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Watching the NBA playoffs provides reminders of what the Lakers don't have

photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant wipes his face as he prepares for the final minutes of Game 3  in Dallas on May 6, 2011. Bryant finished with 17 points in the 98-92 loss to the Mavericks. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times Usually, the routine goes like this: Plop onto the couch, enjoy delivery or carryout, and cheer on the purple and gold to a playoff victory.

But with the Dallas Mavericks' four-game sweep of the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals, Lakers fans for the last week have had to stomach the fact that the Lakers have stopped playing basketball. Some on the team, including Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown, have simply refused to watch sports channels, not needing another reminder of how they came up short. Lakers forward Pau Gasol said he was reluctant to go to Memphis games to cheer on his brother, Marc, because it would underline his own disappointment in the Lakers' playoff shortcomings. But as for Laker fans, judging by the comments, they're still watching hoops no matter how painful it is.

For those fans, as they watch on Sunday the Grizzlies and Thunder square off in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals and the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat battle it out in the Eastern Conference finals, there are some things they'll see those other teams have that the Lakers didn't. Still, as much as the Lakers underachieved this season, by no means should owner Jerry Buss "blow this team up," as Magic Johnson suggested.

After the jump are listed some noticeable differences between the Lakers and teams that are still in the running.

1. Speedy back court. Lakers fans usually clamor for this trait -- which is exemplified by Chicago's Derrick Rose, Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook and Memphis' Mike Conley -- during the Lakers' struggles. They point to Derek Fisher's lack of quickness, the team's deliberate pace in running the triangle and struggle in getting back on transition defense. Usually, the Lakers have been able to absorb this problem during the postseason, thanks to Fisher's clutch shots, the Lakers using their size advantage and being deliberate with their shot selection, but the Lakers didn't execute on any of those ends. New Orleans' Chris Paul blew by the Lakers with ease, except when Kobe Bryant guarded him in Game 2 and when Paul appeared tired in Game 6. After averaging 9.3 points on 52.6% shooting against New Orleans, Fisher averaged only 6.1 points on 31% shooting against Dallas. And Lakers backup point guard Steve Blake offered  next to nothing (2.2 points on 30.4% shooting).

In contrast, Rose became the youngest player to win the league regular-season MVP. Westbrook's performance against Memphis has been considered mixed because of his questionable shot selection, but his speed is still unmatched. Miami's Dwyane Wade finished a distant seventh in regular-season MVP voting honors, but he played a large part in dismantling the Boston Celtics.  And Conley provided the Grizzlies the proper spacing to run their offense. 

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2. An effective Gasol. No, the Lakers aren't going to suddenly regret shipping Marc Gasol to Memphis as part of a deal that resulted in Pau Gasol coming to the Lakers. That helped spur three consecutive NBA Finals appearances and two back-to-back championships. But fans may  have wished, quietly, for a temporary Marc loan or that they'd just switch places for a bit, and we'd pretend not to see the difference (Paul is 7 feet, 250 pounds; Marc is 7-foot-1, 265).  Pau played a big part in the Lakers' unraveling, averaging 13.1 points on 42.9% shooting, expressing constant frustration over mistakes and apparently lacking the confidence to turn his sluggishness around. Meanwhile, Marc has averaged 15.3 points on 51.9% shooting. Even if Marc had a disappearing act in Game 5 with his 15 points coming with only five rebounds and two turnovers, he's played a large part in the Grizzlies' playoff push. 

3. Championship inexperience. Usually, this factor plays out in the Lakers' favor. Bryant and Fisher have each won five championships. They appeared in three consecutive NBA Finals. And they're used to the hoopla and pressure surrounding each playoff series. But this seemed to hurt the Lakers, with their heavy basketball mileage and apparent loss of hunger. The Lakers said they did want to win a championship. Lamar Odom remarked, "You know how we were hungry? It hurt when we lost." But the Lakers seemed bored with going through the motions, thinking too big picture and forgetting about the small steps they needed to take to reach a championship level.

The rest of the field has little experience with Lakers-type success. The Mavericks entered the playoffs having lost in the first round in three of their last four postseasons. The Grizzlies' first-round victory over San Antonio marked just the fourth time the No. 8-seeded team had beaten a top-seeded club in the playoffs and the second time it happened in a seven-game series. As much as the Oklahoman's Barry Tramel argues that the Thunder needs to win Game 7 against Memphis to consider this a successful season for them, the Thunder has come a long way since giving the Lakers a competitive six-game series in the first round of the 2010 NBA playoffs. Tom Thibodeau immediately provided an imprint in his first year coaching the Bulls. And the Heat, the so-called Super Team, may very well live up the NBA's marketing wishes to win the title. 

