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The Lakers-Heat matchup important, but not because of the hype

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The Lakers gathered at their morning shoot-around saying they're not too worried about their Christmas Day date with the Miami Heat, only to see that nonchalance backfire in an embarrassing 98-79 loss Tuesday to Milwaukee.

Lakers forward Matt Barnes predicted that the Lakers-Heat game will cause "a lot of people to make speculations" that the winner of that matchup could end up winning the Finals. Guard Derek Fisher insisted that the Lakers (21-8) aren't using their game Saturday against Miami (21-9) as a "measuring stick." And Lakers forward Ron Artest playfully chided a reporter, who he said was asking "boring questions," because they all related to the Heat.

It's safe to say the Lakers are making it clear they don't seem too excited about the Christmas Day game against Miami. But that's not going to hose down the hype one bit. The NBA made sure to include this game as soon as LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade joined forces this summer as part of the Christmas quintuple-header. ESPN has devoted round-the-clock Miami coverage with the Heat Index on its website. And then there are fans who have shelled out on average of $549 a ticket to see the hyped matchup at Staples Center.

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant summed up the Lakers' apparent indifference the best to ESPN's Michael Wilbon.

"We've gotten rocked on Christmas Day and won a championship," Bryant said, referring to the Lakers' 102-87 loss last season to Cleveland. "We've rocked on Christmas Day and won a championship. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter one way or another. It's all about how you improve as the season goes on."

Bryant is right. The game won't determine either way how the Lakers and Heat would fare in the NBA Finals should they meet. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson appropriately remarked how the lack of a morning shoot-around and Christmas morning responsibilities make it hard to truly gauge whether a Christmas Day performance reflects the team's progress. Case in point: No NBA teams have ever met on Christmas and then in the NBA Finals that same season.

The Lakers-Heat matchup actually carries great importance even if the defending champs have become numb to the rhetoric surrounding it. That doesn't mean the Lakers need to win to "prove we're a better team," as forward Pau Gasol put it. It doesn't mean they need to come away with the same spirit of vengeance they had in the 2008 Christmas Day game against Boston because the Lakers felt "embarrassed," as Jackson remembered, for the 2008 Finals loss to the Celtics. But the Lakers shouldn't understate the game's importance because doing so simply misses the point.

The Lakers are coming off an embarrassing double-digit loss to an undermanned Milwaukee Bucks team and are about to enter the meat of their schedule. The Lakers may have come off a 6-1 trip, but as Barnes appropriately remarked: ""We didn't play very well. It was sub-.500 teams that we should've put a clamp down on them. We didn't do that. We just got wins." The Lakers' game against Miami marks the beginning of a schedule that will feature high-caliber opponents, including a back-to-back next week against San Antonio, first in the Western Conference with a 24-3 record, and New Orleans, seventh in the West with a 16-12 mark. Then follows a monthlong stretch in January when seven of the Lakers' 15 games feature playoff opponents if the season were to end today.

"We're still the Lakers," Artest said. "As much as we have to play the better teams, they still have to play the Lakers."

But the Lakers don't have a true gauge of themselves because a light schedule featured 17 of their wins coming against teams that have no more than 12 victories. That's not an indictment of the Lakers. They play the schedule that's given to them. At this time, however, the Lakers' only meaningful games entail victories over Chicago and Portland and losses to playoff-caliber teams in Chicago, Denver and Utah. 

With the Lakers trailing San Antonio by four games and Dallas (23-5) by 1-1/2 games in the Western Conference standings, signature wins against teams such as Miami will do wonders. It will help validate the Lakers' standing among postseason teams and will ensure that neither the Spurs nor the Mavericks run away too early with a cushion in the conference.

"That four-game slip we had really makes a difference in the standings," Jackson said, referring to the Lakers' losing streak last month, the first since April 2007. "We can't ever have anything like that again during the course of the season because San Antonio has sent a message and Dallas too. They're going to be consistent, they're playing strong and they have deep benches and they're going to stay up there in win columns. We have to be prepared to match that."

