The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly — But Mostly Ugly

Phillip Barnett —  February 19, 2012

THE GOOD
I ate some ice cream tonight, and that was as good as it got for me watching this game. The Lakers came out lethargic for the most part, Mike Brown had some awkward rotations, and the Lakers couldn’t defend a thesis proving that 1+1 is 2. However, the Lakers starting bigs were efficient. Pau recorded a 17 and 12 line on six-for-11 shooting while Bynum chipped in 16 and 10 on seven-for-12 shooting. Pau and Bynum combined for 56 percent shooting while the rest of the roster shot 40 percent from the field. Pau and Bynum took advantage of the touches they were given and we even saw some nice interior passing between the two on a nice Pau over the shoulder pass to a cutting Bynum for an easy layup. Other then those two, it was awfully hard to find any good from tonight’s performance. Kobe was instrumental in keeping the game closer than what it should have been. Bryant scored a game high 32 points to go along with seven rebounds and five assists.

THE BAD
The Lakers role players and reserves weren’t much help tonight, and haven’t been much help at all on the road this season. The Kobe/Pau/Bynum triumvirate accounted for 65 of the Lakers 90 points, more than half of the Lakers rebounds and more than half of the Lakers assists. Although the Lakers’ big three were tops for the team, they were far from perfect as Kobe, Pau and ‘Drew accounted for 15 of the team’s 18 turnovers (Kobe had 10 of his own — double-double!). And for the second straight game, the Lakers had trouble dealing with Marcin Gortat. In Friday’s game, Gortat got off to a great start in the first half, but they largely went away from him in the second half. Tonight, they continued to give Gortat in the third and no one had an answer for the Polish Hammer. Gortat scored 21 and 15 and looked like the best big man on the floor for the night. Also, a few bad rotations and poor effort on closing out on shooters — mainly Jared Dudley and Channing Frye — led to a combined 38 points and nine rebounds. Steve Nash was the driving force behind the Suns’ offense as usual, especially early. Nash got things going with seven of his 14 assists in the first quarter, helping the Suns get out to a huge early lead that the Lakers just weren’t able to overcome.

THE UGLY
The Lakers were able to kind of make a game out of what looked as if it would be a blow out. This falls in the ugly category because it led to Kobe playing 40 minutes and Pau playing 36. The Lakers were able to bring the lead down from 25 to 10 more than once in the fourth quarter, and with the score just a few possessions away from the lead, Mike Brown continued to go with Kobe and Pau down the stretch in a game that was a lost cause from the beginning. Tomorrow, the Lakers will be playing their third game in four nights, and their second of a back-to-back against a very good Portland Trailblazers team, despite what their record says. Even though the game was closer than what it should have been, we never got the feeling that the Lakers might come back and win this thing as they never brought the lead below 10 points. It’s nights like this that Mike Brown is going to have to learn to rest his guys and hope things go better the next night — especially this season with the condensed schedule. This is an old Lakers team, and having your main guys playing 40 minutes on the first of a back-to-back in a game that was never really in reach just isn’t a smart way to handle the minutes and a basketball team. It’s not a foregone conclusion that Kobe and Pau will have tough nights, but Kobe has historically struggled against Gerald Wallace and Portland has a few formidable front line defenders to give Gasol some problems when he’s doing anything other than shooting that 15-footer. I’m just not a fan of the way Brown handled tonight’s minutes (not to mention the rotations earlier in the game). I’ll be interested in seeing how Brown manages Kobe’s and Gasol’s minutes tomorrow night.

Phillip Barnett

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86 responses to The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly — But Mostly Ugly

  1. Yeah, much agreed. Playing Kobe this many minutes in a lopsided game, first half of a back-to-back and we’re less than halfway through the season. It’s mind-boggling to me. It’s not a game with any real implications. Why do it?

  2. That’s because he isn’t a good/smart/able coach.

  3. A lot of credit to Gentry outcoaching Brown the guy was outclassed tonight. No energy no teamwork the most abysmal game this year.

    Had a chance to tie for 4th place with a win. Good thing Dallas lost to “Linsanity”

  4. Well good new is Barnes and Andrew had plenty if rest.

    Pau and Kobe very little.

    Maybe Mike Mensa should go with a line up of Fisher, Kapono. Metta, Walton and Murphy.

    Play them 48 and see if the Lakers can be the first team in history to be shutout!

    What a bad coach we have. Hey how did the mid-level signing go for Knicks and JR Smith. Do you realize today he outscored our mid-level McRoberts for his entire season.

    Yea we ate a contender!

  5. Lakers could have hired Rick Adelman, since Jim Buss had a problem with Brian Shaw being an apprentice of Phil Jackson.

    Now we have a bigger problem. This kid (Jim Buss) won’t admit he made a mistake in hiring Brown. They are going to keep Mike Brown until Kobe explodes, and the entire team is alienated. Then they will get some interim coach. So the Mike Brown experiment will last 2 years unfortunately.

    During this time, the management is wasting the last 2-3 years of Kobe’s remaining productive years without getting another title.

    This offense is simply too easy to read, thus easy to defend. The defense is overrated, since you are playing at such slow pace. The mark of a good coach is that he can somehow maximize the talent of role players and develop a solid bench. Mike Brown is not a championship-caliber coach. 30 games, enough to tell if a coach is capable or not.

  6. Please come visit again Albert so I won’t get accused of repeating myself about Clueless Brown.

    If the Lakers actually do not make the playoffs then Brown will be fired. Last time Jerry lost money he had to sell the Kings to a nice coin dealer named Bruce so he could make Laker payroll. No playoffs means no profit this year.

