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Sizing up the Lakers' possible first-round playoff opponents

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Admit it. You're looking ahead to the playoffs. But you're not alone. There are plenty of us wondering why this 82-game NBA regular season seems to be dragging on so long. Believe me, the Lakers have been thinking the same thing.

And even though I've been harping that the Lakers need to treat these games seriously so they're sharp for postseason play, I'll admit I'm also looking ahead. Feel free to call me a hypocrite. But, hey, I cover the Lakers; I don’t play for them. The Lakers have to grind through the last nine games in the regular season, but sports writers and fans can mentally skip forward.

There are certainly a few things that will be clarified once the Lakers reach the end of the regular season, but it's pretty safe to draw a few conclusions now.

Although the Lakers (54-19) technically haven't clinched the top seed in the Western Conference, it appears their six-game lead over Dallas (48-25) as well as their 6 1/2-game leads over Denver (48-26) and Utah (48-26) will be enough to hold the top spot.

Phoenix (47-26), San Antonio (44-28), Oklahoma City (44-28) and Portland (45-29) are slated to take the fifth through eighth seeds, although they haven't officially clinched playoff berths. But with Memphis (38-35) trailing the Trail Blazers by 6 1/2 games, it appears likely those four aforementioned teams will be in the postseason. 

The next question entails how the rankings will work out. And as far as the Lakers are concerned, fans surely are curious which team the Lakers will face in the first round, presumably in a matchup pitting Nos. 1 and 8. With the Spurs, Thunder and Portland in a three-way tie for the sixth, seventh and eighth seeds, one of those teams will likely play the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. Below is a breakdown of the pros and cons involving each opponent.

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Team: Portland Trail Blazers (45-29)

Lakers' record versus Portland this season: 1-1

Why the Lakers should want to play the Trail Blazers in the first round: The Lakers have won five of their last regular-season home games against Portland. More importantly, the Lakers finally ended their nine-game losing streak at the Rose Garden this season, so they  should have confidence that they can take another road game from the Trail Blazers. Portland ranks 15th out of 30 NBA teams in field-goal percentage, averaging 46%, while the Lakers are 14th with a 46.1% clip from the field. If the Lakers suffer a poor shooting night, however, they can depend on their ninth-ranked defense (96.69 points per game) to further limit Portland's offensive chances. Since the Lakers rank first in the NBA in rebounding (44.41 per game), they enter any series with an advantage on the glass. But that will prove to be the greatest asset if the Lakers face Portland, since the Trail Blazers are 27th in the league in rebounding (40.04 per game). Even with Portland's ability to absorb long-term injuries, most notably those of  Greg Oden (left knee) and Joel Przybilla (right knee), it's very possible they won't be able to keep that up. The Trail Blazers have had to run on pure adrenaline for most of the season. It'll also be interesting to see whether the drama surrounding the uncertain future of Portland general manager Kevin Pritchard will distract the team. Of course, the Lakers having a 9-2 all-time postseason series record against Portland doesn't hurt either. 

Why the Lakers would want to avoid the Trail Blazers in the first round: Even if the Lakers ended their winless drought at the Rose Garden, they still have lost nine of their last 10 games at that venue. Perhaps the Lakers no longer feel the burden to win there, but there's a reason (or more) why Portland's been so successful at home against the Lakers. The Trail Blazers have also won 11 of their last 13 games to strengthen their position in the West playoff race, including a 90-87 win Sunday over Oklahoma City that put Portland in a three-way tie with the Thunder and the Spurs for sixth place in the Western Conference. That victory was largely credited to veteran leadership from Andre Miller, Marcus Camby and Juwan Howard, which is always helpful in close games, particularly in the postseason. With 12 players missing a combined 289 games due to injury, the Trail Blazers have shown there are not many challenges they can't overcome. And Portland's current starting lineup of Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, Camby, Brandon Roy and Miller is 11-2. One of Portland's big keys to success has involved good ball handling, with the Trail Blazers averaging only 12.5 turnovers per contest, which ranks second in the NBA. Portland also plays at a deliberate pace, meaning the Lakers would have to be very careful to limit their mistakes. The Lakers are eighth in the league in turnovers (13.6 per game), but this month they committed 24 turnovers in a nail-biting win against Golden State, 20 in an embarrassing loss to Charlotte and, most recently, 18 last week against Oklahoma City. 

