Preview & Chat: Golden State Warriors

Gatinho —  February 18, 2009
Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Lakers

BREAKING NEWS: The Lakers have traded Chris Mihm to the Memphis Grizzlies for a second round pick. The move saves money for the Lakers — the rest of this year’s salary (he is making $2.5 million for the season) plus the full $2.5 against the luxury tax, which is calculated at the end of the regular season.

I really wish things had worked out better here for Mihm. In the first year after the Shaq trade, Mihm was maybe the second best Laker, not in terms of talent but in terms of nightly effort. He cared and tried. Unfortunately, injuries robbed him of his legs and after missing two seasons with injuries he has been able to do little this year, and has had trouble getting off the bench on a deep team.

We wish him well, and hope he gets some run and his game back in Memphis.

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Warriors
(19-35)
Pace: 97.6 (1st)
Off. Rating: 108.7 (12th)
Def. Rating: 112.3 (28th)
Lineup: Crawford,Ellis,Azubuike,Jackson,Biedrins

Lakers
(42-10)
Pace: 94.5 (4th)
Off Rating: 114.3 (1st)
Def Rating: 105.5 (8th)
Lineup: Fisher, Bryant, Walton, Odom, Gasol


Warriors Coming In:
This is not the same team the Lakers played in January. That was a team that was starting Marco Bellinelli and Brandon Jacobs while waiting for Monta Ellis to return from a moped injury. (Hey, at least Jeff Kent was riding a motorcycle).

Monta is back, and coming along quickly are his springs and his speed. (I’d take him over Devin Harris in that end-to-end race.)

Despite Tim Kawakami‘s assertion on local radio that Monta would never wear a Warriors uniform again after the acrimony created coming out of the situation, Monta’s rounding into playing shape and has these “6-Seconds-or-Less” Warriors on a 3 game winning streak.

They have won 7 of 9 over the last month and are 6-5 since the Mississippi Bullet’s return. Things started to click for the Warriors after beating a certain green team on December 26th. And the Dubs would be looking at a .500 record since then and a 12 game home winning streak were it not for a series of buzzer beaters (Kings, Thunder, Cavs) and blown leads (up by 12 with 8 minutes to play against the Spurs).

But the credit for their improvement also goes to a healthy Stephen Jackson, who has been getting Monta the ball in comfortable places while knocking down his own jumpers. If Captain Jack is hot, this team is trouble. The rest of the Warrior-lings feed off of his confidence.

As should be expected, Warrior fans have taken to Ronny Turiaf and his infectious demeanor. Turiaf comes off the bench for the Dubs (he started the last 3 in Biedrin’s absence) and has been a factor on their recent upswing (11 points, 7 boards over the last 5 games). Turiaf’s rebounding bump has been caused by the Warriors perimeter D. The D has tightened up as guys become healthier and this has allowed Turiaf to box out rather than hurrying to block weak side shots, which puts him out of position to rebound.

The Warriors are returning to full strength with the return of Bellinelli and more importantly Biedrins. The fans are pining for another big, but can they get that big without sacrificing Ellis? Unless something shocking happens at the deadline, the Warriors will live with Biedrins and Turiaf. In fact, Nelson likes the contrast in the two players games. The back to the basket, solid rebounding game of Biedrins replaced by the face up game and shot blocking hustle of Turiaf creates a change of pace that keeps opposing bigs off balance.

The Lakers will have to keep Turiaf off the offensive glass, his 7 offensive rebounds were a big piece of the Portland win.

The Lakers Coming In: Winning the second game of a back to back has become a measurement of the professionalism and grit that this team lacked last year (or so I’ve been told). The newest human victory cigars were out last night (Crazy block, Shannon), and the ice was on the knees early, so fatigue should not be an issue.

The Lakers will want to control the pace by pounding it inside to Pau in hopes of some early foul trouble for Biedrins. Run the offense and the size advantage will do its magic.

Defensively they need to keep the water strider out of the middle and close out on Jackson on the perimeter. Make Magette a jump shooter and keep him off the line. He gets there almost as often as Kobe.

LO Does Windows: 74 rebounds in 4 games.

Not in Phoenix, but what about the HOF?: The Warriors were one of the few teams that had zero representation during the All-Star festivities, but they do have 3 candidates on the HOF ballot. Don Nelson, Chris Mullin (as a player not a GM), and coach of the ’75 Championship team, Al Attles.

Warriors-Lakers History: Chick calling Game 4 of a 1987 series between Lakers and Warriors. Sleepy Floyd: 29 points in the quarter, 39 in the half, 12 consecutive field goals in the fourth quarter, finishing the game with 51 points. What’s more impressive is that he was being guarded by the NBA’s Defensive POY.

Where to watch: 7:30 start. Nationally this game will be on ESPN, and those who watch online can check out the ESPN 360 Live Stream.

Gatinho

Posts

239 responses to Preview & Chat: Golden State Warriors

  1. They can’t stop Pau.

  2. Brown Block of Doom was sweet, but the thing that totally made that sequence for me was watching the bench explode and start falling over each other.

    Looking past the BBoD, he had a horrible game. He had two (or three) botched handoff receptions, and the BBoD only began when he didn’t come hard to meet the pass at the top.

    But hey, it’s garbage time, it’s his first attempt and on the good side, he did seem to be playing within the triangle.

    As for Ammo, yeah he looked nervous. I trust that Phil has a good shot in recovering some of Ammo’s confidence, except that there isn’t much game time left to let Ammo fail and succeed. We need more blowouts!

  3. Gatinho, great preview!

  4. Am I the only one who thinks Shannon Brown looks like Chris Brown’s long lost brother?

    How does Brown’s individual defense look, fundamentals-wise?

    A few people are prematurely calling this another Ariza trade. I haven’t seen Brown as a Laker yet so I can’t say for sure. Theoretically it’s different, because Ariza filled a gaping hole (we really needed someone to guard wings).

    But if Brown can eventually learn to run the triangle fairly smoothly (doubtful) or at least push and be a spark like Jordan, then I think he might end up becoming a better backup. If he can reach that level we have versatility; Jordan guards the quicker PGs like Tony Parker better, whereas Brown would better suited to guarding the Deron Williams and Chauncey Billups of the world.

  5. It is nothing like the Ariza trade. Trevor was an underrated player for his whole career, who is now getting attention because he plays for us. Shannon had single digit PER’s two years in a row.

  6. I want Brown to work out, I do, but like Ariza? Did anyone watch the botched handoffs and missed shots last night? One block does not a career make.

  7. To be clear, I wasn’t saying it was like the Ariza trade, I’ve just seen it said 2-3 times; I actually disagree with the comparison.

    I do, however, think Brown may be useful in certain matchups if he can shore up his offensive decencies. Size and strength at the backup 1 isn’t something we currently have.

  8. Shannon Brown can be the Lakers’ Jason Caffey!

  9. Fun game last night, place went nuts when the kid hit the half court shot. The place went equally nuts for Ammo.

    Should be another fun one to watch tonight, hopefully we get in the habit of punishing the Warriors on the inside. As much as we all love Ronny there is no way he should be able to contend w/ Pau down low. He may have a better chance w/ Lamar, but the way Lamar has been playing I’m not so sure.

  10. Lakers-Warriors history – I remember listening to Chick call the game when the Lakers beat the Warriors 161-99 during their 33-game win streak season.

  11. That block was insane, especially when you consider that he is not that tall!

    Didn’t see Kobe get many shots in the paint, that is starting to be a trend during some games.

    I thought before it was just because of having to big men in there.

    Hopefully he drives more tonight!

