Preview and Chat: The Golden State Warriors

Darius Soriano —  April 18, 2012

Records: Lakers 39-23 (3rd the West), Warriors 22-38 (13th in the West)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 106.1 (12th in the NBA), Warriors 105.9 (13th in the NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 104.1 (13th in the NBA), Warriors 109.5 (28th in the NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Ramon Sessions, Devin Ebanks, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Warriors: Charles Jenkins, Klay Thompson, Dorell Wright, Mickell Gladness, Jeremy Tyler
Injuries: Lakers: Kobe Bryant (out); Warriors: Andris Biedrins (questionable), Andrew Bogut (out), Steph Curry (out), Richard Jefferson (out), David Lee (out)

The Lakers Coming in: Kobe Bryant will sit for his 7th straight game tonight, but is reportedly close to a return. Friday’s rubber match versus the Spurs may mark the return of the Mamba but for now he remains out. Kobe can’t get back fast enough, though. Counting tonight’s game, there are only 4 games left in the season and that means Kobe’s chance to mesh with his team in real game action is slowly slipping away. And while there will be ample practice time (especially in the 3 days off before the season finale against the Kings), it’s important to take what’s worked on in that setting to game situations to feel things out. When Kobe does return there will be an adjustment period and I’d much rather have that occur before we get into “best of 7” territory.

One more note on last night: in the moment, you likely wouldn’t have found a more frustrated viewer than me. The 2nd quarter was a comedy of errors major and minor and to watch the team literally give the game away with a single, uninterrupted stretch of poor play had me fuming. However, when reflecting on the action (and, as a masochist of sorts, in review of the tape) the errors that the Lakers made are entirely fixable. The way they played screens, the carelessness with the ball, the lack of attention to detail…they’re all things that can be looked at on film, adjusted with practice time, and improved upon. For all the hits Mike Brown has taken, I don’t think it can be argued he’s not a good teacher of the game and that he’s enforced good habits with this team. Moving into the playoffs, I do trust he’ll have this team ready. How far they go will be dependent on a lot of factors both in and outside of his control but I’m not distraught after last night, that’s for sure.

The Warriors Coming in: What do you call a team stripped of nearly all its top end talent and replaced it with young players who are both less talented but hungry and hard working guys looking to earn a position in this league?

If you said the Warriors, you win a prize.

So, what you see with this particular group of players is hustle and effort on nearly every play, but with results that aren’t in line with how hard the team is playing. The lack of talent hurts this team in the moment, but if it helps them retain their top 7 protected draft pick this June, maybe it will all be worth it.

What will also be worth it is the information gathering that’s surely going on right now. It’s now been proven that Klay Thompson can play. Will Jeremy Tyler join him as a player that shows promise? Will Nate Robinson be a guy that sticks beyond this year? What about Dominic McGuire? These are the questions that need answering and while the manner in which the answers are being forced upon the Warriors fans can be frustrating (they really do deserve better), the data mined from this final stretch will inform future decisions. It doesn’t make it any easier, however.

Warriors Blogs: Check out Warriors World for good analysis and insight on the team from the East Bay.

Keys to game: I’d make jokes about the keys to this game being “showing up”, “tying one’s shoes properly”, and “avoiding undercooked poultry” but these are the Lakers I’m talking about – you know the team that can win or lose against anyone. So, while the Warriors won’t offer a lot of talent to match an even Kobe-less Laker team, this game still must be taken seriously from the visitors.

This means sticking to the game plan and punishing the Warriors inside. David Lee has recently been sidelined with a strained groin and that means even less depth for a Dubs team that already has a depleted front court. Even if Andris Biedrins does play, the Lakers must still attack through the post and pound this team inside via entries to the low block and on the offensive glass. If Bynum and Gasol both don’t go for double-doubles it better be because they don’t play enough minutes, not because they aren’t featured on offense.

