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Phil Jackson notices feistiness in practice and acknowledges team distractions

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson had plenty of reason to describe Monday's practice as "feisty," including the reserves beating the starters and Kobe Bryant playing with the team.

It's rare for Bryant to practice with the team, an approach taken to ensure the health of his surgically repaired right knee and to minimize complications from the arthritis surrounding his right index finger. But Bryant pledged after the Lakers' 96-80 loss on Christmas Day to the Miami Heat he was going to "kick some ... in practice," ride his teammates, and "beat it in their head until it gets through."

"He was aggressive," Jackson said of Bryant after the Lakers' practice Monday at the team's facility in El Segundo. "He was playing. He was out on the court. That in itself was a little bit different. I didn't hear anything verbal. He just went out and played hard."

Many of the details surrounding anything Bryant said to the team remained vague as the Lakers (21-9) prepared for their Tuesday game at San Antonio (the Spurs have a Western Conference leading 26-4 record). "He didn't speak to reporters afterwards. Lakers forward Ron Artest, who had a cut under his right eye for unspecified reasons, said he was "just focused on team and practice" to notice whether Bryant addressed any members of the team about their play. Lakers forward Lamar Odom said Bryant didn't talk to him about his play and simply told a reporter: "You have to ask him" about whether he addressed the team in any manner.

"I think these games mean more to our opponents than they do to us," Bryant told reporters after the game against the Heat. "I think we need to get that straight. We need to play with more focus and put more importance on these games. I don't like it."

Jackson said he didn't read or hear any of Bryant's post-game comments, but he agreed that distractions remained an issue, although he didn't mention specifics. Odom argued "we don't need shout outs to the media" because "we've been to the Finals three years in a row." Artest, who has acknowledged difficulties with promoting his championship ring raffle for mental health awareness without taking away from his Laker responsibilities, took offense when a reporter asked if Bryant told him he considered the ring raffle a distraction.

"I didn't get a chance to let it even be a distraction because I only played 20 minutes," said Artest, who got into early foul trouble. "I work extremely hard on defense and I'm the last one to leave the gym every day. The game is extremely important."

Bryant's public undressing isn't the first time a Laker has found the need to criticize the team's mindset. After the Lakers' 99-94 victory Nov. 9 over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Lakers guard Derek Fisher described the performance as "irresponsible," "reckless" and "disrespectful" and that "there was an air of complacency, of arrogance, of 'We don't have to play as hard as the other team to win' that I didn't like." Even if the details remained limited, Artest at least acknowledged public criticisms from Bryant and Fisher are constructive.

"You listen to their concerns and try to execute what they want executed," Artest said. "Obviously, they have five rings apiece, and that's what everybody aims for and shoots for, so you listen to those guys and take into consideration that these guys know what they're talking about."

-- Mark Medina
twitter.com/latmedina

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

 
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I reclaim the power!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Df9KU69TKQ

- - -

Feisty Lakers = better than what we've seen. Beats disinterested, complacent, going-through-the-motion Lakers anyday...

Glad to see Kobe practice with the team, that is how he kicked their butts!


GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Oh man, if they can keep up the feisty attitude it's gonna be a good one Tuesday night!!!

GO LAKERS!!!!!!!

Hey Phil,

Just keep playing video of the 4th quarter against the Celts in game 7.
That defense was a thing of beauty to behold.
Is it asking too much to bring that kind of intensity, at least sometimes, like, say, oh, maybe against a team like the Heat?
Or the Spurs.

Art,

Not bashing, but with Artest and fisher in there
I think it is too much to ask for

magia,

I undertsand.
Maybe you're right, but they did it last June though.
Did Ron and Fish decline that much in 6 months?
I'm not sure if I wanna know the answer to that.

I can't get too excited about this thread topic:


Phil Jackson notices feistiness in practice and acknowledges team distractions
December 27, 2010 | 3:00 pm

==============


Especially since we saw this thread just a few days ago:

Caught in the Web: Lakers go through intense practice to prepare for Miami
December 24, 2010 | 10:15 am

I'm ready to see words turn into action starting tomorrow & Wed. Winning both will be a tall order considering the way the Lakers have been playing, but they absolutely need to win one. (I can't believe I'm actually saying a split would be acceptable). Anyway they have to start somewhere.

