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Poll results show Laker fans feel strongly confident about a three-peat

54398053-1Our economy is in disarray. There's uncertainty over the Afghan war. And political tensions remain high. There are plenty of things for people to be upset about these days, and the polls certainly show it. But the polls here at the L.A. Times Lakers blog reveal upbeat attitudes about one thing, anyway: the Lakers' chances for a three-peat.

The Lakers are coming off a second consecutive championship, making the off-season more relaxing, the free-agency process known as "The Decision" more laughable and causing the urge to start up the season to spike. Not to worry, though, folks. Training camp starts Saturday, meaning you can stop rewinding Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals, playing out imaginary Lakers games in your dreams and searching miles and miles for any morsel of Lakers news.

Magic Johnson once said to the L.A. Times' Chris Erskine, referring to the Lakers after they won their 16th championship: "It's the only thing the people can trust. They trust the Lakers."

So what kind of trust do you have in the Lakers for the 2010-11 NBA season?  Poll results show that 96.15% of you believe the Lakers will three-peat, so you may as well start planning for another parade. The reasons vary. I listed multiple factors that seemed to work in the Lakers' favor, including talent, experience, off-season acquisitions, Phil Jackson and the seemingly inferior competition. Instead of singling out one variable that will push the Lakers over the edge, 63.49% of you said all of the above -- all these qualities make the Lakers tough to beat.

For those who want a seat at the NBA Finals, well, start thinking about booking flights to South Beach or Boston. Most of you are ready to fly 3,000 miles to Chowder City, with 57.52% predicting the Celtics will rematch the Lakers in the 2011 NBA Finals. It'd be a compelling series for sure, what with Shaquille O'Neal up against Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest duking it out again with Paul Pierce and the Lakers hoping to close the series gap to 17-12. But then there's the 36.91% of you who think the Lakers will be taking their talents to South Beach and proving which team is really super.

54147204The confidence sure is high because you feel like no other team can eliminate you in the playoffs. The only thing that you believe will undo the Lakers is injuries, a variable that 79.91% of you acknowledge could be an issue. You're also optimistic because Bryant and Pau Gasol sat out for most of the summer. That's led 55.32% of you to think Bryant will be unstoppable and win the league MVP this season (take that, Kevin Durant) and 64.5% predicting that El Spaniard will be an unstoppable force in the paint.

The latter better happen because the news about center Andrew Bynum doesn't sound good. He came off arthroscopic surgery on his right knee this off-season. The Lakers don't expect him to play most of the pre-season, though the team hopes he can at least get some run before the regular season starts.

Fans are unified about the Lakers' chances to three-peat but not so much when it comes to Bynum. 37.71% of you wished Bynum could be healthy for the exhibition season, 32.13% said the Lakers would be fine without him, and 25.06% believed Bynum would never stay healthy.

But that's not going to put a damper on the Laker fans' spirit. They're excited to see what Lamar Odom will bring after winning a gold medal with Team USA this summer in the FIBA World Championships. 46.15% think his FIBA experience will sharpen his game, 34.55% predict L.O. will still offer the same versatile skillset, and 15.83% express skepticism and are preparing for inconsistent performances.

As much as Laker fans have loved Artest's wild off-season, there's really no fear he will be partied out. Half of you, though, anticipate Artest will showcase the same lockdown defensive performances and head-scratching offensive decisions that drove fans crazy both for his toughness and unpredictable nature. But fans believe everything should turn out fine with veteran Derek Fisher. There's been some disagreement in the past season about his worth to the team. But after his 2010 playoff performance, few express doubt. 82.98% predict Fisher will play the same role as he has in years past. He may not do much during the regular season, but he'll keep the team together during adverse moments. And when the playoffs hit, watch out.

