Lakers Now

Round-the-Clock Purple and Gold

« Previous Post | Lakers Now Home | Next Post »

Caught in the Web: Injuries continue to be an issue with the Lakers

52345849

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant hopes to return Tuesday against Memphis after missing the past five games because of an injured left ankle and tendon. And it couldn't come soon enough, jokingly threatening that if he doesn't return to the lineup by then, "he's firing everybody."

The Lakers have managed just fine, going 4-1 during his absence and Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix says that simply illustrates the team's depth. There should be no debate valuing Bryant's value to the team (it's high). But there's a valid debate on whether the Lakers' 4-1 record during Bryant's absence came as a result of better team chemistry, something that wasn't always present when Bryant was on the floor because of his want to carry the team and team passivity. 

That being said, Joseph Treutlein, co-owner of Hoopdata.com, wrote in The NY Times' Off the Dribble blog that the main issue didn't involve offensive efficiency since that actually worsened during Bryant's absence. But the team made up for that with strong defensive performances. 

And then don't forget in the Lakers' recent loss to the Boston Celtics, NBC Los Angeles' Kurt Helin provided a good reminder that Bryant sure would've been helpful in making a game-winning shot, something he's done in five games including the Lakers' last meeting against Boston on Jan. 31.

It's still a few days before the Lakers will play, let alone Bryant. So in the meantime, Forum Blue and Gold has been passing the time by watching Bryant tribute videos

More Lakers links (after the jump)

--The offensive breakdowns against Boston wound up becoming a value team-learning experience, Lakers guard Derek Fisher told the Riverside Press-Enterprise's Dan Weber. It also brought up Luke Walton providing a solution for close games. Said Bryant: "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."

--Though the Denver Nuggets stand second in the Western Conference, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson says that the third-place Utah Jazz will unseat Denver as the second-best team in the West.

--The Lakers lead the West, but the latest NBA rankings from The Times' Mark Heisler provides the latest reminder that the Lakers are still trying to catch up to Cleveland.

--Heisler breaks down some of the misconceptions regarding various trades made before the deadline. Forum Blue and Gold provides its own thoughts, and the Kamenetzky Brothers share their analysis on how these trades ultimately affect the Lakers.

Tweet of the Day: "Kobe Kobe Kobe - why can't I get that chant out of my mind? Actually will probably make me sleep better thinking of him returning soon." -- 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 will have rested his ankle for 18 days by the time the Lakers take the court at Memphis on Tuesday, his target return date. Credit: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images.

 
Comments () | Archives (63)

The comments to this entry are closed.

"NBC Los Angeles' Kurt Helin provided a good reminder that Bryant sure would've been helpful in making a game-winning shot..."

Kurt Helin and everyone else on the planet...

Should we give him a reward for stating the obvious? How about the Mr. Obviousman Medal!

"Though the Denver Nuggets stand second in the Western Conference, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson says that the third-place Utah Jazz will unseat Denver as the second-best team in the West."

Wow, I didn't see that one coming...I've got to disagree with PJ here because I just haven't seen whatever it is he has in the Lakers' games against the Jazz this season.

I'm still picking the top four seeds in the West as: Lakers, Nuggets, Mavs and Spurs, respectively. It wouldn't surprise me if Utah finished fifth, or eighth, or out of it altogether, but it would surprise me if they finished in the top four. JMTCW...

NBC Los Angeles' Kurt Helin provided a good reminder that Bryant sure would've been helpful in making a game-winning shot..."

Kurt Helin and everyone else on the planet...

Should we give him a reward for stating the obvious? How about the Mr. Obviousman Medal!

Posted by: aztronut | February 21, 2010 at 12:02 PM
--

Actually, NBC pays him to verbalize the obvious. He might as well have said that the sun will rise tomorrow.

The Snake,

"Actually, NBC pays him to verbalize the obvious. He might as well have said that the sun will rise tomorrow."

Which is yet another reason that I don't watch the local news, or the national news for that matter!

@ Rick F., nah, it's still Sunday. Good news though, Orlando did us a solid.
Though it makes no sense, I find myself rooting for the Nugs v. the Celts. I guess I do hate the Celts more than I want to admit.

Watching the end of the Cavs-Magic game, I liked how Howard defended Shaq one-on-one in crunch time, snagging a missed Shaq shot in the process. The Magic could then concentrate on defending James, leading to the win.

Unfortunately, this is where Bynum falls way short of Howard, despite having better offensive skills. And if you have to double Shaq, you have no chance of beating the Cavs. Not saying it means the Cavs will beat the Lakers in the Finals (should both get there), but it's a definite concern.

