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Laker fans strongly dissatisfied with the team's play

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The Lakers (23-11) have lost four of their last six games by double-digit margins and have gone 3-5 against playoff-caliber teams. Now, going into Tuesday's game against the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center, fans are  uncertain and more than a little ticked. 

In a recent unscientific survey I conducted, a significant number of those who responded (from about 800 to 1,000 people responded to each of the poll questions) felt confident the Lakers could turn it around but wondered when that would start (39.15%). Nearly a quarter of fans said they were more angry than concerned about the Lakers' poor play (24.4%).

But no Laker championship team has been immune to shortcomings, poor execution and boredom with the regular season. The Lakers' championship teams from 1999-2001 went through early-season struggles, with a 24-10 start in the 1999-2000 season and a 23-11 mark in the 2000-01 campaign. So it makes sense that only 28.35% of those surveyed worried that the Lakers would have trouble three-peating. Only a few people aren't sweating their recent troubles at all (8%).

Whether you're among the world-is-coming-to-an-end crowd or are just upset at watching bad basketball, there are plenty of things bothering Laker fans right now about the team. The two-time defending champions earned a D from 34.95% of those polled and an F from 37.48%, with 49.68% of them ticking off numerous problems ailing the team, including, in order of importance, poor defense, inconsistent offensive chemistry, Kobe Bryant's high volume of shots, Pau Gasol's inconsistency, Ron Artest's discomfort with a reduced role and never-ending confusion with the triangle offense, Phil Jackson's coaching, Derek Fisher's streaky shooting, poor leadership, Andrew Bynum's acclimation with the team after recovering from offseason surgery on his right knee and inconsistent bench support.

That's a lot of ground to cover. But most Laker fans aren't saying that the organization needs to reinvent the wheel, although 11.65% argue that a trade wouldn't hurt. They just want the Lakers to begin changing their habits. Plenty of fans (28.19%) want the Lakers to establish more of a defensive identity, after yielding so many points in transition, drives off screen-and-rolls and open perimeter shots that have resulted in the Lakers giving up a 16th-ranked 97.68 points per game. Of those surveyed, 14.87% say the Lakers need to utilize their size more in 7-footers Bynum and Gasol, as well as versatile 6-foot-10 forward Lamar Odom, who's considered by most fans to be the team's best player.  And there are 12.99% of fans who believe it'd be nice if the Lakers actually ran the triangle instead of isolation sets.

Some fans supported having Jackson scale back minutes for players who didn't perform (5.88%). Others advocated more practice time (4.66%); Jackson traditionally has given the team plenty of rest so that the veteran group remains fresh and healthy, but Thursday he had a 2 1/2-hour practice with plenty of running drills. And some believe a team meeting to air out all the grievances would help the Lakers collectively problem solve (4.66%). But there are more Laker fans who believe the team's simply not playing up to its capability and just needs to change its habits (13.54%). Most say that begins with Lakers forward Ron Artest, who apparently has lost some of his luster gained from his Game 7 performance in the 32010 NBA Finals, his advocacy for mental-health issues and his overall good-natured goofiness. Lately, more fans are just simply agitated with him because he's averaging a career-low 7.5 points per game, including a scoreless performance Sunday against Memphis. 

With the Lakers reaching three consecutive NBA Finals, plenty believe the Lakers are simply bored. But Laker fans aren't taking that for an excuse. Ask Laker fans if there's anything that could be done to motivate the team, and they simply don't buy it. The vast majority (82.79%) say the team should just feel compelled to play better, period. After all, they're the Lakers and the defending champs. Their motivation should just be the desire to win, which is something the Lakers aren't doing enough of these days.

-- Mark Medina

twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: The Lakers' starting unit sits on the bench as the Grizzlies pull away for a 104-85 victory Sunday at Staples Center. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / January 2, 2011

 
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Great article, MM. This is the worst the Lakers have played during the regular season since 2006-07 and, coming on the heels of a championship with the same core players intact, there is every reason to understand why this play has sent shock waves through Lakerland whether or not you're a doom and gloomer or a pragmatist.

