Preseason Chat: Lakers v. Raptors

Kurt —  October 19, 2008

The Lakers are not the only team trying to get a “twin towers” front line going this preseason, the Raptors are doing it as well with Chris Bosh and a reportedly healthy Jermaine O’Neal. I look forward to watching that matchup unfold tonight.

While you’re waiting for the game to start, here are some previews of the teams from the Central Division.

Chicago Bulls
Give Me The Rock

Cleveland Cavaliers
Waiting For Next Year
Fear The Sword
20 Second Timeout
Cavalier Attitude

Detroit Pistons
Empty the Bench
Detroit Bad Boys

Indiana Pacers
Indy Cornrows

Milwaukee Bucks
The Bratwurst

to Preseason Chat: Lakers v. Raptors

  1. I’d love it if there is a place that I can watch this game…is there a stream like there was for yesterday’s game?


  2. Boy,does Phil love length.Four centers? I think Mihm looks really good.I liked him when they first got him and was sorry for his injuries.Hope he plays a lot this year

    Stoogetv, almost always has the games.


  3. What time is this game? Yahoo says its the clippers that r playing the raps.


  4. While I’m partial to Ariza, I did notice a strong chemistry between him, Farmar, and Odom, and a similar strong chemistry between the VladRad and the starting unit. So, even if Trevor is the eventual heir apparent at SF, maybe it makes sense to stick him with the 2nd unit and Vlad with the 1st. I was very impressed by both last game — both looked active, sharp, and productive according to their different strengths.


  5. the game should be up at at start time


  6. lakersfaninraptorland October 19, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    FYI the game is being shown on nba tv in toronto…. not sure if it’s shown on the west coast as well.


  7. thanks silly B


  8. Wow, this is the first game I’ve watched and I like the way Phil is trapping the pick and roll. Also like the way we are trying to feed the post


  9. Thanks, Silly!

    Is this your site? Does it have all the games?


  10. no, it’s not my site. since i’ve moved out of lakers territory i’ve been finding links to watch in the forums at

    this one has had all of the games so far this preseason, here’s hoping they keep it up all year.


  11. Thanx Silly


  12. the other Stephen October 19, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    quite a shootout at the end. don’t know if it was sloppy, but great defense, or truly great defense that forced all those turnovers.

    chris mihm unleashed!


  13. My first full preseason game watching and the Lakers are looking pretty good. The chemistry between Farmar and Ariza is amazing. Those two just have complement each other on the floor really well. Their perimeter defense today was like a wrecking crew. And the highlight of the game was of course the off the backboard from Farmar to Ariza.

    It’s nice to have the NBA back again.


  14. Ariza is the MAN. I’v e said it before, but him and Jordan make a GREAT pairing off the bench.


  15. FSW had a brief moment with Ryan Colangelo, GM of the Raptors, and he was asked about the Laker’s chances this year, with the addition of Bynum. The guy was giddy. You could tell his excitement as a hoops fan, at seeing a squad like this put together. Classic. We have a couple of pairings that work really well out there, and Luke even showed signs of assertiveness. I hope he ups his stock enough that we can trade him for peanuts. Not to spit on a man already on the ground, but Luke is a shadow of a redundancy. Tonight we put together an NBA performance. Nice to see. I am giddy for the start of season.


  16. Kareem,
    I wouldn’t be so eager to get rid of Walton. On the second unit, Walton (with his skill set and mentality) is a key player. Sometimes I feel like some of the guys on the second unit, guys like Farmar, Sasha, and even Bynum, those guys can have gunner mentalities where they are very aggressive on offense and like to attack a lot. Now, I’m fine with that, as I like agressive players and guys that don’t shy away from shooting when they’re open. However, I feel like those guys need to be balanced with guys who are more unselfish and look to get them involved. Luke is that guy (Odom is showing a lot in this regard as well). Luke’s also one of our better passers and one of the more knowledgeable players about our offense. This makes it so he sees the floor very well and has a knack of setting guys up in an efficient manner while also effectively moving without the ball in a way that helps our offense flow better. So, I don’t really see a reduncy, at least not when it comes to the style of game he plays. Sure, he may be another SF, but his game is easily the most well rounded (at least offensively) of all the SF’s on the team, and I think he’s a real glue player for that unit when he’s on the court.


