Preview & Chat: The Portland Trailblazers

Darius Soriano —  February 6, 2010

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Update: Kobe Bryant will not play tonight because of the sprained ankle that he has been nursing.  Obviously this shifts around the starting lineups.  I would assume that either Shannon Brown or Sasha Vujacic will start, but a darkhorse to start the game would be Luke Walton with Ron Artest sliding down to SG to start the game.  This obviously also changes the dynamic for this team on offense as they have lost their main perimeter threat for the first time in well over 200 games.  This puts an even greater emphasis on our big men performing and we’ll see how all of the other players step up without Kobe in the lineup.  As if this game wasn’t interesting enough.  Back to the preview…

Records: Lakers 38-13 (1st in West) Trailblazers 30-22 (7th in West, 8.5 games back of Lakers)
Offensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 109.4 (9th in league), Trailblazers: 111.0 (5th in league)
Defensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 102.8. (5th in league) Trailblazers: 107.8 (18th in league)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Trailblazers: Andre Miller, Jerryd Bayless (though Roy is a game time decisions and could play), Martell Webster, LaMarcus Aldridge, Juwan Howard

About Last Night: The Lakers ran into a hot, confident, and inspired-with-something-to-prove team in the Denver Nuggets.  Even without Carmelo Anthony, the Nuggets are dangerous and capable and proved that they are a team to be reckoned with.  It’s obvious that the Lakers could have played better defense and been (much) smarter on offense.  Early in the game on defense we saw players help when they should not have and late in the game on offense we saw too much P&R and forced shots outside the flow of our offense.  We gave up and gave away easy points and that contributed to a bitter defeat.

That said, when a team that is as explosive as the Nuggets finds their groove the way that they did in the second half, not much is going to knock them off their trajectory.  So, despite a better effort in the 4th quarter to play defense, it really didn’t matter as Billups and J.R. Smith hit some amazing shots that not only increased their lead but also took the air out of the Lakers.  You throw in our players forcing shots and not making them and you get a ballooning lead that snowballed in the last 5 minutes.  At this point, I could lament on and on about mistakes made on individual plays or break down what went wrong by exploring the X’s and O’s but what we all saw was a determined opponent that found a comfort zone.  It’s as simple as that.  Really, that type of basketball is a beautiful thing to see – except when the team you root for is on the other end of the thrashing.  I tip my cap to the Nuggs and move on to the next game.

Portland coming in: The Blazers can be looked at two different ways right now – they’re either a struggling team (6-6 in their last twelve) that is dealing with some devastating injuries to some of their best players (Oden, Pryzbilla, Roy, Outlaw) or they are a scrappy bunch that is staying in the playoff hunt by maxing out the talent that is available to them.  I lean towards the latter when it comes to this group.  They have won 3 of their last 4 and by beating the Spurs, Charlotte, and Dallas (with the only loss coming to a red hot Jazz team).  And even though Roy is again doubtful for tonight’s game, they’ve gotten Rudy Fernandez and Nic Batum back into the lineup and Andre Miller is stepping up his offensive game to off-set the absence of Roy.  When you throw in a very good player like Aldridge and an uderrated two way player in Martell Webster, you’ve got enough talent to compete every night.  Especially when Nate McMillan, a guy known to get the most out of his players, is pacing the sidelines.

Blazer’s Blogs: Beyond Bowie is new on the scene but they are doing some very good things at that site.  And there is always the very strong Blazer’s Edge, where Dave and crew are always bringing smart analysis and great writing on anything Blazers.

Keys to the Game: Welcome to the ‘Land of the Loss’.  The Lakers have historically struggled to get wins in the Rose Garden and tonight will be no different.  Throw out the records and disregard the injury reports when these two teams meet.  Last night, you saw a visibly frustrated Lakers team depart their home court as fans were quiet and stunned.  Tonight, I’d like to see them channel some of that frustration into positive energy, smart play, and a focus on getting back to the little things that are the difference between winning and losing.

I’m going to sound like a broken record, but on offense the Lakers need to get the ball inside.  The Blazers are down to a big man rotation that prominently features Juwan Howard, Jeff Pendergraph, and Dante Cunningham.  And even though Aldridge is still going strong for Portland, the Lakers have a big advantage inside.  The Lakers need to pass the ball into the post and let Pau and Bynum go to work.  But when the ball does go into the post, the other Lakers just can’t stand around and watch.  The key to the Triangle is ball and player movement and too often we’re getting little of both.  Make the post entry and cut, screen, and be active.  Also, if Roy does not play, look for one of Artest or Kobe to take advantage of a smaller player that is guarding them.  The Blazers have been starting the diminutive Jerryd Bayless in Roy’s place and he’s going to have to guard someone.  If the Blazers use him to defend our PG, then that means Andre Miller will need to guard either Kobe or Ron.  If they keep Miller defending our PG that means Bayless will be on Kobe or Ron – either way this is an advantage that the Lakers can exploit.  But all of this should come within the flow of our sets.  Run the backside screen action that leads to curls into the lane.  Play more of the high low game with Pau at the FT line and Bynum getting deep position under the rim.  I hope to see less high P&R and more of the ball screen actions that are built into the Triangle – i.e. the sideline P&R and the pinch post hand off P&R that we hurt Orlando with in the last years Finals.

On defense, the Blazers will look to exploit our P&R defense.  They have a classic stretch 4 in Aldridge and they’ll run a lot of P&R with LaMarcus popping to open space to shoot his feathery jumper.  The Lakers will need strong rotations tonight and will need to help the helper when the guard comes off the screen and our big man is out helping.  Portland will run this P&R with a variety of guards so the Lakers need to be prepared for all of the different tendencies of their players.  Miller loves to turn the corner and use his physicality to get into the lane.  Bayless will shoot the jumper coming off the screen, but he’s also an explosive player and will look to turn the corner and/or split our defenders when he comes off the screen.  Fernandez is a Ginobili type that has an all around game and will also both shoot or turn the corner in their screen game.  Fernandez is also a crafty passer and will find the open man if you over help on him.  The Blazers will also look to post up Andre Miller whatever PG is guarding him so our bigs are going to need to be cognizant of him on the block while also recovering to rebound.

Where you can watch: 7:00 pm start time out West, on KCAL channel 9.  Also on ESPN Radio 710am.

Darius Soriano

Posts

264 responses to Preview & Chat: The Portland Trailblazers

  1. continuing in the role of doomsday curmudgeon, I’ve got to say that this Warren posting just isn’t working like it used to, but.

  2. Having slept on last night’s game, I come to the same conclusion – the Lakers, as currently constructed, are not winning a championship.

    Last year, even when they were struggling against Houston, there was an underlying confidence the team had, and more importantly, Shannon Brown was playing out of his mind (as we’ve discovered this year), so the Lakers had another reliable guard they could go to.

    The problem this year is all the guards on the Lakers aren’t even reaching “replacement level” play on a nightly basis. Shannon shows flashes, but unlike last year, he’s not killing himself the same way on D, and he’s not playing within the offense.

    Farmar is still Farmar (dominating the ball, only passing as a last resort, thinking shoot first).

    Most importantly, as bad as Fish was last postseason, he actually got worse this year.

    The argument “the other positions will make up for poor guard play” doesn’t quite work, because what happens if part of the poor guard play is they don’t get it inside to their big men (where the advantage lies)?

    To put it in (terrifying) statistical terms:

    Laker guard 3pt percentage:

    Fisher – 34%
    Farmar – 34%
    S. Brown – 33%
    Sasha – 36% (btw, 0% during meaninful minutes)

    Cleveland guard 3pt percentage:

    Gibson – 47%
    Parker – 45%
    M. Williams – 43%
    D. West – 39%

    How depressing is that?

    You know what’s even more depressing? Williams, Parker, and West are all FAR better defenders than any of the Laker guards (except maybe Shannon).

    So not only can’t the Laker guards shoot, but they can’t defend either…

    THAT’S a big problem, no matter how you look at it.

    In my opinion, that’s a problem that’s going to keep the team from winning a championship (remember, last year, Fish shot 40% from three, and Shannon shot 67% from three).

  3. Three quickie comments. One, the frustration with the Lakers begins with the fact that they seem to have abandoned working the triangle with any sense of prolonged conviction. As such, at times they seem identity-less.

    Two is the fact that I struggle to think of more than one or two complete, all-out effort games this whole season, and that is a serious departure from last season.

    Three, it was disappointing to see such weak defense by Bynum last night. At one point, PJ needed to take him out and bring Odom in, as Nene was just working him around the hoop. Their identity could gain a little toughness if AB commits to D.

    Plenty of season to go, but definite reasons to be concerned.

    Mark

  4. Players who fed the post:
    Artest: 8
    Gasol: 6
    Fisher: 6
    Bryant: 2
    Odom: 4
    Vujacic: 4
    Farmar: 1
    Brown: 1

    2 other times Brown had opportunities to feed the post but did not. He didn’t find the flow of the offense last night…

    Gasol received 13 passes in the post and passed out 6 times.

    Bynum received 9 entry passes, passing out of the post once.

    Bryant and Artest each had 4 opportunities in the block.

    Whither the re-post? I’m a big fan of this, and it rarely happens. Throw it in, throw it back out, get deeper position and throw it back in…

    In the first half the Lakers ran 10 pick and rolls, mostly after entry passes were denied by the Nuggets.

    11 P and R’s in the second half, but 8 of those were run in the lat 7 minutes of the 4th quarter, all but one being of the Gasol-Bryant type. This was not the tide changing play the offense was looking for.

