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Lakers' 139-137 triple overtime victory over the Phoenix Suns a reminder that the Lakers are better suited as a defensive team

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Just a reminder: I will be talking to Ron Artest soon and I will forward him 10 of your best questions. Tell me your questions in the comments threat, at The Times' Lakers Facebook page.

Rewind, fast forward, pause or freeze frame any highlight reel of the Lakers' 139-137 triple overtime victory Tuesday over the Phoenix Suns. Regardless of any clip you stumble upon, plenty of them will emerge that show the 18,997 at Staples Center waving yellow "Los Lakers" towels in a never-ending roller coaster ride.

There was excitement: Kobe Bryant's made a pull-up jumper over Channing Frye that clinched the victory. Ron Artest's somehow leapt for a one-handed dunk. And Lamar Odom provided enough coast-to-coast drives to leave him wanting to eat pancakes afterwards.

There was tension: Pau Gasol made two free throws forced triple overtime, Derek Fisher's hit two free throws to give the Lakers a three-point lead before Phoenix extended to double overtime. And Odom's foul that gave Frye three foul shots to force extra regulation left many biting their fingernails.

And there were theatrics: Bryant bit his jersey as if he forgot to eat his pregame meal. Artest blew kisses to the crowd, flexed his muscles and kissed his own biceps in a routine that left Odom arguing he should be a professional wrestler. And the team embraced after a well-fought victory, bringing a sentimental ending to the game, or soap opera for that matter.

One thing remained glaringly absent, however, during the three-hour and nine minute game: any semblance of defense. That's to be expected perhaps with the Phoenix Suns, who entered the contest allowing 105 points per game and favor an up-court style. When a game goes into multiple overtimes, it's inevitable the point-total will be much higher. And considering the Lakers' recent defensive track record since the All-Star break, things should return to normal.

Besides the entertainment value of a game that featured 11 ties, 10 lead changes and plenty of highlights, the Lakers' effort against Phoenix also served as a visual reminder why they're much more suited as a defensively deliberate team than another carbon-copy of the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks. Few things things remain fresh in Artest's mind, or at least many things that he's willing to recollect. But here's an exception: The Lakers' rise and fall between dominance, sluggish performances, continual inconsistency and sharp performances since the All-Star break directly correlates to the team's defensive identity, which allowed only 87 points per game since the break before its game with the Suns.

"Earlier our offense was good but our defense was not good," Artest said. "But we were winning. Then we got complacent. We were working hard defensively, but our complacency caught up to us. Midseason it caught up to us."

And now?

"We've been playing like the best defensive team in the league, No. 1," Artest said. "We're in sync with each other right now. Everybody is in sync."

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Artest outlines the Lakers' season pretty succinctly. But here are the details.

The Lakers' 14-6 mark through the first 20 games featured an offense that appeared unstoppable, averaging a second-ranked 108.45 points per game. Bryant appeared as if his knee wasn't bothering him. Gasol's consistent efficiency showed he benefitted from a summer free of basketball. Odom's consistent efficiency demonstrated playing basketball in the FIBA World Championships helped sharpen his focus. And the bench's sharp play suggested things immediately clicked, including Steve Blake's offensive playmaking abilities, Shannon Brown's sharp shooting and Matt Barnes' ability to produce despite going through a learning curve with the triangle offense. Their sudden chemistry on offense permeated a mindset that the Lakers could sweep defensive lapses, such as poor communication, rotation and effort, by simply outscoring the opposition.

"We actually get in trouble when we play teams where we can score easily," Fisher said. That's out problem. We play certain teams where offensively we have an easy time scoring. Then defensively, we're not locked in."

That's why the Lakers weren't equipped with a defensive foundation once the offensive production dropped off with Gasol's heavy minutes during Andrew Bynum's rehab caught up to him, his inconsistency putting further pressure on Bryant to produce and the team's collective outside shooting dropping from 41.2% in November to 31% in December. That stretch coincided with the Lakers suffering two four-game losing streaks and lacking any signature wins against elite teams. Soon enough, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson and assistant coach Chuck Person tweaked the defensive scheme, emphasizing the frontcourt to stay close to the basket instead of confronting the perimeter to help on screens. Instead, the Lakers' wing defenders man the perimeter, knowing any guards who beats them off the dribble or off a screen will immediately greet a post player by the basket.

The tweak came with mixed success simply because of the learning curve, but the team's improved execution and Bynum's continuous ownership with the responsibility has vastly changed the Lakers as a more defensive team.

"You know what to do you so you know where to put your energy into," said Bynum, who's averaged 13 rebounds and 2.58 blocks per game since the All-Star break before missing the past two contest because of a suspension for a recent flagrant foul. "You don't have to spend time thinking."

Neither does the team have to solely worry about outscoring the opponent, much like the Lakers did Tuesday against Phoenix. Some may point to the final score, the entertainment value and the talent level as arguments the Lakers can still resort to an offensive mindset should they choose. But their track record this season shows otherwise. Besides, it would be a bad formula for the Lakers to need three overtimes, every starter playing more than 40 minutes and 120 field-goal attempts to secure playoff victories.