    Ha I don’t make this stuff up.

  7. Am I the only one besides the everyone else in the league who can see the Lakers most glaring offensive problem? The Spacing was so bad, and tonight, Phoenix just showed the rest of the NBA how to defend the Lakers.

    The Suns must’ve caught on to what Utah, Indiana, and the Mavs did on Kobe. They trapped him into the sideline whenever the ball ended on him at the Elbow.

    If the Lakers wanted to initiate the offense from Kobe, They must somehow make it so there are less defenders to come from the Baseline and double on him.

  8. As I have been saying, this team is a mess.

    No harmony in the front office with certain people not talking to other people.

    Discord in salaried people with firing in staff and scouts this off season.

    Increasing complaints about Brown from several players.

    In snipping with some players tired of Metta bad pay and outside activities and questioning why he still starts.

    Rumors left floating by disconnected, non-supportive management on trade rumors.

    Players and announcers dazed and confused over Brown rotations. Like Barnes goes from 17 points 30 minutes to 11 minutes. Eubanks goes from starter to DNP. Kopano playes entire 4th quarter after a week of DNP. Andrew G goes from 16 to 8 minutes. On and on and on.

    There is no leadership in FO. All respect is out the window for Brown. His after game talkes on radio have become blabbering double-talk.

    Like I said the Lakers are about to empload. Either Jerry Buss steps back in to right the ship or the number of fans jumping ship to become Clipper fans will be more pronounced then the exodus of Dodger fans last year.

    We got problems boys and girls in Purple and Gold land.

  9. Either Mike Brown’s schemes are terrible or the players simply aren’t executing them. Either way, our offense is just bad. Adding to that, our transition defense is simply not good enough as it hasn’t been in a few years. The previous years, our offense was good enough to mask that problem but now we’re simply exposed.

    Regarding our rotations, I simply fail to understand. I believe that a coach must do what’s best for that particular game and I’ve always been critic of having a substitution pattern that you use no matter what. But what we’re seeing is something else… Brown has no idea on who to start and whom to play. Basically he’s looking for a rotation at the cost of minutes played by Kobe and Pau, who cannot leave the court because the other guys haven’s meshed properly.

    This is just a mess… Can you see what Adelman is doing in Minnesota? That could’ve been our coach (granted we don’t have Rubio, but still). Thank you for everything Jim Buss…

  10. I don’t think Brown can or should take all of the heat. He’s essentially trying to figure out how to hide several guys who haven’t been able to help the group.

    Thought it was a questionable move at best when the Lakers signed both Metta and Matt Barnes. The inability of the front office to solidify the point guard position has been a glaring weakness for a number of seasons. And the Kapono, McRoberts, and Murphy signings seemed to be a quick way to give the bench some depth.

    Hate to say it, but at this point, it feels like the only way to get better may be to deal either Bynum or Gasol for a high end point (Deron Williams would be ideal). Dwight Howard doesn’t help as the needs of the team are really at the guard/wing position.

    Gotta give Brown some time….he’s doing it with three guys….never went through training camp and is only 30 or so games into a short season with no bench and no point guard.

    Hopefully, we make a move soon. It would be nice to get a solid playoff spot.

  11. Gortat must be checking the calendar to see the next time the Suns play the Lakers. Playing against Gasol & Bynum in back to back games he produces like the best center in the game. :-(

  12. Dang Bean going HAM on the FO. Oh well, now Pau is ruined, MWP is doing his own thing, DFish still starts, LO is gone, and the rest of the team is in the dumps. If the Lakers were a reality show it would be hard to turn the channel. This day was on the horizon, didnt think it would come this soon, its a known fact that championship teams dont age well. So the outcome shouldnt be all that surprising considering this team is old and has a past his prime superstar that still thinks he is 26. The scoring numbers look good, but the team doesnt. If Bean cant get a ring, he’s going for Kareem.

  13. It is absolutely mind-boggling that Brown continues to allow MWP to shoot threes. He is shooting 20% (33% overall). We are far enough into the season that you have to say it is not going to materially change. MWP has value for his defense, but his minutes should be very limited.

    I still don’t understand (along with many others) why the lineup of GLock, Barnes and the Big 3 isn’t even attempted. In my mind this is by far the best possible lineup. Does it even dawn on MB? Ever since Blake has come back GLock is an afterthought. So much potential for a floor-spreading scorer to go with the starting lineup and instead we have to hope that some miracle trade happens. Well, I guess we will see in a couple of weeks.

  14. Phillip: You like the Clint Eastwood “Good The Bad + The Ugly’ Theme”. Perhaps another Clint movie might be more appropriate for Jim Buss:
    “For a Few Dollars More”

  15. Kobe is right about the trade rumors undermining Pau’s season. Quite frankly I’m surprised Pau’s numbers aren’t off more (a compliment to his professionalism).

    Where Kobe has erred is going public with his concern. The FO had made the trade before the season – it was negated. While Pau is still valuable I don’t think any potentail deal yields us a player such as Paul. Without a trade (Pau or Bynum) the Lakers will drift to a lower playoff slot.

    Kobe has broken the ice now – I would expect his frustration to become more public. Things could get negative quickly.

