Lakers/Raptors: Lakers Hold On (Barely)

Zephid —  February 12, 2012

Box Score: Lakers 94 – Raptors 92

The Good

In the 1st, it looked like the Lakers were going to run away with this one, rushing out to a 7-0 lead to start the game. With a combination of solid defense and shot-making, the Lakers raced out to an early 18 point advantage, leading 29-11 after Pau Gasol put-back with 2 minutes to go in the 1st. For the Raptors, Demar DeRozan was clearly off his game, missing his first four shots, while Jose Calderon kept them afloat, hitting 5-6 shots in the quarter on a series of long jumpers. With the exception of Calderon, the Lakers managed to hold the Raptors to mostly contested shot, and gobbled up all the defensive boards from the resulting misses.

The Laker offense looked to be running smoothly, with Gasol hitting two elbow jumpers, Bynum making a few good post moves, with Murphy, Goudelock, Barnes, and even Metta World Peace knocking in three pointers. However, with 8:55 to go in the 2nd quarter, the entire game changed…

The Bad

…when Jamaal Magloire entered the game.

I’ll say that again: the entire game changed when Jamaal Magloire entered the game.

Forgetting for a moment that it isn’t 2004 and Jamaal Magloire isn’t on the All-Star team, Magloire brought energy and defensive intensity to the Raptors. Over the span of the next quarter and a half, Magloire managed to hold Bynum in check, outscoring him 4-2 (WHAT?!). The Raptors picked up their defense, and began generating turnovers. These turnovers led to fast break opportunities, which the much younger and faster Raptors used to slowly cut into the Laker lead. Outscored by 7 in the 2nd quarter, the Lakers took an 8 point lead into the half after James Johnson drove coast-to-coast for a driving dunk to end the quarter.

Hope for the Lakers to come out strong in the 2nd half and re-assert themselves died when they came out and missed their first 6 shots, allowing the Raptors to cut the lead to 3 with 7:35 to go in the 3rd. A couple long jumpers by Steve Blake helped keep the Raptors at bay, with the Lakers nursing a tenuous 6 point lead going into the 4th.

Still holding a lead, the Lakers went into the 4th hoping to keep the Raptors at arms length, until…

The Ugly

… the Raptors went zone. Now the Raptors had been using zone intermittently throughout the game, but the Lakers had managed to break it with some halfway decent shooting from their supporting cast (Murphy, 2-4, Goudelock 3-7, Blake 2-6, MWP 3-4), and some decent high-low action from Pau and Bynum. Gasol, who started out 3-4 in the 1st, went cold (especially from the base line), finishing 6-15, while Bynum, who started out 4-5, began putting up sissy-ninny shots inside, finishing 7-13.

And then of course, there’s Kobe. When Kobe came in and saw zone, he immediately tried to go to work, isolated on the wings (I’m assuming this is his logic, since I’m pretty sure everyone knows that’s not how you break a zone). Kobe missed 5 shots in a row at one point, as the Laker lead evaporated and turned into a 4 point deficit. It looked like all hope was lost, as the Raptors had all the momentum and had just taken the lead for the first time in the game with just under 3 minutes to go, until…

The Play of the Game

…Kobe made three straight magnificent plays. First, with the Lakers down 4 with 1 minute to go, Kobe made one of his classic, cold-blooded threes to cut the deficit to just a single point. On the ensuing defensive possession, Kobe hounded Linas Kleiza, forcing a steal which led to a run-out, Kobe dishing off to Metta World Peace for a lay-up, giving the Lakers a 1 point lead. After Jose Calderon hit an tough shot over Blake to give the Raptors the lead again, the Lakers advanced the ball on a timeout.

Using a shake-and-fake maneuver reminiscent of Reggie Miller, Kobe got just enough space to launch one of his fading, twisting baseline jumpers, drilling the shot and giving the Lakers the lead. After an extremely unfortunate (and controversial) 5-second call on the ensuing inbounds by the Raptors, the Lakers held on with a Kobe free throw and some excellent on ball D from MWP.

Overall

This was a game where the support cast out side our big three came through about as much as could be expected from them. With each player contributing at least 4 points, the Lakers supporting cast contributed 37 points. Fisher’s defense was bad, but it didn’t help that Calderon was sinking shots regardless of how well they were contested.

The Lakers never should have been in a position to lose this game after being up 18 so early, but this team has shown that it has a gear that is good enough to be a contending team. Whether they actually use that gear is another story.

-Zephid

Zephid

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101 responses to Lakers/Raptors: Lakers Hold On (Barely)

  1. Bringing my last comment here from the previous thread, I saw some positive signs in this game. The first positive sign is that Fish only played 19:24, while Blake played 28:36. I added up Calderon’s stats with each primary defender, and his numbers actually were better with Fish guarding him (6-9 FG, 14 PT, 2 AST, 2 TO) than with Blake defending him (6-8 FG, 14 PT, 3 AST, 0 TO), although a strong argument could be made that Fish’s poor defense allowed Calderon to get going, so that he was feeling it during Toronto’s late run where he went 4-5 and scored 10 points on Blake, with every shot but one fairly strongly contested (none of his shots with Fisher guarding him were even remotely contested).

    The other two positive signs were MWP’s play at both ends, and the Laker’s offense after the timeout at the two-minute mark.

  2. I saw positives as well. We have Kobe and nobody else does.

    With regard to Calderon: He is due $10.6 next year, and has some crazy 10% trade kicker in his contract. The price would probably be too high.

  3. I can t see a lot of positive in a 2 points victory against one of the worst teams of the league without 2 of their 3 best players.

    Add the inhability of Brown to call any plays at all and the heavy dependance on Kobe s ISO despite Pau and Bynum were showing good percentages and this is a pirric victory.

    I would have liked better a couple of blowouts forcing the organisation to react.This team has not a chance in hell when playoffs come.

    Blake and Barnes or Murphy or Metta plus cash considerations or a pick would be a win/win situation for Lakers.(for Calderon)

  4. I don’t know what was controversial about the five second call. On the replay it was pretty clear the ref had already motioned five when Butler tried to call timeout. He should have recognized by second 3 that nothing was materializing and made the call to reset.

  5. Dwane Casey called timeout from the bench long before the ref made the 5 second call.

  6. joe: I hear u, but nobody wants any of those guys except Barnes, + there is no reason for us to get rid of him, cause he is a bargain. We r stuck w MWP for 2 yrs unless we use amnesty. Murphy is done after this yr – thankfully. Nobody in this league wants a win win for the Lakers unless it is a huge win for them. See CP3 veto, see Magic reluctance on D12, see Stern behind the grassy knoll.

  7. Great write up Zephid. I’d love to hear more from you.

    Lakers were lucky to get away with this win – that Kleiza missed 3 would have made it a 7 point game and that would have been it. But it is a W, so they’ll take it.

    I also saw some positives – Gasol with 15 shots (wish he had hit more) and Drew with 13. Keep those guys shooting. Gasol also with 17 boards. That is great work from him.

    Still believe MWP will come around and his D is getting better. Blake is still working back into the game, but he is a solid presence. Glock will improve with some consistent playing time.

