Friday Forum

Dave Murphy —  March 15, 2013

The game against the Hawks the other night was a mess. Two banged-up teams on the end of a back-to-back and by the time it was over, the Lakers were a whole lot gimpier. That plus another loss at a point in the season where eighth-place teams can’t afford to be losing. If they come out with a game like that tonight, the Indiana Pacers will eat them alive. Believe it.

At the moment, Kobe Bryant’s availability is uncertain. There is a common way of thinking when it comes to Kobe’s injuries. He is able to play through extraordinary pain, his ability to compartmentalize is legendary. We are spoiled as fans because we have come to expect it and count on it. The same goes for his teammates. They’re talking a good game right now about stepping into the breach. Let’s hope they deliver – a gimpy right elbow and sprained left ankle are just the latest in Mamba’s long parade of hurts and at some point, the candles will simply fail to light.

Dave McMenamin for ESPN examines Kobe’s ankle and the issue of being undercut by Dahntay Jones.

The Great Mambino for Silver Screen & Roll also weighs in on the Dahntay brouhaha.

Brian Kamenetzky from the Land O’Lakers looks at the consequences of the injury, going forward.

Kevin Ding for the OCRegister reports on Kobe’s non-stop treatment plan plus a question of degrees.

At TrueHoop, Henry Abbott riffed on the play that injured Kobe and how players have incentive to walk the line between fair and foul when playing defense.

Jeff Miller for the OCRegister on the Lakers’ uphill battle and lessened leverage.

Adrian Wojnarowski for Yahoo Sports writes about Kobe’s race against the clock.

Eric Freeman for Ball Don’t Lie on a day that was all about Kobe’s ankle and the league ruling.

Finally for a change of pace, Kelly Dwyer for Ball Don’t Lie brings news of the insurance policy that will kick in if Andrew Bynum misses the remainder of the season for the 76ers.

Mike Bresnahan for the LATimes has some good news, Pau Gasol should be back on the court next week and in a starting role again. Mike also looks at the Pacers, a team with a 26/7 home record.

Eric Pincus for the LATimes looks at the Heat’s run as they try to break the Lakers’ all-time winning streak of 33.

Mark Medina for the Long Beach Press-Telegram writes about Brian Shaw, still associate head coach for the Pacers and patiently biding his time.


May of 2011 was a dark time for the Lakers. The team had been bounced in the second round, ending Phil Jackson’s last stand. Brian Shaw had generally been considered the front-runner to take over Jackson’s spot but barely got a proforma sniff. He learned about Mike Brown’s hiring through the media and was just one member of a mass forced exodus. Much has been written about that strange chapter and much more will be written once Kobe’s days as a player are done – it’s just too fascinating to ignore, in a repelling kind of way.

There will always be questions about what a Shaw-coached team might have accomplished. The lockout-shortened season was rough all over. It’s hard to imagine however, that his familiarity with the team would have been a detriment. The collision of new faces and a new system seemed unending, a slow-motion chain reaction that continued through another second-round exit. And then it started up again in the fall as old wounds were reopened and another curious coaching interview took place.

Tonight, Kobe Bryant may or may not be in uniform. Brian Shaw will be sitting in his customary spot next to Frank Vogel. The Pacers are currently in second place in the east with New York close behind. The Lakers have been pushing hard lately to get into the hunt and now have to push harder just to stay in. And per usual, nobody’s pushed harder than Bryant. Tonight another episode as the Lakers world turns.

Dave Murphy


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  1. Nice one Dave Murphy
    “May of 2011 was a dark time for the Lakers”: I certainly would not have disagreed at the time, but that year we went 57-25 and got swept in the 2nd Round. So if that was “dark”, what is the possible description for 2013? : )
    “There will always be questions about what a Shaw-coached team might have accomplished”: Correct – that will never be answered. What we do know, is exactly what has been accomplished since Shaw was not hired.
    “curious coaching interview “: Like I said – nice work – that little phrase is priceless.


  2. Where’s Devin Ebanks? Yeesh.


  3. dave m: true, never a dull moment and yet we wouldn’t, couldn’t have it any other way. for starters, how ’bout we throw some chop liver at them and see how they digest a little of that tonite. if sans kobe, interesting to see how the starters, in particular dwight and nash fare tonite, especially nash as we will need him to go on the offensive early and often as there will be little wiggle room for someone other than himself who can create on the fly.

    overwhelmed by the pacers is the expected consequence of tonite’s outcome. therefore a total team effort would go a long way in keeping laker nation both anxious and positive. starting with steve blake when he comes in to sub for nash; make the occassional spot up jumper and go early and often to jamison and howard. will also definitely need the streaky meeks to be on his game; can be in for a long, long nite.

    otherwise, just another day for kobe to heal.

    Go Lakers


  4. Saw this tweet from Darius about a new box score.

    This is an awesome box score, a look at the stats as the game progresses.


  5. Robert,

    You should really drop the “I am not talking about MDA” (and in this case, Brown) line, because you actually criticize him indirectly pretty much every day, as you do again here, jumping on Murphy’s wistful Brian Shaw reference. I went on the record then saying that I would have preferred Adelman or Shaw.

