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Caught in the Web: Lakers prepare for Oklahoma City


--The Times' Broderick Turner explains why the Lakers Coach Phil Jackson is concerned about the team's four-game losing streak.

--The Times' Mark Heisler believes it's hard to get a read on the Lakers.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr highlights Jackson's worries about the Lakers' losing streak.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky, Ramona Shelburne and 710 ESPN's Dave Miller debate a few Laker topics.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi explains how the Thunder has become a competitive franchise.

--Pro Basketball Talk's Matt Moore believes there's nothing to worry about the Lakers' recent losing streak.

--The Oklahoman's John Rohde highlights Scott Brooks' support for Thunder forward Kevin Durant winning league MVP since he's on pace to finish first in the NBA in scoring.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford looks at how Lakers forward Pau Gasol might match up with Thunder center Kendrick Perkins.

--The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel explains how Perkins' defense has been present long before playing with Kevin Garnett.

--Fox Sports' Billy Witz believes the Lakers are facing the perfect storm against Oklahoma City.

--Silver Screen and Roll's Saurav A. Das wonders if it might be a good thing the Lakers are going through a four-game losing streak.

--Yahoo! Sports talks about in the video below on what the Lakers need to do to turn things around

Tweet of the Day: "We dropped 4 in a row, now it's time to bounce back and get back on track. 3 games remain before play-offs start. It's been a long season..." -- ShannonBrown (Lakers guard Shannon Brown)

Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "Good news for Lakers is their trouble revolves around things that can be fixed. Turnovers, boxing out and moving sharply and decisively in the offensive sets. Defense has been ok and expect that will turn up a notch in playoffs. Bad news is that if the Lakers don't address above mentioned items, there are several teams that can beat them." -- dkwsfo

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at

Photo: Guard Kobe Bryant drives to the basket against Thunders forward Jeff Green, left, and Nenad Krstic in Game 2 of the 2010 Western Conference playoffs. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (6)

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"People of Orange County say a big flat NO to new taxes & another bad team. "
Excuse me? With all due respect, WE DO NOT HAVE BAD TEAMS in OC. The fact is the Angels and the Ducks have a superior post-season performance over the past decade than their LA counterparts, Dodgers and Kings.

Lewsters, thank you, as always, for the game day roll-call! Jefe101 checking in...let's DO this! The skid ends tonight.

Perkins and Garnett are soft, they couldn't beat Lakers in game 1 last season, they had to rely to Rondo and Ray Allen. Both parents of Gasol are doctors, do you think doctors would let their kids playing on the street, fighting with other kids ? Paul Gasol is the best European player, look at the Spain baskettball team without Paul Gasol. If Perkins played in game 7 last year, Boston still lost to Lakers, if you want to call other people soft, thinks about yourself first.

@DKWSFO … Congrats on the Friedman. In line with your excellent comments, the other good news is that the Lakers don’t have to do anything they haven’t done before. Bring their A-game, it’s over. The other contenders, in contrast, basically have to do something they have not done in their present iterations, make it to the Finals and beat the Lakers in a 7-game series. It will be a Lakers playoffs.

I think you, Corner J, and I are all seeing the same issue with Pau and the Lakers, which is the smooth and efficient running of the Triangle Offense, which is a primary component to playing good defense. When the Triangle is humming and the ball and players moving, it’s a synchronized effort that carries over to the team’s rotations on defense, everybody seeing the game one or two moves into the future.

The offense has been a major reason for losing the last four games. To begin with, our spacing has just been way off, which is part of why we have made so many turnovers that have ignited fast breaks for the other team and led to the spurts that really cost us the game. Also, as pointed out brilliantly by Michael H., we point blank haven’t been playing inside-out basketball, especially the bench players.

The key to me is obviously better spacing, cutting, and passing and a commitment to playing inside-out basketball. As they currently stand, the Lakers are not a good outside shooting team, which is why everybody is sagging off our perimeter players to clog up the lane. What is our advantage is our size at almost every position and the luxury of having multiple players with outstanding post up games that give us great flexibility and versatility in deciding exactly how to play inside-out basketball.

We may also see more teams going very small to try and create a matchup at center designed to pull Drew away from the basket, much like Portland did Friday night. The key is not to blink and go small to match up with them but instead to make them pay dearly at the other end by getting the ball to Drew in the low post. That’s how you win matchups. Unfortunately, Drew was ill Friday night but in the future, that’s how I expect the Lakers to attack small ball because we’re going to see more of it.

