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Caught in the Web: Lakers enjoy an off day

--The Times' Broderick Turner details the impact Andrew Bynum has had on the Lakers.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr presents a photo gallery of Pau Gasol's visit to Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding looks at how the Lakers would square up with Boston in the NBA Finals.

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer relives Lamar Odom's rainbow runner against Utah.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky breaks down the Lakers' defense.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin explains how scoring no longer remains a top priority for Kobe Bryant.

--NBA.com breaks down the Western Conference All-Star ballot.

--A panel of Sports Illustrated writers share their NBA All-Star picks.

--Sports Illustrate's Dan Patrick talks with Lakers executive vice president Jeanie Buss about Phil Jackson's future and what life will be like once Kobe Bryant retires.

--Jackson shares his retirement plans with ESPN's Hannah Storm in the video below.

--The Daily Breeze's Elliott Teaford focuses on Jackson's contention that this is truly his last season.

--Fox Sports' Billy Witz wonders what would've happened had the Lakers lost Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals.

Twitter of the Day:"Happy Birthday Dad-E-O!! Jerry Buss #bestownerinsports" -- JeanieBuss (Lakers executive vice president Jeanie Buss)

Reader Comment of the Day:I'm not worried so much about the ASG as I am about the LOT. That's the Larry O'Brien Trophy for those who didn't know..." -- Don't Blame Del Harris!

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

 
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Congrats DBDH!

Thank God the ungrateful and unappreciative Lakers fans who think Nene or Jefferson or even Pau Gasol are more deserving of being the starting center for the West All-Stars don’t run this team. These were probably the same bloggers who wanted to trade Drew for Chris Bosh or foolishly believed that Pau Gasol was a better center than Drew. Yeah, let’s punish and disrespect Andrew Bynum because he missed the first 24 games of this season due to playing through his injury to help us win another championship. With fans like that, Drew will never receive the credit he deserves. Screw those 660K fans. Take away the votes from Chinese fans who don’t even know Yao is injured and Drew would be the starter. I’m disappointed in Lakers fans who refuse to appreciate Drew. Let’s instead reward the rookie from the Clippers who hasn’t really done anything.
...............................
TOM

@ 63,

Thanks, friend. It is the truth, though. Keeping the lights on at Staples Center in February is a whole lot easier than in June.

Those Friedman's were like a 1997 Furby for me... elusive!

Title Heaven in 2011!


DBDH!

WEST ALL-STAR VOTES AT CENTER...
...................................................................
Yao Ming (Rockets) 928,928
Andrew Bynum (Lakers) 660,576
Nene (Nuggets) 389,263
Marc Gasol (Grizzlies) 352,136
Emeka Okafor (Hornets) 317,677
Brendan Haywood (Mavericks) 276,777
Marcus Camby (Trail Blazers) 201,133
Chris Kaman (Clippers) 165,684
Andris Biedrins (Warriors) 126,567
DeMarcus Cousins (Kings) 110,230
...................................................................
Yeah, let’s reward Nene, whom Drew dominated.
The perfect fan choice to replace Yao Ming.
Screw the 660K fans who voted for Drew.
Reward the 389K fans who voted for Nene.
That’s how to show you’re Lakers fans.
...................................................................
Or why not reward a forward who got fewer votes than Drew:
...................................................................
Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks) 615,243
Lamar Odom (Lakers) 364,950
Luis Scola (Rockets) 347,986
Kevin Love (T-Wolves) 301,529
Caron Butler (Mavericks) 205,146
Or why not reward a forward who got fewer votes than Drew:
...................................................................
Or reward a guard who got fewer votes than Drew:
...................................................................
Manu Ginobili (Spurs) 593,718
Steve Nash (Suns) 522,215
Deron Williams (Jazz) 487,887
Russell Westbrook (Thunder) 463,250
Tony Parker (Spurs) 355,993
Jason Kidd (Mavericks) 303,164
Vince Carter (Suns) 277,430
Kevin Martin (Rockets) 266,037
...................................................................
Basically, the bashers will do anything not to give Drew credit.
660K fans mean nothing to Stern or the Bynum bashers.
...................................................................
TOM

Hobbit,

Great post. Those are the same reasons why I will NEVER criticize Kobe Bryant.

