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Sizing up the importance of home-court advantage

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With the Lakers appearing in dire straits, Coach Phil Jackson stood in the hallway of AT&T Arena arguing that it's too early to evaluate how the current disarray would affect playoff seedings.

The Lakers (21-10) have played 31 regular-season games and have 51 more to go. Early-season records aren't always an accurate indicator on how things will turn out. And the Lakers have experienced plenty of regular-season struggles in the past three seasons only to turn things around and secure NBA Finals berths.

"I think the players understand that it's a long process and the idea is to come into the playoffs in the best shape you can come in as a team," Jackson told reporters. "Now, maybe we're not capable of coming in as well as we'd like to, but you want to have home-court advantage in the first round and get your game going in a situation that's a playoff for you. We're still 50 games away from that kind of a scenario. It's a long ways to go."

Fair enough. It's way too early to add the qualifier that if the playoffs ended today, the Lakers would play as a fourth seed against Oklahoma City (21-11), setting themselves up for a possible semifinals matchup with San Antonio and a conference finals series with Dallas (24-6) or Utah (21-10). And that's assuming the Lakers advance that far. But it isn't too early to outline how important the Lakers should weigh home-court advantage. After all, Jackson's revelation to reporters prior to the Lakers' 97-82 loss Tuesday at San Antonio that he'd like the team to at least have home-court advantage for the first round falls well short of the team's expectations in wanting to win out the Western Conference.

Below, I explain why it's critical that the Lakers have home-court advantage.

One only has to look at the Lakers' past three playoff performances to know how important having home-court advantage is. The Lakers managed to overcome a 3-2 deficit to the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals by winning Game 6 and Game 7 on their home floor. That included overcoming a 13-point deficit in Game 7 before a partisan crowd at Staples Center.

Go back to the 2008 NBA Finals and you have the Lakers trying to overcome a 3-2 deficit, only to suffer an embarrassing and series-closing 131-92 Game 6 loss. Obviously the makeup of both those teams was different, what with the Lakers having Ron Artest and Andrew Bynum proving at least healthy enough to play. But having the seventh and deciding game at Staples Center certainly helped the Lakers' cause. Without discounting Artest's Game 7 heroics, Kobe Bryant's ability to compensate on the glass after suffering a poor shooting night, and clutch shots from Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher and Sasha Vujacic, I remain unsure about the Lakers' chances to replicate what they did that night at Staples Center in TD Garden for one simple reason. What made the Lakers-Celtics Finals matchup compelling was that it  was hard to predict whether a pattern in a specific game would carry over because both teams countered each other's strengths so well. In a series that was defined by both squads trying to take advantage of any slight edge, overcoming a 13-point deficit in front of a contentious Boston crowd wouldn't be impossible, but it would be darn near close to that.

The Lakers didn't experience such an issue in the 2009 Finals, breezing past the Orlando Magic in five games. But what about the semifinals? They needed all of seven games to put away a pesky and relentless Houston team that was missing Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming. That's not to say the Lakers would've lost Game 7 in Houston, but it would have been much more difficult.

Some may counter that Cleveland's early playoff exits the past two seasons after holding the league's best record shows the idea of having home-court advantage is misguided. I understand that sentiment, and it's a reason why I argued that the Lakers shouldn't pursue breaking the Chicago Bulls' 72-win regular season record set in the 1995-96 season (hey, if the Lakers win out the rest of the season, they'll at least tie it!). The Lakers also shouldn't remain fixated on the conference standings so much as playing good basketball, since it could create a mindset that losing a home playoff game means they already lost the series. They had lost home-court advantage, after all, in playoff matchups in 2009 against Houston and Denver only to reclaim it back with a road victory. 

But the Lakers' significant downplaying of games and bored approach hasn't helped them so far this season. Acknowledging that having home-court advantage would provide a dangled carrot to a team that's struggling to get excited for midseason games, no matter the opponent. And if playoff history means anything, as detailed recently by ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky, having home-court advantage will help offset any additional postseason challenges. The Lakers are currently seeing firsthand how difficult it is to three-peat. No use making it harder than it already is. 

-- Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

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

Photo: Kobe Bryant and his Lakers teammates begin to celebrate their 83-79 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the NBA Finals at Staples Center. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

 
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Home court was critical in the Boston series. No home court, and it would have been much harder to take it all.

MM, in your opinion, what's the genesis of this funk?