Defensively, the Lakers’ game plan will really only come down to two factors. First, the Lakers must control the tempo of the game. Last night they got sucked into playing at the Spurs pace and as the game went on that proved to be a bad error in collective judgment. Tonight, the Warriors will try to duplicate what the Spurs did by pushing the ball after misses and makes and try to ensure that they don’t have to set up in the half court against a defense featuring two 7 footers. The Lakers must keep the floor balanced in order to transition back, build a wall against Charles Jenkins and Nate Robinson and then run to shooters that will camp behind the three point line.

Second, in the half court, the Lakers must defend screen actions better. The Warriors will run pin downs for Klay Thompson to free him for his jumper and then work weak side actions to spot up Dorell Wright. If the Lakers get caught on screens, these plays will produce open jumpers – especially from behind the arc – and if those shots start to fall the game will remain close. In recent games the Lakers have navigated screens poorly and it’s led to the types of shots capable shooters will make all night. So, they must be better against a Warriors team that will run these same actions.

Tonight is a game the Lakers must win. They should be ready to bounce back from last night, they have a much more talented team, and they have playoff positioning at stake. Said another way, there’s motivation aplenty for this team and they must channel that and deliver the W. The Dubs will fight, but the Lakers must match that energy and effort tonight. Simple as that.

Where you can watch: 7:30PM start on KCAL and ESPN. Also listen at ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

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75 responses to Preview and Chat: The Golden State Warriors

  1. Darius,
    Sure, everything you saw last night is fixable – we certainly have the talent. The problem is we don’t seem to have the will. This was also true of last year’s team.

    This is the ‘essence’ that Kobe brings to the team, even more than his scoring. Sure we had better spacing over the last 4 wins, because Kobe wasn’t there to muck it up, but we started to act like a mid-level team that is neither moving up nor down in the standings – without Kobe.

    This finally caught up with us when Tony Parker went off on us. To defend him with Blake and Sessions in the 2nd period is simply an unconscionable mistake by the head coach. That is a mistake Mike Brown cannot afford to repeat. STOP THAT STUPID COACHING MOVE MIKE BROWN. Win or lose, we can’t be making stupid coaching decisions. That only exacerbates the player attitude present when playing without Kobe.

  2. From the last thread:

    Interesting report from Woj: Ray Allen was apparently notified he was traded to Memphis for OJ Mayo, and then 10 minutes later Doc Rivers called him back and told him the deal fell through. Similar to what happened to Odom/Pau.

  3. Looking at GSW starting linuep Lakers starters should not be playing. There best player is Robinson. Play the bench and rest some players.

  4. Anyone know if Hill has been cleared to play by doctors or is he still struggling with the knee?

  5. Hill played last night, in garbage time. He should be playing more.

  6. Yeah, Hill looked fluid out there. Would like to see more of him. Not sure if team is willing to upset the rotation at this point though to try and get him familiar with the rest of the regular rotation.

    Agree that Brown should stop with the Blake/Sessions backcourt. I’m good with Blake being the back up PG but what he brings to the SG spot isn’t enough to make up for the liabilities.

    Ebanks should be getting the minutes there if Barnes isn’t available. Sure Ebanks hasn’t proven he can hit the outside jumper consistently. But it’s not like Blake really spaces the floor that much or takes that many shots when in at SG.

    I’d rather see Ebanks’s ability to defend, crash the boards getting the garbage points and running the floor in place of Blake’s D struggles at the SG spot. I think the net return is much better.

    I’m really curious why Brown keeps trying that combo. It seems like there’s been a big enough sample size for him to see the results.

    He did the same thing with the Gluck experiment. Ran him out there for a long time until his numbers started tanking and now has been benched.

    I’d love to see the Ramon/Ebanks back up SG combo the rest of the regular season to see how they fare against second line units. Or even Blake/Ebanks for backing up both spots while giving Ramon a blow.

  7. There is a two-part interview with Jim Buss up at Land O Lakers. Link to Part 1, which includes team pic with Jim right in the center, ball in hand:

  8. Can Lakers really rest their starters similar to what Spurs did the other night? That is a good test for our bench, however GS Warriors are no push over with Klay Thompson and Dorell Wright plus Nate. They almost beat the Lakers two weeks ago. Every NBA game should be taken seriously, go for a big lead through lock down defense, protect that lead and no relax as Mbrown use this as an excuse in losing a game.

