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Lakers Chat: Three-game losing streak, playoff picture and more

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Join the chat after the jump!

--Mark Medina

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

Photo: Los Angeles Lakers small forward Matt Barnes (9) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Lakers 95-87. Credit: Kyle Terada / US Presswire

 
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THE WORLD THROUGH PURPLE & GOLD GLASSES !!!
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If the last three games haven’t convinced you that the regular season is indeed the practice season, then you’re probably not going to buy anything else I say in this post. But what the hell, here’s how I see the Lakers world through my heavily tinted magical purple and gold glasses:

First, it’s important the Lakers crush the next 3 opponents and completely destroy their confidence and any hope they can handle the Lakers in the playoffs. They also need to show everybody that they CAN turn on that proverbial switch. While losing any or all of the games could be overcome because it is just one game versus a series, you’re playing with fire to let teams think they can play with you, fire that could easily come back to haunt you. Time to be the big bad bully Lakers.

Second, there are areas of which we should be concerned. Note, I did say concerned rather than worried. How concerned depends on the player or issue. Finally, it probably take all of these concerns to happen for the Lakers not to be able to overcome them and lose a playoff series. It would be like every player on the team having a poor series. Otherwise, the Lakers are unbeatable.

Nevertheless, as close to overflowing as my glass is, here are the concerns that I do have:

(1) WHICH KOBE BRYANT WILL SHOW UP? Kobe has a difficult job because there are times when the Lakers desperately need him to score points and carry the team. But there are also times when he needs to be more of a facilitator. I think up to now Kobe has done an exemplary job of managing those two cross objectives. The crux of the problem is that scorers need to shoot a lot of shots and sometimes the result is they become volume scorers, which is not good for their team.

A huge factor in whether teams are able to turn Kobe into a volume scorer is how the game is called and here is my major area of concern. It’s almost as if Kobe is at war with the officials. There appears to be a hard core group of officials – not everybody, but enough to swing the tide – that just will not blow the whistle on hard contact against Kobe, even on the perimeter. The frustration often leads Kobe to force the issue which means shooting more and the lack of calls eliminates the free throws and fewer shot attempts that scorers need to be efficient and help rather than hurt their team.

Since I do trust Kobe to know when to be a scorer and when to be a facilitator, you might as well rename this section HOW WILL THE GAME BE CALLED?

(2) WHICH PAU GASOL WILL SHOW UP? Watching Pau last night at Oracle Arena was very disconcerting. It’s one thing to be dominated by a Tim Duncan or LaMarcus Aldridge but David Lee? Lee’s a guy who even Warrior fans consider to be a bust considering the big contract they gave him, a guy ironically also known as “soft.” And talk about poor hands. The dropped passes and lost boards would make you think it was Pau with the beaten up mitts rather than Kobe. There was also a key moment last night when the Lakers were within reach of pulling the game out and Pau shot up an airball from outside rather than attack the basket. That’s not the Pau we need in the playoffs.

Much like with Kobe, how the refs call the game is going to be a big factor in which Pau Gasol shows up. While I do think Pau has at times in the past and can in the future man up and still have a great game when things get physical and the refs swallow their whistles, I am a little concerned that he may not be able to rise to the occasion this time. Note that I said a little concerned. Like everything, it’s a matter of degree and I am confident that Pau will perform well in most of those situations.
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(3) WILL FISH AND RON RON LET THE LAKERS PLAY 5-ON-5? Too many times this season, the Lakers have ended up playing 3 or 4 on 5, with Derrick Fisher and/or Ron Artest just plain not showing up on offense. In the playoffs, other team’s will pounce and attack any weaknesses that they perceive as a series develops. Fish and Ron Ron need to be involved in the offense making good plays so that other teams cannot ignore them and slack off to double Kobe, Drew, and Pau. Again, if last year is any indication of these two guys ability to step up big, so be it. Until then, I believe.

(4) WHICH BENCH WILL SHOW UP? Playing at home the other night, I thought Steve Blake did a great job passing the ball. His fast break lobs money and his shot was falling. Same with Shannon Brown, who somehow overcomes poor decision making with great athletic plays and superb free throwing. And Matt Barnes was a terror on defense and constantly moving on offense. But go away from home and suddenly the Killer B’s don’t seem to be able perform at the same level. That is why I still think it is important to get home court. Even with starters playing extended minutes and a tighter rotation, fouls and injuries still can suddenly make the bench a focal point of a series.

(5) WILL THE LAKERS PLAY INSIDE-OUT BASKETBALL? This is probably my biggest concern and it is a concern that overflows all the other concerns I have. Inside-out basketball requires that Kobe shares the ball, Pau plays tough, Derrick and Ron play are involved, and the bench gets in done. If the Lakers play inside-out basketball, they are unbeatable with their talent and length advantage. But if Kobe becomes a volume scorer, Pau gets intimidated, and Derrick and Ron become non-factors, and the bench just fires long jumpers, the Lakers will not be playing inside-out basketball and can lose.

