I Ain’t Gonna Work On Phil’s Farm No More

Kurt —  February 16, 2007

Did the Cavaliers take a shot outside of five feet last night? This team is, officially, the worst defensive team Phil Jackson has ever coached — and Rob has the proof:

Currently this Laker team IS the worst defensive team Phil has ever coached. Their defensive rating (points per 100 possessions) is 109.5 which ranks them 23rd in the league. The 2001 Lakers had a DRtg of 104.9 which ranked them 21st in the league. Of course the ’01 team had the 2nd best offense (108.4) in the NBA, so it didn’t really matter. This year’s Lakers are only the 7th best offense (109.7).

Smush deserves a chunk of the blame for this year’s defensive woes. But there are other factors. Kobe’s knee ain’t the same and it shows on defense. Now, I’m not saying Kobe can’t defend. I’m just saying he’s not quite in his All-Defensive Team form right now. Bynum has not yet found the right balance in his help defense. And we have three major team additions (Radmanovic, Evans, Farmar) who are trying to integrate into the offense. Two of those three have shown a fair amout of solid D. The other one, not so much.

The past couple weeks have us all in a funk, to the point that Dr. RayEye is channeling Bob Dylan.

How many times must the Smusher look back
to see that his man has flashed by?
Yes, ‘n’ after a layup or our “big” makes a foul
Can he hear all the Laker fans cry?
Yes, ‘n’ how many losses will it take till he knows
That the spirit of his teammates has died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

Well, at least tonight we can watch Jordan Farmar and dream of the future.

Kurt

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11 responses to I Ain’t Gonna Work On Phil’s Farm No More

  1. Never thought I would say this… How about giving McKie or Shammond a chance to step in and play some D. At this point, all they would have to do is stay in front of opposing point gaurds and it would be an upgrade over Smush. Lets make them earn their paychecks

  2. Guys, I think we are being a little hard on Smush. Seriously. He is a limited player, he’d make a fine backup point guard, he can shoot the ball and can penetrate. He gets some steals (which is more than we can say for his predecessor, Chucky Atkins). Should he be the starter on a good NBA team, no. Should we maybe give Farmar a shot, okay. But for me, if we had a quality point and Smush came off the bench, I’d be fine with that role for him.

    Also, I rarely think bringing in an older guy is a good idea. But if you buy out McKie and give Pippen a shot, well, he can’t be worse. And he played the initiator role.

  3. It always helps me a little when I go to hoopshype to remind my self that the smushcalade is basically earning nothing.

  4. If he really has something left, seems like Pippen would be perfect for this team in a Ron Harper, triangle-guru role. Didn’t Scottie do some coaching for the Lakers this pre-season?

  5. Chris? Is that you? Did you change your name?

  6. (6) i made another bet that if i could make a half-court shot in 5 trys I would change my name back. I drained the first one.

  7. Kurt,

    Let’s get beyond blaming the Smusher.

    I mostly agree with your assessment of Smush if you’ll accept my “four minute rule”: Smush does not play the last four minutes of the game!

    Given the way good teams have exposed the Lakers for years at point guard, you’d think it would be a priority. When they wheel and deal, it is not so clear. Example: They allowed Derek Fisher to leave because he was “too expensive,” then allowed Utah to sign him this year.

    I know. Good character and smarts aren’t enough. Derek wasn’t tall enough or fast enough. So, they’re doing better with Shammond, McKie, and the Smusher? It’s better to spend money on VladRod and resigning Cook? Is Utah complaining?

    Looks like the Laker brain trust wants to do more with less.

    I’m NOT arguing that they should have brought Derek back–just suggesting that they may consistently undervalue the tough defense and character that they admire when it comes to the market place. The real problem is with the Laker organization: trying to get a point guard on the cheap, then putting the underpaid victim in a “can’t win” situation.

  8. Re Smush: there were times in the second Cavs game where he was angled to give Snow a clear run a the rim. I have to assume he was expecting defensive help, but the Cavs recognized this and stretched their offense enough to take away the help. If that’s true, communication on D is a HUGE problem for the Lakers right now.

    (8) It took a while, but Kupchak has figured out how to draft well. He still has no idea how to handle free agency. Either that, or he just doesn’t understand what pieces the team needs. Why else waste resources on McKie, Williams, and even Smush? It’s almost like he’s admitting he can’t spot a good PG.

  9. For a look at all of Kupchak’s free agent and draft moves, go here: http://www.hoopshype.com/general_managers/mitch_kupchak.htm

  10. 8. I’m good with the four minute rule on Smush. I just think he’s become the personification of what is wrong with the defense, and if KG’s commercials have taught us one thing, it’s that it takes five to play poor team defense. Smush is just the ringleader.

    As for Mitch, I think he was looking for a longshot to pay off like Smush did, a guy from nowhere who could soak up minutes. So, we get Shammond, and there are a lot more Shammonds out there than Smushs.