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Caught in the Web: Capturing the Lakers' uninspiring performance against Oklahoma City

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Game stories

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan documents the Lakers' visible anger during the team's 91-75 loss Friday to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding highlights the Lakers' poor teamwork.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi mentionts a lot of things the did team wrong, but Lakers guard Kobe Bryant says the team won't play like this in the postseason.

--The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry said Thabo Sefolosha's defense on Kobe Bryant made the difference in Oklahoma City's victory.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford explains why there were too many things the Lakers didn't do right against Oklahoma City.

Notebooks

--The Times' Broderick Turner talks with Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, who said it's games like the Lakers' loss to Oklahoma City that leave him wondering if he wants to return to the Lakers next year. "After tonight, asking me that question when the team doesn't respond to your coaching, you're setting yourself up for a hypothetical like, ‘If they're not going to respond to your coaching, why do you want to come back and coach them?'" Jackson told Turner. "Either they respond or they don't respond."

--The interesting thing about Jackson's conversation with Turner is that Jackson told reporters before the game that he would consider coming back to coach next season, although he made it clear he hadn't made a decision.

--The Orange County Register's Ding reports that center Andrew Bynum is out of his walking boot.

Columns

--The Times' T.J. Simers criticizes the Rolling Stone article that suggested Oklahoma City guard Kevin Durant has surpassed Kobe Bryant as a basketball player, and then criticizes Bryant for his poor performance against Oklahoma City.

--The Times' Bresnahan explains why the Lakers should be concerned with the Thunder if they face each other in the playoffs.

--The Oklahoman's John Rohde provides a pretty detailed take on why this was the perfect night for the Thunder.

Blogs

--The Daily Thunder breaks down some numbers in Oklahoma City's victory.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky rightfully compares the Lakers' loss to a "15-car pileup."

--Forum Blue and Gold sums up the game pretty well in with this headline: "Pure awfulness"

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell has a running diary of all the horrible things the Lakers did against the Thunder.

--Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark correctly points out that if there was a mercy rule, the Lakers-Oklahoma City game would've been called before the fourth quarter.

More Lakers links

--There were many fans who had plenty to say regarding a column from The Times' Bill Plaschke that said Ron Artest hasn't fit in with the Lakers.

--Fox Sports has a video report recapping the Lakers' loss.

--Hardwood Paroxysm explains why it appreciates what Bryant brings to the game.

--Lakers Nation ranks the 10 worst Lakers of all time.

--Laker Noise's Roland Lazenby has more of his analysis on the Jackson coaching situation.

--Sports Illustrated put together a pretty extensive photo gallery featuring NBA players and their wives, including Bryant, Lakers guard Derek Fisher and Lakers forward Lamar Odom.

Tweet of the Day: "is it wrong to click off the laker game to watch the Nets try and get win number 9?" -- EricPincus (Hoopsworld's Eric Pincus)

Reader Comment of the Day: "A truly humiliating loss. It'll be interesting to see which team shows up tomorrow after these last 2 jeckl and hyde performances." -- G in DC

-- Mark Medina

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

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant goes to the hoop for a layup as Oklahoma City guard Thabo Sefolosha, left, tries to defend during Friday's game. Credit: Larry W. Smith / EPA

 
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Well, on the bright side it wasn't a nationally televised game!

