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Things to watch in Tuesday night's Lakers-Pistons matchup

6a00d8341c506253ef0133f60bb2f2970b-320wi-11. How will the Lakers' effort look? It'd be easy to presume that following the team's fourth loss in six games and a long and intense practice that the team will show more focus and desire Tuesday at Staples Center against the Detroit Pistons (11-23).

With this L.A. team (23-11), it's not safe to believe that will happen. Many figured the Lakers would play better after getting embarrassed by Milwaukee. That followed with another laugher Christmas Day to Miami. Many figured Kobe Bryant's public displeasure about the team afterwards would yield better results against San Antonio, but the same problems persisted. The Lakers temporarily fixed things up against New Orleans, but that passion apparently stayed in the Big Easy. The Lakers followed with a mail-it-in win New Year's Eve against Philadelphia and an outright embarrassment Sunday against Memphis.

Though it's hard to predict what kind of game the Lakers will bring, it's easy to assess from the opening tip whether the team is truly serious about altering its course. That doesn't mean a dominating a win would suddenly cement the Lakers back in the right direction. But it's at least a start.

2. How will the Lakers run their offense? Lots of discussion boiled over this past week over whether Kobe Bryant, his teammates or a combination of both should be held most accountable for Bryant's disproportionate shot selection and the team's poor offensive execution in the past week. As I explained in a post following Thursday's practice, the problem points to both but varies within each game. I defended Bryant's latest scoring spree, scoring 17 of his team-high 28 points in the third quarter against Memphis because very little worked offensively after the Lakers' bench line started off strong. Against Detroit, however, it'd be best for the Lakers to run the triangle and emphasize ball movement.

It's very well possible the Pistons would have no match for Bryant, who scored 33 points on 11 of 20 shooting in the Lakers' 103-90 victory Nov. 17 against Detroit. There's no reason Bryant should pass up open shots or drives to the basket just for the sake of "balance." But there's a difference between taking advantage of defensive lapses and going on a scoring spree. Collectively, Bryant and his teammates need to ensure proper spacing, cutting and passing to ensure a crisply run offense. That strategy will help build a foundation for a more cohesive offense and it'll more likely result in the Lakers having a stronger supporting cast and Bryant not doing things on his own.

3. How will the Lakers' conditioning look? Lakers Coach Phil Jackson held a 2 1/2-hour practice Monday involving plenty of running drills, including this one: The team had to made 82 layups from one to the other within a two-minute span. It took six attempts before the Lakers completed the task, showing that Joe Smith and Andrew Bynum aren't as quick as Sasha Vujacic and Devin Ebanks and that the Lakers' conditioning level could improve as a unit. The daily grind of a season makes it understandable for a team to fight fatigue issues, but it's downright puzzling that this remains a prevalent issue for a team that's been well-rested.

But that's kind of the point and the reason why Jackson's changing his philosophy on length of practice times and the intensity of them, believing the long-term goal in ensuring health and rest needs to temporarily take a back seat so the Lakers can start winning again and climb up the Western Conference standings. A good indicator of whether this worked will show how quickly the Lakers get back on transition defense. The team would hope that factor doesn't become an issue with improved ball handling, but the Lakers' 16.8 turnovers per game in the last five contests suggests otherwise.

4. Lakers should take pride in the little things. Guard Derek Fisher very may be speaking about himself, what with his 37.8% mark from field-goal range. But the Lakers' co-captain hit on a good philosophical note after Monday's practice.

"It seems really big right now, but we just have to start plugging away at things one at a time," Fisher said. "Make a few more free throws, get a couple more rebounds, get one or two more defensive stops, make one or two more shots and when you combine all those things together, you start to see some things turn around."

As many changes as the Lakers need to make fundamentally, Fisher's explanation sounds like a realistic prescription. Interestingly, the Lakers' unwillingness to follow that advice exacerbated the offensive and defensive tendencies. Certainly the Lakers appear bored, wishing they could just worry about the playoffs. But a stronger indictment on the team's focus entailed their tendency to cut corners when things initially didn't work out on the court.

Although it's far from matching the glamour of Hollywood, grinding out a game brings some value in erasing poor habits. When a player's shot is off the mark from the outside, take pride in trying to be the setup man. When a post player isn't hitting attempts in the paint, try dominating on the boards instead. When a defensive player is getting beat off the dribble or through the lane, try communicating more to ensure better collective understanding. The Lakers have mostly become consumed with the end result, worried about whether a shot goes on or whether they yield a basket while overlooking the small mechanics that go into improving or worsening that process.

