Lakers Now

Round-the-Clock Purple and Gold

« Previous Post | Lakers Now Home | Next Post »

Poor bench play remains an issue, but alternatives are limited

52954167

For far too long, the Lakers' bench have had trouble securing leads, establishing consistency, fitting in the triangle offense, staying sharp on defense and pretty much living up to the supposed "Bench Mob" reputation it once owned.

And the inconsistency surely hasn't sat well with the team. Lakers forward Lamar Odom has taken it personally when the bench blows double-digit leads. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has reacted in visible anger during the team's recent 2-3 trip at least partly because of the reserves' play. And Lakers Coach Phil Jackson acknowledged to reporters before the team's 109-92 loss Wednesday to the Atlanta Hawks that the bench's performances "makes me want to throw up sometimes."

Jackson specifically said he felt that way during the Lakers' 108-100 loss Monday to the New Orleans where the reserves were outscored 42-12. But Jackson could've easily been talking about many performances this season, or on the latest trip for that matter, raising questions on whether Jackson really has brought a waste basket by the coaching bench in case his stomach starts upsetting him.

Against Atlanta, the Hawks' reserves outscored the Lakers' bench 48-22, a number that would actually be lower had Jordan Farmar hadn't scored 16 points. But let it be known that 11 of those points came in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach. It also didn't overshadow the fact Farmar made poor decisions within the offense in the second quarter. Against Oklahoma City, Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic had such a heated argument that assistant Brian Shaw that Jackson has decided Vujacic's minutes are going to be severely reduced. Though this move depletes the unit even more, it's every right for Jackson to support the coaching staff and to send a message that behavior won't be tolerated. And during this whole trip, Lakers forward Lamar Odom has moved to the starting rotation because Andrew Bynum has been hurt with a strained left Achilles' tendon. 

The Lakers bench has presented problems for most of the season. In a four-game stretch from mid to late November, the reserves were outscored in every fourth quarter. In a Christmas Day 102-87 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the bench allowed a 13-13 tie to balloon to a 19-point deficit before Jackson yanked his reserves late in the second quarter. Three days later in a 118-103 loss to the Phoenix Suns, the Lakers bench was outscored, 52-31. In the same month, the reserves allowed a 21-point lead against the Detroit Pistons to evaporate to within eight points in the fourth quarter, prompting the starters to come back in to secure the victory.

There's been similar problems in March. The bench combined for only one point on zero of eight shooting in the second quarter March 16 against Sacramento. The reserves nearly blew a double-digit fourth quarter lead March 21 against Washington. And on the team's recent five-game trip, the reserves were outscored in three of the five contests.

You can argue Odom could return to the bench even during Bynum's absence since his leadership has largely been valuable to the reserves. But that wouldn't do much beyond making the Lakers a more guard oriented team, a bad strategy considering the length Odom and Pau Gasol have inside and the teams' poor outside shooting. 

You can argue Shannon Brown or Jordan Farmar could replace Derek Fisher at the starting point guard spot. But what would that do? Fisher (7.5 points per game on 37.1% shooting), Farmar (7.6 points per game on 43.6% shooting) and Brown (7.3 points per game on 38.5% shooting) have similar numbers this month. Some may say Farmar's better shooting percentage trumps Fisher's leadership within the locker room? Some fans bristle at that because leadership sounds cliche and is hard to quantify. But it actually isn't. Fisher holds clout in the locker room and teammates have credited his speeches during games and at practice for helping them get through the season. And with the playoffs quickly approaching, the Lakers will surely value Fisher's experience.

So how do the Lakers move forward? Well, The Times' Mike Bresnahan recently reported Bynum may return as early as April 8 against Denver, but the timetable isn't exactly definitive. I had noted earlier that Bynum's absence hasn't just created a void inside; it's also exacerbated problems the Lakers had when he was in the lineup. One of those problems include the bench.

In another hint of good news, Lakers forward Luke Walton plans to play Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs after playing in only 24 games because of a pinched nerve in his lower back. Before you break out the pitchforks and wonder why Walton (2.4 points in 8.3 minutes per game) coming back will help anything, let this be known. The Lakers, with all the assorted injuries and the starters' heavy minutes, will welcome any return because it adds at least another body to the rotation. And though the Lakers' offense won't suddenly become utterly unstoppable, a strong case can be made that Walton will at least improve the flow of the triangle offense.

Still, neither the return of Bynum or Walton will fully solve the Lakers' bench problems. That problem won't necessarily make or break the Lakers' chances of repeating. After all, they won a title last season without much of a bench. But with a team already decimated with chemistry issues and defensive inconsistency, the depleted bench only brings more fragility. But at this point, the alternatives are pretty limited.

--Mark Medina

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

 
Comments () | Archives (53)

The comments to this entry are closed.

As a team there biggest issue is Kobe. Come fourth quarter it seems like Kobe thinks he needs to step up and his team mates feel they need to stop playing and give the ball to Kobe. Sure Kobe is a clutch shooter(half the time) but he has had to do that way more then he should be. The Lakers have great talent but they are just not using it. Do I think the Lakers will win the year? Hell no! This year belongs to the Cavs and the best player in the NBA LBJ.

Again, I've watched the Lakers of the 80s, the Lakers of the 90s, and now the Lakers of the new Century. None of this is new during a repeat year.

I have to assume that many of the posters here (especially the ones that can't wait for a couple of bad games and blame those losses on a single older point guard) are still young pups or transplants that don't have the same historical perspective.

No Worries.

JR

Posted by: Jolly Rancher

Jolly,
The Lakers did not lose last night because of Fisher. But he is definitely one of the problems. His shooting has never been good , but this year he is downright pathetic. So why you are defending him makes no sense. He gets all this loyalty from the Laker faithful, but he is not loyal because he can no longer play and is in denial.

