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Caught in the Web: Previewing Lakers-Suns series

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Lakers links

--The Times' Broderick Turner observes that Kobe Bryant already is wearing his game face.

--The Times' Mark Heisler argues that the Lakers have arrived.

--The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore details the Lakers' recent turnaround.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr criticizes Charles Barkely's contention that Bryant's recent scoring spree will come to an end.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding has a detailed position-by-position breakdown of the Lakers-Suns series.

--NBA.com's Art Garcia tackles a few questions about the West Finals.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky takes an early peek at the Lakers-Suns matchup.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller predicts the Lakers will take the series in six games.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's Gregg Patton explains how the Lakers are using their first-round playoff losses to Phoenix in 2006 and 2007 as motivation.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell has a comprehensive look at how the Lakers match up with the Suns.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius wonders if the long time off will actually hurt the Lakers.

--Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark believes the Lakers have momentum on their side.

Suns links

-- Phoenix guard Jason Richardson tells FoxSports.com in the video below that he's ready for the Lakers.

--The Arizona Republic's Dan Bickley explains why Amare Stoudemire's future with the Suns remains up in the air.

--The Arizona Republic's Paola Bolvin looks into how Suns General Manager Steve Kerr molded the franchise.

--The Arizona Republic's Paul Coro highlights Steve Nash's leadership.

--The Arizona Republic's Jay Dieffenbach details the Lakers-Suns rivalry.

--Valley of the Suns Michael Schwartz lists five keys for the Phoenix-Lakers series.

Tweet of the Day: "LBJ's "3 bad games" comment latest example of how the better he's gotten, the worse he's grown at handling it." -- ESPNLandOLakers (ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky)

Photo Caption Comment of the Day: "What, No Rocky? 'Cut me Mick...'" -- Jolly Rancher

Reader Comment of the Day: "There are 3 things that are essential and significant to this series, and the Lakers have all 3. Those 3 things should negate any advantage the Suns may have. The most important thing, is that the Lakers already faced the Thunder. The Suns are Thunder-lite. They're not nearly as athletic as the Thunder. The Thunder's biggest albatross was inexperience. They've got speed, rebounding, shot blocking, breakneck runouts, perimeter shooting, and lightning quick defense and switching on defense. They make the Suns look old and slow. The Lakers have length, and the Lakers will use that to SLOOOOOW the game down to a crawl. When that happens, the Suns play halfcourt also and have to fight through bigs. Steve Nash is not Russell Westbrook. As good as Nash is, he's not above the rim like Westbrook or as athletic. And the other thing is Kobe Bryant. Well, there's Gasol too, but Kobe himself makes the Suns cringe." -- John

-- Mark Medina

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

Photo: The Lakers illustrated how dominant they can be, especially when Andrew Bynum, left, and Pau Gasol are playing at the top of their game. Credit: Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images

 
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ARe we too complacent? ARe we taking the Suns too lightly, spending the day talking about the Bron's no show?

No.

WE got this. We know it, the Suns know it.

Hey MM,

Thanks for the photo caption honors. Of course, Rocky was much prettier.

JR

Art,

Yeah, a mix might be the way to go, but if it's Malone's career versus Horry (keep in mind Morrison is not Horry), what would we choose? Morrison got lucky (no disrespect intended), while Big Bob was a fairly integral part of his 7 Rings.

The main thing to keep in mind is that the Lakers are in the NBA Finals.

It's just a question of 4, 5, 6, (or all hell breaks loose) 7

I'm bored, 5 more days! Can we play a pickup game with the guys? Who wants on the Pickup game Bandwagon (it's all yours MAMBA24)? I am there, but I ain't guarding KB24, ha, ha!

6 days and counting...

Oh man am I ever pumped up for the Western Conference Finals!! Lakers vs Suns and both teams just swept their round two opponent!! Unheard of! I can’t wait to see this get under way, but I think the size of the Lakers will be the difference just like it was against Utah… here is proof with a preview: http://www.lionsdenu.com/nba-playoffs-western-conference-final-los-angeles-lakers-vs-phoenix-suns/
It’d be nice to see Nash finally get to the Finals but the Lakers are just too good. They have it all, coaching, star talent, bench, the list goes on…

speakin' of Bron

if he were to put up like 45 or so to win in Boston and then went on to will the Cavs to their first NBA title he'd be... ah never mind, even James Cameron couldn't connect the dots of that sci fi.

LakerTom & Mamba24,

I'd like to comment on the other thread about this Ricky and Lebron James.

It is true both Mike T's and Ricky's posts are garbage but at least in Mike T. posts, there are some recyclable materials that can be formulated into basketball principles. There is a coherence in the dark side. In the case of Ricky his arguments are acclimated to Catalan street trash talking. He relates the word legend literally to Martin Luther King or Mother Theresa who are not basketball players, yet the clown merits so much attention from our friends in the blog. As such if you deal with garbage for too long, somehow you will smell garbage too. Garbage in, garbage out. Why don't we elevate the discussion and respond to worthy and respectable posters.