With the Lakers' chemistry still far from great, doing the little things is a good start.

Photo: Kobe Bryant puts up an off-balance shot against Detroit on Wednesday night. Credit: Rick Osentoski / US Presswire

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

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

 
Comments () | Archives (57)

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@sheriff.. Sup man!

@truth.. Let it be said let it be known! Keep fightin the good fight!

@hobbit.. They cannot stop you they can only hope to contain you

@lrob.. The tmac experiment won't last long.. He's just a bad knee back finger hip foot shoulder elbow away from goin back to the DL.

Bloggers:

I don't know if anyone else has posted this article by Adrian Wojnarowski of yahoo sports................but it is brilliant! Finally a writer that breaks from the groupthink mentality of ESPN, and most local sportswriters and delves into Phil Jackson.

A MUST READ:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Arnf41nYFx4B.b_FvPMmLIi8vLYF?slug=aw-jacksonlakers010411

I really wouldn't mind seeing shannon playing with the starters again much like he did his first year in the 2009 playoffs... He's shooting great and would get plenty of open looks with kobe and would provide INSTANT TRANSITION offense n defense along with a vastly improved MAN TO MAN D at the PG position

I don't know how many times I've seen dfish get burnt on the weakside help because he's like at least 2 or 3 step too slow in reacting to the ball... This could be a nice jolt of energy to our starting unit.


Forget easing into the game- they're on back to backs- blow them out of the water and let's get to Phoenix, geez, hopefully, this time they kick the crap out of them.

pfunk36...

Thanks for the link to the Adrian W. article. He's one of the best Bball scribes in the country.

MM...

You may have forgotten that Kobe's good shooting night in Detroit was aided by Rip Hamilton's 1st quarter ejection on 2 technical fouls. Not that Rip can guard Kobe, but that made the game easy for Kobe and the Lakers. They shouldn't get a false sense of security because they handled the Pistons the last time, expecially as poorly as the Lake Show has been playing.

LRob - yeah that's my fav too. If you can't love someone on a bus, then any love for them in a Bentley isn't real LOL!


sherrif - nice to see you! You should post more often. The blog could use a sherrif most days LOL! And swing by the game chat if you can....


justa...from 1 to another...I'm so sorry to hear about your beloved pet. They become so much a part of our family, their lost is deeply felt. I hurt with you, my friend. (I am also hoping you're doing well with your own physical health. I don't mean to pry, but I hope your search for a transplant is coming along?)


GO LAKERS!!!


sean - forgot to say this earlier (my badness) - I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your family member. I hope you're doing ok.....

Oops - another thing I forgot (bad headache day) - SEELY FTW!!!

Normally, I try to be the Devil's Advocate or try to be the voice of reason in certain situations. Which brings me to a person who was voted the biggest problem on this team: Ron Artest

I'm not here to dispute anyone's opinion or discourage the fact he's on everyone's hate list right now.

Now, in defense of Ron, he was never ever ever drafted because he could score. His D was sophisticated even at St.John's and it made his draft stock rise.

There is no doubt he's struggling through whatever reason(s). When the Lakers signed Ron, if some of you, didn't know, Phil had a phone conversation with Ron and in that conversation, all sources said Phil told Ron he didn't have to score to make an impact. Well, guess what, Ron took Phil seriously, actually, he took the statement quite LITERALLY. So, in the course of criticizing Ron, you have to remember to make a footnote in your mind that Phil told Ron, he didn't have to score to be effective in the system.

Thanks Justa- I'm doin' ok for now, I know I'm going to break down at the funeral tomorrow. Thanks, brother. I'll be alright, the Sun also rises!!!

@HOBBITMAGE… Thanks for your comments. You are wrong about my criticism of Pau. Don’t you remember how Blitz would go ballistic when I pointed out how Pau’s defense was allowing a layup and dunk drill or when his weenie shots fell harmless off the rim. I was probably the biggest reasonable critic of Pau last year. Check the archives. I still do think he is capable of being the best power forward in the game but he is not playing like that this year. I think everybody on the blog except Ricky would say that Pau has been playing soft this year. By the way, I agree soccer would give you a sense of the continuity between offense and defense.

