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Caught in the Web: Lakers prepare for Utah Jazz

6a00d8341c506253ef0147e02fc178970b-320wi--The Times' Broderick Turner says the Lakers' defense is better than what Jerry West and Phil Jackson suggest.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr details Matt Barnes' rehab efforts, including shooting after Sunday's practice. Carr also focuses on how the Lakers' light week should provide valuable rest.

--Hoopshype.com catches up with  Kobe Bryant on the season.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky and 710 ESPN's Dave Miller break down the Lakers' inconsistencies on defense.

--NBA.com presents a midseason report card for the Utah Jazz.

--The Salt Lake Tribune's Brian T. Smith details the Jazz's recent struggles.

--The Daily Breeze's Elliott Teaford points out that Ron Artest doesn't make much of his recent string of impressive performances.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell presents a medical update on Barnes and Theo Ratliff.

Tweet of the Day: "I can't believe Jay Cutler hasn't even TRIED to come back... This is to go to the Super Bowl.. That's crazy" -- Matt_Barnes22 (Lakers forward Matt Barnes).

Reader Comment of the Day:"I love Jerry West as much as anyone. But he vastly underrates the importance of coaches. I'm always surprised that he does. He apparently doesn't think having his Lakers could have won more titles with Bill Sharman coaching them earlier instead of Bill Van Breda Kolff (who couldn't get along with Wilt) or Joe Mullaney (a college coach who never connected with the players). I have to disagree with my idol on this one. Sharman was as important as any player on the '71-72 team and he got Wilt's buy-in to playing defense and being a playmaker. West and Wilt were getting old and weren't the players they had been in earlier in their careeers, and Baylor hung his jock strap early in the season. Yet they played together and stomped the reat of the league. Yes, you need the players first, but the right coach is the key to putting a team over the top." -- Tom Daniels

-- Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Kobe Bryant leans past Jazz guard Ronnie Price for a short-range shot in the first half of the Lakers' 102-96 loss Nov. 26 to the Utah Jazz. Credit: Steve C. Wilson / Associated Press

 
Comments () | Archives (18)

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@TOM DANIELS... Congrats on another RCOD. I agree with 100% with your comments about Jerry. It’s obvious to me that he really does not give Phil all the respect he deserves as a coach. I put the comments down as simple jealousy on Jerry’s behalf and not that different from his comments about Drew and Pau being too slow to play together, which Jerry made right after the Lakers got Pau. What’s ironic is that I believe Jerry had once commented that the Lakers would have won several more rings had Bill Sharman been their coach. Yet, he cannot find it in his heart to give Phil the credit he deserves. Reminds me of Magic’s comments last year about LeBron over Kobe.
................................
TOM

***RE-POST***

@ MM...


In defense of PLG (much more enjoyable defending her than those dreaded Celtics!), I think you might have taken her observation too personally about Ron being overlooked by the media.


The fact is that ESPN, TNT, and other National Media sources still seek to identify Ron with his former misdeeds, sometimes more than his recent record. It feels like those media outlets linger over the past like vultures trying to pick one last morsel of meat from a bone that has long ago been picked clean.


It sometimes has the feeling of those who gawk at the car accident or replay youtube videos over and over showing some chaotic event. It's like some people have an appetite for the blunders of others. They may say the right things, but there is an undeniable tone that lurks in the background coloring their hopes and expectations.


That is why the league's move to overturn Ron's "T" was monumental. A little recent history for perspective.

1. We all remember Steve Javie giving a "T" to Rasheed Wallace in a playoff game versus the Lakers because Sheed "looked at him wrong." Javie suffered no consequences from the league. The "T" stood.

2. We also remember Joey Crawford giving a "T" to Tim Duncan in a playoff game because Tim "looked at him wrong" (actually, Joey accused Tim of laughing at him). Crawford was suspended and the "T" was rescinded.


The reputations of those players dictated much of the Leagues response (admittedly Crawford's subsequent taunt of Timmy was also considered). Sheed got no benefit. Timmy got the benefit.


I think what PSLG is trying to say (and many of us agree with her!) is that it is about time that Ron be viewed more like Timmy than Sheed. That you ~ MM ~ claim to already do that is wonderful! I think I agree with you. BUT, please do not overlook the many other media outlets that are lagging way behind. That is her point.


Now I call upon UTZ to close my sermon with a word of prayer! lol

LakerMike

Didn't it just come out that Cutler had a torn ligament?

BY THE WAY... FOR THE RECORD...


I find both UTZ and LONG TIME LAKER FAN to be two great examples of members of our community who consistently post with both class and passion. Two more reasons I am attached here.


LakerMike

Consistent with beating a dead horse or snake to death, recall my rants last week about the bogus Power Bracelet that Lamar and Kobe wear during games. Shaq even gives an endorsement on product’s website. Now lawyers have entered the Power Balance fray. A federal class action claims Shaquille O'Neal and Lamar Odom endorse a bogus Power Balance "performance technology" bracelet … (http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/01/24/33536.htm). The plaintiff seeks statutory and punitive damages for consumer fraud, false advertising, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment. Lakers don't need this distraction.

