Preview & Chat: The Indiana Pacers

Kurt —  January 27, 2010

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Records: Lakers 34-11 (1st in West) Pacers 16-29 (11th in East)
Offensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 109.2 (9th in league), Pacers 101.6 (27th in league)
Defensive points per 100 possessions: Lakers 102.1 (3rd in league) Pacers 106.6 (15th in league)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Pacers: Earl Watson, Luther Head, Brandon Rush, Danny Granger, Troy Murphy (Roy Hibbert could start instead of Rush)

Lakers Coming In Going quietly unnoticed through the recent rough patch is that the Lakers offense has been pretty good lately. The numbers have been consistently getting better in terms of points per possession in the last week or so (the Lakers have cracked the top 10 in the league). That was evidenced last night when the Lakers pretty much did whatever they wanted on offense to the Wizards. It was like a game last season where the offense was so good it didn’t matter much about the defense.

Which is good because the defense remains a concern lately — while the offense has gotten better, the defense has taken steps back. Teams are shooting 44% against the Lakers over the course of the season, but that has been 46% in the last 10 games. Last night Washington shot 51.2% and scored 115 points per 100 possessions. Those are high figures, it was just easy to look past them because the Lakers took control of the game in the second quarter.

But the Lakers right now are not putting it all together on both ends.

Pacers coming in: At the start of the season, I talked about the Lakers as a team with a large margin for error — they could win a lot of games if things did not go perfectly, maybe they could even win a title that way.

Indiana is what a team with no margin for error looks like. Things have to go just right for them to win.

Usually things go right when they go with their small lineup — Granger as the power forward (even though he may be a small three) and Troy Murphy as the center. That five-man unit may have areas you can attack, but they are far-and-away the best five-man lineup the Pacers have. And as you would think they run when they go small.

Pacers blogs Indy Cornrows has been great for years and check out 8 points, 9 seconds.

Keys to game: This is an interesting battle of styles — the Lakers are big with Bynum and Gasol and Artest up front, the Pacers go smaller than any team in the league. It is likely both teams will try to force the other to adjust first in terms of style and personnel.

The Pacers love to get out and run — they play at the second fastest pace in the league. Faster than the Suns and Knicks. The Lakers play fairly fast two and have good athletes on the floor, so they can run but they need to do so under control. If they get sucked into a game of PUJITs and poor transition defense (things they have done recently) they will be in trouble in a Canseco Field House that will be rocking. Also, take care of the ball, limiting turnovers will slow the Pacers down.

In transition defense, the Lakers have to talk, the Pacers are less about set plays and more about recognition of mismatches or guys sleeping then making them pay. Also, Murphy loves to trail the break then spot up for the kick-out three.

The Pacers foul a lot (second worst free throw to field goals ratio in the league). The Lakers need to attack the basket, get the ball inside and not settle for jumpers. More touches for Gasol, I love Danny Granger’s game but he is woefully outmatched there (and Gasol will struggle on the other end defending Granger on the wing, you could put Artist on Granger but then you have GAO on Brandon Rush). When the Lakers do take jumpers they should get good looks — opposing teams have shot 40% from three in the last 10 Pacers games. When they get the shots, the Lakers need to knock them down.

Where you can watch: 4 p.m. start here out west, on KCAL 9. Plus, ESPN radio 710am.

Kurt

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113 responses to Preview & Chat: The Indiana Pacers

  1. this one’s for Warren! ;)
    let’s start a new streak tonight!

  2. This one is also for Warren. But seriously I love Danny Granger I would kill to have this kid start at SF on the Lakers, they would be unbeatable and maybe win the next 5 championships, even with FIsher still starting at PG

  3. New theory: we should beat any team without an all-star. Granger could be, but has played hurt. Ergo, we have no excuse for losing tonight. At least against Toronto they have Bosh, and in the NBA that can be enough on any given night.

    Thus far this year, we lost to Houston, Clippers, and Utah teams without any all-stars (though Boozer and Williams are both that caliber of player). We can’t lose to these teams. When do we play Charlotte next?….

