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KB: “Yeah, and aside from Gasol, Bynum, and LO, I too also play for the Lakers!!”

Artest: “You do?! Damnn, we’re that good?!”

So apparently D.J. Mbenga really, and I mean really, likes to shoot mid-range jump shots. Why? I have absolutely no clue. At times it seems as though he just erroneously comes to this horribly misled conclusion that he needs to  help pick up the scoring slack behind Kobe and carry this young, offensively challenged team (Yeah Right!) all on his own. Well, I don’t care if he makes 10 jump shots in a row, I will never trust D.J. Mbenga with that shot… unless he’s blocking himself and the ball ricochets off to any other Laker player for a better shot. Stick with the blocks, Deej – that’s one area  you can let yourself get carried away with all you want (especially on all the Kenyon Martins of this world).

Anyway, with that little vent out of the way, let’s move on to the more significant developments of the preseason – LIKE BLAKE GRIFFIN ABSOLUTELY ERASING D.J. MBENGA’S LIFE with a thunderous dunk during the Lakers/Clippers Staples shoot-out! Okay, okay, I’ll lay off Congo Cash. Promise.

So as the Lakers wrapped up their preseason run this past Friday against the Denver Nuggets to finish 6-2, Laker fans across the nation were finally afforded a more complete and tangible picture of the potential damage and firepower this Laker team has to offer up to the rest of the league this upcoming season.

While most of our previous theories were confirmed, there were still some surprisingly welcome, new developments that came to the forefront as well that exceeded even our own expectations.

Here’s a mini-recap of all the players and events that proved noteworthy of mention in my mind this preseason…

Ron Artest is who we thought he was – or at least has played how we thought he would play. I had a feeling Ron-Ron would come out as a willing facilitator and a consummate role-player, but even he was a little too tentative for my liking. In spite of this, Artest really surprised me with his crafty handles and his overall court vision, proving himself an adept passer and solid triangle operator.

I guess on a team like this, Artest’s underrated playmaking abilities can finally gain the credit it deserves; as he had many great passes to many of the Lakers’ big men this preseason (most notably Andrew Bynum). And even if his shot wasn’t on every night, Artest never failed to bring the intensity and grit on both ends of the court that the Lakers are counting on him for this season.

Although, doesn’t it seem like Artest makes a better percentage of his threes by floating and fading away off curls than he does by spotting up as a stand-still, Ariza-like shooter? Regardless, this was, overall, a very solid showing for the Tru Warier in his first, unofficial games as a Laker.

Andrew Bynum looks like he’s in mid-season, beast-mode form. You know that little mad run Bynum had near the end of December and into January last season when he was a consistent 20-10-2 beast? Yeah, that could come a little earlier this year and  carry itself through the ring ceremony of 10-11. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves… going into preseason, many of us questioned just how healthy and dedicated Bynum would be this year, coming from an inactive off-season filled primarily by college-like sightseeing and backpacking across the world. Well, those doubts have all but been erased after Bynum averaged a cool 20.3PPG and 7.6RPG in six preseason games for the Lakers.

While his blocks, rebounds, and overall defense leave something to be desired for, there’s no questioning the fact that Bynum’s offensive game and diverse skill-set in the post are primed and ready to propel him into a break-out, All-Star season.

So put your braces on kid, time to show the rest of the league why you were picked ahead of Yaroslav Korolev… I mean, Danny Granger.

Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown have switched bodies. In a strange new turn of events, our two young point guards have apparently swapped mentalities this season, as Farmar is now the more triangle-sound and under-control, play making point guard while Brown has suddenly become the more offensively assertive, jump-shooting friendly scoring guard (complete with high-flying peanut butter jelly jam-time action, of course).

While both have done very admirable jobs with the new roles they’ve undertaken this preseason (even playing surprisingly well together on the court at times), it’s definitely interesting to note the changed dynamic between the two.

I have to give it up to Farmar, he has played exceptionally well thus far and has shown a real effective knack for finding his teammates at just the right spots on the floor. We always knew Farmar had the ability to become a great playmaker, but now he finally has the mentality to follow suit with it as well. We can only hope he continues to keep up this stellar play throughout this season and beyond – especially after we get coaxed into resigning him for the midlevel like we’ve done for so many of our other guys in the past.

