Fast Break Thoughts

Phillip Barnett —  July 27, 2010

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant celebrates after defeating the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals basketball series in Los Angeles, California June 17, 2010.    REUTERS/Alex Gallardo (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

If there is something that never gets old it’s reliving championship seasons. Thanks to Alex Klenert, who worked with Bombo Sports & Entertainment and NBA Entertainment, the Lakers Championship DVD is now available at the NBAStore.com or on iTunes. Alex was kind enough to release a couple of previews to the DVD, the first showing the first two minutes of the DVD followed by a clip highlighting the Lakers/Celtics rivalry. Be sure to check out these two previews and grab your copy.

When talking about Ron Artest, I believe that we’ve reached a point to where any conceivable story reported is instantly believable just because of his recent history. He has a remix to his song “Champions with T-Pain”? Where can I download it? He threw a parade in his Queens Bridge hood? I wish I could have gone. He plays dodge ball? How can I watch? The Los Angeles times has a collection of videos that show Ron Artest playing dodge ball. Just watching his entrance, red headband included, is quite possibly one of the funniest moments of my summer. Ron Ron isn’t the greatest dodgeball player I’ve ever seen, but it’s definitely worth the watch if you have the time.

Hoopsworld’s Eric Pincus has put together a nice column about how the Lakers look better on paper than they during their previous two championship ending seasons. With what Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers have done this off season, the Lakers are in prime position to compete for a third straight title. Pincus begins the column by pointing out Kupchak’s early GM mistakes and goes on to say that he’s learned from his mistakes before getting into the Lakers offseason moves. It’s a fantastic read.

Here is a nice fluff piece on Kobe’s time in Beijing, China. He participated in a “talk show-style forum dubbed ‘Kobe 24’” where he answered questions about his athletic exploits, mentoring, street basketball, pressure and constant practice. Forums like this is a huge part of the reason why Kobe has been able to take his brand world wide. The people of China have always been a huge supporter of Kobe and this was a huge gesture to show his appreciation to some of his global fans.

Last, but not least, Matt Barnes was introduced as a Laker today. He’ll wear Nick Van Exel’s old number 9. Lakers.com plan on posting his whole press conference on their website later on today. Last Friday, Theo Ratliff was introduced. You can watch his introductory press conference here.

Phillip Barnett

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90 responses to Fast Break Thoughts

  1. beto duran from espn radio got an update from mitch w/r/t shannon. still hopeful, it will take next 7-10 days.

    looking at the rosters around the league, the only teams looking to fill a need at sg/backup sg are cleveland, new orleans, golden state, and chicago.

    golden state just signed jannero pargo, so i think they’re the least likely to offer shannon a contract. i’ll put chicago just ahead of them, followed by new orleans. i think the favorites are cleveland, which is funny, since they drafted him.

    the one thing you keep hearing about is how cleveland wants to to play up-tempo ball under scott. they just traded for sessions. i think mo williams is going to be traded soon, for more athletes. once that happens, it’d make sense for cleveland cleveland to trade us anthony parker for shannon.

  2. Don’t get me wrong but Mitch has made mistakes. Accepting Brian Grant’s hideous contract, getting rid of of Caron Butler (who was Kobe’s Best Friend at the time) instead of Devean George, not signing Chauncey, overpaying Luke and Sasha, and to a lesser extent letting go of Critterton (who was Kobe’s pupil) instead of Farmar (who was unwilling to play in the triangle).

    He didn’t draft players like Dejuan Blair or Jonas Jerebko last year even though I understand he had an edict, but that almost came back to haunt the Lakers because of how poorly Powell and Mbenga somtimes played and, as a result, got no burn in the playoffs. Blair would have held his own against Big Baby. He also has been given credit for things that he did not do. He did not orchestrate the Pau Gasol deal. He was called and asked if he wanted Pau after Andrew got hurt.

    He has also had his successes, this year being one of them especially if he re-signs Shannon. These signings were great, though I question why Theo Ratliff and not a younger guy who we could mold (ala Amudson who is still available and may have done a Barnes for us – 2 years $3.5 million with a Rick Fox promise for later).

  3. The Lakers were good enough the last couple years to start as Eric Pincus says “one of the worst PGs, at least statistically, in the NBA.” Now that the Lakers are probably out matched in talent for the first time in a few seasons by the Miami Heat do the Lakers need an average starting PG (ala Devon Harris/Moe Williams/Monte Ellis) to be considered the favorites to win another championship?

  4. hello fb&g bloggers! (are we going to have an official shirt and jacket soon?)

    nice recap philip. granted the misgivings and at times, outright wrong decisions of our GM, we have a championship team that got better. in my book, that’s as good as it gets in the real world (because in my dream state i would have some lbj and d12 in my roster. 2k10 stuff. i know, yuck)

    speaking of players not in LAL, i kind of like the league-wide memo released by the nba on chris paul. that he is silent on this, irks me a bit. he really plans on joining this circus?, this debacle?, this crying shame?…and what, for superfriendship? (right now i hear the footsteps of trolls shouting “your pau trade got us served!”)

    these newcomer hotshots who think they can manipulate the league ought to be taught a lesson. no one is beyond the association. no one should be above stern…well, at least to him.

    still waiting on shanWOW, the draft picks and perhaps one more player. come on. ooops, i need a kick. time to wake up. GO LAKERS!

  5. Aaron – 4 words for you.

    Please. Give. It. Up.

    For the love of pete, when will you stop with posts that rip Fish or allude to ripping him? The man just helped us win another championship and helped us reclaim HCA with a huge 4th quarter in game 3 and you have to bring this statistic crap back up? Dude, you seriously need to just let it go. Come playoff time, Fish has shown he has the stones to get it done more times than not. Just stop. He’s a great Laker and one of the all time clutch players. Would you rather him have the stats of a Nash/Paul/Williams and our team have no rings to show for it?

    Just stop. Please. The only stat that matters is winning and he’s had a career full of it. We have what appears to be a capable backup and if Brown returns, he can continue to get some run there, too.

    Sorry about the ranting, but I thought you promised you wouldn’t belittle the man anymore after the Finals?

  6. @busboys4me: Of course Mitch isn’t perfect (nobody is), but the Blair/Jerebko criticisms are off-base. If I recall correctly, the Lakers had only a very late pick in the 2nd round that year (used on the guy who is now playing in Spain), and couldn’t have selected Blair or Jerebko without trading up. Hindsight is always 20/20, but it’s hard to criticize a GM for not making a move to add a second-round pick to a championship roster, considering how rarely second-rounders have any meaningful impact on contending teams.

    As for Caron Butler, I’m pretty sure Mitch would have happily traded Devean George instead for Kwame if Washington would have agreed to it. The reason he traded Caron was because Caron was the guy Washington wanted.