@HOBBITMAGE... My responses:
...
We will have to agree to disagree with respect to Blake. I see no real advantage to replacing Fish with Blake and doubt Phil would do it.
...
We do not have a real disagreement about Pau to the extent that y0u say Pau’s problem is effort. Pau definitely has some mental issues with physical play that make less than aggressive. I think coming to play with Kobe and the Lakers and suffering in the 2008 finals when KG dominated him made Pau realize he had to become tougher, something I do not think he was in Memphis. He will still do well in certain matchups but the word is definitely out on how to stop him.
...
I do agree with you that, due to injuries, we have not seen Bynum healthy and dominating in the low post in the playoffs. Like you, I am hoping that this will change this year. I believe Drew with his inside power game can be the anchor to our low post offense much like Pau with his great passing skill can anchor our high post offense. Hopefully, we will see that this playoffs.
...
Interesting article about West. I remember reading that, too. While I do like the cliché that defense wins, it really is an oversimplification because how you play on offense always affects how you play on defense, especially when the offense turns the ball over or takes early long jumpers that ignite opposing teams offenses. I know we disagree on this but Drew and I think almost every NBA player plays better defensively when they are doing well offensively.
...
As for what Lamar can contribute from the point guard position versus what we are getting right now from Fish is better attacking of the rim, better outside shooting (if Lamar continues to hit from outside as well as he has so far this year), better defense because I think Lamar’s length can really allow him to play off the super quick point guards (and I do agree with you that it takes team defense to shut these guys down), and the ability to post up and destroy every other point guard in the league. We would never see a 5’-5” nemesis torch us again like the Bucks.
...
Anyway, that’s it on these subjects from me. I will let you have the last word. Happy New Year.
..........................
TOM

So this is amazing, only after the Lakers lose a couple games in double digits, does the coach allow the superstar to attend practice. What's next, the coach allows the superstar to sleep with his girlfriend when the superstar feels like it. Get to work - and figure a way to replace the old defensive coach.

@dugos did you read why the superstar does not normally practice with the team? at least get a clue what your talking about. Jeez!

Perhaps we should shake up the starting lineup somewhat. What about this as a message from PJ:

Kobe
Matt
Andrew (doesn't have to play too much)
Lamar
Shannon

Work in:

Pau (good amount of minutes)
Ron
Derek
Steve

Just a thought.

Art FL Laker fan - That is a good observation. To the Lakers' credit, none of them said that this feisty practice all of a sudden solves their problems. They actually said the exact opposite saying now we'll see how the games go

Nash is wasted in Phoenix. What an addition he'd make. Suns are going nowhere and could use some youth.

Now might be the time to do some experimenting, nothing so far seems to be working well?

Laker Tom: You said. I see no real advantage to replacing Fish with Blake and doubt Phil will do it.


I believe you are right, Phil won't do it. However it is difficult to assess whether there is an advantage or not unless it happens. I'm always amazed at how coaches spend a great amount of time with their players during practice to determine who are the best players to have on the court. Yet, some of the best lineup changes have come as a result of injuries to a starter, and a reserve finally getting a chance to start.


So until Blake starts over Fish, it is speculation at best. There are some that would say it can't be any worse, so why not try it. After all, this is the practice portion of the season and these scrimmage games give us an opportunity to prepare for the real season. So why not try to do it now? Let's not wait for injuries to force our hand, and discover that we had a real gem on the bench all along. Fish and Blake's game are similar, both are apt for the triangle O, however Blake hasn't been with the team as long and therefore may have greater upside. I'm sure he will make the most of his opportunity to play with the starters. He is more profficient than Fish from 3 point range and a great distributor. I don't think it would hurt the team at all and can prove to be a good move come playoff time. Don't you think?

Laker Nation still think Blake is the best thing since slice bread, I didn't think so.....just say.

