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Caught in the Web: Lakers' Sunday links

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--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

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers forward Lamar Odom began play with USA Basketball Saturday night. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
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1. I hope Mitch Kupchak signs Shannon Brown and/or does something totally brilliant, yet unexpected.


2. I have no fricken idea how my Lakeraholicism is going to get through the offseason. After the last three seasons, it's gotten even worse and I have no intentions on letting it get "better."


Thank God UCLA football will be starting soon. I love UCLA football.


GO BRUINS!!!


GO LAKERS!!!

Sup Laker Fam,

The guy who wrote this article hit it right on the head in regards to Caracter. I shared the same thoughts on this blog about how the Lakers need to keep him to learn and develop his game quicker under our stars and veterans. They would also offer him the best support system possible right now.

http://www.examiner.com/x-52130-NBA-Draft-Examiner~y2010m7d25-Los-Angeles-Lakers-would-be-foolish-to-let-Derrick-Caracter-head-overseas

Blitz - thanks for dropping the stats on Kareem's defensive prowess. A lot of people just remember him from the end of the showtime era when he skills were diminishing. For my money - Kareem is the greatest basketball player ever.

Posted by: LRob | July 25, 2010 at 09:20 PM

Kareem was really amazing...It doesn't matter if the game was hot or cold, if we have momentum or not, HE ALWAYS HIT HIS SHOTS.

Posted by: Magic Phil | July 25, 2010 at 09:32 PM


Kareem during his Milwaukee years was basically the second coming of Wilt Chamberlain. Kareem's hook shot was unblockable only few who were great defensive legends themselves (Nate Thurmond, Wilt Chamberlain, Hakeem Olajuwon) did block it.

In the late 70's before Showtime there was no one else better in the league. Heck even though Magic Johnson won the Finals MVP in 1980 Kareem was by far the superior player. Heck Magic Johnson NEVER got into the dominance of Kareem (6 MVP's vs 3 MVP's).

Only knock on Kareem was that he needed a very good PG to help him gain his titles (Big O, Magic). In fact for his 4th MVP trophy was also a year that the Lakers missed the playoffs.

Otherwise Kareem was unstoppable. Heck even at age 38 he was able to win a Finals MVP against the Celtics (not to mention winning in the hated Boston Garden). If Kareem was in his prime with Magic.....no offense but Shaq-Kobe would pale in comparison.

bronxlakerfan

Enjoyable reading! The most intriguing player on that list is Moses Malone. Have you ever noticed when fans discuss the greatest centers of all-time that people tend to forget about him? It's always Wilt, Russell, Kareem in whichever order, then Olajuwon, Shaq and a lot of people throw in the Admiral, Patrick Ewing and some people will even throw Robert Parish in the top 10 list before they mention Moses Malone, who should be in the Olajuwon and Shaq grouping, IMHO. Of course, you never hear George Mikan mentioned, but he was the reason for the first NBA dynasty, a man whose accomplishments and style of play paved the way for the dominance of the big man in NBA history. In my book, he's up there with the top 3.

Here are Moses Malone's lifetime numbers. Few players have been as dominant as he was when he was in his prime:

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/m/malonmo01.html

Re: Kareem...

There is an HBO documentary entitled "The UCLA Dynasty" that features some incredible footage of the young Lew Alcindor/Kareem Abdul Jabbar. His quickness, footspeed, leaping ability and total athleticism back then was truly amazing. I honestly believe that if Kareem had only been 6'2", he still would have been a very good NBA player. Great, great player!!

Moses can't pass to save his life. All the Greats can even Shaq.

Malone was a great player...A funny thing I remember about him was when Barkley made his debut in the NBA, it was against Houston...Charles hustle him all game long...after the game, when asked about the rookie, he said:

"This rookie plays hard, dirty...and he bangs you and he trash-talk you all the time...He's gonna be a great basketball player!"

Actually, wasn't Barkley's debut, but the 1st time he played Moses...


Funnier still was when Barkley was asked on his thoughts on playing with Malone (in Philly), Chuck said "At least there's someone uglier that him.".

Man I hope this team jels good together and they get the proper use out of all there weapons. We should get a healthy kobe going into the playoffs this year. I am hoping that the keeping bynum thing pays off. because if it back fires and he gets hurt again then we prolly wont be able to get rib of him for what we could have gotten. I am a bynum lover but not a fan of his frequent injurys. A heathy Lakers team can win 73 games this year. i really believe this and kobe should play a bit less doing it too with shannons game progressing and sasha trying to find his grove again (which I hope he does). This team could be amazing to watch. Score high and hold teams to low scores. We are now the biggest and tallest best D and I believe with a healthy bynum best O also team in the NBA not to mentioned best coached. I with they would have done a bit more for the future like aquire collison before CP3 went on his role. But hey I believe they know what there doing and will put together a winning team year after year.

The chase for 3...
6 for kobe and fish.
12 for jackson.
6 with bulls and after this year 6 with the lakers. nice way to retire id say.

". uglier that me."

KB Blitz,

Great post regarding Cap. If the criteria for being the GOAT is winning, than it would be hard to argue against Kareem, who won multiple titles on every level(3 in high school, 3 at UCLA and 6 total with the Bucks and Lakers)and has a record 6 MVP awards, 2 finals MVP and 19 time All-Star selections. It baffles me how many have MJ pegged as the GOAT when in truth, he is nowhere near the winner that Kareem is. Wilt should always be considered the best offensive player who ever lived, and Jordan the best winner in the modern game, but the GOAT should be Kareem Abdul Jabbar with only Bill Russell having the right to challenge that claim(maybe he should just be classified as the greatest winner in NBA history).

A co-worker and friend has been watching basketball for over 40+ years, has shared with me that he's almost seen all the great players play and he adamantly stated that no one was better than Kareem and that no one could stop Kareem. My friend said that if he could choose a player from any era to start a team, that player would be Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

LT,

Great analysis as usual, and i'm sure that a LOOOOT of us would like to see Bynum injury-free because the 3-headed monster of Andrew-Pau-Kobe is just gonna be too much for almost all teams.

The Lakers unit to close out games had always been a head-scratcher for me. I mean, it is reasonable to believe that your starting unit is your best unit UNLESS you have a specific reason for reserving an equally good player as a change-0f-pace guy (e.g. Manu Ginobili or Jason Terry). Thus, to follow this thought, shouldn't it be reasonable to expect that your best unit should also be ending the 2nd quarter and closing out games, save for extraordinary circumstances like foul trouble?

It made me thinking that -- POSSIBLY -- the reason for LO instead of Drew at the endgame is because LO has a more lively body and, thus, better in defending the PnR. Does anybody have stats to support the PnR coverage abilities of both LO and Drew (opposing shooting percentages, defensed passes etc.) to somehow justify the coaching staff's choice of LO over Drew at endgame? Sadly, the only thing i can gather from the net is Drew having 35 more blocks despite having played 18 less games. Soooo.... shouldn't we have a more efficient shot blocker and space saver at the end of games?

Could it be possible that the reason for the LO-over-Drew at endgame are due to the following:

1. LO's experience vis-a-vis Drew's continuing development
2. The Lakers limiting Drew's minutes in order for him to heal from his injuries better
3. LO's north-to-south speed, the frenetic pace being expected in endgame situations

With a healthy (and a year wiser) Andrew Bynum, it would be interesting to see more of him in the last few minutes.

KB Blitz

---"By the way, the game that best exemplified Bynum's ability to finish was when he, and not Pau Gasol, was on the floor at the end of the game in Boston in late January"

Gasol was ON the court with Bynum on that game. Learn to remember film over memory.----
======

First, kindly address me in a more respectful manner. As I recall, Pau was resting longer than normally at the end of that game and I specifically recall questioning why Bynum was out there and not Pau. It wasn't PJ's normal substitution pattern. At the time, I speculated that PJ thought it would be a great learning, growing, confidence building situation for Bynum, especially given the dominant performance he displayed that game. Perhaps my memory is incorrect about Pau being on the floor at the end of the game, but I'm certainly not going to spend time researching this. I do recall that before Bynum sat out the end of the regular season with his Achilles injury, PJ did change up his rotations and gave Pau some rest at about the 6 minute mark and brought him back with 2-3 to go. I don't recall whether that rotation change started around that time period, but it may have. I do know that the Lakers generally sucked down the stretch of the practice season without Bynum in the starting lineup.

As for your comment that Bynum is a "role player," you are 100% accurate. Not ONLY is he a role player, but he has the most difficult role on the team and is being asked to sacrifice parts of his game for the betterment of the team. As JVG said, Bynum would average around 20-10 on almost any other team in the NBA. As a fan, you should appreciate his willingness to accept his role on this championship team. At 22, I'm damn proud of his accomplishments and I simply am not among those fans who minimize Bynum's importance to the team. I am proudly in the other camp and I further accept that it is probably the minority view.

The only thing that matters is championships and Andrew Bynum is 2 for 2 as the starting center for a Lakers franchise who, prior to Bynum's arrival, had George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal patrolling the paint as the starting centers on its 14 previous championship teams.

I am not saying that Andrew Bynum is anywhere near those centers, but apparently Lakers management feels very strongly about having a long, dominant center patrolling the paint. It is the one ingredient that has remained constant in the franchise's 16 championships. So while all the fans who are in the anti-Bynum camp continue to put him on their trading block, I will continue to defer to Mitch Kupchak and Lakers management.

Bronx-I feel you on Kobe using his mates more and easing up on the scoring pedal but that's not in his DNA. He is a scorer and he's desperately wants to pass MJ. Still based on playing fewer minutes his avg should come down to bout 24.

