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Caught in the Web: Lakers examine their latest struggles

 

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan explores the Lakers' views on how they want to run their offense.

--The Times' Kevin Baxter details Joe Smith's debut with the Lakers.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr highlights Phil Jackson's clarified comments regarding Kobe Bryant's third-quarter scoring spree Sunday against Memphis.

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer explains how rapper Snoop Dogg won $20,000 betting on the Lakers.

--ESPN.com's John Hollinger ranks the Lakers at No. 8.

--A panel of ESPN.com writers breaks down the Lakers' struggles.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky previews the Lakers' upcoming week.

--Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins assesses the Lakers' current woes.

--NBA analysts Mike Fratello and Reggie Miller talk about the Lakers' struggles in the video below for Sports Illustrated's "Behind the Mic."

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin puts Jackson's comments about Bryant in context.

--Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears reports on Kendrick Perkins' contention that the Celtics would've won the 2010 NBA Finals against the Lakers had he not injured his right knee in Game 6.

--ESPN.com's Marc Stein ranks the Lakers at No. 7 because of poor offense and defense.

--The Daily Breeze's Elliott Teaford explains why the Lakers aren't worried about their sluggish play.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell details Monday's practice.

--Fox Sports' Billy Witz explores the Lakers' chemistry issues.

--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore literally charts the Lakers' decline.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano notices the Lakers are still looking for an identity.

Tweet of the Day: "Kobe understood the booing Sunday, saying fans are used 2 seeing Lakers play much better. But he added, ”We've also fed them a lot of tacos" -- Mike_Bresnahan (Los Angeles Times Lakers beat reporter Mike Bresnahan)

Reader Comment of the Day: Currently, the Lakers seemed resigned to losing games. They fall behind by double digits, try to fight back, then Kobe-dar kicks in, and that's it. There's no more fight and most of the players appear resigned to losing -- and not just losing, but doing so in a spectacular manner. If I don't know better, it appears like many of them are sulking when Kobe-dar kicks in instead of thinking, "Ok, Kobe is trying to get us jump started, let's give the man a hand, and see if we can get back in by riding on his energy". Start cutting and moving without the ball, hustle for lose balls, close out the 3 point shooters, etc.

The team is going through a funk right now and they are going to continue struggling for several more games. They need to get back on the same page and start executing as a team to develop better game habits. They know there's a problem, and now they need to find ways to fix it. At least they are no longer in denial with "every team has some bad nights," "it's still early in the season," etc. I'm confident the Lakers will figure it out. It may take longer than any self-respecting fan would like, but it'll happen." -- Seely_Iggy

-- Mark Medina
Twitter.com/latmedina

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

 
Comments () | Archives (47)

The comments to this entry are closed.

@SEELY_IGGY…. Congrats on another Justa. Great post. And it is still early in the season.
…………………………….
TOM

Seely -

Congrats on the RCOTD! :-)

After 10 years of watching phil I'm still trying to DEMISTIFY THE MYSTERY of our great LORD OF THE RINGS... Somebody please help me if I have any of this wrong.

THE PHILSAURUS

Screw up- crank it up, turn it up, step it up?

Defense- blase, unconcerned, nonchalant

Rebound- stand idle, remain impassive

Transition defense- lollygag loiter delay

To coach- vegetate, stagnate, daydream

Timeout- unnecessary, waste of time

Accept responsibilty- point fingers, backpedal, withdraw position, retreat

To man up- NA (not available)

@yello

Don't you get it, he doesn't need to correct any of these problems because the players will figure it out all on their own..........

@Seely
Congrats on the coveted Friedman!

I'm sick of players, or coaches complaining about Kobe taking over the offense! If those other players cut to an open space on the floor, they would receive the rock in a position to score!

i agree that no longer can they deny that this is systemic and it requires that they start fresh. if this was ucla back in the day, coach wooden would be instructing how to put your socks and shoes on correctly!! the idea of finding out what's wrong is not so symplistic a deal, because there are a lot wrong with how they are playing. don't go nuts ,yes it's frusrating, but it is what it is and they WILL deal with it. there are no religions named after any of these guys ,they are not perfect, but they are world champions, and this is an OPPORTUNITY for them to demonstrate this. patience is a virtue

Kobe was right, I agree with him. The fans, who pay good money, should boo if they feel the style of play is poor.

