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Lakers informal poll reveals their belief Portland and Memphis would give them biggest challenge in first round

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The question left some players squirming, politely declining to answer no matter if I quoted them publicly or protected their thoughts in anonymity. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson immediately expressed his disinterest in the topic saying, "We've talked about this before and I've said no. I'm not going to talk about that." And then some players immediately shifted from cliches to honest assessments when I told them their names wouldn't be attached to the answer.

We're not really dealing with state secrets here, but it may as well be in the world of sports. I simply wondered which potential first-round opponent would the Lakers consider most dangerous. Of course, some refused to participate, mentioning how the they're more worried about how the rest of the regular season shapes up than worrying about who they face in the first round of the playoffs. But Laker fans surely do.

Fortunately, some provided answers. Based on the four players who were willing to trade their honesty in exchange for anonymity, three of them equally expressed concern about Portland and Memphis, while one other believed the Grizzlies would be the toughest opponent. Meanwhile, Lakers executive Magic Johnson spoke pretty frankly before the Lakers' 102-84 victory Sunday over New Orleans about which potential first-round opponent would give the Lakers the most trouble: Portland, because of the "hate factor," he said.

"They don't like us and we don't like them," Johnson said Sunday, walking in a corridor underneath Staples Center. "That would be a very physical and tough series, even though we would win and we're better overall. But they really know how to play us; they're well-coached and they're tenacious."

There's plenty that can happen before any of those scenarios come to fruition. The Lakers (53-20) suddenly find themselves with a chance to grab the top spot in the Western Conference with nine games remaining. The Lakers currently sit 3 1/2 games behind San Antonio (57-17), which dropped their fourth consecutive game in a loss to Portland (43-31). The Lakers enter Thursday's matchup with Dallas (52-21) with a one-game edge over the Mavericks for the second spot in the West, surely making the outcome instrumental in seeding even if the Mavericks' possible regular-season edge wouldn't be enough to trump the Lakers' Pacific Division title in tie-breaking scenarios.

Meanwhile, the current pecking order in Denver (44-29), Portland (43-31), New Orleans (42-32) and Memphis (41-23) round out the bottom half of the Western Conference, but the records show very little margin for error in securing the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth seeds.

Still, it's always OK for the media and fans to look ahead. Considering some of the Lakers are most concerned about Memphis and Portland, below the jump I'll break down the challenges each team presents.

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Team: Portland Trail Blazers (43-31)

Lakers' record versus Portland this season: 3-0; plays at Portland on April 8.

Why the Lakers should want to play the Trail Blazers in the first round: The Lakers have won seven in a row at home against Portland. More importantly, the Lakers finally ended their nine-game losing streak at the Rose Garden last season, and prevailed again this season there with a 106-101 overtime victory Feb. 23. The Lakers should have renewed confidence in stealing a road game in a playoff series, which would improve their mark to 10-2 in all-time postseason series against Portland. Even though regular-season matchups don't always dictate playoff outcomes, there are a few clues that suggest the Lakers should be OK.

They won in dominating fashion (a 121-86 victory Nov. 7) and prevailed in close games (February's overtime thriller and a 84-80 victory March 20) using various strengths. First, the size advantage: The double-digit victory against Portland featured Pau Gasol scoring his fourth career triple double, a Lamar Odom double-digit effort and both of them outrebounded the Blazers, 26-25, even without Andrew Bynum. Portland may have fared better in the rebounding department (45-35) and second-chance points (21) two weeks ago when Bynum served a two-game suspension for drawing a flagrant foul, but the Lakers' win on March 20 showed they can overcome shortcomings.

The Lakers' size advantage proved enough to absorb Kobe Bryant's 12-point performance on three-of-11 shooting in their double-digit win November against Portland. But Bryant made up for it in the other two games. The Lakers' 106-101 overtime victory featured him overcoming a four-of-15 mark in the first half to finish with a 10-of-16 second-half clip and 11 third-quarter points. The Lakers' 84-80 victory also featured Bryant scoring 10 of his 22 points in the final quarter, a game that also featured Derek Fisher, Gasol and Odom making late-game contributions. 

Let's not forget about Ron Artest. Whether it was holding Brandon Roy to eight points on one-of-six shooting in the Lakers' 121-96 victory Nov. 7 or scoring 24 points on eight-of-13 shooting with a late-game three-pointer in the Lakers' 106-101 overtime victory Feb. 23, Artest has proven against Portland he'll be a dependable option. It's hard predicting a pattern with Artest, but here's two that are reliable. He's played more consistently since the All-Star break and the playoffs will bring out the best in him.

