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Lakers cognizant of inconsistency against Golden State

Pau Gasol 3

A week from now, the Lakers will embark on a five-game trip that includes matchups with three playoff- caliber opponents. That's why the Lakers better enjoy this week while they can. Their four games are all against sub-.500 opponents, including a back-to-back starting Monday night at Golden State, followed by a game Tuesday at Sacramento. Then there's a set of home games Friday against Minnesota and Sunday against Washington.

In the end, the Lakers always got the results they wanted this season against Golden State, taking three games so far. But that's not so much an accomplishment as it is a confirmation of the Lakers' season-series dominance since the 1994-95 season. The Warriors are 18-47, have had players miss a combined 389 games due to injuries and have called up five D-League players this season, the most of any team since the San Antonio Spurs during the 2007-08 campaign. No wonder Toronto forward Chris Bosh had plenty to say after the Raptors lost Saturday to the Warriors, marking Golden State's fifth victory in its last 24 games.

The Lakers haven't suffered that same fate, but the sausage-making process in two of the three contests has been far from pretty. The only exception entailed the first matchup, a 132-106 victory Nov. 28. It was a game that featured the Lakers' highest scoring effort since a 26-point victory in February 2009 against Phoenix, with seven players scoring in double figures and a punishable 62 points in the paint, led by Pau Gasol's 22 points and 12 rebounds. The other contests -- a 124-118 victory Dec. 29 and a 104-94 win Feb. 16 -- weren't decided until the final minutes, a habit the team wants to avoid so that it sustains its energy level and builds good habits for the final 16 games of the regular season.  

The Lakers haven't suffered any consequences from their poor play against Golden State in their last two matchups, but they came close. In the 124-118 victory over the Warriors, the Lakers heard scattered boos around Staples Center for most of the game. They allowed Golden State to score a season-high 60 points on 55.6% shooting in the first half, trailed by as many as 15 points in the second quarter and as many as nine in the third quarter.

It wasn't until Kobe Bryant went on a second-half spree that the Lakers appeared in contention. But with Bryant scoring 27 of his season-high 44 points in the second half, even that wouldn't guarantee a victory until the final minutes. With the Lakers leading 118-115 with 1:22 remaining, Ronny Turiaf missed both of his free-throw attempts. Bryant and Gasol, who added a season-high 27 points, both iced two free throws each to put the game away.

It also took the final minutes for the Lakers to decide the eventual 104-94 victory over Golden State, marking a very sluggish way to come off the All-Star break. The game was tied, 89-89, with four minutes and 39 seconds remaining before the Lakers went on a 15-5 run and held Golden State to two-of-nine shooting during those final minutes. Bryant missed that game because of his ankle injury, but not much of the team showed up either. The Lakers committed 19 turnovers and had to fight numerous double-digit deficits, including a 14 points in the second-quarter and 11 points in the third quarter. Fortunately for the Lakers, they had Andrew Bynum (21 points) and Shannon Brown (first career double double for 27 points and 10 rebounds) make up for the lapses.

This time, the Lakers hope to just put Golden State away from the beginning.

-- Mark Medina

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Photo: Pau Gasol and Warriors guard C.J. Watson eye a loose ball during play in the fourth quarter Tuesday night. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

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I'm going to the game tonight! Fourth row seats! (easier to get than at Staples).

Will try and post something tonight or tomorrow.

Laker Tom (or any other NorCal Laker fans) - will you be there?

Wow! That was fast! Thanks!


Mamba, put me o n that Luke BW. I think he's the missing part of that 2nd string. That team will operate better with him.

JAY JAY… Yes, I am going to the game with Mrs. LakerTom, my son Kevin, and my grandson Nick. We will be seating in Section 105 – Row 18 – Seats 19-21. Where will you be sitting? Let me know and maybe we can have a beer at halftime. This will be first NBA game with three generations of us. Thanks.
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dude, it took me a second to get the co-pilot reference re Peter Graves. You are deep/obscure bro.

Justa, I also read your post also, justa so you know. Yeah the live chats are fun, I might not be there tonight, but have a good time anyway.

Laker Tom- Congrats on the 3 generations

I'm opposite you in 119. I'll meet you halfway - by the entrance to section 110 -right as halftime starts. I'll be in jeans and a black Kobe T-shirt. You?

Yes, I am going to the game with Mrs. LakerTom, my son Kevin, and my grandson Nick. We will be seating in Section 105 – Row 18 – Seats 19-21. Where will you be sitting? Let me know and maybe we can have a beer at halftime. This will be first NBA game with three generations of us. Thanks.Posted by: LakerTom | March 15, 2010 at 01:45 PM
Three Generations of LakerFans. WOW! and...OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!!

WAAAAA! Everybody going to the game but me! Lol!
Enjoy Folks, and we expect some excellent reports tomorrow. Make Laker Nation proud!!!