For a little perspective, here's another entry from Roland Lazenby's blog (lakernoise.com) written by Jorge Ribeiro dated February, 2010, entitled: "What’s Up with the Lakers?"

“We just didn’t have any energy,” assistant coach Brian Shaw said at halftime of the Laker game against the 76ers at Staples Center on Friday night. What’s with that? The Lakers have been flat a lot recently. Here are some possible explanations for the recent energy shortage:

- The Lakers are satisfied with their championship last season. Former Laker Rick Fox told John Ireland that some teams don’t like being “the hunted.” And this may be what ails the Lakers. Last year they rose to the challenge because they had been humiliated in the Finals; this year, they know they are the champs no matter what the result on the floor is.

- The Lakers are burned out. Being the defending champion is no easy thing. That’s why it’s so hard to repeat. This Laker group has played a lot of games and maybe when they reach deep inside, there’s nothing there right now.

- These are the “as usual” Lakers. After all, last season even in the Playoffs against Houston, fans were panicking and the media was heaping abuse on the team for its lack of effort, focus, etc. Then, suddenly, everything clicked.

- The weak point is Pau, who has played too many games. Pau seemed to answer the questions about being “soft,” last season, but seems to be back to playing “soft” again. Two weeks before the Lakers played Boston on the road, Gasol was griping about not getting enough touches. So late in the game, when he gets the ball, what does he do? He tries to pass to Shannon Brown. Turnover. Game. He did the same thing against the Sixers, passing in the paint to someone else in the paint – only this time he got away with it. “Fatigue makes cowards of us all,” Vince Lombardi said. Hmmmm.

- The weak point is …Kobe. The Lakers looked pretty energetic in the five games that Kobe missed. On offense, they played the triangle offense perfectly, spacing themselves well and passing to the open man. On defense, the rotations were crisp. Kobe comes back and all of a sudden they look flat again. Could it be that they are tiring of Kobe pushing them so hard?

- It’s that time of year: everyone is tired and injured, and everyone is trying to conserve energy for the Playoffs.

- There’s nothing wrong. The fans and the media are just too impatient, too focused on perfection, too, well, fanatical. The Lakers have, after all, the best record in the West, second-best record in the league, the best closer in the league and a team that won it last year…

======

Other than the best record part, sound familiar?

selection two for the day:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xh7lv45Yepw&feature=related

Phil does have an impressive resume. It's also his job to light a fire under these guys collective butts to get them playing again.

There are no more excuses, its time to go out at perform like the BACK to BACK WORLD CHAMPIONS.

I would like to see a little more two man game between Kobe and Drew, as well as Kobe and Pau.

I also would like to see Kobe actually guard his man. No more "free safetey" defense Kobe! We know you can do it- just get it done!

Stongly Dissatified, well yeah. Really worried, No....

bad news for the Mavs and Caron Butler:
http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/Dallas-Mavericks-Caron-Butler-has-season-ending-knee-surgery-010411

I always liked Caron's game and toughness- still upset with the Lakerstrading him away, but it did bring us Kwame, who then brought us Pau.

Yet another reason to dislike LeCreep:
http://www.foxsportsflorida.com/01/04/11/LeBron-has-tempered-praise-for-Spoelstra/landing_reiter.html?blockID=384459&feedID=7926

Talk about duct tape, someone needs to duct tape this fool's mouth after each and every game.

I always liked Caron's game and toughness- still upset with the Lakerstrading him away, but it did bring us Kwame, who then brought us Pau.

Posted by: mclyne | January 04, 2011 at 02:31 PM

Again, one of the few mistakes Mitch made. I love Caron's game and especially with Chandler on the block, defensively they could have gone toe to toe.

I actually had us and Dallas in the WCF in a 7 game series at the start of the year.

They're really going to miss Caron. I hope he comes back stronger.

@KobeMVP888

Thanks for the refresher!

