The Breakdown: Going Through Progressions

Phillip Barnett —  March 8, 2012

Last Sunday, the Lakers came away with their biggest win of the season — a 10-point win over the Miami Heat. While the Lakers have struggled in their last two against lottery bound teams in Detroit and Washington, we have seen improvements in the Lakers offense over the course of the last 15 games. According to ESPN’s Ramona Shellbourne, players have complained about the offense and said Mike Brown has allowed the team to read and react a bit more while calling set plays a little less.

The Lakers had gone 8-2 coming into this three-game road trip, including a win over the Miami Heat on Sunday. During that stretch, it was obvious Brown had made an effort to scale back on some of his micromanaging tendencies that have grated on players this season. He’s noticeably canceled several practices and shootarounds after Bynum spoke out publicly about how the increased practice schedule, combined with an already condensed season, was affecting his play. He’s settled into more consistent offensive rotations after experimenting for much of the season, and he’s let the team read and react on offense instead of calling so many plays.

The last time I wrote a play breakdown, it was a brilliantly drawn up play by Brown and his staff that led to Andrew Bynum feeding a cutting Troy Murphy. This time, we get to see how the collective basketball IQ of the Lakers can take what a defense gives them — even against the Miami Heat who feature one of the league’s premier defenses. The following comes from last Sunday’s game early in the third quarter.

The play starts off with Fish bringing the ball up on the left side with Kobe staring in the right corner, Pau in the pinch post, Bynum heading to the low block opposite of the ball and Ron on the right wing.

The action begins with Kobe cutting baseline to post up on the left block and Fish getting the ball to Pau in the pinch post, which is important for a few reasons. First, Kobe got off to a hot start in the first half, setting the tone, and getting him an early look in the post could get him going again to start off the third. Second, it’s Kobe playing off the ball instead of initiating the offense. Bryant has been much more effective catching in the post, coming off screens and catching on the curls rather than trying to create on his own this season. Also, Pau can knock down that 17-footer, so it keeps LeBron from sagging to help on whatever action is going on behind him. Getting the ball to Kobe is the first option, but Shane Battier does a great job of denying the entry pass and Pau is forced to look elsewhere.

After getting the ball back to Fish, Pau sets a screen for him and cuts back door and slips unnoticed behind the defense. While Pau is cutting, Kobe pops out looking for the 15-foot catch-and-shoot opportunity and Bynum starts coming up the line creating the kind of spacing Pau and ‘Drew hadn’t really figured out on the floor together.

Now we have Bynum up near the elbow receiving a pass and Pau underneath the rim wide open due to LeBron hedging hard on Fish coming off the screen that he set. Instead of taking a dribble, which could have turned into a turnover with Wade starting to dig down, he turns and faces the basket away from the direction the double team was coming and sees a wide open Pau underneath the basket.

By the time Pau catches the ball, LeBron is out of position and can do nothing to prevent the layup. Wade doesn’t have enough time to get from where ‘Drew was to where Pau is and there’s no help from a center because Joel Anthony stepped out to defend Bynum.

The result is two easy points on the Lakers first possession of the second half without Kobe touching the ball once. Beautiful execution by just taking what the defense offered. This is where the Lakers offense has been at its best, ball movement, player movement, and touches for the bigs. As this season has progressed, I’ve become more impressed with Andrew Bynum’s improved ability to pass the ball from multiple spots not he floor. Having two 7-footers is great, but having two deft passers at 7-feet is a luxury that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Check out the play in real time.

Phillip Barnett

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132 responses to The Breakdown: Going Through Progressions

  1. Constant effective ball movement gives team’s confidence and demoralizes a defense.

  2. Thank you for taking my mind out of the tailspin it had been in all day. Please post 5-7 of these posts daily :P

    I think this is the best way to enjoy the season, look at the basketbal, not the speculation and gossip.

    And what a beautiful possession, Kobe being decoy, and Pau and Bynum being just straight deadly.

  3. what i hate about the lakers is when they allowing kobe to try hard on offense. we’ve got 2 bigs who are a decent passer, a great low post players in gasol and kobe and yet, if we need a basket the team just let kobe do the work, dribble, post, pump fakes, and that when our offense get predictable. this is not a 26y/o kobe we’re talking about here who can score by pure athleticm.

  4. We got to blame Phil too, players got to used playing for Phil, light pratice or no pratice at all last season. This season,players complained too much pratice, well, if you don’t pratice, how can you be top team in the NBA ?
    People said, Lakers play well at home and not good on the road, why? I think they have to play good in LA or people will boo them, on the road, they forgot they have to play harder.

  5. I like how Bynum took credit for the loss. But is he our leader? Is he? I thought it was Kobe? I guess not. When was the last time Kobe took credit for a loss?

  6. The Lakers have to practice more now because they are still getting used to a totally new offense. The Lakers ran the Triangle so long they were literally on autopilot. When they went away from it in games it was because they got lazy, not because they forgot it. Plus, Phil understood there was no point in running a veteran team into the ground during practice. The regular season is a long and exhausting enough.

    Brown doesn’t have the luxury of letting them take many days off. They are still trying to establish their offensive identity. It’s just too bad it is taking them this long to do so.

  7. Lakers should just let the offense do the work. You don’t always have to do extra work for offense.

    It helps to have more than 3 good players. No way should a rookie Goudelock have such a burden to produce.

  8. Now THIS is the FB&G I love! What a relief to be talking basketball again rather than wringing our hands like a bunch of old women.

    Great post!

  9. Good breakdown Phillip.

    All: Last night’s game should not have been close, but here is a breakdown of the critical losing point in the end:

    2:50 99-98 Lakers lead
    2:33 99-100 K Seraphin makes 5′ hook shot
    2:11 A Bynum lost ball turnover
    1:36 D Fisher misses 25′ jumper
    1:29 99-102 K Seraphin makes dunk
    1:09 Kobe Bryant misses 26′ jumper

    As you can see we had a little of everything:

    A) Bynum’s TO did not look good, but it was caused by him receiving the ball too far away from the hoop.
    B) Fish did not need to take the 25′ shot as we were only down 1 + there was nobody within 10′ of him.
    C) Kobe made his contribution with a forced 26′ of his own.
    D) The bigs made Seraphin look like an all star as he goes for 14+9 in 25 mins with 2 critical baskets down the stretch.

  10. Great breakdown. The biggest thing is that it was great execution without Kobe touching the ball. How can the lakers consistently get good execution when he does handle the ball? Games like yesterday it was nothing but iso’s. Fish brings the ball up the court passes it to kobe then thats it. More often than not it looks like high school basketball.

    Kobe has to make his teammates better but he doesn’t. With the lakers up 21 kobe decides he wants to put them away by himself instead of trusting what got them that 21 point lead in the first place.

    The fans aren’t asking Kobe to change into a point guard, but not passing the ball at all and shooting the lakers out of games is getting old. He wants to win, but win his way and his way only.

    I know Bynum had a bunch of turnovers and a key turnover in the clutch, but at least he trying to make the right play. Unless kobe gets that mindset as well the lakers will be a first round playoff exit waiting to happen.

