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Caught in the Web: Reactions to Lakers' 114-106 overtime victory over Houston Rockets

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Game stories

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan details how the Lakers barely held on in a 114-106 overtime victory Tuesday over the Houston Rockets.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding mentions how the Lakers needed a team effort to secure the win over Houston.

--The Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen details how the Rockets folded in the final minutes.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's David Lassen describes how the Lakers barely beat the Rockets.

Sidebars

--The Times' Broderick Turner highlights Lamar Odom's contributions.

--The Times' Bresnahan and Turner explain why the Lakers' trade options are slim.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr highlights Justin Bieber's planned appearance in the NBA Celebrity All-Star game.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding details how Kobe Bryant's advice inspired Pau Gasol.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's Lassen highlights Jackson's contention that a trade isn't necessary.

--The Orange County Register's Randy Youngman offers some quick-hit thoughts on the Lakers.

Blogs

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky breaks down the Lakers' victory.

--Pro Basketball Talk's John Krolik explains how Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw motivated DeMarcus Cousins.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin lists 10 things to take away from the Lakers-Rockets game.

--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore believes a win was all the Lakers needed.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano didn't think the effort was pretty, but credited the Lakers for winning.

Tweet of the Day:""This worked in the trade machine" has replaced "hello" as the greeting in a bunch of e-mails I received today" -- mcten (ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin)

Reader Comment of the Day:"Mornin' peeps. Trade scenarios? With a proven championship team? It is to laugh. This team is NOT getting split up. Certainly no core player is going anywhere. Melo? The dude can't defend. At all. Jeeze - haven't you guys seen him play? He's also a big whiner - you think we need someone like that jerking the chemistry of this team around? Wow. Be patient, my friends. Please. This team will NOT let us down. Yes it may get ugly. Yes it will be frustrating here and there. But they will get 'er done. The Black Mamba and the Black Swan. Debuting this coming April for your basketball enjoyment! " -- justanothermambafan

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

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

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is called for a foul as he tries to shoot over Houston center Chuck Hayes during the first half of Tuesday's 114-106 overtime victory at Staples Center. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (50)

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justa with the Friedman!

Quick note. Our record was 4-7 in our last 11 games last season. Championship followed. Jusy sayin!

@JUSTA...Congrats on winning another...well, Justa. You and hubby should plan a trip to SF in May to join Lewsters and the NorCal bloggers to watch a playoff game together. Seriously, Marina.
...........................
TOM

justa, congrats on the "justanotherFriedman Award". Loved the Black Mamba and Black Swan visual. Does that make Pau a black honky? Are those of us that want to keep Pau Swan Lakers? Just sayin'...

Justa: Congrats! Where do you keep all of those you won? I tend to think the fireplace mantle is probably full by now!

If The Black Swan sticks, I can live with a rougher/tougher Pau!

However I still say go get 'Melo if we can... =P

- - -

LakerTom: Thanks for the link. Interesting stuff, if Melo really is interested in coming to L.A. I'd love to hear him vocalize that. Put pressure on the Nuggs to get something done. He's got the power since no team will trade for him without him green-lighting an extension.

Sometimes change is for good. A lot of championship teams run out of steam while keeping the 'core' together for a season or two too-long. I don't know if that is the case here, but for sure there are some signs that aren't peachy.

Again, it's CARMELO ANTHONY we're talkin' about peeps!

- - -

888: "Artest, Caracter and either Joe Smith or Ratliff for JJ Redick and Chris Duhon."
-
Now, if we could only get Otis Smith to OK that one... =)

I tend to believe that sometimes where there's smoke, there's fire. Perhaps, Ron Ron doesn't want the rumor out there that he wants to be traded, is trying to squelch that. Perhaps he told Mitch. Maybe, that is why the normally zip-lipped Kupchak came out and said he'd consider and look at possibly making a move. Daniel Artest did let out his bro is frustrated.

I tend to believe there is more to this than is being publicly stated...


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Good news to hear about Kobe trying to motivate Pau and it was good to see Pau play with some fire. Don’t know about this Black Swan – White Swan analogies because swans are known to be soft like ballerinas? I just hope that this is not Pau’s Swan Song so it was good to see him at least trying. We can all guess what happens when a Black Swan runs into a Black Mamba.
.........................................
TOM

@Justa - congrats on the Friedman. By the way where is Friedman?


@63 Footers - got anything musically???? I don't think we've heard from you since Brinsley....

