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Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and Derek Fisher discuss 120-106 loss to Oklahoma City Thunder

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson

Lakers forward Pau Gasol on loss to Thunder

Lakers center Andrew Bynum on loss to Thunder

Lakers forward Lamar Odom on loss to Thunder

Lakers guard Derek Fisher on loss to Thunder

--Mark Medina

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

 
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We are limping on purpose to make other teams believe we are injured?

Can't help feeling a bit bad for Jackson.

How many jobs do you have to face a press conference every time you have a bad day?

I guess he's well compensated for his troubles. :-)

The Lakers effort definitely disappointed, though.

Hank Thornton

Late fourth quarter collapses = Early 1st round exits.

Just sayin'.

The playoffs will reignite the competitive fires within the Lakers' hearts. Like some talking head on the radio stated over the weekend:

[paraphrased]

"The Lakers just can't sustain a 5th gear, full blast, high rev, all out assault on the League for 82 games. No one can! It's just not possible. That's why we see the Lakers win 17 of 18, then dump 5 in a row. Only the Lakers can bewilder their fans like this..."

Consider the DBDH clan slightly bewildered, but wholly confident.

Besides, Mrs. DBDH & I have 15 years married today. What is there reeeeally to complain about? 3 kids, 5 championships, 1 dog? A fine list indeed! The playoffs loom, and Laker passion abounds! Also, Derek Fisher is her lucky charm. She loved him from the start back in '96. Kobe Bryant was traded to LA a week after my birthday, and a few months after Mrs. DBDH & I exchaged vows. Karma? Let's hope so.

Title Heaven in 2011!

DBDH!

Well, another one in the books. As strong as this team is (long, skilled, experienced, tough) it has a couple of gaping holes (quickness, pure shooters). The Lakers let OKC get a lead in the first 6 minutes by being a perimiter team, and missing shots, and ending up defending in transition. It was a stunning example of why the Lakers have to be disciplined, play the right way and use their size and skill to get better looks, in the paint, for everybody on their team. And use that size to turn other teams into jump shooters.


The problem is they just can't seem to stick with the plan this year for very long. Everybody participates in these losses. Fisher taking jumpers early in the clock instead of running the offense. Pau failing to play good position defense. Bynum loping up the floor in transition defense, watching his man instead of establishing in the paint early. Kobe being mesmerized by the ball, and leaving his man on D way too often. Nobody making post entry passes (except Luke in his cameo). LO playing soft D with his hands at his side. Shannon Brown doing almost nothing he is suppsed to do. Artest's focus coming and going.


Playing around the perimiter and chasing younger, quicker guys in transition the Lakers will not win a title. It has to be half court. It has to be an inside-out style. Perimiter guys have to penetrate. Good looks, mostly in the paint, high %, no long rebounds, 3 or 4 guys crashing the boards. And a stingy team defense, no threes, funnel drivers to the bigs.


Playing the right way, the Lakers are almost unbeatable. The wrong way? No chance.

test

Well do not call me a nah-sayer, but there seem to be some real issues with this team now, it is more than just cruising into the playoffs.

*********************************************************************
All these games and losses are very important for HCA. I think that Pau and Adrew are hurting a bit and it shows. When we dominate it is our length that is the difference. Period, Kobe is a pillar of our foundation, LO, Fish, Ron, the other one, but the balance of our foundation is Drew and Pau, with defense and rebounding in the middle. Without this piece we are vulnerable. The bottom line is these losses have made it quite a bit more challenging to three peat now.

*********************************************************************
Last night I was without words. I am not really mad anymore, just not as hopeful and confident in this team as I was a month ago. A month from now will see. 2 more to go until the real show.

REALITY EXISTS BETWEEN THE EXTREMES...


No less than ten days ago a large swath of Laker fans were giddy and gushing about the playoff run they saw coming just around the corner. 17-1 record since All-star game. Best ever since the break. Unstoppable!


Today, a large swath of Laker fans are weeping and gnashing their teeth about the playoff crash they see coming just around the corner. Five game losing streak. Worst since the arrival of Pau in '08. First-round crash!


How do we explain this? I double-checked the NBA transactions wire. Nope, no franchise altering, team-identity swaps were made. Free agents? No recent additions. Injuries? Discounting bumps and bruises, nothing to speak of. Feuds? Othering than the seasonal onset of black mamba venom, nothing newsworthy or unexpected. Coaching changes? Ownership turbulence? No and no again.


Chicken Little screams, "bauk-bauk-bauk... the sky is falling!" The Hare laughs, "What, ME worry!?"


