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Lakers taking optimistic approach regarding current struggles

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The coach couldn't help but let out a wide smile and sigh amusingly.

It took eight questions in a three-minute, 30-second span for Phil Jackson to know that the team's recent inconsistencies, capped by a double-digit loss Sunday to Boston, would invite scrutiny over the state of the team. "I think I better go," Jackson said, laughing. "I guess this will be one of those days."

It sure was. The day featured further analysis on the mechanics between Kobe Bryant's 41-point performance and the front line's passivity, reminders that the team's 18-7 home record already matches last season's mark in losses (34-7) and zero questions about the Lakers' game Tuesday against Houston (22-27) at Staples Center.  In turn, the Lakers (33-15) have relied on Jackson's shared optimism that the team's two consecutive NBA championships prove that they know how to navigate these troubled waters through a string of inconsistent performances.

"We have guys who are experienced and we know what to do," Jackson said in amused condescension when I asked him what's helped him maintain the upbeat view that the Lakers will prove more effective in the playoffs when they haven't shown a consistent pattern thus far.

Fair enough. Jackson's 11 championship rings certainly give him a big-picture perspective on knowing when to worry about the team's state of being and when to brush it off. On the surface, Jackson took the latter approach, expressing amusement over the large media contingent following a two-game losing streak, joking that the Lakers were planning to commit "mass suicide" and saying tongue-in-cheek that he doesn't need the Lakers to improve until "April 15 or 17," a direct reference to the playoffs.

The Lakers have plenty of time to correct their problems, but there are so many to address. The Lakers trail the San Antonio Spurs (40-7) by 7½ games, Boston (36-11) by four and Miami (34-14) by one, three opponents that would hold home-court advantage if they were to meet in the playoffs, an advantage that proved helpful to the Lakers in securing Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals.

Jackson acknowledged that the team's inconsistent offense has left him worried, and that the Lakers' losses to sub-.500 opponents such as Milwaukee, Memphis, Indiana, the Clippers and Sacramento trouble him more than the 1-4 mark against teams higher than the Lakers in the standings. Also, there's the fact that the team has continually had to address problems with defensive concepts even after the players thought they had solved those problems.

So how do these struggles compare to other seasons?

"This season has been a little bit more inconsistent than we would've liked," said  forward Pau Gasol, whose five-of-13 clip against Boston has illustrated his season-wide inconsistency. "We haven't had a lot of tough games and we lost a lot of games we shouldn't, more than usual. Then again, there's a long ways to go."

Even though Jackson refused to compare the Lakers' struggles compared to his 11 other championship teams, including six in Chicago and five with the Lakers, there are a few areas that show how L.A.'s current problems appear more egregious than the usual lapses that happen to any team even with the Lakers losing 6-7 in their last 13 games entering the postseason. The Lakers have already equaled their loss total from the 1999-2000 season (67-15), are only two losses away from matching L.A.'s 65-17 finish in the 2008-09 season and are four games behind the Lakers' 37-11 start through 48 games in the 2009-10 season. The team has also have suffered two four-game losing streaks this season, a feat that hadn't happened since since 2007 and a stretch that never happened during the Lakers' three-peat from 1999-2002. That point certainly wasn't lost on Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw, who played for L.A. from 1999-2003. 

"That raises a flag with me in terms of, you'd expect for them to come out and be mad," Shaw said in a recent interview with The TImes' Lakers blog. "You don't always see that with this team."

There surely will be many challenges ahead. Lakers center Andrew Bynum may miss tonight's game because of a bone bruise in his right knee. The team's current struggles prompted General Manager Mitch Kupchak to tell The Times' Broderick Turner and NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper that he's considering a trade. And the Lakers' matchup Thursday with San Antonio precedes a seven-game trip that includes meetings with Boston, New York and Orlando. 

Certainly the stretch following the All-Star break presents more reasoning for the Lakers to sharpen their execution. But with the team lacking a definitive pattern, going 3-4 in its last seven games with periods of dominance (Utah, Denver, Oklahoma City) and periods of lapses (Clippers, Dallas, Sacramento and Boston), the Lakers have plenty of work to do. But Odom believes the concerns will die down as soon as the Lakers start winning again.

"The only time those games bother you is if you feel like because you lost to them during the regular season you can't beat them in the playoffs," Odom said. "You know when you watch a team lose to a team in the regular season, and you say, 'There's no way they can beat them in the playoffs.' I don't think we've gotten to that point yet. We're not that far. We just have to clean things up."

-- Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

Photo: Celtics forward Paul Pierce strips the ball from Lakers center Andrew Bynum on Sunday. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
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MM, Another Outstanding Post!!! You are on a Roll Blog God!!!

