Lakers/Blazers: 3rd Quarter Collapse

Darius Soriano —  January 5, 2012

No need for an in-depth, drawn out summary to this game. The Lakers lost to the Blazers 107 – 96 to drop their record to 4-4 on the year. And while the final margin was 11 points, the real difference in this contest was the 14 point differential in 3rd quarter scoring where the Lakers were outscored 32-18. Some numbers from that 12 minutes of misery:

  • The Lakers shot 5-20 while missing all 4 of their 3 point attempts (which would be a theme for the night). Their only salvation from a scoring department was that they sunk all 8 of their FT attempts.
  • The Lakers turned the ball over 4 times in the 12 minutes which led to 6 Blazers points.
  • Where the Lakers had gone inside for the majority of their buckets in the 1st half, the third quarter saw more jumpshots and, subsequently, more Blazer run outs for baskets in early offense.
  • Meanwhile, the Blazers took a page from the Lakers’ handbook and went to the rim for their buckets, scoring 20 of their 32 points in the paint that period.
  • Gerald Wallace (who was fantastic on the night) led the way in this quarter, making all 4 of his FG’s and 2 of his 3 FT’s for 10 points that were mostly the product of hustle and pure attacking.

I could go on and on, but you get the point. In a period that the Lakers have actually done quite well so far this season, they had their hats handed to them and got buried in a hole that they could not climb out of the rest of the game. Portland proved to be too deep, have too many athletes that could both run the floor, defend, and create shots for themselves, and they had a crowd that carried them the entire 2nd half.

When Portland needed to hit a shot, Jamal Crawford would create off the dribble or he’d run a high P&R that ended up with LaMarcus Aldridge getting a jumper and both simply couldn’t miss down the stretch. Ultimately, you have to tip your cap to the Blazers as they made all the shots, played inspired D in the 2nd half, and simply rode the momentum wave to a good victory.

From the Lakers standpoint, this loss is a setback and a game that, in some ways is tough to swallow. Not because they were the better team and gave the game away (they surely weren’t tonight). But rather because this team simply can’t seem to build any momentum and get on any sort of roll that they can build on. The Houston game was hard fought but the Lakers found a bit of their stride with Kobe, Bynum, and Gasol all having good nights. Tonight was a good chance for them to build on that but they could only do so for the first 24 minutes of the game. In the 2nd half, they simply couldn’t string anything together and now it’s like their solid play was a week ago. In a short season like this, it’s important to try and seize the moment when you can in order to build some momentum and after 8 games the Lakers haven’t found a way to do it yet.

Tomorrow though, offers another chance.

Darius Soriano

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to Lakers/Blazers: 3rd Quarter Collapse

  1. no country for old men.


  2. Bynum either was slowed by conditioning, his ankle, or was bothered by the constant double teaming in the second half. The good news is all will improve pretty soon. Within a week he will be in game shape and with that will adjust to the double and triple teams he will see every time down the floor.


  3. Tonight’s game really showed the Jackyll/Hyde aspects to Drew’s game. Nearly unstoppable when he gets position, but otherwise his game’s limited. When playing with the starters, I believe Kobe/Pau allow Drew to take massive advantage of single coverages and get great/deep position for higher percentage shots. Where he really struggled was when he played with the 2nd unit. Playing with the 2nd unit, he not only saw more double teams, which exposed his mediocre passing game, but it also took away the great/deep position he often enjoyed when playing with the starters.

    (Including tonight’s game) Drew currently has 11 TOs to just 2 assists. Converting more of the former into the latter would do wonders for the team, and just cutting down in TOs in general would mean 2-3 more shots per game for Bynum as well.


  4. The Lakers went from having one of the best benches last year to by far the worst in the NBA this year. Metta World Brick is shooting 10% in 3,s 30% in all and just had a 0 for 5, 3 turnover game. He is a embarrassment to the Laker uniform and the Buss’s should be ashamed of the bench they put out there. Other teams are picking up good players while this team has become a lame duck .500 team. Shame on management. Release Metta today!


