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Lakers break down 109-87 victory over the New York Knicks

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

Lakers center Andrew Bynum

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson

Lakers forward Lamar Odom

Lakers forward Pau Gasol

Lakers guard Shannon Brown

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

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

 
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Carmelo Anthony and Chauncy Billups very close to being traded to Nets. Scratch Denver from the playoffs.

Are we tough enough?

check

THE DIFFERENCE MAKER !!!
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While the Los Angeles Lakers are still unquestionably Kobe Bryant’s team, there is rapidly becoming little doubt that Andrew Bynum is the team’s second most important player and the difference maker as the Lakers have won 6 of their last 7 games with Drew as starting center.
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Watching the Lakers play, it’s easy to see the difference Drew makes. As Phil commented the other day, Drew’s interior defense forces opposing teams to completely change how they attack the Lakers. His mere presence on the court intimidates and deters other teams from trying to attack the paint and his low post offense makes it easier to play inside-out basketball.
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Last night, Drew gave Amare Stoudemire a good old fashioned butt kicking, schooling him on defense with his length and shot blocking and posterizing him with rim shattering dunks. Had the refs called the game fairly, the mismatch would have been even greater as Drew should have shot at least a dozen free throws from obvious fouls by Stoudemire when he was shooting. As for Leon Woods refereeing, the guy is a known Lakers hater and the one who lost his cool.
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The critics who lambast Phil Jackson for his lack of game-to-game adjustments need to step up to the plate and acknowledge the recent defensive adjustments implemented by the Zen Master.
Switching players on screens not only makes it simpler and easier for the players to play defense but also foils opposing teams efforts to pull Drew and the Lakers other big men out of the paint. You could see the strategy change work last night as the Lakers dominated the paint on defense.
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Finally, I love the way Drew is playing right now. He has a quiet confidence and is playing with great energy and passion while retaining composure and control. I can easily forgive his actions last night as it was obvious to everybody that great block on Amare was all ball and not a foul. As we saw last night, Drew is slowly regaining his explosiveness. The Beast is on his way back.
......................................................
TOM

Can we please get an "AMEN!" for Lamar Odom's stellar (and consistent) play since the beginning of the season? That guys literally had like 5 straight rebounds in the second half during one stretch. Dude was cleaning the glass.

DBDH!

CornerJ- The Lakers have appear to have found their SWAGGER, with Drew rounding into shape they're looking a little like the WORLD champs. My prediction...OH well I can't predict them all, but I can make a prediction if, I know IF...both teams the Heat and Lakers stay healthy. The finals will attract the highest ratings EVER, with the HEAT coming out on TOP in 6 games.

The series would feature the Associations top 2 Stars againts the Mamba(the leagues old fading ledgend). The two young guns would be out to DESTROY and EMBARRASS the OLD FADING, BROKEN DOWN, HAS BEEN ledgend.
Send into the SUNSET with his OLD Broken Down COACH(dementia Phil),
and the Association will be in GOOD Hands for years to COME.

That's my Prediction, and I'm sticking with it, but the LAKERS do look GOOD.

Gmoney,

The Lakers are doing this against 3 extra bodies, your heat are doing it with 3 extra bodies.
Why lie.

MAgic32- My all time favorite Laker, What extra 3 bodies?

G Money, I know it was tough for you to admit we've got our swagger back, but I'll take it. Honestly, if both teams keep progressing like this, it would be a great finals. My question for you is...what are you going to do about Bynum? Can your front court grow another foot or so between now and then? Can they handle Bynum, Pau, and Lamar sweeping the boards together? We'll see...if you can get past the Celts.

The Beast is on his way back.

Posted by: LakerTom | January 10, 2011 at 08:58 AM
====

Tremendous post, my friend! "On his way" back might be a little modest. There is no reason to believe that the Bynum we will see in April is a Bynum that no one has ever seen before (short of the unmentionable, of course). He is only going to become more comfortable on offense and it is very clear that he now understands unequivocally that his most important role on this team is on defense. This is evident both from his effort on the court and the things he says in interviews. It's about time that he takes on the refs, too, because enough is enough with them picking on him just because he's bigger than everyone else.

