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Caught in the Web: Lakers preparing for Game 3 against Phoenix


Lakers links

--The Times' Lisa Dillman details Ron Artest's progression in the triangle offense. Dillman also explains how the familiarity with Phil Jackson's coaching staff makes a difference.'s J.A. Adande wonders whether history will repeat itself regarding Jackson's tenure with the Lakers.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding explains why Lamar Odom wasn't offended by Amare Stoudemire's 'lucky' comment.'s Art Garcia highlights Pau Gasol's elevated play

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky dissects how a Lakers-Celtics Finals matchup would benefit everyone.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's David Lassen credits the Lakers' bench contributions.

--Fox Sports' Mitch Lawrence argues the Lakers' and Celtics' postseason success proves the NBA regular season is irrelevant.

--ESPN Los Angeles Dave McMenamin focuses on Kobe Bryant's and Andrew Bynum's absence from practice, Jordan Farmar's play and why Bryant expresses amusement by all the comments about his age.

--Fox Sports' Charley Rosen argues Gasol is the greatest sidekick Bryant could ever have.'s Bill Simmons predicts Jackson will coach the Nets next season.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford has a medical update on Bryant and Bynum. Teaford also highlights Artest's observation that he's not the only one struggling with the triangle offense.

--The Orange County Register's Randy Youngman comes up with seven ways to slow down the Lakers.

--The Orange County Register's Mark Whicker believes a Lakers-Celtics NBA Finals matchup would match the intensity of the NHL playoffs.

--South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Ira Winderman reports agent Henry Thomas' contention that an report that Toronto forward Chris Bosh has narrowed his options to the Raptors, Lakers, Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks is inaccurate.

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer lists Bryant and Gasol as two of the top 10 players in this year's playoffs.

--Silver Screen and Roll's Gil Meriken presents an interesting idea on how to pass the time before the Lakers play Phoenix on Sunday.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Phillip breaks down Bryant's scoring streak.

Suns links

--The Arizona Republic's Dan Bickley remains unconvinced that Phoenix can turn the series around.

--The Arizona Republic's Doug Haller details Channing Frye's changed mindset heading into Game 3. He also mentions that Stoudemire plans to turn around his defense. But along with that pledge came his argument that in Game 2, he simply followed the coaching staff's orders. Haller also highlights the Suns' contention that the series isn't over.

--The Arizona Republic's Kara G. Morrison reports Phoenix's fan base remains optimistic ... or delusional. Take your pick.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne details the road Alvin Gentry traveled to become Phoenix's head coach.

--Bright Side of the Sun's Seth Pollack details how Phoenix's attempt in turning things around.

Photo Caption Comments of the Day: "Kobe: "Man, am I'm 'LUCKY' that Amare used the hand sanitizer after using the facilities!" -- bronxlakerfan

"LO: "Here kiddy kiddy! gimme that ball!" Lopez: "Mommy!!! the bullies are here to get my ball again!!!" Pau: "shhhhhhhhh...." -- JovBatz44

Tweet of the Day: "I have to admit I do have the best wife in the world. I'll leave it at that. Gotta go have some late lunch now." -- RealLamarOdom (Lakers forward Lamar Odom)

Reader Comment of the Day: "Have you EVER seen so many sports shows and writers talk so early about the Finals while still in the semis? Mean no dis-respect to Phx and Orl but, they are yesterdays news." -- Fatty

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: E-mail the Lakers blog at

Photo: Lakers forward Lamar Odom, left, and center Pau Gasol, right, pressure Phoenix Suns center Robin Lopez during Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on Wednesday. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (30)

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EDWIN... To me, talking trades is like getting methadone when what you really want is a shot of the real thing but I understand why the conversation reappeared. So in that spirit, here are three players that I think the Lakers might target with their MLE, provided that Dr. Buss is willing to shell out a few more million to ensure that Phil gets his fourth three-peat:
(1) KYLE KORVER – Ashton is a free agent who made $5M last year and led the NBA in 3-point shooting 53.6%. He has great size (6’ 7”) for a 3-point shooter and would by a devastating weapon to add to the Lakers.
(2) ANTHONY MORROW – Anthony only earned $700K from the Warriors last year and is a restricted free agent. He would be a great backup SG who has a great stroke from downtown, with 46% 3-point shooting .
(3) KELENNA AZUBUIKE - Azubuike would be a great backup at small forward behind Artest. He made $3M from the Warriors last year and averaged 14 points and 5 boards in 25 minutes per game while shooting 55%.