As for Drew, I still believe he will be the next great Lakers center provided he can stay healthy.
Where you and I disagree is the level of his activity. I thought he played great, especially on defense against the Grizzlies. I think we both agree that we are not going to three-peat without solid center play. Where we disagree is that I believe we need Drew at both ends of the court and that just substituting another big body is not going to do it. Drew is unique in that he can dominate at both ends of the court. He just needs to be healthy for an entire season to do it. Anyway, let’s both hope that he evolves into a force and can help us win another championship.
Then we can buy each other a beer and reminisce about “remember when…”
………………………………
TOM

Sean - that'd be SIS, but yes - the sun also rises. Stand firm, and many of us on here will be virtually standing with you.

hobbitmage,

Regarding your "5 important benefits to rebounding", no disagreement on any of that.
I think it was Lakers coach Riles who preached "rebounds = rings".
Nuff said on that.

I enjoyed this comment you made:

"Going 1 step farther ... Per information on this blog ... the Lakers started
working on conditioning and defense in their practice. We're 2.5 - 3 mos
in the season and we're working on conditioning ..... Excuse me? Most people
on this blog are scratching their heads wondering ... how can you not be in
shape 2+ mos into the season? "

Couldn't agree more on that one. Perhaps Bynum has an excuse, no one else does.
===
You wrote:
"Pau Gasol. 3 years with the Lakers. Does he know the offense?
Bynum. 6 years with the Lakers. Does he know the offense?
D-Fish. 10 + years with the Lakers. Does he know the offense?
Kobe. 15 years with the Lakers. Does he know the offense?

Now tell me that after 6+ years you don't know your assignment. What am
I supposed to think about you?

Tell me that after 3 trips to the finals you don't know your assignments.
What am I supposed to think about you?"


etc, etc...
===

Indeed! They certainly should know the offense, but they do have some new guys mixed in there, so they need to practice together AS A TEAM. Their offense hasn't been clicking of late and the high number of turnovers is indicative of either not being familiar enough with what to do or they are just too lazy to do it.

Either way, they need to practice their offense as well as it is indirectly involved with their defense.
Yes, you can argue they should know what to do, you can argue they are lazy, but they still need to practice it to help develop better work habits. They need more reinforcement of what to do and when to do it. And practice may help them get or stay in better condition.

I don't think we are disagreeing over much here. I agreed from the start it was important they are practicing their defense, simply wanted to add they need to do both. I want to see them scoring 120 points a game and holding the other team to 80. I like dreaming.

Oh, btw, Cleveland is right now statistically the number one, as in #1, defensive team in the league.

Yup, 8-26 Cleveland, the team with more losses than any other NBA team, is the NBA's top defensive team!
:)

pfunk36

Thanks for the Adrian Woj article. He's my favorite NBA writer, but I thought that was uncharacteristically just another typical mid-regular season article that any ordinary journalist could have written. To me, it was as though he needed SOMETHING to write about, so why not appeal to the shaky nerves of Lakers fans and the gloating Laker Haters? The article was neither original or informative in my opinion. I'll bet Woj would admit that he just got lazy on that one and published it just to get something out there. Not one of his better pieces.

pfunk36...

Thanks for the link to the Adrian W. article.
He said exactly what I was thinking.

I'd say if 5000 blackbirds suddenly drop dead onto the basketball court, then we really have something to worry about.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Sean,

Prayers for you and family!

Kinda get tired of Kobe taking blame all the time, he's has the best shooting % of all Lakers except the 3 Bigs and Matt. He leads the team in Assists Per Game. Perhaps he would pass more if SOMEBODY would hit a STINKING shot!!

Kinda get tired of Kobe taking blame all the time, he's has the best shooting % of all Lakers except the 3 Bigs and Matt. He leads the team in Assists Per Game. Perhaps he would pass more if SOMEBODY would hit a STINKING shot!!

Posted by: D(erek)J(eter) | January 04, 2011 at 04:19 PM
_______

Amen!

The Heatles??? Seriously?

Duct tape. Now. Over that fool's mouth.

I don't know how many times I've seen dfish get burnt on the weakside help because he's like at least 2 or 3 step too slow in reacting to the ball... This could be a nice jolt of energy to our starting unit.


Posted by: yellofever | January 04, 2011 at 03:06 PM
====

Call me a D-Fish Homer if you must (something I am proud of), but out of curiosity how do you explain the fact that Fish is fifth in the NBA in Steal Pct this season at 2.9 per game, with only CP3 (4.6), Corey Brewer (3.3), Rondo (3.1) and Westbrook (3.0) ahead of him? Steal Percentage is an estimate of the percentage of opponent possessions that end with a steal by the player while he was on the floor. It simply doesn't jive with your observation.

