Vacation (All I’ve Ever Wanted)

Kurt —  January 12, 2008

As is a bit of a January tradition around here, I’m off on a one-week vacation to my in-laws in Vegas (Summerlin, to be specific). Since there are so many new readers here this year, let me repeat my annual warning — don’t marry a girl with family in Vegas. You don’t get to do many “Vegas” things, instead you see family and watch television in a different house. It turns the city of legendary debauchery into Fresno.

That said, I plan on getting out a little and doing my part to make sure Steve Wynn’s children don’t go hungry.

For the next week there will be posting from a few of the long-time regulars here, keeping the conversation going and updating more Lakers wins (fingers crossed). Posting may be a little light but there should be interesting stuff, and keep the comments coming. I’m not going to be totally unconnected, so I’ll be checking in too.

(By the way, there were a couple of emails that I never got to respond due to a busy week at work, trying to pack and my general slothiness [sure, that’s a word]. Yes, please send me those insights and if you have a question I didn’t respond to send me another email and I’ll at least get back to you with something. Sorry for the delays.)

See you in a week or so. And — come on seven!

Kurt

Posts

116 responses to Vacation (All I’ve Ever Wanted)

  1. safe travels, and be careful in “Lost wages”. (they didn’t give it that nickname for nothing).
    2 more games Sunday and Monday against sub 500 teams, then next Thursday against the Suns, could mean a new Pacific division leader.
    go Lakes!

  2. go for broke!

  3. i have a condo in summerlin

    drew is a beast

  4. It’s official.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/playoffodds

    Hollinger (read: Stats God) says we are 100% to make the playoffs. At least that’s one things not to worry. And I was worried.

  5. Don’t you mean “Fresno with less water”?

  6. interesting that hollinger has the lakers as being 5 times more likely to win the pacific than the current division leaders. i’d love it if that were true, but it’s pretty counterintuitive. is there any way to look at hollinger’s predictions from, say, the last few years at this point in the season, then measure them against what actually happened, just to see how well they tend to bear out?

    (and before anyone jumps on me, i know it’s not his “predictions,” per say — he’s not jeanne dixon — but rather the results of a computer model. i’m just curious as to how reliable that computer model is, especially at this point in the season. an 80% chance to win the division just seems a little nutty, even with two wins over the suns.)

  7. 6) I don’t think Hollinger ever did his playoff odds before this year, so we can’t really look at past performance.

    Bon voyage, Kurt. Say hello to my money for me.

  8. Bet on the Lakers.

  9. ..how about a bet at the roulette wheel on #17 in honor of the ridiculous gamble the Lakers pulled off in the 2005 draft

  10. Ha! Maybe, I’ll see you there, Kurt. I’m going to Vegas on Friday. Always bet on black.

  11. 6) Hollinger also states that the predictions are based only on how a team has played, with an additional weight thrown in for how a team has played in the last 10 games. It does not take into account McGrady being out when it ranks Houston, for example.

    The further into the season we get, the more accurate his playoff predictions get. But we’re deep enough that they shouldn’t be wildly inaccurate.

    As for last year, I can remember Hollinger predicting the Bulls going far. And this was early on when they had a bad record. But using point differential, etc he saw they were a good team that had had bad luck.

  12. I don’t mean to go on a rant here or put out this crazy kind of hate, but Hollinger’s stats are ridiculous. PER is broken because it puts way too much emphasis on FG% and there’s no real accounting for defense at all. His whole rankings are pretty much void of any real information except figuring out strength of schedule. The “playoff predictor” is insane; is the chance that Boston or Detroit will win the championship this year still around 93%? That’s basically calling it a mortal lock and saying the Spurs or the Mavs have a COMBINED 6-7% chance to win.

    Did you see how he creates these “stats” just to try and back up his arguments? Like “Pure Point Rating” where he was trying to show how Jose Calderon is better than Rip Hamilton. Also in another column recently, he said Amare is the best center in the entire league. Really? You mean someone who plays absolutely no defense at all is better than Yao, DH, etc.

  13. An ex lived in Vegas and got a degree there. I was living in the Bay Area at the time and whenever I took off for the weekend to see her, I’d always, laughingly say I’m going there to “see my girlfriend”, using finger quotations….and they’d play along and go, uh huh, going to “see your girlfriend huh? Is that what they call it now?” Anyway, yeah, enjoy yourself. And a propos of nothing, here’s a wonderful picture of cheerleader Ronny.

    http://tinyurl.com/32mspj

  14. I loved the piece on Bynum by David Thorpe he always has great insight and talks about how Bynum is on the rise.
    here’s the site:
    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=thorpe_david&page=ScoutingBynum-080111&action=upsell&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba%2finsider%2fcolumns%2fstory%3fcolumnist%3dthorpe_david%26page%3dScoutingBynum-080111

    3 problems heading into the season:

    1. Unsteady at the point guard (defensive penetration)
    = got Derek Fisher to provide confidence and flow

    2. Shoddy play at Center
    = Kwame got hurt and is now playing what he should be…a reserve providing JUST interior defense
    ANDDDD Bynum has developed just like the talking heads have.

