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Caught in the Web: Lakers preparing for game against San Antonio

Pau Gasol #4

Practice reports

--The Times' Broderick Turner details how the Lakers' upcoming matchups with San Antonio, Portland and Denver should prepare the team for the playoffs. Turner also provides medical updates on Luke Walton and Andrew Bynum.

--The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore explains why the Lakers consider their vistory Friday over the Utah Jazz as merely a stepping stone.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr adds one of that reasons includes the Lakers' want to establish momentum before the postseason.

--ESPN Los ANgeles' Andy Kamenetzky recaps Saturday's practice along with video.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's David Lassen explores where Kobe Bryant ranks among the all-time Laker greats.

More Lakers links

--The Times' T.J. Simers argues that for all of Kobe Bryant's accomplishments on the basketball court, that doesn't overshadow his guarded and cold persona.

--The Deseret News' Tim Buckley provides good evidence on why the Utah Jazz worry a lot about Lamar Odom.

--The San Antonio Express-News Jeff McDonald makes one thing pretty clear: the Spurs don't want to face the Lakers in the first round of the postseason.

--After watching the Lakers' 106-92 victory Friday over the Utah Jazz, Fox Sports' Charley Rosen believes Utah has no shot at beating the Lakers in the playoffs.

--Silver Screen and Roll takes a look ahead at the Lakers' upcoming schedule.

--Lakers Nation's Ramneet Singh explores the differences between how the Lakers perform at home and on the road.

--Yahoo! Sports has the latest on the NBA playoff picture.

Tweet of the Day:" The Lakers clinched the Pacific Division Championship. Something tells me no one in the locker room will be wearing those shirts and hats" -- ArashMarkazi (ESPN Los Angeles' columnist Arash Markazi).

Reader Comment of the Day:"Indeed, the decision of Kobe to play in the next summer games is just ill advised. He exposes his body to a danger zone as well as the team. He should take care of that body first and honor his huge contract. We are not classified haters of Kobe but we are after his own good by treating this as business on a long range project not just for short run praises from basketball fans in the world." -- Edwin Gueco.

--Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Pau Gasol of the Lakers and Tim Duncan of the Spurs get ready to fight for position on a free throw during the a regular season game earlier this year. Credit: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times.

Comments () | Archives (32)

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Edwin Gueco...

Congrats on your comment of the day. It is only one of many that you have provided. You made a very valid point about Kobe's involvement in international play this year. I agree with you that he needs to get some rest this summer and save his best basketball for the team that is paying him.

Happy Easter, everyone!

I hope you're having a great day and I can't wait for our next victory! We're going to put this all together!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Wow...just read the TJ Simers piece about Kobe and can honestly say I just don't see what he sees. Kobe will never be some good natured loser. I would bet my bottom dollar that Kobe is a lot more pleasant and a better interview after wins than he is after losses. That's only human nature. Kobe was livid after Monday's loss to the Hornets. Yet on Tuesday, he did a turn on NBA TV in which he was engaging, thoughtful and funny. I certainly do not see the "tortured soul" that Mr. Simers referred to in his article. Simers has certainly embraced the concept of sports psychobabble. I will no longer read anything that he writes. That is the only way I can show my disapproval of his so-called writing.

Kobe's new contract - Why are there people complaining about paying him too much money? For once, this was not treated like a business deal. To me, this is Dr. Buss' gratitude towards Kobe. Kobe put people in stands, not just at Staples. Kobe made the NBA popular again, especially the Lakers. And not just in the US but worldwide.

@EDWIN GUECO, well it's about time my mentor won Reader commenr of the day! Congrats & Kudos sir!

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No slouching on defense, no talking smack, from the beginning come out and attack
This is the game we waited for, win this game and we close the door
Homecourt advantage is the prize today, what better incentive do you need to play
Pau show Tmmy his time has past, Machine knock Ginobli on his @zz
Now that we are about to clinch today, What do the naysayers have to say
Three things in life are always true, Death, taxes and The Freakin Lakers coming thru.
Kobe has signed his new contract, Your marching orders; attack, attack
Take no prisoners, do not stop, 10Rings I want you to show up “PoP”
End all gudges, Unleash “The machine”, ACTIVATE at full power Kobe bean
Give MBenga extended play, Don’t let up, put the Spurs away
Then when it’s over and you have won, An adoring Laker Nation will say Well Done
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Yeah, Kobe shouldn't play this summer, but rest and heal. Hopefully he will change his mind. I'm okay with him playing in the Olympics, but only that event.

some quick sunday morning comments:

-- so simers is at it again! he just compared kobe to jeff kent.. wow! talk about pure hatred. he talks about kobe being a miserable soul.. look in the mirror you piece of trash!

