Bakersfield Thoughts

Kurt —  October 19, 2007

Lots of thoughts out of last night’s Lakers win in Bakersfield, both from myself and many of you in the comments. So here’s a mix of thoughts from last night. (If you want to read more about the Kobe/Buss/Jackson saga, Mark Heisler from the LA Times actually emailed a blogger with his thoughts, and they are interesting.)

• The first nine minutes showed just how much this team misses Odom. Debate whether he or Kobe should facilitate (as you all did), without a second legit scoring threat, the Sonics essentially dared anyone else but Kobe to beat them (amongst the other starters of Kwame, Turiaf, Radman and Fisher). There were a couple of nice interior passing plays that led to scores, but also some slop and some shots well outside the offense. Odom would balance things better by being a quality second option. Travis Y. had similar thoughts:

So the key to the season is getting Odom to score and have a more balanced offense so the Lakers don’t have to depend on Kobe’s offensive sprees anymore. Thus allowing Kobe more energy and focus on defense. Please stay healthy Lamar!

The Lakers also miss Odom on the boards. With 6:30 left in the first quarter Chris Wilcox got an offensive rebound and tip in because he had little trouble getting position on Radmanovic. Odom is a lot stronger on thee glass than Vladrad.

• The Lakers look more comfortable with the faster pace.

• The Ronny Turiaf love brigade was out in full force among Lakers fans. From Carter Blanchard:

Let me join the Ronny love brigade. So thrilling to watch someone who is clearly having such a good time, and busting his butt. His fade in the first quarter looked niiice. I feel like he should be a cult favorite of every fan of the NBA.

Count me in. Ronny Turiaf runs the floor, hustles on the boards, cuts to the glass on offense, passes well in traffic, works on defense and just generally gives the team energy. He showed an impressive 10-foot baseline fadaway. He played good post defense and drew a nice charge on Wilcox in the first quarter.

But in a regular season game he would have negated much of that with two fouls in the first four minutes — one of which was a foul you’d expect to get (Watson driving into him on a fast break) but the other was a silly foul near the basket after he got beat for position. With 8 minutes to go in the first quarter he would have been on the bench for the rest of it, missing a time he made a lot of nice plays. I think he needs to start, but if he keeps fouling at this pace he’ll be coming off the bench again.

• A thought from kwame a.:

Ronny really should start at the 4. Maybe mostly because I liked the way the 2nd unit ran with Luke out there. Bynum was way more active, and that’s a great sign.

The last couple of games, we have seen the Lakers bench outplaying the bench of their opponents — this is something that could carry over to the season. Granted, Seattle is not a deep team, but the Lakers have a nice second unit (Farmar, Evans, Walton, Radmanovic and Bynum) that can outplay a lot of other second units in the league. This is something the Lakers can establish.

• Kevin Durant is smooth, I was thinking George Gervin smooth in flashes. And he’s fearless about shooting, to the point you have to question his shot selection. He has not totally figured out how to create his own shot at this level, and that is leading to a lot of contested shots. But you can see a lot of talent, a whole lot.

• All three Lakers centers had a quality game (although I thought Mihm had some defensive lapses in the third). Competition is a good thing — let them push each other for playing time.

• Jordan Farmar also had his best game of the preseason — 81 Witness called him the player of the game. He shot 4 of 5 from the field, 2 of 2 from three, made some smart passes (seven assists, including a sweet no-look on the break) and played solid defense. He also learned a little from Steve Nash — he’s not driving the lane and leaving his feet, he’s holding his dribble and if nothing develops he goes back out and sets up the offense.

• The Sonics looked ragged, but they still shot 51.7% for the game. The Lakers did forced 18 turnovers, which helped with pace. Not sure we can read much into the team’s defense out of this one.

Kurt

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47 responses to Bakersfield Thoughts

  1. What, no thoughts on Bynum? He looked fierce out there.

  2. Not to be overly cynical, but I’ve seen Bynum look fierce before, only for him not to show up the next night. I’m reserving judgement on his newfound passion for now. But he certainly looked good and much more explosive (and has for much of the preseason games). I thought Kwame looked good too considering how little he has practiced.

