Game Preview & Chat: The Milwaukee Bucks

Kurt —  November 21, 2007

Records: Lakers 7-3; Bucks 5-4
Offensive ratings: Lakers 112.4 (2nd); Bucks 104.6 (19th)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 103.8 (9th); Bucks 107.9 (21st)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Ronny Turiaf (although it could be Vladamir Radmanovic again), Andrew Bynum
Bucks: Mo Williams, Michael Redd, Desmond Mason, Yi Jianlian, Andrew Bogut

Lakers Notes: We are a spoiled. Sometimes in our efforts to focus on how much Andrew Bynum has improved, or what a good floor general Jordan Farmar has become, we overlook something — Kobe is unbelievable.

In the first quarter he was the alpha dog — 4 of 7 from the floor (2 of 3 from beyond the arc), plus he got to the line four times, giving him 14 points in just under 11 minutes. After a rest he came back in and was 4 of 6 (3 of 4 from three) with another assist, giving him 26 points on 80% (eFG%) shooting for the half and a +8. For the game, Kobe had an offensive rating of 139 (points per 100 possessions pace) and — thanks to another big night from the bench — got to rest almost all of the fourth quarter.

The other thing of note — that was one of the Lakers better defensive showings this season. They held the Pacers as a team to 43.7% (eFG%) shooting. And I think Jermaine O’Neal will remember Bynum as more than trade bait in the future.

The Bucks Coming In:Right now, the Bucks are the luckiest team in the NBA. They have been outscored by their opponents (3.4 points per 100 possessions) but still have a 5-4 record. And, they are undefeated at home. Something is going to change — either the Bucks numbers will start to show them outscoring opponents or, more likely, they’ll drop some of those close games and their record will fall.

Yi Jianlian gets all the attention Bucks are Michael Redd’s team — he is using 27% of the team’s possessions when he is on the floor, is shooting 48.9% (eFG%, and that is a pretty good number considering how much of the offense he is carrying) and is averaging 24.8 points per 40 minutes.

The Bucks run many of their offensive sets for Redd — they run him off multiple screens, they make him the ball handler in some screen-and-rolls, they’ll even post him up (credit the official Lakers web site scouting report for that info). And don’t think this is the catch-and-shoot only Redd — last night he got to the line 20 times. The Lakers need to keep him off the line.

Pinky, Are You Pondering What I’m Pondering? A couple more thoughts on the newest Laker Trevor Ariza. Because of the time it takes to learn the offense, I think Ariza’s minutes will be limited at first (although I’d expect him to get a taste tonight). What will get him on the floor is his defense — there are times the team would be willing to sacrifice some scoring to have better defense on the wing. I expect his minutes and role will grow as the season wears on, and by next year he’ll have a comfortable spot in the rotation.

Keys To The Game: Both teams come in on the second game of a back-to-back, but The Lakers should be able to get some mismatches on offense — they don’t have anyone who can cover Kobe (does anyone really?), the Bucks have struggled to defend the three and there aren’t many threes like Odom, and Bynum should be able to do some damage against Bogut. The Lakers, on the other hand, should be able to use Kobe (and Ariza?) to slow Redd somewhat.

Like the Lakers, the Bucks can count on their bench in key moments — in crunch time last night in Cleveland it was Mo Williams taking most of the shots (in part because the Cavs can’t defend the point) and Charlie Villanueva in the paint (remember he had 26 against the Lakers last year). Yi and Mason sat and watched. The Bucks also have Bobby Simmons off the bench, who seems to have found his Clippers form and is shooting 53.9% this season. Whichever team’s bench comes through will have a big advantage.

Tonight’s Game: Where Five-In-A-Row Happens: If the Bucks had not won an emotional game last night, I might pick them to knock off the Lakers. My guess is that both teams come out a little flat tonight (if one team gets a healthy early lead that would be huge) but that the deeper Lakers bench gets them another lead, and a rested Kobe finishes them off. Still, this is the kind of game that worries me against a team that just seems to win right now.

Where you can watch: Game time is 5 p.m. (Pacific). In Los Angeles tune into KCAL (9), no national broadcast. Online, I’d suggest Gamecast.