Jackson then argued, "The difficult schedule might help us a little bit and bring attention to some of the details we have to work at." Fisher said, "It'll continue to push us to get better." That's true, but the Lakers must avoid the feeling that they can hold off this task until later in the season. Sure, the Lakers shouldn't overreact to losses and understand that in March and April, every game is significant in the standings.

But the task will prove much easier for the Lakers if their monthlong struggles don't continue. From November to December, the Lakers have regressed in total offense (108.3, 100.1), three-point shooting (41.2, 30.9) and total rebounds (44.9, 42.6), though they saw improvement in total defense (100.26, 94.09). So far, the Lakers have almost taken too much of a big-picture approach, making sure they don't react too strongly to a win or a loss while glossing over the details that ensure incremental improvements.

So yes, follow Bryant's lead in understanding that the game itself means very little. Jackson noticed the team took the opposite approach last season against Cleveland: "We got too excited about the Cleveland game. It became a whole identity for us. It actually caused us to screw up a game." But don't allow that to provide an excuse to ignore Bryant's other stated goal in showing tangible growth as the season progresses.

"We're going to see what we're made of now," Barnes said. "We've been playing the below-.500 teams, and we've been up and down with that. It's definitely, starting with Miami, going to get tough. We've got San Antonio, New Orleans — teams that if we don't play our game are going to beat us down. We know what's ahead of us. We've got to show up and play."

--Mark Medina

mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: The Lakers are downplaying the importance of their Christmas Day game against Miami. Credit: Reuters

 
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I'm with Kobe, this game is meaningless in the grand scheme of things. I would love to see the Lakers crush the meat, since I pretty much despise them, but realize that it is only a game - and one the Lakers haven't traditionally showed up to play for the most part.

I'm more interested in game #31 against The Spurs, than I am about game #30, the meat. It is shaping up that we'll likely only see one of those teams come playoffs - and it's not the team we are playing x-mas day.

The Lakers still haven't played the Spurs (4 games left), the Mav's (3 games), OKC (3 games) and have 3 games left against Utah. They've played none of the leastern playoff teams besides Chicago and Pacers. The NBA has truly back-loaded the Lakers schedule, which is a good thing as the Lakers usually show up to play the big-boys...

- - -

On ESPN First Take they had on Steve Manale that opened an art exhibit on artwork based around Ron Ron. Really bizarre concept, but it looks like the guy is genuinely doing it to celebrate him. This guy sounds like an interesting blog interview, hint hint, MM... lol

- - -

LRob: That is awesome! Magic seems so down to earth and friendly, glad to see that he was like that in real life too. I don't remember ever hearing anyone that has met him without something positive to say. He was already famous when he was in college so it's nice to hear. You got to see a lot of Laker connections pass through Michigan State!

The only famous person I got to see at CSULB was former Rams/Redskins coach George Allen who coached there for a while. He would talk to the press every so often outside the weight room (I would sneak with a friend into his weight-lifting class - I should have just taken the dang course, I'd have gotten credits too! lol).

Show up and play is right!!

I want them to hit Miami so hard that their teeth rattle. I want them to dominate so thoroughly that their heads spin. I want them to completely and utterly annihilate them so when the Heat think back on this game they shake their heads and there is fear in their hearts.

I want my team to show what it's made of - the stuff of Champions. I want to see great passing, great defense, and that swagger back. I want to see my two time WORLD CHAMPION Lakers look like who they are. I've seen flashes, but it's not enough for this Lakerholic. No sir. I want to see it for the whole game.

My purple and gold blood is boiling now! Go out there and KILL THEM!!!

GO LAKERS!!!!

I agree with Phil and Fish comment that playing the tougher teams should bring out the best in the Lakers. I sure hope so. As a fan its had for me to get pumped about watching the Lakers play the non-contending teams. I just don't watch those games with the same intensity.

@Cyber - George "The Future is Now" Allen is nothing to sneeze at. While people gave him a hard time for preferring older players (hmmm sounds familiar) he had a good eye for talent and I do believe he was responsible for the Bears drafting Buckus and Sayers. His teams may have been old but they were always tough.

@Lew – Beautiful job by TSO…and the light show was awesome.

@no mo’ – Freddie Mercury stole the show as usual. Great song.

