Phil’s Freefall

Kurt —  April 15, 2007

The Lakers have been freefall for a few weeks and it has exposed a few things. It exposed just how much damage the injuries have done to this team. It’s exposed players to roles that don’t suit them.

And it has exposed some weaknesses in Phil Jackson’s game.

Kevin Pelton asked me to do a Q&A for the Sonics official Web site about the Lakers, and one of the questions was about Phil and his frustrations with this team. Basically, he asked “why the freefall?” My answer:

This team was constructed with almost no margin for error. When everyone was healthy the Lakers looked good, like a second-tier team – not as good as the Mavericks/Suns/Spurs but a team none of those three wanted to face in the playoffs. The injuries have forced guys to have to take on roles that are beyond their capabilities. The center position is the perfect example: Andrew Bynum is a 19-year-old who didn’t play a lot in high school, he should be coming off the bench for 10-15 minutes a game and learning at a comfortable pace; instead he’s asked to stop Yao Ming and Amare Stoudimire to give his team a chance. Bynum’s confidence has been shaken, so now the classic “energy guy off the bench” in Ronny Turiaf, who is really a power forward, has taken over as starting center.

Bottom line, Phil Jackson hasn’t had the right pieces to move around the chessboard this year, but there certainly are some questions about some of the in-game decisions and rotations he has decided to go with. The makeup of this team – especially after the injuries – does not play to his strengths as a coach (molding a team, getting guys to play certain roles).

Phil has been about molding, getting teams to play at their peaks. This Laker team has become about development of players, and that has shown not to be Phil’s biggest strength.

But there also has been Phil’s hesitancy to make some roster moves — that has started to change with Ronny’s start last game and his willingness to sit Smush in fourth quarters.

Then there is the team not taking advantage of its strengths. Nate Jones of Jones on the NBA got into this in the comments recently.

He’s got a guy named Lamar Odom that is a match up nightmare for almost every team in the league. Take last night, for example. The Clippers had EB trying to defend Odom on the perimeter. Everytime Odom took EB off the dribble it ended up being a lay up. Odom is just as unstoppable against smaller players in the post, but PJ never calls his number. Odom should be almost as featured as Kobe Bryant is in the offense, yet most of the time (like the second half of last nights game) he is relegated to a spot up shooter. Odom only had his number called like 4 times the entire night last night. And what about running some pick roll plays with Kobe and Lamar? A Kobe and Lamar pick and roll tandem would be difficult to touch, yet they never run that play. If Kobe is involved in pick and roll it’s usually with Turiaf, Bynum, or (when healthy) Kwame Brown. Throw L.O. in there and see what he can do. I’m tired of seeing games where Smush Parker gets more shot attempts than Odom.

You know what else I miss, the pick-and-pop with Kobe and Cook.

I also miss winning. The good news is that the magic number remains two, and the Clippers still play the Suns, the Warriors still play the Mavericks. What we really need is just one game, one win — and this is a great chance. The Sonics are without Ray Lewis. They played last night (and lost in Portland). This is a very winnable game.

And man, I miss winning.

Kurt

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53 responses to Phil’s Freefall

  1. I definitely agree with you Kurt. That’s a lucid and clear analysis of the lakers’ freefall. Last 2 months were really frustrating and painful to watch. Too many guys are clearly limited on what they can do especially on the defensive end… and we were already an average defensive team… that eventually became an awful defensive team. Once again the emphasis for the off-season will be on acquiring defensive-minded players. Let’s hope we can really improve the team. Anyway… as we shoudn’t have been exaggerating while the team was winning now let’s be fair in evaluating the value of the players on the team… it’s too easy to shoot on them now… maybe we’re not a player away from contending… but 2 players… or 1 here and there. And please… involve LO in the offense… and get him in the low post!!! Maybe the shoulder is hurting and he backs away from contact… but he was dominating last year against the suns… and at the beginning of the year he showed what he can do. It’s a shame he’s involved less than his capabilities would allow him.

  2. Trying to be an optimist here, but maybe he’s reserving those sets, touches for the playoffs or the game wherein they need to win to make the playoffs…

    I sometimes think on why fans and the like would be able to see and give opinion on certain sets, styles or plays (ie. give the ball to L.O, make kobe shoot less, use a full court press, etc.) give numbers to back them up (+/-, efg% etc) and yet the people who are getting paid to think about these strategies seem to not notice them or not use them.