Last night Bynum took an MVP candidate and made a little snack out of him, taking away the part of Amar'e's game that everyone says he has improved at the most and reducing him to a jump shooter. If the game was called fairly, Andrew would have been to the line 6-8 more times and Stoudemire would have been on the bench in foul trouble. The game-to-game improvement in Bynum is such a joy to watch. He's on the brink of dominance as we have never seen him before.

By the way, has anyone noticed how "lucky" Lamar gets on the glass when Amar'e Stoudemire is on the the other team?

I know you're not refering to the Greatest OFFICALS in all sports, not that cop out. C'mon Magic32, not you to.

We won, but SERIOUSLY, that was one of the worst officiated games in my 25 years of watching NBA basketball.
Kobe was hammered numerous times, with smacks to both arms and no whistle.

Drew was pounded and roughed up down low all night and got very few calls.

Drew or anyone else guarding Armare couldn't blow on his precious arms without getting called for a foul.

Then the worts one of all, Socks blocked Amare's shot and got called for a personal. Then the ref decided that "are you serious?" suddenly became the most offensive phrase in the English lexicon and threw the kid out of the game.
It seemed like Darth Stern wanted this game to be as close as possible and told the refs to call it accordingly.

If Drew could have played the rest of the night, he could have had at least 25 and 10.

Anyway, the BEAST in Drew has almost reached full power. He was more impressive on the defensive end than on the offensive end. That says a lot since he was DOMINATING Amare, who is supposedly in the running for this year's MVP. He can have it, we'll take the RINGS!

I loved Ron-Ron's intensity last night, but I did get a little scared when his hand made it to the neck of a Knicks player.

Gmoney

I watch pretty much every Laker game and most of the celtics and heat games too. Now I'm starting to watch some spurs games as well and let me tell, out of those teams, the heat seem to get mad love from the refs. Not only do they get love, but it seem the refs change and make up calls in favor of your team.
I've heard more than once, commentators from heat opponents..Well, its to go 5 on 8.

CornerJ- Drew is going to be a LOAD for anybody, he's just going to get BETTER as the season progress. I feel the Heat will continue to chanllenge him in the paint with speed and get him in foul trouble. He's still supect on "D", if attacting him, he becomes timid on defense. The greatest COMMISSIONER of all sports with get his DREAM Match, the KING and his RING.

@DBDH
AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

@G. Money
HAHAHAHAHHA! Hilarious post yet again. Yeah, you are so right about Kobe being broken down. Last year against the Spetics, he played with a broken finger on his shooting hand, one knee, a bad elbow, a plethora of other injuries and STILL was the MVP of the FINALS.

Kobe is still better that any other baller in on the planet when his body is running at less than 50% capacity.

Since he's his knee has been repaired in the offseason, and his stamina and elevation is back, it's not even close. Yes, there are more younger and athletic players in the League right now, but they don't have the drive, killer instinct, and intelligence to bring home the RINGS.

Enjoy all the hype your team is getting in the REGULAR SEASON because you will be dominated by the Septics in the playoffs.

If I were you, I would become a Septics fan once the playoffs start so you will at least get to watch your team compete in the Finals.

We won, but SERIOUSLY, that was one of the worst officiated games in my 25 years of watching NBA basketball.
Kobe was hammered numerous times, with smacks to both arms and no whistle.

Posted by: mclyne | January 10, 2011 at 09:40 AM


What's up mclyne, yeah, was pretty shabby ref'ing. Dang Leon, has to use his old tricks.

To be fair, the way the game was going, both Kobe and Amar'e, should have been gone. In the letter of the law, when Kobe exagerrated on that loose ball call, he should have been gone, no warning, gone. He didn't though, which to me, signalled how inconsistent all those T's were.

As far as Ron, what were you worried about? He puts his hands on his throat and when he realized what he was doing, he backed down. The old Ron Artest would have been tossed.

I'll repeat myself, Ray Felton is a true pro. Not only does he make sure things cooled down, when he was talking it out with Ron, he made sure Tony Brown backed off while they had it out. Ray's a good guy, I know he was just trying to make sure there was nothing malevolent going down, and with Ron, it's never personal, that's just the way he plays the game, hard. Hats off to Ray, a heck of a player and a true pro.