Looks like the story about LeBron's mom is picking up steam. Now Calvin Murphy is adding his 2 cents.

It would be a mistake to think Bynum is discouraging people from coming into the lane by himself. He's not. Its working in tandem with Gasol that makes the both of them very effective.

What little he has played without Gasol, since his injury, others have been able to drive, including drawing fouls on our big guy. Partially, I think because of his limited mobility. This is why PJ is using Odom in more situations.

I would use Bynum as little as possible against Phoenix, saving him, what's left of him this year, for Boston.

Perkins is slow and plays close to the basket. Perfect for Bynum, leaving Gasol to slow KG who can still shoot, but is definitely not as mobile as he was in 2008.

Hey Mark Medina,

When the Celtics beat the Lakers in the finals, the next day when you put up your new post to cover the day after...I wonder if you wouldn't mind giving it a title called:

Mike t. called it!


mike t.

FATTY... “It would be a mistake to think Bynum is discouraging people from coming into the lane by himself. He's not. Its working in tandem with Gasol that makes the both of them very effective.”
Nobody said that Drew was discouraging people from coming into the lane by himself. We all know it is team defense that counts but it is nevertheless painfully easy to see the difference in how teams attack the paint and rim and score points in the paint when Pau is playing center versus when Drew is holding down the fort and protecting the rim, whether injured or not. Pau may be the #2 option on this team right now but he is not and will never be the #1 center as long as Andrew Bynum is on the roster. We need both bigs, not either or.

Heck, I'm envious of these Mark Whicker lines:

"Just another NBA playoff series that cries for a negotiated settlement.
Perhaps the Suns can agree to rename that picturesque Scottsdale hill Kobeback Mountain.

Perhaps Arizona can give the Lakers their own training camp site.
If the Lakers win Game 3 and take a 3-0 lead in this series, it will be very much like Harry Caray's old Cardinal broadcasts, with two out in the ninth: "Here's Boyer coming up to bat, and we'll be back with the wrapup in just one moment."

A surrender would allow the Lakers to rest. After all, they have played two games in the past 11 days. It also would give Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson time for the remake of Starsky & Hutch."

LOL! Kobeback Mountain?

Man o' man that is outright funny.

mike t.

I wonder what this series has done to Amare's market value. As hobbled as Bynum has been, even he's outrebounded Amare in this series. I can't believe Amare can get a max contract after this series.

The Little Lieutenant speaks, and nothing changes. His words are like ghosts moving among the living. In the end, he will fade away into obscurity, to the desolate wasteland where bad writers lay wood on themselves all day long.

Go Lake Show!




Mark G,

I can see Pat Riley giving Amare a huge contract in order to convince D-Wade to stay in Miami. Amare and Bosh are probably Miami's top two targets this summer.

I say the Nets are players in the James derby.

They get James and say a Amare or Bosh and they already have
a good PG in Harris.


mike t.

EJK... “And neither is Drew, which is why it's incredibly naive to think that Drew could carry the team to multiple championships in the future. It's about as naive as thinking you can solve all the problems in the world through diplomacy, which essentially now consists of apologizing for America, slapping around your allies, and kowtowing to your enemies. I understand that you like dislike LBJ, but if given the opportunity, EVERY GM would make that deal. Period.”
We will definitely have to agree to disagree on the LBJ to the Lakers fantasy. The big difference in all these discussions is that there is no way in a realistic universe that LBJ is going to end up playing on the Lakers with Kobe Bryant. In case you forgot, we still only play with one basketball at a time. The only place where such a trade is going to happen other than in your mind is in the fantasy basketball leagues that pollute the web.
As for being naive to think that Drew will one day anchor more Lakers championships, we’ll just have to wait and see if Jim Buss and the Lakers front office are right or wrong in their steadfast support of Andrew Bynum. Considering the franchise he plays for and the quality of teammates that he is surrounded with, I would not bet against Andrew ending up with a hell of lot more rings than a LeBron James who doesn’t know how to win.
I know that you realize the foolishness of your LBJ trade hopes just as you realize that the likely future of the Republican party will never by Tea Party radicals like Rand Paul who want to turn the clock back to times when restaurants and businesses could refuse to service customers based on race, religion, or sexual orientation or who call out our president for being un-American for criticizing BP for their blame and responsibility for the huge ecological disaster that their greed for profits has caused. So let’s get back to talking about reality. :-)