Lakertom, it's nothing personal against Andrew Bynum. If he stays healthy, he'll eventually be there. Infact, if Yao is out of the conference, Andrew will probably be voted in as a starter next year even if he isn't healthy.

There aren't really any big name players on the ballot as centers in the west. For the most part, it's Yao and Bynum on the ballot. The rest of the players probably only get votes from homers in their own arenas. That's why it's unfair to compare Bynum's total to a vote total of a forward or guard in a crowded field.

Here are the statistics:
Player 1 has 768 points, 404 rebounds.
Player 2 has 609 points, 301 rebounds.
Player 3 has 250 points, 165 rebounds.

Given those figures, who do you choose? Player 3 is Bynum. He'll have his time in the all-star games, but I don't think is his year. As I said before, I think Gasol should be the center and all of the "true centers" in the discussion should be left out in favor of power forwards and FC combos that are doing well.

LakerTom,

"Thank God the ungrateful and unappreciative Lakers fans who think Nene or Jefferson or even Pau Gasol are more deserving of being the starting center for the West All-Stars don’t run this team. "

I like your logic. If there was one forward spot left, and I suggest that Kevin Durant deserves the nod over Lamar, does that make me an ungrateful Laker fan?

I want you to think I appreciate this team so here it goes - Bynum is the best center in the universe, and although he missed a month and a half of the season, and although he's averaging only 24 minutes, he deserves to get the nod over a guy like Al Jefferson, who's played the entire year, and has put up all-star worthy numbers. Am I a Laker fan now in your book? Gee, I hope so.

LRob nice, Trucks can play some slide, hadn't heard him in a while.

63,

If you're going Nick, I'll go Dave, here's why non-Laker fans should just give up now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry2td7q5ZMc

ps: watch out for the highs on this mix

@ DBDH - Congrats on RCOTD...I'll have to borrow that line.


@LT - It's possible to appreciate Drew...I do...and still think he doesn't deserve to go to the all-star game...I don't. It's not an all or nothing proposition.

63,

I didn't want to short Martin Belmont. I was digging around and found this on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlqC6SuhIXM

@hobbit,

Great job of laying out Kobe's credentials. I agree with all the #’s 1-7 on why you almost never criticize Kobe. Currently, at the very least, I put in my top 7 all-time with a bullet. (I doubt if I can give him a higher compliment than that). The one point I’ll disagree on is #4…about nobody being robbed in as many MVP awards. Yep, Kobe’s been robbed a few times but so has a few others.


The biggest point I disagree about is Kobe ALWAYS giving it all that he has. In the last couple of years he’ll take some plays off defensively. That's the most frustrating thing with Kobe for me.

Other points....
As far as posting Kareem stats…no need for that…I said Pau’s was not in Kareem’s league.

As far as your stop calling Pau a finesse player….you SHOULD call him a “finesse” player because that what he is.

I agree we should all work on our weaknesses and not just accept it. Good point. Let me re-phrase that comment and say as long as the positives far outweigh the negatives I’ll choose to compliment the positive more than criticize the negative.

Even though LO is playing his most consistent and best ball…there are still instances where I get frustrated with him.

@ LRob,


"@ DBDH - Congrats on RCOTD...I'll have to borrow that line."

Pass it on, bro! I meant what I said, and I said what I meant, 100%!

[dbdh]


RE: Fox Sports' Billy Witz wonders what would've happened had the Lakers lost Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals.
----------------------------------------------------

Why do a “what if” story about 1 prior sports event? What wisdom is there in that? Isn't it more enlightening to expand the realm of what ifs to more past events especially regarding Lakers/Celtics history? For example, according to the Kendrick Perkins’ Doctrine, the Lakers would have won the 2008 NBA Championship if two key players (not one player) weren’t hurt. Or put another way, if Bynum and Ariza weren’t injured in 2007-08, the Lakers would be going for a four-peat this season.

