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Lakers believe upcoming schedule will reveal more of their identity

To alleviate what amounts to about a six-month regular season, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson likes to break up the schedule into one-week spans.

It makes the season seem shorter. It helps the coaching staff and players organize their preparation. And it provides another carrot of motivation, however small it may be, for a veteran and championship team that finds little excitement in the regular season.

In a weeklong stretch that Jackson describes as "a lot of games," the Lakers' (25-11) immediate stops include two playoff-bound opponents in New Orleans (21-15) on Friday and New York (20-14) on Sunday at Staples Center, a back-to-back pair of sub-.500 teams in Cleveland (8-27) and Golden State (14-21) on Tuesday and Wednesday and another home contest Friday against New Jersey (10-25), the only intrigue in that game centering on Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar playing against their former team. Aside from the games against the Hornets and Knicks, this stretch of the Lakers' schedule doesn't spark the same excitement as some other games this month, including possible Western Conference playoff opponents in Oklahoma City (23-13), Dallas (26-8), Denver (20-14), Utah (24-12) and Eastern Conference leader and arch-rival Boston (27-7). But that's one reason why these less exciting games are important.

"Hopefully you learn from games you play," Lakers forward Lamar Odom said.

The Lakers spent their time doing just that in a week that's featured plenty of episodes that could rival Odom's upcoming reality television show with his wife, Khloe Kardashian. The team dealt with four double-digit losses, debate about the role Kobe Bryant and the Lakers' front line play in maintaining a balanced offense, a report that Pau Gasol missed a morning shootaround, a report that Ron Artest expressed frustration at a recent practice to Jackson regarding his public criticism, and a back-and-forth between Jackson and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who called Jackson Jeanie Buss' "boy toy." But the Lakers' responded to those subplots with a two-game winning streak in back-to-back games against Detroit and Phoenix.

But what to make of the wins themselves? Well, not much.

"We won the games but you can't make a mountain out of a molehill," Jackson said. "It's good to win the game, but there's a lot of movement as far as coming back to the way we have to play."

That's why Jackson compartmentalized these next five games as critical, not because of the opponents, but because there are issues the Lakers want to work on before any progress becomes fleeting. The Lakers' games against Detroit and Phoenix featured stronger efforts, but in the latter game the Suns stayed in striking distance until the final minutes.

Jackson likes how the Lakers have increased their deflections and steals by installing new wrinkles in their defense, but he's still looking for consistency in shutting off opponents' pick-and-rolls by playing the personnel up front.

There's more. Lakers center Andrew Bynum continually showed improvement in conditioning, jumping and aggressiveness, but his two-for-seven mark from the free-throw line shows Jackson that he's "out of rhythm," a reason why Bynum spent part of Thursday's practice shooting from the charity stripe. The Lakers displayed great ball movement, but Pau Gasol appeared sluggish against Phoenix, scoring six points on three-of-10 shooting and drawing a technical foul.

Jackson argued that Gasol's technical wasn't warranted, but said he won't ask the league to rescind the call because the game telecast apparently didn't show it. "A great network like ESPN didn't even have it on tape so we could see what actually transpired," Jackson deadpanned. Still, the Lakers' 12 technical fouls displeases Jackson and partly reflects the team's frustration.

That certainly has softened with the Lakers' return to winning. So even if two victories against sub-.500 teams mean very little, it's at least a start.

Said Odom: "In sports, I would say it's better to win than to lose."

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

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

 
Comments () | Archives (37)

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Amen to what Lamar Odom said .... Amen!!!

No way LO should play tomorrow. I'd rather give up a game than risk further injury. I mean, he's talking about having to play right handed and we all know he's lefty dominant.

Lakers: FEED THE BEAST! Once his free throws pick up, Drew will be a 20-10 guy at the 5! Biggest concern regarding Drew is his ability to remain injury free for the duration of the season. He needs anger and commitment to continually pamper and treat his body because he is the MVP and can wind up being the Finals MVP as well. Good luck Drew. Your L.A. Lakers need you more than they're willing to admit!