"Kinda get tired of Kobe taking blame all the time, he's has the best shooting % of all Lakers except the 3 Bigs and Matt. He leads the team in Assists Per Game. Perhaps he would pass more if SOMEBODY would hit a STINKING shot!!

Posted by: D(erek)J(eter) | January 04, 2011 at 04:19 PM "

The Lakers get very few transition baskets. It's hard to expect players that aren't big men to shoot a high percentage in that system.

"Call me a D-Fish Homer if you must (something I am proud of), but out of curiosity how do you explain the fact that Fish is fifth in the NBA in Steal Pct this season at 2.9 per game, with only CP3 (4.6), Corey Brewer (3.3), Rondo (3.1) and Westbrook (3.0) ahead of him? Steal Percentage is an estimate of the percentage of opponent possessions that end with a steal by the player while he was on the floor. It simply doesn't jive with your observation.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 04, 2011 at 04:30 PM "

How about a statistic showing how often his man scores on him?

I'd say if 5000 blackbirds suddenly drop dead onto the basketball court, then we really have something to worry about.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Posted by: Jon K. | January 04, 2011 at 04:16 PM

------------

I saw that in the news...something is not kosher here...and I don't trust our goverment 100%...This is not a fluke of nature...and it was caused by human hands in one way or another...Or something alien...or blame it on the cats...lol

LEWSTRS,

There's been more than one sudden die off over the last few days.

I blame Randall Flagg from "The Stand." It appears he's back on the road again in the South.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

If I hear one more excuse about the team UNABLE to run the triangle or run it correctly I'm going to puke.

The plain fact is this: the players are UNWILLING to run it and not unable to. This is a veteran team and most have ran the triangle for years so they can do it in their sleep IF they are motivated to.

Somebody says Ron Ron is the new guy and thus to be blamed? Bull, he was new in last year's final too and yet he did OK. Worse comes to worse Phil can always just stick him in a corner and let him wait for an open shot while the rest of his teammates run the triangle. It worked before!

My take is that this team is just plain championship-fatigue and has no more fight nor will to win. Except for Kobe, they are mailing it in every night. They must all be thinking: two rings are enough, why spill blood, sweat and tear for a third? they'd get paid no matter what...

The most obvious fix and guaranteed solution unfortunately cannot be done right now. That is: get rid of Phil Jackson. Let's face it. Phil's time has long passed. His laissez-faire and touchy-feely wacko Zen philosophy is passe. Players have TUNED him OUT. Phil Jackson is either unable or unwilling to motivate and light a fire under his players anymore. His psycho-babble head games ain't working no more! It's time for a REAL coach who actually draw up Xs and Os and drive the players into performing or else.

It's unfortunate that cannot be done right now because the Lakers are STUCK big time with his triangle. There's just no way possible to bring in a coach and get the team to play traditional basketball again in such a short time.

If any Laker fan does not think the sky is not falling, he's deluded and just kidding himself. It's obvious the team is having a HUGE problem.

@HOBBITMAGE… “you wrote: You know, I never know with you whether you are just being intentionally obstinate and frustrating or whether you just think in a different language.

my response: I think in a different language. This has gotten me into a
lot of personal problems interfacing with people.

It wasn't until my 30's that I found out that some people act out of their
emotions instead of based upon logic/right & wrong.

Many people will tell you that there is no such thing as absolute truth.
In general, I consider them to be ... mentally challenged. Go to the
bathroom, drop your pants and look down. If you can't tell whether you're
absolutely a girl or boy you have a problem. and no kidding, I actually
had a friend from one of those high priced universities actually tell me
that he would not absolutely say if he was male or female because there could
be some dimension, that he didn't know about or have evidence to believe in,
in which he wouldn't be considered a male.

That was pretty funny, my friend. We use an outside IT firm and one of our contacts is a woman named Lana who used to be a man. As financial controller, I end every day by running a series of reports for our sales reps. While I run these reports, I always stream YouTube videos in the background. Today, not even thinking, I ran my half dozen Lou Reed songs and just as Lana entered my office to recap what she had done, Walk on the Wild Side started up. Talk about an embarrassing moment. Fortunately, Lana was cool and all was OK.
….
Looking for the Lakers to play inside-out basketball and share the ball tonight as well as get back on defense and hustle, hustle, hustle. Let’s have a game we can all appreciate tonight.
………………………………….
TOM

"... In a lot of ways, this run is nearing an end for the Lakers. The Zen B.S. has run its course, the way every coach’s mantra does over time. Why it worked so well, for so long, had far less to do with the meditations and far more to do with the staggering array of talent under Jackson’s watch." - Adrian Wojnarowski

BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO! That is exactly the whole truth and nothing but the truth behind the Phil Jackson hype all these years.