  3. The worst thing the coaching staff could do is start Bynum. He has the potential to be an impact player off the bench, and that will help him build confidence. He is not prepared, defensivley especially, to start on a playoff team. Playing against teams 2nd unit center will help him gain on-court experience that is conducive to him becoming a productive starter

  4. The age old question Defense (Kwame) or Offense (Bynum)?

    Kwame – One of those players who moves well without the ball, but needs to find handles and finish strong. Very disappointing for a guy who bench presses 600 and is one of the leagues most powerful centers. Great post defender, takes angles and spacing away from the opposing player. However, not a good shot-blocker and needs to improve on helping on the dribble drive.

    Bynum – Excellent hands and played a high-energy, throw-down offense last night. I think he can repeat it against better centers too. Especially with a fast paced offense, where he can establish position in the post before his defender. However, needs to improve on defense overall. Got beaten several times when he should have boxed out and been more aggressive off the board.

    Phil should determine the starting center based on scoring threats. If we are playing against a team with a dominant center or low post player (Spurs, Rockets, Heat), start Brown. Otherwise, start Bynum.

    Also, Farmar is giving Fisher a run for his money after last night’s performance. He runs the floor a lot better and creates passing lanes by taking players off the dribble-drive as Kurt mentioned.

  5. I have to agree with you Kwame. Bynum should come off the bench, so long as Bynum still gets significant minutes and is the first option on the second unit (otherwise the lakers are cultivating a backup center unnecessarily).
    Actually, that brings me to Kurt’s point about needing a consistent second scorer. I think it needs to come out of the post position. As much as Mihm hurts defensively, he is actually their best second option. When Odom tries to pick up the Kobe slack he ends up shooting low percentage 3 pointers (never a good offensive option). He is much better when he drive off a ball rotation and the defense is late recovering. On the other hand, two years ago, Mihm was very consistent setting up for a solid mid-range jump hook. I haven’t seen the exhibitions this season, but I imagine that is still a shot he can get off consistently.

  6. I really don’t like how kobe played the third quarter. To me it felt like he was giving a big middle finger to all of his teammates and coaches by just coming down and shooting a long range jumper without letting anyone else touch the ball. It seemed childish and I may be misinterpreting what is going on, but it seemed like he was saying, “i don’t care about the team anymore, i’ll do whatever i want when i want.” Stu kept saying, “kobe has suddenly become interested in the offense.” That was a nice way of saying “Kobe has started needlessly shooting the ball from distance and ball-hogging while his teammates stand around.” Yes, kobe made a lot of the shots, but there was clearly no teamwork going on. As a lakers fan, that was not a good sign for the season to come. Everyone on this team buys into the team concept except kobe. That’s not going to get the lakers very far.

  7. David- I like Mihm’s offensive game. Last nite he faced-up and hit a 17 ft jumper, if he can incorporate that into his game that makes him an even more effective option

  8. Hi guys, Odom here. Thanks for all the love I’ve been getting here. I appreciate it. Some thoughts on my team:
    1. Kobe is the greatest player in the NBA right now.

    2. Sadly his problems with management will see him leave the team that loves him. Frankly, I don’t care what happens. If he stays, great. If he leaves, that’s cool, too. I mean, if he leaves the team will not be standing around just watching him take shots like last year. We would actually look like a team. Say what you want about Bynum, but that kid’s looking good. In a couple of years he will dominate, that is if he can learn to play good D without fouling out. Same goes for Ronny. Brown is growing on me, but he’s gotta pick it up. I don’t like passing it to butterfingers, know what I mean? If Kobe leaves then the offense can run through me, and I don’t know if ya’ll noticed but the first three games last season were played without Kobe and we went 3-0. I know, I know, that was just the beginning of the season and all and we shouldn’t get too excited about that, but just think of what I can get done at the offensive end without being self-conscious about feeding Kobe. Gotta keep the guy happy, you know? We actually have a pool going in the locker room to see who he’ll punch during practice ala MJ. I think it’ll be Sasha. He can’t punch out any of the big guys cuz he’ll get thrown down (unless he punches Cookie or Bynum-Drew is such a wuss), so it’s gotta be Sasha.

