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Lakers suddenly anxious after 120-106 loss to Oklahoma City Thunder

Lakers11_510 Before he could see any of his teammates, Kobe Bryant immediately darted into the trainer's room.

Bryant usually goes through this ritual at some point following a game, receiving extensive treatment and icing on his assorted injuries, most notably his surgically repaired right knee and arthritic right index finger. But not this soon. The Lakers' 120-106 loss Sunday to the Oklahoma City Thunder agitated him so much he wanted to avoid any contact with teammates.

Whether it's a deliberate message or a way to temper his emotions, the Lakers didn't exactly hear what the co-captain had to say about the team's season-high fifth consecutive loss or even his three turnovers in the final three minutes overshadowing his 31 points on 10-of-19 shooting, a statistic he attributed to Oklahoma City's defense. But it's a sign nonetheless that the Lakers' losses are more than just blips.

"I didn't want to redecorate the walls in here so I made the effort to go in the training room and keep to myself," Bryant said 62 minutes after the game ended and then responded sarcastically to whether he was mad. "No, not at all."

Bryant was uncertain on whether the Lakers can turn things around in the two remaining regular-season games -- Tuesday against San Antonio and Wednesday at Sacramento -- in time for the Lakers to be at their best once the playoffs start, offering a tepid, "I hope so." Lakers forward Pau Gasol suddenly called the last two games "must-win." And both Bryant and Lakers center Andrew Bynum argued they need a long practice Monday to expedite all the corrections they need to make.

The reason for the Lakers' increased unhappiness points to how their continual losing makes it more and more obvious they're setting themselves up for drastic home-court implications. A Lakers' victory and a Mavericks loss to Phoenix on Sunday would've secured a No. 2 seeding in the Western Conference. Instead, the opposite happened. The Lakers and Dallas Mavericks are tied at 55-25 for the second spot in the West, while the Thunder closed the gap to one game behind them. Though the Lakers hold both a tiebreaker over Dallas after locking up the Pacific Division and over Oklahoma City after finishing 2-1 in the regular-season series, that's not making the Lakers any more comfortable. Although Lakers Coach Phil Jackson told his team not to pay attention to the Eastern Conference teams because it promotes looking ahead to a possible NBA Finals matchup, it's hard not to notice the Miami Heat (56-25) have a one-game edge over the Lakers, while Boston (55-25) remains tied.

"We were complacent a little bit and we got caught," Jackson said, referring to the team's previous three losses against Utah, Golden State and Portland. "I told them yesterday I didn't think we could turn it around in one game."

Certainly not.

The Lakers allowed Oklahoma City to shoot 55.6% from the field, 47.1% from three-point range and outrebound them 38-34, areas the Lakers usually dominate considering the team's defensive scheme that funnels drivers into the team's frontline had largely spurred the Lakers' 17-1 effort following the All-Star break. Instead, the Lakers displayed a defense Bryant described as "horrible."

  Lakers8_600

The Thunder went on a 17-2 run, including a possession that exemplified the Lakers' poor play: Ron Artest airballed a three-pointer, Bryant grabbed the rebound and then airballed another trey. They again had no answer for Russell Westbrook's speed (26 points, seven assists and six rebounds). Artest normally forces Thunder forward Kevin Durant into a poor shooting clip to get his points, but his 31 points came on 11-of-15 shooting. And even though Thunder center Kendrick Perkins scored only two points, his presence has sharpened Oklahoma City's toughness, particularly in the paint.

"We know we can win, but we need practice," Bynum said. "We're not a unit right now. There's a lot of individual things going right for certain guys, but as a unit collectively we're not there."

What's even more disconcerting, the Lakers actually tried this time. It featured Bryant and Gasol (26 points on 10-of-16 shooting) scoring at prolific rates, Steve Blake coming up with a rare solid shooting performance (nine points on three-of-three shooting) and Bryant refusing to back away from Perkins' headlock, which resulted in a technical foul for both. But the negatives, such as Gasol's four rebounds, Lamar Odom's sudden drop in productivity (seven points on three-of-nine shooting) and the blown fourth-quarter execution proved hard to watch.