Looking at the all-time scoring list I prefer to combine NBA/ABA. This pushes Dr. J, Issel and Ice ahead of Kobe and drops him to 15:

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar* 38387
2. Karl Malone* 36928
3. Michael Jordan* 32292
4. Wilt Chamberlain* 31419
5. Julius Erving* 30026 (gotta count Doc prime years)
6. Moses Malone* 29580
7. Shaquille O'Neal 28255
8. Dan Issel* 27482
9. Elvin Hayes* 27313
10. Hakeem Olajuwon* 26946
11. Oscar Robertson* 26710
12. Dominique Wilkins* 26668
13. George Gervin* 26595
14. John Havlicek* 26395
15. Kobe Bryant 25790

Still barring injury he'll crack top10 this year and top 5 in 3 seasons and could pass Jordan in 4 yrs. To pass the Mailman he'd need to avg roughly 22ppg for 500 games or 7 seasons @ 72 games. That might be too tall of an order for even Kobe.

But fret not cause Kobe definitely should blow away all time leading playoff scorer b4 he retires. He's currently #4 and could pass next year.

1. Michael Jordan* 5987
2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar* 5762
3. Shaquille O'Neal 5248
4. Kobe Bryant 5052
5. Karl Malone* 4761


PS...I still think the 62 in 3qtr vs. Dallas (a 60 win team)...out scoring their entire team...with Avery fuming, Josh and Marquis hacking, and Dirk shaking his head in disbelief/admiration...was one of the greatest feats I've ever seen.

KobeMVP888...

Yes, Moses was indeed a great player. Relentless on the boards. Possibly the greatest offensive rebounder of all time. It's easy to forget how good he was. And he was the first great player that made it straight out of high school that I can recall. Moses' 1983 season, which ended in a Finals sweep of Kareem and the Lakers, was one for the ages. Moses really dominated Kareem in that series, something that I had never seen before. I've been pissed at Moses ever since. LOL!!!

KobeMVP - I agree about Moses being under appreciated. I watched Kareem battle Wilt, Thurmond, Lanier, Hayes, Cowens, Walton, Gilmore, Reed, Parish, McHale, Olajuwon, Ewing (all HOF except A-Train....which BTW is a travesty)...and Moses is the only one I saw outplay Kareem over a 2-3 year period. He was tough, but I think his legacy is hurt because he became a vagabond after winning ship with Philly in 83.

@RAYMOND… I think all three factors you mentioned probably came into play. Probably the biggest is that Phil prefers vets over young players for the obvious reasons. I also think he wanted to motivate Drew to focus on defense more and used closing as a carrot, which in a way was actually working.
~
Knowing I’m a Jackson disciple and trust his judgments, I still think he lets other teams dictate our defensive lineups at the end of the game. Of course, you don’t have Drew covering pick and rolls with a bad knee in the playoffs but going forward I think Drew needs to be in the game because he is the core of our defense. He was playing the pick and roll much better and offensively he can dominate in the paint and free Pau up to play his natural position. Anyway, it’s a luxury to have such deep talent that this becomes an issue. Most teams don’t even have five guys they trust to close out a game.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@HUMANOMALY… The only thing I have to say about the damn Warriors and Jeremy Lin is where was Chris Cohan when you really needed him. I much preferred the fangless Warriors who never signed the right guy and always made bad contracts – not a team with enough guts and vision to try and compete with the Lakers. Anyway, good luck, Jeremy – except when you play the Lakers.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Nemaia....

The ESPN generation has anointed Michael Jordan as the GOAT as though he invented the game of basketball. Mj was great, but so was Kareem and his career accomplishments match up very well with anyone's. In an interview, Kobe said, in essence, "How can you call any one player the greatest?" There have been so many great ones it's only arguable to call anyone the GOAT. It's a very subjective argument.

One last thought on Kareem - He only lost 2 games his entire college career 88-2. Remember freshmen were ineligible back then (my how things have changed) so Kareem couldn't play varsity as a frosh, but his team would regularly dominate the UCLA varsity team.

Oh yeah...I stumped on what other team Kareem's UCLA team lost to other than Houston? I'm not quite that old...lol.

Artis had him some great hair in the ABA, too.

@KOBEMVP… Well said and thanks from another Bynum Believer. Lakers, Yankees, Niners !!!
We’ve had a lot of double championships like this year but what would really be the ultimate would be the trifecta. Early word is Alex Smith has been taking all snaps under center instead of shot gun and has been shredding the defense. We’ve got some play makers now and I think Smith is the real deal. Well, maybe hope is closer. Nothing like what I feel for Drew of course, which is something reserved for the rare few. My biggest miss ironically has been with Joba Chamberlain. I thought he was going to be another Ron Guidry. What the hell happened to Joba? Bronx? DJ? Man, 2 more months. LOL.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

LRob...

Thanks for the inclusion of the ABA numbers! That gives things an even clearer perspective. I think Kobe will wind up with more than Mike but less than the Mailman.

And I do think that Kobe will throttle back just a little. Averaging about 24 a game with 6 assists would be great for him and the team. I agree with you that he loves to score, but I think that the newer, more mature Kobe loves winning even more.

how old are you people? 50? 60?

this blog is full of old farts.

LRob....

You're right, that Dallas game was beyond amazing. I also recall Kobe hitting up Memphis for 56 in 3 quarters and Utah for 52 in 3. To this day, I think that 52 demoralized Utah so bad, that they know that as long as Kobe is playing, they'll never beat the Lakers in a playoff series. Kobe took their hearts that night and he's owned Utah ever since.

zach....

An old fart don't smell as bad as a fresh, young fart.

"As I recall, Pau was resting longer than normally at the end of that game and I specifically recall questioning why Bynum was out there and not Pau. It wasn't PJ's normal substitution pattern. At the time, I speculated that PJ thought it would be a great learning, growing, confidence building situation for Bynum, especially given the dominant performance he displayed that game. Perhaps my memory is incorrect about Pau being on the floor at the end of the game, but I'm certainly not going to spend time researching this. I do recall that before Bynum sat out the end of the regular season with his Achilles injury, PJ did change up his rotations and gave Pau some rest at about the 6 minute mark and brought him back with 2-3 to go. I don't recall whether that rotation change started around that time period, but it may have. I do know that the Lakers generally sucked down the stretch of the practice season without Bynum in the starting lineup."

That game Bynum was doing very well offensively and defensively. In fact that was probably his best game overall even over his November games where he put up great production but because of his tendency to run to the other side of the court in a hurry in order to score it hurt the teams defensive rebounding to where at that point Hollinger was ranking the Lakers dead last. But he did very well and I think PJ was letting him in the game simply because he liked Bynum's energy at the time (though at the very last play Phil did not put Bynum in).

Then Bynum followed it up with a 5 point 8 rebound 5 foul game in Memphis.

"As for your comment that Bynum is a "role player," you are 100% accurate. Not ONLY is he a role player, but he has the most difficult role on the team and is being asked to sacrifice parts of his game for the betterment of the team. As JVG said, Bynum would average around 20-10 on almost any other team in the NBA. As a fan, you should appreciate his willingness to accept his role on this championship team. At 22, I'm damn proud of his accomplishments and I simply am not among those fans who minimize Bynum's importance to the team. I am proudly in the other camp and I further accept that it is probably the minority view."

He does accept but where does "I'm a little more focused (when he has the ball more because he got more touches because of Gasol's injury) come in?" People severely overrate Bynum to the point where he is needed to win an NBA title in terms of "without him not matter what Kobe or Gasol did we wouldn't have won". The last two finals proved you do not need Bynum to be effective to win a championship. The past two titles he has rode Kobe's back to titles. He did even *less* work than the usual second fiddle.

As for his 20 and 10 production....that's just barely the minimum numbers that is to be effective. Zach Randolph averages those numbers but who really thinks that he is a force to be truly reckoned with? Al Jefferson averaged those numbers in Minnesota but was his team successful? Also David Lee got those numbers (in a system where it was inflated because of the higher pace) yet he was like in Class B of the Free Agency of 2010 lower than even Carlos Boozer.

Point is Bynum could get 20 and 10 but how effective would he be? Basing on his game he wouldn't have the effect Dwight does. His screen and roll defense is average at best and while he isn't a bad shot blocker he is the second best on his team (Hmmm) or the 3rd best rebounder on the team (hmmmm). You put Bynum in Orlando instead of Dwight Howard how would the Magic be? Would it be as successful especially defensively? Or would it be just another pretender team that would barely make into the playoffs?

Plus consider that Bynum's FG% is very high thanks to having Kobe and Gasol bringing away attention. If Kobe and Gasol weren't there he could have 20 and 10 but hell the team wouldn't be as successful would it?

"The only thing that matters is championships and Andrew Bynum is 2 for 2 as the starting center"

I don't consider it in that way when he is on the pine 24 minutes of the game while having Kobe win it and Gasol doing the heavy work against Garnett and Howard last year. Those two won it with Bynum was a mere spectator injured or not.

"I am not saying that Andrew Bynum is anywhere near those centers, but apparently Lakers management feels very strongly about having a long, dominant center patrolling the paint. It is the one ingredient that has remained constant in the franchise's 16 championships."

It's an insult to even mention Bynum to those centers even though you aren't necessarily comparing Bynum with them. And you forgot the other consistent ingredient in those titles save for Mikan.

A great perimeter player: West/Magic/Kobe

Without West Wilt would never won his second title (and even when he did win his first he had Hall of Famers surrounding him). Without Magic Kareem would just be racking up MVP's but no championships aside his 1971 one. Without Kobe well it would be like 1996-1999 again, Playoff team but no titles nevermind not even reaching the Western Conference finals.

And don't try to reverse it on me. West brought his team 9 times into the Finals (only Bill Russell prevented those from being titles save for one in 1972). Magic won his first title with Kareem being injured in Game 6 not to mention going to the Finals in 1991 with Vlade Divac as his center (only a guy named Michael Jordan prevented a 6th for Magic). Kobe won it with Gasol not with Bynum.

I give you props for not overrating Bynum as some people have. When Kobe's era is finished most likely a small rebuilding phase (hopefully) will happen but the Lakers will be back (how long to be title contending is anyone's guess) but unless another great perimeter player comes don't be expecting Bynum to be leading us to titles. I already said that about James Worthy when Magic retired (when he found out he had AIDS) and well Big Game James showed that he was a great supporting fiddle for Showtime but couldn't be *the man*.

