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Category: Player News

Shaq wins over Harvard Yard

Shaqceltics Ex-Magic, ex-Laker, ex-Heat, ex-Sun, ex-Cavalier and new Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal worked the crowds in Harvard Yard over the weekend, and literally stopped traffic just about everywhere, according to the Boston Globe.

"I'm much older now," said O'Neal, 38, who signed a two-year, $2.8-million deal with the Celtics this summer. "This [Celtics] team is good with or without me. Sometimes, in order to win, you have to sacrifice. I don't mind sacrificing. At the end of the day, it's all about winning.

"I'm going to do what I'm told to do. Whatever they need me to do. I'm not in a position to cause trouble or cause a ruckus. The reason why younger in my career I acted a fool is because they made me the CEO. If I'm the CEO and I'm getting all the blame, we're going to start doing it my way."

The Lakers will play the Celtics at Staples Center on Jan. 30, and in Boston on Feb. 10. I wonder how high the ticket-scalping prices go?

-- Barry Stavro

Photo: Shaquille O'Neal meets reporters after signing with the Boston Celtics. Credit: Brian Snyder /Reuters

Caught in the Web: Pau Gasol travels to India as an NBA ambassador

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--The Times' Mike Bresnahan details how Pau Gasol is taking it easy this summer.

--L.A. Times Dodgers blogger Steve Dilbeck argues that Frank McCourt could learn a thing or two from Jerry Buss.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr highlights Buss' career in a photo slide show.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky breaks down what Theo Ratliff can bring to the Lakers next season.

--Sports Illustrated's Jack McCallum had a roundtable discussion with the 1992 Dream Team.

--Fox Sports' Charley Rosen ranks Phil Jackson as the NBA's best coach of all time.

--Lakers forward Devin Ebanks had fun during his Rookie Photo Shoot in Tarrytown, N.Y.

--The USA Basketball website has Q&As with the team, including Lamar Odom.

--Lakers.com has more on Gasol's visit to India.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius Soriano analyzes Buss' recent news conference.

--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore lists the greatest Lakers of all time by jersey number.

Tweet of the Day: "Sum1 told me I have an attractive smile. What u think? Lol" -- DevinEbanks3  (Lakers forward Devin Ebanks)

Reader Comment of the Day: "I don't hate to admit it at all. We needed this. Well, we didn't really need it, but it sure helps give that extra little motivation to keep our eye on the prize. Are we going to let Shaq tie Kobe in rings while wearing a ... Celtics uniform? HELL NO!!!! Are we going to let the Miami Meat and LeCreep get a ring after the sickening narcissism of "The Decision?" HELL NO!!! No way. No how." -- Jon K.

-- Mark Medina
 twitter.com/latmedina.

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

Photo: Pau Gasol acknowledges the crowd during the team's NBA championship parade in Los Angeles on June 21. Credit: Noel Vasquez / Getty Images

Kobe Bryant undergoes successful knee surgery

Kobe_300 The Lakers announced on Friday afternoon that Kobe Bryant (pictured at right) had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee last week.

The team said Bryant is rehabilitating from the procedure and is expected to be ready for training camp when it starts on Sept. 25.

Bryant's knee bothered him during the last season and he had the fluid drained from it during the playoffs.

--Barry Stavro

Photo credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Adam Morrison works out for several NBA teams

Though it is highly unlikely the Lakers will bring back small forward Adam Morrison, it doesn't mean he wants to stop playing in the NBA.

Over the last couple of days, Morrison has worked out for several NBA teams, doing all he can to secure a job for next season.

He worked out in Las Vegas for the Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs.

Morrison, drafted third overall in the 2006 draft by the Charlotte Bobcats, looked as if he might have a solid NBA career, but he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in 2007 and hasn't been the same since.

He was traded to the Lakers in February 2009 but never was much of a factor during his time with the team.

Morrison now hopes he can catch on with another team.

-- Broderick Turner in Las Vegas

Caught in the Web: Looking at how LeBron James' announcement affects the Lakers

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--The Times' Bill Plaschke takes LeBron James to task for having a one-hour special announcement.

--The Times' Lisa Dillman highlights the reactions regarding James' decision to go to Miami.

--The Times' Mark Heisler shares his amusement over the whole spectacle.

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner report that Vegas oddsmakers believe the Heat are the favorite to win the NBA title over the Lakers. Nonetheless, Bresnahan and Turner talk to a few Lakers who still believe they're the favorites to win.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr lists several reasons why the Lakers will beat the Heat in the NBA Finals.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding argues that James' decision to join the Heat will help Kobe Bryant's MVP chances next season.

