08. Mailing It In: The View from Lakerland


Timlogo-be_mediumSnips and clips from the Lakers' camp, plus:

  • Mike and Ike and Ronald
  • Haiku Game Review
  • Fried Rice
  • Blazers/Lakers Recap
  • Popcorn Machine + TBJ



Lakers 121, Portland 96: At the Buzzer

by Brian Kamenetzky, ESPN Los Angeles Land o' Lakers blog

-Three Down- More Good Stuff:

Seriously, after a game like this, what is there to complain about? Derrick Caracter missing a layup late in the fourth? *  *  * So with that in mind, here are more good things from Sunday's win:

  • Lamar Odom — 21/12/3, bouncing back well from his worst game of the season two nights ago.
  • Turnovers — The final number (15) swelled as the game loosened up over the final quarter, but overall the Lakers again took good care of the ball. Only six giveaways in the first half. Hold on to the ball, don't give up offensive rebounds. This is a formula for limiting another team's points.
  • 24:49 — The number of minutes and seconds Kobe played Sunday. * * *
  • Classic Sasha — With under a minute to play in a blowout, Sasha Vujacic was hit on the elbow — or so he said — on a 3-pointer. After the make, he went back down the floor slapping his elbow angrily at the official. Had the game not been nearly over, he'd have been T'd up, then roundly mocked by his teammates.



Lakers vs. Portland: Lakers Make Tough Test Look Easy in Win Over Trail Blazers

by Broderick Turner, LA Times Lakers Blog

This was supposed to be the first real test of the season for the Lakers, the first team that would challenge the two-time defending NBA champions. Instead, the Lakers just blew out another opponent. Portland was never in this game.

The Lakers opened a 13-point lead at the end of the first quarter, increased it to 22 points at the half and led by 29 in the second half.

Pau Gasol led the way, recording a triple-double with 20 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists. Lamar Odom had a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Every Lakers starter scored in double figures. * * *



Lakers Coaching Staff Asked for Steve Blake's Scouting Report on the Blazers

by Mark Medina, LA Times Lakers Blog

It's customary for the Lakers' coaching staff to ask their current players who've been on other teams if they're willing to volunteer any information to help the scouting report.

With the Lakers about to play tonight at Staples Center against Portland, that role went to backup point guard Steve Blake...

"Oh I don't know," Blake said, laughing. "I don't know if I can give that information away. At shootarounds everybody talks about the teams you're playing against. I just had a lot more things to say." * * *



Lakers 121, Trail Blazers 96

by Kevin Ding, Orange County Register Lakers Blog

When you talk about statistical domination of a game, you're talking about the coveted triple-double.

Pau Gasol achieved it in the Lakers' rout of Portland on Sunday night — and did it with three minutes still left in the third quarter: 20 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists. He even had three steals.

But what takes the domination a step further is handling the ball that much while piling up those numbers - and not committing a single turnover.

The Lakers led Portland, 89-64, after three quarters, so Gasol sat out the final period, finishing with 33 minutes played. * * *



Pau Gasol's Triple-Double Leads Lakers Over Blazers

by Regnard Raquedan, Big Lakers Fan blog

Well, the Los Angeles Lakers took care for their first major test of the season.

The Lakers beat the Portland Traiblazers 121-96, with Pau Gasol netting a triple-double: 20 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists. The game was pretty much decided by halftime, with the Lakers leading by 22 points, event with Kobe Bryant not playing his "A" game. * * *

The Lakers are now 7-0 and they are leading the league in the winning column. But I see another Western Conference Player of the Week recognition for Pau Gasol.



Vanilla-Flavored Razzle Dazzle

posted by Dexter Fishmore, Silver Screen and Roll (SBN)



73 Wins? Let's Get Serious

by Mark Heisler, Los Angeles Times

* * *
With the Lakers 7-0 after walking on the Portland Trail Blazers, a real team that won 50 games last season, as if they were Warriors or D-Fenders, I guess we can dispense with the Stumbling Start after Bust Training Camp With Everyone Hurt scenario. * * *

Since Lakers fans deserve an update on their team's chances — now far better than Miami's since they only have to finish 65-10 — here it is: 0%.