****Repost*****

@Cyber – Thanks for providing a nice summary. As far as CWebb goes I don’t consider him anti-Lakers.

@Art – I agree everyone should post their opinion. I appreciate the variety.

@Mamba/Justa/mclyne – Last time I checked the juke box was working!


Okay so the Lakers are going through a rough patch. So they question for them and us fans is “Can We Stand the Rain”

Lyrics…
On a perfect day I know that I can count on you.
When that’s not possible, tell me can you weather the storm?

New Edition….Can You Stand the Rain

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7flrKMGfwjw

(The newpaper article in the video is classic....New Edition….Have they lost it?) Same question is being asked of the Lakers


Posted by: LRob | December 29, 2010 at 12:39 PM

longtimelakerslover - The Lakers became too confident with their early season success. The first chink came when Pau started getting tired because of Bynum's and Theo's absence. Then the team's outside shooting started to decrease. Then the Lakers became frustrated with it all and tried taking shortcuts. Add in a little dose of complacency and you have a team wondering what's going on. If there is a good thing coming out of this, the Lakers are starting to try and it seems like the team is owning more responsibility. But they need to talk these issues out. It seems like their dialogue is just with the media and not each other.

Doesn't home court mean exactly that? HOME. "There is no place like home" they say, but some want to dismiss it. Let us not forget that basketball is also a business. Having one extra game at home also means more revenue. Something every franchise appreciates, I'm sure. It also means that your fans get to watch and support their team one extra game in a seven game series, and that you get to start your playoff series at HOME. Because at the end....home is where the heart is. GO LAKERS!

I thought we had two of the best in the business with #2 and #15, but this guy definitely beats them hands down.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHS_kVp3tAk

I didn't think HCA was as important for this particular team, being that they were battle tested and whatnot. I'm starting to think that was wrong. Sometimes we think we'll never see the sun again when it's cloudy, the season is 82 games. The problem is that this team simply hasn't looked *on* save for a couple of games all season.

I'm confident they will turn it around, but how much longer can they continue to struggle before Phil does something to try and stem the tide?

Popovich is a brilliant coach, no doubt. I am confident that the Lakers can beat the Spurs if they actually show up ready to play, the Lakers nullify their strengths very well, match up well. Heck, the Lakers had a merely decent first half but were leading. As MM describes, it will make for a tougher road, and it will be important to have HC in a Finals matchup - likely with the putrid greens.

- - -

LRob: Yeah, C-Webb seems to be pretty impartial, if anything is more pro-Lakers than others there. Smitty and 3D Dennis Scott are great analysts too. So is David Aldridge, on The Beat yesterday asked if these losses meant the Lakers were not that good this year, he didn't hesitate to say no. They are a proven, championship team.

I can't stand McFail though, he is so irritating! LOL


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

It may sound trite and cliche-ish, but the Lakers just need to concentrate on one game at a time. Forget about seedings and HCA. Do whatever it takes to win tonight in Nawlins. The big picture is made up of a thousand brushstrokes. Start righting the ship tonight.

Really excited about the return of Bynum!! but really upset about the lost last night. Shannon Brown (mr. most improve player of the year) started off hot out the gates and now he cant find the bottom of the net. And Matt Barnes (mr. perfect game) cant find his shot either. Blake has been struggeling all year with his shot, despite a few games. It seems like the killer bees have lost their sting!!! Hopefoly we can borrow the Hornets sting tonight!!!

MM, regarding your assessment on the main causes of the slide, I side with those who pointed out, in effect, that bad habits repeated often tend to become ingrained, and then are extremely difficult to eliminate even after everyone realizes it's happening. The Lakers have fallen into some very bad habits, including: unbelievably lazy & telegraphed passes, over-dribbling, no team movement, flat-footed "rebounding" that allows 6'-7" guys to snatch balls from our 7-footers, no challenging or hammering of penetrating guards who waltz in for layups, very slow or non-existent covers of wide open perimeter shooters, no regular practices with all starters present, etc., etc.

These would be catastrophic flaws, even taken individually, for any other team. The fact that the Lakers have managed to somehow scratch out a 21-10 record with ALL of these bad habits repeated in EVERY game they've played only emphasizes how much talent they have squandered in such a lazy, overconfident start.