What about Game 2 of the 1984 NBA Finals, the Lakers led 113–111 with 18 seconds left when Gerald Henderson stole a James Worthy inbound pass to score a game tying layup and the Celtics eventually prevailed in overtime 124–121. If Worthy makes a better inbound pass, say to B Scott who had a possible break-away opportunity toward the front court rather than passing into the back court which enabled the Henderson steal, the Lakers go up 2-0 for the series after the first two games in Boston.

How about Game 4 of the 1969 NBA Finals, with the Lakers up 2-1 in the series, a one-point lead with 7 seconds left and the ball. If Baylor doesn’t inadvertently step out of bounds, causing a turnover the Lakers would have won that game to go up 3-1 in the series. Instead for the last play, Celtics players Havlicek, Siegfried, Bailey Howell and Jones executed a so-called "Ohio", with the three players setting a triple pick for the latter. Jones slipped on his shot, but the ball avoided the block attempt of Lakers center Chamberlain, hit the front rim, bounced on the back rim and somehow dropped in for the series-equalizing buzzer beater. So instead of the Lakers going home with a 3-1 series lead, it was all even at 2 games apiece. Boston won that series, but according to your logic the Lakers could have won if … And what about the last few seconds of regulation of Game 7 of the 1962 Finals. If Laker Frank Selvy didn’t miss an open 12-foot shot from the baseline, the Lakers would have won the game and series, but that didn’t happen either.

What if there was no NBA "junior eligible" rule that existed in 1978 which allowed a collegiate player (Larry Bird) to be drafted when the player's original "entering" class was graduating and giving the drafting team (Boston in this case) one calendar year to sign the player, even if they went back to college as Larry Bird did? And what if the St. Louis Hawks didn’t trade Bill Russell to Boston for Cliff Hagan and Ed Macauley in 1956?

I could offer more what ifs regarding Lakers/Celtics, but I’ll conclude with this: someone smart said “if frogs had wings, they wouldn’t bump their rear ends when they jump”.

LakerTom

Nice! I'm glad you took the baton. I see it attracted those to whom you refer likes bees to honey. The funny thing about certain Lakers fans is that they expect and demand such perfection that they don't even realize it when they're being unappreciative and ungrateful.

Personally, I could care less about Bynum being selected to play in a stupid exhibition game other then to boost his status among the league's elite. Then again, players like Nene and Al Jefferson, at 6'10" and limited ability to dominate at that position, will probably never know what it feels like to hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy unless, of course, they move over to the power forward position and play alongside a true paint-patrolling center like Bynum.

Strictly from a size and talent standpoint, there's Dwight Howard and then there's Andrew Bynum. Joakim Noah is in there defensively as well. Otherwise, meh, and that includes Tyson Chandler. Yes, the NBA's crop of centers is weak, but at almost every other position, it's as deep as it has EVER been.

There have been many other undeserving players to start all-star games, most recently Allen Iverson when he was on the Pistons in 2009. Perhaps it is time to let this young, undeserving center start. He deserves it.

Mark G - love me some Dave, but Ducks Deluxe always kills me! Great calls!

But I will go back to the true roots of all that is pop, the Uruguayan wonders, the South American Beatles, Los Shakers!

