Game Preview & Chat: The Golden State Warriors

Kurt —  December 14, 2007

Records: Lakers 13-8; Warriors 12-10
Offensive ratings: Lakers 111.2 (7th); Warriors 111.2 (7th)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 106.1 (12th); Warriors 109.3 (20th)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Luke Walton, Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum
Warriors: Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, Matt Barnes, Al Harrington, Andris Biedrins

Lakers Notes: No Tony Parker, no Tim Duncan and Ginobli out at the 10:30 mark in the fourth quarter due to five fouls. Mix all that together and it meant the Lakers got away with a sloppy start, too many threes and poor shooting for much of the night. Good teams win some ugly games, and we’ll chalk that Lakers win up to that.

It was a mix of good and bad. The bad, too many threes and far too many early in the shot clock. The good: Another good game for the bench, they started the fourth quarter run that got the win. The bad: Once again the Lakers left too many people open beyond the three line. The Good: Turiaf’s presence inside on defense, the two blocks he had were the only two the team got, and his solid play once Bynum was tossed.

(About Bynum’s ejection: In hockey you see this fairly often, when a team is flat or struggling a veteran guy will go pick a fight with a bruiser on the opposition, all an effort to fire up his team. I don’t think Bynum got tossed intentionally, and he deserved it in the sense he’s still young and can’t yap like that at the refs, but it had the same impact. The team rallied after he was tossed.)

Another note on Turiaf — I’m not why Phil has gotten away from starting him. I think what he brings in terms of defense and intensity is something needed, something the Walton at the three Odom at the four combo does not bring. If the Lakers were getting a huge offensive boost moving Odom back to the four then maybe the defensive trade-off would be worth it (and the Lakers need to get Odom the ball on the block more), but until that happens I’d rather have Ronny’s defense in the paint and energy.

The Warriors Coming In: They beat the Spurs a couple nights ago, too. The Warriors had five guys in double digits and a 24-3 run in the second had them pulling away for an easy win.

Don’t be shocked if Don Nelson tries to force the small ball and pace by starting Kelenna Azubuike instead of Biedrins and pushing Harrington to center. Phil doesn’t really fall for this stuff — he’ll leave Bynum in and try to pound it inside — but that starting five is what the Warriors did against the Duncan-less Spurs.

Also, remember that recent JA Adande quote about the Warriors:

You know how you don’t want to fight a crazy guy, because you don’t know what he is going to do? The same thought applies here. If the Warriors are going to shoot the first 25-footer they see, is there really any way to defend against it?

He’s right, and you just don’t know what Warriors team will show up tonight. They will want revenge and it may be a bomb’s away night for them.

To find out more about the Warriors, check out Golden State of Mind.

Keys To The Game: The Lakers won the last game because they got great play from the bench and stuck with the game plan of pounding the Warriors on the inside. That combo will be what the Lakers should try to do again.

The question is will they? Last night in San Antonio the Lakers played a style and quality of game that, if they repeat it tonight, they will get run out of the building. There are things the Lakers must do: No threes early in the shot clock. In fact, fewer threes overall. Get the ball inside. Pound the offensive glass. Get back in transition defense.

Essentially, the opposite of what they did against San Antonio.

Tonight’s Game: Where A Dish Best Served Cold Happens: I have a bad feeling about this game from the Lakers perspective. The blueprint is there for another key win for the Lakers, but last night’s performance (despite the win) did not leave me inspired. Hope my gut is wrong (or just didn’t like that breakfast burrito I had).

Where you can watch: Game time is 7:30 p.m. (Pacific). In Los Angeles tune into KCAL (9), nationally you get ESPN. You can compare the WWL’s announcing/studio team o TNT’s last night, while that is fresh in your mind. If you’re enough of a masochist to do that.

to Game Preview & Chat: The Golden State Warriors

  1. Very excited to be going to the game tonight. That’s really all I have to say.


  2. Lamar is very good handling the ball on a fast break, as long as he doesn’t get called for a charge at the end. However, he should not be facilitating in the half-court offense.

    1) He isn’t a good outside shooter, so the opposition can ignore that “threat” and just defend againt the drive and the pass.

    2) He is the best rebounder on the team, including Bynum. Not the best use of his skills having him out at the three-point line.


  3. Kurt,
    This being a road game, isn’t the local broadcast on KCAL 9?


  4. I can’t stand watching the games (or rather listening to, since I could just turn the sound off) on ESPN. When I lived in LA and a game was nationally televised I would turn the sound off and listen to Chick announce the game on the radio.

    This should be a good test for the Lakers (though I guess a L won’t mean anything more or less than any other Loss). If they come out with no energy to match the energy I know GS is going to have, then they will get blown out. But if they play hard then I think they should win. Jackson coached teams have a pretty good record against Nellie coached teams.


  5. 4. You’re right, change made. Thanks for the catch.


  6. A little exchange with David Thorpe and I on his chat today. He didn’t answer any of my more in depth questions, but I’m just giddy that I finally got anything answered.

    Brian P.(Aliso Viejo, CA): Andrew Bynum all-star in 2010?

    SportsNation David Thorpe: (12:42 PM ET ) Probably.

    Brian P.(Aliso Viejo, CA): 5 years from now Jordan Farmar or Javaris Crittenton?

    SportsNation David Thorpe: (12:46 PM ET ) Great question. Farmar seems a sure thing to me. Javaris is a hit or miss guy, as of now.

