Kurt —  October 19, 2006

Kwame’s shoulder injury is worse than previously thought — it is being reported that he will be sidelined three to four weeks.

Normally that would not be a big deal, but Chris Mihm is not yet right from ankle surgery. He said in today’s LA Times he wants to be ready by the start of the season, but then I want a Maserati. Jon Black (Laker spokesman) says in the above-linked article he will not be ready.

Combine that with Kobe likely to be there opening day but not being ready for 45 minutes and 60+ points, Radmanovic’s hand, Cook out, Shammond Williams pelvis and every part of Aaron McKie south of the neck injured in some ways and the Lakers are one banged up team that will be taped together but slowed to start the season.

Which has to be concerning — remember 15 of the first 20 Laker games are at Staples, while the middle of the season sees some long road trips and tough stretches. The Lakers are not a team — in a deeper-than-last-year West — that will find it easy to dig out of a hole (and I would call 12-8 after 20 games a hole).

Being without Kwame and Mihm to start the season means last seasons draft picks — Andrew Bynum and Ronny Turiaf — will play a key role in whether the Lakers get off to the start they need to make the playoffs. On that note, I may head over to the Catholic church up the street and light a candle.

to M*A*S*H*

  1. Uh… on the other hand, if you know we’re going to have a rough time of it, wouldn’t you want to at least have the consolation of home cooking to rest your injuries?

    Kind of lame, but you find what silver linings you can, right? And maybe later in the season, with so many road games and a defecit to make up, our focus and drive will be sharpened.

    And maybe if I bet my hole paycheck on double 0, I’ll walk away with full year’s salary…


  2. I meant whole


  3. Lakers Status: S*C*R*E*W*E*D*


  4. This is bad. Even if everyone is healthy for the rest of the season when the team gets them back (fat chance)…this is bad. I suppose this shouldn’t be unexpected as the Lakers were relatively healthy last season.

    Remember how we were hoping Bynum would get some minutes this season so he could grow as a player. Be careful what you wish for.


  5. Let’s not over react. First, it’s not like the opening night lineup is going to look like the one tonight against the Clippers. Kwame and hopefully Mihm will be back during the first 20. We still have 12 days for Kobe/Vlad/Cook and others to get healthy, or healthier. More strain is going to go to Kobe and especially Odom to start strong, but that can happen.

    Let’s not start shoveling dirt yet.


  6. Ah you’re probably right, Kurt. Look on the bright side though. None of us commenters are talking about Garnett trades.


  7. So I didn’t get to see the game because of the NLCS. First, way to go Bynum. Second, what was up with all those technical fouls? Did anyone see them?


  8. I skipped watching the NLCS to watch a pre-season Lakers game…I’m a little bit anxious for tip-off…

    Anyway, the technical fouls were nothing special. The officials were T-ing up anybody who even commented about a perceived bad call, which is consistent with what David Stern has said he wants the officials to start doing.

    As for Bynum, he converted on a couple of really nice, strong moves to the basket, but otherwise it was quiet night for him, his stat line notwithstanding.


  9. Focus-Focus-Focus

    All teams have injuries–not just the Lakers. Other injuries will happen. Barring new injuries, everyone on the Lakers could be healthy before the end of November. How it might effect specific matchups in the meanwhile depends in part on the (unknowable) health of the opponent. Can’t we leave wild “doom and gloom” full season speculation to Steve Hartman?

    What calculator allows us to measure changes in the season’s startup W/L ratio as a function of Kobe’s “ginger,” Kwame’s bursitis, Cook’s rolled ankle, Shammond’s pelvis, and Vlade/Rad’s “touch”?

    Right now, final roster decisions are being made. Nobody is suggesting that Farmar be sent to the D league any more. McKie is still here. Green may have inched ahead of Pinnock. When will the final roster decisions be announced?


  10. Finally someone who thinks as I do about Steve Hartman. I loved the Loose Cannons when Chet Forte was there, I liked the Loose Cannons when “Philly” Bill Warndell was there. However, Steve has become intolerable in his current incarnation. Even tho I enjoy Michael, I will turn to one of the other 3 So Cal stations to avoid Steve. He is a ‘nabob of negativity’. I know he thinks that’s his job, but he overdoes it greatly.


  11. chris henderson October 20, 2006 at 9:19 am

    does anyone know how all these injuries will affect these impending cuts to get the roster to the league set 15 man? can we use these injuries to “buy some time”?
    what do you guys think? what are the rules in a case like this?