Secondly, I come back to comment on Lebron and Cleveland.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/LeBron-James-may-be-a-goner-in-Cleveland

On another subject matter, I would like to defend the City of Cleveland from a spoiled player like LeBron James. Cleveland is the place of hard working people in the Midwest. The good city produced many of our finest American products from automotive, household goods, steel industry referred as the rust belt area of America. It is where the great Lake Erie is located. In another image, we have also known Cleveland as laughing stock in sports from Browns in football, Indians in baseball and the Cavaliers in basketball. If they ever go to playoffs in any sport, it is paradise and great deal for their sports minded citizens. Few years ago, Lebron joined the Cavaliers straight from high school. It was indeed a blessing for the city to be duly recognized by their own native as they created an impression in NBA. Lebron flourishes with his aura of Superstar, obtained promotional money from Nike, enjoyed the prestige of well accomplished athlete for so short a time. Frankly, he has not accomplished anything for Cleveland except for himself, yet he used the City of Cleveland as his showcase to promote his welfare and a chance to play elsewhere when his contract expires. Like Kobe, he was produced in the Midwest and it is the big money market who will inherit him. Unfortunately, not all that glitters are gold. If he really tanked the past few games just to illicit a good excuse to move on to a big city, then it is a bad example in sports. Don't reward a spoiled brat! New York Knicks or any other team should have learned their lessons from Isiah Thomas, Larry Brown, Dolan and Starrbury controversies. Before that from hiring big names like Riley, Ewing and Van Gundy. You can't buy Championships, you have to earn it. A player like LB James who adheres to entitlement to be handed to him in silver platter of a Championship because of his MVP accomplishments would be deemed to be a failure in the making because he lacks loyalty and principles. I pity the Cavaliers, shares their fans frustrations but I think the great American City will stick to its own principles. Win or lose in this series, Cavaliers deserved the respect of the NBA for trying their best to improved their franchise. Yes, they will lose Lebron but another worthy individual may soon replaced that void.

I think the Lakers will win in 6, but I do have one concern.

If Kobe is on Dudley, then we are in for a long night. Kobe likes to drift away from his man, and Dudley will make him pay big time.

I think the team can handle the Suns three point shooting. Just remember last year's Orlando team that came into the Final's super hot from the 3 pt line, and how it fizzled with the Lakers.

I would tell our point guards to go under the screen with Nash. The Suns will always lose when Steve has to be the scorer. He is a great shooter, but he will not kill you by shooting. How many 30 point games can you remember in Steve's career? Stop Amare and the reserves and the Lakers advance easily.

Art,
Yeah, a mix might be the way to go, but if it's Malone's career versus Horry (keep in mind Morrison is not Horry), what would we choose? Morrison got lucky (no disrespect intended), while Big Bob was a fairly integral part of his 7 Rings.
Posted by: D(erek)J(eter) | May 12, 2010 at 12:27 PM
------------------------------

DJ,

Yes, still a tough one. I thought of what you said after I posted.
I thought back to when I was little and was an All Star pitcher, yet always lost the big game, never a champion. I had the unfortunate luck of playing against a team that had a pitcher who went on to play in the Majors, he was way better than all the other kids our age and his team beat us every year.
I really would have liked to win a championship, even it was just once, even if I had to be not as good. There is something really special about being on the best team that's even better than being on the 2nd best team.

Maybe that's just one reason I (and others) are Lakers fans, to be associated with the best team, to vicariously be able to celebrate our championships we never quite got on our own.
Similar to being a Yankees fan (which I'm not, lol, no offense).

Lakers' size advantage is overstated, particularly with Channing Fry's uncanny accuracy in shooting 3s. Suns were highest scoring team in regular season and Coach Gentry has them playing aggressive defense. Suns' bench is far superior to the Lakers. This series will be close - both teams are rarely blown out. LA has homecourt edge but Suns clinched both prior playoff series on the road.

Art,

I think alot of us are living a dream through our Lakers (some of us Yankees too, ha, ha)!

IN ALL FAIRNESS TO LBJ..........

He just does not have a surrounding cast as good as Kobe has......

Shaq in his twilight years
Brazilian PF who resembles a cabbage patch doll
PF acquired from wizard is even softer than Pau
Center Ilgouskas looks more like a preying mantis

WOW man..tooooooooooooooooooo deeeeeeeeeeeep thought from none other than the famous "elder" of this laker blog community:

Edwin Gueco wrote: "As such if you deal with garbage for too long, somehow you will smell garbage too."

DJ,

Our team down here (Tampa), may give your Yankees a run for the money this year!!

I know I'm not the only one that is having a hard time rooting for the Celtics! But I love the anti-Stearn anti-overhyped golden child mentality of the Celtics possibly beating them (LBJ/Cavs) down....or at least throwing a scare into the Cavs. Another possible Shaq experiment against the Lakers being thwarted! Plus I like the potential of a Lakers-Celts Finals revenge matchup ....again....if the Lake show can make it past another running quick team in the Suns.

I also love (NOT) that anytime someone not named Kobe shows up for a game, that they are named the difference in gaingin a Laker win!???! Without Kobe on the floor, nobody else would matter in the playoffs!

