Shot Charting The Lakers

Kurt —  November 10, 2008


Since talking about the Lakers shooting — bad, maybe not that bad — is all the rage, I decided to shot chart the last two Lakers games. Here are some observations from that exercise:

• Like all teams, the Lakers are at their best when they get the ball in the paint. It seems obvious, but when you look at the tough quarters for the Lakers (the first half against the Clippers, the first quarter against the Rockets) the Lakers shot chart looks like it was done with a shotgun. Just all over the place. But when the Lakers are playing well, the shots are almost all in the paint, or threes off kick-outs. Some of that ties into the pace of the game, the Lakers get more shots in the paint when the tempo is up, either off traditional fast breaks or having Bynum or Gasol post up early and deep.

• The Lakers sharpshooters, Radmanovic in particular, get to the corner three (a good spot in the triangle) a lot. By my count the Lakers shot 45% on those corner threes the last two games (5 of 11).

• Kobe is getting his shots in spots that Michael Jordan used to get a lot of his. He can still shoot and hit from anywhere, but he is into the middle of the paint for shots, either off post plays or cutting off a screen, and he is getting a lot of looks from the free throw area. (It should be noted that while Kobe had about 8 shots from about five feet or in (not counting layups or dunks) he hit only two, but I think that is due to Yao Ming, Chris Kaman and Marcus Camby being good interior defenders.)

• Gasol just knows how to score in the paint. He is using the 15-footer less than the first couple games this year, but is posting up opposing fours that can’t stop him on the block, and he has a wide variety of moves in the paint.

• Bynum — don’t try to lay the ball up, just dunk it.

• Fisher is great going hard to the rim or from three, but his midrange game seems off. I had him shooting just 25% from the midrange, which means he should take that shot only if wide open, not try to create it too much for himself. At least he has stopped with the PUJIT, for the most part.

• Farmar is sort of the same as Fisher, except he is making better decisions on when to shoot right now.

• Ariza has worked hard to develop an outside shot, and it’s better, but he is still at his best when he gets to the rim, either in transition or in the half court. The jumper is just keeping defenders honest now.

• The Lakers length is really bothering other teams at the rim. Combined the Rockets and Clippers shot just 55% at the rim (on dunks, layups and tip ins). This reminds me to say, if you didn’t read Gatinho’s post from last Friday about Phil Jackson and the Lakers organizational philosophy of getting length, go do that now.

• Most teams have a side they prefer to shoot from in the offense (the Rockets are on the extreme of this, really being a left-handed team as Bill Bridges put it) but the Lakers are much harder to read that way. Part of it is how much they are getting into the paint, but part is just how they are running the offense.

Kurt

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50 responses to Shot Charting The Lakers

  1. Does it seem like Fisher is “forcing the issue” with his shot selection more this season?

    Any thoughts as to why they have a tendency to start off slowly? I know that the second unit is better than probably any other second unit in the league, but on paper the starters are also better than just about any other starting lineup, yet often they seem to not be in a good rhythm until the second quarter.

    I’m thinking that it’s a combination of FIsher over-shooting a little, and the fact that Bynum and the others don’t seem to have gotten a good comfort level with his game yet.

  2. I’d like to think that the last two games is due simple to the long layoffs between games. as soon as they started to click in the 2nd quater, and yes the 2nd unit helped that change, but as soon as they “got it” again the game was over. Houston had no answer to all the things that the Lakers could do on the offensive end and had no answer on how to score against the Lakers defense.

    And I’d alos like to think that all those turnovers in the first half were also part of shaking the rust off…I hope that we dont see that all season long.

  3. Not exactly on-topic as far as shooting, but I loved this stat from Adande on last night’s game:

    “For all the stat geeks, Ariza had a plus/minus of +34 Sunday night. Put that in your web browser and click it. Good things happen when Ariza is on the court, even if he doesn’t always get his name called over the loudspeakers when the play is finished.

