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Five things to take away from Lakers' 111-92 preseason loss to Minnesota



1. It's a preseason game. The result doesn't matter.But the Lakers didn't play pretty, either, in their 111-92 exhibition loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. They looked like they weren't even trying in the second half. They went 18 for 33 from the free-throw line. They collected 22 turnovers and 33 fouls. Their defense was suspect. But that's why they call them exhibition games.

There's no need to look into the aforementioned statistics too much. Championship teams tend to pace themselves during such contests, while teams looking to improve hope the preseason serves as a barometer for the season. Still, the Lakers will need to have a stronger showing than that this month. Even in a game that was far from pretty, though, there were a few notes of interest (below the jump).


2. Kobe Bryant at least didn't get hurt.The crowd soon went from cheers to boos. The sellout crowd at  O2 Arena understandably wanted to see Bryant play. The Lakers understandably didn't want to see Bryant get hurt. So Phil Jackson  stuck to his pledge in playing him limited minutes -- six to be exact -- so Bryant could say he made an appearance, and then quickly yanking him out before anything bad could happen.

His stat line isn't something you'll ever see in an important game -- 0 for 3 with one rebound and two assists. Still, I was curious how Bryant would look physically, whether he seemed in rhythm or if the knee should be a cause for concern. Though Bryant told The Times' Mike Bresnahan his knee is at 60%, you have to keep in mind how that compared to the 2010 postseason. He told Bresnahan: "During the NBA Finals, it was extremely, extremely, extremely painful. Now, not so much." His missed shots -- a pull-up jumper off an inbounds pass, a contested three-pointer from the top of the key and a step-back three-pointer on the far side -- didn't seem to point to anything involving his right index finger. So that's good news. Let Bryant rest and recover for when the games count.

Even if Bryant couldn't put on a show for the Brits, Shannon Brown demonstrated why Lakers fans love his athleticism. He constantly attacked the rim and showcased a decent mid-range game, resulting in 13 points on six-for-10 shooting.

3. Lamar Odom looks like he's in midseason form. In a game that featured most of the Lakers going through the motions, Odom played as if it were an important regular-season game. His team-leading 17 points on six-for-10 shooting, six rebounds and three steals reflect the intensity and hunger he's displayed all through training camp. Sure, his performance at the free-throw line (five for 11), his shooting from three-point range (0 for 3) and his ball handling (three turnovers) could've been better. But it's obvious that his experience with Team USA in the 2010 FIBA World Championship has helped him take stronger command of a game.

Odom's effort against Minnesota served as the blueprint for what he'll need to do in the next few months, with Andrew Bynum's expectation that he won't be back until December, to give Pau Gasol  support and to give Derrick Caracter and Theo Ratliff enough luxury to fully acclimate themselves. The Lakers' first exhibition game will be quickly forgotten (if it hasn't been already), but Odom laid the groundwork on a night Gasol picked up three early fouls and finished with a disappointing performance of seven points, five fouls and four turnovers, while Bynum and Luke Walton were absent.

On the opening play, Bryant deflected a ball and found Odom, who then slammed it home on a fastbreak. He sank a corner jumper with ease. He went to his right against Kevin Love and drew a foul. He had a  put-back over Darko Milicic. Odom's two change-of-pace dribbles past Love resulted in an up-and-under layup. L.O's high step over Michael Beasley  led to a behind-the-back pass to Derek Fisher, though his three-point attempt was blocked

4. The newcomers look promising. The stats from the bench are less important than how they functioned as a group. But for those wondering how the new guys did, here's a quick recap. Matt Barnes (nine points on four-for-eight shooting, four rebounds, three assists, two steals, one block), Steve Blake (five points on two-for-five shooting, four assists), Ratliff (four points, four rebounds), Devin Ebanks (five points) and Caracter (two points on one-for-eight shooting and nine rebounds).

Blake showed his understanding of the triangle and his chemistry with teammates weren't just confined to practice settings. He had a nice bounce pass to L.O. on a baseline drive. Blake showcased a nifty behind-the-back pass to Barnes, who then found Ratliff inside. Both Blake and Barnes showed incredible understanding with knowing how to properly space themselves in the context of the offense. And Barnes seemed to relish chipping in any way he could, whether from scoring or helping out on hustle plays.