I'm not getting into the raging "Beast or bust" debate and Bynum does have skills, but the one area where he could benefit the team the most he isn't measuring up. Just sayin'.

Thank You Orlando Magic for inflicting the 3rd straight loss to the Cavs.

Thud.....That was the sound of Lebron and Shaq's ego hitting the pavement..

Lets not shake hands and run straight to the locker room..

Don't forget your tissues BRON.

I'm telling you, the Denver Nuggets scare me. Right now, they are a better team than our Lakers.

Crabs lose 3 straight.....THAT WAS SWEET.... So, Lakers are the only team left that has not lost 3 straight since 2+ years, right?? (Ahhhh so proud to say that!!)

Yes, one more thing - anyone who says AB is/will be a better center than Howard is plain delusional.. that guy is a MONSTER!!

Aztronut:
"I can assure you that anyone attempting to account for all the factors you've listed would be undertaking an exercise in futility."

You said that much clearer than I did, as a matter of fact, I didnt really say that at all, but it is one thing I was trying to point out.

Aztronut:
"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."

I didnt feel overwhelmed at all and your comment about common sense is right on. In general, thats usually the approach I take.

Aztronut:
"...than to simply complain that you don't understand why people are trying to use statistics to explain anything at all."

I dont think it says anywhere in my post that I dont understand why people are trying to use stats to explain anything at all. That seems to be a conclusion you are jumping to. My comments were related to trying to use stats to compare the performance of Bynum to Shaq when he was 22 and using stats to try and compare Bynums performance and that of LO and Pau when Bynum is or is not present in the lineup and each of them is or is not in the lineup as those were the main points in the posts being referred to. I realize stats have their usefulness and you put it very nicely when you said, "Statistics tell you nothing about the next event, only about long-term trends and short-term probabilities."

Aztronut:
"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..."

Ok. What was trying to be analyzed in those posts by the use of stats I dont think can be to any degree of usefulness. In other words, as I said in my other post, "What I mean is, I dont think we can really form any hard and fast conclusions from the stats."

You ask, where do I think improvements can be made in various analyses?
I have to assume we are sticking to the point of the Bynum comparisons only here since thats all I was referring to. I dont think improvements can be made to that particular analysis because I dont think that its something that can be accurately analyzed from a statistical or scientific standpoint to the point of being able to reach conclusions that can be counted on to prove anything.

The future is unknowable. A persons past behavior may reflect future behavior, "may" being the key word. To make statements such as Bynum would be better coming off the bench or playing with this or that player and not with this or that player are just opinions that cannot be proven statistically because of all the variables. If someone could produce stats that showed that in fact Bynum does play better with or without other players (all other things being equal), that still does not prove that he would continue to do so in the future.

Most all the comments that get posted are subjective opinions. Everyone has their opinion about various players and teams which they have reached based on how they perceive all the various events leading up to the formation of the opinion. And that too is just my opinion.

So as for your request for me to offer suggestions about where improvements can be made in this attempt to analyze the Bynum debate, my only suggestion would be to stop trying to use statistics to scientifically explain something that, because of so many variables that are impossible to include in the analysis for it to be accurate, it is impossible to come to any conclusions that can be counted on to accurately reflect what will happen in the future.

All debates dont have to be settled by scientific fact. Debates of the type that go in this blog are people giving their own opinions and are colored with their own biases. And thats ok.

I look at this blog as more of a give and take discussion of opinions which keeps it lively and interesting. The more scientific or statistical oriented folks like to use stats to try and make a point and that too is interesting and food for thought.

Anyway, sorry to disappoint in that I cannot offer a better way to analyze the data being referred to, but if any other poster here can I will certainly welcome it and read it with interest.

I will stick to the main point of my previous post and repeat again, I dont think we can really form any hard and fast conclusions from the stats.

great win by orlando sometimes they take way too much threes and dwight doesn't even touch the ball...they don't have a kobe you know lol...anyhow maybe dwight won't resign like shaq did all those years ago or he'll ask to be traded when they don't win it all especially since they don't use him at times and prefer to shoot threes he's had a lot of games where he only took like 9 or fewer shots yet had double digit rebounds and they still won(listening bynum and gasol).. anyhow dwight for bynum an somebody else ...lol then we can have the next great center back in LA......

btw before someone says there have been times he's took less than 10 fg's and they have lost..go figure but bear in mind it's dwight the individual not the whole team cause someone will probably so oh bynum and gasol gotta ring...don't think someone will argue bynum is better than dwight or will they...hmmm

Art-Fl Laker Fan,

1st hola.