BTW, Happy Anniversary to Mr. & Mrs. Tom $$$$$ (known as LakerTom)

To the LA Clippers, a game with the Warriors is an ordeal. For the Lakers with modesty aside, these game tonight and tomorrow night should just be a bread and butter for a Championship team aiming for a repeat.

Our veterans (Kobe & Fisher) should not even play tonight, nonetheless it will be the same story as the others. An easy game becomes so difficult when the players are just playing not to lose.

They have to seize the lead in 1st quarter not 2 or 4 but 10. When you are operating a business, there is a base production to meet in order to set your inventory of goods. That target inventory line is the base to keep production and sales in check. Playing with the Lakers is a business itself. As professionals they should have an objective of 10 pts. lead at any time. Court management and throttling the lead are the responsibilities of the point guard. There are times when he has to go fast in creatingopenings and slow to alter the pace of the young Warriors.

Aloha Michael H,

pertinent to our discussion, which is winding down/already done ...

relevant snippet:
When Gasol was pointedly asked if the offense was being bogged down by how many shots Bryant has been attempting, he answered, "I don't know" at first, but then made the point he was trying to make regardless of whether he would be treading a little harshly on the guy who just hit back-to-back 22-footers with 26.4 seconds left and 12.9 seconds left in the fourth.

"Kobe's a great player," Gasol said. "We have to find balance as a team, as a unit out there. Kobe's a great player and he's probably the best offensive player out there. We understand that. ... But at the same time, we need to find that balance and we need to find balance with our interior game developing ... using it a little more and moving the ball and changing sides more, because that's the triangle, that's what it does. ... We need to get focused on that a little more. To find that balance, to find that flow."

Gasol, who had grumbled about his individual touches earlier in the season, made sure to clarify that his remarks weren't made as a personal crusade. When someone asked him if he needed more shots, he was coy and replied, "I would never say no to that. ... I'm just kidding ... not really." So he didn't demand anything of the sort because it would contradict what he just said about sharing the ball.

Bryant was noticeably patient to start the game -- reversing the ball on the perimeter, dumping it down low, operating in the post and passing it back out -- but abandoned those practices when his teammates' shots weren't falling and the Magic's lead grew.

and regarding the way the Lakers play ...

interesting snippets:

"He played with that kind of energy that makes the defense have to pick up and help and react a little bit more," Jackson said. "It gives us a little bit of a presence out there."

The urgency seemed to spread through the whole team.

Lamar Odom, who issued an "It's Time to Hit and Keep Hitting" directive after the Toronto game, started the punching-bag treatment on Amundson by leveling him in the first half when fighting through a screen. Gasol and Bynum continued it in the fourth quarter with Gasol rapping the pony-tailed Amundson across the face with his forearm to prevent a layup. Bynum threw Amundson to the floor a possession later. And Odom finished off the force with 12.2 seconds left by getting in a shove on him while they both sprinted toward the sidelines to save a loose ball.

"You keep going, keep running through people till they quit, till they stop," Odom said.

Even Jackson, who usually sits back atop his perch on the bench and lets his team play its way through poor play, seemed more urgent than usual, calling three timeouts in the first half to make adjustments to the Lakers' pick-and-roll defense and zone offense rather than letting a mismanaged possession slide.

JAY JAY… “Laker Tom- Congrats on the 3 generations. I'm opposite you in 119. I'll meet you halfway - by the entrance to section 110 -right as halftime starts. I'll be in jeans and a black Kobe T-shirt. You?”
You’re on, Jay Jay. I’ll be in jeans, a black sweater, and purple and black Lakers cap. See you at the start of halftime. Are you alone? Email me your cell number: Thanks.
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(01) EDWIN GUECO - OWNER- BTW, Happy Anniversary to Mr. & Mrs. Tom $$$$$ (known as LakerTom)
(02)JAY JAY DRIVER - Laker Tom- Congrats on the 3 generations
(03) MAMBA24 - RIDING SHOTGUN - Congrats. LakerTom, may the generations of Laker fans grow & be prosperous

From the video interview of M/M to Pau, LO and Farmar - did we learn anything new from their answer? A man with a mission or passion in his line of work, would you see his head wandering around like chocolate Odom does...."well we know how they play and played with them as lot during preseason". Will a Marine Drill Sergeant accept that as an answer to his enlisted men? Perhaps, a drill sgt. would say, son if you know where you are going and what you are doing, how come we are always at the edge of our seat for 40 minutes just watching you play.

Of course, they are just our basketball players whose life are not in danger compared to our marines on a mission. In my world, a man with a mission is like Clint Eastwood with a stern look in his stare at your eyes and say: "C'mon guys, I have something for you to write and quote in your blog. I will make your interview productive and substantive. We will win by 10 pts. write in down pronto! (That will make Mark Medina jump up and down, running to his nearest laptop and introduce a new thread with headline: Lamar Odom declares something substantive that will make our day.)lol!

