Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  December 7, 2007

Haven’t had a chance to do the old FB&G standby of quick thoughts and other links recently, I used to think I did this too much but lately I’ve missed it. So, we’re back, baby.

• The biggest Lakers news: According to friend of the siteNate Jones, Rambis is trying to regrow his ’80s stash. More than anything else, I’ll be looking for that in the next broadcast.

• One thing of note from the last post here where trade discussions were allowed in the comments — almost unanimously Bynum joined Kobe on the untouchable list for trades. Not really a surprise after the start of this season. But, that would not have been the consensus of this board six months ago, and I think more people than not would have given up on him a year ago for a lot less than Kidd. All of which is to say, next time you blast the front office for not seeing that ‘player X” clearly will/will not develop into something, remember they were ahead of you on the Bynum curve and knew what they were doing.

• There was a great follow up thought (and way to kind of words for me) from Kelly Dwyer when looking at the last post (and the Lakers situation):

I do have to point out that “superstar on a team with just enough to make the playoffs and little else” bag isn’t going away. With the luxury tax effectively ushering in a hard salary cap, we’re going to see a lot of teams with stars that take up a third of the payroll with one large deal, a semi-star who is probably overpaid and a load of cheapies surrounding them. Prepare for a whole host of 48-win teams over the next few years. The NBA won’t reach an NFL-level style of parity, but it will move in that direction. Also, don’t be surprised to see some sort of contract restructuring language added into the NBA’s next Collective Bargaining Agreement, so guys like Kobe and KG can re-do their contracts in order to bring more help in.

• One other note. A few people suggested the Lakers go get a free agent next year — remember that the Lakers will be over the salary cap, meaning they can only offer the mid-level exception (what VladRad signed for), they cannot make a big offer. Not many teams can, frankly.

• Interesting discussion over at With Malice — who wins in a Dream Team vs. 07/08 Team USA matchup. Jeff from Celtics Blog, Henry from True Hoop and others weigh in for round one, I’m in for round two going up in a couple days. (Hint, I think it’s a closer game than you do.)

• I love watching Iverson play, especially when he’s hot like he was Wednesday night. I don’t want him on my team, but I love watching him play.

• This season’s early returns are in at NBA Hot Shots, a favorite tool of mine. Plus, colors make it pretty. Anyway, the Painted Area does some interesting early looks at why LeBron is hot and Dirk is cold so far.

• At some point I’m going to do a whole separate post on this, but I can’t say it enough — kuddos to the Lakers for the upgrades to the Web site this year. The quantity and quality of stuff has been great.

to Fast Break Thoughts

  1. I gotta agree with Kelly about what he says about you Kurt. I look to your blog before any other news resource for info on the lakers. Also the quality of conversation in the comments is light years ahead of other bigger boards like lakersground and club lakers.

    Thank you for all the effort you put into this site.


  2. Hey man. Read Kelly Dwyer’s bit on you and your insight into how to improve the team. For the record, his kind words were pretty accurate. At 120, we’re a bit more about drinking than team loyalty, but I’m a Laker fan. I’d love to know your thoughts on this. My buddy Ryan, who hates the Lakers, but it pretty knowledgeable in all things basketball had something like this to say. “Other than Minnesota, every team the Lakers have played is going to be a competitor come playoff time. It pains me to say, but they’re good. They can still improve but the only guys they better not trade are Kobe, Lamar, Andrew Bynum, and Jordan Farmar.” That’s right. Farmar. I’ll admit that I groaned when they drafted him, but he looks like he could really be a diamond in the rough. I’d appreciate your thoughts.


  3. “The biggest Lakers news: According to friend of the siteNate Jones, Rambis is trying to regrow his ’80s stash. More than anything else, I’ll be looking for that in the next broadcast.”

    he should start wearing his fugly thick glasses too.


  4. bring back RAMBIS YOUTH!


  5. I thought Farmar could develop into a good, solid PG for many years. He’s come along a little faster than I thought, and he turned out to be a harder worker and more athletic than I thought. He’s not likely to be an all-star, but just to have a good reliable PG who can play defense is important.

    That said, I would trade him in the right deal because the Lakers are deep at PG.


  6. I agree it may not be likely he becomes an all-star with guys like Deron and CP3 setting the bar, but that said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Farmar there in 2 or 3 years.


  7. We don’t need an All-Star at every position we play. Specially the PG, in the current system, just needs to be solid.

    Call the right motion, hit the open jumpers and play defense is what’s asked of a PG, and Farmar is really getting the hang of it, so, I’m against any Farmar trade.

