Fast Break Thoughts

Darius Soriano —  March 2, 2011

*We didn’t recap yesterday’s game, but here are a few thoughts: First, there will be games where the Lakers don’t shoot well and yesterday was one of those games. Credit a packed in ‘Wolves defense that tempted outside shots for some of this, but in the end there were still good looks that the Lakers took that didn’t fall. I do hope that the Lakers try to find ways to get the ball to their big men  but on some nights the outside shots will need to fall in order to get the bigs the requisite space they need to make post catches so they can go to work. What I was encouraged by was the fact that LA’s bigs didn’t mope but instead crashed the offensive glass to get their touches. One of the principals of the Triangle is to create positioning that generates offensive rebounding chances. Last night was a good example of that AND an example of hungry bigs (especially ‘Drew) that wouldn’t take a lack of direct post entries as an excuse to not find the ball and go after it.

*Speaking of broken offense, Phil says Kobe is prone to break it all on his own while Ron is now better than #24 in running LA’s sets. I have two thoughts on this. First, this is a classic dig from Phil towards Kobe and gave me a bit of a laugh. I also think this was a way to give Ron some credit for starting to turn the corner in his understanding of the Lakers’ O. Second, Phil is 100% correct. Kobe does break the offense. A lot. The fact is, Kobe (and Fisher) have the best understanding of this offense of any Laker. And because Kobe is pretty talented at scoring the ball, he’ll often maneuver himself into position to get shots rather than letting the offense play out in a way where maybe someone else would end up with the ball. One of my main complaints about the way the Lakers have run their sets over the past couple of years is that they run a read and react system but often make up their minds of where they want the ball to go without acknowledging what the D may be doing to disrupt it. Sometimes the team is still quite successful and others not so much. The Lakers are still a top offensive team so this isn’t the biggest problem but that doesn’t mean it’s not a problem at all. For what it’s worth, I still have confidence that this team can work their sets to get key baskets when they need them. And until there’s undeniable proof that they can’t, I’ll begrudgingly accept the fact that this team doesn’t always do what they’re supposed to do and live with the results (which have been pretty good over the last 3+ seasons).

*For what it’s worth, Ron himself admits that he’s making strides in understanding the Triangle. On twitter he references that Phil often talks about a two year adjustment period and that his two years are almost up. To be honest, he’s 100% correct and I hope the light bulb really has come on for him. He has been, thoughout his career, a pretty good offensive player and even with a greatly reduced role on this team it doens’t mean all that talent is suddenly gone.

*The Lakers winning streak has been a nice reminder that they can still play up to a high standard and show high levels of focus when needed. Many are pointing to the defense, but Phil Jackson says that controlling the game’s tempo through proper offensive execution has been the real key. And really, Phil’s right. Yes, the defense has been better than what it typically has been in most of the Lakers 5 games during the streak. Starting with the Hawks game through the most recent win over the Wolves, the Lakers have held their opponents to offensive efficiency marks of 89.8, 108.1, 108.4, 100.4, and 92.1. Those are very good numbers in three games but numbers above their yearly average (which hovers around 105.0) in the other two (the Blazers and Clippers games if you were wondering). However, here are the pace numbers (estimated number of possessions) for those same 5 games: 89.1, 84.6, 87.6, 86.7, and 85.8. All 5 of those games are below the pace the Lakers usually play at during the regular season (91.1). As we’ve discussed before, the Lakers defense really is keyed off how well they run their offensive sets. Good execution on that side of the ball promotes better floor spacing and floor balance, allowing players to transition from offense to defense effectively. When the Lakers key in on running their sets correctly (even if it doesn’t always produce points) they’re a much more difficult team to beat.

*It’s buyout season and players are on the move. Bibby is Miami bound and Troy Murphy is heading to Boston. The Lakers, meanwhile, are silent. Personally, I don’t mind the inactivity as I think the Lakers have a roster, as of right now, that can win the title. No need to add players and payroll (even marginal amounts) when those guys likely won’t play. I must admit though, Corey Brewer and Kelenna Azubuike do intrigue me. Brewer is a very good defensive prospect and has a winning pedigree from his collegiate days. Azubuike is a very good shooter that has decent size and is a hardnosed player on both sides of the ball. Long term I’m not sure if either are better prospects than players the Lakers currently have on the roster (Ebanks and Brown are comparisons to both players, respectively) but it’s close (especially if Azubuike is can find his health).

