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Breaking down the Lakers' roster

56964814-1Lakers forward Ron Artest

2010 preseason stats: Artest appeared in all eight games, averaging 10.8 points on 43.8% shooting in 26.9 minutes per contest, and went 10 of 24 from three-point range (41.7%).

Outlook: Artest entered training camp weighing 250 pounds, and the decrease in weight has benefitted his mobility and speed. It's almost a given Artest will thrive defensively, but what stood out this training camp was his improved shooting stroke and greater understanding of the triangle.

Artest mostly likely will be looked upon to lock down the opponent's top scorer, but it should be comforting for the Lakers that he seems to understand better what he's doing on offense. It doesn't look as though the championship, the off-season celebrations or the recent accolades regarding his work on behalf of mental-health causes have distracted or drained him. Though Artest seems to feel more confident than last season, he's just as hungry and determined.

Lakers forward Matt Barnes

2010 preseason stats: Barnes appeared in all eight games, averaging 6.4 points on 44.4% shooting in 19.9 minutes

Outlook: Barnes' self-criticism that he hasn't grasped the triangle as fast as he wants to speaks more to his pragmatism, honesty and hunger than any glaring weakness in his game. Sure, Barnes is still learning. But he has shown he's capable of filling a jack-of-all-trades role in terms of making hustle plays, playing physical defense and occasionally hitting the outside shot.

He's going to be an important piece, considering Bryant will be limited to some degree at the beginning of the season, and Barnes could play either the two or three. That versatility also will help give Artest some rest.

56580298Lakers guard Steve Blake

2010 preseason stats: Blake appeared in all eight games, averaging 5.5 points on 38.8% shooting, 25% from three-point range as well as 3.6 assists in 21.6 minutes per contest.

Outlook: Blake was right when he described his preseason performance as up and down. He's the best newcomer at grasping the triangle, but his shooting percentage (38.8%), including a zero-of-seven showing last week against Utah, left a lot to be desired. Though Blake is fine-tuning his chemistry with teammates, most of his missed shots came from open looks. This isn't a huge issue. Blake was brought in because of his passing abilities, and he's on the right track in that department. But the Lakers lacked in three-point shooting last season, so it'd be nice to have that additional cushion.

Lakers guard Shannon Brown

2010 preseason stats: Brown appeared in all eight games, averaging 12.3 points on 49.3% shooting in 24.3 minutes per contest. He started in the Lakers' 105-102 overtime victory Friday over Golden State, finishing with 18 points on six-of-nine shooting in 27 minutes.

Outlook: Brown already has shown this preseason that his outside shot and decision-making have improved, suggesting that his wish to become more than just a dunker may come true. Brown has improved each season in his four-year career, and I'd expect the same this season.

Aside from his thumb issue and still-developing decision-making, part of his game waned last season because he played alongside Jordan Farmar, who provided an energy boost off the bench but often played to pad his own stat sheet. Playing alongside Blake will make it easier to adopt the team mentality.

Brown and Vujacic are currently competing for the definitive backup-shooting-guard spot behind Kobe Bryant, but Lakers Coach Phil Jackson suggested Sunday that that role will be filled based on unspecified matchups and game situations.

57021691Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

2010 preseason stats: Bryant appeared in seven of eight exhibition games (sat out in the Lakers' 120-99 victory Thursday to the Golden State Warriors in San Diego to rest his surgically repaired knee), averaged 12.6 points on 28.2% shooting, 17.2% from three-point range as well as three assists in 21.6 minutes per contest

Outlook: Jackson plans to limit him to an unspecified number of minutes at the beginning of the season, although he suggested after Sunday's practice that Bryant would play Tuesday against Houston somewhere in the 30-minute range. I anticipate that Bryant will be 100% by December, but over the next month, the focus will be on rehab rather than shooting percentage.

As much as Bryant's determined attitude will help him recover, he'll have to take a pragmatic approach, playing to his current strengths (working the post, driving to the basket) and avoid his current weakness (outside shooting).

Lakers center Andrew Bynum

2010 preseason stats: Bynum missed the entire training camp while rehabilitating his surgically repaired right knee.

Outlook: Will Bynum be fully healthy and manage to stay healthy this season? That's the million-dollar question that Laker fans wish they could confidently answer. Jackson hinted Sunday that he expected Bynum to return around Thanksgiving but anticipated that catching up on his conditioning and on-court chemistry would take time.

Bynum showed in the 2010 playoffs that his presence and sheer will alone paid dividends in close putbacks and rebounds, made opposing players think twice before driving into the lane and helped the Lakers' defensive rotations. But that won't work as a long-term strategy. It's too long of a season.