Another possible scenario involving Orlando is to include Phoenix since I doubt the Magic will part with JJ.

Magic get Artest and Ratliff.
Phoenix get Ebanks and Q. Richardson
Lakers get M. Pietrus and C. Duhon


I'm with Justa though, at the end of the day this team can still pull through and threepeat. We'll have to wait and see. Congrats Justa on the RCOTD!
Cyber, I hope you froze some of the crow stew leftovers. Justa will be knocking at your door soon.

888: "Artest, Caracter and either Joe Smith or Ratliff for JJ Redick and Chris Duhon."
-
Now, if we could only get Otis Smith to OK that one... =)

I tend to believe that sometimes where there's smoke, there's fire. Perhaps, Ron Ron doesn't want the rumor out there that he wants to be traded, is trying to squelch that. Perhaps he told Mitch. Maybe, that is why the normally zip-lipped Kupchak came out and said he'd consider and look at possibly making a move. Daniel Artest did let out his bro is frustrated.

I tend to believe there is more to this than is being publicly stated...
Posted by: CyberCosmiX | February 02, 2011 at 01:01 PM

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

Cyber - you're joking right. I thought MVP posted that as a joke. You wouldn't trade Artest/Caracter for Redding and Duhon would you?

As far as...where there's smoke there's fire - just about everyone on the team has acknowledged their frustration so Ron is no exception.

What about this

Lakers: Richard Hamilton and Tracy McGrady

Pistons: Ron Artest and Luke Walton

Laker Tom - Swan song...lol...good one.

I won??

With that??

It is to laugh...

Thanks MM but there are just so many more worthy contenders. Just sayin..

Thanks though. The mantle's been full for awhile now. I'm into the 2nd wall of the trophy room.... LOL!!!

Also - just fyi - it was Kobe who said he wanted Pau to be the Black Swan (as opposed to the White Swan). I didn't make that up. But - as usual - I'll take the credit HAHAHA!!!

LakerTom: "I just hope that this is not Pau’s Swan Song so it was good to see him at least trying. We can all guess what happens when a Black Swan runs into a Black Mamba."
-
LOL. Swan song reminds me of Zep.

LRob, how's this for a musical selection? It's kinda appropriate too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dsspw3CALxA

- - -

J: Unfortunately, I threw out all remaining crow I had, the taste was that bad. I made sure to keep the humble pie though... =P


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

"What about this

Lakers: Richard Hamilton and Tracy McGrady

Pistons: Ron Artest and Luke Walton

Posted by: RamneetKB24 | February 02, 2011 at 01:19 PM "

Great trade for the Lakers. Terrible trade for Detroit.

Yikes! Where are all these "trade" scenarios coming from!? Might as well throw out: Pau for Lebron & Bynum for Wade! Then..........everyone else minus Kobe for Howard! 4 on 5! Everyone back off the ledge. It is good clean fun though. Better than calling each other names and such.

As Chris Webber said last night - all Lakers may try for is a dead eye knock down outside 3pt shooter, but I can't see the Lakers doing much with a 2 time repeat championship team until/if they don't get-er-dun. Not Buss' style.

I am worried Lakers are building up excuses and throw-the-switch mentality that never works and they are not those Lakers of the young Kobe and in-his-prime Shaq of ten years ago, + tough competitors: Horry/Fox/Shaw/Harper/DFish who could! Now, they need to build game after game of effort and hustle even if it may not always end up in a win.

"I won??

With that??"

Posted by: justanothermambafan | February 02, 2011 at 01:20 PM

___________

Dang Justa, get out of my head!! All joking aside: Congrats!

Yes, it's too soon to talk about trades. This team just needs to get motivated and if Pau can remain aggressive, then that energy will become contagious and work its way down to the others. My only concern is Bynum's body cooperating with his desire to remain on the floor. Only time will tell. The team has another "gauger" of a game tomorrow night against the top team in the NBA. I know the team will bring it just like they did with Boston, so let’s see if their best is good enough.


Ahh, sloppy losses, trade rumors, drama. This is what makes the Lakers great.


The Lakers will not win a title very single year, but they will win more than most teams, and they will always be entertaining along the way. Phil and Kobe are directing a most entertaining show this season - The Team That Refused to Try.


Now threats of trades and Ron Artest on the block, and Drew missing games, and Pau being soft and Fish being old and Kobe shooting a lot. Frankly, the plot is a bit predictable, we've seen it all before, but still gets people worked up and creates a lot of fun.


