Lakers Now

Round-the-Clock Purple and Gold

« Previous Post | Lakers Now Home | Next Post »

Five things to take away from Lakers' 112-95 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves

Lakers8_510 1. Lakers forward Matt Barnes plays bench role perfectly

As soon as Barnes knocked down one of his five three-pointers against Minnesota in the fourth quarter, he puffed open his mouth as if to suggest he felt on fire. Yet, Barnes told KCAL's John Ireland after the Lakers' 112-95 victory Friday over the Timberwolves that he wasn't fully aware of his performance until Lakers spokesman John Black informed Barnes of his perfect stat line: a season-high 24 points on seven-of-seven shooting, including five of five from three-point range, with seven rebounds and six assists.

That mind-set perfectly reveals how Barnes reached a perfect stat line. He hasn't worried about stats or minutes one bit this season. Even though he's still on a learning curve with the triangle, Barnes enters the lineup and simply finds ways to be effective. Since the Lakers boast plenty of scorers, Barnes has distinguished himself by contributing with hustle, setting others up and constantly cutting in hopes it opens up space either for himself or a teammate. So even if Barnes led the team statistically in points, it's the plus-minus statistic (+27) that shows his biggest worth.

He threw a pass in mid-air from the top of the key to an open Lamar Odom for the slam inside. He took advantage of Darko Milicic's misguided attempt to save the ball from going out of bounds under his own basket, retrieved his pass in the paint and converted on the open shot. And he scored the team's last 10 points of the third quarter, bringing the Lakers to an 84-71 advantage entering the final period.

Barnes' solid play epitomized the Lakers' bench attitude in wanting to sustain and build leads, while worrying little about how they look in the box score. Shannon Brown, who was poked in the right eye late in the game, continued his revamped shooting stroke with 11 points on three-of-six shooting. Derrick Caracter's 10 minutes of play helped Pau Gasol knock his minutes down to 38. And Lakers Coach Phil Jackson felt comfortable enough with the bench to sit Kobe Bryant for the final 5:25 of the game, limiting his minutes to 31.

But it was Barnes who proved to be the main difference in the game.

Lakers10_350 2. Lamar Odom shuts down Kevin Love

Jackson joked to reporters beforehand that Love has averaged 17.3 rebounds in the last 10 days because "he fouls and gets away with it a lot." Incidentally, Odom was the one who got in foul trouble during the Lakers' unimpressive win against Minnesota 10 days ago, partly contributing to Love grabbing a career-high 24 boards.

It proved much different the second time around with Odom largely responsible for Love's zero-point performance on zero-of-seven shooting to go with his seven rebounds. Odom's stat line of 11 points on five-of-11 shooting, eight rebounds and seven assists in 40 minutes proved typical, but it was his defense on Love that was eye-opening. He challenged Love on drives. He poked away entry passes directed toward him. And most importantly, he didn't allow him space to even attempt many field goals.

Darko_275 3. Darko Milcic outplayed Pau Gasol?!

After Gasol posted the kind of numbers to spark whether he's deserving of league MVP, Jackson found another way to needle El Spaniard by insisting Gasol needs to play more aggressive to reach that level. Instead of proving Jackson otherwise against Minnesota, Gasol validated the coach's claim. Instead of matching or surpassing his 22.9 points a game average on 55% shooting, he presented a disappointing 16-point performance on six- of-13 shooting, though it proved much better than his first-half clip of one of seven. Instead of overwhelming the punchline that is Darko Milicic, Gasol allowed him to nearly drop a triple double with 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting with 16 rebounds, six blocked shots and five assists, making T-Wolves owner David Kahn appear to be a genius for locking him in to a long-term deal.

The sequences were far from pretty. Gasol allowed Milicic to convert on left hooks. He let him drive past him with ease on a reverse layup. And he appeared frustrated with getting good looks in the lane. To his credit, Gasol adjusted in the second half and made shots on the perimeter and finished with 14 rebounds. But the best forward in the league should not be losing in a matchup against one of the league's biggest busts.

One might point out that Bryant didn't have a good shooting night either, finishing with 23 points on eight-of-27 shooting. But I didn't find problems with his shot selection. His shots just didn't go in as often as he'd have liked. I also liked his aggressiveness, as he appeared very engaged in the game and with running the offense. Gasol, on the other hand, just appeared lifeless.

4. Derek Fisher played efficiently

Quietly, but effectively, Fisher marked his presence in various ways. He deflected several passes to disrupt Minnesota's offense. He hit key shots, such as when he cut open behind the perimeter or pulled up on the right block for a jumper. And he set up teammates, ranging from his alley-oop lob and cross-court pass to Bryant.

Fisher's 12 points on five-of-five shooting, including two of two from three-point range, and four steals might get buried behind Barnes' performance, Odom's defense or Gasol's struggles. But it's representative of a productive season thus far, where he entered tonight's game making 60% (15 of 25) of his threes, third best in the NBA. Laker fans usually see this mark in the playoffs and usually become split over his regular-season play, such as last season when he shot 34.8% from three-point range. But Fisher has been quietly efficient all season, showing he still has it in him and that the bench has provided enough of a lift to keep him rested.