    That was it for my laker questions, he answered a couple non laker ones as well. Here are the rest of the laker questions asked:

    Patty (Los Angeles): THORPEDO-MEISTER: First of all, I LOVE your chats. You?re charming, funny, quick – what?s not to like. Anyway, I?ve noticed that as Andrew Bynum grows more and more as a force down low, he?s starting to get swarmed and hacked. What I want to know is if you think this kid is for real and if so, can he be the difference in helping the Lakers advance in the playoffs? Thanks for answering!

    SportsNation David Thorpe: (12:44 PM ET ) Thanks Patty. Glad to see some women reading this. I’ve not studied Bynum lately, but his talent was obvious last year. Sometimes young bigs take time before growing hair and fangs and learning to beast it.
    James, DC: Hey Thorpe: Kobe looks a lot less selfish out there, Lakers bench is 2nd in the league, wins over Utah, San Antonio, Detroit, Phoenix, Denver, GS. You think the Lakers will be a top 4 seed?

    SportsNation David Thorpe: (12:32 PM ET ) I think they can be. Lots still to filter through. But the potential is there.

    Stephen (Austin, TX): Why did the Lakers draft Crittenton in the first round last year? Is it just b/c Phil loves the tall PG’s? Couldn’t that pick have been more wisely spent -considering they used their #1 the previous year on Farmar?

    SportsNation David Thorpe: (12:50 PM ET ) His upside was undeniable and they took him at a good “value” spot. Plus, Farmar wasn’t a sure thing at that point.

    James, DC: Dave, who is the best player in the NBA?

    SportsNation David Thorpe: (12:59 PM ET ) Today, probably Kobe. LeBron perhaps, of course.

    Chris (Valencia, CA): Even though Kobe is still putting up 27, 5, & 6 every night, I can’t shake the feeling that he’s “coasting.” Am I crazy?

    SportsNation David Thorpe: (1:03 PM ET ) Yep.


    And finally a link to his full chat:


  7. Last night, I thought the Lakers made a real effort to play fast. I hope that’s what inspired so many quick jumpers/3 point attempts…maybe Phil emphasised a faster pace to try and disrupt SA’s deliberate style/game plan. Hopefully that was coaching…and my same hope is that Phil gets the guys to play a more disciplined game tonight. B/C that’s the key to beating the W’s, patience on offense…it leads to better shot selection and less turnovers (which the W’s thrive on).

    Also, Monta Ellis missed the W’s last game @ Portland, and they really missed his presence on offense. The W’s lacked that other option when Jacko was having an off night shooting the ball. If Ellis misses 2nights game too, this will weaken the W’s bench and their offensive firepower.

    We normally play GS tough, so tonight should be no different. If we’re patient on offense and can limit the penetration on D we will win, I think.


  8. I’m not as concerned about Ronnie starting, but I do agree that having him at the 4 and LO at the 3 was a nice front line.
    the reason I’m not too concerned is that PJ seems to have a nice handle on the rotations, he’s got a Zen like approach to it because it’s not a rigid/structured rotation, but more based on the ‘flow of the game” and the match ups.
    I like this approach, because it will evetually get the players out of the “oh it’s my turn to come in” or “oh, I only have 2 minutes left, better jack up some 3’s” but more like “while I’m out here I’m gonna play my ass off, cause I’m a part of this 5 man squad”.

    so this way, if Ronnie’s been tearing it up, I know PJ will find a spot out on the floor for him at the most critical stretch. he seems to know who’s having a great night and how to ride it out, this is why he’s one of the best coaches in the league. (and get’s $12m/yr).

    this approach will do wonders for the growth of the younger players, and save the legs of our vets, I trust PJ to be a master when it comes to rotations.


  9. Carter, have fun. And give us a report (or get me/post a link if you put it up on your blog).


  10. Kurt, I was with you on the taste this win left in my mouth. It didn’t quite feel like a loss (few wins do), but the Lakers were so sloppy for so long that I feel they really got away with a lot. Hope that doesn’t lead to complacency.

    I missed the first six minutes of the game, where the Spurs and Lakers were really heating it up, and also the Bynum play that led to his ejection. What led to his second T? Was it the little elbow jostling with Oberto?

    (By the way, isn’t Oberto a brand of snack food?)


  11. Last night, reviewing the game after the fact, I got the impression that Pop’s game plan for Bynum was to annoy him and get inside his head with physical play. And it worked. Hopefully Drew learned a lesson from it. Also, I hope other teams aren’t savvy enough to duplicate the efforts of the veteran team. I don’t think it was entirely coinsidence that 3 of our top 4 +/- guys last night have had experience playing overseas. Maybe Vlad, Sasha and especially Turiaf were better suited to counter the way Manu and the Spurs were bringing it than Bynum et al. Just a thought…


  12. 11. The first T was for getting tangled with Oberto. The second, according to reports today, was for calling the ref a “M$#^& F#$^#” which is like the Bull Durham magic word for a young player.

    I thought Oberto was that additive that made “Dorritos light” for a few months until everyone complained of diarrhea and gas.


  13. 11 –

    oh boy oberto!


  14. Excellent analysis Darius. The key is that the Lakers need to be patient on offense and defense. The Lakers need to use the clock instead of firing right away. A couple of passes will frustrate the Warriors tempo, which will lead to foul problems and opportunistic defense (it starts with Baron and spreads to Capt Jack and others).

    If we have more free throw attempts than the Warriors, we should control the game.

    On Defense, let the Warriors shoot the 3 (contest, but don’t press). The Lakers rebound well, and as long as each man boxes out they should be okay.


