I did a breakdown encompassing the first part of the third quarter, when the Lakers played some good ball at both ends showing off what they can be. Just as I finished I noticed nomuskles had put one together for most of the game (meaning his girlfriend was
off at a bar getting tanked and talking to rugby players at her apartment quietly reading a book). The styles are different (heâ€™s funny, for one) but I decided to do a mash-up. Here are his first, second and fourth quarters (read all of it here) and my third.
Iâ€™m picking it up a little late here. I just had some great grilled fresh wild salmon. It was so delicious.
8:05 â€“ Kobe just makes a phenomenal highlight play. Runs through two defenders, avoids the double team with a spin move and throws it with major English off the backboard. The ball finds its way in.
7:01 â€“ The Space Cadet tries his own version of the move and misses it. Kobe lets him know heâ€™s got H-O-R.
6:16 â€“ Just some thoughts right now, The Kings will probably give us trouble tonight but hopefully weâ€™ll find the way to win. Pau has been having a tough time so far. Hawes is actually playing him pretty well. Showing some great hustle. Mikki Moore is playing too well. And The Lakers are turning the ball over too much.
5:34 â€“ Timeout called and Lakers are down 12-16. That Metro PCS commercial with the defibrillator actually made me laugh. KCAL telecast shows an old west style town. I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s Sac-town proper. Oh. Barry Bonds is in attendance. Heâ€™s got a ridiculous hat on it. Itâ€™s got some glitter on it. A man should not be wearing a hat with glitter. Period. You think that cross earring he wears is to remind him of his commitment to God or to compare himself to a crucified Jesus?
5:16 â€“ DFish makes a great steal and makes a tough layup over two Kings defenders. Good job by the kings of hustling back to defend that. They want to win this game. Weâ€™ll see about the Lakers.
4:34 â€“ The Space Cadet has some room on Kobeâ€™s drive and kick. That was a beautiful lookin shot.
4:15 â€“ ugh. Artest fumbles the ball driving the bucket and Lamar gets the foul called. Thatâ€™s his second. On the replay, yeah, that was a bad call. Kevin Martin makes them pay. Really, he takes out his credit card machine and asks for some identification.
2:56 â€“ A little sloppy. Lamar turns it over and then Kevin Martin throws it to a courtside patron in their half court offense. This will take us to a timeout. Thank goodness, Weâ€™re going to get enough bad basketball this weekend with the NCAA tournament going on.
Coming back from the timeout, someone named Doobie checks in for the Kings. I wonder if heâ€™s got a brother
2:44 â€“ Doobie steals a terrible pass by Farmar. Francisco gets the fast break layup. 17-22 Kings up.
2:03 â€“ Speaking of salmon, John Salmons checks in.
1:56 â€“ Ronny comes over on the secondary defense and kills the Ron Artest shot. If the ball were filled with hopes and dreams, Obama would have nothing to campaign on.
1:07 â€“ I think the Lakers are just spotting the Kings some points. Kobe threw the ball away right to a kings player
0:51 â€“ Ronny defends Artest and roofs his driving layup. Straight out of bounds. Thatâ€™s two blocks by Ronny on Artest. Note to Ronny: Donâ€™t throw a beer at Artest.
0:36 â€“ Ira Newble sighting with Pau at the line. 18-25 Kings up after the free throws.
0:05 â€“ finally something good. You know the end of quarter play the Lakers usually run? Let Kobe dribble for 17 seconds and then have him drive to the lane? Kobe dribbles for the 17 seconds but he gets a half step on his man and then throws it high into the middle of the paint for Gasol who somehow comes down with it and lays it in with 1 second on the 24-second clock. Gasol was like a video game version of Randy Moss. Thereâ€™s no way he should have caught it but he did. Are the Lakers going to give up a good look?
0:02 â€“ Oh. Sacramento showed its youth. Threw the ball away in the backcourt against an unspectacular full-court press by the Lakers. 2 seconds is plenty of time to get a shot off. If Iâ€™m Phil, I draw the play up for Newble here. Okay maybe not. Itâ€™s Kobe, Newble, Farmar, the Machine, and the Spaniard out there. Iâ€™d say, anyone but newble. Sasha will in bounds. Oh wait. Newble sits down. Radman in. The Space cadet gets it, turns and faces, MONEY! That was a great close to the quarter for the Lakers. They are only trailing by four now. 27-23.
Kings have been unable to capitalize on turnovers. 7 points off the Lakers 6 turnovers whereas the Lakers have 5 points off 3 kingsâ€™ turnovers. The camera shows some Lakers fans looking goofy holding up signs. I think I know one of them.
11:32 â€“ Great start to the quarter! Sasha blocks a Garcia jumper, Lakers push it up. Sasha takes a 16 footer and misses but The Space Cadet is feeling pretty good. He taps out the rebound to Farmar who penetrates and gets the rack. Makes the layup and gets fouled. The Old-Fashioned three point play for a young man.
10:48 â€“ Radman hits a shot with no time left on the shot clock. 28-28.
9:35 â€“ HAHAHAHA. The refs are silly. They call a foul on a Kings missed shot. The ref signals that itâ€™s Lamarâ€™s foul, even though he didnâ€™t really try to get to the rebound. Lamar just about has steam coming out of his ears. The other two refs save the one ref by telling him he should make the call on Ronny (who hit Hawesâ€™s arm). The call ended up being right, but on replay the ref actually made the call that it was Lamar pushing in the back. Iâ€™m not sure I buy this whole sequence. The ref called a push in the back on one player but ends up calling a loose ball foul on another player? Can you just blow the whistle all willy nilly like this? It doesnâ€™t really matter since it was a foul on Ronny and the call was right, itâ€™s just a little shady is all Iâ€™m sayin. Thatâ€™s Ronnyâ€™s third foul. Heâ€™ll probably get a breather.
8:55 â€“ sasha gives the Lakers their biggest lead 32 â€“ 28. The sound goes silent, someone must have said a magic word.
8:32 â€“ Luke decided to sit due to a strained hamstring. At least thatâ€™s the official reason. Heâ€™s wearing a dorky corduroy jacket. John Ireland says Ariza and bynum are also on the trip but not expected to play tonight or on Tuesday.