Lakers2_600

5. Ron Artest could've played better defense on Michael Beasley

Artest sat at his locker before the game last Sunday against Phoenix lamenting about his defense and how he needs to be sharper. It's safe to say that he still feels that way after allowing Beasley to score 25 points on nine-of-22 shooting. On one play, Milicic set a down screen on Artest while Beasley cut toward the nearside. Artest had trouble fighting through the pick and Beasley nailed the open jumper. On another play, Beasley simply knocked down a jumper over Artest, who allowed too much space for Beasley to operate. And on several other plays, Beasley drove past Artest toward the rack off one dribble.

There's going to be nights like tonight where the Lakers can absorb this kind of performance. But there's going to be games (Oklahoma City, Miami) where Artest is going to be the X-Factor and will be counted on to shut down the team's top scorer.

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

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

Photos:  (Top) Lakers forward Matt Barnes dishes in transition. Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn / US Presswire. (Middle, left) As Lakers forward Lamar Odom challenges a shot by Wolves forward Kevin Love, guard Derek Fisher makes the block from behind. Credit: Jim Mone / Associated Press. (Middle, right) Minnesota center Darko Milicic blocks one of three shots by Lakers center Pau Gasol in the first half. Credit: Jim Mone / Associated Press. (Bottom) Lakers forward Ron Artest tries to save a ball from going out of bounds in the first half. Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn / US Presswire.  

 
Comments () | Archives (69)

The comments to this entry are closed.

"But the best forward in the league should not be losing in a matchup against one of the league's biggest busts."


I love Pau, but that's very true, MM.

"Gasol allowed him to nearly drop a triple double with 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting with 16 rebounds, six blocked shots and five assists"

Love the analysis and all but since when is falling four assists short coming close to a triple-double?

8-27?

@MagicPhil - I thought you would like that Funktown that Muller produced.


@63 Footer - no, no, no...only Shannon gets a nickname.


@GDUB - Deborah's sounds like she got a good voice, but it sounds like they need better production for her...the way it was mixed the music overshadowed her.

Barnes keeps this up, and who's the 6th man of the year?

Blake is up now, with the quick little guards in GS....I look for Blake to get more minutes than Fish in this one..

great road trip,

Every dog (or Timber Wolf) has its day.

@MagicPhil - I thought you would like that Funktown that Muller produced.

Posted by: LRob | November 19, 2010 at 10:49 PM
-
You were right!

8-27?

Posted by: jimjoyce | November 19, 2010 at 10:48 PM
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Try something positive Jimmy. Oh that's right Lebron would NEVER shoot like that.

3-14 Game 5 Boston Celtics.

Are we feelin' funky? After that game, I'm feelin' funky.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkImd5xZa_g

6. We are HARDLY even close to our potential. Heh-heh-heh.

8-27?

jimyyyyyyyyyyy-no-joyyyyyyyyyyyyy-ce

is that Kobe's birthday? 27 august. i'm lazy to ckeck but u can be correct. he was 32 last time.

@63 Footer - whoa...Coming with Otis backup band...I hadn't seen that video before...cool.

It's getting late on east coast and I'm supposed to hoop in the AM so on that note "goodnite" all with a doo wop classic...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egX9N8yOgaU

To be not be blinded by my Laker fandom....yes Kobe had a very crappy shooting game. Sorry MM as much as those makes were simply the shot not going through at times it doesn't erase the 8-27 shooting. I hate it especially considering he's my fantasy team and one thing I always disliked about Kobe was the FG%. For me to rank him above Magic/Bird and especially Kareem no less would be to win the hardware and while he's winning it now it's not like Magic and Kareem didn't win 5 rings (Kareem won 6) and Magic still shot 50%. So yes Kobe shooting that horribly even if it was in the regular season against the pitiful T-Wolves is something not to be ignored at.

That being said jimjoyce I have never yet seen ONE positive from you about KB24. Always comparisons to Magic/West and so damn positive about LBJ when 1) Lebron has yet to win a title and 2) Doesn't have yet the synch with the real Alpha Male in the Heat in Dwyane Wade. I'm not going to put down LBJ too much since he's only 25 and has plenty of time to show the doubters wrong but heck man LBJ ain't coming to the Lakers no more. How would you like it if I bashed Magic and ignored his many positives only to look at his negatives like the Tragic Magic Choke of 1984 or how he was an inferior defender compared to KB or even MJ?

Try to be more positive will you? Maybe I wouldn't be hard on you as much jimjoyce.

Fun to watch the Lakers play as a team and trust each other. They make it fun to watch basketball!!! I love Matt Barnes and the hustle he brings to the team. Lamar is playing great and showing his true worth. Blake and Brown are awesome. I can't wait for Andrew to get back - I think they will absolutely dominate if Drew can stay healthy. Go lakers!

LRob - then for all going to sleep out there:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94VWNiOcss0

I don't know who jim is, but his vocabulary is pretty limited. It's awesome to me that the Lakers can win when Bryant is 8 for 27. He's still on the way back, but the Lakers are so strong right now. I hope Bryant can be happy not being the only dominant force for the Lakers. He is truly part of a team and he looks pretty happy about the way things are going.

and finally KB Blitz shows up for his chess game (pissed that his phantasy team does not work?????????????):

the next move, the predictable "Jordan Defense" when actually he wanted to play "just another 'index' swish"

to improve on G. Bush Jr.

