Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bobcats vs. Lakers

My bench boys! G-Lock and T-Murp. Game getting a little close? Feed my boys a couple of 3's and lets see what happens. Oh, yeah, they made the shots in the 4th quarter to keep the Bobcats at about 20 points behind.

Keep feeding these two guy the confidence and, I believe, they'll produce. G-Lock is a surprise, but T-Murph is not a surprise. He's a veteran who's been doing it in the league for a number of years now. I hope the coaching staff doesn't get in his way by not playing him enough minutes.

I guess Kapono wants in on the party, too, because, now, all of a sudden, he's throwing up and hitting 3's.

The 3-point party continues as Matt Barns hits one, too. But, my boy, T-Murp is not to be outdone. He hit his 4th one of the game.

Lakers win in a over 20 point blow-out!

mike t.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Kupchak Rumor

My theory to the rumor is as follows:

In Lakersville intl., the longtime fans know the history of the club, and anything in-between, going back to their time in Minneapolis.

With Laker fans, you have to present some good information to get their attention. Because longtime Laker fans understand the background of their team. It's a good thing to know who is connected to who to understand where a rumor, probably, gets it's start. That way, you can figure out who, probably, said what, because, you understand the history of the team.

Take, for example, the latest rumor that has Lakers' General Manager Mitch Kupchak getting ready to leave the organization. This rumor was tweeted by "famed" basketball writer Roland Lazenby. Roland Lazenby 's connection to the Lakers largely rested on his relationship with Tex Winter. Of course, Tex Winter is connected to the Lakers through Phil Jackson. And what's left of Phil Jackson's connection to the Lakers is caught up in Jeanie Buss.

The thing to remember when you read anything that Roland Lazenby writes about the Lakers; it has to be taken in the context of what side he's on in the Lakers' political structure. The political structure of the Los Angeles Lakers international (Lakersville), is, of course, team Jeanie and team Jimmy; as in Buss, of course.

Another thing you have to understand about Lazenby is that he likes to associate himself with established basketball minds. That's why he preaches heavily on Tex Winter. And he uses the Winter relationship to connect himself to Jackson, the coach with the most championships in NBA history. Lazenby takes his basketball articles very seriously, as he sees himself as an "astute" basketball  writer.

But, in all his writings about the Lakers over the past 5 to 6 years, he has referred to Jim Buss in words that are not too kind. Well, what does that say to us, here, in Lakersville? It says that he's on team Jeanie, of course. And because team Jeanie is connected to Phil Jackson, the theory is that Jackson represents legitimate basketball thoughts as opposed to Jim Buss' lack of basketball knowledge. So, Lazenby sides with the established knowledge, which happens to reside on team Jeanie's side.

What does all this mean? Well, it means that if there's any truth to the rumors coming out of Lakersville, concerning the departure of Kupchak as the GM of the Lakers, it has to be coming from Jeanie Buss.

I mean, check out the tweets from Lazenby:

"Starting to hear that Kupchak may be leaving the Lakers. Don't know if it's true, but if he did...well, there's Jimmy by his lonesome."

And there's this tweet, too:

"Much maligned in the past, Kupchak is a great, great GM + a great stabilizing force in crazyland."

Again, over the past several years, anything out of Lazenby concerning the Lakers comes from team Jeanie's point of view. That's why he refers to Jim Buss' handling of the Lakers as "crazyland." And, "there's Jimmy by his lonesome."

Everyone, from Lazenby, representing the bottom of ladder, to Winter to Jackson to Jeanie Buss, near the top of the ladder; except for Winter, they're all still upset that Jim Buss won the heart of his father Jerry Buss, and has control of the Lakers. It's something Jeanie wanted, and, it seems, she can't come to grips with the fact that she isn't running the Lakers.

All Jeanie Buss does now-a-days is bad mouth her brother, behind his back, whenever she can. Always questioning why the Lakers are the way they are, as if, if she were in charge, things would be different.

But, I think the thing that probably really burns sister Buss the most; it has to be the new TV deal the Lakers signed with Time Warner Cable that kicks in next season. That deal pretty much establishes the Lakers' earning potential for a very long time to come. In other words: Jim Buss probably can't run the Lakers into financial ruin. lol!

That pretty much makes Jeanie obsolete, when it comes to Lakers' influence. The only thing Jeanie has left is her media connections, which she uses to make her brother look bad in the eyes of the fans whenever she can.

Personally, my hope is that Jerry Buss would take a closer look at the Lakers' current situation; I think he would see that Jim and Jeanie running the Lakers, together, is not a good idea. Jeanie doesn't respect Jimmy, and feels cheated out of running the ball club after her dad retires. With that thought in mind, I'm thinking that if daddy Buss really wanted his son, Jim, to do well, and he does, he would cut Jeanie out of the Lakers' day to day operations. Sure she has an inheritance that comes from being the daughter of daddy Buss, but her animosity towards her brother is only going to cause the Lakers' organization trouble in the future. Again, I think daddy Buss needs to take Jeanie aside, and explain to her that Jimmy is going to run the Lakers no matter what, and she needs to stop sending out rumors that create conflict; all in her efforts to make her brother look as if he doesn't belong in the driver's seat.

You know, this is the type of thing that happens when someone thinks they're smarter than someone else. In this case, that's Jeanie, in her mind, over her brother Jimmy.

Now, back to Lazenby. I mean, for a guy like Roland Lazenby to  write so disrespectfully, over the years, about Jim Buss is a little hard for me to understand. Why does he bad mouth the new owner of the Lakers? You would think he would want to do an in-depth interview with the new boss, but, it seems, he goes out of his way to disrespect the new boss. What type of thinking is that for a basketball writer who, with all his connections, could probably get an interview with the new owner? Why doesn't he think along those lines? A probable reason might be that he's satisfied with the source of his Lakers' "scoops." And the source of those "scoops"? Why, Jeanie Buss, of course. Who else can it be?

mike t.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lakers vs. Timberwolves

1st Half:

I'm very impressed with Andrew Goudelock. He plays the game with confidence; like he's playing in his neighborhood and he can't be stopped. Isn't that how basketball players get the attention? Then they translate that neighborhood game to the organized game and the rest is history.

Somewhere along the way a lot of players lose that confidence. Goudelock, I think, has figured it out; that you have to shoot the ball with confidence or opportunity is going to pass you by.

Then we have an experienced veteran like Troy Murphy hitting 2 3-pointers to help the team keep their scoring rhythm.

The Lakers led the 'Wolves 53-45 at the half because Goudelock and Murphy took shots when they were available.

I like both of these players as opposed to Kapono and McRoberts who, in about 13 minutes between them, didn't take a shot. The Lakers aren't good enough to carry players like McRoberts and Kapono if they're not going to shot the ball when they're on the court.