To think, it was only last week that plenty centered on when the starters would begin resting, when "Khloe and Lamar" would debut on TV and whether the Lakers are suddenly invincible. Lakers guard and co-captain Derek Fisher reminded everyone that the Lakers went 6-7 in their final 13 regular-season games last season and were on the brink of elimination in a first-round series with the Sacramento Kings and the Western Conference Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2000 playoffs, only to finish with favorable results. It could very well be one of those times once again. But the Lakers have a lot of work to do with little room for error.

"This one is tough for us because we were playing so well," FIsher said. "This is coming at a really bad time for us in terms of how we finish the regular season, but we still have an opportunity to solidify our spot."

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photos: (Top) Lakers guard Kobe Bryant loses control of the ball as he's defended by Thunder guards Thabo Sefolosha and Russell Westbrook late in the game Sunday night at Staples Center. (Bottom) Lakers guard Derek Fisher beats Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha to a loose ball in the game Sunday evening at Staples Center. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
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At the rate the Lakers are going, we might as well forget about this season. As a Lakers fan, I would love to see them doing another three peat this season, but unfortunately, I don't see it happening this time.

Two things the Lakers management need to do for next season.
1. Find a very good replacement for PJ.
2. Look for a first rate point guard.

This team lacks everything this year, intensity, ingenuity, versatility, and leadership.
The one year that PJ needed to be his absolute best he mails it in. But what the hay, he can always blame Kobe, it's a win win proposition. Win it all and he's God, lose and it's Kobe's fault and another book tour promoting his latest book "Why Kobe isn't Michael"

Of course there is plenty of blame to go around....

1. Kobe- in a year Kobe could have shared the ball a little more he took the team out of the offense too many times and was a liability on defense. Only this year he didn't have many moments to make people forget about his ballhog mentality.

2. Gasol- keep noticing he dislikes contact, his position IS power forward correct?

3. Fisher- His LACK OF IMPACT costs the Lakers so much. Take the blinkers off and look around people.

4. Lamar- Reality Show star. No NBA star.

5. Blake- another PJ blunder, he should have shared duties at PG this entire year. How demoralizing it must be to play behind one of the worst PG in the NBA.

6. Barnes- He was non-factor in last years playoffs with the Magic and has had little value this year, still like his toughness. Knee injury could be a viable excuse.

7. Artest- The only thing that saved him last year's was his playoff heroics and that's the only thing that will save him this year.

MITCH KUPCHAK- Should be fired, breaks up the second unit of a back to back champion and replaces them with over-the -hill bigs and aging unathletic journeymen.

A lot of people wanted to underscore the impact of the Kendrick Perkins trade including Boston fans but the fact that the Thunder are rolling and the Celtics are reeling isn't coincidence. don't believe me?


here's a quote from Kobe about Perkins

Perkins is among the few guys you absolutely cannot judge by the numbers. “He’s a great team defender,” said Kobe Bryant, “I’ve always said he was the best low-post defender in the league.”

This year's playoffs will be the lakers greatest challenge. last season was as soft as marshmallows. utah, okc and then thesuns? none of these struck fear in anybody. This year by the second round la will be in a dogfight. Kenny smith said it best that championships are about luck and match ups. The lakers were very lucky last season. if they have to face, denver, the mavs and then the spurs and the the heat that will be the worse case scenario.

phoenix isnt a box seat holder, he is a 42 yr old over weight meth addict. he works at kfc and has a paper route, his name is jacob and dont pay attention to him. he is a habitual liar and a thief. oh yeah he lives with his sister and her husband. hey jacob, now what?


