Game On

Kurt —  October 9, 2007

I’m exicted to watch some Lakers basketball. And to watch a sporting event where Frank Caliendo’s new show isn’t promod every 20 seconds.

That said, how much can we read into one preseason game? Not much. Especially one where Lamar Odom, Luke Walton, and possibly Kwame Brown will be in street clothes. If you find yourself getting excited because Elton Brown has a good game, remember the 10 Commandments of Pre-Season Basketball.

There certainly will be things to look for: How does Turiaf in the starting lineup work? How is the new Laker defensive system working? How does Andrew Bynum’s offseason conditioning translate to the court? How is Radmanovic fitting in this year? How is Jordan Farmar’s outside shot looking? Can Coby Karl hit shots in a game, too? Warriors fans have their own sets of questions.

None of those questions really will be answered in one game against the run-and-gun Warriors, but we may start to get a clue. There also are some interesting reports from those watching the Lakers practices in Hawaii, most notably John Ireland’s blog post talking about the team trying to push the tempo this season (thanks skigi). We’ll see if that translates to the court as well.

Plus, it will be fun to see Derek Fisher back in Laker colors. That may be the thing I am most looking forward to.

For those looking around for it, game tip off is at 10 p.m. Pacific on KCAL 9.

56 responses to Game On

  1. The game is being carried on Fox Sports Bay Area (the Warriors home station I assume). In L.A., it’s being carried by KCAL.

    On the Warriors, is Ellis still listed as day-to-day? Any word on how long he’s going to be held out?

  2. I’m just hoping the Dubs can take 1 game from the Lakers. Man, after last year’s sweep to the Lake-Show I’m willing to settle for a preseason win and call it a season.

  3. Exick, thanks for catching that (I knew that and still put Fox Sports, ugh). I made the change in the post.

  4. In case anyone missed my last post about’s my yahoo fantasy basketball league
    League #: 49985
    League Name: That’s How I Roll
    Password: ronmexico

  5. i’m sorry but i am not excited about the lakers this coming season.same old,same old medicrity !

  6. what is a “medicrity”?…? hmmm

  7. Hey, IE users, are things looking better or are there still issues? Thanks for the feedback.

  8. I’m guessing most eyes will be on Bynum and Farmar.tonight. Everyone is curious to find out if their reported offseason progress is for real. Crit is still an enigma, so it will be interesting to see where he fits in. Vlad’s jumpshot is supposed to be back from the dead… we’ll see. And, of course D. Fisher in a Lakers uniform is always a welcome sight.

  9. Hey Kurt, IE 7.0 user and your the format is not looking good for me. All misaligned up top and the body text is all at the bottom of the page. Hope that helps, good luck to your squad tonight…go warriors!

  10. Hey Kurt,
    I see the same thing on IE7 as Josh. Also, I’ve noticed that all the comments have the number 1 an Safari on the mac. It’s not that irritating, though, because I never use Safari. Everything works great on by blackberry, though!

    Thanks for all the great FB&G content!

  11. IE is still a no go..

  12. Best I can tell the problem is only with IE 7 (if there are issues with 6 tell me). Working on getting it fixed, it was right for a little bit but I think my tweaking of the sidebar screwed it up again. But it’s being worked on.

  13. Is there way I can watch the game from Columbia Univ. in New York tonight? Does anyone know?

  14. IE still does not follow the universal browser standard – not too unusual for Microsoft. I have both IE 6 and Firefox and both work with FBG. I try not to use IE, however. I suspect you tried to follow int’l standards when tweaking the sidbar. Curiosity – the IE box problem should be fixed by IE 7: this caused problems with fixed width things like sidebars.

  15. Samy, there is no webcast of the game that I know of, so unless there is a bar near you with a dish and the rights to Fox Sports Bay Area I’m not sure what to tell you,

  16. Sammy,

    You pretty much have two choices:

    1) Go to the ESPN zone in Times Square. They’ll have it on a screen and won’t kick you out until 1AM.
    2) Find someone who pays for NBA League Pass. I’m not sure if it kicks in for the pre-season, but that’s how i caught regular season games while I was there. Good luck.