2nd Half:

When the Lakers are relying on the big 3 to do all the work, they are a very boring team to watch play. And I don't put that on the big 3, but on the players who, when they get an opportunity to contribute...they don't even shoot the ball. That is unacceptable, period!


Pathetic Player of the Game:

Pau Gasol! He was doing very well in the 1st half, hitting little jumpers at the free throw line. But, in the 2nd half, when the 'Wolves go to a zone, suddenly he stops taking the shot and allows the 'Wolves to get back in the game. Then when the Lakers get the game back in their control, it's because Gasol starts taking the little jumper from the free throw line, again. The guy, Gasol, goes passive and that, to me, is pathetic.

Then, with all the offensive rebounds the 'Wolves were getting, it seemed that Gasol was there in the area getting pushed out of the way as the 'Wolves converted off of the offensive boards. Pathetic!

Coach Brown

The guy panics when the 'Wolves go to a zone. He does nothing to address the problem. His answer to the problem was to pull the bench players and go with the starters. That didn't do anything for the Lakers as they fell behind until Gasol started shooting the ball from the free throw line to break the zone.

Coach Brown, I'm starting to think, is in over his head.

Then, when the Lakers were trying to put the game away, they, the Lakers, started throwing the ball away. Pathetic!

This team has chemistry problems. Roster problems. Problems, problems, problems...

Lakers win 106-101.

mike t.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

G-Lock: He Has Game!

I like what I see in G-Lock! It seems the Lakers have a player who's really "locked" into his self-confidence and it is translating into key points at key moments. In short: the Lakers might have a good piece to add to their rotation.

Mid-way through the 4th quarter it seems that only Kobe Bryant and Andrew Goudelock are consistent with putting the ball in the hoop. The Lakers cut the Bucks lead 6 points.

With 5 minutes left in the game Kobe hits a little floating jumper to cut the Bucks lead to 4 points. But Mbah a Moute and Gooden hit back to back jumpers to push the Bucks lead back to 8 points. Then Gooden hits 2 free throws to give the Bucks a 10 point lead.

Bynum finally puts points on the board for the Lakers to cut the lead to 8 points.

With less than 2 minutes in the game the Bucks lead the Lakers by 11 points as Dunleavy hits back to back jumpers to kill any threat the Lakers might be trying make.

Final score: Bucks beat the Lakers 100-89.


What I don't like? Pau Gasol's game. He just seems so passive that it just effects everything about his game.

Well, the Lakers obviously need to make roster moves. A photo of the Lakers bench says it all. Walton, Barns, Bynum, and Bryant...all seem to be down. And they should be down. This isn't working and management needs to do something.

mike t.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Clippers vs. Lakers

1st Half

Gasol opens with a lay-up! How's that for a low post point?

But, Caron Butler goes on an 8-0 run to give the Clippers an 8-2 lead.

Gasol scores, again, but Butler hit's another 3-pointer as Butler leads Gasol 11-4. Finally, Blake Griffin scores for the Clippers to make the score 13-4.

Gasol makes 1 of 2 free throws to make the score 13-5, Clippers.

That is how the game opened up.

With 5:43 left in the 1st quarter, the Lakers call a time-out as they're down 19-9.

Bynum had taken 4 shots up to that point and only converted 1.

Gasol is 2 for 2. Barns is 1 for 2. Fisher is 0 for 1. and Bryant hasn't taken a shot.

Out of the time-out, Gasol scores a basket with an assist from Bryant.

Andrew Goudelock replaced Fisher with 4:12 remaining in the quarter.

Kobe takes his first shot of the game with 4:09 left in the quarter. He made the shot.

Goudelock, showing he's not shy, takes a shot in the lane and makes it.

Kobe's 2nd shot of the game is a 3--pointer and he makes it.

Showing there's no punk in his game Goudelock takes a 3-pointer and makes it to tie the score at 23 with 2:29 left in the quarter.

The quarter ends with the Clippers leading 28-25.

The name of the game in the NBA is aggression. Kobe Bryant is aggressive. Chris Paul is aggressive. That's why they're as good as they are. The Lakers role players, up to this point in the season, have not been aggressive. I wish someone would tell these guys that nothing is going to happen unless you make it happen. Like Andrew Goudelock did with his first 2 shots. He was aggressive. Let's see if it continues.

With 8.4 seconds remaining in the half, Fisher hits a 3-pointer for his first points of the game.

2nd Half:

The Lakers finally beat the Clippers 96-91.

With Andrew Goudelock coming on like he has something to prove, I guess, that woke Fisher up because the Fish scored 8 points in the 2nd half to finish with 11 points for the game.

Andrew Goudelock had 14 points.

See Goudelock shot the ball, I'm thinking, made Fisher be more aggressive. Fisher is old and Goudelock is young. I hope Goudelock continues to shot the ball and put pressure on Fisher to perform or, as the saying goes: get him out of there!

The big 3 for the Lakers finish with:

Bryant 24 points.
Gasol 23 points.
Bynum 19 points.

Beyond the big 3 for the Lakers, it's a crap shoot! This night Fisher and Goudelock came through with 25 points between them. Someone has to step up every night!

mike t.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pacers vs. Lakers in Los Angeles

1st Half:

Kobe Bryant had 11 of the Lakers' 27 points in the 1st quarter.

Gasol had 6 points and Bynum had 4. Matt Barns chipped in 4 points, too. Gasol, also, had 5 rebounds.

The Lakers lead the Pacers 27-14 after the 1st quarter.

Metta World Peace opens the second quarter for the Lakers by making a lay-up. This is important because Peace's production for the month of January is in question. As the quarter goes on Peace is aggressive as he takes two more shots in a short time period. He makes one of the shots. In 6:47 minutes of time he takes 3 shots and makes 2 of them.

Peace gets a tip in off a missed free throw by Ebanks.

Peace hits a 3-pointer at 6:43.

Through a quarter and a half the Lakers' bench had 15 points; 9 of those points went to Peace, a positive sign.

The Pacers outscore the Lakers in the 2nd quarter 35-25. The Lakers lead at the half 52-49. Where did that 13 point 1st quarter lead go to?

2nd Half:

Bryant and Bynum open the Lakers scoring by putting in 6 points a piece in the first 6 minutes of the 3rd quarter. That would be 12 of the Lakers 14 points for the quarter. Yet, the Pacers are outscoring the Lakers 15-14 at that point and only trail the Lakers 66-65.

Coming out of a time-out Bryant and Bynum continue to do the Lakers' scoring as both go to the line. Bryant is 2 for 2 and Bynum is 1 for 2. That gives the Lakers a 69-65 lead with 5:30 left in the quarter.