8:14 â€“ Farmar vomits a shot that barely hits the backboard. Yikes. Kevin Martin takes the fast break and lays it in over Farmar. 32-32.
6:42 â€“ If I werenâ€™t a Lakers fan I would turn this game off despite the close score. Itâ€™s extremely sloppy. A lot of bricked shots and turnovers.
6:15 â€“ Oh. Salmons seems to get a clean strip but the refs are not paying very close attention tonight and call a foul. Radman hits two free throws. 37-22. And radman gets the steal on the other end!
6:00 â€“ This leads to an Ira Newble jumper. That was shorter than Ashley Simpsonâ€™s time in the spotlight. (Some might say that was still too long).
Dude. dude. Dude. That commercial isnâ€™t funny dude.
5:53 â€“ Starting Five back in there except itâ€™s Newble instead of lamar.
5:25 â€“ Newble keeps the possession alive grabbing an offensive rebound. The Space Cadet grabs a Derek fisher miss and gets the Lakers another chance. Great point by Stu saying how Radman has figured out how to do other things besides just shooting. I agree. The past few weeks, with a couple of exceptions, Radman has really been trying to do more than just shoot.
5:03 â€“ Artest looks for a foul driving to the line and throws it as hard as he can off the basket. It banks in. He looks like heâ€™s about to punch someone near him since he didnâ€™t get that call. I was actually a little bit scared there.
4:24 â€“ Kobe travels in the lane with a step through move. Well I think he traveled. He misses the shot. Kobe somehow got to the rim and tipped it in though. Heâ€™s amazing. I would definitely have his babies.
4:03 â€“ Artest is pretty frustrated. He missed an inside shot and fouled Pau on the rebound. Thatâ€™s his third. Heâ€™ll stay in the game. Pau makes them. 43-37.
3:29 â€“ Itâ€™s the Derek Fisher show. He gets a steal and then dominates the basketball for about 15 seconds probing and hits a step back barely jumper over Anthony Johnson. Sinks it.
3:05 â€“ Lamar gets called for a foul on Kevin Martin. Martin pulled up for a 20 footer and Lamar sort of made him smell his armpit. After the shot, Kevin martin took a little a nap on the floor and the refs called a foul. Thatâ€™s not a call the refs usually make. So much for that â€œhandsome game.â€
Wow. The Space cadet has 8 rebounds to lead all rebounders in the game. Nicely done sir.
2:16 â€“ Radman makes a bad pass to newble who manages to catch it. Newble gets it back to radman. Realizing that thatâ€™s not his forte, the space cadet takes one dribble to find space and nails a jumper. 49-39.
1:27 â€“ Kobe auditions for one of those As Seen on TV videos after he gets tripped up. He does a few dribbling drills while lying on his backside. I suppose weâ€™re impressed Kobe.
0:52 â€“ Apparently dribbling while sitting on your butt doesnâ€™t translate into actual ball security. Kobe turns the ball over and it goes the other way. Iâ€™m not sure how you would describe The Space Cadetâ€™s defense against Kevin Martinâ€™s fast break layup. The best way I can describe it is to think of a Robin puffing its chest to show off its plumage. Vlad put his arms straight down and puffed out his chest as Martin blew around him for the layup. 51-43 Lakers.
0:30 â€“ Spencer Hawes could use some grooming lessons. His beard looks more like a lesion on his face than something aesthetically pleasing.
So far this game is unsatisfying. Bad reffing, a lot of turnovers, and poor shooting.
12:00 John Ireland is talking over the action, I guess he has a lot to say now that he is off the radio (what happened with that anyway?). The Kings have the ball, work it around the perimeter then get it to Kevin Martin at the free throw line curling off a screen and trying the quick shot, but Kobe was with him the whole time and gets a piece of it. Gasol grabs it.
11:45 After the block Kobe hustles down court and set up on the low block with the smaller Martin on him â€” Fisher sees this just after he crosses half court and wastes no time getting the ball in to him. Pretty turnaround jumper. Lakers by 8.
11:38 Hawes gets the ball out by the three point line and picks up his dribble as he sees Artest trying to post up Odom and wants to get him the ball. Radman read the scouting report and knows Hawes is just a 17.6% three-point shooter and sags off him and dares him to shoot, while essentially doubling Artest by fronting him. Hawes is a rookie and thinks heâ€™s still playing against Arizona State and can get that bounce pass through. Radman with the steal.
11:17: Another Laker making the defensive play then running the floor â€” Radman got the ball to Fish than sprinted ahead of everyone but the always hustling Moore, Fish feeds him and Vladrad leaves a back-heel, er, drop pass for Gasol running down the lane to finish with a nice dunk. Gasol should never enter the dunk contest if thatâ€™s all heâ€™s got.
11:12: This time Artest gives up position for possession (a favorite phrase of an old coach of mine to the post players) and gets the ball mid-post (not really high or low) and faces up on Odom. He drives right but Kobe is the help and rotates over fast and Artest tries to shoot over the double team and misses. (Kobe had to help off of Martin, who was alone in the opposite corner if Artest had been looking.)
10:57: Once again the Lakers push the ball, Fish with a little hesitation dribble into the lane then a pass that is a tad low and Gasol bobbles. Meanwhile, Radmanovic has run to the short corner three. Where Artest went up with a shot in the crowd Gasol makes the pass to the open man â€” Radman with the three. Lakers by 13.
10:40: Timeout Kings. Out of the timeout Stu Lantz calls it â€” Theus drew something up for Martin. It may have taken a while but Theus figured out who can do the scoring on this team. Martin gets the ball on the wing after a moving screen from Moore on Kobe, Gasol (on Moore) doesnâ€™t really help and couldnâ€™t stop Martin on the perimeter anyway, the kid blows into the land but misses a contested layup as Odom helps. However, Odom has to leave Artest to help and Artest taps it in.
10:25: The Kings play pretty good defense on this trip â€” Moore never lets Gasol get comfortable in the post, when the double comes Gasol kicks it out, the quick passes around the arc and the Kings have rotated so no open shot. Now back out to Kobe three feet behind the arc straight away, and he buries the shot. Never underestimate how good it is to have Kobe on your side.
