The Lakers And Parlor Games

Darius Soriano —  February 13, 2012

When I turned 7 years old, I went to Chuck E Cheese to celebrate my birthday. As one of my fondest childhood memories, I’ll never forget that birthday party. All my friends came, we pigged out on all the pizza we could eat, I got an awesome cake and tons of gifts, and I got to play all the games I wanted. That last point is key here: I loved playing arcade and parlor games as a kid. And that day, there was literally a beer pitcher filled with those copper looking tokens for me to run wild with. So, I filled my pocket with them and played every game I could to get a bunch of tickets that I’d later use to scoop up a bunch of goodies from their toy counter. Those crazy super balls that bounced a hundred feet in the air, a nerf hoop, a frisbee, all that stuff. I’ll never forget it.

One of my favorite games to play was whack-a-mole. You know the game, right? There’s that giant padded mallet and you smash down on these little toy moles that peak their heads out from the holes in the top of the machine. I loved smacking those moles in the head and watching the tickets stream out of the machine as a tally of my success. It was so much fun.

Yesterday, after the Toronto game, I got to thinking about that game I loved so much as a kid. And I realized that the Lakers season has become a big game of whack-a-mole. Only now that I’m an adult, that game’s not so much fun anymore.

You see, this Lakers team has issues. Their point guards aren’t productive, their small forwards can’t space the floor, their bench can’t score consistently, and their back up big men either don’t play very good defense (Murphy) or are too limited offensively to get any playing time (McRoberts). When you add in a big three that can’t play perfect every night, this team just can’t get out of its own way to win consistently.

And while the coaches are trying to address any one issue to the point that you hope it’s solved, another issue just seems to pop up. The return of Steve Blake is a perfect example. When Blake came back, the Lakers got another solid, ball handling guard to soak up minutes and help steady this team. Against Boston he played crunch time minutes in the 4th quarter and overtime and helped organize the Lakers offense while playing solid defense. By no means did Blake’s presence mean the Lakers PG issues were solved but he was part of the solution.

But, when Blake came back it meant that Andrew Goudelock moved back to shooting guard rather than getting his minutes at back up point guard. You see, while Blake was out, Goudelock thrived as a ball handling guard that could attack at any given moment because he had the ball in his hands at the beginning of every possession. His scoring provided needed bench production and his ability to create off the dribble in the P&R compromised the opposing defense and helped create open shots and offensive rebounding chances for his teammates. But now that Blake is back, Goudelock’s production has once again dipped and more resembles what he was giving the Lakers early in the year; production that found him on the bench and out of the rotation before Blake got hurt. And now that Goudelock’s play has suffered, the Lakers’ bench production has suffered too.

This is just one example of what’s been going on with the Lakers this season, but there are several more. The Murphy/McRoberts combination is another – during Bynum’s suspension, both back up big men were producing at a level that had Mike Brown on board with a 4 man rotation at PF/C once Bynum returned. However, now that Bynum’s back (and beasting on most nights), Brown has had issues sticking to that plan and is only playing one big man a night – Murphy. This wouldn’t be so much of an issue if the things that McRoberts is good at – providing energy, finishing at the rim in the half and open court, providing physical defense – weren’t Murphy’s weaknesses or if Murphy’s strengths – spacing the floor, defensive rebounding – weren’t things that McRoberts doesn’t do as well. But since that’s the case, whenever Brown plays one, a new deficiency pops up and must be dealt with.

I could go on with examples of Ebanks’ youth and inexperience, Barnes’ mostly good but sometimes spotty defense, and MWP’s offensive game but I think you get the point. The Lakers have several holes and on any given night one problem might seem solved only for another to pop up and put the game in jeopardy.

And so the season goes on, one big game of whack-a-mole. Except today, when the Lakers actually do play a complete game, we only feel relief and don’t get a shiny new nerf hoop to take home. Sometimes I wish I was 7 again.

Darius Soriano

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65 responses to The Lakers And Parlor Games

  1. I see know mention of agent “0” as a viable pg. I keep reading, what I’ll call threats, that arenas is getting a look…..Has Kupchak gotten so desperate as to take a look at a wanna be, gun toting gangsta? I hope these “reports” are false…..

    Is anybody else out there feeling like I do?…..A year of Kobe’s limited effective performance window is going to waste, slowly and painfully.

  2. It would be great if MB can figure out a way to play Blake and Goudelock together effectively. Maybe have Blake play more of the off-guard position and have Glock bring the ball up and try create off of the dribble. Unless he is being pressured too much, then swap the ball handling duties (i.e. Earl Watson on him in Utah a few games back).

    Or why not start Glock? Have him spot up around the arc to receive kick outs from Kobe, Drew or Pau, or have him run the pick and roll/pop with Pau while Kobe is a decoy on the weakside.

