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Bryant, Lakers still have work to do

The Lakers have lost four of their last six games and they aren’t getting the traction they want with the playoffs looming. Kobe Bryant admitted during the Lakers’ shoot-around Thursday at the Pepsi Center that it has been tough for his team and that it has been an “uphill battle for us” this season.

“But, we’re not really fretting or overtly concerned about it, but we are concerned,” Bryant said.

The Lakers will play the Nuggets Thursday night in Denver. Denver took the Lakers to six games last season in the Western Conference finals and is the one team in the West that believes it can beat L.A. in a series. The Nuggets lead the season-series, 2-1.

Bryant has heard fans and some in the media say the Lakers will “flip the switch” when the playoffs began next week and all will be right in Lakerland. Not so, said Bryant. “The playoffs don’t take care of anything,” Bryant said. “For us, it’s mentally being in-tuned to what we need to do at this point, understanding how we are going to execute, offensively and defensively.”

The Lakers have wrapped up the best record in the West with five regular-season games left.

Still, that's not an accomplishment to Bryant.

"We were expected to win the West. I expected us to win the West,” Bryant said. “I expected us to have the best record in the league. It didn’t happen. So from that standpoint, it’s been a disappointment. And at the end of the day, in June is what we judge our season by. And if we don’t do that [win the NBA championship], it’s a failure.”


-- Broderick Turner in Denver 

 
Comments () | Archives (19)

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Hey BT - gotta learn how to spell, man. What is this "freighting" of which you speak? Have the guys taken night jobs in the shipping industry or something? Does this mean they can get to Minny a lot faster and arrive earlier than 4 am tomorrow morning? Cuz that would DEFINITELY be a huge plus.


OH - AND MM - LINKS - AAARRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
You're killing us softly....

REPOST

LakerTom,

"...We’ve seen this before from the Kings, Suns, and Rockets – hot teams with great expectations only to have the Lakers rudely slam the door shut ..."

Don't forget those ever-hating Blazers, they got the door slammed shut on them in historic fashion. Portland not only hate the Lakers, they hate all of California.

I'm telling you folks, embrace the hate. To quote Bruce: Be like water, my friends.

Here for game day my Laker friends! Mamba24, feel free to include me for every bandwagon today...the one for coach Karl especially!

Posted by: #4 | April 08, 2010 at 01:02 PM

Jonny boy K,
I know you were hoping for the GM position.
But I would still take the nutritionist position and if you do well
they might bump you up to GM.
Kupchak's days are numbered.

What do we play for ?

Dit Da Jow !!!!


MM's "Fisher Veteran Presence" argument imploded by Fisher's terrible play.

Todd - The reason why I think Fisher's locker room presence is it's something that holds the team together. You can't see that in the stat sheet. But by him being the starting point guard, it minimizes the chance of the team falling apart emotionally. There's a lot of times, especially after the 2-3 trip, that the Lakers could've done that, but Fisher is one of those guys who helps the team stay together and minimize conflicts. There's a reason why Kobe likes him so much and values his presence. Besides himself, he feels like Fisher is the only other leader on the team that provides a veteran's perspective.

Posted by: Mark Medina | April 08, 2010 at 09:53 AM
---------------------------------------------

Mark,

Wouldn't you rather have a veteran like Billups, Nash, or Miller who contributes stats? The big daddy stat L's are the problem. Statistically and visually Fisher is BY FAR the weakest link. Change is appropriate. Fisher could really minimize conflict if he went to Phil saying "Farmar, Brown and Sasha should get my minutes because they give us a better chance to win. I will prove it by sitting out a remaining game so the team could see how it would benefit from my absence."

Justa - Tony is coming on the chat either tonight or tomorrow to discuss some things.

Todd - Of course the Lakers would take Steve Nash or Chauncey Billups over Fish. That's not the point. Nor is it realistic. There are salary cap issues.

The question is Fish or either Brown/Farmar. It's a no brainer. The bench has been incredibly inconsistent. So has Fisher, but it hasn't hurt the team as much.

MM

Mark,

Todd - Of course the Lakers would take Steve Nash or Chauncey Billups over Fish. That's not the point. Nor is it realistic. There are salary cap issues.

