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Have Lakers progressed since last matchup with Boston?

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One loss to an elite opponent sparked Kobe Bryant to publicly criticize his team and vowed that he would hold his teammates accountable for any future lackluster performances.

Another loss to an elite team spurred Bryant to react with a calm demeanor, acknowledging disappointment to the loss but believing it provided a lesson on what the Lakers need to sharpen.

Bryant's differing reactions to the double-digit losses to Miami and Boston showcase a balancing act in leadership, trying to pick his spots to push the team and making sure they don't overreact to adversities. But it also showcases a difference in effort. The Christmas Day loss to the Heat yielded little intensity, a surprise given the hype surrounding it. The Lakers' loss to the Celtics showed increased focus but poor execution, giving Bryant an example to point to things the Lakers need to correct before facing Boston again.

"It's important to see how much we improve. From now until then, it's a good opportunity for us to work hard at it now," Bryant said at the time. "Then when we face them in Boston, we'll see how much they improved."

The Lakers will find out Thursday when they play the Celtics at TD Garden in the third contest of a seven-game trip. But until then, the Lakers only have the tape of their 109-96 loss Jan. 31 to the Celtics to fall back on to understand things they shouldn't be doing. The Lakers actually devoted a two-hour session completing that exercise, as detailed by The Times' Mike Bresnahan, and the game proved far from pretty. The Lakers earned an "F" on defense in Bryant's eyes, considering they allowed Boston to shoot 60.3% from the field, 52.9% from three-point range. Rajon Rondo distributed 15 of his 16 assists in the second half and Ron Artest couldn't contain Paul Pierce, who dropped 32 points on 11-for-18 shooting. The execution appeared equally bad on offense. Bryant proved to be the only dependable option, scoring 41 points on 16-for-29 shooting. Everyone else, ranging from Pau Gasol's passivity (five of 13 clip), Andrew Bynum's foul trouble and sore left knee and horrendous shooting from Artest (one of 10) and Derek Fisher (one of six), left the Lakers with only Bryant to carry the load.

Since then, the Lakers have won three out of their four games. But the lone loss came to San Antonio, furthering Los Angeles' poor mark against teams with better records than them to 1-6. Still, the Lakers have made considerable progress in a few areas that should make them more equipped for the Celtics this time around.

6a00d8341c506253ef0147e2249f16970b-320wiIncreased aggressiveness from Pau Gasol

Bryant approached Gasol after the Lakers' double-digit loss to Boston with a simple message: Be more aggressive. I've already detailed most of the circumstances surrounding this conversation earlier this week, but the message was pretty clear. Gasol has lamented frequently about the team's inconsistent ball movement the past two seasons, an exercise that opens up conflicting details on whether Bryant's shooting mentality disrupts team chemistry or if Gasol is simply not being aggressive enough. Lately, it's been the latter approach. And Gasol's willingness to show more aggression won't necessarily transform him from a finesse player into a physical specimen, but the results speak for themselves when he's fighting harder to create open looks and not shy away from contact. In the past four games, Gasol has averaged 24 points on 63.7% shooting.

The Lakers appear more collectively involved Don't mistake this for believing Bryant's 41 points against Boston wasn't warranted. With everyone else playing so passively, Bryant had no other choice. But it's indisputable that the Lakers are a better team when Bryant doesn't have to assume all of the responsibility. In the past four games, Bryant's averaged 24.7 points, eight assists and 6.2 rebounds. He has more reason to create a more balanced offensive attack with everyone else elevating their play. In addition to Gasol's aggressiveness, there's been Lamar Odom's usual consistency (15 points, 10.5 rebounds), improved offensive movement and shooting from Artest (at least 50% in the past three games).

The Lakers displayed that team effort in various facets.

The 114-106 overtime victory last week over the Houston Rockets showcased an extra regulation session that involved clutch shots from Bryant and Gasol while Odom directed the offense. In their 101-95 victory Saturday over the New Orleans Hornets, Gasol and Bryant complemented each other with 34 and 32 points, respectively, Odom made a crucial putback for a five-point lead with less than three minutes remaining and Artest's three blocks and three steals and Derek Fisher's two steals and numerous charges helped spark energy on the other end. And the Lakers' 93-84 victory Monday over the Memphis Grizzlies showcased a resurgence on defense in which they held the Grizzlies to 16 second-quarter points and only three field goals in the final 5:46 of the fourth quarter.

