER of 0.172, which leads the Lakers by a relatively large margin. Pau is second behind LO at 0.148, reflecting the fact that the DER is skewed towards interior defense. But then, interior defenders are more highly valued throughout the league than perimeter defenders, as the recent history of DPOTY awards confirms. It is surprising that LO has a DER so nearly equal to that of Howard, the reigning DPOTY, and this has given me a new respect for LO’s value to the Lakers’ team defense.

LO’s most impressive accomplishments this year have involved rebounding, and he has been especially impressive on the defensive boards. This accounts for his robust DER and this season represents the third time in his career that he has averaged double-digits in rebounds. This is LO’s eleventh NBA season and perhaps the best rebounding performance of his career, at least in terms of rebounds per minutes played. Or to put it in more comprehensible terms, he is averaging 15.5 rebounds for every 48 minutes played, the equivalent of a full NBA game in official clock time. This is easily the best 48 minute equivalent rebounding number of his career.

He first averaged double-digits in rebounds during his first season with the Lakers and his sixth in the NBA, and did it again two seasons ago. Coincidently, Pau is also in the midst of the best rebounding season of his career. Pau is in his ninth year and has never before averaged double-digits in rebounds, but to-date this season he is averaging 11.1 RPG and 14.5 rebounds per 48 minutes played. He has been the Lakers best offensive rebounder so far this season while LO has been the best defensive rebounder. Is it a coincidence that both Pau and LO are having the best rebounding years of their career at the same time, while they are playing on a front line with Bynum? I assert that this is in fact not a random occurrence, but rather a consequence of Drew’s presence under the basket on both ends of the floor.

For Pau this correlation is practically self-evident. By playing PF beside Drew, instead of mostly C and having to deal with much bigger players on a daily basis, Pau becomes a much more effective rebounder, as the dramatic increase in his numbers this year shows. Likewise, LO benefits from the added attention opposing teams pay to blocking Drew off the block, along with Bynum’s more cautious approach to crashing the boards this season, which leaves more rebounds available for LO. Bynum also tends to defer to LO and Pau on defensive boards and is apparently more focused on getting up and down the court with alacrity and keeping out of harms way than joining the scrum under the basket for the bouncing ball.

Still, considering Bynum’s understandable reluctance to mix it up in a crowd after his last two seasons were severely shortened by devastating knee injuries in the paint, abeit from friendly fire, it is not hard to put oneself in his position and rationalize that a primary goal of the season might logically be to make it at least to the playoffs with two healthy knees. While he has done a good job of running the floor and getting back in transition defense this season, he has been somewhat less of a force on the boards and under the basket generally. However, his rebounding numbers are still rather impressive given his age and experience level, and of course his obvious wariness of reinjury.

Drew’s DER this season is 0.105, third best on the Lakers behind LO and Pau. He is averaging 8.2 RPG in 31.3 MPG, or 12.6 rebound per 48 minutes, which is not even nearly the best of his shortened four-plus year career but is still significantly better than both Pau’s and LO’s career numbers of 12.0 and 11.8 rebounds per 48 minutes respectively. In fact, the season in which Bynum suffered his first NBA knee injury he was averaging 17.0 rebounds per 48 minutes, which followed a prior post-season performance equivalent to 20.1 rebounds per 48 minutes.

These are the beastly numbers we are all anxiously awaiting a return to and anyone who thinks that Drew is more of a player who just happens to get rebounds than a rebounder should reflect back on these earlier accomplishments. Bynum knows how to rebound, he has shown it in the past, the only real question is, can he reacquire the courage necessary to become such a beast on the boards once again. All signs indicate that he is working his way back up to the level of these previous astronomical rebounding numbers, even if he’s perhaps approaching them asymptotically instead of exponentially.

He is about to take the court for his fifty-third start of the season, which will tie his career best, but Drew has yet to show the same reckless abandon that he displayed before his back-to-back knee blowouts. It is obvious from looking at the numbers that Bynum is capable of great things and that he is becoming more consistent as the season wears on. Having reached a milestone in NBA season starts should induce him to kick it into a higher gear for the home stretch and the playoffs, although he does still have some lingering minor injuries to work through.

