Preview & Chat: The Memphis Grizzlies

Kurt —  January 31, 2009

Andrew Bynum of the Los Angeles Lakers
Records: Lakers 36-9 (1st in the West) Grizzlies 11-34 (13th in West)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 114.1 (1st in league) Grizzlies 101.8 (29th in league)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 105.0 (6th in league) Grizzlies 109.4 (24th in league)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Luke Walton, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Grizzlies Mike Conley, O.J. Mayo, Rudy Gay, Darrell Arthur, Marc Gasol.

The Lakers Coming In: It seems to have taken half the season, but Andrew Bynum is back. JonesontheNBA (another guy we miss, but law school will do that to you) said it well in the comments:

It’s safe to say Drew is finally fully healed. Just as little as a few weeks back Drew was still having trouble elevating and finishing around the rim. I wonder what clicked all of a sudden for him, because he’s back to catching lobs, actively moving on both ends, and finishing with authority.

I still wonder how much of that was confidence, both in himself and his knee, compared to a physical problem. Whichever it was, it is in the past now, and suddenly the Lakers have a true high post/low post game that no team in the NBA is going to be able to match. (Who is closest? Boston, probably.)

Right now the offense is clicking, and last night they scored at will on Minny. They should be able to do that again tonight.

The Grizzlies Coming In: The Griz come in having lost 11 in a row. They canned the coach they brought in just last year and replaced him with one apparently not loved by the players. It’s a tough spot for a franchise that has some talent on the roster. Over at 3 Shades of Blue they are already doing mock drafts.

The problem of late is that talent isn’t scoring much. And not efficiently. Of the team’s five leading scorers, none is shooting higher than 46.7% in the last 10 games. O.J. Mayo, who had a fun battle with Kobe last time these two met, is shooting just 44% (eFG%) and 32% from three in the last 10. Rudy Gay’s numbers are not much better.

The one guy playing pretty well of late is Mike Conley, who since being inserted into the lineup is shooting 47.6% from three and is getting four assists per game. He’d have more if his teammates would hit shots.

While the offense is struggling, the defense isn’t exactly shutting people down, either. It’s a bad combo.

Keys To The Game: These two teams met during the Lakers December swoon, and it took Kobe Bryant heroics to pull out the win. Bynum played a poor first half, as did Ariza and others. Today, the two teams are on very different trajectories.

There are no games in the NBA where you can just roll out the ball and win, but if the Lakers show up focused this should be a comfortable win. It would help to get a nice early lead and take the confidence out of Memphis.

Once again, the Lakers have an advantage inside. Arthur cannot stop Pau, and Bynum should be able to get points on the other Gasol if he continues this run of play. The Lakers need to pound the ball inside to start, establish the middle and that will open up shots for Fisher and the others spotted up at the arc. Oh, and that Kobe guy.

Their offense is pretty heavy on the pick-and-roll (well, at least it was under the old coach, I haven’t seen the new coach yet). Gay and Mayo can get in the lane and cause a lot of problems if you let them, but they are not good jump shooters. Go under picks for a change. Dare them to shoot from the outside.

Where you can watch: 5 p.m.,, KCAL 9 here in Los Angeles and League Pass and the usual spots nationally.


277 responses to Preview & Chat: The Memphis Grizzlies

  1. I’m pretty wary of teams with long losing streaks. That’s the kind of thing that sometimes leaves the Lakers unfocused and Memphis is one of those teams that really gets up to play the Lakers and plays them well so those two aren’t a great combination.

    Normally, I’d also be worried about this being the second of a back-to-back, but the Lakers have been probably the best in the league in these situations. 8-2 with the 2 losses being a combined 4 points in Orlando and San Antonio. Not bad.

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  2. Andrew’s footwork and patience have been amazing. Add that with his length, strength, and some touch. He’s been hustling more as well. Right now, his play (at least to me) has been more than I could’ve expected. He’s learning so fast.

    Last year, it was mainly his length. We saw a lot of alley oops and hooks. Now? We’re seeing the whole catalog. He’s starting to look like Pau with his myriad of moves, combining power and touch. Up and under. Left, Right. Running the floor. 12 to 15 footers. Jump hooks. You name it. It’s almost as if his basketball IQ tripled in the last month. He’s getting whatever he wants, because he knows he can.

