Lakers/Kings: Who Was That Masked Man?

Rey Moralde —  March 2, 2012

Box Score: Lakers 115, Kings 107
Offensive Efficiency: Lakers 119.8, Kings 111.5
True Shooting %: Lakers 65.5%, Kings 51.0%

This looked like the perfect trap game for the Lakers. The Lakers have a much-anticipated showdown against the Miami Heat on Sunday afternoon. I’m sure the Kings don’t like being overlooked. But did the Lakers overlook them? Well…

There are a lot of kudos to give around. First off, Kobe Bryant, playing in that protective mask for the second straight game, played splendid. 38 points, 8 boards, and 3 steals. Efficient at 13 of 24 from the field and 11 of 14 from the foul line. He was in attack mode right from the start and he hardly forced the issue. Oh, and that three-pointer to essentially put away the game? Gangsta. Well done.

Andrew Bynum looked really good tonight. 19 points, 15 boards, and 3 blocks (not to mention, he altered a LOT of Sacramento’s shots). He overwhelmed the Kings frontline. Great job.

Metta World Peace got off to a slow start but finished strong as he had his strongest scoring output (15 points) since the second game of the season (when he scored 19 points, coincidentally, against the Kings). His timing was quite impeccable as he made a three-pointer (followed by a lay-up) to stop the Kings run in the 4th quarter.

Derek Fisher made all three of his shots (two BIG shots in the fourth quarter) AND played like a classic point guard. Seven assists by Fish tonight.

When Pau Gasol is not forcing lobs or listening to Lady Gaga, he contributed 15 points, 7 boards, and 4 dimes.

Lastly, I’ll give props to the bench for their play (well, mostly in the first half). Matt Barnes once again showed his hustle. He worked his way to 10 points. And Andrew Goudelock had a mini-explosion in the second quarter with 9 quick points. Troy Murphy hit the boards (6 rebounds) and Steve Blake was distributing (4 assists).

All of this contributed to a season-high 115 points for the L.A. Lakers. Beautiful offense (25 assists) played today.

The Lakers only played defense in the third quarter, it seemed.

But really, the Lakers let the Kings back into the game in the fourth quarter. The Sacramento subs showed a lot of heart in coming back. They chopped a 20-point Laker lead down to 5 as the Lakers got sloppy with the ball (5 of their 13 turnovers occurred in the top half of the fourth). It came down to the Lakers being more polished and experienced against the young Kings squad in this track meet of a game (somehow, the Kings only ended up with FIVE turnovers… gotta force more than that, L.A.).

I mean, all-in-all, the Lakers played really well considering the fast pace of this contest. They just can’t let teams get back into the game like this. The bench has to be better at sustaining the lead or putting the game farther away. The starters need to get their… oh, wait. Mike Brown would probably still give the starters run at the end. Never mind.

Also… Ron? I kinda want you to shoot less threes. Are you listening…?

Ask the Kings.

There are a few to pick from. But I decided to go with Bynum’s reverse jam alley-oop from Pau Gasol. Two seven-footers involved in that play? I’m sold!

I know there wasn’t much to talk about, but seriously, this was a fun game to watch (yay for offense!). And they beat a team that they SHOULD beat. No one’s really talking about it at the moment but the Lakers have won 7 of their last 9 games. I know the naysayers are like, “Well, it’s fool’s gold!” Or it was an “easy schedule.”  I guarantee that the complaints would be louder if the Lakers went 2-7 during this stretch. The Lakers are only taking care of business. Let them play ball. And they ARE looking better and better.

The Heat are coming to town for some Sunday afternoon action. I mean, it’s not like anybody is looking forward to this game, right?

Also, the Lakers are now 2-0 since the All-Star br… er… Kobe started wearing that mask. Maybe he should wear that thing forever.

Rey Moralde


71 responses to Lakers/Kings: Who Was That Masked Man?

  1. Amazing what happens when you get good play from all five positions, isn’t it?

    Fisher had a nice game, Blake did hi role, and Goudelock is a keeper. If only Artest and Fisher could play like this more consistently.