@Magic Phil - That was a classic. Many have re-made that one, but none of them have come close to Donny imho.


It not officially the Christmas season for me until I hear something off of that classic Motown Christmas album that featured The Miracles, Supremes, Tempts, Stevie and Jackson 5. Here's a soulful rendition of Rudolph...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcuvlIgSj0Y

I had to stop watching after the third quarter the other night. I could smell it coming and I didn't have the stomach for it. Reading about it later, I am glad I went to sleep. It sounds like the Lakers did as well.

I hope it pissed them off and they come out and stomp on the heat! The team is lacking passion. It is time to beat a good team this season and silence the critics.

Pau is distant. Ron isn't hungry like he was last season. Fish takes the night off quite a bit. Lamar is inconsistant. Kobe doesn't seem to have the killer thing going yet. He is so nice to everybody? It is all fixable. Everyone is healthy enought to play. We have the best coach ever. It is time to shine.

I am a Lakerholic.

Lass,

I did pick up that Lena Horne Christmas CD. Excellent. Thanks for the recommendation.

The Lakers will start taking the season more "seriously" now. I mean that in a conscious way because taking games seriously and getting up for them are two different things and they haven't been getting up for games. They need to play quality opposition to bring out the best in them. A reversal of last season, with a strong finish in March and early April, is preferable anyway. The goal is the same for any Phil Jackson coached championship caliber team, and that is continuous improvement headed into the playoffs. HEALTH is the big issue and if Kobe and Andrew can continue to get healthier and be at their strongest come playoff time, I still believe that no team can beat us in a 7 game series.

The Lakers need to become firemen on saturday and extinguish the Heat hype. No need to do a FanUp campaign at Staples, the fans will be there in full support. You know Spoelstra will be pumped for this one after Phil's comments. So let's hope for a victory to shut the skeptics up.


GO LASKERS!

GO LAKERS! I meant.

Great SI article this morning, here's a bit of it:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/lee_jenkins/12/23/kobe.lebron/

"Bryant and James enduring the latest round in their running debate as to the real king. Nike has James wearing red shoes for the occasion and Bryant green, though the shade of green is what's eye-catching: It's a bright lime, so as not to evoke the Celtics, but rather the Grinch. Such is the role that Bryant used to play, the foil who watched James take all the glory every winter, before snatching it away at the very end. Even last season, James' Cavs humiliated Bryant's Lakers on Christmas, which mattered not a bit when Bryant collected his fifth championship while James was still plotting his first.

James managed to upstage Bryant through an interview with Gray, just as Bryant tried to do long ago, but in this case it backfired. The damage that interview did to James' image was directly proportional to the boost it gave Bryant's. Regardless of the shoes, Bryant is no longer the basketball Grinch, but the James counterpoint: the superstar who stayed in one city despite his many threats to leave, who wanted the burden of a big-market franchise on his back, who made his supporting cast come to him. Besides the five titles, James' interview with Gray might have been the best thing that ever happened to Bryant. For the first time in nearly a decade, he hasn't drawn the loudest boos in the NBA. Hating him is passé."

- - -

LRob: My friend has always been a huge Redskins fan and was always in awe of seeing the man he grew up with as head coach of his team literally a few feet away on a regular basis. He was always very friendly too, talking to the kids. I have always considered him a great football mind, couldn't believe how the small CSULB football program got such a legendary coach to lead them, age aside.

I remember people saying he died as a result of getting a gatorade bath by players after a game, he became ill and never recovered. It was a shame, if you look at JoePa still going strong, no reason he couldn't have still been coaching either.


GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Meaningless?

Hell no!

The last thing the mentally weak Hype need is to build confidence.

We need to beat them the Laker way: Give them hope... and then take it away.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Hello Blog Family ! Happy holidays to y'all !

Miami is still very much in the process of figuring out their identity as a team on both ends of the floor.Problems like lack of interior defense persist and will for some time to come.They have lost several games to sub .500 teams.So,a victory against them won't necessarily mean much but a loss wouldn't be a one to be chalked up as "just another game" since this is the first time this season when the Lakers have to "respond" to an unexpected blow in a game of some significance.Significant,not because losing would spell disaster but because any team hoping to win a championship needs to hit some milestones like this in the process of establishing superiority over possible contenders early on.Only then can they keep improving and building their confidence enough to reach the level they aspire for by the time playoffs come around.