I second that motion Laker Tom...would like to enjoy tonights game for sure...

LakerTom,

1st. Glad we're having a reasonable conversation. It's oddly ... pleasant. :)

2nd.
re: Pau. you wrote: You are wrong about my criticism of Pau. Don’t you remember how Blitz would go ballistic when I pointed out how Pau’s defense was allowing a layup and dunk drill or when his weenie shots fell harmless off the rim. I was probably the biggest reasonable critic of Pau last year.

my response: Sorry. I don't recall. I do recall the "disingenuous" times and
having you ... ummm ... address me for the word "Gasoft". Happy to be
wrong/confused about the whole thing.

[ And I'd better see a bunch of happy people about the friendly conversation
b/n me and LakerTom. Justanothermambafan, you can be in the front row.
Laker t-shirt. 1 size too small please. j/k. sorta. *chuckle* ]

Art -FL Lakers Fan,

glad we're in agreement. Nice tidbit about Cleveland. Maybe Dan Gilbert
was on to something after all! :)

How about a statistic showing how often his man scores on him?

Posted by: Bay to LA | January 04, 2011 at 04:36 PM
====

That's impossible to show because of all the high screens even if such a number exists. If Derek Fisher was such a horrible defender, he wouldn't be leading the team in steals either. Do you think that Fish is the ONLY point guard in the NBA who gets burned by other point guards? They ALL burn each other. This is not 5 guys playing one-on-one basketabll against each other; the NBA plays team defense, and Fish knows the Lakers defensive schemes as well as anyone. The myth that Fisher Haters love to perpetuate is just that .. a myth. Yeah, he gets burned, but so do all of them. When Aaron Brooks was asked if he thought he could guard himself, he said "no." So there you go.

I remember a game last season when Boston went down to New Orleans during a period when CP3 was out and the Hornets won handily. Darren Collison outscored Rondo 26-6. Explain that one.

Fisher is a team defender. Yes, his foot speed isn't what it was, but when his man gets past him the defense is supposed to rotate. It isn't Fish who is the problem; it's the entire team. Other than Game 2, how would you rate his defense against Ray Allen last June? He shot 36.7 percent for the series with Fish as his primary defender. After his Game 2 heroics, Ray-Ray shot 0-13 in Boston in Game 3, and you know who was also the fourth quarter offensive star for the Lakers in that pivotal game? The same guy who guarded Ray Allen. Ray Allen was 3-14 in game 7 while Derek Fisher hit the momentum changing 3 pointer to tie the game at 64-64. Game, set, championship.

I'm not saying that Fish won't hit a wall at some point, but that was only 6 months ago and he had the greatest playoffs from beginning to end of his entire career. Of all the broken records on all the Lakers blogs, this record has been skipping in the same place for the longest time of all of them. We heard these identical complaints way back in 2001 when he was guarding the unguardable Allen Iverson. For some reason, fans know more about Fisher's contributions to the team than Phil Jackson does. In fact, based on the last few days in here, I dare say that a large percentage of fans in here think they know more about Fish and the Lakers than the one person who knows them the best.

Derek Fisher is and always has been a role player at the one position which is the least important on the Lakers, as the Lakers payroll has always reflected during Phil Jackson's tenure. Fish is an older player this season, as he was last season, and his numbers are about the same. I hope to see the same results from him come playoff time.

BAD hobbit. BAD.

KobeMVP888, I've heard those points so many times. "No one can guard the fast guards, they score a lot of points on everyone" "Aaron Brooks couldn't guard himself" OK, if you're just going to concede those points, why not just start Derrick Caracter at PG? Because you want to slow those guys down as much as possible. Fisher just can't do that at his age.

As for Ray Allen, he's not a quick PG. He's not who we're talking about here. To answer anyway, I thought he did a good job of staying with Ray but Ray is 35 years old and tired from guarding Kobe on the other side. I know on a lot of Ray's shot attempts, Derek was still a few screens behind and Ray was just missing the shots.

