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Things to watch in Lakers-Mavericks matchup


1. Have the Lakers caught the Mavericks at the right time? This was supposed to be a portion of the schedule that would give a better indication of the team's current standing. But it could be a game where the Lakers catch better fortune than they otherwise could've experienced. It was just a month ago that the Mavericks appeared to be a West contender that the Lakers would have to monitor.

Now? Not so much.

The Mavericks (26-14) enter Wednesday's contest at 6 p.m. against the Lakers at American Airlines Arena Wednesday at 6 pm. with losing nine of their last 11 games, including a current six-game losing streak and have dropped from second to fifth place in the Western Conference. It was only a month ago that the Lakers would at least have to monitor their progress, but the only monitoring Coach Phil Jackson needed to do was believe Caron Butler's season-ending knee injury (ruptured patellar tendon) would prove devastating for Dallas, a contention that drew the ire of Dallas owner Mark Cuban, who fired back that Jackson was Jeanie Buss' "boy toy." Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki also missed nine games because of a sprained left knee, but his return has done little to change around the team. They still lost by double-digit margins to Memphis and Detroit. And to make matters worse, another star player in guard Jason Kidd hasn't fared well on the court during this whole malaise. In the Mavericks' nine recent losses, Kidd has shot 28-of-109 from the field (25.6%), which has heavily contributed to his career-low 33.% mark.

Butler's absence has also contributed to Dallas' defensive struggles, considering he held opponents to 36.3% shooting. After the Mavericks held teams to 100.1 points per 100 possessions and a 43.6% field-goal percentage en route to a 24-7 start, Dallas went through eight games in 2011 with a 2-6 mark partly because of a decrease mark in points allowed per 100 possessions (108.1) and field-goal percentage (47.2%)

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, whose team has a 5-5 mark this season against opponents with winning records, believes that could set up a trap for false comfort.

"It's a big game for Dallas because they've been struggling," said Bryant, whose Lakers have gone 10-10 in Dallas since 2000. "They're looking for one to kind of kick-start them. We all know how well they play us up there, so it should be good."


2. How will the Mavericks handle the Lakers' size? Bryant remarked "it's not splitting atoms" when asked if Dallas' acquired 7'0" Brendan Haywood and 7-1 Tyson Chandler with exacting intentions to match up with the Lakers' frontline in seven-footers Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum and a 6-10 versatile forward in Lamar Odom. The moves were at least good enough for Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to proclaim his team has enough size and depth to beat the Lakers.

Assuming the Lakers stick to their game plan, that shouldn't be an issue. But that doesn't mean there won't be challenges. Gasol has noticeably gotten off to slow starts and has allowed adversity -- both mental and physical -- to prompt him to take shortcuts. That's a bad formula to follow when matching up with Nowitzki, whose jump shooting will force Gasol to leave the paint and point more responsibility on Bynum to clog the lane. But it's also a good formula considering Nowitzki isn't known for playing tough defense. Chandler's 9.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and defensive presence prompted Jackson to argue he should be an All-Star. And Shawn Marion's versatile skilset will force the Lakers to extend the floor even more.

Still, assuming Bynum doesn't get in foul trouble, Gasol overcomes any physical play and Odom remains his usual consistent self, the Lakers should prevail inside.

3. Kobe Bryant will have a break on defense. As noted above, Kidd hasn't been shooting the ball well lately and though he's known more as a set up man, Bryant won't have as large a task as he did in covering for Westbrook. Though the speedy Thunder guard scored 32 points, Bryant put on a valiant effort in ensuring a team effort in improving stops on screen-and-rolls in the second half and showed a proper dose of offensive aggressiveness to make himself dangerous on several fronts. He attacked the rim. He drained jumpers. And he facilitated the offense on a dime, firing crisply clean passes in mid-air to the open man at just the right moment.

With Bryant able to save energy from defense against the Mavericks, he'll likely do even more wonders offensively.

