Breaking Down The End of Lakers/Bobcats

Kurt —  January 28, 2009

With 4:21 left and the score tied 83-83, I hit pause in the DVR and decided right then and there to do a detailed breakdown of the final minutes of the game. It was bound to be instructive and exciting, right?

Well, it was exciting. But I’m not sure how much we learned and I didn’t do the overtimes. Still, the breakdown is below.

When a game goes to overtime, let alone double overtime, there are a thousand little things that could have gone one way or another and determined a win. Credit to the Bobcats, who out hustled the Lakers and wanted it more all night. Maybe the Lakers looked past the Bobcats, who knows, but they just got ground down into the kind of game the Bobcats wanted to play. The Lakers did not dictate the style of game, and to me that was the biggest mistake

Also (and most importantly), we wish Wallace and Ariza a speedy recovery.

Here’s the breakdown:

4:21, 83-83: Felton at the top of the key gets the ball to Bell at the elbow coming off a down screen, and he turns catches, jumps and turns in one move like he is going to shoot. But on the switch the long arms of Odom are coming at Bell, so he makes a smart pass to the mismatch the switch created — Sasha on Diaw. Diaw drives the lane and misses the running floater because Bynum came off Okafor to challenge the shot, but the now uncovered Okafor corals the rebound over the cylinder and puts it in.

4:02, 85-83 Bobcats: Fish gets the ball to Kobe at the elbow, who passes to Bynum in the middle of the paint. Bynum gave up a little position for possession, seems a little farther out (9 feet) than he wanted to be, so he breaks out the entire arsenal of jab steps and head fakes. He now has so many to show off he gets called for three seconds.

3:50 85-83 Bobcats: The Bobcats go with Diaw isolated on Odom on the left wing. He makes a move left, Odom goes with him but it gets Diaw down near the low block. He then goes with the fake left, shoot right turnaround fade-away. Nobody is blocking that shot and he hits it.

3:33 87-83 Bobcats: Fisher dribbles around at the top of the key while Sasha comes off two picks from the weakside to the strong, and Fish gets him the ball with some space to shoot behind an Odom pick. Sasha hit three of his first four, so he was feeling it, but he lost it at the end and just kept gunning.

3:17, 87-83 Bobcats: Diaw and Felton in the high pick and pop. Odom does a good job showing out on Felton to take away the drive. I don’t know what the Lakers call was here, but it looks like Odom thought they were switching and Fish thought Odom was going back to Diaw. The only thing going back to Diaw was the ball for an open three, which he hits. Time out Lakers.

3:06, 90-83 Bobcats: Gasol gets the ball and is a hard double way, way out on the wing, so he passes back to a wide-open Sasha near the peak of the arc. If you are a shooter, you have to take this, and Sasha is a shooter. Unfortunately, he’s a cold one.

2:53, 90-83 Bobcats: The Bobcats run the first pick and roll but Fish defends it well going under, on the second one the Lakers switch and Gasol and Fisher soft-trap Felton, who makes a jump-pass to Diaw at the top of the key. Diaw does have Sasha closing out on him but he has got to take that shot, instead he passes to Wallace at the three point line. Wallace who is shooting 26.7% from three on the season. The Lakers will let him have that, and he misses

2:33, 90-83 Bobcats: Kobe brings it up and nobody pressures the ball, so he goes straight to get good position down on the right block, then hits and easy fadeaway over the defender.

2:20, 90-85 Bobcats: This is the one where Wallace goes down. The Lakers have stepped up their defensive pressure on the perimeter, Fisher hounds Felton, who throws it to Wallace at the three point line straight away. Kobe goes for the steal and gets a deflection but Wallace regains control and now has a lane to the hoop and he takes it. Bynum comes over late and just turns sideway and gives the elbow in the ribs to Wallace. A deserved flagrant, that was no play on the ball.

I feel bad that Wallace was hurt as much as he was. Bynum deserves the donation to NBA Charities coming his way from the league office. But I’m good with the long-term ramifications here — I want other teams thinking there is a price to pay for coming into the lane. I want us to be physical like this now and again. (Even after this loss and this play some people pulled the toughness card, even though it was unrelated.) Like a pitcher who throws hard on the inside part of the plate, you will hit a few batters but you establish that area as yours. I want the Lakers to do that with the paint, particularly Bynum, and this is part of that.

Back to the game, Raja Bell on the flagrants, and the 86% guy from the line all season misses both. Still Bobcats ball and they milk a little clock before going pick and roll. Felton drives the lane but the ball gets stripped by Fish, however the ball stays with the Bobcats and they reset. In the scramble it is Fish on Diaw and the Bobcats recognize the mismatch and get the ball to Diaw on the block. Fish fouls. And Diaw misses both. For all the times you think of things the Lakers should have done to win this game, remember the Bobcats just needed to make one of those last four from the stripe.

1:50, 90-85 Bobcats: Actually Okafor grabbed the last missed free throw, but Kobe stripped him quickly then brought the ball up himself. This time Bell isn’t letting Kobe get to the block. So Kobe makes the exact same turnaround jump shot, just from the elbow extended to about 18 feet. Net.

1:40, 90-87 Bobcats: Felton tries to run a little time, but eventually under pressure gives to Diaw at 23 feet out. Gasol plays back, letting him have the long-range shot, but Diaw drives, a little right to left drive across the lane followed by the 12-foot fadeaway. Tough shot but he hits it.

1:20, 92-87 Bobcats: Just give the ball to Kobe on the wing, behind the arc and clear out. I mean, what would you do? Kobe goes jab step, jab step, three pointer. Bingo, to quote our Clippers friend.

1:10, 92-90 Bobcats: This time it’s Felton and Okafor on the screen and roll, but there is no driving lane. So Felton finds Diaw wide open at the three point line, Pau is sagging way back Diaw goes up with a good look over the late-charging Gasol. Miss, Lakers rebound.

:51, 92-90 Bobcats: Kobe on the iso on the right again, but this time he drives a little and gets to just inside the free throw line and looks like he is going up with the fade away — but instead it’s a pass to Sasha who slid into the corner for an uncontested three. Good look, but the only thing colder than Sasha at this point is a Russian winter.

Coming out of the box-out battle down low, Gasol and Diaw got tangled and went to the floor. Foul Gasol, Diaw to the line. He makes one of two.

:30, 93-90 Bobcats: Out of the timeout, the Lakers bring it up the length of the court with Kobe, who comes off a soft screen from Odom then tries basically the same thing he did last time, driving into the paint. This time it was Fisher slipping down a little on the arc and while Felton wasn’t as fooled it didn’t matter. Fish drained the three. He’s solid like that. Somebody should write a post about that guy.

:14, 93-93: No timeout from Larry Brown, which I like. Yes there is a game on the line and the Bobcats are in the playoff hunt at the bottom of the East, but this is still a chance for a team to learn. They know what works, let them give it a shot. However, I somehow doubt what Brown had hoped to see was an 18-foot Felton fadeaway. Maybe next time they do better, because Felton misses.

From there it’s OT. Then another. And I didn’t enjoy the second one as much.

Kurt

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152 responses to Breaking Down The End of Lakers/Bobcats

  1. (Brought over from the last thread)

    Last night was just a bad game for Kobe to foul out. Besides Bynum, Kobe was the only player that had any sort of consistent offense going. When he fouled out, all we needed was one basket or even one trip to the foul line to seal the game and we could not get it. And the fact is that even though Bynum has come on lately, we are not accustomed to featuring him on offense. So while he may have been our best option down the stretch, we are not used to force feeding him (like we are Gasol) and I don’t think we were conscientious enough of him on offense or intent on getting him the ball. By the time we really went to him on the block for buckets, it was too late. We were already down by 5 (or 7?) and even though he got a 3pt. play, it was of non consequence.

    We can make excuses about the game or come up with faulty reasoning about it, but the fact is we lost. It happens. I was mad last night and really frustrated when watching Boris Diaw due his Bernard King impression, but it happens. These guys get paid money to play this game too. Some can claim that this loss is indicative of something greater, but I don’t agree with that in the slightest. If you really believe that, were you on these boards saying the same thing on Deceber 26th? How about last Tuesday morning when Lebron had just left with a loss? The fact still remains we’ve lost 9 times. NINE(!) in 45 games. If anything can be taken away from a game like this it’s that we lose once (or twice) every 5-10 games and this was the loss. Now let’s go on the road and win some games. I have a feeling that we’ll be ready.

  2. Tough loss to swallow, but we knew this team played us hard and didn’t quite understand it. But now I think we all know we struggle against a few things…

    1. A big body down in the paint that bangs and uses their body to gain position. (Emeka Okafor)

    2. A pest that pisses Kobe off, which encourages him to take “me vs. the world” shots. (Raja Bell)

    3. A streaky shooter that continues to put up shots and crashes the boards hard. (Boris Diaw)

    4. A team that exerts more effort than us. (Bobcats)

    Gasol had a bad night, it happens. When he goes up against a big body that bangs him off his spot it takes away from his preferred movements. One of the dozens of times he tried to put it up soft, he got emasculated by Okafor. Yes, Gasol still doesn’t box out consistently and take it up strong every time. But he can’t be something he’s not. We’re going to need his jumpers and drives to the basket. I just hope him and Bynum can combat other tandems down low.

  3. Well said Darius. I hope the Lake Show can turn this into a 5-1 road trip. What confuses me is why the Lakers have so much trouble with the Bobcats? The ESPN game recap points out the Lakers are 4-5 against this team that has never been over .500 for an entire season.

    As far as losing Kobe and then having no offense as a result it really is a case of people getting accustomed to his amazing creative skills and not being in the zone themselves. If Kobe had not played the entire game I think we see a very different response in a possible OT.