It's just so painful watching them "mail in " games. It's not as though they are getting beat, they just aren't putting forth the effort. It needs to start on the defensive end. I t has to start on the defensive end- all of them helping the helper. All five guys on the floor need to communicate and move as one unit. Currently, we are playing D like an All Star squad. I think our D will drive our offense. As soon as they get on the same page, the wins will come. Remeber that tough as nails seven game Finals series just a few months ago? It's seems like so long ago now. They need to harness just some of that energy and focus to power through these regular season games.

I know they will turn it around- it's only a matter of time.

Art -FL Lakers Fan,

1st. Hello.

2nd. you wrote: 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.

my response:

Let's try this in reverse order. Memphis vs. Lakers ... Grizzlies had 49
rebounds. The Lakers had 39 w/ 6 offensive rebounds b/n Bynum, Gasol &
LO.

Lakers vs. Heat. 4 offensive rebounds b/n Bynum, Gasol & LO.

The Spurs. We just got outplayed.

http://www.powerbasketball.com/090916.html

snippet:
Here are 5 important benefits to rebounding for you to consider:

1. Great rebounding is going to offer your team more opportunities to score, and give the opposing team less opportunities to score. Think about it: just one rebound could add a 6 point swing to your team’s score! Good rebounding is going to give your team more possessions, which means more scoring.
2. Great rebounding is going to improve your team’s scoring percentage. Often, offensive rebounds are put-backs from close in. These are easy shots that often go in. Additionally, defensive rebounds that end in a great pass often allow for a fast break score before the defense on the other team can even get set up. These are also high percentage shots. Great plays start with a great rebound; the better you are at it, the higher your team’s percentage will go.
3. Great rebounding is also reduce the other team’s shooting percentage. When your team cleans up the boards they stop the other players from running all the time.
4. Great rebounding is going to get your team more free throws, and it also might cause trouble for the opposing team over fouls.
5. Great rebounding also shows that your team has heart. And great basketball defense. When teams have heart, then it usually spill over to the defensive side of the court.


snippet:
There’s no doubt that there are a lot of uncertainties in the game of basketball. But if there’s one thing that you can always count on it’s this: no matter how talented your players are, and how great a coach you are, shots are going to get missed.

This is why making sure your team knows how to get control of those missed shots is so important. It makes a huge impact on how effective your team is, at both ends of the court.

Most coaches know that basketball rebounding is important, but few really devote the practice time needed to improve their team’s performance.

Teams that focus on rebounding skills play smarter, stronger, and more aggressively than the teams that don’t. And this means they win more games.

on to turnovers ...

1st they suck!
2nd I agree that they're not happening on defense.

that being said ... are the Lakers pressing on offense? I would say yes.

Why? We may disagree about this ....

I would say that they're pressing because they're losing. I would say they're
losing because they've been slacking off. The first place that the slacking
off shows in defense. And we know that a lot of defense is about effort, right?

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? Ok. However, do Bynum & Pau look like their
in shape to you?

The last two years we've hung our hat on defense and won. A lot. This year
we haven't and we see what the difference is. Ok. Look at the personnel.

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?

If after 6 years your employee didn't know how to do his job, would you keep
him/her? [ don't want to be sexist. :) ]

What am I supposed to think about a team that is trying to 3-peat who
won't put in the effort in the off season?

It seems like only 2 weeks ago, people were saying it's just the practice season.
What happened? Did we reach the playoffs and nobody told me?

You can make this about the "Triangle Offense" if you want to, but it's not
an offensive thing. We're not talking about rookies. We're talking about
experienced veterans who have a world of playoff & championship experience.

Apparently, the coach with 11 years rings thought that things started on the
defense and being able to run. That's why they went to defense first in practice.

Your turn.

Repost

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 foray 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 hate when he was playing at 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 season, bearing in mind he did not play whole entire summer and now wit 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 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 defense. Andrew Bynum still working his way into game-shape condition and we’re hope to see 20-10, or at least 16-10 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 making his shot. With all being said, and players not playing to their potential, my conclusion is, 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.

@HOBBITMAGE…. 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. One last try:
………………………………
You stated: “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.”