Here's my methodology: I take the hype from their 21-3 and 23-4 starts the last two seasons and note their win total at the end, 65 and 57, respectively.

Then I multiply by Coach Phil Jackson's inclination to push them — zero — and come up with zero! * * *



Lakers 121, Trail Blazers 96: All Laker Opponents Are the Walking Dead

by Dexter Fishmore, Silver Screen and Roll (SBN)

Seven games, seven victories — five of them blowouts. We couldn't, without seeming a bit greedy, have asked for a more rollicking start to the season.

Tonight's contest against Portland was supposed to be the sternest test so far, but instead the Lakers wheeled out the heavy artillery and continued crushing and killing everything in their path. A thoroughly dominant first quarter ended with the champs up 13, and from there it only got worse for the Trail Blazers, a legitimately solid team who were made to look like the Bakersfield Jam. * * *

At 7-0, the Lakers now sport the best record in the NBA. An obscenely inept Minnesota team visits on Tuesday, making it a sound bet the Lakers will be 8-0 when they visit Denver on Thursday night. So much for post-championship hangovers. * * *



Lakers Continue to Blaze Along, Improve to 7-0 After Routing Portland

by Elliott Teaford, LA Daily News

Good against the dregs is one thing. Good against supposed Western Conference challengers is another.

The Lakers made it look so easy, so routine while routing the Portland Trail Blazers from Staples Center on Sunday night. Their 121-96 victory was their seventh consecutive to start their chase for a third consecutive NBA championship. * * *

Steve Blake stuck a dagger in the hearts of his former Blazers teammates when he stripped the ball from Wesley Matthews and raced ahead for what appeared to be an easy layup. Instead of dropping the ball into the basket, Blake delivered a surprise. * * *

"Nice job, nice job," Gasol said, smiling. "I wasn't expecting that."  * * *



Lakers/Trailblazers: Calling It Domination Doesn't Do It Justice

by Darius Soriano, Forum Blue and Gold (TrueHoop)

* * *
Defensively, everywhere the Blazers took the ball they found another layer of defense to overcome — usually unsuccessfully. When Portland found a brief crack in the Lakers' interior defense, it quickly closed with multiple players there to dig at the ball and contest the shot when it did go up....

It started with Ron Artest's smothering defense on Brandon Roy who was locked down by Artest from the opening tip. Wherever Roy went he found Ron clamped onto him in a position to contest his every move. Roy ended the night with only 8 points and missed 5 of his 6 shots from the field only finding a rhythm when alone at the FT line.

And it wasn't only Roy that struggled. LaMarcus Aldridge shot 33% from the floor and needed 9 shots to score his 8 points. Camby didn't make a single basket and Wes Matthew made one of his five attempts from the floor. The only Blazers to show any life on offense were Andre Miller (20 points on 14 shots) and Nic Batum (17 points on 13 shots), but sadly for the Blazers it wasn't nearly enough. * * *



Points Per Possession Numbaz

by Dexter Fishmore, Silver Screen and Roll (SBN) game thread

1st Quarter

Possessions: Trail Blazers - 23, Lakers - 22
Points Per Possession: Trail Blazers - 0.61, Lakers - 1.23

2nd Quarter

Possessions: Trail Blazers - 22, Lakers - 23
Points Per Possession: Trail Blazers - 1.00, Lakers - 1.35

1st Half

Possessions: 45 each
PPP: Trail Blazers - 0.80, Lakers - 1.29

3rd Quarter

Possessions: 22 each
Points Per Possession: Trail Blazers - 1.27, Lakers - 1.41

4th Quarter

Possessions: Trail Blazers - 26, Lakers - 25
Points Per Possession: Trail Blazers - 1.23, Lakers - 1.28


Possessions: Trail Blazers - 93, Lakers - 92
PPP: Trail Blazers - 1.03, Lakers - 1.32




posted by shaqfor3 to Silver Screen and Roll game thread



The Bottom Line:

1. This was a big game, Portland? Really?!?!?

2. Blazers were on a back-to-back, had no answers for Pau and LO, knew they had no chance, and played like it.

3. Why did you guys get rid of Blake? Are you stupid?

4. Seven-and-Oh, baby... Bring on those mighty Timberwolves!



Mike and Ike and Ronald.