  4. I think last night demonstrated two key points: 1) Ariza’s incredible value to this team both defensively and emotionally, and 2) somebody needs to explain to Sasha that when the game is at its finals minutes and the score is extremely close (or we are down) a PUJIT 3-pointer is exactly the oppossite of what the team needs – specially when Drew was being so effective on the inside. I love the attitude he has (“I can take the winning shot”), but when there a couple of minutes on the clock we need smart play not theatrics. I hope Phil and Kobe give him an earful.

  5. i actually thought last night was a good opportunity for bynum to grow a little bit. w/ kobe out, the overtime sessions were the first time (that i can recall, anyway) that he’s had the chance to be the man in a crunch time situation, and i thought he did pretty well. missed a chippie, but he did get a clutch and-one. i think he’s still trying to figure out the most effective way to make his presence felt, but i like that he has the desire to do that on both ends of the floor.

  6. Personally, I think this is the Bobcat version of Trailblazer hex.

    On the white board by my desk at work I keep track of how the Lakers are doing, and it says 35-9 up there right now. Yes, yesterday was a frustrating game and a painful loss, but as Darius has already said, it was only the 9th one of the season. These guys are professional basketball players and capable of learning from the experience, so in the end I think they will be fine. Looking at “35-9″ through the morning has been oddly comforting…

  7. Gasol seems like he is distracted about something the last few games, there doesn’t seem to be alot of mental focus. Shows how amazing Kobe is to bring it all the time.

    Feed Bynum in the post, good things happen, even if he passes. He was unstoppable last night.

    Maybe not a bad thing having a loss just before the start of an important road trip. The tendency would be to take Minn., Memphis and the Knicks lightly while looking ahead to Boston and the Cavs at the end of the trip. In December they lost the first two of their road trip.

    However, last night’s loss is the type the Lakers cannot afford if they want the best record in the league.

    But, it will be difficult to have the best record in the league this year. Boston and Cleveland both need home court against each other and also the #2 seed gets Orlando in the second round. So the teams in the east will be scrapping for every game until the end of the season.

    Also, the Lakers’ schedule is not favorable. Looking just at road games on the second night of a back to back, the Lakers have the following games left: Memphis, Boston, Utah, Golden State, Denver, San Antonio, New Jersey, Charlotte and Portland. (Already they had such games at the Clippers, New Orleans – twice, Philadelphia, Orlando, Golden State, and San Antonio). That’s 16 for the season (!) and 9 against very strong teams.

    Boston has left: the Knicks, Dallas, Denver, Memphis, and Washington. (They already had Indiana, Oklahoma City, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Chatlotte, Golden State, and Orlando).

    Cleveland has left: the Knicks, San Antonio, Miami, Sacramento, New Jersey, Orlando, and Indiana. (Already played: Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Utah).

    So, my thought is that with a big lead in the Western Conference, Phil’s realistic goal is not overall home court advantage, but the #1 seed in the West and a health, sharp team come the middle of April.

    That’s why the upcomming games at Boston and Cleveland are significant. The Lakers need to show they can win on the road in those places.

  8. According to the Charlotte Observer, Wallace was being observed for a possible collapsed lung.

    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/breaking/story/500489.html

    while I like the fact that Drew took the initiative to prevent an easy layup, I think things took a wrong turn and he ended up hurting Wallace. I would not be surprised if the league suspends him for 1 game (hopefully Minn) and fines him. I also hope he does the right thing and calls Wallace to apologize and tell him that he did not do it on purpose – it’s really the right thing to do.

  9. I’m glad some of us aren’t calling out the team as not being contenders. We went to the Finals last year with less talent available than we have this year. We still have the #1 record in the West. Yes, we have a lot of road games, but a great many of these are winnable. If memory serves me correct, it was around this time that, once adding Gasol, we went on a great run of wins – both on the road and at home. I hope Drew is suspended, but if he does we simply shift Pau back to center for a bit. Let’s go for 6-0 on this trip!!

  10. Correction – I hope Drew is not suspended.

  11. I’m actually with Kurt on this one. This was a hard foul but was not malicious. Plays like this remind me of a play where Iverson attacks the rim, gets fouled, takes a nasty spill and it’s a flagrant foul. On a different play, Shaq get’s hit hard by a very large man, stumbles, but ultimately doesn’t go down and it’s a regular personal foul. My point in all this is that the NBA often penalizes the result and not the action.

  12. I think a suspension is coming. Even though I agree the foul was not malicious, you do the math. Flagrant foul + player going to hospital + no suspension = controversy. Whereas if Drew is suspended for, say, a game, the Lakers might not protest all that hard just because of what happened to Wallace.

  13. I don’t think it merits a suspension. Bynum was out of position so he attempted to just oul him hard to prevent the dunk. No intent to hurt him, no swipe at the head. The hit just came at an unlucky position with Bynums elbow going up into Wallace’s rib cage at an angle. If his elbow was a little high or at a slightly different angle, then the foul would not have been nearly as bad.

  14. If it’s possible, I woke up this morning simultaneously disgusted with the loss and feeling better about our team. Let me explain why.

    We know that…
    – Pau is a super efficient 20-10 guy. One horrible game doesn’t change that.
    – Sasha and Farmar are better shooters than what they showed (4-16)
    – We can defend better and harder than we did
    – Ariza makes us a different team defensively

    We weren’t sure that…
    – Kobe could explode and take over a game with the latest injury. But he did
    – Drew was for real. He had two big games against weak competition, then a great game vs. Duncan. Now, against Okafor, a strong, physical center who’s a great shotblocker, he simply had his way. Thrust into the unusual situation of having to carry the team, he was fabulous. FABULOUS. I was so proud of him.

    So, in the larger scheme of things, the negatives of this game (Pau, Sasha, Farmar) were anomalies because we know our guys are much better than that. Meanwhile, it answered two of the greater unknowns we had, and answered them affirmatively, resoundingly.

    Two other things we already knew: Lamar and Luke occasionally make really stupid plays. It doesn’t make me feel good, but at least it’s something that can be figured into the planning.

  15. Thought the Cats did a good job of flattening out penetrators in the early stages of the game which gummed up the offense and caused a stagnation that lasted throughout the game.

    The slow start was a problem for Laker teams of the past, and this seemed to be a classic case of giving a young team confidence early on; that coupled with Bell and Diaw having no fear against the Lakers from their Suns days.

    The uncharacteristic chippiness in the comments last night tells me that we all have a desire for this Laker team to become fully formed sooner than later. But patience has always ruled the day here at FB and G, and this is a team that can gather resolve and experience in the “teachable moments” that arise from games like last night.

  16. Sadly, I think DTRC has a good point. The league might well suspend Andrew just to avoid a large controversy. Hopefully for the beginning of the road trip and not the end of it…

  17. Correction… DTC. Sorry for misspelling your name there :-)

  18. Got outworked, outhustled, outplayed. Other than Bynum, everyone else seemed content to just launch fadeaway jumpshots. And Charlotte got point blank layups the entire first quarter. A heartless, gutless effort by LA.

    In terms of Bynum’s foul, he didn’t go to the head and it wasn’t a tackle so I don’t think he deserves a suspension.

  19. We just can’t beat this team huh?

    Good thing they have no sot at making the Finals. Haha.

    We had every opportunity to win this game, and lost because they decided to not give the ball to Drew three straight possessions in the 2nd OT. He was abusing Okafor. Instead we go quick 3? Then 2nd (and 3rd) chance points killed us.

  20. The Bynum flagrant seemed to me like he had intentions of trying to stop the shot, but he underestimated how hard and fast Gerald was coming, and just decided to foul, and it turned out nastier than he meant. Wallace looked determined.

  21. the other Stephen January 28, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    i’d rather that andrew direct his physicality towards someone who really, really deserves it, like kendrick perkins.

  22. I wanted to add that Larry Brown used the Celtics defensive plan for controlling our offense. While they didn’t blitz Kobe in the same manner, they did pressure the ball, deny ball entries to the wing and ball reversals, and they played physically against our post players denying post position and trying body them every inch of the way. When you combine that with our lapses on defense (fronting for no reason, not being heady on backdoor cuts, slow rotations on penetration) that allowed high percentage baskets and it adds up to a loss.

    Missing Ariza hurt for sure, but in the 11 minutes that he played he was -7 in +/-. That’s not to say that he would not have fared better had he played more, I’m just pointing out that up to that point his minutes were a losing battle for our team. We can argue the merits of +/- either now or another time. In the end we didn’t play well as a team, despite Kobe and Bynum’s strong individual play.

  23. kneejerk,

    Heartless and gutless? I disagree with that. For some reason, we always have trouble with this team. Sure, we could have played better, but heartless and gutless efforts do not force two overtimes even when playing a somewhat bad game.

    Even in a loss, I;m glad to see them keep fighting back. Losses happen, but this team NEVER folds. See the positives also.

  24. Trying to forget the loss.

    Recent Bynum stats:

    • Last 4 games: 26 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, 65% fg’s.

    • Last 11 games: 20.3 point, 8.1 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 57% fg’s.

    Now consider that many of these games have been blowouts and his production is in relatively low minutes. Per 36 numbers for the same stretches (numbers if he had played 36 per game):

    • Last 4 games: 29.3 points, 15.2 rebounds, 3.9 blocks

    • Last 10 games: 23.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 blocks

  25. Some have alluded to this already, but the one good thing to take from last night’s loss was the play of Bynum, and more importantly, how his teammates noticed what the kid was doing last night and in recent games.

    I don’t ever recall a time when he was the obvious focal point of the offense, but in the latter parts of the game, especially OT, you could see the other guys looking to feed him. Drew was the guy they turned to, and the way he had played, it shouldn’t have been any other way.