4. Defense - The Lakers' resurgence during their 17-1 mark after the All-Star break mostly pointed to their effort on defense. Andrew Bynum took large ownership of that task by shutting off driving lanes and gobbling up rebounds. The Lakers proved more effective in closing out on shooters. And the Lakers' deliberate pace made it easier to get back on transition defense.&nbsp;</p><p>The Lakers no longer could rely on that strength during the playoffs, a factor the team pointed to its learning adjustment with the new scheme that it installed in early January. Still, it worked before earlier in the season, so that excuse shouldn't fly. The Lakers ranked ninth among playoffs teams in points per game allowed (94.5), 14th in opponent field-goal percentage (47.2%) and opponent three-point field goal percentage (40%). These statistics show that the Lakers didn't necessarily allow too many points, but they allowed too many open looks. Meanwhile, the Mavericks and Bulls ranked third and fourth overall in total defense.

5. Team chemistry. Debate all you want about whether Bynum showed leadership by speaking out about the Lakers' "trust issues" or that speaking publicly on the subject showed  immaturity and selfishness. But Bynum was right. The team failed to help one another out on defense, shied away from the triangle offense and had a disconnect between the starters' and reserves' play -- there was little sign that team members trusted each other. Players expressed frustration when missing a shot or blowing an assignment. Teammates immediately pointed fingers at one another when the Lakers messed up on a rotation. And players griped, namely Bynum, when they felt teammates weren't passing them the ball.

Meanwhile, other NBA teams have forged that chemistry needed for a playoff push. The Bulls have remained a tight-knit team ever since Rose made an adamant stance that he wouldn't fret whether James, Wade or Bosh would come to Chicago because he was happy with the teammates he had. For all the scrutiny the Heat has gotten, which is deserved, about whether the team could match up with the hype, the pressure formed an us-against-the-world mentality. When the Mavericks blew a 23-point lead to Portland in Game 4 of their first-round series, Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins reported that adversity made the team closer. The Grizzlies have credited their hard work in training camp to their recent playoff success. And the Thunder has forged an even tougher bond after acquiring Perkins, mixing in his veteran experience and toughness to the youthful energy of Kevin Durant, Westbrook and Serge Ibaka provide. 

-- Mark Medina

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

Top photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant wipes his face as he prepares for the final minutes of Game 3  in Dallas on May 6, 2011. Bryant finished with 17 points in the 98-92 loss to the Mavericks. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Bottom photo: Lakers power forward Pau Gasol looks to swipe the ball from Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki as he drives down the lane in Game 3 on Friday night in Dallas. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / May 6, 2011

 
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Real basketball fan gonna watch regardless his (favorite team ) exiting early.

And the one thing all those team do not have that the lakers do is three straight trips to the finals... rest up and get ready for fun in 2012

I believe part of the problems the lakers face in the playoffs this year was that proverbial switch that they used to be able to turn on during games. The truth is that Kobe is not pulling it off anymore. He used to be able to say eff all else and just carry the team on his back. There were times during the playoffs that he started to heat up and then just stopped. I dont know if its just the defence they put on him, team pressure or he just cant do it but the bottom line is Kobe's play at critical points of the game was not what it was this year. I am more of a player's guy rather than a the number one reason I watch laker games but I believe that the Lakers need to establish a number two scorer who will eventually become the number one option. Pau's great but he will never be the number one option. L. O. is great coming off the bench, and so is Barnes. This will not go down well with fans but I believe that if his healths holds up, Bynum should be moved up in pecking order and the lakers need someone else as a number one scoring option. This is never going to happen but because lakers need consistent bench production beyong L. O. from the bench, and KB need a lot more rest but I honestly believe, much as I love KB that the best way to help the team would be to establish a new generation as started and have him leading the charge off the bench. He will get his rest and be able to take over if needed. There I said it.

everyone is waiting for the NFL< enough of the Nba and the lakers, glad they lost,save the city from a expensive riot.

Heh, who's watching playoffs? If Lakers ain't there, I ain't there. Is it 2011-2012 pre-season yet?

this was written by Island Priest,

Kobe emotionally and physically separated himself from the lakers team by refusing to practice. Nothing was wrong with him but he just wanted them to know that he was superior to them.

my response: I guess you never pay attention to Phil Jackson. I guess you
missed the part about the knee surgery.

That's typical of you to miss the facts

I find it very interesting that Magic and the halftime crew agree that Westbrook must get the ball to Kevin Durant..........the teams best player

........but the same Magic last week said Kobe (the teams best player) had to get the ball into the bigs.........Go figure

Is it me?

