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NBA2K10 simulation predicts Lakers win first-round in five against Oklahoma City

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I can present you a litany of statistics proving why the Lakers sorely miss center Andrew Bynum over the last 11 games because of a strained left Achilles' tendon. But here's the most vivid illustration of all. When I ran a simulation on NBA2K10, the video game predicted the Oklahoma City Thunder would beat the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs in seven games if Bynum didn't return to the lineup.

This revelation is even more unsettling for Lakers fans because the Thunder achieved this feat in virtual reality after losing the first three games. But don't break out your pitchforks and end civilization as we know it just yet.

The game had put Bynum on the injured list, a feature that was automatically updated to reflect the current NBA season since Bynum doesn't plan to play the remaining two games, including Tuesday night's contest against Sacramento. After putting Bynum on the active roster, I ran the simulation again. And the result will sit much better with Lakers fans. The Lakers won the series in five games, splitting the first two at home before securing the series for good the rest of the way.

So in the midst of the Lakers' current struggles, fans can at least take comfort that the Lakers are safe for at least one round. They can also take comfort in the fact that the simulation didn't hinge on my performance. Case in point, I challenged L.A. Times business reporter Nathan Olivarez-Giles, with me playing as the Lakers and Nathan playing as the Phoenix Suns. The result? I lost 98-94 with Steve Nash earning player of the game honors (22 points), while Kobe Bryant finished with 21 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter. Below are the highlights of each game.

Game 1: Lakers' 106-90 victory

Lakers top performer: Bryant (35 points on 14 of 23 shooting, five assists and five steals)

Thunder top performer: Jeff Green (29 points on nine of 18 shooting)

How the game was won: Despite committing 17 turnovers, the Lakers assuaged many different concerns entering the postseason. They proved they can turn on the switch once the playoffs start. Bryant proved his rest benefited him (there's a reason beyond his cover appearance on why he thought NBA2K10 was pretty realistic). And those worries about how the chemistry would unfold in the playoffs became unfounded as early as in the first game. The Lakers quickly set the tone, outscoring the young and inexperienced Thunder, 31-21, in the first quarter and 20-13 in the second quarter. The Lakers also featured plenty of balance. Forward Ron Artest found his shooting stroke, scoring 21 points on seven of 13 shooting, including a three-of-four clip from three-point range. The Lakers' front line complemented Artest's shooting stroke with an inside presence featuring Lamar Odom (17 points), Pau Gasol (14 points) and Andrew Bynum (17 points).

Game 2: Thunder 109-101 victory 

Lakers top performer: Bryant (31 points on 13 of 23 shooting)

Thunder top performer: Kevin Durant (31 points on 11 of 26 shooting)

How the game was won: The Lakers apparently thought from their first game that this would be an easy series. The Thunder took advantage of that complacency, jumping out to a 67-43 halftime lead thanks to a strong second quarter that featured Oklahoma City outscoring the Lakers 37-17. The Lakers made a valiant fourth-quarter comeback, outscoring the Thunder 35-15, but the effort came a little too late. The Lakers lacked much production beyond efforts from Bryant (31 points), Odom (25 points) and Gasol (10 points). Interestingly, Bynum scored only six points but played only 17 minutes. And the bench continued to be unreliable, shooting only three of 12 from the field, including a one-of-eight clip from Jordan Farmar. The Thunder beat the Lakers on the glass, 47-32, and the Lakers allowed Oklahoma City to shoot seven of 16 from the perimeter. Apparently, Lakers reserve Shannon Brown was in Phil Jackson's doghouse, playing only two minutes while Sasha Vujacic had a 15-minute run. 

Game 3: Lakers' 112-78 victory

Lakers top performer: Bryant (31 points on 12 of 22 shooting)

Thunder top performer: Durant (24 points on seven of 19 shooting)

How the game was won: It appears the Lakers' embarrassing 91-75 road loss to Oklahoma City was a distant memory. The Lakers regained home-court advantage by showcasing a balanced offense and a disciplined defense. Five players scored in double figures for the Lakers, including Bryant (31 points), Gasol (18 points, nine rebounds), Derek Fisher (18 points on six of seven shooting from the three-point range), Farmar (16 points on seven of 13 shooting and a three-of-six clip from downtown) and Bynum (15 points, nine rebounds). While shooting 10 of 19 from the three-point range, the Lakers held the Thunder to a two-of-nine clip from downtown. Although the Lakers never trailed in this game, they put the game away for good in the second-half. They outscored Oklahoma City 34-24 in the third quarter and held the Thunder to nine fourth-quarter points.

Game 4: Lakers' 106-97 win

Lakers top performer: Bryant (43 points on 16 of 30 shooting, seven rebounds and nine assists)

Thunder top performer: Durant (27 points on 11 of 22 shooting)

How the game was won: Jackson has a pretty simple criterion when it comes to Bryant's shot selection. Jackson believes Bryant is warranted to shoot as much as he wants so long as he's hovering at around 50%. This was one of those games where the Lakers just enjoyed the Black Mamba show, with Bryant scoring 43 of the team's 106 points and shooting 30 of the team's 80 shots. But, hey, the effort came on a 16-of-30 clip. Meanwhile, Gasol put up a dependable 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Artest shot more than was deserved (14 points on five of 14 shooting). The Lakers and Thunder went tit-for-tat in the first half, but the Lakers broke the game open afterward with a 30-22 third-quarter effort.

Game 5: Lakers' 119-94 victory

Lakers top performer: Bryant (43 points on 15 of 31 shooting, eight rebounds and six assists)

Thunder top performer: Durant (23 points on nine of 17 shooting).

