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Theo Ratliff expected to return to full practice after Lakers' two-game trip next week

Lakers backup center Theo Ratliff participated in conditioning drills Thursday with the rest of the team's reserves, and is expected to return to full practice  after the Lakers' two-game trip against Dallas (Jan. 19) and Denver (Jan 21).

The Lakers are expected to have a day off from practice when they return Jan. 22 to Los Angeles, so Ratliff's first full practice since having arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Nov. 17 could be as early as Jan. 23.

"It's good to be able to get out on the floor, run and sprint again," said Ratliff, who described Thursday's session as the most intense since spending the past three weeks working on individual strength training, conditioning and on-court exercises. "It's always a blessing anytime I'm able to step out there."

Ratliff's absence, which the team originally estimated would last four to six weeks, had a marginal statistical impact considering his averages of 0.3 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.63 blocks in 8.4 minutes in eight games he played this season. His injury, however, coincided with the last month of Andrew Bynum's rehab on his surgically repaired right knee and further depleted the Lakers' thin front line. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson played Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom heavy minutes and granted rookie Derrick Caracter an increased role, an option Jackson usually avoids with rookies.

"It's always stressful," Ratliff said. "As a player, you want to be able to play. That's always been an issue for me. I know it goes with the territory. You risk doing that anytime you step out on the floor. It's something I dealt with and continue to deal with and continue to bounce back. I look forward to bouncing back this time."

In other news: the Lakers plan to have co-captains Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher present former Laker Jordan Farmar with his 2010 championship ring before Friday's game against New Jersey at Staples Center.

-- Mark Medina

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"It's always stressful," Ratliff said. "As a player, you want to be able to play. That's always been an issue for me. I know it goes with the territory. You risk doing that anytime you step out on the floor. It's something I dealt with and continue to deal with and continue to bounce back. I look forward to bouncing back this time."

Yeah, well, well, well, Theophilus, when you do come back, I hope you're spry. Your only going to be playing 3-5 minutes a game at the most. I'm happy that your in a position to a win a title, happy you're a Laker, kind of a big disappointment, even with the vet's min. Hope you bounce back strong and become effective when you finallly get out there.

Why have we been unstoppable recently?

Two capitalized words: Luke Walton.

Separate, they are just simple names--titles, if you will--but linked together they designate a foce of nature that simple words--tomes--cannot adequately describe. To limit "The Force" to a title of 'Luke Walton' only diminishes it as it shrouds it within a massive storm of mystery... and wonder.

To our enemies: Luke Walton is near... he (it) approaches. Shudder and tremble for you cannot stop Luke Walton... you can only pray from the depths of your soul that God chooses to contain him.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


We're saved!

This is ridiculous. Brandon, don't listen to Rich Cho, or anyone else in that organization, retire, retire Brandon! You'll never have a career in the NBA, you were bad. Don't have to prove anything to anyone. You can still have a productive life. Basketball isn't everything. I know your son wants you to be able to walk, man, don't be Portland's fool.

Sean- who are you talking about?

Brandon Roy?

Jon K,

OMG, I was just about to post the same thing. I think it could be all about Luke.

Now I've never been a Walton "Hater," but he is my favorite Laker to pick on. In fact, I've gone so far as petitioning the NBA that any turnover that leads directly to a basket for the other team occurring in the last 10 seconds of any quarter be officially termed a "Walton." However, since Luc has been getting some run, the Lakers are undefeated. Could this really be the silver bullet we've been looking for?

Could Walton be the Lakers' William Munny?

@phred- Brandon Roy- SG Portland TrailBlazers

I know it's our blog, I think the Basketball community is very close and I would hate to see Brandon Roy being 28 and walking with a cane. That would be extremely depressing. Given the $ at stake and Rich Cho's, shall we say, 'pressure', I hope Roy does the smart thing and retire in the next 2-3 years.

@Jon K. Great post on luke. It's nice to see other Luke fans on this blog after so many people bash him. Man, when he gets that look in his eye... just unstoppable. Throwing elbows, staring guys down, some call him a dirty player but he just does whatever it takes to impose his will. Heck of an intimidating shot blocker too.

Sean- I haven't been keeping up on him i guess. I really do wonder what it is with P town sometimes. They can't keep a player healthy.

@phred- I know. It's depressing to see them chuck young men to the curb with bad knees.

@Mark G

I guess I owe you an apology, I just don't know how it's possible to be a Lakers fan as well as a Miami Heat fan. That would be akin to somone who thinks their wive's Prius is more fun to drive than their friends Ferrari Enzo .