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The Lakers have had their lapses They exemplified this poor pattern perfectly in the team's 89-88 loss last Thursday to the Spurs. In that game, they allowed the Spurs to get three consecutive offensive rebounds on the final possession, which ended with San Antonio forward Antonio McDyess boxing out Odom for the game-winning putback off Tim Duncan's missed shot. Even though some of the other Lakers' mistakes didn't cost them wins, there were plenty of areas that made L.A.'s three victories more difficult than necessary. The Lakers could've avoided overtime against Houston if not for the team's front line leaving Luis Scola unmarked for an easy basket with 1:56 to play and if not for Bryant missing two consecutive jumpers to close the game despite Odom waving his hands while wide open at the top of the key. The Lakers didn't exactly play model defense against New Orleans, allowing the Hornets to go nine of 21 from three-point range, or shoot well from the outside, including a two-of-10 combined clip from Artest, Fisher and Steve Blake. And the Lakers made things unnecessarily close with Memphis because of poor ball handling (14 turnovers resulted in the Grizzlies scoring 15 points in transition) and poor free-throw shooting (21 of 35; 60%). Despite any areas of progress, mistakes similar to the ones described above won't cut it against the Celtics.

-- Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

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

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has his driving layup challenged by Celtics big men Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins during the 109-96 loss Jan. 31 to Boston at Staples Center. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Photo: Lakers power forward Pau Gasol fouls Celtics guard Ray Allen as he drives the baseline during the loss to the Celtics. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Photo: Lakers forward Ron Artest tries to catch his balance while center Andrew Bynum attempts to grab an offensive rebound versus Boston last month. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
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Have Lakers progressed since last matchup with Boston?

No...this is still the same Lakers that everyone wants to dismantle...lol

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On another front...about PSP and 888 on Jerry Sloan...just hot off the presses...

Jerry Sloan to retire...apparently DWill and Sloan got into it at halftime in last night's game and after the game too...Curious situation here...will the Utah fans support DWill or Sloan...no matter to Deron...if he is hated, more likely he decides to take his talent elsewhere after his last year next year...

will the Utah fans support DWill or Sloan...no matter to Deron...if he is hated, more likely he decides to take his talent elsewhere after his last year next year...Posted by: LEWSTRS | February 10, 2011 at 01:54 PM
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The word is, if the Knicks can't get CP3 they will go after DWill. Both their contracts expire the same year. Of course this is contingent on Melo going to the Knicks this year or a least this summer.

Iheart24, Mamba24,

MM threads are like the speeches Horny Mubarak....they're winded and never ends. You can just dream that they will be concise and conclusive. I will be only half asleep tonight after listening to that speech, a Ferdinand Marcos rewind. lol!

Hey Art,

Two things I'd like to see, Bynum will be there in 4th quarter makes the difference and win one for the Lakers blog. Second, Artest will smack at KG from back, front or his behind, indeed a fragrant foul but a painful lesson for the thug.

The word is, if the Knicks can't get CP3 they will go after DWill. Both their contracts expire the same year. Of course this is contingent on Melo going to the Knicks this year or a least this summer.

Posted by: mamba24 | February 10, 2011 at 01:58 PM
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The other one could land in LALALAND!!!!!

eh, we've improved our 4th Quarter D, that's for sure, if that effort can be seen tonight, the game will be close. Green Jerseys are hurting, it's a perfect opportunity to remind everyone else why the Title comes through L.A.

I've lonnnng envisioned DWil or CP3 here (looong). Over the two I'd prefer CP3 though. I think he's more complete as a player. If only we can free up some salary by then...

Ah...not expecting much from this laker squad except more of the same. 90% chance they end up losing tonight in boston - same lack of execution and the only one showing up is kobe. how in the heck is this team getting to the wcf - let alone meet boston in the finals.

sure would love to see a win against boston tonight but this laker team keeps disapointing. get your hopes up and get the same ol' crappy effort from this team.

i'm sure it's doubtful that they get melo but that sure would make the rest of the season exciting. Realize that length can win in the playoffs but if bynum isn't playing then might as well trade his sorry can and get someone like melo.

if they lose tonight i'm done watching this team until the playoffs.

From a friend of mine: Introducing the Paul Pierce drinking game!!!

Everytime Paul Pierce falls down and acts like "it hurts" (i.e. - lay on the floor for a long time, check for blood, make painful faces, etc) you have to take a shot.

Who's in? LOL

I recommend doing this with beer. Do it with anything else, and kiss your liver goodbye!!

Freaking bring Sloan to the lakers next year!!!! He would be kicking this team's azz for not winning games. No bs for players not trying - he'd yank their butt to the bench.

Oh yea!!!!!!! Found the replacement for PJ!!!!

