Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  December 17, 2008

Lamar Odom of the Los Angeles Lakers
I think you can get some of the most honest answers from players when the adrenaline is up and they don’t have their media filters on. Such was the case last night when Lamar Odom was on the 570 Radio being interviewed within 20 seconds of the end of the game.

Spero Dedes asked about the first half play.

“We’re lazy on defense,” a statement Odom went on to qualify saying it was just sometimes and they keep winning. But Mychal Thompson didn’t let it go and asked him why that is.

“We’re overconfident on offense.”

Again he went on to qualify that statement, but I think this kind of sums up the Lakers right now. They know they have the talent to win, they know it’s December, and the focus is not where it needs to get to. Which is okay, so long as it does get there.

Maybe the upcoming road trip will see them snap out of that.

• As for the first half last night, I think we sometimes forget just what an adjustment it is to play a Mike D’Antoni team. It goes against all conventional wisdom to jack up a three early in the shot clock, but it is an integral part of what the Knicks do. Much of what they do on offense is just radically different than everyone else.

That is hard to adjust to in the NBA regular season, with few practices and just film sessions as prep a lot of days. That is not enough to really be ready for something so different. It’s also one of the reasons D’Antoni’s teams struggle in the playoffs — see it a few games in a row and you are well adjusted.

• About that road trip — what is brutal is the team on the back end. Lots of hype for the Miami game Friday (It’s Got To Be The Shoes!) but then a much better Orlando team awaits on Saturday. Monday it’s Memphis, but then the next night it’s CP3 and the Hornets. Those are tough teams to beat when you are tired.

The Lakers could play well on this trip and go 2-2.

• Jim Alexander in the Press Enterprise saw things this way:

But maybe this is our problem in evaluating the Lakers: we fail to incorporate boredom into the equation. Not ours, theirs. Can we stipulate, please, that the Lakers are vastly superior to most of the people they’ve been playing lately? And may I submit that maybe they haven’t always looked dominant because they haven’t always felt challenged?”

• It’s fun to watch Nate Robinson play.

• Marbury. I know on a few other boards people have suggested getting him for the Lakers. This guy paid for courtside seats just to remind the team paying him millions what a disruption he can be if they don’t buy him out. And you want to add him to a 21-3 team?

• Great article by Kevin Pelton on all the coach firings. The bottom line, it may have been smart for the 76ers to fire Cheeks because supposed playoff teams that make changes improve quickly under a new coach. But in the case of the Kings, it doesn’t really matter short term, because if you don’t have the right talent no coach can make a difference.