2nd. you included me in your rebuttal of stats.

3rd. you've made a number of interesting observations about the use of stats.

my response to 3: I use stats as a justification for why I've reached the
opinion that I've reached. Stats *can* indicate a trend, but in no way
guarantee an outcome. If I actually thought that, then I would not have
advocated for a coach to kick Bynum in the butt. I would merely want
him traded. i.e. His stats, which I cherry picked, indicate he's trash.
[ note: this is hypothetical and is not an indicator of how I feel. ]

My primary link to the whole stats issue was a quote: "There are lies,
damn lies & statistics. "

you also wrote: Debates of the type that go in this blog are people giving their own opinions and are colored with their own biases. And thats ok.

my response: I agree.

you also wrote: The more scientific or statistical oriented folks like to use stats to try and make a point and that too is interesting and food for thought.

my response: I try to do this. I've been wrong before. I'll be wrong again.
I like to learn things. I don't like to be ignorant. Some of KB Blitz's points,
w/ stats, have been very enlightening. I've changed my stance on some
things because of his points and use of stats.

Cheers

The thing about the Cavs loss that I liked best is that LeBron was the one who tanked it at the end for Cleveland.

The Cavs had a 5 point lead with 6 1/2 minutes left in the game. From then on, here's what LeBron did on offense:

0 for 3 shooting
1 for 2 free throws
a travel

Seriously, LeBron pulled defeat from the jaws of victory.

If Kobe returns and the Lakers take back the best record in the league, Kobe should go back to being the front runner for MVP.

All the Lakers have to do is have a better record than Cleveland the rest of the way and they'll have home court advantage for the finals.

Cleveland has a slightly lighter schedule against the top teams in the league -

Lakers - Denver 2, San Antonio 2, Dallas, Orlando, Atlanta, Utah
Cleveland - Boston 3, San Antonio 2, Orlando, Atlanta

But even with a slightly harder schedule, I think if the Lakers stay healthy, the odds are good they'll end up with home court.

I read that article about Kobe and it was kinda funny,was actually picturing him doing some of those things.. anyhow this all has to do with heart love for the game and so forth...
While it was great seeing T-Mac back. he looks like he has a lil bit left(til he's injured?)he said he was pleased with his debut but they didn't win no mention of this other than he said he felt his legs were gone and he didn't want to hurt the team ..cap out?dunno guess you guys see were I'm going with this Kobe... pierce in a wheelchair,d-wade in a wheelchair for his shoulder,sometime back(last year???) lebron was complaining bout the sniffles or some shizzle... i remeber this cause Rick kamela was talking bout these guys not being warriors and getting paid big bucks..all that time Kobe's finger was dislocated..
anyhow no need to compare to the rest of the roster cause that's been done the last few days..just dunno what at lot of these guys play for..I guess besides having some kinda skill that can get you paid...o yea nice cast D-wade..lol

on another note in the lines of what jon k was talking about with lebronze and the hype..
on nba.com they're taking a look back at the 03-04 season and the making of the king and his rookie season cough cough..
anyhow problem is melo and bron had almost had mirror stats they were a % off of either assists or rebounds yet bronze gets the rookie of the year yet melo's team was well on there way to a playoff spot for the 1st time in years..not cleveland tho.. going back to criteria why not melo for roy or why not co roys???
yet kobe outshines shaq last year in the asg but thet get co mvp... wow this crap is what makes it so hard to watch the nba sometimes you know better but do you believe stern and the media cause they say so?????

Denver is now something like 10-2 against the top 6 teams in the league. I know all the doubts about how well they'll do in the playoffs but still... That type of record has to give the Nuggets a lot of confidence which has maybe been their biggest weakness--whether they truly believe they can beat elite teams.

Anyways I don't think we should assume the Lakers will automatically go to the Finals this year. At least I hope the Lakers themselves don't think this because that attitude will bite them big time should they meet in the playoffs.

VI Lakerfan

Exactly the reasons why I like Dwight even if he is not a Laker. I remember last year he complained about not having enough touches and the media criticized him by going public which did not happen when Pau and company did the same this year. SVG made adjustments the next games and DH delivered. They did good, they were a surprise contender for the Finals.

I don't know, I may not be in the majority but I wish Dwight to be a Laker some day. He might not have excellent offensive skill set but he makes up for defence. He is the only center right now who can guard Shaq one on one. Say what you want to say, Shaq is still a force inside especially if he is not playing extended minutes.


Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Odds Slipping With Each Loss


Before the All-Star break, there was a growing list of NBA fans and analysts that believed that the Cleveland cavaliers had passed the Los Angeles Lakers as the team to beat in the league. Now, it looks as though L.A. has regained their throne.

Cleveland entered the All-Star break on a thirteen game winning streak. Everything was clicking for the team, and at times they looked unbeatable. During the break they traded for Antawn Jamison, a move that many believed would put them over the top.

Since the team returned to action this week, they have not won. They have lost three straight games, capped by a message sending statement win by Orlando on Sunday. The Magic once again showed Cleveland that they would be no easy out should the teams meet in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

In the West, meanwhile, the Lakers have continued to keep distance between themselves and Denver for home court advantage. L.A. has played another two games without Kobe Bryant since the break, and have split those games.

The loss came at home to the Boston Celtics, but the Lakers again proved they could play good basketball without Bryant. The Celtics won the close game at the end, exemplifying the need for Bryant to be on the court down the stretch for the Lakers.

With Cleveland's loss on Sunday, the Lakers have pulled to within one half game of the Cavs for home court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs. Bryant practiced on Saturday, and is expected to be back in the lineup in Memphis on Tuesday night. Los Angeles also has a big game Wednesday with Dallas.

February 22, 2010
Posted By Vincent Tapoglia III
Staff Editor, CasinoGamblingWeb.com

hobbitmage,

Thanks for the feedback.
I too have changed some of my opinions after reading various posts simply because the points made, either with or without the use of stats, were logical enough for me to do so.
I am not a stat bigot, they have their place, but sometimes they dont.
I tend to go with common sense and logic but learned long ago even that doesnt make one right all the time.
We're all looking at life through colored lenses, and sometimes the lens' change color. Would we really want it to be any other way? I cant decide.

One thing I couldn't help noticing in the Cavs game was how huge Shaq's gotten... like a 7-foot Tractor Traylor. Re: Denver, they're definitely our main competition in the west. But, maybe Phil's right... I'd be fine with Utah knocking out Denver in the second round at any rate.

I watched almost the entire Cavs vs Magic game this morning. The only thing that I think both of these teams have better is ther bench. If you exclude Farmar and Odom for our "bench mob," we have zero dependable players. Both the Magic and the Cavs have at least four different guys who come off the bench and contribute in a positive way. The cavs have: Jamison, Gibson, West, and Verejao
The Magic have: Bass, Pietrus, Reddick, Gortat, and Jason Williams
On the other hand, we still have the talent to win it all again this year, but I think these two teams have lessened the gap quite a bit since last year. I do think the Magic have taken a step backwards in the Carter-Turkoglu trade because Carter doesn't seem to fit in as well on the offensive end and his defense if much worse than Turkoglu's.

TWIDDLE DEE AND TWIDDLE DUM…
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Fabricate, exaggerate, obfuscate, prevaricate, desecrate, irritate, frustrate, and exasperate. That seems to be your obvious objective on this blog, doesn’t it? What an Odd Couple. One can hardly write a coherent post without digressing into senseless stream of consciousness while the other imagines himself as some form of blogging ninja with virtual knives slicing.
-
Can you imagine what a riot watching a Lakers game with this dynamic duo would be like? Twiddle Dee would likely have his MJ DVD and Bulls stat collection handy along with his list of favorite Bynum bashing quotes while the other spent the entire game spinning his sticks sitting on his burro. Of course, this is not the appropriate forum to address those rumors about Twiddle Dum and his burro. I would say, however, that the burro is not talking.
-
Aside from the smack and differences of opinion, what really riles me is how Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum consistently and intentionally misinterpret and misrepresent what I and other Bynum supporters believe and have posted. That they do so with no conscience or qualms about fair play and honesty says more about where they’re coming from than any rebuttal I could post. And arguing with them is useless as it’s all just a game to them.
-
That is why, although I respect their right to their opinion, I no longer have any respect for either as a blogger or Lakers fan and refuse to follow them down their sleasy rabbit hole.
- - - - - - - - - - -
TOM

Scott,

Great point. As I know this blog, many here don't like to acknowledge the elephant in the room, and the same people will attack those who do.

That said, I don't care how it makes anyone feel, I'm damned worried about the Denver Nuggets.

