Lakers/Pacers: Kobe’s Season High Not Enough

Darius Soriano —  November 28, 2010
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

The motto we’ve preached at this site for some time has been that the Lakers will go as far as their defense takes them.  Tonight, while the Lakers held the Pacers to a respectable 102.5 offensive rating they couldn’t get stops when they needed them and ended up falling to Indiana 95-92 to lose their second consecutive game.

The biggest miscue came on the Pacers’ final possession of the game and the Lakers trailing only by a single point.  After a bit of a broken play, the Pacers’ went to a high P&R (a play that had worked with good success all evening) and ended up getting a wide open dunk when Gasol showed well on the screen but did so several feet above the three point line which then allowed Roy Hibbert the space he needed to stroll down the lane unimpeded.  Gasol’s mates did little to help him as they simply watched Hibbert dive down the paint while stubbornly sticking to their own men that spaced the floor around the three point line (I’m looking at you, Lamar and Kobe).  That basket pushed the lead to three and triggered a possession where the Lakers got a decent first look from Kobe (off a good high P&R) and, after securing the offensive rebound, dribbling out and making strange passes until Kobe ultimately ended up taking another forced three pointer that fell harmlessly short to end the game.

But really, it’s kind of amazing that the Lakers were within a single basket in the closing seconds as they were pretty much outplayed for the majority of this contest.  Led by Roy Hibbert’s fantastic game (24 points on 13 shots, 12 rebounds, 6 assists), the Pacers controlled the paint and, by extension, the tempo of the contest.  While their offense was far from humming (they only shot 43% as a team), they mostly got good looks at the basket by beating the Lakers off the dribble and taking advantage of flat footed defenders by beating them off cuts, screens, and to loose balls.

But again, it all started with Hibbert.  The Pacers run an offense that takes a lot of action from UCLA’s classic high post sets while also incorporating principles of the Flex and the Princeton offense.  They run a lot of motion, screens, and back cuts and Hibbert does a lot of initiating from the high post where he picks out cutters or takes his own (much improved) jumper from about 18 feet.  And when he wasn’t operating from the high post, he was doing damage from the low block by hitting his jump hook from both the right block and the from the middle with relative ease.  When Hibbert didn’t have the ball in his hands he was setting good screens to free up his mates for dribble penetration or curls into open space where they could get up good shots.  It’s easy to see why he’s the early leading candidate for most improved player as he’s taken on a heavy burden for his team and really stepped up in a variety of areas to improve them on both sides of the floor.

As for the Lakers, they looked flat and out of synch for a lot of this contest.  I give a lot of credit to the Pacers for their hustle and effort, but the team in the home whites were a step slow for most of the evening and seemed to lose out on every 50/50 ball and long rebound.  And while I’ve mentioned their somewhat poor execution on defense, their offense wasn’t any better.  As a team the Lakers shot 38.6% from the floor and a ghastly 49.7% True Shooting.

Pau Gasol’s 5-15 could easily be seen as the worst of the bunch and due to his importance to the team, I’d agree that his struggles had a big part in the Lakers overall performance on offense.  Pau started out hitting his first three shots, but that success was not sustainable.  He ultimately suffered through a night where he missed a few short hooks but was ultimately really bothered by the height and length of Hibbert.  Also contributing to his lackluster effort on both sides of the ball was his heavy workload as he again played 45 minutes, getting his only rest of the game in the final few minutes of the first quarter.

The only bright spot on offense (besides a solid 14 points on 10 shots from Odom) was Kobe’s 41 point night, but even that wasn’t as outstanding as it would seem at first glance.  He needed 33 shots to get to that total and took a few ill advised shots throughout the game.  That said, without his extraordinary effort throughout the 2nd half, the Pacers probably win this game by double digits going away so I really can’t complain too much with any one shot that Kobe took or with his approach overall.  In the third quarter he carried the team on his back to cut a 15 point deficit to 8 when he went on a classic Kobe run of made jumpers that climaxed with a fantastic drive where, going to his left, he spun middle and made a backhanded righty lay up as he fell to the ground getting fouled.  And then at the end of the contest, he closed the game the best he could only to come up short when he missed his last two attempts that could have tied the game.

