Talking Offense…Again

Darius Soriano —  March 8, 2010

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On a day where Lakers’ fans sit and reflect on losing games, I think it’s also a good thing to examine what is actually possible with this team.  I’ve said this before, but my outlook on what this team can achieve really hasn’t changed this season.  The Lakers are championship contenders, and in my eyes still headline a group that includes Cleveland, Orlando, Denver, Dallas and Boston.  To me, these six teams have some combination of the talent, experience, and coaching to win 4 playoff series and hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in June.  But, in order to get there, all of these teams would have to have some things break right.

For the Lakers, I think that means some outside shooting to show up.  In the comments, Zephid gave us all a little reminder that this theme isn’t too different from last season:

Hmm, let’s look at some numbers.

Player A: 20%, 28%, 35%, 34%, 35%, 32%, 48%.
Player B: 50%, 30%, 33%, 20%, 33%, 35%, 51%.

These are the monthly splits for the 3 point shooting percentage of each player, with the last number in each row being that player’s percentage in the playoffs. Player A is Trevor Ariza; Player B is Lamar Odom.

Moral is we were plagued by poor shooting all throughout the regular season last year, too, but these guys turned it on when it counted. Outside shooting is our Achilles’ Heel, but it is not a certainty that it will down us in the playoffs. I’m not saying I know for certain that these guys will turn it on come April, May, and hopefully June, but I am saying that it is a distinct possibility, one that shouldn’t be lost in all the “woe-is-me.”

I would add to those stats that the one player that didn’t have a down year (last season) shooting from 3 point range was Fisher.  Sure, we all remember the horrid slump that Fish went through at the end of last season where he shot 25% on threes in April and 20% in May.  But if you look at his game log from last year and look at his month by month percentages, you see 50%, 43%, 44%, 43%, 38%, 42% before that late season fall off and then you see a 44% in June.  This year, that has not been the case for Fish as he has struggled like everyone else.  And with Fish joining the others with inconsistency behind the arc, our overall offense has been much less efficient.  But, putting that to the side, I agree with Zephid in that it is still quite possible that the Lakers shooters find their way in the post season and make some shots.  Is that likely at this point?  That’s a question that each fan or analyst can answer for themselves.  But I don’t think it’s too optimistic to think that with better execution and tighter, team specific game plans, that we’ll see improvement in the playoffs as the minor details get beaten to death in practice and the film room where the exploitable tendencies of the opponent are focussed on mercilessly.

One other quick point on this Lakers team.  The ball can move better and I expect it to as the regular season comes to a close and the playoffs begin.  A lot of that will rest on Kobe’s shoulders, but what else is new?  Kelly Dwyer has an excellent take on what he’s seeing with this current Lakers team, and I suggest you go read it (seriously, go read it).  Besides the even handed analysis that Dwyer provides, I would only add this: the Lakers are in search of balance on offense.  The players know it and I think the coaches know it too.  When it comes right down to it, there are factors that I think will aid in achieving this balance but the players that are available to play must execute the offensive sets better – that is how balance will come.

I know it’s easy to point fingers as fans.  It’s even easier when the players (seemingly) start to do it themselves.  But just know that Pau is not wrong when he’s saying that Kobe could shoot less (just like Dwyer’s not wrong when he says the same thing).  But in order for Kobe to shoot less and for the team to not rely on his shot making so frequently, the ball needs to move more.  Not only into the post, but out of the post as well.  And not only from the strong side post to the strong side wing, but from the strong side post and wing to the weakside wing via skip passes and ball reversals.  The ball must change sides, pressure releases must make themselves available by getting open, and it all must happen faster and with less hesitation.  Players are holding the ball and sometimes that’s because they’re probing the D too much and sometimes it’s because the weakside man isn’t open, but those are correctable things and I think with some greater emphasis on those areas we’ll see a difference.