Please note that I did not include Lamar Odom among the bench players with whom I am concerned. I’ve always considered Lamar to be the Lakers sixth starter rather than sixth man. I also did not include Andrew Bynum among my concerns other than he should be a bigger part of our inside-out game in the playoffs than the regular season. I expect Lamar and Drew to have stellar playoffs. So that’s what I see through my heavily tinted magical purple and gold glasses. Just my own opinions.
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TOM

LakerTom: Great analysis!

I too think the Lakers need to win out. That last game in Sactown could be a huge trap seeing it may be the last cowbell crazy crowd in their last game with the Kings in town. It may end up being either the hardest game of the 4 or the easiest. Nothing in between, IMO. Plus it is a second game in back-to-back with the Lakers in their current funk could mean a blwout in the bad sense.

This is the formula...

-When the Lakers started their streak right after the All-Star break, I took caution.
-When they took their run into April I started to get nervous. I knew they would need to start losing games soon if we had any chance of a three-peat.


Thank heavens the Lakers started standing around to watch Kobe and Andrew on the offensive and defensive ends!!

Because you know what this means...
WE'RE WINNING ANOTHER CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The same people who are getting ready to jump out of the window right now are the same people who burned their Lakers jerseys after the Cleveland lost.

The writing is on the wall.
The pattern is so clear and so predictable, it's hysterical that not everyone is recognizing what is in front of them, even though we have all seen the this play out time and time and time and time again.

Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week, but the Lakers ARE about to go on another run.
And no it won't be 17-2.

We will have already 3-peated by then.

Keep the faith and KNOW YOUR TEAM!!

dan

Well, another 3 game losing streak to teams we should have beat, 2 at home no less. Not pretty at all was it? Pretty much follows the same pattern of this team all season. Quite frankly I'm not to worried, but would like to maintain HC over Boston & the Cheat just the same. SA & the Bulls are out of our reach...no biggie we can compete with either team. GO LAKERS!!!

I got to give Thib credit...he has the Bulls playing incredible defense...

Boston just doesn't look as good as last year...

I think it will be Bulls coming out of the East, with Chowds 2nd and Magic 3rd and Cheats 4th...

Hey Tom,

Great post.

Was seriously considering going to that game last night across the Bay. Glad I didn't pay to see that. Instead had to listen to Barnett do his poor man's interpretation of Heinson as a homer announcer.

It will certainly be interesting to see what happens with this Laker team. Talent to win it, coaching to win it -- yes. But man are they frustrating to watch at times.

Should be a great playoffs. Right now, I just want home court against Boston.


@NUGGETSCOUNTRY … Thanks for the props. I agree we need to win out. Home court is critical for our bench. The Killer B’s need to be at home to have an impact. I also think they need to show they can turn on the switch and crush teams they might face in the playoffs.
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@DKWSFO … If it hadn’t been with my grandson, I would have really lamented forking out that kind of money to watch a “practice” game. I want to get the NorCal bloggers together to watch a playoff game at a sports bar. Soon as the schedule is fixed, we should get together for a 1st round game.
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TOM


i remember there was once even a fellow named Chicken Little who posted on this blog...

Chicken Little ended up an 8 Piece Special at a Polo Loco in Pico Rivera...lol

LakerTom,

Was surprised you didn't mention the obvious.

Andrew Bynum should have more field goals attempts.

5-5 means his hasn't gotten enough touches.

Blake, Gasol and sometimes Fisher will pass to Bynum in the post.
Kobe? Ah no. Bynum can have a mouse posted and Kobe will still jack it.

Will Kobe's career scoring record pursuit prevent him from ever deferring shots to Bynum?

@Dan the man - nice post.

@jefe - The Lakers will definitely Fight for the Right.

@Lew - the Stones was right, we can't always get what we want....But...sometimes we can have whatever we like like T.I.P said...

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

LT,

Nice thorough job on your concerns thru P&G glasses. The only thing I’m slightly concerned about is the bench, more specifically Shannon’s erratic play and Blake’s passivity. I think our (Laker fans collectively) biggest problems is we get caught up in the highs and lows of the regular season. The Lakers win 8 in a row to start the season and we talk about 70 wins. They struggle in Dec & Jan and we talk about over hauling the roster. They go 17-1 after the break and we talk about 16-0 in the playoffs.

So when the playoffs start I don’t expect much to change. Kobe will have great games where he scores 30+, dominate 4th quarters and clearly be the best player on the court. But he’ll also have poor shooting games with questionable shot selection. Pau will be solid. He’ll show his diverse offensive skills, but he’ll also mix in his share of “soft” moments. Ron will play great defense and be hit/miss with his shot and ocasionally his decision making. Fish will struggle often, but also hit big shots and play tough D. LO will play very good just like he has in the regular season. Barnes will hustle, slash, make a few bad fouls, etc. Drew will intimate in the paint and dominant the boards. The one wildcard in this whole equation could be Drew’s offense. If he could provide a couple 16-20pt games each series the Lakers would go from the favorites to overwhelming favorites.

Getting back to Shannon and Steve, I do believe they’ll step up their game in the playoffs…but it based more on homerism than with any of the other players.

