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Poll questions: Lakers' latest struggles

So, yeah things aren't going well for the Lakers and everyone here has been pretty vocal about it. But to get the exact gauge of fan sentiment, I thought it'd be appropriate to run a series of poll questions. I'll then run an analysis piece in a post Tuesday based on the results.

Vote after the jump.

-- Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

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

 
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WHY THE LAKERS LOST TO THE GRIZZLIES
..............................................................................
The Lakers lost last night’s game to the Memphis Grizzlies because their turnovers and failure to run the Triangle Offense efficiently resulted in a 28-5 differential in fast break points in favor of the Grizzlies, which in turn led to a Memphis 50-36 advantage in points in the paint.
...
It’s no secret the formula for the Lakers to win is to run the Triangle offense efficiently and pound the ball into the paint to take advantage of the length of their talented front court trio. It’s also no secret that the formula to beat the Lakers is to run at every opportunity to score in transition and avoid having to face the Lakers length and vaunted half court defense.
...
Last night, the Lakers playing right into the Grizzlies hands as their turnovers and long jump shots ignited a flurry of fast break points that crushed the Lakers every time they attempted to comeback. After starting the game with 8 quick points in the paint by Pau and Drew, the Lakers stopped running their offense and pounding the ball inside. The final result was a dismal 13 assists for the Lakers compared to the 30 assists that Memphis posted sharing the ball.
...
While fans of the cliché that “defense wins” will point to the Lakers defense, the big problem is still the Lakers stupid refusal to run the Triangle Offense and to play inside-out basketball on offense. Hopefully, they will have learned another painful lesson and will come out committed on Tuesday night against Detroit to running their offense and playing inside-out basketball.
...
I thought it was refreshing to see Phil comment that Kobe needs to stay within the offense. After admonishing the team before the 76ers game that the Lakers true strength is their front court trio of Drew, Pau, and Lamar, Phil has following up with some harsh words for Kobe. I look for the Lakers to finally get the message and start really playing inside-out basketball. Once they do that, there is no team in the NBA who can match them in a 7-game series.
.................................................................................
TOM

OK Lakers, it's about that time to get it together. Bynum's back, everyone's healthy. The excuses are over. It's 2011, it's time for the 3-peat.

Go Lakers!

The Lakers lost last night’s game to the Memphis Grizzlies because their turnovers and failure to run the Triangle Offense efficiently resulted in a 28-5 differential in fast break points in favor of the Grizzlies, which in turn led to a Memphis 50-36 advantage in points in the paint.

Posted by: LakerTom | January 03, 2011 at 01:15 PM

Over half the team don't how the run the Triangle efficiently, including Ron Ron.


Lewsters,

in your last post you used the analogy of a daughter.

you wrote: Some one has a daughter, but she might not be the prettiest girl out there...the father points out her great accomplishments and positive attributes...Another will just point out her ugliness, and even showing pictures to support his opinion...

my response: The problem I have with your analogy is that it doesn't address
the competitive nature of the event. If we were talking about whether
someone's daughter was a good wife candidate, your analogy makes great
sense and I'm with you 100%. Unfortunately, the environment is
competitive. We're not talking about if she's a good kid/student. We're
talking about her getting a scholarship to MIT.

If she's going to get that scholarship, she's got to ACE her math SAT scores
just to be in the running. If she's only been averaging a B- in Algebra 2 ...
she's got a lot of catching up to do.

This is fundamentally not about *being* champions. It is fundamentally about
*winning* a championship.

LakerTom

I don't mean any disrespect, but after reading your post I'm convinced that you truly are an idiot.

hobbitmag

Funny you mentioned your analogy that way. heres what I wrote on the previous thread.

Lewster

Wouldn't it be more like

My daughter is the most beautiful girl in the world, but she is one lazy kid who is freeloading off of me. Never does her homework and is flunking her classes right now.

Posted by: Magia32 | January 03, 2011 at 01:28 PM

So is Mark Heisler calling this season over for the Lakers? I don't get his last article.

We're not done yet. Not by a long shot.

The Lakers should be able to beat Detroit rather easily, without putting much "effort." Then again, even with "effort" they could lose. However, what if they stink it up again and show no improvement after all the talking, bashing, berating, and finger-pointing of the last 20 games? Then I believe something drastic could happen.
However, the next 8 games should be very soft, even NY with Amar'e, nothing tough up until OKC, Dallas and Denver.

LakerTom

I don't mean any disrespect, but after reading your post I'm convinced that you truly are an idiot.
Posted by: pfunk36 | January 03, 2011 at 01:39 PM

Now pfunk36, That's just WRONG but true.

hobbit - my point on the 'daughter' post...even if true, it is harsh to hear something negative about your loved ones...

I had some great friends, growing up in St. Louis...they were twins...inseparable...

They did everything together, and fought each other constantly...over simple things even...They would seriously come to blows...

One time during little league, one of the brothers blew a pop up, which cost us going to league championships...

The other brother was relentless in dissing him and reminding him of how big of a choke he just did...

Well me and another player decided to chime in about how costly his mistake was...then all of a sudden, the brother was in our face and wanted to fight us...

His final words..."I don't care if he screwed up...no one talks to my brother like that."

Hmm...go figure...I couldn't understand that at the moment...

But using my 'daughter analogy'...reflecting back...I totally knew where that brother was coming from...

Let's leave it at...

I'm defensive...
Your comprehensive...

Here is wishing we do a quick 180 on our team's performance...

This was written:

While fans of the cliché that “defense wins” will point to the Lakers defense, the big problem is still the Lakers stupid refusal to run the Triangle Offense and to play inside-out basketball on offense. Hopefully, they will have learned another painful lesson and will come out committed on Tuesday night against Detroit to running their offense and playing inside-out basketball.
...
I thought it was refreshing to see Phil comment that Kobe needs to stay within the offense. After admonishing the team before the 76ers game that the Lakers true strength is their front court trio of Drew, Pau, and Lamar, Phil has following up with some harsh words for Kobe. I look for the Lakers to finally get the message and start really playing inside-out basketball. Once they do that, there is no team in the NBA who can match them in a 7-game series.

my response:

Aaahhhh .... There we go.

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=310102013

The Lakers gave up 50 pts in the paint last night. They grabbed a total of
6 offensive rebounds.

Did you hear/read that? 6 OFFENSIVE REBOUNDS!!!!!

Yet, ... it's about not running the offense.