Special shout out to Landry Fields; ya did alright, get Mamba next time if you dare.

@KOBEMVP888... It really has been a pleasure watching Drew play. His demeanor on the court this year seems to be so much more mature, focused, and under control. His hammer dunks over Amare energize the entire Lakers team, including the guys on the bench who went bonkers several times when Drew made a great play. Like you, I just wish the guy would get a fair break from the refs, especially on offense where other teams are hacking him to death.
........
I still am hoping the Stern respects the fans right to pick the All-Star game starters and selects Drew to replace the injured Yao Ming as the West’s starting center. To not pick Drew with the game being at Staples would be an insult to Drew and Lakers fans. After all, Yao Ming leads the vote for the West’s starting center with 754K votes while Drew is second with 493K votes and Nene of Denver third with 292K votes. Lakers should have 4 players in All-Star game.
............................................................
TOM

Hats off to Ray, a heck of a player and a true pro.

Special shout out to Landry Fields; ya did alright, get Mamba next time if you dare.

Posted by: Sean | January 10, 2011 at 09:56 AM
====

I love both of those guys. Fields is my second favorite rookie next to Blake Griffin. Did you see that "what are you going to do?" look on Felton's face when Shannon Brown hit that corner three third quarter buzzer beater? It was hilarious!

BYNUM IS BECOMING LAKERS BACKBONE
By Kevin Ding for the OC Register
http://www.ocregister.com/sports/bynum-283400-lakers-defense.html
...............................
Here’s a great follow up to my earlier post about Drew being THE DIFFERENCE MAKER.
So that everybody would actually read this great article, here is the complete content:
...............................
...............................

