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Derrick Caracter and Matt Barnes on how they stay relaxed during the playoffs

Pounding music, screaming fans and expectations from millions of people in the second most populous city in the country.

Talk about pressure.

The Lakers' Derrick Caracter and Matt Barnes have a few tricks up their sleeve to stay calm and relaxed during the team's quest for a three-peat.

Caracter likes eating sushi before games, while Barnes prefers listening to rap music. They have different strategies but share a common goal -- to see Ron Artest unshowered and partying in his game jersey for days on end after winning a championship.

Check out the video and expect to hear from more players soon.

-- Melissa Rohlin

 
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That being said the Lakers are still split 1-1 with a low seeded team missing one of their best players. Defending champs with multiple all-star caliber players struggling to put away a crippled team.

Posted by: Paul | April 21, 2011 at 01:25 PM

@Paul
Your right and that means what in the big picture? Practice round loss big deal bla bla bla I love being a Laker fan because it would suck not to be.

Holy!!! We went from practice season to 1st round being a practice round? Are we ever gonna get to the real season this season?

Here’s my musical entry for today…for Matthew and the fellas...in honor of the Lakers defensive “uprising”

Muse – Uprising…with a nice assist from Blondie
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8KQmps-Sog

"Holy!!! We went from practice season to 1st round being a practice round? Are we ever gonna get to the real season this season?

Posted by: Magia32 | April 21, 2011 at 01:39 PM "

LOL I feel like I understand the flipping the switch and practice season theories less and less every day.

The West—

San Antonio is a good solid fundamental team that is great during practice season and that is it. They lack any size up front on both the offense and the defensive side of the court. Manu is banged up, Parker isn’t as explosive and Duncan is well just old. I’m not sure they get past Memphis who by the way is a great team that can do some damage in the next couple of years if they keep that team together. I would take Randolph and Marc for Pau today because that is essentially what they got.

Lakers are who we thought they were…..The two-time defending champions who are just now starting to turn it on. As the playoffs get deeper and deeper the Lakers will roll smoother and faster through the league. If Kobe can play a roll like he did in game 2 with a little more efficiency on offense and others play like they did in game 2 with Pau showing up a little, then start planning the parade. Where is our weakness? Fisher, bla bla bla been there done that 5 times. The only weakness is Brown, play the retard less and we have noooooooooooo problems.

Dallas is better than the critics are willing to give credit for. Dirk is a consistent killer on offense and JKidd is balling like this is his last chance ever. I personally think they are the second best team in the west and think they could beat any team in the East in a 7 game series. They have size and they have shooters with a great bench and one of the smartest floor generals still in the game. What isn’t to like about them besides everyone always picking against them? Too bad for them they have to play the Lakers first.

ZombieSonics are exactly what we thought they were without all the hype. They are a young explosive super talented team and a piece or two years away from coming out of the West. They just don’t have the consistency outside of Westbrook and Durant from their role players to be great yet. Don’t let this performance against a young non-cohesive starless Denver team fool you, they are not there yet.

MCOTD: They have different strategies but share a common goal -- to see Ron Artest unshowered and partying in his game jersey for days on end after winning a championship.

NBA4ever,

Good breakdown on the east/west conference playoff battles. I've been saying all along that Dallas was a bigger threat than SA because the Spurs just don't have the size. Pop, as good as coach as he is, should've realized this team can't win without some type of contribution from Splitter. Of course, now that Perk is in OKC they're the only team I'm concerned with in the west.


Although I enjoyed your summaries, I don't know why you had to wait two games to come to these conclusions. Like you said most of these teams are who we thought they were. My only surprise is the Lakers not sweeping the NO (and having to go 5 games now), thanks to Pau subpar play.

Holy!!! We went from practice season to 1st round being a practice round? Are we ever gonna get to the real season this season?

Posted by: Magia32 | April 21, 2011 at 01:39 PM
----------------

Now that's funny. Nah, this is the real deal already.

Speaking of reserves, I wonder what Ebanks' status is..... I love to see Ebanks and Ariza matchup against each other.

Didn't you guys get the memo? The real season starts in game 7 of the finals.

"Didn't you guys get the memo? The real season starts in game 7 of the finals.

Posted by: LAKER TRUTH | April 21, 2011 at 02:10 PM
"

LOL --- I'll be dead and buried by then if I have to endure more like almost every 'game/effort' after the ASG!