Thank goodness the Lakers can rely on their defense.

--Mark Medina

E-maiil the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Top photo: Phoenix center Robin Lopez, center, tries to put up a shot over Lakers forwards Lamar Odom, left, Pau Gasol, right center, and guard Kobe Bryant during the first half of Tuesday's game at Staples Center. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez / U.S. Presswire

Bottom photo: Phoenix guard Steve Nash, left, collides with Lakers guard Derek Fisher while shoveling off a pass during the first overtime of the Lakers' 139-137 triple-overtime victory Tuesday at Staples Center. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (51)

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LRob - yup, Hondo was great for all the reasons you stated. One thing I noticed the other day in an interview with him: he's articulate and insightful in a very similar manner as The Logo (read like West was giving the interview). Must be a certain generation of players really knew their stuff.

I love my Lakers, but today it's all about the San Diego State Aztecs. Make Southern California proud Aztecs! I believe!

Go Lakers!
Go Aztecs! Beat UCONN!

Last night TNT analyst Barry commented that Kobe was up to his old trick mano-a-mano, taking difficult shots, dueling with Grant Hill and almost cost us the game. Even Chris Webber pointed out that Kobe made a mistake with 11 seconds left he took a jumer, of course made it but nevertheless a tactical error. So he is great but not great enough to win a title on his own, a what a humbling notion!!

Posted by: downNout in BH | March 23, 2011 at 08:52 AM

Really?

At the end of the second OT, Kobe "Bean" Bryant defended Grant Hill and floored him from making a shot. 3rd OT. 139-137.

And Brant Berry HAD THE AUDACITY to call Hill a great defender who deserves to be FIRST defensive TEAM. Did you miss that? Or conveniently left it OUT?

Kobe scored 42 points, most against HILL. (Great defense. LOL)

Isn't Brant Berry the brother of John and the son of Rick? the Lakers haters Family?

Isn't Brant Berry the same guy who played for the Spurs and who was denied a foul and a 3 point play in an elimination game against the Lakers? (Can you READ/HEAR some subjective plot in the commentary?)

How convenient is selective memory when it is about Kobe Bashing.

And I'm sure Weber won't take that "BAD" shot. He will call a Time Out.

Come Again!

By the way, in the Portland game, with 10 seconds on the clock and 6 for the Lakers, Fisher took the last shot. Yes, he made it. BUT, following the same reasoning, especially from a GREAT point guard (who does not know how to read the clock and play at the same time), that was CLUTCH. Is that a double standard or …

So, who is he REAL great defender and CLUTCH shooter? (I give you a rain check)

I'm downNout …

@transparent Swan. Its Kobe Bryant! He can drop 42 points on anyone in the NBA especially in 3 overtimes!! You act like some scrubb dropped 42 on Grant Hill. Kobe is undoubtabley the best player in the NBA today.

this was written:
So he is great but not great enough to win a title on his own, a what a humbling notion!!

Posted by: downNout in BH | March 23, 2011 at 08:52 AM

my response: Please enlighten me. Name one NBA great who won a title on
his own.


@HUMANOMALY... The other thing you have to remember about that “great” Celtics team is that there was no salary cap back then and that allowed the Celtics to put together a team that included many of the greatest players of that era. Stitches? Hell, just wrap it tightly with duct tape. LOL
................................
@BAY TO LA... Thanks for your response. I like Blake but would prefer to stick with Phil’s choice. The team is on a streak that could result in their winning out the rest of the season. Why would any coach in their right mind make a change now when the team is 13-1 since the all-star break?
..............................
@KOBEMVP888.... Excellent responses to PSP and Bay to LA. It’s great to have your outstanding basketball insights and analyses back on the blog. Don’t let the taunts from the temporary alter ego posters with a million handles deter you from keeping the focus on the positive rather than the personal. You’re at your best when you don’t stoop down to their level. Leave them in the gutter.
............................
@REGULAR SEASON POLICE ... Who are you? Are you the same poster as the Practice Season Police, who claims that he has never posted under another handle? That’s a pretty long list of things that you claim are blog commandments. Do you plan on issuing tickets for any violations? How many other handles have you posted under. Frankly, I don’t think we need the PSP or RSP.
............................
@LROB... I wanted to echo the compliments paid you by 888 for the courtesy you show all bloggers by acknowledging when they make a good post. Not only are you infinitely fair in your analysis but one of the true gentlemen on the blog. Thanks for helping make this place fun.
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@MM.... Another outstanding article, Mark. Was I the only one who noticed Ron’s dunk was by his LEFT hand? LOL. At any rate, as much fun as the game was, you hit the nail on the head that this is not how the Lakers are going to 3-peat. Bynum’s emergence on the boards and on defense has transformed the Lakers into a defensive juggernaut that’s going to romp through the playoffs.
............................
@TRANSPARENT SWAN... I would agree with your comments about “Brent” and Jon Barry not being Lakers or Kobe fans. However, you’re completely off base attributing their opinions to their father. Rick has long been a staunch Kobe admirer and supporter who has spoken out loudly and often about what a great player and teammate Kobe Bryant is. So what is your “real” handle?
............................
TOM

JORDAN

you did not get it. Please explain that to Brant Berry and downNout in BH. LOL!
(And please check you reading/comprehension levels). If you recall he scored 62 in 3 quarters. Against Dallas? By the way, did Weber ever score 63 points?