The blog regulars here LOVE this team and its history of excellence. I hope you can convey that to the team, the coaches, and Laker officials. Even if our team loses, all we want to see is a re-commitment to that excellence...and that means getting rid of these unbelievably bad habits and getting back to fundamentals and a passion for winning again.

OK LRob , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iz7FUsyrCkM _ Win or Lose _ Earth Wind & Fireeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Yeah, back to LA (just got from the airport):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVzDtQYod34


@LRob
New Edition….Can You Stand the Rain

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7flrKMGfwjw

(The newpaper article in the video is classic....New Edition….Have they lost it?) Same question is being asked of the Lakers

Posted by: LRob | December 29, 2010 at 12:48 PM
-
AWESOME!
What Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis did on this entire album was simply remarkable. Great shot, LRob.


Regarding HCA, I think is a plus. Important? Well, every single thing, when it comes to NBA playoffs, is important, especially when both teams are as good as the other. But last season the thing went to 7 games most because of the refs, IMO. With all due respect to the Celts, the refs dragged the thing to 7 games with their "weird" calls. The Celts did a very good job, I must say...but it could have been 5-6 games. Their win at Staples was legit, btw. But other games were not called properly, IMHO.


Not saying HCA is NOT important, justa saying is NOT THAT important. If you deserve the ring, you must not rely on HCA.


Cheers.

CornerJ: Well said. Repeated bad-habits begin to get ingrained. This is what we're seeing, a very talented team going through the motions, practicing some very bad habits.

I don't blame Kobe for taking shots if no one else is playing with passion. Fish should go Scola on someone, Pau could establish good position and call for a pass, Ron Ron could step inside the perimeter, set some picks, knock some bodies around.

For a while they couldn't buy a basket, there are always going to be games like that. DeJuan Blair goes skating through the lane getting lucky-bounces his way, putting up MJ-like reverse layups, jumping into passing lanes. Yes, he is very underrated and pretty good, but like Stu says about the team, don't let role players have their best games against you.

Lack of energy is the biggest thing. They can't skimp on that, every team has them circled and highlighted on their calendars, they are everyone's biggest game of the year. The opposition will 'bring it' every night - they better start bringing it too...


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Before thinking of HCA, let's take care first of the business tonight. When you're stuck at the airport, don't make any travel plans in other places, be concerned on how to get to your destination.

The malady is still within this team, I say get back to the habit of winning.

No worries LakerTom if that is what you prefer. You are the prime mover in the attacks so you also expect retaliations. that's where we get into problems in this blog when u claim that u have the superior opinions. All opinions should be equal may it be negative or positive, we will never know whose opinion would be the correct one until the event or measure has passed and done.

@Art... “Voicing criticism does not make one less of a fan.” I agree with that statement 100% but overreacting and proposing to trade key players, fire all the assistant coaches, or bench half the starters DOES in my opinion make one less of a fan or at the very least a less intelligent fan. I wouldn’t put them in the same category as the new names and haters that seem to pop out of the woodwork after every tough loss but it does show a true lack of understanding of the nature of the long NBA season or what this championship team has accomplished the last two years.
..........................
@NUGGETS COUNTRY... I do agree with you about the officiating. In my mind, the problem is that Kobe and Pau have alienated most of the NBA officials with their constant complaining and griping after every possession, with the result that every questionable call is going against them. NBA officials are only human. Our guys need to just STFU and play ball. And keep the ball and players moving. The lack of foul calls has turned Kobe into an ogre and Pau into a dweeb. As someone suggested, time to reboot and return to playing Lakers team oriented basketball.
........................
@BRONX... “Tonight would be a good night for Andrew to get his first start of the year.” Exactly what I have been thinking. Drew played 21 minutes last night and still is not in full condition as indicated by his troubles at the free throw line. But when he was in the game, we definitely had more of an inside out game on offense and much better interior defense. I also agree that Kobe needs to get off the pinch post, especially when he has a very tough defender. It’s almost as if Kobe does NOT want to take easy shots. We need to move the ball better.
.........................
@CCX... Loved your summary post, Mike. I also agree with you about Stu. In fact, I’ve often postulated that if the Lakers were to look for assistant coaching prospects from the Lakers broadcasting crew ala how we got Riles that Stu would be an excellent choice. The guy really knows basketball and understands what this team needs to do to win. He is a great analyst. Hey, great idea to run a play for Kobe just as long as it is not another isolation play. LOL.
.........................
TOM

Laker Fans Everywhere: HCA is simply that - an advantage and no championship team should have to depend on it to win. It's nice to have but it isn't necessary. That's why you play hard all season so you can have HCA, but during the season should a team trip and fall, then the only thing that matters is getting into the playoffs where ANTYHING can happen.