Steve-Dude...live in the MOMENT. That's the number one problem talking with a Lakerholic. They have no concept to the present always past.


@LAKERHOLIC … Outstanding post yesterday. I thought your concern about Kobe and the points you made were excellent. Pecking orders are not substitutes for playing smartly or taking advantage of strengths and matchups. One major strategic change I would like to see our new head coach implement is getting the ball to the hot player or the player with the most favorable matchup, which may not always be Kobe. Those are both superior offensive philosophies for deciding how to attack on offense than a pecking order where players touches are slotted by decree rather by game reaction.

The great thing about the Triangle Offense is that it tended to keep superstar scorers like MJ and Kobe within the framework of a team-oriented offense. In other words, it forced them to play team ball in order to get their touches while giving everybody on the team fair chances to get involved and to score, which in the end, provided a more balanced and more difficult to defend team offensively than one where all the plays were run for the superstars. Any system we run needs to do the same.

I sometimes wonder if Kobe sees the irony in the fact that he is talking about pecking orders on the Lakers at a time where every other superstar player out there is talking about their willingness to sacrifice touches in order to join with other superstars to create superteams. You would hope that Kobe’s grand vision of his role in the game understands the new environment. To complete the circle of irony, you could argue all this superstar movement started with Kobe’s parking lot comments.

Changing roles for an all-star game or a stint with Team USA is not the same thing as changing the role for which you’ve created your legend and yet it is probably something Kobe is going to have to do at some point soon in his career. I don’t know if that time has come yet but I do know that we are seeing signs that show that Kobe is not able to overcome injuries and produce miracles like he used to. That doesn’t mean he is still not the premier player. It just means he needs to face getting older.

The Kam Bros made an excellent point in their recent podcast that even though Kobe talks about pecking orders, he really did not force that philosophy upon his game very often, seeming more willing to get his teammates involved than to take over games. I think this was partly due to injuries as much as any willingness to change his role. Obviously, he does not like to pass the ball to Pau or Drew. Whether he would feel the same were it Dwight and CP3, nobody knows for sure. Assuming the Lakers don’t trade Pau or Drew, Kobe is going to have to change his game if we are to win.
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TOM


After conducting my own personal interviews I have called back the following 5 coaches for a second interview.

1. Brian Shaw- In our initial interview Brian kept stressing the need to keep the Triangle offense because it is a proven winner. He also said that Derek Fisher would remain as PG because his intangibles aren't reflected in a box score. Finally, he said defense wasn't the problem against Dallas, Dallas just got lucky and hit all their 3 point shots and he told me to watch Dallas in the next series because their was no way Dallas can keep up that ridiculous shooting percentage. I told Brian that if Dallas loses the next series he would get a 3rd interview.

2. Rick Adelman- An impressive resume lacking only a championship. A great offensive system that is player friendly and should be an easy transition from the Triangle Offense. Weaker on the defensive side of things though. Rick all but guarnateed me that he could get Yao Ming to come to the Lakers for the vet minimum.

3. Jerry Sloan- Great defensive mind and Jerry told me in confidence that the Triangle Offense was easy to defend and that the only reason the Lakers have enjoyed such great success was because of their overwhelming size and talent. Sloan also told me that he is salivating just thinking about running a double low post offense with Bynum and Gasol which will exploit mismatches that the Triangle Offense refuses to address. Jerry also whispered in my ear that Derek Fisher was washed up when he played for them and that the Jazz were more than happy to release him out of his contract. He said any player who plays that much will eventually make a critical shot now and then, but people should never overlook the fact that he can't drive, make a layup, play defense, or make a simple pass into the post. I know I coached him. An impressive interview indeed.

4. Larry Brown- The most impressive of all interviews so far. Larry came in with game tapes and broke down every Laker weakness on offense and defense. His understanding of basketball and subsequent analysis that the Laker players had poor training in the basic fundamentals of basketball was astounding. Unfortunately he's wants a lot of money, a sticky point in any negotiation.

5. Jeff Van Gundy- a disciple of Pat Riley and defensive minded. It was hard for me to take Jeff seriously because he brought his microphone with him but once I got over that, Jeff really impressed me. He said the Laker's problem are internal and play for themsevles instead of for the team. Jeff said that he would have no problem benching Kobe if he decides to jack shot after shot and if Kobe didn't like it, he would bench him until he fell in line. That really impressed me but then Jeff ask if he could bring his broadcast team in to be assistant coaches, they were also outside with their microphones. A very confusing interview to say the least. JVG then left to do a commercial, those commercials are funny.

can we get Zack Randolph for Lamar Odom?? it seems like Zack unstoppable and he may be hungry for a championship where as Lamar is not.