  11. “I know Bynum had a bunch of turnovers and a key turnover in the clutch, but at least he trying to make the right play. Unless kobe gets that mindset as well the lakers will be a first round playoff exit waiting to happen.”

    Great quote my friend. I think Kobe is only interested in making the right play constantly when he think he has a championship team. If not he is in it for stats and records. That’s who he is. We will see the good Kobe when we bring in a PG at the trade deadline. I have no doubt.

  12. If we want to get honest answer, listen to what Bynum said:” i was kind of loafing around,…,having good times,…we didn’t play hard,…,just going through motion as a unit”. This is why i like Bynum, he tells the truth.

  13. Very frustrating to see the potential so seldom fulfilled.

    When they move the ball and use the post these Lakers are pretty great. When they don’t, they aren’t.

    Seems pretty simple, to me; why doesn’t it happen more often?

  14. Ultimately these defeats mean very little. But as weston expressed it: “Very frustrating to see the potential so seldom fulfilled.”

    I truly believe there is championship caliber talent in this squad, just need some meshing.

  15. Weston,
    Because the Lakers have the second best player to ever play the game at shooting guard. It’s gonna be hard to watch as he ages and becomes less consistent. Ten years ago he would have had 90 points against that team with single coverage. Now he can shoot under thirty percent in back to back games. It happens… People age… But he is pretty damn good still. What makes it so akward is the Lakers have one of the best Center/PF combos of all time. We have to look at that though. As Mike Brown said the other day David Robinson was far passed his prime when the Spurs won the title with Duncan. So who was the last great big men combo to win a championship? The Celtics in the 80’s. But let’s be honest… There has only been Robinson/Duncan and Sampson/Hakeem after that. So not many chances to win it all with two dominant big men. I still think its a nice thing to have ;)

  16. Aaron: Interesting thought @11, with the reference to “good Kobe”. I agree that “bad Kobe” comes out mostly when the team is bad. Like during 2005-2007 or this year. Or perhaps even way back when he missed all those threes against SA before the Shaq/Kobe duo got dominant. This is why I don’t think his “attitude” has cost us rings. Games yes – rings no. In any case – yes – a better team around him increases the chances of better play from Kobes. Without roster change, we could have the Kobe who sits in the front row and brings the teacher an apple, and we still will not get rings.

  17. “How can the lakers consistently get good execution when [Kobe] does handle the ball?”

    The key word there is consistency. Against Miami, and then in the first half against Washington, he was getting nice looks after nice sets. Then, in the second half last night, he just started launching shots.

    Can it be that he is trying to frustrate his bigs for some reason?

    I’m kidding (I try not to be one to get into psychoanalysis mode when the Lakers lose a couple), but it is very disconcerting.

  18. From the starters role, there are two players who have no offense 1 & 3. If they produce Lakers win. This is almost similar situation when Kwame and Smush were here plus Walton and Odom, a younger Kobe has to save the team in every game. On the 2nd unit, there are two focal point of offense Drew and G-Lock and most of the time their strategy is being telegraphed to the opposing team, it’s no secret that the ball would try to go to Drew first, then if he’s double teamed kick it outside until time is about to expire G-lock would try his luck. It seems Murphy and Blake are afraid to shoot, they always pass and waste lots of time. That’s where the flaws for people who kept on saying pass that rock. It really depends how you create an opening when passing that rock, is it an assist or just a lazy lateral passing inside/outside or lateral passing to whilst time.

    What’s the solution? The problem is there is a need for two good players who are either shooters or slashers, one is a PG and the other is SF or SG in the 2nd unit. If you have a reliable slasher like those from Pistons and Wizards, I think we solve the “slowness” and “telegraphic passes” plus “defensive transition” of the Lakers.

    What is this disease of losing leads in the 2nd half? Fatigue, you got to trust or develop young legs: Ebanks, Morris and Goudelock. They have the stamina to keep up with speed and bringing the ball up court. It should be a task oriented system based on what is needed to be done. If you need one-on-one defense, get Artest (for only short time), if you need a slasher who would mix-ups plays, then go for Barnes but please don’t play them long minutes. Yesterday Josh McRob played beautifully….see they have a use with the
    Lakers.

    Lastly, for MBrown stop talking to the media on what you plan to do? Just do it. You are now the Laker coach and on the spot light of the never ending Laker drama. Don’t you have enough stress in your life ever since you got this job? So far, you have beaten Rudy T. who did not reach March in quitting. Will you follow the footsteps of Harris or Pfund?

  19. Robert,
    I’ve never been accused of not having interesting thoughts ;)

  20. Kobe is going to shoot us out of games, that’s fine.

    One of the big men needs to be traded for a defensive minded big man…ibaka, Noah, Evans etc…they aren’t as good as bynum and gasol but they would fit with Kobe

  21. We can only hope Marques. However think a little bigger : ) We have 7 days.

  22. Great timely post, Phillip. Nice to get away from the last couple games and focus on the little things done right. Like most on here, I really like these video breakdowns.

  23. can luke still play any more ?

    he says his back is fine and feels he can help the team with ball movement in mike browns system

    put him with bynum, shaq. loved playing with luke.

  24. What a relief to be talking basketball again rather than wringing our hands like a bunch of old women.

    If you want to change the subject, change the subject. If you want to talk tactics and play sequences, talk tactics and play sequences. Complaining about posts you don’t like adds to the (non-existent) problem and creates a new one.

  25. Seems pretty simple, to me; why doesn’t it happen more often?

    Because there are two teams on the floor. The Lakers just can’t do whatever they want whenever they want, and they have a severe lack of talent and speed on the perimeter and are very slow overall with no decent PG. Every team in the NBA knows this and prepares accordingly.

    That doesn’t mean Kobe should jack up contested jumpers in isos all the time and he should be criticized when he does. But it is all part of the same big picture.

    Note in the play breakdown above, it took several actions and several passes to make the play work. That is because, as Brown said, the Lakers don’t have “breakdown guys” like Chris Paul or Tony Parker. They need to execute down to third and fourth options, in detail, and that is hard to do against NBA defenses play after play after play.

  26. Final note: James and a couple of other guys made mistakes on D on that play. The Lakers did execute well, but thare are at least two ways to look at every play.

  27. I contend Lakers got up big 2 straight games Kobe got bored and lost focus. Versus the Heat that’s a big game so the team was dialed in all game.

    Maybe Lakers should meditate it’s all about focus.

  28. rr,

    Agreed; it’s very hard to execute to the third+ option against NBA defenses. But what frustrates me is that too often it looks like they’d rather not even try.

    And I’m not trying to say it’s all Kobe’s fault, though he is partly responsible. The overall lack of speed and athleticism on the perimeter is glaring.

