Look! It’s The Triangle Offense

Darius Soriano —  April 28, 2010

 [picappgallerysingle id="8649878"]
Somewhat lost in the shuffle of Kobe guarding Westbrook, the Lakers bigs coming up even larger than their combined 14 feet of height, and the overall dominance of a nearly 30 point victory, was the return of the Lakers actually running the Triangle Offense.  Over in his behind the box score, Kelly Dwyer said exactly what I was thinking:

What made it watchable for me was the return of what the kids call the “triangle offense,” and what the fogeys like me call “the triple post offense.”

The ball went inside, first. There were cutters off the ball, off the apex, and there were screens and then curls off those cutters. My sinuses are getting sneezy just thinking about it. It was glorious to see. There’s a reason we thought this team could win 70 games this year, and the ball movement we saw on Tuesday night is the reason why. It was gorgeous.

Gorgeous indeed.  I wish I had some visual examples to share, but since I don’t the written word will have to do.  In a way, what I saw in game 5 reminded me of the adjustments of what we saw from game 5 of the Denver series in last seasons’ post season run.  Not the same adjustments, mind you, but subtle changes that led to much better execution of the Lakers’ offensive sets.  Changes that when executed with the precision and focus that the Lakers did last night can be overwhelming to even a stingy defense like OKC’s.  Below are a few of the things that were markedly different from the previous games in this series:

1).  Spacing and Timing.  The Triangle is an offense that, at it’s heart, is built off of two distinct principles – spacing and timing.  Against the Thunder, both have been disrupted all too frequently.  The Lakers spacing has been thrown off by the Thunder’s bigs fronting the post and their sagging perimeter defenders that have subsequently cut down the passing angles that LA’s wings have to make their entries into the bigs.  The timing of the Lakers offense has also been thrown off for these reasons.  Too often the Lakers wings have been holding the ball and looking for the post entry.  They’ve been wasting their dribble and moving without purpose when they’re handling the ball.  This has made the Lakers pressure releases non-existent and crippled the other players’ off the ball movement in a manner that rendered the weak side cuts and motions nearly useless.  Last night, though, we saw a return of better spacing and much improved timing.  Why?  Several reasons, really, but mostly because of a better use of the dribble.  In game five, the Lakers wings used their dribble with purpose.  Nearly every time Kobe or Fisher or Ron put the ball on the floor it was get into a seam and make the defense react.  This action with the ball caused defenders to shift and slide with the result being better passing angles to the open perimeter players and post players that slid into the gaps when their defenders moved over to show help.  These open passing angles jump started ball movement.  Which in turn made the player movement that much more meaningful.  This all came together and added up to a return of crispness to the Lakers offense where the choreagraphed nature of the Triangle displayed itself in all its beauty.  On one play in particular, a play that started with a dribble drive led to an open (and converted) Artest three pointer that saw four Lakers touch the ball in less than a 5 second span.  We honestly have not seen that type of ball movement since the Utah game where Kobe sat out with his ankle injury.  That was February 10th.  Today is April 28th.  Yeah, it’s been a while.

2).  Early offense.  During the regular season the Lakers played at the 13th fastest pace in the league (middle of the pack).  Last year, when they were one of the best offenses in the league, the Lakers played at the 5th fastest pace.  I’m not chalking up the Lakers decline in offensive efficiency this season solely to this factor, but I do believe it made a difference.  I think it also contributed to the improvements we saw on offense last night.  And it started with our bigs getting up the floor.  Though we haven’t seen much of this lately, the Lakers have two of the better running 7 footers in the league.  They’re not Karl Malone’s out there, but both Bynum and Gasol can get up court relatively quickly and get into the post for quick set ups on the block.  And last night, that was exactly what happened.  As I mentioned in the recap to game 5, the Lakers only allowed 14 offensive rebounds on the 53 missed shots of the Thunder.  On those possessions where the Lakers secured the ball, they pushed the ball up court and looked inside as early as possible.  And because the Lakers bigs were running the floor, this set up early offense opportunities for easier post entries and finishes at the basket.  After several successful possessions using this tactic, the Thunder were forced to collapse on defense and protect the paint even more than normal.  This then set up our second big man running in a trail position to recieve passes on dives at the free throw line because once our first big had the ball all of the attention was on him.  How many dunks did our bigs get on plays just like this (or on variations of them)?  Five?  Six?  I’m not entirely sure, but I do know that it was a welcome sight to see our bigs get some easy buckets on the secondary break just becasue they were getting up the floor quickly.