How about another BANDWAGON for 72 wins, you know it's still possible, I believe the LakeShow can do it. Damn...that bandwagon has no wheel either.

GO HEAT

LRob- They'll loose both, LakerNation it's not looking good for you. And when they do, get far FAR away from this blog it's going to be UGLY. AGAIN...just saying.

i'm telling you: move pau back to the 4 - and let him stay there - and get lamar at the 5 until bynum is ever healthy enough to start at center; if and when he does, then you move lamar back to the bench.

at his current position, pau is the weak link in the paint and he is getting his @$$ kicked on a consistent basis. lamar only gives up a couple of inches and let's not forget: he won a world championship over the summer. granted, the level of competition isn't the same as in the nba, but we're getting beat pretty badly out there anyway, so we might as well begin minimizing the damage to the health and stamina of our players. bynum can relieve lamar at the 5 and smith can come in for "gasoft." yes, I wrote it: GASOFT!

we don't need a traditional pg in the starting lineup which is why dfish is perfect. defense is a team effort, so if our guards get beaten, then lamar can cover the paint like a man complimented by "gasoft."

i say try this lineup for a while. we're losing anyway but at the expense of breaking down our power forward. he's game but his body will not cooperate. it is what it is. what happens when bynum finally gets back and "gasoft" is broken down for about 10-15 games? that will be a major problem folks, one that i don't think the team will be able to overcome.

like i've posted before: we have to see what happens after the trade deadline and ASG. i expect this team to be completely healthy & acclimated for the 2nd half of the season: ratliff, drew, kobe, barnes, blake, smith and shannon - with his new found penchant for hitting the long ball.

whatever ails this team, one thing is certain: i'm just an armchair athlete so when "11 rings" asks us to be patient with the team, guess what? i'm going to be patient.

GO LAKERS & IN BUSS WE TRUST!

Sean,

you wrote: LO is not a great 3-pt shooter. What does moving him to the perimeter get
us?

Huh?

Over his career, obviously yes, he isn't a great downtown threat. He's shooting practically 40% this year from downtown, that's a plus. Not to mention, he's only taken 50 attempts from long distance, so, he's being very discriminate about what kind of shots he takes. I have no problem with letting Lamar shoot from downtown, he's streaky, yes, but this year shows he won't blow his brains out from the 3 line. I have no qualms about Lamar's shot selection.

my response: http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/o/odomla01.html

36%

I posted a similar reference to fisher. He's shooting 40%.

The purpose of my statement regarding LO is that playing him at the PG
position forces him to shoot perimeter shots. This is not his strong
suit. He's done his best work as a PF when rebounding & driving. I think
if you put him into a position where he's supposed to shoot more long
distance, he will and he will revert to his historical averages.

CyberCosmix,

interesting post.

you wrote: Rebounding? He will have to crash the boards. I suspect that in such a lineup L.O. will find himself in the post a lot, the Lakers will have a lot of bodies getting rebounds and such, less of the perimeter game that Fish brings.

my response: I don't agree with you. The reason is this: No one has shown
me a real hunger for rebounding except for LO. Consider this: Bynum is
the tallest Laker, right? So how come he's not averaging 10 rebounds?
Yes, Pau is averaging 10 rebounds per game. [ last year ] I don't want to beat
a dead horse, and we've done that a lot. The game records do *not* show that
Bynum is a good/great rebounder. How do *I* classify a good/great
rebounder? 10+ rebounds per game. Regardless of who you play with. I'll
give you that Bynum has a lot to worry about in terms of being in traffic. two
bad knee injuries and what happened in high school. *Still*. The point is not
to make excuses, but to be factual. The facts show that in the last 3 years
he's only averaged 10 rebounds once. His scoring has gone up 1+ pts per year.
His rebounding has not.

you also wrote: Drew deserves some time to work his way back into shape and into the starting lineup again before assessing how he's doing, 16 minutes off the bench is not enough to gauge yet.

my response: Would you be honest and tell me/us if you're biased towards
Bynum? No, I don't mean to be a jerk, so please don't take it that way. I
ask this question because I don't think the same sort of leniency was granted
to Sasha or Luke nor do I think the same sort of measured response was
granted to UPS or Ariza.