    3. If he gets traded I’m sure we’ll get good players in return. I’d love to get Hinrich and Gordon here, but I really bought those two would come. I’d love to have Marion. Imagine a team with Marion and me. Damn! We could bring showtime back.

    Those are my thoughts. I’ll be writing comments every now and then so look out, people. BTW, my shoulder is feeling good. I hope to play soon. Just don’t be expecting to see me play at all-star level, cuz I gotta feed Kobe. If ya’ll played basketball with him you’d know what I mean. Peace out.

  9. *that should “I really doubt those two would come” regarding Hinrich and Gordon.

  10. Before someone asks, no it’s not. But it’s fun none the less.

  11. come on dude, get real…don’t play games like that, not cool.

  12. “You don’t look like Phil to me”
    October 18th, 2007 ·

    Kobe Bryant returned to his usual role of Lakers spokesman with regard to how he sees things. It’s not something he has done much this season.

    Asked about the Lakers being possibly improved from last season, Bryant said: “We’ve got to get everybody healthy first. I think experience helps out a lot. Obviously a guy like Derek (Fisher) helps out a lot.”

    Bryant also praised Vladimir Radmanovic’s recent practice work and said he liked the work ethic of both Javaris Crittenton and Jordan Farmar. About trade speculation, Bryant said: “It has no effect on me whatsoever.” Overall, Bryant said: “I’m enjoying my teammates. We have great camaraderie.”

    As forthcoming on Lakers matters as Bryant was on this night, he didn’t go overboard. When I asked him about Phil Jackson having become such a valuable sounding board for him, Bryant said: “Phil’s my guy. I confide in Phil.”

    When I obliquely asked about the material that might get confided, Bryant said: “You don’t look like Phil to me.” And then he laughed.

  13. Re: Poker

    Sorry about the mis-post. I’d like to request a moratorium on this site–comparable to the ban on references to wild trade rumors and such–on references to Jerry Buss’s poker playing and his handling of the Lakers. I’ve never played with the man, but have heard from others who have that he’s not all that great. Just because he plays doesn’t mean he’s some master psychological genius. Moreover, even if he cleans up at the tables, that’s not always relavent to his every decision re: Kobe et al.

  14. Kobe played 9 minutes in the first half trying to facilitate. He played
    9 minutes in the second half as a scorer. I think he made 4 jumpers
    in a row and stopped taking them when he finally missed one. People
    should understand that this was Bakersfield once a year chance to watch
    him. What’s wrong with giving them a little show?

  15. 6. I agree with JoeM., Kobe is still feeling his way around with the new role in the offense and involving teammates. That said, in a game that matters, if he takes over for a quarter and scores like mad, I’m pretty good with that.

  16. Those fans came to see Kobe entertain, he blessed them with a brief dose of greatness, no harm, no foul.

  17. Ronny! Ronny! Ronny! Ronny!

    I agree that Mihm did have his defensive lapses, but did look dependable on offense. Granted the Sonics don’t boost the most fearsome front court. Not sure if he will be starting, since he still seems to be finding his legs a bit after a season off, but I hopefully foresee some good production out of him.

    Walton looked solid, and after seeing Crittenton for the first time in a Laker uni, he caught my eye a bit. I’d still likely go with Farmar, who I hope keeps shooting with consistency.

  18. 18) “I think we could win 60+ if we played all our games against the Sonics.”

    That’s the best line I’ve heard in awhile.

    As for Kobe going outside the offense for bit in the 3rd last night, I loved it. He felt it for a bit and gave the good folks of Bakersfield a little show. That was nice.

    I rather have him give them a show like that then try some crazy dunk in traffic or something.

  19. I’m not sure how many of you saw the TNT broadcast, as I know that many of you guys get KCAL, but that 3rd quarter stretch where Kobe went into gunner mode was explained as Kobe adjusting to the different roles he has to play on this team. The announcers were actually talking about it a lot the entire game. IE, Kobe having to not only play the “Michael Jordan” role of scoring, but also the “Scottie Pippen” role of fascilitator. Basically saying that Kobe would have to find his way through this dilema of when to be aggressive for his own shot and when to play the distributor.