ROFLMFAO!!! HAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHA
Princess Jimmmy is that You! Man what you doing on Lakers Blog? Save your strength we'lll see you in the finals. Aint that something Princess Jimmy coming on the Lakers Blog to try to give himself some pub. PITIFUL!
Mamba24(LarrY)

Mamba24, please put me on that chillpill bandwagon.

Panic and doom are the stuff of new money fans. Been around too long to think the Lakers are in dire straits because of a bad roadie or 2.

Not saying we'll be fine, but other teams are fighting for position, fighting to play in May.

Sure, I want them to play hard, but its more than that. I think the coaching staff more than the players needs to figure out what is going wrong with the defense.

FOR SIMPLE REASONS THIS LAKER TEAM WILL NOT REPEAT:

1. This team does not have the same resolve and hunger from last season.

2. Too inconsistent.

3. Winning a title means focus and hunger from day 1 (training camp) leading to playoffs, which this team had last season.

4. Teams that have won in the past have played consistent ball through out the season, winning an NBA title is not like turning on the faucet come playoffs. It requires a steady and consistent dose of focus and team play.

Mark,

Uhhhh no.

Czar Mark says ....

You can argue Shannon Brown or Jordan Farmar could replace Derek Fisher at the starting point guard spot. But what would that do? Fisher (7.5 points per game on 37.1% shooting), Farmar (7.6 points per game on 43.6% shooting) and Brown (7.3 points per game on 38.5% shooting) have similar numbers this month.

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

We DON"T know what Farmar would do if he started and played starters minutes. Farmar hasn't had that opportunity. We DO know what Fisher has done. He has started 75 of 75 games. Namely, play porous defense and shoot terribly. Fisher is below the 40% for 2pt fg's. While Farmar is 50% for 2 pt fgs.

Locker room respect did not leave Steph Curry against Golden State to attempt the game winning 3 ptr. Fisher made that bone head play. Fisher makes as many mistakes as Farmar, but impacts the game much less.

Its notable you are making a big deal about the bench when its the STARTING guards perimeter defense that is the problem.

You suggest options are limited.
Phil actions say no changes will be made on the floor.

Hopefully Fisher media friendly interviews will get it done.

Czar Mark says .....
But how do you value perhaps Farmar's better shooting percentage over Fisher's leadership within the locker room? Some fans bristle at that because leadership sounds cliche and is hard to quantify. But it actually isn't. Fisher holds clout in the locker room and teammates have credited his speeches during games and at practice for helping them get through the season. And with the playoffs quickly approaching, the Lakers will surely value Fisher's experience.

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

There again Markie Mark --- NO.

Wins are obtained by players on the floor. Farmar, Brown and Sasha bring improved defensive athleticism and better shoot making ability than Fisher.
If locker room speeches are the answer Lakers would not have been 2-3 on the trip. Don't you think Fisher would have said something at half time in Atlanta, NO, OKC? Yes, he played a season's best against Houston.
Mark that is 1 game out of 5!

Fisher does draw an NBA pay check so he should contribute, but 1-5 games is good enough.

No Mark it isn't Fisher's veteran intangibles, leadership or media friendliness.
Its the on the floor TANGIBLES, defensive slowness, fg%, assists, blk shots, steals that say Fisher should be on the bench.

You are right in that Fisher doesn't bring anything off the bench.
Objective is to win the game.
Just like when Kobe was hurt, it would be
good to see how the Lakers play without Fisher.

M2,

Please stop with the Fish leadership thing. It is bunk. If he were such a great leader the team would have had a better road trip.

I am numb today. Numb. I can't write. I can't think. I can't deal. This trip has drained me and I'm only a bystander, not a player.

I'd say more, but all I can say is, I'm numb.

IT’S TIME TO STAND UP FOR THE LAKERS. WIN OR LOSE THEY US NEED US - BANDWAGON
*
(01) BRONXLAKERFAN – OWNER - I only hope that tomorrow night, when the Lakers take the floor at Staples, that the crowd showers them with pure, unadulterated LOVE!! It's easy to love and cheer someone when they've done good and are riding high. But when a person or team approaches the bottom, that's when encouragement and faith are needed most. Right now, I see a team that has lost its way. The younger, less experienced players are staggering under the weight of everyone's expectations. They have become afraid to fail. As Laker Tom said, this team needs the positivity of its TRUE fans. Yes, they are a team with warts and faults. Yes, they haven't done as well as expected on the road. Yes, some of their weaknesses have been exposed. But this group is capable of coming out of its funk and doing great things. The same bench players that we all question went into Utah and Portland without Kobe and Bynum and kicked AZZ earlier in the year. These guys are capable of good basketball. Let's not forget that.: It's time to stand up for our Lakers. Win or lose. They need US, their true fans.
(02) TROLL MAN – DRIVER - ………Welcome to Planet Lakers, Home of House Black Mamba
THE LAKERS WILL WIN THE NBA CHAMPIONSHIP
………….……and how can this be?......
FOR KOBE BRYANT IS THE KWISATZ HADERACH!
*
(03) RDLEE – RIDING SHOTGUN - Nothing a little home cooking won't fix! I won't worry until we lose our first home playoff game. won't panic until we are one game from elimination. Until then we play them one at a time. Only 16 playoff wins to the ring!
(04) # 4 - Panic and doom are the stuff of new money fans. Been around too long to think the Lakers are in dire straits because of a bad roadie or 2. Not saying we'll be fine, but other teams are fighting for position, fighting to play in May. Sure, I want them to play hard, but its more than that. I think the coaching staff more than the players needs to figure out what is going wrong with the defense.
(05) MAMBA24 – If I have but one life to live, let me live it as a Laker Fan! LAKERS FOREVER!!!!!!
(06) JEANETTE – COUNSELOR - Relax, listen to this one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIqLsGT2wbQ&feature=youtube_gdata
This has been my "feel good" song after every Lakers' loss. I now officially refer to every Lakers championships as my bright sunshiny days. Thank you Lakers for giving me a lot of those. I hope to have another come June. Hey Kobe, Don't worry we will be there when you needed us the most. I understand the frustration of Lakernation, it is natural. I don't think for a bit that any of you have given up. Keep the FAITH. I will always be a Laker fan, there is no alternate. It does not matter if they are winning or losing. Oh, how I wish that our cheers will reverberate through the walls of the Staple Centre. It is time to stand up and show our support, it will make a difference.
(07) ZAIRA AMATERASU - My pride is intact, my love for my players is intact, & my hope will never, ever vanish.
(08)JOLLY RANCHER - Again, I've watched the Lakers of the 80s, the Lakers of the 90s, & now the Lakers of the new Century. None of this is new during a repeat year. I have to assume that many of the posters here (especially the ones that can't wait for a couple of bad games and blame those losses on a single older point guard) are still young pups or transplants that don't have the same historical perspective. No Worries.
(09) SUNNYVALE LAKERS - So what do we do? We're just going to have to play with the horses that we've got. When Bynum comes back, hopefully 90% to 100%, it will change the complexity of our team. We will not need to rely more of our outside shooting to win games.

