Wednesday Storylines

Dave Murphy —  March 28, 2012

The Lakers needed a win last night to get rid of the taste of Sunday night’s debacle against Memphis. Needed, in the sense of moving past Coach Brown’s fourth quarter benching of his reigning superstar, Kobe Bryant. They got the win, but haven’t moved past a coach’s corrective actions. This time, Brown sat the team’s emerging superstar, Andrew Bynum – this after the low-post resident chucked up an ill-advised three-point attempt in the third quarter.

The win didn’t come easily. Credit the undersized Warriors for their effort – a team that’s not remotely superstar found a way back in after being down by double digits. On the Lakers side, Matt Barnes and World Peace played hard, Pau Gasol had 17 rebounds, and Kobe made a couple of clutch baskets at the end to seal the deal.

One of the key differences in the benching of Kobe on Sunday, and Andrew last night, is in their own reactions. Kobe accepted what happened and refused to fuel it as a story. Andrew’s not there yet. His truculent statement to reporters that he’s gonna keep taking threes, was no way to put out a fire. The links are largely Bynum-centric, because there is simply no way around it

Brian Kamenetzky from the Land O’Lakers has a rapid reaction to the games ups and downs.

Marc Spears at Yahoo Sports looks at Andrew Bynum’s immaturity, on a night when Kobe Bryant reached an important milestone.

Dave McMenamin from EPSN provides another look at the benching of Bynum, and his reaction to it.

Kevin Ding at the OC Register has news on Jordan Hill’s knee.

Tim Harvey for Lakers Nation has a nice piece about Kobe and Ramon, 24/7.

Andrew Lynch at Hardwood Paroxysm writes about basketball’s home stretch, 17 games in 31 days.

Dexter Fishmore at Silver Screen and Roll steers the conversation back to Bynum, on a night when Matt Barnes logged the best game of his season, against the team he once played for.

If anyone needs a feel-good post today, news of the Dodgers purchase by the Magic-led group came down last night. Dexter writes about this as well – it’s a terrific development for Dodgers fans, and for baseball in general.

***

Coaching the Los Angeles Lakers is no easy task. Mike Brown came into his job in a lockout year. He’s trying to instill a new system, meld new players together on the fly, and learn how to handle his big three. He’s trying, and was probably right in sitting Andrew down. On whole however, his leadership skills in Los Angeles have been middling. Bringing the boom down on both Kobe and Andrew, in a 48 hour span, heading into the crucial stretch drive, is at the least, curious. Next up, tomorrow night’s game against the best of the west, the Oklahoma City Thunder. And, the return of Derek Fisher –our former peacemaker.

- Dave Murphy

 

Dave Murphy

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115 responses to Wednesday Storylines

  1. It’s obvious Bynum was in the wrong, no question. The bigger question is what’s causing this? Bynum has played with Kobe his entire career. He entered the NBA as the youngest player ever at 17. Kobe has been both his idol & enemy. Yes enemy, as in backstabber. Who can forget Kobe pushed to have Bynum traded for Kidd once upon a time. Bynum sees how Kobe acts & has acted for the last seven years & knows about the history of the Shaq-Kobe feuds from a player prospective that none of us could come close to claiming.

    Yes, Kobe has five rings, but statements like “I eat first” pertaining to shot selections, could easily cause ruffles with his teammates, especially Gasol & Bynum, who have much better field goal %’s but also rely on Kobe to get them the ball.

    Now Bynum, for the 1st time in his career is healthy & confident in his abilities on the court. At 24, he knows he is considered the future of the Lakers, and that Kobe’s time is nearing it’s end. And Kobe knows it too.

    Bynum is talented, confident, healthy, & yes extremely immature. Kobe is…well Kobe, plenty of positives but which also includes being very selfish, self-centered and a record chaser. Something the media loves to make a big issue about in it’s love fest w/ Kobe: “Marc Spears at Yahoo Sports looks at Andrew Bynum’s immaturity, on a night when Kobe Bryant reached an important milestone.”

    Coach Brown has his work cut out for him. But let’s not forget, Phil Jackson had his share of issues with Kobe also, so much that he actual wrote a book detailing them. My feelings, this issue can be solved by Kobe & Bynum clearing the air and putting the team 1st.

  2. Bryant, who was benched for four minutes in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to Memphis but ultimately supported Brown’s decision, empathized with Bynum.

    “I think he was testing the limits of his game,” Bryant said. “In some ways, the edginess and chippiness of him makes it very easy for me to relate to him because I had some of that when I was young. It’s easy for me to see where he’s coming from.”

    Bryant suggested Brown and the Lakers’ coaching staff could have handled Bynum’s benching differently.

    “They have a lot of youth and they’re not used to dealing with players of Drew’s ambition, I’m sure, at this stage of his career,” Bryant said. “I was in that position and obviously have a lot of experience in dealing with myself and playing with Shaquille (O’Neal) when Shaquille was young and being mentored by Phil (Jackson) and things like that. So nothing really rattles me.”

  3. As usual… Kevin Ding just keeps writing great articles…

    http://www.ocregister.com/sports/bryant-346596-bynum-game.html

  4. BigCiSid: Biggest difference to me was at 24 Kobe had been a vital part to his team’s success. He already proved his worth and established hisself as one of the best in the game. His beefs were with Shaq’s work ethic. Everybody on this team works hard so what’s Bynum’s beef. This has been going on for years with Drew. Kobe into Shaq about a commitment to winning look at Shaq from 99-04 Kobe has a grip there. Kobe also had his rant/trade rumors about a commitment to winning from the FO. That’s been Kobe’s M.O. Drew’s is just like Shaq’s all about himself w/o his talent.

  5. Bynum jacking up shots from behind the arc is most certainly not in the game plan. But that’s not all. He’s loafing on defense and barely putting any effort in rebounding. In the last 5 games, he’s averaged 6.4 boards a game, half of what his season average is! He further compounded the issue on the bench by cracking jokes, laughing, pointing to the scoreboard, not cheering on his teammates and not joining the huddles.

    Now if you say, well he doesn’t need to be in the huddle if he’s not playing, then why were Morris, Glock, Ebanks and Hill all over there paying attention?

    Look, if Bynum was doing his job as the anchor of our defense and rebounding like the beast that he is, especially against a small Warriors frontline, then everyone would have had a good laugh at his 3 point attempt and that would be the end of the story. However, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

  6. @ Kevin, actual there are many differences, I don’t remember any Laker vets trying to get Kobe shipped out like Kobe wanted to do with Bynum, or refusing to pass him the ball for the betterment of the teams success.