  5. The Lakers players could not keep up with Portland after the half, they just ran, ran, and ran. Tomorrow will be a back-to-back, and let’s just hope tonight’s game does not enhance their weariness later on in the game. It was good to see Drew get doubled teamed, this is good thing, as long as our shooters make their shots.


  6. 2,

    By tomorrow, Lakers will win again and our opinion will swing again on the other side. We were used to consistent Lakers during the dynastic years but during the rebuilding year with new coaching staff, we have a seesaw viewpoints, then get into argument to trade or not to trade; to cling or not to cling…whatever the solutions out there, the fans want their team to get back in winning form consistently at home and on the road. I guess we all exhaust our ability to rationalize what talents we have. At 4-4 record, it’s fifty fifty probability in the game of roulette. Do we see 8-4 after GS, Memphis, Suns and Jazz? Possible huh, it is happy days for fans with buoyed spirit that their team is really a contender until they stumble on the road.

    What is the solution of the fifty-fifty team? Perhaps, the other half of the Lakers are not as effective as the best five?


  7. Re-posted from other thread:

    Agree with Robert. This game wasn’t
    about Kobe gunning too much, or adjustment periods, or the new system, or someone being hurt. It was just about the team’s basic roster weaknesses and a quality opponent that could exploit them.

    Sure, the Lakers will “normally” go 4/11 or 3/11 rather than 0/11 from the arc. But they have these games because the only pure shooter on the team, Kapono, is too one-dimensional to play for more than a few minutes.

    I think it should be noted, faults and all, how well Kobe is playing with all his ailments. Also, Brown, Messina and Kobe should be credited for getting him the ball in better spots after the Denver debacle.


  8. Funny how Ken’s posts were just as negative and hyperbolic in the back-to-back title years as they are now.

    How can you say they had one of the best benches in the league last year? Aside from Odom winning the 6th man award, the bench was pretty lousy. They haven’t had a strong bench since the one season Vujacic was good.


  9. Why play Murphy so long in the 4th, who was a -14? Why not go small with Ebanks and Barnes to get more speed? MWP is useful in small doses but not as a shooter, or against a speedy team.

    We got swept last year with three 7-footers playing heavy minutes, usually two sharing the court. Why would we expect better results with two 7-footers who share the court? One nice lob on a fast break does not a win make.

    This team will not reach its potential without a PG who can create his own shot, defend, hit 3’s, and distribute.


  10. Last year’s bench was out scoring and out shooting this year’s by a sizable margin. Lakers are currently 2nd to last in 3 point shooting in the NBA and in the bottom in bench scoring. LO and Brown were far better then Metta, Murphy and Kapono. Look it up. When Metta is your caption and your 6th man you don’t have to be a basketball genius to figure out you have a problem. This is by far the worst shooting and slowest, least athletic bench the Lakers have had in many years.


  11. 4,

    Metta W-Piece is a good & gutsy defender, unfortunately, he’s still in a preseason mode. It takes time for a diesel engine to warm up for the season. Blame it on the lockout, the Championship hangover of 2010 and the new name. Perhaps, MBrown will go one-on-one with him and ask him to stop shooting unless it is a follow up in the post.

    We cannot also blame the Coaching staff because they’re really doing their best to show the D and they really keep on hammering what they preach. Again, we cannot ask the tired legs to run faster in the 3rd Q or ask an old experience player to beat the more athletic opponents. I’m sure when Portland goes to Staples, it will be another story. They can’t win also at Staples and that team does not go beyond the 1st round of the playoffs.