  12. Independent of potential…

    Vlad > Mo Evans & B Cook
    Brown & Morrison < Ariza

    The trades are similar in that they both save the Lakers money and they traded known for unknown.

  13. I think Shannon Brown looks like Clarence Weatherspoon.

    I remember reading GSOM before the season started, and being kind of surprised to hear a good number of the commenters pooh-pooh-ing the Turiaf acquisition. I don’t think anyone here is surprised that Ronny has won them over, and that admiration for him is almost unanimous now.

  14. Biedrins is still out with a sprained ankle, Turiaf will start at C. He’s been playing pretty well in his absence but if he racks up fouls (which he is prone to do) Pau/LO get to feast on Anthony Randolph and Rob Kurz

  15. I find it hard to take stock in any pt in a blow out win. To come off the bench after sitting for 40 minutes when everyone is trying to “get theirs” makes analyzing botched hand offs and such a reaaal stretch.

    I mean the kid did drop 14 on us and hit a clutch 3 to help his team beat us, at home none the less. I just don’t know where his minutes are going to come from? He seems like he can play 2 guard but Sasha seems to have a lock on those little minutes.

    Maybe next year he can work into the rotation.

  16. So Yesterday’s post had a comment that said that Kobe has no chance at the MVP because of that game.

    No one else really thinks that right?

    I have to disagree just on the basis that it was one game.

    On that note, Lebron would have lost his chances after the cavs/bulls game in Chicago, or the Cavs/lakers game where kobe outplayed him.

    I still think its a two man race but i dont see how Kobe not playing that well in a BLOWOUT ruins his chances

  17. PeanutButterSpread February 18, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    I’m really loving Shannon Brown.

    But our garbage time bench is … well … still not great at holding big leads.

    As for the MVP race, the MVP is judged after all 82 games have been played, not after one game, so I’m not sure why people are still harping on that.

    To me, Kobe’s always going to be the MVP for the Lakers.

  18. 16. I don’t think one game can ever completely make or break a player’s MVP chances, and I’m pretty confident most of the regulars here would agree. That being said, I think they would also agree that Lebron is still the prohibitive favorite this year. The combination of the absurd numbers he’s putting up with tremendous team success on the Cavs’ part is going to be hard for Kobe to overcome.

  19. Correction, my post was addressed to behzad at #15.

  20. Pau’s versatility should give Turiaf problems but I saw him do a pretty good job against Duncan a couple of weeks ago. I think Roney will have problems staying in the game but he can be a good man defender for stretches and generally disruptive for most teams inside. He has grown as a player, for sure, and he fits Nellie’s system. That said, LO should see allot of time on the line.

    When Nellie Ball is at it’s best the team has what I call the Basketball Robots mode. They seem like a team with interchangeable heads that fit on what amounts to the same body and similar skills. The homogeny in morphology is an illusion created by the system because obviously Baron’s body is different then Barnes’ and both are wildly different from Ellis’ (and yes, I know they are no longer Warriors but I am referring to the blueprint of their classical period). Never the less, the aggressiveness in their D, the limbs in the passing lanes, and the ability to mix and match players who don’t quite fit a position create a field of disruption that feeds the offense. I’ve heard other’s describe it as controlled chaos but it doesn’t quite work for me seeing that the Warriors themselves seem to know what their teammates are doing and their activity on the court reflects that.

    I’m not saying that this team is anywhere near the level of pay we saw a couple of Springs ago. Since Ellis got back they are resembling that team more and Turiaf fits their mold in a way no big did in the run a few years ago. He too creates a field of disruption that unfortunately he doesn’t quite maintain without fouling. I just wouldn’t be surprised if as the season progresses we don’t see the W’s manage to create an ever more durable and profound level of disruption that leads to them pulling off a bunch of spoilers. This will lead to the inevitable, “If this can spill over into next season…” articles from the media but if it does spill over into next season I think one of it’s defining features will be that Turiaf will have learned not to foul so much.

  21. Ryan O – completely agree with you. As great as this Laker team is playing, from what I have seen thus far in the season (and short of a meltdown or injury in the next 30 games), this is Lebron’s year to win the MVP.

    That’s not a knock on Kobe’s talent. Both he and Lebron are deserving of it thus far, but Lebron has done a little better and his accomplishments have gathered a bit more press this year. It sucks because KObe should have had at least one more MVP trophy, but that’s life.

    Unfortunately, I think too many of us are such Kobe fans that we have a hard time being impartial. To me, the true test of who deserves the MVP is not to compare the players, but to ask yourself whether if Kobe was in Cleveland putting up the same numbers as Lebron you would be arguing that any other player is the MVP.

  22. It’s still early for the MVP talk. This time last year, I think CP3 was the one garnering all of the MVP talk, and with good reason. But Kobe and the Lakers closed out the season well following a few hiccups in March, and he came away with the trophy. Right now all eyes are on LeBron, but there are a lot of games to be played.

    I doubt Kobe will get it this year, however, since the NBA tends to follow a script with these things. Sentiment builds, others feed into it, and the end result is it doesn’t really matter what someone actually does on the court if – if they’re not the sentimental favorite, they’re not getting the award.

    There’s no way Nash deserved his second MVP, not the way Kobe carried L.A. that season. Yet Nash was the sentiment, so he won out.

    Last year, Kobe got the sentimental vote in part because he deserved the award and in part because voters seemed to sense that the guy has been the league’s best player for years and he’d never taken home the honor. This year, my guy says LeBron will get the same treatment. Not to say either ’07-’08 Kobe didn’t deserve it or that LBJ won’t earn it this year. But earning it isn’t always what matters.

    And so long as the Lakers win a ring come June, I think most Lakers fans could care less about the MVP. Kobe, too. Just put up another banner on the south wall of Staples Center and call it a day.

  23. My gut, I meant to type… not my “guy”

  24. Kobe is the MVP of the Lakers, but…the last game showed he is most concerned with the ring and maintaining his strength for the ring. Can you imagine Lebron being happy, after scoring just 10 pts. That is the point about the MVP – not that Kobe couldn’t win it.

    The other point is that Kobe has trouble with bigger, athletic defenders — Joe Johnson fits that mold in spades. as does Paul Pierce. Therefore, when everyone else was going so well, it wasn’t that surprising when Kobe had a subpar game.

    Lebron is so big and strong that he dominates, where Kobe has to work around the situation. That is what draws the attention of the ‘talking heads’.

  25. LeBron is still the favorite, but the gap has closed considerably in the past month. If I had to put a percentage on it. I would say it’s 55% to 45% in LBJ’s favor.

    it’s not about the numbers. LBJ’s numbers aren’t “absurd.” They aren’t even better than last year’s. It’s the fact that he has led his team to one of the best 2-3 records in the NBA, and has been quite impressive on offense and defense, that has him leading the MVP discussion.

    The Lakers were expected to be this good. The Cavs weren’t expected to be as good as they have been. That is why LBJ is the favorite.

  26. I think if the Lakers finish at least 5 games ahead of the Cavs. Kobe will win the MVP, unless the Cavs win 60+ games.

  27. I too, think it is too early to do the MVP debates.

    My only point is that it is a two man race right now and we can’t just take one man out of the race after one game.

  28. If the Lakers slow it down and play station to station ball – they should be fine – but they’re not going to be able to “outrun” Golden State (like they did to the Hawks last night).

    Pound the ball into the post – get Ronny in foul trouble…use the 24 second clock…clean up the glass…keep Golden State out of the paint…and they’ll grind out a win.

  29. Kurt,

    This would be a perfect game for a live chat. Or at least, a nomuskles live blog.