  12. Take a looks at Roland Lazenby’s column at http://lakernoise.blogspot.com. It is a full presentation of the “Death of Defense” article.

    One of the interesting points that jumps out at me is the Detroit Pistons and Joe Dumars. They seem to be ahead of the curve on this one. The change started last year and Joe Dumars hired Flip Saunders to replace Larry Brown. Larry is a physical defensive coach – no longer allowed in the NBA. Then they let Ben Wallace walk and replaced him with Nazi Mohammed. Nazi will fit into the offense better and can still provide “contain” defense and bang a bit. Detroit is moving quickly to change from a physical defensive club to one that can get out and run, but still stay in front of their men. My bet is that Detroit will be better than the ‘talking heads’ predict.


  13. 11. The injuries do not buy us any time with cuts. The NBA roster is 15, with 12 players dressed per gme. The additionall 3 includes anyone on IR. Yes, if you had four guys too hurt to pull up the warmups, then you go with 11.


  14. 9. Three things DrRayEye:

    A) I think the deadline for cuts is next weekend (when I get time today I’ll try to look that up). I would think that since the final Laker preseason game is Thursday they will make the cuts Friday.

    B) Actually, in his Monday conference call Rambis again hinted Farmar could be sent down to the D-League once everone is healthy. I tend to think that was just to keep a fire lit under the kid. If I were really cynical, I’d say it would be a good way to sell D-Fenders tickets and make some money. But I would never say that.

    C) I agree that we don’t need “doom and gloom,” but the injuries are of concern. Good teams feast of the softer parts of their schedule, and for the Lakers this year that is at the front.


  15. I’ll take the positive side on the injuries:

    1) They give Bynum, Turiaf, and myabe Farmar some time in live game situations which will be valuable come playoff time.

    2) It’s a loooong season.


  16. There is no way to avoid what already happened – it’s done. I wish everyone had been healthy through the entire preseason and we could have gotten some kind of rotation worked out for the soft early schedule – it didn’t work out that way. Perhaps the best we can do this year is to equal last years wins and get to the playoffs. Now all we can do is find some silver linings out of everything.

    1) The coaching staff got a much better look at most of the younger players and will probably benifit from this starting in the middle of the season. Example: they gave Farmar the job of finishing the game last night and he made a mistake, but it was a ‘free game’ and Farmar wasn’t afraid of the pressure – that fact can be filed away for later.

    2) While the Lakers will probably lose more games than we would like in the early part of the season, they may be a much more capable road team because of the depth and knowledge developed.

    3) Andrew, Turiaf, Farmar will all develop faster and have much more complexity to their game because of this preseason.

    4) Phil didn’t run the games and may be forced to evaluate the young players differently because Rambus insisted on playing them (perhaps Phil even encouraged this so it could be done and his image wouldn’t be changed – for later stratagic moves for the team).

    5) Our regulars may find they are fresher toward the end of the year because they played less basketball. I firmly believe a large part of Smush’s failure last spring was because he played all 82 games (for the first time in his life) and he was exhausted in the playoffs. This means more mistakes – I didn’t say I thought Smush was a good man/help defender, just very tired at the end.

    6) Our deeper team will give the starters rest and they will do better in the playoffs, regardless of the initial seeding.



  17. I loved that Farmar got and was willing to take the last shot last night. It wasn’t pretty but I can live with that, it was the effort that mattered.


  18. Regarding whether Green, Pinnock or McKie should claim the 15th roster spot, lately I’ve found myself thinking things like, “Keeping one spot on the roster empty does make a lot of sense…”


  19. Am I the only one that thinks J. Farmar should be the starting point guard right now?


  20. 19. If you have not read Dave from Blazer’s Edge’s brilliant 10 commandments of the preseason, I have to suggest it (link at the bottom). Remember commandments #3 and #4:

    3: THOU SHALT NOT clamor for a player who gets 22 minutes a game in pre-season (for purposes of evaluation and giving the veterans a rest) to get that same 22 minutes once the regular season starts.

    4. THOU SHALT NOT pass judgment on the current year’s draft picks until at least an entire season has passed, preferably two or three. Pre-season is too soon!



  21. Normally I wouldn’t take anything at all away from any preseason game since everyone is hurt or “hurt” or “not likely to make the roster” or just doesn’t care in general, but to try to take something positive from that last possession by Farmar takes quite a bit of mental gymnastics. There is little worse than being willing to take the shot, but obviously being entirely unqualified. Kobe is going to be pissed the first time that happens when he is on the floor.


  22. Welcome back John R. Missed ya.