How the game was won: Let the Mamba show continue. Bryant scored 43 points for the second consecutive game in the series, but this effort was a tad different. He had a supporting cast to back up his theatrics, including Artest (21 points on nine of 18 shooting), Farmar (14 points), Gasol (13 points, 15 rebounds) and Odom (10 points, 11 rebounds). Just like in Game 4, this contest was pretty close in the first half. But the Lakers pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Thunder 39-24. Oh, and for those keeping score on how Durant matches up with Bryant. Not only do the Lakers eliminate the inexperienced Thunder in the playoffs, Bryant outscored Durant in the series, 183-123.

--Mark Medina

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

Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn, Getty Images.

 
Comments () | Archives (69)

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MM -

I like the innovation (re: running a simulation). However, you should run the simulation something like 10,000 times to get something that has stronger import.

In short, you don't want your data from the simulation to be due to chance; you want the p-value to be less than .05 (p < .05).

Keep up the good work! :-)

I think it's going more that 5. Call me crazy, but I've seen the matchups, and the Thunder have the firepower to break the Lakers' legs. Lets hope the sleeper does awake
instead of dropping dead.


And Portland without Roy is a terrible break for those guys. Not good.


And the #1 song 25 years ago was....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izGwDsrQ1eQ


Wes

Cali - Thanks for the feedback. That's a good point. I just didn't want to pick an arbitrary number per say of how many times it would do it, just for the sake of settling in on an outcome that seems most preferable. Assuming the Lakers advance, I was thinking of doing this for each round.

MM

I am so dorky. 7. More like 7 games...


Wes

Mainstream media cracks me up ignoring the Lakers Fisher problem.

ESPN Tim Legler says #1 problem is Kobe's health, and that Artest, LO and Bynum need to step up. Leggs what about Fisher? Fish starts. Why does Fisher get a pass , and LO, Bynum and Artest don't?

LA Times - MB, BT, Mark H, our very own MM and even crusty T.J. Simmers -- not a peep about Fisher being an absolute liability.

ABC(ESPN) - Van Gundy Kobe health's, Mark Jackson Kobe will meet the challenge are also ignoring the problem. Mark Jackson said after Farmar played an outstanding game last year against Rockets in playoff game 3 that Lakers are better with Farmar at the point. Since that 1 statement, not a word from Mark, even though he lives in LA and knows Fisher is a problem.

When Andre Miller was torching Fish in the 3rd quarter, Van Gundy and Mark Jackson didn't comment. Fisher tips a pass and JVG says that is why Fisher is so important.

Please.

ESPN KBros? Nope. Neither in their blog or podcast do they mention the obvious.

Jalen Rose is the only person to mention it, and all he said was Fisher needed to step up on defense.

Amazing.

This shows how good Fisher's media relations are.

Even after huge Fisher bone head plays in the last 2 Lakers losses,
media has not discussed the elephant in the room.


for the past weeks the Lakers were not very entertaining. or satisfying. but Stern took care of it and serendipitously scheduled "maybe" 2 future stars for the meaningless last 2 games:

Tyrek Evans & the S. "Yu, Worried?" Curry guy who has the record as a rookie in 3 pts made. at least they can enjoy that.

---------

Miami - Celtics in the East and the winner plays Cleveland. that's a treat

stern has all the dream matches he ever wanted:
kobe - KD
wade - celtics and maybe LBJ or celtics clev
nash - deron
jennings - JJ
roy - melo
timmy - dallas

feels like one of the most entertaining playoffs from the start

and maybe also LBJ chicago?
orlando - charlotte?

after that will become a little tight and maybe boring?

Todd - You're absolutely right. You figured us all out in that we're all afraid of Derek Fisher. In fact, you may want to read every single game story including mine and the K Bros. Not only does it mention Fisher's poor mistakes at the end of the game, we also asked Fisher about it and he owned up to his mistakes. The Time's T.J. Simers sat down with him during the team's recent trip and grilled him about why he's struggling. There's the articles out there. You just have to look for them

MM

** SPECIAL ROLL CALL IN 10 MINUTES ***

Seems like Fisher's effective public relations even permeates NBA 2K10.

Farmar is maligned ....

And the bench continued to be unreliable, shooting only three of 12 from the field, including a one-of-eight clip from Jordan Farmar.

While Fisher is promoted ...

Derek Fisher (18 points on six of seven shooting from the three-point range).

Please.

Mark,

Not saying media is afraid of Fisher.
Am saying media is enamored with Fish and don't ask the tough questions of Fish or Phil regarding his terrible play.

TJ sit down was more Fish BS.
Trying too hard ...

Give me a break.

Hi MM !
Hope you are doing as good as the blog is doing in your hands. Interesting take on the first round match-up.You think we are better off playing the OKC than the Spurs or even the Blazers , now that Roy is mostly out for the playoffs.
Just out of curiosity though, these simulations don't mean anything ..do they ? I mean, all they can possibly factor in are the statistics to do some number crunching on. And we are not even talking anything remotely close to some Machine Learning algorithms that operate on past stock market data to predict the future.The reason ,of course, is that they aren't made with realistic predictions in mind and the cost of realism in terms of increased complexity of the software would be enormous.The physics,game-play,appearance is quite realistic,but, as far as i know, it leaves out almost all of the vagaries of the game besides the current status involving injuries,lack of cohesion/ability to execute on either end etc. I may be wrong about somethings here since I am just making an educated guess from my knowledge of software. Don't really know how the game's simulations or those of "Accuscore" and the likes really work. Do you MM ?

Amit

Todd,

Those questions aren't asked in EVERY single session with Fisher and Phil, but they've been asked plenty of times. To say that they haven't is simply inaccurate.