Looking at this game as a whole I’m not sure if there’s one thing that stood out besides that missing Andrew Bynum is really starting to wear on this team.  As mentioned, Gasol played 45 minutes again and Odom played 40 of his own.  The Lakers defensive rebounding is still sub-par and their interior defense on both penetration and on post ups is lacking right now.  Tonight was one of the first nights that I’ve really thought that Pau was pacing himself in certain moments, but without a legit back up Center and knowing that he’s due for heavy minutes I really can’t blame him.  I know that’s there’s no immediate solution to this issue and there’s a hope that Bynum will be back soon, but until that happens the Lakers are vulnerable to nights like this.  The Pacers played hard and handed the Lakers their 4th loss in 17 games.  Things could be certainly be much worse and there’s no need to extract too much from this game.  But it sure will be nice when the Lakers big man rotation is back to normal.

Darius Soriano

Posts

54 responses to Lakers/Pacers: Kobe’s Season High Not Enough

  1. You mentioned Bynum but it’s important to also keep in mind that right now the Lakers are playing with no back up centers and 1back up PF who is a rookie and clearly lost most of the time. That’s a big deal when games are close late.

    Kobe’s post comments were gold and it’s good to know his attitude is right where is should be. He basically said, they will win a championship based on their defense, which sucked tonight and to stop asking about the offense because it will come and go.

    This was a tough loss only because it would be good to keep pace with San Antonio and ahead of the pack. However there will be plenty of chances to make it up.

    Overall considering the depth problems described above the season if off to a very good start.

  2. Jeremy,
    I hear you. Bynum’s presence (or lack there of) creates a domino effect where not only minutes but production is either present or not. He’s needed on both fronts and for both purposes.

  3. Bynum’s Fault? November 29, 2010 at 2:31 am

    I don’t know if this is something that’s encouraged to talk about, but I really think a large part of the Lakers struggles is Bynum’s fault. And I repeat, it’s Bynum’s fault.
    He delayed the surgery to July 18, but actually had it on July 29. Why did he have to take over 1 month off for break? Stop using excuses that he’s young (only 22 then), and stuff. Keep in mine he gets paid as much as Artest and Odom combined. I’m 21, in college, and as much as I want to rest, I do summer internships right after my finals in June. I understand the rigors of NBA is definitely way more than college, but hey, I dont get paid in 8 figures for sitting on the bench!
    His immaturity has harmed not only himself, but his team, and now that the team lacks big men, it’s all his fault.

    I know saying this won’t help the situation, but I just want to point it out because I feel strongly about it. Older people give him excuses for being young, but as someone who is 21, I feel that people don’t give us young people enough credit. He is just immature on his own, not because he is young.

    Also, the reason that Phil says to start him is because he doesn’t do well after sitting for a while after pregame warmups. To me that sounds very unfair to Lamar Odom, although he accepts his bench role. Just because someone cannot adjust to “cooling down his knees” after pregame warmup, you start him? Again, some of you will say “oh it’s who end games that matters”, but I still think Bynum gets wayyy too much perk for someone who has only shown flashes of positive signs, yet is lazy and don’t put in the effort offseason to work on his game besides the summer of 2007.

  4. Couple of notes:

    1. In addition to no Bynum, Ratliff is of course out. No complaints in a way–the guy is 37 years old. But the team needs a backup 5 since Bynum is gone so much.
    2. The Pacers were 4/23 from the arc, so in a way, the Lakers were fortunate that the game was as close as it was.

    If they are going to wait for Bynum and they are not going to try to pick up a big body, I think Jackson should let Caracter play 10-12 minutes a game, rather than 3. I am sure that has been said before

  5. I don’t think you can blame a particular loss on Bynum’s absence (the Lakers have done fairly well with him out!). But I do think this season – over the course of the season, Bynum’s absence will catch up with the team and bite them come playoff time, if he is not good to go. Not having Ratliff doesn’t help either.

    I dont blame Pau at all. This team needs a true center, maybe not an allstar one, but someone who is servicable. And so this season, the chips are all in on Bynum.

  6. As long as Bynum is healthy for the playoffs, none of this regular season stuff really matters. But if Bynum comes back, and is only 70-80% for the playoffs, then it’s going to be a problem. We’ve seen three years now that Bynum is a ridiculously slow-recoverer, so in-season surgery is almost a non-option. Imagine if he had had surgery at the end of the last regular season instead of playing through it; He probably would’ve missed the entire playoffs. So if Bynum holding off for a couple more weeks means he won’t be gimpy in the playoffs, I say it’s worth it. But if he’s not 100% come playoff time, whether it’s because he came back too soon or because he’s simply too injury prone to stay healthy, we’re going to be in trouble.