    I wonder if this is for the lack of the coaching staff’s effort to branch out of comfort zones, or tried and true methods of playing OR maybe they also think about them but realize that whatever ideas that we (the fans) come up with are actually not applicable for the team. Perhaps there are some reasons that cannot be seen in an actual game (from which we base our ideas or strategies)

  3. I can forgive our recent struggles if after tonight’s game I can put on “Today Was a Good Day.” i had the brew she had the chronic, the Lakers beat the Supersonics.

    If we lose… I think I’ll find myself rooting for the Warriors as the NBA underdog, who I’ve somehow convinced myself has a chance in the playoffs against Dallas.

  4. Well said, Kurt.

    And Jones is totally right about Lamar. He is one of the most uniquely talented guys in the league, and I’ve never understood why we don’t exploit his abilities more.

  5. Other than the final scores of the last two games, we’ve actually played much better than we had lately. Against the Clips through 3 quarters, we looked great. Full of energy and quickness. Against the Suns, we held them to 90 something. Thats our game. Not their fast paced game.

    The point i’m trying to make is that even though we are still losing, we have been making progress in areas that we needed progress in.

  6. I find myself wondering, “Is it Phil not calling Lamar’s number and instructing him to drive, or is it Lamar just being passive?”

    Both are plausible. In one case Phil is criminally culpable and in the other Lamar is just not the right person for this team.

    I suspect it is a bit of both. As such I think we should cut Phil some slack for ‘whatever is left of the season and the same for Lamar. However, we should watch carefully to see if Phil is actively trying to manage Lamar from the bench and also watch Lamar for more ‘dives’ into the lane.

    If neither improves their performance, then Phil should have some very harsh words from the Buss’s and we should seriously consider whether Lamar can get us a consistent 2nd scorer on this club.

    If this team weren’t so fragile I would be more confident about the development of its young players.

  7. Hopefully tonite Lamar brings a solid effort. That means making an impact on the game, whether scoring or otherwise, he cannot be invisible on the court like he has been the last two games. It’s like our fourth quarters are played 4 on 5 when he is in zombie mode.

  8. 3. The coaches probably do discuss these things, but they have both a lot more information and a lot more concerns when making decisions. They have the personalities to deal with, players who may not be willing to do what we all think they should. They also understand weaknesses in players games better than we do, we may want a player to do something but the coaches know that if they put the player in that position they would fail.

    Really, I remember Dean Oliver talking about working with coaches and saying their conventional wisdom and choices are there for reasons. To get them to change you have to provide compelling evidence otherwise.

    For example, with Smush, Phil clearly does not feel comfortable giving the job to Farmar. We may question that, but he may have valid thinking we don’t know of. I still think he should give it a shot, but I don’t think fans — even smart ones — for the most part know better than coaches.

  9. One reason Lamar’s number has not been called lately is that his shoulder is still messed up. I see that guy grimace hard multiple times a game. He’s been forced to go right more, which for him means a lower percentage. Not exactly the best option for an already anemic team.

    I’m not saying Lamar shouldn’t see more action in the offense but the guy’s obviously not right. We may not know the full extent of the injury. Yet it is clear the torn labrum has definitely impacted his game. Phil has adjusted accordingly. We may not like the result but there may be nothing Phil can do at this point.

  10. Rob -

    Part of Lamar being effective would be putting him in a position to be successful. He needs to receive the ball in the post, and not at the top of the key. I don’t understand why Phil uses Lamar this way.

    If you watch highlights of Lamar playing for Miami a few years back, he was used in the post and he was one of the better players in the league.

    I think Phil has a hard time adjusting to the players he coaches. He would rather force players into roles than accomodate the best roles suited for each player.

  11. I agree with DR. I think Phil does not do as good a job of adjusting to his players as some other coaches. Since he has been able to somewhat pick his players, and has had primarily veteran squads, he has not had to face the problems some others have. What I hope is that he is capable of learning new ‘tricks’.

    Kurt, I think you make some good points, but all the LA media does seem to give Phil a very large pass. He has earned some credits, but not to the extent he is getting them at this time. It is like the Shaq ‘thing’ where he remembered who ‘wronged hem’ then wouldn’t include them in his stories.