FighttheHandwringing.com

FOOLS GOLD?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I keep telling myself that it’s only one game. I remind myself how well he played in last year’s Finals. I point out that he was last week’s Player of the Week in the Western Conference. But when I see Pau come out and play like a total punk as he did tonight, all I can think of is Mike T’s constant rant that Chris Mihm as a center was “fools gold.” Ironically, I’m beginning to think the same of Pau Gasol.
~
To find myself in the same proverbial boat as Mike T is pretty scary stuff. Of course, the big difference is that he was trying to sell Kwame Brown as the Lakers next great center while I have the good luck and edge of trying to do the same but with Andrew Bynum. On the other hand, Mike T. had a gigantic advantage in that nobody mistook Chris Mihm for a proven All-Star caliber player like Pau Gasol.
~
As poor as I thought they were, the Thunder broadcast crew displayed uncanny insight when they noted that, without Bynum, the Lakers lose that overwhelming advantage in height and length with which very few teams can match up. With Pau tossing up weenie shots and playing totally bewildered on defense, the Lakers had zero inside game tonight and were killed on the boards and in the paint.
~
Pau’s inability to deal with the physicality that every team is now throwing at him is a huge concern, especially if it takes Andrew longer than hoped to recover from his Achilles strain and get back to playing at the level he was before the injury. What exacerbates the problem is that now everybody is going to really challenge Pau physically, knowing that he tends to get flustered and become passive.
~
It’s not just this one game that causes me to worry about Pau’s play. Truthfully, there have been more games than his staunchest proponents would admit when the Spaniard has played very soft on both offense and defense, throwing up weak shots rather than finishing at the rim, and letting penetrating players make easy layups and dunks to avoid picking up fouls rather than trying to protect the rim.
~
Hopefully, this is just another overreacting post from another disgruntled Lakers fan who is pissed his team got killed, disappointed his favorite player had a terrible game, discouraged his second favorite player is once again out with an injury. and dismayed Pau Gasol has been playing like he belongs in the WNBA rather than the real men’s league. Pau Gasol needs to start playing a lot tougher.
~
As for the rest of the team, Kobe was just terrible, unable to stay on his feet and getting absolutely zero love from the refs. Lamar continued to step up and play well. But without a low post game on offense or a shot blocking presence on defense, the Lakers were doomed from the start. This is what happens when you can’t play inside-out basketball – and when you don’t have Andrew Bynum.
~
Is Pau Gasol “fools gold?” Not if he plays like he did in last year’s Finals. But make no mistake, Pau is not the long-term answer at center for a championship team. Other teams know now how to defend Pau and it is only going to get rougher and tougher as we head into the playoffs. While Pau is not “fools gold,” there is no doubt in my mind that the Lakers need Andrew Bynum in order to repeat.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Who cares about the regular season? We almost have a lock on home court through the Western Conference championship. Phoenix and OKC are hot now, earlier it was Dallas and Denver. Big deal! When the bell rings for the playoffs, we'll be ready. Kobe and Pau understand there's no point in killing yourself now, they have a lot of mileage on their legs and there's no sense in wasting all your mental energy for the last few games of a meaningless regular season.
No worries! We play for rings!

firstly i'd like to acknowledge a couple posts yesterday PRIOR to game from some bloggers who really get it...

Russell Westbrook has been in a slump. The FDA states that the best remedy for a slumping PG is aged Fish.
Posted by: LAKER TRUTH | March 26, 2010 at 01:31 PM

prior to yesterdays game westbrook was mired in a mini shooting slump where he scored 11, 0, 12, 4 pts in his previous 4 games... yesterday he shot 10-13 FG with 23 pts all mostly in the first half.... what better way to BREAK OUT of a slump than against dfish.

We are almost guaranteed to get off to a slow start tonight against the thunder...................why you say?
DEREK FISHER!
Posted by: pfunk36 | March 26, 2010 at 10:40 AM

damn i should've listened to pfunk and put my money on thunder in the first quarter... lakers fell behind early and dfishs porous defense again set the tone of the game... yes farmar/shannon couldnt contain him either but by the time they were on him he was RED HOT... this game is all about momentum.. it was clearly evident the thunders game plan from the start was to go to westbrook early and often... i dont know why its so hard to understand that dfish mean starting the game BEHIND THE 8BALL... constant uphill battle.. this aint freakin rocket science.


Troy,

Ever since the blogs/message boards the Lakers must have won at least 4 championships. But unfortunately, comments like yours were there year in year out. It's the same story every year. Win or lose. You will sound like a genius when they dont win the championship but get swept under the rug when they to win it all. Why? Because we are all nobodies here. You will gloat when you are right and disappear when you're wrong and no one will miss you.
Can the Lakers beat the Cavs in a 7 game series? Why not? You said "no" but that's just your opinion. That's why they play the game. That's like saying Butler can't beat Syracuse. On paper, that's true. Only on paper.
Until the Lakers get eliminated, I am not going to declare them "done". But that's just my 0pinion.

Does this officially end the comparisons to MJ and the '97 Bulls?

Or was it just the day that Durant surpassed kobe?

Another interesting article, Roland.

If for some reason the Lakers don't win the championship this year, Phil will certainly have to take a pay cut or else face the risk of Buss letting him walk. There's no way Buss is going to reward Phil with another $12M per year contract for failing to win the title with all the money he's invested in the team this year. The salary issue aside, I think it's also very possible that Buss lets Phil walk at the end of the season if there isn't another parade on Figueroa in June.