Hey, it's just the NBA. This ain't Egypt or anything. Strap in and enjoy!

LRob - if we're talkin' Swan Songs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2OrYAjAOQw

LRob: Redick usually closes out games for the Magic, he's on the floor at the end of games and is a real nice shooter. I'm only half-serious, but honestly, I don't think the Magic would even do that deal.

I truly think that the Lakers should explore Carmelo. Short of that, if Ron Ron really does want out then they may want to look into one of those disgruntled players, like Tayshaun Prince, those guys on losing teams that have given up, like say the Raptors or Cav's.

Seriously, there are a couple of guys supposedly being shopped, like Gerald Wallace. He could be had for Ron Ron and maybe one of the expiring bigs (Ratliff/Smith).

This is *IF* Ron truly wants out. I'm fine standing pat, however, 'Melo is the one talent out there that I would break up our core group for. Short of landing 'Melo, well if Ron doesn't want out, I'm fine standing pat. This is a championship caliber team and deserves a chance to threepeat.


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Does anyone find it curious that all this trade talk, Ron Artest rumors and general Hollywood drama is occuring just before yet another nationally televised game?

I guess Mitch, PJ and the rest of the Laker media folks want Charles, EJ and Jet to ignore the fact that there's actually going to be game tomorrow against the top 2 teams in the WC.

Or is it that San Antonio plays so far below the radar (consistently) and they are rather boring, that somebody needs to stir the pot a little?

Hmmm - just saying.

Cheers - PLG

Whether Kobe is dishing out dimes or "hogging" the ball, this team still struggles. This is so not about Kobe. Is he going to have an All Star game every night out? Almost but one thing you can count on every game is his dedication to win by "any means necessary" and that's the mindset that is missing from the majority of his teammates-Barnes excluded. We've all heard the Kobe thing about "willing his team to a win." Well just imagine if every other player had that mindset every time they stepped on the court. That's what those "m%$f*(rs" are missing out there.

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

IT'S NOW OFFICIAL: CARMELO WILL BE A LAKER

PER MIKE BRESNAHAN...
...........................................
“One thing looks certain: the Lakers have "zero" chance of obtaining Denver Nuggets All-Star Carmelo Anthony, according to a person familiar with the Lakers' thinking who declined to elaborate.” Too bad. Hopefully, the report is just another case of an insider who is not inside.
..........................................
TOM
Posted by: LakerTom | February 02, 2011 at 12:31 PM

The Clapper was on in LakerLand for Gasol after last nights game

thank goodness the NBA is full of players that Gasol can put up good numbers against on any given night.

Cyber - you're joking right. I thought MVP posted that as a joke. You wouldn't trade Artest/Caracter for Redding and Duhon would you?

As far as...where there's smoke there's fire - just about everyone on the team has acknowledged their frustration so Ron is no exception.

Posted by: LRob | February 02, 2011 at 01:19 PM
=====

The joke of it is that playing GM is a joke. I figured as long as everyone was creating these wild trade scenarios, that I would chime in with something that makes a little sense.

The Magic are loaded with players who can shoot and play offense, but they are lacking in toughness and need help up front. Artest provides the veteran toughness to deal with LeBron and Pierce and Caracter and either Ratliff or Smith provide them with some veteran beef to back up Dwight for a few minutes. Duhon is third behind Arenas in the pecking order and Redick is expendable. He can stretch the floor and is more of a shooting guard, but also has a little toughness himself. Barnes would start and Kobe would simply play a lot more small forward because Redick and Brown can competently handle the minutes at the shooting guard, while Duhon gives us that quick little guard to match-up here and there, although he'd get very few minutes. We don't lose a lot on defense or in the toughness department with Kobe and Barnes handling the defensive responsibilities at sf. Believe it or not, it makes sense to me and Otis Smith is very open minded. If you think it's a joke, which is completely understandable, that tells me that Artest probably has more trade value than people think.

LAKER TRUTH

I think the whole TEAM deserves a little patience. I'm just having fun chiming in with these trade scenarios. No more, no less.


If you thought the blog and all the trade talk was funny, here is what is going on in the real world:
............
(1) Milt Romney stated that Sara Palin would be a great president.
(2) The 2o0 dead cows in Wisconsin were poisoned by moldy sweet potatoes.
(3) Thousands of dead starlings in South Dakota were poisoned by Dept. of Agriculture.
(4) A California man has created a line of THC spiked soda pop to sell in medical marijuana stores.
(5) A Tampa mother admitted that she shot her son and daughter with a .38 for mouthing off.
...........
TOM

A Lakers win tomorrow night will erase the last 3 days of this blog as if it never existed. And the Lakers will be back to #1 on ESPN's or Hollinger's or whoevers power ranking list.