    Yes, the coaches know more about things than we fans – we certainly hope so. However, Phil has been incredibly stubborn about making any changes. The squad just has not responded and he is essentially playing for next year. Yes, we will be in the playoffs, but we really don’t have any real hope of going far. In this environment, I don’t know why he can’t try out some other options. He has seen Famar and Sasha step up in the last month, but he rigidly sticks with starting Smush and keeping Kobe away from bringing up the ball. Even if we don’t completely solve the PG problem, we may find out some really good options that hadn’t been tried before.

    I realize Smush doesn’t do as well off the bench, but that is just too bad and, no matter when he comes in, he seems to bring the team chemistry down. Why not change some things.

  12. I think it’s a combination of what many have said. Certainly as Jones said, the Lakers had little margin for error; but also, yeah, I feel Phil, as Jones and some others said, Lamar is a matchup nightmare. There really should be a bunch more plays called for him. And yeah, Phil has been getting a pass. Anyway….I think y’all are right on, by and large.

  13. I’m not necessarily defending Phil here, but in regards to where Lamar is on the court, I feel it is a three-part problem

    1. Lamar doesn’t cut and establish position nearly enough, Walton does this very well, and gets the ball in the post

    2. We don’t have a servicable pg, so Lamar has to be up top to facilitate

    3. He’s injured

  14. Kobe should be the facilitator, not Lamar. This maximizes Kobe’s skills and danger to the opposition.

    It is Phil’s insistence on using Lamar as a facilitator that is causing the problems for BOTH Kobe and Lamar.

  15. The sky is falling! The sky is falling!!

    Farmar is starting!!!

    Forget extending Phil … we should have JONESONTHENBA coaching this team. ;-)

    OK, Rambis and B. Shaw can help.

  16. warren (philippines) April 15, 2007 at 7:48 pm

    Hey! Farmar is really starting!

  17. DR – Lamar had success earlier in the year with Phil’s system before his injuries. I simply think his left shoulder can’t handle much right now. To play in the post you have to bang bodies. Lamar can’t do that on a regular basis right now no matter how effective he was before.

  18. In times past, it would have been sacrilige to question Phil like this. Now, though, it’s merited.

    What do you think the Kobe-Odom combo could do with Jerry Sloan as a coach? Think we would be better off than with the triangle right now? I’m leaning towards yes right now, but Sloan would have snapped some players in half by now for their inability to play defense. Sam Mitchell in Toronto deserves the CoY award this year, but Jerry is deserving as well.

  19. To clarify my earlier comment: Lamar was doing well earlier with the Lakers without tons of post play. Now is not the time to attempt to post up Lamar. His shoulder couldn’t handle it.

  20. Well, when you had Messrs. Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman, you coudl pretty much put me and one of the Three Little Pigs out there as well, I think, and you wouldnt’ have done too badly…I think the $10m. a year might have muted Phil’s desire a bit…..I must admit I didn’t want to see him come back, thinking he wouldn’t….and then when they threw out such ridiculous amounts, well; and like Jones mentioned, Phil has a much smaller margin of error with this group. For better or worse, Phil has prepped superbly gifted hoopsters before…..this group, apart from #24 and maybe #7 a bit…..are not quite up to that caliber.

  21. Phil finally did what was obvious months ago: start Farmar amd close with Farmar–use Smush off the bench–start Kwame with Ronnie as the backup. The only proble tomight was the thrid tier substitutions toward the end of the half that got Seattle in the game.

    Hopefully, that starting and substitution pattersn will continue.

  22. Starting Farmar was great, but don’t underestimate how big it was to have Kwame back. He provided a lot in the paint.

    That and no Ray Allen.

  23. Yes, Kurt,

    When I saw Kwame start, I already had us winning.

  24. warren (philippines) April 15, 2007 at 11:40 pm

    The Lakers are going to finish 42-40 and clinch on the 7th spot. The win tonight (today here) made me feel better but we are still merely a .500 team. Whatever happens in this playoffs, it’ll be a good learning experience for Jordan Farmar, Andrew Bynum, Ronny Turiaf and Brian Cook.

    Next year, the market is wide open. Many are disgruntled and are seeking to move to a better team. KG is at the top of the list though he has not really asked out – YET. Getting KG would also mean parting with Bynum and Lamar Odom unless it can be worked out that LO is off the deal. I’d love to see Odom play the 3 spot once more. Like Shawn Marion whom no one seems to notice but scores everytime.