  15. even though lamar may be one of the best rebounders on the team, i just feel like he forgets to box his players out way too many times to be given that “great rebounder” status.

    what’s more, he just looks lost on the court when kobe is playing. similar to spurs use of manu as 6th man off the bench, i feel like lamar would be put to better use if he’s with the second unit. he looked more comfortable and so forth.


  16. 15-I noticed a lotta of times last night Laker defenders sprinting out to 3pt shooters and flying past them. We need to close-out and like you said contest. When we fly past the shooter, he can penetrate and kick out for an even more open three, it also compromises our rebounding position.

    S. Jackson has been DPOY in my book so far this season. He is locking up guys like Dirk, Manu, T-Mac. He’s really long and stays on his feet. Kobe has to attack the hole


  17. 13) I believe that was olestra.


  18. The layoff showed. Especially in the defensive end where the rotations were not sharp at all until the 4th. The likes of Barry and even Bonner were penetrating and dishing in the 3rd. If the Lakers play like that tonight. They will be buried in an avalanche of uncontested 3’s. Hopefully the game removed the rust and they can get back to work. I hope Bynum gets 20 FGAs tonight.


  19. All I can say is I am glad it is on ESPN because I can’t stand the Homer announcers that are on KCAL. The stuff they say is so retarded no matter what team they are playing.


  20. Kurt, I don’t think your joke about the “light Dorritos” was meant to be funny but it made me laugh. 18. I think you are right it was Olestra, it was a oil extracted from lima beans or somehing.


  21. That was supposed to be “don’t know if ” not “I don’t think”.


  22. Kwame,
    “Laker defenders sprinting out to 3pt shooters and flying past them.”

    Two comments:

    1) The problem is that they are reacting late (perhaps because of poor positioning, inattention, or just good ball movement by the opposition). At that point, they have to close fast, or the shot goes off uncontested.

    2) Did you notice that Bowen has developed a decent move to use when defenders do that? He takes it in for a layup or a shorter-range jump shot. Two years ago he did not have that in his arsenal; he has obviously worked on improving his game. COntrast that to Kwame Brown, Lamar Odom, etc. Frustrating!!


  23. 24- Bowen is a great example of a player who has adapted to his circumstances. He came into the leauge and was not a great defender. He made himself a great defender. He knew that to start with Duncan he’d have to shoot the 3 ball, so he learned how to shoot the 3 ball. Now he knows that teams are overplaying him for the 3, so he’s developed a counter-move. Bowen, best player ever from the CSU system.


  24. Mike in the Mountain West December 14, 2007 at 2:57 pm


    How about doing revisiting the Ariza for Cookie and Mo trade at some point in the future? Maybe you could get a Magic blogger to answer 5 questions like you do for game summaries. It may be a little soon to do a piece like this but I thought I’d put a bug in your ear.


  25. Mike in the Mountain West December 14, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    Maybe I’m just optimistic but I feel like the Lakers have gotten to a point where they know when they haven’t played well and they take it upon themselves to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I think that’s due to the improved chemistry and the drive of guys like Kobe and Farmar then becomes infectious. Thus I’m not too worried about tonight. I feel like we really have Golden States number and the guys will come out and execute and I think Bynum will come out with a chip on his shoulder after last night which can only be good against this team.

    I think we’ll play our game but the Warriors have one of the best home crowds in the league which will really fire them up.


  26. 26 – The Lakers obviously need to play and execute much better than last night. Both on offense and defense. If not, tonight will be a rout.


  27. Kurt, I think the reason why Phil has gotten away from starting Turiaf is the fact that Kwame is still injured. The main reason he’s been coming off the bench is to spell Bynum minutes at Center, which he wouldnt have to do if Kwame was playing. Its clear that Mihm still has a long ways to go in terms of being consistently productive out there at the 5.


  28. 28-great point. Hadn’t thought of that. He is more valuable at the 5 right now. It will be interesting to see what Phil does if and when the Lakers are ever healthy.


  29. Another note on why Turiaf still isn’t back into the starting lineup is that he is just getting fully healthy since getting hurt earlier in the year.

    Turiaf isn’t at the point that he can start when he is only 80%. He needs to be 100% to be effective as a starter for this team and I believe Phil realizes that.


  30. great post and replies. fun read before another day of work (+9 GMT). Warriors don’t worry me, but the Lakers do, as I don’t think the Warriors are capable of beating us if we don’t beat ourselves.

    On Lamar, maybe I’m crazy but I think he plays better with Kobe on the floor. Ditto Bynum, as Kobe seems to check where they are all the time. Kobe seems to be playing more like Vince in that he recognizes when to pass. Sure Vince may pass because he’s saving himself from beatings, but the results are similar. I’m not sure if Kobe is willing to make that ‘pass that leads to an assist,’ but he sure is willing to make the ‘pass that leads to a bucket,’ and with Bynum stepping up, that’s all we need…


  31. Turiaf at center is more likely to get injured than Turiaf at PF. I am not sure how Phil is going to work in Chris, but he needs playing time if he is to recover — how about at C/PF during some garbage time?


  32. the guy formerly known as Lamar Odom December 14, 2007 at 6:21 pm

    I don’t think this will interest many of you, but I found it satisfying, especially after years of Kobe-bashing and people thinking the Lakers should have kept Shaq. Check out ESPN’s daily dime’s “Extreme Behavior” at the top right of the page.

    Enjoy the game, everybody!


  33. ESPN does have one big redeeming value: Hubie Brown. Probably the best color commentator in the business.


  34. 34- i like Hubie, but right now I’d say Jeff Van Gundy is hands down my favorite color commentator. He gives good insight into tactical aspects, and has a pretty dry sense of humor


  35. I’m on my way over to Oracle Arena now…. got super lucky last minute and got some seats behind the lakers bench! Haven’t been this excited for a game in a looong time. Wish I could upload some pics and videos to the site, but I’ll see what I can add later on.