    Teams who are not going to playoffs are about to release some players. We need to fill the 15th spot to help the 2nd unit with a PG. Sessions shoulder is still hurting and there is still no lift with his lay-ups. We’re lucky he’s durable enough to play it out.

  9. Dave M,
    I agree. Those young players help win regular season games with youth and depth. But in the playoffs you’re really only playing 8 guys and only five can play at once. If you’re the Spurs playoff opponent you’re more than happy to see Tony Parker, Manu, and Timmy playing only thirty minutes a game. History says you can’t win that way. Although the 2000 Blazers almost made it to the Finals. But that team didn’t have young average players coming off their bench… They had legit stars in the league coming off the bench.

  10. Lakers were playing starters heavy minutes before for missed practice time. Most other contenders are resting players with their eye on the prize. Valuing minutes over a regular season game.

    With the 3rd seed Lakers still get homecourt for only 1 round. Pau hasn’t missed a game this year he could use a game off. This will be a up and down game the bench could win this themselves.

  11. Everybody in this thread has exactly 16 years less NBA coaching experience than Mike Brown, so it really is amazing that they all know better than him who should and should not get minutes in the rotation.

  12. Travis, I’m not sure you fully grasp the point of a blog. People have opinions, and they express them. If the only person entitled to an opinion about playing time is the head coach (or anyone else with more than 16 years NBA coaching experience…) then this wouldn’t be too much of a forum.

  13. @ Travis:

    The most oft-cited complaint I have seen is the Sessions/Blake PG/SG combo and whether you are evaluating that personnel grouping solely on an “eye test” basis, solely on a “stats” basis, or any combination thereof, I don’t know anyone who has come to the conclusion that that combo has been anything but awful. There is a big enough sample size now–so I understand why folks are upset with Brown for trying to prove Einstein wrong (something about stupidity being doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome). I don’t think I’m smarter than Coach Brown, but I have seen no basis, statistical or otherwise, for stubbornly using that pairing over and over again. Maybe the Ebanks for Blake substitution in that grouping won’t work, but we won’t know unless it is tried more than a few times…

  14. Kareem: Read your post, and don’t disagree with any of it, I also do not like the complete Laker or Kobe bashing posts (using slogans that you would hear in Boston). So please continue your protest of them and I will join you as I have also protested these in the past.

    The best way to end those posts is for the team to win !!!

  15. Travis/Funky: Your discussion is why I do not criticize MB too much. He is way more qualified than I am. So is Mitch. Jimbo on the other hand – that is a different story : )

  16. RE Hill playing well: his numbers are off the charts with the Lakers!!!
    59 PER, then 31 pts/25 rbs/5 stl/5 blk/0 assists per 36 minutes 🙂

    PS: Kobe watch: he’s currently only up by 0.3 ppg in points over Durant (28.1ppg v. 27.8ppg). OKC’s final 5 games are @PHX, @SAC, @Lakers, SAC, DEN. Plenty of opportunities for Durant to have some 30+ scoring games. Is Kobe going to come out guns blazing in the final 2-3 games of the season vs. San Antonio/OKC/the Kings? Wouldn’t be surprised to see less significant scoring in the first two and then a bunch against the Kings on the final day of the season, after OKC has finished playing all of its games.

  17. Aaron you opinion of Spurs and the best coach in the NBA is laughable. Spurs have 6 other players that could start on most team in addition to their big threeand were missing one of the better subs last night.

    Guys like Neal, Jackson,Green, Blair, Leonard and Bonner would all be our best player coming off the bench. Murphy, McRoberts and Blake would not make Pops team never less get playing time.

    Either you are living in a severe world of Purple and Gold fantasy world or you were being poorly sarcastic. Spurs are one of the top 3 in the NBA and will end up in the WCF with either OKC or Lakers. Willing to bet Pop would not sleep on a 18-0 run or play Blake and Sessions together.