So in essense, this team will struggle some in the playoffs just like in the regular season, but they’ll still be the first team to 16.

Bulls smacked the Celts tonight. Celts looked old and tired in the 4th.

LT

Very enjoyable. I'm certain that a certain Philip Douglas Jackson shares your concerns and will address all of them.

The message is simple and it can't be made any simpler. Does the game of BB require rocket scientists?

"I like to see everybody involved in the game," Jackson said. "I've tried to preach as a basketball coach, even though we have a guy that dominates the ball in Kobe, basketball is not a one on one game — it's a team game."

This team will 3Peat depending on which Kobe shows up, as he goes so does his team mates.

In the world of technology if one component is out of spec then final solution will not work. That is why there are standards body.

Is mark Cuban an idiot? Really?


I don't recall these many legitimate title contender teams (5 or 6) playing in recent NBA playoffs history. This year's ttitle will be the toughest road of them all, and that will make the Lakers' #17 that much sweeter.

I still think the Lakers will have the HCA throughout the playoffs. I think either OKC/Denver will beat the SA in the 2nd round, and Miami or Boston will eventually beat Chicago.

Which Finals match up would you prefer? the Lakers play against either Miami or Boston with HCA or Chicago witout HCA?

I believe the Finals HCA is really important because of the 2-3-2 format. A team with HCA in the Finals will play the last 2 games at home, and that's a huge advantage as the Lakers showed it last year in the Finals. The Lakers were down 2-3 and able to win last 2 games to win the title.


LRob,

If Rick F. was still here, I'm sure he would express his doubt or concern as he used to express it in his post in the recent past.

During the playoffs, a team may be bad offensively but they cannot afford to be also bad defensively. We won last year and the year before that because of defense. We lost in '08 because we have no defense and let the Celtics dictated the game. As fans, we always have faith with our team but as a long time b asketball fan I just hate their attitude this year. It has been a wild ride and it is not pleasant to be a fan if you are always being put up w/ highs and lows of emotions. These guys are cocky in playing on a balancing beam and trying to impress us what they can do. They put up two persona: intentionally tanking games or dominating games. It has been a wild ride from Nov to April. It is like dealing with the student who is an genius but absentminded, don't do homework, don't come to class, then just try to show up during Finals. As a typical fan, I prefer to deal with a honest hard worker trending towards excellence. Of course, by playoffs time, we all start w/ zero opinion and 100% allegiance with reseolve that history will repeat itself. Which history, hopefully the most recent Championships.

-When the Lakers started their streak right after the All-Star break, I took caution.
-When they took their run into April I started to get nervous. I knew they would need to start losing games soon if we had any chance of a three-peat.


Thank heavens the Lakers started standing around to watch Kobe and Andrew on the offensive and defensive ends!!

Because you know what this means...
WE'RE WINNING ANOTHER CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: dan the man

I agree with Dan the Man, These Lakers are a streaking team. Have been all year. I believe this downturn was inevitable and I also believe this team will start a winning streak before the end of the season. Once the real season starts the world champs will go 16 and 10. Go Lakers

He can pass MJ in points but i don't see him passing my MJ in anything else..
BTW I never saw MJ ever looking at his hands after fumbling the ball on a final possession.. LOL .. typical kobe Cryant blame n e 1 but himself.. wat he is frankistein.. those hands r not mine..

Don't like Phillup but he said it not n e 1 else.. MJ had bigger hands ..
enjoy watching the finals... where Artest has to come to rescue ur garden snake..
Posted by: CaptainJackSparrow | April 07, 2011 at 03:26 PM
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Captain Jack,

Hmmm…some of us have long memories. I recall game 1 of 1995 Bulls vs. Magic series when Chicago had the ball and a 1pt lead with under 20 seconds left. Then Jordan turned the ball over TWICE to lose it. I attached the clip to refresh your memory. Go to the 3:50 mark of the video to see the last 20 seconds. FYI…for the game MJ had 8 turnovers. (see boxscore). So my guess is he was looking at those mitts quite a bit that day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmK-wp5tJHg&feature=related

http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/199505070ORL.html

Edwin,

I think some of it is attitude , but I also think some of it is the cumulative affect of playing so many games in the last 3 years. The team just doesn't have the necessary energy to meet the challenge every night like we expect them to or would like them to.

He can pass MJ in points but i don't see him passing my MJ in anything else..

Posted by: CaptainJackSparrow | April 07, 2011 at 03:26 PM
--------------------------
Oh and by the way Kobe will most likely surpass MJ in rebounds and assists also...

He's just 864 rebounds behind = 4.5 reb per game for 192 games
He's just 497 assists away = 4.5 asst per game for 110 games

Celtic comments after today’s lost to da Bulls…

KG - If we're going to do anything in the postseason, we gotta get some more fight in this team."

Doc Rivers - "We still have time. There's no panic button, nothing like that."

Rondo - It's a pretty different team, comparing last year's team to now. "It's not the same team. We're not going to be able to turn it on like we did last year. "It better be a wakeup call. If not, we won't make it far."

