Lakers/Hornets: Working Overtime Again

Rey Moralde —  March 14, 2012

Box Score: Lakers 107, Hornets 101
Offensive Efficiency: Lakers 117.6, Hornets 111.0
True Shooting %: Lakers 59.6%, Hornets 57.5%

Lakers go into the tail end of a back-to-back with TIRED legs. They played a double overtime game against Memphis the night before. But no rest for these weary Lakers.

After a bit of a slow start (well, for most of these Lakers), Kobe Bryant looked like he had control out there. Kobe finished with 33 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists. He was key in that 14-4 run in the 3rd quarter after the Hornets had them down as many as 17 points (for the second consecutive night, the Lakers had to overcome a 17-point deficit on the road). Kobe made some pretty big plays down the stretch. Of course, there were the three freethrows he made to send the game to overtime. And then he made a pretty big throwdown (and the foul) for a three-point play at the start of overtime. And, of course, the two freethrows to put the game away. Sure, he could shoot better than 10 for 23 from the field (but PERFECT in his 11 foul shots) but he, like the rest of the Lakers, never panicked.

And you shouldn’t panic when you have an All-Star center like Andrew Bynum. Darius calls him Altered Beast (I’m sure you guys remember that game, right? No? We must be old then.). This monster finished with 25 points and 18 rebounds (following a fantastic 37/16 effort the night before). Those alley-oops upside your heads from Pau Gasol have become a Laker signature play. I also love that the Lakers now trust him to do damage in the final few minutes of a game. And did you see his quick moves around the basket? Particularly that spin and reverse lay-up against Chris Kaman? I have never seen him move this fast… ever. I wonder which Laker fans want to trade him now after these showings.

Metta World Peace has impeccable timing when it comes to making big plays. He made a 3-pointer late in the 4th quarter. He had an incredible inbounds pass to Kobe for a shot that would’ve won at regulation. In OT, he passed it to an open Derek Fisher that put the Lakers ahead for good. Then he followed it up with a steal and a lay-up that put them up three. Finally, he blocked Chris Kaman near the end of the game when Hornets were desperate for a score. Metta didn’t have incredible statistics (7 points and 3 assists) but he just has that big play ability when you least expect it. You would think his hands were like E. Honda’s 100-Hand Slap from Street Fighter the way he gets his hands on the basketball.

Pau Gasol finished with another double double (18 points and 10 rebounds). Derek Fisher (11 points) hit some big shots. And Matt Barnes finished with 10 points.

The Lakers finished with 24 assists so I really like that they trust each other out there on the court. After a slow start, the Lakers outboarded the Hornets, 44-34 (11-5 on the offensive end). And they really bore down defensively in the 2nd half. L.A held N’Awlins to 16 points (8/19 shooting) in the 3rd quarter. Not counting OT, the Hornets only scored 39 points in the 3rd and 4th quarters combined.

Somehow, the Lakers found their Gummi Berry Juice in that second half.

You can definitely tell the Lakers looked tired early. The Hornets shot above 60 percent in the first half and put the Lakers in a double digit hole. And the reason why Laker fans are clamoring for more point guard help? In the first half, Jarrett Jack made his first 8 shots (his ninth was a 3-pointer that missed) and back-up Greivis Vasquez made his first four. Jarrett Jack eventually finished with 30 points (even though it did get tougher for him in the 2nd half) with Vasquez chipping in 15. So when your opposing PGs score 45 on you, well… you either find a new PG or quit life (no, I’m kidding but…).

It was really mostly in the first half that the Hornets looked like worldbeaters but Chris Kaman was getting into the paint easily (13 of his 21 in the first two quarters). It’s like my 5’7″ self was guarding him. It was a combination of the Hornets taking advantage of the tired Laker legs and making nearly everything from the perimeter. So in a way, it was a bit encouraging that we knew the Hornets weren’t likely going to keep that pace up. Going into this game, the Hornets were averaging a whopping 88.2 points per game (good for 29th in the league).

The bench finished with 13 points (10 from Barnes, 3 from Steve Blake). And Mike Brown went back to Jason Kapono again instead of Andrew Goudelock. So what did Jason Kapono do again in this game?

I’ll wait.

Once again, this seems like a product of tired legs in the first half… but the Lakers turned the ball over 19 times. 12 giveaways in the first half and 8 of those came from the second quarter.

But it, at least, made for an awesome comeback in the second half, right? What? You don’t like come-from-behind victories as opposed to Laker blowout wins? Sorry. Neither do I, actually, when it comes to these Lakers.

