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Five things to take from Lakers' 104-85 loss to Memphis Grizzlies


1. The Lakers lack a foundation. Their 104-85 loss Sunday to the Memphis Grizzlies sparked a spattering of boos that sounded as half-effortless as the team's performance itself, marked the team's fourth loss in six games, served as the first time Memphis has beaten the Lakers at home since March 28, 2008 and resembled the same problems that have plagued them all season.

The Lakers ran no semblance of the triangle: The Lakers' strength involve setting up their big men, as Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom combined for 16 of the 18 points. They would score seven the rest of the game because the team's impatience with setting up the offense, poor entry passes from the backcourt and poor post position from the frontline. It's simply too lazy to chalk this up as the Lakers mailing in another performance. While that complacency is still a factor, it's the team's unwillingness to be patient in setting up the offense that's dooming this team.

"We're not getting into our sets, Bynum said. "Triangle is a two guard offense and we need to dedicate a side when we come down. A lot of times we have one guy at the top and we're looking like a shell from the outside and perimeter. I just think it's going to take a lot of work in practice and a lot of focus in us to get that back. we need to do it quick."

That lackadaisical effort has poured into other areas: The Lakers committed 20 turnovers, including five from Gasol (lack of court awareness), three from Kobe Bryant (has had a bulkier wrap on his right index finger), three from Ron Artest (forced entry passes) and three from Steve Blake (forced entry passes).

It resulted in Memphis scoring 28 points in transition, exposing the Lakers' unwillingness to get back to defend because of effort and inability to defend because of energy. The Lakers could minimize those mistakes simply had they run a proper offense.

When Memphis worked in a half-court set, Zach Randolph (21 points on nine of 17 shooting) exposed both Odom's and Gasol's slow reaction on defense. Rudy Gay (27 points on 10 of 19 shooting) exploited Artest and Matt Barnes for not closing him out on the perimeter. And several others in O.J. Mayo, Mike Conley and Tony Allen cracked double digits because no one picked them up on perimeter shots and drives to the lane.

"We're looking too far down the road instead of game in front of us," Bryant said. "That's what you have to do. You start skipping steps, you start to fall out of line."

The Lakers have recognized these issues, but have done little to correct them. They have the talent and ability to solve these problems, but aren't properly taking the time to ensure the fundamentals.

"We took for granted we'd been beaten in Memphis and everyone would come out and play better," Jackson said. "No one took responsibility on themselves to play better."


2. Kobe Bryant was justified in taking over in the third quarter. With the offense providing very little spark, Bryant took over the game in the third quarter, scored 17 of his team-leading 28 points in that time frame.His shot total represented 12 of the team's 22 shots, a clip that doesn't usually help team chemistry but was warranted because very little else was working and he went six of 12 from the field.

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson appears to criticize Bryant, but it's laced with nuance that actually justifies his breaking out of the triangle.

"We get behind early in the third quarter on some stupid plays, poor passing and poor transition defense, Jackson said. "Kobe has to screw up the game and energize the team and going one on one, which takes the rest of the guys out. As a consequence. that didn't bring us back in it. It did give us a run and got back into it, but we couldnt sustain it."

Surely, Jackon's correct in noting Bryant scored 15 consecutive points and cut the Grizzlies' lead to 58-56 with 5:33 remaining in the third quarter, but the team allowed Memphis to end the period with a 79-62 lead. But Bryant wouldn't have taken over the game had the offense been working beforehand. The fact the Lakers' offense collapsed after Bryant's hot shooting wasn't a by product of his scoring spree because it wasn't even there in the first place.

"When a player gets hurt, myself or Pau or soemone like that, you try to ride it as much as you can," said Bryant. "It felt like we had no energy coming out of the second half so I tried to generate some of that. It started, but we weren't able to carry through."

On an unrelated note, Bryant expressed not a hint of concern for picking up five technical fouls in last six games: [Expletive] it. Don't care. I can afford it.".

3. Jackson suggested changes might come. The fan boos through Staples Center sounded as tepid as the Lakers played on the court. But they clearly agreed with the sentiments, ranging from Bryant ("We're playing like... They can boo all they want"), Bynum (I would've booed. I would've been mad"), Odom ("Fans are never wrong") and Barnes ("When we're playing that bad, we deserve to be booed").

