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Lakers have no excuses for 93-86 loss to Portland Trail Blazers

Lakers4_510 The Lakers played with so little energy in their 93-86 loss Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers, it'd only be plausible to think they just came off a competitive back-to-back followed by late-night travel.

The Lakers actually had the day off. It was the Blazers who played Thursday night in Utah, picking up a hard-fought win over the Jazz.

The Lakers played with such inconsistency, the effort probably came against a sub-.500 opponent, knowing playing down to their competition would reveal very little about the team's playoff readiness.

Ironically, the Blazers are a playoff team and they moved up to the sixth spot, which would allow them to avoid the two-time defending champions in the first round should the season end today after proving they're capable of giving them a series.

The Lakers played with such disinterest, it'd only be natural to assume they had already locked up the No. 1 seeding in the Western Conference and don't need to worry about home-court advantage.

The Lakers (55-24) actually have no chance to overtake San Antonio (60-19) for the top spot in the West, can't eclipse Eastern Conference leader Chicago (59-20), have no breathing room against the Boston Celtics (55-24) and Miami Heat (55-24) and only small leads over the Dallas Mavericks (54-25) and Oklahoma City Thunder (53-26).

There's simply no valid excuse for the Lakers to waste another poor effort and drop their four consecutive games after putting together a remarkable 17-1 mark after All-Star break. Those that cite the Lakers' 6-7 mark to close out the regular season last year conveniently forget the Lakers at the time held the Western Conference's top ranking and had health issues to monitor, such as Andrew Bynum's left Achilles' tendon and Kobe Bryant's sprained right knee. Those that mention the 2010 NBA Finals turned out in the Lakers favor must not remember the series' Game 7s that featured the Lakers benefitting from home-court advantage. And those that argue the Lakers exactly one week from now will put the mediocre basketball to the side and start focusing seriously on the postseason are correct, but it's missing the point.

Lakers6_510 Besides the Lakers lacking a serious case of professional pride, the defending champions are not putting themselves in the best position come playoff time. There's so many variables that determine an NBA champion, such as health, sharp play, matching up to the opposing team's intensity, among other things, that it's irresponsible that the Lakers aren't at least making the burden to three-peat somewhat easier by solidifying themselves in the best seeding possible. The Lakers staunchly rejected that notion, saying ensuring strong performances will take care of itself. They also vehemently shot down the idea it'd be better for them to play as a second-seeded team to face Dallas in the second round instead of Oklahoma City and to host New Orleans instead of Memphis. But by the Lakers' actions, it seems like they're going against the former approach and following the latter.

Instead of Bynum giving a preview of playoff toughness by fighting through an intestinal illness, he completely disappears and fouls out late in the fourth quarter with six points and three rebounds. Instead of Pau Gasol giving a preview of his efficiency, he provided inconsistency with four-of-11 shooting, respectable rebounding (13) and disinterested defense (LaMarcus Aldridge scored 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting). And instead of showing better habits in ball movement, ball handling and hustle, the Lakers shot 39.5%, committed 17 turnovers and conceded 20 fast-break points.

The only somewhat respectful effort came from Kobe Bryant, whose 10 of 25 shooting clip and emotional technical foul shouldn't overshadow his four consecutive three-pointers that closed the gap to 53-47 at halftime and from Ron Artest, whose chippiness and technical foul when guarding Gerald Wallace should'nt overshadow his energy and two key three-pointers to cut the deficit to 82-73 with 3:44 remaining.

This well could mean next to nothing in how the Lakers' playoff picture is affected. But they shouldn't have that attitude right now. Should they look back and wonder why a three-peat felt short, the Lakers shouldn't have to leave themselves open to regret by not securing the last remaining games for home-court advantage against as many opponents as possible.

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photos: (Top) Lakers power forward Pau Gasol pulls down a rebound next to Portland guard Rudy Fernandez. Credit: Steve Dykes / EPA. (Bottom) Blazers point guard Andre Miller protects the ball from the swipe of Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. Credit: Rick Bowmer / Associated Press

 
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Since the 1984 Playoffs, no #4 Seed in either conference has made it to the Conference Finals, let alone the NBA Finals.