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  3. I completely agree with you wondahbop. It is amazing how far he has seemingly progressed in such a short amount of time. I love it. If he keeps playing like this i really don’t see how anyone can beat us.

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  4. When people beat us it is because we lose focus in two areas: defense and handling the ball (sloppy passes, primarily by the guards and Vlade).

    I don’t think this will ever be a constantly good defensive team, because we are so good on the offense we find time to relax on defense, and therefore I would really focus on making our passing game better. Several coaches have said the Lakers are the best passing team in the league, so I would concentrate on keeping our passes simple. If we stop jumping in the air to pass, eliminate flat passes, and reduce the passes directly into heavy traffic, we would eliminate most of our turnovers.

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  5. a good example of andrews progress was a scene from the beginning of yesterdays game.
    al jefferson had the ball on the low block, guarded by drew, who kept him out of the lane beautifully. then jefferson threw a little off-balanced hook to the rim and it friendly-rolled in. seconds later, the lakers fed bynum in the post, he found himself a little out of position and showed a couple of nice moves, blew by jefferson and connected with a hand in his face. that was so sweet. i was really proud. people are talking about jefferson as a potential all-star, which he is, but andrew is right up there with his skills and recent performances.

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  6. Its gonna be a closer game then people think tonight, Lakers can tend to play at a weaker teams level, I just dont see them losing this game. Hopefully its another big game from Bynum. Another 20 plus and 15 would be nice.

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  7. Wait, who was it that said Andrew was a potential 20-10 guy as long as he got the touches? Oh yea, me (and a couple others, I guess).

    On a more serious note, I don’t really see that much different about Bynum’s execution and moves between now and the beginning of the year. However, what I do see is him being:

    1.) In much, much better condition
    2.) Having much, much more confidence

    I think early in the season, he was still playing his way out of his knee surgery, regaining his wind, and gaining physical confidence that his body will be able to hold him up. You can really see a difference in how he goes after rebounds now versus earlier in the season.

    Second, I think Andrew, as a quiet, young, shy guy, was still feeling out Gasol at the beginning of the year, and quite unsure about his role. Now I think he’s confident and comfortable being Gasol’s physical foil, being everything that Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry wish they could’ve been in New York (except with more defense, and less likelihood of criminal charges). Bynum and Gasol give us an unstoppable one-two punch in the low and high posts, and even more amazing is when Bynum became the focal point of the offense at the end of the Charlotte game.

    Needless to say, I’m taking great joy in patting myself on the back, and looking forward to many more years of dominance in the paint in LA.

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  8. Bynum is also slowly coming around on defense, hes a little more aggressive. I knew Bynum would be a 20-10 guy, I just didnt think so fast. I was more than willing to give him time considering how young he is.

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  9. I’m still waiting for the day that Drew catches the ball on the block, gives a dribble, a fake, and throws up the skyhook. That will be the day that his training from Kareem will be complete.

    …hey, I can dream, right?

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  10. If you’re a Lakers fan and are on Facebook who should join this group: Lakers Fans Want Tacos.

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=58146499987&ref=mf

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  11. Bruinsfan – that is soooo true. Jesus son, just a sky hook and then the camera flashes to Bynum poiting to his Jedi-Master with that Shaq-like nod of respect.

    Honestly, if Kobe and Gasol continue to feed the ball to Bynum and treat him as their pupil in terms of skill and confidence – they could be creating a new link in the chain that is the Laker basketball chainsaw.

    Am I high? That is for you to ponder.

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  12. I agree with everything Wondahbop said except that Bynum has not matched Pau’s ability to pass the rock to a cutting teammate (yet?). Don’t worry, I’m not complaining. I love Bynum’s ability (willingness) to finish strong at the hoop and he can do it more consistently than Pau because of his size. I’m hesitant to praise Bynum’s advantage here, because it seems that Bynum is also satisfied to rely on turnaround 12 footers a little too often.

    If Drew shored up everything in his arsenal right now, he’ll be a great building block for the Lakers present and future. Improving his passing and maintaining his hunger for rebounds will vault him into the next level.