    3. Kobe was unhappy
    = Winning solves everything. Chemistry is being developed, Kobe is eating and hanging out w/ teammates, and Kobe is praising his teammates for their hard work.

    = Spurs and Suns wondering how high the Lakers’ ceiling is, or maybe it’s just us fans.

    Have fun in the Vegas Kurt.

  15. I don’t know about the Hollinger playoff odds thing. I don’t even feel like it truly presents “odds.” It presents the results of computer simulations. Has it been established that that is a valid methodology? The computers use a variety of variables to predict each possession of each game in the season right? But the values for those variables can change wildly. And I’m not even clear which variables they use. The likelihood of player A taking shot B against defender C is D, then if that shot is taken it’s likelihood of being made is E?

    It just feels like the computer is playing a very involved role playing game every day , with the results being displayed as probability. But they aren’t as grounded in reality as most probabilities.

    The probability of Fisher hitting a shot is calculated based on how often he hit past shots and will be affected by future events. His FG% will change every game because he feels a little better or a little worse on one day than another. That’s expected. But the simulation method would seem to try to predict these random variations on its own. How can you do that? In fact it has a definite bias against things changing, despite the dynamic nature of sports.

    Hollinger’s power rankings are grounded in a much more direct relationship. Point differential has been connected to future performance by observation.

    And anyways, those rankings are really meant to give a snapshot as to a team’s success right now. Really the playoff predictions only do the same thing, but they’re presented as the probability of actual events happening. They’re just predictions, not objective probabilities though. And those predictions really only reiterate the results of the power rankings in a misleading way.

    The fact that the playoffs could be a 100% certainty one day and less than certain the next day doesn’t make sense if we’re really suppose to look at them as probabilities. They just tell you how often their computer RPG got the lakers into the playoffs.

    I don’t expect anybody to read this, but I needed to get that out.

  16. I like what you had to say JD. Someone can’t rely on it simply to predict what happens or another one of Golden State-Dallas will ever happen. But it will be for a good measure of how a team is playing at the moment and how “better” or “worse” it can go – mostly out of strength of schedule.

    But yeah, I agree that there might be assumptions that the computer will do such as THE LAKERS WILL BLOW MEMPHIS OUT BY 17.

    Wait, that was me.

  17. JD (15): Whether it’s a valid methodology–well, that depends a lot on what your criteria for validity are. I don’t think it’s intended to be scientific in that manner, so the real question is, how accurate are they? The only answer at this point is, we just don’t know. Not even Hollinger knows, and I’m sure he’d be one of the first to point that out. Presumably, it’s his best first guess at a model to account objectively for a variety of factors involved in playing and winning games.

    To bring it back ’round to on topic, it’s a Monte Carlo study: a repeated simulation of a series of events with given probabilities. In many cases, the events are atomic, meaning they cannot easily be broken down into smaller events. Free throw and field goal attempts are common examples. In physics, the simulations involve long sequences of atomic and well-understood events, so the results can often be rigorously accepted.

    However, a basketball game is not atomic–it can be broken down into smaller events. To do so, however, would make the problem complex–too complex to be worthwhile, given all the variables in the game we don’t understand well enough to attach firm probabilities to. So Hollinger probably aggregates a lot of these events into parameters like offensive efficiency, and then comes up with some algorithm for determining the probability, for any single game between any two teams, that such-and-such a team wins that game. A “die” is rolled, and a winner is determined.

    That process is then repeated for each of the 1,230 games in the NBA season. Playoff brackets are seeded and played out, according to the same scheme, yielding an eventual champion. This entire process constitutes one “run” of the simulation; a single study would involve many, many runs (probably thousands). It’s not much more work to do 5,000 studies than to do one, after all, and if there’s anything that computers have, it’s time to do computations. This is what allows the Hollinger predictions to have three significant digits of precision.

    Whether they are similarly accurate–that is, true to life–is another question entirely, and one certainly answered in the negative at this point. There is just too much we don’t understand about how games turn out. The difference between playoffs and the regular season is also probably ignored, for instance.

    But they’re probably better than pure random guesses, too. We can’t really tell until a lot of seasons go by. You can’t say a predictor is inaccurate just because a “3 percent” team happens to win the title–after all, it did say there was a 3 percent chance it could happen. However, if such things happen year after year, you’d probably conclude that there’s something wrong with the model. Putting a hard figure to that “probably” is what experimental statistics is all about.

    Incidentally, when you see weather reports that say “30 percent chance of rain,” it means essentially the same thing: If you were to simulate the weather from the current time, the period and place in question would experience rain in 30 percent of the simulation runs. (At least, according to the NWS, that’s what it means.)

  18. One more comment to JD (15): You say that you don’t think the Hollinger odds are as grounded in reality as most probabilities. I’d disagree if the probabilities in question relate to who’s going to win a basketball game (let alone the NBA title). That’s an incredibly complex question that no one has a rigorous handle on. What’s the usual answer to that? Well, look at the Vegas odds. How are those determined? Through an involved interaction between oddsmakers and the betting action. Because people often bet irrationally, the Vegas odds are not necessarily a good indicator of the actual probabilities, even once the vig is taken into account.

    The real answer is that sports probabilities are never well grounded. They’re always WAG, to varying extent. The Hollinger predictor is an attempt to make it somewhat less WA. The model is still mostly WA, but the difference is that it’s being applied consistently across the board. As it improves over time (we assume), that improvement will pervade all simulations, and won’t be vulnerable to such vagaries of the betting system such as fan biases and “baby needs a new pair of shoes,” etc.

  19. pop open the apple cider, the Celtics have lost again.

    God do I hate their organization – esp Ray Allen.

  20. the other Stephen January 12, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    i’m so inexplicably happy when the celts lose

  21. for a while there, it was looking like the Suns were going to loose to the Bucks tonight, they were down at halftime, but came back to win.
    I like seeing this, the Suns feel us coming, can’t let up, or we sneek into first place.
    the result of this is that by season’s end, they will have played much harder than us, kind of like pacing yourself in second place in a marathon, or in stock cars, drafting, conserving energy until the finish line!

  22. Brian, thanks for the extra context for the playoff odds. When I say the odds aren’t as grounded as other probabilities, I meant as opposed to something like dice. You can make pretty clear predictions of the outcome of 5000 games of craps because the thing being predicted is fairly constant. Unless you cheatdie, there’s not an equivalent to the 6 side getting a Grant Hill appendectomy. Or even something more amorphous like a Shaq divorce that may not affect his physical ability to play but may affect his focus. Will the repetition of the simulations really be able to account for these things?

    Won’t any simulations just bear out the assumptions made in the designing of that simulation? (Eg if a coin flip simulation is assigned a 30-70 probability instead of 50-50, won’t you end up with that ratio after 5000 simulations?). If so, why not just show us the assumptions, or the source of the simulations. In this case I think that’s the Hollinger Playoff Rankings. Those I trust, because they give you a great snapshot of where the teams stand. And they serve well to make approximate predictions about the future because point differential and strength of schedule reasonably have a lot to do with how good a team is doing . (Last year in January the Lakers had a good record and beat the Spurs, but were 15 or 16 on that list and sure enough we fell off steeply).

    Ultimately I guess my beef is with the presentation more than anything. When I look at the power rankings I understand what I’m being told, while the playoff predictor is more obtuse to me.

    But I also see science using stuff like this more and more with climate modeling and whatnot, and I see a lot of stories about how the data often doesn’t match the predictions (the data is usually more dire) and I wonder if the methodology has really been proven. But maybe Hollinger can tweak his system over the next few seasons until it’s perfect, then teach science how to use it properly…

  23. haha, us Lakers fans always manage to hate on them just a bit!! but when i saw that the Wiz beat them, i’m not gonna lie, i was damn excited to watch to see what happened on sportcenter tonight!!!

    take care and be safe Kurt, enjoy the trip!

  24. Yep, happy feelings… However, the best would be having them with a 70-wins regular season and seeing the Lakers sweeping them in the Finals… Ok, better than a sweep, 4-2 with Kobe hitting a buzzer beater at Boston for the win (over Ray Allen)… Eheheh

    It’s official, I hate them all. :P

  25. Brian (are you from ISI?) and others:

    In order to make this model, Hollinger must have used some of the past years as training data and some as validation data. So it is not true that nobody knows how well his predictor does. I am sure *he knows*. All he has to do is to reveal how well his model did statistically in the validation and training years. In general, for all his predictors/statistical measures, he needs to reveal how well they did to predict wins/team/player performance over the past decade, and we will know right away whether to trust his stats or not.

  26. A couple things:

    – I hate the PER stats mostly because, as someone mentioned, it doesn’t account for defense at all. I don’t how good someone is on offense, if they get torched on defense game after game, there’s gotta be some downgrade there for the player’s “efficiency” rating.