  7. Aaron,

    The problem with Devon Harris/Moe Williams/Monte Ellis is that they aren’t guys who fit the Lakers system. Although Fish may not be as talented/athletic as the trio you mentioned, he makes up what he lacks in intelligence, clutch and knowledge of the system. We can’t forget how much Steve Blake is going to mean to the Lakers as well. He’s a solid point guard with a steady hand who won’t try to do too much outside of the offense. The Lakers have more than enough guys who can put points up on the board and don’t need a one man assist machine. The triangle is set up so that anyone from any of the five spots is in a position to score or make the right play. The guys you’re suggesting need the ball in their hand to be affective. Brining in a ball dominant point guard not only goes away from the Lakers’ offensive philosophy, but bringing them into the Lakers’ system essentially takes away from their respective game. Look at the point guards that PJax has had in his system (Fish, Brian Shaw, Ron Harper, B.J. Armstrong, John Paxon) not one of those guys averaged more than 4.5 assists per game while PJax was his coach. None of them were natural scorers, but could all be called upon to make big plays when needed. More over, PJax teams have always had multiple guys who could handle the ball (Jordan/Pippen/Kukoc for the Bulls Kobe/Fox/LO for the Lakers), making it less necessary to have a dominant point guard.

    There is NO need for the Lakers to suddenly change the philosophy PJax has had with him his whole career. He wanted Fisher back, he has coached 11 NBA Championships. I think it’s safe to say that if he wants Fish on the roster, it’s definitely because Fish is supposed to be on the roster. No need to make any reactionary moves because Miami improved. They’re going to be softest at the point guard spot, too. The Lakers couldn’t have had a better off season, the pessimism is uncalled for.

  8. anybody w/ espn insider know why hollinger has the lakers as having one of the worst offseasons in the league? i can’t fathom why, so curious…

  9. Now Aaron is going to use the Heat’s moves as his latest pretext for Fisher-bashing. Unbelievable.

  10. Barryg –

    Apparently, Hollinger’s logic is this: Miami had a great offseason and is now the favorite to win the title. The Lakers were the favorites until Miami’s moves. Therefore, the Lakers, no matter what they did, have to be considered losers because they’re no longer favorites.

    Does it make any sense? No. By his logic, ALL teams are losers this offseason. Just because the Heat had a BETTER offseason doesn’t mean we had a BAD one. Silly.

  11. @JDS #7 Washington wanted to get rid of Kwame more than we wanted him. If Mitch had played the same hard ball he played with everyone else, a deal could have been made. Especially if he realized how close Kobe and Caron were. As far as Blair and Jerebko, they went 37th and 39th respectively. We had the 29th and 42nd picks and Andrew was injured (Blair). Most draft prediction has Jerebko coming to us. Like I said above, he had an edict to sell the picks, put Blair was the man in college.

    @barryg #9 The Lakers were listed as losers because Miami gained so much talent. They are now considered co-favorites to win the title.

  12. MICHAEL ZARABI aka ZERB July 27, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    BARRYG,

    Hollingers article was useless … he had to make up a reason why the lakers had a horrible offseason in order to put them(the lakers) in the column so people would read it

    he basically said that the lakers had a horrible offseason because the miami team was put together… and now they will be the underdog coming into next season

    hope kobe and the rest of the team read it … a little more motivation

  13. Hollinger is also the same guy who used his precious statistical model to determine that Cleveland would win the title in both 2009 and 2010. To be fair, these predictions came when the playoffs began. I guess LeBron’s PER couldn’t predict him tanking the last two games of the Celtics series. And Kobe’s PER couldn’t predict his string of 30+ point games during this years playoffs. Surely these gaffes were anomolies!

    I’m sure John’s crystal ball has Miami winning the next ten championships. In the meantime we can sit back and watch a new banner being raised in Staples Center.

  14. Funky Chicken July 27, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Aaron, your premise is simply wrong. The Heat don’t have more talent than the Lakers. Kobe is better than Lebron, and Pau is better than Bosh. Wade is a great player, but he and Miller cannot reasonably be said to be more talented than a combination of Bynum and Odom, particularly when it comes to creating mismatches, depth, defense, and rebounding.

    After those 4 guys (who collectively are worse than the Lakers top 4), the Heat have nothing. The Lakers, by contrast, have Fisher, Artest, Barnes, Blake, Sasha and two promising rookies.

    In fact, as I write this out I realize that my first sentence was far too polite. Your premise is simply absurd….

  15. Nobody here is ripping Fisher. Would it be ripping Artest to want to upgrade SF by trying to bring in Lebron? The best way/easiest way to improve our team is by adding a PG since that is the position that is loaded in the NBA.

    Phillip,
    Devon Harris/Moe Williams/Monte Ellis are not ball dominating PG’s ala Stockton and Nash. They are guys who are best without the ball slashing and shooting. Hence the reason Williams and Ellis played off the ball last year. Harris would be great because he would solve our problems defending PG’s as he is a long and quick defender but of course he doesn’t shoot much better than Fisher. Williams is the best shooter of the group but he is small and isn’t much better of a defender than Fisher. Ellis is a happy medium. He has the size and athletic ability to play defense and is a good outside shooter. But he is also getting paid the most I believe. Steve Blake is a great back up PG… but thats what he is… a back up PG. We should do our best to keep him in his best role. Nobody is saying to cut Fisher. He is very important in the locker room and on he bench. In no way will it change the offense to bring in someone that will actually improve the triangle. With Kobe getting older it is imperative to bring in another guy who can penetrate with the basketball.

  16. Phillip, can you please ask Alex Klenert, who worked with Bombo Sports & Entertainment and NBA Entertainment, if the Lakers Championship will also be available on bluray?

  17. mikeinchitown July 27, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    1. to fisher bashers- he was recruited by none other than…miami. they too realized that they needed intangibles not to mention the value. salaries of some of those other guys (btw MO, not moe, williams made $8.8MM and he is not a free agent) would have never worked.

    2. hollinger makes a stupid point, pointing to the biggest relative gains (ie, a $5 MIA stock that goes to say $15) vs. lakers who went from $20 to $22. sure by that math lakers “underperformed” but if the price of that is having a better roster to start with and three trips to the finals, i’d make that trade every day. but to be fair, his title alludes to offseason winners/losers, not power rankings or such.

  18. Aaron, you and I both know that the Lakers will not ‘upgrade’ at PG in the near future having just signed 2 PGs for a combined 7 years. You can dress this up all you want, but this is just another not-so-subtle jab at Fisher (by my count that makes 12,835 since you started posting here). For the love of God, give it a rest already!

  19. Although I largely agree with Aaron about Fisher, I also agree with Gr8Scott’s four words. We all get it – sentiment received.

  20. Aaron,
    When people see your name they often skip by your post. You are too predictable. Why not just say to yourself — no more comments about the Lakers’ PGs. Then make your comments about the other positions on the team. You may gain back some credibility.

  21. I remember when people were upset last year when I said not to worry about the Lakers after every big loss because “they are the most talented team in the NBA and will most likely win another ring. Well… now the Lakers are most likely not the most talented team in the NBA and most likely will not win another ring. If you are OK going into next season with the 2nd most talent in the NBA and the 2nd best team than fine. We can hope one of the Heat’s big three gets hurt so we can win a championship. Remember last year when I said we should improve our PG spot because we can’t assume another NBA team isn’t going to improve and leap frog us? Well… that time is here. Maybe you don’t want to win it as much as I do… or maybe you are OK being the underdog. Me? Im a Lakers fan. I like being the top dog.

  22. we don’t need another option to take away touches from our 2 most efficient players: pau and drew.

    we have a guy who takes charges, hits clutch shots, and leads our team. that’s who we have and that’s all we need.

  23. I think that when Aaron or others compare other point guards vs. Fisher it is in a vacuum. Yes, it would be nice to have a talented PG like Monta or Devin Harris, tou have to take into account running the triangle and the salary cap situation.