My response: I assume the word for which you were looking was “causally.” If you had played the game, you would understand that how you play on offense affects how you play on defense and vice versa for most players. That doesn’t mean that there are not exceptions like Rodman and Bowen who played great defense but poor offense or the multitude of NBA players who play good offense and zero defense, but in most cases, players play better defense when they are involved in the offense because teamwork and synchronized action are required for both.
……………………………..
“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.”

Again, you took my words out of context. I was specifically talking about the Grizzlies game, where our turnovers and failure to run the offense led to a avalanche of fast break baskets. You seem to feel that it is fair play to take my comment out of context and then apply it to a situation that you mistakenly think constitutes proof that your position is correct. Why do you do this?
………………………………
“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.”

I would agree with you on this point but I see the problem more being Pau and Kobe complaining to refs while the other team runs down the floor and scores easily in transition off the turnover. Frankly, I find that as angering and frustrating as you do. Pau especially needs to stop crying and keep playing. On the whole, I tend to agree with your criticisms of him
…………………………….
At any rate, I will stop on a note where we are in agreement. I have no desire to get into these long drawn out debates because they have no end nor any real purpose that I can see. We will just have to agree to disagree and go our separate ways. In the end, we both love the Lakers.
………………………….
TOM

Simply stated: these guys have to get into a championship state of mind. How do they accomplish that? It begins with individual effort and dedication to the sport. The commitment doesn't end after practice, training or the game; I beg to argue that that's where it begins!

Just listen to the newcomers, i.e. Lamar, Artest and Pau. They claim they are celebrities in the spot light whenever they go out. They get involved with musical projects, TV. projects, movie projects, charities and the extracurricular activities list goes on and on and this is during the regular season!

Then in the same breath, they talk about how they're tired, banged-up and stressed from articles in various periodicals. There's two word that will remedy all of that stuff: DIET & REST!

Yes, the team pays each of you millions of dollars per year so you don't have to worry about money which might take you away from that all important aspect of any work out: DIET & REST. That's right, I'm talkin' bout DIET & REST. You guys are sittin' on the sidelines, looking all confused, wondering what's wrong with your play and the answer is right in front of your breathless faces: DIET & REST! So while you guys are "stinking" it up, there's only one player on that team who's willing and capable of doing something about it: #24. Look at him and his body language in that photo. He's ready to go back in and take 20 more shots in order to have a chance to win while Pau looks like a drama queen and drew and lamar are shootin' the breeze.

I'm sorry, but these losses are not Kobe's fault. I've always been one of his biggest critics because he takes the 2 spot to heart. I've always waited for him to add the passing game to his repertoire and felt that in this stage of his stellar career, the timing was perfect and you know what? He's leading the team in assists! So what does the team expect him to do? Continue passing to the open, undedicated, distracted, winded scrubs and pray that he gets an assist? If so, then you haven't been paying attention to this player's career. The young man has been at it since high school and has never let his foot of the gas.

You've got the best schedule in all of sports. Night games throughout the winter and every summer off which should be used to remain in relatively good shape - unless you're Kobe Bryant which means you'll be in game shape year round - work on your game, get involved with your pet projects and then get some moderate REST.

C'mon guys... Have some pride and dedicate yourself to the sport year round man. What's the longest the career will last, 7-14 years? There's plenty of time to party your brains out in excess so if you can't juggle the sport and your extracurricular activities, then focus on the bread and butter that makes your lives possible.

Good luck in tonight's game L.A. because until the dedication from the rest of the team meets or exceeds Kobe's, then luck is all you can rely on to win from here on out.

I don't think they need to trade anyone. They need:

Effort
+
Defense
+
Team Play
+
Team Spirit
+
Focus
+
Agressiveness
+
Winning Streak
=
Threepeat

Anyone who isn't on board needs to sit out.

