Notes From Lakers NBA Training Camp

Kurt —  October 2, 2009

Game 5 - Magic vs. Lakers
We took notes last night on the Lakers broadcast that was put on by NBA TV.

• One thing that was interesting in the Lakers “Real Training Camp” compared to the. Denver one last night was coaching and practice styles. Denver ran a lot of 5 on 5, they were working on specific things within that (particularly offensive half court sets), but it was more like a scrimmage. The Lakers spent the first hour running drills that simulated some standard offensive sets in the triangle (for example a pass into the high post then passer cutting through the key, making a U and setting up 15-18 feet out on the wing). The Lakers were working on the details of the offense and recognizing it through drills.

I’m sure the Lakers run 5 on 5 and Denver runs more drills, but it was two very different styles.

• Andrew Bynum seemed to move fairly well, at one point blocking Josh Powell twice in a row followed immediately by a block of Artest.

• I liked Tony Gafney’s hustle.

• I think one thing we’ve been discussing on this site needs to be made clear. We’ve talked about how the current Lakers lineup (with Artest and without Ariza) is more of a half-court team. And it its in the sense that we will see fewer traditional fast breaks. But that does not mean LA is the Spurs.

The Lakers have two very mobile big men in Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, and the Lakers got a lot of easy points last season on a secondary break — basically Gasol would beat his man down the floor and get deep post position, get fed the ball and score 7 seconds into the shot clock. That is not going to stop. Also, with the Lakers improved defense they are going to get some turnovers that lead to easy buckets.

The Lakers were fifth in the league in pace last year, I expect they will drop to about the middle of the pack. But don’t confuse that with too slow a team.

• Note to the execs at NBA TV: If someone is watching training camp footage on NBATV, they are a hard-core fan. Real Training Camp is not drawing in casual fans as viewers. So please, give us something hard core fans want other than a couple of guys spending the first 30 minutes of a broadcast sitting around talking generalities. Or tedious commentary. Get people on that feed the knowledge of hard-core fans, not the casual ones.