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Road Routine: Chris Mihm

Chris Mihm

Every NBA player has a different routine on the road. For Chris Mihm, it involves, primarily, working out and napping. That’s about it.

The former University of Texas center sat down with us to first answered a few of my questions about that routine, and second to discuss the extent of his gameday workout. How much should an individual player workout on game day before he’s putting too much stress on his legs, anyway?

MT: Take me through you gameday routine…
Mihm: My routine includes getting a good sweat at morning shootaround, making sure to get my shots up, so I can get my blood flowing. Then I come back and get a good lunch in me, and when I’m on the road, I always like to get a good nap in. I’ll lay down for about an hour and a half or two hours, to kill time and also refresh myself.

MT: But not any longer than that?
Mihm: Yes, any more than that and I’m too groggy, but I notice when I don’t lay down as well. Then I’ll get on the bus to the arena, go out on the court and try to get as good a warm up as I can so I can keep myself activated and warm throughout a whole game, when I know I’m going to be sitting quite a bit.

MT: I remember when Michael Jordan started lifting on gamedays, and since then hearing about or seeing more and more players really get after it before games. You?
Mihm: I’ve never liked to lift on gameday myself – I’ll save that for the day before. But some guys, it doesn’t seem to bother them. Still, lifting is very important; I’ve noticed with myself that if you don’t do it, your body breaks down faster.

MT: Plus you see me getting bigger, and you want to make sure I don’t surpass you in size?
Mihm: I have to stay bigger than you. That’s kind of what motivates me.

MT: All right. But how much working out is too much? Obviously you don’t want to expend energy you might be called upon to give in the actual game?
Mihm: There’s no exact science to it. Some nights you’re going to come out and feel great, and others you have to play through the heavy legs. I’ve been doing this a long time now, and there’s no exact routine or amount of work that I’ve found that can guarantee how you’re going to feel out there. You just have to keep a routine, and work with the coaching staff. Phil (Jackson) is really good with that, and understands the fine line between making sure he’s working guys and that we’re lively and ready to go at the same time.

Bynum’s B-day: Time Stamp

Happy Birthday

To: Andrew
From: Mike
Subject: Ten things happening when you turned 21

1) Your team, the L.A. Lakers, was picked before the season by a majority of NBA general managers to win the title in June. Many were influenced in large part by your return to the team after last January’s knee injury.

2) The Philadelphia Phillies destroyed Tampa like Daniel vs. Cobra Kai in game four the night before your b-day to take a commanding 3-1 lead. Beast Cole Hamels is set to pitch game five at home. The last time a Philly team won a championship was in 1983 when Dr. J’s 76ers beat your Lakers.

3) Illinois Senator Barak Obama could become the nation’s first African American president just eight days after your birthday, should all recent polling prove accurate on November 4, 2008. This will be the first election in which you can vote for your candidate of choice.

4) One of Wall Street’s worst months in history is about to come to a close, but now’s a good time to buy some real estate, ‘Drew!

5) Pop star Christina Aguilera is debuting her new music video “Keeps Gettin’ Better” on the internet, not MTV. Music videos actually existed when you were born.

6) Kim Kardashian celebrated her 28th birthday just six days before your 21st, though she was mostly at the hospital caring for her boo Reggie Bush, who was recovering from minor surgery on his knee.

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Yesterday in the Lakers-Kings running diary I mentioned my conversation with Lakers play-by-play radio voice Spero Dedes, who will be joining me frequently on throughout the season, particularly when we’re on the road.

On Sunday before the Lakers beat the Kings for their first preseason win, Spero and I discussed what Laker fans should know about the team heading into the season, how Dedes prepares for games as a broadcaster and which player he thinks can out dress him with regularity.

Lakers Agree to General Terms with Sun Yue

Team officials with the Lakers have confirmed that the team has agreed to general terms on a contract with point guard Sun Yue. The Lakers hope to finalize the terms and formally sign Sun soon. Per team policy, terms will not be released.

Earlier in the off-season, General Manager Mitch Kupchak had commented that the team hoped to be in contact with Sun about this upcoming season.

The Lakers drafted Sun Yue in the second round of the 2007 NBA draft at #40 based on his size and ball handling ability. Click here for an interview with Mitch Kupchak following the 2007 draft or you can watch Sun’s pre-draft workout from 2007.

Since that time, Sun, 22, has continued to play with his club team Beijing Aoshen and with the Chinese national team. The Chinese National team played in the 2007 Las Vegas Summer League and will participate in the upcoming Olympics, playing Team USA this Sunday.

This off-season the Lakers have also signed guard Dwayne Mitchell and drafted guard Joe Crawford, who remains unsigned.

Sun Yue would join Derek Fisher, Jordan Farmar, Kobe Bryant, recently re-signed Sasha Vujacic and Coby Karl in the Lakers backcourt.

The Finals: What Went Right/Wrong

What Went Right:
• The Lakers played extremely well in spurts against the Celtics, storming back from 24 points in Game 2 to nearly steal a win in Boston and jumping out by the same margin in Game 4. However, the Lakers’ youthful roster was unable to sustain the momentum as evidenced by the Celtics’ historic Game 4 comeback.

• Aside from his outstanding 36 point Game 3 effort, Kobe struggled throughout parts of the Finals with Boston throwing two and sometimes, three defenders at the regular season MVP. Still, Bryant averaged a team-high 26 points on 41% from the floor.

