10/15: Training Camp Reports - Day 16

10/15: Training Camp Reports - Day 16

Postby JSM on Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:28 am

Ty Nowell of Lakers.com wrote:What otherwise would have been a quiet practice day was interrupted with the news that Sasha Vujacic will be shutdown for the next 10-14 days because of the ankle that has bothered him since the first day of training camp. Sasha is hoping it will be less, maybe just to spite some Lakers staffers. See what he had to say yesterday on our video page.

Pau Gasol is excited to see his hometown club, Regal FC Barcelona, come to STAPLES this weekend. Gasol has a lot of friends on the squad and had a lot of interesting comments on how he found out about the game and what it means for a Spanish team to come to the US, check it out on the video page. Pau also spoke to the LA Times about a “Twin Tower” front court.

Derek Fisher talks about defense and Jordan Farmar talks about wanting to be a starter…. someday. Point guard Sun Yue’s conditioning is improving.

Assistant coach Brian Shaw talks about his daily role, referring scrimmages, Kobe through the years and lots of other stuff with Mike Trudell.

Attendance is down in the NBA this pre-season and the Lakers games are no exception.

Today
The Lakers will practice in front of more than just the staff today as they hold their annual Open Practice for season ticket holders. Video and blogs will follow.
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Pau's take

Postby JSM on Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:22 pm

Ramona Shelburne of the LA Daily News Blog wrote:Last week, Andrew Bynum conceeded that he and Pau Gasol occasionally run into each other at the offensive end because each is so accustomed to playing the five (center) spot in the Lakers offense. We took that to be a bad thing, but Gasol isn't so sure.

``Yeah, sometimes (we run to the same spot). So we just have to communicate a little better. But I think it's a goot thing, because if we're both being aggressive in the post, demanding the ball, that's a good thing,'' Gasol said. ``I think it'd be worse if we both were fading away or letting the other always take that initiative.''
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Staples open house

Postby JSM on Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:23 pm

Elliott Teaford of the LA Daily News Blog wrote:The Lakers held an open practice for 1,200 or so season ticket holders Wednesday at Staples Center, lulling their fans into a near-comatose state while performing drills to start the workout and then bringing them to the edge of their seats during a lively scrimmage.

Kobe Bryant concluded the scrimmage by accepting a lob pass from Lamar Odom and dunking, bringing the fans to their feet. Sensing it was probably a good idea to end the workout then and there, Phil Jackson halted the practice.

"I'm not a daytime television actor so I don't know much about performing in front of live audiences on a regular basis," Derek Fisher said of practicing in front of the fans. "It was different. I think Phil tries to set up the practice in a way that's more entertaining. This is no way close to a representation of the practices we've been having. No. We'd still be here for a couple of hours."
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Derek Fisher: ``We need to be ready in two weeks''

Postby JSM on Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:24 pm

Ramona Shelburne of the LA Daily News Blog wrote:One of the biggest issues for the Lakers this year, as it is for every team coming off an extended playoff run from the year before, is getting the engines revved up in time for the regular season after such a short offseason.

Take too long, especially in the tightly bunched Western Conference, and you could be climbing out of a hole the rest of the season. In years past, like, say when the Lakers were winning three straight championships at the start of this decade, the team had a habit of slow starts and stumbling into the playoffs as a lower seed. This year, that's not an option, Fisher says:

``I think it could be like that again this year where there's a five-game difference between 1-8,'' Fisher said, when asked if the Western Conference would be as tough this season. ``So you can't take November and December off and think, `We'll turn it on at the All-Star break' or you'll be too far behind. We have to be ready to go in two weeks.''
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Kobe waves off Greek questions as “silly”

Postby JSM on Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:40 pm

Kevin Ding of the Orange County Blog wrote:Kobe Bryant was ready for the question, and he didn’t want to hear it.

“Don’t ask me nothing silly,” he said after Lakers practice at Staples Center. Bryant didn’t want to feed the new story that Greek club Olympiacos was gearing up to offer him $60 million over three years after the coming NBA season.

“Next question,” Bryant said flatly.

Two weeks ago Bryant called the idea of him going to Europe for $50 million ” a joke.”