--The Miami Herald's Israel Gutierrez calls the Heat "instant contenders."

--The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Dave Hyde believes that Miami will win several championships with James.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy Kamenetzky shares five thoughts on James heading to Miami and how it will affect the Lakers.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin argues that the super team has a long way to go before defeating the defending champs.

--Fox Sports' Charley Rosen believes that it's too early to proclaim the Heat the NBA title favorites.

--Sports Illustrated's Michael Rosenberg believes James' decision to go to Miami illustrates, among other things, that he lacks the "bull-headed determination of Kobe Bryant."

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford reports that Derek Fisher's negotiations with the Lakers remain "ongoing."

--The Orange County Register's Mark Whicker ranks the teams that could give the Lakers the most trouble next season.

--Silver Screen and Roll's C.A. Clark jokingly blames the Lakers for what Miami did.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell talks about what Steve Blake will bring to the Lakers.

Tweet of the Day: "What team did lebron go to?" -- RONARTESTCOM (Lakers forward Ron Artest)

Reader Comment of the Day: "for Kobe & Co., the mission for the Lakers is to stealthily get through the regular season healthy. The "Decision" on Thursday should only help serve the motivation for a 3-peat. The Lakers have forged their weapons over the past few seasons to steel them to greater success and greater heights. Let all the attention focus on Miami. The rings and the trophies still belong in Los Angeles." -- Rick Friedman

-- Mark Medina
twitter.com/latmedina

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

Photo: During an interview on ESPN, NBA free agent LeBron James announced Thursday that he has decided to play for the Miami Heat. Credit: Larry Busacca / Getty Images for Estabrook Group

Caught in the Web: Reactions to Lakers' 89-67 Game 6 victory over Boston Celtics

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Game stories

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan details how the Lakers dominated the Celtics on Tuesday in their 89-67 Game 6 victory.

--The Boston Globe's Julian Benbow calls the Celtics' effort a "Hollywood flop."

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding contrasts the Lakers' Game 6 performance with their poor play in Game 5.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's David Lassen says the Lakers' swagger made the difference.

--The Boston Herald's Mark Murphy explains why the Celtics had trouble closing out the series.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford believes the Lakers will win the championship if they duplicate their Game 6 performance.

Notebooks

--The Times' Bresnahan highlights the contributions from Lakers forward Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.

--The Boston Globe's Benbow and Frank Dell'Apa detail Kendrick Perkins' injury.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr tells why Derek Fisher doesn't believe in leprechauns.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's Lassen keys in on the Lakers' rebounding advantage.

--The Boston Herald's Mark Murphy focuses on the Celtics' poor rebounding.

--The Daily News' Teaford explains why history is not on the Lakers' side in winning the title.

Sidebars

--The Times' Broderick Turner explains what led to Lakers forward Ron Artest having a turnaround game.

--The Times' Lisa Dillman gives back the Lakers' reserves their "Bench Mob" nickname.

--The Times' Baxter Holmes highlights the contention from Glen "Big Baby" Davis that the Celtics will win Game 7. Holmes also focuses on how Perkins' injury affected Boston.

--The Daily News' Phil Collin credits the effort from the Lakers' bench.

Columns

--The Times' Bill Plaschke notices that the Lakers played out of desperation.

--The Times' T.J. Simers takes Jeff Van Gundy to task for his contention that the media don't fully recognize Kobe Bryant's talent.

--The Times' Mark Heisler notes how typical it is for Lakers-Celtics Finals match-ups to go seven games.

--Former Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy argues in The Times that the Lakers won Game 6 because of teamwork.

--ESPN.com's J.A. Adande looks at how this game had added meaning for Artest.

--The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore isn't surprised by how competitive this series is.

--The Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett criticizes the Celtics for doing everything the hard way.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's Matt Calkins highlights the Lakers' pride.

--The Orange County Register's Ding believes that the Lakers will win Game 7.

--Former Laker Rick Fox explains at ESPN Los Angeles why home-court advantage makes such a difference.

--ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg wonders if the Celtics will draw inspiration from Perkins' injury.

--Yahoo! Sports' Johnny Ludden credits the Lakers' team effort

--Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix breaks down the game.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi calls the Lakers-Celtics Game 7 Finals match-up a "dream come true."

--ESPN Boston's Peter May faults the Celtics' bench and poor rebounding.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin thinks the Lakers look like a championship-caliber team.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller likes the Lakers' attitude.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's Gregg Patton explains what caused the Lakers' bench to wake up.

--The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan faults the Celtics for not showing up.

--The Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy believes that the only thing going in the Celtics favor is their favorable history.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne looks at how the Lakers are trying to put the 2008 Finals loss behind them.

--ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan reports that Perkins won't play in Game 7.

--Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen believes that it's fitting the Finals will go to seven games, considering the Lakers-Celtics history. He also gives his take in the video below on who the Finals MVP will be.

--The Orange County Register's Mark Whicker focuses on the Lakers' bench.

--Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski expects a classic in Game 7.

Blogs

--True Hoop's Kevin Arnovitz breaks down the Lakers' defense in Game 6.

--Celtic Blog's Jeff Clark faults Boston's rebounding effort.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius credits the Lakers' energy.

--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore highlights the Lakers' defensive efficiency.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky credits the Lakers' team effort.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell explains why the Lakers were clicking on all cylinders.

Tweet of the Day: "Boston’s Glen "Big Baby" Davis on Game 7: “I can’t wait. I can’t wait to step up on the floor and win here in L.A.” -- KevinDing (Orange County Register Lakers beat reporter Kevin Ding)

Reader Comment of the Day: May this serve as a lesson to all Laker fans: never give up on your team. The only thing certain is that one team is gonna be awfully heartbroken on Thursday night, and methinks it's gonna be Boston. -- EJK

-- Mark Medina

twitter.com/latmedina

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

Photo: Lakers fans show their support outside Staples Center before the start of Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Mark it down: Bynum says he'll play Sunday

Lakers center Andrew Bynum had his right knee drained twice in the last two weeks, but he said nothing would prevent him from playing in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Bynum said he was "100% certain" he would be on the court Sunday against the Boston Celtics.

"I'm going to go out and I'm going to play," he said. "That's why I got the knee drained."

Bynum had the minor procedure on his knee immediately after the Lakers played Boston on Thursday night. He played only 12 minutes in Game 4 because of swelling in the knee directly related to complications from torn cartilage in the area.

The Lakers remained guardedly optimistic they would have their shot-blocking defensive presence Sunday. They are tied with the Celtics at two games each in the best-of-seven series.

"We're still optimistic that he's going to give it a shot and see how he does," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said Saturday. "We have [another] day to work with him. He's had a day of therapy and he can start getting some movement and maybe start activating himself [Sunday] and get himself going."

Bynum was averaging 13.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots in the first three games of the Finals, though he had two points, three rebounds and no blocked shots in his limited time Thursday.

--Mike Bresnahan, reporting from Boston

Caught in the Web: Reactions to Lakers' 103-101 Game 5 victory over Phoenix Suns

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Game stories

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan details the final moments, including Ron Artest's game-winning shot, in the Lakers' 103-101 Game 5 Western Conference finals victory over the Phoenix Suns.

--The New York Times' Howard Beck notes how Artest's shot staved off Phoenix's rally.

--The Arizona Republic's Paul Coro labels the Suns' loss a heartbreaker.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding paints the festive atmosphere following Artest's game-winner.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's David Lassen calls Artest's game-winner the "Ron-Ron Rebound of 2010."

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford describes Artest's game-winner as "improbable."

Notebooks

--The Times' Bresnahan explains how Kobe Bryant kept the Lakers in the game.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's Lassen explains how the Lakers barely withstood Steve Nash's contributions.

--The Daily News' Teaford explains why Luke Walton can help solve the Suns' zone.

Sidebars

--The Times' Broderick Turner credits Sasha Vujacic's contributions. Turner also reports that Nash believes the Suns will force Game 7.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's Matt Calkins features the Lakers' late-game shots beyond Artest's game-winner.

--The Daily News' Jill Painter argues that Derek Fisher's efforts often go unnoticed.

--NBA Fanhouse's Chris Tomasson reports that Jackson says it's highly likely he'll return to the Lakers.

--The Orange County Register's Mark Whicker goes through memorable game-winning shots Phil Jackson has witnessed as a coach.

--The Arizona Republic's Bob Young documents how Phoenix Coach Alvin Gentry doesn't pay much attention to outside opinion.

Columns

--The Times' Bill Plaschke dissects the enigma that is Artest.

--The Times' T.J. Simers appreciates what Fisher brings to the team.

--The Times' Mark Heisler chalks up the Lakers' win to luck.

--ESPN.com's J.A. Adande believes that Artest redeemed himself.

--The Arizona Republic's Dan Bickley argues that the Lakers stole the game from Phoenix.

--The Arizona Republic's Paola Boivin says the Suns still believe they can bounce back in the series.

--The Orange County Register's Ding argues that Artest's game-winner brought the team closer together.

--NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper chalks up the win to Artest being in the right place at the right time.

--Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins argues that Artest's game-winner proves his worth.