    My disgust with another giveaway loss aside, I literally felt like I was watching Bynum grow before my very eyes last night.

    Barring injury or a career-killing love affair with Yoko Ono, the kid’s a future All-Star, and he’s showing that he can be the foundation of a great Lakers team for years to come, when 24 is playing with his daughters on the beach somewhere full-time.

  26. PeanutButterSpread January 28, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Poor LO, he played such great defense against Tony Parker and the Spurs and then in this game, for letting Diaw make the three, he’s getting chewed out (not on this site, but on the OC register).

    Pau had a lousy game. LO was doing his best Vlad impression. Kobe fouled out unfortunately. Trevor suffered a concussion. Sasha and Jordie were trigger happy. Drew could be facing a suspension. Things couldn’t have gotten worse.

    I hope this loss makes the Lakers stronger and they take it out on the upcoming road trip starting with the T-Wolves and ending with the Crabs.

  27. Bill Simmons is doing his annoying act again, this time ripping Bynum as overrated and saying L.A. fans believe Trevor Ariza will soon be among the NBA’s Top Five players.

    It’s not as if Lakers fans need one more reason to want to beat Boston come June, but knowing that that guy will suffer should it happen belongs on the list.

    In 2007 he whined and moaned about the Ray Allen trade and how the Celtics were doomed, then jumped on the bandwagon when the KG deal came through. Even in the opening round of last season’s playoffs, he wrote a column skewering the Celtics and Doc Rivers as a lot of overhyped guys who’d never won anything. Then they did win something, and he’s on his knees worshipping at their alter?

    Typical Boston fan. They deserve to lose, even when they don’t.

  28. Surprised no one’s brought this up yet. But my feeling is, Lakers win the game last night if Phil doesn’t sub Pau in for Drew with two minutes left in first OT.

    Lakers up 6 at that point. All momentum, Drew controlling the paint on both ends of the court. He didn’t look gassed. None of the usual reasons Phil would pull him.

    Why put in a cold ineffective Pau to close out the game? Why not leave Drew in?

    I was screaming at the TV when that happened. Both D and O went south after that.

    I just didn’t understand that move at all and really felt that cost the win.

  29. Typical any fan… we live and die by our mood swings ;)

    The Celtics are a good team this year, there’s no point denying that, and they are the reigning champions which means that their fans are going to be insufferable to fans of every other team, but especially to fans of the team the beat in the Championship Finals. Simmons happens to be an very enthusiastic fan that we unfortunately are exposed to a lot more than average, but I doubt he’s any more extreme than any other fan. That said, it is starting to get a bit old, and it would be a nice change of pace if he could find something else to write about.

    I have high hopes that I will be seen as just as obnoxious and annoying by the Suns fans I work with, when this season is over :)

  30. HA- ever since the Clippers game, any mention of Lawler’s “Bingo!” kills me. I think it’s because when I imitate it it sounds like Kermit the Frog with a quavering voice.

    I don’t take this loss as anything too significant in the long run, but it annoys the hell out of me when everybody knows the history with the Bobcats and they still come out and lay an egg like this. They can’t say they were surprised with the recent track record, so why not come in and set an early tone? It’s just a matter of one mistake is forgivable. Making the same mistake 8 times is maddening.

    And with ot without Drew anybody who thinks Minnesota is a cakewalk needs to check their recent record- best record in the league in 2009.

  31. Chris J,

    Who cares what BS thinks?

  32. J – it’s prob just phil using the opportunity to see which lineups mix best together in a crunch time situation. if there’s one thing that phil has shown over the years, it’s that he’s willing to sacrifice a W here or there if it means (1)gaining more understanding of team chemistry, and/or (2) the team grows a little bit through the experience.

  33. Does anyone else see the similarities between the young up and comer (Drew) starting to really shine and compliment the talented established superstar (Kobe)? We had this back in the late 90s when it was Kobe and Shaq – I hope we can many as many (or more) rings but have less of the drama.

  34. Chris J — As for Drew, our boy has plenty of time to prove Simmons completely wrong, which he’s been doing the past 2 weeks. (Counterargument is a) Look what Dwight Howard did to him, and b) it’s too small a sample, and we need to see more — and I think we will, that’s why we’re winning this year.)

    But as for Simmons’s bandwagoning… you’re way off. Simmons’s articles on the celtics last year were pretty clearly a reverse jinx. (He praised Turiaf as being able to stop KG in his finals breakdown — he couldn’t have been more obviously sarcastic.) A lot of his less astute Boston fans really ripped him too, which is funny because it exposed how kneejerk some of their fan base was.

    So let’s not fall for that same misdirection. Simmons is no bandwagoner: the guy is a totally irrational Boston homer.

    (I hate the C’s but you can’t hate on Simmons. At the very least you have to acknowledge he’s an entertaining writer and one of the few good ones that still gives a lot of attention to the NBA.)

  35. #30, Barry G. I don’t buy that reason. Although I believe that it is a valid reason in many situations, I don’t think it applies in this case.

    We’ve seen the Pau, LO, Kobe, Fish closing lineup before. We saw it plenty last year and this season.

    OTOH, Bynum has rarely played in a close tight game and especially one where he’s been dominant.

    This was the perfect situation to test how he meshes with Kobe and LO when Pau can’t go. Against a team he’s been dominating. Find out if he can make the right decision down the stretch.

    Does he continue to force the issue if Char decides to double team or make the right decision.

    This wasn’t one of those cases like Indy where you throw him out there for rebounding purposes and tell him to block out. This is to close out a grind out gritty game against an opponent who’s been outhustling you all night.

    Perfect situation to see how Drew responds, last night was a playoff type situation. Pau could be ineffective or be in foul trouble. Same with Kobe. That means Drew had to shoulder the load of closing out those two minutes.

    Pulling him out like that and then shoving the whole burden of the entire 5 minute 2nd OT was not fair to him and certainly the antithesis of small steps in growing.

  36. Great play-by-play Kurt of those last minutes of the game, as I was reading it, I felt like I had a radio on in my head trying to visualize what was happening again. Bynum certainly did not mean to injure Wallace at all, like it was said earlier, it was just the way they both met and was bad timing. We do need other teams to know that we will defend the paint.

  37. Definite suspension (short). It’s gotten too much publicity and Andrew’s clumsiness and lateness landed a guy in the hospital.

    You can’t play that irresponsibly.

  38. 34 – I don’t totally hate Simmons. He can be very entertaining, and if I didn’t think that way I’d never bother to read him (which explains why I completely ignore Rick Reilly’s column).

    There are countless times Bill’s lines have made me laugh aloud, which is high praise for his talents as a writer.

    That said, if he were the sole representative of the annoying Boston fan subcategory rather than the epitome of that subgroup, I may cut him some slack when he goes into pro-Boston mode. But we’ve all met completely insufferable Boston fans, I’m sure, and the fact that that city’s teams have become winners again only reminds me of this each time I come across one.

    I should heed wondahbap’s advice and ignore the guy when he puts his green on. Sometimes easier said than done. Regardless, he’s wrong about Bynum. I hope he gets a lesson on how wrong come June.

  39. The thing I’m most curious to see with Bynum… can he put a 20 and 10 on the Celtics? Last year he was clearly outplayed by Perkins. This year they played to a draw. If he can do to Perkins what he did to Okafor, the Celtics are in trouble

  40. 38 – Yeah I hope so, and I don’t think it’s going out on a limb here to expect Bynum to really round out into a force by this playoffs.

    But I gotta disagree with one part: the *last* time you want to ignore Simmons is when he’s wearing his Bird jersey. Trust me, that’s when he’s at his funniest.

    Besides, dismissive Boston fans are annoying, just like dismissive Yankees fans, or Lakers fans too… but there was no more uplifting place to be than browsing a Simmons mailbag after the Pats dynasty came crashing down on David Tyree’s helmet. The Sports Guy can laugh at himself afterward.

  41. His name said it all. How did we not know that Blount would go down this path??

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3867494

  42. Did anyone else notice that Ariza is out indefinitely for now, with “minor impairment” from his concussion? Grrr :(

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AgBk5uSXgrO6ruoR2xSxFNy8vLYF?slug=ap-lakers-ariza&prov=ap&type=lgns

  43. My take on the Bynum-Wallace collision is that Bynum was in a bad position and Wallace was coming hard. I’m not sure why or how Bynum ended up leading with his elbow, but those two were headed for a collision. From Wallace’s point of view, it’s not like the Lakers had done anything to stop that drive all night, so he had no reason for caution.

    I suspect a suspension for two reasons: 1) the injury; and 2) Bynum has put a couple of hard fouls on people in recent games. Not malicious, but hard. And I think that’s the sort of thing that might make the league office want to send him a message. (I’m not sure if that’s giving them too much or too little credit.)

    I think we saw the downside of the all-Kobe crunch-time offense last night. It’s exciting to watch, but I’d much rather see Kobe slicing and dicing in the system, finding the open bigs as well as the three-point shooters. Last night the Lakers knew Kobe was going to do his dance with Bowen for 3-23.99 seconds, so they had to stay out of the paint even if they wanted to try to move position. When Kobe is off, those become one-and-done possessions. And when Kobe is out, nobody else knows what to do because they’re used to being passive.

  44. espn classic is showing the Lakers/warriors game when it went into overtime…

    kobe and shaq go for like 50 each…

    awesome times

  45. Group – We’re talking suspension? For what, Wallace having weak ribs? Dude’s been injury prone his whole career. Please.

    37 – Clumsy, late, and irresponsible?

