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Lakers continue to lack urgency in 108-100 loss to New Orleans

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Lakers guard Kobe Bryant raced down the other end of the court, bearing a determined look and chewing gum profusely. He had just made a putback off Jordan Farmar's missed free throw, which cut the Lakers' deficit to six points after trailing New Orleans most of the game by double-digit margins. The task was far from over, but with the Lakers scoring 11 unanswered points with 5:35 remaining in the game, Bryant's stoic demeanor gave the impression the team seemed well on its way to completing the comeback effort.

With 38.1 seconds left, Bryant's reaction changed altogether as it became apparent the Lakers' run wouldn't be able to camouflage the lapses that had put the team in this predicament in the first place. Those wondering how Bryant would react to the Lakers' eventual 108-100 loss Monday to the New Orleans Hornets were given a sneak peek after Coach Phil Jackson called timeout with the team trailing by five points. Bryant approached a chair on the Lakers' bench, punched it, and then sat down in disgust.

The reason why this scene stood out so vividly to me wasn't necessarily because it was Bryant. In fact, he contributed little to the problems that plagued the Lakers against the Hornets (35-40), what with his team-leading 31 points on 10 of 18 shooting, his 13 points in the fourth quarter and his tendency to direct the offense through everyone on the floor. But the imagery symbolized all too well an example of something the Lakers may continue to see if they don't fix their bad habits. 

After trailing 50-42 at halftime to a team that was just mathematically eliminated from postseason contention, the Lakers opened the third quarter with a 14-6 run to reduce the deficit to 58-56 with 6:37 remaining in the third quarter. After New Orleans closed the third quarter with a 77-63 lead, the Lakers answered again, this time with that 11-0 run that cut the Hornets' lead to 87-81. But New Orleans' 12 free throws in the remaining 1:16 ultimately sealed the victory.

Clearly, the Lakers once again lacked a sense of urgency and appeared confident that they could make any necessary late-game heroics to offset the difference. But the plan backfired, leaving the team frustrated it couldn't bail themselves out. Clearly, fostering these type of bad habits lends the Lakers a huge risk that they'd bear huge consequences during postseason play. That in itself isn't guaranteed. But the Lakers' mindset that they think they can just turn the switch on whenever they need to isn't a sound strategy. And their loss to New Orleans proved why.

The Lakers (54-20) have a secure five-game lead over Dallas (49-25), a 5 1/2-game advantage over Utah (49-26) and a 6 1/2-game cushion over Phoenix (47-26) and Denver (48-27) for the top seed in the Western Conference standings. But they are no where near Cleveland (58-16) for the league's best record and in matching the team's play. Jackson had vowed the Lakers should aim to go 4-1 or  5-0 on its current trip. He also thought the team was capable of reaching 60 regular season wins with eight games remaining. The Lakers may say all the right things about playing with effort and sharpening up before the playoffs begin. But the team's effort for most of this past month, including its loss to New Orleans, suggests otherwise. 

The Lakers' two losses in the past three games and many underwhelming performances this month masked the team's recent seven-game winning streak. And the Lakers' latest loss featured poor defense and a mostly ineffective offense. The Lakers left the perimeter untouched, enabling New Orleans to go 10 of 23 from three-point range, including Marcus Thornton's three of nine clip en route to 18 points. The Lakers left the interior exposed, allowing many of Chris Paul's 13 assists and David West's 20 points to come with relative ease. And the Lakers' typically poor screen-and-roll defense contributed to Paul's 15 points and Darren Collison's 17 points.

And just because the Hornets shot well from long distance didn't mean the Lakers should've tried the same approach. They went seven of 29 from behind the arc, including a one of eight clip from Ron Artest, whose 14 points came on many open looks, a tendency defenses give him because he doesn't usually hit his shots. Bryant and Gasol worked wonders together, with Gasol finishing with 26 points and 22 rebounds, including scoring the team's first 12 points. Meanwhile, the rest of the starters outside of Bryant and Gasol shot 11 of 38 and the bench went five of 14 from the field. That unit was again without Sasha Vujacic, who had argued with assistant coach Brian Shaw during the team's loss Friday to Oklahoma City. 

The Lakers' day off on Sunday should've given the team the necessary rest and energy to easily put away New Orleans. Instead, the Lakers acted like they didn't have to report to work. Come playoff time, the Lakers shouldn't be surprised if those kind of habits ultimately doom them. 

--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 takes New Orleans guard Marcus Thornton off the dribble in the first half Monday night. Credit: Derick E. Hingle/US Presswire.

 
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agree the lakers have not had their best season. The game was stifled by the inconsistency of the refs. The Hornets defense swarmed and fouled the low post plays by hacking away causing the post players to pass the ball to the open person shoot. Pau was fouled a few times and got no call when the he was trying to set his post moves. Lamar was pushed out of the lane by Okafur and got ono call. These plays happened when the lakers were on their run to close the scoring gap. There were several instances i counted over 5 sec when a defensive player from the hornets was in the lane. Ultimately the refs controlled the momentum and the game in Hornets favor. I just hope the Mr NBA doesn't have the same calls in the playoffs.

Posted by: Odom

Odom it is legal for a defensive player to stay in the lane as long as he wants if he is covering a man. Get an NBA manual... you will be able to enjoy the game more if you actually know the rules.


This team will never repeat. Too many inconsistencies.
1. Bench play is non existent. Jordan farmer has been very inconsistent, I just dont have faith in this guy anymore.

2. Derek Fisher is once again having a very bad year from the floor

3. Ron Artest is lost in the triangle. He just can't seem to make those open shots that Trevor was making last season, hence, that explains why we are struggling offensively.

4. If fish and Artest can't make those open shots, this team is doomed and will not repeat.

Nothing is more demoralizing that missing open shots. A team has got to make the opposition pay for double teaming. Teams have to give up something on the court. When they pick their poison, a good player will make sure that they choke on that poison by burying open shots. IMO, the Lakers lost that game in the first quarter last night. They had enough good looks to open up a big lead, but failed to take advantage of them.

Bottom line for me is, does the team care?

I know they do - but they continually prove me wrong. PJ refused to shake things up months ago. Players putting forth inconsistent effort.