Looking at his career numbers with respect to LO and Pau, a steady progression of skills and even a seriousness of purpose can be gleaned. I’ve always considered that every serious NBA player should be able to shoot at least 75% from the FT line. Drew started off horribly in this regard but has steadily worked his way up to 74% so far this season, this reveals practice with a purpose. Pau started out as a 71% FT shooter and has improved fairly regularly throughout his career to the point where he is at 82% this year, quite good for a big man. In contrast, LO came into the league shooting 72% from the charity stripe but is down to 69% this season, which is very near his career number of 70%, but he shot only 62% last year.

LO is 46% FG shooter for his career and is actually doing slightly worse than that this season, while Pau’s career and season average are an identical 52%. Bynum is shooting 56.8% from the floor right now, the best on the Lakers’ team this season, and also putting up career bests in steals and turnovers per minute, meaning he’s making fewer mistakes, in addition to his aforementioned steady improvement from the FT line. This all indicates a player dedicated to refining and adapting his game through experience and hard work. Experience is the best teacher as they say, and to get it Drew needs to stay healthy first of all and then, and only then, will he be able to become an integral part of a playoff championship run.

Has anyone else noticed how hot the snow bunnies of the Winter Olympics are? These are not your Summer games, with your East German boxers and American sprinters more juiced up than a grove of oranges. I mean, Lindsey Vonn? Mancuso? Very special.


Wes

Counter-point to Aztronaut's argument about Andrew Bynum's impact on the game.
-------------------------------------------------------------

"By playing PF beside Drew, instead of mostly C and having to deal with much bigger players on a daily basis, Pau becomes a much more effective rebounder, as the dramatic increase in his numbers this year shows."

Pau Gasol rebounding 08-09 as Center without Andrew Bynum:

10.3 rebounds per game

Pau Gasol has always been a great rebounder WITHOUT Andrew Bynum. Remember this quote:

“I don’t get many looks offensively, so I’ve got to get my offensive rebounds. Otherwise, I’ll get five shots during the game. I’m trying to get my looks there, and I work hard and stay active and do what I can,” he said after the Lakers’ game against Utah."

http://lakers.freedomblogging.com/2009/12/17/gasol-rebounds-from-lack-of-touches/26897/

Pau Gasol grabbed 19 rebounds each against Utah and San Antonio WITHOUT Andrew Bynum.

Ditto for Lamar Odom as he has averaged 11.9rpg in 07-08 WITHOUT Andrew Bynum....in fact Aztro-NAUGHT Odom's best rebounding games came without either Gasol or Bynum against Golden State with a 20 rebound+ effort.

So Bynum's presence isn't really making their numbers go up rebounding wise....simply EFFORT from both men are making this possible.

"Bynum also tends to defer to LO and Pau on defensive boards and is apparently more focused on getting up and down the court with alacrity and keeping out of harms way than joining the scrum under the basket for the bouncing ball."

Rather more of an effort to get down the court faster to establish position early for a possible touch. But again this INCREASES the possibility of an offensive rebound GIVEN UP. Being a puss or a offensive center instead of a defensive minded center shows how much of a square peg he is in a round hole.

"LO is 46% FG shooter for his career"

A statistical mistake using his career FG% when he was a CLIPPER and a Heat rather than his LA numbers. Ditto for Pau and using his Memphis numbers also when both did not have a Kobe Bryant to demand double teams while Andrew Bynum has had the luxury of having Kobe to demand attention away from him.

As Hobbitmage said to me:

All those damn lies and statistics.

I'll follow this up real soon.

After reading this story on CNN, I went to google Doug Young and came upon this Sports Illustrated article. A MUST READ FOR ANY LAKERS FAN. Wait. A must read for anyone who plays basketball.
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1138936/2/index.htm

Posted by: Tom | February 20, 2010 at 09:49 PM


Tom,

That link to the SI Kobe article is a great read. For sure all the Kobe haters, or Kobe dislikers, or Kobe misundestanders should read it. And if your a Kobe fan you'll like it too. If you want some insight into Kobes reluctance to pass the ball, which has been argued about feverishly here, read the article. What an unusual human he is. If your a Laker fan just be glad he's on the Lakers.