    I hope the starters can sit out the fourth tonight, but something tells me this is going to be closer than it should be.

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  13. Mildly interesting – Byron Russell is attempting a comeback. I hardly paid it any attention, because we’ve all how unsuccessfully old players come back from severe injuries.

    But hypothetically – if he can play somewhat close to his old level – doesn’t he actually fit what we need? We need a hard-nosed defender at the 3 who can space the floor, and a veteran presence would also help this young team. We also just need someone to start and play about 20 minutes a game; Ariza will get the most PT and close anyway.

    I know how crazy it sounds, 99.9% chance his injuries have dropped his defensive skills . But Kupchak might want to take a look. Championship teams always pick up these veterans around this time, and as a young team we could use another veteran even more than others.

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  14. The Dude Abides January 31, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Snoopy, I think if Bryon Russell catches on with a contender, it will be Boston that picks him up, which could be a good thing from a Laker standpoint. I don’t believe he would be an improvement over any of our SFs, unless one considers Sun to be a 3. Luke gives us triangle knowledge, good passing, average spot-up shooting, and decent post man defense. Vlad gives us excellent 3-pt shooting and decent passing-lane defense, and Trevor gives us a little bit of everything. I’d love to see Russell try vainly to keep up with Trevor if we play the Celtics in the Finals. In fact, I believe I would derive much pleasure from that 🙂

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  15. 12. I’d think that’d be a bad idea. We have a log jam at the 3 already, why would we add another one and one who most likely has nothing in the tank at that. This locker room also doesn’t need another veteran presence. The chemistry has been great and most of the guys got some experience last year and Kobe, Fisher, and Phil have more than enough experience for everyone else.

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  16. I’d love to see the sky hook. It would be the highlight of the season so far. Kareem has to have tried to teach it to him. Does any know i he has tried any in practice? If he did one at staples the crowd would go crazy (as crazy as a staples crown can go anyways).

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  17. They need to take the Griz seriously, how many was it that the Kings had lost in a row when the Lakers went to Sacramento in December?

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  18. Increasing talk of justifying pounding the ball inside at every opportunity by the players worry me a bit.

    not that it’s wrong, it is probably close to textbook, but I hope Kobe doesn’t take it the wrong way.

    honestly, that’d be a dream playbook – work the ball inside for Pau and Andrew, and if nothing happens late in the clock, throw it to Kobe and have him play ‘clutch’ in those botched possessions.

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  19. Not only is Bynum posting double-doubles to the tune of 26.2 points and 13.8 rebounds per night, but he’s swatting 3.2 shots, shooting 65.3 percent (49-of-75) from the field and 82.5 percent from the free throw line (33-of-40).

    from lakers.com

    i think that sums up how effective bynums been this week, i hope he will continue to blossom especially when we’re set to play boston and cleaveland – big test for drew.

    we have to take this game seriously though. take it 1 game at a time.

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  20. The Dude Abides January 31, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Ryan, the last time I can recall a skyhook discussion regarding Drew was last December or January, when he said that he was practicing it a lot, but hadn’t developed the necessary balance to try it in a game.

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  21. 20. Well at least he is practicing. I’m sure that Pau has practiced it a little bit too. Wouldn’t it be amazing if both Pau and Drew could make a sky hook.

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  22. The Dude Abides January 31, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    For a big laugh, there is an extremely funny post over at the Spurs blog previewing their game against the Hornets. As background info, everyone over at that blog wants Tony Parker to pass the ball more.

    http://www.poundingtherock.com/2009/1/31/742968/game-thread-46-vs-hornets

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  23. any links to tonight’s game for us foreign to LA?

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  24. 81 witness you beat me to it.

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  25. ryan,

    I can’t find a working link anywhere…

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  26. neither can I.

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  27. Thanks so much cinz!!!

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  28. Another link with Stu announcing, though both links are lagging for me.

    http://www.justin.tv/ll_rudy_ll

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  29. Could that crowd seem any more dead?

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  30. I know Kurt is a big beer fan, anybody else watch the game with a cold one in hand? Just opened a Blanche de Chambly from Unibroue.