10:05: Ball goes out to Martin on the left wing, but Kobe is all over him. Hawes comes out to set a pick but Radman essentially doubles Martin. Why Martin never dribbles a little to relieve the pressure I donâ€™t know, he instead tries an ill-advised pass to Hawes that Kobe steals.
9:50: Kobe on the breakaway, Hawes does the smart thing and fouls him. Notice the trend here we havenâ€™t seen enough of lately â€” good defense leading to fast breaks and points early in the clock. Kobe hits one of two.
9:45: After a Kobe non-shooting foul on Martin, the Kings do little on offense, but get the ball to Moore with the clock running down and he drains an 18-footer. He can hit that shot, but that is the shot you would like the Kings to take. He hit it, so be it.
9:31: Kobe and Gasol on the high pick and roll, but the Kings try to trap Kobe. He splits it, drives into the lane, draws more defenders, kicks back out to Odom at the three point line, quick to Fisher who is covered (they are not leaving him open), back to Odom (who thinks about the three but hears Drrayeye screaming â€œNOOOOOOOâ€) then to Kobe, who in all the confusion now has Hawes on him and sagging way off. Another three for Kobe. Lakers by 16.
9:09: After the ball went out of Radman’s foot, the Kings bring it in and have Artest and Moore with the high pick and roll. Nobody really closes on Artest despite the clock running down, and he hits the three.
8:34: The ball goes into Radman in the post. Yes, Radman in the post, high post but still the post. He spins to the middle and tries a drive but draws a crowd. Odom, who has moved so well without the ball lately, does that to get the ball just above the free-throw line. Then he moves well with the ball driving past three defenders (to his left) for the layup.
8:12: Ball into Moore in the post, but behind him Artest gets free at the arc as Odom is picked off. Good look three that Artest just misses.
8:03: Fisher pushes it than pulls back to set up the offense. Kobe gets the ball at the three-point line and says, basically, Iâ€™m hot now. He blows past Artest and into the lane, then when the defense collapses he leaves it for Gasol for a three-footer. Lakers by 17.
7:45: Artest gets the ball in the post but is doubled, so he kicks it out to Kevin Martin, who gets the soft double out by the arc. He makes a pretty dibble-behind-the-back drive between Kobe and Fisher, gets to the hole and misses the layup, but Hawes picks up the garbage tip in.
7:22: After a Hawes foul on Gasol the Lakers get the ball out of bounds, they pass around to Kobe at the arc who drains a three with Artest in his face. Did I mention itâ€™s good to have Kobe on your team?
7:05: Once again Artest draws the double in the post, this time he makes a shorter pass to Moore at the free throw line. Thatâ€™s a shot he can hit but with Gasol in his face he misses it.
6:50: Odom grabbed the rebound on the miss and pushes it the length of the court. Once heâ€™s in the paint three Kings remember rule one is stop the ball, they go to Odom, he leaves it for Gasol who lays it in.
Lakers by 20. Timeout Kings. Lakers converting good defense into offense. Man I missed that.
Lakers start up 87-69. Apparently they finished the quarter 15-15 on field goals. On fifteen assists. Thatâ€™s pretty efficient basketball.
11:16 â€“ Farmar shows his speed on the fast break off his steal. Doobie reaches from behind to earn a foul but farmar makes the layup. Barely even noticed the foul. And one. Too bad he missed the freebie
10:03 â€“ Lamar glides in for the reverse layup. Nicely done. 93-73. He did well to get that offensive rebound away from Hawes. His facial hair is disgusting. I canâ€™t get over it.
9:27 â€“ Farmar and the Machine get a good bit of teamwork going. Farmar drives into the lane and finds vujacic sitting behind the three point arc. Wet. 96-73.
9:07 â€“ lamar tries to make the unselfish play for the new guy. He tried to feed newble on the break but it was a tough pass to make and the ball ends up out of bounds. Turnover. Iâ€™ll live with that. He was trying to get newble some reward for his playing time today.
8:50 â€“ Newble is faked out of his shoes by Salmons.
8:18 â€“ lamar and Artest are standing arm in arm. Aww, thatâ€™s cute.
8:15 â€“ Newble gets the hook. Kobe comes back into the game cuz the bench was letting the kings back into it. 8-0 run. Make that 10-0. 96-83.
7:24 – Ronny stems the tide with a tough layup.
6:03 â€“ Pau does the check for blood on the side of his head move. Foul called on the kings as he went for the rebound. Lakers want a time out here. Phil creepily holds his finger on LOâ€™s sternum as Lamar explains why the Lakers are a little confused.
5:44 â€“ Thatâ€™s not fair. Kobe gets trapped near half court. Somehow splits it and finds pau for an alley-layup oop.
4:50 â€“ Nice. After a missed bucket by The Space Cadet. Kobe makes salmons change directions and Lamar is able to knock it away from behind. Kobe strokes the three ball. 102-88.
3:59 â€“ Kobe dribbles through his legs with his right hand and catches it with his right hand. He gained half a step on Johnson and took it to the hole. Johnson reaches and grabs Kobe for the foul. Kobe makes the two free throws. 104-88.
3:20 â€“ fisher adds the last nail in the coffin and hits a three from the left side.
3:05 â€“ Radman gets his double double with his 10th rebound.
2:45 â€“ Kobe walks into the front court and heâ€™s had enough of that whole â€œgo to the basketâ€ thing. Drains the three. He waves to the fans with his fingers.. â€œgoodbye/goodnight.â€ If you wonder why people hate him. Itâ€™s stuff like that. 110-88.
1:52 â€“ The clumsiest fast break ever. Vujacic granny layups it in over two Kings. Farmar created that steal. Good job defensively by Farmar tonight. Lakers just went on a 12-0 run to slam the door. The bench mob owes the starters for saving their butts tonight.
0:35 â€“ Reggie Theus doesnâ€™t have these guys playing professionally. Sheldon Williams made the traveling hand motion while he was supposed to be guarding DJ who had the ball 8 feet from the basket. He actually stopped playing defense to turn himself into a fourth referee.
Game over. 114-92. Apologies this one wasnâ€™t that great. This game was just one of those slogs the Lakers did well to win. We also really benefited from the absence of Beno Udrih.