    Kobe was the one that got beat and let Wallace go straight down the middle. You set your bigs up for failure when let that happen. To cover for that there’s not much to do but foul or let him go.

  46. J – sorry about that; was recalling that moment as kobe being out already, so i was thinking phil was experimenting w/ gasol being the #1 vs bynum being the #1, and him keeping one out so there was enough space for the other to operate. if kobe was around, then you’re right, i’m not sure what the move accomplished.

  47. Hey, could someone post the link to that Simmons article? I can’t seem to find it.

    And that was a great game last night. Too bad i accidentally hit the “Live” button on my dvr and it skipped from the end of regulation to the final score. I was pretty much over watching the rest of it at that point.

  48. http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3863472

    Article’s really about Durant and Manny. He does take some jabs at Bynum. I took it in stride.

  49. Bynum was great last night. He is realizing that potential we all expected of him. Hopefully he can keep it up and continue with the intensity and development.

    Pau on the other hand had a really bad night. It kind of reminded me of the finals last season. He becomes turnover prone and sloppy when he’s not able to get his offense going. Hope he performs better on our little road trip.

    I do believe that we would have won that game if Phil did not substitute out Bynum for Pau. We were up and if Bynum was still in the for the last 2 mins of OT and kept his defensive instensity up we would have held on to win. Pau was not doing anything offensively or defensively to deserve to be in. I understand that Phil likes him to be in during the closing minutes, but that was a mistake this time around. We’ve seen that lineup and if the player is not performing, and the other option is having an impact he (Drew) should have been kept in.

    Just because that’s the closing lineup doesn’t mean we have to do it every time. Being that Phil likes to teach lessons in game, it would have been much more beneficial to have Drew in during that stretch than Pau. It would have given him confidence and showed that besides Pau and Kobe, that we have other options to turn to in order to pull out a close win. The team needs to believe and know that it doesn’t just come down to Kobe and Pau. There will be other nights when Kobe and Pau are off (or fouled out) and someone will need to step up. Drew did last night and Phil yanked the rug from under him and then expected him to pull through after Pau failed in the 2nd OT when it was too late.

    I don’t know what the Bobcats have on us, but we just can’t win against them. It’s like the Lakers owe them something from a their last life or something karmically cosmic. I don’t get it.

    It’s still just one lost against a team we constantly lose to. We should only freak if we had to face them in the finals. Not happening yet. Hopefully both Drew and Ariza will be able to play against the Crabs and Leps.

  50. I just went and googled Bynum’s flagrant, and WOW. People talking about a month long suspension! I didn’t really think it was that big of a deal. To me, it looked like he came late, and tried to just grab Wallace so he WOULDN’T get hurt. We’ve seen it before plenty of times.. a player goes up.. the defender grabs his body so he doesn’t make the shot, but doesn’t hit the ground hard either. It looked to me like Bynum tried to do that, and his elbow just got caught in the wrong spot. Clearly obvious that the elbow was in no way intentional.

    Honestly, when i saw that, i was stoked. What is it that we have all been saying about needing to get tougher, needing an enforcer out there? Looks like we got him. Just hope he doesn’t back off because of some ridiculous suspension.

    Oh, and I do hope Wallace recovers swiftly. I remember watching him back when he played for the tide. Hell of a baller.

  51. The Dude Abides January 28, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    28 J – Actually, I brought up the Bynum substitution on the previous thread, and I wasn’t the first poster to do so. Here is my post from this morning:

    “Ugh. I have no idea why Phil took out Drew with two minutes left in OT and a 5-pt lead. At the very least, after Kobe fouled out with 40 seconds left and a 3-pt lead, why not bring back Drew to guard the paint so Pau and his 75-inch wingspan can guard Diaw at the 3-pt line? Drew was dominant down low at both ends, especially in OT. That bad personnel decision cost us a win, and perhaps will cost us Drew for a game because of Wallace’s injury. I’m sorry, but putting Luke Walton in for a crucial defensive possession instead of Andrew Bynum is coaching malpractice. Or is this another of Phil’s “big picture” in-game decisions?”

    Perhaps Phil thought that Drew was gassed when he took him out with two minutes left in the first OT. The real head-scratcher was bringing Luke in when Kobe fouled, instead of bringing Drew in. I agree with you regarding using Drew in the final minute of a one-possession game. Why not give him the experience and see how he reacts? I was screaming at the TV too.

    Disclaimer: This statement in no way is meant to criticize the team’s overall play. It’s a long season, and they will lose to some teams who they shouldn’t lose to. I realize PJ has his reasons for doing what he does. I have no idea why he is jerking Drew around, especially considering how well the kid has been playing the past few games. PJ is a Hall of Famer, and nothing is f***ed here, man! New s**t has come to light!

  52. Kobe could not play much defense with the game on the line and straddled with 5 personals. Maybe somebody should do a breakdown of the 5 personals and see if any of those are related to Bell. If they are, we may see some Deshawn Stevensons saying Kobe is overrated and then draw the assignment to cover Kobe a la Bell.

    Drew is coming along, but PJ isn’t quite hopping on that bandwagon yet. Maybe he’s careful not to place too much burden on our young center, in case he fails to deliver (bad blow to psyche) or in case he actually does (Shaq-Kobe part deux). Anyway, happy to see him develop, and if we have to play it safe to have full strength and harmony come June, I won’t mind losing to the Cats on the way.

    Ariza is out for a while, which I guess is to be expected after a concussion. So we’re back to our last year’s team plus Gasol (or Bynum), which isn’t that bad. Hope he gets better soon.

    Off the wall… I’m a couple clicks away from ordering Mad Game by Lazenby and The Last Season by PJ. Books cost less than $10 used (combined) but shipping is $25 which is preventing me from buying them… are they any good? (Enjoyed SSOL, but not as much, really liked Basketball Almanac from FreeDarko)

  53. Completely off topic:

    I just watched the last few minutes off the 2000 Lakers Vs Golden State game where Kobe and Jamison both went for 50. Not a good game but it was kind of fun to see all the old guys that played that year. I had forgotten about Mike Penberthy. Was that the only year he played? It was also fun to hear Chick announce the game. By far the greatest announcer of all time. It would have been great to hear him announce the game where Kobe went for 81.

  54. Bynum threw an elbow. Do that and connect w/another player and it’s a suspension,usually 1-2 games.

    The first replay seemed to show Bynum throwing it upwards,which can be taken as head-hunting and that the League really comes down hard on.

    Drew better be really contrite to the League,and it being a “first offence” will help. But He’s sitting out at least 1 game,prob 2-3.

  55. The context of BS’s “overrated” comment is the “Lakers would have won if they had Ariza and Bynum” meme, which has gotten under his skin. BS can be entertaining, but it’s hard to take him seriously once you realize he uses his national column to play weird head games in an effort to gain his team a psychological edge.

  56. The hyperbole of the Wallace incident is absolutely baffling! Bynum didn’t “throw” an elbow in any way, shape, or form. Bynum had his hand up, which is obviously the natural inclination of a shooter, and Wallace unfortunately ran into his elbow had a high velocity. Nowhere in the replays show evidence that he was intentionally trying to throw an elbow. Malone threw elbows, but that definitely was not that. A flagrant 1? Most likely. A suspension? That, in my mind, would be absolutely ludicrous especially considering harder and more vicious fouls that I’ve seen guys get away with (for example when Kobe gets mugged at least every few games).

  57. natural inclination of a defender*

  58. And sorry for the double post, but I must add this incident illustrates a greater problem of the officials and the league reacting to the result of the foul rather than the action, as I believe someone previously mentioned. No one would even be talking about a possible suspension if Wallace hadn’t got hurt.

  59. #54 …unless you are Shaq and doing it towards the head of a 17-year old kid who just dunked over you in one of his first NBA games. Then it’s not even a flagrant ;)

  60. Kobe let Wallace go by him on that drive that he got injured because Kobe can not stick his hand out to flick at the ball, stab at the ball, nor can he get in a real defensive stance. Kobe is so friggin good that everyone forgets that he is supposed to be out with surgery on his wrist, now he has a finger that needs rest.

    I love him because he could go on the injured reserve list just like every other player in this league with injuries, yet he does not!

    So when anyone wants to ask who the best player in the league is, you tell them “hands down, its Kobe because he is literally playing the game with no hands!”

  61. I believe that Bynum should and will be suspended. Whether he deserves it or not is not the issue at hand. The point is he instinctively went up to try and stop penetration, was too late, and caught Wallace in the air with an elbow to the midsection. Obviously, we’d like to believe that it was not intentional, but Andrew was wholly out of position and simply went up to stop Wallace’s penetration without thinking of the consequences. This isn’t a problem for us; we want Bynum to be aggressive. But the league will set a precedent where players have to think before they go up for a block, insuring that they do not act carelessly and without regard for the safety of their opponents.

    I think we all know Bynum’s act was not malicious in any form, but the facts are the facts; Andrew came late, couldn’t reach the ball, and took out Wallace, injuring him in the process. If this had happened to Kobe, we would all be screaming for a suspension, and the more zealous of us would be screaming for expulsion. And because Andrew is on our team, we believe that he is exempt.

    I doubt the league will simply let this slide; that would be like saying “Yea, you injured the guy, but it’s ok because we know you didn’t mean to.” That’ll open a whole can of worms that the league will not want to deal with. Thus, I think a 1-2 game suspension is fair for all parties, hopefully with the league deliberating quickly, so Andrew won’t have to miss Boston or Cleveland.

  62. If this had happened to Kobe? Kobe gets hammered harder than that on a regular basis when he drives to the hole, sometimes not even drawing a REGULAR foul. The only difference is the result. I’ve seen similar actions taken towards Kobe, but fortunately for us, he has not got hit in the wrong places like Wallace and he’s also a tough son of a gun. Like someone said earlier, if Bynum’s elbow had been a little above or below where it hit, Wallace would not have suffered such a severe injury and we wouldn’t even be talking about this.