  2. I was wondering, are blocks against considered TOs when it leads to a change of possession? GG Lakes!

  3. Now, when Lakers were up by how many points and the bench let it disappear?…Everybody blames MB for bringing back Kobe on the Twolves game?…see what happened in this game.


    If Kobe wins another championship it will be the sweetest one of his career.

    Also, LBJ will probably have a Kraken-like game on Sunday. Let’s thank Kobe for that.

  5. And now they are sending Lamar Odom to the D-League? Just hope they waive him so we can have him back

  6. kareem,

    I think it counts as a FG, thus no TO. It’s just considered a missed shot.

  7. Except you can’t get a rebound on a block

  8. Aaron: First off I predicted a Lakers win and said AB would probably do well. I reported the facts of what happened the last 3 times the teams played. AB played well last night and we won. If you think that warrants an apology : ) I am sorry !!! : )

  9. Enjoyed the article Avidon – classic Kobe commentary. Very Phil Jackson-like in how he compliments but tweaks people at the same time.

    Darius – I think the dual threads are working well, so let us know where the new sandbox is.

  10. Enjoyable game for the most part, as a team the Lakers shot over 50%…a rare feat indeed. But I was disappointed that the bench couldn’t hold the lead and Kobe, Gasol & A.B. had to play bigger minutes then they should. But they do have a day off before dealing with the Heat who will be hot (couldn’t help myself) after losing to the Jazz. Bynum is looking VERY good. His reverse jam on the pass from Gasol was sweet. Kid needs to get more touches. He’s can easily average 20 pts on .600 shooting.

  11. Robert,
    I don’t think you were one of the few people who thought last nights matchup between Bynum and Cousin’s was an “intriguing” matchup. Dont worry… You are off the hook ;). I think it was just Darius and one or two other guys. I just saw it as a sizable mismatch as I said last night because Cousins is too slow footed amd does not have the length to make up for it.

    Btw… Did anyone notice the play of the game last night? Steve Nash wearing a Lakers #17 jersey spun away from the double team early in the second quarter with the shot clock at two seconds. He hung in the air traversing the baseline directly under the basket and at the very last second found a late cutting Matt Barnes who of course blew the wide open lay up. To me that was the most athletic play Andrew has ever made surpassing his free throw top of the key drive to the basket and dunk over the entire 76ers squad four years ago.

  12. And BiGCitySalad is right. I mean most on the site have noticed it. Bynum looks as agile and explosive since the all star break as he did 4/5 years ago when he first broke out before we acquired Gasol and of course before his first injury. I think this mainly has to do with Drew having the all star break to rest after probably having “dead legs” as he got into playing shape during the first half of the year. I think everyone should be reminded Bynum has never been ale to get into basketball shape since 2008. It’s obvious but I don’t think people think about it. He has been rehabbing from injuries the last four years. Not able to train during a summer and then play a whole season of basketball to get in game shape. Even last off season he had to rehab am injury and only started playing after 25 games. So this offseason he trained hard (something few did) and came into camp with a great physique. After playing half the season he finally got into game shape but I’m sure as most know that gives you dead legs when you’re first getting into shape. That four days off let his leg muscles regenerate. I think for the first time since Andrews breakout season we are seeing him “healthy” in every sense of the word. We are not seeing him in the process of playing catchup physically. He is finally caught up. I mean I’m sure he will now get hurt as his body probably can’t take the new pounding and twisting of his suddenly explosive legs… But let’s enjoy it for the few weeks we probably have 😉

  13. Aaron,
    I said I was intrigued. I didn’t say Bynum didn’t have an advantage or that Cousins was the better player. That said, if you want to try and pile on about me being “wrong” go ahead. If people piled on you every time you were wrong…

  14. Aaron,
    Also, here’s what I wrote last night in the preview:

    “The Bynum/Cousins match up intrigues me to no end. Bynum will need to use his size to his advantage and do his work before he catches the ball because Cousins has the strength to keep Drew from simply backing him down for easy baskets. It will be interesting to see if Bynum can draw fouls on Cousins (he averages 5 fouls per 36 minutes) and then use that to his advantage to draw softer coverage. On the other end of the floor, Cousins has been better at taking more shots closer to the rim (6.8 this year compared to 4.1 last), but he’s only converting at 52% on the season at that range. Bynum’s length and defensive presence should continue to bother Cousins in close, but Bynum will need to work to keep Cousins off the glass and not just rely on his length to outrebound the young King (Cousins has the 3rd best offensive rebound rate in the league).”

