Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  October 4, 2006

Notes and thoughts on the Lakers and the opening of camp — while I keep an eye on the Dodgers and Mets:

• The first day of training camp focused on defense. Good. So should the second, and the third, and the…..

• I was less than thrilled this summer when I learned that John Hollinger’s Basketball Prospectus was not coming out this year, that rather everything was moving online, to’s Insider. I can’t begrudge a guy making a few bucks, but if I didn’t respect Hollinger so much I’d be screaming sell out.

Just about the time the book would have arrived in my mailbox, I went online Monday to read his analysis of the Lakers and predictions for the coming season — and I think it’s pretty fair and accurate. I don’t agree with everything he said — for example, Hollinger question the Lakers biggest off-season move but I’ve said before Radmanovic brings more things to than table Cook, plus Hollinger and I can agree to disagree about the Lakers offensive strategy against the Suns in the playoffs — but for the most part its fair.

I’m not going to quote it at length, because it’s not fair to do that for material you are supposed to pay to see, but I think his bottom-line prediction for the coming year is accurate.

The Lakers are at least a player short from serious contention, but they’ll have a puncher’s chance in any playoff series…. the Lakers were better than their record indicated a year ago — they had 49 expected wins, but finished with only 45 wins. So even if Bryant slipped a little, they would be able to make up for some of it just with better luck…. All told, I expect the Lakers to be at least as good as they were a year ago, with an outside shot at a top-four seeding in the West.

• Kevin at Clipperblog is just smarter than me — Mike Duleavy in Anna Karenina. And it works.

• All that talk about trading Chris Mihm is going to have to wait until he proves himself healthy — and by all reports his ankle is still not great after last year’s severe sprain and off-season surgery. He won’t be taking part in practices for at least two weeks. His being slowed in preseason means he could end up like Luke Walton last season, injured in the preseason and slow to get back into the rotation. If the Lakers are looking to trade him look for him to get showcased starting around Christmas, or just after.

• Mihm’s situation opens up the door for Andrew Bynum to get minutes. The question is can he step through it.

• Word out of Golden State camp is that Troy Murphy will be spending time at center as the Warriors go small. Not a surprise with Nelson as coach, but I like that match up against the tall and long Lakers.

• Mamadou N’Diaye and Marcus Douthit were signed by the Lakers as training camp fodder.

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  1. Judging by how much he’s bulked up, I’m hoping Bynum is ready to contribute. As long as he dunks everything around the rim and blocks some shots, he’d be doing what we needed from him in his second year. He’ll get his chance in these next two weeks in preseason games to earn himself some minutes – we’ll see how he does. He sure LOOKS ready, but all the added physique.


  2. If Bynum plays, he is sure to take his lumps through at least January. I hope we have the heart to stick with him through the beginning woes and let him grow.


  3. I would hope that Bynum is used in matchups that the coaches feel give him the greatest opportunities for success and allow his confidence to build. This is a game of matchups and I would hope that in his second season that they will be able to find some matchups in which he can be successful.


  4. sorry kurt, havent been on in awhile and i had to vent and this is the best place to do it. DAMN you Grady Little, walk delgado! I hope all is well with you, fbg looks vibrant, lots of new faces, congrats


  5. Bynum looked much bigger in the Summer League as well, but that did not mean he was able to handle some other large centers or that his effort was there every night. I hope he can contribute as well but he may be a season away from being a major part of the rotation. We shall see, I hope he proves me wrong.

    Kwame a., welcome back. And I’m still more pissed about the baserunning blunder.


  6. Historically awful baserunning blunder… in a one run game…

    I don’t recall Sasha’s shooting being great last year, but Hollinger really gives it to him.


  7. I liked “Sports Guy” Bill Simmons line on the blunder: “All that play was missing was some Benny Hill music.”


  8. gatinho- sasha’s shooting last year during the regular season was like that ugly girl who looks good before you really look at her, his form was impecable, but the ball never went in. however, during the playoffs i think he was 8-12 from behind the arc, all big-time shots, so maybe thats what hollinger was alluding to.

    hopefully the blue crew went over the basics of baserunnig before tonites game


  9. I think Sasha’s quasi big time shooting in the playoffs has clouded my memory.

    Blue crew needs to bring in my old little league coach to take over duties at third base, although I will place most of the blame on the baserunners.