    I have not been impressed by D’Antoni, but I think if we want to take swipes at team decision-makers, today is a good time to note that several of us have talked about the need to pick up a backup wing, even a DLeaguer, if he could D up a little. Kupchak sneered at this prior to the deadline, seemingly taking the incorrect position that the roster should be awesome as is. Kupchak’s wrong.

    And, now Kobe is hurt, and one of the first points Darius made about it is the lack of a backup wing player being a problem, and Ebanks has played 11 minutes, total, in 2013. One can also blame D’Antoni for not playing Ebanks, but once that was decided, IMO the FO should have gotten somebody else and really should have been looking to upgrade anyway.


  6. rr: I am not talking about MD. I was commenting about Dave’s reference to Shaw. What would have happened if Shaw was coach, we will never know. Same applies to Phil. And neither of those conjectures will change our current situation.
    We do know our results for the past 1 3/4 years. Those are facts. We both would have picked Shaw, and we both would have picked Phil. We did not get our wishes and the results since have been sub-par. Whether those results are due to coaching, injuries, roster, or all of the above is up for debate. However the results are what they are. I did not bring this up : )
    I am not sure why you have issue with what I am saying. Go back and read some of the previous threads where people are commenting about MD and talk to those people. I do not have issue with your roster questions and in fact have agreed with many of them. By questioning this repeatedly you are questioning how good of a job that Mitch and Jim did. And so be it – I have no issue with that.
    And for the record – I do not question MD with regard to Ebanks – so I agree that is a roster issue. I was never a Newlywed Game fan from the beginning : )


  7. FYI, there’s going to be a delay in the game preview today. Some things came up that need my immediate attention. Just thought I’d let folks know.


  8. thx darius for the fyi. hope everything is ok or will be ok.

    in the meantime, smoke ’em if you got ’em everyone.

    dave m: give us your take on whether kobe should play tonight and why and/or why not. and give us your take on whether you think steve nash needs to assert himself more on offense. lastly, give us your take on greatest beatles song ever.

    here’s my take on this year’s laker team:

    happy friday.

    Go Lakers


  9. Well… as far as I know, to this day Shaw has not been a head coach. Why is that? Given that other teams have passed on Shaw and have instead opted to offer him assistant positions only, would the Lakers really have been better off with Shaw at the helm? Maybe some folks think that a Shaw-coached Lakers team would also mean a Phil-consulted Laker team, but that assumes that Shaw is not competent enough to handle the team by himself – and if that is the case, then why hire Shaw at all?

    Mike Brown was an awful hire and huge mistake. I think we all agree on that one. However, after Mike was gone you have to admit that we also have had horrible luck. We started the season without Howard and, it is clear now, he came back way short of being close to 100% (in fact, maybe he should have sat out a few more games). Also, with Gasol, a key anchor on this team, he started the season either out of shape or too dam tired from all of the Spanish national team action – and now the dude unfortunately got injured. Then there’s the issue of the injury to Blake and then an injury to Nash. Given our lack of depth and these crazy injuries, are we really sure that a different coach would have us on top of the NBA standings at this point or is it safe to assume that MDA or not, we would likely have close to the same record (+/- a few wins) given our injuries and lack of roster depth?


  10. Bottom line: Kobe needs to sit this road game vs the Pacers out, get additional treatments and be as good as he can for Sunday’s game in L.A. vs the Kings.

    Let’s see what Nash, D-12 and company can do tonight. An upset would sure go a long way to making Kobe’s ankle feel better.


  11. Kobe is a true Warrior who knows how to play through pain, he has done it through his whole career. We all know that. He NEEDS to play tonight. Even if he was only on one leg, he NEEDS to play. It is a risk, but it is a risk that needs to be taken at this point. We can’t just sit Kobe and give this game away to the Pacers (no way we beat them without Kobe). We need to win every game we can get because most likely, this playoff 8th seed will be decided by 1 or 2 games. Plus, the Lakers just lost, we don’t want to build up a losing streak.


  12. Dave H,

    For the Lakers team – Come Together
    For Kobe and Dwight – We Can Work It Out
    For Kobe – It’s Been a Hard Day’s Night
    For Jim Buss and Mitch – Help!
    For Ebanks – Ticket to Ride
    For Shaq – Carry That Weight
    For Phil Jackson – Nowhere Man
    For Mike Brown – Hello, Goodbye
    For DAntoni – I should Have Known Better


  13. LT – that says it all. Brilliant!

    dave h – It looks like Kobe’s gonna go but I personally would have shut him down for a few days and let the thing heal. Plus, tell Nash & Dwight to p&r all night long. As for Beatles songs, cannot give a definitive fave… so many greats. LT’s got some great ones above… I also love Across the Universe, Beware of Darkness, all of Revolver…..


  14. Terrible calls. Dwight is not smart


  15. Terrible calls. Dwight is not smart every game 2 dumb fould 1st quarter. Nash forgot how to shoot.