Laker/Suns Chat: Game 5

Kurt —  May 2, 2007

Let’s talk about the technical stuff the Lakers need to do tonight.

In game three the Lakers started switching on the screen-and-roll the Suns ran, and also did some trapping (having both the center and the guard try to stop Nash from making a play). It worked pretty well for three quarters, as Jackson said Nash either turned his back to the play (the trap) or had an aggressive Odom or Kwame blocking his path.

For game four the Suns made a couple of key adjustments: 1) they pushed the tempo of the play up so the Lakers had to make their decisions faster; 2) they started “slipping” the pick-and-roll, meaning Amare (or Marion) faked setting a screen and then quickly slipped behind the defender to accept the pass. The Lakers would both be ready to trap but then there was no pick and the “picker” was running free. Often for a dunk.

Kwame a. did a nice job laying out the Laker options:

1. Continue to try to trap the screen and roll. They primarily utilize the Nash/Marion or Nash/Stoudemire screen roll. This leaves our sf or Kobe as the weakside perimeter help, and our center on the block. Last game when we tried to trap the screener rolled to the hoop, the c had to help, dunks ensued. To adjust the Lakers can have the perimeter player on the weakside sag into the pain to allow our c to rotate to the screener who slips the screen. This would still lead to some scrambling, and would open up the 3 ball for them, not sure if that’s the best thing for us.

2. Go back to switching the screen. This would probably be best for Lamar when he’s involved, maybe even Ronny, but not good for Bynum, Kwame or Cook.

3. Mix up our Defenses. We should trap when our Center is involved in the play and make sure we are disciplined in our rotations. When Lamar is involved we should switch.

As we have said before, a key part of the Laker defense is on offense. The Lakers must get the ball in the paint, they must pound the offensive boards hard. They must make the Suns pack in on defense some rather than be spread out and ready to run. And, the Lakers must hit a high percentage of shots.


The Lakers may have a new starting point guard (Shammond?). But really, what matters is the energy the Lakers play with, the intensity and the passion. And I’ll throw in execution. If the Lakers can’t bring 48 minutes of high intensity play tonight, I don’t know what to say. Win or start scheduling all those off-season surgeries.

to Laker/Suns Chat: Game 5

  1. warren (philippines) May 2, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    The game is pretty good so far…


  2. we have to stick to our gameplan, too many jumpers, too many open looks for Phoenix so far. another 30 pt quater


  3. wayyyyyy tooo many puntos for k. thomas

    unecnouraging defensive effort. kwame better wake up, we need a bigman to play some ball


  4. good help from Ronny, at least we have one big guy trying to win. Its kinda sad to see Kobe work so hard with nobody able to match him on the lakers both physically and mentally.


  5. can’t say im not discouraged…can’t say our lakers aren’t either


  6. ill say this, kobe bean bryant is not messing around, anyone who questions his competitive spirit is just being dishonest with themselves


  7. The suns are a better team… no doubt on that… but where’s the effort? Come on guys that can’t be your best effort!!! I guess that would be inexcusable… and changes will be coming this off-season. I know injuries take their toll… but where’s the competitive spirit this team showed in the first half of the season?




  9. The only players that can truly help this team out are Luke and LO, and they’re battered. Kidd would make this team so much better…


  10. Kidd is a horrible fit for this team, except for his defense. I know I’ll probably take some grief for bringing this up again, but Billups would be the best fit for this team of any current high-profile point guard.


  11. Suns have 71 points with 9 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter… there goes our defensive effort we had in our Game 3 win. At least Amare is in foul trouble.


  12. chris henderson May 2, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    our human highlight reel tonight…RONNIE TURIAF!
    Kwame is doggin’ it big time, lazy, over paid, lacks focus, no motivation…maybe you can get my drift, time for Kwame to go.
    Andrew might be the future, but it will take too long for the Lakers to wait and see, so he needs to go too.
    not sure about Lamar, sometimes I love the guy, sometimes… not so sure.
    in my humble opinion, the keepers from this year are;
    of course Kobe, (sorry John R), Luke, (need his head for the game) Mo Evans, (kid has hustle and can surprise), I hope Mihm can come back and be our “C”. farmar is our future PG, Ronnie I hope can evolve into a Ben Wallace kind of player, (remember when that’s what we hoped Kwame could be?)..
    other than that, I wouldn’t miss seeing Cook, Sasha, Vlad, Andrew, Kwame, Smush, or Shammond being shipped out/traded this off season..
    sorry about the rant, but it’s half time, (tivo) and not much to be positive about..
    other than Ronnie.