• Sasha Vujacic came through with the biggest game of his young career in a must-win Game 3 at STAPLES Center, scoring 20 points and proving himself an X-factor in the Lakers’ first victory of the series. For the Finals, the guard averaged eight points per game–fifth best on the team.

• Jordan Farmar also came through during stretches of the Finals, compiling seven points per game on an impressive 48% shooting from the field, including 53% from beyond the arc. Moreover, Coach Jackson trusted the sophomore guard down the stretch of the final games of the series, utilizing a smaller lineup that featured Fisher at shooting guard and Bryant at small forward in place of the ineffective Radmanovic.

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The Finals Game 5: What Went Right/Wrong

What Went Right:
• For the first time all series, Odom and Gasol came through with big performances during the same game. Lamar finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds while Pau tallied 19 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. The pair’s clutch effort couldn’t have come at a better time with Kobe continuing to struggle from the field.

• Another Finals first: the purple and gold won the third quarter battle 24-18 and the second half overall by a 48-46 margin. However, the Lakers were up by as many as 19 points in the second quarter so Boston deserves credit for making another comeback to cut the deficit to just three at halftime.

• Once again, Boston’s bench outscored the Lakers’ reserves, 28-17, but unlike in Game 4, the Celtics were without a surprise breakout performer as was the case with James Posey in the previous game. This time around, it was the Lakers’ own Jordan Farmar who provided the game’s biggest bench spark, chipping in 11 timely points.

• L.A. did a great job of stopping the other members of the Celtics Big Three outside of Pierce, holding Garnett to just 13 points and Allen to 16. KG did grab a game-high 14 rebounds though.

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The Finals Game 4: What Went Right/Wrong

What Went Right:
• While the Lakers were on the wrong end of the largest NBA Finals comeback since at least the 1970-71 season, they still deserve credit for building a 24 point lead in the first place, with the team’s offense and defense working in tandem for the first time in the series’ four games.

• Odom finally showed the tenacity the Lakers had been waiting for all series…for 24 minutes anyway. Lamar was a force to be reckoned with in the first half of the game, winding up with a team-high 19 points and 10 rebounds.

• Thanks to a dominating first half on the boards, the purple and gold came away with a rare 41-40 overall rebounding edge against Boston highlighted by 10 boards a piece for Odom and Gasol. L.A. also came away with the edge in assists, dishing out eight more than the Celtics, 23-15.

• Derek Fisher finally emerged from his Finals slump, successfully making 4-5 shots for a total of 13 points. The veteran guard was one of five Lakers starters to reach double figures in a balanced scoring effort for L.A.

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The Finals Game 3: What Went Right/Wrong

What Went Right:
• Kobe had his best shooting night of the series so far, making 12-20 shots en route to a game-high 36 points. Moreover, the MVP came through when it mattered most, making critical buckets in the final three minutes of the game to seal the victory for the Lakers.

• While Bryant’s effort was important, Boston Coach Doc Rivers said that Sasha’s 20 point outburst was the key to the game. Vujacic was similarly clutch too, making the biggest three pointer of his life with just under two minutes to go to create some distance from the Celtics.

• The Lakers played stellar defense on Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, holding the star duo to a combined 8-35 shooting and 19 points. After the game, Coach Jackson singled out Kobe for his defense on Pierce in particular, holding the forward to a series low six points.

• After dishing out 16 assists in Game 2, Rajon Rondo suffered an injured ankle that is threatening his status for tonight’s Game 4. In Game 3, the young Celtics guard only scored eight points to go along with four assists and wasn’t much of a factor on offense.

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The Finals Game 2: What Went Right/Wrong

What Went Right:
• The Lakers embarked on a furious fourth quarter rally, cutting what was once a 24 point deficit to just two points in the final two minutes. However, after fouling Paul Pierce on the ensuing possession, the purple and gold were unable to seal the deal.

• After being badly outrebounded by 13 in Game 1, the Lakers did a much better job on the boards in Game 2, muscling down 36 rebounds compared to 37 for the Celtics. Pau got his usual 10 boards, but it was Radmanovic who surprised on Sunday with 10 of his own.

• Kobe was still hindered by Boston’s superb defense, but he had a much better effort in Game 2 after a dismal 9-26 shooting night in Game 1, chipping in 30 points (11-23 shooting) in Game 2 to fuel L.A.’s near monumental comeback.

• Although he didn’t impact the game much after Boston’s defense closed in on him in the second quarter, Gasol’s stat line for Game 2 still shows that he had a solid night, scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

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The Finals Game 1: What Went Right/Wrong

What Went Right:
• Derek Fisher showed improvement from his disappointing series against the Spurs, tallying 15 points while making 4-9 shots from the field.

• As been the case for most of the post-season, Ray Allen struggled to find his shot, only making five of 13 field goals. However, he made some big shots down the stretch, absolving him of his poor shooting night.

• Despite shooting just 42% from the field, the good news for the Lakers is that Boston wasn’t able to do much better, matching the poor shooting number. The difference? The Celtics shot 35 free throws, nailing 28.

• The Lakers successfully weathered Boston’s early adrenaline onslaught, leading their rivals by five going into the locker room at halftime. Unfortunately, by the end of the third quarter, the Celtics flipped the script and pulled ahead by four.

• While the offense wasn’t always crisp in Game 1, the purple and gold can’t blame turnovers for their problems as they only gave it away eight times.

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