  4. If you want a laugh read this LA Times Bleacher Report blog.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2010/01/bleacher-report-four-reasons-the-lakers-should-trade-andrew-bynum/comments/page/2/#comments

    The Lakers should win this game but watch for Indiana to try and create an up-tempo type game and wear the Lakers down.

  5. Roy Hibbert is a player to watch. He has had a few good games this year, including a monster outing against Dwight Howard. He definitely has the physical tools to be a good center, just has to put it all together.

    Also what happened to T.J. Ford? Guy used to be a stud, now he has completely fallen off the map. Guess Larry Legend has decided he is not in the plans for the Pacers.

  6. There’s so little activity in these game threads nowadays, it’s almost as if people care more about potential trades than the actual games. And to finish off my grumpy post, I want to gloat about the fact that I’ve watched every Laker game live this season.

    (Quite the feat considering that we are 9 hours ahead of Los Angeles here in Sweden. Yay me! Get a haircut and a job you say? Never!)

  7. anyone got a link for tonight?

  8. Andreas, the early game start times hurt too. A lot of us on the West Coast watch the game on DVR on these trips, the 4 start time kills me.

  9. No complaints about starting the game like that. Nice shooting percentages, albeit with a LOT of time to go!

  10. Indiana’s defense is hilariously bad.

  11. Nice move PAU!!!!

  12. ive never seen pau take so many shots in a quarter

  13. And miss so many, 2-8, the strange thing is that there were no bad shots, he just missed shots that he should be banking.

  14. Haven’t started watching the game, but saw the box score. Does Gasol have a case of the yips?

  15. Vintage Odom on that blown layup.

  16. good odom yesterday, bad odom today…sigh

  17. 16 points for Bynum on 8 of 8 shooting thus far! And Kobe is 5 for 5. That makes up for Pau’s unusually low shooting % so far.

  18. I hope all the people that say trade Bynum are watching this game. I keep saying Bynum is not the problem. Its bad perimeter defense. They gamble, if they switch two players go to the same player. This is just horrible defense.

  19. The Lakers are doing an awful job picking up shooters in transition. Even when they’re a couple of feet away they refuse to contest the shots.

  20. I dont understand why this game is blacked out on NBALPBB….its not on national TV is it?

    Nvm its on NBATV….arrggghh

  21. playing into their hands with the fast pace

  22. it’s lovely seeing dahntay jones again!

  23. Odom does have 9 rebounds though…

  24. Did the Pacer commentators just say that Bynum’s skin colour is lighter than Hibbert’s?!

  25. You know the officiating’s bad when Phil vouches for Bynum.

  26. Bynum getting no love from the refs. I can understand his frustration.

    We’re giving up way too many uncontested jumpers.

  27. Kurt: The exact opposite of my problem=) The games at home usually start at 4.30 am here (which means I have to stay up reaaally late), while games like tonight start at comparatively humane 1 am.

    Drew is just a beast tonight. I want more feeds from Pau to Drew – it’s so easy to get the ball in there when you’re 7 feet.

  28. I’m not down on Bynum at all, but I’ll be a much bigger fan if he plays like this against Boston…

  29. Wow, Bynum! That’s right, play with Hibbert, Andrew, just toy with him.

  30. 28

    Somehow I don’t think scoring on Kendrick Perkins will be quite so easy…

  31. links?

  32. That was a great aggressive move by Bynum.

  33. 28 – I don’t think that’s fair either. That’s like looking at one of Kobe’s better games (i.e. 81, 62) and hoping that he’d play like that against Thibodeau’s schemes.

  34. I also agree with Joel: Sometimes we tend to forget that people are actually good defenders. Obviously it’s a lot harder to score on the Celtics than on the Wizards or Pacers – that’s not just because Andrew, Pau, Lamar or whoever it might be is tentative against them.

  35. Joel, that was kind of my point. Bynum looks great tonight, but part of that is the level of competition.

  36. Talk about cruise control. Winning by 7 and we’re only challenging one in every five shots.

  37. 28. Exactly, Bynum tends to play like this against teams that are inferior to us. When we actually play someone with a fighters attitude he tends to become invisible. I am waiting on Sunday to see if he puts up or shuts up, hopefully he will put up and keep his head in the game.