    I do not understand why people are so down on Brown (other than Fish playing too many minutes). He doesn’t have a ton to work with. He is getting Kobe’s minutes down. He’s trying to get a rookie up to speed in Glock. I have said it before – Lakers have been getting a lot of open looks all season that haven’t been going in. That is not Brown’s fault.

    Everyone is well aware the Lakers are a player or two away from being a contender. But I’d say Brown is doing ok so far – given what he has to work with.

  8. joe: I hear u, but nobody wants any of those guys except Barnes, + there is no reason for us to get rid of him, cause he is a bargain. We r stuck w MWP for 2 yrs unless we use amnesty. Murphy is done after this yr – thankfully. Nobody in this league wants a win win for the Lakers unless it is a huge win for them. See CP3 veto, see Magic reluctance on D12, see Stern behind the knoll on the Zapruder tape.

  9. Yay!

    Another day, another Kobe 1-on-5-fest.

    (I’m actually glad we don’t get KCAL-broadcast games here in Hawaii)

    Another just-barely win against a piece-of-crap team that’s going nowhere except the lottery.

    We’re nearly halfway through the season. At some point, the “you are what your record says you are” principle kicks in.

    These are your 2012 Lakers: a 47-win team (in a regular 82-game season), can’t win on the road, can’t contain a halfway-decent PG. A probable 6th-8th seed going out of the playoffs in the first round.

    Is this what you want for the next 3 years until the Lakers escape salary cap Hell?

    Oh boy! I can hardly wait!

  10. Let’s back away from the Caulderon koolaide. This was a career high. He is 30 years old and averages under 10 points per game. He was just playing against the Lakers today. Most point guards have career games against us.

    Still not understanding why McRoberts isn’t getting some run. It is becoming more obvious that both Pau and Andrew can’t play the minutes they are playing effectively. They both need to be playing 5 minutes less a game. The only reason I can think of for McRoberts lack of run is if there is some deal in place after March 1st. He played well before the toe injury and hasn’t gotten a chance since he came back. Really need a 4 man big rotation.

  11. Really nice recap. Strange game. Glad for the victory of course. And, glad that the road trip is over.

  12. Michael H: While Calderon is a little “interesting”, as per 2 above, I think the price might be high. It does point out how expensive these “fringe”, add-on players can be. Since u r desiring 1-2 players to complete r core, we have yet 2 identify them. We can have “faith”, but it might be harder + more costly than it appears.

  13. Rondo gets a triple double against the best defensive team in the league. SInce Mike Brown has no offense at least get someone who can create offense for others.

  14. For me, the biggest positive (outside of the W) was this post-game quote from Kobe:

    “I just noticed a spot open on the baseline,” Bryant said. “Everything was set for me to try and catch it down there because I knew I could catch and shoot. If I go to the top of the floor the defense can kind of key on me and I’m far away from the basket. Once I noticed that space open it was just a matter of me trying to shake DeRozan and get to that spot.”

    Now, if he KNOWS that isolations at the top of the arc are NOT efficient, then hopefully we see fewer of them going forward!

    Ok, ok, I won’t hold my breath!

  15. Will some reporter with access to the team please ask Mike Brown why Devin Ebanks is not playing?

    This makes no sense at all. If he cannot justify minutes with the Lakers, then send him down to the D league to work on his game; and if he isn’t even worthy of that, then why keep him on the roster when his contract wasn’t even guaranteed?

    I haven’t seen much from our new coach that encourages me. His rotations are mysterious (and bad), and his in-game adjustments seem nonexistent.

    On a positive note, the Lakers looked incredibly efficient on offense in the first half, which likely resulted from simply having passable performances from Derek & MWP to start the game. Amazing what a difference it makes when you actually play 5 guys who have a chance at scoring….

  16. This game was an almost perfect microcosm of the whole season to date:

    1. Gee, we look pretty good today!
    2. No, we don’t.
    3. Look, an opposing PG is having a career game.
    4. A few minutes to go. Let’s hold on to this lead.
    5. We just got blitzed 12-0 in crunch time.
    6. Man, Kobe shot us out of this one.
    7. Go, Kobe!
    8. All we need is one more stop to win.
    9. Phew, that was close!

  17. The positive trend is that Bynum and Gasol’s FGAs have increased, and there’s some semblance of them demanding the ball.

    At least it feels that way, even though stats seem to indicate that Kobe shoots the ball 50% of the time when he’s on the floor…

  18. I said earlier that Lakers should win this game easily. Well, the results speak for itself, barely won by the player who is supposed to be cut or amnestied for them to get decent players. Are we that desperate, this team could not even move some pieces in order to improve? Another game, another 2nd half collapse by the Mbrown system. Have we not seen enough of this, over and over again from the start of the Bulls run on Christmas day? We are now approaching Valentine and still have many excuses of the confusion and implosion. OK, won with 1 pt. and beat Celtics 1 pt on OT Hurray! Road record is 3-3, some Midwest type thinking Great, we’re .500 on the road. Lakers suddenly became the new Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Calderon, Sessions those are all 10M players, there’s no way Lakers can get them or someone absorb our garbage. All we can afford are old applicants like Arenas, Iverson and Alston maybe can get three for $3M as bargain wholesale after the Holidays discount. They’re interested to have a ring and also medical insurance.

  19. Thing is kobes shooting doesn’t really take away from the touches in the post, it takes away from the touches of our other perimeter players, and honestly i feel better about any shot kobe takes as opposed to any shot by really any of our other guards or small forwards.

  20. Edwin,

    Sessions actually makes 4.3M this year and 4.6 next year–exactly the amount of the TPE, coincidentally.

    WRT Kobe, it is not quantity, but quality. As noted, he needs the ball on the move, he needs it in close,etc. It is the ISOs from 20′-25′ out that are the problem.

    Drew really can’t create his own shots that well and reacts slowly to the D. He can’t get 25 looks a game no matter what people think.

    But, again, Pau, Drew and Kobe, warts and all, are not the issue with this team.

  21. 17. MWP is a clown, he is NOT an “elite” defender anymore, he is average on nights where he feels like bringing it. Offensively he is useless unless he is posting up against a smaller player.

    Add in to the fact that if he has an issue with MB he should go to the front office or the coach himself, this is just another episode of MWP being crazy and doing more harm than good. This adds unnecessary attention to a struggling team. Mike Brown may be struggling as a coach (I think because he has 3 stars surrounded by a D-League roster), but MWP doesn’t know what this team needs or else he wouldn’t have opened his mouth. When he actually shows up for more than 10% of the games in a season he can open his mouth.

    (Sorry not harping on you, he just really wore out his welcome with me last year and this year has multiplied that dislike for him)

  22. rred,

    OK, maybe I referred on RS the sum of two year contract. Anyhow, will they accept the Fishball and the Clown as 8884 just said or Mr. Gatsby on the bench as the exchange? Hey, anybody who could help the Lakers at this time, we need them. Call, it a fire sale, garage sale but try to be creative too. how come when DH name is mentioned it goes hand in hand with the turkey while when they asked for Pau, we couldn’t include our own waste. Will it kill any deal?