    – As for the Hollinger rankings, I think he may have more validity with those than some think. One thing I remember about last year was how everyone was saying that the Suns and Mavs were the class of the West, but Hollinger kept harping on the Spurs having a ridiculous 8 something point differential or something like that. He used that, combined with some other stats, to call the Spurs the best team in the West. Using that same logic, he said that the Lakers were worse than their record indicated at the beginning of last year. That turned out to be true, despite the injuries playing a big role too.

    – Finally, can’t remember who said it on ESPN.Com, but, one of them wrote about how a Western Conference exec was quoted anonymously as saying that the Spurs, Mavs, and Suns were worried about the Lakers because they perceived them as being for real this year. What a difference a season, or even a few months, makes.

  27. The use of point differentiate to determine how good a team is a good one. One that is backed up by the numbers. All the numbers indicate that point differential is a much better indicator of success than a teams record is.

  28. Fun point… I doubt ESPN would release some stupid theory or prediction program that doesn’t make sense… it would only be reasonable for Hollinger to have to provide evidence to ESPN about his theory’s before just getting a spot on the home page…

  29. On Sunday morning I attended an invite only event for Laker season ticket holders at Staples Center. Stu Lance (the Lakers announcer) was the MC and both Mitch Kupchak and Bill Bertka gave mini speeches to the crowd concerning the current status of the Lakers. During the talk, the Lakers came out for a shoot-a-round, and eventually the team held a mini-practice to prepare for the upcoming game. During this time, Stu and the Laker staff began raffling off prizes. Kobe Bryant was mysteriously absent from the initial session. Stu told the crowd Kobe was still recovering from a viral infection but would play in the night’s game. Just before the players’ session ended, Kobe came out of the locker room to a standing ovation. Kobe stayed on the court to take in some jumpers after Phil Jackson finished his speech to the team. At this point, Stu raffled off the final prize – a basketball autographed by Kobe. Stu took the microphone to Kobe (who was in the middle of a shooting drill), Kobe then drew and announced the wining number. A lovely and exited woman arose from the crowd, ran down to the floor and gave Kobe a huge hug. As if that wasn’t enough – Kobe interrupted Stu’s farewell speech to the crowd, unlaced his sneakers, borrowed a marker from the crowd, autographed his shoes and asked Stu to draw another ticket. I sat there with my mouth agape at what I was witnessing. This was not a stunt; this was not a pre-planned PR move. It was a genuine moment from a superstar – giving back to the fans. Even Stu Lance was speechless. I was never more proud to be a Laker fan, and more importantly, a Kobe Bryant fan. Kobe does not get enough attention and love for what he gives back to the fans. Kobe went out of his way to make some lucky guys’ day. He went above and beyond what we expect from superstar athletes. Professional athletics would much better off if more it’s stars followed Kobe Bean Bryant’s lead.

  30. I dislike PER because it tries to be too much. Stats should be simple, intuitive, and open to interpretation. PER does the interpretation for you, meaning that it’s useless if you disagree with the formula, or have no use for such overall evaluation.

    It’s great in that it’s a number that crunches many different numbers a casual fan isn’t aware of, but that’s about it. If you’re a fan with access (or interest in) the raw figures that went into the formula, PER is useless, and all it does is sell Hollinger’s idea of an efficient player.

  31. Even when Kurt goes on vacation, the commenters here really pick up the slack. Where else do you see a discussion about probability theory intertwined with Celtics bashing?

    As for Hollinger’s stuff, it’s at least nice to see some “modern” stats getting play in the mainstream world. Every time I see a stat un-adjusted for pace, or a FG% that’s not eFG%, thrown around by the announcers, I cringe a little bit.

    @Tony: nice story. One note, though: the announcer’s name is Stu *Lantz*

  32. Hollinger’s PER always starts a lively discussion. If only for that, I believe it is a useful tool.

    PER certainly seems to be Hollinger’s attempt at a basketball equivalent to VORP. Anyone who has spent time on SABR boards can testify that VORP isn’t on quite the pedestal that OPS is.

    PER is defensive deficient, which is why I prefer to track ORtg for players. At least it’s honest about not inputting defense into the equation.

    The problem with ranking players or teams in basketball, compared to baseball, is that the variables in basketball are more numerous. This is especially true in defense, where much of what a great player does is not officially scored. A forced miss being a great example. Passing lane denied is another. But even in baseball reliable fielding statistics are still tricky. And that’s tracking one guy and a ball.

    So I guess that I usually forgive the statistical shortcomings of systems because of the scope of the problem. Especially for a man like Hollinger who routinely qualifies and explains the limitations of his systems. Berri on the other hand…

    We should all be happy that nobody has a system that can predict playoff success with 100% accuracy. Because then why watch the games?

