The Lakers went straight from the practice court into an NBA media training session. Why the NBA would hold media training six weeks/eight games into the season is something I’m still trying to figure out.
Phil Jackson emphasized the transition game to his players Tuesday. There is an “optimal speed,” in his words, at which the Lakers should play. They went through some conditioning as well, with Jackson saying, “I thought we lost energy at certain points in ballgames.’
This was noted on Jackson’s practice plan under the heading, “Run ‘em.”
Jackson had a couple of good lines. He was talking about Andrew Bynum’s inability to play for extended stretches and reminded reporters that Bynum was playing high school basketball with six-minute quarters only two years ago. He was reminded that the quarters had to be at least eight minutes long.
“It was a parochial school, right?” Jackson said. “They had to go to confession the other two minutes.
Jackson also was asked about the possibility of Kwame Brown facing shoulder pain all season.
“Kwame always has pains,” Jackson said. “Hes always coming down with some kind of pain. Maybe thatll be good. Itll keep him focused on one pain rather than others.
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There was something resembling a tent city set up outside the Best Buy in Hawthorne when I went to buy some CDs today. One of the cashiers explained that people were camping out for the Playstation 3 release on Friday. It looked like several of the guys were wearing Lakers T-shirts, which is why I raise the issue here.
I would love to hear why you would spend at least two nights sleeping in the parking lot of a Best Buy for a video game system. I thought I’d heard it all when one of my fellow beat writers made a point of buying “Madden 07” at midnight on the day it was released in August.
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Here’s the notes from Tuesday’s practice:
By Ross Siler
EL SEGUNDO–Whatever sales pitch the Lakers made to Vladimir Radmanovic at the start of the July free-agent negotiating period almost assuredly didnt include anything about playing 5 minutes a game.
Yet that was how much action Radmanovic saw Sunday in the Lakers victory over Memphis. He didnt get off the bench in the second half against one of the Western Conferences weakest teams.
There is another consideration: Other than Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom, the Lakers have invested more money in Radmanovics future than any player on the roster.
“Hes limited right now, Lakers coach Phil Jackson said after practice Tuesday. “Theres two things working against him: His injury to his hand and the fact that he has not found a comfort zone on the floor.
“Ive been trying to force-feed him in games, and its hurting us and its hurting him both.
Playing with a torn ligament in his shooting hand, Radmanovic is averaging 6.3 points and 16.8 minutes per game. He signed a five-year, $30.2 million contract with the Lakers in the hopes of finding a bigger role than was available to him with the Clippers.
That looks less likely with every game Luke Walton starts at forward. Jackson brought Radmanovic off the bench to start the second quarter Sunday as part of a unit that included Jordan Farmar, Maurice Evans, Kwame Brown and Odom.
Radmanovics first shot was a 3-pointer that missed the rim entirely and smacked off the backboard. He got his only points of the game by tipping in a Farmar miss.
Jackson said it was hard to play Radmanovic in a lineup with other players learning the triangle offense and added that he was struggling with his patience and rhythm.
“Hes real talented and were very happy to have him, Jackson said. “But we want him to have some success and it takes a game where he has some success to really start to feel his role.
Jackson estimated it could take 20 games for Radmanovic to get comfortable on the court. He also wants to “break him of his free-shooting ways from his years in Seattle.
New role: At Jacksons insistence, Bryant went through only a limited practice Tuesday. He continued to work to strengthen his surgically repaired right knee.
Jackson moved Bryant back to the backcourt and Odom to the wing for Sundays game. And Bryant said he expects to stay in that guard spot as the Lakers hope to be better organized on offense.
“I think it helps us out as a unit more because Ive been playing in this offense for a long time, Bryant said, “and I understand how to set it up, so guys will have a better feel for where their spots will be working from within the system.
Under the knife: Center Chris Mihm underwent surgery Tuesday in Baltimore to repair a ligament and tendon in his right ankle and realign his heel.
Mihm will have his foot immobilized for four to five weeks and will use a walking boot for an additional five to six weeks. The projected recovery time was six to eight months, which would all but guarantee that Mihm will not play this season.