LRob

I too never saw Lew Alcindor play at UCLA but one thing I know, he didn't play against David Thompson.

I believe Coach Wooden said that Bill was the best all-around center but he would pick Alcindor first, the guy was just dominant.

Troll Man,

Good point. Skywalker was unbelievable. If people didn't see David Thompson play before the injuries & drugs then they don't know just how special of a talent he was. That is another reason why I feel its insulting for the NBA just to mention all-time NBA records and exclude the ABA.


But UCLA did play a great Houston team (Big E/Don Chaney) in the 68 semi-finals and beat them by over 30pts. Houston was the #1 team at the time and had beat UCLA earlier in the year when Kareem played with an eye injury.


The one story that always illustrated Kareem's dominance to me was as a freshman (back when freshman couldn't play on the varsity team) he tallied 31pts/21rebs and his freshman team blew out the #1 ranked UCLA varsity team in... I believe was one of the first games ever at Pauley. (I'm sure one of the many UCLA alums here can correct that if I'm wrong.)

"My "caustic" tone was warranted. You completely ignore the Lakers' accomplishments after the All-Star break by trying to compare the tail end of last year to the tail end of this year. I submit that they are nearly identical. The Lakers weren't going to catch the Spurs this season, I repeatedly stated that, and anyone who thought that would happen was being unrealistic. So we're basically locked into the #2 seed in the Western Conference, just like we were locked into the #1 seed last season. Similarly, the Cavs were going to finish with an overall better record in the East last season, just like the Bulls this season, and even Orlando finished with a better record last year. Meanwhile, if the season ended today, guess what? We'd have the third best overall record AGAIN because we own the tie breaker vs. Boston (who still has to play in Chicago and Miami). Regarding injuries, it is JUST as important to stay healthy as it is to get healthy, as the Denver game taught us. After that little eye opener, is it really THAT much of a shock that the team played tentatively the last 2 games?

Phil's "goal" for this team after the All-Star break was to match last season's record of 57 wins. He has a remarkable sense for what is important. If the Lakers split the last 2 games, they will achieve that goal. So once again, I will defer to Phil Jackson, not you, MM or anyone else. We will get the #2 seed, meaning HCA for at least Rounds 1 and 2 and if the Spurs make it to the WCF, I love our chances against them without HCA. As for the NBA Finals, whatever will be will be. Too much is made about HCA anyway. I know one thing. We can win anywhere and we know more about winning when it counts than any other team in the Association. There is actually something to be said for that.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | April 07, 2011 at 03:01 PM "

Trying to compare this year and last year? I was saying they WERE NOT comparable. That 4-7 stretch came with Kobe missing games, Bynum missing all of the games, and a #1 seed in the bag. This latest 3 game streak came with everyone playing, everyone trying, and every game meaning something. I wasn't ignoring how well the Lakers had been playing before these last 3 games but the situations are just not the same.


One month ago, getting the #1 seed may not have been realistic but right before the Lakers started the 3 game losing streak, it was very realistic. The Spurs were slumping bad and the Lakers were playing their best ball of the season. If they continued winning, the Spurs game next week was likely going to decide the #1 seed.

If a series comes to a game 7, I think HCA is going to be a lot more important in the big picture than an abritrary 57 win total in the regular season. I'll defer to Phil on this one because I'm sure he agrees with me.

LRob: Yes, facts are a B_ _ch, huh!? lol I too have along memory of MJ and remember plenty of times and national conversations about his airness' ballhoggishness to the detriment of the team, inside the league and media included. You never hear about that now. Probably because it is before google histories et al. 24x7 sports coverage is only recent.

MJ's now supposed invincibility and legend rise daily with time melting away any semblance of factual history. My opinion - ESPN contributes to it dialy with homers like Wilbon's mantras pro MJ and all things Chicago and his ilk. Even PJ has his own agenda for immortalizing those Bull teams even while he coaches another great in Kobe. I believe PJ has more contempt for KB over his love for MJ and definitely has an agenda that will have supported that when looked through the lens of history................

Laker Tom,

Interesting post. I would guess quite a few Laker fans share those concerns.
One thing I disagree with is your thought that it would take "all" of those things for the Lakers to lose. I think if just 2 or 3 (depending on which one's) occur it might derail the Lakers.

One thing you didn't address as a concern that I think is important, the Lakers rebounding.
They can be a dominant rebounding team when they are all focused in on it and they have shown they can.

That being said, since Bynum has focused in on D and trying to get every rebound, it appears to me others have backed off going after the rebounds.
It's great Bynum is focused on it, but Pau, Odom, Ron and the rest need to zero in on rebounding as well and not just "let Drew get it".

In addition, I hope they stop the tactic of trying to do the one handed tip on a rebound (Pau, Odom), and go up and grab them with both hands.

I trust this will be addressed and we will see this in the playoffs but it would be nice to start seeing that focus again.

Anyway, only a week to go, but that's something I'll be looking at in that first playoff series.

Rebounding will be a key to a successful run and they can't just rely on Drew to get it done.

