Lakers vs. Suns, Live Blog

Kurt —  December 10, 2008

to Lakers vs. Suns, Live Blog

  1. Mark Jackson put it pretty well at the end of the game. The Lakers are a bad defensive team with the personnel to be a good defensive team.

    No championship for any team that plays defense anyway close to the way they played tonight.


  2. I think it’d be nice if the Lakers made small improvements throughout the season. They have the foundation to get very far in the playoffs, now let’s see how they put it together. We’re a long ways away from the April and there’s a lot of time to develop the complexity and strength needed for the stretch run. Tonight’s game still showed signs of toughness and hustle from a lot of guys that was promising. Lamar was the only exception in my mind.


  3. I would love to get excited for what should be a stellar season, but it appears our issues from the past aren’t going away. We will a lot of games this season and for several years after this. The NBA is a reputation league and the Lakers are still a soft team. When it matters, in the playoffs that will be worth 5 to 10 fouls a game that either Cleveland or Boston will either get from us or not get called by the refs based on their season reputation

    On defense we give up too many easy layups and open 3’s. We don’t really take any hard fouls ever to send a team a message that they can’t run free down the lane and not pay the price. We really miss a Rick Fox type defender, someone a little nasty. We also seem to give up a lot of transition baskets with a lot of teammates stand around.

    On offense, when the pressure gets on us we settle for jumpshots. Unlike boston with pierce and cleveland with Lebron, who put their head down and draw fouls.. it often appears Kobe, who is really the only guy on our team who can create his own shot going to the basket, settles for a jumpshot.

    I really wish that all these items could be changed, but it appears this is the team we will be. There are 27 other teams in the league that would love to have our problems. I will definitely enjoy watching the team compete for the next few years as we win many games and hope along the way we find a way to play a little D and win a championship or two


  4. PeanutButterSpread December 11, 2008 at 1:51 am

    Ugly Win.


    Pau for MVP
    Trevor Ariza looks like TI
    Sasha’s headband looks like last year’s.

    Every Laker except Pau needs to tattoo on their heads “Finals: 24” to get the message across that if they want that championship, it’s time to start playing sold fundamental good basketball.

    Effort, passion, drive, killer instinct, execution, intensity have been lacking with the Lakers in December. November was a good month, not sure what happened.

    I’m still hoping the Lakers will get it together, start improving, because there is always room for improvement and stop relying on sheer talent to win. I want to see intense defense, boxing out, execution of triangle, passing to the bigs, help defense, effort effort effort. I want to see that chip on the shoulder we had entering this season.

    No more lazy defense. No more jacking up threes. Drive into the lane, go for the layup/dunk or pass to the bigs. Seriously, we’ve got two bigs, utilize them please. Pau has been phenomenal, stop ignoring him!



  5. It seems to me that the Lakers are lazily coasting.. especially Kobe, who hardly attacks the rim and settles for low percentage 20+ foot jump shots. The Lakers need to take note from the Suns when they were run-n-gunning, and what that style brought them. I’m hoping that this will simply fool the league and the Lakers will blitz everyone in the playoffs with turned up intensity on defense and a ferocious tuned-in Kobe attacking the paint. Then again, team chemistry and consistency in play have to be built through the season to come in handy in the playoffs, and right now Boston and Cleveland would both take us out in four games.


  6. Does anyone think perhaps Kobe’s taking more jumpshots because he has to? Obviously his athleticism has decreased in years past, but he’s always been explosive enough to get to the at will. This year, doesn’t seem like he’s attacking nearly as much.

    It could be that he’s simply “choosing hits spots” more, as he likes to put it, now that there’s more weapons on the team. But I’d like for him to continue choosing his spots, just when he does choose them, to drive instead of shoot midrange J’s.

    But I suppose it could be that he’s simply begun to slow down.


  7. It’s not that the talent or ability isn’t there anymore but I think Kobe’s picking his spots. When he’s actually driving or even just catching passes in the air (alleyoop plays), more often than not you see kobe getting more ferocious and finishing with thunderous dunks.

    I actually remember a comment here at FB&G about Kobe seeming to be more dunk conscious


  8. As I said during the chat, I just wonder if the mix needs to be changed a bit. The team is very talented, but is still lacking in areas such as basketball IQ, mental and physical toughness, and commitment to defense. Can you develop those traits in guys like Radmanovic, Odom, and Sasha who have been in the league for several years? I don’t think the personality of the roster lends itself to consistent, disciplined play on a nightly basis. Maybe a small trade or two could help in this regard (much like the Ariza deal last season).


  9. Not sure what the Lakers problem is the last couple weeks. Its been a rough stretch. I think they can play good D, they just are not doing it at this point, its everyone on the team including Kobe. Poor rotations (or none at all), players are not staying in front of their man, they are playing D with their hands and not their feet, taking big gambles for steals which leads to the D being broken down, and their not getting back in transition. Its still early in the season and they can still turn it around but its frustrating to watch.

    I’d like to see Kobe come out and set the tone defensively for a few games. At least one game where he comes out and doesn’t worry about his offense at all, and just comes out with the mind set that his player is not going to score. he is capable of doing it. He needs to lead, make his team mates know that not being lazy on the Defensive end is not going to be tolerated. Take a hard foul if someone goes in the lane, knock someone onto their ass, yell at teammates for lack of focus or discipline on the Defensive end, just do something.


  10. Kurt will probably link to this later, but I’ll spoil it anyway. Please go read Dwyer’s little recap about the game last night in his fantastic (and daily must read) Behind the Boxscore. If you don’t want to read the entire thing, the Lakers recap is at the bottom. And to answer Kelly’s question, no you’re not the only one. I’m not either.


  11. Joel,
    Once you have 5 years in the league I doubt you ‘develop’ a bball IQ. You either have it or you don’t. Lamar doesn’t, that is very clear. When teammates have to ‘make up’ for Lamar’s boneheaded passes or lack of ‘finish intelligence’ they probably get discouraged because Phil doesn’t seem to be affected by this aspect of Lamar. Perhaps he does behind closed doors, but nothing has ever leaked. The only thing Phil has ever done is put Lamar on the 2nd team and perhaps that was one reason for the November success with our defense.

    All our weakness is not solely Lamar’s fault, Joel, but boneheadedness is very contagious and causes many younger players to speed up to compensate – just the wrong reaction when they are learning good habits. Like a new driver going faster to avoid the accident – it causes other accidents.


  12. Darius,
    Good read. I guess it pretty much trashes my prior comment. Oh well, I am a Laker fan after all.


  13. I just turned KD into a new post.


  14. 11.

    The LO bashing just needs to stop. The guy is now playing on an expiring contract and is being used as a bench player whose minutes have been cut from 37.9 to 25.6 mpg.

    In other words, this is not his team. It is Kobe’s team and if you must go finger-waving at individual players (and I think that that is a short-sighted way to interpret basketball) then you should be directing it to the player who bears the lion’s share of responsibility for our team’s mindset out on the court.