  38. 36

    I know, I was agreeing with you.

    According to Quinn Buckner, Derek Fisher is “a very efficient scorer.” Make of that what you will.

  39. As much as it pains me – Pau-lover that I am – he is not making a solid defensive contribution tonight. Not getting back, not contesting jumpers and complaining too much about calls.

  40. I know Kurt doesn’t like talks of trades but the rumor of Morrison and Sasha for Hinrich….any truth to that? Have no idea why chicago would go for that but sounds like a deal for the Lakers.

  41. I may have said this before, but I do not understand why Bynum isn’t getting 20-25 touches a game.

    So far, through the third, 11-13 FGs, 3-3 FTs, 2 Assists and 25 points.

    *shakes his head*

    Why not give him 20 touches?

  42. I have no TV access tonight. Does anyone have a link, pleasepleaseplease? The box score is like being able to smell the chocolate but not be allowed to eat it… you’d rather go without the smell.

  43. 41

    Apparently no truth. Kurt, being the nice guy that he is, deleted my comment on the topic.

  44. Mimsy:

    http://atdhe.net/12397/watch-los-angeles-lakers-vs-indiana-pacers

    If not, install Veetle Player – it actually comes in useful a lot of times. And use this link:

    http://atdhe.net/12427/watch-los-angeles-lakers-vs-indiana-pacers

    I prefer Veetle. It’s light and consistent, there’re always links that won’t be deleted.

  45. Mimsy:

    my comment for you was moderated – here:

    http://atdhe.net/12397/watch-los-angeles-lakers-vs-indiana-pacers

    Kurt/Darius/Zephid/whoever – just delete this one when the other’s approved.

  46. #41,
    It’s been said a couple of times in the most recent trade threads here, the Lakers do not leak trade rumors. All moves they make become public when they announce them. Buss, poker player that he is, keeps his cards close to his chest and won’t show them until called. Any rumors we hear are from others, and should be taken with a scoop, not just a grain, of salt.

  47. Now let’s see what Bynum does against Boston. He usually plays good against inferior centers…what will he do against the big boys?

  48. Thanks Simonoid! I found three links on my own and they were all dead, but this one works. :)

  49. farmar and brown doing an awful job of running the offense

  50. 42. Because he plays in a Kobe centric offense, plain and simple. Not enough basketballs on the court for your third scoring option.

  51. Al, I’ll say what I said before on the Hinrich trade: 1) The media source was not a guy who travels with either team but some guy from a suburban Chicago paper, so I wonder about it; 2) He said the teams talked. Teams talk ALL THE TIME. Did some lower level Lakers guy float that trade to the Bulls? I bet they did. But that is a long, long way from a credible rumor because there are 50 of those conversations a day in the NBA. Seriously. Probably more right now. Also, that is a lopsided deal for the Lakers (nobody wants Sasha, they would demand Farmar too at least, and do you think Buss is going to pay $9 mil next year of offensive option number 5?) so whoever leaked it has motive to promote the deal….like Hinrich’s agent. Don’t know that, just guessing.

    All of which is to say, not only do I not buy the rumor until I hear it myself or from people I trust, I don’t think it makes sense. And we just did a trade thread so lets keep that there.

  52. NICE outlet by Bynum to Brown there!

  53. And Brown really needs to return the favour by learning how to do an entry pass, or at least trying one.

  54. Roger that. I figure us fans aren’t really going to hear anything until Mitch actually completes a trade. Lakers seem really good at keeping things under the radar until it’s a done deal. It’s just nice to dream that they can dump bad contracts for someone they can actually utilize.

  55. Wow, Kobe’s shot attempts have gone way, way down lately…

    Kobe’s like 1 rebound away from a double double, which would give us 4 players with double doubles… (that’d been every position except PG)

  56. 48 boards between Drew, Pau, Kobe and Lamar…decent;)

  57. Kurt 8, Just getting home from my job that starts at 7 to catch the tail of the game. sucks

  58. LOL Sasha!

  59. You know the machine is broke if it makes a 3 point play inside the 3 point arc…

  60. The good news: If this had been a home game there would have been tacos. :)

  61. Kurt,

    What are your thoughts on the more P&R/screen roll-oriented fashion the offense has been conducted recently between Kobe and Gasol or Kobe and Bynum? Is this a better way to gain more spacing with both Gasol and Bynum on the floor (especially with Fisher, Farmar, and Brown acting as designated shooters), or is this an unwelcome direction for the offense?