But the dissatisfaction didn't just stop there.

"PJ drove it home to us that we'll start having consequences if we're not playing hard and not running the offense," Bynum said. "Right now, guys are comfortable."

Jackson suggested that he's going to limit playing time for those who don't play well defensively. He also suggested that his tendency to give the team off after trips and days before games will stop, a practice he has done because of concerns of keeping a veteran team healthy and energetic.

"One thing is about having a day off with this team is they lose focus," Jackson said. "They had a day off yesterday. I'll learn better from that."

Barnes didn't want to use that variable as a crutch: "Whether we have a day off or we don't, we have to play hard." Meanwhile, Bryant didn't buy Jackson's theory whatsoever: "That's bull...We've had days off and blown teams out so I'm not buying that Zen [stuff]."

"I think the big issue is individually finding things that motivate you and I'm pretty self motivated," Bryant said. "I think for guy it's important to find litlte challenges so they can get up every single night, whether it's reading one of your bull.. stories or whatever it is, find something that gets you going."

4. Andrew Bynum has bolstered the Lakers' defense, but it won't solve the Lakers' defensive problems Bynum's five blocks illustrates how his length and hustle has helped sharpen the Lakers' defensive rotations. But the Lakers can't conclude Bynum will immediately improve the team's defensive problems. They should be comforted he's stepping in as the last line of defense, but they can't use it as a crutch.

"With our defense right now," Bynum said, "it's putting me in that position."

5. The game got so bad that Joe Smith played. This is nothing against Smith. It's just that Jackson felt in no rush to get Smith playing time soon, considering he's still learning the triangle and there haven't been enough blowout victories to make him feel comfortable throwing him out there. Well, the Lakers just found an alternative. Fall behind by a team so much that Jackson feels that the Lakers can't overcome a 79-62 deficit entering the fourth quarter. Smith, Luke Walton and Derrick Caracter each entered with 4:34 remaining as the Lakers trailed 99-77, but Jackson also sat out Derek Fisher, Ron Artest and Bynum for the entire fourth quarter alone.

There's not much to read into Smith's one block and zero field goal attempts. He described his learning curve as  "a work in progress" as he's still learning the terminology. But it's still telling that Jackson felt compelled enough to throw in the white flag. 

"Every team goes through nights like this, but you don't want to make a habit out of it," said Smith, who joined his 12th NBA team in his 15-year career after the Lakers acquired him Dec. 14 in a three-team trade involving sending Sasha Vujacic to New Jersey. "Last week or so we've been struggling. We have veteran guys in the locker room to turn this thing around, but you dont want to wait until the last minute.  When I first got here, talk was about having the best overall record in the NBA. If we keep playing like that, that won't happen."

--Mark Medina

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Photo: Lakers power forward Pau Gasol fouls Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay as they battle for a loose ball Sunday at Staples Center. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Photo: Memphis guard Tony Allen tries to cut off the drive of Lakers guard Kobe Bryant in the first half Sunday night at Staples Center. Credit: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Comments () | Archives (41)

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The Phil v. Kobe thing seems to be coming to a another boiling point. I guess since this is Phil's last run, he doesn't If the Lakers cannot be entertaining on the court, they will be off.

I guess we could have used those 22 points Sasha scored in his last game, but oh wait, we love how Shannon dunks the ball and makes the occasional shot. I'm hoping that someday, someone will realize that in every championship run, Phil has always had a SHOOTER on the team which helps space out the triangle offense. Where is the shooter on this team? And please, don't tell me Brown or Blake. Their occasional threes don't make them shooters.

Dang Yaya

It's not the Phil v. KOBE thing..............because Kobe doesn't have the problem

It's the Phil v. Phil thing...........Phil's problems are internal............he just uses Kobe as a scapegoat.

Phil has long exhibited a lack of character starting with that Book he wrote as he violated every lockerroom code in the book in an attempt to bury's personal with Phil

You have to remember............EVERY coach that Kobe has played for...........OTHER THAN PHIL .........has NEVER had a problem with Kobe.............why does Phil?

Think about it..................Kobe has had rave reviews from his highschool coach, Don Nelson, Byron Scott and Avery Johnson all of whom coached him in the All-Star games. Mike Krzyzewski who coached him in the Olympics loves him and has the highest praise for Kobe..................Rudy Tomjanovich said Kobe was the hardest worker and the greatest player he has ever coached...........And Rudy had Olajuwon.

