Preview and Chat: The Oklahoma City Thunder

Darius Soriano —  April 10, 2011

Records: Lakers 55-24 (2nd in West), Thunder 53-26 (4th in West)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 111.0 (7th in NBA), Thunder 111.0 (6th in NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 104.0 (6th in NBA), Thunder 107.0 (15th in NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Thunder: Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins
Injuries: Lakers: Devin Ebanks (out); Thunder: none

The Lakers Coming in: It’s been more than a week since the Lakers won a game. If that doesn’t tell you the state of the team, I’m not sure what will. They’ve been a sluggish group that’s not executed on offense while giving up too many rebounds and run outs on defense. Phil Jackson has begun openly criticizing his team in the media, going from statements about their lack of desire to play hard to them getting content about their playoff seeding when catching the Spurs became less likely. I’ve mentioned that fatigue has a lot to do with how they’ve played in the last 7 days, but in the end I don’t know if any reason matters as much as what the results of their lackluster play means moving forward. As we’ve discussed, the Lakers now have 3 games left on their schedule and they’re all important to securing a favorable position in the standings. Each game is one that has its challenges, but all are winnable. Of course, I’d like to see the Lakers win every game, regain some momentum, and lock down the #2 seed in the process. Even going 2-1 should achieve this goal, but the bigger point is for the Lakers to play better than what they have. And, the sooner the better.

The Thunder Coming in: OKC has won 3 in a row, including two message sending wins against their potential 1st round opponents in Denver. Going back further, they’ve only lost 4 games since the last time they played the Lakers (February 27th) and have been one of the best teams in the league since that point. Getting Kendrick Perkins and Nazr Mohammed has turned one of their biggest weaknesses (interior defense) into a strength, while the trade of Jeff Green and insertion of Ibaka into the starting line up has only further bolstered their paint protection. You add in the underrated Nick Collison to that mix and that’s four quality defensive bigs for the Thunder to throw at any team’s post players while also protecting the rim against driving wings.

This improved defense complements one of the better offenses in the league. As you can see from the rankings at the top of this post, OKC now boasts an offense as efficient as the Lakers (in terms of points per possession). Obviously their offense is anchored by Durant and Westbrook, but James Harden has also stepped up as a bench scorer as the trade of Green has allowed him more minutes and more responsibility on that side of the ball.

All of this adds up to a more balanced team that should certainly be taken seriously as the playoffs approach. Yes they’re young, but they’re also smart and hard working with a good coach. You add in a top shelf talent in Durant and a rising star in Westbrook and that’s a dangerous group. Whoever faces in the playoffs will have their hands full.

Thunder Blogs: Daily Thunder is an excellent site that has all the news and analysis on this team that you’d ever want.

Keys to game: To be honest, I have my concerns that the Lakers legs will be ready to face this team tonight. The Thunder will push the ball to get easy baskets in the open court and the Lakers have struggled to defend this exact attack in the past week in their losses to the Warriors, Jazz, and Blazers. In order to avoid getting run out on, the Lakers will need to control the tempo of this game and that starts on offense.

For several games now I’ve been asking for better execution within the Triangle and I’m still waiting. The Lakers must cut, screen, and move the ball with purpose. The Lakers’ advantage inside is not as big as it’s been against other teams, but the ball still must go into the hub of the Triangle so the Laker bigs can get their touches and initiate the offense. Long jumpers early in the clock will be the death of the Lakers today, so patient probing of the D with entry passes and strong off ball movement will be needed. One set I’m quite interested in seeing that the Lakers haven’t run of late is their pressure release action that creates a high low with their bigs. When Pau is weak side and Bynum is in the post, I want to see him flash into the elbow area when the post entry is denied with ‘Drew then ducking in to the post for clean catches. I’d also like to see more cross screen actions to bring Gasol and Bynum to the ball side so they can catch the ball on the move rather than always having to bang against their man to establish position. Considering the Thunder (especially Collison and Ibaka) like to front the post, these screen and high/low actions should be open as they actively try to circle the post and deny entry.