And somewhere between the extremes lies future reality.


Welcome to the E-Ticket ride known as the Los Angeles Lakers! Enjoy the ride until it comes to a full and complete stop. Resist the temptation to declare your judgments until it is over. Both Chicken-Little and the Hare wish they had done so!

Mike

So if the miracle does happen, both the Bulls and Heat have HCA. Good news is we only have to play one of them in the Finals. All that only if we win out (LOL) and get this absurdity turned around in 2 games (lol)!

Listening to Phil Jackson's press conference I'm convinced..............this guy is obsessed with Kobe.

Did he mention anyone other than Kobe?

I'm counting the days until this lethargic coach is gone.

BLOG CRUE
Our Lake Show sure know how to add drama in a cookie jar. They play like dominating-season veterans controlling the game and then they play like out-gunned aging veterans the next week. My wife has asked me lately, "Who won?" and I reply, "Not the Lakers."

As a Laker fan I too am going through the motions to see what happens. Never a dull moment with the purple and gold.

MYBRF.

Can we finally put the "debate" about Gasol's softness to rest? It's plain to see and has been since he came here, YES the man does not like contact and thats just the way he is, period. You cant turn a greyhound into a pit bull. It's hard to not imagine the force Gasol could be IF only he could strap on a pair and focus on boxing out, transition defense and standing his ground. But instead he flops to the ground when someone breathes on him , crys and whines after every turnover instead of hustling back and makes Larry Bird look like MJ when it comes to elevation. He dosent need to be Moses Malone but Ive never seen a softer 7 footer since... maybe Vlade. Skillwise and basketball IQ, Gasol is one of the best, thats why even with his LaToya Jackson persona we cant win #3 without him. His scoring is essential. But as we saw lastnight, he disapears when the going gets rough. Thats the quandry, and thats why if at all possible you trade Gasol and whatever else that makes sense and you go out and get Howard! He would more than makeup the scoring and finally bring a presence in the paint that is constant and intimidating. I feel for Gasol in a way. He really wants to bring it and shut up idiots like Perkins, he just dosent have it in him.
As for felling bad for Jackson?! Seems hes done pretty well riding the coatails of legends and soon to be legends.

Tom Daniels for the Friedman! (Are we allowed to nominate posts for RCOTD?)

This team didn't just magically forget how to play Lakers-style basketball. Like they've all said over and over and over... the regular season is a marathon. The Lakers have played more basketball in the last three years than ANY other team, and the results have been fantastic. But they can't bring that energy to every single regular-season game. It's just not possible.

When the playoffs start, this team will be ready. Count it.

Go Lake Show!

They're not playing well, sure, but they're 19-6 since the All-Star Break. The law of averages usually wins out in an NBA regular season. You can't stay hot forever.

Besides, a team doesn't have to win 16 consecutive games to win a title. It need only win 16 of potentially 28.

Seeding may determine the title this year. LA must hold on to the 2 seed to line themselves up for a great run. 3 or below makes it much more difficult but of course not impossible for this group. Especially when looking at HCA v. the East (BOS in particular, I'll believe they're done when it happens).

Tuesday is big.


@ART … Excellent point about rebounds and turnovers. If you look at the box score, you will see that they way the Thunder outrebounded the Lakers 38-34 by having everybody on the team contribute (every starter plus 2 bench players grabbed at least 4 boards) whereas the Lakers relied on Andrew Bynum, who hauled down 13 boards while Pau only grabbed 4 and Lamar 3 boards. The rest of the team needs to rebound better if the Lakers for the Lakers to win games.
….
As for turnovers, the Lakers played a very clean 3 quarters but totally self-destructed in the fourth quarter with 9 turnovers, 5 in the last 3 minutes, including 1 fumble by Pau and 2 killer turnovers by Kobe in the closing minutes. That was obviously when and why the game was lost. The concern is that these were the games that Kobe used to pull out and win for the Lakers.

Overall, however, I thought Pau played a very good game offensively, attacking the basket they way the Lakers need him to do. I also thought that Drew played well and was again ignored several times by Kobe and especially Shannon when he was open after sealing his man. I guess it looks as if Lamar was thinking of his reality TV show debut rather than this game.
...............................................
@NUGGETSCOUNTRY … Yes, last night was definitely a game for your new TiVo strategy. We definitely do not want you having any chest pains watching the Lakers working hardly to try and make the challenge to win a three-peat even harder by losing all their home court advantages. It was a hard game to watch as the Thunder were shooting lights out for most of the night.