    Lamar Odom
    Andrew Bynum
    Chris Mihm (sign-and-trade)
    Vlade Radman

    for

    KG
    Trenton Hassell or Mike James

    Next on my wish list is Jermaine Oneal. Prolific scorer and rebounder and is more likely to bolt Indiana than KG in Minny. (because KG is so stubborn) mistaking it himself for Loyalty. JO can add another dimension to LA’s stance and that is his shot-blocking. There has been rumors also about him wanting to join LA. Plus, its across the West so Donnie Walsh wont be so bothered.

    Andrew Bynum
    Chris Mihm (sign-and-trade)
    Vlade Radman
    Brian Cook

    for

    Jermaine Oneal

    Third on my wish list would be Pau Gasol – who has been involved in league-wide trade speculation this year. Next Year, the picture could change if indeed Memphis gets to Draft either of Oden or Durant. His salary is easier to match but Pau Gasol’s game wouldnt compliment the Lakers right away. His lack of bulk and defense might disinterest Phil Jackson plus he got 63M and 4 contract years left. Might be too taxing in the long term.

    Andrew Bynum
    Vlade Radman
    Chris Mihm (sign-and-trade)

    for

    Pau Gasol

    As you can see, Im all out trying to trade Andrew Bynum. Not to take away from the kid, but right now hes as much risk to keep than to trade. Extend him for 7-8M 4 years and get a 4M trade value from him. We could even save a 1st round pick if he’s in the deal.

    Minor Touches:

    I like what one of you suggested Radman for Banks and Piatkowski.

    I think the trades will strain our frontcourt thus we COULD use the mid-level on Jamaal Magloire.

    Try to lure Grant Hill to sign the 1M exception.

    If no major trades are in the works, try to offer Mo Williams 7-8M 5 years.

    Just to shake things up a bit, Jason Kidd was very excited of the thought… Go for him one more time. This time, Andrew is not off limits.

  25. You’re funny warren.

  26. warren,
    Posting long posts just to say you want to trade AB, Vlad, and Mihm really doesn’t give me anything I didn’t already know. How about just saying what I did in one sentence; then give the three people you want listed in order of their desirability. 1) KG 2) JO 3) Gasol

    I like analyzing how the Lakers are put together and how different combinations work well or poorly together. That gives me something else to watch during the games.

  27. Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa.

    Farmar started. Huzzah!

  28. I was strucked when Doug Collins said that the starting five of the Lakers started only 16 times because of injury.

    Everything lies there.

  29. The thing about this Laker team is that they are fragile. All teams go through injuries – some almost as bad as the Lakers this year (not quite as bad though). With so many young and 2nd tier players things have to go fairly right, or everyone quickly gets into a losing mindset. This is also where Phil’s inexperience with a young team really shows up.

    A silver lining or two: 1) Phil may really have learned some new things this year and this bodes well for next year and 2) the players won’t be so young and experienced next year.

  30. inexperienced! Sorry for the grammar.

  31. Hi Warren (25),

    Your Kevin Garnett trade proposal is very similar to one that I posted for Kurt’s “trade Garnett” multiblog initiative–but I left Bynum out. I added James partly because I believed that Minnesota would welcome throwing him in–and we could use some point guard help. The problem with adding Bynum the way that you do is that the Lakers then would only have one center, Kwame–and much less big man depth.

    This is a problem with all of your proposals in one form or another. Even with Ronnie filling in, the Lakers need at least 2 centers–and big guys are hard to find and expensive.

    The other problem facing any trade involving Mihm (and also Brown) is health. Although Mihm had hoped to be in the playoffs this year, a more credible time frame might be June–and then we might get bad news. Less seriously, Kwame is going to need rehabilitation time after this season that might well last into October. Radman is having hand surgery in additon to his snowboard injury.

    We might get away with trading Radman, but if we keep both Kwame and Mihm as “hoped for” centers for next year, it might be better. That means putting another player in the mix for KG–or possibly take James out of the deal–or both. Sasha is the only one who might have enough salary to matter.

    Of course, Warren, if you could somehow lure KG to Manila for a vacation, who knows what might happen . . . . .

  32. Forget KG, it’s playoff time baby, playoffs!

    Kwame was great on D, the whole team played better, but that was against the last place team in the conference, so my enthusiasm is somewhat tempered. I liked that second unit of Smush, Sasha, Mo, Cook (or Vlad), Ronny.