Marc Gasol stinks...


He's the slower version of his older brother without the fancy footwork and touch.

Troll Man,


So who gets the job?

Your call.

Congratulations Thunder now let's go get them Mavs. Keep your heads up and keep playing hard Memphis, wouldn't surprise me to see OKC and Memphis at it again next year as say the 2 and 3 seeds if both teams keep building on this years successes.

OKC and Memphis at it again next year as say the 1 and 2 seeds.


@ART .. Congrats on the Friedman.

@TROLL MAN … Hilarious recap of your interviews. I loved it.

@MM … Anyway to have moderation only on posters who have no logged into TypePad? That would be a perfect solution. Login and get instant post. Don’t and get moderation. Probably too good to be true.
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TOM

Shannon Brown just tweeted - ""Ok let me put a end to this right now. I DID NOT SLEEP WITH @paugasol woman!!! First and last time addressing it!"

PompousTom-

Your Yanks are looking great! And are only gonna get better with all the youth they have!!

But dont worry ... they call always sign Pujols at the end of the year to a 20 yr 1 billion dollar deal!! LOL and LMAO

The Steinbrenner genius boys give out contracts and spend money like its not theirs! They'll be joining McCourt in BK court soon!!!

Keep cheating and stay classy!!

Can you say ... SWEEP??

@LakerTom - I always look for and enjoy reading your posts. Thanks for your comments. It is a touchy situation. I am a huge Kobe fan...

sometimes wonder if Kobe sees the irony in the fact that he is talking about pecking orders on the Lakers at a time where every other superstar player out there is talking about their willingness to sacrifice touches in order to join with other superstars to create superteams. You would hope that Kobe’s grand vision of his role in the game understands the new environment. To complete the circle of irony, you could argue all this superstar movement started with Kobe’s parking lot comments.

The thing about this comment is the sacrifice and other superstars.I've heard people spouting this nonsense all year.The truth is the only other star on the lakeshow is pau,and he stunk(notice I didn't say superstar). Remeber there was a question if he even should have been in the allstar game.Odom never has been one either,we all know why.Your boy bynum isn't there yet,and who knows,but the thing about la having an allstar team is the farthest thing from the truth,I won't even bother talking about the rest of the team......


The Kam Bros made an excellent point in their recent podcast that even though Kobe talks about pecking orders, he really did not force that philosophy upon his game very often, seeming more willing to get his teammates involved than to take over games. I think this was partly due to injuries as much as any willingness to change his role. Obviously, he does not like to pass the ball to Pau or Drew. Whether he would feel the same were it Dwight and CP3, nobody knows for sure. Assuming the Lakers don’t trade Pau or Drew, Kobe is going to have to change his game if we are to win.
…………………………………………………
TOM

So interesting,even a blind man can see,but not the beast or the priest..Lol This is the one part of the above paragraph about kobe not taking over and getting his teamates involved.This paragraph is a contradiction becauses he did just that and they lost,and lost badly.All the times kobe's played dallas previously he's killed them.Went to team ball and we lost. Hobbit and other's have beat this point to death.The paragraph says it,so were does {kobe is going to have to change his game if we are going to win"???? Do you mean "hero" ball??Cause if your talking about the Shooting Guard passing more to his dead teamates then......

Posted by: LakerTom | May 15, 2011 at 02:44 PM

Hobbit if something was wrong with Kobe, how was he able to spend 3 hours after the miami game practicing by himself? You have a selective memory and only recites the positive about bryant. Try and be balanced like the Priest in order to be more credible. yeah kobe is a great player but he is an enigma that struggled to embrace the team concept. That is why he is watching the playoffs like us. Obviously bynum should have been the focus in the dallas series and you Hobbit know it. But it would kill you to criticize Bean....Troll Man very good piece. I guess you are an expert with the different personalities eh?

All I can say is PLEASE Buss, NOT Dunleavy for coach!!!!!! He annoys the Hell out of me!! Adaleman wouldn't be bad.
@Mamba24... are you cheering on those Bulls today? Hope they win big!! Hope you and Ms. Mamba are doing well!!

That piece I did with Kidd guarding Kobe was hilarious. I wished I did save that. It was my better work for the season. The 3 little pigs, kobe and the big bad wolf was funny as well. Medina see you need a sense of humor, analytical and writing skills like the Priest. Be that as it may OKC vs Mavs should be a good series. Mavs is tough but I will take OKC to win it and make it to the Finals. Heat vs Bulls will be great as well. I pick the heat to win that series. Durant and Rose are humble superstars. The league is in good hands with LBJ, Wade, Bosh, Howard, Durant, Westbrook etc when the old gunslinger Kobe fades into the dust of time.

