Lakers Preseason Game #8: Get Thee To The ESPN Zone LALive

Kurt —  October 23, 2009

Remember, tonight is the Lakers Purple and Gold Bloggers Forum at the ESPN Zone at LALive. Starting at 6 p.m. we will be talking Lakers for an hour, then we will grab an adult beverage, some food and watch the Lakers/Nuggets Part Deux from San Diego.

In addition to myself, there will be both Brian and Andrew Kamenetzky from the LA Times Lakers Blog (you can decide for yourself which one is the cool one), Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld, Brett Pollakoff from FanHouse, Kam Pashai and Chris Manning (LD2K) from The Lakers Nation, Gary from, and Colin Ward-Henninger from The Examiner.

If you’re there, please come up and say hello, I’d love to meet some of you face and not just via email. So introduce yourself. Otherwise I’ll have to have a conversation with Brett, and everyone from FanHouse (Ziller especially) is warning me about that.


I’ll admit, the word that Gasol may sit out the opener now has me a little uncomfortable, in that after weeks of everyone saying “this is nothing” it might be a little something. That said, better he misses some games now and gets fully healthy as opposed to rushing back, aggravating his hamstring and missing more time. This is an injury that can linger, better to be safe than sorry this early in the season.

Besides, if DJ Mbenga is going to get more blocks per game than the Birdman, I feel pretty good about our chances.

I’m done trying to guess what kind of rotations Phil Jackson is going to throw out there in the preseason, or for tonight. But what was good to see last night was how some rather, um, interesting lineups the Lakers still functioned well. The Lakers were getting the shots they wanted in the triangle and getting some good looks freelancing early in the clock. Also, the defensive rotations looked a little smoother. What I liked on defense was some of the trapping and aggressiveness was back, they were going for steals (as much as you’ll see that in preseason). The Lakers forced turnovers on 26.8% of Denver’s possessions, and you’ll win all the time if you do that. (To be fair, part of that was sloppy play by Denver.)

You also have to be happy with the bench play and the depth of this team. Some of the guys the Lakers just “throw out there” at the end of games would and could get a lot of minutes elsewhere, and have experience and comfort with each other few teams do that far down in the lineup.

The other thing to watch for, the Lakers new tradition when they score their first basket.


Your Northwest Division Previews:

Denver Nuggets  – Denver Stiffs | The Nugg Doctor

Minnesota TimberwolvesCanis Hoopus | Empty the Bench | TWolvesBlog

Oklahoma City ThunderBlue Blitz | Daily Thunder

Portland Trail Blazers Blazersedge | A Stern Warning | The Rip City Project | Blaze of Love | BustaBucket | Trail Post

Utah JazzSLC Dunk | True Blue Jazz

Bonus Links: See full schedule here



100 responses to Lakers Preseason Game #8: Get Thee To The ESPN Zone LALive

  1. ahahahaa….love the new tradition

  2. lol that first basket thing is just goofy

  3. Celebrating after the first hoop is for teams that don’t anticipate making too many more… now, if the crowd would do it, now that’s a different story…

  4. Goofy, and yet, cool.

    I think they need to throw in a “Harumph!” at the end, but still, pretty cool…

  5. Who do you guys like to come out on top of the NW Division? I think it’ll come down to coaching more than anything else. McMillan has got a lot of egos to manage, and Karl seems to be a bit stubborn. Anyone else think Denver would be better off starting J.R. Smith and replacing Anthony Carter with Ty Lawson?

    All things being equal I give the edge to Denver.

  6. One thing I’ve noticed about Artest, while he is definitely a little tentative in his desire to fit in, he has definitely accepted the post entry pass as an obvious and easy thing to pick up early. He’s getting a lot of assists, and I think that may be why- not from any sort of aggressive drive and dish playmaking but from getting it to kobe, Mbenga or whoever is in the post.

    And then occasionally he’ll post up, which is choppier but looks effective enough.

    I just can’t figure out how they decide who gets to post up in any given possession…

  7. Chibi, I believe there are two people who live west of the Mississippi River who believe that Karl should start Carter over Ty Lawson. Of course, those two people are Carter and Karl.