  3. Fun analogy Darius!

    With regards to the Blake/Goudelock situation, one solution springs readily to mind: Make Fisher the 3rd string point guard.

    The problem is that Fisher seems to have made a compact with Satan to prevent him from ever being removed from the Laker starting lineup. He is almost unquestionably the worst of the three point guards we’re discussing at this stage of his career, but he’s still starting.

    Why not have Blake as the starter, since he plays better defense then Fisher by a mile, can still space the floor, and is a steady, experienced hand who can get the ball into the post and not shoot rediculous pull up jumpers in transition or shoot toe on the line two pointers constantly?

    Then have Goudelock as your scoring point guard to add punch to a second unit that often looks for offense and relegate Fisher – who remains one of my all-time favorite Lakers – relegated to “break glass in case of emergency or the need to make an ultra clutch shot in the playoffs” status?

  4. Here is a link to the trailer from ESPN Films The Announcement about Magic Johnson which airs Sunday 11 March at 9 PM EST. I am looking forward to this film.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/36832/magic-johnson-the-announcement

  5. Andrew Goudelock (AG) is still a better offensive punch of the bench than Blake. Brown needs to increase his minutes over Blake’s. Blake is very inconsistent and no longer the shooter he was before he joined the Lakers. Even before the injury , he was only shooting 40 and 35% , overall and from 3, respectively, which is much worse than AG.
    AG also has better ability to drive to the basket and has even a nice little cross-over, and even starting to pass the ball better. Blake is who he is, an overrated aging inconsistent PG. AG has much better potential and the Brown needs to give him more minutes.
    This all speaks to Brown’s inability to manage a roster and get the best from his talent and come up with an effective and consistent rotation. Why is MWP playing so many minutes? Does anybody think that Ebanks could statistically do worse if he was given MWP’s minutes? 22 Minutes PG, shooting 32%, 19% from 3 getting 2.6 rebounds and 0.6 steals??
    I highly doubt it. The argument that MWP plays better defense no longer holds up, as MWP cannot stay with anyone that has any decent amount of quickness. Even Kapono looks faster than MWP! Barnes is not the answer either because he has never shot well from the 3 in his career and is missing wide open 3’s, one after another (24%) , although I would still play him over MWP because of his better speed.
    Ok, even if you don’t like Ebanks, there are a ton of 6-6 to 6-8 wing players in the D-league who could play more productively than MWP at the small forward. Why are we tolerating this level of play? It is not getting any better. Enough is enough!

    Just because you are overpaying a guy whose career is over, doesn’t mean you have to play him. Even Luke Walton could give you better production if he was given 22 minutes per game! (not that I am advocating playing him, just making a point!).
    MWP should have been amnestied. It is too late now, but please don’t make it worse by starting him and giving his so many minutes! One decent game every 10 outings is not good enough.

  6. Love the analogy.

    Just sums up this team this year.

    As soon as we think they have possibly solved or worked out something in a win streak, something else is highlighted that the team is lacking and thus a losing streak.

    Bye.

  7. You so right

  8. @5 – DeMar DeRozan this season, before yesterday:
    15.0 PPG, 39.4 FG%, 2.1 TO

    DeMar DeRozan yesterday, defended by MWP:
    8 pts, 2-13 FG for 15.4%, 4 TO

    Paul Pierce this season per 36 minutes, not counting the Laker game:
    18.7 pts per 36 min

    Paul Pierce vs MWP last Thurs:
    4-10 FG, 9 pts in 34 minutes

    Small sample size, but MWP is bringing it on the defensive end. He’s been mostly ineffective on offense, but it’s still a two-way game.

  9. As much as I love Fish, I have to agree with those calling for the rotation solution to be moving Blake and Goudelock ahead of Fisher. We’re lacking athleticism and shooting on the perimeter. Blake and Goudelock can provide some semblance of those and Fisher just isn’t doing that right now.

  10. You are too diplomatic, Darius.

  11. is it just me or does Lin’s rise in the big apple seem like a great opportunity to pluck davis (even with his injury)?

  12. With all the flaws we still could be winning games.

    But….the real issue is Pau and Bynum feel they should get the ball every time…or at least a lot more than they do…they pout on every contested jumper Kobe takes…make or miss.

    Kobe has already decided he’s going to do it his way…which means having good games but missing 4 or 5 shots in a row every game that sucks the life out of the team.

    As good as Pau is…they would be better with him or bynum but not both…playing mcroberts or getting a reggie Evans or Noah…anyone who doesn’t need the ball to be happy and play hard.