Some of you know how I feel about Bynum but he's on the team and it matters to me that he produces. He looked darn good last night and from my vantage point - which is admittedly weak - he's ready for more minutes. He has to play more minutes. When I see him down low with his arms stretched waiting for the inside pass, I get excited because I know the team will be getting a high percentage shot. It will be interesting to see how Bynum fares in this 2nd of the back-back game against the Hornets tonight.

When I see Kobe going into "jack-a-rama" mode I know that he's telling his teammates that they "stink" and since the team's gonna lose, he will do it himself knowing that the best effort was exerted from his position on the floor. This was a message and an attempt to anger his teammates to make them demand the ball in order to get back to that ball movement that we saw earlier during their winning streak.

Kobe isn't an idiot. That was a mind game and he had PJ's blessing. Don't expect Coach to tell you or I through the media everything that's going on in that locker room.

My point is this: it's DECEMBER folks and there is still plenty of time to fix EVERYTHING that is wrong with this team. I prefer having all of these problems in DECEMBER rather than March, April or beyond.

I have only one concern: Bynum's ability to remain healthy for the remainder of the season. He is the reason we had a tremendous season last year and in my opinion, was the de facto reason why we had HCA in the conference playoffs. In short, the team's success hinges on Andrew Bynum or another player that can competently play that position. NO CENTER spells doom for our team which is why I insist on waiting for after the trade deadline which will initiate the 2nd half of the season.

As much as we love Kobe, so far this season, he's no Jordan. We need an inside presence offensively and defensively to have a crack on the teams in the west and the defensive animals on the east.

And Finally and I do mean "Finally", I dedicate this to....Yes, Yes, Yes! The Fabulous Justanothermambafan...I Love You Justa!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0PfG_J3bGM - Side By Side - Earth Wind & Fireeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

We don't need to beat the deadhorse of the Boston series anymore- Yes, we had home court advantage, and that was only when we beat them in their barn. This team has clinched series in Utah, Denver, San Antonio, Phoenix, Orlando, Oklahoma City [by a tip].

Just my opinion, there's a long way to go yet, I'm not thinking about seedings, it's about the team playing together. When this team plays together, they are the most complete, most versatile. I've seen them win it all, as a 1st seed, 2nd seed, 3rd seed. I know it's arbitrary where they are in the standings, it's where they are as a team.

Tonight New Orleans, there's a mismatch in the mix, Who do the Hornets put on Ron: Chris Paul or Belinelli, either one, needs to be exploited, so the bigs and Kobe, can get separation from Trevor.

For the record I don't understand the comparisons between Kobe and Michael.

The player Kobe should be compared to is Larry Bird. There's more similarities between Kobe and Larry, than to Michael or Magic.

I agree with Phil with one caveat. I think the Lakers need to at least get a #3 seed to get out of the 4-5 matchup. I think they need at least one "easy" round.


I expect the top 5 seeds to be (in no particular order) LA, Dal, SA, Utah and OKC. Thus, I would want to avoid playing any of those teams in the first round.

For the record I don't understand the comparisons between Kobe and Michael.

The player Kobe should be compared to is Larry Bird. There's more similarities between Kobe and Larry, than to Michael or Magic.

Posted by: Sean | December 29, 2010 at 01:49 PM

______________

For my post, I was using the comparison based on position - shooting guard.

@Mark G – The Clash….perfect! The Lakers have def been beat up…but aren’t down for the count.

@no mo – Nice Classic with St. James Infirmary. Many greats have done that one. Hopefully the Lakers will get off their sick bed tonight

@Laker Tom – Only thing I’ve heard on Harbaugh is Talk Radio opinions. Michigan fans are clamoring for him, but Harbaugh’s camp has been mum.

@Nuggets Country – You’re right about Portland announcer Mike Rice being a homer. I gave Dan Lou a hard time about that homer when MM was on vacation.

@Mamba – EWF. Good stuff….yes we’re all wondering :-)

@Magia32 – very funny.

@MagicPhil – I agree about Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam. Very good writers…Great producers!