So, this is what it is like to watch grown men lay an egg. And, this particular egg was a group effort.

--FEARless

I'd say more, but all I can say is, I'm numb.
Posted by: Rick Friedman | April 01, 2010 at 11:03 A

@RICK FRIEDMAN, Shake it off big fellow. We are going to need you for the stretch run..It may take longer than we thought, The ride may be bumpier than we thought, But I promise you Brother Rick The Laker Nation willl add a 16th Ring to the collection. So help me JON K. Lol!
Hold on Bro!
Mamba24(larrY)

So, this is what it is like to watch grown men lay an egg. And, this particular egg was a group effort. Posted by: FEARless | April 01, 2010 at 11:10 AM

ROFL..Stop it Fearless! Lol! If Rabbits can lay Easter Eggs then I guess grown Lakers can lay an Egg now & then. Hang in there brother. Everything is going to be alright. There is a method to this madness.
Mamba24(LarrY)

@mamba24


Thanks man for the love; I thought there was some grit last night, just no results. The team needs to shed it's old skin and wriggle free of this malaise, lizard-like. With bright purple and gold scales.


Maybe it's a result of such an imbalanced schedule, the teamwork and reactions looked so much better before the All Star break. The last two roadies we've looked out of sync. This from essentially the same team that excelled on the road last season.


I think we need to keep hold of that 2nd best league record because Orlando would also be tough to beat in 7 at home. Pundits will fall asleep on Orlando, but they will be tough in the post season all the way through. Does anyone really think Big Diesel/Z will outplay Dwight?


We'll see, I'm practicing deep breathing.

We need to win 4 games and then rest our guys to get healthy for the Playoffs. But, we need to win those ASAP! Always fun to read MAMBA24!

(05) MAMBA24 – If I have but one life to live, let me live it as a Laker Fan! LAKERS FOREVER!!!!!!

OUT
.
.
.
FRICKIN
.
.
.
STANDING!!!!

I find it disrespectful how bloggers are writing that LA should be worried about getting out of the first round? HUH? excuse me? Why would the DEFENDING CHAMPIONS worry...I'm sure the other team has more to worry about.

I love how the media is trying to spin this around to make believe that LA would not want to face OKC in the playoffs, really ? OKC? A team that was in diapers a few months ago...Everyone needs to relax. People talk about laker fans being spoiled, what about the media members that try to spin everything around when the lakers lose more than 2 games? The teams that repeated in the past had about 50 wins too, yet no one was saying any of this stuff.

Have faith in your team people, I cant believe people even think OKC could beat us in the p layoffs.

Mamba24

Hello Friend, Make me driver on Lakers 2010 NBA champs bandwagon if Bynum & Walton return healthy.

HEY, AT LEAST THEY ARE PLAYING HARD

Did anyone else notice that the Lakers gave a great effort last night? They played hard. No coasting. No "pacing" themselves. They gave a good effort.

The Hawks beat them. The Hawks are a good team. The Hawks played well. It was a home game for the Hawks.

The Lakers missed open shots. The Lakers missed Andrew Bynum.

All these factors added up to a loss ~ nothing more, nothing less. Trends, patterns, etc. will soon not matter. Only playoff W's or L's. And PLAYING HARD matters.

Let's keep our eye on the ball, here. Nothing cures bad team chemistry faster or better than a win, especially a playoff series win. Things will change. If you are a doubter then you either WANT to see the Lakers fail or you have not been around long enough to see how veteran teams handle this type of adversity.

They played hard . . . and lost. It happens sometimes, even to championship level teams... just not 4 out of 7 times.

Mike

@#4, Thank you my brother you are indeed too kind
Mamba24(Larry)

@JAMIE SWEET, EXHALE!, EXHALE NOW! Don't scare me like that! Lol!

@DJ, You sir are indeed a class act. I thank you

jac YOU WROTE: Why would the DEFENDING CHAMPIONS worry...??

The answer is this team lacks resolve, desire and fire in their belly and add to it revolving door injuries leading to inconsistent team play. This team has not had a sustained period of injury free team time to build a team chemistry necessary to win a title. Lets not forget luck has not been on laker's side this year due to injuries.

Bynum and Luke are liabilities and injury prone, sneeze and they may pull a muscle..

*
LAKERS 2010 NBA CHAMPS IF BYNUM & WALTON RETURN HEALTHY
*
(01) GUNNER - OWNER/DRIVER - Make me driver on Lakers 2010 NBA champs bandwagon if Bynum & Walton return healthy.
(02) MAMBA24 - RIDING SHOTGUN -

Posted by: Gunner | April 01, 2010 at 11:42 AM

THIS SOUNDS LIKE MAMNBA24 HAS THROWN THE TOWEL ON LAKERS:

YOU WROTE:"IT’S TIME TO STAND UP FOR THE LAKERS. WIN OR LOSE THEY US NEED US - BANDWAGON"

WIN OR LOSE? hmmmmm...another flakey laker fan.