Just a few other notes:
The Lakers slow start in the first quarter appeared largely due to sloppiness. First there was the missed open looks â€” Pau had a layup blocked by Hawes (who I like a lot more than I thought I would during the draft last year), VladRad missed a layup, Fish had a good look 10-footer in the lane miss. Then there were the turnovers (Farmarâ€™s flat pass out top or Kobe getting into the lane, leaping in the air then trying the dump-down pass, just to name a couple).
Then the Lakers started doing things right, particularly the starting five (all the starters were at least +18 for the game (Kobe), with Radman +35, while the best off the bench was Sasha at +2).
Back in December, when the Lakers had a series of defensive lapses, Phil Jackson stuck with his philosophy of letting the team learn from its mistakes. But have you noticed with the playoffs around the corner, that is not the case anymore. Against Dallas, after a sad defensive first half, the Lakers gave up a layup on the Mavs first possession of the second half and Phil called a timeout to make his voice heard. Just a few points into the Sacramento game, same thing.
You’re right, Kurt, about Phil doing things a little differently now. One other thing I’m noticing is that he’s substituting for offense-defense more often. He didn’t used to do that earlier in the season, and it cost us some wins at the end of games. He brought Vlad Rad in for Newble at the end of the first quarter (or was it the third?), and Vlad drained a buzzer shot. Maybe this will be the beginning of a trend.
the other Stephen says
interesting observation about Phil.
Nomuskles- Y(ou are hereby ordered to blog each of the remaining games, we don’t lose when you do it. We’ll make your girlfriend understand.
All kidding aside, great work, my friend. Entertaining reads from both you and Kurt.
Once we get rid of the 1st quarter brain farts the team has been having, I think this team can’/will be scary good- if they come out of the gate with offense clicking, i don’t know how you beat them.
Craig W. says
I would love to see that trend all year. Then the players would know what to expect. We haven’t developed too many shooters from role players the last few years – Sasha was supposed to be a shooter from the git-go.
I like that the Hornets are back in New Orleans, but I really miss their acronym from Oklahoma City — NOOCH. It’s just a great word to say. Sometimes I still call them NOOCH even though they aren’t in OK City anymore. That’s how much fun it is.
Kurts Live blog puts mine to shame! he’s like an actual descriptive announcer. I just say, pass and shoot. score! and he logs every possession in beef supreme chalupa detail!! Good gracious man! How does he do it? This is why FB&G is not just any ol’ lakers blog. The commitment of Captain Kurt is unwavering and plenty insightful. (like that 17% comment about Hawes). Great job, Captain.
My favorite part: “NOOOOOO”
I can’t wait for Bynum to come back!
Doing a tax return that ended with me paying more money to the government left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. Boo on that.
By the way I was at the game early in Sacramento and Bynum was practicing his post-up game. He looked great pivoting smoothly, knocking down 15 footers, great lift on his jumps. He looked so solid I thought he might play as he was in warm-ups, but alas no luck. Maybe the “Lakers are hiding him” theory has something to it afterall (of course if that was the case they would probably have him work out behind closed doors).
where oh where has ronny gone!!!…….dude has got me worried. he’s passing up dunks for kick-outs, fouling like a scrub, and is looking absolutely listless when going for his midrange j. make no mistake, his energy will be needed for a deep run and he looks lost and not confident in his abilities……….he needs to snap out of this funk!!!
kwame a says
7-Thanks for the update, sounds like good news.
walton is injured now??? forget all that conspiracy theory crap about our training staff, iÂ´m just gonna say our staff is not as good as that of other teams. thereÂ´s no way our staff would have shaq playing at the level the suns staff has him playing at. and whereÂ´s mihm??? geez!
chris h says
the bench has got to get it’s confidence back up after last nights game. they were pulled in favor of the starters so we didn’t totally blow that game.
usually PJ let’s ’em stay in, and work through it, but with the Suns losing last night, he couldn’t take the chance to miss an opportunity to build on the lead in the Pacific.
I could sense he was mixed, knowing if he pulled the bench, they would feel like they could’ve blown the game, and shake up their confidence. we need them to believe in themselves, and this means farmar, ronnie, sasha primarily. I don’t count Newble yet, but I liked his energy last night, has a nose for the boards.
10. Good god, Laker fans you need people to blame for everything? Is the sky always falling? Walton tweaks a hammy, is day to day, and that is the trainers fault how? Again, don’t confuse the doctor (vitti) with the training staff. There can be a legitimate discussion of if our guys are not getting state of the art care, but stop blaming casual injuries on the staff. We should not be rushing Bynum or Ariza back, what matters more than right now is their careers.
Renato Afonso says
Too many injuries in two years, indeed. People heal at a different pace, but this is starting to look freakish…
chris h says
it’s many factors beyond doctors, trainers, etc, etc.
it can simply come down to luck….good or bad…
look at the mash of people under the hoop, jumping, pushing and shoving, and it’s no wonder there aren’t more sprained ankles, etc.
some players are better than others at knowing how to jump, and more importantly, land.
and none of us know the extent of Dirk’s injury, but we assume the trainers are masters who can do miracles, and get him back faster than ours, but unless we really know the level of seriousness of each injury, we’re just blowing smoke. (or inhaling it).
these injuries and just “bad luck”, nothing more.
Regarding the injuries, look on the bright side: We’re getting all of our bad luck out of the way this season & last, so we’ll have uncanny team-wide health for the next several years!
Plus, don’t forget that Bynum’s injury was, is and always will be a blessing in disguise, since we wouldn’t have gotten Pau otherwise.
kwame a says
12-The only true person that was defintley adversely affected by the Lakers doctor (Steve Lombardo M.D.) was Karl Malone. He was misdiagnosed and that probably cost us a title. Sometimes teams get decimated by injuries, we are not the first or last team to have that happen to them.
This LIttle Pinky says
Hate to be picky, but the Lakers gave up a jump shot to Jason Terry on the Maverick’s first offensive play of the second half, prompting Phil to call the immediate timeout. It matters not.