Barney, you r doing a heck of a JOB

and finally KB Blitz shows up for his chess game (pissed that his phantasy team does not work?????????????):

the next move, the predictable "Jordan Defense" when actually he wanted to play "just another 'index' swish"

Posted by: noob tuber | November 19, 2010 at 11:38 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do I dominate your dreams that much? Amusing I might add.

Blitz - what the heck is he getting on your case for? Jeeze, I'm a workaholic, so I know why I'm at home, but it's a Friday night, doesn't he have something better to do?

Blitz - what the heck is he getting on your case for? Jeeze, I'm a workaholic, so I know why I'm at home, but it's a Friday night, doesn't he have something better to do?

Posted by: 63 Footer | November 20, 2010 at 12:16 AM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Beats me. It's amusing though when posters like that let their estrogen out. No offense to our lovely women posters of the blog.

Pau is simply wearing down at the 5. We've got to get someone in there ASAP so we can go back to the normal rotation allowing Pau to go back to the 4 and LO off the bench. Then you have to be able to bring Caracter off the bench to cover the 5; we won't blow out teams but we won't necessarily lose either. We've got a killer bench and it all means is that they'll have to come in a litte sooner which is why you would want LO as part of that 2nd unit. Pau needed locker room action for his ankle and he allowed Darko to look like an All Star tonight. Enough talk about MVP and trying to make him a tougher player because it isn't. He's being pushed outside of his comfort zone and in doing so, he just might go down with an injury and then we're _____ed! Bynum won't be back until next year so until then, PJ has to adjust this team accordingly. I'm sure they're working on it but it has to happen sooner rather than later.
Late!

frmkt - agreed with all of it.

Caracter's definitely a rook, but he's getting a little more comfortable, definitely likes to rebound, is starting to rush less on his shots (great footwork, not always with the finish; which is changing), and only got completely lost on D once. So, little minutes here and there are going to add up right now.

Also, because we have some new vets who actually know how to play, the whole team is enjoying being an offensive juggernaut. Sure, they'll slowly have to tighten up their D over the course of the year, and slow the O down, but it's a great way to gain team familiarity and trust when they have this kind of fun on offense. The more Kobe trusts, the better it is when post season hits.

Beats me. It's amusing though when posters like that let their estrogen out. No offense to our lovely women posters of the blog.

Posted by: KB Blitz | November 20, 2010 at 12:19 AM

who's the one …itching about the phantasy team and making references to HIS-TORY??????????????

Blitz - what the heck is he getting on your case for? Jeeze, I'm a workaholic, so I know why I'm at home, but it's a Friday night, doesn't he have something better to do?
Posted by: 63 Footer | November 20, 2010 at 12:16 AM

maybe i'm a workaholic toooooo (editing video in FCP???????

maybe i work night shift??????????

but the reality is none of the above: finishiung cooking lamb shanks in wine, garlic, pears and throw in some dried plums

purplr potates - lakers colors
polenta - another Laker color

and waiting for my friend with benefits who is attending a George Clinton show at Yoshi's in san francisco.

i will toast some red wine with you…

did u really wanted all the details????????????????? of the be-for -play or you want a postgame interview???????????????

how is the novel going: inspiration or just perspiration?????? (just a joke - no sarcasm font - I DO have respect for creative people). cheers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Five things to take away from Lakers' 112-95 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves

1. Why was Matt Barnes traded so many times ? He is Michael Cooper 2.0
2. LO better get voted on the All Star team or I'm going postal !
3. Shannon Brown is Kobe lite, and that's a good thing.
4. Mitch Kupchak has put together a great team
5. Sasha is so far out of the Lakers rotation, I seen him on the Clippers bench yesterday.

who's the one …itching about the phantasy team and making references to HIS-TORY??????????????

Posted by: noob tuber | November 20, 2010 at 12:52 AM
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hey I'm not the one who keeps bringing up the negative 8-27.

Sorry but oucchh has much better use of grammer. Try again.

noob tuber - friends with benefits good, friends with benefits who takes you to P-Funk better. They better appreciate the lamb. But I'll toast some wine with ya. Or scotch. Vodka. Pretty much anything... I'm easy.

And I will now stay out of the sniping now.

And novel's good, nearing the end, I have to actually slow down, because once you see the light at the end of the tunnel, it's too easy to rush. Gotta let the game come to me. But, another 25-40 pages, so a week or so, maybe less. Thanks though for askin'.

Willb3 - "Sasha is so far out of the Lakers rotation, I seen him on the Clippers bench yesterday."

That was pretty frickin' funny. Poor Sasha, he's so cracking under the load. I feel for him. I'd feel more for him if he were traded for a serviceable big man, but I feel for him.

How do you compare a six for thirteen shooting with an 8 for 27? I can´t believe how unfair you guys are with Pau. A bad game? Sure, how doesn´t have one? But please, take back some Math classes before doing those comparisons...

I found it hilarious (and still do) that Darko was killing last night. Even funnier was the mention that his left-hand hooks were falling...because he has absolutely NO right hand skills (He's left handed). Just take a look at the highlights to see why I was laughing the entire game; his moves are so very awkward. It was just comedy last night. Everyone has their day I suppose, but it was still a blow-out.