Why the Lakers would want to avoid the Trail Blazers in the first round: Even though the Lakers ended their winless drought at the Rose Garden, one player still feels uneasy about that venue. "Portland always make it tough when we play them in the Rose Garden," the player said. By no means did Portland make it easy in that overtime affair. There were many things the Lakers had to overcome. They had to make adjustments on LaMarcus Aldridge, who scored 29 points through three quarters before being held scoreless in the fourth quarter and overtime. The Lakers' 16 turnovers led to Portland cashing in 40 points in transition. And the last two victories entailed Bryant working his way through a shooting slump. The Lakers' ability to overcome those lapses speaks to their experience and composure, but it's a dicey gamble considering Portland's experience with them. Those mistakes only magnify in the playoffs.

Additionally, the Lakers' regular-season performances against Portland are a tad misleading. The first clash featured Roy leaving the game with a knee injury and the second was Roy's first game back to the lineup. There's surely a reason why Artest at one time considered Roy the toughest player he's had to cover.

The Blazers' lineup has also changed. They acquired Gerald Wallace from Charlotte for Joel Przybilla before the trade deadline, a move that Lakers assistant coach Chuck Person said instantly bolstered the Blazers' defensive presence and allowed them to push the tempo. Even if his services came in Bynum's absence, both Wallace and Marcus Camby showed the Lakers had trouble accounting for their presence, as they grabbed 19 of Portland's 45 rebounds. 

"They're big enough to play us tough," Johnson said of Portland. "There's other teams that I think would be a good series, but [Portland] would be the toughest series."

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Team: Memphis Grizzlies (42-32)

Lakers' record versus Memphis this season: 2-2

Why the Lakers should want to play the Memphis in the first round: Discount the two regular-season losses for a minute. The Lakers'  98-96 loss Nov. 30 and 104-85 loss Jan. 2 came in different contexts of the season. The first marked the team's first three-game losing streak and was the first sign of the team becoming complacent after a strong start. The other loss happened when the Lakers were playing their worst basketball, with Bryant getting upset with teammates, Gasol missing morning shootaround and Artest battling frustrations with his role and Jackson's public criticisms. The Lakers have matured since that point and wouldn't carry that same mind-set into the postseason. Meanwhile, this would make the first time the Grizzlies made the postseason, giving them an immediate disadvantage in both experience and a possible just-happy-to-be-here attitude.

If there ever is a matchup that would prove devastating, it would be against the Lakers, who have appeared in three consecutive NBA Finals. The series would bring out Gasol's competitive spirits the most. He would be facing his brother, Marc, a matchup that would prompt Jackson to needle him a little bit more. Artest has experienced a mixed bag guarding Rudy Gay, but Gay had season-ending surgery on a partially dislocated left shoulder. Even if Zach Randolph leads the team in scoring and rebounding average, Odom's history with him shows it's been fairly competitive and would at least help minimize the damage. And Bryant seems to love lighting it up on O.J. Mayo 

Why the Lakers would want to avoid the Memphis in the first round: Despite the Lakers' vast experience over Memphis, one player still remains wary of them. "They know how to beat us." In fact, the Grizzlies know how to play a lot of good teams, including signature wins against Boston and San Antonio as well as a competitive game against Chicago. As valid as it is to point out the Lakers' complacency during those two losses, Memphis at least has confidence it can beat the defending champions or at least make it a competitive series. The Grizzlies are also peaking at the right time, with USC product Mayo properly adjusting to his bench role and guard Mike Conley increasing his aggressiveness in Gay's absence.

"They really give teams trouble because they play a defensive-minded game," one player said of Memphis.

Even though the Grizzlies are 14th in total defense (98.15 points per game) and 17th in opponent field-goal percentage (45.8%), they lead the league with 9.37 steals per game. Memphis' Tony Allen and Shane Battier have a strong track record in minimizing Bryant's dominance. The Grizzlies showed in their two victories against the Lakers a strong ability to make defensive stops. Gay blocked Artest's potential game-winning shot in the Lakers' two-point November loss, a game that featured Memphis baiting Bryant into a nine-of-25 shooting performance. In the Grizzlies' Jan. 2 victory, they forced 20 turnovers and scored 28 points in transition and forced Bryant to justifiably take over the third quarter when little else of the offense was working. So even if the Lakers have grown past these performances, Memphis' track record suggests its efforts against the defending champs isn't a fluke.

-- Mark Medina

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

Top photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant works against New Orleans guard Jarrett Jack Sunday at Staples Center. Credit: Mike Nelson / European Pressphoto Agency

Middle photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant drives down the lane against Blazers guard Brandon Roy in the second half of the Lakers' 106-101 overtime victory Feb. 24 in Portland. Credit: Steve Dipaola / Reuters / February 24, 2011

Bottom photo: Lakers forward Luke Walton tries to strip the ball from Grizzlies forward Sam Young, who is being guarded by Lakers guard Shannon Brown, in a game earlier this season. Credit: Mark Weber / Reuters / February 8, 2011

 
Comments () | Archives (62)

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There is not going to be one easy matchup in the West. Our Lakers need to concentrate on finishing the season strong, with the best possible record and most importantly to remain healthy. Everything else will sort itself out. To be the champs, they are going to have to beat some very good teams. That's the way it is.