4. Jason Terry is a Lakers killer. The Mavericks' recent losing stretch has also coincided with Terry going on a cold shooting streak, as detailed by ESPN Dallas' Jeff Caplan. But as the article indicates Terry is very capable on also going through hot shooting streaks, including a 19-point fourth-quarter effort against Miami and averaging 17.5 points per contest during a five-game stretch. The Lakers are very well aware of Terry's hot shooting tendencies, most recently in last season's affair where Terry scored 30 points on 10 of 20 shooting. He also had career-highs against the Lakers in three-point field goals (16 on March 15, 2009) and assists (16 on March 25, 2003). It's likely Lakers guard Derek Fisher would match up with him, so it's important that the frontline also help in closing out and shutting off the baseline.

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at

Photo: Kobe Bryant drives against Dallas' Jason Kidd on Wednesday night at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Bryant led the Lakers with 20 points but was nine-for-23 from the field in the 101-96 loss last season to the Mavericks. Credit: Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT.

Photo: Shannon Brown and Dallas guard Rodrigue Beaubois each try to get a hand on a rebound during the Lakers' 101-96 loss to the Mavericks on last season in Dallas. Credit: Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press.

Comments () | Archives (37)

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The 'Melo Deal is dead.

That is all.



2nd paragraph...shouldn't that be "current six-game LOSING streak"?

@FRMKT… “I'm with Diandra and others that Kobe is beginning to realize that it’s possible to extend his career by becoming more of a facilitator rather than the primary scoring option on the team. Personally, it's the part of his game I've been patiently waiting for. After his contract expires and the Triangle is still in play, he just might be the perfect PG for the system at that stage of his career.”

I’ve always believed that the role that Kobe played leading Team USA to the FIBA Gold, where he served as the team’s main offensive facilitator and game closer and designated defensive stopper who would shut down the other team’s best player, is the ideal role for him to play on this Lakers team, which like Team USA has so much talent and firepower they don’t need Kobe to score 30 every night.

Whether this ever comes to pass remains a big question. It’s one thing for an offensive force like Kobe to dial it down for what is really just an All-Star tournament compared to his literally transforming his lifelong approach to playing game. That may be too big a change to expect from Kobe. It would be a case of his maturity and team leadership overruling his God given natural offensive greatness.
@CORNERJ… “Saw the Thunder game via my Slingbox. I saw it as a transformative game for the Lakers...namely, Kobe as our PG of the future. Yes, you heard that right, our PG. Diandra was right on in her post about how good Kobe was as our facilitator and distributor. If he wants to extend his career another 8 years, and extend the Lakers' championship run beyond threepeat out into unbreakable record territory, he, Kobe Bryant, should become our PG. Forget the quest for a PG, go find a blazing hot shooting, young SG that can knock down mid-range jumpers and 3s all night long with Kobe penetrating and dishing the ball.”

Ironically, Kobe taking over the point guard duties for this Lakers team immediately solves the conflict between team ball and Kobe ball. It also solves the dilemma of how do the Lakers replace Derek Fisher as the starting point guard. There are probably ten outstanding shooting guard prospects for every outstanding point guard prospect. Of course, Kobe has to be willing to step back and change how he approaches the game in general. Right now, he prefers to pick and choose when to be a facilitator and when to be a scorer. The great thing about Kobe becoming the Lakers point guard is that he could also devote more energy to being our defensive stopper and still be our closer.

Glad to see Kobe's expecting a tough game. This should be a good one.

@iheartkb24 – you’re still a spring chicken…lol.

@mclyne – you’re on a roll….Henry Rollins, Hammer, and Prodigy…btw the drummer was working it out on that one.

I don't think that Dallas has gone from uber-contender to can't compete in one month. They've had some serious adversity due to injury. Losing Dirk and Caron back to back is not easy to overcome. Dallas is still a dangerous team.

Defending the opposing point guard is a "thing to watch" every game.

The league is so biased these days it's not even funny. The " mid season" report card has come through. Somehow the Lakers have a B+ despite having a better average than Miami who have a C!! Yet they have an A-

Check out the grades here and let me know what you guys think

Since we are talking about grades again, I am going with one of my favorite Nirvana cuts:

Also, looking at our bench.. can't believe we got a B+ rating. I mean we have Lamar Odom, Shannon Brown, Matt Barnes and Steve Blake (on a good day)

Seriously what the heck.