It's so bad that this GHF'er put his Laker/Nug tix up for sale last week (during the winning streak) - 3rd row behind Laker bench... I just couldn't justify the price I paid...

Hey, if the team doesn't want to show up, then why should I?

So Kobe's seething? Angry at everyone on the team. Perhaps Kobe should take some advice from Michael Jackson and look at the Man in the Mirror. Perhaps Kobe should realize that he hasn't played shut down defense for years now and is constantly floating around on defense giving his man open looks all night long. Perhaps Kobe should realize that the way for him to lead this team is not through his offense but through his defense.

This team repeat, forget it they won't make it to the conference finals.

LAKERS LACK URGENCY? NO! WAKE UP AND SMELL THE TOXINS

Sorry Mark, you were watching a different game than I was. The loss to the Hornets had nothing to do with urgency. There is no urgency. There is chaos.

This team is no less talented than it was when everyone was singing its praises. That goes for the starters. That goes for the bench. Just a reminder: before the trading deadline, there was virtually unanimous agreement that the pieces needed for a repeat were in place.

We are witnessing the worst coaching job in Phil Jackson's distinguished career. It is time to stop bashing the players and recognize that the fish rots from the head down. Phil has lost the team.

I repeat: Phil has lost the team.

The starters are burnt. Too many minutes. All of them. The youngsters off the bench have not been developed. All of them. The youngsters off the bench have not been nurtured. All of them.

The game preparation: failure after failure after failure.

I've not suddenly crossed over to the "dark side." But the Lakers have. This team is in disarray. This team is unraveling at the very time it should be coming together. It is not too late. The season is not lost. Yet. But don't pretend this team hasn't entered the danger zone. It has. It's got nothing to do with urgency. It's about message. It's about coaching. Get out the sage. Start burning the incense. Meditate. Yes, meditate. There's a karmic vortex that must be turned on its head. Quickly. Go Lakers!

Really hate to hear about the rift between Sasha and Brian Shaw. I hope it will be resolved with no lingering effects on team chemistry. From all accounts, Brian has become a fine assistant who has the possibility of becoming an NBA head coach in his future. In addition, he was a clutch role player for many years in the league. The Lakers don't win their 1st champiopnship in the Jackson era without BShaw's heroics in game 7 of the WCF against Portland in 2000. Sasha needs to aspire to that type of play and contribution to his team's success. He's certainly getting paid enough.

Rick F: Can only disagree about one thing: IMO PJ's coaching job in 2003-04 was even worse than this year's.

Like I said: I told y'all so.

I can't understand why the coaching staff continues to use a second unit that is unable to act as a cohesive group. Except for an apparent desire to entice Jordan and Shannon to remain as Lakers next year, it remains a mystery why PJ continues to play the two of them together. Neither of them is able to run the offense and I have grown tired watching each of them dribble between his legs until the defense re-sets itself and there are less than 14 seconds on the clock. This either leads to one of them driving the lane, only to have the other team quickly move ball down court before the Lakers can get back to defend. Or, if they don't try to penetrate, this leads to the clock winding down before a pass is finally made to the post. Tonight, Pau was unable to use his finesse against the smaller, but stronger, Okafor, so is it really any wonder why the Lakers jacked up 29 3-pointers tonight?

Whatever happened to having the second unit press the inbound pass and create an up tempo game? Are the Lakers too old to use this style anymore?

The 82 game season is too long and the Lakers are showing signs of wear after going to the Finals each of the past two years. However, the recent benching of Sasha, after watching the starters and other members of the "bench mob" fall behind OKC by 33 points indicates PJ is willing to sacrifice wins at the end of the season to see if Jordan and Shannon can handle crunch time. Or is there some other reason why Ammo and Powell are getting PT when neither has a clue how to defend his position?

All is not lost, however, and long-time Laker fans will remember the drubbing we received in the 1985 Memorial Day Massacre when the Celts beat Magic, Kareem, Worthy, Cooper, et. al. 148-114 - but the Lakers won the Series! Blowouts happen for many reasons, especially on the road, and playoff basketball soon will start and we will see if PJ and his staff can make the necessary adjustments in each 7 games series to identify the weakest players on the court.

For the remaining 8 games left in the season, I can only hope that PJ is done experimenting with his role players. There is no longer any resemblance of the mo-jo remaining from last year's Champions and until they show a sense of urgency, the Lakers will limp into the playoffs.

New Jersey beats the Spurs after beating the Cavs and Celtics.


stuff happens

Rick,

I wasn't trying to insult you with the "dark side" comment.

However, I disagree with your comment about unanimous agreement that Lakers had all the pieces before the trade deadline. A bunch of us have been clamoring for a quicker PG and someone who can hit a consistent outside shot. We've lacked those 2 things the entire season and sadly it has only gotten worse.

Every team knows how to beat the Lakers. It's actually a pretty easy recipe. Play rough. Quick PG who can penetrate the D. Leave the Lakers open for outside shots.

I also don't think it's Phil Jackson's fault. I'm not a huge fan of PJ so I don't feel that I am biased - I actually have only recently grown to appreciate him. I still think that he doesn't call timeouts at appropriate times, has the strangest rotations, seems to be bored on the sides....BUT...he does have 10 rings. Can I really argue with that? So the man must know something that we don't know.

I think the real problem is this new generation. I don't want to just dump on all young adults because that is not fair but it really is a different world now. For example, the military is so different than it was 20 years ago. When I was in, you respected authority...you didn't always like it, but you did what you were ordered to do. Now days, the kids I work with are very disrespectful and will actually tell officers that they don't want to do tasks like dumping the trash....straight to their face. It's amazing! Back in the day - if we did that you'd literally get your ass kicked....now - you might get a slap on the wrist but nothing really becomes of it. (I am not trying to bash the military - I've served for 20 plus years and am thankful for the ones willing to go and protect our country)

This is not only the military but on the civilian side as well. We recruit at the local colleges and it's amazing what these kids think they are worth. I've worked in industrial hygiene for over 30 years and now make close to six figures - these college grads (bachelors in chem, biology, engineering) they won't take a job for $40K plus good benefits, and they have no work experience. They think we are crazy for offering them that low salary and they say that is for the kids that go to the community colleges.