    I think the keys to defining this role are Odom and Farmar. When Odom gets back, we will see his adjustment to SF and how he asserts himself on the offensive end. If he ends up with the ball in his hands a lot, I could see Kobe falling back into his role as scoring while Lamar creates oppurtunities to pass or score himself. As far as Farmar: when he is in the game, Kobe will really look to play off the ball and get in his comfort spots to score and have Farmar (and the other ball handlers) get him the ball in the rhythm of the offense to get easier buckets.

    Overall, I thought we played well, but that should be tempered by the fact that Seattle is not very good. Bynum looked aggressive on both ends and I was pleasantly suprised that Sasha has continued his aggressiveness.

  20. “The Lakers look great, but let’s remember they’re playing the Sonics.”

    Stu Lantz

    Taken with a grain of not so Supersonic salt, I loved Bynum’s play. More aggressive and more active. Tipping offensive rebounds to guards to start the break. I think it’s not really going to matter who starts (although if it’s Bynum it should be because he earned it), knowing Phil he’ll ride the hot hand for that evening.

    Can this be the year that the other Lakers finally take all the media sniping of Kobe not having any good players around him and use it as motivation to play up to or over their potential?

  21. Hey guys!
    Chris, the one who wrote: “come on dude, get real…don’t play games like that, not cool. ” about my post is actually Chris Mihm. A few thoughts on him:

    1. He’s jealous that I’m posting here.

    2. I actually didn’t like him at first. I always thought we should trade him and Cook for someone mediocre. But after last season I realized that Mihm was our best center and I have had a change of heart. Did you see that jump hook from about 12 feet last night? Woo! That was great to see.

    3. Mihm has Kobe 2 (Coby Karl) on the “Who will Kobe punch” pool. We joked about how funny it would be if Coby had taken the #8 jersey his season. Classic! !! Chris is actually trying to persuade him to change to #8. Either him or Ronny. If Kobe leaves then there would be no problem about that, but as of right now no one dares. That’s another pool altogether. I got Ronny taking it. Mihm has Coby.

    A few more thoughts on Kobe’s play.

    1. Kobe is a phenomenal scorer and he can play defense like the best of them. he has had to conserve energy with our team because we’re full of young players who think they can slack off whenever they’re not playing for a max contract, but we hope to overcome that this season.

    2. Even though Kobe is a great scorer he does not make his teammates better. That’s my job. He may get 5+ assist a game, but that’s because he draws so many defenders cuz he’s so good. But the offense doesn’t really flow with him. He doesn’t know how to play balanced. He’s either 100% scorer or 100% playmaker, and he’s a mediocre one at best. If he really focused on his playmaking abilities he could have been the best player ever period. Imagine an MJ/Magic hybrid! Wooo!!!! Damn!!!! The passing skills of Magic and the scoring abilities of Jordan. I guess that will be something Lebron or Wade can focus on. Not Kobe. Kobe would not get criticized so much if he knew how to be a playmaker. Personally, I don’t think he’s a childish player on the court, so when Barkley accused him of throwing game 7 against the suns to seasons ago I thought he was dead wrong. Kobe just doesn’t know how to play like that. that’s like asking Bynum to shoot 3′s, know what I mean? He’s just not used to it, so he tries to put all his focus on playmaking and has to shut down his killer instinct. If he could develop those abilities, damn, look out! But I don’t think he will. He’s too competitive. He sees one goal as greatness, and that’s scoring.

  22. The Supersonics are clearly built in the same mold as the 90s Knicks/Heat teams that place all their focus on physical defense and slowing the game down.

    Well, maybe not quite.

    I hate the preseason because I never know what to take from it. 2 years ago in the preseason I think kwame had a game as strong as Bynum’s last night. And even if Bynum starts the season as strong as he did last night, who’s to say he won’t fade again a month in?