6a00d8341c506253ef013487128a3c970c-600wiThat's why it's important that backup point guard Steve Blake fit in right away, so he can reduce Fisher's minutes and keep him fresh for the playoffs. Very few (28.13%) believe he'd do so well that he'd actually take Fish's starting role. But 57.77% of you predict he will be a solid option off the bench (I apologize for wording the option as Blake becoming the sixth man. That spot is reserved for L.O. I'll just say Odom is so good that I almost forget he's a bench player).

The other free-agent acquisitions will be critical for different reasons, fans say. Many (43.3%) say Theo Ratliff will be a huge component simply because his size, experience and leadership will help the Lakers' front line in practice. Perhaps mindful of Bynum's possible limitations, 33.85% of fans believe Ratliff's defense will be particularly valuable when he picks up heavy minutes. It seems as if most fans are excited about Matt Barnes, with 53.03% believing he'll play sharp on defense and shoot well from the outside. Nonetheless, 22.73% believe that his intensity will sometimes hurt the team. Regardless, it's important Barnes fits in, considering 48.51% believe Luke Walton will still be hobbled with injuries and limited throughout the season.

53291378With all the movement the Lakers made this off-season, it's likely Shannon Brown and Sasha Vujacic will have to adjust to new roles. But 50.24% think they'll be part of the right ingredients that will return the Bench Mob back to glory. That doesn't mean they'll necessarily run the show.  26.71% believe the lack of minutes and changed role will push Vujacic over the edge as if he were getting in a tussle with Goran Dragić. Then there's 21.9% who simply think the two will have marginal roles and it won't make a difference one way or the other. 

As for Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter, they may have been essential steals for the Lakers given their draft position (43rd and 58th), but with their inexperience and the Lakers' abundance of talent, more than half of you think those two won't get many minutes. Still, you think they'll at least provide good energy in practice.

That first one starts Saturday, so it won't be long. Don't get impatient. Soon, as you've made clear, the road to the three-peat begins.

-- Mark Medina

twitter.com/latmedina.

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photos, from top: Lakers fans predicted in a pre-season poll that the team would meet Boston again in the NBA Finals. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times. Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak introduces Steve Blake at the team's practice facility on July 14, 2010. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

 
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Morning Laker Fam.

Here's the latest from our main man the Dinger http://ow.ly/2IMLm.

He basically rips into Bynum for his off season antics and putting off surgery (but quickly getting his knee drained) to hang out in South Africa and Europe. About the same thing many of us (myself included) criticized him for. He's not quite calling him as bad as Snaq, but the implication is there.

My Laker Homer GHF self is going to choose to look at this as a +. Pau missed around 20 last year at the start of the season and finished as arguably the best 4 in the game. I'll go ahead and envision for a similar outcome for Andrew.

Wow - I rarely disagree with the Dinger but I think he's got it wrong on this one. My understanding at the time was that because he pushed it so hard in the Finals, his knee was swollen and inflamed, so he HAD to delay his surgery until that subsided. THEN there were some scheduling conflicts with the doctor, which delayed it slightly longer. Meanwhile the kid took a well deserved vacation. Personally I have no problem with this. I'd even go so far to say that if it meant he'd be 100% for the playoffs, I'd be ok if he didn't play until after the All-Star break. (Not my preference of course, but just saying...). I think tagging him - at least by inference - as Snaq-like is unfair. From what we saw in the playoffs, and particularly the Finals, I think this kid is finally displaying the heart of a champ. He WANTED to play. He WANTED to contribute. And I think he WANTED to show his teammates, and more importantly himself, that he can and will be a valuable component to this current dynasty in the making. So he misses some preseason games. Or even a few early games out of the regular 82. Big deal. Just be healthy in May and June, Socks. Cuz that's when we REALLY need you.

*repost*


Good Morning Laker Fam!

Got on the blog this morning and dang you guys were busy last night! Love reading all those posts with inside jokes, etc.. You guys rock!

