Wish List

Kurt —  October 1, 2007

This afternoon, after talking with the media, the Lakers will hop on a plane and head to Hawaii for training camp. It’s a time of the season filled with optimism.

In that vein here is my with list of what I hope to see and hear about over the next several weeks.

• A focus on defense. I hope to hear players talking about it at media day. I hope to hear about the focus on defense first in camp. I hope to see better defense starting with those first couple of preseason games against the Warriors.

• The slimmed-down Kobe bringing some of his defensive energy from Vegas this summer to Hawaii (then back with him to the mainland again). And that energy rubbing off on his teammates.

• Someone to step up and take charge of the center position. Ideally Andrew Bynum, but I’ll take it from anyone.

• Phil Jackson looking uncomfortably out of place in a Hawaiian shirt.

• A stronger, more savvy Jordan Farmar bringing defense to the point guard position along with improved shooting (particularly from three).

• That Derek Fisher’s daughter gets the care and help she needs here in LA. I’m not worried at all about what he’ll bring to the team.

• Lamar Odom getting healthy enough to play.

• Nobody else getting injured.

• Baron Davis staying healthy through camp and through those first two preseason games.

• Radmanovic finding his comfort zone within the triangle, getting to the open spots and shooting like he is capable of.

• Ronny Turiaf playing well, getting the attention of the coaches and getting more minutes.

Kurt

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38 responses to Wish List

  1. Seconded.

  2. Consistency from Luke’s three-point shot.

    Kwame and BYnum positioning themselves for rebounds.

    Mihm’s ankle being 100% healthy.

  3. Luke’s long range shot was very, very consistent before he was running around on a bum wheel. Hopefully he’s healed and ready to go. The same for Vlad.

  4. the other Stephen October 1, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Let’s Cleveland the playoffs this year (i.e. make a humongoid run.) YOOOOOO.

  5. the other Stephen October 1, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Renato, what’s the news on the fantasy league, dude?

  6. ESPN Power Rankings (Lakers #19)

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/powerranking?season=2008&week=-1

    Bobcats, Buck, Hornets, Wizards, Nets, Magic, and Raptors are all ranked ahead of Lakers,on a side note the Heat is below us, Boston #2!!!

  7. My Laker wish list for the 2007-2008 season:

    - Above all else, good health.
    - Patience…for Kobe, Phil, and the team itself.
    - Bynum showing signs that he is maturing into the player we have all thought he would become the last couple of years.
    - Kobe being a professional…which I have no doubt he will be.
    - A more defense oriented approach to games.
    - Kwame to impose his will on opposing forwards/centers.
    - An acceptable start to the potentially dreadful beginning of the schedule (5-5 would be fine).
    - Top 5 status in the West. A reach maybe, but I can hope.
    - A surprise trip to the 2nd round of the WC playoffs.

  8. The wish list is great. But, notice no mention of the PF position, and little of the PG. These are our problems, and the Lakers’ management knows that without addressing them, no championship is on the horizon anytime soon. If you took the curret team and put Ron Harper in the day at PG, and Horace Grant in the day at PF, we’d have something. Are these players impossible to find thes days? They weren’t stellar, and had their issues, but they could a) play the minutes, b) stayed out of foul trouble, and c) played defense. Is this too much to ask for? Put Lamar at SF, and find the Harpers and Grans of the world. That said, I’d stil rather have Marion.

  9. 9. Right now Lamar Odom is our power forward, and is a good one when healthy. And he did get mentioned. Maybe you could argue that with a very good camp Turiaf or Radmanovic could start at the four, move Odom to the three and have Walton first off the bench, but I’m not betting on that. As we saw last year, the offense just runs better with Walton and his passing on the floor.

    And I guess I could have said more about the PG spot, but I really think the lack of Smush is addition by subtraction. I think the PG play will be better this year.

  10. how about kobe bryant actually being worthy of the phrase “star player”? star players are also team players, might be nice if he started doing that.
    http://www.powerof15.blogspot.com

  11. the other Stephen October 1, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    “Also, Riley is tired of talking about Shaquille O’Neal’s weight, which he estimates at 370 pounds.”

    hahaha.

  12. 4. Exick. i gotta disagree. Luke’s shot took a nose dive when Lamar went out, before he was hurt. I will agree that he never got healthy again, and that hurt him, but he cooled off after his hot start. lets hope he can do it all year this year. Ideally, Radman would take his starting job and he could be the offensive playmaker for the second unit. i hate Luke’s defensive more than almost any other laker

  13. Luke led the league in 3 percentage till he got hurt.

    My wish is simply that the Lakers play hard.