"Kobe is undoubtabley the best player in the NBA today."

Sorry, Kobe is the best player EVER.

LakerTom laying down the law! YES!


DBDH!

pertinent to the D-Fish bashing/can we get [fill in the blank ] ...

http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=19218

snippet:

Results of the recent super team experiments prove one thing; a collection of individual talent isn't greater than true team chemistry no matter how you try to spin it.


"And I'm sure Weber won't take that "BAD" shot. He will call a Time Out."

Weber would most likely call a Time out. What a blockhead.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=KtGzJQaYZZg#t=25s

LakerTom

Ayyy, the PSP thought we had agreed on this thing about posting under multiple handles? Or are you not a man of your words? The PSP can look in the archives and 'refresh your memory' if you want.

So your boy KobeMVP888 is back from his sulk fest and you suddenly feel the need to get on the PSP's case eh? Well, all I gotta say is if you want some come get some son!

Thanks
PSP Solutions Architect


In summation, the Lakers can win with defense, win with offense, win with offense and defense.

Win / Win

Gotta be a nightmare for opposing coaches.

GO Lakers!

Well, well, well...
I went and hibernated in a cave for a while.
I figured taking a month off might somehow make a difference, but I wasn't able to figure out what kind of difference it was supposed to make.
Would I become a better person, a better Laker fan, a better blogger?
Would I gain more insight into the season long struggles of the Lakers and their followers and detractors on the Lakers blog?
Would I even know it if any of those things happened to me?
What are the signs? What characteristics might I identify that would allow me to become aware of something different within?
Short answer, don't know.

So I decided to end my cave dwelling vacation and come visit and see what's happening.
Seems to me not much is different as far as the blog commentary goes, the same kids still say the darndest things, but hey, how 'bout those Lakers!!!
13-1 since the all star break!
As Bynum would say, "are you serious?"

And speaking of Bynum, holy moley, what's gotten into him?
Instead of getting defensive about his shortcomings, he just became defensive, whewee!
This Drew is easy to like!
Too bad about the suspension but he deserved it and it did give him a nice bit of rest for his swollen, water logged knee.

Ron Ron, what a character. I think he should just be a clown when he retires, or become an NBA announcer. He would certainly be better than some of the clowns that are doing game commentary now and I think he would really provide a lively, humorous and unique view on different teams and issues.


And while I'm a day late and dollar short commenting on it, that Suns game was a thrill to watch. So many clutch plays on both teams. All 5 Laker starters had big, clutch plays either on O or D and props to Channing Frye too, quite a game for him.

Seeing the starters play all 3 OT"s was really cool. It was a challenge of sorts for them. I think it was a good experience for them, playing in a pressure situation for 3 OT's was a good test for the coming playoffs to help them focus in on their concentration and performance.
Chemistry seems to have found itself.
They are looking good.
Real good.

I want to come out and admit I was wrong in wanting the Lakers to explore a Ron Ron for Gerald Wallace trade...

- - -

I don't know if this is the first experience for some posting at a blog or forum, but just because we may disagree, passionately at some times, heatedly at other times it doesn't mean we're on different sides of the fence. It also doesn't mean that we need to take things personally.

Some people though get so bent out of shape, it's just the Lakers we're debating folks, we're not sitting around a table at the U.N. deciding to pass some resolution declaring war on another country.

If we can monitor ourselves that is when things work best. MM should not be banning anyone, we shouldn't call for anyone to stop posting.

It doesn't matter where people stand but there's nothing more bothersome to see the same players bashed by the same people, mind-numbingly ad nauseam. But, whatever, that's how they roll and that's fine. Just don't expect to get love thrown your way when you only come in here and, as LakerTom perfectly stated, rain on everyones parade. That doesn't mean they shouldn't post. We all can react in our own ways when someone describes their rapturous delight that Derek Fisher's arm is practically twisted off, wishfully wondering if it would result in sidelining him...

Edwin is right about not branding anyone, but positive energy brings positivity in return. I know I wondered aloud about Pau's lack of production, discussed if a Ron Ron trade might be good for the team, was calling for Farmar to get benched, etc... so I guess I'm not up for Laker sainthood but I try to go more by Chick's call it like I see it type philosophy. I can live with the heat those things generated. But people that bring negativity should not expect to see positive comments thrown back their direction - that's just not a reality.

I'm not perfect, don't know everything and I change my views on things. I know as humans that we all do, we're all wired that way, so we shouldn't taint people forever. None of us have committed crimes here, we should then respond to the posts and not the posters.

Bottom line, it's just a blog, none of what any of us write here means squat. We're just a bunch of Laker brothers (and sista's!) that have gravitated here to converse with one another. Like brothers and sisters we may fight but at the end of the day we're relating and conversating and it's all good...