Tom

Thanks for the link. I thought I read that before but it was a good re-read. Agreee with the last sentence, "you may not love him but at least appreciate him". Now, I understand why he wants to face Celts who beat him in 2008. Too bad that haters want to focus on the negative about him when there are more than positive. Kobe is not "entertainer" just how media, fans and NBA wants him to be, you know, the guy who will dance during players intro, goof on cam, rap, in short he is not a "cool" guy. He is a great basketball player, that's all he ever wanted to be. I am happy that he plays for my Lakers, to see him play for another team will break my heart. I hope it does not happen.

Boston has their 'Big Baby' but we have a 'Big Cry Baby'. We need to get rid of Andrew "Big Cry Baby" Bynum. He's obviously no match for Shaq's elbow. One smack and he goes crying to the dentist. We need a tough big man - not an oversized-spoiled-cry-baby.

Wesjoenixon- No, I haven't. I've probably watched 4 minutes tops of the winter Olympics.

Is it Tuesday, yet?

The real problem with Bynum is that neither Gasol or Odom seem the same players when he is in the lineup. Gasol plays soft and Odom forgets he has to shoot the ball occasionally. In essence, the team sucks even when Bynum is playing well. That is why they never seem to get much of a lead when he is in the lineup. I don't know if you can blame Andrew for that, but their chemistry seems better when he is out. Maybe the team would be better off with him on the bench.

KB Blitz,

you wrote: Damn Hobbitmage is on a Blitz against the Heavy Bynum fans.

my response: What? Who me? It's not true. It's not true I tell ya'. I was
in Nebraska picking corn. Yeah, that's it. Nebraska. :)

Let's not say I'm picking on Bynum fans. Let's say that a couple of fans have
referred to my remarks as "disingenuous". Yet, these same fans don't post
remarks by the official coach of the LA Lakers. You know, remarks like:
"Gasol is soft & weak, but he's a great player" Come to think of it, do these
fans actually post remarks or do they just spout hyperbole?

Sittin' at the train station with a Kevin Ding article in hand. Waitin' for
someone(s).

" So you wannabe startin' somethin'"
" You got to be startin' somethin"
.....

Wes, Yes! I noticed.

>>>Playoff rosters have to be finalized by March 1.

Actually, I'm pretty sure you can add players for the playoffs any time up to the last day of the season.

The March 1 deadline is the last day teams can CUT players so that they'd still be eligible to play in the playoffs for another team.

Andrew De Ramos,

"Has anybody realized that Ilgauskas WILL NOT be eligible for the playoffs if he goes back to the Cavs again?"

I DID NOT know that. I wonder if Z was aware of that.

Really? Interesting.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

I can hardly wait to see Kobe on the court again.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Wes,

"Has anyone else noticed how hot the snow bunnies of the Winter Olympics are?"

I indeed have. It truly is pleasant.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Marky Mark,

You once posted to me that you were open to my input in how the blog could be improved. Well, I'd like to offer you a suggestion.

(You're doing a great job by the way.)

The fundamental Achilles' Heel on this blog is the combined passion, intensity and immaturity of the bloggers here. (I count myself as one succeptible to this at times.)

Ultimately that passion leads to conflict and animus among bloggers and while that is unavoidable, when it continues too long it flavors the blog in a way that is simply less fun and scares off some of the more entertaining bloggers (e.g. Mamba24, utworld, floyd) who really make this blog enjoyable and invites celebration.

These unavoidable conflict are exacerbated by trolls, chicken littles, and jerks. They're out there and they're unavoidable and they need to be dealt with, but sometimes the flavor of these conflicts get out of hand.

That's when you should step in and "set the record straight." YOU are the one with inside information. You are the one who is viewing the practices. You are the one who is hanging out in the locker room watching body language. You are the one who does this professionally.

