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Caught in the Web: Lakers about to finish their five-game trip

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Lakers links

-- The Times' Mike Bresnahan highlights Kobe Bryant's interview with NBA TV and previews the Lakers' (54-20) game tonight against Atlanta (47-26).

-- The Times' Jerry Crowe mentions that some Vegas oddsmakers think LeBron James and Kevin Durant have a better shot than Bryant at winning the regular-season MVP.

-- The Atlanta Journal Constitution's Michael Cunningham wonders whether fans tonight will root for the Hawks or the visiting Lakers.

-- The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding wonders whether Phil Jackson's routine during the Lakers' trip has contributed to the team's poor play.

-- Fox Sports West's Michael Eaves argues that fans shouldn't worry about the Lakers' play until the postseason begins.

-- In The Times' Fabulous Forum blog, Ted Green assesses the Lakers' chances to repeat.

-- ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky weighs in on how Andrew Bynum's absence has affected the Lakers.

-- Forum Blue and Gold argues that the Lakers' consistently inconsistent play shouldn't be a cause for concern.

-- Laker Noise's Roland Lazenby explains why Luke Walton's return to the lineup, expected soon, is a good thing.

-- Silver Screen and Roll argues that the Lakers' championship hopes may hinge on a little bit of luck.

-- Sports Illustrated's Dan Patrick interviews Jackson on a variety of topics, including his future with the Lakers. Meanwhile, Reggie Miller tells Patrick he prefers John Wooden over Jackson and Bryant and LeBron James over Kevin Durant.

--Sports Illustrated's NBA writers, including Ian Thomsen, Jack McCallum, Frank Hughes and Chris Mannix debate whether the Lakers are better off with Ron Artest instead of Trevor Ariza.

--Sports Illustrated's Britt Robson adds his own two cents, saying the Lakers will be glad they have Artest this postseason.

-- ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose believes the Lakers are in trouble.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford observes that it seems the Lakers lately are very angry with one another, the coaching staff and the referees.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell provides a good reminder that Orlando is creeping up on the Lakers in the league standings.

Tweet of the Day:"Has it really been a year since Andrew Bynum's Playboy escapades? At least he's on the Lakers road trip this time." -- ArashMarkazi (ESPN Los ANgeles columnist Arash Markazi).

Reader Comment of the Day:"LA Laker teams will never be known for being "lunch bucket" brigade. Style AND substance rule here. And, unfortunately, part of the smug and arrogant reality of the LA style is the "Me Worry?" attitude when others are clucking, "The sky is falling!" Some call it arrogance... some call it hubris... and presently we all call it uncalled for." -- LakerMike

--Mark Medina

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

Photo: New Orleans point guard Chris Paul challenges a three-point shot by Lakers point guard Derek Fisher in the first half Monday night. Credit: Derick E. Hingle/US Presswire.

 
Comments () | Archives (15)

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Congrats LakerMike on the comment of the day!

:-)

I concur with Caliphilosopher LakerMike. Kudos & Congrats!
mamba24(larry)

The MVP race is all but over. We can only hope that LBJ does his best Steve Nash impersonation this year.

And add me to the Play Sasha More bandwagon. He needs more PT to bring back the Machine. It's kinda concerning that our championship hopes may rest on him, but let us walk by Faith, not by sight :)

Plus, every game, for at least one play, and usually two, Fish can thwart the opposing PG and force him to turn the ball over. Fish usually saves that play for late in the fourth quarter. And, if the game is close enough, he becomes the hero. Fish usually follows that timely defensive play with a timely bucket of some sort on the other end.

That is like a 4-,5-, or 6-point play at the end of the game. Usually, but not always, an insurmountable turn of events for the opponent. Whenever Fish's heroics fails to seal the deal, we always have Kobe to close. You know, just in case.

Posted by FEARless

Hey FEARless are sure you are watching the Lakers in 2010. I thinking you might be dreaming this and not realize it is a dream!!!!