  7. Three things I noticed:

    -At the beginning of the second, around the 10-11 minute mark, we had a Barnes/Artest combo that was a vicious looking double team at the top of the arc.

    -I think Pau gave up definitely one free bucket because of foul trouble.

    -The Pacers got TONS of extra possessions; multiple times they had three looks at the bucket in one trip.

    We’ll be ok, though. At least there’s no team meeting after a loss in Dallas. ; )

  8. @#3, There are some valid reasons to complain about Bynum but I think yours are completely off base. If you actually bothered to pay attention to the facts you would have noticed that the entire organization was okay with his timeline and approved it. Furthermore it was pushed back deeper into July because of his doctor’s schedule.

    Clearly you also don’t understand how keeping warm for someone in his condition is not just a matter of “adjusting”. And he hasn’t worked on his game since 2007? Really? I guess his improvement every year came from sitting on the bench.

    Pau definitely looks like he’s pacing himself out there. He’s been under a pretty heavy workload.

    My main short term concern is the bench’s production. I had kind of feared this type of cold shooting coming but had hoped it wouldn’t have hit the entire bench at the same time. With the kind of hot start everyone had, especially Shannon, it was only a matter of time for a reversion to the mean. Everyone had to start missing some shots soon. But it’s been brutal to see two consecutive games where the entire bench couldn’t buy a bucket. I was hoping it would be more like 30% shooting nights instead of the 20′s.

  9. Honestly after his gutsy performance in the playoffs I think Bynum has bought some slack. We haven’t heard any stories of him not working hard at his rehab , being out of shape or having a bad attitude.

    Also #3 what in the hell are you talking about when you say struggles? THE LAKERS ARE 13-4! THEY ARE NOT STRUGGLING! Was there some sort of underground let’s go undefeated campaign I missed or something?

    I probably put more emphasis on securing home court than most people and so was disappointed by the loss and the team’s execution but geez there are multiple posters who need to gain some perspective.

  10. I have been hesitant to jump on the Brown bandwagon this year after my disappointment last year. He has been nails this year, though so this is not a criticism. However, his last two games have been more like many of his games last year. I don’t expect him to shoot 50-60%, but these two-fer nights are an issue. His production this year has been a key reason the Lakers have coasted in a lot of games. I wonder if he will have a serious drop in production because teams are starting to focus on him more.

  11. Quite disappointed because this was as good a chance as we could ask for to bounce back after a tough loss, but I guess I’m not too bummed about the mini slump as I wasn’t too psyched about the mini surges. Have the lakers merely regressed to their mean, their mean being inconsistency and losing to teams they have no business losing to.

  12. Wow it’s Bynums fault because he’s injured. No, it’s up to the players that were on the court.

    And for that last play, I know you said it’s Kobe and Lamar’s fault for not rotating, but why does Pau need to show 30 feet away from the basket on TJ Ford. He isn’t steve nash, bait him into taking a contested three. And Deron Williams/Big Al killed the Pau with that same play a few times. Obviously the Pacers watched taped and the Lakers didn’t. Also I think it was more on lamar than Kobe to rotate because Roy Hibbert is 7’2, even if Kobe rotates the pacers still get at least 2 freethrows. Also Lamar hesitated and looked confused on whether or not he should rotate, so he didn’t. Which is what he normally does. A loss is a loss, the lakers will get a few more. But its just annoying when they loss because of multiple defensive lapses, especially late in the 4th. This is championship team.

  13. I expect nights like this until Bynum gets back. BTW – I don’t want him to come back until he is absolutely 100%. No more coming back at 85% and reinjuring something else.

    Regarding last night – I expect nights like these where Pau and Lamar are gassed from carrying the entire front line through the first quarter of the season and the bench isn’t hitting shots. It’s just dissapointing they dropped this one at home.

    I wouldn’t have a problem with DC seeing more minutes. The very least he could be is 6 fouls to bang on the other teams PF/C.

    I think everybody looked tired last night and Kobe has been wanting to score more points lately. The rest of the team conceded to let Kobe try to shoot them to victory. Nights like these will happen.