Thank you Tom for that report

Now back to the what's really important.

Clapper....

@justa
Congrats on the Friedman!

@LRob, 63, and others

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mwlq8xhqD6g&feature=related

As for all of the trade senarios, I give it a 99.9% chance that we will have this exact same team come playoff time. I am intrigued by Melo, but not sure if Denver would go forwhat we would offer. Maybe come Feb 23rd, things will change.

If you thought the blog and all the trade talk was funny, here is what is going on in the real world:
............
(1) Milt Romney stated that Sara Palin would be a great president.
(2) The 2o0 dead cows in Wisconsin were poisoned by moldy sweet potatoes.
(3) Thousands of dead starlings in South Dakota were poisoned by Dept. of Agriculture.
(4) A California man has created a line of THC spiked soda pop to sell in medical marijuana stores.
(5) A Tampa mother admitted that she shot her son and daughter with a .38 for mouthing off.
...........
TOM

Posted by: LakerTom | February 02, 2011 at 01:49 PM

=====================================

Haha, checkout what else is happening

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9U4Ha9HQvMo

4 team DREAM TRADE (works via ESPN trade machine)

Lakers get: Steve Nash (PG), Carmelo Anthony (SF)
Suns get: Ron Artest (SF), Derek Fisher (PG)
Nets get: Andrew Bynum (C)
Nuggets get: Brook Lopez (C/PF), Troy Murphy (PF)

This will never happen, but it COULD!

Justa - Congrats! I agree 100%! There won't be any trades. There is really no point in talking about it. Mitch was just trying to scare a few folks. I am not naming names but their initials are PAU GASOL, RON ARTEST, and DEREK FISHER!!!

Ron Ron - I knew something like this would happen. He is a loose cannon. I was surprised the cannon didn’t go off last year. I am glad it is happening now and not in the playoffs. PJ took on Ron. PJ will handle it. Ron has bad games here and there. He also has great lock-down games. Once we are in the playoffs and there is blood in the water, the real Ron will step up – the guy who doesn’t back down from anybody, the guy that will put a team on his shoulders when called upon, the guy that we love as one of the fiercest competitors ever to play B-ball. Remember the series against Huston when they almost beat us? Remember his shutting down Paul Peirce in the finals? Remember Game 7? Nuff said!

Pau – This is about Kobe and Pau playing together. It is about Kobe making sure that Pau gets his. It is about Kobe pumping him up and working together towards their common goal. When they are both firing on all cylinders (and Lamar is being Lamar) we are very tough to beat.

Kobe – If guys are standing around waiting for you to shoot, don’t just keep shooting. YELL AT THEM!!! TELL THEM TO PLAY OR GET OFF THE COURT AND PJ WILL SEND IN SOMEONE WHO WILL!!! You can’t facilitate crap if everyone is standing around like a spectator waiting for the next Sport Center highlight. You can’t get an assist if nobody is fighting for position and asking for the ball. I admit watching Kobe do his thing is very entertaining, but they don’t get paid to watch.

Sacramento is playing very, very well. Their record doesn’t tell the story. The Lakers didn’t see them coming and by the time they did it was too late. Sacramento beat Portland in Portland and Portland just beat San Antonio. They beat New Orleans right after beating us. They almost beat Boston – came closer than we did. This eases the sting of that loss a bit in my mind.

Ok, we are not as good as Boston – right now. The playoffs are a ways off. We have five new players. We will have Barnes back soon. He is a tough defender. We played well in the first half, but then Drew got hurt. If we had carried the first half effort through the whole game we would have won. There is time. Have faith!

Can you imagine Kobe or Lamar sitting out a game because they got a bruise? I’m just saying… ;-)

I am a Lakerholic.

LAKER TRUTH: If the 'rumors' are correct, it's Artest that has given up on the Lakers...

Look, I'm a huge Ron Ron fan, but I can't go by that. My eyes don't deceive me, he's a step slower than he's been even earlier this season. His offensive game is off, don't know why but he rarely ventures into the post even though he routinely used to post-up throughout his career. Maybe he's afraid of stepping outside the triangle? That is what happened to The Glove in his year here, too.