Even with an inside-out attack, the Lakers still must focus on transition D. Westbrook loves to push the ball and he has no fear in running up defenders’ backs and attacking the hoop. The Laker bigs must get back on the D and the Laker wings must pick Westbrook up early in order to slow his momentum and make him bring the ball out and set up the Thunder offense. Even when that does happen though, the Lakers must keep their spacing discipline on D to ensure that Russ doesn’t get clean driving lanes to the rim. I fully expect Kobe to give Westbrook the Rondo-treatment by laying off him and tempting the mid-range jumper but don’t be surprised to see him turn that shot down in order to bull his way to the rim if the gap is there. The Laker bigs must be ready to help and challenge shots when he turns the corner eyeing the rim.

Slowing Durant is the other key and that will mostly fall on Ron Artest. Durant has struggled against Ron but that doesn’t mean that we can just rely on that to occur again today. So even though Ron will body KD all over the court and make his life difficult moving off screens and when isolated, the other Lakers will need to help when KD breaks free and has that open look. Especially important will be the Laker big men assisting Ron when their men set screens for Durant. Perkins and Ibaka are better screeners than Krstic and Green, so Ron is much more likely to be picked off by these bigs than he has in past match ups. When this occurs, the Laker bigs must step out to slow the entry to KD so that Ron has time to recover and contest the shot or bottle KD up so that he ends up working in isolation or forced to pass. A wrinkle to getting KD the ball that the Lakers need to be prepared for is the Westbrook/Durant P&R. The Thunder have been using this action more to try and force switches and get a smaller man on KD so he can just shoot over the top. Luckily, I expect the Lakers to have Kobe on Russ so this minimizes the threat of this action but if the Lakers aren’t looking for this they’ll likely give up some good looks in the process of adjusting.

In the end, there are other factors to look out for today but I’m just most interested in seeing the Lakers play hard, possessing the energy and focus they’ve lacked of late. The Thunder are a true challenge and a team that LA may see in the playoffs so a win today could serve as a strong reminder of each team’s position in this match up. Here’s to the Lakers bringing what’s been missing of late to the table tonight.

Where you can watch: 6:30pm start time on Fox Sports. Also listen at ESPN Radio 710am.

Darius Soriano

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96 responses to Preview and Chat: The Oklahoma City Thunder

  1. for warren!

  2. I think Miami ends up with 2nd seed in east and third overall …. So annoying …. Lakers better pick it up today

  3. I’m torn between who to root for. If we loose today I would rather Miami win that we we still have home court over Boston but if we win today I would rather Boston win so we have home court advantage over both Miami and Boston

  4. Well, the Lakers can kiss HCA in the finals (if they make it that far) goodbye. Boston is done. It’s going to be Miami or Chicago from the East.

  5. Boston indeed look less than frightening now.

    It really is mindbogling that this ridiculous loosingstreak looks like it just cost the Lakers potential HCA in the finals.

  6. Last time I wanted a team to come from the East, I picked Boston in 2008. The Detroit 2004 memory was too strong. I learned my lesson about wanting to face the “new” and “unexperienced” team.

    I’ll wait to see how the Bulls play in the playoffs, but if I’m honest, Rose and Thibs scare me. Thibs wrote the book on how to contain Kobe, and if his schemes could do so with Ray Allen, they can certainly do so with Luol Deng. PGs eat us alive, and Rose is the best of them. Boozer always struggles against our length, but Thibodeau’s defensive schemes to me are the real worry. Miami is also a bad matchup for us, as Wade usually outplays Kobe and Bosh eats us alive for some reason (although I wouldn’t expect that to continue in the Finals). All in all, I think I’d rather face the Celtics a third time, if I had to pick.

    Talk about getting ahead of myself. Back to the books…

  7. Wait – am I reading the standings wrong? If we win tonight, won’t we have the same 56-24 record as Miami? Why have we already lost HCA to them?

  8. A brief look at the Memphis-Hornets game going on right now, shows me why the Lakers shouldn’t fret those matchups too much:

    Right now these two lineups are fighting for it!

    Trevor Ariza
    Aaron Gray
    Willie Green
    Jason Smith
    Jarrett Jack
    Shane Battier
    O.J. Mayo
    Greivis Vasquez
    Hamed Haddadi
    Darrell Arthur

  9. 7. because miami beat us twice so they have the tie breaker if we finish with the same record as them

  10. 9 – Nah I know that, I didn’t understand why the general feeling was that the Miami win meant we couldn’t finish with a better record (even if it’s only a half game). Then I looked at the remaining schedules, which I haven’t really been paying attention to, and it made perfect sense. Ah well. If we have to be road warriors to threepeat, so be it.