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Team: Oklahoma City Thunder (44-28)

Lakers' record versus Oklahoma City this season: 3-1

Why the Lakers should want to play the Thunder in the first round: Given the Lakers' track record this season against Oklahoma City, any close games should wind up in the Lakers' favor. Two of their three wins against Oklahoma City weren't decided until the final minute. In the Lakers' 101-98 overtime victory Nov. 3, the Thunder led by five points early in the fourth quarter. But Lakers guard Kobe Bryant quickly erased the deficit. In the Lakers' 111-108 victory Dec. 22, the Lakers didn't hit a field goal in the final six minutes of the game, but Oklahoma City failed to force overtime, thanks to Russell Westbrook's missed three-pointer with 2.9 seconds remaining. Oklahoma City has struggled in close games against other teams, going only 9-12 in contests decided by five points or fewer. The Thunder recently displayed its inconsistency in finishing close games in Sunday's loss to Portland. A win would've given the Thunder a two-game lead over Portland, but Oklahoma City scored only one field goal in the final 3 1/2 minutes, and Thunder guard Kevin Durant missed two three-pointers late in the game. Though Oklahoma City (44-28) has improved greatly from last season's finish (23-59), the team is  young (Oklahoma City is the league's second-youngest team, boasting a lineup whose players whose average is 25) and inexperienced (only Etan Thomas and Kevin Ollie have played more than five years in the NBA). The Lakers could easily tap into their experience  put Oklahoma City away quickly. Durant may be second in the league in scoring (29.6 points per game), but the Thunder is 23rd overall in assists per game (19.75), meaning Oklahoma City sometimes lacks the necessary ball movement to ensure crisp offensive execution. Nonetheless, the Thunder has balanced options in Westbrook (16.2 points per game), Jeff Green (14.9 ppg) and James Harden (10.1 ppg).

Why the Lakers would want to avoid the Thunder in the first round: Just as the Lakers got a psychological boost from finally beating Portland at the Rose Garden after nine tries, the Thunder likely got a big boost from its overwhelming 91-75 victory over the Lakers last week, after having lost 12 consecutive games to the Lakers. The Thunder also has picked up quality road wins against teams such as Utah, Phoenix, Atlanta and San Antonio, making it plausible that Oklahoma City could steal a home game from the Lakers. After all, Oklahoma City has the Western Conference's third-best road record. I mentioned that the team's youth could be a hindrance, but it also could be a plus if the Thunder pushes the older Lakers into an up-and-down game, something that would surely wear the Lakers out in four to seven games. After all, Oklahoma City credits its energy for the team's huge turnaround this season, especially with the team ranked ninth in the league in team defense (96.63 points per game). And as for that notion that the Thunder's lack of playoff experience could hurt them, several NBA coaches think that theory is overblown.

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Team: San Antonio Spurs (44-28)

Lakers' record versus San Antonio this season: 2-1

Why the Lakers should want to play the Spurs in the first round: The Lakers and Spurs have paid particular attention to each other's progress, what with the Lakers winning four NBA championships and San Antonio winning three this last decade. The Lakers have met the Spurs in the postseason this decade five times, and the Lakers have won four of those series.

That should work in the Lakers' favor, making preparation for San Antonio easier since the Lakers are familiar with the team's tendencies. If history tells us anything, it's that the Lakers also have figured out how to neutralize future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan. After Duncan scored a team-leading 25 points on 12-of-19 shooting Jan. 12 in the Lakers' 105-85 loss to San Antonio, the Lakers limited his effectiveness the following two games this season. The Lakers held Duncan to seven-of-17 shooting in the second half of the team's 101-89 victory Feb. 8 against the Spurs. And in the Lakers' 92-83 victory last week against the Spurs, Lakers forward Pau Gasol blocked two shots on Duncan and allowed him to score only six points on a two-of-11 clip. The Lakers' focus on Duncan represented the team's high priority on defense. After San Antonio shot 55% in the first quarter and took a 34-28 lead in the February matchup, the Lakers held the Spurs to 34 more points toward the end of the third quarter. And in the Lakers' most recent meeting, they held San Antonio to 35 points in the second half. The Lakers' victories featured balanced scoring, with five players scoring in double figures in both those games. Additionally, given the Spurs' age, it's likely they wouldn't be able to survive a long series against the Lakers. It also doesn't help that starting point guard Tony Parker is out with a broken right hand, and it's not completely clear when he'll return to the lineup.