Ludwig,

My organization has already made its decision but of course we have to go through the process of interview after interview to make it look like we are choosing the most qualified applicant. Also by delaying our decision we continue to keep the Lakers relative and in the national spotlight.
If you think the head coaching decision is compelling just wait till we get around to making trades.

LakerTom,

re: The great thing about the Triangle Offense is that it tended to keep superstar scorers like MJ and Kobe within the framework of a team-oriented offense. In other words, it forced them to play team ball in order to get their touches while giving everybody on the team fair chances to get involved and to score, which in the end, provided a more balanced and more difficult to defend team offensively than one where all the plays were run for the superstars. Any system we run needs to do the same.

I sometimes wonder if Kobe sees the irony in the fact that he is talking about pecking orders on the Lakers at a time where every other superstar player out there is talking about their willingness to sacrifice touches in order to join with other superstars to create superteams. You would hope that Kobe’s grand vision of his role in the game understands the new environment. To complete the circle of irony, you could argue all this superstar movement started with Kobe’s parking lot comments.

my response: We have 3 iterations of the triangle offense in the NBA, that
have won championships. The Bulls & the Lakers/with & w/o Shaq.
In no iteration of the triangle offense has the shot count been equitable. I
posted a box score of the bulls, w/ MJ, where he shot the ball 35 times!

re: pecking order. The other superstars who are talking about being
willing passers/getting your teammates involved don't have BIGs who
are whining about touches. Nor do they have a plethora of teammates
who will go 1-7 on any given night.

I disagree with your new environment motif. There is no new environment
regardless of what people may or may not say. The goal is to have more
points than your opponent when the contest is over. Players, except for
Shaq, have always been willing to pass to a teammate who can/will make
the shot. Kobe is no exception.

re: The Kam Bros made an excellent point in their recent podcast that even though Kobe talks about pecking orders, he really did not force that philosophy upon his game very often, seeming more willing to get his teammates involved than to take over games. I think this was partly due to injuries as much as any willingness to change his role. Obviously, he does not like to pass the ball to Pau or Drew. Whether he would feel the same were it Dwight and CP3, nobody knows for sure. Assuming the Lakers don’t trade Pau or Drew, Kobe is going to have to change his game if we are to win.

my response: This is the sort of post that's actually annoying. It's annoying
because history doesn't validate it. Your statement about Kobe not liking
to pass the ball do Pau or Drew is inflammatory and wrong. You consistently
made issue of our "size" as our best asset and yet that size let us down. I have
continuously said that if our bigs play hard Kobe will feed them the ball.
We got swept 4 games in a row with Kobe feeding our bigs. Kobe has been
feeding Pau enough for Pau to be an all star 2 years in a row. He tried to do
the same thing to LO, but LO wasn't consistent enough to reap the reward.
Bynum has been hurt for a number of years and has been confused for the
other portion of his time with the Lakers. If Bynum committed to playing
solid defense and rebounding, he'd be a lock for an all-star and his numbers
would be pretty close to Pau. It's Bynum's fault that he chose to vacation
instead of training with Pau. It's Bynum's fault that he's been slow on the
uptake not Kobe's fault for not feeding him the ball. Our bigs are slow of
foot & don't run the court well. Which Jerry West alluded to.

If we are to win, it is not Kobe who must change, but the rest of the Lakers.
The perimeter players must make their shots! Pau & Bynum must run the
court and establish themselves in the paint. Bynum needs to quit getting
into foul trouble. Pau needs to find his testicular fortitude. Maybe he didn't
pack it when he last left Barcelona.

I appreciate your optimism, but your optimism is mis-placed. i.e. It's
leading you to put the burden upon Kobe as opposed to telling Kobe's
teammates to put more effort into their job.

This post season was good in one sense. It gave tangible proof of what
works and what doesn't work. Telling Kobe to pass to Bigs who aren't in
place and playing well is foolish. Blaming Kobe for his teammates complacency
and lack of work ethic is ridiculous.

With a sprained ankle, a weak knee and crooked fingers, Kobe stayed w/in
the triangle offense and continuously tried to get the ball into Pau &
Bynum. Statisically, Bynum had his best post season ever! Pau continued
his tepid play from the regular season and we lost. The statements made
earlier, about the Lakers being made for the post season, were shown as
false. Our bigs have to play hungry during the regular season as well as the
post season. They must run the floor. They must know how to defend w/o
getting into foul trouble. They must be able to establish themselves in the
paint. QUICKLY!

