Preview & Chat: The Memphis Grizzlies

Kurt —  February 1, 2010

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Records: Lakers 37-11 (1st in West) Grizzlies 25-21 (10th in West)
Offensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 109.3 (9th in league), Grizzlies 110 (7th in league)
Defensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 102 (2nd in league) Grizzlies 110 (25th in league)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Grizzlies: Mike Conley, OJ Mayo, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol

Before you do anything else, run to the local church and light a candle for Andrew Bynum’s knees tonight.

Happy Pau Gasol Day. It was two years ago today that the Lakers traded Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie’s contract and two picks to Memphis for Gasol. Since that day, the Lakers are 142-41 with Gasol in the lineup and have been to the Finals both years, winning once. While that trade is not as lopsided as once thought, is there anyone who would spend more than a second thinking about whether or not to make that trade again?

Lakers Coming In Sunday’s win in Boston may have been the closest thing to a signature win the Lakers have had this year. But the NBA schedule is an unforgiving mistress and now the Lakers have some tough games where they need to show that is not a fluke. Darius put it this way in an email:

I’d really like for the team to build on the momentum that they’ve established on this trip. There was a comment in one of the threads that spoke of our schedule up to the all-star break and there are some doozies still left to play before the rest comes (Memphis, Bobcats, Spurs, Portland, Utah). I’m not saying that the team needs to win all of those, but it would be nice to not be content with a win over the Celtics and get some wins against some other pretty good teams.

What will draw the headlines tonight — Kobe is 29 points away from passing Jerry West as the leading scorer in franchise history. That watch is in full effect tonight.

Grizzlies coming in: This team is good — good enough to be a playoff team in the West and good enough to have won 7 of their last 10. They are not consistent because their defense is not consistent (or is consistently bad), but they have a good offense and on any given night can beat anybody. Last week I caught part of them just outplaying Orlando like it was nothing.

That starts with All Star Zach Randolph. Deserved All Star. Randolph was always one of the best scorers in the game from the left low block, he was almost unstoppable. But he cared not about anything else on the court, or so it seemed. But this year his game has evolved, he has matured as a player. He is shooting a higher percentage than ever in his career, in part because he is getting nearly two more shots per game at the rim than before. He is getting to the foul line more. He is better on the boards (and a much improved offensive rebounder). He’s even playing some defense.

Combine that with the good Marc Gasol in the post and the athletic Rudy Gay at the three, and you have an athletic front line.

Grizzlies blogs Three Shades of Blue is quality

If you read one thing today, read this from Kelly Dwyer. (Well, technically it would have to be two things since you read this.) The man is a legend for a reason.

Keys to game: This is a brutal back-to-back for the Lakers — the emotional high and physical game in Boston, followed up by a lot of travel to take on a team that can score a lot of points and has some quality athletes. On the last game of the road trip. If the Lakers come out flat, they will get run right out of the building.

One thing Memphis has that Lakers fans wish they saw more of was two big men playing well off each other. The Laker defender of the big on the weakside has to be aware, they run little flash in plays near the hoop that are precise. The Lakers bigs need to be mentally ready to be physical again tonight.

The Grizzlies guards can get a little shot happy and not feed the bigs, and they will pretty quickly break out of their offensive sets to run isolation plays. They get away with it because Mayo and Gay are great athletes, but the Lakers can stymie them with good help defense and talking on the court.

Offensively, the Lakers should score plenty against a not very good defensive team if they run their offense and not settle for the first available jumper. Also, this is a battle of PGs who have not played great defense of late, if one of them can take advantage of this it will be a big plus.

Where you can watch: 5 pm start on Channel 9 in LA. Plus, ESPN radio 710am.


Kurt

Posts

259 responses to Preview & Chat: The Memphis Grizzlies

  1. This one’s for Warren!

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  2. Can someone please link to that brilliant Dwyer article every time we, gasp, happen to lose a game for the remainder of this season? Sure gives you some perspective.

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  3. Chownoir (was J) February 1, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Two big men who play off each other. Guards that get shot happy and not feed the bigs. That sounds suspiciously like a certain team we all know and love.

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  4. A Grizzly game….. oh wait, it’s February already, not January.

    *sigh of relief*

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  5. I am more nervous about this game than any other this season. Seriously, what is the tension level for most Laker fans going into this game? I am guessing it is at least orange, and maybe red.