    “He’s like a ghost out there,” Jackson said. “Like a shadow. Just all of a sudden he shows on a screen, he’s gone. He’s a blip and he’s away.'”

    Ariza is fast becoming my favorite Laker not named Kobe. He’s been phenomenal this season.

  4. exhelodrvr,
    I think we’re struggling at the start of games (recently) because our first unit is so dependent on our half court sets, and we’re not running those sets crisply. Our timing and ball movement has not been very good and we end up seeing a lot of isolations from the post. Kobe, Pau, and Bynum are all looking to score for themselves when the ball goes into them on the low block, and I’ve noticed that the off ball movement when the ball goes into the post is not quick or acted out with any urgency and the off ball screens are not set with purpose. This isn’t *all* the time, but it’s happening more than what I’d like to see it happen.

    For example, when the ball is on the strong side and the Triangle is set up with Pau in the post, and Fisher makes a post entry from the top of the key area, he should be diving hard (on a dive cut) and setting a down screen on Bynum’s man (who is on the weakside of the paint) so that Bynum can curl across the paint in order to (potenially) receive a quick pass from Gasol. I haven’t seen us run that play once with any conviction. Instead the ball goes into the post, Fisher dive cuts through the lane and then everyone just stands and watches Gasol go to his isololation, or they half heartedly set the weakside screens that are designed in the offense, but not with enough purpose to actually free anyone up.

    You’ll notice that when the starting group is in the game, the ball stalls for just a second or two longer on ball reversals because the players on the weakside aren’t immediately open (and that’s due to not executing crisply enough on the weakslde). Ultimately, we’re scoring fine on those isolations or when players have to help on the player with the ball and open looks are created off that help (as happens a ton when it’s Kobe with the ball), but we could be playing better off the ball in moving with more purpose and executing more crisply and getting players easier looks off the designe movement in the offense rather than just relying on the pure talent of the players.

    Now, all this changes when the 2nd unit comes in because their focus in purely on tempo and speeding up the game through pressure defense and early offense. But early in the game, that 1st unit, who rely more on the half-court sets to score points, are going to have to execute better off the ball or we’re going to continue to see a brand of solid, but not as efficient, offense that we’ve seen in the past few games. Playing a lot of one-on-one ball will lead to those types of good but not great production. (Unless our guys are smoking hot, then all bets are off and we’ll look great. Realize though, that we can’t depend on just being hot all of the time. I’d rather run the crisp sets and punish the opponent with our execution).

  5. I also think that the first quarter was more about shaking off the little rust collected during the long break than anything else. But we still have to be careful about getting into too big of a hole like we did against Rockets. Our second unit has played great all 5 games so far this season, but there is going to be a few games throughout the season when they might end up hurting us as well with their sometime erratic plays. Our defense has looked great all 5 plays but not for a FULL game. We have played great D at the end of games, no doubt. But we cant let team get away with in the first half like we have done few times already. Last time game could have turned into a laugher for Houston, had it not been for the spark provided by 2nd unit in the second quarter. If there is a weakness I have seen from our club, its the fact that our D is first half needs to be as crisp as it has been in the second half of the games.

  6. The Lakers under Phil have always been rusty after unusually long layoffs. Most extreme of this is probably the 01 Finals but the offense always looks ragged and the passes lazy after a few too many days of rest.

    On topic, I love the shots Kobe has been getting this season. His percentages don’t necessarily reflect that he’s getting much better shots but fewer threes, none of those long twos and most of the shots coming in or around the free throw line off penetration, post ups and generally just getting to wherever he wants to go on the floor makes for an efficient Kobe. Reminds me of the conference Finals we just had against San Antonio.

  7. I found the Lakers’ strong side trap/weak side zone more noticeable while Odom was in the game. Is its use more frequent when the 2nd unit is in there, or was this just a situational/matchup thing?

    I’m also looking forward to this scheme being tested by Hornets. If any team’s equipped to wreak havoc on this scheme, they’re the team.