If everyone cared as much as Kobe, we would have the best record in the league. Something is wrong. Something has to be wrong. There is an air of resentment. "Kobedar"... When Kobe tries to win a game and the rest of the team gets resentful instead of pitching in and playing some defense, setting picks , moving without the ball, getting open shots and feeding the guy with the hot hand. If he is jacking up a lot of shots, he is going to miss half of them. Go after the freakin rebound and stuff it in! You can't save it by yourself, Kobe. This is an old lesson. You don't need to learn it again. It is up to you and Phil to create an air of winning. It is up to you to make your teamates better - to trust them again. You can't win playing 1 on 5. It is a team sport.

I am a Lakerholic

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.


Posted by: LRob | January 04, 2011 at 12:27 PM

=====================
Those are only 2 players and Gasol can run the floor. Bynum can too when his leg heals.

I have better idea for trasition defense, make your shots and jog back.

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

@pfunk36
I don't know how MM chooses his rcotd but porn defense would be my choice. It hade ROTFLMAO. Not much does tha anymore. It made my day then my beloved dog (Golden Retriever) died last night.

The Lakers have, after all, the best record in the West, second-best record in the league, the best closer in the league and a team that won it last year…
======
Other than the best record part, sound familiar?
Posted by: KobeMVP888 |
==================

KobeMVP,

Interesting post.

But if, like last year, the Lakers had the best record in the west right now and 2nd best in the league I think there would be way, way fewer comments on their bad play.

They likely would not have lost a number of the games they have this year, would not have gotten blown out at home against mediocre teams.

There will always be some of those complaining comments no matter what, just like last year, the year before, but the tone and volume of comments this year seems more like during the old days of Kwame and friends.

Phil and Kobe and maybe others on the team seem to be showing some genuine concern. That's different this year.

"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."

Offensively, just about everyone is at or above their "norm" for offensive production when you factor in decreases and increases in minutes.

The defensive side is where they have had the most regression and I don't know if that is really something they can fix since lack of youth and speed is one of the biggest problems. That's one of the reasons I am such a critic of the "switch flip" mentality, I just don't see another level for them to suddenly play at.

The Lakers need to take a page out of the Book of Reverend Al Green:

http://tinyurl.com/2vv5s3r

"Let's stay together....whether times are good or bad....happy or sad."

Pfunk36 - nice article - thanks!

Justa - I am sorry to hear about your dog. My golden was the best dog I ever had.

Please bench Fish!!!! He sucks!!! There's a reason why PG always have great games against us.

The Lakers are not playing with any urgency this year, no killer instinct , and no continuity. They are not motivate for some reason. Even with the big front line, the lakers can not manage to play defense. Especially the guards or the back court which included both captains . They realize too much on the last line of defense which usually putting all the big guys in foul troubles. They need to take an extra effort to fight through the pick and roll . Maybe the Lakers should switch up and let the whole bench to become the starters to see how they do. Unfortunately , the switch is not available this year for the Lakers, and they better keep the light on all the time. Otherwise, they will Have a very short season, and Kenny Smith will be going to fishing with Phil, Kobe, and Derrick. Let's go Lakers............

KobeMVP,

Interesting post.

But if, like last year, the Lakers had the best record in the west right now and 2nd best in the league I think there would be way, way fewer comments on their bad play.

They likely would not have lost a number of the games they have this year, would not have gotten blown out at home against mediocre teams.

There will always be some of those complaining comments no matter what, just like last year, the year before, but the tone and volume of comments this year seems more like during the old days of Kwame and friends.

Phil and Kobe and maybe others on the team seem to be showing some genuine concern. That's different this year.

Posted by: Art - FL Laker Fan | January 04, 2011 at 03:04 PM
====

The anxiety level is understandable. The hope is that the Lakers pull a reversal of last season and finish strong. If they do and finish with a#1 or #2 seed, then expectations to reach the NBA Final for a possible three-peat will increase in Lakerland. There is little reason to think that it won't play out that way either.

@Justa – Ah 21 Questions....one of my favs by 50. I agree it's very appropriate for the Lakers right now. Everybody love the Lake show when they’re rolling, but when times get tough…hmmm.


Girl...It's easy to love me now
Would you love me if I was down and out?
Would you still have love for me?