Why the Lakers would want to avoid the Spurs in the first round: This isn't your typical first-round matchup, with San Antonio and the Lakers usually facing each other in the playoffs this last decade in the Western Conference semifinals (2002, 2003, 2004) and Western Conference Finals (2001, 2008). Although this could be a challenge for both teams, you have to consider how it could hurt the Lakers. Although the Lakers have won eight of their last nine games, they're not completely sharp for postseason play. Meanwhile, Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich says the team is "playing our best basketball," thanks to an 11-4 March record, including the Spurs' 94-73 victory Sunday over the Boston Celtics. Although San Antonio recently lost to the Lakers, the Spurs gained quality wins on their recent five-game trip against Boston, Cleveland and Oklahoma City. San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili has scored at least 23 points in the last five games. And the Spurs boast improvements from January to March in total offense (97.9 points to 102.3 points per game) and field-goal percentage (45.5% to 48.4%). All season, San Antonio has boasted the league's strongest bench, averaging 40.1 points, 17.4 rebounds and 8.9 assists per game, a strong contrast to the Lakers' inconsistent bench. In the Lakers' loss to San Antonio this season, the bench was outscored, 42-20. Most recently, the Lakers' reserves nearly squandered a double-digit lead in the second quarter against Sacramento and a fourth-quarter lead against Washington.

-- Mark Medina

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

Photos, from top: Lakers Coach Phil Jackson. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times. Shannon Brown was one of the Lakers players who stepped up in the absence of Kobe Bryant, who was out with an ankle injury. Brown finished with 19 points off the bench to help L.A. cruise to a 99-82 victory over Portland in February. Credit: Rick Bowmer / Associated Press. Lakers center Pau Gasol, left, and Oklahoma City center Nenad Kristic jump for a rebound during the first half of Friday's game. Credit: Larry W. Smith / EPA. The Lakers' Kobe Bryant takes a shot over San Antonio guard George Hill during last week's game. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas / US Presswire

 
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@MM, You've done it again sir...OUT FREAKIN STANDING!!
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Kobe can win THROUGH his team mates. He can win WITH his team mates. He can win DEFERRING to his team mates. He can win IN SPITE OF his team mates. He can win INSTEAD of his team mates. He can even win BY HIMSELF (just ask Dallas and Toronto). Champions are forged in the fourth quarter. Franchises are defined in the fourth quarter. Dynasties are cemented in the fourth quarter. Sit back and watch PJ, Kobe, and Fish orchestrate this symphony that we call Lakers basketball on to yet another parade down Figueroa Blvd.@ FEARLESS
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AND SO IT GOES
Win some, Lose some that’s how it goes, I’m not panicking till the Fat Lady shows
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There’s things call fatigue & injuries too, lets see you do better if your body’s killing you
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If that be the case no hospitals are needed, Nor Health Bill for which some have pleaded
Why you don’t even need DIT DAR JOW, just use your will & BE HEALED NOW
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WHO ARE WE? ALL TOGETHER !!
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We’re The Freaking Champion Lakers, Who the Hell are You

REPOST


@ Mamba24 - Can you put me on the "LAY OFF OF JON K – SAY NO TO LAKER HATERS – BANDWAGON" as 'Of course I support Jon K, but his barstool gives him all the luck he'll ever need.'


To the general "Where are the minutes for DJ" dialogue going on around here, I would have to add that for all his enthusiasm, DJ is also foul prone because it's all or nothing. Along the sam,e vein as Farmar, DJ still hasn't quite grasped the idea of changing gears. It's life in the fast lane for Mr. Mbenga. Both could use to switch up their tempo a bit, but Jordan doesn't amass the fouls/minute DJ does (although this year he's been better).


DJ also seems to think he's on the floor for instant offense. He'll shoot it if you give him daylight which is another reason I think Phil only gives him limited burn.


He does truly hustle on D, though. Which is a welcome sight any day of the week.


Game Comments:
-Held my breath when Ron started a'hopping around. Was very glad to see him come back in. I'm curious to see if he has limited mobility tonight.
-Neither Artest or Ariza can seem to outplay the other when they face off. It's sure to keep the 'which player should the Lakers REALLY have signed' debate going. My vote is still Artest. He's making a mark defensively and Trevor has had a hard time throwing it into the ocean this season.
-We gave up the lead when the team went into 'Get Kobe his tri-dub' mode, not too worried about the 4th quater semi-collapse, the tri-dub won't be pursued in the playoffs so it won't be an issue in the 4th.


Does anyone else feel that, quiet as a ninja, Ron Artest has put together a strong case for DPOY? This isn't pure fan gush, either, here's some observations: he has single handedly changed the defensive culture of our team, has shut down entire teams with his on-the-ball defense, never shirks from guarding the best player on the court, does it all without accumulating a ton of fouls (something often over-looked when Dwight Howard is the perennial front-runner) and he does it without complaining about his touches or his role. He's come to a winning team and accepted his role regardless of the wins and losses. He's been a lightning rod for criticism when we lose and rarely gets credit when we win. He's had to change his game more than any other player on the team and he's excelled while doing it (on defense).