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  31. oh no. bynum!

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  32. oh god. no!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  33. andrew injured?

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  34. Stupid Grizzlies.

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  35. Not again…

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  36. They are BAD luck.

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  37. There goes our season.

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  38. The Dude Abides January 31, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Nightmare. What is it about January games against Memphis?

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  39. OH MY GOSH…..

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  40. *holding breath and feeling sick to my stomach*

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  41. please! no!

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  42. He needs help off. Not good.

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  43. why the knee???

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  44. PeanutButterSpread January 31, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    sasha’s expression just summed up mine.
    all the Lakers look like they’re going to cry, especially Kobe.

    I’m going to curl in a corner now.

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  45. i’m speechless

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  46. What happened? Are there any details?

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  47. I will come join you.

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  48. how long can a hyperextension keep you out for???

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  49. that replay didn’t look good…hopefully it’s just hyperextended and not torn….

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  50. did you guys hear him screaming… its def an acl

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  51. kobe fell into his knee…foot stayed on the floor and the knee buckled back..it really doesn’t look good 🙁

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  52. that almost looked like the same thing that happened to kobe when josh powell ran into his knee….was kobe out any games?

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  53. The life was sucked out of the Lakers.

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  54. Too good to be true?

    Lakers will need to find a way to regroup and exploit their matchup advantages.

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  55. hyperextension, stay positive guys, might not be that bad, wasn;t that what LO had?

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  56. And somewhere Henry Abbott is smiling.

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  57. Memphis again, what are the odds…

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  58. I expect the worst and hope for the best . . . PRAY for the best.

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  59. the lakers need to rebound.

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  60. Yea when LO had his injury he walked to the locker room Bynum screamed on the floor and needed to be helped off without putting any weight on it.

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  61. i cannot watch the game anymore…
    really sad right now….
    mannnn

    i hate this…
    i can’t even think of a happy feeling right now

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  62. Where’s a magic wheelchair when you need one?

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  63. Paul Pierce has a monopoly on those.

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  64. i feel terrible. that has taken all the fun out of watching the lakers.

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  65. Lets pray its not for the season

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  66. I dont even care about this game now, if we lose Bynum, we cant win a championship….this sucks big time.

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  67. I feel sick

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  68. Such bad timing to – just when he was hitting his stride (to say the least). Let’s hope we’re all just being silly pessimists.

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  69. bad breakdown by the Lakers. Farmar needed to stop the ball on that Miles drive.

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  70. It will be interesting to see if the Lakers will be able to get their heads back in this game.

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  71. Hard to really get into the game now… 🙁

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  72. the scream…by bynum
    the curse…by bynum
    when he’s on the floor

    somehow makes me believe that it’s going to be a big injury….

    can’t even be optimistic right now….

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  73. 73)
    i think it’s gonna be hard…
    you can tell that somehow, kobe blames himself

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  74. I was so looking forward to seeing Bynum play against the celtics and cavs now that he’s playing so well. ugh. so sad.

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  75. only a sprain, 2-3 weeks.

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  76. i have to concur… i feel sick and sicker when i think of Boston being happy… sprained right knee… that can mean anything…. damn…

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  77. Sprained right knee… MRI tmrw.

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  78. PeanutButterSpread January 31, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Of all the odds.

    Early reports: Drew has a sprained knee. Definitely out for tonight.

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  79. I don’t know about you guys, but all my excitement/joy/fun about this game and the roadtrip is now gone.

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  80. 76

    Yep. Kobe looked devastated sitting next to Bynum before he was helped off.

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  81. MRI tomorrow. So far just a sprained knee. Thats at least a little good news. hopefully nothing serious.

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  82. A sprain doesn’t sound bad. Where are you hearing this from?

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  83. the lakers are playing distracted. i can only imagine how it must be for them if i’m not even into this game. that’s their ticket and future that went down.

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  84. PeanutButterSpread January 31, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    This is deja vu all over again.

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  85. man down, man down… sad day, we’ll see how long he’s out.

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  86. sprained right knee..
    what knee was injured last year?