Regarding Farmar’s counterpart, Brown, who’s been a little too trigger happy this preseason, we’ve at least got to hand it to him for making a fair amount of all those shots he’s hoisted (including this new turn-around jay of his from the top of key which he’s effectively added to his repertoire). We also can’t leave out the fact that Brown has been our most consistent, human highlight reel this entire preseason. Gotta love those statue of liberties from just inside the free throw line – and we also gotta love the prevalent ‘guard-pushing-guard’ dynamic that’s sure to continue between him and Farmar for the rest of the season.

The Machine has been retooled. It’s just preseason, but Sasha has definitely started to look  like that same-old, annoying prepubescent teen shooter that we’ve all grown to love or hate over these past few years. His shot looks wet, he looks a lot more under-control on offense, and even his pesky, out-of-control defense and Oscar-winning flops look just as effective as well. Chalk it up to the Samson-Reversal Effect.

Adam Morrison, ironically, needs some more ammo in his NBA arsenal. Outside of one hot-streak he went on against the Clippers, where he went 4-4 from downtown, Morrison has, unfortunately, been but a shell of his Gonzaga self this preseason. While things look a bit bleak for him this upcoming season, hopefully he gets another small opportunity here and there to prove that he can contribute in any small way.

Josh Powell is the next Udonis Haslem. Except Haslem starts for the Heat, and Powell is a secondary reserve on the Lakers’ bench. Enough said. Powell to the people!

-Lamar Odom thinks he’s Antawn Jamison. Odom’s shot has surprisingly been very Khloe Kardashian-on from downtown this preseason. He was also very consistent from three during the playoffs as well last season. Is there a positive correlation of sorts developing here? Hmm… can Lamar Odom re-define his game to become not only a deadly rebounder, but a deadly outside shooter like Antawn Jamison as well? Well, let’s hope so, because he still apparently can’t make wide open lay-ups. Just don’t get too Mbenga-shot happy, L.O.

Kobe is Kobe. If he’s in contention for the MVP award this year, he’ll win it purely off of his unrelenting intensity and tireless ferocity out on the floor. I mean, the man was diving, throwing his body around, and making fun of Cap’n Kid-Jack all at the same time – during PRESEASON! Who knows, he may only average 24 pts this season, but old pops could still end up holding all the hardware in his hands before it’s all said and done.

Get better, Pau-pau! Hopefully between now and Tuesday, Pau gets some good old TLC for his sore hamstring and he’ll be good to go for his showdown with Blake Griffin in the Lakers’ season opener against the Clippers.

The Laker Bench Mob likes to ‘stand up’ for their rights by sitting down and crossing their legs. Proving that they’re an innovative, fun bunch, the Laker bench has successfully created the new 09-10 pre-made-basket ritual by which all other teams will try and measure up to for the rest of the season. Cross leg right, stomp twice with right leg, then switch and cross leg left.

Okay, enough talk – let’s Beyonce-up this show already, put a ring on it on Tuesday, and get our Laker basketball on for another Championship run in Los Angeles! And if we do end up winning yet another Larry O’brien, we’ll even let D.J. be the first to hoist it up next year because he’s just that money – congo cash money.


The Jello’s Jigglin’ with anticipation,

Jonathan Hernandez (Chick’s Fridge)

Contributing writer for  TheLakersNation.com & Main writer for OhMeOhMy,TheJello’sJigglin’

  • drive45

    shouldn’t it be pre-season wrap up?

  • Jonathan Hernandez

    naw, i think post pre-season wrap up still makes sense because we’re analyzing the just recently concluded preseason…just like how they have post-game wrap ups as well. I could be wrong though..

  • Aprochlometh

    Dude, you’re an idiot. Who gives a crap who you trust with what shot. If he’s shooting 6 for 6, he’s doing better than anyone else with the ball. Think before you write, moron. You sound like a Celtic fan from time to time, so reevaluate yourself.