    Hmmm?

  30. I change my vote. Kwame Brown should be the MVP. Every team he leaves gets better.

  31. 29. I can’t do a live chat tonight, family commitment. And I can’t speak for nomuskles, who has been busy as well.

  32. I can speak for nomuskles. He can’t do play by play, but he will send 50$ to everybody who posts in this thread.

    On another note, it looks like my psychic lobbying made the Wizards turn down the Jamison trade to the cavs. Makes sense. Why would they set up their most bitter rival like that. Since they already have Arenas on the books they might as well hope that works out next season and keep the core in place.

    The cavs need to trade Big Z for Kwame Brown. Kwame, Verejao and Wallace would be the most hilarious offensive frontline EVER.

  33. I’m not one to say I told you so but I told you so. With the combined pace of both teams and the Warrior’s lack of size. LO might very well make his straight. Sitting on 17, 18, 19, 20 and having gone all in (as far as effort and commitment), hitting 21 on the river is inevitable.

  34. 2 links worth checking out.

    1.) I don’t think Ben wallace is telling the truth. He got 14 stictches and pieces of glass removed from his arm, while playing catch with a football?
    http://www.insidehoops.com/blog/?p=3488

    2.) and also, an update on Bynum.
    http://www.insidehoops.com/blog/?p=3488

  35. Bill Bridges,
    I’ve got your back. You’ve been dead on with that Odom comment.

  36. Bill bridges. If he keeps this steak up he will be at 49 rebounds in the last game of the season. Now that’s impressive.

  37. Jordan has been money the last 3 or 4 games. What he has brought: speed, penetration, quick offense, is exactly what the staff wants and helps keep Fish’s minutes down. He and Sasha have also been playing better togther.

    The trio of Jordan, Sasha and Trevor is a nice defined group off the bench. With Drew back I think he would really work well with that lineup and allow LO to stay with the starters.

  38. Apparently Miller+Salmons to Chicago for Gooden+Nocioni is already a done deal, according to Woj on Yahoo.

    I say the Bulls got the most out of this one.

  39. I was skeptical of Bills post when he wrote it but damnnn… Did anyone think he was gonna be this on?? Lamar has really turned it around… I hope this carries into the playoffs

  40. There’s a math equation for the Kings side of it: Kings reversion back to lowest attendance + Recession causing Palms to take a hit=Salary Dump

    For the Bulls-more talent for VDN to screw up and misuse. The Bulls with D’Antoni would be top 4 in the East fa sho.

  41. The interesting thing about the latest emergence after the Bynum injury is that Phil Jackson might actual start entertaining the possibility of keeping Lamar in the starting line-up, even when Bynum comes back.

    What do you guys think?

  42. I think bringing Drew off the bench could work. I think if it happens in the middle of the playoffs, and LO is playing well, then we should definitely try Andrew coming off the bench.

  43. There was talk about bringing Drew off the bench to start the season. The only reason I say to start Bynum when he returns (and is really ready to start) is just how well Odom played off the bench with the higher-tempo second unit. Bynum runs well for his size, but he would slow the second unit way down.

  44. I have a question for people. I have heard the Spurs involved in talks for Vince Carter, Richard Jefferson and John Salmons (just traded with Miller to Chicago for Gooden and Nocioni).

    Why are the Spurs so interested in finding a scoring swing man? Especially given the development of Mason and the fact that he’s included in many potential deals.

    Considering what value they get from Mason, this suggests to me that they have doubts about Manu’s future. they don’t need a big name scorer to replace Mason, but they would to replace Manu if they think he’s not going to be able to return to his usual form.

    If it was about replacing Bowen, scoring wouldn’t be so emphasized. Mason replaced Finley more or less. So the thought that they believe Manu is almost done is the only one that makes sense ot me.

    Anybody else have any thoughts?

  45. I agree that Bynum would slow down the second unit, especially at the speed Farmar was going last night. However, I am worried that Odom is going to lose his “if the balls in the air it belongs to me” attitude if he goes back to the bench, as much I want to believe that he’ll still bring this aggressive style he’s shown recently stating or not, I just haven’t seen enough consistency out of him in the past to be sure.
    Once Bynum’s back, is there a chance that they will start him at sf? Phil could still give him playing time with the second unit too

  46. Apparently the Spurs are waiting until after the trade deadline to annouce the seriousness of Manu’s ankle injury. I can only assume it’s serious if they are waiting until after the trade deadline to make that sort of an accouncement.

    Also on yahoo sports their reporting that the Clippers are in talks with the Rockets to trade McGrady for Baron Davis, but I thought you couldn’t trade for an injured player?

  47. Sorry for the double post, meant to say announcement. Maybe that has something to do with wanting to land Carter?

  48. Just remember that a lot of the rumors you hear/read in the next 24 hours are not reliable. They are floated by agents looking to pressure a deal that gets a client out of an unhappy situation. They are smokescreen diversions by front office people. They are put out there so people think their team is doing something when the GM knows he is not.

  49. Am I the only one not terribly surprised by Odom’s recent resurgence? His production is off the charts right now, but we only need to go back to last year to see how he also flourished after Bynum’s first injury and the arrival of Pau. He was putting some ridiculous numbers then too and in the first three rounds of the playoffs, he was an absolute stud and was instrumental in the Lakers reaching the Finals.

    As Kurt mentioned, he played very well in a diminished role off the bench pre Bynum injury. Now, with increased playing time, he’s getting the opportunity to fully showcase his skills and fill up the stat sheet in extended minutes.

  50. tony allen out 8 weeks. that makes the boston bench thinner and takes out a body on kobe. but we won’t see them again up until maybe the finals.

    on the kings-bulls trade: two words, fair enough. it now depends on the utilizer of those talents and contracts

    on the warriors: just pound it inside. i’d like to see lamar raise pau’s numbers tonight to give our big man a rest. hopefully kobe is explosive and plays in strides. i am also concerned with the number of jumpers he’s been taking as against driving it home. i hope lo keeps having 15+ rebound nights. i hope his scoring increases to 17-18 pts for us to have a legit big 3 to reckon with.

  51. My officemate told me about the Houston for BD rumors and we started looking at it with the trade machine. Given everything the article about Morey told us I can’t see it. Even though Tmac is injured and his contract is twice BD’s, it’s also off the books in 2 years v. 5 for BD- who is also injury prone.

    Because BD’s contract is half of Tmac’s, houston would either have to keep him and trade the other assetts that have more value per production (that Morey loves), or else take on a series of other contracts from the Clippers, probably not any that they want to take on. In fact, LAC may try to stuff Zbo on them. Another large contract with more years than Tmac.

    I just don’t see it happening. This will be a great test of Morey’s system. His first chance to address a superstar level contract. I’m paying attention.

  52. This just in, chrism Mihm traded to Memphis for a 2nd round pick. Listening to am 570 and Steve Hartman reported it.

  53. Mihm experiment thankfully gone. http://my.lakers.com/blogs/

  54. 53-Aww, too bad it wasn’t Marc ;)

    Anyway, good stuff all around. Shannon Brown could be another Javaris Crittenton for us, an expendable talent that can be used for trades if he doesn’t develop.

    Ammo should grow hair/stache/beard and fashion it so that we have a spectrum of hair in Sasha, Pau and Ammo, now that Vlad and his beard is gone. PJ should bring back his too.

  55. I guess he was auditioning last night. Did we happen to get Marc Gasol as well? haha

  56. Wow. Mihn is gone. I sure hope that means the Lakers are confident Bynum will be back soon.

  57. I really wished it could have worked out with Mihm. In the first post-Shaq year, he was really the second best Laker in terms of nightly effort. He really was a solid center before injuries robbed him of his legs. Maybe in Memphis he can get a little run and turn things around.