    Back on topic…

    Dwyer only announced publicly what we (the old regulars) have been doing for a long time… First we read your blog, then we check the scores, and then… well, that’s about it (regarding the Lakers).

    It’s about time you should start getting some recognition 😉

    Now, get back to posting, I need my daily Lakers fix, ok? 😉


  8. Farmar, as I like to say it, is more like a Tony Parker player. I will hold on to him for now, he is the reason for the “bench mob” attack of the Lakers.


  9. Lakers PG numbers are so much better than last year. Personally, I like our PG situation as is right now, but some how some way, the Lakers have to find a way to play better defense. Right now there are 3 main problems I see

    1) Fish/Farmar-Neither of these guys are that tall or that quick (Farmar is fast) so they have had big problems containing players like Parker, D. Williams, C. Paul, AI. I hope Phil switches up to zone d some times and also change up the pick and roll strategy (instead of always going under the screen, agressivley double or switch)

    2) Kobe- He is still roaming for most of the game. The best solution to this is to put him on the ball, he plays great on-ball d, but if he’s guarding a player who moves and shoots, his roaming d creates open shots and lanes for the opponents.

    3) Mihm- When Kwame comes back, this should easily be solved.

    Scoring is not gonna be the thing that improves the Lakers, they can score in so many ways and they have Kobe. To take the next step, they better focus on improving the defense


  10. Also, was watching the GS-Miami game yesterday and it was sad. Shaq was 6-6 in the third qtr, and went out with the Heat up 81-69. Riley never put him back in. Instead he went small ball and of course got killed by the kings of small ball. I know Phil will not make the same mistake. The whole Shaq thing is getting to Hakeem in Toronto, Ewing in Seattle levels.


  11. I don’t think Shaq is quite as bad as Hakeem in Toronto or Ewing in Seattle. The Heat have no shooters. If Shaq played with any kind of shooters or guys that knew how to cut, even in his current form, he’d produce a lot more than what we are seeing. The Heat are just a poorly put together team. That’s really what it comes down to. Shaq is not dominate anymore, but he’s still a decent player. Ewing and Olajuwon at the end of their careers had absolutely nothing left…


  12. Kinda makes you wonder: would it have been worth it if the Lakers had somehow kept Shaq & Kobe, won one more championship (instead of the Heat), and had the level of play of the current Heat team.

    Hell – at Shaq’s current level of play, Lamar looks like a steal!


  13. 11- I may having been laying it on thick, but Shaq is not that good anymore. He’d have to be the 4th option or 3rd option to be effective. Main difference with Shaq now, then other declining-Shaq years is he can’t, even if he wants to, create a shot at will. Dude can’t get 10 shot attempts off. Also, he can’t hide from a foul, he is sooo slow.

    12- I really think the Lakers made a fair offer, and I think he’d be better in LA, with the tri and the space it gave him. Also, I’d think he’d be better if Riley didn’t axe SVG in the back. Riles desperatley assembled a ‘win-quick’ team, and will pay for it, maybe with the ultimate price of losing Wade when he can opt out, watching him, he looks disinterested and without help.


  14. Shaq would be still be decent if he had some sort of work ethic . He doesn’t work hard over the summer and expects to get in game shape during the season. Well time has caught up to him and now he was the most dominate ever. Thank god we kept Kobe.


  15. Thia ia a bit off subject. But how do NBA players get food poisoning? They are all millionaires and can afford a meal at a decent restaurant. Has American culture regressed to the point that a decent and healthy meal is not something you can count on even if you have the money to pay for it?


  16. Off topic: Golden State’s fans are amazing. Did you all see how crazy they were going just to beat a scrub team like Miami? Pretty impressive.


  17. 17-There is something really weird about the whole GS thing. Like, they could be down by 15 points, but the team, the coach, the announcers and the fans seem to all have this feeling that there will be a period in the game when GS gets hot, and starts making all kinds of shots they have no business taking, and that they will win. Look back to what they were saying when they were 0-6, not one player was worried. It is a good mix of confidence and bliss, and it seems to make for a great atmposhere


  18. 16. That fan base was one of the best parts of their playoff run last year.

    17. And they do start taking crazy shots, I was watching that game and just everything started to fall. I think Riley made a mistake going small to match them, that cost them big, but GS has a swagger right now.

    Gatino sent me a good quote from JA Adande on the Warriors:

    You know how you don’t want to fight a crazy guy, because you don’t know what he is going to do? The same thought applies here. If the Warriors are going to shoot the first 25-footer they see, is there really any way to defend against it?