I'm actually really happy that DC got some time, and 63-footer nailed it with his growth. Shot's not falling yet, but he's shooting good shots, footwork is REAL smooth, and he hustles. Ebanks looks good too. I can see them getting extended minutes this season once we have a better idea of our playoff seeding.

And Sasha is being a good sport about everything (as far as I can tell), which is key. One never knows when the coach will call your name, so I like that he is continuing to stay ready.

Some more things to take away from this win.

1) This Lakers team can win even when Kobe goes 8-27. That wasn't true very often in the Shaq era. That's a good thing because Kobe definitely is starting to show the mileage on his NBA odometer. He will still be a force, but in other ways besides scoring. And to me it seems he's already aware of that, and even more importantly, at peace with it.

2) Pau isn't and never will be "tough". He's an incredibly skilled and versatile 4 filling in at the 5, so stop wishing, hoping, pushing, and whining. Enjoy his skills and terrific positive attitude. There are enough tattooed gangsta types in the league. Pau is a breath of fresh air. Leave him alone.

CornerJ -

Hopefully you didn't take my comments as me getting on Pau's case - Darko just happened to have a career night. I like him as a player how he is, and he's wonderful.

The is a very good team. That is why Kobe should not be jacking up 27 shots in 31 minutes. He should use the other players, create easy baskets for them. Taking 27 shots, especially when they are not going in should tell every reasonable person that it is not your night. His attitude leaves a lot to be desired and i wish someone confronts him on it. It is really getting absurd and embarrassing. Gasol is the 2nd best player on the team, he shoots a better % than Kobe yet he takes half the shots that Kobe takes. I am getting sick and tired of Kobe's attitude. That is one reason we have not beaten any team of note this year.

May be Lakers get a new personal trainer for Pau... sounds the name of Mike Tyson.

May be it is time to trade Pau, he never will be a trashtalking or a breaks-bones, only a very very good player, without egoism and playing with IQ in the ground, basket as an art not as a war. He is a gentleman... inside and outside the field.

Never will be NBA's MVP but it does not matter to him.

That is one reason we have not beaten any team of note this year.

Posted by: keen observer | November 20, 2010 at 05:47 AM

Huh? I don't get that at all. Perhaps it's a product of the schedule that we "haven't beaten any team of note", rather than Kobe's perceived attitude.

>
Corner J - I agree with you 110% wholeheartedly.

Good morning,

Between Mark Medina's 5 takeaways here, and Dave Dave McMenamin 10 takeaways on the other blog, this could end up being a very long season. It's nothing but an ego driven (my 10 beats your 5) battle between dueling sports editors. Yeh, yeh, gotta keep those internet numbers up even if it obscures the reality.

Don't be fooled again.

Decades from now, young sports fans will be asking you what it was like to experience one of the greatest NBA teams of all time and listing nearly all of the names on this year's roster. It is headed for unbelievable milestones for our vets and a coming-of-age rite of passage for our killer B's.

Takeaway, shmakeaway. This is a season where the anecdotes will make history, leaving the details where they belong with the devil.

Compare this to the insanity in South Beach, where the so-called "Big 3" are counting touches the way petty news anchors compare story counts of their reads.

What I'm suggesting is that you watch this season's games differently. Don't get bogged down in how many times a lead changes hands or whether the refs are calling fouls fairly (they're not). What memory will you take away from a given game? Which player added to his legacy on a given night, and how? Laker stats from this season will be telling, but only measured against the greatest of teams and seasons past. This season is about the stories, the milestones, the achievements, the new bars set higher to measure the very best.

OK. You can put away your hyperbole measuring sticks. Nice try, but you noticed they never lit up. As a Lakers fan, I've never been more excited about what I'm seeing, and I'm enjoying watching more than ever, too.

63 Footer I hated to make the joke at Sasha expense, in all honesty I was feeling a little sorry about him not playing..BUT on his website his nickname is in big letters across the top " The Machine" I guess that is the aggronance of making 5 million a year and having a super HOT fiancee. My guess he will be traded for a big man soon.

I can not believe the Darko signng is paying off for the Wolves.


Who knew?


Throw on a little Rubio and that team might be good for a while.


And I was reading some prophecy the other day that said a team from Minnesota will one day rule the world. I can only assume it meant the Timberwolves.


And it's all because of Darko.


And by the way, I did not like the flm Donny Darko. Just seemed too boring to me for it to ever catch on to it, which I never did. It was quite a feat just to make it half way thru the film, actually.


But "Winter's Bone." Now, that's a film worth talking about.


As is the 1961 Steve Reeves-as-Hercules film, "The Theif of Bagdad." Though this is the lesser know of the three major Thief of Bagdad films, it may be the best. This is the one where Hercules has to find the blue rose to save the princess, and along the way Arnold's mentor (that's right! Steeve Reeves was the man who made Arnold want to start pumping iron!) fights invisible giants and faceless deamons temptation, all the while riding around on flying horses.


What else could someone want?


