Every Rose Has Its Thorn

Kurt —  January 7, 2010

If you want to see the Lakers win at the Rose Garden, you have to go back to 2005, but with all the great Kobe buzzer beaters this season, we dipped into the 2004 vault. Hopefully it is an omen of things to come.

Kurt

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66 responses to Every Rose Has Its Thorn

  1. That shot has got to be top 10 on Kobe’s all-time shots…

  2. you do him a disservice with that video sir..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfB3d1FjhCc

  3. This is just wonderful, what a shot and as far as I am concerned the real Warren got the first post of game day in, this thread counts in my book. I can sleep good tonight knowing the Lakers have a guranteed win tonight, against Portland and in Portland, guaranteed folks…

  4. Just a few years back, and the difference in video quality is staggering ;)

    Wonder what video clips will look like in 2015.

    Would be kinda cool if Kobe’s still making buzzer beaters then :)

  5. I was at this game. Loved watching the Blazers fans leave in disgust.

  6. I remember watching that live. Kobe was and is a killer. In other news the K Bros had an interesting piece. It might have a familiar ring to it if you are a fan of this blog… be sure to read all the comments.

    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2010/01/derek-fisher-says-hes-not-struggling.html

  7. After 35+/- games, does anyone else think that the celtics have a deeper bench and a better starting five compared to the lakers? They are actually performing better as they have played more away games and they have had serious injuries too. Their bench and attitude also seems better than the lakers. Can anyone give a good perspective on this?

  8. JH, maybe you should read what Celtics Blogger Jeff Clark has to say:

    http://www.celticsblog.com/2010/1/8/1236446/a-few-reasons-to-worry#storyjump

  9. I miss number 8 and the fro :(

  10. dave in hillsboro January 8, 2010 at 6:02 am

    I was at that game also. It was amazing–the best NBA game I’ve ever seen in person, and I’ve been to a few (mostly at the Rose Garden). The only thing that sucked about that game was Karl Malone getting hurt again.

    Tonight is one of those nights where it sucks to be a League Pass subscriber with DirecTV living in the Portland metro area. This game will be blacked out for me, the only Lakers game I won’t be able to see legally. You better believe I’ll be watching one of those illegal streams, though. I almost bought tickets for this game when single game tickets went on sale, but it’s sold out now. I’d have to overpay to be able to go, and it’s just not worth it. Besides, I’m not about to reward that team for their awful TV deal with CSNNW, which the satellite providers do not carry (even though it is the only true regional sports network for the entire state of Oregon).

  11. Pittsn0gle (5:22 a.m.): You and Lil Dez.

  12. I don’t remember that game. A win tonight at the Rose Garden would be nice since it hasn’t happened in a while. One that does not need a Kobe game winner would be nice, though that would make it more interesting.

    Off topic, but sometimes I miss living in LA. When there’s 30+ inches of snow in one month and its -7 with -35 wind chills is one such time.

  13. I was at that game with my nephew (Blazers fan) and wife (anti-Lakers). When Kobe hit that shot over Ratliff I shouted at the top of my lungs “Game Over, Good Night, Drive Home Safely”.

  14. I am looking forward to seeing Bynum eat Juwan Howard alive. If he doesn’t, I will strip him off his Black Hole title and change him to the Brown Dwarf, cuz he ain’t got no fire!

  15. 7. JH, The grass is always greener… Celtics fans are worried, Lakers fans are worried, Orlando fans are calling for the benching of Jameer Nelson and starting White Chocolate. Cleveland is playing well now but needs Shaq to defend the pick and roll when it matters to win, so….

    I will take our roster over any other one in the league. The Lakers have a coach that gets his teams to peak in May and June, not January. Everybody seems to want things to be assured now, but if they were the league would be no fun to watch.

  16. I guarantee us a 6-pt win tonight. Blind faith. Book it.

  17. JH,
    “After 35+/- games, does anyone else think that the celtics have a deeper bench and a better starting five compared to the lakers? ”

    At this point (considering Pau as not injured for sake of this discussion) in the season, yes, I think they do. However, that is really meaningless. This Lakers roster is still not familiar with each other, and Walton being out has a significant negative impact on the bench. The ceiling for this Lakers team is dramatically higher than the ceiling for any other team in the league, and (assuming reasonable health the rest of the way), I expect Jackson will have them coming close to that ceiling by the time the playoffs start.

