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Caught in the Web: Reactions from Lakers-Pacers game and Joe Smith trade


Only four more days until the return of blogmeister Mark Medina. And Thursday starts a week's vacation for yours truly. Don't fret, live chats will continue on game days until MM returns. Our Lakers crew will keep posting breaking news, polls, etc., to keep you stocked with new threads.

I'll be back from the Pacific Northwest next week for the holiday run here in L.A., including that oh-so-important Dec. 25 Lakers-Heat game.

And now some samplings in the aftermath of the Lakers' 109-94 victory over the Pacers as well as the Sasha Vujacic-Joe Smith trade fallout:

Game coverage

The Times' Mike Bresnahan reports that the Lakers noticed Indiana's hallway celebration last month when the Pacers won at Staples.

The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding on the Lakers' focused and complete effort.

The Daily News' Elliott Teaford also examines the payback portion of the Lakers' win.'s blogging brothers Andy and Brian Kamenetzky give you tidbits on a variety of topics, including Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Ron Artest.


The Times' Mike Bresnahan on Lamar Odom being prepared for his next new role: coming off the bench.

The Daily News' Elliott Teaford on the trade and Andrew Bynum's return as a starter.

Sasha Vujacic-Joe Smith trade's Dave McMenamin examines how Joe Smith will fit in.

The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding on Vujacic's fall from grace in L.A.

-- Dan Loumena

Photo: Lakers center Pau Gasol and Pacers guard Mike Dunleavy collide as they battle for position in the lane Wednesday night. Credit: Michael Hickey / US Presswire

Comments () | Archives (53)

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My favorite highlight last night was watching Roy Hibbert sit at his desk and take notes from Pau on how to school your opponent. Maybe Hibbert will bring Gasol an apple after winter break (Christmas Vacation when I was in school!).
Posted by: Don't Blame Del Harris! | December 16, 2010 at 06:28 AM
DBDH - Yep that was a good ole fashion schooling, but Pau owed Hibbert from a few weeks ago.

Phil on Bynum returning to the starting lineup....

"It might be a couple of weeks before Bynum regains his starting spot, but it will happen, Jackson said Wednesday."

What really would be nice is when Drew is playing at a high enough level where Phil will have a tough decision which two (Pau, LO, Drew) close out the game.

We all know it was only Washington and Indiana...nothing to get to excited about, but nevertheless its good to have order restored!

I'll follow Mark G's musically lead from last night when he said the Lakers are feeling Alright.

Stevie Wonder - Uptight (Everything is Alright)

Another big man prone to injury. Joakim Noah out 8-10 weeks:

Looks like our team is starting to look boring again. With 20 point leads I kind of start channel surfing, just check in every now and then to check for (hopefully) no injuries.
Looks like everyone played well last night, good. Well, everyone except for.....

Just wondering

Does anyone have Fisher in their fantasy team?

@ LRob,

As Erik B. & Rakim would say, consider Hibbert "Paid In Full".

DBDH! going old school.

and i really don't care about you opinions.
Posted by: ouchhhhhhhh | December 15, 2010 at 12:26 PM

It's too bad. You might actually learn something if you did.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | December 15, 2010 at 12:29 PM


Another big man prone to injury. Joakim Noah out 8-10 weeks:

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | December 16, 2010 at 07:23 AM

wondering what is my lesson for today, Dec 16, 2010:

“As the days proceeded from the original injury, it became clear for all that surgery was best for Joakim,” Bulls general manager Gar Forman said in the statement. “We have always valued Joakim’s toughness and willingness to put the team above himself, but in this case his health took precedence.”

I do not remember Buss or Mitch making this type of attement about Bynum:

"to put the team above himself"
(backpacking in Italy, soccer in South Africa)

Noah has more willingness and toughness.

Lesson learned.

This was written:

When the Lakers had similar frustrating regular seasons from 2000-01 through 2003-04, Shaq used to say that it is important to have a great home record and win the games that you're supposed to win on the road. I actually subscribe to that theory.

my response: Hmmm ... Why would you quote the man who is responsible
for breaking up the Lakers?

re: 2003-2004. Did the Lakers win a championship that year? If not, is there
some reason why that year should be a blueprint for future teams?

2000-2001 Shaq played 74 games. umm ... are you sure you want to start
making a comparison b/n that team and this team?

I ask because:

has players 1-10 averaging double digits, in scoring, per 36 minutes.

Nice little revenge win last night. The Pacers thought they won a championship or something last week when they lucked out in Staples.

I watched the Knicks last night against Boston. It was an excellent game. The Knicks are actually good now. Amare has really shown something extra this year. He's been outstanding for them. Then there's Raymond Felton. Man, Larry Brown had him under wraps. Felton is a true baller, no joke.

Go Lakers!

We rockin', and it doesn't matter against who (m): it's the habit of doing it that's important. Muscle memory for beat-downs!