I don't know wat to say about the Lakers! Their offense was finally good; they finally scored over 100 points (which they haven't done in a week and a half).... BUT their defense was just AWFUL! The Thunder scored nearly 40 points in the first quarter!!! Kobe was probably the only bright spot in the game and Bynum also; but everyone else they gotta step it up! Pau Gasol is 7 FEET TALL AND HE ONLY MANAGES TO GET 4 REBOUNDS!!!!! PAU PLAYS MORE MINUTES THAN ANYONE ON THE LAKERS!! Fisher has got to go after this season! I am sorry for all of this loyalty bullcrap to Fisher but now Fisher is literally useless! He can't defend anyone (literally) and now he has trouble knocking down wide open 3 pointers which was his game early this season and last postseason. The NBA is a business and Fisher is not getting it done. MAN I WISH BLAKE KNEW THE TRIANGLE SO HE COULD GET MORE MINUTES! Kobe has to do everything to cover up for Fisher's no defense! Kobe is 32 trying to defend this young athletic point guards! I kept saying I was only a little concerned; but now I'm worried that L.A won't hold the number 2 seed. Hopefully the Spurs will rest Tim Duncan Tuesday against L.A becuz when teh Lakers are on these losing streaks it normally takes a blowout against a bad tea to get them back on track. But they don't face a bad team until Wednesday! And if they lose again it may be too late to secure the 2 seed of Dallas wins again. But the good this is if Dallas and LAL are tied Lakers have tiebreaker because they won season series and are their division leaders.
All of these mistakes can be fixed; but Lakers have very little time to do it. Their mistakes are :TURNOVERS, rebounding (LAL can easily fix rebounding they need to just hustle more and box out), ball movement, and stop playing from behind!

Just droppin by to say.......

I STILL BELIEVE.

The ONLY time I WON'T believe is when they take my heart away and tear it apart and burn it till it all becomes DUST! Other than that, as hard for me to understand our Lakers...I.....STIL...............BELIEVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll be ready for the Playoffs. Keep the Faith Lakers Fam!

PS: Mamba24 aka Larry, see you in the playoffs. You better be here.

LAKERS ALL DAY!!!

Laker Fans,
The fact that we never upgraded the point guard position has finally coming back to hurt us. During this five game losing streak every team we have played has pushed the tempo to the extreme. Denver started it with the two quick fast and in a hurry point guards Lawson and Felton. Then is sucession GS Ellis and Curry, (Utah was just an awful game) Portland Miller back door cuts, alley oops, and finally Westbrook backdoor cuts, alley oops. Teams have decided they are not gonna let the Lakers set up their bigs on defense, they are gonna run and gun and we have no answer. We have no youth and no atlethecism. Phil does not like rookies or young players I get that but it could possibly cost the Lakers the title. After these losses every team the Lakers play is gonna push the ball. Young team with bench > old team and no bench.

I didn't see the entire game, but based on 3 of the last 4 games games i did see in which they lost I know why they lost.

They are not engaging their most important defensive player. Andrew Bynum appears to be chastised a lot. Lakers have to give him the ball each and every time that he is open. He needs to feel trusted. I've seen many even the superstars making selfish plays or when they give him the ball, their body language is saying "I don't really want to give you the ball". Well you know what, that's going to be your downfall. The more trust Drew is given the better he'll play defense. He's the focal point on defense and if he's not closing games, then you will keep getting those stupid easy shots in your face as he allows for a better perimeter defense than Pau or Odom because he'll be there to alter shots should there be any penetration in the lane. They need to trust him more on both offense and defense... I don't get why they are suddenly chastising him. It really upsets me. Sometimes you have to coach with your heart and not with what has been predetermined prior to the game.

Greetings Lakeshow Fans,

It's been a while since I last shared a post with fellow "true" Lakers fans . I actually decided this season to take a "backseat" approach and not compliment or criticize any of the games played thus far, whether wins or losses. But for today, just some thoughts about our team.

Listen, we all know that the Lakers team is playoff driven and built to win big games. Why should anyone be surprised? This is a team that has won 5 ot of 7 chmpionships in the past decade.

Like I've said in years past, collective HEALTH and a whole lot of faith are going to be the keys to any championship run. It is no different this year...My understanding is that Gasol and Bynum are still feeling the effects of serious banged up knees from a couple of weeks ago while Odom is fighting some swelling in his elbow and hands. KB24 of course is STILL fighting a bad knee, ankles, and a mangled shooting hand. Artest continues to fight plantar fasciitis, which affects lateral speed at times. Fisher does have issues with his hamstring, which explain his dropoff of speed from game to game. Hey, that's the entire STARTING team plus the sixth man! We are in essence rooting for a veteran Lakers team to 3 Peat while securing a fourth straight trip to the Finals. In this day of age, a very difficult task indeed, but doable for our Lakers.