SO WHO WOULD THE LAKERS TRADE? Here’s my take player by player. When the music stops, the player without a seat is obviously Pau Gasol. If there is a trade, look for Pau to the one to go.
Pau, Blake, Brown, Ebanks, and Caracter for Melo and Chauncey could be a great deal for Denver.
Starting lineup of Kobe, Chauncey, Melo, Lamar, and Drew would be the best in the NBA and would extend Kobe’s championship window for another two years. A true Jerry Buss bold personnel move.
.....................................................................
(01) KOBE BRYANT – A Laker for Life. No way that the Lakers will ever trade Kobe.
(02) PAU GASOL – Disgruntled superstar who has played soft but has great trade value.
(03) RON ARTEST – Playing so poorly he is almost untradeable to any team.
(04) DEREK FISHER – Playing so poorly he is almost untradeable to any team.
(05) ANDREW BYNUM – Injury prone center who has played well and is a Buss favorite.
(06) LAMAR ODOM – Having a career and all-star year and finally realizing his great potential
(07) STEVE BLAKE – Disappointment so far and has little trade value to other teams.
(08) MATT BARNES – After Lamar, the best off the bench, perfect for the Triangle, a keeper.
(09) SHANNON BROWN – Slowing down after fast start – definitely has good trade value.
(10) LUKE WALTON – Bad back, bad game, and bad contract make his virtually untradeable.
(11) THEO RATLIFF – Aging and injury prone veteran with zero trade value.
(10) JOE SMITH - Aging veteran with zero trade value who is on roster just to save money.
(13) DEVIN EBANKS – A good prospect that would have appeal to teams rebuilding.
(14) DERRICK CARACTER – A good prospect that would have appeal to teams rebuilding.
.....................................................................
TOM

Laker Tom - I have to say that's a pretty good list. Honestly I think the only tradable players are Lamar, Barnes, Brown, Ebanks, Caracter. I honestly don't think making a move is really appropriate. They have the parts. They just need to play better

What a delimma if we are talking trades? If it's Melo for Pau, we lose a solid, but softy pro that has great skills and shows up. If it's Drew, well, doesn't always show up, but ahhh, that potential. Really tricky and a tough call.


@MM... Would you please send my email to the following bloggers or to ANY NorCal blogger who might ask for it. Even Hobbitmage (JK, hobbit). You have my permission. Thanks.
.....................................................
(01) Jay Jay
(02) DKWSFO
(03) Lakerfan in Cupertino
(04) LakerFaninCowTown
(05) AndTheJellosJigglin
(06) OUTLAW
(07) NBA4ever
(08) Hobbitmage
(09) Psyched Laker Girl
.....................................................
Iheartkb24 and I are trying to put together three events for Lakers fans in Northern California.
...
(1) Meeting at Jillian’s Sports Bar in SF to watch the Sunday, March 6th game against the Spurs.
(2) Going as a group to attend the Lakers-Warriors game at Oracle Center on Wed, April 6th.
(3) Meeting at Jillian’s Sports Bar in SF along with Lewsters and his family to watch a playoff game.
Details to be finalized once the playoff schedules are released.
...
If any of you or any other Lakers fans like Outlaw who may be willing to drive up are interested in any of these events, please ask MM for my email address and contact me. Go, Lakers.
...................................................
TOM

repost:

"Finally a decent article on LA Times. It is NOT his fault that his teammates played scared of the Celtics. Only Kobe showed up to play. He did everything he could. Blame his soft teammates for losing that game, not Kobe.

Posted by: Bill | February 01, 2011 at 05:35 AM "

Wow, I had to go reread the above article twice to make sure I was posting on the correct article (mostly trade comments)! Only a couple of comments about the content of this article, like Bill's above, which I fully agree with!

MM: Outstanding article and analysis! We could use something like this every game and then print it out and put it on the white board in the Laker's locker room on game day! Having played the 4&5 and watching closely the post positions and Kobe as my prime interest in the Lake Show games, I always have an overall feel for what really happened, but this kind of great analysis is perfect for fact checking impressions. I was also screaming 'right-on man!' when Mark Jackson was saying what he said during this Celtics matchup.

Once again - I love this analysis for us fact junkies, Mark Medina!


Posted by: NuggetsCountry | February 01, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Here's food for thought, perhaps at some point,

After this season, Melo-Free
J. Rich-Free
Dav.West-Player Opt
A.Brooks-Qualifying Offer

Season after next, Nash-Free
D.Will-Player Opt
Dwight-Player Opt
CP3-Player Opt
Rose, Westbrook,Love and E.Gordon-Qualifying Offer

Season after next, Bynum-Team Opt
LO-Team Opt
Artest-Player Opt
Fisher-Player Opt

LT,

Really good analysis!

@MM... So I guess you would be willing to trade Lamar, who is having a career year, but not Pau, who is clearly disgruntled and playing the worst he has since joining the Lakers? I think Pau’s play in the 2010 Finals was fools’ gold because KG was playing on one leg and we saw how he matched up against a fully healthy KG last Sunday. Replace Lamar with Pau and your list is right although I would be very hesitant to trade Matt Barnes. He is a perfect player for the Triangle. JMO.
..........................................
TOM

MM is saying LO is more desirable for the OTHER teams, I think.

Honestly I wouldnt mind trading either Gasol or Bynum for Melo. Bynum once again is hurt and im starting to believe he proly would never be healthy, but if he stays with our Lakers I hope im wrong. Also the possibility of snabbing Howard in 2012 and paring him up with Melo and Pau would be just amazing not to mention Kobe. So if Bynum is the one to go for Melo we would just have to trade the rookies wit Artest for a center that can come and just play defense for us. If Gasol is the one to go for Melo. I really dont think we lose much. Yea Gasol is a good scorer but Melo is a great scorer!! Some say Melo plays no defense but who has seen Pau Gasoft play any defense?? He gets manhandle by bench warmer centers. He seems to not have that hunger to win another championship. Melo in the other hand seems like he wants to be one of the greates players ever and I dont think he would be satisfied with just two rings like Pau.