So what do you do when the other team sags off your outside shooters to try and force you to take outside shots? You attack the rim with cuts and great ball movement swinging the ball from strong to weak side to get the isolations you want inside. You post up Kobe and Ron as well as Drew, Pau, and Lamar. And most importantly, you destroy the other team on the boards. By moving the ball well, our outside shooters will shoot much better when the shots are taken in rhythm of the offense.

this was written:
When lbj left the cavs they went from being a contender and winning 67 games to the worse lottery team who will not win 20 games. That how great this young man is. If kobe hadn't played this season LA would still have won 50 games and be in the playoffs. LBJ is a back to back MVP and a force of nature.
.....Hobbit you really write some nonsense often. If a team is faster than you and they want to run you put them in the half court set and pound the middle. When Kobe and ron take 39 shots and miss more than half the shots then this give the other team even more opportunities to run. Drew only getting 2 shots is not winning basketball man. Take off those kobe tinted shades and realise what is wnning ball and what is idiotic. What kobe and ron did was insane.

Posted by: island priest | April 10, 2011 at 08:08 AM

my response:

Island Altar Boy,

You have the reading comprehension of a 10 yr. old. Allow me to clarify.
Have you actually been watching the games?

My statement about the response to a turnover is NOT what they *should* do,
but what they *ARE* doing! That and looking at human psychology to
understand *WHY* they're doing it.

I have *NEVER* argued that inside-outside basketball doesn't work. I've
said that it doesn't work if your bigs "are not in the right place." Applying
a little in game perspective, during the Portland game the Portland announcers
spoke about how Gasol was being pushed off of his place.

My statement was & is that when Bynum & Gasol get good position, the ball
goes to them thru Kobe. When they are not in good position, aka Pau is
playing soft, the ball does not go to them.

Oddly enough ....,0,4440433.story

Jackson said he's not befuddled by his team's plight because he knows what's wrong.

"Too many turnovers," he began.

Before he continued his list, Jackson was told that the Lakers have turned the ball over 73 times during the losing streak, an average of 18.3 per game.

He went on to say the Lakers have allowed too many offensive rebounds and have been poor in transition defense.

"The same old stuff in greater magnitude," Jackson said.

The slide started against the Denver Nuggets last Sunday.

"You know what happened? We lost to Denver and realized — guys must have thought it because I didn't — that San Antonio is out of reach and they stopped playing hard," Jackson said.

end response ...

Now, I know you always want to blame Kobe for everything. I suspect
it's because your mother didn't breast feed, but that's a different conversation
for a different forum.

Do you ever look at the Box score? Allow me to help:

LO took 6 3-ptrs. Why is your backup PF taking 6 3-ptrs? He took more
than the rest of the bench combined.

LO took 5 3-ptrs. Once again, he took more than the rest of the bench

re: LBJ and how great he is. Interesting .... so he left a bunch of scrubs to
go play w/ supreme talents D-Wade & C- Bosh and he's won how many
games this season?

you also wrote: Drew only getting 2 shots is not winning basketball man.

my response: So a former professional big, is a member of this blog. He
spoke *clearly* about how bigs get points. The question to ask is *WHY* is
drew only getting two shots. This would allow one to backtrack to a low
number of offensive rebounds perhaps? Which might point back to a lot of
long distance shots being taken and missed? Which might segue into a
high number of turnovers & fastbreak points for the opposing team? Which
might go back to the original points that I was making.

A high number of turnovers & poor shooting will cause a loss. Which ties in
directly to what phil jackson said when he was talking about high numbers
of turnovers and poor transition defense.

Stop drinking the Kobe haterade. Kobe is not the ultimate source of every
thing wrong w/ the Lakers. The professionals have a responsibility to
adequately prepare themselves and play good basketball.

FYI, the definition of good basketball is *NOT* everybody gets an equal
number of shots.

Here's *my* working definition of good basketball. [ no, my opinion is not
gospel, but I am stating that it's my opinion. ]

commit to great defense. move w/o the ball to create spacing. pass the
ball to facilitate spacing and create mismatches against the opponent.
Don't make turnovers. Make your shot!

Hobbit I will ignore your insults because it is Sunday. I never said Kobe was the source of all that is wrong with the Lakers. The true blame lies with Phil who can't seem to control him or the team. From Phil to the least assistant coach always preach going inside so why did kobe take 90 shots over the last couple games? So don't you think Phil who is paid millions of dollars know more than you or I that this is the winning formula when you have two talented 7 footers? Everyone always talking about la size advantage but have kobe take all of their shots is the equivalent of having a 2011 ferrari in your yard with no engine.



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