The game preview will be up a bit later. So, while we wait here are some links and random musings to hold us over…
*With Kobe passing Jerry West as the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history, features have been popping up everywhere paying tribute to the careers of Mr. Clutch and of Mr. Bean. Our own Gatinho weighed in with a fantastic piece on the parallels between these two Lakers greats. And Sports Illustrated has also penned a nice article on some of the history between West and Bryant. Both are well worth the read, if only to recount some of the stories that shaped the careers of both men.
*Speaking of stories, Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles has some to tell from the Lakers eight game roadie that just concluded. Some nice nuggets in his diary of the 11 days he spent with the team on the road.
*Obviously, we know that the Lakers’ road trip did not end as well as we all would have hoped. Many fans were not only dissappointed with the loss to the Grizz but downright angry. No one expects the team to win every game, but every game is winnable. Being a fan of a championship contender can be complicated that way. However, Kelly Dwyer reminds us (as Kurt has many times before) that it’s the journey that should be savoured and fans of contenders should embrace the bad with the good. It’s those moments of rough patches that can make the finish line that much sweeter and survive in our memories for years to come.
*In some non-Lakers news, Paul Pierce has injured his foot and now joins the M*A*S*H* unit that is the Celtics. Chris Paul is on the shelf battling a knee injury that may force him under the knife. Carmelo Anthony hopes to return tonight after a bad sprain of the ankle. And he’s the envy of Tony Parker who, while battling the same injury, will likely be wearing a suit when the Spurs start their yearly rodeo road trip. Meanwhile in the Pacific Northwest, Brandon Roy is fighting hamstring problems that have had him in the lineup once in the past ten games. I have no other point than to say that injuries suck. I may be a Lakers fan and seeing major contributors for other teams on the shelf may help our cause for the best record in the West and (hopefully) the entire league. But, I’m also a fan of this wonderful game and I hate to see so many great players wearing jeans and sport coats on the sidelines.
my favorite post – anytime you can mock the Celtics, you gotta seize the moment:
The Lakers have just beaten the Celtics for the third straight time since their wretched 39-point loss in Game 6 of the 2008 Finals.
The media has just been let into the locker room and Andrew Bynum emerges from the shower laughing uncontrollably.
“He’s crazy, man,” Bynum says.
Then we hear what Bynum’s laughing about.
“Ba, nah nah, nah nah, nah nah, nah nah, nah nah, nah nah-nah-nah-nah-nah … Ba, nah nah, nah nah, nah nah, nah nah, nah nah, nah nah nah-nah-nah-nah-nah!”
Kobe Bryant is singing in the shower at the top of his lungs, mocking the Dropkick Murphys song “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” that the Celtics blast at their arena during the game.
Along the lines of the Kelly Dwyer article, I prefer to enjoy the ride.
As a wise woman once said, “You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn’t like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.”
Chris J says
Is Pierce’s injury real, or will 30 seconds in his magical wheelchair again be enough to endear him to the hearts of Boston fans who’ll believe anything from Halloween blood on a sock to a curse to leprechauns to the fact that Tom Brady really didn’t fumble in the snow and the Patriots video spies really had nothing to do with their wins?
lakersfansincemikan (tsuwm) says
yes, do read the Kelly Dwyer article.
I’m going to re-post something from the Perfectionists thread, because I’d really like to see some discussion of these two points..
>we’re all just speculating here; but based on the small sample size of two games against the Lakers, what do you think the Cavs have learned this year? and based on the rather large sample size, what have the Lakers learned overall this year?
I’ll admit that these are in some ways loaded questions, but.
Agree but… not having the best record in the NBA means a potential no home court advantage in the Finals and we all know how that ended. They also need to break that Bulls record and bring it back to LA where it belongs. This is season WAS suppose to be that year. GO Heat!!!
Someone needs to ask Rasheed if he still thinks they can break the Bulls record. LMAO!!! I thought anything was possible? (Garnett)
Best Boston bashing post of the year. Well played.
The Gatinho link directs you to the Kelly Dwyer article.
#8. Thanks, moto. It’s fixed now.
what do you think the Cavs have learned this year?
1. Exploit the Mo Williams/Fisher match-up (Game 1).
2. That the Lakers’ bigs seemed uncomfortable dealing with two guys who are actually bigger than they are (both games).
3. That Shaq is still a very dangerous player (both games).
Also, Dwyer wrote a short piece about the Lakers in which he said flatly that, “Kobe Bryant is shooting too much.”
As I have said a few times, I would like to see Walton getting a little more burn–10-12 min a game. A guy who thinks pass and can pass would help this team on the offensive end. I would particularly like to see him on the floor with Odom and Bynum.
