The hobbled Lakers

There was news from the Lakers’ pregame media access, and none of it was good. Maurice Evans will miss tonight’s game with a sore back and likely will be out Friday as well. Kwame Brown is out as well, with some sort of a heel injury.

Brown’s absence means a start for either Andrew Bynum or Chris Mihm, and Jackson seemed to be leaning toward Mihm, under the theory that Bynum plays better with his minutes limited.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Phil Jackson quotes

On the recent strong play of Andrew Bynum…
“I like the fact that his teammates recognize his strengths and they’re willing to get the ball to him in situations that are real positive. We ran the court well and got a couple easy (baskets) on the run.”

On keeping Bynum in the game after he picked up his fourth foul with eight minutes remaining…
“With the momentum there at the end of the game, it seemed like a good time to keep going.”

On the reasons for the Lakers’ 2-1 start…
“We made a little switch. We tried to put Fisher on the ball in a delivery kind of thing, and put Kobe in a position where he can be an offensive-minded player rather than a distributor. It’s helped us in a lot of ways, because it’s kind of clarified guys’ roles. I think the team is playing with a lot better enthusiasm. Defensively, they’re hustling, even though a lot of things are still happening. They’re hustling.”

On if that hustle makes errors easier to deal with…
“It makes up for a lot of errors. Guys work hard and knock the balls loose and something good happens.”

On the challenges posed by New Orleans…
“They have a unique way of playing the game. A lot of their stuff is generated by Chris Paul. They’re a screen-roll kind of team that’s oriented towards, if the fast break is not there and penetration is not there, then screen rolls are going to happen, multiple screen rolls. So it puts a lot of pressure on your big guys and your guards to try to match up.”

On the recent play of Vladimir Radmanovic…
“He’s a little more comfortable with what’s going on out there. Obviously last year he had a terrible start and a terrible end, so he didn’t have an opportunity to really perform the way he wanted to. He’s a good athlete. He’s a good active player and he can do a lot of things.”

On the strong play of the second unit…
“I think that has really helped a lot, because when you have the middle part of the game, sometimes players ease up and they don’t play as hard. We have guys coming out to work hard and push the ball at the other end of the court. Particularly when teams have played the night before, that makes a difference. It puts pressure on their ability to recover defensively and to just run the court.”

On the challenges of integrating Lamar Odom back into the offense…
“I don’t think we have to do anything. We just have to understand what his role is, the fact that he’s going to penetrate and the fact that he’s going to look for those opportunities and then he’s going to find open men in that process too. They have to have a spot-up position and know where they have to go, those things.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Charity event

Vladimir Radmanovic, through his charity foundation, will be hosting a benefit event Wednesday at LA Farm in Santa Monica. The event, which includes dinner, an auction and live music, benefits vocational programs at orphanages in Serbia and Montenegro. Individual tickets cost $200. For more information, contact Matthew Wade at 206-227-9387.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Odom quotes

On his return to practice today…
“It was good to practice and get up and down with the guys, get blocked a couple times, make some shots, miss some shots, grab a rebound. My basketball timing was off a little bit but hopefully in every practice I’ll get it back.”

On whether the Lakers’ 2-1 start makes it easier for him to ease in…
“It’s only three games, but even if we were 0-3 I wouldn’t really rush it. It’s a long season and I have to be as strong as possible to go through a season and make it all the way through. I have to take my time.”

On what he saw watching the Lakers’ last two victories…
“The energy was up. … We played at a fast pace last night and everybody was defensively aware. We just did a good job as a team, all around. If we keep it up, there’s not a team we can’t beat.”

On his plan for the next few days in practice…
“I’ll go at it harder and harder every day. Right now I’m just going to ice it and take it easy. After tomorrow’s practice, I’ll probably lift (weights) after practice and try to prepare myself to play on Friday. Hopefully the doctor will clear me.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Odom practices

Lamar Odom made a surprise appearance at today’s practice. He said he felt good and is actually targeting a return for Friday’s game. Notes and quotes from Odom and the rest of the gang to follow shortly…

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email