MM

Durantula spend too much energy scoring this season. a few weeks ago he was not clutch and they lost 2 games with his NO-clutch buzzer beaters.

in the past 3 games he played brilliant in the first half but very poorly in the second. in the denver game in the 4th he went like 0-7.

looks like his young body is not prepared for a long intense season. maybe his scoring record of like 30 games over 25 has its side effects. he shot poorly in oakland in the 4th and also last night. play, shoot and learn. that is only for talented guys like him. not for scrubs. they just shoot. don't learn. and you know the rest.

GO LAKERS.

every time i make a prediction i feel like i jinx them ( 0-3 on that east trip, even if i was joking to fill MM's poll) later i predicted 16-2 with 18 games remaining. i will abstain. i will let the simu-stimu/lator do it.

NBA LET IT BE KNOWN , THE FREAKIN LAKERS ARE READY TO DEFEND THEIR THRONE
*
Back to back that’s a fact , then the regular seasons over, Playoffs are the next act
You asked for it, you wanted it, it’ll soon be here, The playoffs, the NBA is frozen with Fear
The so called switch, some think doesn’t exist, will Activate and stun like a Bruce Lee Fist
In a little while, the world will see, If this season ends in triumph, or as a travesty
For the real fan as well as the bandwagoneer, The moment of truth is just about here
Unlike the celtics who were one & done, The Lakers will defend their title & win another one
No whinning or excuses will the Champs make, all they ask the referees, is for a fair shake
If you call it for them, then call it for us, Refs please don’t destroy, Your rep or our trust
If Princess Jimmy’s as good as they say, He won’t need any help from the refs to play
Don’t listen to that demon Darth Stern, call it as you see it, and respect you will earn
The only obstacle in the Lakers way, is injuries & what players will be able play
Will Kobe be Mamba, will he be well, Only death will stop Mamba from giving them Hell.
Dfish will show why, in him Phil does trust, His play will silence, the cynics among us
The wild card this time, will be the Machine, his attacking defense will help win the Ring
The Playoffs are what Ron Ron is for, When they are over, he will go down, in Laker Lore
Like last year, a new defense you will see, The new Dobermans of LO, Ron-Ron & MVP Kobe
Lets get these last 2 over and done, We’re ready for the playoffs, We’re Ready to get it on
This you can depend on from the start, The Freakin Lakers will play, with a Champions Heart
No bullets will be left in their gun, you’ll have to kill them to beat them, So you might as well run
Oh Laker Nation hear my call, it’s time for Unity Yall, Let feuds be done, Laker Nation unite as ONE
From LA to New York From Africa to Japan, Laker Nation, as one we must stand
Dfish & Troy & Never & Poo, We need you as a part of Laker Nation too
We are Laker Nation, in our 4th Dynasty, Not Darth Stern or Hell, will block our victory
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For Lakers fans before & Laker fans to come, We will win the Title, Gods will be done
We are The Freakin Lakers, The Champions too, Darth Stern, NBA who the Hell are you!!

"You think we are better off playing the OKC than the Spurs or even the Blazers , now that Roy is mostly out for the playoffs. " . Meant for this to be a question. missed the "?" at the end.

Amit - Thanks for the feedback. Obviously this is just in good fun. But NBA2K10 definitely equates how the team has been doing during the season. It's not simply a case of them fielding the season's current roster. It adjusts to how the team's done up to this point. Obviously it's a video game, but it definitely equates with what's going on in reality.

MM

Now that we have identified our first playoff opponent, let us summon Utzworld for prayers of healing....

healing that all injuries will vanish when playoffs begin;

healing that we all come to as ONE in this blog with allegiance to purple and gold whatever our opinions with the individual players;

healing that the aspirations of "Repeat" be translated from blog to our players passion to win despite the odds;

healing that we hold on our judgment and euphoria till we get the final victory or final call;

healing that M/M will give us time to converse more during the playoffs, let the fans have the floor, leave the punditry the sports media during season. They discuss the MVP while we declare the Champions;

Let us call to arms through Mamba24 roll call and swear our loyalty to purple and gold, not to Fisher, nor Farmar and Brown, nor Bynum and Pau but to PURPLE AND GOLD against the enemies during this playoffs. Win or lose we will support each other as Spartans protect our fort and carry that passion to June.


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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 & Toronto). Champions are forged in the 4th quarter. Franchises are defined in the 4th quarter. Dynasties are cemented in the 4th quarter. Sit back & watch PJ, Kobe & Fish orchestrate this symphony we call Lakers basketball to another parade down Figueroa Blvd.@ FEARLESS
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I say when the playoffs start Kobe Bryant will have one of the greatest singular playoff runs in the history of the game. In the history of the known universe. Many refer to 'the switch' as though it is tangible, physical object in someones control. The truth is that the switch is one that can only be activated by the spirit, and by metaphysical forces. In the case of Kobe Bryant, the switch is the playoffs and the back against the wall, elimination game. From there, the chattering of the masses shuts off, the instruction of spiritual masters can be more easily understood, and the heart of a lion can be revealed in it's truest form. What the team needs more than coaching, more than new players, more than just a simple win streak is a chance. It needs a moment. It needs a sword wielded from a rock that only one man can retrieve to be struck at the right time. It needs a game in Denver. It needs a thriller. In it's darkest hour. It needs a moment. I say, it needs a thriller. I say, it needs Kobe Bryant. The Moderator Universal Love Corp. @ The Moderator |
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Mark,

Haven't seen a direct question to Phil about Fisher's ineptitude on defense and offense.

Please post a Q/A, link or transcript of the media asking Phil unambiguously about Fisher's poor play.

thanks.

BTW, have seen media babble about Ariza vs Artest and nothing about Fisher's deficiencies. Guess Ron Ron doesn't have Fish's PR acumen.