Hopefully, Drew will be feeling 100% by Sunday. Otherwise, OKC will be another loss. San Antonio on Tuesday is NOT a given. And Sacramento is NOT a given--remember the Clippers last year without Blake Griffin on the last game of the season.

On the other hand, maybe that's just the history they want to make. The first #4 Seed to win a championship in over 27 years.

KOBE BEAN BRYANT IS "THE LOGO OF PROFESSIONALISM!"

LAMAR ODOM IS "THE SWISS ARMY KNIFE!"

"AND THE BEAST GOES ON..."

Wow, and now people are saying don't worry Kobe will change once the playoffs come
Well riddle me this Mr. Black Hole Mamba, how do you expect the other players to play well when they don't get to practice playing with the rock in a real game situation?
Yeah Kobe you are so smart, don't get surgery on your finger, don't rest up, and don't allow your teammates to carry some of the burden.
I absolutely believe the beginning of the end of Kobe's career was the last Utah game against Gordon? (the white shadow). He couldn't lose this guy on offense and he couldn't stop him on defense.
Hope they can get a good coach next year and don't give me any of this B. Shaw crap. This team needs a disciplinarian or at least one that has an offensive philosophy that doesn't require Kobe to touch the ball on every fricken posession.

"Since the dawn of time man has asked the question, What makes Kobe Bryant, aka The Black Mamba, an unstoppable ballhog? What makes his ballhoginess so unstoppable? What makes his three-point ball hogs shots so unstoppable? What makes his overall ballhog unstoppableness unstoppable? Is it possible to stop something that is so ballhog unstoppable?"

This team deserves a big dose of reality. If they lose out, or even go 1-2, they could very well be 4th in the West and have no HCA over the key teams in the East. Pau Gasol is proving the "soft" comments are based on fact. LO is probably blowing the 6th man award with TOs and no D. FT shooting is so bad I can't believe any Laker would even bother complaining about uncalled fouls. They had 20 off rebs to 7. Shot better from 3pt range. And missed 10 fts. TEN! And lost by seven. Arrogance! Sheer arrogance.

We must not worry, the NBA will make a Lakers championship. Too much money to be made.

Game 6 2002 Western Conference Final Sacramento Kings vs Los Angeles Lakers. Stop crying front runner.

Go Anaheim Kings!

I think thats how you spell it.

Welcome to Disney land

The Portland Trail Blazers will always be a better team. We do not need false idols, bad actors, sexual assault court cases and the NBA's rigged referees to win and sell out the arena.


turns out all it takes is a team

Corey,

Disneyland is spelled with one word. Don't be comparing when Portland was known as the Jailblazers.

DONT WORRY LAKERS FANS, YOUR GONNA WIN, SHOW STERN THE MONEY!