For the Dwight Howard enthusiasts who will point out that Dwight has better numbers (league leading rebounder and shot blocker), I say look at the number of fouls Dwight racks up. Also, that he is the focal point and anchor for the Magic's defense and that all of Dwight's D happens near the rim. He doesn't shut down guys single handedly, he's an amazing help defender. On the ball defense is much harder to excel at and Ron is pretty frickin' good.


Opinions?

I do love the roll calls so.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Mark Medina,

"Admit it. You're looking ahead to the playoffs."

I am not! I'm focused on tonight's game.

Still, once again, another nice write up.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Jon K - Oh yeah I should've mentioned everyone is looking ahead except for Jon K. Thanks again for the love

MM

I believe the ability to post comments have been fixed. Let me know if anyone else is still having trouble by e-mailing me at mgmedin@gmail.com

MM

LAKERMIKE SAID SOMETHING INCORRECT...

On the topic of 1st round playoff match-ups. In previous post (on 60 win poll thread), the comment that Celtics/Hawks 1st round matchup was likely is incorrect. VERY incorrect. There is NO CHANCE that Celtics/Hawks meet in the first round.

That was a stupid statement. Not sure what happened there . . . lack of focus is the softest excuse I can land on! Maybe LakerTom can help me out here? Signs of mental lapses due to age? Sheesh . . .

I apologize.
Mike

Good morning Mamba24 & the fabulous Laker morning CRUE!!!


GAME DAY BABY - YYYEEEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

WOW - the blog is a rockin and a rollin this morning!! GOTTA LOVE IT!!!!

It's a poll-a-palooza up in here!


MM - who's looking ahead to the playoffs?? Don't you listen to PJ and Kobe??? It's one game - no I say one possession at a time!!!! At this rate you'll never be a good Lakerholic.... and that's just not right.


Fearless - outstanding work today! People sometimes tend to forget just how unstoppable Kobe really is. I think we're kinda spoiled in that regard...

It really chaps my hide to hear these idiots keep talking about princess jimmy's awesomeness. Did they not recognize the CLEAR-CUT Team USA leader that Kobe was and to whom the princess deferred to in crunch time? Do they currently not watch any other NBA team?? Do they not listen to anything but that which tickles their ears?? I would love nothing better than a Laker / Septic finals complete with a muted bald-headed lunatic, but I gotta say it would rank pretty high up there with me if the princess got the beatdown that she soooo very much deserves at the hands of Kobe and our beloved Lakers. That would be good. It may not fully correct the shift in the force, but still... I'd take it!

Have a great day Laker Nation!! Be proud of the team we so love. CHEER them on to victory!! The train is picking up steam, people - get on board or get left behind!!

GO LAKERS!!!

Nothing but another title will suffice.

LakerMike - put down the bottle and step away from the shot glass. It's not game time yet.

Have a great day Laker Nation!! Be proud of the team we so love. CHEER them on to victory!! The train is picking up steam, people - get on board or get left behind!!Posted by: justanothermambafan | March 29, 2010 at 11:18 AM

AMEN!! How you doing Justa? I'm going to ride this sucker to the end. You take care Bro!
Mamba24(Larry)

justa - hah i told you that you wouldn't be able to convert me to become a lakerholic. anyway, kobe and phil may be more focused, but it's fair to say that through the team's inconsistent effort and some of the team's quotes, they are looking ahead to the postseason

MM

LAKERMIKE… Thanks for your comments about the Live Blog. With you and Justanothermambafan there, I’m sure somebody would have my back anyway but it’s good to hear people saying nice things anytime. The main reason why I don’t join the Live Blog is that I DVR the game and start 30 minutes late so that I can skip the commercials. By the time I finish the first half, the second half has started. Even though I don’t join the live blog, I always enjoy reading it. When the game gets out of hand, you guys basically just party. I may consider joining during the playoffs since it does look like a lot of fun and great bloggers.
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MAMBA24… Considering how many times Jon has had my back against trolls and haters, I have to be on the LAYOFF JON K BANDWAGON. If I did not know better, I would think that DFish might be Zakee. LOL
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HOBBITMAGE… Your comments about Drew were well received. That’s more like the Hobbitmage I respect.
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ERIC WRIGHT… Man, as a long time Niners fan, I wish you would use a different blog name than you do. Is that your name or some form of respect to Lil Eazy? Or the Eric Wright who is a Marxist professor at UMW?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
JUSTALAKERFAN… Thanks for the comments but with guys like you, justanothermambafan, Jon K, and others always having my back, I don’t need any more protection. LOL. After all, it’s only Blitz doing his thing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
JAMIE… I will second your nomination of Ron Ron as DPOY. I think he has a bigger impact than Howard.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Mark Medina,

" i told you that you wouldn't be able to convert me to become a lakerholic."

