UPDATE: Andrew Bynum has a new Q&A up on his site:
Q: Are you coming back this season?
A: Yes I am going to make a return this season. I’m already doing strength and conditioning as well as playing 2 on 2 and 3 on 3, while waiting on the team to return.
Hat tip to Lakers Nation on that one.
There’s a note in Kevin Ding’s blog at the OC Register that could go a long way toward explaining the Lakers performance in Atlanta — Phil Jackson gave them Saturday off and there was no practice, not even a light one. With an early game Sunday there was no walkthrough.
NBA team’s have full-on practices (like your high school team did) way less than you think. But to go into the aggressive, trapping defense of the Hawks cold, without any preparation, is asking for trouble.
But it also shows where Jackson’s head is — he was worried more about resting players than getting the win. There’s been a lot of fretting about the minutes the starters have had to rack up and the fear that the Lakers could be tired going into the playoffs. What Phil did shows he sees that too, and it shows his priorities are starting to rest the players some and not worry about home court against Cleveland. That may not mean the nights off that some Lakers fans want, but clearly Phil is starting to lighten the load.
• On a separate note, I am not that worried about going into the playoffs with a ton of momentum. I said this in the comments but I think it bears repeating — the playoffs are another season all together. They have their own ebb and flow, and teams will improve during them. Remember last year — the Celitics looked like crap in the first round. And much of the second. Nobody thought they looked like a champion, getting taken seven games twice. How did that end? The playoffs are another animal, all together.
That is not meant to say I think the Lakers need dramatic improvement, but rather a reminder that what is going on mid-April and in June are just simply different. And not easily predictable.
• What I think we are seeing in part with the Lakers is the manifestations of boredom with what is left of the regular season.
• The claims of the NBA fixing games for the Lakers are older than you are.
• Has anyone seen the Jimmy Fallon show? Thoughts?
• With just three games remaining, I am a rather sad 107th in the FB&G NCAA pool — but at least I’m beating Kwame a. He sucks! Your fearless leader is Yamheads, and his champion North Carolina is still alive. (So is mine, I have Uconn, but that is the only Final Four team I got.)
• I had no idea how twitter happy the NBA is.
• Did anybody really think Kobe wasn’t going to play?