A number of teams said, They felt they could run on the Lakers. A review
of recorded games *CONSISTENTLY* shows Pau & Bynum arriving late
on the offensive & defensive end.

What *I* hope is that this years loss causes everyone to work on their
game & become hungrier. There's no excuse for coasting in the NBA.
You're getting paid millions of dollars. Run for it! No more complacency.
No more GHF B.S.! No more "we're built for the post season" crap! and for
the love of championships, NO MORE PRACTICE SEASON LIES!

Run the court until you puke! Play defense! Make your shots!

I AGREE WITH THIS ARTICLE! Lakers need a faster backcourt!! If Lakers dont get Dwight they need a faster point guard like CP3, D-Will, Raymond Felton, Mo Williams. Also they need more of a punch off the bench like a JR Smith or an Aaron Afflalo or even a Marco Bellinelli who is a free agent and can affect the game by only just shooting. If he is on his game he can get 15-25 points easily by running off screens and 3 pointers; also he'll be wat the Lakers dont have and need A SHOOTER!!!!!! I would like to see Gasol gone. I wish Lakers would get rid of Bynum and Gasol and get Dwight and start Odom and get Turkgolu from ORL or Ryan Anderson to come off the bench and they start Odom because now Lakers have literally NO WEAKNESSES! They are a faster paced team, they have shooters, a DOMINANT post player and they HAVE KOBE BEAN BRYANT!!! If Lakers dont make major moves then they need a better point guard and a scorer off the bench.
I hear that Rudy Gay is on the market and he is a good shooter, slasher, defender, rebounder, and scorer and maybe LAL should just look into him.

*I think Lakers will make the necessary moves.

Troll Man --


For the love of sonny Jesus, how about a freaking straight answer for once in this hyped-up, phony world! You and your organization can shove your "deliberations" up Jack Nicholson's rotund fanny!


I wanna know who's gonna be our goddamn new coach already! At least how about a hint, you weasel bastards?! And you didn't mention Dunleavy, pal! If Dunleavy is really being considered (are we finally living in a bizarro world or what?), then why not good old Del Harris? DH took the team to the playoffs, didn't have much success, but neither did Dunleavy in the end (and Dunleavy had a relatively young Earvin "Blow it up" Johnson).


Also, pal... If Dunleavy is hired, will he bring aboard his son? This franchise needs more spoiled, slow, annointed sons on the bench. God forbid, cool hand Luke may be on his way out...in 2033!


What then?


PS: Does Jeff Van Gundy have a son, that may a deal breaker if he doesn't!

By the way, you not mentioning Dunleavy, was that an underhanded "hint" of some sort, you sneaky weasels?! Just remember, if you hire this man, I will hunt you down and make you eat my dirty socks with a knife and fork!

sucks watching the teams thats in the playoffs the Lakers can beat them if their on their games.Now theirs going to be a new champ and i just don't want it be the Heat living down here in Heat country.
But if the Lakers add some nice pieces to the team next season along with them being motivated.I think after that embarassing series with the Mavs, their going to be back.

Go Lakers!


Posted by: OCLEZY |

watching the playoffs reminds me of how SHITTY it is without the lakers to be honest. Watching the playoff also will remind stern of how much revenue he is losing by the lakers not being there. Watching the playoff now reminds how boring it must be for the laker haters now that we arent there, defeating us being the sole reason for watching their boring , utterly crap teams.

Sticking with the topic,so far what chicago is doing is nice.It's nice to see what role players should do,against Miami no less.I think lots of folks need to watch other teams,and see the differences. Chicago is also interesting because rose,who actually is a pg is shooting more than kobe,who is actually a sg.Dunno if it still is,but rose fg% was also lower.They may not have 2 seven footers,but they got booze and noah,and deng is there lo.No matter how you slice it it's a big,big difference........

The main thing we don't have is any more chips in the game. Sucks.

I like the Laker's because Kobe can Dress on Jersey and clothes.

I like his new Robe with his NEW jean's.

I like his jersey with new color's in his clothes.

I like his jersey his a good mvp player.

I like his jersey it hot on him.

He can play ball good in the NBA.

I think Kobe he got skills in my NBA Live.

Kobe Bryant has great mvp team with more VMP NBA player's

I like Kobe Bryant he is a good player in the NBA player team.

I think Kobe Bryant can play ball.

He has a nice jersey with Ok shoes.

I like his shoes he can ball on Mvp Laker's team.

La laker can play ball Kobe bryant is ok.

Kobe bryant is getting tall in the Mvp Now.

I think kobe bryant is getting taller.

Kobe bryant has a good offensive team.

I think that kobe bryant got some skills in Mvp .