To me, these young kids have been pampered and given things their entire life that they have this haughty attitude....that they are better than their superiors who have worked in the field for 20/30 years.

My point is, that Farmar, Brown, Sasha, players like that are part of that generation. They feel that they are better than they actually are and demand to be treated as if they were Kobe. They come out with degrees and no work experience and think they are going to get hired and be the boss or they don't want the job. What happened to get your foot in the door and prove yourself. Work hard with a good attitude and listen to your boss. Pay your dues and your day will come...but you do your time first.

I think PJ deserves better from these dang scrubs - they all wouldn't even have a ring without him. I hope that entire bench is gone by next season.


I don't like what I'm seeing from the Lakers lately, but I hope I'm overreacting. One school of thought is that the Lakers are coasting until the playoffs start. But if that is the case, what are Kobe and Pau playing over 40 mins. for? I personally don't think that our bench has earned the right to coast. Most of them still have to earn their bones as NBA players. And I can't understand how guys in their 20's that play limited minutes can be so fatigued. These guys should be using every opportunity to play as an opportunity to improve their games.

Everyone in the Lakers from head coach down to star players to bench players to the ball boys are burned out from 2 straight years in the Finals. Repeating in pro sports is not easy. The competition is not easy.
I just hope they get it together by the playoffs. The whole team needs a vacation right now but they really can't have one until June.

One really disturbing stat from last night's game is that 29 of the Lakers' 91 shots were from beyond the arc. Almost a third!! That is totally ridiculous. The biggest decline in today's brand of basketball is the lack of a midrange game from most guards. Jordan and Shannon have great athletic ability and are playing alongside one of the few players of this generation who has mastered the midrange. You'd think they'd pick up some things from Kobe in that regard. Learning how to create a good shot off the dribble would really open up the game for both of those young guards.

1) Phil Jackson should only ever be judged at the seasons end.

2) When Kobe gets really unhappy the team plays much worse.

3) They are thinking ahead to the playoffs, disapointed they can't catch Cleveland and secure about their place in the Western conference, nobody wants to get hurt.

4)The point guard position has been a problem since before the season even started.Its nothing new.If we could win with them then we can win with them now.


5) Even with all the flaws pointed out, with homecourt advantage they will get to the finals.Right now I don't feel positive they can win a series against Cleveland on the road but things change so fast and they have got the advantage of a lot more finals experience.The west will be tough but they are sufficiently better than many teams that they will get to grow into themselves before it really matters.I'm not worried yet.

Our beloved Lakers should regroup now and not wait for the playoff. Being overconfident will be their ruin. Meanwhile, "go Lakers go!" Sweep all the next seven games!

Rolando

Another putrid game not only by Fish, but pretty much the entire team, including the PJ and his coaching staff. Fish shoots 3-11 and 1-7 from 3. He may think he is trying to shoot himself out of a slump, but what he is really doing is trying to shoot himself out of the delusion that he has any basketball left in him, and hurting the lakers in the process. On the coaching front, if PJ tells his team they stink from 3, and they ignore him and keep shooting 3s, why the hell doesn't he bench the players who keep shooting 3s to reinforce his point? A coach who has no bite. No wonder the players ignore him. Don't come back, PJ. Montana is just right for you.

Rick - We can respectfully disagree. The fact that the Lakers trailed for most of the game against a team that was just eliminated from playoff contention tells me they lacked urgency. The Lakers' talent is above and beyond that of New Orleans.

MM

you guys, things change so fast in basketball it's ridiculous. Remember, the playoffs are usually 2 months long (if we go to the Finals). That is plenty of time to gather together and start playing well. Lets face it, with their backs against the walls, the Lakers play awesome. I mean, remember the Denver series? One play by shannon brown changed everything. Everyone was talking about how hot Cleveland and Denver was, but look how they got kicked out. None of this matters, trust me, it only matters in the playoffs. I personally, am bored, and can't wait for the end of April.

LA is not like Cavs who beat the teams they should or gear up to play the elite. But LA has a good record so no need to panic. However, Phil a man with ten rings I might add is too laid back, he is not one to crack the whip like Pop. I agree with an eralier post that Kobe floats on defense too much. But the Lakers will win a ring like last year if Odom plays like the beast he has inside.

Rambis was the coach getting in players faces all the time and the one prodding and developing young players. The other coaches have PJs laid back demeanor. BShaw is closer in age to these players having played with Kobe and Derek so might not have respect that Rambis did. it has stopped being about the team and more individuality. everyone needs to be involved and everyone needs to touch the ball. these guys go from moving the ball in one game to dribble dribble shoot next game. lock down defense in one game to lazy defense in another. bad habits that will not suddenly right themselves come playoffs.

This is why it's very possible for KB24 to seek for another team, with the chance to opt out. This season Kobe is trying to feed his team with those passes but they were so inconsistent. I think it's better if Kobe be himself and takeover games.

LERT! SIRENS! FLASHING LIGHTS!

I swear tonight I saw something I never saw before. Maybe it's my imagination, but I don't think so.

This was more than a loss. This was a complete breakdown between the players and the coaching staff. I could see it in their eyes. I could see it in their grimaces. I could see it in their scowls.

To a man, the players are p****d off at the coaches. The coaches are p****d off at the players. This is more than just the inability to execute. The Lakers are at war against the wrong enemy. There is insurrection.

The coaches are screaming, "follow the game plan!" The players are screaming, "What game plan? What do you want us to do?"

Pau gave it his best tonight. I'll give him credit where credit is due. Kobe did what he needed to do. Lamar was a total underachiever. West torched him. Thriller was way off. Fish's shot selection and defense was abominable. I'm almost ready to say, sit the starters until the playoffs begin. They're toast. They're done. They're over it.

The bench played no D. Their O was A.W.O.L., except for Jordan.

At a time when Phil Jackson teams usually start to play their best basketball, this edition of the Lakers is at an all-time low.

But as I say, this is more than about how they play. This is as testy as I've ever seen a team of defending champions down the stretch. There is real anger. There is real frustration. The coaching staff has lost the team. The tiff between Sasha and Shaw the other night was just the tip of the iceberg. There are real problems in Laker Land, and it has nothing to do with the game Monday night against the Hornets.