    Carter is a third-string PG at best, but he’s a gritty veteran gamer. The turnovers he makes are veteran, gritty turnovers, even when they occur in the final minute of Western Conference Finals games. Fortunately, his poor shooting makes up for his poor decision making. In addition, he is invaluable to the team as a backup Kobe-stopper, using his lack of height and inferior jumping ability to entice Kobe into a post-up situation, where he has Kobe right where he wants him (everyone knows that Kobe can’t post up anybody).

    Lawson is a potential future all-star. Go to any Nuggets blog and the collective feeling is that they hope a small meteorite lands on Carter’s foot and forces Karl to play Lawson, because almost everyone believes that Karl will do the stupid thing and give Carter more minutes.

  8. BTW, apparently the Cavs have given Shaq a cheat sheet because he is having trouble learning the offense:

  9. I’m guessing Josh Powell was never part of a dance crew.

  10. Bows to The Dude.

    Why don’t you write a small paragraph for every upcoming opponent in this style? Sarcasm much appreciated. Anthony Carter also appreciated, when getting minutes against the Lakers.

    By the way, flagrant foul on Josh Powell for messing up on the new ritual.

  11. Yeah I was wondering last night why T. Lawson wasnt getting much burn behind Chauncy. Ty will replace Billups as the starting guard in maybe 2 or 3 years, and provides a change of pace off the bench with the 2nd unit. A lineup consisting of Lawson, J.R. Smith, and Birdman off the bench would be very entertaining. Karl must really not trust him to keep Carter as the second guard, when Ty’s game complements the first players he brings off the bench.

  12. Yeah I was wondering last night why Ty wasnt the first point off the bench. If you have J.R. Smith, Birdman, and Lawson coming in the game to change the pace, it would be something to see. A fast pace, high energy squad who’s game would complement each other would definitely change the game. Karl must really not trust Ty or like old guards who look bad against everyone in the league. Hold on, that thought process sounds kinda familiar.

  13. 8. How hard is it to learn “Stand around and watch LeBron?”

  14. 13. Kurt, I know. But that flow chart was hilarious. Some of the commenters on that blog want to make the chart into a T-shirt.

  15. I can’t think of a single NBA blog site that won’t reference that chart.

    I put it on my favorites and plan to reference it whenever I see any Cleveland games referenced.

  16. I just want to know . . . whose idea that first basket stuff was. Can’t imagine someone going to Jackson and proposing that. Who COULD it have been?

    Wait . . . maybe I can imagine: Jeanie Buss?

    (LOL) Don’t know whether that’s better or worse as a possibility . . .

  17. Dude, that flow chart was awesome, as was your description of Carter.

  18. 10. Kaifa, it’s only going to work for some of the more inexplicable situations. Daniel Ewing isn’t available anymore to be brought in cold to guard the much taller and bulkier Raja Ball with three seconds left and the Clips up three. Of course, the Golden State Warrior situation promises to be fun.

  19. Oh Hubie Brown, how I have missed thee.

  20. 8, rofl that chart is too good.

    “Are you close enough to dunk?”

  21. Dude, I can’t decide which is funnier: your post about George Karl’s stepson, or that flowchart. Hilarious stuff.

  22. Oh wow… The Dude’s post on Carter, the flow-chart and Kurt’s excellent analysis of the Cav’s default offensive strategy really brightened my evening. I’m having a hard time deciding which is funnier…! 😀

  23. hahahahah David Stern wasn’t having that whole – Tel Aviv’s coach is too good to be told what to do.

  24. AAAH! somebody at this venue wasn’t going to let the Minnesota floor be the ugliest in the world!

    What does it say that Karl felt the need to start JR this game?