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  87. initial diagnosis and x ray really don’t matter but atleast there was no dislocation or fracturing or something…mri is what tells you if there’s an acl or ligament damage though

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  88. I wanna apologize to everyone and especially bynum for having him on my injury cursed fantasy team.

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  89. Bynum is getting an X-ray. But maybe afterwards he can come and sit on the bench, which might get the Lakers heads back into the game.

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  90. 88/chris h, he hurt his left knee last year but tore his acl in his right knee in high school

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  91. sprain knee, takes about 2-3 weeks. suffered it twice.

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  92. the injury is on the same knee as last year. (the right one)

    last year, they also said it was a sprained knee

    man, i loose all my optimistic groove

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  93. The sprain is just a preliminary diagnosis. I have limited knowledge of anatomy, but one cannot confirm a ligament/tendon tear without the use of an MRI. There’s quite a few external tests you can use, but it’s hard to differentiate those from a sprain.

    From the way he was screaming, I’d say it is worse than a sprain. Unless Bynum has an extremely low pain threshold, you don’t hear grown men screaming, writhing, and swearing that loud unless they’re seriously injured.

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  94. I guarantee that all the Lakers are sick to their stomachs right now. Kobe more than anyone…

    This is when it sucks to be a professional. Got to keep playing, even when your man is in the locker room and no one knows what is going on…

    Someone needs to get Andrew an Elvis statue to ward off the Memphis HooDoo… pronto!

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  95. Chris Mihm, it’s time to shine.

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  96. Zephid. Yes most of the time you can not tell if it is a ligament without a MRI. Sometimes you can though, but him screaming does not mean that its a torn ACL or something. It might have just been, bad pain compared to oh Sht not again. Hopefully it is nothing serious.

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  97. x-ray negative
    starting to see the light of hope

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  98. Can x-rays pick up any ligament damage?

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  99. Sometimes but not often. They could however pickup a fracture or something.

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  100. No. MRI only.

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  101. So we’re not completely out of the woods until the MRI.

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  102. I would assume that Bynum was yelling at first from the feeling of the hyper-extension, then the smack of Kobe’s body/head, and lastly from pure rage, frustration and fear.

    No one blames him. That has nothing to do with toughness.

    In fact, if he hadn’t been yelling I would have been much more worried. Would have indicated shock.

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  103. Weren’t X-rays negative last year as well?

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  104. xray negative. but that doesn’t mean much. i guess best we can hope is a month. but even then, how effective will he be?

    i’m sick.

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  105. They called it a sprain last year; x-rays were negative last year; they said he’d be back before the playoffs last year…

    This is truly disheartening.

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  106. It’s unfortunate, but the Lakers have no heart for this game.

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  107. And I can’t blame them. I don’t either.

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  108. no defense again….

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  109. Well, the one thing we won’t be this year is optimistic about a fast return.

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  110. It happened against Memphis again. The curse of Jerry West?

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  111. This just proves how the Lakers arent a tough team, Bynum goes out and they let this bad team run all over them….horrible.

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  112. Maybe he just has Pierce Knee.

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  113. Hmm, the Lakers can still win this one. Memphis was hot from the outside early. They will most likely not keep it up all game.

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  114. Hopefully it is just a sprained knee. If anything, he’s probably scared out of his mind because it’s the same knee.

    And if not…Memphis, again?

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  115. 111, can you really blame them? I don’t really care what happens is this game now either.

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  116. @111
    The Lakers have something called a heart. They actually care for the health of their teammates. This has nothing to do with toughness.

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  117. PeanutButterSpread January 31, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    111,

    I can’t blame them for this. I don’t even feel like watching them play knowing Drew is out, how can the players?

    It’s like getting sucker punched in the stomach over and over again.

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  118. I pray that there is no major damage. Please don’t let this end it. Wow. I’ll admit that I had a few tears. Please don’t let it be an acl. Drew, get healthy and Godspeed in your recovery. The season is not lost.

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  119. The Lakers will get there heads straight in the locker room.

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  120. Joe, just an fyi, be careful using the toughness card in this blog without backing it up or else the people here will let you have it…haha.

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  121. well if bynum is out for an extended period of time think a trade will take place ?

    gotta get everyones head into the game, everyones sulking out there. hope drews allright and he just has a really low pain thresh hold.