But again if you are to say a thing that happened (like Bynum being in crunch time in Boston but not Gasol) make sure you have the facts before making a claim. It's fine to label that Bynum was in there but it's not ok to dismiss that Gasol wasn't there too simply to show that Bynum deserved to be in crunch time not Gasol.

LT....

Think LO when you think Joba. Talented but inconsistent.

This "Sasha V." is full of sheet. He sexy like my big hairy toe. Believe me, proud Lakers fans, my big hairy toe is so very dirty and ugly. I have not washed them since game 6 against your great Lakers. No. 18 more like Sissy V. Always fixing his girly eyebrows and his girly hair before he shoot the free throws, which he do very good, the bastard. What a sissy. I own that biatch from our village days in our motherland.


We call him the village idiot with the girly hair!


And Lakers fans, be honest, my flops way more better, no? I master this art from when I play the game you Americans call soccer. And, oh yeah, for the official record, I had Maria first (I was in Russia many years ago to play in the Eastern European Basketball Championships and came back home to my leetle village with beeg red zoids on my poor male organ), what a biatch she was for permanently sheeting on my handsome deek. Sissy Sasha now enjoy my sexy hand-me-downs. What a stupeed monkey he is. I sheet on him twice! Next year, I will flop so good I will elbow Sissy V. in the ball-sacks, if he has one!

"And I do think that Kobe will throttle back just a little. Averaging about 24 a game with 6 assists would be great for him and the team. I agree with you that he loves to score, but I think that the newer, more mature Kobe loves winning even more."

Posted by: bronxlakerfan | July 25, 2010 at 11:04 PM

Forget about it. Kobe may not be averaging 30ppg as he doesn't need to anymore but he's not going to average 24 a game and dishing out 6 assists. *ONLY* time when he got 6 assists was his MVP worthy season of 02-03 (where he got to *the man* and did everything and Shaq took a back seat particularly as he was recovering from his toe injury) and in the 04-05 season when all it was "Give it to Kobe and let him create" and that was to the point where his FG% was crappy at 40% and had to encourage Rudy T. to put in some triangle plays so KB wouldn't have to work so hard.

I remember mikefloss was telling Kobe needs to average 8 assists so we can win.....well mikefloss or CybercosmiX Kobe didn't average 8 assists nor did he average 8 assists in the playoffs or Finals so there goes that argument.

Repeat: Kobe will NOT average 6 assists. You can take that to the bank. His scoring will be around 26-27ppg still. He is still playing at a high level and just because he is mature about things than he was in in years past doesn't mean he's going to pull his feet off the throttle.

He's not Magic Johnson. Never will be and will always be Kobe whose game more matches Michael Jordan. Jordan in his last years in Chicago averaged 3-4 apg which I think Kobe will have 4apg roughly especially thanks to the Triangle being a "share all" instead of "Kobe do all the work" system.

Trust me: He ain't going to give up his scoring you can take that to the bank!

Lew Alcindor lost to Houston and then USC 46-44.

Blitz...

I'm not saying that Kobe will stop being the Lakers' leading scorer. He averaged 27 and 5 assists last year. One less basket and one more assist this year would be better for him, better for the team.

The Bynum discussion is hilarious. Most everyone today is calling Kupchak a genius and yet they question his obvious commitment to Andrew Bynum. As Kobe and Gasol get older, Bynum's role is going to grow and his emergence in the next 3 years will be what attracts the talent to the post Kobe era of the Lakers.

Bynum is young, he is learning how to navigate through an NBA season and stay healthy. The Lakers have hired an injury prevention coach who reviews all of Bynum's footwork and movement. They identify the footwork that is damaging his knees and causing potential injury and they are either reducing injury potential by strength and conditioning or they are correcting it by correcting his movements and replacing them with proper movement. The way he slides, pivots, jumps, lands, etc.... all is being corrected and improved.

In another 3 years Bynum will significantly reduce his injury potential and at the same time his toughness is starting to really impress. This is something that Kupchak is monitoring constantly and if thought for a minute that Bynum was not going to work through this process and become the player he envisioned, then Bynum would already be gone.

His first year he breaks his knee on a freak landing and he is done for the year, the next year Kobe takes his knee out and he makes it back for the playoffs, this year he plays through the injury and completes a full season at less than 100%. Bynum is going to blow us all away this year and complete the season at 100% or close to it and keep Kupchak up on that pedestal.

I have no doubts about the Lakers and their ability to win championships for the next two years, but in 2012-2013 I believe we start the transition for Kobe's team to Bynum's team. I believe by 2014 we still have Kobe, Gasol, Bynum and Blake, but Dr. Buss will have gone back to his formula of replacing age with youth and build another championship team for the next decade.

If Kupchak is able to navigate this transition in a way that we remain championship competitive, then he will supplant Jerry West as the greatest Laker GM ever. I can't wait to watch the next 10 years unfold.

Blitz...

I'm not saying that Kobe will stop being the Lakers' leading scorer. He averaged 27 and 5 assists last year. One less basket and one more assist this year would be better for him, better for the team.

Posted by: bronxlakerfan | July 26, 2010 at 12:09 AM

You tell him that. He's not going be giving out assists and assists are hard to get especially given the nature of the triangle. In essence you want him to play more pick and roll.

Again forget about it. Kobe's best year at giving out 6 assists were the beginning of his prime years. He's not going to "shoot any less" or "dish out anymore" than he has in previous years. He's going to score and score and do whatever it takes to win. If he feels shooting 21 times is needed to win he will. Just because he has talented teammates doesn't mean he takes down his scoring...it just means he can find his scoring easier to win.

3 straight to the finals and the triangle offense. Don't expect him to lower down his numbers.

"The Lakers have hired an injury prevention coach who reviews all of Bynum's footwork and movement."

Posted by: Benny | July 26, 2010 at 12:25 AM

Really who? If that's the case can that coach prevent all the injuries this year especially to Kobe and Gasol?

Besides Bynum is going to work out with Alex McKenzie the Lakers strength and conditioning coach for years. It's nothing new besides Bynum will be training in Canada (when can train after his surgery) to work out his core muscles. Nothing new really. He has been training the last 3 summers.

"In another 3 years Bynum will significantly reduce his injury potential and at the same time his toughness is starting to really impress. This is something that Kupchak is monitoring constantly and if thought for a minute that Bynum was not going to work through this process and become the player he envisioned, then Bynum would already be gone."

He has stated he is injury prone (though I really disagree on him that part). And no Mitch is still putting faith in the "if isn't broke don't fix it" line of thinking (though he has upgraded from Ariza to Artest and Farmar to Blake). And during January the Lakers were getting frustrated behind close doors about the lack of Bynum's progression (1 point per game higher isn't what you expect from a player who is supposedly good as Shaquille O'Neal")

"His first year he breaks his knee on a freak landing and he is done for the year, the next year Kobe takes his knee out and he makes it back for the playoffs, this year he plays through the injury and completes a full season at less than 100%"

Um he was drafted 2005 not in 2007. That was a weak landing and having him injure it that way only showed how weak his knee was (Kobe landing on it is a different). And again he didn't have ANY freak injuries this year! Hip? Achilles Tendon? Kobe didn't land on it nor did Lamar. Hyperextending it? No freak accident there...Kobe hyperextending when he landed near Josh Powell in the 08-09 pre-season was more of a freak accident.

"but in 2012-2013 I believe we start the transition for Kobe's team to Bynum's team."

Bynum isn't even a leader in the locker room it is more Fisher's team than it is Bynum's.

"I believe by 2014 we still have Kobe, Gasol, Bynum and Blake, but Dr. Buss will have gone back to his formula of replacing age with youth and build another championship team for the next decade."

Prepare for a short rebuilding season in other words.

"If Kupchak is able to navigate this transition in a way that we remain championship competitive, then he will supplant Jerry West as the greatest Laker GM ever."

West built Showtime the 90's Lakers which thankfully wasn't a time of full rebuilding and Shaq-Kobe Lakers Mitch has a long way to go to even match Jerry West as a GM.

"As Kobe and Gasol get older, Bynum's role is going to grow and his emergence in the next 3 years will be what attracts the talent to the post Kobe era of the Lakers."

I hate to break your bubble Benny but Bynum is no way comparable to the current super stars. Durant? No. Carmelo? No. CP3? No. Howard? Hell no save for not being a poor passer like Howard. I don't even need to compare him to LBJ/Wade/Bosh. Bynum hasn't even touched an All-Star team yet! (And is debatable considering that again Yao is healthy and will be voted by voters most likely as the starting center). Then he faces a glut of big men in reserve (Nowitzki/Gasol/Kaman/Randolph (didn't deserve really) not to mention Power Forwards that can make Gasol play center).

If Bynum was an MVP candidate then your points would be valid. Heck Kobe in 02-03 was third in MVP voting (should have gotten it) and that was while having the most dominant big man of the 2000's at his side.

Until then Bynum is a mere role player riding Kobe's tails. Once Kobe's era is gone....if it's Bynum's era then heck we can only pray that another great perimeter player comes to lift the Lakers back into contention because Bynum isn't on Dwight's level when healthy.

"I can't wait to watch the next 10 years unfold."

I'm not looking forward to Wade/LBJ/Bosh in the league nor even a CP3/Carmelo/Stoudemire league. I'm looking as much year as the Kobe era continues.

And you better say 9 years considering the lock out next next season.

In fact bronxlakerfan....you better tell that to Kobe yourself because having seen him play since he was a 17 year old rookie he doesn't change his game. Even with Shaq.

Why else would he spend last summer training with Olajuwon learning the Dream Shake? It sure wasn't a lesson to teach Bynum or Gasol about the post.

