Preview and Chat: The New York Knicks

Emile Avanessian —  February 10, 2012

Records: Lakers 15-11 (5th in West), Knicks 11-15 (9th in East)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 103.5 (14th in NBA), Knicks 101.2 (22nd in NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 101.1 (11th in NBA), Knicks 100.6 (9th in NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Knick:s Jeremy Lin, Landry Fields, Bill Walker, Jared Jeffries, Tyson Chadler
Injuries: Lakers: None (!!); Knicks: Carmelo Anthony (out), Amar’e Stoudemire (out), Josh Harrellson (out), Baron Davis (out)

The Lakers coming in: Two-thirds of the Grammy Trip is in the books, and thanks to last night’s nip-tuck overtime victory over the Celtics – just the Lakers’ fourth in 13 road games and their first in five tries away from Staples against an Eastern foe – the Lakers still have a shot (with a tonight at MSG and on Sunday in Toronto) at returning to Los Angeles from the six-game journey with a winning record.

From a Lakers perspective, the big story coming out of Boston is Pau Gasol. In just under 41 minutes of action, Gasol scored 25 (on 12-20 FG), grabbed 14 rebounds and made a variety of brilliant plays at both ends of the floor that helped to both force overtime and secure the win.

And now, having already bested the Knicks in Los Angeles, the Lakers take Manhattan, victorious in their last four visits to Madison Square Garden. With the Knicks short-handed on the front due to injury (Carmelo Anthony) and tragedy (Amar’e Stoudemire) and the Lakers at full strength for one of the first times all season, look for them to emerge victorious from Gotham for the fifth straight year.

The Knicks coming in: Linsanity. Lincredible. Lingenius. Linovative. Lincandescent. The Linferno.

Sorry.

In case you’ve not yet heard, the Knicks are back, and a Harvard man – one sporting Adidas rather than Hermes – is the toast of the town. As recently as a week ago, the Knicks (mainly Carmelo Anthony) had alienated a chunk of the fan base by not only losing (they dropped 11 of 13 between January 12 and February 3), sapping the fun out of the game in the process (Meloball). Both the team, seemingly in disarray and in danger of being engulfed by toxicity, and the fans, increasingly fearful of an unexpected Isiah-esque debacle, were in desperate need of fresh air.

Enter the ShaoLin. (Last one. I promise.)

The Jeremy Lin phenomenon has gained support more quickly and comprehensively than any that’s swept through Manhattan in the last seven years. Between the novelty of his background (an undrafted Chinese Ivy Leaguer), his circuitous route to the Big Apple (waived after ~17 months with the Golden State Warriors and 12 days with the Houston Rockets) and (my favorite, by far) his current living arrangement (he’s been crashing with either his brother or Landry Fields, though it’s rumored that he will be living in David Lee’s old apartment), Lin has brought a likeability and relatability to the Knicks that’s been sorely lacking.

The fact is, however, in addition to emerging as the season’s feel-good story, this guy can really play. An emotional catalyst to be sure, Lin has provided the Knicks with much more over the past week, averaging 25.3 points (on 58% FG), 8.3 assists and 1.7 steals and leading the Knicks to three straight wins. Beyond the numbers, Lin has an NBA build (6’3”-200), is seldom (if ever) out of control, and is an extremely intelligent player, particularly when using a screen to set up a defender. Far be it for me to predict that Jeremy Lin will sustain his All-Star-caliber play in the long run, but he is more than a mere novelty.

Knicks blogs: There are a number of excellent Knicks blogs on the web. The head of this class includes Posting and Toasting (where Seth Rosenthal does some fantastic work), Knickerblogger and The LoHud Knicks Blog. Additionally, if you are on Twitter and will be in arms reach of a computer while taking this one in, give Twitter superstar @netw3rk and Charlie Zegers (of MSG.com and and About.com) a follow.

Keys to the game: Let’s quickly get a Lin-related prediction out of the way. On the defensive end, look for Mike Brown to task Kobe Bryant with slowing down Lin, as a) it’ll probably work (I’d expect an inefficient ~15-6) and b) doing so will take much of the life out of the MSG crowd and consequently deflate the Knicks, regardless of whatever havoc Landry Fields wreaks against Derek Fisher.

As we exchanged emails earlier in the afternoon, Darius touched on another (and perhaps the most important) effect that Lin has had on the floor – the elevation of Tyson Chandler’s offensive game, primarily in the pick-and-roll. As I previously mentioned, Lin is an intelligent playmaker, and in the pick-and-roll has shown an ability to both get to the rim and score and connect with Chandler (who’s done a great job slipping the screens) on the lob. The Lakers’ weak side big (I’m guessing Gasol) must be aware of this and provide help in order to slow Chandler’s roll to the hoop. As Darius suggested (and I agree), it would not be surprising to see the Lakers play Lin similarly to the way they play Rondo – going under some screens and cutting off his angles, both on the drive or when looking to hit a cutter.