I just didn't agree with your use of the steals percentage as an end-all answer to yellofever's comment about Fisher being a few steps behind his players. Individually, steals aren't an accurate measure of man or team defense. They can be had by playing bad defense, such as overplaying, gambling, etc. A guy like Bruce Bowen was known as an elite man defender and he almost never got steals or blocks. What he did do was limit open looks, contest shots, and prevent his man from being comfortable offensively. Getting a steal here and there doesn't really indicate that you're causing much disruption. When you're watching the games, you can visibly see Fisher getting left behind repeatedly and that 2.9% steal percentage does nothing to dispute that.

I second that motion Laker Tom...would like to enjoy tonights game for sure...

Posted by: LEWSTRS


I THIRD THIS!!!!


"I blame Randall Flagg from "The Stand"

Posted by: Jon K. | January 04, 2011 at 04:46 PM

This

@JAMF
Thank you for the kind words and support. Don't worry you are not prying justa being yourself and asking a concerned question. The search is like the military which is hurry up and wait. The way the transplant system works is that in my case I have lab work done every 3 months and based on those results they have a formula which yields a MELD score. Based on that score I move up or down on the waiting list which is governd by UNOS. I am in a position where my scores are too low to get an organ at this time. So too healthy for transplant but sick enough to be on disability. They say once you start going downhill it happens quick but I hope that does not happen for long time. Thank you for

There's only 1 thing to watch tonight:

A WIN! NOTHING LESS, NOTHING MORE!

Cheers.

LakerTom,

I met somebody like that a long time ago.

I like the response. So if I had used ....

every adult human breathes .... would you come up with a brain w/ two
wires attached to a battery?

[grin]

Is anybody watching spurs vs knicks?

@pfunk- thanks for highlighting the Adrian Woj article. He's one of my favorite writers on the NBA beat. I agree with most of it and its not the first time those things have been written about Phil.


The one thing I take exception to is his comment that "Jackson has to coach this season". He has to coach every season.

DEFENDING FAST AND QUICK POINT GUARDS
…………………………………………………………………………
Defending fast and quick point guards requires solid individual man-to-man defense backed by active and committed team defense. While no single defender can stop the leagues fastest and quickest point guards from getting into the paint, poor individual defense can often undermine good team defense, which always requires players to play solid smart individual defense within a team defensive scheme. When players freelance, stray from, or are physically unable to perform their role in the team scheme, the defense will usually break down. That’s what I think we’ve been seeing from the Lakers so far.

Ironically, this is the exact same conundrum we are facing offensively – namely, players not running the offense or staying within the offensive game plan. In the end, teamwork is something the Lakers need to have at both ends of the court. Part of the problem is that the team is definitely having some motivation problems but a big part of it is that this is the first time we have had all our pieces together and tougher competition has exposed some of the incomplete parts to the team that still need to jell. Hopefully, they will come out tonight with renewed energy and finally some sense of urgency.

Whether it is Kobe going one-on-one or playing free safety, Pau not challenging penetrating players or throwing up weenie shots, or Fish not staying in front of his man or taking ill-advised early jumpers, championship team offense and defense require the entire team to a man to commit to the team’s overall offensive and defensive schemes. Bottom line, the Lakers need to start right now trusting their teammates, running their offense, and playing the kind of defense we know they can play..
………………………………………………………………………..
TOM

Jon K - The Stand LOL!!!!!!!! Good stuff

It's time for a REAL coach who actually draw up Xs and Os and drive the players into performing or else.

Posted by: Psycorp | January 04, 2011 at 04:49 PM
-----------------

Psycorp - And who are you nominating for the job as a REAL coach?

@Laker Tom - now that's a funny story.

Thanks a lot D(erek) J(eter), appreciate the thoughts, brother!!!

@LAL_Fan - Interesting take on this being PJ's most talented team. I thought all that talk was premature this summer.


@hobbit & MVP - If you two are agreeing on the transition defense...then you leave me no other choice but to defer to both of you :-)


@hobbit - okay you and LakerTom had me confused for a second. Now I see that was your drop your pants story...very funny.


@Lew - sorry to hear about the death of your family pet. Wow seems like the blog has been hit with a rash of pet deaths recently. It is always very hard.

LRob,

My nomination would be for Gregg Popovich. Unfortunately he's not available. So the next best man or rather best men would be:

1) Jeff Van Gundy: a TRUE genius at the game of basketball.

2) Coach K of Duke: next best thing to JVG

@LROB… It’s even funnier if you remember all the words to the song. And it all happened minutes after I read hobbitmage's post. But hey, it’s a new world old there. Not even sure what Lana is but she seems to be content within herself and no shrinking violet so good for her. To each his or her own. LOL.
………………………………………………………………………..
TOM

Sorry to hear about Gerry Rafferty passing. Prayers go out to his family and friends.