I give everyone who comes out with these grades a big, fat F.

They can place the Lakers at the back of the class for all I care because the so called "experts" always end up eating their own words for breakfast. I bet my 6 year old daughter could predict what's going to happen during the course of a season better than these fools.

one more from Nirvana, this time live:

This could be a trap-game for the Lakers, but after having seen a couple of Mav games during this losing streak, they are off kilter. To put it mildly.

Kidd is really showing his age especially. Sad to see because I too would have liked to see him in purple and gold at some point during his career. He grew up idolizing Magic and would have loved coming to L.A. as was rumored to have happened a few times in the past. He can still thread a needle with his pinpoint passes, but the rest of his game has fallen off, especially his once-formidable defense.

- - -

Have to admit to being intrigued by the 'Kobe as lead guard' idea (because as 888 points out, the PG is a lead guard in the triangle).

Personally, I'd keep status-quo this season. This team has gone to three-straight Finals, is a proven entity. However, if they do fall short, how good would that be.

Speedy PG's would still pose a problem, but they could go with Shannon in the backcourt for defensive purposes. They could alternately go with L.O. in a point forward role to co-facilitate (something LakerTom has been advocating for some time now!).

Just imagine the problems a Bynum-Gasol-L.O. frontcourt would pose alongside Kobe-Shannon (or Kobe-Artest). I know one thing, that would be a FUN team to watch! mmmm.....


@Laker Tom
"It would be a case of his maturity and team leadership overruling his God given natural offensive greatness."

I couldn't agree with you more. Fortunately, we still have time to find out :-)


Those types of power rankings and report cards never seem to give the Lakers any credit. No love for the champs.


Kobe has taken over initiator responsibilities many times before, as has Lamar and even Luke. I'm surprised they haven't added Artest and Barnes to that mix because they are perfectly capable of it as well. Point guard, schmoint guard. Phil Jackson PLAYED on teams that utilized a 2 guard system and has coached them for 20 years now. Of course Kobe as the initiator of the triangle has its advantages because when he makes the first pass, he cuts and can then operate from the wing where he's most effective anyway. As the initiator, it's simply a matter of organizing the offense, which Fisher does expertly. So does Lamar. So does Kobe.

Defensively, its a different story. Yes, when we play guards like Westbrook, Rondo and Rose, Fish can't match their foot speed and the most we can do is bother them with Kobe's length. It worked in the playoffs last season and one of the reasons it works is because Fish mans up and is very physical against slower shooting guards.

Talk to me about "point" guards when Phil's no longer coaching and a more tradition NBA motion offense is installed. Then and only then will the Lakers need someone fast and athletic. Until then, they are just guards .. or lead guards and off guards.


Not to nitpick, but Dallas is 26-14, not 26-12.