@LRob...

Kobe has a long memory and Smush didn't bite his tongue in this interview. I'm sure Kobe is aware of it...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7adyWRtWoFM

Portland definitely hates the Lakers, although I cannot say the feeling is mutual even if Magic says we hate them. Their tv analyst, Mike Rice, shunned Derek Fisher when Derek was going to give him a pregame fist dab. He said he would rather spit on Fisher's hand.

A playoff matchup would mean more to them than to us. Their fans hate the Lakers with a passion and they spell the Lakers in following way, "L*kers." It just shows how much we are on their minds.

Memphis also has, in Tony Allen and Shane Battier, two defensive wings who can make Kobe work to get his.

So Smush says the Laker problems start and end with Kobe


oh Smuuuussh

SCOREBOARD

PORTLAND and can't go wrong with Magic's insight

I think Portland would provide the toughest matchup, although Memphis certainly would be no pushover. The loss of Gay will hurt Memphis in the playoffs when buckets are harder to come by. Battier is a good addition, but his defense won't offset the lost of Rudy's O.

Magic Johnson is the EF Hutton of the Lakerville

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Caught in the Web: Lakers with a chance to surpass San Antonio in the Western Conference standings
Comments (27)
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March 29, 2011 | 8:55 am

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--The Times' Mike Bresnahan looks at what the Lakers would need to do to secure first place in the Western Conference standings.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding explains that the Lakers clinching the Pacific Division would serve as the first tiebreaker over the Dallas Mavericks should they end with the same regular-season records. Head-to-head matchups would then be the second tiebreaker.

--The San Antonio Express-News' Buck Harvey reports Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Antonio McDyess would've played Monday against Portland had it been the playoffs.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky previews the Lakers' upcoming week.

--Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe picks the Lakers as the favorites to win the NBA title.

--The San Antonio Express-News' Mike Monroe details the Spurs' latest struggles.

--Fox Sports Southwest's Mike Piellucci believes the Spurs will turn out fine.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford breaks down the West standings.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell highlights Kobe Bryant's Western Conference player of the week award.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano offers various quick-hit thoughts on the Lakers.

Tweet of the Day: "Late thought of the night: If Lakers catch the Spurs for top record in NBA, is Kobe the MVP?" -- ramonashelburne (ESPN Los Angeles columnist Ramona Shelburne)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "That's one of the things that makes Kobe a champion...he doesnt focus on other teams, but on his game & his team. His attitude (and that of Phil) has trickled down to others on the team, which helps explain the horrific SPANKING they put on the Spurs in San Anton' earlier this month. If the Lakers play anywhere NEAR that level in the playoffs, home court edge will be irrelevant vs the Spurs, although chasing them down in the race for best record would most likely seal the deal. The genius of Phil Jackson (and Laker management) was clearly shown in the willingness to PAMPER Bynum during the fall & let him take his sweet time in returning to form. Drew had to suck it up & play through pain in last year's playoffs...this season he hasnt even had his knee drained yet, though that remains an option during the playoffs if necessary.

As a longtime Laker fan, it is especially gratifying (and not at all surprising) to see the aging Celtics circling the drain after Doc Rivers made such a big deal about getting home-court advantage. Even as the season started it sounded totally presumptuous of him to expect the AGING trio of Allen/Garnett/Pierce to have the best record AND still be fresh in May & June. The only reason Boston peaked in May & June last year was because they COASTED the second-half of the season, barely going .500 after the All-Star break.

The ill-advised Perkins trade has also badly hurt the team's chemistry, which is apparent to anyone who has watched them meltdown in the 4th-quarter of recent games vs the Pacers, Bobcats & Grizz. Even the Love-less T-Wolves erased a 25-point deficit & nearly beat the badly fading Celts. Add to that the fact that Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was the architect of the Celt's lockdown defense that helped them win the 2008 title & Boston is dead-in-the-water. Even if they beat the chemistry-challenged Heat, the Celts will NOT beat the Bulls...Chicago & Miami are the FUTURE of the Eastern Conference & Boston is clearly the PAST. Lakers>Bulls in 6 games for the 3-PEAT." -- Verballistic

--Mark Medina

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

Photo: Lakers forward Ron Artest keeps Spurs guard Manu Ginobili at bay with a well-placed elbow during their game last month at Staples Center. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Tmes
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Comments (27)

re: all of the Fish bashing.

http://www.dailynews.com/lakers/ci_17711178

snippet:
EL SEGUNDO - Every season, or so it seems lately, Lakers fans line up to criticize the play of Derek Fisher.

