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Five ways to improve the Lakers' bench

Sorting through all the offensive and defensive issues that's plaguing the Lakers' reserves, Lamar Odom came to a painful conclusion.

"If I had to grade it," he said, "the last 10 games would be a C and close to an F."

Odom shared that sentiment following Saturday's practice at El Segundo in his typically laid-back and straight forward manner. But his admission last season that he takes personal offense when the bench plays poorly surely means he's not satisfied one bit. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson acknowledged he's addressed the bench's inconsistency frequently during practice, but without being overly dramatic about it considering the Lakers (52-20) enter Sunday's game against New Orleans (42-31) with a 14-1 mark since the All-Star break.

Once the playoffs start, Jackson also won't rely as much on his reserves. He'll instead hand out more minutes to his starters, changing his approach from developing the team to ensuring victories. Still, a key variable determining how well the Lakers will look entering the postseason hinges on their health and energy level, two variables the bench can alleviate with more consistent play.

"If there's a good thing out of this, it's that you have time to fix it," Lakers reserve guard Steve Blake said. "We have 10 games left for the playoffs to get it out of our system."

Below the jump are five ideas how to do just that.

1. Maintain leads. Even with the Lakers nursing a 22-point fourth-quarter lead March 6 against San Antonio, Jackson grew tired of the Spurs making a late run while the reserves settled for outside shots. So he yanked the reserves out of the lineup in favor of Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher with 5:57 remaining, sending a clear message that Jackson's tolerance for mistakes and poor decision making won't be as much tolerated as they make a late-season push. The bench may have gotten the message, but it hasn't consistently shown it can reverse poor habits. Jackson lamented the bench's performance in the Lakers' 112-104 victory Friday over the Clippers for blowing a 21-point lead and opening the second half with three turnovers.

2. Find other ways to contribute on offense through shooting slumps: The beginning of the Lakers' season featured a bench seemingly able to adapt right away. The reasons pointed to Steve Blake's instant understanding of the triangle, Matt Barnes' ability to slash through the lane and make hustle plays and Shannon Brown's renewed outside shooting. Blake's shooting went 41.7% in November to 33.% to December, jumped to 43.8% in January and then spiked down to 33.3% in February and 29.3% in March. The poor marks has caused him to remain passive in shooting the ball and making himself less threatening as a passer.

Brown's shooting mark from November (48%) to December (40.2%), jumped slightly in January (43%) and then fell again in February (41.1%) and March (41.4%). He's maintained his aggressiveness and athleticism that helps him remain a Staples Center favorite, but he hasn't tempered his shot selection in settling for outside jumpers. Blake and Brown are often seeing in pre-game warmups so they have the right attitude in fixing it, but the extra work hasn't translated on the court.

Meanwhile, Barnes hasn't been able to replicate the 7.4 points and 4.8 rebounds he averaged per contest before tearing his lateral meniscus in his right knee Jan. 7 against New Orleans, an injury that kept him sidelined for 26 games. Since then, Barnes has only scored in double digits in one game, settles for open jumpers and doesn't maintain the same aggressiveness he had prior to his injury.

The aftermath of the Lakers' 94-88 loss March 10 to the Miami Heat correctly centered on Bryant's eight of 21 shooting and two late turnovers, Andrew Bynum's one first-half rebound and Ron Artest's missed layup in the final minute. But it also featured The Killer B's scoring only five points and failing to record a field goal in 33 minutes.

3. Make defensive stops. The Lakers changed their identity after the All-Star break into a more defensive oriented team, allowing only 87 points per contest before last week's games. The Lakers' defensive identity this season has mostly rested on the Lakers' starters, however, ranging from Bynum's rebounding, shot blocking and paint presence, Artest's steals and one-on-one defense and Derek Fisher's charges and deflections. No where has that presence been felt from the reserves. 

4. Slow the pace down: In turn, part of the reserves struggles defensively has correlated to their never-ending want to push the pace. As fun as it is to see Odom finish on coast-to-coast drives, Brown to slam home a dunk or Blake to set someone up on the break, the reserves have often forced this style of the play at the expense of making good decisions. 