  23. Edwin,

    I have my own opinions about what might fetch Sessions, but I think it would be considered trade spec, so I will hold off.

  24. #22.

    Define “elite defender”…when Artest has decided to show up (and that’s happening more often lately) he is certainly an elite defender. And, though he shouldn’t have opened his mouth, he’s mostly right. Brown has been pretty clueless so far.

  25. Edwin: U raise a good point bout including r own waste (good word 4 it). The Magic can do this, cause D12 will be better than any player offered 4 him. So if we give them AB, they feel D12 is better so they say that we also have to take their unwanteds. We could do the same, but that would mean we have to give up r huge player (AB) for a lessor player, and then force the other team to take r “waste”. since we don’t want to do that, we r stuck : )

  26. TAFKARA/WMP’s comments are exactly the rationalizations you’d expect from an aging player who can’t admit to himself that he no longer has it.

    Rather than admit his defense has slipped, TAFKARA/WMP says that “defense became boring”.

    Rather than admit that his offense is putrid, he emphasizes “things I do that don’t show up in the stats”.

    He has 18 million or so reasons to rationalize why he still belongs on an NBA roster. That doesn’t make any of it true.

  27. rred: As u know, if D12 falls thru, then I will be reluctantly willing to attempt 2 add a servicable 1+3 like u and michael h favor. That being said, some of the proposed trades to get these servicable players often involve PG + in some cases AB. We would be plugging 1 hole while creating others. If we can get these add-ons for picks, +/or TPE, I am down with it, but if we trade stars (or near stars) we must get the same in return. True?

  28. Nice analysis Mr. Funky.

    The reason we keep blowing up in tbe 2 nd half of games is quite simple.

    Other teams have coaches who make adjustments on offense an defense.

    Brown and his posse of friend coaches can’t make adjustments. It not like when your a video tape coordin

  29. 26,

    Rob, just for the sake of analysis let us delve on the recent past season. You know what if PJ is still the Coach with the same players we had last year, perhaps we could have had a record of 6-0 on this trip. Perhaps, we’ll be 2nd or 3rd in the Conference standing. Sad isn’t it? we were not happy with playoffs meltdown, replaced Shannon and Lamar for what would be interpreted as profitable w/ the prodigal son, Buss taking over, the result just went south to dismay of every fan. The only people who are happy with this results are those people who are making money out of the Lakers so they avoid say anything against the F/O and ownership. Now I come to value the importance of the old system continuity under Shaw or if they changed radically under the guidance of a conservative disciplinarian, Jerry Sloan I don’t think Lakers will be in this kind of quagmire recalling back to the dark days of the Scrubs.

  30. 18) Know why it looks like Kobe shoots so much is because all his plays are Iso’s. He has to work hard to find a teammate and extra hard to find his shot because he’s always put in that position.

    Look at some of these plays most end up in Iso’s but it’s the off ball action. Now, when kobe post ups its the same screen need to change it up a bit so the defense doesn’t know what’s coming.

    http://nbaplaybook.com/2011/05/29/mike-browns-offense-kobe-bryant/

    The Twin Towers offense we don’t see any of these plays. Mike Brown has this at his disposal and isn’t using it. Our below avg. PG play doesn’t help but switch it up some

    http://nbaplaybook.com/2011/06/16/how-mike-browns-time-in-san-antonio-will-shape-the-lakers-offense/

  31. Edwin: I am with u. U know I am no fan of Jim Buss. As 4 MB, I am not impressed thus far, and he is certainly no PJ or Riles. However I give him a bit of slack, due to r dire roster issues. Quagmire is a good word, because if u read many of my posts they often include the word “stuck”. We all know how we got here. What to do now is the question.

  32. Maybe it’s Brown’s strategy to piss off MWP so badly that he opts out of his contract next season. If so, not a bad plan at all.

  33. Zephid maybe it’s Metta’s plan to piss if Mike Brown so badly he will quit and Lakers will hire Dennis Rodman as the coach.

    It’s my plan to complain so much that they both go AWAY.

  34. Phil Jackson couldn’t reel Kobe in his entire time with the Lakers. I guess he was never a real coach either.

  35. Kobe should shoot a lot, but he needs to play off the ball more to get into position to shoot the ball. That is on Kobe, Brown, Kuester, and Messina.

  36. Mojo you forgot things like call time outs when teams go on 11 0 runs. Not start a guy like Murphy to start and 4th in a close game and then watch as he gets 3 fouls in 1minute and 51 seconds which results in Toronto being in penalty with 7 minutes left. Stop pretends Fisher can play as another Pzg gets a career high.

    Also might consider that EVERthing now happened is exactly what went on in Cleveland.

  37. What does Brown look at on film. This offense looks the same it did day 1 vs clippers.

    This isn’t Dungeons and Dragons Mike. This is the Lakers got to bring it.

  38. Kobe shoots that much because he needs to shoot for the SG position, then cover for the PG and SF as well. I’m sorry, but they need to put more offensively capable players for the PG and SF position on the starting lineup. It’s that simple. I think Brown envisioned MWP to be a Bruce Bowen type. shut down defender and spot up shooter. he may pass up on the defensive side, but he simply cannot shoot, plain and simple. For the PG, they need a ‘creator’. doesn’t have to be a big time scorer, but someone who can penetrate and create easy opportunities for Gasol and Bynum.

    Sessions or Flynn via trade? Time for Ebanks to get some PT is my two cents worth

  39. The thought process behind believing that any coach alive could harness Mr. Bean is outrageous. One of the greatest couldnt do it, so lets just say that until Kobe decides too it will not happen.

  40. ZEPHID: I like the way u think. I would hate to see what next year would be like with MWP if MB continues this plan. Perhaps a plan for Fish, for his option? Maybe we could offer him one of the many open jobs from the off season economic stimulus package that the Lakers deployed : )

  41. So much hate on this board. Kind of ridiculous. It’s one thing to suggest improvements, or get heated while watching a game and overreact.

    But moaning and groaning over every bad play – in a game the Lakers actually won on an exciting last couple of plays – is crazy. This is sports – teams are up and down, franchises have good and bad years. And hate to break it to you guys, but even those “Great” laker teams played poorly against the Toronto’s of the world – the other teams typically get up when the Lakers come to town.

    Seems to me half the people who moan and groan on this board don’t actually enjoy when the lakers win, but actually use it as a sign of relief or something – and that seems crazy.

    And it’s one thing to say that Kobe needs to work off the ball more, but its a completely different issue to find guys that can actually get him the ball. The other guards/wings on this team have not been good. To say its a better option to have the ball in their hands is just bad basketball logic.

    Andrew and Pau get plenty of possessions and plenty of shots. Sometimes in the fourth the ball could go to them a little more, but unless there is an actual outside threat there will be 4 guys in the paint they will have to score through.

    Its a balance issue.

    And for the people who want to completely blow up this team/amnesty Kobe or whatever – just go look at the Clevelands/Golden States/Bucks/Pacers/Sixers/Wizards etc. franchises and fans that would kill to have the last 2 years of Kobe, let alone the last 15.