There's only one true expert here (when Roland Lazenby isn't posting). Everyone else is a novice.

So, occasionally, it would be nice to clear the air about things, because people WILL listen to you because you are an expert.

Unfortunately, by doing so people will attack you and you seem to be a pretty agreeable person and you may not want to engage in direct conflict with bloggers, but it just seems to be a basic occupational hazard.

The present issues that have been plaguing this blog are:

1. People saying that Kobe Bryant should be traded because we play better team ball without him

2. People saying that Derek Fisher is completely worthless and a team cancer because he has struggled defensively recently

Both themes are pure madness, but the basic ideas ("Do we play better team ball without Kobe?" and "Should someone else start instead of Derek Fisher?") are completely valid discussion points.

What needs to be cleared is the tone and you're the only guy who can do that.

So, when the blog begins to collapse upon itself as we spiral into innane arguments and negativity, it would be extremely helpful if you "set the record straight."

That (and humor) is the only way to keep things fun here and maintain the regular input of bloggers who make this place special.

I hope you'll consider my request.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

I'm a little surprised by Kobe's response to the Tiger Woods apology question.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

KB Blitz,

I'm impressed. Your rebuttal commentary was actually comprehensible, unlike most of your other frantic posts of hatred. It's almost like someone else wrote it for you...

I'm perfectly satisfied to let my argument stand on it's own merits and you can beat me about the ankles on it as much as you like, have at it. I don't see much point in arguing with emotion. I believe there will be plenty of time to evaluate which of us is correct as Bynum's career unfolds, watch and learn!

Jon K - Thanks for the feedback. I'm not necessarily "afraid" of conflict. I just didn't want to create an environment where diverse opinions aren't welcomed. So long as a post doesn't have profanity and have offensive comments (racial, ethnic, personal attacks), I can't exactly say that post is unacceptable because it says Kobe should be traded or that post is unacceptable because it says Derek Fisher should be completely taken out of the lineup. I've made it clear in the posts where I stand and I present all the facts. When someone does post something that is factually inaccurate, I'll try my best to clarify the facts, but I can't force someone to lead to my conclusion based on facts.

I want the blog to be a place where people of all opinions feel comfortable posting their two cents. Of course there's going to be opinions you and others disagree with, but that's the nature of a community isn't it? Where you debate, argue and try to reach the best conclusion?

Thanks though for the feedback.

MM

lender30,

Doin' the sock-puppet boogie or are you just another camp follower?

Thank you for posting that SI article. It confirms one thing: Kobe is one sick dude, who needs to change his game and his mind to enable the Lakers to perform to their capabilities.

aztronut,

You said the last perimeter defender to get DPOY was Gary Payton. Would you not count Artest as one?? He usually guards the wing player??

And to clarify, if necessary: I am using the term "sick" in the old school sense: Ie, a synonym of "diseased."

News on LAT about the Lakers

a. Bulls asked for the expiring contracts in Morrison/Farmar for Hinrich and the Lakers declined the offer and perhaps countered with Sasha 2nd year salary as an alternative to Farmar, finally Bulls opted to trade John Salmons instead.

b. According to Bryant, he's ok on Saturday practice but does not know what happens on Sunday but he intends to play on Tuesday. PJ said it just inches to full recovery tho' the drills Bryant did on Sat. were not really conditioning.

~~ We can't go back on the spilled milk opportunity on the trading day, Lakers made the decision to stick with these players so why not play these players in its entirety and expect contributions from them. Let them earned their contracts for the good of the Lakers.

Farmar has been offered to Nate since preseason, included in the Bulls discussion but Lakers won't absorb another huge salary so by the end of the season, 3rd is a charm if Farmar would still be a Laker in 2011. Morrison and Vujacic have been dangled around and no takers, might as well perform their best in order to assure their job security in the future whether w/ Lakers or other teams. As a player, essentially you are loyal to your family first; then to your preferred team as second; and 3rd option to your future legacy in chasing an elusive ring for some players. There will be some buy outs before March 1st, Lakers will be the market for those good players who badly need a Championship in their profile.