    The problem was always there..but bynum was hurt and odom was unselfish…

    Somebody has to go…and it ain’t MWP

  13. Philosophically speaking, I have no problem with this year being lost if it means Front Office is patient and makes smart moves next summer to create a more balanced roster. I’d rather they do that than overpay for middling players.

    Once the Paul trade was shot down and camp ended, I half resigned myself to this being a lost year without even a puncher’s chance. New coach, new system, new players, a trade that the FO had spent months working on blown up, which meant they had to start from scratch. New good plans don’t happen overnight in the NBA.

    Although I hate seeing another year of Kobe’s elite abilities slip away without serious ring contention, if it means sacrificing this year to get a good run in his remaining two years, I’m fine.

    I’d hate to see the FO make a rushed decision and overpay this year just to give the team a puncher’s chance.

    NBA’s history is littered with franchises that overreact and hamstring their team for years to come. Give me a patient smart front office any day that doesn’t rush to fill a present day hole at the risk of killing the team for years. Not when there’s multiple holes to fill. It’d be one thing if there was one obvious hole and no other roster or system issues. But that’s not the case currently, too many moles to whack. There is no giant golden hammer to whack them all with one swing.

  14. Darius: we get it, it’s frustration with a capital “F”.

    This is to JERRY Buss: when your team has the worst point guard in the nba, you get the worst point guard play. When you have three hatchet men on your team, that’s two too many. When you have a General Manager who has not made a productive trade/acquisition since 2008, you’re not getting any production out of the manager in general. Sports in general is a results oriented business. So far the results are helter skelter, or to put it in Darius’ terms, Whack – a- Mole. It’s time to take back the reins because so far what your “son” is attempting to do has failed. Frozen in fear is what we see as the deterent in getting results that improve team play.

    I never liked the Clippers, now I hate them. Are you listening?….can someone pass this on? Do you get it??

  15. Jim C. is spot on. While I think it would be “safer” to insert Blake into the starting lineup and use Goudelock as his backup, moving AG into the starting 5 would be bold.

    This much is clear: the current starting 5 will not contend for a championship. There is far too much history to dismiss the weaknesses of Fish and MWP as early season aberrations. They are what they are–past their prime, with virtually no upside.

    And that’s the problem. The Lakers need upside potential, because their status quo is not good enough. Two guys on their roster provide upside potential. Those two guys play the positions that the Lakers need help at: Goudelock & Ebanks.

    As with any “upside potential” move, there is the corresponding downside risk. So, let’s briefly look at that.

    Goudelock is super young, and has no history running the point. Ebanks is also young, and has little experience. So, nobody is saying that these guys are can’t-miss prospects who will immediately make the Lakers a championship team. However, to fully understand the downside risk you have to compare these two players to the current starters.

    It’s pretty well-established around these parts that Fish is the worst starting PG in the NBA. Hard to see how Goudelock would be THAT much worse on the downside, and easy to see how a quicker, better shooting player would offer a huge upside.

    MWP is a very solid defender. The Lakers are a very good defensive team. Ebanks would, in all likelihood, not be as effective a defender as MWP, so it’s easy to see the downside there. However, offensively, MWP has likely regressed to the point that Luke Walton is a better player. That’s atrocious, and it is inconceivable that Ebanks would not be a better player (i.e., an upgrade) on offense. He’s quicker, he’s a better slasher, he’s WAY better in the open court (cue MWP’s latest near missed layup off Kobe’s feed against Toronto…), and it is extremely hard to see him as a worse three point shooter.

    To me, this is the kind of shakeup that Mike Brown needs to make. It has the benefit of allowing the team to conserve its resources for some “big deal” if such an opportunity arises, and is obviously easy to reverse if this little experiment doesn’t work (although I would like to see it be given several weeks before abandoning it).

    Look, I’m not saying these guys are going to go all Jeremy Lin on the league, but the only reason Lin is kicking butt is that he was given an opportunity to play–check that: given an opportunity TO START. Goudelock & Ebanks may not be Lin, but we know for darn sure that Fisher & MWP aren’t either….

  16. @8
    I know Drozen was guarded by MWP the last play but he was being played by Kobe most of the game because he is a shooting guard. The reason MWP guarded him on the last play is because Kobe wanted to guard Calderone.
    And recheck your numbers on Paul Pierce against the Lakers. He played 48 minutes and had 18 points on 7-18 shooting with 9 rebounds and 7 assists. I wouldn’t exactly call that a defensive Gem by MWP who played 34 minutes, was 1 for 6 with 2 points and 2 rebounds !
    You simply cannot have this kind of offensive production from a small forward, I don’t care how good defensively he is (used to be, rather).

  17. Hmm, re DeRozan, I know I saw MWP guarding him on several possessions. Either way, Toronto’s starting SF didn’t have much of a game either. As for Pierce, he played 48 minutes and scored 18 points, but he was defended by Artest for 34 of those minutes, and those were his numbers head to head vs MWP (4-10 FG, 9 pts).

