Preseason Game One Notes

Kurt —  October 10, 2007

It looked like a first preseason game, with plenty of sloppy to go around. Not going to take anything too seriously, but here are some notes.

• The starting five was Fisher, Kobe, Radmanovic, Turiaf and Mihm. Note that Mihm got the start in front of Bynum.

• Mihm showed good hustle on the boards, worked hard to run the floor, showed a couple moves inside but generally looked rusty (but not bad, I thought). Both he and Drew looked a ways away from being quality starters. Mihm also picked up an early foul going over the back for an offensive rebound — he picked up those fouls a couple years ago, leading to him being in a lot of foul trouble, and he needs to cut those down.

• Apparently the Lakers are still getting used to the new defensive philosophy the Lakers have put in. Some confusion on bigs sliding back after showing out on a pick-and-roll, and some poor rotations in general. The Warriors, who move the ball very well, really exploited the slow rotations (this was a tough test for the Lakers).

It showed for the game as the Warriors shot 50% (eFG%) and it was much higher in the first half and when both team’s starters were on the floor. I have been at the head of the “play better defense” camp, but this was just one preseason game, no time to worry. I just want to see improvement through the preseason.

• Note to Don Nelson: Nobody in Hawaii wears a sport coat over their Hawaiian shirt. Lose the jacket.

• The Lakers clearly are trying to push the tempo, but the synch between the guards and the big running the floor still needs some work. That will come with time (you would think).

• Kobe is back as the facilitator and wasn’t looking for his shot at all early, just making passes until about halfway through the third quarter. Nobody he was passing to shot well — the Lakers shot just 36% (eFG%) for the first half.

• Maybe the only shooting bright spot early was Crittenton, who was 3 of 5 and 1 of 2 from beyond the arc (he had a couple nice passes as well) in the first half. He was also the bright spot late as he looked to take over the game at the end, showing a nice hesitation move, a fade away and a very aggressive mentality.

• Radmanovic has his shooting touch back, and he understands spacing the floor in a running game, he shot 5 of 7 from three (and 2 of 3 in closer). The only thing that could hold back his playing time is his defense (which was spotty, at best).

• Belinelli can shoot the ball, and isn’t afraid to do so. He’s a good fit in Golden State’s system and may be playing a lot by the end of the season.

• Cook had a rough game.

• Turaif has a nice midrange shot, he should get a chance to use it. He is still feeling his way at the four in the starting lineup.

• I’m not a guy who should be making hair comments, but I like the shaggy look on Sasha (which apparently came with a new, aggressive attitude), but the buzz cut on Farmar is not really working for me.