Kurt

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69 responses to Game Preview & Chat: The Milwaukee Bucks

  1. If one of our biggest weaknesses is recovering to guard the three point line, the Bucks could get us tonight. Hopefully we counter their shooting by dominating inside. I don’t know if the Bucks have anyone who can guard anyone on our roster…

  2. It’s a good point, the Bucks love the kick-out three. Hopefully the Lakers learned some lessons this year about that.

  3. Hopefully Kobe treats Redd like he did Hamilton and takes the challenge to shut down one of the better scoring 2’s in the league. I also hope that he got some insight into Redd’s game from those Team USA scrimmages over the summer.

    I actually think 2nite is a test to see where this Lakers’ team’s head is at. Last year, the Lakers took weak opponents lightly and allowed inferior teams to stay in the game and keep it closer than it should have been. I really want to see if the Lakers have learned that every night the opponent is worthy and come out ready to play against a team that does not inspire any fear.

    I also want Bynum to show that he is better than a former #1 overall pick in Bogut. Now that he will be starting, I want to see that fire to demolish a player that is solid but can’t really match up with him athlitically. I want to see ‘Drew beating the Aussie down the court on offense and pushing him off the block on defense. I’d also like to see Odom being agressive against Yi and the other littany of SF’s the Bucks have.

    This should be a good game and I truly hope that the Lakers aren’t looking ahead to Boston on Friday.

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!!!

  4. The Bucks’ point differential can be explained:
    Average margin of victory: 9.8 (which includes a 27-point shellacking of the Raptors)
    Average margin of loss: 16

    I’m looking forward to Andrew vs. Andrew tonight.

  5. Isn’t this Kobe’s revenge game? I recall that Redd went off and on KB24.com kobe simply marked the date the teams would meet again (this in ML) and the gauntlet was thrown down. Cept Kobe was suspended for that game so it never happened. This would be the first meeting since that point explosion.

    Short term memory or bad feelings die hard?

  6. John (Vancouver) November 21, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    I’ve found some websites where I can download Lakers games after they happen, so basketball is back in Canada for the time being, until I head back to Baltimore the end of this year.

    I could say I’m amazed at the development of Bynum and Farmar this year. It really shows what a good heap of motivation will do to a young, impressionable squad. They could have took the summer’s events one of two ways and I think it shows the character of the coaching staff and the players themselves above all else. Maybe some of Kobe’s “killer” attitude is starting to wear off on these guys. What these guys are doing is nothing short of amazing and I’m a pretty happy guy these days wearing my #4 Walton jersey during pickup at the gym.

    I think all of us want to see Kobe start expending more effort at shutting down the other team’s best scorer now that our offense is really starting to click hard, and hopefully this is the start of something really good.

  7. Hi guys, Bucks fan (and blogger here). Good luck tonight, hopefully both teams bring it after nice road wins yesterday. Very curious to see Bynum, though I’m disappointed he’ll be getting extended minutes now that Kwame’s out :)

    Btw, I was doing the preview for my site and noticed that the Knickerblogger efficiency/pace numbers don’t match Hollinger’s on ESPN. Is there an obvious reason I’m missing? Both seem to be based on up-to-date data.

  8. I hope they activate ariza for tonights game and throw him out there to guard redd. see what he’s all about.

  9. 8. Frank, I believe the discrepancy is due to the 2 competing possessions formulas that are being used. I actually use the same as Mike for my spreadsheets.

    .96 * (FGA + (.44*FTA) – OR + TO)

    Then there’s also:

    (FGA – FGM – OR) + FGM + TOV + 0.4*FTA

    One of the formulas slightly over estimates, the other slightly under estimates a game’s actual possessions.

  10. Frank is with the site Brew Hoop:

    http://www.brewhoop.com/

  11. Sorry for the double post, but I guess I didn’t finish the thought.

    Once you have a different number for possessions, that reaches down the line to affect pace and efficiency. Neither number set is necessarily “better” than the other. Just pick a side and stick to it.

  12. 8. Rob L. has it right in comment 10 — the two use a different formula to estimate possessions. Which is different from what 82games.com uses. Which is different from what Basketballvalue.com uses. Which is different from… well, you get the idea.

    The data from within one site is consistent, but you can’t compare the Hollinger to Knickerblogger stats.

