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Caught in the Web: Lakers preparing for Milwaukee Bucks

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan provides a medical update on Lakers center Andrew Bynum.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr details Matt Barnes' contentious Twitter exchanges.

--The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Charles F. Gardner details Brandon Jennings' left foot injury that will keep him sidelined from four to six weeks.

--ESPN.com's John Hollinger ranks the Lakers at fourth in his weekly power rankings.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky previews the Lakers' upcoming week.

The Lakers sing Christmas carols in the video below that may leave people with the same impression they might have after a grade-school Christmas pageant: The singing might be off-key, but it's still fun to watch.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller wonders if the Lakers will experience a trap game tonight against Milwaukee.

--ESPN.com's Marc Stein ranks the Lakers sixth for a simple reason: They have one win against a team with a winning record.

--The Daily Breeze's Elliott Teaford highlights the team's insistence it's not overlooking Milwaukee.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell highlights in a must-read piece several interesting nuggets about the Lakers' recent trip.

--Fox Sports' Billy Witz details Ron Artest's art gallery.

--The Basketball Jones' J.E. Skeets features video on Artest's art exhibit.

--Penn State journalism student Ben Goldberg shares his experience at Kobe Bryant's court dedication at Lower Merion High with Forum Blue and Gold.

--Silver Screen and Roll's SoCalGal presents a few interesting facts about guard Derek Fisher.

Tweet of the Day: "Mavs snap Heat winning streak with win at Miami. Anyone think Dallas isn't for real now? ... I circled four meaningful games for Miami, games I'd care if they won: Dallas, LA Lakers (X-mas), Orlando (2/3), Boston (2/13). ... Heat are supposed to win lots of regular season games. Got to show they can beat the teams that will be standing there in May." -- ChrisMannixSI (Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix)

Reader Comment of the Day: "I would like to see our boys hit a nice stride...get some more chemistry, while PJ fine tunes his rotations. We already saw what a formidable second unit can do last game. My predictions of AB giving instant impact upon returning, especially on the defensive end, is looking good. I also said we would string double digit winning streak, which we are on pace to do..." -- LEWSTRS

-- Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

 
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No, No, NO!!! Not the Accursed Power Again!!!!!!!
FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lew, baybeee! The Friedman!! Congrats!!!

By the way, I meant to acknowledge you as the Leader in my reply to The Octo, so I shall do so now. Lew RAN that blog and was the King!

RCOTD = LEWSTRS = OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!!! KUDOS!!!!!!!!!

Lew RAN that blog and was the King!Posted by: KobeMVP888 | December 21, 2010 at 10:52 AM
*
I got news for you MVP888, Lew RUNS this Blog and is still THE KING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guys, Be sure to watch the Lakers signing Christmas Carols. Absolutely priceless

I got news for you MVP888, Lew RUNS this Blog and is still THE KING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: mamba24 | December 21, 2010 at 10:54 AM
====

Mamba, you are too humble. We're thrilled you are back!

LEW FTW!! Congrats on the Friedman Award, sir!

@KOBEMVP888, And you sir are too kind!!! Thank you!!

LEWSTRS- Your the man, how's the rain in LV?

Repost
Mamba24- your welcome sir, I've been on many many blog sites and I can say theirs no one like you my man. Carry On, glad to see you back, you can all witness the BEATDOWN Christmas Day.

GO Heat

Posted by: JUSTA HATER | December 21, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Hey Guys !

JUSTA,PHRED,LEWSTRS,PUDDLE,LRob,63Footer,MarkG,MAMBA24,JONK,UTZ,EDWIN,LakerLass,McLyne,LTLF,RICK_F,KobeMVP888,JAMIE,LakerTOM,FAITH and everyone else on the blog.
Hope you are all having fun :)

I want to know what you make of a comment PJ made on Kobe being honored by Lower Merion high school.He said something to this effect - They ( the people of the town he is from, i guess) named a gym after me too and I didn't have to pay them 400,000 $ to do it.
Now,I understand how Phil has his fun with these things and uses zingers/mind games (usually) to a positive end but this one seems somewhat like a slight to me.This may very well have been an off the cuff remark that didn't mean a lot but I don't see why he needed to say something like that about a person he has grown to value and respect.What do you guys think ??