That's why I have grown to appreciate the last two runs even more than I did the 3 Peat run from 1999-2002. Winning titles, although rewarding for players, coaches, staffers, ownership and fans like us, will always come with a heavy price. Success in sports brings with it a sense of responsibility we can't even imagine. It requires a mental and physical approach to winning year in and year out, especially when it matters the most (which these Lakers have shown the last two seasons).

Hmmm...the present. Don't be fooled by the latest string of losses. PJ has cut back starters minutes big time, as they have averaged under 31 minutes per game. As a result, the Lakers team is leaving points out there as well as solid defensive play in the past five games. Naturally, losses have occured and fans have become very agitated by their play. This is why "looking at the big picture" is important. Regardless of where the Lakers end up in seeding, everything STILL has to go through LA....You don't think all the EC and WC playoff teams know that? Come playoff time, it is a whole different animal.

BTW, looking at the last five games with personnel in mind, why would anyone question a coach who has won 11 rings? Obviously, although unhappy with his guys at the moment, PJ knows his team quite well and gauges them accordingly.

Think about the pattern in which the Lakers have played all season long. This year's team has not really practiced as much as most teams because of its collective age and injuries here and there (if you haven't noticed, teams like Boston and San Antonio, veteran teams with age, have had bumps as well and do require rest). Also, PJ has not cracked the perverbial "WHIP" per se as he has in the past. No doubt he has taken the patient route this year. Despite his approach thus far, I wouldn't bet against Jackson and his knack for winning and bringing out the best in his team when it counts. No way!

Here is a string of thoughts for good measure about why other teams and players in the league TRULY admire the Lakers deep down inside their heart and soul:

Case in Point #1: Kendrick Perkins still talks about his knees and the "what if "scenario when Boston choked a 13 point lead in game 7 in 2010. First of all, AB's knees were just as bad as Perkins (the same knees which kept him out of the 2008 Finals which NO ONE seems to point out) while KB24 played with a bad knee and bad ankles to go along with a mangled shooting hand going on three years now. You tell me a player nowadays who's just as tough as Kobe playing with ALL these ailments. That's what I thought...Perkins tough? All bullies like him have a soft spot. Just show him the 2010 Lakers Championship ring and his good looks. Hey, like he said, everyone is entitled to their "opinion".......We'll see soon enough in the playoffs.

Case in point #2: It takes a certain toughness to win championships. No ring is easy to win. In 2008, a confident Boston team may have won by 39 in Game 6, but required six games to do it. In 2009, a renewed focus and clutch play enabled the Lakers to win vs Orlando in five games. Finally, in 2010, the Lakers trailed 3-2 in the series and eventually pulled out a Game 7 comeback vs a once again confident Celtics team, minus the "what if" Perkins. BTW, Bynum wasn't exactly a picture of mobility in that series, but showed a lot of heart and made no excuses. Also, considering that Boston had four legitimate all-stars (Garnett, Allen, Rondo and Pierce) compared to the Lakers two (Kobe and Pau) in 2010, Boston should have taken care of business anyway, but didn't do it when it MATTERED.

On that note, let this year's playoffs begin.

When it's all said and done, I believe that our Lakers will capture the 3 Peat through all the adversity, home or away.

Laker pride through ALL and ANY ADVERSITY! Peace.

Please wake me up when the playoffs begin. Steve Blake, it is time for you to get off that milk carton!!!!

Please wake me up when the playoffs begin. Steve Blake, it is time for you to get off that milk carton!!!!

Posted by: TNTLakerFan | April 11, 2011 at 06:06 AM
****

All over ugly game...there seems to be no effort at all. Lakers are losing out to hunger, youth, speed, athleticism. The bench HAS to show up like they did in the beginning of the season... sure Blake hit three 3's yesterday..but those are few and far between. Matt Barnes has not been the same at all since his surgery...and from his history in the playoffs with Orlando last season, Lakers can not hang all there hopes on him. Shannon and Lamar have been here before and need to step UP big time....the frustrating thing with Shannon is that he has the speed, athleticism, and youth....USE IT! Made some bad decisions last night...but I still have hope. And Lamar (6th Man of the year) needs to be the leader of the second unit and give it an identity.