    Where exactly did things play out different than what I wrote? Bynum had most of his success doing his work early by establishing deep position before the catch. Bynum did an excellent job of using his length to bother Cousins around the rim. But, Cousins killed the Lakers on the offensive glass, grabbing 7 OReb’s total. So, again, was I wrong?

  15. I don’t understand the fascination with the constant bragging and I told you so’s proclamations of being smarter than everyone elsel.

    I guess just having a conversation and letting your points speak for themselves isn’t enough.

  16. Darius,
    Where were you wrong? In short, everywhere ;). Cousins shot 5 for 16 amd scored ten points. In the three or four times Bynum guarded Cousins (most of the time it was Gasol) Drew blocked Cousins or forced him into airballs. Those offensive rebounds Cousins had were against Gasol. The few times Bynum was matched up with him Drew got every board. Cousins was overmatched and outclassed on both ends of the floor. The matchup that “intrigued you to no end” was a complete mismatch. Darius… It’s okay… You can be slightly wrong occasionally. Nobody is perfect ;). And my job is to keep you honest 🙂 speaking of which… Let’s start talking raise

  17. @15 +1

  18. … And I’m piling on for comedic and playful effect. I barley ever disagree with you and when I do I let you know because it is so infrequently. And I hope people let me know whenever I am wrong about something. But I always remember. I was wrong on Kevin Love. I thought he would not become a good starting PF. And while I think he is overrated because he can’t play defense and can’t create his own shot…. He clearly is a good PF. I was also wrong on the Heat last year… I thought they would win the championship since before the start of the season up until the final game of the Finals. I was wrong. It happens. Nobody’s perfect :). You said you thought a specific matchup was intriguing. It was just obvious to me the matchup was not. That’s where we disagreed… With the very premise.

  19. In a completley unrelated note…I think what I have done on this site is turn people against Andrew. I have been so pro Bynum for the last five years and predicted such great things from him many on this site started rooting against him in a way. It’s like when your brother would say some player was awesome but you had your own favorite player so you started hating on the player your brother loved. No matter how good that player was you would hate on him. Your stupid brother made you take an extreme stance on a awesome player.

  20. Back to the Darius convo… Darius… I apologize for coming off like I was attacking you amd piling on. I was being playful. Tone is hard to send across via digital media. We never get to have basketball arguments because we agree on everything.

  21. @17 You think too highly of your own influence. Most of us on this blog just love the Lakers and basketball in general. No one is rooting against Bynum. He is clearly the Lakers 2nd best player and likely the foundation of the post-Kobe era (unless of course he is traded for DH) so to root against him would be insane.

    When people point out his flaws it’s because we are fans and want him to get better. For example, when people point out that he has struggled to pass out of double teams this year, it is because it’s true. It’s natural that he would struggle initially but I have noticed more than a few comments praising Bynum for his improvement as a passer this season…now if only Barnes could finish a layup.

  22. R.R. Magellan March 3, 2012 at 9:20 am

    All I know is this… I’m enjoying the way the Lakers are playing right now. They have this swagger that they didn’t seem to have early in the year and it shows. Again, winners of 7 of 9 and, while I do expect the Heat to beat them at Staples on Sunday (hey, I’m just being a realist), it wouldn’t shock me if the Lakers do win.

    This team, when clicking on all cylinders, can still be a force in the playoffs, trade or no trade. I truly believe that. Maybe it took Kobe uniting these players. Maybe they really just needed time.