  58. Damn, they should have pushed for Marc

  59. What the plan now? They have a roster spot open now.
    Do they:
    A.) Pick trade for someone before tomorrow
    B.) Pick up someone on the waiver wire before March 1st
    C.) Stand pat and save the 2.5 mil they get for trading Mihm

    If C.) we were already worried about Pau getting to gassed come playoff time now he will have to play more minutes that Mihm is gone. I mean Mihm was god awful these last few games but he was a warm body to throw out there to give Pau a breather.

  60. 60. Powell is getting those minutes right now, and in April at some point Bynum will return and start taking up minutes again. I don’t think Gasol is that gassed and he is young enough to handle it in the short term. I think they just sit on it.

  61. What I’m interested in is who takes Chris’s spot in the lineup? Gasol already plays a lot of minutes unless Powell is going to play Center once Gasol sits, or maybe DJ suits up?

  62. Maybe but playing Gasol 40+ min a game after playing all summer and having to go (hopefully) full bore for 2 months of playoffs. I guess I am a little worried that is all.

  63. Remember that we made a two for one trade when we dealt RadMan. That means that we essentially lost a roster spot in that deal. So I don’t think we’ll be too anxious to fill the roster spot that Mihm vacated. I too wish Chris nothing but the best in Memphis and in the rest of his career.

  64. Save the 2.5mil. They’ll need every penny to resign our players and deal with the shrinking cap.

    This is interesting really how we’re managing to shed salary without affecting our core. Not sure what kind of presence Mihm was in the locker room, and it’s kinda ironic that the trade came just after that little practice scuffle clip.

    Now I wonder how hard PJ is going to try to secure home court for the entire Playoffs. We’ll have tired legs unless we pace things a bit, especially with all the roadies coming up.

  65. Mihm has played in six of the Lakers last 10 games and averaged 7 minutes in those games (and that includes mostly garbage time, like last night). Powell has become the guy in the rotation. The minutes are not changing because Mihm is gone.

  66. Mihm was in the last year of his contract, so I don’t think this deal does much with respect to the salary cap. It does save the rest of this year’s salary, but what’s that – only a million dollars or something? Pfft? (Wait? What economic crisis?) I guess it could be twice that if it saves luxury tax this year.

    I would assume that Mbenga moves up to (most of) Mihm’s minutes, at least until Bynum comes back. But I think it also shows they’re pretty confident about Bynum’s return.

    Maybe they think they can pick up somebody better out of the trash bin after the trade deadline. Or maybe the FO decided the recent fight was a sign that Mihm’s frustrations were getting the best of him. It’s even possible the FO is telling the truth when they say they want him to have a chance to get more playing time.
    In retrospect, I’d guess that the players knew something was up with Mihm last night, given the way they seemed to be cheering for him.

  67. I agree with Kurt in that this isn’t going to affect our rotation much, if at all. Powell will continue to play, and against teams that play small front lines, we’ll even see lineups with Odom and Powell in the front court with Powell or Odom guarding the opposing Center.

    How the minutes allocation goes is going to be entirely dependent on how much Phil wants HCA in the playoffs. Based off what we’ve seen so far, Phil is trying to win every game, and I don’t expect that to change. That means that if we need heavy minutes from Pau to secure victories, that’s what we’ll see. I’m not that concerned with Pau playing heavy minutes. As we’ve all seen, he plays a game that is not dictated on him banging on players to earn position on offense and his defense is still based off angles and using his length. So, in that regard, I don’t think the heavy minutes will effect him that much. He’s still going to play his midrange game and still make the passes to the players that are executing the offense and making their cuts. In the end, I think we’ll see Bynum before the end of the season and that the staff will work out the rotations when it comes to the playoffs.

  68. PeanutButterSpread February 18, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    And here I was hoping the Grizzlies would give us Rudy Gay for Chris, because they felt bad for Drew.

  69. With Mihm gone we have shed about $9M in salary. About what it would take to sign Lamar next year. Yeah, I know, Morrison is on the books next year, but I am thinking long term. Perhaps Mitch is thinking the basic core should be four players, not three.

  70. PeanutButterSpread February 18, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    But in all honesty, I really feel badly for Chris Mihm because this was probably his last chance to play on a winning team, go for the championship while he still can on what’s left from his surgeries… I remember reading an article somewhere that said he was really hoping to win a ring with the Lakers this year, seeing that this was his last year with the Lakers.

  71. Kurt-I actually think Drew could be the focal point of the half-court offense with the 2nd unt (god willing the dude is back and ready to play). It allows the speed freaks (Sasha, Trevor and Jordan) to get out and run, if nothing is there, Bynum becomes the hub of the offense. I think Lamar is better when he is in with Gasol so he can play off of him, that just seems to be where he is best at. Plus, Bynum would destroy any 2nd string center, so opponents would have to adjust by either extending their starters or risk falling behind.

  72. I agree with Kurt. Any minutes that would have gone to Mihm will go to Mbenga. Not that much difference. I wonder if this had anything to do with the fight.

    Going back to Houston, I understand that they don’t want to give up on this seaosn, but if they just bite the bullet, TMac’s expiring deal next year (possibly insured like Lafrentz’s) will be golden starting in the summer. Any team looking to go after Free Agents in 2010 will want to shovel talent to Houston for that 20 mil in cap space. That’s the smart move to make.

  73. Craig-I like your thinking. Where does that leave Trevor?

  74. Kurt I realize Mihm wasnt playing heavy minutes but I think a lot of us were hoping he could given the minutes of Gasol. Granted it was a long roadie and probably everyone was tired but Gasol was the only one to mention he was tired. He was obviously spent in that Utah game.

    I am saying someone needs to play some significant minutes that doesnt force Pau to play 40+ a night.

  75. I wish we could have gone all the way without trading anyone, but it’s ok.

    I’ll miss the Space Cadet but I’ll miss Chris Mihm even more. He was very unfortunate with the injuries he had. I remember the first year after Shaq and Mihm was nice player to have. The Center position was covered that year. He was not a star, but he could hold his own, block some shots, grab a few rebounds and score a few buckets. He even had some interesting footwork from time to time.

    I wish him all the best… May he be a very successful player on whichever team he plays. He deserves to be in the NBA (although he is now nothing but a shadow of his former self) and deserves some playing time.

    With this, I guess the core (hopefully LO as well) is not going anywhere…

  76. DJ suits up and takes those minutes until Bynum returns, by the way… Josh Powell might get some more playing time as well, in order to rest Gasol.

  77. Wow spooky..I was just trading Mihm to the Grizzlies on the ESPN Trade Machine minutes before this trade broke. I, of course, traded him for Marc though, but still.

  78. Off-topic: does anyone know if there’s a Youtube video of Lebron playing his first game (rookie year) again Kobe and the Lakers?

    Draft picks in Mitch’s hands = good thing. Marc Gasol was a late 2nd-rounder.

    Speaking of which, aren’t we supposed to get a Charlotte 2nd-rounder in this upcoming draft? Or it is 2010?

  79. PeanutButterSpread February 18, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    I don’t really get this trade.

    In fact, the two trades Mitch has made this year, I don’t really get.

    I mean, the VladRad trade, I kinda get – it was to clear Vlad’s overpriced contract.

    But this one?

    I don’t get it … do the Lakers save money by trading Chris?

  80. 80 – Technically, yes, since 2nd round draft picks don’t have guaranteed contracts, in the short and long term we saved 2.5 mil. A decent amount of money if you’re talking luxury tax in this economy.