  11. 10. ya our only hope is atlanta cuz toronto wont beat the heat

  12. When the Lakers reach the end of their playoff run – wherever it may be – I hope this four game losing streak didn’t bite us in the ass.

    We can only hope the Lakers win out the rest of the season. A lead over the Spurs was not as important to me as HCA over Boston and Miami. Call me crazy, but I don’t see Chicago getting out of the East, nor do I expect the Spurs to reach the WCF.

  13. We need to hope Miami loses to the Hawks tomorrow. Like I pedicted in the preseason… We will lose to the Heat in the Finals if we don’t have HCA.

  14. Whatever people may think, both around the team and outside it, and among both fans and haters, I think tonight’s game matters for the Lakers and will tell us something about whether they are going to threepeat:

    1. It is their first time going against the Perkins/Ibaka pairing.
    2. They have let Miami slip away, but they can still:

    Get the the 2 in the West
    Help to keep Dallas in the 3 and OKC in the 4
    Stay ahead of Boston

    3. Both results from the East today were unfavorable to the Lakers. Tuesday’s opponent, San Antonio, still has not drawn clear of Chicago, and Miami now has a hammerlock on the tiebreaker with the Lakers. Wednesday’s opponent, Sacramento, may well be very fired up to end the Sacto era with a win over the Evil Purple Empire. If the Lakers lose tonight, they are creating an even harder road for themselves than they already face. So while a loss tonight would not mean the fans should start jumping off freeway overpasses and the haters should start their happy dances, I don’t think it should be written off, either.

    And if someone knows a good reason why the schedule should be 82 games instead of 80 and the season should end Wednesday instead of today, I would like to know. The math doesn’t come out even with 82 games and 30 teams anyway

  15. The chances of the Heat making the Finals is fairly minimal. They do not have the depth, and can therefore be beaten up a bit in the playoffs.

    The 2 and 1/2 Men show is tough to deal with for a single game, here and there, in the blur of an NBA season, but the Playoffs allow for adjustments, far more in depth scouting, and coaching.

    I have trouble believing that Spoelstra will out-coach SVG, Doc, and/or Thibs, in a seven game series when his fourth best option is Bibby/Miller.

    The Bulls have the best shot, followed by the Celtics, followed by the Magic.

    The Heat simply don’t have the horses from players four through eight.

  16. 15,
    Depth matters less in the playoffs when you can play LeBron, Wade, and Bosh practically the whole game. Rememebr when the Lakers won three championsips in a row with only two players? The Heat at least have three.

    A team needs to beat Miami for them not to make ot to the Finals. That’s how the playoffs work. Are Boston or Chicago talented enough to beat them? I don’t think so.

  17. Aaron, I wish I knew you personally. If so, I’d offer to wager that the Heat don’t get past the Bulls/Celtics. I could use the extra pocket change and easy money is always nice.

  18. Where’s Billy Mac? These pregame interviews of Phil by Patrick O’Neal can only be described as…….awkward.

  19. Barring injury, I don’t see the Heat getting past the Bulls, who IMO are the clear favorites to come out of the East. The key for the Lakers is winning tonight to help lock up the #2 seed and keep OKC at #4. If Dallas can hold onto their 20-pt lead entering the 4th quarter against Phoenix, then they will have a two-game lead on OKC. The next key is Portland and NOLA winning out, which would give POR the #6 seed and NOLA the #7 seed. A Laker sweep of NOLA in the first round would go a long way toward getting the guys the rest they need for the meat of the postseason.

  20. Dude – c’mon, Lakers aren’t going to sweep anybody. They can’t handle that much prosperity. They’ll get up 2-0 and then mail in a couple of games. 🙂

  21. Jeez…OKC are scary – so quick and athletic.

  22. i am really confused by the complete lack of interest or urgency

  23. Well it continues.

    Is Pau ever going to contest/alter a shot?

  24. 25 points in 6 minutes.

    Lakers will give up 200 tonight at that rate.

  25. Monumentally good shooting quarter for OKC thus far. Will it revert to the mean, or is this going to be a looooong night for us Laker fans?

  26. Short night for this fan.

    I think I’ll drive bamboo strips under my fingernails – at this point, more fun than following Los Lakers.

  27. They did a much better job in the last 6 minutes of the first quarter. I’m glad they realized if they didn’t start playing right they’d be blown out. But I’m glad Pau decided to make his presence known and start being aggressive.