Troy Murphy sees his first action of the game with 2:55 left in the 3rd quarter.

The Lakers scoring for the 3rd quarter:

Bryant 14
Bynum 7
Barns 4
Morris 1
(Where is Gasol's name?)

That's 26 points for the Lakers in the 3rd quarter. The Pacers scored 28 and trail the Lakers at the end of the quarter 78-77.

4th Quarter

The Lakers got outscored in the 4th quarter 21-18, and only one question has to be asked: what happened to Gasol?

At the end of the 1st quarter, Gasol had 6 points and 5 rebounds. His stat line for the night was: 8 points and 8 rebounds. But, he did have 10 assists. I'm scratching my head about that stat line.

But, more puzzling than that line is the McRoberts' stat line:

Minutes: 19:40.
Shooting: 0-2.
Rebounding: 3.

In McRoberts' last 5 games, in which he played at least 15 minutes; he has taken a total of 9 shots in those games. That is an average of 1.8 shots per game in the minimum of 15 minutes of play. Now, combine those stats with the Metta World Peace scoring stats since January 1st. One player (McRoberts) won't shoot the ball, and another player (Peace) can't score a basket (until tonight). Those two players have the biggest roles off the bench, but if one won't shoot and the other can't score...gee, coach Brown is making the Lakers look as if they have no answers.

I mean, take Troy Murphy in tonight's game alone, in the 9:05 of playing time he got; he took 4 shots. The media is talking about the Lakers' offense being sluggish? Well, what is McRoberts doing in the rotation? I'm starting to wonder if coach Brown knows what he's doing. McRoberts' stat line over the past 5 games is absurd! And coach Brown is responsible for playing him over Murphy.

The Lakers need an offensive lift wherever they can get it, and to go with McRoberts over Murphy, at this point, defies logic! The question that has to be asked is this: what does McRoberts bring to the game that Murphy doesn't? Is the difference so big that coach Brown has to stay with McRoberts?

Over the years Murphy is a proven double/double guy, while McRoberts best year was 7 points and 5 rebounds this past season with the Pacers. Is there something we don't know about Murphy that is preventing him from getting the bulk of the bench minutes when Bynum and Gasol are resting?

The season is starting to form with opinions now, and coach Brown needs to answer for his on-court decisions.

McRoberts: I hustle! I hustle! I hustle so much that I don't have to shoot the ball. That's how much I hustle!

Coach Brown: We need his energy out on the court.

Lakers' Record: 10-8.

Conclusion: McRoberts' energy isn't translating into anything positive in the win/loss column.

The Fan's Teeth are Showing: The honeymoon is over!

The Pacers are a good small-market team. They are 11-4, while the Lakers are 10-8.

The Lakers have the big-market "big 3" roster, while the Pacers have the small-market balanced roster. The Lakers' need to hunt for players from small-market teams that have balanced rosters, and are willing to part with a player or two. I mean, you hear a lot about the Lakers going for Howard to make a big splash in the NBA currents. But, why not go for a couple of players to balance out the roster instead of the big headlines. I'm mean, how many Paul George's are out there to be taken?

One more time: why go for the big splash when the Lakers would be doing very well to take Boris Diaw off of the Bobcats' hands. Or take a gamble on Stephen Jackson, and amnesty him before the start of the next season if it doesn't work out. Or how about Carl Landry out of New Orleans? Again, I MEAN, instead of the big slash...make a play for a player like Devin Harris out in Utah. Do the Lakers need some help scoring without giving up any of their "big 3"? Any of the players I just mentioned would work out fine. The Lakers don't need to swing for the fences, but just try to balance out the roster with a good role player.

mike t.

p.s. Good game from Metta World Peace, tonight!

Friday, January 20, 2012

In Theory: Bynum vs. Howard

1st Half


If the Lakers' 3-point shooting could be viewed as a microcosm of their overall shooting...I guess that would explain a lot of what's going on with the Lakers offense. The Lakers' 3-point shooting for the 1st half was 1-8. The Magic's 3-point shooting for the 1st half: 6-15. The Magic's percentage isn't all that great, but compared to the Lakers percentage...it's heaven on the court.

The Magic led at the half 48-31.

For all the "critics" who claim Kobe Bryant shoots too much, well, without Bryant's 15 points on 6-10 shooting, who knows how far back the Lakers would have been to the Magic in the 1st half.

2nd Half

Bryant scores 15 points in the 2nd half. That's a double/double, which equals 30 points. lol! That is what is called being consistent. Also, being consistent is that Bynum and Gasol, again, had double/doubles. Simply put: the Lakers' big 3 is producing in a big way. The problem is that, it seems, the other players are not being consistent. Fisher showed himself to be professional tonight. He took 14 shots and produced 12 points. I'll take that over a game when he only shots 5 or 6 times.

The bench? Metta World Peace is struggling! He had 0 points tonight after scoring 7 points the night before. That's like a roller coaster going up and down, up and down. But for Peace, it's no roller coaster. It's a straight line. Metta World Peace has scored a total of 36 point in the month of January. That's in 11 games. My goodness! That's an average of 3.2 points for the month. And mind you, this is supposed to be the leader of the bench. That pretty much sums up the Lakers after the big 3.

To give you an idea of where this might be leading to; take a look at the N.Y. Knicks and their big 3. Their big 3 usually has the bulk of their points, but their record is 6-9. There is a serious lack of balance in their approach to how the game is played. It appears the Lakers are starting to follow the "lack-of-balance" New York Knicks in how they play the game.



The Lakers' bench is made up of some delusional minded people. To be precise, I'm talking about Jason Kapono and Josh McRoberts. I'll say this plain and simple.

First; Kapono: you don't play 19:08 minutes off the bench and only take 3 shots! You weren't brought here because of your defense. You were brought here to shoot the damn ball!

Second; McRoberts: you don't play 17:58 minutes off the bench and don't take any shots! How idiotic is that?

Both of these players are ridiculous!

And Howard won!

mike t.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lakers vs. The Mighty Heat

1st Quarter:


Gasol has 11 points at the end of the 1st quarter, but the Lakers trail the Heat after the quarter 25-20.

2nd Quarter:

The Lakers' starting line-up shooting for the 1st half:

1-8 Kobe
0-2 Fisher
3-7 Bynum
5-10 Gasol
1-4 Barns

The Lakers starting 5 combine for 30 first half points, while the Heat hit 8 out of 13 3-pointers in the 1st half. 8 out 11 3-pointers? That's 24 points. The Lakers hit 2 of 10 3-pointers, that's 6 points. The Heat's bench scored 14 points. The Lakers' bench scored 7 points. The Heat lead the Lakers by 15 at the half 52-37.