  29. Mike Brown and Phil Jackson are different coaches. Brown seems more hands on, while Phil was more laidback and let the guys figure things out when there got into trouble on the court. Maybe Brown needs to try this and see how it works. I know sometimes to prove a point, Phil would take a loss. Sometimes being too hands on makes the players feel that the coach doesn’t trust the players(I know that this is Brown’s first season, and it takes time for players and coaches to trust each other). Maybe he needs to try some team building trust exercises.

  30. Hey guys. I wanted to share this from David Friedman. He writes at 20 second timeout. Anyway, this sums up my feelings on this issue exactly- in much better words than I can come up with.

    “What many people fail to understand when they try to evaluate Bryant purely by looking at his FGAs is that you have to look at the entire dynamic of the Lakers’ offense and how opposing defenses attack it; Gasol is drifting out to the perimeter more than ever this season, while Bynum often lumbers down court and takes time to establish post position. When Bynum receives the ball in the post he cannot score unless he is right by the basket; he lacks explosiveness and reacts poorly to double teams. Sure, once in a while Bynum will make a short jumper or deliver a nice post move but frequently if he cannot simply catch the ball and dunk he experiences problems. The Lakers lack consistent long range shooters, so opposing defenses swarm Bryant and make it difficult for the Lakers to get quality shots–and that is why Bryant sometimes forces shots early in the shot clock: he’d rather take an open look whenever he can get it then waste 20 seconds on the shot clock trying to do something that won’t work and then have to shoot a hand grenade as the shot clock is about to expire. There is no problem with Bryant shooting quickly when he has energy and his shot is accurate but when he is tired or off target the Lakers are dead in the water. It is ridiculous to think that when Bynum has a 6-8 night that he would have actually shot 12-16 or 18-24 if he would have gotten more shot attempts; Bynum shoot so accurately because he is mainly getting lobs and easy shots after Bryant is double-teamed: it’s not like Bynum is some great offensive force who is creating his own opportunities like Shaq or Hakeem Olajuwon.” -David Friedman

  31. So many excuses for Kobe’s play.. his apologists are as stubborn as his detractors are. KB24 jacks up wild threes and long-range twos outside the offense far too often. There is no excuse for these when your bigs are shooting over 50% inside.

    Let the bigs fail first, before you go into Hero Mode, Kobe.

    Of course, that will never happen since Kobe knows if it succeeds he will no longer be Option A and Option B.

  32. kOBE WOULD NOT be controlling the game if he had a NBA point guard bringing the ball down the court. Chris Paul would pass to the open man not the Kobe man. Fisher knows he only has a uniform because kobe allows him. It’s that simple.
    Brown on the other hand is the wrong coach for this team. Can not adjust or call time out when his bad bench is getting punked and refuse to stand up to Kobe and the team like he didn’t with Metta earlier in the season.

    ON A HAPPY NOTE. NEXT WEDS AT 95 AQUARIUM WAY LONG BEACH AT KAVIKAS RESTAURANT IS THE NBA LEGENDS EVENT WITH OVER 40 FORMER NBA PLAYERS LIKE WILKES, NIXON, ERICKSON, LUCIUS ALLEN, DAN ISSEL, TOMMY HAWKINS ETC. ITS FREE AND SPONSORED BY OUR SOCAL BEER. COME BY AND YELL AT ME OR AT FORMER LAKER PLAYERS.
    AS FOR KEN

  33. Yup. Bynum can dominate any one on one coverage. Just look what he did against Ben Wallace at 40 years of age.

    I’m not saying that Kobe didn’t take too many shots. I’m not saying that Kobe didn’t take some really turrible shots. What I am saying, is that Kobe is not the only one to blame here and just dumping the ball down low every time down the floor will not get it done either. I would like to see the shot attempts at something like:
    Kobe 20
    Pau 15
    Bynum 15

  34. David Freidman has obviously not watched a Lakers game this year. Bynum is very explosive and isn’t beig double teamed in the paint non stop because he doesn’t have any post moves. He basically contradicted himself.

  35. KenOak: Nice posts on this topic.
    Avidon: Agreed that it will never happen (seriously). So why are we still taking about like it could?
    All: This Kobe bashing is a great distraction from the fact that soon we will have 6 more days. Cuban and Riley are just praying that the league collectively runs the rest of the clock out, so they can divide the world in the NBA equivalent of Yalta.

  36. Robert,

    The main reason I bring it up is because I believe this to be a bigger problem than what most perceive the biggest problem to be – lack of production from 1 and 3 spots. If Kobe shares the ball more, our role players will get and make more shots. Yes, Fisher is old and MWP is in a funk, but it’s my opinion that they would produce far more if they truly felt they were a part of the team’s offense.

  37. Maybe this team is just not good enough. It wasn’t good enough last year so it’s not good enough this year. Our big 3 are doing all they can sometimes overcompensating and it’s still not enough. To have 3 good players is a major problem that extends farther than the court.

    Our defense is solid but through some research LA bloggers/writers have found out it’s actually worse than last year. Being old and slow footed works to our disadvantage instead of ball pressure and jumping passing lanes playing a aggressive defense. Their forced to play defensive defense if that makes any sense.

    Avidon: Fisher and Metta bricked wide open 3 back-to-back games that would’ve gave lakers the lead. Those guys are old and over the hill this isn’t 3-5 years ago. Lakers have a winning record because Kobe’s early season scoring barrage was needed to get wins. Kobe has always won when he’s had the pieces to do so give him better pieces I’m sure he’ll win again.

  38. Hey Aaron-
    Why don’t you go to his website and tell him that. I would love to see you two go back and forth for a bit. That would be…entertaining.

  39. KenOak,
    I don’t bother discussing basketball who are that far off. Another slight contradiction is he says Bynum isn’t explosive but says all he can do is dunk. Haha. It’s like he was intentionally making fun of himself.

  40. If you want Kobe to pass…put him in the pick and roll…he will dribble out to half court and pass the ball.

    Mike brown is a clown.

    That’s why rodman was so great…jordan could clank jumpers all day …rodman would get it and pass it back…pippen never pouted about shots…our two other “stars” only play when they are getting shots.

  41. To me, the issue here is a coaching one. The rotations, lineup combos and in-game management is atrocious. Brown is losing confidence from the team on a daily basis. To me, either he is clueless on offense or he is giving Kobe too much latitude to veer off the game plan. Either way, the blame is squarely on Brown’s shoulder.

    Also, while we may have a gaping hole at PG, I can’t for the life of me understand why Fish starts when Blake or Goudelock should be the starter. Benching Fisher would send a strong message of authority to this team, even if Kobe is not benched. I get the feeling that Brown is too much of a nice guy to shake this team out of its funk. What we need here is a strong personality, like Van Gundy, B Scott or Riley (not saying we need these coaches, just dating someone with their personality traits). This nice guy routine will only lead us to misery.

  42. KenOak,
    Whoops. Didn’t see you write above that that you agreed with him. My bad. I wasn’t intentionally making fun of you. I think you know basketball.

  43. You crack me up Aaron! Do you write this stuff or what? So, a 7 footer has to be explosive to dunk? ;)
    Is Pau explosive? Shawn Bradley? Manute Bol? Dwight Howard is explosive. Bynum pre knee injuries was friggen explosive, but he is not at that level any longer. The great thing is that he is much much more polished than he was at 19 years old.