Watched an NBA Roundtable with Laker players from the 80's, including Jerry West, who teared up when speaking about Magic Johnson. Watching The Logo cry was insanely moving and got me going, too. Man, those were the days. They showed these INSANE passes Magic did (bounce pass from out of bounds to a cutter under the basket while the other team stood around in shock - so simple, so beautiful) , and I was remembering so well those days when he ruled the court. The vision of that man. Jaw dropping talent and heart. And that team. That team loved each other. They all said it. Chemistry and joy up the whazoo. Quite moving.

And now I'm jonesin' even MORE for the season to start. How I love basketball, and of course, my BACK TO BACK WORLD CHAMPION LAKERS the most!!!

Posted by: longtimelakerlover | September 23, 2010 at 08:24 AM

TRADE BYNUM for Kevin Durant!

MM,

Thanks for the recap. What's up with the Lakers closing the gap to 17-12? Lakers have a sweet 16 titles!

GOOOOD MORNING Lakerland!

Nice to see our Mamba24 back and contributing. I sure miss the nice energy he brings when absent and I sure appreciate his deflecting/redirecting of the negative energy when it surfaces.

Speaking of that, Edwin, You have spoken your mind about Mike T more than once and okay, we get it. You were pulling for Mike T and didn't like seeing him get banned. I too can pull for the underdog and I like seeing someone reform (getting sober, reuniting with their kids, Artest becoming a figure of peace and fun, etc). But I have the sense you are out of bounds with Mike T.

I'm sorry Edwin, I like you and I respect that you are a beacon for good. But Mike T? The guy that has ruffled feathers and upset everyone regularly? The divisive figure that wouldn't let it go? Come on!

As for phred, just like you, he seems to be a constant in what appears to be a campaign for appropriate behavior and civility toward each other. What's wrong with that? Because he called out or confronted Mike T! Mike "ffffing" T? My Goodness Edwin. Your cause is a noble one, but MAN! You've gone a little Quixotic on this one.

My Laker Homer GHF self is going to choose to look at this as a +. Pau missed around 20 last year at the start of the season and finished as arguably the best 4 in the game.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pau was hailed as the most skilled big man in the game before his injury and earned his mettle by dropping 18.6ppg on Dwight Howard in the Finals while limiting the DPOY of the year to 15.4ppg the same Howard who put up 16ppg in the 09 playoffs against Boston and increased that to 22ppg in the 10 playoffs.

To say Andrew will have the same effect is big especially if Gasol stays healthy.

@JohnnyV, Good morning sir, the checks in the mail. Lol! You are good people JohnnyV! As an aside everyone knows Edwin is my mentor but... Mike T. is also my mentor. Yes, yes this is true! Now JohnnyV you make the best Laker day of your life sir because...The Lakers are Gods Favorites!! Yes, yes this is also true! Lol!
*
Mamba24/larrY

Good morning all!

Just to clarify to Troy B, Lrob...I'm not a Bynum basher by any stretch of the imagination and I wasn't comparing his delay in surgery to Shaq's company time stupidity. All I was saying was that if Bynum and/or the team wanted him to have the surgery sooner it could have been done and it wasn't due to some mysterious doctor's scheduling conflict - I think that part was BS.

Like others have said, who cares about the preseason? Just want a healthy Bynum for the playoff run!

Good morning everyone!

I'm looking forward to hearing what players have to say after Saturday's practice. I'm trying to not be impatient, but considering that I've got a little bit of time on my hands, it's a bit hard.

Mike T. is also my mentor. Yes, yes this is true! Now JohnnyV you make the best Laker day of your life sir because...The Lakers are Gods Favorites!! Yes, yes this is also true! Lol!
*
Mamba24/larrY

WOW! Now talk about your "Thought for the Day!"

I'm trying to not be impatient, but considering that I've got a little bit of time on my hands, it's a bit hard. Posted by: Caliphilosopher | September 23, 2010 at 08:59 AM
*
WTH? Caliphilosopher with a little bit of time on his hands. A miracle, a miracle I say!!! Lol! Glad to hear it Cali. You got to ease up on that throttle from time to time.