On Kobe's tendon injury sudden healing after a loss last Thursday and PJ's remark of a matter of inches to recovery are the tall tales needed to be absorbed and accepted by long timed fans. We are aware that we are played by egos of a Superstar and Supercoach gives a escape clause on commitments as well. (If you are a young fan and a die hard fanatic you'll always be a believer on every word uttered.) Whatever is the real story only God knows the truth & lets move on to the game.

As Hobbitmage said to me:

All those damn lies and statistics.

I'll follow this up real soon.

Posted by: KB Blitz | February 21, 2010 at 03:25 AM

---

It has also been said that if you torture statistics long enough, it will tell you whatever you want to hear. (with apologies to the CIA's waterboarding methods).

So with that caveat, let's look at 22-year old Bynum's performance against the 'gold standard' in NBA centers when they were also 22. The gold standard for the past decade was Shaq. Based on Shaq's per-36 minutes stats when he was 22 years old with ORL and compared with AB's per-36 minute stats:

FG% - Shaq 0.583, AB 0.568
PTS - Shaq 28.5, AB 17.5
FT - Shaq 5.6, AB 3.3
FT% - Shaq 0.533, AB 0.736
OReb - Shaq 4.0, AB 3.0
DReb - Shaq 7.1, AB 6.5
Asst - Shaq 2.6, AB 1.3
Blocks - Shaq 2.4, AB 1.7
TOver - Shaq 2.5, AB 1.9
PFoul - Shaq 3.2, AB 3.4

So the argument that he does not rebound enough does not hold water. If Pau and LO are not present as rebounding options, AB could probably exceed 22-year old Shaq's rebounding stats.

Shaq has a clear advantage in PTS but that is because he has always been the #1 scoring option while AB is usually #3 or #4 scoring option in a Laker team that is overflowing with scoring talents.

And if you compare AB's per-36 minutes stats against the current 'gold standard', Dwight Howard, when DH was 22, you will find that his numbers also compare very well.

so give the kid a break, he is a work in progress and his progress is right on schedule.

And BTW, AB already has something that neither Shaq or DH had when they were 22: A CHAMPIONSHIP RING!!!

Jon K.,

They're only words, right? Don't let it bother you so much, just keep an ignore list handy and scroll on by...

The Snake and the rest of the family,

Snake, your last post was potent. Nice job with stats and comparison.

Good day to the rest of my Laker family and always remember that we may not agree on everything, but we are still fans of the greatest team on earth!!! We can at least agree about that. Peace.

Kobefan in Cupertino,

"You said the last perimeter defender to get DPOY was Gary Payton. Would you not count Artest as one?? He usually guards the wing player??"

I agree that Artest usually guards the opposing SF, but also PFs and SGs at times. He's kind of a hybrid defender, which is one reason that he is so valuable. However, I still think that he's much more effective playing defense in the paint and as he gets older he seems to be getting burned on the perimeter more and more. To my mind he is at his best playing interior defense, YMMV. Thanks for reading and responding civilly.

The Snake,

Thanks for your cogent support. One thing that you didn't mention however was that neither Shaq nor Howard suffered through a major injury at the beginning of their careers, much less a double-whammy.

Hobbitmage, KB Blitz, Snake, Aztronut, et al vs Bynum stats

In your stats produced it appears that the categories reflect either 48 minutes (or 36 minutes in Snakes comparison). It appears that it is assumed that if a player gets 5 rebounds in 24 minutes that equates to 10 rebounds for 48 minutes and in scoring if a player scores 10 points in 24 minutes that assumes he would score 20 points in 48 minutes and so on for each category.

I realize this is a common way to extrapolate (or is it interpolate?) data used by other sources as well, but it is flawed. For one thing, it doesnt account for fatigue and stamina. A player may have a strong first quarter but not be as strong or accurate in the 4th quarter. A player may play more minutes when fresh and sporadic minutes later in the game when not fresh. How many times have we seen some player have a 15 point quarter but only score 20-25 points for the game? If that same player scored his 15 points in the first quarter but sat out the rest of the game would that equate out to a theoretical 45 point game or per 48 minutes played?

