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Local Sports Writers on the Lakers' Future

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Now that the Lakers have been eliminated from the playoffs after last night’s 119-110 loss to the Phoenix Suns, local sports writers weighed in this morning about where to place the blame. Times columnist J.A. Adande joins a growing number of people who are looking to coach Phil Jackson for some answers. Jackson is a Hall of Famer and is considered by many to be one of the best coaches in NBA history, but lately some have been questioning the efficacy of his triangle offense with the current Lakers team. Adande thinks the Lakers certainly have the right players, but proposes that Jackson rethink his coaching style. “Something different than the erratic, three-point jacking under former coach Rudy Tomjanovich, but not as limited as what they’re doing now,” he suggests.

Times columnist Bill Plaschke, who has covered every Lakers playoff series since the start of the Shaq-Kobe dynasty, turns his eye to General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Plaschke points out some of Kupchak’s more notable bloopers, such as trading All-Star Caron Butler and Chucky Atkins for the struggling Kwame Brown and for wasting money on Brian Cook and Vladimir Radmanovic. “It is time for him to make the sort of roster adjustments that show he is alive and breathing,” writes Plaschke.

Steve Kilbeck, columnist for the LA Daily News keeps the focus on the roster, saying, “There is only so much psychology you can muster when your team is simply overmatched in the talent department.”

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The print coverage steered clear of team owner Jerry Buss, but posters to the Lakers blog had words for him too. “This summer will come down to the ACTIONS of one person: DR. JERRY BUSS,” wrote one. Another said, “Keep the pressure on Buss, it’s the only way.”

AP photo by Ross D. Franklin