  17. Oh, wait. 10PM PST is 1EST. No ESPNZone. My bad.

  18. Hey Samy- I lived in NY for 7 years and was starved for Laker bball on TV. I feel your pain on this one.

  19. Not looking right in IE6 for me. Main posts are showing up way down the page, below the sidebar.

    I am excited for the Lakers this year as there is a lot to look forward to. I keep thinking about the team being like the first half of last year plus everybody a year better. And I am anticipating the young guards stepping up big this year behind DFish, and VladRad shooting the lights out.

  20. Riz,I tried to sign up for League Pass again this yr on Thurs and the masterminds at Comcast didn’t have it available at the time.,said try again in a couple of weeks!

  21. warren (philippines) October 9, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    I keep noticing your problems with IE. I’m using Firefox and I see no probs. Thanks.

    I like those 10 commandments Kurt. Esp when I was beginning to think I am picking Chris Richard of Minny for my fantasy team. LOL. Reality check.

  22. It’s all pretty even, according to my site stats about 46% of the visitors here use IE, about 41% use Firefox and about 10% Safari. So, that’s a lot of IE users I’d like to make happier.

  23. Michael,
    IE 6 has a ‘quirks’ mode. If you can find this under options, then reverse whatever setting you have and retry FBG.

  24. Thanks for the info guys, I think I will try to get to ESPN Zone next game.

  25. During the regular season there are plenty of streaming links for Laker games..but for the preseason it’s nonexistent

  26. NBA Audio League Pass is free for the 07-08 season and they are broadcasting the game in case anyone wanted to listen to the game.

    we down 6…. long live Kobe.

  27. Thoughts on the first quarter:

    -Does KCAL have a gameclock? no clock on FS Bay Area.

    -If Ronny’s added that 15 foot jumper consistently I am legitimately thrilled.

    -Fisher looks kind of old. Absolutely no elevation on his jumper or drives.

    -I want to see some Critt!

  28. Critt looks like a player. Guardedly excited.

  29. 2nd quarter thoughts:

    -Critt looks like a player. Coby Karl does not. In seriousness though, Javaris looks really comfortable. His runner in the lane was purty.

    -The long-haired Sasha and short-haired Vlad has me confused, especially without HD yet.

    -The FSN crew got the clock working. Thought you’d be relieved to know.

    -How’s Stu doing doing there? Times like these I really miss living in SoCal.

  30. You have to like what you’ve seen from Crit. This may be a thing like Farmar last year where by the end of the season Phil may have a lot more confidence in him.

  31. How is Farmar doing?

  32. Farmar has made a few nice hustle plays and some quality passes, particularly entry passes into the post. But he is 0-4 from the floor shooting.

  33. Watching Kobe take this 3rd quarter seriously doesn’t feel right. What is he doing?? Why is he even on the floor? Let the kids get some run.

  34. Brian Cook has earned some bench time with his performance in this game.

  35. “Bynum throws it down with his left hand”

    11 rebounds so far… 🙂

  36. He looks stronger, but Bynum hasn’t really wowed me in this game, however. He hasn’t played bad but against the better GS bigs he was not impressive. But he ate up Burke.

  37. How about VRad?! 5 3’s and the nerve to take a late in the game shot.

  38. Got to give it to Troy Hudson, nice shot to win the game.

  39. I envy you seeing that game. I hope I get to see a replay tonight…

  40. carter blanchard, Don’t give Kobe a hard time for playing a little hard in the 3rd quarter. 90% of the fans in the arena came to see Kobe, and he knows that. He just wanted to give them a little show.

  41. Tonight’s positive signs:

    1) Vlad’s jumper. A few more games like that and we might forget about his Winter X-games moment.

    2) Mihm’s mobility and quickness. He didn’t look too comfortable with the ball in his hands, but his movement was good.

    3) Crit’s poise. The rookie played without any fear, and that clutch jumper was a nice confidence builder.

    4) The second unit. They played about twice as well as the first unit.

    5) Turiaf. How can you not love a guy who jumps off the bench in the middle of the second quarter to root on his teamates, when they are down by 27 in a preseason game?

  42. Kurt, in IE 6.0.28 the formatting is still messed up. How did Mihm look? I can only assume he is rusty, but did he look healthy?