Allow me to speak candidly, but hopefully not harshly. I think that if we
had another 7-ftr on the team who weighed 250 lbs and had something remotely
similar to a game, everyone would be banging on the table for this guy to
get playing time. to be candid: *I* have been a fickle fan at times &
completely unmerciful to a number of Lakers. Most of them in the past
possibly a couple on this team. if *I* have been this way, it's fairly certain
that others have been this way also. So, looking at my past crimes against
the state, I ask you in all honesty ... are you biased?

you also wrote: Side point is, I wish the Lakers would have considered trading Sasha's expiring contract for a young PG rather than merely using it to salary-dump.

my response: I care less about youth and more about talent/skill. To be
honest ... I wouldn't have minded giving Sasha more time at pg. He had
size. He was reasonably quick. He could shoot. I like the idea of developing
players. I think it's a good thing to have dead-eye shooters in the stable.
We don't have that anymore.

Btw, I don't disagree with your offensive analysis of LO. I just think that
it's been proven not to be championship play. i.e. "Defense wins
championships". No, I don't mean to be a parrot about this. I honestly
believe this based on everything I've seen & read. Specifically after
losing to the Pistons, Celtics and watching the Spurs.

LRob,

1st. Thanks for the background on your competitiveness.

2nd. you wrote: 3. As far as Pau not enjoying mixing it up. That is no secret. You know it, Kenyon Martin knows it, Doc knows it, and everyone in the league knows it. Pau NEVER has liked the physical part of the game and NEVER will. He started the season playing great but has been playing subpar lately. The Clippers game, home vs. Pacers and Bucks, and at Houston were very poor. That being said, when playing PF Pau skills more than compensate for his lack of physicality. At that point it doesn’t matter what the other coaches “know” it’s a matter of trying to stop it and I don’t think they can.

4. I agree Pau needs to play better for the Lakers to win. But Kobe, Artest, Fish and Blake also need to play better. Maybe, your suggestion of putting him on the bench would motivate him to play better and if that's PJ's decision I'm all good with it. He's with those guys 9 months out of a year. So he should have a good feel for what motivates each player.

But the way I see it…there’s a couple of other guys I would bench before Pau. I say ride it out a few more weeks…the reinforcements are coming!

my response: As I understand it, there are only two players that you could
bench instead/before Pau: Fisher & Artest. Here's the thing though ...

In my opinion, both of those players are trying harder than Pau is. We've
been talking about Fisher's shooting for 2 years now? In an earlier post,
I made the comment: It's not about the talent, it's about the effort. W/o
Pau we're not winning. [ assume Kobe is there. ]

re: riding it out. We are currently 5 games back of 1st, currently tied for
3rd and in danger of slipping to fifth. If you're going to apply the Celtics
line from last year to this year's Lakers ... go ahead. I'm going to tell you
that it's not going to work because a number of teams have re-tooled.
The Spurs & the Mavs are no joke!

LakerTom,

Are you enjoying the sunset? 5:15 pm on Monday ...

anyhow, you wrote: Interesting article about West. I remember reading that, too. While I do like the cliché that defense wins, it really is an oversimplification because how you play on offense always affects how you play on defense, especially when the offense turns the ball over or takes early long jumpers that ignite opposing teams offenses. I know we disagree on this but Drew and I think almost every NBA player plays better defensively when they are doing well offensively.
...
As for what Lamar can contribute from the point guard position versus what we are getting right now from Fish is better attacking of the rim, better outside shooting (if Lamar continues to hit from outside as well as he has so far this year), better defense because I think Lamar’s length can really allow him to play off the super quick point guards (and I do agree with you that it takes team defense to shut these guys down), and the ability to post up and destroy every other point guard in the league. We would never see a 5’-5” nemesis torch us again like the Bucks.
...
Anyway, that’s it on these subjects from me. I will let you have the last word. Happy New Year.

ok. Taking the last word ...

re: Lamar & Fisher. Fisher is doing better from 3-pt land per recorded games.
If you have a better site than basketball-reference.com for stats please
share.