*
TAKE A CHILL PILL AND CALL ME WHEN THE PLAYOFFS START – BANDWAGON
*****
Moving on from this road trip, moving on from this mental place & moving forward. Finding spirit. Inside that locker room is a team of Champions who have lost their way. Phil talks about journeys. They have embarked on one now. My hope is that it is a journey to the roots of the team. A journey into the spirit of what this team is about. Rediscovering the joy of the game. It will always be a game. It's only work when you don't play. @ JAMIE SWEET
*****
(01) LAKERTOM – OWNER – WHY THIS LOSS DOESN’T MATTER – (1) THE GAMES DON’T COUNT. (2) THE OPPONENTS DON’T MATTER. (3) BYNUM CHANGES EVERYTHING (4) SIZE MATTERS IN PLAYOFFS. (5) GOTTA WIN 4 IN PLAYOFFS. (6) HOME COURT ADVANTAGE. (7) BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT. Don’t discount the importance of playoff and championship experience. Phil Jackson has never lost the opportunity to repeat or threepeat as NBA champions. The Lakers are still the reigning NBA champions and Kobe Bryant is the reigning NBA Finals MVP. When the final whistle blows and buzzer sounds, the Lakers will have won their 16th championship. So chillax and just be patient. Soon Drew will be back and the real games will commence and we’ll all forget about these stupid losses to jacked up teams whom we know we can easily beat. Just like the team needs to ready to perform at their best once the playoffs start, so do we bloggers. We need to be ready to generate championship level karma to give our team the virtual boost to win it all again.
(02) LONG LIVE CHICK – DRIVER - I still have a lot of hope that we can turn this around and win the prize. It won't be easy, but we can definitely do it. We have the pieces. THERE IS A LOT OF POWER IN A POSITIVE STREAM OF ENERGY AND THOUGHTS. Kill the negativity starting right here on this blog.
(03) MTI312 – SECURITY - Facts: The Lakers record right now is 54-21. 7 gms left Dallas the current second seed is 4 games behind. comments: Lakers will be the 1 seed. This was expected to happen. The Lakers had a favorable schedule therefore winning early in the season. Despite playing mostly on the road, they still have the best record in the West. That is still good. Proposition: For all those fans who think the Lakers have no chance this year should pack it in now. Jump off the wagon and promise you wont be back until the Lakers gets eliminated. Then you can do your "I told you so, I am a genius" posts.
(04) (04) # 4 - Panic and doom are the stuff of new money fans. Been around too long to think the Lakers are in dire straits because of a bad roadie or 2. Not saying we'll be fine, but other teams are fighting for position, fighting to play in May. Sure, I want them to play hard, but its more than that. I think the coaching staff more than the players needs to figure out what is going wrong with the defense.
(05) RICK FRIEDMAN – RIDING SHOTGUN - Laker Tom, Thank you. A voice of sanity. I still have faith in the team's talent. I also think all the screaming about the bench play is overwrought. The return of Andrew to the starting lineup and the return of Luke to the reserves should bolster the lineup, going forward.
(06) JON K – UNDERCOVER AGENT - Let me put it gently, Laker Nation is going to freak the frick out if this team doesn't turn it on in the playoffs. Apocalyptic freakout plus. I'm patient. I have faith. But hell hast no fury like Laker Nation scorned. Seriously, burn everyone not named Kobe, Pau, Andrew, Ron, Luke (yes, LUKE!) and Lamar. I love this team, but TURN IT FRICKEN ON!
(07) JAMIE SWEET - Moving on from this road trip, moving on from this mental place and moving forward. Finding spirit. Inside that locker room is a team of Champions who have lost their way. Phil talks about journeys. They have embarked on one now. My hope is that it is a journey to the roots of the team. A journey into the spirit of what this team is about. Rediscovering the joy of the game. It will always be a game. It's only work when you don't play.
(08) M - I for one think the playoffs will be great. Not a blind fan, but a true one. Blind foolish praise or simple criticism this blog has been recently, with a few admirable acceptations. I’d rather ‘crit the blog, or bloggers rather than my Lakers… Most folks don’t read the blog right after a loss anyway.
(09) MAGIC PHIL - Still time, let's just stop missing those darn shots. Let's just start hitting those darn shots...please? Cheers.
(10) DWNTWN ATTY - . Remember folks, this season isn't over. it hasn't even started. we know this team is capable of greatness. If they lose every game until the playoffs and then win the championship, the season will have been a roaring success. I'm pretty pumped that the pre-season is finally coming to an end. It drags on and on. They've accomplished 1 of the most important pre-season goals by locking up homecourt and fell short of cementing the effort by having the best overall record. It would be nice if they used these final games to get into season mode, but I have no doubt either way that they will be ready in a few weeks. The Lakers are designed to win 16 games between April and June. While any team is capable of beating any team on any given night, at full strength, I don't believe there is a team out there that can beat us in 4 of 7.
(11) POO - Luke can correct Artest's faulty chemistry with a few games in April. I'm sure of it. T he Lakers are going to be fun once Luke plays about 2 or 3 games. I see it clear as day. CHEMISTRY IS COMING PEOPLE!!! I CAN SMELL IT COMING!!!
(12) TROLL MAN - The Sleeper Must Awaken