  43. Has anyone seen the box scores for Crittenton? Critt had a very strong summer league, named to the 5 best. Now this game… If not for 3 PGs on this Laker squad, we could have the potential ROY on our team. How about 18 pts in 15 mins – 1 reb, 1 ast, 1 steal. Wow. Just wow…

    Ok back to reality. I know these games mean nothing but Critt can ball. He could be the gem we were looking for in awhile and Mitch will look like a genius for drafting the young man.

    Still, the problem was defense. Giving up 41 in the 1st?! 91 in 3 quarters? Horrible D. I wish the second game could be adjusted a bit…

    Other points:

    Congratulations to Vlade Space Cadet for hitting shots and gaining some confidence. The Walton minor injury could be the best thing that happened to Vlade and WE REALLY SHOULD TRADE COOK. Get some expirings from Houston for crying out loud…

    Congrats to Sasha for hitting some shots. This is one indicator I do not trust.

  44. ***SPOILER ALERT***

    Some thoughts from last night:

    The 1st quarter showed how much the Lakers miss Kwame Brown and Luke Walton. Yes, I said miss Kwame Brown. Mihm looked slow and lethargic on defense. Brown would have prevented some easy buckets down low.

    Fisher looked good on defense last night. His shooting wasn’t great, but it was nice to see him and Kobe playing a 2-man game for a bit.

    Kobe was a distributor for most of yesterday’s game. His first 3 quarters were fairly ugly.

    Vlad needs to learn how to play through picks, he looked awful. He also needs to improve his defense altogether.

    Cook cannot guard his own shadow. He kept getting burned by whoever he played against.

    Turiaf needs to learn the PF position. He looked a lot more comfortable and played a better game at center.

    Farmar had lots of hustle, but tried to hard and made several bad plays.

    Vujacic actually looked decent and got his way to the foul line. I guess he has more confidence in his dribble drive.

    Crittenton, this guy is just fun to watch. An athletic freak, who could start this year. Wondering if the Lakers will make a trade for O’Neal down the road and send Kwame and Odom to Indy. This would allow Critt to start at the 2 and Bryant at the 3. Though with PJ, a rookie will never start for the Lakers.

    Bynum looked decent, but needs to play against some real centers.

  45. Sasha and Vlade looked more confident than I’ve ever seen them. Maybe it’s the new hair cuts?

  46. I think Phil was really pleased by this game. He go to see some players perform AND he now has video in the can to prove his point about needing some defense.

    We now think Crit can score when we are behind. Now I want to see him dish when we are close, otherwise he is just a back up for Kobe.

  47. I guess in the end we really can’t take either the good or the bad as much of a gauge for this game.

    Sad to see the starters get smoked. Didn’t look like much of a defensive focus going on out there at all.

    Looks like Crittenton should be somewhat useful. Farmer seems like he’s grown into a decent backup.

    Hopefully Sasha keeps going to the basket like that. Nice Waltonesque step-back move he’s added too.

    Good seeing Chris on the court again.

  48. It’s easy to forget that Vlad’s wrist had been bothering him most the year. I’ll never expect focus or energy from him, but if he can knock down shots like we know he can, he could be a big plus. I’ve been hoping half-pipe comes back with something to prove.

    RE: Kobe; It’s one thing to put on a show with a couple highlights, it’s another to start taking all the shots in an effort to one-up Kelenna freaking Azubuiki. This is preseason, any fans coming just to see Kobe should know better. You didn’t see Baron trying to take over. It just looked kind of awkward from my point of view, is all I’m saying. (ps- I don’t normally give Kobe this hard a time, come regular season, he can do whatever he wants, but this time should be about Critt, Bynum, Ronny, etc.)

    Critt was obviously the most exciting. He showed solid ball-handling, some really nice penetration, a decent stroke, and even some good post moves. Best of all, for a rook he really seemed to grasp the system, I thought. Let’s hope this translates to the real stuff and we can have a great three-way battle at point.

  49. In todays LA Times Kevin Garnett explains why he decided on the Celtics.

    After watching the game it is going to be a long season. The only thing I care about was the one thing I did not see, inspired defense.Chris getting dunked on, getting out rebounded. Bynum’s got pushed around. Vlad looking lost. even Kobe looking passion-less.