Could you love me in a Bentley?
Could you love me on a bus?
I'll ask 21 questions, and they all about us

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.
Posted by: hobbitmage | January 04, 2011 at 01:08 PM
---------------------------
Yes, running helps. But if player a is faster than player b and both run…player a will beat player b down court. Effort is mandatory, but no matter how hard I try my 40 yard dash time is what it is.

@MVP – Nice post at 2:26pm.

@mclyne – BRMC in the building…good selection.

@JustaLF – I’m sorry to hear about your dog passing. My sympathies go out to you.

@BronxLakerFan – Getting smooth with Al…nice.

Laker Truth,
I with you on Phil’s weaknesses, but I’ll still take him over any other coach. People always talk about Phil only winning because he has the most talent. He also won a championship in the CBA. Did he have the most talent then?
I’m curious why you would take Pop over him?


As fans we want perfection. We want Phil, Kobe, Pau, etc… to change (insert things you’d like them to do differently.) But the bottom line is these guys are who we thought they were and they ain’t changing. Their DNA is what it is and its part of what makes them special.


The NBA is a players league (unlike college) so win or lose Kobe will get the bulk of the credit/criticism and Phil will be next in line.

Justa,

Sorry to her about the loss of your dog. While dogs are my life's work and I am a fanatic towards all breeds, goldens are my favorite.

pfunk,

You have a unique way with words, lol, I enjoy reading them.

"KobeMVP,

Interesting post.

But if, like last year, the Lakers had the best record in the west right now and 2nd best in the league I think there would be way, way fewer comments on their bad play.

They likely would not have lost a number of the games they have this year, would not have gotten blown out at home against mediocre teams.

There will always be some of those complaining comments no matter what, just like last year, the year before, but the tone and volume of comments this year seems more like during the old days of Kwame and friends.

Phil and Kobe and maybe others on the team seem to be showing some genuine concern. That's different this year.


Posted by: Art - FL Laker Fan | January 04, 2011 at 03:04 PM "

Good points. When the article was written last year, the Lakers were easily in first place by close to games, had a few injuries here and there, things could be better, etc. The only real concern was the HCA against the Cavs, not that they were going to have trouble making it out of the west.

Oops, I meant that they were in first by close to 10 games.

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.
Posted by: hobbitmage | January 04, 2011 at 01:08 PM
---------------------------
Yes, running helps. But if player a is faster than player b and both run…player a will beat player b down court. Effort is mandatory, but no matter how hard I try my 40 yard dash time is what it is.

Posted by: LRob | January 04, 2011 at 03:17 PM
====

I actually agree with hobbitmage on this. When the Thunder evened the series at us in OKC last April by destroying us in Game 4 by a score of 110-89, here is what Andrew Bynum had to say about reversing the Lakers fortunes in Game, which the Lakers won 111-87:

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/apr/29/sports/la-sp-lakers-web-20100429

So he got back on defense against the spry Thunder and the results spoke for themselves.

LakerTom,

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.

you wrote: If you had played the game, you would understand that how you play on offense affects how you play on defense and vice versa for most players.

my response: this is where your logic is broken. see how you used the word
"most"? that means that there are some players for which your statement
isn't true. Which means that it's not absolutely true. Which then leads to the
question "why". i.e. Why is that some players play good to great defense
regardless of how much they score and others don't? The answer to that
question is NOT that they can't. The answer is that they *CHOOSE* not to.
It has nothing to do with not playing the game and everything to do with the
effort that you put into it.