  18. Count your blessings and be happy, Dave. The Portland home announcers are the worst in the league, by a wide margin, and the only ones available on the League Pass when the Lakers play in Portland. :(

    Of course, that’s not going to stop me from watching the game tonight. Does anyone have a status update on Luke’s injury? I’m bad at counting weeks, so I keep thinking he should have been back by now…

  19. 10 — <>

    Or to be a Lakers fan DirecTV League Passer living anywhere else outside L.A. because it looks like we are only getting one feed tonight — a low def feed — and my guess is it will be the Portland broadcast. Ouch.

  20. Good point about Luke, when he is sharp he brings makes a significant contribution.

  21. Drrayeye good article on the Celtics. Kurt I agree with you 100%. Every fan no matter what the record wants to have 10 all stars on their roster and the end of the world is coming if we dont get this guy or that guy, but the Lakers are situated much better than the Celtics are. Hers why:

    The Celtics have very tough and talented VETERAN players but not so much of a bright future. The Celtics are pretty close to getting swallowed up by the rest of the East. I don’t think it will happen this season but I believe their decline will begin shortly after this season is done.

    The Lakers on the other hand are not only starting a younger and very talented squad but they are set up very nicely for the future. Barring any major injuries the Lakers will be good for the next 10-15 years.

  22. I don’t want to discount the Celtics, but I think what we said about them before the season still rings true: They are the team best positioned to beat the Lakers IF THEY ARE HEALTHY. They already have issues and it is just a hair under six months until the Finals start (June 1 or 3). So we watch and wonder about them.

  23. I gotta be honest–I think the only legitimate threat from the East is Orlando.

  24. I don’t think any team should feel very comfortable about their team right now. The Lakers aren’t playing anywhere close to their best ball and have key players banged up. The Celtics are in the same boat with Pierce just returning from injury, Daniels still out (and when he was playing, it was below standard), Baby just returning recently, and they’re still searching for a legit back up PG that would allow House to play more of *his game* without worrying about setting up his mates. Then look at Orlando – they’re falling way short of their potential. The only team that is really playing well right now is Cleveland.

    All that said, as Kurt points out, and exhelodrvr notes, the emphasis should be on peaking at the right time (for all teams) and we have the coach that is the master of this (with an acknowledgement to Pop in SA as well). So, while I’d like to see us play better (especially on offense), I think we’ll come around (likely around our long road trip when Gasol/Luke return and we have a less rusty Artest).

    As for tonight’s game, a couple of points:

    *It would be tough to find many players playing better than Brandon Roy right now. Whether it’s the removal of Oden from the low block or him finally finding his comfort zone playing next to Miller, Roy has been tremendous lately. He’s scoring well, doing it efficiently, and he’s getting his teammates involved. In the past, I’ve noted that SG is one of the weaker positions in the league and that often allows Kobe to play his roaming/free safety style of defense. Tonight is not one of those nights. He’ll need to be dialed in tonight. The good thing is that Artest is also familiar with Roy (see the Houston/Portland series from the playoffs last season) so he should be able to provide Kobe a bit of a reprieve on D in certain spots tonight.

    *Another player to watch is Jerryd Bayless. He is the exact type of player that gives the Lakers problems and he’s getting more burn this year as the Blazers have cleared out some of the players that created a clogged backcourt while also recognizing that this kid can play. Plus, as Bayless himself mentioned a couple of weeks ago, he really is a good compliment to Roy as he’s more of a SG in a PG’s body just like Roy is a ball dominating SG that loves to set up his teammates. Bayless compared himself to Mo Williams with Roy playing the Lebron role and that isn’t too far from being the truth (though Bayless is not yet at Williams overall level). It will be interesting if Phil goes with a Farmar/Bayless matchup or if he thinks that Brown’s bigger body can keep Jerryd out of the lane better while using size to contest his jumper.

    *One area where we should do very well is on the glass – both offensive and defensive. With both Oden and Pryzbilla out, Portland’s only reliable size is LaMarcus and he’s not the best rebounding PF around. I think this can be a night where we control the defensive glass and run out to get early offense. I also think it’s a night where, if we’re actually trying to execute our offense and not going into too many isolations and P&R’s, that we’ll also be able to feast on the offensive glass with LO, Bynum, and Artest. I think Ron may actually get more than a couple of put backs as Webster (an uderrated defender, mind you) will start out on him but with TrOutlaw missing, he’ll likely also see some Roy on him at SF when the Blazers go to a smaller lineup. This is where Ron’s strength can serve the dual purpouse of working the offensive glass but also wearing down the Blazer’s best player.