I always think of Gerry everytime I see Reservoir Dogs...

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

Hey all, hope everyone had a great New Years. Just easing back into things, yesterday was an extra vacation day here in Apple Valley as the schools were closed due to snow. Pretty much just stayed home & watched movies except for a quick couple-hour sledding trip to the deeper snow level at the Big Bear foothills. Fun stuff.

LakerTom and hobbitmage conversing? Very nice thing to see =)

- - -

I would say that Phil said something he shouldn't have with that comment on Kobe. Noticed how he quickly went into some 'energized the team...' gibberish right after that. I would say that, but won't as Phil is a master at putting out the message through the media - which is what he did here.

The Lakers were getting pretty close early 3rd quarter, I felt Kobe went away from the inside-out game and the offense became painfully predictable from that point on. That has happened a couple of times recently, during this losing streak.

Kobe has got to contain himself. He's also gotta realize that feeding the post collapses the defense, opening up the perimeter. Very basic stuff, I think he senses the timidity of the other 4 on the court and that is why he goes into attack mode. In the paint is one place the Lakers could dominate every night, establishing an inside-out game will open things up.

- - -

hobbit: watching the Spurs/Knicks game at about 30 minutes behind. At this point the Knicks have a 9 point lead with 3:30 left.

Pop has changed his coaching philosophy this season, but he has gotta realize the Spurs aren't spring chickens, outside some nice young players they got. Parker/Ginobili/Duncan in the game, trying to outscore the run-and-gun Knicks? Not good. His face says it all too, Pop looks pissed, realizes he's got fools gold if this team is going to play that much uptempo.


Nice to see a lot of the regulars on here. Gonna do a bit of catching-up before posting again. Blog-utopia is within our grasp, I can feeeeeel it! =P


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

KobeMVP888, I've heard those points so many times. ......

As for Ray Allen, he's not a quick PG. He's not who we're talking about here. To answer anyway, I thought he did a good job of staying with Ray but Ray is 35 years old and tired from guarding Kobe on the other side. I know on a lot of Ray's shot attempts, Derek was still a few screens behind and Ray was just missing the shots.

I just didn't agree with your use of the steals percentage as an end-all answer to yellofever's comment about Fisher being a few steps behind his players.....

Posted by: Bay to LA | January 04, 2011 at 05:45 PM
=====

1) If you think that Fish stinks defensively and that those points don't hold water, that's your prerogative. It is TEAM defense that matters and that is where Fish is smart, where he leads and where he excels. If he didn't, he wouldn't be playing at the end of games on a championship team. Therefore, those points are all important and should not be pooh-poohed.

2) My Ray Allen discussion is exactly why I keep emphasizing TEAM defense and THAT is the PERFECT example of what I said about Fish in paragraph 1) above.

3) That stupid statistic that I dug up wasn't designed as a catch-all to the vitriol that yellofever insists on spewing at Fish. He said Fish is 2-3 steps slow on weak side defense, yet that is where those steals typically occur. If he's so damn slow, how does he possible get to those passes? I KNOW Fish has slowed down. BIG DEAL. His leadership qualities alone are enough to compensate for that, among some of his other qualities which I won't bore you with because you'll just disagree with them anyway.

"1) If you think that Fish stinks defensively and that those points don't hold water, that's your prerogative. It is TEAM defense that matters and that is where Fish is smart, where he leads and where he excels. If he didn't, he wouldn't be playing at the end of games on a championship team. Therefore, those points are all important and should not be pooh-poohed.

2) My Ray Allen discussion is exactly why I keep emphasizing TEAM defense and THAT is the PERFECT example of what I said about Fish in paragraph 1) above.

3) That stupid statistic that I dug up wasn't designed as a catch-all to the vitriol that yellofever insists on spewing at Fish. He said Fish is 2-3 steps slow on weak side defense, yet that is where those steals typically occur. If he's so damn slow, how does he possible get to those passes? I KNOW Fish has slowed down. BIG DEAL. His leadership qualities alone are enough to compensate for that, among some of his other qualities which I won't bore you with because you'll just disagree with them anyway.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 04, 2011 at 07:25 PM "

1. I'm not going to speak for others but I don't think he stinks defensively. He has good instincts and tries to get in the right spots but he's simply too slow to be given the primary task of guarding the other team's PGs.