If Ebanks/Caracter all of a sudden start getting playing time, somethings being discussed with someone somewhere. They would make good throw-ins to a bigger deal.

Now I think a bone bruise is not close to anything serious, however, I am pretty sure Kobe (busted fingers on both hands, grinding knee) WOULD BE PLAYING!

CyberCosmix wrote:
Grow up hobbitmage and stop your baiting. It really brings this blog down. Can't you summon up the hobbit from a couple years ago, or is this new hobbit repressing the former one, the one that was wiser, funnier, lighter and not singlemindedly obsessed with certain posters on the blog?

my response: ...

Here's the scenario ...

the air is dry. the ground is hard & baked. In the middle of the plain sits
a lone concrete cube. pale & unadorned.

Comin' down the road is dust covered gray benz. movin' fast. leavin' a dust
cloud behind it. It pulls up to the building and the door opens.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dgrMSTalZ0 is what you hear.

A man in shades walks up to the building.

"KB Blitz here to see the hobbit."

" 'Sup hobbit. WTH happened to you?"

"'Sup KB. What? "

"Man. You looked all jacked-up! "

"Oh, that's the love taps I've been getting from KobeMVP888 & LakerTom.
For awhile they tried to break. Beat me down. Then they went good cop
bad cop. "

"Dang! Well, look. I'm here to get you out. "

"What? "

"We've had our issues, but you've always been straight and you were right. "

"Tell me about it. "

" You remember that injury thing you were talkin' about with Bynum's knees?"

"Yeah ... "

"Bone bruise."

"That sucks. I was hoping I was wrong. "

"You remember that thing about hustle & character? "

"Yeah ... "

"Mitch is talkin' trades. "

"Really? Didn't we just sign ... "

"Yep. And now our bigs are coasting. "

"Crap."

"Remember that whole thing about HCA ..."

"Don't tell me ... "

"We're behind the Spurs & the Celtics. Gettin' spanked by every big boy in
town. Get this. This summer, Cousins called Bynum out and then last week
he straight punk'd him! "

"No! "

"Yep. All Bynum had to say was: I disrespected him and you can't do that. "

"Sigh"

"Any how bro, I'm here to get these chains off you. Man up! We need some
straight talkin'. All-star break is almost here and we're lookin' shaky. "

"All right. Hold on a sec. "

Hobbit turns and looks LakerTom in the eyes.

"We're laker fans. I got no beef with you. "

Hobbit turns and looks at KobeMVP888. Spits on the ground.

"This ain't over b/n you & me attorney. Hell will freeze before I forget. "

"C'mon Hobbit, let's roll. Today's gameday"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tJYN-eG1zk&feature=channel

I am hoping that PJ and the FO really know if Artest is done, or Pau is past his potential/hunger for LA, or if Drew will really ever be a dominating center or just a more talented Kwame?

So here is the real history:

"Sasha Vujacic who was great friends with Pau Gasol flirted and (something else) with Pau's girlfriend who was quoted telling Pau "that was a real machine oh yeahh!"
Pau got mad at Sasha and started playing poorly. Phil and Kobe noticed that and told Mitch to kick Sasha's butt before it was too late. Everything was going ok and Pau started playing better but all the sudden his friend Rafa Nadal was eliminated from the Aussie open and that was too much for him. Latest info says Kobe is holding his hand during practice and told him everything would be ok after a few games.

Okay, let me see. Pau for Melo, then after next season, goodbye to Drew (team opt) and hello to Dwight (payer opt). The 2012-13 Lakers:

PG-Kobe
SG-Barnes or (any way to get D-Williams)
C-Howard
PF-Melo
SF-Lamar

Bench-Blake, Artest (or trade), Brown, the Rookies (or trade) or who needs a "stinking bench!"

From Magic... http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=6080446

"I think we have to," Johnson said. "We have to do something. The Lakers are not responding and two things showed me that -- the Miami Heat Christmas game and then the Boston Celtics game [on Sunday]. When you don't get up for your two biggest games during the season and you have flat performances, then you have to start looking at trade possibilities to improve the team and bring some energy to the team and bring some new life to the team."

Andrew's knee.. I thought there was something wrong about MM's Post because Bynum was pointing to his left knee while on the bench with Vitti during Sunday's game.

http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=6080454

"Bynum underwent an MRI on Tuesday morning that revealed a bone bruise on his left knee."

Freak accident or not, it's still an injury and this kid's knees are just not going to hold up. His left knee is compensating for his surgically repaired right knee and when he finally does come back, both knees will have been compromised. Now I'm worried. We were bad enough with him back in the lineup, now he's out again and may never be 100% for the season. Man, would I love to sit in on those meetings between Dr. Buss, Mitch, Coach and Kobe. That roster is on high alert. Someone's time in "La-La" land is about to come to an end.

I always said we have to trust the FO because they see what we see and our vantage point is no where superior to theirs. We have the best owner, GM, coach & player in the league. We're going to the Finals and Kobe will send PJ back to the mountains with another Ring!

GO LAKERS & IN BUSS WE TRUST!!

