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Lakers vs. New Jersey: Lakers defeat Nets with strong finish in fourth

Lakers1_300Lakers 99, Nets 92 (final)

Kobe Bryant had 32 points and six assists to lead the Lakers past the Nets.

Lamar Odom had 22 points and seven rebounds and Pau Gasol finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

The Lakers were even with the Nets at 87-87 in the fourth, but pulled out the win behind Odom and Bryant.

Bryant found Gasol for a dunk and then Odom for a dunk.

Derek Fisher also found Odom for a three-pointer that gave the Lakers a 95-87 lead that sealed the decision.

Lakers 69, Nets 67 (end of third quarter)

At the start of the third, Kobe Bryant scored to give the Lakers a 12-point lead.

It looked as if L.A. would then take control of the game, but that was not the case. The Lakers were clinging to a two-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

Bryant had 11 of his 18 points through three quarters in the third.

But Pau Gasol had just two points in the third and Ron Artest continued to struggle with his offense, scoring just two points through three.

Artest was one for six.

Lakers 52, Nets 42 (end of first half)

The Lakers extend their lead in the second quarter by playing better and more sound basketball.

The Lakers didn't shoot very well in the first  half, making only 43.9% of their shots, but they had just two turnovers.

Pau Gasol scored all seven of his first-half points in the second quarter.

Lakers 30, Nets 24 (end of first quarter)

The Lakers didn't get off to a good start, going down 7-0 to the lowly New Jersey Nets.

But L.A. finished the first quarter strong, opening a six-point lead and dropping 30 points on the Nets.

Lamar Odom led the Lakers with 12 points in the first quarter.

Pregame

By the time the Lakers got off their bus and got into the locker room and Coach Phil Jackson was giving his pre-game media session, it was 8:45 a.m. in Los Angeles.

The tipoff to the game against New Jersey was scheduled for 10 a.m. SoCal time.

That's awfully early for the Lakers.

"We like all the day games," Jackson said. "I mean, the coaching staff does. All the players were asleep on the bus on the way over here."

The Lakers also were going to face a former teammate in Nets point guard Jordan Farmar.

Farmar spent four seasons with the Lakers before he signed a three-year, $12-million deal with the Nets last summer.

-- Broderick Turner, reporting from East Rutherford, N.J.

Photo: Lakers center Pau Gasol goes to work in the post against Nets center Brook Lopez in the first half Sunday. Credit: Justin Lane / EPA

 
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Gasol...I mean Gasoft is worse than Chris Bosh

Gasol does not look good and we all know why. 45 mpg is way too much for him. Wilt used to have 48 mpg, but Wilt was a beast, strong as a bull.

Gasol is a power forward being asked to play center for 45 min.

Ask Kevin Garnett. That was no Gasoft in the finals.

And Brook Lopez is among the top 10 centers in the league, maybe even top 5.

So when do the Lakers start looking like a championship team again? Is that "switch" not being flipped until April?

Well that was an unwatchable practice game other than one other good thing moving forward: Kobe Bryant can still take over games. So here are the little tidbits we get as the team continues to struggle over the past 4 games (3-1).

1) Wizards- fending off a team that comes back on us.
2) Clippers- coming back in the last minutes of a game and winning on the final possession at the buzzer.
3) Chicago- Eastern Conference MMA cage match defense.
4) Nets- playing like garbage, but knowing we still have Kobe Bryant to will us to victory.

The offensive woes are the least of our "problems." The four aforementioned tidbits are things that this team is notorious for in the playoffs and it continues to channel its inner champion mentality in one way or the other when need be. It's too early for any need to put it all together right now anyway, but it is good to know that the muscle memory is still there. This is the practice season in full force and effect, folks! 3-1 with a lot of complacency, yet reaching into the champion arsenal grab bag to somehow pull out 3 of 4.

1-2-3 RING! #17 coming up STRONG!!

So when do the Lakers start looking like a championship team again? Is that "switch" not being flipped until April?

Posted by: Bay to LA | December 12, 2010 at 01:10 PM
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When did they flip it last season?

KobeMVP, you have a real gift in sugarcoating an undesirable situation.

"When did they flip it last season?

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | December 12, 2010 at 01:23 PM "

I don't think they did. Cleveland was the only team anyone was saying was better than LA and they didn't play them.

@Ron Artest is Living off his name - Grow Up Please! not interested in your childish banter..

KobeMVP, you have a real gift in sugarcoating an undesirable situation.

Posted by: Bay to LA | December 12, 2010 at 01:24 PM
======

What am I sugar coating? It's mid-December. The Lakers are 17-7. If you want to see the glass half empty with leaks, that's your prerogative but it ignores history. No NBA team can boast 3 trips to the NBA Finals in the past 3 seasons, including back-to-back championships. Gasol is playing tired, but help is on the way. Meanwhile, Shannon Brown is vastly improved, Kobe is still healing from his knee surgery, Bynum hasn't played one minute yet and will come back healthy, our bench is upgraded and we're 17-7.