  33. Please God I beg of you…. not AB… not AB!

  34. Oh god!!!!

    Andrew is down. Longest commercial break ever. Have no idea what is wrong with him or how serious. But he was grabbing his knee in serious pain.

  35. man down man down…

  36. What the hell happened im watching on yahoo just saw AB get subbed out so quickly….this doesn’t seem like a good sign

  37. Is Bynum ok? I can’t get the game where I am.

  38. groundhog year… let’s hope not…

  39. Landed funny on his knee… still waiting for in game status update. all units stand-by.

  40. He’s in the locker room. Hurt his knee when he got tangled with Lamar. It looked bad, but he’s young so he might just have been shaken up more than anything. Who knows. I just hope he’s okay, because if he isn’t the Lakers are done for this season.

  41. NO idea, not a report as of yet.

  42. AB landed on his left knee and apparently it looked bad and twisted (I am listening on NBA audio pass). No word from the locker room yet.

  43. I’m very nervous right now…

  44. Damn it all…hopefully it’s just a sprain. Was he able to walk off limping or did he need a lot of assistance.

  45. still no news..this isn’t looking good :(

  46. Hoping for a sprain only. X-Rays Negative, but an MRI needed tomorrow.

  47. Crap…nothing conclusive till tomorrow.

  48. X-Ray’s negative…MRI in the morning. Say he’s in a ton of pain though. They are hoping it’s just a sprain. The entire Laker front office staff is in the locker room with him.

  49. hoping its a sprain, xray negative, mri tomorrow morning but he’s in alot of pain

  50. Alright Lamar and Kwame, time to earn your $20 million…

  51. The good thing is that Kwame went down in a similar fashion earlier in the year and it turned out to only be a sprain. So hopefully we have the same thing going here.

  52. And I’ll bet money the entire Lakers Front office was not in the locker room with Kwame after he got hurt…

  53. Well at least we dont have to S**t our pants anymore with the xray negative maybe we’ll just piss our pants tomorrow.

  54. Least Javaris is stepping up.

  55. I’m at Staples – the injury sucked the life out of the building. Watching Kwame fumble and bumble is bringing back sickening memories of last year. If it’s a torn ACL, the season is over.

  56. well the season is over for Bynum, and the season of bandwagoning is over, but hopefully the Lakers will get something out of this season.

    But then again, this game will be over too if we don’t step up.

    not looking good at all really.

  57. oops, didn’t meant that to be a definitive. forgot to put a ‘may’ somewhere above. i seriously hope that it’s just bynum being a little kid and overreacting to something very very minor.

  58. Fisher seriously doing the crunch thing.

  59. Can’t we just have one injury free season? Just one? Man does this suck. I can’t even put it into words. Watching Kwame and Turiaf unable to finish at the rim in the 4th quarter and you know those would be thunderous dunks for Bynum.

    Praying for it not to be a tear…

  60. Kobe playing clutch, thankfully Navarro tanked those free throws

  61. Harold, this isn’t Lakersground. We can’t have that negative jive around here!

  62. Kwame Brown, free throws for the game possibly…
    ugh those are some scary words!

  63. AB going down will hurt. I’ve become used to seeing KB and AB as our daily box score leaders in Points (KB), Assists (KB), Rebounds (AB), Steals (KB), and Blocks (AB).

    Surpise, a 37 pt performance by KB, and we’re lucky to be tied against Memphis.

    …and it’s now up to Kwame making free throws.

    which, incredibly, he hits. just one, of course…

  64. poor kwame…i kind of feel bad he blew that

  65. one better than none. its all or nothing now.

  66. Good Rambo that’s just crazy!

  67. here’s video of the bynum injury for anyone who missed it
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v06Df2FNG_4

  68. Win is a win. 14 games over .500 for us.
    Now we go to Seattle for a back to back. Hope we don’t come out flat.

    Now the focus is on Bynum. Poor Kid. Wishing the best for him. We will all sleep a little nervous tonight.

  69. that doesn’t look like a tear..(knocking on wood)…will pray for good results tomorrow. Lakers at least got the win hopefully the basketball gods will be nice.

  70. Had it become a curse?

    I was following the game online and I was kind of worried that something went wrong after drew’s stats stopped moving. I was worried that he might be injured or something.

    You guys confirmed my worst fear and it sucks!!!

    Initially I just felt bad but now I feel terrible thinking that it could be a curse, like that of the Boston Red Sox.

    I am praying for the best though. Maybe drew’s young body would heal faster than I think.

    Glad though that we escaped with the win.

    Could luck drew. Get well soon!!!

  71. i’m not even worried about it healing fast.

    I just want it to heal fully so that he comes back and can pick it up right where he left it. With Kobe, we can make the playoffs and if he can make it back by then, i’ll be more than happy.

    thank god the season’s still young.