The fact is, he's a hard-nosed, tough, gritty defender and did well playing D during the last playoffs, adding an occasional big-shot to boot. Gritty defenders are a valuable assets come playoff-time. Even losing a step he still is better than most defenders at the position, better than most they could get in a trade (well, Gerald Wallace is a nice defender and can add some post-defense too - in case we play the septics).

BSPN is sticking with their story though, they just reported that Ron Ron wants out. If he *truly* does want out, it's worse keeping a disgruntled Ron Ron than keeping him around...


AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

"A Lakers win tomorrow night will erase the last 3 days of this blog as if it never existed. And the Lakers will be back to #1 on ESPN's or Hollinger's or whoevers power ranking list.

Posted by: Magia32 | February 02, 2011 at 01:52 PM "

Very true. And on the flipside, a loss tomorrow night is going to send the sky tumbling down in here.

@Magia
BAHAHAHAHAHAAHAAAAA!
Excellent clip!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8m8nHvct50&feature=related

Justa, baybeee!

Congrats! That post had RCOTD written all over it! The Black Mamba and the Black Swan. Bonnie and Clyde. The Incredibles. You got the idea!!

LakerTom: So where to we get #4? lol...

AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!

Thanks Walter,

Realistically, there will be no trades, but Mitch has fooled us once or twice hasn't he?

What the Lakers need is a new starting line-up and bench rotation.

Why a great player like Lamar Odom is not starting is beyond comprehension.

Derek Fisher needs to swallow his ego and tell Phil it's time for him to come off the bench. I would have so much respect for him if he'd do that, but that has about as much a chance as Luke Walton retiring from his injuries.

Bringing Artest and Fisher off the bench is a simple enough solution. Artest can be that defensive enforcer a second unit needs and Fisher can bring a stable mindset to the offense that Jordan Farmar could never figure out.

If you can't trade em use em in their best possible roles.

(4) A California man has created a line of THC spiked soda pop to sell in medical marijuana stores.
...........
TOM

Posted by: LakerTom | February 02, 2011 at 01:49 PM
_______

I'll drink to that!

________

"Kobe – If guys are standing around waiting for you to shoot, don’t just keep shooting. YELL AT THEM!!! TELL THEM TO PLAY OR GET OFF THE COURT AND PJ WILL SEND IN SOMEONE WHO WILL!!!"

Posted by: Lakerholic | February 02, 2011 at 02:02 PM
_____________

Sorry, that won't happen. He'll say that's PJ's job and he's right just as he defers trade talks to Mitch with statements that it's Mitch's job.


>>>As TRUE and a REAL leader Kobe has to learn to be patient. As if the
>>>ballhog does not miss any shots himself, how many shots did he take to
>>>make 40 points, did he miss any?

29 shots. A ratio of 1.4 points per shot - VERY good. (or if you prefer, 55%)

Meanwhile, Pau shot 38% (0.9 points per shot - bad), and ran away from even trying to post up or take a shot in the 4th.

Pau needed to do (at least) two things in that game:

1. Man up and establish post position and demand the ball. Kobe is willing to pass to him. He's shown it before in critical situations. But he can't pass the ball to Pau if Pau clears out the side.

2. Don't take weenie shots (I think that was Phil's term). When Pau is at the rim, he needs to dunk it. Not take a little flip shot that has a decent chance of missing or getting blocked. PUT... THE... BALL... IN... THE... HOLE!!!

Oh. And besides passing the ball to poor shooting Pau, Kobe was also passing the ball to 1 for 10 Ron Artest and 1 for 6 Derek Fisher.

Like the man said... you can't get assists if m%$(*FU#$*& don't make shots.


>>>How many MVPs has Kobe won?

Look. Go cheer for LeBronze and Nash if you want mama's boys who will be nice to everybody and get the MPP award (Most Popular Player).

Kobe gets rings.

I'll take Kobe's 5 rings over LeBronze and Nash's 4 MVPs any day.

@C CX & FRMKT... Pick up a 6-pack at any medical marijuana dispensary but you will still need a doctor’s prescription. Hey, I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart but what do I know. I’ve often thought that when I retire I’ll buy some land in Mendocino county and setup a legal pot farm. It’s the High Times version of owning a small winery. After all, pot is California’s #1 agricultural product.
..........................
TOM

Jeeze people: it's the Super Bowl coming up. Ron just means he wants to get traded to the Steelers for a game. No big thang.

Jeeze people: it's the Super Bowl coming up. Ron just means he wants to get traded to the Steelers for a game. No big thang.

