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Caught in the Web: Lakers go through intense practice to prepare for Miami

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--The Times' Mike Bresnahan explains what's made the Miami Heat one of the sport's most scrutinized teams.

--The Times' Broderick Turner focuses on the star power on the Lakers and the Heat.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr explains why the Lakers view their matchup with Miami as just another game.

--The Miami Herald's Joseph Goodman focuses on the Heat's role players.

--ESPN.com's Tom Haberstroh compares Chris Bosh and Pau Gasol.

--Fox Sports Arizona's Randy Hill predicts the Heat found their identity with the win against Phoenix.

--ESPN.com's John Hollinger dissects the Lakers' struggles. NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper explains why Ron Artest has found happiness with his decision to raffle off his championship ring for mental health charities.

--

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky details Thursday's practice with video.

--Lakers guard Derek Fisherappears on ESPN's SportsCenter in the video below on topics, including the Lakers-Heat game, playing on Christmas Day and the relationship between Phil Jackson and Andrew Bynum.

--Fox Sports' Brian Lowry argues there are too many NBA games on Christmas Day.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin explores the interesting dynamic between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

--Fox Sports' Bill Reiter predicts the Lakers will prove the Heat aren't as good as they think they are.

--The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Shandel Richardson looks at how the Lakers' perimeter defense will matchup with Miami.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne explains why it's hard for the Lakers to gear up for games.

--Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen predicts the Lakers will win on Christmas Day.

--The Daily Breeze's Elliott Teafordfocuses on the Lakers' chance to have a full workout on Thursday.

--AOL Fanhouse's Chris Tomasson highlights the Lakers' contention they'll be more ready for their Christmas Day game than in last year's loss to Cleveland.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell previews the Lakers-Heat game with ESPN.com's Kevin Arnovitz.

--The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Ira Winderman highlights Dwyane Wade'smeasured attitude about the Lakers' game.

--Fox Sports' Billy Witz explores Phil Jackson's unique but effective coaching approach in pacing his teams.

--The Orange County Register's Mark Whicker argues NBA games aren't necessary on Christmas Day, but it still doesn't ruin the holiday.

--ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst explains Bryant through James' eyes.

--Silver Screen and Roll's Saurav A. Das wonders if Bryant's the best 15-year player ever.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano has a love-hate relationship with Christmas Day games.

Tweet of the Day:"I don't think Christmas should be this stressful! LOL seriously the pressure... I'm going to pop LOL" -- KhloeKardashian (Khloe Kardashian, reality TV star and wife of Lakers forward Lamar Odom)

Reader Comment of the Day:The 80's were clearly the best. The 90's thru today are about the same. However, I will say the league hasn't had two teams as good as the Lakers and Celtics since the 80's. It's no coincidence that when they met for the 2010 championship it was only the second time since 1987 that two teams that teams that had won the championship (with the same core players) were playing in the finals. The other was Detroit-SA in 2005. One could argue that the reason it didn't happen in the 90's was because the Bulls were so dominant. I would say it was because the Bulls never played a foe as good as the current Laker or Celtic teams." -- LRob

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Heat guard Dwyane Wade talks to teammates Chris Bosh (1) and LeBron James (6) during a break in a 96-84 victory over New Orleans. Credit: Steve Mitchell / US Presswire

 
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IT'S CHRISTMAS EVE AND I HAVE THE POWER...YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LROB MY BROTHER!!!!!!!
RCOTD = LROB = OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!!!! KUDOS!!!!!!

Congrats LRob!

The Lakers are a team that generally rises to the level of competition that they are up against. The win will not mean anything in the context of the playoffs, but the Lakers are just 2-5 against above .500 teams. I think it would be good for morale for the Lakers to humilate the Heat on the holiday, on national TV, and set a solid foundation moving forward.

Art, could you include me in your Christmas list? I'd like to share u our theme music 38 years ago, will be celebrating throughout the day in San Diego. Merry Christmas to all.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFHUB4Oyrss&feature=related
Posted by: Edwin Gueco
=================

Edwin,

This is for you and your compatriots.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt5VDtjm4j4

2-5 against .500 teams is an accurate measure of our performance thus far, this year.
I don't expect the players to all of a sudden have an epiphany. If we are going to turn this thing around it is going to take time, unfortunately we might run out of time.

Congrats Lrob on the Friedman!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all out there in Lakerland, even the trolls!

After watching the original "Grinch Who Stole Christmas" a few times with my kids, I still have hope for you haters to turn from The Darkside.