It’s hard to understand why the Lakers all of a sudden have returned to funkland. Early in the game, it was poor offensive execution that led to easy transition points by the Thunder. Later in the game, it was a back and forth effort involving runs and counter runs. Bottom line, you have to give the Thunder credit for playing a great game. Whether they can do this 4 times in the playoffs is still doubtful in my mind. Hopefully, having some time off to practice to straighten out these problems before the playoffs will enable us to get back to playing the game the way it should be.
...............................................
@DBDH … Congrats on hitting the 15 year anniversary. Glad to see you’re keeping things in proper perspective. Someway, somehow I still expect this team to win it all again and send Phil off to Montana with a great parade. As Kenny would remind us, this is still the “practice” season. Let’s get these last two practice game in the books and then get ready to three-peat.
...............................................
@TOM DANIELS… Your points about the Lakers being more disciplined were right on. When we ignore our size and length advantage and cast off shots from the perimeter without playing inside out basketball, we play right into the other teams hands, in this case, giving the Thunder several easy fast break points that put us in a game long hole that we never really were able to get out of.

We also need to get Drew some help on the boards. OKC’s gang rebounding strategy led to them outrebounding us and limiting the number of offensive rebounds we were able to get. It was good to see Blake play and shoot better now that we were at home but Brown and Barnes both had very subpar efforts, resulting in the Thunder bench outplaying the Lakers bench by a wide margin. The biggest worry I have now is that losing home court advantage in series other than the Finals will put even more pressure on our bench to play well on the road, which has not been their strength.
...............................................
TOM


Like 24 news, jobs need to be justified beating the dead horse of unexplainable events, like the Lakers, losing 5 in a row. They won, they hit shots, they played better, Phil doesn't know why, no one does...next.

Play with a sense of urgency, which they will do in the playoffs because if they don't the great ride will be over.

go Lakers.

LakerTom: Thanks for the updates. One of the very few bloggers I page down to see their take on games. The troll parade recently has blown many of us off this blog and almost reading every post...................

I'm not buying the flip the switch theory or the late season complacency. A few players have used it as an excuse but I haven't heard one player take any personal responsibility for it. They played hard against OKC. They played hard against Portland. They came out firing against Golden State and had a big lead early. They played hard against Denver. I still can't really explain Utah other than that Kobe had a horrible game and everything seemed to go downhill from there.

These have been tough games and the Lakers have been losing them. Their frustration looks real to me. They have been trying to fight for these wins. They're still fouling late when the game seems out of reach. This looks like a slumping team, not a team that stopped caring.

They are losing games they have no reason to lose. If they don't win out, they could drop in the west and could guarantee themselves a finals series (if they make it that far) without HCA.

If they were getting some good rest or working on some positive things in this 5 game stretch, it wouldn't be a big concern but I don't see how they're gaining anything by losing these.

Prior to the Portland game, the Times reported that Bynum had had a bout of intestinal flu. It seems an apt metaphor for the entire team; they’ve been playing like they’ve got the Big D – and I don’t mean defense. Let’s hope they’ve now got all the sh*t out of their system – and that their only “runs” will be up and down the court.

Prior to the Portland game, the Times reported that Bynum had had a bout of intestinal flu. It seems an apt metaphor for the entire team; they’ve been playing like they’ve got the Big D – and I don’t mean defense. Let’s hope they’ve now got all the sh*t out of their system – and that their only “runs” will be up and down the court.

There is something about the changing of the guard that's always unsettling. It's as if one's fate is tied to the guys you grew up with keeping it going. Can't have the Chicago and OKC kids steppin' up and taking over too soon.

We'd like the Lakers / Celtics to go on forever like Scary Movie ... too many symmetrical story lines are intersecting for this not to go all the way.

ON the positive side, ya gotta believe Phil's got their full attention.

Go Phil, Go Lakers

The sky is not falling. This is positioning. And OKC is still in position mode. They want to have a better record than Dallas and if they have a better record than us - that's great too.

We have sucked it up this last week but I am unwavering. This championship will be fought through LA whether we have HCA or not.

Cheers all - PLG

Didn't watch the game so yellofever has no post game comments to offer. My apologies.. I know some of you were really looking forward to them.

But MM I thought u said the lakers are gonna change their flip the switch mentality?? WTH??!I hope the switch aint broken.

"The sky is not falling. This is positioning. And OKC is still in position mode. They want to have a better record than Dallas and if they have a better record than us - that's great too.

We have sucked it up this last week but I am unwavering. This championship will be fought through LA whether we have HCA or not.