Why does Phil Jackson have a problem with the reigning 2-time Finals MVP and Champion?

It just doesn't make sense....................Phil can never fully compliment Kobe with some backhanded is really getting tiresome. We are witnessing the mental breakdown of a coach right before our eyes...............Phil Jackson may be in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's disease.

karma they let sasha go..with out saha free throw in game 7 lakers lose...unless you will not bench fisher i will agree that lakers will not win the 3peat...plsssssssss when pj retire can u also cnvince fisher and luke to come #10 team like memphis lakers lose,how much more to elite team...?

Totally agree with what Kobe did in the 3rd. Phil Jackson’s calling out of Kobe, basically explains why this team is such disarray. Instead of saying how he will address his team’s poor play of the last month, the Hall of Fame coach calls out the player who almost signal handily got his team back in the game.

Time to wake up and start coaching Phil Jackson... it's not the time to throw your players under the bus.

I am almost decided to TIVO every game and watch reruns of whatever until the game is over, then check the box score. If the box score is a win or Kobe goes off for more than 30 (with more than 40% FG%), then watch the TIVOed Laker game. Otherwise it will be more torture we have been enduring from these lifeless Lakers.

I am amazed that they are not practicing, since it is obvious to everyone, if not the delusional few on this blog, that they need to practice good habits and work the new players in. They never really had a training camp, folks..........remember?

It has become obvious that Pau is pouting or disillusioned - pathetic whimp (2" vertical and Kwame hands lately!). Kobe is NOT the problem. PJ is - as some have said, it is his job to motivate and to tweak things. He can take Kobe out of games if he truly believes that is the problem - but I know it is not. IF PJ is unwilling to do his job, then get rid of him! IT is that simple. He is already completely tuned out by the players if indeed he is saying anything in those huddles. I would love to get a candid feed outside of a few TNT public mic audios.

I find it interesting that the usual suspect delusional- they can-just-throw-the-switch folks are mostly absent from this post................ HMMMMMMMMMMMM......could it be they finally get it!

I finally got to go to a Chargers game yesterday, albeit in Mile High. Without anything really to gain the Chargers (Rivers) put in a good performance to win their last game of the season. 'Pau, et al, doesn't play defense if they don't get their shots on the offesnive end' (paraphrased) !!! Yikes, my coaches would have had anybody with that attitude riding pine forever until they showed they could play D no matter what!

I fear, like many on this post, that this season is lost to a mediocre regular season W/L record (maybe 50 wins at this rate, maybe not) that puts them way outside the normal HCA expectations and the fight is not in this particular team, even though it is mostly the same one we got a back-to-back CHIP out of.

If the FO won't make a move, and I believe they really have their hands tied to make one without completely giving up on this season (except to fire PJ), then I hope Kobe shoots 50 times a game and gets his 30-50 a game, because at least that is fun to watch. This half torture is not and I am glad to be one that only pays for the Leagus Pass and not a season ticket holder!

Yikes! I thought the demons were exorcised and destroyed in New Orleans; the Philadelphia game being close was almost expected, the 76ers play good against good teams, usually good enough to lose a close game; didn't see this Memphis beat-down game coming.

Bottom line is we need to get to the line more often, last night we took 18 free throws and the Grizz took 20; it really helps us when we get to shoot 20 more free throws than our opponent like we did in game 7 last June; it totally changes the flow of the game and we get to shoot shots with nobody guarding us; (Kobe 1-7 on 3's.)

Artest 25 minutes: 0 points, 1 rebound (that is the same amount of points and 1 more rebound than you and I had while sitting on our couches watching this debacle; double Yikes!) and who was he supposed to be stopping on defense? Gay lit us up.