  72. We’ll still win 50, unless he’s out over a month.

  73. awwww! the pain, the pain!!!

  74. They are calling it a sprained knee.

    Source: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Ara.WIPNnA4D07ETvkIO3EO8vLYF?slug=ap-lakers-bynumhurt&prov=ap&type=lgns

    I hope it won’t be too bad. Without Bynum, the Lakers are very average, as shown in their play against the Grizzlies after AB got knocked out. Does anyone know if this is the same injury that Amare went through?

  75. Bynum came out and talked to reporters. Says it’s not as bad as he initially thought. Was standing up and walking around on it and everything. Hopefully he’s just out for a short bit.

  76. i want him to sit out a bit longer than necessary just to be sure. you know how injuries are if you rush things. you overcompensate, end up injuring other places, or reinjure … argh.

    these are not the kind of things i want to think about this year. this year was to be our year of promise and hope.

  77. ah man, jones…terrific news. thanks for the update.

    let’s hope he will wake up feeling the same way.

  78. I thought the same thing when I saw him leave the court. Dang, he’s injured. I agree with harold, let him sit for a couple of days extra. Our next couple of games are not worth exposing him to further injury.

    Lakers got the W tonight. I am happy. Hopefully, PJ will remind Kwame that he is in a contract year. I hope Turiaf steps up like he did in Odom’s absence too.

  79. Wow! Your glass is half empty No. 77! The Lakers will be fine because other players are going to pick up the slack. We will find out real soon if this Laker’s squad is going to be a team, or a team of pretenders.
    Team’s find a way to continue winning regardless of who is out due to injury, suspension or family emergency. Let’s find out right now what this Laker’s team is made of.
    If a young team like the Portland Trailblazer’s can find a way to win when there center and no 1 draft pick went down with an injury, then there is no reason that this Laker team can not do the same.
    Yes, I am new to this site. But, I am sure not a wagoner! I have been a dedicated faithful Laker’s fan since the days of Gail Goodrich, Magic Johnson, Nick Van Excel, Eddie Jones, Shaquille O’Neal on through to this current Kobe Bryant!

    Laker diehards stay strong!

  80. here’s the post-game talk by Andrew. He seems relieved.
    as long as the MRI is fine, he’ll be back sooner than anyone of us expected.

    http://www.nba.com/lakers/multimedia/0708video.html

  81. if Bynum was up and about, walking after the game, thats a great sign. A lot of therapy treatment for the next week will help. If he was able to walk without a limp and able to put weight on it, even better. I suffered a sprained knee also 2 months ago. It usually takes 1-2 weeks to heal, and about a month to be completely pain free. the crucial part is keeping the swelling down, which im sure gary vitti did a good job on. Andrew is only 20 yrs old, he will heal fast. he’ll be back in a week or two at the most

  82. Kwame knows he’s in a contract year. That’s why he’s taking the ball to the hole every time he touches it.
    Too bad he sucks and can’t finish a play.

  83. Was at the game… the whole crowd got eerily quiet. Heard his sound bites and he sounded optimistic. Said he could put some pressure on it but it was sore when he took a step forward. We’ll see what happens but I agree let him take a breather. Don’t rush him back, as long as we get him back to get in a rhythm by the time the playoffs come around we’ll be fine. I just don’t want to see a drop like last year after our 23-10 start. Radmon should be back for tomorrow and Vujacic is staying home.

  84. I’m glad Drew came out with an optimistic statement but I will still wait for the result of the MRI still praying that his injury is not serious.

    Agree with everyone that he should sit a couple of games or more whether it is serious or not. Better to not have him this early than to not have him for the rest of the season.

    I’m not that troubled anymore. I still feel bad though.

  85. If this is simply the sprain that I hope it is, this could actually be a + for the Lakers. Kwame needs the work, and Andrew needs the rest. Even without Andrew, the Lakers should match up well against Seattle.

    This year, our depth has been our salvation. It almost seems like we schedule them to keep players fresh. Ronny and Luke just came back, VladRad and Sasha wnet out. Mihm is taking advantage of this part of the schedule and season to rehab.

    Nobody even mentioned the Tacos!

  86. Yes, echoing Travis and Jones, he said to Patrick O’Neal (the FSW reporter) that he could move that it was alright, he could put weight on it, it was just when he moved forward that it was painful. As he said, he’s not a doc. Seems like it won’t be too too serious (I hope). Coz really, Kwame, god love him, and I do, he really makes some good aggressive turns on offense sometimes and scores fairly easily-he gets good position, but that gamble in the last minute in an attempt to take it from Lowry/Conley….why is he is gambling 40 feet out? He’s like Shaq thinking he’s a fleet-footed guard. Still, good D and he made a FT. patrick O’Neal was talking to Ronny after and asked him if he was concerned about Kwame’s poor free-throwing and Ronny, quite rightly said, well, he made the game winner, what more do you want? Anyway, hope the big boy is alright……it really didn’t look good how hard he went down. Couldn’t tell where the force or the twist was. Anyway, hope he is well. We should be OK up in Seattle….should be.