I have no problem rooting for the Celtics, and anyone who does is probably taking the Lakrs/Celtics rivalry too seriously. When you root against the Celtics even when a Celtic victory means the Lakers get home court advantage in the finals, you're getting goofy to me.


Super goofy. Give me game 7 in Los Angeles over any rivalry anywhere in the world at any time. At some point you have to be a thinkinig fan, and thinking fans don't make bad trades like choosing a Boston loss in Cleveland over a game 7 played in Los Angeles.


Hmmm.


Wes

Mark,

If you're a troll I don't care, but if you're Lakers fan I can tell you about one thing that understated, Lakers have Kobe back in full mode, and this is a 2010, not 2007, Suns don't have a Raja Bell to guard Kobe, in fact they don't have anyone on their team to even slow him down. They will end up sending double and triple team which will open post up game for our Pau/Bynum or anyone else. And besides, Kobe still remembers humiliating losses in 2006 and 2007. The revenge is sweet

Anyone else around here think that if Kobe had a similar game, at home, resulting in either elimination or falling behind in the series that ESPN would be aflame with: "Why is Kobe TANKING it? What is Kobe's MESSAGE to the team and to management? Kobe's so SELFISH!" Types of articles?


You remember, like 4 years ago? Or the year after that? And also, the year we lost to the Celtics? Oh yeah and last year in the Western Conference finals...and this year...when he was hurt...and had ALREADY agreed (in principle) to a re-up with the team that brought him in?


Wow, LBJ has SOME marketing dept working for him (aka as the NBA). I'm pretty sure he's pulling a Kobe-stunt, though. He's playing through some pain and not using it as an excuse. For that he should be admired, but I'm REAL tired of the whole double-standard thing, especially for a guy who's only been to the Finals once and got swept.


Sorry Le Bron, but you have to do better than have a hulking physique, put up gaudy regular season numbers, and flame out in the playoffs year after year to be considered great. Unless you happen to think Charles Barkley was a 'great' NBA player.


I also don't want to hear about his inferior supporting cast: multiple All-Stars, solid defenders one and all, perimeter shooters a-plenty, big man who can bruise inside, big man who can shoot from the outside, do-it-all power forwards (2 of 'em) and a more athletic PG than we've had since...


You also can't really blame the coach, he's didn't play Le Bron limited minutes, he didn't brick open shots from all over the court, let's be honest about it: Le Bron James just didn't show up. If he was Lamar Odom, we'd understand. But since it's his cherry poppin playoff dud it's earth shattering.


When the golden tarnish inevitably rubs off, we're usually left with something very human. Welcome to the super star microscope, Le Bron, it definitely makes life interesting!


Game 6 will be war.

In Laker news, I have to agree with some bloggers astute concerns regarding Kobe sagging off the Suns shooters to play free safety. That's how we lost to them in the playoffs the last two times. However, I also would like to point out that we didn't have a dominant on-ball defender like we do now in Artest.


We also didn't have a center who could catch the ball (Kwame Brown), a power forward who's incredible (Pau) and Bynum was relegated to the end of the bench. So I'll take the Lakers in 5. My head tells me 6, but I'm goin' with my purple and gold bleeding Laker heart. it just got here from NBA.com.


GO LAKERS!!!!!!!!

Edwin Gueco,

"Win or lose in this series, Cavaliers deserved the respect of the NBA for trying their best to improved their franchise. Yes, they will lose Lebron but another worthy individual may soon replaced that void. "

Let me be frank... even today on television here they are saying that if LeBron leaves, the Cavs franchise will be done within two years. It's that bad. Why? No one want to play here. People want to play here because they want to play with LeBron. He leaves, no one's going to want to play in L.A. That's just how it is.

The reason? There's nothing to do here.

In the 90's there was an area in Cleveland call "The Flats."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Flats

"At its peak in the early 1990s, the Flats had the highest concentration of bars in the Midwest with both locally owned bars and national restaurant chains lining both sides of the river from the mouth to the Oxbow bend. The Flats and Cleveland had soon become an entertainment mecca and destination for the region."

When I used to come out here in the 90's to visit, the Flats was fun! It had a pulse. It was exciting. Frankly I thought it was still alive when I moved out here.

Well, for a variety of reasons The Flats now looks like a Scooby-Doo ghost town and there's really nothing to do.

How many times can one go to the overhyped Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

This is a decent place to raise a family and build wealth with a moderate paying job, but it is DUUUUUUULLLLL.

It's not a place to attract young, single millionaires.

Personally, I think the only way to save this city is to legalize gambling, establish a couple large casinos downtown, and then ring those casinos with hotels, restaurants and bars. If they would do that and do it RIGHT, there might be hope for Cleveland. Otherwise, you're going to continue to have a drain of talented young people from the region.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

wesjoenixon:

I didn't say I wasn't rooting for the Celts, just that 52 years of rooting against them has been hard to suppress in favor of the Celts who do not have home court advantage over the Lakers IF each get to the Finals. My wife has never heard me rooting for the Celtics befroe last night, so she had to check several times if my glasses were on! LOL

Lakers' size advantage is overstated, particularly with Channing Fry's uncanny accuracy in shooting 3s. Suns were highest scoring team in regular season and Coach Gentry has them playing aggressive defense. Suns' bench is far superior to the Lakers. This series will be close - both teams are rarely blown out. LA has homecourt edge but Suns clinched both prior playoff series on the road.