FYI, I played soccer. Half-back. Which means that I played offense and
defense all game long. yes, it's a different game, but many of the principles
are the same. Oddly enough, both Steve Nash & Kobe are huge soccer fans
and we know how it's translated for them.

you wrote: Again, you took my words out of context. I was specifically talking about the Grizzlies game, where our turnovers and failure to run the offense led to a avalanche of fast break baskets. You seem to feel that it is fair play to take my comment out of context and then apply it to a situation that you mistakenly think constitutes proof that your position is correct. Why do you do this?

my response: Actually, I didn't think I was taking your words out of context.
Allow me to paint a picture and see if we wind up with the same view. If
the Lakers had only had 1 bad game against Memphis would anybody be
talking about it? Would PJ have changed the practice because of 1 bad game?
This thread was started because the Lakers have had a number of lousy games
this season. That is the context for your quotes.

you specifically said:

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.

my response: look at those quotes. phrases like "other teams", "most of the
time" & occasionally indicate that your comments are not *specifically* about
one team. sorry that I mis-understood. In the future, if you're only talking
about 1 team you should be clearer in your writing.

you also wrote: “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.”

Finally, you wrote: I have no desire to get into these long drawn out debates because they have no end nor any real purpose that I can see.

my response: Actually the exchange today was interesting and enlightening.
You've admitted that Pau needs to play harder. That's a first. I'd like to see
you do the same for Bynum, but miracles rarely happen. :)


I would agree with you on this point but I see the problem more being Pau and Kobe complaining to refs while the other team runs down the floor and scores easily in transition off the turnover. Frankly, I find that as angering and frustrating as you do. Pau especially needs to stop crying and keep playing. On the whole, I tend to agree with your criticisms of him

my response: So we have a historical context problem. In the past, when
I spoke about Pau being/playing soft you ... disagreed. [ I'll leave it at that. ]
While you may have changed your opinion of his play, you haven't clearly
stated it. To put it a different way, to my remembrance you have not used
words like: "Pau is playing like a limp noodle. He is in fact Gasoft. " Since
you have not been clear about your feelings in the recent past, you'll forgive
me if your past words take precedence in what I believe you think about
certain players. Always willing to change my mind. Just be clear about it.

In fact, you haven't actually said that he needs to play harder and more
physical. You've indicated that Bynum, at the C, will allow him to continue
to "be himself". Which is currently, soft & squishy.

It made my day then my beloved dog (Golden Retriever) died last night.

Posted by: JustaLakerFan | January 04, 2011 at 03:03 PM


So sad for you. I lost my beloved Sherman (Golden Retriever) just over a year ago and am still not over it. Even a Lakers championship cannot distract it enough.


I hope the spirit and love he/she brought you here will look down upon you with grace and care and bring the happy times to mind often.


NuggetsCountry from 9000' up


These real life events make our ranting on blogs seem very small.


On a hopeful note, my wife is bringing home a new Lakers rooting hat to try out on Detroit tonight! Seems the fans are more into the games than all but Kobe these days!

@JLF - I feel you with the loss of your dog...we lost our stud male Siamese cat Sunday night...The wifey's eyes are swollen from crying...and when I though about it...something got in my eye, and it started watering...

@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...

Thank you all for your kind words and support. Cha-Cha was a family member to us and we lost so much when we lost her.
It really hurts.

Lakers fans are strongly dissatisfied with Lakers play? What a joke lol I didn't know there were so many experts out there that deserved a voice. This team is going through some growing pains and will right the ship in the very near future. Everybody needs to chill and stop sounding like a bunch of rookie fans.

Justa sorry to hear of your family members passing. After my last dog and how hard it hit me, I think I will never own another dog again.

Lew thanks but I don't know how much longer I will be here if I don't find steady work. I came out here to a non existent job which is suppose to happen the middle of the month.

I am very disappointed with the lakers play. I hope the lakers can play alot better and win every game.. Go lakers. I watch every lakers game. I am a die hard lakers fan. Go lakers.

It's undeniable right now that we're 4th in the West and a half-game away from 5th. It's entirely possible that we could enter the 1st round without home court advantage and facing the Thunder who gave us a lot of trouble last year and are much improved this year.

Yes, we've had championship years where we started off just as poorly like in 99-00, but that was Phil's first year and he was working out the kinks. In 2000-01, yes we started out 23-11 like this year, but we lost 4 out of the first 10 games, and to powerhouse teams like the Malone and Stockton's Jazz and Duncan and Robinson's Spurs. We also never lost more than 2 games in a row for the entire season.