LakerTom

Fun stuff all this trade dreaming. Here's a quick reminder that the last time the Lakers actually made a trade deadline deal was in 1997 when the Lakers shipped Joe Kleine and a #1 pick (who turned out to be Anthony Parker) to the Nets for sharp shooter George McCloud. The Gasol deal took place on February 1, 2008, weeks before the trade deadline. Teams that make these big deals at the trade deadline do not reap the reward of a championship that season.

But now that the topic of all the untradeable players has come up, let us not forget the "untradeable" players we had on the Lakers during the 2000-02 three-peat who we all thought no one would want. Among those players were Rick Fox, Robert Horry, Derek Fisher and Brian Shaw, all who were considered to be "system" guys at the time and virtually useless to any other team from the fans' perspective. By the time 2003-04 rolled around, Fisher was backing up Gary Payton (a mistake in hindsight), the Spurs were very happy to grab Horry for a couple of rings, Rick Fox was on his last legs and B-Shaw had retired. We also had players like Slava Medvedenko, rookies Brian Cook and Luke Walton, Kareem Rush, Devean George and Jannero Pargo. A real Who's Who of future NBA stars! What kind of trade value did they have? Meanwhile Shaq wanted $30 mil per year and Kobe was due for a max extension. A puzzling scenario for an owner and a GM indeed. But I digress ....

Oh, I forgot to say .. thank you for your wisdom and foresight Jerry Buss! We are on top of the world again looking down, but whining about our immediate future. Frankly, I think we're fine and just need to have the damn batteries recharged. LakerTom, I couldn't disagree with you more about Pau Gasol, but that's what makes our discourse a very healthy one. Go Spaniard!!

I love this game!!

@KOBEMVP888... Make no mistake, I will be rooting for Pau to have a big game tonight and show me that I’m wrong about him. Nothing would make me happier. Well, maybe a trade of him for Melo because of the many reasons I have expounded to death the last few days. LOL. But as long as Pau wears purple and gold, I will always root for him and encourage him to man up. Go, Lakers.
...............
TOM

Aloha

Everyone is talking about who we can trade. Not so much talk about who we can get. I doubt Denver would do a Melo trade for what we have to offer. What this team still needs is a real outside threat to spread the floor. Teams collapse on the paint because nobody is afraid of our outside shooting. Now remember we still have that trade exception from the Sasha deal.

So who could help us? Nick Young. He is disgruntled. He has been speaking out against Flip Saunders and has been moved out of the starting line up. He actually would make a very good lead guard for the triangle. He has a decent handle and is quick and he is still young.. And of course he is a L.A guy, who always torches us when he is in town. And I remember Mitch really liked him when he came out.

Now the Wizards are rebuilding. We could package the exception along with Carachter or Ebanks or both, even throw in a few of the 2nd round picks we have been stock piling.

MM feel free to pass this along to Mitch if you like. LOL.

Aloha

MH

I see a lot of talk on here that it's a given that Dwight Howard will be joining the Lakers in 2012. I don't know what the next bargaining agreement is going to bring but the Lakers have a ton of money already tied up and I don't see how they're going to sign a max level player as a free agent.

I also don't know how reliable the rumor was in the first place. It could have just been a ploy by Howard's camp to cause the Magic make a stronger push for the title right away.

Who would Mitch consider trading? I keep hearing rumors about Artest for Tayshaun Prince....something to consider MAYBE???

Posted by: Laker Fan | February 01, 2011 at 11:59 AM
------------------------------
Yeah, that makes sense. The Pistons trade away an expiring contract and get to bring in the man that took part in the Malice at the Palace.

Yeah, that makes sense. The Pistons trade away an expiring contract and get to bring in the man that took part in the Malice at the Palace.

Posted by: LRob | February 01, 2011 at 03:13 PM
====

LOL!

Bay,

I think it's pretty easy. Lakers have the team option of letting Drew walk and just sign Howard (he has the player option and can simply go where he wants). Their salaries are a very close match.

@Ganapia – Wise words indeed.

@TNT – Pistons looking to unload Rip’s contract…so any trade they do would probably have to include him also.

@Laker Tom – Sorry but I don’t buy your “it has nothing to do with Drew” explanation. But that's just me.

@Cyber – why don’t we just trade DFish straight up for Chauncey while we’re at it.

Everyone is talking about who we can trade. Not so much talk about who we can get. I doubt Denver would do a Melo trade for what we have to offer. What this team still needs is a real outside threat to spread the floor. Teams collapse on the paint because nobody is afraid of our outside shooting. Now remember we still have that trade exception from the Sasha deal.

So who could help us? Nick Young. He is disgruntled. He has been speaking out against Flip Saunders and has been moved out of the starting line up. He actually would make a very good lead guard for the triangle. He has a decent handle and is quick and he is still young.. And of course he is a L.A guy, who always torches us when he is in town. And I remember Mitch really liked him when he came out.

Now the Wizards are rebuilding. We could package the exception along with Carachter or Ebanks or both, even throw in a few of the 2nd round picks we have been stock piling.
Posted by: michael h
==============

I agree with your line of thinking. Other than Kobe the perimeter is weaker than Pau.