  33. Any time we have two liabilities on defense on the floor at the same time we are going to give up runs. Smush and Cook qualify.

  34. warren (philippines) April 16, 2007 at 8:29 am

    to : DrRayEye
    I’ve got several points for your consideration:

    1 – 1st off, I’m on the campaign that trading Bynum might be the best we could do this summer. Among our assets, He is the most coveted. This summer, his trade value is at its peak. He is too risky to keep. (in my opinion)

    2 – Teams are very interested in the fact that he could be the next gold mine that came so cheap. Not to mention that the one owning this honor is in fact Kobe.

    3 – I am only looking at teams that are “looking” to trade their marquee player because they aren’t doing so well.
    Minny, Indy, Memphy.

    4 – The player I’m choosing from has to compliment Kobe’s play, attitude and leadership. Much more his ego.

    5 – Its almost certain that our Mid-Level Exception would land on a much-needed Center. If only losing them to trades is the price for a KG or a JO. Mo Wil might be a long shot on this one.

    6 – Of the 9 players we have, Walton, Mihm and Turiaf are the ones surely re-signed. Waiting by the sidelines is Smush, quite certain to be renounced are Shamm Wil and McKie. This lineup has got to change. Even at the assumption that they are at full strength.
    And even with the 18th pick, I wouldn’t count on our pick to be an immediate contributor. Not PJ’s style.

    7 – I still couldn’t get it why Slalom Vlade was the one we used the Mid-Level on… Much more, after turning out to be clearly a mistake, to not void his contract after the accident. Therefore he has to go. I doubt if Teams are anxious about him coming in. The trade on Him for Banks and Piatkowski sound better as each day goes.

    8 – Early on, I was on the note that Kwame’s expiring contract is our greatest trade bait. I am now completely opposed. I think keeping him is a no brainer. He’s our difference maker defensively.

  35. warren (philippines) April 16, 2007 at 8:43 am

    And I had just read rumors that Marcus Camby might be traded next year. Once more my “pipe dreams” are constantly refreshed and re-kindled as each “possible” player that could fit comes out in the field.

    Brian Cook
    Chris Mihm (sign-and-trade)

    for

    Marcus Camby

  36. Dude, I can’t believe I missed Farmar’s first start! I’m so proud of him! Hopefully he starts all the playoff games!

  37. Warren, you gotta check the source. That particular rumor emanates from Sam “nothing i say is true 98% of the time and I hate blogs” Smith. He makes stuff up left and right, I’m sure the Nuggets aren’t trading the DPOY. Plus, if the do, they will get more than cookie do and mihm (who hasn’t even demonsatrated the ability to make it back on the court).

  38. warren (philippines) April 16, 2007 at 10:06 am

    the rumor was from ESPN.

  39. warren (philippines) April 16, 2007 at 10:09 am

    kwame, what do u think is the best move to improve this mediocre team we have?

  40. Warren — this has been said before, but you don’t seem to have paid attention — the Lakers CANNOT extend Bynum until NEXT SUMMER. His salary is already set at $2.7 million for next year. That is his trade value.

    Also, we can’t offer Mo Williams $7-8 million a year. All we have in free agency is the mid-level exception. The largest contract you can offer with the mid-level is what we offered Vlade — 5 years, $30 million. It might go up slightly this summer, but not much.

  41. The best way to improve the team would be doing a sign & trade for Chauncey Billups involving some combination of Vlade, Cookie, Mihm, Sasha, Bynum (if necessary) and draft picks (we have 3 in this year’s draft). It could even be structured as a three-way with Sacramento sending Mike Bibby to Detroit, if the KIngs are willing to deal with us (which they might not be).

    I would be hesitant to deal Kwame unless we get back another interior defender.

    Our biggest problem this year, in my opinion, was the lack of a consistent number 2 scoring option, followed by a lack of consistent play both offensively and defensively from the point. Billups addresses both of those issues. Plus he’s a very good 3-point shooter.

    Our defensive energy was also an ongoing problem, but that’s usually the case with young teams. Getting rid of the cancer that is Smush and bringing in Chauncey would dramatically improve both our offense and defense overnight. Combine that with continued improvement from our young players and we would be a much, much better team next year.

  42. ESPN got that directly from a Sam Smith online article.

    I’m focused on the present, the Lakers are headed towards the playoffs, but in the offseason they should get a PG (hopefully Charlie Bell), and trade some combination of Odom/Kwame/Bynum to get a legit low-post #2 option.