yeah I guess I can see that. Riley would probably give up a body part to keep Wade. Still, I'd be reluctant to pull the trigger on Amare after this. I know it's only two games, but he's not hurt and he's just getting schooled. I mean it's the WCF, what is he saving it for?

Anyhoo, It will def be interesting to see where he ends up and for how much.

I think the jury is close to a verdict with Bynum.

He is a 20/10 sort of player at his best.

He is not a 30/13 or 28/15 sort of player and will not become one unless he drastically ups his learning curve.

In other words, he needs the surgery, the recovery, the typical off season physical training + about 4-6 hours a day of straight skill work and game study if he's going to be more than a 20/10 (which like I said, would be him at his best for a season).

Could he? Sure. Is it likely? No.

Korver off the bench on this team would be sick.

The argument that two superstars would not want to play together supposes that it's all about stats and controlling the ball (ie, ball hogging). If you don't think Kobe could defer or LBJ defer - then you're probably not a Kobe fan or a LeBron fan (because fans of theirs believe it's not all about the stats, but about the winning)

If they were to team up, would there actually BE a problem? Perhaps (GP had a problem in '04), but most of the time, I've seen these player types play really well together. Beijing is the most obvious example with these two players.

LBJ, as good as he is, is not a true leader personality. He's like a Scottie Pippen that also happens to be one of the greatest ever (not that Scottie was a slouch)

DWade & Kobe would be truly interesting because both are leaders and both have such similar styles/position - I think this pairing would have more redundancy and chance of stepping on the toes, even though Wade is no where near the ego of LBJ.... but then again, totally opinion that could be WAY off.

Rand Paul wants restaurants to refuse service to segments of the population?


What a distortion of libertarian ideals.

I know that you realize the foolishness of your LBJ trade hopes just as you realize that the likely future of the Republican party will never by Tea Party radicals like Rand Paul who want to turn the clock back to times when restaurants and businesses could refuse to service customers based on race, religion, or sexual orientation or who call out our president for being un-American for criticizing BP for their blame and responsibility for the huge ecological disaster that their greed for profits has caused. So let’s get back to talking about reality. :-)
Posted by: LakerTom | May 22, 2010 at 12:47 PM


I really like reading your basketball related posts, really.
But that other stuff, not so much.
Hopefully no one will respond to that last paragraph.
I know EJK brought in the political stuff first and you didn't start it and hopefully he will keep it to basketball also.
But if you thought the immigration debate was bad, that political stuff will really open up a can of worms.

And I think LBJ would ruin the Lakers, also wouldn't do the LBJ trade for Drew straight up.


You mention Drew is a 20/10 player at best.
That's playing with Kobe and Pau not to mention LO and Ron.
What in the world is wrong with that?
Now what if he played for a team with no Kobe?
Don't you think he could be a 30/13 if in the right environment with the right players, especially if healthy?

Hmmm, wonder how the trade talk might change if the Suns win 2 in Phoenix.

ART... Thanks for the input. EJK and I have shared a few friendly political comments before but today I was obviously irked by his comments about LBJ and Drew and honestly a little bored waiting for game day. Also, I was the one who started this little fracas, not EJK, who was only responding in kind. But I do apologize for taking my eye off the ball and agree we are better off leaving politics for other venues. Sorry EJK. My bad.


