10/6: Training Camp Reports - Day 7

10/6: Training Camp Reports - Day 7

Postby JSM on Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:38 pm

Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register Blog wrote:Kobe Bryant, even though Phil Jackson wants to limit his activity in some ways this preseason, will be in action Tuesday night in the Lakers’ exhibition opener against Utah. It is a true home game in Anaheim for him, after all, given that he lives in Newport Coast.

Asked if Bryant might sit out the game at Honda Center in Anaheim, Jackson said: “Oh, no. Not in Orange County.”

Jackson estimated Bryant would play half the game.
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Mitchell sits out practice

Postby JSM on Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:18 pm

Janis Carr of the Orange County Register Blog wrote:Rookie Dwayne Mitchell sat out Monday’s early practice and scrimmage because of tendinitis in his right knee.

Mitchell is one of five guards trying to make the roster.

His status for Tuesday’s exhibition opener at the Honda Center was unclear as was everyone else’s. Coach Phil Jackson said he would dress 15 players for the game, but refused to say who those 15 would be.
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Kobe, Phil, Fish and … Dennis Rodman?

Postby JSM on Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:55 pm

Mike Trudell of Lakers.com wrote:Perhaps the most interesting thing we learned prior to Lakers practice Monday at the team’s training facility wasn’t about Lamar Odom’s role, Andrew Bynum’s health or Sun Yue’s nickname. Instead, a local reporter asked Bryant what he thought about Phil Jackson calling Dennis Rodman – not Michael Jordan – the best athlete he ever coached.

“I do not disagree with that at all,” said Bryant. “People obviously think of Jordan first, but as an athlete, Dennis was a freak of nature. In terms of his size, he ran like a deer, he could run all day, he could defend from the one position all the way up to the five. Look at one series when he was guarding Jordan when he was with Detroit, and fast forward to when he was with the Bulls and he was guarding Shaq. You don’t see athletes like that too often.”

Interesting, right? Kobe went on to describe one training camp practice lineup that included a team of No. 24, Trevor Ariza, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, a group Bryant said made it difficult to even see the paint defensively due to the collective length. Good point. I’d take that combined wingspan against that of the Raiders’ offensive line, plus a tight end and a blocking back. Bryant also praised Gasol’s all-around hoops skill (heard that before); talked about liking the small forward position as it allows him to attack defenses in different ways (more on that later); and explained how comfortable camp has been since the entire team knows Jackson’s system (very). As for the coach…

He of nine NBA (coaching) Championships spoke to media for only a few minutes, but of course provided some interesting sound bites. He contradicted Bryant’s statement that Gasol and Bynum looked “great” together with this comment:

“Right now (Bynum and Gasol) are very clumsy and aren’t working well together . We have a group that played together very well last year, and there are some things that we need to discuss to see how long we drag this out and how quickly we facilitate this.”

Jackson did qualify his comment by stating that once everyone figures out where they fit in, the team has the ability to play “exceptionally well.” Jackson also reported that both Bryant and Gasol will play against Utah in Anaheim on Tuesday at 7 p.m., contrary to some speculation wondering if the Olympic stars would be rested. Jackson expects Bryant to play for about half the game, while Gasol could see even less time as the head coach wants PT for Bynum, Chris Mihm and D.J. Mbenga.


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Re: 10/6: Training Camp Reports - Day 7

Postby JSM on Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:01 pm

Fish's audio:
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Phil not as impressed as everyone else...

Postby JSM on Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:48 pm

Ramona Shelburne of the LA Daily News Blog wrote:It's early still. Way too early to tell anything, though the potential is certainly there. Players coming off the court practically drool over what this year's Lakers team could develop into.

At one point durring Saturday's scrimmage, the Lakers went with a lineup of Kobe Bryant (6-foot-6), Trevor Ariza (6-foot-8), Lamar Odom (6-10), Pau Gasol (7-0) and Andrew Bynum (7-0)

``When we had our arms out, you couldn't even see the paint,'' Bryant said before Monday morning's practice. ``There's just so much length.''

Still, it's far from a finished product, and before anyone starts talking about potential or Twin Towers or a return trip the NBA Finals, coach Phil Jackson laid out a word of caution.

When asked how the Bynum and Gasol pairing has worked out thus far, Jackson seemed less than impressed.