  13. Thanks guys, I figured the pace number was probably the origin of the discrepancy, but didn’t realize a possession was so debatable :)

  14. nerds

    thank you though, sometimes you answer some of my questions.

    but really, what nerds

  15. Yet another rambling thought about the difference in stats: As long as the possessions formula is the only difference in calculating efficiency, pace, etc, the relative ranking for teams/players should be the same.

    In this instance, both Knickerblogger and Hollinger have the Lakers 2nd in offensive efficiency and 9th in defensive efficiency. Even though their hard numbers are different.

  16. Lamar (15): Maybe you need to stop smoking the doobie or standing at the arc watching Kobe dribble out the shot clock.

    Actually, Lamar’s been reasonably proactive this year, and Kobe has not overdribbled too much, aside from opening night.

  17. Other than Bynum already having 10 rebounds (out of 14 by the Lakers, in part thanks to 39% and 27% shooting from both teams) I see a very sluggish quarter.

    Is Kobe guarding Redd? Redd did not have a good quarter.

  18. Halftime, and the offense looks very raw.

  19. I am not liking what we’ve seen….

    Where’s Farmar?

    And Luke?

  20. The offense does look raw… it’s been kind of off kilter all night. Good passing and moving the ball (especially early on), but they’ve just had trouble putting it in, which seemed to lead to a little less movement.

    Looking for the bench mob to have a stronger showing in the next few minutes and kobe, farmar, bynum, luke, and lamar to finish it off…

    By the way, it’s not showing maybe in the boxscore, but luke is playing solid.

  21. Yeah and Redd is putting up 22-6-7. Not good.

  22. I cant stand the bucks broadcasters…. honestly, how biased towards your team can one possibly be.

    Just call the damn plays and stop worshiping Redd like a God.

  23. off topic: Phoenix is putting up 80 pts in the half!

    Scary…

  24. off topic: Toronto and Memphis final score: 93-89.

    Orlando / San Antonio end of 3rd: 90-93.

    Weird week.

  25. Where’s Bynum?!? The Bucks haven’t been hitting (or even shooting) from outside for awhile now – they’ve been beating our guards and then going for dunks and layups. Mihm isn’t getting it done on defense or on the boards…

  26. Why does Lamar keep taking 3’s …. what kind of miserable joke is his 3 point shooting?

  27. Guess we ran out of gas eh? only 15pts in the 4th

  28. This game – is pissing me off beyond belief, and honestly, these refs are bastards.

  29. Villanueave is the epitome of F-UGLY.

  30. Mike in the Mountain West November 21, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    We started chuckin’ up three’s way to early at the end of the fourth. Big mental lapse on our part. A good game until that point but we lost it when we got nervous and starting going for three’s. Odom was the biggest culprit. He should not be shooting threes.

  31. Stop crying luke you grabbed his jersey. But then…

    Has no laker any class? Duis, running red lights. Have some pride.

    Second nights of back to backs can make bad teams look good. But then, noone has benefitted from those like the lakers have and will this season.

    Its sad when a team won’t accept the inevitable and wastes everyones lives by fouling for the last 2 minutes of the game.

    Busch league.

  32. wow. two phantom fouls in a row (and a questionable third on a trap). aren’t the refs supposed to be aware of game situations (i.e. tough D looking for a TO) and not anticipate calls? The last one was the only one that teams would typically foul for time management on. The ones where you can easily blame anticipation on are the ones that are the most frustrating.

    however….

    as much as it’s easy to see a few bad calls and see how they changed the end of the game, this is a game that we lost early in the fourth. we should work to be in a good enough position to not let 3 bad calls have that much of an impact.

    great game by Bynum, Kobe wasn’t able to pull a miraculous save but had a really solid game – great D and some really nice passes that should have been gimmes but were botched, Odom was as absent from the actual game as he appeared to have been in the boxscore.

    Happy thanksgiving all! Let’s look forward to better action Friday.

  33. Frustrating loss, especially when we are jacking threes with plenty of time left. I don’t understand Lamar’s logic to become a jump shooter when he is such a potent threat slashing to the hoop.