    11 shots came off “isos”. Kobe with 5 (4 when he was on fire in the first quarter), Odom 2.

    One thing that must have been instituted in practice was a focus on running the “blind pig”. The high rub/hand off at the top of the key allowing for more cutters while running a two man game. The Lakers did this 9 times but only once in the second half.

    But this is all rendered somewhat moot by the shoddy defense.

    I’ll try and do this again tonight…

  5. Lakers in a walk tonight. Angry and tired of the Portland streak.

  6. So, back from welcoming in to this world another Texas-born Laker fan, my second son (thanks for the support Texas Rob!) and my first game to watch was last night’s Denver game. I turned it off near the midway point of the third and went to diaper changing duty because it stunk less than our team. I’m not a nay-sayer, but it looks like Kobe is the only player who is truly busting his hump in this quest to repeat. I know Ron doesn’t know the triangle, our guards aren’t shooting great or defending the perimeter and Bynum is allergic to passing out of the post, but….there are still over 30 games left. We are still 3 games up on the Thuggets and the rest of the West and should we reach the Finals we’ll have all the motivation we need in knowing that Cleveland thumped us and edged us (unless the Cs beat them). Our team will start to come together and tonight is the night that could galvanize our identity. What better way to get it going than by beating the Blazers. We have always found ways to lose at Portland, but Kobe will LEAD us to a win tonight and our big men will play BIG. Go Lakers!

  7. Anyone thinks Pat Riley quote applies to this year’s Lakers team? Are the more positive fans falling into the below too?

    When a great team loses through complacency, it will constantly search for new and more intricate explanations to explain away defeat.
    Pat Riley

  8. Burgundy, I am totally with you. This team is NOT repeating – might even get bumped in the first round if they happen to meet Portland or another inspired team.

    Portland has many of their starters out and they have a respectable win-loss. If the Lakers have Kobe out – they will probably lose every game!!! No one can even argue that since they barely win with him on the court and he’s the only one bringing the effort and heart to play the game.

    People keep talking about other teams get hot shooting nights – well when have the Lakers had ONE of those this year?

    Season is already half over and this team is getting worse, they aren’t improving like other teams finding their groove.

    Last year the team won big games and had that confidence as someone already mentioned. This year – they have no swagger but are giving other teams all the reasons to believe they can beat them in a 7 game series.

    If it’s PJs way of showing Mitch get us some trades then props to him for his genius. Lose big to Portland… (edited for trade speculation.)

    Let’s have players that want to compete every minute and play their damn hearts out for their freaking million dollar salaries.

  9. Having slept on last night’s game, I come to the same conclusion – the Lakers, as currently constructed, are not winning a championship.

    _____________________________

    They would be favored in a best-of-7 against anyone–except for Cleveland.

  10. They would be favored in a best-of-7 against anyone–except for Cleveland.

    _____________________________________

    Unfortunately, Cleveland is the team they’d be facing…and the Lakers wouldn’t have HCA.

    BTW, I don’t see them beating Denver, either with Fish guarding Billups.

  11. Robinred – does that mean you wouldn’t mind it if the Lakers lost to Cleveland in the finals?

    Losing at home against the Nuggets without Melo is unacceptable. I’ve been saying this for a while, but we absolutely need a sharp shooter. I don’t know what we can do but Sasha Vujacic off the bench isn’t the answer.

  12. Interesting posts in the chat so far.

    Disturbed by burgandy’s.
    Even more disturbed by Gatihno’s.

    We’ve talked a lot about the guards here, and I think we all have come to the conclusion of that they suck. Their metrics sucks. Their “eye-tests” suck. And I’m starting to think that their brains suck.

    So moving on…this team is looking unlike other recent Laker teams as they are playing with a lack of collective intelligence. We have some of the smartest players in the league: Gasol, Kobe, LO, Walton, Artest (I know), and historically Fish. We also have some players that seem to let their inexperience get the best of them.

    Bynum is more brawn than brain, but he is so young and improving all the time.

    Farmar has been in the system too long not to get it. He’s out.

    Brown is so mercurial that his inconsistency has to be attributed to lapses in focus. He seems like he wrapped up in his own. Which isn’t that much and makes me wonder about him.

    Fisher has not been making good decisions: PUJITs, over-penetration, bad defense, horrible passing in transition.

    Sascha. The new Slava (I’m sorry if his name is banned from the site, I saw no other way to illustrate my disgust).

    These players are a far cry from Horry, Harper, Shaw, Fox, Grant, Rice, and the old Fisher.

    The most troubling factor is these players are not progressing (except Bynum, who is going to be great, and is showing real signs of becoming an all-around player).

    It will be interesting to see how we react to Portland who are a very cerebral team and minimize possessions. The Lakers need to make good decisions against the Blazers. They aren’t as many chances against them, but if we are efficient, we can dominate them with our size.

    Its time to beat Portland in the Rose Garden.

  13. http://tinyurl.com/d7luqk

    Great article about Laker problems.

    Come on Mitch – get us Heinrich/Noah!!! Willing to get rid of any players except for Kobe and Artest. The rest are bums!!!

  14. Many congrats, Gr8 Scott. I hope you have his room decked out in the purple and gold already.

    Awesome work, Gatinho. Thanks for taking the time to do that. One thing that struck me last night – last year the PnR, while non-triangle, was one of our most devastating plays in crunch time. It seems like this year, Kobe’s holding on to the ball for far too long when coming around the screen. He draws most of the attention, but doesn’t give the ball to Gasol until he’s absolutely cut off, and this gives the defense time to rotate. I think this just goes back to the timing of the offense being off. It’s compounded by the fact that Kobe’s not exploding around the screen, and since he’s not passing at the right time, it seems like a lot of those PnRs end in contested jumpshots or strangled offense.

    One thing that’s telling – most of the 1st half PnRs came after the entry passes were denied. Largely, those are denied because the perimeter defenders sag off the passers. They’re allowed to do so because of the lack of a 3-point threat. Everything’s interrelated. Which sucks.

    Impressive move by Dirk: http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/nba/news/story?id=4891631

    I’m impressed most players can be on time every single day. But I guess it kind of surprises me, because I’m usually late to class.

  15. Bad enough I’m stuck with the Portland announcers tonight, but the games not even on hi def where I live because of some woman’s college basketball game.

  16. Robinred – does that mean you wouldn’t mind it if the Lakers lost to Cleveland in the finals?

    _____________________________

    Of course not. But right now, I think the Cavs are better than the Lakers. Fandom and analysis are two different things, even though they overlap sometimes.

    As to last night’s game, like I said in the the other thread, and as other have suggested, Anthony’s absence was irrelevant. The Nuggets wouldn’t have scored 150 if he’d been there.

  17. The season has ups and downs. The Lakers aren’t playing as well as they should be, but if you are expecting championship quality basketball every night, that is not going to happen. The Lakers played great early in the year with that great win streak and everyone was jubilant. Now the Lakers have stumbled a bit and everyone is assuming the sky is falling.

    It took the Lakers until the third quarter of the Game 5 against the Nuggets last year for that championship basketball to come out. While it did manifest itself at certain notable points last year, that was last year. Let me reiterate that it is much harder to defend a championship than to win one.

  18. >some woman’s college basketball game.

    oh, no! now you’ll have cursed us with the ire of the few women who actually deign to post here. : )

  19. 7 – To be quite honest, I don’t think it matters a damn whether fans are falling into it or not. Fans can scream at their TVs and give themselves ulcers if they want; it won’t help the team play any better. What does matter is if the team is falling into that line.

    The interesting thing – I do remember that being a concern last year. Phil was being uncharacteristically defensive in interviews, defending his team after the criticisms in the 08 collapse. I remember that was a talking point on here. Phil, who usually goads and motivates his players through the media, was being strangely easy on them. It still brought them a championship.

    However, it is a legitimate concern – more so this year, I think. Not because of our record or play last night…but because after 50 games played, why can’t we still run the damn offense? I’m as sure, as I can be of anything, that Phil is teaching the offense in practice. He hasn’t suddenly stopped teaching it after his 10th ring. We only made one personnel change. Why isn’t the team picking it up?

    Gatinho hinted at one reason above. Without the proper shooting, the defense collapses and makes it hard to even initiate the triangle. Denver, I noticed last year, is particularly good at sagging in and still closing out on shooters, but it remains a problem with every team.

    Beyond that, I think we’ve hashed it out enough. I don’t think Mitch will make a significant trade, and so this team will have to learn to run the offense with what they have. I’d advocate Phil being harsher and doling out PT based on who enters the ball into the post the most.

  20. Well, it is nice to see some objectivity for once. The two teams the Lakers are most likely to face in the Western Conference Finals (if they avoid an upset in early rounds, which is not a given) are Denver and San Antonio. We’re 0-3 against those teams. Two most likely teams to face in the NBA Finals (if we get that far, which is hardly a given): Cleveland or Boston. Current record against those teams is 1-2.

    So, against the 4 other best teams basketball, this year’s team is 1-5. If you think this is not relevant, then you really don’t know basketball. What this shows, clearly, is that of the top teams in basketball, the Lakers are the least hungry. This cockiness and apathy almost got them beat against an undermanned Houston team last year, and was much closer to causing a loss to Denver than many fans seem to recall (a truly heroic and exhausting effort by Kobe in game 5 saved them). Then, in the Finals, they were simply lucky to win game 1, relying on a missed layup at the buzzer, which would have made that a much different series.