I still have faith in the Lakers but they need to wake up and play like they can...we have all seen it. In the off season though I think that the Lakers are going to have to go looking for some youth and athletes...you can't keep going when you only have 2 players under 30 on the whole roster (Shannon and Andrew) and Andrew is not utilized as much as he should be at all!

I am not reading any articles today. I'm only posting my thoughts. The Lakers stink! I haven't seen such a poor performance over a 5 game period by a championship team. I'll tell you what one of the problems is- Kobe Bryant is a legend. I don't hear more about his outside interest than I do about his on-court things. That's good! The problem is I am hearing way too much about reality shows and rap music by other Lakers. It's funny Kobe was talking about his avoidance of teammates post-game because he didn't want to redecorate the locker room. This was stated by Kevin Ding and LakersReporter on Twitter. But my favorite Laker, LO, was busy tweeting about the first episode of Khloe & Lamar. There is something very very wrong with this picture! Kobe upset about losing and another guy is getting tweets about his reality show AFTER THE SAME GAME! SMH.

Good Morning Laker Nation,

Five losses in a row. Concerned…yes, panic…nope! The Lakers will respond. In the meantime let the haters enjoy their day….they don’t get these opportunities often. Soon enough they’ll disappear like they did during the 16-1 run.

@Let Go L’s – I enjoyed your post.

@JovBatz44 – Way to keep the faith brother!

They won't win a championship with 6 guys. Blake, Brown and Barnes have to become contributors. I don't hold out much hope for Brown. I have never seen such a fundamentally flawed basketball player at this level. Horrible mechanics and atrocius footwork on both offense and defense. On offense, he cannot dribble, shoot or pass the basketball for someone getting paid to do it. His defense is non-existent and we always lose leads when he is on the floor. He could not guard me and both my knees are shot. The occasional highlight reel dunk does not make a good basketball player. The guy is not pulling his weight. I read somewhere he could opt out after this year, well if he does that he will disappear basketball wise off the face of the earth. Of all the Lakers he is the most annoying to watch so much physical talent and very little output.

An important key to winning is
rebounds and turnovers.
rebounds and turnovers,
rebounds and turnovers,
rebounds and turnovers.

I am close to becoming convinced that since Bynum decided to be a defensive force and grab all the rebounds he can that his teammates have decided to let him get the rebounds and only bother with rebounding if the ball falls into their hands.

Pau (4 rebounds) and Odom (3 rebounds).
The rebounding machine, 2 offensive boards.
That is offensive.

Dudes, if this is what happens in the playoffs it won't be pretty.

May file a lawsuit against the Killer Bees for false advertising.
But then, maybe that nickname is meant to represent what they are doing to the fans.

They won't win a championship with 6 guys. Blake, Brown and Barnes have to become contributors. I don't hold out much hope for Brown. I have never seen such a fundamentally flawed basketball player at this level. Horrible mechanics and atrocius footwork on both offense and defense. On offense, he cannot dribble, shoot or pass the basketball for someone getting paid to do it. His defense is non-existent and we always lose leads when he is on the floor. He could not guard me and both my knees are shot. The occasional highlight reel dunk does not make a good basketball player. The guy is not pulling his weight. I read somewhere he could opt out after this year, well if he does that he will disappear basketball wise off the face of the earth. Of all the Lakers he is the most annoying to watch so much physical talent and very little output.

Posted by: Sam | April 11, 2011 at 07:01 AM
****

Kinda harsh on Brown. Yes, last night he was HORRIBLE but I have seen worst out of some of these Lakers this season...Artest first half, Luke (always)..Barnes and his turnovers, Blake and his non-existent offensive 3/4 of the season. However, Barnes, Blake, and Brown all have to pull their weight in the playoffs.