    Basketball 101.

  18. One aspect of the Lakers defense that I find disconcerting is there propensity to consistently sag in the lane on defense against driving pg’s. This tactic has netted very little in deterring the drive and has left the Lakers vulnerable to shooters camped out at the 3pt line.

    Players sag off their man weak side of the ball. Teams are purposely sending their pg’s probing in the lane while the guard finds a Lakers defender so far away from his man on defense that a screen allows their shooter sufficient time to get the shot off cleanly. A defensive scheme of sagging off of shooters works against a poor 3pt shooting team (I can only think of the Lakers fitting this category) not teams that have multiple shooters, e.g. the Spurs, Clippers, and OKC. An adjustment or tweak of the defense needs to happen.

    That’s where a player like Derek Fisher was savvy enough to lean into the screener or fake step away only to recover and intercept the pass. Time after time, Ebanks and Barnes were 2-3 steps away from shooters and incapable of recovering in time.

    This is a major factor in the Lakers inability to shut hot 3pt shooters down. Why they insist on helping two 7-footers in the lake is beyond me. Far better to give up a 2pt shot rather than a 3pt basket.

  19. Ko,
    The Spurs were better last year and got knocked out in round one. They play a fun and effective up tempo offense that historically does very well in the regular season and not so well in the post season. If you would like we can start making bets on them? How about if I’m right you can stop commenting on this blog and leave that to people that have a history of knowing what is happening on the court. Cause it appears your knowledge of talent and the game has left many on this site wanting.

  20. You got it. Having played college basketball and coached along with being a Laker fan since the West days I feel very confident in my knowledge and understanding of the game.

    Pop goes into the playoffs with 3 great player rested and a bench that has out scored the Lakers by double.

    So how about the non-rested Pau and Andrew and the worst bench in the NBA?

    Or you could compare Pop to Brown.

    You know what opinions are like and everyone has one. Your a great fan and mostly right but in this case you are not.

    Let’s see. By the way Kobe may play tonight.

  21. Tweet from Dave McMenamin

    Word from @LAIreland is that Kobe was out on the court shooting more than 3 hours before tipoff. We’ll find out soon if he’ll play

  22. Bottom Line: This is a team that we should destroy tonight. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we need to take care of homecourt (failed miserably last night) and also defeat the teams that we’re suppose to beat. Hello Dubs.

    Would really like to see us open up a big lead and then eventually win going away. This will allow the starters (mainly Drew & Pau) to garner some much needed in-game rest. Also would like to see J. Hill in some/any type of extended mins. I feel that he can definitely benefit us in the ‘offs with his size, energy and athleticism if afforded the opportunity (which I doubt he’ll be given). Coach Mike Brown probably feels that it’s too late in the season to be adjusting/tinkering with the rotation.

    I’ll also have an eye on that Clippers-Nuggets game for obvious reasons and I’m pretty sure that I won’t be alone in my viewership.

    BigCitySid, judging from the McMenamin Tweet, your prediction might turn out to be correct.

  23. 12 – I also have less years of executive experience than Michael Jordan, so I probably shouldn’t comment on Kwame Brown as a #1 overall draft pick. I’ve never coached at an NBA level so it’s probably inappropriate to say that Vinny del Negro clapping and yelling to distract opposing 3-point shooters is childish and an embarrassment.

    Kidding aside, I think the criticism of the Blake-Sessions combo has been fair. If Blake has some impactful games in the playoffs, Brown looks smart. But that doesn’t mean the Blake-Sessions combo isn’t hurting us right now (and has been for many, many games).

  24. Everyone should just call it like it is. ken saw it off the bat mike brown is not a great coach. having been spoiled by phil jackson for years laker fans have been very lucky.

    But when’s the last time you remember saying that’s a good timeout by brown. Or how about the last adjustment he made was putting ron on chris paul 5 games ago.

    PnR defense has not improved and lakers will see that all game every game in the playoffs. Same criticisms have been attached to his name for years now no reason to think it’ll change. I’ll admit he knows much more than I do but his feel for the game seems to be a bit off.