3).  Ron Artest in the post.  Doug Collins may refer to his coaching of Michael Jordan a lot, but he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to analyzing some of the finer points/X’s and O’s of the game.  And last night he mentioned several times that Artest got several post touches and said that this was an adjustment for the Lakers.  I couldn’t agree more with him on this point.   For a lot of this series, Ron has been relegated to a spot up shooter.  You’d see him, typically on the weak side wing, just standing there waiting to receive a pass so he could fire up a long jumper.  However, when a guy is shooting less than 20% from behind the arc, it may be time to change up his role a bit.  The beauty of the Triangle is that it’s an offense where every player is nearly interchangeable.  So, just like you see Pau sometimes making post entries from the extended wing, you also see our guards get post up chances (mostly Kobe).  So, it was nice to see Ron get some chances on the block that allowed him to create for himself, but also for his teammates.  Ron tied for second on the team with 5 assists last night and he looked much more comfortable operating from the post on the chances that he got.  Remember what Phil has said many times before about the Triangle – it’s the post players roles that are easiest to learn and it often takes more time for the perimeter players to find their comfort level.  Well, then doesn’t it make sense to get Ron (a player that has experienced a bit of a steep learning curve in this offense) some touches in a place where less reading and reacting is going on?  I think it does and it paid off last night.

And besides these three points, everything was just done a bit better than it has been recently.  The screens were better, the cuts were harder, the passes were more precise, and the catches were made cleaner.  Every Laker player seemed focussed and intent on executing the offense in a manner that maximized his personal and the team’s success.  That said, one game does not a season make.  If the Lakers expect to win game 6 on Friday, they’ll need a recommitment to this same level of execution and attention to detail.  Sure, they’ll need their defense to be as strong as it has all series (they’ll also need to plan for whatever adjustments the Thunder make to Kobe guarding Westbrook), but if they hope to pull out the win, they’ll also need to score the ball.  They’ll need to run the offense.  So, this can’t be a one time thing; it can’t be a fleeting effort.  Because if the Lakers can play with the urgency and desire to run its sets, they’ll be moving on to the next round after Friday’s game.

Darius Soriano

Posts

46 responses to Look! It’s The Triangle Offense

  1. I thought the early offense played a huge role in last night game. The Lakers got into their offensive sets before OKC could pack it into the paint and front our bigs. As you mentioned this made entry passes so much easier, and this is what I felt lead to a lot of the better ball and player movement.

    Also Gasol played a lot at the pinch post (I think that’s what it is called, just to the side of the FT line. This allowed Bynum more room under the basket to take up space (how many pretty passes from Pau to Bynum for a dunk was there? 3 or 4?. It also created better spacing to allow Artest to get inside.

  2. thisisweaksauce April 28, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    I want the Lakers to read this post. And memorize it. You are awesome, Darius.

  3. I was just wondering what OKC would do to counter Kobe on Russ. Also knowing that Russ is going to shoot better at home.

  4. Expect for OKC to run a lot of high pick and rolls to counter the Kobe on Westbrook conundrum. Our bigs have to do a good job of showing and recovering to counter the high screens. Game 6 will be a good measuring stick to see if we can finally bag a road win. And boy am I glad we get another two days to rest our weary players.