Before Laker fans start clamoring for the team to trade him again, consider this: It's tough to think of a team that can combat a starting lineup that boasts two 7-footers in Bynum and Pau Gasol. That's a rare asset to have and is something the Lakers will need should they match up with Boston or Miami in the NBA Finals.

Lakers rookie forward Derrick Caracter

2010 preseason stats: Caracter appeared in five exhibition games, averaging 6.6 points on 43.9% shooting in 12 minutes per contest. He sat out the other three because of back spasms.

Outlook: Caracter's work around the rim and size make him a threat inside. But he still has a lot of work to do improving his ball handling and knowing the triangle. It's unclear if Caracter will play many minutes this season, and if he does, it's probably won't be for a good reason (prolonged injury to Bynum or another front-court player). But in the time he plays in practice and in garbage time, improving the aforementioned variables will make him a more valuable reserve.

Lakers guard Derek Fisher

2010 preseason stats: Fisher appeared in all eight exhibition games, averaging seven points on 43.2% shooting in 21.8 minutes per contest. 

Outlook: I've been a pretty staunch Fisher supporter since taking over the L.A. Times Lakers blog in January, but even I was surprised by how efficient his shooting stroke looked in the preseason. That doesn't mean I think Fisher will be lights out in the regular season. But it appears he'll at least be lukewarm. His value will increase once the playoffs hit, but Fisher in the regular season will need to temper his shot selection and ensure he has enough help on defense to back him up when he gets beat off the dribble.

Lakers forward Devin Ebanks

2010 preseason stats: Ebanks appeared in all eight exhibition games, averaging 6.6 points on 43.9% shooting in 12 minutes per contest.

Outlook: I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Ebanks became a regular in the reserves rotation. He's looked that good in preseason, impressing the likes of Jackson, Bryant, Artest and Odom with his quiet nature and relentless work ethic. He's been consistent defensively, making hustle plays and knocking balls loose. Ebanks also improved his shooting stroke on the offensive end and has appeared more comfortable in looking for his own shot without playing selfishly.

Part of the reason Ebanks is likely to get decent playing time is the Lakers' injuries. Jackson already has floated the idea that Ebanks could play some backup shooting guard and backup power forward in addition to his typical position at small forward. Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak mentioned that he drafted him with the 43rd pick because of the uncertainty about Walton's back, and Jackson currently doesn't have a timetable on Walton's aggravated right hamstring. For these reasons, the Lakers' draft pick was essentially a steal.

57021297Lakers forward Pau Gasol

2010 preseason stats: Gasol appeared in eight games, averaging a team-leading 17 points on 46.5% shooting and 7.8 rebounds in 29.6 minutes per contest.

Outlook: On paper, Gasol's numbers looked impressive. On selected portions of film, Gasol looked great. But he entered training camp with a lot of question marks. No doubt he'll display the efficiency, footwork and mid-range game that have made him the league's best power forward, but Jackson is calling on him to make this his team as Bryant rehabs. In that respect, Gasol so far has fallen short, with a poor shooting percentage, sluggish rhythm and questionable effort on defense. Obviously, Gasol will play better once he gets into a routine after, rightfully, sitting out competitive basketball this off-season. But the Lakers are going to need someone to carry the team with Bynum out for at least a month and Bryant not 100% after his surgery.

Lakers forward Lamar Odom

2010 preseason stats: Odom appeared in seven of the eight exhibition games, averaging 10.9 points on 46.9% shooting and a team-leading 10.7 rebounds in 31.7 minutes per contest; missed the Lakers' 105-102 overtime victory Friday over the Golden State Warriors because of a sore left thumb and tight back.

Outlook: Odom posted the best numbers, displayed the most effort and seemed to arrive in training camp in the  best condition of anyone on the team. And Odom doesn't plan on resting anytime soon. I had wondered whether his busy off-season with the 2010 FIBA World Championships would elevate his game or lead to burnout. He's shown this preseason that his game has improved tremendously since playing with Team USA, but there's still the possibility that Odom will hit the wall. He sat out Friday because of the thumb, his back and a beat-up nose, injuries he told reporters that during the regular season he would play through.

Still, it's something Odom will have to monitor throughout the season. I liked his approach of laying everything out in practice and exhibition games because it tested his limits and probably helped him realize he had more stamina and energy if he simply paced himself. There may come a time when he'll need to rest and reenergize, but I'm sure Odom will recognize that. Expect big things from Odom this season. The Lakers will need it.

Lakers forward Theo Ratliff

2010 preseason stats: Ratliff appeared in seven of eight exhibition games, averaging 2.9 points on 54.5% shooting and 1.43 blocks in 15.3 minutes per contest

Outlook: Ratliff will prove to be an upgrade over D.J. Mbenga because of his shot-blocking and size intimidation in the post as well as his recognition of his offensive limitations. Still, the Lakers can't invest heavy minutes in him. It's nice for the Lakers to have his blocking as insurance, but it's not a good sign if he's swatting a lot of shots. It means the Lakers aren't playing solid defensively.