  12. Once again the Lakers can’t keep up with a more athletic team. Besides the “BIG THREE” this team is stripped bare of any real ballers! Who’s fault is that? Is this Kupchack’s fault? I see the Lakers getting nothing from the 3 or 1. As some of you have been saying here, no speed or athleticism!
    I know that the ‘BIG THREE’ have also hamstrung the Lakers with their enormous contracts taking up the complete salary cap. Portland was way more decisive and fluid in their dribbling, passing and shooting. On the contrary, the Lakers are methodical & sluggish, our “BIG THREE” each taking sometimes 6-7 seconds before shooting, it’s sometimes painful to watch.
    3-point shooting is actually the weakness in Kobe’s game, look at his career percentage, but sadly he is almost forced to throw up 3’s in crunch time because the Lakers organization has not been able to add complementary pieces to help out in the perimeter game. Portland has done a much better job in that regard, of amassing skillful ballers. Guys like Wallace, Crawford, Matthews, Felton can really light it up and complement the game of Aldridge. I don’t see the Lakers having this sort of potency. We should have kept Odom and got rid of World Peace (Odom was worth the extra 3 million) …. sorry to say: Artest, Barnes, Blake, Fischer…I hope this is the last year for all of them. I think Lakers management has to realize now more than ever how important it is to assemble the roster properly and not just patch it together as it now has, and as it frankly has done for years, always being “top-heavy” like the Shaq days doesn’t work anymore, the triangle is over, you must learn to be deeper and more balanced if you want to keep up with the times.


  13. casual observer January 6, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Every time the team “collapses” is when they stopped feeding the ball to the big men. Looks like a reoccurring theme. You’d think professional athletes would learn from their mistakes but apparently they don’t. No wonder athletes are dumber than your average person.


  14. We will never win another championship as long as Kobe is in Lakers uniform…just imagine how good lakers is, with lebron instead of kobe. im even a lebron hater!


  15. Once again the Lakers can’t keep up with a more athletic team. Besides the “BIG THREE” this team is stripped bare of any real ballers! Who’s fault is that? Is this Kupchack’s fault? I see the Lakers getting nothing from the 3 or 1. As some of you have been saying here, no speed or athleticism! I know that the ‘BIG THREE’ have also hamstrung the Lakers with their enormous contracts taking up the complete salary cap. Portland was way more decisive and fluid in their dribbling, passing and shooting. On the contrary, the Lakers are methodical & sluggish, our “BIG THREE” each taking sometimes 6-7 seconds before shooting, it’s sometimes painful to watch.


  16. This was LO’sgame. The game where he would somewhat shut down Crash and keep Aldrigde somewhat contained. He was an excellent defender and anyone who thinks the Lakers made the right move based upon how he is playing now is sorrily mistaken. He does not want to be in Dallas even though he chose there to go. He wants to be wanted and needed by the Lakers. He never wanted to go and when he met with the front office and they in effect told him that he would be traded again if the right opportunity presented itself, he officially checked out as an NBA player. LO is human just like all of us. If your significant other woke up tommorrow morning and told you he,she,it was leaving you, how would you feel? Would you show up to work like nothing happened or would you sulk for a couple days (or weeks). Exactly, those of us who have been through this understand the sensitive man that was the glue of our championship teams.

    But he’s gone now, so we must move on. We need to sign a back-up big (Mbenga or Gadzuric will do) and lastly get any good point guard that gets released or is available at the trade deadline (Mo Williams, Ramon Sessions, Beno Udrih, or Goran Dragic will work).


  17. @CJM
    No Country for Old Men – priceless!!!

    Another excellent synopsis!!!


  18. @Anonymous: “We will never win another championship as long as Kobe is in Lakers uniform…”

    Lol 🙂

    What is the story with Ebanks? Going from starter to DNP to few minutes of the bench! What have we seen from him so far? Could he provide a little of the shot-creation that we are missing?


  19. The Lakers lost tonight – plain and simple. The 1st quarter was and 1st half was too fast for our own pace and I was screaming about that all throughout the 1st and 2nd.

    We simply can’t compete with the younger and more athletic teams in the league… thus we need to explore options that will alleviate that. Take out the players on your team with least athleticism and replace them with “lesser” players that are actually physically gifted.

    How that happens I won’t tell you.


  20. This team is a .500 team without a legit starting PG and a bench. Plain and simple. No more triangle offense that hides the weaknesses in these areas.