    Here’s what we know: if the Lakers play the Blazers in an early playoff round, they will be taken to 7 games because they cannot win in Portland. Then, an exhausted Laker team will play a deep, talented, and hugely confident and hungry Denver team in the conference finals. If we are able to escape that series, it will likely only be in 7 games, and we’ll bring a completely exhausted Kobe into the finals against, in all likelihood, a Cleveland team led by an inspired Lebron and a very, very motivated guy by the name of Shaquille.

    At this point, anyone thinking about attending a parade in June had better book a ticket to Cleveland….

  21. So, against the 4 other best teams basketball, this year’s team is 1-5. If you think this is not relevant, then you really don’t know basketball. What this shows, clearly, is that of the top teams in basketball, the Lakers are the least hungry. This cockiness and apathy almost got them beat against an undermanned Houston team last year, and was much closer to causing a loss to Denver than many fans seem to recall (a truly heroic and exhausting effort by Kobe in game 5 saved them). Then, in the Finals, they were simply lucky to win game 1, relying on a missed layup at the buzzer, which would have made that a much different series.

    ______

    This is what is known as “slanting” and showing bias by omission.

    There is truth in what you are saying, but you leave out several key facts and got one flatly wrong:

    1.The Lakers blew out the Rockets in both Games 5 and 7.
    2. They blew out the Nuggets in Denver to win Game 6 and close the WCF. Even if they had lost that game, they had Games 7 at home.
    3. They blew out Orlando in Game 1, 100-75. Game 2 was the close one. And they were in control all the way in Game 5, in Orlando in the close-out game. The Lakers caught some breaks–all champs do. But they were the best team last year.

    My guess is you are a Cavs or Celtics fan.

  22. 16- just tryin’ to be accurate ….

  23. @Andrew

    If the Lakers play…

    If they do this…
    Lakers went to 7 games against Houston last year. Then went and played a confident and hungry Denver team and beat them. Oh, and lets not forget that Kobe played every game last year, the summer olympics, and the whole season before that to the finals… and he didn’t seem all that tired last year in the finals did he?

    Here’s my counter to all the people who seem to be writing off the season. #1, does anyone on this site believe the Lakers won’t win the playoffs? I am sure that the Lakers will make the playoffs, as either the number 1 or number 2 seed. #2, I do know basketball, and I know enough about basketball to understand the difference between regular season ball and playoff basketball. As Darius mentioned in the last thread, 7 game series are about adjustments, execution and coaching.

    The Lakers are a good team. Scratch that a great team. Basically the same team that won the whole thing last year. I look at regular season games with a grain of salt because I’ve seen PJ coached teams in the past win championships without home court advantage. And having the best record in the regular season means nothing in the playoffs (see: Cleveland, last year).

    Now, with all that said, I do see problems in the Lakers execution, or lack of execution of the Triangle offense. I don’t see the sideline triangle used at all. And that bothers me as a fan of the Lakers and the fan of the offense.

    I think Kobe is the closer of the Lakers, but this team will only go as far as Pau takes us. What makes me say that? Well, because before Pau got here, we were getting kicked out of the playoffs in the first round with Kobe jacking up 25 shots a game. I am an advocate for Pau touching the ball in the high post 80% of possessions in a game. I hate isolation plays, I hate PUJITs, and I chuckle every time I see Fisher drive to the lane.

    But as I always say, we haven’t played the all star game yet. If the Lakers don’t start executing their offense closer to the playoffs, then I’ll be worried. But as of now, the Lakers are one of the top teams in the league.

    And if people thought that the Lakers would have an easy time repeating against a loaded western conference then think again.

  24. Last night was just a forgettable night. Chauncey and JR could not have played any better. But I think Fisher got Billups going when he left him to help out for no apparent reason early in the game.

    If they lose tonight, I think I’m officially going into half-empty glass mode. LOL. I think they need to show that last night was a fluke and not a trend by snapping the losing streak at Portland. It won’t be easy, but they NEED a win to assuage their damaged psyche a bit.

    We can have doubts about our guards, but they can play better. Let’s support the team rather than just trashing them. If they continue to struggle, we still have some time to pull a trade to right the ship. I just don’t think it’s time to jump just yet.

  25. A parade in Cleveland this June? And I was already tempted just by the Northeast Ohio Polka Festival.

  26. Robinred, that you think I am Celtics or Cavs fan shows you to be the typical Laker fan, and precisely why I began my comment with a tip of the hat to the objectivity in this series of comments. It is so rare to find Laker fans who can be critical of their team, or who can appreciate the merit in criticisms of their team.

    I am a lifelong Laker fan who would be quite happy to be proven wrong. That said, my support of the Lakers does not blind me from the facts. You are quite correct that I incorrectly identified game 1 of last year’s Finals as the game the Lakers were lucky to win. It was, as you pointed out, game 2 (all the more reason it was lucky to win that game and not give Orlando momentum going back home).

    If you think blowouts of a joke of Houston team (no McGrady, no Ming, no Mutombo and no player over 6’8″) are something to be happy about, you might be less of a Laker fan than you think. To me, that was a team the Lakers should have swept, not a team that should have taken them to 7 games.

    Out of curiosity, did you not find last year’s record against Cleveland and Boston (4-0) to be a sign that that team was ready to win a title? For both of our sake, I hope I’m wrong, but what I see this year is a team that is a FAR cry from a title winner.

  27. WhiteLightnin’ February 6, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    As fans we have no control over what happens. Sure, we can make observations as to the problems experienced by the team, but whats the point of writing the team off now or being pessimistic? The best way I know how to watch sports is to intelligently observe and stay positive; if I don’t the game stops being fun. Maybe thats just me though, I’m an upbeat kinda guy. Or maybe I’m just a f-ing nihilist.

  28. I hope this is all just Phil letting the players figure things out on their own. When it comes to the last 15 games of the season I’m sure we’ll see a much different Laker team.

  29. @andrew,
    I really don’t think you respect the other teams in the NBA enough. That rockets team last year played hard team basketball and deserved every win they got in the playoffs against us. And yah, we were lucky to get out of that second game, but guess what we did. so all this “if this” and “if that” doesn’t really matter.

    The other teams get paid to play too. And for a lot of teams in the West, they feel they should be in the WCF.

    As kurt and darius keep saying: the season is a journey.

  30. Ive said it multiple times now that THIS lakers group as is will NOT repeat. We desperately lack an outside shooter, which makes it easy to defend us (they double team kobe and protect the paint) and like everyone knows, need a pg upgrade. Not to mention our bench hasnt showed up wen it matters and we all know kobes injury woes. Were just not deep; now i know why kobe DOESNT sit out. Imagine if he hadnt played against denver, wed lose by 50. As soon as he got out towards the end of the third denver made their run. Is it safe to say we should hit the panick button? Last night was clearly our WORST loss of the season…

  31. @etreyy.

    so i shouldn’t watch anymore?

  32. Okay everyone. We’ve got some relatively new commenters around so I’ll just repeat this for everyone: We will not have random trade speculation on this site. If you want to talk hypothetical trades there are plenty of other Lakers sites for you to go to. Please see the commenting guidelines of you have questions about this stuff.

    Also, we won’t have any baiting or name calling or insulting of others on the site. I’ve already deleted comments and I’ll continue to do so if this keeps up. There is a way to talk about the team and provide constructive criticism or evaluation without insulting other people’s intelligence or name calling. We’ll have respectful commentary on this site even if I have to delete multiple comments to get there.

  33. I’ve been coming to this site for years now, and honestly, the level of pessimism that has been shown over the last few weeks has been worse than when the Lakers had Smush Parker as our starting PG.

    I’m not saying that we should all be zombie Lakers fans that will claim that everything is ok, but the sky is not falling on us, chicken littles.

    Try not to get too high with the big wins nor too low with the tough losses. Think about it, we could be Wizards fans, covered by 30 inches of snow and losing the same percentage of games that the Lakers are winning.

  34. >Let’s support the team rather than just trashing them.

    >so i shouldn’t watch anymore?

    that seems to be what some here are suggesting, because these games just don’t matter, and wait until the playoffs when they do really count and then y’all will see the real Lakers team. so yeah, don’t bother.

    or, just enjoy the journey. why should it bother you that a group of under-achieving millionaires can’t be bothered to compete at a high level all the time?

    I really have been tempted to stop watching until, say, April; but it’s just too much fun getting all confusticated and contravivulated. @

  35. Ray, I don’t understand your point. In truth, I don’t have a lot of respect for most NBA teams, because most teams are pretty lousy. However, there are a group of teams that are worthy of respect (and, from the perspective of a Laker fan, fear). Last year’s Houston team was not one of those teams, and that the Lakers were extended to 7 games by that team was and is a huge blemish on the Lakers (and something that caused an otherwise neutral analyst like Mark Jackson to throw up his hands and say that he’ll never pick the Lakers again, because you just don’t know when they’ll play hard).

    Here’s the thing: the Lakers have the most talent in the NBA by a country mile. It isn’t close. There was a point in last night’s game when Phil Jackson sent the following guys into the game at the same time: Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Ron Artest and Derek Fisher. They were going in and joining Pau Gasol. How many NBA coaches have ever had the luxury of a substitution like that. The talent level of this year’s team is off the charts, and I think you could make an argument that it is one of the most talented teams in the history of the league.

