Wednesday Storylines

Dave Murphy —  January 25, 2012

With a recent three-game skid, questions about the Lakers’ direction and purpose have been stacking up from fans, writers, and even El Spaniard, normally a model of diplomacy. Personally, when Pau complains that he’s not spending enough time in the paint, I tend to listen. It would have been easy to fill a page with Gasol-gate links but that wouldn’t ensure a proper variety in our diets. Today’s buffet offers a range of tasty choices, from the lack of touches to tonight’s game against our hallway rivals.

Ben Bolch at the L.A. Times, quotes our man Gasol, who was disappointed with his marching orders in the second half of Sunday night’s loss against the Pacers. “…in the second half, I didn’t have one chance to attack from the post.”

Mark Medina at the L.A. Times Lakers blog tracks the same storyline, which as he points out, isn’t gaining clarity.

Even Basketbawful gets into the act, with a Pau-centric entry in Sunday’s “Worst of the Night” column. Make sure to watch the video titled “Boomer Breaks the Blackboard”. There’s no relation to the Lakers/Pacer’s section of text but that’s where it’s embedded, and it is must-see.

Brian Kamenetzky at the Land O’Lakers, takes a hard look at Mike Brown’s search for answers, particularly when it comes to Darius Morris and the lack of options at the point.

Andy Kamenetzky at the LOL, points out that there are real stakes riding on tonight’s game, and tells us what to look for.

While it’s not about the Lakers, Kurt Helin at ProBasketballTalk tells Knicks fans why Phil Jackson’s not coming to save them. I’m a sucker for anything about Phil.

Kurt also lets us know that Bill Walton’s predicting a Heat/Lakers match-up in the finals. Yes, Bill!

Yesterday, after reading a damning string of comments on FB&G, I paid a visit to TrueHoop, where Henry Abbott had written glowingly about the Lakers’ beautiful offense. This is called stepping through the looking glass.

Ben Rosales at Silver Screen and Roll, takes a beast or burden look at the Lakers, trying to find some positives.

Steve Perrin at Clips Nation, figures the key to beating the Lakers is to double and triple-team Kobe – he’ll take the shots anyway.

***

This time last week, things were downright peaceful in Lakerland – we’d won five in a row and were sitting in 2nd place in the west. What a difference a few games makes – we’re now languishing in 10th. With a slew of roadies looming, the conversation’s sure to get choppier. If it’s any solace, the difference between 2nd and 10th right now, is only two games.

- Dave Murphy

Dave Murphy

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28 responses to Wednesday Storylines

  1. Abbott continues to astound. His whole premise was based on a single, very brief highlight clip. I am convinced he does not actually watch games (at least not Lakers). Has he not seen all the times Kobe (and others) hit the open man only to have them fire a brick or simply pass back out? There is a reason why every one is open.

    Yes, the Lakers are capable of some pretty plays, Henry. Check out the behind the head, no look, touch pass by Pau. Look at Fisher’s game winner. Now actually watch a whole game and tell us what you see.

  2. Whether or not Bynum and Gasol would be a good pair has always been suspect; the more that they play together, the more that appears to be the case. Most of the time in the past, one or the other of them has either been hurt or coming back from an injury, but they just don’t seem to mesh well, consistently. Could be that it’s actually an issue of the Kobe-Bynum-Gasol combination that can’t/won’t optimize, but either way, I think it demonstrates that a trade would be beneficial.

  3. A comment from a particular commenter has been deleted. If you want to troll and bait Laker fans, please find another board to do it on. Much appreciated.

  4. @ VoR

    Abbott is in fact quite bizarre when it comes to Kobe. He thinks about Kobe far more than the average Laker fan does.

    ———

    I note that the Lakers’ next three opponents all basically use multiple PGs in the lineup at the same time:

    LAC: Paul, Billups, Williams
    MIL: Jennings, Livingston, Udrih
    MIN: Rubio, Ridnour, Barea

    I wonder if we will see more teams doing this, in this no-handcheck era.

  5. @ exhelo

    I think it is pretty clear that Pau misses Odom. They complemented each other well on the floor.

  6. 3 teams with 9 point guards…..we don’t have 1.

  7. What is with all this Pau is playing so terribly. The guy has been playing well and a lot better than his temporaries (Duncan/KG). He is the third option on offense and has been doing his job.

  8. I agree with Aaron. Pau is not the problem.

  9. … And he is playing a heck of a lot better than he did in the playoffs.

  10. Miller you are either very young or have a rather short memory. The reason Laker fans talk about their history is because it is very rich. Another reason is because the Laker franchise is the BEST at rebuilding title teams.

    Very rarely do they miss the playoffs (maybe 5 or 6 times in their history) and they have won titles in every decade of their existence (the 1940′s) except the ’60′s & ’90′s. They have also appeared in approx half of all the Finals in NBA history. It’s why a longtime Laker fan like myself (since 1965) realizes no team can win a title every year. However I’m comforted in knowing it won’t be long before they are considered serious contenders again. The Clippers have an opportunity right now…but if they don’t win it all in the next few years, based on their history, they will once again become irrelevant.

  11. One area of concern I haven’t read about is Bynum’s free throw shooting. What happened? His .541% at the ft line is the worst of his career (not counting his rookie year). He’s a career .676% from the line including three consecutive seasons between .695 & .739. And he’s not visiting the line much more than at any other time in his career (less than 2 more attempts per game). Check out the link:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bynuman01.html

    Is it strictly a matter of conditioning?

  12. #7. If you don’t like the way I run this site, you’re more than welcome to not visit. I made a judgement call and I stand by it.

