Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  November 19, 2008

I just got done checking the NBA Rulebook, and it turns out the NBA does not award style points.

So, while we Lakers fans can nit-pick another win, remember that this team did what it needed to do — they stuck with the game plan and got the bigs involved early and often, they forced a turnover on 20% of the Bulls possessions and they held them to a 45.7% shooting (eFG%). The Bulls hung in early because Drew Gooden hit shots, and frankly if he’s the guy beating you then so be it, that’s what you want to force as a defense. But the Lakers did adjust and the Bulls couldn’t really counter that, and then the Lakers started to pull away (the first time). Plus, that Rose guy is pretty good. The game got a little sloppy at times and once again the Lakers seemed to try to avoid playing the triangle, but I think that was in part because of the pace (109 possessions, which is a little faster than the Showtime era tempo).

It’s a win. They don’t all have to be perfect and pretty, particularly in November.

• Apparently the tiff between Ariza and Sasha was because Ariza got mad at Sasha for not moving the ball in the offense. It’s a valid point, but if that’s Ariza’s beef he’s got a lot more people to be pissed at than just Sasha.

These kind of frustrations bubble up occasionally on every team and will likely be dealt with behind close doors. By the end of the game, everyone on the bench was laughing and having a good time. Anyone media member trying to make much more of it than that at this point is trying to invent controversy.

• The best part of having Kevin from Clipperblog now employed at TrueHoop is that his amazing analytical eye on other teams more often. Last night he broke down Rose and it is a must read.

What Rose seems to have, though, is the ability to improvise with purpose. It’s a rare gift, even among pro ballers. The league is littered with open-court players, but how many of them make good tactical decisions on the spot — not just in terms of how to use their body, but how to use the court?

• Matt from Blog-A-Bull had some good insights after the game:

Gordon was cold all night, but was at least still attacking the rim. Rose tried to pull them back with spurts of brilliance, but he wasn’t enough.

I thought Luol Deng looked pretty terrible, including two awful early turnovers: one where he got caught in the air, and another inbounding the ball. Though he was charged with guarding Kobe, and that usually warranted Kirk Hinrich a free pass on the offensive end.

But it’s the frontcourt that really separates the Bulls and the Lakers, and it showed tonight. Drew Gooden was in foul trouble, Noah had a particularly ineffective first half (he was better in the 2nd) so it meant a lot of Aaron Gray….

Bulls got the Lakers in the penalty real early in the 2nd quarter, but did nothing with it.

Pau Gasol sure looked like someone worth trading for.

• I want to echo part of what Matt said: I’ve now watched the last two Bulls games, and I have no idea what happened to the Loul Deng of two years ago. During all the Kobe trade BS of a couple summers ago, I kept if you’re forced to make this deal you don’t do it without getting Deng. He was the star the Lakers needed back. I haven’t seen enough or followed it closely enough to know why he isn’t THAT GUY anymore, maybe it’s the offense, maybe it’s that he is out tonight with a groin injury. But he has not impressed.

• And Bill Simmons is right — can you imagine how much better the Bulls would have looked with D’Antoni as the coach? With Rose running the show, that is a roster that could thrive in his style, and Vinny hasn’t quite figured out how to get them there yet.

• I can’t tell you how excited I am that Top Chef is back for a new season. Seriously. Outside of hoops, Top Chef, Entourage, Mad Men and The Amazing Race are probably the only other shows I watch religiously. I’ll tune in to the occasional ER, and Big Bang Theory makes me laugh but they are not regulars. Loved the first season of Heroes, but man it lost me. Tried again the start of this season and threw in the towel.



44 responses to Fast Break Thoughts

  1. So when are you getting a job offer from ESPN, Kurt? Henry is going to come calling for you at some point…

  2. Henry and I talk all the time, actually, but if I had to choose between hiring me and Kevin, I would have chose Kevin in a heartbeat. Seriously. Great writer, better guy. Perfect fit.

  3. Do you think that Bynum feels bad for getting more money than Gasol? I mean, by comparing his salary and play to Gasol’s he must know he really ripped off the Lakers organization. Don’t get me wrong. He provides some real value for the money. But he’s not as good a Gasol.

    Do you think knowing that everyone is saying this might cause the Beast to play more competitively? Do you think the sight of Gasol creating his own shots and playing aggressively will inspire our young Mr. Bynum?


  4. Kurt,

    I agree with you about Heroes. They’re trying to do too much.

    In the final episode of Entourage, I hope E realizes he’s a moron and is to blame for Vince’s failures,, for being nothing but a yes boy, and not a real manager.

  5. Kurt-Top Chef is a great show, I’ve watched the last 2 seasons. I thought Trey was the best chef from the season Hung won, and I think Stephanie deserved to win last year. This year, my early favorite is Eugene, although Fabio should provide some great entertainment.