The question is Fish or either Brown/Farmar. It's a no brainer. The bench has been incredibly inconsistent. So has Fisher, but it hasn't hurt the team as much.
----------------------------

To knowledgeable Lakers followers the "Bench" is not a homogeneous collection of player expectations. As stated previously. NO expectations for Powell and Mbenga -- minimum salary players. Walton hurt, Sasha doesn't play, Odom is starting. Really the bench is Brown and Farmar at this point. If they don't score the bench doesn't represent.

Bench discussion is a distraction. Its Fisher who's consistently poor play demands replacement. Farmar would be much better than Fisher ever was if given a full time opportunity to play. Brown is better than Fisher too, but he has hurt finger and isn't a PG. Sasha would be better on defense and hit more shots.

There you go Mark. You are right it is a no brainer.

Sit Fisher's butt down!

The reason for the team's struggles (aside from Fish) is simple - HEALTH. Once Artest, Kobe, Lamar, Shannon and Bynum get healthy, the team's struggling offense will be ready for liftoff. The team's outside shooting and bench play will drastically improve. It's not a question of complacency, but a question of health. The last few weeks, we've seen the neutered version of this team on offense. I am crossing my fingers (no pun intended) that this team will be at full health come playoffs.

Improved health will lead to better outside shooting, which will lead to better defense. When the Lakers continue to miss wide open shots, the opposition gets more scoring opportunities in transition, but more importantly, the opposition gains confidence. Last season, the Lakers ability to score at will demoralized the opposition, which is in stark contrast to this season, where the Lakers inability to convert wide open shots is killing the team's mojo.

Rather than criticizing the team's alleged lack of effort, lets just hope for a healthy team for the playoffs.


#4… “Don't forget those ever-hating Blazers, they got the door slammed shut on them in historic fashion. Portland not only hate the Lakers, they hate all of California.” LOL. It’s amazing how your mind works one way and your fingers another. When I put that sentence together in my mind, it had the Blazers as the third pretender. Don’t quite know how I got the Rockets in there. Maybe a senior moment? So looking forward to a game that where our guys are going to finally go all out.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MAMBA… Got to add me to George’s bandwagon. Fighting the Big C can use all the support he can get. And I loved those Marching Orders. Furthermore, I think we are going to see just that type of play tonight. A big statement to the rest of the NBA and all the doubters, haters, and non-believers. Time to tighten up the seating on the Bandwagon by pushing the Fakerholics off to make more room for the true fans.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
JON K… Congrats on the post of the day. I think you are leading your trolls by a big margin now. Good to see some legitimatization of your importance and role on this blog from DAY ONE. How does my ass taste, DFish? Same to you Eric Wright. LMAO. Way to go, Jon. There will come a time when you’re back in the promised land and the bell will have rung for all of your personal trolls.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

LAKER NATION: GAME FACES ON!!!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d8C4AIFgUg

THIS AINT NO GAME THUGGETS THIS IS WAR!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-bA9FYB8HY&feature=related

*
SAY A PRAYER FOR A GOOD GUY GEORGE KARL IN HIS CANCER BATTLE - BANDWAGON
*
(01) MAMBA24 - OWNER - Coach Karl is a truly decent human being and is family thru Coby Karl. In the midst of your game celebration stop and say a silent prayer for him
(02) JOLLY RANCHER DRIVER - Is it me or do the Karls remind anyone else of the fighter that is pinned against the ropes and taking devastating body blows but never goes down. The kind that will always come out with that one punch if the other drops his left for just a second. Don't think for a second that Coach Karl would go down easy. Keep watching his right.
(03) justanothermambafa - don't forget to add me to the George Karl bandwagon. I sincerely hope him and his family pull through this mess with flying colors.
(04)#4 include me for every bandwagon today...the one for coach Karl especially!


ha the thugetts are without martin, let's hope the lakers will take advantage of his absence. go lakers!

HEY, HEY, JON K, READER COMMENT OF THE DAY
YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!
JON K JON K clap clap, clap clap clap!!
JON K JON K clap clap, clap clap clap!!
JON K JON K clap clap, clap clap clap!!
JON K JON K clap clap, clap clap clap!!

Laker Truth -

I hope for health as well. I would feel much better about our chances if every person were healthy heading into the playoffs.


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