So once there was a thread/conversation about Tall ball. And of course,
I talked about the transition defense as the reason why this was a really
bad idea and why PJ didn't like it.

http://www.ocregister.com/sports/lakers-282445-lack-grizzlies.html

snippet: "You play bad defense at home, on the road, at the park ... you lose the ballgame," Lakers forward Lamar Odom said.

snippet:
Bryant tried to turn up the energy in the third quarter with his offensive attack, but there was considerable defensive slippage at the same time. The Grizzlies wound up with 28 fast-break points to the Lakers' five, reflective of the Lakers' worsening transition defense.

http://www.dailynews.com/lakers/ci_16996806

snippet:
The Lakers didn't do anything especially poorly while trailing by as many as nine points in the first half, but then again they didn't do anything especially well while falling behind 48-39 at halftime. They simply didn't play with as much fire as the Grizzlies.

going back to our front court:

How does the backup PF for memphis outplay LO?

http://lakers.topbuzz.com/PNphpBB2-viewtopic-t-41391.html

snippet:
Pau Gasol, the league's best big man, is a liability, that's right a liability on defense. for everything he does well on offense, he gives it right back with his piss poor effort on defense. He doesn't try hard enough. He is unwilling to box out half the time, and is lost defensively. Darren Collison taking it into Gasol's chest and knocking Gasol backwards????? Inexcusable. As I am writing this, I hear Stu in the background saying how Roy Hibbert outplayed Gasol. Is this a surprise? Well, not to me it isn't. I have been seeing and saying it for far too long. The man isn't a center, I repeat, the man is NOT a center.

So far this year, off the top of my head, we have seen Darko Milicic (twice), Roy Hibbert, Robin Lopez, Nene Hilario, and others just beat Gasol up.

snippet:

Do not get me wrong, this man is a highly skilled offensive player, but his effort on defense, and the results are horrible. He refuses to box out, and once he gets pushed around early, you see Gasol resort to playing on the perimeter ala ButterBoy down in Miami.

A totally disgusting defensive performance again by Gasol. Another layup drill for the opponent.

I wont throw the "S" word out there, but what other adjectives can one use when describing this guy's interior defensive play?

Also, what the heck is Pau's problem when someone slaps at his arms? Does he really have to crumble to the floor? On two separate occasions, IND players were slapping at the ball, and Pau hits the deck, like he just ate a Wladimir Klitschko left hook.

[ note: I don't consider this authoritative by any stretch, however it is an
interesting correlation looking up the players, the games and how Pau did. ]


Apparently,
your poll questions are based on an assumption
that the team is still young and energetic enough
to maintain the pace required to win another championship.
None of your multiple choice answers seem to acknowledge
that this might be an issue,
wherein virtually all of the teams problems
would otherwise lie.

No doubt, the team will be able to 'get it up' and provide
incredible displays of teamwork and talent on occasion
the remainder of the season, but the real question is:
Can they sustain it.

And as we already know, and have seen,
the answer is clearly no, not this year...
and probably not for a few more to come.

Hey, take a close look at the pic of your boys
sitting on the bench during the Memphis game.
That is what you call tired, and uninspired.
Getting to be CYA time.

Time to tear it down, and rebuild.
Or steal someone else's players...
I think that's the approved method down in Socal, isn't it?

Go Kings!

Sonnybelfast

Lewsters,

I understand what you're saying. The thing I don't get is ... why is it ok to
pick on some of the Lakers, but not others.

I've seen the things written about Farmar, Sasha, Luke, Mbenga, Powell etc.
etc. etc.

It seems like there's a double standard. You can pick on these guys all you
like, but not the sacred ones.

It seems to me that y'all should be consistent. either one can't say anything
honest about any laker that is not positive or you can speak that way about
all Lakers.

hobbitmag

Funny you mentioned your analogy that way. heres what I wrote on the previous thread.

Lewster

Wouldn't it be more like

My daughter is the most beautiful girl in the world, but she is one lazy kid who is freeloading off of me. Never does her homework and is flunking her classes right now.

Posted by: Magia32 | January 03, 2011 at 01:28 PM
Posted by: Magia32 | January 03, 2011 at 01:42 PM

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

Magia - Are you a parent...just curious...

Does this daughter you are talking about have a history of this behavior, or is this a new trait you have just discovered...

If so...yes, you should be concerned...But if the daughter we are talking about is the LA Lakers...

Then as a parent (fan), you should be used to this behavior by now...For they have done this the last 3 years...and something you should be accustomed to by history...because at the end...the rewards were there...right?

Or are you one of those parents that pressurizes their kids to be 100% at all times... "Yes you graduated with honors, but the 2 test that you got F's on, are still unforgivable"...were you a Marine drill sergeant or something...

Not time to tear it down and rebuild?

You may have a good point.

In fact, I'll be happy if you just hang onto this group
for as long as you can.

Go Ducks!

Sonnybelfast


hobbitmage - no I don't discriminate...I get defensive with all things Laker...I'll get offended if I read something negative about Rudy the Ball Boy...lol

No you got me mixed up with someone else on the "selectory criticism list"

Your posts bring up a lot of credible problems...my question is...what in your opinion are the remedies...

Lewsters,

you wrote: my point on the 'daughter' post...even if true, it is harsh to hear something negative about your loved ones...

my response: so .... you love Bynum, but don't give a fig for Sasha, Mbenga
or Luke? Is there any rhyme/reason to who y'all protect?

I read what LakerTom said about Mbenga and how he didn't want Mbenga
to get any playing time because he was a scrub. [ paraphrase ] The fact is
that Mbenga was a Laker and as such ... he should have been supported and
seen as a valuable member of the team. He was not viewed that way by a
number of bloggers who were protective over Bynum.

From my perspective, I repeat. There appears to be a double-standard.

Lewster,

I am a parent and I my daughter is beautiful. That's about as far I'll go with that.

Now, about the Lakers, I am used to this behavior. What I'm not used to is 4 game losing streaks, losses that average 17 points and hearing the coach bad mouth our top player. That's not in our history.
That's a little bit concerning don't you think?

Over half the team don't how the run the Triangle efficiently, including Ron Ron.

Posted by: G.Money | January 03, 2011 at 01:30 PM

With all due respect, G. Money, you obviously, don't watch a lot of basketball, and you certainly have no idea what kind of player Artest is.

I say this because, if you ACTUALLY watched Ron play over his career, you'd find that no matter where he plays, he doesn't ever grasp 100% or even 70% of the offense he's involved in.

The Triangle Triple Post is not a line of sight offense, it's about options and sequences more than set plays. Ron's mind is like a horrible game of scrabble, if the sequences and options aren't in a set process, he has trouble understanding what to do on the fly. In Houston, he and Shane Battier, we're like night and day offensively, even though, they played the same position. In Indiana, he was young and strong, he was a bear in the post and really didn't have the mental maturity to understand how things were run.