They complain on sports talk shows, email letters to the editor and vent their frustrations on the Internet, which makes Phil Jackson smile a little.

"He knows how to execute the skills that are necessary in the offense we run," the Lakers' coach said Saturday when asked what he likes about Fisher's play.

snippet:
Jackson chuckled when asked about the complaints that Fisher can't stay in front of the elite point guards in the NBA, including the New Orleans Hornets' Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder or Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls.

Even the top guards can't stay in front of each other, according to Jackson.

"All these guys are dynamic point guards who can speed up the game and also score," he said. "This offense (the triangle) doesn't require that, it requires the point guard to be a quarterback of sorts, but he doesn't have to score the touchdowns."

hobbit says: Well, I think that's pretty conclusive.

ps. KobeMVP888, feel free to quote me the next time you defend D-Fish.
:) [ olive branch. *chuckle* ]

Posted by: hobbitmage | March 29, 2011 at 09:02 AM

MVP honors and Kobe are like oil and water, just don't mix well:

Kobe is an attacking player, attack first, all out frontal assault, no prisoners, ninja assassin, a lone wolf. Because of these traits it makes it difficult for others to see him as a MVP material, just not in his DNA, so be it. This town is just not big enough for Kobe's solo act, let alone include his team mates in this saga of Kobe as a MVP. There is something about Kobe that just does not equate to MVP honors. So instead go win the 6th!!

Posted by: kobefan | March 29, 2011 at 09:10 AM

I would like to praise MM for making some changes in the blog. In the past few threads yesterday, I noticed there were fewer threads released and allowed posters to converse, reply to one another within a thread dealing with various subject matters including cats and dogs. I think this is more preferable than going thru several threads interrupting conversation among passionistas and commentaristas. Yesterday, the topic was on cats and dogs, today will it be about the vanishing male testosterone vs. diminishing aging women libido? Just asking....

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | March 29, 2011 at 09:20 AM

It is not hard to know more than kobe because he only has a high school education.
Posted by: island priest | March 28, 2011 at 05:11 PM

Wow! You post A LOT of ridiculous rants that make no sense but that has to be one of the most ignorant post I have read on this blog in a long time. You obviously live in a bubble and have never stepped outside of that bubble and know nothing about intelligence outside of what the system brainwashed you to think.

Did you know that he speaks fluent Italian &Spanish, how many languages do you speak? He had a SAT score of 1080 that must mean something to a puppet that thinks like you? I’m sure the guy could have been whatever he wanted to be and would have been that. Kobe is the most intelligent and fundamentally complete player to ever play the game period!

I guarantee he is more cultured and worldly than you could ever hope to be. I think he made a wise business decision to not go to college just like Bill Gates. Watch Good Will Hunting and come out of the bubble:)

Island the only thing you own is the most ignorant puppet of the blog!

Posted by: NBA4ever | March 29, 2011 at 09:22 AM

Posted by: hobbitmage | March 29, 2011 at 09:02 AM

glad that you quote Phil and here is another nugget from Phil after a loss to Heat:

"I like to see everybody involved in the game," Jackson said. "I've tried to preach as a basketball coach, even though we have a guy that dominates the ball in Kobe, basketball is not a one on one game — it's a team game."

Posted by: kobefan | March 29, 2011 at 09:32 AM

Posted by: hobbitmage | March 29, 2011 at 09:02 AM

glad that you quote Phil and here is another nugget from Phil after a loss to Heat:

"I like to see everybody involved in the game," Jackson said. "I've tried to preach as a basketball coach, even though we have a guy that dominates the ball in Kobe, basketball is not a one on one game — it's a team game."

Posted by: kobefan | March 29, 2011 at 09:32 AM

hobbit: This tired crap again? *sigh*

Ok. If Kobe is playing one on one basketball please explain why he leads
all lakers in assists.

http://espn.go.com/nba/team/stats/_/name/lal/los-angeles-lakers

you'll notice that Kobe is leading the Lakers at 4.8 which is a full 1.4
assists over Pau who is at 3.4.

Do you clowns *EVER* do research?

Although would not wish on my enemies to live in LA and its surrounding areas, yikes!!

BronxLF,

Thanks for the Smush video. I knew he said some negative things about Kobe, but hadn't seen the video before. Wow. Nevertheless it doesn't change my stance. Both have gotten their digs in over the years and now Smush is playing who knows where overseas...while Kobe is going for the 3peat. I say take the high road.

Portland or Memphis will probably be like OKC last year, they might take a game or two but when it gets down to the nitty gritty, these teams have never witnessed that "next level" Laker team during any of their regular season matchups.

I could care less who we play in the first round. The tougher the matchup the better like last year.

Give me the PLAYOFFS already!

1-2-3 RING! #17 coming up STRONG!!!

KobeMVP888

"I could care less who we play in the first round. The tougher the matchup the better like last year.

Give me the PLAYOFFS already!