    Plus Mihm didn’t have it anymore. I had hopes but I saw some clips of him, the poor guy’s game is shot because of injuries. It’s worth giving up a non-contributor for the chance at finding a gem in the draft. Imagine if Mitch found another Marc in the 2nd round, or a Ronny or Millsap or someone. The chances are obviously low, but I think it’s worth giving up a non-contributor.

  81. (Although to be clear, I’m sure the main thinking behind the move was financially based, not the actual pick itself. Mihm’s contract was cheap enough that we were allowed to trade him without taking back any contracts in return)

  82. PeanutButterSpread,
    The Lakers don’t have to pay an equivalent amount of Mihm’s salary in Lux Tax. So they can save $2.5mil. in Lux Taxes.(Assuming they only agreed to pay the rest of Mihm’s salary. The Lakers prob kicked in an extra $100thou or so.)
    Don’t forget,the Lux Tax a team pays is based on salaries of the last day of season.

  83. Snoopy,
    I imagine the pick is protected thru the first 50 or so,essentially rendering it non-existant.

  84. The fact was the Lakers had enough front court depth that even after Bynum’s injury Mbenga was piling up DNPs. Why pay to have a commodity you aren’t going to use. Same with having either Luke or Vlade only getting garbage minutes.

    Here’s a list of Free Agents:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=FreeAgents-09-10

    Should it worry me that aside from Marion, Boozer and maybe Okur Odom is probably the best guy available. That could spike his price tag (whether he says he’d take less or not if someone flashes a couple extra mil at him, it’s hard to blame him for not taking it).

  85. I believe that most trades with the Griz would work in the Trade Machine because they are pretty far under the cap. Well, a bunch of us were speculating about Mihm last night, myself included. His minutes will go to Powell and Mbenga. He just couldn’t cut it, whatsoever.

    To play in the NBA, you have to do at least one thing reasonably well, but he doesn’t, unless you count rebounding your own missed layups as a strength. Moses used to do that pretty well, but he missed layups deliberately in order to get in better position to dunk after his own rebound. Mihm can’t make any contested shots around the basket.

    I was also speculating last night about Drew coming off the bench when he returns. He will absolutely, flat-out destroy any backup center he faces. He doesn’t slow the second unit down, either. They’ll get plenty of fast breaks off his blocked shots, plenty off defensive rebounds caused by Drew altering the shot, and plenty off long rebounds after teams give up on trying to score in the paint. We should also remember how well he trails the break, getting dunks off alley-oops or spin moves on the secondary break.

    In the postseason when we cut down the rotation, our second unit will be comprised of Jordan, Trevor, Sasha, and Drew, with Pau or Lamar as the other big, depending on who Phil decides to take out first. Powell would also get burn if there’s foul trouble for someone in our front line.

    There is no way Lamar should come out of the starting lineup now. Something clicked with him around the time of the game in Boston. Pau can handle playing against starting centers for the 18-24 minutes that Drew isn’t playing. He won’t have to go up against them for 40 minutes like last season. Besides, he’s noticeably stronger than he was last season. If Drew is in playing shape by the time the playoffs start, we could see a playoffs like the Laker 2001 or the 76er 1983 postseason.

  86. For those wondering about this year’s and next year’s payroll, here are some preliminary numbers and thoughts for the Lakers and other high spending teams:

    *Next season, without contracts for LO, Ariza, Powell, Mbenga and Shannon Brown (but with 736,00 committed to Sun Yue on a team option) we are on the books for a little over 74 million. This seasons payroll is a little over 75 million. That means to re-sign any or all of the players mentioned we’ll be taking on considerably more payroll next season than this seaon.

    *This season, there are six teams that have a higher payroll than the Lakers. This includes three teams (Knicks, Mavs, and Cavs) that have payrolls over 90 million. The team with the 4th highest payroll is the Blazers with an $82 million payroll.

    *Now consider this (and this is a question that no one but Dr. Buss and the FO may know): How much is the team willing to spend to keep these players? Understand that if we were to pay Odom, Ariza, and Powell a total of 16 mil (which may or may not be likely depending on how much Odom and Ariza demand on the open market) our payroll would be in line with Cleveland’s from this season and the Lakers would be fielding essentially the same unit from this season. You add on minimum level deals for another back up big (like DJ) and potentially another guard (like Shannon Brown) and the Team would have a $91-92 million payroll. Is that realistic for Dr. Buss? I can’t say either way and I’m not sure anyone can. I can say that winning titles and/or having deep playoff runs maximizes your profits at the gate and the Lakers are one of the more popular road draws. But I have no idea how that calculates into real earnings for Dr. Buss.

    *One final point. It was just mentioned yesterday that next season the Salary Cap and Luxury Tax threshold are likely to decrease for the first time since the league adopted these rules. This will also impact what is an acceptable payroll figure for all NBA teams, including our Lakers.

  87. Chicago Sac trade. MIller and Salmons to Chicago for Nocioni, Ruffin, Gooden, Simmons.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3916703

    Not sure I get this trade from Chicago. I guess Miller gives them a C that can score (not in the post though which is what they really needed), but Salmons doesn’t fill a need. He is cheap though for what he produces. I guess that this saves Sac some money but I haven’t looked at the numbers.

    Sorry to see Mihm go. He simply just is not the same player since his injuries, my guess is that this may be his last season in the NBA.

  88. RE the Rockets.
    They are a wonderful illustration of Kurt’s post on choosing a system and sticking w/it,and what happens when you don’t.
    The current Rockets roster is almost perfect for a JVG coached team. Unfortunately,the team switched coaches and opted for a coach whose system requires quick,athletic players who understand the game and have good passing skills.
    The result is a staggering mis-match of players and system. None of the Rocket bigs can pass out of the hi-post,nor can any of them stretch the D w/outside shooting. Artest,Battier and McGrady don’t make the sharp cuts Adelman’s system requires. And Artest and McGrady tend to monopolize the ball. The PGs can’t drive and dish.
    Morey made a huge mistake in drafting Dorsey over Chris Douglas Roberts(or even Kyle Weaver).
    It will be interesting to see what the Rockets do this off-season. Will they go after players who fit their system,or go after players w/the best metrics?

  89. 79.

    We do get a Charlottle 2nd rounder this year (see http://www.nbadraft.net/2009draftnotes.html)

    However I am not sure what the conditions are, if any.

    For the record, Charlotte has three 2nd rd picks this year: their own, New Orleans’, and OK City’s (who in turn owns two picks: their own and New Jersey’s).

    80.

    This trade creates an open roster spot, which we can use to sign any player who might get cut from another team.

  90. 85-Recession will essentially create collusion by the owners to keep contracts low. LO, as it appears he realizes, will not have long-year, big-money deals on the table. Its gonna be a cold summer for some of these FA’s.

  91. I think Odom’s tag is high as is, it’s just that he’s living up to it recently. It also doesn’t help that of the three, Odom has been the most healthy, and plays in the most visible market. But I kinda think if we can pay him what we pay him now, he’ll stick with us, since we’d have a ring by then or have come tantalizingly close again.

    If we do lose Odom somehow, I don’t think getting either Marion or Boozer is an answer. Can’t see either of them meshing with Bynum and Gasol as well, and neither would be happy to come off the bench.

  92. Here’s one thing you also have to consider when worrying about Odom getting other offers:

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2009/02/18/the-nbas-grim-economics-and-what-that-might-mean-for-the-warriors/

    Teams are desperately trying to shed salary. There are few that want to add it, and of those, are any really willing to shell out big cash for an Odom that will be past his prime in a few years?