Fact showed he is continuing upgrading his arsenal to SCORE better. It isn't to be like LeQUIT and dish out assists. So forget it just as Laker Tom visions of Kobe having his Team USA primary defensive stopper role in order to allow Bynum/Gasol be the focus point of the offense should be forgotten (and ESPECIALLY his dream of having LO as PG).

The Laker Nation is set for major heartbreak next Spring if Mitch doesn't work his arse off and pull off some miracles before the trade deadline this December.

One thing that's practically guaranteed is Drew will injure himself sometime before the All-Star break and be out for the season.

Lamar will continue his disappointing ways and be of no significance during the regular season, unless you count a negative presence as "significant".

Artest will be looney again. His motivation and commitment is always in question, and a couple of games in the playoffs compared to 95% of his season isn't going to change that.

Fisher will be even slower and more awful this season than he was last. The West has the best point guards in the league, and Fisher will be the dependable mismatch for all these teams. And our other option being Blake doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

Pau is the only Laker that will be performing to expectations. He'll never be mistaken for McHale but his footwork should more than make up for the lack of power.

The big question mark is, of course, Kobe. He's coming off basically the worse regular season he has seen and at 32, having started his career early out of high school, it looks like his best days are behind him. Still, if his surgeries don't weaken him, we should expect him to make a rebound from last year. Just how much remains to be seen.

Our new rotation of cast-off journeymen and thugs might actually be an improvement to the deeper end of our bench the past few years, though. Walton, Jordan, Brown, Sasha and the like were just along for the ride. Some are gone and some are still here, but it was hard to make our bench worse and we didn't do that.

The consensus is that we're a lock for the Finals while the East is a toss-up. I'm not so sure. With how our team is built right now, our playoffs might end with a Western Conference opponent. Besides the obvious, with Durant and Westbroke having the potential to be better than Nash and Amare and up there with Stockton and Malone, and the Thunder being our main challenge for years to come, other West teams have a chance to knock us off we we don't re-up quick. The Blazers, if healthy, are a young and dangerous team, especially if Oden can get healthy. His career has been not unlike Drew's. And if they get CP3, instantly they are a difficult match-up for us.

And this is not mentioning the ol' West reliables, being the Texas teams and even Houston being thrown into the mix if Yao is healthy and with Miller backing him up. And the Suns didn't lose as much as we thought they would with their FA signings on paper being able to pick up some of Amare's slack. But then again, I wouldn't count on the Suns.

The Western Conference is ours to lose, but we definitely need to tool up to face the challenges.

The good thing about the stacked East for us is they will have beaten themselves up for 3 series before facing us in the Finals. Hopefully some of their key guys will be injured or fatigued. Age and talent-wise, we are behind the Magic (if they get CP3) and the Heat. The Celtic old dogs were a gift to us last year. With them being so old, not surprising we wore them down. But the new powers of the East are very young, very hungry, very determined, and VERY talented.

If we don't make the Finals next year, it will be the most disappointing season in Laker history.

Machine is blogging.
blahblahblah....

The most disappointing season was when Ralph Sampson made that shot to eliminate the Showtime Lakers in the FIRST round. Doubt anything could match that.

"One thing that's practically guaranteed is Drew will injure himself sometime before the All-Star break and be out for the season. "
Posted by: Tex Summer | July 26, 2010 at 01:11 AM

How do you know he will be injured? He wasn't injured before the All-Star break last year....a bit inconsistent but my all the injury talk LOL! Poor kid doesn't deserve the injury talk even if he did admit it (which I disagree).

"Lamar will continue his disappointing ways and be of no significance during the regular season, unless you count a negative presence as "significant"."

Depends. If you are counting him as an All-Star prepare to be disappointed. Otherwise LO is doing his job very well especially as being a ball handling forward.

"Artest will be looney again. His motivation and commitment is always in question, and a couple of games in the playoffs compared to 95% of his season isn't going to change that."

He has a better grasp of the offense now (it took Vlad a full season to really fully understand it too) and while I don't have him "shutting down" LBJ, he'll do his job good enough and keep as much pressure of Kobe defensive wise.

"Fisher will be even slower and more awful this season than he was last. The West has the best point guards in the league, and Fisher will be the dependable mismatch for all these teams. And our other option being Blake doesn't exactly inspire confidence."

In the playoffs the Lakers faced off against up and rising Russell Westbrook/Best PG in the league Deron Williams/Old but crafty Steve Nash/and up and coming yet arrogant as heck Rajon Rondo. Fisher survived against both D-Will and Nash. We'll be fine at PG even though the way Steve Blake's defense is perceived is already overrated.

"Pau is the only Laker that will be performing to expectations. He'll never be mistaken for McHale but his footwork should more than make up for the lack of power."

Finally a positive....

"The big question mark is, of course, Kobe. He's coming off basically the worse regular season he has seen and at 32, having started his career early out of high school, it looks like his best days are behind him. "

MJ was 32 years old when he led his Bulls to a 72-10 record. Kobe with surgery on that knee (which bothered him the most) will be great again.

"If we don't make the Finals next year, it will be the most disappointing season in Laker history."

Nah 1989 was more disappointing considering that was supposed to be Kareem's farewell tour and it ended up being his curtain call with Magic Johnson and Byron Scott injured and Lakers getting swept.

Try to be a little more positive Tex Summer? Even I'm expecting Bynum to prove me wrong about him in the up coming season.
----------------------------------------
The most disappointing season was when Ralph Sampson made that shot to eliminate the Showtime Lakers in the FIRST round. Doubt anything could match that.

Posted by: p ang | July 26, 2010 at 02:19 AM

Me and LTLF still has nightmares of that (was worst for LTLF considering he was there....).

And freaking Sampson embarrassed himself in the Finals with a 15ppg 44% FG average....he just had to hit that one damn shot.

Good post bronxlakerfan

I was trying to find those stats as well. All the other teams in the West or East maybe looking for their 1st championship or to win a 2nd ring; but this Lakers squad wants to make history and be immortalized as one of the greatest teams to play in the NBA.

Kobe wants to reach the top 10 all time scorers of the NBA, Phil Jackson wants to leave winning his 4th 3 peat and 12th ring. Pau Gasol is looking to be the best Foreign born player to have ever play in the NBA. Jerry Buss is looking to tie the Celtics with the most titles for any NBA franchise.

There is alot of pride and motivation to win, and alot of legacies to be written.
With all that said, wow; i can't wait for next season to start. Us as Laker fans expect them to show that will and determination to be the best team.

I agree with an earlier blogger that we the fans should not count our 17th rings before they hatch. Sports are very unpredictable by nature. The Patriots had a perfect regular season but loss the superbowl. The Colts were a lock to win it all this past season. Anyone remember the Blazers in the early 2000s. That team was about 10 deep. My point is that this upcomming season will be even more difficult to win it again. Teams will be even more geeked to knock LA off. Several questions must be answered before June, Will Bynum be healthy for playoffs? Will LO be more consistent off the bench? Will Kobe the best player in the game allow Gastrong to win the finals mvp if it means winning the ring? Will the bench allow Phil to play the starters less minutes? Will the lakers be relatively injury free and rested for playoff run?

Good Morning Laker Nation I don't Know if this article
was posted before or not but it's kind of interesting
*
Ten things the Lakers must do to hang withthe Miami Heat
http://tinyurl.com/2wywygu

Re: Kareem...
There is an HBO documentary entitled "The UCLA Dynasty" that features some incredible footage of the young Lew Alcindor/Kareem Abdul Jabbar. His quickness, footspeed, leaping ability and total athleticism back then was truly amazing. I honestly believe that if Kareem had only been 6'2", he still would have been a very good NBA player. Great, great player!!
Posted by: bronxlakerfan | July 25, 2010 at 10:02 PM

I had the opportunity to talk with a guy for about an hour that played for UCLA in the 60's. He wasn't a starter but he was on the Varsity team that played Lew Alcindor and the rookies and lost to them. I peppered him with questions about John Wooden as I was really into him at that time (still love the guy! May he rest in peace). He talked alot about Lew (Kareem) and that he was a quiet guy just trying to find his way.

I'm in the Insurance business and so is the guy I was talking to. I didn't want to overdo it by taking more of his time but that 1 hour chat was a treasure! He and I both live in Orange County.

Good morning Lakers fans,

Wait til you read this one! Just when you thought it was safe to wake up in the morning without having to read about LBJ comes this headline: Can Relentless LeBron James Coverage Sell a New National Sports Magazine?

http://bit.ly/aT15DK

Yes, the people behind the magazines "The Source" and "Hip Hop Weekly" are planning a NATIONAL magazine, "Skyboxx" to feature 20 pages per issue about LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

Says the publisher, "The Miami Heat are poised to become a franchise on the level of the New York Yankees, the Dallas Cowboys, the Showtime Lakers of the '80s -- teams that have broad appeal, that have followings beyond their local markets."

I don't read or subscribe to either "The Source" or "Hip Hop Weekly," but if I did, I would send a cancellation letter in outrage. Obviously, these people have learned nothing from the negative reaction to ESPN's "The Decision," or they are opportunists who have lost their minds.

You decide.

Yes, the people behind the magazines "The Source" and "Hip Hop Weekly" are planning a NATIONAL magazine, "Skyboxx" to feature 20 pages per issue about LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Obviously, these people have learned nothing from the negative reaction to ESPN's "The Decision," or they are opportunists who have lost their minds. You decide. Posted by: Rick Friedman | July 26, 2010 at 06:57 AM
*
No, No, HELLLLLLLL NOOOOOOOOOOO! Has the whole Freakin world gone insane. This is nothing but some more of that EVIL DARTH STERN handi work. THIS IS SHEER MADNESS!!!

OH, My bad, GOOD Morning JohnnyV and Rick Friedman!

@JohnnyV, Nice post! Nice way to start the day.

Has this been posted yet? This is Ron Artest talking about his childhood, his father protecting him from the streets and other Queensbridge assorted stories...very good.


http://www.thisis50.com/profiles/blogs/thisis50-sports-ron-artest-no


Wes

@JohnnyV, Nice post! Nice way to start the day.
Posted by: mamab24 | July 26, 2010 at 07:05 AM

Thanks Mamba24. I'm so glad you're back, or decided to stay or... I'm so glad you're here! LOL.