Let's face it. Lakers basketball, is only, after all, just entertainment.

Now, when you spend a lot of dollars on your entertainment choice, and then they lay an egg, then you have a right to be pissed off. The Lakers just don't have the fire right now.

It's amazing how a team can actually blow a season by January. The Lakers have already given up home-court-advantage to the better teams. And the Lakers will not win the title if they don't have home-court-advantage.

Do you really think the Lakers could have beaten the Celtics in the finals last year if they didn't have home-court-advantage ?

sonny,

This Lakers team has been to 3 straight finals and won 2 straight championships. do you honestly believe they don't deserve some benefit of the doubt?

Sure, the team lacks purpose now and is not utilizing a boatload of talent, but it's still pretty damn early in the season.

The ship may be big, but with some time, you can right even the biggest of ships.

My biggest concern remains Pau. We really need All-Star Pau of 2007-2008 at least to make a serious run. That's not to overlook many other problems, but that remains the biggest difference to me between this team's play and the play from the last 2 1/2 years seasons.

stop bashing lakers team...they are back to back champion remember...need only to change the starter esp fisher that no defense and offense..its really hurtng team when fisher inside the court..give more time to blake,i always observe coach pj that when blake hot his always sub by fisher and the result either cut the lead or lakers lose...

Can I be honest with y'all?

I have a confession to make. I want to see Kobe *stick it* to PJ and the
rest of the Lakers.

I'd like to see Kobe refuse to shoot and constantly give the ball to Pau
& Bynum and watch the lakers lose by 50 pts.

Then, in the interview, I'd like to hear Kobe say:

Well, Phil said I screwed up the offense last game by trying to energize
everyone. By caring. By trying to win the game. So ... since inside-outside
basketball works ... what am I playing injured for? I'm just here to pass the
ball to Pau, Bynum & LO.

If Kobe did that, do y'all think that Pau would take responsibility for not
playing harder?

To be honest it sickens me to read Phil's comments.

To make sure I'm clear about my Kobe comments:

I find it morally wrong to blame the defeat on your hardest worker
& not place the blame squarely on the shoulders of those to whom it
belongs.

*If* Phil had said ... Kobe's defense was suspect, I'd have no problems
because it's true.

fyi, I see nothing wrong with wanting the Lakers to lose "one" game if it
causes them to change the way they're playing and they play harder after
being exposed as slackers.

furthermore, I see nothing wrong with saying this after all of the comments
about "practice season".

In no way shape or form do I want the Lakers to lose the championship this
year.

I agree with you on this one Hobbit.

We've gone through this so many times before(inside out vs Kobe's aggresiveness) that I think it's almost silly.

Kobe was the only guy on the court, for his entire time on the court, who looked as if he actually cared if they won or lost.

Can I be honest with y'all?

I have a confession to make. I want to see Kobe *stick it* to PJ and the
rest of the Lakers.

I'd like to see Kobe refuse to shoot and constantly give the ball to Pau
& Bynum and watch the lakers lose by 50 pts.

Posted by: hobbitmage | January 03, 2011 at 02:29 PM

About the right style.
Not without precedent.
Yea, that'd put him right up there with Michael.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Good to hear from you Benjamin,

You are a sincere fan and the Lakers (though undeserving),
are lucky to have you.

Go Kings!
Go Ducks!
Go Nevada Wolf Pack!
Go Manny, go!

Sonnybelfast

you know, when we see kobe "taking over" games, what i notice is that no one is moving in the offense. i don't see any of our "bigs" trying to establish in the low post and it seems like everyone else is just standing around the perimeter waiting ... waiting ... waiting.

kobe is the only player who consistently tries to drive to the basket and the only other two who come close are lamar and matt. there have been glimmers of bynum aggressively getting into the post and demanding the ball. pau, well pau is truly the epitome of a finesse player at this stage of the season.

there's just so many facets of the game that is out of whack but as we all know, this team has been here before. truly, my only concern is bynum's ability to make it through the remainder of the season. if he goes down, we are done! the championship is all on bynum because kobe cannot do it by himself; the competition - as of right now - is just too good.

time to increase practices and maybe even 2 a days to focus on offensive schemes - establish that inside out game once and for all - and defense. this will help the team increase their team assists and decrease those notorious turnovers. in other words, it may be time for "pat riley" type of practices because the team doesn't seem disciplined enough to do it on their own. in other words, this team just might need a little more coaching rather than fewer and easier practices.

bottom line is the Lakers are aging...complacency has set in...only so many teams out there motivate them...I remember playing against my younger brother coming up.Always knew in the end I would win even if he won a few games here and there....Lakers do need a young stud...

"So ... since inside-outside basketball works ... what am I playing injured for? I'm just here to pass the ball to Pau, Bynum & LO."


Hobbit, don't forget the "out" in inside-out. It isn't just to throw the ball inside to those guys and go home. It should come back to Kobe in better position. It is to force the other team to double the post, then to create ball movement (hence "out") forcing help D and switching and mis-matches and open looks. So Kobe doesn't HAVE to go one on three to get a shot.


It is a shared failure - the bigs aren't always doing their job getting good post position, and the perimeter players aren't doing a good job of setting up right and having angles for the entry pass. So now everybody is standing around with no entry pass and the defenders getting to match up they way they want to.


Kobe taking over put some needed points on the the board for a few minutes. Which was nice. And cool to watch. But it did nothing to fix the Lakers' offense unless he is going to get 81 every night. That was Phil's message. Plus I think he wants Kobe pissed off right now.

I would burn the white uniforms and replace them with black ones. We should be in mourning for how we have played in them.

Assists - 13 in the whole game. Memphis had 30. Can we all say LAME !!!

Kobe – He is the one guy on the team who showed up and tried to win.

Phil - Losing it... losing control... losing games... what the &#%$? Blaming it on Kobe? He shot us back into the game. It isn’t his fault the rest of the team couldn’t match his energy. Let's get real. What about Ron getting 0 points and 1 rebound while his guy had 27? What about the lack of team play or any semblance of defense? That is on you. Blame yourself. Talking about retiring in the middle of a losing streak will not get you respect. Lame ducks do not get respect. You have always been the mastermind... I don't get it...

Where is the pride? Where is the professionalism? Where is all the money people spent to go see a bunch of millionaires phone it in (besides Kobe of course). They should have to give it back.