    I’m pumped to see the lakeshow in a fun run-n-gun game…. should be a good one!


  36. Call me crazy but I actually like the idea of Odom at PF and Turiaf at C. It just seems like Odom has been a PF for so long that he “forgot” how to play SF. He is often lost in the bushes and decides to jack up a three anyhow just to cover his indecision. If its any indication, his turnovers are sickening!

    Turiaf at reserve C does bring some energy off the bench and I think I’m beginning to like it. Over-all, I wouldn’t mind playing Ronny at all since he can effectively slide PF/C at any given time. Playing Walton at the starting 3 gives us a chance to play Ariza more.

    I am sensing another case of redundancy here, so taking what Mitch said to Craig Sager last night, I can smell my trade from here. He said Mitch said “they will continue to listen to trades that will help improve the team that will be built AROUND Kobe”.


  37. Two things:

    (1) Did anyone realize how easy it was to read Drew’s lips after getting the second T? “Mother-f!^*-er!”

    (2)sfJayp, take some pictures and make a photobucket account/post a link for us to check em out.

    On another note, is Baron Davis the number two guy b/c of Jackson’s dominance in the past few games? Or do they share the big dog status?


  38. 38-Baron’s team, but Capt. Jack is a leader too, and, as odd as it sounds, their most consistent player too.


  39. OT – Lamar positional PER offense / defense:
    SF : 10 / 16
    PF : 16 / 13


  40. Kobe, yelling at Luke. Ha, I’ve wanted to do that this season too.

    Hope Phil tells them to go down low to Andrew, he can score or pass


  41. The sequence with a minute to go in the 1st.

    Open Lodom at the top shoots a WIDE OPEN 3 with like 20 to go on the clock, bricks (hard), the Ariza steal (starting to live up to the hype on d), and early 3 by Farmar.

    Did and one else catch that look Farmar gave odumb? Then he goes and knocks down pretty much the same shot. It seemed almost like he was trying to send a message; there are some people on this team that should shoots threes – you’re not one of them.

    That’s what I saw anyway.


  42. I love the way Farmar makes a concerted effort to get the ball in the post. He is truly a PG.


  43. …………………..


  44. What in the world did just happen?


  45. wow… kobe… you should’ve known better than to insist to remain in the game in the crunch time when you couldn’t even guard a slug… as much as it is hard to take out the star player in the crunch time, phil should’ve known better to take him out of the game instead of handing the warriors the momentum…

    kobe allowed baron to get comfortable and bam… just like that… with his 2 clutch 3’s… down by 4… just like that. wow…

    and mr. odom… thanks for showing me a glimpse of hope… just to take it right away in the final seconds…


  46. No touches in the post by Bynum in that last fourth quarter stretch….god.

    Why did they take Ariza out? He’s perfect for defending Baron.


  47. ahhhhhhhhhhhh, lamar odumb is so fricking useless. phil completely mismanaged that game. from not calling back bynum until 6 minutes left in the fourth (when he was absolutely killing out there), and not calling a t-o to get kobe back in.

    sheesh, we missed so many crucial fts. from ronny (who sucked crap), to kobe’s 3 pt play, to derek’s (crucial), to odumb’s (which i knew he was not making). most frustrating loss of the season for sure.


  48. Sure, the missed FTs hurt, but it’s hard to overcome a 6/23 night from Kobe. The crucial few possessions late in the fourth that swung the game were two threes and a tip-in for GSW, countered by two bad jumpers and a falling-down heave by the Lakers. The last sequence was just false hope.


  49. the other Stephen December 15, 2007 at 12:29 am

    so who was guarding baron davis all game? kobe?


  50. This game looks to me as a gimme to GSW…

    Game was loss because of the following..

    1. Phil – Never called a timeout…Never took Odumb and Puke out. Never took out Kobe when it was obvious he hurt.
    2. ODUMB – What else can I say what a f*cking bonehead!!!
    3. Luke – What did he really do…he never did anything…not even on help defense. NOTHING!!!

    We just wasted Bynum and Ariza!!! PHIL why did you gave away this game???


  51. I have to give this one to 1) Phil for his late game management, 2) Kobe for trying to do everything himself when he was cold and his teammates were hot, and 3) Lamar for just plain airheadedness and fumbling hands.

    When we needed defense, why did we have both Lamar and Walton in there? Against the scattered, athletic team that is the worst pairing on the team. I really don’t care who starts the game, but the same people don’t have to be in there at the end.

    When GS started to get the momentum Phil should have called a timeout and got defensive players in there. Turiaf at PF, Ariza at the 3, and even Sasha in there if Kobe was unable to guard Davis.





  53. 50, yeah it was mostly Kobe but since they screen so much they pretty much just switched on all of them


  54. i think the league might take a second look at the flagrant 1 against Ronnie, that was pretty blatent, and more like football rather than basketball, feels like it should warrant a suspension to me.
    even though we lost tonight, I think PJ is the kind of coach who isn’t concerned about the W totals, but rather having this team learn something from each game so that they are in the best possible condition as a team when the playoffs come. so there were some good points too, and I hope the lessons learned will gain some W’s down the stretch.