If you read my post at 01:12 PM, please tell me ONE thing in there that isn't true. I don't deny that the team is NOT playing well and certainly not up to its capabilities. My post implies that as well. I did refer to the game today as "unwatchable, didn't I? No, I don't like watching them play like this, but I won't allow myself fall into to a trap that something is incurably wrong with this team. No sir, this is a battle tested, championship group of players who are in the first leg of a marathon. I am not sugar coating a damn thing, but you sure are dousing reality with some distasteful pessimism.

By the way, you didn't answer my question.

We'll be fine, but we won't have home court in the finals.

"When did they flip it last season?

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | December 12, 2010 at 01:23 PM "

I don't think they did. Cleveland was the only team anyone was saying was better than LA and they didn't play them.

Posted by: Bay to LA | December 12, 2010 at 01:39 PM
====

I'm sorry, you did answer it. You have GOT to be kidding me!

You certainly have a selective memory about last season. The Lakers played like they are playing right now for the better part of the second half of the season, going 5-6 down the stretch. THEN THEY WON A CHAMPIONSHIP! Should I repeat that for you? Unbelievable.

Out of curiosity, what team do you root for? It certainly isn't the Lakers with a comment like that. In sports, sometimes it is just as enjoyable to root against a team you hate as it is to root for a team you love. I believe that you are doing the former.

It is now a truism on this blog: whenever the Lakers show any vulnerability the haters, masquerading as Lakers; fans, come out of wherever they've been hiding, and show up on the blog.
Decades of rooting for the Lakers has given me a certain amount of immunity from the fakers but it irks me that they get in the way of the true fans who may wish to discuss the Lakers woes or triumphs in our special little corner of Laker fandom.
I am only mildly concerned about the Lakers sub-par play of late, that is by our standards, but I could sure do without the maliciousness and the mean-spiritedness.
I know MM won't censor these fakers, so I will have to seek my solidarity elsewhere, or until such time the Lakers can shut up the trolls with their play.

Sure there are concerns, (Ron-Ron in particular),but I prefer to focus on other issues today.

While Kobe gets his legs back from off-season surgery, LO has been amazing. We all knew LO had these skills and could fill it up antime he wanted.
Keep it coming LO!

Also the pricision passing amongst LO, Kobe, and Pau has been a treat to watch. Sure the Lakers have been underperforming for several reasons, but they are in every game. Finally seeing Kobe drive during the regular season is a treat.

My question, is how should the Lakers reintegrate Bynum? I think he should spend a month or 2 coming in the 1st and 3rd quarters at the 6 minute mark, spending time with the second string, getting feeds from Blake and finishing. Sure it will be great to see Bynum finishing at the rim, but I also want to see more of the passing between LO, Pau and Kobe...

LO is playing at an all-star level, he needs to stay with the starters, perhaps at the 3 if necessary (and there is no opposing bruiser stud at the 3)

What line-ups do the Laker fans envision for the integration of Bynum?

What line-ups do the Laker fans envision for the integration of Bynum?

Posted by: taino |
===========

I would be surprised if Bynum comes off the bench. PJ has already stated that he doesn't want Bynum to warm up then cool off on the bench when the game starts and that Bynum will play with the starters.

I think the number of minutes he gets is probably a 'play it by ear' kinda thing in the beginning. They will monitor how well he is playing and his stamina and adjust the minutes accordingly.

Bynum has a lot of experience playing with this group of starters, Pau, Kobe, Fish and Ron, so he should be able to fit in pretty quickly.

Having him come in with the reserves would be more challenging, Bynum hasn't played with Blake, Barnes at all. They will need some time to mesh.

Even if he only plays half of each quarter, that will make a huge difference in the rotations and especially Pau's minutes.

Actually, I am excited for his return so we can see just what we have here in a complete team.

My man Fisher is still playing too much, more Blake, a little less Fisher, we will be alright

Tom in the desert

TY God, that should settle things.

Artest should play off the bench when Bynum returns, the same for Fisher, Shannon Brown should start, let Kobe play the point.
Fisher is doing too many commercials, and Artest is in need of some more therapy.

I think Barnes should start in place of Ron.

Artest has given us next to nothing on the offensive end. Although he has had some success on the defensive end, I think Barnes could make a better percentage of his wide open looks. I think even I could right now.

Also, if Ron were to play with the bench, he could be featured on the box and be give n the ball where he can be more effective. This way, he can get his confidence back on his shot by getting more free throw attempts.

Maybe Phil thinks that it would be be too much of a blow to Ron's psyche if he were demoted to the bench. I don't look at it that way, I think that it would help both Ron and the team.

Artest is tired. Instead of resting during the off season he was all over the place. He should be given 2 weeks off to rest.

mclyne

I see your point, but you can bet that the only change to the starting lineup will be AB for LO when Bynum returns. I think Ron-Ron just needs a few more visits to his psychiatrist or maybe he should just bring her (him?) on the road with him. Or Shin Shin! He 's in no rhythm right now, but it's early.

