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Caught in the Web: Lakers preparing for Memphis Grizzlies

6a00d8341c506253ef013488ac6d01970c-320wi--The Times' Broderick Turner explains how Lamar Odom has thrived in the past two games coming off the bench.

--The Times' Mark Heisler analyzes the NBA's labor situation. Heisler also predicts there will be an NBA lockout and details an imaginary conversation between many significant NBA figures regarding the current season.

--True Hoop's Mark Haubner revisits the Lakers' 2010 NBA championship.

--NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper isn't worried one bit about the Lakers' struggles.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky discuss in their latest podcast Kobe Bryant's recent public criticism about the team's play, Andrew Bynum's production since his return and the Western Conference standings.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin highlights a few nuggets from the Lakers-Sixers game and looks at what lies ahead in 2011.

--The Daily Breeze's Elliott Teaford explains why the Lakers feel good entering 2011.

--Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen predicts that the Lakers will have renewed focus. Thomsen also explains what Bynum's return to the starting lineup means for the Lakers in the video below

--The Memphis Commercial Appeal's Ronald Tillery lists a few New Year's resolutions regarding the Grizzlies.

Tweet of the Day: "We'll see straight off what kind of luck the Lakers have in 2011 tomorrow [Sunday]: Bynum + January + Grizzlies = usually disastrous." -- KevinDing (Orange County Register's Lakers beat reporter Kevin Ding)

Reader Comment of the Day:"The Fisher Question is a tough one. I'm a fan of his body of work. I think he does a lot of things that he gets little credit for defensively -- for example he gets his hands on a lot of balls, plays good help D (sometimes even on bigs), takes a lot of charges, and nobody is better at stopping 3 on 1 fast breaks single handedly. The guy came up huge in the playoffs last year. None of that is intangibles, it is solid basketball.

But in the dog days of the regular season? When he's jacking up shots early in the clock and going 0-6? When sometimes you forget he's on the court and other times you notice him and wish he wasn't out there? Well, then it's tougher to love Fish. He's not tall or quick. He's a decent shooter, but very streaky -- he's either on fire or ugly. I think sometimes he has a hard time getting too jacked up about game #25 of the regular season. Fish would be a great guy off the bench at this point in his career. But no one the Lakers have picked up has taken the job from him. So there he is. And come playoff time, he will probably come through again. And so he will be back next year. And we can have this discussion again." -- Tom Daniels

-- Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Lakers forward Lamar Odom tries to beat Memphis guard Mike Conley to a loose ball during a November regular-season game. Credit: Danny Moloshok / Reuters

 
Comments () | Archives (18)

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Only Blake has the capabilities to run the offense at point...let's hope his shot comes back, for it easy to defend, with guards pulling off him and instantly double teaming our big in the paint...

If Blake get's his shot back, that will open up the offense for our inside out side scheme...Shannon needs a lot more practice learning how to quarterback our offense...

Posted by: LEWSTRS | January 02, 2011 at 08:49 AM
====

Steve Blake will be fine. It takes more than a couple of months to feel entirely comfortable with the Lakers' complex schemes and, frankly, I'm surprised that Matt Barnes has seemingly latched on to them quicker than Blake. Considering that he's more of an Ariza-type slashing small forward who is always moving without the ball, now I understand. His game is made for this system. I also think that Barnes' increased minutes (and Artest's decreased minutes) are by design because the triangle is not as easy to pick up with wing players. I think people need to remain patient with Blake; he not a "bust." In fact, he's the perfect compliment to this Lakers team and Phil Jackson's rotations. He's a pro's pro.

Tom Daniels

Congrats on the Friedman! It's an excellent, objective take which doesn't necessarily appear to be YOUR opinion, but the views of Lakers fans in general. As you know, I'm not a big fan of the importance of the regular season for these Lakers other than how Phil gradually gets his team ready for the second season. In that regard, Old Derek is doing just fine even though he frustrates fans, especially fans who still lace them up themselves and have a different perspective of what a "point guard" should be all about and what constitutes good defense.

Personally, I though that Fisher had hit the wall completely prior to the 2008-09 playoffs and that his time was finally up. Then he started out those playoffs playing horribly, but finally shook it off midway through the WCF against Denver and his heroics in Game 4 of the 2009 NBA Finals are legendary to Lakers fans. Then he pretty much had a similar regular season in 2009-10 to what he's doing this season, but his playoffs performance .. from the OKC series all the way to his 3 pointer in Game 7 to tie the game at 64-64 which changed the momentum of that game for good .. was the greatest of his career. Yes, he will hit that Robert Horry/Bruce Bowen moment of permanent uselessness; let's just hope it's not in the 2011 playoffs.

Nice job on the RCOTD, TD. A perfect summation of Derek Fisher for this season. I don't know that either Steve Blake or Shannon Brown has necessarily done enough to usurp Fish in the starting lineup.
The bottom line, as far as I can tell, is that as long as Phil Jackson in the head coach, Derek Fisher is this team's starting point guard, for better or for worse.

TD - congrats on the Friedman! Well earned.

And a warning to the Lakers not to have too lazy a Sunday:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxobrYMc-wQ&feature=related

Aloha Tom,

Very nice post on Fish. There is one other point you didn't mention. Derek is the only guy on the team that Kobe respects enough to listen to. Fish has the courage to get in Kobe's face and call him out. If you watch, when Kobe slips into one of his "I'm going to beat these guys by myself" moments, Fish will go the other way with the ball, even with Kobe demanding it. As great as Kobe is, he still needs to be checked from time to time and Fish is the only guy on the team that can do that.