  • Jonathan Hernandez

    lol, you my friend, need to understand sarcasm a little better.

    it’s a joke.

    You know, kind of how like Kobe pokes fun at DJ and says he looks like Sloth from the Goonies…

    Yeah. kinda like that.

  • jay

    Aprochlometh…apparently you didnt understand his sarcasm…cmon man…reevaluate yourself before criticizing someone…obviously he’s a laker fan…doesn’t it show in all the props he gives the lake show? CMON!

  • ariley

    Don’t worry Jonathan, I understand sarcasm.

  • Sean All Ivy

    Farmar and Brown will be deadly when they are played together this year. With Andrew running the way he is this preseason we will practically become a fast break offense with those three playing. They will def keep opponents defenses on their heels. Can’t wait for Tuesday. GO LAKERS!

  • silk

    um I think i missed something.. but from what i saw sasha isnt back. He missed a lot of threes. open threes. He only had one real good game. So i dont think sasha is back to his old self? Or is this some of your sarcasm again?

    • Jonathan Hernandez

      you did miss something. because Sasha had SEVERAL games where he was efficient with very limited time (Morrison got way more time than him this preseason):

      18 Pts, 5-9 fg, 4-6 threes, 3 reb., 3 assts.

      11 pts, 4-6, 3-4 threes, 3 stls

      10 pts, 4-5, 1-1 threes

      6 pts, 3-4 fg

      He was 8-15 from 3’s overall in the preseason.

      So no, it’s not my sarcasm again.

  • http://shaansharma.blogspot.com/ ShaanSharma

    this was the best read of the postseason… Flippin couldnt have said it better myself

  • WifelovesLuke

    The best part about the pre season is when it’s over and we can get to what really matters.

    Let the journey begin!

  • lakerbunny

    I’M GLAD THE SEASON IS FINALLY HERE! TIME FOR THE RINGS AND BANNER TO BE UNFURLED! TIME TO DEFEND THE TITLE! I’M SORRY TO SEE GAFFNEY GO, I THOUGHT HE SHOWED A LOT OF ENERGY AND LEARNED THE CUTS IN THE TRIANGLE OFFENSE TWO YEARS QUICKER THAN ANYBODY I’VE SEEN, BUT THE LAKERS DON’T NEED HIM AND HE WOULD HAVE BEEN A DOUBLE DRAG ON THE LUXURY TAX! (THANKS NBA SOCIALISM!) IF HE DOESN’T PICK UP WITH ANOTHER TEAM, HE WILL MAKE THE D-FENDERS.
    THERE ARE STILL 212 TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR TOMORROWS OPENER AND THERE ARE 702 TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR THE SECOND GAME ON FRIDAY NIGHT! GO TO LAKERS.COM AND CLICK ON THE TICKETEXCHANGE BUTTON OR GO TO TEAMEXCHANGE.TICKETMASTER.COM AND CLICK ON LOS ANGELES LAKERS!!!

  • PP=Truewarrior

    What I learned is that the Lakers are paper champions. My Celtics will take it this year!!! GO GREEN MACHINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Short Dog

      Paper-Reality-fantasy I don’t give a fukc. The Lakers will repeat regardless of what you say. Look-this is a Laker site. You love the smell of our sh!t. We love the smell of Winning. Kick rocks chump.

    • lakerbunny

      PAPER CHAMPIONS? O.K. TEAM BILE! HOW WOULD TEAM BILE HAVE DONE IN THEIR PAPER CHAMPION SEASON TWO YEARS AGO HAD BYNUM BEEN HEALTHY? AT LEAST TWO OF THOSE CLOSE GAMES WOULD LIKELY HAVE GONE TO THE LAKERS AND GAME 6 WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN A CLOSE-OUT GAME!

  • PP=TruewarriorIsGayAndProud

    Celtics Suck. So does the green machine.
    LAKERS #1. Theres nothing you can do about it but talk shit. Biiiitch.

  • kob24

    paul pierce sucks dick before he goes to bed. y the fuk is a celdick fan here, its caleed LAKER NATION u udumbass celdick fan.