Notes at 3 am

Kurt —  May 17, 2006

More thoughts and notes largely typed one handed in the middle of the night while up with my daughter (then edited the next morning after some coffee).

• Kobe the Blue Power Ranger? (Thanks to Ben Maller for that one.)

• The latest Carnival of the NBA is up at Deadspin, pointing you to a plethora of good NBA writing.

• You probably know this already, but Kobe will be a guest analyst on TNT tonight during the double header. I’m not sure what to add because saying anything good about TNT’s NBA studio coverage causes a sharp pain in my gut.

Update: This was fairly uneventful — save for the sweater vest, which nobody saw coming — but one line from Kobe applies to the Clippers in game six. When talking about scoring on the Suns, he said how much you score isn’t the key, “To demoralize them, you have to stop them [defensively].”

• One final Kobe note (and one actually about basketball), over on the APBR message boards a great poster named Wizards Kevin crunched the numbers and came up with this — when Kobe was in the game the Lakers played 5.1 possessions faster per 48 minutes then when he was on the bench. (With Smush they were 5 possessions faster, but I think Kevin is right in attributing some of that to playing most of his minutes alongside Kobe.) Let me throw two theories up here — like Raja Bell contested threes from the corner — and see if one goes through the net. First, Kobe (and Smush) create a fair amount of turnovers and that led to some fast break chances and points. Second, the Lakers did a good job of pushing the ball off opponent misses, and Kobe was the best player at taking advantage of mismatches in those situations, leading to faster shots.

• How much fun have these playoffs been to watch. That Clipper/Suns game 5 is just the latest in the most entertaining playoffs in a long time (and Clippersblog has a great recap). But as a guy rooting for the Clips, that was a hard, hard loss. And I feel for Daniel Ewing — he just was overwhelmed, but I’m not sure he could have fouled before the shot.

• Give me Barcelona and the from-the-gut brilliance of Ronaldinho over Arsenal today (I’m taking a lunch break to catch the second half of that match).

• Another interesting note from that Kevin’s work on pace and players — Miami was 1.5 possessions per 48 faster with Shaq in the lineup. Wouldn’t have predicted that.

• If you haven’t read Eric Neel’s ESPN piece focusing on a decades-old pickup game — and what basketball is really about — you need to. He remains one of my favorite writers.

• Should I point out now I said not to ignore Dallas way back at the start of the season. Nah, that would be bragging, and I’m above that.

• Doesn’t watching Jason Terry play really make you wish he could be a Laker. But after game 4 in the Mavs/Spurs series, it becomes less likely Dallas lets him get away.

• Speaking of that series, Kevin Pelton has a great breakdown of the Spurs/Mavs key moment in his latest column at SI.

• Deadspin said it first but I was thinking it: How much fun would it be to see David Stern have to hand the Larry O’Brien trophy over to Mark Cuban?

• From our friends at Pounding the Rock, the line of the week:

It occurred to me today, that if George Bush and Sam Cassell had a love child, it would be Nick Van Exel: A ballsy, tremendously unathletic and uncoordinated shoot first point guard who’s not good at anything but saying things that piss off everybody.

to Notes at 3 am

  1. Not to jinx it or nothing,
    but the Spidey sense tingled at the start
    of the Maverix v Spurz joust
    just onna counta the ironies of expatriates
    Finley and Nash as well as the Cuban factor.

    I like Nowitz and Harris and Howard and Co.,
    the Mavs have paid the long dues in the NBA mittelearth.

    SternCorp doubtless wouldn’t mind
    another “wholesome” squad winning the champeenship,
    and Cuban has contributed to the culture
    with the Enron documentary and other ventures,
    but he would be MUCHO insufferable should
    the Mavericks win it all.

    I could bear his cheezing, however
    compared to some other contenders remaining
    in the playoffs.

    FreeDarko’s comparison of NBA players
    to bands was pretty funny;

    I like PTRock’s sense of humor
    through the tears too–

    “I have absolutely no idea
    what Pop is doing at this point.”

    GPop has been Avery’d thus far.

    you want to kick off a similar thread
    on NBA “love children” and their bloodlines?
    I’d love to read other folks’ fantasy geneologies.

    – 5 –


  2. kurt let me tell you that apart of being a laker fan im a barcelona fan!!! god, the streets here in barcelona are soo crazy, thats amazing!
    im sure i will never see that here in barcelona when the lakers will win ( hope so) the next Larry O’Brien Trophy, but i’ll be as much excited i’m right now.

    now returning to the lakers… Jason Terry will never accept a MLE playing his best basketball now earning 7.5 M$ :-/ its a shame cuz he would fit perfect in the triangle… we dont need a playmaker ( we have LO) just a guard defender, shooter and able to play without ball

    i would go for Marcus Banks, i’ve always liked this guy, i thought we would get him from the payton trade but instead we had an other SF (jones)

    Kwame worked better at the C than the PF, i guess that if Kwame works on playing the 4 we could keep mihm till the trade deadline and try to deal him for a bowen-type or a decent point guard if we didnt get one on the free agent market. How Bynum evolve is an other question to look at.
    I read that Bynum has grown an inch and a half since he’s a laker and has doubled his musculation. A full summer trainning camp will benefit him a lot.
    if everything goes well with Bynum i think he could get 10-15 min a game. that would be enough to see some more potential in him

    i’d like to see a Banks, Kobe, Odom, Kwame, Mihm starting 5 or a Banks, Kobe, Bowen-type, Odom, Kwame.
    playing smush as a point back-up ( where he best fits) walton ( that it’s also being considered for the starting 5) and Bynum with more quality minutes. i also espect Turiaf minutes grow, he has a lot of heart (who would imagine he has been on surgery?)



  3. I can’t imagine a city that would be more fun when it’s team wins it all then Barcelona. I envy you, Xavier. And what an entertaining match.


  4. As for the Lakers, one thing Phil hinted at after the season was trying Mihm at the 4 and Kwame at the 5. Mihm needs to work on that 15-footer, but his offensive skills that far out from the hole are better than Kwame’s. I’m not sold it’s a long term answer, but if we’re holding on to Mihm until the trade deadline…..


  5. notreallyimportant May 18, 2006 at 6:03 am

    Can’t tge lakers give Terry the MLE and some other few million, and end up paying terry 8-9 mil a year? Or does that just not work?


  6. World Cup preview… Beletti, the Brazilian who scored the winning goal, didn’t even make his own national team…


  7. notreallyimportant May 18, 2006 at 11:03 am

    The only way Brazil doesn’t win it all is if the home team goes on a rampage and gets very lucky ala France 98. However I just don’t see the kind of young burgeoning talent for Germany, that France had at the time (Henry, Trezeguet etc).

    Look for England to have a great tournament, as well as the the roudiest fans. has a great new feature where there is a World Cup stock market. You get a certain amount of virtual money and then buy shares in teams, if the teams do welll their shares go up, and down for a bad performance. It looks really interesting.


  8. My English friends are really worried aout the loss of Rooney, they think they may have trouble scoring.

    At least I hope they don’t do well, they’re Chelsea fans and already intollerable, if England does well,,,,,


  9. I didn’t catch his kicks, was he wearing these to match?

    At least Ernie did a good job of pretending to like Kobe. Awkward….


  10. that phil is a brilliant man.

    i’d still bring mihm in off the bench though, because of the foul trouble. then play a mix of kwame and chris together, and when matchups called for only one you go with the guy whose doing the best and/or talents are needed the most.

    certainly gives the bench a fine boost.


  11. notreallyimportant May 19, 2006 at 12:08 am

    What is with NBA teams inability to foul at the end of games?