It turns out the Lakers (7-1) are mortal. It turns out they are prone to nights where they are the ones being boatraced off the floor. It turns out the 2008-09 regular season will not be a mere coronation.

Despite the perceived inevitability of unflappable success, the Lakers will lace up their sneakers and play each of their 82-games, as will their opponents.

And some nights, their foes will best them. And when that happens (and it will happen…more than anyone cares to admit) it is important not to set fire to the fallen.

That being said, Friday’s loss to Detroit may prove to wash away some of the cockiness and sense of entitlement that may have developed over the young season’s first seven games. Kobe was flat, Lamar and Jordan’s minutes were slashed and KWAME BROWN outplayed Andrew. Times are not tough. Friday was a setback, not a calamity.

Tonight, the Lakers face a Chicago Bulls (5-5) team that seems to reinvent itself every season. Starting with 2008’s number one overall pick Derrick Rose and ending with contract-snubbed Ben Gordon, the Bulls have a wealth of talent; yet seem to be awry and lost in the midst of another identity crisis.

Going on ten seasons from Jerry Krause’s dismantling of the elite Bulls teams of the 1990’s, the team has never fully recovered, despite flashes of success in 2007 and 2005.

With Luol Deng locked up long term and Derrick Rose playing extremely well for rookie coach Vinny Del Negro, perhaps this is the year that the Bulls establish an identity for themselves.

Tipoff: 7:30 PM PST

Television -

  • National: NBATV
  • Los Angeles: FS West (Joel Myers & Stu Lantz)
  • Chicago: Comcast SportsNet (Neil Funk, Stacey King & Red Kerr)

Radio:

Los Angeles: AM570 KLAC (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)

Chicago: ESPN Radio 1000 AM (Chuck Swirsky & Bill Wennington)

Injuries -

Lakers:

  • Doubtful: Vladi Radmanovic (thigh contusion)

Bulls:

  • Out: Kirk Hinrich (thumb surgery)
  • Probable: Larry Hughes (shoulder)

Storylines -

Small Forward Musical Chairs: With the uncertain status of Vladi, who suffered a thigh contusion on Sunday, it is unknown if Phil Jackson will choose to insert into the starting lineup. Trevor Ariza seems like the obvious choice, but in the spirit of keeping the Minutemen unit firing on all cylinders, do not be surprised to see Luke Walton get the nod. Walton has not seen much action so far this season, but he may be able to serve a very Vladi-esque purpose for 14-18 minutes in light of the injury.

Varsity Challenge -

(Prize: A Phil Jackson-style Acid flashback.)

It is well known that Phil Jackson had massive success with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990’s, but in his early coaching days he led the Albany Patroons of the CBA to a title. What is a Patroon?

  • mihaithemiraculous

    this is gona be a fun game to watch, with rose slashing and ben gordon chuckin up 3′s.. should be fast paced because they bulls lack any restraint to playing other teams games, and the lakers love when other teams play their style.

  • mr.laker19

    Ok guys, since Vlad Rad is out we get to see a change in the line up which I feel like is a much needed change. I would start Luke or Sasha, Ariza is just to good right now off that pine, but for some reason I have a sneaky feeling Ariza would also flourish as a starter. Any way, Rose is the real deal, dont take him lightly. Lets come out like we are playing the Celtics. LETS GO LAKESHOW

  • T.A.

    You have to start Lamar in that 3 spot. NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.

  • jamaicans-for-KOBE

    hey ppl…go vote for the lakers for NBA fan night…
    Lakers vs Nets next tues….

    http://www.nba.com/FanNight/

  • T.A.

    We need to trade Lamar Odom now while his stock is still high. We dont technically need him and if we dont trade him then he will walk for nothing this summer.

    Anything we get should be considered a bonus.

    so we trade LO and Luke for…………….

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/features/traderesult?players=614~617~2027&teams=13~21~21&te=&cash=

  • http://TheVerveNerve.com Billy Kupchak

    Patroon is a person who held an estate in land with certain manorial privileges granted under the old Dutch governments of New York and New Jersey. :cool:
    Do I win the acid flashback? :D

  • ShortDiezel

    BE AGGRESSIVE!!!!!!

    DAMN!! TAKE IT TO THEM FROM THE START.. DRIVE TO THE BASKET WITH PURPOSE, FIGHT THROUGH SCREENS, BOX YOUR MAN OUT, SKY FOR THE REBOUND… STEP UP THE INTENSITY

    I HATE TO SAY THIS, BUT KWAME DID A NUMBER ON PAU CAUSE HE WAS SOFT

  • DCLAKER

    I just wanna see my boy Rose and Tyrus (watch this guy on the boards)…and people are sleeping on Gordon.

    Lakers 108-Bulls 90

  • JCbiglessworth

    Shaq says hes open to coming back to the Lakers after this contract expires
    http://www.dailynews.com/sports/ci_11010386

  • Vote or i will kill u !

    vote for next week too. yay

    GO LAkers !

  • Michael_23

    If Vlad can’t go , this is one of the reasons to have Luke still on the team. We have insurance at the small forward position.

    We’ll see after surgery and recovery, if Luke can actually play like he did before he signed that new contract.

  • e

    [Comment ID #54920 Will Be Quoted Here]

    the ONLY way i see luke being successful again, is if he decides to be a pure facilitator…find kobe, drew, gasol and fisher..we all have seen that he can shoot worth beans so might as well use his abilities properly, and that is to find the open man and set up others

  • Smush Walton

    [Comment ID #54901 Will Be Quoted Here]

    NEXT!

  • Smush Walton

    [Comment ID #54923 Will Be Quoted Here]

    The problem is when you have someone with no shot on the floor the defender leaves him ALONE and it males life difficult for the other four. Smart defenders know they can sag off of Luke, Lamar and even Vlad and encourage them to fire away.

  • e

    [Comment ID #54925 Will Be Quoted Here]

    knowing that ur right makes me hate luke even more haha

  • http://TheVerveNerve.com Billy Kupchak

    [Comment ID #54906 Will Be Quoted Here]

    so.. when do i get my PJ acid flashback? :cool:

  • Freshh

    Lakers +19

  • Smush Walton

    [Comment ID #54930 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Right after Lamar gets voted to the All Star team.

  • http://ld2k.com Chris Manning

    Time to get back on track – 8-1.

  • dbrewst2

    We do not want or need Shaq on this team…the fact that he would even mention the Lakers is retarded.

  • DCLAKER