No and even Kobe admitted that the turn time is too soon to make any significant difference. They are the same team and the only thing that will require change is the determination, desire and will to win "by any means necessary."

The remainder of this road trip will either make or literally break (up) the Lakers. I argue that the 2nd games of the back - backs ( NY and then Charlotte) following Bos and Orl are critical wins and Cleve is a must . You see, Bos and Orl are top tier teams and at this stage of their (Lakers) game, those teams are expected to challenge them but losing to NY (who lost to the Clips yesterday), Charl and Cleve is simply inexcusable as far as the FO is concerned. This is "audition" time for the team so beating Bos & Orl will be the feather in their cap that just might keep this team together, otherwise the FO will be looking hard to make a viable move.
As much as I’m down on Bynum’s decision to delay his surgery (and I don’t want to debate the details of the delay itself) and my impression of his propensity to be injured (whether it’s his fault or not), I think the team takes the chance and keep him around. The worse that can happen is that if he goes down again, then the team will have to make do with Pau in the middle – it will be time for him to man up again and get it done.
Drew actually has a year left after this season (team has player option for the following year) so now he becomes valuable and gives the team options due to his expiring contract a la Sasha. As constructed, this team is built to win another championship this season so they have to go all out in that regard. If they lose the big prize, then they can worry about gearing up for another run while Kobe, Pau, Lamar and Artest are still on board.
Drew is a gamble. That’s a 7’1” 285LB 23 year old with the wingspan of a pterodactyl that can cause havoc at the right time in big games – translation: playoffs. The trick is for him to be available during that time of the season and therein lies the gamble which obviously runs through the veins of the younger Buss – it’s a genetic thing. Sure makes this road trip much more interesting now, doesn’t it? This is bigger than the Celtics and any other rivalry facing the Lakers. This is all about their season.

Another relevant question is have the Celtics taken a step or 2 back w/injuries to Shaq (inflamed Achilles), Semih Erden (right abductor strain), Marquis Daniels (bruised spinal cord) and Jermaine O'Neal (knee surgery). Perhaps genius Danny Ainge should be concerned that the Celtics' medical brain trust cleared the O'Neals for the rigors of the NBA this season and said they were good to go. Maybe the question genius Danny should have asked his medical gurus is "Good to go where"?

It's a sad day for the NBA. Jerry Sloan is the epitomy of old-school hard work and determination. We rarely see that anymore, except Laker fans get to see it while Kobe is still with us. That is why I love the Lakers (Kobe) and guys like Jerry Sloan who bring it every night.

Via con dios Jerry! Loved to watch your teams compete!

I agree, Nuggets. Jerry Sloan is a quality coach who chooses hustle over stardom. I've always admired his hard-nosed approach.

No in-fighting today, peeps. It's time to join forces and CRUSH the green ones. Paula might be playing possum, but don't let that fool you.

Go Lake Show!

would also like cp3 or d-will on the team one day,but would prefer d-will since he is tuffer,and don't forget taller,you know we laker fans prefer taller over skills amy day...lol

..shoulda said bigger/taller...lol

So, now that I'm at my desk ...

Staples24,

you wrote: To put it very blunt to you, EVERY NBA TEAM WANTS BYNUM except you, EVERY GM dreams of having BYNUM. I'm just glad you are not the son of JERRY BUSS, then Lakers would really be in trouble.

my response: Here are a few teams who don't want Bynum --

Nets -- http://espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=310114013

Kings -- http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=310128013

Bulls, Suns, Clippers, Mavericks, & the Magic.

From a friend of mine: Introducing the Paul Pierce drinking game!!! Everytime Paul Pierce falls down and acts like "it hurts" (i.e. - lay on the floor for a long time, check for blood, make painful faces, etc) you have to take a shot. Who's in? LOL I recommend doing this with beer. Do it with anything else, and kiss your liver goodbye!! Posted by: #4 | February 10, 2011 at 02:48 PM
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ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LEWSTRS