MM,
I know it factors in the team's performance in the season. I meant that it doesn't take anything more than the numbers into account. Am I wrong ? Perhaps so and it could be calculating several other parameters based on qualitative input as well.
A question - Weird one. I am not usually the one who buys into conspiracy theories but there was too much about the ending moments of the last game which just didn't seem right. Looked like the Lakers were tanking the game after putting in some effort to make it seem real, just so they could avoid playing the Blazers in the first round.Kobe's finger has been worse this season and him bricking two FTs at the end is almost surreal.Fisher missed one and then fouled Webster on that 3 pointer off one foot with time running out ???? Why would he every do that ?? And Kobe tried to do the same too, I think. Then the much talked about final play. Pau for three ??? No matter how closely Batum/Webster had guarded Kobe the whole game , there is no way it was the best option available.Can you imagine PJ doing the same in a playoff game ??? I think he would take Kobe taking a last difficult shot over Pau's three point attempt anyday, regardless of Kobe's clip on the given day.
Again, I don't know anything..and I could just be making myself crazy over nothing..just asking

Let us call to arms through Mamba24 roll call and swear our loyalty to purple and gold, not to Fisher, nor Farmar and Brown, nor Bynum and Pau but to PURPLE AND GOLD against the enemies during this playoffs. Win or lose we will support each other as Spartans protect our fort and carry that passion to June. Posted by: Edwin Gueco | April 13, 2010 at 08:54 AM
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Sounds to me like you got a little bit of Preacher in you Edwin. So I'll say AMEN and ...OUT FREAKIN STANDING