    I just want the real games to start already so I know whether I’m heartbroken or not. especially with all the competing psychoanalysis of the team/front office going around lately. I half expect to see ESPN interviewing Madame Chloe about what Jerry Buss and Kobe are thinking.

    I am frustrated.

  23. I really didn’t want to evaluate any Laker defense when we were playing Golden State because their style of play makes most defenses look awkward. After playing the Sonics, however, I am now more worried about how this team will play defense. If we can’t have defensive focus when Odom isn’t in there we are in real trouble this year.

    Faster offense shouldn’t mean less defense.

  24. Don’t worry Craig, I’ll be there.

    Here’s a great link from truehoop comparing stars and their productivity: http://dberri.wordpress.com/2007/10/18/kobe-myths/

    On a side note-
    Personally, I was rooting for Garnett to joins us. In my opinion he’s the best player in the league. Not the greatest cuz for that you need rings and a winning attitude, but he does all kinds of things on the floor. Way waaaaaay cool.

  25. The units that the Lakers have assembled seem quite interesting. I will be at the game hopefully against the PHoenix Suns on Sunday afternoon and will report back on Monday at http://www.laballtalk.com

    This is going to be quite interesting because if it is against Phoenix, i’m interested to see who gets the minutes to attempt to defend Nash. Will Crittenton do a good job on him or will Jordan step up? Will Ronny stop the Amare? Will Lamar lock down Matrix and show them why they should’ve done the swap?!?!

  26. This Lamar Odom impersonation is old already.

  27. Kobe doesn’t sell out arenas because of his stats. He sells out because of his highlights.

    Sports is always a balance between stats and observation. It was ESPN that initially made Michael Jordan. He had both stats and highlights and he was the first ESPN baby. You want a dominant figure then let’s talk Wilt Chamberlain and all other discussion should cease. You want wins then let’s talk Bill Russell and all other talk should cease. They both changed the way the game is played and they also changed the rules in basketball. Oh yeah! They were both centers. If you want to talk about the top all-around big man then you have to talk Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. No Shaq doesn’t fit in any of these catagories – unless you want to talk undeveloped talent, as he was probably the most talented big man.

    Sorry, but I really get tired of all this Michael Jordan and the comparison of Kobe with him. I have seen them all play in their prime.

  28. “Kobe doesn’t sell out arenas because of his stats. He sells out because of his highlights.”

    This seems obvious. So how does that square with a stated desire to win?

    It would seem that keeping Kobe is an admission that, to the Lakers, winning is second to filling up Staples.

    in the wake of the excellent Wages of Wins entry about Kobe myths, I would encourage Lakerfan to consider the following:
    1. Kobe is far from the best player in the league. You have seen him score more points than any other player because he happens to be a Laker and you watch the Lakers. This cripples your ability to think independently. Its not your fault, John (Vancouver), that you went over to the Wages of Wins Journal and made that comment. You just don’t know any better.
    2. Kobe is hurting the Lakers in very real terms. His max contract means the Lakers have little chance to improve and keep him. The Lakers historical pattern seems to be acquire the center, THEN draft the wing. With Kobe hogging the cap, how will they acquire a top-3 center?

    So let me see if I can add this up. If Kobe isn’t making highlights (results be darned), Staples won’t fill up because Lakerfan won’t go. But its incredibly difficult to improve the team while keeping Kobe due to cap rules.

    A rational person might say that Dr. Buss isn’t the problem. The man you call Kupcake isn’t the problem. May be that Kobe isn’t even the root of the problem. I’ve gotten to the center here. The main vein.

    The reason the Lakers can’t return to championship contention is the IRRATIONALITY AND LEGENDARY MYOPIA OF LAKERFAN.

    What do you think?

  29. aw, John R., with another one of his classic laker-hate diatribes. Already in mid-season form, impressive.