Darius Soriano

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41 responses to Talking Offense…Again

  1. http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/g/gasolpa01.html

    Pau’s USG and FGA look pretty linear as a Laker, the only difference is he’s getting to the line less and shooting not nearly as well from the field. It’s honestly a surprise that his attempts haven’t gone down, as Bynum has obviously pushed Gasol further from the basket and a few other factors including Gasol’s much less reliable jumper this season and his hamstring issues. And you know, the whole softness around the rim and random bouts of Kwame-hands as fans have complained of.

    And as much as people will want to talk about how great the Lakers looked with Kobe out, it’s pretty established we were worse on offense and our performance hinged, as per the usual, on the defensive end.

    We’d all like to see greater use of the triangle more and running the offense through Gasol and having Kobe take less shots but honestly that’s all based on a presumption that “better team play” will yield better results rather than the reality of the situation.

    The guy who really stepped up in Kobe’s absence was Odom (check out Gasol’s numbers and Shannon Brown’s numbers as Kobe’s back up.) And somehow I think that has more to do with Bynum’s concurrent absence.

  2. A little off topic, but…I just participated in Sheridan’s chat on ESPN.com (the first time on any chat, I’m 1 for 1) and its posting made me feel a bit better after this crazy losing business:

    Jane (Los Angeles, CA)

    A big moment from the ORL/LA game you missed yesterday was Kobe’s ridiculous ability to completely ignore the antics of Barnes “fake” inbounds pass at his face. The man didn’t even flinch. He’s a cyborg. I still say come playoff time…that’s the kind of man teams need to worry about.

    Chris Sheridan (3:51 PM)

    Mere words can not describe how mad I am about missing that game. Saw that highlight, though. And you are right — that was awesome on Kobe’s part. He is a stone cold killer.

  3. KD spends quite a bit of time in his article (RIGHTLY) addressing that if Fisher is going to be burned on D time after time, he’s going have to stop calling his own number on offense.

    He’s not Kobe.

    I know the constant Fisher bashing is old news, but I thought yesterday’s game highlighted the huge problem with Fish: he played one of his best games in a long time, but he was STILL A BELOW-AVERAGE POINT GUARD, at the end of the day.

    I really hope that Phil is planning on changing up the rotation and playing more Shannon at point.

    I can hope, anyway.

  4. Sorry to harp on this, but I think the big difference this year is the three point shooting. Forget the percentages for a minute and ask yourself the last time you saw anyone on an opposing team even contest a three pointer by a Laker other than Kobe. Last game there were times a defender just stood his ground 10 feet or more away from the shooter – didn’t even run out.

    Now ask yourselves the last time the Lakers made a team pay for that – yep the Nuggets. Ron and Fish were both hot.

    It is not just about the points. I think part of Pau’s problem this year is he (and Andrew) are being swarmed when they get the ball inside. How many times have we seen Pau, in particular, get stripped. I think it is because there are three sets of hands swiping at him.

    This leads to the only real offensive threat being Kobe and he is having to work his butt off to get points. It leads to poor spacing and I am pretty sure it has led to Fish making all these ill-fated forays to the rim. It leads to tentativenes in the shooters. I would also say it leads to some of the turnovers as the Lakers try and force the ball inside with a lot more hands in the way.

    The Lakers need to open up the court on the offensive side and the only way to do that is make the other team guard the three or pay the price. Perhaps this is an oversimplification, but then again, let’s see some consistency from the outside and see what happens to the Laker’s inside game then.

  5. Burgundy,

    I pray that Phil does not put Shannon at the point. His decision-making skills are subpar. He doesn’t understand the triangle very well nor does he initiate the offense well. Simply put, he would be a bad option at the point.

    I think the return of Sasha and the possible return of Luke will help ease some of the issues the Lakers have had in terms of poor outside shooting. Having greater depth at SG/SF will allow for Ron to take a break as his shooting has absymal as of late. Additionally, I am praying for the miracle that Sasha has a “Rookie of the Year” moment and comes back shooting the ball outrageously.

  6. poor 3 point shooting is nothing new to the Lakers, the worst part is that Artest caught the contamination too

  7. RE: 5 – Bynumite

    Shannon would be fine at point guard because Kobe would be the de-facto point guard, anyway. Shannon would only be responsible for guarding opposing 1’s.