  16. You wouldn’t want Brown fired. Interim coach would be John Kuester. Gross.

  17. Dave: I like your comments. I was not referring to Boston’s current situation. I was referring to the Ainge comments on Red A at the end of the 80’s. Red thought that Bird, McHale, etc. still had a couple of years to make a run. No trades and it started a 20+ year drought for them. We need to avoid. drrayeye@143 sums it up best. We are probably stuck and he is not ready to face the music. I might be soon if we do not act : )

  18. Dave/rr/et al: I am not stupid : ) I know my D12 plan is flawed and is now unlikely. I have said so several times. I cling to it, because it gives me a pipedream. You guys are also not stupid : ) You can’t think that if we add role players, that this will push us into the NBA elite (Heat)? Can you? I realize that injuries happen, and occasionally, someone wins from a lower seed, but come on, we are the Lakers, we are frontrunners. We do not come from the 5th seed and surprise people. So who is holding on to a pipedream? We both are : )

  19. #5

    I agree with you Albert. I was hoping that Adelman would be the choice. His offense was close enough to PJ’s that the team could have made a smoother transition. His demeanor would have been a better fit with a veteran team. Additionally, he’s older so he he would have coached only 3 or so years (through Kobe’s contract).

    I don’t understand the need for such a significant change in approach. While I didn’t dislike Brown’s teams in Cleveland, I always thought they struggled offensively. His hiring here in LA was more of a powerplay by Jimmy Buss as opposed to making a selection that fit the team’s needs.

    I always thought the reason that DFish was kept around so long was that the FO was grooming him as a future coach. Does anyone else think that he’ll be on the Laker bench in 3 or 4 years?

  20. As I look around the league on a nightly basis via League Pass, it is painfully apparent how limited this Laker roster is. MWP and Fish put the team at a disadvantage every night as starters. What a dafference a year makes…the lack of creativity and cohesiveness in the Laker FO combined with Stern’s veto of the trade for CP3 has ruined this team.

  21. Call me crazy but after reading Kobe’s comments about Pau I think he wants the guy traded.

    If you read between the lines I think it’s pretty clear that he wants resolution in terms of trading Pau away. He made a comment saying I would like Pau to stay but I think it was a smoke screen. Why didn’t he also say the same thing about Bynum? I think this shows that he knows the Lakers will be forced to keep Bynum but that Pau is expendable (based on production compared to his contract value) and he knows trading Pau is the only way the Lakers can improve immediately.

    If you don’t agree with me why didn’t Kobe just come out and say if management trades Pau away I am going to be pissed. He basically is trying to be politically correct to a teammate and not make the locker room more awkward especially in terms of their relationship. He never once had to say either trade the guy or don’t he chose to say that because its what he wants. He could have said I think LA needs to stand pat and go into battle with their current team.

    Maybe I am reading into these comments too much but addressing Pau and not Bynum (who has been floated in trades just as much as Pau) just seems fishy to me. I think Kobe realizes hes going to need Bynum because they aren’t getting Dwight, and because of that the only option the team has is to trade Pau.

  22. Lakers8884@18

    I think you are spot on here. I thought exactly the same thing when reading his comments. If Kobe had to choose between Bynum going or Pau, then I think he would choose to send Bynum packing. Hell. I think he would like to send both of those guys packing, but he seems to genuinely like Pau.

    Kobe wants to win more than anything else and he will jettison anyone on this team to accomplish that. From past comments and on-court body language, it appears that he has a much better relationship with Pau. Pau just frustrates Kobe because he’s a bit of a bumbler sometimes. That, and I think Kobe probably doesn’t like the fact that Pau isn’t stronger and mentally tougher.

    I’m probably going to get laughed off the board for saying this, but Pau reminds me of Kareem. Height, length, willowy frame and all the moves in the book. Pau is a cerebral player just like Kareem. You know what he doesn’t have? A mean streak. Kareem was a mean bastard! If you bleeped with him, then you were liable to get drop kicked! Pau gets bullied.

    I didn’t mean for this to turn into a Pau bashing thread…so, sorry for that. I like the guy. He’s nice. He’s a great player and I’m glad that we have had him for these last 4-5 years!

  23. The lack of intensity in the first Q last night is what I disliked the most about last night’s game. No hustle, no fight!! Not a professional effort at all. It appears that the looming trade deadline is weighing heavily on the entire team.

  24. Mattal

    Agree on Fish. Wish it were this year. What I hear on Brown was he talksva great game. Came very prepared and a major part of his presentation was making Andrew key to the future. He knew that would push Jimmy’s buttons.

    This wad first interview process in JB’s LIFE. He never hired anyone in the past. Mitch cane from West and his dad, Phil the same, coaches same, scouts, trainers right down to ball boys.

    Jimmy’s wanted to erase all of Phil who he didn’t like and find a guy who agreed with him. Under the heading of you might not want what you wish for, he got a fast talking snake oil salesmen in Brown who has never been able to run an offense and who overworks his players and losses their respect.

    Now what? Might be easier to wish for the Dodgers solution. New owner could be faster then a new coach!

  25. 1/2decaf1/2regular February 20, 2012 at 8:35 am

    very disappointing loss.. another embarrassing lackluster performance on the road and even more embarrassing pathetic play by our starting PG

    0 PTS 18 min 1 asst 1rb 1 TO

    keep in mind most of those minutes all came in first half when game got away (8 in 1st qtr and 6 in 2nd)

    this dfish/MWP starting together has got to end.. fall behind early and its uphill rest of the game.. at home its easier to mount comebacks but on the road you can forget about it.

  26. Lakers8884,

    Was the question he addressed about the Lakers or about Pau specifically? What bothers me more is how there seems to be an increasingly limited level of communication throughout the infrastructure of the franchise now. There are too many unknowns and that makes most people antsy.

