Notes at 3 a.m.

Kurt —  June 12, 2006

A collection of notes on this finals, the one 15 years ago, and other odds and ends:

• What may have cost the Lakers the 1991 finals against the Bulls? Mike Dunleavy doesn’t throw away his trash.

Phil Jackson said on his radio show he was handed Mike Dunlevey’s notes after game one (a Laker win), which were scribbled on pieces of paper then just thrown under the bench. Those notes led to changes, such as putting Pippen on Magic. Having the other team’s playbook helps. Having Michael Jordan probably helped a little too.

• I was asked this question in an email by one reader and I figured if he was wondering, others would be to: The Lakers cannot trade the last year of Brian Grant’s contract. I went to the source and asked Larry Coon (he of the NBA Salary Cap FAQ), and he reminded me that for the Lakers Grant is considered a waived player with a terminated contract (even though they are still paying it), meaning there is nothing to trade.

• Two games into the Finals, Erick Dampier is a series best +37.

• Dallas is doing a great job in two areas to frustrate Shaq: 1) making it very hard for him to get the ball by pressuring the passer; 2) giving him a lot of different looks, occasionally doubling with Nowitzki (meaning Shaq has to pass around two 7-footers) and a handful of other times from the weak side with smalls (by the way, Josh Howard is a great weakside defender). Also, they are doing good fronting of him in the post.

• Gatinho made a great point in the comments, even if he isn’t scoring Shaq is not grabbing a lot of boards or doing much else to really assert himself into the series. Three of Miami’s four best runs in game two came with Shaq on the bench.

• I tried to put myself in Pat Riley’s shoes and say “what adjustments would I make?” The problem is there aren’t a lot of adjustments to make, maybe some set plays to swing the ball to Shaq’s side more quickly therefore making it an easier entry pass, but the bottom line is they have to get the ball inside and Shaq has to be a threat for them to have any chance. They also should run Wade off a few more picks with him going right, his strength, because the Mavs are doing as good a job as you can forcing him left. The role players like Williams (-34 in two games), Walker, Posey and others must play better. For the Heat, it’s execution, not adjustments.

• I am taking part in a project called NBA GM Fix It, a new site where a few bloggers have been asked to write an offseason plan for thier team. The site starts today with some discussion of the Denver Nuggets, and we’ll be talking Lakers on Wednesday.

• Best team I saw over the weekend in the World Cup: Argentina. (I have the USA game Tivo’d to watch tonight.)

• About Jordan Farmar, it looks like little has changed — scouts that watched him in Orlando say he could use one more year in college, but he’s coming out now anyway. As much as I liked him in college, if I’m the Lakers I’m going another direction. From Orlando the reports were his defense was average and his offense spotty.

• I don’t get into politics on this site, but I will recommend that people learn about the “Net Neutrality” issue coming to a head soon in Congress. The issues can seem a little “inside the beltway” right now, but it very well can impact the Internet as we know it in a decade or so. The Bruinsnation blog does a good roundup, and there is no shortage of information out there for you to educate yourself on this, but it is not something to ignore.

• And here are a few good Laker jokes to brighten your mood. (Thanks to Henry at True Hoop for posting that.)