Preview & Chat: The Minnesota Timberwolves

Kurt —  March 6, 2009
NBA: NOV 09 Rockets at Lakers

Records: Lakers 49-12 (1st in the West) T-Wolves 18-42 (11th in the West)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 113.9 (1st in league) T-Wolves 106.2 (23rd in league)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 105.4 (6th in league) T-Wolves 111.2 (26th in league)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Luke Walton, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol
T-Wolves Randy Foye, Sebasian Telfair (game time decision), Ryan Gomes, Mike Miller, Kevin Love

Forum Blue and Gold: Now on Twitter: At the urging of Nomuskles, there is now an official FB&G twitter account —forumbluegold.

(Yes, there is no “and” or “&”, talk to the twitter people who wouldn’t let me use those.)

This will be filled with random observations about the Lakers, the NBA, Top Chef, Sasha’s hair and what Bill Simmons thinks about it, why Bill Simmons thinks so much about it, LOST, what was the best Van Halen album and whatever else pops into my mind (or a few of the other regulars around here). Obviously, this is tweeting not serious analysis, so we are going to have some fun.

Let me know who you are and we’ll follow you, too. This is one big happy family. (Well, except after a loss we are not that happy.)

New FB&G Shirt, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day: We all remember the idiocy of the NBA or Adidas or whoever came up with the Lakers St. Patrick’s Day shirt. Well, The 81 Witness had a good counter to that, hence the new FB&G shirt:

Real Men Don’t Wear Green

The front has the logo of the site and the forum, the back has just those words. If nothing else, I expect Sasha to buy one.

Sun Now Rises For D-Fenders: The Lakers announced today that Sun Yue is headed down to the D-Fenders for a while. For him, this is probably a bit of an ego hit, but if he can get past that it is a good thing. The way he is going to get better is to get some run. From here on out, with the team trying to get into playoff mode, there is not going to be a lot of run for the guys at the end of the bench.

Better to let him go play (in the triangle, that’s why Jerry Buss bought the team) than to sit there staring at the Laker Girls. Yea, he’s going to miss that, too. But he needs to play.

The T-Wolves Coming In: They may be the worst team in the NBA of late, having won just one of their last nine games. They got just destroyed by Golden State a few nights ago.

Mike Miller had not shooting enough (4 fewer shots per game than last year) and he for the season is off from three (down to 36.5% from 43% last season). But in the last 10 games, he is back to being the Miller that kills the Lakers, shooting, 46% from three. Maybe it is because they have a good interior passer like Kevin Love down low who can get him the ball inside out (as he tends to prefer his catch and shoots). Jefferson never really did that well.

Maybe the best player of late has been Randy Foye (and he has a twitter account. Just sayin). He’s averaging 21 a game in the last 10, and if he is putting up a three the Lakers need to close out fast as he is shooting 41.7% from deep in the last 10.

Keys To The Game: Remember the last game a couple weeks ago — the Lakers were in control but never pulled away. The bench kept giving leads back. The Lakers picked up one of their ugly wins. That’s what happens if you don’t respect a team (and you have the talent of the Lakers, often other teams just lose those games). The Lakers need to come out tonight with the intent of going all Bachman Turner Overdrive.

Basically in that game the Lakers let Foye and anyone else that wanted to right into the middle of the paint. The Lakers defense not is based on protecting the paint, but nobody was doing that. The result was not only easy baskets but also kick-outs for open corner threes. The Wolves did almost all that damage off the pick-and-roll, tonight the Lakers need to defend that better, have bigs show out a little and take away the drives and the paint. (This is where we really miss Bynum.)

Get out and run, particularly the second unit, the Lakers should get a few easy buckets tonight.

Where you can watch: 7:30 on Fox Sports out here. We all may miss the start of this to watch the end of Celtics/Cavs anyway.

Kurt

Posts

116 responses to Preview & Chat: The Minnesota Timberwolves

  1. …but yeah……LAKERS by 26?