    Stay healthy – Andrew

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  6. A mid-year Grizzly game in Memphis — and Andrew is coming in healthy. If we can just get through this game I will say the jinks is finished.

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  7. Days like this make me happy to have a wooden desk at work. It may not be the most comfortable desk, and my officemates may think I’m building something, but it is certainly handy for knocking whenever Andrew’s knee comes up.

    … ::knocks on desk::

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  8. How do you guys see the big men match-ups? In terms of style, Bynum probably matches up best with Marc Gasol and Pau has a better chance bothering the more mobile Randolph. With Gasol/Odom, it’s probably LO on Randolph plus the dueling brothers, right? That will be a lot of hair and beard colliding.

    Mentioning Randolph, one thing I’d like one of the really talented NBA writers like Dwyer get into: the season of redemption for players thought to do more harm than good to their teams.

    You have Randolph being instrumental in turning Memphis around. AI has improved the 76ers again, exemplified by Samuel Dalembert’s complete turn-around since Iverson returned. Jamal Crawford is in the running for Sixth Man of the Year and one of the keys to Atlanta’s success. And finally, Stephen Jackson has turned around the Bobcats in a way I would have never expected, and in a very short time. Interesting development, and something that should also quiet the Artest doubters a little bit.

    And finally, since Darius encouraged us to look for ways to keep improving FB&G, I encourage you to take a look at this video breakdown from Celticshub:

    http://celticshub.com/2010/02/01/the-set-that-almost-saved-the-game/

    I really liked the way they found out something new and used the visualization to illustrate the point so that even casual fans can grasp it. I think this could really help to explain things like the intricacies of the triangle, the Lakers’ defensive philosophies, how Bynum uses his jab step, Artest’s defensive impact etc etc. I know that enough people here have the knowledge, maybe they also have the video editing skills.

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  9. Hey, another January game in Memphis. Bynum can’t be that unlucky, can he?

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  10. Stay safe, Drew!!

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  11. Chownoir (was J) February 1, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Tsk, tsk Kurt, obviously you already have one foot out the door, this being your last week and all. LOL!

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  12. Kevin over at TrueHoop gave a mea culpa to Zach Randolph the other day. It’s a nice little post with an example of Zach’s improved play this season:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/12636/im-sorry-z-bo

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  13. considering the Celtic’s play as of late, I would consider this game as big of a statement game as yesterday’s.

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  14. If I was Andrew Bynum, I would cal from home saying I had a fever or something… No way he should be playing 😉

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  15. The Lakers have done a grea job in back-to-back games this year going a NBA best 9-3 in the second game of the back-to-back games

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  16. Has Zach really improved? Seems like Zach’s doing the 20-10 that he always does and his assists are pretty similar, he just has better teammates now.

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  17. I admit that I have not lit a candle for Andrew’s knees tonight. I am, however, about to cut the head off a chicken.

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  18. links?

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  19. Pau takes a jumpshot, where has that been.

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  20. does not seem like kobe is in facilitator mode tonight

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  21. Kobe has missed every shot attempt, and both his free throw attempts. Time for the rest of the team to stop deferring to him for a while.

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  22. looking like a trap game right now

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  23. Did you guys just hear these Memphis announcers complaining about Kobe complaining. What a joke – your team wins a few games and now you are in a position to trash the greatest player in the game – get a grip.

    Here’s your sign (designed by the folks who announce the Celtics and Blazers games). *** “I’m a jackass”

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  24. any links?

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  25. kobe shooting like he wants that record tonight

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  26. Grizz energy and length seem to be bothering bynum (especially gasol). Its good to see pj go the bench earlier tonight.

    Grizz are interesting as they are super athletic but dont run that much. They are committed to go into the post which they have an advantage against most teams. Looks like they want to push the pace a bit more tonight.

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  27. defensive strategy, let conley shoot

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  28. Farmar takin’ it 1 on 3 and making it!

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  29. Anyone else not a fan of Kobe’s new finger splint?

    Uuuh… never mind.

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  30. Kobe hits a FT! Makes a nice change. Does anyone have numbers of his FT% since the Minnesota game when he injured his finger?

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  31. whoops rudy gay

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  32. The gasol brothers are the nba leaders in bad haircuts and facial hair vacations

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  33. Kobe’s shooting percentage is in direct inverse proportion to the time left in the quarter.

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  34. I wonder what he was thinking, the clock is right in front of his face going down the court.