LEWSTRS,

Welcome to the Bulls bandwagon.
Just kidding!
But I think you and I are the only one's who have come out with a firm, no waffling prediction that barring a key injury the Bulls will be in the Finals.
We shall see.

LRob I am a laker fan but how pathetic it is to grasp at straws. The link you have about jordan was when he took almost 2 years off from basketball came back about a few games before the playoffs and wearing number 45. Jordan took that time to try his hands at baseball. In other words jordan had plenty of rust to shake off. Nick Anderson of the magic who eliminated the bulls that year said when he saw jordan in number 45 instead of 23 he was not as scared of him. The following year he donned number 23 again and blitzed the nba like no other and won 72 games. I have watched mj from the beginning to the end and kobe from his beginning to the present and it is no contest. now granted kobe is the closest to jordan but there can only be one. It starts with jumping where kobe can jump high but jordan could jump but he defied gravity a bit too long with his hang time. Then jordan hands were much bigger than kobe and so jordan had less turnovers than butter fingers kobe. Phil in a recent article talked about jordan's energy level. Phil ended all comparisons when he said it is unfair to compare kobe to jordan.

After the All -Star break the Lakers went 17-1. Basically they sent a message that the Lakers are not done and that the Championship still runs through them. Also, didn't the Lakers have one of the hardest remaining schedules in the NBA?
It sucks that they have lost 3 in a row, i would have loved it if they ran the table and won out.

Portland is currently holding the #6 spot in the west. Spare the reasons and statistics of how Portland matches up with the Lakers, oh and what many Laker legends and fans fear.
Who do you think is gonna win today?

Just play inside out with fluent ball movement and that's it.... As plain as bread and butter...

Island Priest-
If Jordan was so great why did he ditch the NBA for baseball? His greatness could of maybe done what no other franchise/player do; win 4 titles in a row, besides Bill Russell. Why didn't the greatest player ever stick around for that? Why did the greatest ever have to wear a different number on his jersey?


Not necessarily mad, just annoyed why people continue to compare Kobe to Jordan when kobe takes breaks and Jordan never did. Kobe down plays a lot of things such as league awards because he is passed his prime and can no longer compete against the elite players to win those awards. Such as Lebron, Durant and Rose to name. But Jordan was definitely in a class of his own, even when he was passed his prime he was still able to pull off the unthinkable at age 33-36, by winning 2 MVP, 3 Finals MVP and 3 Titles. Never cut his minutes or saved his body for just the post season.

Posted by: Ricky bobby | April 08, 2011 at 12:42 AM

Being a Laker fan i cant make any excuses for our team slump.The Chicago bulls with Jordan,Pippen and Phil Jacskon never really had a bad slump,I cant remember if they had a 3 game loosing streak much less than a 4 game loosing streak under Phil Jackson,this was unthinkable by Michael Jordan's standards.This present Laker team had many a loosing slump,we even lost to Celtics and Detroit in two Nba finals.Jordan nerver lost in an Nba finals.Yes before Phil became Bulls head coach they lost in the playoff to Detroit,but this change when PJ took the helm.So some Lakers fan who wants to compare anyone with MJ got to be joking,lts like they had never followed the game of basket ball.Yes its good for Lakers to win the finals but dont compare them to the any of the Bulls nba championship teams.

Posted by: ninja | April 08, 2011 at 01:50 AM

Dude....These's are EXCELLENT comments, it's unfair to compare Kobe vs MJ. It's NO CONTEST. He's still imitatating MJ with the tongue out the side of his mouth. Dude it gets OLD, can't be himself...because he thinks he's MJ.

Who do you think is gonna win today? Posted by: Joe_Corad | April 08, 2011 at 04:48 AM
_________________________


Without a shadow of a doubt, LAKERS WIN!


LAKERS ALL DAY!!!

Morning all - GAME DAY!

Hoping for a LAKE SHOW win tonight.

Cheers - PLG

Who do you think is gonna win today?

Posted by: Joe_Corad | April 08, 2011 at 04:48 AM
----------------------------------------------------------
Stern.

And Sheen

The LA times articles on Phil and Drew are interesting. First, yes, this is the end of the line as an NBA coach for Phil. I could see him getting involved in something with less travel, less grind. But he is done. Probably especially after this latest slide!


Drew, really for the first time to me, seems to get the whole team basketball thing. It isn't that the Lakers aren't playing hard, they are playing stupid. He sounds like Phil when he says, "You've got to come in here [with] everyone focused …[on] one goal, which is to win the championship.… When it's not like that, things go awry." That means no individual agendas, everybody playing their roles, running the offense, playing team D, hitting the board. You do what it takes to win, not fill up the stat sheets or the highlight reel.


This team sometimes struggles wuth focus. Artest gets off course. Shannon makes bad decisions, takes bad shots. Pau takes the easy way out. Kobe, who is supposed to lead, responds with too much agressiveness with on both ends, taking the team out of it's offense and defense. Fish misses jumpers. Bynum is slow in transition. LO settles for jumpers instead of breaking down his man. Everybody settles for one pass and a perimiter shot.