  87. I didn’t get to watch the game but i’m hoping that Bynum gets better really really soon. Definitely a very important part of our success… he can probably afford to sit out tomorrow against Seattle but then we play, Phoenix, Dallas, Denver and San Antonio. This will be a true playoff like series of four games. I’m looking forward to enjoying some more success from this team…

  88. Thanks Goo for the video… I can sense it will be ok but everyone is right, he’ll be out atleast a week.

  89. Don’t really feel good about any part of this win. HUGE bailout with the no-call on Lowry on the last play. Kwame clobbered him, and kudos to Stu for calling it like he saw it. Obviously hope for the best with Bynum. I’m hoping we look to Ronny to play some 5, cuz I don’t know if I can handle 30+ minutes of Kwame dropping balls anymore. I guess I gotta give Kwame credit for hitting the game-winning free throw.

    On another note, how does Coby Karl get minutes? He’s quite clearly not an NBA player and he never will be. The only theory I’ve heard that makes any sense is that George cut a deal that they’d toss a game if we kept him around.

  90. I think he won’t play until the All-Star break… Let’s just see if Kobe doesn’t destroy team chemistry by being a ballhog.

    I’d rather see the team play teamball and lose a couple of games until AB returns than seeing Kobe explode for 40 a night and crippling us for the playoffs.

  91. Are the days of Sasha being known as “The Machine” over?

  92. This sucks. Now Phil can put Kwame in back as a starter. Things were working out the way they were supposed to. AB starting and Kwame as a backup. Just watch. Andrew will be coming off the bench when he returns. I hate this.

  93. “He’s quite clearly not an NBA player and he never will be.”

    Now there is a really stupid statement. The number of players on NBA teams, compared to the number of good players trying to get on teams, is quite small. The Lakers have a management team that has done a good job developing players over the last 3 yrs. Coby Karl has shown good basketball smarts – ala Luke Walton – and one of the better shooting strokes on the club in practice.

    The statement above just bags on him with very little thought to anything but what he did or didn’t do last night. Hey, we may be somewhat frustrated fans, but let’s accept that management is thinking about more than the very next game and not just dog on someone just to have something to say.

  94. With all of this negativity, we need to focus on the fact that we are deep. We should just wait and see how this squad reacts. Keep in mind we still have Kobe, LO, and Fish, so lets not be all doom and gloom…yet. The Bynum injury sucks, but lets focus on this (small) victory over the Celts.

    http://www.nba.com/powerrankings/

  95. Because it was Memphis, who had their one brief bout with the playoffs under Jerry West–playing against a Laker team with sudden fantasies of an NBA playoff this year against the Celtics–Andrew Bynum, writhing in pain, reminded me how quickly things can change. You have to have a plan B–and C–and D in your pocket all the time.

    The contrast between the strategically ordered and balanced Lakers, and the chaotically ordered Grizz reminded me that the Lakers are prepared to move forward with all of the players they have to a championship today–or carry out a trade to move in that direction tomorrow. When you’re 14 over .500 and rated best in the West, and talk of the league, you’re doing something right. The play of Kobe and Derek tells you that the vision of Jerry West has been somehow passed on.

    With the Grizz, you realize that they have abandoned the Jerry West model without a well thought through alternative. I’ll post more on this later.

  96. 92. Do not worry Muddywood. Everyone in the entire universe knows Bynum is the MAN and he will be back soon and before you know he will be back to putting up 17/12 on a nightly basis. The silver lining in all this is that Kwame will finally have to get in shape and lose all the fat he is carrying around, which means 4 weeks from now Bynum will be back kicking azz with the starting line-up and Kwame will be a better back-up b/c he will be in better shape.

  97. What are your thoughts on pursuing C Webb? Would he help?

  98. What’s with continuing references to C. Webb. He is a guy who should retire. Detroit didn’t resign him and he never played much defense when he could move. Now he is a statue and a stationary man in the triangle is deadly to our offense, never mind our defense.

  99. Wait…. C Webb?! Are you kidding me

    Signing C Webb although not a much of a defensive addition to Kwame, but signing him now and using him in tandem with Kwame while AB is out seems like an amazing prospect. moreover expect kobe to shoot more these next few games and if thats the case who cares if webb can run our O.