    My point is I believe this issue can be solved by Kobe, Bynum, & Gasol having a private sit down. It is painfully clear to us as fans, to the coaching staff, to their teammates, to their opponents, and commentators alike that the Lakers have three very special players in Gasol, Kobe & Bynum. Individually they all are very good, among the very best at their positions, however if they could play as a unit I personally believe they are the best “Big 3″ in the league. NO TEAM has two 7 footers as skilled as the Laker bigs. That is their uniqueness. Add to that a player of Kobe’s talent plus a guy like Sessions who can now get all of them the ball in their sweet spots and the only way the Lakers are not considered serious contenders is due to self destruction. Which is what we are seeing now.
    Kobe is the captain & leader of this team. Time for him to make adjustments & lead. Or he’ll never see ring #6. Let’s face it, his window is closing quickly.

  7. in the early 2000s, most of the power in the locker room belonged to phil, shaq, and kobe. when shaq and phil left, all of that influence went to kobe. when phil returned kobe shared it with him, and later kobe would grant a portion of his power to fisher.

    kobe and fisher ceded a little bit of power to mike brown this season, but with fisher’s exit there’s a void that needs to be filled. the issue is whether that vacuum is going to be filled by mike brown or drew.

    people are saying bynum is acting immature; well that’s a half-truth. he’s acting, alright. last night was political theater. drew is showing he has big balls and he wants to be one of the big dogs on this team. he’s not satisfied being some tool for brown to use–like gasol or sessions.

    this is his way of acquiring the same status and as kobe. his message to the coaches is either start treating him with respect or else.

    i admire drew for what he did yesterday. he has the kobe gene. you don’t suffer all of the negativity laker fans have heaped on him for years, you don’t rehab your way back to being arguably the best at your position without having the drive to dominate.

  8. When Phil was Lakers coach, he didn’t like the idea, players pratice shooting three-point too much. In my opinion, it’s not the big deal. I saw Gasol shooting three in games this year too. MWP said he saw Bynum shoot three in the practice.

    People forgot that first time Bynum has a chance to play more this year, he said that he wants to expand his game, i understand he wants to find out more about his games, can he shoot like Kevin Love ? I saw Tim Duncan shoot three in the playoffs. I always think if Bynum can play inside and has mid-range game, nobody can stop him.

  9. While few would argue that Bynum took a dumb shot and then made things considerably worse with his inane postgame comments, this situation is not without its contradictions, to wit:

    Kobe regularly loafs on defense and is encouraged to play ‘centerfield’ rather than stick to his man, plus he often complains about noncalls when he drives to the rim and subsequently fails to get back to the defensive end of the court, but this seems to be tolerated (and in the case of playing centerfield, actively encouraged), despite imo rarely succeeding in disrupting the action near the rim while regularly having his man go off for huge games taking one wide open shot after another. By contrast Bynum loafs getting back on defense once or twice and he is benched.

    Inexplicably, Pau seems to have the greenlight to shoot 3s this season, even setting up behind the arc on the weakside on some plays like he was Mike Miller or something. It’s easy to imagine Bynum wanting to do the same. I know Bynum’s 3 was particularly egregious in terms of not being part of the offense and the time left on the shot clock, but still: when your other 7 footer is allowed to can a three and excite the crowd…

    At the practice on Sunday (which I attended), Pau and Drew shot 3 pointers with Darvin Ham for about 10 minutes before the real practice started. Brown was on the floor to watch this.

    Bynum was also criticized last night for goofing-around with his free throws, but a couple of games ago, Kobe deliberately shot a free throw off the glass.

    Again, I’m not excusing Bynum; merely putting his misdeed in context.

  10. Shaq went 1 for 22 for 3s in his career. I don’t think it’s so much an issue of Andrew putting up a 3 on whole – but more in the context of that moment. It was kind of a perfect storm of frustration for Brown – the expression on his face was priceless.

    I will say this – it’s a bit late in the season to be picking a scab off. The final month will hurtle like a freight train. Brown needs to bring everyone together, put frustrations aside, and focus on the prize. There will be plenty of time after the season’s over to think about the team going forward, and places in the pecking order.

  11. The players don’t respect Mike Brown as a coach. That is clear. But why should they. It is only when the started to improvise more on offense and move away from his pathetic schemes that the offense started to gel. That said he is a great defensive coordinator and the lack of hustle on defense is not forgiveable.

  12. BigCitySId: Can’t keep making every problem with the team Kobe’s doing. I bet you thought Bynum flooring Barea was because he blew past Kobe on defense. He’s checked himself out of 2 games in 2 weeks. Love his play this year just have to get his temper under control.

  13. There is a significance difference between Bynum and Kobe:

    For as much as Kobe “loafs” on defense – it might have been part of a game plan to save his energy because he was the initiator and primary facilitator of the offense.

    Bynum’s loafing on defense makes no sense – the Laker’s D is set up for Bynum to be the anchor and captain of that end. If he decides not to show up – it would be equivalent to Kobe deciding he didn’t want to try on offense.

    And when we perceive Kobe isn’t trying on offense – like on the couple of occasions where he just jacked hero ball shots up – he gets rightly criticized.

    But the majority of the time you can see – with your eyes – how hard Kobe is playing. Coupled with the winning – thats why Kobe has earned the latitude on defense (whether its right or not is a different story).

    But Bynum actually is looking and acting like he doesn’t care – like he has become too good to make an effort consistently. That’s cancerous to the locker room, and insulting to the fans that pay solid money to root for him.

    A couple of games back, MWP came up to Bynum after a play where he didn’t box out at all and allowed an easy offensive putback and told him to his face: “Box out.” “Box out.” It was neither demeaning or insulting, but Bynum brushed it off like he was too good to do it.

    And just remember – unlike Kobe who was the primarily ball handler and secondary scorer to Shaq (sometimes primary scorer in the 4th when they went hack-a-shack) – Bynum was essentially a bench player on those Laker championship teams. While he “started,” Lamar and Pau got the majority of the minutes, and got all of the crunch time play. The first postseason where Bynum was a featured piece, the Lakers got swept by the Mavs. Bynum hasn’t earned by success the right to be so disrespectful to his teammates and the Lakers fans.

  14. Bynum is definitely peeing all over the yard, there is not a dry spot left. Plus he has an ace in the hole in Jim Buss. This team doesnt need M. Brown to be a leader, it needs the players on the court to handle that responsiblity and regulate themselves. Coach doesnt have the hardware to command the type of respect that will enable him to go to war within. They need M. Brown to not try so hard to prove his worth and just be himself. Let the Big3 do the policing and he can just be the dispatcher. This team has to be bored to come up with some of the things that they do IMO. Sometimes people invent ways to challenge themselves when everyday life has become one big crayon of the same color. Its Hollywood baby, I would expect no less.