2. If he was given the responsibility of guarding 35 year old players every day, I wouldn't have much issue with his defense. That's not the case. He is in charge of guarding the fastest, most dynamic players in the game.

3. His steals aren't speed related. They're from being in the right places, intercepting lazy passes and being the first one to loose balls. Once the players get by him, his chance for steals is gone. Once it goes to a transition game, his chance for steals is gone.

And if Fisher's leadership is so important and so valuable, why do the Lakers ever look lost on either side of the floor? Shouldn't his leadership keep everyone motivated and on the right page?

And if Fisher's leadership is so important and so valuable, why do the Lakers ever look lost on either side of the floor? Shouldn't his leadership keep everyone motivated and on the right page?

Posted by: Bay to LA | January 04, 2011 at 07:38 PM
====

Since he came back to the Lakers, they have gone to 3 NBA Finals with back-to-back championships and he played a big part in that. It shocks me how quickly fans forget that.

The Lakers are taking a collective snooze. God forbid. They've earned it. They'll wake and up and be fresh when it matters, not when it matters to fans who need to get all paranoid and wrapped up in these meaningless regular season games. And Fish will be there to help lead them. WHEN IT COUNTS.

"Since he came back to the Lakers, they have gone to 3 NBA Finals with back-to-back championships and he played a big part in that. It shocks me how quickly fans forget that.

The Lakers are taking a collective snooze. God forbid. They've earned it. They'll wake and up and be fresh when it matters, not when it matters to fans who need to get all paranoid and wrapped up in these meaningless regular season games. And Fish will be there to help lead them. WHEN IT COUNTS.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 04, 2011 at 08:03 PM "

Why aren't any of them coming out and saying "hey, we're snoozing, wake us in April?"

And no one is forgetting what Fisher has done. We haven't forgot what Magic Johnson did either but we're not asking him to suit up.

"Since he came back to the Lakers, they have gone to 3 NBA Finals with back-to-back championships and he played a big part in that. It shocks me how quickly fans forget that.

The Lakers are taking a collective snooze. God forbid. They've earned it. They'll wake and up and be fresh when it matters, not when it matters to fans who need to get all paranoid and wrapped up in these meaningless regular season games. And Fish will be there to help lead them. WHEN IT COUNTS.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 04, 2011 at 08:03 PM "

Why aren't any of them coming out and saying "hey, we're snoozing, wake us in April?"

And no one is forgetting what Fisher has done. We haven't forgot what Magic Johnson did either but we're not asking him to suit up.

Bay to LA

Tell me you weren't saying the exact same things last season. Fisher's numbers were no different, nor was his speed, so you must have. Seriously, what's the point of complaining about him or even criticizing him? He's played an important role in 5 Lakers championships and, believe it or not, he can still play and contribute to a 6th. Once the playoffs start, he has a cerebral advatage because he is a WINNER. Just ask his Jazz teammates when he helped lead them to the WCF.

So I'll be in the uncool minority and sing the praises that Derek Fisher so deserves. Just like Spurs fans were thrilled to have old Bruce Bowen and old Robert Horry contribute to a championship in 2007, I'm thrilled that Fish was with us for our last two and will be here for the three-peat.

"Bay to LA

Tell me you weren't saying the exact same things last season. Fisher's numbers were no different, nor was his speed, so you must have. Seriously, what's the point of complaining about him or even criticizing him? He's played an important role in 5 Lakers championships and, believe it or not, he can still play and contribute to a 6th. Once the playoffs start, he has a cerebral advatage because he is a WINNER. Just ask his Jazz teammates when he helped lead them to the WCF.

So I'll be in the uncool minority and sing the praises that Derek Fisher so deserves. Just like Spurs fans were thrilled to have old Bruce Bowen and old Robert Horry contribute to a championship in 2007, I'm thrilled that Fish was with us for our last two and will be here for the three-peat.


Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 04, 2011 at 10:11 PM "

I did say the same things last year. You may be trying to prove a point that since they won, then everything they did along the way was correct but I respectfully disagree.

You ask what is the point of complaining about Fisher. I say what is the point of complaining that people are complaining? A lot of people, myself included, think the team would be better if he had a reduced role. That is why we say what we say. Until he is actually taken out of his role and we see what the team does without him, it is impossible to prove which one of us is right.

Derek Fisher did not LEAD the Jazz to the WCF. He was the 4th or 5th best player on that team. Did you happen to notice how he played in the WCF that year?


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