Skin glue

Kobe Bryant just took an elbow from Baron Davis and a deep cut has opened up under his left eye. Lakers trainer Gary Vitti just turned into a cutman. KCAL’s cameras showed him putting skin glue into the cut.

Will it hold?

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Lamar’s boards

Lamar Odom currently has 17 rebounds. He had 22 rebounds last night. If he grabs three more by the end of the game, he’ll be the first Laker in 13 years to have back to back 20-rebound games.

Who was the last Laker to accomplish the feat?

Click below for the answer:

Hint: He’s got a namesake on the team…
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Phil on the Warriors

The Lakers are locked in another tight game with the Warriors, 95-91 with nine minutes to go at the time of this posting. And if the standings don’t change much in the final few weeks of the season, L.A. could be seeing a lot more of the Warriors come playoff time.

So what does Phil Jackson think of Don Nelson’s bunch?

Before the game he was asked about Golden State’s high-octane offense:

Creative? I dont know what that means. Spontaneous? Yeah. Theres a lot of spontaneity in their game, but a lot of it is just basic basketball. Thats one thing (Don Nelson) does very well is allow his guys to play a very simple form of basketball, which gives them a lot of energy to play with so they dont have to remember a lot of stuff. They just do some stuff thats basic to the game. Pass and cut. I think they play with better energy that way some times. There are some wrinkles that you have to be prepared for, and thats one of the reasons hes been a surprise coach in the first round.

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Potential First Round Opponents

OK, there’s still a lot of basketball left, but don’t think this question isn’t crossing the minds of coaching staffs throughout the Western Conference…

The Lakers are currently tied with New Orleans atop the Western Conference standings. If the playoffs started today, Golden State would be the 8th seed, Dallas would be the 7th seed, the Spurs would be the 6th seed and Denver would be on the outside looking in.

Consider everything — match-ups, injuries, playoff experience — when making your pick:

Who would you prefer to play in the first round?
Golden State
Denver
Mavericks
Spurs
  
pollcode.com free polls
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Why Phil feels good

Lakers coach Phil Jackson didn’t hesitate when a reporter asked him which Western Conference team he thought should be considered the frontrunner at this point.

“I think we’re the frontrunner,” Jackson said. “That’s what I would say.”

That’s a sign of confidence in his team, but also a recognition that the Lakers have a highly-favorable schedule down the stretch. After tonight’s game in Oakland, eight of the Lakers final 11 games are home games. One of the three road games though, is a game against the Clippers, where the Clippers are the designated home team.

And of those next 11 games, only six are against teams with winning records (Washington, Portland (twice), Dallas and San Antonio).

The Lakers have two dates with Sacramento left, one game with the Clippers, Memphis and Charlotte.

Even if the Lakers lose tonight in Oakland, a 9-2 or even 8-3 finish is very realistic with that schedule. That would leave the Lakers with 56 or 57 wins.

New Orleans on the other hand, plays 10 of its final 14 games on the road. It’s got dates at Cleveland, at Boston, at Orlando, home games against Golden State and Utah and a road game against the Lakers on April 11.

The only “easy” games the Hornets have left are a road game with Miami on April 2, a home date against the Knicks on April 4, a road game in Minnesota on April 9 and a home game against the Clippers on April 15.

To match the Lakers, the Hornets would need to win all four “easy” games, and then at least five or six of those other eight games.

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Gasol back this week … probably

Pau Gasol is not with the team for tonight’s game in Oakland. There’s a chance he could play Wednesday against the Bobcats, but I really get the impression that the Lakers want to be cautious and not rush him back.

If he doesn’t play Wednesday, the Lakers next game is against another lowly team, Memphis, and you have to wonder if the Lakers would just as soon try to get through both those games without him if Gasol doesn’t feel like he’s 100 percent yet.

Here’s what Phil Jackson said on the matter Sunday.

“We’re hoping he’ll be back on the floor this week, Tuesday maybe or Thursday, hopefully,” Jackson said. “I’m not going to say one game or the other right now. It’s just a matter of … how much he can endure.”

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How to beat Golden State

The Lakers have a home-and-home with Golden State tonight and Monday, so that question was the focus of Saturday’s light practice.

Here are the keys to victory, according to Lakers coach Phil Jackson:

“Take care of the basketball,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “ “Limit the amount of (fastbreaks). Limit your turnovers. Approach the game like you don’t have to play their pace. You can play at the pace you want, but you can run against them because that’s part of their game.

“It’s got to be our tempo.”

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Ronny as a starter

Ronny Turiaf’s run as a starter will likely come to an end when Pau Gasol returns from his sprained ankle, but Turiaf has certainly made an impact.

In his four starts, Turiaf is averaging 11.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.7 blocks.

Turiaf’s normally known as an energy guy, which is why he works so well with the second unit, but he’s been able to mesh well with the starters and is a big reason why the Lakers have been getting off to such fast starts recently.

“I don’t see why it’s a problem for me to give the first unit my energy,” Turiaf said. “It’s like a battery. You put in the battery and it’s going to work.”

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Newble’s vote

Hey. Late night blog tonight. Just got back after hanging out at the 626 Reserve in Downtown with Daily News alum Gary Washburn, who covers the Sonics for the Post-Intelligencer, and my friend Jayda Evans, who writes for the Seattle Times. The Sonics just lost their 10th straight, so I figured Gary and Jayda could use some company before heading out to Salt Lake City for what’ll probably be loss No. 11.

Anyway, we all got to meet the Lakers’ newest player, Ira Newble before the game today. He should be a good veteran addition to the team. Newble’s a nice, even-keeled guy who has bounced around a bunch in his eight-years in the league. He’ll add a tough-guy defensive presence to the Lakers.

“I’ve bounced around a lot. I played in the CBA. I started like this so it’s familiar territory for me,” Newble said of his 10-day contract status. “It’s how I made my way into the league and I made the best of it.”

Now that he’s with the Lakers, Newble has the distinction of having played with both Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. So we had to ask, in his humble opinion, which superstar is the best?

“I knew that was coming,” Newble joked. “You know what… Kobe’s better. If you ask LeBron that, he’ll tell you Kobe’s better too.

“One thing I noticed from playing against him (Kobe)… you can have a hand in his face and cover his eyes, but he shoots the ball like he’s in there by himself. That impressed me.”

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