  18. My problem with the Whack-a-Mole analogy is that I don’t see the Lakers whacking down any of their moles.

    The only “whacking” strategy I see is to use the “big hammer” of Kobe’s individual offensive brilliance to whack all the moles down at once. In between instances of Kobe being able to do that, the moles are free to run amok.

    Occasionally, one of the moles will retreat on its own, such as when Pau decides to be extra-aggressive on offense, or WMP comes back from Planet Lovetron to play effectively.

    Otherwise, I just don’t see any significant changes since the beginning of the season.

    But this may be the best the Lakers can do. It may be that Gasol/Bynum do not have the trade value we think they do. It may be that neither DH12 or D-Will want to be Lakers. It may be that no team is interested in an $8 million trade exception.

    So it may be the case that the Lakers options are:

    1) Ride the Kobe “hammer” to 1st-round playoff exit (but at least the Busses get two home playoff games of revenue) and hope that opportunities for improvement come down the road.

    2) Blow the roster up (at the loss of significant revenue and paying players not to play).

    I can understand why the Busses would choose option #1, even if option #2 probably makes more long-term basketball sense.

  19. These line-up suggestions are like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Of course it feels like whack-a-mole. When you have so many one dimensional at best players you’re going to be constantly exposed no mattger what combination or substitution patterns you indulge.

    And I’m sorry but a couple of recent second round draft choices are not going to right this ship.

    This team has been angling in this direction for nearly two seasons now, struggling with where the offense is going to come from aside from Kobe practically every possession.

    It’s not something new that arrived with Mike Brown.

    I can understand last season not wanting to break-up a championship team. And it’s clear that this year the design was to specifically re-architect the team before the league intervened.

    So nothing has really changed here. The problem is somewhat more pronounced two years later is all.

    The team needs to improve it’s perimeter scoring to take pressure off of Bryant and Bynum with an infusion of some youth and athleticism whilst adding some scoring punch off the bench.

    It’s doable but it’s going to mean breaking up the big three remaining I’m afraid.

    Which is okay IMO, because we don’t need two centers anyway and that’s basically what we have on the floor nowadays with Gasol and Bynum.

    My money is on Mitch to pull the trigger here soon with a move that will balance out the team with more back court help just as he intended to pull off with the original Hornets deal.

    Be patient a few more weeks. it’s coming.

  20. @17 The Dude Abides, I am curious where you get your numbers as far as “when guarded by MWP”? I would be very interested in having access to this kind of analysis, if you have a web link you can provide?

    BTW, @15, Funky chicken, I could not agree more with everything you wrote!

  21. Dave, you might be right about something big coming down the pike, but in the meantime what the team is doing does not appear to be working.

    So, can something be done more quickly? I think the answer is “yes” and it involves moving those two 2nd round picks into the starting lineup. It would, in fact, do precisely what you prescribed when you say the team needs to “improve its perimeter scoring to take pressure off of Bryant and Bynum with an infusion of some youth and athleticism.”

    It’s easy to dismiss the potential of a 2nd round pick, but if you disagree that those guys wouldn’t both be upgrades at their respective positions then I’d like to hear why.

    To be clear, I’m not saying that those two youngsters are all this team needs; I’m just saying that they probably represent the best chance at an immediate upgrade–all the while preserving the option of making that big deal you think (and I hope…) is coming in a few weeks.

  22. Darius: I will go with your parlor games theme, but rather than whack a mole, lets go with an adult game, Poker (Jerry Buss’ game). I don’t know if u play, but I do – quite a bit. The game can be frustrating in that you can start with the best cards (players), you can make the right moves (gameplans/rotations), but u still might lose (Ball don’t lie). Basketball is a little different than poker in that with Poker, your cards are random. With basketball you can somewhat pick your cards. Also, u can’t really bluff in basketball. Eventually u need to show ur cards and the best hand wins. So the question is, what kind of hand do the Lakers have? How we are going to play the cards is also important, but even the best card sharks can’t win without good starting hands. The various opinions of this board are like the various ways u can play a hand. some people want to fold (“Blow it up”), some people want to keep calling and hope to get lucky on the river (make the playoffs and get hot then), and others want to go “All In” (D12). I know where I stand and I think it is not too far from where you do : )

  23. Darius,
    Yes… Whack a mole. At SF and back up PF it’s obvious. Artest brings defense, Barnes brings slashing and Ebanks looks like he brings shooting. At back up PF McRoberts brings defense and Murphy brings shooting. But at PG there is no give a little take a little. GLock and Morris are our best PGs on both sides of the ball in this traditional PG centric pick and roll offense. I really beleieve that Morris of given an opprotunity would also prove to be better than Blake and Fisher. I think so much frustration comes from the inability of the organization to give players a chance in games. I don’t blame Brown. He is one of three people making these desisions. Brown, Mitch and Jim have to decide if they wanna play favorites with established veterans or try something different.