5. Odom should take charge:  His 14.4 points on 53.7% shooting and 8.8 rebounds per game have come pretty consistently. After assuming the starter's role during Bynum's two-game absence, Odom's return to the bench featured nine points on three-of-nine shooting, hardly the kind of performance the Lakers want from him. This is a minor issue at best, but taking immediate control of the unit should help kickstart them. After all, he's the one handing out the grade.

Summed up Jackson: "They have to develop an identity for themselves."

--Mark Medina

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From a previous thread....

In the end, "troll" rhymes with "scroll". Go Lakers!

Posted by: Vman | March 26, 2011 at 09:01 AM

Cheers, Vman....words to live by!!

Bulls eked out a win in Milwaukee...I was hoping the Bucks could take them out but DRose closed the game very well and the Bulls defense down the stretch clamped down and didn't allow the Bucks to score. Final score 95-87.

Dallas and Utah locked up in a tight one in the 4th Q. Go Jazz!

@MVP – Under the tie-breaker scenario you mentioned is it possible for the Lakers to be get the higher seed, but still not have HC. It seems like I recall that happened with someone else in the past.

Posted by: LRob | March 26, 2011 at 07:31 PM

That's a different rule you are thinking of where a team with a division title, but a WORSE record than a team that does NOT win its division, no longer gets HCA. So if the Lakers finished 58-24 and won the Pacific and the Mavs finished 59-23 and finished behind the Spurs, the Mavs would have HCA. In the scenario that Kevin Ding is referring to, the Lakers and Mavs would finish with identical records and in THAT case, the first tie breaker is winning the division, not head-to-head.

I'm not the least bit worried about the bench come playoff time. The B's and Lamar have plenty of playoff experience and the minutes will be shortened as necessary, especially as the Lakers get deeper into the playoffs. The biggest factor is that Kobe's minutes have been kept down for the most part this season and he'll be ready to go 38-40 mpg. Shannon Brown will be the first player to have his minutes reduced unless we need his physicality against bigger point guards like perhaps Jason Kidd from time to time, although Kobe typically guards him, so then Shannon or Blake will guard Jason Terry. George Hill is another potential match up for Shannon as might be Russell Westbrook when Kobe's resting and Westbrook's on the floor. In any event, I'm looking forward to the very reason Barnes and Blake signed with the Lakers. I'm sure deep down inside, they are thinking what I am thinking, which is:

Give me the PLAYOFFS already!!

Note to Blake: Farmar tried to push the pace, he got pushed to NJ.
Note to Brown: Sasha kept forcing the issue, he, too, is in NJ.
Note to Barnes: Your knees are fine. The Docs say so.
To the Killer Bs: Stop enjoying watching the game, take part.

---"the rest of the NBA is going to be hard pressed to catch up with what may be a better Lakers team than the two that won the last two championships. "---

You hit it on the head Tom.
Impressive as the last two Champion teams have been, this particular squad can eclipse them if we all stay healthy. And we're going to need it because, IMO, the could be better than they have ever been.

I know I'm saying this at a time when the Celtics are 4-6 in their last 10 games and their stock couldn't be lower, but please here me out.

What the Celtics did to their team this year kind of reminds me of what the Spurs have done in the past couple of seasons, giving up defense for offense. Remember, Popp for years would use Bruce Bowen on the wing and get no scoring. Popps rational was that although Bruce wasn't scoring, his defensive prowess would make up for his offsets his offensive shortcomings. Now(with R.J) they pretty much get scoring from all five positions.

This brings me back to the Celtics. The trade that sent Perkins away also brought them a guy who has been known for torching the Lakers. Nenad Kristic!! Nobody is talking about this, but when Nenad was with the Nets he was unstoppable against us., Granted, Andrew wasn't the man he is today and Pau was only around for one of the games, but if Nenad goes off on us, I won't be the least bit surprised.