They've also fed the greater Los Angeles area with Tacos. How mindlessly greedy and the cupidity of fans who feel entitled.

I don't live in Cali, so, I can't comment specifically, just how many of you guys out there got free tacos cuz the Lakers played great defense.

This promotion is now officially ridiculous and has run it's course. Screw the Tacos, how about 48 minutes of effort instead.


It was ridiculous at the start, now, it's gotten redundantly lame, from a Die Hard Laker fan, and outsider of the greater Los Angeles area.

Just sayin'

seeley - great job on the RCOTD...

yellowfever - I'll stick with PJ till the end of this year...

My selections for today...for your visual and audio enjoyment...;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJQEndkObUY&feature=fvst
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQa7SvVCdZk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsYu42BI1Jg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oaHHrNQVrg

Have a productive day today all...see you on game chat...

Justanothermambafan,

you wrote: hobbit - that snippet (and the article - from the previous thread) wasn't discussing why Kobe will never be as good as MJ at all. Not sure I understand your point. Would you mind explaining? Thanks

my response: Certainly ma'am. The reasoning is as follows ...

Whenever there's talk about how great MJ was ... nothing is ever said about
his teammates. To take it a step further ... have you ever heard *ANYONE*
insinuate that Scottie Pippen wasn't professional? Rodman? [ keep it on
basketball please. :) ] Kerr? Longley? Cartwright?

So ... If Shaq had been professional and kept his weight down ... would the
Lakers have broken up?

If Pau had worked out like a fiend this summer ... would we have had the
losing streaks?

I argue no to both of those questions & we wouldn't be talking about Kobe
being a ball hog or not being a team player. We would be talking about
how he has more rings than anyone since Russell.

@mclyne.. I know just tryin to lighten up the mood here though some people will take it the wrong way and start completely FREAKIN WIGGIN OUT! But I agree kobe better grab the bull by the horns n get nasty cause we all know zenmasters don't like to get their hands dirty.

Justanothermambafan,

you wrote: hobbit - that snippet (and the article - from the previous thread) wasn't discussing why Kobe will never be as good as MJ at all. Not sure I understand your point. Would you mind explaining? Thanks

my response: Certainly ma'am. The reasoning is as follows ...

Whenever there's talk about how great MJ was ... nothing is ever said about
his teammates. To take it a step further ... have you ever heard *ANYONE*
insinuate that Scottie Pippen wasn't professional? Rodman? [ keep it on
basketball please. :) ] Kerr? Longley? Cartwright?

So ... If Shaq had been professional and kept his weight down ... would the
Lakers have broken up?

If Pau had worked out like a fiend this summer ... would we have had the
losing streaks?

I argue no to both of those questions & we wouldn't be talking about Kobe
being a ball hog or not being a team player. We would be talking about
how he has more rings than anyone since Russell.

LakerTom,

Yesterday, I noticed that you were focused on the Triangle Offense as the
primary issue with the Lakers.

However, per the earlier post:

The Lakers' 2½-hour practice emphasized the re-teaching of defensive concepts because of the staff's displeasure with the team's poor communication on screen-and-rolls and help defense, poor rotations and poor transition defense. All those factors have contributed to the Lakers (23-11) entering Tuesday's game at Staples Center against the Detroit Pistons allowing 97.68 points per game, which ranks 15th overall out of 30 teams. "The message was we have to respond with better energy defensively," Jackson summed up.

So it would seem that the Lakers are focusing more on defense than thinking
that a better offense would solve the problems. Curious as to what your
feelings are about that.

Hey, Good News!

Phil thinks the regular season and HCA are important.

Woo-hoo!

@Seely - congrats on RCOTD.

@NewMexLL – You’re right Suh is a monster. The best thing to hit Detroit since Barry left. Finally there’s a “little” light at the end of the tunnel for the Lions. Big Red…Stu and Ty Lue’s school.

@Justa - no prob. What’s on the pod today?

@Lew – very impressive resume you listed. Thanks for the reminder. Oh yeah, the selections were banging. The audio and visual :-)

@Magia32 – Now that’s power. Good to see my homey “Dwele” getting a little love with Kanye.

@mclyne – Can never ever evah go wrong with the P-Funk! Now hopefully the Lakers will bring that type of funk starting today!