3rd Quarter:

The Lakers hit 4 points in the first 1:31 of the quarter, while holding the Heat to 0. Small start to cut a 15 point lead but it's a start.

At the end of the 3rd quarter the Lakers' big 3 had 42 of the team's 56 points. Ouch! The Heat's big "2" had 37 of the team's 77 points. You do the math! OK, I'll do it for you. The Lakers are down 21 points at the end of 3 quarters of play. 77-56.

4th Quarter:

The Lakers' starting line-up shooting for the 2nd half, and game totals:

8-21 Kobe. That's 7-13 in the 2nd half.
1-5 Fisher. That's 1-3 in the 2nd half.
6-13 Bynum. That's 3-6 in the 2nd half.
11-19 Gasol. That 6-9 in the 2nd half.
1-6 Barns. That's 0-2 in the 2nd half.

The Lakers' big 3 finished with 65 of the teams 87 points. Troy Murphy scored 6 points and Peace scored 3 for the Lakers in the 4th quarter. 9 points! That's 9 of 31 4th quarter Lakers points; the rest went to the big 3.

The Lakers bench is hurting right now, and their 1 and 3 spots are not consistent enough to make the Lakers a dangerous team. I don't see how the Lakers get around the non-production of the 1 and 3 spots. Especially Fisher.

I don't care what anyone says, when the 1 and 3 spots have only 11 shots between them, something is wrong. You can't produce consistently while only shooting that many shots between 2 starters. And it's not because Kobe is shooting too much. I've seen enough to know that these guys are not looking for the shots. They seem to be looking for one of the big 3 to pass the ball to, before they consider that they might need to step up and deliver for the team.

Meanwhile, the Heat broke in Eddy Curry tonight and the guy scored 6 points in 6 minutes of playing time. The guy is huge and if he commits himself to the defensive end of the game...then, the Heat, in my opinion, would be favorite to win it all. I've said it once and I'll say it, again; without a defensive center, no team in the NBA will win a championship. Curry is an interesting "project."

Still, the best record in the league, right now, belongs to Chicago and Oklahoma City in terms of losses. Both teams have 3 losses. The Lakers, with tonight's defeat, have 6 losses. In other words: there isn't a dominated team in the league right now. The season is wide-open for anyone to win the championship this year. Heck, right now, Dallas and Boston wouldn't even get into the playoffs. They both sit at the 9 spots in their Conference standings.

In other words: no need to panic if you're a Lakers fan. If you're a Bobcat fan, you should panic. Let's see how this thing shakes out.

mike t.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lob City vs. Kobelistic

Starting the 3rd quarter, the Clippers led the Lakers by 12 points. But, with 31.8 left in the quarter, Kobe Bryant bombs and hits a 3-pointer with a man all in his face to bring the Staples crowd to it feet. That shot can be called nothing less than Kobe-listic; which much like a missile seeking out its target to destroy, it comes from any place on the court to do what it has to do. The Lakers cut the 12 point Clipper lead to 4 to end the quarter. Kobe, at the end of the quarter, had 32 points.

The Clippers, no longer to be taken lightly, opened the 4th quarter by outscoring the Lakers 8-6 in the first 3 minutes of play as Chris Paul made his league superstar status felt by the Lakers. He bombed and made like a 40 foot 3-pointer to hold a Lakers' run in check. That shot put the Clippers ahead 82-74. The Lakers tried to energize themselves as Gasol alley-ooped off a pass from the rookie Morris to cut the Clippers lead to 6, 82-76. But, Paul answered that with another jumper to get the Clippers back up by 8, 84-76. At that point of the game Paul had 28 points. But, over the next 6 1/2 minutes the Lakers would only be able to score 6 points, and the Clipper were able to pull away as time slipped away from the Lakers.

Kobe hit a fall away jumper with 3:19 left in the game to bring his point total to 38 for the night, but the Lakers trailed by 11 at that point.

Griffin hit a jumper over Bynum with 2:54 as the Clippers answered anything the Lakers tried to do, as they extended their lead to 13 points.

Kobe answered Griffin's jumper with a 17-foot running jumper to push his point total to 40 points for the night. But the game is out of reach for the Lakers as they trail the Clippers by 11.

With 1:54 left in the game, the Clippers sealed the win with a Randy Foye jumper to push their lead back to 11, 99-88.

The teams trade meaningless baskets to bring the game to an end with the Clippers winning 102-94.

Kobe finished with 42 points. That's 40 points or more for the 4th straight game for a man playing in his 16th season. Win or lose, that is amazing!


Kobe couldn't will the Lakers over the Clippers starting line-up. There is something definetly wrong with this loss, because the Clippers' bench only had 10 points. And those points came from one player: Randy Foye.

The Lakers' bench scored 13 points spread among 4 players.

The obvious thing that stands out for the Lakers, in this loss, is that Kobe is doing all the work for the team. His teammates are just standing around. And when they do have the ball, they are eagerly looking for Bryant to pass him the ball. There's something wrong with that picture. Its as if they don't have the nerve to do something on their own.

Some of the shots Kobe made tonight were truly amazing because he had a man in his face, but his shot was falling, anyway, as he finished 14 for 28 from the field. Guards and small forwards, if they shoot anything near 50%, that is excellent.

Like a lot of other teams in the league, right now, the Lakers are injured. They could have used Blake's outside shooting tonight. And Murphy only played 48 seconds in the game tonight. But, still, the Lakers need to come together as a team, because it's already been proven that Kobe can't win it all by himself. With all the coverage that teams are throwing at Bryant, his teammates need to step up and deliver when they get the opportunity. If not...Kobe is going to continue with his shooting to keep the Lakers in the game. And who can blame him? If his teammates don't come through when they get the ball, what is Bryant supposed to do?

I mean, again, tonight, both Bynum and Gasol delivered double/doubles, but the team still came up short. The 1 and the 3 spots for the Lakers need to step up! Well, Barns, the 3 spot, has been doing well over the past couple of games, but, without Blake...the Lakers' 1 spot needs an answer.

I hear the Warriors just cut Ishmael Smith. He's not a bad player to fill in for Blake while he's down. The Lakers need to do something at the 1 spot.

Round one goes to "Lob City."

mike t.

Jordan-esque or Kobe-listic?

It's Kobe-listic, man! It's authentic and original. And it's based on the idea that at some point in time, we're going to have to stop comparing would-be great basketball players to Michael Jordan. That might seem a pretty easy thing to do, because who can compare to the great Jordan, anyway?

So far, since Michael has left the game as a player, no one has come close to him as an on-court performer, other than Kobe Bryant. And what Kobe Bryant is doing this season, he might be obliterating the legend that is Michael Jordan, and introducing us to something greater than the term: Jordan-esque.