    I liked Bynum’s passion tonight, but unfortunately, he could not control it, which became apparent when he got a T after getting the call. I could feel the frustration coming through the TV, as he bricked his first FT. The play was essentially a turnover, as the Lakers were still down by 4 at the point, and then the Bucks marched down to hit a 3. Bogut seemed to get under his skin a bit, and then get the better of him in crunch time. However, it does not anger me, since I like seeing Bynum not only get a good amount of PT, but feeling heavily invested in the product the Lakers are producing. This is the only way he will learn, and get better. After playing well, feeling the excitement, rage, and frustration, he can learn to channel these emotions in future outings, and stay productive at a high level. I feel like he will circle the calendar next time Bogut comes to town, and probably make him look outright silly.

  34. Laws of averages caught up with our Lakers. There was a lack of energy coming in the 4th and nobody was making plays.

    Kobe can’t buy a basket. We stuck it with them with our defense. Although all 5 lakers have double digit score everyone looks flat.

    Most disappointing was Lamar and all the treys that we attempted. Lamar cannot even be depended for some help both on both side of the court. Lamar was forcing too much one on one.

  35. Villaneuva is ill, give him props for playing through sickness.

    Although Kobe was 7-18 and 11-11, i think him launching those 3s is what did us in, as was the early threes Farmar launched that seemed to get him benched. Old Fisher can launch threes, young Farmar should look to penetrate. As for Lamar…

    But then again, Milwaukee had a game like we did last time, with just about everyone productive, and once we moved away from the one thing that kept us in the game (going to the line) we lost grip. letting the bucks shoot 50% from the floor with 47% from the 3… this is disturbing.

  36. If Lamar had been playing better we probably would have got up… It frustrates me that he missed that open three off a nice pass from kobe which would have swung the game. I don’t know whether its kobe’s fault for not taking the shot himself or lamar’s for missing it…

  37. I think the game was lost when Bynum picked up his fourth foul and had to sit with five or six minutes left in the third quarter, and also for most of the second quarter, when Milwaukee’s bigs abused poor Chris Mihm at both ends of the floor. Never thought I’d say this, but I miss Kwame. Mihm is best when he’s playing away from the basket at the offensive end. He can hit the 12-15 foot jumper, but around the basket he’s useless. Also, the Lakers had the ball after the timeout only down by four or five? with two minutes left, and they took out Bynum. With him commanding down low, they space the court better on the offensive end. With him on the bench, they passed it around the three-pt line and threw up a contested three. I know the staff probably doesn’t believe Andrew doesn’t match up well with Yi or Villanueva on the perimeter, but Villanueva at least is more of a catch and shoot outside shooter rather than a hesitate and pump fake outside shooter. A guy of Andrew’s size might have made him think a little…I’m just sayin’….

  38. John R, how dare you bring up teams fouling in the late stage of a game. Every team does it, not only the Lakers. I haven’t seen one team that hasn’t done it. It’s an unwritten rule.

  39. Comments about John R are pretty useless – he is, and has been, a hater so we ignore him here.

    The start of the 4th saw the Lakers loose focus, then their confidence went and with that the game plan. Lamar and Kobe shooting 3s should never have happened. I think Phil should have called a time out and pulled Lamar when he fired up his 1st 3pt shot, period. Lamar is prone to mental lapses several times during games and gets overly frustrated when his shots are blocked or a foul doesn’t go his way under pressure. If the coach sees this happen it is his responsibility to get Lamar out of there – regardless of his short term mental health. This is not a new thing and I would think Phil would have figured it out by this time. Lamar is not going to make radical changes.

  40. I could say great things about the play of Lamar Odom tonight–but I’d be lying. I could say that now I understand why so many of you were willing to trade Twinkletoes Brown but not Spacedust Odom–but I’d be lying.

    We could have used Twinkletoes tonight.

    Many of you said that Spacedust Odom would be better at the 3–where he could exploit mismatches–or get offensive rebounds.

    Tonight, he might have been better on the bench–where he would have avoided 4 turnovers and the embarrassment of those three point upchucks at the end of the game.

  41. Everyone’s going hard on Lamar for shooting too much from beyond the arc and I agree. I think LO should have tried to assert himself down low more often but I think after a couple of turnovers and non-foul calls down low he gave up.

    The energy wasn’t as high as previous games, as expected on the 2nd game of a back-to-back. I think during the 4th, the mental lapse of the entire team caused the loss. I believe they were up until like 5 min left in the 4th.

