Preview and Chat: The Utah Jazz

Kurt —  February 26, 2007

Please talk amongst yourselves on this one, due to a minor family emergency I haven’t gotten a post together. Sorry. I hope to have something up later on Tuesday.

And I take back all my Shammond jokes from earlier in the season.

53 responses to Preview and Chat: The Utah Jazz

  1. No need for an apology. Family always comes first.

    Good test for the D tonight.

  2. Hope all is well Kurt,

    My girlfriend has the same sentiment towards Shamu that you held and I am now in the process of trying to get her to say she likes him, but don’t see that happening. Nonetheless, tonite is a big chance for the two vets to show what they can do against a playoff team on a back-to-back. Also, Kirlienko is out and Okur has been having backspasms, so Bynum should have a good game, especially if Okur is out.

  3. Big game today for us… people thought our season was over last week during the “streak” but a win tonight on the road against a quality Utah opponent and we’re back on the radar. Who would’ve guessed that the spark that we so badly needed would come from Shammond and McKie. How bout a golf-clap for those guys for keeping it together.

    In the LA Times this morning, Phil sounded like he wants to pursue Pippen when he gets back home from this road trip. He said “I’ll probably do it when I get back to town after this weekend”. But the question is… if we do decide to sign Pippen (assuming we’re one of the “contenders” he will play for)… who do we cut to make room for him? I’m guessing McKie.

  4. These last two games have shown a renewed fire in the Lakers. Tonight, win or lose, I’d love to see that continue.

  5. The question of who to cut to make room for Pippen has become somewhat interesting. Up till now, McKie or Shammond were the obvious choices. But if Phil has plans to give them meaningful minutes in order to establish a veteran presence, then it doesn’t make a lot of sense to cut either of them. Of the two, McKie is the most likely since the trade deadline has passed and his expiring contract isn’t valuable anymore. With Shammond, you still have to pay him for next year.

    Actually, from a financial standpoint, cutting Smush would have the least impact. That might be a direction they look since it seems Smush has played himself into Phil’s doghouse as of late.

    Of course, all this is assuming Scottie is interested.

  6. while you guys are heaping parise on Shammod and Mckie, don’t forgot this recent streak started when Mo Evans come into a starters role. I’m not discounting the back up guards impact, but I feel that Mo is bringing energy to our starters, and that is more valuable in my eyes.
    I think Mo was a big part of the second unit’s strong performance in the first half of the season, so now we have to see guys like Ronnie, Cookie bring it, we’ll need to see Brian Cook become more focal point in the second unit for some O.

  7. 5. There is no way in Hades that the Lakers will, or should, cut Smush. Another option would be to cut Mihm, but that’s only realistic if we have no intention of re-signing him in the off-season. Also, there’s always the possibility, however remote, that he could be back for the playoffs.

    I’d put my money on dumping Mckie if the Lakers decide to sign Pippen.

  8. 5 – I’m pretty sure that we only signed Shammond to a one year deal so we are not going to have to pay him next year… but still, between him and McKie, I think Shammond can be more help because he is a true PG whereas Mckie is more of a SG and we need the PG right now more than the SG since Kobe is holding down his position while Smush is hanging on to his by a thread

  9. There is no way Smush is going anywhere this season. If the Lakers don’t find a vet point guard in the off season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him resigned. And I think Shammond was just one year (that’s what my notes had).

    I was not enthused with the Shammond pick up and he’s got to do more than have just two good games to win me over completely, but he was given a chance and has stepped up. Can’t ask more than that. He had some time early but seemed lost in the triangle, now he seems comfortable. We shall see, but I’d welcome better point play from anyone.

    And thanks for the kind thoughts. Everything is getting much better (for my father-in-law) and not as bad as we had feared 24-36 hours ago.

  10. How on earth did we allow D-Fish to get traded this past summer without going after him? Our PG spot has been a disaster ever since the day we took the job away from Fish and gave it to Payton. Payton ended up pursuading Fish to leave us for a starting spot (or so he thought) with the Warriors before getting traded to the Jazz. Meanwhile we have gone through disasters with the Glove, Chucky (No-D) Atkins, and Smush (No-D) Parker.