Nate Robinson was a spark plug off the bench for Boston, but Von Wafer has grown more and more confident with each year he has played. And given the fact that Kobe himself embraced this kid when he was here because of his competitive nature tells you something, It's scary to imagine the lack of conscience Von would have if he had a chance to stick it to his old team.

Tony Allen was a great defender, but had no offensive game. West is no slouch on the defensive end, but he has a track record of burning our guards.

Rasheed was horrible and the Celtics will be better by subtraction alone!! lol

If Shaq can get healthy(which I believe he already is and Doc is just saving him), the Celtics can still have a big inside presence. So anything left in J.O.'s tank would be just gravy for them.

Just some food for thought.


IMO, the CELTICS could be better than they have ever been.

Too much dribbling by the bench players. Mostly Blake and Brown they look lost out there. If they do'nt have it now they will not now. Hopefully Kobe will score more.

Too much dribbling by the bench players. Mostly Blake and Brown they look lost out there. If they do'nt have it now they will not now. Hopefully Kobe will score more.

Posted by: Anthony Scott | March 26, 2011 at 08:28 PM

I think it's just a little slump that is happening at the right time ... while we're winning. Blake, Barnes and Brown are playoff tested veterans. I'm not concerned.

I’m not worried about the bench. They’ll bounce back. Now is a good time to get the slump out of their system.

@Bronx – I watched the last 6 min of the Mavs-Jazz game and Dallas defense just shut down Utah, and turned them over leading to several fast break baskets. The most impressive part was they did it with Dirk on the bench.

@dan the man – Krstic shot 41% in playoffs vs. Lakers last year. I’m not worried about him or the Celtics…at all! Maybe when they get healthy I’ll revise my thinking, but that Perkins trade really hurt their chances this year.

@MVP – Thanks for the clarification.

Are they better than last year with Barnes, Blake and Brown as opposed to last year with Farmar, Sasha and Walton? I think so. But last year's crew won rings. This year's bench newcomers (Blake and Barnes) have to earn theirs.

Bronx... salut!

In other news, Barnes and Blake seem to be comfortable enough in the offense and and don't drop off defensively from the starters they replace.

Players are too often judged by what kind of shooting night they had. Blake has been better of late and Barnes was always streaky.

Which brings us to Shannon. Lord help the league if he ever figures out how to use all that athleticism. He's still a bit lost in the offense, indecisively pounding the ball on the outside. The fact that he comes in for Kobe who's always decisive, makes him look even more in doubt. If his shot is falling, when in doubt, shoot. 2 years is about time for the triangle to become second nature. If they run it, and they tend to in the playoffs, this could be his breakout year.

I have watched with interest the comments on Bynum's suspension. I have seen no comments on the scrum at the other end of the court with Andrew trying to score with at least three players hanging on him. It ended up with Andrew being called for an offensive foul.

I'm sure he was, rightly, furious and waiting for the first guy to try to drive. (Did he think the ref's would automatically call a charge to make up for the travesty at the other end? LOL) I seem to recall other Laker big men retaliating when tempers rose. Kareem usually used his fist.

My main point is the league took no notice of the lead up to the foul.

Are they better than last year with Barnes, Blake and Brown as opposed to last year with Farmar, Sasha and Walton? I think so. But last year's crew won rings. This year's bench newcomers (Blake and Barnes) have to earn theirs.

Posted by: bronxlakerfan | March 26, 2011 at 09:03 PM

That is exactly why they signed with the Lakers and what will motivate them to elevate their games in the playoffs. They have both bought into the system and when Coach Eleven Rings is finished with all his 82 game tweaking, refining and experimenting, he will keep the things that worked with these guys and toss out the crap that didn't work and draw up game plans designed to win a 7 game series which Mr. Blake and Mr. Barnes will anxiously and willingly execute as instructed. Of this I feel very confident.

The Chowds will only go as far as Rondo will take them...

If Rondo doesn't come back to his 'pre-Perkins trade' numbers...

I feel the Chowds lose in the second round...