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

maybe LO should rest, besides we have already beaten NO. I am more excited to see how we play against NY

Mamba24- Dude...you need to come back, this BLOG has no Flavor. Same OLD TIRED post, JUST SAYIN....

Somebody tell Phil that the 'T' called against Gasol was televised on channel 9. That was a ridiculous call and should have been no more than a personal foul.

@63 Footer - nice Amore quartet. Was that Sakamoto from a movie?

LRob - It's from the "Beauty" album; don't know if it got used in a movie or not.

@LROB… LOL. I wasn’t predicting we would win out the rest of January. Just saying that it would be a wonderful surprise and definitely an accomplishment that I think this team is capable of achieving. But I do think we do have a good shot to build a win streak before the critical games the end of month.

You can get mired in the moment and forget just how great this team is when running on all cylinders. Or you can step back and realize that the regular season is a marathon and not a sprint all the recent drama and struggles are just par for the course for a 2-time championship team looking to three-peat. The major development that is important right now is the impact that Andrew Bynum is having on the Lakers offense and defense. A championship Lakers team with a healthy dominant Andrew Bynum is for sure the worst nightmare in the world for the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and San Antonio Spurs.
…………………………………….
@BRONX… Hopefully, the Lakers current malaise and scrutiny have sobered them up so that they will focus on the game at hand and not look ahead. LOL. At least for a while. As 888 and cofm99 like to remind us, this is the regular season. Despite that, the Lakers shaky performance so far this young season has created new lows and more reasons for concern than the last 2 championship years.

To me, the recent drama on the Lakers was a necessary step towards rebuilding the championship chemistry they will need to three-peat. Sometimes, you need a little turmoil to clear the air so you can move on. So I actually look at this as a positive event. For the last month, the Lakers have been somewhat dysfunctional, what with Kobe and Drew recovering from injuries and Derrick, Ron, and then Pau struggling horribly at times. Hopefully, they will now start to play better as a team, trusting their teammates on offense and defense and creating that championship chemistry and synergy.
…………………………………….
TOM

@LROB… LOL. I wasn’t predicting we would win out the rest of January. Just saying that it would be a wonderful surprise and definitely an accomplishment that I think this team is capable of achieving. But I do think we do have a good shot to build a win streak before the critical games the end of month.

You can get mired in the moment and forget just how great this team is when running on all cylinders. Or you can step back and realize that the regular season is a marathon and not a sprint and the recent drama and struggles are just par for the course for a 2-time championship team looking to three-peat. The major development that is important right now is the impact that Andrew Bynum is having on the Lakers offense and defense. A championship Lakers team with a healthy dominant Andrew Bynum is for sure the worst nightmare in the world for the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and San Antonio Spurs.
…………………………………….
@BRONX… Hopefully, the Lakers current malaise and scrutiny have sobered them up so that they will focus on the game at hand and not look ahead. LOL. At least for a while. As 888 and cofm99 like to remind us, this is the regular season. Despite that, the Lakers shaky performance so far this young season has created new lows and more reasons for concern than the last 2 championship years.

To me, the recent drama on the Lakers was a necessary step towards rebuilding the championship chemistry they will need to three-peat. Sometimes, you need a little turmoil to clear the air so you can move on. So I actually look at this as a positive event. For the last month, the Lakers have been somewhat dysfunctional, what with Kobe and Drew recovering from injuries and Derrick, Ron, and then Pau struggling horribly at times. Hopefully, they will now start to play better as a team, trusting their teammates on offense and defense and creating that championship chemistry and synergy.
…………………………………….
TOM

Tho' I didn't get to see most of the 2nd half, as always, glad for another entry in the W column.

Really sorry to hear about LO's injury...bummer...hope it doesn't become a persistent problem as the season progresses.