  25. LO Offensive Rebound then taking the ball up the court, I like that.

  26. Jeff Van Gundy has been out of my life too long

    That “I was in combination classes when I was younger- third/fourth grade… so they could be in the same classroom” response to Mark Jackson on Kobe and MJ being in the same class was top tier

  27. With his long arms and wide body Lawson looks like a miniature DeJuan Blair.

  28. Anyone hear what Farmar got called T’d up for – “What the f*** was that man?”

    For some reason I always find the floor chatter amusing, especially when’s its expletive.

  29. My god Farmar is stinking the place up tonight

  30. Um… link, anyone…?

  31. Josh Powell still needs dunking practice.

    Good lord.

  32. Ah yes, another self-blocked dunk by Josh Powell.

  33. Aha! See? Just like Sacramento in 2003!

  34. The ever-classy, Nuggets suck chant.

  35. shenanigins

  36. LOL, the Denver Thuggets.

    There better be a T on Martin. That was not a “hold him back,” especially since he also shoved Odom in the back.

  37. Yeah, should be three T’s on that play, but I doubt it. BTW, if Karl doesn’t play Lawson over Carter after the way they’ve played in the first half, he’s smoking crack.

  38. Ahhh just a little rubbing, thats all fellas. LO did take boxing up this offseason, maybe he can show his right hook.

  39. TDA,

    Agreed. If Lawson doesn’t get 95% of the backup PG minutes, it’s going to be greatly disappointing.

  40. Ugh…why do we care about Tyler Hansbrough? I blame Breen for starting it.

  41. This game is quickly becoming unwatchable. Thank god I get to listen to Jackson and Van Gundy banter.

  42. 40- It’s not Breen… I forget the guy’s name but this play by play guy is actually one of the most knowledgable they have.

  43. Lawson is running circles around Farmar. Oh, and DJ Mbenga: offensive weapon!

  44. JD, you’re right. It’s Kevin Calabro.

  45. Dude, yeah, and Farmar falls apart on both ends when someone dismantles him defensively like that.

    I think Walton just got called for the first ever “Under the front” call on a rebound. I’m going to miss these replacement refs.

  46. JVG banter is AMAZING.

    Although shame on him for not mention KAJ when listing off UCLA Centers better than Psycho T

    Also the “Have you seen Hansbro PLAY?” in response to Goodrich’s acting was COLD

  47. Of course, Van Gundy was totally justified in telling Mark Jackson that Jackson’s statement about Hansbrough being one of the five best college basketball players of all time was ridiculous.

  48. Did Ron Artest just come in and totally settle the team down after it was completely discombobulated? Did that just happen?

  49. Dude- Calabro, that’s right. Not a household name, but actually gives you the impression that he follows basketball away from his assignments

  50. Dude I can not wait for Shannon Brown to get out there dude and dunk on the heads of mad bro’s!!! I seent him make #1 on ESPN’s top preseason plays!!!


  51. 23. Samy, I wonder if the culprit is one of the replacement refs.

  52. Oh no, my evil twin is on the loose.

  53. 48, I was thinking the exact same thing. Did we mysteriously get transported to Bizarro world?

  54. Crap. I hate when I forget that I’ve rewound a part of the game and start posting comments to things that actually happened minutes ago.

  55. dude Ammo looks so stoned.

  56. Can somebody give the Little General a coaching gig… please?

    “Kobe doesn’t have to guard the best perimeter player anymore. Ron Artest can slide over and guard the 1, the 2, or the 3”.

  57. Um, where’s Kobe?

  58. I was trying not to pay too much attention to the “he’s in the conversation for the best college player ever” conversation. Listen too much to that kind of stuff and mainlining household cleaners looks good, right? But I sort of heard something about UCLA having plenty of better players alone to take Tyler out of the conversation. Then JVG brought up Walton and Swen Nater. Seriously, he could have started throwing darts at a UCLA basketball alumni dinner and hit only players better then Hansbrough.

  59. Seriously, where’s Kobe? The announcers haven’t even acknowledged that he’s not in the game. I can live with him not being in the game, but why isn’t he on the bench?