Caracter didn't provide much of an offensive post presence (his shooting line shows that), but he seemed almost unstoppable in cleaning the glass. He and Ratliff showed great chemistry in chipping off the boards. The question mark for Caracter entails whether he'll be a viable offensive option, particularly during Bynum's absence. But there's no doubt he'll serve a great purpose in giving the Lakers second-chance points during whatever moments  he can garner during the regular season.

You have to credit Ebanks for his hustle, a quality that he's mastered nonstop during training camp. But he entered the game during the second quarter looking very tight. On his first two plays, he missed a catch-and-shoot and then was called for traveling. One of his two field goals included a bank shot that frankly featured horrible form. Ebanks can distinguish himself on the defensive end, which will help him gain more trust as time goes on from the coaching staff. His offensive game can develop in due time.

5. No Live TV? I'm not ignorant to the fact that companies have to maximize their bottom line, particularly in a tough economy. I know it's just an exhibition game. And I'm not saying this to knock anything NBA TV and KCAL-9 do, because they put together quality work for their respective NBA and Lakers telecasts. But to have NBA TV blacked out in the local market during the live noon PDT telecast and then have KCAL-9 run the game on tape delay at 7 p.m. seems incredibly short sighted, particularly since we're in the information age, and the decision ultimately alienates Laker fans. It's not exactly a good thing to be a trending topic on Twitter over something like this.

Stat of the game: The final score. Enjoy it, Minnesota. The Timberwolves will never experience that margin of victory against the Lakers during the upcoming season.

Quote of the game: "Minnesota looked great. We looked like we just got off vacation." -- Jackson

--Mark Medina

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant makes a pass after running into the defense of Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley in the first quarter of their exhibition game on Monday at London's O2 Arena. Credit: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

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Guess what I just found out watching Food Network...

Rachel Ray is from Queensbridge like Ron Ron, Lamar and DC...

So Rachel is from the

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!!

Rachel was raised in Cape Cod, and upstate N.Y..

Hardly a hoody.

Go Kings!
Go Giants!
Go Niners!


Wow 9 rebounds for Caracter in his first game with the big boys. I know its premature but I can see his jersey hanging in the rafters some day. He seems destined to become a great Laker. Reminds one of a bigger Happy Hairston with a post game- that will get better playing against our big front line in practice daily. Matt Barnes and Steve Blake look like a real good fit. What a find, Trey Johnson looks like he might make this talented roster. Our second team appears much improved, especially when Drew returns. The wolves look stacked with talent and ready to make the season more competitive with all the other teams, their changes and trades. This season won't be easy. But with a little luck with injuries, this seems like the most talented team that they have ever assembled.

how many games would Kobe miss from the following (talking about Boozer who is out 8 weeks)

"Unfortunately, my fifth metacarpal, on the pinky, broke into three pieces. I’ll get surgery on Tuesday, do my rehab and conditioning, be around the guys."

The 28-year-old, who signed a five-year, $80 million contract in the summer, said one positive was the timing of the injury, with still more than three weeks until the Bulls' season opener against Oklahoma City on Oct. 27.

Although ita a preseason game I was so dissapointed to see my Lakers play like a bunch of highschool not really serious about the game.Although I understand its a meaningless game but still fans paid to see a beautiful game.

Good Morning Laker crew,

This morning song goes out to the Heat. They've been anointed champs already and boasted they'll win 6-7 titles. Well here's what Laker Nation thinks....

Anyone else got a song they want to dedicate to the paper champs?

I was really bummed that our team put up such a pathetic showing. Sure its pre-season but at least, put a little heart into it!

Good Morning Laker crew, This morning song goes out to the Heat. They've been anointed champs already and boasted they'll win 6-7 titles. Well here's what Laker Nation thinks....
Anyone else got a song they want to dedicate to the paper champs? Posted by: LRob | October 05, 2010 at 05:03 AM
Good Morning LRob. LMAO! Absolutely the perfect song my brother, you are starting the day firing on all cylinders and so I have to say it...OUT FREAKING STANDING SIR!!!!!!


Good Morning Nation...

No need to over was just an exhibition game...

LRob - my selections to the paper champs...

And finally...this is what the Lakers are to the Heat...