  44. This right here Aaron-

    “My bad. I wasn’t intentionally making fun of you. I think you know basketball.”

    That’s why people dislike you on this site. That’s why people call you a troll. You resort to this kind of crap when you can’t win an argument. (which is quite often.)

  45. I don’t know if Blake should be the Laker starter, I’d rather go with Goudeloch. Even though, rookies don’t get calls in neither tough games, nor the playoffs.

    Blake won’t even shoot the ball on the offensively challenged bench, isn’t that one reason why we don’t want Fisher in the lineup. Also, players blow by Blake with just as much rapidity as they do Fisher.

    The Lakers need to send Ebanks and Morris to the NBDL to get experience and develop their games.

  46. I honestly don’t see the downside in starting Goudelock. Poor defense? At least he can break his man down and he isn’t afraid to shoot.

  47. Avidon: Agreed that it will never happen (seriously). So why are we still taking about like it could?
    ___

    I think Kobe’s USG will go down organically if they get a legit 1. If it doesn’t, I will be first in line to call him out.

    And a note to Avidon and all the others who are focused on Kobe: if Mike Brown agrees with you that Kobe’s shooting too much is the big thing holding the team back, Brown is in a position to do something about it, if he wants to.

  48. I am definitely sure by March 15th, Lakers will have a new PG, the question who will he replace? I think it would be Fisher because that seems to be the root of the problem at this time. Fisher will slide to 2nd unit sharing time with Blake while G-lock will continue to be SG.

    Whether we like Kobe or despise Kobe, everyone is unanimous that we’re losing steam in the 2nd half, could rarely hit 100 mark, don’t have any killer instinct started when we exported Vujacic to a TPE without any exchange of his production; exported ShanWow with minimal exchange in return from Kapono; finally exporting LO with another TPE with minimal contribution in return from Murphy and McRoberts. Thank God we have G-lock, the rookie. He seemed to be the surprise of this season. Right now we’re deficit in points from all players that were exported, Bynum improved while Fisher and MWP regressed. Kobe is still the same Kobe who wanted to win now absorbed all the hatred because he missed those impossible shots. In his thinking, he was fouled, to some fans he’s a consummate ball hog who forgot the two bigs. Nobody even mentioned that beautiful assist to McBob, everything boils down on those missed 3 pointers in the end. If he made them, we moved on because he missed them, let’s crucify him!!!

  49. WOW!! Things are really getting bad. Now Pau is basically calling Kobe selfish. The same Kobe who stuck up for him to ease his nerves and went after management.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/kobe-bryant-firing-away-pau-gasol-addresses-los-144531785.html

    Lakers have 4 2nd round picks in this draft. Those may have some value

  50. rr,

    That’s a lot of “ifs” in one sentence.

  51. It’s a good thing players probably don’t ever read these blogs, because when a player is doing well you biploar fans ride his “you know what”. When that same player doesn’t play well, you crucify the guy. REALLY? Here’s a prime example.

    Kobe goes for 40 or more in a week carrying his team with killer precision shooting nearly 50%! Kobe is hailed as king in Lakerland. Everyone complaining on how poorly the rest of the team was doing. BUT THANK GOD WE HAD KOBE (didn’t matter how many times he shot or where he shot from as long as we were winning).

    Kobe leads us to a big win over Miami with a broken nose and he’s given hero cape. But Kobe (obviously tired) shoots horrible in 2 games and there the BIPOLAR FANS go “ball hog” ball hero” “he shoots us out of games” “he doesn’t trust his teammates” he he he he he he he got darn HE! Frankly im tired of hearing this… here are the facts you need to live with and move on.

    KOBE SHOOTS…. thats what he does.. we live or die by his shot..PERIOD

    PAU IS SOFT…BUT he’s top 3 at his position…we need him..he’s a great player.

    BYNUM CAN JUST GET BETTER…he’s not a leader yet….but he will get there.. he can’t handle the rock more than 20 shots a game..we won’t win consistently like that.

    Fish is old and we still love him..But we need change. MTWP has lost a step and he can’t be the player he used to be, everbody sees this but him… (so, sad because I liken him).

    WE LOST A GREAT PLAYER IN LO.. :(

    WHO ARE THE OTHER PLAYERS?,,,,POINT MADE

  52. Funky Chicken March 8, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    The Friedman quote is an absurd attempt to justify Kobe’s selfishness. To pin this on Bynum’s ineffectiveness in the post is ridiculous. Kobe has always dominated the ball, and even overshot when Shaquille was here.

    Moreover, what kind of a statement is it that Kobe would rather shoot a quick shot rather than work the offense (since it “won’t work”)?

    If Bynum is healthy and out of foul trouble, Kobe shooting four times more than Bynum cannot be justified. Ever.

  53. FunkyChicken: It’s not Kobe amount of shots it’s shot selection. With that said it’s a team game, Lakers are trying to learn a new system on the fly with no practice time, coaching on offense isn’t good at all. Kobe sees this and may overcompensate sometimes.

    Lakers literally have 3 good players there lies the problem.

  54. sounds good but Friedman is at least partly correct…bynum can’t hold position on the block they push him so far out he can’t effectively go to his favorite move. He’s useless on the left block and useless at the foul line. He gets his points by running down the middle in transition…which is great except we don’t have a single person who can dribble without turning their back to the basket.

    Do I wish Kobe would understand he’s off and stop shooting jumpers? Yes

    But what I want more is for bynum and Pau to realize they aren’t stars….see, I remember Pau in Memphis with a team to himself he scored four more points than he does now..how soon we forget.

    And yes. Bynum is the second best center in a league with two centers…..get a rebound control the paint on defense and be happy your not being exposed.

  55. Funky Chicken March 8, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Kevin, shot selection is obviously an issue, but I think you’d be hard pressed to find a player with teammates like Pau and Andrew who could ever get 31 good shots.

    Moreover, there’s something to be said for getting others involved. It puts guys in better rebounding position, helps with transition to defense, and motivates guys to work hard off the ball. None of this happens when a guard shoots more than 30 times.

    Finally, there is no doubt that Fisher and MWP are awful. But, the Lakers have two of the very best low post players in the league. Failing to use them is inexcusable.

  56. Funny stuff on this blog. @9 ‘Fish didn’t need to shoot cause we were only down one and no one was within 10 feet of him.’ Right, wait til you’re covered and then pass it to Kobe for the brick. @ those who say we need 1) a Rodman who can rebound all the clancked shots, 2) a PG who can take the ball from Kobe’s hands and 3) a (Gasol) trade for a D-minded big cause Kobe is going to shoot us out of games which is OK (said writer, implying without effecient O we need better D). I have a different view: how about we keep Gasol and another guy gets his head screwed on straight. Then we get a decent PG for proper reasons–not to keep KB from going amuck.

