Around the World (Wide Web): Lakers/Warriors Reactions

Phillip Barnett —  April 7, 2011

From Brian Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: By the end of the third — again, the point at which the game was too far gone — the Warriors had 17 offensive rebounds on 44 misses, a very healthy 38.6 percent, well more than their 26.5 percent average. Sure, the Lakers tightened up in the fourth quarter — only one ORB surrendered — but by then they’d basically laid out a Vegas style buffet of second-chance points. Golden State finished with 17, in total, but was the case with L.A.’s turnovers, by constantly failing to secure the glass, the Lakers were unable to control the tempo of the game. Combined, the Lakers also gave Golden State an enormous advantage. L.A. actually shot a better percentage from the field (42.9 percent vs. 38.7 percent) but the Warriors had 16 more field goal attempts. You just can’t win that way (as Wednesday night’s game demonstrates). Of course, the Lakers still could have managed to squeak out a win had they not made a habit out of. …

From Dexter Fishmore, Silver Screen and Roll: I guess we’re going to do this again after all. By “this,” I mean a sludgy, turd-scented end to the regular season, whereby the Lakers hack up winnable games left and right and stumble around groggily like your mom after her third breakfast scotch. The champs had us fooled for a while with their 17-1 record after the All-Star break, but now the jig is up. Losing to Denver on Sunday afternoon? Eh, whatever… they were due for a letdown game. Falling two nights later to a Jazz team that had lost eight straight? Hmm. This is starting to seem familiar. And now a third consecutive loss, 87 to 95 to the Warriors tonight up in Oakland? Ah yes. These are the April Lakers we know and love. Someone remember to wake them when the playoff brackets are announced.

From Kevin Ding, OC Register: Rather than steamroll into the playoffs, the Lakers are providing a flashback to earlier days this season when they shrugged when confronted with more motivated opponents and got tagged with unsightly losses. The Lakers stuck with the careless, casual approach that lost them consecutive games to Denver and Utah after their 17-1 run after the All-Star break, so they lost again, 95-87, to the Golden State Warriors here Wednesday night. In so doing, the Lakers surrendered their chase for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and home-court advantage in a possible series with the San Antonio Spurs. The Lakers have been mathematically eliminated from that possibility before even getting to the Tuesday night game at Staples Center against the Spurs. The Lakers’ slide hasn’t allowed Dallas to move up from two games behind given the Mavericks’ own struggles. Their loss to Denver on Wednesday night left the Mavericks just a game ahead of fourth-place Oklahoma City, which owns the tiebreaker over Dallas. If the Lakers stay at No. 2, they would be slotted for a second-round matchup with the team that finishes No. 3.

From Kevin Ding, OC Register: The approach of Lakers coach Phil Jackson’s is not to sweat the standings much until entering the last week of the regular season. So his plan is to take stock of things Sunday before the Lakers play host to Oklahoma City — and then have their final games vs. San Antonio and at Sacramento — to decide whether the team should push hard for a certain spot or home-court advantage or take it slightly easier before the playoffs. “On Sunday, start sorting it out,” Jackson said, “whether we stay after it, intense.” Jackson said while the Lakers were winning almost every game and eating up ground behind San Antonio he wouldn’t worry much about it until the Lakers took this current trip to Golden State and Portland.

From Mark Medina, LA Times: Walking nearly side by side, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Coach Phil Jackson walked out of a tunnel at Oracle Arena and conversed. There’s no use trying to lipread what was on the television screen, but the Lakers’ 95-87 loss Wednesday to the Golden State Warriors provides plenty of conversation starters. The most tempting of course points to the standings implications. The Lakers (55-23) can rule out catching San Antonio (60-19) for the top spot for the Western Conference; the Lakers in the midst of a three-game losing streak and San Antonio having won three consecutive games to lock up the top seeding. The Lakers also shouldn’t be surprised if they can’t match up with the Chicago Bulls (57-20), winners of four consecutive games, or stay ahead of Boston (54-23).

From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: Stu Lantz is staying. The longtime color commentator for televised Lakers games is expected to return for a 25th season, multiple NBA and entertainment officials said Wednesday. Lantz’s broadcast partner since 2005, Joel Meyers, will not be back after this season. Meyers will be done after the first round of the playoffs. Neither FS West nor KCAL has broadcast rights past that point. Spero Dedes, 32, will be the third TV voice of the Lakers since Chick Hearn died in August 2002. Paul Sunderland had the job for three seasons, followed by Meyers. Dedes is in his sixth season as the Lakers’ radio play-by-play broadcaster. Dedes has not officially signed a new contract with the Lakers to do TV, though it is not expected to be an arduous process. Who will succeed Dedes on radio? The Lakers might not have to look further than longtime local sports presence Bill Macdonald.