Trade Artest now before he melts-down/drags down the team any further.

omg we lost again !!! alarm bells !!


look its not phil and its not ALWAYS kobe, but again you have to realize kobe is the teams back bone and he needs to be better in alot of aspects than he is right now. simple as that man.

no one on this site is a hater to be honest, just a bunch of die hard laker fans that dont like whats going on, and expressing what they feel is the problem.

and honestly a lot of the problem is kobe, even phil rsaid kobe's part of the problem;
"Kobe had to screw up the game and start energizing the team by going one-on-one," Jackson said. "That takes the rest of the guys out and as a consequence, that didn't bring us back in."

sometimes kobe needs to realize this isnt the 04-07 teams hes playing with, as the guy above mentioned, i still feel like kobe either doesnt completely trust his team (with the 2 titles) or he cant accept lowering his stats and not being the MAIN GUY every night. <- i think thats what it is. some nights he can some nights he cant accept not being the guy mentioned on the bottom of to say.

kobe is so much better ,and we're so much better when he plays within the offense, there's no excuse for not running our offense, the offense that has won kobe 5 rings and phil 11, from the start of the game instead of trying to go 1 on 1

@lakers 4 life "honestly a lot of the problem is kobe" when you make statements like this you lose all creditability. if you can look at these stats from last nights game and say "honestly a lot of the problem is kobe", you know very little about basketball. in fact if you go back and review the stats for the last will see the problems as clear as day.

it's time to take the blinders off, deal with the reality that this team is a mess right now, and come up with constructive ways to address the problems...throwing your star player under the bus ,as PJ has done countless times this season like some rookie coach; makes you look like a fool.

quite frankly,I could careless how many rings Phil Jackson , and The Lakers have. as it is quite clear, their collective experience is not winning many games as of late.

This team as it stands right now is an embarrassment to themselves, and their fans..

Good Morning Laker Fam,

Another "meh" game for the Lakers. Poor execution and too many turnovers leading to easy baskets.

So I have no choice but to over up this song....

Wow, there are some players that need to be benched and that some does not include Kobe. Some need to benched for their lack of skill others for their lack of heart and others to get a message across.


Something has to be done.

I think the Lakers hit the snooze button more times than I did in the last two weeks... and I was on vacation!



It's hard to comment on this game.
FCM covered all the basics.

I like pfunk's comment about practice - they had no camp, the vets don't practice and they are disjointed since AB's return.

Maybe Pau had coal in his Christmas stocking and too many grapes over NYE?

Everything will be okay. We need a couple more weeks....

Cheers - PLG

This thing is getting worse and worse. But you know what, I was the one on this blog that warned everyone about being complacent about Laker losses, despite blog cheerleaders ignoring my words.

I warned everyone about dismissing young players (Sasha V) for aging benchwarmers, and now the Lakers play like a very old team.

I warned everyone about relying on jerks like Barnes, who abused Kobe last year, and now he's Kobe's best friend? Bullsh!. I bet this dude is getting ready to explode soon.

I warned everyone about the mental weakness of Paula Gasol, and what has this pansy done for us lately?

Long ago, I warned everyone this current Laker team had something seriously wrong with it. But I was ignored.

Well, it's coming now, isn't it. It's going to blow up soon. Ron Artest will do something stupid. Kobe and Phil are battling each other, don't be fooled, and Fisher is finally starting to see the writing on the wall.

Something is going to happen on this Laker team soon, something bad. A fistfight the makes it out into the media, a criminal activity, a war of words.


Mark my words...

Posted by: London Lakers |

Lol, funny.

I can understand getting beat up on the road, many teams just play a lot better at home.
Evidently, not this one though.

How can this be happening, losing and losing bad while playing at home against teams that have no business coming onto Staples and blowing out the Lakers.

Did the Lakers get blown out at home like this against the weaker teams the previous 2 yrs?

Something is definitely rotten in the state of Denmark.
And in the city of Angels.

Longtime Laker Fan inMemphis
I have to listen to Grizzlie Fans in Memphis All day today at work
The mistake the Laker organization has made is that they have traded away all there draft picks and you add to that the fact that Phil will not play rookies has come back to hurt the team overall.
The NBA is a youth league at this time.
The Lakers are an old team with true point guard issues that have never been addressed!!!!!!!!!.
Look at the Spurs Pop plays his young players even when they were losing.
The Mavericks go at least 10 deep.
Mitch drafts two good players and where are they, Eubanks sent to the d-League and Chracter not playing.
The Thunder are gonna run the Lakers out of the water.
I love Phil but this should be his last year.
The league is turning into a young mans league and the Lakers haven't kept up.
It's funny that Sasha, Tufiaf and Farmar are doing OK, even Vlad is heating up with the Warriors.
I LOVE MY lAKERS but Kobe is coming to the end of his career and we have no type of replacement!!!!!!!! NONE

That's it. I thought the Lakers finally woke up with the dismantling of the Hornets, was a little concerned with the almost lost to the Sixers and now this. I will not watch the Lakers again until after the All Stars. They should be (I hope) awake by then.