  27. 1/2decaf1/2regular February 20, 2012 at 8:53 am

    agree with 8884 and kenoak.. if he really wanted gasol to stay then he couldve just come out and said it..

    i wouldnt be surprised if kobe has given up on gasol.. i know i have.. i would never forgive a teammate for quitting on the team during the playoffs.. lets face it gasol is getting MAX money and is no longer reliable.. as another blogger posted in last thread it would be wise to sell high now (much like lamar) unless you want to take your chances and risk selling much lower.

  28. 13)
    I think it’s relatively clear the Lakers are trying to hide GLock before the trade deadline. They either see him as their back up PG or starting PG down the stretch depending on what trades they make. He clearly is the best PG they have on the roster and it’s not very close.

  29. You can’t think that if we add role players, that this will push us into the NBA elite (Heat)? Can you?

    ___

    Again: role players, journeymen, youngsters….”basketball players” is the term you want, my friend.

    Dave and I addressed this yesterday. Howard + Kobe + flotsam doesn’t beat Miami, either. And that is the team you are creating. If the Lakers can add a couple of pretty good players, starting-caliber NBA players, to play the 1 and the and a wing who can score, yes, that gives them as a good of a chance to get to the Finals each of the next two years as dumping everything and praying Howard signs an extension here does.

    But like Ken says: the Lakers are a mess right now, a Frankenstein’s monster of a team. The stability and intelligence and the bankroll of Cuban’s operation in Dallas, plus the fact that Williams could join Howard much more easily in Dallas, well, you do the math.

    I am not summarily opposed to your proposal, but I am saying you really haven’t made the case, and there is no way to make it a cut-and-dried case because it isn’t and it never will be, unless you have inisde information that Howard will sign a five-year deal here.

  30. Aaron, it’s either that or MB is not sure how Fisher and Blake (chemistry wise) would handle a second round rookie getting the majority of the minutes. Based strictly on court production it’s clear Goudelock is a much better player than Blake and Fisher. In fact I’d argue that he’s the only PG on the roster that has an above average NBA skill (shooting).

    After last night’s game though I’m leaning towards your theory. It made zero sense that Kapono was playing the 4th instead of Glock.

  31. @17/Robert – are you referring to prior thread? That must have been the other Dave, the one without the “M”, haha. It gets confusing sometimes. After all these years of Dave M on various blogs, I may just start going with Dave Murphy.

  32. I wonder if Brown is concerned how Kobe would handle Fisher being benched.

  33. exhelo – this is my thought too. I wonder if, out of loyalty, Kobe wants the Lakers to let Fish retire or move to the bench on his own terms.

    The question is whether Fish will do it gracefully. I find it hard to believe he can’t see the writing on the wall.

    A lot of weird vibes floating around this team, right now. Makes for high drama, if nothing else.

  34. Aaron and Archon, why do the Lakers need to “hide” Goudelock?

    It’s not like they would be somehow “forced” to trade him if another team asks for him.

    “NO” is still a pretty simple word to use and understand.

    So in the meantime they lose games by hiding Goudelock buy not playing him so meanie other teams won’t “make” the Lakers give him up? I guess these aforementioned eveil other teams also don’t have scouts who can see his value, it’s only us astute fans on this web site who know it all?

  35. Yes, it was Dave, not Dave M.

  36. Exhelo and VOR

    The FO was loyal enough when they signed Fish to another contract in the offseason last year, knowing his best days were long behind him.

  37. Exelhodrvr-
    I can’t believe that Kobe would rather play with Fisher’s corpse than a better pg. So, if we would have traded for cp3, then he would have backed fisher up? Kobe loves fish, but not to the point that it hurts his chances to win #6.

  38. I think it’s relatively clear the Lakers are trying to hide GLock before the trade deadline

    —-

    I don’t think the rest of the NBA is clamoring to get ahold of Andrew Goudelock. If they want to “hide” a PG, I would prefer they hide Fish. I do think they may be holding out McRob because they have agreed to move him March 1.

  39. rr: “gives them as good of a chance to get to the Finals each of the next two years as dumping everything and praying Howard signs an extension here does”

    You have already told me that my plan does not give us a very good chance, so you are stating that your plan does not either – “as good”.

    We are drifting towards Buzz/Mattal/et al, as I predicted : )

  40. And so be it – it is what it is. I know we are what Ken states we are. rr: you and I have been saying that since pre-season. It is becoming worse than even we thought. So it will take something extreme to bring this thing back. Keeping it on life support will not be good. But hey – I am a KB fanatic – so I will be fine rooting for records if it comes to that.

  41. @24 – Ken, I believe you hit the nail with this comment. Lazenby has been going off on the rift between Jim Buss + Jerry Buss vs. Jeanie Buss + Phil Jackson for at least a year. Jerry has become relatively detached from the team, and has always favored his bumbling, ne’er-do-well son over his bright daughter. Both LA basketball franchises hired the less qualified but more slick (in the job interview) basketball coach instead of the actual best candidate, and it really shows late in games.

    One issue that was glossed over regarding last night’s Phoenix game was that the team practiced Saturday, then had a near-full practice yesterday morning that was disguised as a shootaround. Bynum blamed this on the team’s poor first quarter, asking the reporters why Brown overworked them when they were going to play the same team that they had just played two nights before. Apparently, MB’s nickname among the players is “All Day Every Day” for his propensity to run them into the ground during practices. This has to be wearing on the three guys who get the most minutes (Kobe, Pau, Drew) in this compressed season, as well as our over-30 role players like Blake, Fish, and MWP.