How about a free download of the film?


http://www.moviesonlinedaily.com/local/The%20Thief%20of%20Baghdad%20%20%201961/


Wes

Well, here's one scene of high drama for those who don't want to download the whole "Thief" film. Notice how ugly and menancing the bag guy is once he looses his cloak of invisibility.


Bless your soul Hercules!


Actually...he's probably not even named Hercules, now that I think of it. This is an Arabian Nights type story, not Greek mythology. I guess I should know my song better before I started singing.


Yep...his name is Karim. The Persian Hercules!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFMZF9WVaIA


Wes

Let me get this straight. Kobe's 8-27 shooting and Darko having a rare game against Pau last night are actually topics of discussion after the blowout in last night's meaningless scrimmage? Unbelievable.

Man… 8-27 isn't good anyway you look at it; Kobe's always been a volume shooter. I myself never liked it; it can take you outta games early. And from there the team plays catch up the rest of the game, I truly believe in the team concept works best.

There has been many games that Kobe start out throwing up BRICKS, and we battle back and in up loosing in the past. But that what makes him GREAT his competitiveness’; it can also be his demise.

But now he has a great offensive team, but being the man he'll still demand a number of shots. If there falling nice, if not... live with it...OOH WELL.

We need a big man quick.........having Pau play over 40 min's a game is not going to cut it. It's not only the Min's but he has to fight off the big men every nite, eventually your arse starts dragging, but not from LACK of effort!!!

hi Art-FL

just saw your last post on vick... i do respect your opinions so i and felt compelled to respond:

(disclaimer*******for those that want to talk lakers sorry and if you do not want to read more on vick and animal cruelty please kindly scroll down)

i understand how this vick thing can be a sensitive issue to a lot of americans... theres nothing to defend when it comes to his heinous crimes committed against dogs and i'm not defending him and his actions... and whether hes fully rehabilitated is not for me or us to judge... but what im sayin is lets look at the root of the problem before we pass judgement.

one thing that bothers me most about this trial is the hypocrisy in america and our legal system.. there are people out there who want to kill vick yet they're the same people who enjoy sport hunting... other americans still resent him and dont wish to give him a second chance yet they are the same people who continue eating cows and chickens or even fish everyday.. yes something very fundamentally wrong with that in my opinion.. and honestly this whole trial was made to be about just dogs when it shouldve been a lot more about animals in general... just because 'the law" says its right does it also make it morally right??

whats also ironic is dog fighting is a business thats been going on for the last 100 years in this country and no one ever sentenced for it has served 2 years of hard time... vick is a high profile celebrity and was definitely used as an example.. fine whatever... just like bernie madoffs recent 150 year life sentence.. some may find that too harsh others too lenient but my point is people in wall street have have been duping people in main street for the last 100 years as well and just because that story hit headlines and became so sensationalized he was also used as an example.

whatever i'm babblin and probably going off tangent here... i'm just sayin... next time you pick up that turkey or ham this coming thanksgiving just think for a moment if you also may be condoning animal cruelty and other horrific and heinous acts against animals.

GO LAKERS!

PROPS to Matt Barnes and the Killer Bees!! It seems each game a different player steps up. Gotta love their Chemistry in running the Tri-angle unlike last year. Looks like the starters are confident the bench will get it done. Looks like we have a good nucleus for the future.

Rick Friedman,

you wrote:
What I'm suggesting is that you watch this season's games differently. Don't get bogged down in how many times a lead changes hands or whether the refs are calling fouls fairly (they're not). What memory will you take away from a given game? Which player added to his legacy on a given night, and how? Laker stats from this season will be telling, but only measured against the greatest of teams and seasons past. This season is about the stories, the milestones, the achievements, the new bars set higher to measure the very best.

OK. You can put away your hyperbole measuring sticks. Nice try, but you noticed they never lit up. As a Lakers fan, I've never been more excited about what I'm seeing, and I'm enjoying watching more than ever, too.

my response:

Mostly, I agree with you. It's hard though. Do you know why? Because this
season *IS* historic. Think about all of the crap that's been slung Kobe's
way. Where people were flat out hating. They must keep him down otherwise,
they have to admit that they're a *HATER*. Nobody want so say: "Even
though he's got more championships than MJ, he's still not a top 50 player."
They would be deemed "unreasonable". Dare I say it, "disingenuous". :)

Think about the pure nonsense that's put put out on this blog. Bloggers who
flat out IGNORE [ not disregard ] what PJ has said, in favor of their own
trite theories & how they act when those theories are disproven.

In terms of championships, this years championship will be one of the most
important in the last 20. Too many story lines are in a crescendo. Too
many people have spoken with their hearts instead of with their heads.
For cryin' out loud, an entire network has put their credibility on the line.
There's a whole lotta somebodies who are gonna get broken hearts.
[ Hoping Miami is 1st in line & Boston is at # 2 ]

I must admit, I'm watching every game with a sense of magic. I expect to
see greatness in every game because 8 players deep the Lakers are capable of
greatness.

Barnes was tremendous last night. Was I surprised? No.

LO, has been tremendous. Was I surprised? Kinda. For years, he's had all
of this talent and he's squandered it. Now, he's playing like he gets "IT".

Pau has reverted to playing soft. Am I surprised? No. Will he play soft in
the playoffs? Mostly not.