A substantial part of the regular season has already passed by and the team is still devoid of a victory where they looked unbeatable against a quality team.San Antonio, on the other hand, seems to be coming together as an offensive/defensive force.Courtesy of a resurgence of the "Big Three",new and improved Richard Jefferson, consistent bench contributions (even the rookie Gary Neal has been playing like he has been around for a while )and their unmatched discipline,they have had the kind of start not too many expected of them .They have managed to extract the maximum out of the talent they have on their roster on their way to beating several good teams convincingly.While it is too early to say that they look good enough to beat LA in a seven game series, they do appear scary and aren't the kind of team you can afford to surrender an edge (like home-court) to hurting your chances a lot.

The way I see it ,the next two games against Miami and (more importantly ) San Antonio, if nothing else, are "statement games" against serious contenders for the title.

Take care guys.Have fun !

Amit

* without hurting your chances a lot. Sorry about the mistake.

Amit

Nice article MM.
Good job discussing both sides of the issue as to the importance (or lack of) the game and pointing out that yes, it's just one more game out of 82, but on the other hand, the Lakers need to concern themselves with raising their level of play.

Interesting that the Finals have never included both Christmas day game teams.

I found this statement of yours interesting:

"Sure, the Lakers shouldn't overreact to losses and understand that in March and April, every game is significant in the standings."

I'm not clear on why the games in March and April are any more significant in the standings than those in December. They are all just one more out of 82.

If the Lakers were way ahead of the pack by then those games might be even less significant in the standings.

I would argue that as far as the standings go, every game is just as important as the next one.

But then, if HCA is irrelevant, then as long as they lock up a #8 seed, nothing else much matters.

The way we have played in our last 15 games, there is no way we can beat any top 10 team in the NBA. It will be a miracle if we beat Miami. It will be a miracle if we beat San Antonio. And it will be a miracle if we win the West. We need to start playing Laker BBall!!

The way we have played in our last 15 games, there is no way we can beat any top 10 team in the NBA. It will be a miracle if we beat Miami. It will be a miracle if we beat San Antonio. And it will be a miracle if we win the West. We need to start playing Laker BBall!!

Posted by: keen observer | December 23, 2010 at 09:45 AM
====

Here we go. "Miracle," huh? "We" again? "No way" we can beat the top 10 teams in the NBA?

Posers are what posers do.

The Big game is almost upon us and the bandwagons are off in forces. But in your hearts you want the Lakers to DESTROY the Heat, it really matters to you, don't LIE now.

Let see how the Lakeshow hold up with a team that out to CRUSH them on national TV, let's see how big game Fish hit big time threes. Let's see how the Black Mamba do the RUMBLE on the three south beach AMIGOS. Let's see how Pau aka the WINNIE MAN transform himself into Karl Maloan.

Let's see that tight LOCK DOWN "D" from Thriller, well the truth is...it's not going to HAPPEN. Not today, Not Tomorrow WHY....this team is lacking the WILL to play 48 minutes. They actually think that other teams are going to lay down, were the 2X champs...WHO ARE YOU. They believe that CRAP.

Once they play the Spurs, Mav's, Cel's and get embarrassed again, reality will sink in... this 4th trip to the finals is HARD, and flame out in the 1 or 2 round of the playoffs. The fan are already accepting the fact that they don't show up from time to time. Listen to the coach, not sure what team he'll see.

All I can tell you is I like the Lakers, they refuse to play up to their TALENT, and when they loose Christmas... hide the kids and get far away from the roads, because the bandwagoners will break their legs jump off.(i actully read another poster say that) Hey it sounds good.

Cap'Gaggles man it's going to be as I always say UGLY..REAL UGLY.


keen observer,

Perhaps you should have said IF we keep playing the way...

I would say IF the Lakers keep playing the way they have been, beating the good teams will be quite challenging and difficult.