The Lakers are getting beat because they are not executing.

Again, 20 turnovers. It is not lack of hustle. It is sloppy play, poor ball movement, not getting into sets, trying to do too much with one pass instead of making a series of crisp passes. 20 turnovers. The result - Memphis had 19 more shots than the Lakers, and beat them by 19 points.

The Lakers got out-rebounded. The Lakers left the rebounding to their bigs, while Memphis gang-rebounded, lots of guys hitting the glass. Team play beating individual ability.

No post play - Drew, Pau and LO all had less than 10 shots. It was a combination of Drew and Pau failing to be aggressive about setting up in the post and demanding the ball, and the perimiter players simply not setting up in the right places and having the angles to make the entry passes. Again, no execution on the offensive end.

Kobe's run was fun to watch, but I watched it knowing it made no difference. Kobe never made the transition from taking over the game to setting up his teammates. He was drawing three defenders, it was a chance to get the ball moving and the whole team involved. They were already running the offense poorly, now they were just throwing the ball to Kobe and watching. The predictable result? After Kobe's run got them close, they collapsed completely, all semblence of a team offense was lost. I felt like I was watching the Rudy T. Lakers

The Lakers coaching staff needs to just drill the hell out of these guys about running this offense. Setting up in the right spots is pretty easy. It isn't about hard work and hustle, the Lakers are playing pretty hard.. It's just about caring enough to play the right way.

Maybe Luke needs to star and get the offense run right. That would piss everyone off.

"I LOVE MY lAKERS but Kobe is coming to the end of his career and we have no type of replacement!!!!!!!! NONE"

Kobe's career with the Lakers is far from over; he is under contract through 2013-14 when he will be almost 36 years old and paid $30,453,000.

Yikes and Double Yikes!
Jolly Joe

lol, troy is a funny writer, criminal activity???? LMAO, ok, calm down dude

For anyone pining for the Sasha days: you're an idiot, and you know nothing about Laker basketball. Go away and educate yourself before posting.

For everyone else: I also have concerns, but it's a long season, and I think this team will really start clicking. They need to build a rhythm with Bynum--none of our new guys have played with him, so they will gradually get more comfortable with the triangle integrating Bynum. Fisher is a year older, but Blake will be getting better with every game. They have length back with Bynum, so when the playoffs roll around the same key advantages--boards and defense--will belong to the Lakers.

One small concern: will Artest do his job? He needs to be our Rodman: shut down a scorer, scrap for loose balls, and wreck other teams' timing. I think he's our x-factor again. Without Artest, the Lakers would have lost to Boston last year, and maybe even to Phoenix. We need a pit bull, but a smart one. Get it going when it counts, Ron-Ron. Three-peat on the way.

Same 'ol thing... just a different day

Phil Jackson is the greatest coach in NBA history. But he may have lost his ability to get this team's attention. Knowing how Phil wants the game played and watching this team, it is pretty clear they are no longer listening.

This is every successful coach's challenge. At some point, the players have heard all your philosophy, seen all your motivational techniques, listened to all your strategy. They have been successful, and that has gone to their heads. They tune you out, they've heard it all before. They become like teenagers with a parent who no longer seems relevant

Phil's real claim to greatness has been his ability to overcome this problem and win 6 times in Chicago and 5 in LA. Something about his style and his willingness to give the players room, let them sometimes pace themselves, to show them respect, has given him an unusual ability to keep his players' ears year after year.

But that seems to be over this year. He has tried giving this team space. They are 2 time champs. Let them fail. Give them some off days. Pace your team during the regular season. But the result has been a lackadaisical approach that shows no respect for the coach or for the game of basketball.

Phil seems to have no option but to go to the whip now. Push them in practice. Take away playing time. Play the hard ass. It is an odd way for Phil to end his career, but it may be the only hope to get this team playing the way they should and imposing their will on other teams.

