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Caught in the Web: Lakers prepare for Game 5 against New Orleans

Lk7353nc --The Times' Mike Bresnahan details the Lakers' adversities, including Kobe Bryant's physical status, Derrick Caracter's arrest and the team's overall play.

--The Times' Broderick Turner explains the adjustments the Lakers plan to make on Hornets guard Chris Paul.

--The Times' Mark Heisler wonders if the Lakers will get out of their funk.

--Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin says Derrick Caracter's arrest won't help his future in the NBA. Helin also criticizes Bryant's decision not to get tests on his ankle.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding relishes the Bryant-Paul matchup.

--NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper looks at the long-term implications Bryant's ankle injury could have on the Lakers. 

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky wonders if Bryant is being an ironman or just stubborn.

--The Times-Picayune's Nakia Hogan details Trevor Ariza's settling in with New Orleans.

--The Riverside Press Enterprise's David Lassen notes Bryant's insistence that he'll play in Game 5.

--Sports Illustrated's Zach Lowe looks at the Lakers' playoff inconsistencies.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin covers Bryant's refusal to get diagnostic tests on his ankle.

--The Daily News' Jill Painter mentions the difference in the way the Lakers and Bryant are characterizing the injury. The Lakers say his left ankle is sprained, while Bryant says the injury is more to his foot.

--The Times-Picayune's John Reid explains how Paul has helped the Hornets surpass expectations.

--Fox Sports' Billy Witz wonders if Bryant can carry the Lakers on one leg. 

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano looks at which combinations the Lakers should have with their front line.

--Hornets 24/7's Ryan Schwan believes the Lakers are more dangerous with Bryant being limited because that means more shots will go to his teammates.

Tweet of the Day: "As long as Kobe is taking chances w/no MRI, he should go whole hog and play without taping the ankle. AK #DudeJustGetAnMRI" -- ESPNLandoLakers (ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "n the past, Lamar has stepped up when Kobe has been hurt. Lamar is a winner. It is winning time. Pau needs to have a great game eventually in this series. Tonight is the night. They should feed the ball inside to Drew and he needs to go strong to the basket. Who do they have that can stop him? We need a few bicep plays from Ron to turn the momentum. Fish will hit some key heart crushing threes that get written about for years to come. The B's will come in and make them wish the starters would come back. We can't just beat them. Then, it is still a series. We need to destroy them. Tonight is the night. Tonight, we got Jack. Go Lakers!" -- Lakerholic

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: New Orleans Hornets forward Trevor Ariza (1) leaps near the basket against L.A. Lakers forward Pau Gasol, (16) during the first half of Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in New Orleans, Sunday. Credit: Gerald Herbert / AP

 
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Go Lakers! We choked away a good effort by AJ last night. Don't you do the same tonight!

Once again MMs apparent hate for kobe rises to the fore.. All it takes is another misguided, incriminating and flippant remark from phil jackson about kobe and MM and his media masses again run wild... Is it too much to ask for anybody to reserve judgement until tonights game before coming to any conclusion?? Is it too much to ask to give our MVP the benefit of doubt after playing with 8 fingers a bruised hip knee and ankle before throwing him under the bus??? The ankle sprain per the replays did NOT appear very serious... Or do most of you gonna BOW and DEFER to phil once again just because he thinks he possesses more insight in knowing kobes body better than kobe knows himself.. Its amazing the flak kobe gets by his haters anytime he does anything where it requires using his own judgment... And here's another question: had our great phillip not been so criticial of kobe to the press would all of you be thinking the same thing??? I DOUBT IT.. I think I'm sick.. I may have to impose my own self exile (I think I too am entitled once per year) if all this kobe hate persists

Hello my Laker family! Sorry I've been MIA but life has been extremely busy.

The Lakers are once again causing anxiety attacks for their faithful fans. They've done it every year for as longa s I can remember. Despite all the rumblings about injuries and funks, I have faith that they'll be able to get it together.

As for Kobe's ankle injury...I think the guy has played through enough injuries to know what his limitations are. If he feel he is able to play on it, what good does an MRI do? Whatever medical term they used will just be stuck in Kobe's head and will then be the talk of every sportswriter in the world. We already know everything gets overblown. You've heard the "Kobe has a lower leg contusion", yada yada yada...that's just a doggone bruise. Kobe knows his body better than anyone and he will continue to lead the Lakers until they amputate both his legs and arms people.

Lakers in 6...Let's go Lakers!!!

@Lakerholic - congrats on the Friedman.

R.I.P. Ms. Phoebe Snow
http://youtu.be/n5AaNLyFpoI
Posted by: frmkt | April 26, 2011 at 08:11 AM
--------------------
Frmkt,

Phoebe was such an incredible talent. She could do it all…folk, blues, pop, jazz, R&B…she was beyond classification. She sacrificed a great deal of her career to stay home and take care of her daughter who was born with a severe brain injury. She was a great lady. My condolences go out to Phoebe’s family, friends and fans also.

You Send Me (warning: this is a very powerful performance much like the Lakers will give tonight)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h0KW6DaXgk&feature=related

A Tale of Two Gasols (continued)

Marc continues to outperform big brother Pau in the playoffs. Through the four games of the first round:

Game 1-4 Combined
........Marc....Pau
PTS.....62......49
REB.....44......25
AST.....11......13
STL......2........2
TO.......5........6

Last night's MEM v SAS game was Marc's best DEFENSIVE effort in the playoffs, keeping Tim Duncan to 6 points on Tim's birthday, no less. As if to say, 'Feliz cumpleanos', old man. Marc has owned Tim Duncan over the last 4 games, keeping Timmie at 12.8 pts average, which 10 points BELOW the future HOF'er's career playoff average.