  13. Boy, Raja Bell and Amare would both have technicals if they were Steven Jackson.


  14. Let’s hold off roster moves until this game is over. Respect this team we have rooted for all year.


  15. Does anybody else think the FIBA Basketball Championship commercials narrated by the USA National team sounds like a PSA for the Special Olympics?


  16. You have to love what Lamar Odom has done tonight. Kobe and Kwame too, they have brought the effort.


  17. Absolutely Kurt — Lamar is the heartbeat in this game. He’s been tenacious. We have a puncher’s chance to take this back to LA.

    12 minutes to go. Let’s see what we got in the fuel tank.


  18. Game five, and we’re still rotating off Barbosa. DON’T LEAVE HIM!


  19. I accept losing this due to Nash, Amare, or Marion hitting tough shots, but BARBOSA cannot have open 4th quarter shots. End of story.


  20. Lamar must touch the ball. He got us back into this, let’s see what he can do. Better than a long two or three.


  21. Mitch Kupchak looks sick (they just showed him on TNT). He should.


  22. Too much KB24 now. It seems our guys have finally given up.

    Season’s over guys. Let’s just hope and pray that something positive will come from three straight seasons of futility.

    Who knows, this might be a very busy off-season (fingers crossed).

    Why can the Sun’s shooters shoot the ball very well? Do they practice more than our shooters do? Hmnnnn> Just a thought.


  23. Yea – ‘Tales from the Crypt’ look on Kupchak’s mug. — granted he always looks a little like that. He can’t feel to good about the pressure that will be on him.

    Back-to-Back alley-oops from Nash to Marion. Man, what a killer!


  24. Keep trying, Kobe! I’ll never give up on that guy.


  25. A Dallas kind of a finish? Why not?!?


  26. 22. Some players just are naturally better shooters, other guys do other things. The Suns have natural shooters, it’s not about practice so much.


  27. Thank you Kobe, Lamar, Ronny Turiaf and Jordan Farmar for coming to play. Your energy and passion is appreciated. In my opinion, all 4 have EARNED the right to wear purple and gold next season regardless of what happens in these last 3 minutes.

    Good Luck Boys! GO LAKERS!


  28. Kobe, another warrior.


  29. 25. Yup, I guess that’s it. Also, I think that the Sun’s shooters became more confident overtime with the passes they are getting from Nash.


  30. 1:07 to go and down by 6…….eek.


  31. I’m looking forward to Golden State/Dallas game six.


  32. Tomorrow has some monster TNT playoff games — break out the pizza and a 12 pack. Dallas and Utah are on the ropes.


  33. Everybody give a standing ovation in your living room for Lamar


  34. you got it skigi


  35. Good effort from our guys!

    All in all, I am not that disappointed for this season’s results. I just feel that the team is not improving the way it is projected to be.

    Critics correct again. Suns in 5. Next year, they will be proven wrong.

    Blue and Gold Forever!!!


  36. Kurt — I know the tone will change here and immediately call for changes and a busy offseason, which probably should happen. But, first things first.

    I want you to know how important you’ve been for Laker Nation this season. Your coverage of all 82 games has been phenomenal. I’ll never forget some of the great moments we have had. And we always have Kobe, which to me, always keeps me excited for the next game.

    Lots to do before next season, but a big shout-out to FB&G for creating a great environment for all Laker Fans who sit in the upper deck. Your work is terrific and your viewpoints are to be commended. The attention ‘True Hoop’ has given your writing just proves this.

    Thanks for all of your hard work. I hope the trade talk in the comments doesn’t reach video game level. To me, that isn’t the foundation of this website.


  37. Broken Memes:
    1) Game 3 wasn’t fixed. It clearly was. LAL can’t compete with PHO.
    2) Noone wants any of Kobe in the playoffs. PHO does. He is easy to manipulate.
    3) Kobe can win a series by himself. Let him do it first. He has failed in 3 attempts.
    4) PHO are chokers. The only chokers here are the LAL last year. They couldn’t choke this year because they are not competitive.