  8. chibi,
    I’ve noticed that as well. I think it has to do with Odom’s ability to cover more ground as a rotator so he’s prone to exaggerating the zone and using his superior speed to rotate back if the ball moves/gets reversed. I also think that because Odom is not a 7 footer like Gasol/Bynum that he needs to come out further on the strong side zone because he can’t use natural size to deter/block shots in the paint the way that Gasol/Bynum can. You’ll notice that when Odom rotates to the rim or he’s showing the strong side zone look right at the paint/rim that offensive players have an easier time finishing over him than if Bynum/Gasol were to occupy that same position. Odom’s using his quickness and length (with his size being the last variable) in the zone, whereas Bynum and Gasol are using their natural size and length in this zone (with their quickness to help/recover being the last variable) if that makes sense. (not sure if that was a clear explanation or not).

  9. Question for those of you who know more than I do… What the chemistry like between Bynumite and Gasoline off the court?

  10. I should also add that because Odom has superior quickness for his size, I’m sure he comes out further on the zone so that he can trap more frequently. With Odom’s size, length, and quickness he’s an ideal trapper on the wing.

  11. Darius, thanks. It may be a matter of perception.

    And it just goes to show how versatile Odom is, being strong enough to man the low post, long enough to protect the paint, and quick enough to trap or rotate effectively.

  12. Kurt and Simon-Good points about where Kobe is getting shots, he really has made an effort to get good looks, and sooner than later the fg% will reflect that.

    Our best lineup (eyeball wise if not stat wise) may be with Farmar, Kobe, Ariza, Pau and Drew. Teams have a real tough time scoring on this unit.

  13. can someone explain to me MArc Stiens Power Rankings? How did Boston Leap Frog the Lakers…he explains becasue of thier road defeats of Houston and Detroit…but Houston was by 5 and Detroit has a new player that they are adjusting too (that is sort of a biug deal I would think)

    Not only do the Lakers have a point diff of +22.4 (averagine 106.8 a game to boot) but they are also holding oppents to 84.4 points a game where Boston is holding opponents to 86.71. That is the Best Defense and the Best Offense in the league for the Lakers. Boston is 3rd in points allowed (which is solid) but they are 25th is point scored (at 92.38)…granted that is enough to get them wins but…that dosent seem spectacular to me.

    I dont hold much weight to the Power Rankings…I was just curious if there is some formula used or something.

  14. -14 Power rankings are just a way to fill space for columnists. And since they want more people to read their work, it makes sense to try to keep things interesting as opposoed to following conventional wisdom or leaving the same team(s) on top each week. So this week he puts Boston on top (despite its loss to the Pacers). That gets Boston fans to read his reasoning, and Laker fans to read it and argue, “Is he crazy?” Next week Boston fans will read to see if the Cetics are still on top, and Lakers fans will read to see if he’s come to his senses. Either way, his audience grows.

    As for the Lakers’ slow starts, I still see some tentativeness in the half court sets as Pau and Bynum try to ease into the flow of the game. Neither wants to force an outside shot early, so it’s a matter of working into the flow and getting into the right spaces as they begin to adjust to the defense.

    Fisher needs to do a better job of directing traffic and getting those guys going early on, rather than taking his own shots or working the perimeter. The offense is much better when they work inside-out, and it just seems to take a quarter to sort out that flow from night to night.

    It’s early in the season and I think they’ll get better as they year goes on at playing well in the first quarter. But so long as they figure it out and have a lead at the end of four, all’s well that ends well.

  15. Phil Needs to make a change.
    New Starting Line up:
    – Farmar
    – Kobe
    – Ariza
    – Gasol
    – Bynum

    We need to establish that deffensive presence early!

  16. 14. My guess is that Boston’s schedule was harder this weak with road games against Hou, and Det. No formula he just bases it on what he sees. The Lakers have only played one road game so far. But they have Dal (who is playing pretty bad right now) and NOH on a road back to back coming up.