1-2-3 RING! #17 coming up STRONG!!!"

You beat me to the post. The way we're playing, it really doesn't matter who we go against.

LRob

The PSP agree; Kobe should take the high road at least where its Smushcalade concerned. He aint worth it.

Now Shaq, I say Kobe should get his digs in wherever and whenever he can. After Shaq did his 'ass tasting' free style summer 08, he pretty much declared open 'dissing' season.

Thanks
PSP Solutions Architect

Hobbit,

I still did not understand what is that summary for? Are we having Alzheimer's and that will help us recall on this thread? I was looking for the snippet under my post instead I got the virgin's post.

While Mamba24 is in hibernation, we have lots of pseudo Mamba's as little moderator to the moderator from LT to music guru LRob.

KobeMVP says let's have the playoffs now. haha Yeah I agree, we're tired of waiting. I have something for LRob on this score:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz64hWng2vM

Edwin, that was a strange post must have grabbed more than I meant
or the latimes.com webpage screwed stuff up.

the important part was:

glad that you quote Phil and here is another nugget from Phil after a loss to Heat:

"I like to see everybody involved in the game," Jackson said. "I've tried to preach as a basketball coach, even though we have a guy that dominates the ball in Kobe, basketball is not a one on one game — it's a team game."

Posted by: kobefan | March 29, 2011 at 09:32 AM

hobbit: This tired crap again? *sigh*

Ok. If Kobe is playing one on one basketball please explain why he leads
all lakers in assists.

http://espn.go.com/nba/team/stats/_/name/lal/los-angeles-lakers

you'll notice that Kobe is leading the Lakers at 4.8 which is a full 1.4
assists over Pau who is at 3.4.

Do you clowns *EVER* do research?

Posted by: hobbitmage | March 29, 2011 at 12:21 PM

I wouldn't mind playing Portland in the first round.

Using their hate against them to humiliate them is such fun.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Is the first round of the playoffs considered practice playoff season?

I'm talking about OKC's 2010 playoffs defense. Remember Game 2 when they blocked 17 shots?! What I am saying is that OKC kicked into another gear in the playoffs, whereby I am not so sure that the Bulls have another gear beyond what they are doing in the regular season. We'll see. Don't get me wrong. The Bulls were my pre-season favorites to come out of the East and I still think that they have a great shot at it.

I am just saying that if we should face them in the NBA Finals, we'll be ready for everything that they throw at us but I don't think that they're at the level to match what Kobe & Company will throw back at them. Yes, their head coach has witnessed what the Lakers are capable of, but much like Gasol and Odom had a learning curve in 2008, Noah, Deng and even Rose will have one this season. Boozer is their only Lakers-playoff tested player, but you know how we match up against him.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | March 29, 2011 at 11:30 AM
-----------------------
MVP,

That 17 block game was incredible. But that was more of an aberration. Overall I don’t think OKC kicked it in another gear. I just think they were playing at a solid level going into the playoffs while the Lakers were playing subpar ball. Still even OKC’s playoff defense was not as good as the Bulls current regular season defense IMO.

I do agree that the Bulls are nearly at max capacity right now while Boston, Orlando and Miami can crank it up a notch. I have no worries about the Lakers ability to handle the Bulls should that matchup occur. The Lakers defense would prove to be too tough for the Bulls predictable, one dimensional offense.

here comes the

Practice Playoff Season Police

@PSP - Kobe got the last dig in on Shaq after he won #5. I still say high road, but unfortunately I know that game of one upmanship will likely never end.


@Edwin - Nice one by the Kinks. Yes I'm tired of waitng also. Wow...I had so many choices about waiting but I'll roll with this one.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBIxScJ5rlY

TrollMan

The PSP is not sure; we will have to hire someone for the playoffs and assign a title to them! :-) ... Btw were you the one that would go as rocketman, nuggetman etc on the live chat during playoffs in the past?

Thanks
PSP Intern

Is the first round of the playoffs considered practice playoff season?

Posted by: Troll Man | March 29, 2011 at 12:51 PM
====

Excellent question!!! For this two time defending championship Lakers team, you actually COULD make that argument! I would say that last year was a perfect example of how Round 1 could have been viewed as a "practice round" in a weird sense.

Here's why:

1) OKC was a team we SHOULD have beaten simply because of their playoff inexperience and given the fact that we finished the practice season so horribly, we could not have asked for a better challenge to get us ready for the later rounds, especially given their youth, athleticism, talent and high level of play they had entering the playoffs.

2) They had a superstar who led the NBA in scoring who was the perfect player for Ron-Ron to warm up on.

3) Westbrook is a fast guard who got us ready for defending Rondo, using Kobe on Westbrook most of the time and Fish on their shooting guard.

4) The Thunder were playing the best defense in the Western Conference, which ultimately helped get us ready for the Celtics.