  14. 14, burning
    “Luke led the league in 3 percentage till he got hurt.”

    I don’t think his hot start was indicative of his abilities; he’s not the best 3-point shooter in the league. He needs to eliminate the nose dives that his shooting takes sometimes.

  15. Gr8dunk,
    The talking heads always take their own pronouncements too seriously. Putting Boston #2 because they have 3 star players, before they really know how the team will come together is an example. The media always emphasizes the stars and downplays the team. The only reason the Spurs are rated #1 is that they have burned the media too often for them not to notice. During the year I expect them to bury the Spurs before FEB because they always start the year slow. Greg always brings his teams along slowly so that they peak in April.

    Taking media rankings seriously is a sure path to the nut house.

  16. If you want a media-day recap, here’s one:

    http://www.insidesocal.com/lakers/2007/10/media_day_recap.html

    Not a shock, Kobe spoke in platitudes and said he wants to bring a championship to LA. Still, this will be a story beat into the ground for the next 24 hours.

  17. I wish Vujacic would stop whining and complaining after every call and just play defense and hit his open jumpers. For D-Fish to get some people to take charges. Having Luke finish his shots around the basket, which was like watching a girls’ JV squad trying to finish at times. Finally, for a lack of drama that never stops encompassing the Lakers each season and instead be turning heads for team chemistry…
    if only.

  18. Hey guys. Looking forward to another great season of Laker basketball with you guys. I think as long as Lamar and Luke stay healthy for most of the season and Bynum contributes more than he did last season, we will be fine. Lets just relax and go out there and play basketball… play DEFENSE!!

    Oh and to Ric Bucher… This season is dedicated to you and your “guarantee” that Kobe would not be in camp today.

  19. Depending on how many people are interested in the fantasy league..my friends and I are trying to set up a league but we’re only going to have about 5-7 people playing..if only 7 -10 people are interested here at FBG, we should just combine the two leagues.

    I’m probably going to be setting up my league soon, so if Renato or anyone else doesn’t mind I can handle invites and commissioner and all that. Later today I can post my e-mail and such and figure out a draft time that works for everyone.

  20. For the Laker organization to not interview w/ Ric Bucher, Jim Gray, or anyone trying to report on potential chemistry issues

  21. Bucher is a joke. Turiaf is the man! I really think he should get a good deal more burn this season, great team guy, wears his heart on his sleeve. Hopefully his pulse rubs off on Vladimir. Solid play from those two would indeed provide improvements.

  22. Mike in the Mountain West October 1, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    I played fantasy last year on ESPN but ended up joining a group a group strangers. I’d love to join with some fellow Lakers fans. Do you use ESPN or some other website?

  23. Amen on the Bucher sentiment. That guy lost any/all credibility he had. He said on BS report that there was 0% chance Kobe would report even if the Lakes pulled off the KG trade. What an idiot.

  24. I’ll be using Yahoo

    Sorry for the comment hijacking Kurt…we’ll be done soon enough

  25. I wonder how many of our wishes need to come true for the Lakers to contend? Would a healthy Odem/Walton and a return to defensive competency be enough?

    My feeling is that this team has more upside than the experts think. Instead of praying for that big, blockbuster trade, we might be better served just to pray for good health.

  26. Off target but I’m watching Lakers-Knicks 1972 Finals Game 5 on NBA TV and it’s hilarious. Pat Riley w/a 70′s shag,Phil Jackson w/his Sideshow Bob hairstyle.
    Forget fundamentals,the Knicks have tried over a half-dozen behind back passes,one threw a two-handed over his head bounce pass backwards. There’s been only one lob to Wilt and it hit the rim. Shooting %s below 40% and nobody is shooting from beyond 15′. DeBussure(sp?) took a handoff from Frasier,dribbled around in a tight circle and handed it back.
    I thought I remembered Wilt as this dominating force,but so far he looks suprisingly stiff. I realize it’s towards the end of his career and far away cameras,but for the first time I start to believe that Shaq would overpower him and Dream would kill him on offence.
    One thing hasn’t changed-extremely attractive women in 1972 went to games in LA as they do today.