(13) SOME DUDE - Man you guys are spoiled. Lakers still have the 2nd best record in the league, but they lose a couple games in a row and all of a sudden it's all wrong... this reminds me of Christmas Day when the Lakers were like 24 - 3 but were losing at home to the Cavs and getting booed. Really?
(14) JEANETTE - Jamie Sweet, excellent post. Now I feel much better.
(15) RAZDIZZLEFOSHIZZLE - This Lakers team know that this squad is capable of being very scary, but for whatever reason, we haven't seen much. I hope this is only a phase that the Lakers will soon snap out of
(16) I'm taking things in stride, and I'm thankful that we are in the position that we are. I definitely won't be in the "woe-is-us" mode
(17) MAMBA24 – SLEEPY – Ho hum, please somebody call me when the Playofs start!
(18) THE OUTLAW - I feel strangely calm about this. And I'm not usually calm when my Lakers lose. Come June, we won't even remember this. Or if we do, it'll be a vague recollection, a mere moonshadow of a memory that fades in the stark morning light of a victory parade. I still believe, and I always will, until the purple and gold tinsel drops from the sky.
(19) BRONXLAKERFAN - I only hope that tomorrow night, when the Lakers take the floor at Staples, that the crowd showers them with pure, unadulterated LOVE!! It's easy to love and cheer someone when they've done good and are riding high. But when a person or team approaches the bottom, that's when encouragement and faith are needed most. Right now, I see a team that has lost its way. The younger, less experienced players are staggering under the weight of everyone's expectations. They have become afraid to fail. As Laker Tom said, this team needs the positivity of its TRUE fans. Yes, they are a team with warts and faults. Yes, they haven't done as well as expected on the road. Yes, some of their weaknesses have been exposed. But this group is capable of coming out of its funk and doing great things. The same bench players that we all question went into Utah and Portland without Kobe and Bynum and kicked AZZ earlier in the year. These guys are capable of good basketball. Let's not forget that.:
(20) DJ - We need to win 4 games and then rest our guys to get healthy for the Playoffs. But, we need to win those ASAP! Always fun to read MAMBA24!
(21) RDLEE – RIDING SHOTGUN - Nothing a little home cooking won't fix! I won't worry until we lose our first home playoff game. won't panic until we are one game from elimination. Until then we play them one at a time. Only 16 playoff wins to the ring!
(22) ZAIRA AMATERASU – BLOG GODDESS - My pride is intact, my love for my players is intact, & my hope will never, ever vanish.
(08)JOLLY RANCHER - Again, I've watched the Lakers of the 80s, the Lakers of the 90s, & now the Lakers of the new Century. None of this is new during a repeat year. I have to assume that many of the posters here (especially the ones that can't wait for a couple of bad games and blame those losses on a single older point guard) are still young pups or transplants that don't have the same historical perspective. No Worries.
(23) SUNNYVALE LAKERS - So what do we do? We're just going to have to play with the horses that we've got. When Bynum comes back, hopefully 90% to 100%, it will change the complexity of our team. We will not need to rely more of our outside shooting to win games.
(24) WALLACE - Put me on the stand-up for the Lakers bandwagon. We're all disapppointment in the latest team performance. But relax, we're still #2 in the league adn #1 in the West. As long as we don't let Orlando catch up to us, we'll be fine. Yes, this team lost its momentum as scores of key injuries and "Me Worry?" attitude displays by both the bench crew AND particular the coaching staff. But I have a gut feeling that they wil find their way back and establish their identity after the tough first round against whoever unlucky to draw us. This team will be in a pissy and angry mood once the playoff start. The press and other punduts will be written them off by then and harly wait to crown the Cav as a new champ which is good news IMHO. It's good to be fear (Of losing)! The pressure(favorite to repeat) will be off. Again, I respect Sasha's decision not to succumb to Phils's overture to make atonement to his outburst in OKC. Finally, someone stand up to Phil's zen philosophy!
(25) JAC - I find it disrespectful how bloggers are writing that LA should be worried about getting out of the first round? HUH? excuse me? Why would the DEFENDING CHAMPIONS worry...I'm sure the other team has more to worry about. Have faith in your team people, I cant believe people even think OKC could beat us in the p layoffs.
(26) LAKER MIKE - HEY, AT LEAST THEY ARE PLAYING HARD - Did anyone else notice that the Lakers gave a great effort last night? They played hard. No coasting. No "pacing" themselves. They gave a good effort. The Hawks beat them. The Hawks are a good team. The Hawks played well. It was a home game for the Hawks. The Lakers missed open shots. The Lakers missed Andrew Bynum. All these factors added up to a loss ~ nothing more, nothing less. Trends, patterns, etc. will soon not matter. Only playoff W's or L's. And PLAYING HARD matters. Let's keep our eye on the ball, here. Nothing cures bad team chemistry faster or better than a win, especially a playoff series win. Things will change. If you are a doubter then you either WANT to see the Lakers fail or you have not been around long enough to see how veteran teams handle this type of adversity. They played hard . . . and lost. It happens sometimes, even to championship level teams... just not 4 out of 7 times.