For instance .............the biggest problem that occurs defensively with Pau and Bynum on the floor together is "TRANSITION DEFENSE"..................which just happens to have been the biggest problem the other night. How are you addressing that Phil?

These problems are specific that either Phil doesn't address or he's never asked about. The bottom line .......................The Lakers are in trouble.
Posted by: pfunk36 | January 04, 2011 at 09:14 AM
----------------------
pfunk,

Transition defense will always be a weakness with Pau & Drew in the game at the same time, (neither have the speed of a KG or Tyson Chandler). There’s really nothing that can be done about it other than executing the offense better and cutting down on turnovers. When the Lakers do that they’ll have better court balance and will be able to get back on defense better.

Whenever there's talk about how great MJ was ... nothing is ever said about
his teammates. To take it a step further ... have you ever heard *ANYONE*
insinuate that Scottie Pippen wasn't professional? Rodman? [ keep it on
basketball please. :) ] Kerr? Longley? Cartwright?

Posted by: hobbitmage | January 04, 2011 at 12:05 PM

----------------------
hobbit - All very professional with the Bulls. However, Rodman was the definition of anti-pro with the Lakers. I still haven't forgot how he refused to go on that road trip with the Lakers. Also ruined Rambis as a coach.

So it would seem that the Lakers are focusing more on defense than thinking
that a better offense would solve the problems. Curious as to what your
feelings are about that.

Posted by: hobbitmage |
================

hobbitmage,

Be that as it may, it's tough to turn those rebounds into fast breaks when you put the ball in the basket at a good clip.

After all, it's the team that scores the most points that win and getting 80 points a game isn't going to win them very many.

This particular focus on defense it certainly needed, but offensively they are in a jam as well.

And Phil should put a lid on the outside distractions, commercials, reality TV shows, whatever. Stay focused on the task at hand, do that other stuff in the off season.

Posted by: Art - FL Laker Fan | January 04, 2011 at 10:05 AM
----------------------

Art - Some of those things are out of the Lakers control. I don't think they can stop someone from doing a commercial or TV show as long as it doesn't conflict with their Laker schedule.

LRob,

Technically speaking I suppose you're right.
But there are ways to stop whatever kind of activity you want stopped.
See the bench?
Sit.
Stay.
Dog training 101!

Laker Truth,

Good points on Phil's blame game. But Kobe isn't alone. Phil has also been very critical of Pau and LO at times.


The key thing to remember is (similar to the Derek Fisher situation), Kobe was vehement about wanting Phil back. So, obviously Kobe feels that PJ positives far outweight his negatives.


I really enjoyed the 06 and 07 seasons when Kobe was must see TV. The Lakers weren't contenders but we got a chance to see Kobe fully unleashed. Which was cool for a couple of seasons. Kobe leading those teams to the playoffs those two seasons was an amazing feat. I'll glad I had a chance to witness it. (I'm still waiting on Nash to send him his 06-07 MVP award)

@Art - True...lol, but then the Lakers are losing part of the whole aura of coming to Hollywood.

hobbit - thanks for the reply. I'll get back to you later...


LRob - since you asked - today it was 50 cent with 21 Questions. I posted the clean version (I hope) as that's what I have on my iPod. Funny but it's kind of appropriate - we're all asking this Lakers team 21 questions LOL!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqNB_Cta5bw


@HOBBITMAGE… It is my opinion that offense and defense in basketball are inextricably connected. There is no doubt that great defense can lead to great offense but it is also true that poor offense can result in poor defense, which is what happened when the Lakers turned the ball over 20 times and played 1-on-1 basketball on offense rather than sharing the ball against the Grizzlies. Their poor performance on offense was a major factor in their poor defense.

Our defensive problem against the Grizzlies was not our interior defense as Drew, Pau, and Lamar all did an excellent job protecting the paint and the rim. In fact, I think we blocked more shots than in any other game this year. The problem against Memphis was clearly our transition defense, which suffered when we fail to run the Triangle Offense and play inside-out basketball.

With two 7-footers in the lineup, other teams know their best chance to score against us is to push the ball in transition and minimize the times they have to confront our half court defense. Thus, it is critical that the Lakers run their offense efficiently as doing that will ensure that they maintain good floor balance and have good defensive position in transition. That is why part of the practice was devoted to running the Triangle Offense in addition to defensive rotations.
….
Kobe taking over games is a mixed bag in my opinion. Most of the time, he does it when the team is struggling and we need a boost on offense. Occasionally, like against the Grizzlies, it backfires and the other players stand around, usually because they know that Kobe wants a clear out so he can do their thing. That’s what I saw happen several times against Memphis.