    Devin Harris’ best season to date (two years ago) was due to him handling the ball on the majority of possessions. It was basically the Devin Harris offense.

    As for Monta, he is one of the most inefficent players in the league. While it is a product of the offense that Don Nelson runs, I do not think he would be successful in an offense where the ball is not in his hands the majority of the time.

    I think that evaluating individual players in a vacuum with regards to statistics is shortsighted. Especially with the triangle offense where PGs tend to have worse stats than PGs in traditional offenses. If the Lakers ran an offense like the Jazz or Celtics I could understand being extremely unhappy with Fisher. He would not perform very well in that type of offense.

    In the triangle, he does exactly what needs to be done. I think that is most important. That and the fact that Kobe wants him here.

  24. How does most of the posts here get hijacked into discussions that have nothing to do with the original post?

    Hopefully we can redirect and here’s my attempt. I was looking at NBA hotspots and Barnes’ 3 point shooting. I noticed that he shot extremely well from the wings, horrible from straight on and below average from the corners.

    With that in mind, thoughts on where he would get most of his looks? Ron got a lot of corner looks last year and some wing. I don’t recall him taking a lot of straight away ones.

    Also anyone know how well Barnes executes a post entry pass? It’s accepted that he moves and cuts to the basket well without the ball. Did a lot of that in Orlando successfully. Given that skill and his hotspot shooting, it would seem like the best fit for him as they initate the sets is to end up with the ball on the wing. He can pass and cut or take the open shot when it’s there.

    Thoughts?

  25. Oh never mind. We won didn’t we?!!

  26. From Eric Pincus’ piece:
    ” It’s not a surprise what when the Miami HEAT began putting together a super-team for the coming year that it was Fisher the team targeted to run point.”

    Magic on the Lakers offseason moves:
    “You can’t win without Derek,” Johnson said. “Derek is the best leader probably in basketball.”

    Can we give the whole pg thing a rest already? The season hasn’t even begun yet. Besides the Lakers already signed 2 pgs so talking about it all is just a waste of time.

    Also, by Aaron’s logic, this whole upcoming season is a waste of time because the Heat have already won the championship. So why even bother to play or even upgrade the pg position.

  27. Devin Harris is an awful threat from deep and is a ball-dominating guard who I’m sure Kobe would love to play with. And his defensive reputation is overblown, a la Hinrich. And Monta Ellis does not have size. To wit, Steph “Babyface” Curry looks ripped next to him. The guy’s 160 lbs soaking wet. The guy’s a turnover machine. I remember a Tom Ziller article at Fanhouse about Ellis’s that basically ripped him for being the ultra-selfish gunner that he is.

  28. Aaron –

    A championship level team is not always a matter of which team has the most talent. You can have a roster full of very talented players and still not win it all if they can’t play together or defend all 5 positions on the floor. Which is why I feel the Lakers are still the best team in the league because we have various overlapping talent on the team and can actively defend all 5 positions on the floor.

    Miami may have the big 3, but can those guys guard Pau or Bynum without getting into foul trouble or giving up offensive boards and easy in the paint jump hooks? Who on that team can play Center and not get dominated by our big men? I love Chris Bosh, but he is not a great defensive player, especially not a great defensive center. Who else does that leave to effectively guard our big men?

    Big Z?? The guy has never been known for his defense…and I’m pretty sure he hasn’t jumped in a game for a couple years now.

    Magloire? HA! Biggest All Star joke of all time.

    Joel Anthony? The kid can block shots and little else…and listing him at 6’9 is generous to say the least.

    Haslem has the same limitations as Bosh.

    So who does that leave? Dexter Pittman, an untested offensive minded rookie with weight problems. And the infamous Shavlik Randolph…yea…real scary.

    The Lakers will win a best of 7 series with the Heat because we will be able to dominate the paint (Which makes the Steve Blake/Farmar switch all the more exciting because he will actually deliver the ball to our big men instead of jacking off balance 3’s). Sure the series will be difficult but with Artest guarding Lebron, Barnes/Kobe/and hopefully ShanWow guarding Wade, and Odom/Gasol/Bynum guarding Bosh I don’t see how we can be considered underdogs. Their big 3 may be younger and more athletic than our big 2, but we have the better team and the better defense and that will trump talent 9 times out of 10.

    …And I’m pretty sure Phil Jackson is a better coach than baby faced Spoelstra.

  29. I think it’s funnier that Aaron lists Devin Harris, Mo Williams, and Monta Ellis as “average” PG’s, 2 All-Stars and an MIP Award winner, while managing to misspell all their names.

    Aaron is simply an elitist who believes that the elite are the only people who matter, hence why he states that teams with superior talent win, why Fisher is useless, and why 3 very talented players are “average.”

    Which, ironically, is also why any form of reasoning with Aaron is akin to reasoning with a wall.

    25, I also looked at Barnes’ Hot Spots. He is also much better shooting from the right corner than he is from the left, while also being much better from the left mid-range than from the right mid-range. I think this will work well when we run the standard pass and cut action from the top, with Barnes going to the right corner, or if we run the down screens usually run by Sasha or Fisher along the left mid-range area.

  30. I honestly don’t care who the favorite to win the title is. The pairings for the finals aren’t determined by Las Vegas book keepers and the Larry O’Brien trophy isn’t handed out to the team that had the best off-season. Why don’t we let some games happen before crowning a champion? Ha, maybe I’m old school in that the games still matter to me a bit more than the names do. The great teams will bubble up and show their worth when the stakes are highest. Miami may show they’re there in a way that the Lakers already have. But, you know, the games will prove it. Not Hollinger, not Aaron, not me or anyone else. So I really don’t see the need to get all worked up about it in late July.

  31. Bynumite,
    Its amazing how much better average players look when playing with great players or on a good team. Look at what happened to Jamall Crawford last year. Its amazing what happens when average players leave a great team… look what happened to Trevor Ariza. He went form being an efficient player on the Lakers to a very inefficient players on the Rockets. History says that when average players on bad teams like Monte Ellis and Devon Harris go to great teams they shoot the ball a lot less and play better basketball a lot more. Look at what happened when Moe Williams played next to Lebron and went from being a 1st option to a 2nd option. He became an all star.

    Anand,
    As I said… the problem with Harris is he isn’t a good three point shooter. But his defensive reputation is not over blown. Monte Ellis does have size as he is 6-3 and 180 lbs. He also is a selfish player… on the Golden State Warriors. As Ron Artest was on the Rockets and Jamall Crawford was on the Knicks he has to dominate the ball because he is the best player on his team. But when you go to good teams where you aren’t the #1 or even third option its amazing how selfless guys become on the court.

  32. Artest was unselfish all right – he was also very inefficient offensively. Unlike Harris or Ellis, he can compensate for that with suffocating D.

    It’s not enough to be ‘unselfish’, you have to be able to hit the outside shot well enough to play off Kobe and Pau. Harris and Ellis would be square pegs in triangular holes. Williams would be the best fit, but again, none of these players are even on the Lakers’ radar. So really, what is the point of harping on this when Fisher and Blake are set as the PG combo for the near future? There is none, unless you have a not-so-hidden agenda.