  5. It seems that it’s for games like this that Phil earns his money.

  6. It was interesting, because it seemed like OKC got completely discombobulated by the Laker adjustments.

    1) Pau setting up at the pinch post completely screwed up the OKC spacing. For four games, it seemed like Pau was always operating in a sea of arms, but setting up where he did, he had time to scan and make smart/quick decisions – he completely picked the Thunder apart. It will be interesting to see how the Thunder adjust on Friday (my guess is they’ll try to double Pau immediately, rather than giving him space to operate – a tactic the Lakers need to be prepared for).

    2) Kobe guarding Westbrook. Westbrook tried to do the same things he did to Fish to Kobe, only now he wasn’t being guarded by a fire hidrant, so he couldn’t do them. I saw barely any picks set for Westbrook (he didn’t need them against Fish…definitely needed them against Kobe). As Gr8 Scott said, I expect a ton of pick and roles with Westbrook in Game 6. Again, this is something the Lakers need to prepare for.

    3) Ron in the post. I’m not sure why the Lakers haven’t done this sooner. Pau throwing it into Ron in the post was freaking genious. OKC is a bunch of willowy quick guys. Why not take advantage of the Laker’s absurd power? None of the wing defenders can handle Ron in the post, so when the Lakers went to him, it created havoc. I expect they’ll be doubling Ron down there in Game 6 – the Lakers need to be ready to adjust (and the adjustment shouldn’t be instantly jacking up a 3 when he kicks it out).

    Actually, the counter for both Pau AND Ron, if they’re doubled in the post, is to step away from the lane and whip a quick pass to a cutter. The easy answer is to just kick it back out to a three point shooter (which we saw in Games 1-4, but the correct answer is to hit a cutter.

    Than means when Bynum, Artest, or Pau are doubled in the post, they need to step out to give themselves some space, and then look for cutters. Kobe did this quite well in Game 5 (he got Bynum a couple dunks that way).

    The only caveat is, under no circumstances, should Fish be the cutter. Fish has been playing really well since Game 3, I have to give him props. But he should not be the cutter when a big is doubled in the post.

    That is not, and never has been, part of his skillset.

  7. #5, Feel, you beat me to it, I second the notion that Phil should be getting a lot of the credit for last night, sure it was a great effort by the players, no doubt!
    and darius, “dribbling with a purpose”, nice phrase, and I couldn’t agree more, part of our recent failures in my opinion, was that we just seemed to settle for passing the ball around the perimeter, then jacking up a long distance shot as time expired. (which is all I ever see out of sasha, so let’s hope we keep this “trend” up, even if Sasha comes back).
    also, I noticed the Bigs showing much more than in previous games on the P&R, and that really seemed to help slow Westbrook, very effective.
    all in all, nice adjustments, coach!

  8. 6, there were a ton of picks set for Westbrook. Kobe just went under all of them so they went unnoticed.

  9. Zephid is exactly right… Kobe is long enough where he can go under and then still challenge the shot

  10. yeah i saw some of those picks. kobe was in a different world last night. he went under them, fought under them most of the time and was really in westbrook’s head.

    of the three reasons/observations, and since i don’t do x and o, i saw evident the early offense. it worked. it will work and they have to attack more deep and quick in okc to keep the refs on their heels.

    ron in the post was something i wasn’t comfortable with, mainly because of how he attacked the basket (the dribbling part made me wish he were 3 feet closer so he would just dunk it instead of show that bull rush). that said, artest in the lineup over ariza makes our strategy all the more tilted towards a power game. that game, i saw power, not awkward pau gasol shots. i’d think ariza, his 3 point shooting staying within range, would have made the series a bit more difficult. a but that is the past. thoughts?

    when is sasha returning?

    GO LAKERS!

  11. On that same point, Russ isn’t a threat behind the arc 1. he doesn’t have the confidence to shoot those, even if he may be open and 2. more importantly, its because he doesn’t have the range. As long as the bigs show quickly and don’t let him turn the corner, I think we will be fine. PnR shouldn’t be a problem.

    Good observations above.

    Here’s an interesting proposition; would we rather have the Jazz lock up the next round tonight or have an extended series to get a few more days off? Obviously best case scenario would have us win Friday and the Jazz win in 7, but I think at this point locking up the Jazz for sure would be more beneficial. I think we have *much* better matchups and would have an easier series.