When the Lakers do those kinds of things, their lack of team speed gets exposed, and their mediocre outside shooting becomes an issue. But when they run the offense, move bodies and the ball, go inside/out, set up their team defense, help each other, help the helper, stop the ball, direct the ball to the bigs and use their length, defensive rebound as a team....


Well, then they can beat any team, soundly. It isn't not playing hard that beats this team. It is not playing with FOCUS, not playing with purpose, not playing as parts in a machine.


When the Lakers play the right way, Kobe is an MVP, Pau is a 20-10 guy. Drew is a Defensive Player of the Year. Lamar is a Sixth Man of the Year. Fish is a solid role player, and the bench brings some energy. And there is no team that can beat them.


Maybe it's time for Drew to step up and let his teammates know. He has sacrificed his offense to play D and rebound. He could have 20-30 ppg most places in the NBA. It's time to tell his teammates they have to sacrifice too. The goal is a ring. Not for Pau to avoid contact, or Artest ot Brown to get a lot of touches, or LO to put up #s for the Sixth Man thing to Kobe to prove he's the GOAT. Win an f-ing title. The means sacrifice.

LRob,

Never liked him, but....Alcindor was by far the greatest college player ever.
That statement is not only true today, but will remain true 500 years from now!

Alcindor leading the frosh over the varsity {75-60} was the first ever game at Pauley, in 1965.
After losing, the varsity was #1 in the country...#2 on campus.

As for the 1968 rematch with Houston, Wooden emptied the bench once the lead reached 44 points! UCLA won by 32.

Good Morning Laker Bloggers!!!

It is game day baby!

I haven't posted much lately. I have been a bit stunned and amazed and trying to understand how a team can be so great one moment and then get repeatedly “punked” by cellar dwellers the next. How do you go from being a smoothly oiled machine to a rusty piece of crap?

The Denver game was the turning point. Pau and Drew got banged up. PJ pulled Drew. We lost. PJ figured he needed to open up the rotation in order to get guys rest because once we lost to Denver our chance of catching San Antonio or Chicago faded. Also, I am sure he is worried we peaked too early. In both the Utah and GS game he gave a lot more time to the bench. Unfortunately, our bench sucks. PJ decided to give Luke some minutes in Utah. He was 0-4. Bench players not named LO shot 4-14 against Utah and 5-18 against GS. In the Utah game I was bummed because Blake didn’t take any shots. In the GS game, he shot the ball - which was good. He was 0-5 - which was bad… ;-) I won’t even go into the guards not named Kobe numbers. Kobe hit 50% of his shots against GS and had 4 steals. He played 31 minutes. In the years he was averaging 30+ p.p.g., he was playing 40 minutes a game. Less Kobe and more bench has equaled loud sucking sounds…

Pau is in a funk. All of this talk of him being soft has gotten under his skin. It is a shame because that is what they were trying to do. I guess I thought he was more mature than that. He is the all star. He has the championship rings. They want what he has got, so they talk crap. Amare, with his lack of defense, shouldn’t be talking about anybody else’s game. I think both Pau and Drew, during the regular season, play tentatively when they are banged up. They are keeping their eye on the prize. They will give it their all in the playoffs. What will Amare have to say when Pau gets another ring? The bottom line is you can’t worry about what other people think. You will always get varying opinions on anything that you do. You have to play up to your own expectations.

We have three possible playoff opponents in a row coming up. We are still one game ahead of Boston and Miami. We need to hold on to the two spot. We may end up playing Portland in the first round. We need to show them they don’t have a chance. At the same time, I think PJ will play the bench quite a bit and rest the starters. It is up to the Killer B’s to bring it. We have seen it before - LO and the B’s coming in and running up the score. Come on guys. You can do it!!!

We have four games in 6 days. We have played better with more rest between games. This is another reason PJ has to play the bench. It is time to toughen up, get some ball movement happening and play some freakin’ D.

Get the ball inside! When we play inside-out, we have great ball movement, penetration, etc. How can they not continue to get Drew the ball on every play until the other team finds a way to stop him… NOT! He was 5 for 5 against GS! If Kobe or Pau or Lamar or anybody was 5 for 5, they would keep shooting. The other guys would make sure the guy with the hot hand kept shooting. What is up with that? LET THE BEAST SHOOT!!!!

Sorry for yelling. I get excited because…

I am a Lakerholic.

Good Morning Laker Nation,

I’m looking forward to an exciting game tonight. Playing in the raucous Rose Garden should bring out the best in the Lakers. Either that or they’ll get blown out. However, either way won’t change my opinion on their prospects of winning it all.

@Nuggets – I agree. And thanks for posting the Kobe update on the all-time scoring list.

@Island – I’m not debating MJ vs. Kobe. I was simply responding to a post that said they never saw MJ fumble the ball away like Kobe did the other night. Sometimes I let bogus comments go because they’re not worth my time and energy and sometimes I choose to refute them.

@Tom Daniels – excellent post.

@Red – Thanks for the additional insight.