As one of the league’s better defensive squads – and one looking to close out this road trip on a positive note and build momentum as the season’s halfway point approaches – it will be interesting to see if the Lakers make the adjustments necessary to slow down the Knicks’ primary offensive set, while exploiting an obvious advantage in the paint when on offense.

The bottom line is this: in the season’s opening week, the Bynum-less Lakers blew out a Knicks team that boasted its full complement of talent. Lin or no Lin, should anything different go down with the Lakers’ massive (and massively talented) front line intact and healthy and the Knicks without Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Josh Harrellson, with only Jared Jeffries to offer support to Tyson Chandler against Gasol and Bynum, it will be a huge surprise.

Where you can watch: 5:00pm start time on ESPN. Also listen at ESPN Radio 710AM.

Emile Avanessian

Posts

167 responses to Preview and Chat: The New York Knicks

  1. I agree with everything this preview post has to say about LA’s “on-paper” advantages.

    For that precise reason, I am extremely worried–second half of a road back-to-back, with the first half featuring a bruising emotional victory for LA. I hope the team comes out fast, and takes the Linsanity out of the building just as quickly. Otherwise…

  2. this Lin hype is absurd, its been 3 games! Ive seen the highlights and he is certainly a good decision maker in the pick and roll but i doubt he is a starting calibre point guard

  3. Please get Metta out of the game . Please get fisher out of the game. Please get a a new coach. Brown can’t be this stupid!

    Can he?

  4. Please take Fisher and World Peace out of the game and don’t put them back the rest of the way. I can’t stand watching them play.

  5. major absence of energy so far

  6. Lin will score 100 off of Fisher.

  7. Fisher on Jeremy Lin is proving not to be a good idea.

  8. One smart coach. He leaves Fisher in.

  9. Lakers could have signed Lin for a song….

  10. They choose to keep Fisher and Metta instead.

  11. 22% shooting – tired?

  12. 4-18 FGM-A, 1-7 from the 3 and 6 turnovers. Ugly first quarter for the Lakers.

  13. They are so bad.

  14. bynum looks totally uninterested

  15. Could we just have anyone hit an open shot..

  16. How can any team be THIS bad from beyond the arc? Most of these are wide-open looks.

  17. This team looks like they never played together before.

    How can this not be a example of very poor coaching.

  18. why aren’t ebanks and mcroberts playing. it’s obvious lakers have dead legs. lakers need ENERGY

  19. It doesn’t matter how good Lin is, or who the Lakers start at PG or SF, there is no way a team featuring Kobe, Gasol and Bynum should be losing to a team featuring Jeffries, Walker and Fields. I just don’t know what else can be said.

    Re: Fisher – If Fisher is still starting and getting significant minutes strictly out of loyalty, and there seems to be no other logical explanation, then the Lakers front office and coaching staff have it backwards. They are hurting him more than helping him. Even the staunchest of Fisher apologists can’t much stomach watching him play at his current level. I love Fish for all his numerous contributions over the years, the huge shots, the 5 rings, etc., but watching him stink up the court night in and night out is making those good memories fade unnaturally fast. He should be used as a situational spot up shooter and that is it. Period.

  20. Mike Brown can not coach. That is so clear.

  21. I ve followed Lakers since 1982 and I can’t remember a worse lineup than the one on the court right now.

  22. Mike Brown coaches scared!!!

    His substitution patterns are the worst I’ve seen.

    Supposedly he was the start of something new this year… this is WORSE then last year.

    Get a clue please..

  23. Lakers look like an old team on a long road trip that played a long tough game last night.

    One thats not very good on the road in any case.

  24. i remember phil used to players minutes in their hometown. ebanks should play he could give lakers a needed spark

  25. Pau beats everyone down court, sets up low on the box being defended by a SF, and Fish throws it to Kobe 25 feet from the basket. Isn’t your PG supposed to recognize mismatches?

  26. Fisher foot on line 2

  27. I hate to flog the deceased equine, but Jeremy Lin is a better playmaking PG than anything we got.

  28. Brown is the dumbest coach in Laker history leaving Fisher on Lin.

    Please fire this guy.

    Please

  29. i’d like to see bynum hold the ball up high, turn, and face more often. with his back to the basket, it’s difficult for him to see the double coming and pick out open shooters.

    i’m with hubie. where are the cutters?

  30. Fisher taken to school by Lin..unbelievable.

  31. Fisher totally redeems himself with the longest 2 point shot in existence. Somehow, he seems to have lost his 3 point line awareness in the offseason, after 15 years in the league. And then gets torched by Lin to fire up the crowd. C’mon Mike Brown don’t embarrass the man, let him sit.

  32. Lakers starting lineup salary: 67 mil
    Knicks starting lineup salary: 18 mil
    score: 38-47 Knicks

  33. @27 kehntangibles – Running the pick and roll is a basic point guard skill. Unfortunately, we’re not in the triangle anymore, and we don’t have any PGs who can run the P&R. When Kobe runs it, it’s more like a screen to free him up for the jumper.

  34. Come on, Drew. Dunk that ball and you’ll at least go to the line.

  35. this is beyond ridiculous with Fisher now, Brown has to have the ablls to bench him

  36. Oof…can anyone on this squad shoot a 3?

  37. single digits. i’ll take it.