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  35. WOW Kobe makes the Grizzlies pay for a very bad shot with a 3 at the buzzer

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  36. What a crazy quarter. Rudy’s untimely half court attempt, Kobe’s attrocious FT shooting, and missing easy shots (to him). Hopefully this game becomes easier to watch next quarter.

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  37. z-bo’s eating LO up. nice work on the boards for LO though

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  38. im gonna say it again, give sasha a chance

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  39. Like the cuts and activity by the bench players, not standing around watching the ball bounce. Energy is good considering the physical game played yesterday afternoon.

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  40. I’m gonna say it again: For the love of god and all that is holy, we FINALLY have some backup guards starting to play decent in Farmar and Brown. They’re doing that, in part, because they’re finally getting consistent minutes because Phil FINALLY has a halfway decent rotation.

    Do NOT mess it up by going back to Sasha again. Sasha has had more than his share of chances. He’s played absolutely awful since he signed his new contract. Do not, repeat, DO NOT, start giving him meaningful minutes again.

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  41. This Lakers team turns the ball over way too much

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  42. This is an ugly basketball game.

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  43. 2 bonehead plays by shannon, the no look mustard off the hotdog pass and fouling a 3 shooter.

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  44. Boy was my last post ill-timed with that awful Brown sequence. Blowing an easy fast break with an ugly behind the back pass and then fouling a three point shooter.

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  45. Guys…make the SIMPLE play.

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  46. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Shannon Brown runs some of the worst 2-on-1 breaks I’ve ever seen.

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  47. i guess its the 8th game of a road trip, stupid turnover, offensive rebounds and missed free throws

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  48. Shannon just needs to slow down, and not rush. His body is moving a little faster than his mind at times during the game

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  49. 43, it’s Murphy’s law, the moment you praise them, the decide to brain-fart a couple of times. The saddest part here is that theory says that Memphis is one of those rare teams that have worst bench than us, but right now they’re getting away with 4 bench players in the court.

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  50. if this trip ends 5-3, that victory in boston means a lot less.

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  51. I am a big fisher supporter, but I just dont know how he can continue to get regular minutes

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  52. My god is there a worse all around pt guard in the NBA then Fisher. He makes Smush Parker look good. He needs to retire and become a coach because he looks like a fool out there.

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  53. The Lakers should have known coming in they were getting a high energy, very athletic team, they have yet to match the intensity Memphis has played with. The Grizz are a tough out at home but defensively the Lakers have to tighten up and be more methodical on offense.

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  54. The problem for me, and probably the main reason why I get so frustrated with the team being plainly dumb, is that here it’s 3 in the morming, and I have a surgery scheduled for 9 AM, so I make aa extra effort to see them being not bad, but stupid and that’s more I can handle, so that’s it for me tonight, I’ll hope they can rebound from it, because a 5-3 it’s disapointing after yesterday’s game.

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  55. kobe’s gonna get the record in the 3rd.

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  56. lets cheer for the wizards:)

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  57. sorry grizz fans but your not aloud to whack people on the arm

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  58. These Grizzlies commentators whine a lot.

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  59. Haha wow the announcers think its the referees fault that the Grizzlies are clearly fouling and have lost their cool as a young team so often does?

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  60. this is hilarious. the announcers are going out of their minds! where’s sandra bullock when you need her?

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  61. The Memphis announcers are losing their minds.

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  62. Kobe is playing mid season defense, and that is making Hudson look like an All Star.

    Of course, on the last game of an 8 game road trip, on the back half of a back to back, and following that emotional win over the Celtics on top of it all, I am not thinking of this as a trap game so much as a FULLY OPERATIONAL BATTLE STATION!

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  63. Is it just me or are these announcers as bad as the Portland ones?

    That jumper on the baseline, Kobe got hit on the elbow.

    That last three, he was hit all over the arms.

    The technical foul call, you can’t throw your headband.

    Those are three CORRECT calls and the announcers are talking about the need to “rein in the ref”.

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  64. Anyone think “they” told Kobe to go for the all time record tonight or maybe it was his own idea?

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  65. The Grizzlies announcers are major homers. It’s too bad having to listen to this broadcast- dude pulls on Kobe’s jersey and gets the foul and they complain. Z-Bo rips off his headband and throws it, which is a guaranteed Tech and they complain like they don’t know that’s an action that guarantees a Tech!