Phillip Barnett

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29 responses to Around the World (Wide Web): Lakers/Warriors Reactions

  1. In recent weeks, there has been much talk (after losing streaks mostly) about how spoiled we Laker fans are. And we are that—there is no doubt.

    Often, when a post is made about the quality of the Lakers’ play, or a particular player’s play, someone will retort, and say the poster is spoiled, and that you cannot expect players to be robots that play perfectly and play focused every game over an 82-game schedule.

    I get that.

    What I don’t get is this. No matter how “spoiled” we as Laker fans are, we are not so “spoiled” that we don’t have the right to expect EFFORT every game over an 82-game schedule. These athletes are far more “spoiled” than we are in terms of compensation made for time spent. I don’t care of Odom is 2-11 for five points, three rebounds, and six turnovers, or if he shows a lack of focus, if he is providing EFFORT. He did not do so last night. Neither did Pau.

    So before anyone talks about how spoiled we Laker fans are….make sure you ask…is the poster criticizing focus/execution, or is the poster talking about effort. If it is the former–then yo are right, the poster should take a step back and realize that you cannot be perfect every game. But if the poster is talking about effort….sorry, but these guys are getting paid millions….they are entitled to nights where they don’t have “it,” but they aren’t entitled to nights where they make no effort to find “it.”

  2. And the refs start their own union conflict… next year is going to be fun. (Note the heavy sarcasm there.)

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AnGUTBeton7TzkRoCo5pk_u8vLYF?slug=aw-wojnarowski_refs_charge_nba_with_unfair_labor_practices_040611

  3. It doesn’t really say whether Joel Meyers is being let go, or is choosing to move on. He’s actually grown on me a bit, although I still haven’t been able to shake the nagging feeling that he isn’t Chick.

    Not in the sense that there can ever be another Chick, but that he’s pretty vanilla in comparison. As long as Stu is going to be around, I’d rather they paired him with someone with a bit more personality. I’ve never listened to Spero Dedes – what is he like?

    I really hope they figure it out. We were so lucky growing up with Chick and Vin, it’s a bit sad to think that my 5 yr old son might not grow up with such iconic voices for the Dodgers and Lakers…

  4. They lost all focus and hustle. They got arrogant from the big stretch of wins, knew they were just better than everyone else and figured the hell with homecourt, we dont need it. I honestly think the Lakers will get out of the West either way, but do believe it could be a problem come the finals. The Bulls, Heat, and Celtics all scare me more than any West team right now, especially the Heat who we are 0-2 against this season. Lack of execution is one thing, but when you cant hustle, box out, it will piss a lot of fans off. I am keeping my cool because I am not surprised, you never know what you were going to get from this Lakers team.

  5. I think the crap-ass effort we’ve seen in the last two games on the defensive end is about staying healthy.

    The offense, on the other hand, is disgusting. They are scoring the ball at a similar rate of a junior high girls basketball team. I hate when they don’t score 95+ points.

  6. @Joe,
    On the bright side, if lack of focus and hustle is their only “problem” right now, at least we can rely on that to be fixed when the playoffs start…

  7. 1 – But we are spoiled. There is a reason why most years a talented team is doing good to win 60 games. We fans don’t truly respect the grind of the 82 game season. On top of that the Lakers have made three straight trips to the Finals. Kobe and Pau played in the summer of 2008. Lamar played last summer. The core of the team is 30+ years old. Unless they are bionic men they will get mentally and physically fatigued no matter how fit they are and no matter how much money they make. And the money argument always amazes me. It’s like saying because Kobe makes $20 million a year his body doesn’t have a right to be subjected to the laws of nature.

    I’m not making excuses, but look around the league. San Antonio has faltered. Boston has looked unsteady. Miami has stumbled. I think some of us Lakers fans are forgetting just how hard it is to win a championship in the NBA.

  8. A game like this shows the Lakers what happens when they do not dictate the tempo.

    Once the playoffs start I’m assuming the Lakers will be back to their deliberate and disciplined offense.

    I’m just glad for no injuries.

  9. @T.Rogers
    You mean others teams also have talent and work hard???

    I’m floored.

    :p

  10. Too bad we didn’t have Sasha around, because now would be a good time to ceremonially dump the bench out and rest the starters. Let guys like Caracter (too bad Ebanks is out), Walton, Killer Bs, play. Losing to these teams isn’t helping the starters, who are clearly looking forward to the playoffs.

  11. I’ve been looking forward to Spero being promoted to TV. Joel has grown on me over the years, but I will not be sad to him go.
    I like listening to Spero’s radio broadcast. Starting out on radio has benefitted him and will benefit the Lakers telecast. He describes the action well. A pet peeve of mine about broadcasters who only have worked on TV is that they do not describe the action well; they simply say “watch this.” The audience doesn’t need to be told “watch this” they need someone to describe the action to enhance their viewing experience.