WOW.. WOW.. And more WOWSERS

This blog is going cuckoo for cocoa puffs

Trade gasol n artest NOW?? So let's trade our thinboned ectomorph braniac center and the toughest badass mofo in the league now during a championship run.. Get rid of two guys who were integral pieces of our last championship?? Just like that? So ur literally talking takin the team apart and putting it back together with new parts in the middle of the year.

And then u have the audacity to recommend carmelo the BALLHOG aka just give me the damn ball with suspect passing skills for the triangle.. Really?

Thanks but I think I'll pass n ride this out.. And good try mitch but u aint scarin nobody or at least not I.. Now if you wanna make any wholesale changes how bout starting with a new dang POINT GUARD... How's that for a 5STAR recommendation.. Much more clean n simple... Eliminate our senior citizen and real culprit of our regular season malaise of the past 3 seasons and problem solved!!

Shame on you people!

Oh and isn't it also ironic how this embarrassing overall display of team bball coincides with barnes injury which consequently led to luke the pukes suddenly getting some court time and big uptick in minutes?? Hmmmm..

No to the old players (Prince, Hamilton, etc.) and yes to Melo and eventually Dwight. Let's get some young hungry players to assist Kobe next 3 seasons and perhaps he will be able to play a couple more beyond that.

Or, give me Kobe and 4 good (not necessarily great) players with Kobe's drive and will to win! Of yeah, there just aren't many out there, huh?

Aloha

Again there is nothing wrong with our front court that some floor spacing wouldn't cure. Our bigs are often swarmed under as soon as they touch the ball. Stick Howard in there? It would be even worse because of his lack of moves. Again for me is using the trade exception along with a young player or to for an unhappy Nick Young.39% from three without a solid inside scoring threat to free him up or a Kobe. I would even package Shannon and one of the young guys for him. He's not a PG but like I said before, he could play the lead guard in the triangle.

MH

Here's the deal with Denver, in a month the team has basically ZERO options, everything shifts to Melo. Melo can decide not to sign with whoever trades for him as well. Really, Melo can basically do and go wherever he wants. Denver is really at his mercy. In June Melo walks like Bosh, Amare and Lebron, Denver gets basically nothing.

Sup peeps,

So very busy with no time to post....This work thingy really gets in the way of my Lakerholism.

Looking forward to the game tonight. I really hope we see Screaming Pau. I don't like that other guy that wears his number...

Bummer about Socks, but he'll be ok. I just hope he's ready to go against Timmeh or whoever passes for their center these days...Blair? Whatever.

And can I just chime in with a HELL TO THE NO for trading any of our core? Jeeze. This team may not be playing like defending champions right now, but who really thinks they won't when playoff time rolls around? You think they'll forget what it takes when it's play or go home? Come on guys...chillax a little.

Finally - congrats Mamba24. I wish nothing but the best for you and your bride - you know this. You haven't been ignored - I've just been busy. Sorry for not saying it sooner. (I thought it, but must not have posted it. My badness.)

GO LAKERS!!
Let the hunt for 6 begin - DFish
Nothing but another title will suffice - KBryant
WE GOT THIS - justa


@DEREK JETER... I guess you missed my response to your CBA requirements. The Lakers salary total is currently $91,569,659. The 201o/11 salary cap is $58,000,000, which means that the Lakers are over the salary cap by $33,569,659. That means that they even if they did NOT exercise their 2012/13 team option on Drew for $16,473.002 AND their team option for Lamar for $8,200,000, they would STILL be over the salary cap by around $10,000.000 and thus would be limited to the MLE or about $6M per year to sign free agents. That’s why you never hear about us and free agents. Of course, with the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement expired at the end of the year, the NBA might actually lower the salary cap and luxury tax to penalize big market teams and make it harder.
....
What would work is if Dwight Howard demanded that the Magic do a sign and trade for him to the Lakers. Since his salary would be $19,261,20o, the Lakers could theoretically exercise their team option on Drew and then trade him and another payer making around $3M to the Magic for Dwight Howard. Trading equal salaries is the only way that a team over the cap like the Lakers can get another superstar like Dwight Howard. That is an extremely long shot in anybody’s opinion. Would I make that deal? Probably unless Drew can stay healthy and show he can be a dominant center.
..........................................................
TOM

Good stuff hobbit, enjoyed that dreamy scenario you conjured up. Makes me think how funny would it be to see the blog-drama's played out as a movie, what actors would play which roles. Fun stuff.

Personally, I've had my run-in's with KB. The last one right around training camp we revisited the whole 'Kobe doesn't hold a candle to MJ' thing (which is totally false). But we each left saying cool debates, it was never personal. He seemingly would always pull out the "you're getting emotional" card whenever we'd debate, lol, but all was good. I miss not seeing him around. He knew his hoops. So do you. So does LakerTom, 888 and a lot of others around here. That's why I come here, been around the block on other sites but this one has a great mix of knowledgeable fans and MM does an exemplary job.

It just becomes tedious to see the same unending bash's/baiting. Cool, we get it, but it doesn't need to be rehashed on a daily basis groundhog day-like. If we all decided to be less antagnostic towards each other this would blog a better place.

Enjoyed what you wrote hobbit. There is a good writer in you that we get glimpses of, hopefully we can see more of that in the future rather than the query/retort one that hyper-focuses on minutiae...