The coaches will try to sugarcoat it. The players will try to sugarcoat it. Some of the beat writers will try to sugarcoat it. But wake up and smell the toxins. We'll likely hear about team meetings and rah rah speeches from D-Fish. But I'm not buying any attempts to whitewash this.

I'm writing this knowing that you usually count on me to be the voice of calm and reason. That's the place I've become most comfortable because it's the place I prefer to be. But not tonight.

Posted by: Rick Friedman | March 29, 2010 at 08:45 PM


Rick,

I think this is indeed a problem. I saw the Lakers play the Magic in Orlando several weeks ago and after that game I made a similar comment as yours, but it was much briefer. But I saw it during that game, things you don't see on TV.

This team is not a tightly nit group who love each other. There is plenty of blame to go around for all concerned, no one really is off the hook here, it's a team problem. There does seem to be a disconnect between coaches and players.

But still, there is enough talent to win a lot of games.
And they will play better at home which I think will get them to the finals if they win all their home games. Still, if they hit the open shots we win, when they don't, we lose.

As for the finals, I see a repeat of 2004 coming when the Pistons knocked us out in the finals. Then I see changes coming, maybe big ones. We can't go into next season with this same team.

Greetings Lakeshow Fans,

Nice posts Jon K/Rick Friedman regarding the bench situation and overall psyche of the Lakers.

Here's some perspective, if I may, on "What's the deal?" with the Lakers...

The Lakers, as of now, are not a healthy bunch collectively and for much of this season (MUCH of the season that is).

Guys have been playing with mangled fingers, bum ankles, sore feet, sore shoulders, bum knees, aching backs, strained groins, concussions, etc. This is very true of the starters/veterans on this team. Gary Vitti has certainly been the man of the hours, days, and months for this team.

However, I find it amazing that through all the injuries and inconsistencies attributed to this, they have won 50 PLUS games and have not played their best basketball YET.

There is no question that this year has been everything as advertised, a year of facing ADVERSITY at the highest level. Other teams, no doubt, got much better. I could never imagine what it's like to defend a championship successfully with so much going on not only physically, but mentally.

We often forget (not intentionally) that these players are flat out human beings with targets on their backs on the court night in, night out. The energy they have to expend, either at home or on the road, is enormous.

Well, that's the price they are paying for being "winners." Nothing new about this when it comes to this team...

Interestingly, a lot of fellow bloggers have brought up in the past some plausible reasons for their uncharacteristic play for most of the season...82 PLUS games played for the past two years. WE are talking about a team who has played in the NBA Finals for two straight years. That is a lot of mileage on the body and mind as far as I'm concerned.

Furthermore, Phil since day one of this season has approached this team much differently. I sensed that he allowed this Lakers team to pace themselves accordingly and understood that they are a veteran group with some young guys still developing. Veteran teams are probably the most difficult to manage because of their nature as far as looking ahead. Their "looking ahead" mentality, along with the surprisingly slow development of the bench youngsters at key positions, has created a delicate balance in winning games convincingly.

Despite all this, I truly believe that once the guys get healthy as a MAJORITY, they will be fine. The KEY is HEALTH at this point and facing the ADVERSITY head on when times are not going so well, such as now. Funny how most of us feel so blue about our 54-20 Lakers. Hey! Who said repeating was going to be a cakewalk?

I knew as a fan that this year would be different...Don't think that the other teams like Cleveland, Orlando, Denver, Dallas didn't take notice...That's what makes this group a challenging one to be patient with as fans.

BTW, with KB24 scowling recently along with all the other extra-curricular team issues going on simultaneously as well as media criticism a mile long, what else is new about that?

You see, when it comes down to it, I expect the Lakers to rise above the ADVERSITY and reach the championship pinacle once again. They have the horses, quite contrary to popular belief.

Folks, as hard as it is, we have to keep the faith at the darkest of times in our 54-20 team...KB24 no doubt is being handed that challenge right now emotionally. We know what a focused KB 24 can do...I'm curious to see if his outspoken passion will awaken a lot of injury riddled and somewhat aloof Lakers by "paydirt" time. We shall see in the weeks ahead about their actual state of both "mind" and "body." Currently, they are 2-2 since Phil cracked the whip per se...I'm also curious to see his legendary leadership take take shape down the road.

THE BOTTOM LINE: I have trust in Phil and KB24 to right the ship, especially when more guys become healthier...Time, no matter how much is left, is such a great thing to have and appreciate. Gotta believe! Peace!

Laker pride through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY!