@JohnnyV, I been back for a lil while, but kind of low profile and I pick my spots. But thanks for the welcome anyway it's truly appreciated.
Mamba24

The buzzer beater that Sampson made in 1986 was in the Conference Finals, not the first round. Yes, incredibly disappointing, especially since winning the series would have meant a re-match with the Celtics in the Finals who we beat the year previously, but Houston won 4-1 so we were obviously outclassed and it's not like Jordan's buzzer beater against the Cavs which won a series that could have gone either way in the last second.

But it's disappointing similar to the way next season will be disappointing if we don't make the Finals since that year they were also coming back from a championship season. Next year, however, we are coming from a back-to-back on our way to Kobe's second three-peat in Phil Jackson's last season, giving Phil 4 three-peats, something so incredibly unprecedented and perfectly beautiful that it will never be matched. So if we don't make the Finals, how can it be less disappointing than 1986? Plus if the Heat make the Finals, that would make it even worse. Which one of us doesn't want to see Kobe crushing LeBrawnNoBrains in the Finals in what could be the final opportunity of a vintage Kobe against a peaking LeBronskiBeat?

Call me negative if you want, but like Chris Sheridan on Team USA, I'm just looking at the situation objectively.

We had a very fortunate playoffs last season in which we faced off with teams that we matched up with very well. The biggest challenge was the Thunder in terms of talent, but they were also very green which allowed our experience to prevail. People forget that Utah was dealing with a rash of injuries that robbed them of their inside presence and 3-point shooting. The Suns are a high-scoring run-and-gun team, but they lack any semblance of defense and interior presence which we took advantage of.

The Celtics, however, had one of the most challenging playoff runs in recent memory. They had to play through 3 verified young superstars in Wade, James and Howard in the East. By the time they got to us, they were banged up and exhausted, culminating in the Game 6 injury to Perkins. We also lucked out that we faced them as we would have lost home court advantage against either the Cavs or Magic. And we still had to go 7 games and won only by 4 points at home. Rasheed was killing us in the 1st half, but body cramps made him barely able to walk in the 2nd. Can you imagine if they had Perkins starting and Wallace coming off the bench?

So my point is, while the West and the Championship is ours to lose, it won't be easy and Mitch needs to further tweak our roster by the December trading deadline to put us in a better position. If Bynum does get injured as he has for the past 3 seasons, let's hope it's early in the season so he's ready by the playoffs and which will also allow Mitch to look for another big man before the trading deadline ends.

So my point is, while the West and the Championship is ours to lose, it won't be easy and Mitch needs to further tweak our roster by the December trading deadline to put us in a better position. If Bynum does get injured as he has for the past 3 seasons, let's hope it's early in the season so he's ready by the playoffs and which will also allow Mitch to look for another big man before the trading deadline ends.
Posted by: Tex Summer | July 26, 2010 at 07:20 AM

Great Post Tex, nice name also lol!
Mamba24

Tex,

All the enthusiasm towards the Lakers going into next season is nice but your post is a good dose of objective realism.

The Lakers were the best team last year, but not by a mile, just barely.
They should be improved this year, but other teams have improved too.
It's going to be a battle next year not a cake walk.
I don't care how many games the Lakers win as long as it's one more game than the team with the second best record.
Just get home court advantage all the way through.

A few links to past the time

Ron Artest plays dodge ball http://tinyurl.com/23kkd2m

Tracy McGrady Nearing Deal with Bulls http://tinyurl.com/25qjuxw

Rajon Rondo On heat http://tinyurl.com/2bbb6bu

Durant shines in Team USA Scrimmage http://tinyurl.com/2umrgmr

MM,

Thanks. Never thought of myself as a COTD guy. Now I have to check my postings for for typos (that was embarrassing up there on top).


Or I can just go back to having them suck.

Good points Tex and Art,
I just hope that I can remember throughout this long season that our "Team" won't display it's true form until deep into the playoffs. As alot of us were thrashing around with the Lakers play throughout the last regular season, most of us had to be reminded to "Just Breathe."

It's very tempting to take a regular season performance and project that our team will play like that in the Playoffs. Oh there were plenty of people that were telling us to chill out and that the playoffs will be different. But did that help? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. We went right back to the current miserable state of our team. ONLY to see the light after halfway through the Oklahoma series.

My pledge this year will be like the opening of the movie "Hitchikers guide through the Galaxy." The movie simply states, "Don't Panic."

mamba,

Good morning.

I see you be now using the newly released Matt Barnes dictionary!

EJK,

you wrote: Fish could guard Miller the same way he guarded Ray Allen. I don't know why you'd be concerned about Miller shooting over Fisher. Heck, I'd be happy with Miller jacking up contested perimeter shots over Fish all game long. The only way Miller would be able to effectively use his height advantage is to post Fish up, which is clearly not his strength.

my response: Ray Allen is 6'5. Mike Miller is 6'8". I believe a 7" differential
is enough for Mike Miller to get a "clean" look at the basket and there's no
way that the vertically challenged Fisher is going to block his shot.

re: Mike Miller shooting.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/m/millemi01.html

Did you know that Miller shot 50% last year? Did you know that Miller shot
50% 2 out of the last 3 years? The Heat got Miller *specifically* because
he's a great shooter.

you also wrote: And how am I focused on offense? I'm confused. Is there something wrong with saying that Drew would dominate Haslem in the post? And do you honestly think that Drew couldn't guard Haslem on the other end? What in the world are you talking about?

my response: When you said "Drew would dominate Haslem in the post",
were you *NOT* talking about on the offensive end?

re: Drew guarding Haslem on the other end. A couple of things.

1. You didn't actually talk about Drew's defensive skills. Sorry if I got this
wrong. I already asked you what your quote meant. [ above ]

2. I haven't seen Bynum *DOMINATE* anybody in the playoffs. Still
looking forward to that.

3. The subject of Bynum's offensive vs. defensive skills has been talked about
ad nauseum. [sp?] OKC was able to do a great job against him due to their
quickness/hustle and team defense. I am waiting to see Bynum focus on his
defense instead of his offense. I'd love to see it happen.

What I *think* would happen is Bynum would be trying help on LBJ, Wade &
Bosh. His defense against Haslem would be suspect. I'd love to be wrong.

Hope that clears things up.

@TOM DANIELS, Congrats on COTD! Even with a typo brilliance shines thru. Congrats my brother!

I see you be now using the newly released Matt Barnes dictionary! Posted by: Art - FL Lakers Fan | July 26, 2010 at 07:47 AM

Lol! Art you are a vicious man and I'm rapidly losing Paitients with you! LMAO!

BronxLakerFan,

you wrote: I'm not saying that Kobe will stop being the Lakers' leading scorer. He averaged 27 and 5 assists last year. One less basket and one more assist this year would be better for him, better for the team.

my response: Umm ... Don't you want to direct this to Artest, Fisher, & the
bench. i.e. Consider how many games the aforementioned shot like crap.

It goes like this. Kobe *must* score to tilt the defense towards him. Kobe will
pass the ball to people who are open who are making their shots. If they are
not making their shots, Kobe will shoot. This has been happening for years.

If Kobe doesn't score, teams will not double-team him. Nobody else can
create their own shots.

Tom Daniels -

Your comment was especially good because it got all of us thinking at a different level.

Thanks for your contribution in making this the best Lakers blog in the known universe.

"It's an insult to even mention Bynum to those centers even though you aren't necessarily comparing Bynum with them. And you forgot the other consistent ingredient in those titles save for Mikan.

A great perimeter player: West/Magic/Kobe."

Duh. But you fail to grasp the simple concept of the importance of a giant patrolling the paint. The Lakers organization grasps it because they drafted him and have stuck with him and are PAYING him. THAT is how important a true back to the basket center is to winning championships and I will defer to the Lakers organization over a fan like you who refuses to grasp a simple concept. Of COURSE you have to have great perimeter players. It's a TEAM sport. Name me ONE championship team since 1999 that didn't have a force in the middle AND great perimeter player. I'll help you. There haven't been ANY.

"And don't try to reverse it on me. West brought his team 9 times into the Finals (only Bill Russell prevented those from being titles save for one in 1972). Magic won his first title with Kareem being injured in Game 6 not to mention going to the Finals in 1991 with Vlade Divac as his center (only a guy named Michael Jordan prevented a 6th for Magic). Kobe won it with Gasol not with Bynum."

Kobe won it with Gasol AND Bynum, but not with Gasol ONLY. Ask any NBA player who has to play against the Lakers and they will ALWAYS bring up Bynum, too.

"I give you props for not overrating Bynum as some people have. When Kobe's era is finished most likely a small rebuilding phase (hopefully) will happen but the Lakers will be back (how long to be title contending is anyone's guess) but unless another great perimeter player comes don't be expecting Bynum to be leading us to titles. I already said that about James Worthy when Magic retired (when he found out he had AIDS) and well Big Game James showed that he was a great supporting fiddle for Showtime but couldn't be *the man*."

I'm sure a great perimeter player will make his way into Staples Center. Hopefully Andrew Bynum's frame will be fully matured by then and he could wind up being a great NBA center. Theo Ratliff seems to think so as does Kareem and many, many others. He gave us flashes of that greatness before he went down with his two major knee injuries and showed his maturity by playing through injuries these past playoffs.

"But again if you are to say a thing that happened (like Bynum being in crunch time in Boston but not Gasol) make sure you have the facts before making a claim. It's fine to label that Bynum was in there but it's not ok to dismiss that Gasol wasn't there too simply to show that Bynum deserved to be in crunch time not Gasol."

