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Caught in the Web: Lakers prepare for Game 3 against New Orleans

61048013-1--The Times' Mike Bresnahan highlights Pau Gasol's struggles, Kobe Bryant's defense on Chris Paul and Ron Artest's playoff consistency.

--The Times' Mark Heisler details Andrew Bynum's progression.

--The Times' Broderick Turner talks to Lakers assistant coach Jim Cleamons about the plan for Game 3 against the Hornets.

--The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore highlights Bynum's optimism about his knee.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding believes Gasol will flop more in Game 3.

--Ball Don't Lie's Kelly Dwyer shares his observation on Artest scaling back his practice regimen.

--NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper notices that first-round difficulties are nothing new for the Lakers.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky on Thursday's practice.

--The Times-Picayune's John Reid spells out what the Hornets need to do to defend their home court.

--Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen says the Hornets have helped keep the NBA playoffs unpredictable.

--Logo Design Love tells the story behind the NBA logo.

--Silver Screen and Roll's wondahbap credits the Lakers' supporting cast.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano believes Gasol is taking too much heat for his performance in Game 2.

Tweet of the Day: "Can't wait for tonight, I know the NO crowd will be crazy! Is there going to be any Laker love in the building!" -- AndrewBynum (Lakers center Andrew Bynum)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "I think Kobe should DEFINETELY start off guarding CP3 and let D-Fish play about 6-7 minutes of the first quarter and then bring in Steve Blake because Blake and Kobe guard Paul the best. Blake was playing some tough aggressive defense on Paul (I was surprised I thought he'd be drained and lose energy fast because he just recovered from chicken pox.) Chris Paul is not a scorer but if teams play pick n rolls as bad as the Lakers did in game 1 then he can turn into a scorer." -- Jordan

-- Mark Medina

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

Photo: Lakers center Andrew Bynum, who finished with 17 point and 11 rebounds, is fouled by Hornets power forward Carl Landry in the second quarter Wednesday night at Staples Center. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / April 20, 2011

 
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Think big on offense

The Lakers have a size advantage over the Hornets' rotation players, so Cleamons wants his team to keep pounding the ball inside to their 7-footers Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, and to Lamar Odom, who is 6 feet 10.

That plan worked better in Game 2 as the Lakers outscored the Hornets, 50-32, in the paint.

"If we want to take advantage of our bigs," Cleamons said, "then we've got to find a way to get our bigs the ball so they can be more effective."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

_________

Believe me: Kobe does not need to "take more shots." If you don't take my word for it, at least respect the opinions and game plans of the most "winningest" coaching staff in NBA history.

Believe me: Kobe does not need to "take more shots." If you don't take my word for it, at least respect the opinions and game plans of the most "winningest" coaching staff in NBA history.

Posted by: frmkt | April 22, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Asked Phil, "who is open?"

I'll be at the game tonight cheering loudly. Go LAKERS!

Yeah Tmart. We be a listening!

@PSP.. So far no minutes logged in by 'phil is my papa' luke this practice playoffs.. Barnes I also back so I don't expect to see much of the 'king of garbage time' which should keep my hypertension under control

@LTLF.. Hope my past comments dont slow u down.. Other than ur luke man crush ur opinions r always respected here. Just fun n games so keep up the spirit. GO LAKERS! :-)

@Jordan – congrats on the Friedman.

Good article about Drew’s health by Bonsignore.


I know this isn’t PC, but it’s hard for me to get too analytical about this series. The Hornets just don’t have the firepower to beat the Lakers. I know they shot lights out and played great in game 1, played very tough in game 2 and have shut down Pau in both games, but I think they’ve maxed out and the Lakers will raise their level of play. I expect the Lakers to win the next three. Maybe I’m selling NO short or just believe in the Lakers too much. We shall see.

@LRob: agreed. NO - on paper - should not be in this series but for reasons that most of us understand, they are and as such, I have the Lakers in 6 before it's time to call NEXT! :-)

GO LAKERS!!

Since the Lakers will be dancing after tonight’s game and they’re playing in New Orleans, my selection for today was written by someone from the Big Easy…Chris Kenner (some sat Fats co-wrote it) and performed by Mr. Wicked himself…

Wilson Pickett – Land of a 1,000 dances.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kk4Uwge4DzQ

@LRob: agreed. NO - on paper - should not be in this series but for reasons that most of us understand, they are and as such, I have the Lakers in 6 before it's time to call NEXT! :-)

Posted by: frmkt | April 22, 2011 at 12:34 PM
-------------------
frmkt - I wish they couldn't played this one on paper. Then Pau would be averaging 20/10...lol.

I NEED something to cheer about tonight.

Come on Lakers!!! (bail me out)

Hey what's goin on here? Even kevin ding is now takin cheapshots on pau... He better tone it down or he'll feel the wrath of the la times blog and be labeled a troll. :-p

Simple.
FEED THE BEAST
the beast has risen
LONG LIVE THE BEAST
and don't go hurtin' yourself either.

A Laker playoff game on a Friday night on a 3-day weekend? I LOVE IT! It doesn't get any better. Beer, food, friends and a loud TV - it really is a Good Friday.