  24. An “explosive” Arenas might be something completely different than what the Lakers need.

  25. Rather than blaming Jim B and Mitch for trades that have not happened (or may not happen), I think the better approach is to focus on what seems to be the biggest issue of this team: coaching.

    While we need to acknowledge that injuries have impacted this roster throughout the season, the most frustrating thing for me are the lineup choices Brown makes. For example, I get that Fisher “must” start, due to his leadership on this team, relationship with Kobe and a number of intangibles. However, he should be benched after 4 minutes and Glock and Blake need to pick it up from there. At this stage of his career, Fish needs to be limited to: (a) times when Blake and Glock are in foul trouble, and (b) specific drawn plays where the shot clock is down and we need shooters out there to make a quick basket.

  26. I am sold on giving Glock playing time, either as starting PG or back up PG. I have seen absolutely nothing from Morris that indicates he is close to NBA ready.

    I was pretty high on Ebanks in the preseason. Once the season started, he looked lost both on offense and on defense.

  27. I completely agree with everything chownoir said.

  28. Dude,
    I’m glad someone here agrees with me on Artest. The game is still half defense last time I checked and Artest is still a very good defender. He is still a bad shooter… But as he rounds into shape I would not be suprised to see those shooting numbers go up. We can live with Artest on offense as long as we have a legit traditional PG running the offense. We will need Artest on defense in the playoffs as the game slows down and gets more physical. If we have a chance to get a better SF I’m all in… But the biggest need in this traditional PG centric offense is for a lead guard.

  29. Dave @19: Nice post. I agree 100%. The only thing I will add is that if we had traded Pau in pre-season, he had higher value. Now I am afraid that AB is the only trade that can bring the change u want. And since people here don’t even like my D12 scneario, can u imagine getting them to buy off on a AB trade where we do not get D12?

  30. If this was stictly about puting the best players on the court Goudelock would be playing 25-30 minutes and Blake would be playing the rest. The problem is Mike Brown is in a bind. First, he doesn’t know how benching Fisher will effect chemistry. Second, playing Goudelock that much would basically admit that a 2nd round rookie afterthought is our 4th best player. That doesn’t speak well at all for the team Kupchak put around the Lakers top 3 players, especially since this is supposed a championship team, MB doesn’t want to step on toes by doing that.

    I suspect Mike Brown believes this will be a better playoff team than a regular season team. In most series we will have 3 out of the 4 best players on the court. The game will become even slower in the playoffs, teams already has a tough time in the half court against the Lakers getting good shots and we still have a better closer in a tight playoff game than every team. So we have a fighting chance in every series. What team in the west really wants to play the Lakers in a 7 game series, even with D Fish as the starting point?

  31. Funky Chicken,

    I’m inclined to go with the opinion of the coaching staff when it comes to playing time for a couple of second round draft picks.

    I think fans routinely fall in love with the player who’s not playing whenever their team struggles, it’s the backup quarterback syndrome.

    If you want to see Kobe upset, watch how upset he gets when the coach elects to play a couple of roster filler guys because….well…they couldn’t be much worse, could they?

  32. chownoir/Zephid: I totally agree that I want more than a puncher’s chance as well, but before u suggest that the FO do nothing, this yr, then please explain how u expect things to be better this summer. We will still have the huge payroll, + we will all be sad as the FA’s goes elsewhere (Cuban). What u say? + don’t tell me to have faith : ) I want to know what is going to get better : )

  33. Robert,

    I suspect that Pau hasn’t damaged his trade value. I think most teams believe that he’s playing out of position with the Lakers now that Odom is gone.

    He should be playing center somewhere. He’s never been a great power forward.

    He’s much more effective closer to the basket. He doesn’t have a great shooting touch from 15 to 18 feet.

    I think a number of teams that are on the bubble from a playoff ready perspective but need a center would jump at a chance to land Pau.

    Houston continues to be a good candidate but there are others.

  34. It is hard to blame the front office when the front office did pull the trigger on a blockbuster trade that would have given us the best point guard in the league (and which likely would have been followed with another blockbuster trade for the best center in the league) only to have it shot down by David Stern in an unprecedented veto. If our season is screwed, it’s because Stern screwed us.

  35. Very interesting – Jerry West attended the Lakers’ workout of Arenas. I didn’t read the Woj report carefully the first time, as I don’t care much for Arenas.