Someone was looking for the video of Lamar’s post-game interview after the Warriors game. I know i’ve seen someone link to it somewhere in one of the billion NBA blogs out there. I can’t find the full interview, but here is a small snippet of it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T83wyYFI2gQ
This was posted by UCSBShaw after the game right here on FB&G.
17. You probably are right. I remembered some bad defense that led to a layup, but maybe it was an open jumper. Point remains the same though about his style change.
If Memphis wins the lottery, they could be very tough in the fairly near future. Here’s an article on Marc Gasol. I wonder if he will end up starting at center for Spain in the Olympics, with Pau moving to power forward.
Craig W. says
This injury ‘stuff’ was thoroughly discussed last summer. At that time we came to the conclusion that some of our players are injury prone, not a problem with the training staff. Luke & Kwame heal slowly – we know that. Mihm does not have a strong constitution – we know that. One of the reasons for Orlando trading Ariza was his tendency for foot injuries – remember that comment about the trade. Lots of guys get their foot stepped on, but most of them don’t break their foot.
I’m not saying our training staff (not the doctors) couldn’t use ongoing classes in what new treatments are coming available – perhaps they are getting this – but we have to stop assuming all players are equal when it comes to injuries.
Craig W. says
Marc Gasol is not as mobile as his brother. In the Memphis offense that may be a liability. Of course Phoenix is learning to get it done with Shaq so I guess they could adjust.
I love how Odom did pretty much the exact same heads-up play twice in this game: he pushed the ball up with Gasol, faked a pass to Gasol and then headfaked that he was going to shoot, which flatfooted the defenders, then dished to Gasol for the high percentage shot.
I know Kobe and Gasol coming back into the game are what really snuffed the Kings at the end when they threatened to come back, but I think Odom playing well is what made this game the blowout that it was. It’s a good day in Lakerland when Odom is playing as well as he can.
Chris J says
I don’t buy the argument that Phoenix’s training staff is responsible for Shaq’s sudden return to health. The guy is known to dog it when he thinks the games don’t matter, as any Laker fan will recall. Who could forget the delayed surgery so he wouldn’t miss “his time” off during the summer but could instead heal during the “company time,” meaning early in the regular season.
No, Shaq’s sudden health has more to do with the fact that he was traded from a loser to a (some say) contender. He dogged it last season when Wade was hurt, and he did the same in Miami this year given Wade’s problems, Zo’s absence, and other missing keys from the Heat’s title run.
If Miami had traded him to Memphis or Seattle, Shaq’s hip would still be “hurt” as he collects a paycheck and DNPs. Contrast that with Kobe’s approach as he plays through a torn ligament.
Rob L. says
There are guys who are blessed with a body that is supremely athletic, capable of a lot. Guys with bodies that talented usually work hard at their skills, which is the skill factor. But there is another body factor: endurance. Scouts definitely need to look at this more than they do. You need guys whose bodies will put up with the abuse of pro sports. The problem comes when you see a guy who has the “talent” body but not the “endurance” body. What do you do? Kobe and LeBron are a true rarity in this respect. They have the talent and endurance body and work their butts off.
Not Charlie Rosen says
I do have this to say about our training staff–big league medicine is as much about prevention as it is recovery.
It’s not that some other teams have luckier players, or brilliant staffs to heal similar injuries in a shorter time, it’s that their players are better able to avoid serious injuries–their musculature is both strong enough and flexible enough so that a potentially serious ankle sprain turns out to be relatively minor (Dirk), while Mihm’s ankle’s and feet weren’t in a similar physiological state, and a comparable amount of contact and twisting resulted in a much more severe injury.
The greats (like Kobe) take the initiative to have their own people on retainer to do this work for them, but the rest of the team rely on the team’s staff to do more than get them strong and their endurance up, and ours has been failing.
J.D. Hastings says
I also noticed PJ’s change in philosophy lately. The hook is quicker and he’s more focused on winning every game now. The Dallas game felt like a playoff atmosphere because of that quick time out as well as his yanking Vlad for good in the second half when it was clear he couldn’t be effective.
The holding out Bynum theory gained some ground with PJ’s quotes that playing him isn’t necessary now that they’ve clinched a playoff spot. The team will have a lot of practice before the playoff starts (at least 4 days between our last game and the beginning of the first series) and he may not want to give teams any scouting video. In particular, while I had thought getting wins against SAS and NOH would be vital, it may not be vital enough for him to play Bynum. If we meet those teams in the playoffs, don’t give them experience playing against our full team. Hold Bynum out and we’re the only team that has seen them play together (since PJ said Pau has been practicing at the 4, he may be planning to use them together at some point).
Since the playoffs depend so much on preparation and knowledge of your opponent I’m sure Pj is taking this all into account. I don’t think Bynum has been held out of action until this point, but going forward, I can see him being held out just for the secret weapon effect. Make the other teams wonder and their preparation won’t be as focused.
The Dude Abides says
Hmmm….I guess I’m getting logged out and not noticing it. Anyway, comments #1 (Phil’s substitution patterns) and 21 (Marc Gasol link) in this thread are mine.
I would rather see Bynum get some playing time before the end of the season to start getting him in game shape. How much water does this secret weapon theory really hold. It would only be a secret for the first playoff series, and only a couple of games there at most.
I think his conditioning and some actual game time experience with the current Laker team will be much more important than any surprise factor he may or may not create coming in cold.
Bill Bridges says
Kwame a. yeah.. Malone missed on average 1/2 game per season until he got to the Lakers.
Some guys just don’t get injured. Malone was one. Dwight Howard, Gary Payton, Wilt Chamberlain. Of course, Wilt played the 72 finals (and won the MVP) with basically a broken hand in a cast.
Craig W. says
Not Charlie Rosen,
Look at the comments by Bill Bridges and Rob L. Some bodies are more injury proof than others, regardless what people do. It’s in the genes, not the training. Training and conditioning will get you to a certain level, but above that the player needs the genes. Sure workout freaks will do better – up to a point – then their bodies will start to break down. The key is knowing what your limits are and working to be at or near that edge all season. That is where the dedication is.