~

@LRob: I'm sure you were aware that 'Lady T's' daughter (Alia Rose) also sang and appeared on several of her tracks but, did you know her nephew(Michael Wilson) is also an aspiring singer. Seems like good pipes run in the family.

You can check him out with Teena in this link. He appears towards the end. Enjoy!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfF-nzhKMrE&feature=related

~

@JLF: Glad to see you posting again. Hope all is well with you my friend.

~

Let's go Ls...all the a way to a 3-peat!!!!!

People stop panicking about this team. If you really look at it, other than our starting unit, we have a different team. Unlike place like Miami or Boston, coming to the Lakers is a total change for players. Coming to a team that plays a scheme different from any other team in the league will take time. All in all I am satisfied with this team though they do look uninterested in some games as they have for many years. Lets all wait and see what this team looks like come All Star break and then you can panic if things have not improved. As it has been for many years now, this team is built for the playoffs and not the practice season. HCA would be nice but not mandatory for this team as they seem to rise to the occasion come the playoffs and have closed most teams out on the road anyways over the past few years (Denver, Oklahoma, Utah and Orlando to name a few recent road closeout games).

Can someone tell me how I submit my profile or whatever?

Also, watching the kings vs nuggets game right now.. the kings have some really good players. I don't know why they aren't doing a lot better. Perhaps one day the kings vs lakers rivalry will return.

Diandra - Welcome! I hope you're doing well. Below is a link to all the Laker blog profiles.

http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/lakers-blog-profile/

Feel free to answer all those questions that everyone else provided and by all means feel free to add your own if you so desire. Be as expansive and detailed as possible. It's all about your story as a Laker fan.

Everything is going according to plan...

Lakers playing schitzophrenically?

Check.

Diehard Laker Nation freaking out?

Check.

Doubters coming out in droves who earlier predicted that the Lakers would cruise?

Check.

Enemies gaining confidence?

Check.

Puuuuurrrffect.

We're the Lakers. This is what we do:

"Give them hope... and then take it away."

It's our way.

Everything is going according to plan.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!


gentlemen may i suggest a trade

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=yhhy55o

showtime or notime ?

@GDub - Yep I'm aware of Teena's daughter, but I didn't know about her nephew. Thanks for the info.


phred - speaking of profiles....you're on the clock!

Well, Troll Man, et al., excuse me for not realizing that you come here to exercise all your multiple personalities, I suppose like an NBA groupie version of Sybil. No doubt this is less expensive than other forms of therapy, though perhaps one of your many brilliant personalities performs that function for you at no cost.

Now that I'm aware of your incredible diversity, I'll be more respectful. I am wondering though why someone of your brilliance lowers all of yourselves to the level of us mere mortal bloggers who labor like peons with only one (and sadly typical?) personality. Surely, there are enough of you in you to start your own blog.

Pau Gasol needs to grow some balls again.
He lost the ones he had last year.
He has been playing too soft this year.
He needs to go back to the weight room also.
He's getting too intimidated by physical play.

[_] Kings would make the London Laker trade
[_] Laker brass would make a politically incorrect trade
[x] Looking forward to discovering the Lakers identity

Pauis getting his own reality show also. The title has not yet been decided. Three potential titles are
1. How I became an all star without playing defense
2. Embracing my inner passive and delicate nature
3. How I became an expert in whining and passing the buck

I would love to hear suggestions from the blog for other options ( the winner gets one on one whining lessons from Pau )

@frmkt - I just saw that Three Dog Night from a few post earlier. I always liked them and from the comments on You Tube it sounds like they're still performing and doing well.


@Troll Man - Your explanation will help me understand your variety of post better. Its all good.


@Corner J - funny stuff.


@Mitch - although I think you're being too harsh on Pau...it did make me chuckle.

The team's identity? We already know it: A bunch of lazy millionaires getting up for the occasional game (or quarter). But hey, that's the stuff of champions. Apparently...