    KOBE 29 pts 9 assts 7 rebs
    dnp 4th qtr

    LO 17 pts 15 rebs 8 assts

    PAU 21 pts 10 rebs 4 assts

  2. the other Stephen March 6, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    that’s the shirt i’ve been waiting for.

  3. The Dude Abides March 6, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Brought forward from previous thread:

    One aspect of the Utah, Houston, and New Orleans injuries this season is that their benches have gotten more seasoning (no pun intended). All three present different potential problems for the Lakers.

    Utah is the deepest of the three, and DWill can just about do anything he wants against our PGs. Houston has two guys who can alternate on Kobe, and on Lamar if he plays starter’s minutes in the playoffs. NOLA has the Chris Paul matchup problem, and David West may be in the top three of mid-range jump shooters in the league along with Kobe and Pierce.

    I do think the ideal circumstance would be a Denver-Portland first round series, as that would surely result in another sweep for the Lakers. UTA, NOLA, and HOU finishing in the 3, 6, and 7 spots would be great. Let them fight it out with the Spurs in the other half of the draw. Of course, having the Jazz and Hornets fight it out in the first round at 4-5 would be OK as well. That series could easily go seven games.

    I simply can’t see any team staying with us if Andrew comes back healthy for 24-28 minutes a game and plays with the second unit. How many backup centers will be able to defend him one-on-one? Teams will be forced to double him, giving Sasha, Jordan, and Trevor more space for their threes, LO more room for his dives to the basket, and when Pau is on the court with Drew, more opportunities for Trevor to cut to the hoop. Drew’s presence on defense will allow our wing defenders to stay closer to the 3-pt line, as Drew can guard most bigs with single coverage.

  4. What about the real women?! Talk about alienating 50% of your readers! Okay, maybe more like 5%. But still, I would like a FB&G shirt for the ladies and I can’t be the only one.

  5. I’m kind of sad that Sun was sent off to the D-League, even though there’s really no spot for him on the roster right now. I feel like I was the only person that would rather have seen him get garbage minutes than Adam Morrison. Hopefully some time in the D-League will help him refine his skills and he might actually get a chance at cracking the rotation in the future.

  6. 4 Emma, you can change the shirt type and color, Zazzle is very easy to modify that way. I got my wife an FB&G shirt in a ladies cut.

  7. Keying off your comment about how the Lakers defend the paint, one thing that I’ve seen that makes me occasionally nervous this year is the Lakers’ strategy to clog the middle and happily allow the opponent to shoot jump shots.

    The best (successful) example of this was the Cavs game in Cleveland. In the pre-2nd quarter interview, Phil was asked about stopping big Z, who had hit a bunch of j’s in the 1st quarter. In yet more proof of Phil’s genius, he told the announcer flat-out that he didn’t mind giving up those shots, that they might not be falling by the end of the game. And just as Phil predicted, the Cavs missed jumpers in the 4th (and Lamar had his sick 3rd Q), and we prevailed.

    But sometimes it looks like the Lakers aren’t just giving up the outside shot, they are begging their opponent to take the outside shot, and this leads to lackadaisical defense closing out shooters. The numerical proof is our poor ranking in giving up 3’s.

    Obviously giving up j’s is better than giving up layups, but I worry about a key game against, say, the Hornets, where West or Peja hit j after j in the 4th. Do y’all think this is a problem, or do you think giving up outside shots is an effective strategy that will take us all the way?

  8. I REALLY hope the Lakers take care of business early tonight. Not overly confident that they will for all of the reasons that you assert.

    p.s., just followed you on twitter. follow me, please netgarden -http://twitter.com/netgarden)

    Cheers,

    mark

  9. 5. you’re right. you were the only person.

    let me put this in perspective: I watched every china/olympics game solely to watch sun and I must admit, I’m a convert– converted to the idea that he is a horrible player who doesn’t strike me as ever belonging in the nba. I’m sure he’s a nice kid, and who couldn’t root for the (ahem) ‘chinese magic johnson’, and I even own up to starting not one, not two, but three sun chants this season at staples, but even in garbage time, i must (finally) admit that he looks hopelessly outclassed by the worst bench player on the worst team.

    hey, I’d love to wrong, but I bet he gets schooled in the d-league as well.