    Anyway, I think the Lakers have this and will probably go on a tear in the 3rd. Kobe will get his record tonight.

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  66. grizz ran up that lead resting their starters. bench got outscored 8-17. we’re lucky to just be down by 2. really don’t want kobe to have to go into hero mode.

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  67. Initial impressions:

    Zack Randolph looks like a younger and meaner Charles Barkley.

    Haddadi looks like Jaws from the Bond movies when he sneers.

    The Grizzles announcers believe there is a league-wide refereeing conspiracy against their team.

    Shannon Brown is trying too hard.

    Artest looks even more like his old self.

    Pau takes playing against his brother personally.

    Kobe can shoot as much as he wants, but only if he makes the shots.

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  68. the grizz with tyreke evans, steph curry or brandon jennings= scary

    belief in conley but not m. gasol= stupid

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  69. other than Kobe , i don’t see other players trying at least to be agressive or making plays so not much a surprise here that kobe is shooting so much.Hope we can get our bigs and the bench going in the second half.Q: Does Drew seem a bit out of sync or is it me?

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  70. 70. Got the same feeling, the second half LA will take control of the game. L. Hudson cant stay hot and play like an all star the whole game. Yesterdays game gave me confidence in the mental makeup of this years team. The entire year I have been sold on the talent, but not the mental makeup of the team. In the past two years I didnt worry about LA grinding out a close game, this year it has been a little different at the start of this season. Hope we are starting to get our mojo back.

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  71. if kobe is injury free he never misses these shots

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  72. Kobe is actually shooting at a nice clip, so no complaints, except of course that none of our other guys will probably get it going when they need to.

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  73. hope they start involving drew in the offense soon. he only took 1 shot.

    crap. now he’s got 4 fouls too.

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  74. What an awful network.

    You’ve got an injured player on the court. Cover the damned game as the first priority.

    It bothers me when they do this in LA, but at least there if there was an injury they’d cut off the interview to cover the actual basketball significant item.

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  75. The Griz had 10 more shot attempts in the first half. It doesn’t really matter what their shooting percentage if they can keep hoisting up shots.

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  76. lakers missing some real easy shot close at the rim

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  77. I can t watch fisher shoot any more.

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  78. Ugh…shouldn’t have opened my mouth

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  79. I am convinced our players have no idea what offensive system they are running. It sure isn’t the triangle. This is trash basketball by the Lakers – win or lose.

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  80. Marc Gasol is a MONSTER!

    Yeah right! Play smart, Drew and Pau.

    Force him to make some shots first!

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  81. Kobe offending the announcers with his dunk. Love it. 🙂

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  82. timely 3 by ron. nice kobe throwdown. who else is gonna wake up?

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  83. Do these commentators know that Laker fans are actually allowed to attend games in Memphis?

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  84. 84. we’re just missing open shots

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  85. Joel, I suspect there are lots of things these announcers don’t know about… 😉

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  86. What’s their front line like?

    Our frontline of Bynum, Gasol and Odom seem to be awful quiet against M.Gasol and Randolph…

    *now that Kobe hit the record, will he distribute?

    **since memphis just subbed two players that ESPN don’t even have pics for, we should be taking the lead…
    *** Bynum, now Artest with 4…

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  87. is it just me but does it seem like Gasol just can not hang onto the ball lately??

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  88. What’s up with all the fouls? Grizz more aggressive? Why do I affirm myself all the more that this game was going to turn out like this? Sheesh…GO LAKERS!

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  89. Gawd these announcers are bad.

    That was a jump ball. Another good call that the announcers ***** about.

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  90. Stop…it’s KOBE time!

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  91. these announcers make joel meyers a lot easier to live with.

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  92. If I hear another holy cow, I’m gonna puke. I miss hearing “length” and “short corner 3s”…

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  93. It’s weird to hear crowd noise in Memphis.

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  94. Holy cow! These announcers are horrible.

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  95. Momentum about to shift, about to shift, but not quite shifting.

    Argh… we could’ve jumped them for 5 or so…

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  96. well what do we know, a point game…could have been a lot worse…now time to show some winning form on the road.

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  97. At this point, if Bynum injures himself again kneeing the Memphis announcers in the junk, I’m ok with that.

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  98. I honestly believe that there should be some additional oversight from the NBA about the local announcers.

    Is it any wonder that half the fans of the league think that it is rigged to make the Lakers win when they’re constantly hearing announcers like this outright stating that’s the case?