    In short, let’s enjoy the way they’ve been playing. Let’s worry when they start going in a funk again.

  23. R.R. MAGELLAN,
    Haha. Let’s not overreact to a spell of good play. The Lakers still need a roster upgrade (PG) to get to the finals and a solid upgrade to beat the Heat in the Finals (PG, back up SG, SF).

  24. R.R. Magellan March 3, 2012 at 9:53 am


    Not overreacting. I mean, they’ve won 7 of 9. But still, didn’t I say that I don’t expect them to win against Miami? I’m not even saying that this team will win the title. But they’re still gonna be a tough out in the postseason. I’m saying that I’m enjoying the good play of the Lakers right now. Is that so bad?

  25. R.R. MAGELLAN,
    I always enjoy watching the Lakers and NBA basketball no matter what. So I. The wrong person to ask. I’m not saying not to enjoy this run of good play. Im just responding to your assertion that “This team, when clicking on all cylinders, can still be a force in the playoffs, trade or no trade.” I don’t think without a trade this team can be a force in the playoffs is all. You might be right though.

  26. AARON:

    At this present time, they just look so much more comfortable. Coach Brown has actually found a regular rotation and, as mentioned earlier, they’re playing with swagger that hasn’t been there previously. Even if they do lose to Miami, they’ll be okay if they recover nicely from it (i.e. Win the next four games). As far as the playoffs go? It’s a bit of a crapshoot in the West. Yes, there’s the Thunder but the Thunder can fall in the wrong match-up.

    Whether they make a trade before the 15th is anybody’s guess but I can see potential with the current roster they have. Now if the bench can just perform with a little more consistency…

  27. 15, it is because certain people are so mentally weak that they: a.) are unable to consider their own reflexivity, b.) repeatedly self-validate when they do not receive (enough) validation from others, and c.) cannot display their support of a point without the degradation of another.

    It is impossible to control people who act like this, so the only course of action is simply to ignore their points and continue the thread with people whom you can genuinely have a conversation.

    Sadly, the emotional nature and general myopia of sports fans makes this quite difficult.

  28. 2 of those 7 wins come against playoff teams. The 3 most impressive wins this year vs Dallas (2), LAC. Lakers are playing well and went 17-1 out of the ASB last year. This same thing happened a year ago sorry if I’m not impressed.

  29. Just to break the ice and not necessarily re-starting trade rumors, it is fascinating to learn that Lakers are inquiring about Jose Calderon of the Raftors for the TPE. Unfortunately, Raftors refuse to take salary back and the Odom TPE is not enough….how about shelling out cash for the difference? I think Calderon is the missing piece in the Lakers line up. Everyone last night was getting back to their former mojo so to add a scorer and a good PG would put lakers to another dimension.

  30. Lakers seem more familiar with the system and ball movement has been crisp. But to be considered title contenders you have to beat one. Sunday is the best opportunity to do so.

  31. KEVIN:

    And that’s fine. But like I said, I guarantee that the complaints will be louder if they went 2-7 or 5-4 in this stretch. I’ll take 7-2. The schedule is not their fault. They’re just taking care of business.

  32. While I do not believe this team could do better then maybe the WCF without upgrades, the possibility to shock the world exists if:

    The Lakers played inside out basketball with great discipline, through out the playoffs. This would do a couple of things. First half court basketball slows the pace of the game and negates some of the advantages that younger, faster teams have. OKC is not a great half court team. If we limit their running ability with efficient half court basketball we could beat them. Secondly inside out puts the ball in the hands of our bigs. No one can match up with both Andrew and Pau. The kind of ball movement we have seen lately is encouraging as Andrew has been much better passing out of double teams and Kobe has benefited from this. And again OKC isn’t exactly a great defensive team so we could move the ball on them.

    Metta and Fish would need to shoot closer to their career averages. Probably won’t happen but we are talking catching lightening in a bottle here. The fact that Fish is a career 37% from 3 and Metta 35% means they have done it for most of their time in the league, making a return to form not completely impossible.

