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Your Morning Dump… Where there is concern in Laker land

RedsArmyAdmin January 30, 2011 Uncategorized 11 Comments

Kobe steps on Pau
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Los Angeles is not helping its image with losses such as Friday’s 100-95 defeat to Sacramento, a game the Kings led by as many as 20 points. The Lakers are a distracted bunch, much like the Celtics were last season, anxious for March to arrive and seeking a reason to be serious.

Hall of Famer Jerry West recently commented that the Lakers were getting old and it shows in their defense. The Lakers are a respectable fourth in opposing field goal percentage but 10th in points allowed. And those younger teams that used to wilt at the sight of those gold banners hanging in Staples Center are no longer intimidated.

Memphis, Milwaukee, and Indiana all have celebrated victories on the Lakers’ home floor. Of more concern, Derek Fisher and Ron Artest are enduring poor shooting seasons. Andrew Bynum is again coming off injury. Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant have been steady, but there is definitely slippage.

In preparation for today’s meeting with the Celtics, coach Phil Jackson held a 2 1/2-hour practice yesterday in El Segundo, Calif., trying to discourage his team from waiting until March for motivation.

“I can’t really tell you what to expect [today],’’ he said. “We haven’t been consistent in the last six games.

Globe: Something's missing in LA

The Laker are actually right there with the Celtics in the "old team" category.  They face a lot of the same issues the Celtics have faced (and are facing).  

Here's the difference: The Celtics are a united team of players who will work the ball to whomever is hot and not worry about who's getting all the points.  The Lakers have Kobe Bryant.  The thing is, Kobe isn't "Kobe" anymore.  That's not to say he's not better than a great many players in the NBA.  He is. He's still one of the best.  

But some of the luster is gone.  He can't string together as many surreal performances as he used to.  But he still thinks he can, so keeps gunning… to the detriment of his team.  

So they're right to be concerned in the city of angels.  They're not very well equipped to deal with the issues that we've dealt with.  They're fragile mentally.  

Well….. I suppose I should just prepare myself for a Spurs-Celtics finals.

Related links:  Herald: Shaq returns to LA in colors of the enemy  |  Painful memory lingers for Celtics  |  Phil sizes up opponent  |  Globe:  Since they last met  |  Lakers thumbnails  |  Rematch vs. Lakers  |  Game 7 haunts Celtics  |  ESPN Boston:  Countdown to LA: The Kobe stopper  |  Let's do this  |  No what-if's for Perk  |  WEEI:  How the Celtics can Beat LA  |  CSNNE:  Despite standings, Celtics see Lakers as team to beat 

On Pate 2: Boo hoo'ing over KG's non-suspension

Look, I get that Channing Frye probably sold this thing a little, and then popped up awful quick. And I understand that Garnett is a major star in a major market involved in a significant game Sunday that the league has a big investment in against the Lakers. I understand that he didn’t punch anyone, hit anyone in the head, or do any permanent damage.

But, dude.

Not cool. You can’t hit a guy in the junk and just walk away from it. Can’t do it. Let’s see if we can find the line between what is a suspension-worthy offense and what is not a suspension-worthy offense, according to the NBA powers that be.

I hate to keep bringing up the 2007 suspensions of Amar’e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw in the Western Conference Semifinals, but really, you can substitute any number of other offenses that guys have been suspended for which were not equal to tapping someone in the gentle parts on purpose during a game.

I wish I was a Celtic. If you applied these kinds of interpretations to real life I could get away with all sorts of stuff.

Pro Basketball Talk: KG won't be suspended for hitting Channing Frye in the junk, because that makes sense

I love arguments like this.  They're just like "they can put a man on the moon, but [insert unrelated issue here]".  

There is one huge, mega-gigantic difference between what KG did and what happened in 2007.  The rules flat out state that leaving the bench area during an altercation equals a suspension.  It's automatic.  There is no debate.  There is no subjectivity.  No one has any choice.  That is the rule. 

KG's actions, which I admit were dumb, are open to interpretation by the league office.  You can look at it and say "was he trying to injure the player?"  You even had an incident earlier in the game with Mikael Pietrus that was clearly much worse.  And in that apples-to-apples comparison, it was determined neither warranted a suspension.  