  15. I’ve been among the biggest Bynum backers around for years, but last night’s antics were inexcusable. I could forgive the shot, but to not get up for timeouts or act as if he had any interest in the rest of the game was just weak and immature.

    He may not feel like he owes anything to his coach, which is debatable as the Lakers hired Brown and Bynum works for the Lakers. Despite that, he owes it to his teammates to support them, even if he’s on the bench that night.

    All part of growing up, let’s hope…

  16. @15 – This.

    The other thing that worries me even more about last night’s game was that the team went away from the pick and roll w/Sessions for most of the game. That play, and all of its options emanating from it, should be one of the staples of the offense. I think the team ran either zero or one P&R in the entire first half, like there was a conscious decision not to run it. This, to me, would be disturbing if it became a trend.

  17. Dude,
    Yes… The Ramon PnR has been unstoppable. I’m sure they will I back to it. Also… Ron Artest is the only guy who can tell his teammates to play harder/box out… The man plays so hard the entire game in both sides of the ball. I hope everyone appreciates his efforts especially now after the ASG as he has gotten into good shape and is shooting at his normal 36 percent clip from behind the arc and is again shutting people down on defense (except Rudy Gay… Artest can never guard that guy).

  18. @ #12, Haha, come on Kevin, no one is giving Bynum a pass. He was dead wrong. Bad decisions & immaturity. I’m talking about correcting the issues. Kobe is the captain & leader of this team. Kobe is always up for a challenge, well he has a new one, Andrew Bynum. Kobe has already started, he’s sided with Bynum publicly. I hope the two of them and Gasol are a bit more honest with each other in private.

  19. Artest on bynum’s 3:

    “ I thought it was a good shot. ‘Cause he can shoot. I seen him hit 3s in practice. I put my hands up, thought it was going in!”

  20. Cdog is down with double standards.

  21. What gets me is that when AB is being a dick, he knows better, but is a dick anyway. Whereas when Kobe is a dick, that’s who he is.

  22. I mentioned on this board previously that Bynum was starting to feel himself. All Star Game Starting Center, Player of the Week Honors and most recently, getting assurances from the FO that his option will be picked up for next year. Some individuals within the FB&G Community were in agreement and others weren’t. Based specifically off of their
    comments.

    Now I, taking into account last night’s game, and several other individuals can honestly say that we saw this coming. It was quite obvious. Young player, finally healthy & in shape, playing at that All Star level that he’s always spoke about ascending to and getting accolades from his peers and coaches that’s well deserved. It’s bound to get to his head. The problem is that he’s going about it the wrong way.

    Instead of focusing and continuing to channel his positives attributes and contributions towards the TEAM (which, with all due respect, he was doing), he’s starting to make this about HIMSELF.

    Lets take the 3 point fga (which I felt was Idiotic, to say the least) out of the equation. What he did last night was BLATANTLY disrespectful to not only Coach Brown (who everyone seems to believe it was directed towards), but also his Teammates. Particularly, the Co-Captains Kobe and Pau (who were out there busting their asses trying to lay claim to victory). By sitting on the bench laughing and joking about the 3 point attempt, basically chucking up 2 free throw attempts after being re-inserted to start the 4th, laughing & pointing at the scoreboard from the pine while our lead was being trimmed and not joining the team huddles during timeouts and remaining isolated on the bench, what he did, in essence, was QUIT on the TEAM. To make matters worse, he was defiant and refused to hold himself accountable during post game interviews.

    Hopefully, after a day of reviewing the entire situation, he’ll recognize the error of his ways. If not, someone is going to have to reel this Kid in. As Pau stated post game, “We’ll address it as a team, as a unit, to make sure everybody is on the same page and we need Andrew at his best for us to have a chance. So that’s the only way we’re going to get it done .. hopefully just one bad game is out of the way .. We’ll be fine. Andrew understands, is a good guy and will do the right thing.”

    With this being a TEAM with Championship Goals, lets all hope that Pau is correct .. Time will tell.

  23. Regardless of where anybody points fingers – Andrew, Kobe, Brown or the frigging ghost of Luke Walton, the Lakers play OKC tomorrow, yes? There’s no rifts there. That team has it together. The Lakers better come to play four quarters, period.

  24. Not a double standard at all.

    I respect the guys who consistently play hard. And I don’t respect the guys who don’t.

    Kobe plays hard – sometimes “too” hard, and hard in the wrong ways (i.e. double covered jumpers) – but the efforts there on a nightly basis. Because he knows that not only earns the respect of his teammates, it earns the respect of his competitors, and makes the game better.

    Ron Artest plays hard all the time. His talent may be diminished from what it used to be, but he never checks out from an effort standpoint.

    Bynum plays hard when he wants to – which from watching the games and listening to his nonchalance, hasn’t happened in quite some time.

  25. Chris J @15, exactly. Regardless of how he feels about Brown, and whether or not that is the issue, he owes it to his teammates to work harder. Dogging it on D, taking his time up and down the court and chucking up a 3 is an insult to his teammates, their work ethic, and is detrimental to their collective goal of winning a championship.

    As Aaron pointed out, Artest was working his butt off last night, and I’d argue so was Barnes and Pau. Bynum should realize that taking himself out of the game puts additional strain on his teammates.

  26. CDog,
    Show me a seven foot offensive low post player who played hard all the time. There isn’t one unfortunately. And Kobe hasn’t played hard all the time on both ends of the floor since he was 24.

    Bynum it looks like is pulling a Shaq when he gets doubled off the ball. He just loafs. He can improve that.

  27. The ream doesn’t respect Brown. A veteran team with a history of success with a coach trying to prove himself.

  28. Lots of good comments here.

    I’m a big Bynum fan, but I have no problem calling him out for lethargic play and a simply horrible attitude in recent games. Against Memphis he came off as tired and frustrated. Last night he just came off as petulant, and his postgame comments (“I’m going to shoot more 3′s”) just demonstrates that as great as he can be, he’s a long, long way from reaching his true potential. Give that guy the right attitude and he will be unstoppable. We’ll see if that comes to pass….

    I’m often quick to criticize Kobe for shooting too much or acting like a jerk. So, let me say that Kobe’s response to the Memphis benching, and his support of Bynum’s growing pains are a real nice sign. Whereas some people suggested that Kobe calling out Mitch (re: trading Pau) was “leadership”, I disagreed. To me, what he’s done the last two games, and in their aftermath, and his apparent embrace of and willingness to defer to Ramon Sessions is true leadership.

    Finally, kudos to Aaron for giving props to Ron Artest. He may be offensively challenged, but that dude is working his tail off.