  33. hmmm,

    Here is a post by Aaron:

    ========
    3.Aaron wrote on July 27, 2010 at 2:56 pm
    The Lakers were good enough the last couple years to start as Eric Pincus says “one of the worst PGs, at least statistically, in the NBA.” Now that the Lakers are probably out matched in talent for the first time in a few seasons by the Miami Heat do the Lakers need an average starting PG (ala Devon Harris/Moe Williams/Monte Ellis) to be considered the favorites to win another championship?
    ============

    I remember it wasn’t too long ago that you “promised” to never again say ANYTHING negative about Fisher or claim that we need a new PG. Are you now going back on this promise? Looks like the emotions of winning the championship last year made the blood run to your head and that’s the only reason you made that promise.

    For the record, I think Fisher is one of the worst PG’s in the league, and the contract he got was absolutely outrageous! I am a Fisher hater and will always be one. We can’t allow our weakness to hurt us for real before we correct it. Fisher is a glaring weakness on this team. My hopes are that Blake, another individual i’m not too high on, will steal most of Fish’s minutes away, although i’m not too high on that possibility either as PJ simply loves the guy.

    In any event, welcome back to the hate fisher group aaron! It was getting lonely on this side.

  34. Aaron,

    Assuming that I agreed with your perspective and wanted Devin Harris, Mo Williams, or Monta Ellis as the starting PGs. How do you think the Lakers could obtain them?

    It would most likely require Lamar to be shipped out. There is no way any of those teams trade for Sasha and other spare parts. LO would have to be included.

    Lamar is integral to the Laker’s success as an insurance policy for Bynum and his skill set. I would rather have Lamar Odom on the Lakers than any of the PGs you listed. By losing Lamar and gaining say Mo Williams, the Lakers frontcourt is weakened and the bench is weakened.

    I take the Lakers “hole” at PG over losing the Lakers’ biggest advantage.

    Also, let’s not forget the chemistry issue and the fact that Derek is the captain and heart of the team. I don’t understand why this is disregarded. Team chemistry is a huge part of winning a championship. You can’t simply throw a bunch of talented guys together and assume you are going to win. The entire team has to buy into the goal of the team. They have to all share the mindset. Derek Fisher is the best at focusing the team and reminding them what is at stake. He is beloved by the guys in that locker room. Why get rid of that? So the Lakers can be the best paper team in the universe? Forget that. Derek Fisher’s record speaks for itself. Also, I’m pretty sure Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson are cool with him running the point despite statistically inferior to the majority of PGs. Their opinion trumps anything you can bring up.

  35. Aaron,

    You are definitely putting too much emphasis on individual talent. The playoff results of past few seasons quite definitively demonstrated that team chemistry is the most influential factor in determining winners. There is a reason why winning coaches like to “stick” to their guys. As we have repeatedly seen Phil likes to put Fish back into the game at crunch time of the game, even though he may NOT be having a good shooting night or was beaten by quicker opposing guards. With Fish on the court, our team have the best chemistry and the best chance to win.

    If we were to make a move to trade Fish for other “average” PG, there is no telling the team will have as good chemistry as we have with Fish. With so much talent on the team already, the individual talent of PG may NOT be as important as team chemistry. Obviously, that is how Lakers view the PG situation.

    Winning back-to-back championship, they must be right. No doubt.

  36. Aaron,
    “The best way/easiest way to improve our team is by adding a PG since that is the position that is loaded in the NBA. ”

    Wrong. It’s not the easiest way, because there are only a few PGs in the league who would be better than Fisher, FOR THIS SYSTEM, in the short-term. Blake was arguably one of them. Don’t think any of the others are available, especially for what the Lakers had to offer.

  37. I’m sorry,

    Aaron’s fisher bashing was definitely on point. However, his Miami Heat praising was ridiculous.

    The Heat will not even make it out of the East this year! There is no way that the grandpa celtics with their usual sufficating defense will allow it. Even if the Celtics are too old, the Magic wouldn’t lose.

    And even by some miracle if they get past those two, this is a very disadvantaged team when compared to our Lakers. And i don’t think it is really close.

    This Miami Heat team reminds me of the 2006 national team, which I believe had all 3 of these guys on it! They were horrible even though they were by far the most talented team. The reason is because they were not a team, but a group of individuals. The pieces did not fit. They did not have the proper players at the different aspects of basketball.

    This Heat team is the same, albeit with a drastic disadvantage when it comes to talent when compared to the 2006 national team. This Heat team is perhaps the most unbalanced team ever assembled!

    They are incredibly talented/stacked in one area, Lebron/Wade. These two are the exact same player. This is what’s called redundancy. It is almost like having 2 exact same ferraris in your drive way. Assuming you can’t sell one, and you’re the only person driving, what is really the point? Is there that much of a difference? That’s the most apt analogy i can give.

    Then they have Bosh, who is a smaller/weaker/softer/not as skilled version of Pau. Can you imagine Pau on an off night (which equals Bosh), without Bynum or Odom, going up against the Celtics or Dwight and the Magic? He would get ruffed up like a pretty boy in prison. It wouldn’t be pretty at all.

    Then we move on to their defense, which is full of holes. No interior presense on defense. Lebron/Wade who seem more concerned about chasing someone down and blocking them from behind or gambling in the passing lanes, than they do playing solid man to man D. And the scrubs as i like to call them.

    Let’s be frank, besides the big 3 + 1 (miller), no other player would get 1 minute on any of the championship contenders. The closest is Haslem, but where would he get minutes our the Lakers/Celtics/Magic/etc? Are you going to play Haslem over Odom? No, he would get Josh Powell, or now Ratliff minutes.

    The biggest error of judgement, however, i think is people’s estimation of the difference in talent between elite players (kobe, Lebron, etc) and average players. The difference is not as big as you all seem to think. A lot of the stats that these elite players come up with is due to opportunity (usage). Take Michael Beasley and place him in Lebron’s position with the Cavs last year. I am rather positive this guy would average 20 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds. While Lebron averaged around 30, 7 and 7 or so. That’s the difference between elite and average.

    Now the difference between scrub and average is much larger. And there are tons of scrubs on the HEat.

  38. I’m still trying to figure out how in the world trading for Ellis/Williams/Harris is mathematically possible without losing one of the Laker bigs. Plus, I don’t recall any of these three being especially noted for their defense against other PGs. I don’t think Miami is too confident running Chalmers out there either. And…I would think the Lakers would be able to somewhat contain a PG-dominant offense after running through a gauntlet of Westbrook, DWill, Nash, and Rondo this past season…

  39. Brian Windhorst: Sources said Lakers are trying to trade Sasha Vujacic wfirst round pick to get his salary off books. They tried to do it for Delonte West.

    Brian Windhorst: If they move Vujacic, and there’s a decent chance they will, Brown will likely be back in LA. #Cavs stuff sounds like just a flirtation

    http://twitter.com/pdcavsinsider

  40. For those from the 80’s who are feeling nostalgic for those great Channel 9 Laker intro’s with Chick and the music!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHOiDOF442Y&feature=related

  41. The “Las Vegas book favorites” thing is even more meaningless if you take a second to consider why the books set their odds in the first place.

    Here’s a little Vegas 101 from a lifelong resident.

    Bookies make their money largely by keeping a portion of the bet, typically 10 percent. This is what’s know as vigorish, or “The vig.” That’s why if you make a $100 bet and it wins, you typically get back only $190. The vig is what the casino keeps for taking your action, win or lose.

    Sports books ideally want to see an even amount of money wagered on both sides of event. Why? Because the money bet by the losers can offset the amount paid out to the winning bettors. And the casino will keep 10 percent from everyone.