I watched the Meat beat down the Suns last night. Although the Suns are terrible this year withour Amare, the Meat did look pretty impressive.

Wade was out, so the Queen dominated the ball the whole night and put up big numbers. I was impressed with Arroyo and Chalmers- they seem to fit in nicely, don't try to play out of the system and move the ball pretty well. Obviously, they do have their weaknesses. Dampier looked like he was playing in lead shoes and Joel Anthony, big Z, and Miller looked invisible out there.

If our bigs can play up to their potential, the Meat will have a very tough time beating us on our home court.

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

I just took a picture with my nephew and niece for Christmas Eve and said, "One... two... three... Derek Fisher!"

It was a great picture.

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

Posted by: Jon K

Most kids just know what their parents and elders tell them. That is a cruel joke to play on them !!! I hope they never find out the truth that he should be retired and not playing basketball this year. Not sure which will be more traumatic...No Santa or Fisher who needs to do the right thing and quit taking minutes from players that could help the team more than he does !!! He is not even A SECOND STRING NBA GUARD !!!!!

here we go again...

Jon K - cool on the pic idea! I bet if they said Kobe, they'd all look like they were growling.

We sometimes use the word "curvilinearity" to get a smile. I wonder what the trolls would say about that. (Provided they even knew what it meant.)

here we go again...

Posted by: mclyne


As Jack Nicholson said in " A Few Good Men" ... "you can't handle the truth " !!!

Jon K - cool on the pic idea! I bet if they said Kobe, they'd all look like they were growling.

We sometimes use the word "curvilinearity" to get a smile. I wonder what the trolls would say about that. (Provided they even knew what it meant.)

Posted by: 63 Footer


Of course every Laker genius on this blog who spells "Lose" "LOOSE'
will know what it means !!!

“'Correct' spelling, indeed, is one of the arts that are far more esteemed by schoolma'ams than by practical men, neck-deep in the heat and agony of the world”

That Mencken fellow... even if he was a Bullets fan.

Merry Christmas Laker Nation!!!Just had to share a tweet riddle I saw. What do you call a King with No BLING? LEFRAUD!!!!! Hope we can lay the Heat on them tomorrow. That would be a Great Christmas Gift for all of us.

@S Perkins

I can, and do, handle the truth quite nicely.

Let's look at the TRUTH:
Fish has 5, count em, 1-2-3-4-5!
He is on his way to number 6!

I'm not interested in getting into this debate, because it's pointless. Yes, he's older, slower, and doesn't shoot as well anymore- WE ALL KNOW THAT.

WE ALL ALSO KNOW THAT HE IS A TRUE CHAMPION- 5 TIMES OVER!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

@S Perkins

Just in case you didn't know what the numbers I referred to in my last post were pointing to- they are called NBA CHAMPIONSHIP RINGS.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

S Perkins

I can, and do, handle the truth quite nicely.

Let's look at the TRUTH:
Fish has 5, count em, 1-2-3-4-5!
He is on his way to number 6!

I'm not interested in getting into this debate, because it's pointless. Yes, he's older, slower, and doesn't shoot as well anymore- WE ALL KNOW THAT.

WE ALL ALSO KNOW THAT HE IS A TRUE CHAMPION- 5 TIMES OVER!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Posted by: mclyne


He is a true champion just like Luc Longley who has 3 rings. Luc will be enshrined in the HALL OF FAME this year. I know everyone remembers the great Luc Longley !!!!

Fish has been lucky enough to play along with great players that have carried him for his career. Fish has never been a great or even good shooter. He has a career 40% FG average that is mainly on open shots. So quit spreading myths !!!!

He is a true champion just like Luc Longley who has 3 rings. Luc will be enshrined in the HALL OF FAME this year. I know everyone remembers the great Luc Longley !!!! Posted by: S Perkins | December 24, 2010 at 11:47 AM
*
Yes I remember Luc well! He played alongside MJ and Scottie and was part of the Bulls 3-peat 3 headed center monster! A very funny guy was Luc the Aussie.

What do you call a King with No BLING? LEFRAUD!!!!! Posted by: NewMexicoLL | December 24, 2010 at 11:40 AM
*
Yes I believe that is entirely appropriate to call a King with no bling that! LOL!Merry Christmas to you NewMexicoLL! I believe Lakers Nation is in for a VERY Merry Christmas tomorrow!! But I also believe that it is not the end all be all if they win or lose. I will be enormously happy if The Lakers win but...I will not be enormously depressed it they lose. Now if they were to lose in a Blow out I might have to re-evaluate my happiness quotient. But I am a Lakerholic and win or lose The Lakers are my team. You and your family have a very Merry Christmas.