  8. VoR — in some ways i agree with you. Re: oversimplification, don’t we all want some simplification to these laker mini-woes? i am not high on pau nowadays. you showed an angle for us not to be so hard on our 2nd option.

    too late to burn people though but i think sasha better be in the game when he does actually come back in the game. We simply can not afford brick after brick shooting.

    and yes, kobe is brilliant. he may be part of the problem but he IS brilliant. i’d take that man, cold as he is, any game than some pretender any playoff game of the year.

  9. I am curious how people on this site would rate the defensive skills of Fish, Farmar, Brown and Vujacic. Not looking for arguments as to why, just curious to see if there is any sort of consensus.

    I see it as 1. Fish 2a Vujacic 2b Brown 4. Farmar.

  10. #8,

    on Defense:
    1. Brown
    2. Sasha
    3. Fisher
    4. Farmar

    on Offense:
    1. Farmar
    2. Brown
    3. Sasha
    4. Fish

  11. I think the biggest issue is Pau Gasol’s outside shot. Pau’s silky smooth mid-range jumper used to be the most dangerous part of his game. And frankly, I can’t remember the last time he made one. Part of our spacing issues are the fact that we’ve got ostensibly, three low-post players starting: Bynum, Gasol, and Kobe. We used to have 4 low-post players, but Artest has really come into his own off the ball, and is now arguably the 2nd best cutter on the team (behind Odom). It used to be that Bynum could work in the low post, Gasol could take up the high-post, and Kobe would roam around the pinch post, but now, all three guys are just jamming themselves onto the block, clogging up all the space for the others to work. Add to the fact that none of them are good 3 point shooters (I think we’ve all seen that Kobe just can’t make threes unless time is expiring), so we’ve got 2 shooters to space 3 low-post players, when ideally we would want 2 post players and 3 shooters.

    Maybe it’s just tired legs, but Pau’s shot has been off the entire season. Honestly, that’s really the only constant we’ve had throughout.

  12. looking at that list of guards, realistically, is a stark reminder of just what it is that is *most troubling about this team.

    ask yourself this: which of those guys would crack the top eight(8) [that's about the length of a playoff rotation] on any other contender?

  13. Thats the price the Lakers have to pay for having the best 6 in the league. Players 7 thru 12 wont be great, you cant afford it.

  14. I think Farmar or Brown could play for a team like Cleveland. Who is their backup PG? Boobie Gibson? The problem with those guys is consistency. 82games.com rates one of our best lineups as Farmar-Brown-Bryant-Odom-Gasol. Those two are productive, and when that unit is out and running, and defending, we are a hard team to compete with. The problem, in my opinion is that Phil doesn’t play this lineup that often. It’s only our 5th most used lineup. I personally would love to see more of this lineup, and see Fisher become a 20-24 minute a game player.

  15. 13. Either that or this is the price you pay for paying Morrison, Fisher, Luke, and Sasha around five million each when they’re all minimum level players

    Moreover I don’t think we had to pay Gasol or Bynum as much as we did– Bynum in particular him being an RFA

    Buss is also looking to pay Kobe every dime he can (Kobe’s certainly generated a TON more money for the Lakers and the NBA than he’s earned)

    But this is kind of Abe Pollin-esque spending, rewarding guys for past performance instead of future market value.

  16. You are right, AMMO and Luke are overpaid. Fisher at the time was viewed as a bargain, I don’t think anyone saw him dropping off a cliff this season. That being said, I would like to bring him back next year at about half the price.

    The Vujacic contract is bad now, but at one point, he was a solid contributor on the team that lost to the Celtics in the Finals. He stretched the floor, played both backcourt spots, and played D. Now, he is pretty much a one trick pony who isn’t great at his one trick (shooting). That being said, with Fisher’s deal and Morrison’s deal expiring after this year, I think that enables us to replace them with a solid bench player.

  17. 15, Interesting, considering Fisher came back and solidified our PG position for 2 years, Morrison came as part of a trade, Luke was our 3rd best player at the signing of his contract, and Sasha was our best bench player on a team that went to the Finals.