*****
GOOD LUCK ON THE OPERATION (TOMORROW – MARCH.31) JUSTAMAMBAFAN – BANDWAGON
****
Regarding the State of the Knee - specialist says I've gotta get it scoped. Apparently there's a lot of arthritic damage. As long as they're done and I'm back home by game time, it's all good.
EVERYONE : THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for your concern and well wishes - you don't know how much I appreciate it. And my very own BANDWAGON????? wow - thank you - I'm humbled and honored to have such a great Laker family. Ok - first thing's first. I want to thank everyone for their continued support regarding The State of the Knee. The specialist is still waiting for authorization from my insurance company, so I'm still waiting... and hobbling around like a really old broke-down bum. Looks like it will be this upcoming Wednesday. As long as I'm home in time for the Atlanta game, it's all good lol! I can't promise I'll be coherent on the chat, but I'll be there cheering on our beloved team! I'll keep y'all posted, but again - THANK YOU EVERYONE!! Laker Nation is truly an unbelievable community.
****
(01) MARK MEDINA – BLOG GOD - Justa - hope your knee is holding up well
(02) MAMBA24 – OWNER – Good Luck to the head of the Mamba Blog Family. I know you’ll come thru like a champ. “It’s all good “ and you are all good JUSTA! The family is channeling THE FORCE to you!
(03) JAYDEN24 – DRIVER - Justanothamambafan, I got the same thing to do with my knee and I've just been puttin it off. God bless.
(04) JEANETTE – RIDING SHOTGUN - My husband had problems with the knee as well, he stopped playing basketball. He said it is really painful but he is postponing surgery. You will be in my prayers.
(05) # 4 - Best wishes my friend from the old chat days!
(06 JON K – BIO-CHRONOLOGIST - "Regarding the State of the Knee - specialist says I've gotta get it scoped. Apparently there's a lot of arthritic damage.... " Brother, what are you taking for it? I mean, in terms of supplements & such? I've got plenty of suggestions. You basically want to take nutrients that reduce inflammation &d rebuild joint tissue. I suggest a combination of MSM, glucosamine, chondroitin, essential liquid sea minerals, omega-fatty acids (macadamnia nut oil), a systemic enzyme complex (to help eliminate scar tissue, etc.), a potent anti-oxidant (reservatrol is good), vitamin D, & a quality multi-vitamin, of course. You probably should also go to a Chinese herbalist & get some quality Dit Da Jow to put on your knee on a daily basis. Glucosamine, essential liquid sea minerals, omega-fatty acids, multi-vitamin & Dit Da Jow.
(07) MARK G - JAMF, that's too bad about the knee, I'm sorry to hear it has to be scoped. The good news is that arthroscopic surgery is pretty slick. Considering it's surgery, it's about as noninvasive as you can get. (Whoever that Arthur dude is that invented it, he has to be pretty smart.) And of course you deserve your own get well bandwagon! WTF
(08) RICK FRIEDMAN - By all means, add me.
(09) EDWIN GUECO - Justa, After the surgery, you need sunlight as your natural Vitamin D. Try to live chat under the sun during noon games it is good for your health. Godspeed for recovery.
(10) LAKERTOM - … Please add me to the Good Luck to Justanothermambafan bandwagon. He has had my back so many times I have to show my love & support. Mrs. LakerTom tore her MCL a couple of weekends ago taking the grandkids sledding. She is getting an MRI tomorrow but we don’t think they will have to scope her. Anyway, keep up the good karma, Justa. Your recovery will be in our prayers.
(11) CHICNSTU - I hope you get well soon, we need your knee slappin humor on the live chat!!!
(12) JOLLY RANCHER - On the bright side for the blog, you'll be off your feet, but your fingers will still work fine. Justa - I bow before superior resources
(13) OUCHH - hey, JUSTA. we need you with good knees & good lateral movement. don't do an AB on us. also u won't be able to take the "streetcar" named DESIRE. get well soon. JUSTA - we all hope that u don't pull a Bynum next year & have more problems with the other knee. Watch out for kobe's landing or your favorite, LO. LOL!
(14) NEMAIA FALETOGO - Justa. I hope and pray that all goes well with his surgery because he's one of the many good guys on this blog and an important part of the Laker family. Justaaaaaaaaa!!!
(15) FANOFTHEMAMBA - Justa head of the mamba clan, we send positive energy your way.
(16) DAVE M. – Justa, stitches, beer and dit da jow, buddy!"
(17) G IN DC - justanothermambafan, hope the surgical procedure is a resounding success followed by a speedy recovery.
(18) CALIPHILOSOPHER - I hope that everything turns out ok Justa. You are in my thoughts.
(19) WESJOENIXON – JUSTA, No pain medication, please. My mother used to put a giant slice of velveta cheese on our wounds to soothe any broken bones we'd get along the way. Of course we were poor, so we'd have to eat the velveta afterwards. Oh well. Get well soon.
(20) LADYJEM24 - Please add me to Get well Justa..

*NEW JERSEY DEFEATS SPURS... FEEL BETTER NOW LAKER NATION...
The Lakers have hit the wall after two straight years of Final appearances, plus Kobe's appearance in the Olympics. The lakers have played more games over this 2 year span than any other team. They are tired and sick of this regular season and as long as they keep home court in the West they really don't care, nor should they. The regular season don't mean a damm thing. You want them to completely burh out just to impress. They are battle tested, they don't need all the tricks and incentives to get ready for the playoffs. Can they switch it off and on. Yes! As long as they are healthy for the playoffs they will dominate. This is not wishful thinking this is from watching all of Phils 10 title winning teams. Back to back is the next thing to hell itself. In the playoffs there are no back to back games. The playoffs are made for the Lakers and The lakers are made for the playoffs. Take heart we are right where we want to be. As for home court against the East, why would you want it. The first 2 games in the East, then 3 at LA then 2 more if necessary in East. Be real if we win one game in Cleveland it’s over and it’s not going back there. Princess Jimmy will panic and that will be that. I BELIEVE as MM says I CAN FLY! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWDmau1Vbxs

I have to say the team looks terrible, but remember we are not healthy right now. Odom's injury is a big factor and we are missing Bynum completely. Being champs means that every single night each and every team you face wants to beat you for that feather in the cap. That is different than last year and is to me one reason why we've had a harder time on the road. They're all gunning for us.
The Lakers overconfidence has turned into nonchalance and they are not meeting their opponents intensity on a nightly basis. This is an attitude thing more than an X's & O's thing IMO, and I expect Phil is going to connect with his players about this. Hope they hear it.

All I can see and say is that the Lakers are lazy. They think the league is going to give them another title. They aren't appalled at their lack of effort, even though they say they are. They're appalled that teams won't just lie down for them; that's what really bothers them.

Expect round 1 of the playoffs to go 7 games. Should they make it out of round 1, they won't make it out of round 2.

I’M STAYING!!!
Never, never, never, never, never will I, to my Laker team say goodbye
They ‘re entitled to get weary, they’re not Superman, We can still win it all, Yes We Can
They may not now play with inspiration, but I still support them without hesitation
I’m on this ride until the end and I’m not getting off even if a ring they don’t win
The Lakers have bought such joy to my life, how could I desert them in a time of strife
I may not agree with Phil on everything, but the man came back and we got another ring
You want to go back to Kwame & Smush, I’ll take a bird in the hand, not one in the bush
In just two years we have experienced more, than most other teams could ever hope for
Some teams have never won a Ring, but that does not stop their fans from hoping.
The Lakers have won 15 and will win more, so why the hell would I head for the door.
If you want to leave & take a pass, Then go don’t let the door hit you in the @zz.