  14. Reign on Parades November 29, 2010 at 9:49 am

    If we’re not going to give Shaq a pass for healing on company time despite being twice as talented why should we for Bynum?

    I appreciate him playing injured the last few playoffs but on the other hand I don’t know why we’re cutting him slack for his minimal contributions in the playoffs over the last three years relative to his 15 million dollar salary. I feel like that should motivate him even more to get healthy quicker and contribute more. I understand he’s much more Shaq than Kobe but don’t you think he at least owes it to Gasol who covers for his non-production so often to, you know, lessen that load?

  15. Are we really back questioning Bynum’s surgery timeline? Really? Kobe delayed his surgery too, you know. Bynum’s surgery was supposed to be a simple one and it changed when the doctor opened him up. Read that last sentence again. No one knew in advance that this surgery would be one that kept him out this long. Yes it’s frustrating. And yes, I understand that I’m the guy saying that last night the Lakers missed Bynum, but geez. He’ll be back eventually.

    Talk that “it’s Bynum’s fault” is crazy simply because what’s really wrong with this team? They have 4 losses all season. I think we’re all a bit concerned about Pau’s heavy load but over the course of the season that will be reduced.

    Why be nervous about this team right now? I don’t get it.

  16. 14, It still comes down to exactly what it is you’re complaining about? That he wasn’t ready last week and we lost to the pacers? I really don’t get what’s going on here we’re 13-4 not 9-8. Would you be completely happy if we were 13-3? Because until last night I don’t recall seeing any criticism on here.

    EDIT: yes, exactly Darius

  17. First, I agree with Darius on Bynum. It’s too late to complain about it and too silly to blame a loss on him when he has no control over when he’s ready anymore because it’s a natural healing problem.

    Second, Kobe’s fgs were increased a lot by missed shots, o. rebs and then another miss or block. He was fighting for good shots because we couldn’t get anything in the post after the first quarter. We got plenty of open looks in the offense that didn’t go down. It’s hard to find an alternative to the only guy with a hot hand outside of someone who has been taxed for minutes in Odom. Kobe decided he wanted to score, thats the silliest thing ever. He had to score for us to be in this game because we surely weren’t getting anything anywhere else.

    Third, good post Darius. Nice recap of the game, from some of the post game reports, it seems that Phil told them not to help in the middle, so that may have had something to do with Odom’s indecision and Kobe’s non-movement. Pau definitely looks tired out there though. Also, he was a lot more passive by the end of the 4th because he had his 5th foul as well so they got some easy lay-ins before that as well.

    And, on to the next one…

  18. Pau just needs a good nights sleep.

    The bench will be better once Pau’s rested. They’re not getting the same in rhythm looks bec the offense is not being run with the same aggressive mentality.

  19. Didn’t get to watch the 4th because I was out to dinner, but from what I did see the Lakers were pretty lackadaisical through the first half. Pau and Odom looked a little tired and the triple B’s couldn’t spark as they normally do.

    Such is life in the NBA. Gotta come out to play and you could clearly see Indy came out an played hard (as they did against the Heat).

    On to the next one.

  20. The two biggest things that stood out to me last night was Pau getting completely dominated by Hibbert and Odom giving up timely offensive rebounds.

    With regards to Odom, the Lakers had a stretch in the final few minutes of the game where they scored 3 straight trips and also got an initial stop on defense. However, instead of cutting the lead down, the Lakers gained not one single point because the Pacers got an offensive rebound on each of the 3 possessions and then scored. Two of the offensive rebounds came when McRoberts grabbed the board over Odom while Odom had inside position! Completely inexcusable that Odom let McRoberts push him under the basket and get the board and putback on two consecutive possessions (how does the saying go… “fool me once shame on you… fool me twice shame on me”… shame on you Odom).

    Gasol on the other hand is starting to show a trend that I find concerning. Certainly looking at Gasol’s numbers one can’t complain too much as he has performed like an MVP candidate. However, did deeper and you will see that Gasol has destroyed the teams without any interior defense but has often not performed as well against a team with a solid center. He was outplayed by Hibbert, played to a stistical draw with Darko in two games, was dominated by Noah, struggled against Yao, etc… Meanwhile his most dominating performance have come against the Warriors, Suns, Pistons, Raptors, etc…. Gasol has shown the ability to put up rediculous numbers against bad teams (perfect game against GSW, triple double against the much smaller Aldridge) but has struggled against the teams with size and solid interior defense. It is concerting because looking at the East for a finals preview and the likely opposition is either Boston (Perkins and Shaq), Orlando (Howard), or Chicago (Noah).