Posted by: Mark | May 12, 2010 at 01:20 PM

Lakers' size advantage is overstated
Lopex is a scrub who does not have one min of playoff experience. especially in a WCF comeback

particularly with Channing Fry's uncanny accuracy in shooting 3s
pretty bad in the Spurs series

Suns were highest scoring team in regular season
???????????? last 3 games lakers scored each 111. actually in the last series Suns scored 1 extra points than the Lakers

Suns' bench is far superior to the Lakers
there r only 5 players on the court

This series will be close - both teams are rarely blown out
who is the suns finisher?

LA has homecourt edge but Suns clinched both prior playoff series on the road
The Lakers ALSO clinched both series on the road

J Rich will have his pants full against Kobe.
Do you think Kobe will let Draghici have a field day? see the Westbrook effect
will Gentry defend Kobe?
the Lakers will SLOWWWWWWWWWWW motion the game . Los Suns will be out of rhythm
will Hill have another 9-10 game?

and Kobe will be very, very, very angry. remember. Raja clothesline, Barbosa breaking his tooth

if you did not know what Kobe's Wrath means, this series will become a new entry in the Dictionary.

the Suns already have Los Butterflies

Meh..I don't know where all this "Suns Are a Phyisical Team" BS is comming from.
Amare doesn't like to Bang sure he's good for an Alley Oop but that does not a physical player make.

Frye is conent to shoot the 3, and has never been a banger.

Admunson is a "Bird Man" like player, Energy guy, good weak side help,GARBAGE in a 1 on 1 scenario. J-Rich and Nash can't play a lick of D. Hill moves so slow sometimes it looks like he's running backwards.

Who does that leave? Side Show Bob as their lone 7 footer? Jaron Collins as their third option? Dragic as their defensive specialist or is that Barbosa???

So again I ask, Where the F! is this "Physical Suns" Team I keep hearing about??

commenting on the pre-view of the series Tim Legler said: the suns lost 3 out of 4 but 3 games were at the beginning of the season

he did not mention that the last game, the victory in Phoenix was in March and the Suns were in full force. just eliminated the right detail to make your statements sound brilliant.

Mamba24: "WITNESS THIS: MarcB that post was...OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!"

Thanks... I try to be worthy. LOL

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

ouchhhhhhhh: "Melo & LBJ... the body is just a mannequin prop for tattoos."

True That...

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

Jon K.: "And in many ways because of that they don't deserve to win."

I lived in Portland for 10 months during the 1990-91 Season and experienced the same threats and ignorance from the Blazer fans. That's the year we lost to the Bulls, but I took great pleasure in our Lakers taking the Blazers out in the Western Conference Finals!

On a side note, being the small community that Portland is, I must say that the Blazers (as a team) were not the Jail Blazers. There were some class acts on that 1990-91 team. Kersey and Drexler helped an elderly woman back to her table at TGIFriday's in Beaverton (she had slipped walking down the steps). Terry Porter literally went to the bussing station and grabbed a stack of napkins when I had spilled a drink on a paper I was working on and was scrambling to try and save my work. After he and his wife finished their dinner, he walked back over to me to say good night. Class act. Wish I could say the fans were too!

Ootah Jizz Fans are on my radar as fans to hate for the way that they continually treat Fisher.

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

One Question for Everyone: Is it me, or did the South Park creators use Egghead Nash as their model for Canadians in the cartoon?

I didn't mean to single you out Nuggets C, in fact, you're doing what I'm doing--rooting for the Celtics. It's the fan who won't ever root for the Celtics that I'm talking about...


Wes

*yawn*

Is it Monday yet?


Actually - I think I'll wake up tomorrow to watch the princess get the snot knocked out of her. That should be good for a laugh!

Arrghhh - here at work so many people are talking about how she just had an off-game. Nothing more. That she'll come back tomorrow night and we'll see the real princess again. My wisdom is falling on deaf ears. They do not believe me when I say she is over-rated - particularly at play-off time. They tune me out when I tell them she does not have the mental focus, determination or killer instinct that Kobe does. Oh well - I just smile knowingly to myself and say that we'll just have to wait and see.... Of course I'd love to punch them all in the throat until they begin worshipping the Bball gods at the altar of Kobe, but.. you know... I'm too delicate.


:)

el guapo - LOL - WHO's saying the Phuns are Physical???

ROTFLMAO!!! Seriously????


HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

MM - any chance we get a live chat going during the Septic / Crab game tomorrow?

The end of Lebron!