    Las Vegas doesn’t have an NBA team, but there are tons of Laker fans here, as well as tons of Californians who visit here and bet in the sports books.

    If the Lakers have the best team, the only way the books can keep the Lakers’ fans from loading up on the Lakers to win is by making it A) unattractive to bet on the Lakers or B) making the odds more attractive to bet on another team.

    Remember, it’s all about trying to even out the money placed on both sides of the action.

    In example A, the books might make the Lakers prohibitive favorites by placing their odds at something like to 7 to five, meaning you’d have to bet $700 to win $500. That’s not a good return on your money, so really the only ones who’d make that call are the ones who really, really think the Lakers will win. The casual bettor wouldn’t touch that one.

    Or, in Example B, the books could take a fringe team and pump up its odds in order to entice more people to make that bet. Say making the Bulls a 5 to 1 play, so you’d win $500 for betting $100 in theory. That leads the casual bettor to drop some cash on the Bulls.

    Bottom line – the odds have almost nothing to do with who the bookies beleive is the best team. The odds are meant to spread out the money on both sides, lest the books lose their shirts when the better team does what it’s supposed to do and wins.

    Any talk about Vegas making the Heat the favorites should be interpretted solely as the bookies’ efforts to try to dissaude the bandwagon fans from pouring too much action in favor of Miami.

    And we all know how many bandwagon fans there are out there who are one again ready to crown LBJ as champ long before he’s come close to sniffing champagne anywhere besides Carmelo’s wedding reception.

  42. Funky Chicken July 27, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Aaron, you have again repeated what is simply a falsehood. Can you explain how and why the Miami Heat roster is more talented than the Laker roster? As far as I can tell, the Heat are better at ONE position among the starters, and at most one position with their reserves. How do you figure that they are more talented?

  43. Looks like I’ll get this DVD, it looks good and it’s about us beating our arch rivals. Win win.

    For all those struggling with Aaron:

    The best way to deal with trolls is to ignore them. These creatures thrive off attention. Self-imposed moratorium on responding to his fire-starting will be best for all those tired of trying to talk sense into him.

  44. I don’t see how a team (Miami) with SEVEN new players can be considered by ANYONE to be the favorite to win next years NBA championship over a team that has won back-to-back titles, been in three straight title series, and has improved themselves VASTLY over last year.
    Many of the players will have to learn a new system, learn to play effectively with other players they really don’t know, and decide the usage pecking order, things that are all very well established on the Lakers.
    Team chemistry must be found, co-ordination both offensively and defensively must be learned, and they will have to integrate a number of very talented players that all like to dominate the ball and run isos and pick and rolls.
    And this newly mixed batter of a possibly great cake mix is being judged as better than the fantastic dessert that’s won twice in a row?! I don’t think so — and what’s more Kobe and the Lakers, Rondo and the Celtics, and even Dwayne Wade doesn’t think so.

  45. Aaron,

    HEAT are the most talented and best ‘TEAM’?! for the love of God, they have not played a single minute together and you pronounce them the BEST TEAM?! a team is composed of centers, forwards, guards, a bench that work as a unit… COMPLEMENTING each others strengths, and covering up for others’ weaknesses. I tell you now, who in the Heat roster will effectively man the post and guard the bruising bigs of the opposing teams? Bosh? Haslem? Big Z? Magloire? Juwan Howard?
    when the penetrating wing player gets past their man, who will offer the weakside help? Bosh? Lebron? Wade? Mike Miller?

    Yes, those three individuals are very talented… but their games do not complement each other. The big three worked for Boston because their individual strengths complemented each other. Pierce basically was a permiter and low post threat, allen was a spot up, catch and shoot threat, and Garnett was the defensive anchor and true post threat who manned the paint on offense and defense, plus they had holdovers who could play great individual and team defense (Rondo, Perkins, Posey), and they had bench players who could defend the post and rebound (Perkins, PJ Brown, Powe). This heat team has a gaping hole in the middle. Big Z and Bosh are not low post threats and both prefer to shoot more from the perimeter, as well as Haslem, and their bench has who?!

    as for the PG’s, do you honestly think Mo WIlliams, Ellis, and Harris’ egos could take being the 4th or 5th option on offense? seriously? thats the reason why traditional PG’s NEVER work out in PJ’s system and in the triangle for that matter. the triangle doesn’t need a PG to initiate the offense. try watching videos of the 6-time champion Bulls and 5-time champion Lakers, and tell me who was the best PG? Harper? Paxson? BJ Armstrong? What happened when they tried to play a traditional HOF PG in the triangle in Gary Payton? the poor guy felt so lost and grumbled about not having “touches” and lost his confidence mid-season, and Phil had to create more post ups, iso’s just to get Payton going.

    We all dream of having the 5 best individual players in every position starting for the Lakers. But it’s not a promise that they will deliver the goods…

    just look at past history (Houston with 4 HOF’s Olajuwon, Pippen, Barkley, Drexler from 1997-2000, Blazers from 2000-2003 Sabonis, Wallace, Pippen, Stoudamire, Smith, Wells, Lakers 2004 Shaq Kobe Malone Payton). It almost always doesn’t work

  46. Igor @ 44: I was scrolling through to make exactly the same point. It’s amazing to see how far off-topic this post’s comments have gone based on that one comment and its responses.

  47. 34.

    For the record, I think Fisher is one of the worst PG’s in the league, and the contract he got was absolutely outrageous! I am a Fisher hater and will always be one. We can’t allow our weakness to hurt us for real before we correct it.

    Perhaps it never occurred to you that it was when Fish came back to L.A. to replace Chucky Atkins/ Smush Parker that we really finally had a steady presence at the point once more.

    If your argument holds up, Fish should have been a liability since back then, which was like… what, 3-4 years ago? Why hasn’t this “weakness” come to bite us from behind yet? In retrospect, it would seem our mistake before was letting Fish leave for GS and pandering our lineup with other PGs, and we have since then “corrected” that by signing him up again from Utah.
    We have 2 championships in those past few years since Fish rejoined us. I hardly think our 2008 loss to Boston was sorely Fish’s fault either.

    I’m not going to hold my breath for when this “weakness” is finally going to do the Lakers in.

    Fisher is a glaring weakness on this team. My hopes are that Blake, another individual i’m not too high on, will steal most of Fish’s minutes away, although i’m not too high on that possibility either as PJ simply loves the guy.

    Even Blake is not good enough as well? I was under the impression that people were actually happy that he’s stepping in now for Farmar and could potentially halve the PG minutes with Fish.

    If people aren’t happy with Blake, who else was there that we could have gotten? I’m starting to thinking now that the only PGs that could satiate those complaining about them are either Paul, Williams, Rondo, or some of those other flashy high-volume scoring PGs out there… which I feel is just borderline greed already.

    Seriously, I think this whole argument is getting really sad already.
    Sure, it would be cool and impressive if my arms could be used for walking also aside from the usual tasks I do with them, but that’s what my legs are for anyway. The same thing could be said about our role players. Like the guys here keep saying, all this team really needs are people who fit well in the roles the system needs to play, nothing more.

  48. Thanks cluey, that was a cool Chick Hearn vid, it brought back old memories, good one’s I might say. That was welcome since this thread seems to have been hijacked, with old, old PG talk.