    Off season:
    1) I said last year they should trade Lamar while his stock is high. He is still the same player, but that luster is gone. He doesn’t want to be a Laker anymore. His stock has fallen. His trade value is in the toilet.
    2) Who thinks Bynum is anything anymore? He is garbage. Project seven footers are a dime a dozen. Ask Seattle. Kareem is responsible for Olowakandi too so its not an isolated incident. Two years now. Where was Howard after two years? Garnett? His trade value just went in the toilet.

    I got about 10 IM’s from Laker fans at work today who just woke up to the Warriors/Mavs series. I’ve been trying to tell them since before the playoffs started. Its pretty good. Check it out. You are Lakers fans though so I’m sure you won’t.

    JONES: Kobe is clutch, right? We won’t have any more posts this season from you at the Fanhouse, right? I mean, you only post about the Lakers. Give it a rest for a few months. Take a vacation. Enjoy yourself.


  38. I am, and always will be, a Lakers fan. But now I’m cheering on my underdog team since All-Star break – Golden State Warriors. Closest team to LA, as well.. GO !



    It’s time to change, it’s time to rearrange.


  40. Hey guys… it looks kobe is the most frustrated of us all as he said: “Do something and do it now… this summer is a big summer…” And if Kobe says that… pressure on management will be very high… i guess Bynum might really be on the way out if he can net the lakers an All-Star. Hope Lamar didn’t play is last game as a Laker… the fact he doesn’t compliment kobe is total bullshit! This guy is far more talented that JO and other overrated stars! Just don’t give up on that talent just yet! 33 and 10… career high for points in a playoff game and he was badly hurt!!!


  41. Hats off to Lamar, Ronny, Farmar, and Kobe for this game. I think all us fans just wanted to see that kind of fire, no matter what happened in the end. Next year, though, we want to see it on both ends of the floor — for 82 games. Go Lakers!


  42. 37. Thanks.

    And, much like with the game discussions, we’ll try to keep the trade/draft/free agent talk rational.


  43. I still like this team. The only player that we won’t see for sure next year is Mckie. I would not be totally surprised to see Shamu back. I’m not sure why it took so long, but I believe that the Smusher put the final nail into his own coffin tonite. I hope that Mihm has regained his health and is signed. I hope we sign Luke Walton and Turiaf.

    That would give us either two or three slots to fill.

    Here are the two scenarios that the top brass must ponder.

    #1. They sign a mid level exception veteran point guard and fill the other 2 slots with 1st and 2nd round draft choices or a draft choice and Shamu. Maybe we trade one or two players that are under contract–maybe not. Such trades almost certainly would not include Bynum.

    #2. We throw Bynum into deals. Since we only would do it for a “star,” it would take at least two players to make the salaries work–maybe more. We might be able to unload someone that otherwise we couldn’t trade. This second scenario will be keeping Warren up all night generating possibilities.

    Unless we trade for a center, a decision to trade Bynum may also be a decision to trade Lamar Odom for salary reasons–since Kwame is the only other big ticket player.

    Trading two centers as part of a deal for a non center star would either require us to make Cook/Turiaf/Odom play center a la Nelson/D’Antonio or require us to find a backup–no easy task in either case.

    We might have to rethink who we are.

    Virtually until #2 happens, it will be scenario #1–but I think most of you are demanding some version of scenario #2.

    It may be tough times at Ridgemont High!


  44. Kinda bogus march to the free throw line for the Suns. Would have much rather seen the game decided by the players.

    Regardless, the Suns were the better team. Great effort by Kobe, Odom, Turiaf, and Farmar.

    What this team doesn’t need to do is get another superstar. It just needs to get rid of the players that lack NBA talent, heart, and discipline.

    Kwame, Smush, Sasha, Vlade, Cook need to go. Trade them for a new towel boy and some gatorade.

    There are quality veterans and talented young rising stars out there that can be had in trades or free agency.

    Gerald Wallace
    Carlos Arroyo
    Salim Stoudemire
    Jamaal Magloire (better than Kwame)
    Andrei Kirilenko
    Mike Bibby
    Jarrett Jack (Roy is their PG now)
    Steve Francis? (maybe)
    Andre Miller

    It’s gonna be interesting.


  45. warren (philippines) May 3, 2007 at 1:44 am

    That’s it. Excitement over. Im excited in sdeveral other things now such as OFF SEASON MOVES. There has to be, right? Or else its another mediocre season for us. Moves has to come earlier – July 1st perhaps. In order that chemisrty and team play may be mastered.

    In all these I’d be sad to see a Laker warrior go – Lamar Odom.