--Fox Sports' Mark Kriegel compares and contrasts how the team and fans viewed Artest in the final minute.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi credits Fisher for his consistency in the postseason.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin argues that team effort proved more instrumental in the win than Artest's putback.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller didn't anticipate Game 5 would happen that way.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's Gregg Patton argues that Artest's game-winner proves he belongs with the Lakers.

--Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears observes Phoenix's state of shock.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne details the heartbreak Phoenix experienced.

--Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel believes Artest has fit in with the Lakers.

--The Orange County Register's Whicker argues that Artest's game-winner made up for his poor play.

Blogs

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky break down Artest's game-winner, contributions from Bryant and Vujacic, as well as some numbers.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius outlines how the Lakers overcame adversity.

--Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin believes the Suns have eve more confidence considering the close effort they have against the Lakers.

--The headline on Silver Screen and Roll's article by C.A. Clark says it all: "Finally, Ron Artest makes the headlines for all the right reasons."

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell details how Artest redeemed himself.

Radio Interviews

I recap the Lakers' Game 5 victory with 1430 ESPN's Paul Swearengin.

Mark Medina ESPN Radio


Tweet of the Day: "Phil came home from STAPLES Center kissed me on the forehead and watched the 4th quarter again. I am an NBA widow." -- JeanieBuss (Lakers executive vice president Jeanie Buss, who is Jackson's girlfriend.

Reader Comment of the Day: "Ron redeemed himself. I am happy for him. Good anticipation on that Kobe's shot. I knew it from the release that it will not go in. Ron's got good instinct on that one for him to track the ball. Good to see Ron/Kobe/Lamar on that group hug. I want the Lakers to win it again this year for those 3 players" -- jette

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Lakers forward Ron Artest (37) and guard Kobe Bryant react, along with the Staples Center crowd, after Artest hit the winning shot as time expired in Game 5 on Thursday night. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Caught in the Web: Previewing Game 5 of Lakers-Suns series

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Lakers links

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan highlights the Lakers' success in must-win playoff situations.

--The Times' Lisa Dillman explains what's gotten Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson so upset with the team's defense.

--ESPN.com's J.A. Adande outlines why the Lakers feel they're in a good position.

--The Orange County Register's Janis Carr offers various reasons why the Lakers played better at home this series.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding explains why the Lakers should savor the championship experience.

--ESPN.com's John Hollinger explains how the Lakers can win a "wild West shootout" (insider subscription required).

--Fox Sports' Randy Hill predicts Jackson will field plenty of offers from other teams this offseason.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky details the Lakers' confidence.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's David Lassen showcases the Lakers' recent successes in Game 5.

--Yahoo! Sports' Johnny Ludden credits Bryant for imploring his teammates to take the Suns seriously.

--Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix breaks down five things to watch in Game 5.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi argues the Lakers are playing soft against Phoenix.

--Even though he believes the Lakers will win Game 5, the Orange County Register's Jeff Miller argues that the Suns can still win the series.

--The Orange County Register's Marcia Smith highlights reader feedback regarding Jackson's stance on immigration.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford notices some trends in the Lakers' seven-game winning streak in Game 5s during the last three playoff runs.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius breaks down how the Lakers can sharpen up on defense.

--Silver Screen and Roll's Saurav A. Das assesses the Lakers' ability to produce in the clutch.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell outlines how Bryant's improved health has affected his play.

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Suns links

--The Times' Broderick Turner observes that Phoenix has renewed confidence after tying the series. Turner also credits Alvin Gentry's coaching in helping the Suns get back in the series.

--The Times' Mark Heisler praises Steve Nash's toughness.

--The Arizona Republic's Dan Bickley shows how the Suns' success has brought the state together.

--NBA.com's Fran Blinebury argues that the Suns' zone has added a new wrinkle to the West finals match-up

--The Arizona Republic's Paola Boivin features the appreciation the Suns' starters have for their bench.

--NBA.com's Art Garcia breaks down the Suns' zone defense with former NBA coach Don Casey.

--Fox Sports Arizona's Dave Lumia credits Gentry for helping the Suns sharpen their chemistry.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne explains why Suns don't pay attention to the outside skepticism.

--The Arizona Republic's Bob Young argues that the series has shifted. He also explains why Channing Frye has enjoyed the playoff run.

--Sports Illustrated's Michael Rosenberg documents how the Suns found the right mix in a playoff-caliber team.

--Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen points to the Suns' bench and three-point shooting as the keys Phoenix must master to win Game 5.

--NBA Fanhouse's Chris Tomasson argues that the Suns' key to beating the Lakers doesn't necessarily involve just shutting down Bryant.