- - -

hobbit: olive branch accepted although I didn't realize we were at war. I extend an olive branch your way and to everyone here for that matter.

BTW, you're killing it in the Kobe debate, if I had more time this morning I'd jump in at your side but at least offer my support in spirit. Seeing how you're slashing and hacking them more beautifully than Conan in a Frank Frazetta painting, you're doing just fine. I'll enjoy checking back later and seeing the carnage you've left behind...

- - -

888: I'd love to echo LakerTom's great comment above: "You’re at your best when you don’t stoop down to their level. Leave them in the gutter." Beautifully said and I wholeheartedly agree, you're better than them. Stooping to their level does nothing but give them credence.


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

@REGULAR SEASON POLICE ... Who are you? Are you the same poster as the Practice Season Police, who claims that he has never posted under another handle? That’s a pretty long list of things that you claim are blog commandments. Do you plan on issuing tickets for any violations? How many other handles have you posted under. Frankly, I don’t think we need the PSP or RSP.
............................
@LROB... I wanted to echo the compliments paid you by 888 for the courtesy you show all bloggers by acknowledging when they make a good post. Not only are you infinitely fair in your analysis but one of the true gentlemen on the blog. Thanks for helping make this place fun.
............................
@MM.... Another outstanding article, Mark. Was I the only one who noticed Ron’s dunk was by his LEFT hand? LOL. At any rate, as much fun as the game was, you hit the nail on the head that this is not how the Lakers are going to 3-peat. Bynum’s emergence on the boards and on defense has transformed the Lakers into a defensive juggernaut that’s going to romp through the playoffs.
............................
@TRANSPARENT SWAN... I would agree with your comments about “Brent” and Jon Barry not being Lakers or Kobe fans. However, you’re completely off base attributing their opinions to their father. Rick has long been a staunch Kobe admirer and supporter who has spoken out loudly and often about what a great player and teammate Kobe Bryant is. So what is your “real” handle?
............................
TOM

Posted by: LakerTom | March 24, 2011 at 09:13 AM

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

A few days ago you agreed with a post by 888MVP who actually was written by a different blogger. And you did not get IT. Talking about how much attention you pay to other posts. Not surprised that you can't differentiate between PSP and RSP.

And contrary to your opinion, we need badly PSP and RSP.
How about some sanity?

@LROB... I wanted to echo …………………………… political correctness goes a little too far.

"@MM.... Another outstanding article, Mark. Was I the only one who noticed Ron’s dunk was by his LEFT hand? LOL. At any rate, as much fun as the game was, you hit the nail on the head that this is not how the Lakers are going to 3-peat. Bynum’s emergence on the boards and on defense has transformed the Lakers into a defensive juggernaut that’s going to romp through the playoffs."

Actually the commentators POINTED OUT that Ron dunked with his LEFT hand. And I guess even a 13 years blogger will differentiate between LEFT and RIGHT hand. No, YOU are not special. LOL?!

I'm not surprised that you are preaching defense all of the sudden. Didn't you want more Bynum touches? Hard to do that when Bynum is 3-10 against scrubs. Hard to score 139. Lakers will need 470 shots. In 63 minutes that is 7.5 shots/minute! ONE shot every 8 seconds. Even with the d'Antoni 7 seconds offense it is impossible. The other team will have only ONE second available per possession.

IMPOSSIBLE

"@TRANSPARENT SWAN... I would agree with your comments about “Brent” and Jon Barry not being Lakers or Kobe fans. However, you’re completely off base attributing their opinions to their father. Rick has long been a staunch Kobe admirer and supporter who has spoken out loudly and often about what a great player and teammate Kobe Bryant is. So what is your “real” handle?"

Not surprised you are defending Rick. But you also followed Wilt. A Warrior. All those allegiances. Rick has the "excuse" to not be an ESPN slave.

Why do you worry about other bloggers handles? Maybe you should worry about your OWN. Or should we ask the K Bros what "handles" did you post UNDER in the past to complement or ENFORCE your own opinions?

Brant, Brent? Just Bent!

@KOBEMVP888.... Excellent responses to PSP and Bay to LA. It’s great to have your outstanding basketball insights and analyses back on the blog. Don’t let the taunts from the temporary alter ego posters with a million handles deter you from keeping the focus on the positive rather than the personal. You’re at your best when you don’t stoop down to their level. Leave them in the gutter.

Posted by: LakerTom | March 24, 2011 at 09:13 AM
=====

I'll never understand why everyone plays footsie with these nauseating trolls, inner trolls and posers. They are here for one purpose; to spew their hateful anti-Lakers venom and disrupt the positive Lakers vibe in here. Candidly, you were at your best when you stood up to these jerks, but you have taken a kinder, gentler approach which I respect, but which does not come as naturally to me. I'll give some serious thought to scrolling past their crap and just focusing on Lakers basketball and the NBA as we approach the starting line of the Real Season.