Team Spirit – Gone. These are not the same bunch of guys who defeated the dreaded Celtics after being beat bloody by them in the finals. The camaraderie is missing. The energy is missing. We have a bunch of new guys who just watched it on TV. The triangle isn’t something you just pick up quickly. Trading Sasha may have seemed financially sensible, but that was it. He played with passion and it was contagious. He was always the happiest guy on the team when we were winning and the most pissed off guy when we were losing. He wouldn’t even wear the color green! He helped us win Game 7 with the biggest clutch free throws ever and was ignored and then discarded – not something that builds team spirit.

Triangle - Gone

Defense - Gone.

Patience - wearing thin.

Pau - Stop thinking!!! People will have their opinions. Kobe believes in you. Just go with that. You are our second leading scorer. You need to step up and demand the ball. The ball needs to go through you and Drew on every play. This is our advantage – two seven footers!

If I was Phil and I saw this kind of effort, I would find five guys on the bench that want to run the triangle with Kobe and go with that for a while. At least put in Blake and Barnes for a while and shake things up. Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Lamar – when you bring it we win, when you don’t we usually lose. You are un-guardable. You need to be the spark. You need to be our Cooper!

We need to toughen up. We need to attack on both ends of the court. Our current level of play won’t get us out of the first round let alone beat the likes of San Antonio, Boston, Orlando or Miami.

Home court advantage and defense wins championships.

All that said, I am a Laker fan through and through. I am loyal to a fault (still like the Rams). It is getting hard to watch however... I have to turn off the sound or I get upset at the trash the announcers are talking... Many of these games, I have had to turn off completely and wait a few days before reading about them.


I am a Lakerholic.

chaos in LaLa land...! ha ha ha

Little things turn into peripheral enemies.

Little things...Like when PJ says Kobe "screwed up" the offense. No matter how he meant it, it sounded bad.

Like when Lamar says "Phil never appreciates what I do."
I didn't see video of him saying that, and don't know if he was kidding or not, but again, it doesn't sound good.

Like Pau's body language when his man scores. Take the ball out and get it back on the other end. Compete!

Little things turn into big things if not kept in check. Our team needs to develop a thick skin and just go about their business. Keep the family circle closed and don't allow the peripheral enemies in your minds.

Lewsters,

you wrote: Your posts bring up a lot of credible problems...my question is...what in your opinion are the remedies...

my response:

1. I'm glad you find the problems credible.

2. remedies.

A. Pau Gasol should be in the weight room for the next 4 months. No more
sissy tapas. Feed him beef, raw eggs & tuna fish.

[ cue the music from rocky ]

B. Pau's basketball training regiment should be changed. Pick up defensive
lineman/linebacker from USC or UCLA to knock Pau around 3 times a week
during basketball practice. He needs to learn how to focus while being fouled.

C. Every Laker needs to shoot 1000 shots per day. If they're already doing that
then bump it up to 1500. They're shots are off. [ Artest needs to shoot 3000 ]

D. Focus on the defense first. Why? Because defense is first and foremost
effort and we've *STUNK* to high heaven with our effort. Refusal to box out
should be grounds for immediate fines and benching.

E. Not a day off until the all-star weekend. I don't care if they're tired. They
suck right now. Giving them time off has made no difference in the level of
intensity with which they play nor has it made them play smarter.

Lewstrs......... I really agree with every thing you say!!!!!!!!!!!!I just think if we are all Laker fans, we know this will get turned around. No, they are not jelling right now, but we have several new players that are probably trying too hard to fit in. Last year we just had to get Ron on board and look how long that took. I too get defensive when someone disses the Laker's. It's human nature. So go right on defending our team along with the rest of us LOYAL BLOGGERS!!! #17 in 2011!!!!!!!!!!! :}

So here's the vibe in here. Lew, you have the distinct honor of being Kevin Bacon's character in this famous comedy scene:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDAmPIq29ro

Tom Daniels,

you wrote: Hobbit, don't forget the "out" in inside-out. It isn't just to throw the ball inside to those guys and go home. It should come back to Kobe in better position. It is to force the other team to double the post, then to create ball movement (hence "out") forcing help D and switching and mis-matches and open looks. So Kobe doesn't HAVE to go one on three to get a shot.

my response: Forgive me if my terminology is wrong. Phil, Pau, D-Fish &
LakerTom have been bitching about Pau's shot count. If you're saying that the
inside presence needs to do something intelligent with the ball, then I'm going
to tell you that it falls squarely on Pau & Bynum's shoulders. Pau is playing
like the pillsbury doughboy. Bynum is slow. One of our "major" assets is
supposed to be the play of our bigs. Make them earn their large paychecks.
They need to score more & rebound more. If they have all-star aspirations
they need to grow a pair and play like all-stars.

So. Make Pau win the game or make him shut up.

frmkt,

you wrote: you know, when we see kobe "taking over" games, what i notice is that no one is moving in the offense. i don't see any of our "bigs" trying to establish in the low post and it seems like everyone else is just standing around the perimeter waiting ... waiting ... waiting.

my response: I noticed that too, but our elder statesmen disagreed with my
observation.

YOU HAVE lamar in last 18 games 20-16 starting, playing his best basketball.you have a coach saying coming off bench does not matter,Pau is not using his 7ft. 2 jumping abilaty ,by playing flat footed ,and reaching,and not jumping. HE HAS TO REMEMBER he is playing against very strong athletic players . what happened to Ron artest, he was playing good ball, now seems to have lost it. T here is alot of tension on the team. why is joe smith sitting on bench at 6-11.why do we still have Luke Walton, coach?

Giving them time off has made no difference in the level of
intensity with which they play nor has it made them play smarter.

Posted by: hobbitmage | January 03, 2011 at 02:59 PM
-
Exactly, so let's do the opposite: Let's give them pratice. Everyday.

Too many bricks...

Make them earn their large paychecks.

Posted by: hobbitmage | January 03, 2011 at 03:08 PM
====

They will .. in the playoffs.

Time to tear it down, and rebuild.
Or steal someone else's players...Fish or Blake for Tyreke!
I think that's the approved method down in Socal, isn't it?

Go Kings!

SonnyBlogFart

Posted by: SonnyBlogFart | January 03, 2011 at 02:08 PM

There...I fixed it for ya!

Doesn't anyone question why Kobe doesn't give up the free safety position nad guard someone? It doesn't make much sense to have Artest and Fisher guarding players much faster than them while Kobe plays free safety on a guy that isn't going to look to score anyway.