  11. Fish got the same type of deal from Golden State that we gave Radmon this summer, and back then we looked at that as overpaying for Fish. I really think this team would be so much better with Fish. Obviously we aren’t going to get him, but we should try to find a point guard in the mold of D-Fish. I really like Duhon in Chicago. I would seriously offer Chicago our First rounder for Duhon. He shoots the three well, hustles, and plays good D…just like fish did in his glory days.

  12. Huge Win! Even with smush almost hadning it to them at the end there.


    Take care Mr. K

  13. Good solid road win. A 3-game winning streak sure feels good after what came before it. Now can this team extend its Pacific Division winning streak to 8 on Friday over the Kings?

    Looks like the C’s helped us out a bit tonight by beating Houston.

  14. Nice win. Especially with Kobe struggling from the field. I don’t know how much Odom got in the game, but filling up the stat sheet has got to be a good sign, right?

    Any reason why Farmar didn’t play?

  15. I guess it would have to do with Smush getting a hot hand and playing 35 minutes, then Williams and McKie combining for 23 minutes (combined 0-0 shooting, 0 points)

  16. Cut smush and he played his way to phil’s dog house eh??? Take that smush naysayers! haha (peace!) I say the most logical choice would be to cut mihm since he won’t be coming back this season if the team is to sign pippen. Great win, great win by the lakers!

  17. that kobe put back … wooo.

  18. You guys (and gals) seem to forget that Phil doesn’t sign players, Mitch does. Scotty ain’t comming and no one’s leaving.

    We are NOT getting rid of Mihm. We will probably need him for next year – in case we trade Lamar & Kwame for KG over the summer. Since this is a possibility, I suspect Mitch isn’t going to jeopardize A) the current chemistry of the club and B) the possible acquisition of KG just to bring an over-the-hill triangle expert.

  19. Smush played fine, but I would still yank him out of every game with 3 minutes to go. He just does stupid things at the end of games.

  20. Mckie and Williams didn’t score, but they held the fort down the way veterans do, and Sasha and Farmar will not be playing anymore, youth doesn’t win in the playoffs, I like Jordan like most of us do, but he’s not ready, physically or mentally to play at the level we need. Mckie and Williams bring a calm to the second unit that allows kobe and or Lamar to attack and not worry about every facet of the game. Don’t turn your tv on looking for those other two young guards, they had their chance and have played their way out of it

  21. i couldnt watch the game, what did Smush do at the end to almost cost us the win?

  22. Fouled Derek Fisher on a 3 attempt for the four point play.

    Then proceeded to go under a screen (AGAIN) for another three by Derek.

    Typical Smush stuff.

  23. Interesting to hear the Utah announcers blame the loss on the absence of Deron Williams. Gosh, what’s a team to do without a starter (or two).

    I love Mo’s energy with the first unit. I’d like to see him be a little more selective with his shot (although that was an awful big three) and a little more comfort. in the triangle. I don’t see him keeping his starting role tho with the return of Luke, because Walton is such a superior passer.

  24. Gatinho, I completely agree with you on Mo, my man does not really seem to have any sense of context as to where his shots are coming from, but his energy more than makes up for mistakes. Actually, I would keep starting Mo, mainly because of Kobe. Kobe is just not that good of a defender of SG’s anymore and having an athletic Mo on the court allows us to match up better. It also allows us to bring Walton and Cook off the bench, that’s great offense coming in and Walton could still finish games.

  25. Like Britney, our Smushaholic coaches left rehab with predictable results (12, 22).

    A number of you (16) somehow see this as a good performance–you might want to look at some other elements in the box scores of both teams. Though Smush scored 24, his counterpart (Fisher) scored 23; Smush had NO freethrows (suggesting that he does most of his driving on the freeway),1 assist, and 5 personals–including his no-no with 40 plus seconds to go. Smush was most efficient at the beginning of the game, and least efficient within 4 minutes of the end. By contrast, Mo Evans got his 10 when it counted.