On the other hand, I am looking for a turnaround in their performance.
Well, hoping for one anyway.

Here we go. "Miracle," huh? "We" again? "No way" we can beat the top 10 teams in the NBA?

Posers are what posers do.
=============================

Idiots do what idiots do.

The Big game is almost upon us ....

Posted by: JUSTA HATER | December 23, 2010 at 09:50 AM
=====

The playoffs are almost here? The Christmas Day game that is forced on the Lakers every year is almost upon us and the hype is certainly upon us, but here's an excerpt from MMs's well written article that is most telling:

"We've gotten rocked on Christmas Day and won a championship," Bryant said, referring to the Lakers' 102-87 loss last season to Cleveland. "We've rocked on Christmas Day and won a championship. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter one way or another. It's all about how you improve as the season goes on."

Bryant is right. The game won't determine either way how the Lakers and Heat would fare in the NBA Finals should they meet. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson appropriately remarked how the lack of a morning shoot-around and Christmas morning responsibilities make it hard to truly gauge whether a Christmas Day performance reflects the team's progress. Case in point: No NBA teams have ever met on Christmas and then in the NBA Finals that same season.
....

Big Schmig.


Jon K: "Meaningless?
Hell no!
The last thing the mentally weak Hype need is to build confidence.
We need to beat them the Laker way: Give them hope... and then take it away."
-
I'm with you, just speaking in the grand scheme of things. But I'm all for making statements in statement games, which this is one. I love snuffing out the little hope that teams have when facing the Lakers, having them really fear and dread playing them. I have no doubt we will be meeting the septics come Finals but it would be nice to see the Lakers exploit meat weaknesses.

I would love nothing more than to beat them just as you say, let them get a little lead, take it into the second half and have Kobe and crew shut them down at the end. Well, maybe, a blowout wouldn't be bad either. lol...

Anytime the Lakers beat a princess jimmy team it puts a smile on my face though! =D

- - -

Art: "The Lakers need to concern themselves with raising their level of play."
-
A good reminder that the Lakers really are their own worst enemy. They need to fight off some of the disinterest they have shown. I too see that HCA is not as important for a veteran, proven team like the Lakers, giving players rest throughout the season and clicking on all cylinders just before the playoffs is more important - but it would be nice to hold home court against a veteran-laden former champ like the Spurs, and make a statement against them.

- - -

Amit: Yeah, the Spurs have to be brought down to earth. If anything, to reduce the swelling of Skip Bayless' head - who's been predicting a Laker loss to the Spurs in Tuesday's game for weeks...


GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Idiots do what idiots do.

Posted by: keen observer | December 23, 2010 at 09:55 AM
====

Uh-uh-uh ... no name calling. Have I called you that or anything even close to resembling a low IQ individual?

By the way, have you e-mailed MM your Lakers Fan Profile? We would love to read all about your history as a Lakers fan. LMAO!!

"But then, if HCA is irrelevant, then as long as they lock up a #8 seed, nothing else much matters.
Posted by: Art - FL Laker Fan | December 23, 2010 at 09:38 AM"

Art, I would submit that while we may not absolutely need HCA, we absolutely need to do better than #8 in the West, and at minimum get into the top 3 spots. The first round of the playoffs could be deadly if we're in the bottom half in the Weonst and we're playing some young, hungry team on their home court. The playoff gauntlet is tough enough without having to get through every round on someone else's court.

No, the thing that makes not just the Heat game but also every game from now on important is that "the playoffs actually begin right now". Given how many losses we've carelessly spotted the rest of league to date, EVERY game from now on is important.

Who the heck is talking about a low seed? Let's talk reality.

No NBA teams have ever met on Christmas and then in the NBA Finals that same season.
...
Big Schmig.
Posted by: KobeMVP888 | December 23, 2010 at 09:55 AM

So what.... Now your predicting the future? I don't care about some lame history, I'm living in the NOW... that's why the books are writen.

CCX - LOL..Agreed ! I don't know anything about Skip Bayless though...only seen a couple of videos on ESPN....he is kinda annoying.
Seriously though, what do you think is San Antonio's biggest strength ? Depth ?
( Bench - George Hill,Tiago Splitter,Gary Neal,Matt Bonner,James Anderson). Versatility and an uncanny ability to "make things happen when needed most" of Manu ? Healthy TimD/Parker ?