    I get that West and Kupchak are close, but it’s still really intriguing that West – under contract as a consultant with another team – dropped in on an official Lakers’ workout as a guest. Just not conventional.

  36. The team lacks foot speed which bites them on offense and somewhat defense. Metta’s hand speed is still ridiculously quick but the games I’ve seen, last year as well, if it’s not a marque match up, he’s been meandering to terrible. He ate up Gallinari and tempered Paul Pierce somewhat. I’ve missed seeing the bulk of last few games

    A line up consisting of Murphy, Kapono and Peace on the floor simultaneously is folly. The Lakers are over .500 but the growth their showing is minimal. On top of that, all the things I observed and despised about Brown’s coaching during the Cleveland years seems to be repeating here. He really seems to lack vision and a sense of flow. I’m getting a Master of Panic vibe from him with more teeth and less in-game adjustments.

    This is a team and a franchise that right now can afford to take some chances with their line up. The imperfect names that pop up from outside the organization (Arenas, et al) occur because there is so little game-time opportunity for the imperfect younger guys to earn their stripes while the old guys stink it up.

  37. When did I say the FO wasn’t going to do anything this year? I don’t know how things will work next summer or this year. I’m saying that the Front Office needed to start a brand new plan after the Paul trade blew up.

    The plan may come to fruition before this season ends or it may come during the summer. I said I’m willing to sacrifice this season if it means the FO will rebuild a more balanced roster for next year. I’m not going to speculate on trades or signings.

    Because the season is half gone already and even if FO pulls off a blockbuster trade, the team won’t have much more of a puncher’s chance anyway. They’ll need to assimilate all the pieces and hope everything falls into place.

    At this point, I’m looking towards the future. I’ll cheer the team and hope they do well. But I won’t expect them to get far this year. Instead I’m looking at the holes in the roster, the assets Mitch has, what’s available around the league and try to figure out what are the possibilities to improve this team for the long run.

    I’m hoping the FO has that approach too instead of trying to fill the holes by overpaying for middling players that will only kill the teams future while not really giving any great improvement. Sometimes after losing most of your stack on a river bad beat, you just have to consolidate holdings, survive the blinds until the right situation comes along to make your play and get back into contention. Worse thing to do is play loose trying to win every pot, patient and tight. But that’s just my philosophy.

  38. Exelo,

    I think the Lakers would need an explosive PG in Arenas (available @ $1.4M minimum) because he will attract double team near mid court which will free Gasol & Drew to operate in the low post while Kobe can be effective in his jump shots in the wing. On top of that, it will not be dependent on Metta offense, so he becomes a task oriented player to guard the explosive SG or SF in other team. If Arenas could be 50% of the Agent Zero we used to know, that’s like getting a young PG slasher.

    Mitch K asked these players to report to the D’League – Alston and Iverson. If they are cleared to play, they will be cheap band aid @ $1.4M each that could help the 2nd unit. Mbrown will have an equivalent Seal team competing tpo do the job, either the veterans Iverson/Alston vs. the slow motion group composed of Blake/Murphy/Kapono.

    Lakers can only be competitive if perimeter shooting is productive because it loosens the congestion in the low post and also becomes an effective weapon against zone defense. We saw this effectiveness in the Bobcats game, by 3rd Q., Lakers already won the game.

  39. chownoir: Fair enough. I like the fact that u r not satisfied with a punchers chance, and I like the fact that u have no interest in middling players. I also like ur poker analogy + u sound like ur poker philosophy is similar to mine. So yes – let’s survive the blinds, but i think we are agreed, that we r short stacked, so eventually, we will need to go ALL IN.

  40. Dave, if the best argument against starting Goudelock and Ebanks is trust in the coaching staff’s decisions re: playing time then I consider myself to have won this “argument” hands down. :)

    And for the record, I’m not blindly favoring the back up QB here. I’m basing this on scoring ability, quickness, and athleticism. All things you (rightly) said we need, and all things that Fisher and Artest will never be able to deliver.

  41. Addendum to my post (35) – Kurt at PBT is reporting that West was there representing the Warriors, and that it was a multi-team workout.

    However Woj had the original report, and his article clearly says that West was not there on Warriors business (according to Warriors sources) and that he was there as a ‘guest.’

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AjEGbnil4naKCaQZd0Gn_Z68vLYF?slug=aw-wojnarowski_gilbert_arenas_lakers_021212

  42. Once again, I agree with everything chownoir said.

    As for why next summer could be better than this trade deadline, I can’t really say for certain. But I do know that Luke and Fisher will be expiring contracts, which will give us about $10M in expiring cash. This may be enough to facilitate a trade where the Lakers eat a long-term contract using Luke and Fisher while getting some assets.

  43. I believe the Lakers would win the championship.

    In a 3 on 3 league.