Have our players started tuning Phil out? Phil's been with this squad for a while now, and it's entirely possible that maybe our guys have just grown tired of his voice after all these years. I sure hope not. There's clearly a lot hanging in the balance during the next few months.

If there's a war between Buss and Phil, I'm siding with Buss. And if there's another war between Buss and Kobe, I'm siding with Buss again. Buss' track record as the owner of the greatest franchise in the NBA speaks for itself.

It was a bizarro game in the bizarro world last night. I'm not mad nor upset about the lost, it happens. It seemed like Lakers weren't themselves last night, as if some aliens who never played a basketball game in their life took over the players' body. Just so bizarre!

And then they came back to Earth, and this is what they have to say:


"I'll feel better when the playoffs come around. We want to play better. There are things we have to do and shore up and I know what we can do and I know what our identity is. That's the part I don't want to be second guessing." - Kobe Bryant.

"I don't even know what happened," said Ron Artest after the game, looking like a boxer still recovering from a knockout punch. "What's our record? How many games we got left? I'm just looking forward to tomorrow. I don't even know what happened. What did Ronald Reagan say that one time? I don't recall." - Ron Artest

Sigh, now I feel better. Onto the next win :)

MICHAEL H… “Aloha Laker Tom, Yes you are right, you are going Mike T on us and that isn't what a lot of us has come to expect from your posts. We missed Andrew. He is a match up problem for the Thunder but man all the other stuff? Let’s not forget what Pau is, one of the best power forwards in the game. You said there is no shot blocking presence? Think Duncan agrees with you? No Defense? Come on man. We are a very hard to match up with when we have both Pau and Andrew in the line-up, but you are just throwing Pau under the bus because so many clueless guys were posting that Lamar should start instead of Andrew. I had come to expect more from you.”
~
Aloha, Michael. First of all, you are probably correct that a part of my anger is because “so many clueless guys were posting that Lamar should start instead of Andrew” but most of it is due to Pau’s woefully weak recent play and his irritating unwillingness to recognize that he is playing soft. His response to Phil’s comments last night that he played “soft” is a perfect example: “I don't think I was less physical than any other game," Pau said. "There wasn't anything different for me out there. I just missed a couple good looks that I usually make." That’s the type of comment that almost made Phil retract his statement that he wanted to coach next year.
~
Second, I don’t think it is a fair assessment to say that I threw Pau under the bus. Yes, I called him out for his subpar play and I still contend that he is “fools gold” as a center because he cannot deal with the physicality and rough play required of a center on a championship team. But did I suggest that we bench him or trade him? Did I retract my opinion that he is the best power forward in the game today? Did I abandon my prediction that the Lakers are still the best team and will repeat as NBA champions? You may have expected more from me but I also expected more from you than an overly defensive homer overreaction to my comments.
-
Third, if you check back on my posts after the San Antonio game, you will see that I lauded Pau’s man-to-man defense on Tim Duncan. What I criticized was Pau’s continually unaggressive and unintimidating play as a help defender. When Drew went down, Phil aptly pointed out that now Pau was going to have to do all the down and dirty work on defense protecting the rim that Drew had been doing. Unlike Drew who basically challenged every drive into the paint, Pau plays matador defense when other team’s players penetrate the lane, worried more about drawing a foul and having to sit than trying to block or alter the shot. And yes, he did do an excellent job guarding an over-the-hill Tim Duncan but at the same time he was totally punked offensively.
~
Bottom line, we were able to win the NBA championship last year with Pau playing center and Andrew barely contributing. Well, this is not last year and the Pau Gasol we are seeing is not last year’s Pau Gasol. Part of it is the increased physicality other teams are throwing at him but part of it is also that Pau is playing much softer. We also don’t have that same chip on our shoulder as we did last year to redeem ourselves and our primary competitors have added height and length to better match up with us. Add all of the injuries to Kobe and other major players and it is easy to see that repeating as NBA champions this year is going to be much more difficult. That is why we need Pau Gasol to step up and play tougher and more aggressively than he has been.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Bloggers

During yesterdays game blog I advised you that during the post-conference to listen very carefully to Phil Jackson's attempt to absolve himself from any responsibility. I told you to look out for words like "they" and "them".............you'd see very little "we" or "I"


Here's Phil's quote:

"After tonight, asking me that question when the team doesn't respond to your coaching, you're setting yourself up for a hypothetical like, ‘If THEY'RE not going to respond to your coaching, why do you want to come back and coach THEM?'" Jackson told Turner. "Either THEY respond or THEY don't respond."