A shame about Noah, Bulls can't catch a break. To all Lakers: Stay healthy!

hobbitmage: I NEVER said you were a basher. A corn-beef hasher, a tongue-lasher, when driving the lane a great slasher, and a times, possibly a handle-bar mustacher, but NEVER a basher.



Does anyone have Fisher in their fantasy team?
Posted by: Magia32 | December 16, 2010 at 07:46 AM

Fisher is a phantasy in itself. does not need a team

but one can have Fisher as a phantasy in their dream

phantasy - variant spelling of fantasy (restricted to archaic uses or, in modern use, to the fields of psychology and psychiatry).

i like the dreamy field more (psychology and psychiatry).

by the way, Books Inc. has the C.G. Young's Red Book on sale. from 125 to maybe 30 dollars. now that will make one choose the rosy color glasses.

ouchhhhhhh - don't forget, Amazon has Mao's Little Red Book for $6.39. Another fantasy read.

63 Footer

i have 2 choices: i can go to Berkeley and pick it up from Anarchist Press for 10.00 (it is a rare book, and not many carry it)

or i can choose and pick one @ 0:45, 1:29 from

or @ 1:01 or especially 1:40 in this edited version

so when the "prostitutes scream" i can read Mao, Mao

I have Fisher in a deep league. He's been a very efficient player. Low TO's, good FT%, some 3's and steals. But of course, stats are not what Derek Fisher is all about.

Do not underestimate Derek Fisher's intangibles. Also, do not underestimate the heart of a champion.

Sure, Fish had a bad stats game. But the bottom line is the Lakers won. The other bottom line is that we're back 2 back champions. The other bottom line is that we're favored to win it again this year. Another bottom line is that Fisher has had a major role in the succes of this Laker team.

Go Lakers!

Go Lakers!

The Lakers revamped roster for #17


Bryant SG
Fisher PG
Artest SF
Gasol PF
Bynum C

Odom PF
Blake PG
Barnes SF/G
Brown SG
Walton SF
Smith PF
Ratliff C


Ebanks SF/G
Caracter C/PF


Perfectly balanced roster!! Thanks Mitch!!!

Go Lakers!!!!!!


Answer: because he knew what it took to win championships.

ROFL at your Pau-Maria- Sasha Love Triangle explanation for all that's been going wrong and why it is now better. Freaking hilarious, and for some weird reason I find it plausible. Scary. Hey, you don't know who really killed JFK, do you?

60's Steve is a always good. I'm not a big harmonica fan, but he could/can really play the harp.
I Was Made to Love Her

LakerPeace - kinda looks pretty scary, doesn't it? Especially with how the B's are gelling. Granted, and I can't overstate enough (in a karmic way): No injuries! (To be read like Lawrence's "No prisoners!" line.)

I just want to see the intensity continue for 48 minutes of every game (48/7!), UPS mellow just a little (he gets a bit too excited sometimes, but it'll come), and, altogether now: "Get the frickin' rebound!"

Blaker's D looked pretty good last night; a good match-up for him.

And Ron driving instead of settling for the outside jumper, it really motivated the offense. Heck, in that first quarter last night with everyone on the cut... a thing of beauty!

Vote for Kobe Bryant for 2010 Sportsman of the year !

Mark G - actually, I do know what happened to JFK, as a matter of fact. You see, he was a;ljkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkfds aaarrrrgh!!!

There's a reason Joe Smith has not had any minutes this year. He's old and will have no impact on the Lakers. This was a financial trade and that is all.

@ Jackie,

What?! This transaction reminds me of the stellar pick up of Jim Jackson a few years ago. Instant impact! Nah, he was just test driving Kobe's new number for him to see how it would look in purple & gold.


@ 63,

The Magic Bullet lives!


DBDH - you're a baaaaaaad man.

The current laker roster has at least "3-DEEP" players at each position except for PG position..If Mitch can somehow replace Walton (SF) with "quick" PG it will be more than perfect!!! But I have no complain!!!

At 08:02 AM, an alleged Lakers "fan" bashing our two time champion starting center when his name wasn't even mentioned. Regardless, Bynum put his team above himself when he played through the same injury in the 2010 playoffs that shelved Tim Duncan in 2000. I guess Duncan is a "me first" player, too. But July is more important to some people.

Another big man prone to injury. Joakim Noah out 8-10 weeks:

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | December 16, 2010 at 07:23 AM
Tell me about it. I had him on my fantasy team. There's goes my rebound and block shots. I am moving into "QUICK PG" acquistion campaign!

LakerPeace - you have a short memory. Now that Luke is healthy, he'll have those afterburners to guard the quick PG's, the hops to get high above the rim, the sheer unadulterated speed to lead the break and finish with either hand. And don't forget the renewed jumpshot from beyond the arc... all the way to mid-court! Look! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... Luke!!