Oh, you will, dude.

You're a good guy. You're intelligent. You appreciate quality. It's only a matter of time. One cannot be constantly exposed to the grandeur of the Lakers and not evenutally become a Lakeraholic... unless you have the haterade gene. That's the only protection, and it's a cold, brutal, and awful protection against something that is objectively wonderful.

It'll happen, Mark, and when it does, it will feel good. Really.

My name is Jon K. and I'm a Lakeraholic and I ain't no quitter.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Laker Tom,

"I don’t need any more protection"

Of course you don't, brother. It doesn't mean we shouldn't stand up when you are unfairly abused.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

I will be at tonight's game against the Hornets shouting wildly whenever DJ Mbenga gets the ball. I'm expecting a good win tonight that turns all this potential energy into kinetic energy as we go forward into the playoffs.

Jon K - We'll have to agree to disagree. Haterade isn't my shield but objectivity is.

MM

Quick note. I think as soon as we clinch HC in our West and when it isn't possible to get overall HC, PJ should sparingly rest Kobe, Pau, Ron, Lamar and give more PT to our bench. If we are Rested and Healthy, we should Repeat!

Hi Everyone!

I'm not too sure if I will make it to the Live Chat tonight (due to my night class), but I hope that everyone is having a good day so far!

I'll try to stop by later tonight.

MAMBA24 - will you put me on the Jon K Bandwagon? I'm lighting up the grill for those trolls as we speak.

I will be at tonight's game against the Hornets shouting wildly whenever DJ Mbenga gets the ball. I'm expecting a good win tonight that turns all this potential energy into kinetic energy as we go forward into the playoffs. Posted by: Tmart | March 29, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Do Laker Nation proud TMart! We're expecting a report from you tomorrow! Lol!
Mamba24(LarrY)


Mark Medina,

{Wink} I won't let the L.A. Times staff know about your increasing Lakeraholicism. It's okay. It's our secret.

By the way, "objectivity" and Lakeraholicism are not mutually exclusive.

One can really love steak and still have the discernment to objectively discriminate between really good and not-so-great steak.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

MM, don't worry, you know what I think about you being or not a Lakerholic.

I will take care they don't let you drink a genetically empowered drink, okay? ;)

LOL.

Well, I loved the poll.

For the record, I don't care whom we meet, we will win, In four if against OKC or Blazers, in 5 against Spurs (noblesse oblige).

I DEFINITELY would love to fast forward directly at the playoffs time.

But the bright side of the rest of the season is that I have a couple more chat to spend with you (which highly entertaines me).

All I ask in these games is:

_ have my players SAFE, and not furtherly injuried;

- have some more vital signs from the bench;

- get back Bynum healthy.

What else?

Well, I'd say more courtside happy sightening, but missing for sure the Easter Weekend games (Jazz and Kings) I already know half of teh chances are gone there.

;)

I content myself easily, see?

But as playoff starts... this will drastically change.

Get ready Lakers, cos I am.

Catch you later in chat folks :)
Bye ;)

Mark Medina,

I will go one step further... and I say this as a former journalist.

If one doesn't truly care about, even love, the subject matter upon which they are reporting then they cannot obtain a depth of psychological union with their subject matter necessary to report on it with any degree of true insight, depth and subtlety.

When something REALLY matters, it comes across in the writing. It becomes inspired. It becomes Great.

Jim Murray really loved the subject matter he wrote about and as a result was the last truly Great sportswriter for the L.A. Times.

Ergo, the only way to really reach your potential on this blog is embrace your inner Lakeraholic.

I'm not suggesting that you embrace insanity, just the level of passion and commitment that turns any artist (or technician) into something special.

I'm a Lakeraholic and I ain't quitting.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

LakerTom - you said "With you and Justanothermambafan there, I’m sure somebody would have my back anyway but it’s good to hear people saying nice things anytime. I may consider joining during the playoffs since it does look like a lot of fun and great bloggers."

FINALLY!!!!!! LakerTom is at least CONSIDERING coming along for the live chat ride during the playoffs!!! WOO HOOOO!!!

MM - I must concur with Jon K here - you can be objective and still be a Lakerholic. The Show is the best team in basketball. It's the truth. Enjoy the blessing that is yours - you get to watch the best on a consistent basis, and once they win the ring with you at the helm of the best blog then you'll start drinking the Kool-aid. Don't worry - it's really yummy!

cali - hope to see you tonight on the chat!