LOL. You sure you want to get back to reality? Because the reality is that the last year and a half has been an abject failure, both abroad and domestically. I guess this is what happens when you elect a rookie.

And your assertion that Drew knows how to win whereas LBJ doesn't is ludicrous by any standard. Has Drew ever been asked to carry a team to a championship? Did MJ not know how to win b/c he didn't win a title until later in his career?


Just so you know, I only bring in such references in response to LakerTom's political jabs, which I find amusing most of the time. Take a look at the record. I'm not an instigator - I only act in self-defense :)

It annoys me that as we are vanquishing the hated Suns and preparing spiritually to evicerate the even more hated Celtics that people are talking about acquiring LeBron James.

LeZero is LeOverHyped.

As a frustrated LeBroniac said to himself as I watched him stare with unblinking disappointment during the final minutes of Game Six of the Cavs/Celtics series, "He's no Kobe Bryant."


What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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



No harm, no foul, I'll stay out of it.
You two have been around here longer than me and know the terrain better anyway. I don't know the history.
I just had this quick vision of the blog exploding into a political nightmare for a day and a half.
And EJK, while I believe your political comments were more in line with reality I think Toms basketball comments were more correct.

The Real Playoff,. Episode 4, Season 1
The Moderator


Though last season's dispatching of the Orlando Magic was sugar-filled, it was lackluster and almost sobering to watch. Ratings, though respectable, were merely on par for any Lakers championship spectacle. Nothing, as they say, out of the ordinary. Certainly, it was not a glorious conquest into the legendary book of battles that illuminates cities, energizes fans, and captivates the masses.

History, for it's part, will merely look upon the 08-09' season as a buttress between the last great championship team, and the next.

The Magic, though a worthy opponent, were not up to championship caliber par. This, was due in large part to Kevin Garnett's knee and Lebron's inability to perform at an elite level when it mattered most. Both tragic shortcomings of the tallest order.

As the Lakers systematically disremembered Orlando, interest in the Finals waned and the aftershock from the festivities were barely felt. Yet another NBA season had come and gone with the usual surprises, usual fines, and usual suspects. Indeed, Kobe's MJ-like post game celebratory jumps were misplaced, and would have been better served for a ladder championship run.

The ladder run, it seems, has come all too quickly.


It was a brisk evening, June of the year 2008 -- as it is now measured by the Gregorian calendar. The jeering and quantum like reverberations from the Boston crowd could be felt deep inside the visitor's locker room where the Lakers lay rest. The looks of the faces of those in purple and gold were those of heartbroken school children. An opportunity for greatness had vanished before their young, calist hands, and the battle had left them bloodied and bare. Intriguingly, Artest had coerced his way past into the visitors den and deep into the bathroom, where Kobe stood, naked, absorbing the mist from a long, painful shower. Artest had made his way into the jungle, simply, in his innocent lamb-like way, to state that with him on the team "this could have never happened!"

The meeting later became an infamous precursor to Ron joining the team.

Destiny and fate sometimes intermingle with us mortals in ways that baffle even the brightest of men.


As with any crowd in any major city of historical significance, the public in Boston is weary. You can see the paint covered faces of the Celtics-faithful smudged from sweat, and battered from chest bumping and high-fiving in close quarters. Because of history, years of bad blood and storied heartache, Boston General Manager Danny Ainge passes on the opportunity to provide extra security personnel to the Lakers team bus. A bold choice.

As the Lakers make their way to the departing bus, scores of fans heckle and prod them in any derogatory way imaginable. Harsh, slurred New-England accents toss insults from every corner. The undermanned security mission is unable to stop the barrage of insults and miscellaneous items being hurled at the team representing Los Angeles.

After somehow boarding the bus, the Lakers explore their scattered spirit's for images of semblance. None are so forthcoming. The "fans" upon seeing the bus get into gear, grow desperate. They pick-up nearby rocks and begin to hurl them at the bus with utter disregard for health, righteousness, or class. They hurl their projectiles and yell their insults.

This is the singular greatest moment of their Celtic-loving lives. A TKO on the great team from LA, a humiliation-serving 30-plus point victory, and a chance to throw rocks the team bus.