    G-Luck would have to become much more consistent, especially on the road. Again he is a good looking rookie, who continues to improve. So what is his ceiling for this year? Only time will answer that one.

    Troy and Blake have to shoot more from distance. They both have very good shots but booth have seemed reluctant to shoot at times. They need to shoot to spread the floor to open up the inside game.

    If everyone one of these things happened I do think we could shock the world because we already have half court defense and rebounding that is needed to win a ring.

    That said, we still need at least a PG upgrade.

  33. R.R. MAGELLAN,
    I agree. But in this sense I’m a centrist. I was telling the people on this site who wanted to blow up this team that we have three of the best pkayers in the NBA and are not that far away from competing for a title. What I’m telling you is that while we are not far away as currently constructed from competing for a title we still are a way aways. I wouldn’t let a streak of good wins against average teams with three all stars mask the fact we have major roster holes.

  34. *ways a way

  35. RRMagellan: Agree there doing what their supposed too beating up on lesser teams. At a point have to show that you can beat the top tier teams not just hang with them. Your optomism is shared just not convinced beating a team without K. Love and giving up 107 points to the Kings is worthy of praise. A win against OKC in this stretch would make it look much better though.

  36. AARON: Every team has flaws and I do agree that the roster has major flaws. But at this point, you’re going to have to run with what you have (I am REALLY not optimistic that the Lakers will make a deal but I could be wrong). Potentially, this team could be something (this is where we’re probably going to disagree) and I’ll go as far as this team can win the West. But no… no titles. I’m not ready to go that far.

    KEVIN: Oh, that’s fine. A victory against Miami will go a long way with this team, though. We’ll see what happens come Sunday afternoon.

  37. R.R. MAGELLAN,
    Yea… I guess that’s where we disagree. I think we can easily and more than likley make a move at the trading deadline to significantly help the team as good PGs are everywhere, even overflowing into the Dleague. But no, I don’t think as we are currently constructed can beat OKC in a playoff series. And no… Not everyone has major roster holes. And as Hollnger pointed out nobody has the roster holes at not one, but two spots in the starting lineup. Thats only us.

  38. R.R. Magellan March 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    AARON: I didn’t say every team has major roster holes. I said every team has flaws. There’s a difference.

    OKC will have problems inside going against the bigs and the halfcourt game isn’t exactly their strongest suit. The Thunder will beat the Lakers by outrunning them (which the Lakers somehow proved they can do against the Kings) and because they’re pretty damn talented. I think the Lakers have a pretty good shot at beating the Thunder. Not that I’m saying the Lakers would win a seven-game series against them… but there’s a shot.

    I’m not saying they should stand pat with this roster. I’m just not that optimistic that they’ll be able to make a move somehow before the 15th. But that’s right now. That could change next week.

  39. Lakers seem more familiar with the system and ball movement has been crisp.


    Sacto is 28th in the NBA in DRTG; Minnesota is decent but is only 15th. They did do a pretty good job against Dallas, which has good defensive numbers. Portland is slumping badly at the moment.

  40. Quite a few posts revolve around the Lakers chances for a title, both as currently constructed + post any changes. I am going to be redundant and re-post a link that I think is very informational. Forget the exact odds shown on the attached, rather focus on the total out of 100 occupied by the top 3 teams. For those who do not want to click, this ESPN link has the odds of Miami/Chic/OKC winning it all at 77%. The odds of the Lakers winning it are at 2% (again I think we are higher than that). The odds of team #4 (SAS) are 7%. So when saying we have a punchers chance or a fighting chance, if you mean about 7% (if we upgrade), then I’ll buy it. However we would have miles to go to break into the top 3 which is where the realistic chances start. I believe the FO understands these odds, and they are going for a strategy to put us in the Top 3 or they will not do too much. I believe they hold the same belief that I do that they have no interest in being the 6th best team. We have 12 days.

  41. rr: Lakers have eanred some credit for playing well, but I feel the same way when I wrote #28.

  42. @ Avidon, that article eerily echoed my sentiments regarding Kobe’s rivalries during the All Star game.