888 - I've been under the weather, so not much posting. Still, I had to say that I cracked up on your: "By the way, have you e-mailed MM your Lakers Fan Profile? We would love to read all about your history as a Lakers fan. LMAO!!"

That was funny. Especially, despite my en-fevered state (I don't 't like that I did this, but I did), I asked keen on the game-chat to wager on the Lakers winning it all. He ignored me, kept ignoring me, then went on about how he didn't know what I was saying. So, he didn't put up, or shut up. Which is a shame.

Keen is a consistent poster and chatter. Unfortunately, he's always so upset with the Lakers, nothing they do is good enough for him. I would think if this were all so awful for him he wouldn't bother with it. I mean, if there's a movie I don't like, I don't buy the DVD and then watch it over and over again.

I feel bad for keen: won't bet on the Lakers, won't bet against the Lakers and is totally upset by them. Me, I enjoy basketball. It makes me happy to play it and watch it. The Lakers are my home team, always have been. And they're the best. And they're back-to-back champions. Lot of joy there. Are they playing their best? Hardly. But to be always so gloomy about it, I just feel bad for the guy.

Corner J--Cyber,

My comment about the Lakers just needing a number 8 seed does not reflect my opinion that that's true. I meant that statement in a sarcastic way to those who claim HCA is not very important.

I happen to feel that HCA is very important and may be more important this year than previous years because the opponents may be better than in years past.

I think the Lakers may be able to get by with a #2 seed in the west but am not totally convinced of that.

I have a much bigger concern about who has HCA for the Finals.
We all know the Lakers play for rings, so the playoffs aren't the issue, we all know they will make the playoffs.

Now, when it comes to the Finals, only 6 teams that did not have HCA have won since 1985.

It's very difficult for the team without HCA to win all 3 middle games (games 3, 4, 5) and it seldom happens. This requires the other team to win 2 games on the road to win the Rings. If one team is just so much above the other in skill it may not be important, but I don't see that this year.

Now, is it possible the Lakers can win the Finals without HCA, of course it's possible.
Is it likely?
No.
The facts are, it doesn't happen very often.

And that in a nutshell is why I think the regular season games are very important, to gain HCA.

The Lakers really only seem to beat themselves. Home court or not, there is no team in the association that can compete with a motivated Laker squad, definitely not over a 7-game series. Yes, it would be nice to have HCA over the Spurs and especially the septics, but we can't expect a team that has been to three-straight Final's to 'bring-it' every night - it's just not reasonable.

Maybe their in-game switch is hard to find, but their playoff-switch has been there for them the last few years.

Neither the septics nor the Spurs have had a losing streak nor have the Mav's. Those teams will start to level out like Shannon Brown's shooting. The Lakers will start playing better as they play the tougher teams ahead, as they've done in the past.

I would love to see the Lakers win every game, but am really more concerned with them staying injury free and coast along than stay undefeated through December. Sending a message is important but December losses do not equate to playoff elimination...

Just tryin' to keep it real.


GO LAKERS!!!!!!

i said this in an earlier post and i'll say it again, the lakers "HAVE TO PLAY REAL HARD ALL THE TIME", if they hope to get the ring. this turn the switch nonsense in the fourth quarter is moot, the lakers are not a great team, not even a very good team yet. they are about two months behind in working with their full team. as much as i love dfish, i think the possibility of blake starting needs to be in the conversation. this is ego time for the teams.there are some VERY GOOD teams playing better than the lakers right now but it is a long season

Uh-uh-uh ... no name calling. Have I called you that or anything even close to resembling a low IQ individual?

By the way, have you e-mailed MM your Lakers Fan Profile? We would love to read all about your history as a Lakers fan. LMAO!!

-========================================

U called me a Troll and a Poser.I bet that is not name calling. I did warn you yesterday to desist from calling me names

I don't care about some lame history, I'm living in the NOW... that's why the books are writen.