Mike T. is also my mentor. Yes, yes this is true! Now JohnnyV you make the best Laker day of your life sir because...The Lakers are Gods Favorites!! Yes, yes this is also true! Lol!
*
WOW! Now talk about your "Thought for the Day!" Posted by: JohnnyV | September 23, 2010 at 08:59 AM
*
LMAO!!!!! Stop it, stop it now! Lol!

I can't believe it.....

We are one day away from PJ's Friday announcement.
We are two days away from the Lakers media day.

And....we are only three days away from a 'real bonafide, certifyable, Lakers practice'.

In the words of the famous humanitarian, Austin Powers, "Yeah baby!"

Fatty - Who says, "Let the defense begin, another Title to win!"

I believe the biggest huddle to #17 is Bynum's knee. I really hope Ratliff will give Bynum much needed advices regarding how to cope with the injuries and supplimentary diet stuff since Ratliff himself has endured many injuries throughout his playing days.

LFICT,

No worries. I know you're behind Bynum. If someone criticizes a player I don't take that as bashing. I agree the whole delay based on Dr. did make me say hmmm. Based on your insight being in that industry now makes me say double hmmm. One thing we all agree on we need Drew healthy for the playoffs.

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WE GOT THIS & WE WANT MORE! Nothing but a 17th Title will suffice.@JustAnotherMambaFan
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Who scored more points than an entire team without even trying
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The Legendary Elgin Baylor & Magic Johnson the Icon.
We’ve had all the great centers like Shaq, Wilt & Kareem
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Karl Malone & Gary Payton, A glove & Mailman we just leased
(11) time Title Winning HOF Coach, who mastered Zen in the East
Chick Hearn the Broadcasting Legend, Broadcasted Lakers Games
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That’s just a summary of our Resume, we don’t talk we Do.
We’re Freakin Champion LA Lakers, Who the Hell are You


Laker Family enjoy your day. Wake up and live so says this musical legend...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nR2vsnH4Is

MAMBA24 -

I'm currently in a holding pattern waiting for my paperwork so I can head to London for grad school. I can only do so much before it becomes counter productive (as in make lists of things you need for the trip, even though you're not too sure when you'll be leaving).

Actually, I've been trying to pass the time by reading some Thomas Kuhn ("Structure of Scientific Revolutions") and there's a deadline for a paper draft that I'm trying to make in a couple of months, so I ought to start on that pretty soon. The draft is supposed to be only 12 double spaced pages, and since it's on a topic of which I am gaining expertise, it should only take a couple of days to pump out the first of many revisions.

How's your day going?

It's a pretty slow pi

MAMBA24 -

Just a note: please disregard the fragment at the end of my last comment.

Actually, I've been trying to pass the time by reading some Thomas Kuhn ("Structure of Scientific Revolutions") and there's a deadline for a paper draft that I'm trying to make in a couple of months, so I ought to start on that pretty soon. The draft is supposed to be only 12 double spaced pages, and since it's on a topic of which I am gaining expertise, it should only take a couple of days to pump out the first of many revisions. Posted by: Caliphilosopher | September 23, 2010 at 09:29 AM
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Now see, see that's what I mean. Even when you got free time you still going full tilt! Lol! I'm doing fine, can't wait for training camp like all the rest of Laker Nation. Congrats! London huh, Grad school huh...OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!!!!!!

@LRob, Yes! It's always good to have a lil Bob Marley in your day. Thank you my brother!
mamba24/larrY