  25. It may be fun, but it seems silly to waste much energy speculating on who wins the finals right now. Rosters are not set yet and trade season is just beginning. How many front offices that are positioning to have serious money to spend this Summer now need to consider the Wiz’ new money situation, not to mention the way it changes the trade market? What if San Antonio finds a way to make a move, or PHX? What happens if Atlanta makes a smart deal or maybe Denver.

    Personally, I think the C’s are a great team and if luck breaks for them they can win it all. Same goes for the Lakers. Barring injury and any other major roster changes, the Lakers will be peaking and ready to beat anybody come May and June. The same can be said about the Lepers. Both teams have heart, both have distinctive styles, both are mucho talented… enjoy the ride and the buzzer beaters.

  26. The only teams that worry me are:

    In the West:

    The OKC Robber Barons. Young legs, getting good experience in, and with a growing superstar.

    Denver Nuggets. Good combination of guards (if healthy) and Melo was playing very well. They are a nasty team, and the way they are allowed to mug you in their gym has upset the Lakers before.

    San Antonio Spurs. Manu. That is a bad boy, and he has killed us in the past.

    And in the East:

    Cleveland Cavaliers. I worry that in a Finals LeBron will drive at will, the Big Lump of Charisma will hack Pau and Bynum into the hospital, and the referees will actually start wearing Cleveland jerseys to help the “King” get his crown, wave good bye to Cleveland, and join the Knicks (along with Wade) to more fanfare and publicity than the NBA has ever seen…

  27. And now we head to our own personal house of horrors (other than Charlotte). For some reason, our Lakers haven’t gotten it done. The fans in the northwest will have it deafening, but I think we are due for a win. Go Lakers.

  28. Off topic thought looking for feedback: One thing this site has gotten away from some is talking league-wide news and issues. I think we should do more of it, and I may start doing a links-style post more often with thoughts on a variety of issues. I think of this as an NBA site that talks Lakers, and I fear I’ve gotten away from that somewhat. What do you think of that, and what other things might you want to see here?

  29. Fisher is going to get killed by Bayless and Blake.

    *Discussion about league-wide issues would be nice. However, I would rather have more Lakers discussions than league-wide news discussion, personally.

  30. Blake is not playing tonight.

  31. Oh, great, so Fisher will only get killed by Bayless. I feel much better now.

    Would Fisher have trouble guarding Miller? Crafty, but not very fast. Fisher doesn’t like fast.

  32. Kurt, I agree with #29.

    I come here knowing the fact that I get Lakers-centric information & analysis. However, occasionally peppering this site with NBA-related news is okay with me.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is “if it ain’t broke…”

  33. Which league-wide issue should we start with?

  34. Kurt, that is a good idea, I always appreciate it when posters like Snoopy or today even Aaron and drrayeye leave a link for me to follow for “other” NBA news talk, that is good stuff also, like what I read here. You used to do that more yourself in your main post, didn’t you? I would like you to link to your “other” sites that you write articles on also, maybe add a link to the right of this site under the “LA Sports Sites” at least. Overall everything is just fine at FB&G…

  35. RE missing Blazer’s tonight. The K Bros, citing sources, are saying:

    “Portland won’t have Steve Blake, Nicolas Batum, Rudy Fernandez, Travis Outlaw, Greg Oden, and Joel Przybilla, the latter two leaving them seriously short on frontcourt depth, something that worries the fine folks at Blazersedge. Moreover, they’ll likely add another to DNP list tonight- The Oregonian reports Andre Miller is “questionable, if not doubtful” with a sore back.”

    That will be a thin team tonight. While I’m not sure he’ll be active, we may actually see Patty Mills tonight as he was recently called back up from the D-League by the Blazers.

  36. League wide is fine: Gilbert Arenas is an idiot.

  37. Don’t count out Boston just yet. They were not going to go wire to wire like they did in 2008. But come May (and June) they will be tough to beat. I still think they are the best team in the East. The question simply comes down to health. In the West, the Nuggets and Spurs are the teams LA needs to be concerned about.

    Regarding the format:
    I come to this site for Lakers information. Also, I like this site because while it is full of Lakers fans the posters here are knowledgeable and not simple minded cheerleaders.

    Links to some of the major NBA stories are good, though. It would be good to get some analysis on the bigger NBA issues like the upcoming CBA negotiations, and the overall direction of the NBA. Speaking of the upcoming CBA talks how much do any of you want to bet the owners will be looking to add some language that makes it easier to void the contracts of idiotic players?

    Anyway, the blog is good. Those are just some suggestions.