  62. I didn’t like Bynum’s repeated comments about getting touches in the postgame. Whether or not you are getting shots, you always have the opportunity to positively affect the game on the defensive end. Always. Relying on your offense to get your defense going is bad ideology, Drew. It should be the other way around! You have the best player in the NBA & one of the best big men in the game on your team, too. You will not consistently get to be the focal point of the offense, no matter how much you comment about getting touches!

  63. That was what we all like to see. It was sick. Look at the boxscore.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=Ak3J3qX98FyOtgoNr2L.dy.8vLYF?gid=2010012711

  64. Good point Jane I was thinking the same thing when I heard it.

  65. Can someone explain to me why Brown gets the minutes he does rather than Sasha?

    Seriously, what does he bring to the table besides some cool dunks? Does he help spread the floor? Play good D? Help the offense flow? What am I missing?

  66. Sasha played very well while he was in; very much under control. Looks like he may finally have “gotten it”.

  67. to VoR-

    You aren’t missing much. According to +/- and adjusted +/- Brown is the worst rotation player on the team.

    I think his dunks blind a lot of people to his weaknesses.

    Vujacic has been playing well enough lately that it is likely he would play the SG spot as well or better than Brown.

  68. I know it’s just the Pacers, but Kobe was unbelievable tonight. I’m surprised no one is talking about what a great game he had!

  69. Brown brings athleticism to a rather slow team other than Kobe. So your willing to give Vujachic his spot back after only a couple of decent games.

  70. i have to agree that i think we should give sasha a bit more a run in the next few games, he’s been playing alright and cleary is a better shooter then brown

  71. Re: Bynum

    Bynum plays better against worse teams just like anyone would. However, because Andrew is only 22 on a veteran star studded squad…he doesn’t get the same touches against the better teams. That is where Kobe starts to dominate the ball. Bynum is the most efficient one on one player on the Lakers… it is a shame that Kobe (as the real PG of the team) won’t let Drew be his workhorse and save the legs of our 30 somethings (Kobe, Artest, Odom, Gasol).

  72. I’m so glad to see that there are others who feel the same way about Bynum as I do. Why is it every time he’s interviewed, whether he has a good game or bad game, it’s always about “touches”, “opportunities”, “others looking for early”, etc.? It’s always about the glory and glamour of scoring with this guy. Look, we get it! When you get touches, you’re a productive offensive player. Thanks for the memo. Got it. But here’s a thought. Why don’t you learn how to play some f-ing defense?! How about swatting away shots in the paint that midget guards always seem to get over you? Or try going after a board like you care!

    I’m sorry, but I’d rather have this guy average 10 pts while being in the top 5 in rebounding and blocks as opposed to averaging more points and being 26th and 14th in the league in rebounding and blocks, respectively. Look at Howard. His scoring is down this year, but he leads the league in rebounding AND blocks! I just don’t think Bynum has the will, desire, or mindset to be a great rebounder and defender. There’s not as much glory in those things. I hope I’m wrong, but that’s what I see right now…

  73. 72) – I agree. More often than not, when the Lakers play the top level teams Bynum’s touches go way down (actually everyone’s does except Kobe’s). We have to keep these things in mind when critiquing the team.

    Still they are learning and figuring out how to get better. Kobe is a smart guy. I see him giving Bynum more chances to prove himself as the season progresses.

  74. Zirk,
    Bynum is not the great athlete capable of being a dominant rebounder and shot blocker (at least with that clunker of a brace he has on his knee) and also has two other great rebounders (Gasol and Lamar) to share the boards with. What he can offer is a rare skill set for a 7 footer with a big body. And he doesn’t bring up “touches” out of nowhere. He does so when asked why he had a big scoring game. And it is usually the right answer since he seems to always score efficiently in every game.

