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Caught in the Web: Reactions to Lakers' 84-80 victory over Portland Trail Blazers


Game stories

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan explains how Kobe Bryant came through in the clutch in the Lakers' 84-80 victory Sunday over the Portland Trail Blazers.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding explains how the Lakers absorbed Andrew Bynum's absence.

--The Oregonian's Joe Freeman calls Bryant a "Blazer killer"

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's David Lassen details the Lakers' late-game charge.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford also highlights Bryant's heroics.


--The Times' Bresnahan reports the NBA actually considered handing Bynum a three-game suspension.

--The Times' Broderick Turner highlights Lamar Odom's contributions in the Lakers' win over Portland.'s Marc Stein reports Jeff Van Gundy could become the next Lakers coach.


--The Daily News' Teaford features the Lakers' disappointment in Bynum's two-game suspension.


--The Times' Mark Heisler argues the Lakers can't afford playing without Bynum for long.'s J.A. Adande talks to Portland guard Brandon Roy about the difficulty defending Bryant.

--The Orange County Register's Ding argues Bryant and Derek Fisher are clutch players because they're not afraid to lead.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin credits Bryant for overcoming injuries.

--The Oregonian's Jason Quick explains why Portland falters during crunch time. 


--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky breaks down the Lakers' victory over Portland.'s Mike Trudell details the Lakers' win over Portland in a running diary.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano chalks up the Lakers' victory to experience.

--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore credits the Lakers' defense.

Note: NBA TV will air a True NBA at 8 p.m, which will feature a segment on Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw. NBA.TV and TNT's David Aldridge said the piece will center on the likelihood Shaw will succeed Phil Jackson as Lakers head coach. Aldridge said the piece will also highlight the emotional story involving his mother, father, and sister, all whom were killed in an automobile accident in July 1993. 

Tweet of the Day: "The sixth man of the year @RealLamarOdom played great Pau with another doubledouble, @derekfisher & 24 are the best two closers in the game!" -- AndrewBynum (Lakers center Andrew Bynum)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "The sign of a great team is being able to beat a good team when you don’t play your best. The Lakers only shot 17% from 3pt land, drew just 11 fouls on the Blazers (that were called) and was outrebounded by 10…yet found a way to win. Scrappy defense in the 4th holding the Blazers to 14 points on 5-17 shooting and forcing 4 turnovers. Kobe’s intensity was off the charts. That baseline J over BRoy was as good as it gets. Kobe and Fish made the big plays down the stretch, LO was solid all game and Ron shut down Matthews and Roy. Pau shot was off…I think all his baskets were layups or dunks, but he did a decent job on the boards. Bynum’s presence was definitely missed…especially on the boards and getting easy baskets" -- LRob

--Mark Medina

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Comments () | Archives (20)

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A win against one of the good teams and Andrew gets to rest?

All good in Laker land.

Fish and Kobe see the light at the end of this tunnel and it shines like a ring.

@LROB… Congrats on another Friedman. Excellent points about the Lakers winning a game when shorthanded. The rest of the NBA has to be a little discouraged to see what is happening with the Lakers. All those brimming hopes and aspirations are now looking like fools’ gold in the harsh light of the reality that the road to the NBA championship STILL goes through the Lakers.

Van Gundy? Seriously? Given his blatant Kobe-hate, I don't see how that's even a possibility.

I'm a pretty hardcore fan, but even I might have to jump off the bandwagon if they bring that fool in to coach.

Great job on the RCOTD, LRob! I totally agree with your assessment of last night's game - gotta love the way the Lakers were able to pull that one out. Kobe's 4th quarter was sublime - this team is clearly rounding into playoff form. And that they were able to get the "W" in the absence of Drew was just icing on the cake. Also, gotta love that LO led the team in assists - he was beasting last night.
The Lakers need to double our pleasure with Drew still resting up tomorrow night against the Suns.

OK. If Andrew Bynum is tweeting, I guess I will have to sign up for Twitter so I can get his tweets. Amazing how they lure you in until you are no longer off the grid. Good to see Drew tweeting to back up his front court buds Pau and Lamar and his back court co-captains Kobe and Fish. Jeez. LakerTom signs up for Twitter. What is happening to the world. LOL.


Congratulations on winning The Friedman.

Hey, do you have any suggestions on how we can get more lurkers to post?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


@LRob, Congrats on the Friedman. I agree.

Also, Dinah Washington is another great one. True, there are some great singers today (Dee Dee Bridgewater made my Fave Five), but it seems there's considerably more choices from the Swing Era. I haven't even mentioned Etta James, Lena Horne, Betty Carter, Diane Schuur, Anita O'Day, June Christy and the list goes on...

@Mark G

Nancy Wilson is another modern fave of mine.

But today, I'm in an instrumental mood: Samba de Rollins by Don Menza


Keep the pressure on the rest of the league, Lakers. Got to scrape up another win against the Suns in AB's absence...teams are starting to crack as we move up the charts! Nice team win last night and great to see Kobe & Fish steal a game at the end. Old school baby!

84-80 IS PRETTY? . . .

My first memories of NBA B-ball are of Baylor, West and Wilt fueling a fast-break team that won over the hearts of LA, thanks in no small part to Chick Hearn's incredible "words-eye" view of things.