The lakers went to three straight finals. Other teams have been building and the lakers have been aging. Kobe looks like he is slipping, the others all have something else going on. Odom has his wife who makes him look like a half wit on there reality show. Gasol has a new contract and appears not to be as motivated, Artest has a rap career he is pursuing. Phil Jackson can barely walk. It is coming out now that the team is so banged up all year they did not practice hard. This is what happens when you have sucess, big contracts, and live in Los Angeles.

I've been a fan for 50 years. Elgin, Jerry, Wilt, James, Magic, Kareem, Shaq, Fox, Horry - all get OLD eventually. Remember the old adage: It's better to trade a player a year early rather than later. Forgive me, L.A., but it's time to trade Kobe. Indeed he's been phenomenal and has a couple of very good years remaining. But the truth is: he's slowed down defensively, defenders are measuring his moves more acutely, his body is not recovering as quickly, and his teammates know it! Be honest, how many game winning shots did Kobe have this year? How many games did he win "down the stretch". Rather, it was more like: how many games did he LOSE down the stretch? Hanging on to the ball TOO LONG, making ill-advised passes, missing shots by feet - as opposed to inches! Kobe WILL come back and have a very good year in 2011-2012, but he will never be the Kobe he was from 2005-2010. He won't want to admit it, the media will do it's best to ignore it, we fans will only say it under our breath - and hope it aint so! But the truth is $25 million can buy a lot of quickness, youth and talent. We thank Kobe, as we did Jerry, Elgin, Kareem, Magic and Shaq - for their talent, determination, dedication, and winning ways. We look forward to his jersey adorning the heights of Staples, joining the Laker immortals. Rather than watch Kobe become mortal, Dr. Buss needs to make a non-emotional decision to continue the legacy and tradition of his Lakers - to put the best talent in the NBA, at their proverbial "peak" , on the court - and continue to reserve spots in the rafters for the next generation of immortals.
Kobe has been the player of the 2000's; now it's time to get the man who'll be the king of the 2010's. Thanks for the memories, Kobe; you have truly given us more than we could have hoped for!

Who would be stupid enough to say K5, as I call him, should come off the bench when he averaged nearly 25 points per...lakers need a point guard. POINT GUARD. I'm tired of seeing D fiaher getting abused

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Lakers will not win another championship next year if they don't get CP3 and Dwight Howard and still able to keep Bynum and get a 3 point specialist.

Bring Yao Ming as a sub for Dwight or Bynum; bring Steve Nash as a sub for CP3

the Bulls are just too good for the next 3 years by far!!!

Lakers needs to get young, athletic, speed, & talent in all fronts in order to go head to head against the Heat, Bulls, thunder, Mavs, Clippers (LOL, but that's the truth), Memphis, Trail Blazers and even both Celtics & Spurs.

Lakers are nowhere near as talented or athletic as the Bulls or Heat....

Lakers really really need to revamp the roster drastically!!!

i love DFIsh, but looking at Conely, Westbrooks, and DRose they are amazing. The Lakers need something like that, CP3 and DWill will be good but liability also on defense.
Don't trade Bynum unless it DHoward. And straight up trade too. No Odom or Artest in the trade.

Mary Chandler --

Will you please go see what Raymond is up to these days, maybe join him, and leave this site please!


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Lakers don't need a CP3, who commands a lot of cash (about $15 mil) and owned by the NBA (who won't trade him anytime soon anyways). They just need a capable defender at PG, who's just quick enough, run an offense, and can shoot the basketball. I know one that makes half of what CP3 makes. His name is Raymond Felton. Management needs to do what they can, and pry him away from Denver...

Getting faster and athletic go without mentioning, what we need are intangibles, chemistry.. athlet..icism.. oh wait what MM said.. and provided Pau Gasol gets his head straight.. nothing hunger and desire can't fix.. but we DO need to get FAST, and as long as these things are covered we should be fine, and knowing the urgency with Kobe's final 2-3 1/2 year stretch the time is now.

Did Shaw say somewhere he would keep Fisher as his PG ?? Are u kidding me ?? That right there shows Shaw is blind and why he should not be head coach of the Lakers. He is Kobe and Fisher's boy and would never have control of the team. There are great coach's out there with experience as head coach and Lakers management should go after them. Bring a coach out of the Laker's organization and one who could bring discipline to the team.
Fisher is the worst PG in the NBA and to keep him playng would be a big mistake. He is too slow, cannot shoot, cannot play defense and is going on 38 years of age. The first move for the Lakers is to get rid of Fisher. Buy him out, trade him in a package, but get rid of him.