  38. Calling him and idiot is actually being really, really nice. I just dont understand why athletes with so much to lose behave like idiots. Why do these people put themselves in these situations–it boggles my mind.

    To top it off your joking around in a huddle pretending like your shooting a gun after what just happened. How stupid could one person be. Apologize, say it was a boneheaded move and lets get on with it, but no—you have to force David Stern to come down twice as hard for your insubordination. Just pure stupid.

  39. To me, Kobe’s 3 pointer to send the game into overtime was even more impressive:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfB3d1FjhCc

  40. I wouldn’t mind a little more league wide issue discussion here at FB&G especially when a issue or news needs to be discussed.

    The Nets have banned gambling on team flights
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4807203

  41. I’m still trying to figure out what Joey Lakers sees to suggest the Lakers will be good for the next 10 to 15 years. Guys in grade school today will be playing in the NBA then, and who aside from Bynum on the current roster is young enough to even think they may be potentially playing in 2020 or 2025?

    I agree that the Lakers short-term window should last much longer than Boston’s. But let’s not get carried away – there’s no 17-year-old Kobe-types on Phil’s bench waiting to be the next torch bearer.

  42. I just dont understand why athletes with so much to lose behave like idiots. Why do these people put themselves in these situations–it boggles my mind.

    Um… since when are jocks known for being smart…?

    More seriously: Gilbert Arenas’s behaviour goes beyond regular stupid and into the “too stupid for words to describe”-realm. Anyone who’s ever had a steady job knows that the only time you are ever allowed to bring a gun in to work is if it was issued to you by your employer and carrying it around is in your job description. That’s about as basic as putting on pants before going to work.

    I own a couple of very sharp swords and it would never occur to me to take them in to work with me. They are weapons, and they don’t belong in an office. If I wanted to keep them away from my kids (if I had any), I would lock the swords away in my garage or ask a friend to keep them for me. I would not be dumb enough to store them next to my desk at work.

    Guns, loaded or not, don’t belong in a locker room. If that was not glaringly obvious to Arenas, then I’m not sure he belongs in one either.

  43. @Kurt/28 – Just about _anything_ has has got to be better than the constant fighting with trolls.

    I think this sort of forum works better if a post has some kind of central theme to hold the comments together, so maybe a better approach would be a cluster of topics or a focused question. Something like “Who do you like in the East?”, “Best young team?”, “Who would you pick in the all-star game (if you can’t have Yao Ming’s unborn son)?” and “Can Gilbert Arenas really be considered a good shooter if he’s waving an unloaded gun?”. Or something like that.

  44. Kurt,
    League wide issues are fine here. But the league is the Lakers right now. We should throw in some Lebron talk since he is the best player in the NBA and some Orlando and Celtic talk…. but the Lakers are the NBA.

  45. I wonder how many NBA players removed guns from their locker when this whole Gilbert Arenas thing went down..

  46. >we may actually see Patty Mills tonight as he was recently called back up from the D-League by the Blazers.

    speaking of which (I asked this earlier, but it was at the end of another thread), do the Lakers have anyone in the D-league that is a potential call-up in should needs become dire?

  47. 28) Kurt. talking league-wide issues will inevitably lead to talking trades, maybe not just Laker trades. maybe that should be the overarching theme of whatever you have in mind, I know a lot of people love trade spec

  48. Quote of the day?

    “We played like boneheads.” — Bynum on the game against the Clippers.

  49. #46. lakersfansincemikan,
    I don’t think the Lakers have any D-League prospects. In the past several years, the Lakers have not drafted many 2nd round picks that they’ve actually signed to a contract, so they don’t have many players, besides the ones on the roster, that they own the rights to. In fact, in most recent years, the Lakers have used their D-League team more as a way to get some run for their Rookies that weren’t getting much time/were not on the active roster (this was the case with Sun Yue, Farmar, and Crittenton in the past few seasons). Maybe when the Lakers shed some salary and start to keep some of their 2nd round picks they’ll use their D-League team more.

  50. Chownoir (was J) January 8, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    For The Dude Abides
    http://www.boingboing.net/2010/01/07/the-big-lebowski-rew.html

    Kurt, regarding league wide issues, I think you’d end up having to do a tighter moderation if you want to keep up the quality of discourse on this site.

    As is it now, even with the higher than average quality, too often it degenerates into an echo chamber of the same points that one poster will harp on repeatedly and others just say the same thing without contributing anything new. And yes I realize the irony of me saying this as I have supported your complaints about the whiners.