This team matches up very well against our Lakers. They know how to win big games against big teams, and they have the experience of going deep in the playoffs (from last year). Also, they seem to be young and healthy, and they have the type of team that Boston had the year we lost to them in the Finals. Denver has a superstar that they can go to in the stretch, they have thug/intimidators, they have an aggressive rebounder, they have a veteran superstart PG, and they have 3-point specialists. This year's Denver Nuggets is, to me, a younger, better version of the last Boston Celtic Championship team.

This Denver team took us to the limit last year, and if it wasn't for a few lucky plays for us, we would have lost the series to them. People forget how the Denver/Laker series went last year. People forget how hard that series was, and that we really almost lost the damned thing.

And now this year, Denver has dominated us, offensively and defensively, and on both home/away courts. We don't seem to have an answer for them. They're hungry, determined, skilled, and confident.

Call me pessemistic, call me whatever, but this blog better start getting damned serious about the Denver Nuggets, instead of assuming we're meeting the Cavs in the finals.

And to put a sour cherry on top of this scary thing, if the playoffs were to start today, we'd be playing Portland first round...

Now that the Cavs have lost three in a row and we're at home with our feet up relaxing can everyone stop panicking, PLEASE?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Marky Mark,

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

Can you please confirm or deny this statement?

Is it true?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Scott/Troy,

The Thuggetts are really good. I'll give you that.

No need to panic.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

I'm loving watching USA versus Canada in hockey right now.

My father and one of my grandparents were born in Canada. I love Canada, but I totally want to kick the crap out of Canada right now. I wish all sons of immigrants felt such loyalty.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Long Time Laker Fan,

"The thing about the Cavs loss that I liked best is that LeBron was the one who tanked it at the end for Cleveland."

He's not THAT guy. He's not a game winner when the chips are down.

He's one hell of an incredible athlete and he has truly improved the diversity of his game in the last two years. I'm impressed, but he's not a game winner when it matters.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

I love the Winter Olympics.

With the exception of curling, practically every sport a player can die in if he screws up. That's AWESOME in my book.

Athletes really have to be focused or else.

That's intensity.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Long Time Laker Fan,

"But even with a slightly harder schedule, I think if the Lakers stay healthy, the odds are good they'll end up with home court."

Me too. People forget that Shaq is almost 37. With Z gone he has to play major minutes for at least another month. That won't bode well for the Cavs.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Long Time Laker Fan,

"But even with a slightly harder schedule, I think if the Lakers stay healthy, the odds are good they'll end up with home court."

Me too. People forget that Shaq is almost 37. With Z gone he has to play major minutes for at least another month. That won't bode well for the Cavs.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

@MarkG

I would have rooted for the Celtics, rather than the Nuggets. I really want them to come out of the East, so we can have a rematch in the Finals.

No matter what, it's going to be a wild ride for the rest of the way. Go Lakers!

Wow.

This Canada versus USA game is awesome.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

LakerTom,

I read your post and you are right.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Rick Friedman,

Never root for the Celtics. You are putting yourself in league with the Devil.

Don't go there.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

MM,

I know that it is very important that you give credit where credit is due when publishing articles on the web. The idea that it was defense and not offense that is the reason for the (then) Lakers 4-0 record (the offense is actually less efficient during that span), was penned right here on this blog last week. By ME.

I had been the one who first suggested that the supposed increase in flow and sharing and movement hadn't really resulted in better offensive performances. Giving that credit to Joseph Treutlein really isn't that cool, since both he and I posted the idea in similar fashion; by posting it on the web.

I don't think that owning a blog makes his post more relevant than any of ours right here on your blog.

I am the one who doesn't think that Kobe's return will be that disruptive because there is no good reason under the sun why the Lakers can't continue playing exactly the same brand of defense while also beniting from the requisite bump in offensive efficiency that will result from Kobe's return.

You can look it up, I would, but it is tough to find old posts on this blog (or, I'm just bad at it).

I beat that guy by at least a whole day.

Oh well. Sounds like I'm whining, doesn't it? Couldn't help it. I think it's OK in this forum because those who like me here still will, and this rant will just be more fodder for those here who don't.

At any rate, Orlando did us a solid. Maybe they want a rematch after all.

Cleveland wants a match.

But, most of us in Laker Land want the Celtics.

Classic "love" triangle, huh?

--FEARless

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? Not a handshake or a wave or nothin, what a sorry ass loser!

LakerTom,

you wrote: Fabricate, exaggerate, obfuscate, prevaricate, desecrate, irritate, frustrate, and exasperate

my response: I'm shocked. You've finally decided to tell the truth about
your posts. Congratulations!

Marky Mark,

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

Can you please confirm or deny this statement?