What a weird year. In the past couple of seasons, it's always been a question of the lack of bench support. This year, our bench is vastly improved, but the starters have shown signs of struggle due to the following:

1) Bynum's injury
2) Pau forced into heavy minutes, because of Bynum's injury
3) Theo Ratliff getting injured, also probably an indirect result of Bynum's injury (i.e., too many minutes for old and injury-prone Ratliff)
4) Caracter getting injured, leaving us with the rare problem of lack of quality bigs
5) Artest looking lost again, though worse now than last year (lower FG pct., 3pt FG pct.)
6) Kobe kind of erratic

I'm least concerned about #6. I'm also pleased with what I've seen in Odom and Fisher, and for the first time since '02 I feel excited when our bench comes in (thanks to new acquisitions Barnes & Blake). But a lot is riding on Bynum. We need him healthy and slowly working his way back in (where have we heard this before?), to give Pau and others a chance to rest and/or get healthy.

Our size, once again, will be crucial in the playoffs, when games are decided in the trenches. Especially since we can't count on home court advantage with the way San Antonio, Dallas, and Boston are playing.

I think Barnes should start in place of Ron.

Artest has given us next to nothing on the offensive end. Although he has had some success on the defensive end, I think Barnes could make a better percentage of his wide open looks. I think even I could right now.

Also, if Ron were to play with the bench, he could be featured on the box and be give n the ball where he can be more effective. This way, he can get his confidence back on his shot by getting more free throw attempts.

Maybe Phil thinks that it would be be too much of a blow to Ron's psyche if he were demoted to the bench. I don't look at it that way, I think that it would help both Ron and the team.

Posted by: mclyne | December 12, 2010 at 04:12 PM
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Disagree.


Ron's offense is near zero, I agree...but his D is pretty good, and we all know, Defense wins championships.


Besides, if Ron comes from the bench, the best player from the other team will probably not be on the hardwood, so why having Ron?


In order for Ron to get his shot back, I prescribe the old recipe: Pratice

If Bynum just needs practice time but is otherwise ready to go, they should bring him off the bench against Washington for limited minutes. Then he can start in Indiana.

They don't need an effective Bynum against the Wizards but they do need him to be at least somewhat effective against Hibbert, otherwise they'll probably lose to the Pacers again.

And if he's not ready to go, prepare for another squeaker of a win Tues and a loss with a completely overmatched Gasol on Wed...

There's no way Socks will come off the bench. Or Ron for that matter. It's not even in the conversation with PJ and the coaching staff, per their own words.


I'm hoping tomorrow's practice will leave Drew feeling good and raring to go. We absolutely need him back asap. The caveat of course being if he's 100%. I'm ok if we have to wait longer. I don't particularly like it, but I'm ok with it. I'll take a few more losses now versus him re-injuring himself and be out for the end of the season. Then we'll be screwed because I don't think Pau can take an entire season of getting pushed around like he has been, and for so many minutes too. Not unless something changes - not sure what, just something. Maybe he's not getting his vitamins. Or not eating his Wheaties. Maybe it's GF trouble or a family issue. I don't know. But I don't like it. That said, I think a healthy Drew is the primary answer to what's ailing this team. Well, that and a healthier Kobe!


I'm still impressed with our bench, even if they've been struggling a bit lately. I don't worry at all when they come in. Not like in years past when it was a butt cringe from the moment they entered the game LOL! They'll gell and get their mojo on. Have no fear - they ARE the Killer B's.


LOL @ Ron. He said he was looking forward to meeting Obama cuz he's never met a president before..... ummmm Ron?? Didn't you meet Clinton?? LOL!!!

I don't know about this, it is very alarming. NJ is terrible and the Lakers squeeked by today. For the first quarter of the season they have had the softest schedule of any team in the league and are barely hanging onto the three seed in the west. Without Home Court Advantage they can't win another title, if they don't have it the west they may not get past the second round.

You just don't get 20 more free throws than your opponent like in game 7 last year, including 15-2 more free throws in the final six minutes to put you over the top of your opponent if you are the road team.

Lakers must improve, get HCA or it will be a long summer.......

Kobe was classic and Phil played him every minute in the 4th. Ron Ron should be told to stop all long shots. Playing close to the basket will take advantage of his skills.
SassPro

I don't know about this, it is very alarming......

Posted by: Jolly Joe | December 12, 2010 at 05:17 PM
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ROFLMFAO!!!

888 - Joe's not sounding all that jolly....

888 - Joe's not sounding all that jolly....

Posted by: justanothermambafan | December 12, 2010 at 05:34 PM
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Agree!


Ron Ron should be told to stop all long shots. Playing close to the basket will take advantage of his skills.
SassPro

Posted by: Tony Sassi | December 12, 2010 at 05:25 PM
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I think PJ already told Ron to minimize his shots, you can see Ron's trying to pass 1st.

JJ is very concerned.

I think game 7 in Boston last year would have gone the other way; the Lakers would not have got 37 free throws while Boston got 17; HCA was critical then. Another alarm: Boston is better than last year. Lakers must turn this around and now, schedule is getting tougher; although every year they do get a favorable schedule from the NBA, soft first 25 games and a couple of challenging road trips that they can zero in on. Thanks David.

No need to push the panic button...don't do it...we got this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyl5DlrsU90

woulda, coulda, shoulda, i'm glad for the win. i hope Andrew is ready and that there are no more major injuries this or next year.

It's only the first quarter of the season and people are worried about HCA? You don't want to peak too early.

Before the season (before last season, as a matter of fact), I predicted that the Lakers would mostly play like crap this year, the fans would be frustrated out of their minds, but the Lakers would probably win the championship in the end, because they still have more talent than any other team.