    I highly doubt it. In a different market Odom might demand more money, but I don’t see Odom getting offered more than $8-9 mil, which I think he’s worth from out POV.

  93. *our POV

  94. I’m disappointed in Mitch. After last year, I was definitely hoping that he could again work his magic and get us Marc & Mayo for Mihm. Maybe our 2nd round pick will turn into something like Ellis? Wasn’t he a 2nd rounder too?

    I always liked Mihm, not so much his game lately, but he seemed like a pretty nice guy. Good bye Mihm and good luck.

  95. another fair enough deal made today. i suppose we save money on mihm but i also agree that draft picks turn out well with mitch taking the selection (and kudos to our staff).

    though i am quietly hoping for something bigger than the ammo trade to solidify our roster, i think more or less we are pretty set and reasonable to think that powell and mbenga can fill up and even go as far as resting pau. and for these reasons, i want bynum back and it appears we’d have to wait longer.

    go lakers!

  96. Mitch might have decided it was for Mihm’s safety to remove him from Mbenga’s vicinity.

  97. I’m a little concerned about the Kings. Are they officially eliminated from the playoffs yet? Because if they’re not, watch out for them now that they have Nocioni, Gooden and Diogu.

    Especially Ike…he’s a BEAST.

    If they get the 8th seed, they WILL cause problems for the Lakers.

  98. kwame a.
    Trevor was always going to be resigned.

  99. I’d love to know how much the general financial situation is affecting the Buss family. I think that will be the deciding factor in the free agent signings (including those already on the roster) this summer.

  100. If I was a free agent this year I wouldn’t sign any contract for over 3yrs. It is going to be that long before things bottom out and start going uphill.

  101. #98 It is hard to sense sarcasm in words..I hope that was your attempt at it. If not…yikes!

  102. 98

    Are you serious?

  103. Wow, Paul is shredding the Magic.

    36 points on 14-21 shooting, 6 rebounds, 9 assists, two steals, one blocked shot, and only one turnover in 30 minutes. Amazing. No one could even stay in front of him.

  104. I noticed people mentioning why the Lakers had to trade Mihm away for financial reasons, but I don’t understand why a team would want to trade for him? He’s an expiring contract but we didn’t take back any salary to make that the reason behind acquiring him

  105. Didn’t Buss originally make his money in real estate? If he still relies on that…

  106. Goo,

    We’re over the luxury tax, so we’re essentially paying double Mihm’s salary to keep him. In this economic climate, any extra money we’re shelling out for a backup who is not going to see significant minutes is not being spent well. For the Grizzlies, they’re under the cap, so they can take Mihm basically for free, and can see whether he can give them any decent minutes at the five. If he doesn’t, then his contract expires at the end of the season. Win-win situation for them.

  107. Should I watch the Lakers on ESPN or the local Warriors broadcast?

  108. jd: I’m hoping for Breen, Jackson and JVG for the Laker game – then I’d definately go ESPN if I were you.

  109. For a second I thought that the warriors feed might have fewer commercials but then I realized that I’m an idiot.

  110. J.D., it might, but ESPN is probably going to have better announcers.

    The game has barely started and we are already over 100 comments… wow. Nice to see Luke earning his minutes. What he does well rarely shows up in a stat line, but occasionally he has a glimmer moment like that.

  111. Mark Jackson annoys me.

  112. Is Walton actually this good when he has a size advantage or is Crawford an especially bad defender in the post?

    I’ve never seen us go so much to Luke. Felt like 5 possessions in a row.

  113. Let’s see if Luke can put up a career game tonight. They are definitely getting him the ball. He’s making the right passes and shots.

    I hope Lamar can stay out of foul trouble so he can continue cleaning the glass and go for 21.

  114. I’m not going to disparage any of our current or past SF’s, but Luke is the only player at that position that we could use in the manner that we’re doing right now. We’re essentially running our sets through him right now and his ability to post up and make the correct play with the ball means that against a smallish team like the Dubs we don’t have to force feed Kobe or Gasol for our offense to run smoothly.

  115. pau…

  116. So first a turnover by Jackson turns into an assist, then an attempt at an assist turns into a field goal. Fair to say the ball is bouncing the warriors’ way so far?

  117. What is going on, refs against us. luck against us

  118. Ugh. I spoke too soon. Both are now sitting on the bench. I take back what I said, I’m guessing that Odom is going to have a rough night. The energy is just different. He’s playing frustrated, different then when he’s playing mad. Not usually good for his game.

  119. The espn stream is very choppy for me. Any other links? thanks.

  120. Tyson Chandler trade a no go!

    The trade has been rescinded

  121. If we start to control our defensive glass while also continuing to use our size advantage to get extra possesions, we’re going to pull away in this game.

  122. that was a pretty crazy first quarter, some pretty bad refering didnt help

  123. ESPN says OKC didn’t medically clear Chandler. Makes you wonder how serious his ankle problem really is.

  124. I think Memphis might have traded for Mihm to match salaries on another trade. Not sure what other cards the Grizzlies have, or if they are pursuing something, or if this was sort of a secret bonus package for Pau, but it would kinda make sense if they needed 2.5 mil (expiring, to boot) to make another deal.

    Anyway, still a good game.

  125. Link to the game
    http://atdhe.net/live-tv-3639.html

    I’m liking Powell’s production tonight. If Turiaf keeps up his energy he may be able to put up career night points against us. Kinda funny considering he was backup reserve for Odom and Pau and doing pretty well against them tonight.

  126. Mark Jackson’s commentary is the equivalent of chalk on a board.

  127. I think the next player to box out in this game will be the first.

  128. 125

    Chalk on a board is good. Mark Jackson = nails on a chalkboard.

  129. Agreed. It’s painfully obvious that JVG is the attraction of the trio Breen-Jackson-JVG.

    Crazy game, but I guess all games involving the Warriors are. I also agree with Darius: If the Lakers start controlling the defensive glass and keep pounding the ball inside, this ballgame should pretty much be over. They will not keep hitting those threes forever.

  130. 128,

    That’s what I meant. Shows how irritating his commentary is that I can’t properly string phrases together ;-)

    And Fabio just got kicked off Top Chef. I’m sad.

  131. Man… OKC must’ve opened up a deal with Boston to get Smith back, then either trade him to them or release him and whatnot.

    Alright, I’m obviously reaching, but still…

  132. someone call the cops- the warriors are breaking the law of averages

  133. Powell and Turiaf almost cancelling each other out in terms of stats.

    Sasha has been cold lately, it seems, and his play seemed to have regressed to 2006-07 levels.

  134. I like Sasha. He is vicious. :)

    Glad to see I’m not the only one irritated at the refs. Call it on both ends, please. And if it’s going to take you five seconds or more, just don’t bother.

  135. i love sasha but its true he is missing to many open jumpers, if he cant drain them then we have a problem

  136. Some of the early calls were bad )Powell’s offensive foul particularly) but I think theyre calling it more even now.

  137. Anyone else get the feeling that at some point the Lakers are going to string together a couple minutes of good D tied to the Warriors missing a few threes and the Lakers will just get up by 10 and get the win.

  138. Ben. Um thanks for spoiling my top chef. had it dvr’ed for later. oh well.

    Stephan will probably win it, though a part of me is rooting for the underdog Carla. I like her. She’s funny. Stephan deserves it though.

  139. Very much Kurt, very much. I’m expecting to see it about mid-way into third.

  140. Lakers have 18 total rebounds- 11 of them are offensive. Warriors have 21 rebounds, 11 offensive.

    What is this “box out” of which you speak?