    Blowing up the team doesn’t fix anything. All it means is maybe – MAYBE – when the team hits rock bottom it will be able to get a franchise player again and rebuild. But this isn’t 1980-1986 anymore – Magic/Shaq/Kobe aren’t walking through that door.

    This board gets very tiring to read.

  42. Why McBob didn’t get any play time?

    1) He is injured.
    2) MB forgot he was available.
    3) MB thinks he can’t contribute.
    4) MB thinks another player can do better.
    5) He did. I slept while he was playing.

    Please help.

  43. MWP says that Brown is all stats and he (MWP) is all feel. How about a bit of both ?

    For the season, MWP +- is at +7. (i.e pretty close to neutral). By way of comparison, Barnes’ +- -ve and Kapono is +30

  44. Joshua, an elite defender is someone who never takes a play off and every night is there for his team on the defensive end guarding their very best player and keeping them in check. Artest is not that and has not been that for several years, when the Lakers first got Artest he was declining and he has done so each year. Yes he helped LA get the first title but since then he has become a severe obstruction to the success on this team.

    If you think Artest resembles anything near an elite player then why hasn’t the guy made an NBA All Defensive team since his last year in Houston? (second team BTW not first). Bruce Bowen was an elite defender, Dwight Howard is an elite defender, Shane Battier was, Artest USED to be. Artest played Pierce well against Boston sure, sure he played decent defense against a guy who isn’t exceptional at anything other than being an amazing athlete (Demar) but he no longer has the capability of guarding a guy like Melo, Lebron, Durant, Iguodola, basically any guy who has a great skill set and has quickness. If you believe he is elite then you are in just as much denial as he is.

  45. 1980-1996, my bad. Typo

  46. Cdog: I totally agree that during the games, some more positive comments and cheering would be nice from the board. That is what I do. I cheer the Lakers (ok mostly KB), and root for a win. However, I do not criticize how others root for the team (unless of course they pick on KB). As for the second part of your e-mail, it is all about perspective. I hear what u r saying that we should appreciate what we have, but we are not the Wizards. We are the LAKERS !!! I have no interest in being an OK team. I want trips to the finals and titles. Now that said, if others are OK with mediocrity, then I will not criticize them. To each their own.

  47. This board gets very tiring to read.

    I mostly agree on Kobe.

    That said, the conversation here has shifted, and some people, including you apparently, don’t like that.

    But there are very good reasons for it. As an example, the K Bros recap today was mostly negative. AK is down on Brown; BK is saying the roster is bad. But both of them said the team is not very good. Both of them speculated openly about Ramon Sessions and Dwight Howard. AK suggested that it might be time to consider blowing it up. These are not random guys venting on a chat board; these are guys who watch every game and provide nuanced analysis for a living. That is where THEY are.

    The cumulative reality of the Lakers’ situation…

    Bad players
    Imbalanced roster
    Not a serious contender
    Old players
    Over cap and tax for years to come
    Questionable leadership
    Two of highest-paid players in game on roster at ages 33 and 31 and under contract for two more years

    …has put the team at a very dangerous crossroads. So, a lot of the “moaning and groaning” comes from people who are concerned about those issues.

  48. 45) Cdog, There aren’t many positives this year besides Kobe, Bynum taking another step and Lakers elite defense. There’s not really much to compliment right now.

    I’m sure more Lakers fans would show optomism if progress was being made. But after 29 games the offense looks the same as preseason vs Clippers. Players look lost out there.

    No way this should be Lakers worst offense in shot clock era even with a lockout.

  49. Kevin,

    Dungeons & Dragons? So funny.

    I’m glad I missed this game.

  50. @Cdog – #45

    Are you OK with what the Lakers are now?

    I hope so, because this is what you will have for the next three years.

    Maybe you’re OK with it, but I don’t want to watch four Lakers stand around while Kobe jacks up 27-footers over double teams for the next three years.

    I don’t demand that the Lakers compete for a championship every year. But if they’re not competing for a championship, then they need to offer hope that things will get better in the future.

    Right now, the Lakers offer us zero hope.

    My preference would be to blow the team up because I don’t think the current roster can be fixed, but maybe that’s too radical.

    What ***shouldn’t*** be too radical is for Mike Brown to put public/media pressure on Kobe to PASS THE F*****G BALL!!!!!!!

    It shouldn’t be too radical for Brown to bench Kobe so that the other players actually have to play in an offensive structure, instead of passing the ball to Kobe and standing around.

    It shouldn’t be too radical for management to say “You know what? We’re not winning a championship this year. Let’s play the young guys and see what we have!”. Give Ebanks, Morris, and Goudelock rotation minutes so they can learn their craft.

    It shouldn’t be too radical to amnesty MWP, waive Walton, cut Kapono, and say adios to Murphy. Let’s bring in five D-leaguers who will at least play with hustle and athleticism. Would that really be worse than what we have now?

    Just give me something…***anything***…that gives me hope that the future will be better than the present.

    All I’ve seen this season is the same old crap while Kobe and Mike Brown sell us “There’s light at the end of the tunnel” sunshine.

    If it hasn’t gotten better in 30 games, I don’t see why it’s going to get better in the next 30.

    THAT is why so many of us are down on the Lakers. It’s not that their mediocre-to-bad (I’ve been a fan since the Nixon administration. I’ve endured worse). It’s the mediocre-to-bad combined with the threat of 3 years of salary cap hell keeping them there.

    Yes, I’d rather win 30 games with a lineup of Luis Scola, Josh McRoberts, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Andrew Goudelock and some D-league point guard (along with cap space and draft picks) than win 44 games with the current dysfunctional crap.

    But that’s me. Maybe you enjoy ugly selfish mentally detached basketball.

  51. rred: In a post a while back u pointed out that the day the CP3 trade was vetoed, might unfortunately be a red letter date in Laker history. U are correct.
    Cdog: We hit an iceberg that day, + ever since we have been taking on water. Some of us want to know if we r going to sink, + if we can prevent it. Now others are simply listening to the band on deck. They don’t understand y we r concerned.
    I am hoping for a better ending than the movie – so call me an optimist : )

  52. Great News. Odom IS BACK!

    His reality show from Dallas starts next Sunday I meant.

    I will not be watching.

  53. Cdog,

    I am sorry if I hurt your feelings with my sorry posts. I just can’t help it to tell it like it is, after a narrow win which is supposed to be a wallop from the get-go. If you are hurt by crescendo in lambasting of the Lakers, can you also imagine the hurt inflicted on longtime fans who are used to witness a high energy team. Maybe you think realistically that it cannot be done every year while we are the kind of fans who would always look forward to June match up. We are not satisfied of just being in the playoffs but a team that will compete whatever personnel they have. we don’t care if we lose as long as our team there fighting with whole heart and pride in defending the purple and gold brand. We are proud to be a Laker fan for so many years now and there are millions of them throughout the world. You think it is only us who think this way, well ask your friends who are fans, look for other sites like the ESPN LOL, LAT, ESPN Hollinger chat, Kevin Ding blog, InsideSocal, the comments are all the similar They can’t stand the humiliation, wanting and waiting for a change.