We now return you to reality.

Kevin Ding is is a worthless coward and a typical hack journalist who can't and hasn't done anything of note in their lives except sit on their butts, write drivel, and then they're important.

LRob - for your Noah loss (though I don't joke about injuries and don't wish them on anyone!):

troy - why don't you go over to Kevin Ding's paper then? Write him an email or something? Why take it out on us? I mean, he gets paid to write, so if you rally enough like-minded people, maybe you can get him fired if it means that much to you. But why here? It was only one link... don't click on it.

Granted, I did think he was a little harsh on Sasha, but still: go forth and complain over there!

@DBDH – Rakim is the man!

@ouch – Noah may be one tough dude I’d take him on my team anyday, but he doesn’t have the offensive skills Drew has.

@Mark G - Loved that Stevie.... (I was knee high to a chicken...when that love bug bit me). I won't tell Little Walter your thoughts on the

" I am moving into "QUICK PG" acquistion campaign!"

LakerPeace, Minnesota is always a good source for surplus point guards. Now that Johnny Flynn is coming back, Telfair may be available. Not saying he's a must, but he's a possibility. I wonder what the Lakers will do before the trade deadline. The rights to Rubio seems enticing, but it's a gamble at best right now.


Because his story was featured in this blog. Why it was, I don't know. Sasha appeared to be a hard worker and a loyal Laker. He practiced hard, he stood up for his team mates, and he enjoyed being a part of the Laker family.

So since a hack columnist's trashing of a Laker is featured in this blog, I responded to it in this blog.

we go 6-1 by the end of this road trip and then on to the x-mas day gala followed by s.a. & n.o. the team is about to be taken to task & we will survive.


Welcome to the team Joe!

What really would be nice is when Drew is playing at a high enough level where Phil will have a tough decision which two (Pau, LO, Drew) close out the game.

Posted by: LRob | December 16, 2010 at 06:59 AM

Don't think that is much of a decision no matter how well Drew is playing. The answer is Pau (of course) and LO without a doubt.

troy - I got that, but it seemed like you didn't like Ding in the general sense from your response, not just about the one article; that being said, the OC Register is the place to go to get any traction on that. Discuss the article here, but complain there for the whole "Kevin Ding is is a worthless coward and a typical hack journalist" thang. Me, I think Ding's one of the better ones, even if he was a little harsh on Sasha (though Sasha did flake out and needed a fresh start elsewhere).

And, since most of the time I "can't and hasn't done anything of note in their lives except sit on their butts, write drivel, and then they're important" too (being mostly a writer and all), it seems that it's kinda the definition of the trade.

I don't mind saying that I don't hold sports journalists who trash professional players in high esteem.

For example, I despise hate Jon Barry for his relentless attacks on Kobe during the dark years of Denver. TJ Simers is another rat's azz. Just lowlife hacks who get winded walking up a flight of 8 stairs, and here they are trying to criticize the best athletes in the world.

Most sports columnists are jealous nerds who hate professional athletes because they make 100 times more a year than they do, are famous, beloved, physically superior, and more accomplished. The only way a columnist can attempt to get revenge is by writing bad sh*t like a coward.

To hell with Ding. What has that worthless POS accomplished?

The best writers write standing up, and not sitting on their butts. Butt sitting is so yesterday.

Laker J - I'm old school... I LIKE to sit on my butt when I write.

I like your style, Old School and all. You should go walk a flight of stairs once in a while though.

Dan -
You left out this good article from the Indystar about Ron Artest. He explains that he still considers himself a coward for his actions while he was with the Pacers.

Of special note are the comments left by the Indystar readers. Some do forgive Ron, but it is plainly obvious that many people in Indy will never forgive Ron for his behavior there.

Here's the link:

Laker J - naw, I run and Nordic track (and b-ball it), but I can't do ANY of those things while writing. It's just the way I am.

What a relief to watch the Lakers get back to a more normal rotation and offense. Some great things are happening to this team, I smell 3-peat!

1. LO continues to drive to the rim, and continues to rip the rebound and start the team running. This is the LO that we all hoped to see on a regular basis. As a huge LO fan due to his courage and professionalism to continue after family troubles, I am so stoked that he is being aggressive and driving to the rim. Dude is in great shape too, his 12th minute is as fluid as his 1st.

2. Pau now dunks when he is close to the rim. Remember when he used to miss close-up “weenie-shots”? Its great to see him play with energy rather than conserve energy because he knew he was playing 20 minute stretches. What a priviledge to have Pau on the Lakers, dude is smooth and does anyone else remember a center doing an up and under reverse dunk? Maybe Bill Walton did?

3. Kudos to Phil for using Luke Walton at the 4 for 3 minutes a game, obviously this helps LO catch his breath. It doesn’t seem to hurt anything and he will get better, anyone remember when he played with Shaq in the playoffs and got like 6 assists in a half?