"Dude...I never though I see the day when Mamba get PUNKED that's right PUNKED by a SCRUB. George Hill, who the HELL is this dude? I guess he figure if you play one, I'll treat you like one. It's one thing the Wade and the KING PUNK him, now everyone going to do it."


Posted by: G.Money | December 29, 2010 at 07:18 AM

THANKS MARK MEDINA FOR TELLING THE TRUTH!

The problems pointed to the top at Bryant, who with words demanded excellence but with actions displayed selfishness.

"If I was playing, I probably wouldn't pass him the ball the next time," Jackson told reporters.


ALL I CAN SAY IS "PRICELESS"

and this is my dedication to the fabulous justanothermambafan:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hi_4GT35yc

Ignore the Trolls young lady :-)

I'll repeat.

BOTH of the Jordan led Bulls 3peat teams had similar records to what the Lakers have at this point in the season (21-10 once, 22-9 the other time).

And NEITHER of those teams had HCA for the finals.

Good point, LRob, although, when their is only eight teams, the percentages are you'll see at least two of those teams you mentioned if you advance through the tournament, no matter what seed you are.

And while I respect Utah and a Jerry Sloan coached team, they're success, this year is a product of his system, which is a detriment when you have to deal with the size, length and veteran presence we have.

Oklahoma is coming, there's no question here, if we did play them, this time it would be a 7 game series. Ibaka has taken steps to be all around better, they need Harden to be more consistent/efficient throughout the year, before, they can go somewhere.

I like Dallas, a lot, they have the length to match us, they have a decent bench, I just don't think they can take Artest's, Barnes, Bynum in the trenches, Dallas has a good mix, except for that gully toughness you need in May.

San Antonio, they're hot right now, it's hard to judge them thus far, there's still a lot of kinks in that team, they haven't show their underbelly. Injuries aside, Lakers are the better squad, in a 7 game series, with a gun to my head, I'd still take Kobe and Co.

Said my piece, I'm out, love to everyone out there, let's celebrate the win tonight, with modesty.

I'll repeat.

BOTH of the Jordan led Bulls 3peat teams had similar records to what the Lakers have at this point in the season (21-10 once, 22-9 the other time).

And NEITHER of those teams had HCA for the finals.

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | December 29, 2010 at 02:03 PM

______________

Yes and that's a wrap!

I'm not giving up though! The thing being a Laker and Yankee fan is that we expect to win it all every year. It's actually difficult to win one, let alone several. Ask Stockton, Barkley, Ewing, and Malone. I'm not giving up though!

LongTimeLakerFan,

They also had a much younger, much more active coach back then.
That makes a big difference.

no mo,

Awaiting for your response from my post at 12:35pm....don't leave me hanging.


FYI...there's no contradiction in saying Shannon's is a subpar ball handler, subpar for feel for the game and still feeling his positives out weight those negatives....thus being happy with his production.


Also for further clarification...I mentioned those things about Shannon when others were suggesting that Kobe shoot less and Pau get tougher. I was illustrating that Kobe is what he is, Pau is what he is and Shannon is what he is!


To say Shannon is a scrub is a very poor assessment of his game. And I don't think you would fine many others on this blog or other NBA analyst that would agree.


Hello Nation...I've been swamped trying to get everything before year ends...1 post and run...

Yes, I have concerns...but still have faith in my team...

We have 51 games left in the season...plenty of time to get back to Lakerball...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcnqzi1a0yo

@LROB... On another note, what are you hearing about Jim Harbaugh. Word out of San Francisco is that the Niners are going to promote Trent Baalke to general manager and that he might be a package deal with Harbaugh to take over as head coach for the Niners. Worked out pretty good for the Niners last time they signed a rookie head coach from Stanford.
.........................
TOM

LakerTom: "Hey, great idea to run a play for Kobe just as long as it is not another isolation play. LOL."
-
Wait! You mean 1-on-5 isn't a called play? They sure our running it enough though! lol...

How about going back to an inside-out game as was mandated during the Shaq years? Our bigs are all nice passers, it will open up the perimeter. We've become too predictable.

I'm all with bronx too, give Drew the start! Not ready my behind, he is ready. The fact is the Lakers had both perimeter defense and low-post scoring when he was in the game. They just looked better, they flowed better with him in the game. Missed free-throws - so what? He has traditionally hit them very well for a man his size, no worse than those missed Kobe jumpers.