@3 Chris J
I cannot wait until Feb. 18, 2010, comes and goes. Enough rampant speculation and nonsense…
Should be interesting to see if Kobe will shoot under 10 shots today and try to put up 15 assists to show he can contribute to the “inside-out” theory.
I love how they are saying “is Boston’s Championship Window Closing?”
So glad to be a Lakers fan and have a Championship Barn Door.
I agree that I get bummed with the great players are sidelined for other teams, as much as I dislike them as opposing players, I really do love their games (most of them, never cared much for Paul Pierce’s game at all). And I dont like the “if my team was at full strength your team never would have beat them”.
So, here’s something not related to the lakers:
Does anyone else look at this chart and see a lot of potential in the Bucks? Seems like a couple of solid players getting into the paint and their free-throws go up (leading to a higher efg%) and then they’re not just ok, but good in all 4 of the “four factors.” Just caught my eye. I’m not a MIL fan.
Also looking at this chart – we need more free throws.
We need to improve our off. rebounding and create more turnovers. Bynum needs to keep up his effort as of late and someone needs to yell at Gasol when he’s under the basket to – BOX OUT – !!! ala Phil
I dont think CleveBron is doing anything totally different than last year. I believe the lost in the conference finals really made them hungry, just like the lost in the finals to Boston two years ago made LA hungry to redeem themselves of an ugly loss last year. The determination and fortitude to prove people wrong is what is missing in the minds of our stars( except #24) IMO. The starting five cant seem to get their act together, so I dont expect the bench players to come in and play better. The me against the world attitude has been lost in the celebration of what was done last year, and Cleveland has the eye of the tiger waiting for its next meal. All the hint hint comments made through the media of more touches, and team ball is getting old. It’s time to act like the defending champs and let your play speak for itself. No team in the league is gonna give LA anything but their best effort, so stop the diva attitude and put your hard hat on, its time to go to work.
Its all good thou cuz the only game that matters is the last one. Ending in a World Championship… #16. (1 shy)
We all know we’re gonna get another 3peat. (Phil works in 3’s)
The only thing I’m wondering is if we can finally get that 4peat. That’s been eluding us since 54′
The Dude Abides says
CLE has a productive Shaq this season. That’s the big difference from last season. They don’t have to doubleteam the opposing team’s best big man. IMO, a healthy CLE would be the clear favorite in the East, and a slight favorite against the Lakers if they have home-court advantage. Reason being that both Drew and Pau struggle on offense against Shaq and Big Z. The question is, will CLE’s two biggest post players be healthy in the postseason?
The Cavs are a force to be reckoned with. Right now, they are clearly superior to any other team in the league – considering they have two important role players out.
Although I think its silly to worry about the Cavs with 41+ games of season left, along with at least 3 rounds of playoff basketball, I will say that the biggest thing that keeps me up at night with the Cavs is their bench production.
I have a feeling that regardless of the opponent the Lakers face at any round of the playoffs, the play of the bench will be the key determining factor.
Having said that, just be thankful we don’t have to play the Cavs again in the regular season.
lakersfansincemikan (tsuwm) says
okay, I’ll answer my own loaded questions.
what the Cavs almost certainly have learned is that the way to beat the Lakers is simply to attack the bigs — this is why Charlotte has given LA so much trouble.
the Lakers, so far this season, with only 33 games left(!), seemingly have learned little. watch tonight to see if perhaps the Cavs have taught them something about Charlotte.
The Cavs look scary good right now. There is certainly reason for Laker fans to be concerned about that future match up. But there is a lot that needs to happen for that match up to even take place. Right now Denver, Dallas and San Antonio are more relevant concerns.
The one piece that I will add to the discussion though, is that I think the Cavs are close to reaching their potential. I am not sure how much better they are going to get (even with the return of injured players). They are in a groove.
I don’t think the Lakers have come close to theirs. The challenge is to see if they can and what that looks like.
So here we are about 3 hrs from tip-off and still no preview. I’m not a complainer but I want to maintain the integrity of this blog and consistency comes first.
So the question really is who is going to make LA turn the corner. On paper the talent is there, but on the court you are not getting the results. Who is going to make KB the facilitator, who is going to make the big men aggresive when they get the ball in the post, who is going to make the extra pass that leads to a wide open shot, who is going to make the players move their feet and stop reaching on D. Who is going to be the match for the motivational fire within? PJ has his hands full this year with such a talented squad.
Is Pau Gasol all right? ESPN’s preview shows Odom as a starter.
The Lakers.com preview doesn’t list any injuries for Gasol. It’s probably just a mistake or they forgot to update it after Gasol came back.
The Lakers.com preview does say that Luke is out with a back problem.
To Samy’s delight, the game preview is up. Some days life gets in the way.