This is not the column I thought that I was writing today. The best-laid plans of mice and men, etc.


I'm going to begin my story with a story. I live at the end of a gravel road a few miles out of town in the country, with an aunt and uncle living next door. About 15 years ago, something like that, street hockey was briefly all the rage. You could buy the gear everywhere, even the dumbest discounter had craploads of sticks and goals and pads and such. Somehow or other I figured out that running around in my aunt and uncle's yard with hockey sticks, whacking a tennis ball into a goal, would made a pretty fun game. Street hockey on grass, if you will. I called the game "ball hockey."


My wife and I didn't have children. My aunt was my mom's kid sister and had two boys fairly late in life, so basically my first cousins next door — let's call them Mike and Ike — were the age that my kids would have been, if I had had kids.

Anyway, it was a great workout for me and tons of fun for them. They were pottymouthed little yobs and we trash-talked like a pack of Kevin Garnetts. But playing 1-on-2 has its limitations, particularly for me. As kids get a little older and middle-aged men get a little slower, it gets harder to beat a double team off the dribble, after all.

It wasn't long before we invited the kid from across the street who was about Mike's age — let's call him Rodney — to join our games. I bought him a stick, which he always really appreciated because I doubt that his father ever would have dropped the coin, as little as it was.

Rodney was a little slow and pretty spazzy, so the fair teams always worked out to be Rodney and me against Mike and Ike. We were teammates without fail and as time went on Rodney picked up a few passing skills and we managed to give Mike and Ike a good game, even if they were improving at a faster clip.

This continued for several years. Then one summer my aunt and uncle decided their boys should fulfill my aunt's long-stifled wish to join 4-H and raise sheep, so our ball hockey field was converted into a a sheep pasture for that summer and the next few years.

We never played ball hockey again.

So it goes.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, my old teammate Rodney's mother had a heart attack at 4 in the morning. She suffered massive brain damage in the process — you've got about 4 minutes to get oxygen to the brain and it took longer than that for the ambulance to arrive. She was hooked up to a ventilator, but it was too late for her. Her family followed her wishes not to be kept alive by artificial means, the machine was shut down, and she died.

She was 54 years old at the time of her death.

Moral: Heart attacks kill people and it can be an ugly finish. Don't screw around with them.


On Saturday night, as I was finishing up my post-Toronto "View" piece and putting it up on Blazers Edge, my wife came up to me with a worried look in her eyes and said that ever since her morning walk she felt like something was weird with her chest. It hurt and felt tight and she had shortness of breath and her heart was racing.

This had passed, but she was worried about it and put me on alert that I might be having to make a drive to the hospital emergency room so that she could get checked out.


Saturday night was the night that the clock fell back. At about 1 am Standard Time, she got up to go to the bathroom and get a drink. The symptoms had returned. While she had had problems with acid reflux previously, this pretty clearly was something different — she was in pain and having trouble breathing. We got dressed, hopped in the car, and went ripping to the hospital emergency room.

They got her into an examination room pretty quickly and hooked her up to The Machine That Goes Ping and started asking the first of 23,953 questions. They gave her another aspirin and something for the pain. And the RN gave way to the doctor on the floor, who asked a couple thousand of the questions again. They drew blood and took a chest x-ray and an couple EKGs and the doctor left and we sat and sat and sat.

Her heart rate was normal, steady and slow. 

About 3:30 am the doctor returned. There had already been good news that the blood did not show evidence of the antibody which forms when a person has had a heart attack — so it seemed clear that she had not. But there was something on the EKG that was abnormal and unexplained. It might be nothing — she had had a heart stress test a few years previously which came back negative for abnormalities — but then again it might be something. He wanted to have another stress test done to see if there was some sort of structural problem and wanted to have her admitted to the hospital so that could be done.

Couldn't this be done as an outpatient? we wondered.

Yes, BUT...

Yes, BUT... if you leave the lot, something might go wrong and he wouldn't be responsible. And if you go home, he said, the soonest you can book the heart stress test would be Monday, and they would have to take the first available appointment time. It might be Friday before the all-important test could be done.