    Say what you will about Derek Fisher, but he is the king of adjustments. He is finding a way to contribute in yet another system. He’s passing the ball ahead for fast breaks and getting the ball to the bigs in perfect position. As a pg Fisher has done so much with so little. Now why doesn’t a Darius Morris or Andrew Goudeloch nestle under the arm of Derek Fisher and pick his brain?

    One day we’ll all think back to what Kobe Bryant has done throughout his career, and wish and dream that he were still around.

    On Thursday, one of the Mike’s on ESPN radio said that he didn’t like Kobe because Kobe took trying to be like Mike to the extreme. Well, my comment to this is who was he supposed to imitate: Grant Hill, Allen Iverson, Vince Carter or Jerry Stackhouse? Thank you Kobe for trying to be like the best and making it your own.

  43. To me it’s not important that it was just the Kings or T-Wolves because earlier in the year the offense was terrible against EVERYBODY. Now we are looking like we understand what we are trying to do out there. Before we looked clueless. How much better we can get is still to be determined.

  44. The Lakers beat two high scoring teams in Sacto and the T-Wolves that we usually lost to in the last couple years. Beating teams like Portland (given our history with them) and Dallas are all feathers in our cap. Do we need to add a starting caliber, point guard and a scorer off the bench? Yes, but the Lakers have been playing much better since Kobe went into Phil mode. They are playing Laker ball on offense and Mike Brown ball of defense. Let’s be happy with the wins and hope for help (not hindrance) from the FO.

  45. 15 & 27,

    I still don’t understand the practice of entertaining forum trolls by replying to them. It’s especially easy to ignore them considering most of their posts are trash. You can just scroll through whatever nonsense they post on any particular day.

    Back to basketball.. Heat are only 2.5 point favorites on Sunday. Is Bosh still not back for them? I have a bad feeling about LBJ, who might stick it to Kobe for the All-Star game end sequence.

  46. It is possible to simultaneously be pleased at the progress the team has made in improving their play and also recognize and temper response by acknowledging the caliber of the competition. It’s not an either/or proposition.

    There’s something to be learned from every game, win or loss, bad or good competition.

  47. We have to be fans and realistic. Lakers are a good team not a great team and a contending team not a championship team. FO realized this because they tried to make a trade. Have to let go of the Pau era. This core has maxed out 2 rings in 4 years that’s one hell of a run.

    Lakers are 9-9 vs playoff teams. Wins-Houston, Knicks, Memphis, Dallas(2), Clippers, Boston, Atlanta, Denver(2).. Losses- Chicago, Denver, Clippers, Miami, Orlando, Pacers, Philadelphia, Knicks, Thunder. We would all agree the wins are against contending teams not championship teams. Not one signature win this year.

    Lakers fans including me got excited last year after the 17-1 run. But this is the same team as last year with the same strengths and same flaws. 2 7 footers, Kobe are the strengths. PG, SF, Bench are our weaknesses (we all saw Mike Brown coach in the CLE playoffs not too much coaching was happening). Why would we see different results with the same team while competition has gotten better?

    Our big 3 has played an extraordinary amount of minutes already and Kobe & Pau are playing in the olympics this summer. Can we realistically expect to see this same Kobe & Pau next year after a shortened season (66 games in 120 days) coupled with olympics. Our stars aren’t getting any younger and value aren’t increasing.

    Have to make moves it’s nothing worse than being a middling team with aging stars. It was a great run and will be tough to let it go but we have to. There’s a cornerstone guy in Bynum (while I’m not sold) have to build around Drew. Some very nice players available.

    Look at the recent history of teams who held on too long. Those Sacramento team, NJ kept their big 3 together too long, 04 Pistons, the gilbert wizards teams, these Celtics. Now is the time to rebuild before our players lose more value.