Most kids just know what their parents and elders tell them. That is a cruel joke to play on them !!! I hope they never find out the truth that he should be retired and not playing basketball this year. Not sure which will be more traumatic...No Santa or Fisher who needs to do the right thing and quit taking minutes from players that could help the team more than he does !!! He is not even A SECOND STRING NBA GUARD !!!!! Posted by: S Perkins | December 24, 2010 at 11:13 AM
*
ROTFLMAO!! S. Perkins...Stop this ISH! Stop this ISH now! Do you really believe this stuff you are saying or are you just a gadfly? I bet deep inside...You secretly are a Fisher fan! Yes, yes I really do. Come on S. Perkins just between you and me tell the truth...isn't there something that you admire about Fisher? Anywaysssss., Merry Christmas to you and your family my brother. I may not agree with you, but I can say one thing, you are consistent.

DON’T KID YOURSELF, THE GAME MATTERS
………………………………………………………………………..

Kobe and the Lakers may say that tomorrow’s Christmas day matchup against the Heat is just 1 game out of 82 games and KobeMVP888 may be right that the regular season is just for practice and for determining seeding for the real games but something tells me that this time this game really matters. Something tells me that Kobe and the Lakers are going to come out and dominate the Miami Heat.

The Lakers may act like tomorrow is just business but anybody who has watched Kobe Bryant over his career knows that this time it’s personal. It’s about respect. It’s about showing the upstart Heat and other budding super teams that the road to the NBA championship goes through LA and not Miami. It’s about proving once again that Kobe and the Lakers are the best player and best team in the NBA. And like it or hate it, it’s about the Lakers flipping the switch and playing championship basketball.

While the Lakers may be blasé about all the attention the national sports media has paid to Miami and their Big 3, you know down deep they resent the lack of respect shown the back-to-back champs.
And while winning tomorrow’s matchup doesn’t guarantee that the Lakers will win the championship, it will restore the Lakers to their rightful role as the favorite and cast even more doubt to the Heat.

It’s pretty obvious now that the loss to the Bucks was directly due to the Lakers looking ahead to tomorrow’s game against the Heat. I also find it astonishing how the trolls and doubters have much of the blog buying their gloomy doom to the point where bloggers are actually starting to make excuses why losing tomorrow’s game won’t matter. The truth is losing to the Bucks Tuesday night didn’t matter. Beating the Heat tomorrow does matter, which is why the Lakers will come to play.

Bandwagon jumpers and faithless fans need to remember that nothing has changed. The matchups still favor the Lakers. We will pack the paint and force LeBron and Wade to become jump shooters. Kobe will be the player of the game with a triple double. Drew, Pau, and Lamar who will control the paint and the boards and dominate the Miami front court. The Lakers will win in a runaway rout.
………………………………………………………………………..

TOM

lets hope the fans show up @ staples, and they bring their A-game, No celebrities spectators allowed only true grit-bleed-purple fans.
stand up!!!!

Deep down inside, S Perkins is the biggest Fish fan of them all! He has a deep seeded MANCRUSH on Derek.

I like this quote:


"I believe in America..." (Sorry, that's the opening scene form "The Godfather."


I love this quote:


""Kobe Bryant is the greatest 15-year player to ever play the game" - Philadelphia 76ers colour commentator, during the Lakers - Sixers game last Friday. He then went on to clarify that he did not mean that Kobe Bryant was the proverbial G.O.A.T, but that no player had played as well in their 15th season in the League as Kobe Bryant was then (and, by extension, is now). At a glance, this might come across as hyperbole as Kobe's numbers this season seem to be average (for him, anyway) at a glance, but with deeper examination the numbers present a compelling argument."


This is something I've been thinking about too. Which 15 year player has ever performed like Kobe? Maybe Bird in his 12 th season, but not his 15th. I believe Bird was playing in Florida in his 15th year--the Florida senior sitizen center....maybe....


Now can we just get Carmelo and D Howard to fill out this roster?


Wes

I do remember Luc, he is Phil's favorite swimming partner. I will forever remember his beautiful backstoke!

@Mamba – Excellent Christmas set with Donny, Nat, Mariah, Karen…etc.


@noah – Eliza was touching. Nice dedication. And the Christmas story was superb.


@MVP – Great selections with PH and Marley. Don’t go soft on us and ruin your hard earned rep :-)

You know I’m kidding. You bring a lot to the blog with your passion for the Lakers and hoops in general. Different opinions and writing styles are a good thing. Even negative voices make for interesting reading. How entertaining would Lost in Space been without Dr. Smith’s constant message of “we’re doomed’?