    These aren’t the words of some “hater”. I see what this team has to offer; but I also see what they DO offer, and on most nights it is a level of effort that falls far short of their opponents. They are slackers and they are cocky and they think they can turn it on when they want. Teams with Kobe Bryant tend to think that, because teams with Kobe Bryant tend to be able to overcome poor effort through sheer talent. That’s how you run out to the best record in the league halfway through the year, but that isn’t nearly enough to defeat another highly talented team that plays very hard (e.g., Cleveland or Denver).

    To me, the lack of effort is this team’s calling card, and it is hugely disappointing. They, like many who post here, act like it is perfectly ok to underachieve during the regular season as long as you turn it on in the playoffs. Hey, if they can and do turn it on, I’ll be cheering them along. Unfortunately, sometimes you can’t turn it on, which is why they lose to teams like Cleveland or Denver.

    But hey, if this year’s team is playing up to your expectations, congratulations and enjoy the rest of the year. For me, the season has been quite a disappointment and I have to join the rest of you in hoping they can turn it on “when it counts”.

  36. What do you guys think about the offense? It seems to me like they’re barely running the triangle…if at all. It seems like they’re relying way too much on isos and pick and rolls. I dunno if you all noticed last night, but especially Shannon Brown and Farmar, and to a lesser degree Derek Fisher, spent a lot of the shot clock dribbling…and trying to create their own shots off the dribble. Has Phil addressed this at all in his interviews? For some reason, it seems like things have been a bit out of wack since the Cleveland game on Christmas. Even in the Boston game, though they won, it was an ugly game especially on the offensive end.

  37. @Darius,

    tell me the truth, were some of the pointed comments at me? I’d love to see them. email them to me yah? or just give me the gist.

    you don’t have to put these through the comments.

  38. 28, because people are protecting themselves from the failure of their basketball team. They compensate by saying that their team is going to fail ahead of time, so if the team actually does fail, they can say, “see, I predicted it.” And if the team wins, they can just say “wow, this team was better than I expected, Lakerz Rulz!” Honestly, it’s a win-win for them; either the team loses and they get the “I-told-you-so” factor, or the teams wins and nobody cares. It certainly gives them reprieve from the harshness of losing.

    Just look at Bill Simmons. Every time one of his Boston teams loses, he says all these things about how he knew the team had no heart, or talent, or were too hurt, and therefore there was no chance they were going to win. It’s all simply a defense-mechanism to make losing easier to deal with.

    If that’s what floats your boat, or what you call being “objective,” or “realistic” then go ahead. But no one ever achieved anything worth a damn while saying that they weren’t good enough to achieve it, which is the primary difference between us fans and the guys who actually go out and win.

  39. @anonymous

    yah, to me that’s the biggest glaring deficiency is their lack of offensive unity and lack of running the triangle. Yesterdays game was frustrating in that respect. I remember only one time where I thought there was ball movement off the pick and roll when Pau set a pick, then got the pass then passed to LO or bynum for an easy two. But that happens pretty rarely. I want more basic triangle with Pau at the high post. But even when we run the triangle, especially the sideline triangle, it seems that the guards are waiting for the double pick option.

    Maybe Phil is going away from the triangle? Can we get someone to ask him that?

  40. @Anonymous, you are absolutely right. Where is the passing and cutting? The offense has become high pick and rolls with Kobe and one of the seven footers (taking them far away from their most effective spots on the floor), or point guard dominated dribbling right before hoisting a long, low percentage jumper. No inside out and no cutting. Total stagnation, which leads to bad transition defense and easy scores for the other team. It’s just ugly.

  41. WhiteLightnin’ – i’m with you. Win or lose, watching sports beats the hell out of many other things in life…too bad you don’t get that sense from reading some of these comments anymore.

  42. Funny, I was looking at these posts from a year ago:

    http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2009/03/01/1533/

    Everything sounds so familiar:

    1. We need a 3 point shooter
    2. We’re loosing too much
    3. We won’t win a title.

    And if history shows us, despite those needs, what happened?

  43. “And if history shows us, despite those needs, what happened?”

    Guys stepped up and hit 3s

    Except that was borderline miraculous (please check the differential between Odom/Ariza/Brown’s 3 PT shooting playoffs versus regular season. Those guys basically carried us in that respect)

    This year we’re worse off than we were last year as far as spreading the floor, Fish has fallen off even more, and as a whole I really don’t think we want to put our championship hopes on something so flukey again.

  44. @ray

    At no point did i imply u shouldn’t watch. In fact I’ve stuck by this team the last 10 years and will continue to watch no matter if they continue to have games like those against cleveland and denver. My point is to think that we’re “Clear” favorites to repeat or that we have no peers in the west is absurd and we shouldn’t expect another championship if the team plays like they have against the elite. I mean we were even down to orlando when we played them at home. I was only addressing the current problems we have. While most of u say well be happy were not washington, well YOU be happy. I love this team and have high expectations considering the talent we have.

    Yeah we may have “the most talent” but if that isn’t clearly transmitting to the most wins (like the most talent apparently should) or beating the best teams (who don’t have the best or most talent according to this theory) then what’s the point of having all that talent. Andrew Bernard said it best by stating that they, “like many who post here, act like it is perfectly ok to underachieve during the regular season as long as you turn it on in the playoffs.” As a devout supporter of the purple and gold i watch ALL 82 games and would like for the team, as well as supporters to care about every game we play. If the playoffs were the only thing that mattered then y have an 82 game regular season. By no means is the season over but if we keep getting dominated by the “contenders,” I don’t see how everything will be “OKAY” come playoff time like many seem to agree. The regular season is preparation and hopefully the lakers’ own mentality improves, albeit with the assistance from mitch moving forward.

  45. tsuwm and all the negative commenters:

    I have no problem with negative comments. I cuss at Fisher every time he does PUJIT or misses (or even try) layups. Same with Artest’s non-jumping layup attempts. I also write critical comments here very often.

    However, I just wish they were a balanced views. I mean there are some things our team is doing well, right? Point those out, too. Don’t just point out all the faults. It’s easier to do that, I know. But being a fan shouldn’t be just telling them what they are doing wrong, but also applauding the effort and talent they have, too. They are millionaires because they have rare gifts and also work very hard (during practices and on the playground when they were young). Don’t think that you own them just because you are their fans. Even if you never watched or went to their games, I’m sure they’ll be fine.

    I’m just trying to say that while offering criticisms is fine, it would be better if you added some realistic solutions and/or encouraging comments, too.

  46. You know what? I understand teams make their own luck and that bad calls by refs should even out in the long run.

    But I watched the game closely last night and was very invested in it. When you watch a game like that, that closely, it becomes clear how much the refs can influence the game.

    The point of inflection in last night’s game was late in the 3rd/early in the 4th. The refs make two horrible calls when the lakers were up by 1 then down by 1. This is ridiculous and has two stop. Following the calls, the nugs to their credit hit 2 three pointers or something and that was that. I switched the channel because it was clear to me the game was over.

    Now, I don’t know what would have happened if they hadn’t blown those calls. But watching kobe get mauled without a call and then watching phantom calls on him is disgusting. And it’s effing ridiculous that refs should even enter your consciousness as you watch a game. The game changed so much after those calls, it was just so obvious and hard to ignore.

  47. Q @ 7 – I like that quote. So, no worries, even if the Lakers lose tonight.

    We can just say, (pick one or more): “flush this one”; “it’s an 82 game season”; “Phil’s getting the team ready for the playoffs”; “Phil’s teaching the team something”; “any given regular season game doesn’t matter that much”; “Artest is still learning the triangle”; “Fisher hits the shots when they really count”; (insert your favorite excuse here).

  48. I just hope that for once Juwan Howard does not take out our 7 foot to 6 foot 10 frontline again. You know me, I am usually a positive voice around here, but just a little worried about our vaunted front line tonight against Juwan, how is he still playing pro basketball, I remember in the early 90’s when he was drafted.

  49. No Koby tonight. He is not happy with his team especially Fisher.

  50. I agree with all that’s being said about the Lakers. I didn’t see the Denver game ending the way it did, but if you truly watch baketball you could tell this team has not been playing well on defense or offense. MY BIG QUESTION IS? Do the Laker’s scouting staff know what they are looking for? Denver, Utah, Portland, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio all seem to have great bench players. Someone gets hurt they just fill in with with someone else and keep playing. US, if Kobe doesn’t play we will lose games by 30 points. Luke & Sasha horrible contracts. Mbenga & Powell & Morrison should not even be on a pro team. The triangle does not fit Farmar. If you want to be truthful we really don’t have a s much talent as the majority of the NBA. Just my thoughts

  51. If we lose this game that would be 2 games in a row we lost to teams without their best player with Brandon Roy being out. That would not bold well for our confidence.

    And although I do think we need a true 3-point shooter to spread the floor, we did score 113 points last night. Giving up 126 is obviously a mark that our defense needs work. We have to be able to stop dribble penetration. Portland thrives on dribble penetration and kicking it out to Aldridge and other shooters.

  52. How will they do with no Koby and no Roy. Sasha or Brown start. I am believe or not saying they win tonight. Lets see if they can man up,

  53. @etreyy

    the tone of your post that i commented on had an implication that this team isn’t going to win, so why bother watching. That was the biggest part of your post, and what most negative postings about the Lakers I don’t like. I don’t doubt many people on this site watch all 82 games each year. I do my best to watch/listen to the games, but I’ve watched enough games and enough seasons (Laker fan since 86) to not get too high or too low on things. The great part of basketball is that anything can happen.