  42. 38) KenOak,
    Kobe’s priority is not winning number 6, it is winning number 6 on his terms.

  43. My argument is that it’s not “basketball reasons” why Blake and Fisher are playing over Glock, because it’s clear who is the best player out of those 3. So it’s either a chemistry thing or that they don’t want to give Goudelock up in a trade so they don’t want to “showcase” him.

    For example if Orlando agreed to trade D-12 for Bynum, Barnes, and Glock + picks, the Lakers would have to make that deal but does that make the Lakers dramatically better? I’m leaning towards no…

    I don’t want to overvalue Glock but with Fisher and Blake at the 1 it doesn’t even matter who the other 4 players on the court are the Lakers won’t win a championship, point guard is just too important and the Lakers are asking Kobe right now to do the impossible, be the primary ball handler, playmaker, passer, shooter, and scorer on a championship team. Even MJ wasn’t asked to do anywhere near as much as Kobe is forced to do right now.

  44. Robert @ 42 – Yeah I don’t mind seeing Kobe score a ton of points either in persuit of HOF glory if playoff contention this year is a pipe dream (and it seems to be).

  45. Why would Dr. Buss pick the less qualified person for the job? Did he dispise PJ as much as Jim? Why does PJ seem to leave franchises with so much nothing to do with him? Did PJ divide the Buss family?

    Lakers fans are witnessing a live soap opera unfold right in front of us. So I’m assuming the Mitch rumors were true. If that’s the case you have to wonder why Magic left and is the rich guy who replaced him buying the franchise.

  46. exhelodrvr: For Kobe – those are one in the same. It is not that he feels he is decreasing his chance of a ring by being Alpha. Rather, he feels that by being Alpha – he is increasing his chances of the ring! I happen to agree ! Especially with this roster.

  47. You have already told me that my plan does not give us a very good chance, so you are stating that your plan does not either – “as good”.

    _____

    Not that simple. Your plan doesn’t do jack for this year, and since I think it is less than 50/50 that Howard would stay, I don’t think it is much of a plan.

    OTOH, if he DID stay, that might draw ring-chasers.

    The other plan depends on who the guys they get are. You tend to assume that they are all just names, pieces, irrelevant, journeymen, role players, youngsters, problem children. But given the gaping holes in the Lakers’ lineup, that is not the case. Such upgrades could be major, and could, again, create some momentum.

    Based on what I have read about it, Ken’s take in 24 about Brown/Buss is, I fear, pretty accurate.

  48. Kobe’s priority is not winning number 6, it is winning number 6 on his terms.

    ____

    I like your posts, but Simmonsian Kobe mindreading is generally not a good way to approach anything analytical. Kobe’s mindset is not the problem with ths team; the fact that it has a lot of crappy players is.

  49. Robert,

    I don’t know that any “plan” adopted would guarantee that the Lakers are headed back to the promised land this year.

    But with half a season to play and with every franchise struggling to reach a consistent level of play, I’m expecting some real surprise outcomes unlike other years.

    I think the Lakers road schedule gets easier in the second half.

    I think their defense and rebounding can and will continue to allow them to win ugly the majority of the time.

    I think if we concentrate on moving Gasol and our other assets to improve our perimeter shooting and our perimeter defense without sacrificing too much of the strength our team exhibits on the boards, the we will see considerable improvement that logically should make us contend down the stretch.

    If nothing else it should make us a much more interesting and entertaining to watch.

    My hope is the FO can pull that off and at the same time make the roster younger and less expensive so that a couple of options are still left for the post season.

    Not knowing what trades are out there for the FO to pursue, it’s hard to say that pursuit of a Howard deal should be out the window.

    But I just come back to the fact that the center position is not a priority fix situation for this team right now.

    Sorry for the rant.

  50. That’s exactly the reason you need to hide him. So teams dont demand that he is included in a bigger trade because of course we would have to include him. It happens very often in all sports that teams don’t play young players before trade deadlines as to “hide them”. It also works the other way where teams play young players that don’t want or need to showcase them to up their trade value to include them in a package. This isn’t rocket science here. The Lakers aren’t playing for a few extra wins. They are and have been positioning themselves for trade flexibility going into the trade deadline since the CP3 trade was blown up.

  51. You have already told me that my plan does not give us a very good chance, so you are stating that your plan does not either – “as good”.

    __

    Not that simple. Your plan doesn’t do jack for this year, and I think it is less than 50.50 Howard stays.

    But if he does…

    Going the other way, it depends on who the Lakers get. The lineup holes are gaping–so what you see as tweaks could actually be major upgrades. And that could get some momentum flowing.

  52. rr,
    So you’re saying the Lakers and Nets agree to a DWill for Gasol trade and the nets ask for GLock and the Lakers say no? They have to say yes. The Lakers aren’t going to let GLock squash a trade. They will automatically include him. Teams hide players so they aren’t even asked about or hope they aren’t asked about. I think the Lakers see GLock as a good, cheap PG off the bench for the next few years. And who knows… Maybe they see him as the floor spacing PG for Bynum or Howard for the next decade.

  53. Aaron,

    Neither you nor I knows what is going in the Lakers FO, unless you have inside info like Ken at times seems to, so I cannot prove you’re wrong.