@Tom
I love your optimism for a Laker's rout! I'm picking Lakers in 9, a little closer of a game, but I think they will lead for at least three of the four quarters.

@wes
Melo will wind up in NY, but I think we'll have a strong chance to get D Howard in a year or so.

WESJOENIXON in the HOUSSSSSSE!!!!!
Merry Christmas WesJoe to you and yours sir!!
*
I do remember Luc, he is Phil's favorite swimming partner. I will forever remember his beautiful backstoke! Posted by: mclyne | December 24, 2010 at 12:12 PM
*
LMAO!! !! Merry Christmas Mclyne my brother!!! Are we the only 2 people on earth who remember Luc? I lived in Chicago so I had to remember him, what's your excuse? LOL!

The Lakers will win in a runaway rout. Posted by: LakerTom | December 24, 2010 at 12:09 PM
*
Yes, Yes, Hell Yes!!!!!!!!!!! OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!!! And Merry Christmas to you and your 3 Generations of Laker Fans my bother and idol!

Thanks Larry,


Merry Xmas to you too.


If only I were in Cali with my family. Maybe next year.


Lets go Lakers!


Wes

Preach MVPlayer, Preach!!!! And...Welcome to Lakers Nation!!!!

If only I were in Cali with my family. Maybe next year. Posted by: wesjoenixon | December 24, 2010 at 12:27 PM
*
WesJoe you gotta believe!! But remember, you still have your LakersBlog family and your Renegade Chat family my brother...dysfunctional as they may be. LOL!

@mamba
MERRY CHRISTMAS to you my friend!

I remember Luc because he was on the team that continually pounded my beloved Lakers.

I also remember Bill Wennington. I couldn't beleive how these guys were allowed to play so many minutes on championship teams, but now I understand- it was Phil's excellence and their intelligent usage of the triangle.

Thanks everyone for the congrats.


@63 Footer - Now that you explained that when you say "big games" you only mean the finals then I would agree because Lebron was definitely subpar in his only finals appearance.

I'll compromise and add this distinction. The finals are the "ultimate" games. Other playoffs games are big games. (You got to play well in the big games to get to the Ultimate games). I was very impressed with Lebron's playoff feats in 07 that lead the Cavs to the finals. I probably gave him extra credit to bcause he knocked out the Pistons :-)

I don't hate Fisher, I hate his game.
I just wanted to get that off my chest before the Xmas game.
Now tomorrow I hope Fisher plays well.

I also remember Bill Wennington. I couldn't beleive how these guys were allowed to play so many minutes on championship teams, but now I understand- it was Phil's excellence and their intelligent usage of the triangle.
Posted by: mclyne | December 24, 2010 at 12:32 PM
*
I guess that guy Phil Jackson is not such a bad coach after all. Lol! And imagine a 6'6 Dennis Rodman confounding Shaq! Now that was some funny ISH, even if you were a Lakers fan!!!

LRob - it's cool. I was probably swingin' too hard because it was a troll throwing the pitch originally. You came in afterwards, so, no big thang.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6myNbk15sMs

Wes - Thanks for bringing up that comment about Kobe's play in his 15th season. I would say Kareem was still performing at a high level in his 15th season.

I don't hate Fisher, I hate his game. I just wanted to get that off my chest before the Xmas game. Now tomorrow I hope Fisher plays well. Posted by: Magia32 | December 24, 2010 at 12:37 PM
*
GOD@#%$%^^&!!!! I think I'm going to cry!!! *sniff* *sniff* A true Christmas Miracle!!! God Bless you Magia32 and Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!!

Now tomorrow I hope Fisher plays well. Posted by: Magia32 | December 24, 2010 at 12:37 PM
*
*sniff* *sniff* A miracle! A miracle I say! God bless you Magia32!!!