``It depends on how they work together,'' he said. ``Right now they're very clumsy, they're not working well together. We've got a group that played together very well last year, there's some things we have to discuss and see how long we drag this out and how quickly we can facilitate it. Because I think we have the ability to play exceptionally well if we use all our skill and all our talented players.''

Now, whether that was an honest evaluation, an attempt to motivate Gasol and/or Bynum, something in between or a little bit of both is hard to determine. It is Phil Jackson after all, as much a media master as the Zen Master.

The first public peek at how the new dynamics are playing out comes Tuesday night in a preseason game against Utah at the Honda Center.

Jackson said Bryant would likely play about half the game, Gasol a bit less than that, and 15 players would dress.
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Re: 10/6: Training Camp Reports - Day 7

Postby Ras Algethi on Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:03 pm

At one point durring Saturday's scrimmage, the Lakers went with a lineup of Kobe Bryant (6-foot-6), Trevor Ariza (6-foot-8), Lamar Odom (6-10), Pau Gasol (7-0) and Andrew Bynum (7-0)


Holy crap, thats a big lineup.
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Lakers learn that D matters

Postby JSM on Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:26 pm

JEFF EISENBERG of Press Enterprise wrote: The player most frustrated by the Lakers' defensive lapses during last year's NBA finals wasn't even in uniform for any of the games.

Andrew Bynum, sidelined for last season's final six months with a severe knee injury, cringed at every reach-in foul, easy put-back or uncontested lay-in the Lakers surrendered against the Celtics. What pained the young 7-footer most was his intimidating presence in the paint may have been all the Lakers needed to shore up their defensive woes.

"Yeah, that's what everyone is saying," Bynum said. "I wasn't able to be out there to alter shots and that's something you've got to have. Hopefully that's something I can bring to the team this year."

Add Bynum's shot blocking and rebounding and Trevor Ariza's length and quickness to a team already motivated by the memory of last June's breakdowns against the Celtics, and the Lakers believe you have the formula for vastly improved defense this season. The presence of Bynum allows perimeter players to defend more aggressively without fear of creating an open lane to the rim, while Ariza possesses all the necessary tools to emerge as a prototypical defensive stopper.

Although the Lakers limited opponents to 44.5 percent shooting last year and showed flashes of defensive brilliance in the playoffs against the weary-legged Spurs, players are adamant they will get better. The first litmus test for the revamped defense comes tonight in Anaheim when the Lakers open the exhibition season against fellow Western Conference contender Utah at the Honda Center.

"We were a good defensive team last year, but Boston was better," Kobe Bryant said. "We've got a couple guys back healthy that would have helped us a lot. Obviously Bynum in the middle plugs up a lot, and having Trevor Ariza as a swing man gives us a lot of help."

Defense has been a theme of previous Lakers training camps under Phil Jackson, but selling players on the concept wasn't nearly as difficult this time. The lasting memory the Lakers took into the offseason was of the Celtics stifling their potent offense with swarming, physical man-to-man defense at one end of the court and scoring at will off dribble penetration on the other.

There were Paul Pierce's repeated forays to the hoop in Games 1 and 2. Or Ray Allen's driving layup against Sasha Vujacic that clinched Game 4. Or the flurry of tomahawk dunks and wide-open threes that helped the Celtics put away the decisive Game 6 by the opening minutes of the third quarter. Boston shot 21 more free throws than the Lakers in the series, out-rebounded them by five per game and scored at least 97 points in five of the six games.

"Never until those finals did I realize how much defense matters in the game of basketball," Lakers forward Vladimir Radmanovic said. "I tried to focus more on my defense than anything else this offseason. That's the part of the game I lack the most."

As much as the renewed commitment will help the Lakers, any defensive improvement will largely be a result of their personnel.

If Jackson wants to outslug opponents, he can play Bynum alongside fellow 7-footer Pau Gasol down low, with versatile 6-foot-10 Lamar Odom and Bryant at wing. Or if he prefers to sacrifice size for quickness and athleticism, Jackson can slide Odom to power forward and insert Ariza at small forward. Ariza, a long-armed, ball-hawking 6-foot-8 forward, averaged 1.1 steals per game off the bench last season before breaking a bone in his right foot on Jan. 20.