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

@BAY TO LA... “Lakertom, it's nothing personal against Andrew Bynum.” Is that so? Well, in my mind, you either root for your team’s players or you don’t. You either look for reasons to support your team’s players or you don’t. Obviously, many of you don’t agree with that position because I’ve heard every excuse in the world why Drew should NOT be an All-Star despite the fact he has the most votes of any healthy West center. Here is just a sample of the comments by supposedly appreciative Lakers fans:
...
Drew should NOT be an All-Star because: (1) He did not get his knee operated on time. (2) He missed 24 games to start the season. (3) He could reinjure his knee if he played. (4) He’ll have plenty of chances to make it in the future. (5) Pau Gasol can play center since there is no defense in the All-Star game. (6) Getting selected will send him the wrong message. (7) He should concentrate on helping the team win the championship. (8) LO deserves it more (at least a comment with which I earlier stated I agreed).
...
Bottom line, 660K fans voted for Andrew Bynum to be the starting center for the West. If David Stern had any integrity, he would appoint Drew to replace Yao as the starter. Unfortunately, I have as little faith in Stern as I have in many of the fans on this blog who never have given Drew the respect or credit he deserves for what he means to this team. Obviously we’ll have to agree to disagree on how you properly support your team. Maybe a trade Drew for Jefferson or Nene bandwagon would be more like your style.
..................................................
TOM

@LAKERTRUTH... “If there was one forward spot left, and I suggest that Kevin Durant deserves the nod over Lamar, does that make me an ungrateful Laker fan?” Of course not. In fact, if there was one spot open and it was between LO and AB, I would select LO. The issue, however, is that the fans vote for the starters and they have given Drew more votes than any other healthy center. That is why Drew should start. PERIOD.
..........................
@MVP... Thanks for your comments. I really do not care about the All-Star game but it really irks me the extent that some supposedly loyal Lakers fans go to justify why Drew should NOT be selected for the All-Star Game. Am I biased? Of course. It reminds me of the comment by the great Marquette basketball coach Al McGuire when one of his point guards asked him why he started his son Ali when he was just as good a guard. Al’s response was that he agree the guy was just as good but Ali was his son. The point is that there definitely are other deserving players, but Drew is our boy so why not support him.
...
Of course, the biggest joke of all is those who speak in the third person singular who are clamoring for Blake Griffith as the next greatest superstar when he has only played half a season and still doesn’t even know how to shoot or has not developed any post moves. ............................
TOM

"@BAY TO LA... “Lakertom, it's nothing personal against Andrew Bynum.” Is that so? Well, in my mind, you either root for your team’s players or you don’t. You either look for reasons to support your team’s players or you don’t. Obviously, many of you don’t agree with that position because I’ve heard every excuse in the world why Drew should NOT be an All-Star despite the fact he has the most votes of any healthy West center. Here is just a sample of the comments by supposedly appreciative Lakers fans:
...
Drew should NOT be an All-Star because: (1) He did not get his knee operated on time. (2) He missed 24 games to start the season. (3) He could reinjure his knee if he played. (4) He’ll have plenty of chances to make it in the future. (5) Pau Gasol can play center since there is no defense in the All-Star game. (6) Getting selected will send him the wrong message. (7) He should concentrate on helping the team win the championship. (8) LO deserves it more (at least a comment with which I earlier stated I agreed).
...
Bottom line, 660K fans voted for Andrew Bynum to be the starting center for the West. If David Stern had any integrity, he would appoint Drew to replace Yao as the starter. Unfortunately, I have as little faith in Stern as I have in many of the fans on this blog who never have given Drew the respect or credit he deserves for what he means to this team. Obviously we’ll have to agree to disagree on how you properly support your team. Maybe a trade Drew for Jefferson or Nene bandwagon would be more like your style.
..................................................
TOM

Posted by: LakerTom | January 27, 2011 at 02:23 PM "

Well which is it? Are you speaking as a fan who wants to see his team's players recognized and fully represented or are you speaking as an impartial basketball fan who wants the traditional all-star voting rules followed? Because there is a difference. It has not been a tradition to give the vote to the next leading vote getter and I doubt you have complained much about that in the past when non-Laker player were "punished" by such decisions.

Andrew made a choice when he chose to play through his injuries last year. He knew he was potentially sacrificing the future for the present and I think he is pretty satisfied with his decision.

There is definitely a case for Andrew making it this year but as in all years, there are worthy players that get left off.