*Andrew Bynum sure does look good lately. As we wrote a little while ago, he’s doing more things – and doing them better – than he ever has before. CA Clark is seeing these same things of late. I must say a healthy, engaged, active, and productive Andrew Bynum is one of the key difference makers in the entire league. Note that I’m not saying as good as other players, I’m saying difference makers. Seven foot behemoths that score with touch, rebound well, and defend the paint are often key ingredients to championship teams.  Right now, with what he’s showing, the Lakers have one.

*Tony Parker misses a game and the Spurs get blown out in Memphis. I’m not jumping to any conclusions right now, just pointing it out. This does remind me of something Greg Popovich said at the all-star game though. Pop said that his team has been healthy this year and that every other contending team has not been. He then went on to speak about how fortunate his team has been in that regard. His final point was that in the years that his team’s been healthy, they’ve been right there competing for a title at the end of the year. Right now Parker is only scheduled to be out a couple of weeks with his bad calf. If it’s longer or if this lingers and hampers him for longer, this is something to really watch.

Darius Soriano

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38 responses to Fast Break Thoughts

  1. do you think bynum saw what boston did to perkins and has appreciated what the lakers gave him in that contract and the fact that they have stuck with him? and maybe that’s why he is playing more like a manchild now? because it could be him getting healthier but its been a 5 game stretch you dont heal if you were still hurting that fast

  2. Two things:

    1.) Do you think that comments by PJ (re: Kobe breaking the offense) was more of a jab at last night’s game or the trend we always see when Kobe decides to break away from the /_\? My only thought in regard to timing may have been our opponent. Since Minny runs the /_\, they’re also fairly prepared for us running it. Maybe that’s why Kobe would break from it more that usual last night, because even though it can be successful when run against a team who is familiar with it, the Wolves have a level of familiarity beyond that of most.

    2.) When was the last time people made a reference to ‘Drew being TBH? It’s nice to see he’s really shed that nickname and has been playing his part quite well lately.

  3. 1. The parallels re: Bynum and Perkins are intriguing. I imagine some of the Lakers fan base would be equally appalled at giving up a post-defense presence like Bynum for say a scoring small forward like Gerald Wallace/Melo, etc.

    It goes to show that Bynum better not rest on his laurels, lest he be shipped out. Perkins was seemingly universally beloved by all the vets, etc., and yet he was deemed tradeable. Perkins was also relatively durable, but obviously nowhere near the offensive talent as Bynum.

    Good observation.

    I’d like the Lakers to seriously consider Azuibuike. He is a really nice player, if he’s healed from his injuries. How does the current Bird Rights operate for a waived player? Meaning, if the Lakers hypothetically signed Az, could he be signed over a long term deal? Or does it not matter b/c the CBA will be so different in 6 months?

  4. Damn I wish we were going after Brewer. Even if he won’t get the most PT, it could keep a contender from becoming much stronger – I would rather not see Boston shore up their wing depth, or give Popovich a guy with Brewer’s defensive potential – Pop’s hard-nosed guidance could probably turn Brewer from being an erratic offense player to a solid contributor who knows his spots, ala Bowen.

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/03/02/corey-brewer-sweepstakes-a-crowded-one/

    Speaking of Bowen, I really, really wish he was still playing. That way we’d be spared his hideous bow-ties and awful commentary on ESPN. If anyone’s seen him, they know how cringe-worthy it is.

  5. Taylor-Kobe has always broken the offense, and Phil has always zinged him for it. From 99-04 that pissed Kobe off and Phil had more venom in it. From his second stint with the club until present Phil and Kobe have a wonderful detante where no comment Phil makes is too serious and no reaction from Kobe is too overblown. Kobe is Kobe and he will take the shots he pleases, that is what it is and part of what makes him so fun to watch all these years.

    Snoopy-Bowen is terrible. So bad he makes we wish they brought Mash back. ESPN does ok with Football guys, but hoops ex-players….awful. Legler and Bowen is about as bad as it gets. At least Bowen was a great defender

  6. Brewer to Dallas looks like a done deal: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=ApFA_KXekhyiw0biTNju0ne8vLYF?slug=aw-brewermavericks030211

    After the articles and comments here, I focussed on Bynum a little more than usual. You can really see details that have changed dramatically.