    Derek Fisher filled out his stat sheet much as he did as a Laker. He had almost the same scoring effeciency as the Smusher, 6 freethrow attempts, and 8 assists–which is what one expects from a point guard.

    The box score on the Smusher reads a lot like Chucky Atkins on a hot night!

  26. Smush was one of the biggest reasons we won last nite, the team played well and we’re on a three-game win streak, LEAVE SMUSH ALONE GET OVER IT! Who else on this team will do what a pg playing next to Kobe is supposed to do, drain open threes, nobody that’s who, but it’s not the fans that hate smush that make decisions, it’s the 9 time NBA champion Phillip and Smush has started every, repeat, every single game for Phil, CASE CLOSED

  27. Also, as to the point about Fisher’s assists, well in an offense where the PG handles the ball every possesion for an extended period, he damn well better get some assits. One of the things that has always been true about the triangle is that the PG is not necessarily the playmaker or faciliator. BJ Armstrong, the same D Fish and all other tri-PGs always have low assist numbers, it has nothing to do with their efficency as a PG, take a look at the stats of tri-PGs and show me one that avg. 7-8 assits, you wont find it

  28. The problem with Smush is he can’t defend a paper bag… We continually get killed by point guards. The 7 point Dfish outburst there to get us all worried at the end was 100% smush’s fault. When his (very) streaky shooting is on, then sure, he’s not bad. But when he’s not shooting well, we’re screwed. Let’s all be clear, we still desperately need a PG upgrade to really compete with Dallas/Phoenix. I hope farmar will end up being that guy, he’s got the potential, but I hope that (other than a KG signing, heh), that’s the #1 priority of the offseason.

  29. I like Farmar, but he may not be a tri-PG. When you play with Luke, Lamar and Kobe the PG won’t handle the ball much, they have to be able to be a dangerous spot-up shooter. Farmar is more of a classical PG, he may be better suited for a different system, but it will depend on who the Lakers have on the roster when he is competent enough to get back on the court.

  30. I suppose if you are looking at the history of Phil’s teams, there never was a true PG. The only small players on the team (BJ Armstrong, John Paxson, Steve Kerr, Derek Fisher) were all guys that could hit open shots, not dish the ball off to another player for an assist.

    If we’re comparing Smush to these guys, he is close. He hasn’t been completely reliable hitting easy jump shots, and he has a tendency to abandon the offense and take wild shots. It takes an intelligent player to be in the Guard role in this offense.

    The piece we’re really missing is that feirce rebounder/shot blocker (Dennis Rodman, Horace Grant). We’re attempting to make Kwame that guy, but I’m not sure on him yet. Turiaf is too sloppy at this point as well. Maybe he could be a John Salley type of guy eventually. Vlade, if healthy, could form into the Toni Kukoc type of guy they need as well. He also just needs to get his act together.

    I think Kobe, Odom, Luke, Kwame, Bynum, and Vlade are good pieces. We’ve got a ways to go though.

  31. Smush is sort of triPG offensively. But, defensively? One also has to remember that when Jordan was playing, the PG’s weren’t as offensively minded, so it wasn’t that critical if your starting PG couldn’t stay in front of an Iverson or Tony Parker driving to the hole. The league is now full of guys like these.

  32. Great point Paul, the new-rules also have a big effect on PG defense these days, no hand-check has changed the way the games played

  33. Shammond could step up and be helpful off the bench for the Lakers during the last 2 months. He played good against Boston, and against Golden State. He can hit the open jumper, pass off to Kobe or Lamar, with his quickness he can get to the hoop too. And with the quick feet, he is a better defender than Smush is. Parker is better offensively than Williams though. And down the stretch of games, I dont think Williams would do any stupid moves, he is a veteran and will probably stay calm and not panic or make any dumb fouls.

  34. Another thing to note during Jordan’s era, literally every starter on the team shot 50%. That’s completely impossible in today’s game. I don’t know what has changed in the NBA, but now only big men can shoot 50% (or guys like Tony Parker, Dwyane Wade, and Steve Nash who take advantage of big men in the lane afraid of getting into foul trouble).