    I am going to enjoy the upcoming season, in fact every single Laker game. I also expect the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers to do very, very good, probably three-peat. I need to add to my back-to-back Laker Championship gear collection. I also expect to take out the C’s again, the Heat will not make it out of the East, IMO

  49. One more thing:

    “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” – Frank A. Clark

  50. i think that the people who knock Derek are using him as a proxy for the triangle-offense; i.e. they want a flashier system even if it means fewer championships. for these people, i recommend the Globetrotters.

  51. There was only one comment here that made me realize I was wrong on one subject… and that was regarding Vegas book keeping. But they do set the lines originally where they think they are fair while still hoping to generate even money on both sides.

    Re: Why I Love Lakers Fans
    Too many Laker fans on here think with their hearts instead of there minds. And of course that is what being a fan is all about. But if you want to know what the true Laker fan is really feeling and thinking all you have to do is look at all the anti Heat comments on this site since they signed Lebron. Already about 90% more than anti Celtics comments the last two years combined. And for good reason… we here know how scary talented Miami is. I won’t spend another minute trying to explain why taking out Fisher and putting in a an average PG would give us a better shot against Miami because that is just too obvious. I am not bashing Fisher or degrading him. He played a hero like 4th quarter in game 3 of the NBA Finals. He deserves better than for me to take cheap shots at him and keep him the butt of my half clever jokes. The “system” argument is just too silly to discuss. The Lakers system takes away the strengths of play making PG’s… not guys that can defend and shoot the rock. In fact… the triangle is perfect for guys like Moe Williams, Monte Ellis, and Devon Harris… guys who are not natural PG’s. I wasn’t getting into trade speculation because it is just impossible to know what teams are looking for and for what players. I named those guys as examples of PG’s who might be available and were average PG’s. I understand why its hard for you guys to hear someone question of the Lakers are the most talented team anymore in the NBA. Trust me. We have just won two titles in a row and have gotten better in the off season. It is definitely a tough pill t swallow. But there is a pretty good chance the most talented team is now out East. And if that is the case we should want the Lakers to do everything in their power to upgrade their roster so we once again can be the top dogs. Now… it might cost us 10 million more per year to bring in a average starting PG. I don’t know if that is doable.

    Re: Heat Vs Lakers
    We should definitely have a thread here soon comparing the rosters of the Heat and Lakers. This is an historic season coming up. These are two teams with the talent to win 70 games. These teams match up pretty evenly. Both teams are very weak at PG, both teams have two of the best SG’s to ever play the game. At SF you have one team with in my opinion the best SF defender of all time (at last individual defender) against the best SF of all time in Lebron James. At PF you have the two best PF’s in the game (I think Bosh is a smidgen better than Gasol)… and then at Center the Lakers have a sizable advantage if Bynum is healthy. Their benches are pretty even too but I’ll give a slight advantage to the Lakers. The reason I think you have to give the Heat the nod overall is age and Lebron James/Dwane Wade Vs Kobe. That is just a quick run down.

  52. Hey, you know what, the most excited moment in Kobe’s time in Beijing was when all the fans were chanting “Boston S*cks”. LOL, kobe was just grinning from ear to ear.

  53. This year is going to be the Lakers ultimate test. If the Heat make the finals, Kobe is going to have to work off the ball because Wade and Lebron do a great job of covering him.

  54. @47.
    JB, that’s what Forum Blue and Gold is about.
    Gotta love it

  55. Brian Windhorst Twitters about Lakers trying to loose Vujacic and his contract… then maybe turn around to sign Brown and/or Delonte West.

    I would love to have Delonte. He has an ugly, nasty smelling past as a Cav and Celtic. But he can play the role as big guard, spot up shooter and hard nosed defender… just about the perfect blend for a Laker-PG roleplayer.

  56. I also thought of West when it was reported that the twolves were planning to waive him. If the lakers pick him up off waivers, do they assume the contract? or can they sign him using only the vets minimum?

    But I guess he is facing suspension from the league and will be under house arrest. don’t you think Artest, Barnes, and West may be too much too many volatile personalities in one team?

  57. Rumors: Lakers to keep Brown, trade Vujacic

    if true, this ought to split our fandom right down the middle.

  58. for every person here who exudes an amazing amount of basketball intelligence there are always those who seem to know a lot less than they think (and state).

    which is ok since none of us commentors are getting paid for our knowledge (or lack thereof)

    Gasol > Bosh

    This is not an opinion

  59. 57. (Kswagger) Wow, West, Barnes, Artest, (maybe Caracter) in the same lockerroom? Talk about a possible supernova in the works. No doubt these guys have emotional intensity, which can be tapped for positive use sometimes. But Barnes + Artest is enough for me!

    As for Sasha, we all knew he was a dead man walking. I didn’t know the team was willing to give up a 1st rounder to get rid of him NOW. That would hopefully assuage a lot of Shannon’s doubts re: PT and he can hopefully improve as a player. Anyone think Ebanks has any chance to play some shooting guard (he can probably defend 1-3)?

  60. “guys like Moe Williams, Monte Ellis, and Devon Harris”

    Hey Aaron, no one is going to take your opinion seriously if you cannot even spell their names correctly.

  61. Apparently, the Lakers were trying to trade for West from the Cavs, with the plan of waiving him right after, and not keeping him. having Barnes and Blake gives the team the shooter and defensive intensity that Sasha (sometimes) provides. I guess that’s why the Brown signing is taking a little longer to do, with Mitch trying to trade Sasha first before re-signing Brown.

    Since Sasha is an expiring contract, the only deal that would make sense was (West with a partially guaranteed contract) and now a player who has a similar non-guaranteed contract. Any more out there??? If they were to trade Sasha for second round picks, then it has to be a team under the cap, right? I doubt any team under the cap would want to take on Sasha’s $5M salary

  62. @59 (samlowry) As Zephid pointed out earlier, there’s really no point in arguing with this guy. If he has to twist the facts around to fit into his worldview that the Heat have more overall talent, then let him.

    In addition to the ridiculous notion that Bosh is better than Pau (which is definitely not supportable, even by his precious stats), he only gives our bench a “slight” advantage over the Heat.

    Please.

  63. @62, in a situation like that, you usually have to depend on the other team to do you a favor. Lakers would probably throw in cash to cover most of Sasha’s salary. Lakers would save the Lux tax. The other team that’s under the cap would pay almost nothing for Sasha’s services and the second round pick would be in the low rungs.

    Hard to find a team willing to do that unless they think they can flip Sasha’s expiring to another team for an asset they covet.

  64. Even though it is more than two months before the season starts, there are some who are are already speculating about an NBA championship matchup between a partially formed Lakers team and a summer pickup Heat squad.

    I’m still back in July, looking optimistically at the Laker summer makeover, curious to see how all the teams emerge in October as the season starts.

    Needless to say, I am very pleased, but not surprized, that the Lakers are carrying over most of the players that competed in three consecutive NBA championship playoff series–including cocaptain Derek Fisher.

    Those accomplishments are a lot more real than any fantasies and imagined comparisons with superstars and near retirees that might be hanging out at South Beach right now.

  65. Just a note to all, if you’re going to post using a player’s name (or coach’s, or broadcaster’s, or really anyone who isn’t you), it had better be extraordinarily funny, or else I’m going to delete it. We don’t need that type of clownery around here.