Get that BBQ lit my friend - nothing goes better with some BBQ'd troll than a side of MM's objectivity! (Well... that and some coleslaw.)

Mamba24 - lest we forget - OUTSTANDING roll call again my friend. We all appreciate the work you put into keeping our community rolling!


Thanks for the concern Larry. I'm good. Surgery is Wednesday, so I'm both excited and nervous. But it sure will be good to having my mobility back and get back to working out... It's been a pain - literally.


Later fam!

GO LAKERS!!!

Nothing but another title will suffice.

MM, regarding the matchups for the playoffs, I'm going to repeat an observation I've made many times, regarding the Lakers under Phil Jackson. Namely, that they, more than any other team not just in the NBA, but in ANY sport, have been constructed piece by piece specifically for the playoffs. So while your survey is entertaining, to see what the blog-think-sync is, the truth is...it doesn't really make much difference (good call on that poll option, MM).

Phil likes maximum versatility and rotation flexibility. It's not just Odom as the ultimate Swiss army knife player, it's also the Lakers as the ultimate Swiss army knife playoff team. And it's not just matching up against certain teams (as the Clueless Cavs and the Not-so-Magic have erroneously done in loading up specifically for the Lakers), it's also having specific options in game situations over an entire 7-game series.

So that's why the ankle-biting pretender teams (Thunder, Blazers, Jazz) get so thrilled when they ambush the Lakers for ONE game in the regular season, but would lose in 5 or 6 in the playoffs.

Simply put, the Lakers have more weapons at more positions, and can be assembled and re-assembled in more ways than any other team in the NBA. And if they still have the hunger to want to take it one more time (the ONLY X-factor), they will.

Laker Tom,

>>> Even though I don’t join the live blog, I always enjoy reading it. When the game gets out of hand, you guys basically just party. I may consider joining during the playoffs since it does look like a lot of fun and great bloggers.

Hahaha. Knew we'd get you sooner or later. Laker Tom, the Party Animal! Can't wait.

Yes, it is a party. Some nights, it's a keg party. Some nights, it's a salon. Some nights it's both. Regardless, it's become the best way to watch a game.

Hey guys we got a new post up

MM

Hey guys, I'm heading down to LA for a couple of days. What are some fun things to do, places to eat?

CornerJ,

"Simply put, the Lakers have more weapons at more positions, and can be assembled and re-assembled in more ways than any other team in the NBA."

I sort of agree with this.

Here's the thing, we BY FAR have the best starting line-up in basketball. By far. What I'm concerned about is the bench and this is why Phil Jackson's coaching is so important.

Truth be told, the Cavs are deeper than us, but they have nowhere near as good a coach as we have in Phil Jackson. So, if it comes down to it in the Finals, the relationship between Phil and the bench is going to be huge.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

"Hey guys, I'm heading down to LA for a couple of days. What are some fun things to do, places to eat?
Posted by: Curry"

Wow, only a couple days, eh muchacho? Tough order to fill. But you haven't really experienced "El Lay" until and unless you do the following trifecta:

1) Stroll Olvera Street in downtown LA and get some awesome taquitos at Cielito Lindo.

2) Cruise out to Hollywood and stand in a block long line at Pink's for outrageously rigged hot dogs, then head up to Sunset Blvd, for a ride on the wild side all the way down to the beach in Santa Monica.

3) When you hit the beach at the end of Sunset Blvd, you cross Pacific Coast Highway (PCH to us locals) and go straight into the parking lot for Gladstone's, where babes, babes, and more babes are more plentiful than the crustaceans. When you're finished ogling and eating, continue cruising PCH South to Venice Beach, where...you'll have to experience it yourself to believe it...you're on your own, dude.

Enjoy.

Curry,

"What are some fun things to do, places to eat?"

The question is WHERE in L.A. will you be?

All I can say is that you've got to hit Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. That place is great.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

LETS GO LAKERS!!!! WOO HOO!

Curry,

"What are some fun things to do, places to eat?"


If you haven't ever been to one, gotta go to In & Out Burger.

I was addicted to that place, buts its been a long time since I have been to one so someone who still lives there will need to vouch for them.