56964813-2Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic

2010 preseason stats: Vujacic appeared in five of the eight exhibition games, averaging 6.2 points on 40% shooting in 16.4 minutes per contest. He missed three games after suffering a concussion last week in practice because of an accidental elbow to the face from Odom, but he started in the Lakers' 120-99 victory Thursday over Golden State because of Bryant's absence, posting nine points on four-of-five shooting in 15 minutes.

Outlook: Vujacic entered training camp with not exactly the strongest hand. Brown, who's competing with Vujacic for primary backup shooting guard behind Bryant, logged more minutes than Vujacic. His absence due to the concussion partially prompted Jackson to consider giving Ebanks a chance to play at shooting guard. But upon his return, Vujacic provided tons of energy, key outside shots and defensive scrappiness, which he excelled at without overdoing.

It remains unclear whether Vujacic's recent engagement to Maria Sharapova will bring happiness on the basketball court as well. It's also unclear whether Vujacic will be so buried in the depth chart that there's no use talking about his game. No matter how much run Vujacic ultimately receives, he needs to temper his emotions and play a team role.

Lakers forward Luke Walton

2010 preseason stats: Walton appeared in two exhibition games, averaging 2.5 points and 66.7% shooting

Outlook: Things aren't looking good for Walton, who appeared in only one preseason game after  aggravating an injury to his right hamstring, which originally kept him sidelined for the first two weeks of training camp. It's a shame considering he apparently hasn't had any issues with his back, which suffered a pinched nerve last season and kept him sidelined for 53 regular-season games. I won't go so far as to say Walton serves as the Lakers' X factor, as one scout put it to Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen, but there's no doubt his presence on the floor will ensure bench chemistry and help the newcomers learn the triangle offense. One could make the case that Artest's learning curve last season wouldn't have been so steep had Walton been healthy.

-- Mark Medina

twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photos, from top: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant chats with forward Ron Artest. Credit: Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press. Steve Blake drives past the Timberwolves' Wayne Ellington. Credit: Tom Hevezi/ Associated Press. Bryant, left, and the Lakers may have to share the spotlight with Kevin Durant's Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference this season. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times. Pau Gasol drives for the basket against FC Barcelona's Fran Vazquez. Credit: Manu Fernandez/Associated Press. Sasha Vujacic goes for a steal after Golden State forward Dorell Wright pulls down a rebound in the first quarter on Oct. 21, 2010. Credit: Lenny Ignelzi / Associated Press

 
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mornin crue -

So we are on the threshold of another Laker season. The suspense, the drama, the tacos - I can't wait for all of it! I'm more excited about this team than I have been about any other - except maybe for when we were vying for the elusive Quat-row (but we're not gonna talk about that here - bad juju). Regardless, it's gonna be a helluva ride, but I only want chills and thrills - no spills - if you know what I mean. Health is gonna be the major deciding factor this year. We need to be healthy - and stay sharp.


That said - without any further adieu - here's Joe:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1CLZdrFkYQ

And yes - I know - but it's ok - I use my powers for good.

but Luke Walton is becoming a problem, like driving a car when the Parking Dept. put the booth ON. (not even the JUDGE, or the MIGHTY can forgive one, especially in CA, about those tickets/injuries)

Posted by: the Activator | October 25, 2010 at 03:48 AM
=======

ricky

try to understand this: Gassy, can't even hold a candle to the players you mentioned.

in the big scheme of things, Gassy is like an order of Tapas vs. an 8 course Meal.

Posted by: the Activator | October 25, 2010 at 04:28 AM
======

You have some act, I must say.

1) The Lakers knew that Luke Walton was very iffy for this season and that is why they are going with 14 players and signed Matt Barnes. I wouldn't call that a "problem," especially when posing "fans" like you have considered him to be an ONGOING problem.

2) You are saying that Pau Gasol doesn't hold a candle to Bob McAdoo when he was a Laker? Pau could have held his own in any era with his array of skills, don't kid yourself. The Lakers have historically had a great center and a great guard on their post-Mikan championship teams (Vern Mikkelson was a great power forward in his time). James Worthy played the small forward position with the Showtime Lakers, so Pau is hands down the greatest Laker at the power forward position. No one can hold a candle to him.