    Moreover, I’d like to give a little credit to the embattled Mike Brown. Last night in the 4th quarter Artest had a particularly active few possessions. Running down the floor Ron patted his chest and called out to Brown to substitute for him. I loved that. First, it showed great trust in Barnes (the sub). Second, it showed great trust in Brown that by removing himself from the game to catch his breath he wasn’t ruling himself out of getting back in. And finally, big props to Brown for sending MWP back in the game (with Barnes) once his wind returned. How many times have you seen a guy do that and then end up on the bench the rest of the game? That entire sequence showed more leadership and trust than almost anything I’ve seen all season, and it was awesome.

  29. Steve Blake’s usefulness comes as a spot up shooter. Except this year that’s where he’s least useful. Shooting a woeful 29% in spot up threes. 22-75 Maybe Brown should decide to bench non productive players and play players who do produce.

    Goudelock 58% on spot up 3s 17-29

  30. Kevin,
    Very insightful post. Keep them coming just like this last one. We judge commentors just like shooters. Make sure to shoot a high percentage ;)

  31. Aaron: Joakim Noah, Joel Anthony, Serge Ibaka, Perkins, KG, Varejao, Chandler. I notice those 7 footers teams are elite defensive teams because they hustle and protect the paint.

    DeMarcus Cousins gets killed for his immaturity and lack of effort on D and somehow Bynum doesn’t. Drew’s just as demonstrative as Cousins but I get the sense because Kobe is 33 and plays offense more intense than defense Bynum can do the same at 24.

  32. Tim Legler on The Herd this morning said “I got news for people, Metta World Peace can’t guard Durant at all, anymore”

    I hope Metta brings his A game tomorrow and proves Legler wrong. His physical defense has always affected Durant. And I have news for everyone that thinks Lebron is an excellent defender.. Durant owned Lebron on sunday. Artest is a much better defender on Durant than Lebron is.

  33. Sidebar: Emile just wrote a new Hardwood Hype piece, likening the Lakers to the Arrested Development clan – hilarious.
    http://tinyurl.com/89nrono

  34. Kevin,
    Read what I wrote. That’s all I ask. I said seven footers who are low post offensive players. Most of those guys are not seven feet and have never made a move in the low post.

  35. Aaron: appreciate the compliment. didn’t see that post before I sent mine. lol

    Kobe was 9-24 last night. 1-5 from 3. 5-20 as a stationary player 2-7 in post ups, 3-13 in Iso’s. But was 4-4 when on the move.

    1-1 on lob attempts
    1-1 off screens
    1-1 on fastbreak opportunities
    1-1 as the PnR screener (his only 3 pointer)

    If Mike Brown gets Kobe on the move good things happen.

  36. Dave,
    arrested development is my fab sitcom of all time. Hilarious.

  37. Buzz Lightyear March 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    While I have no particular insights into the psyche of Andrew Bynum, I can see parallels in my own life.

    I wonder if AB-17 is tired of the double-standard, tired that Kobe can shoot 7-26 while killing the offensive flow, but is never held accountable. And the one time he is held accountable (i.e. extended bench time vs. Memphis), the media accounts are “Oh boy, Mike Brown better not piss off Kobe!”

    Maybe the out-of-context 3-point heave was Drew’s way of verifying what he feels in his gut: that despite getting paid like Kobe and Pau and putting put numbers like Kobe and Pau, he does not get the same leeway as Kobe and Pau.

    I have been in employment situations where I felt I was subjected to blatant double standards. Rather than being confrontational, my approach was to disengage and simply look to my own interests. Perhaps Bynum is doing the same thing.

    Perhaps it is immature of Bynum to do this. But in the context of the adolescent fantasy that is professional sports, why should we be surprised by it?

  38. I liked Emile’s homage to Clyde the Glide even better.
    http://tinyurl.com/6uoxyev

  39. Kevin,
    Yes… Kobe is a basketball genius. He will acclimate to have a true PG very easily and pretty fast. I think we will see Kobe’s shooting percentage go from the 43 percent before we got Ramon to a clean 48 percent post Ramon for the reasons you just sited. We will see.

  40. Buzz,

    Couple of issues with that:

    1. Going 7/26 is not the same thing as what Bynum did.
    2. Kobe got benched just a game ago.
    3. Kobe has earned some slack–29,000 points, key part of five titles, playing through injuries, etc.

    Your post is a good example of the problem with guys who bring everything back to Kobe. How hard you want to come down on Bynum is a matter of opinion. But what Bynum does is ultimately on Bynum.

  41. I’m sure we will all forget Andrew’s tantrum if he comes out and dominates Kendrick Perkins tomorrow night – (after all, haven’t we all heard about 400,000 times that the Celtics would have won game 7 if “Perk hadn’t gotten hurt in game 6″)?

  42. maybe bynum feels like that he is to Lakers just like Lebron to Cavaliers a few years back, and he should be treated like how Lebron was treated.

  43. Shout out to Funky C for noting the Artest sub call in the 4th. My favorite parts of the game last night were watching Ron & Barnes… and even McRoberts – his PT may have come as a result of Bynum’s 3 but he played hard at both ends.

    Dude – agreed, the Clyde piece was nice. Always love reading Emile’s stuff. Great guy, great writer.

  44. Let’s see if MWP can stay in the game tomorrow. He has to be physical to have success against KD so a lot is going to ride on how the ref let him body up. I don’t believe Legler yet. MWP’s foot speed has slowed down but he’s in better shape now than he was most of last year and he still has the quickest hands in the league.

  45. @42 billbill:

    That’s the comparison that I’ve been feeling lately.

    An owner out of his depth that coddles him, undercuts the coach (it’s even the same damned coach!) and openly panders to him by chasing out a Hall of Fame Coach (Phil) and ignoring a Hall of Fame player (Kobe) in order to cater to a selfish, immature and clueless egomaniac.

    Swap Jim Buss in for Dan Gilbert and Andrew Bynum in for Lebron James and it’s not that bad of an analogy.

    Bynum needs limits, and when he messes up and then doesn’t take accountability he needs to be punished for it. He hasn’t earned the right to cause as many problems as he has both on and off the court.

  46. Also, re: Bynum.

    Is it a coincidence that the trade deadline has come and gone, and the Lakers have publicly stated they’ll pick up the option on Bynum’s contract, and he’s immediately gone back to being the player he’s been his entire career?

    1. A guy who looks for his stats first
    2. Plays defense when he feels like it
    3. Immature both on and off the court

    He’s out of chances with me. C.A. Clark on Silver Screen and Roll nailed it. Grow the **** up Andrew.