Game 7 2000 Western Conference Final Portland Trail Blazer vs Los Angeles Lakers
Portland won 59 games during the regular season. The Trail Blazers were big, skilled & athletic. They were young & old. Sabonis, Pippen, Schrempf were a little past their prime, But Wallace, Stoudmire, O'Neal & Wells were young. They had a starting 5 of 7'3" Arydas Sabonis, 6"10" Rasheed Wallace, 6'9" Scottie Pippen, 6'8" Steve Smith, 6'3"Damon Stoudmire. Their bench consisted of Brian Grant ( a real hustler on the boards) Bonzi Wells, Jermaine O'Neal ( came in out of high school ) Detlef Schrempf, Greg Anthony & Stacey Augman.
This great team was denied a NBA Championship because David Stern wanted to make more Money
In the deciding game of the Western Conference Championships June 4 in The Staples Center. With the series tied at three wins each, the Trail Blazers were leading the host Lakers, 73-58, early in the fourth quarter then were outscored, 31-11 in the last 11 minutes and lost, 89-85. The Trail Blazers took 16 FTA the Lakers took 37 FTA . The Trail Blazers top defensive players Arydas Sabonis & Scottie Pippen both fouled out. In the fourth quarter every call was in favor of the Lakers.
Both of Sabonis 5th & 6th fouls were terrible calls, both came on blocking calls. When Portland lost Sabonis they had to go to Brian Grant, who at 6'8" was too small to play key minutes at center against Shaq.
Game 6 2002 Western Conference Final Sacramento Kings vs Los Angeles Lakers
Sacramento won 61 games during the regular season. They had a starting 5 of Chris Webber, Mike Bibby, Doug Chritie, Pega Stojakovic, Vlade Divac. There Bench was Bobby Jackson, Hedo Turkoglu, Scott Pollard & Lawrence Funderburke. The Kings were a high octane offence that like to
" too many of the calls in the fourth quarter were stunningly incorrect , all against Sacramento. I have never seen officiating in a game of this consequence as bad as that in Game 6." - Michael Wilborn Washington Post
In all the Lakers took 27 foul shots in the fourth quarter. With Sacramento up 3 games to 2 this rigged game prevented them from advancing to the NBA Finals. For the game the Lakers took 15 more FTA both Scott Pollard & Vlade Divac both fouled out on plays where they did not even touch the Laker player.
" I've been covering the NBA for 30 years, and it's the poorest officiating in a important game I've ever seen," David Dupree USA Today

I get the point Corey.
So what happened in 2003 and 2004?
What is the theory on that?
San Antonio and Detroit paid more money or what?
Not to mention the 3 years of playoff beat downs after that
and of course 2008 finals beat down.
So what happened behind the scene all those years
when the Lakers weren't the champions?

They should rename the triangle offense the KoMe BRY-ANGLE offense.

Some Blazer fans take it too far. I'm a reasonable one. This would be a fun series, but we're still tryna play Dallas. Kobe usually wakes up round playoff time as you know. Why wouldn't the Lakers show up last night though? They know recently they've lost more than they've won in Portland, plus they lost the previous 3 or 4 games. We expected you guys to come out with a huge punch but players seemed disinterested? Why? Was Portland not taken seriously because Marcus Camby didn't play or somethin? Still a scary roster to deal with. I'm a reasonable Blazer fan because I realize my team will only break my heart somehow, I fully realize that may be coming for us again. But only until it finally happens for us. You guys appreciate your championships in the 3's lol. I just want one. I became a fan when Drexler used to ball, but unfortunately he didn't get it for Portland. Respectfully Rip City Forever- Josh.

See ya in the 'offs.

It is truly time to start looking at next year. There is no switch and the way the Lakers have been playing going into these playoffs, detailed, by MM above is indicative of how they will play come April 17. I can't believe I didn't have a coronary last night watching that fiasco. I actully said to the wife that I saw it coming in the first quarter effort. (Layup drill by Portland all game!) I have never been so relaxed watching such poor Laker effort, because now I expect it.

So, after the lockout and hopefully Kobe gets surgery on his fingers this off-season (starting in a matter of weeks now):

Theo, Joe will be gone. (I hate PJ for not even trying Joe out.)

Hopefully Shannon tries FA and he is gone. He is lost in our system and whatever happened to him past early December killed his start.

(Does anyone else see LO more distracted lately?)

Hopefully someone in the FO picks up Ebanks and Caracter's option, as they are the only youth movment we could guarantee next year, and PJ will thankfully be gone so whomever coaches next year will actually play them, which I would like to see right now, if they can go at all until end-of-season!

Luke is one year closer to exhausting his absurd contract, so maybe someone will take a runner on him, but they would have to be crazy.

Matt could exercise his option to stay, but I doubt it after seeing this version couldn't get very far and Kobe is definitely albeit stubbornly on the way downhill fast.

That leaves everyone else on the roster locked in for another year with the possible exception of AB whose has an out in 2013, but the FO has exhibited (too much ego involved) will not let him go for anything, IMO.