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  122. crapcrapcrapcrapcrap

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  123. To be honest, the season is not lost regardless of what happens with Bynum. You just feel bad for him possibly having to go through the same agonising ordeal just one year later.

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  124. joe, (not a plumber) your logic escapes me, how does this prove the lakers are not a tough team.
    1 note complainers.

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  125. I demand the Grizzlies repay us with Rudy Gay.

    On a serious note, all of them are not even thinking about the game. They’re thinking of Andrew because he means so much to the team. Kobe looks like he wants to cry, and probably do alot of Laker fans too.

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  126. Chris h

    I agree. The Lakers season is certainly not over. They have a deep and talented team. Though if Bynum is out for a lengthy period of time, this season does get much harder.

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  127. Sorry. That was meant for Joel.

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  128. and while it was good to see Mihm got some PT, I really think it’s time to see Josh Powell get some real minutes now.
    I’d rather see him than Mihm, Powell just has an instinct for chasing down rebounds, and a nice mid range jumper.
    who ever gets these minutes, I know that PJ will be thinking post season, and getting the PT for the eventual back up 5.

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  129. Not the same knee. Last year was the left knee

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  130. It’s the same team that won the West last year, we’ll be fine. In fact, we’re a bit better thanks to experience of having played together for a while. As long Andrew can come back for playoffs, we’ll be in good shape.

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  131. What is it about January? When is the last time we’ve made it through a January without an injury to a major player on the team?

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  132. PeanutButterSpread January 31, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    121,

    yeah seriously. they repaid us last year with Pau, I demand a Rudy Gay trade be dealt now.

    but in all seriousness, I won’t chalk how the Lakers are playing right now to a lack of “mental toughness.”

    Every single Laker is thinking about Drew, everyone was rooting for him to go for his 6th double double and THIS happens, AGAIN?!

    No way can I blame them for feeling distracted. There is nothing like seeing a teammate go down and having to go back out and be a professional.

    Hopefully though the Lakers will regroup in the Locker room, let Drew’s injury sink in and take it out on the Grizzlies.

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  133. My stomach just dropped, coming on here and reading your guys’ comments. I can’t believe this would happen again. I was even thinking of this once January started, how until this time last year our hopes were up too.

    I can’t even think of what to say right now. Wow.

    We can’t lose hope until the MRI.

    And to stay positive – we still have the starting frontcourt that went to the NBA Finals last year, but now with a potential super-sub in Josh Powell.

    But damn this sucks. Sucks sucks sucks.

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  134. QQ

    ='(

    ME SAD

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  135. This most likely means the Lakers will go back to last year’s offensive style, smaller but more movement. Lamar and Pau playing off of Kobe last year was a deadly combination. On defense it’s up to the whole team to play harder in order to make up for the lack of a shot blocker

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  136. how come players can get x-rays as soon as injuries happen, but they have to wait until the next day to get an MRI? Surely there’s a hospital with 24-hour MRI availability in every major NBA city?

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  137. The Lakers will have even more reason to fully commit to the defensive scheme from here on out.

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  138. @133 they probably want the swelling to go down a little before they do the MRI.

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  139. The Lakers look sharp and focused.

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  140. DTC,

    I don’t think they should revert to last year’s offensive style. Keep things as steady as possible because without Bynum, we still have Josh Powell who loves to bang and has a knack for chasing down rebounds. Remember all PJ wanted Bynum to do was defense and rebounding, two areas that Josh Powell can be satisfactory in. Hell, even Chris Mihm can provide that with discipline. We just need to hold down the fort and hope Drew is healthy.

    I want to go cry still.

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  141. Guys, injuries are deceiving. Nothing might have happened and it could just be a sprained knee. Let’s just wait until tomorrow’s MRI before we start talking about trades, geeze.

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  142. 132 – Most likely because X-rays take a few seconds, but MRIs take quite a while, up to an hour in certain cases or even longer. In the acute phase of an injury, the most important thing is ice, compression, and quick treatment – if they did an MRI right away, they’d be waiting a couple hours to ice the knee, which is a priority.