  55. Now that all the cursing to myself is almost gone, here’s a couple of observations that I thought gave the game away:
    1) Bynum hardly getting any touches in the post during the 4th.
    2) Baron Davis exploiting his matchup with Kobe who lacked mobility due to a strained left groin.
    3) As mentioned by most, Phil not calling any timeouts until Baron made the 3-pointer with 16 seconds left.
    4) The fact that they bring the stat of the Lakers beating the Warriors 14 of their last 15 meetings prior to this game. I swear (figure of speech), everytime they bring in a “statistic of streaks” it gets snapped. Not baller at all, BSPN.
    5) Key free throws missed towards the end. Why is it when they bring the stat of Fish being 94% on the line, and perfect for the night he misses? (Like #4)
    6) Kobe’s poor shooting night.
    7) 20 turnovers!!!

    Oh well, it’s just one of those games that just got away. =[


  56. There was one play late in the fourth where Bynum came out and set a pick for Kobe, but Kobe was to injured to do much about it when he cane around it. Thing is, both defenders still went with Kobe and Bynum was alone rolling to then standing on the low block for three second while Kobe ignored him and worked to set up his isolation, which turned ot to be a missed three. Kobe was hurt, Odom didn’t step up and the Laker did not to seem to trust Bynum. Too bad.


  57. well the good news is… if the whole basketball thing CONTINUES to fail for walton he can always expand his acting career. he may have had zero lines in that christmas day promo but his performance was stellar.

    i never want to hear bill singing again.


  58. 57, kurt, i totally noticed that as well. what’s more there was another possession where lamar was trapped and he just couldn’t make the entry pass to bynum who was calling for the ball on the low post. make the pass and then move away, that would’ve given the kid a chance to make something happen.


  59. Granted, the points raised by everyone above are valid. However, the biggest difference I saw between this game and the previous game against the Warriors was Luke’s 33 minutes to Trevor’s 3. Luke’s style doesn’t match up well against Golden State’s, while Trevor’s does. Even more so if Luke’s shot isn’t falling. I think someone already commented on this, but IMO the Lakers win this game if Trevor’s and Luke’s minutes are evenly split.


  60. I was worried that Phil’s crush on Walton would make Luke the guy who’ll get 4th qtr minutes, I really don’t see how Luke contributes to the team.

    Can’t blame Phil for not taking Kobe out, but I would’ve insisited Kobe play decoy on offense, and not guard Baron on defense.

    Tough loss, teams swallow 2,3,4,5 of these bitter pills a year, they never taste good. If we beat the Clips, we got the 2 out 3 we wanted in this 3 game stretch.

    Barnes should get a 1 game suspension, that was dangerous and malicious. Lakers get beat up by a lot of teams, and I think because we are a big team, refs don’t call a lot of fouls that are committed.


  61. Sorry for the double post,

    My biggest problem with the Lakers starting unit (aside from energy level) is that they don’t get Andrew enough touches. In the 2nd quarter, Turiaf got the ball on the block almost every possession. He didn’t shoot it everytime, but it’s a good place to start the O. Then throw in how Drew was 8-10 and you realize he needed 5-10 more shots and 10-15 more touches.


  62. tough lost for the Lakers. they played too much GS style in the 2nd half. I don’t remember 1 post entry pass to Bynum in the 4th quarter and too many jump shots, and the pace was too fast. Throwing in inside to Bynum and/or posting up Odom would have slowed the pace down quite a bit. But I guess GS had gto wind a game against the Lakers eventually.

    I hope Kobe’s groin strain isn’t too serious, I know from experience that can be very painful. He may be out against Clippers on Sunday, but even without Kobe that should be a winnable game, but Odom and Bynum and Someone else will have to step up.


  63. Lack of a good second option, Kobe forcing shots (even before he was hurt), the team not getting the ball to Bynum (did he take any shots in the second half?), perimeter defense, turnovers. The same issues as before.

    Plus, of course, playing a road game, second half of a back-to-back, against a good team.

    Not surprising the Lakers lost, but the game was theirs to win. Not contenders yet.

    Bynum played a very good game. He is ready to be the second option against a team like the Warriors, but the Lakers aren’t making the effort to get him the ball. Farmar and FIsher were solid on offense. Sasha played well; I like his rebounding lately. That could steal a game or two this season.


  64. Kwame A,
    “I’d say Jeff Van Gundy is hands down my favorite color commentator. He gives good insight into tactical aspects, and has a pretty dry sense of humor ”

    I agree; and he isn’t afraid to poke fun of himself (including decisions he made as a coach.)

    Last night, after Kobe got hurt, Breen was obviously trying not to say that he got hit in the groin (I don’t know why announcers don’t like to say that!) and van Gundy “innocently” asked, “Where did he get hurt, Mike?”


  65. Holy cow was I wrong. The Lakers won on free throws, the boards, contested most of the 3s and still lost. I think turnovers and poor shooting by Lamar, Luke, and Kobe hurt us. I think Phil relied too much on the starters when the bench was playing fairly well.

    We can also blame the fact that the Lakers forgot about Bynum in the last 6 minutes and the 20 TOs.


  66. That was a really tough loss, especially since we were on such a nice little streak. If Kobe does not strain his groin we win that game no question. I suspect that Lamar is still not healed from his surgeries because he looks more lost out there this year then ever before. I think Phil should consider making Lamar a 6th man. Kobe leading the starters and Lamar leading the second unit could make us a very deep and dangerous team.

    The next 5 games are key for the Lakers. They SHOULD win at least 4 of the 5 and need to considering the next 3 opponents after that are Phoenix, Utah and Boston.


  67. I can’t get over the Lakers ignoring Bynum either. I have no idea why that was the case…Nelson just put Biedrins on him in the fourth quarter…he had good position, he was asking for the damn ball…must be frustrating. I don’t know why Phil left him in there…Bynum couldn’t keep up with the Warriors…if you want to utilize him, use him on offense. Slow down the game.