  27. Wishlist?

    1. Pau Gasol
    2. Shane Battier
    3. Jermaine Oneal
    4. Shawn Marion
    5. Rudy Fernandez / Jose Calderon

    Seriously…

    The Lakers are not a bad team. I’m just not sure they are as good as we think they are too. I hope they are… then that would make Mitch Kupchak a genius. Standing pat was actually the best thing we could do unless an irresistible package came along. Financially, we are a little over the luxury and we are a player away from the roster lock. I wish we could trade Cook and Sasha for some future 2nd rounders… save on the money a bit.

    I am willing to join a fantasy league with you guys… be it NBA.com’s UFC2 or ESPN’s Fastbreak.

  28. Gotta say I’m happy that the local folks are reporting a beefed up Bynum. He hired a personal trainer for the off season and is bigger, hopefully more conditioned. On a similar note, I was quite impressed with Andrew’s comments when asked about the Kobe video.

    “I thought it was kind of messed up,” Bynum said, more matter-of-fact than angry. “But he’s a frustrated veteran, he wants to win and he had an opportunity to get a Hall of Fame point guard, which is a position that we were really lacking last year. I would have been kind of upset, too.”

    I still have a wait and see attitude. If any year needed cautious opitimism, this is it. But I love the Lakers and will take any positive signs that I see.

  29. My roommates were watching MNF and the said a little ad/blurb popped up with the headline, “Kobe takes a vow of silence.” It’s probably ESPN blowing a small comment out of proportion but anyone know what’s up?

    As for the Lakers, I think that without injuries the Lakers are pretty much a 5 or a 6 seed. Barring no injuries, I’m hoping they look as smooth as they did the first half of last season.

    Andrew Bynum is supposed to have trained like mad this summer. I’m really hoping to see him play like a beast.

  30. Also, if there’s space in your fantasy league Goo, I’m always up for managing another team.

  31. hahahaha…wait til they start out the season 4-12…Dos Cuatro will be asking for his shipping papers faster than Suns fast break!

  32. On the contrary, Senor Dos Quatro will be up for a pleasant surprise this season… thats my optimism. Be it Walton, Farmar or be it simply Mihm, Zen Maestro and Senor Dos Quatro will be pleasantly surprised.

  33. re: Bucher. Here’s the thing, he has stayed in good graces in Kobe’s camp by saying exactly what Kobe (or Kobe’s people) told him to say. So he stuck to what Kobe told him regardless. He did that to stay on Kobe’s good side regardless of how bad he looks. He did this with a reason, bucher is not an idiot.

  34. 25. Goo, don’t worry about setting this up through the comments. I would put it in a post but want to keep it to people who are regulars and read this far down into comments. And, if my football fantasy team is any indication, you guys want me in that league for the easy wins.

  35. Has there been a stretch over the last two years in which all (or most) of the key Lakers were healthy and the team went anything like 4 – 12? I’m genuinely curious, because it would seem that a PJ-coached team with D. Fisher running the point would need a lot of bad luck to start the season that horribly. How about we assume they will have a full roster and play above .500 instead of forecasting a catastrophy before a single game has been played.

  36. @DMo (36): I agree with what you are saying. Fisher, more than anything, will be a big factor because of his ability to help the younger guys like Crittenton and Farmar out. It helps to have another veteran guard on the team who can make a difference both on and off the court. Fisher will hit his 3′s and mentor both of our young point guards. I really think that is going to help with the growth of both Farmar and Crittenton. I’d imagine Fisher will begin the season as a starter as well. I can’t see Jackson going with Farmar over Fisher. I just can’t.

    Because of that, I don’t see the Lakers falling behind early or relinquishing leads late as they did last year a lot. Fisher will bring stability to the team. I’m not trying to overstate his contributions, but I think his play and composure will be a big plus for the PG spot this year.

    And likewise, I am really psyched about Mihm’s return. Since he came to LA, he has put up career numbers. If he can return to close to what he was in his first season and a half playing with Kobe, the Lakers will be alright. Naturally I’m only expecting 15-20 minutes a game out of Mihm, so Bynum and Kwame need to step up as well. If the PG and the Center positions stabilize, LA could make some unexpected noise this year.

    I’d still like to see a run made at PJ Brown though to fill that glaring need at the PF spot. LO being able to play his natural position would decrease the chances he gets banged up again. Don’t get me wrong, I like LO at the 4, but it is not worth increasing his injury risk in my opinion.

  37. Hi Goo,
    If there’s still space I’d like to duke it out with other Laker fans on yahoo.