  21. Zephid,
    “As long as Bynum is healthy for the playoffs, none of this regular season stuff really matters.”

    I disagree strongly. (But not strongly enough to use all uppercase.) It puts an added strain on Gasol and Odom, it (potentially) affects the team getting home court advantage, and it delays optimizing the team and Bynum’s production. As long as he’s been in the league, that still hasn’t happened due to his high injury proneness quotient. (He is still learning and needs the playing time, his teammates and the coaching staff will need to learn how to optimize playing with him.)

    Given his history, the best choice may be to do without him during preseason and the first half of the season, in the hope that he will be healthy in the playoffs, but to say the regular season stuff doesn’t matter is wrong.

  22. I didn’t catch the game last night. How bad was Caracter and how poorly has he played the past few games that Phil would rather play Gasol/Odom 40+ minutes? It leads me to conclude that Caracter must be totally lost out there.

    Whatever happened to playing Artest/Barnes more at the PF spot and stealing a few minutes of center with Odom?

    I can’t wait til Bynum comes back. And once the 10 day contract period comes, I guarantee we will sign a player. We just can’t “afford” a guaranteed minimum for the rest of the year right now. I know that last statement sounds ridiculous but a 10 day contract player is much more palatable.

  23. >>>If you actually bothered to pay attention to the facts you would have noticed that the entire organization was okay with his timeline and approved it.

    what do you expect the front office to say? to this supposed future franchise cornerstone, bynumchise?

    >>>No one knew in advance that this surgery would be one that kept him out this long.

    We’ve seen three years now that Bynum is a ridiculously slow-recoverer, so he should have had the surgery done asap in the summer

  24. This loss is not Andrew Bynum’s fault. It’s absurd to think so. The Lakers were the favorites coming in to last night’s match with its Current line up. They were prepared to play without him and win without him. So the fact that they lose without him is not even circumstantial, it’s unrelated…..it’s just the case of a bad team playing better than the good team.

  25. #22. Again, Bynum’s slow recovery is more because the nature of his surgery changed when the surgery was being performed. I’m no doctor, but from what I read the doctor decided to re-attach the loose meniscus rather than cut it off. Cutting it off would have led to a quicker healing time, but would not have been as good for Bynum’s long term health. So the doctor, when actually seeing the damage and understanding that the meniscus could be re-attached, did that procedure instead. But, that procedure has a longer healing time.

    Believe me, I understand that we’re now at the point where Bynum has been out longer than expected even for this more complex surgery. But to act like having the surgery right after the season ended was the best route when *the original* surgery wasn’t complex is disingenuous. If the originally planned surgery was done, the odds are very high that Bynum would be back by now.

  26. 23) “They were prepared to play without him and win without him. So the fact that they lose without him is not even circumstantial, it’s unrelated”

    Hardly. The team has had to make significant alterations in it’s rotations and playing style due to Bynum’s absence.

  27. Is Phil Jackson also crazy for being frustrated with Bynum?

    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=5861351

    I never pin any loss on any one player. I do think Bynum is at least partiaully at fault for not being ready to play this season and I’m mostly agitated because I know Phil and he are both trying to plug him back in as soon as possible which isn’t comforting to the people who want to make sure he’s 1000% healthy before playing.

    Now Bynum’s talking about playing through pain the rest of the year and I’m looking over at Portland’s Oden situation like someone who not only feels empathy, but fear that it could be us next.

    If you like don’t think of this as an attack on Bynum or some thing, think of it as a defense of Shaq and his heal on company time philosophy. After all, the regular season doesn’t matter

  28. Exhelo @ 25 – Yes, and the team will have to make further adjustments as (hopefully) Bynum plays himself back into condition.

  29. 25:
    Are you assuming that the Lakers had zero game plan to win the game last night? I said that they were prepared to play without him and win without him because they know he’s not in the lineup and could prepare accordingly. They’ve had a months worth of games to do so. They’re adjustments are nothing new. You could ask anyone on Sunday morning, and they would tell you that the Lakers should win this game. I’m sure yourself included would say this. And god forbid if i mention what the line was in Vegas.

