The Lakers are 9-10 this season and have struggled to find a rhythm. (Stacy Revere / Getty Images )
On Monday, after the loss to Orlando, Mike Bresnahan wrote that, "It was the latest blast in a season full of them, the Lakers pulled apart by another inferior team."
How did we come so far from the fact that the winning team in any game is the superior team in each contest? It makes little difference how much talent exists on any team, the result is what counts. I suppose the sports bookies worry about talent, but they have to pay out on results.
Hey, Kobe, I'm surprised you publicly criticized Pau Gasol since he was instrumental in helping you win back-to-back titles. Didn't you want support in difficult times?
Russ W. Bill
Kobe's proclamation that "he loves Pau like a brother" should raise red flags. My advice to Pau: Don't take any rowboat trips on Lake Tahoe with Kobe. It didn't work out so well for Fredo Corleone.
Mark S. Roth
It would be a dumb move for the Lakers to trade Pau Gasol. He's not the problem. The problem is the offensive system of the new coach. It should be built around the type of good players he has: old guys and tall guys. They are talented but aren't run-and-gun players and won't be for long with the aging Steve Nash, either.
And under this run-them-ragged offense, Kobe Bryant might be worn out by midseason and Dwight Howard frustrated and leaning toward leaving.
Hey Kobe, I bet now you wish you had a point guard as good as Smush Parker.
Dwight Howard might leave the Lakers at the end of the year in hopes of finding a better place to win a championship. If so, he should consider going back to high school because that is his only chance of reaching his goal. From what I've seen so far this year, I'd rather have Andrew Bynum on the DL than Howard on the court.
Marina del Rey
Note to Lakers coaches: In baseball they replace a great hitter with a defensive fielder to protect leads late in the game. In football they put in the "hands" team for an on-side kick.
It is no crime to replace Dwight Howard late in the game for someone who can make free throws down the stretch. The object is to win the game with the best players in the best positions for the situation at hand.
Apparently, because the Lakers have an All-Star starting lineup they assume they can play All-Star game style defense and still expect to win.
Not bowled over
I understand the expectations for USC were high. Of the Trojans' five losses, the ones to undefeated Notre Dame, BCS top-five 5 Oregon, and conference champion Stanford were somewhat understandable. What amazes me is that with five losses, people want heads to roll.
Across town, the Bruins, with four losses, are upset their coach wasn't coach of the year and are talking dynasty. You would think they actually won something. I heard the same thing when Karl Dorell went 10-2 before being fired. Amazing how different the expectations for the programs are.
Ultimately, if they had figured out how to defend el run-o, maybe the Trojans' bowl destination wouldn't be El Paso?
Gotta love the comments made by Matt Barkley this week about forcing the ball to Marqise Lee too much, while seemingly ignoring two of the biggest, most talented tight ends in the country. Of course Coach Kiffin doesn't agree, as he was the perp in the play-calling crimes all season long.
What a study in contrasts between the comments by Bill Plaschke and T.J. Simers after UCLA's loss to Stanford in the Pac-12 championship game.
While Plaschke offered insightful observations about UCLA's bright prospects for the future after a well-fought contest, Simers continued to flog his ridiculous theory that UCLA had purposefully underperformed in the prior week's matchup.
Isn't it time to pull T.J.'s plug? We can only suffer and hope. In the meantime, with baseball season on the horizon, we can look forward to new installments of his one-sided bromance with Adrian Gonzalez.
The three dumbest plays in football are: 1. Getting sacked on fourth down 2. Intercepting a long pass on fourth down. 3. Spiking the ball with more than 20 seconds to play when you are just out of field goal range.
Jim Mora did a fabulous job this year, and he had Stanford on the ropes for most of the Pac-12 title game. But with 50 seconds on the clock and no timeouts, and just out of easy field goal range, why on Earth would you spike the ball on first down? Call a quick play at the line, or even huddle. You might have used that time to a better advantage. Next year!
Bruce Van De Velde, Louisiana Tech's athletic director, must have asked Phil Jackson for advice on how long he should wait before accepting an invitation to play at the Independence Bowl.