  12. Still have one more game to win.

    Let’s hope we see our team from two years back where we closed the deal when we were given the chance.

  13. Re: “The world is flat” America’s fascination with Trevor Ariza

    Trevor Ariza had one great post season run where he could shoot. He is a 30% three point shooter where Artest is a 35% three point shooter. Ariza cannot dribble, pass, or attack the basket off the dribble. Artest can do all those things. You can’t find two times last post season where Ariza took the ball in a one on one situation and went to the basket to score or assist a basket. Artest did that 5 times alone in last nights game. And lets not talk about one on one defense. Ariza was a defensive liability against SF’s (against PG’s/Sg’s he was good) where we would have to zone up and double on his side. Ariza did add an element of teem speed the Lakers need with the slow footed Derek Fisher on the floor no doubt. But can you imagine if the Lakers had Ariza this series instead of Ron Artest? Who would guard Durant? You could put Ariza on Westbrook… but then Kobe would have to guard Durant which he has shown incapable of doing. Durant would go from his 37% shooting this series to his normal 48% or possibly higher. This Trevor Ariza acid trip has to end. He is like a girl you met in Hawaii and had whirl wind vacation 1 week relationship with. She was great for the week but you don’t know her. And you spend the rest of your life comparing this idea with your real life wife. The idea of Trevor Ariza is far different from the reality of Trevor Ariza.

  14. If the Lakers are truly committed to running the triangle, then there’s not much OKC can do to counter it. The beauty of the triangle is that if you take away one option, there are several other options available that all lead to a bucket.

    Pump fakes helped at home on shot attempts, so there’s no reason to believe that a pump fake won’t work on the road.

    Lakers also jumped for rebounds instead of remaining rooted to the floor. Save for a few times that is.

    Defense, defense, defense, what a sight to behold. Contesting OKC’s shots, save for a few, was what dismantled the Thunder. Now that’s playoff basketball, half court offensive schemes!

    One problem, though, OKC will be home and the constant parade to the free throw line should continue, as that’s where 1/2 of their offense has been generated, in this series.

    Go, Lakers!

  15. Aaron,
    For once I completely agree with you.

    I loved Trevor, but Artest against the bigger SG in the league is a much better proposition – and all the really good SGs are big. We all love to watch speed, but the big SG just overpowered Trevor.

  16. Wow haven’t commented in a while…

    Anyway, while I was watching the Lakers discombobulate the Thunders in Game 5, I can’t help but think that maybe the lakers do have another gear that they are truly “Sealing in”. Something like a break glass in case of emergency.

    It’s not in effort but rather in the sets that they run or the positions that they take on the court. I kept on thinking, maybe they are just sealing it in so that the other playoff teams that they might meet would not be too familiar with the sets that they would run.

    It’s because the Lakers are so talented that they could pull it off. They could just out-talent the other team without resorting to their usual play,

    Of course, that was probably an optimistic pipe dream, but It kinda made sense when you see the drastic improvement in the spacing and stuff

    On another note,
    that Brandon Jennings in Milwaukee really reminds me of a leaner Nick Van Exel.

  17. Craig,
    You should try agreeing with me more often… I think you will start to like it ;). And there aren’t many big SG’s in the NBA… its more the normal sized SF’s that gave Trevor major problems. Or you can do what Houston did and play Trevor at SG where he is more affective defensively… but the Lakers already had a pretty good defensive SG if I recall correctly.

  18. Who do we root for tonight? I want the Jazz to win the series, obviously, but if it ended tonight they’d get plenty of rest. But if they can close it out tonight, no complaints here.

    Bigger dilemma – who do we root for in Cavs-Celtics? As much as I hate the Celtics, I want to see them in the Finals. I don’t hope for their success as much as pray they get crushed by our hands. And the Cavs are the bigger threat this year. I hope it’s a long, bruising series, but I might actually pull for the Celtics in this one.