"What's even more disconcerting, the Lakers actually tried this time."
Yep

I have never seen such a fundamentally flawed basketball player at this level. Horrible mechanics and atrocius footwork on both offense and defense. On offense, he cannot dribble, shoot or pass the basketball for someone getting paid to do it. His defense is non-existent and we always lose leads when he is on the floor. He could not guard me and both my knees are shot. The occasional highlight reel dunk does not make a good basketball player. The guy is not pulling his weight. I read somewhere he could opt out after this year, well if he does that he will disappear basketball wise off the face of the earth. Of all the Lakers he is the most annoying to watch so much physical talent and very little output.

Posted by: Sam | April 11, 2011 at 07:01

Well said, I second that.

May file a lawsuit against the Killer Bees for false advertising.
But then, maybe that nickname is meant to represent what they are doing to the fans.

Posted by: Art | April 11, 2011 at 07:33 AM
--------------------
lol

firstly,this is the time when teams show who they are. at this point, the lakers scare exactly nobody.okc and others will be chomping at the bit to embarass what they see is a team thats a mile long and an inch deep. i just hope that what we are seeing is a kobe-a -dope,and pau and some of the others have been eating raw meat.whoever wins, it will be a hell of a thing to win this one

Well, night one of TIVO experiement. I can see by the comments I should delete the game and not watch it today.

It was hard not watching it live (or at all so far), but the TIVO experiment is also to save my angst, so it worked this time. I did glance at the box score however and see some glaring problems, that have been prevalent in these awful games this year. A deficit in rebounding!? Kobe turnovers (now many times these are a result of having to take over against huge double/triple team defender schemes, so I'll reserve judgement on that one for now). Pau lack of rebounds!? Another Kobe tech (geez - he is one game from sitting & whatever happened to that last one he had where he just bounced the ball - no retraction by the league!?)!???!

Sigh.............at least we don't have to concern ourselves with Finals matchups. If we get that far, it would be an absolute miracle!

TIVO experient night two tomorrow for me.

Pau Gasol should have been traded for Carmello Anthony at the deadline. That would have cured all of the Laker problems.

The Lakers need to get it together. The Play offs are here next week. Time to turn the switch.

The Lakers need to get it together. The Play offs are here next week.
Time to turn the switch.

Posted by: Headshots Los Angeles
======

They did.

Off.

This is why I refuse to frustrate myself focusing on the regular season.

One advantage LA has going for it is a healthy Bynum going into the playoffs. 15RPG the last 5 games and a double-double avg the last 10. That's something LA has not had the last three seasons which each ended in a Finals trip.

Seeding will decide most teams' fate. LA is one of the few that can overcome a bad bracket and now they have another asset they haven't had in some time.

Worry, yes. Panic? No.

Well
I happen to be every home game 2 hours before the starts.
Among all the players I hardly see L Walton practicing right before the game.
Meanwhile the opposite team's players are practicing their shots.
No wonder when He gets to play is always off.
my 2 cents

Two games left in the regular season and Bynum is saying they just need a practice to get it together.

That's the kind of thing you say in NOVEMBER!

Kupchak should have pulled the trigger on a trade. This team is not going to win a title. Charlie Sheen would have been a more stabilizing force than this band of misfits and prevaricators.

As for "looking ahead to the Finals" as being premature... that's what championship teams do. This team is sounding like the Knicks. Just happy to reach .500 and "be competitive" in a first round exit.

As for the Lakers maintaining their "cool," I've always loathed their "cool," because I remember how cool they were when Boston destroyed them by 39 and how cool Kobe was when Phoenix was sending them home early. This season has the stink of those rollovers all over it. They're going to be cool while a less cool and more hungry team sends their butts home early.

Odom does not deserve Sixth Man. Pau is overrated and soft. Kobe has NEVER been a decent three point shooter, but he keeps hoisting them, then athletic teams get easy run-outs on the long rebounds. Fisher can't defend anyone. Artest is meek and scattered. Brown has just checked out. Bynum is dominant, then narcoleptic. And where's Phil Jackson? He says he doesn't know why Shannon Brown is sucking lately?! Claims Shaw knows? What?

This team has a HUGE focus problem.

They're like incredibly talented toddlers.