WHO KNOWS? maybe the haters and trolls are right and the lakers have had their moment in the sun and it's over. HOWEVER,it seems to me that given the summer schedule, not a good preseason, drew's long recovery, which is still in process,we haven't seen a fully constituted team yet. i agree that changes can and should be made. it may be time fo brown and black mamba to start in the backcout. starting lo for ron-ron or even pau to change the energy of this team.so have compassion fo the haters and trolls, they are not completely evolved human beings so it would just be pearls before swine to explain it all

Ida - Luke hit both his shots, had two rebounds and a block. The question isn't "why don't we trade him?" The question is "why don't we play him?" He knows the triangle as well as anyone on the team and actually passes the ball to the open guy.

WE FEEL IT IS TIME FOR NEW COACH!IT LOOKS LIKE LA TIMES SHOULD SAY SOMETHING ABOUT LAKERS COACH,NOT JUST THE TEAM!!

Ugh! Some of these comments make me sick. It's friggin January!! They've won 2 championships in a row and have been to the finals the last three years. Plain and simple, they are bored out of there minds and have - at the present time - absolutely no motivation. Honestly, the posts about DFish (he's old, can't defend opposing point guards, etc.) and Phil Jackson (He needs to go, the team's tuning him out, etc.) are sooo played out. I understand the "what have you done for me lately" sentiment when it comes to sports, but these are the same opinions over and over again, year after year. Does anybody honestly believe the Lakers won't be competing come crunch time? Really??? The "old" comments I find really amusing. Anyway, a few comments on some of the players:

Kobe: He will never change and he will always frustrate us (especially as he gets older and tries to take over even when he can't) but he is who he is and we all know that when it comes down to it, he always plays the right way when it counts.

DFish: I love him and he will no doubt be huge in the playoffs again.

Barnes & Artest: They're both nuts, but Barnes is a-hole nuts, while Artest is lovable nuts. I don't think Barnes contributes to the positive chemistry of the team.

Brown: Needs to start dunking again. What happened?

This team will be fine. This is LaLa land. We need drama. We need that new low to get us to that June high.

Go Lakers!!!

one word to kobe keep shooting because no one else can shoot.coach should
call ou fisher because he is the problem for the team,he cant shoot guard anybody.so why isnt pj calling him out for his sorry playing.kobe is the
only player on the team who really hustle.pau is one sorry big center/forward

why dont pj light a fire under his you know what.
as far as atest he should be bench until he can find himself.because he is lost.

trade luke for anybody.youn have some good players on tje bench who can
play better the fisher or artest so use them.
i will keep saying this the lakers will continue to sttrugle as long as fisher playing.ray charles if he was alive along with stevie wonder can see that fisher
is hurting the team,so why cant pj see the truth,maybe he cant handle the truth

Somewhere, Snaq O'Meal is grinning at all of this "inside-out basketball" talk.


That makes me really mad inside.


Prove 'em all wrong fellas!


DBDH!

Ouchhh (platitudes),

Actually, I made a comment that was addressed to hobbitmage, and you answered (somewhat incoherently). I asked in jest if you *were* hobbitmage, since that message was *NOT* addressed to you. If you enjoy having something to say to me while being incoherent, feel free.

Hobbitmage and I have had fruitful discussions about the team, and hobbitmage has (through my interactions) posted things of import that I give credence to. It may not be worded in a manner that some people like, but there is coherence. Hobbitmage has also said that he would like the lakers to win the championship, something that you have not stated (to my memory).

If you really want to get into a conversation about the indexical "we" that I used in my last post, I can give you a few books to read...but we all know how that turned out. Perhaps I can suggest a dictionary so you don't confuse "LOGIG" with the term "Logic" lol. You also might want to pick up a book on syntax as well. Once you have those two books in tow, you might want to check out this link: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/indexicals/

Let me know if you actually do some reading this time. Hope you're having a good day! :-)

Hey, Bronx, if you're out there, I appreciate you keeping our family in thoughts and prayers. He passed away on New Year's day in front of everybody he loved and who loved him. Thanks, brother.

I would hope these polls are acknowledged and taken seriously by the Lakers players and changes could be made by inner awareness of thy self.

Have to agree with Lakerholic regarding Luke Walton's lack of play. We have been utilizing a select few for a 9 man rotation, it's about time to include some of the others. Glad you are healthy Luke, keep the energy going as I know your time is soon to happen on the center court.

@Sean....

Awfully sorry to hear about your loss. It's a blessing that you and your family were able to be with him at the end. May God bless you and yours and help you through your grieving process.

re: paychecks ... this was written-

They will .. in the playoffs.

my response: 02-03 & 03-04 we lost ... in the playoffs.

Pau is not nearly the threat that Shaq was.

Neither had the entire league re-organized to defeat us.

sometimes listening to the GHFers reminds me of financial reports from
the stockmarket. "The following contains forward looking material. There
are a number of risks to our business. blah. blah. blah. "

If the playoffs started right now, we're the fourth seed and we'd get punched
in the nose by the Spurs, the Celtics, the Magic, the Heat & the Bulls.

to wait until *march* to address things is begging for defeat.

On the issue of everybody standing around while Kobe went into isolation mode, there were several specific instances where I saw Drew start to move into the key to try and seal his man but then pulled back because Kobe was backing his man down into the post. Frankly, I could understand not passing the ball to Pau at times because he is not finishing strong at the rim. However, Drew has been shooting over 70% since he started and needs to get more touches.
....
Fans can talk all you want about other players being responsible for the poor movement on offense but the reality is that Kobe is the unquestioned leader of this team and the greatest offensive player in the game today and when he starts going 1-on-1 or 1-on-2 or 3, the other players know that Kobe doesn’t want any screens or cutters to get in his way and thus defer.
...
I’m as big a Kobe fan as anybody on this blog but there are some bloggers who consider Kobe to be the “sacred cow” who is never to blame for anything going wrong. Guess they are blinded by his greatness and have forgotten that he is human and there is a flip side to his great scoring and at times his taking over the offense actually kills the teamwork that is needed to 3-peat.
...
Bottom line, the Lakers failure to run their offense efficiently plus their turnovers are why the Lakers ended up losing the game due to the 28-5 differential in fast break points favoring the Grizzlies. All those fast break points resulted in our losing the points in the paint battle 50-36, despite some excellent defense in the paint by Drew and by Pau. Where the Lakers got killed was in transition – not in protecting the rim – as a direct result of not running their offense.
..............................................
TOM

lakalova

Great post at 03:18 PM!