888: I'd love to echo LakerTom's great comment above: "You’re at your best when you don’t stoop down to their level. Leave them in the gutter." Beautifully said and I wholeheartedly agree, you're better than them. Stooping to their level does nothing but give them credence.

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

Posted by: CyberCosmiX | March 24, 2011 at 09:42 AM
====

OK, CCX, I get it. I'll abide. The problem is that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! :)

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

Posted by: hobbitmage | March 24, 2011 at 07:11 AM

I am not into GOAT discussion nor do I care for it. Sorry to disappoint you and I hope you find someone as enthusiastic as you who loves such pursuits. Let me ask you one question, does it really matter? If it does then to whom does it matter? Is it an absolute Truth?

Now on topic of Kobe and why I harp on his affinity towards "dominating the ball": as noted by his coach Phil Jackson, I too as an spectator find it counter productive in the context of a team game and see how fast it disrupts the flow of the game. So what do Kobe blowhards do, they call his team mates useless by standers when in fact Kobe as a zealot leader is to be blamed. I have never denied Kobe's great skills, his grit, his character, his dedication and in fact have enjoyed watching him (when not a ballhog) but he is not without a chink in his armor. So when his coach suggests his penchant for ball domination, once again Kobe blowhards come out of wood work wielding Kobe Bible and go off on personal assaults.


@HOBBITMAGE... “Results of the recent super team experiments prove one thing; a collection of individual talent isn't greater than true team chemistry no matter how you try to spin it.”
...
Great post, my friend. I am still amazed at how fans get it through their heads that you cannot have a team with nothing but all-stars. Somebody has to do the dirty work and be the glue. Mitch said it best when he talking about how the pieces all have to fit. Five guys who want the ball only works when you’re playing fantasy basketball. The real game requires five guys who make a team.
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@PSP... Just checking to make sure that you were not the same poster as the RSP. If you check the archives, I asked you this question directly several times but you must have missed it because you never answered. I assume you are saying you are NOT the RSP. Is that right? That’s all I wanted to know. I was not calling you out so no need to challenge me to “come and get some son.” And I am much older than you so the correct terminology should be “sir” rather than “son.” As I have asked 888 to keep the subject to basketball and avoid personality attacks, I ask the same of you.
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@CCX... You’re always a pleasure to read, Mike. Keep it coming. And thanks for seconding my comments to 888. He is such a great resource for this blog that I just want to see him refrain from responding to the cheap seats taunters and baiters so we can all enjoy his great contributions.
............................................
TOM

Candidly, you were at your best when you stood up to these jerks, but …

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | March 24, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the BIGGEST of them ALL?!

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | March 24, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Dear Sir,

It is good to have your kind back, very entertaining indeed. I really hope that you monitor your blood pressure because what ever you are trying to defend is not worthy of risking your health!! In your post I noticed lot PASSION FOR ANGER and no kindness. A person is successful when that person is in peace.

Cheers!!

LakerTom you said:
@PSP... Just checking to make sure that you were not the same poster as the RSP. If you check the archives, I asked you this question directly several times but you must have missed it because you never answered. I assume you are saying you are NOT the RSP. Is that right? That’s all I wanted to know. I was not calling you out so no need to challenge me to “come and get some son.” And I am much older than you so the correct terminology should be “sir” rather than “son.” As I have asked 888 to keep the subject to basketball and avoid personality attacks, I ask the same of you.
Posted by: LakerTom | March 24, 2011 at 10:08 AM

===========================================

Are you serious LakerTom?? Are you serious??? The PSP has posted MULTIPLE times that THE PSP DOES NOT BLOG UNDER MULTIPLE HANDLES!! I will peruse the archives later this afternoon and post proof of this as always. Btw, the PSP is curious as to how exactly you figured out that you are 'much older than me'.

You do realize that this latest nonsense was started by KobeMVP888 right? You do realise this right? You do realize this right? So instead of chastising the PSP et al. how about you try and follow the conversation and see who started the mud slinging.

Thanks
PSP Intern

Laker Tom - Thanks for the compliments. No doubt that game was fun to watch and it had the makings of a playoff game. But it was almost like an All-Star game. It's fun for one game and one game only

LROB & 63 Footer,

Greatly appreciate the classy comments about Hondo!!!

Your facts are accurate about what Hondo did in the 1973 and 1974 playoffs. Plus, he did the real "heavy lifting" during Russell`s last two titles {`68 and `69}.

Immediately after the 1969 Finals ended {before leaving the Forum floor}, he told West how deeply every Celtic respected him, and how they all hope he soon wins a title.

MM

Great article. After the All-Star break (not in here .. it was in my main forum when I was "sulking" lol!), I postulated that PJ was getting ready for the playoffs and the first order of business was getting the Lakers defense in order. The NEXT order of business was refining, tweaking, and otherwise experimenting at the offensive end to be prepared for every situation come playoff time. You will notice that the Lakers use the triangle when Kobe is not on the floor, and a blend of the triangle, isos and high scree-rolls when he is on the floor. Also, both the starters and second unit have been playing more transition and fast break offense than normal.