    I don’t buy the opening of a can of worms argument either. If you’ve ever watched basketball from the 80s, you would know that Bynum’s foul was child’s play. In fact, that would have been considered a good, hard foul back in the days of Magic and Bird where basketball was being revived and had arguably its best era. Whether you like it or not, basketball IS a contact sport and accidents are bound to happen from time to time. I for one, don’t like where the league has gone in terms of being over reactive to hard fouls and not allowing minuscule contact on the perimeter.

    Also, it’s astonishing to see how people, our fans included apparently, can go from accusing the Lakers “weak and soft” to “vicious and dangerous” after the occurrence of one hard foul. I feel bad for Wallace, but I’m glad that we finally have an enforcer who will send the message to teams from time to time that guards can just waltz inside and expect no consequences because frankly, I’m sick and tired of the Lakers being labeled as a soft team. When the Pistons or Celtics do it, it’s tough, great defense. When the Lakers or Bynum does it, it’s an unwarranted attack. People need to make up their damn mind already.

  63. No, some of us are real basketball fans and are tired of this new ejection & suspension, fine happy after-the-fact NBA. Read Daniel’s post 62 for more. Trade Wallace for Kobe, Lebron, whoever. No suspension necessary. The continued debate even boggles the mind.

    Man(sighs aloud), the whole world has gone soft…

  64. 51 – The dude. My bad, I missed the previous post comments. Agree about the Luke substitution.

    Also agree that I’m not criticizing the overall season. This was just such a head scratcher of a decision by Phil.

    52 – Harold. I can buy the argument that Phil is trying not to kill Bynum’s psyche. But in this case, if that was the reason, why put the entire burden of the 2nd OT on Bynum? He was the central focus of every trip. Why not leave him for that last two minutes with Kobe along side him? That’s a good security blanket to learn how to close out games.

    And he couldn’t have been that gassed if he played the entire 2nd OT. Certainly he could have finished the first OT. Just didn’t understand it.

  65. Clutch, I refer to it as the chickafication of our society. And not in the good Chick Hearn kinda way either.

  66. I miss the 80’s too. But they’re gone. And the 80’s physicallity degenerated into the squalid Piston/Knick/Heat defenses that threatened to choke the enjoyment out of the game.

    I just re-watched the play on YouTube.
    Folks,it looks a heck of a lot more malicious than I thought. Bynum’s gone for several games at a minimum.
    In slow motion you see Bynum rotate his body and throw his elbow upwards at Wallace,following thru w/his shoulder. There was zero effort at the ball. Wallace head snaps back from the impact and he immediately stops elevating and goes down.(That means it was a thrown elbow,not an arm that got in the way.)
    And if this happened in the 80’s,there would have been a massive brawl and the next time Kobe tried to drive the lane some Bobcat would have tried to cut his legs out from under him. The 80’s weren’t all nice.

  67. Sorry, I’m going to disagree with Daniel and agree with Zephid. I wouldn’t be surprised if the young man was (were? grammar police, anyone?) suspended. I only saw the replay on Sports Center but elbowing a guy (wherever it might be) while he’s full tilt to the basket is not okay. Placing one’s elbow in the lower back in the post is one thing; forearm shivers on an airborne player are just not part of the game, nor should they be, in my opinion. I don’t put much weight into the 80s argument. I don’t want to watch basketball with Kermit Washington and Kevin McHale-types getting the best of those who have talent and athleticism. That’s just not what I want to see. I want to see perimeter players use their ability to amaze us. I want to see interior players use great footwork. I don’t want to see enforcer behavior rewarded with wins and paychecks. That’s just me. If you want that, I hear the NHL needs fans.

    If the league decided that Bynum needs to learn how to not throw his elbow/forearm into an oncoming player, i’m all for it. Injured players do not benefit the fans and do not benefit the quality of play, which is probably why announcers always say, “hopefully he returns soon.” They know that when players are playing at their best and without injury, the game on the court is simply better.

    According to the article in the LA Times Wallace suffered a partially collapsed lung and had a chest tube put in. I am one of the lucky few ::sarcasm:: to experience a similar injury and treatment. I can tell you that a collapsed lung is one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced (I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without falling down) and that a chest tube is even worse. Imagine a kitchen knife sinking into your side and your back every time you breathe and that’ll get you close. Mine was different than Wallace’s in that mine was spontaneous and not the result of trauma. My thoughts really go out to Wallace, especially since he has a broken rib on top of the lung issue. My two night stay in the hospital produced a terrific self-urination story, but that is the only positive I took away from a nightmare of a weekend.

    If Wallace’s injury is similar to mine, his lung situation will heal relatively quickly. (Unfortunately he’ll still have to contend with the broken rib.) I was feeling 95% within about two days (the chest tube actually causes the most discomfort. once it was removed, a lot of the pain subsided) and the open wound from the chest tube healed in about a week and a half or so. I’ve had no ill-effects from the collapsed lung and that was four years ago tomorrow. From then on, he’ll just be dealing with the broken rib, which is probably a much longer-lasting injury.

  68. I’m sorry, but I’m just not buying the argument that Bynum intentionally elbowed Wallace on the play. I’ve watched the replay over and over on youtube, in slow motion and from multiple angles, and I just am not seeing any upward motion of the elbow and minimal forward motion of the elbow into Wallace. To me, it seems that Bynum was coming in from the side and as he was reaching out to try to defend the play, Wallace met his elbow at an unfortunate angle and spot on his body. That’s just me…maybe I’m just not seeing what others are.

    Nomuskles, I think your comment about that foul inducing a bench emptying brawl helps my case if anything. The fact that not only was there not a brawl, but there was no retaliation of any form with no immediate hard feelings from the other Bobcat players. I think that should tell you something about how people up close and personal with the play felt about it. If they truly felt that the foul was malicious, I doubt they would stand by as their player was on the floor in pain with no confrontation.

    I think Larry Brown’s reaction to the situation also strengthens my case. He did not feel that the foul was malicious and thought it was no more than a hard foul. This also speaks to the character of young Drew who obviously felt bad after the unfortunate incident.

    http://thelakersnation.com/blog/2009/01/28/larry-brown-tells-us-bynum-waited-at-the-bus-and-apologized-to-him/

    I don’t want to come off as unsympathetic to Wallace because I wish him a quick and speedy recovery and can’t imagine the pain he’s in right now. I just truly believe the elbow was not intentional nor malicious. I also find it hard to believe Bynum believes a suspension after all the hard fouls that I’ve witnessed over years of watching basketball that were very similar to Bynum’s but just did not result in an injury. Punish the action, not the result.

  69. I’m sorry Nomuskles, that was Stephen who made the comment about the foul inducing a bench emptying brawl in the 80s, not you. My mistake.

  70. believes Bynum deserves a suspension*

  71. From ESPN:

    Bobcats guard Raymond Felton, who was on the floor during the play, said, “I’m not going to make a big assumption, but was it a hard foul? No question. But I don’t think Andrew Bynum was trying to hurt somebody.”

    So far we have Wallace’s coach AND teammate under the opinion that Bynum’s foul was intentional or malicious. Brown says he doesn’t think the league should take action. Do you really think they would be saying those things if the foul was really as bad as some of you are espousing? I don’t think any of us should claim to know more than those who are closest to Wallace and were on the floor when the play happened. Please, lets give our own the player the benefit of the doubt.

  72. was not intentional*

  73. okafor was playing like an offensive guard in football. by my calculation he should have fouled out in the 3rd quarter. constant moving screens through the lane as felton drove.

    We can say it about many games but the refing was the least consistent I have ever seen. For a while they’d let things go and then call some ticky-tack thing (and I mean on both ends of the floor, not just against LA). just a bad bad game to watch on many levels, let alone how the lakers played. but when you combine it with that poor officiating, it makes it even harder.

    I vow never to watch a LA v. Charolette game again.

  74. People are judging Bynum by the result of the foul, not the foul itself. If Wallace hadn’t been injured or if it was just a bruise, then no one would be saying that he should be suspended. But because of the injury, now everyone is saying that it was intentional and malicious and that he should be suspended for like 3 games. Bynum was out of position so he reached in to stop the dunk. Wallace collided with Bynum’s elbow at a weird angle and had a bad injury. No intention, no swipe at the head, no throwing of an elbow. People are fouled that hard almost in every game, this time though it just happened to lead to a bad injury. I don’t think it merits a suspension.

    Oh and Andrew felt bad about it too. Apparently he waited by the Bobcats bus to apologize after the game.

    “That kid waited at our bus, trying to get to Gerald, and he apologized to me,’’ Brown said. “If he had a history of that (rough play), I might feel different, but I just think it was a hard foul.’’

    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/story/502200.html

  75. That there was no brawl is because the League cracked down on hard fouls,leaving the bench,etc.

    I’m sure all Bynum wanted to do was commit a hard foul and send a message.(Plus he’s prob had his coaches telling him to be more physical,more aggressive.) But he made no attempt at the ball,threw an elbow that landed ABOVE his shoulders and that is going to get him suspended. Kobe got suspended for a far lessor swing,Dirk got a game this season for a weak forearm to the chest. Land an elbow,miss a game. Fortunately for the Lakers Stu Jackson is no longer doing punishments,because he was very harsh. As is Bynum prob would have gotten 1-2 games w/no injury,but the fact he collasped a lung indicates a very harsh blow,making for a much more severe penalty.
    Of course I also believe the Blazers should have been fined a their 09 First for their letter regarding Miles.