@JAMIE SWEET… Great to read your profile, Jamie. We’ve always been on the same wave length through the years and I always look for and enjoy your contributions on the glass half full side of the blog. Keep it up. What surprised me was how young you were. In fact, I’ve had the same reaction to several of what I consider to be the smarter and wiser posters on the blog. Good to know that the younger fans are holding up the standard of Lakers fans. Keep up the positive attitude and smiles in the face of life.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@ZAIRA… Speaking of a very young Lakers fan who really knows her basketball. Congrats on the well deserved RCOD. And count me among the dedicated Tom Waits fans. I first saw Tom as a backup act at the Troubadour in the 60’s. The audience was totally perplexed to see this young man dressed like something out of 1940’s novel with suit and hat and drink in hand and this incredibly gravelly voice. At the end of his act, I was one of only about 10 people in the audience who was blown away and screaming. A true genius.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
@MVP AND THE REST OF THE LAKERS/YANKEEES & LAKERS/49ERS BANDWAGONS… Now that the minor sports are out of the way for us, we can finally concentrate on the greatest franchise in the greatest sport on earth – NBA Basketball. Yankees need to sign Cliff Lee in the offseason. Niners need to fire Mike “Always a Bear and Never a Niner” Singletary and hire Jim Harbaugh as head coach and draft Andrew Luck as QB. I’m going to violate my long standing American League rooting to support the S.F. Giants in the World Series.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

The one thing I'm looking forward to early in the season is Pau's performance. He's play the role of Robin great. But until Kobe gets right and Drew returns, we need Pau to be Batman.

good morning, hope everyone had a great weekend-

one more day:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pQGXmzoe88

Luke & the other injured Lakers:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=321tpYe73T0&feature=related

besides the recent weather:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KjF58a6V_s

have a good one & drive safe-

The one thing I'm looking forward to early in the season is Pau's performance. He's play the role of Robin great. But until Kobe gets right and Drew returns, we need Pau to be Batman.

Posted by: LRob | October 25, 2010 at 08:22 AM

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

Not to mention he is on your fantasy team...lol...just bustin yer balls LRob...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah2ywKPfnTc

Lakers Dynasty - The New Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!!

Good Morning Laker Fam,

Justa - yep Lakers gotta come out sharp. I'll stay with your Punk theme because its definitely time for the Lakers to Pump It Up...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opIL3Yt0Un8

@MM… I was in mourning this weekend over my Yankees and 49ers but the one bright spot was your article on Phil Jackson’s and Andrew Bernstein’s collaborative effort creating Journey to The Ring. Count me among those bloggers who consider this one of the finest articles you have produced in your short tenure on the blog. I loved the black and white photography. We get so used to the vibrancy of color that we sometimes lose focus on the image itself. Andy’s use of black and white photography really froze the images and helped focus our eyes on the content of the photo itself. Much like your insightful writing cuts to the heart of what matters. Phil and Andy’s book will be at the top of my holiday shopping list this year. Thanks for the great preview.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

how bout them Yankeeeeeeeeeeeees

the most expensive roaster in the history of sports choked again. what a bunch of Posers. or should i say, what a downer.

For the musically inclined, some morning blue notes…
There’s love in the air and hope in your step….
~
James Morrison:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhLLCe3ZlQA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtZskrfiUms
~
Simply Red:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej2VHWftwdQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQQ7KFNQr5Q
~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

"but Fisher in the regular season will need to temper his shot selection and ensure he has enough help on defense to back him up when he gets beat off the dribble."

MM- do u mind to explain how Fishy can "ensure he has enough help on defense".

is that part of his conspiracy friendship with Gassy? another gay who has to "ensure he has enough help on defense"

LRob
Pau = Nightwing

JR

The Activator -

I'm going to try to build a bridge with you, as I am sure that there concerns of yours that are shared by many on the blog. As such, I will take what are the main concerns (as I can interpret them) from you last two posts. If I am wrong about your concerns, please let me know.

I think it is frustrating that Luke has been injured often the last couple of years. I also think it is frustrating for him as well. I mentioned his 2006-7 season to illustrate the point that he can be a decent NBA small forward; not that he is best, nor that he is the worst. As for his output this season, I would be happy with him having an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.5:1.

I take issue with him being a distraction; he still plays a role in practice, and while he was on the injured list last year, he help with some (perhaps nominal, although I can't say for sure) coaching duties. And I am pretty sure that you don't mean - literally speaking - that Luke has an infinite amount of injuries. Perhaps you are frustrated at the fact that he hasn't been healthy the last two years. If that is the case, then there are others who are frustrated too, and which is highly understandable.

I'm not sure how he is supposed to be an impediment to other players when he is injured; they will get more repetitions in practice and game situations than Luke will. Perhaps you can say a bit more as to what you mean? From what I can tell, you have frustrations in the sense that his inability to be healthy causes a bit of shuffling, which may in turn hinder the development of the roster. I can be wrong though, so if there is something regarding this that I am missing, please let me know.