    To use Zephid’s nickname of The Black Hole for example. That was a solid observation by Zephid originally and pointing out what Bynum does and doesn’t do. But it gets picked up repeatedly now as a complaint. It’s one thing to say it on the fly during game comments. But to just pound one point repeatedly without any new data points just gets tiresome after while. That tends to bring the quality down.

    Opening it up to league wide issues will increase the chances of those occurances. I’m sure there will be good discussions too. It’ll just take more moderating effort to maintain the signal to noise ratio.

  51. “Moreover, they’ll likely add another to DNP list tonight- The Oregonian reports Andre Miller is “questionable, if not doubtful” with a sore back.”

    I think by “questionable with a sore back” they really mean “questionable because the front office knows they screwed up signing him and wants him off the team.”

  52. Since this is the only NBA site I read every day (only so many hours in a day), I’d appreciate links to interesting and insightful articles about any NBA stuff. Maybe you can occasionally have an “open” thread, where people can discuss the hot topic du jour (no trade talks though).

  53. Wow, with all these Porty injuries, the Lakers really need to win this one to avoid being officially pwned.

    re Agent Zero: maybe it’s a bad idea for NBA players to blog. You give your typical dumb jock a forum to run his mouth, pretty soon he thinks he’s hot stuff in the brain department in addition to being able to play ball.

  54. re: 28
    I read this blog everyday. Mostly for the insight Kurt and the regular contributors provide.
    Occasional links to and discussion of NBA wide matters would be great.
    But, please no trade speculation.

  55. I love the site and the content. I would be open to an occasional league-wide thread, but I think keeping it Lakers-centric is the best.

  56. I just can’t decide who was looks more foolish, Arenas or Sprewell with his famous “I’ve got to feed my family” comment.

  57. Not much talk about Fisher aganist the Clips. 3 turnover in first 2 minutes, 16 points from assists or buckets from Davis in the first 6 minutes, minus 15 for the game. brown was a plus 4 and Davis only scored 4 points while guarded by Brown. AGAIN D fish is the WORST starting point guard in the NBA. Every coach knows it thats why they clear the court like Clips did and have the PG go one on one. BENCH FISHER!

  58. 46. I caught some of a D-Fenders game not that long ago, and I wouldn’t be looking there for anyone who can step in and help from there. Not in the short term.

  59. dave in hillsboro January 8, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    18/19, believe me, I know how bad the Blazers announcers are. 20 games a year are on the local NBC affiliate, usually including all the Lakers games.

    The funny thing is, some Blazer fans seem to have it in their heads that the Mikes are somehow better than 95% of the announcers in the league. Speaking as someone who samples a lot of games on any given night, I can say with confidence they rank, at best, twentieth in the league.

    I put Joel and Stu pretty high, but I have to give the top spot to Walt Frazier and Mike Breen, more for the former than the latter. I also think highly of the Warriors guys, who have gotten a lot better over the years.

    The worst announcers, though, are actually the ones who display gross ignorance of the game, such as the OKC announcers and the Grizzlies announcers. Portland’s guys are marginally knowledgeable, though they do get stuff wrong, but their fatal flaw is definitely the absolute lack of objectivity.

  60. Preview coming soon, sorry for the delay. Got stuck on Pete Carroll duty at the other job and it’s been hectic.

  61. As an everyday reader of this site, I am often amused by other sites’ interpretations of the Lakers. What do you guys think about this one at Fox Sports? http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/is-artest-ruining-lakers-triangle

  62. We need the Warren Wee Lim first post mojo on the preview!

  63. thisisweaksauce January 8, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Davis (61),

    I definitely believe it may have some merit. The offense has a different look this year, and it makes sense to look at the personnel that is different this year (Artest and a healthy Drew).

  64. #61. Davis,
    I don’t want to be harsh, but I think that article is trash. The author speaks some truths about the inefficienies in the offense – decreased shooting percentages for LO and Fisher and how Ron gets his shots, but I don’t see much (if any) of Ron holding the ball or looking for his own shot or over dribbling looking to make a play for someone else. I’d say that our offensive drop off is more related to our team as a whole not running our sets with as much crispness or energy. I’ve seen us too reliant on shot making and not on creating shots for eachother. I’ve seen too many isolations and not enough backside cutting and screening. And I’ve seen far too little ball movement. To even imply that this is because of Artest is faulty reasoning, at best.

  65. I don’t see a lot of Artest holding the ball up on the offense either. A little with the second unit, if the other team sags off and takes away post entry passes, then he can tend to try to create. But for the most part I think he has fit in the offensive flow with the starters pretty well of late.