ANGRY LAKERS
Lakers getting Angry, that is what I hear, Channel that anger Lakers, Make the League know fear
Don’t take the anger out on, Fellow Laker teammates, punish the other team, Make Defeat their fate
Angry yes you should be, you’re better than that, You’ve been slacking off, getting lazy, getting fat
Oher teams saw this, thought they might succeed, One thing they did not know, Purple & Gold u bleed
You come from a heritage, that is the very best, Karreem, Wilt & Magic, plus the Logo Jerry West
Time for you to wake up, Take a look around, the other Western teams, are beginning to gain ground
Now is not the time, to fight among yourself, Playoff time is coming and we don’t share the wealth
It’s said that every season, The Lakers believe 1 thing, When June get’s here, they’ll have another Ring
It’s not about the touches, Its not about who shoots, It’s about being true, To those great Laker roots
Now Jalen Rose is saying, The Lakers are in trouble, Get it in gear Lakers, In gear on the double
Get ready LA Lakers, go lock down the West, We’re coming Princess Jimmy, Coming with Ron Artest
So Freakin La Lakers, the things I’ve said are true, now that you know them, WHAT YOU GONNA DO!!

@EJK, Deep Brother, DEEP!
*
MORE MINUTES FOR SASHA (THE MACHINE) DON’T BE MEAN – BANDWAGON
*
(01) WALLACE – OWNER - I'm starting a roll call for Sasha to get some minutes for the rest of the season. Sure, the machine is not as good as last year but he displays more heart than Farmar and Brown. Who's with me?
(02) MAMBA24 – DRIVER – I’ll take that ride with you Wallace. In fact I’ll drive the Van.
(03) CORNER-J – GUNNER RE-LOADER - put me on the Sasha Bandwagon as Gunner Re-Loader. He's our only pure shooter and I want him re-loaded for the playoffs.
(04)
(05) ART-FL LAKER FAN – RIDDING SHOTGUN - Agree we should be seeing more of Sasha.
Play him enough to give him a confidence boost.
(06) JOVBATZ44 – BALL BOY - he displays more heart than Farmar and Brown" - Wallace, re: Sasha absolutely agree! Good shooting or bad shooting, Sasha plays with HEART. Please put me in the bandwagon as the Ball Boy.
(07) ROSS – SECURITY - Sasha was beginning to turn the corner, but for some inexplicable reason was not given a chance to play a few minutes. We do not have another 3 pt. shooter with his skill-set. Farmar's D-skills are in the closet with what used to be decent mental toughness! Same with SB, so Sasha needs to be given a chance to repair the machine in the remaining 8 games. Fisher does not need more than 18 minutes a game the rest of the regular season. Farmar & SB have not earned more than 15 minutes each.......last chance to find out who has the mental toughness & defensive.
(08) EJK – CHIEF STRATEGIST - Add me to the Play Sasha more bandwagon. He needs more PT to bring back the Machine. It's kinda concerning that our championship hopes may rest on him, but let us walk by Faith, not by sight :)

Hey FEARless are sure you are watching the Lakers in 2010. I thinking you might be dreaming this and not realize it is a dream!!!! Posted by: DFish | March 31, 2010 at 11:50 AM

DFish, take the Red Pill and go back to sleep.
Mamba24(LarrY)

re post
That's why, PJ, some genius invented something called PRATICE!!!!! Are they tired? At the age of 30 (ok, Fish is 35)??????? I'm 44 and I can catch up with the 25 kids, c'mon... If you wanna be sharp for the playoffs, PRATICE. Cheers. Posted by: Magic Phil | March 31, 2010 at 11:49 AM
*
CHEERS MAGIC PHIL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUYjD7A75HQ


Hey FEARless are sure you are watching the Lakers in 2010. I thinking you might be dreaming this and not realize it is a dream!!!! Posted by: DFish | March 31, 2010 at 11:50 AM

DFish, take the Red Pill and go back to sleep.
Mamba24(LarrY)

Posted by: MAMBA24

Are you kidding me !!! Fisher has a couple of steals and a couple of baskets in the 4th quarter for the entire season !!!! That was pure nonsense what he was saying.