  75. When i see a game like this i am even more amazed that some people are in love with Hinrich. Hinrich’s current stats: shooting 38% FG%, scoring a pitiful 10 pts, 3.3rebs, 4.5 asts…the most pitiful stat of all, a PER of 10.5, lol. Derek Fisher has basically the exact same stats. With a pitiful PER of 9.1 or something horrible.

    bynum on the other hand = stud. A highly efficient and lengthy stud. His offense is awesome of course, his rebounding good. But his help defense which gets little to no love and is not seen via the stats, is great. How many shots does Bynum alter per game? Not block, but change due to his length so it is a miss instead of a score?

  76. Sharing rebounds is fine if you end up with like 7 or 8.

    But if you get less rebounds than a shooting guard, who is in a far less advantageous position to grab rebounds most of the time, then it’s a problem. A big problem. 7 foot big.

    I really wouldn’t harp on Andrew if his rebounding lows were like 7 or 8. But we all know Bynum is very capable of like 3 or 4… and that just isn’t efficient, no matter how you cut it, and if that’s the production you get from your starting center, he really shouldn’t be talking about touches.

    I mean, if you need touches, go get some offensive boards! They’re there for you!

  77. Bynum had 27 and 12, only missed a couple of shots and he still gets blasted on this site. Un-freaking-believeable.

    If he walked across a lake some people here would say his feet were too sweaty complain that he’s making the water dirty.

  78. Chris J.

    I agree with you completely. We dismantle a team by 22 points, bynum had a great game. Kobe took only 15 shots. Pau had an off shooting night but brought in 13 rebounds. Why not take the game as a good stepping stone?

    Also, Sasha played 4 minutes, made one basket, and he is now playing much better? How can you take the sample size of 4 minutes and start giving him more minutes?

    I like this game for the reason that the Lakers can win with Kobe taking fewer shots. 15 shots for 29 points. Helps save the finger. Also brought down 9 rebounds and 7 assists. I am certain that is the Kobe Bryant we love seeing. Against the Cavs. And hopefully against Boston on Sunday.

    Lets praise bynum for playing a good game today. And hope he can be as productive all around as he was. Only 2 personal fouls!!?? That’s a great game.

  79. ray

    He wasn’t guarding anyone. Brendon Hayward is not an offensive juggernaut.

  80. Questions for anyone who watched the game –

    Out of curiosity, how did Artest look on Granger, in terms of moving with that plantar fasciitis?

    Also, how did Hibbert look against Bynum? Seems like he didn’t get it done defensively. But what type of game/moves does he have offensively? How does he score – off others creating for him, or does he have his own repertoire?

  81. Other than that you are absolutely correct.

  82. @busboys, I’ve seen him go against other non-offensive juggernauts and he still gets fouls.

    We hope that the team will play well, but when they do, we still criticize…

    geez, i’d hate to see what this site is like if it were a Knicks site.

  83. OOPS!!! Wrong game. Didn’t Hibbert have a career game? Both schooled eachother.

  84. btw, was bynum not guarding Hibbert?

  85. @ray

    I’m not complaining ray. I loved the game. We played the second half near flawlessly that’s why I posted the boxscore link. I just hate it when Andrew bitches about “touches”. He really does not understand what PJ told him at the end of last season. We want you to be a rebounder and shot blocker (intimitator). He comes back with I want to be an all-star. Sorry, the kid just doesn’t get it.

  86. 4 o’clock starting times kill me. Even if I remember to record it, I have to go into internet/text/phone lockdown not to know the way the game is trending and watch it in a way that’s live to me. And if I know what happened it’s hard to go back and watch. There were a lot of positives in this game, but I can only extrapolate them from the box score…

  87. I hear what some are saying about Bynum and his “touches” and all. But when you are 7’0″ tall, 280 pounds and play the closer to the rim than anyone else on the team you SHOULD get quite a few shots. In fact, if you don’t the case can be made that the team is not playing as efficiently as possible.