    On the upside, Andrew with another nice showing with a double double.

    We died by the 3 and again showed that the way to beat the Lakers is through guard penetration.

    I’m not too worried about the team though. It’s still too early in the season. Friday’s game should be good. Hope the Lakers can come up with more energy and not rely too much on the 3.

    Also, does anyone know when Ariza will start playing?

  42. My theory? All the guys went out and had a drink to remember Cook and Mo but stayed out too late. Damn Milwaukee beer. This makes sense considering how crappy Lamar played (because we know he’s prone to partying it up) and how well Bynum played (because he can’t drink).

  43. Perhaps that speaks to how good we are anon, almost beating a team hung over!

  44. A few things.

    1) Mihm is terrible. Bogut was doing nothing until Mihm came in.

    2) Bynum is close to producing what Odom has produced in the last few years, And Bynum appears to be more consistent.

    3) Bynum is the third option at this point, and he is working in this role. Odom is a sorry excuse for a second option. We need to trade him.

  45. One word sums up tonight’s game… COMPOSURE!!!

    The team was there for most of the game but due to lack of composure let the game slip away. I was thinking that some players lacked the “winners attitude” but then several mental lapses that caused us the game made me question the mental toughness of some players particularly LO.

    It’s still early in the season to get alarmed but I hope the guys will be ready mentally for the long grind ahead.

    I maybe wrong, but isn’t most of the so called “winners” are those who are tough as nails mentally?

    Talent wise, I am beginning to realize this team’s potential. Will they be able to match that talent with mental stability? Your guess is as good as mine.

  46. the other Stephen November 22, 2007 at 7:37 am

    hey, did anyone see that one dude (i think it was redd) who inbounded the pass off the back of an unsuspecting luke walton and took it in for an easy layup? i saw it on replays. man, you’ve gotta admit that that was classy.

  47. kwame’s injury will affect the team more than we think. it hurts the team directly because they lose their best 1-on-1 post defender and above average rebounder. indirectly because it puts bynum in the starting line-up and disrupts the fine play of the ‘bench mob’ lately. The trade will also hurt the team in the short term, coz players will be taking on new positions and disrupt the rotation. Farmar wasn’t as effective tonight coz he had mihm instead of andrew with him, and turiaf instead of radman. i didn’t like the move of PJ of replacing turiaf with with lamar as the starting PF. all the line-up changes really disrupted the team’s play against the bucks. they should keep lamar at SF, and then take him out early with radman, then let Lamar be with the second unit early to mid 2nd and 4th qtr

  48. I hate to be the controversy boy on this group but…

    We need Shawn Marion for Odom!

    Odom actually fits in Phoenix. Nash will be relieved and preserved. I actually think Diaw needs to be in the thick of things too, they are such a good team with him and those 2-man games with Nash are exceptional. That said, Phoenix will surely miss Marion’s consistency but that will also give way to Amare’s all-around game to break out.

    Since Odom is playing the 3 for our team, why not get a real 3 guy with that simply plays consistently? Matrix will share Kobe’s enthusiasm on defense. I can guarantee.

  49. Trevor Ariza has a real opportunity on this team – not this year, but in two years. What he needs to do is play against Kobe every day in practice to hone his defense and stick with Farmar all summer to work on a 10-15ft jump shot. If he does this then in two years the Lakers will offer Lamar the salary he has earned (about $8-10m) and he will reject it to go elsewhere for more cash. Bingo, Trevor will be in the ideal place to take over the 3.

    Show the work ethic then and he could help the team.

  50. 49 — Plus, Marion will teach Ariza a few things. I see him as a poor man’s shawn marion.

  51. I agree, Now that Bynum is playin well, Marion is the missing piece. He is a legitimate second scoring option, and a great defender. If we can’t get him straight up for Odom, I might even do Odom and Luke. If we are worried about the salary cap, Marion could work if we:

    a) Resign Kwame at 3 mil or so This shouldn’t be a problem since he is injured 2/3 of the time anyway.

    2) Get Kwame a personal trainer over the summer, and get his behind into shape, so he becomes less injury prone. In which case, we let Mihm’s contract expire.

