Fast Break

Kurt —  October 27, 2005

Fifth, and Final, Update: Green has made the team as the Lakers just officially cut Corie Blount. We needed (still need) another big man but we needed one who could stay healthy.

Update Number Four: As of Monday morning, apparently Devin Green is in and Corie Blount may be the man on the outside.

Update Number Three: If you can’t wait for the rest of my Laker preview, coming Saturday, or just want the Cliff Note version, check out the always good, where Tom may hate the Lakers (and he should, they could never beat us when it mattered) but still posted my preview. He’s good that way. Not that I don’t plan to mock him every time we beat Cowbell City, including in tonight’s preseason game.

Update Part Deux: Not so much an update as something I forgot to mention below: The Lakers have until Monday to decide if they want to pick up the option on Brian Cook’s contract for next year. Pick up the option and we pay him just $1.8 million next season, let it go and he is a free agent at the end of the year. My initial thought, Cook isn’t the best back up four ever, but he’s not bad (PER of 14.1 last season) and at just $1.8 it is a good deal.

Update: Late Thursday the Lakers officially cut Tony Bobbitt and Adam Parada. Those were expected. One more cut needs to be made, with Devin Green or Laron Profit the likely candidates.

Following are some notes to clear out my inbox — but this is not the only site you can read my ramblings today. Over at there is a Q&A posted where I talk about the Lakers this season and entire league, plus what NBA player I think I can take in a fight. (By the way, there are also Q&A’s with Knickerblogger and Jeff from Celtics Blog on the site.)

• The details on the Jumaine Jones to Charlotte trade are out: It is a 2007 second round pick, unless the Bobcats have one of the five best records in the NBA this season. So we’re pretty safe it’s 2007, which is better than a 2006 pick, a year the draft is expected to be shallow (well, 2007 is better so long as the Bobcats don’t suddenly become very good that year). I also read in one account that the Lakers would get Charlotte’s trade exception, but that does not seem to be part of the official accounts of the deal.

Commenter James had a great breakdown (reprinted below) on why Jumaine Jones was third on the team in +/- last season, and it all comes back to the old problem with that ratio — it’s as much about who you replace as your game.

A few thoughts about Jones’ excellent +/- ratio. First, the other Laker leaders last year were Cook and Sasha. Either the team was worse than we thought, or the +/- ratio doesn’t capture much in regards to the 2004-05 Lakers’ squad.

In Jones’ case, the ratio essentially measures how much better the Lakers did with him on the court rather than the primary 3, Caron Butler. Butler played 52% of the minutes at the 3, Jones 29%.

As a scorer, Butler was miles ahead, putting in 7.9 more points per 48 minutes. Jones was better in other ways, capturing 2 more rebounds per 48, and actually winning the turnover battle, but the biggest difference is those points, and how they came. Butler got them because he shot 5.5 more shots per 48 than did Jones.

Those shots went primarily to Odom, Kobe and Mihm, who took 4.4 more shots per 48 with Jones on the floor than Butler. The Lakers were better with Jones on the floor, not so much because of what Jones did, but because of what he didn’t do–shoot.

What Jones’ +/- ratio really tells us is not that he should still be on the Lakers, but that we should all be glad that Butler is not.

• Count me among the people who didn’t see the end of the World Series because Time Warner Cable had an outage. If I had been emotionally invested in that game I would have flown off the handle.

• Quick thoughts on Bynum’s one outing this preseason: He looked raw but talented, just like in the summer league. He hit a difficult first shot against Utah (sandwiched between Ostertag and Kirilenko) but went 1 of 7 for the night. He showed some moments on defense, particularly when his quickness was the key (such as rotations and defending the pick-and-roll), but he got pushed around plenty by Ostertag. Got in some good rebounding positions but was “out veteraned” a few other times. I still don’t think he’ll play much, at least not early in the season, but in a pinch he can give you 5 to 10 minutes without costing you the game (unless he’s forced to defend a very good center). He needs to live in the weight room.

• I know who has got my vote for President in 2008.

• For the record, I’m picking McGrady to win the MVP, but Ed Weiland over at Hoopsanalyst does a good job handicapping the race this season.

• For you literary fans, I had the chance to hear Isabel Allende speak on Thursday, facinating woman and story that has led to fantastic writing.