  38. fisher can’t keep up with lin. footspeed. put goudelock in. mike brown should know this

  39. Our guys look like they’re playing the second night of a back to back, with the first night being an overtime game.

  40. I like the dimension Barnes brings with his slashing, he even got an fairly easy bucket for Pau on that alley-oop in transition. Unfortunately he is the only one on the roster who slashes in the half court or streaks on the break. Ebanks seems like he’d be able to fill a similar role, I hope Brown gives he and McRoberts some burn in the second half. We need some foot speed out there. The guys don’t just look tired, they look disinterested. I wonder what is going on.

  41. In my 40 years of being a Laker fan I have never seen a worse coach then Brown

    He continues to play pathetic Fisher, bad Murphy and terrible Metta.

    Eubanks and McRoberts have not played in weeks.

    This is just a terrible coach who plays bad players and not rested players.

    How can he be this inept?

  42. Interesting how Jon Barry says that Lin is going on a straight line to the basket after the high screen is set, not giving our bigs time to cut him off at the hoop. Says his primary defender needs to prevent him from doing that.

  43. Kobe and MB not buying into the hype of Lin?..haha. I bet they’re eating crow right now.

  44. @40 – yeah, and it’s what I’m not gonna be too mad about this game since it is a 2nd-night of a back-to-back against a hot team. It is rather galling to see a the contrast between the Knick’s energy on offense vs. ours. It’s exacerbated by 2nd-night-of-back-to-back, but I do think we’d still be comparatively more stilted and hamstrung on offense even without that caveat.

  45. lakers need to go inside to pau. and bench fisher for this game he has no legs. play goudelock heavy minutes

  46. First we lose to a Milwaukee squad w/o their top scorers and now we’re halfway there to another loss against NY w/o melo and amare? Wow, we suck.

  47. Ken – I’m with you on Fisher and World Peace being terrible…but I’m just not so sure Ebanks and McRoberts are any better. I don’t think you can blame Mike Brown for our lack of talent.

    On another note…Did Kobe forget how to shoot?

  48. I’d give up an arm and a leg to get Lin on my team now. He’s going to be an All-Star. I gotta admit it.

  49. you guys notice mike brown stands on the sidelines and doesn’t call plays. just stares at the game he’s in awe

  50. Rudy,
    I agree. Wtf has happened to Kobe’s shooting?! It’s starting to piss me off, and he’s my favorite player of all time. He usually lights up the Knicks at MSG and yet he’s 1 for 7.

    Kehntangibles,
    Yes, it is the 2nd night of a b2b, but the Knicks are missing both Melo and Amare. That would be like us missing Kobe and Pau/Drew. So I don’t care if we’ve played 5 games in a row, there’s no reason that we should be losing to the Knicks! Oh wait, yes there is. It’s called Fisher, Metta, Murphy, the rest of the bench, and Kobe’s cold shooting…

  51. Foot on line 2 for Fisher

  52. Another 3 with a toe on the line for Fish. That’s atleast the third if not fourth this game. Seriously, how did he lose that awareness?

  53. may as well take Bynum out, has zero energy tonight

  54. Drew really Stinking it up tonight.

  55. I am surprised that Kobe looked a little disinterested in the first half. He usually goes off in NY. I think these guys just must be beat.

    NY is playing hard – a ton of energy, but they aren’t that talented.

  56. Lol can we replace Steve Nash or Tony Parker with Jeremy Lin as an all-star reserve?

  57. And then the fourth, but this time with half a foot on the line

  58. how is that a foul on gasol?!

  59. Get METTA OUT

  60. what is mwp doing?? brown hasn’t said anything to him

  61. what is Brown doing?? take Peace, Fisher out!!

  62. My god what is wrong with Brown

  63. I’m so tired of Metta, he may be able to defend an old and slow Paul Pierce but he cannot guard ANYONE else and he contributes nothing offensively.

  64. @63 – Brown’s taking a page from Phil’s doctrine of letting the Lakers ‘play through it’ :P

  65. This game has been extremely painful to watch. The Lakers are just shooting up bricks and making stupid plays.

  66. Kobe played 43 minutes last night as Brown seared out his big three. This is difference between Popovich, Jackson and Clueless Brown.

  67. Come on Kobe! we need you as facilitator…2-12 and 0 assists? My gawd!

  68. Does everyone remember the Miami Heat made a hard push to sign Fisher last summer? I will always be grateful for Fisher’s contributions but him signing there would have sabotaged that team and been a blessing in disguise for LA.

  69. Who else are you going to play Ken? They got no one else but the big 3. It is really sad.

  70. Barnes has been foul crazy on this trip

  71. kobe is chucking callin iso’s brown can’t veto. lol

  72. Though…. at least Steve Blake knows to shoot with his foot off the line.

  73. Bynum struggling against Chandler was inevitable

  74. Rudy – when the team don’t perform to expectation, it is invariably the coach problem. Coach is like manager. His job is to get the best out of each player on the team. I think the players sense MB’s weakness and thus lost a bit (may be tiny bit) of respect which usually translate into doubts about what they are doing.