I am not a big believer in the regular season, but I am ot an atheist either. At some point it matters. And that point was 2 weeks ago. Start Ebanks, Luke and Joe Smith of you have to. It's time.

These are the times that try Lakers' souls. The summer league soldier and the sunshine playoff patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their team; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of Friedman and Justa...

...CornerJ, with an assist from Thomas Paine...

"sometimes kobe needs to realize this isnt the 04-07 teams hes playing with, as the guy above mentioned, i still feel like kobe either doesnt completely trust his team (with the 2 titles) or he cant accept lowering his stats and not being the MAIN GUY every night. <- i think thats what it is. some nights he can some nights he cant accept not being the guy mentioned on the bottom of to say.

kobe is so much better ,and we're so much better when he plays within the offense, there's no excuse for not running our offense, the offense that has won kobe 5 rings and phil 11, from the start of the game instead of trying to go 1 on 1

Posted by: lakers 4 life | January 03, 2011 at 05:44 AM "

This is true. I think deep down, he'll always be the guy that wants to score 81 a game.

Phil Jackson may be in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's disease.

Posted by: pfunk36 | January 03, 2011 at 02:30 AM

Now, Now everybody get off Kobe's case....if you don't want him, will take him off your hands. He can help the King get his RING.

Go Heat

Be patient my friends...
like 5, 6, 7 or more years...
you'll be back in the hunt.

For now, be gentle with the old guys.
It's the same team that won two championships,
but they've grown old, and older, and older.
Tick, tick, tick, tick...Time is up.

It took a half court buzzer beater,
but even we beat Memphis! bout the Cuz, huh?

Go Kings!
Go Ducks!
Go San Francisco Giants!


BALL HOG aka greatest one on one player still does not understand that BB is a team game.. this has been Kobe's achilles heel. You can't teach an old dog a new trick or a man consumed by selfishness!!
Why would anyone not share the load and use the available resources; his team mates to make the game easy; less taxing on his old body and perhaps add longevity to his playing career. It remains a mystery that the worlds best player does not understand team play!!!
Even Phil finally made it clear: "Kobe had to screw up the game and start energizing the team by going one-on-one," Jackson said. "That takes the rest of the guys out and as a consequence, that didn't bring us back in."
Posted by: OldHippy
LOL JUST STOP!!! Would you go look at the stats for the last month on then you will realize how ridiculous and inaccurate your assessment is.

DAMN IT, STOP this CRAP NOW. If I got to DEFEND the Lakers against theses Lakerholics I will.

Theses BANDWAGONERS have lost their FREAKIN MIND, this team will get it together, BELIEVE IT.

I can't understand theses so called Lakers fans going MEAT CLEAVER on the TEAM and COACH. Back off this $HIT, and take a DEEP BREATHE.

The Sun will raise in the morning, and the LakeShow will be FINE in the evening.


Your Friendly HATER/TROLL


Tom Daniel - I am liking the start Luke mantra. PJ did that a couple seasons ago to bring back some sanity - it worked. Since Luke's back seems to be doing okay - maybe that's something to try?


If the rest of the team can no longer carry it,

Luke will bring it!


Why should I bother setting aside 2-1/2 to 3 hours 82 days of the regular season at $0 pay when 13 players making from $300k to $21 million a season won't set aside 48 minutes a game to focus and play as a cohesive unit? What's my return on investment? Sure, you won two championships in a row. It still doesn't trump the chumps you're looking like when you get beat down by sub-500 teams. Hell, Beat Down By Any Team! I'm going to use my time more wisely. I'll DVR the games and if the outcomes start turning around more consistently I'll start watching again. It'll be no different then back in the days of tape delayed broadcasts of the 60s and 70s. Until then, I'm taking up chess..." -- The Triangulator

well stated!!!
My sentiments exactly…

"We're looking too far down the road instead of the game in front of us" Kobe said. Sounds like these games matter and it's not just about the playoffs.

The end of the first half and the beginning of the second half epitimized the Lakers game. They both ended and began with a turnover. You couldn't tell that the team with back to back games was the Grizzlies, they played with more energy and hustle defensively and in getting after the boards. The Lakers, the fans and Phil Jackson know that this is a whole new season and that they can not rely on the past. Not even the success they've experienced against a team this year is enough to believe that they can succeed again. They have to play to their potential and ability all the time.

