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Lakers roster appears all but set for the season

The trade deadline passes with no further additions, and it appears unlikely the team would be tempted by any potential free-agent pickups.

February 21, 2009|Mike Bresnahan

The Lakers looked around after arriving for Friday morning's shoot-around at their training facility.

If it hadn't already sunk in by that point, it did shortly thereafter: This was their team the rest of the season.

The trade deadline passed Thursday afternoon without further addition or subtraction to the Lakers' roster.

"We had the talk that this is what we're rolling out with," forward Lamar Odom said. "This is our team, and the ball kind of keeps moving."

Vladimir Radmanovic and Chris Mihm were traded in cost-cutting moves, but, as expected, there were no major moves for the team with the league's best record.

"I don't know why we would at this point," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said.

There is one mildly important personnel date the rest of the regular season: March 1, the last day free agents can sign with teams and still be eligible for the playoffs.

Sacramento waived forward-center Mikki Moore, and New York has been in on-and-off buyout talks with disgruntled veteran guard Stephon Marbury, who does not interest the Lakers.

The Lakers have only 14 players, one shy of the league limit, but the team would use the extra spot only "in case there's an emergency situation," Jackson said.

In other words, the Lakers won't be actively scanning the waiver wire to see who else gets cut by other teams.

Some of the Lakers acknowledged being caught off guard by the team's two trades this month -- "We were surprised Vlade got traded and to see Chris go," Odom said -- but they are obviously committed to whatever awaits down the road.

"We got over the hump as far as some guys left where we were surprised. That was kind of it," Odom said. "We like what we had before the trade, after the trade. You lose a brother, you gain a brother."

Going streaking?

The Lakers have one main goal from now until mid-April: Secure home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

Beyond that, they'll try to find smaller goals along the way.

Their longest winning streak this season is seven games, which they've done three times without being able to get to eight.

"We want to win a lot more," forward Luke Walton said. "We want to get a winning streak in double digits. That's what we want."

Boston, by comparison, has had winning streaks of 19 games and 12 games this season.

Miller is missed

Jackson never knew Larry Miller, but he respected the Utah Jazz owner from afar.

Miller, who died Friday of diabetes complications at age 64, continually fielded a competitive team in a market that was never among the league's largest.

"He's not a guy that had a long life but he had a big impact and I think was a terrific owner for Salt Lake," Jackson said. "He's going to be sorely missed in the league because of his drive. He had a very competitive team for a lot of the years he was there."


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