  21. Edwin @11 –
    For the past 3 years, MWP’s value to the team has been his defense. He doesn’t contribute that much offensively. A quick look at his metrics show that his offensive WS for the past 3 years has averaged between 1.2-1.8, while his defensive WS has been 3.2-4. Instead of being the “offensive spark” for the 2nd unit, perhaps Brown should focus on his defensive talents.

    Warren #16 –
    “We simply can’t compete with the younger and more athletic teams in the league… thus we need to explore options that will alleviate that.”
    Easier said than done. How? Who? Lakers are severely handicapped by their bloated payroll. Lakers are currently at $85m. The luxury tax will be ~$70m. Amnestying Walton ($12m/2 yrs)) or WMP ($22m/3yrs) won’t get them under the tax threshold.

    They need to (1) get younger, (2) get more athletic, (3) reduce payroll, and (4) win. Generally, to get #1 & 2, teams have to sacrifice #3 or #4. We often forget about #3, but with the new CBA, the tax escalates very quickly. If the team keeps the same payroll in 2012/13, the tax won’t be $15m, it’ll actually be $28.5m. Even Jerry Buss can’t afford to pay this much for a non-championship team.

    If you look at the players under contract for 2012/13, 7 players – Kobe, Gasol, Bynum (team option), WMP, Walton, Fisher (player option), Blake – already account for $67m. We don’t have much wiggle room. This is why we need to decide if players are cost-effective. For instance, if the Knicks took a look a Allan Houston’s effectiveness before giving him a $20m/yr contract in 2001, they would have seen that Houston (WS 7.5, WS/48 0.126) was 1/2 as effective as the top players, Shaq (WS 14.9) or David Robinson (WS/48 0.246). Despite the flaws of this metric, we can see how ridiculous the Knicks were. It made no financial sense to give him a max contract. Paying Houston $10m/yr would have been much more reasonable at the time, especially when we factor in the injury issues.

    I think it’s time to start critically looking at players and if they’re worth what we’re paying them.


  22. The highlight of Lakers’ problem is lack of offensive players. When Pau, Drew and Kobe had to sit down and a break, the game started to get away from us. I think this is a symptom now and every team senses that and there is no going around it. MWP, Barne, Blake, Fish, and all the other players are so inept offensively, the opposing defense can basically ignore their presence on the floor. When you had to play 3 on 5 offensively and without a good point guard, it’s tough. That is what happened last night. I am afraid it will continue to be a problem down the road, especially in the playoffs.


  23. you can’t live with a pg and a sf who can’t defend or shoot. In the games we lose we are outdone by poing guards and small forwards. Most teams have that as a strength. Also drew needs to learn how to pass the ball. “Touches” don’t always mean shots.


  24. Not that we need them, however, two more ominous concerns:

    1) Kobe’s wrist: Brown can make his first big decision and make Kobe sit for a week (at least). Else this could get very bad. It appears to be getting worse.
    2) Schedule: The next several games are not that bad, but check out the stretch between 1/14 and 2/12.

    Kobe: Please appreciate the man. robinred and I took our scolding for being too negative on the team pre-season, but now the Kobe-haters must take that same scolding now. What Kobe is doing is nothing short of phenominal.


  25. @ Calvin H 21

    Good insight but flawed. The Buss family will be able to afford the additional tax but it does not make fiscal sense to do so. I think the decision will come whether to amnesty Pau (if still under performing) or Drew (if injured again) at that point. Five or $6 million will not make a difference. The Lakers will have to pay a price for trying to get players that they need. If anything, they may have to restructure contracts (which is allowed under the CBA) and lenghten the contracts of Kobe, Pau and Drew.

    The Lakers can get younger, but the problem is who wants to deal with them? No team wants to help the Lakers. The owners have made it quite clear that they want competitive balance (in other words) they want someone else on top of the heap. Mitch will have to do something that he has not had to do in a while and that is earn his paycheck. Replacing Fisher, Walton and MWP is imperative for us to remain championship caliber.


  26. The problem is that the team is stuck in a classic problem with franchises: trying to win now while trying to obtain future talent.