    Aaron’s completely right. I’m sick of hearing about Ariza. I loved the guy and still root for his success, but when people look at his hot shooting streak in the playoffs and try to apply that to this year – that gets to me a little.

    Defensively, I always thought Artest was better for the strong wings and Ariza was better for the faster wings. That changed, however, after Ron underwent his diet and exercise change. For the first half of the season he was as slow-footed as last year, when Kobe blew by him. But now he’s able to guard big, strong forwards, as well as quick guards.

    Artest is our boy now, and in my opinion, he’s f-ing fantastic. He fights harder possession-to-possession than any Laker I can remember for a long time.

    On a side note, Bucks had a fantastic ending to that game. Ilyasova showed how hustle points win games. Salmons, at his absolute best, has the ability to outplay Johnson, as he did tonight. And Brandon Jennings? Steps to the line and coldly knocks down 2 FTs, after his own coach almost iced him.

  19. Snoopy, as torn as I am regarding the ideal opponent for our repeat chances, rooting for the Cs is not acceptable ;)

    I do hope that they go full 7, and the Cavs win, just to lose to Orlando, so we can have another mini-rivalry with Orlando.

    Not that I think Orlando would be easier than the Cavs; I just don’t want the added hype that comes with a LA -Cle matchup – LeBron, Shaq, etc.

    But the kid in me really wishes we could actually meet the Cavs, and see vintage Kobe on game 7, to put every doubter to rest.

    That’s my big-risk, big-reward kinda dream though, and I would much rather have a vanilla ending with us meeting Orlando and finishing the series in 6, at our home.

  20. harold – A Cavs-Lakers Finals with a Lakers win would be my dream scenario. It’s just that with Kobe injured and playing subpar this year, I’m afraid of the skewed stories it would generate. And, to be honest, I have a ton of respect/fear for the Cavs.

    But (if we could guarantee a Lakers championship) then I definitely want the Cavs or Celtics over the Magic. Last year’s Finals – even though we won – was just too vanilla for me. It wasn’t memorable. A Kobe-Lebron-Shaq Finals or a 2008 rematch would add that spice that we need.

    Sorry for getting way ahead of myself. We’ve still got a feisty, ahead-of-its-time Thunder team to worry about.

    Kevin McHale is a remarkably nice and articulate man. After all the horrible moves, I thought he’d be borderline illiterate. And being a former Celtic, I at least thought he’d be a jerk. He doesn’t have as much personality as most commentators, but I like him. Very grandfatherly.

  21. Snoopy2006,
    It’s not just Ariza’s shooting that people remember inaccurately. He was a good defender, but not a great one. He made a couple of great plays at critical times, and that’s all that most people remember.

  22. @11 Taylor

    I too am at a crossroads… whether to hope for an extended series between the nugs/jazz with the jazz winning game 7 or just close it out 2nite.

    Either way, i’m rooting for the jazz. haha

    As far as the other playoff series go…
    I too am hoping for the celts to beat the cavs. For the only reason of not wanting Shaq to win another or Lebron to get his 1st… haha

    I want to see the Spurs in the WCF against us. Just like old times….

    and in the NBA finals, Celts/Lakers with us sweeping them. =)

    But alas, we must get past OKC first… so as our players would say… one game at a time…

    BTW, my 8th grade daughter shoots better FTs than Jordan Farmar… lol

  23. Re: Ariza’s Defense

    He was a great team defender… getting in passing lanes etc. But his man on man defense against SF’s was below average. Mainly because he doesn’t have the body of a SF… but also because he doesn’t have the lateral quickness people think he has. He is very fast and can jump… but he can’t move side to side very well (that along with strength, length, and quick hands are the keys to being a good man on man defender. Due to his length he could guard PG’s and SG’s very well, but against SF’s he wasn’t longer than them, he wasn’t as strong as them, and he didn’t have enough lateral quickness to make up for it. It wasn’t a coincidence he couldn’t get playing time in the league until the only players competing with him were this years 11th man Luke Walton and NBA laughing stock Vlad Radmonovic. Having said that… Trevor is a very good bench player in the NBA and a player every team can use. Wouldn’t he be nice starting at PG for us or giving us a spark off the bench?