    I think the remaining 9 players would not be a top 20 times in the nation as a Collage team.

    All in all this team, as it is will remain a .500 team.

    No amount of comments on this site can change this reality.

  44. 40,

    Zephid, Luke’s contract ends in the summer of 2013, not this coming Summer. Fisher has a player option next season, so it will also clear by 2013. What is the best way to negotiate with their contract? Give them staff jobs like scouting responsibilities. Fisher has management ability, you could appoint him an Asst GM title to handle the scouting within US with his familiarity with NBA players while Luke as the scout coordinator or a PR job. This is what they did in clearing up the 2 year contract with Vlade Divac who had a back injury and also former Coach Rudy T.

  45. Lakers should go all in for Rondo get Boston some young pieces for that to happen. Boston wants Howard and has stated he would play with Monta Ellis. LA and Beantown can help each other out here. I’m intrigued by this seems it could happen.

  46. Ken wrote on February 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm: “No amount of comments on this site can change this reality.”

    Ken wrote on February 12, 2012 at 7:29 pm (on Brown and MWP): “It’s my plan to complain so much that they both go AWAY.”

    Erm…anyone else see the contradiction here?

  47. Off-topic: has anyone seen Pekovic play? Is he as good as his stats show? Dude’s dropped games of 27-11, 21-13, 23-10, 14-10 and 13-12. That’s pretty impressive. High FG% and boardwork on a team with Kevin Love. Scouting report from anyone who’s seen him play recently?

  48. 47) He has the benefit of playing with a rebounding machine in Love. Beast on the offensive glass. Rubio gives him passes right in the bread basket. It’s similiar to the chemistry Ronod-Perkins used to have. He’s a load down low who played Bynum well too.

  49. Snoopy

    Did we go tho law school together?

    One was sarcasm.

    The other one was just a fact.

    You decide which one was which.

  50. Zephid, I respect your takes a lot. I consider it a high compliment that you agree fully with both my comments.

  51. Most of y’all are talking about player deficiencies, which is fine and valid. But, with the same players, would we be looking at whack-a-mole under Phil Jackson? Understand, I am NOT saying that time stands still, I’m not saying they can carry the same load. But, your 2010 WC starting lineup was Kobe, Pau, Drew, Ron and Fish. Same as now.

    So, if Phil was here now, and adding Murphy and McRoberts and whoever else, and taking injuries into account, would we have the same issues that we have now? Certainly, a different coach doesn’t add speed, doesn’t subtract years. But, coaches have game plans. The Lakers under Jackson were a SYSTEM team. It didn’t always mean the triangle in later years, but it always meant a system nonetheless.

    So, we can’t go back. And granted, Phil lost the team at the very end. Sucks to say it, but it’s true. Pau’s issues may not have had to do with Phil but Phil could not get through to him. The Dallas series was heartbreaking. And, there were obvious weaknesses that had been exposed long before the Dallas series. BUT, Jackson was not a whack-a-mole coach. Whether anybody liked his rotations or not, he made decisions and stuck with them. He was not a throw it against the wall and see if it sticks coach.

    This has been the Mike Brown experiment so far and to an extent, it’s understandable. But, really great coaches figure it out. They decide on rotations, even if they don’t think they have the bullets. And, a really good coach just might look at an intact 2010 WC starting 5, and say, “I can form a plan with these guys.” Bottom line, Brown needs to figure it out.

  52. 44, Edwin,

    When I say expiring, I mean they have only 1 year left on the contract. You can’t trade a player with an expiring contract during the summer, so it’s actually not possible to trade either of them during the summer of 2013. We can trade them before the trade deadline like any other player, but most teams try to clear cap space in the summer by buying out players like Fish and Luke.

    That way, if a team is stuck with a long-term contract obligation (like say, Jason Richardson or Glen Davis), they can trade that player for a shorter-term contract and save a lot of money in the long-run. They still have to pay for 1 year for the player they receive, but it’s much better than paying 5 years for a player you don’t want.

  53. We saw this effectiveness in the Bobcats game, by 3rd Q.,

    ____

    As a few of us pointed out at the time, the Bobcats are not really an NBA team right now. They have lost 15 straight, mostly by wide margins, and are 3-25.

    Andy Kamenetzky came out in favor (assuming GA worked out well) of adding Arenas. Kobe said, “It wouldn’t hurt.”