Is it true?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Posted by: Jon K. | February 21, 2010 at 06:28 PM


YES... Big Z would be eligible to play for Cavs in the playoffs. The deadline you are thinking of (which just passed) applies only to players obtained in TRADES. If Ilgauskus returned to Cavs, it would NOT be through a trade, but rather as a free agent (being bought out of his contract).

Mike

Watching the end of the Cavs-Magic game, I liked how Howard defended Shaq one-on-one in crunch time, snagging a missed Shaq shot in the process. The Magic could then concentrate on defending James, leading to the win.

Unfortunately, this is where Bynum falls way short of Howard, despite having better offensive skills. And if you have to double Shaq, you have no chance of beating the Cavs. Not saying it means the Cavs will beat the Lakers in the Finals (should both get there), but it's a definite concern.

I'm not getting into the raging "Beast or bust" debate and Bynum does have skills, but the one area where he could benefit the team the most he isn't measuring up. Just sayin'.

Posted by: Scott | February 21, 2010 at 12:54 PM

[Scott I think Bynum is on par with Howard and only his injuries slowed his progrees As rookie sub Drew was matching Howard who was and is starter.]
====================================================
Crabs lose 3 straight.....THAT WAS SWEET.... So, Lakers are the only team left that has not lost 3 straight since 2+ years, right?? (Ahhhh so proud to say that!!)

Yes, one more thing - anyone who says AB is/will be a better center than Howard is plain delusional.. that guy is a MONSTER!!

Posted by: Kobefan in Cupertino | February 21, 2010 at 01:28 PM

[ Kobe Fan, Bynum is going to be better than Howard. Drew has suffered for 2 seasons on freak injuries to his knees. He is slowly getting his confidence back. He went on summer break and conditioned his upper body strength. He then for 2 seasons spent off season rehabiliting his injuries instead of strengtening his legs. I think if this off season he builds up lower body strength he will not get rooted out by Shaq or Howard. Seems no one talks about how his knee injuries held his development back. I think Drew has the work ethic to building his body up further. Then watch out for the Beast.]

Jon K,

>>> Never root for the Celtics. You are putting yourself in league with the Devil.

Haha! Good one.

Only for Sunday's game against the Nuggets. But I do want the Celts to win the East. Of all the teams I want the Lakers to crush in the Finals, it's the Celtics. It's the trophy with the most meaning. I care not a hoot about the Cavaliers. That rivalry exists only in David Stern's head. (Stern is the true representative of Satan on earth.)

Yes, Jon. We do play for rings! Go Lakers!

About those Nuggets - they are really, really good! But a little perspective. We have lost two games to them this season. The first was in Denver, without Pau. We always have a hard time up there anyway, losing big there, without Pau, is hardly a shock.

And that second game? I'll just say, if Denver shoots that well in a 7 game series, nobody is beating them. But I'll believe that they can do it, when I actually see it.

Oh and I would love to play Utah, San Antonio, and Denver in the playoffs. Why? Simple. Our finesse guys need a little tune up and workout before facing any of the East teams in the Finals, if we get there. Utah and Denver will provide the best preparation for the Finals -- just imagine if we play the Thunder and the Suns right before facing the Celtics or the Cavs... that would NOT be good, Pau and Drew would be shellshocked by the physicality. Better to get used to playing rough in the early rounds

Offensive efficiency? What garbage.

The fact is the Lakers shot the ball like crap in a couple of those games. That alone accounts for the decline in your so-called "offensive efficiency."

Anyone could see how much better the ball moved and how that resulted in better shots for everyone. Sometimes you just can't buy one, but that says ZERO about how the offense is working.

Try actually watching the game, and apply a little common sense, and you'll find you don't need those statistics to help you understand the game.

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.)

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.
Posted by Jon K.

What a great suggestion from Jon K,
Let's let Mark M. be king...and just as long as he agrees with whatever Jon K.
is saying that will be the final word. When he says some more of the entertaining bloggers he means the ones that agree or like him. Because Jon K. doesn't like anyone saying anything negative unless it is him saying that Lebron's mother is a crack head.
When ever Jon. K doesn't like the tone of the blog he appeals to Mark M. to throw people off or now be the final word because Mark M. has inside information and that should be the end of the discussion !!! Luckily Mark M. knows we live in America with there is freedom of speech !!

Art -FL Laker Fan,

Dude, I’m not sure what happened but I replied to your comment, which was actually a reply to my comment in reply to your...well, you know. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that my last reply somehow got zapped. I came back on the blog tonight and there were about 30 new comments but mine was nowhere to be found. I guess I’ll try to reprise it...