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  143. the other Stephen January 31, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    last year, we arguably lost the championship in part because of bynum’s absence. this year, if he indeed doesn’t make it back in time for the playoffs, i hope we win it for him. he’s worked damn hard on both his game and his rehabilitation. can anyone please describe how the injury looked?

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  144. The fear now is even if he comes back hopefully soon, will he pick up where he left off, or, more likely, revert to the tentative, lethargic Bynum we saw to begin this season?

    But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s just wait for tomorrow’s news.

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  145. PeanutButterSpread January 31, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    JANUARY SUCKS!!!!!!!!

    I HATE JANUARY!

    and on the last day of friggin January.

    AGAINST THE GRIZZLIES.

    AGAIN.

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  146. That mayo kid is good. He shoots over the mismatch so confidently.

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  147. 139 – Stephen, here’s a link where you can see for yourself:

    It looks like the filter keeps out websites, so just do youtube dot com slash watch?v=hKwMU0u5SVg (no spaces) or search for “Bynum falls again”.

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  148. PeanutButterSpread January 31, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    140,

    I don’t care if Drewreverts back to lethargic tentative Drew in the beginning of the season. Just his presence in the middle is enough. I want him healthy and playing ASAP.

    That’s all I ask.

    I just want Drew back.

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  149. 142 – Although the games are different, I see a lot of Kobe in Mayo, in his drive and maturity and work ethic. It’s the closest comparison I see to Kobe.

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  150. hopefully there will be good news tomorrow after the MRI and Bynum will only miss a few games

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  151. Chris H, how have the Lakers proved they are a tough team? If the Lakers were a tough team they would win 70 games. They are a talented team, but it dont make them tough.

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  152. PeanutButterSpread January 31, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    The Lakers need to win this game for Drew.

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  153. Fisher really needs to work on his D this game, lots of penetration.

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  154. I finally get home from work, I rush to the TV, find the game… just in time to see the Grizzlies drill a three and take the lead. Grrr!

    Yahoo sports are saying Bynum’s knee was injured from banging into Kobe. Snoopy, thanks for the link! It looks depressingly bad though… I’m right now debating whether to pray fervently or just give up and go for the vodka for the rest of the night.

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  155. I vote for the Vodka.

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  156. Is there anyone who misses more dunks than Omom lol

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  157. 146
    So your telling me there are no tough teams in the NBA? what does winning 70 have to do with being tough?

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  158. @ Tremble,

    Actually you misunderstood our tone. We were trying to lighten the mood with our unsuccessful humor attempts at recent NBA history.

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  159. everyone just needs to give up this whole “tough” angle… its really getting old

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  160. is Pau Gasoft tough?

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  161. The Lakers are a bunch of marshmallows. Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

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  162. Speaking of the game, the Lakers are executing a lot better.

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  163. The Lakers are tough? Your either tough or your not. The Lakers are a talented team, but it dont make them tough. They are not a tough team like Boston, not even close, I have watched boston enough over the years, including this year to know that. If the Lakers wantto be tougher, Bynum needs to get a little more aggrssive on defense, his offense is there, of course he will be out for awhile. Also, they need more mental toughness, there are still a lot of young players on the Lakers who need to grow their experience. These things will comein time.

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  164. And it seems like the grizz. aren’t making as many jumpers this half

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  165. PeanutButterSpread January 31, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    I cracked a smile, emh101. Thanks, I really needed that.

    To continue with the sky is falling rhetoric:

    Marshmallows are nice toasted, just like how our season’s now.

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  166. MRI will tell all. Our medical staff might not help either. I still recall how we botched the Mailman’s recovery. Just lit the prayer candles. Keep the faith.

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  167. I guess the only thing that makes a team tough is if they beat the Celtics in the finals and beat every inferior team no matter what sort of trauma occurs to distract the players. Beating Utah doesn’t cut it. Beating SA doesn’t cut it. Making it to the finals having lost their starting center and an important player off the bench doesn’t cut it. Joe, you are entitled to your opinion but you might want to consider a little context when judging human endeavors.

    I’m still sick.

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  168. Kobe can make just about any type of shot. It is always fun to watch him play for his shot making ability

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  169. Joe, seriously. will the tough celtics win 70 this season? did they do it last season?