    Now, you also made the comment on your earlier post that if Kobe didn’t play, then the Lakers would lose every game. People made that same argument during 99-00 when Kobe had to sit out the last 15 or so games int he regular season, and the Lakers won 11 straight. People also said that after Yao Ming went down for the Rockets last season in the playoffs that the Rockets wouldn’t win another game. People also state that with all the injuries happening to the Blazers, they wouldn’t win too many games. Thing is, we don’t know what’s going to happen or how people respond in different situations. We also don’t know who will be healthy by the end of the year. Last year, nobody on the celtics thought KG would go down, but the Celts still ended with a pretty good record, though didn’t play well in the playoffs.

    Another thing that I take issue with is all the “negative comment” people have this impression that the “no big deal” proponents don’t think the Lakers have issues. I’ve stated many times (in this thread alone) that I’m frustrated with their play (lack of offensive cohesion and fluidity). But I wouldn’t be respecting the rest of the league if I thought every loss was about our lack cohesion.

    Further, I don’t think it is “ok” for a team to underachieve during the regular season. But I think it is normal. Think back to those early years you watched during the titles in the early 00’s and remember how those teams were in the regular season. And those teams netted 3 straight championships.

    And this thing that the only thing that will make this team better is a trade, well that’s a “what if” scenario as well. Are we 100% sure that these point guards (Heinrich & Calderon) would be better this year with only 30 + games left to get ready? I’m not sold on that. Hell Farmar has been in this system for 3 years and he still doesn’t know how to run it well.

    If the Lakers are playing like this at the end of the regular season I’ll voice my concern about their ability to win playoff series. But right now, it’s just pointless worrying, in my opinion and probably the opinion of the other “no need to worry” contingent.

  54. dave in hillsboro February 6, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Blazers announcers happily announce Kobe will not play tonight, so now all the people who know Kobe’s body better than him can sleep soundly tonight.

  55. 43. great point!
    It seems that we like to refer to 08-09 as if it were the good ol days, but a lot problems that are being talked about now are the same things people were complaining about last year’s team. No heart, not putting team’s away. Around this time last year, Trevor was “dribbling too much needs to re-establish his minimalistic approach to offense” (kwame a.) just as with Shannon Brown now.

    And to go with the positive vibes that WhiteLightnins talking bout… after Kobe started last nights game shooting lights out, did anybody else hoping he’d sit out besides me have to laugh?

    Good discussion, everybody is making their points. Undoubtedly there are problems, racking up losses vs the top teams is not a good sign. No excuses. The recent play has been frustrating to watch, knowing that these guys are capable of so much better.

    Let’s hope Bynum and Gasol don’t repeat their no-show last game vs the 10 time defensive player of the year powerhouse that is juwan howard. And please, may the Lakers play with enthusiasm and spirit that Ronny Turiaf had when he was in the game or on the bench!

  56. I think Artest will explode for 25+ points tonight and overshadow Rudy/Webster on defense.

    We forget how important of a player Artest has been in the last few years in the NBA. He is certainly one of the “stars” on this team. And it’s about time he gets a game where can get some more shots and show what he can do. I have high hopes on him and wish he plays efficiently tonight

  57. As ken and dave in hillsboro mentioned, Kobe will not play tonight because of the sprained ankle that he has been nursing. Obviously this shifts around the starting lineups. I would assume that either Shannon Brown or Sasha Vujacic will start, but a darkhorse to start the game would be Luke Walton with Ron Artest sliding down to SG to start the game. This obviously also changes the dynamic for this team on offense as they have lost their main perimeter threat for the first time in well over 200 games. This puts an even greater emphasis on our big men performing and we’ll see how all of the other players step up without Kobe in the lineup. As if this game wasn’t interesting enough.

  58. This’ll be a good character measure. Let’s see how our guys respond without Kobe to bail them out.

  59. Bayless starts for Roy so that would mean Shannon is starting. Too quick for Artest. Team was very angry last night after game. I feel they will make statement tonight to prove to themselves and Kobe they can compete without him.

  60. What’s wrong with Stu’s left eye?

  61. This should be an interesting game. Pound the ball into Gasol and Bynum and lets see what happens

    This is from Land O’ Lakers blog on the games Kobe has played since 2007:

    2007 Olympic Qualifying- 10
    2007-08 Reg. Season- 82
    2007-08 Postseason- 21
    Pre-Olympic Tour- 5
    Olympics- 8
    2008-09 Reg. Season- 82
    2008-09 Postseason- 23
    2009-10 Reg. Season- 50
    TOTAL- 281

  62. Andrew Bernard, in your last comment you mentioned that the fact that a depleted yet hungry Houston team took us to 7 games last year was a blemish against us. dont forget, the ultimate goal of an NBA season is to win the championship and we accomplished just that. while we should have taken care of Houston sooner in that series, it was our journey to go to 7 games and ultimately we prevailed and gained confidence in knowing that we had stuff of champions to put our best game out there when everything was on the line. This is all coming from a Laker fan that was so bitterly frustrated that this undermanned, hodge-podge team of role players took his beloved Lakers team to 7 games that he said he couldnt even be happy with the lakers if they somehow managed to win the championship (not one of my better moments as a sports fan). well, guess what? they did manage to win the championship and i didnt care one bit about that houston series. I guess the moral of the story is that you can’t get too caught up in one moment or one game, it’s all about the journey. would i love for the lakers to give a more consistent effort every night? yes. but its just not worth it to stress out about every poor result. and i dont buy the whole, “we shoulda lost game two and it woulda been a whole other series had that happened” against orlando. the same could be said about our series against boston the year before as we coulda come back and won game two and we woulda won game 4 had we not blown a 20 point lead in the second half. none of those things happened. boston was better than us in 08 and they beat us (still hurts to say that) and we were better than orlando in 09 and we beat them.

  63. Anybody have a link?
    Thanks.

  64. Good call Darius

  65. Could anyone explain why the heck the games never start at their scheduled time… Here in Europe the games (no matter the sport) begin when they’re suposed to, but every US sports start at least with 5 minutes delay….

    My concern with this lineup, is who’s going to upgrade from the bench….

    Not related but I think that the courtside reporter for the Blazers is quite cute….

  66. Oh yeah portland commentators are the worst.

  67. Note to Pau Gasol: Alrdridge hits the 18-footer in his sleep.

  68. 62 year old Juwan Howard beating the entire Laker team down the floor for a layup. Nice.

  69. LJAY, call it marketing.

  70. I almost enjoy listening to these announcers because they’re that much of a joke. They seriously make it sound like every single call against Portland is the worst call in the history of the league, and a result of a big conspiracy against them.

  71. Daniel, he is just 62? I thought he should be well within his 80s.

  72. who would win in a layup contest Odem, Fish or Artest?

  73. i cannot see kobe, is he not on the bench??

  74. I must say, I like the foul rate. Keep this up and Portland will be down to 4 players in the 3rd. Auto-win.

  75. Looks like the size of our 3-headed monster was offset by Portland’s speed advantage, so Shannon came in for Bynum after Bynum failed to run back and stop Howard from getting a layup.

    This Portland crowd is LOUD.

  76. #76, or just obnoxious.

  77. http://www.ilemi.com/6683/channel16.html

    Let’s see who the second best player on the Lakers is

  78. Kobe is in locker room. Still getting treatment.

  79. 71, the crucial word there is almost….The frst couple of times they do it’s funny, but as the game goes on, it finally ends with me muting the whole thing….

    That was an unnecessary foul from LO..

  80. Portland announcers + Tommy Heinsohn= the most homeristic commentators to ever grace this planet.

    I am definitely intrigued by this game tonight. No Kobe frees up a lot of minutes and shots. Hopefully Farmar does not take it upon himself to run 137 P&Rs.

    In other news, looks like Minnesota is about to win their fourth game in a row. ?Kevin Love will be a rebounding force in this league for years to come.

  81. New angle from the Blazer announcers: Even the bounces are conspiring against the Blazers.

  82. How does pau drop that pass under the hoop? and then throw it away on the outlet?

  83. I thought we traded K. Brown? Gasol since he came back can not catch or hold the ball. Wonder why Kobe dosen t rgrow into him?

  84. do we have net links to the game? thanks!

  85. Pau is not looking good right now, he’s still “clumsy”, but that las TO shouldn’t be accounted to him at all, dunno who was dumber there Ron or Fish….

  86. It is amazing how sad it is to watch this game. If you look at the score you might think it is a close game but the Blazers are pretty much running all over Lakers on offense. Only good thing i see out of this is the passing and the cutting after Shannon sub in.

  87. well denver’s dropping one in utah

  88. Take Care Of The Ball!!

    Edit: So since Aldridge is posing as Billups tonight when are we going to shut him down on the pick and pop and force him to be a post up guy?
    link:
    http://www.atdhe.net/12939/watch-los-angeles-lakers-vs-portland-blazers

  89. keep brown in, he might just go supernova and bench all those who can’t pound it in…today we see who’s making the cut…then again…

  90. Will someone PLEASE make Aldridge put it on the ground?

  91. After the first period, the Lakers ran a set offense 16 times, the P&R twice (one was the farmar end of the quarter P&R), one ISO, one FB, and 2 PUJIT (though one was shannon’s attempt at a 2 for 1), and one out of bounds play that led to shannon’s and 1. These are me taking stats while drinking a beer, so unofficial. Too many turnovers so far in this first quarter (4).

    Pau has a tough matchup today with Aldridge making him work on defense, and seems clumsy on offense.