*
LAY OFF OF JON K and LAKERTOM – SAY NO TO THE LAKER HATERS – BANDWAGON
*
Wow. I'm kind of flattered that people are sticking up for me regarding my stalker DFish. Thanks, but, you know, I can stand up for myself. Trust me, DFish will not be around for the long haul. He doesn't have the heart. He'll go away on his own. We've always had trolls, stalkers, and lunatics here. I think there's something about passion (and optimism) that for some people is responded to much like how vampires respond to holy water (or wicked witches respond to water itself). It just drives them nuts and they think somehow by shaming people with passion, fervor, and optimism that somehow it will kill that life and they can go back to being dedicatedly miserable people without distraction. Well, it's not going to to happen. Not here. Lakeraholics are passionate people and passionate people often disagree, but they remain passionate... and a bond forms out of that. We few! We lucky few! We get to be fans of the best team in sports... which, quite frankly, is just AWESOME!@ JON K
*
(01) LAKERMIKE - OWNER - In my opinion, this poster who goes by the name DFish has become dysfunctional when it comes to honest perspective. His comments are so biased and close-minded that it is difficult to reconcile much of what he says with reality. His tasteless attacks on fellow posters (Jon K material is wearisome) is inappropriate. I am a nice guy. Some people even say a VERY nice guy! lol But, I want to suggest that DFish comments be left unanswered. His nonsense is a perfect example of what I have previously lamented as the reason some of us are on the fence regarding this blog. In the spirit of restraint and dignity, perhaps a BandWagon is called for which declares we will not interact with the redundancy of the class dunce(s).
(02) KB-BLITZ – DRIVER - LAY OFF of Jon K. He's one of the best bloggers here and he is a far bigger Laker fan the rest of you two Faker fans (DFISH and Jonkay). He was here when the Lakers were just a 45/42 win team while you guys were probably playing video games and only came here when the Lakers became good aka Bandwagon fans. Yes I do have disagreements with Jon K. NAMELY how he remains a Clippers fan and his too positive tone with Andrew Bynum? Do my disagreements with him make me wanna throw a tantrum like a 3 year old girl like you two do? No....in my opinion you two are just as bad as those Laker fans on Christmas who threw those foam hands.
(03) EJK – RIDING SHOTGUN - While we can always scroll past the same old stuff that this guy spews, it can become tiresome to do so. He, and now his alter ego, Jonkay, have quite a strange obsession with Jon K. It's like they're trying to use Jon K to draw attention to themselves...talk about a desperate cry for attention. You can try to respond to him, but as I've learned, there's no point in trying to reason with the unreasonable. Don't waste your breath.
(04)
(05)BRYLLE - Fisher, the steady rock and voice of the team, and we all know he doesn't choke during clutch time. Tell me, how is that not a major contribution DFISH?4)
(06) MAMBA24 -- I think LakerMike about summed it up. Jon K doesn’t need to defend himself against Trolls. Trolls may come and Trolls may go, but Jon K is a LAKER BLOGGER TODAY, LAKER BLOGGER TOMORROW, LAKER BLOGGER FOREVER! LAKERTOM would have you for breakfast!!!
(07) JOLLY RANCHER - Bandwagon - Oh you're talkin' about that poster that types "blah blah blah Fisher...blah blah blah Johnny Boy K...wah wah wah...etc, etc, etc" Yeah, I can ride that one.
(08) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN - Mamba24 - put me on the "Get rid of that troll dfish" bandwagon please. The guy is a moron. Actually - that's kinda insulting to morons everywhere, isn't it?
(09) THE OUTLAW – SECURITY - If only Dit Da Jow could cure stupidity... The Pos(t)er Who Shall Remain Nameless would finally be cured. Am I right, Jon K.? No matter. We know who the real fans are here. And let me say this: Jon K. bleeds purple and gold. That's a fact.
(10) JEANETTE - 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.
(11) WESJOENIXON – The bad Bloggers always come out after a loss.
(12) MTI312 - LOL... You guys are hilarious. THE SKY IS FALLING! I love reading your posts after a loss. Classic!
(13) CORNER J – SEARGENT AT ARMS - Bring it on, trolls, because...Wherever there is injustice, you will find us. Wherever there is Plaschke Virus, we'll be there. And wherever there are whinypoopydiaperfrijolefiring trolls, you will find...THE LAKER AMIGOS!!! Let's ride!!!
(14) ART- FL-LAKERFAN - Let us all bow our heads and recite the Troll Prayer, it goes something like this: Dear God of Trolls, please make the Lakers trade Bynum, Gasol, Fish and Kobe. Send Ron back to Houston, dump Farmar and Shannon and Sasha in the pacific ocean, and for Trolls sake find a way to get rid of Luke. Morrison will be gone because of no more contract hallelujah, hallelujah. And also dear Troll God, send PJ back to Montana tout de suite. That leaves 'too often no-show' LO, 'can't hit the broad side of a barn door with a basketball' Powell and 'the one player no one ever criticizes' Mbenga to build a new team around. Hmm, umm, one more thing dear Troll God, as you know we are only in a righteous state of mind when the Lakers lose so please make Jerry Buss sell the Lakers to Donald Sterling so they will lose many, many games and & can then rise up into Troll heaven.