  10. coffee is for closers March 6, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    shaister42: the only thing about the lakers’ exterior defense that consistently bothers me (and stu lance too, i always hear) is when a laker defensing the other team’s top outside shooter leave their man to help on dribble penetration – think lamar leaving peja to help fish with chris paul. paul invariably passes out to peja for the open 3 in this example.

  11. The Dude Abides March 6, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Kobe, Stan Van Gundy, and Chris Bosh send birthday cards to Shaq:

    http://phoenix.fanster.com/suns/2009/03/06/shaqs-birthday-cards-from-around-the-nba/

    Almost as funny as the thought of Vlad Rad bumming a cigarette from a homeless guy.

  12. I said this a few threads ago, Sasha needs to shave his head. period. no more worries about looking cool, or messing with it. then after I wrote that, that night he came out with a ‘trim’ . anyway…and did you see??? small signs of coming out of the slump!
    imagine!! if he shaved it all off??!! (it’s Sampson in reverse)

  13. I don’t think I understand the benefit of Twitter.

    …or Sun Yue.

  14. I don’t know what Twitter is but the best Van Halen album was Women and Children First.

  15. 7- Your point is the biggest concern for the Lakers, in my view: stopping teams that can penetrate the lane and kick out for open threes. Those teams can beat L.A.

    How many times did Wheelchair Boy drive into the middle and kick out to Posey, Ray Allen or House for an open J in the Finals last year? It’s no coincidence that the Lakers’ epic collapse at Staples in June came when Boston went to a shooter-oriented lineup.

    Orlando used this same strategy to beat the Lakers twice this year, and New Orleans has been successful this way, too. Utah can do it, though their shooters aren’t as reliable as some other teams.

    The key won’t always be in trying to stop the threes on the perimeter, however. Instead, it’s stopping that initial penetration that sets up the shooters with open looks.

    Why did L.A. beat Boston twice this season? In large part by putting Kobe or Ariza on Rondo, which kept him out of the lane and let the other Lakers stay at home.

    A healthy Bynum will help in this aspect, too, provided he’s coming back this season. (I’m still leary after last year’s promised return. Sue me.)

    This isn’t an issue the Lakers can’t address, but if they are to lose, it wouldn’t shock me if it were to be for this weakness and this weakness alone. Hopefully they’ll find a happy medium in the last few weeks of the season.

  16. Best Van Halen Album – Fair Warning….by a mile

  17. #12 Van Halen (st) is pretty epic also.

    Who should we being rooting for tonight I guess ….Boston Blehhhhhhhhh

  18. coffee is for closers March 6, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    rondo goes down with an ankle. where’s the obligatory celtic wheelchair?

    best van halen album – #2

  19. On another topic, that Wade guy is pretty good. Put him against the soft interior D of Toronto and, well, this is what you get.

  20. Kurt,
    I believe I suggested the t-shirt idea. Will be ordering tomorrow and wearing on St. Paddy’s Day.

    Best Van Halen Album, #1.

    Dude Abides,
    Something like that happened to a friend and I like 7-8 years ago. We were working a golf tournament and Nicholas Lea (actor from X-files) tried to bum a smoke from my friend, who doesn’t smoke.

  21. Good on Big Z and James running in to push back on the Celtics when they foul hard. People are on to that bully mentality of the Celtics. Don’t take that crap, give it right back, they back down. Reed was right on about that.

  22. 20. It was you, I’m sorry. I had deleted that email exchange when I thought I had archived it. So I made a bit of a guess. I’ve made the change in the post, you deserve credit.

  23. Eh, no worries. F-ing Ray Allen.

  24. I am glad Sun Yue is going to get playing time this year in the triangle. I thought he should have already been playing in the D-League this year.

    Fair Warning, best song Unchained of course…

  25. The Dude Abides March 6, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Wow…Celtics leading by 10 with 2 1/2 minutes left and Cleveland has shot 37 FT to Boston’s 12.