  47. billbill,
    Maybe. He is the first big man to come into the game with all the low post moves and guard like hands since Yao Ming. That was over a decade ago. He probably feels like if it were not for the injuries he would be have a superstar like rise to the top. And think about it… The two injuries kept him from that meteoric rise that happens to most great players. He has progressed so gradually people just accept now he is a top ten player and the best offensive Center in the game. Most players go through a one to two year grace period when they are considered rising superstars, players getting better everyday and also get all the attention with little scrutiny. It happened to Kobe his first few years, it happened with LeBron his first few years… And it happened with Dwight Howard his first few years (before people started getting on him for his lack of a post game). Instead of Bynum blowing up four years ago, he got injured a couple times and it made his progress so incremental it made Andrews dominance seem less surprising and more expected. He was named a starter to the all star team and everyone said “about time”. He becomes the best offensive Center in the NBA and people say “he shouldn’t be the second best defensive Center, he should be the first best.” Most young star players get a grace period in the beginning of their careers. Because of his injuries (for good reason), talent and the city he plays in, Andrew will never get that luxury… Nor should he.

  48. Aaron,
    Qualifying it to current offensive 7footers, because there aren’t many, but – 7 ft offensive low post center who plays/played hard all the time?
    – Marc Gasol
    – Hakeem Olajuwon
    – Shaq – Pre-2001
    – Yao (dude played through broken feet)
    – Tim Duncan (I don’t care if you wan’t to call him a PF, he’s been their center since David Robinson left.)
    – David Robinson

  49. Buzz Lightyear March 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    @Anonymous-#40

    I probably should have emphasized more that when Kobe goes 7-26, it is often the result of his teammates and coaches ***allowing *** him to go 7-26.

    I have noticed several times this year (and on and off during Kobe’s entire tenure with the Lakers), that the Lakers will get an offensive flow going while Kobe is out of the game, but the moment he checks back in the ball gets passed to #24 (formerly #8) and the rest of the team stands around. This results frequently in Kobe jacking up 26-footers with people in his grille, because the shot clock is running out and there is no other choice.

    I also admit I have my own biases in this regard. As much as I admire Kobe and have enjoyed watching him over the years, there is NO WAY I could have ever played with him (assuming I somehow were a legitimate NBA rotation player instead of a park-and-rec wannabe).

    I suspect Bynum has similar ambivalence towards Kobe (just watch the 2011 playoffs against Dallas and see which teammate most consistently blows defensive rotations, leading to Drew’s “trust issues” comment), but I have no proof of this.

    But Bynum’s lack of engagement reminds of times in my own life where I felt like the operating rules were heavily biased, but where I had no immediate exit option. My response to those situations was to emotionally disengage from them and behave in ways similar to what Bynum has displayed recently. Hence my speculations about what his current motivations may be.

  50. One would only know what Bynum is doing if they coached at a high level in meaningful games.

    His antics speak to the fact that he believes that he is bigger than the game. He’s been in full-fledged no one can tell me anything since the trade deadline came and went. Who knows what management told him. But his mannerisms clearly changed.

    He gets excused because he’s young, he gets excused because he’s watched Kobe all of his career, he’s excused because he’s tired.

    Well guess what? Every man has to take responsibility for HIS actions! Bynum has yet to do that with the suspension this year, with being ejected for talking to the referees nor when he was benched for taking an ill-advised three. Teams are going to bait him into shooting that three. If Bynum wants to add to his game you don’t do it during the season! You work your butt off during the summer and then come back with something new to your arsenal.

    Like I said before he has yet to be a main cog in a season’s accomplishments. So that’s where he needs to start. Be the anchor for the Lakers championship run, then he might be given some latitude in his narcissistic behavior.

    As some said earlier, it was not the shot that anyone has a problem with him taking. But, he took the shot and then didn’t bother to hustle back down the court. On a night when he was already content not playing defense or rebounding.

    Does anyone remember when Cook walked up and down the floor after shooting on offense?

    Does anyone else remember when Cedric Ceballos thought he was irreplaceable on the Lakers and he chose to go boating at Lake Havasu?

    This is the attitude that Bynum displayed when he pointed to the scoreboard that the Lakers were down and he was sitting on the bench. They’re not going to win without me.

    The bigger threat that Bynum brings to the team is not the will to win like Kobe. He’s teaching all of the young players how to be disrespectful laughing and clowning with Goudelock, Morris and Ebanks.

    This will not be the last time you see this behavior from Bynum. Sadly, this is just the beginning.

  51. immaturity and unprofessionalism aside, Bynum should take just as much pride in defense as his offense and clearly does not at all. He can be a big kid all he wants as long as he works hard defensively which unfortunately, he does not do consistently enough at all.

  52. Buzz,

    40 was me. Thanks for the articulate reply.

    One thing we can agree on, I think: tomorrow’s game has a lot of subplots for a regular-season game.

  53. inwit: One Celtic fan I’ve read has mentioned that 399,999 times himself…… Simmons

    Who’s better next year Bynum, Cousins or Monroe?

  54. CDog,
    *Hakeem was listed at 6-10
    * Shaq was called lazy most of the time he was in Orlando.
    * Duncan is listed as the greatest PF of all time. So there ya go
    * I’ll Give you Robinson but he was a face up perimter offensive player mostly
    * Yao Ming was a defensive liability
    * And Marc Gasol????? Hahahahaha hahahahaha

  55. Kevin,
    We’re you making fun of someone asking that question or are you asking that yourself? Unless cousins loses weight and learns how to jump and unless Monroe grows three inches I don’t see how they sniff Andrew Bynums jock strap.

  56. Everything about that three point attempt was wrong. Brown benching Bynum was absolutely the correct move. The player’s response after the game? Dear Lord.

    Note to Andrew: don’t get too cocky with 50 games worth of health. Karma is a bitch.

  57. Aaron: It’s a fair question. Monroe and Cousins have made leaps from year 1 to year 2. I assume they’ll do the same next year. I’ve seen Kings games Cousins has game. It’s close from the eye ball test to the numbers. Some nice centers in the league now.

  58. Aaron – you said “offensive” centers.

    - Yao was amazingly effective on the offensive end – and wasn’t too bad on defense either – he just didn’t have the quickness of a Tyson Chandler or the Bulk of a Shaq.

    - Robinson had a pretty gnarly post game as well.

    - Technically, Hakeem was listed at 7-0 (but he admitted he was 6’10). You mean to tell me those 2 inches are that significant to you. Was he not a dominating force at center? Did he not destroy Shaq in the finals in 94? Did he not destroy Ewing in the finals in 95?

    - And Marc Gasol has a nice offensive game – its not elite – but its far above average. And he never takes a minute off.

    - While we are including that – I don’t remember too many games when Divac was loafing up and down the court.

    - Sabonis was also a monster who didn’t take nights off.

    - And Ewing didn’t take nights off either. (New Yorkers would’ve killed him).