  76. Nice one Kurt, you jinxed it with Wallace/Bynum!

    Pretty soon some big will hurt Kobe the same way, Kobe will be done for the season and then I can come back and say that “I want other teams thinking there is a price to pay for coming into the lane”

  77. I’m glad this happened for the same reasons Kurt is glad. Two things are unfortunate:

    1) The rather severe injury to Gerald. However, the guy is known for being injury-prone and he throws his body into the paint at such speeds that he is his own worst enemy, imo.

    2) Andrew catching all the flak. He is doing the right thing, establishing post presence and giving us something we sorely lack. No doubt in my mind he never intended to hurt Wallace beyond a good hard foul. His actions stand out even more in contrast to the rest of his team which has been dubbed ‘soft’. Nobody expects to see an Oakley-type play on D from the Lakeshow. And therein is the whole point, as Kurt noted. Make teams think before entering that lane. Andrew did the right thing for the good of our basketball team’s long-term success.

  78. For the record, since I’ve gotten a few comments suggesting I am advocating injuring people, let me be clear (which I thought I was in the post, but reading comprehension is a dying art):

    The severity of Wallace’s injury sucks. I feel bad for him. And I love his game (to slightly break one of my own rules, he is the one guy right now I’d consider trading Odom for, I like him that much). Bynum likely will get a game because of this and I can live with that as fair.

    But, first, the severity of the injury was a bit of a fluke — we see hard collisions in the NBA quite often and something this severe is rare. It also was obvious that there was no intent for this to be this bad — even Larry Brown said so after the game. Bynum went for the hard foul and it turned out bad, which is unfortunate.

    I’m saying that a hard foul on a guy is part of the game. I am saying the Lakers can and should do that at times, just as teams can and should do that to the Lakers in a game where they are driving the lane. But nobody should be trying to injure anyone. Bynum wasn’t and I’m not advocating that.

  79. I appreciate the analysis and cordial debate going on regarding this subject. It’s pretty easy to get into a tit for tat argument, but most everyone above has provided a respectful opinion on the subject and not gotten person. props to kurt and everyone else for encouraging such a normal level of debate, instead of the usual youtube shenanigans.

  80. Fine here’s my not profanity laced comments on your statement.

    You are the best team that is most dependent on a small player. And you are advocating injuring players to send a message to the league like a pitcher throwing inside. This is incredibly stupid.

    You are the team with the most to lose from this style of play. What if the Celtics decide to do the exact same thing with Baby Davis to Kobe? You would not make the playoffs and would be screaming for Davis’ head, this is not a style of basketball that you should be advocating, nor is the play by Bynum defensible.

    You tell teams to not enter the lane by blocking their shot, not by elbowing them in the ribs. Have fun without Kobe Bryant, [edited].

  81. Sean, if you think that Kobe and the Lakers in general don’t get fouled hard in the paint, I would question how many Laker games you have watched.

  82. When was the last time Kobe was sent to the Emergency room?

    Would you have accepted another team saying yea! that’s how you do it, elbow him to the chest?

    C’mon you would be furious that the league allows this kind of play. So you’re telling me you don’t get upset when/if a player hits Kobe in the body instead of going for the shot?

  83. Collapse lung? Really? You’re OK with that? There’s playing hard… and then there’s playing hard.

    By the way, you can thank us (CHA) in advance for knocking Boston out of the first round of the playoffs. Heard it here first?

  84. Sean, I think you are focused on the result, not the action. There are hard collisions every night in the NBA, Wade has like three a game it seems. Kobe gets his share of those.

    However (and I think this is where we differ), Wallace going to the hospital because of this was a fluke result. It was not Bynum coming over and thinking “I’m sending this guy to the hospital” it was Bynum realizing he was late on his rotation and coming over to commit a foul. A hard foul. But not one where the intent was to knock a guy out of the game. That was the fluke result that happens now and then. I think the NBA should focus its fines and such on the action and not the results, but that may be the minority view.

    If Kobe got a hard foul without intent and the result was he was hospitalized for a day or so and missed a month or whatever, I wouldn’t be calling for the head of the guy who fouled him. If you read this blog much, you’ll see I’m not that reactionary. That would be a fluke result, and it is part of the game. To use the baseball analogy again, if you throw at a guy’s head that’s one thing. But Bynum threw inside hard but low and it just happened to catch the guy in the rib and knock him out. That is a very different thing.

  85. Alright Kurt I apologize for calling you names, that was clearly stupid of me. But at the same time, there are certainly classier times to celebrate hard fouls.

  86. This has gone off of the deep end into the realm of crazy. No one should be suspended for simply playing hard, and that’s all Bynum was doing. There was nothing dirty about that play.

    If the end result is what the NBA is going to use as a basis of suspensions, that’s just garbage. Should Odom have been suspended last Jaunuary because Bynum landed on LO’s foot, costing him the rest of the season? The end result was bad then, too, right?

    If a baseball player hurts a catcher while sliding into home plate, does that warrant a suspension for the baserunner?

    How about the defensive back who makes a clean hit that happens to break the tight end’s hand? Should the NFL suspend the d-back for playing the game the way the rules allow it to be played?

    Not to mix sports examples, but a foul is called when a player violates the rule. No more, no less.

    And Bynum was called for a foul. It was not an attempt to injure anyone, he wasn’t trying to do anything more than stop an easy basket, and therefore it should not warrant a suspension. The end result for Wallace is not relevant in this discussion (though I hope he recovers soon).

    And my position would be no different if that we Kobe on the end of the play. Use good judgement and you can tell the difference between the Bynum/Wallace crash vs. something like Kevin McHale’s closeline of Rambis in 1984.

    If we can’t use good judgement and simply need blanket rules such as Injury=suspension, why even bother watching contact sports?

  87. How can you say that you wish Bynum would do that again? There is a difference between sending a message to another team with a hard foul and simply acting recklessly and putting another player’s health at risk. Protecting the paint is a huge part of defense in the NBA, and the “no lay-up rule” extends from NBA champions to the D-League. But Bynum could have accomplished the task of “protecting the paint” without collapsing a lung or fracturing a rib.

  88. Bynum should absolutely commit hard fouls when the situation calls for it. Whether he is suspended or not, I hope the fact that Wallace was supremely unlucky and had to be hospitalized doesn’t frighten Andrew from playing hard in the future.

    Until he has an established history of injuring players on the court, let’s give the kid the benefit of doubt and assume that he meant only to commit a hard foul, not to injure anyone. Innocent until proven guilty, anyone?

  89. Ariza update from the Lakers:

    Trevor Ariza again met with team physician Dr. John Moe on Thursday morning, and again showed slight improvement from the concussion he suffered Tuesday against Charlotte.

    Ariza has not been cleared to practice, but will join the team flight to Minneapolis on Thursday afternoon. He’ll be re-examined once again on Friday morning.

  90. David you are missing the point. There was no intention of injuring Wallace. The fact that Wallace got injured was a fluke. Collisions that hard occur in almost every game. As Kurt said Wade gets hit that hard multiple times a game. If Wallace did not get injured no one would be advocating for a suspension. The NBA should not penalize the result but the action. And my position on the matter would not be reversed if it were Kobe that got hurt.

  91. Kurt, I agree with you wholeheartedly on this one. Thank you for expressing my feelings more eloquently than I have.

    For all of you who are calling for Bynum’s head, I ask you one simple question that I haven’t seen answered yet. If Bynum had committed the same exact action/foul and Wallace had just popped back up and knocked down two free throws, would you still be calling for his suspension. I know this point has been driven into the ground, but you’ve got to react to the action, not the unlucky result of the play. This whole thing has been blown completely out of proportion.

  92. Did anyone actually see the play where Ariza got hurt, or read something about it? I’m just curious how he got such a serious injury. Collisions happen all the time (as we’ve noted), but they don’t usually turn into head injuries. (Obviously the TV guys didn’t notice it, so I guess it didn’t happen in front of a celebrity or movie ad.)

  93. Are some of you people serious? How can Kurt’s statement even get confused or taken the wrong way.

    It was a hard foul. Not intentional. The injury was a fluke. A lot of people fall hard, and how often does that happen. The hit Bynum gave Gerald wasn’t out of the norm, or different from any hard foul. Plus, the Lakers supposedly need to be tougher, everyone seems to think so. That was Bynum being tougher. Not dirty. He’d like to see more tough. Not Drew having his back turned or jumping out of the way when a player is coming hard for a dunk.

    Fairly simple. I got it.

  94. TrueHoop’s bullet point on this has gotten some people riled up. I’m not blaming Henry, his comment was pretty benign.

    I think we need to face it, everyone is going to focus on the result, because that is the result. I don’t think the foul had that intent, and I agree that in the big picture we should be focusing on the action, not on the result. If I pull out a gun and shoot at someone, but miss I think it’s the pulling of the gun and the shooting that matters, not so much I missed my target. So, in that same vein, if Bynum gives a hard foul to stop a basket, but he ends up injuring a player, I think we should be focusing on the hard foul part, not the injury part.

    I understand it’s not our guy in the hospital. I also understand that when we justify a tough play and say we don’t mind seeing that type of play and call for more of it even when a guy get’s injured, it comes off as callous. I think what everyone else needs to understand is that injuries are fluky. I remember when Kobe popped out his shoulder when he ball faked a player and then elevated for a jumpshot that resulted in that defender hitting him that the guy who fouled Kobe didn’t mean to pop out #24’s shoulder. Things happen. It sucks more for the guy that’s hurt, and I get that. We’ve all had players on our teams get hurt and we all look for someone to blame. I get that. But to say that we, as fans of the Lakers, condone that is just accusatory crap. It upsets me to no end that people will just take a statement and then say what they’re saying right now.