    Mike Brown is not a good coach. I think we are going to hear commentators give hints of MB’s weaknesses soon.

  75. Bynum forced at least 5 awful shots so far, and can’t pass out of a double team with any kind of threat to the D. So frustrating bec he should be killing this team

  76. I hate our team. When 2 of our big 3 are struggling…can’t anybody step up?

  77. i said earlier I never seea ny 2nd half adjustments. so far I still don’t see any

  78. Wow, we have a McBob sighting

  79. I feel bad for Kobe that he has to put up with these garbage players on the floor.

  80. Jeremy Lin has clearly turned the Knicks into a defensive juggernaut. Gorgeous 33% shooting.

  81. Jeremy Jeremy Jeremy Jeremy Jeremy Get Jeremy Lin for Luke Walton

  82. Kobe shoots because he’s the only player on the team that works all summer on his game. If I am Kobe, I shoot every time! Why not, what does everyone else do over the summer…lay on the beach? No one comes back year in and year out, having worked on their game. The Laker shooters are slow and can’t shoot. Murphy is in the game to shoot, yet he stands at the 3-pt line open and looking to pass. Obviously, MB has been told to NOT play EBanks, otherwise he’d be in the game.

    After playing his first game back last night, Steve Blake is struggling.

    Bynum has difficulty playing back-to-back games, is anyone surprised?

    McHops has no defense and has no offense.

    I pity MB. If Bynum, Gasol and Kobe are not on, he has no one to go to. He looks down his bench and has Walton, Murphy, McHops, Ebanks, G-Lock, and Kapono to sub. And, none of them have more than one skill set to play the game, i.e., one can shoot, one is athletic, one is a triangle player, etc.

    The ASG cannot come soon enough for me, so the Lakers can make trades!

    Now, we see why allowing Brown to leave was a mistake. Brown could shoot, was athletic and had a bit of defense. That’s three skill sets in the game of basketball. The Lakers replaced him with three players that each have one skill set. That’s not MB, that’s management.

  83. As bad as we’re playing, we’re only down by 6 going into the 4th quarter

  84. Here is where Mike Brown needs to tell Kobe, thank you for getting us back in it, but we need to share the ball now.

  85. 84. No, here’s where Mike Brown just lets Kobe do his thang. Cuz nobody gives a FF what Brown has to say.

  86. I’m looking up and down the box score and asking myself….how the heck are in this game?

  87. Joe

    Look at the D-league

  88. Did Kobe just pass the ball to a wide open Murphy who missed? LOL, don’t pass the ball Kobe…shooot!

  89. They have called the Kobe Iso at least 20 times in a row. Where’s the coaching?

  90. Time to eat crow Kobe and MB. Now do you believe the hype of Lin?…haha

  91. I could not stand Yao, but I am starting to hate Lin more

  92. bynum and Fisher are having a terrible game..lets get them back in, when is Metta back?

  93. Brown puts Fisher back in. We are saved.

  94. I am loving Jeremy Lin!!!!!!!!!!

  95. Game, set, match….

  96. Fellas…I won’t be back here until we’ve made a roster change. Until than, take care all.

  97. Nice defense Fisher!

    Brown is just stupid.

  98. K mike brown may be one of the worst coaches in the league.

    Kobe is in 2006 mode and mike brown does not have the people skills to manage him or pump up the rest of the team.

    Our rotations are retarded, the offense is non existent and takes too long and people are saying he helps our defense but really we were already good on defense – the year before last we were #1 or #2 in the league

    0% chance he lasts to his 2nd season , I say he most likely gets canned mid year next year.

  99. Eh, honestly, I’m not even that mad about this game. We’re flawed, yes. Our best point guard is on just his 2nd game back from injury. And we’re playing a hot team at their place the night after a draining and emotional win against our #1 rival. This wasn’t going to be the game where we put it all together.

  100. That Yellow Mamba sign is probably the greatest thing I have ever seen LOL

  101. Jeremy Lin WOW what a game

  102. Barnes activity is a great sight to see, he may foul but at least he hustles and tries to make things happen.

    It made no sense why he got demoted from the starting line up for Metta

  103. I guess we really needed Caracter with that 58th pick.

  104. Bynum that was pathetic, I mean absolutely pathetic

  105. Wow, can i get my all-star vote back on Bynum?

  106. sums up Bynum’s game

  107. That’s why you love Kobe…he is not conceding this game!

  108. every single choice about rotation is wrong.And no plays designed,just kobes ISO again and again…

    Terrible coaching down the strectch.Period

  109. 108. Not to knock Bynum but in a league lacking in elite big men it’s not saying much that Bynum is an all-star, it’s like saying oh hey since there’s nobody else we will pick you.

    Steve Blake either shoot it like you mean it or don’t shoot it at all.