Pre Game Roll Call Post

|___ LAKERS 3PEAT BUS _\__\__\

LEWSTRS - (Driver) Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation
NewMexicoLL - (Shotgun) From Land of The Original Lakers
Caliphilosopher - British Correspondent
justanothermambafan –(Security) Fabulous AND Funny dammit
Mamba24 - (Navigator) OUTFREAKIN STANDING!
Laker Lass - KEEPER OF THE FLAME: No matter what UNIVERSE or alternate REALITY I’m in I AM A LAKER FAN!!
LRob - DJ Extraordanire - Archives Master
Mark Medina - The "Customs Officer"
ZairaAmaterasu - Goddess of the Blog!
Laker Tom - NorCal Chapter
Fan of The Mamba - Midwest Chapter
phred - The 'Love' Chapter
Jamie Sweet - "Kobe didn't, doesn't and won't ever suck".
KobeMVP888 - Courtside Technician
RDLee - Ready to Roll
LakerPeace - Ready for the Quest for #17
Houston Laker - Needs a game day Link
Noah - Gods favorite
JustaLakerFan - The original 'Justa'...
63 - Footer - Ready to put some foot into some Heat behind
Magic Phil - He of the magic skill
#4 - He knows this is Phils 4th 3-peat
EastCoastJessie - Latina Princess
Tim-4-Show - Shannon Browns advisor
Lone Star Laker Fan - Olde Timey Historian"
LakerJ - Fire Fighter - Will Extinguish The Heat
Cofm99 – In House Guitarist
Segeboy/Taliq – Sheriff: "A new season is upon us."
OutLaw – Defense Specilaist
Baby Outlaw – Defense Specialist in Training
Fearless – Dynasties are cemented in the 4th QUARTER
Rick Friedman – Morale Officer
Faith – Rally 'CAPS' Officer/'Refrigerator' Closer
J24 – Fairness Officer
PsychedLakerGirl – Review Judge
Joe Corad – Night Games Supervisor
Adrian Palomar – Philippines Chapter
Caps-Googles – Tech Foul Official
2Phatt – Let the party begin, "and so it is"- "UN-LEASE THE KRAKEN"
WesJoeNixcon – Shaolin Monk – Trainer of IP Man
lance from da' bronx - East Coast Chapter
MS – The Tune Master
Zach - From San Diego Chapter
Jefe101 – 17th Parade Director
Staples 24 – Director of Trades
Nemaia Faletogo - Tropical Zen Master
LAKER TRUTH - Abe in Purple and Gold
Humanomaly - Trekkie and proud of it
htj - Memphis BBQ Specialist
puddle - 550 Celtics dollars richer
hobbitmage - my response: Persons gets the credit for defense, Not Andrew Bynum...
yellowfever - symptoms-turning purple and gold
mclyne - bus roof surfer(you know, like in the movie "Teen Wolf")
longtimelakerfan - Leave Luke Alone
iheartkb24 - Norcal Pinay Sweetheart
Edwin Gueco - EXTERMINATOR of uncivilized leprechauns on this blog like laker fan, old hippy, curious george, church woman.
Hugo Boss - Colorado loves our World Champion Lakers!
VMan - 'V' for Victory!
G in DC(aka GDUB) - Let's go Ls...all the way to 3-peat!!!!!
JohnnyV - justa smooch winner
Otis- Drunk and in jail...
Tom Daniels - Wise Man = Laker Wisdom
longtimelakerlover - Laker Girl for life
brian - Ebanks will be an All Star
Art - FL Lakers Fan - Florida Chapter
Rocky - San Diego Chapter
KB Blitz - Walking Encylopedia
bronxlakerfan - Purple and Gold with Pinstripes...
ChicNstu - Blue Plate Special
LakerFanInCowTown - Behind enemy lines...
The Triangulator - "Other Teams may River Dance, the Lakers Ballet is an Artistry in Rhythm."
mud - Analysis Technician
CornerJ - From the corner...automatic...
LakerMike - Wait, just wait on it, & behold the beauty..
pfunk36 - Just get Kobe the ball!!!
dave m - 'm' stands for MONEY...Lakers 3Peat
London Laker - a lakerholic while living in london
VirginiaLakerFan - Go Lakers--all the way to 17 & a 3-Peat.
Lakers Por Vida - Livin' La Vida Loca
Jolly Rancher - Lamar's favorite baybee...
AndTheJellosJigglin - Chick's legacy lives on!
Don't Blame Del Harris! - I haven't been this excited for a new season since the summer of '96! Woot-woot!
Allnet - Like in "swish"...
The Outlaw - Wanted Dead or Alive
htj - "I'll take our best two vs.their best two, any day and twice on Sunday."
Kobe81pts - "absolutely don't ever want LBJ, the big spoiled brat to play for the Lakers....NEVER!!!!"
LakersWorld - Global Warming
Let's Go L's! - Laker pride through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY! Peace.
JustASouthCalFan - Laker fan for 28 years...