While I am disgusted by the horrible play lately, I also try to keep perspective. Never mind winning a championship, it is very difficult just to make it to the NBA Finals ... where we have been for the past 3 seasons! As a season ticket holder who has been treated to basketball games all the way into mid-June for the past 3 seasons, I am EXTREMELY appreciative to the Lakers organization from our Hall of Fame owner to our brilliant GM to our Hall of Fame head coach to our phenomenal defending NBA Finals back-to-back MVP and his teammates to our coaching staff, training staff and even to the Laker Girls. Should the unspeakable happen and we don't make it back to the Finals, this fan will give all of the above-mentioned members of this great Lakers organization a rousing standing ovation. I am grateful for what we have been bequeathed as fans, and I pay good money to watch them play. So I say let's cut these guys a little slack and have some trust in them. They have earned that much.

@Sean - my condolences to your loss...

@MVP888 - ouch that hurt...felt like the Pink Floyd concert at Anahiem again...lol

@hobbit - I like the practice answer...not only jump shots...but we need to get better at the FT line...we are averaging only 67%...everyone needs to take 500 shots after practice...

@NMLL - we both drink from the same Kool Aid pitcher...and that is fine with me...that's just how we roll sis...

kobe SUCKS since day 1 the media and laker mangement hype this guy through out his whole career and younger fans arent aware of this but he always had talent around him and never seems to get the picture on how to make them better he just a FAKE wanna be jordan who never got it done without superstar help on his team

The poll results so far:
- worst player Artest, followed by Fisher.
Well, Artest is the defensive specialist, and Fisher always looks like he is playing defense, so what gives?

- needed remedy: a defensive identity.
Has anybody asked why Jackson doesn't like to play zone defenses, and prefers that skelter helter scramble man scheme?

This was written: All those fast break points resulted in our losing the points in the paint battle 50-36, despite some excellent defense in the paint by Drew and by Pau.

my response:

http://scores.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=310102013

separates out fast break points from points in the paint. so ... I would like to
know how fast break points resulted in our losing the points in the paint battle.

re: losing the points in the paint battle. Did y'all know you could look at the
shot chart on ESPN? It actually breaks down the points in the paint quarter
by quarter. so ... despite claims of defense by some ... you can see in the
first and second quarter that they were making shots in the paint. Oddly
enough, the 3rd quarter seems to be when they made the fewest points in
the paint. That would coincide when Kobe put on his cape.

However, these are just stats and as such do not tell the truth about the
awesomeness of our frontline who grabbed a masterful 6 OFFENSIVE
REBOUNDS during a 48 minute game.

I'm sick and tired of people defending Kobe! This guy is not sacred, he's selfish and egotistical! He's not smart either, or we'd be undefeated! I don't dismiss the fact though, that everyone is to blame. It needs to start with defense and execution on the offensive end. Kobe does neither. He always wants to be the hero, the one with the highlight play on Sportcenter. Kareem, Jerry West, Magic...those guys didn't play for highlight films...the highlights came because they played hard and smart. Kobe hardly defends anymore, and he loves to play 1 on 3, 1 on 4, or 1 on 5 just to show how legendary he can be. Well for me he's looking pretty d#@m stupid. Notice games where he shoots really well...he's wide open! Why is he open? Probably because they ran the offense causing defenders to scramble, leaving him open. It's very easy when you play team ball...it's pathetic when you play even 1-on-1...just ask Iverson where that's gotten him!

Unless Kobe changes how he plays this game, the Lakers are done for the season. And if he continues to play selfish, "me-first, I have to set the tone, no one else is shooting or playing well offensively, so why should'nt I take over" basketball, I would not for a second hesitate to trade him for a CP3 or D-Williams.

KobeMVP888....

Well said! And that's coming from a STH, who puts his money where his mouth is.

I think we all forget just how difficult it is to accomplish some of the things the Lakers have. If nothing else, the boys in Purple and Gold sure keep us entertained.

LT

I agree with your post. The Lakers always seem to play in a much smoother rhythm when Kobe distributes early in the game and becomes aggressive when the teams needs him to become aggressive in the second half. I really think that playing 6 minutes less per game has thrown his rhythm and timing off, both in a specific sense and a general sense, and I also think it has consequently disturbed the rhythm and timing of everyone on the team. Adjusting to Kobe's reduced minutes is a much bigger ordeal than the Spurs, for example, adjusting to Duncan and Ginobili's reduced minutes, because Kobe is SUCH a Jordan-like Alpha dog. Did you know that Jordan averaged 38.8 mpg in the 1997-98 three-peat season when he was 34? So I think the confusion on offense begins with that. It will iron itself out.

Four years ago, we had to deal with Smush Parker and Kwame Brown.

I think we'll be able to handle this stretch w/ Kobe, Pau, Lo and crew.

I'm sick and tired of people defending Kobe! This guy is not sacred, he's selfish and egotistical!

Posted by: GG | January 03, 2011 at 04:02 PM
====

Yeah, what has he done for us lately, right?

Why is this blog here?
What is it's purpose?

"If the playoffs started right now, we're the fourth seed and we'd get punched
in the nose by the Spurs, the Celtics, the Magic, the Heat & the Bulls.

to wait until *march* to address things is begging for defeat.

Posted by: hobbitmage | January 03, 2011 at 03:44 PM "

Yes, some of the people here don't really seem to care about benchmarking. They're more comfortable thinking things will just work themselves out when they have to. That kind of thinking really takes the Lakers' health for granted. Phil was blaming the Lakers shooting woes on fatigue and tired legs in December. It's terribly optimistic to think the Lakers will be in better health in April and May.

So here's the vibe in here. Lew, you have the distinct honor of being Kevin Bacon's character in this famous comedy scene:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDAmPIq29ro

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 03, 2011 at 03:03 PM
__________

How appropriate! LOL.. HA HA HA

_________

frmkt,

you wrote: you know, when we see kobe "taking over" games, what i notice is that no one is moving in the offense. i don't see any of our "bigs" trying to establish in the low post and it seems like everyone else is just standing around the perimeter waiting ... waiting ... waiting.

my response: I noticed that too, but our elder statesmen disagreed with my
observation.

Posted by: hobbitmage | January 03, 2011 at 03:10 PM

@hobbitmage
it's cool, that's what makes this blog so great. you have very passionate fans with varying views but in the end, there is common ground: the team is stinking it up right now; the key phrase being "right now." the team has the essentials to rack up another championship season. it's just a matter of making all of the pieces work together at the exact right time and if changes are going to be made before the trade deadline, i'm sure they will be the right moves because this organization hasn't given us any reason to believe otherwise.

Why is this blog here?
What is it's purpose?

Posted by: Art - FL Laker Fan | January 03, 2011 at 04:11 PM

Happy New Year Art, I don't have my sarcasm detector with me, so, I can't tell if you're being facetious or not?