5) The Thunder played an up tempo game, which got us ready for the Suns. They were so much better than our second round opponent, Utah (whose physicality helped get us ready for the Celtics), that playing against OKC made our path to the WCF much easier because they helped raise our level of play.

So in a very bizarre sense, Round 1 was like a "practice round" last season and, because of the depth of the Western Conference this season, a team like Memphis or Portland could get us ready ready for a team like Dallas very nicely. I think playing the Hornets could do us more harm than good for our second round opponent, much like Orlando and Cleveland's cakewalk opponents hurt them last year. Wouldn't you rather see us practice on Portland or Memphis than new Orleans?

Do I consider it to be a "practice round?" Only jokingly. Of course not.

Give me the PLAYOFFS already!

here comes the

Practice Playoff Season Police

Posted by: Troll Man | March 29, 2011 at 12:52 PM
====

I would welcome the Real Season Police though.

Color me tired of waiting too! Let's get it on already!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7eTOnNBwYU

Posted by: hobbitmage | March 29, 2011 at 12:47 PM

I know EXACTLY where you coming from, all you have to do is take YOUR KOBE ROSE COLOR GLASSES OFF and then GRASSHOPPA you will understand Zen's nugget. And when your logic fails then you resort to name calling, so very rigid.

PSP sorry to hear about your budget restraints, perhaps the RSP has enough of a slush fund from the proceeds of tickets given to staff this new dept.

That's a negative on "rocketman, nuggetman etc" don't live chat much, the couple of times I have my ID has been Troll Man and There are 4 Lights

The Blog is in playoff mode today...

Tom Daniels, Laker Mike, Edwin, 888, LRob, hobbit, Jon K, bronx, Kev, Kobefan, PSP, NBA4ever, Laker Tom, Jolly Rancher, Mark G, Laker J, frmkt, never, lance, JustaLakerFan, jefe, dice8up, diandra, mud, JovB, DBDH, Pysched Laker Girl, and LongTimeLakerFan, (sorry if I missed anyone)...

Everyone giving great opinions, points, and analysis...Verballistic congrats on the Friedman Award...

Just like our boys, we are starting to form a chemistry for the final battles...

The ONLY team that can beat our current squad in the playoffs, is the LAKERS themselves...

I honestly, 100% believe, if we are 100% healty, and we EXECUTE...

There is no team in the Association that can beat us in a 7 game series...

I wish the playoffs started tomorrow...No need for #1 seeding and HCA...we roll over everyone and get #17...

Lakers Dynasty - The Next Generation...

#17 Coming Up!!! The Friedman Season...

Troll Man and There are 4 Lights - I knew I left someone out on the list...my apologies sir...

It's time for Kobe to retire. He can't play forever. Father Time has arrived.

Are Mamba24 and Justanothermambafan (Justa) not posting anymore? Why? What's the deal? MM, do you know? Anyone?

I would welcome the Real Season Police though.

Posted by: KobeMVP888

What!!! The PSP and RSP obsolete now? Or was it just a seasonal job?

888 you must of had your Wheaties this morning...you are rolling...lol

I think when it's all said and done, SA will be #1 overall, with us #2...

That means HCA for the Finals...

Has anyone even thought of the Nuggets...They are under the radar playing inspired ball...

Like in a real firefight...you have to be watchful of the snipers...we have to make sure we cover all the angles...


Once the playoffs start, I presume that the PSP and RSP will be out of a job. JK. And from today’s posts, it looks like we have plenty of candidates for the new RSP – Real Season Police. LOL. Maybe KobeMVP888 could apply for the position. Just kidding, Kenny. It would be funny! OK, enough trouble making and back to work. Who needs more police when we have MM?
……………………..
TOM

What!!! The PSP and RSP obsolete now? Or was it just a seasonal job?

Posted by: Troll Man | March 29, 2011 at 01:39 PM
====

Let's not get ahead of ourselves. There are still 9 more practice games we have to suffer through before the Real Season starts.

Maybe they can transition to the P(lay) O(ff) P(olice)..??

JR

TrollMan

Funds are low son; times are hard and like the Nigerian Police Force the PSP is accepting bribes left and right! Why do you think there has been a ceasefire between the PSP and KobeMVP888,LEW,Cyber :-).

Regarding MVP race, don't think Kobe getting it. Personally, I feel he hasn't been consistent enough all season BUT if the Lakers go undefeated the rest of the way and bulls and magic slump then he should have a good shot.

Oh yeah, Portland will upset someone come playoffs.

Thanks
PSP Intern

PSP

Say it aint so... Please do whatever it takes to hire a playoff assistant. We're gonna need you here for the playoffs right next to 888... Its not an option. You are his yin to his yang his ebony to ivory his cheech to chong.. You get the picture :-(

888 you must of had your Wheaties this morning...you are rolling...lol

Posted by: LEWSTRS | March 29, 2011 at 01:54 PM
====

Hey, he asked!