    My point is – you can be a 7 footer and put forward the effort. There have been plenty.

  59. Last 7 games 4th quarters

    Kobe 11-27 (1-7 vs Utah all GREAT looks discount that game he’s 10-20). 7 assists in that stretch 5 to Drew & Pau

    Pau 11-20

    Drew 11-20

    Barnes 10-13

  60. Hakeem was listed at 7’0″. I’m willing to take the wait and see approach with this kid. I love what he has done with his offensive game, but his effort when he isn’t getting his touches leaves something to be desired.

    He’ll be okay though, I think!

  61. Jim C’s version of Andrew Bynum is a soap opera villain.

  62. CDog,
    The reason I said seven footers is because it makes a difference. And NYC did kill Eiwwing when he took plays off. And it looks like Marc Gasol takes every play off but that night be because he is so slow. My point is seven footers that play in the post have a history of taking plays off. There has not been one besides Robinson (and David was known for his face up perimeter game). That’s just the history of the league. Would it be nice to see Andrew be the only seven foot low post dominant Center to not take plas off? Yes. But I doubt that will ever happen.

  63. Avidon,
    Note to Andrew: don’t get too cocky with 50 games worth of health. Karma is a bitch.
    ————————————————-

    Hahaha. Exactly my thoughts on the matter.

  64. With all due respect, some of these comments making excuses for Bynum’s immaturity and laziness makes me sick. (i.e. It’s Kobe’s fault… most centers are lazy and if they weren’t they were less than 7 feet tall, etc.). Are you kidding me?

    Kareem and Shaq were both criticized for playing lazy at times, but I have never witnessed a Laker player disrespect his teammates on the court, like Bynum did with those chucked free throws. He was willing to sabotage a win, while disrespecting his teammates, to spite his coach… and he was enjoying it (at least that’s how it came across on TV). I’ve been a Laker fan for thirty years, and I’ve never seen anything like it.

    I have no idea what is going on behind the scenes, and whether Bynum’s actions were solely based on his benching, or from something else that was brewing…..but whatever issues he has with Brown, his actions last night has me very concerned about his priorities, and the chances for a title.

    If the Lakers want to win a title, they will have to get this spoiled brat to rededicate himself to defense, and start hustling on that side of the floor. His post comments suggest that he has no respect for Brown, and that may never change….. But let’s just hope and cross our fingers that this punk has at least a little respect left for his teammates, you know, the ones that got him those 2 rings.

  65. When Andrew played in the 4th quarter he again went to the 3 pt line, Pump faked, drove, made a spin move…..and missed the shot.

    Dude makes one 3 pointer and he thinks he’s Dirk Freakin’ Nowitzki.

    Think Mike Brown should compromise and give Andrew the green light to shoot the 15 footer… IF Pau is in rebounding position. He can make them. He just shouldn’t fall in love with them.

  66. The problem with fans is we take this stuff too seriously. It’s freakin’ basketball. If watching these games leads you to call players derogatory names and make wild judgement calls about their character you probably should find another way to pass the time.

  67. LT, did you not see Kobe quit on his team in Game 7 against the Suns?

  68. The kid Isiah Thomas that plays for Sacramento is balling right now.

    chibi: That series had no business going 7. It was 60-45 at half Kobe had 21 I think. Lakers weren’t winning that game if he scored 60. The game he scored 50 they didn’t win. And it took a buzzer beater for another W. Kobe did all he could.

  69. chibi @65

    You’ve said that before. I can’t let it pass. Kobe did not ‘quit’ in game 7 against the Suns. He was running the game plan that got the Lakers to where they were against the Suns.

    The problem is that you fell in love with what the media wrote because he didn’t take every shot, and lose, like they wanted him to.

    Kobe really can’t win with the media, fans of other teams, and some of his own Laker fans. The only way that he could satisfy fans like you is to make every shot that he takes, but take no more than 15 for the good of the team, right?

    Kobe is not, and never will be perfect. We all know this. Everyone knows this. But give it a rest will you.

  70. Even if Kobe quit on his team, he had already been one of the main factors to three previous championship runs.

    How does that compare to Bynum? We’re all aware that we’re in need of a superstar now that Kobe is in his twilight years, but at what cost? I will not now nor never condone a guy that has yet to be the sole reason the Lakers has won a single playoff game, act pompous because he played 2 mins in an ASG and has played the equivalent of an okay half season.

    Bynum has had more than enough time to think about his actions, and I’m sure he’s seen and heard plenty commentary regarding his attitude. I hope he apologizes to his team mates–minimum.

  71. Excuses!

  72. chibi: those were facts. If anything Kobe was passive that 2nd half. lol that suns team was too good lakers weren’t winning that series.

  73. @68) I wanted the Lakers to draft Isaiah Thomas. Alas, they went in another direction.

    I hope they take a long look at Caspar Ware Jr. this summer. He can play, he’s just short. Might be worth a late 2nd round pick if he’s still there.

  74. Bynum is lazy on D and in Transition. They only time he seems to really run is if he runs to the rim to get the ball on a quick strike in transition.
    Right before he got yanked out and benched, he got beat by David Lee for a layup despite being 20 feet ahead of him. That’s just laziness.
    He’s an All-Star. The Trade deadline has come and gone, and now he thinks he should be able to “expand his game” on the fly, during a close game.
    No.
    You EARN that right.

  75. chibi: Without regard to accuracy, what exactly is your point in bringing up stuff that happened 6 years ago? Why not go back 8 years ago and rehash the Shaq-Kobe feud? Or for that matter let’s go back back 75 years and evauate whether Neville Chamberlain should have been more aggressive in the pre-world war II era. All have equal relevance as to where the Lakers are today.

  76. I think K. Love deserves the MVP this season because he’s far away is the most valuable to his team. Durant or Lebron will get the award because of their team’s record. K. Love season is like kobe’s 06 season putting up outrageous statlines but record will be the reason he doesn’t get the award.

  77. How does Pau Gasol for Kevin Love look now? : )

  78. Robert,

    Love’s contract ends after 2014. You can start obsessing now. = )

  79. I watched Kareem play for almost 20 years and believe me, he never pulled a stunt like Andrew did in last night’s game. The historical line on Kareem is that he “didn’t play hard all the time” – Kareem even joked about it in “Airplane”, in the late 70s! – but considering he lasted 20 years in the league, scored more points and won more MVPs than anyone else, and had figured out how to conserve his energy so that he could continue to contribute to multiple championship clubs while starting at center in his 40s, I think that line is way off.

    More to the point, Kareem was a team player to the core, who knew how to defer to other talented players on his team, especially when they had surpassed him (Magic, ’87, Worthy, ’88). He didn’t pout, complain, or bring any drama to the team. He was the captain, and acted like it.

