10/14: Training Camp Reports - Day 15

10/14: Training Camp Reports - Day 15

Postby JSM on Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:06 am

Ty Nowell of Lakers.com wrote:A day after returning from Las Vegas, the Lakers went through an extended three-and-a-half hour practice that saw Kobe Bryant boisterously trash talking teammates and occasionally cutting the lines that dictate a typical “indian run”.

Phil Jackson spoke with the media after practice. As Brad Turner of the LA Times points out, Jackson has used many different lineups this pre-season, with only Bryant, Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher having started every game. For now, Vladimir Radmanovic remains a starter.

A day after explaining the differences between “Lamar” and “Odom”, #7 was talking like a guy that wants to stay in LA for a while.

General Manager Mitch Kupchak took questions from some team sponsors, Mike Trudell has the story on the front page. While in Las Vegas Mike also spent some time with play-by-play man Spero Dedes and some of the team’s younger players that are trying to make the team.

Luke Walton looks like he could be ready for Saturday’s game against Regal FC Barcelona, but Sasha Vujacic remains limited.

Today
The Lakers will practice today at the team’s training facility. Check back for the video and write ups later this afternoon.
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Vujacic Out 10-14 Days

Postby JSM on Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:07 am

Mike Trudell of Lakers.com wrote:Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic will be shut down from basketball activities for 10-to-14 days due to a small avulsion fracture in his ankle.

The fracture is thought to have been aggravated when Vujacic sprained his ankle, though he said he felt no pain in his ankle whatsoever before the sprain. Vujacic also suggested that he will give his ankle a shot in seven, not 10 days, but L.A.’s training staff will surely make that call.

“I’ve played with (a hurt ankle) before so it’s nothing new,” said Vujacic. “Right now it’s just a little bit frustrating … I’ll come back as soon as I can.”

You can watch a post-practice interview with Sasha on our video page.

The Slovenian guard went on to say that he’d like to play in one or two preseason games, but L.A.’s final games come against Charlotte and Oklahoma City on the 23rd and 24th, the first just nine days away.

L.A.’s season opener against Portland is set for Tuesday, Oct. 28, 14 days from today.
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Vujacic out 10-14 days

Postby JSM on Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:09 am

Ramona Shelburne of the LA Daily News Blog wrote:Sasha Vujacic will miss the next 10-14 days of training camp after further tests on his sprained left ankle revealed an avulsion fracture, a team spokesman said Tuesday.

The injury, which doctors believe existed before the ankle sprain during the first week of training camp, occurs when a tendon or ligament attaches to a bone and pulls a thin piece off the bone. Vujacic will be shut down for at least 10 days as a precautionary move, though he said Tuesday that he hopes to be back sooner.

``It's nothing to worry about, but if you're not smart about it, you could miss a month so I'm going to take some pressure off it for a little while,'' Vujacic said. ``It's better to sit out a week or two now than later on.''

Vujacic sat out of most of Tuesday's practice, but stayed afterwards --which is not uncommon for him -- shooting free throws and running shots off of his right foot. He walked without a noticeable limp.

``I'm one of those guys who can't stay away. This is killing me not to be playing,'' he said. ``I want to be there for opening night, so I'm going to do whatever I can to be ready.''
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Bad news for Sasha

Postby JSM on Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:17 am

Art Thompson III of the Orange County Register Blog wrote: Lakers spokesman John Black announced Tuesday afternoon that guard Sasha Vujacic has an vulsion fracture of the left ankle and will cease most basketball-related activities for the next 10-14 days.

Vujacic saw a foot specialist Monday afternoon, who confirmed the findings of a specialist that Vujacic was examined by last week.

“No words can explain this,” Vujacic said, when asked his reaction.

The injury is said to be a pre-existing problem and not related to the sprained left ankle that has sidelined Vujacic for the majority of training camp. However, the sprain that Vujacic suffered exacerbated the avulsion fracture.

“I just have to rest but I don’t have time to rest,” said Vujacic, who vowed to return within a week. “I want to do everything possible to get back. I want to (play) one or two pre-season games.”