Kobe, Brown, Artest ... the list goes on. You get my point. The Lakers have
the pieces to have a season for the ages. Listening to Phil doesn't change my
opinion one bit. I fully expect *these* Lakers to win b/n 65 & 70 games
this year. They'll win pretty. They'll win ugly. The starters will win games.
The bench will win games. They'll crush through skill and get lucky too.

I'm planning on watching every minute of.

Man… 8-27 isn't good anyway you look at it ...

Posted by: 2Phatt | November 20, 2010 at 07:58 AM
======

As it applies to last night's game and games like last night's game, it mean nothing. We destroyed this junior varsity team as we should have and we didn't fall into a complacent trap. This is another example of Kobe working on his game in a real game situation (sort of; it WAS the Wolves). When Kobe's shooting this much, he gets double teams because they have to be concerned about him. It also opens up opportunities for offensive rebounds and put backs. Somehow we manage to destroy teams even when Kobe's working on his shot like last night. Statistically, it's not good, but it's of ZERO concern. All that matters are W's and championships. Remember last season after he broke his finger and couldn't shoot worth a lick? He had to work on getting it right. It may have affected fantasy basketball teams, but it didn't prevent the Lakers from winning a championship. You could say that Game 7 was a prime example. Some will retort that Artest saved his butt. I will reply by saying that Kobe had a big 4th quarter, controlled the glass and steered the team to victory. This is a great Lakers team and Kobe does so much for this team that poor shooting nights are excusable because more often than not the team wins anyway. I'm sure his teammates will tell you the same thing. Just re-watch the ring ceremony and see what Derek Fisher had to say about him. That's how I look at it.

BTW
Kevin Love's 24 boards against the Lakers WAS his career high. A couple nights later he went off with, I think, 31/31(?)

We need a big man quick.........having Pau play over 40 min's a game is not going to cut it. It's not only the Min's but he has to fight off the big men every nite, eventually your arse starts dragging, but not from LACK of effort!!!

Posted by: NewMexicoLL | November 20, 2010 at 08:01 AM
=====

Yep, it's time to panic! No way Pau can average a whopping 37 mpg on a 3 game road trip and survive the season! We've even lost 2 games so far. Pau is fine. So he tires from time to time. Big deal. We just blew out 3 JV teams on the road. Even if the Lakers sign some stiff until Bynum returns, he won't play anyway. Pau has played more center than he has power forward during his career, so getting a little physical is good for him. He can go mano a mano with any big in the NBA. So big deal if Darko had a "lucky" night. It meant nothing.

yellofever,

I pretty much agree with your recent post.
I might nitpick a point or two but in general I agree with your points.

People cheering for Vick and giving him any respect rubs me the wrong way, but I made my points about that so I'll let it go.

Thanks for the additional follow up, really.

Excellent road trip, despite the very scary airplane landing in Detroit.

Three wins by 10 points or more over weaker teams. Doing what is expected - in whatever way possible.

Pau doing a fine job as the backup center for this team. What a versatile and reliable power forward. He does need more rest.

Excellent play from the bench B's!!! Somebody stepped up each night on this short road trip.

Shame on Bynum - 110 mph in a 55 zone! What an irresponsible jerk! With all his millions, can't the immature fool just buy some time on a real racing track? Concentrate on basketball, get back in shape, and contribute on the hardwood. No excuses anymore, be a real man, set a good example!!!

MM .... your Around the Web and Five Things are very good. Thanks.

Go Lakers!!

CornerJ -

Hopefully you didn't take my comments as me getting on Pau's case - Darko just happened to have a career night. I like him as a player how he is, and he's wonderful.

Posted by: Caliphilosopher | November 20, 2010 at 03:51 AM

Not at all, Cali. I always enjoy your well-reasoned posts. I was addressing both a number of other Pau critics and Phil's reported jabs at Pau's soft defense. I'm surprised that Phil in particular is even attempting to "thug up" Pau. It ain't gonna work (and doesn't need to).

On a different topic, I can't wait for next week's game against the Bulls. That game should give us a really good read on how good we really are. I've watched the Bulls play and I think they've got the makings of a future championship team. At the very least, it wouldn't surprise me one bit if they knocked off one or more of the most mentioned contenders in the East (Boston, Miami, Orlando). These guys can play, so it will really be interesting to see how the Lakers step up their game against them.

We're an interesting bunch of Laker fans here. Some are...

Kobe's crew
Pau's posse
Anti-Phil faction
Bynum's bunch
Luke loathers

And some that think saying anything critical of the Lakers is not showing team support. Pretty much the only thing we all seem to agree on is the bench is very good and the Lakers will 3peat barring injuries.

Personally I enjoy all the different viewpoints. Like the song says different strokes for different folks...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjX2MKaZ-rg

Kobe goes 8-27 and the Lakers win by 17, what's to complain about?

I don't care if he goes 2-25 if the Lakers win by 17, I'd be happy with that every game. It's not that I want him to miss shots, it's just that if the Lakers can blow out a team when he is missing, all the better.

Of course, it is fun when he is shooting like he did against the Suns last year when he put them away almost singlehandedly in the 4th quarter of game 6.