The use of the term Jordan-esque; it's used when one is trying to describe a modern day player that has an aspect of his game that resembles an aspect of the great Michael Jordan's game. Needless to say, the term isn't used that often. But, again, the only player that comes close to being Jordan-esque is Kobe Bryant.

But, Kobe Bryant, right now, is treading in a place that Jordan never went to. Jordan, in his career decline, in Washington, averaged 22.9 and 20.0 points to close out his playing days. That playing career totaled 15 years. Kobe Bryant, in his 16th season, is averaging 30 points, and is dropping in 40 points per night as if he was still in his prime. Since Jordan only played 15 seasons, Kobe's 16th season's accomplishments cannot be compared to Jordan, because Kobe is playing in a season Jordan never had, a 16th season. No, this is not Jordan-esque. This is something new all together.

This is Kobe-listic! Kobelistic operates in its own orbit. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone are two players who were still doing well in their 16th season, but what they did doesn't seem to compare to what Kobe Bryant is doing right now. I mean, in their 16th season, they weren't averaging 30 points per contest, and they weren't dropping 40 point games on opponents for three consecutive games. As it is said on the streets: 'nuff said on that subject.

In the future, when new dynamic players come into the league, and are compared to the all-time greats, the question will have to be this: is this player or that player, Jordanesque or Kobelistic?

It doesn't matter because both are great players, but Kobe is in a category all by himself, just as Jordan is. No more comparing Kobe to Michael.

Kobe Bryant has his own basketball identity. And for Kobe to be able to do that, in a era not too far removed from the Jordan era, well, that is a remarkable achievement in and of itself.

To bring my point of view to a close, and for the sake of comparison, let me say this: to use the term Jordan-esque, well, it's to conjure up images of basketball dominance by graceful means. To use the term Kobe-listic, well, it's to conjure up images of basketball dominance by forceful means.

In short: the grace that is Michael Jordan is Jordan-esque, and the power that is Kobe Bryant is Kobe-listic. Each unique, in their own dominate way.

mike t.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Cavs vs. Lakers in Los Angeles

This, by Bryant, is Jordanesque, without doubt! Can you imagine that? In his 16th season, Kobe Bryant is doing a prime Jordanesque beat down to the rest of the league. Watch out! This is startling!

1st Quarter

Finally, the Kobe Bryant scoring pattern has somewhat been broken in the first quarter as Andrew Bynum had scored 10 points as the quarter was ending. "Was ending" is the key word, because Kobe hit a 17 foot fade away jumper with 13 seconds to bring his point total to 11 points for the quarter as it came to an end with the Lakers leading 32-28.

The quarter also saw the return of Josh McRobert into the rotation.

For Cleveland, rookie point guard K. Irving led his team with 7 points and was backed-up by Omri Casspi with 6 points.

2nd Quarter

2 minutes into the 2nd quarter, Pau Gasol hit an 11 foot jumper to bring his scoring total to 8 points as the Lakers' big 3 combined for 29 of the Lakers 34 points. This scoring pattern held until Ebanks hit a free throw with 8:59 left in the 2nd quarter.

With 7:44 left in the quarter Gasol slammed dunked the ball to bring his scoring total to 10 points as the big 3 now had 31 of the Lakers' 37 points. With 6:53 left in the quarter, Kobe hit a jumper. That's 33 of the Lakers 39 points for the big 3.

Meanwhile, the Cavs have scored 33 points in total themselves with 5:54 left in the half. Lakers 39 - Cavs 33.

Kobe adds 5 more points to his and the team's total, along with a Matt Barns lay-up who was fouled and turned the play into a 3-point play for the Lakers.

The Cavs score 5 points to bring their total to 38 points. Lakers 47 - Cavs 38.

Kobe hits another 3-pointer, along with 2 free throws by Barns to bring the Lakers' total to 52.

The Cavs add another point to their total. Lakers 52 - Cavs 39.

Finally, the Cavs score before the Lakers in the next series of plays. Irving makes a 10 foot banker, but Bynum answers that bucket with a little 7 foot hook shot to bring his total to 12 points and the Lakers' total to 54. Lakers 54 - Cavs 41.

Bam! With 1:17 left in the half, Kobe hits another 3-pointer. With 56.3 left, Gasol hits a little 6 foot hook shot in the lane to bring his total to 12 points and the Lakers' total to 59 points. Lakers 59 - Cavs 41 at the half.

Lakers' big 3 = 48 points. (Kobe 24, Bynum 12, and Gasol 12)
Cavs' team total = 41 points.

3rd Quarter

The first 6:21 in the 3rd quarter had the Cavs outscoring the Lakers 15-10. The Lakers 10 points came from Barns (6) and Gasol (4). The Cavs, K. Irving continued to lead his team with points as his team tried to stay with the Lakers. With 5:54 left in the quarter, Irving hit a 3-pointer to bring his team within 10 of the Lakers. Make that 12 as Kobe Bryant hit a jumper to make the score 71-59 Lakers.

With 4:43 left in the quarter, the Cavs' Parker makes a lay-up to make the score 71-61 Lakers.

Jamison, remember him, makes a shot to cut the Lakers lead to 8 points with 3:37 left in the quarter.

Kobe hits 1 of 2 free throw to bring the Lakers' lead back to 9 points. But the machine doesn't stop as Kobe hits a little 3 foot banker, and 1, to increase his team's lead to 12 points, 75-63. The Cavs get a point off a free throw by Erden to cut the Lakers lead to 12. But, the big 3 continues to score as Gasol hits a little jumper in the lane to increase the Lakers lead to 77-64.

Erden hits 2 more free throws, but Kobe answers that with 2 basket within a minute to make the score 82-66 Lakers.

The Cavs end the quarter's scoring with 4 points to cut the Lakers lead to 12, 82-70.

The Lakers' big 3 = 65 points.
The Cavs' team total = 70 points.

After 3 quarters of play, Kobe Bryant has 35 points.

4th Quarter

The Cavs open up the scoring for the quarter by putting in 6 unanswered points to cut the Lakers lead to 6 points. The Lakers had 2 rookies and a 2nd year player, playing at the time. This prompted the Lakers to call a time-out with 8:49 left in the game.

With 8:16 left in the quarter Sessions hit a jumper to cut the Lakers to 4 points, 82-78.

With 7:07 left in the quarter Gee makes 1 of 2 free throws to cut the Lakers lead to 3, 82-79.

With 6:32 left in the quarter, Barns finally opens up the scoring for the Lakers by driving to the basket for a dunk to push the Lakers lead to 5 points, 84-79.

With 5:55 left in the quarter the Lakers have only scored 2 points. At that point Kobe Bryant is 13 of 25 in shooting.