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  99. By the way his will be the 6th game this year Fisher has more TO then points.

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  100. Wait, am I hearing this right…? The Memphis Grizzlies are tied against the Lakers, and the announcers are saying the reason they’re not winning is because the refs are against the Grizzlies? Really?

    No wonder fans of other teams hate our guts, if that’s the only “analysis” they ever hear.

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  101. Did i hear one of the announcers say ”the biggest protection in America” after Kobe got fouled?

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  102. I really hope the Lakers don’t have a first round playoff game in Memphis this year where I have to listen to these clownsl. My brain is sore.

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  103. gotta get in front quickly. can’t play catchup on the tail end of a back to back / 8 game road trip against this young team.

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  104. The energy of the team is very different when LA has Farmar and Brown in the game. The young back court will make mistakes, but the lessons they learn now will help later on.

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  105. Good defense to start the quarter!

    MAMBA!

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  106. I hope this doesn’t come down to all the missed free throws.

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  107. who is lester hudson and why so much mileage?

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  108. can no one get a rebound?

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  109. I hope it doesn’t come down to all the offensive rebounds we give up…

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  110. The biggest protection in America?

    I always thought that was the Trojan Magnum XL?

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  111. Lester Hudson is gonna get his no matter what you do. The key is to make sure that the scrub players don’t beat you.

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  112. Can someone explain the low number by Bynum and Gasol? Is there a reason Kobe has out-shot nearly the entire starting five?

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  113. 111. Isn’t Lester Hudson one of the scrub players?

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  114. am quite concerned about this kobe-less stretch.

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  115. drew and his dumb fouls

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  116. Bynum just picked up the dumbest 5th foul EVER!… EVER!… STUPID! I think he wants out so he doesn’t get hurt.

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  117. somone rebound please

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  118. For me, tonight, Bynum gets a pass.

    Not next year. But this year I understand why the game might be in his head, rather than the other way around.

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  119. Ball goes out on Randolph. Memphis ends up with the ball as the refs rule it is out on Lamar. This surprises even these awful homor Memphis announcers. Odom complains for a bit…and somehow it turns into a conversation about how Kobe complains about every single call?

    Kind of reminds me about the Memphis announcers. They’ve complained about every single call all game long.

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  120. 114. It was a joke. My point is that letting Lester Hudson shred your defense over and over again is inexcusable.

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  121. 112. It’s called Kobe has carried the team with Ron Ron, nobody else wants to step up and play. Kobe can shoot this many shots if hes gonna hit them the way he has tonight especially when Bynum and Gasol being mentally checked out.

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  122. dfish off night 23 mins — 0-0-0 thus far

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  123. The Gasol family a combined 9 of 17 at the line as I type this.

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  124. I hope this game doesnt go to overtime. LA will not have enough players left, everybody will be on the bench fouled out.

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  125. Pau really struggling, the last couple games. He has to snap out of it, they are not the same team with him struggling like this

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  126. This game is looking an awful lot like the Raptors game, the Lakers having a chance to close it out but allowing the Grizz to come back in the game because they cannot make stops on the defensive end.

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  127. 120:

    I hope it doesn’t go into overtime because I think I might fracture my finger on the mute button.

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  128. a lot of kwame hands out there. outrebounded 47-37 so far.

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  129. no over the back?

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  130. Zach Randolph has owned the lakers big men tonight (Especially you Lamar)

    Wiseolgoat that’s where Boxing out and going up strong helps on getting a rebound, but sadly Pau forget fundamentals there.

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  131. This out of bounds call depends on how “long” Zach Randolph is. 🙂

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  132. Holy cow!!! They just gave credit to the officials!!!!

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  133. Is it just my mathematical ability (or lack of such) working off the boxscore, or are we -10 on the boards?

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  134. Derek what a horrible shot, instead of forcing that jumper reverse the dang ball and get the ball in your best players hands.

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  135. Haha this was great…when they thought they weren’t going to look at it they claimed with certainty that it came off Kobe. Then when they find out the refs are going to review it, it turns out they already knew it hit Randolph. These commentators…

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  136. fish i hate you please retire

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  137. wtf was derek thinking?

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  138. 129:

    Couldn’t agree more. Our point guards have some huge issues with shot selection.

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  139. Randolph showing today why it’s him and not Drew going to the ASG.

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  140. terrible, terrible shot by fisher…..

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  141. KOOOBE!!!!