This one's for you, baybeee!
~~~~~~~

TrueFan1947 (5/3/2010 at 9:13 PM)

lewstrs (5/3/2010 at 9:06 PM)

888 - Chowds in the Finals is best scenario for me...

We will have HCA...and we have unfinished business...

The only problem...TrueFan would over dose from excitement, if we beat them...and Lord helps him if we go to seven games...lol
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I want the Celtics losing to the Lakers in the FINALS for the NEXT 15 CONSECUTIVE YEARS! In the process, let all the Celtics old-timers come to all the games so they can take their FULL MEASURE of soul-crushing disappointment from it! When all is said and done, may the Celtics be reviled, detested and ridiculed by the entire population of BOSTON! Maybe THEN I will have slaked my thirst! But only MAYBE!

Jerry Sloan was voted the toughest Bulls player of all time. A no nonsense old school guy who had simply had it with todays players. Have a good retirement Jerry, you earned it my brother.

@Frmkt, Excellent Post!!!

Freaking bring Sloan to the lakers next year!!!! He would be kicking this team's azz for not winning games. No bs for players not trying - he'd yank their butt to the bench. Oh yea!!!!!!! Found the replacement for PJ!!!!
Posted by: DaveWeinstein | February 10, 2011 at 02:51 PM
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You think? LMAO!!!! I think you got something there Dave!

Lakers can't progress with Fisher getting major minutes.

Who can Fisher guard? Not Rondo or Ray Allen.

Kobe should hold Fisher accountable for porous defense.

From NuggetsCountry - "Jerry Sloan is the epitomy of old-school hard work and determination. We rarely see that anymore, except Laker fans get to see it while Kobe is still with us."

Dude I agree with you 110%, well said. It's too bad that a lil punk ass like Deron Williams made Sloan resign. You know it had to be really bad for Sloan to quit. Would love to see a firey coach like him come to the Lakes next year.

I want the Celtics losing to the Lakers in the FINALS for the NEXT 15 CONSECUTIVE YEARS! In the process, let all the Celtics old-timers come to all the games so they can take their FULL MEASURE of soul-crushing disappointment from it! When all is said and done, may the Celtics be reviled, detested and ridiculed by the entire population of BOSTON! Maybe THEN I will have slaked my thirst! But only MAYBE!


Posted by: KobeMVP888 | February 10, 2011 at 03:15 PM

This did happen ... You just got the names mixed up!

Yes! It's definitely pay back time, our boys need to ride into Boston a hi jack that lil leprechaun.Because were the champs and time to let those boston fans no the lakers can actually win a big game against a contender.After all you play enough of these games and chances are your barn to win one.This is it keep the streak going to 3 in a row.
Go Lakeers!

I want the Celtics losing to the Lakers in the FINALS for the NEXT 15 CONSECUTIVE YEARS! In the process, let all the Celtics old-timers come to all the games so they can take their FULL MEASURE of soul-crushing disappointment from it! When all is said and done, may the Celtics be reviled, detested and ridiculed by the entire population of BOSTON! Maybe THEN I will have slaked my thirst! But only MAYBE! Posted by: KobeMVP888 | February 10, 2011 at 03:15 PM
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GOD@#%$!!! Yes, Yes, Yes I have to say it...OUT FREAKIN STANDING SIR!!!

Freaking bring Sloan to the lakers next year!

Posted by: DaveWeinstein | February 10, 2011 at 02:51 PM
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Uggh. While Phil Jackson is irreplaceable, this would be like bringing in Marty Schottenheimer or, even worse, Norv Turner. Do we really want the Lakers being measured by regular season success? If we're going to go old, give me Larry Brown, but let's give B-Shaw his shot.

would also like cp3 or d-will on the team one day,but would prefer d-will since he is tuffer,and don't forget taller,you know we laker fans prefer taller over skills amy day...lol

Posted by: VI Lakerfan | February 10, 2011 at 03:12 PM
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DWill has higher bball IQ, perfect fit for the Lakers.

This did happen ... You just got the names mixed up!

Posted by: 131-92 | February 10, 2011 at 03:25 PM
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No, YOU got the names mixed up. That post was not authored by me. I'm incapable of such brilliance OR passion.

@cyber, mclyne,sean

The PSP is glad to have an increasing number of card carrying members of the "the PSP are not as entertaining or witty as they think they are". Good job on the recruiting guys!

@PracticeSeason888

Son you said again, 'Rodman is the reason the Bulls won the 97 championship'. Where do the PSP start to argue/break this down? It's like the PSP saying 1+1=2 and you say no, 1+1=3. The PSP is stumped on this one. Is anyone else not seeing this statement?? let me put it in bold what practiceseason888 said:

RODMAN IS THE REASON THE BULLS WON THE 97 CHAMPIONSHIP

Ok the PSP will let the blog decide, please help! Do you or do you not agree with the above statement?

Thanks
PSP Solutions Architect

No, YOU got the names mixed up. That post was not authored by me. I'm incapable of such brilliance OR passion.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | February 10, 2011 at 03:27 PM