With 5:14 left in the quarter Kobe Bryant goes to the free throw line and hits 1 of 2 to give the Lakers a 85-79 lead.

With 4:02 left in the quarter, Kobe Bryant hits a 19 foot jumper to extend the Lakers lead to 87-79.

Coming out of a time-out Irving makes a lay-up for the Cavs to cut the Lakers lead to 6 points, 87-81.

With 2:55 left in the quarter, Kobe Bryant hits a 18 foot turn around jumper to reach 40 points for the 3rd straight game. At that point Kobe is 15 out of 30 shooting. The Lakers lead 89-81.

With 1:32 left in the game, Bynum alley-oops off a pass from Gasol to ice the game for the Lakers 91-82.

With less than a minute left in the game Bynum went to the line and hit 1 of 2 free throws to give the Lakers a 10 point lead.

The game ends with both teams trading off points to close out the scoring. The Lakers win 97-92.


The Lakers' bench only scored 4 points for the game. That is not a good sign for a championship caliber type team.

Both Gasol and Bynum are playing real big for the Lakers as they both had double/doubles for the night; 15 and 11 for Bynum, and 19 and 10 for Gasol. The Lakers big 3 are producing in a way that no other big 3 in the league is able to match. Also, Matt Barns came up big tonight for the Lakers by chipping in 15 points along with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Other than that, tonight was all about Kobe Bryant.

Kobe Bryant is totally into a Jordanesque mode right now for the Lakers. He takes a lot of shots, but, recently, he shooting at almost a 50% clip, which is amazing for any player playing in their 16th season. Especially true for a non-big. Wow!

The Lakers need more from Troy Murphy. The Lakers need to invest into Murphy by making him shoot more, because, come the playoffs, he's going to need to do some scoring instead of just boxing out and rebounding from the bench.



Scanning around the league we see that Miami is struggling to get wins as is Boston. Boston, with the original "big 3" is without an effective defensive center, and, so, age seems to be getting the best of them. Miami, following in Boston's "big 3" footsteps, is now 8-4. But, let's remember that they have gotten away with a couple of last second shots to win a couple of games. They should be 6-6. Both teams lack a center and in this league, you do not win championships without a defensive presence. And there is no way around that fact. It's basketball 101.

Dallas seems to be coming around with their 4th straight win to bring their record to 7-5. Who really knows how this team is going to do, because coming off their championship season, they lost a lot of players, and are incorporating a lot of new players into their system. It's up in the air with the Mavs as to what to expect from them. Only time will tell.

Chicago, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Orlando, and Indiana are teams with the best records. I say this: give each of these teams 10 more games to see where they're coming from.

Dwight Howard seems to have his mind on getting out of Orlando, but if he looks at his team's record; he can't complain about where they're at compared to the rest of the teams in the league. What he doesn't seem to understand is that the power-brokers of the past few seasons aren't as mighty as they've been. Age has caught up with some teams, and the new CBA has stopped some of the other teams. It's anyone's championship to win this season, including Orlando. Someone should point that out to Howard.

This is a season that is to be defined by championship level players taking their teams to heights that don't, to the naked eye, seem possible. Look at Los Angeles! No, not "Lob City," but the Lakers! Kobe Bryant is putting his MVP type stamp on this season so far. In my opinion, he is willing the Lakers to the top of this lock-out shortened season. The possibilities are endless for a player, or a set of players, to take his/their team all the way. The door is wide open to the championship. Let's see what player, or set of players, walks through that door to define what this season is all about.

It seems Kobe, out here in Los Angeles, senses the opportunity to do something special in his 16th season, and he's taking that challenge, and surpassing everyone expectations, so far. As the character, Maximus, in the movie Gladiator, would say: Are you not entertained?

Kobe Bryant is gladiator! Kobe Bryant is a basketball killer! He has serious support in Bynum and Gasol in the background. The thing I keep harping on, a defensive center, the Lakers have in Bynum, and a 7 foot scoring power forward in Gasol. ARE THERE ANY CHALLENGERS?

Kobe Bryant is not joking around!

mike t.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lakers vs. Jazz in Utah

Kobe Bryant scores 40 points in the Lakers win over the Jazz 90-87.

1st HALF

The Kobe Bryant scoring trend, for the Lakers, continued as he scored 14 of the teams 26 points in the first quarter. The Lakers held a 3 point lead to end the quarter. The signs of dominance for Bryant are clear as he picked-up 4 rebounds and 2 assists. That compared to Gasol's 2 points and 5 rebounds, and Bynum's 4 points and 1 rebound.

The second quarter opened with Peace, Walton, Bynum, Blake, and Morris on the court for the Lakers.

The Jazz open the 2nd quarter by scoring the first 6 points to the Lakers 0, prompting coach Brown to call a time-out for the Lakers with 9:01 left in the quarter.

Coming out of the time-out Ebanks replaced Walton in the line-up. With 7:33 left in the quarter, Bryant and Gasol replaced Ebanks and Peace in the Lakers line-up. The Lakers scored 2 points up to that point.

Ebanks and Barns scored for the Lakers before Kobe put in another basket.

With 4:31 left in the 2nd quarter the Lakers have only scored 6 points in the quarter, while the Jazz have scored 12 points. Finally, with 3:54 left in the quarter, Gasol hits a little hook shot in the lane. Some 30 seconds later Gasol hits another little hook shot in the lane bringing the Lakers' point total for the quarter to 10 points. Meanwhile the Jazz have upped their total to 15 points for the quarter.

Then Kobe hits another little jumper in the lane to tie the Lakers with the Jazz at 38.

The Jazz then score 4 points before Kobe hits an 11 foot jumper and one for a 3-point play to end the scoring for both teams for the quarter with the Jazz leading the Lakers 42-41 at the half.

Quietly, what Kobe is doing for the Lakers in the 1st half, Paul Millsap is doing for the Jazz. Kobe has 21 points for the Lakers, while Millsap has 14 points for the Jazz.

Through the 2nd quarter Kobe Bryant has more than half of the Lakers points.

2nd HALF

The Lakers' 3rd quarter scoring balanced out a bit, with Kobe Bryant "only" scoring 10 of teams 25 points for the quarter, while holding the Jazz to 19 points for the quarter. The Lakers led at the end of the 3rd quarter 65-61.

The 4th quarter started real slow for the Lakers. How slow do you ask? Well, with 2:41 left in the game the Lakers had only scored 8 points for the quarter. 4 points for Barns, 3 points for Bynum, and 1 point for Gasol. Lucky for the Lakers the Jazz had only scored 10 points for the quarter. Luck or defense?

Coming out of a time-out, Bryant hits a 18 foot jumper to make the score 76-71 Lakers with 2:31 left in the game.