    We vent, we whine, hoping against hope that with this show of passion, we can influence the outcome of future games.

  54. Someone make sure Buzz Lightyear is OK.

    You can drink jack to ease the pain. step away from the ledge

  55. accidentally posted this in the previous thread….According to ESPN, Mitch worked out Gilbert Arenas today while the Lakers were in Torono. See link below:

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/7569136/sources-los-angeles-lakers-work-free-agent-gilbert-arenas

  56. Buzz,

    I like your passion, and yes, Kobe shoots too many ISO Js in the 4th quarter.

    But he’s not the problem.

  57. I don’t know zi really don’t see anything wrong with what Buzz says. It’s all true and accurate.

    Except as I business owner myself here is tbe problem.

    That new lineup dosen’t sell out tbe Staples Center. Buss still has to pay those released and amnesty worthless players. People won’t pay for D-league. They will wait a day and watch the exciting Clippers.

    Next year big revenue comes from fans paying added cable fee’s to watch. Who is paying to watch your team Buzz.

    In case you have not noticed Jerry, Jiimy and Jeanne have big overhead. Can’t pay those bills to watch Morris or Eubanks take that last shot.

    In LA people pay to watch stars break records. Sure we aren’t winning the next few years but someone has to feed the Buss family and Kobe and his band of pretend challengers in the West
    are all they have right now. As do we?

  58. Funny, but last year this team under the guidance of PJ and his staff, were under-achieving. We all thought, well they’ll get it together after the ASG. They did not! The Lakers went on 3-4 game losing streaks with regularity. The coaching staff and players said they weren’t worried, that they’d be ready when the playoffs started. Well, we know what happened then.

    PJ had a better team and coaching credentials, but he could not get Pau or Lamar to perform either during the season or the playoffs.

    Everyone knew that there was going to be a lockout, so management should have given PJ a contract that required him to coach at least through this season.

    The Lakers starting unit in close games fall back on old habits. They play the game the exact same way that they’ve played it for years. Give Kobe the ball and get out of his way.

    If someone simultaneously posted a split screen of last season’s late games juxtaposed with this season’s late game offense, they’d probably find the players get in similar positions and run the exact same plays. The only difference being that Kobe would sometimes pass the ball to Fisher for shots. This year Fisher is not hitting so Kobe keeps the ball and shoots it.

    The ghost of triangle past is still with the Lakers. Every person the Lakers added this summer would have been perfect in the triangle.

  59. To be honest, I’m not as worried as most people here in the forum. Correct me if I’m wrong but the Lakers are really a work in progress. I think it’s wrong to assume that because we have 3 all star caliber players, we’ll get to win everything. Yes, it’s frustrating when we lose but guess what, this isn’t the movies where everything will work out smoothly. We have to be patient because the lakers are undergoing change. They have been doing the triangle for ages and MB’s playbook is different from the triangle. Imagine big corporations undergoing organizational change, it’s not as easy as 1-2-3. It takes time. I think that time is against us that is why I think Mike Brown’s trying to get a feel of his roster as fast as possible. It isn’t to say that he has no fault at all but it isn’t all Mike Brown’s fault. There are a lot of factors in leading to our losses. All I’m saying is that let’s give these lakers a chance.

    Let’s not b*itch about the front office. We don’t know the whole story. I know the 1, and 3 positions need fixing so as our bench. All we can do is hope that they’re doing the best they can. (i.e. chris paul trade) They have more information than us. And also, it’s not as easy to trade players because of all the money that is included and the personalities in the NBA. They make great calculations to give the lakers the best possible chance to win. We have one of the most championships in history and yet we take this for granted. We’re used to staying on the top and if something goes wrong, we quickly become dubious.

  60. Ken makes a good point. The cynical read on Buss since the veto and even to some extent before that is that he simply wants to cut costs as much as he can and ride Kobe/Pau/Bynum to profits. I very much hope that is not true.

    Of course, in that case, they could have gotten a cheaper coach than Mike Brown.

  61. Well… They sold me on “Go back to Germany and spinning and plasma and both knees”.  Btw… That’s code for HGH. But I’m on board with Arenus now… I’ll beleive in anything at this point.

    http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/7569136/sources-los-angeles-lakers-work-free-agent-gilbert-arenas

  62. In THEORY, Arenas makes sense. What he can actually do in reality is another matter. I would much prefer Sessions or Dragic, but well, it is what it is.

  63. Cdog (45)
    I absolutely agree with you. FB&G is sliding to the SS&R dark side. So sad. It was nice to have different types of sites and discussions. There’s no point to FB&G if it becomes just like the others.
    I’ll have to stick with the articles and stop reading the comments.
    Just hate and more hate. Not much constructive criticism. Just hate and venting.

    And, no thank you on Arenas.

  64. The way you break a zone is go inside out. As much as we all seem to want to blame Kobe for shooting to much, the bigs should understand when you receive the ball in the post don’t dribble your way into better position, pass it back out and then move into better position, then the guards can repost those bigs. Gasol and Bynum have no clue about the inside out and repost game.

  65. Cdog, let the mods do what they do if you don’t like it, it’s their place not ours in the end. We just get to hang out.

    My observation is this.

    This is the Lakers 2012.

    When the Lakers change their struggling ways and show more improvement and don’t look like a 1st round and out type of team, the tone will probably change around here.

    People have a right to complain here, as long as the forum here allows.

    Complaining over every little thing might be a bit much, but the reason why anyone complains is that this team still has championship potential at its core.

    If this team were a lottery type for the past couple years and then started playing like the way they are this season (such as the ’94-’95 team) then our expectations would exceed our demands and there wouldn’t be as much criticism.

    You didn’t forget, we’re not the Wizards or Bobcats of the league. There will always be a higher expectation for this organization.

    Bye.

  66. About the actual game, just glad to see the Lakers get a win in this day and age where it’s a struggle to get anything done with this team.

    I think the team has really improved their defense, but PGs will still tear this team up and the other big problem is the offense still is methodical, slow and unimaginative, which yields such low scoring output.

    I hope MB is really trying to fix this and isn’t just hoping for a miracle.

    Boy we are lucky to have Kobe! :)

    P.S. If the league is going to allow the coaches to call time outs from the bench then they either need to acknowledge that every time, change it back to the old rule, or use instant replay a lot more to make up for misses.

    Bye.

  67. Buzz you are a man after my heart with that Michael Kidd Gilchrist reference, the kid is going to be special in this league when he puts on 15 pounds of muscle. He has a motor unlike any player I’ve seen in college at his position.

    Heck I would trade Bynum for the number 1 pick, Anthony Davis is the next Kevin Garnett.

  68. I’m not ready to say Anthony Davis is the next KG. Garnett is one of the best PFs ever. Davis is a freak athlete with big presence on defense who hasn’t played 1 nba minute. MKG should go no. 1 IMO

  69. 54,

    You said you prefer a lineup of Luis Scola, Josh McRoberts, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Andrew Goudelock and some D-league point guard……

    ~~I think that is too radical change, here are what is being reported to tweak the team:

    PG hunt: TPE or Minimum for …..