  26. j. d. hastings March 6, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Bold move by the timberwolves to start their bench

  27. My question from the Celtics game: Does this do anything to the Cavs confidence come the Eastern Conference Finals? My guess is no if they get home court, the Cavs don’t lose much at home, but if the Celts get home court…. maybe.

  28. j. d. hastings March 6, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    28- I think Lebron has a bit of kobe in him in that his self-confidence isn’t contingent on factors outside of himself. Mo Williams too. And the rest of the team will feed off whatever they feel.

  29. any other links??

  30. JD., you could be right.

    One thing the Lakers are doing is pressuring Love if he gets the defensive rebound, to prevent the quick outlet down the court. Smart move.

  31. And every time Collins wants to shoot, let him. I swear that guy would shoot 50% on dunks.

  32. j. d. hastings March 6, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    replying to your twitter post, Kurt- Mbenga sweats more, but only when talking to the ladies.

  33. j. d. hastings March 6, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    I think Memphis’s frontcourt of Kwame, Collins and Darko should be bronzed forever as the crappiest frontcourt in the history of the league. And I literally mean those players should be cast in bronze so we never have to see them play again.

  34. Ariza has to stop shooting jumpers.

  35. 35

    Wasn’t Brian Cardinal playing for Memphis last season as well? That is some epic ineptitude right there.

  36. Josh Powell with the PUJIT?

  37. lol @ JD

  38. The Dude Abides March 6, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    35. Too funny. But perhaps casting them in lead would be better, with a Butterfinger glaze on the outside.

  39. I like the minutes phil is giving powell and mbenga. And I think it’s motivating each of them to see the other play well, and competing for playing time

  40. Kobe passes Parish. When Kobe passes Barkley, I want to see that Inside the NBA session.

  41. j. d. hastings March 6, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    hahahahahaha- that shot of mchale’s sad face as Joel announced that he had traded away 2 of the last 3 ROYs was pricless.

    39- I defer to your project modifications

  42. j. d. hastings March 6, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Kobe’s fade away bank shot = Michael Jordan + Tim Duncan

  43. 42

    I know he traded Roy, but who was the other one?

  44. j. d. hastings March 6, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    hmm- yeah he didn’t trade Paul or Durant… Did Joel say he MIGHT have traded 2 of 3 if Mayo gets ROY?

  45. Joel’s comment was that if Mayo wins ROY this year, McHale will have traded two ROY winners (Roy and Mayo) on draft night.

  46. Watching Odom try to shoot free throws is painful.

  47. j. d. hastings March 6, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    twitter + fb&g + uncompetitive nba game= poor listening habits by jd

  48. 47

    I figured as much. To be fair to McHale (don’t get used to it), Love has looked like a real solid pick so far.

    Speaking of questionable draft moves, I see Mr Candace Parker is in for the Wolves…

  49. Whoops, that should have been 46 not 47.

  50. j. d. hastings March 6, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Speaking of ROY, there’s one playing in this game. Take a trip down memory lane recalling who it is.

  51. I think any judgments for the Mayo-Love trade will be left for next year. Mayo has hit the wall recently and we should wait to see how Love meshes with Jefferson on the floor. How both continue their play next year will be important.

  52. 51

    PAU!!!!

  53. j. d. hastings March 6, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Ach, I meant besides Pau

  54. J.D.,

    Mike Miller.

  55. Mike Miller

  56. j. d. hastings March 6, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Yup. He’s a good player, but is one of the worst ROY’s of all time (not that he didn’t deserve it, but if you were picking among the entire pool in a pickup game, he’d go pretty late)

  57. The Dude Abides March 6, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    51. MiMi

  58. The 2000 draft was pretty brutal in general.

  59. mike miller!

    speaking of, anyone remember that nasty elbow to the face that kobe laid on him a couple of years back? cause he was tired of his team “waltzing down the lane”?

  60. j. d. hastings March 6, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    59- OMG I ljust looked it up. That draft was AWFUL. The top 5 players:

    Michael Redd
    Jamal Crawford
    Hedo Turkoglu…
    Quentin Richardson and

    uh

    Najera? Eddie House?

  61. That draft had 3 All-Stars: Michael Redd, Kenyon Martin, and Jamaal Magloire.

    Yikes.

  62. j. d. hastings March 6, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    How many draft years have produced 0 hall of famers? Most have at least one guy near that level. Facinating.

    Next year’s class might be similar though. Good year to draft late.

    Wow, Luke, what is that move?

  63. Uh, Luke? I think it might be time to stop shooting now.

  64. This years draft does not look like it will be very good. You have Griffin, who I think will be really good, and then you have…..

  65. 66. Notice nobody was trying to move high picks for guys at the deadline. I haven’t seen enough of Griffin to make a call, but after that everyone seems average. Maybe a project out there you can get to evolve.

  66. I’ll throw my hat in the ring for ty lawson. I know he’s small, but every unc game I’ve seen he’s been able to take it over with his quickness and court savvy. I think he’s got a bright future.

  67. j. d. hastings March 6, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Ricky Rubio? Will he even be able to get over here?

    Hey- Ron Harper! If you’re going to interview people in the middle of the game, I’ll take Ron.

  68. What is up with Ron Harper’s voice? Did he always sound like that and I don’t remember?

  69. j. d. hastings March 6, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Harper has always had a serious stuttering problem. Since before coming in the league.

  70. JD, all the reports are that Rubio is two years out. I think that is because of the age 19 thing, but I’m not sure.

    I like Lawson’s style and leadership. Plus he can shoot. 49% from three this year, 66% True shooting percentage, gets a lot of assists. Maybe a Farmar type?

  71. j. d. hastings March 6, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Sasha coast to coast!

  72. Sasha just seems to be shooting more on the move (I mean jumpers not driving by a slow big, obviously). When he sets he seems okay, but he seems to be trying the Kobe shooting on the move thing, and it’s not his game.

  73. ya for sure re: farmar/lawson. I didn’t even realize how well he shoots. I’ve also seen a lot of good things from james harden. I feel like he’s got a funky advantage cuz he’s a lanky lefty. I think he has NBA game.

  74. j. d. hastings March 6, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Man, we needed these last 2 games. Hopefully the bench can carry this over into the next 4.

    74- I think you’re right. Especially on that last FGA he square himself but just shot with his momentum carrying him sideways.

  75. j. d. hastings March 6, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    *he DID NOT square himself to the basket

  76. Mbenga!!!!!

  77. dj mbenga. you cannot stop him, you can only hope to contain him.

  78. I’d like to see a lineup of Jordan Farmar, Shannon Brown, Trevor Ariza, Lamar Odom, and DJ Mbenga just to see how many blocks we can get.

  79. I like Harden (So Cal guy, Artesia High), too. But like all the guys in this draft, they are kind of role guys down the line. There is no Rose or Mayo in this group. Drafting as late as they are, the Lakers just take the best guy and hope in a couple years he can fit in the rotation.

  80. j. d. hastings March 6, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    can’t the lakers sell their draft pick like Phoenix did for a couple years in a row? If every dollar counts, it could be worth it.

  81. DJ Mbenga!!!!!

  82. League rule, you cannot trade/sell two consecutive first round draft picks.

  83. mbenga with the pair of mblocks!

  84. The Dude Abides March 6, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Memo to Laker wings and PGs:
    Pau’s hands > DJ’s hands

  85. This is a really weak draft. No real reason to move up, especially with so many teams not wanting to take on salary. Unless you’re drafting Griffin, there really isn’t anyone that jumps out. Harden, Thabeet, and Monroe are good, but they’re not on Griffin’s level.

    As for us, I concur with the above on Lawson. That said, for where we are in the draft, we either draft the best player available or go with a foreign prospect. According to Chad Ford’s draft watch, Donatas Motiejunas, a Lithuanian player, is the closest to Dirk that scouts have seen for a while. See the article here: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/draft2009/columns/story?columnist=ford_chad&page=FordDraftWatch-090227.

  86. Man, this is just a block party. ANOTHER swat for DJ. 14 total for the Lakers, is that a season best?

  87. “congo cash” LOL

  88. anyone knows at how many wins we ought to have before we secure a playoff spot. i have no doubts we get 1st place but nothing beats security of mind.

    this is win is more or less how we ought to win against these type of teams. i wish we could sit kobe and pau more but anyhow.

    nice win by the celtics. these games make them look scary and yes they have an abundance of big men that showed cleveland some. that’s why bynum back is so assuring.

    wish ammo scored so all lakers in scores. i like sasha’s D at times. trevor doing what he can do good for the mob —attack and troop to the line. lamar with an ugly line though. GO LAKERS!

  89. It’s a few games before a spot is secured. We are 15 games ahead of the 9th place team, but I think we have just more than 20 games left.

  90. yeah lamar’s really come back to earth as of late.

  91. About Lamar, I know they run the triangle, But I’d love to see Lamar and Pau run the PNR, With Lamar’s ball handling skills it should be cake, and it would get him into the game. So often he just drifts around on offense and when he tries to get involved he always takes his guy off the dribble instead of using a pick.

  92. JD hastings,

    Yeah. The FreeDarko book even has a chapter breaking down that draft as the worst ever.

  93. Late post but I have to agree with Emma.. Where’s the “real women don’t wear green”? shirt.

  94. Guys, i am really worried about rebounding. This game was 54 – 41 Min, with 18 OR. I hope this scenario changes coming playoff time. For me, this cost us the title last year.

  95. Bergmann –

    For one – this wasn’t a particularly close game for the majority of the evening, which has an effect on effort. Effort directly correlates with rebounding. The Lakers slacked a bit because the Wolves couldn’t put the ball in the basket.

    Check the defensive rebounding numbers. LA: 35; MIN: 36. Keep in mind, the Lakers missed far fewer shots, turned the ball over way less (only 4 all game), and won by 20 points. I think this was in many ways a case of simply relaxing a bit.

    Also, Kevin Love is probably one of the best players in the league at rebounding his own misses. The guy had 18/14, true, but he shot 5/17 on the night – this was not an efficient outing on his part.

  96. I like Ty Lawson, too, along with Eric Maynor, Greivis Vasquez, and I’m holding out hope that Stephon Curry will drop. However, best player available is the course of action as there might be a James Johnson, Earl Clark, or someone else available that is a better player than those point guards except for Stephon Curry.

  97. Bergman, Underbruin is right. Minny shot 33% for the game, when a team does that their offensive rebounding raw numbers go up because they have more chances. They grabbed a pretty high percentage, too, but Minny is a good offensive rebounding team.

  98. I had a strange, sad thought while watching the highlights. For the first time I started imagining what a post-Kobe NBA would be like, and I almost couldn’t picture it. This guy plays at such an unbelievable level night in and night on, against the best and worst teams. He’s the first franchise player I grew up cheering for, the way many of the others around here grew up with Magic and Kareem.

    Boston fans can’t possibly want a title for their players as much as we do. They haven’t spent the last 12 years pulling for Garnett or Allen, the way we have for Kobe. Ideally I’d like to see him grab 2 or even 3 more rings before he retires.

    But even if he doesn’t, he’s led us on an amazing journey this last decade. It will be a sad, sad day when the NBA finally loses Kobe Bryant.

  99. the other Stephen March 7, 2009 at 10:01 am

    sasha has ALWAYS done that shooting while on the move thing. maybe he doesn’t have enough body control, or maybe he thinks it’s more dramatic. either way, he could probably use a good buzz cut.

  100. I think besides Griffin that all the other players in this draft seem like role players. I thought Thabeet might be a good defensive center and rebounder, but after watching him get man handled by Dejaun Blair when they played pittsburgh (in one play Blair flipped him over his shoulder and threw him on the ground when Thabeet tried to get a rebound over him). Blair might be a good player he reminds me of milsap (although he looks bigger and stronger).

  101. 93. That’s a great point. Have they ever tried it? It may be effective.

  102. this week went as well as it could have, I predicted, (hoped) that we would –
    1) get 2 relatively easy wins so
    2) the starters would get some rest, they’ve been pulling too many minutes, and
    3) the bench would start to believe in themselves, get some confidence back, find their groove.

    so all that seemed to happen, sasha got a slight hair cut, and his game improved slightly as well, DJ really found himself and now is starting to believe he can be a real contributor, Powell got some substantial minutes and used them wisely, grabbing boards, hitting the mid range, Trevor played his usual, the Cobra nabbing a few steals, and Farmar seemed to settle down in this last game, we need him to be a part of the bench mob, run things smoothly, and also Shannon Brown just might start showing us that Mitch is a wise ol’ goat.

  103. Ryan,

    Thabeet will be a bust. He’s just a 7’3″ project who plays on a good team. I don’t think he’s any good. His ceiling might be a poor man’s Mutombo.

  104. I don’t know if Thabeet will be bust. The results depend on what you’re asking Thabeet to be. Do you want him to be a dominant at both ends? I don’t think that’s likely. Or dominant at one end which would be the defensive end? I think that is very much a possibility. His skills at that end of the floor are already advance. Now I think he has to develop the mentality to dominate defensive night in, night out. Inconsistency always plague young players.

  105. E-ROC,

    No way Curry drops to us. He has “Knicks” written all over him. He won’t make it past them in the draft unless they have one of the top four picks. Even then, someone in the mid-lottery will take a chance on him before he drops all the way to us.

  106. BCR,

    That was just wishful thinking on my part. I also think Lawson won’t be available when the Lakers pick last in the first round. I don’t think any of those players that I mentioned would be available when the Lakers pick, except for Greivis Vasquez. If I’m the Lakers, I take Sam Young out of Pittsburgh.

  107. The Dude Abides March 7, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    93, 103. I don’t know if an LO/Pau pick and roll would be all that effective. The two defenders could simply never switch, with LO’s man going under the screen every single time, daring Lamar to shoot an open 20-footer.

  108. E-ROC,

    Fair enough. I’m also skeptical that Lawson drops to us, but his draft stock has been so volatile the last few years that I don’t know where he’s going to drop. I like Sam Young, but unless we’re not resigning Ariza, that’s a crowded position. Personally, I’d sign Nick Calathes out of Florida; he’s big (6′ 5”) for a point guard, and Phil likes big guards.

  109. 109. Well it would only be something we go to on the rare occassion, and it would (hopefully) be off movement from the offense, which may cause the opposing big men to be out of position. But you’re right, it’s not something we could consistently do.
    Watching Utah, it seemed like LO/Gasol would be perfect for high/low post screens and cuts in succession. But we seem to only do it one at a time.

  110. Just noticed that against the heat Lebron had only his fourth triple double this season which I found surprising. Such an arbitrary stat as he has probably had many 9s but seems like he’s a way off doing an oscar!

  111. just out of curiosity and off a tangent:

    any of you watch the WBC? living in Korea I got to watch Korea trash Taiwan 9-0, give up a cold game to Japan 2-14, and beat China 14-0 the next day, just to play Japan again.

    The system is such that the top two teams in a conference can meet each other up to 5 times with one team being able to lose 4 times but just win the last matchup to claim the trophy.

    Wonder if that’s a viable system to place here somehow. That really could breed rivalry if you could set it up so that on the way to the conference finals and the finals, you could see the same team 5 times ;)

  112. On the subject of draft night, I think the Lakers are best suited to making a PG pick, because we’re not looking for the same PG that 29 other teams are. A player who may be deemed a bad PG, or have no “PG skills” by other teams might be a perfect fit in the triangle. Does anyone see someone like that out there? I like Collison, but I don’t know how far he’d fall, and I likely haven’t seen as much of him as most people on this board.

  113. Snoopy2006, personally I think you just take the best player on the draft board regardless of your draft position. I’d rather have another good small forward rather than a mediocre PG, just because we need a PG. That is especially true with picks after #20 — you need to take the guy you think can become a player in a few years. There are a lot of misses at that point in the draft, you need to make sure you get a hit and worry about what field it goes to later.

  114. Portland preview up