“It’s just something that was a joke for us, and people took it and ran with it or whatever,” Bryant said. “That’s fine. Everybody needs to banter about something.”

He wasn’t in the mood to banter about it on this day, though. Bryant can opt out of his contract at season’s end, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t re-sign with the Lakers as they attempt to re-establish themselves as an NBA dynasty.
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Jackson, Bryant After Practice

Postby JSM on Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:28 pm

Mike Trudell of Lakers.com wrote:I’m curious … How many combined times do you think Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson have addressed the media in their collective careers? I’ll say … Ten thousand? Fifteen? Towards that end, how many times have Phil or Kobe answered similar questions in a similar manner? It gets to the point where you can almost predict what the answer is, but the question still needs to be asked to ensure nothing’s out of whack.

It was more of the same on Wednesday at STAPLES Center … Though to be fair, we did learn a few things (which you can watch on our video page):
* Kobe said that there has been more tinkering with lineups than in any previous preseason, due more than anything else to the wealth of talent in Laker Land. Bryant offered the proverbial “it’s a great problem to have” when asked.
* One reporter tried to get Bryant to comment on the latest story involving the Greek billionaires’ attempt to lure American players, but Kobe wasn’t biting. He simply said “next question” … three times.
* Jackson explained that the team is progressing how he wants it to progress, and has been playing better, competing harder and shooting better than earlier in camp. He doesn’t expect the team to get a day off until the Sunday before the season starts, and gave Andrew Bynum a “so-so” rating thus far. Jackson does, however, expect the five games in seven days to be good for his big man.
* Finally, Jackson said that he doesn’t expect to completely get a feel for his rotation until Sasha Vujacic returns from his ankle injury.

Other than that, I spent a few minutes learning about Luke Walton’s status (feeling much better) and a few more minutes learning how Brandon Heath is handling the role of “uncertain free agent” deep into training camp. More on that in the next few days.
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Walton Feeling “Great”

Postby JSM on Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:30 pm

Mike Trudell of Lakers.com wrote:After participating fully in Wednesday’s open practice at STAPLES Center, Luke Walton told me he’s feeling “great,” and is hoping to participate in L.A.’s two games this weekend.

Just as he’s gaining strength in his ankle, Walton said he’s starting to feel comfortable and confident as he searches for his rhythm on the floor.
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Re: 10/15: Training Camp Reports - Day 16

Postby therealdeal on Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:39 pm

So do we know who is getting cut?
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Re: 10/15: Training Camp Reports - Day 16

Postby JSM on Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:42 pm

therealdeal wrote:So do we know who is getting cut?

With Sasha not seeing the court at all this week, that probably means Phil won't make a decision until Friday. He needs the bodies for practice.
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Re: 10/15: Training Camp Reports - Day 16

Postby therealdeal on Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:47 pm

JSM wrote:
therealdeal wrote:So do we know who is getting cut?

With Sasha not seeing the court at all this week, that probably means Phil won't make a decision until Friday. He needs the bodies for practice.


good point. I still hope it's Karl, but I'm expecting Crawford or Heath to go.
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Re: 10/15: Training Camp Reports - Day 16

Postby 10scott10 on Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:48 pm

luke looked very good during the open practice. looked like he did during the first half of 06-07
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Re: 10/15: Training Camp Reports - Day 16

Postby Ras Algethi on Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:19 pm

Thanks for all the updates JSM.
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Open forum

Postby JSM on Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:30 pm

Broderick Turner of the LA Times wrote:The 1,100 season-ticket holders who watched the Lakers open practice today at Staples Center were generally sedate during the session.

"That's kind of the way the players are in a lot of practices," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson quipped. At first the fans didn't cheer, or applaud, as they sat quietly eating the box lunches the Lakers provided.

Jackson said Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw explained the practice drills to the crowd. "It got boring, boring, boring," Jackson said, smiling.

A few fans took pictures, but they were mostly quiet during the drills.

Then the Lakers started to scrimmage and the crowd came alive, yelling, screaming. When Kobe Bryant leaped up and grabbed an offensive rebound and scored, the crowd cheered.