I almost bought a portable defibrillator yesterday to keep by my rooting chair - no kidding! Still might if this keeps up!

it was absolute ridiculous to watch the "game plan" yesterday.

a team that has one of the best offensive/defensive player in the game, Kobe, had to sacrifice him on defense to guard CP3. what's OK. because Fisher can do nothing.

at the same time on offense, while Kobe was babysitting all the brain midgets, Fisher who did not have to defend (actually Belinelli scored his 3 and made the layup against Fish) was missing layups and bricking shots. because Fisher is always aggressive to show his "value" on the team. IT'S NONE.

for those of you who tried to save money for Buss, let's remember that Mitch Kupcake traded Tony Douglas 2 years ago for nothing. Douglas has 20 points game for the Knicks and he is also making "clutch" 3's for the team with the game on the line.

after the 17-1 run after the ASG ---- I meant to say.

So we fans see the Lakers finally taking the game SERIOUSLY!

Yes, the Lakers finally played HARD and with INTENSITY.

And for all that hard work they still barely beat a crippled team that is #7 in the West. A team they already swept in the regular season. So what gives? what's going on?

Here's the TRUE HARD FACT about what's going on in this #2 vs. #7 (supposedly) laugher of a serie:

Rookie coach Monty Williams is OUTCOACHING the pants out of Phil Jackson, supposedly one of the best coach in the NBA. Supposedly, that is.

How else can one explain a crippled team like the Hornets being able to clamp down and limit one of the league's better offense to very DIFFICULT and TRYING circumstances? Not only are the Hornets undermanned they are also seriously undersized!

How else can one explain a crippled team like the Hornets being able to manage sufficient offense, while minus their second best offensive player? and beside CP3 this team does not exactly have lot of light-out shooters either?

Monty Williams has done a GREAT and SUPERB job in preparing his team emotionally, physically and strategically to counter Jackson's WACKO basketball system.

Nearly every Hornets baskets in the two games so far are result of team play (namely pick n roll)

Nearly every Lakers baskets so far have all come about due to 1-on-1 basketball superiority.

It's time to acknowledge that Phil Jackson's Lakers NEVER play TEAM BASKETBALL. They rely on Superstars such as Shaq, Kobe, Gasol... now including Bynum to win 1-on-1 battles that's all.

PS: Wait, wait people I forgot to give Phil Jackson credit on one thing he did well: Free-Throw Defense. That's right, Lakers Free-Throw Defense was their high point as they limited the Hornets to missing so many FTs. The Lakers won in no small part thanks to this achievement. Good job, Phil!

The positive is that Drew is playing well and that helps make up for what we lose with Pau and that does make me very happy.

Posted by: LakerTom | April 21, 2011 at 01:40 PM

so you mean that when Gasol plays WELL, he makes up for Bynum's shitty play, or for him being on the bench in foul trouble, or for him going 3-10 or 5-13 or missing 0-6 on the FT line?

your Bynum homerism is becoming disgusting. not the fact that you want Gasol ,to play bad, but actually is your personal hatred for Kobe, regardless if you are saying the opposite. I smell a Shaq fan, especially with your pedigree of Wilt, Kareem and now Bynum.

I can't believe that after only 2 games, with Okafor on the bench - remember ha was in both games in foul trouble - you are finding some statistic and crowning Bynum as MVP.

Laker Tom, please let us know when Bynum WILL CARRY the team on his shoulders and will be the "go to guy" to win the game.

for those of you who tried to save money for Buss, let's remember that Mitch Kupcake traded Tony Douglas 2 years ago for nothing. Douglas has 20 points game for the Knicks and he is also making "clutch" 3's for the team with the game on the line.

Posted by: The Bulimic 1/2 Empty Glass | April 21, 2011 at 02:22 PM

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

how'd he do against Rondo in gm2...since Chauncey was out?

It looks like Trey may have some upside if he gets a chance with the Lakers at PG.

@LRob
I wanted to wait after two games because you don’t know really how good or what style the teams are going to play in the playoffs. Example, the Spurs and their style all season is that what they were going to go with or were they saving Duncan for the playoffs to pound the ball inside and slow the tempo?