- - -

frmkt: Loved your post, you are so right about the Lakers needing interior presence, going back to an in-out game. At least we can all take solace in the fact the Lakers have not looked themselves. I'm sure that opposing teams are noting the same, they have caught the Lakers in a lull. Everything can be fixed, and brighter days will come, lets just hope they start playing a full 48 to start...

- - -

Edwin: I respect that you are the voice for those giving dissenting views on the blog, but Tom should not be singled out as the 'prime mover' in attacks. The fact is, only recently was Tom physically baited by someone that lived in his general area - if an instance ever cried out for bloggers to step up that was it. I'm sure you'll agree Edwin.

Tom catches a lot of flak for being pro-Bynum. Usually he is singled out, called out. He has never said his views are 'superior'. I also don't see Tom engage the trolls, so I don't understand what is going on here.

So it's cool that you speak up for those with negative views or less-than majority opinions, but you don't need to infer that negative ones should be more tolerated than positive ones. As which opinion is right on something, that is for the blog to decide in our own minds, and respond as we wish. That is the beauty of the blog process.

I said the Lakers would beat the Spurs last night, they'd be led to victory by Kobe's passion. The blog can decide how much of that was right/wrong. That is the case with everything we all write, we can see who is right/wrong and can respond as we see fit...


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Hey D(erek) J{eter}, much respect to your opinion, Keep going. I just have to make a quick response to what you said.

I'm not giving up though! The thing being a Laker and Yankee fan is that we expect to win it all every year. It's actually difficult to win one, let alone several. Ask Stockton, Barkley, Ewing, and Malone. I'm not giving up though!

Posted by: D(erek)J(eter) | December 29, 2010 at 02:05 PM

Very true. Me, personally, I wouldn't necessarily give Barkley that kind of due. Yes, he has an MVP, to his name, an Olympic Gold Medal, that should have been Shaquille O'Neal's. He scored over 23,000 points, Alex English and Bernard King are of similar ilk and don't recognized for their accolades as Barkley does.

I happen to agree with Oakley, the reason Barkley didn't win, is that he didn't work harder than everybody else, resting on his natural talents and laurels. He even once proclaimed 'you don't get paid to play defence'. His career, he overacheived. His legacy, is too overrated.

frmkt - LOL thanks!


LRob - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHPdoMK4Wi8
Sometimes by Erykha Badu.
I'm feeling the same way - speaking of the Lakers - sometimes I don't love you anymore... sometimes I do... LOL!!

LEWSTRS: Nice win on the fantasy league front, you killed me last week! (an 8-1 butt kickin'!). You passed me up with that thrashing.

We're all looking up at justa in the standings though lol...


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Laker Tom-@Art... “Voicing criticism does not make one less of a fan.” I agree with that statement 100% but overreacting and proposing to trade key players, fire all the assistant coaches, or bench half the starters DOES in my opinion make one less of a fan or at the very least a less intelligent fan. I wouldn’t put them in the same category as the new names and haters that seem to pop out of the woodwork after every tough loss but it does show a true lack of understanding of the nature of the long NBA season or what this championship team has accomplished the last two years.
=============================

I understand your point completely, though it should be noted that quite a few knowledgeable, regular posters have called for a shake up in the line up the past couple of days.

And sometimes people say things out of frustration without giving it much deeper thought. They may not mean exactly what they say at the time, it just blurts out.

And then some people don't have the same communication skills or thought processes as others so what they say, well, you get my drift.

As for those that just ALWAYS hate on the Lakers, that just comes with the territory and doesn't matter much to me.

I don't much care for anyone trying to group or categorize people with various labels such as loyal, haters, bashers, supporters, trolls, etc because it is a way of name calling and can easily lead to tit for tat or just create hard feelings.

I have written things from time to time I wish I could take back, but hey, it happens

As I have mentioned numerous times I enjoy what you write and think you provide a unique perspective. You help to balance out the blog with thoughtful commentary.

cyber - as it should be.... LOL!

Actually - this is all quite hilarious to me. But as long as I finish 2nd to last (at the worst) I'm cool!

I just hope my knee doesn't give out or we are definitely in some trouble.

