From Kevin Ding, OC Register: In Phil Jackson’s 1995 best-selling book, “Sacred Hoops,” he writes about coaching: “As my practice matured, I began to appreciate the importance of playing with an open heart. Love is the force that ignites the spirit and binds teams together.” That communal sentiment flowed across in a sit-down interview with Jackson and select writers Thursday night as the real reason Jackson is coaching this season — contrary to some of his instincts. The reaching out from Lakers co-captains Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher via calls and texts was something Jackson felt compelled to honor for one more season — but this is definitively the end of the line now. “I knew if I went back this time,” Jackson said, “this is it.” Jackson, 65, said his plan had been to leave coaching by age 60, so he has been on borrowed time for a while. He said he meant it when he told Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak last July: “I don’t think I’m going to come back. You’d better plan on something besides this.”
From Mark Medina, LA Times: Summoning Kobe Bryant over for a one-on-one conversation, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson sat down with the Lakers’ star and went over something three years ago that would help define how Bryant would approach the regular season. The dialogue entailed Jackson’s want for both of them to outline a plan with which they could find the right balance for Bryant to limit his practice time and regular-season playing time. That way Bryant could provide the proper maintenance on an aging body while still providing the irreplaceable skill set on the court. On the surface, it sounds like a weird concept to ponder, considering very few can match Bryant’s competitiveness. But the context behind this conversation pointed to an ingredient that could very well determine the number of championship rings Bryant ultimately wears.
From Mark Medina, LA Times: So much for chasing San Antonio. The tangible ramifications in the Lakers’ current three-game losing streak makes it mathematically impossible for the Lakers (55-23) to surpass San Antonio (60-19) in the Western Conference standings, a carrot that everyone except Andrew Bynum said wasn’t really important in achieving. It’s a mixed message for sure. The Lakers are level-headed in that they’re not being swayed by home-court advantage as this all golden prize that will suddenly dictate a three-peat (health and overall play proves more important). But with so many surrounding variables and the Lakers benefitting from having home-court advantage in the 2010 NBA Finals, why make it more difficult this time around? Consider Phil Jackson’s recent admittance on the his own contradictory views about home-court advantage. “That’s something you always say, ‘No you don’t’ when you don’t have it,” Jackson said about the importance of it. “Then you say it’s really great to have when you do have it.”
From SLAM Online: While his Laker teammates and coaches took the team’s third-straight loss to an inferior opponent in stride, Andrew Bynum ripped into the squad last night for their lackadaisical approach. From ESPN: “If there was one player on the Lakers’ roster most responsible for their remarkable turnaround after the All-Star break, it was Andrew Bynum. And now that the Lakers are starting to look like the lackadaisical bunch they were before the break, when they hit rock bottom with a loss to Cleveland, no player has been more vocal about it than Bynum either. ‘I just think we’re going out there and playing kind of stupid basketball,’ said Bynum after his 13 points and 17 rebounds weren’t enough from stopping the Lakers from losing to Golden State to extend their current losing streak to three games. ‘We’re not playing our smartest,’ he continued. ‘People are going hard, but the energy … When you put negative energy out, it’s going to come back to you.
From CBS Sports: The Los Angeles Lakers know they won’t be the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, but a recent slump has kept them from locking up the No. 2 spot. The Lakers will try to avoid their fourth straight loss Friday night when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers, looking to complete a season sweep for the first time in 22 years. With four games remaining, Los Angeles (55-23) has a two-game lead over Dallas for the second seed in the West. Despite their current skid, the Lakers have maintained that lead because the Mavericks have dropped four in a row. Los Angeles was eliminated from contention for the No. 1 seed after a 95-87 loss to Golden State on Wednesday. The Lakers had 17 turnovers and were held to 90 or fewer points for the third straight game. “We looked a little heavy, a little sluggish,” said Kobe Bryant, who scored 25 points. “We looked a little fatigued. Guys have to really take care of their bodies and get rest when they need to and get re-energized a little bit.” The Lakers have shot 41.2 percent in the last three games while connecting on only 22.8 percent of their 3-pointers. They’re also averaging 18.7 turnovers – more than five above their season average. Those numbers alarm coach Phil Jackson as the poor performances continue to mount with the playoffs approaching.
When Lakers lost to Boston in 2008, i wrote on another blog, i want Lakers to hire Boston assistant coach Tom Thibodeau for the next Lakers coach, he was just one year with Boston but he helped Boston Celtics to become very good defensive team .
Last night, we saw Derick Rose playing like Rondo of Boston in the playoffs last season,he was quick, driving to the baskett with the speed of light, no one can guard him. If Boston doesn’t have any player who can score inside, they will be in big trouble. The way the Chicago Bulls playing are dangerous too, players are easy to get injured. The question here is, can the Bulls play like that in 3 rounds of the playoffs in the Eastern coneference ? This year, it won’t be easy to get out of each conference.
The games in LA against Oklahoma and SA are important games for the Lakers. Lakers shoul beat these two teams and give them no hope in the playoffs.I think Phil sent a message to Lakers, you guys want me to come back, now it’s time to play good, no more next season.
Darius Soriano says
The game preview is up.