TNTLakerFan - It's time to proceed on the quest for the 3peat!
wildone - This could be the greatest Laker season ever...
Larry of LA - Really psyched about the season...
WintonDupree - Let's get this Three-peat 2.0 party started!!!!
Kobefan in Cupertino - Oh yeah baby...... we're BAAAACCKKKKKKK
Jeanette - "I love Ron so MUCH..."
OCisMambaCounty - 1, 2, 3, RING!!!
Purple & Gold Reign - Thy Kingdom Come...We get another One!
OneLakerNation - Is there any other?
Jackie Robinson - G-d bless the Lakers!
srafrank - Crown Royal 3 shots
Lakerman420 - "I need to post"
D(erek)J(eter) - Lakers will hold up my Yankees...
Art - FL Laker Fan - Covert opps deep behind enemy lines...
DC Mamba - Can't wait for the Ring Ceremony!
traveling laker - All roads lead to Staples...
qs - i think it's just right that i start the season right...let me in that bus. =)
LakerSunshine - ShineS as bright as Laker Bling...
Magia32 - Glad we didn't go for Bosh
NuggetsCountry - Kobe can't shoot too much for my tastes! 81 brought tears to my eyes!
Sean - Anybody, who, envisions, Howard coming to the Lakers, whatever you're high on, I want two please.
zen (The original) - We don't need no stinkin time outs...
Bay to LA - It's easy to not have to make excuses if the excuses are already made for you.
Lakeshowinphx - you're not going anywhere without the KOBESTER!
JOE B - loves James Worthy cuz he is beton420...
PurpleHeart - We are coming into form...
Allan - Nice win Lakers!!!
island priest - Congrats to Kobe in passing the Big O, an amazing achievement in your illustrious career...
RamneetKB24 - The next LAT Lakers Beat Writer...
bluesberry - I hope they make it to the Finals this year...
Diandra - 3 HEAT CAN'T BEAT NO 3PEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gandalf the Purple & Gold - Lords of the 3 Rings...
tmohr48 - Let's go Lakers...pund "Defense" and limit turnovers...
chadamu - when the lakers reach the top west standing i will personally cook reindeer steaks for the team.
appolo c. vermont - we need you to achieve our goal...3 peat and beyond!!!!
wendy - Representing in Nicarugua!!!
Seely_Iggy - Threepeat, baby! Sending Lakers championship vibes from Tallahassee...
Lakerholic - I am a 'Lakerholic'...
Thirty2 - I like the emotion level from Bynum and Artest...
hopalong - Shannon had nearly a point per minute...Go Spartacus!!!!
gil - Pau has developed into the most talented big in the NBA.
Ricky - Te amo Pau Gasol!!!
ninja - Phil has every reason to keep fisher as a starter...
Mr. Laker - Kobe-You Da Man!
dice8up - Precisely the reason PHIL has 11 rings and we have NADA!!!
Stockton Showtime - GO LAKERS!!!!!
yogi - Luke can shag balls for Ebanks...
lakersrydeordie - LakersRydeOrDie!
LAL_Fan - LTVP = Long Time Veteran Poster
Daniel - Phil is actually a master delegater of responsibilities...
RichardKnox - I'm changing. I agree , Andrew is a beast.
madnesslover - Big time Laker Fan...
Todd - If Bynum's game imporves beyeond pre-injury level...OMG!
scottie pimpin - Defensive-minded Kobe makes the Lakers unstoppable.
boynamedsue - I think the earlier losing streak has motivated the Lakers to develop an aggressor mentality
Game Day Prayer Temp - Can I get an Amen?
TidalWave - ---> Let's enjoy this team while we can!!!
NBA4ever - AB- Awesome, encouraging and our future!
Destiny Dennis - And to all the Laker HATERS all I can say is kiss our rings
Laker Groundhog - Is the glass half full, or half empty?
Lake Show - We're talking Lakers...not a boat race at the lake...
danglerzx - Aleksander is his real name. Yet he goes by Sasha. I think my eyebrow wax is starting to leak into my brain.
flask - Nice summary on Ebanks. I really like this guy.
Brylle - REPRSENTING All the way from the PI....
JovBatz44 - LAKERS ALL DAY!!!
hawaiiD - ALOHA Laker Nation
ch - Mark Cuban is a joke!
El_Topo - Viva Los Lakers
Moxe - Lakers would win because Thunder couldn't control the boards...
Native Angeleno - Lakers are right on track and they know it!!!
Stefan Martin - Super-friends lose 4 in a row... Lets hope it becomes 5...6
Tidal_Wave - kobe is still the man...