  110. blake had 2 wide open 3s and didn’t shoot

  111. Kobe needs to shoot more ; )

  112. Wow they triple team Kobe and the rest of the 4 Lakers can’t make them pay.

  113. Blake SUCKS!

  114. Typical Lakers…they love handing out career highs to all opponents.

  115. Kobe versus the Knicks tonight

  116. Every time Kobe got the Lakers within 6 points they could not secure a rebound.

    There are no plays designed that could help this offensively challenged team!

  117. lol I predict Kobe doesn’t pass once on Sunday

  118. That is why Kobe is the ONLY option late in games, his tough forced jumpers are better than any shot any player on this roster can get on their own.

  119. How do you question Kobe shooting too much when nobody else can make a shot? 8th time this year Lakers failed to reach 90 utters Mike Breen. I’m sitting here wondering how you lose to the Knicks without Carmelo and Amare and then one look at the box score says it all.

  120. the LAKERS SUCK!

  121. Ken, we are waiting for your analysis!

  122. 1) Lin is for real. The true test will be against the Heat, but this proved Lin alone can get the win against weak teams.

    2) The Lakers are a weak team. No Amar’e or Melo. I’m beginning to side with Magic that this team needs to be blown up.

  123. Blake doesn’t have his legs back from the injury – he looks like the same injured blake that we had in the playoffs.

    Really outside of Kobe – who shot terrible in the 1st half – did any Laker play well? Tyson Chandler is all up in Bynum’s head – Bynum can’t play against him at all. And every open shot – save for some Gasol looks – were just absolute bricks.

    I don’t understand – these are professional basketball players right? Why can’t any of them make wide open shots that are passed out of a double team. There’s no point to having 2 dominant bigs if the guards can’t even threaten to space the floor. In the same way the Lakers don’t guard Rondo – the entire league doesn’t guard our shooters.

    MWP and Blake used to be 40% from 3. Fisher as well. Barnes was mid 30’s. Murphy was high 30’s.

    Do they put on purple and gold and change their form or something.

  124. Robert,
    I normally agree with most of the things you say, and trust me, I’m just as big a fan of Kobe as you are. But his piss poor shooting lately and his extreme hot/cold streaks are killing me. 34 points on 29 shots is not good! Those are Allen Iverson numbers! What’s he shooting on the season now? Like 40%? That’s not good.

    I know, I know. What other stiff on this team would we rather have shooting? And I completely agree. Nobody! But knowing that, if Kobe’s gonna take 25+ shots a game, it’s even more imperative that he hit close to half because otherwise, we’re gonna struggle every game due to the fact that the majority of our other players are absolutely worthless!

  125. lakers beat boston but lose to a team w/o melo and amare. smh

  126. Kobe shot too much, but I don’t really blame him for it in a way. Bynum is gassed–the schedule and playing more seem to be getting to him.

    Quick reminder: Walton and Fisher both have guaranteed deals for next year, and MWP and Blake are signed through 2014–and all of those deals are well over the minimum.

  127. a few notes to mike brown:

    1. why does it take you 46 minutes to finally double team Lin?
    2. once successful, why didn’t you do it again?
    3. why do you insist on starting and giving heavy minutes to the dead corpse of Derek Fisher?
    4. When are you going to grow a pair and get on your guys (Pau, Bynum, etc.) for not performing? You gotta make everyone accountable instead of just being the happy to be there coach and commenting to ESPN “I think we got great shots but they just didn’t go in.” If you need some examples on how to get your players’ attention, see highlights from Doc Rivers tonight….

  128. @Zirk

    Totally agree. The worst part must be his awful tendency to get injured and double-teamed.

  129. Zirk,

    Fair point. My take is that Kobe shooting a lot is OK, but he needs to play on the box more and play off the ball more. At his age with the hand issues he simply can’t iso on guys and elevate on contested jumpers successfully often enough to justify it anymore.

    I have cut Brown some slack–this roster has holes you could drive Oliver Miller through, and that was obvious before the season started. But like most others, I am not liking the end-game coaching and it is clearly time for Fisher to sit.

  130. A few points:

    (1) This Knick team is better +Lin and minus Amare and Melo. It will be interesting to see how well they integrate their two stars once they return.

    (2) The Lakers (especially Bynum) had no legs after last night’s draining OT game in Boston. It’s the fifth game of the trip as well. The Odom for nobody trade really hurts us on back-to-backs, depth-wise.

    (3) If Murphy isn’t going to pull the trigger when he’s open, he isn’t much use. They’re double-teaming Kobe, Pau, and Drew whenever they get the ball. Maybe having McRoberts cut to the basket on offense and using his mobility on defense is more important than Murphy’s spacing on some nights.

  131. Mike Brown needs to start Blake and Ebanks.

    Bench Fisher and Metta. MWP needs DNPs for the rest of the season. The 2nd quarter was unexcuseable

    I really am in smoe sort of shock right now. Can’t believe what I just saw

  132. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not necessarily complaining about him shooting too much. I guess I’m just frustrated that he’s shooting so poorly. And I know it’s somewhat unfair because we expect Kobe to do everything, but I guess that goes to show you how bad the rest of the team is. Because he’s the only reliable player we have, I unfairly look to him to be the team’s savior night in and night out. Right now, it seems like that’s the only hope we have…

    And robinred, you’re right. It’s not necessarily that he’s shooting too much, but that he’s having to work way too hard to get shots. Too many isos and too much dribbling on the perimeter. Not only does that result in tougher shots many times, but like you said, at his age and with his mileage, that has to start wearing him down, eventually. And then what? We’re really screwed!