    Look, Bynum is not the second coming of Kareem, Wilt, Russell or any other legendary center. But the guy is not Micheal Olawakandi, either. Reading some of these posts you would swear he was Shawn Bradely part II. It would make sense of the Lakers made a concious effort to get him and Pau the ball more often. The tallest guys that play closest to the rim usually make the most shots.

    Andrew and Luke seem to get a lot of unwarranted hate from the so-called Laker fan base. If you are waiting for Andrew Bynum to become the next Alonzo Morning you will be waiting for a long time.

  88. @busboys

    i remember a lot of people saying that about a young kobe bryant…

    that turned out ok

  89. Here’s hoping Kobe goes for 71 Friday so I can see him pass Jerry West in person…

  90. Snoopy,

    Bynum played Hibbert fine. He scored largely off hook shots in the post, and honestly, there was nothing Bynum could have feasibly done considering that trying to stop Hibbert from getting that shot off is like trying to stop Yao with deep post position.

  91. @ ray

    Kobe had an agenda. To be the best player ever to play the game. He played both sides of the ball and dedicated himself to be a great all-around player.

    Do you see the same traits in Drew? I didn’t think so.

  92. Chris/Ray

    I’m fine with Bynum as long as he understands that he will get his touches when he starts working on the other end.

    No give no take. If you help the team by grabbing boards and defense, teammates tend to acknowledge that and give you a touch here and there they normally would pass over.

    So stop complaining about touches, especially when you’re playing with Kobe and Pau.

    And for those that say Bynum is efficient, yes, that is true but that doesn’t mean that he’ll stay efficient even when attempting a large volume of shots.

    One, he probably isn’t there yet in terms of injury and all to shoulder that many attempts, two, he’s already ‘saving’ his legs on defense most of the time, so him doing more offense would probably be even worse when he starts thinking that he can contribute enough offensively to relax on defense.

  93. The offense revolved around Bynum in the first half while he was guarded by Troy Murphy (a SF in a PF’s body) and he came through….offensively, but the team barely had a lead. The offense went through Kobe and Pau in the second half and the game became a blowout. As good as Bynum’s offense was, his defense against Roy Hibbert (21 points in 28 minutes) was euqally as bad.

  94. I never said anything about their work ethic. I said that when Kobe was coming up, he wanted the ball more and wanted to shoot more.

    And I really think Bynum has worked hard. He’s a lot stronger now, has a great face up game for a 7 footer. Shoots 56% from the floor (6th in the league). Seems like the type of things Shaq was frustrated about back in the day.

    I never said anything about their defensive game at all. Just the offensive side.

    Plus Kobe is a guard and Bynum is a center. Bynum needs someone to give him the ball to be successful offensively.

    My feeling is, even if Bynum became Alonzo mourning, which he wont, people would complain that he isn’t scoring enough and its a shame to put all his skills to waste.

    And I really see nothing wrong with Bynum wanting to be an all star. Doesn’t that mean he wants to be a good center? And all this hype that he should be a better rebounder… The Lakers are second in the league in rebounding this year. Could he improve on that, sure, and maybe he’ll work on it next offseason, like his passing out of the post. 22 years old. Has more offensive skill than any other center in the league (excluding T.Duncan and Pau since they are self proclaimed PF; and excluding Yao cuz he’s not in the league this year).

    Maybe it’s because I went through a lakers team that had Cedric Ceballos as a number one option for offense, but I think Bynum has progressed nicely.

  95. Maybe I´m dreaming, but I wish Kobe would sit down with Andrew, tell him 2 things:

    1 – We are winning a championship this year if you play your ass off.
    2 – I am not gonna get you any touches if you have less than 8 rebounds in a game, simple as that.

  96. I’ve been really happy with the way the Lakers have played the past 3 games (even against the Raptors). People will try to point to things like better defense, more ball movement & etc.. But I just think Kobe has played better. I don’t think there’s any question he’s dealing with his finger much better the past couple games. It just goes to show you, the Lakers will only go as far as Kobe takes them. If he’s shooting the ball well it is very difficult to beat us, especially in a 7 game series.