One month ago, getting the #1 seed may not have been realistic but right before the Lakers started the 3 game losing streak, it was very realistic. The Spurs were slumping bad and the Lakers were playing their best ball of the season. If they continued winning, the Spurs game next week was likely going to decide the #1 seed.

If a series comes to a game 7, I think HCA is going to be a lot more important in the big picture than an abritrary 57 win total in the regular season. I'll defer to Phil on this one because I'm sure he agrees with me.

Posted by: Bay to LA | April 08, 2011 at 12:49 AM
=====

How generous of you to defer to a head coach who has won 11 championships. You should get that message to him. I'm sure he would appreciate that.

If you have been listening to him, Coach Eleven Rings verbalized precisely what I have been saying, which is that it was a longshot to catch the Spurs, and this was right before this predictable lapse. I said during that sizzling stretch that the Lakers still had one more lapse in them and guess what ...

The Lakers are right where they need to be. They completed their pre-playoffs preparation a little early this season, so it doesn't really matter how they finish the practice season.

By the way I know exactly what you said and I disagreed. All that matters right now is HEALTH and, to a much lesser extent, where the Lakers finish. The way it stands right now, only 2 team in the NBA have better records than the Lakers, just like last season. I hope it stays that way, but the way the Bulls are playing even THAT might not matter.

All this paranoia from a Lakers fan who has been watching this team evolve since the beginning of the 2007-08 season. Just sweep all of that experience under the rug, why don't you. The past has nothing to do with the present. WRONG! They are inexorably intertwined. EXPERIENCE is what makes HCA overrated for THESE Lakers. ALL that matters right now is HEALTH! Just like last year. Just like ALWAYS for any championship caliber team. So yes, you are overanalyzing things.

I haven't posted much lately. I have been a bit stunned and amazed and trying to understand how a team can be so great one moment and then get repeatedly “punked” by cellar dwellers the next. How do you go from being a smoothly oiled machine to a rusty piece of crap?

Posted by: Lakerholic | April 08, 2011 at 07:11 AM
=====

Has anything about this season seemed normal to you? To me, it's the most exciting regular season since 2007-08. The reason that one was so exciting was because it wasn't a "practice season" like this one. The team was finding its identity back then. Now it has one. So don't read anything into this little lapse. You saw how the Lakers played winning 17 out of 18 after the break and THAT was their playoff prep, not these last 3 snoozers. Yes, it would be nice to remain ahead of the Heat and the Chowds, but in reality what happens from now until the end of the practice season is, in a word, meaningless.

Give me the PLAYOFFS already!

this was written:

The message is simple and it can't be made any simpler. Does the game of BB require rocket scientists?

"I like to see everybody involved in the game," Jackson said. "I've tried to preach as a basketball coach, even though we have a guy that dominates the ball in Kobe, basketball is not a one on one game — it's a team game."

This team will 3Peat depending on which Kobe shows up, as he goes so does his team mates.

In the world of technology if one component is out of spec then final solution will not work. That is why there are standards body.


my response: sadly, most of this is untrue.

If the team goes as Kobe goes then they would always play hard. We know that
this isn't true. We know that they wouldn't be complacent. We know that
they wouldn't coast.

re: it being a team game. Isn't it odd how PJ introduced Pau Gasol to Charles
Oakley? [ last year I believe. ] He *COULD* have introduced Kobe to MJ
to reflect upon the "TEAM" GAME. He *COULD* have had MJ instruct
Kobe, on how to get everyone involved. However, the *FACTS* say that
he introduced Pau Gasol to Charles Oakley.

http://lakeshowlife.com/2010/03/06/pau-gasol-meets-charles-oakley-toughness-ensues-hopefully/

However some trolls just never get tired of bashing Kobe.

He *COULD* have introduced Kobe to MJ
to reflect upon the "TEAM" GAME. He *COULD* have had MJ instruct
Kobe, on how to get everyone involved.
Posted by: hobbitmage
================

hobbitmage,

I think PJ already tried that, at least, that's what PJ says:

=========

"He (PJ) also shared a vignette about Jordan and Bryant, two of the best ever.

"I wanted Michael to get Kobe to understand that he didn't have to stray outside the offense," Jackson said of the meeting he arranged in 2000. "I prepped Michael a little bit that this kid was just learning the offense. They sat down and talked and the first thing Kobe said to Mike was, 'I can take you one on one.'

"Mike said, 'You probably can. I'm 39 and you're 21,' or something like that. He [then] just conveyed to Kobe that there was a time in the game to do that and how to wait 'til the game presents itself."

Who would've thought the Spurs and the Bulls win out their respective conferences when the season started? Still, I don't think neither of them will reach the Finals.

In the end, I believe the Lakers and the Celtics will be in the Finals. It's kind of the same situation as the last season. They both were stumbled near the end of the regular season but survived the playoffs to go to the Finals. But this season it will be much tougher for them to get there....

Personally, I'd hope to see Lakers and Bulls Finals. Envisioning the 7th game in Chicago... the Lakers down by one with "6" seconds left....PJ summons for his "last huddle," and then, Kobe makes the game winning shot as the time running out. MJ is there to witness it....