Were the Lakers and Celtics going to flip the switch, just like the Celts took 7 games to beat ATL I think the Lakers started slow but are turning it on. The Celtics on the other hand look like they can’t flip the switch, but I’m sticking with them out of the east even though Miami looks like the best team. And who knew how good Memphis was?

Lastly, I watch a lot of NBA ball throughout the year but to be honest I’ve haven’t watched that many games to really know. Like Indiana, horrible record but beat some of the top teams and now I know why. Really, I’m not into first round predictions. The real season for me begins in the second round so right now I’m scouting for the “REAL SEASON” because the first round is the pre-real season! LOL

how'd he do against Rondo in gm2...since Chauncey was out?

Posted by: LRob | April 21, 2011 at 02:30 PM

much better that UPS did against anyone all his career. by the way, remember, Amar'e was out. I did not expect Douglas to be "the el presidente", but i'm sure he can do offensively as much as Fisher did and defensively also.

Duh'ntoni has no defense. How did Fisher did against Rondo? if i remember Kobe had to take over.

Douglas tied the game at 89 in a the first game and duh'ntoni had no plan to win the game. actually Melo took a bad shot.

and in game 2 Dougllas was able to keep the Knicks competitive, complementing Melo. and Duh'ntoni had another bad game designed with Knicks up by one.

So come again with your silly question!!!!!!!!!!!

@Psycorp. how did you get this! you are right! the lakers are just a piece of dung, and it's just a matter of time before the hornets are made nba champs!!!... now go away

The one issuing memo is in solitary confinement, too focused about the practice rounds. Perhaps, we will get notice when the Lakers come back from the French Quarters. I hope Lakers will skip this place, listened to the blues sax all night. We can't afford to donate another game to Katrina victims. Stay on course, use height against small players.

Why Gasol is not effective in this playoffs? Because he is being crowded and forcefully out-muscled. How come this thing did not happen in last playoffs when he was with the Lakers. It is called scouting report on how to play with Pau Gasol. This is like the documentary or similar to AP report complied on each player, they have studied his strengths as well as weaknesses. On Kobe, they double, triple team him unfortunately, they stopped on Bynum and LO, they though they will continue under performing just like the other playoffs. Give Gasol some time to adjust also to the crowd defense that they're applying on him, his body constitution is adjusting and finding some ways to get out of the rut. Another problem NO encountered last night was the shift in speed from the starters to the bench, they were expecting only 3rd gear from recovering Lakers but then it was put on 5th gear overdrive. Did not expect that kind of speed so they have to go back to the drawing board and make some adjustments for tomorrow's game.

Matt Barnes flagrant foul on Ariza was very necessary, it imprints to TA's head that he was underestimating Lakers defense because he knows them well. Unfotunately, Matt Barnes was not yet with the team when TA was here. Next time, when he drives again to the basket, he would be looking for the runaway train that could derail him, it is a psychological imaginary defense sign for the Lakers that says: "Beware of the Lakers defensive post which is a blocked or clothes-lining area."

Did the Lakers flipped the switch in the 2nd game? Maybe, if we term adjustment as flipping the guards on CP3, making Bryant a defensive weapon and decoy for offense, put Pau near the post than away from the post and get Artest into wrestling match with Landry and Okafor.

I think in Game One, they underestimated what the little people can do, the giants were compared to Goliath while little David used his sling shots ( long shooting) and speed in leaving Goliath behind chasing and totally confused. Well, the sage master burned incense, asked the other Gods to intervene and put wisdom on his players and asst. coaches how to adjust and counter punch. There are still kinks in the defense like letting CP3 made three three pointers and others on free throw lane. Overall, his adjustments were magnificent and this why he is regarded as the best coach in NBA.

What will happen in Game 3? Study the tapes again, how the season was won, what happened in the first two games? What will Monty Williams be doing in their home court? How will he stop Bynum at the same time and take away the effectiveness of Kobe and Pau, neutralize Artest and LO. Finally, how will the fans of NO react to the Hornets. Hornets are currently run by NBA, this could be their last year in NO, if a new owner buys the team and move it to his favored state. NBA has given the team some conditions based on sell out crowd. If the patronage is negligible and no much revenues derived from NO, they might move it with or without the new owner to another location.

"Speaking of reserves, I wonder what Ebanks' status is..... I love to see Ebanks and Ariza matchup against each other.