Regardless of who we play, we really should reach the Finals. It's sorta like VCU beating Kansas, sure once, perhaps twice, but do you really think they would beat Kansas 4 of 7? I don't think so (my opinion only, but). If we play at all, can't see any team beating us 4 of 7. Go Lakers!

D(erek)J(eter),

Justanothermambafan came on briefly to say that she has a stalker and asked for people not to contact her.

Since then: Silence.

I don't like this one bit.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Once the playoffs start, I presume that the PSP and RSP will be out of a job. JK. And from today’s posts, it looks like we have plenty of candidates for the new RSP – Real Season Police. LOL. Maybe KobeMVP888 could apply for the position. Just kidding, Kenny. It would be funny! OK, enough trouble making and back to work. Who needs more police when we have MM?
……………………..
TOM

Posted by: LakerTom | March 29, 2011 at 01:55 PM
====

I've already copyrighted the name "Real Season Police," so if the PSP wants it, he will have to pay a small fee to pry it from me. The blogger who posts under the other RSP ("Regular Season Police" - whatever that means), is an admitted imposter who blogs under multiple handles, so the "RSP" designation has never been valid for all intents and purposes - whatever they are. :)

KobeMVP888

Will you take graft money? :-) ... the PSP need that title for our new hire.

Do you think Kobe has a realistic shot at the MVP this season?

Thanks
PSP Vice President

888
The Regular Season Police is a valid designation I have the permits to prove it. Wanna take me to court?

PSP
When LakerTom fully pays his fines you will have your venture capital for expansion of the PSP department.

Guys, I woke up this morning and, wow, I had the STRANGEST dream.

I dreamt that Shaq became a Celtic.

How crazy is that?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Is this '1984'...

We don't need "Big Brother is Watching You"

We don't need:

The Gestapo
The SS
The KGB
MSS (Ministry of State Security - China)
IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps - Iran)
SSD (State Security Department - North Korea)
Republican Guard (Iraq)
The Tong
The Yakuza
The Mafia
The Triad
FBI
CIA
LAPD

All we need is LOVE...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4p8qxGbpOk

And Blog Moderator - Mark "Funky Cold" Medina...

I forgot to include the biggest whopper of them all...

Homeland Security...

Thanks for the update Jon K.


@PSP… “Will you take graft money? :-) ... the PSP need that title for our new hire.” LOL. Wait a minute, PSP. I thought you only posted under one handle. Don’t be tempted by the dark side. Lol.
…………………………….
TOM

KEY to 3Peat:

Team defense and Team offense and a mantra from legendary Zen coach:

"I like to see everybody involved in the game," Jackson said. "I've tried to preach as a basketball coach, even though we have a guy that dominates the ball in Kobe, basketball is not a one on one game — it's a team game."

If Lakers can play a team game then a 3peat is guaranteed, of course barring any injuries and5% luck.

"TrollMan

Funds are low son; times are hard and like the Nigerian Police Force the PSP is accepting bribes left and right! Why do you think there has been a ceasefire between the PSP and KobeMVP888,LEW,Cyber :-).

Regarding MVP race, don't think Kobe getting it. Personally, I feel he hasn't been consistent enough all season BUT if the Lakers go undefeated the rest of the way and bulls and magic slump then he should have a good shot.

Oh yeah, Portland will upset someone come playoffs.

Thanks
PSP Intern

Posted by: Practice Season Police | March 29, 2011 at 01:57 PM "

Great points. I think Kobe could have played his way back into the MVP conversation if it was his play that caused the turnaround at the allstar break but the improvement of Bynum and Artest have been the difference.

I hope the PSP is able to generate the funds needed to stay around long after the practice season is over, police presence is much needed here. Even though I've always liked Mark Medina and think he does a fine job around here, the PSP giving him a ticket was by far the funniest thing I have ever seen in here.

yeah that's what minn. is saying (all we need is love)

KobeMVP888

Will you take graft money? :-) ... the PSP need that title for our new hire.

Do you think Kobe has a realistic shot at the MVP this season?

Thanks
PSP Vice President

Posted by: Practice Season Police | March 29, 2011 at 02:12 PM
====

As for the graft money, as long it is freshly printed currency in sequential order, it does not matter to me where it originates.

As for Kobe having a realistic shot at MVP, no. The ONLY way that could happen is if he continues his high level of play from the last three games and miraculously leads us to the #1 overall seed. That is the only way he will get the attention of the sportswriters who have probably already decided to vote for Derrick Rose. And I'm talking about just getting their attention! If he pulls off this minor miracle, there is no question in MY mind that he will have EARNED it given the number of teams the Lakers will have hurdled to get there, but just like Phil should get COY (and get maybe 1 vote) under those circumstances, Kobe will lose out in this popularity contest. He'll never get another MVP simply because his name isn't Michael Jeffrey Jordan or LeBron Raymone James.