    Let’s say you’re Mitch Kupchak in Summer 2007. Your team just went 42-40, getting bounced in the 1st round of the playoffs after 5 games. Your 3rd best player just had a break out year, and he’s a unrestricted free agent. What do you do?

    Now, let’s say it’s the same summer. You’ve just lived through a year with Smush Parker at the helm at PG, with a raw Jordan Farmar behind him. Now you’ve got word that the PG from your three most recent championship teams wants to come back at 1.5M less than his current contract. What do you do?

    Now, let’s say it’s Summer 2008. You’ve just lost a heartbreaking Finals to your dreaded rivals, and your best bench player and a key contributor throughout your playoff run is an unrestricted free agent having had a break out season. At his position, you have no replacement for this bench player, and he’s willing to come back for the mid-level exception over only 3 years. What do you do?

    By your logic, we offer the minimum to each of these players and laugh in their faces if they ask for anything more. Hindsight is 20/20, so don’t confuse the realities of now with the realities of decisions made in the past.

  18. >Thats the price the Lakers have to pay for having the best 6 in the league.

    hmm.. Bryant, Pau, Bynum, Artest, Odom.. ??

  19. Zephid,

    awesome thought.

    i kinda think sasha return to the lineup will help too.
    he’s actually starting to play better before he’s injured.

    i don’t know if this is because of my frustration going, even i started to see sasha can help our team.
    but he’s a part of this team and he should be able to help. (and he does work hard to do so).

    lastly, yes, the problem is on offense, not defense.
    and it’s a problem of everyone on the floor, not just our perimeter shooting or our big.
    Execution and making the right play is missing.

    call me an optimist.
    but seriously, i rather see lakers slumps during the regular season than in the playoffs.
    they still have time to fix this problem.

    and btw, all the lost was on the road, except for the bobcats game, the other two games were still winnable.

  20. The fact that our outside shooting is resulting in opponents packing the lane and disrupting our inside game is mentioned; then conveniently forgotten.

    Our problems are related – and start with outside spacing and shooting. The rest, including the extra attention Kobe gets, follows.

    Yeah, count me as one of the people waiting for Sasha to come back – and hoping he comes back shooting.

  21. TSUWM,

    Lol you made your point, I shouldve been more clear.. Starting 5 plus Sixth man.

    Zephid,

    Come to think of it Mitch hasn’t made a bad decision in a long while.

    The last time the Lakers ‘lost’ a trade was the Butler/Kwame. Mitch has been robbing teams left and right ever since.

    We got Pau, Ariza and Shannon all for in deals where we didnt lose anything of significance (maybe Radmanovic..especially this season)

  22. Zephid, Adam Morrison came in a trade because we had to get rid of Vladimir Radmanovic’s contract. A contract that we could have voided after he decided to go snowboarding

    Derek Fisher’s “less than 1.5 of his previous contract” was at the tail end of a contract that the Lakers weren’t willing to match way back then. He had only two places to go: Los Angeles or New York. I don’t think New York had 5 million a year on the table: we did him a solid here. And he “deserved” it. But it was an Abe Pollin move, no doubt about it.

    Luke Walton was the third best player on a team with only two good players. He wasn’t anything more than a bit player who had some skills that fit well prior to his contract year, and I seriously doubt that anybody else would have made him that offer or anything close to it. Not that we ever dared to find out.

    Sasha… oh Sasha. You keep using the phrase “break out year” but isn’t that phrase usually reserved for those who actually put everything together for the rest of their careers? I believe what you’re looking for is “contract year performance” seeing as how every season prior he was a scrub.

    At any rate, even then we could see Sasha taking bad shots. They just used to go in more. And he was worse defensively then than now, as much fun as his “pest” style was.

    Now Turiaf I agreed letting go was the good move, though even then I’d rather have kept him than Sasha. Good defender, could shoot, and finish reasonably well on top of his sideline dancing and chemistry contributions.

    Ariza… oh how I miss Ariza. I wish we could have made some of the same justifications for overpaying roleplayers that we didn’t in dealing with the fourth best player on our championship team.