--Valley of the Suns' Michael Schwartz lists five things Phoenix must to do win the West finals.

Web Interview

I discussed the Lakers-Suns series in the video below with Don Best TV host Pat Williams.

Tweet of the Day: U know the Lakers are goin to come out focus tonight ... I remember game 5 vs the thunder ... they scored everything in the paint ... Gotta be ready" -- JaredDudley619 (Phoenix Suns reserve forward Jared Dudley)

Reader Comment of the Day: "I'm sure LA will hit more shots at home, but it remains to be seen whether LA can keep up their defense against a PHX team that has yet to shoot well in this series" -- BUTLER

-- Mark Medina

Follow the L.A. Times Lakers blog on Twitter: twitter.com/latmedina. E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Upper photo: Lakers forward Lamar Odom, right, battles with Phoenix forward Amare Stoudemire for a rebound during Game 4 on Tuesday. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Lower photo: Suns guard Jason Richardson leaps into the crowd after trying to keep the ball in play during Game 4 on Tuesday. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Caught in the Web: Previewing Game 4 of Lakers-Suns series

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Lakers links

--The Times' Mike Bresnahan explains how the Lakers plan to attack the Suns' zone defense.

--The Times' Broderick Turner details the Lakers' second-quarter breakdown in Game 3.

--ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard reports that the Chicago Bulls have reached out to Phil Jackson.

--Yahoo! Sports Johnny Ludden believes it's in the Lakers' best interests to rest Andrew Bynum in Game 4.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's Matt Calkins discusses why the Lakers plan to play Bynum in Game 4.

--The Orange County Register's Kevin Ding focuses on how the Lakers plan to sharpen their offensive execution.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Andy and Brian Kamenetzky discuss the Lakers' Game 3 loss, Amare Stoudemire's improved play, Phoenix's improved defense and a look ahead to Game 3 in their latest podcast.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin credits the Lakers for taking an even-keel approach to the loss.

--The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller highlights Derek Fisher's physical play.

--Fox Sports' Charley Rosen wonders how the Lakers will respond to Phoenix's zone in Game 4.

--Sports Illustrated's Dan Shaughnessy is looking forward to a Lakers-Celtics Finals showdown.

--The Daily News' Elliott Teaford examines the Lakers' decision not to rest center Bynum in Game 4.

--Lakers.com's Mike Trudell has a complete practice report from Tuesday's practice.

--Forum Blue and Gold's Darius documents what mental adjustments the Lakers need to make in Game 4.

--Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore previews Game 4.

Suns links

--The Times' Turner highlights Phoenix's willingness to play zone again in Game 4.

--The Times' Mark Heisler showcases how Stoudemire's inconsistency leaves his future with Phoenix in doubt.

--ESPN.com's J.A. Adande points to the Suns' loose and fun demeanor as a big reason they have stayed in contention with the Lakers.

--The Arizona Republic's Dan Bickley argues that Robin Lopez serves as Phoenix's missing link.

--The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore illustrates how Lopez's contributions caught the Lakers off guard.

--The Arizona Republic's Paul Coro details how the Sun's zone defense caught the Lakers off guard.

--NBA.com's Art Garcia credits the Suns for increasing their intensity in Game 3.

--The Arizona Republic's Doug Haller reports Channing Frye will remain in the Suns' rotation.

--The Riverside Press-Enterprise's Greg Patton argues that it doesn't matter if zone defenses are "manly," so long as they work.

--ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne credits Suns General Manager Steve Kerr for assembling the team's current roster.

--The Daily News' Teaford observes that Phoenix Coach Alvin Gentry became rather defensive about his team's zone defense.

--The Arizona Republic's Bob Young showcases Steve Nash's heavy tolerance for pain.

--Valley of the Suns' Mike Schmitz breaks down the Suns' zone defense.

Radio Interview

I discussed the Lakers' Game 3 loss to Phoenix with Sports Nutz's Mike Pilosof and Michael Gay on Z-92/K-101-FM (based in Woodward, Oklahoma).

Tweet of the Day: "If Phil was to return to Chicago who should coach the Lakers? Kobe player coach" -- Rickafox (Former Laker Rick Fox).

Reader Comment of the Day: "I'm glad Bynum is going to play. The high/low game of his and Pau's will be just the recipe that we need to kill the zone." -- Rocky

-- Mark Medina

twitter.com/latmedina

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

Photo: Suns power forward Amare Stoudemire (background) grabs a rebound from Lakers forwards Lamar Odom (7) and Ron Artest (37) in the first half of Game 3 on Sunday. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

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