  92. I feel like Gasol is afraid of getting injured more then playing hard.

  93. Brown will definitely opt out and want to get in the 3-4 million per, and I am not sure Lakers will want to do that considering Shannon is not a PG.

    But Shannon is improving a lot, reminds me of rapid improvement Ariza experienced throughout last year (especially with his shot)

    It was interesting how LO started as our PG this game even though technically Fish was listed as a PG

  94. we’re a three away from make or break

  95. Bynum is limping considerably.

  96. thanks for the link btw…

    not conceding this game early but kobe is clearly missed.

  97. there’s the rudy three….yikes

  98. ok shannon ain’t going supernova…oops he made another two…what will it be?

  99. This team is a bad defensive team. Clearly phil dosen t teach it or understand it. Can we get Rambis back?

  100. Defense is most certainly the biggest issue for the Lakers. When other teams can routinely have their best shooting night of the year against this team, there is officially a trend.

    Everywhere on the court they’re just getting torched by simple plays. Perhaps Rambis was that important, or the Lakers just aren’t interested in playing defense.

  101. When will the Lakers make a team play their pace in a game? Lately the Lakers are being forced to play the other teams pace in games.

  102. Josh Powell is the second coming of Brian Cook. Which begs the question: Where’s DJ? Anyone would be an improvement down low at this point.

  103. I thought that pass from farmar looked good, pau just is fumbling everything right now….there has to be something wrong

  104. right, Phil won 10 championships without teaching or understanding defense.

  105. My god luke and Sasha on court togeather. ohhhhhhhhhh $10 million in air balls.

  106. Farmar is the definition of lost on the defensive end. The team as a whole is doing a terrible job of talking and switching on defense. Too much roaming into open space. So many things.

  107. what did you have to teach scotty and Mike?

  108. I’m beginning to think that the inclusion of this site in the ESPN network was a huge mistake. Nowadays, all the new people here seem to care more about insulting every player on the team instead of discussing basketball – not unusual for the internet as a whole, but certainly unusual for FB&G.

  109. Stop the game! Fish made a layup! Game ball!

  110. we need circa 2005 pau hops right now with 2009 smarts …good we’re fighting back.

  111. looks like you got all the answers ken – they should sign you up!

  112. I can not watch Fisher shoot the ball. Its killing me??????????????????????????????

  113. @ken, MJ didn’t win a championship without Phil. He had to teach him how to pass. Doug Collins couldn’t do it.

  114. Thanks but to old but did play 4-years of college ball. There were peach baskets back then though.

  115. just curious…what’s shannon’s career high?

  116. That offensive set with the repost and ball rotation to Brown for the triple was gorgeous.

  117. Can we call that a fish(tear) drop? weird looking shot.

  118. RON RON!

  119. Bavetta is the worst referee in the NBA.

  120. terrible call Dick Bavetta, terrible call.

  121. Can we please get rid of Fish? Man, if we had a decent PG, this team would be so much better. Wouldn’t solve all the problems, but one glaring one would be gone.

    I hope Lakers lose this big time – like get crushed in the 4th quarter. Then Buss/Mitch will realize a trade needs to take place soon.

  122. Artest stepping up!

  123. Last 3 minutes are the best defense in a while. Andrew not out there on pick and rolls. Ron Ron Ron!!!!

  124. Dick Bavetta needs to retire. Artest on fire!

  125. Artest is earning that mid-level exception today.

  126. Ron Ron!!!

  127. Ron Billups!!!

  128. I want to clarify that my statement was regarding the comments only – the material provided by Darius et al is still state of the art.

  129. UNLEASH THE RONBEAST! like this…we’re getting a little swagger going

    love to be so good on paper…because because because you can be so much better.

  130. Refs said Lamar had possession of the ball and it was taken away. I rewound the DVR and LO did not have full possession in my opinion. A bad call by the refs

    Artest at the buzzer!!!!!

  131. Kobe who?

  132. By the way I take back the whole quite cute comment about their courtside reporter.

  133. Take it easy Joe, Mitch and Jimmy are working on a PG. Trust me. A little bird told me so.

  134. Is anyone else having problems with KCAL9? Both the regular and HD channels are breaking up and lagging very bad. It’s unwatchable.

  135. #135, I’m not having that problem with KCAL9 HD.

  136. 2ND quarter report. 15 Triangle/Set offense for that quarter.

    For the game, 3 pick and rolls, 3 iso, 5 FB, and 2 pujits.

    Keeping stats on this, at the beginning of the 2nd with Farmar and Brown in the game, the lakers were down 3. During that Time with Bynum in the post, the ball went inside via entry pass once. ONCE. at the 9:06 mark of the game, i had 6 offensive sets, one entry into the post. And that one entry pass was a foul on Pendergraph, so Bynum didn’t get to do anything with it. With Farmar in the game, the Lakers went from 2 down to 9 down. Fish came back into the game at 5:16 left to play and stayed in the rest of the game and had a 51-48 lead before ron ron’s 3 pointer at the buzzer.

    So I understand a season of Fisher bashing, but what from this game does that?

  137. Dang – Ty Lawson has 21 pts aganst Utah. If we could only get a decent PG!!!!!!

  138. Even though Andreas is capable of taking them as a joke, I assure you that it’s the Portland announcers who make this game unwatchable, hehehe.

    Right now even Joel and Stu seem to be competent-level minded-unhomer people…It must be true that regardless the situation, there’s always a way to make it worse…

    Even though sometimes it bothers me, I’m loving that the moderation is working right now. It’s defending Aldridge away form the basket reason enough for Pau colecting only 2 reb, or is because of LO grabing everything around our rim?

  139. i still don’t understand how people can come up with the conclusion that the lakers ARE NOT going to win the championship.

    they might not but to say with certainty that they aren’t is crazy. there are like 24 teams out there that are beyond a doubt, not going to win. and the lakers aren’t one of them.

    if we’re playing the way we’re playing now, we won’t. but its not april or may or june…. so im relaxed. as fans, there’s nothing we can do about it. so id rather be optimistic than pessimistic. at this point.

  140. They have 4 PG’s in all reality (fish, brown, farmar, sasha), but the triangle needs essentially a SG who can run the team. So NO they don’t need a PG, they need a solid shooting/hybrid guard who can bring the ball up the court. Thats why Fish is allowed to shoot the ball. The only reason Brown hasn’t taken over the PG position is because the Lakers still think they can make Farmar work out in that position and Sasha just isnt a reliable back-up for Kobe. If the Lakers get a decent SG back-up for Kobe that allows Shannon Brown to slide to PG with Farmar backing him up. So instead of begging, pleading, and whining for a better PG, please beg, plead, and whine for a better SG instead people. Thanks :)

  141. I’m glad to see that in a hard fought game where our players are really working hard and trying their damndest to win a game without Kobe that we’ve got commenters on the site openly rooting for us to fail so they can be proven right about something that they want to see from the front office. Grow up. Please, grow up.

    Back to the game. LO and Ron are making a huge difference tonight. It’s no coincidence to me that they’re leading the team in +/- to this point. They’re playing with energy and smarts on both ends of the floor and making the simple play that is right in front of them.

  142. Denver playing without Carmello and Billups – but keeping close to Utah. Let’s see what the Lakers can do with Kobe out.

  143. Have they said anything about Bynum?

  144. Bynum out rest of game.

  145. Go go Fish!

  146. Second that notion Darius.

    What’s happened with Bynum?

  147. Guys, guys, what’s with all the negativity? You would think this is a Nets site or something.

    It’s one thing to say A needs to pass more or B must take better care of the ball. It’s another to pronounce C is crap, or D is turd, or E 100% has to go.

    I’m with Andreas G.; this is FB&G and our comments are now not up to its standards.

  148. I’ll give Aldridge that post up look against pau all night. just keep him off the pick and pop.

  149. Bynum fell on his hip early in the first, out with a bruised hip. He was limping a lot when he came back into the game.

  150. Did I misinterpret the announcer or did he just say that Fisher deserves boos in Utah for the signing for the Lakers because of his daughter?

    Edit: On a more positive note: That’s exactly the kind of cuts we need to make when Pau has the ball in the post. Good job Shannon!

  151. Laker fans are so spoiled! I mean this is the team carrying the title Champs. Of couRae they’re going to be the “hunted” not the hungry hunter. You don’t say. As well we have the second best record in the league. Sure we have issues what team doesn’t. But be sure that Phil will make proper adjustments, Ron will Show-up, Fish will make that ohhh so needed 3, and Kobe will destroy! Lebron will not get the best of Kobe even if Kobe has to play with one leg. Stop being so complacent as fans and chill out people. Like Santa Claus I’m making a list and checkin it twice. That means I’m taking notes of who is saying what. So when we start tearing it up dint jump on the Laker Nation Bandwagon screaming how great we are.

    Chill out baby we will win another ring!

  152. Hmm Ron-Ron’s hands are suspect tonight. I don’t remember him being so fumbly-fingered before as much…

    And no andreas they did indeed say that. How dare he go somewhere else to get the help needed for his infant daughter. Gods I hate the portland announcers.

  153. Shannon playing under control. Shooting when open, making good cuts, and playing good defense. Lakers have butterfingers galore right now.