Heaven-on-earth as they would envision had come early for these drunk, raucous, negligent "fans". In the course of their 'getting-off', for lack of a better term, they failed to understand the context. The failed to understand that our Anti-Pierce, Trevor Ariza, was relegated to the bench after succumbing to injuries. They railed to acknowledge Andrew Bynum, the anti-faux-toughness ingredient, who was laden on the pine with injuries. In their dire disregard for the facts, they failed to comprehend that the Lakers had blistered their way through only half-a-season with the Kobe-Pau-Lamar-Fisher combination and, as Phil would later point out, "might've got there a year early".

All actions have their respective reactions, however. And we can witness that fact to a team in despair on that bus, on that night, with no other option but to look inward and toward the future for solace. Kobe Bryant, who sat in the back with arms perched, and legs wrapped was stern, wounded, and lifeless.

Utterly destroyed by the loss.

And the insults.

And the trash-talking.

And the public pelting.

Time heals all wounds they say, some -- not so much.

As the months have passed and the seasons have come and gone, the road back to the Garden where the demons were first laid to bare have come back for more. The Lakers, for their part, can only remember.

Remember the insults. Remember the trash-talking.

Remember the rocks.


Spell-check omitted,

The Moderator

"As the months have passed and the seasons have come and gone, the road back to the Garden where the demons were first laid to bare have come back for more. The Lakers, for their part, can only remember."-

Oh how poetic the stench of Celtic history. How it wounds me, makes me shiver in my bed at night and weep with anxiety towards the time where we'll have to meet the Celtics.


Remembering is what's gonna fuel us to beat your green and white butts bare. It may go seven, but we'll beat you. We owned the series last year. Remember the Christmas game? And oh yeah, the game in Boston where we beat you in your own home? We're even better this year, especially in defense. So you are welcome to post your boston love here, but now it's your turn to remember that WE remember.

Lakers in 7

The Moderator,

Nice post!

Please forward it to the LAPD. I`m sensing the Celtics might need extra security, after wrapping up championship #18 in Game 6

Some people has spoken on the Bynum-Bosh possible deal in the offseason. Probably the biggest argument (not the strongest just the ones people use) is that Bynum is at true center and that Gasol can't handle being a PF.

This "true center" trash is annoying.

Is Joakim Noah a true center? He's rail thin compared to guys like Shaq and Bynum, but he's also one of the hardest-working players in the NBA, a double-double every night, and a monster on the boards.

Was Ben Wallace a true center? He was only 6-9, 240 pounds or so back when he was pushing Shaq out of the paint and boxing him out for rebounds in the 2004 finals .

How much of Andrew Bynum did we need to get to the NBA Finals in 2008? Guess what? We didn't lose because of Gasol, either.

Anyone know who the starting center for the Bulls was in 1991, 1992 and 1993 (dynasty)? Bill Cartwright. Anyone see him play? Watch his defense (well, lack of)? And, yeah, there was no Rodman.

Bynum is considered a true center because he's big, and he plays in the post. Those are the two reasons. Shawn Bradley was also considered a true center, for the same two reasons. No? Then tell me why Hakeem Olajuwon was, with his slender frame.

Drew averaged 17 minutes per game in last year's playoff run, where we won the championship. He gave us six points and four rebounds per game, and little time on the court to play defense (an average of 3.4 fouls/game in the 17 minutes he played).

Kobe, Gasol, Bosh, Odom and Artest is a dynasty in the making. We've proven we can get to the Finals without Bynum even stepping foot on the court, and we can win it all with him logging 17 minutes per game and contributing less than five other players on the team (Kobe, Gasol, Odom, Ariza and Fisher).

You're trading someone away to get the team more lethal now in Pau/Kobe's prime and in the long run. Thats the bottom line and thats what this trade accomplishes

Fact. Andrew is injured for the 3rd year in a row in the playoffs.

Fact 3rd in a row we won't be need him to compete for a championship. Can you dismiss that? No.