  66. I have for years secretly been dreaming of Delonte as a realistic and solid fit for the Lakers PG-spot. Id much rather have him than ShanWow, and about the volatility I wouldnt be to worried. West is known as a good team-mate, and Kobe demands that much respect!

  67. 62.

    That makes sense, considering Minny just did that anyway. It made me think though, why can’t the Lakers just do that straight away with Sasha and waive his last year instead of having to trade him for another player who they’re going to waive also anyway?

  68. Andres. Yes, Delonte is rumored to be a good teammate and show a lot of “love” to their family members. ;-)

  69. That fight between Fox and Christie didn’t foreshadow the Western Conference Finals series. It happened AFTER the seven game series. Think about it. The 2002 Western Conference Finals occur in the spring, months before the 2002 pre-season would begin.

  70. 68, because when you waive someone, you still have to pay them if their contract is guaranteed. No point in doing that.

  71. lakersfan4ever July 28, 2010 at 11:58 am

    The Derick Fisher talk is nonsence..whats the need to talk about it? if you are a real die hard fan and watched all the games then you would understand that he has saved our ass over and over and over.. That being said hes no “GREAT” pg but he is a GREAT leader on and off the court.. hes well past his prime but I would take him over some young pg jacking up a million shots and not running the offence through pau and drew..Our bigs are HUGE and another pg would come in trying to get his own..

    on to the whole idea of the miami heat being better?? NO!!!! lbj6 quit on his team infront of national television..by far the worse thing i have seen, he could have done it in private instead of making the world wide “decision”.. Enough about that..lebron is a great player but him and wade are exactly the same slasher with no real jump shot..and neither of them are no where near kobe..that should never be brought up again..chris bosh compared to pau?? really? bosh is soft and is no true big man and has TERRIBLE defense..theres no way in hell he could guard not only pau by himself also drew..and then lamars way quicker then him and even bigger so thats out of the question..For the bench that goes..mike miller is a great shooter but thats all the have that can consitantly put up 12ppg outside of that none of their bigs such as big z juwan howard jamal magloire will average more then 6 ppl and MAYB 5 rebounds.. and for when mike miller does come in the game, who do we have to guard him…MATT BARNES a well known and accomplished defender..you can also throw lamar at him..theres too many things we can do offensively and defensive to mess with the heat that they would have no chance…mark my words the heat still have to come out of the east ..with a team that i hate more then anything but have the most respect for the boston celtics….wade and lebron will get theres here and there but the stifiling defense that the celitcs will bring against bosh will lead to the het having to beat them from the perimeter and thats definately not a strength of theirs since wade and lebron are slashers..not only do they have to get past the celtics but dwight howard and the magic who are pissed off about the newly acquistions down in south beach..so look out for them to make another statement but they also have the newly vamped chicago bulls! who also have fornt court depth like all the teams i have listed to turn them away from any opportunity bosh would bring and force leborn and wade to beat them..and then theres atlanta..GOOD LUCK MIAMI…

    now on too important things…
    i am not a insider with espn but i can look at the rumors..so i have a few questions for anyybody that could help me further understand some things..

    1). shannon brown coming back is almost a gurantee within the next week or so correct?
    2). whats the talk about sasha moving on and getting traded?
    3). delonte west becoming a laker? how possible is that?
    4). luke waltons back if hes on injured reserve.then what can they do with his contract
    5). any chances of shaq coming back and retireing and lakerland(i know he messed up and hes ego is huge, but honestly he would be a great fit for another look coming playoff time to throw his body around)
    6). any other trade rumors lingering around that you guys know about??

  72. I’m going to remind you guys to keep your comments from being personal attacks. No need to challenge one’s intelligence. There will be dissenting opinions, attack arguments, not people.

    Thanks,

    Phillip

  73. Another one of these dog days of summer. If not for Aaron’s enticement, this thread would be dead too. ; ) Ready for a new post!

    http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/olybb/news/story?id=5417438

    Cuts to the USA roster. As we all assumed, LO is safe. I’m a bit sad to see Mayo go, I though he had a chance, and I like the way he plays. Three more have to come off, my guess would be Steph Curry, Russel Westbrook, and AI or Granger. If Rondo makes it, I think it will be really entertaining if they let him press full court. I remember watching him cause havoc with the UK full court press.

    When’s Theo’s announcement? That’s when his number will be revealed too, I assume.

  74. By the way, by no surprise to any, Lamar Odom is one of Team USA’s 15 finalists. The team will resume training camp August 10th in New York.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/olybb/news/story?id=5417438

  75. Just to get off this Fish bashing and pipe-dreaming signings/trades of ”better” pgs and back to reality…just some thoughts of topic…

    I think the FO did a pretty good job overall this summer taking into account the team’s luxury tax and financial limitations. We have seen in the last 3 seasons a progression of style and building of team personnel to fit into a system and philosophy of what it takes to win and defend the title. It is not about adding flashy guards, all-stars, superfriends, athletic young talent, but about building and complimenting a system and its players who have demonstrated that they can and have won it all.

    In 2008 the Lakers attempted to win the championship with their offense. It was a Lakers offense vs Boston defense. Boston’s defense won out. In 2009 the Lakers improved on their defense and that coupled with their offense won them a championship. In 2010 the Lakers defense improved while the offense suffered. As we saw in these past playoffs and finals, it was defense that won out. The Lakers offense (even with athletic and fast players as Shannon and Farmar) was not what won them their championship, it was their defense. Their defense stifled a young, fast and athletic Thunder team. It stifled the best offensive team in the league in the Suns with their young, athletic and better bench. And in the finals, we watch as 2 dominant defensive teams battled to get their offensive game off and in the end it was the defensive battles and rebounding that won the game.
    Last year the Lakers had 2 young and athletic guys in Shannon and Farmar. They were able to get to the rim, be slashers, and quick on the fast break. Their ability to create shots for themselves, ok basketball IQ and lack of defense left much to be desired. On top of that they often played outside of the offense, looking for their own shots, dribbling to death and then chucking up bad jumpers. They failed to get the ball inside to our most efficient offensive players and in the end stifling the team’s offense. That coupled with their bad defense outweighed their occasional thrilling dunks and high flying acts.

  76. With Blake in the fold you now have a pg who plays better defense, shoots better, has a better bball iq and is a better and more willing passer. He will play within the offense and get the ball into Pau/Bynum and get our offense moving. Same with Barnes. His shooting and Blake’s (coupled with Kobe’s and Fish’s) will help open up the inside for our bigs. This will improve the offense. Besides playing within the system, their games will help improve the overall defense. Less broken plays resulting in jacking up bad long jumpers means less fast breaking for the other team (as in the Thunder series), which is better for this “old-timer and non-athletic” team. Let’s be honest, no matter how young and athletic the players, it’s pretty difficult to stop a fast break. Also, we have one of the best 3-1 fast break stoppers in the league in Fish. It’s kinda funny really, but he’s actually not bad at it.

    So with Blake and Barnes, the Lakers will solidify the strengths and aspects of the game that helped them win the championship. Their defense improves greatly with Blake, Barnes and Ratliff who are both better team and 1-1 defensive players than Shannon, Farmar and Mbenga. Their better 3 pt shooting and willingness to pass and play within the system will help open up the team’s inside game and improve on the offense as well.