    That and the refs still do’n’t respect Bynum yet. Last night’s outburst, while inexcusable, will help us in the long run.

    a) Bynum has fire, this is cool.

    b) He is now on the radar with the refs. He’ll be getting more calls with the refs as the season progresses.

  52. I’m pretty cool on the idea of bringing in Marion. Admittedly his defense and consistency are both better than Odom’s, but he can’t pass very well or create shots for himself or others, two things Odom can provide when he comes to play.

    Odom also gives another legitimate post threat besides the still-developing Bynum (especially when he’s playing other SFs) and he handles far better than Marion can.

    I think it’s pretty much a matter of better defense against offensive versatility. I’m not sold on the idea that Marion will be an immediate upgrade though.

  53. Don’t have to convince me twice about Marion for Odom.

    But ouch that was a weird and tough loss.

  54. I understand the logic of Odom for Marion, but I don’t understand the Suns motivation. Sure Odom would be a great fit to extend Steve Nash’s career, but why, now when the Sun team is meshing, should they mess with the chemistry.

    If Phoenix does this I think it will be during the summer and they will want to extend Lamar in the deal.

    We, of course, get our 2nd scoring option at 1st option prices.

  55. bring on the celtics!

  56. As little as I think of Mihm’s play to date, I think the staff needs to bring him and Turiaf back into the starting lineup. Everyone here has seen how much better Lamar plays at SF. That starting lineup still has Kobe, Lamar, and Fish as the main scoring options. Just bring Bynum in a little earlier than the rest of the bench mob. Anyway, I sure hope the front office doesn’t bring in Webber. We need defense more than offense at that position. I’m still thinking Jamal Sampson, although he’s probably not all that great at either end. He probably knows the triangle, and can perhaps challenge drivers in the lane better than Mihm or Webber.

  57. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! (That includes my overseas readers, this is an American holiday where we think about all the things we are thankful for, and the readership that comes to this blog and the conversations here are certainly on that list for me. All of you.)

    Because of my generous mood today, I’m not going to go back through the comments and start editing all this rather useless Marion for Odom talk. Um, have you guys seen what Phoenix is doing lately? They are the hottest team in the NBA (I guess Boston could make an argument, but you get the idea). They are not going to be breaking that up right now, mid season.

    So, let’s walk away from that talk. The Lakers lost a second game of a back-to-back on the road with a bad last quarter, let’s not lose perspective here. A real test is tomorrow in Boston. That will be a good game.

  58. Of course Kurt, I was just affirming such a deal would be decent if possible.

    With that out of the way Boston indeed comes our way and I have no qualms that we won’t be competitive.

    That being said Kobe needs to step out of passer role a bit more again. Farmar, as great as he is, is going to have off nights for his only being a 2nd year player. So we can’t expect him to go off. That being said he should look to drive more.

  59. Ariza will wear jersey No. 3
    ================
    “I think everybody from L.A. was a Lakers’ fan growing up,” the newest member of the Lakers said. “I think I liked Eddie Jones a lot. I think they had just drafted Kobe [Bryant] and had Shaq [O'Neal] and all those guys.”

    “I’m super excited to be back home with my family, to be around a great organization, get a new start, get a chance to start over,” Ariza said.

    The Lakers, who acquired Ariza from the Orlando Magic for Brian Cook and Mo Evans on Tuesday, are hoping Ariza can play strong defense at small forward and fill the lanes in transition on offense.

  60. I was surprised I wasn’t irritated so much by this loss. Guess all the dang winning makes these kind of games go down much easier.

    That and the Bucks are perfect at home. Probably one we should’ve got, but oh well.

  61. Let me tell you what I’m thankful for:

    A Laker team that I really like–both as individuals and as basketball players. Let’s start with the diamonds in the rough:

    Sasha
    Lamar
    Kwame
    Trevor

    Sasha is a great shooter in practice that clanks in the game–a pesky defender that loses his man in key situatiohns–a player who’s been counted out for years, but comes back a little more reformed each time.

    Lamar could be the most talented player on the Lakers team when he is not totally lost in space. He has the potential to be a triple double man most every night–but he never has. Lamar has lived on the edge of catastrophe for years, suffered in many ways–and it has mellowed him. Can he finally put it all together, or find his home somewhere else?