I agree about Blake and Brown dribbling too much. It's gotten to the point where it's excessive. Last night, Blake looked like he was on a mission to prove himself so he was dribbling totally out of control all over the place and then took a shot and missed. He didn't even set up anything, pass, nothing. It was so not like him, but I noticed that play a lot from him last night.

Brown wants to prove he is a shooter so continues these outside jumpers which he really DOES NOT NEED. If the B's went deeper into the paint to take shots, they would be better. I hate outside jumpers, and I hate teams that live and die by the 3 (suns, magic, mavs, celtics sometimes) it just irritates me to no other.

We aren't that team and we should stop tryign to be and until the bench realizes that, I don't think they will "get it"

We aren't that team and we should stop tryign to be and until the bench realizes that, I don't think they will "get it"

Posted by: Diandra | March 26, 2011 at 10:20 PM

I think you will be pleasantly surprised in the playoffs.

Shaq is always good for some interesting quotes. Here's his latest from a Q&A with ESPN....

Q: How much do you look forward to the opportunity to go up against guys like Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum in the playoffs?

A: Excuse me? Don't ask me a question like that.

Q: But that's what people want to know. Those guys are playing so well and everyone wants to see if you can match up with them one-on-one.

A: First of all, they won't dare play me one-on-one, even at the tender age of 39. And you know what? Playin' those teams, it ain't gonna be about the [center] matchup, so I don't really worry about that.


unknown blogger
"Once you hurl an insult on someone then it can come back to you as a package of insults too. I think this is one of the complaints of Mike T., he expreseses his own views and people tear him up into pieces, so he retaliates the way he was raised in the past. "

Are you crazy? What do you know about the way I was raised? I learned how to be rude on this blog.
mike t.
Posted by: Michael C. Teniente | December 03, 2008 at 08:36 PM

Very good article on the challenges Melo (Lebron and DWade too) face in trying to reach the high standard that Kobe has set...

Citations for Commandments broken

LakerTom ---C#11.--- Thou shall rebuke all trade suggestions till a trade is actually made, then embrace it.
{{{{... As for trade proposals, same thing applies. If you have valid reasons for the trade, that is not being disloyal or a bad fan. That is just expressing your opinion and is fine.}}}}

LakerTom---C#20.--- Thou shall never speak for another blogger.
{{{{... I would like to respond on behalf of ....}}}}

LT these are 2 commandments broken in one day, say two "hail Lakers" and be careful next time.

downNout in BH ---C#25.--- Thou shall be loyal to this blog.
{{{{ COME AND TRY US AT RENEGADE blog. Trust me you will not be disappointed, you will be guaranteed 100 satisfaction or your money back. Now that I have your interest peaked, you might ask what is in it for me? Please allow me to highlight some of our strong points:
1. Every one shares the same thoughts.
2. Everyone agrees with each other
3. Everyone is each others lapdog
4. We pride in ourselves in wearing same clothes.
5. We exchange and love to exchange personal love songs with each other. It is so cutesy putesy!
6. Think of us as your extended family, you will receive the love and warmth to your hearts content.
7. We are a family

I know this was done in jest's a little to "cutesy putesy"

Brown and Blake are probably dribbling around a bit much because the natural reflexes/triggers are not ingrained in their brains extra dribble or two, throws the other players off, worsening the offense...until it becomes natural, this is a result. Once they stop having to think, and just trust the flow of the offense, as long as the other players are making their rotations, then their "over-dribbling" will cease.

Long live "The Fisher King"....


Enjoy this Classic from last year.