    I can’t think of one thing he’s done to make players better on the lakers.

  25. Funky/Mindcrime

    I’m not saying you shouldn’t have an opinion on the rotation, I’m arguing that yours is wrong.

    A “large sample size” of games where Blake gets 2 guard minutes indicates that MB, whose opinion is much more expert and informed than yours, believes it better to give minutes to a limited but veteran PG than a rookie who was drafted in the 2nd round. And I can’t blame him.

    Many are quick to blame MB for the shortcomings of the bench play because of his rotation decisions, and in the same breath complain about the talent on our bench. At this point in the season, who should be in the rotation is a tired and moot argument. And acknowledging that MB isn’t great like Phil Jackson doesn’t make the argument any less tired, because people on this blog had the same critiques of Phil in past seasons. This is a players league….

  26. Since everyone wants to talk about MB: Let’s look at the results. We got swept last year in Rnd 2. We lost LO, SB, + DF. We received RS, JM, + TM. Drew is better but KB + PG are older. At best this is a wash, and some of us would argue a downgrade. So now you are objectively evaluating MB. How can you expect dramatic improvement from last year? Forget timeouts and rotations – let’s base this on results.

    Think about you being MB in a job evaluation with MK and Jimbo. I know what I would say: I did the best I could with the tools you gave me (I would of course be looking at Jimbo when I said that).

  27. The Spurs’ issues aren’t really offense related. I expect them to continue to score just fine in the post season. Their issues – at least last playoffs – were mostly defense related. They had trouble with a physical, post oriented team in Memphis and that was that. So, if the Spurs can get the stops they need, I think they’ll be okay and can make a run. If they don’t get those stops, they can be bounced – especially if they play a team that can compromise them inside.

  28. Travis,
    The problem with your logic is – admittedly – statistical. I am not a fan of having statistics rule your decisions, but…

    There are better combinations of 1/2 than Sessions/Blake available to the Lakers. This can be proven both statistically and from careful watching of the games. Besides, most teams do not run out two, relatively short, guards at the same time. Since neither of our short guards is a great defender (tho Blake may be better than Sessions), we will suffer in any kind of half-court game. This is exactly the type of game our coaching staff wants us to play – to take advantage of our bigs.

    NOTE: Tonight we are playing Golden State…they replace Ellis with Klay Thompson, eliminating their very short backcourt, because IMO they could replace Ellis with a taller player who could really shoot well and add flexibility in other areas.

    This logic leads to my comment that this substitution is clearly an inferior mistake when playing average teams. When we are playing playoff caliber teams it can be a disaster.

  29. Robert: This team is better than last year. You had the PJ retirement hanging over everyone’s head. Pau is better, Bynum is better, Ron is playing his best ball as a Laker so is Barnes. Lakers have a upgrade at PG bench was spotty last year too. You could argue it’s a wash.

    Dallas was a extremely hot team. Barea, Chandler, Dirk, Terry played the best ball of their life last playoffs. I see no shame in losing to them.

    The thinking was the defense would be drastically better. It hasn’t been and the best post player in the league has been turned into a jump shooter. This team has enough to win it all. Coaching is what will make the difference.

    What other team has 3 top 3 players at their position.

  30. Travis

    That’s like saying our congress knows what’s better then us just because they have the job.

    Basketball people say a good coach can win you 7 to 10 games a year and a bad one 7 to 10 losses.

    How would you rate Mike this year on that basis?

  31. Denver is up 31-20 on the Clippers.

  32. Ko @ 19, 22 and elsewhere.

    It seems like you are annoying somebody who seems to enjoy provoking others. (There’s a term for that …). He even wants to shut you down!

    I’d say you are on the right track, than.

  33. Brown has access to the same statistics you do and a whole staff who analyzes them and explains them to him, so I’m sure he’s aware of what his lineup options look like on paper. You don’t become an NBA head coach by ignoring data.