4. I guess Bynum is not ready for back-to-backs yet. Still I like him playing with the 2nd string until he gets his legs underneath him. It is great to see him featured in that offense when he is playing with LO and the Killer B’s (shades of the future??). That team is competetive with many 1st string NBA franchises. We really need to keep Brown and Barnes around. I now look for the bench to extend leads while Artest and Kobe are resting.

5. Is Blake starting to steal minutes from Fish? The offense certainly moves better and there are more assists when Blake is in the game with the 1st string. Still I want Fish in the game to close out halftime and the final qtr.

6. Barnes is so good at curling around picks and coming into the lane for a pass. This dude is perfect for the triangle, good pickup Mitch! Barnes makes me laugh though, last night he complained to the referee that he was held while shooting (ha-ha). Hypocrite or master psychologist? Barnes is our Bowen. I hope Phil puts Barnes on Dwade on 12/25. In fact I would like to see the starting line-up for that game to be Kobe, Barnes, Artest, LO, & Gasol. Fish can come in later, I don’t want to see Dwade light up Fish.

7. Best improvement of the night? Ron-Ron. A cardinal rule of Basketball, if you are missing jumpshots from far away, then get closer to the basket! Kudos to Phil for using Artest to set picks, drive and dish, and run around in the paint when Bynum is not in the game. Ron is a great interior passer. Sure Artest was more comfortable in the Pacers fieldhouse last night so he looked great, but he looks to have a new role in the offense, a role that I have advocated for months. Play Artest in the paint, have him drive the rim often, shoot or dish, let him post-up, let him bang around the defense to create space. Artest is a bowling ball and a great compliment to the beauty of the triangle passing (Kobe/Pau/LO).

Artest can create space for his own shot, its in his NYC bloodline where basketball is played more like football. I so much enjoy seeing Artest play in the paint, setting picks on the bigs, posting up anyone smaller than him, making excellent interior passes, getting rebounds and that’s just on the offensive end! This dude is very comfortable playing in traffic in the paint. I have wanted to see this type of interior passing ever since Fish stopped driving to the rim, and (due to the wear and tear) Kobe saved that part of his game for the playoffs. Also when Ron hits a few shots inside, he then shoots the longer jumpshots with confidence, and he gets fiestier on defense. Kudos to Phil for designing this new facet of the offense, it certainly sets the tone for the game and loosens up the defense. Bring on the Heat and Celtics! We're ready!

63 Footer,

You return to me dreaming again!

Laker J,
I was thinking exactly the same!! Also, I am sure Rambis would not mind to have Walton to utilize their triangle. Luke could be a surpringly good fit to Minnesota. Why not trade Luke for one of their PGs.

Troy --

I agree with you in that Ding was overly harsh here -- beat a broken dog while he's down why don't you, Kevin? I loved Sasha because he was, in fact, a hard working, loyal Laker and he hated the Celtics. And ultimately, he didn't get a fair shake in Lakerland.

Jackson is an ungrateful fiend. Without Sasha's two supremely clutch free throws, the Lakers could very well have lost the championship last year when the Celtics were dropping insane 3s from all over the place in the wanning minutes of game 7. Just for that, and that alone, Sasha deserved a better shake, specially by Jackson. Sasha prevented the unenviable stain of losing 2 finals to the Celtics. Jackson and Kobe should both be eternally and supremely grateful to Sasha.

But for Sasha's two monumental free throws, the Lakers most likely would have choked away another finals to the Celtics, which would have eternally stained Kobe's resume (2 NBA Finals losses to the Celtics, as a Laker no less) and gotten Jackson fired, period.

There is no loyalty in professional sports, and it's a darn shame.

Kevin Ding is is a worthless coward and a typical hack journalist who can't and hasn't done anything of note in their lives except sit on their butts, write drivel, and then they're important.

Posted by: troy | December 16, 2010 at 09:25 AM

I usually enjoy Kevin Ding's columns. I like the additional insights he bring to his articles. But in this instance, I think he's gone too far with the Sasha article. It was vicious and uncalled for. Shame on you Kevin! Sure Sasha has his faults and I for one, am quite happy to see him go, but there's no need for such hatred against any Laker who has in some ways contributed to the last two championships.

Taino, nice post! I enjoyed reading your analysis and thoughts on the various dimensions of last night's game.


Last night during the chat I asked who'd win the game - Knicks or Celtics. I picked Celtics because even though the Knicks are so much better than last year, they still have some way to go before they can beat a powerhouse like the Celtics. And true enough, the Celtics executed that last play well and snatched the victory.

thanks Seely_Iggy
Lakers are coming together! It's so awesome to see them develop difference offenses, rather than the thrpw it to Kobe days of 2007, 2008



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