Take care guys.

Amit

KobeMVP888,

you wrote:
Bosh is a star in this league, no doubt, but he's not a "dirty work" kind of player you want at that position. In fact, LO does more dirty work than him IMO. To me, Bosh is the best "stretch 4" in the NBA outside of Dirk Nowitzki. Remember, his numbers were inflated because of the offense the Raptors ran; there were more possessions among other things.

By PF, you did mean PG, I take it (PG and Timmy are combo pf/c guys though because they play well with their backs to the basket and they are legit 7 footers). I'll take Dirk over Bosh (Dirk is 7' but is a face up guy. I'll definitely take Amar'e over him. I'll put him on par with LaMarcus Aldridge, Luis Scola, Lamar, Boozer, David West and Josh Smith (those come quickly to mind). The aforementioned do more dirty work.


my response ... PF = Power Forward.

re: dirty work. So ... Are you saying that Pau Gasol does more dirty work than
Bosh? If so, is that because of the player or the system?

re: the system. Bosh averages ~ 2 - 3 more attempts than Pau Gasol does.
That doesn't seem particularly different to me. ~ 1 more shot per quarter.

So ... if he's the second best "stretch 4" in the league ... how is he over-rated?

glad to see you back, you can all witness the BEATDOWN Christmas Day.Posted by: JUSTA HATER | December 21, 2010 at 10:50 AM
*
Now see, SEE! How do you ever expect to get a RCOTD saying ISH like that! LMAO!!!! Carry On....and Thanks Again!

re: that whole HCA vs. health debate ...

http://www.latimes.com/sports/basketball/nba/lakers/la-sp-lakers-20101221,0,2688209.story
snippet:
"That four-game slip that we had really makes a difference in the standings," Jackson said. "We can't have anything happen like that again during . . . the season because San Antonio has sent a message, and Dallas too, that they're going to be consistent. They're playing strong and they have deep benches and they're going to stay up there in [the] 'wins' column."

my question: Holy Cow, Batman! Does this mean the regular season actually
matters to Phil?

The Octo - THANKS and welcome to the best dang blog in the entire virtual universe!

GAME ON!


LET US PRAY:


Dear Lord, we honestly don't know how in the world You hold it all together. All the drama and chaos going on in the world but You sit on Your throne unfazed and unmoved by it all. You reign over us as the ultimate Supreme Being. We stand in awe of you!


We of LA Times Lakers Blog are no strangers to drama and chaos. We've had our share. Both in watching our Lakers play this season AND on this Blog. We were shaken. We were stirred. But You held together by Your mighty hand. So, our first prayer is for US! Thank You for our bond and unity as Laker fans. I say it as a cliche...but it is true: Some of the trolls - internal and external - hate us cause they ain't us. US being part of this great family. You have made us family. You have knit and bonded us together due to our unity as Laker fans...but You have transcended that bond to create true brotherhood and sisterhood. Thank You for that. And for those who criticize and mock us, we ask that You open their hearts and minds to see the love and unity that this family has...and that they would lay down their weapons of hate, drama and chaos to embrace this family.


Lord, as we look across the league and see the winning streaks and all the teams shaping up and shoring up around us, we are reminded of this one great truth: NBA seasons are not sprints. They are MARATHONS. Thank you for Phil's wisdom, vision & leadership as he fine tunes our Lakers to be prepared for the marathon. Calm our spirits that we would not be intimidated by those who have sprinted to the head of the pack. We know what they don't know: once fatigue and weariness set in, they will soon fall back and we will be in the position we need to be. Our eyes are set on the goal. Not MVP's. Not stellar regular season records. But CHAMPIONSHIPS! May Kobe/Pau/LO/Andrew/Ron Ron/DFish/Steve Blaker/Matt Barnes/UPS and the rest of the squad keep their eyes focused on that goal. Don't let them look to the left or right & be faded by the other teams in front of us. Let us run OUR race at OUR pace so when June comes along, we will be ready to DEFEND THIS HOUSE! We will be ready to UPHOLD OUR PLACE ALONG THE MOUNTAINTOP! We will be ready to send Phil out with his 4TH 3PEAT!