Cheers all - PLG

Posted by: PsychedLakerGirl | April 11, 2011 at 10:34 AM"

Unfortunately the Lakers are still in position mode too. I had heard the Lakers wanted to avoid the 1 seed so they wouldn't have to play OKC in the 2nd round but the loss last night gave OKC a good chance of getting there.

The play off is near,what would Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson would have done to teams near the end of the post season?I am thinkking that they would have already made a big statment to the other teams,and that was scary.Thats why he is MJ the goat and Phil the true Zen master.They would have turned each stone upsided down by now-blowing away all comers they were about to face.

It is hard to tell what are the reasons for these losses. It could be a ploy or a real collapse like Rory McElroy. I know there was an improvement in yesterday's game but the buttered hands and careless TO's were just too atrocious. Lakers were more interested in offense than defense so they lost again the 4th quarter. Like many losses against the Heat during Christmas Day or to the Spurs against the Spurs, it's the 4th quarter meltdown. Recordwise, they are now tied with the Mav's so if they lose against Spurs and Kings, then they will slide to #3 taking away the HCA in the 2nd round and also in the Finals i.e. if they reached the Finals. Yes, the sky is not falling and we should all have Faith on the purple and gold but they are not wearing that uniform anymore, they're wearing the white uniform which means "white flag" on their home court advantage. A fan may show some dissatisfaction if they one or two games and it does not show their pride as the Champ, however Lakers already lost 5 in a row, what's keeping us faithful is their preview that they can win 17-1. Are they still the Lakers that we used to know or the Lakers suddenly got older in these last 5 games? Fans are now callous to comment in losses just like the Clipper and Suns fans who have no chance in playoffs. It used to be disgruntled feeling, now it is turning gradually to acceptance on the the last games of PJ for the seasons. Nothing really can be said on our Lakers until the playoffs and see where the chips will fall.

If Lakers don't go the dance in June, do u still want Brian Shaw to take over? Is there a better alternative to continuity or shall way say antiquity of that triangle?

Being a Laker fan nearly all my life it was scary to face the Bulls of the nineties led by MJ and Scotie Pippen.In each of these Chicago Bulls run for the Nba championship it was exciting stuf to watch.For me it was filled with skills,tactical awareness,excitement,drama,love and hate.These Chicago Bulls were too much for me,i didnt like them for the one reason that they were too dominant and it seems like many Nba teams were really scared of Jordan and his Bulls.I didnt understand especially when a coach was just sitting there saying nothing to his team but they were still dominant and blowing every team away.But now as i grew wiser it seems they the media was right by calling PJ the Zen Master.If only this present Laker team can over all the tapes of these Bull's triangle offence and it's defensive shemes,looking at Horace Grant,Bill Cartwright,Ron Harper,Horry,Paxson,Steve Ker,Toni Kukoc,BJ Armstrong even big Parish from the Celtics who played for PJ.Probably this present Laker team would have learn a lot more about playing and winning at a much higher percentage.

Hello

Police here; the PSP has been following the yellofever dvr philosophy so haven't seen the last 5 or so games. Might as well skip the rest and wait till the playoffs start.

The PSP feel bad for the fans that spend all that money to come watch the Lakers play ( and for that matter, league pass subscribers like me too) only to see them put in half efforts and lay goose sized eggs.

Let us not delude ourselves with nonsense yammering such as 'we will flip the switch come playoffs' and 'ehh its only a practice season game'. As a fan it is insulting to us that they don't come out and give effort every game. The PSP would have been released from the force long ago if I didn't come to work guns blazing 24/7.

Thanks
PSP Intern

the problem with the lakers is fish he is not a good point guard this is what you need to win in the nba.it is not about hating fish it about his ability to perform if he had a real job he would be fired fo under performing.
however,you have to blame the coach for playing him.thank
goodness pj will be retirng at the end of this season.

"the problem with the lakers is fish he is not a good point guard this is what you need to win in the nba.it is not about hating fish it about his ability to perform if he had a real job he would be fired fo under performing.
however,you have to blame the coach for playing him.thank
goodness pj will be retirng at the end of this season.

Posted by: Bob T | April 11, 2011 at 12:37 PM "

This always starts an argument about how many rings he has and how important his intangibles are but it really does hurt them that he has no speed or leaping ability and can't finish in traffic. When a 6'1 player is shooting layups flat footed in traffic, that ball is going to be sent far far away.

The argument is always that the Lakers don't need an elite PG and their system isn't set up for one and that's all true and all but it's not like a little speed, athleticism, and finishing ability would be a bad thing.


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