    But they need stop making mistakes on the defensive end.

  28. link anybody?

  29. sick to death of shannon brown, bring back sasha

  30. Is Shannon as bad defensively as he seems?

    I second that notion James.

  31. Why can’t the Lakers take it to-the-hole like that, instead of firing up medium to long range J’s, that usually miss.

    Edit: Bynum just dunked (overpoweringly), good to see, keep it up Drew.

  32. The fact that Phil subbed in Luke for Shannon answers my question.

  33. and the only thing worse than Shannon just entered the game . . . Luke!

  34. #33. Joe,
    At least LA can put Luke on a guy (Cook) that’s not that big a threat on offense outside of shooting while allowing him to play offense as an initiator. Shannon’s mental errors were costing the Lakers on both sides of the ball for his entire stint.

  35. I’m only following boxscores here – is the defense from LA really as bad as the numbers suggest? Or are OKC just on fire? Or is it a little of both?

  36. #35. AusPhil,
    Mostly OKC being on fire, but the Lakers have lost cook multiple times and he’s made them pay with makes.

  37. Yeah Perkins, just make Kobe mad, and now you will see what will happen to your team.

  38. Kendrick Perkins just might of woke the Lakers up with the double foul and double tech he had with Kobe

  39. That last basket by Kobe was some solid execution of the triangle. I like what I’m seeing, and I hope this effort continues for the rest of the game.

  40. They are really pissed off at Perkins.

    I do NOT want to see this team in the 2nd rd.

  41. Much nicer to see a 2 point deficit at the half than the way things were going for a while. And good to read on here that the triangle is actually being executed!

  42. Pau/Bynum -14 shots
    Artest/fisher – 8 shots

    Thats good to see and the lakers need to keep it up. And the best part is that Artest and Fish haven’t been taking bad shots.

    But the team that wins this game will be the team that is able to put together some consecutive stops.

  43. Darius just so you know, that 33 post was from another Joe. Not your forumblueandgold negative Joe lolol.

  44. #43. Ha! I can see that behind the scenes. I know who *you* are…

    As an aside, that little skirmish with Perkins really woke up the Lakers. Kobe especially found his stride rather quickly. When you combine that with aggressive Pau, you have a close game even with the Thunder shooting extremely well.

  45. Well so far Okc with 5 consecutive stops and lakers none.

  46. any one have a live feed. Thanks in advance

  47. Man the lakers need to stop making mental mistakes on the defensive end. They fouled the 3 pt shooter twice and a foul before the ball got inbounded.

  48. Wow, what a wild quarter for sure.

  49. Pau Gasol should continue to attack the basket, he is having good success tonight

  50. There you go LO, take it to-the-hole!

  51. Here’s hoping that some of the missed FTs tonight don’t wind up being important…

  52. bynum seriously needs a face up game

  53. This would be a sad one if they lose.

  54. These turnovers are hurting the cause.

  55. 7 turnovers this quarter…ballgame

  56. I just can’t see this team winning a championship.

    They’ve fouled a 3 point shooter three times. This team just makes so many mistakes. They’ve lost 5 in a row. 5. Losing 3 in a row is unprecedented for a Phil Jackson “championship team” They’ve lost 3 in a row, 4 in a row twice and and 5 in. It’s sad when a championship team can’t get one good shot in the last 3 minutes of game. This isn’t some arbitrary case either. They’ve done it over and over this season. They were up 5 points with 7 minutes to go and lose by 12. This team just isn’t good enough plain and simple. If this is what a healthy team looks (I don’t want anybody to get hurt) but I kinda rather have someone out.

  57. Way to fold like a bunch of chumps.

  58. Sigh.. hat’s off to OKC. Thabo, Durant, Westbrook all making shots down the stretch they were not confident taking last year. Let’s hope playoff pressure will be too much tho..

    If we get knocked out bec of a game 7 due to HCA, those losses against Jazz and Cavs and 4 game lethargic losing streaks are going to be very tough to swallow

  59. Lakers can’t play — Jackson can’t coach!

    Is Andrew Bynum ever going to finish the f**k** game?

    Against this team, that is a must. Pau is just not – repeat not – the one to defend the middle!

  60. So, is it really possible that we drop to 4th place, and if so, do we avoid the Grizzlies and OKC? Tough loss, I am bummed out now.