We thank You as always for answered prayer...AMEN!

AMEN!!!!
Thank you Chaplain!!!

Shaq does magnificent job conducting the Boston Pops last night!
Inquires of Kobe...How does my brass taste?

my response ... PF = Power Forward.

re: dirty work. So ... Are you saying that Pau Gasol does more dirty work than
Bosh? If so, is that because of the player or the system?

re: the system. Bosh averages ~ 2 - 3 more attempts than Pau Gasol does.
That doesn't seem particularly different to me. ~ 1 more shot per quarter.

So ... if he's the second best "stretch 4" in the league ... how is he over-rated?

Posted by: hobbitmage | December 21, 2010 at 11:11 AM
====

hobbit

Review your post. You listed Duncan, KG and PF as better pfs than Bosh. I thought you meant PG. No biggie.

1) In direct answer to your question, I actually consider Gasol to be more of a classic center than a pf. That's my opinion and I know there's a dichotomy of opinion on that. He's certainly been playing center at least 90% of the time this season. You also know that I'm not big on "breaking down the numbers" like you are, but that's also an area where people differ on what defines a player's worth.

When LO's in the game, he does more of the dirty work. When Bynum's in the game, he's there to protect the paint. We all know that Gasol's not a "dirty work" type of player, but fortunately he has those to guys alongside of him. So no, I am not saying that, but personally I think Gasol's a far superior player to Bosh. he certainly has a more diverse game and many people believe that Pau's the best all around big man on the planet right now.

2) I didn't say Bosh was overrated. I said he's a star in this league. However, I can't remember a team that has a stretch 4 as the starting power forward who won a championship. You could argue that Rasheed Wallace was that guy in 2004, but even he had more of a power game and post up game than Bosh and certainly was a better low post defender. In my opinion, a guy like Luis Scola would be a better fit with the Heat. Losing Haslem was HUGE for them in the long run IMO.

Lew with the Friedman. Mamba24 with the roll call.

LakerTom back in the fold.

All is right with the world again.

I smell a win tonight.

And another Saturday.

I smell a win tonight. And another Saturday. Posted by: htj | December 21, 2010 at 11:36 AM
*
Smells good doesn't it? LOl!

utz, Amen...

This is a game we cannot even dream about loosing it. No Trap-games for the Lakers.

Cheers.

PS: Hi all. Been busy packing, going to FL to visit my mom.

The Lakers simply have the best roster in the NBA. With the addition of Joe Smith, they now have the formidable front line players of Bynum, Gasol, Odom, Smith, and Ratliff. All of whom can be reliable enough to put into the rotation even in the playoff by PJ (and that says a lot.) And I believe the combination of "healthy" Smith and Ratliff could have been as efficient as last year's "playing with injured knee" Bynum in the playoff. This is the best 1 through 12 (and maybe 1 to 14) roster in Lakers history. All of 12 players have been starters before and are capable to start in any team this season (see how our 12th man Sasha is shining in other team.) It's just matter of getting peak at the right time, and the Lakers will be invincible in playoff time....

MM - Thanks so much for the Friedman...I am not worthy....

Everyone - thank you for the nice words and the congrats...

63 Footer - your selection brings me back to the hood...lol

JUSTA HATER - Rainy day here in Vegas...where are you...are you in Miami...if so, order a Mojito for me...We win this Saturday...I will enjoy it...if we lose...you can have it...it's on me, send me the bill, including tip.

TrueFan1942 - You are missed...but I know you are sitting next to Chick in Lakers heaven...preaching the same message..."Patience folks...it's a long 82 game season"...