TOM D… “IF, IF, IF Kobe can come back strong enough and Drew plays in the playoffs like he was playing before he got hurt, I like the Lakers chances.” Good to hear from the better Tom. As I said the other day, the switch is named Andrew Bynum. I have a strong hunch that we are going to see Drew have a great playoffs. Shame that some Lakers fans are ready to trade or bench Kobe after a few subpar games. They will learn that you never question the heart of an MVP. The Lakers repeat and Kobe will win his 2nd Finals MVP.
~~~~~~~~~~
DAN THE MAN… Good to see you back and getting feisty for the playoffs. How is that Smushcalade running? We’ve sure come a long way since the days of Smush and Kwame. Give Rick a break. While he has not been around as long as us, he’s a good guy who bleeds purple and gold and has been a solid contributor keeping the flame that is this blog not only alive and well but vibrant and kicking ass. As Rick says, it’s really our blog. Time for the faithful to band and bond together and send our team a unified message of love and karma.
~~~~~~~~~~
MARKB… “Fisher will be back next year if Phil is back. Not as a player, but as a coach. I think that's the reason they didn't fill Kurt Rambis' position. Fisher will make an excellent coach!!!” That also is what 40% of the NBA’s general managers also said when polled as to which current NBA player would make a great head coach. I would love nothing more than seeing Fish retire after the end of the year and return as an assistant coach and heir apparent to Phil Jackson. As current president of the NBA Players Association, team co-captain, and the guy that Kobe trusts more than anyone in the league, Fisher would be the perfect successor to Phil Jackson.
~~~~~~~~~~
CORNERJ… “Kobe's one of the smartest players in the league. He can figure this out. As long as his body is in the shape it's in, he needs to adjust his game.” Another high percentage 3 from CornerJ tickles the threads. You have to laugh at the fools jumping off and on the Kobe Bandwagon this year. Your post was spot on that Kobe is too smart NOT to adjust his shooting and his overall play to provide whatever the team needs in the playoffs, whether it be scoring, playmaking, rebounding, or shut down defense. Let the real games begin.
~~~~~~~~~~
WES.. Was watching the SyFy channel last night and thought of you when I saw the new trailers for the upcoming 4-hour movie version of Philip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld, which was one of my favorite Sci-Fi series when I was growing up. I never usually watch television other than sports and movies but I missed the original version of the movie back in 2003. I am looking forward to this version really bringing back memories. With Avatar and Star Trek, this has been a banner year for fans of real science fiction as opposed to fantasy.
~~~~~~~~~~
HUMANOMALY… “This Trailblazers may have topped their Sam Bowie over MJ pick, by picking Oden, a 40 year old who is in a race with Bynum to see who can miss more games…” LOL. Kevin Pritchard may well lose his job for not drafting Kevin Durant. You are right that this was Portland replaying the MJ draft disaster. Seriously, I hope the Greg Oden – as well as Andrew Bynum – can avoid further major injuries in their careers. If they do, the big matchup four or five years from now may involve Bynum vs. Oden – not Howard.
~~~~~~~~~~
PHRED… “…it's ok if you disagree with me, but i'm going on the record of not agreeing with that statement, and i'm a little disappointed to see somebody with your record of optimism trying to sell the tired 'pau is soft' line.” No problem, phred. For the record, even Phil Jackson has commented at times about Pau’s soft play this year. It’s no different than Kobe’s shot selection, Lamar’s occasional disappearing act, or Drew’s tendency to foul – just areas where each player needs to improve but not reasons to disrespect, disavow, or disown a player.
~~~~~~~~~~
MAMBA24… “THE FREAKIN LAKERS ARE READY TO DEFEND THEIR THRONE is freakin outstanding. You are approaching playoff quality, Larry. Can’t wait for next Sunday’s roll call from you, game day prayer from Utz, and playoff level dose of Lakers love and karma from the Faithful on the blog. Bring it on!
~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

*
THE LAKER NATION & BLOGGERS PLAYOFF UNITY - BANDWAGON
*
(01) EDWIN GUECO - OWNER - Win or lose we will support each other as Spartans protect our fort and carry that passion to June.
(02) MAMBA24 - DRIVER - I BELIEVE
(03) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN - RIDING SHOTGUN - I BELIEVE TOO!
(04) #4
(05)

MM.. Love the simulation. Realistically, it is probably a better gauge of how the Thunder and Lakers matchup than posts from depressed and overreacting Fakerholics who now believe Kobe is done, Drew won’t play, Pau will wimp out, Fish will choke, and the Lakers will slink home in shame after being dumped in the first round. Since you have all the stats for the simulated series, how about a breakdown of each player’s contribution? Who was the #2 scorer after Kobe, who led the team in boards, assists, blocked shots, turnovers, steals, etc? How did the team stats compare as far as shooting percentages, points in the paint, second chance points, etc?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Amen to that Mang Edwin. I am giving myself a dose of Lakers today since it is my special day.

Justa, Mamba24, Mang Edwin my many thanks. Yes, Justa I was lurking at the game chat like I always do.

Keep the love alive in this blog. See you in the PO.

Since you have all the stats for the simulated series, how about a breakdown of each player’s contribution? Who was the #2 scorer after Kobe, who led the team in boards, assists, blocked shots, turnovers, steals, etc? How did the team stats compare as far as shooting percentages, points in the paint, second chance points, etc?ed by: LakerTom | April 13, 2010 at 09:28 AM
*
And on the 7th day Blog God you can rest. LOL!

Keep the love alive in this blog. See you in the PO.Posted by: Jeanette | April 13, 2010 at 09:35 AM


What special day is that Jeanette? Come on now, do we need a Bandwagon?
Mamba24(Larry)

Mamba24 - Thanks for the suggestions. I'll do that for the next round. I figured I'd do this for each round, assuming the Lakers advance. The ball is in their court now to get it done.

MM

Todd:

I appreciate your general sentiment of frustration and wanting to blame it on one guy (Fish) more than he's been blamed. I'd like you to consider that:

1. The Lakers have A LOT of problems to write about, including as slew of injuries (Drew, Kobe, LO and Ron), fatigue (Pau, maybe Fish), poor bench play, horrible TEAM and INDIVIDUAL O and D (including Ron and Brown being unable to run the triangle well and just general perenially bad pick and roll D) since the All-Star break, inability to blow out or close out, and weird coaching (not enough practices, not enough feedback, calling for Pau to shoot a 3 instead of replacing him with a shooter).

2. Fish isn't that bad. His shooting percentage is much higher recently. He also takes far fewer shots per 48 min that other Lakers, such as Powell & Brown who really hurt the Lakers with their excessive shooting and comparably low shooting percentage. He makes fewer turnovers and has more assists per 48 than Brown.