  6. Back to the Lakers.

    Right on. I don’t want to complain about anything. It’s still early, and any “problems” we have are to be expected. Phil ALWAYS has his teams peaking at the end of the season and it’s a process getting there, and we’re still getting the W’s. I don’t understand the nit-pickers. Every other team is working out kinks, but no one else is 8-1. I can’t wait until Bynum is comfy, and Vlad and Sasha come around.

    It’s games like last night that led me to beleive Kobe could average 8 assists. Sometimes he gets them so effortlessly, but I see now that Reed was right in that not happening. It would require Kobe not shooting too much, and having a 50+ fg%. But his ppg is around where I expected it to be.

  7. I sincerely appreciate the fact that you guys are into both your masculine sports side and your feminine cooking side. I bet your Lakers potlucks contain more than chips and beer. But, really? Mixing cooking show chatter into a sports blog?


  8. Amazing Race is one of the few shows the wife and I watch together.

  9. 6. I thought Trey was going to win that season, but I wanted him or Dale. Last year I wanted Richard to win but was good with Steph. Too early for me to have a fav this season, but the Euro invasion will make for good TV.

    7. Itls going to be a long seaon. We’ll talk books, movies food, horse racing and more as we go along.

  10. Amazing. You “only” watch four television shows “religiously”.

  11. Did my “Back to the Lakers” come out wrong?

    I’m all for other topics. I wasn’t trying to steer the conversation back to ball.

    Back to Entourage. When I went out to L.A. for Game 4, the only thing that saved my trip was I got to meet Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui) on the way out. I almost forgot about the game. Also, my wife hates this story. Haha.

  12. Heroes is still watchable. Not as good as it was or could have been, but definitely better than season 2.

    I’d suggest at least checking out It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Not for everyone and a bit off kilter, but I loved the first season, which anyone can watch on (along with the classic White Shadow).

  13. 12. no, it was fine, just took me a minute to get to approve it.

  14. 14. And you approved # 3 ?

  15. Heroes is fun but I find it rather difficult to watch religiously – I’d watch like 14 episode in one weekend, but not like an episode a week. It loses me 😉

    The Bulls were never the same since the Kobe-trade-me summer. For some odd reason Kobe just destroyed that franchise, shaking every foundation and probably the trust players have in their franchise.

    As for Kobe getting assists, I think that’s just as dangerous as Kobe getting 40 pts. It just seems that our offense functions best when assists are spread out, not when somebody has like 8 or 10. The good thing about his assists are that they usually come while he attacks the rim. At least that’s my perception of things, maybe somebody could do a study 😉

  16. 14. no, i thought i deleted it. I have now, and in a little bit I will go in and edit the reference numbers in peopleLs posts.

  17. not laker related but along the lines of the discussion of shows…i think this season’s heroes is even more interesting than past seasons. it’s nice to see the multi-dimensional sides of each character. another great show on hbo is Trueblood. it’s definitely worth checking out. Before switching to hbo, i had showtime and Weeds is always fun. of course on Bravo, top chef and project runway are definitely 2 of the top shows around.

  18. Sunday afternoon they have “WKRP In Cincinnatti” reruns on. Best TV show ever.

  19. hello all laker fans. it would be really appreciated if you all voted for the lakers on . we dont really get the laker games up here in vancouver, canada. Having the lakers on every tuesday night on nba tv really makes a lot of laker fans’ weeks, well for those of us who live outside california. thanks

  20. You all absolutely need to watch 30 Rock. It’s amazing. Funniest show on TV by far.

    I kinda got the feeling that the Lakers were in cruise control the entire game, and I guess when you win comfortably in November that’s acceptable. Made the game a little boring to watch though, save for that Rose guy. He’s real good.

  21. “it’s always sunny in philadelphia” is great. “entourage”, “dexter”, “californication” and “true blood” not bad either. not to mention “house”, “the office”. but the best show on tv is always going to be the lakers!

  22. The wire is my favorite tv show. Everything else is just fun after that and Generation Kill.

  23. I’m not concerned about the Ariza/Sasha “tiff” either — but I do find the body wash incident hilarious. I think Sasha is like that annoying little brother every family has.

    Heroes is too formulaic at this point, even for a “comic book” series. I highly recommend “Friday Night Lights” and “Pushing Daisies,” but the latter might be a girl thing.

  24. Well, I’ve now seen Rose two nights in a row, it was good to see Oden out playing again. About the Prime Ticket court side camera views and special interviews, they said later that it was a new format for this season, great, I kinda liked it better than the ‘normal’ view of a game.