  57. FunkyChicken: All true the fact is Lakers need Kobe to score. And the bigs to not give up 15 offensive rebounds a game. As well as the 4-9 not to suck so much. In game adjustments. Players needing to hit open shots. It’s a lot of problems with this team that aren’t fixable unless there are changes. So until then we may be seeing the same type of ball we’ve seen so far this season. Mediocre

  58. Funky Chicken March 8, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    No doubt, Kevin. Mediocrity seems baked into the cake at this point.

  59. Because of these two losses, the intrigue on Kobe is gradually developing from fans who hates his guts remnants from the Shaq era, the Scrub era and the redemption era of b2b titles of 09 & 10. What I fear most is a repetition of intriguing Kobe who refuse to shoot and will just pass the ball the whole game. It happened twice when he was fighting against Shaq for the supremacy in the team and when he just quit in Phoenix playoffs in 2007. I don’t think this team or this city needs more gamesmanship by casting endless blames, the buck should stop on the Coach. We have seen the extreme of Kobe 9-31, do you want to experience again the other extreme of just solely facilitating Kobe?

    To longtimer fans like me who grew up in the 60’s and a Laker fan from the other side of the globe watching & reading all kinds of Lakers frustrations against the Celtics, I have only one wish. They lost to the Pistons, to the Bullets-Whiz even to the T’wolves but never to Leprechauns who are coming this Sunday. I see the ghost of Red A. laughing at us. Therefore, fellow fans, let’s all unite into this, cease and desist in casting aspersions to a recurring problem and blaming only our Superstar. it is a team problem, so hopefully they’ll solve it as a team before Sunday.

  60. That’s a lot of “ifs” in one sentence.
    ___

    Yeah, and that’s the point. Several people on the board and many in the media (Hollinger in chat today did it again) are more or less saying that Kobe is wrecking the team. Does Brown agree? And if he does, isn’t it time he did something about it? And if he doesn’t agree, does that mean you’re right and he’s wrong? Or, as Hollinger said today, does he lack the “gravitas” to do anything about it?

    _____________

    “None of this happens when a guard shoots more than 30 times.”

    Good point. I am sure all the Bulls tuned out when Jordan went 15/35 in Game 6 of the 1998 Finals.

    Yes, that was an exceptional situation,
    but there is no magic number of shots Kobe needs to take or not take, as people have said. Durant was 10/27 last night. KB just needs to take fewer contested iso jumpers and even if he is jacking the ball up, the other guys need to stay involved. Bynum himself said he was “loafing” last night.

    There is no real evidence that Pau or Drew could take their USGs up into the high 20s and maintain efficiency. Drew has picked up a bit lately, but his EFG has been down this year with the higher USG, and Pau’s still is. A lot of that is, again, not having a PG.

    Kobe shot too much last night, for sure. I would put that loss on him to a huge degree. But Kevin’s #56 is very accurate.

  61. I think I figured it out. If the Lakers crushed Detroit and Washington after Miami there might not have been any trades.

    Andrew kidded aroung. Kobe overshot, the bench auditioned and the team tanked the games.

    Just lime Farmer, Brown, Ariza and several other ex-Lakers several players want to go else where.

    With a dysfunctional FO, a offensive challenged coach and a star who will not share the glory this team is not a place to flourish and get a big contract.

    The team dumped these games in hopes of being anywhere else not under thumb of Kobe.

  62. Speaking of usage (rr’s comment above), the Lakers only have two players with usage rates over 15 besides their big three. Barnes’ usage is at 16.5 and Goudelock’s is at 22.2. But, the rook only plays around 10 minutes a game so I think that number is a bit overstated but lets roll with it for now.

    Last season, for guys that actually played (so I’m throwing out Ebanks, Caracter, and Sasha), the Lakers had 7 players with usage rates over 15 (Kobe, Pau, Bynum, Odom, Shannon, Ron, and Barnes). This shows more players were making plays (usage tracks shots, assists, and turnovers) for themselves and others and that means more balance (even though Kobe still had a usage over 30). This year, guys are simply doing less on the floor and that imbalance is a major reason why the offense is more stagnant and dependent on the big three (but especially Kobe) to create shots for himself and the team.

    Now, some of this could be rectified with better ball movement and I’ve argued for that in the past. However, the easiest way to actually solve the issue is to have more players that can create for themselves rather than relying on ball movement to do so. In the past 3 seasons the Lakers have lost Lamar, Shannon, and Farmar and all of those guys could create offense for themselves. Even Sasha fit this mold (though not as well as the other guys mentioned). And while we weren’t always happy with the results or the decision making of these guys (especially the latter three) being able to create shots does have value. Which, as an aside, is why criticism of Kobe must be tempered somewhat when seeing the bigger picture. Because while he forces shots, he is put in the position to take too many shots as well. Where that line is crossed for him and where he willingly crosses it himself is obviously something to discuss, but I don’t think it’s arguable that Kobe’s simply gunning *all the time*, because that’s not the case.

  63. Please stop Joel and other saying Kobe has to make his team mates better! The guy is not a miracle worker.

    How is he going to make Fisher faster?
    How is he going to make Artest less clumsy of smarter?
    How is he going to make Murphy and that pile of used parts on the bench anything but hand me downs.
    How is he going to teach Brown about offense.

    Really guys? Name 3 players that left any of Kobe champ team that got substantially better after they left the Lakers.

    You can’t turn a donkey into a race horse. Kobe can’t make BAD players better.

  64. Lakers going for the trifecta tomorrow vs the timberwolves. The way they’re playing lately i say YES!

  65. After the big 3 the rest of the roster would struggle to get 20 mins. a game elsewhere. Steve Blake has not lived up to expectations. That triple double he had vs Lakers in the last game is the last good game he’s played.

    How did Artest get player options instead of team options? FO was crazy for that. I remember Jerry West critisized the blake and mwp signings at the time because of age. But I guess mwp kept his promise.

    I know this isn’t rumor mill but Lakers have 4 2nd round picks a guy like Illysilva would help the bench a lot.

  66. I cannot help be think about what the old sage Jason Kidd could have done for this team. He is not a great player anymore, but Kobe has tremendous respect for him, and his game is like the perfect opposite of Kobe (he is the master of the quick, simple pass with no dribble).

    When Kobe stated that he was a shooter and was going to shoot, then I don’t think it is a statement of egoism, as much as it is a description of his game.

    Kobe is not a PG, and he will never be one. So if nobody does it, and nobody else creates from the perimeter, then Kobe will fill that void, no matter the results, he is going to try. And I think he shows tremendous patience and respect for the rook who is trying to do some of the same (gowdlock)

  67. In case anyone missed it,

    http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/219518/Several_Lakers_Seek_Return_Of_Triangle_Offense

    I would be willing to bet some of those players will be gone by March 16th.

    All Hail Jimmy.

  68. Looking through some clips on mysynergysports it was really obvious what a giant advantage Lakers have with every double/hedge on Kobe. The two BIGS are simply unstoppable. Pau can easily convert a short from the edge of the bucket over the other rotating bigman, and the small forward or guard that has to box ou Bynum on the weakside block will have a loooong day at work.