Does this make me a troll?

It can't be much fun watching this, can it?

In the yahoo sports recap of the game today, both Kobe and Lamar say that the Lakers are playing badly. Does this make them trolls too?

Anyone who thinks this is going to change just because Andrew Bynum comes back probably wasn't paying atention last season. The Lakers have proven that they can play like crap with or without Bynum.

I think game 7 in Boston last year would have gone the other way....

Posted by: Jolly Joe | December 12, 2010 at 05:42 PM
=====

Really? Can you give us your insight as to how Games 1,2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 would have gone, too?

jimjoyce - You would have enjoyed being a Cavs fan last year. They played pretty good all season - even ended up with the best record. Then what happened? Right - the Lakers who played 'crappy' according to you, won the chip. Maybe this year you could be a Heat fan.... or a Spurs fan .... or a Dallas fan.... or a Celtic fan..... whoever you think will play great ball all year. I'll stick with the Lakers. They might be playing crappy right now, but let's talk in June. Sound good?

Coming up for air from a soon-to-be-slowing-down shift, although the atmosphere seems a little acrid in here.

Home-court advantage is huge in the playoffs, we all know that. The Lakers have plenty of time to challenge for the top record in the NBA, particuarly if Andrew Bynum comes back healthy and resilient. I'll take 7-foot of shot-blocking, paint-clogging, shot-altering and rebound-gobbling ability any day. Especially someone as athletic as Bynum, whose offensive game is still developing.

Hopefully Bynum makes a better recovery than Oden. I still like the Lakers' chances this season, particularly with as well as Lamar Odom has been playing. Something tells me he won't fade into the background with Bynum's return as he's done in the past.

I probably won't be able to get a post up before the end of the day, but I will have one waiting for you in the morning.

Back to work I go . . .

I would rather have a successful playoffs with a shaky regular season...then vice versa...

I still think we will end up with 58-62 wins...

Of course if we win 60 or more...you know what happens...

But I have learned to accept our boys habit of uninspired games, which was so frustrating before...

It's part of this team's make up...you should by now...know how to deal with it...

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!!

We have not played as uninspired as this in the first quarter of the season, the last 3 years. This is very concerning.

Boston is playing awesome right now. Let's not talk about how we probably get away with more moving screens than any other team in the NBA. I'm a little worried, though, because once the playoffs are here, our opponents seem to play a little tougher, and we have a really hard time beating the Lakers. And forget about getting a call, once the playoffs come, the refs don't let us play as dirty as we want, and the other teams get 20 free throws more than us in the 4th quarter because we are a bunch of punks. Jeepers, I think every Boston fan should be worried about the playoffs. Oh ya, it's December... Thanks for the memories Jolly!

“I don't know about this, it is very alarming. NJ is terrible and the Lakers squeeked by today. For the first quarter of the season they have had the softest schedule of any team in the league and are barely hanging onto the three seed in the west. Without Home Court Advantage they can't win another title, if they don't have it the west they may not get past the second round.”
Posted by: Jolly Joe | December 12, 2010 at 05:17 PM

Aint that the truth! An honest Laker fan. How refreshing! You make some excellent points, Jolly. Please do, continue...

“You just don't get 20 more free throws than your opponent like in game 7 last year, including 15-2 more free throws in the final six minutes to put you over the top of your opponent if you are the road team. Lakers must improve, get HCA or it will be a long summer.......”

Amen, but I wouldn’t "lose too much sleep over it".
(Phil knows what he's talking about).
Just getting to the finals will be the big task.
Once there, the league will do all it can to make you the victor.
You, after all, are the Los Angeles Lakers!
That’s how rings are won...and counting.
(Of course, I'm simply telling you what fans of almost every other team in the league have known for years)

And yet, Laker fans are so proud of ‘their’ accomplishments.

But please, let not your hearts be troubled. Rest assurred.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpPCKn9ZX3w&feature=related

Go Kings!

Sonnybelfast

Whatever else happened today, you cannot take away the joy ofnseeing Jordan Farmar in a different uniform.

justanother: It seems you've missed my point.

I predicted last year that BOTH (i) the Lakers would play like crap during the year and frustrate their fans, and (ii) the Lakers would win the championship anyway, because their roster is by far the most talented in the NBA.

And I've predicted the same for this year.

My point is not "who will win the championship," but rather, "doesn't it feel like crap that your team doesn't respect its fans enough to play hard more than 10 or 15 games during the season."

Yes, it will feel great to win another championship, but surely there's nothing that prevents a championship team from playing well during the regular season?

And, as a fan, doesn't it make you not want to watch the regular season games, knowing that your team is playing poorly, and they really don't care about their fans at all?

I mean, shouldn't the journey be at least somewhat enjoyable too? Shouldn't your team care about your feelings, at least a little?

The Lakers should have signed a big man when Ratliff went down early in the season. The biggest reason the Lakers signed him was to fill some playing time when our big men get injuries. The Lakers really dont need him when all of the Lakers bigs are healthy. The Lakers desperately needed him when Bynum was out with injury, but he was not available. So the Lakers should have signed someone immeidately. When Bynum comes back they really dont need Ratliff anyway.