I also agree that we have to scout player’s bodies as well as their talent.
kwame a says
So, if the Jazz beat the Hornets tommorow, the Lakers control their own destiny in terms of getting the number 1 seed. Assuming the Hornets lose 1 other game aside from the Lakers(hopefully) beating them, winning out would ensure the Lakers finish with the best conference record, a split with NO and at least 1 less loss than S.A. (who plays Pho. Wednesay, as well as the Lakers). I know we have talked a lot about paths to the title, but with 5 games left it is clear, if the Lakers win out, they have a good shot at the 1 seed. This would allow them to side-step Dallas, San Antonio and New Orleans (3 of the better defensive teams) and set them up with offense-first opponents GS or Den, Utah (or probably Pho) creating an “easier” (if such a thing exists this year) path to the title.
how do you propose to scout ‘endurance?’ it’s hard enough to scout talent, harder yet to scout preserverance and effort, which are more important than ‘likelihood of getting injured’ and ‘healing fast.’
besides, for anyone to know how people respond to injuries… they must be injured first 🙁 do you draft someone who has yet to get injured, or someone who comes back quick? I’d much rather opt for the person yet to get injured, as you really have no idea how much uncomfort and pain the other player is going through, despite all our medical advances.
J.D. Hastings says
33- Unfortunately, even with Deron Williams’ great play against Paul, the Jazz are playing in New Orleans, and we know what kind of road team they are. Our best hope for the Hornets to lose may be in Dallas the final game of the season. I hope it happens, but if it doesn’t we can’t let it break our hearts.
On another note, I’ve been thinking about playoff rosters. As I understand it, we get 12 people regardless of injury. Most are no brainers:
Kobe, Pau, Lamar, Bynum, Fisher, Farmar, Vlad, Ronny, Luke, Sasha
That leaves 2 spots. Presuming they anticipate a return by Ariza in the second round or so, we can add him. So that leaves Mihm, Mbenga and Newble (and George’s son I guess). Which of these 3 do we take?
I write Mbenga off right away because he just doesn’t bring anything we really need to the table. He can block shots, but he fouls half the time so he’s not saving us points and he doesn’t defend bigs or rebound. So that leaves Mihm v. Newble.
Newble is obviously lost on offense and is likely to remain so, but he did provide some physical defense at a position we have needed that. While Mihm knows the system and gives us another body to play in the frontcourt. Even banged up, our small forward position is pretty deep. The Sasha/Kobe combo is pretty effective and Newble wouldn’t be playing if Luke was healthy, whereas Mihm supports a front line with 4 guys (Bynum, Pau, LO, Turiaf) playing 2 positions. We may need a fifth guy to stick in there occasionally.
So who do you guys think gets the nod?
Craig W. says
I go with Newble.
We really, really do not need offense and Chris doesn’t fit into the offense any better than Newble at this point in time. We need defense if Walton and Vlade fail there and we want to keep Kobe at the 2, like against SA.
Not Charlie Rosen says
32 – I know some people are just more fragile than others, that’s a given…I’ve rolled my own ankle and sprained it 20 times or more, and never broken it, and my sister once tripped over a curb and broke 3 bones in her ankle and foot. But there’s a lot that can be done in preparation that affects how a body reacts to the various forces acting upon it.
I know this is a horrible example, but how often do we hear, “2 people badly injured/killed in car crash with drunk driver; the drunk driver walked away with minor injuries.” It’s not because there was less traumatic impact in his car (though that’s sometimes a part of it), nor that he’s less injury prone than the people he hit: it’s that the alcohol he drank loosened him up and majorly changed his physiological state. He didn’t flinch or react physically in that first moment of chaos and confusion in the same way that sober people do, and as a result his body responded differently to a comparable amount of trauma (whiplash instead of a broken neck, etc.).
(This was explained to me by a friend who’s an EMT, who asked several doctors about it when he noticed it happening at a very high rate when responding to drunk driving accidents; it’s one of the things that pisses him off, that the very thing that makes a driver more likely to cause a bad crash also makes it more likely for that driver to survive with much more minor injuries.)
Take two people, have one of them spend 6 months doing yoga, and the other spend 6 months building up muscle with weightlifting, and then start torquing their knees…it’s certainly not 100% causation, but if asked to bet money on it, I’d put my money on the yoga-dude being fine (or sore), while the weightlifter’s probably on crutches for a while.
Most of the work the Suns staff does, for instance, with Nash and his back is preventative. He’s got wicked chronic problems, and they go way beyond just ice and massage: they have him strengthen certain muscles, relax and loosen other muscle groups, so that when he does something that has a high trauma impact, his body is ready to respond…kind of a “bend like a willow, or break completely thing”. Gage where the wind is going to blow from, then set yourself up so you bend (and are maybe sore), and don’t break (and miss 3+ months).
I don’t know what exactly the Laker’s staff does as far as preventative medicine, but I do notice that, compared to other clubs, we have a lot less “bending like a willow” and a lot more “breaking completely”.
I think since last year, the NBA was going with a 13-man roster for the playoffs, which means we can go with Kobe, Pau, Lamar, Bynum, Fisher, Farmar, Vlad, Ronny, Luke, Sasha, Newble, Mihm, AND Ariza. That should give us the leeway to handle every scenario–offense, defense, and even allow injured players time to recover.
The Dude Abides says
If we can have 13 men on the roster and it’s assured that Ariza can come back for the second round, my vote is that we leave Coby Karl and Chris Mihm off the playoff roster. Mbenga is a much better option on defense than Mihm, and his offense isn’t too much of a liability.
Travis Y. says
Like many of you have commented on, Phil is adjusting his coaching patterns. It looks like using the season to learn mentality is just about over, and now Phil is making sure we do things the right way (quick timeouts called on miscues, and sub’ing offense/defense).
The measuring stick of our season’s succcess will be exposed when we play the Hornets and Spurs. Did you see the Spurs win that “ugly” game last night against the Blazers. Those are the games we’re going to have to win, so the Lakers need to get their close out shoes and perimeter rotating head bands on b/c this lackluster defense of the past month and a half is not gonna cut it in the post season.
Team defense is based upon chemistry and trusting your teammates know their roles and help situations. With Bynum being out for so long I wonder how long (not if) it will take to be a good defensive center again. I think that’s the million dollar question. That and how are we going to stop penetrating guards and make appropriate defensive rotations. (pick and roll defense ahem…)
Defense = still very shaky
Our offense looks good when Odom is making SMART decisions and being assertive on offense. Everyone is passing and with Kobe taking so much attention everyone is getting excellent opportunities to score like Vujacic, Vlad, Fish, and Pau.