  133. #133. I think Amare will fit in fine w/ Lin as another P&R option. Melo will be a bit more difficult to integrate because of his penchant for stopping the ball.

  134. Kevin wrote on February 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    This is a perfect game for Brown to play Ebanks and McRoberts after OT in Boston. Starters have heavy legs but I bet he plays Kobe & Pau 40 mins.

    from earlier

  135. Darius, that’s what I expect as well re Amare. He shouldn’t have any problem with D’Antoni’s offense, as Lin is being used much the same way as Nash. However, the difference between Amare and Jefferies on defense is like night and day.

  136. Did the ball have poison on it? The unwillingness to shoot open jumpers on this team is mind boggling.

    I didn’t like Brown’s coaching in Cleveland despite his (LeBron’s) regular season domination). I have seen nothing to dissuade the belief that he’d be an awesome college coach.

  137. Bad Coaching on this Grammy trip based on roller coaster wins and losses. You got lackadaisical players who disappears on 2nd half and a bunch of clunkers and lack of common sense in using the shot clock. This is really bad, they have a lot of talented players who lacked the confidence to contribute from Kapono, Murphy, MacRoberts, and the have beens Fisher and Peace. If the Coach was Brian Shaw, I don’t think we have that kind of dismal showing or any of the Showtime Lakers like Michael Cooper, Norm Nixon, james Worthy, players who have been in several battles and knows the x and o that if there is a motivated PG, what do you do? Double team from the get go, take out his speed by putting someone who could match the speed. I don’t know if you used Barnes from 1st Q, try Ebanks, try Morris something tall, young that would match the speed of Lin. By gosh, what we saw tonight was total breakdown of desperate Lakers. The only compensating aspect in this trip, we won against our rival geriatric team Celtics. players.

  138. Kevin, the Celtics are not a good team, they got beat by the Raptors tonight and they are barely a playoff team in a poor Eastern Conference, the win against them for LA was really not that significant on any level other than being +1 in the win column.

    At this point we all know deals need to be made, I for one would try to figure out how to get Brandon Jennings here if they can’t land Deron Williams. Jennings is a top PG in this league who can create and score, he is from LA, and has just gone on record that saying he is looking at playing in a bigger market.

  139. Zirk: KB is 44.5% for the year. 2night 38%. The real issue was AB @ 1-8 , Blake @ 2-11, + Fish @ 2-7. KB was above the team % (that is how pitiful we r). AB had 3 pts. Not worthy of the #1A many have given him. I will admit I am not objective with KB: Watching + rooting 4 him takes my mind off the dismal franchise situation. I may have to do this 4 the next few yrs unless – well u know what I want : )

  140. People are already worshiping this guy like he is the best point in the league because he put up 38 against an old, tired, and slow Lakers team. Lets see if he can do this against the Heat or Bulls and get his team wins over those teams, I doubt it.

  141. 141) Celtics had won 9 out of 10 they were a hot team. That win means nothing now after tonight. Lakers looked dead, Mike Brown rotation left alot to be desired. Trade Deadline needs to hurry up this team isn’t a team right now. Too many distractions

  142. Kevin look at who they beat during those 9 games. Only 3 were quality opponents, the rest were bottom feeders. And I’m not really ready to call Orlando (2 of those wins) a quality team because during one of those games the Magic scored a whopping 57 points. We can agree though that losing tonight negates a win against Boston (or any opponent for that matter)

  143. Game before last, everyone was clammering to get Blake back, as if he was going to be a panacea for this team. Three players cannot continue to play against teams that interchange 15 different players.

    Kobe has been playing at a high level for 16 years, and is playing with injuries to his hands and wrists. Still, he does not do enough. How about someone else stepping up and taking some pressure off him.

  144. So who guarded Lin? I gather it was mostly Fish (ugh) – did Kobe or Artest or Barnes get a crack? And if so, did they look any better guarding him?

  145. I miss Lamar….we need help! our 4-12 are just horrible. We have to use that TPE for somebody, anybody!

  146. I doubt the Lakers get Brandon Jennings he has a problem with Kobe. He actually went on record this summer saying that he is better than Kobe and something to the effect that, “…the Mamba sucks.”

  147. Deron Williams: 8884: There are 2 ways we could get him. One is my D12 dream, + then DW wants to come here 4 less $. We would lose both PG + AB, but we would have KB/DW/D12. The other way is to trade AB for him. They are not taking PG, and there is no ther way the $ match up. If u do not want to part w AB, then DW won’t be a Laker.