    Right shoulder pick n roll, Kobe and Pau:
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/402/slide1jx.jpg/

    Pau slips to the right block, receives the pass and shoots over rotation:
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/835/slide2f.jpg/

    Pau misses the easy shot, but Bynum gobles up the rebound (outlet to wide open spot up shooter):
    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/31/slide3e.jpg/

    Those two towers are also starting to find each other in these kind of situations, and it seems the best bet for defenses is to cover Kobe 1-on-1 and hope he has a bad night.

  69. 83-71 when Kobe went out end of 3rd period.In 1.50 it? was 83-81 start of 4th.
    Kobe caused this of course.

  70. I think it’s ridiculous that if you want to criticize Kobe you have to preface it with “Yes, but he’s still great.”

    I find it impossible that you all can be watching these Lakers games and watching Kobe miss 5, 6, 7 jumpers in a row and not be frustrated by that. And here’s where I feel that a lot of you are missing the point.

    That’s literally all Kobe is doing is chucking up shots in some of these games. It’s not like he’s playing lock down defense (he’s often loafing), it’s not like he’s dishing to open guys who are missing shots, and overall it’s not like he’s doing little things to help us win. When he goes in gunner mode all we have to evaluate him by is whether or not he makes or misses the shot. So he has to get criticized when he’s shooting as inefficiently as he has been. What else are you going to evaluate him by?

    The question has never been whether or not we need Kobe to score. Of course we do, but if he’s not going to be efficient with it then he has to either find other ways to be effective or move the ball regardless of whether or not you think your teammates can get the job done.

  71. And here’s where I feel that a lot of you are missing the point.

    ___

    The point appears to be that you are “frustrated” and we get that, trust me.

    The point some of the rest of us are making is:

    1. Kobe is not the only or even the biggest problem.
    2. It is a team and coaching issue.

    Kobe is shooting too many contested jumpers off isos late in games. True Hoop ran the numbers–yet again—today. Part of that is the Lakers’ lack of creators on the perimeter, as Darius just explained. Part of it is opponents packing the paint. One thing that I find odd is that people say “play inside-out” as if it is some slick tactic that the Lakers will use to catch other teams napping or as if Pau and Drew are totally uncontainable.

    Part of it is Brown and Kuester not doing a good job coaching the O late.

    And part of it is, yes, Kobe being Kobe.

    The problem is people focusing endlessly on the last one, and ignoring the other three factors.

  72. KenOak,
    I don’t appreciate you being mean. It’s uncalled for. I literally was on my iPhone about to walk into a meeting and didn’t read what you wrote… I just read the Friedman quote. Thats why I apologized when I re read everything.

    Re the basketball part of it… Bynum is known for being the best low post/back to the basket Center in the NBA. Simple is that. I don’t think everyone is wrong. And I’ve never heard someone call a player un explosive and in the same paragraph say that player scores all his points on lobs and dunks. Have you seen Bynum this season (especially the last fifteen games)? He is dunking on entire teams. The guy is driving baseline and reverse dunking on Kendrik Perkins and Durant. You really don’t think he is a good post player amd someone who lacks explosivness?

  73. Re Kobe:

    When players age they get less consistent and it’s even more exaggerated in this compacted season. And about Kobe making his teammates better… I don t beleive in that stuff exactly. I think players make other payers better by drawing extra defemders and getting to the basket for kick outs. In that way… Yes… Kobe doesn’t make others around him better as much as he used to

  74. From ESPN

    With losses at Detroit on Tuesday and at Washington on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Lakers are 6-14 on the road this season.

    Finding ways to win on the road isn’t the only problem for the Lakers. Their performance in clutch situations – specifically Kobe Bryant’s – might be a bigger cause for concern.
    (A clutch situation is defined as fourth quarter or overtime, less than five minutes left, with neither team ahead by more than five points.)

    In their loss to the Wizards, Bryant went 0-for-4 from the field in clutch situations, but his teammates went 2-for-4. For Bryant, it was a continuation of how things have gone for him this season.

    Lakers This Season
    “Clutch” Situations
    Bryant Rest of Team
    FG 19-71 50-90
    FG pct 26.8 55.6
    Pts 56 138
    Pts per FGA 0.79 1.50
    Bryant is shooting just 26.8 percent (19-71) in clutch situations, and has produced 0.79 points per field goal attempt. Last season, Bryant shot 40.2 percent in those situations, and averaged 1.28 points per field goal attempt.

    The rest of the team, surprisingly, has been much more efficient. Excluding Bryant, the Lakers are shooting well over 50 percent, averaging 1.50 points per field goal attempt in clutch situations.

    Andrew Bynum made his only field goal attempt in the clutch against the Wizards. The Lakers center has led the way for that group, shooting 87.0 percent from the field (20-of-23) in clutch situations. Bynum has scored seven fewer points than Bryant in the clutch (56-49), but has also taken 48 fewer field goal attempts than Bryant (71 to 23).
    ————————
    Aaron is back:
    Btw… Those Bynum numbers are it real numbers. Almost all of those shots were off offensive rebound putbacks. Haha. He has maybe had two paint touches in the clutch is season. One was last game and he scored.

  75. It’s really tiresome to see virtually every comment that (rightly) criticizes Kobe (while almost always also acknowledging his talent) draw a “Kobe hater” response.

    For the record, I’m not a Kobe hater. I understand what he’s done for this organization. However, unlike a lot of people here, I also am able to see his many flaws. He overshoots. He always has. He deviates from the offense. This isn’t new. He roams on defense and routinely gives up open shots and big games to far lesser talents (while locking in and playing great D when he goes up against great players).

    Do these observations make me a “hater”? I know he’s the most competitive player since Jordan. I recognize that he probably has the best footwork of any player in history, and that he works to improve his game every year. I love those things about him.

    It is undeniable that Kobe is the leader of this team, and its best offensive weapon. However, in playing with two 7 footers who are extremely efficient on the offensive end, it is a problem when Kobe doesn’t change his game. If Bryant was still able to get to the rim, or if most of his shots were inside of 10 feet, then fine. But they aren’t. And all those shots clearly affect the effort of his teammates. You can reasonably say that Bynum and Gasol should be active whether they are getting shots or not; but you should also recognize that if they were, they’d be virtually unique in NBA history. Guys work harder when the think they’ll get the ball.

    Finally, criticism of Kobe does not reflect a failure to see the other obvious problems with coaching and talent. It’s just the one thing (changing Kobe’s game) that could be addressed most easily mid-season….

  76. rr @73. Exactly!

    Aaron- I’m not trying to be mean, but I took your apology as sarcasm because that is something you have done in the past. You act like your opinion is the only valid one on the forum. Then, you will often belittle others as not having any “basketball knowledge,” because they don’t share your opinion. Hell, you have even done a little of this to Darius at some points.

    David Friedman has a MFT of basketball knowledge. I find myself agreeing with him a helluva lot.