Most of the media doesn't pick up on this Phil Jackson lingo.........either they're too stupid, too scared.......or both. REAL LEADERS DO NOT SPEAK THIS WAY!!

A Real Leader would take responsibility and make himself the heavy.......A real leader would say "I and I do mean I am responsible for this loss tonight....I am responsible for the way in which we loss because I didn't have this team properly prepared......we weren't prepared mentally or physically tonight". "I take full responsibility for that performance tonight and I have to do a better job of gameplanning and motivating this team on a nightly basis." "If I can't do that and transfer that energy to this team then I shouldn't be the coach and they should bring someone in who can do that for this team"

When the team reads quotes like this coming from their leader I can assure you a much better response than the coach sitting in his lofty position with the perfect message but 'THEY'RE" not responding to it.

One of the greatest team and sports movies to me was "Remember the Titans"........they had a theme throughout that movie that went like this..............."attitude reflects leadership"............"ATTITUDE REFLECTS LEADERSHIP!!"

Phil Jackson because of ego and false pride has placed a ceiling on his growth as a coach. He is surrounded by enablers i.e media that feed his ego and that do not challenge him as a coach with their questions.

You are on the road to knowledge until you return and say "I got it now".......because the road to knowledge is as infinite as God him/herself.

The moment you believe you have all the answers is when you indeed begin your decline to your certain death........you begin to make excuses and create scapegoats.......you begin to look without and speak in the third person with pronouns like "Them" and "They" and "You".....instead of words like "We" and "Our" and "I"

Pay attention to Phil Jackson as the leader of this team bloggers.............and be critical thinkers as you watch history possibly repeat itself. Phil Jackson has a track record as he nearly ruined the Bulls franchise with his hubris which prompted then Bulls GM to rant....."I don't care if Phil goes 82-0.....he's freaking out of here"

HOBBITMAGE… “Didn't you vilify *ME* for softness quotes about Gasol? You can fire up that apology machine anytime sport.” LOL. I don’t remember vilifying you for that. My issue with you has always been your frustrating tendency to misrepresent my and other Bynum supporters’ positions on various issues.
~
I find it interesting that you seem to have given Kobe a free pass for his performance last night, suggesting that he and Phil kick everybody else’s ass to get them in gear. Kobe has been my favorite current Laker since Jerry West stole him from the Hornets as a rookie but last night he basically played one of his worst games ever.
~
I am sure some people who gloss over my comments without really reading what I am saying will think that I am blaming Pau Gasol for last night’s horrendous loss. That is not true. Nobody with the possible exception of Lamar Odom played well last night, including Kobe Bryant, who I believe will end his career as the GOAT. But real life is not as black and white as your IT mind thinks. Hopefully, last night’s loss will be a wake-up call to Pau to play tougher, to Ron not to disappear, and to Kobe to play smarter. We win or lose as a team.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Wow Eric Wright - somebody seems to have woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning!

Sux.

--FEARless

Wow Eric Wright - somebody seems to have woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning!

Posted by: jefe101 | March 27, 2010 at 10:33 AM

In psychobabble terms, I think that's what they call a desperate cry for attention...

What is so wrong in sticking with your team? You haters mock us Lakers fans for still believing on this team.It is not fanaticsm, it is the love we have for the Lakers. Now you are calling us out just becuse they lost to Thunders? Sure there are flaws but I am not one to throw any player under the bus. Are you even Lakers fans? Do you only like the team when they are winning? When they are losing you leave them behind. Is this how you treat people around you as well?

I have been a Lakers fan for decades and have seen similiar losses like this one. If I live through them I can live through this. At the end of the day, I remember the good memories, good wins and championships won. Not everyday is a bright sunshiny day and I am grateful that the Lakers have a lot of those bright sunshiny days.

GO LAKERS!

Forgive me, but I have to ask: What the hell is wrong with you people?

Starting at 5:30, the Lakers face a new opponent in a new game with a new opportunity.