MK may also decide it is time to go because he has to fight Jim Buss on too many things and Jerry is out-to-lunch. Also involved in such a decision is that the Kobe and PJ era will be winding down and with no cap room to do anything the best he can do is ride the falling Laker star to the bottom of the ladder and into missing the playoffs in years to come. Not attractive enough to waste that kind of aggravation. And no significant draft picks for years to come.

That also leaves Lakers way above the cap, which means all they can do is mid level, I think, without doing some research, although none of that is set because of the CBA expiring.

SO, good luck finding any impactful guard to come here. Neither fast nor dominating. Blake has been a bust, although I have been hoping he would do well. We basically have no guards to substitute for DF and KB right now. (7 man rotation come our one round, maybe two of playoffs!?)

Lakers need a banger/rebounder at 4 like a Noah, Landry, Scola, D. Jordan type who blocks out and chases rebounds, not just stands around waiting for them to happen their way. Would it kill us to get another youthful big to play above the rim, like evey other team in the NBA has!? I think Pau will be done with the Lakers and want out, so we may get someone who could do all these things (and a decent fast guard) if MK is skilled in the off-season. Too bad we don't have a Mark Gasol type with a solid base and skills with a fast, skilled passing guard available, somewhere.

I may have to evaluate whether I ride the Kobe express to the sunset or switch my NBALP to NFL League Pass and hope for my Chargers to rise finally.

Sorry to be so pessimistic, but the Lakers don't have it (attitude and necessary ability) anymore and I am never delusional when I watch a game I know so well and see all the signs I have seen all season and especially now. These habits and laziness are intrinsic to this current version of this team and their cavalier attitude (spoken, at least) about HCA is idiotic and unfounded. I believe they are what they seem to be and no manner of Kobe heroics with 3 people draped on him will be able to overcome the youthful other teams out there in the playoffs. All the other scouts have seen all it takes to beat the Lakers is double/triple team Kobe when it matters, race into lane penetration, and bang on our bigs and the Lakers will give up or turnover the ball so much that is is easy to beat them, since they have no outside shooting to speak of that has any reliability.


Now maybe PJ has a surprise they have been hiding which would be a Joe Smith or Theo suddenly dominating the bench crew come playoff time! ROFLMAO

And really..........hasn't it been obvious to all of us that PJ really should not have coached this year. You can see it in his face and body language that he doesn't want to be here and fight for another championship. He looks like a guy who is willing to occupy that seat, since his vets begged him to come back, but isn't interested enough to actually coach up anybody.

This interview 2 days ago showed the attitude I have intuited all year. He is already mounted on his high horse for his Laker exit.

I think he will be more than happy that Kobe's Lakers did not match MJ's Bulls on his watch, as he still worships MJ and really still has contempt for KB.

JMO

I was going to post the Eastern conference tiebreaker anaylsis with the Lakers but thought 'why waste the time'. It won't matter anyway. If every Laker opponent lays down for them in the playoffs and we get to the Finals, it will be analyzed to death then. But, bottom line, it looks to me like it would be a Lakers road non-HCA Finals for them, if miracles do happen.

Medina learn to be objective in your article for Pete sake. Do you feel that if you criticize the Black hole mamba your fans will turn against you? Anyone who watched that game knows that kobe is the problem even though he had 24 points on 25 shot attempts. Phil is totally exasperated with kobe by now. Why draw up a game plan to go inside if kobe and the equally insane ron ron are going to take 39 shots. Bynum took 2 shots and gasol 11. The bigs are also demoralized with kobe as well especially bynum. You criticized his 6 point effort but remember he is a center and he requires other people to get him the rock which they didn't as evidenced by his 2 fg attempts. If the kobe plays like this in the playoffs by hogging the ball and freezing out bynum and gasol the lakers will go down in flames by the 2nd round.