With 14 returners back from last season who are each already familiar with Jackson's triangle offense, the Lakers have been able to spend more time emphasizing defensive principles the first week of training camp than previous years. Already players say the extra work has resulted in improved focus and higher energy.

"Whenever you have new guys you have to spend so much of training camp going through the triangle, because if one guy on the court doesn't know what he's doing, it messes up the entire offense," Luke Walton said. "With everyone pretty much everyone coming back, we can focus more on defense. The sooner we start working on it, you start using those philosophies in preseason games and in practice. That's when you really develop those skills."
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Re: 10/6: Training Camp Reports - Day 7

Postby BDG on Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:31 pm

"Never until those finals did I realize how much defense matters in the game of basketball," Lakers forward Vladimir Radmanovic said. "I tried to focus more on my defense than anything else this offseason. That's the part of the game I lack the most."
That's incredibly awesome to hear from Rad. Hopefully he backs up those words with increased productivity on that end. If his defense improves to a decent level, I wouldn't be as afraid to start him if LO doesn't work out.
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Re: 10/6: Training Camp Reports - Day 7

Postby Klewfish on Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:03 pm

BDG wrote:
"Never until those finals did I realize how much defense matters in the game of basketball," Lakers forward Vladimir Radmanovic said. "I tried to focus more on my defense than anything else this offseason. That's the part of the game I lack the most."
That's incredibly awesome to hear from Rad. Hopefully he backs up those words with increased productivity on that end. If his defense improves to a decent level, I wouldn't be as afraid to start him if LO doesn't work out.


That quote definitely stuck out for me as well. This team is really impressing me with their approach to the season and the talking they have been doing about how they've improved. Now I just want to see it.
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Re: 10/6: Training Camp Reports - Day 7

Postby GinoDB on Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:43 pm

Klewfish wrote:
BDG wrote:
"Never until those finals did I realize how much defense matters in the game of basketball," Lakers forward Vladimir Radmanovic said. "I tried to focus more on my defense than anything else this offseason. That's the part of the game I lack the most."
That's incredibly awesome to hear from Rad. Hopefully he backs up those words with increased productivity on that end. If his defense improves to a decent level, I wouldn't be as afraid to start him if LO doesn't work out.


That quote definitely stuck out for me as well. This team except for Odom is really impressing me with their approach to the season and the talking they have been doing about how they've improved. Now I just want to see it.

fixed, j/k

I agree with you, its great to hear how players have worked hard and are really gunning for that champioship.
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Re: 10/6: Training Camp Reports - Day 7

Postby Amongst:Kings on Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:53 pm

I'd love to see a team try to score against Bynum/Gasol/Odom/Bryant/Ariza
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Re: 10/6: Training Camp Reports - Day 7

Postby Lakers323342 on Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:46 am

Can't wait for tomorrow's preseason game. I know it may not look great for the first month and half, but we are going to be one of THE top elite teams. :jam2:
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Re: 10/6: Training Camp Reports - Day 7

Postby abeer3 on Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:09 am

Amongst:Kings wrote:I'd love to see a team try to score against Bynum/Gasol/Odom/Bryant/Ariza


yeah, won't be easy. my concern with that unit is that a quicker team might try and use full court pressure to create some turnovers, thus negating the defensive advantage.
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Re: 10/6: Training Camp Reports - Day 7

Postby crucifixion on Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:19 am

"Never until those finals did I realize how much defense matters in the game of basketball," Lakers forward Vladimir Radmanovic said. "I tried to focus more on my defense than anything else this offseason. That's the part of the game I lack the most."


Wow. Great quote. Hopefully the rest of the team has this same attitude.
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Re: 10/6: Training Camp Reports - Day 7

Postby Lakerjones on Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:08 am

That Vlad quote does rule.
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Re: 10/6: Training Camp Reports - Day 7

Postby therealdeal on Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:42 am

Lakerjones wrote:That Vlad quote does rule.


I think everyone agrees :man9:
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Re: 10/6: Training Camp Reports - Day 7

Postby sashaindaclub on Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:16 pm

Vlad Rad the defender, let's hope!
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Re: 10/6: Training Camp Reports - Day 7

Postby Cobey on Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:06 pm

Thanks for these threads JSM. MUCH appreciated! :jam2: :stunoice:
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