    But…

    You yourself have said that PGs grow on trees. There will be more Goudelocks in the next draft. MOST NBA teams have two PGs better than he is. Why would they automatically include him? If the Nets were trying to get Bynum for Williams (Gasol for Williams is a fanboy pipe dream) would no Goudelock be a deal-breaker for them any more than he would be for the Lakers? As someone else said, if a team wanted Goudelock, they would have scouted him already. They would have video on him already.

    And, if the Lakers ARE still trying to get Howard, and keep him, and they have a secret weapon floorspacer, they need to be showcasing that weapon–to Dwight Howard.

  54. I don’t accept the “hiding Goudelock” theory. I think poor coaching and lack of confidence by Brown is the real explanation (I just don’t think he has the stones to sit a 5 time champion and locker room leader like Fish).

    Last night was just one of many performances by our PG’s that wasn’t just bad but historically bad. Check out the combined line for Fish & Blake:

    47 minutes (i.e., the whole game)
    1/3 FG
    0/0 FT
    2 pts
    1 rebound
    4 assists
    2 turnovers

    Guys, it would be hard for any one of us not to replicate those numbers in 47 minutes. If the coaching staff wanted to “hide” Goudelock, then why not put Darius Morris into the starting lineup? You can’t seriously think that in 47 minutes Morris could not at least replicate THOSE unbelievably pathetic numbers, can you?

    Three field goal attempts, no free throws and only 4 assists means that our PG was putting absolutely ZERO pressure on the Suns defense. None. That was an embarrassment.

  55. Bynum is not a elite player in this league he hasn’t proved he can carry this team at any point in his tenure. Gasol is much more professional on and off the court than Drew. Has done so much for this city and he’s being treated like this. Who’s going to want to play for Lakers are seeing how they treat their star players? Lakers need to trade Drew and ride thia thing out with Kobe and Gasol.

  56. rr,
    That’s exactly the point. If you’re the Nets why not ask for GLock if you’re giving up your starting PG so you can have a back up to Farmar. If GLock was starting for the Lakers we would automatically have to include him. It doesn’t make sense for the Lakers to play him for 10 games and get two more wins if it hurts the playoff roster.

  57. Dave: Thanks for the response. It is not a rant, especially given these frustrating times. Yes – the abbreviated schedule lends itself to surprises (Hous got 1 this way, and SA got their 1st that way). I know you are still saying a Howard deal could be made. I am rooting for it, not because it fixes us, but because it gives us a future. I do not look forward to the Kobe retirement, where we could be superstarless.

  58. Mark Stein has this to say about the Lakers in his power rankings which sums up how bad the Lakers point guard situation is:
    “You can understand why the Lakers dream of acquiring a young, athletic point guard: L.A. is on course, at 93.0 ppg, to be the lowest-scoring team in franchise history in the shot-clock era … worse than the 1954-55 squad that averaged 95.6 ppg. Just not so sure trading Pau, at 31, can fetch that kind of PG.”

    The Lakers need help at the point guard position and the front office know this. The problem is that the PG situation might not be able to be fixed this season.

  59. I agree with Funky. In pre-season, the KBros said that the big interpersonal challenge for Brown would not be “reining in Kobe” but dealing with Fisher. Benching Kobe’s buddy/El Presidente/5-time champ/Mr. 0.4 would have been made easy by adding Paul. But with the other options being Steve Blake and two rookie second-rounders, it would take some gravitas. Brown does not appear to have it.

  60. Aaron: I see what you are saying with the hiding, however I only “hope” we have that problem. That would imply that deals are iminent and you are preventing teams from asking for a GLock throw in. OK – but we may have the opposite issue, + that is we do not have enough to offer them at all. Your DW example: I think they would ask for much more than you outline. I am rooting for you to be correct though.

  61. Aaron,

    I think you are being too clever by half, dramatically overrating Goudelock’s value, and ignoring the simple explanation, as provided by Funky: Brown doesn’t have the stones to bench Fisher, since there is not a clear league-average option on the roster to replace Fisher, and Brown is probably afraid of losing Kobe.

    Also, they could start Fisher and still play Goudelock 25 minutes a game.

    Finally, there is no reason–none–to think the Lakers are going to get Deron Williams. You may just be using that as an example, but it is purely a what-if.

  62. rr/Dave: To clarify: I could be swayed from my D12 or bust position, with another superstar possibility (DW as Aaron is suggesting). Right now we have 1 Superstar and 2 – let’s call them Stars (generous). We need to go up from there. We can’t go to 1 Superstar, 1 Star and others. That is not a winner. SuperStars win titles.

  63. Robert,

    Sure, I hope Aaron is right. But I don’t see it. Goudelock was good value at 46, but again, I do not see him as having a high ceiling. And I can’t see another team, looking to make a big deal for Pau, holding that up over Goudelock.

  64. rr,
    Trust me. I’m not overrating GLocks value. He can’t start on any NBA team besides the Lakers. Maybe the Magic to be honest now that Nelson aged overnight and is now worthless. GLock has a great outside shot and has a floater in the lane. That means he is automatically a usefule PG off the bench for every NBA team. PGs with just a little floater in the lane can have a 12 year NBA career.

  65. In fairness to Brown, Goudelock cannot handle Steve Nash for a long duration on the game although at least Glock could contribute on offense. Fisher could at least slowed down Nash, not because he’s faster but more on his experience. However, if you play the russian roulette with Fisher as the starting PG, Lakers are done for this season. They really need to use that TPE to acquire Sessions or go for the cheap in Arenas.