    We have a bunch of young players, but it appears that Brown has made the decision that we can’t afford to play them because we are trying to win now. Ebanks did look a little lost out there when he came in the 2nd half, but that was valuable court time in a hostile environment against a very good team. This will do wonders for his development.

    But I couldn’t help notice that this team is just woefully not suited to Mike Brown’s offense. It simply devolves into what appears to be 3 scenarios: 1) throw it to Bynum, and it assuredly ends up being a shot; 2) hot potato b/w all the role players on the perimeter (McBob, Kapono, Murph, Ebanks, Barnes, etc.); or 3) dump it to Kobe with 3 seconds left or Kobe iso. Is this what Brown envisioned?

    Obviously, we need help on the perimeter. We sorely lack foot speed to play transitional defense, and Kobe, due to his wrist is not playing very good physical defense.

    This is going to be a very interesting transition. A rocky one so far.


  27. Two points:

    -It’s amazing how well the triangle offense minimized poor point guard play.

    -Lakers are 0-3 on the road this season. Is it too early to be concerned about this?


  28. We can’t blame players,blame on Jim Buss and Kupchack. Portland signed Crawford for 10 mil for 2 years.Lakers payed Adam Morision 10mil for 2 years sitting on the bench.Jim Buss said he loves Luke he won’t let him go. One thing they said that they want to reduce salary cap so they can pay bad player sitting on the bench instead of signing good players.
    Mike Brown figured it out sweet spot for Kobe to play on the floor. Kobe had 5 rings under Phil, Kobe should know better than anybody else, how to take high percentage shots, cut down TO, …If Jim Buss is smart owner, he should give the GM job to the ex-Lakers Randy Pfund (?), he is current Miami Heat GM. Last year and this year, the Miami Heat picked two good tough point guadrs Charmers and this year Cole.


  29. 1 loss and endless whining. Geez.

    The Lakers ALWAYS lose in Portland. Really shouldn’t read too much into that game.

    Similarly, Gerald Wallace always crushes the lakers – how do you think the Bobcats always consistently beat the Laker championship teams when he was there.

    I’m not saying the Lakers are a championship squad – they are 1-dimensional on offense (post play with no legitimate guards to stretch the floor) and not great on defense, but it gets very tired to come onto this blog every day and see the incessant whining by fans.

    And those calling for E-banks – he was terrible on defense last night and didn’t add much offensively.


  30. 28. (DJ). Do you blame Buss and Kupchack for essentially trading for CP3? Do you similarly blame them for Stern’s veto?

    It’s apparent that the FO is not done tinkering with the roster. It’s just that Dwight Howard is now the Sword of Damocles that hangs over this franchise. Every move is frozen IF/until that move is made. We have a substantial TPE to use for some productive players, but that has to wait until the Howard situation is resolved.

    We were also ranting and raving about how Mitch was able to get Ebanks, Caracter, Morris, and GLock in the recent drafts. Mitch also found M.Gasol, who was the principal trade chip for P.Gasol.

    No, I don’t blame Buss or Mitch as of now. However, if at the end of the season this team stays at .500 basketball, makes no changes to address its perimeter deficiencies, and lets Kobe take 30 shots a game, then we can complain.


  31. I have generally been a Mitch supporter but watching last nights game made it clear that Mitch completely blew it trading Lamar for nothing. I can understand trading Lamar but we could have brought some talent back in return. Totally wasted a valuable asset. Even if this was an ownership call. it’s up to Mitch to convince them that it is a bad move. He’s the basketball guy.

    Trade exceptions are great if you can find a player you really like that is not wanted by their own team. But seriously if you really like a guy odds are that the other team is going to like them as well.

    We are not going to be a top seed this year so I think it is important to start playing the young guys more, so if we can’t swing a trade at least they will have some experience for the playoffs. Because it is painfully clear that we need more speed and athleticism to truly compete for a ring.


  32. The Lakers supposedly ugraded their outside shooting. Well it’s been non-exsisting in the half the games this year. So Lakers need some consistency there.