I'm not sure if we're allowed to quote directly from another blog, but this from Dexter Fishmore (is that a real name?) from Silver Screen and Roll had me in stitches:
"Of course, the most daunting challenge the Sixers face tonight is how to contain Derek Fisher's intangibles. Do you double-team his leadership? If so, you risk letting his veteran moxie take you out of the game. Like all Laker opponents, Philly can't take comfort from Fish's poor shooting. Missing wide-ass open jumpers doesn't matter in Fish's universe. They just make his contributions that much less tangible, and that much harder to defend against. Letting him brick shots just plays into his leader-y hands!
Poor, poor Jrue Holiday. He may be 15 years younger than Fish, but his so-called "skills" and "athletic ability" and "five functioning sense" will not avail him. Sure, he might force his ancient counterpart to shoot 4 for 15, but only a fool would look at those misses and think Fisher hasn't dominated the contest. His contributions don't show up in the box score, after all. They're not even perceptible to human eyes! Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider have studied Fish's game and concluded that not even at the subatomic level can his excellence be explained.
It's just part of the ineffable beauty of the universe, like a lover's kiss or the laughter of a newborn child. I feel silly even trying to put it into words. This crude system of letters and numbers mankind has created.... it's simply inadequate when it comes to Derek Fisher. May he forgive us all."
Posted by: LakerinBC
Additional laughter from Mike G-man who apparently didn't realize it was "tongue in cheek"
Posted by: Troll Man | February 27, 2010 at 11:53 PM

LRob, Excellent Picks.

The thing about Jerry's arrangements that I've noticed is that he locks into certain parts of the rhythm section and embellishes from there. Be it a guitar, keyboard or bass lick that repeats at optimum places in the song or instrumental. By optimum, I mean points in the verse, chorus or bridge that don't interfere with the vocal or lead instrument.

However, it's definitely not cookie-cutter. He augments those licks both harmonically and rhythmically. And only does it when it fits the arrangement. Also, he always has his own signature to the arrangement. That is, he doesn't just rely on embellishing rhythm section vamps.

For example, in EW&F's "After the Love Has Gone", Jerry harmonically embellishes the rhythmic piano riff that repeats in the chorus with the horns as the chorus repeats and builds in the song.

BTW--I'm Dedicating this Song to Princess Jimmy and the Meatles as they find out that there's NO SHORTCUTS IN LIFE!




LRob, as for Whaquille's comments, he's right in one sense: Howard and Drew both should be concerned about playing Whaquille one on one due to his 400lbs that he developed from all those Double-Doubles (IN-N-OUT, that is) over the years. He could easily flatten them like a pancake. LOL

But he does know that, if they should meet in the finals, the Black Mamba's venom will be striking so fiercely that he'll be on the bench in foul trouble so much he won't even get the chance to be embarrassed by Drew's dominance...



"Posted by: LakerinBC"

I don't know who you are, or if you still post. But as another LakerinBC I think you should come back!!!


That is a great song. I wore that album out that summer. (This fits right in with Lew’s earlier post on 1979). I don’t know all the techinal stuff like you…haha…I just know what sounds good. I do remember some of the EWF “snobs” disapproving because they felt it was too pop. But it was good by me. Jerry also did masterful arrangements for another song on that album called, “In the Stone”.

Here’s a interview I heard with him talking about his start with Seawind.


Trade Kobe Bryant for Lebron James. Lakers can WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS WITHOUT KOBE BRYANT. 30 mil a year for Kobe is not worth it. Get Lebron bandawagon now!
Posted by: Staples 24 | March 01, 2010 at 09:49 AM

(02) NO DRIVER -
Posted by: Mamba24 | March 01, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Someone should take over roll call now that mamba24 is gone...

OK, I'm gonna act like I care who is RSP and PSP and their alter "EGO"'s, and I ask that as a compliment? Let's kill a cat, I have curiosity....

Do the Roll call Dianda.Go Lakers three peat.Go Dfish.Go Kobe the greatest player of all time better than overhyped NBA pampered no competition in his time MJ....

Nice article by Heisler detailing the early Laker days in L.A....great comments about Elgin Baylor, too.

In the photo showing Baylor vs. the Boston Celtics, notice that Sam Jones' jersey says "Boston", while Don Nelson's says "Celtics". LOL! I think in those days, Auerbach was coach, general manager and equipment handler. The players probably had to wash their own uniforms. The NBA has certainly come a long way. Today's generation of millionaire ballplayers owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Baylors, Wests and Russells of that bygone era.