Posted by: 63 Footer | February 02, 2011 at 02:19 PM

Though, they play different sports, when I see the way Ray Lewis plays MLB, is a similar way Ron plays D in Basketball.

They are both champions. Have hearts like a lion. Heart of a Champion.

>>> What is a Ballhog? blah blah blah.

You're obviously trying to imply that Kobe is a ball hog. Never heard THAT before.

Let me give you a clue.

The best offensive player on a team should take the most shots. It increases the teams chances of scoring and thus improves their chance of winning. When Kareem was the best Laker, he took more shots than anyone else. When Shaq was the most effective Laker, he took more shots. Giving Luke or Fish the same number of shots as Kobe isn't going to get the Lakers more wins.

This season, Kobe is taking 19.5 shots per game. Very reasonable. In a few games, the Lakers have fallen behind, and Kobe has taken it upon himself to single-handedly get the team back into the game. Sometimes that works. Sometimes it doesnt.

The thing is, in those late 3rd and 4th quarters, if the rest of his teammates would step it up and attack as aggressively as Kobe does, they would likely win ALL of those close games. If Pau mans up and establishes post position, Kobe will get him the ball. He's done it time and time again. Same with Bynum. You can't run and hide when it's time to take over - you can't defer to one player... EVERY player needs to see Kobe getting aggressive and turn into a pack of wolves.

More on the ball-hog tip...

Kobe is 35 assists from entering the top 50 ALL TIME in assists.

There are currently 6 active players who have more career assists than Kobe, and they're all point guards.

Kobe is currently 26th in the leage at 4.9 assists per game, and leading several starting PGs.

Kobe is currently leading the Lakers in assists, as he has led them for the past 4 seasons. The last Laker to lead the team in assists other than Kobe was Lamar, who led them in the 2005-06 season.

Ball-hog my pass

Go on, JAMF, with yo' bad self!!! FTW!!

"In 2005, they drafted Von Wafer 39th. With the 40th pick, the Warriors tabbed Monta Ellis. In 2007, they used the 19th pick on Javaris Crittenton, who is out of the league when they could have had Wilson Chandler, Arron Afflalo, Glen Davis, Jared Dudley, Carl Landry or the super-quick Brooks."

from this article about the Lakers and their prospects:
http://www.foxsportswest.com/msn/02/02/11/Lakers-arent-in-good-position-to-make-a-/landing_witz.html?blockID=402300&feedID=3707

Reading this makes me pretty frustrated with our Front Office. They may be great at signing free agents, but just might be some of the worst in the business at signing young talent. Of course, the only exception within the last 15 years was Kobe, but Jerry West gets most of the credit for that excellent decision.

@Old Hippy...

This is one of the best basketball blogs on the www. Participants here are passionate and knowledgeable. We understand the term BALLHOG. I also understand that you don't like Kobe Bryant and focus on one aspect of his game that is particularly irksome to you.

I know my words will probably fall on deaf ears, but I'll say them anyway...Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest basketball players to ever put on a pair of sneakers. He has been a focal point and prime mover on 5 NBA championship teams. He has scored over 27,000 points and has over 5000 assists, something that only 7 other players have done. Kobe does force some shots, at times. He's not perfect, but he's pretty damn good.

Did you ever stop to think that maybe Kobe's scoring a lot of points against Boston on Sunday will help his team in the long run, even though they lost that game? Boston now is fully aware that Kobe is still potent offensively and will have to be doubleteamed for the most part. This will make his facilitation of the offense easier down the road should they meet the Celtics in the Finals.

Ballhog...NO! Champion....Yes!!

>> Did Kobe have a bad night in game 7 title game

If all you look at is shooting percentage, then sure.

And most players, if they're shooting poorly might slack off in other areas of the game...

But not Kobe.

He continued to play hard on defense (the C's shot 41% for the game).

He got 15 rebounds. More than any Celtic. More than Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace COMBINED.

He started aggressively attacking the rim, which got him a lot of free throws late.

Basically, in that game, the refs were letting a lot of contact go by both sides. Kobe's shooting was definitely affected by all the little nudges and shoves that they were letting go. So was Pierce (33%). So was Ray Allen (21%). So was Pau (38%)... and Bynum (20%)... and Lamar (38%). Basically, when the refs let everyone bang a lot without calling as many fouls, shooting percentages will be low.

The only 3 people who shot really well in the game were Garnett, Glen Davis, and Derek Fisher.

But taking 24 shots in a game doesn't make you a ball-hog.


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