Espcially during the "practice season" ... I wonder if the teams will wear their reversibles tonite?

Dude I agree with you 110%, well said. It's too bad that a lil punk ass like Deron Williams made Sloan resign. You know it had to be really bad for Sloan to quit. Would love to see a firey coach like him come to the Lakes next year.

Posted by: PurpleHeart | February 10, 2011 at 03:23 PM

@PurpleHeart- bro, maybe Williams was the straw that broke the camel's back, Jerry wouldn't let any pissant player make him quit, there were a lot of things that Jerry can point to, and everyone else who saw his squad chuck a lot of his hard work and principles.

He's coached the flex system to Europeans, Africans, guys straight ouf High School.

PurpleHeart, times today are different. Players need a certain...'lovefest' from owners and/coaches. Williams is very insecure, like a lot of talented people and rather than listen to a guy who helped get him to where is and than disrespects him.

No doubt Williams was a catalyst, there are more combustible elements around Sloan that that.

Edwin - What do you mean they're winded?


“I want the Celtics losing to the Lakers in the FINALS for the NEXT 15 CONSECUTIVE YEARS! In the process, let all the Celtics old-timers come to all the games so they can take their FULL MEASURE of soul-crushing disappointment from it! When all is said and done, may the Celtics be reviled, detested and ridiculed by the entire population of BOSTON! Maybe THEN I will have slaked my thirst! But only MAYBE!”
...
Posted by: KobeMVP888 | February 10, 2011 at 03:15 PM
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This did happen ... You just got the names mixed up!
...
Posted by: 131-92 | February 10, 2011 at 03:25 PM
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@131-92... You’re actually correct that it did happen but it was the dates and not the names that you got mixed up. And the drought lasted 20 years and not just 15. Actually, I think you also misunderstood KobeMVP888 because he was talking about the next 15 years when the Celtics once again become irrelevant and a historical footnote.
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TOM

No, YOU got the names mixed up. That post was not authored by me. I'm incapable of such brilliance OR passion. Posted by: KobeMVP888 | February 10, 2011 at 03:27 PM
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Especially during the "practice season" ... I wonder if the teams will wear their reversibles tonite? Posted by: 131-92 | February 10, 2011 at 03:34 PM
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ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Honestly, I don't know that much about the Jazz's playoff record excep the lakers seems to take them out. However, I think sloan would be a hard ass and make these guys produce.

PJ has been blessed to have so much talent around him. Granted, he has won the 11 rings - but it sure seems like he could be getting more out of these guys.

I agree that lakers don't want to burn out before the playoffs but don't you think with all this talent the lakers should be rolling with still room to peak?

To me it's quite unbelieveable that they have a hard time beating sub .500 teams.

131-92 I see you have your game face on!!!! Very good sir...Carry On!!

Have Lakers progressed since last matchup with Boston?


That is the $64,000 question. The progression should not be limited to the Lakers players however, because Phil Jackson has some progress to make as well. The following are my biggest concerns:

1) PAU GASOL'S AGGRESSIVENESS:

This is a critical game for Pau as he was punked in the last game against Boston with a series of low post fade-away jumpers instead of making strong moves to the basket. It is not entirely on Pau in terms of getting good looks.......some of the responsibility falls on Phil Jackson and his ability to diagram sequences to get Pau some good looks on the move (more on Phil Later) instead of just trying to post Pau on the block........Boston has proven their bigs can contain Pau 1 on 1 and can effectively deny him position in the post............Phil has to figure a way to design plays to Gasol's strength rather than playing to Pau's weakness...........which happens to be strong post play


2) PHIL JACKSON'S COACHING
This aspect can't be stressed enough because through the years although Phil has racked up rings with Jordan and Bryant............Phil has been very stubborn in his "triangle" play............he stays in it no matter what. Case in point during the 2008 Finals against Boston in game 4............the Lakers were up by 18 or 20 points when Doc Rivers went to a smaller lineup............for the remainder of that 3rd quarter the Lakers couldn't score to slow the Celtics momentum nor did Phil Jackson make one offensive adjustment to what he was doing....................in between naps on the bench Phil just bellowed........."RUN YOUR OFFENSE"...............Suffice it to say we lost that game..........along with the series. Later Tex Winter of all people was quoted as saying........."I think we stayed in the triangle too long".........TEX WINTER SAID THAT!


3) LUKE WALTON