  25. in today’s world, we should all be watching on PBS/Friday night, Bill Moyers Journal…that guy has some of the most intellegent guests, speaking about economics, government policies, etc…I learn so much from this guy. check it out, folks, it’s important to know more than what you get from the big 3 news channels.

    chris h writing you all from east TN, …and by the way guys, I tried to get NBA League Pass, but the cable company doesn’t carry it, arrgghh, guess that means me and will be spending some late nights together

  26. chris h.
    check out this link:

    Supposedly, you can sign up for the broadband service of NBA League Pass and access the games right from your computer without having to order the TV version of League pass. Looks like it’s only $99 bucks too. I’ve watched the games online through this service and the quality is good, plus they have a demo on the site for you to watch. Hope this helps.

  27. Also,
    I must say that I’m a Heroes addict, but I get hooked on shows easily. Season 2 was garbage at the beginning, but the 2nd half of the season got a lot better. There are more cheesy moments in the show now, but I still think it’s good. I’ve also gotten way too attached to TrueBlood, but I’m a sucker for most things that HBO puts out.

  28. does anyone think that maybe Deng is tanking it on purpose???

    We know that kid is better than this…but…maybe all that talk about trade and the such…made him to high profile…and he may not like being so “glorified” so he plays below his ability so that he dosent “stick out”. You know what I am saying here? Some people dont like to be THE GUY.

    I still like Heroes…and I dig Entorage…but for me…I just watch History, Military and Nat Geo…i like that stuff a lot.

  29. I watch the terminator show every once in a while. Its usually pretty interesting. I liked Heroes for the first season, and I tried watching it last season and this season but the writing has really gone down since the first season. The only shows I watch all the time are the Daily show and Colbert Report. I catch Bill Moyers when he is covering an interesting topic. POV on PBS sometimes has some interesting stuff too, so I catch that if it is something that interests me (like the one a few weeks ago where they followed 4 people without health insurance).

    I am looking forward to tonights game against PHX. Should be a fun game to watch. It will be interesting to see if Pau can guard Amare (or A’mare or whatever apparently he changed the spelling of his name). Also it will be difficult to trap Nash when he goes base line because he may be the best in the league of going baseline and somehow coming out on the opposite side of the basket for an easy shot.

  30. 26. Plus you can stream it to your TV using an HDMI cable or S video cable. I think the NBA just started offering it this year, the years before you had to get the TV league pass and the broadband was complimentary.

  31. What is up with the Hornets? They’ve been losing some head-scratchers lately.

  32. Kwame A,
    I’m not sure, but they are so dependent on Paul that I’m not sure if they have that 2nd reliable player that can get them over the hump as a difference maker. Last season, everything came together quite nicely….timely shot making, Paul/Chandler P&R being almost unstoppable, West having a breakout/all-star season, Peja having a really good (throwback) season, Julian Wright showing real growth, etc. If you look at this season, Peja’s stat’s are down across the board, Chandler’s been injured, and their backup big man depth is worrisome. Paul is still amazing, but if he’s the only guy you have to worry about (especially with West being less consistent, but still very good) then the puzzle is a little bit easier to decipher and teams can crack their code a bit better than last season.

    I should also add that they may be missing Pargo more than they thought they would. They really don’t have a backup PG and last year Pargo was a real spark for them off the bench as another ball handler and a scorer.

  33. Don’t forget “House of Payne” is a great show.

    Very Funny.

    I’ll remind you about it during tonight’s game.

  34. And my show too.

    Very Funny!

  35. Don’t forget about me!

  36. I expect the Hornets to pick it up, but I honestly think they’ll only win around 50 -52 games this year.

  37. Not like that’s not good, but I mean in comparison to last year. I think what Darius says is true, there are no surprises from them this year, and they didn’t improve on their biggest weakness, their frontline depth.

  38. I think Drew is gonna be really up for tonight’s game.Should be fun.I like Life and the Mentalist this year,fresh and new.

  39. Who do you think the Pistons pissed off in the League scheduling office? They get Boston tonight after playing in Cleveland last night and they played the Lakers after a TNT game in Denver the night before.

  40. 39: its not like playing the Lakers on the second of a back to back was a problem for Detroit.

    But, it would be nice if Detroit and Boston could both lose the game tonight.

  41. No way related to the topic, but is there a site somewhere that shows a team’s stats depending on which players are in the game at a particular moment? With all of our depth, it would be great finding out our most effective line-up. I’m looking for something like +/- figures for each line-up, % of Total Rebounds Available, eFG%, things like that up.
    I ask because at some point (although its probably early for this) I think the Lakers will have to find out what their best line-up is for closing out tight games. Its good to have separate first and second line-ups, but our most effective line-up is probably some mix of the two, possibly Bynum-Gasol-Ariza-Kobe-Farmar, or some variation on that.

  42. Hassan, does five man lineups and their effectiveness. Pretty small sample sizes so far, but the numbers are there.

  43. Kurt, thanks, that’s pretty cool someone actually went and did all of that. I’m gonna look into some early trends soon, Ill post up what I find.