    Positives: D Fish consistent as always, Ronny great block, passion

  50. Mike in the Mountain West October 10, 2007 at 10:32 am

    I didn’t see the game but I checked out the box scores and there are definitely a few things I really like. In particular, I like Bynum’s line. 12 rebounds in 20 minutes is phenomenal. And although he only scored 9 points he shot 50% from the field and 75% from the line. The last thing I really liked on his line was 0 TO and 0 PF. Bynum had a big problem with both of those last year and it’s good to see he made some progress there. All of those are very definite signs of progress and it gives me confidence that he can be a quality starting center for us this year.

    44. PJ hasn’t typically started Rookies because he’s never really had any good ones. All of his teams (as far as I know) have made the playoffs so his teams haven’t had high picks plus with such talented teams there was never space for a rookie. My guess is if Crittendon shows he can play at a starters level Phil will give him a chance. And looking at his boxscore that seems likely. PG is going to be very interesting this year.

  51. 50. To be fair, Bynum and Crittenton largely got their good numbers against the scrubs of the Warriors, nobody looked good against their starters.

  52. Quick observations.
    Crittenton showed what the pre-draft scouting reports said-can shoot,but not pass. Really liked the way he mixed it up shooting 3s,mid-range and esp taking it to hoop. If-a big if-he keeps it up,I wouldn’t be too suprised to see him by late Dec being Kobe’s relief at SG. May be your own Ben Gordon.
    Mihm looked rusty from not playing for a yr but moved well.
    Sorry,but the Kobe as facilitator should be put away in a closet somewhere. 21 pts in 1Q against team that allows as many pts as anybody ain’t goona get it done. The 3Q was the essential Kobe. Breathtaking shots mixed w/way too much dribbling and last second passes only made because he had no shot.
    Farmar didn’t do anything spectacular,but the team looked so much smoother and effecient when he was on court.
    Sasha played like it is a contract yr and he’s auditioning for someone else.
    Radman looked good shooting but he got abused on the defensive end way too much. His man blew past him on baseline much too easily.
    Bynum is still a work in progress,but he was so rarely fed in low post it’s hard to see what progress he’s made.
    Getting Lamar back will make the fast break devastating.

  53. Owen-
    I see no reason to get down on the team after one preseason game in which 3 of their most important players were in suits and they still nearly won. Without Odem and Brown in the lineup, the Lakers cannot defend. We learned this last season. But with Odem and Brown, they can be respectable. You would not have seen so many uninterupted dribble penetrations if the actual starting 5 had been on the court together.

  54. Mike in the Mountain West October 10, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    51. That may be true and it no doubt inflates his numbers, but 12 rebounds in 20 minutes is impressive even against scrubs. And his 0 TO and 0 PF, especially the latter, are a good sign no matter who he went up against.

    I think everyone is not as excited as they should be about Bynum. I’m not saying he’s going to be a star but there aren’t many star C’s out there. Hollinger projects Bynum to have the 14th best PER for C’s. Even if he makes no progress and just maintains last year’s PER he’d be projected to be 18th. So unless Bynum regresses he’ll be one of the better C’s in the league. I do, however, think he will improve. His biggest weakness was his conditioning and the sloppiness that resulted. By all accounts he’s worked hard to improve that so the chances seem good he will improve overall.

  55. OK, I’ll throw in my 2 cents:

    1 – Whatever you want to say about this teams off-season acquisitions, we have a complete reversal in our PG situation. We went from Smush, which I think everyone here will agree wasn’t working out very well, to a situation in which DEREK FISHER could be our least talented PG. Farmar had an off night, and I’d like to think that will not continue, but some of his moves were lighting quick. The kid is soooo much faster and his first step is unbelievable compared to last year. Javaris is, well, we’ve covered J-Crit enough I think. Kid’s got game. And Fish was the PG we all expected; old, but steady. I could not have prayed for a better mentor for Crit and Farm.

    2 – The fact that our bench heavily our-performed the starters was AWESOME. I think our starting line-up is solid and will find their footing by the end of December. That being said, our back-ups playing the way that they did only affirms my view that we have one of the deepest benches in the NBA.

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