If she was admitted to the hospital, on the other hand, a doctor could see her and order the test at once. She'd find out whether there was anything structurally wrong the next day. They gave her medication for acid reflux and the pain abated.

"This sucks," my wife declared. "If this is what being 50 is all about, I don't want to do it!"

It beats the alternative, as they say...

Were we going to accept admission? What did we want to do? The doctor needed to know. He left us alone so we could talk, doubtlessly heading to another room to work on one of the surly Saturday night drunks.

The doctor was gone a long time. It was pretty boring. According to the blood test, there had been no heart attack and it seemed, for all intents and purposes, that this was a gastrointestinal problem of some sort. Or was it? Was it worthwhile being admitted to the hospital? Would our lousy insurance cover her if she was? What were the odds that it was a heart problem rather than a digestive problem? The doctor couldn't say. Was he advising admission to cover his ass? Who knows...

All these questions.

We read National Geographic and waited and waited.

All during this time, a TV screen next to her bed showed my wife's heart rate in real time: 63, 62, 63, 61, 60, 60, 61...

My wife is into yoga a little so closed her eyes to see if she could lower it with relaxation techniques. She might have brought it down a point, it was hard to say.

"Why don't you try holding your breath to see what happens?" I wondered.

Like I say, it was 4 in the morning and we were bored.

She held her breath for 10 or 15 seconds and WHOOSH!!!

Her heart rate immediately began to skyrocket: 71, 73, 76, 79, 83, 88... HOLY CRAP!!!

My wife was suddenly moaning in pain, short of breath...

...I stuck my head out the sliding glass door and called for a doctor...

91, 93, 96, 97, 99, 100, 101, 101, 101 .......... 101, 101, 100, 99, 96, 95, 90, 88, 84, 79, 76, 73, 72, 71, 69, 66, 64...

That was scary! Indigestion it was not.

The RN rushed back in, we told him what had happened and he popped a nitro tablet under here tongue. Things had by then mellowed out.

The RN smiled and told her, "Don't hold your breath anymore!"

We waited and waited some more and I felt like a heel for causing such a problem with my stupid suggestion that my wife should try holding her breath to see if it would bump up her heartrate a beat or two.

She later had another very similar episode, even more frightening, that didn't involve her holding her breath or anything else, so I reckon that having that first episode was for the best. The doctor came in during the second episode, when my wife's heart rate had peaked at 110. I was pretty shaken up, but he was calm — it wasn't a dangerous rate, he later said and we later learned further from another doctor that the SHAPE of the heartbeat is more important than the pace. If the electricity of the heart is messed up, that's where there's a problem.

But clearly now there was something wrong and it made the decision on admission a simple one. She was taken upstairs to the Intensive Care Unit and more thousands of questions were asked. She was seen by a doctor who ordered the stress test for the next morning.

They were still asking and answering questions when they sent me home. I got back at 7 am, new time, just in time to let Bingo Bill out of the house before his bladder exploded like an overfull water balloon.

I caught a couple hours of sleep.



When I woke up I phoned and was put through to my wife and we talked a little. I told her I'd be over as soon as I could. After eating breakfast and walking the dog, I quickly added a couple items to the Raptor-View piece, took a shower and headed back to the hospital.

Then it was a matter of "Hurry Up and Wait."

When I arrived my wife was out of her room getting shot up with nuclear goo or working the treadmill for the cardiologist. The tests ended up taking several hours. I fortunately had prepared for just this eventuality by bringing my laptop. I headed for the hospital lobby, where I have just finished writing this.

I've been upstairs twice and she's still not back. So I still don't know anything. It's........... somewhat disconcerting...

I know that this is not much of a story, but if I plead to you now that the dog ate my homework hopefully you'll cut me some slack.


Looks like the heart tests went okay, the second blood draw didn't show evidence of a heart attack either and they intentionally bumped her pulse rate all the way to 160 (!!!) on the treadmill today without issue, so I guess I was being a wuss about 110.

They still don't know what was making her heart race but we'll know more later, I'm sure. They've discovered her potassium level was super low. Still learning, still processing tests, but so far, so good.