  23. STD,

    I’m going to side with Zephid here. You have the benefit of hindsight. Also, the Lakers looked into voiding the contract, but theres now way it would have been with the Union defending Rad, it would have been very difficult to void that contract. I mean, have you seen Washington even talk about voiding the rest of GA’s contract after this year?

    Yah, it sucks, but the contracts were good at the time, and considered deals. Sasha didn’t have a break out year, but he had a contract year and was spreading the floor. Luke was always a good glue guy, and even last year played pretty good ball.

    Fisher, I may be the only one, but I was damn happy he was back, and I thought it was a damn good deal at the time.

    The funny thing is, your last argument on Ariza. The Lakers finally took a stand in NOT overpaying a role player last year, and said take it or leave it, but yet you are unhappy with it. I mean, the Lakers basically told the agent, screw you. I mean, they basically did what you want… question is, would you still take him the way he’s been playing this year? Or how bout we check back in two years?

    I miss Ariza also… the Ariza in the playoffs who was lights out from 3.

  24. Basketball 101:

    When your opponent has 4 legit inside players (Pau,Bynum,Kobe,Odom?) You pack it in, take away the inside threat and make them beat you from the outside.

    Then when you know for a fact that your opponent’s most clutch player is going to get the ball, you double him and make someone else beat you.

    The answer to both of those things if for other Lakers to step up (at critical times) and make shots. Not just in the flow of the game. But when it matters. You have to make the defense pay for leaving you open.

  25. RE contracts: I never really quibble about contracts. Players are paid what the market determines. Sometimes I question the wisdom of paying non-franchise players max money, but even those guys get paid what GM’s deem they are worth. Are all deals smart? Obviously no. But these GM’s are building teams and are spending money on (and some would argue this point) limited resources (the players). Take this upcoming summer for example – there will be 6-8 teams that have boatloads of cash to spend on one max or two near max players. There are only 3 real max players on the market this summer (5 if you count Dirk and Kobe) in Lebron, Wade, Bosh (who some may question as real max guy). The other guys: Amar’e, Boozer, Rudy Gay, etc are not max guys but when those teams that don’t sign Bosh/Wade/Lebron are spending their dollars, guess who’s going to get paid big money? So, like I said, are some contracts bad? Sure. But players make what the market says they’re worth.

    As for our guys, I’m on the hindsight is 20/20 wagon on this one. The only contract that I question is Luke’s. And not because of the yearly salary, but because of the length of the contract. Remember too, there are two types of contracts for role players – the mid-level and veteran’s mininum deals. Sure, there are some players that get in between those amounts or slightly more than the MLE, but for the most part players fall into one of those two categories. So, when Luke and Sasha or Radman or Fisher get the mid-level I think it’s pretty much fair. Hindsight may prove otherwise. But hindsight, like clairvoyance is pretty rare so until someone masters that stuff, I don’t quibble with contracts.

  26. @9/VoR – Ranking the guards depends a lot on what you mean by “offense” and “defense”.

    Fisher isn’t shooting well, but none of the other players seems to have more than a casual knowledge of the triangle. (This worries me about the future, but I’m just trying to worry about the present now.)

    There’s a similar problem on defense, where Fisher is probably the least likely to stop another guard one-on-one but plays good team/help defense.

    Fisher is also least prone to making stupid mistakes on either end of the court, (the drive out of bounds, the 85-foot foul, the *string* of careless passes, etc.).

    As often as we talk about issues like getting the ball to the right place or just executing the game plan, these distinctions are critical.

  27. Someone on here mentioned that the offense has turned more half court this year with Artest. Very smart. Most of last year the Lakers had Trevor, LO, kobe, Pau and fish starting. Much quicker then this year.

    With Ron, Pau, Bynam and Fish starting we may have the slowest starters in the league. Love to see the difference in fast break points.

    This may be the reason the offense has stalled this year. Slow moving translates to less points in the NBA. Have we become the 80’s Knicks?

  28. I hear what you guys are saying, but I think on at least the Fisher contract I’m ‘right’. He had two places to go: L.A. and N.Y. Unless the Knicks were going to give him 5 million a year, I don’t think the Lakers had to.