    When is Luke going to get out of this “slump”. His shooting has gone down the drain, his passing is awful…he doesn’t even try on defense…

    One last thing on Bynum — what’s up with all those bad lobs to Bynum? Bynum is really bailing them out, but some of those passes are just awful. Lamar should make an effort to get Bynum involved. Seems like he can only play two tones in a game — “aggressive” or “unselfish” …seems like the only thing that comes natural to Lamar is being passive.


  68. When you say Lamar has to come through Sunday I think you are putting too much faith in him. He is just not a consistent player – stop talking about him like he is a 2nd option because he is not. He is what he is; now we have to find a 2nd option. Against GS it clearly should have been Bynum – how about letting Kobe know. Against the Clips I suspect Bynum will have a tougher time, but I would still try out him as a 2nd option.

    Let’s start training him like Shaq now – not next year.


  69. 68-Its so frustrating to see the 2nd Unit play so well, and the starters allow Kobe to go into Kobe-ball. One of the things I like about Jordan, Vlad and even Sasha is that they aren’t just looking for Kobe. They are willing to shoot, and also, willing to stick to the gameplan of going inside. I don’t know if its intentional or just a matter of being awful post passers (Lamar and Fish are guilty of this), but it seems Farmar is our best offense organzier, and he may need to be on the floor in 4th quarters.


  70. Wow. Great game. So fun to watch.

    And I don’t mind the loss at all. Last week’s back to back gave an inkling this team’s starting to become real deal. This looked like another step in that direction.

    I loved the way they competed, how they were moving on offense.

    Kobe’s shot selection was retarded though. I can live with the crazy stuff he puts up when he’s on, but hey, why not try making some easy ones when you can’t hit crap instead of continuously launching those fallaway 30 footers with two guys draped all over you?

    Regardless of that and the loss, the future looks even brighter to me. And I thought they’d win 50 games.


  71. 69. All I said that Lamar should make more of an effort to get the ball to Bynum. Believe me, I have no faith in Lamar.


  72. The lakers had that game, but poor descision making down the stretch allowed GS to go home with the win. I agree with the other comments on here that the team somehow forgot about Bynum. Granted GS was nailing the threes left and right, but Kobe really dropped the ball on this one (even before he was hurt). I dont understand all the forced shots especially when they refused to go down. Did PJ forget to remind them that Bynum was still in the game??? As a laker fan that was a frusturating game to watch. I think the bench fisher and even lamar had a descent game. But kobe and walton struggled big time. BTW whats up with walton? The one thing he has been able to do, passing the ball, hes been botching…


  73. Please do not count on Lamar against the Clippers, he is not one of those players that bring their A game against the team that traded him. He has had horrible shooting nights against the Clippers ever since he became a Laker.

    Actually, I have more faith in Vlade Radmonivich playing a stellar game against his old team than Lamar Odom.

    I love Lamar Odom’s potential skill set, just as every GM that has drafted or traded for him has, but the intangible thing that is missing with Lamar Odom is what is between his ears!

    68. You are right HE is what HE is!

    Sure Kobe had a bad shooting night, get over it it happens. This game was lost because too many other Lakers have consistently failed to be consistent, i.e., Walton, Turiaf, and Radmonovich. Still do not know what you will get from them night in and night out this season.


  74. 67 – “If Kobe does not strain his groin we win that game no question.”

    Have to disagree. Kobe did few things offensively that benefited the team and was slow and lazy on too many plays on the defensive end. I though he was playing immaturely from beginning to end and I didn’t see anything at any point in the game that made me think he was going to turn it around.

    I would love to sit in a room with Odom and Bryant and watch the last half of the 4th with them so I can point out all the time they should have given the ball to Bynum instead of making the poor decisions they ended up making (Kurt’s play in 57 is a good example). And this was stuff that unprofessional spectators could see in real time – how is it that trained professionals couldn’t make the same recognitions?

    And as for Ariza, I would love to hear Phil’s logic for his minutes this last game. Does anyone know any of the reporters that get to ask questions at the laker practices so we can see if they could bring this up? I like Luke starting and getting 20-24 minutes, but Trevor have gotten the other 9-13 minutes, especially in a game against a team like the Warriors.


  75. Wow. That was an incredible game. Every once in awhile after the Lakers lose a tough one I have to step back and appreciate how much fun it is just to watch something like that. That game was amazing. With that said, this loss stung a little.

    I thought LA kind of let the Warriors hang in there all night. I really had a feeling early on that with a few different plays and a little more defensive discipline (and going to Bynum more) a bit of a bigger margin could have been built. The fact that it was that close throughout the second half, and especially late in the game, is just asking for trouble in a building that loud, with Baron Davis, and with a team full of 3pt shooters. It’s like… you’re counting on everything going exactly right to win in that situation at the end of a game. Everything didn’t go right (Davis’ 3s, Kobe’s groin…), so we lost.

    A couple thoughts:
    -I think Kobe (and whoever switched on) did a great job on Baron. Until he hit those last shots, we had played him as well as you can hope to. You can’t let someone that clutch control their own destiny in a game like this… you have to put it out of reach.
    -67: I have no faith in Lamar to lead the second unit. Look at what Farmar does when he comes on the court – there’s a fundamental difference. I’m actually more comfortable with putting the ball in Farmar’s hands and telling him to make it happen. There’s just something Lamar doesn’t have and it’s not something you can learn. He’s a great fill-in-the gaps third option…he’s the guy who will put you over the top in big games… but you can’t expect him to carry you there.