  24. Great Triangle Offense post Darius, and I hope they continue with it. Yeah, we really need to close this series out now, get it over with and behind us. Except for the last game where we dismantled the opposing team, we can carry that all the way to a back-to-back Championship.

  25. 20, I’m sure Mengele was grandfatherly as well… until of course he wasn’t.

    Please keep this site free of obscenity such as a pro-Kevin McHale comment.

    Clothesline, clothesline…!

  26. Lakers.com reporting game 7 would be sunday at 12:30– that’s a brutal turnaround after a 6:30 tip friday night in OKC. Gotta take care of business….

    (Does anyone know if that would automatically also be the time for round 2, game 1 should Utah beat Ink Nation at home in game 6?)

  27. I agree, lil’ pau – no pro-McHale comments are acceptable here, ever.

    Interesting note: the Lakers are 8-0 in series game 5′s the last 3 years.

  28. wohow, by the way aaron, i’m on the same side with you on ariza. when i said ariza would have made the series more difficult, i should have added “for okc.”

    and when i said his shooting stayed in range, it meant within the mean.

    aaron, you are one straightforward triggerman and that’s good.

    @harold: i want to agree with the kid in you. partially because i want all this bandwagoning with the cavs and bron to have some more substance than pride. a small part would want to see the celtics and settle the score there (yes the kid in me). then the big chunk of me would go for the magic.

    am also rooting for the jazz though i want to draw the spurs as well. oh man the hocus pocus. want the lakers to have had enough physical pushing around before the finals.

  29. erratum, more difficult for US not OKC

  30. Ariza brought different skills to the Lakers than Artest does. Ariza was great at getting in passing lanes, good on team defense, and a good one-on-one defender, though he was not strong enough to handle the bigger stronger SFs (Melo, James, Pierce). He added some youth, athleticism and a great finisher on the break. He was also a good slasher (probably slightly better than Artest in this area).

    Artest is a better shooter (most of the time though recently he can’t hit anything from outside), a better passer and post. He is also a much better one-on-one defender and the only SF in the league that is possibly stronger than Artest is James. But he is slower and not a very good finisher on the break. Plus he is a bet flat footed around the basket (though this may be due to foot injuries, doesn’t he have plantar fasciitis?).

    I like Artest better mainly because of his tenacity on D, but the extra boost of athleticism and speed of Ariza would be great off the bench on this team.

  31. I have read a few comments claiming Phil had Kobe switch to Russ and it was no big deal.

    Lets get that clear. Kobe after practice told Phil he wanted Westbrook. Phil said ok.

    As to the results. Brooks and Westbrook watched tapes of Fisher this year. They clearly could see that was the biggest weakness the Lakers had defense wise. Russ knew he could break down Fish anytime he wanted. That could be his first choice and if Durant was not free their last resort.

    Now Russ wakes up learns his idol Kobe is guarding him. 6 inches taller then Fish and a many time defensive 1st or 2nd team NBA member. Their goes option number one and their last option.

    It would be like a batter thinking he was going to hit aganist Russ Ortiz of the Dodgers and a 29 year old Sandy Koefax walks out to the mound.

    Without their main option all that was left for OKC was Durant or a bunch of poor outside shooting 21 year olds that now had to be primary shooters.

    Game over and the long awaited button has been pushed.

    Because of Kobe choosing to make that switch the series has changed and the Lakers will win friday by 3 points.

    Thank you for playing.

  32. @harold,
    But how about rooting against the Cavs? I feel much better about our ability to defeat the Celtics than about the Cavaliers, so if it was my decision, my preference would be to face the green ones.

  33. @Mimsy,

    I feel the same way .. right now. If the Celtics beat the Cavs, however, I think it would represent a resurgence that would make them equally formidable as the Cavs.