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!!

@Mamba - Thank you sir. I'm just trying to live up to your

@Don - I agree. But no worries.

@Lew - All good as usual.

LRob -

One more on the Lakers and the Heat...

When she says she loves me...
And well you got your reasons...
And you got your lies...
And you got you manipulations...
They cut me down to size...


@LEWSTRS, OH I forgot to say it...OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!!!!

Mamba24 -

This one is dedicated to you broham...

Just call on me brother when you need a hand
we all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem
that you'd understand
we all need somebody to lean on

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!!

LRob -

Here is something to get you through the day...I'm sure this will bring back memories...Detriot in the house...

part 1 -
part 2-
part 3 -
part 4 -
part 5 -

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!!

This one is dedicated to you broham...
Just call on me brother when you need a hand
we all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem
that you'd understand
we all need somebody to lean on Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation... #17 Coming Up!!!
Posted by: LEWSTRS | October 05, 2010 at 06:18 AM
But Lewstrs...Each Nation Member can only get (1) Out Freakin Standing a day sir! Lol!

@LRob, What do you think this is a House Party or something? LOL!! Jammin with LRob and Lewstrs, Yes, Yes, Yes!!!!!!

My dedication to Shaq....LOL

"And when he died, all he left was a loan"

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!!

My dedication to Shaq....LOL "And when he died, all he left was a loan"Posted by: LEWSTRS | October 05, 2010 at 06:43 AM
LOL!! Lewstrs you are a cold dude!! LOL!

Morning Crew--g'day.

I am a big Caracter-Ebanks bandwagon fan, but based only on the game yesterday I have to disagree about their readiness. Yes, DC got many boards, but he looked totally lost on O. Of all the positions in the triangle, the post player has it easiest and yet, he seemed at a loss--when to pick, when to pass (how to pass!), what to do with his back to the basket in deep, what to do on the wing (although I believe he did hit one short J out there). He is really going to have to regroup and find himself out there. Also, altho he scored, he also got schooled by Darko (of all people) -- I can't see him giving great minutes in relief of Pau/Andrew at this stage. (Sadly).

That said, it is still early -- very early in his career here and if he just takes it one baby step at a time, that'll be fine.

On the other hand, I am really a huge Trey Johnson fan at this point. Maybe he is too waterbug-ish for Phil's taste, but there is instant O and he looks fearless. Hopefully he is coachable (unlike Farmar) and hopefully the Lakers are willing to offer him a seat during the time that Andrew is out. (a series of 10 day contracts, perhaps?). He did look a bit unclear about his spots in the offense in the second half, but he figured it out after Blake pointed him to his spot.

I'd like to see him in there as a change-of-pace guy, perhaps with Barnes and Ebanks and LO and Ratliff, running a press. The Lakers have the bodies and defensive mindset to actually get after other teams, if they apply themselves.

Hi MM!

Can we make the telecast a headline blog post today? Somebody from KCAL and NBA TV needs to see our scorn.

The Barcelona game should be broadcast and shown live. And they have a couple days to hear us complain.


BTW - I was staying near LA Live this weekend and actually met A. Kamenetzky walking to his radio gig. I think it was his first celebrity moment with some random stranger calling out his name. I introduced myself to him as PLG. He said very nice things about how you (MM) are doing. Anyhoo.....


Good observations, that's what I was thinking. Ebanks seemed off balance also, but I suppose that should be expected of both of them being their first game at the NBA level.
The team seemed to be playing at too fast of a pace, but maybe my eyes we just slow.
I also thought Trey johnson looked good, wouldn't that be a nice surprise.
I looked up his college record, the guy can score, but I wonder where he fits with Kobe, Fish, Blake, Brown and Sasha.
Kobe was obviously not interested in pushing that knee, could tell he was holding back.
Was a good game to show them what they need to work on, 3 weeks to Houston!

I introduced myself to him as PLG. He said very nice things about how you (MM) are doing. Anyhoo.....Posted by: PsychedLakerGirl | October 05, 2010 at 07:16 AM
OK PsychedLakerGirl and what kind of things did he say about the rest of the Blog Crue? Inquiring Mamba's want to know LOL!