  30. John R.
    You are a one-trick pony.

  31. John R., care to enlighten us with a theory as to why the Clippers have NEVER been in title contention…and you can’t blame kobe

  32. L-O here.

    Daniel, I will not lockdown the Matrix during the season. The reason for that is strategic. The Suns already know the Matrix has trouble with me. I will not let them study my Matrix defense during the season, because my Matrix defense is superb. I am a modest man, but when it comes to the Suns and stopping the Matrix my gloves come off, man. I mean, I took the red pill a long time ago, you know what I mean? It is my destiny to shut the Matrix down. I don’t like all this false consciousness going around, so I take it personal when the Matrix scores on me. That’s why I wanted Marion on my team, so that I can convince him to take the red pill. If we meet the Suns in the playoffs they’ll be sorry they did not trade him and other players for Kobe.

    Fanerman, how do we know you’re not Kobe in disguise? This may be getting old to you but lakerfans come here to discuss the team, and that’s what I’m doing here FROM AN INSIDER’S VIEW. Who else is willing to do that for their fans? I want to share with the fans my opinions and perspective on where the team is headed so if you don’t mind, Kobe, at least let me have this forum to shine. Do not be a hater.

    Craig, no disrespect, but you’ve seen all those players in their prime??? Really??? How old are you???

    Kwame, look forward to playing with you this year…………………….j/k

    John, I’m new to this top notch forum. Are you really a laker hater? Can’t wait to get to know you a little better. Maybe I can get you to take the red pill, too.

  33. Yeah! I am that old. I was a Laker fan when the drafted Jerry West – that’s really old.

  34. “John R., care to enlighten us with a theory as to why the Clippers have NEVER been in title contention…and you can’t blame kobe”

    What does that have to do with anything?

    Jeez Kwame. I knew you were simple, but not that simple.

    Relieve yourself of your denial.

    You are too blame for the Lakers’ current situation. You and your ilk.

  35. If we are being honest, that wasn’t really Lakers hate. That was 2007 Lakerfan hate.

    In the early 90′s, when the Lakers were “slumping” down to the mid-30′s in wins, attendance did drop like 20%. Even though the Clippers have won more games than the Lakers since Shaq left, (and more current Clippers have actually won a playoff series than current Lakers, hide your face in shame kwame) attendance hasn’t dropped one iota in the 00′s. Attendance was actually higher this year than 00-01. No wonder Buss’ mind is blown.

    Again, the problem isn’t the Lakers. Its Lakerfan.

    That’s you Kwame. That’s you Craig. That’s you Nate.

    Or is it that you guys don’t actually spend money on the Lakers and you are just posers? This is the most likely answer.

    There are no good answers to these questions for y’all. Either you don’t spend money and you don’t actually have a stake in what’s best for your franchise, or do and you are kinda clueless and don’t actually know what’s best for your franchise.

    Sorry.

  36. Lamar, you need to get healthy both in mind and body. Craig’s insights are very educational. We may not agree that many times since I was born 2 years before Jordan got drafted but I think we all agree what the “right” thing to do here.

    I think Kobe is in his own limbo now… part of him regrets having his summer tirade but part of him smacks down Buss for exactly the same reason. I think I am loyal to the Lakers by the fact that I can still envision rooting for this team for plenty more years till I reach Craig’s wisdom and experience but I think every true Laker fan recognizes how dark the day will be when Kobe is actually traded.

    I want to say just kiss and make up guys, but I think the gap has grown enormously big. The elephant has gotten too huge to ignore. Yet I’m still hopeful. I shall cherish every drop of highlight Kobe pours on this team – my team.

  37. John R. – you’re already a regular in this forum the very 1st day I threw up a Nazr Mohammed for Vlade trade spec. Yet I don’t notice you too often… I just have a few questions so that I could understand things better.

    Before I do, I want to lay a premise that I respect your opinion whether you agree with me or not. I have interacted with plenty of regulars here already and I have disagreed w/ them at one point or another but we still “feel” each other.

    1 – What do you propose the Lakers do? Kobe being traded is no longer speculative since it is mentioned day in and day out already. It seems to me like its close to happening already even. So, with it, what do we do?

    2 – Suppose we get a package of young players from Kobe. What do you suppose is the right thing to do then? Or is simply trading Kobe the solution to all the hate?

    Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate. And Hate is the way of the dark side…

  38. John R is blaming the fans now?

    Warren is right, this is just plain ol’ overstated hate.