First, thanks for all the kind words, I’m glad that some of the things I said rang true with you.

“My comments were related to trying to use stats to compare the performance of Bynum to Shaq when he was 22 and using stats to try and compare Bynums performance and that of LO and Pau when Bynum is or is not present in the lineup and each of them is or is not in the lineup as those were the main points in the posts being referred to.”

I guess that eliminates me as the subject of your original response. I replied in part because I thought you were questioning my commentary as well, but apparently you were not, my bad.

"What I mean is, I dont think we can really form any hard and fast conclusions from the stats."

I guess I’m not completely sure of what you mean by “hard and fast conclusions” from stats or otherwise. If you’re talking about certainty then I agree, but then I don’t believe in certainty. Whenever I’m asked about my religious beliefs my standard reply is, “The only thing that I believe in less than God is certainty, so I guess that makes me an agnostic.”

Statistics and probability are interrelated and as nature abhors perfection, so does probability, which is why nothing’s ever completely certain. Sure there are plenty of high probability events, 99.9999...% and plenty of very low probability events, 0.000...1% but those who think in terms of 0% and 100% just don’t have enough imagination to understand reality.

Statistics is a method of analysis involving the use of probability theory to quantify the significance and uncertainty of our conclusions. It is a tool to assist us in communicating clearly our results in a verifiable and replicable manner so that others can understand them in the same way we do. At least this is supposed to be how it works when statistics are used properly, which unfortunately among laymen it rarely if ever is.

“All debates dont have to be settled by scientific fact. Debates of the type that go in this blog are people giving their own opinions and are colored with their own biases.”

Most all such arguments are filtered through the lenses of our personal experience and understanding of the world, or biases if you prefer, even those constrained by an agreement to abide by the scientific method. In fact, most debates outside of science are never settled (how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? A question for pinheads to be sure!) and subjective analyses can almost always be distilled down to personal opinions, which as the saying goes are like assholes...we all have them and everyone else’s stinks. I suppose this is part of what makes science such an efficient and practical process, because it does provide a means of settling disputes about why things happen the way they do in the world around us.

Thanks for taking an interest and giving me the opportunity to blather on about some of my favorite subjects...

LakerTom,

Apparently you forgot about the, "I know you are but what am I!" gambit...

"Can you imagine what a riot watching a Lakers game with this dynamic duo would be like?"

Why put such horrible thoughts into our collective heads? If I ever need electroshock therapy (again?), you will be to blame!

"That is why, although I respect their right to their opinion, I no longer have any respect for either as a blogger or Lakers fan and refuse to follow them down their sleasy rabbit hole."

I'm glad to hear that you are prepared to join the boycott! Although I always assumed that the residence involved was some other type of hole...

JustaLakerFan:

I am not saying that Bynum did not lose time, or anything about his physical conditioning. When I mentioned Howard as a monster, I meant his game, not his physique.

How many times have you seen in a game Bynum kick out the ball to a shooter, or pass it and get it back?? I have not seen. DH does that, and it becomes a nightmare for opponents coz once they double-team Howard, he kicks out to a wide open Rashard Lewis or Jameer Nelson who drill the 3-ptr. On the other hand, once Bynum gets the ball in the low post - he wont let go of the ball unless the possession is over - he either makes the shot, he gets fouled, or shoots an ugly off-balance J that rims out...

The other main issue with AB is rebounding. He NEVER boxes out to rebound the ball. All he wants to do is score and score more. Attitude to play D, and rebounding skills dont come with physical exercise, they come when you really want to do it!!

Where would you rank AB in the current centers in the league?? #1, #2, #3?? Do let me know...

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!!

DFish,

"Let's let Mark M. be king...and just as long as he agrees with whatever Jon K.
is saying that will be the final word. "

That was an AWESOME jab and retort... LOVED IT!!

LA Times, fire the screener who claims use of statistics to bolster an argument stifles debate! I will spend my time more wisely by subscribing to the OCR!!!!

Hey Aztronut, blather away!
I dont mean that as a dig, I like the thought process you exhibit.
Oh, and BTW, by hard and fast conclusion I meant come to a conclusion that is irrefutable, which you called certainty, which is about the same, so you got it right.
If I ever have a stats related type of question now I know where to go for an answer.
And, umm, why would an angel want to sit on the head of a pin anyway?

Shannon's former roommate @ MSU is now playing for the "D" League's Miane Red Claw's. Just 3 games back from Spain, he scored 21 last night.