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  170. If you guys are tired of the toughness card, then stop responding to Joe and move on….geez

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  171. My pleasure, PeanutButterSpread. I am also smiling through my tears.

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  172. Anyone else catch Kobe’s reaction? Didn’t even look worried about Andrew. No leaning over to ask if he’s OK. No leaning over to help. Just frustrated and goes away. Just more evidence that Kobe is a terrible teammate.

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  173. Vodka it is!

    Pau needs to step up now though. At least the remaining group managed to get to the NBA finals last year, and most of them are better this year. Which doesn’t in any way change the fact that I’m very much hoping Andrew’s knee heals very much quicker than last year.

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  174. PeanutButterSpread January 31, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Well Boston still has to deal with the Crabs and Orlando breathing down their necks.

    Not saying the Lakers don’t because the Western Conference is still hella scary and the Lakeshow is still trying to achieve best record in NBA.

    It’s going to be difficult without Drew, but they did it before last season (being top in WC). Hopefully they remember that.

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  175. Wierd how much this year is like last year – Kobe dislocates a finger on his shooting hand, against Memphis a teammate lands on Bynum’s knee.

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  176. I dont judge a team basedon who they beat and dont. For example, the bobcats are not a talented team and arent gonna make the playoffs even, but they are atough team. All Larry Brown teams are. That is why they beat us the other night, they out toughed us. What I am suggesting is, if they are going to beat boston, they need to get tougher. Magic Johnson agrees with this as well. So I guess hes wrong as well right?

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  177. I, for one, thought Kobe looked dismayed and heartbroken.

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  178. 146. You’re an absolute tool. Look at the game. All of the players were absolutely devasted when Bynum went down. They have the mental fortitude to gather themselves at half time and come back and outscore the Grizzlies by 15.

    Was beating Boston not tough for you? How bout beating the Cavs? Guess there isn’t a single tough team out west huh?

    Can you even define tough for me? Is tough determined by how many hard fouls you have in a game? Do you have to wave your fingers at lesser players and act like a prick like Boston? Do you have to play “slow, grind it out basketball”? So fast pace teams like the Showtime Lakers aren’t tough right? Those championships they won don’t count right?

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  179. PeanutButterSpread January 31, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    170,

    Kobe looked torn to me. He wasn’t sure whether to get back down the court and help defend or stay there with Drew and I’m pretty sure at that split moment he was already blaming himself.

    Great job of correlating Kobe’s reaction to him being a bad teammate. You should get a job as a psychologist. I’m sure you’d win a nobel prize.

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  180. igor you have to be kidding me… Kobe was leaned over him the whole time he was screaming, and his facial expression obviously showed that he was concerned.

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  181. domination. all started with some great defense.

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  182. Have you noticed that the Lakers are not overly celebrating? They are going about their work and getting it done.

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  183. 169

    Just more evidence that some people will scramble for anything to denigrate Kobe’s character, no matter how ridiculous.

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  184. PeanutButterSpread January 31, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    emh101, that’s good. I think they’re taking their anger out on the Grizzlies, coolly and coldly.

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  185. Kobe looked totally devastated and you could tell he was blaming himself for it. You could see it in his face and body language the whole 1st half after it happened.

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  186. Well said Worthy… if it takes 70 wins to be though, as was previously suggested, there have only been a few tough teams in the last decade.

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  187. starting to look like Kobe’s done for the night. Good job by the second unit.

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  188. hopefully the lakers finishes the game with this lineup on the floor.

    I don’t want any of our starters taking the court anymore.

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  189. Worthy. we beat the Cavs without two of their best players, that dont mean nothing. Beating Boston was impressive, it was our best win of the season, we beat the Celtics at their own grind it out game. But grind it out as you suggested is usually how all games end up in the playoffs, especially the end of games. Im not sure the Lakers can beat the Celtics in a grind itout game, like they did at Staples earlier.

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  190. get that 24 guy some ice and rest

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  191. 176

    Lack of ‘toughness’ is now the default reason for every Lakers loss (or bad couple of quarters, in this case).

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  192. It would be nice to see Powell get some play.

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  193. Odom is limping now, holy crap.

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