  46. warren (philippines) May 3, 2007 at 2:05 am

    Bowing 4-1 to the Suns ain’t a happy thought. It just made me see the bigger picture this year…

    1. That the Lakers are in dire need for something to happen,
    2. Assuming we won gm 5, we’d win game 6 but not gm 7.
    3. That assuming we won game 7 which is far fetched enough, we wouldn’t stand a chance to a very old, deliberate and disciplined team such as the Spurs.
    4. That Lamar Odom is a real warrior. Say it 3 times with me.
    5. That perhaps We can all conduct a poll as to who we want in or out of the locker room…

    We will, of course, take into consideration the odds of it happening in the case of trades or signings.


  47. I don’t know how to put it but I am not that excited about off-season possibilities for our team.

    It might just add up to the frustrations. All the speculations and hearsays.

    Anyways,in case the front office will indeed be busy this off-season, I just wish the team will be able to acquire a couple of pure shooters and a bigman capable of creating a shot off the dribble. Basically something that the triangle requires.

    Ime Uodoka has a good range. I hope we can accomodate JO. How about drafting certified gunner from the Euro League (No more practice shooters like Shasha please!).

    A point guard who has a decent jumpshot and can play defense will be enough in the triangle.

    Honestly, I am not expecting something big. Hoping and praying would be a better way to put it, I guess.


  48. Kurt,

    It appears to me that basketball has been going through some kind of paradigm shift–perhaps continuously.

    It was started most recently by the Pistons when they eliminated the classic “Shaq-Kobe” Lakers with a “team” versus center and a”star.”

    Phoenix kept the “team,” but switched the focus to a distributor. San Antonio remains “old school,” but relies on a power forward rather than a center–with a new international flavor. Dallas has found a way to merge the two with both a power forward and a team approach that balances offense and defense in a modified D’Antonio.

    Until the playoffs, Dallas seemed to be the next and best evolutionary step–leaving innovative Phoenix without a title.

    In facing Nelly, the Dallas approach seems suddenly old and out of date. Phoenix once again seems the better model for the future. If the Warriors and Phoenix both make their way to the Western Division final, we may be looking at two colors of the new pro paradigm. If either Golden State or Phoenix faces either Detroit or Chicago, it will be a new team generation of offense meeting the existing team champion of defense for the NBA title.

    If the Laker ideal is San Antonio (and I think that it is), but the San Antonio approach has been passed by, might not the newest and possibly “future” way be found not far from San Francisco Bay–and the victory last year by Miami was the last gasp of a dinasour.

    If the paradigm has already gone beyond the Suns toward the Warriors, maybe the Lakers are already a lot closer than we think. Adding a Kevin Garnett might point us backward while Nellie, like Dumars, moves forward with the Baron Davis that the Lakers didn’t want, the Matt Barnhes that nobody wanted, and the Al Harrington that Indiana rejected twice.

    Dumars act of genius this year was to get a Chris Webber that had been kicked around in recent years–and we didn’t want.

    Is the paradigm shifting? As the NBA playoffs continue, we may get more clues.


  49. “Do it and do it now,” [Bryant} said. “Personally for me, it’s beyond frustration — three years and still being at ground zero. This summer’s a big summer. We have to see what direction we want to take as an organization and make those steps and make them now.”


  50. 49. I think it’s more about fitting talent to the system than the system. Try to get the Suns players to play the San Antonio system and it would be a failure. I’m good with the Lakers being a triangle team if they get the players to fit that system. Which means some changes.


  51. Agree with 51, with the possible caveat of the international influence representing a minor paradigm shift. I recall reading pieces during the Jordan era about how centers were passe. Then, with Jordan gone, teams with Tim Duncan (he functions as a 5 lot) and David Robinson and teams with Shaquille O’Neal have won a total of 7 titles, conceding that Wade was the #1 guy on Miami last year, of course–they don’t have rings without the Diesel deal. The non-big-dog title was won by Detroit, so as Kurt says, the issue is talent, but the real question is how the talent is arranged. It is historically very difficult to win with several good players (the Dumars paradigm) as opposed to the superstar/star/third option/role players paradigm. But, as recent threads indicate, usually said role players are veterans, not a bunch of young guys. The Lakers have a #1 guy, a #3 guy, and a bunch of young, part-time players. A complex problem.