"I gotta tell you something, Ernie," he said to Ernie Johnson. "As a fan -- and I've said all year that LeBron James was the best basketball player in the world -- but I'm 100 percent disappointed. Not the fact that he didn't have a good game, he clearly didn't have a good game. But his mentality ... I go back, I played against a Michael Jordan, a Karl Malone, a Patrick Ewing, listen, their gun was gonna be empty by the end of the game. And I did not see that tonight. Clearly, it happened in Game 2. But tonight, in the biggest game of the season -- this was clearly the biggest game of the season -- I did not see the aggression that I needed from an MVP at home."

Exactly. It was ... dumbfounding. That's what it was.

At the same time, e-mails were pouring into my mailbox from Cavaliers fans. One guy said, "God hates Cleveland." Another said, "I'm watching basketball die in my city." Another said, "LeBron just virtuoso eviscerated David Robinson's record for worst performance by an MVP in the playoffs." Another said, "LeBron has his perfect excuse to leave the city and go join Jay-Z and the Yankees in New York like he has always wanted. We are all watching the death of professional sports in Cleveland."

The e-mails kept pouring in -- same themes, same thoughts. Maybe LeBron has been hearing those voices the whole time. Maybe his teammates just suck. Maybe Boston is better. Maybe LeBron isn't as good as we thought. Maybe he's more injured than we know. Maybe sports doesn't always make sense. There are no answers, just maybes. And since he's only 25 years old, it's too early to say that this week could define LeBron's legacy. Obviously.

At the same time, every career has a tipping point when you have to pour cement on the foundation of a career, have it harden and say, "How this plays out will probably determine who this player is going to be." For Jordan, it was the 1991 Finals. For Bird, it was the 1984 Finals. For Ewing, it was the 1994 Finals. For Magic, it was the 1985 Finals. For Malone, it happened late (the 1997 Finals). For Kobe, it happened early (the 2000 Finals). And so on. Always -- without fail -- it happens in the Finals, because it's the ultimate test of pressure.

Only this time, with LeBron James, it's happening right now. Round 2. At the age of 25. With the weight of a city on his shoulders. With a big decision looming. With the stench of a dreadful Game 5 still lingering. With an experienced Boston team (and crowd) waiting. On Thursday night, the cement will be poured for LeBron James. It's time. I have no idea what will happen, and neither do you.


LEBRON BUYS GOODBYE GIFTS FOR CAVS TEAMMATES
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
LeBron James just gave the following farewell gift to all of his Cavalier teammates.
He wanted each of them to have something to remember him by all summer long.
~
http://tinyurl.com/2azn6ps
~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Lakerfans! Let's help the C's pour the CEMENT on Lebron James!!!


Laker Celtics Finals 4-0!!! Lakers Champions!

Hey guys! Been very busy on our fixer-upper, and nursing a bad back but HAD to come on here to comment on that absolute dud of a game Princess Jimmy had in game 5.

Yes, many of us can see THROUGH the hype, THROUGH the monickers and down into the ACTUAL results. Laker fans are conditioned to seeing CHAMPIONS and WINNERS, so we don't fall for the smoke-and-mirrors of putting up regular-season numbers against the Leastern Conference. The rest of the world might look at 'wow, LeBrick had a triple double'! against the Knicks and trump that up. Laker fans aren't impressed. Heck, dude can average 50/20 and we'd still NOT CARE if he can't win in the playoffs.

Which is LeBricks problem, HE CAN'T WIN WHEN IT COUNTS - THE PLAYOFFS! It is fitting that the Celtics, a true (hard-swall0w) championship team with history are the team that are on the verge of eliminating King Nothing.

LeBrick is like cotton candy, you take a bite and there's nothing there. There is nothing to his game, oh yes he can put up regular season numbers, but that is like a chef making good appetizers, then making a lousy dinner.

I must say though, I have NEVER seen an MVP look so disinterested, so tentative, plainly so BAD in a big game. This is one of the biggest games in the HISTORY of the Cavs franchise, in LeBricks life, and where the heck was he? Hiding outside the 3-pt line, taking listless shots, making half-hearted passes and basically watching as his team sank all around them and didn't even PUT OUT AN EFFORT!?!?

Better yet, he feels SORRY FOR HIMSELF? His post-game comments maybe were worse than his game. PATHETIC! We are seeing a 'great' player that can't cope with pressure, that melts down when it counts, with the greatest athletic ability probably in all of pro-sports coupled with a role-player mentality that crumbles in pressure situations. LeBrick is LOOKING for others to step-up, he simply can't bring himself to do it. Oh, those November games against the Knicks might be easy to do it, but game 5 of a playoff series - meltdown time.

My god, if anyone has ANY DOUBTS who the BEST player in the game is, well this just but that debate PERMANENTLY TO BED. I'll take the BLACK MAMBA ANYTIME, ANYPLACE, FOREVER!!!!

One last thing, anyone else notice that LeBrick has been wearing 'white on white' outfits to press conferences the past few games? Gee, he can COPY all he wants, but there is only one ORIGINAL! That would be the TRUE MVP! The GREATEST CLOSER IN NBA HISTORY! THE CHAMPION BLACK MAMBA!

GO LAKERS!!! (and for once ever - go Celtics too!)