  17. Bynum and Gasol looked much better together in tonight’s game. It seemed like anytime the Lakers ran a Kobe/Gasol pick n roll Kobe got doubled and he’d flip the ball over to Pau in the highpost area. The natural inclination is for the opposing center to rotate over and cover Pau but of course this leads to a wide open Bynum sitting underneath the rim. I see lots of possibilities here going forward.

    Also, Ariza is awesome. You gotta feel for Kapono who totally saw the pass off the backboard for dunk coming but was powerless to defend it.


  18. Luke may have his positives, but it still doesn’t match up with the enormous contract he has. If the Lakers can trade him mid-season (i know everyone keeps saying it’s impossible, but if Luke does step his game up) for an expiring contract, Lamar Odom will be able to come back. Now some of you might question the irony – if Luke steps up, why trade him? The answer is compared to Luke, Lamar is FAR more important, and trading Luke for an expiring contract automatically provides cap space for lamar to sign a new contract. Besides Luke, I think Vlad is also a good option given his great performance in preseason and his length as a shooter. Let’s hope someone wants luke or vlad…


  19. Kenny,

    Darius makes a very good point about Luke being the glue guy on the second line-up. Even though he is young, his basketball IQ makes him a more mature player. You need someone like that on the floor to get the younger guys to calm down and and tell them what they should be doing. Also, pretty much everyone around the league know how inflated Luke’s contract is, so trading him straight across for an expiring contract seems like wishful thinking. Although having Lamar back, would be great!

    I think if the Lakers are gonna make a trade at all, it would be for Lamar and another for solid back-up big. But that look unnecessary. I think these are the key factors on whether or not we see a trade:

    – The post game must continue to improve, with Bynum and Gasol really learning to play off of each other
    – Lamar must adjust to the role PJ gives him. He’s either gonna be coming off of the bench or playing at starting PF, depending on how Bynum and Gasol are performing. He has to keep focus and come out with energy throughout the year.
    – Bynum is the key to improving our defense. He needs to clog up the lane and grab some rebounds.

    As long as those three things keep happening, a trade this year looks pretty unnecessary.

    Also, concerning the SF spot, Radman looks like the best bet for now. Realistically though, there’s no way he keeps this up the whole year. Look for PJ to tinker with starting lineup as the year goes along depending on performances. I don’t think we’re gonna have 5 set guys that are gonna end up on the floor to close-out tight games. Instead look for PJ to go to whoever has been hot in that game. With such a deep, talented bench that can be any guy on a particular night, ad that seems the best way to take advantage of it.


  20. my first full game watching the lakers this pre-season. Some things worth mentioning:

    * The starting five of Bynum, Gasol, Radman, Kobe and Fish looks set. just a few more games to polish the chemistry of the starting five and i think the will be awesome!

    * Gasol being replaced by Odom at around the 5 and a half min mark is a good change up, then gasol replaces bynum at around the 2 min mark will keep at least 2 of our four stars in the game at all times

    * The second unit of Farmar, ariza, odom, walton and probably gasol is like a second starting five that can match up with any other starting unit in the NBA.

    * Ariza has a definite chemistry with farmar, and Odom with the two. from what i saw earlier, odom is definitely getting into game shape and knowing his role for this team. (awesome to watch him coming in at PF, then switching to SF and then PG. now, who would want to trade away such a versatile player?