  30. Darius,

    “Bynum’s surgery was supposed to be a simple one and it changed when the doctor opened him up.”

    History has taught us that there is no such thing as a “simple” surgery when it comes to Bynum. He has never returned from surgery on time, and he obviously did not take this fact into account when he decided to delay his surgery for a vacation. It’s absurd to rationalize delaying the surgery by comparing Bynum to Kobe. Kobe has a history of playing through injuries and recovering quickly.

    Phil seems to have similar frustrations. This is from Kevin Ding’s article today:

    “”This (Bynum’s surgery) is something that’s supposed to take place after the season, and he’s supposed to be ready by the season – and we built our team around that fact,” Jackson said. “His operation wasn’t done on time. Andrew was late to his operation.”

    It was a rare flash of anger from Bynum’s bosses, who haven’t publicly quibbled with Bynum going on two vacations and then having surgery 41 days after last season ended – or him reiterating just the other day how “I think the time I did it was perfect.”

    In reality, Bynum and his people shut themselves off from the Lakers all offseason to the point that the Lakers were blindsided mere hours before the start of training camp about how long Bynum would need to recover. (Remember those initial headlines about how Bynum might miss opening night?)”

    I think we, as fans, have every right to be frustrated at Bynum’s perceived lack of commitment. After all, Phil and Te Winters have also quetioned his commitment and work ethic in the past.

  31. 25.

    Nothing I said was false in 23. The Lakers have prepared to play without Bynum and win without Bynum in the past (look at our record) so why should anyone think that last night was any different.

  32. I’m not jumping too far into this, but Andrew Bynum might be a difference maker in who wins vs who loses against teams like the Celtics, but the Lakers should be able to dispatch of teams like the Pacers even w/o AB. Pointing the finger at AB isn’t fair when we’ve blown out similar teams earlier in the season with the same lineup that played last night.

  33. iiiiiiii yiiiii!
    Revisionist history at it’s most flagrant.

    Did any of you read – except Darius – what was said about Bynum’s surgery at the time it occurred? Do you remember what you read?

    Now you are absolutely livid because the team has lost 4 of the last 5 games and you must find someone to blame – because our team can’t possibly lose this many times.

    The front office agreed to Bynum’s revised surgery schedule – they actually could have objected, but didn’t. Surprisingly, the doctor actually did what he thought was best for Andrew Bynum (his patient) and not the Lakers’ fans. Anyone actually remember Bill Walton? I watched him play all the way through UCLA and he certainly could have been one of the best centers ever to play the NBA game.

    Buss does not have unlimited deep pockets – he is actually one of the less wealthy owners in the NBA.

    We win as a team; we lose as a team. As fans, maybe we should learn to ‘sit on it’ sometimes.

  34. Sedale,
    The Pacers have big and active front line players with good 3pt shooting 1′s, 2′s, and 3′s.

    This is the type of team that gives Pau and Lamar the most trouble. Remember Charlotte and the Lakers the last two years? Sometimes teams just match up well with us – it happens.

  35. Craig W,

    “Now you are absolutely livid because the team has lost 4 of the last 5 games and you must find someone to blame”

    Are you speaking to me, or was that question directed at Phil Jackson, who voiced his frustrations over Bynum’s delayed surgery?

  36. Arhithia,
    There is a difference between saying that
    1) the loss was Bynum’s fault or
    2) that the team could have/should have won anyway, and/or
    3) that Bynum’s absence was a factor in the loss.

    If you think Bynum’s absence was not a factor, then you are saying that he has no value to the team.

  37. 31. I agree that the matchup problems were there and PG and LO had trouble – Hibbert had a great game. But I don’t think these match-ups are something that the Lakers couldn’t overcome.

    All I’m saying is that the Lakers had enough on the court last night to win the game and the fact that they didn’t shouldn’t be thrown on AB not being there. I’m sure the players who played last night will look at the film and realize that there were things that they could have done better. I don’t want to blame AB, I’d prefer that each player who played last night take some personal responsibility for what they did and what they could have done better. That’s way more productive, in my opinion that singling out one individual on a team. I think we should take a similar approach.

  38. Craig W @ 31 – I don’t see how Bill Walton’s misfortunes have anything to do with Bynum’s travails. Other than they are both basketball players who have had a lot of injuries between them.