Opinions are like noses, my friend, everyone's got one.

I will say though, in a respectful, non-confrontational way- that people who blog when we are winning, seem to be, for the most part, most, not all, mind you, who do not blog when we've lost.

Those are people that are known as fair-weather fans. They'll ride the apple cart down the trail, but when the road gets bumpy they jump off. Just calling it the way I see it.

this blog turns into this after every loss:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q04hwMdgdw0

*If* Phil had said ... Kobe's defense was suspect, I'd have no problems
because it's true.

Posted by: hobbitmage
================

Since I have rarely, if ever (my memory is far from eidetic), read any of your posts that are critical of Kobe, this one caught my eye.

Perhaps you can expand on this, specifically what's wrong with his defense and what does he need to do to improve on it.
And what should Phils approach be with Kobe regarding his problems on defense?

Let's not get off track here, just Kobe and his defense, or lack thereof and how to best deal with it.

Why is this blog here?
What is it's purpose?

Posted by: Art - FL Laker Fan | January 03, 2011 at 04:11 PM
====

So bloggers can complain and argue. Isn't that what bloggers do, whether it's a sports blog, politics, a restaurant review or even when discussing a product? That's why it should be fair game not only to complain, but to complain about the complainers.

Sean,

Hi and HNY to you!

I understand not quite being able to tell if I was being sarcastic or funny, written communication can be ambiguous sometimes.

I was being neither, that was a totally serious question, would enjoy more answers.

I will say though, in a respectful, non-confrontational way- that people who blog when we are winning, seem to be, for the most part, most, not all, mind you, who do not blog when we've lost.

Posted by: Sean | January 03, 2011 at 04:20 PM
====

That's because the trolls, the panic, the exaggerations, the blame, the negativity and the overreactions come out in full force.

Can you blame them?

Futhermore after seeing wade shut kobe done on defense and blowing by him leaving kobe standing still makes me wonder if he is a top 20 greatest i really dont think so at his age jordan and pippen and other SG of the past at kobe age were more productive than kobe at the same age there not playing as if theyre really hunger for another title i dont see them coming out the west this yr UTAH is a whole better this yr and OKC look ready for the laker challenge

I have an excellent idea. Get rid of those butt ugly home white uniforms they wear on Sunday and Christmas day games. Since they were introduced, they have never played well in them. They have losing record on Christmas day games to show for it. Another idea is to teach this team how to defend the pick and roll, since this appears to be an Achilles heal for the Lakers. I think the only reason the Lakers were lucky to win the title over the last couple years was that not many teams were using the pick and roll successfully like they are doing so now. One last thought is bench Fish and Ron Ron, replace them with Blake and have Odom return to line up. Fish is too old and slow. Ron Ron just seems on another planet.

Everyone on this blog is blinded by details and the losses. The real problem is that the coach publicly said I am out of here. The team is demoralized because the uncertainty has devastated the morale of the team. Jackson is not facing up to the issues of Fisher and Artest, who should be benched. No sense of responsibiliy exists to solve the operational issues. In reality, our bench is now weaker and much older. We do not have the capability on the team to resolve our problems. Further, the team appears exhausted and unmotivated.

@HOBBITMAGE... Fast break points are points scored within 6 second of the 24 second clock while points in the paint are points scored in the paint. By definition, fast break points (unless they are jump shots or 3-point shots) are usually also points in the paint (layups and dunks). In the Memphis game, the Grizzlies had 28 fast break points and 50 points in the paint. To me that means that other than fast break layups, the Grizzlies scored 22 additional points in the paint. I do not think that it means that the Grizzlies scored a total of 78 points by fast break or in the paint. That would mean that they only scored 26 points all game long that were not fast break or in the paint, which anybody watching the game would know was not true or possible. At least, that is my take on how the two stats work and what my eyes saw watching the game.
.........................................
TOM

maybe the lakers should try to trade one of our Big men to Orlando for Howard he is going to be a free agent sone maybe orlando would rather get something for him considering they may lose him and get nothing.

Time to change the line up. Make Luke the starter, he will help with ball movement. Artest needs to see he's Dr again, Pau is tired and getting old, plus he already has his extension, no need to play hard anymore. Kobe lost a step or two but the real problem is his finger. There's more problems there than it's being led.

Shannon was on fire the first couple of weeks, but he needs to stop taking those forced jumpers and let the game come to him.

Phil is also done. Looks like he's here for the last pay check before calling it quit. Lets see if he's true to his word of pulling players for missed defensive assignments. Kobe misses his assignment tons of times last night.

For the record, Kobe does a lot of things wrong.

That being said, there is no Laker who tries harder, brings more, sacrifices
more or has done more.

You *could* be like Phil Jackson and throw Kobe under the bus for trying
to win the game. Or. You could ask yourself why two 7 footers grabbed
6 offensive rebounds in 48 minutes? Which behavior shows more effort?

Art -Fl Lakers fan,

you wrote: Perhaps you can expand on this, specifically what's wrong with his defense and what does he need to do to improve on it.
And what should Phils approach be with Kobe regarding his problems on defense?

my response: he continually leaves his man to help on the inside and play the
passing lanes. We have been getting toasted by perimeter shooters.

I don't know if he can improve on it.

2 reasons.

1. Our bigs need help because they're slow.
2. He's banged up and I don't know that he'll ever be 100% again.

So ... if he doesn't sag off of the perimeter players ... Bynum & Pau are
going to get toasted. Actually, maybe he shouldn't help them. Then we
could truly see if he's helping them or not.

Can you blame them?

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | January 03, 2011 at 04:31 PM

I think I summarized exactly why they should be blamed in the 2nd part of my thought process:

Those are people that are known as fair-weather fans. They'll ride the apple cart down the trail, but when the road gets bumpy they jump off. Just calling it the way I see it.

btw,

LakerTom thanks for the info on the stats.

Our guys need to stop letting the good perimeter shooters from other teams get open so often.

Other teams just double team our big men so we can't get the ball into them, and they know our perimeter shooters are mediocre and inconsistent so they sag off them.

We often lack the hustle, energy, and intensity of teams who bring their A game to kick the behind of the Two Time World Champions. Everyone "really really" wants to beat us.

Our point guard and small forward, and/or their subs, don't seem to be able to consistently provide offense. The teams that beat us show much better offensive production from those positions.

San Antonio looks healthy and VERY GOOD. The Spurs are back in town.


Sometimes Kobe is too much of a soldier for his own good...I was hoping all along he would have surgery on the broken finger over the summer. But he was worried about missing games & hurting the team's chances to 3-peat.