Dear Lord, let us rise past our enemies - both the ones on the court and the one who owns the team we're playing - and play 48 minutes of Laker Basketball...the kind of Laker Basketball that got us back to back championships. Nuff said. Thank You for answered prayer...AMEN!

Posted by: utzworld - THE BANNER HOLDER | January 19, 2011 at 01:20 PM

27 Bloggers ruined this Blog:

why don't you just shut up? If you want to make this blog better, maybe you should make some constructive posts instead of spending 5 minutes typing up long paragraphs as to why this blog sucks. I mean I've been here like 3 months so I can't say the long history of this blog but it seems okay. Go outside man.

Sorry to feed the trolls, guys.



Remember: "Sticks and stones..."

Darn it! I can't believe it...


thanks, glad to be of service.

By the way Diandra does this mean you want on the 27 list?


I think this blog runs just fine. I mean granted, there are issues here and there. Sometimes MM posts articles too quickly to generate a decent enough discussion, but all in all, from my -new- point of view it's pretty decently moderated.

There are many other Laker blogs out there that you are free to post on. If all of the people have left that you once bonded with, why don't you guys post elsewhere? It's pretty simple stuff really.

27 Bloggers ruined this Blog - of course they're my words. Who else's would they be?

27 bloggers you're out of here. You only came on here to agitate people and not talk basketball


I've always liked Baron Davis, but I'm starting to see signs that I don't like from him. A couple days ago when Blake Griffin had 47 points and there were 90 seconds left in the game, Baron completely ignored Griffin and took his own terrible looking shot--which missed--and so Blake missed his first 50 point game. It's nothing Blake himself would complain about, but as an interested simi-fan, I'll take issue with that kind of selfishness. I thought it was ugly and short sighted at best. I wonder if it wasn't done on purpose to not let the rookie get too much press.

And then a quote by Davis seemed funny to me. Blake Griffin has been a monster for the young Clipper team, but Davis had this to say about the reason they've been playing so well: ""Oh man, [Jordan] is the reason why we've been such a hot team," Davis said. "A lot of the things he's able to do on the defensive end allows us to be a great defensive team. That 41%, our field-goal percentage, that credit goes to him. He's our anchor." I thought the anchor was Griffin.

But who knows....


Wow...thats a cool pre game rally cry. I could only dream of training with Ip.


The Lakers really are in a great position. The Mavs are struggling big-time and the Lakers are playing great.

The Mavs got blown out by the Pistons, and the Lakers have to capitalize on the Mavs' low morale.

And then a quote by Davis seemed funny to me. Blake Griffin has been a monster for the young Clipper team, but Davis had this to say about the reason they've been playing so well: ""Oh man, [Jordan] is the reason why we've been such a hot team," Davis said. "A lot of the things he's able to do on the defensive end allows us to be a great defensive team. That 41%, our field-goal percentage, that credit goes to him. He's our anchor." I thought the anchor was Griffin.

Posted by: wesjoenixon | January 19, 2011 at 05:22 PM

DeAndre Jordan is very athletic, very long. The only reason Baron Davis said, that, from my interpretation, is that Jordan has to play at Griffin's level of play. Now, that's not saying their equals, because, they're not!!! Jordan has to play with the same verve, energy and passion that Blake has, otherwise he's not maxing out his potential. DeAndre is a very gifted shot blocker and a solid energy guy, I'm not sure if he's the long-term answer at Center.

Wes - Baron Davis has always been a bit selfish, not to mention a huge show-er. Remember his T he got back in GSW for lifting his jersey in excitement after they beat Utah? Ridiculous.