    I think Bynum is the second best back to the basket center in the league. He has more moves and a better touch than DH12. However, he is not as “explosive” as you are making him out to be. I claim that this isn’t his fault. I think that it is due to the knee injuries and that huge fricken knee brace he has to wear! I saw that awesome dunk that he had on Perkins too! It was such a quick move, but he doesn’t make explosive moves like that all the time.

    What kills me about your posts Aaron is that they can be very good- when you aren’t going totally over-the-top with your rhetoric to prove a point. Bynum does *not dominate every single coverage he receives. When he is double-covered he does not always make the right play. He is getting better and sometimes he looks fantastic!

    I don’t want to seem like I am a Kobe apologist. The guy can be maddening at times, but the Lakers problems do not begin and end with Kobe. That’s the only point that I would like to make. We have some giant issues on this team and Kobe is not the biggest one.

  77. Kevin@37 argues that the Lakers “maybe aren’t good enough.” I couldn’t agree more. In essence, what is this team? Why, it’s last year’s team which also wasn’t good enough, less the sixth man of the year and Shannon Brown (don’t laugh; Brown can at least play a little). These players were replaced by total downgrades; people who should be D leaguers. So what a surprise: the Lakers aren’t all that.

  78. KenOak,
    Then we agree. I do not think Bynum is as explosive as Dwight Howard. But I do think he now is as explosive as he was before any of his knee injuries. You think he is the second best back to the basket center and I think he is the best.

  79. I’d rather see Kobe shoot 40 times a game than to see two 7-footers stand lethargically under the basket and not even reach or jump for a rebound that could seal a victory for their team.

    Kobe and Fisher at least believe in themselves enough to take the shot that will make them the goat or the hero.

    Too many players on the team don’t even take the open shots that availed to them during the game. So, what’s the alternative, 24-second clock violations because the ball just gets passed around and around.

    Bynum demands the ball in the first two quarters, by fighting for good post position. He jumps and snatches rebounds. But, his post position for offense and rebounds wanes in the 4th quarter. In both of those losses, a game saving rebound was there for both Bynum and Gasol.

    Three guys cannot play night in and night out against 13 players on opposing teams!

    The Lakers need better role players and a younger pg. Barnes could be the slasher we need, but he is only effective on the floor with a good post player and a deadly 3pt shooter.

  80. Bynum is not as explosive as Howard but then again he doesn’t have to be. He is taller with a surreal wing span. He can dunk by barely leaving his feet. He is not a highlight reel like Howard but he is just as effective.

    Just look at that last drive by Lebron Sunday. Bynum tracked him, waited for Lebron to make his move and he simply reached out and blocked the shot. He didn’t even leave his feet. No espn highlights but every bit as effective as soaring through the air.

  81. Kobe is still trying as hard as he can to help the Lakers become champs again. At least he still cares he could easily rest on his accomplishments and cash in on the next 3 years. But he’s not that type of guy. He’s doing everything he can so are the rest of the team and their lies the problem. Everyone is doing everything they can to help this team win and it isn’t enough. But we should ease up in the Kobe bashing I take my shots too usually after a loss. But Kobe has means everything to LA sports without him the last 16 years Los Angeles sports is CRAP. Only USC and Pete Carroll can rival him. So he’ll keep trying and it won’t be enough because there’s only 3 good players on this team.

    As it pertains to Bynum he needs touches but won’t ever get enough because this team has 2 centers. He needs space to operate down low to truly blossom into the payer we see he can be. Pau hides some of his deficiences by his length on defense and passing on offense but he needs touches. Ever notice Bynum always get triple teamed because Pau or Murphy’s man come too. He needs a stretch or slasher at the 4 to give him space to create or score. A horry type of player. Until then he’ll max out at about 15 shots a game. He could get around 20 with Pau gone. I would like to see Bynum get the ball late more but he needs space to be effective in that position i.e shaq, howard, duncan, and gasol when odom was at the 4.

    Lakers just need better players. Plain & Simple

  82. Don’t think I ever commented on the play.

    If a legit shooter is standing where mwp is no way wade cheats so hard. That would give the bigs more space too

  83. @ 78, Funky Chicken:

    Well Said and in Total Agreement.

  84. Anyone with ESPN Insider care to share what Hollinger wrote in the Gasol section of his “Deadline trades that should happen” piece today? Atleast just a summary, out of curiosity.

  85. If KB goes 9-31 and a “Fan” does not admit that it is a bad game, then that is somewhat of an “Apologist”. However, if someone says that not only was it a bad game, but it is part of some sort of sinister KB plot to undermine the Lakers, while breaking the scoring record, that is a “Hater”. Criticism of KB is fine, and so is defense of him. Debates like that are what the board is about. Further, in my case, I have clearly identified KB as my guy, so therefore I am indirectly declaring myself less than 100% objective on the matter : ) How can I be objective when talking about the greatest player on planet Earth? : )

  86. Lazenby Tweet:
    It seems we’ll soon be getting news that Gasol has been traded. No details confirmed, but he’s apparently gone.

  87. However, unlike a lot of people here, I also am able to see his many flaws.

    Nah. I think almost everybody here sees his flaws. Some people contextualize them more; others, like you, spend more time in attack mode.

  88. I hope not, but I believe that it’s so. Pau was disengaged these past few games. At least, now he can move on with his life. As much as we fans look at a player in terms of basketball, they are human beings. It has to be tough to not know if you’ll need a new Speedo or a new Parka at your next destination.

    Pau thank you for your basketball skills, and you will always be a Laker, to me.

  89. Maybe they traded him to Minnesota and he will play against the Lakers tonight.

    Actually, if it is true, I assume that it’s Houston.

  90. Pau: My choices in order:

    1) Blockbuster trade
    2) Keep him
    3) Start the Re-Build

    My list stops there.

    Trading stars for a package of decent/average players is not a good move.

  91. Damn, I hope we get something special in return. Pau is still a unique and great player.

  92. Trading stars for a package of decent/average players is not a good move.

    Not usually. The Lakers’ roster is weird enough that they may be the exception, however. Pau is 31 and makes 19M a year.

    We will see. But I probably wouldn’t do it unless they get Lowry.

  93. We find out in 4 hours or less “IF” this is true.

  94. Lazenby says Gasol has been traded, but Wojnarowski refutes the report http://twitter.com/#!/wojyahoonba

    “Houston has continued to aggressively probe the Lakers on a potential Pau Gasol trade, but there’s no deal close, league sources tell Y!”

    Lowry better be included in this deal. I think Dragic is better than both of our PGs but I feel like he doesn’t carry enough weight to supplant Fisher in the starting line-up. And, like drugs, just say no to Jonny Flynn.

    Sidenote: Scola + Dragic straight up is $8million below what Pau makes, so atleast a player or two needs to be thrown in on Houstons side

  95. Pau Gasol is one of the greatest PFs of all time. In my opinion he was as good as KG. while I don’t beleieve he is a top 4 PF not a dynamic player … I still think he is a very good player and we better be getting a very good or great player back I return or i will be pissed. Thank you Pau for everything :(

  96. Yep! If Pau doesn’t play in the game tonight for any reason, then we know it’s true.

  97. Pau Gasol.

    If he is traded, then I will miss the guy. I love what he has helped bring to the Lakers. I hope that it isn’t for anything less than a starting PG though…

  98. Houston has continued to aggressively probe the Lakers on a potential Pau Gasol trade, but there’s no deal close, league sources tell Y!