  35. It is interesting to revue Laker management philosophy as measured in signings. Derek Fisher was not signed. Chucky Atkins came in trade as a Fisher on the cheap. Chucky was then traded. Smush was brought in for even less money as a Chucky on the cheap.Even though Fisher could have been brought back for this year, Smush “Chucky on the cheap” was brought back without a significant raise in salary.

    Though some of you are willing to stick your neck out for Smush, neither the Laker organization nor any other NBA organization appears willing to bankroll your impressions.

    Smush might be more willing to put himself in harm’s way if someone believed enough in him to finance his future.

    You get what you pay for.

  36. Break it down well, DR.

    There are a lot of intangibles between
    PJ’s Bulls and today’s that set them apart.

    I see the coach trying to do something equivalent
    to the Bulls’ rotations but some rules have changed
    as well as skill focus of the current players.

    Jackson had three bigs to absorb four fouls apiece
    during a game, and he had shooters from Paxon
    to Kukoc around the perimeter–
    perhaps their accuracy was greater
    than the younger guns of today due to form
    reinforced by their college or European coaches.

    Note with Kobe, even with the “circus” shots,
    if you watch in slo-mo how he always tries to square up
    in his upper body and look the shot in.

    Some shooters now I think
    give more emphasis to “feel” than form
    ( and that magical Meyers’ “rhythm” thing )
    so they don’t even bother looking for a crease
    in the lane.

    Farmar I expect will return to driving the lane
    as he did earlier in the season per the Farmar Theory.

    Sasha needs to find that self-confidence
    that he had on the Italian team as well as to realize
    that to develop his defense need not neutralize
    his offense.
    He knows it but it doesn’t manifest in play.

    When Lamar hangs out in three-point country,
    ( and Maurice too ) with those long rangy limbs
    wanting to hand off rather than whip past his man
    to the baseline basket, I eat another throw pillow.

    A chunk of Kobe’s point total last night
    was from the free-throw line, but the other Lakes
    seem too intimidated oftentimes to try to draw fouls
    on the other team as if they expect to get an offensive
    ( with some of these refs, I understand that )

    but they’ve got to make that move a first choice
    rather than a second-guess-and-go, because
    that gives the defense time to set up for taking
    a charge, and we see more wastes of possessions
    and breaking that magical Lantz “momentum” thing
    as seen in the end of last night’s second quarter.

    – 5 –

  37. Smush will cash in this offseason, he was a bargain and the Lakers weren’t sure what they would do, now it will either be with us or with another team, but he will get a 4-6 yr deal and he will 10-20 million, don’t be mad at Smush, its a pretty nice story

  38. From Mitch Kupchack recently:

    “Jordan Farmar played a lot this year because Shammond Williams got hurt in training camp. Aaron McKie got hurt last year, so we really couldn’t bank on him this year. We had no idea what he can do because we never saw him play last year. So in our minds, you had Smush Parker, he needed a backup and we felt that Shammond Williams could be a good backup player. But Shammond had a groin pull and Jordan played well in preseason and that’s kind of how that worked out.”

    The reason I post this is b/c it speaks to the issue of Smush’s role on this team. As much as it may pain some of us, Smush is the Lakers’ starting PG. Everybody else is just fighting for a role as the backup.

  39. I agree with people that say we don’t need a PG that passes and scores. That’s not what successful PGs in this system have done. We need a guy to hit an open outside shot with accuracy and guard the other teams opposing point guard well. THATS IT! Smush could become that, but has yet to show signs of doing so. If you remember, D-Fish was not always one of PJ’s favorite guys. When he first came in the league, he was a traditional, drive and kick point guard, who didn’t have much of a jump shot. When PJ first came to L.A., he sat behiind guys like Brian Shaw because he couldn’t hit that J. So what did Fish do? He worked on his outside shot, transformed his game and became the missing piece during the 2001 season. Smush has never been pushed to do that because he’s had this starting job handed to him (because the Lakers don’t have anyone else better to play the part). PJ should sit down and show Smush video of BJ, DFish, Pax, B-Shaw, etc and see how a triangle PG is supposed to play. Also, I’m going to keep saying this, but the Lakers really should figure out a way to get Chris Duhon from Chicago. I think he’s a SMART, TOUGH player that plays great defense and has the ability to hit outside shots. That’s all we need out of our point guard spot, and if Smush can’t provide that, why not get it from someone that has proven that he can?