The fans in New Orleans are going to be off-the-hook crazy. I love to watch the Lakers in front of a hostile crowd. The Lakers better bring their A-game to pull out victories this weekend.

Go Lakers! They better not ruin my Friday night!

p.s. If the Lakers win, drink a beer. If the Lakers lose, drink five beers and a few shots!

What's more appropriate for tonight's game in New Orleans than a Good Ol' Fashioned New Orleans Funeral Dirge?

Jack Teagarden & Bobby Hackett (No relation to Buddy Hackett)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpgHWW7S__Y&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Well, technically, it's not a dirge, but in the Hornets' case it might as well be.

Here's to You New Orleans! YOU MAY HAVE GOTTEN ONE, BUT NOW YOU'RE DONE!

"IT'S THE PLAYOFFS, NOT THE LAYOFFS!"

Hey what's goin on here? Even kevin ding is now takin cheapshots on pau... He better tone it down or he'll feel the wrath of the la times blog and be labeled a troll. :-p

Posted by: yellofever | April 22, 2011 at 12:56 PM
-------------------------------------------------
Ding, what a inner troll.

@MM...Do we know which refs have been assigned to tonight game yet? And pls don't say joey and tony brothers or big di*k bavetta

Hey what's goin on here? Even kevin ding is now takin cheapshots on pau... He better tone it down or he'll feel the wrath of the la times blog and be labeled a troll. :-p

Posted by: yellofever | April 22, 2011 at 12:56 PM
--------------
fever - we luv Ding so he can get away with it. Anyway the article is not really bashing Pau as much as it is the refs.

I must be more superstitious than most of you as I am knocking on wood for most of these optimistic posts! Yikes - makes me worry even more............but all of you are correct: on PAPER we should have an easy series..........but we are AT NO for two games with a competetitor as ferocious as Kobe AND who has nobody who can actually cover him (because the NBA allows carrying the ball, as PJ said earlier in the season). His carrying the ball on every dribble and possession would have been turnovers in my day, but that is one huge reason nobody including DF can cover him. Heck, he couldn't even cover himself the way they ref the game!

All we can hope for is to get at least 40% of the calls and hope Kobe doesn't get too frustrated and T himself up! BECAUSE..............wait for it.....................here are our refs for tonight!

L.A. Lakers @ New Orleans Joe Crawford Bennett Salvatore Sean Wright Tony Brown

The horror couldn't be worse unless they added Javie!

Here's to Pau eating Spicy Gumbo late last night instead of his usual paella. Fire it up! We're going to see a much more aggressive Pau tonight!

Here's a thought Pau. Eat enough spicy gumbo and start peeling the paint in the paint. Oaf-a-kur and Erin "Wilma Deering" Grey won't want to be within 5 feet of your post ups.

"IT'S THE PLAYOFFS, NOT THE LAYOFFS!"

@Tri - Nice New Orleans flavored selection with Bobby Hackett (what happened to Jackie Gleason...lol). Also the Stan Levy was cool.


@Magia - what you bumpin today?

Lakers need to, well, should make a clear statement tonight that this series is OURS!

Here's a little Stevie for tonight!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkBUx6Zn6mo

@yellofever

Joe Crawford
Bennett Salvatore
Sean Wright

http://www.nba.com/news/referee.html

Must win tonight!

Time to take back HCA.

One more win in a row.

Take it to 'em bigs! ALL OF YOU!

Keep your cool Kobe. (Remember 81!)

The # is 15....let it be 14 after tonight!


Tweet from Drew this morning: “Can't wait for tonight, I know the NO crowd will be crazy! Is there going to be any Laker love in the building!”
...........................................................
TOM

yellofever

A lovely trio tonight! Bennett Salvatore, Joey Crawford and Sean Wright! For what it's worth, home teams have GREAT records when they ref games, but individually home teams beat the spread more often than not only when Wright officiates.

http://www.covers.com/pageLoader/pageLoader.aspx?page=/data/nba/referees/current_assignments.html

Regarding Pau, we all have eyes. We all wonder what is going on with him and we all know that he is so much better than this. His efforts in helping us to back-to-back championships speak for themselves. My concern with him is that he is suffering from something more than a "mental" breakdown. Whether it's his knee or another health issue, whether he's simply out of gas from playing so much basketball over the past 4 years, whether it's personal, or whether it's something else, we all would like to know, but he's too much of a professional and has too much pride to make excuses. Let's just hope that he gets his mojo back. I'm convinced that he will!

PJ was fined $35K a year ago for criticizing Bennett Salvatore (who had called some weird technicals against Kobe and Ron).

@LRob - love the Land of 1000 Dances and Wilson Pickett
@NuggetsCountry - "don't you worry 'bout a thing" is exactly right, like Little Stevie says!
For my gumbo infused musical contribution - and in deference to a bounce-back effort from El Jefe Mas Fuerte Pau Gasol - may I present Lowell George & Co. at the Rainbow Theater in London in '77...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qQnGfZpIfY

jefe101

Nothin' like a little Spanish Moon, now sung at concerts by Sam "I am" Clayton. Thank you for that. The Feat are like the Lakers to me.

>>>Hope my past comments dont slow u down.

Not a chance. I actually LIKE the fact that there are contrary opinions here.

It'd be a pretty boring blog if everyone agreed with everyone all the time.


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