To me, you cannot isolate offense from defense or vice versa The Lakers are a much more difficult team to defend when we run our offense and emphasize more balanced scoring. Basketball games involve a constantly changing continuum of play that switches from offense to defense. If players are stagnant and standing around on offense, they will not be position or ready to suddenly participate on defense. The teamwork and coordination required to run the Triangle Offense efficiently are exactly what is required to play great team defense.

Bottom line, we need to play both great offense and defense to three-peat. We need a balance and a synchronicity that permeates both offense and defense. We also need a balance between running the offense and sharing the ball along with taking advantage of the greatest offensive weapon that any NBA team has in Kobe Bryant. In my opinion, all of this hullabaloo is just Phil and Kobe working out the kinks and getting the team back to playing championship basketball.
………………………………….
TOM

Art -FL Lakers Fan,

you wrote: Be that as it may, it's tough to turn those rebounds into fast breaks when you put the ball in the basket at a good clip.

After all, it's the team that scores the most points that win and getting 80 points a game isn't going to win them very many.

This particular focus on defense it certainly needed, but offensively they are in a jam as well.

my response: I argue that defense leads to offense. I argue that if our bigs
did windows, we'd be in a *MUCH* better position. With good rebounds,
with offensive rebounds ... we'd get second chance points, Bynum would
be an all-star, and our record would be significantly better.

Here's a tough, yet honest question for you: When is the last time you saw
one of our bigs fight for a tough rebound?

Here's another tough, yet honest question for you: How are we getting out-
rebounded when we have 2 7-footers starting AND LO coming off the bench?

Here's another tough, yet honest question for you: With all of the comments
about complacency & lackadaisical effort by the Lakers ... What makes you
think that the effort given to rebounding wouldn't affect other aspects of the
game and raise everything?

How many times have you heard a great rebounding team get linked to a lack
of professionalism by their coach?

I've said this before in a different way. I'll say it again. It starts with character.
Character leads to effort. Effort creates habits. Habits lead to championships.

Give me character & effort and I'll beat 75% of my competition regardless of
their talent. Add talent to character and effort and you've got a champion.

LRob,

you wrote: Transition defense will always be a weakness with Pau & Drew in the game at the same time, (neither have the speed of a KG or Tyson Chandler). There’s really nothing that can be done about it other than executing the offense better and cutting down on turnovers.

my response: There is *one* thing they could do to change it. They could
actually run.

Hey guys. Sorry for being a bit AWOL. I was at the Lakers' morning shootaround to compile stuff for later on. I'll catch up shortly. There is also an item being edited right now so that should be up fairly soon

I can see people questioning the Lakers yet another year. This is our Lakers team and they have been like this for years. It just seems that sometimes they have the attention span of a rock when it comes to certain games. Everyone can play the blame game but it serves no purpose what so ever. In the end it will be the Lakers against the top leastern conference team as we all know so please just sit back and know that it is going to be a bumpy ride as it has been for years.

"I don't live in Cali, so, I can't comment specifically, just how many of you guys out there got free tacos cuz the Lakers played great defense.

This promotion is now officially ridiculous and has run it's course. Screw the Tacos, how about 48 minutes of effort instead.


It was ridiculous at the start, now, it's gotten redundantly lame, from a Die Hard Laker fan, and outsider of the greater Los Angeles area.

Just sayin'

Posted by: Sean | January 04, 2011 at 11:45 AM "

It's very corny indeed. Even worse when Joel Meyers starts acting all excited and talking about them like he has some vested interest in the whole thing.

hobbitmage,

I wasn't disputing the need for the practice on defense, as I said:

"This particular focus on defense it certainly needed, but offensively they are in a jam as well."

The turnovers they are making aren't being made when they are playing defense.

Kobe's 105 turnovers or his 3.05 T.O's per game isn't happening on defense.

Lamar's 72 turnovers and Pau's 66 turnovers, way higher than anyone else's, or Barnes 46 and Blakes 40 turnovers are not happening on defense.