REGARDING PAU...

MM ~ First, I want to acknowledge the "Reader Comment of the Day" given to me (thanks Caliphilosopher and Mamba24 for noticing). I know it is a small thing in the vast expanse of cyberspace, but humbling none the less! Thank-you.

Now, Regarding Pau...
There are some realities I want to point out.
--Pau is NOT a center, he is a forward.
--Pau is NOT a banger, he is a skilled player.
--Pau is NOT a slow thinker, he has a high IQ.

Unfortunately, Pau sometimes is too sensative for his own good as a professional athlete. The whispers and call-outs slapping him with the "Gasoft" label bother him. Thus he tries to prove himself, which is the wrong strategy.

Consider this . . .
--Should the Lakers RUN or SLOW IT DOWN if they want to beat the Golden State Warriors? Afterall, the Lakers CAN run if necessary.
--Should Shaq lead the fast-break dribbling the ball in the middle or set-up down low to dominate with a dunk? Afterall, Shaq is a good dribbler for a big.
--Should DJ Mbenga focus on defense & rebounding, or on shooting jump shots?

I think you get my idea. I am concerned that perhaps WE (this blog community) have contributed to some of Pau's problem. We have added to the "be a banger" noise. PAU IS NOT A BANGER. Look at the tape of last year's finals, perhaps his shining moment on defense when handling Dwight Howard. He used his SKILLS and QUICKNESS and HIGH IQ to win that battle.

As a coach, I always emphasized to my players to KNOW THEIR STRENGTHS and then PLAY TO THEIR STRENGTHS. "Shooters shoot and dribblers dribble" I often said.

Study Pau's performances this year. Consistently, when he has a good game, he used his SKILLS, QUICKNESS and HIGH IQ. When he has a bad game? Frequently you will see him trying to "bang" and "push" and "thug" his way on offense.

Here's the most ironic thing (leaving my surprise for last). Perhaps the player Pau is most suited to play with and best complimented by is a center who is bigger than him, stronger than him, and plays closer to the rim. Look for Pau to BENEFIT from Andrew's return.

Mike

Mamba24,

>>> Lakers getting Angry, that is what I hear

True, true, true. I've tried to drive that point home in numerous posts. We don't just hear it. We saw it throughout Monday's nightmare. Frustration and anger, everywhere.

I fervently disagree with those who say the team has no urgency. But throughout this trip we've seen a team lacking composure and focus. I'm pretty sure that at least Jim Cleamons isn't the assistant in charge of Atlanta. Whether it's Shaw or Hamblin, I expect the team to be better prepared. These guys don't need practice, they need preparation.

The vets know what they have to do. It's the young pups who need guidance and to play with discipline. The minutes distributed among Sasha, Jordan and Shannon need redemption by these three players, all of whom are loaded with talent. I'd like to see more Mbenga and less Josh Powell.

Whatever we see tonight is less important than what we see in the playoffs. I'm sure Kobe's team mates are hearing him loud and clear. The play against Atlanta doesn't need to be pretty, but it does need to be respectable. I think we'll see that tonight. Go Lakers!

Hey guys we got a new post up

Mamba 24 - Thanks for the love. Really appreciate it.

MM

Mamba24(Larry), thank you for all your efforts. Your roll call brightens my day. We should have this everyday (too much to ask) :-)

MM, many thanks for satisfying our Lakerholicsm. You are amazing, this is the best blog in the world.

@MAMBA24 and Rick F, I like that the Lakers are angry. They should be angry and they should know how to manage their anger. It should be on their enemies on the basketball court. Anger brings out the passion and competitive spirit as long you channel it properly. Should I expect to see "no messing around with me" faces on the Lakers tonight?