    But we did, and it was the fair and even “right” thing to do, but not the most ruthless or economically prudent. That’s what I mean by Abe Pollin move: the guy loved his players and ended up overpaying them for the memories and possibly because he knew he was running out of time. I’m not saying I wanted Fisher to get screwed because of his daughter’s situation, I’m just identifying the situation for what it was.

    Here’s the thing: I think all your justifications work but I don’t think you need clairvoyance to have predicted how things ended up other than unforseen injuries to Sasha and Luke right now (which is not why they’re overpaid, of course). Just like you don’t need clairvoyance to reasonably surmise that while Artest is worth his money right now and probably will be for that second and third year. But it is equally probable that he won’t be worth what he makes years 4 and 5 (in other words, fully expect Ron-ron to be exercise his player option and stay with the Lakers)

    I really do think you could’ve forseen Fish falling off by now (NBA guards don’t exactly last forever) and thinking Sasha and Luke’s shooting would taper off after contract year performances is a fair expectation to me. Heck I’ll play the hypothetical nostradamus again: if Farmar goes on some sort of bizarre season ending tear from the 3 point line like LO/Ariza/WOW did for us last year, you can reasonably expect him to revert to that 35-38% clip in the future if he’s still with us.

    In summary, if you’re not happy with the players making what they make now you probably shouldn’t have been happy with the contracts they were originally signed to. Because honestly it was a bigger leap in faith to expect these guys to continue their hot shooting than it was to expect them to revert to the guys we’d known all along (because the only thing that made them go from minimum-ish players to MLE players was that aforementioned shooting).

    And yes, I would take Ariza the “way he is playing now.” He’s the same guy to me, just in Ron’s old situation (let’s not forget what ire Ron caused Houston fans). I believe he can be the fourth wheel on a championship team and at worst “the fifth beetle” like the Kobe/GP/Malone/Shaq 4 HOFer team except actually good unlike Devean George. I still think he can defend and fill the lanes when appropriate and sink open 3s and all in all remain the role player we grew to love in our championship run. At no point did Sasha or Luke inspire the same confidence in me.

    On one final note: I’m not “mad” about the contracts because it isn’t my money! (Although the Lakers are one of the few profit turners in the NBA and the high prices of everything does bug me occasionally, that’s a story for another day) but I do think it’s fair game to wish that money is used in this or that way as far as roster make-up.

  29. Does anybody think that by the time the season is over Pau could recover and improve on his mid-range jumper? If he could, then he wouldn’t be on the block so much which would be helpful for improving spacing for sure. Bynum could do his thing in the low post and it would allow for more space for the cutters. However Pau has seemed fatigued, and jumpers might take more out of his legs…

    For the sake of spacing and versatility I hope that Bynum and Gasol come back after the off-season with reliable midrange games.

    As far as perimeter spacing, for the future I hope the Lakers can nab one of Golden State’s underpaid players that can shoot the ball like Morrow or CJ Watson. I’m guessing it couldn’t cost too much because they would be happy to not be part of Don Nelson’s schizo playing time distribution.

    For the rest of this season… improved shooting starts with ball movement (flow) creating open looks and lanes. Soon enough the shots will fall, and if not, what else can you do? If the players continue deferring to let Kobe go ISO all the time and take 25 shots a game the collective effort and level of play from the whole team will suffer.

  30. 29 – “However Pau has seemed fatigued…” Yep, ‘cuz he played all Summer long for Spain instead of getting some rest.

    And, the Lakers essentially swapped Ariza for Artest, a seven year older (and slower) player.

    Strangely (sarcasm alert), this has effected the offense, and not for the better. People harp on Fisher, Fisher, Fisher, Fisher, (ad naseum) but the whole team is a year older, except at the aforementioned starting SF spot.

  31. 30 R- yeah that was quite a lame sounding understatement I made regarding Pau. You make a very good overall point about the team slowing down across the board.

    However, unless I’m mistaken, the triangle is an offense that suits veterans, so while having slower players is by no means an advantage, it shouldn’t be as big of a problem if the team is consistently running the triangle.