Posted by: JUSTA HATER | December 23, 2010 at 10:09 AM
====

How many times did we hear THAT last season! I have news for you. History has a tendency to repeat itself, especially in the NBA. You should respect history and not refer to it as "lame." Those who disregard it entirely are just fooling themselves.

Now, is it possible the Lakers can win the Finals without HCA, of course it's possible.
Is it likely?
No.
The facts are, it doesn't happen very often.
And that in a nutshell is why I think the regular season games are very important, to gain HCA.
Posted by: Art - FL Laker Fan | December 23, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Now here's a man with an BB IQ, this is TRUE need HCA.

So, NOW they are going to show up and play!!!!????

This kind of absurd attitude seems self explanatory to the blind rooters who see no problems at all with how the Lakers have been playing/showing up.

We who simply state our opinions on the manner in which the Lakers have been playing resulting in continuing bad habits and get reamed by the all-is-well-until-its-not-elimination bloggers are obviously short sighted and ignorant of continuity of habits made well or poorly. Life experience tells us that, not just lacing up the kicks.

U called me a Troll and a Poser.I bet that is not name calling. I did warn you yesterday to desist from calling me names

Posted by: keen observer | December 23, 2010 at 10:19 AM
===

Those aren't names. They are descriptions of what you do in here. Calling someone an "idiot" is name calling. I will refrain from describing you for who you are if you can prove to me that you're not posing in here as a Lakers fan. Just submit your Lakers Fan Profile to MM and we can all enjoy reading all about your dedication to the Lakers. I would personally enjoy that.

888- History repeats it self from time to time, not always the same story line and happy ending. If this was a fact them we may living in a LOOP, and that's why we rewrite and add to the BOOKS.

I feel bad for keen: won't bet on the Lakers, won't bet against the Lakers and is totally upset by them. Me, I enjoy basketball. It makes me happy to play it and watch it. The Lakers are my home team, always have been. And they're the best. And they're back-to-back champions. Lot of joy there. Are they playing their best? Hardly. But to be always so gloomy about it, I just feel bad for the guy.

Posted by: 63 Footer | December 23, 2010 at 10:13 AM
=====

I'm near the end of Jeanie Buss's book "Laker Girl" and this issue really bugs her. She does not understand why Lakers fans doubt and question the team after all their success. It bothers her that the fans want to constantly trade everyone, etc. She has these thoughts toward the end of last season when the Lakers closed out the regular season poorly and she doesn't understand why the fan base didn't keep the faith with this team. Remember, she's the Executive VP of Business Relations and has held this position for a long, long time and is in constant communication with the fans. No one has their finger on the pulse like she does. By the way, she's a brilliant rainmaker!

I wonder what she would think about keen observer.

888- History repeats it self from time to time, not always the same story line and happy ending. If this was a fact them we may living in a LOOP, and that's why we rewrite and add to the BOOKS.

Posted by: JUSTA HATER | December 23, 2010 at 10:27 AM
====

In a sense, we do live in a loop. I heard the same crap last season about living in the NOW and what happened? The best team won and the LeBrons went off into the sunset. I'm not saying AT ALL that the Lakers are guaranteed anything this season. What I am saying is that there is a STRONG probability that we won't see a Lakers-Heat NBA Finals because history has established that statistical probability.

888 - I've been under the weather, so not much posting. Still, I had to say that I cracked up on your: "By the way, have you e-mailed MM your Lakers Fan Profile? We would love to read all about your history as a Lakers fan. LMAO!!"

That was funny.

Posted by: 63 Footer | December 23, 2010 at 10:13 AM
====

By the way, 63, thanks! I love it when someone gets my sense of humor.

Don't put too much stock into this game.

If you do, it will ruin your Christmas. The Lakers hasn't been playing well. Presently, they're an average team. They don't need to prove anything to anyone now becuase they're the 2 time champs. They just need to be healthy and improve as the season progresses.
Besides, most of the time they don't perform well on Christmas. If you get too excited and they win, you'll feel like you're flying after a few drinks. But if they lose, you'll feel like crap; and this is the more likely scenario that it will happen. Personally, this happens to me all the time.

Merry Christmas everyone.