We have to keep Luke Walton glued to the bench........there is not one person on Boston's team who this guy can check. Unfortunately for us the last game against Boston Ron Artest injured himself and although it was very obvious to me and Mark Jackson...............Phil Jackson said nothing about how slow Ron was moving............instead at the 9:33 mark Phil Jackson inserted Luke Walton to check the red hot Paul Pierce...............the score when Luke checked in was tied at 57

What ensued was typical Luke Walton...........slow lumbering strides up the floor and piss poor defense. The first play saw Luke Walton getting caught in a pick n roll with Pierce and Perkins.............Gasol had to switch to Pierce as Paul prepared to scorch the moonwalking Walton.............this left Walton on Perkins (another mismatch).....and Perkins immediately began screaming for the ball............"HEY.....GET ME THE BALL!"...............The ball was reversed back to Perkins on the block against the slow-footed Walton and Odom had to come and help..............Perkins swung the ball and put the lakers in a scrambling rotation and one pass later Pierce was wide open for a three.


Just when you thought Walton couldn't get any worse, Walton was again slow to react as his movements resembled someone walking through quicksand........result? Another Pierce 3!

The next possession Walton forgetting about basketball defense 101 which is maintaining sight on the ball and your man by dropping below your man.

Walton was totally blindsided by Pierce as Luke lost track of Paul totally which resulted in an easy layup for Pierce on an assist by Rondo

By the time the Lakers coaching staff could awaken Phil............we were down 68-62 at the 5:16 mark of the third quarter. Phil promptly removed Walton.............but the damage was done.

Well we all would think that with all the trade talk, that our boys will come out fired up - especially the ones who have been part of the talks (Bynum, Artest, Shannon, Pau). I fully expect these guys as well as the entire team to come out focused, energized and hustle their a$$es off, and win.

Especially during the "practice season" ... I wonder if the teams will wear their reversibles tonite? Posted by: 131-92 | February 10, 2011 at 03:34 PM
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ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: mamba24 | February 10, 2011 at 03:43 PM

What up mamba? Im looking for a 99-94 final tonite!!

@131-92... You’re actually correct that it did happen but it was the dates and not the names that you got mixed up. And the drought lasted 20 years and not just 15. Actually, I think you also misunderstood KobeMVP888 because he was talking about the next 15 years when the Celtics once again become irrelevant and a historical footnote.
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TOM

Posted by: LakerTom | February 10, 2011 at 03:42 PM

In Danny we trust ... Everyone else pays cash!!

In Danny we trust ... Everyone else pays cash!! Posted by: 131-92 | February 10, 2011 at 03:52 PM
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LOL!

Nothing like a Lakers fan questioning Coach Eleven Rings' coaching, doubting the abilities of the best all-around 7 footer on the planet and, for good measure, trashing Luke Walton for no apparent reason. When MM said that all Lakers fans do is complain, just read the double post at 03:47 PM as Exhibit "A."

“….afterwards it was Hobbit & Kblitz who are no longer posting…
Posted by: Edwin Gueco | February 09, 2011 at 09:13 PM”

[…]
“Posted by: hobbitmage | February 10, 2011 at 03:14 PM”

Edwin- you are having a bad day, huh?

I join everyone in wishing Coach Sloan all the best. He is a class act. I never heard him take cheap shots at any players (his own or other teams). I never heard him whine/complain when he lost and he always complimented teams that beat him. I have a lot of respect for what he accomplished as a player/coach. But having said that, without knowing ALL the details on what transpired between coach and DWill, I'm not comfortable laying all the blame on Deron.

What up mamba? Im looking for a 99-94 final tonite!! Posted by: 131-92 | February 10, 2011 at 03:50 PM
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Hey 131! Aint gonna happen. This is gonna be a blow out game!!! Both teams got something to prove and it aint gone be close. You would think Boston would be the one doing the Blowing out since it's in your house but...as my friend JovBatz44 says LAKERS ALL DAY!!! Now if, and I say IF the Celtics win you know what that means 131? Yes, Yes, Yes!!! It's a ...Practice Game! LOL! Enjoy the game 131 and may both teams come out as healthy as they came in.

Edwin- you are having a bad day, huh? Posted by: phred | February 10, 2011 at 03:55 PM
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Stop that phred! Stop that now!!! ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

@LRob Great Post on Coach Sloan my brother Kudos!!!! And tru dat on DWill.


@EDWIN... Good to hear from you and thanks for the advice. As you well know, sometimes when you’re older you just get up on the wrong side of the bed and what happens just happens. LOL. And believe me, I’ve toned it down a lot and even have made progress with hobbitmage.
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TOM

Yes, Yes, Yes!!! It's a ...Practice Game! LOL! Enjoy the game 131 and may both teams come out as healthy as they came in.

Posted by: mamba24 | February 10, 2011 at 03:58 PM