Phil Jackson's comments about Kobe were a cop out. He is the coach, he could have called a timeout, or he could have substituted for Kobe. Instead, he sat there and enjoyed the show while getting to within two points of Memphis. It's only after the game that he takes issue with that. He's certainly not taking responsibility for what happens on the court under his watchful eye.

We can officially change our status from slumping to stinking. Thank God we have a new year to we can focus on other "great" things. You know it's bad when losing to an inferior team doesn't phase me anymore.

Colorado still loves our World Champion Lakers!

This team has become so heartless, it's pathetic. Whatever happened to finding a way to win no matter what the situation is? What happened to excellence and Laker pride? And no, I don't agree with what Kobe did or ever does. There's no denying the guy is gifted, but he is very selfish and has the basketball IQ of a potato. When your offense is stagnant and not producing results, dribbling and shooting isn't going to solve the problem. It's getting people to move and pass quickly and consistently. Shooting and dribbling all day long does not make that happen. If Kobe keeps playing like this the team will never improve, and you can count on a first round exit, if they even make it that far.

if this was a football team a good manager or owner would fire the coach
because the buck stop there,he want to blame kobe when he should making
decisions about who to start and place the blame where it should be himself
and the rest of the sorry coaching staff.we love you kobe keep shooting be
cause you are the only one who is really playing and busting your fanny
out there every night.some one need to tell pau quit standing around start
jumping and block some shots more rebound,watch how the other big men
play especially griffin superman garnette.etc.these guys come to play like
real mens not some marshmellon.

I think it's mostly on Phil Jackson - he doesn't seem to care anymore; He said that the team has "veteran players and they know what's wrong and how to correct it" - if that's true than why is he freaking getting paid 10 million + a year??? It's mainly up to the coach to correct things if they go wrong,not the players!
The Lakers had 13 assists last night and Memphis had 30! I'd say that's a major problem.Hey Phil,how about telling your team to pass the ball? That's a no-brainer!
Odom only takes 8 shots and Gasol only takes 9? Another major problem!
The starting point guard (Fisher) only has 1 (one!) assist (and the Blake,his backup,has none ?? ) ? Yes,I'd say that's yet another major problem .
C'mon,people - this isn't that hard to figure out.

Also,get rid of Artest (and Gasol if he keeps getting 5 turnovers a game while only scoring 10 points!) and get Ariza back!
I say we make a trade for someone like Kevin Love or O.J. Mayo . I think the only players that The Lakers should keep are Kobe,Odom (and only if he starts being more aggressive offensively) and Bynum (ditto) - the rest are expendable the way they've been playing lately. I love Fish and appreciate what he's done for the team in the past,but he just can't keep up with the many younger,much quickers point guards in the league at his age ( and he was never very fast or agile to begin with, even when he was young) . He should be coming off the bench for 10-15 min a game,but definitely not starting! Why didn't Phil ever consider Sasha as a starting point guard? I always thought he played well in the few chances he got to play that postion - at least as well as Blake! Instead he trades him and gets basically nothing in return. I can't believe that Jackson is considered a such great coach,regardless of his championships. He makes some of the most nonsensical decisions I've ever seen .

Blaming Kobe is way too easy and actually disrespectful. PJ shows the traits of many of today's coaches. Make up your mind and don't change it. As a Laker fan from the 80's I watch the games and I do pay attention to the stats. This coaching staff watches the games but I don't think they pay any attention to the stats. Trading promising talent like Caron Butler and hanging on to aging talent like Derek Fisher says a lot. Every point guard in the league relishes playing the Lakers and why not. Fundamental high school defense is lacking. What happened to following your shot and contesting the opponent's shot with your hands as high as you can get them. Maybe a little jumping might also help. Coach Wooden where are you? It's time PJ...good job and I wish you the best in your retirement.

It's been a really frustrating season so far. All I can do as a diehard Laker fan is try to keep 2001-2002 fresh in my mind. That year they ended up with a 58-24 record and lost the division to the Kings. They had a stretch in January where they lost 6 of 9 and another in February where they lost 4 of 6. They lost to some pretty bad teams too but they turned it up in the playoffs and gave us a hell of a series against Sacramento before sweeping the Nets in the Finals. I hope history repeats itself.



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