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  142. This 4th quarter has pissed me off, Kobe has literally been on the fire yet nobody has gotten him the ball when it matters, yes he missed that 3 but look at what the guy is doing now. He should have had the ball in his hands EVERY possession this quarter where he can create for himself and everyone else.

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  143. I can’t believe that Kobe three went in.

    I SHOULD believe. I’ve seen it so many damned times.

    I STILL can’t believe it.

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  144. This is my problem with Fisher: he’s supposed to be the smart, savvy veteran, and half the time his decision-making is his biggest weakness.

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  145. Kobe for the 3

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  146. Fisher…good god…

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  147. Can’t ask for a better shot at the win than that.

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  148. Oh, how I wish Kobe had taken that 3 over Marc Gasol…

    This is a painful way to end an otherwise a pretty good road trip.

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  149. This whole not calling a time out is cool and all, but in that situation? Then again, it was a good look for Artest.

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  150. i think we can attribute that last possession to phil wanting them to learn on their own and the team wanting to have nothing to do with overtime

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  151. I really would rather have seen Kobe put that shot up than Artest.

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  152. in the future kobe i dont care who is open you shoot it

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  153. Kobe did everything he could to win this game for the team even made the play at the end to give the team the best chance to win . . . very disappointing loss. He cant do it on his own like that.

    And guys the Lakers had ZERO timeouts left thats why the never called one.

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  154. thisisweaksauce February 1, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    I don’t like criticizing Kobe (and I’m not being negative), but don’t you shoot with some time left so you have the chance for an offensive rebound when you are down? Thoughts?

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  155. And that my friends is why Kobe hates to pass off the last shot…

    And why I never get angry when Kobe takes the last shot…

    Tough loss, ragged game, but nothing to worry too much about.

    And, for the first time in three years, Bynum walked off the court. Not limped, walked.

    5-3 on the road trip is not too bad.

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  156. #158,
    Kobe disagrees, and so do I. Artest was wide open, and has been reliable from 3-point over and over. Add to that, that he never panics or gets jittered, and he was a good player to pass to in that situation.

    At least we beat the Celtics last night. When was the last time the Grizzlies did that?

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  157. LOL @ Jim C.

    Z-Bo’s pretty damn long.

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  158. 160:

    I’d rather have a COMPLETELY uncontested and wide open shot for the win and no time left for a rebound than take a bad shot but have a shot at the rebound.

    We got a fantastic last shot and it just didn’t go in. Can’t ask for more.

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  159. >This whole not calling a time out is cool and all, but in that situation?

    why bother? you know it’ll be KB against the world when they run it.

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  160. At least the Lakers made it out of Memphis with Bynum healthy. 5-3 on the road trip not bad

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  161. 160. Kobe got a better shot for Ron than the Lakers could have even drawn up on their own, Wide open to tie the game.

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  162. A close loss to the Grizzlies isn’t that bad in itself, but couldn’t someone other than Kobe and Artest have shown up tonight?

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  163. Don’t matter how wide open you are if your name aint kobe

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  164. Are people really satisfied with a 5-3 road trip really? Give me a break the Lakers gave two games away, they should have been 7-1 with the only loss coming to Cleveland. Disappointing road trip, the Boston loss was nice but losing games like these hurt. Cleveland has 14 games left on the road the rest of the year, it’s pretty much a lock that they will have Homecourt advantage the rest of the playoffs barring injuries.

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  165. Fisher 1 for 6 NO ASSISTS and a minus 11. The worst starter in the league.

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  166. This is what I take from tonight… Great way to end last week and terrible way to start this week. Unfortunately that’s how I have to look at it, unless I want to be an A-Hole to evryone I come across.

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  167. PJ has got to keep Farmar in the game to get some end of game situation burn. Tonight when Farmar was in the game the team looked a lot better. Let him play Phil, its time to take the kid gloves off. Fish looked horrible tonight from start to finish, the back to back games took his game to the sewer.

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  168. should phil have called a timeout? maybe but kobe made the right play. artest was making that all night. what bugs me was their play prior to being down 5…. kobe barely had the ball in his hands. terrible shots by fish (luckily he made one). once they were down 5, kobe slashed to the hoop for an easy layup… why didn’t he do that earlier?!?

    5-3 roadtrip is not fulfilling. played a good game down the stretch against boston but terrible against memphis and toronto. should’ve been 7-1.