Because none of us, including the media, are privy to the inner workings of the mind of Phil Jackson (I'm convinced that sometimes his players and assistant coaches aren't even privy to that), we never know whether he's experimenting with his team or really what his "game plan" is or what he is working on to fine tune his team for the playoffs.

Regardless, what I am seeing as an amateur observer is exactly what I though would take place: 1) fine tune the defense and then 2) fine tune the offense. So I wouldn't make much of the Lakers reverting to playing some offense for a change, even at a higher tempo for experimentation purposes. The Suns were a perfect team to practice these things against.

Expect to see the final product on the floor in mid-April after the long, messy 82.


@TRANSPARENT SWAN... Your post says everything anybody would want to know about you. Go ahead and check with the K Brothers. I have never made a single post except under the handle LakerTom. I don’t need to have multiple handles in order for somebody to comment on my posts.
...........................................
@KOBEMVP888... “I'll never understand why everyone plays footsie with these nauseating trolls, inner trolls and posers. They are here for one purpose; to spew their hateful anti-Lakers venom and disrupt the positive Lakers vibe in here.”
...
Here’s how I look at the situation, Kenny. Would you agree that the primary reason that these people post is (1) to get a reaction to show that they DID get under our skin and (2) to trash the blog and make it a less friendly space for fans to post? Once you understand what they want, is not the best strategy to ignore them and isn’t the worst strategy to try and engage them?
...
I don’t know who said it but trying to reason with idiot only brings you down to their level. You cannot win because they will not accept logic or reason. So why not spend your time illuminating those of us who care about this blog and team with your great insights and analyses rather than wasting it with frustrating and useless attempts to humiliate those who do a good of it themselves?
...
I can’t tell you how much I appreciated the several great posts you have made since returning so thanks for at least agreeing to consider what I am saying. I know it’s hard and sometimes you just have to retort – as I’ve caught myself doing at time this morning – but overall, the best approach is to limit your conversations with those who are really interested in having an intelligent dialog and let the denigrators and haters spew their anonymous slurs and defamations to themselves.
...........................................
TOM

AS ALWAYS - AND FOREVER - GO LAKERS!!!!!!
Posted by: CyberCosmiX | March 24, 2011 at 09:42 AM

GREAT post CCX! I really enjoyed reading that and I feel very similar about the things you mentioned.

Getting pumped up for the post season. I haven't posted much lately, but I did post after the Cleveland lost that it is a hard road to play a consistent regular season after 3 finals in a row, but that they would get it together.

I am especially psyched about the defense coming together and Drew's post break production. Also, Ron-Ron is feeling better (as anyone who follows him on twitter knows he is now back to 20 tweets plus a day it seems). Lamar has been huge for the Lakers this year, possibly his best year.

This current run is great for playoff positioning, Lakers confidence, and getting in the rest of the league's heads. Yes the fear the Forum Blue and Gold once again.

It is going to be a fantastic post season. And for as long as I can remember the East might actually be worth watching before the finals this year. It has been a LONG time over there that there have been multiple good teams come playoff time.

I went to my first Laker game as a 6 year old in 71...there have been some great years for the NBA. But few years when I can remember as many good teams as this year....Get your DVRs ready.

...

DBDH!


@RLC... Good comments about Hondo. He and West really shared a lot of the same traits. Great players whom everybody in the league respected. Hondo definitely deserved to be in the HOF no matter how many teams or players there were at that time. I’d love him on my team even today. Nevertheless, we’ll never again see dynasties like the Celtics, UCLA Bruins, or early Yankees again.
....
What’s your take on the Perkins trade? It almost seems like the same situation that the Lakers found themselves in with Lamar last year with so much money invested in our big three – Kobe, Pau, and Drew – that it was hard to pay Lamar what he originally wanted. Fortunately for us, Lamar was willing to sign for less than he might have gotten elsewhere. I could understand why there were tears when Perkins left. I thought it really weakened the Celtics. What’s your take?
.........................................
TOM

Posted by: Practice Season Police | March 24, 2011 at 10:18 AM

To whom it may concern:

As a bystander and a good citizen I agree KobeMVP888 was the first to fire a shot at PSP. So talk about KobeMVP888 calling others "haters" when in fact his posts to PSP, Yellofever reek of utmost HATE, ANGER and RESENTMENT.

Are we dealing with a professional man here? How can you switch from writing a thank you notes to MM, lakertom and the turn around and go ballistic on others. Like I said, a man is successful when that man is at peace with himself.

You do realize that this latest nonsense was started by KobeMVP888 right?

Posted by: Practice Season Police | March 24, 2011 at 10:18 AM
====

Your use of this MOCKING handle of yours "started" it. And what about the rest of your ilk who get great joy in wishing injuries on our players and who repeatedly bash Fish, Bynum, Luke, Pau, Blake, PJ, etc? Why do you defend them?

You have still failed and refused, and continue to fail and refuse, to define the "practice season" and give examples of what it means, yet you choose to farcically own the handle of "Practice Season Police." I asked you to get rid of it and I asked MM to ban it, but neither you nor him would respect that simple request. What I want to know is how can you possibly "patrol" that which you do not even understand? If you had even a BASIC understanding of it, you wouldn't MOCK it (or should I say me) .. if you were REALLY a Lakers fan, that is.