The Lakers lost the 2008 NBA Finals to Boston without Andrew Bynum. He watched from afar and got the message for the first time in his career that the greatest lift he could give his team, if healthy, would be on defense.
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That revelation changed the Lakers' world. They are now 2-0 in NBA Finals with him. Although gimpy both times with more knee problems, Bynum stood up to Dwight Howard in 2009 and hung in there against the Celtics in 2010.
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And if the Lakers get there again in 2011, it'll be because Bynum has become their defensive backbone more than ever before.
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The Lakers' midseason defensive redesign is maximizing Bynum's presence in the paint, and he is taking pride in having new responsibility.
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Yes, Bynum was overly emotional in getting ejected Sunday night early in the fourth quarter. Yes, he must have those NBA whistle-blowers in New York pondering the true definition of unacceptable public criticism of referees after likening Leon Wood to a scolded puppy. ("He kind of like put his head down like a bad Lab," Bynum said.)
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But beneath all that crap is the fundamental fact that Bynum got all fired up while playing defense – playing what he was sure was great defense to get a clean block on New York's Amare Stoudemire.
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Even without that block or any others he might've gotten by continuing to play Sunday night, Bynum is averaging 2.6 blocks since 2011 arrived – 13 blocks in five games. That's after entering the season with a career average of 1.5 blocks. And that's while still in a learning stage with this new defense that is still just weeks old. ("I don't think we're really used to any of the principles we're going over," he said.
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The upshot of the principles is that Bynum has been repositioned permanently as a 7-foot goalie.
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"I basically guard anyone who is on the block, anyone coming into the lane," Bynum said. "Anything that goes away from the basket, we just automatically switch. So it just kind of keeps the guys who are supposed to be outside, outside – and the guys who are supposed to be inside, inside."
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The strategic tweak should put an end to opposing guards repeatedly breezing all the way to the rack. It should help the Lakers be as dominant in defensive rebounding as all mathematical logic suggests a team with such size should be. And it should prevent embarrassing moments such as happened on Nov. 28 at Staples Center, when Pau Gasol was pulled way out of the paint and chased in vain with no one back to help him as Indiana's Roy Hibbert lumbered all the way for a clinching layup.
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"The influence of this defense is definitely working for us," Bynum said after the Lakers held New York to 87 points – or 21 points fewer than its average. "The more that we commit to it and understand that somebody's always got your back, the better we're going to be."
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It is also a tremendous opportunity for Bynum to show how much better he can still be.
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"It actually requires me to be more active," he said. "But in doing so, I feel better and I'm more a part of the flow of the game."
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(And because nothing with Bynum means anything if he can't stay healthy, let's interject here that Bynum has finally turned the corner with his reattached knee cartilage after all that rehab and all those twinges. He said Sunday night: "I haven't had any pain or incidents.")
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Phil Jackson describes the change in defensive strategy as "small," and it certainly is compared to Jackson's decision that preceded the Lakers' recent championships: to break from his long-held belief not to double-team unless absolutely necessary and be more aggressive.
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This is not that kind of radical makeover, but if you don't believe Jackson has been doing any coaching here in his farewell season, let's just stop and look at this situation:
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Jackson took the mess that was Bynum delaying his offseason surgery and all the in-house resentment building up from the team's entire training camp and first 24 games being derailed without Bynum ... and has come up with a way to solve what ailed the Lakers most (defense) while getting Bynum to take newfound ownership in the team. It's a firm step in the Lakers' long-term future away from depending on Kobe Bryant and toward trusting Bynum, 23.
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That, even if 11 rings as an NBA coach hadn't been won before, is some serious chicken salad.
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The Hibbert layup and that home loss to the Pacers had left Bryant furious. After it, he scolded a reporter: "Stop asking about offense. It's ignorant. Talk about defense. Defense wins championships."
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But with Bryant, 32, no longer playing defense with the same fervor as previous years, there is now even more opportunity for Bynum to serve the team best at that end of the court.
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There is the risk of foul trouble with so many more people coming at him in the lane, but Bynum will be in better position without having to worry anymore about extending himself to the perimeter. When he does encounter foul trouble, the Lakers have the uncommon luxury of Gasol and Lamar Odom anyway.
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Yet the more Bynum plays defense this way, the better he'll get at standing tall and challenging shots without having to twist a body that has reached a career high in mass. Bynum said he usually plays between 279 and 285 pounds and is holding steady for now at 285.
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"I kind of like the size," he said.
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That's exactly how the Lakers want to play with Bynum – big and strong and requiring the opposition to adjust to them.
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Adjusting to their own new defense has been one reason for the Lakers' recent struggles. But Jackson said Sunday night after a fourth consecutive victory: "We're coming together a little more on our defensive ideals."
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Said Bryant: "As of late, we've been doing a really, really good job. We're just getting better at our system."
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Hmm, when's the last time anyone ever talked about the Lakers actually getting better?
.........................................
TOM

Mornin' crue!


I gotta say, that game last night made me so very, very happy! The Beast is awake and he is indeed fearsome! Amare looked like a scrub when Drew was in the game LOL! Whatever defensive wrinkles PJ and company are adding, I like it. I like it a LOT.


Ron apologized on twitter for his emotion coming out the way it did. I thought a little tough love for the opposition was a good thing - reminds them all who's boss.


Not sure what game the Fish haters were watching last night. Seemed to me like he did an admirable job on D out there.... This selective vision must be nice. Nothing ever gets in the way of your reality. I could use a filter like that sometimes LOL!


I also think this team can keep winning for awhile. The schedule is favorable and the team seems to have refocused. Let's hope it sticks.


GO LAKERS!!
Let the hunt for six begin - D.Fish
Nothing but another title will suffice - K.Bryant
WE GOT THIS - justa

Oh right, almost forgot - the reffing STUNK to high heaven.


Every year I think to myself that the reffing is so bad it couldn't possibly get worse. Then a new season starts and I'm eating crow on those words. I really hate crow....


MM - can you see if the team is considering sending any clips to the League? Something really needs to be done about this anti-Laker bias. I have no idea if it is indeed Darth Stern with instructions from on high, or small-minded refs feeling the need for personal vendetta's, but whatever it is, it needs to stop.


I would argue that Bynum is far more than the "difference maker" and is actually the most important player on this team. He is the youngest player - on the starting 5 - which infuses the much needed youth at the most important position for the starting lineup. We saw how important it was to have him last season while he was playing injured, we witnessed the collapse of Pau at the 5 while Drew was working on his return from knee surgery and now the obvious benefits now that he is back in the starting lineup.