    The Lakers can potentially become even better defensively than Boston. Remember that the older and less athletic Boston team beat the younger and more athletic Wade, Lebron, and Howard this last playoffs. The Lakers chances of repeating are pretty good if they improve on their defense and add better shooters to compliment the triangle offense. No need for high flying acts, slashers, or “average” pure pg’s. Just need smart, skilled and good defensive players.

    And finally, in IMO if the Lakers end up in a finals match against the Heat, it will be won on defense. If the Lakers try to outshoot the 3 D-WEgos, their chances of repeating are slim. If the Lakers play lockdown defense, they can win and repeat (see 2004 Detroit vs All-star Lakers).

  77. 16.

    “Devon Harris/Moe Williams/Monte Ellis are not ball dominating PG’s”

    USG% In 2009-10:
    Kobe- 32.3
    Ellis- 29.4
    Harris- 25.5
    Deron Williams- 23.8
    C. Paul- 22.2
    M. Willams- 22.0
    Fish – 14.0

    “Harris would be great because he would solve our problems defending PG’s as he is a long and quick defender but of course he doesn’t shoot much better than Fisher.”

    Career 3fg%:
    Harris- .301
    Fish- .373

    “Williams is the best shooter of the group but he is small and isn’t much better of a defender than Fisher.”

    Career playoff 3fg%
    Williams- .344
    Fish- .401

    “Ellis is a happy medium. He has the size and athletic ability to play defense and is a good outside shooter. But he is also getting paid the most I believe.”

    Career 3pt%:
    Ellis- .309

    2009-10 salary:
    Ellis- $11,000,000
    Fish- $ 3,700,000

    Contract-
    Ellis- 4 years, $44,000,000
    Fish- 3 years, $10,500,000

  78. Taylor, he’s already been introduced as as a Laker. He’s #50 and Matt Barnes was introduced as Van Exel’s old number, 9.

    I don’t know where everyone is getting the thought from D West joining the Lakers. If he did would he be replacing both Shannon and Saha? Our pg slot is pretty much full between Fish and Blake so he’ll have to be an undersized 2 like Shannon. Lastly, what would we do during the time he’d be on house arrest for a backup 2? Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have D West as a back up 2 guard but I don’t know how conventional it would be unless it was Brown and West. (who don’t bring alot of diversity between the two) This would definitely affect somone’s minutes more than they like though if our roster stays healthy through out the year. All in all, if West’s Legal issues are behind him by mid December and we could keep Shannon or Sasha for the time he’s out (before the deadline) I think I would make that move.

  79. @58, it sure will. The highlight reel feats of Brown, the hot and cold shooting of Sasha. If defense wins championships, I think I go with Sasha. No, Shannon.
    Sasha does throw a mean elbow….Yikes.

    I thought the Wolves were going to release West, because his contract could be bought out for $500,000. What are they doing over there, does anybody ask Rambis who he wants?

  80. Delonte would be a great pickup. He’s a solid defender, playmaker, has a bit of a post game and can hit the outside shot. I’d take him over Shannon or Sasha anyday.

  81. 3.

    –“Don’t get me wrong but Mitch has made mistakes. Accepting Brian Grant’s hideous contract,”

    Grant’s contract was necessary to match salaries to make the Shaq trade happen. Keep in mind that Mitch was under a strict deadline (needed to trade Shaq away as an incentive to get Kobe to re-sign, e.g., Shaq traded July 14 2004, Kobe re-signed July 15 2004).

    –“getting rid of of Caron Butler (who was Kobe’s Best Friend at the time) instead of Devean George”

    Butler was the centerpiece of the deal for the Wizards. Trading George instead of Butler was not an option.

    –“not signing Chauncey”

    Are you talking about Chauncey Billups? He’s in the middle of a 4 yrs/$46 mil contract. We couldn’t have offered him half that much as a free agent.

    –“overpaying Luke and Sasha,”

    I agree with this

    –“and to a lesser extent letting go of Critterton (who was Kobe’s pupil) instead of Farmar (who was unwilling to play in the triangle).”

    Farmar is not only better than Critt but he’s also never been suspended for a season for brandishing a firearm at his teammate in the locker room.

    –“He didn’t draft players like Dejuan Blair or Jonas Jerebko last year even though I understand he had an edict,”

    You mean the edict that he had to trade his first round pick to save Buss some money. You can’t draft players without a pick.

    –“He also has been given credit for things that he did not do. He did not orchestrate the Pau Gasol deal. He was called and asked if he wanted Pau after Andrew got hurt.”

    What difference does it make who called who? Mitch took them to the cleaners.

    –“though I question why Theo Ratliff and not a younger guy who we could mold (ala Amudson who is still available and may have done a Barnes for us – 2 years $3.5 million with a Rick Fox promise for later).”

    We used the last of our mid-level exception to sign Barnes. All we could have offered Amundson was the minimum salary for a 4-year player, which is 2 years, $1.86 mil (http://www.nba.com/news/cba_minimumsalary_050804.html). Hardly an appealing offer for a young player coming off of a breakout season.

  82. Better to just read blog and be thought an idiot, than to type and remove all doubt.

  83. Yes to dumping Sasha for Brown/West! Going to miss the Machine vs the Dragon duel though.

    I’m even keen to the idea of dumping Sasha for his gf, Maria Sharapova, as the 13th player of the team. She’ll make the Lakers broadcasts that much more enjoyable for those camera zooms by the bench. Don’t talk to me about waste of money and luxury tax; this is my fantasy!

    In response to Miami, yes, it’s not hard to see that they’re the new team to beat, despite Lakers being current champions. Let’s just hope for a healthy Lakers team come playoffs to prove the league wrong!

    And Fisher rocks! Especially now with Blake as a complement.

  84. Considering there are no games to talk about I kind of like the back and forth with Aaron. It’s kind of like that one uncle at the family BBQ that always comes from left field with whatever he says. And then everyone shouts him down for being ridiculous. That is always entertaining for me, as is this.

    Aaron, I will give you credit for being consistent. I have an uncle who I’m sure would love argue with you while chomping down on a plate of ribs and throwing down a couple of Coronas.

  85. MannyP, that was funny, though I think the story is probably fake (it would explain the Decision in a different light, however).

    I like where we’re at. If Mitch can coax Luke into retirement (which I think he’s trying hard to do) and somehow dump Sasha’s contract, we’ll be flexible.

    Off topic, anyone read the TH article on Chicago? They really picked up 3 Jazz players – it would be the irony of ironies if Chicago makes a legit run in the postseason using Utah’s system ;)

  86. I know I’m taking someone’s job, but just noticed…

    New Post is Up

    http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2010/07/28/state-of-loyalty-in-the-nba/

    I’ve just been refreshing this one, so I don’t know how long it has been there.

  87. #88: Thanks, Taylor.

    New post IS up where we discuss loyalty in the NBA and where the Lakers stand.

    http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2010/07/28/state-of-loyalty-in-the-nba/

  88. Why is there no concern about Kobe’s broken finger?

    This is the biggest fear I have going into the season.
    I’ve read he’s been talking to doctors, and no one has given him any assurances they can do anything about it. I think the arthritus that set in when he let it go so long is a big factor on the delay.

    To have him play with that splint all year in pain doesn’t bode well. It effects his shooting and even more than that, his ball-handling skills. TO’s, drives to basket and changing direction are all a big step below what level he was playing before the injury.

    We’ve come to expect miracles out of Kobe, but a whole year?? I’m worried about it! Calm me down, fellas. Have you heard anything?