DAMN them Kobe haters...

We need Blitz and hobbit to campaign for the Kobestr...

They can get those media jockeys to see our point...

888

The Regular Season Police is a valid designation I have the permits to prove it. Wanna take me to court?

Posted by: Regular Season Police | March 29, 2011 at 02:15 PM

====

I could file a lawsuit, obtain an injunction preventing you from using the name, paper you to death, and cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorneys fees which you will never recover OR I might be willing to mediate this thing with you and settle for a healthy sum of money and let you keep your obsolete handle. After all, what is the "regular" season anyway?

"Kobe=32
D-Wade=29,

Someone might tell DW, he's got only 3 years left before he's too old, ha, ha, ha!

Posted by: D(erek)J(eter) | March 29, 2011 at 02:28 PM "

We'll have to wait and see how Wade's body holds up. He was pretty reckless for several years in there but seems to be pacing himself a little more now. Part of what makes Kobe older is how early he got started. Not even counting playoffs, Kobe has played 1094 games to Wade's 540. That's about 7 full seasons of games.

At 32, Kobe isn't really very old by NBA standards but he has a lot more games under his belt and mileage on his body than the typical 32 year old player.

Since there is no news on Bynum, I hear crickets from his supporters...

"If he pulls off this minor miracle, there is no question in MY mind that he will have EARNED it given the number of teams the Lakers will have hurdled to get there, but just like Phil should get COY (and get maybe 1 vote) under those circumstances, Kobe will lose out in this popularity contest. He'll never get another MVP simply because his name isn't Michael Jeffrey Jordan or LeBron Raymone James.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | March 29, 2011 at 02:34 PM "

I think Kobe is plenty popular enough to get the award, he got it in 2008. I just can't see him taking a large enough role to get the numbers needed to get it when he's going up against people who have larger roles on their teams.

The regular season MVP only focuses on the regular season so anything that happens after that doesn't count toward the award. Sometimes I feel like that should be changed because the first few rounds of the playoffs are completely left out of all awards but it is what it is.

Its an honor to have Magic Johnson giving us his insights!

We are all fortunate to be able to watch Kobe on his way to becoming the greatest NBA player of all time. He is not there yet, and he won't be for many more years, but as he has so clearly demonstrated over the past several years, he cares for his body so he can play through severely sprained ankle, sore shoulder, messed up right hand, etc. Over and over. There can no longer be any doubt that he is nearly superhuman! His talent might have gotten him going, but his intelligence, knowledge, hard work and never-say-die warrior mind set is what will take him, eventually, to the very top.

We are all fortunate to watch the unmatched skill and intelligent play of Pau. What he does is nearly magic. And his time with Kobe is developing his strength and fortitude to the point he may well be the best power forward in the league today. Yes, I'd rather have Pau than Amare', LeBron, Bosh, Garnett, Pierce, Duncan, Carmelo, Durant, Blake, Love, or Nowitski. Some of them may be able to get a statistically better game from time to time, but its not about stats, its about a team winning, and that is the strength of Pau.

We are all fortunate to watch the best defended in the league today in Ron Artest. Again, stats don't show what he does, but we get to watch what he does! Those lightning fast hands with the precision of a surgeon make a big dent in the effectiveness of the entire opposing offense, from guards to center. Unlike so many other defenders, Ron gets better and better as the game goes on, both defensively, and then offensively as the poor guy who has to guard Ron gets beat up and worn down.

We are all fortunate to watch the smartest point guard in the league. Derek Fisher does not fill up the stat sheet, but he does not have to: look who he is surrounded by! But again, he keeps the offense working, and interrupts the opponents ability to run their offense.

We are all fortunate to watch the development of the next monster of the NBA: Andrew Bynum. We've been excited by the glimpses of his brilliance for some time now. But now, we see him embarrass the "greatest center in the league" Dwight Howard. We can see now why Mitch said he would not trade Andrew for anyone in the league -- anyone.

And of course we have Lamar Odom, our sixth man, who is the second, or perhaps the third, best power forward in the league, behind only our own Pau Gasol, and perhaps LeBron (we win with Lamar, and we'll see if LeBron ever gets anywhere -- his lack of poise when it really matters suggests its not likely). While Amare' talks smack, Lamar walks past to get his next ring.

And these players are all together, all working well together, because of the best coach of all time, the best GM, and the best pro sports owner of all time.

That's why we don't really care who is the first to fall this year.

It's time for Kobe to retire. He can't play forever. Father Time has arrived.

Posted by: Randall Smith | March 29, 2011 at 01:38 PM

Kobe's only 32. Not yet!!

"Meanwhile, this would make the first time the Grizzlies made the postseason"

Awesome research. Keep up the good work.


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