    159. the lakers had 2 timeouts. a full and a twenty.

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  169. Anyway, I’m just glad vintage Artest seems to be making a comeback.

    Pau, on the other hand, isn’t looking so good lately.

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  170. i agree jim, kobe (though i wish he had the ball regardless) could only do so much to compensate for minutes of subpar rebounding and fouling.

    this game is on our bigs…and pau as our 2nd option should not have had a night equal to his brother’s who is 3rd or 4th option. but he’s going to have nights like this.

    looks like we want the cavs to own the regular season…

    well, phil ftw in LA…we like drama.

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  171. Dredawg I said the same thing earlier in my post at 149. Kobe had only 6 count them 6 shots in the 4th quarter, give me a break if he is on fire and everyone else is struggling it is the team’s responsibility to get the ball in the best players hands. The way Kobe shot tonight he should have 32-35 shots (and no when someone is shooting that well it isn’t a bad thing to shoot that many times) if everyone remembers he missed most of his shots in the 1st quarter.

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  172. 5-3, not bad.

    I’m not kidding, as long as the game against Boston contributed to the 5, not the 3.

    Kinda shucks that we lost to Cleveland, but still, it was a LOOOOONG road trip and 5-3 really isn’t that bad considering that we are nursing injuries.

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  173. I dont know about all but we won this game, Bynum didnt get hurt. Thats a win for me.

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  174. Can’t ask for a better chance to win the game. Ron was WIDE open. He should have made it. Kobe did what everybody’s been asking him to do – he created a perfect shot for a teammate to win the game (rather than take a difficult shot himself).

    The lesson: Kobe should take the shot.

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  175. To me, the Lakers were lucky to even have had a chance to win a game in which no one besides Kobe and Ron really came to play. If Artest had made that 3, the Lakers would have stolen a game that they didn’t deserve to win.

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  176. 5-3 is ok.. And the Memphis team that beat us today isn’t the scrub they used to be..

    I don’t know if anyone shares this sentiment with me, but I look at this Memphis team as a little brother team.. They have a Gasol, someone that plays like Lamar (Rudy Gay, though a lot more athletic), and a KOBE lite lite lite lite lite lite lite lite lite (OJ Mayo).. It isn’t too bad losing to your little brother once in a while..

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  177. BTW, I’m sorry, everyone who says, “5-3 is pretty good” is wrong. Crappy end to the road trip.

    Boston game is already forgotten.

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  178. Why is it that every time we lose to a SOMEWHAT decent team, people keep saying “it’s not that bad of a loss”. Really? I’m sorry, but am I missing something here? When is losing ever good? I didn’t know losing was a goal. Losing sucks! And losing to an OK team at best sucks even more! Yes, no team will ever go 82-0 and there will always be ups and downs in a season. That’s understood. But unless we think that teams like Toronto and Memphis are better than us, we should never ever lose to them. Road game or not! Because talentwise, no team in the league can compete with us. So when we lose to teams like this, it’s not because of talent but because of some other thing like desire, focus, intensity, etc. 5-3 on this road trip is unacceptable for a championship team. And before everyone gets upset, no, this doesn’t mean the end of the world!

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  179. Why did everyone keep missing FT’s today??? Our bigs did nothing….but Bynum didn’t get hurt so that’s a plus.

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  180. Kobe made the savvy play to set up Artest.

    If any of our bigs show up tonight we win the game.

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  181. It’s slightly poetic that Kobe breaks the record and has 44 points equaling Jerry West’s jersey number.

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  182. That “nursing injuries” excuse doesn’t work for tonight guys or against the toronto loss, Kobe is the only one really nursing anything and in both those games he played out of his mind. This is the healthiest the Lakers team has been in quite some time. Both these losses were games the Lakers should have won but their inability to get stops and play smart cost them the game.

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  183. “If any of our bigs show up tonight?”

    You can blame Kobe for that and the coaches. If Andrew and/or Gasol are to play well they NEED TO GET THE BALL! Especially Andrew. After Andrew dominates the Celts inside he gets the ball 3 times the entire game? I mean its amazing.

    I also don’t think we can get stops in the 4th quarter with Bynum off the floor and Derek Fisher on it. That combination will spell 4th quarter loss’ over and over again.

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  184. Losses happen. Teams get tired traveling. Players don’t show up to play every night. They make terrible decisions. They fumble passes and brick shots. It’s part of the game, and all of the semi-incoherent run-on sentences in the world on some blog isn’t going to change that.