Jeannette - I'm really humbled for you saying that. Thanks for the feedback

MM

Mamba24(Larry):

It's an honor to have you drive the van looking for "Da Machine!" I'll bring my Garmin in search for "Da Machine's outside shots!" Most of you finally acknowledged the facts that in order for our team to be successful, someone that to knock down that open shots especially when Kobe got double team or triple team. No reason for us to shoot those open shots poorly. DFish is not a good reliable shooters outside the Staple Center (And lately at Staple Center too). Farmar and Brown have no confidence in their shooting right now and spending most of the time dribbling the balls looking for entry pass to Pau inside or Kobe on the post. No wonder we had so many turnovers this season. It's time for PJ & Shaw to kiss and make-up with Sasha who is the second player beside Kobe that is not afraid to shoot. The team need to create some space for him through screening and possibly pick-n-roll. One more point that people miss about Sasha, he's a better "on your face defender" than either Farmar or Brown who constantly get lost in the pick-n-roll. Sasha is a master that disrupting the rhythme of the opposing PG or shooting guard during the pick-n-roll. He's bigger than Farmar and taller than Brown too. Sasha won't waste 14-20 seconds of the time dribbling around like Farmar and/or UPS.

I'm sadden to see DFish's age finally caught up to him this year. He has a great heart and know the plays but his body betrays him this season and thus, DFish became a defensive liability against a fast and small PGs. He's doing much better with the bigger PGs such as Miller, Baron Davis, Kidd and DWil. Therefore, I think we will have a tough time in the first round but will do better in the second round and in the Western Conference Finals. But if this team made it to the Finals, we will need Farmar and Brown to play against West & Williams (of the Crabvaliers).

Let's Go Lakers!

Wallace

PS: Justa, take care and keep up abreast of your recovery!!

---------------------

Repost (From Mamba 24):

@EJK, Deep Brother, DEEP!
*
MORE MINUTES FOR SASHA (THE MACHINE) DON’T BE MEAN – BANDWAGON
*
(01) WALLACE – OWNER - I'm starting a roll call for Sasha to get some minutes for the rest of the season. Sure, the machine is not as good as last year but he displays more heart than Farmar and Brown. Who's with me?
(02) MAMBA24 – DRIVER – I’ll take that ride with you Wallace. In fact I’ll drive the Van.
(03) CORNER-J – GUNNER RE-LOADER - put me on the Sasha Bandwagon as Gunner Re-Loader. He's our only pure shooter and I want him re-loaded for the playoffs.
(04)
(05) ART-FL LAKER FAN – RIDDING SHOTGUN - Agree we should be seeing more of Sasha.
Play him enough to give him a confidence boost.
(06) JOVBATZ44 – BALL BOY - he displays more heart than Farmar and Brown" - Wallace, re: Sasha absolutely agree! Good shooting or bad shooting, Sasha plays with HEART. Please put me in the bandwagon as the Ball Boy.
(07) ROSS – SECURITY - Sasha was beginning to turn the corner, but for some inexplicable reason was not given a chance to play a few minutes. We do not have another 3 pt. shooter with his skill-set. Farmar's D-skills are in the closet with what used to be decent mental toughness! Same with SB, so Sasha needs to be given a chance to repair the machine in the remaining 8 games. Fisher does not need more than 18 minutes a game the rest of the regular season. Farmar & SB have not earned more than 15 minutes each.......last chance to find out who has the mental toughness & defensive.
(08) EJK – CHIEF STRATEGIST - Add me to the Play Sasha more bandwagon. He needs more PT to bring back the Machine. It's kinda concerning that our championship hopes may rest on him, but let us walk by Faith, not by sight :)

Posted by: MAMBA24 | March 31, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Hey FEARless are sure you are watching the Lakers in 2010. I thinking you might be dreaming this and not realize it is a dream!!!! Posted by: DFish | March 31, 2010 at 11:50 AM

DFish, take the Red Pill and go back to sleep.
Mamba24(LarrY)


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