Correction.."I THINK neither of them will reach.."

Art,

you wrote: hobbitmage,

I think PJ already tried that, at least, that's what PJ says:

=========

"He (PJ) also shared a vignette about Jordan and Bryant, two of the best ever.

"I wanted Michael to get Kobe to understand that he didn't have to stray outside the offense," Jackson said of the meeting he arranged in 2000. "I prepped Michael a little bit that this kid was just learning the offense. They sat down and talked and the first thing Kobe said to Mike was, 'I can take you one on one.'

"Mike said, 'You probably can. I'm 39 and you're 21,' or something like that. He [then] just conveyed to Kobe that there was a time in the game to do that and how to wait 'til the game presents itself."


my response: Great! He did that 11 years ago and ~ 5 championships later ...
it looks like Kobe learned the lesson. Or was the lesson to *NOT* do your
best, & to *NOT* win championships?

this was written:

The Chicago bulls with Jordan,Pippen and Phil Jacskon never really had a bad slump,I cant remember if they had a 3 game loosing streak much less than a 4 game loosing streak under Phil Jackson,this was unthinkable by Michael Jordan's standards.This present Laker team had many a loosing slump,we even lost to Celtics and Detroit in two Nba finals.Jordan nerver lost in an Nba finals.Yes before Phil became Bulls head coach they lost in the playoff to Detroit,but this change when PJ took the helm.So some Lakers fan who wants to compare anyone with MJ got to be joking,lts like they had never followed the game of basket ball.

my response:

http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/CHI/1991_games.html

lost the first 3 games.

76ers, bullets, celtics

http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/CHI/1990_games.html

jazz, sonics, blazers

bucks, pistons, pacers

rockets, spurs,nuggets, lakers

I wish Kobe had had a chance to play w/ one of the greatest defensive
SF's ever. Just imagine what he could have done....

win championships? Oh, wait. He's done that.

win consecutive championships? Oh, wait. He's done that.

win consecutive championships multiple times? Oh, wait. He's done that.

shoot the ball 35 times in one game? Oh, wait. He's done that.

get less than 3 assists in one game? Oh, wait. He's done that......

The regular season does mater... HCA in the Finals or bust...

"How generous of you to defer to a head coach who has won 11 championships. You should get that message to him. I'm sure he would appreciate that.

If you have been listening to him, Coach Eleven Rings verbalized precisely what I have been saying, which is that it was a longshot to catch the Spurs, and this was right before this predictable lapse. I said during that sizzling stretch that the Lakers still had one more lapse in them and guess what ...

The Lakers are right where they need to be. They completed their pre-playoffs preparation a little early this season, so it doesn't really matter how they finish the practice season.

By the way I know exactly what you said and I disagreed. All that matters right now is HEALTH and, to a much lesser extent, where the Lakers finish. The way it stands right now, only 2 team in the NBA have better records than the Lakers, just like last season. I hope it stays that way, but the way the Bulls are playing even THAT might not matter.

All this paranoia from a Lakers fan who has been watching this team evolve since the beginning of the 2007-08 season. Just sweep all of that experience under the rug, why don't you. The past has nothing to do with the present. WRONG! They are inexorably intertwined. EXPERIENCE is what makes HCA overrated for THESE Lakers. ALL that matters right now is HEALTH! Just like last year. Just like ALWAYS for any championship caliber team. So yes, you are overanalyzing things.

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | April 08, 2011 at 07:43 AM "

The only overanalysis is being done by you, REPEATEDLY looking at my comments and overreacting to things that weren't actually there. There is no paranoia in anything I have said.

I didn't say this 3 game losing streak was a death sentence or a black cloud, I said it was different than the 4-7 stretch last year where they had a missing Bynum and an injured Kobe that was in and out of the lineup. That team had no realistic chance of catching Cleveland, no realistic chance of losing the #1 seed to anyone in the west, and the games played out accordingly. This 3 game losing streak happened when they were one game behind the Spurs in the loss column and still had a game left against them. I see this is as a lull that they were probably due for after winning 17 out of 18, not a result of a situation where the team can't go up or down in the standings and has nothing to play for.

Again, I'm just seeing a lot of twosidedness in this practice season theory. When they're winning, it's that the Lakers are flexing their muscles and showing the other teams what they're up against. When they're losing, it's that the games don't mean anything anyway and the team already made a collective decision not to try and it's just the result of a bored team playing against a team that feels like they're playing the Superbowl, the World Series, and the Finals game 7 all wrapped into one. If that's the case, that's fine, but instead of waiting until after a game is over to determine if the Lakers were playing a real game or a practice game, why isn't it predictable beforehand?

Here's the chance to test your theory, is tonight a game where they send a statement against a team they could face in the playoffs? Or is it a game where Portland needs the game more so LA plays to stay healthy and lets them take the W?

Just 3 more games to see if Steve "The Brick" Blake can hit a shot from the wide open corner or break into double digits...geez what a bust he has been IMO. GO LAKERS(in spite of Blake)!!!


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