    * with the impending inclusion of sasha to the 2nd unit, that five will be the peskiest, most energizing five in the league (i predict the lakers leading the league in team steals and forced turnovers)

    * Powell should be given regular minutes. Mbenga should be kept ( I think right now he is better than mihm) as these two will bring toughness in this team. Sun Yue should spend half the season or this season in the NBDL. Heath may be a better option (as the 3rd PG) than Coby Karl playing behind Kobe, Fish, Farmar, Sasha, Ariza

    with all that being said, i cant wait for the season to start. This team is going to be special! I cant see why we wont be in every single game for this next season with our roster


  21. In the last two games, teams look reluctant to test the Laker interior defense. The Lakers have been creating a lot of turnovers as opponents swing the ball around on the perimeter.


  22. Kenny,
    Luke’s contract is not enormous by NBA standards. I believe that it is slightly below average.


  23. Darius,
    Like the notion that Denver has a strong defense (just their pace is breakneck), my mind disagrees with what my eyes see. Yes, Luke might be “unselfish” and a good ball handler, but, more than that, he is a liability on offense. When I say that he is ‘unassertive’ as a player, I mean ‘slow to react’. He often holds on to the ball too long, takes ill-advised shots (at this point, any time he spots up for a three, that is an ill-advised shot), and does not take advantages of opportunities when they are presented to him. On defense, if he gets a quick three playing him, he is a defensive liability as well. I was one of the Walton hold-outs, the last several years, and two years ago he showcased some promise; but we already have so much depth at the SF position, that he becomes a redundancy–5 million times–for the next five years.

    All that said, no team will take Walton’s unfortunate contract, especially now that D’Antonni coaches the Knicks. It’s no Starbury, but it is a head-scratcher


  24. Kareem,
    I gotta disagree that Luke is a liability on offense. He may not be the best shooter we have, but he’s good enough that I don’t mind when he takes the open shot. Also, I think that his versatility on offense makes it so he could never be a true liability. Last night, when Luke was playing SF, he intiated the offense on the strong side with a post pass into the hub of the Triangle and then made his hard dive cut to the basket. After that, he set a down screen for the PF on the weakside, and then pinned the man he screened for a quick post up. Gasol gave him an easy pass and Luke got a layup. Now, that may seem like nothing, but besides Luke, the only other players that we have that run that same play with the same effectiveness are Kobe and Odom. That’s only one example….and I could give several more. In the end, Luke has an all-court game that makes it so he can play any position on the floor in the offense and that is a valuable thing when you consider that he can score, but is even more valuable because he is a great passer. For our offense (or any read and react, passing offense) that is a strong trait to have. There’s a reason we extended him and Phil continues to give him minutes. Also, his contract is not bad. Luke signed a 6 yr. $24 mil contract with standard raises. That’s below the mid-level exception and this year he makes less than Rad, Sasha, and Fisher (BTW, he doesn’t make more than $5 mil in a season until the 2010-11 season). The only guys that get a lot of playing time that make less than Luke are Bynum and Farmar (who are on their rookie contracts) and Ariza. Would it be better if Luke made in the 3 mil range? Sure, but I don’t remember everyone saying it was a bad deal when Luke signed it, and I think it’s fair for what he provides when he’s healthy. He is a contributor to this team.


  25. In 2007, coming off of his best statistical season, sure the contract seemed deserved. In 2008, coming off of a Finals run, considering the depth we have at the SF position and the contract decisions for the next year, Luke doesn’t really fit in. We need more matter with less art. If you look beyond last game–granted this is preseason–Luke is not a harbinger of offensive competence. Luke’s offensive prowess aside, what we as Laker fans must really know, that we will live and die by our defense. Athleticism is not one of Luke’s stronger qualities, and I can’t remember to what degree he moves laterally, but I remember it to be to a low degree.

    Would Luke’s five million be a burning question, if we all did not have ‘dynasty’ on our hearts? No, not at all. But I want Lamar to stay, even as the sixth man. The only way FO can offer him what he deserves is by way of trade. Either we trade away one of these contacts, we cut LO loose, or we trade away LO. It’s not my money, but we’re nearing a time when all is not right in America; will Buss be affected enough that LO cannot stay? Darius, what do you see, after the end of this season, happening to our roster, with and without a championship.