I was really impressed by the Timberwolves, looks like Kurt has got them playing well, I was also impressed by how well they ran the triangle, the sets, back screens, spacing… very impressive. Made us look like a high school team. I spoke to a friend in London who said the crowd was boo’ing at the end of the game, and that is was a total waste of money, can’t really blame them for complaining.

I spoke to a friend in London who said the crowd was boo’ing at the end of the game, and that is was a total waste of money, can’t really blame them for complaining. Posted by: waynefernandez | October 05, 2010 at 08:07 AM
OH THE HORROR!! Sir They are the Freakin 16 time NBA Champion, 4 Dynasty LA Lakers. That they used their valuable training camp time to try to entertain these ingrates ought to be enough for them. A team that the world may never see the likes of again and they boo? SWEET JESUS!!!

Mamba24 - AK said I could be on both blogs and didn't have to just go to one.... He said he misses your enthusiasm and roll calls.

It was a short conversation as I was lined up to get on a waiting bus. But fun to randomly meet him.

Cheers - PLG


"Popovich knew he could not stomach another season with the Jefferson that showed up in San Antonio last season. It wasn't just that Jefferson, like any number of new arrivals in San Antonio, had a tough time adjusting to what Popovich demanded. Jefferson was sluggish and uncertain, and Popovich couldn't trust him at the ends of games to do the right thing. ... So Popovich gave Jefferson a choice, telling him there would be no hard feelings either way. Jefferson could agree to meet Popovich and assistant coach Chip Engelland during the summer in San Antonio to go "back to school," as Popovich put it, on regaining the fundamentals that the Spurs' coach thought Jefferson had lost over the last few seasons. He would also work with Spurs assistant Chad Forcier in New York. And he'd take part in Tim Grgurich's skills camp in Vegas in August.

Or he could refuse, and enjoy his summer.

"And I would have definitely tried to trade him on the spot," Popovich said. "I told him I would definitely go to work on getting your ass out of Dodge."

So Jefferson chose summer school, working out for two hours at a time with the Spurs' coaches all over the country. It was all basics: pivoting with the ball, jump-stopping, drills designed to improve his efficiency of movement on the court. On the defensive end, Jefferson got reinforcements on the Spurs' defensive concepts, which go into much greater detail than simply pushing everything baseline and keeping guards from dribble penetrations in the paint. He reported to camp last week with 7 percent body fat and a cut-up physique.

"I asked him if he wanted to reach his potential, or just let the next few years slough away and just put money in the bank," Popovich said. "He said 'I want to reach my potential.' "

PsychedLakerGirl - Hey thanks for sharing that note and appreciate the kind words. AK and BK have been great to work with in the field. What's so great about this industry is even with how competitive everyone is and wants to have the best product for their outlet, there's lots of good people and it's a tight knit circle. There's definitely a lot of looking out for one another.


Preseason so we should not get too high or too low on this. It is about getting timing and used to playing together and chemistry.

AK said I could be on both blogs and didn't have to just go to one. It was a short conversation as I was lined up to get on a waiting bus. But fun to randomly meet him. Posted by: PsychedLakerGirl | October 05, 2010 at 08:21 AM
But of course you can go on both Blogs. Why? Because you are Psyched LakerGirl and the world is yours!!! Glad you had a nice enjoyable conversation. The former Blog God's are nice guys and we don't have to dislike or disasociate ourselves from them. So...Folks give the Former Blog Gods a couple hit's on their Blog. After all, The Nation stands on much of what they and The Blog Elders built. So PLG I have to say it to you...OUT FREAKIN STANDING!!!!!

@Staples24, Great article! Thank you my brother!

Ya know, I've always hated manufactured exhibition games like this one. It takes away from team focus and kills training camp, not to mention risking the health of players that have just had a summer off. Plus, fans never really get what they pay for. The London fans thought they were going to see the champs take on the chumps, but they got bench (deep into the bench) vs T-wolves. Bah!!

Lewsters - If you're gonna do a "Lean On Me" link, there's no one like Bill Withers:


Lewsters - If you're gonna do a "Lean On Me" link, there's no one like Bill Withers:
Posted by: Jolly Rancher | October 05, 2010 at 08:53 AM
I do believe that is the Real Deal Mr. Rancher! Kudos!