-- so luke is returning today of all days?! how ironic! he plays just like a freakin easter bunny.. hes harmless like a bunny and the opposition must drool like hungry wolves at the sight of him..or lets just say his presence doesnt exactly instill any fear but in our opponents... i'm sure popovich must be like "oh what a great little gift all wrapped up in a nice little easter basket! now go men! you know the gameplan now go and prey on the weak!"

-- hobbit... regarding ur last post.. i think you get my point and i got yours.. i will just turn the other cheek and let you have the last word.. i think its fair to say we're actually in agreement about bynum and mbenga.. no sense in slicing and dicing each other words any more.

I respect the Spurs. I can't say that about many non-L.A. teams in the NBA.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Yeah Edwin, a true treasure on the Times blog and beyond.

Good morning CRUE!!!


Mamba24 - thanks for the big welcome back - it's good to be here! It's also good to see you posting - you were missed the last few days. Hope all is well.

I'm watching Weeners vs Crabs at the moment. JEEZ I wish they could all foul out and both teams lose. Seriously.

Can I just add my note of disgust for Simers?? WHAT A FREAKING TOOL. Why is this guy allowed to have a job in the sports world???? WHY???? And the unmitigated GALL of this "man" to write what he did about Kobe. Unbelievable. Has he ever even MET Kobe??? Has he actually ever even TALKED to Kobe???? I think not. This guy is a loser of EPIC proportions. Now I'm not advocating euthanasia for everyone, but I think in his case it would actually be a blessing. Imagine how many people would have their level of misery lessened.... It would make the world a much better place. Seriously.

Congrats Edwin - much deserved. You could actually win that award pretty much every day!

Jon K - agreed. The Spurs are to be respected. I still hate 'em though....

Bring on the Cavs!

Because they are really our only real competition at this point.

Shaq's thumb is ahead of schedule and he is expected to return before the Playoffs.

And when you think about the depth of Cleveland, you have to understand that it is probably their year.

They have a plethora of bigs (Shaq, Pav, Hickson, Big Z. and Powe)

Not to mention amazing guards to boot.(Mo is solid and West is no joke. Booby Gibson can also get it done from the bench)

That team is stacked like no other in the League!

Oh yeah, they have this Lebron guy too!

It's gonna be a struggle!

ANd they'll have homecourt!

rl - you sound very much like a Crab fan. You sure you're in the right place?


welcome back and may I add my hopes for a continued speedy recovery from your ailments. Always a pleasure to read your comments.


another great job rallying the troops and getting us ready for game day!! And please put me on that anti-Simers bandwagon. He is truly beyond redemption.

Mamba24 - nice epic roll call to get things rolling!!!

Justa, Bronx, gotta agree with you both about the Simers piece. I'm not a huge fan of his anyway but this really seemed calculated... we all know that Kobe's not the warm and fuzzy type but he makes no apologies for who he is. And as far as him not finding any joy in the game, I'd strongly disagree - he just doesn't take joy in poor play or lost opportunities. For whatever reason, Kobe's persona has been dissected and critisized relentlessly since he entered the league. I guess that's the price of not kissing up.

It's great to be back here on the blog too! Doc says my surgery went well, and if the level of pain is any indication of that, then I'd say it's a throbbing success lol! Oh man - I sure wouldn't wish this on anyone... Still - if I come out the other side able to walk up and down the stairs freely, and able to work out again, then of course it's all worth it. Thanks to everyone for their well wishes and bandwagons - I surely do appreciate all of it. It was nice to learn what being a die hard, purple and gold running through the veins, member of Laker Nation is all about!!! Thanks everyone!!
(01) MAMBA24 – OWNER – Justa I formally trun back over to you the Keys to the house of Mamba. Wecolm back sir you have been missed!! Whopeeeeeeeeeeeee!
(02) MCLYNE – DRIVER - glad to hear everything went well Justa! We will continue to pray for a speedy recovery.
(03) TROY – DRIVING – SHOTGUN - JUSTA!!!! Good to see you up and about bro. Hope the pain subsides soon. I'll be keepin yuou in my prayers for sure.
(05) JON K - Welcome back, Justanothermambafan! Your spirit and energy vitalizes this place! I'm glad your surgery went well.
(06) WALLACE - Justa, we need to get together for a drink! Heck, I'd even drink your poison of choice, Tequila, instead of my poison of choice, chilled Grey Goose, with you!! Easy with the knee, will you?

rl - you sound very much like a Crab fan. You sure you're in the right place?

Posted by: justanothermambafan

Everything he wrote was true. What is wrong with being a Laker fan than is not biased like the rest of you guys !!!


I'm not a crab fan at all. Just a realistic Laker fan.

They are deeper than us. PERIOD

It's gonna be a struggle. Don't you agree?