How's this. With respect to that game, you're WRONG, so you should quit condescending on THIS Lakers fan whose recollection of that game is apparently superior to yours. Pau Gasol re-entered that January 31st game against the Chowds in Boston with 27 seconds left in the fourth quarter, subbing in for Lamar Odom. So yes, they were on the floor at the same time down the stretch .. for a whopping 20 seconds. LO subbed back in for Bynum with 7 seconds left. It seems that YOU are the one with the selective memory.

Here's the link:

http://espn.go.com/nba/playbyplay?gameId=300131002&period=4

pursuant to the conversations about Bynum's defense and shot blocking
ability ...

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/425053-nba-power-rankings-the-20-best-shot-blockers-in-the-nba#page/22

[ I'm reminded of a quote by Wesley Snipes in Blade: Some mofos are always
trying to ice skate uphill. ]

Surprise, surprise....

http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/columns/story?id=5408042

A story about Lamar Odom's LEADERSHIP on Team USA.

Go Lakers!

[ I'm reminded of a quote by Wesley Snipes in Blade: Some mofos are always trying to ice skate uphill. ]
Posted by: hobbitmage | July 26, 2010 at 08:24 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXhKzY0BKwY&feature=related


Surprise, surprise....http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/columns/story?id=5408042 A story about Lamar Odom's LEADERSHIP on Team USA. Go Lakers! Posted by: Rocky | July 26, 2010 at 08:33 AM
*
Rocky, I think this is just one more omen that this is going to be a season for the ages! Thanks for the link!

I am curious how my fellow bloggers feel about LO playing ball this summer.


Here's what I think. Normally I am against any Lakers playing. International ball is fine for guys whose seasons end in April and May. But if you are in The Finals every year, you need the summer to recuperate and heal and work on parts of your game that need work.


But with LO I feel differently. He has always been LO - he is not the most consistent guy in the NBA. But he has nights where he shines, where he can take over games. And having a sixth man who can flat out win games for you is obvioulsy a pretty good thing. But this last year I thought LO looked flat most of the time. The magic nights were few and far between.


I'm hoping that a summer in international, a change of scenery, a chance to play a little more for fun and to play with a different group of guys will rekindle the fire in his inner basketball player. The guy who just loves playing and competing and doesn't care about the rest, about starting or his contract or reality TV or all the crap that may be getting in the way.


In my fantasy world (which is where I live most of the time, a world where Luke Walton dominates LeBron James in The Finals) LO would come back from summer with fresh eyes for the game and play with the enthusiasm that seemed hard to find last year.

"Name me ONE championship team since 1999 that didn't have a force in the middle AND great perimeter player. I'll help you. There haven't been ANY."

Why 1999? MJ's Bulls won without a force in the middle, Hakeem's Rockets (no Vernon Maxwell does *Not* count neither does Drexler as he was out of his prime by the time he went to Houston) never had a great perimeter as did San Antonio's 1999 team had Tim Duncan and Robinson with no great perimeter player outside and Chauncey's 2004 Pistons squad had no force inside (no Ben Wallace was no inside scorer even his game 5 performance, and Rasheed Wallace was great for Game 4 only).

It could be noted that in 2003 (Robinson couldn't carry a secondary scoring option then), 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 there was no center in the middle that was providing a true secondary force of scoring but Duncan/Garnett/Gasol are inside forces so they get included with that.

"Theo Ratliff seems to think so as does Kareem and many, many others. He gave us flashes of that greatness before he went down with his two major knee injuries and showed his maturity by playing through injuries these past playoffs."

Flashes is one thing consistency is another. He gave us that great game in Boston followed by a hiccup against Memphis. He got a 20 and 13 game against Philadelphia followed by looking mortal against Denver with a 6 and 6 performance. Kareem and Theo are supporting Bynum no doubt and this kid is a good player, a good second fiddle no doubt but until his game extremely changes big time and I mean big time he isn't anymore than that. He has been outplayed by a 37 year old Shaq in both games against Cleveland (both times healthy), and compared as being good if not better as Howard yet being outplayed by him both times (again both times Bynum was healthy). One reason why Odom could never be the 2nd option even though he had games where he acted like one.

" Pau Gasol re-entered that January 31st game against the Chowds in Boston with 27 seconds left in the fourth quarter, subbing in for Lamar Odom. "

That I can admit I was wrong and I'm man enough to admit it. That being said don't expect Bynum to be consistently in crunch time even this year. Phil's track record even when Bynum played well suggests he won't except in times where it seems Gasol isn't playing very well (which isn't very much given his consistency).

@Tom Daniels, not to be funny but seriously I think it will do him a world of good just to get away from Khloe for awhile so he can concentrate on basketball. Plus playing with Durant who may be our new Rival should re-invigorate him. As the Link from Rocky shows he has already taken a leadership position which should help his outlook when he comes back. I think this is actually the best thing that could happen to him and The Lakers.

No Haiku today...just a Kobe story...

KOBE BEAN BRYANT

There once was a man named Kobe...
His skills and desire he showed me...
The best ever he wanted to be..
His first rings in a bunch of three..

So many feats, and he scored 81...
The most points since The Big Gun...
Watching his game is loads of fun...
Mamba strikes! another game won...

His loyal friend, a man named Fish...
To play with him was his wish...
Kobe drives and assist he dish...
To Derek's trey the pull up swish...

A Laker legend, he has become...
Never scared and always fearsome...
All obstacles he will overcome...
The list is long, the victims gruesome...

Now number 6 he is in pursuit...
After next year we will all salute...
His legacy is now absolute...
The best ever, you can't dispute...

But he is not loved by everyone...
Stern, ESPN, Simmons to name some...
A puppet king with nothing won...
Who quit on his team, the chosen one...

But all the purist, we all know...
Kobe and Lakers are the show...
Last second down, Kobe goes low...
Another game winner, no problem bro...

There is a story of a venemous snake...
The Black Mamba will come, to make you quake...
So many weapons is at his stake...
Pau, AB, Artest and Blake...

This story ends while I still rhyme...
Kobe Bean Bryant in the sublime...
This wonder who's the new Showtime..
He is the greatest, and still in his prime...

Phred,


I hear what you say about Matt Barnes - his past behavior and his 7 teams in 8 years. He did provide the defining moment of Kobe's career, when the Inhuman One didn't flinch at his ball fake. He did offer to stuff 2 poopy diapers in Odom's mouth to shut him up (and wouldn't one do the job?)


So you made think, why would I be so comfortable about Barnes coming here, when Artest made me nervous? (I got over it) Well, for one, I watched Barnes at UCLA and nothing bad happened. He played hard all the time. I love that. So that helps.


But I guess, compared to Artest, I see Barnes as the kind of garden variety, hyper competetive, hyper-aggressive psycho we have all played with or against at some point in our lives. The guy you love on your team and hate on the other team. There have been plenty of them in the league.


Artest is in another league menatally. He is more a kind of unpredictable, what-the-hell-is-going-on-his-head psycho. I like Artest, but I worry about him and wonder what will become of him when his NBA life is over - when the structure and the outlet for all his crazy energy is gone. Now he can channel it into being an amazing defender - I love watching him. But happens to Ron afterwards?


So I guess for me that's the difference. I've watched Barnes before, but more importantly I've seen other guys like him. I have to admit to never having played or watched anyone quite like Artest before. I think they give the Lakers two SFs that you don't want to see defending you. They bring toughness. And the both come at some risk.

PREACH LEWSTRS, PREACH! Each day a new talent of the multi-dimensional Lewstrs is revealed! Go on with your bad self Bro!

pursuant to the conversations about Bynum's defense and shot blocking
ability ...

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/425053-nba-power-rankings-the-20-best-shot-blockers-in-the-nba#page/22

[ I'm reminded of a quote by Wesley Snipes in Blade: Some mofos are always
trying to ice skate uphill. ]

Posted by: hobbitmage | July 26, 2010 at 08:24 AM

Hobbit I have to disagree with you on that one. Again please don't use Bleacher Report that site is more opinion than fact.

That was the original site that reported McGrady had real interest in joining the Lakers....we have to yet confirm that either McGrady or LA has.

That being said Bleacher Report article was correct in not listing Bynum or Gasol in the top 20 of shot blocking last year. Both their ratings were less than 6.3 for Bynum and 6.5 for Gasol and the last dude on the list (Brook Lopez) had a rating of 7.3 when it came to blocks.

All though in Bynum's best year of blocks he had a 9.6 rating in 07-08 which would have ranked him 14 behind of Marcin Gortat (who had a 10.3 rating) and ahead of Roy Hibbert (who had a 8.9 rating).

That was painful though to make sure Bleacher Report had been correct in leaving Bynum out of the top 20 I was sure Bynum was at least in the top 20 looks like I was wrong.

I don't understand the unmitagated hate towards Bynum... There are 3 true centers in the nba under 30 right now, and not surprisingly, those are the only 3 teams to reach the finals over the last 3 years, and the one year we lost, we got by without a true center until we played a team with one. No Bynum isn't a dominant force who you can build a game plan around, but he changes the game for the team on both ends. You can't double Pau because he can find shooters, or dump it to a competent true center. You can't just attack the basket off pick and roll because there is a 7'3 285 pound wall there. He's by no means the best center in the league, but when Yao is healthy, he's the 3rd best, so be thankful for what we do have, please...he's not getting traded, and I for one would be highly upset if he did get moved. He's a huge asset and key to the team.

im still geeking out about this bench:

Blake
Barnes
Odom
Ratliff
Caracter
Ebanks
Sasha

Walton


We got it this year.

@ Brian, how could we not be excited with that bench? if at the end of the season someone would have told you we'd replace farmar with blake, luke/morrison with barnes, dj/powell with ratliff(the only question mark due to age) and kept the rest of the team, wouldn't you turn backflips? lol

>>>>The most disappointing season was when Ralph Sampson made that shot
>>>>to eliminate the Showtime Lakers in the FIRST round. Doubt anything
>>>>could match that.

Oh, why'd ya have to go and bring that shizzle up. Waaaaaaaah.