Laker Tom - ROTFLMAO!!!! TOOOOOO precious!!!!! LOL!!!


Can you just imagine Snaq O'Meal in that???? HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Some of us might be rooting against the Celtics because they seem to be a tougher match-up problem for us than Cleveland, home court or not. Ask Mike T, he'll tell you.
Actually, I hate the Celtics and love to see them lose. I'm thinking it might be Orlando anyway, so maybe it doesn't matter.

Hoopsworld is hyping (in a small way) Ray Felton to the Lakers next season.

That certainly would improve the PG defense problem.

CyberCosmiX ,

Great post! That's what I've been waiting for all day!

So I hyped the outrageous tiny possibility that Utah or New Orleans might win the draft, draft John Wall, and trade off Deron Williams or Chris Paul to the Lakers.

Let's extend that concept a bit. If the ??????s win the lottery and draft John Wall, what would they do with their current starting PG? And could the Lakers trade for him?

1. New Jersey. They have the best odds of winning the lottery.

They already have a good starting C, so Bynum is out, but maybe Devin Harris for Lamar Odom? The salaries are close enough that it could be a straight up trade, and it wouldn't impact the Lakers salary structure over the next few years. Harris is a starting quality PG, but not a star. This might be a case where the "never trade big for small" rule might be applied. Unless of course, the Lakers signed a decent big man with their MLE and had him locked in before they made the trade. I'm pretty sure the Nets would be willing to trade Harris for Odom (if they got Wall), but I'm on the fence if it's a good idea for the Lakers or not.

2. Minnesota. Second best odds of winning draft lottery, and they've already got Jonny Flynn and Ramon Sessions on their roster and the rights to Ricky Rubio. If they win the rights to Wall, perhaps the Lakers could pry the rights to Rubio away from them. Or they might want to keep Rubio and pawn off either Flynn or Sessons.

3. Sacramento. Third best odds of winning the Wall lottery

They ain't giving up Tyreke Evans - they'd keep him and have Wall and Evans as their starting back court. But they might be willing to trade off Beno Udrih for an expiring contract (Sasha?) just to get him off the books.

4. Golden State. Adding Wall would probably mean Golden State would keep Wall and Curry and put overpaid Monta Ellis on the trading block.

5. Washington. I think they're stuck with Gil Arenas. Maybe Randy Foye becomes available? If Washington wins the rights to Wall, there's probably nothing to gain for the Lakers.

6. Philadelphia. Absolutely nothing. They've been despearate for a PG since Andre Miller left. They would sign Wall and keep everyone else.

7. Detroit. If they got Wall, they might let Rodney Stuckey go. More likely, they'd try to keep Stuckey and try to pawn off either Rip Hamilton (at 12 million plus per year) or Ben Gordon (about the same).

8. Clippers. Knowing Donald Sterling, he'd go with the bargain, sign John Wall and immediately start trying to trade Baron Davis.

9. Utah. I mentioned Deron Williams, and their desperate need for height. If you dangled a 7 footer or near 7 footer, they might jump. But more likely, they'd be willing to do the deal to give up Wall and get your 7 footer. How about this: Andrew Bynum and Sasha Vujacic for Andrei Kirilenko and John Wall?

10. Indiana. Now the odds are getting pretty steep on winning the lottery, but there's still a chance. Earl Watson's already a free agent. They already dumped Jamaal Tinsley. They'd probably be willing to trade TJ Ford if they won the Wall lottery, but is TJ even an upgrade over Fisher?

11. New Orleans. It would give them vast riches in point guards (Chris Paul, Darren Collison, and John Wall). They also have financial problems, so I think if they win, they'd use that wealth of PGs to help reduce their overall salary & improve depth if possible. One way would be to go young like OKC and Portland - keep both young cheap PGs and try to get back some other lower priced assets for Paul and Okafor. Another way would be to include either Collison or Wall in a deal to any team willing to take Peja's or Okafor's contract off their hands for an expiring deal (or better yet, take them without sending anything back). LA doesn't have the cap space to be an ideal trading partner)

12. Memphis. They'd probably make Mike Conley available

13. Toronto. Either Jarret Jack or Jose Calderon becomes tradeable

14. Houston. Well, they definitely wouldn't try to re-sign Kyle Lowry, but they'd probably keep both Wall and Aaron Brooks. But maybe not.

So there you have it. Depending on who wins the draft lottery, it could make one of these PGs MUCH more available via trade:

Devin Harris
Jonny Flynn
Ramon Sessions
Ricky Rubio
Beno Udrih
Monta Ellis
Randy Foye
Rodney Stuckey
Baron Davis
Deron Williams
TJ Ford
Chris Paul
Darren Collison
Mike Conley
Jarrett Jack
Jose Calderon
Aaron Brooks

or of course...

John Wall

It all depends on who wins the lottery.

Okay so here's my ideal scenario for Thursday night. LeBron sucks again. The Celtics win. LeBron leaves the floor in a huff, refusing to shake hands again.

And then the Celtics all go out on the floor and...

RIVERDANCE!!!!