Offense = ready for playoffs
With this offense and defense I’m not sure we’re ready for the Finals. I earnestly hope the Lakers prove me wrong and that they’re saving their best for last.
Brian P. says
I think it is 12 man rosters for each round. But after each round you can change the roster. For example you could leave Ariza off the roster for the first round in favor of Mbenga and then activate him for the second round.
I know Phil has been lobbying for the 15 man roster and only 12 active player thing throughout the playoffs but I don’t believe any changes were made this year.
j. d. hastings says
NBA.com says it’s 12 for the whole playoffs (provided I’m reading it right): http://www.nba.com/analysis/00421026.html
Maybe you get to make a substitution if a player is injured? There’s also something to be said for resetting it after each round.
I think I’d favor Newble too, since he meets a specific need. Mihm could be useful during moments of foul trouble or whatnot, but these days we can play small without sacrificing too much.
Craig W. says
Not Charlie Rosen,
Good points. I know I do both stretching and weight lifting exercises and never weight without stretching. Both are required for posture and strength to hold that posture. I do hope the Laker staff is at least investigating the flexibility approach to health.
kwame a says
42-J.Farmar is big on the yoga, and that has (cross your fingers) kept him spry and limber, maybe even improving his ability to attack the rim. On one of those Laker videos LO and Rony were teasing Jordan about doing it, but they may wanna check it out
By the way, this title game has been really entertaining, two evenly matched, balanced teams. Rose, Douglas-Roberts, Rush, Chalmers, Dorsey lots of pro players playing tonight.
just so ya’ll know….
We get all 15 players for the playoffs, and the same rules apply that apply duriong the regular season- 12 men suit up for each game, 3 guys sit out. They changed it last year, methinks.
Brian P. says
Sorry off topic but I saw this on another board:
And it reminded me what Bynum brings to the table. I actually had forgotten.
Warren Wee Lim says
My playoff roster:
PG – Fish / Farmar
SG – Kobe / Sasha
SF – Ariza / Radmanovic / Walton
PF – Odom / Turiaf
C – Gasol / Bynum / DJ
If it comes down to the 13th, I’d say Newble over Mihm and Son-of-George.
Our 10-deep is hardly in question. Luke is this team’s 11th best player and I must concede that while many of you hate him, I like a gritty vet on my team with his IQ.
My 12th man has to be DJ. The West is so big that we could never run out of big men to throw in. Bynum is recovering and so is Ariza. The last thing we need is an aggravated injury with no center depth.
Denver – Nene, Kmart, Camby
Golden State – Harrington, Biedrins
Phoenix – Shaq, Amare, Diaw
San Antonio – Duncan, Thomas, Oberto
Dallas – Dirk, Dampier, Bass
Utah – Boozer, Okur, Millsap
NOH – Chandler, West, Ely
Houston – Scola, Landry, Hayes
Special Mention to the San Antonio trio, that is probably the best PF/C combo in the league next to ours. Which means, their trio can give us trouble if they use it. Ours is an offensive group while theirs is a stellar defensive crew. With Bynum, Gasol and Odom, backed up with Turiaf and DJ, it looks like we can give them troubles down low.
I would prefer DJ over Mihm right now. Chris is still not right in the head over his recovery. DJ has been healthy. He is a bruiser. Offensively he will shoot blanks but its the defensive energy where we need the jolt. He will be more important in the later rounds as we meet up with the stronger teams. As if our 1st round opponent will be a piece of cake…
45. Solid Post… I loved the video.
Bill Bridges says
Be thankful that how ever you might question his methods that we have a hall of fame coach.
Wanted to post this link to firegeorgekarl.com
Some of the best writing out there in the NBA blogosphere. They say tragedy and angst creates the best art. To follow the Nuggests must be excruciating indeed.
craig, one can say the same thing about the suns players, especially with their very small rotation of 7 sometimes 8 players. nashÂ´s back? hillÂ´s famous ankles??? please! donÂ´t dismiss something you also acknowledge. the fact that you admit that maybe the staff should get some training illustrates the truth of this argument.
and kurt, the fact that you canÂ´t even entertain this idea says a lot. all iÂ´m saying is maybe we ought to tweak the training staff.
entertain this: what would happen if next year vitti gets replaced? what will you say?
50. After 20+ seasons with the Lakers, if Vitti steps down it will be of his own accord. I fail to understand how people can think he suddenly became stupid after two decades on the job. Again, I think suggesting that the Lakers should consider different conditioning and rehab methods is a valid one, but as evidence they do stay up with current things: 1) watch the Ronny/Jordan video from earlier this year and watch the guys do core workouts, and in other places listen to Jordan talk about how yoga helps him; 2) they just spent $75,000 on an anti-gravity treadmill. It’s not like the Lakers have Seinfeld’s “Mandelbaum” as their trainer.
As others have said many times before, we have some players who may be prone to break down and who are not as adept at playing through pain. Except for Kobe. But that is not on the training staff.
kwame a says
Kurt, are you challenging me, “mandelbaum”, “mandelbaum”, “mandelbaum”…
Ryan O says
50 & 51. I’m with Kurt. We’ve obviously been down on our luck as far as injuries have gone the past couple seasons, but I don’t think you can really blame the training staff. Yes, it seems like some teams’ players undergo miracle recoveries (Phoenix) and other teams’ players never get injured (Detroit), but it’s impossible to conclusively chalk that up to their training staffs. If you look at the injuries we’ve had this season, the only ones you can maybe (MAYBE) blame on lack of preventative care are Luke’s and Fisher’s. But given Luke’s genes, I’m surprised he’s played as many games as he has.
Kobe’s pinkie got caught in another player’s jersey and dislocated–just a freak occurrence for which no amount of conditioning can prepare someone. Ariza broke his foot…I don’t think stretching and Yoga are going to prevent something like that. Gasol was with the team for all of 10 games before getting injured, hardly enough time for Vitti to obliterate all the good work the Memphis staff ostensibly did. And if you look at the video of Bynum’s injury, it’s difficult to argue that things would have played out any differently were he more limber.