As far as Luke's confidence level (which seems like a somewhat nebulous term), the best way to answer your question would be to ask Luke himself. I can't say with any accuracy as to what is on Luke's mind, but I'm sure that if MM or another member of the press would ask, Luke would discuss.

You and I seem to be on the same page about a number of things, and I think that it would be beneficial if Luke were healthy. I would like to see a productive year out of him in roughly 8-10 minutes a game since he has excellent passing skills, and he's big enough (weight wise) to stay with most small-forwards if they tried to post him up. I don't expect him to return to roughly 11/6/4 a game, due to the fact (as you had mentioned) we have a very deep team with lots of potential at every position (especially Devin; the more I see of him, the more I really like him as a player. He really seems to do whatever it takes to help the team out. I also like the fact that he's 6'8" and is able to guard the PG/SG/SF positions).

So that's my take on Luke - if he is healthy, I'd like to see him earn about 8 minutes a game, and I think he can be effective in those 8 minutes. The big "if", as you have rightly noted, is whether or not he can stay healthy. Here's hoping that he can.

MM,
You stated Caracter played all 8 preseason games but I think he sat out 2 games due to back spasms.
Original Justa

sorry for the above typo. nothing intentional

Monday Morning Haiku -

Two more days to go
Bus stops at Staples Center
We're Lords of the Rings

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

This has to be one of the most anticipated start of the season in my Laker fanhood...So many questions to be answered...

Can our boys hold up to the big army of the Dark Lord Sauron (Stern), full of Orcs, Ringwraiths, Trolls, and Nazgul...Will Frodo Baggins (Kobe) and Samwise Gamgee (Pau) be able to overcome the odds and deliver the ring...

Will the Lakers complete the Trilogy...Let's find out together...

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!!

the Activator = the agitator. Either a troll in poor disguise or so negative and pessimistic it does not deserve to watch our team. So far there are only about 2 Laker players that the Activator has not talked smack about-we would all be better off ignoring it.

Morning all. One day til the fun begins! I much agree with LakerTom above, isn't it great that OUR team is the BEST team (in sports!) playing the best sport on earth!

Just another reminder of how lucky we all are to be Laker fans!

- - -

Activator: Your anti-Luke obsession is crazy.

Did Luke Walton steal your girlfriend away? Did he fail to leave you a tip? Did he cut you off at stop sign?

Why the obsession in bashing him? He plays only a matter of minutes in the exhibition season, the poor kid can't even play consecutive games without getting hurt (reminiscent of the majority of his dad's career) and you bash on him like he was a starter playing 35 minutes and the team's been losing.

Don't you have a more positive way to spend your time? Is it not enough that he's out, but you gotta try to smother him down into the ground?

Look, I see that you are a relatively unsophisticated basketball fan, one that can't appreciate the nuances to some players games - like Luke. Each of your anti-Luke tirades make you look worse and worse, but there is no reason to continue bashing him when he's injured as much as he is, he plays as little as he does.

I think CaliPhilosopher sums it up perfectly above: "So that's my take on Luke - if he is healthy, I'd like to see him earn about 8 minutes a game, and I think he can be effective in those 8 minutes. The big "if", as you have rightly noted, is whether or not he can stay healthy. Here's hoping that he can. "

I think that is what most of us look out of Luke. He's not going to be a starter on this team, he's not going to be the 6th man, but if he can play a few minutes a half, bring stability ball-movement and heady play to the b-team, and continue to be the positive attitude he brings on the bench.

Activator, I think you should really channel your energies in a more positive manner sometimes, and stop focusing on Luke-bashing as much as you do...

- - -

KobeMVP888: I'm with you, the Lakers have never had a power forward the likes of Pau in franchise history. A lot of people like to make 'all-time starting 5' teams with Kareem or Wilt playing power forward, but looking at 'true' position players, Pau is the finest PF the Lakers have ever had...


GO LAKERS!!!!!

My FLAVOR today...

@LRob -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi9sLkyhhlE

@ NorCal Chapter -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo7OBA8Bedw

@ Blog Crue -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AzEY6ZqkuE

And the common denominator is...

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!!

Nice breakdown MM. As some others have alluded to, I cannot remember a time when I've been so excited about a coming season - I really think this is going to be a special season for the Lakers. Mitch has worked very hard to put all these pieces together and I think the dividends paid will be extraordinary.

On a slightly more somber note, the legendary reggae vocal stylist that was Gregory Isaacs passed away last night in London losing his battle with cancer. He was 60. This is in memory of his one of a kind presence.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyEP_st9csI&feature=related

Agree with MM on the Laker breakdowns. Barnes will get more playing time than we would have imagined, and he's proving to be doing better each exhibition he played. Luke does bring a harmony to the backups when he plays, Fisher's stroke does look better than it has in a while, Odom looks ready to step up - not only on the court but as a leader as well and Shannon does look improved.