Home-court advantage is huge in the playoffs, we all know that.

Posted by: Dan Loumena | December 12, 2010 at 06:24 PM
=====

WRONG! It's preferable, but NOT essential. Winning Game 1 is HUGE, where Phil Jackson's record is 48-0 in playoff series. HUGE is a mild exaggeration. If it was so HUGE, we would have faced the Cavs or the Magic in the NBA Finals in June. Instead, we faced the Celtics, who did NOT have HCA against either team, but they won because they were the BETTER team. In 2001, with Tim Duncan in his prime, we swept the Spurs in the WCF. In 1969, Jack Kent Cooke put balloons in the rafters at the Forum, but the Celtics won Game 7 . How about the Pistons in 2004? What about the Heat in 2006?

So while I agree that HCA is PREFERABLE, it is NOT essential. What IS important is to be HEALTHY and to be the BEST team playing its BEST basketball at the right time, something these Lakers are more than capable of. NBA history, even in recent years, has proven that HCA is nice to have, but not HUGE.

Kindly remove me from the Royal "We" category. I will take a 4th seed or better and HEALTH with this thrice championship tested team.

We .....

Posted by: keen observer | December 12, 2010 at 06:50 PM

====

LMAO!!

My bad, KobeMVP888, it is a mild exaggeration and I mispoke in the collective.

I believe home-court advantage is huge in the Western Conference. I don't have time to research, but how many fifth seeds or lower have made the WCF? And won a title? I know the Rockets did it once.

And the Western Conference is much more competitive this season than I suspected it would be. Now, the Spurs and Mavericks have plenty of time to fall back into the pack, and the Lakers have plenty of time to catch both. But I'm thinking every team out West will be pushing extremely hard to get a top-three seeding.

Lots of interesting comments here. And openly expressing concern about the Lakers' continued poor and uninspired play does not make one a troll. So carry on. Here's my take on a number of the comments expressed earlier.

1) Barnes is the single most important addition to the Lakers this year. His obvious commitment to playing full-bore, high energy, all the time is exactly what the team needs to see. And in my view, he's right where he should be coming off the bench and then later with the closing unit. I don't agree that he should start in place of Artest. We need his energy to juice th runs by the rest of the Killer Bees.

2) Artest is being badly misused on offense. He's not a spot-up shooter. Placing him on the perimeter for 3s is a mistake, even though he hit a few crucial ones in last year's playoffs. He's a muscle guy and would be much more effective isolated on the box or aggressively driving his guy on a give and go past Pau. Once he's around the bucket, his quick hands would also help snatch lot of loose balls.

3) The single biggest reason for our poor play and our losses to mediocre teams the last few weeks is the uncharacteristic funk Pau has been in. And I'm a huge Pau fan normally. His shooting is the worst it's been since he arrived. His defense is non-existent, and particularly on penetrating guards waltzing in for layups. And don't talk to me about rebounds. SFs are going over him to snatch balls out of his hands. I pointed out some time ago that other teams seem to have noticed that he depends on having space to initiate his moves to the basket and to take his jump shot. He doesn't like being crowded, so now every team is smothering and hammering him every time he touches the ball. Kobe (since Pau repects him) needs to pull him aside and convince him he needs to stop whining and start dishing out some serious punishment or dish the ball on set cuts more often.

And for the record, yeah, I'm with those who think they will indeed get it together by the playoffs.

Dan

Who is talking about fifth or lower? I'm talking fourth or higher, but #1 isn't essential, especially with this championship tested team who is STILL the class of the West assuming Bynum, Gasol and LO are relatively healthy. I take fourth or higher as a given with the Lakers. It never even entered my mind that they could possibly finish lower than that. As soon as Bynum returns, everyone else's 15 minutes are up.

Aha, KobeMVP888, I was not making that fourth-or-higher assumption at the moment or in this debate.

Although I do agree with you that Andrew's return will be a big boost, and before he and Theo Ratliff were injured I certainly slotted the Lakers in at No. 1 in the WC. Particularly when a handful of primary challengers (Nuggets, Jazz, Blazers) were already deadling with injuries to big men before the season started and the Spurs and Mavericks reshuffled their rosters.

Carry on, for at the moment I appear to be the wayward son, or old man as years would have it.

[Bryant] could arguably be 1. In some polls, he'll be 2," [Avery Johnson] the Nets coach said yesterday about the players he has seen since he entered the NBA in 1988. "He could be 1-A and Jordan can be 1-B or Jordan, some polls they'll be flipped.

"Fortunately I had a chance to play against both of them and now played and coached against Kobe. And boy, sometimes they're looking like the same player."
====

That's what I've be saying. They ARE the same player.


@CORNERJ… Swish from the corner. Excellent post. I agree with everything y0u posted, including your faith that the Lakers will get it together when it counts…

I just love what Matt Barnes brings to this team. I loved him at UCLA, especially his hustle and game in the paint, but lost faith in him as he bounced from team to team. His constant movement without the ball is perfect for the Triangle Offense. His passing and quick jump rebounding are superb and just what the bench needs. Once Drew returns, LO and the Killer B’s will be the NBA’s best bench.