Wow, the Nuggets are now the #5 seed. Martin may not be back this year and they are playing .500 without him. Martin says he's afraid Nugs may fall to the 8 seed. They got 5 playoff bound teams to play in their last 7 games.
So Laker fans, things could be worse.

I like this Mark Medina guy. He can be objective and yet still offer criticism in a positive manner. That my friends is the sign of a true professional. Mark Medinah - Blog God - I salute you sir.
Mamba24(larry)

bronxlakerfan : I could not agree with you more. Similarly with the Cavs and Lebron in Cleveland -- he is surrounded by madd shooters -- so yeah, when they double him, he's getting them the ball -- difference is, they are MAKING the shot, so LeBron can/will always average 8-9 assists a game with quality shooters around him. We are rather pathetic beyond Kobe but yeah people BeYotch and moan when he takes shots??? For crying out loud, he WANTs to trust his teammates and look at how they repay the man?????

I agree with the whole bench needs to go and maybe one of the starters relegated to the bench ! It seems every team but us has somebody off the bench, a rookie even, who can come in and play LIGHTS out basketball against us and we have supposed experience players who cannot even take advantage of their youth??

Those guys WON their ring and "got cute wit' it!" real talk!

Pau seems to be coming around, but Derbrick Fisher is still killing us. Why won't Phil bench him?

It sucks!!!

On the bright side, IMO, these type of losses will humble our Lakers. Come playoffs, it will make them work double realizing that they aren't unbeatable.

I still Believe because I'm a Lakerholic, and I bleed Purple and Gold.

LAKERS ALL DAY!!!

Fish may not be a factor for most part of the regular season, people may bash him all they want, but come Playoffs, I guarantee he will knock those daggers down.


LAKERS ALL DAY!!!

When Kobe directs the offense almost picture perfectly and gets guys wide open shots and room to operate and they fail, of course he is going to be upset and has every right to be. Kobe is not the reason Chris Paul broke down the defense.

New Jersey beats the Spurs after beating the Cavs and Celtics.


stuff happens

Posted by: Troll Man | March 29, 2010 at 11:35 PM

Troll Man - thanks for giving me reason to think that not everyone is ready to fire the entire franchise and everyone who works there.

Lakers visit brings more crowd to the home teams arenas(leads NBA)!
So even Nets will try to play lot harder and every team will bring their A+++ game. Beating Lakers they can easily say that "They Have Beaten World Champions". So most teams play as if it is do or die!! In-spite of these situation if lakers are able to get 60 wins its great!! real great!!! We will win the title friends! So don't give up!!!

bronxlakersfan,

"One really disturbing stat from last night's game is that 29 of the Lakers' 91 shots were from beyond the arc. Almost a third!! That is totally ridiculous."

Statistics are a little misleading though. There were so many threes because:

1) The Lakers were down so much near the end of the game that they had to take threes to try to get back into the game.

2) Whenever a player would crash the post and get the double-team, there would be a Laker wide open behind the arc. Our player would do the right thing and pass the ball to the wide open player and then they'd take the shot. Unfortunately, ALL our shooters weren't hitting the three, so the Hornets stuck to the same defensive strategy and it worked.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Aloha Michael H,

Do you remember our conversation about inside-outside basketball?

Are my comments making more sense now?

W/ Pau getting 26 & 22 we can say that we got the ball inside right?

Does anyone remember those crazed rants about when Kobe shoots less
we win? Would anyone like to revisit that conversation right now?

How amazing/disgusting to head into the playoffs with the 2nd best record
in the NBA & a sense of despair that we will not be able to repeat?

It's been like watching a skier/snowboarder try to outrun an avalanche.

ugh.

I have two questions:

1. Who's getting traded this summer?

2. Will the Lakers hire a defensive coach?

M2,

>>> The fact that the Lakers trailed for most of the game against a team that was just eliminated from playoff contention tells me they lacked urgency.

Mark, I didn't see anyone lacking urgency. Pau was a monster coming out of the gate. Kobe managed 31 points, despite being the focal point of the Hornets' defense. Artest was trying; it just wasn't his best night. Fish was outgunned. Only Lamar was a no-show among the starters; urgency is rarely his problem; with him, it's usually the ability to focus.
----

Jerry,

>>> I think the real problem is this new generation.

Every manager I know in every field of endeavor is clearly frustrated by this new generation. That said, there's no turning back. We'll not see the likes of "the greatest generation" chronicled by Tom Brokaw ever again. But the Googles and the Apples of today are largely populated by this new generation. Treat them right and they can succeed.

But my critique of PJ also includes his handling of the veterans. They're not buying Phil's act any more than the young pups. Phil and this staff have mismanaged the entire 2nd half of the season, to date.
----

Tim-4-Show,

>>> Bottom line for me is, does the team care?

They don't. We agree. The Zenmaster and his classic motivation tools have run their course with this group. Phil's 60-Win challenge to the team is going unanswered. They know it's a bunch of crap. The players are harboring what little energy and attention span they have left for the playoffs.

Mamba 24 - Thanks for the love

Rick - Team wide I thought there was a lack of urgency. Kobe and Pau played well, but that's it.

MM

*
I’M DRINKING THE LAKER KOOLAID, CAUSE I’M A LAKERHOLIC AND I BELIEVE– BANDWAGON
*
(01) TROLL MAN – OWNER - New Jersey beats the Spurs after beating the Cavs and Celtics. STUFF HAPPENS!!
(02) LAKER IN BC – DRIVER - Everyone in the Lakers from head coach down to star players to bench players to the ball boys are burned out from 2 straight years in the Finals. Repeating in pro sports is not easy. The competition is not easy. I just hope they get it together by the playoffs. The whole team needs a vacation right now but they really can't have one until June.
(03) KIWI – RIDING SHOTGUN - Even with all the flaws pointed out, with homecourt advantage they will get to the finals.Right now I don't feel positive they can win a series against Cleveland on the road but things change so fast and they have got the advantage of a lot more finals experience.The west will be tough but they are sufficiently better than many teams that they will get to grow into themselves before it really matters.I'm not worried yet.
(04)
(05) DJ – RIDING SHOTGUN2 - The key, I think, is to win 4 games ASAP and rest our starters for the Playoffs. Get them healthy and rested and hopefully it will be a whole new season.
(06) ROLANDO DELAGOZA – SEARGENT AT ARMS - Our beloved Lakers should regroup now and not wait for the playoff. Being overconfident will be their ruin. Meanwhile, "go Lakers go!" Sweep all the next seven games!