    Clearly, there’s more to the story than statistics. Remember back when people on this blog wanted to roll out a Fish/Kobe/Odom/Gasol/Bynum starting 5 or even a Kobe/Artest/Odom/Gasol/Bynum starting 5? But Phil never went with those lineups because it didn’t fit into his system or provide the right combination of skill sets on the floor. Brown probably applies the same logic when setting his lineups. My argument is that the shortcomings of the backup 2 spot have more to do with lack of talent and Kobe being out than Mike Brown’s coaching.

    @ Ko- your analogy doesn’t work because NBA head coaches aren’t elected by a popular vote. If they were, B Shaw would be coaching the Lakers right now and he would be running an ad campaign with Phil Jackson’s support in effort to get re-elected.


    Laker Fans Are Spoiled Brats!!

    After 25 dedicated years of being a true blue laker fan, i’m appauled by the behavior of laker fans…Here’s the problem I have with these moonlighting fairweather fans.

    1. Most of you are bi-polar..
    In one breath you scream Amnesty Kobe then in the next you can’t wait for him to return.

    2.They complain, complain, complain.
    Other blogs for other teams do critique but they are uplifting, positve, and forward thinking, constantly motivating players and maybe coaches with great advise and excellent insight that perhaps players can use instead of ALWAYS crying and complaining when things don’t go their way!

    3. Where’s the real cheers? Do folks at Laker games only cheer when we are ahead or when we go on a run? Is it wrong to cheer your team when they are behind and they are trying to comeback, or perhaps when they make a good play?

    4.Most ACT LIKE they are so knowledgeable about the actual game of basketaball so they complain about MB’s coaching (as they did Phil as well and he had how many championships?? Hilarious!! Sure Blake Session doesn’t work BUT we don’t know why this guy chooses this route… WAIT let’s see what happens………but NO LAKER FANS ARE IMPATIENT!

    5, Lakers want championships THAT’S IT!! anything else displeases these bipolar people. Other teams are happy to reach the playoffs, happy to win the division or even reach the finals!

    6. Back to Kobe, The guy has given us 5 rings and 7 finals!!! Name a player in the league who has done this……NONE!! WE ARE WITNESSING A TRUE LEGEND!! Imagine life without Kobe…… boring! Now you get to see what it would be like… And Bynum is not ready to carry a team to the finals as the MAIN GUY….Point Blank…If you haven’t noticed no team with the CENTER as the top guy has reached the finals since Duncan’s hot days….Its all about speed and scoring and having a BIG GUY DEFENDER. who can score…..which leads to another problem with these fans….

    7. They watch two games,, the one that’s happening and the one in their head where they are the coach. they are the player, and they are the commentator and the fans,. The first game is boring and nothing goes right and no lineup is a good one… In the latter one they make the perfect lineup, the perfect comments and the perfect timely cheers!

    i could say more but whatever,…

    go lakers..,,.get well Kobe. we need you and miss your scoring and excitement you bring….

    and Lamar we still love and miss you too!

  35. Mike brown flip flopping rotations again. murphy instead of mcroberts

  36. Andrew Bynum with 17 points (7-8) and 5 rebounds in the first quarter, could be a huge game for him. Continue to feed the big man- Lakers.

  37. Blake is just terrible. D league

  38. Gasol with a good cut and receives a nice pass from Artest for the layup.

  39. Are there any worse homer announcers then Cliip

  40. links please..

  41. Hey Mike need to bury these guys.

  42. was there a mutiny against kuester. he’s not on the bench

  43. Clips defeat the Nuggets.

  44. Seen this too many times Lakers are losing this game

  45. @44 try ESPN 3 for a link to the game.

  46. I wonder if anyone saw this epic bit of hypocrisy and douchebaggery from Henry Abbott today:

    “Steve Nash says he has earned the right to really dig into free agency. He made positive noises about the coach, fans and his teammates in Phoenix. (Missing from that list, possibly innocently: Front office.) But he also left the door wide open to leaving, talking about titles and the like. I’m sure everybody who was so bitter at LeBron James’ decision to leave in the name of winning will react identically should Nash leave.”

