Fast Break

Kurt —  December 27, 2005

Fresh stuff tomorrow for the Memphis game, but in the short term check this stuff out.

• Last night the Lakers lost in the second game of a back-to-back, where they got up by 16 then looked sloppy in the second half. Teams tend to struggle in the second game of back-to-backs, and Dallas owner Mark Cuban has the numbers.

For this season, through December 15th, the 2nd game of a back-to-back makes a team 3.5 points worst. In other words, the best teams are still good, but on the 2nd game of back to back, particularly on the road, they become much closer to average. Making them beatable.

It’s far worse for the 4th game in 5 nights. ON those nights, a team is 8 points worse. Again, more on the road. So basically, a team should lose to just about any but the worst teams if they are on the road.

• The Lakers lost the game long before then, but about that last play — I like the idea, the execution sucked. Odom is not a great three-point shooter (33.3%), but Brian Cook is (44% this season), especially if he gets a straight-away shot. The idea of a pick-and-pop style play with Kobe was the right idea, but man it looked like, er, the carcass of out Christmas turkey once all the meat was cut off. Not very appetizing.

• I am the Sun King. Ronny Turaif had nine points and five rebounds in his first game in the CBA. His quotes say he knows he’s not in NBA shape yet, but he’s getting there.

Thanks to Henry at True Hoop for posting the link. (Henry, just between you and me, I voted for you for best NBA blog over at Red Reporter.)

• One thing I learned first hand over Christmas — regular commenter Gatinho likes to hang out in dive bars.

to Fast Break

  1. yeah, it should be no shock or cause too much terror in the hearts of laker fans that they lost last night. when they didn’t get the lead up to 20 early on i pretty much figured the wiz would catch them.

    while kobe’s going off on lamar looks in large part due to frustration with his flubbing the ball on the last play [and the thumb/wrist injury he had to struggle through during the game], i’m glad he said something.

    it’s frustrating that lamar’s becoming old lamar again, all the while with his coach’s endorsement. it’s as if both of them feel that kwame and luke’s return means hey, they no longer need his scoring as much. uh, think again.

    phil always makes his players BETTER– and you know, if l.o. had the same stats of old with that newfound aggressiveness he showed for a stretch, i’d be okay with that. i still believe he should score 20+ a game though. he may not be shaq, but the mismatches he usually sees on defense… geez, why wouldn’t you exploit them for all they’re worth? those are some damn high percentage shots we’re missing out on. some nights you REALLY need some high percentage shots to fall back on.

    so far he’s been horrible in the clutch, and since he’s been passive lamar and hasn’t seen many opportunities like that in the past couple years, that should be expected.

    looking at kwame last night, geez, it sure looks like kareem isn’t working with him on his post game. i’m also a little surprised that phil’s so happy with him defensively– he was fabulous man-to-man on shaq, but he also seems to be a major culprit in missing rotations and guarding the lane.

    oh well, maybe a head pat is good for him. it is progress.


  2. Eagerly awaiting the return of Ronny T!!


  3. I don’t expect Ronny Turif to be back on the squad until next year. I am glad to see that he is back in the swing of things basketball wise by playing in the cba. I don’t think that he would be what the Lakers need right now but a low post presance would be nice. How much of a shot do the Lakers have at landing Artest? I think we all know that the lakers would have to give up L.O. but right now I don’t think that it would be a bad idea. They have improved from last year defensively (going from 23rd to 8th in the league I think) but it is always nice to have a former “defensive player of the year” on your team. Oh yeah and who else would leave with L.O. if they could get Ron Ron? would it be George or? Anyway I hope a days rest and playing at home will help when they play Memphis tomorrow.


  4. Christian, you have part of it backward, it is the Pacers that would have to add on to the deal if LO and Artest would be swapped. One thing that makes Artest an attractive trade is he is signed for three years at a reasonable price.

    That said, trade LO for Artest and the Lakers pick up another swing man and I’m not sure Artest (6-6) is going to cover all the 6-10+ fours in the league a whole lot better than Odom. Plus, Odom is the best Laker rebounder, we become a lot weaker on the boards without him.

    Plus, Artest has the maturity of a third grader.


  5. yeah, your site is the only place i read your prediction of artest just changing his mind completely and wanting to stay in indiana. good call.

    even i for the past couple days have considered l.o. for artest. for about a second combined. that’s not a whole lot due to his clutch 3pt bricks [which i don’t have much confidence of them going in even when they’re launched in non-clutch situations], but more due to starting to really wonder if his personality is going to keep him from becoming truly great. that this disappearing act could very well be something that shows up in the playoffs.

    and also his aghast reaction to whatever g.p. said to him. geez.


  6. FYI – On Cuban’s back to back stats:

    If they are accurate then the Lakers have had 19 back to backs in each of the last 4 seasons. The average for all teams is 20.4, so the lakers have been relatively lucky.

    Of course this does not take into account the length of road trips and other schedule issues.


  7. kurt, I agree with you about the machurity of a 3rd grader comment however, I would say that Rodman had a similiar machurity level and P.J. seemed to manage it pretty well. I know that they are two totally differant people but if any coach in the league could manage Ron Ron then I think that it would be Phil. Oh yeah and you brought up a good point that you had previously made about 2 weeks ago if I remember corretly.. that Ron A. has a 3 year contract that is nicer money wise compared to L.O.’s contract. Which if the Lakers are more interested in having more cap space in 07 or sooner… or as John so eliquantly put it. “starting to really wonder if his personality is going to keep him from becoming truly great.” (about the L.O.=Pippen project). But once again this is just my opinion and whatever happens I just hope that the lakers continue to play well.


  8. do you visit the lakersground, christian? a couple weeks ago there was this article from the oc register i believe. the writer just accumulated all sorts of quotes from newsstories done on odom’s career, from the present all the way back to college about him talking about needing to be more “aggressive”. i think there were about ten. it’s quite the broken record.

    i thought phil jackson would set out to change this. in a sense he has, but it does appear that his vision of what lamar can do is a shade less than what many fans and others think his potential is.

    those stretch of games where l.o. was more dominant, it didn’t seem so unnatural for him the way he was playing, or awkward. it looks like it just needs to be engrained into him to develop that into his new habit, a stronger one than the one that always takes over and leaves him safe in the backround, under the guise that he’s ‘a team player’. he was still every bit the team player when he was going for 20+.

    but for all the reasons kurt listed, if that transformation doesn’t happen, you still don’t trade him. the guy is still too valuable.


  9. yes I do read lakersground but only the news news news section. I didn’t have a chance to read the article that you were refering to. Has anyone read the new Eric Pincus article about Ron and how the laekrs need to take a gamble? I think that he is definately right. lol.. but I keep getting shot down. Its okay though I don’t mind getting a differant perspective from people who actually understand the game. Until next time.


  10. i’d take the risk of artest only at the cost of george, devin green…and even for that i’d be mighty fearful.

    of course if i could throw in slava too…