Five years from now, having been elminated five straight years, this team is going to realize how close they were to a championship, and how they just snoozed it away.

And why is Luke Walton still in the NBA? Adam Morrison would have given the Lakers more than that guy. What does he do? Seriously.

here is the laker's problem: kobe is a cancer for the team,and fisher is just a stone tied on your feet ,bynum keeps blocking shots ,getting rebounds, artest busting his butt on defense blake and others passing the ball, what for ?for kobe to keep the ball to himself making late miracle shots and "fantastic plays" and loosing the ball leading to other team fast breaks.kobe and fisher "defense" :horrible.watch the team when this 2 are on the bench/ball movement excellent,everybody touching the ball ,better performance.
the cure : get ride of them, save tons of money, and get a decent point guard, and a deadly 3 point shooter.problem solved, remember denver with Carmelo? ,and now denver without him?

As I posted above I was concerned about LAL not getting the number 2 seed but now I am slightly less concerned becuz when I think about it since the Spurs are very old they may rest all of their best players. Maybe LAL can get an easy win and then they have Kings on Wednesday which should be easy becuz Kings have nothing to play for. The number 3 seed is kinda bad; but there is no way LAL is moving down to number 4. I heard the postgame interviews from Kobe, Odom, Bynum, Pau and they all said that these games are must wins (they are right) and maybe we'll see some hustle out of the Lakers for once. Kobe should be resting for these last few games but NO he can't because the Lakers screwed up! They put themselves in this position!

Dallas has Houston tonite; Rockets are almost never an easy win so I am hoping that Dallas loses tonight. Lakers got lazy because they had such a big lead and even I thought it was impossible for someone to challenge them for the 2 seed UNTIL NOW.

@Marino. WAT THE HECK DO U BE WATCHIN"?? HAHA HOW CAN U HATE KOBE AND BE A 'LAKER FAN'. Obviously u r no true Laker fan because everything that u said about Kobe is complete opposite. U said that the ball movement is better when Kobe is on bench ad the Lakers are better HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Shannon Brown is just absolutely horrible and he is just a human turnover and he is Kobe's backup. I do agree that Fisher is horrible and plays no defense because he is just old trash now. Kobe only plays defense against guys he must and respects like Rose, Wade, Westbrook, Lebron, Durant, Ginobli etc. IN THE REGULAR SEASON! Watch when the playoffs start Kobe will play his usual lockdown defense on anyone even if they're no threat and throw that respect bullcrap out the window because Kobe is a winner and he does watever it takes.

@Marino. Also OK so u want Lakers to give up best player in the NBA for a bunch of role players and go rebuilding mode ad crush their chances of a championship. HOW ARE U A KOBE HATER BUT UR ON A LAKER FAN DISCUSSION!? So I guess Kobe averaging 30ppg 6rpg and 6apg in the playoffs last year and his awesome leadership u just forgot about huh!? Also did u forget that Kobe is back to back finals MVP and he's the reason LAL even made to the finals 3 times in a row!!! So Kobe doesn't play well a few games..... AND?

@Tom Mayvern. Kobe may not be the greatest 3 point shooter percentage wise; but when Kobe gets hot (like against Portland when he scored 4 straight 3's) he's an awesome three point shooter

16 points vs 32@ 4th quarter.. ouch...painful

@Marino
1. have you seen the second unit out there with luke and brown? they are role players because they cant take on the offense like kobe can. granted, i agree that kobe has a lot of moments where he just makes the offense stop but you really cant be serious that the offense is better with him on the bench. that's pretty ridiculous.
2. you should check some facts before ranting. kobe is one of few, if not the only, player in the NBA with a no-trade clause in his contract. without kobe saying so, they can't trade him to any team.
3. let's say for some magical reason we trade kobe for some great players like gallinari, chandler, and felton. who's going to pay $100 for nosebleeds to watch a bunch of solid players without a superstar? do you not remember the days of Cedric Ceballos, Elton Campbell, Nick Van Exel, Anthony Peeler, and Vlade? ya, they were better than expected and made it to the 2nd round with a very affordable payroll. but is that what you want for the lakers? better than expected and 2nd round?


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