  48. 47. “The Gilbert Wizards teams”? – one of these things is not like the others…

  49. Kevin: Your analysis is correct. I would also add the late 80’s Celtics as the ultimate example of holding on. They had a Big 3 as well.
    I would like to clarify something in your post. I understand the reluctantly building around Drew part, but how? This is what I was asking Dave about before. We either need to “Win Now” (D12 for me) or we need to “Re-build” around Drew as you state. The moves will be different depending on the direction. Sounds like you are leaning toward re-build, as I caught your statement about Kobe needing to tolerate things from an earlier post. However are you accepting that this will mean moving backwards before we move forwards?

  50. jodial: lol. but you catch my drift hold on too long that’s what happens. Those teams still aren’t contending

  51. Turning to tomorrows game… It will be interesting to see if the trend continues. Kobe plays awful everytime LeBron is on the floor. It’s not like Kobe is always even being guarded by James, it’s just for some reason LeBron is kyrptonite for Kobe. He just is a mess whenever LeBron is on the same floor. Let’s hope that trend stops tomorrow.

  52. Aaron: “He just is a mess whenever LeBron is on the same floor.”

    He has managed to win 3 of his 4 ASG MVP’s with LeBronze on the floor.

    Sorry – I know you are compelled to defend AB, and I do the same for KB : )

  53. This will be about as good a chance as the Lakers will have to beat Miami with this roster. They are at home, they have a day off going in, and as I understand it, Bosh–whose quickness has been an issue for the Lakers’ big guys–may not play.

    Miami has waxed the Lakers all three times since the formation of the SuperFriends and Cleveland swept them James’ last year there.

    Tying micro and macro together, the KBros speculated that this game may affect the FO’s approach; the FO may see it as a “yardstick” game. The Ks did not have a guess as to what direction it might push the FO–just suggested that it might be a push one way or another.

  54. Kevin @ 47 says: “But this is the same team as last year with the same strengths and same flaws.”


    I see your point but would venture they are weaker than last year, having lost the sixth man of the year; the mighty (?) Shannon Brown and having “gained” a couple total stiffs in their place.

  55. Robert: Didn’t see 49 from earlier. I am in the camp who thinks Lakers should rebuild. Chris Paul was the quick fix but since that didn’t happen I say trade Pau and get young athletic pieces. Focus on next year and 2014 because I hinestly think Kobe retires when his contract is up. He recently told Stephen A. Smith that he wouldn’t stick around and avg. 18 ppg.

    I mentioned in previous thread a few names who can help now. If those aren’t attainable get young athletic pieces to grow together. Who by the time Bynum gets in his prime in 2014 they can be a year in year out contender. Already have a conerstone now follow OKC, Philly, Minnesota, Memphis mold and get young players to grow together.

  56. Kevin: The re-build is definately a valid option and must be considered. There are 2 issues: A) Our salary situation does not get better in 13 + only somewhat in 14. Signing FA’s could be a long way away for us unless we go with a complete nuking. KB and AB are $44 of a $60 cap for next year B) Kobe wants to retire a Laker, but will not be happy with clear steps backward in the short run.
    The FO is in a real quandry.

  57. Robert: Couldn’t agree with you more very tough spot. Real hard to accomplish everything in one move. The vetoed trade was that move but the past is the past. Salary must be cut because of CBA and lakers are in serious need of young legs. I believe if Kobe sees light at the end of the tunnel he rides it out. Plus he knows his contract is immovable.

  58. miami is not minn or sac. not even close.Those are the two worst defensive teams in the league. Miami one of the best. Also when was the last time Lakers won a Sunday national TV game. How about two years ago. Would take Miami to stay up all night at LA Clubs to have a chance at losing tomorrow. If not then the Lakers record goes to 7 and 8 against top 8 teams and reality hits us all in the face that this is not a contender.

  59. Well, if Heat is a real contender for crown, they’ve to pass here in LA. Winning against the Lakers in their home court is not an easy task either, especially for Mr. Wade who is consciously aware of his guilty feelings on ASG. He has to absorb a lot of booing throughout the game.