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

Okay we're officially out of control today...so this is the appropriate song. If you got a better one let me know...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJ44psLHvIc

The Lakers are the " Defending Champs" ! This is a new season and they have played poorly !!! Getting next to nothing from Artest and Fisher. Neither one is NBA starting material. Luke should probably not even be in the NBA.
Bench is way thinner than people thought it should be. Maybe they can turn it on in the playoffs but this team appears to be over the hill. Will need incredible play from Kobe, Bynum, Gasol and Odom to do anything. Because it pretty much begins and ends with those four players when it comes to consistency.

The Lakers are the " Defending Champs" ! This is a new season and they have played poorly !!! Getting next to nothing from Artest and Fisher. Neither one is NBA starting material. Luke should probably not even be in the NBA.
Bench is way thinner than people thought it should be. Maybe they can turn it on in the playoffs but this team appears to be over the hill. Will need incredible play from Kobe, Bynum, Gasol and Odom to do anything. Because it pretty much begins and ends with those four players when it comes to consistency.

A questions for those interested in trading Pau....

How will that help the Lakers match up better with the Celtics...the team most of you project to come out of the east?


A thought for those interested in trading Fish....make sure you get someone in return that can chase Ray Allen around all those screens and picks. Unless you want Kobe to take on that role and the new PG to guard Rondo.

If a coach calls you out and calls you a PUSS,
that my Amigos would be
Fighting words!

Suck it up Bigs and don't let anyone call you a WUSS!!


Play like you mean it,
or Get the h{ll out of the way of the Mamba!!!

So Sonnybreakfast wants a piece of me

listen sonny, just because you have a problem with Kobe and the Colorado incident don't start making assumptions about me or the overwheming majority of Laker/Kobe fans. If I don't speak for 95% of Laker Nation when I call out Ron Artests brother for disrespectful remarks....
""But from my point of view, Laker "fans" are really Kobe fans. It makes me sick. Yes. Laker fans make me sick. Sometimes, I wish Ron was on another team..."
Then you are not a Laker fan period. Take Kobe out of the equation it's still disrespectful.

As far as your assumption fans and myself "Some had been Laker fans since they arrived in L.A., possibly before you were born."
Well sonny, I was born in LA, didn't have to move here, been a fan since the fourth grade, my first memories was the year Jerry West made his 63 footer to force overtime against the Knicks. So you do the math, not to many alive who are Laker fans before I was born.

You calling Kobe "a fly in the ointment" is the pot calling the kettle black. If ever the was a squirrel looking for a nut it's you.

WE, put up with you, because you're always on the outside looking in. A running joke if you will.

I'll tell you what, I'll put you down for agreeing wholeheartedly with what Rey Rey had to say. HOW MANY STAND WITH YOU? SPEAK UP AND BE ACCOUNTABLE


Okay we're officially out of control today...so this is the appropriate song. If you got a better one let me know...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJ44psLHvIc
Posted by: LRob |
============

How about this (:

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

LRob: Melo is a special player. We're not talking trading Pau for peanuts. It's Carmelo Anthony.

Yes, this is basically a 'what-if' scenario since the Lakers really don't have enough in my eyes to truly make such a trade happen. The Nuggs want to get younger, want draft picks (and not the late first-round ones the Lakers would most likely be giving them due to their yearly successes) and want to shed salary. The Lakers really can't give them any of those things outside of including Drew in a deal.

So, Pau is the most likely piece they would want, and they probably wouldn't even entertain getting 30-yr old Pau unless they were up against losing him for nothing at the end of the year at the trade-deadline. The two expiring contracts, Ratliff and Joe Smith, only add up to a paltry $1.7-mill. Sasha might have been an enticing piece, but he's gone. If they take Ron Ron and his 3 remaining years at over $7-mill each, well I love Ron Ron but his production is way down, defense too (as Paula demonstrated on Sunday).

Bottom line, to get a player the caliber of 'Melo, well you gotta give up some valuable assets.

Will it happen? I'd give it a 1% chance. But, to get not only a great player, but one of the best scorers of this generation - then, yes, I'd do it. The Lakers strength is their frontcourt, however we have in Lamar a player that could step back into a starting role, and as attached as I may be to Pau and Ron Ron, the chance of putting 'Melo alongside Kobe, and starting Billups possibly in the backcourt is too great a gain not to do it - for the here and now plus for the longterm as 'Melo is only 26, 4 yrs younger than Gasol.

Most likely it won't happen, but I'm starting to side with Magic, when he says the Lakers do something, when The Logo is vocalizing the Lakers are long in the tooth, when Mitch is saying that the Lakers have to improve their play or he will entertain making a trade, well I'm starting to get with them no matter the rather insignificance of regular season games to a team as proven as the Lakers are.

Besides, there is something up with Pau - not sure what but something. He hasn't been the same this season. If what Ricky says is true, if he's been telling the Spanish media he hasn't been happy with Kobe or Phil, well then I'm REALLY onboard with pulling the trigger. We're not getting back a scrub, we're getting back Carmelo freakin' Anthony!


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

"So who could help us? Nick Young. He is disgruntled. He has been speaking out against Flip Saunders and has been moved out of the starting line up. He actually would make a very good lead guard for the triangle. He has a decent handle and is quick and he is still young.. And of course he is a L.A guy, who always torches us when he is in town. And I remember Mitch really liked him when he came out.