Mamba24 - Did I say it was nice to see you back...seriously...you are the glue baybee...look how the Blog is flowing today...

justa - careful with those Silent Killers...I underestimated them when I was at Octo's...and found out when I stood up, why they are called Silent Killers...lol

(Amit) - good to see you back too...That is an odd statement from PJ...

hobbit - Of course the regular season has importance as far as HCA...and no matter what your agenda is...a 4 game losing streak is not good...I think PJ concentrates on the playoffs...and his importance of the regular season, while keeping an eye on the standings, is where he experiments on rotations, players mettle...and game time experience...although since the core of this unit has been together for 3 years...I think his biggest challenge during the regular season, is keeping his players motivated...Hence why the team drives us nuts when they just go through the motions during games...

utz - A big AMEN...great to see a game day prayer again...

MAGIC PHIL IN THE HOUSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! HEY!!!!!!!!!
Magic Phil, this ones for you_http://tinyurl.com/ylp3qqc _ I Love LA!!!! LOL!

AMEN Utz

just a quick hit-and-run from me.

I hope the Lakers don't take the Bucks lightly tonight due to their injuries and whatnot.

That jingle bells video is some funny stuff! Ron Ron gets my vote for best voice on the Lakers.

- - -

hobbit, do you feel that Bosh is worth the same as Wade or her majesty?

Quite simply put, Bosh is not better than the hype he gets. Thusly, he is 'overhyped' and in effect 'overrated'

I know I'd take Pau in a New York minute over Bosh.


GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Lewstrs did I ever tell you I like your style sir? No wonder you are...THE KING!!! Carry On!

hobbit - Of course the regular season has importance as far as HCA...and no matter what your agenda is...a 4 game losing streak is not good...I think PJ concentrates on the playoffs...and his importance of the regular season, while keeping an eye on the standings, is where he experiments on rotations, players mettle...and game time experience...although since the core of this unit has been together for 3 years...I think his biggest challenge during the regular season, is keeping his players motivated...Hence why the team drives us nuts when they just go through the motions during games...

Posted by: LEWSTRS | December 21, 2010 at 11:45 AM
====

There's a balance. Remember, Phil Jackson hates losing, but he also knows what is important in the end and what it takes to get there. When we talk about the "practice season," we mean "preparation" and those who try to make it seem like we're being literal misguide everyone else.

I'm in the middle of Jeanie Buss's book right now and there's a lot of insight into PJ, but not a lot of surprises. He's grumpy and loses sleep after losses, but on the flip side he is much more concerned about how the the team plays. Sometimes he would rather have the team lose because it's more of a teachable moment than if the team wins a buzzer beater against a lesser opponent. I'd say about 20-25% of her book devoted to Coach Eleven Rings. Jeanie is a much more dynamic individual than I ever knew and that is because she tempers everything with humility. She is bright, compassionate, giving and caring. She seems to me to be a near perfect woman and PJ is one lucky guy. She also goes into great detail about her father. What a brilliant, dynamic guy! It's an easy read, almost too easy, but it chronicles both her life and last season. I recommend it.

P.S.- PJ says the book has inaccuracies, so who knows! By the way, she prods him on the MJ-Kobe comparison, but we know just as much about what he thinks about that as she does. Next to nothing!

CyberCosmix,

you wrote: hobbit, do you feel that Bosh is worth the same as Wade or her majesty?

my response: nope. Nor did I think he was thought of in the same terms as
LBJ or D-Wade. I do happen to think that he's an excellent PF. Nor did I
think he was getting as much hype as D-Wade or LBJ.

Lewsters,

you wrote: hobbit - Of course the regular season has importance as far as HCA...and no matter what your agenda is...a 4 game losing streak is not good...I think PJ concentrates on the playoffs...and his importance of the regular season, while keeping an eye on the standings, is where he experiments on rotations, players mettle...and game time experience...although since the core of this unit has been together for 3 years...I think his biggest challenge during the regular season, is keeping his players motivated...Hence why the team drives us nuts when they just go through the motions during games...

my response: I don't think you need to tell this to me. There has been a lot of
talk about HCA vs. Health & how the regular season is just the "practice"
season. As of right now, we're behind in the "practice" season and if the
*real* season were to start today ... we wouldn't have HCA.