Marc's defense on TD affects the complexion of the SAS offense. Guarding TD usually requires a double team/help defense. That opens up the dreaded SAS 3-point barrage. But since Marc is able to guard Timmie one-on-one without fouling (only one PF last night), MEM is able to guard the perimeter effectively.

On the hand, big brother Pau has his hands full guarding a 6'-8" scrub named Landry, who is having a career playoff high of 17.0 pts average over the last 4 games. That's more than DOUBLE Landry's previous playoff average!!!

C'mon Pau, time to show that pretender in MEM who is the real Alpha dog in the family...

Ron Artest just won the NBA's Citizenship Award!!!

CONGRATULATIONS THRILLER!!!!

What a redemption story!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

"They" keep saying Landry can't keep shooting lights out. Paul cannot have another career playoff game. Ariza can't continue to play out of this world D on Kobe. Ariza can't continue to score prolifically. Lakers cannot get outrebounded again. etc. etc. etc.

Who says all that can't continue!? It happened twice, so it is not an abberation! And since the Lakers beyond Kobe and RA and DF toughness have nothing to hang their hat on, why would we think tonight they finally throw some magical switch to lock down and stop all these patterns!?

Tonight is really the most important MUST WIN of this series for the Lakers. Who besides KB, DF, RA will actually leave it all on the court tonight! CAN I GET A REBOUND! How can NO get more offensive rebounds than our supposed BIG lineups!?!!!? Hustle/effort is the answer. LO/PG/AB/RA - this is on you!

"The ankle sprain per the replays did NOT appear very serious

Posted by: yellofever | April 26, 2011 at 10:54 AM "

Yeah it just looked like a minor tweak to me. I'm sure he's fine. If the Lakers were afraid he had a serious injury, they'd be giving him an ultimatum right now.

Let's put it this way...

As a diehard Lakeraholic, I can handle one nigh-stroke-inducing-Lakers-playing-down-to-their-competition-and-almost-being-pushed-off-the-cliff-for-it series per playoffs.

ONE!!!!

THAT'S IT!!!

NO MORE THAN THAT!!!

SO THIS BETTER BE THAT FRICKEN SERIES!!!!

GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER TEAM!!!!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Posted by: EastCoastJessie | April 26, 2011 at 11:08 AM

yep.


what is an MRI going to do if he's going to play anyway? if the staff knows exactly what's going on in there, how will that change what happens on the court? all that can be done, MTI or no, is to tape it and pray. yes, i DO have enough medical knowledge to say so.

it's now or never. there may NEVER be another chance. there may not be a season next year. the time to rest and lick wounds is after elimination or championship. right now, if he can play, he will. if he can't, then oh well.

"Whatever medical term they used will just be stuck in Kobe's head and will then be the talk of every sportswriter in the world. We already know everything gets overblown. You've heard the "Kobe has a lower leg contusion", yada yada yada...that's just a doggone bruise. Kobe knows his body better than anyone and he will continue to lead the Lakers until they amputate both his legs and arms people.

Lakers in 6...Let's go Lakers!!!

Posted by: EastCoastJessie | April 26, 2011 at 11:08 AM "

While I agree, his refusal to get the MRI will actually cause the injury to be even more overblown because now people don't even know what to call it and they'll be speculating how bad he is hurt for the rest of the playoffs.

Isn't the Lakers' "playoff inconsistency" everyone is so upset about just another way of saying that they have won some games and lost some games?


In spite of all the heightened drama of Lakers' media and fans, it is just normal. It is not normal to sweep your way to a title. It is normal to lose a few games on the way through the playoffs. To have some tough battles. And when you lose, you tend to look bad. That ain't inconsistency, it's just life.


Top seeds in the West are NOT having an easy time of it this year. San Antonio is down 3-1 and Dallas is up 3-2. The Lakers are at 2-2. Seems in line with the other data points - low seeds in the West are not pushovers this year. The Lakers are vulnerable to quickness and NOLA is quick.


The only first round sweep in the entire NBA playoffs this year is Boston over a banged up Knicks.


This is how it works. So enjoy the drama of the playoffs. Unless Kobe is seriously hurt, the Lakers will probably prevail in this series. If he is seriously hurt, their chance of winning a title probably go with him.

Under the last thread, LakerTom and God had two very well written, well reasoned posts about Andrew Bynum. The reason LakerTom seems to get "emotional" about the Bynum topic is because of the nature of the way Bynum is attacked in here, IMO. God's rational post is the kind of counter discussion that Tom would welcome any time. It was written in a very respectful tone and it rationalized the sensibilities behind those whose opinions on the topic don't always come across as sensible. Kudos to both of you!

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | April 25, 2011 at 07:41 PM

@KobeMVP888

Totally agree, both great opinions based on rationalized points. Worth going back and reading if you haven't already.

Congratulations Ron Artest for winning the 2011 Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award!!!!!!!!!!That is awesome for someone who is trying to escape the bad incident in Detroit. I hope he is reading this cause I am so proud of him!!! This should make his day (and nite)!! Still can't figure out why he wasn't in the ball game more Sun nite. He was making hoops and defending well! Go Lakers, if Spurs lose we get home court thru out the West!!!!!!

COOL! Ron-Ron won J Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award!

Pau maybe the alpha dog, but around here he is still Pau Gasoft, grimacing euro-wennie. Carl Landry is not a scrub, he is the most talented undersized center in the NBA. Had he been gifted with a mere 4 inches more in height, he would likely be an all-star.

Go Grizz, and yes Marc and Z-Bo together are far better than Pau alone.

MM.........Where is my post on Ron Artest winning the Walter Kennedy Citizenship award?

Thanks LRob!


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