  34. On Ariza – the memory from last year’s run most seared into my mind was Kobe doubled over after the Nuggets game when he went down and ‘wrestled the bear’ Anthony. Artest saves Kobe a lot of wear and tear. This year in particular Kobe needs that.

    Interesting that after a win, no one is talking about the officiating. The Lakers chances in game 6 will depend, to a large extent on how the game is called. I am not saying a fix is in at all. I am just saying that if the Laker bigs are allowed to be more physical like last game – the Lakers have a better chance.

  35. @ 13 Aaron – I gotta admit, I like your comments here.

    You even managed to work in a jab at Fisher! Touche’

  36. Mimsy/Don

    Do you really think the Old Salty Dog Celts can get by Cavs and Orlando?

    Really?

    What condition do you think Celts would be in after Shaq has been laying on them and Lebon is pounding them at the hoop?

    No chance in the world. Zero zero zero.

    Better chance of Bucks winning the crown.

    There are 4 teams that can win the title this year: Lakers, Spurs, Cavs or Lando.

    Anything else is not made from basketball logic.

    Almost as silly as the bloggers who say Labron is going tobe a Laker. nota

  37. I have to admit that the idea of Artest defending Lebron for a seven game series makes me smile.

    Looking forward to tomorrow night’s game.

    Go Lakers.

  38. Not to get all “conspiracy theory” on you, but all of you who are guarenteeing a Laker victory on Friday need to take a step back.

    How much you want to bet that either Benny Salvatore or Ken Mauer (or both!) are working the game on Friday?

    You think those guys are going to “let the players decide the game” like the crew in Game 5 did?

    Go ahead, mark this post. I’m right.

    The NBA is so predictable.

  39. We have to win Friday. Kobe needs the rest.

  40. On offense

    PG Kobe
    SG Ariza
    SF Artest
    PF Gasol
    C Bynum

    On defense

    PG Ariza
    SG Kobe
    SF Artest
    PF Gasol
    C Bynum

    = Un-frickin-stoppable

  41. @yusuf I mean we keep talking about saving money but if we got Ariza then we wouldn’t have to be too worried about getting a PG now.

    Any chance we end up overlaying fish?

  42. Yusuf- If that is ensuing we didn’t re-sign LO, you’d have to remember that our bench would go down to nothing. Once LO really starts to pick it up this post season, I don’t think any one will doubt Mitch’s decision last season. IMO, Ron’s defense has already proved he is worth the swap for Ariza but one can argue that Ariza’s constant hustle can outweigh the inconsistent talent of LO. Once LO owns a series (I could see him doing that against Utah, Pheonix, and San Antonio) everyone will stop wishing for Ariza and start enjoying what we got.

    Could you imagine trying to have Ariza handle the burden of the bench scoring. Also, watching Powell or Artest fill in the starting PF spot when one of our bigs got injured. We would lose all depth and our “Length Advantage” would go out the window. LAST THOUGHT:

    full starters:
    Bynum- Gasol- Artest- Ariza- Bryant.

    full bench:
    Mbenga- Powell- Brown- Farmar- Fisher. (insert Luke and Vujacic where you may)

  43. #14 re: free throws

    This is one reason why Basketball is no longer my favorite sport to watch. The refs decide too much of the game. At least in other sports like football and soccer the refs have far less influence. And in football, at the very least, there is video review, so when the refs make mistakes, sometimes there is a just reversal.

    But then again, after the latest chamions league soccer tournament, i may have to reverse that thought regarding soccer, lol

  44. I was jus throwing the thought out there. Keeping LO was the right decision, and if Buss had also signed Ariza that would’ve sealed the deal on championships for as long as Kobe’s body could handle. Can you imagine that defense? It would’ve been a disaster financially tho.

  45. Do you mean the Chelsea-Barça match kaveh?

  46. man am gonna hear “grown man move” and “to me that was a foul” by the jackson-van gundy tandem…

    good start (still concerned about kobe’s ability to get the ball in the hoop)

    now to build on that

    GO LAKERS!