Vujacic said he hopes to keep up with his conditioning. He will limit his court activity to stationary shooting.

“I heal fast,” he said.
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Pau’s pals in Shootout

Postby JSM on Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:19 am

Art Thompson III of the Orange County Register Blog wrote:The Lakers’ opponent in Saturday night’s opening game of The Shootout at Staples Center will be very familiar to forward-center Pau Gasol.

Regal FC Barcelona, Spain’s top professional basketball team, is taking a respite from its regular-season schedule to play against last season’s Western Conference champions and against one of Spain’s most renowned players.

The 28-year old Gasol, who was born and raised in Spain, began his professional basketball career, at the age of 16, playing for FC Barcelona, alongside his childhood buddy, Juan Carlos Navarro. The two reunited this summer in the Beijing Olympics, where Spain earned the silver medal, losing to Kobe Bryant and Team USA in the gold-medal game.

Gasol said the 6-foot-4 Navarro, 28, was the much-better player when the two first joined FC Barcelona. But Gasol said the gap narrowed considerably when the two friends were between the ages of 18-19.

“The last two years, I think I’m the better player,” Gasol said.
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Sun’s condition improving

Postby JSM on Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:21 am

Art Thompson III of the Orange County Register Blog wrote:With each passing day, Lakers rookie Sun Yue said his conditioning is improving and his body is feeling stronger.

“It’s better than before,” said Sun, who missed the early days of training camp, after being diagnosed with mononucleosis.

Sun only has played in one exhibition game, logging eight minutes in the Lakers’ loss last week in Fresno, to the Clippers. He did not suit up for last Sunday’s game in Las Vegas, against the Sacramento Kings.

“The last time I went into the game, I was more tense, than tired,” said Sun, who estimated that he likely could play 10-15 minutes in his present condition.
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Pau Gasol sees Andrew Bynum as a complement

Postby JSM on Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:44 am

Broderick Turner of the LA Times wrote:It wasn't a demand -- not like the ones Shaquille O'Neal once made.

Rather, it was a point of emphasis by Pau Gasol.

Gasol is 7 feet and 250 pounds and Andrew Bynum is 7 feet and 285 pounds, a duo that will form a Twin Towers for the Lakers that can be devastating, but only if the Lakers utilize them in the low post.

"We have to play like we have two seven-footers that dominate the paint. That's how you take advantage. If you don't do that, then you might as well not have it," Gasol said.

When O'Neal played for the Lakers, he demanded the basketball and let it be known that if the big dog wasn't fed, he wouldn't guard the porch, which was code that O'Neal wouldn't play defense if he didn't get the ball on offense.

Gasol isn't saying that.

Gasol and Bynum each take high-percentage shots, are good passers and can make life easier on their teammates with an inside-out game.

The two started for the first time together in the exhibition season Sunday night and had some success.

"The inside game is really, really good," Bynum said. "If I catch it at the high post, I can find him, and vice-versa."

It's still a work in progress, especially for Gasol, who moved from center to power forward. Gasol said he was adjusting to spending more time on the wing.

"I'm just trying to get a better feel and know everything, every wrinkle to where I have to be positioned every time," he said.

"Once I get all that down pat, then I'll be able to be more aggressive and more productive in those positions."
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Fisher: Defense is main concern for Lakers

Postby JSM on Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:48 am

Elliott Teaford of the LA Daily News wrote:It's not difficult to figure out what the Lakers need to improve to take the next step this season and become NBA champions.

At least, not in the mind of veteran guard Derek Fisher.

"We have to defend a whole lot better," Fisher said. "We want a team that when we have to get stops to finish a game or finish a quarter, we get them.

"We just weren't able to lock teams down. I can't remember a lot of games where we were down eight or 10 points and kept them from scoring the rest of the game and stole the game at the end. It was more like we were close and then we went on an offensive spurt where we were able to win the game."

In fact, the lasting image of the Lakers in the NBA Finals in June was of a team that seemed incapable of preventing the Boston Celtics from charging to the basket for layups and dunks.