    Way to early for this, but an interesting stat. The Lakers are ranked #1 in defensive Eff and #2 in offensive efficiency. The only other team to do that were the 96 bulls (though as Hollinger pointed out they did it through 82 games).

  17. burningjoe,

    They are the defending champs. Plus, it’s only Marc Stein’s opinion. This sin’t the NCAA BCS system. No biggie.

    exhelodrvr,

    I think Fish is forcing the issue more, and somet,es I cringe at his shot selection, but overall, I think his agressive ness is good because it makes teams play him, and not allow them to roam a defender like Kobe does with Rondo or Brewer.

    One thing I’m liking so far, is the shot selection. We are getting well timed, and good looks. As Kurt mentioned, the 3’s aren’t forced. They’re coming from inside out, penetration kick outs, or good ball rotation. No Rafer Alston type of shots.

    I’ve said this before, but how fast has T-Mac fallen from being a superstar ?

  18. 4 – “isololation”

    lulz.

    The Lakers are running two parallel teams. The first team does a great job of softening up the other teams starters. Then, in comes the bench mob in and completely screws with the tempo.

    Has there ever been another team that could effectively pull this off? 1-9 can play either style (with the possible exception Senór Cadet). Phil’s matchup dreams are turning into opposing coaches nightmares.

  19. 19. Even after I proofread, I can’t spell.

  20. ok so its stricly opinion then…the Rankings…and I figured this but…for some reason…maybe I am messing Stein up with Holligner and his ranking thing he does…

    And the Lakers had 2 road games…they played the Clippers on the “road”.

  21. Bit off topic from shooting, but anybody notice how LO tends to charge into opponents at least once or twice a game (especially off a hard dribble-drive or a spin move to the rack)?
    He trucked over someone again last night (i can’t remember… Landry, maybe?), and I often find myself cringing or holding my breath when I see LO taking it to the rack when there are 2-3 defenders sitting in the paint. Don’t get me wrong, I love his drives from the wings when he beats his defender and coasts in for a dunk–I’m talking about those times when the paint is obviously packed and he takes it straight in, anyways.
    Sometimes I’d wish he use some side-stepping motion, pull up for a floater, or use a hesitation dribble to beat his defender instead of steamrolling over them.

  22. 22-He’s been doing that since the late 90’s. LO is LO. In the words of Denny Green, “he is what you thought he’d be”.

  23. Cowens: Lakers Are Fakers
    Nov 10, 2008 4:34 PM EST

    Dave Cowens, a legendary member of the Celtics and current assistant coach for the Pistons, had some harsh words for the Lakers.

    Detroit fell to Boston in the Eastern Conference Finals, but Cowens still rooted for his old team in the NBA Finals.

    “Oh, sure,” Cowens said of pulling for the Celtics. “Especially when they’re playing the Fakers.”

    WOW ..

  24. If the Lakers are having trouble shooting so far, the league should be very worried.

    According to Hollinger’s numbers, the Lakers are second in the league in offensive efficiency, 6th in True Shooting % and 8th in EFG%. Out of 30 teams.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/teamstats?sort=offeff&seasonType=2&league=nba

    (Also first in defensive effeciency).

    I’ll be happy to see where those numbers are once the team finds its stroke…

    On defense, the LA Times blog has a good, quick snapshot of how well the Lakers are challenging teams’ first scoring options and forcing other guys to beat them. http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2008/11/some-very-encou.html

    They don’t include Yao on that chart, but I know that Yao, Artest and Tmac combined to score something like 23 points last night. If we are still able to make claims like this come May, I like our chances.

  25. The Laker starters seem to have a sometime habit of swinging the ball around the perimeter without any penetration. The good defensive teams try to get you to do this. That way the opponent uses up clock doing nothing and players are moving sideways or highly contested when they finally do take a shot. With this Laker team having both Gasol and Bynum down low there should never be an excuse for this type of play.

    Fortunately it comes and goes, but it does really bug me. Oh well! If that’s all I have to worry about this is starting out to be a pretty good year.