Rick - nicely said about an historic season. I've been through at least one historic season ('72) and it didn't feel historic at the time... until streak game 22. But even then, because of the fact we'd lost sooooooo many times in the finals, there was the usual hope and fear. Then there were the Bucks to get past even before that. But even so, the feel of the team, the bench's play, the starters' teamwork, there was magic in the air.

Right now I feel a veteran team that, barring injuries (knock on wood), feel like they can win it again. But more, they feel like their burden has been lightened because they actually got better from the previous two Championship seasons. There's more joy on the floor, and more joy on the bench (except for Sasha, of course).

But it's not historic yet. Too many variables and the season's still young. But there's the proverbial "game 22" in the wings. I feel that if Drew comes back strong and we get acclimated with him... that's going to be our "game 22." Suddenly (knock on that ol' wood again), we might glimpse the greatness of a team that COULD be historic. But again, there will be the thoughts of the playoffs and the finals always hovering.

I'm lovin' the team feel, the depth, the joy. The fact we have 6 guys, and with Drew's return, 7 guys who can score 20+ points in a game. I don't think Blaker or Fish will ever have to do that, nor will they want to, but both will be able to light up in a quarter when necessary, and both being savvy, will know exactly when to do that (like, oh, wasn't it game 3 finals for Fish last year?).

In the end, we'll never know if it's historic until the end (those dang Patriots), but it FEELS like greatness, and the team seems to feel that same thing.

NO MORE INJURIES!

Go Lakers!

Hey Guys,

Hope everyone is doing good.

@KB Blitz - Singling out Kobe for nothing but criticism isn't right but I do not think there is dearth of plaudits for everything good that KB24 does. Certainly not on this blog.Loving the guy for what he does for this team like no other is very well justified but people are going to call it like it is every once in a (long ) while when he plays poorly.PJ suggested that having Kobe on the team means having to perpetually put in work to make sure he doesn't stray off the "team game" (although,he added that they don't make an issue out of it anymore...understandably so...since his value far outweighs the few problems that he poses).This is a team game and Kobe,by his own admittance, is a natural one-on-one player.So there are always going to be times when(despite his high basketball IQ) his natural instincts will take over and he'll does a thing or two just to help himself while not necessarily helping the team at the same time. (MM's analysis suggests that wasn't the case in last game)
Looking at the big picture though, these are just minor quibbles as he is too smart to let his nature be a detriment to the team when it really matters.

Amit

Living and dying by Kobe has been a good thing to live by for LA thus far and I hope that doesn't change in the years to come.

Hobbitmage,

They are not really hating Kobe by commenting on some flaw even on a game where Lakers appeared to be dominant in the end. It is a free flow of opinions some people noticed things that are minutiae and others hate reading minutiae. In the end, it was our difference in thinking with indifferent attitudes in tolerating others that becomes the issue. It happens on Bynum talk, Walton's delight who are lightning rods but there are also defenders and crusaders who will defend them to the hilt as if they represent Vatican. If you look closer, it boils down on opinions, egos, convergence of thoughts, varied cultures and experiences meeting together in the horizon. Everybody has an opinion and a look at a glass of water and make a big deal of it.

I think we have something to enjoy with the train of W's on the road. I can see the image of Zaira in Italy, enjoying Lakers victory at wee hours of the morning without thinking of the minutiae as depicted in this old broadway music:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye7PIyIcCro

LRob,

Nice groupings. Of course it could be added to as it seems most of the individual Lakers have their followers and their bashers, but one category that is really relevant are those who are just Laker fans as opposed to being a particular player fan, the Team fans.

I want them all to do well individually because they are Lakers.

But that doesn't mean any of them are above criticism from time to time simply because that's what sports fans do. And I agree with you about enjoying all the different viewpoints.

I've got a song all Lakers fans need to hear called "Kobe Time"

You can hear it @
http://365songsfor2010.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/june-18th-kobe-time/

Jumpin' back on the blog a bit after a couple days off it...

MM: Enjoyed the rundown. Barnes was absolutely en-fuego. Great, great pickup!

- - -

I caught a few T'Wolves games towards the end of last season and saw Darko do a lot of the things he did last night, so I'm not fully surprised.

Even Kwame had the occasional good game.

I think John Ireland jinxed K-Love by asking mixing in so much praise with his questions on their pregame interview.

- - -

Kobe goes 8-for-27 - so what? He takes the hardest shot on average than any NBA player, probably ever that I can remember.

The NBA isn't diving, where you're scores are adjusted by degree of difficulty of your dive, or else we'd see some 5 or 6-pt Kobe shots. So he misses a few more shots than he makes, I for one am glad he has the guts to take them and the ungodly ability to make a good many.

Looking at pure stats will get you no where though. Only one stat means anything, wins-and-losses, and really the only stat that matters at the end of the day is 'championships won'. Stats can't measure heart, intensity, will to win, desire, leadership or even degree of difficulty.

During the course of an 82-game season there will be a good many games in which your shot isn't falling for whatever reason, fatigue, defense, luck, whatever. The fact that Kobe shoots 8-for-27 on the 3rd road game in chilly Minnesota against a subpar team in mid-November on a night the Lakers pretty much dominated.

Rick Friedman has exactly the right sentiment: "You can put away your hyperbole measuring sticks. Nice try, but you noticed they never lit up. As a Lakers fan, I've never been more excited about what I'm seeing, and I'm enjoying watching more than ever, too."