So much to pick from. I can pick from one of the Pau/Drew alley-oops. Or Kobe throwing it down like he’s 21 again. Or Andrew Bynum packing the hell out of Jeff Foote’s (who?) hook shot. But I’ll give it to big-play Ron Artest, er, Metta World Peace with the steal and the breakaway lay-up that put the Lakers up 3 in OT. I can’t say enough on how he’s been coming through as of late. Metta has to think that every game from here on out is a big game.

The Lakers go back to the very comfortable Staples Center, where they’ve only had 2 blemishes in 20 contests. They have the Ricky Rubio-less Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday. Still, these guys are fighting for a playoff spot and Kevin Love isn’t exactly a chicken sandwich. It should be another hard-fought battle at Staples.

Two personal notes from me. 1) I can’t wait for Thursday to be done. I mostly hate (kinda like) the trade deadline so I’ll be glad when that’s over with. And 2) the last six games I was scheduled to do recap duty here, the Lakers won. I’m jinxing myself now, aren’t I? I’ll just shut up about this.

By Friday, we may have some new pieces! Let’s see what happens next!

Lakers are now only two games behind #2 San Antonio. The Lakers face the Spurs three times in April.

Rey Moralde


to Lakers/Hornets: Working Overtime Again

  1. Altered Beast reference in a Lakers game recap? The internet never ceases to amaze me.

    OT win against bottom-3 team in the league. This team needs new blood to have a real shot at the Finals.

    15 hours to go.


  2. Love the Gap Band reference.


  3. With 23 games left it’s not even clear that “new blood” could acclimate fast enough to be a difference maker in the post season.

    Obviously depends on who we’re talking about.


  4. Great win

    RRM: AB is a beast, but the reason we should not panic is because we have Kobe and nobody else does.

    Avidon: Love it. Mitch is with us. Think BIG. There is a reason he is waiting.


  5. James Worthy: lakers dont need a trade, this team will compete with anyone, even tho they might not have the bet record.

    Besides Rasheed Wallace mid season trade to Detroit via Atlanta, can anyone remember another mid season trade that led to a championship?


  6. @Raydiaz: I think a lot of us were pretty fond of that midseason trade for Gasol.


  7. 5,

    2009 – Radman for ShanWOW/Adam Morrison.

    Hey, you didn’t say it had to be trades for impact players.


  8. Dave, to answer your question from the previous thread regarding the inbounds play from MWP to Kobe with two seconds left in regulation: it was a good play call, but the other options to Kobe shooting might not have been mentioned. Bynum was WIDE OPEN at the rim for the lob. There was no Hornet within ten feet of him. If you’re going to call that play, you need to emphasize all the available options. A good coach should know that on this particular play, Kobe will always draw two or three defenders. If one of them is big Chris Kaman, then we will have a beast open at the rim for the lob pass and game-clinching bucket. Kobe’s shot was off balance AND over a closing seven-footer. The lob would have been a lot higher percentage. And with that, I’m out. Great win, everyone!


  9. #4. ROBERT:

    Yes, great point. But was merely pointing out that having Kobe AND a monster center like Bynum (and hell, Pau, too) should give us no reason to panic. 🙂

    #5. RAYDIAZ1238:

    Yeah, it’s pretty rare. Houston won the title when they got Clyde Drexler midseason.


  10. @jeff t, lakes didnt win til the next year tho. I meant on that season.

    Forgot about clyde, but that makes 2 in the last 20 years?


  11. Picking up Mychal Thompson (for Frank Brickowski and Peter Gudmundsson!!!!!!!!) was pretty key in ’87.

    Just before the game against the Celtics at the Forum too!


  12. Listen, Mike Brown is no Phil Jackson, and he clearly falls into the bucket of over-coaching (too many rotation changes, quirky timeout strategy, too tight on the play-calling for a team coming from triangle), but he’s got the team playing mostly excellent defense, and they are starting to show signs of life on offense.

    I really hope that none of the big three are traded, as there is exactly one stud point guard theoretically on the market (Deron Williams, unless the Nets secure Howard), and a bunch of spare parts.

    Kobe and Bynum are showing great trust and compliment, and Gasol already has great chemistry with BOTH Bynum and Kobe.

    What they need is some bench depth, and an improvement over Fisher.

    This late in the season, you don’t reboot, and get to the promised land. You tweak the edges, and fortify, or you blow up and start over.

    Blow up and start over is not available on the market for the Lakers short of a salary dump. For tweak the edges, I suspect it’s a buyer’s market.


  13. As a footnote, when the Lakers got M. Thompson, that gave them four #1 overall picks on the roster (along with Kareem, Magic, Worthy).

    101 very productive minutes from Kobe in 2 games is seriously impressive, 16 years into the league.