The teams rebounding avg is 44.4 per game, their opponents is 41.5.

I agree with Laker Tom's post above at 1:10 PM, the team needs better balance and is struggling on both ends of the court.

To take it a step further ... have you ever heard *ANYONE*
insinuate that Scottie Pippen wasn't professional?

Posted by: hobbitmage | January 04, 2011 at 12:03 PM
=====

Ever? Okay, once. I'm a big Pippen fan. Remember when PJ drew up the final shot for Toni Kukoc (which he hit) in Round 2, Game 3 of the 1994 playoffs?

It was playoff time, 1994, and a basketball game was hanging in the balance. These were the moments Kerr and Pippen had discussed at length since Michael Jordan had retired and signed with the Chicago White Sox to play minor league baseball. Pippen understood it was his job now to lead the Bulls in these critical times. Everyone else in the league—not to mention his teammates—expected it. Again and again, Pippen had insisted he was up to the task.

And yet, with 1.8 seconds remaining in Game 3 of the eastern Conference semi-finals, a tie ball game against the Knicks, Pippen was ... taking himself out?

"I was shocked," Kerr admits now. "The only way to describe it was total disbelief. Here was a guy who had done so much for our team, who had been our leader all year long. He was, and still is, one of the greatest teammates I've ever had. But on that day, I think all the pressure and frustration of our season caught up with him, and he snapped."
...

Days later Jordan, hundreds of miles away in Birmingham, shook his head sadly. "Poor Scottie," he said. "I kept telling him it's not easy being me. Now he knows."

What a guy.

cofm

Nice to see a veteran voice of reason make his presence felt. Happy New Year!

LakerTom,

you wrote: It is my opinion that offense and defense in basketball are inextricably connected. There is no doubt that great defense can lead to great offense but it is also true that poor offense can result in poor defense, which is what happened when the Lakers turned the ball over 20 times and played 1-on-1 basketball on offense rather than sharing the ball against the Grizzlies. Their poor performance on offense was a major factor in their poor defense.

my response: With respect, you're not paying attention. Let me clarify things.
I have not said that offense & defense are not casually related. What I have
said is that it's possible to play great defense regardless of how you play on
offense. In other words, they are not causually [ sp? ] related. On the
Bulls, Rodman played great defense and had mediocre offense. They won.
On the Spurs, Bown had great defense and had mediocre offense. They won.

This sentence: Their poor performance on offense was a major factor in their poor defense.

I particularly disagree with. Kobe hit 6 game winners last year. It is my
recollection that in all 6 games the Lakers scored over 100 pts. That would
indicate that their great offensive performance did not lead to good
defense. Furthermore, it has been seen numerous times that after the Lakers
score a running team will push the pace and immediately score on the Lakers
because they're loafing.

You also wrote: To me, you cannot isolate offense from defense or vice versa The Lakers are a much more difficult team to defend when we run our offense and emphasize more balanced scoring. Basketball games involve a constantly changing continuum of play that switches from offense to defense. If players are stagnant and standing around on offense, they will not be position or ready to suddenly participate on defense. The teamwork and coordination required to run the Triangle Offense efficiently are exactly what is required to play great team defense.

my response: Game 7 of the NBA finals disagrees with your hypothesis. Your
argument is flawed in a number of ways. I'll try to clarify. Your argument
assumes that if you run the Triangle Offense you will make your shots. That
is experientially incorrect. Reference D-Fish & Ron Artest. Furthermore,
go back to 2008. We were running our offense like a well oiled machine
until we ran into the defensive minded Celtics. We saw how that ended.

Another problem with your argument: Name one team that ran the Triangle
Offense, didn't have a premiere perimeter defender that won an NBA
championship. At this point, most of your argument seems to be based
upon what the Lakers have done running the offense. From a statistics
perspective, your sample size is too small to substantiate your argument.
If you can show the Triangle offense winning without a great perimeter
defender you'll go farther in supporting your argument.

It is my understanding that in the NBA, specifically with Phil Jackson, the
Triangle offense has been incredibly effective because of the play of Kobe &
MJ. Yes, Shaq contributed. Yes, Shaq was a beast inside. Yet, he couldn't
get it done until Kobe & Phil were playing with him. MJ got it done w/o
a dominant big. Kobe got it done without Shaq. Kobe got it done with Shaq.
Kobe got it done with D-Fish as his pg and not Scottie Pippen as a sidekick.