OK, LT and CCX, I'm done with him and the others. This is the last time I will lower myself to their level. Please accept my apologies.

this is not about politics but: Lakers TRIPLE overtime influence world politics:

1969 - First Lakers 3-OVERTIME in LA. Lakers lose.

1969 - Gaddafi becomes El Presidente?

2011 - Lakers - Second 3-Overtime in LA. Lakers win.

2011 - Gaddafi …

"@BAY TO LA... Thanks for your response. I like Blake but would prefer to stick with Phil’s choice. The team is on a streak that could result in their winning out the rest of the season. Why would any coach in their right mind make a change now when the team is 13-1 since the all-star break?
Posted by: LakerTom | March 24, 2011 at 09:13 AM "

The Lakers have been playing much better lately and I have not said much about the Fisher/Blake situation. It was much more of an issue when the Lakers were mired in inconsistency and were getting beat by other team's point guards on a regular basis.

The biggest change since the all-star break is the return of a healthy front line. I think you would agree that has been the catalyst for the success. For what it's worth, Derek's stats are down across the board since the all-star break but it hasn't mattered because with their size, they have no problem getting by with minimal production from the point guard position. I still think the team would be even better with Blake taking the majority of the minutes.

Your use of this MOCKING handle of yours "started" it. And what about the rest of your ilk who get great joy in wishing injuries on our players and who repeatedly bash Fish, Bynum, Luke, Pau, Blake, PJ, etc? Why do you defend them?

You have still failed and refused, and continue to fail and refuse, to define the "practice season" and give examples of what it means, yet you choose to farcically own the handle of "Practice Season Police." I asked you to get rid of it and I asked MM to ban it, but neither you nor him would respect that simple request. What I want to know is how can you possibly "patrol" that which you do not even understand? If you had even a BASIC understanding of it, you wouldn't MOCK it (or should I say me) .. if you were REALLY a Lakers fan, that is.

OK, LT and CCX, I'm done with him and the others. This is the last time I will lower myself to their level. Please accept my apologies.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | March 24, 2011 at 10:39 AM

===================================================

Errr it's a free country son, the PSP can use whatever handle the PSP feel like using as long as it adheres to the LA Times rules/guidelines; sorry boss.

As for 'the rest of my ilk' as you called them, they are grown and can handle their business; thus you should address them directly if you have any issues with them.

The PSP will say once again if you bother to look or ask your boy CCX, the PSP has given the reason behind the handle and why it was chosen. I have also publicly stated that I am willing to repost that information IF you can backup the accusations you leveled at the PSP before you sulked away. Deal?

Thanks
PSP Solutions Architect

OK, LT and CCX, I'm done with him and the others. This is the last time I will lower myself to their level. Please accept my apologies.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | March 24, 2011 at 10:39 AM


Dear Sir,


Why do you need LT and CCX's approval? Insecure person going back for affirmations to his protectors, just deal with it as a grown man!!

You apologize and then with the same breadth spew hate again by suggesting that you are stooping to lower level, interesting. By the way what is your level? Are you sitting perched high on pedestal in the company of divinity?

I still think the team would be even better with Blake taking the majority of the minutes.

Posted by: Bay to LA | March 24, 2011 at 10:52 AM
====

Do you think he should start this deep into the season? Do you think that would help or hurt the team's chemistry? Why don't you trust Derek Fisher? Do you think the chemistry he has developed with Kobe Bryant and the rest of the starters is overrated? If so, why? What do you see that Phil Jackson apparently doesn't see?

"Do you think he should start this deep into the season? Do you think that would help or hurt the team's chemistry? Why don't you trust Derek Fisher? Do you think the chemistry he has developed with Kobe Bryant and the rest of the starters is overrated? If so, why? What do you see that Phil Jackson apparently doesn't see?

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | March 24, 2011 at 11:00 AM "

I think the Lakers are a better team with Steve Blake getting a majority of the minutes. If you predict that would cause an erosion of chemistry, that's your opinion. I believe these guys are all professionals and would do what it takes to win. No change is going to happen so we'll never know which one of us is right.

I can’t tell you how much I appreciated the several great posts you have made since returning so thanks for at least agreeing to consider what I am saying. I know it’s hard and sometimes you just have to retort – as I’ve caught myself doing at time this morning – but overall, the best approach is to limit your conversations with those who are really interested in having an intelligent dialog and let the denigrators and haters spew their anonymous slurs and defamations to themselves.
...........................................
TOM

Posted by: LakerTom | March 24, 2011 at 10:25 AM

====

Well taken and I shall abide. I know whose posts to skip and I won't reply to the multiple new handles that show up on here if I get caught reading more crap. I just wish some of our better bloggers would quit playing footsie with these jerks, but I suppose a forum like this fascinates people in all different ways. All I know is ...

Go Lakers!!!

No change is going to happen so we'll never know which one of us is right.