Fisher said he believes that must change this season.

"Defense first, is the biggest thing," he said.

The Lakers are banking on the return of Andrew Bynum, who suffered a season-ending kneecap injury Jan. 13, to help them patrol the paint. They also hope the pairing of Bynum and fellow 7-footer Pau Gasol makes them intimidating.
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Farmar's future

Postby JSM on Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:49 am

Elliott Teaford of the LA Daily News wrote:Jordan Farmar made it clear that he hopes to be a starting point guard some day soon. But he's willing to put it off if it means the Lakers win a title this season.

"We have a great team, with an opportunity to win," said Farmar, the ex-Taft High and UCLA star. "Everybody has to play his role. For us right now, our bench is very valuable, and for me being 21and being the sixth man or being a member off the bench who's really integral is very special."
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Re: 10/14: Training Camp Reports - Day 15

Postby KB24 on Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:01 pm

Fish is right...but if you want to play defense you need the right players.

A defense is as good as its weakest link in the chain...

we are definitely still soft and can't play defense. I just think we are good enaugh offensively to overcome this deficits. But when half of your roster insists of white players with limited toughness and/or athleticism, you won't do anything extraordinary defensively.
Sasha, Mihm, Luke, Radman, Farmar, Gasol, Karl (if he stays)...all soft... Yue, Fish, Odom....maybe not soft but simply not good enaugh defensively.
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Re: 10/14: Training Camp Reports - Day 15

Postby therealdeal on Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:35 pm

^ What's with the white generalization? I'm not white but I don't think color has to do with anything. Sasha is a tenacious defender, but he obviously needs work, same with Farmar. When they are focused defensively, they do well. Gasol is an underrated defender. Karl sucks. Luke is very overrated. I think Mihm tries very hard, but he's simply not that good. Lamar is also an Ok defender, not great but ok. Yue is unproven except in international play as a help defender. Fish is actually a pretty good defender, and that is his focus.
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Re: 10/14: Training Camp Reports - Day 15

Postby KB24 on Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:20 am

^actually I am white...and its not a secret that white players do not possess the same physical abilities and athleticism as black players. Actually its not the skin color but the genes that come with it.

I knew someone is gonna take offense in that but its the truth. To play defense, you need defensive talent. That is prime physical tools, intelligence, the right mindset and a good defensive scheme.

European players do not really do that a lot. They practice shooting more than anything and try to cover the weaknesses with zone defense.

This team doesn't have a whole lot of defensive talent to beginn with. They have not been any great defensively for like the last 4-5 years because the personell isn't there and the focus is the triangle anyway.
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Re: 10/14: Training Camp Reports - Day 15

Postby therealdeal on Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:26 am

^ I'm not offended I just don't like that generalization. I'm not even white so don't worry. I just think that the whole "black people are better athletes" thing is much overplayed. What about guys like Larry Bird? Or say in the NFL Brian Urlacher?
No no... I don't like that generalization. For the most part you probably have a point, I just don't like that saying. I was trained by football coaches way back when not to give in to that thought.

(He was white)
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Re: 10/14: Training Camp Reports - Day 15

Postby StudentOfTheGame on Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:59 am

just saying, over the years playing basketball ive learned that footwork, body control, and simple fundamentals can help negate athleticism and pure strength. Just food for thought.

Also, when it comes to defensive basketball, your only as good as your team mates will allow. Meaning you will get beat individually, no matter how good a defender you are. Good defensive teams are that - a team. Individual defense helps, no doubt, but the when you are watching good defense your watching it being played as a team. Rotations, switches, proper help defense, good communication, and the all important get a hand up and contest everything. My point here is skin color has nothing to do with team defense, which is real defense.
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Re: 10/14: Training Camp Reports - Day 15

Postby JSM on Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:53 pm

Pau talks about Barcelona:

Download

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Re: 10/14: Training Camp Reports - Day 15

Postby JSM on Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:26 pm

I found it interesting hearing Pau say he would want to go back and play for them after his NBA days are over.
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