    1. Arenas
    2. j. Flynn
    3. Sessions
    4. Alston – recently joined D’Fenders
    5. Iverson needs to agree to stay at least 2 weeks w/ NBA DL.

    Center – Bynum package for …….

    1. Dwight Howard package(Turk’s contract)

    Power Forward – Gasol for…..

    1. Scola package (Martin & and a PG)

    Those are the trades being reported so work within those parameters. I don’t think Lakers will be in the low # pick in the lottery even with their current standing. Amnestying Kobe is just a wild speculation that a fan can fantasize, it will never happen.

  70. Kevin, I am from Kentucky, have seen every game this year and there is no way that ANYONE goes #1 over Davis. The guy is the exact same player KG was going pro, both guys were guards in HS and then hit incredible growth spurts, both guys are defensive stoppers and freak athletes. Not to mention Davis has a solid jump shot (Cal doesn’t let him shoot it enough and actually underutilizes him in the offense), shoots free throws very well for a big and has ball skills and instincts you can’t teach. Kidd Gilchrist is also an elite prospect and lately he’s been gaining momentum according to scouts (I’ve seen him mentioned as high as number 2) but if you are going to take someone number 1 to build around it’s a no brainer to take Davis. You add 20 pounds of muscle on Davis and the kid is scary.

  71. If the reports are true that Arenus is “slimmed down and explosive” and you add that to the fact he has had the Kobe knee procedure on both knees…. I think it’s safe to say Gilbert might be better than we all thought.

  72. Even though I’m not happy with how the team is playing and was quite frustrated with the way the Lakers let yesterday’s game evolve, I too tire of the endless complaining. For some, the Lakers can do no right unless it’s the exact thing they want them to do. So, you see plenty of “blow it up” talk every other day…but I’d bet a million dollars that those same fans wouldn’t be happy with a team that went 20-62 (or 35-47) over a couple of straight seasons. I’m not saying be happy with the way the team is playing since I’m certainly not that either. However, there’s a difference between constructive criticism and analysis and outright bitching and moaning. Too often, this board is cluttered with the latter (Mike Brown is dumb, Mitch should be fired, etc) and it’s tiring. It’s like going to a family function and hearing that one uncle complain about his wife and kids and job and life over and over again. I can’t stress this enough, it’s not like those that complain are the only ones that are frustrated. But the need to simply throw out the same tired complaints is old. It just is.

    (As an aside, I hate to even talk about the tenor of the comments. There used to be a time where this board talked about basketball even when the Lakers weren’t a contender. We talked about what needed to be done to win games, what we saw in the last game, what line ups we liked, who might get drafted, and the NBA in general. It seems that winning it all and jumping to contender status made a lot of people feel it’s their birthright to be in that situation. Well, FB&G is over 7 years old now, it was started at a time when the Lakers original run of being a contender was nearly over. And yet it thrived as a place for smart fans to talk about the Lakers and game in general. The fact that it’s seemingly losing that – and under my watch, to boot – is one of the worst feelings ever. I’m completely serious about that too. Maybe I shouldn’t even go there, but it’s true.)

  73. @Chearn 62: You seem to be forgetting that they actually did get it together post ASG. They ripped off a 17-1 record immediately following the ASG, with the lone defeat being a 6 point loss @Miami. Problem is, they either gassed themselves or lost focus and went on to finish 2-7 after their dominant run.

    Come to think of it, has any team put together such a great string of games within the last few years? The only other instance I can recall is when the Rockets were threatening to break the win streak record.

    I’m still waiting for the 17-1 defensive juggernaut Bynum to show up this year. I’d estimate we’re only seeing 60-70% of that Bynum currently.

  74. Darius, phenomenal and spot on post there @76, I’m actually surprised it’s taken this long to voice your displeasure. I’m sure I speak for a lot of regular readers like myself who have been around for a few years (personally I’ve visited regularly since preseason 2007). This year has seen quite a big change in the quality of reader comments, from smart constructive criticism and analysis of years past to downright bitching and moaning now. Granted, there is a lot of frustration among the fan base with the lackluster play of essentially everyone aside from the Big 3. I too have been guilty of posting pure bitching comments, specifically abysmal play from Fisher in New York a few days ago. Out of respect to you and this blog, I will try to refrain from such posts unless it is laden with constructive criticism and/or analysis. I hope others do the same.

    As a sidenote, I don’t think it has anything to do with the way you’ve run the site Darius, I think we’d be in the same boat if Kurt still had the reins.

  75. Thank you Darius! Everything Darius said is true… He left something out. Most of you are not very smart and don’t even have a reason to even call for an apocalypse. Even if the Lakers were the Nets you shouldn’t be crying like spoiled children. But we have three of the top players in the league! You saw what a PG did for the Knicks without Melo or Amare on the floor. Imagine what a PG does for Bynum, Kobe, and Gasol? We should be more excited than desperate at this “point” of the season guys.

  76. I’ll reiterate: the problem isn’t the Lakers playing badly. The problem is the lack of hope.

    Have they shown any signs of grasping Mike Brown’s offense (assuming there is one)? No.

    Have they shown any signs that their younger players will improve enough to really contribute this year? No.

    Have Fisher/MWP/Walton/Murphy shown any sign that they will play well with any consistency? No.

    Have any of the off-season acquisitions met even modest expectations? No.

    Any signs that the Lakers will position themselves to make significant moves prior to 2014? No.

    The Lakers need to give us a feel-good Jeremy Lin-type story from any aspect of their team, and they have not done that.

  77. Darius,

    To echo sbdunks, the change in tenor is a result of the change in attitude among many Lakers fans. It has nothing to do with how you run this site. You do an excellent job. The problem is we Laker fans are spoiled. Period.

  78. Buzz Lightyear…ditto on all of your points! I for one find it extremely hard to watch this Laker team. Until at least a few on Buzz’s points are a resounding yes, I can not waste my time watching this team. Call me a fair weathered fan, so be it.

  79. as part of the Truehoop Network, any chance you could start an insurrection or coup to remove Henry Abbott.

    His endless crusade against Kobe’s greatness/clutchness is completely insane. Seriously he is delusional about it.

    I don’t doubt he sees that Kobe to Shaq alley-oop, the one that sent his trailblazers reeling for a decade, in his sleep.

    someone put him out of his and our misery, please!

  80. 80)
    Buzz, And I’ll reiterate. Outside of the Heat I don’t think any NBA ten has more hope to win a championship than the Lakers. When you have three of the best half court players in the NBA (Bynum, Kobe, Gasol) and two of them are seven foot All Star low/high post scoring big men you’re in a very hopeful spot considering you have by far the worst PG tandem in the league playing in a PG centric offense. With good PGs ridding the bench 3rd strong style ala Johnny Flyn all over the NBA and star PGs being found in the D league (Jeremy Lin) its easy to see the Lakers scoring an average NBA starting PG for very little and becoming a juggernaut. I can’t be the only semi intelligent person that sees this right? Is everyone crazy?