  154. Well, I think we know now that Shannon Brown is a shooting guard and not a point guard.

  155. 152, no, u heard right. You just heard the Portland announcers denouncing Fisher’s asking to leave Utah to go to a city in order to save his daughter’s life. Honestly, I feel like people from Portland don’t know that there is a world outside of Portland,

  156. so ray, is this an injury that will take him out against the spurs (when we need him more to take it to road weary timmy)?

    am not going to jump into we’re winning this/not winning this chip this year thing. i do agree with points from both sides of the issue. we ought not to panic because we’re that good and like any team we can figure it out. we also need to improve to be better than last year. i think it fair as the rest of the league has taken competition up a notch.

    here’s to making some history with a rare win here on a night kobe’s ironman streak ends. GO LAKERS!

  157. Why is bynum out still??? Did I miss something?

  158. lovin the defense…this is top 5 D

  159. What’s up with all the new folks on this site excrementing so much negativity? Be objective, be respectful and be a true Laker fan. Darius – please keep the site going strong!!

    As for Kobe, why not shut him down for SA & Utah and have him get minimal run in the AS game? We will need him fresh for the games that matter most – in June!!

  160. I’m just tuning in. Anyone want to provide a recap of what’s going well, what’s not?

  161. Artest and Gasol are really taking the Blazers D to pieces.

  162. Even though his numbers are far away from impressive I’m liking the way Pau is playinf tonight, he’s being a team player and reading the game quite well, instead of trying to take it over.

  163. Best defense they have played in a long time. I am wondering if it is Bynam being to slow on picks that makes difference with him out.

  164. @passerby, no update on bynum as of now. John Ireland is probably just watching the game.

    @ Reed. Lakers are running the offense. Very few PUJITs and ISOs. Defense is doing well and Portland seems to not know what to do in the third quarter.

  165. Argopile and Zephid: It just seemed so outrageous to me, that I truly hoped that I didn’t hear him correctly. Am I overreacting or isn’t that the kind of serious insult that calls for a public apology? Homerism is one thing, but this was Paul Shirleyesque.

  166. Boy has Gasol’s game changed the last 2 weeks.

  167. Why are the Lakers going away from what worked?

    #164, Pau has never been a “take over the game” type of player. I believe that’s also why he works so well with Kobe.

  168. Good to have you Reed. The Lakers are playing a much more controlled game tonight. Artest is playing strong D (as usual) but he’s also aggressive on offense and has been quite efficient from 3. Fish has also had a very good game on offense by not forcing too much and having a vintage shooting night. WOW has also had a very good game – making his shots and cutting off the ball in a manner that he exhibited a lot of last season when he first came on board. But, to me, LO is really making a huge impact. He’s all over the glass and is really controlling the game with the ball in his hands. Really, we’re playing a team game with better ball movement and strong execution. Also, Bynum is out for the rest of the game with a strained hip.

  169. keep the heat on them…

  170. I’m gonna ask again: Why is Bynum still out?

  171. i dont believe the announcers said that. oh my god. my game is on mute because i hate the portland announcers as is. but that is just really… i don’t even know what to say,

  172. It’s so great when the Lakers bring defensive intensity.

  173. A basket at the rim by Artest, then one by Gasol, we need more of that for sure and less jump shots from distance. I have confidence in the Lakers to break the losing streak tonight.

  174. @Argo, i’ve said it three times, bruised hip.

    @Ryan, gasol is playing a good game. Some of his aren’t going in, but overall a damn good game.

    HOW WAS THAT NOT A FOUL on GASOL’s DUNK!!?

  175. I almost wish I could hear the Portland announcers after the Ron Artest no charge? play

  176. WTF undercutting gasol is not a foul?

  177. 167, honestly, I’m seriously offended at least twice a game whenever I have to listen to Mike Rice. Another example was when Gasol picked up the tech, Rice said, “give him another one; get him outta here.” Just absolutely disgusting behavior from a public figure.

  178. End of the 3rd quarter. 13 set offense. 2 P&R, no Isos, no FB, no PUJITs. Fisher’s two threes weren’t in any category since they were quick after a pass.

    Pau with a big dunk while someone being draped all over him. He doesn’t get all star calls.

  179. I live in seattle, WA so I got to hear the portland announcers plenty (dads a portland fan). They are like this all the time. There are so many times that I thought they made a comment or three that was worthy of having to publicly apologize that it no longer surprises me. Like I said earlier I really, really dislike the portland announcers.

    Also sry for not noticing the answer to my question. :P Comments are coming fast!

  180. 176#The same reason why he got the technical , cause no matter what he cannot buy a call today, let’s hope he doesn’t let it affect his game.

    What’s the word on Bynum?

  181. oh argopile would i love to live there…and all that rain

  182. First two plays of the 4th with Farmar, 2 P&Rs

    :)

  183. Wow ANYONE could see thats not a shooting foul.

    Hey it only rains twice a week here! Once for 3 days and once for 4 days. :D

  184. The whole “Evil Lakers” thing gets a little overdone in Portland, ya think?

  185. Hey. Just came in. Good to know that Kobe rested today.

    Can anyone give me links? The working ones please.

    And how serious is AB’s injury?

  186. The reason why Pau has few rebounds is cuz LO has them all. Geez. I love Odom’s monster rebound games.

  187. I am so glad the Portland commentators can’t keep reminding everyone every couple of minutes that their best player is not playing tonight.

  188. Wow, did Mike Rice just say he hated the entire Lakers team?

  189. noted argopile…

    geesh adthe just gave up…hit country limit

  190. amazing effort by LO.

  191. And yet another moronic, homeristic comment from the portland announcers. They are sooooo going to burn in hell. >.<

    Also the way Farmar is playing is frustrating. Inside out, Inside out! And stop leaving your man who likes to shoot threes!

  192. LMAO, Andreas I’m begining to buy the whole funny thing, did he really said ” I still hate him”…. This is going to the realms of surrealism…LOL

  193. And Shannon doing his best impression of Kobe’s I’m-a-Ninja-coz-i-ate-my-jersey. :)

  194. My five minute game recap: farmar has a self granted contract year green light, odom can rebound, I choose mute over rice.

  195. Man, am I missing out on the Blazers announcers? Can i get some examples?

  196. Hard to tell what whether they were talking about the Lakers or Kobe, but after mention the hustle the Lakers are playing with sans Kobe, “I still hate him”, says Homer A.

    I love the hustle and the way the team is taking care of business. The Lakers play like this and lose, i don’t mind too much, but I doubt they lose much with this sort of focus and determined effort.

    Newest comment, “Rudy nearly took out the Zen Master. Wouldn’t that have been something”. Care to consider that the man has had two hips replaced? Some people’s children, sigh.

  197. Here is an example… “I still hate the Lakers.”

  198. I love the Lakers, but seriously, Farmar is one of the worst defensive decision makers in the NBA.

  199. Yup the portland announcers wanted Rudy to take out Phil. You heard that right.

  200. I can’t help it – every time Sasha puts together a nice stretch, I’m extremely enticed about the possibilities.

    Argopile: Yeah, he was hoping that Rudy would take Phil out. It’s totally insane? I mean, some things are said in “good fun” and all, but to publicly wish other people bodily harm? And these guys represent the Portland franchise?

  201. Lol I know Andreas G. I’m the same way :)

  202. Oh my God, the bandwagon comment is so cheesy…..

    Andreas you won me over, it’s really funny to listen to this guys if you like surreal humor.

  203. What i loved about that technical foul. as soon as it was called, sasha raised his hand and looked at the bench to see if he was taking the free throw. Get your stats Sasha!!!

  204. That looked like a clean block by Shannon…

    …Ball don’t lie!!!!

  205. The Portand announcers must be going crazy after that missed dunk

  206. Jerryd Bayless is a punk. Purely.

  207. YEAH! Go Lakers! Do that on a nightly basis, shall we?

  208. Lamar absolutely cleaning the glass tonight

  209. Can we have this version of Lamar every game? Plz? O_o

  210. Wow. They’re really getting big for their britches. They make it personal.

  211. Pau’s offensive skills are not where they should be, but let’s hope he’s picking his game up by the AS.

    So the streak ends here, and almost by a blow out, you gotta love pro sport, yesterday “we” were almost as bad and heartless as the NJN (or so it seemed, considering the posting here), today winning for the first time in five years at the Rose Garden in a Kobeless game.

  212. Blazers scored 29 points in the 1st.
    43 in the next 3.

    Look at what playing defense can get you.

  213. I’m very, very pleased with our boys tonight.

    Especially Mr. Odom.

  214. On a different topic (nothing amazes me about these announcers anymore):
    Pau has actually been playing the right way, but hasn’t been able to hit anything at all. And I love Lamar’s play – but we shouldn’t be surprised considering it’s a late game;)

  215. clap clap clap for the lakers. now on to LA to return a favor to the spurs…

    hope there’ll be a sighting…but i’d take an LO sighting too.

    this to me eases the DEN loss the other night considering this POR team was expecting a tired, down, lost LAL team without Kobe and at Portland.

  216. Best games in 2 years from LO and Shannon. Real gut check for this team/

  217. Hehehe, Andreas. Yeah Lamar don’t like the waking up early lol. :D

  218. i know the game is not over, but there’s a lot to like in this game. yes, portland is a depleted squad, but you have to hope the lakers take this game and use it as a lesson. hats off to lamar, pau, shannon, artest, d fish…

  219. long time no hear…TACO chant!

  220. btw, bad shooting by portland helped our cause…

  221. The Portland streak is over!!!! and without Kobe. Great win after what happened last night

  222. Please see comment #5 for the most accurate prediction of the day :o)

  223. Kobe should be offended at how well they’re playing w/o him. Seriously though, how is this bottled up and preserved?