  54. 51,

    I got you. As you said teams are trying to clear cap space, I think Lakers have the same objective and they are more interested in saving salaries to avoid getting into luxury threshold. Supposing a team traded with the expiring contract of these two players, Lakers will assume the contract of these new players unless of course it’s again collection of TPE’s. However, The overriding concern that we need also decent role players who would be the face of the Lakers in the next 5 years. We can’t develop draft picks if we’re always dead last or on the 2nd position. Secondly, we sold our 2nd draft picks or chose players who did not pan out like: Joe Crawford, Chinemalu Elonu, or last 56th and 58 th pick sold to other teams,

    IMO, this has been our problems in the past, we don’t develop rookies or we overpaid our best players by lumping their contracts on a three year deal at the time of renewal which also hurt in attracting a good bench or role players. I think Kobe would agree to spread his contract to 5 years than lumping it all in three years, provided Lakers will assure him that the yearly differentials in salary caps will load decent role players. Kobe, Fisher, Walton, Drew were the longstanding players that all taken from the draft picks, the rest are on revolving door.

  55. Lol, you had me laughing out loud. This is exactly what Fisher should be at this point:

    “break glass in case of emergency or the need to make an ultra clutch shot in the playoffs”

    …and then let him grow a big old beard and finally complete the transformation from NBA-player into some relative of Gimli, son of Gloin.

  56. Glock’s production is suffering as a result of minutes. Not position.

    When he was playing 20 minutes per game he was averaging 10ppg. 2:1 minutes/points ratio.

    He got 16 minutes in the Raptor game and had 7 points. 2.2:1 minutes/points ratio.

    When he go 8 minutes in the NY game and scored 3 points. 2.6:1 minutes/points ratio.

    I don’t think it matters whether he plays SG or PG. He needs the minutes.

  57. Took a long look at the Western conf standings. After 28 games (in a 66 game season) the Lakers are currently tied for5th place (w/ the Nuggets & Rockets). Behind the Thunder, Spurs, Clips, & Mavs. The Spurs & Mavs have already dealt with slow starts & injuries. The young Clips are getting better everyday. And the Thunder is doing exactly what they were predicted to do.

    It’s becoming rather clear, the Lakers will not be hosting any play-off series this season. They are not going to be a top 4 team because they are lousy on the road. With a road record of 5-10, can you see them going 12-6 in their last 18 road games? Because that ‘s what it would take in order to avoid a negative road record.

    And since the Lakers are so bad on the road, what’s their chances of advancing to the 2nd round playing the Thunder or Mavs in the opening round…on the road? How about the Clips? On paper, this would seem to be the best option, since the Laker “road” games would still be a Staples. And then there is the Spurs, and I must admit…I actually think this may be the Lakers best chance of advancing to the 2nd round w/o home court advantage.

    Stay tuned, the 2nd half of the season begins in a week.

  58. For those of you who weren’t following the NBA in the mid-90s, there was a team that finished 6th in its conference and they went on to win a title. I am not claiming the Lakers are like that team, but they do have the stars and they do have some of that heart. Also, the fans had pretty much given up on that team during the year.

    I don’t want to be a Pollyanna about things, but I also know Laker fans are worse about criticizing their team than are New York fans – and that is saying something.

    First: we are extremely spoiled – I should have put that in capital letters. Next: we have the attention span of a fruit fly. Next: we think putting a used patch on our tire is going to allow the car to go 100mph. Finally: we either mostly think we can wave a wand and other teams will deal with us or we feel there is a giant conspiracy against us.

    All this actually makes a really good blog tiresome to read – and I have reduced the time I allot to do this. I do need to read it, however, because of all the good information and some of the bloggers. The rest of you more recent additions – those who just want to toss everything into a pyre and hope a bar of steel will emerge – grow up.

  59. Cut Kopono, bring in a new SG to spell Kobe and allow him to play some SF. A new PG. Fisher to the end of the rotation. As for personnel,I leave it to the front office and coaches to evaluate and sign the RIGHT players. McBob/Pau- Murphy/Bynum.

  60. Wouldn’t that be something to have Walton, Peace and Fisher riding the end of the bench. If minutes were awarded by merit instead of memories that would be exactly what would happen.

  61. Why not Arenas AND J.R. Smith. I hate the guy but he is instant offense, can shoot from the outside and can penetrate and finish at the rim (isn’t that what the Lakers are in dire need of?). Put him in the starting lineup or have him at the 6th man position with 30+ minutes, Kobe can sometimes slide to the SF position

  62. grow up.

    ____

    Back atcha, big guy. Live and let live etc.

  63. “More recent additions – we have the attention span of a fruit fly”

    ~~the ecological diaspora is changing around you, if you could not tolerate a fruit fly just move on to a garden full of rose buds.

  64. I think talk about “blowing up the team”, or acquiring D Howard or any other player under contract should be deleted under the old rule of trade speculation. In the past, there were specific “articles” that invited trade speculation, and I would love to see a return to that. I realize this maybe heavy handed, but I think it would alleviate the issues Darius raised.