Drew averaged 6 pts on 45% shooting, 3.7 rebounds, 3.5 fouls in 17 minutes per game in the playoffs last year...those are stats you expect from a bench player not your starting Center who is getting paid 13 million a year but more importantly the team wasn't able to gain separation from teams early in the happened when Lamar and Pau played together on the floor. WE finished games with Lamar/Pau not you can see that Andrew is not needed at most his points are gravy.

And btw to guard the "best big man in the league" in Dwight Howard in the finals...Drew averaged 18 mins, 36% FG, 6 pts, 4 rebs, 4 fouls, .6 blocks a game a game. Again we didn't need Andrew LOL Pau did GREAT against him

Against Boston AT Boston last year...we beat them in overtime without Andrew against a healthy KG and Celtics squad (I believe we stopped their 13 game home winning streak that game)

Funny how people keep saying Andrew helps us with his size let me remind you what he did when he was healthy against the "best big men" in the league this year

Shaq vs Bynum this season:

Shaq - 11 points, 5-8 shooting
Bynum - 4 points

Shaq - 13 points, 5-9 shooting
Bynum - 7 points

Lemme remind you this is against a 37 year old Shaquille O'Neal as either 22 year old Shaq and ESPECIALLY 1999-2000 Shaq would have DESTROYED Andrew Bynum no matter how healthy Bynum could be. The only thing that Bynum has against Shaq is that Bynum spun around Shaq and dunked on him but that was more of making up for the previous play when Shaq just grabbed an offensive rebound and hammered Bynum into the ground.

Howard vs Bynum this season:

Howard - 24 points on 10-14 shooting, 12 rebounds
Bynum - 8 points on 4-7 shooting, 8 rebounds

Howard - 15 points on 6-14 shooting, 16 rebounds
Bynum - 5 points on 1-5 shooting

Against Yao in the Houston second round series last year Bynum sucked in game 1 and was one of the reasons why we lost. He was benched and we started Lamar in game 2 and we won. Who was guarding Yao? Pau Gasol

Last year we had Pau guard Yao and Josh fricking Powell start at Power forward with Lamar suspended, we won that game.

Gasol has done a VERY superb job playing as a center and there was a reason why last season George Karl was wondering if the Lakers were better off without Bynum considering with Pau we beat Boston in Beantown (and didn't falter against either Perkins or Garnett then) and also gave the Cleveland Cavaliers their only legit home loss in the season (the 76ers faced a Lebron-less Cavs). Bosh for all his team missing the playoffs LED his Toronto Raptors twice already and that team is a very crappy team. Even Jon K. one of Bynum's big supporters admitted that Bynum is not a leader and one of the biggest reasons why Bynum is simply a good player and not a franchise one. Probably why there's lots of people for him is that because for all the success Kobe and Pau has done people Laker fans miss Shaq and Kareem and want Bynum to be like them. Fact: for all how good Bynum is he'll never reach their dominance and you can quote me on that. It don't matter if Bynum gets another 42 points until he just destroys his competition and LEADS the Lakers or whatever team he is on to a title all he is will be a great talented role player and not the franchise player that lots of us believe he is.


I'd like to extend you some props for the way you set up the daily "Caught in the Web." By identifying the author of each link, you allow us to pick and choose which ones we want to read. It helps us to avoid the writers we don't like. A simple thing, but it is geatly appreciated by this reader.


"What a distortion of libertarian ideals."

I've been relatively liberal most of my life and have never voted Republican, but I'm getting a bit freaked out when people do speak out from a more Conservative or Libertarian viewpoint and people on the left freak out and denounce or distort their freedom of speech.

Do I agree with their ideals? Overwhelmingly no, but I support their freedom of speech.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


The Moderator,

Another brilliantly written post.

I do find it curious that Thriller confronted Kobe after the loss to the Celtics and immediately stated "I'll help you win Championships. I play defense."

Methinks that fate is revealing itself.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Fox Sports' Charley Rosen said:

"Pau Gasol has emerged, not only as the NBA’s reigning master of basic basketball, but as the best center on the planet."

Mr. Gasoft... for friends and Lakerlovers.



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