Thanks for the love Larry (MAMBA24)....

Wouldn't it be nice to to be on the ride while that song I posted earlier playing on the background. I am an old soul, like old music although I am not that old yet.

I remember you posted sometime last week that went, if being a Laker fan is so wrong, I don't wanna be right. I was laughing because it was one of my favorite lne during my younger days.

It is all about the LOVE my brother! Let it flow!

Just curious, it is pretty obvious, slump or no slump, we are not a very good 3 point shooting team. Can't we sign a player before the playoffs? Just a shooter, don't even have to be fluent in the triangle, just a knock down shooter, come in for 5 minutes and hit some threes. I think we have room on the roster, MM help me out here.

Im not worried yet. i still think the LAKERS will pull through. i knew from the start of the season that is was not gonna be easy. but before the 1st game i made a bet with someone i work with that the LAKERS will repeat. he rubs it in my face everytime they lose. while i wont say how much i the bet is, it is a pretty good amount. he even says to pay him 75% of the bet now since they wont repeat, and i can save some money. im not ready to give up yet. i still believe that the LAKERS can win it all. so heres hoping that i will be collecting some money in june, and the LAKERS will be collecting some more hardware. GO LAKERS!!! P.S THANKS TO ALL THE REAL LAKERS FANS WHO AT LEAST MADE ME FEEL A LITTLE BETTER.

@LAKER MIKE, Thank you brother for keeping it real!
Mammab24(Larry)

Mark Medina & Bloggers

Here is a little perspective for you to shift your respective paradigms on how really poorly the Lakers have performed this year.

We've heard all season long on how clutch Kobe has been this season with 7 count 'em ......7 game winners. Here is the question for you......"Where would the Lakers be without those 7 game winners"?


Chances are more than good If Kobe doesn't make those shots the Lakers lose all of those games.

What does that mean?


That would mean instead of the Lakers sitting atop the Western division with a 54-21 record they would be 47-28 ........ 1 1/2 games ahead of San Antonio and just one game ahead of them in the lost column ..............FOR THE LAST SPOT IN THE PLAYOFFS!!


THINK ABOUT THAT when you suggest the Lakers are waiting to turn it on in the playoffs.


.........More later on how Phil Jackson's decision last year and at the trading deadline to continue to rely on Derek Fisher has contributed to the decline of the Lakers

Ahhhhhhhhh...I'm going to scream if I read another negative comment about the Lakers. Are they supposed to be completely invinsible? Seriously! We're talking about the last few weeks of the season when guys are tired and a 5-game roadtrip takes its toll too. The Lakers will be fine!

Players know that they have to step up in the playoffs and they'll do that. Personally, I think the issue has more to do with Phil's rotations but the guy has 10 championship rings and I have none so I digress.

All of the top teams in the league are on pace to match last years records give or take a few games. Just like last year, everyone's picking the Queen in Cleveland simply because they look good in a weaker conference, will probably have the best record again, and will probably gift the Queen another MVP trophy this year...SO F'ING WHAT???? How far did all of that get them last year? Wasn't Mo' Williams one of their hottest players in the regular season only to wittle like a friggin' p*ssy in the playoffs? Does anyone really think Shaq will lead this team to a ring? NOT!!!

Please people..real fans stand behind their team until it's all said and done.

RICK… “Thank you. A voice of sanity.” LOL. I do have to admit that even positive fans like ourselves have been taken to the limit with the frustrations of this team. All we can do at this point of time is to have faith that our guys will pull it together and play like we KNOW they are capable of. It’s not like they haven’t done it before.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
JAMIE… “Bynum compliments Gasol and Lamar better than most give him credit for. He can be foul prone (which is sometimes a result of our defensive sieve at the PG position) and uninvolved defensively (hopefully something still a factor of his relative youth), but even at his most lackadaisical he gives us a player light years ahead of Powell and Mbenga.” Well said, Jamie. I also been loving your recent posts, especially the one that won the post of the day. Eloquence from you is to be expected. Keep up the outstanding work.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
JAYDEN24… “Ok, I'm going to be the Skip Bayless of the group and disagree with Lakertom, Friedman, and the whole easy peasy crew a little bit. What we value in this blog is opinion, a difference of opinion, so let's not all jump on the "it doesn't matter BS bandwagon." NO, NO, NO. Not Skip Bayless. What would little Jayden say if he learned that his dad was a negative pole like Bayless. As Mamba would say, take a deep breath and keep the faith. We have the power to send karma like never seen before all the way to the hearts of our players.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
LET’S GO L’S… “Looks like the anti-Lakers critics are out in full force, especially some of the fans who have allowed doubt to creep in (funny how it all turned out last June). It's just human nature I presume...” Good to see you back posting again, LGL. Of course, your shamrock nemesis has disappeared as the Celtics season has collapsed into faint hope and fear of another 20-year hiatus from respectability and relevance.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MEKONSISLE… “Overall I think you make a strong case for not panicing in Lakerland Tom, but while I like a lot of your assertions, I think they are somewhat flawed.” Thanks for your comments. No doubt there are still question marks as to how much the current subpar play will affect our play in the playoffs as you pointed out. Bottom line, we will have to wait until the playoffs are over to see how this all plays out. My purpose was just to point out that there ARE many solid reasons why these losses don’t matter – as a counter to the justifiable reasons why the losses are a valid concern. Let’s all just hope that the positives win out in the end.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MAMBA.. Way to go, Larry. I love how you start with what we post and take it to the next level. Just like the Lakers will do in the playoffs. Thanks for the “TAKE A CHILL PILL AND CALL ME WHEN THE PLAYOFFS START – BANDWAGON.” That was the perfect thing to do. Many thanks. I also loved ***IS IT OVER***
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
HOBBITMAGE… LOL. No way I am going to respond to your lengthy diatribe about my lengthy post. As I think you also live in NorCal, we should get together sometime during the playoffs so that I can share with you. :-) Bottom line, I think Drew will make the difference and you think he won’t. Let’s see who is right after this is all over. I was merely trying to point out that there were reasons why these losses won’t matter – just as there are reasons why they will matter.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
YELLOFEVER… Good response to Hobbitmage regarding Drew’s importance. I think that this recent streak of games has made it completely clear that Pau is not the long-term answer at center for the Lakers. He is great backing up Drew and allowing the Lakers to cover all three front court players with four All-Star level players but the better team is when Drew is at center and Pau at power forward, his natural position.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
BRONX… “As Laker Tom said, this team needs the positivity of its TRUE fans. Yes, they are a team with warts and faults. Yes, they haven't done as well as expected on the road. Yes, some of their weaknesses have been exposed. But this group is capable of coming out of its funk and doing great things. The same bench players that we all question went into Utah and Portland without Kobe and Bynum and kicked AZZ earlier in the year. These guys are capable of good basketball. Let's not forget that. It's time to stand up for our Lakers. Win or lose. They need US, their true fans.” Well said, Bronx. This is a repeat year for the Lakers AND the Yankees.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

as if you're not feeling bad enough.......washington wizards 96 - new orleans hornets 91. the game was played in new orleans. it's amazing how many teams lose their next game..... after beating the lakers the previous game!
Posted by: lakeshowinphx | March 31, 2010 at 08:38 PM

I was thinking the same thing last night. It just shows that opponents wont be able to sustain the same energy game after game in a 7 game series vs the Lakers.