  76. You have to give credit to Stephen Jackson. He played spectacular defense. It looked like Jax confused Kobe out there. He didn’t go for the pump fakes, and he made him uncomfortable. He dared Kobe to take jumpshots, and he dared him to take 3’s (which Kobe should stop taking btw) on a few occasions. I don’t think Kobe went to the hole once in this game.

    I’ll jump on that S-Jax for DPOY boat.


  77. (Comments) 64,65,69,70


    Pretty much sum up the game to a tee

    Just a few more remarks to add:

    -Win or lose, that was a great game. Those fans are cuh-ray-zee.

    -The fact that Kobe was even in the game at the end hurt us. He’s pre-programmed by God to take over in those sort of hostile envrionments. It was close and it was loud – very much a playoff-like atmosphere.

    But his injury served as a kind of double dagger. Everyone (including the commentators) knew he was injured. Baron and S-Jax knew he he had nomobility. Just played him tight and made Kobe force a shot. Which he did. And did. And did.

    I counted at least 3 times in crunch time where Kobe got the ball and everyone watched as he heaved it. What was so frustrating was that Baron and S-Jahx knew he wasn’t driving the rock, so they just played the shot. Which came. And came. And came. No running of the offense whatsoever in crunch time. We fed right into G-State’s hands because they just turned those bricks into transition points. Ok, granted, they also had 2 cuh-ray-zee step back 3s by Baron. That’s Baron though. We wouldn’t be surprised if Kobe were to hit the same shots for us. But he didn’t. And it took him too long to figure out that he was hurting his team with his shots. He was taking heat-check jumpers w/o even being warm yet and with no thought/or ability to drive to the hole.

    That’s why comment 70 by Kwame was SO on point.

    Question to ponder:

    Who wins in a scrimmage (when Kwame gets back to healthy)?:
    1st team of: Fish, Kobe, Luke, Odom, Kwame
    2nd team of: Farmer, Sasha, Ariza, Turiaf, Bynum


  78. 77-I’ve been on that boat. I like his D, one of the few players who doesn’t buy T-Macs, Kobes or Ginoblis pump fakes.


  79. Trades might pick up now
    Players who signed free-agent contracts this summer can be traded beginning today. Orlando Magic General Manager Otis Smith said that could start some movement, perhaps involving Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant. “You might see things start happening a little more, maybe with Kobe, if there’s anything there,” Smith said. “If you had a deal in the works, you can now get something done.”


  80. 80- I’d bet all of Warren Buffet’s money that Kobe ain’t goin nowhere.

    There are so many good comments from this fourm, I’m throwing out an open question: What is Luke Walton’s purpose on the Lakers team and why, after Phil specifically said Luke had a bad practice, did Phil play him big minutes against S.A. and G.S.


  81. 81- I think when Luke is comfortable he’s a huge boost to this team. Granted, his passing and opportunity scoring have to outweigh his poor defense and lack of rebounding, but I feel like we’ve seen that before.

    Last year Luke was a quality contributer that really smoothed out the offense, however, I worry that his greatest attribute might have been helping the first unit meld with Kobe on offense. That’s not needed so much this year as generally Kobe is doing that more himself, so Kobe’s growth kind of negates what Luke was so valuable for in the past.

    It kind of hurts to say, but I think he really needs to step up in hitting the open shot (not even necessarily the 3, but that would be nice) and making some better plays with cutters and such in order to deserve the role he has and minutes he’s getting. Someone said it recently – if Luke isn’t bringing that great offensive court vision than he’s VladRad with a worse shot…


  82. 74) “Sure Kobe had a bad shooting night, get over it it happens.”

    It’s not a question of him missing shots. The problem is that he was forcing shots, and he let himself get pulled into the Warriors style of play. You could see that in the first quarter, from the start. A number of times he clearly had no intention of involving teammates, and ended up forcing, and missing, a shot. When he takes his shots in the rhythm of the offense, things usually work out. When he doesn’t, they rarely work out.


  83. 81. of coruse you’d bet all of warren buffet’s money, it ain’t yours! lol

    on another note-i think we can all agree that this was a bad 2nd half performance by the lakers, but we should temper our judgment by considering that the warriors have one of the most intimidating home court advantages in the league, and we were on the 2nd game of a back-to-back. it’s understandable that the game was a bit sloppy. Of course, I’m not saying the lakers should get a free ride here, but let’s be patient and see how we recover from this loss. Also, what’s with matt barnes not getting ejected, or suspended? That was a dirty, dirty play.


  84. Kwame A,
    “What is Luke Walton’s purpose on the Lakers team”

    I believe that PJ thinks that Walton can get back to the level of performance he showed last season. If he can, that would be huge for the Lakers, because Walton is one of those “glue” players, who makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts. Unfortunately, his physical limitations means that when he doesn’t play well, the effect is exaggerated. Right now PJ is looking at the big picture, hoping that he can “get Walton back”, even if it means sacrificing something in the present.

    Also, I don’t think that PJ is comfortable with Ariza yet; he doesn’t fit in real well when he is on the court. He will get more time if he merits it.

    Vlad hasn’t shown enough consistency yet, especially after last season.

    Turiaf, Brown, and Mihm have been hurt off and on, which has thrown off the PF and C rotations, which then affects the SF, since Vlad ends up playing more PF.

    Lamar has been very inconsistent, and doesn’t seem comfortable at SF.

    And Evans is gone.

    So there is not a clear answer yet for a replacement for Luke at SF.