The '71-72 team not only won 33 in a row and the first NBA championship in LA History, but they perfected fast-break basketball. "Rebound--Outlet--Middle--Fill-the-Lanes" became the standard coaching mantra at all levels as the Lakers ran wild. (Coach Wooden over at UCLA also had something to do with that!)

Then 80's Showtime delivered a fast-break product unparalleled. Magic doing his, well, magic. The Greyhounds streaking to fill those lanes. When the Lakers played the Celtics, it was absolutely stunning to see the poetry in motion of two unstoppable teams running the break.

Then the "dark ages" crept upon the scene. Jerry West's Lakers commonly scored in the 120's. It was not uncommon to see the Showtime Lakers score like that as well. But the bad boys of Detroit and the thuggery of New York ushered in an era of ugly basketball. Games shrunk to half-court basketball only. Scores dropped faster than the stock market on a bad day.

Ugly basketball become the norm, even the goal, for most teams. Only the "fun-n-gun" teams that entertained but could not win in the playoffs managed to score above the century mark on a regular basis. The Bulls held the Jazz to 54 points,,, in The FINALS! The Spurs routinely won games with 80-something to 70-something scores.

The League began implementing a few rules changes in the last decade to address the problem of TV ratings dropping even lower than the game scores. There were glimpses of hope. Teams like the Sacramento Kings (Queens) and the Nash-led squads of both Dallas and Phoenix came oh-so-close to winning championships, which would likely have altered the DNA imitation so common in the NBA where teams seek to emulate the winning formula of the Champs.

I still grimace when I check my iPhone for game scores and see the evidence of "ugly-ball" still thriving. But I also celebrate Finals final scores like 83-79! And like last nights 84-80 final! And as hypocritical as it may sound. As much of a double-standard as it may reflect. As self-serving as it might be. I must affirm the age-old axiom, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" . . . because last night's game was a BEAUTY!

My judgment is hopelessly skewed by my Laker loyalties. I confess.


The Lakers don't want Van Gundy. If the Lakers and Magic were to meet in the Finals again, you know Jeff and his man crush on his brother would throw the game.

Another nice win lakernation. Heres a few very post postgame comments:

-- that kobe jumper over roy to seal the game and the degree of difficulty was just pure kobesque.. amazing display of human determination and years and years of hard work paying off... Also amazing effort of bone on bone offense vs bone on bone defense

-- watching laker games recently have been EXTREMELY easy on the eyes lately seeing luke entrenched DEEP to the bottom of that bench now that barnes is back. No coincidence lakers are now peaking with luke averaging 0 MINUTES PER GAME

-- great to see our bonecrusher RON RON enforcing the paint last night with his physical D on gerald wallace... Goes once again to prove that without our true muscle and physical enforcer ron ron lakers would be just soft as marshmellow in the middle... Its no surprise guys like odom n drew now aren't afraid to pick any fights knowing you have artest in your corner to back you up.

-- only number I care about now is lakers ONE GAME behind celtics... Although celts IMO are much weaker without perkins celts and thunder should be our two biggest threats.. Wouldn't discount chicago with thibbodeau but gasol owns boozer... and maybe miami only because you can never underestimate what stern is capable of...

-- lakers should be concentrating on two things now... HCA and keeping bynum healthy.

@jonk and edwin... Thanks for sharing the stories on mr friedmans wake.. Touching stuff.

@humanomaly... Great to see u posting again.. I think ur just the guy jonk has been looking for.. He badly needs an update on the whereabouts of sun yue and has evidently mixed up our identities a number of times.... Is he back in playing in the CBA? Maybe playing next to smush parker for the xinjiang flying tigers?? Much appreciated :-)

Can't wait to go to vegas an collect my $$$$ on the easiest line ever given out in the history of vegas.. Anyone remember preseason miami even money on 66 games over and under??? Talk about easy freakin money!!!

At this point, ANY win is good.

But, Van Gundy? by "could" become coach, perhaps he meant "snowballs chance in hell"

There's no way that Jeff Van Gundy is going to be our next coach.

The guy's a Laker Hater.

Terrible idea.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


All right LRob with the Friedman!! Well deserved, sir!!

LRob, congratulations on the Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day

Reading the Bresnahan article where he talks about the thought process behind Stu Jackson's decision, I've got to say this is one time I agree with Stu.

Also, I hope Kobe was taken out of context when he said (about Andrew), "He earned his stripes".

And Phil sounded like he pooh-poohed the seriousness of the blow by Bynum by saying in effect "that since Beasley didn't miss a game, it wasn't that bad".

A win-at-all-costs (Celtic-like) mentality is bad karma. Others may disagree, but that's my take on that subject.

And I can't believe all the whining being done by the Blazers in the Oregonian article by Joe Freeman. My goodness. I thought Andre Miller had a little more class than that.

And I have seen Jeff Van Gundy work up close when he was coach of the Knicks. He couldn't control Latrell Sprewell. Spree basically told him that he wouldn't come off the bench and had to start. That skewed the Knicks' entire lineup. JVG's lack of gumption cost the Knicks an excellent chance at a title. We don't need that in Lakerville.

Van Gundy a Laker...please, what a joke. I'd have to get a transfusion and replace my purple & gold blood with yellow liquid jello.

Brian Shaw should be given a shot at it IMHO. Kurt & Byron have their own teams already. Besides....I like his initials, would make for great banter!



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