Caught in the Web: Lakers' Sunday links
--The New York Times' Jonathan Abrams argues the Lakers have improved this off-season.
--The Orange County Register's Earl Bloom credits Mitch Kupchak's off-season acquisition.--The Las Vegas Review-Journal's Steve Carp details why Lamar Odom feels he has lots to prove with Team USA.
--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky shares his take on the negotiations between the Lakers and Derek Fisher.--ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi argues Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak doesn't get enough credit for what he does.
--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin reports that Lamar Odom has dropped his animosity toward Matt Barnes.
--NBA.com's John Schuhmann argues Lamar Odom had an under performing performance in Team USA's scrimmage.--Silver Screen and Roll's Dexter Fishmore highlights the various mix tapes on Theo Ratliff.
--Forum Blue and Gold's Jeff wonders if the Lakers' bench mob has returned.
--Tweet of the Day: "Odom played just 16 min. in USA game as those battling to make team took most minutes. LO had 6 reb, 3 ast, 2 pts, 1 stl & 1 blk" -- LakersReporter (Lakers.com's Mike Trudell)
Reader Comment of the Day: "It hepls to look at backups and role players through the Earl Weaver lens. The old Oriole manager taught me a lot about how to look atva roster. Earl figured out years ago that a team only gets 2 or 3 well rounded guys (Frank Robinson and Brooks Robinson = Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol). The rest of the guys are all flawed. Your job as manager, Earl understood, was to know what the other guys COULD do. What they were good at. And use them accordingly. Emphasize their strengths instead of focusing on their flaws. Fans can be blinded by flaws, they want every guy to be good at everything. Coaches have to see the usefulness of flawed players. " -- Tom Daniels
-- Mark Medina
Photo: Lakers forward Lamar Odom began play with USA Basketball Saturday night. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times