    Two plays stood out to me: in the first half Andrew hadn’t gotten a proper entry pass for a couple of possessions in a row while working hard to establish position. He then worked inside for an offensive board right in the middle of the paint but was immediately crowded on his landing. Instead of trying to wheel free, he recognized this and gave up an opportunity to put up a shot he definitely had earned, allowing the offense to re-set.

    The other play was a pick and roll where he didn’t really hedge but tried to guide Tolliver (I think) to the far corner. Tolliver got half a step on him though and laid it in off the glass just an inch out of Bynum’s reach. Andrew gave himself an angry Darius Miles-style fist bump to the head and cussed himself out – and that was a pretty meaningless mistake early in the 3rd. Those are the plays that show an improved attitude to me.

    It probably isn’t proper net etiquette (“netiquette”?) to request a post, but the whole Kobe free throw debate is quite interesting to me. Does he get to the line less than other superstars with equal usage rates? Have his attempts per game really gone down that much? Does this have a correlation to him maybe taking more long twos than shots at the basket? If you ever feel like tackling this subject, I’d be thankful to see your opinions on that.

  7. As Kobe himself has said, “(he) can go off at any time”, and that sort of transcendent talent allows him to break a rule here and there. He did it vs the Clips last Friday, and turned the game in the 3rd quarter.

  8. I think I finally understand why old-timers say this next generation doesn’t have the basketball IQ of past players:

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/03/02/tyreke-evans-has-no-idea-who-sergio-rodriguez-is/

  9. 3, If by long term you mean 2 yrs, then yes, a long term deal is possible for Azu. The Lakers are over the cap, and they no longer have the MLE or the BAE, so they can only sign him using the Minimum Player Salary Exception. The maximum length for a minimum salary contract is 2 years, so that would be the rest of the season and next year.

    Of course, Azubuike is young and a decent player, so he would be dumb to sign a multi-year minimum contract. Some team will throw at least 1 or 2 mil at him this summer, so the longest he’ll sign for is the rest of the season.

    As for Brewer, no one other than Dallas really had a chance, because they still had their MLE. This enabled them to pay him well above the minimum salary and sign him to a multiyear deal. While it’s a little sad that the Lakers didn’t go after him, they never would’ve had a chance anyway.

  10. 2, I created the TBH nickname, and I think it’s safe to repeal it. Bynum is definitely a lot more controlled and composed in the paint this year as opposed to 2 years ago. While he still has a tendency to spin into double teams, it hasn’t been as egregious as in years past. Also, the fact that he’s taking less forced shots and cop-out jumpers makes it so him shooting more often isn’t as detrimental as it was before.

  11. Snoopy – BBIQ is completely different from IQ. ROFL.

  12. @6-Kaifa I also noticed that reaction from Drew when he wasnt able to stop the shot and it just says it all that this youngman is focused on trying to do all the things that he can to help the team win. On another note, I noticed that the Lakers are not calling Drews numbers most of the time despite the fact that he was the only guy carrying the teams offense last night. Do you think that phil is reserving or conserving him for the playoffs and will unleash him as our open-secret weapon come playoff time?

  13. 10.) It also seems to me, at least a little bit (not a lot, mind you), he has become a better interior passer. He’ll make a Gasol-esque pass once every game or two, and it’s really a change from his TBH-back-to-the-basket, ball will not get kicked back out or moved around days.

  14. 12, This is my opinion, and absolutely stadium seating psychology, but I think that Phil is onto the next phase of his coaching strategy for this season.

    He sets goals for his players, and focuses his coaching on the those goals in a very pre-determined way, all leading towards having a honed and ready squad by the time the season ends and the playoffs start.

    I think that one reason Bynum is not getting a large number of touches is that Phil actually does trust his offense, and there is no need to work on it in game situations. Just once or twice a quarter to make sure the gears are working, and then onto the things that need to be practiced.

    It is one of the things I love about Phil, and this Lakers squad. They treat the regular season as a combination warm-up / extended full contact practice.

  15. I’m just happy that we’re talking about how well Bynum is playing in March (knocking on so much wood right now)

  16. Re: the last paragraph, I see the Spurs loss to Memphis as just a bad night. True, losing Parker hurts. But, they handled the Cavs easily tonight and while that’s not much to crow about, the same lousy Cavs did manage to beat out Lakers before the break (cough, cough) and I don’t recall that any of our starters were out. The Spurs just notched their 50th win with 21 games remaining and it’s fairly unlikely that they’ll slip out of first. I’m looking at other teams, wondering who would best match up with S.A. in the first round.