re: how offense affects defense. my response: Dennis Rodman, Bulls.
Bruce Bowen, Spurs. Ben Wallace, Pistons. These guys did great on
defense, sucked/stank/mediocre on offense and yet won championships.
If people aren't trying on defense because they're offense sucks ... they
need a new coach. Perhaps you're referring to people's intangible emotional
aspect. I can't address that. I know that when I'm sparring and someone
is faster than me ... I don't stop protecting myself because I can't punch
him as often as I'd like. Doing the dirty work is actually how you get to
play when you aren't as talented as others.


re: the cliche. I agree with you that it is an oversimplification. That doesn't
change the fact that it's true. Example: If Bynum tried to get every
offensive rebound possible ... He'd average over 10 offensive rebounds
per game, 5 put backs & he's averaging a double-double, he'd be an all-star
and some of our close wins/losses would have been clear wins because
he would have stopped the other team from getting 5 fast breaks. If he
averaged 20 rebounds per game the Lakers would win going away and no one
would ever mention him in a trade scenario again.

you wrote: better defense because I think Lamar’s length can really allow him to play off the super quick point guards

my response: I believe this to be a false statement. Your comment indicates
that the other team is running a half court offense. I'm telling you that that's
not what they did when the tall unit was in there. Furthermore, over the
last two years two types of teams that the Lakers have had problems with
are those who play great defense and those who run the court. If Lamar
can't run down LBJ he's certainly not running down Westbrook.

Finally you're ignoring the automatic sol'n to this. Kobe at pg fixes all of this.
We have historical proof what Kobe can do with a fast pg. LO can't do it.
This is the *EXACT* same argument/conversation I had with KB Blitz and
LO at SF. A tandem of Kobe & UPS at the guard spots works much
better defensively than Kobe & LO at the guard spots.

@LAKERJ… I actually think there is a lot to lose by benching Derek Fisher and that Phil has been very wise about making changes to his starting lineups. Fisher is such a key part of this team’s locker room that you are only going to send him to the bench once. We forget this is a 5-time champion. I will always remember Fish’s response to Kimmel joking if he was checking if he still had his testicles when he went to the locker room during the Finals. Derek replied that he was just checking to make sure they were as big as they were before. Anyway, despite periods of excellent play, Phil resisted putting Farmar into the starting lineup as he will likely do with Blake. The earliest possible move of Derek to the bench in my opinion would be during the next offseason IF we could get a better option. And as my virtual attorney always contends, I do defer to Phil when it comes to handling players.
……………………………….
@FRMKT.. I agree that Pau is a major problem right now, especially with Fish and Ron tanking it. That’s too many bad cylinders for any vehicle to keep moving efficiently. It screws up the timing and results in frustrating losses. Just switching Pau and Lamar at the 4 and 5 is not going to solve anything because it is still the same players with the same matchups. If you watch the games, Phil always tries to match up Pau and Lamar against every team to give us the best opportunity to win. He doesn’t care who is the 4 or 5. It’s who Pau or Lamar play best at. Unfortunately, the guys who give Pau headaches are usually bigger and heavier centers, which are the same group of big men who give Lamar trouble. Remember how Big Baby punished Lamar? How the hell is he going to guard Shaq. The NBA is an entirely different world than FIBA, where the wider key and other rules make it easier for a versatile mobile big man like Lamar to have success. With due respect because I always like your posts even if we do not agree completely, there is no way Lamar can play center in the NBA. Period.
…………………..

TOM


@FRMKT.. To be perfectly fair, I think part of your desire to have Lamar play center is to have somebody who will challenge shots, which is certainly not Pau Gasol at this point in time. Pau is a guy who is never in foul trouble, which should really tell you all you want to know about his defense. The only guy who could defend the rim without fouling out was the Great Wilt Chamberlain. I think Pau has coasted starting with summer and prefers not to try and block shots because he does not want to have to go to the bench and sit. That’s the primary reason for his matador defense, which is a shame because when the guy goes all out, he can block some shots and really help defend the rim.