  95. The only reason this is even an issue is because high-flying players in today’s game consider it a notch in the belt every time they dunk on someone. Fans enjoy watching their favorite players “posterize” the opposition, and these plays are replayed ad nauseum, sometimes years after the fact (KJ dunking on Hakeem, anyone? By the way, the Suns lost that game.) The way flagrant fouls are now called seems designed to protect players who go up hoping to embarrass someone. I don’t want to be hypocritical: as a Lakers fan I enjoy watching Ariza dunk on people and I’ve watched Kobe do it for years. But when a player tries to make the highlight reel by flinging himself at Bynum or Oden or Yao or Dwight Howard, there has to be some risk involved. Big men aren’t out there to be props in a dunk contest, and they shouldn’t have to choose between being embarrassed, flopping, or getting out of the way.

  96. Some good news today. Bynum wont be suspended after all. The flagrant foul was upgraded. Pau Gasol will be named an all star reserve.

    I wish Wallace a speedy recovery.

  97. ESPN notes that Bynum will not be suspended, but his Flagrant will be upgraded to a Flag. 2. Great news!!

  98. I’ve been arguing with this ridiculous woman over here at: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/116820-andrew-bynum-throw-the-book-at-him

    She thinks Bynum should be charged with battery. I found the editorial and some of the responses a bit amusing, especially when they profess their desire for Bynum to be suspended and their hate for the Lakers in the same paragraph. Ah..

  99. To 94, Darius. Actually I am blaming Henry for this. As soon as I read that bullet point, I went oh-oh, Kurt is going to get a ration of **** for his comment.

    Henry did nothing to elaborate and the way it reads, it can mean he’s disagreeing with Kurt and implying Kurt supports collapsing a lung. A large percentage of sports blog readers just skim and comprehend just enough to support their own biases.

    Henry really needed to be more responsible about how he threw in an editorial comment at the end of a blurb.

    I respect the job he does, he’s good at it. But in this instance I thought he fell to the standards of some bad old school journalism that we see often in traditional media.

    Henry should have either not thrown in a editorial comment that could easily be misinterpreted as Kurt endorsing the injury vs elaborating on that comment to explain that hard fouls were supported but not injuries.

    It was bad journalism.

  100. J, I hear what you’re saying. Here’s the quote:

    “If we’re talking about winning, then I’d agree with Kurt 100%. But stepping back, I have to believe we can have great tough basketball without lungs collapsing. Right?”

    I think Henry means that tough play and winning go hand in hand. I also think Henry understands that tough play can result in injuries. I do agree that he could have been more clear in that because his statement can read a certain way. I think it’s benign because I read Henry all the time and just interpreted it different. But I do see the other side of that.

  101. Some of my faith is restored in humanity after seeing that Drew will not get the suspension. Now, hopefully we can drop this ridiculous debate and move on to talking about basketball and how we hope that Drew continues is near dominant play (hopefully without causing anymore absurd controversies)

  102. Pau is an allstar!

  103. Took a day off from talking Lakers because I can’t stand to lose games like that. It’s too reminiscent of years past. But I’m over it now.

    With regard to the Bynum foul, I think the League got it right. It was absolutely a hard foul, but I did not see any intent on Drew’s part to injure Wallace. There was no “striking” motion, if you will, on any of the replays. I feel very badly for Wallace – that is not a fun injury to suffer – but it was a fluky injury. Fouls like that are committed all the time in the league, but they rarely result in serious injury.

    And about the Simmons article – I want to keep doing whatever it is he’s doing. Bynum has been on a tear since that article was came out. Maybe it was an unintended reverse jinx… ;)

  104. What? Pau Gasoft is an all-star? Awesome!

  105. 99. Darius. Oh, I understood what he was saying and I know you did too. I think most people with decent reading comprehension skills would get it.

    But I’m saying there’s a lot of people who won’t or don’t get it. I read him all the time too. That’s why I was so disappointed. As soon as I finished that line, I knew this blog would light up with false accusations against Kurt.

    Even though there was no maliciousness or intent in Henry’s comment, just like Bynum’s foul, there was going to be fallout because of how it looked.

    And just like Wallace’s injury, Kurt does not need or deserve the flack from people misinterpreting on a quick look instead of stepping back and examining more cogently.

    Bynum doesn’t deserve being called a thug and a dirty player because of an inadvertent play. Kurt doesn’t deserve being cast as someone who advocates dirty play.

    But unlike Bynum’s play which was bang-bang, Henry has the luxury of looking at his words even if he is under deadline. It’s exactly that type of sloppiness that have turned people off much old school media and newspaper hacks.

  106. +1 for #100

  107. David west? I think Kevin Durant is more deserved to be an all-star

  108. bynums intentions clearly weren’t to hurt wallce just to stop from dunking

    “That kid waited at our bus, trying to get to Gerald, and he apologized to me,” Brown told the Charlotte Observer. “If he had a history of that (rough play), I might feel different, but I just think it was a hard foul.”

  109. and once again marcus camby is left out of the all star game, he’s truly someone that deserves it but with the clippers record i knew it just wasn’t going to happen. sigh

  110. 107. David West is the one head scratcher. Not that he’s bad but he’s not been All Star caliber this year.

  111. jameer nelson & rashard lewis?

    3 for the magic and one for the cavs?

    it should have been 2 from magic and 2 from cavs

  112. Maybe David West made it because coaches thought they were voting for Delonte West of the Cavs. That could answer all out questions.

  113. What is Paul Pierce doing as an All-Star this year? For that matter, what about AI and Tony Parker. All great players, but not having the type of seasons that I would classify as “all star”. I guess having a rep helps.

  114. The last time I semi-disrespected David West he killed us for 40 points. So, I’ll just say great choice and leave it at that.

  115. 112 – Surely you don’t mean Delonte should be an all-star? He’s playing better than I ever thought he could, but an all-star?

    The David West pick is downright silly. Why have the Hornets not lived up to expectations so far this season? Ask David West. Melo got shafted again.

  116. (assuming they come out with the win) the magic are doing us a favor by beating the cavs tonight ( :
    any word on ariza?

  117. Eh, Jefferson or Melo should have made it in before West. I can live with the rest. For the East, Lewis was a reach. Carter would have been a better choice.

  118. I still don’t understand how people are overlooking the fact that Wallace plays with reckless abandon in a body that isn’t meant by any means for such activity. Look at his history. This was nothing but a freak incident. Good move by the league.

  119. West over Jefferson is a complete joke. I see the coaches are pulling their usual ‘Let’s punish a deserving player because his GM stinks’ routine. The East roster is fine although I would have picked Allen or Carter instead of Lewis.

  120. Can anyone else believe that Utah is currently 10th in the West right now? You’re telling me that after an 82 game season and the Lakers possibly winning the top seed that we’re rewarded with possibly facing that team or Houston or Portland in the first round of the playoffs? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

  121. 115. No, Delonte’s no all star, that was just a weak attempt at humor.

  122. 120- Although I believe we can handle anyone in a 7 game series, that is a frightening notion. We’d definitely have our hands full to say the least with any of those teams. I think this demonstrates how stacked the Western conference truly is. Wow.

  123. This road trip will let us know how good we are or will be. 4-2 or 5-1 would be great. I hate that our one test in Boston is on the second of a back to back – thanks schedule makers. That said, we have to start off and take care of the gimmes (Min, Mem, NY) and then ratchet up for Tor and then the Grean Meanies. Cleveland will be a great test, too – especially with it being the last game of the trip…

  124. I disagree with the idea that the result of Andrew’s play is inconsequential to the punishment (or not) handed down by the NBA. The reason why certain maneuvers are deemed illegal are because they have consequences.

    On one hand, I agree, intent should be taken into account. However, you can’t deny that Andrew’s sloppy play directly caused an injury of another player. That’s not something that I would personally be in favor of encouraging. (I’m also not in favor of intentionally injuring another player). Whether Bynum meant to or not, it still happened. I think the punishment should be less severe than if he HAD meant to make a dangerous play, but it’s still a dangerous play nonetheless.

    Players don’t INTEND to travel, yet it’s called anyway. Players don’t INTEND to foul a jump shooter, yet it’s called anyway. In response to Darius’s example about shooting and missing. I think it goes the other way as well. If you run a pedestrian over with your car, just because you didn’t mean to, doesn’t mean you don’t share some responsibility.

    ::shrugs::

    As a Lakers fan, I’m glad the Lakers won’t be missing Bynum for any games.

  125. 122 – Got it. My bad, I missed the humor. I was caught up in all-star debate foolishness at the time.

    nomuskles, please let it go.

  126. Saying intention is all that matters is like saying I’m not guilty of (at least) manslaughter if I “accidentally” push someone onto a subway track. I may not have meant to, I may just have been walking by and accidentally shoulder bumped that person, but they’re still dead, and I’m still guilty. Both intention and the severity of the action should be taken into account. I’m glad the league didn’t suspend Bynum, but it would have been completely reasonable if they did.

    As for the All-Stars, David West is nowhere near as good as Al Jefferson. By my count, we have:

    2 All-Stars in despite playing for legitimately bad teams (Harris, Granger)

    2 All-Stars in because they play for good teams (Lewis, West)

    1 All-Star in because he is wildly popular but kinda sux these days (AI)

    With everyone else being in some range
    A := [Utterly Impossible to leave out, reasonable selection] (hurrah for math!)

    If I had the picks, I would replace AI with Devin Harris as the starter, replace Devin Harris with either Jose Calderon or Rondo. Next, I would replace West with Jefferson (no-brainer), and then I would replace Lewis with his teammate Hedo Turkoglu or Kevin Durant. I think that’s an all-star team that has the fewest holes in it.