Mamba24, thank you for welcoming me. I enjoy your post. You R Freakin Oustanding.

This is what the Lakers is all about, A roller coaster. They will give you the feel of the low and the ecstasy of the high.
Keep faith and enjoy the ride.

"When a Man Stares Into the Abyss and sees nothing but darkness, this is the time that he finds his character. And it is his character, that keeps him from falling into the abyss."
-------------------------------------------------------------

Man=LAKERS (World Champions). Let them find their character. Stay off the we will not repeat band wagon!

M

Mambaaaaaaaa24.....hello my love, how are you? I know I've been MIA but law school is kicking my butt. I have no time for anything other than school, work, and Laker games.

I see you're still the boss around here...very good! My semesters almost over so I will be around here for the playoffs.

I say Phil has not been up to par this year. He has relied too much on Derbrick Fisher, who has been killing us all year with his poor shooting and defense. He's alienated Sasha, who was a valuable 3 point threat and a solid defender before he propelled Shannon over Sasha. He's allowed Shannon to play offense with no discipline, and as a result, Shannon is shooting almost as poorly as Derbrick, and his been make ill-advised shots to boot. Phil hasn't been able to get Pau to buy into the system, and thus Pau has openly criticized Kobe, of all people. Speaking of Kobe, Phil has overplayed him this year, consequently, Kobe is banged up and not playing up to par. Phil has not molded Farmar into an effective PG, he has not inspired Bynum to develop a well-rounded game, he has not inspired this team to play with energy and compassion, and he has not instilled a sense of defensive presence into this team's collective psyche.

I, for one, don't excuse any of this stuff due to Phil's past success. Our Laker team is in trouble, and Phil doesn't seem to be able to do anything about it.

Man, I promised myself that I wouldn't come on here and read all the negativity after last nights game. What can I say I'm addicted to all things Lakers. I haven't gotten through all the threads since last night yet, but I'm workin on it. I want to take a break to address all the laker fans who are down on the team right now. if you have a possesion that you love and it's not working properly, do you trash it and say man that thing sucks? Hell No! You still love it and pray that it can get fixed. only when all is lost and it is officially dead do you even think about replacing it. The same should be true about our team! When things are looking down that is when you should show them the most support, love, and faith you can! We pray that their issues will be resolved. We have FAITH that they will come around and bring home the Larry O. Most of all, until their final game is played we SUPPORT every player that dons the purple and gold! Whatever changes are made in the summer, we cherish every moment and memory that these players have brought us and hope the new players will fit into Laker legacy!

If Portland ends the season in the 8th spot, our Lakers will not make it out of the 1st round. If we have to play Denver in the WCC, we will not get in the NBA Finals.

I know you cheerleaders don't like reading this, but we cannot fear the future. The Lakers cannot and will not 'turn it on' as some of you hope. We played badly last year during the Denver and the Houston series; in fact we only prevailed due to a lucky here and there. So, there is no magical light to turn on. There's no higher gear to shift into. The Lakers are what they are. What you see is what you get. The way this Laker team is playing now will be how they play come playoffs.

I've studied this game too long to be wrong. It's as simple as that, god help us all.

These aren't close losses, Lakers are playing hard, but getting blown out.

Of course Troy. You are completely right. Lequeen and the Cavs were the number one team in the NBA in the season, but didn't they lose to Superman? Regular season is regular season and PLAYOFFS are PLAYOFFS! I am not dismissing the entire season and saying it is not important. We all know you must make the playoffs, but I know Kobe and company will bring it!!!!!!!!!1

We didnt make any upgrades and what we have is no longer good enough..the Truth hurts......


I love theLakers I just don't think our team is as good as last year and that other teams have simply gotten that MUCH better...

Of course, i am not clairvoyant - we will just have to see how this all unfolds...

HEY, AT LEAST THEY ARE PLAYING HARD

Did anyone else notice that the Lakers gave a great effort last night? They played hard. No coasting. No "pacing" themselves. They gave a good effort.

The Hawks beat them. The Hawks are a good team. The Hawks played well. It was a home game for the Hawks.

The Lakers missed open shots. The Lakers missed Andrew Bynum.

All these factors added up to a loss ~ nothing more, nothing less. Trends, patterns, etc. will soon not matter. Only playoff W's or L's. And PLAYING HARD matters.

Posted by: LakerMike | April 01, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Actually, we need to listen to Mike. The Lakers actually played the right way last night, their shots just didn't fall. They took open jumpers, Pau and Kobe passed out of their double- and triple-teams, just like they are supposed to. Fisher took the ball to the hole when it was there. They even closed reasonably well on the outside shooters.

They just couldn't buy a bucket.

Mike is right.

--FEARless

Troy,

You better get your facts straight, not arrange the way you like it. Sasha, FYI did not play good since 2008, season when he was a 1st guard from the bench. It's Phil's problem Sasha could not get into groove? When pro player has a weakness, he is working on it. Sasha seems to unable to find his Machine like touch for almost 2 years. FGS, Phil not a babysitter to adult millionaires getting paid to do their job. Our outside shooting went down so opposing team able to collapse on anyone playing in the post daring open players to make shot. DFish was on decline, but Farmar does not produce this year either, in fact he is having like one good game and 5 bad ones at best case scenario. If Farmar was planned to take over from Fish, why did he did not? Because his play not exactly an upgrade from DFish. Lakers use to have Bench Mob, and with Ariza becoming a starter and later departure now it more resemble Bench Mop. Our starters playing heavy minutes and it take toll.