    And Mike Brown needs to interchange Pau and Drew at the C position give him and opportunity to break the defense down because Drew can hit that 15 footer as well. He also needs to take hold of this offense and call more plays it seems we only run 2 plays and if your going to do a Low post iso at least put a couple three point shooters in the area their all the way on the weak side.

    Lastly, Lakers need a upgrade at PG and SF. LA plays 3 on 5 because of the guys we have at PG and SF. Wallace rocked us all night. As long as lakers have ?s at 2 positions on the floor we’ll have problems all year.


  33. Ken,

    You said the Lakers had one of the best benches in the league last year. That is what I disagree with. I don’t disagree that last year’s bench may be somewhat better than this year’s, but we are talking in degrees of lousiness.

    Yes, this bench may be terrible, but last year’s bench got run off the floor by the second units of many teams. Brown was good for about two months of the season, then went back to his below average ways. Losing him isn’t the problem. And judging by the way Odom is playing so far for Dallas, losing him may not be the problem either.

    But I understand you hate Ron Artest with the fury of a thousand suns and always have.


  34. We all know the Lakers need an upgrade at PG. The Lakers haven’t had an average PG since Gary Payton. The Lakers haven’t had a good PG since Nick Van Exel. The FO has known the weakness for years… They are not stupid. They simply have not been able to convince a PG to sign here or aquire one via trade. Even when they do trade for one Emperor Stern won’t allow it. Some things just aren’t in the cards. Maybe we should just go after a SG to start alongside Kobe. JR Smith anyone?


  35. D.will wants out of NJ and they have two injured bigs. Solved.


  36. I also want to point out how well Pau Gasol has been playing ever since he moved back to PF. The guy is just so great playing off the ball with Bynum and Kobe getting all the defensive attention.


  37. What are the circumstances surrounding the players imprisoned in China like J.R. Smith and Aaron Brooks? When they get released in a few months, are they completely free agents? Are they still property of their last NBA teams? I don’t see how the Lakers could get one of them without making a trade, but I’d love to get Brooks especially.


  38. #37. McJoberts,
    Aaron Brooks is a RFA. I’m not sure if he was tendered his QO by the Suns, but if he was, they have the right to match any offer he receives or he can sign the tender and is under contract w/ them through the end of the year.

    Smith is a UFA and would be free to sign with any team for whatever contract they’re able to offer. A team that didn’t use their MLE could offer him that or a team that has salary cap space could offer him a contract worth the amount of $ they’re under the cap. A team with no salary cap exceptions (like the Lakers) could offer him the Vet’s Minimum. He could also be S&T’d to a team that’s willing to give back contracts to the Suns or can absorb him via a TPE.

    All that said, they won’t be eligible to play in the NBA until March (or when their team’s season is over in China) via FIBA rules and how the NBA has stated they’d honor the rules that the Chinese Basketball Association has in place.


  39. Adding Brooks as our starting PG and Smith as the scoring punch off the bench would completely change the make up of the team. We then are a fast athletic team with three guys who can penetrate from the perimeter.


  40. Thanks, Darius. If I understand correctly, the Lakers could potentially use the Odom exception (or part of it) in a sign-and-trade with Phoenix to get Brooks, right?


  41. #40. McJoberts,
    The Lakers can use their TPE to acquire any player with a salary up to what Odom was set to earn this year via a trade. If that’s a S&T for a guy with a restricted or unrestricted free agency status, that’s fine. If it’s a player already under contract, that’s fine too.

    As an aside, this is why Mitch spoke of the TPE as a way to earn flexibility and why he said he’d rather have the TPE than take on a contract or a player that they didn’t want in trying to deal Odom.

    I didn’t like the Odom deal from a pure talent loss standpoint. He was one of LA’s top 4 players and a key contributor on the court and in the lockerroom. That said, the Lakers do have the ability, now with that TPE, to get their hands on a player with a wide range of salary and do so for essentially nothing. Whether or not they can pull it off remains to be seen but I’ve preached patience with this because you never know when a deal can materialize.