As for Ron, I’m perplexed as to what is going on. Remember in spring how it looked like he had his quickness on defense and stroke back. Then it just seemed to disappear. Nevertheless, you cannot discount Ron’s value on defense and making the Lakers a tougher team. The guy gets his hands on so many balls that his value cannot be underestimated. I expect Ron to get his act together on offense.

As for Pau, the problem is exactly what you stated. The league has gotten better, especially the West, with everybody bulking and bullying up to be able to bang with the Lakers. Unfortunately, this makes it even tougher for Pau to play the 5. His problems will be solved once Drew returns and he can revert to his natural power forward position. Having to bang every game is just not Pau’s style. It’s Drew’s.
…………………………………………..
TOM

I have predicted 7-7 record for the remainder of this year

Game Prediction : New Jersey----- First look at Jordan Farmar, Jordy is averaging 10.4 points but shooting a putrid 38% from the field. NJ should not pose a problem but the Lakers tend to play down to the level of their competition.
Result: Lakers win in a tough contest.

Next: Washington played LA tough at home, look for them to return the favor this time

Fri 03 vs Sacramento........WIN/win......1-0
Tue 07 vs Washington......WIN/win......2-0
Wed 08 @ LA Clippers......LOSS/win.....3-0 (2-1)
Fri 10 @ Chicago...............LOSS/loss....3-1 (3-1)
Sun 12 @ New Jersey........WIN/win.....4-1 (4-1)
Tue 14 @ Washington......LOSS
Wed 15 @ Indiana............LOSS
Fri 17 @ Philadelphia.......WIN
Sun 19 @ Toronto............WIN
Tue 21 vs Milwaukee........WIN
Sat 25 vs Miami................LOSS
Tue 28 @ San Antonio......LOSS
Wed 29 @ New Orleans....LOSS
Fri 31 vs Philadelphia.......WIN


RECORD JANUARY FIRST 20-13
Posted by: Nostradamus

Nostra - accounting error: your prediction side of it should read 3-2 at this moment, not 4-1.

Tue 14 @ Washington......WIN
Wed 15 @ Indiana............WIN
Fri 17 @ Philadelphia.......WIN
Sun 19 @ Toronto............WIN
Tue 21 vs Milwaukee........WIN
Sat 25 vs Miami................WIN
Tue 28 @ San Antonio......WIN
Wed 29 @ New Orleans....WIN
Fri 31 vs Philadelphia.......WIN

We'll be fine, but we won't have home court in the finals.

Posted by: God | December 12, 2010 at 01:51 PM
-
That's not what I asked you!!!!!

Ron Artest is not the first Laker mercenary whose offensive game was snuffed out by PJ's triangle.

Gary Payton. Karl Malone. Glen Rice.

"No, we don't adjust the system to our players' strengths and weaknesses. We just don't do that."

63

No it's correct the parentheses is my record to date
upper case is my prediction
lower case is actual result
the only game missed is the Clipper game

63
and if it wasn't for that Clipper sinking ship in the last minute

I'd be perfect.

If Fisher and Artest would retire the Lakers would be instantly better. Neither one should even be on the court anymore !!!!

Nostra - it was confusing because it was right next to the Lakers actual record of 4-1.

Nostra, if you didn't know the Clips were gonna fold, you'll never be perfect. :)

Laker Tom, you're like my long-lost twin when it comes to Lakers observations. Always enjoy your insightful and wise posts.

You take a lot of hits from some of our more brash blog-brothers on the subject of Bynum, and you do so with uncommon grace and reasoned responses. All I can say on that subject is that once he returns, we can share a quiet cyber toast to each other's belief in his impact on Pau's effectiveness and the team's ascendancy. That moment is almost here.

Jim Joyce, Dan Louema [ sp ? ] & others,

no ... y'all aren't hallucinating.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=301212017

snippet:

"We have to muster up the energy and muster up the motivation to play every night," Bryant said. "I'm [annoyed] about it. We're not doing a good job of doing it. Today, we read the defense and made the right plays."

unlike the Bynum fan club who only rely upon number that support their
view: i.e. we've won the last two championships.

Kobe is not happy/content with the way the Lakers are playing.

re: Bynum makes everything better.

We'll see. I'd be happy to be wrong.

Here's what the facts are, vs. interpretation of the facts:

The Spurs & the Mavericks are playing better than they did last year.
Everyone has bulked up to deal with the Lakers.


Bynum's fan club will tell you that Bynum's return fixes everything. I hope
they're right. Here's what's observable. Pau played C in the NBA for years
and didn't play as poorly as he's playing right now. Artest cant' shoot for
*&^% right now.

We haven't played the Mavs at home nor have we played the Spurs at home.
If Pau continues to play this way, without HCA we probably won't win. I
hope he picks it up. Some people will say that I'm playing Chicken Little.
I would counter with: Pride comes before a fall. Better to be cautious and win
then be an arrogant snot, [ KobeMVP888 & LakerTom & Staples 24 I'm talking
about you ] and lose.


12/25 & 12/28 will be nice litmus tests. No they don't guarantee anything,
but it sill be nice to watch.

CornerJ, your post about Pau's somewhat inexplicable physical slump, as much as I hate to admit it, was spot on - nice job. I gotta think that Bynum's imminent return will not only physically take the pressure off of Gasol in the low post, but will also lifts his spirits a bit as he seems literally beaten down by the constant abuse down low.
Bynum and Gasol - brothers in arms.