  26. That’s why they’re called ‘starters’ – they start because they can weather opposing teams’ adrenaline better and can cope while PJ and the bench make adjustments for the second unit.

    You throw your best talent out there because they’re best at reacting to unknowns, and after you get a feel of what the other team is trying to do, you counter with your second unit who are not as talented and need some pointers to be effective.

    Think Lamar alluded to this once saying that he gets to see the game differently if he’s not starting. So although I don’t like our starters to fall behind by 16, we can afford such more than any other team cuz our second unit, armed with the knowledge of what our opponents are trying to do, can keep things up with most teams’ starting units while bringing a different look that the other team did not see.

    I can’t begin to imagine the frustration from the opposing team IF we put our minds to the game. Slashers, passers, long range bombers, creators, defenders, floppers, pests… we got them all and hopefully we’ll also have someone emerge as a bully down low.

  27. Wow, I just saw this at TrueHoop:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbOgK1tTFQw&eurl=http://myespn.go.com/nba/truehoop

    He’s USC’s OJ Mayo replacement. Just watch the first dunk (starts at 0:44).

  28. I think we are seeing the effects, positive and negative, of long layoffs and early season. With the sort of early mini-camp opportunity the Lakers have had a chance to really work on incorporating everyone into the system and establish the expected habits of a nine deep team. Now that the games will be coming more often the team will have a chance to tighten up game situation performance and grow into the monster the whole league will fear. As good as Boston was last year, this team has the makings of an all time great champion whose biggest weakness might just be not having any equal in the league.

  29. 22.

    you’re completely right, every time Lo drives to the hoop, he NEVER changes direction or attempt to lean towards a side to avoid the charge (the kobe guys does it well) it is extremely hard to watch…

    also, on the side note… *flame suit on*

    last night it was one of those night were kobe accepted the “challenge” by ron artest… on many instances where artest is guarding kobe and vice versa, kobe is extra motivated to guard him… on the offensive end, he’s taking shots that should’ve been passed to others… (that pass to a wide open gasol is questionable because clearly kobe wanted to shoot the rock… i would think opposing coaches could “challenge” kobe and hope he takes it personally and takes more shots… if he make majority of them and i lose, so be it… but i would gamble on that and take my chances.

    at least it’s better than vegas 50:50

    just a small rant,

  30. 29. DeRozan is the real deal. Been raving about him for a while:

    http://jonesonthenba.com/2008/06/wrapping-up-2008-draft-and-looking.html

    Also, I wish there was a way the Lakers could get Crittenton back and develop for a few years down the road. He inexplicably has only played one minute this season while Mike Conley has been stinking it up. If they don’t want him, I’m sure the Lakers would happily take him back :).

  31. i’d rather think that these are start-of-the-season jitters. this laker starting group SHOULD blast other teams off the roof but so far they have not in beginning of games. against the rockets, i noticed that they were a step too slow at times and when they tried, the rockets were simply hitting even ill-advised shots. passes were not crisp, the rockets were hustling and we felt a bit shellshocked though what i like is the body language of composure they displayed. that can carry you through games. so a combination of those really put us in deep. i am not comfortable with us getting hit like this night in and out against contenders. one thing i hope not to see is how the lakers had the tendency of letting go of double-digit leads last year. i think this won’t happen now with our 2nd unit showing toughness, skill and spunk. but i do believe we are capable of owning the first quarter. just wait and see. go lakers!

    oh, and someone should get to lamar’s face every time. it elevated his hustle game a bit. i like to see that fire lit underneath him.

  32. Jones: Agreed on Critt–I was thinking about that just the other day. Eventually Fish will be gone and Critt would make a great triangle-guard

    Kurt: I think the point is not made enough (and I’m glad you did it): for as much as Kobe isn’t of Jordan’s caliber, there’s also a lot to be said for the lack of attention given to distinguish between the roles that Kobe and Jordan have played in the triangle. People think that just because they have the same coach and similar playing styles that they operated exactly the same way in the offense, which is just not true. It might have been said on FB&G before, but when Kobe’s been shifted to 15ft-and-in duties (traditional SF range) i.e. Jordan position, his eFG%’s have been off the charts. Like, Jordan good.