    Without Sean Livingston hogging all that cap space, maybe your Clippers could afford a decent point guard.

  39. Some years ago it used to be true that in San Francisco there was true hate for Los Angeles, but In Los Angeles there wasn’t a lot of hate for San Francisco. We could go into all the reasons why, but that really isn’t important. It would seem the same dynamic is true between the Clippers and the Lakers. Clipper fans seem to really hate the Lakers, but the Laker fans aren’t really that concerned with the Clippers and don’t need to make comparisons.

    I am not trying to say one group is better than the other… just making an observation. John R. reminded me of this.

  40. The Clips and the Lakers are long lost brothers in the city of LA (though brother is hardly a fitting description). But just like in a particularly competitive family, sibling rivalries are normal. The one that usually gets the more “love” usually does not hold grudges and the one getting the lesser thereof usually sour grapes.

    The Clippers have been “envious” of the Laker success and heritage that its personal for them even though the Lakers don’t necessarily see you as one. Clippers have lost out on plenty of Free Agents over the last decade to the Lakers (Kobe in 2004, Radmanovic in 2006). Now that the Lakers are in turmoil, its time to pounce and hit it where it hurts. Oh did I mention that the Staples locker is bigger for the Lakers than for the Clippers? Hardly love in here…

    John R., I am not stating these things as a personal attack coz I honestly do not know that you are a Clipper fan. I am simply stating the state of the matter and with no particular reference to you. I hope you do not find these comments offensive.

    Next year will be a pivotal year for the Clippers. Brand and Maggette are almost sure-opts and the Clips are nervous about this. They almost have no leverage of keeping both in terms of contending nor money nor young promising talent at least. Shaun Livingston looks like someone who could be of potential had he not been injured but I doubt if he impacts the game like an Andrew Bynum does.

    I was looking at the Clipper payroll and found out several things:

    1- Brand is less likely to opt-out than Maggette since he is earning a good 16M next year. If he opts out, there’s hardly a team out there who can offer more money. There’s a good chance he’ll stay, but I doubt if it spans to beyond next year.

    2 – Corey Maggette is surely a prized asset and I once more question why Dunleavy would choose to have him come off the bench when he can do most damage by starting. If any team offers him a starting job and a starting salary of 9-10M, he’s gone.

    3 – Their cap situation is not that bad but Mobley and Kaman hurt their ability to be flexible. They are basically stuck with them… Unless they trade Mobley to a team deficient of shooters like Orlando. Kaman is that hard to move as well, I think he is only a notch higher than Kwame. Ugly contract.

  41. Okay I take it back. I’d rather have a million Lamar Odom impersonations over 1 more mindless John R. rant.

  42. Thank you Fanerman. But this is L-O, the real deal.

    John, I’d like to digest your rants but they are not interesting. I find myself starting to read your comments but losing interest and skipping the whole thing. Write more interesting material. Maybe you should impersonate Kurt Rambis and give us some analysis from the baseline. I’d find that more interesting, to tell you the truth. I actually like Rambis. He has encouraged me since the first day I got to LA. Tex Winter is also a great guy. He knows so much. The other day I took him out for drinks and he was telling me about his young days in Chicago when he was a party boy. That dude………….

    We play the Bobcats today, but I’ll be out again resting my shoulder. What a bummer

  43. Kurt, could you please do something about ‘Lamar’? It was cute and all, but I thought this was a blog/forum for basketball discussion, not this patronizing kind of tripe.

  44. The joke has run its course.

  45. yeah, Kurt, the joke’s over, I’ve been looking all over for him, he’s been late to practice these last 2 days. thank you. LO, get your butt in the gym!

  46. Hey, there is a game tomorrow.

    Who do you see doing well against Phx. I would like to see Bynum really exercise his new found poundage against the middle and see what we could do.

  47. isn’t there actually a game tonight? and then again tomorrow? I think this is the “great ewstern shootout” the 4 team invitational pre-season series they do ervy year. tomorrow is the winners vs each other and th loser vs each other. but the Lakers play at 7:30 each night.