888 - I understand feeling bad after the Bucks loss. It sucked. And I feel something has been "off" with Pau since the beginning of the season (and I've been "joking" about girlfriend problems, but it seems more emotional/intellectual than physical, or we woulda heard) - and when Pau doesn't play strong, we run into trouble.

But still... we are the back-to-back champs, and we have a great team. Whether we "bring it" or not, we'll have to see, but to not cheer for the "good parts version" seems masochistic. I'm glad Drew's back. Love LO's play. Kobe's coming back strong, and the bench is vastly improved. Now we need to focus.

Blind positiveness isn't what I'm talking about, but to constantly nah-say the club without any nod to what's working just seems like a reason to switch teams or sports or drink heavily. Or all of the above. If no joy, why bother?

I'm near the end of Jeanie Buss's book "Laker Girl" and this issue really bugs her. She does not understand why Lakers fans doubt and question the team after all their success. It bothers her that the fans want to constantly trade everyone, etc.
Posted by: KobeMVP888 | December 23, 2010 at 10:33 AM
==================

Perhaps Jeanne is suffering a little bit of naivete when it comes to her fan base.
As for the trade proposals, geepers already, fans of every sports team talk about trades every season and off season. Even trades that don't have a prayer of happening. It's one of those things sports fans do. It's just not that big of a deal.
People like to play armchair quarterback and GM.
It's just part of the fun of being a sports fan.

watch your thoughts, they become your words. watch your words, they become your actions. watch your actions, they become your habits watch your habits, they become your character watch your character, it becomes your destiny thoughts matter,words matter. hope everyone has a safe holiday

@Lrob
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFc7STuQF0U&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1sf5yqZX-k&feature=related


Opinion: We will come out strong from the opening tip against the Meat!

Opinion: LeCreep will be slowed, but not stopped by Artest.

Opinion: L.O. and Drew will dominate down low- not quite sure about Pau at this point in the season.

Opinion: Kobe will show LeCreep who the real MVP of this League is.

Fact: Even though I doubt this teams lack of intensity and focus throughout the season, they are still my team, I love them, and they will bring it all come playoff time.

I just hope they bring it fot not only the Christmas Day game, but all the successive games. I don't buy into the beleif that "it's just one game" or "it's still early in December." Playoff seeding sometimes comes down to the difference in a win or a loss.

"I just hope they bring it fot not only the Christmas Day game, but all the successive games. I don't buy into the beleif that "it's just one game" or "it's still early in December." Playoff seeding sometimes comes down to the difference in a win or a loss.

Posted by: mclyne | December 23, 2010 at 11:32 AM "

I agree. I'm seeing some of the comments on here and on the radio and I think it is lazy and reckless to be fully prepared to say that the Heat won the game because it meant more to them. If it is ok for the Lakers to go out and go through the motions and not make a full effort, why bother playing the game?

Complacency or laziness isn't an all-encompassing answer for every loss. There are other very good teams out there. Sometimes the Lakers are having a bad night on their own, sometimes the other team might cause them to have a bad night. It's just too simplistic to say that because the Lakers lost, they weren't trying. It's also a slap in the face to the Lakers players as professionals.

"In a sense, we do live in a loop. I heard the same crap last season about living in the NOW and what happened? The best team won and the LeBrons went off into the sunset. I'm not saying AT ALL that the Lakers are guaranteed anything this season. What I am saying is that there is a STRONG probability that we won't see a Lakers-Heat NBA Finals because history has established that statistical probability.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | December 23, 2010 at 10:37 AM "

I don't look much into that. I remember several years the Christmas game was a rematch of the WCF, so obviously those teams wouldn't face in the finals. Then it was a depleted Lakers team playing Shaq's team every year, more matchups that had no chance of being a finals matchup. It's really only the last 2 years that even had a chance of getting to that point.

Hey Lakers, bring us fans what we really want for Christmas...a beat down on the Miami Cheat and LeBum James crying as he leaves the court!!!
Thanks! You're loyal fans

i guess fisher stop talking coz his the reason why lakers kip on losing..cant guard anymore..if lakers will lose to miami..ned to think about fisher..


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