  81. #83. Ha. I’ve had several conversations with Henry, have read nearly everything he’s written, and listened to countless podcasts about his thoughts on Kobe. I can say without a doubt that his major goal here is to simply try and inform people that for all the awesome makes we love, Kobe misses a lot. And, to him, those misses hurt the Lakers. That’s it. I can live with that because that’s something we discuss a lot on this site and is a major part of the narrative of Kobe Bryant’s career.

    Now, does it sometimes come off as sour grapes or whatever? Yes, it does. But it honestly doesn’t bother me and I don’t think it should bother Lakers fans either. Because, for what it’s worth, I’ve loved Kobe’s career and wouldn’t trade his career with the Lakers for any other player’s career with their team over that same time period. As I’ve always said, when you have an all-time great on your team, you learn to live with the good and the bad because the good so outweighs the bad it’s not even an argument. So, I can live with people that put a focus on the bad because, regardless of how much that occurs it will never, ever take away the joy I’ve felt rooting for him during his time with this team. Never. Ever.

  82. For those fans who are convinced the front office is doing nothing – Ding has a short piece about them trying to claim Lin off the waver wire.

    http://lakers.ocregister.com/2012/02/12/lakers-did-try-to-claim-jeremy-lin-from-warriors/69243/

  83. 80)
    And I’ll reiterate. Outside of the Heat I don’t think any NBA ten has more hope to win a championship than the Lakers. When you have three of the best half court players in the NBA (Bynum, Kobe, Gasol) and two of them are seven foot All Star low/high post scoring big men you’re in a very hopeful spot considering you have by far the worst PG tandem in the league playing in a PG centric offense. With good PGs ridding the bench 3rd strong style ala Johnny Flyn all over the NBA and star PGs being found in the D league (Jeremy Lin) its easy to see the Lakers scoring an average NBA starting PG for very little and becoming a juggernaut. I can’t be the only semi intelligent person that sees this right? Is everyone crazy?

  84. For me it is just the frequency that he writes about Kobe.

    I understand that people like he and Hollinger are there to do the numbers on these guys, but I could care less what their numbers say when the results of Kobe’s play are what he has accomplished.

    It’s like people knocking Meryl Streep as not really being so great, even though she has won or been nominated for an academy award so many times – and that award is subjective. The Lakers have made the finals 7 times in Kobe’s career and won the darn thing 5 times; why bother with hit pieces on Kobe, it becomes personal.

    Maybe just tell him that if he wants to be taken seriously he might want to hold all of this off until Kobe hangs it up and then he should have enough material for a book. He could make more $$ on that.

    Sorry that the comments have gotten the way they have. I agree that it has been rough in here of late, but it;s not your fault. There are also so many forums out there so maybe the good commentaries are spread out amongst other blogs as well.

  85. I think the changing tenor of this board is a product of totally justifiable frustration. The Lakers, as Aaron points out, are most assuredly NOT that far away from being a contender, and I would submit it that it is this very fact that underlies the frustration.

    The Lakers have the best SG in the game; they have the 2nd best center in the game; and they have one of the top PF’s in the game. That is an amazing core, and is arguably the best “big three” in the league.

    However, the team has the worst PG in the NBA, and probably the worst SF of any playoff team, and those two major deficiencies hold back the starting unit from dominating most nights. Then there’s the bench. It’s bad. The Lakers have won with poor benches before, but not with starting lineups that can’t gain the necessary separation–and you can’t gain separation when you play 3 on 5 every single night.

    But here’s the rub: I think a lot of people on this board are beside themselves with frustration over what they see as the head coach’s stubborn refusal to face facts. The PG of the future is obviously not on this roster–but an upgrade over Fisher most definitely is. I think it is beyond debate that Blake is better than Fish, and given the opportunity to get some playing time, it’s arguable that Goudelock is too (he’s clearly, CLEARLY a better offensive player than Fish…).

    Similarly, MWP was signed two years ago for pretty much two things: physicality and matching up with Paul Pierce. Mission accomplished. However, he has regressed so far on offense that his defensive abilities are no longer worth it. As with the PG position, many fans see that the team has at least two guys on the roster who are consistently better better than MWP (Barnes & Ebanks). Once again, coach Brown has inexplicably left Ebanks out of all of his planning, and stubbornly stays the course with a terrible starting SF.

    So, yeah, there’s frustration, and it’s not all related to things out of the team’s control (Chris Paul, refusal of other teams to trade, etc). There are guys on this team right now who likely improve the Laker starting unit, but they don’t start, and one doesn’t even get burn with the 2nd (or 3rd) unit–which means starting him would not in any way hurt their bench. It’d be one thing if the team was playing well or squeezing out wins like against Toronto–but they aren’t. They’re barely in the playoffs at this point.

    In light of all this, and the “slimmed down & explosive” reports from Arenas’ workout, it seems like Gilbert might be a good addition provided that the coach could be relied upon to actually give him quality minutes…..

  86. Well the Lakers did go 3-3 on the road trip, so I’m going to look at the glass as half full, since that’s an improvement over their previous pre-Grammy road record of 2-7. “nuff said.

  87. 86,

    To set the record straight, I think I was correct when I pointed these links last Sat. indicating that Lin was available last year when Lakers could have gotten him but deferred instead for Goudelock and Morris, he was again available when he was waived by the Warriors but MBrown did not know him that well so they just let Rocket got him. This was also reported by Mike Bresnahan of LA Times.

    http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2012/02/lakers-briefly-discussed-signing-new-york-sensation-jeremy-lin.html

    We just have to move on out of Jeremy Lin, I’m sure there are better PG’s out there available. JL is not proven until he puts NY to the semi finals but as an Asian American I’m happy for his achievement.

    Lastly, yes it is tiresome to read on moaning and groaning about the Lakers but there is a reason for some fans to moan and groan. As long as they are decent for reading purposes, it’s protected by the !st Amendment. Please refer to court ruling entitled “Freedom of Speech on the Internet” In a 9-0 decision, the Supreme Court extended the full protection of the First Amendment to the Internet in Reno v. ACLU.

  88. I think the Lakers have to continue to work on a package that would bring a young, quality, point guard and a young, quality power forward to LA in exchange for a very high quality but aging and expensive Pau Gasol.

    Do that and this team will go deep into the playoffs and I don’t much care about the regular season because the whole thing is a mess due to the lockout.

    As far as the time table, be patient and let this develop. Don’t have to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are plenty pf teams that will need a center to put them in the playoffs this year and the Lakers have two quality centers.

    I think something of this magnitude will happen prior to the trade deadline. And the Howard thing is just stupid. Straight up deal for Bynum – okay, anything else, why? center isn’t the problem with this team.

  89. @76 – Darius, one possible solution would be to come up with a list of readily available forum rules, first and foremost being constant repetitive posts will be deleted.

    One innovation could be a daily trade discussion open thread, while letting everyone know that comments on trade speculation in other threads (game preview threads, game threads, game recaps, game strategy, etc.) will be deleted. FB&G has understandably drifted away from the automatic deletion of trade speculation comments in this season of stern upheaval, but these types of comments do tend to muck up the original vision of the site, and confining them to a trade discussion thread could be a worthy compromise. You have several more of us moderators helping out this season, and I would imagine we could team up to make these things happen.