I'd like to see the minutes at the point pretty much split between Blake and Fisher, Blake looks more comfortable in each game, he's really looked pretty good (as I knew he would).

- - -

AndTheJellosJigglin: "the Activator = the agitator. Either a troll in poor disguise or so negative and pessimistic it does not deserve to watch our team. So far there are only about 2 Laker players that the Activator has not talked smack about-we would all be better off ignoring it."
-
With you on that.

It does get tiresome that the same trolls/pessimists constantly beat the same drum, constantly bring the same criticisms to the table about the same selected targets. It must pain them that the team is successful, what is there left to criticize after a title run? All they can do is pick on the end of the bench backups, nitpick on injuries and generally bring a negative energy and vibe to whatever comments they make.

Activator=Agitator=troll. All one and the same...


GO LAKERS!!!!!

Cali

infinite - maybe a metaphor for never ending. or just how i said before: he gets hurt before he returns.

now IMPEDIMENT, it's easy. let's say, Ebanks starts to play. Luke comes back. Ebanks is sent to D-league. by the time he drives over the mountain on I-5 (to Bakersville), he gets a text message "Come back, Luke is hurt again".

or maybe he is not getting the text and Ebanks spends time in D-League while Luke is on the bench in a suit. so Ebanks does not develop playing with the Lakers, learning triangle and getting used to the new teammates.

it is an IMPEDIMENT

he's hurt/not hurt

part of rotation/out of rotation it WILL BECOME a distraction.

obviously, regarding confidence, Luke insisted that he CAN play and that he can ALSO have the roll of helping the bench. DO U really think that LUKE will confess that he LOST/has NO confidence? NO. but his game will do it. 9but the FO thought about sending him to greener pastures)

the 2006/07 season when he had those great stats it is not a GOOD reference. as i wrote before it was the time of smushcalade, cakecalade and cookiecalede. obviously at that time he WAS the 3rd option. so he played more, had more shots and had better numbers.

i'm surprised that when on the court it is obvious that he is in DECLINE after 3 seasons in the NBA (this is his 7th), you and some others are trying to defend something that is not there.

i can understand the LOVE and respect for ALL THE LAKERS. but this blog, and this forum is to discuss things between lines, pros and cons and get over the POLYANNA FANS FANATIC FANATICAL approach regarding the TEAM. the Lakers are not SACRED. there is nothing SACRILEGIOUS about poking fun or just POINTING OUT things that r not helping the TEAM in its conquest for another title.

we r talking TITLES here. we r not on the pacers blog or sacramento or the warriors. if i would be there, i WOULD NOT EVEN bother. why discuss misery. it is self defeating, deflating and we don't have money to call Ron's psychologist.

the problem with both Luke and Bynum is that all these conversations will be at minimum if YOU, LakerTom and his accomplices will not DEFEND FANATICALLY their side

if we look back in the past 5 years, there r more posts, more entries, more broken keyboards and computers because this blog and others regurgitated an nauseum the same topic: about 2 SCRUBS. one BEAST and another IQ.

and it is really not showing up in their play, their desire, their preparation. i'm not even mentioning their health and minutes on the court.

now, u figure it out.

and no, i don't care about Luke at all. i'm not irritated and especially frustrated. i do not consider him a BB player. same with Fish who i see as anti-BB.

and if the COACHING staff needs Luke, i'm sorry to say but that means that they SUCK. we have 6 coaches, PLUS Bryant on the court, Fish and LO in the locker room. do we need more coaches than players? or a chaperon for each player?

all those little games r made to hide the fact that Mitch made a mistake, a huge one and also maybe as respect that Luke is the son of Hall of Famer, Bill Walton. think about it. if his name is not walton, he would have been bought out. they can't trade him. nobody wants him. not here, not in D-League and not in Europe.

LEWSTRS: After listening to Spinning Wheel for the first time in probably a few years, I think that is a very underrated song. Good stuff.

For whatever odd/random reason, this was the song I had in my head when I got up this morning, lol:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk30a0qsVIk


GO LAKERS!!!!!

CyberCosmiX

actually i was poking fun at the people who's zealotry is infinite at defending Luke. but at the same time u r right

"I'm not sophisticated enough to understand the nuances of Luke's game"

maybe i should read Bleachers report?

i'm happy that U and others are sophisticated to appreciate how Luke, after a TO, with 8 seconds left on the clock, dribbled for 8 seconds on the same spot, the game ended, Lakers lost. he has the highest IQ in the NBA.

sorry but my "narrow" brain does not get the nuance of sophistication of what Luke brought to that play. maybe we should ask Kobe? can he explain? or the Zen Master?

how about when Luke was inserted in the Memphis game to pass to Kobe for the buzzer beater? and he gave a bad pass. Kobe had to step back to catch the ball. out of balance and a few seconds gone, he missed. lakers lost.

i guess i don't get Luke's brilliant clutchness.

but i'm here to learn. i will do my best.

and by the way, in both of those games, the jello did not jiggle. i'm really curious if any of you could impersonate what Chick would have sad just about those 2 sequences.