MH

Congrats, Tom D on the well deserved RCOTD/Friedman.

Repost...

By the way, Lewsters, I share your view that Sasha got a raw deal and was prematurely discarded (sorry, Dr. Buss, this was one of the few bad poker moves you've made, undoubtedly for financial reasons). He was our ONLY pure shooter (like the Bulls' Kukoc or Kerr) from the perimeter. The fact he never regained his shooting touch was, in my opinion, not so much due to his losing it as to the fact he never was given enough sustained minutes on a continuing basis to feel comfortable. Pure shooters need minutes and opportunities to get their stroke going. Sasha never got the sustained minutes or the opportunities. Period. So Phil, the coaches, his teammates, the fans, and finally, Dr. Buss gave up on him.

This move may yet backfire on us. The rest of the league, and especially the elite teams, now have the formula to stop us: collapse on the middle to muscle and frustrate our bigs (and especially Pau) and force us to shoot from the perimeter where now we have no really reliable gunner to hit 3s. Same deal on using the zone against us. And so far it's working even for mediocre teams. Hopefully, the Killer Bs will soon regain their touch. If not, we could regret losing Sasha when the playoffs roll around. Or sooner.

michael H - good point. I've noticed that Fish does that as well; it's kind of a shorthand to Kobe: "Stop that or you ain't gettin' the ball no mo'."

Great RCOTD, Tom Daniels. That's 2 in a row, isn't it? Well done!

Congrats Tom D. on the RCOTD...

Because you are a seasoned fan...you pegged it spot on about DFish...

Kobe Bryant
Andrew Bynum
Pau Gasol
Lamar Odom
Derek Fisher
Ron Artest

Are these our core players...Are they not the same who has given us success the last 3 seasons...So I'll stick with these guys...I still have 'no doubt' we will be in the finals...

My set for this Sunday afternoon:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR3Vdo5etCQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EL3xRO5tDo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNyaNlF9VfY

Tom D - Congrats on the RCOTD. It's definitely well deserved. I got a new post up

bronxlakerfan - injuries SUCK! Sorry to hear about Caron. STAY HEALTHY LAKERS! (Knock on wood with a cherry on top!)

Lew with the No Doubt. I think there's a joke and play on their name... but it's Sunday... I am without brain cells.

Want to see Drew just kick the snot out of the "Memphis Curse!" Play like Memphis isn't even in Tennessee!

I don't know that either Steve Blake or Shannon Brown has necessarily done enough to usurp Fish in the starting lineup.
Posted by: jefe101 | January 02, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Now that's SAD, Fish is the BEST pg on the team.... dude you're in TROUBLE.
And you really think you're going to 3 peat? Every team in the Association has IMPROVED, take off thoses Purple & Gold Glasses and smell the coffee.

Just because Fish shows up for work everyday, means he's getting just the JOB done, he's NOT.

MM, you are spoiling me. I took some time (mostly) off because of a busy schedule, then came back and got two Friedmans, in a row, including one for my rather random comments on the Sixers game (now that was a slow news day).


Anyway, thanks MM for being here, multiple times every day, with quality posts. It really enhances the experience of being a Lakers fan.

Congrats "Tommy D" on the RCOTD.' Whether fans like it or not, DFish is here to stay and while he's here, I have no doubt that he gives it his all. The team doesn't rely on pure PG skills so what he lacks in "ability," he makes up for in experience and that, along with his 5 championship rings makes him a valuable player on this team. Is he the best point guard in the NBA? Absolutely not but how many other PGs in the league have more than several rings to boast? Nash - 0...Kidd - 0... and the list goes on. The Triangle does not require a PG and DFish is an anomaly in the system because he's not as tall as PJ likes but he's serviceable in very many ways.


Bad news for the Mavs....

http://tinyurl.com/2evnhl3

Posted by: bronxlakerfan | January 02, 2011 at 12:21 PM

__________

Sorry about the injuries on Dallas' team but I'll take our upward movement in the standings any way we can get them. Let's hope the Memphis curse is gone for good and that it doesn’t get into Bynum’s head. I'll be cringing every time he's on the court. Good luck Andrew and don't let up on caring for those knees and your body in general. This team is nothing without you, just ask Pau!

I hate to admit it, but Mark Heisler's piece was right on the money.

The NBA is a crazy place.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Tom Daniels,

Congratulations on winning the Friedman Award.

By the way, your analysis was spot on.

I feel a personal debt to Derek Fisher and he is my favorite Laker, but he shouldn't be immune from criticism. Few things bother me like a player jacking up shots that he doesn't make. I'm a bigger fan of ball movement. Move the ball to an inside high percentage shot. Play the game like chess, not like horseshoes.

Derek, if you're going to jack up a low percentage shot... you need to make it a high percentage of the time. It's really that simple. If that's not working out, maneuver the ball inside for a high percentage shot.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

Tom Daniels,

Congratulations on winning the Friedman Award.

By the way, your analysis was spot on.

I feel a personal debt to Derek Fisher and he is my favorite Laker, but he shouldn't be immune from criticism. Few things bother me like a player jacking up shots that he doesn't make. I'm a bigger fan of ball movement. Move the ball to an inside high percentage shot. Play the game like chess, not like horseshoes.

Derek, if you're going to jack up a low percentage shot... you need to make it a high percentage of the time. It's really that simple. If that's not working out, maneuver the ball inside for a high percentage shot.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!


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