  17. Zephid,
    Bynum isn’t the black hole anymore because he still doesn’t have his lift yet. When he was dominating the ball in the post was when he was at his best. The past few games big Drew has gotten his wind back… He is able to play hard for extended stretches. So it wouldn’t surprise me to see him get his leaping ability back sometime in the next 6 weeks or so. Remember, Andrew was sitting on his tushy for over 5 months after e finals… It was going to take time for him to get his wind and then his hops back. But trust me… They will come back. He didn’t have a serious knee surgery.

  18. I think I agree with Aaron here, to an extent. Bynum isn’t a black hole because he isn’t 100%. Offense, however glamorous, is still hard work and once in a while players realize that they can actually do less work and get praised for it. Not sure if Bynum realized it, or is simply conserving his energy and health. He could also be salivating at the prospect of meeting a Boston squad without Perkins… where he could legitimately have a field day and perhaps even become finals MVP (yeah, stretching big time).

    Pau, I think understands this, as do many players who shy away from contact. Pau is just too smart(and already established, so less to prove) to go at it full force when he knows he can be lackadaisical on offense and simply settle for things. Which is why I think Kobe and PJ keep trying to light a fire under him.

    As for us staying put, I think it was wise. There weren’t serious pieces to be had at a price that was affordable, so by staying put, you send a message to the rest of the league about your confidence.

    I’d say we’re the Blackjack dealer that is showing a 10. We’re not so invulnerable so I won’t say we’re showing an Ace, but with a 10, unless the other team feels that it has at least a soft 19, they have to hit. And so a lot of the contenders that think they have at least a 19 took their chances. We’ll see who wins.

  19. Harold,
    I dont necessarily think staying put is the wisest of options.

    Currently we have at least three and up to 5 players on our bench that are almost unplayable in any given game – unless is a blow out either way: Walton, Smith, Caracter, Ebanks, and Ratliff (because of injury). I know Caracter and Ebanks have that word we love – potential – but they have played almost no NBA minutes and would almost certainly never be put into a playoff game unless we were freakily injured or were up by almost 50.

    So how could it be a bad thing to add an NBA caliber, above average defender, who would be playing minutes instead of Luke Walton and Ebanks. Its not like Luke is really a floor stretcher – or Ebanks for that matter – so he wouldn’t hurt us anymore in that regard, and he could spell a barnes or Artest if they were having a bad game.

    As for an interest in Troy Murphy (and I know Boston and Miami were pining for him, and he may be good or not, I dont know, and he may not have chosen us anyways, yadayadayada), but why didn’t we pine for him as well. Smith has not played one meaningful minute this season – and Phil LOVES to play veterans. Ratliff isn’t going to play much, and although Caracter may be an NBA caliber player one day, he is not there yet. How could a stretch four, who rebounds and shoots the three well – for the minimum no less – possibly have hurt us in any way.
    Especially if it prevents other teams – potential playoff matchups – from getting stronger.

    To me the Lakers didn’t stand pat because they believed they had the “10″ in blackjack.
    They stood pat because they had no desire to spend any more this year, even if having a serviceable NBA player on the bench is helpful.

  20. 17, interesting that you think Bynum was at his best when he was clanking 10 foot jump shots, spinning his way into double teams and turnovers, and regularly ignoring his teammates to take heavily contested shots. Guess you just have a weird definition of best.

    We’ll see if Bynum is “healthy” in 6 weeks, and if you’ll have another excuse as to why he isn’t as dominant as you say he is. Honestly, it would be so much nicer if you had realistic expectations for his abilities. Then you wouldn’t have to keep making up reasons for his underperforming, at least to your standards.

  21. I’d rather add Matt Barnes to the Lakers for the stretch run than Troy Murphy, Mike Bibby, or Corey Brewer. Especially since he was already looking good with the team earlier this year.

  22. I was wondering the virtues of Azubuike vs. Brewer (thanks Dallas for solving the problem). In Azubuike you have (had after surgery) a tough nosed kid who can score from anywhere on the court. Az played some defense and is sort of a Small Foward trapped in a shooting guard’s body. I loved the guy’s offense (at Golden State) and thought he would be ideal for the Lakers in their sets.