This is a Celtic related team. His last regular game as a Maverick he led the team in scoring against Golden State, prior to the division playoff blowout. Kid has talent.

Bynum needs a significant change in attitude on rebounding and defense if he is going to become a "Monster."

Kobefan in Cupertino , I think Billy was referring to the game BEFORE the Magic game, where the Cavs lost to the Nuggets.

Art-FL, FWIW, I think you had it pretty right about subjective opinion and stats when you're talking BBall at least. Stats are helpful but in the end most of this comes down to a subjective call.

Kobefan in Cupertino
I am sorry I was not clearer. I did say "probably already covered" implying it was old news. It just seemed relevant in light of the losing streak and Lebron's showmanship and gamesmanship or lack thereof.
Someone had mentioned both Shaq and Lebron storming off the court after the Magic loss and it reminded of the Nuggets loss.
Golly I didn't think it was that incoherent and as far as facts, they did in fact lose and Lebron did in fact run off the court looking to me (opinion) like he was about to cry.
As far as being "stoned", no sir, I was not, but you did bring back fond memories so thank you.
Lastly, thank you DTM for coming to my defense.

Wow, Kobefan in Cupertino, you must feel pretty stupid.

As you should.

billy in slo:

Sorry, the stoned was more of pun-intended, not meant literally.

If it was offensive to you, then my mistake for making such a pig-headed comment. please accept my sincere apologies.

-rafi

Apology completely and sincerely accepted. My skin is quite thick and I took no offense, only wanted to lightheartedly clarify my comment.
You know, most of us here probably are or were athletes, we all hate to lose, and while I am in awe of Lebron's talent he is no gentleman when he loses, shows a lot about character, one of the reasons I appreciate Pau, he is a great player but a really fine human being, at least from my observation.

Art -FL Laker Fan,

“I like the thought process you exhibit.”

...and I appreciate your open-mindedness and civility.

“If I ever have a stats related type of question now I know where to go for an answer.”

Feel free, but please keep in mind, as I’m sure you will, that I’m not always right and although I do know quite a bit about statistics, I don’t know everything.

“And, umm, why would an angel want to sit on the head of a pin anyway?”

I think that this was one of those Spanish Inquisition questions, somewhat like the citizenship tests that Tom Tancredo and his mob want to implement at the polls to keep people from exercising their franchise, as if it hasn't been done before...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uprjmoSMJ-o

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/05/tom-tancredo-obama-electe_n_450849.html


Carpe Diem & Peace Out!

As I've been saying since the trade was made, the Jamison-for-Ilgauskas deal was a knee-jerk reaction to the likelihood the Cav's couldn't make it past the east with essentially the same lineup from last year except for an aging Shaq. Jamison for Ilgauskas was/is/will continue to be a BAD decision. Zydrunas would have formed a nice tandem with Shaq matching up to the Lakers. The Jamison trade is the Cav's attempt to have someone to match up to Rashard Lewis and Mikael Pietrus in the playoffs against the Magic. The thing is, much like Richard Jefferson and Shaq, Antawn Jamison is about 3 yrs past his prime.

Anyways, this was a bad deal that actually not only worsens their chance in the east, but is even worse when considering a possible finals matchup against the long Lakers. Today though the Cav's have shown that they literally are worse with Jamison on the floor, he does nothing for them. He overlaps a lot of what LeBron does, basically plays the same kind of game minus all the possession time, so his value would be more of a backup to LeBron than as a forward playing alongside. However, they are going to jam him in there now that they've made the bad trade they did, making them a smaller, more perimeter oriented team that is less of a threat.

I called it when the trade was made. I saw all the TV analysts saying that 'this trade gives the Cav's the east title' and chuckled. Jamison WAS a decent player - in 2006! This Jamison does nothing but hurt the Cav's, they are better off playing Delonte West and Mo Williams at once rather than Jamison. Big mistake!

ONLY if Big-Z returns, then they have not given up anything and picking up Jamison AS A BACKUP would be alright, but the Mav's & Hawks have already stated interest if the Wizards buy him out so there is no guarantee that Ilgauskas returns to the team that brought in an old Shaq to start in front of their long-time face of the franchise. If Zydrunas doesn't return, the Cav's just traded away not only their shot in this playoffs, but any shot they had of keeping LeBron. That is why this may very well go down as one of the WORST TRADES in the history of the NBA. If they end up not making it out of the east, LeBron is gone and their franchise is back in the stone ages...


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...