I was thinking the same thing!

Jerry Sloan was voted the toughest Bulls player of all time. A no nonsense old school guy who had simply had it with todays players. Have a good retirement Jerry, you earned it my brother.
Posted by: mamba24 | February 10, 2011 at 03:19 PM
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Mamba,

Sloan had a very good teacher in coach Motta. Those were some tough teams, Sloan, Van Lier, Howard Porter, Boerwinkle/Ray, Butterbean Love and my favorite Chet Walker. They almost got over the hump in 1975 but lost gm7 in the conference finals in a game eerily similar to the Lakers-Celtics gm 7 last year. Neither team could hit a shot.

I join everyone in wishing Coach Sloan all the best. He is a class act. I never heard him take cheap shots at any players (his own or other teams). I never heard him whine/complain when he lost and he always complimented teams that beat him. I have a lot of respect for what he accomplished as a player/coach. But having said that, without knowing ALL the details on what transpired between coach and DWill, I'm not comfortable laying all the blame on Deron.

Posted by: LRob | February 10, 2011 at 03:56 PM
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It would be out of character for you to do that, would it not?

Please allow me to be a little more controversial about it:

I can see Magic Johnson causing Paul Westhead to get fired, but Deron Williams causing Jerry Sloan to step down? On second thought, why not. While I wish him well, I have no love for Jerry Sloan. Nor should I. I'm a Lakers fan and his team impeded our progress in the late 90's because Phil had yet to arrive (Do Blame Del Harris), but they have been our doormat ever since.

First of all, Jerry Sloan makes the Lakers shoot at the wrong end at Staples Center because he likes to coach his team on offense in the second half and his bench is on the side that the Lakers play the second half of 90% of the home games. Opposing coaches are given their choice which side to start the game, but everyone defers to the wishes of the Lakers except Sloan and one other coach who I forget. So that bothers me.

Second, the guy is a glorified regular season success, no more. This was his 27th year coaching and all he has to show for it is a 2-4 record in the WCF and 0-2 record in the NBA Finals despite 22 playoff appearances, the bulk of which were with two first ballot Hall of Famers. Is there ANYONE in here who thinks that either Phil Jackson, Pat Riley or Gregg Poppovich would not have gotten those guys to win at least ONE championship? I think they would have won multiple championships with either PJ, Pop and maybe even Riles as their coach.

Jerry Sloan is a great coach along the lines of Nellie and George Karl. No more, no less. As basketball fans, I appreciate everyone's diplomacy and appreciation of him, but as Lakers fans he falls into the category of a rival, not only as a coach, but when he played against us with his backcourt mate Norm Van Lier when they played for the Bulls. I have the pleasure of informing those of you who might not remember, but we beat his Bulls in the playoffs in 1968, 1971, 1972 and 1973, yet he NEVER beat us as a player. But I do wish him the very best.

Stephen Jackson or Gerald Wallace on this team would be sweet..Both are decent ballhandlers and playmakers. I am just clueless as to how this could ever happen money-wise....We need some more grit and grimey typa dudes on this team -- that go hard every game, show emotion and impose their physicality on the opposing team...

I want this game but compared to the Green Weenies we are sooooo soft beyond comprehension!! Just have to see.

MVP,

Yes, I can't judge a matter without knowing the facts. I hated losing to Jerry's teams in the late 90's, but I think it was necessary for that group of Lakers to go through those growing pains. The only problem I had with those Utah teams were some of Stockton dirty plays and I thought the refs let them get away with too much.

I evaluate coaches on whether or not they beat the teams they're supposed to beat in the playoffs. He had one bad loss that stands out to me and that was the 60 win 1995 team that was up by 10pts with 3-4 minutes left at home vs. Houston and blew it. They lost that game more than Houston won it. They also had a few years where they exceeded expectations...I believe 94 and 07.


I agree with your rankings for the most part....he would be under PJ, LB, Riles, Pop, RT. But I would put him over Nelly and Karl. Greatness was his if he could've figured out a way to beat the Bulls and he couldn't get it done!

I am glad you corrected your error and put HOFer Lenny Wilkens above Coach Sloan.

I had with those Utah teams were some of Stockton dirty plays and I thought the refs let them get away with too much.

Posted by:LRob | February 10, 2011 at 04:44 PM

Now, now. Don't think we're anything special. He played dirty with every other team too!!! LOL

LakerTom- i actually think you are doing pretty good.

Now, now. Don't think we're anything special. He played dirty with every other team too!!! LOL

Posted by: sean | February 10, 2011 at 04:56 PM

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

Oh yeah...it was equal opportunity. I didn't mean he just did it to the Lakers.