Furthermore, given the way the team has played for the last 2-3 seasons ...
w/o having HCA we'd have to win *TWO* games on another team's home
court. That makes *me* uncomfortable given our team. Can we do it? Yes.
Would we do it? ..... Unknown.

Pau did not workout hard enough this past summer and it shows. Bynum still
isn't up to speed and so it's hard to know how he would perform. LO has been
playing great. Tell the truth, you're wondering if he'll keep playing like this
when he goes back to the bench aren't you? I am.

KobeMVP888,

re: PF & PG. Ok. Thanks for the clarification. Yes, Pau is a better PF than Bosh.
Glad we agree on the "dirty work" or lack thereof of Pau Gasol.

re: Bosh being overrated. you're right. CyberCosmix wrote that.

@KobeMVP888....

Completely agree with your take on Haslem and his value to the Heat. With him down, there is no grinder on that team. The closest they have is Joel Anthony, but his limited offensive game doesn't engender much confidence from the Heat coaching staff.

The dirty secret about the Heat is that LeBrawn SHOULD BE that energy guy. The man pays a lot of lip service about wanting to win, but he is unwilling to sacrifice and do the dirty work necessary to win. At 6'9" and 280 lbs., the man is a physical beast. If he tried playing more like Blake Griffin and less like Magic Johnson, he'd be unstoppable. He has yet to develop a post game. Last night against Dallas, in the gut of the game, he was farting around out the perimeter instead of banging inside for the extra possessions that ultimately determined the outcome of that game. Thank goodness he's LeBrawn and not LeBrain!

@Mamba24...

Thanks for the roll call and all your positive energy! This site just ain't the same without you, my friend! With the great vibes that you generate, all the skirmishes and in-fighting on the blog seem to go away!

I'm really loving how this team is coming together. Baby Bynum's return and the acquisition of Joe Smith shore up the frontcourt. Drew's achieving full conditioning and strength will add even more to the mix. The Lakers are right where they need to be! And...there's still that trade exception acquired as part of Sasha's trade to play with.

GO LAKERS!!!

FEAR THE DEER? I don't think so! Tonight will more likely resemble a deer caught in the headlights!

Although I agree that what Geno and UConn have accomplished with the current winning streak is phenomenal...

I am with the side that you can't compare that to Wooden's and UCLA record winning streak...

You can correlate the 2 with the numbers aspect of it...But as far as accomplishments...not a good comparison...2 different things...

NCAA Mens and Womens Basketball are totally 2 different animals...

I mean how many real Womens BB programs are out there besides Tenn, Baylor, and Stanford...

I am not degrading what they accomplished...but to me, Wooden's and UCLA record stand intact...till a men's team beats it...

@LEWSTRS...

Congrats on the Friedman! Well deserved!

c

Lews- Miami is fired up for the game Christmas, it's like the season is on this one game. If the Lakers don't come ready to play, it will be REAL UGLY fast. I'm telling my people the Lakers don't take this game as serious, they can't believe it, they believe you're just down playing the upcoming lost.
I'll have that Mojito regardless.

@KobeMVP888...

A belated word of thanks to you for mentioning "The Breaks of the Game" by David Halberstam. I will pick it up ASAP. You've probably read "Summer of '49" by the same author. If not, it's a must read for a Yankee fan. Details the battle for the pennant between the Yanks and Sawx that year with great insight.

bronxlakerfan

I did read that book. He's a GREAT author!

@BronxLakerfan, Thanks for the kind words but, I just think it's Blog Sync. my brother. Everybody feeding off of each others Lakerholic vibes for the greater good of all. Which in this case will be a nice victory tonight and...a 15 point plus victory Saturday!!! Yes I said it LakersBlog. The Lakers will beat the Heat by at least 15 points!!!!!! TRULY!!!!!