  148. 145) Lakers beat a hot team in the Celtics their still a dangerous team on the road. Tonight was just crap Lakers should be embarrassed

  149. Snoopy, it was mostly Fisher and Blake but Blake got a lot of time on him. LA never really went to a bigger defender on him.

  150. 150,

    Rob, at the rate things are going I doubt if DH sweepstakes will ever happen. Bynum and Gasol are not that bad if they have some help in the perimeter plus good Coaching. Right now, we’re in a dilemma and you don’t know where to start. Biggest problem is how to get rid of white elephants not referring to color of the skin but players lacking of NBA Mojo who are contented sitting on the bench and also old players who have high salaries. Can we exchange them for 2nd draft picks one after another? I think some D’Fenders players are much better than these old, slow clunkers.

  151. Hey Zirk: Just saw ur last post. We are already “really screwed” and we have been since pre-season : ) + u are also right that KB is r only savior, but he does not walk on water : ) (he does appear to at times). Based on ur posts, I think u realize like I do, that this team is more than a mediocre PG away from being fixed : )

  152. As I just said on Laker Talk. Brown is the worst laker coach I can remember.

    Starting Fisher and Metta Mess is just insanity.

    This Laker offense of Kobe going 1 and 5 is insanity.

    No one is listening to Brown because they realize he is clueless.

    Bynam didn’t exist tonight and Brown just left him in the game.

    We are a 8 or 9 seed unless we release Metta the imbarrisment and beg Fisher to retire. Every team has 2 or 3 point guards. Are you tells me we can’t find one?

    How can Dr Buss sit and watch this? I know I can’t watch Fisher, Murphy and Metta Mess any more.

  153. Robert, like I said, the distance between Fisher/Blake and “average” is quite possibly greater than the distance between Bynum and Howard.

    At the same time, I would like to see the Bynum pump-ups I still see from time to time here stop. Bynum is very good, but he is not Howard and never will be.

  154. Edwin: U R probably correct bout D12, but I will dream until i can’t. Prob 4 me is that if my D12 bubble pops, I have not seen a plan that gets us 2 contend. Signing a Sessions, or similar will improve us, but it does not put us in the elite group. + yes we could swap players out for DL, but that is about it. We can’t get FA, or amnesty plyrs. Get ready 2 be depressed, cause many players r going 2 move, but it will not be 2 us. Hence I dream bout D12 : )

  155. 149,

    Lamar’s showing is also terrible at this time, I think the F/O sensed that his reality tv antics are distracting the team plus his contract, so they opted for a TPE which is left hanging and waiting for the opportunity on the player who will be available by march 1st. Mitch K made a gamble after the league nixed CP3 trade by going for Kapono/Murphy/MacRoberts who are not helping the Lakers at this time. He didn’t find a suitable replacement for Shannon Brown, Sasha Vujacic and Lamar Odom’s PPG’s. That’s where we are in. The Buss Family got rid of the triangle but imported a Coaching staff who added more confusion to these old Lakers. I bet Stu Lance would have been a better Coach than Mike Brown after these 27 games.

  156. robinred my friend: We always agree on the appraisal of the team. We also agree that something must be done. The specifics of what that is (D12 or PG) is where we disagree some. Neither of us want a stay the course, tweak the line up, and let the team gel plan. Nobody is saying this anymore, but some R taking AB + PG off the table, which is really the same thing.

  157. Many things to say about this game, but I’m not gonna add fuel to the topic.

    But 1 thing I must say:

    Mike Brown is a joke.

    Inconsistency is his name. His “rotations” are….hard to define. Sometimes Ebanks get some PT, then next game he’s DNP…Go figure. Same with McBob, GLock, Kapono…

    Can we fire a coach during the season?

  158. Robert getting D12 and Deron Williams is my pipe dream as well, Deron Williams I think is actually the second best PG in the league (ahead of CP3 because he doesn’t have a bum knee and in head to head match ups Williams always outplays him). I would deal Bynum for Williams but I don’t know if Williams would sign long term here either with the current roster LA has. I for one do not see the Pau Bynum pairing being the Duncan Robinson pairing so many people wish to see, they are essentially the same player (one is just bigger and less skilled than the other). It really has never been a great pairing on the court and it probably never will be. The Lakers looked their best in their title runs when Lamar and Pau were paired.

    Several years ago I begged for the Bosh for Bynum trade to go down and I would still do it to this day. I wanted the Bynum for Carmelo trade to go through even though everyone thinks Carmelo can’t play defense (he really can he just has to have defenders around him in a solid system). The Lakers weaknesses have been popping up over the years and due favorable playoff match ups and winning championships they have been covered up but now they are haunting the team. Add in some horrible contracts and this team is in probably the worst spot possible, break it up and rebuild while wasting Kobe’s last years or ride out an aging roster with a minimal shot to win a title.

  159. Robert,
    I do see eye to eye with you on the state of this team. I also know that many times I, unfairly, expect Kobe to win games for us single handedly, come save me from a burning building, and also eliminate the country’s national debt. Partly, it’s because he’s played the role of Superman so many times throughout his career, but I think now, it’s more because I have absolutely no faith in our coach and the rest of our team. As unfair as that is, I think that the bigger injustice is the teammates that Kobe’s been surrounded with. As a fan, I want to win every year, but even more so now with the window closing. We need help, and we need it ASAP!