Good for Jerry... He wasn't "chased out." He WALKED OUT! That's a statment telling the next team he coaches that it's his way or the highway! The Jazz - D. Will - have just made it easier for the Clippers!!

His teams play hard and whoever doesn't want to play gets to watch the game from the bench. I have a feeling he's going to be interviewed by L.A. This team might have to ditch the triangle for a tougher coach. I think Kobe would welcome it and Gasol will benefit the most.

If the Lakers can't pull through this game, June doesn't look very hopeful. I've been giving the Lakers the benefit of the doubt, waiting and waiting for them to turn their game around...they have yet to win a game against a good competitor (Spurs, Heat, Celtics...basically every team with a better record than them.) Although their record thus far is quite similar to their record last season, it's alarming that they can't win against a good, solid team. Playoffs and finals aren't gonna get any easier...Bynum's knee isn't progressing as expected...Pau's inconsistency is getting more and more inconsistent...Fish and Artest have hot or cold games...Barnes is greatly needed! Let's turn this around!

Back to Back

Boston is the excellence of execution. The Lakers are inconsistent in all aspects. We are in trouble folks and this is not a practice season. We are getting run out of the garden.

Have Lakers progressed since last matchup with Boston?


That is the $64,000 question. The progression should not be limited to the Lakers players however, because Phil Jackson has some progress to make as well. The following are my biggest concerns:

1) PAU GASOL'S AGGRESSIVENESS:

This is a critical game for Pau as he was punked in the last game against Boston with a series of low post fade-away jumpers instead of making strong moves to the basket. It is not entirely on Pau in terms of getting good looks.......some of the responsibility falls on Phil Jackson and his ability to diagram sequences to get Pau some good looks on the move (more on Phil Later) instead of just trying to post Pau on the block........Boston has proven their bigs can contain Pau 1 on 1 and can effectively deny him position in the post............Phil has to figure a way to design plays to Gasol's strength rather than playing to Pau's weakness...........which happens to be strong post play


2) PHIL JACKSON'S COACHING
This aspect can't be stressed enough because through the years although Phil has racked up rings with Jordan and Bryant............Phil has been very stubborn in his "triangle" play............he stays in it no matter what. Case in point during the 2008 Finals against Boston in game 4............the Lakers were up by 18 or 20 points when Doc Rivers went to a smaller lineup............for the remainder of that 3rd quarter the Lakers couldn't score to slow the Celtics momentum nor did Phil Jackson make one offensive adjustment to what he was doing....................in between naps on the bench Phil just bellowed........."RUN YOUR OFFENSE"...............Suffice it to say we lost that game..........along with the series. Later Tex Winter of all people was quoted as saying........."I think we stayed in the triangle too long".........TEX WINTER SAID THAT!


3) LUKE WALTON

We have to keep Luke Walton glued to the bench........there is not one person on Boston's team who this guy can check. Unfortunately for us the last game against Boston Ron Artest injured himself and although it was very obvious to me and Mark Jackson...............Phil Jackson said nothing about how slow Ron was moving............instead at the 9:33 mark Phil Jackson inserted Luke Walton to check the red hot Paul Pierce...............the score when Luke checked in was tied at 57

What ensued was typical Luke Walton...........slow lumbering strides up the floor and piss poor defense. The first play saw Luke Walton getting caught in a pick n roll with Pierce and Perkins.............Gasol had to switch to Pierce as Paul prepared to scorch the moonwalking Walton.............this left Walton on Perkins (another mismatch).....and Perkins immediately began screaming for the ball............"HEY.....GET ME THE BALL!"...............The ball was reversed back to Perkins on the block against the slow-footed Walton and Odom had to come and help..............Perkins swung the ball and put the lakers in a scrambling rotation and one pass later Pierce was wide open for a three.


Just when you thought Walton couldn't get any worse, Walton was again slow to react as his movements resembled someone walking through quicksand........result? Another Pierce 3!

The next possession Walton forgetting about basketball defense 101 which is maintaining sight on the ball and your man by dropping below your man.

Walton was totally blindsided by Pierce as Luke lost track of Paul totally which resulted in an easy layup for Pierce on an assist by Rondo

By the time the Lakers coaching staff could awaken Phil............we were down 68-62 at the 5:16 mark of the third quarter. Phil promptly removed Walton.............but the damage was done.


Posted by: pfunk36 | February 10, 2011 at 03:47 PM

=========
I missed the game yesterday but you sure are right on about PJ.
But to give credit when due. I heard some adjustments were made, but I don't know if it was PJ or bench coaches making the adjustments


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