Posted by: LakerPeace | April 21, 2011 at 02:09 PM
"

ME TOO! I would also like to see Ebanks and Trey on the active roster for the next few games against NO to see what they can do if only as a short burst if it doesn't work out. PJ won't play TR and JS anyway, so might just as well keep them inactive to try out the newbies with an opponent that may have a good matchup for these two.

Ebanks youth and length on TA and Trey on Paul to spell our other "PGs".

So come again with your silly question!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: The Bulimic 1/2 Empty Glass | April 21, 2011 at 02:39 PM
-------------
I like Douglass also and don't like giving away players either. But it was far from a silly question.

@LROB... No Shaq = No chance. So yes, if Shaq is really out for good, then the Heat are probably going to be our Finals opponent. The Celtics now have the wrong O’Neal as their starting center.

Posted by: LakerTom | April 21, 2011 at 01:59 PM
------------------------

LT - that's why many thought the Perk trade eliminated the C's from serious championship consideration. Placing so much of your hopes on a 39yr old Shaq just didn't make since. It's gotta be tough being a Celtic fan this year knowing the FO closed the window on themselves.

There sure are some entertaining posts today. I had to LOL at Magia32... I can't speak for NBA4Ever, but when I say the series is "practice" I'm poking fun at all the practice season people

Laker Truth,
I hated how everyone kept saying we "stole" Pau Gasol because we gave up "only" Kwame Brown for him. I wish that were true and that we didn't have to part ways with draft picks, Critter, and more importantly Marc. I had nothing but good feelings about Marc and was extremely pleased that we somehow got his rights in the second round (and AFTER Sun Yue!)
People forget that the trade really was pretty close to fair at worst and an even steven trade at best.

LTLF,
I can't disagree with your takes on DF. I like DF. I like him on the Lakers. I think he has a certain role on the team that's important - I guess I was just pointing out that those who say he's all that aren't exactly accurate. Plus I'm still a little bitter over last season when JF never had a chance (not that it would have necessarily mattered)

There sure are some entertaining posts today. I had to LOL at Magia32... I can't speak for NBA4Ever, but when I say the series is "practice" I'm poking fun at all the practice season people

Posted by: Tim-4-Show

@Tim-4-Show
Haha, I'm just saying that mostly to piss people off like Paul and the rest of the Laker haters who hate our arrogance and confidence. Seriously though, if the Lakers lose in wcf or finals to a better team then so be it. If they lose in the first round, then that is just failure.

I also agree with LTLF's outlook on the Derek Fisher topic. It always becomes an argument in here when people see that he is the weakest link on the team and LTLF sums it up very well. It's much better than when people try to argue that he is actually better than those point guards out there that haven't been on championship teams and that no player could make the Lakers stronger than Fisher does. The Lakers would unquestionably be better with someone like Chris Paul in Fisher's spot but they can't afford to have a superstar at every position and point guard is the one area where the triangle oriented teams have got by without a superstar. The Lakers should still be proactive and not automatically put Fisher's name in the starting lineup until he retires. Blake or even Trey Johnson might do well in that role if given the chance and if Farmar had been given that chance, they might never have had to look elsewhere.

@NBA4ever - good explanation

Supposing Ariza & Gasol did not join the Lakers, we continued with Kwame, JCritt, Marc G and two 1st round draft picks, would the Lakers get the NBA trophy for two consecutive seasons? When Drew was injured due to knee rehab and Pau took the Center position and Lakers were winning 8 in a row, can Marc G. assure us of that stellar role? Would Kobe re-sign with the Lakers if Kwame is still our C and got no 2nd or 3rd scorer on hand? Would PJ come back to coach on '10 season? There are more questions paused if Pau was not a Laker.

The answer my friends has been blown by the winds of history, it could have been a disaster if Pau has not come to LA? On a Maundy Thursday, are we going to crucify him for his placid performance in 2010 playoffs? Is he over after two games has been played against an eight seed who are targeting Pau the hardest fouls? I think the full show is not over, it may be practice rounds but give more time for Pau, more games to be played before writing his obituary.

Kudos to KLove winning the MIP award. I didn't know he worked out this summer with DRose and Westbrook. All three showed major improvement this year.