ALL TWELVE CELTICS AND DOC RIVERS RIVERDANCING ON LEBRON'S LAST GAME AS A CADAVALIER!!!!

Then maybe he would understand why it's not classy to get up and dance on the sidelines just because you're blowing out some team in March.

I don't know what to think about this Suns team. On one hand, the Lakers seem to have their number. On the other, I've never seen the Suns play as well as they have in the last few weeks. They really made the Spurs look sorry, and almost EVERYONE was picking the Spurs to win. Now almost EVERYONE is picking the Lakers to win. The Suns relish the underdog role and have great chemistry.

At least there's one thing I can take solace in: Phil Jackson and Brian Shaw (he was the assistant coach assigned to scouting the Suns) will have these guys fully prepared for the Suns. With a full week to prepare the troops, I like our chances in Game 1. And we all know Phil's track record when his teams win Game 1.

In Phil we trust. Lakers in 6.

CyberCosmiX ,
Great post! That's what I've been waiting for all day!
Posted by: Rick Friedman | May 12, 2010 at 04:04 PM

Thanks man, you always have some great, intelligent posts, so I really appreciate it! =)

- - -

If you all want to have some fun, here's great listening from the Brian Windhorst Show on Cleveland ESPN sports radio WKNR 850 where they disect LeBrick's meltdown.

I especially love the line at about the 18 minute mark where they basically say how can they defend LeBron anymore versus Kobe when he had this big of a meltdown. This is classic Cleveland 'the sky has fallen' sports radio fun! Jon K must be really loving it right now! LOL...

http://www.stationcaster.com/stations/wknr/media/mpeg/05_12_10___Brian_Windhorst-1273682789.mp3

"John Wall

It all depends on who wins the lottery.

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | May 12, 2010 at 04:08 PM"

Some things popped out...I would not trade LO for Devin Harris. It takes a long time to master the offense and Devin would be lost and who's to say he would ever pick it up. (I'm assuming PJ stays or predecessor retains alot of the offense which I would advise, with Pau as the rising centerpiece" You proposed Utah trade of Bynum and Sasha for Kirilenko and Wall, I don't trust the inconsistencies of the 2 Lakers, but I'd keep them. Kirilenko I think plays very much like LO, not alot of offense, Kirilenko is a blocker, LO is a rebounder, we'd have 2 power forwards that don't have power, and John Wall is a touted #1 pick....including Magic Johnson, since his pick, only 2 other teams have burned the #1 pick for a point guard, there have been slugs as #1's; Bogut took till now to pan out, Greg Oden, probably never will, Bargnani, hey, it's the NBA guy, and unfortunately the Clippers pick of Blake Griffin...with his strength and size, how come no comparisons to LBJ???? (I just ask that because I never saw Griffin play, I don't watch college ball)

As for all the talk about LBJ's empire starting to crumble...that's just the way it rolls, ask all the other great players who never won a ring, Malone, Stockton, Barkley, etc. I think the new rule of at least one year from your graduating class till you can play is a good rule. I think Jennings is a great example, guys like Bynum are just too young and not ready for the preparation to play in the NBA, their bodies and their brains need to adjust.

" And we all know Phil's track record when his teams win Game 1.

In Phil we trust. Lakers in 6.

Posted by: puddle | May 12, 2010 at 04:43 PM"

Not just his track record in winning game 1 in a series, but overall, everywhere...I'm more impressed with his record of 10 for 12 in championship finals. He should have been 12 for 12. The years they lost, the 4 Hall of Famers were hurt and that was the year of Kobe/Colorado. The other year he was was the boston loss 2 years ago, The team just wasn't ready to get bounced around like babies and let the refs let it go, it was a Stern fix. Just like Stern is probably sweating it now, trying to figure out how to get Lebron back on track so he can win one in Cleveland. Then whatever choice he makes about where to play next year is a winner, because he fulfilled his promise to bring a championship to Cleveland. Damn, took him long enough!!!!

Guys we got a new thread up

Justa - im going to announce it tomorrow morning, but yes we will do a live chat during the celtics-cavs game

MM

out of this list:
Devin Harris
Jonny Flynn
Ramon Sessions
Ricky Rubio
Beno Udrih
Monta Ellis
Randy Foye
Rodney Stuckey
Baron Davis
Deron Williams
TJ Ford
Chris Paul
Darren Collison
Mike Conley
Jarrett Jack
Jose Calderon
Aaron Brooks
I'm almost surprised to say that Baron Davis would be the best fit for the Lakers. He's strong, can play defense when he chooses to, can shoot the long ball, and has been in the league long enough to know what it takes to win- even though I don't think he's been out of the first round. The only thing that scares me about him is his body breaking down at the end of the season.

I don't see us getting D-Will or CP3 because they demand so much money and do you really think Utah or N.O. will really trade their starting PGs to the Lakers?

Devin Harris and Monte Ellis do not fit with the triangle, so unless Phil retires, they won't be wearing the purple and gold next year.

I could also see Calderon fitting in, but I'm not sure about his defensive game.

I always kill blogs.....