  12. NBA teams loosing 3,4,…games,Lakers team is no exception. The important thing is that everybody is healthy going to the playoffs. The concern here is the Lakers bench; Blake and Barnes are new, only Shannon and Odom have experience. Odom needs other bench players stepping up, he can’t win by himself. Lakers should change the strategy too, from the last three games i saw Denver trying double-team Kobe in the 4th quarter, Hayward 6-9 of Utah guarding Kobe in the final minute, Golden state double-team Kobe too. If opponents can make Kobe taking bad shots in several times in the 4th quarter, they have a chance, because Lakers used to let Kobe taking over the game with few minutes left.

  13. “Personally I think we got to get out and run a little more,” Brown offered as a solution. “We got to share the ball a little bit more. I think it gets stuck a lot of times in that second unit. ..”

    Glad you see this Shannon. Now please listen to your own advice.

  14. I can go with Joel or Spero. Truthfully, I can watch games with no play by play commentary. The games I did catch of the 2008 Olympics were online and had no commentary. I actually enjoyed the experience more. But that’s me.

    Spero is a really good radio guy. I am sure he will do well on TV. Maybe I am missing something, but why is Joel leaving? Has he worn out his welcome or is he choosing to leave?

  15. Ah, my cable and internet were down last night so I have no insight on what happened last night specifically.

    That said, I mentioned in the preview that last night was the 5th game in 7 nights and, in case you were wondering, that’s a taxing slate.

    But beyond, that, I still believe that a lot of what has undone the Lakers lately can be traced back to not having too much time to actually look at tape or get into the meat of what their issues are during practice sessions. Even at the end of the Lakers’ win streak their play was starting to drop off. What we’re seeing now is a continuation of that.

    If anyone thinks a team is just going to roll on with no kinks popping up, they need to get real. I’m not happy with how the team is playing, but balanced against how this team can play, I don’t see the need to overreact to poor play when we just had 18 games of evidence as to what this team is capable of. What am I missing?

  16. “Kobe, are these wins and effort sustainable going into the playoffs?”

    Kobe: “Absolutely. We’re not doing anything out of the ordinary. We’re taking care of the ball, minimizing mistakes, and just executing well.”

    Then we lose 3 consecutive games just after coming 1 1/2 within the #1 spot.

    GO LAK– ah, forget it. Wake me in June when they give a damn again.

  17. I love how a lot of people complain that the team doesn’t care and that’s why they lose.

    You know it’s not entirely unfathomable to think that they care but still not do well.

  18. These schizo Lakers are frustrating. I didn’t see the game, except for the last 2 mins and that was enough. I wouldn’t be surprise if the losing streak continues. it’s kinda similar to how they ended last season. i’m not going to worry too much, because it was recently discovered that the team has a secret weapon…

    http://lakers.topbuzz.com/gallery/v/laker-team-pics/Lakers+playoffs+on-off+switch.JPG.html

  19. Is anyone else concerned that the Lakers may have peaked a bit too early?

    This was my concern in the midst of their post all-star break romp, but now how turned into a full blown worry.

  20. I can’t say these guys aren’t trying hard, although Pau is definitely in “white swan” mode right now (I hope it’s cuz he doesn’t want to get hurt before the playoffs)/

    The Lakers problem is that they are basically doing the baseball equivalent of giving 600 at-bats to hitters batting .150 and playing horrible outfield defense (in Blake, Brown, and Fisher). You can be the ’27 Yankees, thats still hard to overcome.

    So at this point we can’t expect anything from Brown and Blake. Also,
    I get the “Don’t worry, Fisher will come through when we need him” idea but he’s really taking this to an unprecedented level right now.

  21. I’m just going to say it because no one here is really awknowledging this is what the lakers might want….. I think they purposely lose these games so they don’t end up with okc in the second round. period. you don’t win the way they were winning and then lose 3 straight unless your trying to. they could have easily caught san antonio they still play them one more time but they don’t care. so we as fans shouldn’t care and we should have a quiet confidence that they don’t care. this team is diiiiiiirty we got barnes, artest, kobe, fisher, andrew pau lamar, we the baddest boys on the block so everyone just chill out. Theres no way Utah and golden state beat us. NO WAY. we let them beat us. we don’t want okc in the second round and we’d prefer to stay where we are in the standings because that means we will play new orleans or memphis in the first round which is a lot better then portland. will everyone stop worrying so much. lets remember NOBODY WANTS TO PLAY THE LAKERS PERIOD!

  22. As far as basketball was concerned, last night’s game was unwatchable. I couldn’t finish the game and had to turn it over, I mean off, in the 2nd quarter once I saw the Lakers had no intention or focus to overcome their sloppy turnovers.