3. Even if Fish was as bad as you said, it's not reasonable to expect a sports reporter to ask PJ obnoxious questions like the one you pose. You and I can be very brave, persistent and blunt on the blogs because this is NOT what we do for a living. It's where we go to say what we want and cajole the lame-a** Lakers to do their job and win another championship.

However, for a reporter to be a jerk to PJ means you lose access because you are competing with the likes of TV reporters such as John Ireland, who is kissing PJ's behind with questions like (and I paraphrase): "So how great are you and this team that the Lakers finish #1 in the Western Conference three years in a row?"

You need to stay in more and read serious reporters like KBros, TJ, Roland, MM, Bresnahan.

Larry,

Any particular reason why I'm nowhere to be found on any of your lists or roll calls?

BLOG CRUE
Out of P-land, SA or OKC, I least wanted to see OKC. How do we bring back Westbrook to LA and play for the Lakers. I really like his play. Has Larry Artest always not had hops? Round 1 will be challenging. I hope KB24 and Socks are ready.

Colorado loves our Lakers!

@MM, ROFL!!

After the "FIRE AND BRINE STONES" by Edwin, the "CALL TO ARMS" by MAMBA24 and the” VOICE OF REASON" BY LakeTom, I'm saying let the games begin. I fired up, enough of the dress rehearsal; it's time to ROCK N ROLL and defend our title.

Lets just finish up this season and actually win a game. I think Kobe did his team an injustice by not opting to fix that finger when it happened, i just hope he can bring it for the playoffs, he looks beat up and very unkobelike since early in the season.

I am peeved. Celtics are gonna sign our dude Tony Gaffney!!

Is it just me or do they have 200 roster spots on their team??

Branches
Kevin Durant wonder kid, I don’t believe some of the wonderful things you did
You remind of a time seems like yesterday, a lil stringbean boy they call Kobe
You seem to be a fine young man, Your talent is boundless, yet you understand
That you, yes you spring from the tree, of the Legends of NBA History
On one branch is MJ on another there’s doc, UH,Uh who did Kermit just Sock
Earl the Pearl has a branch of his own, seems like the one Isiah springs from
There’s a starter branch, It’s George Mikan, It branches off to all the Big Men
From Mikan to Wilt to Kareem to Shaq, Boy is that branch really packed
I believe that in years to come, You Kevin Durant will also be a Chosen One
Use your Power for Good & for many, Not like that fool Princesss Jimmy
Just by your stature I see you have class, Not like Princess Jimmy the @zz.
Some day you name well may be, compared against the great great KOBE
But for now hone your craft go out and have fun, before you know it, it will be done
Pay homage to the past & honor today, but let no one dictate your play
As pure a talent as their ever will be, you are a leaf of the Branch Kobe

I'm saying let the games begin. I fired up, enough of the dress rehearsal; it's time to ROCK N ROLL and defend our title.Posted by: 2PHATT | April 13, 2010 at 09:47 AM

Well then, Gentleman, start your Engines!!!

Larry,Any particular reason why I'm nowhere to be found on any of your lists or roll calls? Posted by: LAL_Fan | April 13, 2010 at 09:40 AM
Only because I'm a damn fool! I'm Sorry brother, since it's back to back, I promise you will BE THERE TOMORROW. No excuses my bad. Sorry again.

THE COMING STAR WARS
Somewhere in Time,. Episode 3, Season 1
The Moderator

.....

The regular season winds to a close in a fashion not predicted by many outside the Staples Center. It can be argued that many in the Lakers brass knew what was coming, knowing the consecutive runs to the Finals two years running, and the national overuse of their star players, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, in summer tournament play.

A look at the bench was not a much better indicator of regular season success. Outside of Lamar Odom, the immaturity and self-regard of players ranging from Sasha 'The Machine' to Jordan 'No Nickname' Farmer was a bleak prospect for a 72 win season. 'UPS' Brown was a up-and-comer until his ultimate flame out in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest (sponsor noted). Our only true, unselfish players like Mgenga and Powell were destined for glue and Gatorade at the end of the bench because of our already bulging front line personnel. Throw in the annual injury to our starting center, the long expected assimilation of Ron Artest, a predictable public relations spat regarding touches between our players, and a coach willing to let the "horses find their way to water on their own" -- and you have what we just witnessed.

The 09-10 Lakers regular season.

Hopefully you had the propensity to not worry too much and take a marathon view. Unfortunately for sprinters, the season would prove to be filled with heartache, malaise, and down-right troll-ery.

You know who you are.

For the fortune tellers, however, the prospect of the 'second season' starting brings to light the true light the potential for one of the greatest runs in Playoff history.

Let's venture into the jungle together and explore:

1.) THE REEVALUATION OF RON ARTEST

Through the regular season, certainly and without much debate, Ron has not performed up to the standard which was set for him as he signed as a Laker. With his freshman style speed in picking up the triangle, to his radically off-the-mark jump shots, to his statesman-like persona -- Ron has not done what Ron could have done. Foot issues, a steep learning curve, and a neutering in the public prior to signing have forced a wolf to act as a sheep. Is there any reason to be surprised?

Luckily, the playoffs have a way of reawakening players to their more innate fight-or-flight instincts. And in the case of Ron Artest, these instincts can very well save the day. In a seven game series, with adequate film study, rest between games, and a single minded focus, Ron can reveal his tenacity and propensity for big shots once again. Look for Ron to find his inner-doberman along Kobe as they unleash a ferocious defensive attack on the likes of Kevin Durant, Manu Ginobli, Carmelo Anthony, and Lebron James.

2.) THE BEAUTIFUL CULMINATION OF PHIL JACKSON'S MASTER PLAN

Phil has allowed his team to flounder as they lost their biggest goals. Their 72 win mark. Their quest to beat Cleveland in both marquee games. Their quest to secure home-court advantage. And, even their quest to go into the Playoffs with some momentum. To a certain degree, for this type of team, this collection of players, failure can be a great asset.

Going into the Playoffs not as heavily favored is good for team moral. Phil now knows he has the teams undivided attention, willingness to sacrifice, and junkyard dog hunger that makes champions. Also, the teams unsure mentality and disease will force them to run and rely on the Triangle, which will be equally important.

As with every season, Phil saves options in the triangle, inbound plays, and certain line-ups only for post season play. This was witnessed in the dual Cleveland games, where he rested Kobe for too long a stretch in the forth, and refused to break Cleveland's style of defense with the 1-4 set screen-roll that Kobe loves to employ against physical, two-timing defenses.