As far as Blake Griffin goes - I can't believe the maturity in that kid so far considering his age and skill. He's clearly another kid who hasn't been told he has been great since day 1.

Let's hope he goes the Kobe root eventually instead of the Lebron (Life is about me) root.

Should be an interesting game. Hope the Lakers show up tonight and not relax due to Dallas injuries.

"Hope the Lakers show up tonight and not relax..."
Posted by: JustaLakerFan | January 19, 2011 at 05:33 PM


Always a concern for this team but I dare exclude Kobe as a member of that group. We've seen him have bad games but it wasn't because he was "slacking." I think he brings it each and every game; now if the rest would just follow along...

@ mcnIyne great links.

I haven't been checking out the music posts or the blog lately. I miss the music. The Mats


@Mark G

Now that's a post I can get behind- nice selection.

my response:

@888… My apologies for not making my points in a more understandable way. I’ve had this weird feverish head flu for a week now and when you combine that with too many years, well sometimes thoughts don’t make it to paper as intended. Let me try again.

I don’t expect Phil to change this year’s starting lineup. But I think we need to realize that the Lakers WILL have to address the Derek Fisher-point guard issue for sure next year. I am further guessing that it will be Brian Shaw who replaces Phil and that the Lakers will continue to run the Triangle.

We can argue all day about the importance of a true point guard to the Triangle. While you don’t need a true point guard, the offense would likely run better with one. After all, when you factor in pick-and-roll and transition plays, the Lakers probably score less than half their points from the Triangle.

At any rate, the issue at this point is no matter how you cut it, the Lakers are too often playing four against five due to Derek. That may have worked last year and may work again this year, but a betting man would be pressed to put money on it happening again next year. But what do you?

Since the Lakers are not going to trade any of their six starting players (KB, DF, RA, PG, AB, LO) for a point guard, their only real option is to use their MLE to sign a free agent. Of course, good point guard prospects aren’t going to be great because all of the best have already been taken.

Thus, the smart move for the Lakers would be to solve the point guard dilemma from within – and no, I do not mean promoting Steve Blake – I mean by having Kobe Bryant or Lamar Odom take over the point guard duties. For example, If Kobe takes over the point, finding a shooting guard in free agency and the draft is much easier than finding a point guard.
Anyway, here’s hoping we play inside-out basketball and pound the Mavericks to dust.


you wrote: Ironically, Kobe taking over the point guard duties for this Lakers team immediately solves the conflict between team ball and Kobe ball. It also solves the dilemma of how do the Lakers replace Derek Fisher as the starting point guard. There are probably ten outstanding shooting guard prospects for every outstanding point guard prospect. Of course, Kobe has to be willing to step back and change how he approaches the game in general. Right now, he prefers to pick and choose when to be a facilitator and when to be a scorer. The great thing about Kobe becoming the Lakers point guard is that he could also devote more energy to being our defensive stopper and still be our closer

my response: I don't think this helps. We still have the problem of the
slowness of D-Fish, but instead of a speedy pg it would be a speedy sg.

re: Kobe stepping back. Why do you insist on changing what works? We've
had this conversation in a number of different disguises. The issue is *NOT*
Kobe. It's his teammates. When his teammates are playing well, playing with
passion, he gives them the ball continuously. Kobe has continuously shown
that he'll pass the ball when people are making shots.

I am not saying that Kobe doesn't make bad decisions from time to time. He
does. Nobody is perfect. However, there is no comparison b/n the number
of nights Odom, D-Fish & Artest have gone 2-7 or worse & Kobe having a
bad shooting night.

Kobe playing facilitator means the defense will sag off him and play tougher
against the rest of the team. With Gasol playing like over-cooked spinach
we can't win.

Since Kobe is the only Laker w/ over 5 appearances in the all-star game,
multiple defensive all-star nominations [ for lack of a better word ], maybe
it would be more beneficial if the rest of the Lakers started to act like him
instead of watering him down to be like them.

We must TRADE Pau Ga-SOFT!!! Him and Artest for loul Deng and Joakim Noah! We are not athletic and tough enough to carry him this year.



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