  33. I like Memphis’ team. I always thought they would make a splash this season, and O.J. Mayo is starting to show why I think he’ll win the ROY. But I’m not too surprised that Memphis still hasn’t traded one of those guards. I’m am surprised to see Crit getting no minutes though. Greg Buckner, who has never done anything, and doesn’t fit into any future plans is getting more mintues than Crit. What’s the point in that? He’s either being taught a lesson, or will be traded. It doesn’t make sense to not give an obviously talented 20 yo no minutes on a team whose only goal should be to get better.

  34. Hart, I’m not sure that “Kobe isn’t of Jordan’s caliber”. You’re at a Lakers site and those wurds are liable to start an apocalypse, ya hear? Apples to oranges. Kobe has that same awe inspiring presence that Jordan had, and that is probably what even grants the comparison. As good as LeBron is, few compare him to Jordan yet. He doesn’t share the same skills or expectations as a Jordanite. Both Kobe and Jordan have traditional NBA physiques; it is their elevation from the rest, given essentially the same tools, that makes them special: their touch and explosiveness that sets off hush and applause. Kobe is as close to Jordan as we will get, but he is so different from Jordan. I wonder if Kobe’s Colorado is what gambling was to Jordan. They both were two year black sheep because of their transgressions.

    I will agree with you on Kobe’s low post game. That, if anything, will win us the perfect season.

  35. Side point here:

    I was watching the highlights of the Toronto-Boston game last night. Basically what happened was that the Raptors outplayed the C’s over the first half, and then Boston some time in the third put on the defensive pressure and Pierce went off. C’s win – Fine.

    My main issue has been what other sites have been calling the “passion” of Kevin Garnett. Now, I had these qualms before the finals last year, so don’t think of this as Celtic hatred. During one point in the game, Calderon was bringing the ball up and Garnett started clapping in his face, and then as they continued up the floor, Garnett continued and wagged his finger in Calderon’s face. Many have lauded Garnett about his passion and intensity. I think they’re way off here.

    The actions that Garnett took on the court were truly animalistic. You can be passionate on the court in many ways, but to clap in someone’s face up the court? That’s truly unprofessional. On the playground, be my guest. This, however, is the NBA, and Garnett looked like an intimidating thug out there.

    And for some to call these actions passionate? I think that’s abominable.

  36. Kareem,

    I agree with you. Of course Kobe is of Jordan’s caliber. It’s lunacy to discount Kobe, although as of now, I will say that Jordan is the greatest ever. Although, Magic is my guy.

    The thing that I love about the NBA the most is the way legacies are made and/or destroyed. In no other sport is the star more directly involved in a team’s success than in basketball. For example, Peyton Manning was always great, but didn’t win a Super Bowl until he had a defense to match. Jordan is still fresh in our minds, but to my younger brothers (21 and 17), Jordan is legend and a sneaker king. They see MJ on NBA TV Hardwood Classics or YouTube highlights. He isn’t a player they could experience. Kobe is. LeBron is. The NBA has to have a player who ranks above all.

    If Kobe can win 4 more Chips, then it would be in the NBA’s best interests to market Kobe as the ON PAR with Jordan. They have to annoint a greatest ever for every generation or else, what are they selling? By my calculations, it is far easier for Kobe to win 3-4 Chips with this Laker team than it would be for LeBron to win 7 Chips. I see the NBA putting their eggs in Kobe’s basket unless LeBron goes crazy and starts winning now. Let’s assume LeBron plays until he’s 38. He would have to win 7 out of 14 Finals, starting this season. He has to best both Jordan, AND Kobe to be considered the best ever. If Kobe plays until 38, then it’s 4 out of 8, and Kobe already has THE team.