Jackson joked he had "no idea" of the benefit of having fans watch the Lakers practice.

"It's more accessibility of the players to the fans," Jackson said. "I think that's what it's supposed to be."
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Ankle injury

Postby JSM on Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:32 pm

Broderick Turner of the LA Times wrote:Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic's painful left ankle will force him to sit out most basketball activities for 10 to 14 days, the team reiterated Wednesday.

Vujacic's injury officially is diagnosed as an avulsion fracture of his left ankle, the team said. That means a small layer of the bone flaked off and is embedded in tissue.

He will be reevaluated in one week, but his goal is to be back on the court by then.

Vujacic suffered a sprained ankle two weeks ago on the first day of training camp.

Since then he has seen three foot specialists -- the last one Monday -- and was told that when he sprained his ankle it aggravated his fracture. Vujacic said he wasn't sure when he suffered the avulsion fracture.

The Lakers hope that with time off the injuries will improve and that Vujacic might be ready for the season opener Oct. 28.
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Lakers still are a work in progress

Postby JSM on Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:37 pm

Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register wrote:Paying no heed to the faltering economy and how little gross national product they were generating by playing hooky, 1,110 Lakers season-ticket holders spent Wednesday afternoon watching their beloved and supposedly championship-bound team practice at Staples Center.

Here are 10 noteworthy (and bad) things they saw in the last hour of scrimmaging:

1. Andrew Bynum and Kobe Bryant miss connections on three consecutive passes— two thrown by Bynum, one thrown by Bryant on the old-stand-by Shaquille O'Neal play on which Bryant drives and then drops the ball off in traffic to his waiting center.

2. A little while later, Bryant ducks his head and drives again before firing a pass across the lane toward Bynum — except Bynum has vacated that spot in anticipation of an offensive rebound. "Oh, Drew! Stay there!" Bryant yells.

3. Vladimir Radmanovic, not Lamar Odom, is playing for the purple first team, so Odom is sitting out — or more accurately, lying down. He stretches out his legs and lets out a big yawn.

4. After Bryant blows by Coby Karl on the wing and crashes into the lane to draw an obvious foul on Chris Mihm, Coach Phil Jackson stops the action, walks out there and lectures: "There should be no time when a guy is out on the wing playing defense by himself." A major element in the Lakers' plan to improve on defense is to be a more aggressive in bringing double teams.

5. The purple team of Bryant, Bynum, Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol and Radmanovic loses to the green-clad team of Trevor Ariza, C.J. Giles, Brandon Heath, Karl and Mihm. Yikes.

6. The green team then loses to the white-clad team of Joe Crawford, Jordan Farmar, DJ Mbenga, Josh Powell and Luke Walton. It happens largely because Walton gets hot from 3-point range, and he carries that over into a post-practice, 3-point contest surprisingly won by Walton and "Pablo" Gasol, as Walton calls him, over Karl and Radmanovic. (The "UCLA" team of Ariza and Farmar eventually knocks off Gasol and Walton.)

7. Bynum is wearing his shorts backward. Seriously.

8. Odom comes in to replace Bynum for a purple-vs.-white matchup. Powell drives by Odom and down the lane on the first play. Assistant coach Frank Hamblen yells out a reminder to Fisher about help defense denying middle penetration.

9. Bryant wins the last scrimmage with back-to-back dunks. Then he wins the team-wide wind sprints — backpedaling to the finish line to reinforce the victory to his trailing teammates. Then he hits the final free throw that officially ends practice. This isn't supposed to be a one-man team anymore, by the way.

10. Gasol does a post-practice interview about the upcoming exhibition games this weekend and says he's looking forward to playing "at the Staples."

OK, so as you and those 1,100 fans can now see, the Lakers do not have it all together.

Reason for concern given the monster expectations on this team?

Lakers fans would be better served worrying about the economy.

"We're progressing the way we want," Jackson said.

But what about Bynum? The Lakers' golden child still is clearly not in sync with playing a team game, yet. Jackson said the rush of exhibition games (five in seven days) starting Saturday night will boost Bynum back into the groove, though. And despite misfiring on so many passes with Bynum, Bryant had no concerns about him, stressing one thing: "He looks in shape."