    I’m not conceding to Kevin’s proposal of rebuild especially if Lakers are inquiring about PG’s who could help and willing to put the TPE as an exchange. As Michael H. said, this is not over folks because you are dealing with the Lakers who have the Big 3 that other teams don’t have plus their experience in Championship basketball. If the bench would click like the last 2 games plus resurgence of Fish and Metta even a measly 70% contribution of their previous PPG, then Lakers will be in smooth sailing. I predict Lakers will win tomorrow by more than 5 pts.

  60. If we beat Miami(with or without Bosh), I’ll listen to people that say we have a chance this year.

    Not that regular season games matter too much, but if this one doesn’t bring out the best out of our Lakers, the playoffs won’t either.

  61. this team could win it all quite easily if they got as hot as Dallas was during the playoffs last year.

    no one knows what will happen. frankly, if i thought they didn’t have a chance, i wouldn’t be happy and ready to crow if and when they failed, if i were an actual
    Lakers fan.

  62. Robert,
    I’m of course talking about real NBA games. Kobe against the Cavs and the Heat has played the worst ball of his career. He shoots under 40 percent and can’t win either. Check the stats. And I’m telling you to check the stats because I’m too lazy.

  63. Yes Mud, you adjusted the lofty sights of our fellow Laker fans who may have been overtaken by habitual pessimism and forgotten that Lakers are also powerhouse in this league. For as long as we have Kobe and the two pillars plus improving bench, there is hope. We can be a realistic prognosticator but before a big game such as this, the Laker fan spirit should be there. It is the embodiment of eternal optimism that the big 3 of Miami are deliriously nervous when they face the Laker fan crowd. For all we know, they could be star struck, dreaming someday that they’d like be in the place of Walton or Pau. As you said Mud if we lose then we eat our crow but before any games we should not entertain losing in our home court.

  64. Aaron,

    when making statements as if they were fact it is only fitting to do the research.

    Kobe vs. Wade all time – 28 ppg, 45% FG (Wade 25 ppg, 43% FG):

    Kobe vs. James all time – 25 ppg, 40% FG (James 27 ppg, 43% FG):

  65. Edwin: I have said this many times. During games and pre-game, it is time to cheer and be a fanatic. If you check the game threads, that is what i do (mostly for KB). However being analytical/critical at the appropriate times does not make someone less of a fan. Re-read mud’s post – he is not talking about eating crow, he is accusing others of “crowing”. Then he implies that people who criticize are not real Laker fans. Given that this is the first post I have seen under this name, it is a curious statement.

  66. Aaron: I will accept your exclusion of ASG’s from other games if you accept the fact that Wade is a PUNK !!! Since he “took a foul” in a game that is not real. Deal?

  67. In the absence of an alternative, would it be appropriate to send a shoutout to Warren on this thread?

  68. Here’s how I look at it Aaron on your comment about Kobe to Rob, permit me to intervene on your conversation.

    There seems to be a magic wand on that mask, I noticed Kobe’s more focused, more motivated to prove something and more protective for his 7 footer teammates who are the subject of trades. I think they’re getting the Mbrown defense/ offense mantra. I noticed there are more fast breaks, more confidence with Blake/G-luck and Murphy to shoot when open. It is OK not to wait for Kobe. Artest is pushing the ball like the real Artest not this attention-getter Metta Peace, quicker with his hands in defense. Fisher could throw the ball on lob pass to our bigs in the post accurately thereby preserving that 37 year oldenergy. I don’t know whether those observations will be replicated today.

  69. Robert,

    I know Mud from the other blog, he’s a friendly Laker fan. We used to cheer, shout for the attendance in that site without any reservations of offending someone. The former bloggers that I know who are now posting here are meek like in a kindergarten class. There is life here in this site but not the youthful exuberance that we have been accustomed to.

  70. Haha. Define punk. It was a loser move for sure. He was being outplayed by Kobe and was frustrated. Wade lost a lot of respect from his peers on that one. Trust me. Hard fouls are good. Hard fouls in all star games are great. That was not a hard foul. That was a cheap shot from behind with Howard ready and waiting to challenge Kobe’s lay up. So it was a needless cheap shot as well.