>>>for those of you who tried to save money for Buss, let's remember that Mitch
>>>Kupcake traded Tony Douglas 2 years ago for nothing.

Technically for 3 million nothings, but you do have a point with that one.

Douglas would have been a much better backup PG than Blake at this point if the Lakers had drafted him. At the time, they already had Fisher (who was playing well at the time) and Farmar (who was showing promise at the time) and Chinese Magic Johnson [Sun Yue] (who was a lot of hype at the time) so they decided not to draft another PG.

>>> those who say he's all that aren't exactly accurate.

If someone ever claims that Derek Fisher should be an all-star or that the Lakers couldn't win a title without Derek Fisher, then I'd be attacking that weak argument like a bat out of hell.

I merely argue that he's good enough, and at times clutch. And for the amount they're paying, that's about the best they can expect to get.

>>>Plus I'm still a little bitter over last season when JF never had a chance

I am TOTALLY with you on that one. A lot of people argued that Farmar had plenty of chances and plenty of minutes, but Phil never really gave him either. Jordan only got a mere 18 minutes a game for the Lakers the last two seasons, and I thought he played as well or better than Derek Fisher.

Farmar got 18 starts for the Nyets this season - more than in his entire 4 years with the Lakers. In those starts, he averaged 14 points and 9 assists. His shooting percentage was a fairly low 42%, but if he was starting all the time, I'm sure he could bring that up. And if he was passing to Lakers level talent instead of Brook Lopez and not much else, then he might have averaged double digit assists.

If I was coach, I would have at least given him a CHANCE to start for a couple of weeks to see if he could make it as a starter. But then again, maybe if I was the coach, they wouldn't have won back to back championships. If Phil had taken out Fisher to give Farmar a chance, Farmar might have failed and it might have hurt Fisher's confidence and made him worse. The thing that Phil does best is managing the psychology side of the game.

>>>Lakers would unquestionably be better with someone like Chris Paul in
>>>Fisher's spot but they can't afford to have a superstar at every position and
>>>point guard is the one area where the triangle oriented teams have got by
>>>without a superstar.

Well put. Very succinct.

If I have a choice of Andrew Bynum and Derek Fisher on the Lakers vs Chris Paul and Aaron Gray on the Lakers, I'm probably going with Fish `n Socks.

Now if the next coach was preaching a showtime offense, I might change my mind. But with the triangle, Fish `n Socks will get the job done.

"If someone ever claims that Derek Fisher should be an all-star or that the Lakers couldn't win a title without Derek Fisher, then I'd be attacking that weak argument like a bat out of hell.

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | April 21, 2011 at 04:53 PM "

It happens in here. I've been attacked for even suggesting that they might be better with someone other than Fisher shouldering the main load.

According to Kobe, Fisher was a key Lakers component to getting to the Finals the last three years and winning two of them. I'm not sure what you meant that we could have done it without him?

Unless your were meaning another player of competence was brought in to replace him. Then I can see where you are going with this. The Lakers brain trust didn't feel Farmar, who I liked, could do it and let him go for nothing, just like they did Smush. In the end, they didn't put much value on him after working with Jordan for three years.

Like you, I was glad for Jordy to get some time in NJ. But their system is different from PJ's and I guess, in the end, he didn't fit. So my question is, why did we draft him in the first place if he wasn't a good fit for the Triangle?

if kobe said that fish was the kee to making it to the finals well kobe is full of you know what,the only reason kobe want fish in the line-up is because fish cant hit the side of a barn and he allows kobe the chance to make more shots which help his percentages,because only an idiot will
think fish is a good ball player today,pj has players on the bench who can come in and out play fish but he want give them the oportunity because if he didnt let fish play kobe
wouldnt like it.because of kobe influence with the owner and coach fish is the last player they will bench because kobe covers for him.that's why kobe playe against cp last night
because fish couldnt guard him and anybody who watch the lakers play knows that fish is all wash up.
i think fish would make an excelant coach for the lakers ,but
his skill as a player is finish gone,time to retire.and you
have to come to grips with this fact.

Fisher has had many clutch performances in previous playoffs. After 2 games so far, Fish has not had any. Hopefully this is not the year Fisher skills have dimished to the point he could not make any significant contributions. Regardless, Fisher was one of the reasons the Lakers won championships and should not be discarded as a worthless player by true Lakers fans.


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