With 1:32 left in the game Josh Howard hits 2 free throws to make the score 76-73 Lakers.

With 1:09 left in the game Kobe turns the ball over. Off that turnover Josh Howard hits a 3-pointer to tie the game at 76 with 57.1 left in the game.

Bryant hits a jumper to make-up for his turnover with 39.4 left in the game.

Millsap ties the game at 78 with 21.4 left in the game.

After a pair of fouls the Lakers have the ball with 7 seconds left in the game.

Kobe misses a jumper with 1 second left in the game as the game goes into overtime.


The Jazz opened up the scoring with 4 points from Millsap to take a 4 point lead 82-78.

Kobe Bryant then hits a 3-pointer to cut the Jazz lead 82-81.

Josh Howard answers with his own 3-pointer for the Jazz.

Gasol hits 2 free throws to make the score 85-83 Jazz.

After a Lakers defensive stop, Gasol hits a 3-pointer to give the Lakers a 86-85 lead with 2:02 left in the game.

The Lakers get another stop and a rebound with 1:34 left in the game. Kobe misses a 17 foot jumper with 1:04 left in the game but the Lakers get the rebound.

Kobe misses another jumper but Bynum tips it in for the Lakers to extend their lead 88-85 with 50.1 left in the game.

Millsap hits a jumper to cut the Lakers lead to 1, 88-87

Kobe misses another jumper, but Bynum blocked Al Jefferson's 5 foot jumper in the lane as Kobe grabs the rebound and is fouled with .7 left in the game.

Kobe hits both free throws as the Jazz call time-out with .7 left in the game.

Kobe finishes with 40 points as the Lakers win 90-87.

Dare I say that the way game ended, it has to be called Jordanesque for Bryant.

What is Jordanesque? Just like Michael Jordan did in his career, he took most of the shots, make or miss, and usually won the game at the line for his team. Just like Kobe just did for the Lakers.

mike t.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kobe Bryant the Best NBA Player Ever?

This is absolutely "twi-light zone" scary.

Again, the man's 16th year in the league, and he drops 48 points on the Suns? That is stunning! Name one player in NBA history who put in 15 years into the league, and in his 16th year of play he drops a 48 on any team. Who?

At halftime, Kobe had 23 of the team's 46 points. That is astounding! Forget all this chatter I made up about the Lakers' big 3. Kobe Bryant is number 1. Kobe Bryant is number 2. And Kobe Bryant is number 3.

I think NBA fans should kick back and watch what Kobe does this season. Mr. Bryant, I'm not your biggest fan, but Mr. Bryant, you have my attention! Somehow, someway I think this might be a history making year for Mr. Bryant. I don't know how, but something is in the air for the guy this year.

Do you like playing with numbers? Well, what is 48 x 2? 96, of course. Kobe Bryant almost scored half of the teams points.

LeBron James...when you're 16 years into the league, I would like to see you drop 48 points. LeBron James, when you're 16 years into the league, I would like to see you average darn near 30 points a game.

This is stunning!

Kobe Bryant might be the best NBA player, ever!

By the way, the Lakers beat the Suns 99-83. lol!

mike t.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Grizzlies vs. Lakers

This game provided sport fans that love stats some pretty good stats to look at.

For the Lakers:

The big 3, Bryant, Bynum, and Gasol came an assist short of getting a double/double each.

Brant had 26 points and 9 assists.
Bynum had 15 points and 15 rebounds.
Gasol had 13 points and 15 rebounds.

For the Grizzlies:

Gasol played 43:31 and had 2 points and 11 rebounds. What made Gasol's stat line so interesting was that he got his 2 points in the first 1:03 of the game. After that nothing in points.

In fact: the Grizzlies starters only scored a combination of 34 points, while their bench scored 46 points. Now, that is a something that makes one scratch their heads. But, the Grizzlies are playing without Zach Randolf, one of their top scorers.

The Lakers got a nice game from Matt Barns, who scored 15 point as their starting small forward. Derek Fisher came with a zero in points for the Lakers. Fisher, basically, split playing time at the point guard position with Steve Blake who scored 15 points off the bench. Troy Murphy had 6 and 6 for the Lakers off the bench. Metta World Peace's minutes were down for this game; only playing 12:42 and scoring 2 points.

The Lakers starters came up big for the Lakers, while the Grizzlies starters did not.

Game, set, and match, as they would say in tennis, goes to the Lakers.

mike t.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Warriors vs. Lakers

16 years in the league. Wrist all messed-up. And what does he do? He drops 39 points on the Warriors, tonight, to lead the Lakers to a 97-90 victory.

While covering the Lakers in my blogs, I usually don't make much mention of Kobe Bryant because to do so would be redundant, wouldn't it? Kobe is going to do what Kobe does. That is not what makes the Lakers lose or win. It's what the other players do that determines that.

But, tonight, I had to mention Kobe because without his game, the Lakers lose this one. It's that simple.

The top dog comes through, again, for the Lakers.

The 2nd option for the Lakers, Andrew Bynum, well, let's put it this way:

The Warriors led the Lakers at the half 39-35. What was interesting at that point were Andrew Bynum's numbers. Bynum had 3 points and 7 rebounds at the halfway point. This is not coincidental at all. Andrew Bynum is a big, physical, and an aggressive guy. At 7'0" tall and weighing 280 lbs., Bynum, usually, has his way with almost every center in the league he faces. The problem tonight, in facing the Warriors, is that Kwame Brown is 6'11" and 270 lbs. And, Kwame is a very strong individual.

What does all that mean? It means that Bynum can't push Kwame around in the low post. So, Bynum has to settle for shots farther away from the basket. And, of course, that means a lower shooting percentage, if he shoots at all. Case in point: Bynum only had 4 shots for the Lakers in the first half. And that wasn't because the Lakers weren't trying to get the ball to him. It's because when he was looked upon, as an option, he wasn't in usual "good" position near the rim.

That makes the Lakers take a whole new approach to how they operate their offense.

In other words: Kwame Brown is a true defensive center. When a defensive player can take away your "big" offensive threat, and make you play out of a half-court set, that is huge! That is called sealing the paint. That doesn't mean that the defensive center will get big stats, but what he does is create a court configuration that allows his team to stay defensively competitive throughout the game.

Another big body theory point: the Lakers outscored the Warriors 32-19 in the 3rd quarter. When Kwame Brown was pulled with 2:44 left to go in the quarter; the score was 57-56 Lakers. When he came back in the game with 5 seconds left; the Lakers were up 64-58. In other words: the Lakers outscored the Warriors 7-2 in the 2:43, of time, that Kwame was out of the game. Then Kobe Bryant hit a 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds remaining to make the score 67-58 to end the 3rd quarter.