Kobe and ron ron took almost half of the laker team's field goal attempts shooting 14/39. Doug Collins often said when he was broadcasting is that the key to beating the Lakers is to make Kobe a volume shooter. Nowhere on God's green earth should ron be taking more shots that bynum or gasol. Like Tyson would say that's ludicrous! I don't know of there is some clause in phil jackson's contract that says he must act like an eunuch when in comes to Bean Bryant. Phil doesn't act like a man at times. Get into kobe's face and demand he get the ball inside or bench him. If kobe defies you threaten to quit like sloan did with d williams. You don't need the money and you will get a job right away.

I'm not really 'worried' about the Lakers I'm just a bit concerned. Pau Gasol showed NO effort against Portland 0% he was playing no defense. When I was watching the game Portland had back to back possesions of the same play where they throw a lob to Aldridge and Gasol was just standing there not expecting it. The only one who played with heart was Kobe. Kobe doesn't like trying to takeover games anymore because it may backfire because the other Lakers just stand around; then when Kobe wants to get his team involved they don't produce. I'm concerned because when Lakers went 17-1 after all star break they looked 'unguardable'; now L.A is starting to look guardable to me. It seems like Portland just took the bigs out of the game totally (except for Odom). Lakers just got outhustled. Also another question: WHAT IS UP WITH THE LAKERS OFFENSE???!! They haven't cracked 90+ points since losing to Denver last week! If someone just looked at the final score vs Portland people may say "at least the Lakers played a competitive game"; no they did not until the end. Lakers were down 74-50 early in the 3rd quarter. Besides Kobe there is another positive you can take out of this game, the bench produced by hustling and rebounding. There were 2 runs by LAL one by Kobe all by himself making 4 strait 3 pointers, then another by the bench.
LAKERS SCHEDULE DON'T GET ANY EASIER AS THEY HAVE OKC SUNDAY! Lakers better start winning so they can lock up number 2 seed! OKC is only 2 games behind and Dallas is only one game behind!

Gasol showed no effort because kobe sapped the energy and will out of phil, gasol, bynum and odom. I am not worried about the lakers either in the playoffs. If they allow kobe to shoot 27 to 30 shots a game then they will lose. If bynum gets about 15 shots, gasol 18 and kobe 21 then they will win. It is as simple as that. There is good kobe and bad kobe there is no doubt about that. Kobe has been bad kobe too often. He must know that if bynum and gasol dominates the lakers are practically invincible. But we will see.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_H-LY4Jb2M&feature=related

Go Kings/Royals!
Go San Francisco Giants!
(Guilty only of wearing a Giants gear to a ball game...brain injured at the hands of cretin fans...pathetic bunch of animals...where's my flame thrower!)

Sonnybelfast

re you spending your playoff refund money? Jack's going to Italy for a week.

Re that "Jailblazers" nickname...actually it was the "Trailgangsta's" back in the day

"We must not worry, the NBA will make a Lakers championship. Too much money to be made.

Game 6 2002 Western Conference Final Sacramento Kings vs Los Angeles Lakers. Stop crying front runner.

Go Anaheim Kings!

I think thats how you spell it.

Welcome to Disney land"

Posted by: corey | April 09, 2011 at 12:31 AM

Indeed. Mr. Stern's NBA in 2002 marked the beginning of the end for the
Kings in Sacramento. We know how championships are made by and for those without shame. But, if Sacramento has one commodity...it is litigators.
They aren't out of town yet! Thus, they are still the Sacramento Kings!

If they do end up in Anaheim though, as seems likely, it will be the Royals...
the same team that is starting to show its potential now.

I wonder how Laker fans will feel in two years,
being fans of the third best team in La La Land.

The Reke, Thornton, Beno combo is a fine backcourt.
DMC (who without Blake, would be hands down ROY)
already man-handles Andrew.
A top 1-5 lottery pick forward is on the way.
Got some great pieces, and they are finally learning to play together.

Now, all they need to do is dump that Socal suit,
and get a real coach...back in business.

Go Kings/Royals!
Go SF Giants!
Go Niners!

Sonnybelfast


I love the Lakers but I can't watch them play right now. If I showed up at my job and gave that kind of effort I would be fired!!