Anyway, I know you are a Bynum doubter but I think that it has become very obvious that this team needs Andrew Bynum to be healthy and dominant if they are going to repeat. Next to Kobe Bryant, he has become the second most important player for the Lakers to have healthy and ready if they are going to three-peat. And yeah, that’s pretty scary considering Drew’s injury luck the last few years. But there is no sense worrying about what we cannot control and the die is cast for this team so let’s all just keep our virtual fingers crossed and hope that Kobe stays Kobe, Drew stays healthy, Lamar continues to have a career year, and Pau, Ron, and Fish somehow put it together to help the team.
…………………..

TOM

Hey Laker Nation,
I feel very disgusted at the trend taking place and the stupidity of Phil Jackson. Starting my rant is the lack of use of MBenga and subsequent release and the downgrade of Ratliff is beyond belief. Mbenga is no savior but he knew the system and his place in it and was a perfect fit for the team. But PJ lost us that fit with his stupid ego. I was the first to say Mbenga was better than Ratliff but got a lot of negativity for that including MM.

Now I see time and time again the same refrain especially in the third quarter, "the players not moving and have tired legs and have dead feet stuck to the floor". Duh PJ burns then out by not using the deepest bench in basketball. When Sasha was here and Devin Ebanks still with parent team they are energy guys who could have come in and change the momentum to energy for the Lakers.

Ebanks sent down to D'League because PJ does not like rookies. What a idiot. PJ is. Look at what he is depriving the A team of;

"NEW YORK, Dec. 27, 2010 - Los Angeles Lakers forward Devin Ebanks was assigned to the Bakersfield Jam, the Lakers' NBA Development League affiliate, it was announced today. The assignment marks the 22nd time in the 2010-11 season an NBA player has been assigned to an NBA D-League affiliate, and it is the first assignment for Ebanks, a rookie out of West Virginia.
Ebanks (6-9, 215) has appeared in 12 games this season for the Lakers, averaging 2.9 points and 1.5 rebounds in 6.4 minutes. In the 2010 NBA Summer League, Ebanks was second on the Lakers in scoring, averaging 15.0 points in five games."

Second in scoring in 5 games!!! I think that would help the Lakers. I'm sure his overall numbers would be better with more time. PJ may leave at years end and I say good riddance and hire a coach who plays for now but does not sacrafice the future by burning out our stars and not developing the up and coming.

@LakerT...
my solution is only temporary until bynum can return as a starter for the sole purpose of preserving whatever we have left of pau. this is all about saving pau becuase he is wearing down faster with each & every game. i don't expect to win more games with the switch, in fact, we'll continue losing to the elite teams...for now. but to break down our players to the t-wolves, bucks and pacers of the league, then we might want to consider focusing on getting healthier and preserving whatever health we have remaining for the remainder of the 1st half of the season. JMHO


@FRMKT.. Understood. Regardless, I don’t think it could hurt and it’s a lot less dramatic than staying the course and working with what you’ve got. After all, they ARE two-time defending champs.
And Phil IS the expert while the rest of us are just smart passionate amateurs with opinions. :-)
…………………..

TOM

Wow ... lost part of the last post in transition. LOL
...............................
@FRMKT.. Understood. Regardless, I don’t think it could hurt and it’s a lot less dramatic than trading or demoting players in an overreaction. The best plan is probably staying the course and working with what you’ve got. After all, they ARE two-time defending champs. And Phil IS the expert while the rest of us are just smart passionate amateurs with quick trigger opinions. :-)
…………………..

TOM

@LakerT...
i'm with you: i am not about to doubt "11 rings" on anything he does. as i've posted before, i'm one heck of an armchair athlete :-)

11 rings should have been 13 rings at least by now if not for his stupidity. PS Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas.