  100. I honestly wouldn’t mind taking a long look at PJ Brown or Chris Webber here. If Drew is gone a month or more, we cannot afford to lose a bunch of games especially with a tough road-heavy February schedule on the horizon. Brown nor Webber will provide the offense or defense Bynum does (Brown may on D) but it will help with our depth I think. For basically a vets minimum salary, I don’t how it can hurt. If Bynum is back in 2 weeks or so, though, I wouldn’t do it, but anything longer than a month is gonna hurt us.

  101. Samy, I agree with AB, Vlad, Mihm, and Turiaf either recovering from injuries or already hurting, it is perfect.

    Scenario: Deal Mihm for cash. Use cash for Webber (vet min) and leftovers against salary cap. Here you me Kupchak?

  102. Bynum’s agens is saying he will miss 8 weeks according to ESPN:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3196420

  103. Why. Why can’t we get an injury-free season. Why! WHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  104. All I can say is thank the GODS there wasn’t any tearing. Bynum is optimistic the 8 weeks will be a worse case scenerio, it’s mostly for rehab purposes. It may be anywhere from 4-8.

  105. hey guys, haven’t been keeping up with the post and comments lately but can anyone tell me what’s the status on Vlad Rad?

  106. oh, 8 weeks out….that is scary. a subluxation of the knee.

    gotta rest that till it heals. no tear, so he’ll be back 100%.

    but Christ, i think our chance at the division has been devastated. Hope we can sneak into a 5th seed and not have to face a Spurs/Suns in the first round.

  107. Bynum’s young. He’ll come back; the important thing is not to come back too soon and risk the playoffs and the future. The West is so evenly stacked from 1 to 8 that playoff matchups may matter less than usual. I wouldn’t rush him back for the difference between the four seed and the seven.

  108. The Dude Abides January 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    I’m relieved. I played tennis for ASU in the 1980s and then played the pro satellite circuits for a few years. One of my recurring injuries toward the end of my playing career (in my mid to late 20s) was a subluxation of my right patella. My typical recovery time was three to four weeks, and I’m not an especially quick healer. Once the swelling goes down after a couple days, Andrew will need to do some straight-leg strengthening exercises, then gradually progress in his leg-bending strengthening. This is an injury that can recur fairly easily if the leg isn’t constantly strengthened. Once I became a teaching pro around age 30, my injury never recurred, despite my continuing to play tournaments, because I kept my leg strong.

    I’m hoping and thinking that Andrew will only be out for three weeks. This injury isn’t that big of a deal, and will also force him to strengthen his legs…leading to further improvement as a player. I was squatting 225 lbs for three sets of 8 repetitions at age 35 despite having this condition, and at the time I weighed 165 lbs (I’m 5 ft 10). Being an extremely tall guy, Andrew shouldn’t really do squats, but if he does a leg press properly, it will really strengthen his entire lower body.

  109. Even last year, C Webb wasn’t mobile enough to be in this offense we’re playing this year, nor was he much use on defense. He won’t have gotten any better this year. What’s more, I don’t care how much he might be working out privately, he hasn’t played any NBA basketball at all this year, so he’s not gonna be anywhere near game shape. Maybe–I say “maybe”– we could have used last year’s Webber on last year’s Lakers (though I still would have had little enthusiasm for that), but I can’t see any use at all for this year’s Webber on this year’s Lakers.

  110. I forgot to mention this earlier ( as I try to be positive) – HOW ABOUT THAT SCRAMBLE!! Ariza, Crit, Lodumb on the floor. Literally. It was UGLY, but how about that effort!?! I was proud to be a fan of a team that would try that hard, for that long, and then finish with a pretty little Crit floater. Tenacity is now the word of the month.

  111. We have a 14 man roster no matter how you look at it. If signing Chris Webber to a one year deal, which is 100% what would happen, then why not add his veteran experience and whatever talent he has left to the roster? It would be stupid to not have him if we have the open roster spot and it doesn’t ruin our cap next year.

  112. Let’s hope Bynum is a fast healer.

  113. P.J. Brown would be useful; Webber is a stiff and always was–why do you think we manhandled the Kings for all those years?

  114. Great info #108. Glad to know what we can expect. I’m hoping he is not out too longer either, but I’d rather have him take the full 8 weeks if it ensures no further injury.

  115. Kobe has a hard time on the FT line tonight, which is quite unlike him… at least he is 50% from the field.

    Can’t see the game, but is Seattle HackBrowning? If he converted his free throws, he’d score double digits easily…

    Where’s our defense? Seattle is scoring at will…

  116. Wow. Kwame was as clutch as we could expect him to be. He’s got a double double, although it took him a full game and then some to get it.

    Our #2, #3… Lamar and Luke… have been ice cold. at least they’ve had double digit boards and 7 assists each…

    and this Kobe guy… i’m glad we have him.