DBDH...Congrats on a very clever RCOTD...You should market that!

Happy birthday, Dr. Buss! And thank you for making the Lakers one of the joys of my life.

@ bronx,

"DBDH...Congrats on a very clever RCOTD...You should market that!"

Share and share alike, bro! Take it to the Bronx, Queensbridge, and beyond!

Title Heaven in 2011


DBDH!

LakerTom,

you wrote: The issue, however, is that the fans vote for the starters and they have given Drew more votes than any other healthy center. That is why Drew should start. PERIOD.

my response: Technically, Pau Gasol got more votes than Bynum and he
played the beginning of the season at C.

However, you're getting this wrong. *YOU* should call the NBA office and
voice your outrage that Yao is on the ballot at all. Given the way the rules
stand, things said here about Bynum are valid.

you also wrote: Of course, the biggest joke of all is those who speak in the third person singular who are clamoring for Blake Griffith as the next greatest superstar when he has only played half a season and still doesn’t even know how to shoot or has not developed any post moves.

my response:

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bynuman01.html

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/g/griffbl01.html

Blake Griffin's first year, the guy who has not developed any post moves
& doesn't know how to shoot, is averaging 21.7 pts & 12.3 rebounds w/o
any training from Kareem.

Bynum, the next great C for the Lakers, has *NEVER* averaged 12 rebounds
despite tutoring from Kareem.

re: Blake being a superstar. How many people in the NBA have scored 47 pts
this season? How many rookies actually score 47 pts?

And before you start talking about Bynum not getting his chance ... Kwame
Brown & Chris Mihm were his competition. Don't even start talking about
Phil doesn't like rookies.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/f/farmajo01.html

2006-2007 he took Smush Parker's place heading into the playoffs.

you also wrote: You either look for reasons to support your team’s players or you don’t. Obviously, many of you don’t agree with that position because I’ve heard every excuse in the world why Drew should NOT be an All-Star despite the fact he has the most votes of any healthy West center.

my response: Maybe this is because some fans want a certain type of
character in their players/idols and Bynum's decision to put off his surgery
for the world cup rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Maybe because
him moving away from Kareem rubbed them the wrong way. Why is your
way any better than any other persons?

Regardless of what anyone else is saying, *I* am saying that if the all-star
game is a glorified popularity contest ... I have an easier time cheering for
a rookie, coming off knee surgery, who is making the ESPN highlight show
on the regular than a multi-millionaire who chose to go watch the World
Cup soccer match before having his surgery.

That's just me. Maybe you're a millionaire & it doesn't bother you that
someone who's ringing up $13 mil can't be bothered to put the team first.
FWIW, that's the same reason that Shaq & his toe rubbed me the wrong way.
[Yes, I know the laker mgmt said ok. I just don't think it was appropriate for
Bynum to ask. ]

If you want to be a superstar & a champion, GO THE EXTRA MILE!
Every one can see that with Griffin. Not everyone can see that attitude with
Bynum.
you also wrote: If David Stern had any integrity

my response: Did you actually mention David Stern and integrity in the same
sentence? Stop smoking crack! He's an evil little dwarf and I look forward to
the day he's no longer associated with basketball.

BayToLA,

>>>Here are the statistics:
>>>Player 1 has 768 points, 404 rebounds.
>>>Player 2 has 609 points, 301 rebounds.
>>>Player 3 has 250 points, 165 rebounds.
>>>
>>>Given those figures, who do you choose?

Problem is, it's not purely about "who has score d the most points this season". There is no concrete set of rules about who is best qualified to be an All-Star.

Since you're into statistics, let me offer you this one:

Player 1: his team is 21-10 with him OUT of the starting lineup, and is 12-3 with him starting

Player 2: his team is 3-1 without him, and 24-18 with him in the lineup

Did you pick Player 1? His team CLEARLY has a much better record with him IN the lineup than out?

Congratulations - you just picked Bynum over Nene. Denver did fine when Nene was out injured. The Lakers without Bynum were a 4 seed in the West for awhile.