Guys, it is a long way to go before the playoffs start. Sitting on pins and needles with every missed shot or loss is a waste of energy. There are so many things that can happen in the next 4 months, just relax and enjoy the ride. Teams that are hot cool off, teams that are cold get hot, injuries have a big impact. Considering we have a brand new bench, our starting and backup center out, our all world player coming off knee surgery, and we are cruising along at 60% with a 17-7 record is pretty good. I know we have a high standard but let's just pray for health and PJ will pull it all together by playoff time.

S Perkins,

Dude, get a life.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!

KobeMVP888, I didn't mean sugarcoating in a bad way. I'm just saying that while I see a game like today as somewhat concerning, you just look at the fact that they closed it out in the end and use that to feel comfortable that they'll be able to close out the same way against the opponents in May and June. I'm not throwing away the last 3 years, I just know that New Jersey isn't someone they'll be facing in the playoffs and I'd rather see this game over before the 4th quarter starts.

As far as the flip switching, I wasn't concerned about the Lakers finish last year. Those games really did mean nothing since they had already clinched home court in the west and really didn't have any hope of catching Cleveland in the East. Bynum wasn't playing at all, Kobe was healing up and sat out several games, that was a time when they really were just coasting to the playoffs.

Going into the playoffs, the Lakers were heavily favored against the Thunder, Jazz, and Suns because they were beating them all season.

The Spurs & the Mavericks are playing better than they did last year. Everyone has bulked up to deal with the Lakers.

Posted by: hobbitmage | December 12, 2010 at 10:29 PM
-------------------
Hobbit - you're right the Spurs and Mavs will be tougher matchups for the Lakers this year.

The biggest difference in this years Spurs team is they're playing at a faster pace, scoring more (107pts vs 101pts last yr), and RJ is playing much better (15pts/46%3pt) vs (12pts/32%3pt) . Gone are offense killers Bogans and Mason. Plus, SA is healthier than they've been in awhile.


Dallas is doing it with defense this year. Holding opponents to 93pts/43%fg vs. 99pts/46%fg last year. Tyson Chandler is a big upgrade over Dampier.


In a playoff series I think the Spurs quickness could pose more problems than Dallas size. Plus, Duncan, Ginobli and Parker are proven winners while none of the Mavs have scaled the mountain.


Like you I'm looking forward to the SA matchup on 12/28 and Dallas matchup on 1/19. However, I can't see either of them beating a healthy Laker team 4 times in May/June.


I do agree that the Lakers won't win if Pau continues to play like he has the last 8 games (40% fg). He's a career 52% shooter and even higher with the Lakers. At 30yrs old Pau is in his prime. There's no rhyme or reason for his dropoff so I believe he'll return to his normal production level.


Very good Kobe just like I suggested you are showing more vocal leadership. Do not accept mediocrity from your teammates. For the persons who think the regular season are misguided as best. Last season I believed Cleveland could have beaten Boston if LeBron didn't quit. Riley, LeBron and DWade plotted joining forces years ago. If LeBron had won the chip last year how could he possibly sign with Miami. Whereas he rather sacrifice the chance of 1 chip with the lure as he put it of winning 6 or 7. Lakers have to get in gear. People are saying LA is the most talented team. This maybe true but the most talent doesn't always win. Anyone remember the Portland team of the 90s LA faced on the way to the 1st chip of the Shaq/Kobe era? Portland was by far the more talented team. Just to name a few players they had Pippen, Damon Stoudermire, Schremp, Greg Anthony off the bench, Augmon etc etc. They were literally 10 deep. LA had Kobe/Shaq and won. But now LA must establish dominance in the regular season to have these talented teams doubting themselves. If they are confident they can actually beat LA.

jimjoyce,
umm filled out ya questionnaire ...

[Yes, it will feel great to win another championship, but surely there's nothing that prevents a championship team from playing well during the regular season?]
17-7 ain't bad. Championships is what we do in LA. We don't put up regular season banners. Even back in the Shaq days, the regular season has always been a roller coaster ride. Blame it on PJs technique of letting them figure it out even if it costs us wins, but I ain't complaining so long as the man keeps giving us rings. In the words of Jon K, what do we play for? Rings!!

[And, as a fan, doesn't it make you not want to watch the regular season games, knowing that your team is playing poorly, and they really don't care about their fans at all?]
U sure you're a lakers fan? Cuz if you are then you'll know there's one thing you can bank on win or lose. Kobe's showing up and he's doing everything he can to win. So when you feel like they don't care, look at their captain's body language. He cares and they follow his lead, just takes a while for everyone to find their roles.

[I mean, shouldn't the journey be at least somewhat enjoyable too? Shouldn't your team care about your feelings, at least a little?]
Ha ... the journey ... one of PJs favorite phrases ... that's what it's all about dude. The guys on the court ain't perfect. Kobe's game is anything but perfect (just go check with all the critics that hate his shooting %) ...