@ZAIRA… Nothing more romantic than getting engaged in SF. Just don’t leave your heart. You will love it. The Greek Theater is my very favorite Bay Area venue, sort of like an intimate Hollywood Bowl. I’ve seen everybody from Jonny Lang to the Dead to Elvis Costello and Tracy Chapman. Whom do you have tickets for?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@JON K… LOL. You’re my pick to cover my back in a dark alley.
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@LGL… Welcome back. We’ve missed you. Of course, now that you’re back, LGC will probably return too.
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@NBA4EVER… LOL. Thanks for reminding me. The one sign of aging that I do fess up to is suffering the transformation of my once T1 level instant recall memory into the mental version of a dial up connection.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@SUNNY… Sure, I’ll just sell my house, move into an apt, and buy a Ron’s ring and give it back to him. By the way, what the hell are you doing in Thailand anyway. Mercenary, missionary, or annual Viagra tour?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@TROY… I agree it is premature to presume the Heat will make the Finals. I actually agree that they will have a hard time getting past the Celtics if they can stay healthy. Got to pass the time some way. LOL.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@PHRED & EDWIN…. Wow, maybe you guys need to take a lesson from Hobbitmage and me. LOL…JK.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@LROB… Can’t let you off that easily. Just for you….
~
Every morning there's a halo hangin
from the corner of my girlfriend's four post bed
I know it's not mine but I'll see if I can use it for
the weekend or a one-night stand
[Shut the door baby, don't say a word]

Every Morning
Every Morning when I wake up
[Shut the door baby, shut the door Ray]
Every Morning
Every Morning [Turn me around again]
[Shut the door baby, don't say a word]
Every Morning
Every Morning
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

LRob - thanks - LOVE me some Bob Marley!

Coincidentally hubby's family in Jamaica live near and know Ziggy Marley. I've got pics of him and some of my inlaws.

For those of you who haven't read it, here's Kevin Ding hurling some constructive criticism at young Andrew.

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/bynum-267754-season-lakers.html

L.A. is aware of the bynum issue - and it is an issue that we all hope bynum's knees can overcome - which is the main reason theo is on board and Russell Hicks was invited to camp. that's how important the 5 is to this team. it makes life easier for the older players, i.e. pau, kobe and l.o. heck, lets face it: a healthy bynum creates a devastating team. animals! we still need the captain, kareem to get theo and hicks - if he makes the team - game "devastating" ready. i think theo will be up for the challenge. i always say: IN BUSS WE TRUST!

GO LAKERS!!! It's gonna be one heck of a season and we get to cheer for the best team in the nba... can hardly wait!!!

Good morning, Laker Nation.
-
This whole no Lakers thing is really doing my head in. The pre-season cannot start quickly enough.
-
What do we play for? RINGS!!!
-
Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.
-
GO LAKERS!!!

@HTJ & JUSTA… Great comebacks to Kevin Ding, who is also my favorite Lakers reporter.
I agree with both your comments 100%.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@MAMBA… How great to have roll call. Thx, Larry. 2 days to training camp. I can’t wait.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

@MAMBA… 2 days to training camp. I can’t wait.Posted by: LakerTom | September 23, 2010 at 10:02 AM
*
Thank you kind sir and how are you this wonderful Laker morning? Yes 2 days to training camp but..2 weeks till the 1st pre-season game! SWEET JESUS! THE HORROR!!

@Jon K, I agree with Laker Tom. I pick you to cover my back in a dark alley!!!

I am DETERMINED to have a Blog Viewing Party this year! Ain't no reason why we can't hit up BSPiN Zone or Yard House to make this work! We need to witness games together, yall!

Mamba24........Good morning to you and It's sweet to wake up to coffee and a bandwagon. I hope Phil's media address is on NBA TV cause we don't get Cal. news. So you bloggers from SoCal keep us from the boonies informed! Just can't wait to see if they all gel and if they are all revved up for another season. I think with new players, it's always exciting and will bring alot of that to camp.

M24, I know Jon K. and 63 can handle themselves, but if it's the right time of the night, there just might be too many Phreds (how does he handle all those voices at once?) and not enough alley.

Justa - remember, it just might have been Phred that got you into the predicament in the first place (as I have found to usually be the case for the person I would choose to be at my side in a bad predicament)

If none of this made sense it's because I spent the wee hours of the morning rocking a one year old with a cold.