I don’t begrudge professional athletes for using their celebrity to endorse good products and earn endorsement fees. Such is part of the American Dream. But I question the psyche and/or ethics of professional athletes who continue to wear Power Bracelets in light of: 1) the Nov 2010 ESPN Outside the Lines report on scientific research by exercise physiologists at University of Wisconsin La Crosse for the American Council on Exercise (a consumer watchdog) that debunked power bracelets. The UW research tested 12 men and 9 women (20 of them UW athletes) and found the $30 hologram “Power Bracelet offers no performance benefit when compared to the $0.30 placebo bracelet.”; and, 2) Power Balance recent admission in writing “that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims" that their wristbands and pendants improve balance, strength and flexibility. Some NBA players wear a bracelet on each wrist.

Popular athletes who endorse bogus products risk damaging their credibility and their fans’ bank accounts as well as providing ways for lawyers make more money.

FYI UTZ...


ESPN Chicago: "Cutler underwent an MRI on Monday that revealed a sprain to the medial collateral ligament in his left knee. Earlier Monday, it was reported by the Sun-Times that he had torn the MCL."


LakerMike

@Tom Daniels – Congrats on the RCOTD. I also enjoyed your response to hobbit on coaches.


@Laker Tom – Good to hear Drew wants to be the best.


@hobbit – You’re right about Drew’s need to improve rebounding if he wants to be the best. Rebounding and defense.


@LakerMike - Don't forget about Jermaine O'Neal. He's injured also. The C's were forced to start that rookie Erden at center.


@mclyne – Nice one by the “super group” - I hadn’t heard that one before. And of course, Neil is classic. Let me hit you with one more to fit that theme….with a legendary funnyman doing the band intro...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTDRd0Z0O4o

** REPOST**


MM - I totally (yes, in my best valley girl twang) did not mean my comment to represent the LAT. It was definitely more geared to national media outlets.

The LAT (and I am not sucking up) has been very fair in media coverage of Ron. I would also say it has provided Ron a balanced, second chance media outlet in order for him to change his reputation.

LakerMike is spot on. Thanks LakerMike!

Cheers - PLG


UTZ- Dude... I like to apologize to you regarding disparaging comment that I've previously posted. I'm one to understand the importants of PRAYER, in any forum or gathering. And this blog is a perfect place for planting seeds and cultivating CONSCIENCELESS, and you do a GREAT job.

CARRY ON SIR...GO HEAT, just Sayin

@G.money: We go hard on our opponents around here. REAL HARD. But at the end of the day, it's all Basketball with us. Never personal. It's all good, bro. I apologize for my actions as well.

UTZ- That should be CONSCIOUSNESS.

utzworld,

I read the same thing. Torn ACL.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

G.Money,

An acquaintance of mine was recently in Miami. He told me he couldn't find a single person who even cared about the Heat. All people care about there is football and golf. Basketball is an after-thought. Reportly most of the attendance at Heat games are by tourists.

What a joke.

I find those getting on the Miami Hype bandwagon to be relatively ridiculous.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Congrats TD!

"What a joke.

I find those getting on the Miami Hype bandwagon to be relatively ridiculous."

Jon K - As much as I HATE the Heat and Miami in general, I do have to say that things do eventually change and this version of the Heat may be the thing that makes Miami more of a basketball town (provided that your acquaintance is correct).

Years ago, when my wife and I lived in Denver, the Broncos were IT. People didn't give a Rat's Patute about the Nuggets or the Rockys (now the NJ Blue Devils). If it weren't for the fact that military members got in real cheap there may have been nobody in attendance for some of the games. In fact, you had to be careful not to sit too close to the Nugs bench or you might have had to play! Yes, those were some bad days. Look at Denver sports now! A little investment in some names and boom 4 major sports (yeah, I'm including the Avalanche)have a home and a strong fanbase for all of them.

The same thing could happen in Miami all starting with the Meat....well, it COULD.

JR

Jolly Rancher,

"The same thing could happen in Miami all starting with the Meat....well, it COULD."

It could, but it hasn't.

I think we both know that LeBron wanted to play in Miami because he didn't want to play in a high-pressure market.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

With regards to Jerry West not giving coaches their full due. I don't think it is personal - although Phil Jackson had as much to do with Jerry leaving the Lakers as anyone else. When Jerry played it was mostly just he and Elgin Baylor with a bunch of very average players (at the time they played with the Lakers). There was no real money in the game and the Laker owners weren't about to spend large amounts to get role players the equal of the Celtics role players. It wasn't until Wilt came that there was a 3rd player with real talent and then they were coached by Bill Van Breda Kolff (enough said). With Jerry's intensity and playing experience, he sees coaches not making a real difference. Remember, his initial pro coach was also his college coach and he did really respect him - he just couldn't get the Lakers, as constituted then, over the Celtic hump. All his experience points to getting the players needed to win and getting 'someone' to coach them.

Just a few coaches preach a real system (Holtzmen and Jackson, for example) and Jerry never played for one of those people.

I think it hurt Jerry West when a man he respected as much as Del Harris was the victim of the whole Shaq/Kobe affair and then Phil Jackson waltzed in and started winning titles. Nothing against Phil himself, but Del was a good guy, a good coach and a friend and personal choice of West's. Phil was Buss's idea, as I understand it.


Also, a guy who made a living as a GM and whose job was to put the players in place would tend to think his job was more important than the coaches, no?


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