Most fans and observers keep saying that the Lakers underachieved. But take away their 17-1 streak, which even most fans found unbelievable, and their winning percentage would be .625 instead of.695 for the season. That lower percentage would put them between Orlando and Denver, both of whom lost in the first round. I believe they overachieved. Start with that assumption and future plans change considerably.

LakerTom

>>>every other superstar player out there is talking about their willingness to
>>>sacrifice touches in order to ...

LeBron took 211 touches in 11 games last post season. He has taken 204 touches in 11 games this post season. Less than 1 less shot given up per game.

Kobe took 511 shots in 23 playoff games last season (22 shots per game), and 186 shots in 10 games this season (18.6 shots per game). He gave up almost 4 shots per game to get Pau & Drew & his teammates more touches.

Talk is cheap.

Kobe gave up more touches per game than all these other people you're talking about.

Yet he still gets labeled a ball hog, while the guys who shoot more than him (Durant, Rose, LeBron, Wade, Westbrook) are still playing.

You guys need to learn. Despite all the fancy talk about unselfishness, the big scoring stars need to shoot more for their teams to win.

If anything, Kobe's selflessness was a contributing factor to them LOSING to Dallas.

>>>I find it very interesting that Magic and the halftime crew agree that
>>> Westbrook must get the ball to Kevin Durant..........the teams best player

>>>........but the same Magic last week said Kobe (the teams best player) had to
>>>get the ball into the bigs.........Go figure

Magic was a pg. He assumes you should always pass the ball to the bigs as much as possible. And it's a good rule of thumb.

In Westbrook's case, that's a great idea. Westbrook is only hitting 40% of his shots in this year's playoffs, while Durant is hitting 46% of his shots.

In Kobe's case, that would normally be correct, as Pau and Drew usually shoot a higher percentage than Kobe. But in the Dallas series, Pau shot 42% in the playoffs while Kobe shot 45%. Bynum did hit 54% of his shots, so it would make more sense to pass it to him more. Except for the fact that Dallas was packing the paint, so it's HARD to pass it in to Bynum without turning the ball over.

If you're a hammer, you see everything as a nail. So Magic will always say to pass first.

But in the real world, the player who's having the most success shooting should be taking more shots. For the 2011 playoffs, Pau shot so poorly that the Lakers would have been better off passing to Drew, Lamar, Kobe, Shannon, Artest, or even FISHER rather than letting Pau take a shot.

Yeah. That's right. FISH shot a higher percentage than Pau for the playoffs.

So go ahead and make your whiny pleas that Kobe is a ballhog and should have passed to Pau more, but you're wrong.

>>>can we get Zack Randolph for Lamar Odom?? it seems like Zack unstoppable
>>>and he may be hungry for a championship where as Lamar is not.

LOL. I actually used to talk about trading Lamar For Z-bo back in the days when Randolph was with Portland and they were trying to get rid of the "jailblazers" type players.

But even then I wouldn't have predicted that he would play as well as he did this season.

Nick,

>>>It's better to trade a player a year early rather than later. Forgive me, L.A.,
>>>but it's time to trade Kobe

You don't trade the face of the organization. The Lakers never traded West, Chamberlain, Magic, or Kareem. They only traded Shaq because he was making trouble, starting to decline and wanted 30 million + per year. If Shaq had been willing to accept a reasonable salary, he'd still be a Laker.

Kobe is going nowhere.

great site thank you very much great post and nicely explained...

Yet another Blog entry that does not address the real problem that faces the Lakers and it's roster. Here are the reasons the Lakers did not defend their title and it is pretty simple folks:

1. Luke Walton
2. Steve Blake
3. Theo Ratliff
4. Joe Smith
5. Matt Barnes

When your bench is comprised of absolute stiffs like that #8-13 you don't have enough "quality depth" to beat a team 4 of 7 in a tough, hardnosed series. 2 of these guys are also vastly over-paid and under contract so they are not going anywhere which makes Kupchak's decision to put that group together very questionable. And how is it that Kupchak was willing to low ball Ariza (so he left), Farmar (he also left), Fisher (who stayed and probably got paid what he was worth) and in a sense Odom (who could have received more on the open market) but not Blake and Walton (He also gave Sasha a ridiculous deal that was over-paid)? It is looking like the white "role" players are getting better deals than they deserve at the expense of more productive black role players. We will see how they treat Shannon Brown who deserves Walton's contract at a minimum IMO.

Kobe is making way too much money for anyone to trade for him. It would be bad p.r. for the Lakers to even consider it in the first place but even if they wanted to trade him, no team would want him for what they would have to pay him. He is making more than the entire Oklahoma City starting lineup.


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