Posted by: Bay to LA | March 24, 2011 at 11:11 AM

=====

Actually if we win #17, yes we will.

"Actually if we win #17, yes we will.


Posted by: KobeMVP888 | March 24, 2011 at 11:34 AM "

Actually, no. It wouldn't answer any questions as to which point guard they are better with. It would just prove they were good enough to win with Derek starting.

Actually, no. It wouldn't answer any questions as to which point guard they are better with. It would just prove they were good enough to win with Derek starting.

Posted by: Bay to LA | March 24, 2011 at 11:46 AM
====

No comment.

"No comment.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | March 24, 2011 at 11:52 AM "

Before you misinterpret what I'm saying, I have never claimed they can't three-peat with Derek Fisher taking the majority of the point guard minutes. At times you seem to pose your argument as if I have stated that Derek cannot get them there this year and that's incorrect.

My stance all along has been that they would be a better team with Steve Blake. They can win with Derek, but I think Steve increases their chances. That is all.

My stance all along has been that they would be a better team with Steve Blake. They can win with Derek, but I think Steve increases their chances. That is all.

Posted by: Bay to LA | March 24, 2011 at 11:56 AM
====

We all have our opinions and yours have consistently been on the side of the GHEs. I'll defer to Phil Jackson. For the life of me, I can't understand why you don't.

"We all have our opinions and yours have consistently been on the side of the GHEs. I'll defer to Phil Jackson. For the life of me, I can't understand why you don't.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | March 24, 2011 at 11:59 AM "

Let me phrase it to you this way. If you work for a successful boss at a prominent company, does that mean every one of his ideas is better than every one of yours?

The boss can shoot your idea down and he has every right to, but that doesn't mean he is correct in every situation.

Let me phrase it to you this way. If you work for a successful boss at a prominent company, does that mean every one of his ideas is better than every one of yours?

The boss can shoot your idea down and he has every right to, but that doesn't mean he is correct in every situation.

Posted by: Bay to LA | March 24, 2011 at 12:10 PM

====

Good point. You probably would have had 12 or 13 rings and won those championships in fewer games than Phil Jackson. Also, your teams probably would be held in a higher historical esteem than Phil Jackson's teams. I recall that you weren't completely satisfied with last year's championship. Now I know why. We'll never know how much better it would have been if Bay to LA was coaching the Lakers.

So while I am viewed by your GHE club as being "arrogant" and intolerant of opinions that differ from mine, I find it interesting that I am the one who trusts an organization who has delighted its fans for the better part of 31 years under Dr. Buss and that I am the one who believes in the Lakers' record setting head coach who knows his team and his players a LOT better than ANY of us do.

Don't you find that interesting?

Hey Jordan,

You commented about "Laker Swan"s comments....I glossed over him when he spelled "Brant Barry" twice....no one, I mean no one can be that stupid....I don't care if he is "something"-impaired....Brant is not a frickin name....it really makes me think that this world is filled with too many people that don't deserve oxygen.

"Good point. You probably would have had 12 or 13 rings and won those championships in fewer games than Phil Jackson. Also, your teams probably would be held in a higher historical esteem than Phil Jackson's teams. I recall that you weren't completely satisfied with last year's championship. Now I know why. We'll never know how much better it would have been if Bay to LA was coaching the Lakers.

So while I am viewed by your GHE club as being "arrogant" and intolerant of opinions that differ from mine, I find it interesting that I am the one who trusts an organization who has delighted its fans for the better part of 31 years under Dr. Buss and that I am the one who believes in the Lakers' record setting head coach who knows his team and his players a LOT better than ANY of us do.

Don't you find that interesting?

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | March 24, 2011 at 12:38 PM "

Is there really any need to grossly exaggerate my comments?

If I criticize a quick off balance shot by Shannon Brown, am I claiming to be better than him? Should I just understand that he has spent his lifetime honing his skills to become an NBA basketball decision and defer to him that it was the best possible play to be made at the time?

I'm not criticizing Phil Jackson or saying I would be better in his spot so there's really no need to get so sensitive and misconstrue what I am saying into claiming I would be winning more titles than he is. I could be wrong with my opinion that the team is better off with Steve Blake starting but from what I have seen, it is the opinion I have come to. I'm not claiming to know more than anyone.

This blog is anti-Fisher.....wasn't that hashed over yesterday...I'm gonna get a life today.....you guys argue, and play with your little plastic green army men....Fisher and Blake are our main point guards, Kobe and Lamar can back them up once in a while, the Lakers are winning, the rest of the league seems to be unraveling a bit....and this blog wants to bash Fisher....I would scream, but I have better things to do.

dropping 42 points and the game went into triple overtime,that doesnt make any sense.If MJ drop 45 points in a game then that would have been certainly a blow out for the Bulls under Phil guidance.With Pippen,Jordan and Steve Ker that would have been a blow out for the suns,they would have never been able to come back in the game but in the end of the 4th quarter Jordan and Pippen would have killed it of right there,done and dusted,no overtime.

That photo of DFish smushing Nash in the face with his forearm is reason enough for ME to like him! lol!


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