Good morning Laker Bloggers!

I am psyched for the game but really missing the roll call and Mamba24. After a win, he was a great person to gloat with. After a loss, he always had a positive thing to say. I tend to get down after a tough loss and he was always there to make me laugh - I live in VT and don't have anyone to talk to about my addiction... ;-) Other bloggers have said that he is the glue that holds the blog together and it is true. He always made people feel welcome no matter what their opinion and was a big part of why I started posting. I know for many of us, on game day, it was a ritual to read the roll call and get psyched. Here is to Mamba24!

Kobe ties MJ with 6 – 2 threepeats. Phil goes out with 12 – 4 threepeats. We pull even with Boston at #17 and end their franchise’s domination. And so it was written. And so it shall be done.

I am a Lakerholic.

PS: Mamba24, I know you are reading this. Life comes down to choices and values. You have to decide what is more important. Obviously, I wish you would come back. If it was me, I would want to go out in style – with another Championship! I support you either way. Peace.

This article will be "Caught in the Web," but our old "friend" T.J. Simers addresses Mr. S Perkins & His Merry Anti-Fish Pranksters. Enjoy!,0,3268855.column


Thanks for the links to the Shaq and Melo stories. I think Shaq has gone from the Big Aristotle to the Big Mouth. For someone that doesn't even play half a season any more, he sure has a lot of talk. Boston certainly is gambling on his health and availability for the upcoming playoffs. The O'Neals are definitely the key to Boston's chances.

As for Melo, it is a great example that great teams aren't constructed on paper. There has to be a chemistry and willingness to play for each other that just isn't there yet with Melo's Knicks. I wouldn't be surprised to see D'Antoni take the fall. He isn't known for coaching defense and until that team develops a defensive mentality, they are not going anywhere.

A shout out to Larry Mamba24...

We miss you and your energy and cheerful spirit, my friend. Hope that you and yours are doing well!!

Here's a selection for you Mamba24...

Thank you 888 for posting that fisher article in here. I just don't get it when it comes to some calling fisher the weak link. Like the article says "Its Idiotic". But now days less and less Veterans in their field of work are respected and honored for their dedication and workmanship. Fish has made an art of doing what he does. He is The Lakers Danny Ainge in someways. The difference is Fisher is a Fisher Of Men. He improves another mans journey by his very presence and knowledge of the game. PJ knows how important it is to have a Cornerstone on your bench. PJ loves to keep Veterans around to stabilize the Vigor and the Zeal in the younger players blood. As a Surveyor we have a book considered the Bible of Surveying :Writing Legal Descriptions by Gurdon H. Wattles. In this book one of the 1st order of precedents is : Find The Old Man.
If a boundary survey is being investigated and the old man says this is where the original monument once was , that statement holds greater weight then an instrument used to resurvey the positioning of the survey corner. PJ keep the old man fisher , his Golden Weight weighs more than modern day fanhood coaches who type on a blog.
Fish continue to be a fisherman of man and teach on Brother.

MVP888....Great article by Simers about Fish. Fish is the backbone of the team. His detractors only see his shortcomings, but not all the things he does well. Whenever I think of Fish, I think of KC Jones, starting point for Bill Russell's Celtics back in the day. He had a nine year career in which he averaged 7.4ppg & 4.3 assists. Mr. Jones shot .387 from the field and .647 from the FT line. Yet his contributions to the Boston dynasty of those days landed him in the Hall of Fame.

Fish's career stats are very similar...8.8ppg, 3.1 assts., .401 from the field, .375 from three, .816 FT's. Both men played about 25 mins. per game for their careers. Both have a serious understanding of what championship basketball was all about. Combined, they have enough rings to open a jewelry store.

Think about it:
Robert Hooray has 7 rings. His skills were one dimensional.
Derek Fisher has 5 rings and counting. His skills are multi dimensional.

Who is the more valuable player?