  61. To be fair to the Lakers, OKC made an insane amount of their midrange shots tonight, the kind the Laker defense is designed to yield. Let’s just hope such success doesn’t happen 4 times in a series!

  62. No pride. None. At this point, I’m more than just disappointed. I’m embarrassed for them.

  63. If the team plays like the way they have the last 5 games come playoffs they won’t win the championship. I am trying to figure out how this team who just won 17 out of 18 games can lose 5 straight just like that. Frustrating as all get out and now we are on the verge of going to the number 3 seed in the West. This team has totally collasped. Pisses me off.

  64. I don’t want to hear that crap that Okc just had a great shooting game because Okc was still down 5 points in the 4th with all that great shooting and the Lakers flat out collapsed, again.

  65. Glad I DVR’d this one — at least now I won’t even bother wasting my time watching these guys continue to throw away their opportunities to have home court. Let’s see them go for six in a row.

    Excuse my while I puke.

  66. Exactly Joel. No excuses neccessary. We had it well in reach to win and we didn’t. Can only hope this team “flips the switch” again come playoff time

  67. 3 straight turnovers in last two minutes. What’s up with Kobe?

  68. I’m probably in the minority, but I can’t wait for Kobe to be gone. For every great shot he makes, there are ten possessions at the ends of games that he blows by forcing a contested jumper or losing a ball out of bounds.

    Why not run a play out of the offense? It would be so much less predictable, and might actually result in made shots or at the least better looks at the hoop.

    Not feeling very confident about the playoffs. Honestly, I think that if they swoon all the way into the fourth spot, they will go out in the first round.

  69. Oh snap one more loss and it’s down to 4th against Denver 🙂 Where’s all the confidence??? Where’s all the fools that are worried about the seeding against the East??? Gotta play the Western Conference first silly rabbits.

  70. @ 67

    His fingers.

  71. why is lamar in at the end of the game, he is not aggressive on offense, and doesn’t do the small things on defense.

    why is he in? why???????????????

  72. Terrible 3 minute stretch at the end of the game with too many turnovers in a game the Lakers could have won. Thunder were hot the whole game.
    I thought Phil Jackson waited a little too long to bring back the starters in this important game as the second unit did not score for 7 straight possession from the 8:48 mark to the 5:47 when they were replaced by the starters.

    Now the Lakers have zero margin for error and need to win their last two games but they did look better tonight than the previous 4 games.

  73. Lack of execution during crunch time gave this game away. Also, too much fouling. OKC was the best FT shooting team in the league, and giving them that many opportunities at the stripes is pretty much giving them free pts. They needed to play D w/o fouling. What happened to the defense that got them to such a great streak after the AS break? Im starting to worry that they fall all the way to the 4th seed and only have the 1st round with home court(assuming all top seeds advance). Even if their fortunate enough to make it to the finals, Chicago/Miami/Boston are likely to have HC advantage if this does not change soon..

  74. @ 68

    Excuses, excuses, excuses

    Kobe’s fingers: excuse
    Tired legs: excuse
    WC 1st place already of out reach: excuse
    “The Switch”: excuse

    We’re all over excuses with this team…

  75. @71

    Not an excuse. Just a physical limitation that affects things sometimes, like Fisher’s slow feet and Artest’s inability to jump.

  76. 71. exactly

    and phil is making excuses now.

    But the lakers in general continue to try to take the easy way out. They think teams are just going to lay down when they go on a run. When the game gets tight, they force everything and start going one on one.

    Last year the lakers didn’t lose these type of games. They were able to get stops late in games, and at least get a decent shot off on the offensive end. The lakers look like boston of last year when they used to just collapse late in games during the regular season.

    And as comment 70 said phil put his starter back in too late. Maybe if phil stops waiting until its too late and call a time out, maybe he can get Drew rest in the middle of the quarter so he can close the game. Has a team ever lost 5 in a row during the regular season and won a championship?

  77. @72

    But that is essentially my point – this is the same team that was the hottest in the league a week ago, back-to-back champs looking primed for another crown run and all of this with the same fingers on Kobe’s hand, the same slow Fisher, the same vertically challenged Artest and the same end-of-game line-up not featuring Bynum…what has changed in a week??

    That is what is most frustrating and the players continually make excuses so we in turn make excuses when it’s all B.S. in my book…I don’t want to hear it anymore and I’m pretty sure everyone else on this blog and out in Laker-nation feels the same way…

  78. what has changed in a week??