  85. 81. I still think he can play a role, he can spread the offense and runs if very well if you get him the ball at the high post/elbow on the weak side. But I think the earlier comment about Phil not yet trusting Ariza is pretty accurate — Trevor has not outside shot but his defense and effort makes up for it. Walton likely will get his confidence back and be a valuable part of a second unit, making sure it runs the offense well, but having Ariza there makes Walton more expendable as part of a trade package.


  86. My report from behind enemy lines:

    First off, there were a surprising number of Lakers fans in attendance. There was a fair amount of pro-Lakers cheering throughout the game, as I’m sure you heard coming through the broadcast on occasion. At one point with Kobe on the line, there were even rival “Kobe Sucks” and “MVP” chants in my section (section 212, represent).

    Supposedly this was the largest crowd to ever watch a basketball game in CA, something I had a pretty hard time believing. More people were at a game in December than when they were in the freaking playoffs? For the first 40 minutes, I was actually kind of underwhelmed by the crowd. I guess my expectations were unnaturally high, and for an NBA game it was above average participation, but while boisterous, the crowd didn’t really stake its claim on the game. Until the last few minutes, that is, when the atmosphere stepped up quite a bit. You hafta imagine in a place less raucous Kobe would have felt less inclined to continue trying hitting the dagger to shut the crowd up, despite the fact that his legs clearly weren’t behind him for his jumper. Also, you gotta credit the crowd for the fact that Lamar had no idea he still had 4 seconds on the shot clock for his pathetic desperation heave.

    Other assorted observations: Sasha needs a haircut. When it gets the point where you can’t stop playing with your hairpins, it’s a distraction. Either invest in a headband or get it cut. Bynum was a monster in the post, and agree that neglecting him down the stretch made no sense, but several times he just didn’t get back on defense, and not just on the break. That’s the kind of stuff that come in time, but he can’t take possessions off. Lastly, Baron is the man. The crowd felt those stepbacks going in as the ball left his hand.


  87. Besides Kobe’s injury, it was the coaching decision that make Lakers lose late night by playing Luke too much time over Ariza.

    Here is the fact. The last four games before last night’s game, the key statistics of these two players are

    Min/game: 20.5
    FT: 73.75% (more than 10 attempts)
    Assist: 1.25
    TO: 0.5
    Asist vs TO: 0.75 = 1.25 – 0.5
    Pts/game: 8.75

    L. Walton
    Min/game: 23
    FT: 0 % (only 3 attempts)
    Assist: 1.25
    TO: 1.5
    Asist vs TO: -0.25 = 1.25 – 1.5
    Pts/game: 7.25

    Plus last night, L. Walton Assist vs TO: -2 = 2 – 4 (only two assists over 4 TO’s). L.Walton lately has been contraproductive to Lakers.

    So, any thoughts??


  88. Hey folks…was trying to think of where I could get an answer to this question. I know there are knowledgeable fans here (yes, flattery will get me…somewhere 🙂 . Anyway, just wondering, in the new Yahoo box scores, what the abbreviation BA means, right after BS….spare the jokes please….anyway, sorry if this has been asked before.

    And fwiw, what an unpleasant loss last year. One of the TV crew on Channel 9 here mentioned this might be a loss that the Lakers might look back on quite regretfully. Lamar should have held onto that ball when he got picked by Ellis and BD; anyway…, that loss just chafed….still, I’m so glad to see the Lakers’ patience paying off, particularly with Andrew. I’d love to see them playing him at the 4, Ronny at the 5, and Lamar at the 3, just for the matchup problems-or switch Ronny and Andrew (or when Kwame gets back, he and Andrew and Lamar). Well, if someone knows the answer to that box score question, I’d really appreciate it. Best wishes to all Laker fans!


  89. 81-what is Luke’s role?

    I’d hafta say his role is, as folks have said, largely the glue on the first squad. He’s the guy who keeps it going between the go-to guys. Thing is, I think he was more aggressive with his shot before Andrew got good and now it seems he’s a bit more tentative and he doesn’t even have the chance to throw up his shot even when he does. Also, it seems with Andrew developing so stratospherically that the Laker game is becoming more traditional again. We have a couple of huge weapons in #24 and in # 17 and so there’s less need for off-the-cuff and improvisational hoops, which Luke is a master of. But he’s still so good at the 3 that I’d hope he doesn’t lose his confidence and that he takes a shot every now and again because if he has a look, he should, if he’s not to lose his confidence. Anyway. I think it really wouldn’t be bad him coming off the bench and runnin’ with the loose bench squad. They play a more loose game and he can do what he does and also he’s not the sort of energy guy at the beginning of the game, but he always makes good decisions and can help keep it all together with the second unit. That’s what I think anyway…..


  90. carter, you make a good point – the crowd definitely goaded kobe into taking those shots.

    78, come on, man, the first team would kill the second team 7 times out of 10. let’s not get carried away here.


  91. Kobe update
    From BasketBlog
    After further review, the Lakers’ initial diagnosis of Kobe Bryant stands: strained groin. Not sure whether that’s better or worse than a strained quadriceps, but regardless, Bryant is expected to be a game-time decision for Sunday’s game against the Clippers. He did not practice today and wasn’t made available to reporters. The comment on the previous item, by Sam, nailed it. Kobe got hurt when he was down on the baseline with Stephen Jackson. So we’ll see how he improves with about 48 hours’ rest. Strained groins can be tricky. To a certain extent, players can play through the pain, but they also don’t want to risk injuring the muscle more and possibly tearing it.


  92. TC, BA stands for Blocks Against, as in, if their shot gets blocked, that is 1 BA