Just clearing my desktop (and head) of notes about the Lakers:
* Three games this week, all winnable for a good team — at Milwaukee, at Chicago then home to Golden State. At the end of this week the Lakers could be 11-6 and should be at least 10-7, anything less than that is a disappointment and possibly a bad omen for the future.
* We need those wins now. Looking ahead, have you seen the Lakers’ schedule for from March 17 to April 17? Brutal. It’s going to be tough if they have to fight for their playoff lives while facing a good team almost every game.
* Chucky Atkins stepped it up with an impressive second half against the Hornets (17 points) and was a key reason the Lakers won. That’s the upside of him at the point. However, in the bigger picture, he is an example of what I mentioned before about the Lakers problems with turnovers and poor ball handling costing them games — Atkins is the perfect example of the modern point guard, someone who can shoot and penetrate but does not distribute the ball well. This year’s Lakers are still looking for someone who can really run this team from the point, and there is no answer on the horizon.
* I’d say the Lakers need to trade for a true point guard, but who can they get? Realistically, I can’t think of anyone.
* Last night’s win against New Orleans was about as unimpressive a win as you could get. While I said before the Lakers have shown they aren’t playing that poorly inside, Rudy T. was clearly frustrated — he went small for chunks of the game. Vlade and Slava never saw the floor, Jumaine Jones was playing the four for a while. It didn’t work, but nothing really worked. Still, maybe it’s time for a Rudy T. tongue lashing because there needs to be better inside play than that.
* Interesting reading from John Hollinger at Sports Illustrated, talking about how all the reserves from the Athens Olympic team are rising stars having great seasons while the starters…. not so much. (And, nice to see PER used in a mainstream article.)
* I still have fond memories of the Forum, a venue that was home to so many Laker and King memories — not to mention a few concerts, where things are a bit more hazy for me — but is now mainly a church. Ian Hanigan in the Daily Breeze took a fun trip down memory lane with the old building.