It's going to take more than "feistiness" to beat the Spurs.
They'll need to make their long jumpers because they still can't go down inside to Gasol to beat a zone defense, the Spurs are going to clog the lane and basket.
Most teams play zone against the Lakers, and double or triple Kobe. Forcing him to take difficult shots or long jumpers, or pass it to the outside. if they make the outside shots they'll soften the zone otherwise is off to the races for the Spurs.
Blake, so far other than a few games at the start of the season, is shooting terribly, other than Kobe and Brown, the Laker guards are shooting under 10 points a game.
On the defensive end, both Parker and Paul are going to beat down Fisher, specially on back to back games. Brown should play more.
Without Bynum, the only teams the Lakers can beat right now are teams like the sixers, nets, and the bottom feeders. They'll even have trouble beating the clippers. Bynum has got to play more minutes, sit down Artest and Fisher.

@JUSTALAKERFAN… 13 rings? That was funny. While I get frustrated as anybody with Phil’s substitutions and rotations as well as in game adjustments, the one thing you and pfunk have to give Phil credit for is managing people. The NBA is not like college or other basketball leagues. It’s trying to manage a corps of incredibly rich, unreasonably young, and unfortunately over pampered athletes who all think they should be paid more and play more minutes. That’s why he gets $10M per year. So while I’ll gripe about timeouts and pulling hot shooters, I truly do respect and defer to Phil on getting players to do the right thing and play the right way. In the end, I am sure he will right the ship.
……………………………………….
TOM

hope they were "feistier" today than they were at the practice after the loss to the bucks. because obviously they weren't feisty enough for the heat 3 days later.

As much as I hate to watch the Lakers lose, especially to Miami on Christmas Day, the sky isn't falling folks. At this time last year, the Lakers were 24-6, just a difference of 3 games in the loss column. Also, every year we go through the same issue with the team playing lax b-bal and dropping a few silly games, at which time we all panic and try to trade everyone, especially "old" Fish, only to praise him when he hits the clutch 3's to save our butts in the playoffs.

Time to relax folks! Let's be glad these guys understand they need to step it up. Our Lakers will get it together! Barring any injuries to our key players, we'll be right where we've been in the past 3 years, The Finals!!

Blah blah blah until they show a "feisty" attitude in actual games I will not believe in them to win it all. Most of them, with the exception of Kobe (as always), LO, and Fish, seem to care less. I don't know what has happened to Pau's defence??? Its like could you atleast bother to put a body on Bosh! Over rated was beating him what the heck!!! Bynum has an excuse, he just returned! Even then, you would think that seeing Kobe and his messed up fingers and knee would inspire them a little. But nooo!!! Being lazzyyyy!!!

EastCoastJessie said "As much as I hate to watch the Lakers lose, especially to Miami on Christmas Day, the sky isn't falling folks. At this time last year, the Lakers were 24-6, just a difference of 3 games in the loss column. Also, every year we go through the same issue with the team playing lax b-bal and dropping a few silly games, at which time we all panic and try to trade everyone, especially "old" Fish, only to praise him when he hits the clutch 3's to save our butts in the playoffs.

Time to relax folks! Let's be glad these guys understand they need to step it up. Our Lakers will get it together! Barring any injuries to our key players, we'll be right where we've been in the past 3 years, The Finals!!"

Jessie, this is absolutely 100% correct, and finally someone actually "gets" it. It's so tiring to read everyone bashing on the Lakers when they aren't playing well for periods. Folks, it happens every single year, we hit a rough patch, things don't look positive at all, but we always seem to right the ship before June. Yet every year so many "fans" bitch & moan, want to break up the team, make ridiculous trade scenarios, and call the Lakers just about every name in the book. Settle down, stay calm, look at the big picture, and keep the faith. We WILL get things right and be dominant come June.

A true Lakers fan will understand the air of frustration. The same thing that makes this Lakers team great is the same thing that drives a true Lakers fan nuts and terribly disappointed. That thing is their propensity to turn it on and off, which seems to happen at the right time at least in te last three years. However, one will find it hard not to question this team's sense of pride as far as losing back to back games in their homecourt and in front of their fans who pay a premium to see them play. They just give you the perception that they do not care. I have been a true and long-time Lakers fan and will always be. Nonetheless, I will not hesitate to say that such lackadaisical and complacent attitudes are not something we saw on Jordan and the dominating Chicago Bulls.


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