Now the Wizards are rebuilding. We could package the exception along with Carachter or Ebanks or both, even throw in a few of the 2nd round picks we have been stock piling.

MM feel free to pass this along to Mitch if you like. LOL.

Aloha

MH

Posted by: michael h | February 01, 2011 at 03:04 PM "

Nick Young was still starting as of yesterday and I doubt that is changing soon.
He has a very low salary and he has been showing a lot of promise. I don't think the idea of some seldom used 2nd round draft picks (Ebanks and Caracter) and some future low round draft picks are going to be enticing to anyone.

Basically, any trade offer to another GM that includes Fisher, Artest, Ebanks, Caracter, or Luke Walton is probably going to be met with a dialtone.

CCX

Nice to see you. If you haven't noticed, I've been doing a lot of skimming so I either post a thought or reply to very limited bloggers. Sorry, but I don't have time for the hobbitmonster and his poor sense of humor. If he did actually write something funny, my guess is that if he referred to me, whatever he said was half-kidding at best, more likely a flat out insult. Frankly, when it comes to him, I have a very pompous attitude because I consider his fan IQ to be extremely low and his writing style to be extremely condescending. If Bynum sneezes or even farts, the hobbitmonster has a tendency to play that childish "I told you so" game and dangles as much bait to the fans who support Andrew Bynum to bite on as he can. The hobbitmonster will NEVER acknowledge the important role Bynum has played in the Lakers' back-to-back championships, will always take the attitude that he was a non-factor in those championships (these are *facts,* remember), that we would have won without him, that everything about him stinks and is wrong, and that he hurts the Lakers. So if you want to try to engage in a civil discourse with this fan, enjoy! I've decided to scroll past his long-winded, irritating garbage because he offers me nothing that I don't already know. Believe it or not, I can and do read box scores.

Peace out, brother! I love you, man!!

Bench the Wussy Bigs and start D. Caracter and Theo Ratliff,

I'll bet they'll show the Big Pusses how to play with FIRE and Hunger!


YES, it's embarrassing to be benched, but it is also embarrassing to watch their Arses getting steamrolled!


Bench the players with no heart,

BandWagon!!!

The old Man and the Rook will show the Girly Girls how to play with DESIRE!!!!!!!

Many times I Wish we could just Clone Kobe four times!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I just Know the Lakers are saving his DNA for the future!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lrob

What gives you the impression someone else can't do a better job guarding ray ray? He took target practice last game shooting 8-12 FG with wide open jumpers mostly w dfish. There was one memorable play when dfish ran into big perk screen and just had a freakin apopletic seizure and the refs got sold.. hope that's not ur definition of good defense...

Now if dfish FPM (flops per minute) went back to his normal career averages of 0.8-1.0 then i can buy that argument but this year he's been flopping at an ALL TIME CAREER LOW.. And what is dfish true worth without his INTANGIBLES??

@LROB... “A questions for those interested in trading Pau....How will that help the Lakers match up better with the Celtics...the team most of you project to come out of the east?”
................................................
If you look back at the head-to-head stats I posted yesterday for Melo vs. PP compared to Ron vs. PP, you would see that historically, Melo has done better in his matchups against Pierce than Ron has.
...
In 13 games head-to-head, Melo averaged 24.1 points, 6.7 boards, and 4.0 assists per game compared to Pierce’s 25.7 points, 5.8 boards, and 4.8 assists with the Nuggets winning 7 of 13.
...
In 22 games head-to-head, Ron averaged 14.5 points, 5.4boards, and 3.1 assists per game compared to Pierce’s 21.0 points, 5.6 boards, and 3.8 assists with the Celtics winning 11 of the 22 games.
................................................
While these are not all encompassing stats, they seem to say that Melo can keep up with Pierce offensively while Ron holds PP to fewer points. As for guarding KG, that is really a problem right now with Pau Gasol, who could obviously handle a one-legged KG in last year’s Finals but was a shrinking violet against a fully healthy KG last Sunday. KG is a problem for which Pau is no solution. The Lakers might even consider playing Drew against KG and letting Lamar handle Perkins. At any rate, you raise a valid point LRob but I still think Pau for Melo would make the Lakers a better team. We are not going to beat them with the chemistry we have right now. Hopefully, that will change.
................................................
TOM

Lakers should tell the fans in advance which games they want to play that way we, the fans, will stop wasting our time (and money) watching the games they feel are unimportant.

@hobbit – Depeche and Queen…yes. Also very creative story.


@Art- Good one. It’s definitely kind of Helter Skelter in here. I can only imagine what it’ll be like if the Lakers lose tonight.


@Cyber – No doubt Melo is a special talent. But I don’t his skills compliment Kobe. Now if Boston was removed from the league and the Lakers only had to worry about Miami, SA…then I would be more plausible.

I’m wondering if Magic said the same thing when his team lost 7-8 straight road games in 88 or 89. My guess is he said they would turn it around.

Laker Tom,

You're wrong about Smith and Ratliff. Both have very good trade value as expiring contracts. Granted, it's only worth a couple million, but it's something.

They also have something in trade value you didn't mention...