Add to the fact that he and his coaching staff will actually scout opponents properly as opposed to simply listing their tendencies, and you have a totally different ball game. For in his heart of hearts, Phil loves a challenge and these playoffs have no become just that.

3.) KOBE'S SIGNATURE PLAYOFFS

Every season, every year, every moment, there has been an arm of the major media complex hurling a fireball at Kobe's stature. From the hype-machine surrounding Lebron James, to the NASH-NASH-DIRK MVP seasons, to the now alleged Lebron-Durant-Kobe hierarchy in the NBA, it does not and has not stopped.

Kobe now has placed the perfect prequel to his Signature Masterpiece Playoff (SMP). As Picasso's work was not fully realized until he was in his later years, Kobe's work will not be realized until he is on the cusp of retirement. The regular season, injuries, and mass media inclination that Kobe is "old, tired, and worn out" has sent Kobe seemingly spiraling into the Playoffs. There is an absolute sense of fear among Laker fans, some even asking for him to be "traded" and questioning his 3-year extension.

Well, there is an opposite dimension to that hour glass. One that states that Kobe, by having lowered his expectations and tempered his reputation, has layed the groundwork for a perfect Playoff season. A dismantling of Kevin Durant in the first round followed by a havoc wreaking second round should quiet the rabbits and profiteers. A continued assault on Carmelo Anthony in the Conference Finals followed by a climatic destruction of the Lebron James fallacy can and will, once and for all, end all doubt.

And I mean, END ALL DOUBT.

...

Spell Check Omitted,

The Moderator

Mamba24, thanks for throwing me on that Laker Unity bandwagon.

I love this team, no matter the situation. Like Rudy T said, never underestimate the heart of a champion!

*
THE LAKER NATION & BLOGGERS PLAYOFF UNITY - BANDWAGON
*
(01) EDWIN GUECO - OWNER - Win or lose we will support each other as Spartans protect our fort and carry that passion to June. Sometimes it is through squabbles that we unintentionally build bridges of understanding
(02) JEANETTE - - DRIVER - I am giving myself a dose of Lakers today since it is my special day. Keep the love alive in this blog. S
(03) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN - RIDING SHOTGUN - I BELIEVE!
(04) #4
(05) MAMBA24 - I BELIEVE TOO!
(06) 2PHATT – SEARGENT AT ARMS - I'm saying let the games begin. I fired up, enough of the dress rehearsal; it's time to ROCK N ROLL and defend our title.P
(07) LAKER TOM – JUDGE - Can’t wait for next Sunday’s roll call, game day prayer from Utz, and playoff level dose of Lakers love and karma from the Faithful on the blog. Bring it on!
(08) HUGO BOSS - SECURITY - I hope KB24 and Socks are ready. Colorado loves our Lakers!
(09) 2PHATT – REFEREE - After the "FIRE AND BRINE STONES" by Edwin, the "CALL TO ARMS" by MAMBA24 and the” VOICE OF REASON" BY LakeTom, I'm saying let the games begin. I fired up, enough of the dress rehearsal; it's time to ROCK N ROLL and defend our title.

Tall lineup? Tall lineup? Chew on this:
C-Bynum
PF-Gasol
SF-Luke
SG-Kobe
PG-Brown

2nd unit tall kinda still

C-Gasol/Bynum/Cash
PF-Odom
Sf-Artest
SG-Kobe/Sasha
pG-Fish/Farmar

Gasol and Bynum rotate as they were before playoffs, one on every minute.

MAMBA24, please put me on the Laker Unity Bandwagon. Time to crush the trolls under our wheels!

Head and Heart

When you're heart says GO, head says I don't know, gotta go with the heart when it's the Lakers.

Kobe firmly says it's going to be extremely difficult but fans take that as code for "no problem". Worry is interest paid on misery in advance so I'll bury my concern in unbridled passion for the Lakers and the LA that unites around them. The rite of Spring, that's about to happen is LA's best feature. Young and old, rich and poor bond together a place annually divided otherwise.

It's gonna be great, it always is.

I love this team, no matter the situation. Like Rudy T said, never underestimate the heart of a champion! Posted by: #4 | April 13, 2010 at 10:12 AM
*
I second that. #4 and quiet as it's kept I think great things are in store for The Lakers. You Know why? Because we are THE FREAKIN WORLD CHAMPION LA LAKERS!!!!!!

Well, there is an opposite dimension to that hour glass. One that states that Kobe, by having lowered his expectations and tempered his reputation, has layed the groundwork for a perfect Playoff season. A dismantling of Kevin Durant in the first round followed by a havoc wreaking second round should quiet the rabbits and profiteers. A continued assault on Carmelo Anthony in the Conference Finals followed by a climatic destruction of the Lebron James fallacy can and will, once and for all, end all doubt.The Moderator Posted by: The Moderator | April 13, 2010 at 10:05 AM

OOOOOOOOOOOH WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! OUT FREAKIN STANDING!!!
LOCK & LOAD FOLKS!
PRINCESS JIMMY TIME TO GO HOME
THE LAKERS INTEND TO DEFEND THEIR THRONE!!

The Moderator

u have to stop these posts. i will have to ask mamba24 for a

Don't EXTEND Mark Medina for the 2010-2011 season Bandwagon!!!

------

"a predictable public relations spat regarding touches between our players"

luckily we start the playoffs with new balls ( i hope properly and figuratively)

Fisher doesn't even rank in the top 50 in the NBA for assists.
Kobe ranks 24th. with 5 apg. and Odom 48th. with 3.3.
Artest is 55th., and Fisher 69th. with 2.5 apg. (Lakers rank 18th in assists).

Shooting, Fisher averages 7.5 points at 38%. He also averages about 1 steal per game.

As a point guard, Fisher must bring something else to average these kind of numbers and still start. So far this year, Fisher has started every game, as far as I can remember he played every game last season except one in the playoffs when he was suspended. I have always noticed Fisher play with high intensity, and should expect to see a clutch shot (.4) at crunch time and or a clutch steal. And, obviously his leadership role on the floor and locker room, not to mention head of the players' union.
However, as durable and as hard as he has played over the years, he is now more of a liability, but don't expect Jackson to make a switch or for Fisher to ask to sit on the bench.
I still say the Lakers problem to repeat lies more with the offensive and defensive coaching schemes than with the talent. So obviously, either the coaching overly achieved last year or is highly underachieving now, since it's basically the same talent, unless of course the Artest for Ariza exchange has been that significant a factor. I doubt it.

do we really have to watch the last 2 games? or we can be excused.

MODERATOR… Outstanding post. I agree that Ron will be a force in the playoffs, it’s good to fly under the radar for a change, and Kobe will win his second straight Finals MVP. It’s the playoffs. It’s the second season. Time to band and bond together and send our guys the full blog karma.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Jonny Boy K and Mamaba 24 -The biggest Marks at the Fight!
I know you guys don't have girlfreinds. You can't.