(01) CAPS-GOOGLES – OWNER - Here's my question: Why is it that T.J. Simers always seems to start writing pieces on the Lakers just before the Playoffs start and gets to write the end pieces to Lakers Championship Papers like he did for the 2008-2009 championship? The man is by far the worst Troll this community has ever had to read, not to mention the worst LA Page 2 guy the times has ever had. Every year he does this, and every year we have to stomach this pompous jerk. I for one gave up on him after last years sour piece and want to start a bandwagon to keep him from writing about anything Lakers ever again. Who's with me!?!
(02) JOVBATZ44 – DRIVER - Please make room for me!!!! I'll be honored to be the Driver of the Bandwagon!LOL MM, is way better accurate/ balanced than these guys- Chicken Little Plaschke and Sour Grapes Simers.
(03) EJK – RIDING SHOTGUN – TJ Simers is a piece of garbage.
(05) ISLAND PRIEST – SECURITY - I agree that TJ Simers is very hateful. He cannot criticise Kobe's skill or sucess so he attacks him personally. Is that why I watch sports to see someone smile? I watch it see someone do things that I can only dream of doing.
(06) LAKERGURL – SEARGENT AT ARMS - it's too bad he doesn't have the wherewithal to get the same joy out of the experience as people do watching him play."[email protected] A perfect example in how an accusing hand has a finger pointing outside with the rest of the fingers pointing at himself. What a joyless sportshustler.
(07) RICK FRIEDMAN – REFEREE - The Times' so-called columnists, Bill Plaschke, Mark Heisler, and TJ Simers are so out of touch, most of their columns are about themselves or their delusions. I could go on and on, but I don't need to. Look at the product for yourself. Your empire extends beyond the Tribune tower in Chicago. LA awaits you.
(08) WALLACE – JUDGE - I hope you guys get a chance to read a piece of garbage article in LAT today. I'm so tired of TJ Simers' dark journalism and unwarranted negative criticism toward Kobe. No wonder, most of the Lakers refuse to sit down with him to talk about the team,, prognostic, playoff outlooks..Etc. He's the reason why I'm no longer care to read LAT's second page. Yes, Kobe has some minor issue but to paint him as a loner and do not care for his teammate is simply FALSE! Instead of writing something positive of the team (DFish's rediscovered his shooting touch, Pau's newfound toughness, AB's recovering from his injury..Etc.), he chose to insult Kobe and the his fan-base in his article today. I'm starting a bandwagon on calling TJS a "Jerk of all Trade." A master of "Garbage Journalism." He's an annoying troll that didn't get enough hug when he's a child. I have no idea why he's on LAT' s payroll. He has the same take on some of the Dodgers as well. If you hated your home teams that much, then move to the city where he thinks the home teams are doing well. He would bode very well with all the trolls in Boston.
(09) MAMBA24 – JURY – First we must give him a fair trial then we find him GUILTY!!!!
(10) . YELLOW FEVER - -- so simers is at it again! he just compared kobe to jeff kent.. wow! talk about pure hatred. he talks about kobe being a miserable soul.. look in the mirror you piece of trash!
(11) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN - Can I just add my note of disgust for Simers?? WHAT A FREAKING TOOL. Why is this guy allowed to have a job in the sports world???? WHY???? And the unmitigated GALL of this "man" to write what he did about Kobe. Unbelievable. Has he ever even MET Kobe??? Has he actually ever even TALKED to Kobe???? I think not. This guy is a loser of EPIC proportions. Now I'm not advocating euthanasia for everyone, but I think in his case it would actually be a blessing. Imagine how many people would have their level of misery lessened.... It would make the world a much better place. Seriously.

Mike Brown just got tossed outta the game - too funny. Ceptics opened the can of whoop-azz on the crabs and Brown couldn't handle it.

rl + realistic lakerfan

Today's Cavs-Celts game gives you an idea of how the Cavs would look if they played their games with the effort that the Lakers put forth in half of theirs. It's the weak-azz "we've done what we need to and aren't going to try hard" strategy.

rl - how about we talk about the struggle IF the crabs get out of the east. And yes - I said IF. If you're as realistic as you claim, you'll agree.

wallace - you have been told a HUGE lie. I can't even believe someone would say that about me. It's patently ridiculous and totally untrue. I am completely shocked and dismayed that lies like this have been perpetrated against my good name. Unbelievable. I have NEVER liked tequila.

Mamba24 - hope you'll join in on the live chat!!! It's always more enjoyable when you cameo.

Mamba24 - add me to the bandwagons please! My Simers post is above somewhere and as for Justa - welcome back ol' Gimpy! Where's the tequila?!

Thank you M/M and everyone, as usual I'm late to respond because I have to join the egg hunt as the Easter Big Bunny. Happy Easter to all.

We will today guaranteed.

All Lebron lovers have brown goatees and it reeks

T J Simers, an old LAT sports journalist his opinions never die, yacking & yacking eventually he'll turn into an ancient troll still yacking in the Ipad Age.

When a columnist is getting paid to criticize someone for how they chew gum, the world may in fact be off its axis.



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