  160. I agree with all who say that Meek Brown is a terrible coach. He is a used car salesman who talked our FO into a job. The guy has no offensive scheme, his rotations are terrible and he plays players who could not get time on bad teams (Murphy and Kapono). McRoberts and Barnes energies were needed for this game. THE MAN frickin’ put Kapono, Murphy and McRoberts in with Blake and Kobe. WFT!!! Kapono should not be in the league. No way, no how!!! Murphy is too tenative and McRoberts has been robbed of everything he was contributing in the beginning of the year. Brown can’t coach. He will be a one year hire unless Tommy Boy (aka lil jim) refuses to admit his mistake.

  161. Even if we somehow get D12 and DW and lose pau and Bynum in the process, our 4-12 sucks anyways, so we’re still in a bind with a horrible coach to boot.

  162. I don’t think blowing up the team is the answer. The FO needs to find a way to get some capable players to help our big 3. I can’t emphasize enough the loss of Lamar has hurt us. Everyone in our entire team has regressed except for Kobe and Bynum. We need help and fast!

  163. Magic Phil yes you can fire a coach but still have to play him. Plus Jimmy Buss will never admit a mistake.

    I fire him today. Make Fisher head coach. Bring back Rambis as defense coach, bring back Hodges as shooting coach.

    Release Metta. Amnesty Walton. Bring Green from the d-league. Trade 9 million Odom exception and Blake for Sessions and who ever.

    Presto you go from a slow, bad team with a bad coach to at least a team that can run and chew gum!

  164. That was pathetic. The bottom line is that there is no combination of 5 players on the Lakers where the Lakers aren’t playing 4 on 5 or 3 on 5. Hubie Brown was as diplomatic as possible in saying “the Lakers are getting nothing from the small forward and the point guard position,” rather than naming names.

    Kobe, Goudelock, Barnes, Pau, Bynum? That’s the only 5 I can think of that isn’t terrible, and that’s not a great starting five.

    I’m not so down tonight on Mike Brown. Two things stuck out:

    The Lakers didn’t just miss threes, they missed WIDE OPEN and ALL DAY TO MEASURE threes. That’s what’s so bad. We have multiple mandatory double teams on the floor, and Kobe and Pau made enough passes tonight to get the other players open threes, and they couldn’t hit anything.

    Andrew Bynum should be ashamed to take money for playing this game. Back to back or no, Chandler or no, he should have looked at the Knicks’ frontline and been licking his chops. I’d buy the back to back thing if he was beasting for three quarters and then faded, but his energy, effort, and impact were terrible all night. How old is he again?

    Lin was awesome, but you can be torched by one player in the NBA and still win. Tonight, the Lakers were just awful. My worst fear is coming true so far. We have too much talent to be Lottery Bad, but are no threat at all to win in the playoffs. Too easy to guard, not athletic (no ability to force turnovers) and with limited roster flexibility.

    Uggh.

  165. Sad loss. Here’s my bigger picture assessment:

    Before the season, I wondered if there was a coach who could successfully blend the personalities of the Laker players into a successful, championship level team as under Phil Jackson.

    To me there were two key ingredients:

    1. Kobe’s attitude
    2. How Gasol was used

    The only person I could think of who might be able to pull it off was/is Derek Fisher–but he was representing the players, and doesn’t consider himself a coach.

    Mike Brown’s task was/is to blend Kobe with the rest of the team, saving Pau to fill holes–but not asking either Pau or Kobe to do too much, or play too many minutes.

    Not surprisingly, Brown has chosen an adaptation of his famous “Cleveland” strategy: give Kobe premier opportunities to score–guaranteeing him his “numbers”–saving the crumbs for everyone else on offense; play gritty team defense. It is not very carefully thought through–not even by Kobe IMO.

    It’s hard for me to see why anyone other than the star would want to play on a “Cleveland strategy” team–and even the star might opt out!

    Who wants to be grit and a crumb? How unified can a team be under such a system?

    How has Brown’s approach affected our thinking as Laker bloggers? Not good.

    We’ve noticed bloggers increasingly talk about the Los Angeles “Kobe’s” and his pathetic teammates, just like the Cleveland “Labron’s” and his incompetent bench of old.

    We’ve yet to see the inevitable conveyor belt of trades which never quite patches the holes–but they could be in the works.

    Will it do any good?

    It’s hard to see how Kobe’s attitude or team attitude will improve with Brown’s Cleveland approach. Right now, I just don’t see positive chemistry anywhere.

    It’s hard to see how trades will improve either Kobe’s attitude or team chemistry. It already appears that Pau has been misused enough to both reduce his effectiveness and wear him down–amid the constant uncertainty of whether or not he will be traded. He isn’t even on the Western all star team this year!

    The one bright spot for me has been Andrew Bynum. Despite the game tonight, I don’t think I’d trade him even for Dwight Howard.