(15) MARK G - Art - FL Laker Fan, that was hilarious. You forgot about getting rid of Gary Vitti, the Laker Girls and the ball boys though. Seriously though, isn't seppuku really the only honorable option for us as Laker fans? I hate it when the blog comes down with acute Plaschkeitis.
(16) 2 PHATT - OK blog community time for the bandwagon fans to jump off, this is you're opportunity JUMP I hope you didn't brake you're ankles while landing. True Laker fans will continue to support this team regardless. There are many holes with very little passion and heart on display last night, but this team follows it's leader who did not lead. They'll show tonight, you can take that to the BANK.
(17) MAGIC PHIL – VOICE OF REASON - Hey, trully Lakers fan, don't read hatred posts. These people have only 1 thing in mind: hate! We don't hate, waste of time.
(18) ZAIRA AMATERASU – FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT - waited half day to log in and read it all. Well, I woke up at 1.15 PM so it's not that it took much. I was expecting even more "Fakers" "*PutNameIn*Haters" & "Dramz" mayhem but I see it was pretty much under control.
(19) RUUD VAN NISTELROOY - You call the team as Fakers and proclaim yourself a fan?? This "faker" team did indeed win the championship last year!!
(20) VT-LAKER - A cliche is a leech who can only respond in a negative fashion to another person's passion. Get your own life, live it, share it if you like, but try to contribute something that comes from your own experience.
(21) MEL D. - Look if you are not a laker fan, just keep your negative comment about the team.....Lakers will be the champs again, whether you like it or not , they will have maybe 4 more rings after this....
(22) VMAN - Jon K , Compelling reports. The universe has obviously put you here to make sense of the insanity. If ever there was a blog brother that does not need bandwagon protection it would be brother Jon Kav. TRolls season the blog, crawling out after losses to feed on the negative. Some hang 'round, sparked by attention they can't get in real life. It's part of the drama round here, but "round here" is ruled by the positive. All trolls shrivel and eventually disappear. Jon navigates gangsta bars of Lebronze land, he can roll with trolls.
(23) JOVBATZ44 – FLAMETHROWER - Calling our team Fakers is obviously not a fan. Hating on a particular player to death is clearly not a fan. Disrespecting our fellow bloggers without any logical reason is also not a fan Count me in ... I wouldn't mind being the Flame Thrower.
(24) RICK FRIEDMAN – SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE -There's a LAYOFF JON K BAND WAGON? I'm in
(25) FEARLESS – ENFORCER - I need to be on this Layoff Jon K bandwagon post haste. Even in the depths of our gloom, when it really does seem like the sky is falling, Jon K's fanaticism is what helps keep me sane. It is then that I know that the latest inexplicable loss served a much higher purpose. Champions are forged in fire. The fire can get pretty hot at times. Jon K (and every other Laker homer like me) allows me to remember that fact.
(26) LONG TIME LAKER FAN – KEEPER OF THE LEGACY - Look, try not to be too sad when the Lakers are having their victory parade. Your team (whether it's the Knicks or someone else) will maybe have a chance in 4 or 5 years, when Kobe finally does slow down as much as you're wishing he had slowed down now.
(27) JUST A LAKERFAN – Please ad me to the lay off Jon K bandwagon as he is a great Laker fan. Also I suggest a lay off LakerTom because of his support for Drew. I too am high on Drew and no one desearves to be rained on because of his/her support for a Laker star.
(28) JAMIE SWEET - @ Mamba24 – PUT me on the "LAY OFF OF JON K – SAY NO TO LAKER HATERS – BANDWAGON" as 'Of course I support Jon K, but his barstool gives him all the luck he'll ever need.'
(29) LAKERTOM - Considering how many times Jon has had my back against trolls and haters, I have to be on the LAYOFF JON K BANDWAGON.
(30) JON K - Laker Tom,"I don’t need any more protection" Of course you don't, brother. It doesn't mean we shouldn't stand up when you are unfairly abused.
(31) CALIPHILOSOPHER - put me on the Jon K Bandwagon? I'm lighting up the grill for those trolls as we speak.
(32)

Anything else guys?

My traveling will take me as far down as Newport Beach and as far up as Hollywood.

East being Anaheim.

And in terms of the better Roscoes, which location is the best?

I'm also taking a girl with me. What's there to do that's simple yet fun?

I'm also taking a girl with me. What's there to do that's simple yet fun?

Posted by: Curry | March 29, 2010 at 03:11 PM

Umm, do you really need to ask that?
;-)

If the lakers aer not in the playoffs who do you think is going to win the in the NBA finals...?????


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