(07) JAC - you guys, things change so fast in basketball it's ridiculous. Remember, the playoffs are usually 2 months long (if we go to the Finals). That is plenty of time to gather together and start playing well. Lets face it, with their backs against the walls, the Lakers play awesome. I mean, remember the Denver series? One play by shannon brown changed everything. Everyone was talking about how hot Cleveland and Denver was, but look how they got kicked out. None of this matters, trust me, it only matters in the playoffs. I personally, am bored, and can't wait for the end of April.
(08) ISLAND PRIEST -. But the Lakers will win a ring like last year if Odom plays like the beast he has inside.
(09) LET’S GO L’S’ - Folks, as hard as it is, we have to keep the faith at the darkest of times in our 54-20 team...KB24 no doubt is being handed that challenge right now emotionally. We know what a focused KB 24 can do...I'm curious to see if his outspoken passion will awaken a lot of injury riddled and somewhat aloof Lakers by "paydirt" time. We shall see in the weeks ahead about their actual state of both "mind" and "body." Currently, they are 2-2 since Phil cracked the whip per se...I'm also curious to see his legendary leadership take take shape down the road. THE BOTTOM LINE: I have trust in Phil and KB24 to right the ship, especially when more guys become healthier...Time, no matter how much is left, is such a great thing to have and appreciate. Gotta believe! Peace!
(10) MAMBA24 – I’M STAYING!!! Never, never, never, never, never will I, to my Laker team say goodbye
(11) ART-FL-LAKER FAN - Wow, the Nuggets are now the #5 seed. Martin may not be back this year and they are playing .500 without him. Martin says he's afraid Nugs may fall to the 8 seed. They got 5 playoff bound teams to play in their last 7 games. So Laker fans, things could be worse.
(12) JOVBATZ44 - On the bright side, IMO, these type of losses will humble our Lakers. Come playoffs, it will make them work double realizing that they aren't unbeatable. I still Believe because I'm a Lakerholic, and I bleed Purple and Gold. Fish may not be a factor for most part of the regular season, people may bash him all they want, but come Playoffs, I guarantee he will knock those daggers down.
(13) CALIPHILOSOPHER - Troll Man - thanks for giving me reason to think that not everyone is ready to fire the entire franchise and everyone who works there.
(14) LAKERS WINS - Lakers visit brings more crowd to the home teams arenas(leads NBA)!
So even Nets will try to play lot harder and every team will bring their A+++ game. Beating Lakers they can easily say that "They Have Beaten World Champions". So most teams play as if it is do or die!! In-spite of these situation if lakers are able to get 60 wins its great!! real great!!! We will win the title friends! So don't give up!!!
(15)

Hey guys we got a new post up. Feel free to comment on the new and old threads. and get your morning fix of Lakers links while you're at it!

MM

Jon K....

I agree that some of the 3's came in catch up mode. However, some of the earlier ones were so wide open that Artest or Fish had the option to put the ball on the floor and create a closer shot INSIDE the arc. If a player misses 4 or 5 3's in a row, why not look for other options? As I said in an earlier post, the offense functioned properly in that it created those wide open looks. But those opportunities don't always have to result in a 3 point attempt. Get a little closer if your shot is not falling.

Mark,

You keep saying it's a lack of urgency. I don't think that's it.
I think it's a lack of focus and in some cases, just plain skill.

Art-FL - If it was a lack of skill, the Lakers wouldn't have been able to make it close in the second half after going on a run. Clearly, they played much different during that stretch than earlier in the game.

MM

Mamba24....

Thanks for that great and inspiring poem! Top shelf, as usual!

Please put me on the I'm a Lakerholic and I believe bandwagon. The Lakers have always been and will always be my team! A few missed jumpshots are not going to change that. My team win or lose!

I also disagree with the Lakers' lack of urgency analysis. These are all professional players, well paid, and championship tested. This loss was not because of a lack of urgency or effort.
The most obvious problem continue to be the zone defense, on one side Jackson either dislikes or refuses to employ it; however, the brief times it has been done is when the "defensive effort" is exhibited. On the other side, without a design in the triangle or a true point guard to penetrate the zone defenses the offense is highly predicated on the success of the outside jumper and on Kobe's heroics.
Notice Fisher's assists stats, 2.5 per game, he is not even listed on the top 50 in the league (Kobe is 22nd, and Odom is 44th). True, Fisher provides more of a stabilizing effect on the team's morale than on the court production, either on offense or defense, other than the occasional clutch 3 or steal.