    Part of it is just statistical regression to the mean. They weren’t going to win out, in spite of what some fans were telling themselves. There seems to be a huge percentage of the fanbase that thinks they would go 82-0 if they just cared enough. Part of it is playing good teams. Denver, Portland and Oklahoma City have good players, and they have young, athletic players. Part of it is an old team playing a lot of games in a truncated period.

    Basically, though, the Lakers are not taking care of the basketball. They had 16-20 TOs in the first four losses and nine in 4th q tonight. They need to cut that down.

    But as I always say, Laker fans need to remember two things when they start ranting about focus and execution and “The Switch”:

    1. This is not a super team full of 25-year-olds. It is a very good, tough, but older, team with some very average players in the rotation.
    2. There are always two teams on the floor.

    Dealing with the team as it is is not making excuses.

    And, to echo what some people said earlier, if they lose a Game 7 on the road, the Utah, CLE and GS losses are the ones we will remember.

  79. I really don’t know what to say. OKC flat out took it to us. I feel like the Lakers played hard tonight. I think we might all just have to face the fact that our run might be over. It’s tough to continue to win while being the hunted 3 straight years.

    I don’t even care who we play in the playoffs, I just want to see us put it all out there.

  80. Shannon Brown has a really low basketball IQ. He gets lost on defense and time and time again leaves his man wide open. And then just runs to the other end when Lakers don’t even have possession yet. He wants to run fast breaks and has a poor handle and loses the ball more often than not.

  81. @ 80

    Indeed. Brown has very poor court vision, on both sides of the ball.

  82. Playoffs will be interesting, thats for sure

  83. WTF. That sums it ip.

  84. Kobe ball at the end of games is not working. Physically he is not the same player he was. But his pride is still the same. LO at the end of games doesn’t work either. His missed box outs already cost Lakers 2 games.

  85. What?? Another loss? I’m shocked.


  86. 81. That’s what’s hardest to take in. The lakers are playing hard yet continue to get their asses handed to them.

    But this boils down to their inability to execute late in games and they just flat out make too many mistakes defensively. That applies to everyone except Ron Artest. They gamble way too much, they’re terrible at closing out shooters (especially Shannon he either fouls or does his duck and run down court thing), Pau doesn’t contest shots at the rim, they have a philosophy of “letting certain players take wide open shots” (namely Kobe), the perimeter players are to prone to lose their man, they just love to foul three point shooters, and their transition d flat out sucks.

    All teams have their issues and weaknesses. But the fact that a veteran offensive oriented team can’t execute in late in games is inexcusable.

  87. Every team in tbe west got better. Lakers got worse. Worst shooting of Fisher career. Worst shooting and defense of Artest career. Bench is much worse. Blake, Brown, Walton, Smith. Terrible! Lakers played their hardest and have gotten punked by Denver, Portland and OKC. There is no way in this world the Lakers get out of the West. Nice job Mitch in dumping your bench and going into the season with no point guard and a very bad small forward. What do you think Jerry West would do with Brown, Ron’s night club scene, LO reality show?

  88. PANIC!

    Oh, wait… still regular season…

    Still the # 2 Seed in the West…


  89. Not worried until Lakers are in an elimination game and are not at home.

  90. dammit lakers get your act together, i dont want you to fall to the 4th seed and have to meet you in the second round *has horrible flashbacks of 06 second round, mavs vs spurs*

  91. That was a tough loss to swallow. Lakers need to win out or they’ll have then four seed. OKC has an easy schedule the next two, sac and Milwaukee, meanwhile we have spurs and sac.

    What the heck is going on with these guys….

  92. You know, I’d like to see the Lakers dump the triangle next year and forever more and go to a more standard offense. How often do they actually run the Triangle anyway? Then, forget about hiring Shaw as head coach and find somebody else, an established veteran or a promising assistant from elsewhere. (It’s time to revamp and I think Shaw would be too much of the same old same old). One might protest, “but then we need a conventional point guard if we don’t run the triangle anymore!” EXACTLY.

    Bye bye Fish.

  93. Can they bury the white uniforms, and never, ever wear them again? That would be a good start too.

  94. Ken,
    Jerry West was no perfect angel, just look at his time im Memphis. And I believem before he handed over the reins to kupchak, we had players like Samaki Walker and Mark Madsen on our bench…..

    Tell me ho you would have signed in the summer exactly btw…