It's been more than 12 hours since the final buzzer in OKC. Do you wallow in this much misery about spilled milk in your own life? Are you this consumed with finger-pointing or defensiveness about every embarrassing moment? Are you so perfect that you've never had a day where everything you did went horribly wrong? Do you judge yourself by your successes or by your failures?

I'm not denying the size and scope of Friday's vortex in the Lakers' universe. I'm just ready to move on. So should you. JMHO.

We won the first game against SA on the road, then on the 2nd game, lakers lost terribly in OK. Incidentally, if you have not read SA beeat the Cavaliers. Being beaten is not new in NBA, perhaps we are concerned the quality of beating. Based on the WC, Lakers are still ahead of the pack and against OK thunder, we only suffered one lost from them both at home and on the road out of the three games.

However, I am curious of the kind of reaction from many fans among us. There are the die hard fans who distinguish themselves in the blog as lakerholics with lots of euphoria and favoritism every time the Lakers win. It is pure optimism that they can topple a windmill with their 3 point-less guards. And then, there are the so-called trolls who want to trade everybody, dump Kobe & Fisher in March (impossible!).

Hey guys and gals, can we just be Laker fans & be realistic with our opinions. No need to blame Pau when Drew is injured, he is the only one we've got. Everybody sucks including the Coach but won't admit it. Reserve your trade comments in July or at least wait until the Lakers are eliminated. For God's sake, it is just one game and it is a season game. We have been telling from day 1, this team is very inconsistent, so let's see if they can repeat with their bad habits. Got to accept the hard facts and move on with the competition.

Lastly, if you get hurt by others in hurling mud at you and calling you names, got to examine your own posts and ask - did I hurl mud at others and called them names?

The bad bloggers always come out after losses, Rick.


The Thunder match up well athletically with us. Just as the Spurs can beat the Thunder and Cavs and we can't while we can defeat the Spurs with ease, it's all about matchups. As a franchise, we're actually lucky that we haven't had too many matchup disasters in the playoffs. Not like the Jazz did every year with Golden State back in the 90s, or even the Mavs with the Warriors a few years back. We've really only had Houston that one year with the tip-in by Samson to call a playoff disaster.


But, to beat the Thunder we'll need size and more size and a 100% dedication to take them seriously.


Wes

LakerTom,

you wrote: I find it interesting that you seem to have given Kobe a free pass for his performance last night, suggesting that he and Phil kick everybody else’s ass to get them in gear. Kobe has been my favorite current Laker since Jerry West stole him from the Hornets as a rookie but last night he basically played one of his worst games ever.

my response: Kobe *DOES* get a free pass for last night. Kobe *ALWAYS*
gets a free pass because Kobe *ALWAYS* gives effort. Kobe *ALWAYS*
competes. He *sometimes* makes mistakes and he *sometimes* has off
games. btw, you do realize that he's playing with a *BROKEN FINGER* on
his shooting hand? Yes, it was a bad night. I have no problem with Kobe
having an off shooting night while leading the team in assists.

you also wrote: I am sure some people who gloss over my comments without really reading what I am saying will think that I am blaming Pau Gasol for last night’s horrendous loss. That is not true. Nobody with the possible exception of Lamar Odom played well last night, including Kobe Bryant, who I believe will end his career as the GOAT. But real life is not as black and white as your IT mind thinks. Hopefully, last night’s loss will be a wake-up call to Pau to play tougher, to Ron not to disappear, and to Kobe to play smarter. We win or lose as a team.

my response: You should make sure that *you* don't gloss over other
peoples words. I never indicated that you were blaming Pau for last night's
loss at the expense of anybody else. You clearly commented on Pau's play.
You commentary on Pau's play was exactly what my words were on Pau's play.
Yet, when I gave my words you did not regard them in a favorable light.

Real life is not as nearly *GRAY* as your non-IT mind thinks it is. Perhaps
you should read things more carefully and then you'll be better at
distinguishing b/n gray and black/white.

Go Kobe!
Go Lakers!!!

Aloha Laker Tom

First I want to say that you are one of the few guys on the blog that I feel knows how to watch a game, you may get a little Andrew centric from time to time but your breakdowns are usually spot on. And that is why I reacted the way I did last night. It was a complete and total team breakdown but your focus was primarily on Pau. Even if Pau had not joined the dismal party and stepped up we still would have lost and more then likely badly. Yes I applaud your courage in pointing out Kobe stunk but still it was one part Kobe to four parts Pau . Pau contributed to the loss but was only one piece of a very bad performance.