Is he gone yet?...

Nurse Ratched! Clean up on Thread 3!

Checking in on game day!

It will be nice to see DJ with a big old smile on his face getting his ring tonight.

From the sound bite interviews over the last couple days - if there's one thing I've gleaned.....it would be team cohesiveness. They are a lot looser and more even keeled.

Perhaps the Lakers have filled the pot holes? And now we can have smooth sailing with a few bumps in the road.

Good momentum heading into these next two games. Let's keep it going Lake show!

Cheers - PLG

Good Morning Laker Fam,


The Lakers should get three in a row tonight against New Orleans and start to develop a nice "rhythm".


Charlie Parker....I've Got Rhythm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fgxyyrqZ-I&feature=related

LRob,
I’m with you too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxIc6Uej3Dc

LRob, Magia and Keifo. I finally had a chance to check out the videos with your posts. It takes me a while but I like it!

Cheers - PLG

Wellll,
I guess the blog has become no place for the week or thin skinned.
Jon K - Agree on all counts....Check.

JR

LAKER GAME DAY!!!

I know it's not the same as Mamba24's Roll Call...But till my brother comes back...We have a 3Peat Bus that we can post...Maybe someone can post a Game Day prayer before tip off...

LAKERS BLOG ROLL CALL
*********************

>++
|
===========================
[_|___|__|___|__|__|__|__|__|__\
|___ LAKERS 3PEAT BUS _\__\__
l__________________________--|
\_(O)-(O)____________(O)-(O)___/