  14. Bob McAdoo is 81-82 was a pretty good one as well
    And Michael Thompson in 1987

    So that is three titles for the Lakers with mid-season trades alone

    Thanks for justifying the trade : )


  15. Nice jodial – love it


  16. Altered Beast and E.Honda references in one recap. Impressive. For those of us who grew up on Showtime, those are nice pop culture comments to slot in.

    And props to Jodial for bringing up Mychal Thompson. I have that game (against Boston) on DVD at home. Mychal wearing a jersey with no name on the back, and playing McHale about as well as was possible in the mid/late ’80s. Good times.


  17. Mike Brown really should ease up on Kobe’s minutes. He’s 33 Lakers need him for the postseason. Heavy minute games can burn a player out for a extended period of time.

    Unless Orlando prefers picks the NJ deal is not good. Otis has been watching Drew. Maybe their trying to drive up the price for Howard. Lakers could swoop in and steal d12.

    These guys sources haven’t been in point from what I’ve read. Seems they piggy back on each others stories with different wording. LA has a chance Buss is playing chess.

    Beasley is not a good move it’s merely a salary dump if anything. But no matter what happens thursday still like our chances.


  18. “But I’ll give it to big-play Ron Artest, er, Metta World Peace…”

    Nah, the guy doing that stuff is “Ron Artest”. The other guy who just around with a slightly confused look on his face: that is MWP.

    Ron comes to play. Ron still lives (I love my #37 jersey!).


  19. Kevin – yes – yes. We are still pursuing this and maybe even more : ) That is why Mitch is still waiting. The Magic are bitter now and they would love to mess up the D12/Brooklyn plan.


  20. @ Dude — I thought the same thing you cited on the final play of the fourth quarter — Bynum was totally open underneath.

    But when I saw the replay it didn’t appear that Kobe would have had time to make the pass before the game ended. Even a quick alley-oop probably couldn’t have come quickly enough.

    That said, that’s a great play to draw up again some time in the future.


  21. Good stuff, Altered beast and Honda included.

    Which got me going… Capcom wise…

    Kobe – M. Bison. US Version (Vega in the Japanese Version). No explanation necessary. If we had to pick among the ‘good guys’ it would be Ryu;

    Pau – Vega. (Balrog in the Japanese Version) Tall, agile for his height, and a bit… soft. Yeah yeah.

    Bynum – Toss up between the remaining two of the original four bosses. Looks wise, i’m tempted to say Balrog (M. Bison in the Japanese version), and his lack of a jumping game immediately after injury sort of fits here. But right now he’s inching closer to Sagat territory – just a walking cheatcode if you played SF4, not too shabby in other versions either.

    MWP – E. Honda, since you put him there. I guess that’s apt when he’s doing the hundred hand slap… and his charging headbutt is actually somewhat fitting of his character too.

    Fisher – Dan. Oops, Dan’s actually young. But still, relatively useless, but in some versions he has one of the better criticals. 😉


  22. Bynum should be off the table now, I’d tell Orlando they can have Pau, but no more, if DH12 won’t commit to at least one more year with the Lakers.


  23. Robert: right if D-will wasn’t in NJ he wouldn’t want to go he knows he can’t get past Miami as long as they have their big 3. He wants to be a icon more than anything more than winning. What better place than the Lakers.

    Tricky part is if la gets him NJ has all their pieces in place it would take major persuasion on the FO part to keep him here. I just don’t see how you can value picks over Bynum.

    Lakers are finally running some offense and it looks great. Everybody is believing in each other. Minor upgrades or major ones I’m happy to be in 3rd place with all the turmoil so far.


  24. metta world peace was all body blow, body blow, uppercut.


  25. Those two mid-season changes with Mychal Thompson and Bob McAdoo were possible because the Lakers had a coach on the floor at the pg position.

    (from the game write-up)
    Somehow, the Lakers have to build a marketing campaign around Ron, oops MWP as a defensive wizard. If he starts getting attention for his defensive contributions all season long, MWP might have a reason to get excited about playing defense. Playing defense is not considered a glamorous part of basketball, that’s why soooo many players don’t do it. Rally around MWP the way fans used to for Dennis Rodman.

    Why don’t we think G-lock is trade bait? He didn’t play this game and Crawford didn’t play for Portland. MB plays G-lock and then does not play G-lock for a reason. Things that make you go, hmmmmmm!

    How is Kobe capable of playing at a high level for so many years? The man is IN-credible!

    Bynum believes he can be the greatest center in the league. I like original Laker players that develop into great players. Awesome watching Bynum grow (I confess, I WAS one of the people requesting a trade about 15 games into the season) right before our eyes.