I think we both agree on one thing. This year is different then last, our major competition has upgraded and we will need both Andrew and Pau to win. There is a nice breakdown on Yahoo with Kenny Smith and Mark Spears and they both say we can win the west without Andrew but we can't win it all. I agree with that.
Aloha for now.

MH

Let's be clear about Pau. He has NEVER been a physical player (like a C. Oaklely or member of the Bad Boys).

If those "soft" shots go in are they still soft? What Pau needs to learn is that when his touch is not there he needs to ATTACK by trying to dunk and get to the foul line. He did this in the Finals last year - just needs to do it more consistently. Defensively? He is what he is. He'll never be a dominant physical center, but in crunch time knows how to give a hard foul.

Aloha Hobbit,

I do agree with you on most of what you posted. But the way I look at Pau is , well, Pau is Pau and kicking him in the butt will not change that. The NBA is all about match ups and like you said Pau is a very good Power forward but only a so so center. All one has to look at is Amare with the Suns. Since Lopez has been inserted into the starting line up Amare has exploded because he is playing his natural PF position. Now Pau as a power forward plays more of a face up game. As a center its more back to the basket in traffic. There are very few power forwards that can bully Pau. He even plays KG very well. But the scouting report is out on him. When he plays center, he is prone to frustration when people start banging on him. Like I said to Laker Tom we can win the west with out Andrew but I do not think we can win it all. Pau needs Andrew to take the pressure off of him.

One other thing I disagree with. You said you give Kobe a pass because of his broken finger. I also give him a pass because of the finger but not completely. Like I stated before, Kobe needs to adjust his game to his injury. When does, he plays well. When he trys to play like the injury free Kobe, he turns the ball over nine times. Anyway Aloha for now.

MH

I think what I had to say about this game was written in the previous post and included my answers at Troy's (pretty legit in themselves) angry doubts about this team as currently built up.

Reading all the links up (thanx for this MM), I just keep not feeling any concern inside.

Maybe I am just like the Lakers: waiting for playoffs to happen, trying to find a sense in the end of a rollercoasting regular season.

In a few hours we play again, and I will look out (again from a discoteque, so again whatever comes will be eloped into a beat night and quickly forgotten, may it be good or bad - and I feel it will be good btw) and I will take whatever comes because... these games that rest there to be played before the real game start simply TRULY don't matter for us, while often they matter for teams we face that struggle for that playoff seat.

If I have to say something, it's that is a shame Eastern Conference will see pathetic teams in playoff grid, while way better teams from the Western Conference (like tonight Houston) will be led off the real thing just because the two Conferences are widely different in impact as or global team skills (another thing that people generally overlook when it's about considering the various team's record of the regular season... but then, who cares? let's make it all work for fantasy league, the new way to look at basketball, innit?).

So, I wish I could panick along way too many of you but I guess I am vaccinated against drama.

My system just is thicker than that.

I will wait till Mid April and only then, when /if we would fail, I would yell (in a natural way).

I really don't believe anything said or asked now has any impact on this team.

They're like bears slowly waking up after Winterly sleep.

They're still in disguise.

What will be their our) true skin is something that, pleased or not, is gonna be revealed just when the tables are turned to be serious for real.

And that moment isn't here yet.

It simply isn't.

Worried Laker fans

Here's when I will start to worry;

- when the Lakers are down 2-0, 2-1, 3-1, 3-2 in any playoff series

- when the Lakers are losing in the 4th quarter of any elimination game during any playoff series.


Until then, enjoy the bumpy ride!