It doesnt take into account foul trouble or what other teammates are on the floor. It doesnt take into account opponents or referee's bias. It doesnt take into account how many of those minutes played are with or without a fellow named Kobe. It doesnt take into account how well the team is shooting, are they hot shooting 50% + or having a bad game shooting 40% or less as a team. It doesnt take into account how the player is feeling, nagging injuries, at home or on the road and a host of other things.

To sum up, I think it is impossible to create accurate statistical comparisons for Bynum in relation to Pau and LO or against another player when they were a certain age as so many variables exist that cannot be accounted for, even though creating player stats is a fun thing to do and is widely done in all of the major team sports.
The problem is that its impossible to have a precise and consistently controlled environment in which to measure performance and results for BB players.

I'm sure the science and stats students here could explain this even better than I can. All the stats are just a guide to gauge an approximation of how well (or badly) a player is doing in certain ares, but it is just an approximation and isnt really a very accurate scientific explanation or record of results. What I mean is, I dont think we can really form any hard and fast conclusions from the stats.

If I am misinterpreting how you are compiling your data to arrive at your stats please do correct me and in that case then just move along, theres nothing to see here.

Art -FL Laker Fan,

"I'm sure the science and stats students here could explain this even better than I can."

Speaking as a scientist, and one who has been a "science and stats student" as well as a teacher of these things, I can assure you that anyone attempting to account for all the factors you've listed would be undertaking an exercise in futility.

Nevertheless, that doesn't mean that you can't use statistics to reach conclusions of some significance. The problem is that many folks without detailed knowledge of the process tend to let others with an agenda pull the wool over their eyes in their glazed-over confusion of misunderstanding.

Statistics tell you nothing about the next event, only about long-term trends and short-term probabilities. Please don't allow it all to overwhelm you, if these things conflict with your common sense then trust your common sense until such time as reality proves you wrong.

However, all that being said, it would be more constructive for you to offer suggestions about where you think improvements can be made in various analyses than to simply complain that you don't understand why people are trying to use statistics to explain anything at all. Constructive criticism is appreciated but this really does not appear to hit the mark in that respect.

It's not about stats. Dennis Rodman's overall stats were not as shiny and polished but his effort during his prime was amazing. That in-your-face attitude helped the Pistons and the Bulls WIN. I question 'Big Cry Baby' Bynum's overall effort. Effort is something that doesn't have to be 'a work in progress'. It doesn't have to rely on experience or talent. Effort is from the HEART and I DO QUESTION 'BIG CRY BABY' BYNUM'S HEART.

Keep spoiling the 'Big Cry Baby' by finding him excuses to be a 'Big Cry Baby'.

'Stop picking on him - he's only a baby 22 years old...'
'Give the baby kid a break he's a work in progress...'

Keep protecting a 'Cry Baby' and he will always be a 'Big Cry Baby' Bynum.

aztronut,

"They're only words, right?"

Good point.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

In crunch time of the playoffs, if he's healthy, I would rather see Artest getting minutes than Fisher or Shannon or Jordan. Why?

1. to defend the other teams alpha male

2. Artest is also a better passer than Fish (Our guards are more finishers than initiators)

3. Artest can create offense and get assists, when he drives to the rim it punishes the other team, and he rarely gets knocked down.

Let Artest drive (like a fullback) and soften up the D, then let Kobe drive later in the game.

I'm just saying Artest is a great passer and those skills can be leveraged ... also his shooting is at least as good as Fish, Jordan or SB.

Dear LO...Just bring it...even when Kobe wants the ball.
Dear Guards pass the ball to Drew more

Finally the analysis on this blog such as from aztronut is much superior than some of the cr*p by the pro sportswriters that don't focus on the Lakers.

Its too bad Bynum can only play Perkins from the Celtics twice per year. Bynum could learn how to be a bowling ball like that dude.

Also LO why don't you hire Hakeem this summer?

taino,

Thanks for your support!


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