  13. And while we are on my love for Pau Gasol I should tell you he should move ever further from the paint. The guy is our best PG by far. He is our most unselfish player, our best passer, the best player we have leading the break, and the best player we have at finishing the break. He might be our best three point shooter. Gasol is KG’s equal overall as a basketball player. Underrated for the majority of his career as a European white perimeter seven footer… Pau was one of the best athletes to ever play in the NBA. I beg each and everyone of you to look up his highlights from when he was 19 till 23. You won’t beleieve it. Of course unlike KG he didn’t take care of his body and lost it faster.

  14. #7. I should add, the tone in your comment only confirms my thoughts about your original take.

  15. I’m not trying to start the pessimistic train, but does anyone have an ounce of confidence in us winning this game…especially if Chris Paul plays?

    I’m just going to be looking for some improvement in our offense and defensive rotations since we actually had a day of practice. It’s sad but this is what it has come to for me as a Lakers fan.

  16. Rudy,

    The Lakers are the underdogs tonight, for sure. The Clippers are a tough matchup, as we have seen, and the Lakers are a bit worse without Steve Blake.

  17. 16. Miller Genuine Draft

    What’s past is prologue. The reason why we Lakers fans, whom you so generously called the “most hypocritical, idiotic fans in all of American Sports” talk about the past (are you referring to all the 16 championships or the recent two in 2009 and 2010?) is that’s why we have hope for our future. Sure, kick the Lakers franchise right now while we are still reeling from unfortunate incidents in the summer. But since our franchise is such a great and storied one, one that both “grandmas” and grandchildren alike can root for, this team will arise again, and very quickly.

    It took a lucky bounce of the ping pong balls to get Blake, especially for a franchise that reserved seats to the NBA Lottery for basically the past 20 years. Then it took an “act of Stern” to get you CP3, when our front office traded for him.

    So fine, I relish the Lakers history. But it provides a great roadmap to future success, something that I wish the Clippers may have one day as well. But before you dog Jim Buss, take a good look at your owner.

    Sincerely, one of the many millions of “hypocritical, idiotic fans in all of American Sports” (a/k/a Lakers fan).

  18. Question: Could the Lakers acquire Aaron Brooks after the Chinese season is over?

  19. Pau is the 2nd best C in the league no way he’s the problem. You have to start with the offense that has him on the perimeter most of the game he’s a C not PF. Then you can possibly blame the guards not feeding the bigs, but that happens because they aren’t getting down the floor early to get post position.

    Then Bynum is the most overrated player in the league. Lakers fans have been waiting since 08 for him to be our Rajon Rondo that helped the big 3 in Boston in a big way since 09. But so far all he is is kendrick Perkins not much of a difference maker. He’s big and that’s it. he has no impact and that’s the main problem.

  20. I am on the other side of the world. If anyone would provide a link to the Lakers/Clips game it would be much appreciated.

  21. 17,

    Rudy, this will be 4th time they will meet the Clippers, I predict that they will win this time. Reasons: 1) It’s like playing in a roulette of black and red, once the winning on one color goes beyond the statistical probability it goes opposite; 2) human reactionary shame gets into Laker players after getting a bad rap for the last few days. This is like cleaning your dirty clothes with lots of cleaning detergents poured into it, plus hot water that kept on rotating, therefore it eventually cleans their acts; 3) pleasing MBrown who is working his butt of many sleepless nights trying to design a simple play to utilize his two big men and Kobe, He wants to prove his worth, yet often get frustrated that the past messages failed. so it has to implemented tonight against the Clippers; 4) Clippers become careless due to overconfidence that they can handle the Lakers anytime they want to, you know going to their imaginary switch; 5) Lakers will win games this season at the least expected, that’s the trait of a very inconsistent team composed of inconsistent players learning a new system. LOL!

  22. You know, those who have been expressing their frustration with the front office may be right. This team hasn’t been the same since they let The Machine go. He could play the point. He could knock down the open jumper. He could hit his free throws. He could back up Kobe. And on D he…uh…he expended a lot of energy.

    My heart tells me the Lakers bounce back tonight. My head tells me Paul is going to feast on the Lakers.

  23. sorry for posting this again, but the other thread had like 4 comments and i´d like to have some input from you guys on this…
    _
    It will be interesting to see how the lakers will play the next couple of games. The whole team is in a shooting funk, which means that chances are little chance that kobe will be able to keep us afloat for much longer by playing the way he has been playing.

    Remember when Kobe had his bad shooting stretch an he said that when he has a cold hand he just keeps shooting until he gets hot again? The same logic applies to any other shooter. Its a combination of skill, rythm and confidence and our outside shooters definetly dont lack the skill (Kapono, Fisher and Murphy have all been very good at shooting the three over the last couple of years).

    What I am hoping for is that kobe gives his teammates a chance to shoot themselves out of this funk and thus help him more over the course of the season. He might concentrate on setting them up even more than the last couple of games and force them to shoot more, while taking a backseat and save some energy for later.

    I know this idea sounds crazy, but since kobe is scoring very efficiently and we cant seem to win any games, he might as well try to force his teammates to step up, no?

  24. VoR – the Machine! Y’know, I was kind of feeling bad for Sasha, being stuck in Turkey for the entire season but then I read an interview with him and he actually wanted the commitment of an entire year there.

    Lesha – see, if we had the Machine, we wouldn’t have to worry about Kobe giving other players a chance. Sasha never met a shot he didn’t like. Now, if we had both Sasha and Slava, we’d be just fine, haha.

  25. Dave M – I realize the thread has moved on, but I was actually reminded of Sasha by news of Anna K in tennis. I have no idea if they are even still together.

    And I was only partly joking. I really liked Sasha (though his contract was not a good one). I wish him well. And yeah, I wouldn’t mind having him back this season. He’d be the fifth best player!

  26. VoR – actually, he’s engaged to Maria Sharapova now.