My wife was discharged from the hospital at about 6 pm Sunday evening and we made it home fifteen minutes before tipoff in the Laker game. I guess the planets are finally starting to align.

Thanks for your indulgence and concern.

Go Blazers!


*   *   *









Sunday whites are on

Dim lights over costly seats

A three minute game





Here are a few more doses of surrealist philosophy from our goofy Uncle Mike...


Age is relative, as Ricey demonstrates when he grouses about a call...

Rice: I don't like young referees working the Laker games!

MB: Michael Smith's in his 18th Year!!!

Rice: I know...


The Hollywood elite is courtside in Los Angeles...

MB: Andre Miller just about landed in Penny Marshall's lap, who's on the baseline yukking it up with Chevy Chase.

Rice: So far those are about the only "stars" I've seen tonight — we can still call Penny a "star," can't we? She hasn't been in anything since Laverne and Shirley.


The Laker blowout is on, with Portland outrebounded by 21 and counting...

Rice: I'm not going anywhere near Nate tonight on the plane!

MB: You know, when you listen to music and you put on headphones you tend to talk really loud — I'm going to advise against that tonight.


Game 8.

Blazers 96 at LA Lakers 121.

November 7, 2010.

Blazers' record is now 5-3, Lakers 7-0.

Short and sweet. The Blazers mailed it in tonight so I will, too..

  • This year the Lakers are averaging 112.8 points (#1 in the NBA) and shooting 44.7% from beyond the arc (#1 in the NBA). Yikes. 
  • No Pryz and No Oden = No Chance.
  • The score stood at 27-14 after the first period. Hint for Nate: this is not a particularly effective strategy for beating the Lakers. That projects to a 108-56 final, by the way.
  • Lakers shot 55% in the first quarter, the Blazers 37%. And it went downhill from there.
  • Good question posed in the game thread from Black84GTI : "Why is this Brandon Roy's team?"
  • At the half: Brandon Roy 0 for 5 shooting for 4 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 steal, 0 superstar intensity.
  • Lakers' key guy: Pau Gasol. At the half he was 6 for 9 shooting for 14 points, 11 rebounds (7 of which were offensive), 7 assists, 2 steals. Not bad.
  • Brandon hit his first shot from the field with 5:20 left in the 3rd Quarter and the Blazers down by 20.
  • Andre played hard. So did Nic.
  • Lakers play-by-play god Joel Myers (my favorite announcer, bar none) had a good line. He noted that "the Lakers took the crowd out of this game early."
  • Remind me again why Cho traded Rex...



Let's take at this thang graphically, shall we?


Ya gotta click THIS-HERE LINK to see the swell graphs, that's the way these things work... Ready? Set??? GO!!!

Now here are a few observations about the Popcorn Machine material from me to you:

A. A 22-6 Laker run in the 1st Quarter and you can stick a fork in this game. The Blazers CAN beat this team, but not with a lack of bigs and not when they pull that kind of crap. Obviously, the back-to-back aspect was no help tonight, but Portland was pretty clearly psyched out from the get-go.

B. The ENTIRE 4th Quarter was garbage time for the Lakers. Even the mighty Sasha Vujacic got some burn, scoring 6 points in 5 and a half minutes. By way of comparison, Brandon Roy had 8 points in over 31 minutes.

C. LMA was an incomprehensible Minus-28 in the +/-. That's a reflection of a systemic failure by the Blazers' starters in this game.

D. Andre was team-high with 20 points. Nic had 17. Both of those guys played hard. Brandon Roy, on the other hand, added another brick to the outhouse he seems to be constructing as his legacy... He needs to step up and take charge of "his" team (assuming that the deed that KP gave him for that still has the slightest validity) and start acting like a superstar. Ever since his megabucks contract was signed, the fire in the belly has been missing, it seems to me.



Finally, let's gather round for another installment of THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD, eh?


Here is THE LINK to the story on the Hornets' Defense from Hornets 24/7 that Skeets mentions in this show.

The Basketball Jones is a NBA blog and video/audio podcast, written and recorded five times a week by J.E. Skeets, Tas Melas, Jason Doyle and Matt Osten. Assume that there will be a couple Not Suitable For Work words used in any given episode.

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