What about Jackson having no clue yet who should play with whom and acknowledging he won't really figure anything out until Sasha Vujacic returns from his injured left ankle in the coming weeks?

"This is the year more than any other year I've seen where he really doesn't know what starting lineup he wants to go with," Bryant said, "because we have so much depth. It's just a trial period. It's a great problem to have."

So maybe the Lakers will have to look like a one-man team at times until Jackson finishes playing Sudoku with them. The coach doesn't sound too baffled by his puzzle, however.

"When we have as talented a team as we have," Jackson said, "as long as players go in and play hard and take it upon themselves to try and do their best out there and not worry about playing time, they'll be fine."

Asked about building team chemistry, Fisher said: "We're still just two weeks into that process. And for us, that process will end with a championship. So to be two weeks into that journey is closer to this way (starting) than that way (finishing). We're realistic about that part of it."

If the process will end in a championship, there's no reason at all to sweat continued speculation that Bryant will be offered monster money to jump to Europe after this season. (The latest report is that Greek club team Olympiacos is gearing up to offer him a three-year, $60 million deal.)

Do you really think that a guy so targeted on being the best is going to give up that chance now that the Lakers are so beautifully set up to play dynasty again in the unquestioned best league in the world?

"Don't ask me that," Bryant said, expecting the Greek question and interrupting his questioner. "It's silly."
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Re: 10/15: Training Camp Reports - Day 16

Postby KB24 on Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:42 pm

5. The purple team of Bryant, Bynum, Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol and Radmanovic loses to the green-clad team of Trevor Ariza, C.J. Giles, Brandon Heath, Karl and Mihm. Yikes.


WTF
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Jackson sets priorities beyond winning in exhibition play

Postby JSM on Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:00 pm

Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times wrote:The Lakers are 1-2 in exhibition play, not that Phil Jackson is worried about it.

The Lakers coach has had one winning exhibition season in eight prior attempts with the Lakers, and he didn't exactly fret when asked if this would be a winning one.

"I haven't really thought about that," he said recently.

After all, this is a time for the young ones, not the veterans, in Jackson's mind. It's a time to tinker with lineups, zing 6-foot-10 ball-handling forwards about not being in shape and see which players will round out the end of the bench.

"We always know that our game is going to take a little longer time to gel than most other teams," he said. "We do have most of our veterans back, but this is a time for us to play some younger players that we want to look it. Until the last of the exhibition games, I won't be playing the regulars in heavy minutes."

Jackson was 16-24 in exhibition games in his first tour with the Lakers and, after going 6-2 in 2005-06 in his first year back, the club went 4-4 and 3-4 the last two seasons.

Jackson, however, is not giving the team much time off, despite almost a week passing between games before the Lakers play Regal FC Barcelona on Saturday at Staples Center.

"There's a possible day off in a couple weeks -- the Sunday before the season starts," Jackson said.

The players have to comply, like it or not.

"We've had a couple long practices already," Kobe Bryant said. "It's an opportunity for Phil to see exactly what kind of combinations he wants to play."
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Playing to the Crowd

Postby JSM on Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:02 pm

Jeff Eisenberg of the Press Enterprise wrote: A crowd of 1,200 season ticket holders attended an open Lakers practice Wednesday at Staples Center, sitting sedately throughout drills for much of practice before perking up a little during five-on-five scrimmages.

Not only did Bryant and Trevor Ariza play to the crowd with one-handed transition dunks during the scrimmage, Derek Fisher said Jackson did too by changing the format of practice.

"This is not even close to the type of practices we've been having," Fisher said. "We'd still be here for a couple hours if this was a true representation. There would have been a lot more drill work, but obviously the fans were a little worn out by that."
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Re: 10/15: Training Camp Reports - Day 16

Postby GinoDB on Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:15 am

KB24@CL wrote:
5. The purple team of Bryant, Bynum, Derek Fisher, Pau Gasol and Radmanovic loses to the green-clad team of Trevor Ariza, C.J. Giles, Brandon Heath, Karl and Mihm. Yikes.


WTF

it means one thing....
Ariza is a BEAST

lol
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