    Kwame grew up surrounded by abuse growing up in South Carolina, only to find himself surrounded by a different kind of abuse as a basketball player in the NBA. Though he can contribute more, his defensive presence is part of a team defensive concept shared by Kobe, Derek, Ronny, and Luke. We need him back ASAP.

    Trevor never shoots the three, but he can run the floor like a road runner. He will give Twinkletoes Brown a run for his money on defense, but may not make as high a percentage of free throws. He needs to learn how to hit that 15 footer consistently (while improving his free throw percentage). If he wants to have a permanent slot with the Lakers, he’ll figure out how to play lock down defense on guys like Stoyakovitch and Redd that have killed us this year.

    Let’s add the reliable veterans:

    Kobe
    Derek
    Luke
    VladRad
    Chris

    Yes, I added VladRad–and Chris. These guys have dependable basic skills that they deliver on a regular basis. Derek can make the 3 to win a game–so can VladRad. Luke can make a rally out of nothing. Chris can reliably deliver 15 minutes right now–but he will do much more later in the season. Kobe can do everything–but he doesn’t have to do it alone! In fact, he mustn’t do it alone.

    Now, the emerging stars:

    Jordan
    Ronny
    Andrew

    The Lakers wouldn’t be nearly the team they are this year without them. Ronny is the starting 4. Jordan will be the starting point guard in minutes if not in title. Andrew is playing years ahead of his time–and he only looks up at Yao Ming.

    And the rookies:

    Kobe Carl
    Javaris

    With Mo gone, both of them might get some minutes. In an emergency, Javaris could get some serious minutes.

    And that empty slot will keep Warren coming up with at least ten trade scenarios per week.

    The Smusher is long gone–and we don’t have Cookie to kick around any more.

    I like these guys as a team, with all their imperfections, win or lose.

    The situation right now is better than most of us could have imagined one month ago.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next.

    Let’s all give thanks.

  62. I write a post about trading Lamar for Artest and it gets deleated. Others write about Lamar for Marion and they don’t get deleated.

    Just curious Kurt, what exactly qualifies as inappropriate trade talk?

  63. Bobby Smith (63)

    Well Marion for Odom was actually discussed by the teams… Marion continues to be unhappy in Phoenix and Odom seems to be straying off from the system.

    From my POV, its called “reason to believe” …

    Much like the Kobe to Chicago and the likes.

  64. The only reason Marion talk wasn’t edited is I’m not at home and edits on my blackberry are a pain.

    I’ll listen to suggestions on what guidelines people want but this is not going to be a site of free flowing trade ideas (as seemed to happen this summer). I don’t want a bunch of wannabe GMs filling up comments.

  65. Warren (64),

    The Marion for Odom talk falls into the same category as all the other trade rumors put out by ESPN, just rumors. Also, I haven’t heard a peep from re being traded to it is unclear if he is still “unhappy.” He may be, but at this point all that is speculation and not really worth talking about.

    Kurt (65),

    I just saw your post at comment 58, which answered my question before I even asked it! Going forward, I’ll try to read the comments before commencing prattle.

    In other news, Chris Mihm still looks atrocious and as much as it pains me to say this, not having Kwame to come off the bench for Bynum is really going to hurt us against the Celtics. Hopefully Ronny will be more productive tonight as his ailments have cleary slowed his otherwise hot start.

    Although Fisher’s defense is at times suspect, the Fisher/Farmar combo at point is really turning out to be a welcome development for the team.

  66. By the way, know that none of the edits here are ever personal. Bobby Smith, you have contributed a lot of good stuff here recently.

  67. 63-don’t take things too personal. I mean I write as if I’m Lamar and almost all my posts get deleted. Kurt is a jerk.

  68. I never thought i’d say that, but we really missed Kwame in defense against Perkins. And while I have no problem with Bynum’s offensive inconsistency, especially against a team of the Celtics’ caliber, but I am really concerned with his defensive shortcomings, especially the cheap fouls he commits. And as far as potential trades are concerned, while it is not safe judging by two games, the Spurs and the Celtics have showed that the Lakers are a second tier team. Bynum will peak when Kobe will be 35 and Brown’s expiring contract is a great asset in any trade. If we have a chance to get Marion, Kidd or JO, I say go for it, as long as the bench remains strong.