  224. 24 hours ago, lots of people on this site were saying that the Lakers would lose every game without Kobe. Funny what a difference a day makes.

    But I am prepared for the “Blazers are depleted, we should beat them like this even without Kobe” comments.

  225. dave in hillsboro February 6, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Zephid, there are good people in Portland, just like there are good people in LA. I can say that with confidence because I’ve lived for extended periods in both places (22 years in LA, 7 years in Oregon, 2 of them in Portland). But the Blazers announcers are terrible, which is actually too bad for Blazers fans. They’re the ones, after all, who have to listen to these guys for every game, and don’t think Blazer fans aren’t aware of how bad these guys are.

    Anyway, I said it yesterday, and I’ll reiterate today: the silver lining was that the Lakers get to win in Portland. And it’s about damn time. Take a moment to relish the end of this losing streak in the Rose Garden. The guys played well tonight and totally earned it.

  226. “Door is closed, the lights are out the butters getting hard and the jello is jiggling!”

  227. Lol at the subdued (finally) nature of the portland announcers. GJ Lakers!

  228. I hope we meet these punks in the playoffs …

  229. ray,

    Haven’t you noticed? Lakers don’t lose three straight games in a row. So, with or without Kobe, this is already a given, even if it’s in Portland or some icy place in Antarctica. If they play with a 2-game losing streak, they automatically win the next game.

  230. Bynum did not get injured in Memphis, We beat the BobCats and now we have won in Portland for the 1st time in 5 years, Great season so far.

  231. I tip my hat off to you Pig, as you are on it, care to give us the lottery wining numbers?

    Anything on Bynum?

  232. Lakers had great ball movement tonight. I counted only 9 Pick and roll plays and only 4 Iso plays. They used the offensive set most of the time. Pau Gasol didn’t shoot well, but the results were pretty good when someone in the post touched the ball.

    I would be completely OK with Kobe sitting out another game (lets get him healthy). But what are the odds he won’t sit against the Spurs?

    Maybe the Lakers will make it out of the first round after all!!!

  233. LJAY,

    I suppose I should’ve bought a ticket. The Lakers deserve the props for backing me up.

  234. @Mark,

    damn it, why did I watch??

    haha.

  235. I can’t wait to hear what kind of negative comments are going to come now…

  236. Where can I go to hear Jacksons post game live? Espn 710 is some BS about football right now – links?

  237. Finally the streak ends, congrats to our bench for finally showing up.

    Bring on those old Spurs.

    Have no doubt we’ll win another title this year.

    Gonna B another 3peat

  238. pb,

    Like, “Kobe is the reason we are losing in Portland”?

    _____________________

    I guess the wildcard of the Lakers is they only do good when they face adversity.
    And the first adversity is Kobe being out.
    This is called “inspirational basketball”. When your star player is out, you give all out that game. What’s harder is to maintain playing “inspired basketball”…. especially with these Laker squad….

  239. i know game is not over, but there’s a lot to like in this game. yes, portland is a depleted squad, but you have to hope that the guys take this game and use it as a lesson. hats off to lamar, pau, shannon, artest, d fish…

  240. What’s the word on Bynum’s status for the Spurs game?

    There is simply a different flow to the offense with Lamar/Pau up front.

  241. So…. any news on bynum? And where can a guy in WA catch the post-game stuff?

  242. LO is becoming this dynasty’s horry.

  243. #244 Argopile
    try this link. It is the local station that carries the Lakers road games and they usually have some post game interviews

    http://cbs2.com/lakers

  244. I guess we now know that we play a lot better without……

    Bynum

    We played a depleted team and we still had Lamar, Pau, and Artest. 3 stars to their 1. lets not go nuts. This is not a big win to me. Im sorry. And Im really worried about Gasol. He doesn’t have the same athleticism he had last season and hasn’t been as effective in the post. As long as we have Kobe and Drew healthy we will be fine Im sure. It would also be a bonus if Fisher got himself suspended again… for the rest of the season.

  245. Why is there so much negativity towards Fisher? He does all the things the Lakers ask of him. He hits his threes when we REALLY need them. He plays ok, if not good, defense. And he runs the offense rather well when Kobe isn’t trying to go 1 on 5.

  246. LMAO Aaron. You should plant a gun in Fish’s locker.

  247. You know every time bynum gets hurt he acts like its no big deal and then his doctors get to tell him how horrible it really is. I’m hoping that he is right about it this time.

  248. Some interesting Laker facts against Portland: 6 players scored in double figures; almost every player had an offensive rebound; no player had more than 15 shot attempts; there were 24 assists.

    Players changed their roles: Derek was great and displayed more inspirational leadership on both ends; Ron took on more offensive responsibilities; Shannon played Kobe’s role; Pau did a little of everything–and Lamar was a vacuum cleaner on the boards–and honorary team facilitator.

    Team defense became more and more stifling as the game progressed. As Lamar said, it was a total team victory.

    It was a shame that Kobe was not even on the sidelines watching . . . .

  249. Wow missed the game, can’t believe I missed breaking the Rose Garden curse without Kobe or Drew. 22 boards for Odom? Way to stick it to Juwan Howard.

    Kind of sad that our standards have sunk so low that a 2-4 game becomes a “good” game for Sasha. But he may have done non-box-score things I didn’t see.

    Happy with the win. Ideally, playing without Kobe will force guys like Lamar to put their big boy pants on and get to work without a safety net. Then when Kobe returns, he (hopefully) won’t have to shoot as much.

    Out of curiosity, did we run the triangle more with Kobe out?

  250. At least we have the All Star break to rest our players and see what happens next with the injuries, yeah, I hope Bynum’s swelling goes down without a hitch this time. It is bad enough that we are not in sync with the Triangle offense, but also seem to have some bad injuries at the same time.

  251. also note, this was on the second night of a Back2back at Portland, they didnt have their best guy as we didnt have ours, we played our best collective game so far this year. and we beat portland @portland. Kobe along with Phil and the other coaches know what they are doing. I had a feeling he would sit this game out, and hopefully he will sit the whole week along with the all-star game to be ready and fresh for the end the season a be primed for the playoffs. This was a Great win, Enjoy it today, and lets take this one game at time!. Go Lakers -Sweet #16 coming this June!

  252. Also, it’s not just the Portland announcers. Dave at BE (who is a great blogger) wanted to give Howard a “medal” for putting Drew out with a hip bruise.

    I just don’t understand this wishing-harm-on-other-players (or coaches, in the announcers’ case). Even in jest. Do you have that much of an inferiority complex, to cheer when opposing players are in pain?

  253. @Snoopy,

    we ran a set offense most of the night. very few P&R. But still not enough putting it into the post to set things up.

  254. GREAT overall game… I would love to see more of this team’s play (hungry, focused, and willing to share the ball instead of hoisting up PUJITs) incorporated when Kobe and Andrew are on the court… AND Lamar Odom should eat chicken and waffles EVERY DAY!

  255. Big win tonight. Not gonna lie; as soon as Ireland announced Kobe wasn’t going to play I thought it was going to be a slaughter. But as soon as the game started, I realized that no one player was going to dominate the ball, that the Lakers might take a “us against the world” mentality, instead of just placating to Kobe’s greatness. Don’t get me wrong, Kobe being out is not a long term good thing, but maybe, just maybe, this will force the Lakers to get back to business, focus on defense and allow the ball to go inside more often. Granted, Portland was missing alot of starters, but a win is a win.

    I guess the sky really isn’t falling after all. ;)

  256. Quite a game. Quite a ride from last night to tonight. A couple thoughts…

    – Kobe’s been hurt, but he chooses now to actually take (in)action and sit out. Has it gotten markedly worse? Is it a good time to maximize a break as it is near the All-Star break? Is this a plan so the FO can better analyze the roster in the final days of trading season? Maybe several of the above?

    – Teams always ride a “high” when the alpha dog goes out and sometimes they can even sustain the energy. I think this is just what the Doctor ordered for this squad. Players can better define themselves and when Kobe returns they’ll all be better for it. Of course if we go on a 5 game skid… well, never mind all that.

    – Some interesting stats on this site lately. Especially the examples showing how poor our outside shooting is (particularly when compared to the Cavs). If we only had 2006-07 Sascha or even someone who plays him on TV.

    – It seems to me when the Lakers play teams that have no size, Bynum and Gasol can really dominate (assuming the damn team plays inside out), but when the Lakers face a team with fair-to-good size the “two towers” seem to get burned. Especially teams with guys that are big enough to D them up, but quick enough to go around them on offense. Between the two slow towers and old man river on the perimeter and Kobe’s freelancing the Lakers defense seems damn sieve-like at times.

    – I like the Lakers trotting out one of the big guys or the other. I think tonight might be a pretty good example of why.

  257. My favourite stat of the night: Blazers with TWO offensive boards all game. Let’s hit the glass like this every game.

  258. 250 Warren- My brother and I came up with an idea like that of our own. Take Sharapova for randsom and tell Sasha he has to shoot 45% from 3pt land on at least 6 attempts a night if he ever wants to see her again. I don’t see any holes in that plan… okay maybe a couple.

  259. That was the most satisfying win since Boston. Defeating Boston would have meant more if we had not lost the next game, but this game just was so gratifying. Watching the guys work together, Lamar just manhandle Portland’s front and ShamWOW playing something similar to the triangle was fantastic. I especially liked the way Morrison contributed tonight.