There's no "flick someone in the grapes" clause. Which brings us to the next phase of this.  If KG had done the exact same motion and hit Channing Fry in the chest… or the abdomen… or the mid-thigh… no one would bat an eye-lash.  But because it's a nut-shot, the video has gone viral and everyone wants to roll KG in into the court of public opinion like Hannibal Lecter.  It wasn't a punch. It was a little flick that barely connected.  Our buddy Matt Moore even admits that Frye flopped and popped back up pretty quickly.  So this really wasn't all that bad.  

And finally, the absurd notion that "I wish I was a Celtic" so he can "get away with all sorts of stuff is asinine."  KG was suspended for a playoff game last year.  He was suspended in 2008 heading into a major-market game against the New York Knicks.  So the league's got no problems suspending a Celtic.  And since we get to go back in time and compare things… let's look at the most egregious case of this league bending over backwards for the Celtics. 

Reggie Lewis DIED… and the Celtics did not get any sort of cap exception.   Yet the Houston Rockets get an exception this year for Yao Ming… who has a broken ankle but is still quite alive.  

KG wasn't suspended because what he did was no big deal… not because he wears "Boston" across his chest.  To think otherwise throws you into the same conspiracy theory class that thinks every game is fixed by the refs.  

Related links:  ESPN Boston: No punishment for C's  |  CSNNE:  No suspension for KG, who'll play vs. LA  |  

The rest of the links

Herald:  Huge effort, bad timing for Glen Davis  |  ESPN Boston:  Jump (shooting) to conclusions  

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  • paul

    I think the demonization of Kevin Garnett is becoming dangerous. How many other players now are going to feel like it’s open season on Garnett, taking dangerous shots at him as Pietrus did? The more he is villified, the more likely it is he will be hurt. Garnett is no puppyhugger on the court, but he’s not exactly Kevin the Killer either. Time to chill a little bit.
    As big as this game is, I’m beginning to wonder if either the Lakers or the Celtics will return to the finals this year. Both teams are holding on to league-leading status (second and third respectively in overall record), but their age seems to be showing. The story of this season just gets more and more interesting, as youthful talent on teams such as Miami, Chicago and OKC rears up to challenge the Old Ones (San Antonio, LA and Boston).

  • DRJ

    Celtics will still be suffering the ill effects of this ridiculous road trip, where they were forced to play in Phoenix and zero sleep. One day off and then a matinee game on the next isn’t enough to shake that crap off. So expect this to be a pretty tough game.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pricehook44 Ainge still lives

    I agree the Bulls are tough at least a year away from contending with the Celtics,the lakers are the ones who should be worried. Spurs can beat them and I’m not counting out Dallas just yet, they have the size you need to beat the Fakeshow. OKC is DOWNRIGHT NASTY!! Can’t wait to watch the Heat and Lakers fall today!!!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pricehook44 Ainge still lives

    I don’t expect lollipops and rainbows but a much better all around energy which should put us over the edge.

  • trytryagain

    I truthfully believe KG brought this upon himself. He wants and tries to play the tough “bad boy”, which as I’ve stated before really doesn’t intimidate anyone in the NBA. Not to say he isn’t a beast of a player, but you reap what you sow. And he’s planted tons of cheap play seeds over the years.
    As for a Spurs/Celtics Finals? Sure, of course it’s possible. As is a Spurs/Heat matchup. Or a Lakers/Orlando matchup. Or even still a Lakers/Celtics matchup. Same old story every year……the regular season tells short stories, but doesn’t get the novel written. Health is key, and we all know how that can change in a split second.
    Good luck today, y’all are gonna need it!

  • trytryagain

    Side note: Regardless of anyone’s team affiliations, I think it’s funny that players are flicking each other in the nuts. What the hell?

  • game7forever

    concern in laker land?!?!?!?!? concern over what??? the tears we have to wipe off the celtics bench after todays game??? nah were not worried about that, all 29 other teams go through the same thing. goodbye boston. add another L to your column in just a few hours hahahahahaha

  • Dude

    But the refs are fixing games, Stern is an evil asshole and the NBA is out to make Celtics lose.

  • FEARLA2011

    Spurs-Celtics finals=BOREFEST

  • CFH

    I truly feel sorry for someone who isn’t even a little bit intrigued by a Garnett/Duncan Finals matchup.

  • bkgreen17

    How’d that work out for you?