    _Woj

  99. It better be a three team deal. Lowry is the most overrated PG in the NBA. Id rather have Seasions for nothing and trade Gasol for a star SF and below average PF!!!

  100. Do not trade stars for non-stars unless you are re-building. If true – I do not like this report. Of my three choices at post 93: If it were Option 1, this would be a very bad job of reporting. So only option 3 is left, and that is not something I am rooting for. I am hoping this is false – so option 1+2 are still alive.

  101. There better be a plan for a back up center in this trade that can play a solid 15 minutes a night or our 2nd unit will suck even more.

  102. The reports are all over the place… Apperently it’s with the rockets. Jesus. Better be a three team deal. Or we better get Lowry , Martin buddinger and Scola :) As much as I think Gasol has declined I still think he is too good to trade for a bunch of average to above average players. Even if Lowry is as good as everyone says he is still at best a league average starting PG.

  103. 100-
    Holy crap! Aaron and I agree about something 100%
    :P

  104. Funky,

    What defines a Kobe Hater is not the inability to recognize Kobe’s strengths, but the obsessive and persistent focus on his weaknesses. With all of Kobe’s supposed flaws, he has somehow managed to become the most successful player of his generation, yet many Laker fans still treat him as if he were Smush Parker.

    If you were dating a super model, with a great personality, who worshipped the ground you walked on, payed all your bills, loved beer, and took you traveling around the world………would you obsess over her slightly elongated left toe, day after day after day, or would you appreciate what you have?

    I guess my message is, stop obsessing over elongated toes!

  105. 104. LT mitchell

    LoL man! That is such a great way to put it!

  106. Wait… Rolan Lazenby is basically a Lakers guy… He might be putting this out to push another team the Lakers are targeting with Gasol to move their feet. In fact that’s what I’m guessing is happening.

  107. LT mitchell,
    Difference between elongated toes and hygiene issues is huuuuge

  108. Aw, damn.

    Watching Pau Gasol play basketball as it was intended is an aesthetically pleasurable experience (especially in purp & gold).

    But I believe that he’s the piece that has got to go (assuming the trade isn’t a stupid one).

    Among my fave Lakers ever to watch, but I totally get the rationale for moving him.

    Shucks.

  109. What team will pay the money left on Gasol’s contract and already has a Center to allow Gasol to play PF? Pacers…Memphis… Minny… Nets…

  110. While everyone seems focused on the Rockets as the team that is the one involved, even though there is not one source including Lazenby that knows who the team is. But there are other possibilities. Josh Smith is just now demanding a trade. Hinrich and Smith works under the CBA. Lot of possibilities out there other then the Rockets.

  111. michael h-
    God I hope that that is not the trade…

  112. Whoa. Lot’s a talk over a single tweet from Lazenby. I know he’s tied in, but the general rule is to wait for two sources of confirmation. So, I’d sit back and wait, ya’ll.

  113. Good point, Darius. Maybe a new Rumor Mill thread is a possibility?

  114. I’m sorry Darius… it’s just so exciting!

  115. I have only seen the single source, and I am hoping to not find another one. Someone see if you can get a live feed from Minny and see if Pau is warming up. That would squash this potential disaster.

  116. Darius: Even if it is sheer speculation, I seem to remember a little known section of the site rules, that permits speculation if it breaks up a string of 100 straight posts of Kobe bashing/defense.

  117. A reminder: Magic Johnson “The Announcement” is Sunday at 6 P.M. PST on ESPN.

  118. I must remind fellow fans that there is no fair value exchange for Pau. He’s too old to bring in someone truly great or potential-laden. So be prepared for a letdown when Pau is eventually moved. I just hope we don’t get completely screwed (the only trades like this would include Rondo or Josh Smith)

  119. Adrian Wojnarowski @WojYahooNBA
    Lakers front office telling people that “nothing is happening” with Pau Gasol, league sources say. For now, anyway.

  120. No, go ahead and keep your speculation here, I suppose. My point was that I’d not get all worked up over a single tweet from Lazenby; that, in general, it’s better to take speculation more seriously when it comes from multiple places. For example, both CBS and Yahoo have said that Houston is still trying to get Gasol and that Minny is also still interested. That’s at least multiple people saying the same thing. In this case, it’s a single tweet from Lazenby that no one else can get any information on. He had no details about any potential destination, only a vague tweet. Plus, other sources are saying that no trade is being worked on. Now, all of this could be false and there is a deal or it can all be true and there’s no deal but there’s nothing indicating either way is correct right now. So, I’d suggest not getting worked up.

  121. If/When Lakers trade Pau it needs to include some players who can get fastbreak points. In getting someone like Scola ensures that won’t happen.

  122. Adrian Wojnarowski ? @WojYahooNBA

    Lakers front office telling people that “nothing is happening” with Pau Gasol, league sources say. For now, anyway.

  123. We need a win tonight desperately (again). Not only to stop the free fall, but we are now back in 5th and we have 27 games left. This month we have 13 games remaining, 10 of which are against teams that are 500 or better. Minny has won 7 of 10 and 3 in a row.

  124. Am I the only one who would rather see Bynum go than Gasol?

  125. Bill Simmons might not like the colors we wear, but he has cooperated on this – Joakim Noah’s hair photoshopped onto other NBA-players (including Kobe and Ron). Just hilarious: http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/19781/a-treasury-of-nba-players-with-joakim-noahs-hair

  126. VoR: I think the real question is who do want to see come to the Lakers? The answer leads you to your question : ) If you want a blockbuster – trade AB (maybe both). If you want to re-build – trade Pau. If you want try to win, but no blockbuster is available (keep them both). If you want to completely screw up both the season + the re-build – trade Pau for a package of youngsters, journeymen, and problem children – that was for rr :)

  127. Or if you do not like the options above, as you watch the game tonight, you can lament about the fact that this deal did not get done (and laugh at the accompanying analysis):

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/739057-nba-how-kevin-love-for-pau-gasol-would-ruin-kobes-chances-at-six-rings

  128. vor: I’d be in favor of keeping Pau but you can’t have him and Kobe’s contract together. Plus if you trade pau for young talent and picks early it might look like a better future/destination for dwight. He may change his mind and want to come to LA. Dwight’s biggest thing is obviously to be a MAJOR celebrity, star, icon he wants to be in movies wants the cameras and light bulbs flashing in his face. So if Lakers make this a more appealing destination to him you never know. All speculation on my part but it’s obvious Jim is thinking BIG right now the cp3 trade keeps reminding me of that.

  129. Why is Stu Lanz clowning Gasol the entire game? Are the Lakers already trying to trick the fans into thinking Gasol isn’t that good anymore ?