  52. John R.: Your comments are so laughable. You only appear when the Lakers are down. Your constant knocking of Kobe is ridiculous. Everyone from scouts (that I personally know) to GMs, to actual NBA players all say that Kobe Bryant is the best player in basketball. If you can’t understand that, then I don’t know what to do with you.

    Also, I write about more than the Lakers on Fanhouse. If you only see the Lakers posts, it shows me how much you don’t pay attention to things.

    Lastly, what’s your favorite team? Do you have one? Unlike you, I happen to have one. It’s the Lakers. It’s been the Lakers since I started watching basketball. If Kobe Bryant left the Lakers, I’m still going to be a fan of the Forum Blue and Gold. That’s what real fans do. This negativity. The hating on Kobe and the Lakers. Where does it come from? Let’s be real here. The Lakers are the most successful franchise in the History of basketball. They’ve pretty much been in Finals in every single decade. They’ve won, what, 14 Championships (in Minn and LA)? Sorry if they don’t win every year. But I don’t see those Suns or Clippers or Kings, or whatever team you’re a fan of today with any sort of ring.

    And I’m still waiting on my apology. You were wrong with the salary cap, just like you’re wrong about Kobe and the downfall of the Lakers. The Lakers have won three championships this decade. More than anyone else this decade. I’d say their doing just fine for themselves. Ask the warriors fans (who had to wait 13 years to appear in the playoffs again) what a poorly run franchise is about. Ask the Clippers fans who are happy with making the playoffs every ten years what a poorly run franchise is like. It’s not like the Lakers. In the 28 years Buss has run this franchise the Lakers have won the championship 8 times, and been 13 NBA Finals and 15 Conference Finals. If you don’t have faith in the Lakers becoming a championship team again, it just shows why you really aren’t a Laker fan. Do us all a favor and stay out of Forum Blue and Gold threads.


  53. (49)(51)(52) – A lot of it also has to do with matchups. For instance, this season the Spurs seem to have the Suns’ number, the Suns seem to have the Mavs’ number, and the Mavs seem to have the Spurs’ number. So which paradigm is better?

    Looking back to the ’04 Finals, the two main reasons the Pistons beat the Lakers were that, 1) the Lakers had no chemistry, it seemed like everyone on that team hated eachother, and 2) Karl Malone got injured and we had no interior defense.

    You could also argue that if Tayshaun Prince hadn’t swatted away Reggie Miller’s layup at the end of game 4 in the Eastern semis that year, and Indy had gone up 3-1 on Detroit, the Pacers might have won, and that also might have led to the Lakers winning another title. So where would Detroit’s paradigm be then?

    If Golden State upsets Dallas, that’s not a validation of their paradigm, it’s a validation of Don Nelson tactics against his former team. If the Warriors had faced the Spurs instead, I think they’d be home by now, just like the Nuggets are.

    Kurt’s right, it’s not so much about which system/paradigm you use, it’s about who has the best personnel for their system and who executes their system the most effectively.


  54. Also, Kurt, I want to second what Cary D. (37), said. Coming from a former journalism major, I consider your posts to be educated, knowledgeable, thoughtful, articulate, and intelligent.

    I only recently discovered your blog, and in a day and age where the Net is polluted with mindless ranting and venom, your posts are always a joy to read. Thank you.


  55. As I have said in previous posts, I like Lamars game but he is NOT a #2 star on a team. He is just not consistent enough. He never has been. Why would anything change now? He is what he is. A very talented but inconsistent player.
    I would package Lamar and Bynum and Cook if needed to try to go after a true #2 star to compliment Kobe. Someone that will get 20 &12(if its a post player) EVERY NIGHT. THat is what Kobe needs. He needs a consistent #2 scorer beside him. THen Luke can be the #3 guy, or Vlad, or Mo Evans, or whoever.

    I’ll bet Kobe would agree.


  56. “Kurt’s right, it’s not so much about which system/paradigm you use, it’s about who has the best personnel for their system and who executes their system the most effectively.”

    Yes and no. On the level of the 5th-8th guys, sure. For example, Diaw and Barbosa look a lot better on the Suns than they would elsewhere. But in terms of the top 2-3 guys, in terms of getting to the championship level, I think it is about who they are more than the system.

    “So where would Detroit’s paradigm be then?”

    You can play that game all day. What if Chris Webber and Valde Divac had made more of their FTs in Game 7 of the Western Finals that year? And, the point about Detroit was that it is possible to get the trophy that way, but harder. Much harder, historically.