    Henry still surprises me sometimes by the depth of hypocrisy he is so willing to plumb.

  47. Now I know where Aaron gets his Andrew Bynum talk…he listens to Chris Broussard. I love how everyone else on the panel gave him crap for it, including Magic. 😛

  48. So, how many of Bynum’s buckets have been on lobs tonight? Poor Warriors.

  49. Bynum is unstoppable tonight.

  50. Andrew looks like he’s getting some gray hairs 😀

  51. Clear the bench!

  52. What the hill is going on with hill?
    Play him!

  53. If we had a decent bench we would be up by 30 pts right now. We’ll probably win by only 10 points.

  54. Big triple double from Pau today. Reminds you what should be happening when we play small teams like GSW.

    But now – let’s get him on the bench! Roll out Hill and the rest of the bench. No need to run our guys into the ground when they’ve opened up this lead.

  55. PAU GASOL triple double!!!

  56. Nice to see Pau taking shots up 21 in the 4th qtr.

  57. Bynum was pretty good tonight, but Gasol was ridiculous! I wish that we could get this PG night in and night out.

  58. Who signed Murphy?

  59. Glock enters the game!

  60. Andrew Goudelock sighting.

  61. Oh never mind it was Murphy’s Law.

  62. For all of those calling for G-lock or Morris… They’re not looking good. Then again, our taco squad hasn’t had a lot of time this season to gel.

  63. I hate it when I’m right. Up 23 before they unloaded the bench. End up winning by 12. Our bench sucks.

  64. I guess we now know why the 3rd string dosen’t play. That was a bad d league team!

  65. Hey Kareem-
    You do realize that if Glock were running with either Drew or Pau plus Kobe, that he would be getting wide open shots and huge driving lanes, right? That’s quite a different scenario than playing with 4 other bench players.

  66. Artest with a near double double, PG with a triple double 3 blks and no TOs, Sessions with a 9-7-5…

    Wish we played GS state every day…

  67. Good win – Big game in many ways on Friday

  68. LOL, are you ever happy Anonymous? “Boo! The end-of-bench players who have played a total of about 30 minutes this season suck!!! I knew it!!!”

    Unless you care that much about the Lakers’ Hollinger ranking, the final margin couldn’t matter any less. Bynum played 27 minutes + shot 12/14 and got 31 points, Pau got a triple double in 34. I’m satisfied, at least.

  69. Does anybody know the magic number for Lakers to clinch a seed?

  70. @72 Kevin

    Lakers magic number to clinch division is 3
    Lakers magic number to clinch at least #4 seed is 1

  71. Glove: dang. Looks like starters will play the season out

  72. Yes this has much to do with the opposition but… This was the best performance by a big man tandem we will ever see in our lifetime.

  73. Anon,

    I guess I don’t understand the causal connection between players (who will never play in the playoffs) giving up some of their team’s crushing point differential in garbage time (against an irrelevant opponent) and winning the NBA Championship.

    Who cares what has happened in the last 10 years? Do you really think that the teams on your list that had +4.2 or +3.9 ppg in the regular season would have lost if they had lost a few more of their games that regular season by larger margins?

    This is a bizarre, compressed lockout season, so I don’t really think a direct comparison of point margin is legitimate, anyway (blowouts have magnified impact on final point margin because of lower game counts, plus this team is pretty old)

    The role players are significantly improved from earlier in the season (Sessions, Blake, Barnes, Metta) and most Laker fans would be encouraged by that. Or by some of the interesting matchup opportunities the Lakers may be presented with.

    PS: You’re really putting yourself on the line, betting on the field…

  74. Matt…here are the regular season final margin for the nba champs the last ten years. If you think the lakers 2.0 margin of victory this season doesn’t matter, then come talk to me when they get eliminated.


  75. Ken,
    No offense 😉 …. But this is a lockout shortened condensed season. There will be plenty of outliers with all the games in such a short amount of time. think about it… The Lakers didn’t get a blowout win until the Spurs game and they didn’t receive a blowout loss u til the Spurs game.