LAKERS/YANKEES FAN ROLL CALL !!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Double your pleasure, double your fun…
~
01 – LakerTom
02 – KobeMVP888
03 - Lewsters
04 – (D)erek (J)eter
05 - leonardbast78
06 – Nuggets Country
07 - lance from da' bronx
08 - bronxlakerfan
09 - Sean
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

Fair point in saying let's take it one game at a time and not get ahead of ourselves. But the Lakers have shown that they need to be micro managed with goals. Obviously their goal is to win a title but there's certain benchmarks the Lakers need to rest to show they're on the right track. HCA is one of them, something that will also make the ride a little less bumpier. Call it an insurance policy. You don't play acting like you totally rely on it, but it sure comes in handy if you need it.

Magia32- I couldn't believe my eyes. You posted a link to a youtube video, OMG. The ol' saying is true.....if you can't beat'm join them. LOL!

justa: "cyber - as it should be.... LOL!
Actually - this is all quite hilarious to me. But as long as I finish 2nd to last (at the worst) I'm cool!"
-
As the weeks go by and you kick more butt than Chuck Norris in one of his flicks, I'm starting to believe that.

You just want to finish ahead of that wookie team? I'm in that boat right now, playing phred this week so I'll likely be in the dreaded 'just ahead of the wookie' slot by next week... ugh...

I really thought Baron Davis would turn things around and come through for me, oh well. I've figured out it that it helps when you lose to have a Clipper in the lineup to point blame at...


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!


Mark M....

Obviously, HCA is very desirable. My contention is that if the Lakers narrow their focus and concentrate on the immediate game in front of them, they'll wind up with HCA, because they'll be playing the type of winning basketball they need to and not taking anything for granted.

If I was Baron Davis, and I was responsible for getting Blake Griffin the ball. I wouldn't want to be traded, either.

@LROB... On another note, what are you hearing about Jim Harbaugh. Word out of San Francisco is that the Niners are going to promote Trent Baalke to general manager and that he might be a package deal with Harbaugh to take over as head coach for the Niners. Worked out pretty good for the Niners last time they signed a rookie head coach from Stanford.
.........................

Tom - I gave a quick response earlier. But here's a little more info according to the article below. Stanford is saying they've offered Harbaugh an extension...while Harbaugh is saying he hasn't seen the offer. U-M fans want him bad. Of course, since that's MSU's rivals I want him to go to the Niners or stay with Stanford. However, I can't see him staying at Stanford. It'll either be the 49ers or U-M.

http://detroit.sbnation.com/michigan-wolverines/2010/12/29/1902304/chasing-jim-harbaugh-is-the-race-between-michigan-and-the-san

It is absolutely essential to have HCA; it has kind of fallen into our laps the last two years but don't kid yourself we need it.

You don't get 20 more free throws than your opponent if you are the road team in game 7, remember game 7 last June, we did and that was enough to push us over the top of the Celtics.

It is absolutely essential to have HCA; it has kind of fallen into our laps the last two years but don't kid yourself we need it.

You don't get 20 more free throws than your opponent if you are the road team in game 7, remember game 7 last June, we did and that was enough to push us over the top of the Celtics.

Posted by: Jolly Joe | December 29, 2010 at 03:28 PM

Have to disagree JJ- For starters, HCA is essentially a reward for a great regular season record. Dallas Mavericks & Mark Cuban had the same line of thinking as you do- until an 8th seed team like Golden State messes up your HCA and shockingly beats you in 6 games, ditto to the Spurs last year, who were a 7th seed and beat Dallas handily.

Cleveland has had HCA throughout the last seasons, and that advantage never materialized itself into a championship season.

In 2001 and 2002, the Lakers overcame not having HCA in the Western Conference rather emphatically, wouldn't you say, they didn't sweat their record and had shallow talent in the pool compared to the players this squad reps.

To each his own, I don't think it matters, given the context of history.

i dont think la was to confident early, if you dont have confidence then u will suck. im sure heat had all the confidence in the world and that got them no where at the beginning. I wish people would stop analyzing basketball so much and watch and enjoy. blog about what u saw and how fun it was to see, blog about how it hurt to see the team lose. we have to over analyze basketball. people get paid to do this yes. we dont. we should enjoy the game.

Homecourt advantage is more important in The NBA Finals than the other 7 game series because of the 2-3-2 format. It's almost unheard of a team winning all 3 middle games in the Finals. So that means that the team without HCA must win at least 2 games on the road in order to win it all! Not that easy!

Home-court advantage is important except to those who can't get it. The fact that Phil has lowered his expectations to just the first round says alot lol.


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