  141. 134

    I don’t think Sasha’s overall game is any different, but his shooting seems to be regressing to the mean after a blistering 2007/8.

    Still waiting for someone, anyone, to stop leaking out and BOX OUT when the ball goes up.

  142. I am glad the tyson is still with NO…chris paul deserves him

  143. Great game

  144. am i tonight at midnight eastern?

    or tomorrow at midnight eastern?

  145. Tomorrow around noon or 1

  146. Let’s take a look at the numbers here. Warriors are shooting 7-9 from three. They are shooting 55%, but have only 13 assists, whereas the Lakers have 19. They won’t mean anything if we botch the second half, but I think those numbers favor the Lakers.

  147. does anyone think anything will even happen before I come?
    it seems like a lot of hype about me but nothing really is manifesting itself

  148. Maybe teams are just keeping hush hush about their deals.

  149. 148

    Why are you ignoring the Miller/Gooden trade? That is as big as it gets!!!!

  150. I can realistically see one other major move coming tomorrow from either the Blazers or Cavs…those guys want to cash in their big chips

  151. 8 points, 3 of 7… what is happening to Lamar?

  152. this aint looking gd, just one of those nights

  153. Some of that solid D would really be useful right now…

  154. 152

    He’s getting punked by Anthony Randolph, that’s what.

  155. Kobe is pissed…expect great (or bad) things to follow

  156. I think Lamar might be a bit angry after that foul as well… here’s hoping Kobe becomes cold, focused angry, instead of the trigger-happy angry.

  157. but thats about all that happened.

    the bulls kings and the

    heat raptors(which was inevitable)

  158. Nellie was about to kiss Randolph’s forehead in a sad attempt to console his visibly devastated rook after getting launched off Odom’s back

  159. Why did Kobe not get credit for that HUGE BLOCK?

  160. kkkoobbbeee

  161. Seriously, there should be a way to watch games without commentary (without muting the TV). Jackson just drives me up the wall. I’d rather listen to Meyers talk about ‘length’ and ‘spacing’.

  162. i do have a feeling that…

    IT’S ON!

    That incident must have been the wake up call

  163. To Joel at 162

    I think there used to be away if you have a balance/channel setting in your tv/home theater/speaker setup, sometime going all left (or all right) in the setup cancels the commentary feed and leaves you with the squeaks and dribbles.

  164. Phoenix hits triple digits in 3 quarters against the Clippers – again.

  165. #164:
    Whereas if you have a surround sound, the commentary goes in the center speaker, and there is just no way you can get rid of it except muting it… which I refuse to do.

  166. OH OH OHHHHHHHHH AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

  167. KOBE D BABY!
    Nice back-to-back blocks!
    Take notes Shannon Brown

  168. This is a fun game to watch.

  169. I hope Kobe’s hand is okay. From this angle, that looked like a very painful smack against the rim.

  170. Man… Kobe has a lot of bad luck with his fingers doesn’t he?

    162

    Unfortunately I don’t have that option, sure would be useful right about now.

  171. Adam Morrison first one off the bench to slap hands! He’s more low-key than Turiaf, but I like the effort in the cheerleading department.

    Loving the atmosphere of this game. Jackson and Kobe are getting into this, fierce.

  172. Watching our bench + Gasol right now reminds me of the Brothers K recent post about just enjoying every moment of this team. This is a special, special team. Can you imagine having to watch Smush/Kwame chugging up the court right now?

    I’m just enjoying every minute of basketball I can get from these guys.

  173. The Lakers are hoisting up too many 3s. Get the ball inside to Pau and play inside-out.

  174. Back to back bad 3′s by Trevor and Sasha. Phil is undoubtedly using this timeout to remind the team that they must not succumb to the Warriors fast paced juju.

  175. They can juju all they want as long as we control the tempo… unfortunately, right now we don’t. Time to fall back in love with the passing lane and the lay-up.

  176. The refs are just really allowing contact, huh?

  177. I can’t believe Magic is shilling for an Indian casino.

  178. I really liked Kobe just now. After the Randolph tackle you could see him visibly calm himself down. A sigh, a short frown and then that look of “We’ll see.”

    More of the assassin, less of the screaming warrior against a team that is mugging you.

    Part of the reason it is so fun to watch the Lakers this year is the way the other teams get up for them, and play them (for the most part) with great intensity.

  179. Why is Kobe insisting on the PnR every time? I get that it’s an effective play, but against this team we’d be better served pounding it inside.

  180. <3 Ariza

  181. kobe only has 2 blocks in the boxscore…

    he had back to backs…and one earlier….shouldn’t he have three?

    or am i crazy

  182. Clutch 3s by Ariza!

  183. So, Ariza becoming our new Sasha/Vlad?

    He’s hitting 60% from the 3.

  184. Got to wonder, with Turiaf and Randolph with 5 each, and our talent inside, why are we not stuffing it down their throats?

    Or, would that be too easy?

  185. Gasol and Odom look like they were born to play with each other. It’s cruel, making us decide between them and Bynum as starters

  186. 179

    So far the pick-and-roll has gotten the job done pretty much every time.

  187. 181. i think they missed the blocked 3 pointer…

  188. Here we go. Now we’re in control.

    Lamarrrrr!

  189. Clear path, great.

  190. Kobe, I love you, but you can be incredibly frustrating at times. Just once I want to see Pau wave off Kobe’s call for the PnR and scream for the f’n ball.

  191. Now if only Lamar could get 3 more rebounds and Kobe 2 more assists…

  192. Stop! Kobe time!

  193. The Clippers are a disgrace. How do you let a team score 140 on you 2 nights in a row? Mike Dunleavy should do the honourable thing and fall on his sword.

  194. Gasol ends up with 42 minutes.

    Kobe really wants to be the leading scorer every time out if he’s close.

    The man needs to trust more in the closing minutes of the game.

  195. This one’s not finished yet..

  196. #195:
    In one of the highlights from that game (during time-outs in the Laker game), I saw Shaw lead a fast break, and dish the ball to Nash, who drove in for a dunk. It was surreal, in an epic sort of way.

  197. *meant to type “Shaq”… never try to be eloquent while stretched out on a couch with a laptop

  198. In addition to Shannon Brown being a dead ringer for Chris Brown, Adam Morrison reminds me a little of Chad Michael Murray. Am I the only one who sees these things?

  199. i disagree…

    the best option at the end of the game offensively is kobe, even double-teamed…and he trusted Ariza on the shots when they were open

  200. Nash dunked? Are you serious???? That alone should result in fines and suspensions. Wow.

  201. kurt, you called it about 100 comments ago…does it feel like the Lakers can hang around, keep it to within 4 or 5, then in the 4th, tighten the screws on D, the let Kobe, or the Pau/LO combo go off a Kobe double team, and we go up by 3 or 4 or 7 or 8, and never look back.
    I wrote about this a week or 2 ago, and one of the old timers here later agreed in the thread, that this seems to be a trend.
    but not a dangerous trend, more like confidence.

  202. are you sure it wasn’t me?

  203. So Joe Smith could still end up in Boston….I remember when he was a Cav thinking that that was a player you love to play with and hate to play against.

  204. ^Sorry Kurt, I just realized that might be trade/FA speculation…I didn’t think before I posted.

  205. whoa whoa whoa…

    steve nash didnt dunk it.

    shaq led the break and steve nash underhanded scooped it up against the back board

  206. wow nice trev with the consecutive 3′s. his work over the summer is really paying off

  207. Easily the most exciting game of the year for me. From beginning to end this was a classic.

    I think that one thing that needs to be brought up is our EFFORT. We are playing like a team that wants home court throughout the playoffs. Pretty much every game this year we’ve been in contention. We’ve been playing with a chip on our shoulders and it’s been a joy to watch. Case in point for tonight: LO. Things weren’t going his way early on, but he hung in there and once again made a huge difference.