*
BACK TO BACK PAYBACK - BANDWAGON
*
(01) YELLOW FEVER - OWNER - we could be in for a real treat.. win this and we could have
(02) TIM-4-SHOW - DRIVER - Put me on that BACK2BACK PAYBACK bandwagon. Good to know that at least some of the team will use the past as motivation to the future.
(03) EDWIN GUECO - JUDGE - Indeed, this is a serious PAYBACK. Lakers must win this series in memory of the faithful scrubs who are still playing for the organization. This is their chance for redemption too!
(04) # 4
(05) LAKERINBC - RIDING SHOTGUN - Put me on any Payback bandwagons too please. Back2Back Payback - that's genius!
(06)MARCB - SECURITY - Go Lakers! One-Two-Three! Dominate!!!!
(07) JUSTANOTHERMAMBA - Payback like revenge is best served cold
(08) MAMBA24 - Never, Ever, Ever Forget! Payback is a B*
(09) LAKERLADY - REFEREE - They'll be rested and ready to take the Suns down...SUNDOWN!!!
(10)VMAN - ARe we too complacent? ARe we taking the Suns too lightly, spending the day talking about the Bron's no show?
WE got this. We know it, the Suns know it.
(11) STAPLES24 - Lakerfans! Let's help the C's pour the CEMENT on Lebron James!!! Laker Celtics Finals 4-0!!! Lakers Champions!
(12)THE INFAMOUS EL GUAPO - So again I ask, Where the F! is this "Physical Suns" Team I keep hearing about.
(13)

Mclyne,

>>>I don't see us getting D-Will or CP3 because they demand so much money
>>>and do you really think Utah or N.O. will really trade their starting PGs to
>>>the Lakers?

Like I said, it would require a certain mode of thought by them. Don't forget that Memphis traded Pau to the Lakers for a bag of magic beans.

With New Orleans, money would be the key issue. They're already in the luxury tax next season, and they've been losing money and not winning titles. Looking at teams like Oklahoma City and Portland (and Memphis), they might decide that dumping their big contracts and rebuilding with youngsters is the way to go. In that case, a good young Center like Bynum on a less-than-max deal and a couple of expiring contracts may look very good to them.

Also with New Orleans, there's the factor that if they get wall, they'd have 3 very good quality PGs. Essentially, they'd have 3 PGs who are better than anyone the Lakers have. So while they might not be willing to trade CPaul, it might make them more willing to trade Darren Collison or John Wall to fill in some other role on their team.

With Utah, it would be about height. They've been knocked out of the playoffs the last 3 years by the same team, and for the same reason. Height. If they just load up with another point guard and Boozer and Millsap and Okur again, then they'll probably end next season the same way. So having two great PGs on the roster gives them a chance to try to trade to GET some height.

New Orleans also has height issues. David West is 6'9". Emeka Okafor is the only quality rotation player they have who's even as tall as 6'10". So once again, they would love to add a near All-Star 7 footer to the team.

Name me a better big man than Bynum that their team would be willing to trade. Orlando won't be trading Dwight Howard, even for Deron Williams. New Jersey won't be trading Brook Lopez, they'll settle for Devin Harris at PG. Milwaukee won't be giving up Andrew Bogut, they've got Brandon Jennings.

And there's also the issue of time. It's hard for either Utah or New Orleans to compete with the Lakers/Cavs/Celtics/Magic/Suns level of teams. Adding another guard won't get them to that level. But adding a young center and a hot shot PG to replace Williams/Paul, and giving them a couple of years for them to mature and those other teams to fade a bit, they could be the team to beat (along with Oklahoma City) 2 or 3 years from now.

So what it comes down to is whether the teams think that adding Wall makes them championship contenders right now and whether it's worth paying luxury tax to keep their current rosters together and adding Wall. If this was Mark Cuban, you know damn well he'd keep them all and take the luxury hit. But will George Shinn be so bold? Or Larry H. Miller? I don't know.

>>>Devin Harris and Monte Ellis do not fit with the triangle, so unless Phil
>>>retires, they won't be wearing the purple and gold next year.

The one benefit of Harris is that he's a good defender, but I agree that neither are good outside shooters, which is really needed from the PG in the triangle. If New Jersey would dump off Harris for Sasha's expiring contract, I'd consider taking a flyer on him, but not for Odom.

>>>I could also see Calderon fitting in, but I'm not sure about his defensive
>>>game.

Calderon would be the opposite of Harris. He'd be AWESOME in the triangle on offense. He's a very good passer and an excellent shooter (career 50%, 39% on 3's, 88% on FTs). His defense is about the same as Fisher and Farmar - the small fast PGs in the league will blow by him like a roadside sign. But as we've seen in these playoffs, if Gasol and Bynum do a good job intimidating in the lane, then that can be compensated for to some extent.

If Bosh leaves, then I'm sure Toronto knows they're out of the championship hunt for a little while. So if they did manage to draft Wall, they may keep Wall and Jarret Jack and let Calderon go just to get his salary off their books. In that case, the Lakers may be able to acquire him for Sasha and sign & trade Sun Yue (or something like that).


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