Remember: In past seasons, Drew usually takes a couple of months to become fully productive and his presence in the starting lineup - while not at his maximum yet - has worked "miracles" for the entire team which takes us back to everyone's concern: Can he last for the remainder of the season? Only time will tell but if Bynum goes, there is no way that Pau can effectively play his position for a prolonged period of time.


Drew: stay hungry and remain humble. Treatment and health is completely up to you. Dedicate and fully immerse yourself into this sport because if you can play full seasons, then your future as the Lakers franchise player is yours.

Take care of business team. You guys have a nice soft schedule leading up to the OKC game next week with an opportunity to meet them boasting an 8 game winning streak! Play hard, remain focused and win those “winnable” games and compete against the contenders. Time for you guys to let the league know that you’re relevant again!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74Kh20Jwi1w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4DlfEQ7cyk

GO LAKERS & IN BUSS WE TRUST!!

Just a fantastic game by Young Bynum! I am impressed. Bill Walton told him before the game to believe that he is a dominate player, and he looked like one last night. Those T's were absolutely awful, though. If the NBA is going to put forth this ridiculous rule, then consistency has to take precedence over the individual complaining. What Andrew was saying was just one tech worthy in my opinion.

Apparently Bill Walton advised Bynum to lose some of his bulk to light the load on his lower extremities. Wouldn't that be the equivalent of taking dental advice from a dentist with rotten teeth or diet advice from an obese doctor? Bill Walton had chronic foot injuries that were unrelated to any weight issues. He was slender. Talk about taking something with a grain of salt!

It was a good AB17 game. An important move to becoming the Laker's defensive anchor. And defense (as always) will be the key to our championship endeavors.

However, I am not ready to call Drew mature when he knows he should have backed off after the 1st T. Maybe that was his way of making a statement to not only this ref but all of them that he demands respect. BUT. He hasn't earned any respect yet. You can't earn respect in the locker room or riding the pine in the 4Q.

Please remember, we were hearing the same complaints from Shaq when he got to LA and Shaq was leading the team. AB is our 3rd option and needs to learn how to stay on the court. That includes needless fouls and constant arguing or complaining after every non-call.

At some point, AB17 will be noticed like Dwight Howard. He had to learn the hard way too. He was riding the pine because he couldn't control his emotions and wasn't playing smart. Just suck it up, play hard/smart and the respect will be earned.

Cheers - PLG

Laker Tom,

Thanks for the Ding piece. He is a smart basketball writer.


Bynum's comments in this piece reflect a maturity and an understanding of the game that ... how do I say this politely ... he had not evolved to previously. Drew is just finding his way back right now, and his teammates are just getting used to having him there again. Healthy (there's that word again with Drew) he should be a 20-12-2.5 guy and a HUGE factor for this year's Lakers.

justa

So it's okay for me to go to the games now, right? :)

As for our beloved leader and little tough man, Derek Fisher, he has had back-to-back stellar TEAM defensive performances. CP3 was only 3-6 for 12 pts, 10 assist and 0 rebounds. Felton had 12 points on 4-14 shooting with 7 assists and 6 rebounds. (Derrick Rose torched Rondo for 36. How did that possibly happen?)

One thing people don't grasp is the fact that the only kind of plays that are run for Fish are jumpshots, typically out of timeouts like last night. The last time I remember any screen-rolls run for him was in Game 3 of the NBA Finals when Kobe set those screen for him at the top of the key to spring him loose around the left side of the key. That was something that Brian Shaw saw in the Chowds defense and Kobe and fish exploited it to perfection. Otherwise, he's the Lakers fifth option and rarely gets touches after he passes the ball to get the offense in motion. He took 4 shots last night. What is it about that and his TEAM defense that people don;t understand.