  97. What BYnum wants is to be an All-Star due to offensive stats. IMO, he could be at least getting several more rebounds a game, another block per game, work harder on his rotations, and still score 12-15 points per game as a 3rd/4th option, and become an All Star via that route. Which is what the team needs. But that doesn’t seem to interest him.

  98. It is funny how we fans want to fit square pegs into round holes.

    This team can only stand so many alpha type personalities. Drew wants to be a primary option on offense – sorry, but that is his personality/drive. Because of that, he will be a bit out-of-sinch as long as Kobe is around. Can we live with this? or should we dump a dominant player for a better emotional fit? That is the question.

    Gary Payton was another example of a poor fit, but he was the one bringing up the ball and we know how that ended.

    For Drew, he will complain about touches.

    I think we should stop complaining and and either accept him or demand a trade. Of course, we won’t have much input either way.

  99. Kurt,

    Know this isn’t the trade rumor forum, but I’ve been reading reports that Chicago wants to move Salmons or Hinrich before the offseason. This is only further proved by the Devin Brown trade, a cheaper version of John Salmons, who is also having a better year than Salmons. I think Hinrich will be pretty difficult to move and no way will Mitch or Buss want to bring on his contract unless we get rid of Sasha’s in the trade. But, I think a trade for Salmon’s contract could more feasible.

    The guy is having a pretty bad year thanks to the loss of Ben Gordon, which made him the top shooter from the perimeter and that hasn’t panned out for him or the Bulls at all. If we were to dangle Morrison’s expiring and a 2nd rounder (maybe a protected 1st) I think this could potentially be enough to get them to unload Salmons (of course, only if Hinrich isn’t traded).

    He has a player option for next year at under 6mil so he could wind up being a free agent in the offseason. Either way, he would be the 3pt shooter we’ve lacked all year, having him as our 4th or 5th option on the floor would give him the most freedom he’s had since the Kings. He can handle the ball, and is a decent enough defender. He’s no Hinrich on defense but his contract is easier to swallow and his 3’s and versatility make him worth the trade.

    What do you think?

  100. New post up, and it never gets old to watch the Celtics lose.

  101. 95, maybe I’m lost in translation, but if for offensive skill, you’re talking about having a great variety of post moves, being able to shoot almost equally as well with both hands, capable of hitting turnaorund jumpers…

    I honestly don’t think that Bogut, Kaman or Marc Gasol have nothing to envy him but his athletic condition.

    By the way the main sports newspapaer in Spain claims as a fact that Pau is listing as all-star.

  102. Last season it was Fisher, this year it’s Bynum. For next year, I vote we elect Shannon Brown as the “how dare you not live up to our unrealistically hyped up expectations!”-player :)

  103. LJAY, I saw that. If the Zach Randolph and Gasol to the All Star team rumors are true, then Bynum is out for sure (doesn’t deserve it) and Kaman may be out too (I was hoping he would make it).

  104. Probably not a new thought, but what if the way to get Bynum fired up on both sides of the court is to make sure he is heavily involved on the offense?

    Watching Bynum during this road trip so far he has done a very good job defensively, and is boxing out pretty well.

    Expecting Bynum to get to rebounds the way that Kevin Love does is not terribly realistic. He isn’t a hustle rebounder, he is a muscle rebounder. The best he can do is body up to an opponent, turn to face the rim when the shot is up, and react if the ball comes his way. Bynum is never going to chase down a loose rebound, and that is fine. Very few big men do.

    One of the things that hurts Bynum’s rebound totals is the lack of rhythm our offense often plays with. Watch only Bynum on the offensive glass next game. He is in the mid to high post (up high to set screens on ball action plays and isolations for Kobe), or he is playing the “2.5 Seconds In Then Take a Step Out” game in the low post. Very often he is moving away from the paint, or setting a screen, when a shot is taken. Contrast that with Gasol/Odom, who set screens up top far less often, and who play the mid post facing the basket and can move to the rim on the shot.

    On the defensive glass Bynum loses a fair number of rebound opportunities specifically because he is altering shots, stepping out to challenge mid range attempts, or helping on switches off the screen.

    If Bynum where a consistant 15 and 8 guy for the rest of his career I would be fine with that.