LEWSTRS - (Driver) Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation
NewMexicoLL - (Shotgun) From Land of The Original Lakers
Caliphilosopher - British Correspondent
justanothermambafan –(Security) Fabulous AND Funny dammit
Mamba24 - (Navigator) OUTFREAKIN STANDING!
Laker Lass - KEEPER OF THE FLAME: No matter what UNIVERSE or alternate REALITY I’m in I AM A LAKER FAN!!
LRob - DJ Extraordanire - Archives Master
Mark Medina - The "Customs Officer"
ZairaAmaterasu - Goddess of the Blog!
Laker Tom - NorCal Chapter
utzworld - THE ONCE AND FUTURE BANNER HOLDER - Chaplain
Fan of The Mamba - Midwest Chapter
phred - The 'Love' Chapter
Jamie Sweet - "Kobe didn't, doesn't and won't ever suck".
KobeMVP888 - Courtside Technician
RDLee - Ready to Roll
LakerPeace - Ready for the Quest for #17
Houston Laker - Needs a game day Link
Noah - Gods favorite
JustaLakerFan - Got some tunes to strike up the band
63 - Footer - Ready to put some foot into some Heat behind
Magic Phil - He of the magic skill
#4 - He knows this is Phils 4th 3-peat
EastCoastJessie - Latina Princess
Tim-4-Show - Shannon Browns advisor
Lone Star Laker Fan - Olde Timey Historian"
LakerJ - Fire Fighter - Will Extinguish The Heat
Cofm99 – In House Guitarist
Segeboy/Taliq – Sheriff: "A new season is upon us."
OutLaw – Defense Specilaist
Baby Outlaw – Defense Specialist in Training
Fearless – Dynasties are cemented in the 4th QUARTER
Rick Friedman – Morale Officer
Faith – Defense Officer
Jon K – Undercover Agent
J24 – Fairness Officer
PsychedLakerGirl – Review Judge
Joe Corad – Night Games Supervisor
Adrian Palomar – Philippines Chapter
Caps-Googles – Tech Foul Official
CyberCosmix – Devising otherworldly Laker Defense
2Phatt – Let the party begin, "and so it is"- "UN-LEASE THE KRAKEN"
WesJoeNixcon – Shaolin Monk – Trainer of IP Man
lance from da' bronx - East Coast Chapter
MS – The Tune Master
Zach - From San Diego Chapter
Jefe101 – 17th Parade Director
Staples24 – Director of Trades
Nemaia Faletogo - Tropical Zen Master
LAKER TRUTH - Abe in Purple and Gold
Humanomaly - Trekkie and proud of it
htj - Memphis BBQ Specialist
puddle - 550 Celtics dollars richer
hobbitmage - my response: Lakers Rule
yellowfever - symptoms-turning purple and gold
mclyne - bus roof surfer(you know, like in the movie "Teen Wolf")
longtimelakerfan - Leave Luke Alone
TROLL MAN - a man of many facets...
iheartkb24 - Norcal Pinay Sweetheart
Edwin Gueco - EXTERMINATOR of uncivilized leprechauns on this blog like laker fan, old hippy, curious george, church woman.
Hugo Boss - Colorado loves our World Champion Lakers!
VMan - 'V' for Victory!
frmkt - GO LAKERS & IN BUSS WE TRUST!
G in DC(aka GDUB) - Let's go Ls...all the way to 3-peat!!!!!
JohnnyV - justa smooch winner
Otis- Drunk and in jail...
Tom Daniels - Wise Man = Laker Wisdom
longtimelakerlover - Laker Girl for life
brian - Ebanks will be an All Star
Art - FL Lakers Fan - Florida Chapter
Rocky - San Diego Chapter
KB Blitz - Walking Encylopedia
bronxlakerfan - Purple and Gold with Pinstripes...
ChicNstu - Blue Plate Special
LakerFanInCowTown - Behind enemy lines...
The Triangulator - "Other Teams may River Dance, the Lakers Ballet is an Artistry in Rhythm."
mud - Analysis Technician
CornerJ - From the corner...automatic...
Fatty - THE DEFENSE BEGIN, ANOTHER TITLE TO WIN
LakerMike - Wait, just wait on it, & behold the beauty..
pfunk36 - Just get Kobe the ball!!!
dave m - 'm' stands for MONEY...Lakers 3Peat
London Laker - a lakerholic while living in london
VirginiaLakerFan - Go Lakers--all the way to 17 & a 3-Peat.
Lakers Por Vida - Livin' La Vida Loca
Jolly Rancher - Lamar's favorite baybee...
AndTheJellosJigglin - Chick's legacy lives on!
Laker J - LET THE (NEXT) JOURNEY BEGIN!
Don't Blame Del Harris! - I haven't been this excited for a new season since the summer of '96! Woot-woot!
Allnet - Like in "swish"...
The Outlaw - Wanted Dead or Alive
htj - "I'll take our best two vs.their best two, any day and twice on Sunday."
Kobe81pts - "absolutely don't ever want LBJ, the big spoiled brat to play for the Lakers....NEVER!!!!"
LakersWorld - Global Warming
Let's Go L's! - Laker pride through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY! Peace.
JustASouthCalFan - Laker fan for 28 years...
TNTLakerFan - It's time to proceed on the quest for the 3peat!
longtimelakerlover - GO LAKERS!!!!!!!KILL HOUSTON!!!!
wildone - This could be the greatest Laker season ever...
Larry of LA - Really psyched about the season...
WintonDupree - Let's get this Three-peat 2.0 party started!!!!
Kobefan in Cupertino - Oh yeah baby...... we're BAAAACCKKKKKKK
Jeanette - "I love Ron so MUCH..."
OCisMambaCounty - 1, 2, 3, RING!!!
Purple & Gold Reign - Thy Kingdom Come...We get another One!
OneLakerNation - Is there any other?
Jackie Robinson - G-d bless the Lakers!
srafrank - Crown Royal 3 shots
Lakerman420 - "I need to post"
D(erek)J(eter) - Lakers will hold up my Yankees...
Art - FL Laker Fan - Covert opps deep behind enemy lines...
DC Mamba - Can't wait for the Ring Ceremony!
traveling laker - All roads lead to Staples...
qs - i think it's just right that i start the season right...let me in that bus. =)
LakerSunshine - ShineS as bright as Laker Bling...
Magia32 - Glad we didn't go for Bosh

KobeMVP888 responded to a post of yours saying "...you insult yourself and all Laker fans...