Can't wait for the playoffs.


Man.

Favorite Phil Jackson comment:

"These guys just don't want to play hard right now," Jackson said, later adding, "It's no fun to go through these games like this when you're coaching."

2nd favorite Phil Jackson comment:

"I hate to have this setup going into playoffs," Jackson said. "I have no explanation for not getting back on defense, letting a team run out and turnovers. Giving up easy baskets is just a bad recipe for a loss."

NuggetsCountry,

re: a whole of true & grim thoughts.

Why don't we wait until the playoffs start before we begin w/ the doom &
gloom? Yes, last night SUCKED! However, in the aforementioned 17-1
run we beat almost every single contender. On the road.

Lest someone thing I'm wearing rose-colored glasses,

1. Ron Artest, is at best, a pale imitation of Rodman. His shooting sucked &
his bull-headedness about it also sucked.
2. The softness of Pau, this season, can not be over-stated. A bland spanish
tapa.
3. Kobe's shooting has been poor. His loosing the dribble is problematic.
4. The bone-headed turnovers by LO. Trying to be too fancy.

All of that being said, when the playoffs start I expect Kobe to play more
minutes. When the *TEAM* decides to play w/o Kobe, I expect PJ to call
a timeout, make a substitution, and run the offense through Kobe.

Things I hope:

1. That the team throws a "blanket party" for the Spanish Tapa
to make him angry so he plays w/ aggression.

2. Artest finds his shot.

3. More playing time for SB, Matt Barnes & Blake.

4. That *ALL* the Lakers start putting in extra work on their shots.

5. Health

hobbitmage,

I think that's a good assessment of the situation.

It 'appears' the Lakers have just given up on the rest of the season, guess they feel they don't need anymore "practice".

It 'appears' they also don't care if Dallas or OKC passes them in the standings.

It also 'appears' they also don't care about HCA in the FInals if the Celts or Heat make it there.

Finally, it 'appears' as if all they really care about is being healthy.

It's disappointing, but que sera sera.

MM

This is as close as I've seen you be emotional and not rational. The Lakers know what they can do.

Let me repeat a little stat I dug up yesterday. Teams defending their championship who have reached the NBA finals WITHOUT Home Court Advantage are 5-1 in the glorious history of this league, the one loss occurring in 1983 when the hobbled Lakers got swept by a great 76ers team. Since the 2-3-2 format was instituted in 1985 for the NBA Finals, teams defending their championship are 3-0 without HCA. Phil Jackson's two Bulls three-peat teams ('93 and '98) did NOT have HCA. This tells me that HEALTH and EXPERIENCE trumps HCA. Getting to the Finals is the hard part and that's why the starters are playing shorter minutes because part of HEALTH is some REST. They are NOT playing normal minutes right now and they are OBVIOUSLY not playing hard right now. The GREAT news is that they are much healthier at this time this year than they were at this time last year.

I admit that perhaps I let history guide my thinking a little too much and I don't put enough weight on the "this is this year, that was last year" approach. I know this much. Last year I was shocked to see a switch flipped with a team that had 4 players with hand injuries and 2 players with knee injuries. Somehow they managed to win the championship after stumbling down the stretch of the practice season. To top it off, their NBA Finals triumph was against a former champion with 3 future Hall of Famers and one of the best point guards in the NBA. That taught me a LOT about this group of players. They are thrice championship tested and twice championship proven and, most important, they are HEALTHY compared to last year. So pardon me if I let history give me all the confidence I need.

This team has been through so much more than any other team in the NBA the past three seasons and they are still NOT OLD. In fact, their youngest starter is a game changing center who is only 23 and is bigger, stronger, better and healthier than the previous 2 seasons (knock on wood). They have won at least 1 road game in each of their last 8 playoff series, including EVERY "must win" road game and they proved during the 17-1 post All-Star break stretch that they can do it again this season. So HCA or no HCA, somebody give me a rational reason why I shouldn't be confident of a three-peat. Remember that Coach Three-Peat is still guiding this team and we still have 2 three-peat experienced co-captains.