    I would be even happier if he was a consistant 25 and 5 guy, which he could easily be.

    And, Bynum can hit free throws. LOVE that about him, and it makes him an even more efficient option.

    High FG%, High FT%, good post moves, good hands, solid footwork.

    After years of Eldon Campbell, Kwame Brown, and even Shaq, it is nice to have a skilled center that can create offense in the post and punish opponents for hacking him at the line.

    Bynum is absolutely right to be demanding touches on offense.

  105. @Ljay those centers you mentioned.
    Bogut is 25
    Kaman is 27
    M. Gasol is 24

    Also, I can’t speak for Bogut and M. Gasol, but Kaman wasn’t really the model of consistency on either side of the floor when he was younger. This is the first year he averaged more than 20 points a game.

    Bynum is 22 years old and his post skills are equal or better than those three you mentioned.

    Regarding Bynum’s work ethic, I can only assume. But he’s improved his post moves, scoring, and efficiency every year. I don’t think you can do that without working hard, and we have proof that bad work ethic shows on the court (see olowakandi; see Brown, Kwame)

  106. why is artest only playing 20-25 min per game?

  107. @moto
    Plantar Fasciitis.

  108. 105) – Good stuff. It is amazing what players do when they are included in the offense. People want Bynum to be an old school Ben Wallace. That’s just not Drew’s make up. That is like wanting Pau Gasol to be Charles Oakley. He is not that kind of player.

    Phil’s teams have always won because they got the best out of every player. It would stand to reason that the Lakers should do all they can to get the best out of Drew. Let him be the offensive workhorse while Kobe and Pau save their legs for the playoffs. But I feel this whole conversation is probably going nowhere.

    We Laker fans forget we have seen some of the best big men EVER wear the purple and gold. It skews our perception of big men somtimes. We often forget everyone is not going to be Wilt, Kareem, Shaq, or Mikan (for the real old school fans).

  109. #94 LT

    “As good as Bynum’s offense was, his defense against Roy Hibbert (21 points in 28 minutes) was euqally as bad.”

    did you watch the game? Hibbert didn’t start. Phil subbed out Drew for Lamar and then O’brien countered that by bringing in Hibbert to match up with Pau so that he would have an advantage. He got off to a great start against Pau not Drew. He did the same thing in the 2nd quarter but Lamar made a bone head play and ended up getting benched. Granted Hibbert did score on Drew quite a few times but they were well guarded makes. Hibbert just made shots.

  110. Hear, hear exhelodrvr (98)! Bynum wants to be an all star and the way he thinks he could get there is getting more touches/points. Unfortunately, thats not what the Lakers need from him. He could and should be getting more rebounds and blocks. We all agree his offensive game is superb, but he’s the designated third option on offense. Both Phil and Kobe have reiterated this many, many times, but he still doesn’t seem to get it. We need him to be a defensive/rebounding monster down low, the rest will come. Hopefully its just immaturity and he’ll grow out of it. Hopefully.

  111. #110 Ian,

    Yes, I watched the game. I watched Hibbert double his scoring average, mostly against Bynum. I watched Bynum dominate Troy Murphy in the first half. I watched Roy Hibbert start the second half and prevent Bynum from establishing deep post position. I also watched Hibbert score at will against Bynum, similar to what DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers did last season when Bynum scored his career high. Any more questions?

  112. “If Bynum where a consistant 15 and 8 guy for the rest of his career I would be fine with that.”

    A NBA player averaging those numbers does not deserve to make 16 to 17 mil a year. Bynum is getting paid as if he is the number one or two option on the team. Role players are what you need on the team when you have two legit all-stars in KB and Pau. Bynum at this time in his career is not ready to just be the guy who does the little things to help the team win. Thats not knocking him personally, its just him wanting to show the world that he should be considered one the best big men in the league. Reality is, Drew will not get the touches he desires as long as KB is the man on LA.

    On an off note: Will Kobe be Shaq in the next three to five years making the team choose between him and Drew. If Drew keeps the same “I need my touches philosophy”, and KB game starts to decline. Who will management keep in the future?