    Mitch clarified himself on the news that he will stay with the present unit as-is but he never categorically said that he will not trade anyone. I think the best deal is get a PG, go for the players that will be waived @ a minimum. If DH comes up at the offer preferred by Lakers, go for it but not to the point of damaging the distinct advantage of having twin towers.

  66. I watched three excellent games this weekend. Chicago against Boston, San Antonio versus the Clippers, and OKC versus Denver. What I saw in those games were capable atheletes with set offenses, making shots, running the floor. They were well coached, hard working and enthusiastic. None of those apply to the Lakers. The biggest thing I saw was each team was deep (even Boston). These teams all played at least 10 deep.

    The Lakers have 4 players that play at least 10 minutes a game that would not play for any of the teams above. MWP, Fisher, Murphy, and Kapono. In addition, we had the uber-sub that Brown has ruined in McRoberts and Luke still gets into games. Brown uses rotations that have proven to be outright terrible (McRoberts, Murphy and Kapono is the ultimate fail and McRoberts and Murphy should never be on the floor together- we have documented proof of this).

    Until the Lakers FO cleans up this deadwood, we will continue to be what we are now: a team who may or may not make the playoffs and an early exit casualty if we do.

  67. SuperStars win titles.

    —–

    Superstars on long-term deals surrounded by good supporting casts, assembled by good GMs and coached by the right guy win titles. Howard wants out for the same reasons James did. The Lakers have Kobe, but they also have a lot of the same problems Orlando does at the other levels, probably a worse coach, several players even worse than some of Orlando’s guys, and Kobe will be 34 years old in August and is owed another 58M after this year.

  68. I like the idea of hiding Fisher so a team “demands” him in a trade.

    The Lakers should do the same with Walton, WMP, et al.

    They need to hurry and get rid of all their lousy players that way before other teams get wise to this amazing new tactic. In fact, its unbelievable risky even talking about this on line becasue FB&G is where all the other FO’s eavesdrop to learn how to do their jobs!

  69. What is clear from this season so far, and from the comments on this blog, is that change in Lakerland is necessary–and the attempted CP3 trade suggests that change will come, as early as the trade deadline and as late as the offseason.

    This makes Kobe’s postgame outburst about the front office a little difficult to understand. It is absurdly unreasonable to expect the FO to “say we aren’t trading Pau” when it is obvious that he is the team’s best trade asset. It’s also ridiculously naive for Kobe to say “if you’re going to trade him then do it now” as if Mitch is sitting there rejecting trade offers (he might be, but they are likely crap offers at this stage).

    Anyone with even a passing understanding of NBA history should know that the trade deadline is point when these things happen. Teams will give in to pressure only when the risk of getting nothing in return for their expiring deals (DH12, DWill, etc) becomes imminent.

    Pau may well get moved, but if it happens at all it surely isn’t likely to happen “right now” as Kobe wants. It’s a tough situation for Pau, but he needs to suck it up. He absolutely cratered in the playoffs (well before any trade rumors arose) and hasn’t reclaimed his old self yet.

    Those clamoring for “loyalty” to Pau are exhibiting the same mindset that has allowed Derek Fisher to remain a starter. Loyalty is nice, and I’d always like to see the team try to be loyal where they can, but not at the expense of improvement. The CP3 deal is case in point. It would have been “disloyal” to get rid of Pau & Lamar, but it also made tremendous sense basketball-wise, which is why the team pursued it.

    Right now, this team is a first round playoff loser. If they qualify, the Lakers will field a starting lineup with two of the worst starters in the entire playoffs. To overcome that hurdle would be a Sisyphean effort that this club does not capable of producing.

  70. Andrew “flat foot” Bynum is more interested in thtowing elbows and cheap shots than playing defense. Bynum rather park in handicap spots than actual ones that are reserved for him because he’s out of shape and got lazy off the undeserved contract that was given to him years ago. While he’s improved some he is overrated because of his size. Trade this guy.

    Goudelock is the 2nd best guard has improved he should play 20+ mins. a game.

  71. 8884 & Kenoak,

    If Kobe wants Gasol out, he would not defend him as a professional whose game is affected by these rumors. Rather than going against the rumors, he would just shrugged his shoulders that it’s just part of the business.

    Yes, Gasol has trade value and also a huge contract, however it is difficult for a team to build a pyramid, I’m referring to the presence of the big three. You can say that Gasol can command two good players but they’re no pyramid designed for outside-inside threat. Time and again, all the broadcaster, the blog experts are all saying Lakers lacked a ball facilitator, a reliable bench so why break the pyramid if you’re not reinforcing it with another wing. When I say a new wing, replacement one of the bigs with DH. Supposing, the DH did not happen what would the Lakers do, continue rearranging the set of players until you get the desired chemistry.

    So far MBrown has not achieved his goal of making this team a defensive cohesive unit, we’ve seen only a short span of D and seemed to be at a lost when they’re on the road. Maybe we do not need to trade the best players in the team that much but change for a better Coach like, Coach K or Jerry Sloan. The team need to fraternize, be disciplined and a new game paradigm. A Coach that is not afraid to tell Kobe what needs to be done in order to win. Am I describing here Coach Pat Riley when he took over in 1982 in motivating Magic, Kareem, Coop, Big game James and Scott what needs to be done in order to win against the much hated Celtics.

  72. 1/2 D & R,

    What you said on #73 post is true but the presence of Bynum + Gasol is also the reason why they are above .500. Many here have already posted if you get DH + Kobe but status quo on the rest, will there be an improvement? Who will play C in the 2nd unit, Murphy? He could not even defend the 4, expect him to play 5? If Lakers would not go deep in the playoffs with DH is around, will he renew his contract with the Lakers? Is there a guarantee of getting D’Will at the end of the season when you have no good player for the sign and trade deal?