Pretty funny response Edwin. I think that's why a few reporters, including myself, asked him specifically about the team letting down in those previous matchups and how they need to take care of business early so they can have enough energy for the second game of a back to back and for other games that will actually be more difficult.


Laker Tom

1. Anniversary, happy

2. "The reason you haven’t seen ex and his one-line posts around here lately is that he is now retired as a rich entrepreneur after inventing Twitter."

and the Bloggie Award goes to Laker Tom for best Exhelo impersonation... well played, sir. Though 140 characters is a bit long winded for Ex.

(01) EDWIN GUECO - OWNER- BTW, Happy Anniversary to Mr. & Mrs. Tom $$$$$ (known as LakerTom)
(02)JAY JAY DRIVER - Laker Tom- Congrats on the 3 generations
(03) MAMBA24 - RIDING SHOTGUN - Congrats. LakerTom, may the generations of Laker fans lIVE long & prosper
(04) VMAN -Laker Tom Happy Anniversary


Man if we have a difficult time exploiting the Liliputians of basketball, watch the Blog e-r-u-p-t. Frothy, hard typin' folks venting their Laker passion all over the blog-o-sphere. Ah, I can hear the clickety clackity of keys now.

Seriously, in honor of so many Bloggers attending a roadie, I dedicate this game (and hopefully win) to you, the out of town faithful, wherever you may be. From the highs of Tibet to the lows of the Netherlands, Laker fans outside of the greater LA area, I salute you.

Jaminus Sweetimus' (Land O Laker handle, it's waaaaay civilized over there, it's pretty much me and exhelodrvr with some sporadics) Keys to Laker Victory:

1)#17 Andrew 'The Beast' Bynum should call his number often and repeatedly. Our guards should make a concerted effort to get him the ball in rhythem and in good position. Bynum has to work, though, the smaller the man often times comes with the bigger heart 'cause he feels a chip on his shoulder that no amount of dip will heal. I'd like to see a 20+/10+ game from the young master.

2) Ron 'Ron Ron Bill Thriller' Artest. I'd like to see him operate out of the post more starting tonight. He used to be a devastating threat in the post 'cause nobody has enough junk in the trunk to slow him down. He's just gotta take it sweet and slow, punish the skinnier front line that Mad Man Nelson will assuredly throw his way. If he's bangin' on a skinny guy, that skinny guy will have less juice to try and use his quickness and speed.

3) Don't go soft after one round, Pau! We fans love it when you show the NBA that the soft label is undeserved, we know that your forte' is finesse, but even nice guys have a breaking point and when you play with an edge, it makes our whole team better. Quietly, Gasol has begun to assert himself on this team (whereas in his first year and a half he deffered to Kobe and Lamar, in public anyhow). If you're gonna bark, you better bite. 'Nuff said.

4) Phil 'Yeah I know I've won 10 rings but it's really about the journey' Jackson. Don't let Mad Man Nelson wrest control of the pace from you. Call time outs when you don't want to, tell Farmar he's getting yanked if he shoots a three after some meaningless, meandering dribbling at the top of the key. In the words of a famous italian chef, "Thatsa no good!". Play Lamar with Gasol and Bynum in the final minutes, mix it up, but with size not zaniness. I'm talking DJ at the point, yo! (JK)

That's all I got, in other news, I picked up a basketball for the first time since summer, played a couple of pick up games in Long Beach, and pronounce myself unfit for the rigors of the NBA. the knees and ankles did NOT respond well on Sunday and besides, I left everything short. I was a defensive juggernaut and a rebounding machine, but man even chippies were left short. It drove me nuts. Next time I gotta warm up the jumper a bit earlier as oppossed to stretching the bod and then getting my run in.


Please Sir Mamba please add me to the LakerTom Happy Anniversary Band wagon and congrats for 3 generations of Laker fans.

(01) EDWIN GUECO - OWNER- BTW, Happy Anniversary to Mr. & Mrs. Tom $$$$$ (known as LakerTom)
(02)JAY JAY - DRIVER - Laker Tom- Congrats on the 3 generations
(03) MAMBA24 - RIDING SHOTGUN - Congrats. LakerTom, may the generations of Laker fans lIVE long & prosper
(04) #4 – Happy Anniversay Laker Tom
(05) VMAN -Laker Tom Happy Anniversary
(07) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN – Happy anniversary LakerTom
(08) OUCHHHH – LakerTom u r NOT wearing a AB 17 t-shirt at the game? will that be too embarrassing? i'm sure if Mrs. LT finds out how much time you spend thinking, writing, gloating and glowing about 17 she will become jealous and maybe file for divorce. your love for AB 17 is a form of cheating

MAMBA24....Please put me on the "Happy Anniversary to Mr. & Mrs. Laker Tom" bandwagon. Thank you!

God bless you and your family, LT...and enjoy the game!

No slippage tonight, Lakers! Time to focus and play your game! Just win, baby!




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