    Brewer was always touted as a defensive specialist but there was a great article that states that even though he appears to be he actually isn’t when you look inside the numbers: Defense: Defensive Rebound Rate 10.9; steal % 2.5; block % 0.9; Defensive Rating 111points per 100 possessions; some how for his career he’s got 3.9 defensive win shares.

    Mind you Brewer is 6’9″ with 7′ wing span and his career averages of 2.4 defensive rebounds, 3.3 total rebounds per game and 71 TOTAL career blocked shots are all terrible. The truth is all he does is gamble for steals and brick 3s.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/breweco01.html

    Az can be had for a prorated share of the league minimum. This is another no brainer that the Lakers should take a chance on. Get this guy as a practice guy and see if he pans out. Even if he doesn’t work out we would find out on the cheap. If he turns out to be the bench mob’s designated scorer all the better.

  23. Zephid,
    I think we know his potential. When he has been healthy and in shape (maybe a total of 50 games since he has been a starter) Andrew has been a 20 and 13 player who can dominate on both ends of the floor as well as score at will in the post while commanding constant double teams. The question isnif he can stay on the floor long enough to get in shape and get his legs under him.

  24. And yes… I think Bynum like Kobe is at his best when he feels quick, strong, and zoned in to the point where he doesn’t feel anyone can defend him. That often results in dominating the ball. Show me a great player who didn’t dominate the ball. Magic would hold that rock for 20 of the 24 seconds allowed. Im not saying Bynum will be a great player… But I’m not saying he won’t either. His ceiling is higher than Gasol’s that’s for sure.

  25. Cdog,
    Being the biggest payer of luxury tax by far, the Lakers refusing to spend more money isn’t the most farfetched idea, nor is it particularly a bad one. We may think Laker money grows on trees, but it all has to be earned – and taxed by the NBA. This will not likely be changed by the next CBA and the Lakers have to be sensible.

    I too think Azubuike would be a good gamble, if only for evaluating going forward after Phil. However, we have to pay for this with 2x$ this year – maybe we should wait for the new CBA – seeing as we already have Ebanks on our roster.

  26. Being a beast on offense and being a black hole aren’t the same thing. Bynum is more than capable of being an excellent offensive player by *only* scoring the ball. Plenty of guys have low-ish assist rates but are elite scorers and thus impact the game.

    However, Bynum – as every other Laker, including Kobe – is best served taking advantage of all the intricacies of the Triangle in order to most help the team. Everyone must pass the ball and the better feel a player has for where his teammates are and then getting them the ball in positions to score only helps everyone long term. Kobe and Gasol show us this often as their ability to set up teammates ultimately opens up their own offense later while also allowing everyone to be involved with the team putting points up.

    Personally, I don’t want Bynum ignoring his mates simply because he can beast an opponent just to get a basket. Don’t get me wrong, the Lakers should milk those opportunities but at some point Bynum would be given the option to pass as the defense adjusts. In those instances, he needs the awareness that helps his teammates succeed. Remember, the last step of being a truly great player is how much you help your teammates be better players too. Bynum is showing some of that now and I think that’s for the better.

  27. The key takeaway I have when watching Bynum is he improves every single year. Sure he may not be progressing as fast as some people want and he does have that injury history.

    But, look at how every year he expands his skill set. Whether it be offensively or defensively. Areas that his coaches want him to work on, he does. To me there’s a lot of value in that and I understand the reluctance to part with him.

    Look around the league and see how often you have a young athletic guy with potential who doesn’t improve. Or their improvement is microscopic at best. Heck, take a look at many established players and they don’t add much to their game despite pleas from coaches and much documented weaknesses.

    That’s why I don’t understand people who complain about Bynum’s work ethic and attitude. He may be too candid with many of his replies but his steady growth and development shows the guy does get “it”

    The only and biggest concern is how will his body hold up? I get worried every time I see him crash to the ground due to his history. But I think negative concerns about his mental state and drive are misplaced.

  28. Well, Bynum’s ceiling is higher than Gasol’s. But you can claim the same about a fair amount of players, but the chance of reaching that ceiling is very small. Gasol’s understanding of the game, movements, quick feet and soft hands is not so easy to replicate. Of course he can be surpassed in physical and mental thoughness.

  29. I second Chownoir’s comment. Perfectly said. Considering how other talented big men have often struggled to add to their offensive games, I think it’s a testament both to Drew’s work ethic and his God-given ability.