  40. How can we get Duhon? I don’t think its as easy as you guys make it sound. Is he an upcoming free agent? If not, then who are we gonna trade for him? and thats assuming that the Bulls are even willing to part with him. If he’s really as smart and tough as you guys say he is… why would Chicago want to get rid of him?

  41. It once again bears repeating. This is a young club. Young clubs are inconsistent. Young clubs often get discouraged by failures and have trouble pulling out of their funks.

    Having said that, this club has a lot of very competent parts – see our performance with the tremendous number of injuries this year. Just imagine Dallas, Phoenix, or San Antonio with the number of injuries (and key injuries) the Lakers have sustained this year. I doubt they would have held things together as well as the Lakers have.

    This is a very good organization and quite a resilient. team. While we may be one player away for playing for a championship, it doesn’t make much sense to trade away 3 or 4 people to get that part. We get a new transmission by getting rid of the brakes. You win races/championships with the entire team, not specific parts.

  42. If we are gonna go after someone in the offseason… theres only one person who we should be focusing on… and he lives in Minnesota.

    After the T’Wolves made no moves before the deadline, a pissed off KG was quoted as saying, “THANK GOD FOR OPT-OUTS!” That means that he is sending a very loud and clear message to management… you have until the end of next season to trade me, or else I’m just walking away and you guys get nothing. Well I doubt the T’Wolves can improve THAT much over the summer, so if they’re smart (and all indications so far are that they’re not) they will move him this summer for the right offer.

    Thats where we come in. We told the Nets that Kobe, Lamar, and Socks are untouchable… for Jason Kidd. I bet if the T’Wolves call, their list of players whom they cannot touch is probably only one deep, and thats #24. We have a very legitimate shot at making this happen.

  43. Duhon has one more year on his deal and it’s for just $3.2 mil. But, the Bulls aren’t going to give up quality depth at the PG spot without getting back what they want in return — and what they want is low post scoring. Who exactly on the Lakers fits that bill? And no, they don’t want Mihm in a sign-and-trade, try again. (ED note, I wrote that before the following comment went up, no insult intended).

  44. and if they can’t get him for next season, then go after him when he’s a free agent in two seasons…I’m telling you he’s the perfect triangle PG…

  45. Oh and about that KG comment…even if you add KG to this team, the Lakers don’t get out of the West without getting someone to match up with Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Jason Terry, Deron Williams, AI, etc. When healthy, the Lakers are decent inside. But they are terrible at the PG position.

  46. I agree I think Duhon would be a good fit.

    And Kwame a. is right about Smush getting some money from somebody this summer (Lakers or otherwise). Look, he went to Europe to hone his game, clearly has worked on the offensive end and is a good story. I’d be happy to keep him as a backup, but financially I don’t think it makes sense.

  47. Odom and Kawame for KG this summer. The salaries balance out and Minni gets their big men. Of course we have to sign Mihm first. I suspect this is the only really good trade option. Kawame for Duhon and someone else (P.J. Brown) just doesn’t seem to return enough to the Lakers. Besides, trading a big for a small isn’t too smart (see the Kidd non-trade).

  48. 38 I agree that the Lakers had committed early to Smush. Kupchak only said “with the numbers and the terms of the contract” that poor Smush is the designated “point guard from WalMart.”

    42 and 37 Show me the money!

    If the Lakers really feel the way you do, they should lock Smush up right now. I’m sure his agent would answer the phone.

    Others beg to differ.

    Smushaphobes that I’ve talked to would simply dismiss him from the team. Why?

    For smirking and enjoying himself on the bench while the rest of use were in deep pain as we faced another loss.

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