LAKESR ASSESMENT 1st Preseason Game:

Tery Johnson looks like Chauncey Billups out there with same built and control, already better than Sasha Vujacic.

Steve Blake is no disappointment, he can run the Lakers point guard position unlike SMush, Farmar, Sasha, SunYue, Shannon Brown can not. Rambis got his own Blake in Ridnour, nice catch Wolves.

Matt Barnes is solid, impressive on both offense and defense. 1 pregame is already better than Luke Walton, for real.

Theo Ratliff, I am very impressed with this old man. He
does not look 37 by any means. The guy is very active and a presence in defense and rebounding. A definite must have for the Lakers, you should have been a Laker for the last three years.

Derrick Caracter, his chippies may not fall this time but it will soon. His strength is very visible, his rebounding and fighting for position is very impressive. He and Gasol will be a good tandem in the post. Wait till he starts getting the nice passes from Pau, he will finish it and one.

Ebanks looked to tight, will wait till he loosen up a liitle bit and asses him, for now he looked like a combo of ARIZA and HORRY, not to quick like Ariza and not very long like Horry.

Kobe, Gasol, Artest, Fisher, Odom all did well by not getting any injury.

AS PER MY ASSESMNET LAST WEEK WOLVES have improved a lot. Preseason or not they can't beat the Lakers last year and they did this year.

Milicic, Love, Tolliver, Brewer, Johnson, Ridnour, Ellington are all solid players in triangle system. Beasely is their star in the making (ala MELO ANTHONY, scoring comes easy with this young fellow) as long as he stays at SF position, keeps his head mellow and not moved to PF. Webster looked energized by getting out of Portland and getting a acclimated with Rambis system.

What's amazing is their SF position/combo SG has tremendous depth, Beasely/Webster/Johnson/Brewer/Ellington all around 6'7, this is very PHIL JACKSONSN like, Oh wait their Coach is PHIL JACKSON JR.

Love 10th pick
Johnson 4th pick
Milicic 2nd pick
Beasely 2nd pick
Webster 6th pick
Brewer 8th pick

Flynn 6th
Rubio 5th

Their need to figure out who is their starting PG and PG depth. Ridnour, Flynn and Rubio. But this team is defintely on the rise.

Young teams rising!


someone mentioned it above but ive been saying this as well, Caracter's is reminiscient of Happy Hairston's scrappy hustle plays and put backs. i dont think caracter will become a HOF but he sure will be an All-Star one day.

@Staples24, you are on a Roll today and so I have to say...OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!!!!

@LRob: For the paper champs, I submit the following pearls of wisdom from Stevie Wonder's Grammy winning 1974 "Fulfillingness First Finale" album:

We are amazed but not amused by all the things you say that you'll do.
Though much concerned but not involved in DECISIONS that are made by you.
But we are sick and tired of hearing your song.
Tellin' how you are gonna change right from wrong.
But if you really wanna hear our views:

Lakers Blog join along with me & sing...DOOOO DE WOP!

@Staples24- thanks for the Spurs inside info. I have much respect for Pop after reading this. It's no wonder the Spurs are considered such a classy and professional franchise. I would love to hear more similar rhetoric from coaches to players. I'm so tired of hearing about how babied some of these players have been all throughout their careers and enjoy finding out about those who don't succumb to this nonsense.

I, as well as Phil, don't care about preseason wins, but just for fun, does anyone know what Phil's win loss, preseason record is for his career ?


lakers bretheren, hola from az. that sucks they didn't show the game live. nba tv came on showed it promptly at 12:00 noon. i can't believe they wouldn't televise the game.....tape delay, that's so bogus. reminds me of cbs in the old days, tape delaying the nba playoffs until 11:30pm. back to the game.....was it just me or did it look like the timberwolves were playing this game like it was the 7th game of the nba finals????? ha ha

Jackson does not care as much about winning the preseason game as much as he cares about getting the new players used to the triangle, getting the rookies experience on the court, and the scrubs to feel like they got a shot, even in the third quarter when he had - Sasha, Barnes, Some red haired dude playing center, Lamar, and a no name guard, Trey somebody, he resisted even putting Steve Blake, Artest and Gasol back in to restore order.
Because he knew they already understand the system, the other guys don't.
I was a little upset that the scrubs didn't put forth a better effort on defense.



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