    Personally, I like his candidness. I think he’s shown a much more analytical side this year in terms of being on point with understanding the state of the team, like a veteran.

    Makes me think about how players benefit from being in the right situation. A guy like Tyrus Thomas could have turned into a stud had he been drafted by a stable team and studied under the right coach. Drew’s soaked up a ton learning from Phil and Kobe, and I feel like his basketball IQ growth has been accelerated because of it.

  30. 24, so Kobe is at his best when he’s jacking up terrible shot after terrible shot, forcing the action, leading to turnovers and fast breaks for the other team? Kobe is at his best when he’s taking his shots in the flow of the offense. He can still shoot the ball every time down the court, but pounding the ball into the ground and repeatedly trying to back down his opponent from the three-point line is a recipe for disaster. Just look at what happened to Kobe against James Harden; Kobe was convinced he could dominate Harden 1v1, and it lead to Kobe going 3-10 in the final quarter and he also had 1 offensive foul.

    And there’s really no point in talking about Bynum’s “ceiling,” because there’s no indication he’ll ever reach the expectations you set on him. You said it yourself, he’s been healthy in approximately 50 games over 3.5 years as a starter. That’s 50/308, or 16% of all available games. And it’s safe to say that none of those 50 games were in the postseason. So while his potential may be the second coming of Wilt/Kareem/Shaq combined, his past history states that you’re going to have it for way less than 50% of regular season games and none of the playoffs.

    It’s about time you stopped thinking about what we could have with Bynum, and instead start thinking about what we actually have.

  31. 25. Wouldn’t signing Azubuike to the vet minimum have a minimal effect on the luxury tax? Would it be the pro-rated amount that gets added? Or does a certain percentage of a minimum salary not get counted anyway?

  32. Dude – I don’t think you have to pay tax on the minimum; in fact, I believe the NBA even pays for part of it to encourage teams to sign veterans.

    The Lakers would have to pay the pro-rated amount as salary, but I’m not sure how much gets added to the tax, if any at all.

  33. You pay tax on the amount above the 2 year veteran’s minimum, because for all minimum salary contracts for 3 year vets (or older) the league pays up to the 2 year vet’s min. The team only pays tax on the portion it pays, or the difference between the contract and the 2 year vet’s min. 2 yr vet min is $854k; Azu is a 4 year vet, so he would be paid $915k. Pro-rated over the remaining 20 games or so, it comes out to about $12k, plus $12k tax, so $24k. Chump change.

  34. Thanks, guys. Azubuike thus would seem like a decent and inexpensive pickup, but I wonder how much he has left in his knees, and how fast he could learn the offense. Maybe picking up would just be insurance against injury.

  35. Aaron,
    You’re inflating his performances. I went back through his game logs, and count only 25 games where he was 20/13 or somewhat close to that. Go down to 15/10 (or within a point/rebound of that) and up and he has 67 total games (including the 25 noted above.)
    He has had a couple of relatively short streaks of exceptional play, and other then that, has been very solid, but not great, when he has been on the court.

  36. Until defenses react to a Bynum post-touch the way the react to Pau, then I’m OK with him not being a primary option.

    What makes the Lakers so good is that Pau and Kobe cause defenses to scramble; that makes it easier to rebound missed shots. If they score, they score. If they miss, there’s a really good chance the Lakers get a 2nd shot opportunity.

    I feel like Bynum has done a good job of not forcing the issue. He seems content to prove himself without the benefit of quality touches, trying to convert with time running down, off broken plays. I think he deserves a lot of credit for that, but hasn’t gotten a lot of recognition for his situation.

    I think that once he establishes himself in the little offensive niche the Lakers have set aside for him, his reputation throughout the league will grow. If he starts consistently forcing teams to gameplan for him and command help defenders, he’ll help this team succeed just like Pau and Kobe.

    For the reasons I touched upon, I can’t wait til Barnes returns. He has a great understanding of how to cut and attack the glass when defenses try to cheat off of him, and recognizes all the opportunities he gets.

  37. I said this in comment 22

    Az can be had for a prorated share of the league minimum. This is another no brainer that the Lakers should take a chance on. Get this guy as a practice guy and see if he pans out. Even if he doesn’t work out we would find out on the cheap. If he turns out to be the bench mob’s designated scorer all the better.

    I really think this is who Phil is wanting to ask Mitch about.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=6179609