EastCoastJessie -

What's going on? I don't know if you remember me, but we chatted about law school (and my future training in Philosophy), and you were gracious enough to offer your LSAT books to me.

How's that whole law school thing going?

:-)

Mambaaaaaaaa24.....hello my love, how are you? I know I've been MIA but law school is kicking my butt. I have no time for anything other than school, work, and Laker games.My semesters almost over so I will be around here for the playoffs. Posted by: EastCoastJessie | April 01, 2010 at 12:45 PM
*
YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
East Coast Jessie my Latina Queen, you have been missed. Edwin & Justa & a lot of others thought you had deserted us because of the Trolls.WOW!! It's good to see your post. Now don't let those Lakers make you neglect those books, you know in the end they'll come thru. By the way I almost hate to say it but The Celtics are getting OOOLLLLD!!! Lol! Man it's good the family coming back together for the playoffs. Love you my Latina Princess !!
Mamba24(LarrY)

@FEARLESS, Laker Mike is right and so are you! Thats the key thing you take from this, that we played hard. You both stay on the case man.

@ACHILLES HEEL, Welcome to Lakers Blog. I would just like to say to you...OUT FREAKIN STANDING!
*
MAMBA24(LARRY)

"...I have to assume that many of the posters here (especially the ones that can't wait for a couple of bad games and blame those losses on a single older point guard) are still young pups or transplants that don't have the same historical perspective..." - JR

'The Lakers did not lose last night because of Fisher. But he is definitely one of the problems. His shooting has never been good , but this year he is downright pathetic. So why you are defending him makes no sense... " - DFish

So, did anyone but DFish see any defense of Derek Fisher in this or any of my posts? I've said "He's what we have so deal with it (sic)" and "We understand he's having a bad year so find something else to analyze" and "...Blah blah blah Fisher wah wah wah...", but has there been anything in my posts that claims that Fish is having a great season?

I never defended Fish, I just said you should quit obsessing: It's not healthy and other posters find it to be simply tired.

JR

LIKE I STATED ON ANOTHER POST EARLIER TODAY, HOW DOES THIS TEAM HAVE CHEMISTRY ISSUES, WHEN THIS IS BASICALLY THE SAME TEAM THAT WON THE TITLE LAST YEAR? THE ONLY NEW PLAYER ON THE TEAM IS ARTEST. SO THAT CHEMISTRY ISSUE EXCUSE IS B-----IT. IT BASICALLY COME DOWN TO WANT TO AND WILL YOU DO WHAT IT TAKES TO GET THE VICTORY!! SOME OF THESE GUYS ON THE TEAM ARE ENJOYING SEEING THE RING ON THEIR FINGER AND SOME MAY NEVER SEE ANOTHER ONE AGAIN. I STILL FEEL THIS TEAM WILL PUT IT TOGETHER AND WIN ANOTHER ONE, BUT, SOME OF THESE SCRUBS MUST GO!!!! ARE YOU LISTENING JIM,MITCH,AND WHOEVER ELSE MAKES DECISIONS ON THIS ROSTER? PEOPLE PAY TOO MUCH HARD EARNED MONEY TO WATCH THIS TEAM IN PERSON OR BUY LAKERS GEAR TO SIT AND WATCH THESE GUYS PLAY LIKE CRAP ON A CONSISTENT BASIS. I'M OUT!!!

Rick - I see your point about if the meetings were so important, it would lead to wins. Surely that would be better for the Lakers if that were the case. But I'm also thinking of negative consequences because of his leadership. For example, teammates universally respect Fisher, but not necessarily Farmar. Therefore if Farmar is a starter, he doesn't have as much credibility among the players.

MM

THIS SOUNDS LIKE MAMNBA24 HAS THROWN THE TOWEL ON LAKERS:
YOU WROTE:"IT’S TIME TO STAND UP FOR THE LAKERS. WIN OR LOSE THEY US NEED US - BANDWAGON" WIN OR LOSE? hmmmmm...another flakey laker fan.Posted by: flakey jake | April 01, 2010 at 12:06 PM

ROFL!!!! Jake, you got me! I just noticed that. Thanks for the good catch. Wow, Mamba24 must be getting old. Lol!

MM, this was another really good article.

I am concerned with the way bench is playing cos we need a good bench peformance in playoffs.

Games so entwined in time forcedly request a focused bench.

This year bench has been as volatile as a paper tissue struck in a hurricane.

Can't deny that.

I just know these players are BETTER than that.

I just hope they will show how much.

Don't we all do?

;)

Hey Caliphilosopher,

Of course I remember. Things are great. The workload is crazy but I'm in the home stretch now so it feels great. Did you decide to take the LSAT. What are your plans now?

Here's the issue...

All season Phil played really tight rotations giving our starters way too many minutes.

Now the playoffs are approaching and he's trying to expand rotations, in part because our starters are tired from playing too many minutes all season, but UNFORTUNATELY the Bench Mob's chemistry has been hurt because they haven't been playing enough minutes throughout the season, which has psychologically frustrated players like Sasha Vujacic who, as a result, freak out and further undermine team chemistry.

AAARGH!!!

What the heck, Phil?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Zaira - Thanks for the nice feedback on the story.

MM

billy in slo - I'm sorry. I don't think the Lakers can sign someone for the playoffs. This is the team they have

MM


Connect

Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video

All Things Lakers »

Your database for all things purple and gold.

Find a Laker

Search a name

Select a season

Choose one of our lists



Categories


Archives
 

About the Bloggers


Bleacher Report | Lakers

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More Lakers on Bleacher Report »



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists:


In Case You Missed It...