Posted by: Eric Wright | April 13, 2010 at 10:38 AM

ROFLMFAO!!! HAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHHA! ERIC STFU! HAHAHHAHAHHAHHAHA

do we really have to watch the last 2 games? or we can be excused. Posted by: ouchhhhhhhhh | April 13, 2010 at 10:36 AM
*
Only if you promise to come back for the playoffs. lol!

Kobe firmly says it's going to be extremely difficult but fans take that as code for "no problem". Worry is interest paid on misery in advance so I'll bury my concern in unbridled passion for the Lakers and the LA that unites around them. The rite of Spring, that's about to happen is LA's best feature. Young and old, rich and poor bond together a place annually divided otherwise. It's gonna be great, it always is. Posted by: VMan | April 13, 2010 at 10:25 AM
*
It'S gonna be great and the winner is gonna be our team.
YeSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!

The way how the Lakers played lately, the "simulation" should be inverted. The Thunder in 5 games, not unless there's really a "switch" that the Lakers can turn "On" comes play-off time.

*
THE LAKER NATION & BLOGGERS PLAYOFF UNITY – BANDWAGON
* It’s the playoffs. It’s the second season. Time to band and bond together and send our guys the:
* FULL - BLOG - KARMA.@LakerTom
*
(01) EDWIN GUECO - OWNER - Win or lose we will support each other as Spartans protect our fort and carry that passion to June. Sometimes it is through squabbles that we unintentionally build bridges of understanding
(02) JEANETTE - - DRIVER - I am giving myself a dose of Lakers today since it is my special day. Keep the love alive in this blog. S
(03) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN - RIDING SHOTGUN - I BELIEVE!
(04) #4
(05) MAMBA24 - I BELIEVE TOO!
(06) 2PHATT – SEARGENT AT ARMS - I'm saying let the games begin. I fired up, enough of the dress rehearsal; it's time to ROCK N ROLL and defend our title.P
(07) LAKER TOM – JUDGE - Can’t wait for next Sunday’s roll call, game day prayer from Utz, and playoff level dose of Lakers love and karma from the Faithful on the blog. Bring it on!
(08) HUGO BOSS - SECURITY - I hope KB24 and Socks are ready. Colorado loves our Lakers!
(09) 2PHATT – REFEREE - After the "FIRE AND BRINE STONES" by Edwin, the "CALL TO ARMS" by MAMBA24 and the” VOICE OF REASON" BY LakeTom, I'm saying let the games begin. I fired up, enough of the dress rehearsal; it's time to ROCK N ROLL and defend our title.
(10) VMAN - Young and old, rich and poor bond together a place annually divided otherwise. It's gonna be great, it always is.
(11) CALIPHILOSOPHER - please put me on the Laker Unity Bandwagon. Time to crush the trolls under our wheels
(12)

*
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JEANETTE – BANDWAGON
*
(01) MAMBA24 – OWNER – Happy Birthday Jeanette. Your spirit & joy is what Laker Nation is all about Enjoy your day.
(02)


Mamba24, my brutha from anutha Lakuh! Put me on the bandwagon next to my other bro, justa, as Playoff Gatling Gunner.

Because...wherever there is injustice, you will find us. Wherever there is leftover playoff LeCrabmeat..we'll be there. And wherever pusillanimous, pontificating, prevaricating trolls dare to cross the hallowed portal of Laker Playoff Valhalla, ringed to the rafters with a plethora of NBA banners, and guarded in perpetuity by the mighty legion of exceptional blogknights, Sir Laker Tom, Sir Jon of K, Sir Mamba24, Sir justawhateva, and the post-virginal-yet-ever-radiant Lady Zaira...you will find...we will crush them all...ALL of them, like puffy pretender pinatas...for we are...

THE LAKER AMIGOS!!! LET'S RIDE!!!

Jonny Boy K and Mamaba 24 -The biggest Marks at the Fight!
I know you guys don't have girlfreinds. You can't.

Posted by: Eric Wright


So, let me get this straight - The fact of whether or not they have a significant other is DEPENDENT on you knowing whether or not they have one? Right......That's rich.

I wonder how you deal with things that you know that you don't know.

Or do you?

Apparently you're a solipsist, which is a silly thing to be - but who would I be to tell you something like that?

@CALIPHILOSOPHER, THANKS FOR HAVING MY BACK!!
MAMBA24(LARRy)

Happy Birthday Jeanette, how did Mamba24 know? When the flower blooms in April, we celebrate your birthday. Indeed, you have provided grace and beauty to our blog. Enjoy your natal day.

Eric Wright, we exorcise you come to the Lakers side and join the peace caravan with Jon K and Mamba24. I know you are Laker fan at a lost at this time. Life is too short to dwell in mockery.

Hop in brother and we absolved u whatever said in the past.

Caliphilosopher,

I find it interesting that your confrontation with trolls inevitably ends in complete silence on their parts. I bet they don't even understand the sentences that you're writing, nor do they have the intellectual curiousity to look up what "solipsist" means.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

The Moderator,

You have rapidly become among my most favorite posters. Do continue.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Two more games left.

Two more games for our bench to get focused.

Let's make the best of them.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Figueroa Blvd.@ FEARLESS
*
Mamba24: Didn't think it prudent to copy/paste your whole post!
It's Figueroa St.
Just sayin...
MM running the greatest sports blog, with the most passionate participants,
about the greatest franchise in all professional sports, OUR LOS ANGELES
LAKERS!!!

Edwin Gueco,

Dude, why are you trying to make peace with a troll?

When has this ever worked with the exception of Butler and Butler at least was a fan? This guy's not a fan. He's just someone who needs attention.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Repeat the Mantra:

1. Identify the Troll
2. Scourge the Troll
3. Ignore the Troll

That's it.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Rick - Thanks for the feedback. Believe me, I don't take it personally. I know you're a devoted reader. I'm trying to find ways to present new ideas and all that so this is just part of the process. My goal is have a good mix of things you can depend on on a daily basis (game wrap ups, video, morning links, game breakdowns, practice reports) plus unexpected and unique items. It's obviously still a work in progress, but I want to keep pushing to get there.

MM

Hey Eric,

I like Star Trek, and a bunch of other SciFi stuff.
I like Clowns...or have been called I clown, I don't really remember.
I enjoy sophomoric poetry and corny taglines.
I don't have a girlfriend either...my wife won't have any of that nonsense.

Does that mean that I'm a loser? Naw, it means that I have something in common with other good Laker fans.

Now it's time for you to grow up and move out of you're Mom's basement/attic/garage room and quit worrying about what other people have in their posts. If you don't like poems, don't write them. If you don't like corny taglines, don't use one. Or are you one of those "I don't like (insert here) so it should be illegal for everyone" types?

JR

Oh, and being in the simulation business myself, I never trust them. There's always a golden bb to knock you out of the air that's not in the sim.


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