  23. @ 21

    LAKERS 55-23
    BOSTON 54-23
    MIAMI 54-24
    DALLAS 53-25
    OKC 52-26

    OKC has a reasonable shot to be the 3rd seed now (they have the tiebreaker–they tie Dallas, and they are the 3) and it is my personal opinion that the Lakers probably feel that:

    a) They are going to be in the Finals no matter what, barring injury to a core player.
    b) Either Boston or Miami is going to be the team waiting for them.
    c) They will be in much better shape against either Miami or Boston if they have Games 6 and 7 at home.

    I don’t think they would sacrifice that just to avoid OKC in RD 2, and of course they now need to win to make sure they avoid OKC anyway.

  24. I was at the game last night, and once they started playing like crap late in the first quarter, I think Phil threw in the towel. He left the bench (plus Bynum, nice to see him finishing a game, even in a loss) in for the first 6 minutes of the 4th quarter–the starters certainly could have come back at the 9-minute mark to try and win, but it’s near the end of a long season.

    The starters gave a good push at the end of the game to make it interesting, but they weren’t really going for it–the #1 seed was out of the realistic question after the Denver loss, and they should hold on to #2. Why risk injury to hold on to a tiny (and vanishing) chance of getting home court? At least, that seemed to be the idea.

    Among my other observations, Stephen Curry impressed the crap out of me. I thought he was a one-dimensional shooter that was bordering on too frail to really hang in the NBA, but time and again he ventured into the paint to set up his guys. And he has a lot of subtle ball-fake maneuvers he used to great effect. Nice player.

    Also noted: before the game they were all warming up at the hoop, Bynum was working on a nice spin move into the paint, Barnes shooting jumpers, etc. Everyone had a ball in their hand. Except Luke Walton, who mostly was clowning around. Might want to work on your jumper, Luke.

  25. @gxs
    No. This is how they ended the season last year as well (except worse, we had injuries last year!) but the playoffs still turned out pretty okay in the end.

    If they play like this in the first round, then I’ll worry. But not yet.

  26. No team can beat LA in a 7 game series, NONE! Boston came very close, but this year? Who’s going to be able to go game for game against the Lakers? You can tell that the Lakers didn’t care the last 3 games (which is an absolutely horrible way to go about it, but what can you do?). In the end, the Lakers squad is made for Playoff style basketball. As long as there is no complacency and everyone (bench especially) is focused, who can beat us?

    Even if the Lakers face the Bulls, if they lock down D. Rose (a difficult task for sure), that removes their 1st, 2nd, and maybe even 3rd scoring option, they can’t score, Lakers have Kobe, Drew, and Pau to score, game over.

  27. I’m going to say what I feel is really happening here; just call it as I see it. I believe Phil Jackson and the Laker’s coaching staff (not the Lakers players) are purposely trying to lose games to become the #3 seed since they couldn’t lock up #1. Every team wants to be the #1 seed because that’s homecourt advantage so nobody’s gonna try and give that up. However, since that won’t happen, Phil Jackson is looking at who is at #7, which the #2 seed will have to play, and I don’t think he likes what he sees. Surely he will never admit to this, and the team will play any team they have to play. But I think Jackson would rather much play the Portland Trailblazers than play a team that can get very hot and streaky like the Hornets. Remember how the Thunder caused the Lakers soooo much trouble and nearly beat them to advance? The Lakers do not want that again, and since they appear to be a little less focused this season than they were back then, why play a team that has a good outside chance of beating you in the first round? At least if they beat the Trailblazers and then lost in the second round, that would look somewhat better than being taken out in the first round. I see the Lakers players on the floor playing hard, but it seems weird that the better players are not on the floor for long stretches to try and win the game when the Lakers are down 7 or 10 pts. The Lakers losing 4 games in a row seems uncharacteristic of them, especially during this time of the season. So that leads me to believe Jackson is really eyeing that #3 spot; basically lose now to win later. The thought process being someone else may take out a hot team so the Lakers will not have to play them early on. And if the hot team isn’t taken out by someone but instead wins, the Lakers adrenaline will be high from being deeper in the playoffs. For those of you who think this is out-of-the-realm of possibility, remember PhIl Jackson is a shrewd man, a thinking man’s man. He hasn’t become a winning coach of this stature by not thinking outside the box. If they win the Finals, nobody would even think twice about this losing streak we’re seeing; again, lose the battle to win the war. As it currently stands the Lakers could be the 3rd or 4th seed, which means they could even play Denver, another team they’re very confident over. After that, Jackson would whip them into shape for the remainder of the playoffs. Don’t think that can’t happen. Frankly I hope it backfires in some way.

  28. @robinred
    Chicago can also be the team waiting on them in the East, not necessarily Miami or Boston.