WHO ARE WE? ALL TOGETHER !!
We’re the World Champion LA Lakers , we’ve won 15 Rings
10 of the 50 Greatest players played under our wings
We’ve had 3 Lakers Dynasties and now are starting on 4
That’s 2 better than any NBA team ever had before
The best Winning Percentage in History, can’t ask for more
You want Hall of Fame Coaches, Check it, we’ve had four
We got the Finals MVP, By the name of Name Kobe Bryant
He scored more points than an entire team without even trying
He scored 81 points in a game & could have scored more
But Rings not number of points is what he plays for.
We got The Logo Jerry West & First Great center George Mikan
The Legendary Elgin Baylor & Magic Johnson the Icon.
We’ve had all great centers like Shaq, Wilt & of course Kareem
Super guards Worthy, Goodrich & Silk played on the Laker team
Karl Malone & Gary Payton, A glove & Mailman we just leased
A 10 time Title Winning Coach who mastered Zen in the East
Chick Hearn the Legend, Broadcasted our Lakers Games
Now he’s Broadcasting from Heaven & is in the Hall of Fame
We got Sports Winningest & Best Owner, Kudos Dr. Jerry Buss
We play for Rings & Rings only , which is why teams fear us.
That’s just a summary of our Resume, we don’t talk we Do.
We’re The Freaking Champion Lakers, Who the Hell are You
ROLL FREAKIN CALLLLLLLLLLLL:
Faith, LakerTom, #4, Keifo, Charles, EdwinGueco, Fatty, Jon-K, SegeBoy, ThaShow, DJ
WesJoeNixon, SBPimp&Twins, ECoastJessie Dice8Up, RDLee, VMan, Rocky, TP, Phred
JayJay, utzworld-TheBannerHOLDER, KB-BLitz, SixOneZero, TheD. FearLess, Issang
OutLaw, BabyOutLaw, Exhelodrvr, JustAnotherMambaFan, Otis, Floyd, Pang, 2Phatt, BD
LoLo, StarGazin, Generic-One, BronxLakerFan, YellowFever, HoopsFreak, LakerLass
Rick-FriedMan, Never, Troy, Bozz, TSPHere, Thirty2, OUCHH, Korey, ZairaAmaterasu
TIM-4-Show, TheLakeShow, LakerBandit, AZTroNut, PFunk36, Michael H. JEANette,
DavidWhang, JollyRancher, PsyCorp, MagicPhil, LadyJem24, LongTimeLakerFan, EJK
JesterGuru Laker-Man420, PSYCHed-LakerGirl, LakerGurl, ChicN-Stu, AdrianPalomar
CornerJ, LakerSth, PSLakerFan, Dave M, JustALakerFan, Mark G. CapsGoogles, CBuck
DwnTwnAtty, DC-Mamba, G-InDC, CYBerCosmiX, Nemaia Faletogo, InfamousEl-Gapo
HumanAnomaly Wallace, LakerHolic, HobbitMage, SNake, TeeJ, BRYLLE, JOVBatz44
Jamie-Sweet JOhnnyP, JOhnnyV, Mr.Nano, BENJamin, TomDaniels, LakerMike, JAC
ComptonsFinest, CALIPhilosopher, WeaveMan, HugoBoss, KobefanInCupertino, Mud
AngryLaker, LakerJustice, LakerTruth, LakersRydeOrDie, Art-FL-LakerFan, APUJAC
SFLakerGirl, BocaLakerGirl, SimiLakerGirl, LakerGirl1980, HoustonLakerGirl,Omega
SAMLL, RockinDA300Section, Anna-in-Bondi, Sonny BelFast, WALLace, HARIYAHU
FREDDYP, Houston-Laker, EagleBoy, Laker-Kev, Puddle, JEFE101, KobesBad, Rizzo
BayWood, CompLex-Brotha, T-SENSei, PassionateLakerFan, LakerBake, ,NBA4Ever,
LiTotes, LakeShowInPhx, DJ855, LosAngeles-Kobes, ToMK, PurpleHeart, Moderator
APPollo C. Vermont, DallasRainesHair , TCB24/7, TMELT, Ganapia, JUSTIN, DMC
HellRaiser(certifiedmambafan), Grail, DyManDave, RidingPine, James-Katt, DXtah
LakerGuru-FromIndia, FKIllah, Hector-ArtM. STefan Martin, JAYana, JacQueline
MayorOf-KobeTown, LeonardBast78, LoneStar-LakerFan, Eric M.Taino, JAYDen24
Jandro, JCooL, Hugo-InSpain, Axl-Rose, SivaRising, Ninoy, MTI312, Gino, MCLyne
WhiteMamba24, BlackMamba24, FanOfMamba, Mamba24Fan4Life, LakersWorld,
ChristopherBlake, Purple&GoldRein, Purple&GoldForever, VILakerFan, LakerInBC,
GHLaker, HBMatt, LakerNorth, Marty, TeamN, ZachFrom-SanDiego, ICE, Roger-B
NAJAaka-Bonus, Jonin-INJapan(InCanada), TomTom, LoTeq, Davein-HillsBorough,
TullyMoxness, PaulLee, BanDangVN, SheKOBE, StayThirsty-MyFriends, Chic4EVer
LionelHill, RedBluffPete, GeneralHooper, Hubit, AllNet, DieTrying, Staples24, CNZ
PK inTheMesa, EddieBrock, LakerFaithful72, LakerLegacy, AnthonyScott, LoiReyes
DaveRosenzweig, LakerDownUnder, ChiTownLaker, DanIn-ChiTown, LakerRod,
Rhon Salmon, TruLakerFan, VIOLater, B4Hoops, HeWhoHoops, TIFFANY, Ctran,
DanTheMan, BLAZE1Bx, BZar, Chris-H, AndrewBernard, CHema, BlueSky, SloGal,
S_Tan, MichiganLaker, GDChild, Billy-in-Slo,NOP-BKK101, AmazingHappens
OutSider-Gua, RAFANICO, Will-in-Seattle, ALEXHIN017, OhioVIC, NEWSC2,
LakaLover, AfroJoe, Cali-King, Karynanar, Mitchell, LakerBullDog, Lando, TiniDor$
70’s-LakerFan, Linda Pineda, DrewPauKobe, RussStyles, TROLLMAN
Laker4LIFE, Marky-The-Arky, LakerFan-In-Canada, Wilson, Lake-Show008,
Russ Poole, Smooth–D, MCGarnagle, LakerHopeFul, BerkleyLaker, CarlosDeep
LakerFan-InOregon, EastBay-BullDog, StocktonShowTime, ICELaker,DKWSFO
(You-Ever-NOTICE…> Holding The Line Against CHAOS)
*

TRADE THE WHOLE BENCH! LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND! TRADE TRADE TRADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY SUCK!!!!!!!!!!

HEY LAKER BENCH, I HAVE A KINDERGARTEN CLASS DAT'S LOOKING FOR A BUNCH OF CLUELESS GERIATRIC PATIENTS TO PLAY AGAINST! MY PICK FOR THE WINNER, THE KINDERGARTEN CLASS!!!! GO K5!

Ok, here I go ( I make thsi question from time to time):

Is there any chance we get Wade for next season?\

Cheers.

If Lamars shoulder is going to keep him from putting up baskets we should bench him Kobe has a broke finger and he puts up points ,I hope the coaching staff benches Lamar until his shoulder gets better if they dont we will lose in the first round and then Lamar and his wife will go on thier honeymoon which is probaly what the under achiver wants,Lamar plays for money not passion.


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