One blogger made the false observation that Artest is out ONLY tough player. Is there something not tough about Fish? Bynum? Kobe? I'll match their toughness with any NBA player at their respective positions.

justa

So it's okay for me to go to the games now, right? :)

As for our beloved leader and little tough man, Derek Fisher, he has had back-to-back stellar TEAM defensive performances. CP3 was only 3-6 for 12 pts, 10 assist and 0 rebounds. Felton had 12 points on 4-14 shooting with 7 assists and 6 rebounds. (Derrick Rose torched Rondo for 36. How did that possibly happen?)

One thing people don't grasp is the fact that the only kind of plays that are run for Fish are jumpshots, typically out of timeouts like last night. The last time I remember any screen-rolls run for him was in Game 3 of the NBA Finals when Kobe set those screen for him at the top of the key to spring him loose around the left side of the key. That was something that Brian Shaw saw in the Chowds defense and Kobe and fish exploited it to perfection. Otherwise, he's the Lakers fifth option and rarely gets touches after he passes the ball to get the offense in motion. He took 4 shots last night. What is it about that and his TEAM defense that people don;t understand.

One blogger made the false observation that Artest is out ONLY tough player. Is there something not tough about Fish? Bynum? Kobe? I'll match their toughness with any NBA player at their respective positions.

888 - seems like you're behaving yourself, so yes - you have my permission LOL!!!!!!


I wish I could have been right there with you last night - that game was such a good one on so many levels. Hope you had a great time! What am I saying - of course you did!!


Laker Tom, I second the thanks for the Ding article. Rather than piling on with the (spot on) comments about Bynum's improvement and importance to the team's quest for #17, I want to comment of Ding's very insightful mention of Phil's adjustments to the Lakers' main defensive strategy.

I noticed those changes too, and they're not minor, as Phil typically downplayed in his quotes. They completely remake the defensive identity of the Lakers from this point forward (assuming Bynum stays healthy). And I think it's going to be devastatingly effective in shutting down teams that previously and repeatedly abused our middle "porn defense". Phil has always gotten a bad rap as a coach who doesn't coach, and who keeps winning because he's just a lucky SOB who happens to get the best players. Well, this defensive change, and his careful handling of how his injured players "re-enter" the mix, and how he adjusts the mix as they get healthier, put a lie to that bogus rap.

Phil's peers (i.e,, league coaches), the sports media, and many fans are loathe to give him due credit for being a brilliant coach, both strategically (offensive and defensive schemes) and tactically (mid-season and mid-game adjustments, as well as player handling). It's time to be more vocal in challenging such assertions. Phil's a brilliant coach. His success confirms it. And he deserves open praise for it.

At some point, AB17 will be noticed like Dwight Howard. He had to learn the hard way too. He was riding the pine because he couldn't control his emotions and wasn't playing smart. Just suck it up, play hard/smart and the respect will be earned.

Posted by: PsychedLakerGirl | January 10, 2011 at 10:22 AM

What's up PLG- uh, have to say, comparing Drew to Howard is not a good compliment to either one of those players, even though, they play the same position, their individual games are very different.

Offensively, I'm not sure if D12 will have a huge impact on the offensive end as Drew does. In the low post, they're both beasts, it's in Drew's length that he seperates himself from Howard, at this point. Howard has no mid-range game and has trouble processing the art of the double team.

Defensively, Howard has the lateral quickness and Athleticism, Drew just can't match Howard, due to his body type and injuries. Howard's incredible at anticipating penetration, which makes him even more dangerous. At the Rim, obviously Drew's length again, sets him apart, he's becoming more adept at anticipating, he has a little ways to go, to catch up to the two time NBA Defensive Player. He's (Bynum) the one that needs to put in more work, stay healthy.

To each his own, not here, to dispute anyone's opinion(s), I think when you're comparing Centers, Bynum and Howard are Apples and Oranges.

Something else while it's fresh in my mind-

To all those Pau haters, who get frustrated by his 8 or 9 bad games in 110 games played, seriously everyone.