Like Kurt said, Vitti’s been doing his job for a very long time and it’s highly unlikely that he has simply stopped doing it well. We’ve just had an extremely bad run with injuries over the past couple seasons, and we want to blame it on something other than mere bad luck. That, combined with the fact that other top teams have been incredibly fortunate with injuries/chronically injured players (Detroit and Phoenix respectively), I think is leading us to point the finger at the training staff without any real evidence.
Bottom line is that while anything is possible, it really just seems like Vitti has become the scapegoat of the moment. How many of those have we gone through this season, starting with Kupchak who has since become everyone’s best friend?
I can’t stand it anymore. Does anyone else hate Hollinger from ESPN as much as I do? Not only does he hate on Kobe non stop during his chats, he is now saying that Dirk is better than Kobe and has been for the last four seasons. His evidence is the “PER”, a stupid stat he made up himself.
Ahh, the PER discussion, a welcome break from the trainer discussion….
Again, I think PER is a useful snapshot and I don’t think Hollinger hates Kobe. Remember, Hollinger’s job is to get readers, and saying anything bad about Kobe is a good way to do it. Just like talk radio. I think if you read through all of Hollinger you can learn a lot and get a different perspective on things. Not always one I agree with, but a more informed opinion than, say, Plashke.
Yeah its true that the PER can be useful but it is not perfect. How can he state it as fact? He says he can’t understand why people says Kobe is the best player. Does he watch NBA games? To say Dirk is better contradicts the opinion of anyone who knows about basketball (players, GMs, coaches). Apparently the PER knows better.
It would be a disgrace if Kobe loses the MVP by a couple of votes that were swayed by his constant campaigning for CP3. He said Paul had the greatest Rookie season ever for a point guard before this season and now he looks like a genius. So he is campaigning for his boy now.
(common Ric Bucher, defend your boy, KOBE.)
Here is my $1 million question on the MVP race:
Why would I care if Kobe wins? It won’t change what I or anyone with half a brain thinks of him (so, Woody Paige could change his mind, I guess). It will not change the respect for him around the league or in the media. I don’t care what a bunch of middle-age white NBA columnists write most of the season, why would I care who they think is the best player?
Craig W. says
We need to concentrate on the playoffs. The rest of the ‘stuff’ is just extraneous – read MVP. This award has always had political overtones and was always voted by the ‘talking heads’ of the sport. Exactly what would you expect from these people?
Rob L. says
I hate to do it, but back to the Lakers staff for a moment. If we’re going to blame them for players landing on their ankles wrong: Do the Lakers get any credit for helping to fix Ronny’s heart and keeping him healthy enough to play? That seems like a helluva lot more than keeping Steve Nash’s back from being too spastic.
As for the MVP, I can’t say I’d be mad if Chris Paul won. The guy’s had an MVP-worthy season. So has Kobe. We know that at least one guy, who in any other year would be a lock for MVP, is walking away empty handed. Sucks, but it’s not the trophy that matters.
The Lakers playoff success is much more important than any MVP. But it would be nice for Kobe to get the proper recognition for his brilliant play. He entertains us and makes it fun to be a laker fan. I think its only right for us to support him for MVP. As stupid as the award is, legacies are made based on accolade such as the MVP. In 20 years, if Kobe has no MVPs and Jordan has 5 and Lebron has 4 , his greatness as a laker will not be remembered in the same way no matter how many championships.
New Blazers preview up.
I actually like Hollinger. I think he can be very insightful (at times) and his statictics/formulas can be extremely useful in trying evaluate players. However one thing stats can rarely measure is nuance. It’s why people always say that “stats don’t tell the whole story” or why KD writes a piece at yahoo everyday called “beyond the boxscore”…there are things that you can only get by watching the game. I mean, Chris Webber just retired, right? His numbers say that he was one of the best players of his era. Those who watched a lot of those games know that Webber was great but was also a shrinking violet in the big moments. That being the case, I’d take a guy like Rasheed Wallace over Webber every day, even though ‘Sheed’s numbers don’t compare with Webbber’s (and even though ‘Sheed had his own *issues* that might sway people away from him).
Anyways, I guess what bugs me most about Hollinger (and like I said, I do like him) is that there are a lot of people that do believe him, carte blanche. So when he says some of the things he does, and says them in a manner that implies there is no other suitable answer, and then cites his statistics to back those things up, it rubs me the wrong way. But like Kurt has said, he can be insightful and very informative, but I don’t always agree with him. His stance on Kobe (taking into account my own favorable bias) definitely rubs me the wrong way.
Brian Tung says
Kurt (57): I don’t think I care about the MVP award, specifically. I think it would be nice if Kobe won it, but it wouldn’t be a tragedy if he didn’t–especially if the Lakers win the title in the next couple of years, while Kobe is still the undisputed leader of the team.
But I admit I’m not fond of the way that a few people are writing about Kobe. Although they are just middle-aged writers, for the most part, they still have an effect on what people think about Kobe, and being a Laker fan, I would rather have people think well of our players than not, especially if what’s swaying them is not play on the court, but words on the page.
With respect to Hollinger, specifically, my perspective is that he is a competent stats geek. He has a proper understanding of random noise in statistics, but not (I don’t think) of systematic bias. He tends to take his statistics a little too much at face value. His formulas tend to be full of ad hoc coefficients that are “eye of newt” like and have at best a vague connection to first principles. But because he is Hollinger, these formulas are given more weight than if someone else had created them.
His playoff odds generator–well, don’t get me started on that.
I like Rob Neyer much better. He seems to have a much better head for interpreting statistics. Too bad he’s stuck behind the Insider curtain.
63. Totally agree about Neyer.
“Too bad heâ€™s stuck behind the Insider curtain.”
It’s only 40 bucks a year, and you get a free subscription to the mag. I read all the espn insider stuff, and I feel it’s totally worth the money.
Brian Tung says
matt (65): I don’t like the magazine or most of the Insider columnists, so I’m afraid there isn’t much of an incentive for me to join, when it would be mostly just for Neyer. That’s my personal taste, of course: Your mileage may vary.