  60. Where is Kobe?

  61. OK, just got back from an In-N-Out run. What did I miss?

  62. Boston is “clearly” the best team in the east (per JVG)? I do not understand people who say this. Even if they’re healthier and deeper than last year, Orlando and Cleveland both go 12 deep. Orlando’s biggest weakness is Backup Point Guard. Think about that. You have to go 10 deep to find that problem.

    Boston may even be the best in the east at the end of the day, but to make it sound like they’re far and away the best already? Nonsense.

    I can’t believe the way people have dismissed Orlando. They went to the Finals, then got a lot better. A lot. (Not just because of VC, though I’m still surprised at people who think Hedo was better than him, but Bass, Gortat and Ryan Anderson give them an incredible amount of depth and versatility.)

  63. 61- aliens abducted Kobe and the announcers refuse to acknowledge it

  64. Oh he finally made it to the bench

  65. 63. Aliens abducted Kobe? This aggression will not stand, man!

  66. 63, 65) Kobe not playing? Paranormal Activity, man.

  67. Shannon Brown single-handedly made this game worth watching.

  68. is it too early to designate Lawson a Laker-Killer?

  69. He’s a fast PG so… no, it’s not too early at all.

  70. 62. Celts took the Magic to 7 without their best player

    They added Rasheed (a Magic killer) and Daniels, both of whom look much better than I thought they would. Rasheed, in particular, seems to have played possum last year while Iverson took all the blame.

    While many in the basketball world recognize what an upgrade Hedo to VC is, not enough attention is paid to what a massive upgrade even a hobbled KG would be to even a “break out year” Big Baby.

    JVG has a brother who’s the HC of the Magic and a protege who may as well be HC of the Celts (Tom Thib)… I think he might have an inside track on this one

  71. We ultimately got a chance to see what the Lakers looked like without any of the big guys up front–and it wasn’t a pretty sight. We saw Sasha more masterful and aggressive than either Farmar or Brown–with Kobe and Derek playing token minutes.

    There were times that it seemed that both teams were playing Nellie’s raucous version of small ball–but not nearly so skillfully. It was truly a wacky game that clearly meant even less than most preseason games.

  72. STD – agreed on your assessment of the Greenies. If they stay healthy, I don’t see anyone stopping them in the East – Spurs and Lakers could give them a battle from the West (again assuming full strength teams).

    Orlando is #2 and Cleveland #3 – though I think Cleveland may have a better record as they will feast on all but the best teams as they did last year. LeBron is just such a force they don’t even need to play well to beat any of the second and third tier teams.

    I get that we are not supposed to root for, or celebrate injuries to other teams’ players. Is it okay to root for Father Time to catch up to them, while leaving the Lakers alone?

  73. Re: Celtics, the IF in “if they stay healthy” is huge. That is true of any team, Lakers included, but with the Spurs and Celtics, older teams with a history of injuries, it is particularly big. Already there are questions about KG’s knee. We will see, but I think we need to be clear how big that if is.

    Also, I’m higher on Orlando than a lot of people. They made the Finals last year, learned from that experience, and add a healthy Jameer Nelson. That alone would be huge. They have the question we face — can the new guy fit in — but I think like Artest, VC will blend in better than people think. They got deeper with Bass off the bench. That is a very good team that I think makes it back to the Finals.

  74. You know, I forgot about Jameer being out – that is a huge upgrade from the playoff team they had. Ironic, since last year I kept yelling about all the excuses that were being made for the Greenies and no one seemed to be talking about Orlando being without one of their two best players. 🙁

  75. The fact some analysts don’t realize Carter is an upgrade from Hedu is slightly laughable. Any NBA guy who feels that way should be fired immediately. I don’t see the Cavs or celtics being able to compete with the Magic.

  76. the other Stephen October 24, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    #77. NOOOOOO. i just friended him on facebook..

  77. 79. Bummer…ol’ Dr. Buss is really tightening the belt. Gaffney could be given a roster spot for a couple months without it affecting the luxury tax, IIRC.

  78. Gaffney’s people knew coming in it was a long shot. But you can be sure that the Lakers were not the only team to notice him, he is going to get a D-League deal if nothing else and you can bet the Lakers would let him compete for a spot next season (depending on the roster). I really think if he could latch on with a Bobcats/Sacramento type team, he could be earning good minutes by the end of the season.