    But back to overall team effort. Even when we were down 12 in the 2nd half, watching this team all year, I had full confidence in our ability to get back into the game (+ we were playing a bunch of 6’7″ guys).

    It’s a good sign when the team puts this kind of effort to win this kind of game (on the road on the 2nd of a back to back).

    That said, still wish we went down low to Pau more often in the 1st half of the 4th quarter before we went strictly P and R. The Warriors had no answer for the P and R, true, but they also have NOBODY who can come close to guarding Pau.

    Biggest plays of the game were those back to back 3s by Aroozo.

    Bottom line of all this rambling though: it finally hit me that we are, in fact, playing at a championship level – something we’ve sustained pretty much all season long. Soak it in Laker fans. We are spoiled with great basketball right now, and tonight was a good example of it.

  208. 207

    Thanks for clearing that up!

  209. In terms of just the game itself (so leaving aside the added excitement of “rivalry” games), this was the most fun game to watch all year. There’s nothing better than unrestrained Nellie-ball.

  210. Impressive win for our boys. The Warriors have been tough at home since Ellis has gotten healthy, and they present so many matchup problems with their speed and outside shooting ability. It’s great that the guys have become so tough-minded that they just wait out the other team’s hot shooting, keep pounding it down on the block (with the exception of one bad stretch early in the 4th), and clamp down on defense in crunch time.

  211. Lousy refereeing job tonight, glad to see the Lakers play through it instead of succumb to the emotion that the Warriors and their fans got off those garbage calls. Crawford got so many touch foul calls, while Kobe must have been invisible to the refs (just bc he doesn’t flail everytime he gets bumped?). Still, the Lakers have reached a point in their journey where they’re becoming 5 on 8 good, where even whistles can’t stop them. Particularly impressed with Odom, who after two quickies and a T, finished the game with a ton of composure. I also like that Kobe was still in the ref’s ear after he drained that kill shot over Jackson, like it shouldn’t have ever been even THAT close were it not for their diarrhea of the whistle… nice try, refs, you can take your orange headbands off now.

  212. 213 – To be fair, I thought the Warriors often played through contact on their side of the floor (I only saw the last quarter though). But from what I saw, the refs let them play fairly consistently on both ends.

  213. Agreed with the comments regarding this being the most fun game to watch this season, when one takes into account the quality and quantity of exciting plays. I would have to put our one-point loss in San Antonio up there too. Both teams just played insanely well in that game, and if the Spurs have to play that perfect a game just to beat us by one point in their own arena, there is no way they can beat our guys in a seven-game series.

  214. It seems like there has to be something each game to get lamar fired up and really into the game. Tonight it was when randolph landed on his back, lamar went right down and scored three buckets in a row after that.

  215. 214. Your parenthetical doesn’t really allow you “to be fair”. That being said, the refs did swallow their whistles a bit at the end, and see what happens?

    btw, the kill shot was over turiaf, not jackson.

  216. just saw the espn recap. what was that camera dude barking at kobe at the end of the clip? anyhow, win 44!

  217. PeanutButterSpread February 19, 2009 at 1:26 am

    passerby,

    that camera dude wasn’t barking at Kobe, he just happened to be standing next to the guy (the referee) that Kobe was barking at lol

  218. @wondahbap – it would’ve been an awesome game to live blog, especially the part where lamar vaulted randolph off his back. I didn’t get home till late tonight and just enjoyed the game in real time. sorry!

    @jd hastings – in this economy, i’m going to have to issue IOUs, not unlike the state of california.

  219. nomuskles,

    Yeah. I knew it was going to be. Not only is it Nellieball, but the Lakers are content to have shoot-outs against inferior teams in back-to-backs.

    Boy, was it fun.

  220. Yahoo Sports says the Tyson trade has been recinded … due to injury concerns.

    (I’d speculate about Thunder/Celtics & Suns/Lakers but Kurt would rightfully delete it)

  221. I like the way Kobe kept looking for Trevor in the 4th when he was doubled. We will see teams double Kobe in that situation and Trevor will most likely be the guy who is open. Making shots like that will give him confidence in those situations later in the season.

  222. Well, it took a collective effort to pull this one. I think we saw the “crunch time” line up last night and all players called upon answered. Having said that, Sasha’s production has been hurting this season. The effectiveness of Ariza has reduced the need for Sasha and his reduced minutes have affected his consistency. I hope he starts to bounce back as we will need his outside shot later inthe season.

  223. It will be interesting to see if any of our competition for the Championship pull off a significant trade. We’ve heard a lot of talk, but rarely does any of it pan out.

  224. http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?page=TradeTalkRoundup-090218

    Shaq to Cleveland? Wow. This is going to be one entertaining Finals. Screw the Boston rematch. I’ll take the Kobe v. LeBron AND Shaq drama any day.

  225. 215 – Almost forgot about the San Antoinio game (probably on purpose). Both teams shot lights out that game.

  226. Wow.. I think Phoenix just might bite on that Shaq proposal. That’s as good as they can get to finding someone who can get rid of Shaq’s contract for them.

  227. #207:
    My bad. I saw it once , and remembered it wrong. It still looked really weird though…

  228. From the LA Times’ story about Powell:

    Somehow, Powell avoided not getting overly frustrated when his playing time was limited.

    “How do you avoid it? Let me see. Let me think,” Powell said, smiling. “I’m on the best team in the league. I’m playing with the Lakers. I’m playing with some of the best guys in the league. I don’t know. What else? How do you want me to put it? I’m in the NBA. It’s a lot to be thankful for.”

  229. Kobe should probably be doing several fewer of the one-on-one sequences followed by a shot per game: they should keep sending the ball into Gasol, and let him shoot (57% so far this season) or pass. If Kobe moves without the ball, Gasol will find him (or someone else) for a better shot than Kobe gets on his isos, or else shoot it himself, at a higher percentage than Kobe is getting.

  230. 231-I agree with you re: Pau should touch it as often as possible, but Kobe is not gonna change. He is gonna take several iso shots in the 4th quarter of games, Phil used to try to fight it, now he just embraces it, there’s no other choice.

  231. I just started a new trade deadline thread so we can talk moves for the next few hours. Later this afternoon, a lengthy Lakers post will go up. But for now, let’s see who makes the big plays.

  232. That LA Times article about Powell also says: “Lakers center Andrew Bynum is expected to be out another six to 10 weeks recovering from a torn ligament in his right knee.”

    Sigh.

  233. From what i saw last night the lakers tried to get the ball down low to Gasol. The warriors played some ball denial on Gasol. They knocked the ball loose a couple of times from behind. When our offense runs through Gasol we are a better team but sometimes we cant just force it down low. If a team is playing defense against us my guess is they will try denying Gasol the ball in the post. Besides the pick and roll worked well for us last night, why not run it till they figure out how to defend it?

  234. 234. Mimsy, that’s the schedule he was on. Six weeks is early April, 10 is late April first week of May.

  235. Granted, but I keep having these unpleasant flashbacks to last season when the schedule kept being pushed farther and farther back… Also, I was under the impression that ten weeks is what they initially said, so assumed that if they still say that, it’s been pushed back? If I’m wrong, then so much the better! :)

  236. It was 8-12 weeks when he went down a few weeks ago. I don’t see a big change.

  237. I was convinced it was 8-10 two weeks ago. My mistake.