To make this more succinct, before Bynum was starting, the Lakers were 2-5 against teams winning more than 50% of their games. Since Bynum has been starting, the Lakers are 6-1 versus teams with over 50% wins.

Again...

Without Bynum - 4 seed who struggles with playoff teams
With Bynum - 2 seed who manhandles playoff teams for 30 point wins.

Basketball is NOT an individual sport, where what matters most is your individual statistics. What matters most is how much you contribute to making your team better. Bynum clearly does that - the with/without Bynum stats clearly underline the fact. There are no stats for "alters", but if there were, Bynum would clearly be leading Duncan and Love and Griffin by A LOT in that category.

I think Bynum will need some big games on a national stage for him to actually have a chance. If he shines in the Boston and San Antonio games next week, then all these pundits hyping Nene or Tyson Chandler will suddenly pull a 180 and the big buzz question will be "What about Bynum?"

But if Drew has just average games in those games (or worse yet, if the Lakers LOSE and he has a bad game), then Drew's name (or Lamar's if he underperforms) will be completely out of consideration.

Seriously. Those two games next week could make or break the All-Star hopes of Bynum and/or Odom. Either of those guys could play their way onto a lot of coaches ballots by getting a 20-10 against Boston's vaunted defense... or by blocking 3 or 4 layup attempts by Tony Parker, or holding Tim Duncan under double figures, or something like that.

"Problem is, it's not purely about "who has score d the most points this season". There is no concrete set of rules about who is best qualified to be an All-Star.

Since you're into statistics, let me offer you this one:

Player 1: his team is 21-10 with him OUT of the starting lineup, and is 12-3 with him starting

Player 2: his team is 3-1 without him, and 24-18 with him in the lineup

Did you pick Player 1? His team CLEARLY has a much better record with him IN the lineup than out?

Congratulations - you just picked Bynum over Nene. Denver did fine when Nene was out injured. The Lakers without Bynum were a 4 seed in the West for awhile.

To make this more succinct, before Bynum was starting, the Lakers were 2-5 against teams winning more than 50% of their games. Since Bynum has been starting, the Lakers are 6-1 versus teams with over 50% wins.

Again...

Without Bynum - 4 seed who struggles with playoff teams
With Bynum - 2 seed who manhandles playoff teams for 30 point wins.

Basketball is NOT an individual sport, where what matters most is your individual statistics. What matters most is how much you contribute to making your team better. Bynum clearly does that - the with/without Bynum stats clearly underline the fact. There are no stats for "alters", but if there were, Bynum would clearly be leading Duncan and Love and Griffin by A LOT in that category.

I think Bynum will need some big games on a national stage for him to actually have a chance. If he shines in the Boston and San Antonio games next week, then all these pundits hyping Nene or Tyson Chandler will suddenly pull a 180 and the big buzz question will be "What about Bynum?"

But if Drew has just average games in those games (or worse yet, if the Lakers LOSE and he has a bad game), then Drew's name (or Lamar's if he underperforms) will be completely out of consideration.

Seriously. Those two games next week could make or break the All-Star hopes of Bynum and/or Odom. Either of those guys could play their way onto a lot of coaches ballots by getting a 20-10 against Boston's vaunted defense... or by blocking 3 or 4 layup attempts by Tony Parker, or holding Tim Duncan under double figures, or something like that.

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | January 27, 2011 at 03:19 PM "

I agree, there are millions of different ways to look at it. For another perspective, if Denver has the choice to have Bynum for 20 something games or Nene for 40 something games, I think they choose Nene.

I wasn't trying to say that Nene or Jefferson were better, I was just showing that Andrew's lack of games played is quite extreme compared to those other players and there are plenty of valid arguments AGAINST him being there as well.

Can Bynum be realistically thrown into the allstar debate? Of course. Is it going to be a crime if a Jefferson, Nene, or Gasol gets the nod at center instead? Not at all.


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