Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  November 14, 2006

Just clearing out the inbox and some stuff shoved in the corner of my brain.

UPDATE: Reminding us that for all the little things not quite coming together yet, now is a good time to be a Laker fan, Roland Lazenby has a new post up at his blog that is great.

The Running Game, long the heart of Laker lore, was put on the shelf while Jackson and Shaq walked their way to three championships. But now the Running Game is back baby, a tip of the hat to Mitch and Ronnie Lester and Jerry Buss; they found players that both fit the triangle and the running game; and as Tex always points out, the triangle is always ready to be morphed into what works best for the given talent on any team; that’s clearly the case with these Lakers; they just have to work out the kinks. Tex wants them to find ways to get out faster, to go, go, go, because that’s when they truly strike some terror in the hearts of their opponents.

• Here are a few stats to throw in the Smush vs. Farmar debate. Smush is really slumping, shooting just 39.3% on jumpers (which account for 82% of his attempts) and he has a PER of 8.1. He’s hitting threes from straight on to the right side of the court well (47.4%), but he’s ice inside the arc and is only shooting 43% at the rim. How do you shoot threes better than layups?

Defensively, it’s pretty much the same as last year: opposing point guards are shooting 52.5% and have a PER of 21.3. This is the one area where Farmar’s numbers are better — other points are shooting 41.3% against him with a PER of 8.6 — but part of that is Farmar, coming off the bench, has spent less time on the opponents top guard. On offense, Farmar is shooting just 36.5% on jumpers (although he gets to the hole more right now, another sign Smush is off) and has a PER of 9.3.

For me, I’m still in the “let Smush play his way out of it” camp. But I’d still give Farmar some key minutes.

• The Lakers still need to communicate better what they are going to do on the high pick and roll, particularly with Farmar in the game. Usually the Lakers switch, but Farmar fights through those more often. Twice in the first halrf Memphis ran the pick-and-pop with Mike Miller setting the pick, Farmar fought through with Stoudemire but Radmanovic and Evans both went with the switch, leaving Miller for an open three.

• I am totally hooked on Heroes.

• J.E. Skeets is funnier than the current Saturday Night Live. Wait, I was trying to pay him a compliment. Whatever, check out his piece about the gentle love between Kobe and Andrew Bynum.

• Low Post’s blog (one of the better ones on the Web) is interviewing NBA bloggers and is starting with everyone’s favorite Henry Abbot from True Hoop. Very much worth the read.

• The latest Carnival of the NBA is up at Phoenix Suns Rising.

• Kwame looked pretty good, considering the rust.