In martial arts there's a saying, there's no such thing as a better martial art.
There's only better martial artists. I see no reason why that philosophy is
true when it comes to basketball as well. I'm looking at your arguments
to see if I've missed something which would make that philosophy false and
so far I haven't seen it.

You also wrote: To me, you cannot isolate offense from defense or vice versa The Lakers are a much more difficult team to defend when we run our offense and emphasize more balanced scoring. Basketball games involve a constantly changing continuum of play that switches from offense to defense. If players are stagnant and standing around on offense, they will not be position or ready to suddenly participate on defense. The teamwork and coordination required to run the Triangle Offense efficiently are exactly what is required to play great team defense.

my response: This is flawed in a number of ways. You speak of balanced
scoring as if it's an easy thing to do.

http://content.usatoday.com/sportsdata/basketball/nba/game/Grizzlies_Lakers/2011/01/02

Ron Artest 0-2
D-Fish 2-6

What you mean to say is that if everyone on the Lakers is shooting 75%
& we shared the ball equally b/n all players we'd be tough to beat and you'd
be right. Sadly, we're not and we never will be shooting 75%.

Finally, Bill Russell, MJ, Phil Jackson & Kobe Bryant all disagree with you.
*THAT* is why the focused on defense in practice. *THAT* is why they have
so many championships b/n them. *THAT* is why Kobe has more rings than
Shaq. *THAT* is why Bill Russell has more rings than Wilt.

finally ...

http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=7276

snippet:
As you can see, this result seems to bear out the old adage that "Defense Wins Championships"; for instance, to have the exact same title odds as a team with an average offense and a defense that was 5.0 pts/100 poss better than average, an average defensive team would have to score 7.7 more pts/100 poss than average!

LRrob,

Phil is a great coach and I would not want any other coach leading this team (except maybe Poppovich), but it drives me crazy when he uses Kobe as the scapegoat. He did it with his book, he did it during the Smush/Kwame era, and now he's doing it again.

Since the threepeat, EVERY time the Lakers have failed to win a championship, Kobe has gotten ALL the blame while Phil rarely takes any of the blame. I believe this is by Phil's design, with the help of the main stream media who never forgave Kobe for Colorado. Phil has the media (as well as many fans) programmed to blame Kobe's shot attempts whenever the team struggles. It's similar to Pavlov's theory. When the bell rings, the dog salivates...or when the Lakers struggle, the media blames Kobe's shot attempts. It doesn't matter that Fish has been a liability on both ends of the floor for most of the season. Phil never criticizes Fish, and consequently, neither does the media. Coincidence? It does not matter that Pau looks fatigued, has been unable to attract double teams for the past few weeks, and has been ineffective in one on one situations. It's Kobe's fault. Artest looks injured or distracted, but hey, it must be Kobe's shot attempts. Phil has arguably the most talented team he has ever coached. He has no excuses this year, but he has already planted the seeds for a contingency plan. If the Lakers fail to threepeat, nobody is going to question Phil, like usual, and trust me, Kobe will take (and accept) all the blame, like usual. To Kobe's credit, he has taken the high road once again, but it's time for Phil to take some of the responsibility for their lackluster play of late. Kobe is already the team play caller, the closer, an assistant coach, the team motivator and leader, free agent recruiter, as well as the team scapegoat. Kobe takes so much pressure off his teammates and coaches by being the main target of criticism, by being the scapegoat. It would be nice if Phil took some pressure off of Kobe for once, and accepted some responsibility of his own, but I'm fairly certain that will never happen.

Always reading but don't post as much ... so a belated new year to my laker blog family ... here's wishing 2011 is a great year 4 all of us in our personal endeavors and of course the icing on d cake ... yet another 3peat

@hobbit ... ya analysis on the mj/kobe debate is very much on point ... though u do realize it's also an argument for why Miami is the team to beat

as 4 the laker woes ... I'm still not sweating it ... it's january ... ron ron's got his ring ... fish is a year older ... Gasol's feeling left out again ... Bynum is popping off instead of earning his franchise center tag ... etc etc etc

PJ is the main culprit here as far as I'm concerned, and just like he won't call a timeout when we're getting blasted off the court ... he won't make the necessary moves 2 fix this ... he'll just keep making smart comments 2 d media like the lil punk he is