  26. Kareem,
    I think winning would convince Dr. Buss to spend more on the roster in order to keep it together. I also think that if we win a title, it would lead Odom to want to stay and possibly take less money than what he could get on the open market.

    My overall view on the payroll is that it’s high, but the Lakers are a very profitable team and are willing to go over the tax line. By how much is something that no one knows.

    In the end, the reason that I don’t worry about a trade of Walton or of Radman is because, based off the rules of the CBA, we’d need to bring back in close to equal salary to make a trade work. That being the case, I’m not down for swapping off players we know and like unless there is a real upgrade in either talent or fit. So, while it’d be nice if ALL of our players made a little bit less money in the Spurs/Pistons model (that means Kobe, Gasol, Odom, and soon Bynum too) I understand that it’s not the case. And ultimately, while we can argue the merits of our best players making the most they possibly can, I also think that when evaluating player salaries that we just can’t look at a Walton and RadMan and say they should make less, because frankly, as I said before, I think ALL of our players should make a little less (I just don’t begrudge them for not wanting to do that). If I had may way, Kobe would make 2-4 mil less a year, Gasol would make 1-3 mil less a year, Odom would make 3 mil less a year, and Bynum would sign a reasonable extention. Since that really can’t happen, I don’t know what else to say besides: Let Buss pay the tax and keep our talented team together. I see real value in Walton and Radman. And, unless there is some real upgrade or a much better fit, I’d rather have those guys than some other teams 4-5 million dollar player who may not be any better than the guys we have.

    Now, some disagree with me about this stuff, and that’s fine. I like a healthy debate. But in the end, it’s going to be tough to convince me that a healthy Walton can’t help this team. I think his smarts and well rounded game (on offense) is a valuable variable to our 2nd unit.


  27. Bryant, Bynum, Gasol, Odom, Fisher, Radmanovich, Ariza, Sasha, Farmar: that’s nine players that I would put in the game before thinking about Walton. Five million dollars is a lot to give to a tenth option. I don’t think that we need to trade up or even change up. We need to free up cap and keep a couple roster spots open for developing players.

    I think Odom might sign for 10 million, but we might need him to sign at 8 in order to offer Bynum the money he probably deserves. An expiring contract of around 4 or 5 million dollars would really do wonders at solving that problem. Hey, I hope that Buss has deep pockets, the deepest pockets ever, if that keeps our team in contention.

    Buss makes plenty of money, I’m not too worried about his pockets drying up. That man pulled in 30 million from the team two years ago (more last year?), and probably has plenty sitting in the bank. The question you mentioned really hits the mark. How much is Buss willing to shell before he protects his neck?

    Here’s my contingency: if we need to clear up cap space for our major signings, Walton is on my ‘most expendable stars’ list. He sits a top that list; and after Walton, the list becomes spare and full of difficult, team defining decisions. If we get rid of any of the aforementioned nine, we change the current or future character of the Lakers. I don’t feel that same conviction with Walton. Anyways, we’re both stubborn on this point. I like Walton. Just not if it means sacrificing someone else on the roster who I enjoy more.


  28. I understand where you’re coming from fully. And I’ve always been an advocate of making the best move possible for the current and future prospects of a successful team. And I think you’re right about Walton and his 10th best player status on the team. Although, I would say (again) that I think he’s one of the more well rounded players that can contribute in more ways than Radman or Sasha (even) because those guys are more specialists (mostly shooting and spacing with some defense from Sasha, and some adequate passing/ball handling), whereas Luke is a guy that the coaches want to be a facilitator of offense and handling the ball/initiating offense while also using his strengths in moving off the ball and posting up to score. While he may not be the best player, that’s a fair amount of repsponsibility for a 10th man.