This year, we started 8-0 against all currently sub .500 teams with the only exception being Portland which barely has a winning record at 18-16. In fact, we've had the easiest schedule this early in the season for years. Yet still, we've already had a 4 game losing streak on top of a 3 game losing streak and with 8 of our 11 losses coming against losing teams.

In fact, we've given the Grizzlies 2 of their 15 wins, and this is a team with a record of 15-19. So no, we're not in a similar situation as those previous championship-winning teams.

It might also be wise to note that during our 2003-04 season, when we had 4 future Hall of Famers (with Malone now just inducted) and arguably a more talented team than we have this year, we also went through similar struggles during the season, though it started in December rather than November, and much of it had to do with injuries and also Kobe's trial. There was similar low morale during the season though many of us including myself were absolutely convinced we'd get it together by the playoffs.

Well we did get it together, beating all-comers in the West until we faced the "no-name" Pistons in the Finals. All of us were convinced we would win, until of course, we were beaten 4-1.

What does that tell us? A lot actually. For one, us winning the title again is not a foreseen conclusion, even if we make the Finals. We don't have to look back further than 2008 to know that. And it also tells us that playing a sub-par regular season doesn't mean that it counts for nothing either.

We need to be real here. Looking at our schedule, we have it pretty easy for another month with the only "real" challenge being the a back-to-back against the Hornets and the Knicks, games we should win. Besides that, it's games against the Pistons, the Suns, the Cavs, the Warriors, the Nets and the Clippers, all losing teams.

Except for how our team is playing, the Suns and the Clippers might actually be a challenge, besides NOH and NYK, and we may even get a surprise from the other terrible teams, given that we just lost to the Grizzlies.

And then starting January 17, we go against (not kidding) the Thunder, the Mavericks, the Nuggets, and the Jazz before getting a breather against the Kings.

Then it's the Celtics, the Rockets, the Spurs, the Hornets, and our arch-nemesis the Grizzlies, before we have the Celtics, the Knicks and the Magic.

What, you thought that our easy schedule would last forever? For however easy our schedule was in the beginning, you knew sooner or later it would catch up to us and it would get as difficult as it was easy. Only this is too difficult. This is a ridiculous schedule.

If we are posting up 4 game losing streaks against teams like Jazz, Pacers, Grizzlies and Rockets, how are we going to do against the Thunder, Mavs, Nuggets and Jazz or the Celtics, Rockets, Spurs and Hornets, before we get a dessert of the Grizzlies, Celtics, Knicks and Magic?

There's never a good time to panic in Lakerland but our boys need to get their act together, now. We'll support them through thick and thin, but as dutiful fans, we need to let our displeasure be known to them. We cann't have our team not be as concerned as we are thinking they can just turn in on during April.

Remember how important home court advantage is during the playoffs and the Finals. We are the 4th seed at the moment and within easy reach of the 5th, and with our upcoming schedule, we could go down even lower. We put ourselves in the position that even having home court during the 1st round is like a luxury.

I'm really hoping the our team treats the Grizzlies game like a wake-up call. Except they've had about 4 wake-up call games already and still haven't awoken from the slumber. We can't just win a couple of games against mediocre and bad teams (NOH and PHI) and think we've solved all our problems. No, we need to go back playing Laker basketball, and be the team that is dominating everyone else, not being dominated.

LET'S GO LAKERZ!!!!

i dont know why theres so many winers. we can have the worst record in the regular season and still winthe champonship. were the lakers!!!!! who cares about regular season anyway? everyone knows the season begins with the play offs. this is all a warmup. you know ron ron will go crazy again in game 7. fish wll nail the big shots and kobe da man will kill em all in da finals. so many rookie fans that dont understand da game of bball. its like these stupid fans think the team owes them something. just be hqappy you get to watch the games for free on tv. you dont pay for nothing so shut ur trap. i dont care if lakers are 0-80 we still be winning da champonship!!!

what did i tell you?!! did you see how we smashed the pistons?!! what troubles? since when does a champion team that wins by 20+ points have troubles?!!!


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