MICHAEL H… “I think we both agree on one thing. This year is different than last, our major competition has upgraded and we will need both Andrew and Pau to win. There is a nice breakdown on Yahoo with Kenny Smith and Mark Spears and they both say we can win the west without Andrew but we can't win it all. I agree with that.”
~
Aloha, Michael. Thanks for your comments. There is no doubt that my Andrew bias was in full force last night and I probably did focus more on Pau than any other player. And yes, I agree completely that we need both Pau and Drew in order to repeat, which is why Pau’s weak play and refusal to admit it causes me so much distress. My apologies for coming on so strong to your post. That was not my showing you the respect you deserved. b
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
HOBBITMAGE… “I never indicated that you were blaming Pau for last night's loss at the expense of anybody else. You clearly commented on Pau's play. You commentary on Pau's play was exactly what my words were on Pau's play. Yet, when I gave my words you did not regard them in a favorable light.” My apologies because I did not mean to imply that you said that I blamed Pau for last night’s loss. I was really addressing those comments in anticipation of other bloggers taking my negative comments about Pau out of context. So my bad. As you could see, I was really frustrated after watching the game and let my emotions get the better of me.
~
As we often find after we get past the passion of prior conflicts, we both are in agreement about Pau’s recent play. The only thing I do not agree with you is giving Kobe a free pass. As our leader and best player and future GOAT, we usually live or die on how he plays. Last night was a terrible aberration that I doubt we will see the likes of again this year. We will only go as far as KB24 takes us. We need Kobe to play like the MVP he is. And leading the team with an assists total of 3 is not MFP level play, as Kobe would confirm. He had a bad night.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

pfunk36: You are a fine student of rhetoric. You seem to know Phil Jackson from the inside out. I couldn't agree more.

The rest of you: Don't you get tired of having to make excuses for why the Lakers did not perform well (even in games they win), rather than enjoying a game in which they do play well?

Aren't you tired of being apologists for them?

Aren't you tired of constantly being disrespected by them?

Don't you wish they cared one-tenth about you compared to what you care for them?

Don't you wish they would show half the enthusiasm on the court that you have watching the games?

It's like you're victims of spousal abuse, and instead of leaving, you stay for more, and continue making excuses for your spouse.

At some point, it's time to just say no.

to quote from romeo and juliet.....all are punish...edd! they are ALL guilty! not one Laker earned their PAYCHECK last night. stealing money from dr. buss! i didn't even see the game, but from everyones blog i can see what happened. OKC came out like a ball of thunder, L.A. couldn't match their energy, intensity and heart.....so they packed it in and went home. they quit because they didn't want it bad enough. it was easier for them that way. this team has no pride at times. to play a game like that.....like someone posted earlier, it's a good thing it wasn't on national tv!

MTI312,

I'm not at all concerned about how my predictions will fare in the future. I hope and pray I'm wrong about every negative think I write about regarding the Lakers.

One of the reasons I'm so critical about my Lakers is that, on this blog, there's only a very few of us who will openly point out that our Lakers are not playing well. I think I do a service to the blog readership by exploring not just the positive aspects of the Lakers, but the negative ones.

When we examine all facets of the Lakers play, we encourage a more interesting and well rounded reading experience. While some my consider being openly critical of Laker play as being troll-ish, or bandwagon-ish, I see it as a welcome component.

One thing to embrace is that, despite reading me or other bloggers ragging on a given player who is playing poorly, all of us bloggers share on overall goal; to watch another parade come June.

Zaira,

I get your points. But isn't part of being a Laker fan enjoying excellent play and commitment to professionalism is EVERY game, not just a playoff game?

In other words, I'm not just a fan of the game during the playoffs. I want my Lakers to win every single game they play.

Would a true Laker fan accept poor performance just because it's not a playoff game?

Now, regarding Pau Gasol.

I'm no longer concerned about whether or not he's soft. I'm concerned about whether or not he's EFFECTIVE.

As our number two player, particularly with Kobe ailing, I'm expecting Pau to be putting up all-star numbers. However, his mannerism of play doesn't reflect a true commitment to excelling on the court.

I attack Pau not so much because he's soft, but because he openly criticized Kobe for not passing the ball to him. To me, if you want to publicaly insult your star player, and you want to be considered the number 2 option on the team, you either play excellently, or you shut your mouth and work on your game.

Lastly, it's not uncommon for this blog to attack under-performing players. We vilified Smush Parker and Kwame Brown to no end. I don't understand why it's okay to trash those former players, and not Pau Gasol, even though Pau has more talent and produces more than the aforementioned ex-Lakers.

Wes,

I wouldn't say the "bad bloggers" come out after a Laker loss. I would say that the bloggers who are more apt to criticize Laker players see a need to be critical after a Laker loss.

There's nothing wrong with being critical of our players. Nothing at all.

Jeaneatte:

Please don't confuse being critical with not sticking with the team. I've very critical of Laker play, or players, WHEN IT IS CALLED FOR. However, I still love my Lakers.

I still love my Lakers as as well! Robert C Newman. Rocks vote for him June 2010


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