Posted by: Troll Man | January 07, 2011 at 12:47 AM
====

1) You did not understand the intent of my post. Clearly many didn't and it was poorly communicated (even Lew and Mamba24 took it the wrong way), and I apologized to justa and selected a Bob Marley tune to express my regret for that post. I wish I never pressed the "post" button on that and I also wish that they had a way for us to modify or delete our own posts. Oh well. Nevertheless, you and some of the other so-called "diverse" posters jumped on the opportunity to lambaste me because I am such a "prima donna."

2) I'm curious as to why you are singling me out. Don't I stay clear of you? When do I lay into you? Inasmuch as I am north of 50, I may have zinged you or one of your multiple personalities, but I don't remember. If I did, I'm sorry.

3) Since when does someone who allegedly accepts all viewpoints stand on holier ground than someone who chooses to defend their stance on things? It is almost as if Lakers fans who stand behind the team hold a minority stake in Lakerland and that it is "homers" who are on the wrong side of the discussion. The problem is that a "homer" is someone who thinks their team is great even when it stinks. This team is the reigning back-to-back NBA champion, so by definition it doesn't stink, nor does its smart ass head coach or sorry, old, slow starting lead guard who has a ring on every one of his fingers. So rah-rah for your acceptance of these antithesis homers. They mock, berate and belittle component parts of a team that have given them much joy over the past 3 seasons. I am under no obligation whatsoever to support those anti-champion points of view nor will I. Bully for you Mr. Acceptance of All Points of View! Frankly, I can live with myself a lot easier holding the RIGHT point of view.

Much love,

Mr. Prima Donna,

That Peter Vescey article clears up a lot of things.

Thanks MM!

LEWSTRS
Great job brother. A good pinch hitter is very valuable!

@Lewstrs... Freakin Outstanding Sir!!!! You just made the Laker Faithful's Day with your roll call!!!!!!!!! I think we all needed that. Besides you, Lrob,Laker Tom, JonK and a few other regulars, it just hasn't been the same. This blog always welcome's a different point of view{about the Laker's}but not attacking our Laker Family personally!!!! Like someone said before, don't let these Laker Hater's get to you, down deep they just are jealous of all the love you get.

NewMexicoLL- I hear ya, we can't let the HATERS/TROLLS get under our skins. We know, they're just what we though they were.... What were we talking ABOUT?

GO HEAT

TROLL MAN- Dude do you have SLEEP APNEA? OUTSTANDING!!!!!

WE NEEDED HCA LAST YEAR , SO WHY WILL THIS YEAR NOT BE LIKE LAST YEAR. HCA MAYBE NECCESSARY THIS YEAR BECAUSE EVERY TEAM THAT'S ON TOP ARE BETTER THAN LSAT. THE WAY WE HAVE BEEN PLAYING WE ARE NOT AS GOOD AS LAST YEAR. RON RON IS LOOSING A STEP, AND HIS SHOOTING IF OFF. STILL LOOKS LOSS IN THE OFFENSE. FISHER IS SLOWER HIS BACK UP IS JUST THAT A BACK-UP. EARLIER IN THE YEAR THE BENCH PLAYED VERY GOOD AND I THOUGHT THEY WOULD STAY EVEN-KNEEL BUT THEY ARE UP AND DOWN LIKE OUR STARTERS. SO IF WE DO'NT HAVE HCA THINGS MAY NOT BE LIKE IT WAS LAST YEAR. BUT IF DREW RETURNS TO HIS PLAY THE YEAR WE GOT GASOFT WE MAY NOT NEED HCA I WOULD AGREE WITH YOU ONLY THEN.


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