Friday Forum

Dave Murphy —  February 1, 2013

Today is Friday, February 1. Here is what we know at this hour. The Los Angeles Lakers will be visiting the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight at the Target Center, 9:30pm, eastern time – game to be televised on ESPN. The T-Wolves call Minneapolis their home and play in NBA’s western conference. The Lakers used to be play in Minneapolis until they didn’t. It is expected to be five degrees outside the Target Center by game time. In local Minny news, a Taser lost by a police officer was used to rob a Subway. The T-Wolves are currently in 12th place, just one game behind the Lakers who are in 10th. That’s about all I got. Here’s some links.

Ramona Shelburne at ESPN writes about Mike D’Antoni and Steve Nash, struggling to rekindle the old days.

Kevin Ding at the OC Register also examines the coach and player relationship, adding that Nash needs to try a little selfishness.

Mike Bresnahan at the LATimes reports that Dwight Howard is day-to-day due to his torn labrum.

Eric Pincus with the LATimes offers a short list of players who fit within the Lakers disabled player exception.

Ben Rosales at Silver Screen and Roll looks at this thing logically – despite the loss in Phoenix the Lakers are playing a solid brand of ball.

Jon Krawzynski for the AP and Yahoo writes about a show of support from T-Wolf Ricky Rubio for his fellow countryman Pau Gasol.

Jabari Davis at Lakers Nation offers a pregame report for tonight’s ice follies.

In other news, Adrian Wojnarwoski from Yahoo Sports reports that NBA Players Association executive director Billy Hunter has been placed on an indefinite leave of absence. The process was led by Derek Fisher. I wonder where this leaves Hunter’s favorite sycophant, Mo Evans?


Dwight Howard won’t suit up tonight in Minneapolis. Pau Gasol will start at center position with Earl Clark at the four. For the T-Wolves, Kevin Love is still out with a broken hand. On paper this looks like a nice opportunity for the Lakers who need every nice opportunity they can get. As for any larger narratives, expect whoever’s calling the game tonight to ask endless questions about whether Kobe Bryant will continue passing the ball. The likeliest candidate for a B-story is the Mike & Pau show with the principals supplying enough one-liners to keep the ball rolling, so to speak. Let’s just hope for a win tonight and leave it at that.

Dave Murphy


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  1. Regarding the JOrdan Hill exception, per Pincus from the LAT, our options are limited to the following vets:

    Ivan Johnson, Atlanta Hawks – $962,195
    Dominique Jones, Dallas Mavericks – $1,276,560
    Jeff Pendergraph, Indiana Pacers – $1,500,000
    Sebastian Telfair, Phoenix Suns – $1,567,500
    Nolan Smith, Portland Trail Blazers – $1,365,720
    DeJuan Blair, San Antonio Spurs – $1,054,000
    Martell Webster, Washington Wizards – $1,750,000

    Any thoughts on who you would like to see from this list?


  2. neil: Kobe can’t catch a break. I’ll admit he has bad games and fans let it be known then. But he’s trying to do everything he can to help the team win. Not sure how much more he can do at this point.


  3. The trouble with Michael Jordan was that he couldn’t balance his game. He was either a shooter or a passer. What? He averaged 5.3 assists per game? Oh. Hold on a minute…. you mean that Kobe has averaged 4.7 assists per game? That’s nearly as many as Jordan….Jordan who always made his teammates better.

    I always find it odd when people can’t appreciate a player for who he is on the basketball court. For years and years Lakers fans wanted to have a player on their team like Michael Jordan. We’ve had the greatest big man and the greatest point guard, and perhaps the 3rd greatest wing player in history. (Jerry West) However, Kobe was something different. He has been a ridiculous athlete. Guy has one of the best work ethics that this sport has ever seen. Improves on his game every year. But, it’s just not good enough for some people. No player in the history of the game is perfect. Not even Magic Johnson…. I wonder if some of our resident posters were calling hime Tragic Johnson back in the day?


  4. Jemery Lin played PG very good for MD in NY, Lakers don’t have a PG who can play like Lin including Nash, so Kobe is the best choice to run the offense, i can’t believe some days Kobe can have 12, 14 assits a game but he did, that’s the beauty when you hire offensive coach. I wrote on this blog before, MD has to figure it out so Lakers can play like a team not depending too much on Kobe to score 30, 40 pts a night, but the problem with serious injuries like Jordan Hill, Howard, and not many skilled players on the roster had give this team too much trouble, lucky we found Clark. Next year the search for PG will continue.


  5. Kevin – what more can Kobe do? Try harder on defense, and specifically in transition, stop gambling and play it safe.

    But I agree that on the other side of the ball at least, he’s been magnificent thus far this season.


  6. @Manny – maybe Blair. It’s not a great list.


  7. @ Manny–

    Blair, Webster, and Telfair are the only guys who have ever been “real” NBA players on that list–the rest, meh…Ivan Johnson is playing pretty well lately (albeit in an admittedly limited role) for the Hawks though—

    None of them really “fit”….


  8. is one not permitted to use the injured player exception on a D-Leaguer?


  9. @ MannyP

    Don’t care for any of the players from that list. Especially as it pertains to being in a Lakers uniform.

    According to reports, not only is Dwight out for tonight’s game (as mentioned by Dave M.), but he’s headed back to Los Angeles to get that shoulder re-evaluated. This Grammy Trip just took a major turn for the worse.


  10. @Manny – it seems J. Pendergraph (listed as a PF) has never been given any playing time to prove himself, another E. Clark-type riding the pine maybe?


  11. Kobe’s off-ball defense has been terrible at times this year, and he has been, and should be, criticized for it. Transition D is a team-wide problem, and that is partly simply due to lack of speed and is also partly a coaching problem. Kobe is part of that, but so is everybody else.

    Offensively, he has had a few clunkers, but Kobe has played quite well on that end for the most part, and it is worth remembering that among the team’s four nominal stars, he is the one who has done the best job of maintaining his established performance level and he is the only one who has avoided injury and suited up every night. Criticizing him in the way that Neil does above is what is known around the net as drinking the Haterade.


  12. Martell Webster is probably the best guy on that list, and he is a backup 3 with a decent stroke from the arc. I have not seen him enough to know how well he plays D.


  13. Jeff Pendergraph has been injured and not given the playing time that he needs to adjust to the NBA game. He’s an Etiwanda alum that knows how to play the game. He was highly recruited out of high school and played well enough in college to be drafted. No one on that list will help the Lakers this year, so they might as well go for a player that can help next year.

    Kobe is in his 17th year it would be nice if the Lakers had a player that could do at least 1/4 of the duties that Kobe has taken on this year. Sheesh! Yes, he is the leader of this team but not even the great Michael Jordan was burdened with being the defensive anchor on guards, the guy to set everyone else up and the guy to get points in his last championship year.