    If memory serves, Walton alleged the Blazers team doctor injected him with meds that made his injuries worse, in the interest of short term gains, ie Walton being able to play sooner rather than later. Without going into how fair or unfair I think those claims were, I haven’t heard anybody on this blog advocating the same course of action for Bynum. (Maybe I missed this – in which case please enlighten me).

    Rather, it seems some folks – me included – would have preferred Bynum get surgery sooner rather than later. I must hasten to add, it there was a medical reason for delay – rather than Bynum wanting to see World Cup games in person – I would not complain about the delay!

  39. Of course I value AB – he was gritty as hell during the finals last year and we all noticed that. Don’t insinuate that I think otherwise, because that’s insulting.

  40. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if AB had his surgery on time he would have missed last night’s game. This is based on the current time table for his return. Isn’t all of this a moot point?

  41. Arhithia,
    “So the fact that they lose without him is not even circumstantial, it’s unrelated”

    Your words, not mine.

  42. #39. Yes, you are correct. The only way that Bynum would have been back by now is if he had the original surgery that was planned (the one that Brandon Roy had last year and the one that people proposed Bynum have during the playoffs after he injured it against OKC). The fact that he had the other surgery is what has caused the longer delay. That AND the fact that he’s a slow-ish healer.

    If folks really want the most correct information, Bynum delayed his surgery originally to allow the knee swelling to go down and then to take his trip to see some of the World Cup. When he got back, his doctor delayed the surgery further because of his own vacation (or time off). That pushed the surgery back another 7-10 days (if my memory is correct).

    I can understand why Phil is upset. He wants Drew back and wanted it like, yesterday. Drew’s taking a slower timetable to return than what others would like. I get it. But to go back to the timing of surgery as the cause of this is manipulating what we already know to be true. (And on a side note, don’t be surprised if Phil is just needling Drew in the press to come back more quickly. Bynum did some work with the team on Saturday, looked good, and experienced no ill effects. I wouldn’t doubt if Phil is using that as evidence that he’s close to coming back.)

  43. I’m fine with Bynum postponing surgery even if it was purely out of selfish motives, as long as Pau and Odom are not injured or too fatigued due to his late comeback.

    As much as it is Bynum’s duty to try to be back ASAP, it is also the duty of the rest of the team to step up when need arises, and that includes PJ. So while things could’ve been better, I don’t hold Bynum responsible for it 100%.

  44. Bynum’s Fault? November 29, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    U guys are missing the point.
    surgery during regular season or playoffs have NOTHING to do with my post.
    What i’m saying is he should’ve scheduled the surgery right when the lakers were done playing the finals. Had he done his surgery over a month earlier than the actual time, he would’ve been back by now, considering that the schedule is for him to be back in 3 weeks.
    He is lazy for scheduling it to July 17 to begin with. That’s what I’m trying to say. Darius, your comments about changing the surgery has nothing to do with my post. Even with this current surgery, had he done it around June 20, or even June 29, he would have been back by now.

    Also, please read my posts more carefully. I’m not saying this one particular loss is his fault. I’m saying that the entire season so far, laker’s struggles, Pau and Odom’s high playing time..etc are Bynum’s fault.

  45. #43. My only point is that after the season ended, everyone was perfectly fine with how this was going to be handled. Phil was fine, the Lakers organization was fine, and no one thought it would be *this* long at that point. So essentially, hind-sight is 20/20 but going back now and saying he should have done the surgery 3 days (which was June 20th) or even 10 days after the Finals was never realistic. These are athletes that get paid a lot of money and I get that. But they’re also human beings that need downtime and have earned time to relax some in the off-season. Comparing this to Shaq’s “heal on company time” quote or implying that Bynum is lazy because he waited a month for what was, at the time, considered a routine surgery is off-base to me. I just don’t see the logic when looking at this from the perspective of what’s reasonable (both at that time and even after the fact). It’s unfortunate that it’s taken this long, but I’m still looking at this from the long term and not just from the standpoint of the first 17 games (of which, the Lakers have won 13 times).

  46. 45 Seriously “struggles” are you talking about? This is not a redundant question I seriously want to know what the hell you are seeing that is a struggle? Stop just throwing out that term with adding some context.