JR

@NewMexicoLakerLifer, Good morning to you too mam & thank you . Oh you can bet it will be on NBA TV, probably ESPN2 or 3 also. Yes with new players it is always exciting, especially exciting because they may get a lot more playing time than anybody planned. Now on another note, I want you to have confidence when you watch your Vikes this weekend. The rust is off and they are now ready to make their run all the way to the Super Bowl! You got to BELIEVE! Have a wonderful Lakers day!

M24, I know Jon K. and 63 can handle themselves, but if it's the right time of the night, there just might be too many Phreds (how does he handle all those voices at once?) and not enough alley. Justa - remember, it just might have been Phred that got you into the predicament in the first place (as I have found to usually be the case for the person I would choose to be at my side in a bad predicament) If none of this made sense it's because I spent the wee hours of the morning rocking a one year old with a cold.Posted by: Jolly Rancher | September 23, 2010 at 10:36 AM
*
LMAO! If you think you are going to drag me into this ISH any more than I already dragged my own self, you got another thought coming! Lol! I hope the baby is all right!

@Edwin G,. JAMF and Phred, Mamba24(yes I am in my Princess Jimmy mode again) sends Peace out to all of you and deepest apologies if such is needed. I guess I should just make up a mamba24 sends out his apologies Form, it would be much easier. Lol! Mamba24 Loves ya all Folks!

JR - I have no recollection of the events to which you are referring. I don't know what I knew, or when I didn't know it. Switzerland is pure evil. Chocolate sucks. Jon K will always have my back. And just for the record - the voices in phred's head are many, but they agree it's all about the love.

JR - hope your baby's ok...

Mamba24 - why are YOU apologizing? This is all phred's fault.


:)

JUST KIDDING PHRED!!!

I just wanted to make sure you're awake and alert today. It must have been a tough night, what with all those peppers and omelets and what not...

(And my 'what not' I mean 'vodka'...)

You know I wake up each morning and I think about it a minute and no, no it has not changed...I HATE MJ!

Number 24.........Most jerseys sold in China again!!!!!!!!! Poor Princess Jimmy...second best---Get used to it!!!

I'm sorry but this all Mamba24, Justanothermambafan posting must stop! Why people will start think we are Virtually attached! Lol!

Number 24.........Most jerseys sold in China again!!!!!!!!! Poor Princess Jimmy...second best---Get used to it!!!Posted by: NewMexicoLakerLifer | September 23, 2010 at 10:57 AM
*
OH THE HUMANITY!!!!!!!

MM,

You said in the blog that the Lakers expect Bynum to play in the preseason, but I just read in the Daily Breeze (http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_16150585) that the Lakers announced that he might not play the regular seaon opener. Now which one is it?

i feel sad when reading about drew for this guy , or drew for that. i feel that he showed us everything he needs to when he played through the pain and deserves the respect to let him heal . i do believe that he will continue to work and be with the team throughout. so come may,june we will have the beast we have been waiting for

Justa, M24,
Thanks
My granddaughter is fine, she just has a cold and gets clogged up at about 3 AM. This means she gets to sleep on "papa's chest while he tells her stories of the great Laker conquests of the past and the expectations for the future. She sleeps well knowing "everything is and will be well in the garden".

JR

For those of you who haven't read it, here's Kevin Ding hurling some constructive criticism at young Andrew.

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/bynum-267754-season-lakers.html

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | September 23, 2010 at 09:57 AM

--------
I read most of this article you posted about Kevin Ding.
I rarely disagree with him but I do so on this article. AB has never shown to be complacent in his past off seasons and with this last one no exception. He used all his off seasons to bulk up, work on his body and hone his skills. So what if he relaxed a bit before getting back into the grind again. I don't know but does Kevin Ding go on vacation and send stories in because he does not want to be complacent? I think not and for that matter probably most every one else uses vacation to relax. Drew needs to take early time off to be in condition and as precaution to prevent serious injury, then so be it. Let's concentrate on winning championship and not pre and early season drama.


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