    I say in 10 years, when Kobe vs. Jordan is brought up. It’s a toss up at best. In 10 years, Jordan will be like Dr. J or Kareem, teenagers will know of Jordan being a geat player, but they won’t KNOW it.

  37. I don’t know if I agree with you Aaron. I do feel that KG gets way too much praise for his faux enthusiasm (dude quit on Minny the last year and nobody hit him with the stuff they did Manny when KG got to Boston), but in THIS instance, he looked like he was just into the game. Defintley not animalistic.

  38. Haha….

    Just read my post over…”By my calculations” That didn’t take too much thnking.

  39. I also meant it’s a toss up at WORST. Between Kobe v. Jordan.

  40. Aaron, that doesn’t bother me. Garnett is an intimidating figure, and he intimidated Jose. This is professional basketball, you need to be able to deal with these things and rise above them, or you are going to lose. It can be hard to rise above KG, but that’s what it’s about.

  41. Aaron,

    Kurt has a point. KG’s energy has turned that bench into a reliable group because of his antics. I’ve seen many games where opposing player’s get timid or thrown off their game because of KG’s smack.

  42. I’m going to repeat what I posted over at BDL concerning KG….

    I love that guy and would want him on my team in a heartbeat. But KG’s a bully. He consistently tries (and mostly succeeds) to gain the upper hand through intimidating other players through talking, pushing, yelling…anything that works. He’s not the most physical player, so he brings a persona to the court that is so intense that he hopes to have you back down (combined with his incredible skill set, of course). Since I think KG’s a bully, I think you treat him like a bully and brush him back…put him on his ass. Whether or not it would work is debatable, but if you just chirp at a bully it doesn’t do anything. You have to knock him down a few times and see how he responds. I’m not suggesting dirty play, but when everyone talks about the physicality of the Celtics, no one talks about giving it back to them….I think you have to test players/teams to see how they respond. Maybe I’m off base here but that’s what I think.

    I don’t think that KG is wrong for what he does, I just think that other players need to do some of the same stuff back….hard fouls, physical play, intimidate the intimidator is how I see it.

  43. Dallas preview is up, and there should be no intimidation issues from the Mavs tonight.

  44. I agree that KG is physical, and intimidating, and its important to be an intimidator. Kobe is intimidating, Jordan was intimidating. But i agree with arron, if kobe did what KG did last night, the whole wagging the finger in someones face as they’re bringing the ball down the court he’d be hit with a T. thats called taunting, and he took it too far last night against Calderon.

  45. Darius,

    I honestly think that the “physicality” of Boston is a overrated myth. The only physical players I would say they had are Perkins and Big Baby Davis. You’re right about handling a bully. KG did a whole lot of shutting up when ever Pau or Lamar took it to him on offense. To a greater extent, LeBron.

  46. I tend to agree to agree with Aaron when more attention should have been given to Kevin Garnett’s defensive “antics” last night. I don’t feel he was necessarily animalistic or thuggish, but it was more a fact of precedence. The finger wag was already outlawed thanks to Dikembe Mutombo’s post-block routine. What Garnett did last night was no less offensive or “unsportsmanlike” than what Mutombo and many others have done in the past that have lead to technical fouls and fines…But because his intensity is praised this type of behavior seems to be commended. I love his game and passion, but last night was in bad taste and should not be replicated or applauded

  47. It’s always refreshing to see a thoughtful blog where intelligent conversation can take place without personal attacks that may have been thrown around on other sites.

    I guess it’s somewhere in between. I agree that Garnett’s passion is something that genuinely motivates his team – I just thought the instance last night was way over the top. For me, some of his antics I think should be toned down when done “in the face” of other players, but true passion is something that we hsould all strive for in whatever we do, and it’s great to see that KG has it.

  48. i find this a refreshing site where lakers fans can freely comment and make interesting observations and comments. content is much more important than spelling and typos. keep expressing peeps!