Quietest I've ever seen a sporting venue. Lakers lead the whole game, they're leading by 1 with a second left, the fans are screaming an cheering, Sampson makes the elbow shot and BAM... silence (or at least it seemed that way - maybe there were still some people screaming and my sensory perception all just shut off). It was like being kicked in the nuts with steel toed boots.

raiderlaker1980 - it doesn't appear to me that the hate is so much towards Bynum (except when he isn't getting surgery, or claiming he's going to be an All Star, or Playmating while recovering, etc.), but mostly it's a philisophical disagreement between those that think Drew's "a power to be reckoned with" and those who see him as injury-prone so far and not 100% useful when we need him most: the playoffs.

I must admit, he frustrates me. Injuries always frustrate me (1989 STILL haunts my nightmares), and Drew's had the most significant... relentlessly for the last 3 years. If he turns the corner healthwise, I think most everyone will chill about him/others reactions to him (except for the DBynum blogger who will appear magically to decry him). If he goes down again, "thar's gonna be some fireworks!"

We've been spoiled by Kobe and Derek, and even Cap - look at Kareem's stats: one 65 game season, and almost all the others were 79 plus games per year... for a zillion years!

LEWSTRS...let me cover you with a haiku today;

Lakers dynasty
Starts twentieth century
Ends when time stood still.

Good morning Laker crew.

KB Blitz,

you wrote: Hobbit I have to disagree with you on that one. Again please don't use Bleacher Report that site is more opinion than fact.

my response: Umm ... What are you disagreeing with? That Bleacher's report
had a top 20 or who was in their top 20?

While you may disagree with their top 20, are you going to argue that they're
less informed than some of the posts on this blog? [ yes, you can include me
if you'd like. ]

raiderlaker1980,

you wrote: I don't understand the unmitagated hate towards Bynum...

my response: *I* don't hate Bynum. I don't know how long you've been
reading this blog. I've been here for a few years. What you may not recall is
that for years, Bynum's fans have heaped accolade upon accolade upon him
when he hasn't done anything to receive the accolade.

Allow me a quick example: Bynum's fans have spoken about "flashes of
greatness" & have called him the next great center for the Lakers.

Sounds great, right? Everyone would love the Lakers to have a great C.

Consider: Bynum has not lead the league in rebounds or blocked shots.
Bynum has not received 1 all-star bid. In 5 years, Bynum has had ... maybe 2
good/noteworthy games against all-star quality centers.

If Bynum's fans had hyped him as the second coming of Chamberlain,
no one would be saying anything about Bynum.

That's my take on it.

The Laker fans cannot wait for next season, name one other city were the basketball team is a bigger attraction than baseball or football?
The one thing laker admirers learned and learned the hard way last year in game 7, being cool ( coming late and leaving early) does not beat out being a fanatic. We willed those guys from 13 down to come back, it reminded me of the Portland game in 2000. Cool is who we are, but we need to give these guys more fan energy during games if we want to have the HCA.
So my message is take all this energy and make our home court the hardest place to play in the league. Not just record wise but from a hostil environment stand point.

Tom Daniels - The award was well deserved.

Hey guys we got a new post up. It announces there's going to be a chat today at 2

MM

LakerTom,

Tom for the great layout of the real Big 3 - LA, Boston and Miami. I've been staring at it. It's an interesting way to see it all. I'm sure there will be quibbles about the rankings by position, but a couple of things are clear:


1) It would be a stunner if the next champion is not one of these three teams. These teams have loaded up over the last three years or so and its hard to think of any team that is close to them.

2) Even with Miami's huge moves in this offseason, it can pretty reasonably be argued that the Lakers are the favorites going into the season, based on talent and experience.

3) Never count the Celtics out. They got within one quarter of the title this year. They are a tough bunch. Miami will have to beat the last 2 champs if they are going to get their title, and that will be a tough assignment.


Thanks LT.

Lakers dynasty
Starts twentieth century
Ends when time stood still. Good morning Laker crew.
Posted by: Gilbert Battung | July 26, 2010 at 09:29 AM

Very nice Gilbert! Everybody's a showoff today lol!

KB Blitz

Typical. You pick out the one team in NBA history that didn't have potential Hall of Fame centers defending the post, although they did have great low post defenders. These teams were aberrations in NBA history mainly because Phil Jackson was their coach and threw something at the league that it had not seen before; the triangle offense. They also played against a watered down Eastern Conference and didn't face one team in the Western Conference who could match their overall talent in the NBA Finals (1991 over-the-hill and injured Lakers without Kareem, '92 Blazers, '93 Suns, '95 Sonics, '96, '97 Jazz). None of those teams had a dominating center either. In between the two Bulls three-peats, when Jordan didn't play, Hakeem Olajuwon's Rockets won two titles. I will be very interested to see if the Miami Cheat with their Three Am-egos can duplicate that this season. Pat Riley will be on the bench if they do.

How's this for a thought? The best way to level the playing field in the Western Conference (and the NBA, for that matter) is for the Lakers to trade Andrew Bynum. That's how important he is to this team. Come up with a deal that subtracts Bynum from the equation and adds the player of your choice (other than Dwight Howard) and let's see the fans' reaction. I know this much. Breaking up the Gasol-Bynum tandem, which will just keep getting better, would be foolish.

Some thoughts regarding Caracter (some of this was pointed out by others)

1. The Lakers have spent their MLE money, so I think all they can offer their second round picks is a minimum contract. I don't think they have any choice, even if they wanted to offer more money.

2. With all the hype surrounding him, Caracter's head has probably gotten swollen (or his agent has convinced him he's worth more), and he thinks he can cash in for a bigger payday than the minimum

3. The only way Denver or New York can get him is if the Lakers trade his rights. I don't think they'll do it, but if they got offered a future first round pick and 3 million dollars, they might blink.

4. It doesn't help the Lakers financially if Caracter goes to play in Europe. The Lakers still have to fill out 2 roster spots, and the minimum is the least you can pay any player. Whoever they hired to replace him would cost at least as much and probably more.

5. Caracter playing in Europe could be a verry verry good thing for the Lakers in terms of trade assets. If he plays for the Lakers, Caracter will sit on the bench and show off absolutely nothing. If he plays (and plays well) in Euroleague, then his trade value becomes much more significant. The only way his value could improve more for the Lakers is if Odom or Gasol got injured for a month and Caracter got significant minutes and played really well.

6. If Caracter goes to Europe, then the Lakers are going to have to hire another deep bench big who can play PF. I guess they could assume Artest could play some PF if someone gets injured, but Caracter would be an ideal candidate to be a deep bench player.

Oops- was off a year: '96 Sonics, '97 and '98 Jazz.

@63 footer, completely understand your frustrations, I just disagree slightly with being frustrated over injuries, it's pro sports. Also, two of his injuries were really no fault of his own, as all he was doing was holding his position when Odom decided to try to cut underneath him to go for a rebound Drew already had, then Kobe crashed into his leg. The hate I speak of come in regards to those who undermine his importance to the team and seem to clamor to trade a legit center for some guy who can hit 18 foot jumpers, but can't man the paint. I do respect your opinion though.

raiderlaker1980 - I'm not in the camp of why Drew got the injuries (whether they were freak or not), I'm just frustrated by ALL injuries. When the so-called Bench Mob would let other teams back in and Kobe and the starters had to return, I was always yelling at the TV (or at the players if I were at the game): "Don't you know injuries can happen at ANY TIME!?!" Well, maybe I didn't really yell that at Staples, but I thought it VERY loudly.

I was just seeing all the "hate" as not so much being directed at Drew, but between people's interpretation of Drew's accomplishments. Me, I just want the season to start.

raiderlaker1980

I under KB Blitz's dislike of Bynum. He simply doesn't get it. I have no idea how old he is, but judging by his adoration of the Bulls, I'd guess mid-20's to mid-30's. I have noticed from patrolling these forums that, generally speaking, it is that age group that comprises the anti-Bynum faction. People like KB Blitz are wowed by overall player talent, not by what a guy like Bynum brings to this TEAM. They are convinced that Bynum is doomed to be injured his entire career. They believe his footwork is lacking, that his timing on defense is poor, that he doesn't pass well, that he's too lazy, that he doesn't have a high basketball IQ and that he doesn't have the potential to be any better than he is now, or at least not much better. They are frustrated by his inconsistency, are convinced that his career will be marred with injuries and believe the Lakers gypped THEM out of something by signing him to a long term contract that they don't believe he's worth. They refuse to recognize his maturity as a defensive player and they honestly believe that Bynum has been a non-factor in the Lakers' back-to-back championships. They will simply point to his overall playoff stats to defend their position on that. These are the same people who think that those who would not have traded Bynum for Bosh are "crazy."

Call me crazy.

Thanks, Mamba24..that's how we feel as champs.

Thanks, Mamba24..that's how we feel as champs.Posted by: Gilbert Battung | July 26, 2010 at 10:01 AM
*
NOW THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT! Then keep it up! lol!

QUESTION:

Would you like to see Bynum for Marc Gasol trade in the future?

Marc will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season and might want to play next to brother Pau.

Marc makes less tha 4M now, but I'm sure that would change if he re-signs. Memphis can do a sign and trade and throw in another player to be close to Bynum's salary.

Food for thought...what do yall think?

"They also played against a watered down Eastern Conference and didn't face one team in the Western Conference who could match their overall talent in the NBA Finals (1991 over-the-hill and injured Lakers without Kareem, '92 Blazers, '93 Suns, '95 Sonics, '96, '97 Jazz)"

Apparently you chose to ignore Patrick Ewing's Knicks (Ewing himself a Hall of Famer) who in the early 90's were the Bad Boys of the NBA later to replaced by Miami as the physical defensive oriented team, or Reggie Miller's Pacers who were a legit contender not just some team that talked smack to Spike Lee, Shaq's Magic team from 1992-1995, or Glen Rice's Charlotte Hornets squad or even later on the Heat that won 62 games in the latter parts of the 90's.

re: With the exception of the 91 Lakers the ones in the WC were legit teams from Drexler/Porter Blazers (still hate them though respect Clyde the Glide), MVP Barkley's Suns team who also had Thunder Majerle and Kevin Johnson, The former Supersonics who had the Glove Payton (best defender against MJ) and Shawn Kemp, And Utah's infamous Malone-Stockton. Obviously now you are shortchanging the competition now.