So remain calm. All is well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDAmPIq29ro

Portland is the team NOBODY wants to play come Playoff time. Our defense, with Batum, Camby, Wallace, and Aldridge a formidable threat, and 'Dre running the point, gives Portland a huge advantage in the postseason.

Dallas is shaking in their boots. Blazer fans are rooting for Dallas in the first round!

Good Morning Laker Nation,

Sorry but I’m not buying into all the doom and gloom. Yes, Pau was abysmal; the layup drill was sickening and the turnovers mind boggling….but the Lakers WILL regroup and bring their championship attention to detail back for the playoffs. Only the playoffs can bring the Sweet Inspiration this team needs…


Sweet Inspirations (Cissy Houston) - Sweet Inspiration
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHL8wQQ3r1Q


DTB - Sweet Inspiration (very nice cover)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=padF2ziwiS4

Corey is right on, the leaugue does want the Lakers because they are the $$ versus the smaller markets, and as for why other teams have captured the championships as well, I am wondering if that is a serious question and hole in the theory to you?? Refs and leaugue can't do it ALL, In 2003 Lakers put themselves so deep in a hole with the Spurs, no calls were going to help. But you can guarentee if the games are close...

So what chance do other teams have. Don't make it a close game. Even Jeff Van Gundy said as bad as Lakers were playing in game 7 last year, they got it because they played at Staples center...Well that was only half right.

Not that Lakers aren't talented, no one can deny Kobe's skills, especially the fadeaway shots, but wouldn't it be great to win ALL championships on your own? All spurs championship have been earned, hard fought and played as a TEAM. It is ironic Phil J called their 99 title "with an asterick." Lakers multiple championships with Kobe, talk about astericks!

island priest

the only problem with Gasol is "aggressiveness". I want him to demand the ball! gosh.. even with the second unit, he still not a factor. And now you're shouting that why GAsol just took 11 shots?

LAKERS ARE JUST FINE. NO WORRIES HERE. I'D LIKE TO REPOST ALL THE MESSAGES AND STUPID ARTICLE HEADLINES THAT DOUBT THE BACK TO BACK WORLD CHAMPIONS AFTER THEY THREEPEAT. YOU KNOW WHAT? I WILL...

Pau Gasol is a joke. He got back door alley ooped, what, like 10 times last night? Jogs up and down the floor and then cries to the official when someone blows on him. Hell, even guards root him out of the paint. Can't hang onto th ball, can't finish at the rim and stalls for a good 10 seconds when he gets it. We shoulda traded his big 1-ply extra soft charmin arse. It was one thing when they called him soft because Garnett bitched him in the post on O, it's entirely a whole new level of soft when he can't back down a Batum. Pathetic. I'm 6'3" and I could beast this fool. I'm getting really tired of Odom's act as well, non-chalant, lacksadasical, space cadet with 0 defense. That's the problem, everyone talks about me getting into it with Wallace but I'm the only one willing to mix it up. Everyone else gets punked. If they don't keep the #2 seed, they will lose. PERIOD. And just watch how OKC's bigs chump our bigs this next game.

@ NBAFANINSC

100% agree. If it's not the Lakers, it's Boston that Stern and his chronies want in the finals. The Lakers only won last year because Perkins got hurt and they got the calls in Staples. You think it's a coincidence that Boston beat LA a couple years ago for the title after Boston had been the media darlings all year for getting Garnett and Allen? Please...

It's pathetic how predictable the NBA is.

If it hasn't been the Lakers or the Celtics, it's been the Jordan Bulls. The NBA has become a master of riding the hot hand in popularity. Michael Jordan got so many games handed to him by the refs, it's pathetic. They do the same thing Kobe, and before with Shaq, they do it with Boston, and now Miami with Wade and James.