Still I watched punk jackson mind bend smush parker into believing he could best Nash ... so I ain't one 2 doubt his methods ... come May, the squad will be ready ... lets just hope nobody has a heart attack before then

And lastly ... y'all know Kobe will figure this ish out even if PJ doesn't ... so try n relax people ... then again i dnt get 2 c that many laker games again, so easy 4 me 2 preach put up with d mediocre play :)

I'm reading comments here and I’m speechless and I’m wondering if some of you nuts or just plain DUMB? No, seriously, just stop and think for a second, and I’m not talking about pfunk36, I’m not arguing with nutcases, the recipe for the past 5 Lakers championships was single constant – collaboration of Kobe and Phil. Yes, Shaq was there for the first 3, but so as Pau with for last two. But this collaboration produced 5 championships, Kobe bought into Phil’s system, and they’re not arguing with each other anymore, they’re accepted each other with all the shortcoming and characters flaws, just because IT’S WORKING, it produced 5 rings. So, what are you suggesting? Replace Phil with Doc Rivers? And Doc Rivers, with 4 ALL Stars now playing for C’s has to show what? 1 Ring? Another “smart” idea, trading Kobe for LB, I even don’t know should I comment or what. LB light years behind Kobe in deep understanding of this game, being a killer on the court, work ethic. Will he ever arrive? Maybe, but it remains to be seen.
Our team struggles? Definitely, to the point it’s becoming very difficult to watch and getting angry with every loss. But I would like to remind fans here not so distant past, seasons of 04 – 07. Those years took much bigger tall on all of us, entire Lakers community, but true fans manage to get through it and got rewarded. So, let’s stick together through all the ups and downs, and try to be a little more patient with our team. I know it’s easy to say then actually do; we have to try our best. We’re LA Lakers fans, should I say more???

@Hobbit
EXCELLENT point about character! This immediately made me think of the Houston Rocket teams of the past few years. We almost lost to them a few years back in the playoffs because it seemed like they wanted it more than us. We has way more talent they they did and it took us seven games to close it out.

To me, that is the underlying problem with our team right now- All the teams who play us just want to win more than we do.

now for something non-basketball related ...

Jennifer Lopez

Definition: Singer and actress J. Lo has been subject to both criticism and praise, but in investment circles, there's far more of the latter. Her, er, assets inspired the investment industry slang Jennifer Lopez, which describes the highly desirable rounding bottom of a stock's price on its way up.

Usage: "I wouldn't mind seeing a little more Jennifer Lopez on the NASDAQ."

KobeMVP888,

thanks for the 1 post about pippen.

Phil Jackson' partial coaching resume:

19 seasons
11 championships
13 NBA Finals
1 ECF exit
3 second round exits
2 First Round Exits
0 Playoffs missed
48-0 when his teams win Game 1 of a playoff series
.704 Regular season winning percentage (#1 all-time)
.717 Post-season winning percentage (#1 all-time)
175 playoff victories (#1 all-time)
7-0 championship record when his team won more than 60 games
=====

Now in his 20 season as a head coach, there are those who still enjoy piling on Phil Jackson, even Lakers fans. Stan Van Gundy, who as everyone knows is not a big fan of Phil Jackson had this to say after Phil's Lakers beat his Magic 4-1 in the 2009 NBA Finals:

"Tell me the team that didn't have great players that won a championship.
I'm unaware."

Van Gundy – whose brother Jeff once mocked Jackson as "Big Chief Triangle" for Jackson's wont to share his passion for both Native American wisdom and the triangle offense – pointed out an astounding statistic on Sunday. Jackson, to wit, has now won 51 playoff series as a coach. Only 18 coaches in NBA history can claim to have won 51 playoff games.

Sunday also marked Jackson's 300th career playoff game. Only five franchises have played 300 or more playoff games – the Lakers, Celtics, 76ers, Pistons and Knicks.

"Some of the stuff is almost incomprehensible," said Stan Van Gundy of Jackson's credentials. "And yeah, he's had great players, but the guy wins all the time. If you have Kobe and those guys and you're losing, okay, maybe they can talk about it. But that guy is winning all the time. You can't give him short shrift. I don't know Phil Jackson at all, you guys all know him better than I do."