It's also hard to think that you love the Lakers when 99.9% of your posts regarding the World Champs are negative.

A little known fact is the existence of one of the primordial forces in the Universe is "The Luke Effect".

The Luke Effect is a mal-understood constant rooted in Quantum Physics. It is the insertion of an by-all-appearances uniquely unqualified and untalented player resulting in the improvement of all teammates, cohesive coordinated offensive output, and lock-down team defense.

It makes no sense, but it is real. It is a universal paradox that boggles the rational mind because it is, in fact, beyond rational comprehension. One cannot ever truly hope to comprehend The Luke Effect. One can only experience The Luke Effect and surrender to it, thereby agreeing to the logical leap necessary to know that IT IS REAL.

The Luke Effect: Incomprehensible, unstoppable... undeniably real.

The Luke Effect: None... Can... Defeat.

Fear the Son of Phil and know that he is near.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Luke Walton is Quantum Physics.

Not LIKE Quantum Physics.

Not EXPLAINED by Quantum Physics.

Luke Walton IS Quantum Physics.

Never forget that. Never, ever forget that.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


@Jon K.
I wonder if Luke would get a laugh out of this thread. All I know is I am getting more than a few from it.

Now we understand why Luke is making so much dough. He is the leaven in the Laker's bread that makes everyone else rise to the occasion.

@Mark G
I think he's more like Roy Munson:

mclyne - having had Ferrari's and having driven various Prius' (I have Volvo's now myself), I can say you CAN love both. One, the Ferrari (Lakers), are wonderful for taking on a hot date, going to movie premieres, etc. The Prius (Heat) absolutely better than the Ferrari for buying groceries and loading them in for home (especially if ice cream is melting). So there ya go!

Jon K. - I think you are discussing an off-shoot of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, where you can know the talentlessness of a player, but not their effect on a team, OR the effect of a player on the team, but not if they are talented or not. But not BOTH at the same time.

I guess you're right. Myself being a "car guy," I just couldn't choose to drive a Prius over a Ferrari. I am a speed junky, so I choose to pilot cars with high reving engines, tight suspensions, and excellent handling. Allthough I own a 1990 Toyota Pickup with 219k miles on the odometer,I choose daily to hop in my E46 M3 instead to tackle my 45 mile(one way) commute to work .

I do enjoy my pickup, for shorter trips, but it's a totally different animal than the Bimmer. Not sure how much this does to clarify my point, but just wanted to let you know in case it did.

mclyne - first, I was joking (I knew and agreed with what you were saying completely); I just wanted to point out that the Lakers were Ferrari's and the Heat were only good for regular season stuff like pickin' up the groceries. (E46 M3 sweeeet.)

Hahahaha on the song!

Granted, this is the one time the hot car isn't good:

weird, in a strange parallel but completely unknown to me strange cosmic resonance, i was over at the RC pondering but the relative position of an individual as it exists relatives to other bodies in the universe as well as our status as electron probability, leading me to the spoelstra;s cat, in which a team can exist and not exist as long as the team is observed. IN which case Lebron will cease to exist.

I think we need to set this up.

@phred- Hey, brother, have to say, I'm not a physics major, so, everything you just said, collectively, I do not understand. Could you dumb it down a shade for a laymen such as myself can try to understand? Thanks. LOL!!


I'm kind of confused, do you me mixed up with someone else? Seriously

Granted, the Luke post was kind of snarky.


Ok I think I got it. The Roy Munson post was meant for me. BTW, I love Kingpin, and in particular that scene, although the scene with the Landlady is pretty funny also.

I'm guessing the Ferrari/Prius post was meant for G Money, you forgot to take my name down, or you put it up too early, something like that. Boy, you had me going for a second, I thought I had lost my mind. I was thinking, have my posts been that NEGATIVE?

As a consequence, I now feel guilty for taking a pot shot a Luke. Justa hates when I do that.

Luke Walton would play great with Brandon Roy and Greg Oden.

OK, so this discussion of Quantum Physics in the NBA means that the Heat often are experiencing the Storm Trooper Effect? The teams shooting accuracy diminishes as you add more scorers to the floor.


mgeezy - yes. Yes I do.

Jolly Rancher - yes, the Storm Trooper Effect as limited by the Dirac Delta function, as the ego of the players on the floor approaches infinity, the shooting accuracy approaches zero. Good call!



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