The Activator -

I'm going to try to build a bridge with you, as I am sure that there concerns of yours that are shared by many on the blog. As such, I will take what are the main concerns (as I can interpret them) from you last two posts. If I am wrong about your concerns, please let me know.

Posted by: Caliphilosopher | October 25, 2010 at 08:44 AM
=====

Why bother. He spends his energy writing long Letters to the Editor on how bad Luke Walton stinks, as if it even matters moving forward with this ballclub. He calls The Spaniard "Gassy" and comments that he can't hold a candle to even Bob McAdoo when he played with the Lakers. And, of course, now he trashes Derek Fisher (how unpredictable!). At the same time, he claims to be a Lakers fan.

CyberCosmiX states: "Activator=Agitator=troll. All one and the same..."

He is the worst kind of troll. He POSES as a Lakers fan. Although I have personally violated commonly accepted anti-troll policies with respect to this POSER, may I suggest the following guidelines for all trolls, including posers like the Activator:

Regarding trolls, here are two SUGGESTED policy points:

1) IGNORE their posts.
3) DON'T allow yourself to be BAITED.

Shamefully, I don't simply skip over his posts and have allowed myself to be baited.

@ LRob, Lewsters, CyberCosmiX - so glad you're on the "Spinning Wheel" tip - I'm kinda partial to Shirley Bassey's take on it, especially as remixed by DJ Spinna - enjoy!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weab7bQdiTE

Luke is no impediment.
he's no star, just a role player, but he's no impediment. Luke works hard and rounds out the practice team. when he can't play, others might get a chance.

people's opinions about him are meaningless. the champion team enjoys having him on the team and the team's opinion is the only one that matters.

to call Fisher or Luke anti basketball is asinine. folks who actually are involved in the game for a living think otherwise, and their team's success speaks otherwise.

-btw, anyone who has actually watched Laker games for more than a few years knows that Gasol is one of the finest players the Lakers have had, at least at PF. he's not as great as Ricky thinks, but he's no slouch.

KobeMVP888: I'm with you, the Lakers have never had a power forward the likes of Pau in franchise history. A lot of people like to make 'all-time starting 5' teams with Kareem or Wilt playing power forward, but looking at 'true' position players, Pau is the finest PF the Lakers have ever had...

Posted by: CyberCosmiX | October 25, 2010 at 09:10 AM
=====

Of course. The Lakers' playoff series winning percentage is 91.67% since the acquisition of Gasol (11-1). The one series loss was when he was forced to play out of position for the entire playoffs. No power forward in Lakers history has had the impact on his team like Pau Gasol has on this team.

Luke walton generating beef in laker land. Yup a new season is upon us.

Sup mamba24, I saw your shout outs on some previous threads.

And umm is it wrong that I'm just as excited to see Miami play as I am to see the lakers. I hate the celtics but I'm intrigued by Miami's talent and OKCs upside. The league is stronger at the top, should make for one heck of a roller coast ride.

Same destination though. In the words of the chrono master, jon k, what do we play for? RINGS.

Jefe101 - on Spinning Wheels

You are the Emeril Laggasse of the Blog...

Like a recipe of a dish...I made it...but BAM!!!...you kicked it up a notch...

Oh and the common denominator - circa 68/69...

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!!

Activator,

I may not agree with u on Gassy but you have a valid point in representing the other side. That's where I missed a longtimed fan, Mike T. point of views because all I have been reading here are the viewpoints of lakerholics from yankees to niners and if you're not one of these losers, then you must be an outsider. Folks, we are laker fans first before the word "lakerholics and bandwagoning" were introduced, if the negatives are highlighted don't take it as a bad impression to the reader or promoter. There so no such thing as good or bad postsas long as they're civil and address it on players not on bloggers. Among the bloggers, there are: cheerleaders, bystanders, longtime watchers and fans in general. We have to share the blogspace to everyone. This is a healthy blog if all point of views are aired without fear of being consternation, being ostracized or censured. We are all laker fans first before this blog was introduced. There is no policy that in order to be a good laker fan you have to be a fanatical followers of any laker player although I consider them as the best in the business. Please don't ask all fans categorized above to swallow everything. The latter have to prove their worth too in donning the purple n' gold if they want to gain following. To enjoy blogging, IMHO nobody should be entitled to preach at all times what he likes to happen and what is the truth? Everyone here even a blogger with faulty English is entitled to share his own views and his own takes.