The trade exception from the Sasha trade. You can't combine it with players or anything, but it would allow the Lakers to take back a contract of up to 5 million for nothing.

So for example, let's say before the trade deadline Denver announces they've decided to give up on trading Melo, hoping that they can talk him into staying. If that happens, New York is going to want to try to sign Carmelo this summer. But they don't have enough cap space to offer him a max contract. And what's more, Wilson Chandler will be a restricted free agent this summer for the Knicks. In that situation, the Knicks might be willing to jettison Chandler for Ebanks plus the Sasha trade exception & a future first round pick. It would make them worse this season, but would give them the cap space to make a play for Melo, while getting something of value for Chandler.

I'm not saying Chandler is a likely acquisition or that he'd be any help to the Lakers, but just using him as an example of a scenario where a team might be willing to part with a player with some value for nothing, just to get the cap space.

Also, most small market teams might want to cut salary before the impending potential strike. So teams like Charlotte or Utah or Memphis or New Orleans might be willing to give up some useful player for a trade exception.

Holy toledo!

Rickys back.. I thought we buried that cacaroach!

What the %&># iswrong w this guy mang? shu kidding me or what?

I don't think Bynum will be traded because nobody wants him. Not with his injury history and lack of a tangible resume in this league. Drew is constantly celebrated for his 'potential' as opposed to a real body of work and that is starting to get old fast. He was not a factor in '09 against Dwight Howard and his biggest contribution in '10 was tearing Perkins' ACL in game 6.

@LTLF... Excellent points. I had forgotten about the trade exception. I’ve just lost faith in Pau that combined with Ron’s, Derek’s, and Steve’s problems leave me worried not only about this year but the next two or three years. Denver needs to get “something” for Melo is they will go down hard and Pau Gasol could find their more run-and-gun style with Nene as center to be a good fit. I have not heard of any better offer from any other team. Let’s see how Pau responds tonight against Houston.
..........................
TOM

888: Yeah, I noticed you hadn't been writing much. It's a shame, the blog is a much richer and better place when you are involved. Not sure what to get out of what hobbit wrote above, but it was some kind of fantasy dream where we all got along I guess, lol.

I agree with you, if people weren't so concerned with infantile obsessions with certain players, certain other bloggers it wouldn't be so bad, but when it gets to the point when just about every single post is hyper-compulsive in nature - wow.

Anyways, I'm a big fan of what you write, of your views. A lot of people that misconstrue what you write or try to paint you a certain way are probably jumping in midway into ongoing discussions. Keep on keeping on, I get what you're saying and am grateful to share the blog with ya bro.


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

sup all,

busy, busy, busy....But all this trade talk is exciting.

But the point is, MK was trying to get us going w/ this trade talk, I don't think thats is doable at any perspective.

Tonight we'll see the effects of MK "trade-talk"; we'll play like champs, not chimps.

Cheers.

For our team to beat Boston in the Finals, we NEED to get tougher. Boston has figured out that all they need to do is push Pau around, and it totally throws off his game. There a very few players in this League that I would consider swapping Pau with, but I would have to say Melo is at the top of the list.

This dude is tough, hungry, young, athletic, and Kobe's "little bro." Plus, since Denver is already okay with dumping Billups, it's a win win. Fish plays great in the playoffs, but Billups' outside shot is much more reliable. Plus, we all know that Billups can nail clutch shots. I'm just not so sure that Denver would go for this one unless a third team(mentioned earlier) was involved.

If we get lucky, and Orlando or Miami knocks Boston out in the ECK, then I think Pau would do much better against their bigs.

Also, if it doesn't work out, then Melo and others could be traded to Orlando for D.Howard(sign and trade) in 2012.

MAKE THIS HAPPEN MITCH!!!!!

Mr. Kupchak...

Let's make these trades...

Steve Blake, Ron Artest and Derek Caracter for Battier and Brooks

Shanon Brown for Arron Afflalo

Joe Smith for Kwame Brown

Luke Walton & Devin Ebanks for Trevor Ariza

This keeps our nucleus together and brings in younger players who are hungry, long, fast and that can defend. I don't think Barnes is going to be 100%. In Kwame we get a big who can clog the middle, knows the system.
Battier is a sharp guy who will pick up the triangle.
BTW...this works in Espn Trade Machine.

Lineup:

Fisher/Brooks
Bryant/Afflalo
Battier/Ariza
Gasol/Odom
Bynum/Brown/Ratliff

PAU is the PROBLEM!!! He's passive, weak, lacks passion and heart, and plays like a small-forward. Last year we were able to cover-up his passive play with a strong and determined Kobe and inspiring play by Bynum, and tough play by Artest. Those guys have taken a step back for reasons we can understand (Kobe and Bynums surgeries, Artest fragile mental state) and Pau is scared to step up. He has taken two steps back this year and needs to be traded.

Pau and Artest for:
LaMARCUS ALDRIDGE
Deng and Noah
David West and Ariza
Carmello and Nene
Dwight Howard
Favvors, Vujacic, Lopez
Bogut, Maggette

@Laker Tom - Regarding the email requests, everyone please email me because I don't have it stored in my inbox. Please write in subject line: Laker Tom so I know which emails to store in a separate folder

Here’s my take player by player. When the music stops, the player without a seat is obviously Pau Gasol.


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