    Kareem’s a complicated person, and not everyone’s cup of tea, but you can’t disparage his record. He won everywhere. And you certainly can’t lump him in with “7 footers who didn’t try hard all the time”.

    That’s the gold standard for Laker centers. Andrew Bynum has a l-o-n-g way to go to even be in the same breath.

  80. Robert: If it was up to you Lakers would have howard and paul already. But I’m sure there on your 2k12 team.

  81. @chibi

    My version of Andrew Bynum is accurate to date.

    He’s an entitled brat who hasn’t even been the third best player on a championship team to date who just finally made his first all-star team in his seventh year in the league who has a history of transgressions ranging from the comical to the blatantly idiotic.

    I can see a Soap Opera villain being a rich young kid making millions a year that he hasn’t yet earned getting in trouble for parking in a handicap spot while stopping for groceries in a sports car.

    If I paint Andrew as a Soap Opera villain it is because he acts like one.

  82. I don’t understand how so many people don’t have a problem with what Drew has said, the way he’s playing, and his total demeanor. My take on him is that he feels like it’s his team. He took Kobe passing him the ball in crunch time as Kobe passing him the torch. This could not be further from the truth. The team needs all of the “Big 3″ to be on point every game in order to win. This is still Kobe’s team and Bynum should realize that the threat of Kobe going off scares most teams. Bynum can be neutralized with an effective double team and everyone collapsing on him when he makes his inital move.

    Kobe does things that Bynum can not. He can consistently hit the three in crunch time. He can take his man off the dribble, drive to the basket and get the whistle from the refs. He also has a whole arsenal of shots that most can only dream of.

    Bynum sees Kobe getting burned on defense by playing a centerfield type defense. He wonders why shouldn’t he be allowed to do the same. The reason we all know is because he is our defensive stopper. He is the main deterrent to others trying to score inside. Without him, we have no chance stopping anyone. Pau is a marshmellow inside. Kobe is older now. He can’t play both sides of the ball without wearing out.

    All I can say is youth is wasted on the young. Mike B. better get HIS team in order or he is a one and done coach. We should have hired Adelman.

  83. anti Dwyer Abbott March 29, 2012 at 2:01 am

    It is strangely entertaining some ”Lakers” fans go so hard to dis/bash Kobe.
    One who has been playing hurt since like forever,habitually averaging 25-5-5.
    Oh yes his FG% is soo low.And he chucks.

  84. Man like Bynum can still change. Don’t give your 100% to bash him like these. If we don’t have Bynum we don’t have 15th and 16th banners.

    Lets just hope he will realize and change for the better.

  85. @vhanz
    Actually, Bynum played a pretty minor role in both the Laker 15th and 16th banners respectively. (Relatively speaking)

    At most, he was probably our 4th best player behind Kobe, Pau and Lamar on those championship teams and you could arguably put him behind Ariza one year and Artest the next.

    In other words, the best case scenario is he has been the 4th best player on a championship team.

    What, exactly, has he done or won to deserve to act like he has over the years?

  86. I can t wait til the game tonight to see what Bynum is going to do. Will he be trying to demolish Perk or will he be nonchalant? His teammates are not in a uproar about his shennanigans, so I dont see what the big deal is about. Players seemed to have chosen Drew over Brown in this round. Mike brought a knife to a gun fight with the intention of winning this team over, but what he might have done is push them further away. Or this is his ingenious plan for the team to band together and win inspite of him. An us against the world mentality might do wonders for this team. A dangerous game to play but if he pulls this off and is succesful he is an absolute genius.

    I just feel that it cant get any worse than the train wreck that happened last year. So I will be content on just watching to see where this roller coaster takes me. Take the highs with the lows and dont make one more prudent than the other.

  87. Without regard to who discovered AB or if he is anyone’s favorite, it will be interesting to see how the FO handles AB and as it relates to KB. This certainly looks like history could repeat itself if we are not careful:
    Young star + older star are not compatible. Everyone hopes they work it out, but they don’t. Both are up for contract renewals (AB 13 KB 14).
    The last time this happened, the young star was renewed and the older star was traded.

  88. I would say that one thing all Lakers fans should have learned from 11 years with Big Chief Triangle on the bench: don’t overreact to stuff. Kobe seems to have picked this lesson up; he didn’t overreact either to the benching or to Bynum’s behavior.

    I think Bynum deserves some flack for the GS game, but he is having a great year overall. Let’s see what he does tonight against OKC.

  89. Muddywood,
    Sorry to correct you… But Bynum actually pump faked the three drove to the freethrow line only to be met by help defenders… He then span away and shot a fadeway that swished through. The basket was disallowed because of a Ron Artest three second violation.

  90. I believe that teams throughout the NBA respect Bynum’s size more that anything else. I would be hard put to believe that most teams fear his defensive abilities. He’s slow and he doesn’t hustle. Most of his rebounds are size rebounds and not effort rebounds.

    At this point, Bynum is more potential than finished product. Certainly, injuries have played a large part in his career. But, a sense of entitlement and a poor attitude are slowing him down as well.

    In the business that he’s in, complacency is a deadly flaw.

  91. TRogers,
    The problem with fans is we take this stuff too seriously. It’s freakin’ basketball. If watching these games leads you to call players derogatory names and make wild judgement calls about their character you probably should find another way to pass the time.
    —————————————-

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. This site used to be a place void of bible belt moral standards. Darius, I would like to reintroduce this into the guidelines. I think there should be only X’s and O’s, strategy and basketball allowed to be spoken on this site like in the good old days ;) I don’t think this site is about the Kobe trial, the Magic Johnson bump of the referree, or Bynum shooting AN AWESOME THREE POINTER WITH 16 SECONDS on the shot clock. Haha. That was awesome if nothing else.

    These off insults have more to do with the human condition. The irrational craving to be un happy. Here “die hard Lakers fans” come to bash the best offensive/second best defensive Center in basketball. The guy who has been by far our best player since the ASG. Well… If you all want to be the super model crying in the mirror over a pimple… Go right ahead.

  92. My friend comes in with the line of the day…

    “I didn’t know Bill Plaschke posts on forumblueandgold under thirty different alias’”

  93. From the LA Times

    Truth be told, Bynum has been down this long-distance road.

    In February 2007, he launched a three-point attempt with the Lakers on their way to a 90-83 victory over Atlanta. After his shot predictably bounced out, Lakers players and assistant coaches laughed. One person sat stiffly with his arms crossed.

    “That’s an automatic $50 fine,” Coach Phil Jackson said afterward. “Those are things that I don’t want to see.”

    Said Bynum at the time: “I’m going to pay in pennies. It looked good, it just rimmed out on me.”