Mamba24- Dude.. your DREAMING, that's not a VIBE your feelin...it's Diarrhea. Now go to the restroom and get yourself together at once.
Go Heat

Mamba24- Dude.. your DREAMING, that's not a VIBE your feelin...it's Diarrhea. Now go to the restroom and get yourself together at once. posted by: JUSTA HATER | December 21, 2010 at 12:42 PM
*
LMAO!!!!

I noticed Sasha was 4-10 with 10 points, 6 rebounds and three assists in 29 minutes off the bench in a win against Atlanta - a playoff team. If they pick up Melo, they could make a "run" at it. I am happy for him, but sorry to see him go. I wish he was playing for us. I would take him over anyone else on the roster at the free throw line with the game on the line - cool as a cucumber. He was also the second best defender at the guard position. He must have pissed somebody off...

I hope they rest Bynum tonight.

Cant stop thinking about the Heat game:
I am assuming that Kobe will be like "this is just another regular season game..." Yeah right! And it didn't mattter that it was the Celtics... ;-)

I think it comes down to how tough Ron plays LaBron and how good our help defense is on Wade. If Wade sneaks by Fish and gets a lot of easy ones, it will be a long night. Also, we need Kobe as the facilitator waiting for the opportunity to strike! If he tries to showboat they will collpase on him and make it rough. I think our bench way over matches their bench. This could be a big factor as well.

Start Lamar!

Tonight:
The players are probably thinking about Miami as well. They have to keep in the moment and send a message to Miami. "We do not let up!"

Mamba24 - Thanks for the roll call!

I am a Lakerholic

Will Miami host a parade should y'all win on Christmas Day?

Congrats LEWSTRS!
`
I was thinking about the calls LeBron gets from the refs as I was catching up on the blog and laughed out loud remembering a post from last year. Who was it that wrote out a phone conversation between LeBron and Stern where LeBron calls Stern "Dad", to which Stern replies "I love it when you call me Dad"? It went on and on and absolutely killed me! Anyway, kinda random but a fond memory...

Sasha had 3 steals as well.

I am a Lakerholic.

MAGIC PHIL IN THE HOUSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! HEY!!!!!!!!!
Magic Phil, this ones for you_http://tinyurl.com/ylp3qqc _ I Love LA!!!! LOL!

Posted by: Mamba24 | December 21, 2010 at 11:46 AM
-
OH NOOOOOOO....

It started all over again....I CAN'T STOP LISTENING!!!!

#5 and count...

Lews, you rule, we drool!! Congrats on RCOTD.

Just my two cents on Sasha. I'm glad he played well in the last game. But I think it's just the adrenaline talking. Being recently traded and wanting to prove his worth and the Lakers wrong for trading him, he comes out like a gang buster. Eventually he'll settle down into his regular average. So for all those regretting the trade, please chill. Sasha had several years to prove himself, and although he does have some talent, his attitude needs major adjustments. We're better off with our current bench, imho.

It started all over again....I CAN'T STOP LISTENING!!!! #5 and count...
Posted by: Magic Phil | December 21, 2010 at 01:25 PM
*
LMAO!!! OK if you say so!!! And here we Gooooooooooooooooo!!!!!
http://tinyurl.com/ylp3qqc _ I Love LA!!!! I'll check in on number 99!!!. LOL!!


I am a Lakerholic Posted by: Lakerholic | December 21, 2010 at 12:55 PM
*
AND A DAMN FINE ONE TOO!!!!!!!!! Carry On!!!!

Lakerholic

Sasha was on Brian Shaw's s-list. Apparently, Shaw player evaluations are suspect. I hope Sasha proves him wrong.
Tony Sassi

Ron Ron sounds like Robert De Niro

Here's the BEST Laker Christmas song. Watch Artest get GRINCHED!!!

http://www.funnyordie.com/search/a?q=The+Grinch+that+Stole+Ron+Artest&x=16&y=7


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