Let the season begin and Go Lakers.

@Laker Tom - Thanks for the love. I'm glad you enjoyed the post on Andy Bernstein's book. His photos were tremendous and he shared plenty of good stories and observations regarding his photos. Being an Orioles fan, I can't exactly say I feel your pain regarding the Yankees' elimination, but I'm glad the post at least cheered you up!

@Activator - I love your conspiracy theories lol Keep em coming.

@Cali - Luke has spoken ad nausem about his psyche regarding his injury (which has been written about in this forum, just go to the Luke Walton category on the right-hand side and you'll see them there). He's been very frustrated with himself that he hasn't been able to stay healthy, to the point that this season's been depressing for him. Say what you will about his contract, value to the team, etc, but it's not as if the man isn't trying to get healthy and constantly asking doctors, trainers what else he can do to stay healthy. That being said, he'd has a very resilient attitude and has used that to try to overcome his adversities.

@JustALakerfan - Thanks for the catch. I corrected it.

@Jefe101, CyberCosmiX - Thanks for the love. I'm glad you enjoyed the post

Lot of great music and basketball here.

I think it's going to be a really fun season, less frustrating with the second unit, more frustrating with the first (until after the all-star break - fingers crossed).

Threepeat? I dedicate this to the coming year:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RoRv37DjmQ

888 - Shame on you hahaha

Lewstrs I will be home sometime next week for good.

The rest of the gang, this is good to get the blood flowing. I found this courtesy of a friend from another board, Lakers4Life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvzokLfXwi8&feature=sub

Keeping with the punk theme
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP8nGNbk7oQ

I have played with these guys at least 4 times with the latest being about a year and a half ago and they still sound great. Yes they still dress up outrageously and change costumes every couple of songs or so.

cofm99 - cool on you playin' with them. Love the Tubes live. Underrated as a band.

Hey guys we got a new post up

One journey ends and another one begins. The offseason and preseason are over, and I must say, that I'm pleased with the different approaches the players took to prepare themselves for this championship run. Andrew Bynum and Luke Walton are entering the season with question marks, but even they did what was in their health's best interest. Walton's approach is paying off in that he has had no issues with his back, eventhough, a new injury has surfaced. Bynum, will be hungry and renergized when he returns, and will want to prove his critics wrong. He will be a force to be reckoned with this year. (Fingers crossed)
The rest of the team took very different roads to get to this point, but all have worked to prepare themselves to become significant assets to the team. I'm pleased with Gasol's and Kobe's rest and recovery philosophy, Lamar's playing for Team USA, and being in great shape, Shannon's focus on basketball fundamentals, Fisher's physical preparation, and Vujacic's, well Sasha, is just Sasha, although he looks determined to regain his stroke and more playing time. Last but not least, Artest, what can we say? The evidence speaks for itself. He is as committed as ever, and has prepared himself physically and mentally to become the ace in the hole for this team.
The newcomers are all trying hard to integrate themselves to the team and becoming key role players and contributors when their number is called. The depth and talent on the bench is reassuring. LET THE (NEXT) JOURNEY BEGIN!

"Everyone here even a blogger with faulty English is entitled to share his own views and his own takes."

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | October 25, 2010 at 10:24 AM

=====

That is precisely why it is equally important to opine on another's views, especially when those views are based on deception and an ulterior motives. If posers, trolls and haters choose to put these "views" out for the world to see, it is fair to point out the transparency of these "takes" if someone so desires. The fact that someone has an opposing point of view on something does NOT negate the right of someone to point out the apparent motives behind that viewpoint. Everyone has their choice whether to agree or disagree with said "views" and whether to comment on them or not. As the Activator so astutely pointed out, it's a public forum.

cofm -

Didn't know you played with the Tubes...LOVE them...I saw them at the Whiskey...and I love Qua...lol

Glad to hear your chapter in Green Puke Ville is done and you are coming back home...

Man you need to get Laker4Life over here...I miss that guy...

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!!

Well Kobe's rehabbing, pau's expected to play big minutes and provide a big effort on both ends of the court, and LO will play like 42 minutes per game with little rest. When Ratliff spells Pau, will LO stay in the game and have to pick it up when Pau rests? The rotations s/b interesting...I wouldn't be surprised to see Artest and Barnes on teh court at the same time...awesome!!

Phil call some time-outs to get the big guys some rest will ya!!!! Pau and LO aren't machines (congrats to Sasha!)

I want to see Kobe play some 16-8-8 games to prove to the competition that the Lakers have lots of ways to win!

luke walton is better than kobe, lebron and anybody in the league and santa claus is real.


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