Caught in the Web: Lakers preparing for five-game trip
--The Times' Mike Bresnahan takes a look at the teams the Lakers will face on their five-game trip.
--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr observes Lamar Odom's insistence to fight through his left- shoulder injury and not make excuses about it.
--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's David Lassen documents how the Lakers plan to increase their intensity in the remaining 12 games of the regular season.
--Though Lakers Coach Phil Jackson says the five-game trip won't "make or break" the team's chances of holding the top spot in the West, the Daily News' Elliott Teaford reports that Jackson still expects the team to win all five games. The story also mentions forward Luke Walton is hoping to fully recover from a pinched nerve in his lower back in time for the postseason.--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell breaks down some numbers for Wednesday night's game between the Lakers and San Antonio Spurs.
--The Spurs have won 11 of their last 15 games, and the San Antonio Express-News' Mike Monroe deems their matchup with the Lakers will ultimately tell if the team is truly in sync.
More Lakers links
--Still debating whether Trevor Ariza or Ron Artest is a better fit for the Lakers? Well, Artest told The Times' Bill Plaschke, "he's a better player than me," though Plaschke noted his comment "contained some annoyed sarcasm."
--Former Times writer Steve Springer has a revealing Q&A with Lakers owner Jerry Buss.
--The Register's Carr highlights Kobe Bryant's popularity in Turkey.
--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky provides 20 reasons why Lakers fans should be happy with the season thus far.
--Silver Screen and Roll's Dexter Fishmore previews the Lakers' upcoming trip and further analyzes how San Antonio, Portland and Oklahoma City could be first-round opponents.
--48 Minutes of Hell breaks down Kobe versus LeBron
--Fox Sports' Kelani Simpson explains why a Kobe-LeBron matchup in the Finals must happen.
Tweet of the Day: "Mark Jackson sitting behind me on LAX-SA flight. Safe assumption game on ESPN and he's not going to San Antonio on holiday?" -- KevinDing (Orange County Register Lakers reporter Kevin Ding).
Photo Caption Comment of the Day: "Kobe showing the team what he meant by "use your head." -- puddle
Reader Comment of the Day: "Sometimes, you just have to sit back and smile because Phil comes off just like a dog trainer, doling out carrots or sticks as needed and providing a consistent and nurturing environment for the pups to grow, develop, and bond as a team. While he likes to win every game, Phil’s genius lies in his unique ability to build team play and chemistry where every player knows and executes his role perfectly. This is the road trip when I expect this team to start to display their championship mettle." -- Tom
-- Mark Medina
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Photo: Kobe Bryant takes aim between the Spurs' Keith Bogans and Tony Parker. Credit: Brendan Maloney / US Presswire