Portland should have at least 2 or 3 more titles than they do dating all the way back to when Drexler was playing, when they got screwed by the Bulls' Refs. Sacramento should have at least 1. There are other examples, but honestly, what's the point? We all know the NBA will come through and make sure the Lakers play the HEAT in the Finals this year. That's what the "majority" of "fans" want to see. That's the match that will give them the biggest ratings, provided those teams don't beat themselves. I use the term "fans" here EXTREMELY loosely. Bandwagoners. Fair Weather fans. Whatever you want to call them.

Good job to Portland last night. They EARNED that win. They were the better team.

Pau Gasol, the "Stay Puft" marshmallow man from "Ghostbusters" only the skinny version....what a chump.

I'm going to have to disagree that I was overreactive. I make it clear in the post that the Lakers can easily bounce back from this. But they seem to be overlooking the fact that HCA is important. Having Game 7 in the 2010 NBA Finals was huge....This is a case of a red flag that the Lakers should be aware of and it's not a good formula for the Lakers to be playing Russian Roulette

MM -
Good retort. I agree, they seem to have short term memory loss. No reason why they shouldn't want every advantage they can gather. The seemingly utter disrespect they are showing the game and their fans is alarming. Other teams are flat out hungrier and if they don't get their act together, they will lose. Even Memphis would give them a run at this point...however, a full strength, concentrated and determined LA team would rip through the playoffs, I'm hoping that's their approach in coming week. #2 seed I think is important as well as holding HC vs the East.

@ ArtestIsReal

Artest is a real Moron. Are you actually trying to play like you're him?

"That's the problem, everyone talks about me getting into it with Wallace but I'm the only one willing to mix it up."

Seriously? Get a life. The fact that you say you're 6'3" in a few lines before that does prove one thing...you're just as crazy as Artest is. That guy is nuttier than squirrel crap. And if you think you'd be able to handle ANY NBA player, let alone an up and coming defensive/offensive threat like Batum, you're even more of a moron than Artest, and that's saying A LOT!

C'mon, Mark. Your supposed to be a professional writer and ought to know 'irony'. Blazers beating the Lakers and moving out of a postseason matchup with them isn't irony it is coincidence.

@WWE....seems like I had good bate. To be honest, Artest is crazy, that's why I say he is real. He doesn't hide it, he rolls with it. He doesn't play games or pretend to be someone or something he's not. The whole 6'3" thing is legit. And actually, when I was younger spent time playing against several NBA players and held my own during the lockout year. Cracked Cliff Robinson with 3 threes in a row after Kersey told Cliff he better guard me. Bottomline, the point I was trying to make is simple, Artest, while bananas is willing to fight and scratch and claw, noone else seems to wanna. I can respect at least the desire and willingness to do whatever it takes. Gasol stands around out there like an elm in the woods.

"If I showed up at my job and gave that kind of effort I would be fired!!" - Posted by: debbie

Amen to that. And we're not making the multi-million dollar salaries that these players are making.

Inexcusable and unacceptable. Are the Lakers the least motivated team in all of professional sports?

LOSE! LOSER! LOSING! One 'o!' I guess most people "could care less," I however am "fustrated" to the extreme. So please if you can't spell, "axe" someone.

MVP-I've been reading this blog for years, and have posted a comment maybe twice. But man you're a bozo, and your ideal of this team switching the championship button is childish and unfounded. I'm at every Lakers home game because I share box seats. And everyone in the suite feel the vibe that this team is heading for heart break hotel. And btw what type of attorney are you? Unless your the top lawyer in the office, I'll fire you. You spend so much time on the blog, and by your comments your game is weak. This team is slowly circling the drain, their is no desire or passion to 3 peat. Wondering about home court, there's no need. This group of millionaire players have no pride.

UNINTERESTED. Disinterested means something... different.

Mental break downs are no excuse for a champion to tell the fans about tomorrow. The continual distractions and egos have brought this team to mediocrity. The answer is does this team have a desire to win. The solution has been poor and inconsistent play. Do not have any expectations of playing beyond the Spurs series. Thank you.


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