  127. I’m not sure how you put David West in before Chris Paul? That makes no sense whatsoever. I like Calderon, but he’s been too injury prone this season. I agree that Rashard Lewis shouldn’t be on the East, it’s almost validating his ridiculous contract. I guess I would go with Mo Williams and reward the best record in league. But the All Star game is all about hyping up the league and getting us to talk about these things. So like every year NBA mission accomplished.

  128. Gr8 Scott,

    re:”This road trip will let us know how good we are or will be. 4-2 or 5-1 would be great.”

    No, it doesn’t. We already know how good we are. Boston went through a slump losing 7 of 9, with most of them on the road. Do you think they’re any less of a team? Look at them now, they’re back on track.

    We’ve shown we can beat anyone and everywhere. We could win them all, or lose them all and it doesn’t mean too much yet. It would be great to win them all, but we still have a long way to go until they playoffs.

    I would agree if you mean you want to see how they respond when the odds are stacked against them against Boston and Cleveland, from a mental aspect.

  129. The All-Star starters are a result of letting fans vote for their favorite players, regardless of how well they play, rather than for who is actually playing best at that position in their conference. Excluding someone from the voting because he was injured or is putting up below average numbers would probably remedy the situation a little bit, but would instead lead to a tangly web of how to decide who to exclude, and the grounds for exclusion.

    When all is said and done though, the All-Star game is more of a publicity event than it is a celebration of the very best players in the league. For that to happen, we would need to get rid of this whole East vs West thing, and vote on the ten best players in the entire league. Let the coaches pick the reserves, elect captains and let them pick team members play ground style, and then play… that would be a fun game to watch!

  130. nomuskles and zephid,
    I think I could have articulated my point better. I am not saying that the result of the foul is incosequential. I understand that if the player is hurt it is a bad thing and the result should be something that is considered. However, I also think that what actually caused the injury (the foul/act itself) is very important. I happen to think that Bynum’s foul was a good play that resulted in somthing bad. When I saw the play live and when I watched the replays, I thought that Bynum gave a good hard foul. Obviously the result is bad and I wish that no injury occurred. But when I looked at the play, I thought it was pretty much clean. Hard and tough, but clean.

    On the other side, recall the play earlier in the game when Morrison fouled one of our guys who had elevated for a dunk. Morrison came late, tried to swipe for the ball, hit our guy accross the arms/chest/head area while our guy was in mid-air, and then our guy took a nasty spill. Luckily our guy got up and shot his FT’s and that was that. Morrisons foul, in terms of a basketball play, was more egregious than Bynum’s play. But no one is talking suspension for Morrison. Why? Because our guy is fine. That’s where I think this has gotten off track; the result has become the main focus.

  131. I realize that this horse is long dead by now, but I can’t resist beating on it just a little more.

    Intent *has* to be taken into account when meting out punishment. If it isn’t, what then do we do with the defender who slightly fouls a jumpshooter but undercutting him in his eagerness to close out on a shot, and in doing so causes the shooter to land on his foot and roll his ankle so severely that he ruptures two tendons – a catastrophic, potentially career-ending injury. If our only standards are 1) was it a foul, and 2) what was the resulting injury, then that defender should earn at least a 25-game suspension. All this for a play that probably happens once a game every single night during the season but this one time resulted in an injury the likes of which most people have never seen, and certainly wouldn’t expect based on watching the play live or on tape. I think we would agree that would be an unjust punishment, no?

  132. Perfect timing for the Lakers with Jefferson not making the all-star team. He’ll have something to prove tonight.

  133. Wondahbap – What I meant was that we will see how well the team does on it’s first extended road trip. 6 games is the longest trip of the season so far and this is usually when a really good team can become even better. What we know our team to be today may be different than what we will know them to be after this trip. Ask yourself if your opinion of this team would change even slightly if we did (shockingly) lose all 6 – there likely would be a sense of self examination. I’m not saying this trip will define us, but it will be a good measuring stick. And I do agree with you about the Bos/Cle games – we win one or both and it sends a serious message. Recall that we played close and lost on the road in some of our more recent road games (SA, MIA, ORL). Looking forward to a great showing. We have to be a great road team if we want to secure home court for when it counts most – June.

  134. Mimsy,

    I think the All-Star game is fine how it is, but I’ve always thought that after Finals, they should have another game where you can split up the three All-NBA teams and add a 4th team (honorable mention) and have another game.

    I think everyone could play for real in a game like this, since the season isn’t at risk, and there would definitely be some points to prove. Could be very entertaining.

  135. Wondahbap:
    In that case, rather than honorable mention, let the champions be the 4th team. See how they stack up against a team of all-stars… ;)

  136. In case you couldn’t tell what Henry’s position was on the Bynum incident, he couldn’t have been more clear in today’s Friday bullets (I assume it’s his writing):

    “That would be the Bobcat whose lung collapsed after Bynum’s dirty play. I hope that when he’s older Bynum’s response (even if it’s not genuine, at least be savvy) to that kind of question will involve more “I’m sorry,” and “I’m sending flowers to his hospital room,” and less “I’m glad the league saw my side and I didn’t get suspended.” You collapse a dude’s lung, nobody cares how you’re feeling for a few days. Basketball fans are funny that way.”

  137. Gasol, though, was held to 10 points and 4-for-16 shooting Tuesday, a performance coach Phil Jackson said was probably “the worst night he’s had as a Laker.”

    You can say that again Phil!

  138. So who else is desperate for an actual basketball game tonight!? I think this two day break has honestly driven some people crazy on here. I thought we’d be over discussing the Wallace incident after no suspension was handed down, but apparently I was wrong.

    Despite all my efforts to convince people on here that Bynum did not deserve a suspension, I think that Darius has brought up the best point thus far about Morrison’s flagrant foul, which got lost in the shuffle of the game, and in my mind was far more malicious and potentially dangerous than Bynum’s foul. It is the epitome of reacting to the aftermath instead of the foul itself. On that play, our guy got lucky and because of that, no outrage ensued. And it’s not just that foul either, because I see Kobe receiving fouls just as hard on a regular basis when he drives the lane. Fortunately, he’s been lucky too and thus, we hear no outcry for those hard fouls. Which from a logical standpoint, makes no sense.

  139. Love to see what happens after a good player puts up a stinker the night before.

    I’m confident Gasol is going to go something like 8-12 and score 20 points tonight. It does help having to go up against the Stinkerwolves.

  140. 136. Daniel. Unfortunately I think this is going to linger a bit more. It really doesn’t help that today, Henry at True Hoop flat out calls that a dirty play and bangs on Bynum.

    I’ve been really disappointed in how Henry’s handled this situation and lost a lot of respect for him.

    But more importantly in basketball terms, I’m concerned how this could affect Bynum, the Lakers and patrolling the paint. If Bynum is going to be under higher scrutiny, it may affect his assertiveness and the way fouls are called against him.

    Perception is reality and if officials start calling him tighter to prevent any “dirtyness” there goes the interior protection.

  141. Mimsy,

    That would be an interesting game.

  142. 127 – How could you call for replacing Rashard Lewis on the All-Star roster with Kevin Durant, who isn’t even in the same conference?

    That’s like Jeff Van Gundy’s Sunday statement that Bynum should be the backup Eastern Conference All-Star center because he’s from New Jersey. I’m sure Van Gundy was kidding…

  143. Yeah, Zephid, how could you!? As Mark Jackson would say “YOU’RE BETTER THAN THAT!”

  144. Update on Wallace:
    http://www.nba.com/2009/news/01/30/bobcats.wallace.hospital.ap/index.html

    Released from hospital Thursday night, but still not cleared to travel back to Charlotte. I’m glad he’s better, and I hope he recovers soon.

  145. So, in Shaq’s interview with Stephen A., he says IF he, Kobe, and Phil stayed together they would’ve won 6-7 Chips. Easily. then, he won’t answer Stephen A.’s question about what IF [Kobe would've done for him that wasn't being done in Miami, and is not being done in Phoenix], because he doesn’t *believe* in IFs. Okay?

    Gotta love him.

  146. Minny preview coming soon, got swamped with the day job. Sorry.

  147. Hey. For all of you that got all i a tizzy by Bill Simmon’s comments about Drew:

    Andrew (Los Angeles,CA): Did you write your mag column before Andrew Bynum was named Western Conference Player of the Week and dropped 42 on Los Clippers? Have your thoughts changed on his ceiling or his contract extension?

    SportsNation Bill Simmons: It’s funny you should ask. They changed my magazine deadline (which sucks for me from a “timing” standpoint) – I now hand in my column on Wednesdays the week before the issue comes out… which means it makes it online 7 days later and on the newsstands 2 days after that.

    SportsNation Bill Simmons: So my biggest fear was that Durant was going to score 60 on the Clips 2 days after I handed it in and ruin my angle. Little did I know, THAT NIGHT, I went to Clips-Lakers and Bynum out up a 42-15 (on Skinner and Jordan, but still). Then he looked great against Duncan on Sunday. I’d say Bynum is now properly rated. I was really impressed by him in person.

    http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=24829

  148. Well, I certainly want Delonte to play like an All Star, he was another one of my last fantasy picks, his injury is killing me.

  149. New post, finally.

  150. After Bynum dominates Jefferson tonight I think it will put to rest those snub comments out of Minny

  151. I believe that the Lakers loss to the Bobcats is a revelation of a soft team. You can just see how easily the Bobcats tear down the Lakers defense every time and cannot compete on a very high physical level and rumble and tumble type of game. Lakers have always been a finesse type of team and until they develop some fangs and horns they won’t win the championship.