  43. Smush is cancer. That’s for sure.

  44. I get the feeling that Dumars will do anything to keep Chauncey Billups around. The only other possibility I can see happening would be Memphis offering big bucks for his services. The Pistons don’t need a package of mediocre players for a star player… they’re smarter than that.

    I don’t think that Minnesota wants to help us either. They are in the same conference, and wouldn’t want their star player playing against them. I could see Kevin Mchale working out a trade with his old buddy Danny Ainge and the Celtics. Boston has the best package of young players to offer.

    The Lakers need to be intelligent in the offseason. Get a veteran PG to help out Farmar. Get a defensive post player that can clog up the middle. Sign an athletic SF that can also play defense. We have to be agressive… and a trade may be the only way to make a change for the better.

  45. I think right now our best lineup is this:

    PG: Farmar
    SG: Kobe
    SF: Evans
    PF: Odom
    C: Kwame

    Bring Smush, Turiaf, and Luke off the bench for big minutes. Bynum and Vlade should get limited minutes based on matchups. Otherwise, Sasha and Cook should be used minimally.

  46. Ah, the playoffs. It’s not exactly how anyone wanted the Lakers to enter but I think we’ll all take it. I observed something that made me brush off my “disappointments”: The Golden State fans who visited for the Clippers game. Those guys have had a long drought, and man were they stoked about potentially going to the playoffs. It reminded me that the playoffs are exciting and the first of several steps a team must reach to get to the championship. Sure, it probably won’t happen this year. But missing the playoffs entirely would have been too depressing. Instead, we get to savor some post-season action. Let’s enjoy it. Next season is a long way away.

  47. Yeah I realize that Detroit is smarter than that, but I’ve also been reading reports about turmoil and bad chemistry in the Pistons’ locker room. If Billups tells the team that he wants out and he’s leaving one way or another, they’ll take back 50 cents on the dollar rather than losing him for nothing.

    It’s a long shot, I know, but it’s not entirely out of the question.

    I agree that McHale would probably rather deal Garnett to Boston or even Chicago (who I think has better young players to offer than the Celtics). But don’t forget that if KG says he wants out, because of his relationship with T-Wolves owner Glen Taylor he will have substantial say in where he ends up.

  48. The problem is much bigger than that. First of all, the Lakers are one of the slowest teams in the league. Especially when it comes to rotating on defense. They give up too many lay ups and open three pointers. Secondly, they do not have any consistent jump shooters. When Kobe draws the defense and kicks it out, wide open shots are missed. Third, Smoosh Parker is terrible. No foot speed on defense, three assists a game. Come on. Lastly, they are soft. They lack desire and the will to win. Put that all together and they are an average team at best. Out first round either 4-0 or 4-1.

  49. It’s not the whole team that’s soft and lacks desire, just some individual players. But because of injuries and Phil’s reluctance to play rookies, those players have gotten more minutes than we would like.

    Jordan, Kobe, Luke, Lamar, Mo Evans, Ronny and Mihm (when healthy) have plenty of desire and will to win. Kwame and Bynum are works in progress; the jury is still out on them. Smush, Sasha, Vlade and Cook are slow and soft and appear to lack desire.

  50. I do agree that we need to make a choice between Vlade and Cook in the offseason. They are basically the same player.

  51. Will Phil have the guts to start Farmar in the playoffs?

    Starting lineup:

    PG: Farmar SG: Kobe SF: Luke PF: Odom C: Kwame

    Energy bench lineup with Kobe in

    PG: Kobe SG: Evans SF: Luke PF: Turiaf C: Kwame

    Bench Lineup with Odom in:

    PG: Farmar SG: Sasha/Smush SF: Evans PF: Odom C: Bynum/Turiaf

    Keep Smush to a minimum. Primary bench players Turiaf and Evans.

  52. I didn’t know Ray Lewis played for the Sonics. Does Baltimore know about this?

    Seriously, Well said. Although I do feel that Mr Jackson has a a concept and a reason for what we as fans see as mistakes, bad substitutions, bad plays, etcetera. He seems to care less about winning during the regular season and treats the team like a chemistry set. It makes no sense to you or I, however, once the playoffs start, things seem to work. We’ll have to see if it happens again this year. Cheers

    PS
    Yellow text on a white background is a bit hard to read.