*___________________________________________________________________*
HOBBITMAGE CONDOLENCES AT THE LOSS OF YOUR DOG – BANDWAGON
re: my pup passing. thanks. the sunset of the day he died was a gorgeous sunset. the next day it rained.
Posted by: hobbitmage | December 23, 2010 at 08:35 PM
*___________________________________________________________________*
(01) ART-FL LAKERS FAN – OWNER - hobbitmage, Condolences on the loss of your dog. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZfIKOapSck
(02) JUSTANOTHERMAMBAFAN – CO/OWNER - hobbit - I'm so very sorry on the loss of your beloved pup. I'm virtually holding your hand.
(03) KOBEMVP88 – DRIVER - The loss of your pet is more important than my rebuttal to anything you said below thanking me for my condolences.
(04) 63 FOOTER – RIDING SHOTGUN - hobbit - sorry about your dog man. Never fun, always sad.
(05) D(EREK) J(ETER) – RIDING SHOTGUN2 - Sorry to hear about your dog, Hobbit! When I was 20, my dog of 12 years was hurting so bad my Father told me it was best to put him to sleep soon. I came home from college one day and didn't see my dog in his usual place and Dad told me today was the day. The right thing to do, but cried like a baby.
(06) MCCLYNE - Sorry to hear about your little buddy- Always hurts bad when we lose a family member, whether he/she's a human or not.
(07) LROB - hobbit - sorry to hear about your dog passing. I lost one a few months ago...This O'Jays song kinda sums it up.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c59lcCGrdsU
(08) MAMBA24 – Hobbit my brother, Sorry.
(09) JON K - Hobbitmage, I'm sorry about the loss of your dog. I know how heartbreaking an experience that can be. I'm sorry


I love FISH's heart, will to win, and clutchness.

Let him prove all of his doubters wrong tomorrow and during this year's championship run!

EXCELLENT selection 63!
I always thought that song was done by the Pet Shop Boys.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2aMaMkDwTA&feature=related

LRob

Congrats on your Friedman even if it included an opinion that you're basically "meh" about.

Me go soft? Nah. 'tis the season! I'm even going to ignore our resident Poser today. Thanks for the kudos on the tunes, brother!

Laker Nation just remember as you post your comments that, Princess Jimmy is in town! So be afraid! Be very afraid because...He's taking notes!!! ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!

In the Spirit of the Christmas season I shall address Lebron James by his given name. WTH? Yes I shall do this! Of course if The Lakers lose...all bets are off. But...The Lakers losing is such a ridiculous, even comical notion that Lebron it is is and Lebron it will be until.........

MERRY CHRISTMAS LAKER LASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mamba24 and to all,

Merry Xmas to and yours.

LRob,

In response to your 13 yr old singing a Christmas classic, I'll see your 13 yr old and raise you a 10 yr old.
:)

http://www.kovideo.net/silent-night-video-jackie-evancho-1207577.html
Posted by: Art - FL Laker Fan | December 24, 2010 at 03:52 AM
---------------------

Art - Okay I'll raise you an 8yr old phenom name Kevin McCallister...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcru6T-dsAY

LRob- aka Professor of Music, Congrats on your #? Friedman.

It's winning Time, great opportunity for LO to show the Association of his ALLSTAR performance. This game will separate the Contender from the Pretender, Lakers in a BLOWOUT.

Okay here's the real version. My grandma hated this version...but mom loved it. I'll have to side with momma....especially when Clyde comes soaring in....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9dW6wkA-s0

MERRY CHRISTMAS LAKER LASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: Mamba24 | December 24, 2010 at 01:19 PM

Merry Christmas MAMBA,
Merry Christmas JUSTA,
MERRY CHRISTMAS YOU WONDERFUL OLD LAKERS BLOG

I saw a documentary on this guy on TV this morning. What a classic song/songwriter. I never bought any of his music when i was groing up, but he could write a darn good ballad:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5ruDqdZn_s


Love that outfit, too.


Wes

Merry Christmas MAMBA,
Merry Christmas JUSTA,
MERRY CHRISTMAS YOU WONDERFUL OLD LAKERS BLOG Posted by: LakerLass | December 24, 2010 at 01:37 PM
*
*sniff* *sniff* Oh Lass, that is so beautiful!! Lol!

I'll have to side with momma....especially when Clyde comes soaring in....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9dW6wkA-s0 Posted by: LRob | December 24, 2010 at 01:30 PM
*
LRob, momma knows best! Beautiful my brother!!!

@2Phatt, Merry Christmas to you and your family my brother! And yes I along with LakerTom, you and others do boldly step out and say and not in a shy way, but more, yes more than this, The Lakers Blow the Heat away!!
*
Aw what the Hell...Miami Heat, welcome to LA! Now just cause The Lakers are going to destroy your behinds tomorrow does not mean we cannot be civil. So in that spirit...Merry Christmas Miami Heat to you and your Families.

HOBBITMAGE- Dude sorry for the lost of the family pet, their like people to some of us and I know how you feel. Just know that time heals all wounds, but we'll never forget that empty spot. Be Strong my brother.


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