The journey is unfolding right before our eyes ... Gasol starts out the season carrying a heavy load with mvp type expectations, the new guys make an immediate impact, the defense looks shaky, kobe fails to close out some games, PJ pops off about Miami and they start winning games, Bynum's anticipated return ... etc etc

I cannot tell you which road purple and gold will take next, will we show up in Miami, or will they overwhelm us? ... But I can tell you that come june, we'll have figured it all out ... and we'll be busy defending our crown ... this is what we do ... enjoy the ride to the championship yo ... and feel free to %$$^ when it gets bumpy ... but understand its just part of the journey of being a laker fan ... goes right along with suggesting anyone not named kobe be traded ... at the end of the day ... you'll be smiling in june, popping off about how the rest of d league ain't got nothing on us

I love watching this team ... win or lose

jimjoyce,
umm filled out ya questionnaire ...

[Yes, it will feel great to win another championship, but surely there's nothing that prevents a championship team from playing well during the regular season?]
17-7 ain't bad. Championships is what we do in LA. We don't put up regular season banners. Even back in the Shaq days, the regular season has always been a roller coaster ride. Blame it on PJs technique of letting them figure it out even if it costs us wins, but I ain't complaining so long as the man keeps giving us rings. In the words of Jon K, what do we play for? Rings!!

[And, as a fan, doesn't it make you not want to watch the regular season games, knowing that your team is playing poorly, and they really don't care about their fans at all?]
U sure you're a lakers fan? Cuz if you are then you'll know there's one thing you can bank on win or lose. Kobe's showing up and he's doing everything he can to win. So when you feel like they don't care, look at their captain's body language. He cares and they follow his lead, just takes a while for everyone to find their roles.

[I mean, shouldn't the journey be at least somewhat enjoyable too? Shouldn't your team care about your feelings, at least a little?]
Ha ... the journey ... one of PJs favorite phrases ... that's what it's all about dude. The guys on the court ain't perfect. Kobe's game is anything but perfect (just go check with all the critics that hate his shooting %) ...

The journey is unfolding right before our eyes ... Gasol starts out the season carrying a heavy load with mvp type expectations, the new guys make an immediate impact, the defense looks shaky, kobe fails to close out some games, PJ pops off about Miami and they start winning games, Bynum's anticipated return ... etc etc

I cannot tell you which road purple and gold will take next, will we show up in Miami, or will they overwhelm us? ... But I can tell you that come june, we'll have figured it all out ... and we'll be busy defending our crown ... this is what we do ... enjoy the ride to the championship yo ... and feel free to %$$^ when it gets bumpy ... but understand its just part of the journey of being a laker fan ... goes right along with suggesting anyone not named kobe be traded ... at the end of the day ... you'll be smiling in june, popping off about how the rest of d league ain't got nothing on us

I love watching this team ... win or lose

Old Phil boy is playing games with Gasol. First he is hiding the fact that Bynum is ready, but he doesn't want to use him till January or February. That way he assures himself that Bynum will be healthy at the end of the season. But, he has to use Gasol 45 mins a game, wearing him to the bone. After abusing Gasol, Phil boy then declares the refs are picking on Gasol, and wants some type of leniency or favors from the refs in the future games. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. That mouth off may backfire, in fact. Now, he has no choice but to bring Bynum back and hopefully will not break down until after the playoffs. That won't happen either. Bynum will have another knee tear and that will be that. It's looking dimmer and dimmer for this team. Doesn't matter. Phil boy will retire next year and make his $20 mil, he don't care.

"jimjoyce - You would have enjoyed being a Cavs fan last year. They played pretty good all season - even ended up with the best record. Then what happened? Right - the Lakers who played 'crappy' according to you, won the chip. Maybe this year you could be a Heat fan.... or a Spurs fan .... or a Dallas fan.... or a Celtic fan..... whoever you think will play great ball all year. I'll stick with the Lakers. They might be playing crappy right now, but let's talk in June. Sound good?

Posted by: justanothermambafan | December 12, 2010 at 06:07 PM"

Tell 'em, Justa!

Hello all, haven't been on the blog in a looooooong time. Been a lot going on and now that things have calmed down a bit, I'm posting. I missed you guys!

It's been really ugly out there. I have been truly shocked at the bad d, the bad o, and everything in between. So, so ugly. That first quarter in Chi town made me scream "THAT'S MY TEAM!! I KNOW THOSE GUYS!!!" and then it was an ugly fest. Oy.

My take is Pau is playing wayyyy too many minutes. They're really missing Drew right now, mainly for the relief he gives Pau, but as a defensive presence, too. Something weird with the chemistry, too. There's a definite hesitancy that wasn't there when the season started.

But in spite of all that, there are all the pieces for a great season ahead. Everyone said from the beginning that IF this team could stay healthy there would be no problem repeating. Well - we've had those injuries and to players in the same position, putting a ton of strain on the bigs. Once things get back to normal there we'll get it rolling again. My concern is not having home court advantage against Spurs/C's.

I'm predicting we finish out the road trip with no more losses. It might be ugly basketball and it might be painful to watch, but I think we'll see W's.

GO LAKERS!!!!

Gasol is doing pretty well considering the amount of minutes he is playing.

that was one hell of a good game , like last time i saw jordan playing the dunking , he is totally can be seen in this game nothing can stop them to achive what they have think of because their games are just rocked.


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