  73. R: Not only do you like Kobe, but you have a sense of humor as well – awesome !!!
    1/2decaf: I would feel so much better if I knew the Magic were not going to pull a “Cleveland”.
    rr@69: You are depressing me with all of your facts : (

  74. Fascinating…back in their June 2010 draft preview, this was posted on Hoops Analyst:

    “He looks to me like a sleeper in the mold of George Hill. He appears to have the skills to become at least a usable combo guard. If he can get the passing thing down and handle the point, Jeremy Lin is a good enough player to start in the NBA and possibly star.”

    Basically, the guy looked at two stats: Jeremy’s 2-pt FG% and his Reb+Stl+Blk per 40 minutes to refute those who said Lin wasn’t athletic enough to succeed in the NBA.
    http://hoopsanalyst.com/blog/?p=487

  75. This team has more holes than Sponge Bob Square Pants. If Brown plays the big three for long minutes and loses, then: “MB should have played them less.” If Brown plays the big three for long minutes and wins, then: “MB should have played them less, and used the bench more.”

    This season sums up who this team is: “Inconsistent!”

    The problem with the bench is that on any given day any player in the NBA can have a stat stuffing game. But that’s why they are journeymen and bench players. The Lakers have a bunch of players that are fortunate to still be in the NBA, so they will up one day and down 10. Couple that bench with only getting production from three of the five starters, and voila you have the 2011-2012 Lakers.

  76. I believe G-lock will get more run as the season moves on. Currently he look uncomfortable running the point. In collage he was asked to score. While we also want him to score, we also need a facilitator and he is not there yet. However he may be the reason we haven’t went after a PG yet. The FO maybe watching his development. If he can become at least the 2nd unit PG we can save our assets to fill other needs.

  77. Been stuck in traffic travelling so just a heads up, the game preview will be up by 5pm PT.

  78. 1/2decaf (73): Trading Gasol and Bynum for Howard leaves no starter to play the 4, no backup 5, AND our terrible starters at the 1 and 3. The team has cut Caracter (who might have been able to give them minutes at the 4) and seems certain to deal McRoberts, so how we would field a competitive team is more than I can see.

  79. Robert,

    I don’t buy this hierarchical framework formula of yours where there is one or more superstars plus 1 or more stars required to = champion.

    I can’t believe you do either really, but If you do, then explain to me please how the Dallas Mavericks ever won a championship last year.

    Because if you’re going to say that anyone other than Nowitzki constituted super stardom on that team and any of the rest of the supporting cast were stars, i’m calling baloney on that.

  80. Edwin, Kobe didn’t “Defend” Pau like you are implying he did, if anything he said he would be fine with trading him or keeping him. More than anything he never said “we can’t trade this guy” or “he means so much to this team.” Pau may be a great player but he underperforms for someone with his salary, someone who makes that much money shouldn’t disappear or be as inconsistent. Kobe makes great money but you can tell he leaves it on the floor every game, the same cannot be said about Pau.

  81. Edwin, you said….

    “So far MBrown has not achieved his goal of making this team a defensive cohesive unit”

    Statistically as we sit here today, that statement is not correct. The Lakers are current;y third or fourth best in the NBA in defense and they are th best rebounding team in the league right now.

    I think Brown deserves a little more credit then he’s receiving right now.

    This may not be what Laker fans are accustomed to, but it is still a long way from being an unmitigated disaster as some are portraying it to be.

  82. 84,

    8884, you can interpret in that way too. As you very well know, Kobe cannot act as a GM but he’s just making a strong suggestion to the F/O for clarity trade or no trade but don’t keep everyone hanging while they’re also playing. We already know Kobe wants to win and he cannot win games if the star players he’s playing with 3x a week are insecure of their tenure with the Lakers. He wants finality on any decision to be made.

    With regards to Pau, he has some weak points but IMO, his valuable assets on PPG, R, are also something to be admired in the last four years with the Lakers.

  83. decaf,

    I’m not married to the idea that the Lakers have to retain Bynum.

    I just think it’s very difficult to find his skill set as a natural center anywhere in the league these days.

    So if you trade him, go in with yours wide open. You’re not likely going to be able to replace him in kind.

    He’s also only 24 years old and could very well go on to having an injury free career from here on out just as easily as he could be prone to having more problems.

    I like Dwight Howard but I’d feel a whole lot better if we were negotiating with him as a free agent right now.

    My preference would be to see him play out the string in Orlando and then we go to war with Cuban and Prokharov for his services next summer.

    Then we don’t have to screw around with satisfying the Magic demands whilst trying to lure him to LA.

    We could clear cap space then by moving Andrew for some draft picks.

  84. Shhhh, shhhh, if we are trying to “hide” Goudelock, then we need to stop talking about him on this blog, or the other teams may make a deal that is hard to pass up with him included in it. I want him to be a Laker for a long time. I like his game, especially for a late 2nd round pick, who would have thought.

  85. 85,

    You should have quoted the rest of the sentence….”we’ve seen only a short span of D and seemed to be at a lost when they’re on the road.” When you consider road games only, where do they rank in defense? I don’t think Lakers can get DH as FA.

    In the preceding post, I gave kudos for MBrown but IMO his best coaching leaves a lot to be desired especially to a high profiled team like the Lakers. On this last comment, I hope I’m wrong at the end of the playoffs.