  79. 78. Off topic… You just reminded me how “awsome” is the english language.

    You can add “-ed” to any noun and make it a verb and it will become widely accepted. English is the only language I’ve seen this peculiarity (and I speak 4 different languages). Remember the “you got rondo’d” reebook adds?

  80. kurt,
    Off topic but i only trust your knowledge to know the answer to my question. how many seasons does an NBA player have to play to recieve an official retirement from the organization? thank-

  81. @Xavier,
    You need to learn Swedish or Norwegian 😉

  82. I used to think I especially hated the Celtics because of 2008. But when even Simmons says this, you know a team is unlikeable:

    “If you are not a Celtics fan, instinctively, you will dislike the 2009-10 Celtics. Sheed is going to exacerbate every already-annoying quality they had. There will not be a more unpopular opponent in the league. You will see a steady stream of violent chest bumps, screams to the ceiling, angry nodding, eye bulging, intimidating looks, hard fouls, low-scoring games and everything else you’d ever hate about a basketball team.”

    Note: that was meant to share. As in, read, and let go. Let’s not open a whole ‘nother Simmons debate that drags on for 200 comments. He’s not that important.

  83. anyhow, bill simmons article up. though i liked it for the most part (even liking hating that he hates the lakers and tries to be objective about it), why is kobe not in the list?

  84. Kobe isn’t on the list because he’s not one of the years most intriguing players apparently. He got coverage with Andrew Bynum and Artest made the list, but apparently Kobe needs to lead a team to 70+ wins before he can be intriguing.

  85. @snoopy, “drags on for 200 comments” – ROFL, yeah, huh

  86. On the court note: Not only is Gasol questionable for Tuesday, now so is Blake Griffin. Swelling in his knee. Sadly, the PF matchup we wanted most looks like it will not happen (unless you wanted the Odom/Craig Smith matchup).

  87. @Kurt, 88

    I’m all about the Odom – Craig Smith matchup. Did you really want to see Taylor Griffin’s kid brother try to play basketball?

  88. Older article but great analysis of the bench, although I’m not sold on how much fastbreaking a unit with Walton and Bynum could do.

  89. Yeah. I didn’t give you much to complain about this time.

    To tell you the truth, I’m nervous. Nervous that KG isn’t going to be anywhere near The Big Ticket. I’m nervous that Rasheed might be washed up, and I’m nervous that rondo’s teammates hate him, and most of all, I’m nervous that Ron Ron might make the Lakers even better.

    So, I’ll wait until the season starts and there’s more to go on. Then I’ll play yo-yo with you Lakers fans, but you’ll still keep reading….and complaining.

  90. Can we get rid of the fake Bill Simmons

  91. I’m seeing the Gasol injury situation as a “delayed” training camp. He probably is nicked up, but I can see the organization wanting him to get a little bit of down time, being aware of the fact that he finished strong down the stretch last season but ran out of steam in ’08. He has been playing year round basketball for how many years?

    I see this Ron Artest thing working out because he’s not the Alpha male with this club, nor does he seem to have any desire to acquire the position. He seems to have a ton of respect for Phil and looks as if he wants nothing more than to have a meaningful bromance with #24.
    The dimes store psychologist in me thinks that Artest is dying to be accepted and respected by those two guys, and he will run through walls (and resist blowing up the offense) to achieve it.

  92. The fake Bill Simmons is a regular, respected poster here, so I’m letting it go.

  93. Sports guy’s a fake?

  94. i’d love it if gasol will come back on december.. just plain rest

  95. anyone going to game 1? sec 329 row 5. i will be there.

  96. much as I hate to be deprived of the beautiful basketball that Gasol produces, I’m also down with seeing him rest the hammy for a while. If nothing else but to see Drew get some serious run. It will be better for us in the long run to have AB ready to go at the end of a game if we need him, and he’s only gonna get that expereince with LO or Gasol down.