    We’re at the point in the season where every team is still trying to figure out what they are – the Lakers included. When that’s the case, teams will likely be reluctant to make changes to their team because they’re still in the process of determining who can be a long term contributor, who can be a short term contributor, and what direction they want to go in with their roster construction. At some point (I’d think after about 20 games) teams will have a better idea of this and I’d imagine we’ll start to see more action heading into the ASG and the trade deadline in March. Maybe that’s when a deal will materialize. Maybe not. The other valuable part of the TPE is that it lasts for a year. LA has time to use it, though I know it’s hard for fans to wait patiently for things like that.


  42. The TPE on Sasha was wasted, the TPE on Odom is a way of flexibility…are we reading the politician’s promises. A TPE will remain as a TPE which is actually a salary and luxury threshold savings on the owner’s treasury until such moment they announce a breaking news of acquiring someone because of the TPE. We can analyze in all threads the advantages or disadvantages of the Odom’s trade, but if there is no human replacement, the fan’s whining will not cease and desist.

    It is difficult to blame the players individually because we can see the “efforts” being poured in every game compared to the imaginary switch and mojo often mentioned by LO last year. We cannot also blame the Coaching staff who are really trying hard to inculcate a defensive mojo. The FO is trying hard to find energy players but nothing comes easy to the branded “beat LA”. So who is to blame? IMO, It’s father time, our players are getting old and older in every game yet nobody wants to admit that he’s old, slow and need to retire. It’s all about the money to keep that blood stay young.

    Tonight, we will win and get younger again. lol!


  43. i enjoyed watching portland play last night, and kobe had some nice plays as well. the roster is clearly flawed right now, and terribly clogged with deadwood, so i just accept that and enjoy what i can. until they make some trades i will not get my hopes up, and won’t get bent out of shape about the inevitable bad play.

    bought a league pass with a buddy so i/we can watch the games that have good matchups, regardless of who is playing. as long as there is good bball somewhere, i am happy. at least boston won’t be winning any championships any time soon 🙂

    it was very tiring last season hating boston and miami, so it’s nice to focus on just boston (now that my lebron hate has been tempered by his humiliation in the finals last year).


  44. I think the TPE will be a very valuable commodity around the All Star break. However, the only problem I foresee is the Howard trade situation dragging out close to the end of the trade deadline, and therefore the Lakers won’t be using the TPE until they know they can’t/won’t go for Howard. Until Howard gets dealt, the TPE will probably not be used since Mitch said he’d rather have the exception rather than an actual player.


  45. Hey guys, some belated “morning links” now up. Aaron and Jim – you beat me to it!


  46. dr rayeye from previous thread:

    2 assists–three turnovers

    Did you get a chance to see all the passes Kobe didn’t make? Or all the stops he failed to make on defense?

    Basketball is a team game.


    Indeed it is. And the rest of the team includes MWP, Blake, Fisher, Barnes, Kapono, Ebanks, McRoberts and Murphy–players who have their uses, but far from an imposing group.

    Kobe has his faults, but for a 33-year-old in his 16th year, playing with a wrist on his shooting hand that needs surgery and several deformed fingers, Kobe has, except for the Denver game, played about as well as he can this year.

    If Kobe were 29 and Pau were 27, a roster like this could perhaps make the NBA Finals. They’re not, which is why people here at FBG are talking about roster upgrades as much as they are talking about tactical adjustments.

    @ DY

    Precisely. The franchise is on hold until we know what will happen with Dwight Howard.


  47. Bynum was NOT passing well out of the double team last night. He got rid of it, but way too late for anybody to get a good open look.


  48. My buddy from work went to the game and got some awesome courtside seats. He said that Kobe had low energy like an older person. He was surprised.

    I personally think that the biggest problem with the Lakers, is that they hired a defensive-minded coach, yet their team is not built with players who are good at defense. They are too slow and too old at many positions and their backups are scrubs.

    This Laker team is not scary.