    Here’s what I don’t get, the Lakers literally lost by 1 missed 3 pointer or 1 made 3 pointer by Indiana. Before this game there was no Bynum’s fault or other posters complaining. In fact the overwhelming consensus was positive and happy. So are you telling me that 1 shot has suddenly caused you and other doom and gloomers to suddenly come out of the woodwork? Do you just want something to complain about? If so maybe switch to Sasha’s hair because that would certainly make a hell of lot more sense. (moderator’s note: this comment was edited)

  47. Missed this gem the first time

    “I’m saying that the entire season so far, laker’s struggles, Pau and Odom’s high playing time..etc are Bynum’s fault.”

    In that case thank you Andrew for the 13 wins and second best record in the league while we literally have zero back up centers. I really appreciate it Drew, keep up the good work

  48. 21, here’s the thing, ex; nothing can be done about Bynum’s not playing now. The only thing that can be changed is when Andrew comes back, and whether he will remain injury prone for the rest of this season and/or his career. So when I say that this regular season stuff doesn’t matter, I’m really saying that Bynum coming back healthy and 100% for the playoffs outweighs him returning early and us picking up a few extra wins in the regular season.

    Put it this way, I would rather not have HCA and a 100% Bynum than have HCA and a 70% Bynum.

  49. I hate feeling like I am trolling but I have to be honest it’s extremely frustrating and a bit disgusting to see people already forget about the guts this kid showed during last year’s playoff run.

    It wasn’t 5 months ago he was being universally praised on here and now this. Over what exactly missing an extra 5 games? I mean I get the frustration and wanting him back (basically feeling like phil does) but the rest is completely out of line and something I would not expect from FBAG. You guys remember we have won the championship twice and now have a much better team right?

    I’ll call it a night early again now so I don’t continue to dominant the discussion

    Thanks for the space to rant

    -Jeremy

  50. Zephid,
    I agree, we can’t do anything about it. But that’s completely different than it not mattering. And this ongoing issue is something that the front office will hopefully take into consideration when it is making personnel decisions in the next 1-2 years.

  51. exhelodrvr,

    Those are my words, exactly. Interpreting them as saying that Bynum has no value is reading too much into it. And as I said before, I do value him. If you look at my posts, you’ll understand (hopefully) that I’m saying that the Lakers lost last night’s game because the players on the floor didn’t execute. I think you can understand this. I understand that you are saying that the Lakers would have likely won if Bynum were playing; but that is also a huge assumption since they were also favored to win last night as well. Favored in one game with Bynum doesn’t ensure the victory, just like being favored last night didn’t result in a victory.

    I understand what you’re saying. I think my twist is that we can’t blame Bynum for this loss because had Bynum played, the entire course of the game would have played out differently (obviously) and because of this, we can’t predict it either way – therefore, how can blame be assigned? That’s why they play the games right?

    I’m done commenting on this any further because I feel that you are only defending your point, and insinuating things about mine without actually taking a step back to understanding a different perspective. Have a nice day.

  52. 50.Jeremy wrote on November 29, 2010 at 5:17 pm
    I hate feeling like I am trolling but I have to be honest it’s extremely frustrating and a bit disgusting to see people already forget about the guts this kid showed during last year’s playoff run.

    It wasn’t 5 months ago he was being universally praised on here and now this. Over what exactly missing an extra 5 games? I mean I get the frustration and wanting him back (basically feeling like phil does) but the rest is completely out of line and something I would not expect from FBAG. You guys remember we have won the championship twice and now have a much better team right?

    I’ll call it a night early again now so I don’t continue to dominant the discussion

    Thanks for the space to rant

    -Jeremy

    =============
    I’m not sure how the above was “trolling,” in fact it was combating the trolling if you ask me.

  53. BTW,

    I really hope Bynum takes an extra 3 weeks off! He is the 3rd most important player on this team, most notably against championship contenders. He turns our defense from average and soft to championship caliber and tough by his lonesome. He is a stud, and only injuries have been able to keep him down. Even with the injuries, without Bynum there is no doubt in my mind that we would have lost last year against the Celtics. Instead, Bynum, hobbled and on 1 leg, gutted out a tremendous performance. Not with great stats but with great play. An injured guy anchoring your defense and being your toughest interior presense! What a guy Bynum, go watch the Champions League’s competition for the next month since you’ve earned it!