Any BIG, who played against the Boston Celtics and beat them in a 7 game, grind it out series, is NOT SOFT. Pau Gasol is one of the few, few BIGS that can say beat the Boston Celtics in a Finals. That's instant, unconditional respect that's earned.

oh, to g. money,glad you liked the laker show. expect to see more of it.As for the heat, i have to laugh just a little. do you REALLY think that they can or will beat boston?so say what you want think, what you want, the heat still have match-up and more importantly, CHARACTER problems. when the going gets tough, princess jimmy leaves town.now to more interesting things,drew showed some things that we were hoping to see in him, a certain anger /attitude that i don't recall seeing in him before.it will be interesting when shaq has to play him . i do believe that any images of that game when drew first played him and seemed almost like a child, not believing that he had just scored on shaq, will be replaced by a beast going to work, doing what his team needs him to do. so now FOUR lakers in the all-star game seems very possible

so now FOUR lakers in the all-star game seems very possible

Posted by: lance from da' bronx | January 10, 2011 at 11:13 AM

What's up lance from da' bronx- hey, I love Drew, and he'll be an All-Star. Just not this year.

Blake Griffin and Kevin Love deserve consideration before Andrew Bynum. They've had all-star numbers to back it up.

Sean - I appreciate your opinion. I beg to differ.

At this point, we don't need AB17 to be an offensive presence. Lakers NEED his defense. I will be accused of being a basher but it's exactly this point I have been trying to make for 3 years.

I believe AB17 came into the league and this team thinking he could be an offensive (good) powerhouse. The Lakers never wanted that from him. Given his injuries, he always wanted to come back and make his presence known (i.e. points). He never had a defensive mindset.

I just saw Ding's article (thanks LT). And he is on spot.

This is the very key change to Drew's game right now. I believe he has finally bought in to the concept that his anchoring the post is absolutely key to stopping every complaint we have had for the last 30 games. Stop the speedy, point scoring guards - push the opponents out!

Over the last couple years, I don't think he bought into this because I believe him to be stubborn and immature. And it's about time we lose the youth excuse. He's not paid to be immature and stubborn - he's paid to do a job.

I will grant he's still learning and progressing which are all good. And if he can pick up the anticipation nuances that you discussed, that's his next stepping stone. And believe me - I am PSYCHED as to what he is capable of.

But there has been a significant shift in him which is far more important to notice.

Drew has gone from defensive lip service to actually buying into his job responsibilities. Actions speak louder than words and that's how this Laker team is going to win #17.

It's all good!

Cheers - PLG

This team is finally getting close to being back to it's defensive intensity that it showed last spring.

I am really excited about the refocus of this squad and what they can do when EVERYONE is one the same page, not only on the offensive end, but, more importantly, on the defensive end.

As Socks matures, he is truly growing into his role as defensive stopper.
He is morphing into the BEAST UNDERNEATH right before our very eyes!
UNLEASH THE KRAKEN!!!!

"Oh right, almost forgot - the reffing STUNK to high heaven.


Every year I think to myself that the reffing is so bad it couldn't possibly get worse. Then a new season starts and I'm eating crow on those words. I really hate crow....


MM - can you see if the team is considering sending any clips to the League? Something really needs to be done about this anti-Laker bias. I have no idea if it is indeed Darth Stern with instructions from on high, or small-minded refs feeling the need for personal vendetta's, but whatever it is, it needs to stop.


Posted by: justanothermambafan | January 10, 2011 at 10:18 AM "

I thought it was officiated pretty poorly both ways. As is the case in physical style games, a lot of contact is allowed that shouldn't be. I saw lots of instances where both teams had legitimate gripes about calls. In the end, it didn't affect the outcome of the game.

I'm thinking that if the Lakers sent in clips to the league of Bynum getting fouled, the league will also notice how long Bynum was in the key before it happened.

so now FOUR lakers in the all-star game seems very possible

Posted by: lance from da' bronx | January 10, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Not in your LIFETIME. alright Lakerholics let's slow down a bit.

Drew's coming around that's true, whenever he plays big physcial centers he takes a step back. For some reason Shaq always works Drew, over powers and just down right EMBARSSES him.

We'll see when the Lakers Play a team with a big strong center, and when Drew is able to DOMINATE Shaq, then he's arrived. Because Shaq has to much pride to let that HAPPEN.

G Money....

Shaq may have too much AZZ and Fat to let that happen....Pride, uh, not so much.


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