Originally posted on With Malice  |  Last updated 1/15/12

As is often said, life gets in the way.  It's true of blogging too, and I won't get into stories: but I've been busy.
Anyway - back into it.  A few things I want to discuss...

- Firstly on the Lakers: they're both better and worse than I expected/hoped they'd be.  Or if not worse, where they were last season.  Lemme 'splain... I think they've made the transition (or rather, are in the process of making the transition) from Phil Jackson to Mike Brown rather smoothly.  Or... it's going rather smoothly thus far. 

- 9-5 isn't what I'd normally call a brilliant start, but given the parameters of operation this season, it's pretty nice.  Compare it to other teams, and it's not too bad.  Look at it through the lens of new coach, no Bynum for games 1-4, and playing a back-to-back-to-back to open the season. 
Actually, so far this season, the Lakers have had only 3 of those 14 games not be part of a back-to-back, or back-to-back-to-back.  That's NYK (win), Houston (win) and Memphis (win).

- Kobe Bryant's been playing some AMAZING basketball lately.  Will the 40-point-barrage continue?  Hell no.  But I do expect him to be slightly improved over what he was last season.  The lengthened layoff during the lockout clearly helped Kobe, as did the platelet-rich plasma therapy.  It appears to be so successful that I expect a far greater number of athletes making pilgrimages to get the "German procedure" in the coming years... interestingly, I've seen the anti-Kobe faction deride his FG% (incorrectly), assists (mistakenly) and then minutes per game (not really a worry... is it?).

- Hawaii's an awesome place.

- Even in the light of Kobe's pace of game at the moment, I'd love to see Gasol/Bynum have a greater impact on the game.  That's more on coaching than Kobe tho'.  Most of the time, they present an advantage that is unmatchable by opponents.  Most of the time...

- Gotta say, LeBron is playing some amazing ball at the moment.  Same with Rondo, Durant & (up until his injury) Melo.

- Mentioning former CotY Mike Brown, I'm actually far more impressed with him than I thought I'd be.  Kudos to you, Coach Brown.

- The presence of Mike Yam and Henry Abbott on the NBA Today podcast make me appreciate Ryen Russillo all that more.  Tim Legler - you're actually pretty damn good. 
Ok, I'm not being fair.  Initially, I thought Mike Yam was pretty bad, but in light of what Abbott presents, well... Mike, you're ok.  As far as radio presenting goes, Abbott is a talented writer (except when it comes to Kobe Bryant - more on that in a later piece).

- The Clipper loss: I don't think you can put that one on Kobe, not at all.  Sure, he didn't shoot quite at the 50% clip that he had been, but pretty much everyone on the team was worse (if less prolific).  Gasol: 7-17.  Bynum: 6-13.  These are two guys who should be hitting at a much higher percentage, especially in light of the big-man defense that the Clippers present. Barnes: 1-6. Derek Fisher: 2-5.

- Speaking of Fisher, can we see more of Darius Morris please?  Thus far, I like what I see.

- The next 5 games are huge.  Hosting Dallas, traveling to Miami and Orlando in a Florida back-to-back, then hosting Indiana before seeing the Clippers again in a Lakers homegame.  Huge stuff there.

- Lastly: if Dwight Howard is to be traded before the trade deadline, surely it'd be to the Lakers.  Brook Lopez being injured will impact the way Orlando view him (that along with... well... "sucking"), and the New Jersey ineptitude will affect the way Dwight views the Nets.  Bynum is not Howard, but there's no other singular piece that the Magic can attain that's better.  Did I mention Hawaii's nice?
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Greg Jennings announces retirement from NFL

Vikings OT Phil Loadholt retires after seven seasons in NFL

Report: Yankees, Cubs in 'final stages' of Chapman trade

Repot: NFL to investigate Aldon Smith over Periscope video

Report: Fitzpatrick got ‘multiple contract offers’ from Jets


A-Rod: Ortiz deserves Fenway statue, street named after him

Report: Bosh's camp 'angry and suspicious of Heat's intentions'

JJ Watt pens dramatic letter to fans about back injury

Le’Veon Bell vows to win appeal: ‘I’m not going to miss games’

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Aldon Smith posts video under a pseudonym of a blunt on Periscope

Julian Edelman is dating Adriana Lima?

NFL reportedly determines Peyton Manning didn't use PEDs

KD, Draymond Green booed in L.A. during Team USA exhibition

Top storyline for each NFL team heading into training camp

Eight MLB veterans that need to be traded before deadline

Andre the Giant drank six bottles of wine before match?

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

Eight most significant injuries going into NFL training camp

Man. U players banned from playing 'Pokemon Go?'

Ken Griffey Jr. put on backwards hat during HOF speech

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker