Fast Break Thoughts

Kurt —  April 13, 2009


In the comments, we’ve been talking about what Shannon Brown brings that Jordan Farmar doesn’t — defense.

To back that up, here are the 82games.com numbers:

Opposing two guards are shooting 37% against Brown, and have a PER of 10.3. (To be fair, that is a small sample size and is a bit dated).

Against PGs, Farmar is allowing them to shoot 45.7% with a PER of 16.7.

Watching Brown last night, he does a much better job getting over or around high picks, takes away driving lanes better, uses his body to keep offensive players out of position, is longer, and closes out better than Farmar. Plus, Jordan can guard only PGs, Brown can do the one, two and maybe the three (against a team going small). And, he is not hurting the offense, which is key.

If it is Utah in the first round, I agree with the sentiment that Brown is going to get a lot of time on D-Will. Farmar will get his chances during the playoffs, just not sure it will be much against Utah.

• If you want more Shannon Brown, Andrew Kamenetzky (the one the women like) sat down Brown and did a Q&A published at Lakers Blog:

Andrew Kamenetzky: Your minutes have been steadily increasing over the last 4-5 games. Where’s your comfort level at right now, in terms of what you’re doing on the floor???

Shannon Brown: Every game I think I get more and more comfortable. Seeing how I can attack on defense, seeing how I can attack on offense. Just going out there and trying to execute the game plan.

• And as was said last night in the comments, credit Mitch Kupchak for getting Brown thrown in the Radmanovic deal. From the little I had seen, I expected nothing from him, and he is proving to be a valuable asset, one we’d like to have back next year. I still don’t think he is the long-term answer at the position, but he could be a solid number two.

• I think Kelly Dwyer can walk on water, and not just because of paragraphs like this:

28 bench minutes from Lamar Odom (eight points, five rebounds, four assists, a steal, two blocks, zero turnovers), and while he wasn’t offering eye-popping stats, he was bringing the sort of guidance that made him my Sixth Man of the Year for the first few weeks of this season.
Odom does so much for that offense and defense off the bench, but you just have to watch the games to know, because he’s often the most important player in a play that won’t give him a point or an assist, and help defense doesn’t show up in the box score unless he rejects the shot.

• Does Shannon Brown need a nickname? Reader Lawrence suggests SBDUNKS! Other thoughts?

• I wish I were at Dodger opening day…..

Kurt

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93 responses to Fast Break Thoughts

  1. PeanutButterSpread April 13, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    I thought Shannon Brown’s nickname was UPS.

  2. peanut butter, right slogan, “brown delivers” wrong brown…
    how about “shannon shall!” (too many brown’s out there, but not many Shannon’s)

    it’s got to have something to do with his “hops” cause he sure does have ‘em, I heard that when asked, he said something, “I think I can touch the top of the backboard”.

    and it seems to be contaigeous, look at Sasha, now all of the sudden, he’s a dunker too. which isn’t bad considering he’s lost faith in his shot.

  3. oh, Peanut butter, I get it, UPS, as in “ups!”
    got it, sorry, cool.

  4. Well, I belive nicknames are earned in the playoffs. I am personally hoping for “Clutch”, but will settle for a bit less if need be.

  5. I think we have to keep in mind that Brown hasn’t spent as much time going against elite guards as Farmar has. Usually our substitution pattern doesn’t coincide with the oppositions, so a lot of times, Farmar ends up defending the opposing teams starting PG for stretches. Brown has yet to face CP3, DWill, Tony Parker, or any of the other elite point guards for more than marginal minutes, at least compared to Farmar.

    That being said, I believe that doesn’t account for the entire discrepancy in the difference between the opposing PG’s PER.

    I have been one of Farmar’s most staunch supporters, saying that we all should lay off and let him grow out of it, but lately I’ve lost some of that vigor. It’s really not so much the mental errors, overaggressiveness, or turnovers on offense that bother me, for I believe a speedy PG should be aggressive and try to exploit defenses when he can, but it’s his defensive intensity that has bothered me. He hasn’t even been that horrendous defensively, it just seems to me that someone who’s getting nothing done on offense should be giving everything on defense to even things out. Somehow, it just seems like Farmar is going through the motions on defense.

    One thing I like about Brown is that he’s a better rebounder than Farmar. It happens a lot in our SSZ that shots go up and our guards have to box out bigger players; when Farmar is in, a lot of these end up as put-backs, whereas Brown is a much better leaper and stronger in general, so it’s harder for opposing bigs to just push him under the basket and get easy buckets.

    I’m still a long-term Farmar supporter, but if Brown continues to develop, he’s obviously a much better fit for our system. Next year will really dictate what we do with Farmar, and whether we do a sign-and-trade after the season or if we give him an extension.

  6. Zephid, you and I are on the same page here. I was defending him for a while, but he stopped giving me good reasons to defend him.

    I still think if he goes to a team with a more open system where he is encouraged to take more risks, he does better. That’s his fit. I just think this isn’t.

  7. the other Stephen April 13, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    what did i say about doubting shannon brown when we first made the trade? “don’t!” and i still think that “HOLY SH-annon” is an adequate nickname.

  8. I played with/against Farmar for a long time. He’s been mailing in his defense since at least elementary school. Hence the need for UPS.

  9. Throw it down Shannon Brown!

    I’ll also cast my vote for UPS… what can Brown do for you?

  10. Over at the LATimes Lakers Blog, During the game someone came up with UPS as a Nickname for Shannon Brown, I’m a fan personally.

  11. Farmar used to be a pretty good defender at my school. well, he had his moments. remember this…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt0VUSyVIr4

    “and a steal! farmar! inside — the freshman up — OH and they go in front! raivio… last chance to dance!! um-bah-a moute!! oh what a game!! WHAT A GAME!! u-c-l-a!”

    I can still say it by heart haha

  12. It seems like Farmar has lost his zest for the game in general. I think for a while he had convinced himself he was the heir apparent to D-Fish and that he even deserved to start over him. His recent bad play and the fans cooling their love affair with him seem to have affected his game.
    I think he’s fed up playing in LA and thinks he could probably start on another team. I think he might be better off playing for another team as well because the pressure he put on himself when he comes into games is not good for his development or for the Lakers leads when they put him in.
    Overly sensitive posters will probably jump all over me for writing this, but I feel there was a direct correlation in the rise of Ariza and the drop in the quality of Farmar’s play. I know they don’t play the same position and are counted on to do different things, but I think Farmar fed off being the fan favorite coming off the bench, in a way that differed from the hokey love that Vujacic gets, and when Ariza took his place in the hearts of the fans he began to press way too much.
    He heads to the bench with his head down and seems like he just doesn’t want to hear it from Phil. I like the guy, but I think for the good of his career and the Lakers he might be better off somewhere else.

  13. I’ve been thinking about this for too long. A few valances of “UPS” as a nickname:

    1) “He delivers.” This is good. Speaks to his hops. Nice.

    2) On the other hand, “he mails it in” is implied. Not consistent with facts on the court, but an undesirable suggestion.

    3) Then again, we can say that Shannon “carries” the defense that Farmar sometimes even forgets to mail in at all.

    4) Alas, “carries” also evokes Brown’s below-par ball-handling capabilities.

    Perhaps UPS should be shelved.

  14. Carrying this over from the last thread since it was one of the last ones before Kurt raised the new post; it’s more-relevant to this one anyway…

    I’m still firmly in Farmar’s corner long term, but I’m getting more into the idea of Shannon getting some extended time on the floor should the Lakers play Utah in Round 1. His size is a better match for Williams, despite whatever experience Jordan has over Brown from last year’s playoffs.

    Not to go all “bash the officials” again, but having two backup points who can get some things done in a series in which Utah’s best player is a PG may have benefits we’ve not yet touched upon.

    We know Williams is going to get some calls; he’s an All-Star, and All-Stars get touch fouls called that a bench player would not. Multiply this by five for games in Salt Lake, where the refs tend to forget that there are two teams playing, hence Utah’s solid home court advantage.

    I like having 12 fouls available to back up Fish, rather than six. If history shows us anything, I’m expecting to see Derek on the pine three, maybe four minutes into Game 3 with two really questionable calls on Williams. That’s just life in the NBA.

    (And, yes, Jazz fans, I know Kobe gets the same star treatment. My point isn’t that the refs won’t even things out over the series. It’s that we know the Lakers guards are destined for foul trouble, and it’s nice to have options when that issue arises.)

  15. PeanutButterSpread April 13, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    And just another random note,

    That pic of Shannon Brown looks so much like AI

    must be the cornrows …

  16. Before we fall in love with Brown, le’t see how he responds in the playoffs. Who know, maybe Farmar will respond when it counts.

  17. “shotgun shannon’, “slammin’ shannon”…

    “throw it down, brown!” is kind of good, I like that.

    but I have to say I did like Holy SHannon.
    reminded me when I added this line in a recent movie.
    “shut the front door” … caught everyone off guard.
    (and it made it in the film.)

  18. shanWOW is awesome, and oh so much fun to actually say… lol

  19. 11 – wow, Gus Johnson was wetting himself. Pretty sure his voice cracked multiple times in that clip!

  20. UPS – What can Brown do for you? That nickname makes too much sense.

  21. Objectively, what’s going on with the Farmar/Brown dynamic:

    1) Farmar appears to have an issue with overconfidence. At the beginning of the season, he seemed to be scoring off the bounce at will, so now he thinks he can score by himself whenver he wants, which leads to a lot of bad shots.

    2) The problem is – and this why Farmar seems to fade every season, teams hadn’t properly scouted him at the beginning of the season – so when he drove, they also played against the pass. Once the realized he was taking it himself every time, now they are aggressively going for the shot block each time, which leads to him missing a ton of shots (or settling for 18 footers, which are out of his comfort zone).

    3) Farmar has always been a disaster defensively, but earlier in the year, his offense partially made up for his terrible defense. Now that teams have appropriate scouted him, his defense is all the more glaring.

    4) Brown is a good defender, with long arms and decent instincts. So even though, he’s not an “elite” defender, the difference is so big, it makes Brown look like the second coming of Ron Artest defensively.

    5) Brown is generally an unknown to the opposition, which means he’s not very well scouted, which means, offensively, he’s had some success, because defenses aren’t quite sure what he’s going to do. Once the playoffs start, Brown will be better scouted, and probably will have less success on offense.

    All of that being said, Brown brings two things that Farmar doesn’t:

    1) The capability and willingness to play defense.

    2) The willingness to play within himself, and stick to the offense.

    That alone makes me feel like he should play the back-up role in the playoffs.

  22. The thing that bothers people most about Farmar is that people, consciously or unconsciously, can relate to Farmar and envy his position. He is a local kid, who was a hs star, played at UCLA and took them to the Final Four and now is the heir apparent PG for the most glamours franchise in sports.

    Most people look at him, especially those of us from socal, and say, ‘if I was Farmar I’d relish the opportunity to learn the game from Phil, Kobe and Fish, relish the chance to be a contributor on a contending team’. Instead, many people have tired of his over inflated sense of entitlement, which he constantly seems to display (i.e. complaining about his clearly defined role which he claimed to not know, completeley mailing it in on defense, refusing to get the ball to Pau on the 2nd unit, forcing shots that hurt our defense, etc.)

    This has led people to resent Jordan and here it is, last week of the season and his brief career has come full circle. In his rookie year he took over for Smush just about this time of year. The next year Smush was not with the Lakers. Jordan is at a clear crossroads and playing better won’t fix everything. He needs to be a better teammate and also be the type of player he fans root for because they relate to him, not the guy who is too cool for school and can’t be bothered to change the glaring flaws in his game.

  23. I posted this on the last thread:

    “I also agree with some comments that refer to the much better defense with Brown in as opposed to Jordan. Did anyone else notice how Jordan didn’t even bother to not get picked on the screens Portland ran every time down the floor. Sure enough, the PG got penetration, kicked to an open guy. Score. Every. Time. He didn’t attempt to show, and sure didn’t stay with the roll. Just lazily followed his guy 2 ft back. Right then, in the 2nd quarter, I officially jumped off of the “We’re going to need what he brings” bandwagon.”

    If Brown’s defense is going to be much better, then that is what we need. We can score on anybody. It is increased defensive intensity and focus that will win us the Chip. So I’m going to take the defense going into the Playoffs.

  24. ShanWow is waaaay better than UPS. The Shanimal would work, too. And every time SB does scores, the PA announcer should play the section from Tribe’s ‘Scenario’ where it goes ‘Who’s That?’ Brooowwwnn!’

  25. I don’t know about you guys, but looking at the MVP ballots on ESPN is making me salivate for the 2010 World Championships, in Turkey or wherever they relocate to if Turkey’s not up to snuff. Imagine when Team USA trots out that lineup in crunch time: CP3, D-Wade, Kobe, Lebron, Howard, the younger 4 of them in their prime and Kobe primarily being a spot-up shooter, wing defender, and team leader. I can just see the lobs from CP3 to Howard, the dribble drives by Wade and off-ball cuts by Lebron, then Kobe raining down the dagger threes when we need it most.

    I think people will look back at Summer 2008 and the Olympics as a huge shift in NBA basketball. Yea, all those young guys were good before then, but they all took it to another level after seeing Kobe killing himself day after day. If anything, I feel like this may be part of Kobe’s legacy that defines him: the fact that he showed all these young superstars how to be professionals, how to really apply themselves to their craft.

  26. Add me to the Shannon Brown bandwagon. I’m glad Phil gave him some run and the opportunity to step up. Considering the fire power we have offensively, I’m glad that Shannon can fill in the defensive holes for us at the PG spot. Last playoffs and this seasson exposed it as our weekest spot defensively, so it’ll be interesting to see how he performs against Utah and in the other series if Phil continues to give him minutes.

    On a totally different note, did anyone see the incident that went down between Varajao and Ray Allen in the Cavs/Bos game yesterday? Varajao’s throw of Allen to the ground seem to me to be fairly common aggressive play, though the elbow to groin bit was not something I’ve seen much. I thought that it was totally unnecessary and pretty dirty. I was expecting Henry Abbot to maybe say something about it since he’s made it his crusade this season to point out dirty plays, but I guess not. He linked to a Boston Herald article that mentioned the incident, but that was it. I know no one really got hurt, but if we are discussing dirty players then we should discuss dirty players of all teams. I guess it’s not really about dirty plays afterall, it’s just about his Blazers bias and hate of the Lakers, Bynum, and Ariza.

  27. Kurt- You made an interesting comment in the above post -“credit Mitch Kupchak for getting Brown thrown in the Radmanovic deal.” I disagree with that.
    I think that Kupchak traded FOR Shannon Brown. Morrison got tossed in to make the deal work. And what a deal it was!

  28. Zephid,
    Good comments. The talking heads have made such a point about Kobe having been selfish that it is just assumed he has made a radical change.

    Kobe has always been about what the team needed – even tho he has always considered himself the best player on the floor – and not just about his stats. The 81pt game should have proved this, but the bias dictated that he was selfish, not just carrying his team – like Dwayne Wade this year or Lebron two years ago. If you need any proof all you need to do is look back at the three championship years, when it was Kobe doing much of the feeding of the big dog.

    Also, there was about four years during which Kobe’s commitment to his craft was not really acknowledged and people talked about the ‘new’ Kobe after this time.

    Kobe has changed over the years, and better understands team che better now than years ago, but he has always been about winning, not just stats.

  29. SBDUNKS! is actually surprisingly clever. As we all know, SB Dunks are as trademark of Nike shoes as Air Force 1’s.

    I’d have to point out why the statistics can’t be reliable though. Before these past few games, Shannon Brown has been playing against 3rd-string point guards, not just as a Laker. Farmar has been asked to guard Deron Williams and the like, and backup point guards, for most of his time. As many teams don’t have the same substitution rotation as the Lakers, I often see Farmar having to man up against starters and All-Stars, which is why I can’t be too mad at him.

    I also have a question that I can’t seem to figure out myself. Will or should the Lakers try in the Tuesday game against Utah? Do we utilize specific game plans that we’d use against Utah in playoffs, now? What if, and I really hope this doesn’t happen, that we visibly TRY to win, and still lose? How much of a psychological advantage would that give the Jazz! Just my pessimistic subconscience creeping.

  30. try to win in the Tuesday game against Utah?*

    Just clarifying it in case it appears confusing. *shake fist at lack of Edit option*

  31. Magic,
    Re your 17,
    The article was a hilarious bit of homerism. The writer wrote that Varejao “claimed” Allen hit him in the groin,implying it didn’t happen. So what if it was shown on every highlight show and the game telecast reran it several times.

  32. As mentioned by many before, Farmar has to be one of the worst post entry passers in the NBA right now. He takes the worst angles, lackadaisically lofts the ball in.

    I much rather see a willing defender even though he is a little raw on offense. We dont really need another scoring option anyways.

  33. speaking of SB dunks. SB nation just got a laker site, you guys should all sign up and join the laker site.

    http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/

  34. Kobe inspires Coach K? Kurt, are you going to buy Coach K’s new book about his Olympic experience?

    “Next, Krzyzewski went to work establishing a set of standards for his team. Not rules – standards. “Rules don’t promote teammwork; standards do,” he writes. One of his standards was that everyone could lead and everyone could make suggestions. Good leaders are good listeners, and Krzyzewski asked each of his players to give their input as to what course the team should follow in preparing for the task at hand. Jason Kidd spoke up first, saying it was important everyone be on time for all events. Dwyane Wade emphasized that each member of the team needed to make a commitment to every other member. Kobe Bryant talked about defense. Michael Redd talked about hunger. Each member of the team contributed.

    Cultivating leadership came next, and an email from Kobe Bryant inspired Krzyzewski and let him know he was on the right track. Then everyone had to learn a common basketball language. College plays and NBA plays are different, so a common ground had to be reached for optimum in-game communication between players and coaches. ”

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=12250

  35. 32. Stephen. The other bit about Henry’s Monday bullets that I found to be quite interesting is that he had a link to a blog basically saying that if Phil didn’t whine about the Blazers replaying the flagrant foul by Trevor on Fernandez then they wouldn’t have been investigated by the league for it. The thing that is upsetting about it to me is that Henry basically argued that his pieces on Bynum and Ariza had nothing to do with his Blazers fandom (which he admits to) and was really about playing responsible smart, and honest basketball as a way of avoiding/minimizing injury to players.

    I would apply that statement to both players, teams, and the people running the games. How is inciting an already heated crowd in that manner good for the game or players? Doesn’t it potentially create a threatening and unsafe environment for an opposing team member (Ariza in this case)? It’s not like crowds and fans haven’t thrown things at players on the court before? Isn’t that why the league rule exist, because it’s common sense that it could create a dangerous environment for the players and is totally irresponsible?

    I at least have expected Henry to discuss the issue in some way that is more than, ‘hey guess what, I didn’t know this rule existed…’ and here a link to a blog and blasts the “whiners”. Completely lame and hypocritical.

  36. I guess my issue with Henry is that I wonder why an increasing number of his posts are all colored with his pro-Portland and anti-LA bias when he purports to be a blogger about the NBA as a whole. Rare is a daily bullets post where I don’t see some little snide remark about the Lakers these days, which is in sharp contrast to last year when the Blazers were a lottery team.

    If Kelly Dwyer can blog about the NBA as a whole and not let his Bulls fandom get in the way of objective analysis, and Matt over at Hardwood Paroxysm can equally criticize and praise the Lakers as situations warrant, why can’t Henry (who prides himself on his professional journalism education and background) do the same?

    It’s all well and good to warn your readers about your biases up front, but when they become so pronounced as to turn off a section of your fanbase, it really diminishes the impact of your writing. And it’s a damn shame, too, because TrueHoop was the first NBA blog I started reading.

  37. Henry is a blogger and writer who is knowledgeable, but quite biased for one team and against another team. That is not a terribly unusual situation.

    That being the case, I hope Kurt will address it – at least in this forum – and then we should move on.

  38. From the last thread, just curious P Ami – what does this mean: “I’m telling you Snoopy, switch to the purple. That red stain you’ve had around your lips (with only 8 titles since 1980) is getting a little tired.”

    I’m really (honestly) confused. The rest of your post had nothing to do with me or anything I said…was it a typo or am I missing something?

    I don’t know if we should create a Brown bandwagon just yet. He’s an improvement over Farmar, which is why we’re in love with him right now. But he’s still very raw and (used to) make poor decisions offensively. Right now he’s tentative in the offense and plays with restraint. If he can always play like that and not hurt the offense, he’s a very valuable asset. I’m afraid as he grows more comfortable he’ll fall back into his impulsive habits. But still we need him this year, he fills a gaping need.

    ShanWow FTW.

  39. Meh don’t be too sensitive. Henry’s a fan, and he does what he does. No reason for us to get worked up about it. Personally I use Truehoop to find good links rather than any top-notch analysis, and it doesn’t really bother me if Henry shares his opinions. In many contexts writers are praised for being bold and sharing their opinions. Because he seems anti-Laker we may dislike it, but it’s nothing really offensive.

  40. Wow, Terry with the beautiful shot fake and clutch shot to give Dallas the win against Milwaukee. But it shows you the difference between Dallas with Howard and without him — they rested him tonight and barely came away with a win against Milwaukee. With him, they were beating playoff teams at home. We now play kingmaker, and I really have no qualms against beating Utah tomorrow and facing them in the first round.

  41. Bias from an opposing fan doesnt bother me. I kinda like knowing that some other teams blogger fears us enough to snipe at our team so as to make himself feel more secure. I do actively dislike having to listen to an opposing teams homerish announcers. I am based in the NW so I have to watch via league pass and all the road games feature the home teams announcers. ugh.
    btw i am watching the blazers vs. thunder game and the announcers/homers are still whining about getting caught using the ariza flagrant foul footage to incite there crowd before the laker game. hehe

  42. can someone link the henry abbott article please

  43. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not stressed out about TrueHoop. Just wanted to share my two cents – now it’s onto the playoffs!

  44. ^Amen. This has been an excruciatingly slow end to the season.

    Why do the playoffs have to always start a week before finals? There’s no justice in this world.

  45. One thing I’ve noticed in watching Shannon Brown’s postgame interview and also his interviews when he first got here is that he genuinely seems to just be working hard and letting everything else happen. I get the feeling that he’s happy to be along for the ride, and will take whatever he can get. This is in stark contrast to Farmar’s blatant sense of entitlement, which I have long hated (and have experienced first hand, haha).

  46. wow j.r. smith had ELEVEN 3’s tonight! 11-18 from 3 to end the night

  47. Snoop,
    I was just poking fun at FTL and the point he made that was directed at you and seems to have been removed. It was something to the effect of, the Lakers haven’t proven anything this year and that we’ll have drunk the Lakers kool-aid, blah, blah, blah.

    I knew when I pressed submit that I should have left it alone. I guess I can’t stand to see a man ridiculed for his kool-aid drinking habit.

  48. Mmmm, Kool-Aid…

    Yeah I didn’t see FTL’s comment, so I was confused – thanks for clearing it up. Kool-Aid binge drinkers unite!

  49. On Farmar/Brown
    It’s amazing how fast we jump on/off bandwagons these days. Farmar is going through a rough stretch, but lets not forget this is the kid that dealt with the whole d-league situation with the utmost class. I like having guys with the ability to deal with adversity like that. He is young – I like to think/i hope he can sort this stuff out and come back stronger like he has before. I like Shannon Brown alot, but sometimes I feel like he plays a little too safe on offense – part of which is the fact that he is so new to an etablished team. If that’s the worst thing I can say about him then thats a testament to his game, but I kind of liked how Farmar would step in, push the break, and make a play or two that would get the crowd and his teammates fired up.

    I think before the playoffs are over, Farmar will make his mark on a game or two.

    On Henry
    I recall it was Henry that was “whining” about Ariza’s reaction to the Fernandez foul. That whole city and fan base need to get over it. The truth is it’s a “manufacturing” of a rivalry – the Blazers (and their fans) would love to be considered the biggest enemies of the Lakers.

  50. Yeah I do agree we jump on and off bandwagons way too much. Fans are impulsive. But Farmar has been hurting the team for too long to consider it a mere slump.

    Brown is still too raw offensively for my taste, but at this point we’re just happy to have a backup PG who at least gives us something on one half of the floor and doesn’t detract from the other. That’s a pretty solid backup.

  51. With that said, I don’t think “class” comes to mind when we think of Farmar (not saying that he’s unclassy at all, but class is normally associated with great teammates like Fish or someone).

    Someone made the point earlier that part of what ticks people off about Farmar (myself included, even when he was playing well) is his attitude. Kwame said it best in comment #23, about Jordan’s ego problems. Farmar’s not making it easy to root for him, that’s for sure.

  52. Henry’s trying to get readership, and no better way to establish that then be anti-Laker. It gives him replies and hits from pro-laker nation and thus secures his job, mostly because a good chunk of those that get riled by Henry fail to make any rational comments.

    Anyway, I strongly dislike the two H’s over at ESPN, Hollinger and Henry. That doesn’t mean they always produce garbage – just means that you have to filter through it to find gems.

    Unfortunately, they do give me some gems that make filtering through garbage worthwhile.

  53. is anyone smart enough to summarize the lakers’ first round matchup permutations at this point? obviously, if we win tues, we get utah, but if we lose….?

  54. I was on board with UPS, but ShanWow is fantastic. I hereby cast my vote for ShanWow…carry on accordingly.

  55. PeanutButterSpread April 13, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    As much as everyone’s harping on Jordan Farmar, it’s still good to see him cheering on his teammates when he’s on the bench. I give credit to Jordie for that.

    He’s not sulking about his minutes going to Shannon Brown or anything, which shows how great this Laker team is.

    For everyone to swallow their pride and work to that ultimate goal – LO, Jordie, Sasha, etc all have watched their minutes go down for the better of the team. And that says a lot about the group of players we have on this team.

    LO loses minutes to Drew
    Jordie’s losing minutes to Shannon
    Sasha’s lost minutes to Trevor

  56. 38. Re: Henry. I think there is no other blog that really encapsulates the entire NBA as well as TrueHoop, but he is a Blazers fan and it certainly colors some of how he sees things. I have had conversations with him about his take on the Ariza/Fernandez incident and its relations to others. Because it was a private conversation, I’ll leave it there. I will add that the TrueHoop network places no requirements on this site editorially, if it did I’d be out.

    In the broader picture, we need to be smart consumers of all media. All people — from Jim Lehrer to Rush Limbaugh — come with opinions, and they do and don’t filter them well. As readers we bring our own biases. The best we can all do try to understand both the biases of the media and our own view of the world to try to come to some understanding of whatever the “truth” really is.

  57. ^Very well thought out and reasoned, as expected. Kurt, if you had no morals and a combover, I’d suggest you run for office.

  58. Truth is something that cannot be proven, it either is true or it isn’t. So we can only look at facts, but facts do not always help you see the truth, as most people only record facts they like.

    Not to get overly philosophical here, but you just have to realize that not everyone values objectivity – some value the ability to sneak in their opinions and present facts in a manner so that they can manipulate others.

  59. I really liked your comment Kurt. Now can you just post that like every 5 comments or so? On every blog on the internet? Thanks. Appreciate it.

  60. Sadly, though, most people don’t truly question the media they receive information from. Most Americans view the major news agencies as law. If only people understood the real biases and motivations of journalism, we’d have a much more educated society and far less stereotypes and ignorance in the world today.

  61. The media has always had biases. Over time the cycle from more objective to more extreme. We are in an era where media is more extreme than 30 yrs ago. This is true for various viewpoints. Also, media has fragmented and expanded so much – thank the internet and Newt/Murdock for a lot of that (they were/are effective) – that there are really few places to go that strive to be totally objective.

    Add to this the fact that we each want to see our viewpoints expressed and don’t always want to hear the other side – common throughout human history – and it’s not hard to see why we have a difficult time understanding each other. This is where Kurt’s comment really strikes home.

  62. Lol. What Don W. (Comment #60) said.

  63. lil’ pau,

    I made a post about this a while back, but we play kingmaker unless Dallas beats Houston. If they lose, then a loss to Utah will move Dallas into the #8 seed. If we beat Utah, then they’ll be the #8 regardless of what happens with the other two teams. In the most unlikely scenario, if New Orleans loses to San Antonio, Dallas beats Houston, and we lose to Utah, then New Orleans will drop to the #8 seed.

    Best solution is probably just to beat Utah, who I’d rather see than Dallas and especially not New Orleans. Given Utah’s well-documented road woes and their recent slump, I don’t think that amounts to that much of a problem.

  64. PeanutButterSpread April 14, 2009 at 12:21 am

    I want to see the Lakers get win #65.

  65. No matter who we face, we’re going to have an easier time than the team that emerges from the east.

    Off tangent, but how many of you think that the recent seasons have just been too good to be true for those with a vested interest in the NBA in general?

    First you have mega deals, then you have a Lakers-Celtics finals, now you’re pretty much going to see a Kobe-LeBron final.

    It’s almost like Magic vs. Bird then Magic losing to Jordan and passing the torch.

    I just hope we win this time and stop increasing our ‘guest appearance’ at the finals, which I believe to be league tops by a large margin.

  66. ^Well said, although I guess I’d rather have guest appearances at the Finals than the lottery year after year. But I know what you mean. Kobe really has to show he can lead a championship team. Not to me, but to the talking heads. Another lost Finals appearance will likely tarnish Kobe’s legacy with the media for a long time.

  67. Which team would pose a tougher matchup for the Celts? Chicago or Philly?

    (“tougher” being a relative term)

  68. #65 – Peanut Butter:

    You just waited for that post number to say that, LOL.

    #56 – Peanut again:

    Excellent point about Farmar. I’ve watched him a few times lately when his teammates have made good plays. He’s almost always one of the first up off the bench, even for Brown.

  69. http://nba.fanhouse.com/2009/04/14/video-kobe-and-spike-doin-work/

    Great, great video on Kobe and his views on the game. Speaks volumes as to his character and I think everyone here will appreciate it.

  70. It is possible to make all sorts of things out of the final Lakers game against the Utes–raise a million questions–and some have already asked some great ones. I hate to be a simpleton here, but my best suggestion is for Lakers and Lakers fans to not think too much.

    What the Lakers should do is what they must do in the playoffs–play them one at a time–and play as hard as possible to win. If the Lakers play their best, they may be able to further test Shannon, explore the chemistry of the new new bench mob, give Andrew a toughness test, and still rest the veterans in the fourth. If the Lakers are in a nail biter, they shouldn’t pull their punches.

    It’s partly an issue of character.

    If the Lakers win, they’ve gotten an updated preview of the next round. If the Lakers lose, they still may have an updated preview of the next round–or an early warning of a future round.

    It will be what it will be.

    Let’s enjoy the game.

  71. what about “cannon-shannon”?

  72. The Utah game will see a heavy dose of Andrew, Shannon, Sasha, Powell, Farmar. A little bit of Mbenga and Morrison.

    We don’t need to prove anything in this game. Cleveland locked up HCA. Utah will want to win (to avoid us), and our bench guys and Andrew will get the bulk minutes to stay sharp. For Andrew, he’ll get a glimpse of playoff intensity type of basketball.

    I don’t want to see the starters play more than 20 minutes. The only thing remotely important is getting to the 65 win plateau.

  73. My problem is not with people and their biases; everyone is biased. My problem is with those who claim no bias (ie Hollinger’s “unbiased” stats and analysis/the media at large) but then are the most bias. Henry’s bias at TrueHoop was, in the beginning, “schoolgirl crush” kind of funny, now it’s become quite vicious.

  74. Back when the VladRad trade happened this guy from a Charlotte Bobcats blog called it that the trade was really about Shannon Brown.
    http://www.rufusonfire.com/2009/2/7/752693/shhhh-don-t-tell-anyone-th

    Looking back now the analysis is very prescient.

  75. Interesting dynamic for Lakers/Jazz. Chances are the two teams face each other a few days from now in First Rd. So do the Jazz,who prob really want the win,use their specific anti-Laker schemes,giving the Lakers an invaluable scouting report,or do they go w/their base sets and take a bigger risk of losing?
    Does Phil leave the starters in @ 30 minutes hoping to send a message to the Jazz?

  76. Just saw a video of Lebron winning the high school All American dunk contest. Lebron finished first, but former Laker Von Wafer finished second and current Laker Shannon Brown finished third.

  77. What message needs to be made tonight?

    This should be treated as a glorified scrimmage. Bench work.

  78. I agree with wondahbap. The only statement that needs to be made is by the bench. I say, put the starters on the floor for 3 minutes, then pull them out. This game would be a great opportunity for Phil to experiment with the bench guys and give them some meaningful playing time.

  79. I have no problem with Abbott’s bias. He’s a real fan of his team and I applaud him for it. His blog doesn’t have to be unbiased. Not everyone is going to love our Lakers. That’s why we come here.

  80. I want to see 30 full minutes of ShanWow tonight… If he’s playing well of course! I know this game is meaningless but I still want to win it. “Mo” is a big thing heading into the playoffs.

  81. 78 & 79:

    I see the logic that this game is relatively meaningless to our ultimate goal and that it can be used to give our guys some rest and/or get the bench meaningul minutes against a likely playoff foe.

    However, I also see the logic in wanting to pound these guys. With the message being they can’t beat us ever. That may sound a little like hyperbole or over the top mecilessness, but what can I say? – I want to beat everyone. A while back there was a brief discussion on these boards about us being like that Mavs team a couple of years ago that won the #1 seed in the West but lost in the first round to the Warriors. I argued against that as I don’t see any team giving us problems the way that the Dubs had the Mav’s number that year. However, we do face a similar issue against these Jazz as we’re the team that can beat them in our last game and then have them as our first round opponent. My point is that we have the chance to further the gulf in their belief that they can play with us. It’s been noted that the Jazz are a bad road team. It’s also obvious that we’re a better team than the Jazz. But we all still acknowledge that the Jazz are a dangerous team. So, I say beat them…not by doing anything special or by throwing new wrinkles into the game plan, but by winning because we’re better. I don’t want the Jazz to break out of any slump in their last game while also giving them any confidence in their ability to win on the road. I think we can agree that a road win for the Jazz against the best team in the West (and maybe the league) would be a good boost for them in preparation for the playoffs.

    So, while I understand that this game is barely meaningful to us, I also think it can have a big impact on the Jazz and their confidence level. So I say squash that right here, right now (at least as much as is possible with a win by us). What’s the harm in trying to win in a normal fashion the way we would with any other game? I say nothing and to go for it. We can play Shannon on Williams. We can give Sasha some extra run or try Luke with the starters (not as a starter but with some extended minutes in the first or third quarters) to see how that goes. None of that would be too extreme. But unless there are issues like foul trouble or extremely poor play, I don’t see the point in playing the end bench extended minutes when it’s unlikely we won’t be playing that way this upcoming weekend. We can save special offensive or defensive sets/strategies for the playoffs, but (imo) we should still play our normal game and try to wipe the floor with these guys. Just saying…

  82. thanks, BCR.

    Snoopy, I think Chicago is the ‘tougher’ matchup relative to Philly, with all appropriate semantic qualifications in place. That might mean a 5th game, for example.

    I think Stephen at 76 makes a good point– there may be an incentive for Utah to ‘show its hand’ tonight that doesn’t exist for Phil. That said, I think macro-coaching strategy (big tricks) is an overrated concept, far less of a real determinative factor than: which team is better, which team is playing better as a unit/momentum, and the micro X & Os stuff that are adjustments too tiny for most fans to appreciate (myself included, much of the time). The possible if imo unlikely exception may be substitution patterns and matchups.

    I’d like to see the Lakers crush them tonight– losing intentionally is of dubious value given how much better Dal is playing whereas utah is fractured and the SLC papers are full of vitriol that they were too sloppy to avoid the lakers in the first round. let’s let them come away from the game certain that, if they struggle on the road in, say, sacramento, they’re going to get worked here four – er, five – times in a row.

  83. 1) Oh, longtime readers might remember that guy we nicknamed UPS too…

    What can Brown do for you?

  84. Shannon Brown looks like the bigger version of Chris Brown. I don’t know if that’s good thing or bad thing for either of them.

    Adam Morrison is going to destroy the Jazz tonight along with a big game from DJ Mbenga.

  85. Shannon “Not Tierre” Brown

    “Mitts” or “Banana Hands” also works for me. Have you seen this dude’s hands?

    I like the UPS one but the one drawback to me is that it’s been used on Kwame Brown numerous times.

  86. 86, re: his hands, there was a play in the grizz game in which the ball was whistled dead and someone threw the ball to shannon who caught it on a shorthop one handed, palming the ball as it rose. incredible.

  87. I agree with Darius (no. 82). It would be great to have the mental/psychological edge going into the playoffs, not just for our team but so send a message to the Jazz. We don’t want to give them any hopes or momentum going into the series. We should win this. It would be even better if we can do it with our bench getting a good amount of the minutes. Imagine the message that would send. Our bench beat the Jazz on their must win game going into the playoffs. That would be awesome psychologically.

  88. #53 – Hollinger is insufferable. Every stinking chat…we get it, Lebron is the most glorious athlete there ever was and he that walks ABOVE the water, Kobe is the farthest thing from Jordan with poopy stats, blah blah blah. the best stats guys are manipulators…I learned that well in grad school. Kurt is right on, though…everyone has a right to express his or her opinion, just like we have a right to disagree.

    Am I alone in thinking that Orlando matches up well with the Cavs? They are 8-3 in their last 11 against them. Their loss in Cleveland this year was only by 4. Stranger things have happened.

  89. darius,

    I kind of agree with you, but I just think we’d be better served trying to get certain players some time to get in the “groove.”

    We can still beat these guys. Our regular rotations could still whip the Jazz for 2 quarters, and the message can still get sent.

  90. * I mean “still beat these guys” with our bench playing more minutes.

  91. wondahbap,
    I agree with that as well. I do think that we can win if our bench does get extended minutes. I just don’t see the point in issuing those minutes if the game is close or at the expense of trying to win. We’ve had plenty of games this season (when everyone was healthy) where Powell got extended minutes or Mbenga saw time or Ammo got some run…but the latter of those examples came because we had big leads and there was no reason for the starters to play extended minutes. What I don’t want is for the coaches to use this game as some sort of pre-season game…I think we should play it straight and if the bench gets extra burn because of circumstance, cool. But don’t do it because the game is meaningless – when in fact the game does have meaning, just more for the Jazz than for us.