Friday Forum

Dave Murphy —  May 18, 2012

There’s something of a lull before the storm when it comes to the Lakers and the media right now, especially the national media. The team’s in a tough spot but it’s too risky to write them off. A win tonight will tilt articles toward redemption possibilities, and a loss will bring out the doomsday scenarios. A game will be played tonight and the focus will shift away (perhaps momentarily) from the last shot of Wednesday night’s game.

The Kamenetzky brothers at ESPN’s Land O’Lakers, IM about tonight’s game with Royce Young of the Daily Thunder.

The Great Mambino at Silver Screen and Roll, writes about the Lakers optimism, despite history not being on their side.

Mark Medina at the L.A. Times reports on Steve Blake dealing with the shot that didn’t go in, and the resulting twitter hate received by his wife Kristen. This one’s beyond the pale.

Kevin Ding at the OC Register shares the news of Pau Gasol being named citizen of the year by the NBA.

Ben Golliver at CBS Sports Eye On Basketball breaks down tonight’s Lakers/Thunder match.

Tom Spousta at the NY Times writes about Kobe Bryant’s recent difficulty closing out games.

Elizabeth Benson at Lakers Nation about lessons learned from the game two loss.


There’s a very old Jack London short story entitled A Piece of Steak. It chronicles an aging boxer’s last stand, against a fighter in the bloom of youth. It’s about shelf-life and inevitability, and shares a commonality with many other stories before and since. We know that OKC is younger, faster, and deeper. For now, we wait for the game, hoping that our veteran team can come away with a win, and a bit of extra meat on the bone.

– Dave Murphy

Dave Murphy


to Friday Forum

  1. The twitter hate and threats directed at the Blake family is completely asinine. Fans like that give all sports fans a bad name regardless of team affiliation. But it’s especially galling when it’s a team you support.

    When I was a callow youth reveling in my perceived immortality and superior skills afforded by youth I went up against an older competitor who I scoffed at. I thought there was no way this old man could beat me. I was better, stronger, faster, younger and had just enough experience to think I was experienced enough.

    After being defeated and licking my wounds, the old man slyly smirked to me in passing, old age and treachery will beat youth and skill any time.

    Do the older more experienced Lakers have enough tricks left up their sleeve to overcome the younger Thunder?

    It’s scary to think that I’m older now than that “old” man was at that time.


  2. Aaron,

    To answer your post in the other thread about RS, so you are saying that he’s tentative because there are no pnr plays designed for him.

    ~~I disagree with that assessment as if you’re telling all previous Laker PG’s that the only way they can be effective is to design a play based on their expertise. We’re in the playoffs and even Mbrown can only do so much up in coaching maybe in substitutions, practices and short time lecture during timeouts. It’s the player instinct or communicating to one another that will prevail on court. Kobe and Peace are very active in telling Sessions what to do since they’re the experienced leaders in the team, it is really up to Sessions to create openings out there.

    He is a Pro and these are the playoffs, he should know that his ratings are based on his decision making especially knowing the fact he was hired for this particular reason. He replaced Fisher, Farmar and also Blake. As a special class, you have to raise the bar. We really don’t know the problems with Ramon, is he nervous? is he confused? is he overwhelmed and/or intimidated by Thunder? At this point, I just want to point out from what we see, it is all about heart. The Showtime Lakers are not really multi-talented group but they have the heart from player No.1 up to No.10. They know what to do and their laden responsibilities to the team, if one falls down one has to take the ball the hoop. Lets mention some names: Kupchak, Lansburger, Rambis, Cleamons, Erickson, Riley – they are all role players but played important roles are Lakers. Because of that opportunity, it catapulted them to fame. That’s how Championship breed are raised, a Laker has to raise the bar to 150% during playoffs, that’s pure guts and BBIQ.

    Ramon is now a Laker not a Cavalier, a T’wolves or drafted by Bucks. Many NBA players want to be a Laker but only few get that opportunity in their career. If he melts in this segment of his professional career, it would affect his PG status since Lakers has been his 3rd destination, there is a thin red line that will determine whether he is a budding star or a future PG journeyman.


  3. Sessions’ play has been abysmal in the playoffs, against both Denver and the Thunder.

    He’s probably (mis)played his way out of L.A. next season, unless the front office absolutely cannot find another alternative that’s better over the summer.

    It’s very disappointing because he got off to such a good start after the trade from Cleveland. I had high hopes. But’s his disappeared in the post-season, and that’s what matters most to this club and its fans.


  4. That loss will sting for while. Hopefully it was not a season-defining moment or worse yet an end of an era-defining moment. OKC doesn’t have too many off-nights, particularly at home, when you can’t take full advantage of these lapses it’s not too promising for their opponents. Also these are the kind of wins that propel a young team and bolster their confidence. You know you are good when you can win without bringing your A-game.


  5. chownoir – I think the old men can still pull out a few tricks. But in 4 out of 5 games? That’s a tough road.


  6. There are two types of NBA players, some players will play good in the playoffs, some can’t do it. It’s up to the GM who find these players, the sad thing in the NBA, GM got pay million dollars to screw up his team.


  7. Edwin,
    You’re not getting it. If Andrew Bynum is asked to play PG he will be awful. If he is asked to play Center (like he has been) he is currently the best Center in the NBA by a mile. Ramon Sessions can’t play SG. He can’t do it. That’s not his skill set. I mean read any scouting report on the guy. Everyone will read “needs to dominate the ball to be effective” “Needs to play in PnR”. It’s not rocket science. If he isn’t attacking in PnR’s he should not be on the floor. Duh.


  8. Whatever happens, Sessions needs to pick it up. Regardless if it’s in the PnR or not. Playing up to your potential (not stepping out of bounds, missing dunks, etc.) is not a lot to ask for. This is 10th playoff game, time to step up…


  9. Just go to the basket…. That’s it.