The NBA where The Fish does The Fishing Happens!!!!!

Fisher Throws out the Carp (Kaman).

Simers Insight?

"being unable to stay with the quicker guards, Jackson smiles and asks who can these days? He says once the game allowed great athletes to carry the ball, it made it nearly impossible for any one player to hang with quick guards."

There's a certain satisfaction when Phil agrees with your point.

I've harped about FIsh and the super star point guards in this league for 3 years. Who are these "lock down" point guards around the league that Fish isn't as good as? They don't exist.

It's all about makin' shots for most fans. But only Kobe gets to dominate the ball on this team. Fish can and will shoot well this post season. He'll get the job done, the job Phil thinks he can do... but what does he know?


Notice how PJ doesn't "blame" the inability of point guards to defend each other on the no-hand checking rules, but on the refs allowing them to palm the ball when they dribble? Remember when he tried that little dig on Steve Nash before the WCF last year? Man am I ever going to miss Phil Jackson!

Ugh - gameday without a roll call and prayer? Say it ain't so!
Here's my musical selection in consideration of the MIA mamba24
Let's get this done Lakers! 53-20, and 15-1 since the All-Star Break after tonight!

Horry was a SF who played out of position at the PF for the Lakers. He was a great defender, could shoot the 3, and in his younger days could finish above the rim. I'm not sure how that makes his skill set one dimensional? And no, this isn't a shot a Fish.

Since we're getting close to the Playoffs, I'll go with the Boss this morning:

The Promised Land

LRob, Thanks for the Jerry Hey interview link. I saw them at The Baked Potato. Got to meet them and talk a few times when they played the smaller venues.

When they moved up to A&M Records, they started playing larger venues, including Disneyland's Space Mountain Stage opening for The Crusaders. I didn't think about it then, but it's kinda ironic that a Christian Jazz/Funk Group opened for The Crusaders. Do you think some booking agent had a sense of humor in pairing them? Coulda billed it as "THE NEW CRUSADES." Nahh! Just some great Jazz/Funk from both sets.

Unfortunately, the larger venues were the beginning of the end for the group. The sets became canned and choreographed. No playing charts like "Trying to Find the Time." Considering the musical talent, especially the horn section, it's difficult to play the same thing twice a night every performance. I spoke to Ken Wild about it at the first performance without Jerry Hey.

Asking musicians of that caliber to play the same thing over and over again is like asking Kobe to shoot only one shot on the same place on the court. It's one thing to practice something over and over again, but to only perform that something is ridiculous.

That's why jazz is so rewarding to players. Always a challenge and emotionally expressive. Studio work, especially cartoon music, is also challenging. With that kinda talent, which would you prefer? Repetitive monotony or creative expressionism?

It'd be like relegating Kobe to being a designated free-throw shooter...

BTW--How did I miss Larry leaving the blog? What happened to cause that? Mamba24 WHERE R U? COMEBACK!



But his lack of productivity makes me wish the Lakers had a good young talent sitting in his spot on the bench.

Posted by: bronxlakerfan | March 26, 2011 at 08:26 PM

Bronx- I believe the Lakers are hoping that Devin Ebanks fills that role in a year or two (not sure when Luke's contract is up)

The Bench, what we need from them is to play heads up basketball. Brown and Blake should not rely too much on pushing the ball to speed up the game, that's not gonna work in the playoffs, defense started to tighten up a little during this stage. Both these guys dribble to much, then jacking up 3's or jump shots. What Blake can do is to play pick and roll other than the triangle, Brown should start cutting in the middle instead of just dancing outside, someone should tell him he is not Kobe. What I expect to shine in the playoffs is Barnes, I know he will contribute a lot both in offense and defense, perhaps due to his recent operation he is just timing his game, he is more experienced than the two...with regards to Sasha and Farmar, well they had proven their worth for the last 2 championships and we saw their contributions in those series, little as it seems but it helped us won the title, now it's time for these guys to do their part and I cannot wait to see it....Lakers 3 peat and beyond...



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