  32. TheSTD,

    I can honestly tell you that I did not like the Sasha contract at the time it was given. I did not like that he only did one good year after 2 years of being a “Practice” player. But besides that contract, I can’t blame the contract woes on the people making 5 million a year. Looking at it now, who else could we get at 5 million a year without getting laughed at? I mean, Ariza got offered 5 million, and he was “disrespected”. Our high payroll isn’t because we’re spending money on the Luke’s and Sasha on our team. It’s because we have the best shooting guard in the league, a top 5 PF, a young Center with “upside”, a 6th man that would start for every other team.

    We’re filling as many spots as possible with the mid level, and I don’t know who else we would have been able to get with that money. Ariza didn’t go for it. Do you think another point guard who can hit shots would take that money now?

    Just too much speculation, you know? I mean, the good way to fill spots would be to draft someone and be cheap, but it’s hard to find that “sleeper” when you’re always going to the finals.

    But I hear you. It hurts. But right now, I’d be more upset with Bynum’s contract (though I’m not at this time because I hope he’ll be good in the next couple of years. But does he deserve 12 million, or 5 million more than Odom? I don’t think so.

    But hey, maybe Kobe gives us a discount next year? and only takes 16 million a year? so we can have more money for role players?

    Or if Aaron gets his wish, maybe Lebron will give us a discount?? (I Kid!!!)

  33. 31 – Sorry I didn’t mean my post as a critique of your comments – in fact I think you are right about Pau.

    Re: Golden State – I live in the Bay Area and do like a number of their players. Too true, the coach is quite mad.

  34. 33 – no hard feelings dude, I didn’t take it that way, but the politeness is appreciated. I realized that saying he “seems tired” is a very large understatement because he hasn’t really had any breaks from basketball since he joins the Lakers, (08 olympics, 09 euro competition) and yeah that has to wear you down a bit
    That being said, I hope he starts sinking that jumper consistently again.

    Regarding Golden State, which players do you think would adapt well and be productive for upper-echelon teams such as the Lakers?

  35. Phill had a comment on the shooting situation in a Medina vid. on LaTimes.com:

    “Im not one of those guys who say that you have to have three point shooters out there to open up the inside. Other people are into that. ITS ABOUT MOVEMENT, and ball movement to create post up possibilities… if the balls stagnant and doesn´t move then its gonna be hard to get the ball in there.”

  36. 35,
    I agree with Phil. Having 3 point shooters won’t open up the inside. It would just make teams even more interested in denying post entry passes. However, I think the Lakers inability to feed the post is more out of willingness (or lack there of) than execution.

  37. tex winter is really missed.

  38. 36, depends on what you mean by feed the post. If part of that is getting Kobe the ball in the pinch post, the team seems more than willing to defer. If you mean getting the ball into Bynum and Gasol on the low block, I’d say it is a pretty balanced mix of execution and willingness. For guys like Fisher and Farmar, it has been execution; they just aren’t throwing good passes and making good decisions. For guys like Kobe and Brown, they’d just rather go 1v1 and take it themselves, Kobe with his patented wave-off and Brown with a jacked up jumpshot.

    I wouldn’t really harp on guys not feeding the post if they actually ran the releases instead of holding onto the ball. When the post entry is covered, the guy on the wing is supposed to pass off to the release man at the top of the key, who then is supposed to reverse the ball to the other wing to gain further penetration. These days, the ball just gets stuck on the strong side and teams can defend 4 on 3.

  39. how wrong could the LA Times be in ‘today’s on-line paper?
    http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-0309-lakers-tonight-20100309,0,2854795.story

    they claim the raps game was on monday…
    just plain weird

  40. Zephid,
    In my opinion our perimeter players, sans Artest, look into the post and have every opportunity to pass the ball down low but pump fake a few times and then switch the ball to the other side of the floor where another Lakers is set up for a screen and a jumper or a screen and a cut to the basket. That is a normal triangle set… unfortunately I see that 90% of the time and the ball goes to the post 10%.