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  185. Blame Kobe for that Aaron really? Did you watch the game? The bigs were bullied inside and got into foul trouble that’s why they didn’t get the ball, without Kobe that game is a blowout, he put his heart and body on the line tonight for the team he carried them the entire night.

    Bynum reverted to his old self, unecessary fouling and bad defense that cost him playing time in the game.

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  186. 5-3 with a win at the end would have been okay.

    5-3 with a loss at the end does hurt a bit.

    However, considering that this is the last of the 8 game east coast road trip with the 3rd set of back to back, we have to applaud the team for overall effort. As much as a passionate fan need to give constructive criticisms, the same fan must learn to applaud the team for its effort. I just wish they could have given a bit more effort, but maybe there wasn’t any left in the tank.

    Well done, team. Now, let’s get to the break with a long winning streak, including a win against Portland! PLEASE!

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  187. If PJ had a timeout he should have called. It was a lazy move to just “let em play”. Although this is just a game it really isn’t! Multi million dollar contracts billionaire owners international viewers yada yada it’s more than just a game! We must secure every close win we can- were going to need home court against cocky Lebron!

    Nice game Kobe. He could have and WOULD have won it in overtime!!!

    Fish please take youself to the bench Now!

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  188. i really really don’t think 5 – 3 is “not bad” or “ok”…. that is NOT OK. especially cuz this exact same thing happened a week ago against toronto. up 4 – 6 points with like 4 minutes to go and just could not put the game away..

    and again our bigs were killed! outrebounded. outscored. out-everything!

    and yes, the free throws! i dont believe kobe missed 5 of them! but… memphis missed just as many free throws.

    really, our bigs were outplayed, too much turnovers and the inability to close the game.

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  189. im still going to be disapointed if we dont address the point before the deadline, come on mitch

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  190. Last year showed me one thing: I will no longer complain about losing to lower-tier teams if we can consistently show up against top teams. OK, I’ll complain minimally. I’m by no means happy with a loss, but I’ll take a W in Boston and a L in Memphis instead of vice versa.

    “This is my problem with Fisher: he’s supposed to be the smart, savvy veteran, and half the time his decision-making is his biggest weakness.”

    From Joel, quoted for emphasis.

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  191. If you look at the Lakers remaining games before the allstar break if they dont show up every night they may be lucky to have the best record in the west at that point.

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  192. 192. i agree, not getting the ball wasn’t even an issue. i’m ok with the bigs not shooting enough especially in a game when both kobe and artest are playing well, but cmon, get some more rebounds, defend, foul less, and block some shots (lakers had ZERO blocks the entire game).

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  193. 190.

    Pau- takes half a year to get his shot off, he gets the ball surveys, dribbles, looks around, and dribbles some more. Then o hey double coming let me pass. He gets scared of getting fouled cuz he cant make FT. His little flip hook shot is wildly inconsistent along with his mid range jumper.

    Drew- sucks at making an easy target for the post entry pass. Bball 101 seal your man make a target with your hand, keep man sealed and go to the ball. He fumbled the ball 3 or 4 times in the first quarter. Then he gets in foul trouble, you can’t play if you on the bench. Stupid reach in foul on Connley. All coupled together with the point blank missed dunk.

    so Aaron good job diminishing Kobe’s efforts, he will be the only one not getting any sleep tonight because of this loss.

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  194. I’m not going to tell anyone how to deal with a loss. But, I’m seeing a lot of “should have won” comments and that is where things get dicey for me. There are not guarantees and talent does not trump all. Both teams played hard, but one team played better and it was Memphis. They made the key plays down the stretch and earned a win.

    The Lakers (outside of some shot making by Kobe and Artest) played poorly. They reached on defense and took the easy route out on offense by taking the first available semi-open shot and not working the ball around the court to take advantage of a defense with holes in it. They didn’t protect their defensive glass and were (at times) too careless with the ball. I mentioned this last week, but the other team is full of professional players too. Guys that get motivated to play the champs. Guys that have heart and want to win.

    Like I said, I’m not going to tell anyone they can’t be upset by a loss. I’m disappointed as well. But in the end, a 5-3 road trip was very realistic when the team left LA two weeks ago and that’s what they got. The team played well over the course of their trip. Could they have played better? Surely. There are still things to get better at, but that’s almost always going to be the case.

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