As it turns out, I believe his continued poor shooting is hurting the Lakers more than missing 15-25 games would have...the team would still be about 23-11 now, although they would have lost a few games they won & vice versa. Last year the team really rallied around each other in Kobe's brief absence & IMO they could have done that again this season.

Obviously it's too late for surgery now, but if we dont 3-peat this year I hope it will be a wake-up call for Kobe & motivate him to get surgery on the finger next summer.

@Omar

Bynum for Dwight Howard would be the biggest steal for since Kwame Brown for Pau, but I seriously doubt the Magic would go for it because of Drew's fragile history.

But if they cant find a better deal for Howard, you never know...they might just be suckered into it!!

A deal like that (added to the Kwame/Pau fleecing) would probably earn Mitch Kupchak a spot in the hoops HOF...LOL!!

@RedBluffPete

As hot as the Spurs are right now, I dont see them as a major threat in May or June. Since Phil came on board, he & Kobe are 4-1 in the playoffs against the Spurs, who have only won 8 games of 26 in that time frame. I honestly think Kobe & Phil are STILL in Popovich's head as well as most of their veteran players, plus it's ALL about peaking at the right time & I really think the Spurs are peaking too early.

Despite their superior record right now the Mavs have NEVER shown the ability to bring it when it REALLY matters. Sure the refs did play a part in Dallas' epic collapse in the 2006 Finals, but in the '07 first-round they became the first #1 seed to lose to a #8 since the 1st-round went to a 7-game series.
That only CONFIRMED Dirk's total lack of mental toughness & he is still the team leader, plus Cuban is one of the worst owners in pro sports in terms of his "hands-on" approach which undermines team morale.

The Celts are looking for the best of both worlds & cant have both:

With the team's core in their mid-30s the Celts can either have the league's best record & #1 seed OR they can have fresh legs in May & June, but not BOTH. The only reason they were fresh for the playoffs last year was because they coasted to a #4 seed & were barely above .500 after the All-Star break. Even though Garnett's current injury is not a recurrence of his knee injury, he goes more mileage/minutes than any active players besides Shaq & Kidd. Battling with a much-younger Heat team for homecourt advantage will leave them FAR less fresh for the playoffs than they were last season.

Miami is the only team that concerns me, since they are just now finding their team chemistry & WILL be fresh in June. But since we already beat the Celts & Magic in the past 2 seasons, I say bring 'em on...I'll be rooting for the Heat to win the East, just like I did for Boston last year, when we OWED them one.

The Lakers are not playing like professionals interested to win every game and prove that they are the champs. No skills, no good mentality and calm.
No phisically prepared and aspiration to fight constantly. It's frustrating and shamefull to watch. Little hope to see the improvment if every player will not work hurd and play in every game like in the final. Anyway I wish them a happy New Year' all the best and luck.

The only team to score over 100 pts against them in their loses was memphis. Look at the stats, not even miami or the spurs scored 100 pts against them. For some reason they are getting their asses kicked in the 4th qt, which is the quarter that the Lakers have owned for the last 3 to 4 years. I think it has more to do with motivation than anything else, and because they have dominated the 4th qt so much, too many of the players have assumed (know what they say about assumptions) that they will win the 4th qt. Also, in the 4th qt they need to pound the ball inside to the big guys rather than shoot 3's from the outside. They are doing the other team a favor by taking the 3's.

I wonder if it's too late to jump in the LeBron James sweepstakes. As much as I hate to admit it, he's the present and future of the NBA for the next decade or so. It's not just the Christmas game I'm talking about. If you watched him this season, you'll see how what he did in Cleveland was not a fluke and if you look at the Cavs record this year (worst in the East...my golly!) from how they had the best record in the league the past 2 years with LeBron, you get a good idea of what this young man brings to the table.

We have a good month before the trade deadline to make this work. I think a fair trade would be LeBron for Kobe and Drew. There is no way Miami would take a straight LeBron for Kobe deal but Drew would entice them to strengthen their interior against Boston, who are having their own troubles right now. I know the salaries won't be balanced so Miami would have to throw in some of their minimum salary players, which is basically anyone not named James, Wade or Bosh. So we have our pick from Juwan Howard, Eric Dampier, Carlos Arroyo, Damon Jones, Big Z, etc. Not Mike Miller though, I think he's a $5 million man, though we could just take him instead of a bunch of minimums, but I prefer taking their hard-working bench. Probably draft picks won't come into the equation since Miami's draft picks will be garbage for the next 10 years.

Now I know Kobe has a "no-trade clause" in his contract (bad move Jerry), but there's gotta be a way to convince him. In Miami, he plays for the best team in the East, almost a shoo-in to get into the Finals this year. With the Lakers, we'd be lucky to get out starting at the second round, getting matched up with the Mavs or if our season really tanks we'll see the Spurs, both teams playing better than us by miles. We might even see a 1st round matchup against the Thunder again which could prove fatal.

So bottom line is Kobe has a better chance at a title this year with the Heat. He can play the 3 while Wade plays the 2 with Bosh at the 4 and Drew at the 5. Who's at the 1 for the Heat doesn't really matter.

Now then if we get LeBron plus some of the Heat's hard-working bench, we have a shot for our 3-peat! LeBron just confounds the rest of the league with his talent, skills and ability, and no team has the match-up for his strength, quickness and explosiveness. You put Fisher/Blake at the 1, LeBron at the 2, Artest at the 3, Lamar at the 4 and Pau at the 5. Can you imagine that line-up! Odom deserves to be the starter and with Drew gone to Miami, he will be.

With LeBron as strong and versatile that he is, you can even put him at the 3, and put Lamar and Artest intertwined at the 2 and 4, to confound our opponents and depending on the match-up against the other teams. Sounds crazy but Odom can play 4 positions well, and we only really need Artest for defense so it doesn't really matter where we put him on offense, just that he's open for the occasional wild 3 pointer. With LeBron on our team, I don't think that will even happen that much.

If we do end up playing the Heat in the Finals, I believe LeBron will bring us over the top. We would need Pau to be more aggressive against Bosh, we would probably put Artest on Drew to get in his head, Lamar can take on Miller, Barnes will take on Wade and LeBron will take on Kobe. I'm confident we will win this match-up.

Remember Lakerz Nation, we're LAKER FANS, not necessarily Kobe-fans. As much as I loved Kobe for what he's brought us over the years, one player does not a team make. And once he's with the Heat, all bets are off, just like Shaq a half decade ago.

LET'S GO LAKERZ!!!!!


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