". I will be very interested to see if the Miami Cheat with their Three Am-egos can duplicate that this season"

Not this year but also in later years you will have to be very interested.

Not to mention you conveniently ignore Duncan's Spurs (who had Nazr Mohmammad and Francisco Oberto as the starting center), the Billups Pistons (Ben Wallace as a scoring option is too funny despite his out of the world Game 5 performance) the Boston Celtics (who had Kendrick Perkins as their center), and Kobe's Lakers (who had an injured Bynum) who didn't have a center that was hall of famer capable.

"Breaking up the Gasol-Bynum tandem, which will just keep getting better, would be foolish."

Call me wrong or anything but that wasn't the primary factor to both titles it was Kobe-Pau. You take either one of them out it's no longer a championship team! Bynum-Pau will win games but never a championship since NEITHER are true number one scoring options. You make this "dominant center" argument yet Bynum is NOWHERE the dominance of even Howard (who I don't compare dominance with the likes of Shaq) even when healthy.

Kobe-Pau in 08 battled Carmelo's Nuggets, the best Utah Jazz team since 98 (the 08 Jazz), and the last year where Duncan's Spurs were title contending ALL WITHOUT Bynum. In fact the Lakers won in 09 with a Bynum that was more in foul trouble and was BENCHED for 2 games in the Jazz series and 2 games in the Houston series and was largely ineffective against Denver (who was the hottest team in the WCF blowing the Hornets out of the water and embarrassing the Mavericks) and also Orlando (when Gasol did the heavy work while Bynum stood on the sidelines).

You want to argue about Bynum's importance in the future when Kobe is gone be my guest. Don't be trying to consider "Bynum-Gasol" tandem as the key when it was Bryant-Gasol that had the most effect in the resurgence of the Lakers.

FYI, Deron Williams/CP3/KD/Carmelo Anthony/Yao are plays that are better than Bynum that you can trade for. I'm not in favor of trading Bynum for a bunch of scrubs.

Notable guard replacements for ShanWow*:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/basketball/nba/nba.free.agent.tracker/index.html Now, I think there are several Shannon replacements:

**Rafer Alston, Jerry Stackhouse, Will Bynum, Javaris Crittenton, Jarvis Hayes, Luther Head, Eddie House, Larry Hughes, Earl Watson, Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady, Acie Law, Cartier Martin, Roger Mason, Flip Murray, Pargo, Jamaal Tinsley, Jason Williams

*If he does not return.

**I listed them in no particular order and they were picked on the following criteria: a combination of experience, age, overall-knowledge of the game (offensively, defensively, shooting, deep, {stroke -corner, off pick, spot-up, open, quick} assisting, blocking, rebounding {both def/off}, T.O.'s, and how they could fit into the triangle, chemistry and minutes they could play realistically and still produce.

Ah KBMVP888 now beginning to show frustration?

"People like KB Blitz are wowed by overall player talent, not by what a guy like Bynum brings to this TEAM."

I'm more wowed by Kobe Bryant and to a lesser degree Pau Gasol in terms that Kobe can lead his team to titles and Gasol can flourish even better as a second fiddle instead of being the man in Memphis than I am of Bynum's alley oops.

"They believe his footwork is lacking"
Overrated not lacking. Always the "Bynum has the superior footwork" in comparing Howard when both are the same just Bynum has the better jumper and free throw shooting. Bynum has good footwork for sure but you really don't see that much of the NBA do you save for national televised games.

"that his timing on defense is poor"
A big reason why Phil doesn't put him in clutch times....usually.

"that he doesn't pass well"
That's fact. Don't ever mistake him for Gasol.

"that he's too lazy"
December 2009 ring a bell? Like LO when motivated he's great....when motivated and that is key to consistency

"that he doesn't have a high basketball IQ"
Again don't compare him to Gasol.

"and that he doesn't have the potential to be any better than he is now, or at least not much better."
Actually he does but he hasn't done so in a consistent clip. Otherwise he would be averaging 25ppg if he was good as the Diesel and showing Gasol that Gasol is a 3rd fiddle not a second.

There's a line between "potential" vs "doing". Like Potential Energy vs Kinetic Energy in physics.

"They are frustrated by his inconsistency"
When you say "Next Great Laker Center" and put 15ppg when comparing him to the legends that is inconsistency. Same goes for Odom's production in LA when Riley compared him to Magic Johnson.

"are convinced that his career will be marred with injuries"
That's Laker Truth not me. Injuries are part of the game.

"and believe the Lakers gypped THEM out of something by signing him to a long term contract that they don't believe he's worth."
Bynum was paid $12.5 million that is nearly the same as Howard and Lebron. Are you telling me that Bynum is on their level?

Bynum's first year of that contract he did not deserve it. He still has 2-3 years to PROVE ME WRONG.

"They refuse to recognize his maturity as a defensive player and they honestly believe that Bynum has been a non-factor in the Lakers' back-to-back championships."

And Bynum has yet won how many All-Defensive Teams? Not to mention how Phil has stated the coaching staff is worried that "Bynum's effort on the defensive end is related to how many points he scores" nor that the Lakers won Game 7 WITHOUT Bynum in the lineup in the 4th (Perkins would mean little in terms of offense).

In playoffs 09: Complete Non Factor. 2010: Better than 09 but wasn't the deciding factor.

"They will simply point to his overall playoff stats to defend their position on that"

More like playoffs performance though I have stated his production in the Finals as FACT that he wasn't the "do or die factor" in either title runs.

Anymore frustrations you want to point at me?

KB Blitz

Patrick Ewing could be one of the most overrated centers in NBA history. Bill Cartwright was a good enough match up for him, not to mention the young, athletic Horace Grant defending the low post. Those Knicks won 39 games in 1990, 51 games in 1991 and then 60 games in 1992. While the 1992 team that was a good team, they were still mismatched on the wings (X McDaniels and Starks, for the most part) and Ewing and Oakley were neutralized down low with Cartwright and Horace grant defending the post. They gave the Bulls a run for their money, forcing them to 7 games in the second round that season. Of course, when Jordan took his hiatus, the 57-25 Knicks finally made it to the NBA Finals in 1994 and lost to Hakeem Olajuwon's Rockets 4-3 (with the Rockets coming back for a 2-3 deficit like the Lakers did this season). I would have loved to see the Bulls face that team, but we'll never know how that match up would have turned out.

As for the Bad Boy Pistons, they had their run and were through and were never to be heard from again. I am actually quite surprised that you haven't mentioned Phil Jackson in all this. There's the REAL difference!

Oh, by the way, if you remember Game 1 of the 2009 NBA Finals, Bynum DOMINATED Dwight Howard in the first quarter of Game 1 with 8 points and 5 rebounds. The Bynum-Gasol combination limited Dwight to 1 field goal on 1-6 shooting that game. Final score Lakers 100, Magic 75. Phil Jackson's record when his teams win Game 1 of a playoff series? 48-0. Even playing at about 50%, Bynum was an important factor.

Bynum is still young and has flashes of brilliance. As he continues to mature, your tune will change. What I don't understand is your failure to recognize how no team in the NBA can match up against our 48 mpg 4-5 combination of Gasol-Odom-Bynum. Over a 7 game series, that is our biggest advantage and it simply wears down opponents. The fact that the Lakers are back-to-back champions should make you understand that. It's not JUST Kobe and Pau. I wish it was that simple.

"Patrick Ewing could be one of the most overrated centers in NBA history."

Hall of Famer is NOT overrated. Xavier McDaniels was almost as dirty as Bill Laimbeer. John Starks actually defended Jordan better than he defended Reggie Miller.

That Team was the epitome of DEFENSE wins championships not just great centers.

"As for the Bad Boy Pistons, they had their run and were through and were never to be heard from again."

Yea they took Bird's Celtics in 88 (spending them to their limit in 1987), took Magic's Lakers to 7 games and had a few things going against them (the controversial but rightful foul on Laimbeer/Isiah's ankle injury) and beat the Lakers in 1989 albiet without Magic and Byron Scott.

Those Pistons showed you don't NEED a dominant center to win titles....just good TEAM defense.

"Oh, by the way, if you remember Game 1 of the 2009 NBA Finals, Bynum DOMINATED Dwight Howard in the first quarter of Game 1 with 8 points and 5 rebounds."

8 points 5 rebounds LOL. So that makes Kwamay Brown dominant too?

Note: Dwight still got 12 and 15 that game which triumphed Bynum's 9 and 9. Apperantly you IGNORE that Gasol did TWICE as much work against Howard in the series overall than Bynum did (who was more of a foul dummy then save for Game 3).

And you conveniently IGNORE Kobe's 40 point 8 rebound 8 assists performance which was the primary reason the Lakers blew out the Magic.

"Even playing at about 50%, Bynum was an important factor."

Playing as a foul dummy. DJ Mbenga would have gladly been a foul dummy not to mention add a few blocks to his stat pad had he been given Bynum's minutes.

"It's not JUST Kobe and Pau. I wish it was that simple."

IT IS that simple. You just choose to ignore that.

Take out Kobe and YOU WILL NOT *WIN* with Bynum-Gasol a title. There's a big difference between second fiddles and Go to guys.

Sorry as much as I hate the new Miami Heat trio those triumph over Bynum-Gasol-Odom. The one KEY factor that triumphs ALL 3 of those amigos?

Kobe Bryant.

Again see my post in the next blog if you really want to find out how you can convince me.

"That Team was the epitome of DEFENSE wins championships not just great centers."

To Clarify,

the Knicks would have won had it not been for Michael Jordan and say about Cartwright all you want but Cartwright is NO inside presence (Bynum is better than him offensively).

 
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