I have been watching Laker ball since the early showtime days, there have been a few 'special' seasons along the way. Well folks, this season is seems to be another of those rare, special seasons. There is one thing that is important to them at the end of the day, that is the bling. That is it. This team gets it, and once you've become a champion - a multiple-time champion, that is all that matters when all is said and done.

If you think Pau is sweating last night, if Kobe is - you are kidding yourself. They probably forgot their meaningless stat lines as soon as they hit the tunnel going back to their locker room.

Like 63 Footer says above, the Lakers just have one thing to worry about: injuries.

Perhaps the x-mas game will be our 'game-22'...


GO LAKERS!!!!!

CornerJ -

The Bulls game should be some fantastic basketball; perhaps it is one of the internal measuring sticks the team uses to gauge themselves throughout the season (since it is a very long season). The Bulls play as a unit, and they have some ferocious talent on that team. I won't live or die by that game, but it will be interesting to see how the team responds for sure. It will be also interesting to see how they respond after that game when they have to play Utah in Salt Lake. The beginning of next week should be some great ball to say the least. Too bad games come on here at roughly 1:30 in the morning though.

BTW - who would have thought that Cleveland was higher in their division standings than Miami at this point?

Hope you are having a great start to your Saturday!

How many good teams have we beaten with him taking that many shots?
When we played the Celtics and he was struggling and he started moving the ball, did we not win?
We do have a very good team this year and he needs to learn to play within the offense. Jacking up shots just because you can is selfish and he better recognize that.

keen observer -

"good" is too ambiguous, so you should specifically say how you qualify a "good" team. I'm pretty sure that Kobe plays within the offense; he's been in this offense for probably a decade now. How can you say that he's selfish? He didn't take ill-advised shots against the T-Wolves; they were just a bit short for the most part.

I also doubt that he "jacks up shots because" he can - if that were the case, then why not take a halfcourt shot every time he touches the ball? He has the ability to.

I think that this criticism of him is a bit misguided, especially when it was a blowout win.

Been away to Puerto Rico for the road trip but nice to see the team is sweeping a roadie with a back-to-back thrown in and doing is easily. Vets except Pau are keeping the minutes reasonable enough to build chemistry and confidence with the new guys, and all without their starting center and backup center. This team is TCB with lesser teams whereas in years they played down to the competition. In dead, we could be witnessing history in the making.

Cali,
On a night where your team mate shoots 7-7, you decide to jack up 28 shots in 31 minutes. That is just insane and someone needs to call him out. We lost the Phoenix and Denver games because he took too many shots. That is why he will never win the MVP again. He takes too many bad shots like a 1st or 2nd year pro.

been a fan since magic, reader of the blog for the last 4 years or so, have never commented. Kobe is truely one of the games greatest but............... i.m.h.o. he forces to many difficult shots WHEN THERE IS NO NEED. As someone who has played through junior college I can tell you that teammates begin to get frustrated with someone who shoots a 20 ft turnaround J over 2 defenders while two cutters to the basket are WIDE OPEN. Kobe's greatest attribute is perhaps his ego, it's also his greatest defect.

Five things to take away from Laker's' 112-95 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves

1. Why was Matt Barnes traded so many times ? He is Michael Cooper 2.0
2. LO better get voted on the All Star team or I'm going postal !
3. Shannon Brown is Kobe lite, and that's a good thing.
4. Mitch Kupchak has put together a great team
5. Sasha is so far out of the Laker's rotation, I seen him on the Clippers bench yesterday.

Posted by: Willb3 | November 20, 2010 at 01:02 AM

I was thinking that same thing about Matt Barnes playing the Coop role...what an excellent addition to this club.
I would love to see LO become an All Star, and Shannon Brown's off season work has really helped his overall game.
Poor Sasha...that was really a funny line...I spit up all over the keyboard! Thank God he has Maria to go home to! I feel bad for him, but hopefully he can bring us another quality player like you suggest, or a draft pick. Both rookies made the floor last...looking good and getting some game time...how un-Phil like. Other than Pau's, I like how PJ is managing everyones minutes so far. This is one solid deep Laker team we have this year for sure.
Carry on Laker fans!

Rick Friedman - To follow up on your comment about the 5 take aways from the game, I just wanted to clarify. At The Times' I've been blessed with having the freedom to really using this platform creatively and in way I think suits best. So there was no pressure to write a "Five things" post. I thought this concept would be best when writing post-game wraps on preseason games because really what are they worth? So I thought this would be a good way to fill in everyone what happened in the game but more importantly draw any type of big picture developments. Because there were a fair number of people commenting who liked the concept, I continued doing it for the regular season. Even though the games are more important, it is indeed a long season. So I'm just trying to highlight parts of the game but pointing to the larger picture. So it is by no means a way to try to "generate hits."


Connect

Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video

All Things Lakers »

Your database for all things purple and gold.

Find a Laker

Search a name

Select a season

Choose one of our lists



Categories


Archives
 

About the Bloggers


Bleacher Report | Lakers

Reader contributions from Times partner Bleacher Report

More Lakers on Bleacher Report »



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists:


In Case You Missed It...