    Coaches are different just as players are different. This team is going through the process of adjusting to a new coach not just a new offense.

  94. KennyT: great analysis that’s why some say Bynum could be better than Howard because of his size. Drew has the look of a true retro NBA center. The Bynum we see now is quite possibly the Bynum he’ll be for his career.

    Robert: I hope we don’t see history repeat itself that way. Would be sad.

  95. Aaron, that move was a BIG FU to Mike Brown.

  96. My last take on Drew.
    The worst part for me was him pouting on the bench. If he would have manned up, stayed engaged from the bench and then participated in the huddles, Mike Brown might have seen that and put him back in the game.
    Instead he acted like a child.

    How long do you let someone openly defy you, at you work, in front of customers?
    4 years at 18 million says Mike brown isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

  97. Again, the issue isn’t the three-point attempt. If I had a dime for every awful shot attempt I’ve seen from a non-Bynum Laker, I could buy out a whole roster’s worth of Darko Milicic’s toxic contracts.

    I’m not thrilled that he’s been slacking on defense, but that’s not the issue either. I get that no one is going to be bringing their A-game 100% of the time while on the job.

    The issue is Bynum’s reaction to the benching and to *the zillion other jackassed things he’s done in his 7 years here* After a point, you can’t handwave it off as Bynum being Bynum. This has zero percent to do with Mike Brown (and his flawed rotations) and everything to do with Bynum. There isn’t a single NBA coach who’d be okay with one of his star players basically checking out of a game.

    At some point, maybe Bynum grows up and stops pulling stunts that demonstrably hurt the team. And his on-court value is good enough that it outweighs his bad behavior. That doesn’t mean we should excuse or have faith that he’ll grow out of it, in the absence of any compelling indication to the contrary.

  98. Aaron – I remember that one, especially the pennies comments. It was funny at the time, but I think you’re right – different coaches, different perception.

  99. 80,

    Jodial, Kareem is a consummate professional with college experience. In fact, the main criticisms against him is that he’s an intellectual snub. He shuns too much publicity and uncomfortable with fans intruding his privacy which is really difficult since he is a popular player. Because of this, Kareem never got the utmost respect from the media as broadcast analyst, as head coach candidate and he has to beg a job for the Lakers.

    In the case of Drew,he went to NBA straight from HS and I think nobody in his family had an NBA background, Drew spent his teenage life as a young professional close to his mother. He missed the important transition in his adult life and got early with rudiments of contract and accelerated training of becoming a basketball star. That transition may have missed his education towards ethics, his responsibility as a professional and the accouterments that goes with his job. He may lacked the full understanding of his role as one of the Big 3 and also a role model to many young fans. Maybe, he consider himself now as an indispensable star so he wants to test some brat experiments. Anyway, he thinks Lakers can not go forward without him.

    As fans, we should not overreact but somebody, may it be his family, his agent, his advisers have to caution Drew that he’s making a big mistake if he continues these menacing antics. It could be also a turning point that would put him down.

  100. How long do you let someone openly defy you, at you work, in front of customers?
    ___

    The “at my workplace” comparisons very seldom work with the NBA. Bynum is not a typical employee. He is not even a typical NBA emplyee. So he will get a lot more rope.

  101. robert: that was just an ordinary response to an ordinary comment. in no way does it aspire to the cross-eyed, pedantic historical analysis you have so hilariously illustrated.

  102. If we must play arm chair psychologist… I might as well join in since I am a self declared genius ;) Andrew Bynum is too young and good right now. Simple as that. Patrick Eiwing and Andrew Bynum. That’s it. That’s the list of seen footers who could back you down and dunk on you and next play spin away from a double team and hit a 18 foot fade away. That’s it. Andrew Bynum and Patrick. He is finally healthy and in his prime. Like most young people who are great at anything they try and make things harder. That means shooting threes and acting out. Having said that he has hardly done anything criminal or even something we haven’t seen from every superstar before. This is very normal.

  103. Serge Ibaka has 31 3+ blocks games this year. Thunder are 25-6 in those games. Bigs have to go up strong.

  104. The bigs have to be the difference in this game, as that’s the only area where the Lakers have a marginal advantage. In every other position the Lakers don’t match up with the Thunder. If the Lakers win, it will be a team win. That means every one that gets playing time must play near the top of their game on offense and defense.

    Go Lakers!

    I’m interested to see how Ramon handles a high profile game, it will be an indicator of what to expect from him during the playoffs. He still looks uncomfortable with the team on the floor and on the bench. Someone on the team needs to befriend him. He looks awkward sitting next to Goudelock, Morris and Ebanks.

  105. Tonights game should be fun:

    Will Bynum decide to try?
    Will Ramon be able to get into the teeth of the D?
    Will Blake be able to hit a shot?
    Will the Thunder really risk having Fisher defend Kobe?

    Will the Lakers as a team play actual defense?

    Should be interesting.

  106. Here’s a wacky stat

    Kobe 4 or more turnovers: 17-8

    Kobe 3 or less turnovers: 13-12

  107. Been pretty busy today so as an fyi, the preview will be up in an hour or so. Thanks for the patience.

  108. Kobe has never lost to OKC when he’s had 5 or more assists.. 6-0

    This year Kobe 5+ assists.. 27-14

    Kobe 4 or less.. 16-11

  109. @105/Kevin
    So the more Kobe touches the ball, the more likely we are to win? Makes perfect sense to me.

  110. I’ll actually be paying just as much attention to whether the team lets Sessions take the reins of the offense again on some possessions, or simply continues the “dump the ball to Kobe or the bigs and run out of the way” iso-centric offense we saw against Golden State, in what IMO was a significant regression.

  111. 105/110:

    I’d go even farther– the more Kobe aggressively drives to the hole, even if he forces it a bit and turns it over a couple of times, the more likely we are to win.

    It’s the jump in the air – look around for a target – then throw it away TOs that drive me nuts.

  112. Mismy: sounds about right doesn’t it.

    lilpau: I notice Kobe gets striped alot going to the hole usually bringing the ball from his waist to shooting motion. Maybe doesn’t have a good grip on the ball.

    Kobe 40+ minutes.. 8-10 record 25 shots per game ( 196-463 42%)

    Kobe 39 minutes or less.. 23-9 record 22 shots per game (305-706 43%)

  113. I love how Andrew Bynum is suddenly a superstar in some peoples’ minds.

    He’s a FIRST TIME ALL-STAR. He’s won nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nadda. He’s a bigger version of Carmelo Anthony right now, talented and a scoring machine but a headcase, coach saboteur and slacker on the defensive end far too often.

    I’ll repeat again: Trade deadline passed, extension of contract picked up….back to the loafing, immature, disengaged Bynum.