"But damn, you look at the guy's record, it's undeniable."
======

Yes, I defer to Phil Jackson. Maybe it's not the cool thing to do, but it's the smart thing to do.

Pippen took himself out of that game to protest the play being drawn up for Kukoc. Pippen wanted the shot to be for himself.

KobeMVP888,

thanks for the 1 post about pippen.

Posted by: hobbitmage | January 04, 2011 at 01:51 PM
=====

I did qualify it. Like I said, I'm a big fan of Pip's because of his professionalism. That is why that one incident stuck out like a sore thumb, but in no way does it reflect who the man was as a professional.

I keep hearing the Lakers players complain about other players not trying hard enough, Phil is saying they're not executing properly, he's teaching new practices, everyone is making excuses, everyone is unhappy, etc. Why doesn't someone in the organization just do a service to all of the fans, bloggers, radio personalities etc that talk about complacency and come out with a quote like :

"We already know we're going to be in the finals. Frankly, a game against Memphis in January doesn't generate enough interest for us to even come to the arena. If it wasn't for contractual obligations, we'd cancel the game altogether. Since we can't, we'll come out and miss open shots, not rotate on defense, and lose so we can open ourselves up to more criticism after the game. Know why? Because we don't care. The switch will be flipped in April and then we'll win every game."

Why is no one on the Lakers saying this? They could just end all of the second-guessing, all of the media pontification, everything with that one simple quote.

LT

While Phil Jackson came into the NBA as a defensive minded coach, he shifted his coaching emphasis because he became enamored with Tex Winter's triangle offense. I agree that with Phil's schemes, offense and defenseare inextricably connected. Here's a January 15, 2010 piece from Roland Lazenby's blog, lakernoise.com. Enjoy!

http://lakernoise.com/2010/01/the-phil-phenomenon-by-roland-lazenby/

KobeMVP,

Nice link, enjoyed the read.

I would like to bust another assumption here, Lakers now, the way they are playing, NOT MOST TALENTED team PJ coaching in years. If you examine player by player, with exception of Kobe and LO, everyone else is regressed, including newcomers. Lets start with PGs. Fish..? Should I say more, so far he is not making wide open shots, his main responsibility on O, he often lunching into ill advised forays to the basket and constantly bitten on D. Blake, we all have hoped we acquired future replacement for Fish, and so far we’re still waiting. Sometimes, I’m wondering if he is the same guy I hated when he was playing for Portland and who was constantly burning Lakers especially at Rose Garden, feisty defender given our guards, Kobe including run for their money. Pau, somehow he got tired only 10 games into the season, bearing in mind he did not play whole entire summer and now with Bynum back, still playing like very tired person. Ron Ron, I really don’t know what is going on, his shot left him somewhere after the game 7 of the last year finals and we patiently waiting when he comes back, if ever. Not to mention, playing in triangle for 2nd year it seems to me he still uncomfortable playing in the system. Shannon, it’s like a story of Jekyll and Hyde, we just don’t know and coaching staff I believe too, who is going to shows for today’s game, someone who is going to shoot light out combined with pesky defense or someone who is going to dribble for 15 sec before attempting desperation shot and gamble on defense. Andrew Bynum still working his way into game-shape condition and we’re hoping to see 20-10, or at least 16-10 production somewhere by the end of January. One thing about Kobe I don’t like – his gamble on D. He is constantly leaving his man open and this is a moment when some no name player getting wide open look. And often making his shot. With all being said, and players not playing to their potential, my conclusion is obvious, as of now this NOT MOST TALENTED Lakers team. For me talent should manifest itself into results and this team so far fail to do so.

cofm99 - great to see you brother...Hope your holidays were special...and I hope you have gotten settled in you're move back to the Southland...I hope you learned your lesson...you had no business being in Chowderland...lol...Don't be such a stranger...and hope to see you at game chat later...

Blog has been incredible today, with multiple excellent posts from a lot of regulars...

When the Blog flows like this...there is no denying that we have the most knowledgeable and passionate fans...

Saying that...IT'S TIME TO GET BACK TO LAKERBALL...

Let's get back to business, and a win tonight would be a great start...

Thanks everyone for the kind words, I had no idea I got RCOTD till Justa told me a few minutes ago in the chat. Well, gotta run, watching Lakers beat up on the Pistons right now. Our guys are looking so much better. Oh please please keep this up.


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