  90. I want to point out to everyone that before the Boston game, everyone was glowing at their run as a bunch of old-timers. Well guess what, they lost to us and then lost to the same Toronto Raptors that we squeaked by. Everyone’s unhappy we gave up the 18 points. But basketball’s a game of streaks, and their’s began as ours ended and frustration set in.

    I personally can’t believe there are all these “fans” here that only care about the Lakers and not the game. I love basketball and to watch even a middling team that I have some stake in execute beautifully on even half their plays is something to behold. Sure we all would love to see this game’s equivalent of Total Football, but such expectations are only unreasonable. And then to go on with this sense of entitlement and repeat the same argument over and over again for the same people to read over and over again. Phooey. Yeah, people are frustrated. Sorry to say this, but moaning is a sorry way to deal with frustration. Especially when its a beautiful sport you’re moaning about.

  91. Part of the reason why this board has changed is due to its popularity and by being highlighted on the ESPN site as part of the True Hoop Network. This has created more traffic to the site, increasing readership and commenters. An unwanted byproduct of this has been that some of us casual commenters are your typical woe me the sky is falling because we are not dominating variety. The contents of the “articles” remains high, but with the increased readership you will get some dilution of the comments. This is not a negative reflection of Darius and his team. In fact, its quite the opposite: its a reflection of how great and popular the site has become.

  92. Darius: I am not exactly sure what the problem is. Let me give you an analogy. When I go to Laker games. I sit down low and I cheer and scream. Most of the people around me, think I am crazy, as they are using their BlackBerries and trying to find celebrities in the crowd. I would prefer they scream and cheer (and so probably would the team). They would probably prefer that I sit down. Neither is going to happen, so we tolerate each other. That is what this board should do with each other. Ironically, if you look at my posts, during games I cheer and am mostly all positive. However the complainers do not bother me. In fact they are amusing and often have good points. Conversely, when talking about macro team issues, I have serious concerns, but when others say “let them play the games” or “we will be fine”, it does not bother me (even though I have strongly disagreed with that all year). Where I think the line should be drawn, is name calling and direct personal criticism. The pessimists could be called “entitled” or “spoiled”, but the optimists could also be called naive or could be accused of sticking their heads in the sand. Why do any of that? Why can’t we debate civilly, and if u don’t want to debate someone u do not have to? Am I missing something? Pre-season, several of us were scolded by this board for being too pessimistic, yet here we are. Can we please be un-scolded? : ) Now some people are being scolded for wanting to consider “blowing it up”. I am not ready to do that (please send us D12), but are you saying that it is not a viable option? As was pointed out, some major Lakers analysts have even mentioned it. So what gives? We all love the Lakers, we just do so in different ways.

    PS: I wrote a post a while back, where I complimented you and this board. One of the features I pointed out was the “central microphone”. There is only one real thread on this board, and that is the one that is on top. Nobody posts to old threads and it is not a multi-threaded board, as others are. That is a strength and weakness. Part of what we are debating is the weakness part of that. People are debating trades, rotations, coaches, all in one single thread. I happen to like this, but if it bothers u, perhaps u could consider the format where there were parallel threads depending on what people wanted to talk about. There would be a “Blow It Up” thread and there would be a “We are one player away” thread and never the twain shall meet. I think this would be a mistake and I think we are fine as is. We just need to be tolerant of each other.

  93. I can say without a doubt that his major goal here is to simply try and inform people that for all the awesome makes we love, Kobe misses a lot. And, to him, those misses hurt the Lakers. That’s it.
    __
    If that is actually true, then Abbott should

    a) Openly admit his obvious bias against Bryant. The evidence of it is abundantly clear and demonstrable in everything he writes about the subject. It can be demonstrated very easily–there is even a guy who has a blog which does just that.
    b) Write about some other players in the same manner.
    c) Write about Kobe far less often than he does.

    One of the big themes here among the people unhappy with the board has been, “Don’t repeat the same negative points.” That should go for Abbott as well.

    I know people who root for other teams and can’t stand Kobe or the Lakers, who are sick to death of Abbott’s crusade, openly mock him, and refuse to click on TrueHoop any more when he writes about Kobe. Even if we assume Abbott is making a legit point (and there are holes in his arguments), the point was made 10 or 15 posts ago–and people saying so is a recurring theme in the comments on his blog.

  94. Piggybacking on Dude, who has many good thoughts:

    I agree with Funky Chicken, and more or less said the same thing yesterday. But if Darius wants to add some rules, like:

    No venting about Brown without specifics
    3-4 posts per thread per customer max
    No more than one “Fisher is killing us” post per thread or per day
    No Stern/Veto posts

    That is OK with me, I would add, however:

    No accusing people who are unhappy with the team of posting “nonsense” or “whining” or “entitlement.”
    No nostalgia about how great the site used to be.

    I think the site mostly reflects the team, since that is what it is about. And people complained after every loss last year as well.

  95. Aaron the problem is bigger then just the other 9 players. Read the story by a reporter Todd Jacobs called “Jim Buss decision to Hire Brown Possibly the worst ever for Lakers”. Everything happening to Lakers happened to Cavs. This guy predicted it to a tee 10 months ago and he sounds very smart.

  96. Gilbert Arenas was once an elite player with a max contract. He blew out his knee, had the gun incident and was waived.

    He is 29 years old and has not played a full 82 games in at least three years. So, in basketball years that makes him 26 years old. He was given a scholarship at Arizona for future recruiting purposes, the coaches thought he wouldn’t get playing time. He went on to prove them wrong.

    A motivated Gilbert Arenas is a scary thing. His basketball career has been bruised, almost irreparably. The Lakers are almost in a desperate need of a veteran guard.

    Why not take a chance on him for this year, he’s a cheap pick up for the next 30 games. He didn’t look like himself last year with Orlando, but if he’s lost weight and worked on getting back to form, he’s worth taking a look.

    JR Smith will most likely sign with the Clippers, why wouldn’t he jump on their wagon.

    Sbdunk, I purposely forgot about that 17-1 run because I just knew the Lakers would be ready when the playoffs started. Just goes to show, if you don’t play hard the whole season…then it’s hard to break a bad habit.

    I for one enjoy watching players develop on the Lakers: Kobe, Bynum and Fisher. There’s a bond that develops, making them easy to root for.

  97. rred,

    I will give up my entitlement comments if I’m saved from the twenty repetitive posts each thread by the other ‘K’s.

    On another note, has ESPN stopped airing all NBA games? I don’t know if its just ESPN Europe/middle east, but I haven’t seen a game on the channel since the season started. I’m having to watch ball in Arabic or French on Al Jazeera. I miss stu lantz.

  98. Darius,

    Some of the complaining gets old, but that goes along with the territory with fans who expect a good product. I realize the season may be lost or convoluted, but there are obvious questions that will haunt this team allyear.

    1. every analyst agrees the pg and sf positions are problems.
    2. why doesn’t anyone other than kobe seem to be working every night?
    3. what is kobe supposed to do when team mates keep giving him the ball or shooting briks when they have it?
    4. If we are losing anyway, why not play more young guys and bench players?
    5. why expect positives when the team is obviously underachieving? can our players be that bad?