This is the only quarter the Lakers outscored the Warriors. Andrew Bynum did not score a point in this quarter.

In the 4th quarter Bynum picked his final 6 points to finish with 9 points for the game.

The Warrior have a good defensive center if they would truly commit to the defensive philosophy that coach Jackson said he would. Whether that is enough to get the Warriors to the playoffs, I don't know, because I have no idea about Curry's injury, and Ellis' commitment to that style of play is questionable.

But, the Lakers, on the other hand, got a decent night, of performance, from their 3rd option, Pau Gasol. Gasol finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Isn't it great to have a 3rd option like Gasol? When Bynum doesn't come with the big numbers, Gasol, will less pressure to perform as the number 2 option, should fill out the stats sheet pretty good as the 3rd option.

That, of course, is great to have, when your 1st option drops 39 points. lol!

The guy is simply amazing!

Kobe Bryant is just jaw-dropping amazing for being in his 16th year in the league.

mike t.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Around the League, Tonight!

Glancing through the league, especially at the team that made the big off-season deal, we see that there are no teams that have made big improvements from last season.



The New York Knicks continue to lose; this time to the lowly Charlotte Bobcats, who, now, have a record of 2-4, the same record as the Knicks. I guess, if I have to call the Bobcats "lowly," I have to call the Knicks "lowly," too.

The prize of this years free agent market, Tyson Chandler, came up short against the "short" Bobcat's center, Boris Diaw, who at 6'8, scored 27 points and pulled in 6 rebounds for the 'Cats. That is compared to Chandler's 11 points and 6 rebounds for the Knicks. But, the 'Cats' back-up center, Bryon Mullens, put in 16 points and grabbed 5 boards for the team. I guess Chandler can say that two against one isn't a fair fight. And he would be right, but that's what happens when a team spends all of its money on 3 players.

Interesting stat of the night for this game: Mike Bibby getting a DNP Coach's Decision. Big names going down in flames. That's what happens when teams sign players who are, basically, done.

The Knicks get killed at home 118-110. That's a non-defensive NBA score for sure.

Miami, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and San Antonio were all winners tonight.

Those are your top NBA teams who played tonight.

Chicago and Miami are both 6-1, San Antonio is 4-2, Boston is 4-3 and Dallas is 3-4.

Orlando is 5-2, but I don't consider them to be a contender.

The Clippers won to balance their record at 2-2. Billups, in any line-up, makes a difference. How the Knicks could let Billups go is beyond me. The guy is a winner because he plays the game the right way. He's a true leader. When he was winning a championship in Detroit, he was playing on a team that was executing on both the offensive and defensive end of the game, almost, to perfection. I mean, that was the only way they could have beaten the Lakers who had both Shaq and Kobe at the time.

Then he went and turned the Nuggets around. The Nuggets had Carmelo Anthony and a few other players who couldn't get their act together as a team. Then Billups came along and steadied that ship in the right direction. He took that teams talent and made it resemble a basketball team.

Then, he goes to New York with Anthony and ends up being cut loose for a player like Tyson Chandler? That has got to be a joke, right? Chauncey Billups is a professional basketball player who knows how to win. He takes the talent of a team and leads it in a direction that maximizes their potential. And the Knicks let this guy go for Tyson Chandler?


This lock-out shortened season, as of this point in the season, has no type of rhythm for any team so far. It might be best for the Lakers to work on their team rhythm, so that when the end of this season comes, they'll be right up there with the best teams in the league.

mike t.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Rockets vs. Lakers

The Lakers win over the Rockets was a good win in my eyes as I see the transition in the pecking order for the Lakers.

Still coming in at number one, in the food chain, is: Kobe Bryant.

The new number two option is obviously Andrew Bynum.

And the new number three option, of course, is the faithful Pau Gasol. Gee, what team in the league has a Pau Gasol as their number three option? Especially if Gasol fully embraces the role. Ouch!

What started out as a slow shooting night for Bryant turned into a big production night for the superstar. He finished the game with 37 points, hitting 14 out of his 29 shots. But, what was interesting is that Kobe missed his last 4 shots.

Andrew Bynum's numbers were 21 points and 22 rebounds. How is that for a number two option? Boooom! It's on for Bynum!

With Bynum's point and rebounding production; Pau Gasol, naturally, has to go to being the number three option for the team. That is not a bad 3rd option at all. But, the thing that makes it so good for the Lakers is how Gasol is such a professional about what is happening to his role. I have to give Gasol a lot of credit for his professionalism. This guy is not a Lamar Odom type emotional baby. The man is pure professional. And I respect him for that.

Between the Lakers' point guards, Fisher and Blake, the team got 17 points and 10 assists. What more can the team ask for? Peace continues to do well in his role as a bench player, contributing 5 assists. That's good! He's doing the fundamental things and that's important coming from the bench. And Troy Murphy chipped in 5 points and 4 rebounds. I like Murphy!

I think the Lakers have a good team, but I think they need another bench piece.

The Lakers' bench was out scored tonight 27-22, and out rebounded 14-7. But, as a team, the Lakers out rebounded the Rockets 53-38 thanks to Bynum's big rebounding night.

My preference between Troy Murphy and Josh McRoberts, in getting the most bench minutes, is Murphy. I really like Murphy's stable game. I know McRoberts gives the Lakers a good boost of energy when he comes into the game. But, I don't like boosts of energy. I like stable veteran play out of the 4 and 5 spot. It's important to have stability at those spots because those are serious defensive positions. Energy will not take the place of stability. And if the Lakers can get Murphy involved in the offense, he brings a good outside shot to the game.

I think, as the season goes on, we can keep our eye on what coach Brown does with the rotation between McRoberts and Murphy. Only one, Murphy or McRoberts, is going to get the big minutes off the bench. It doesn't seem as if though both can get 15-20 minutes per game with Bynum in the mix.

I'm not the coach, but I would go with Murphy all the way.


From what I see from around the league, there is no dominate team right now. This season is a toss-up for the championship.

The Heat have no center and with no center, there is no championship.

The Mavs gave away too many pieces from their championship team. Who on their team can stop Bynum?

The Celtics have no center. Read what I said about the Heat.

The Thunder have a center. They have two centers. But, they, also, have their two biggest stars, Durant and Westbrook, not really liking each other. Their youth may be their downfall. Perkins lost a lot of weight this year. He won't have the strength to stop Bynum now; as Bynum's body has matured and he can't be pushed around in the paint, like he was a few years ago.

The Lakers have a center, a power forward, the best shooting guard in the league. They have a few good bench pieces. Do not be down on the Lakers! They're as good as anyone else in the league right now.

mike t.
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