    Still, we can’t afford to trade Pau, he is the Lakers insurance for Bynum.

    12 noon PST!


  26. Metta World BEAST


  27. Couldn’t stay away, posting from mom and dad’s 😀

    @20 – There actually was enough time for a lob in the final two seconds of regulation. The red light went off at the same time Drew tried to tip the rebound in the basket, and this was after the ball had already hit the rim and the backboard.

    @25 – Isn’t the trade deadline 9PM PST, if that’s what you’re referring to?


  28. Chearn: With your name + your posts – you obviously know history and you know that HOF players win titles.


    Kobe did it as the only HOF player in 2009 + 2010 (not even MJ did this).


  29. Dude: It is 3:00PM EST or Noon PST. We have only 13 hours.


  30. Bottom Line: In the 31 career games Andrew Bynum’s line features 20 or more points & 10 or more rebounds, the Lakers are 25 & 6, .800+ ball baby. Sounds like a winning formula to me:


  31. Nobody was a hall of fame player while they played.


  32. Yeah i think Pau will make the hall of fame.


  33. Kobe’s minutes in March- 37,39,43,40,38,41,52,49 and has played 18 40+ minute games this year

    Andrew’s minutes in March- 40,40,42,33,43,41,49,46 — 7 out of 8 40+ minute games this month

    Pau’s minutes in March- 37,36,40,40,36,47,46,42 — 5 out of 8 40+ minute games this month

    Whichever coach is keeping track of the minute total for Brown needs to tell him to CHILL!!!

    Don’t burn out your horses. This is something to keep track of.


  34. Pau will likely make it thanks to the two Championships he won as a clear second fiddle and his international resume… and with the way he’s playing now, it’s always possible that Bynum will further grow and also make it to the HOF.


  35. Robert, Pau is a hall of famer, easily. Name another European with his skill set and better resume.


  36. O.k this is nuts. Hoopsworld is reporting that D Howard has again changed his mind and will sign the opt in paperwork tomorrow. He has single handily held up the entire trade deadline period for everyone. Total flake. I think we hold on to Pau and make a run at D Will this summer. Probably not going to happen now thanks to Mr Howard.


  37. Kevin / Robert,

    Like broken records over the Howard ordeal. it’s dead for LA! It’s deader than dead!

    Don’t you get that we could NEVER justify flushing the franchise down the toilet by acquiring Howard who in turn then refuses to become a Laker long term?

    It’s inconceivable to me that either of you could possibly still think that’s a viable path.

    He isn’t going to sign with the Lakers anymore than he is going to sign with Orlando.

    And even if you believe there is a small potential he would change his mind (it’s not any better than that), you can’t possibly believe that small potential warrants the risk?

    That’s the kind of FO decision that the Houston Rockets might make, because what do they lose anyway?


  38. Kevin,

    So what’s the alternative to playing Kobe?

    Just let the losses pile up and hope we’re still breathing come playoff time?


  39. Dave: Let me and Robert dream. I’d rather have a 8th seed Lakers team with a rested Kobe instead of the Kobe vs Dallas last year 2nd round. He was gassed.

    All it takes is one of our stars not to play well and it’s curtains. Lakers margin for error is already slim Brown needs to make sure he doesn’t keep playing with fire or else he’ll get burned.


  40. Robert – Glad it’s 12 noon, thanks. Crossing my fingers for Sessions. I’ve even come around to acquiring Beasley to play backup PF and see spot duty as a backup SF.

    I think the league is going to adjust to our newfangled high-low game by shoving the lobbee in the back as he goes up to catch the lob. It’s happening sometimes already, but will happen a lot more often in the future. Our coaching staff will need to keep the officiating crew “informed,” preferably before it happens too many times.


  41. “According to my sources, Kobe Bryant the last few weeks has met with Dwight Howard and basically said he doesn’t want Dwight Howard to play for the Los Angeles Lakers,” Pingalore said. “If the Magic cannot sign Dwight Howard, he will be a New Jersey Net by 3 o’clock Thursday, according to my sources.”

    Not sure of its veracity, but DH to LA is something that really isn’t too likely…


  42. Dude: right last thing lakers need is drew to be cautious of landing on someone’s feet. *knocks on wood* I notice Lakers are playing tough defense without fouling. FT disparity last 3 games is in lakers favor by large margin.

    So Dwight is staying in Orlando. That’s why you can’t really listen to “sources” unless it’s Glazer or Woj ( even he got this one wrong though),


  43. Some interesting financial factoids regarding potential Beasley acquisition:

    “Acquiring Beasley could satisfy the need for talent without breaking the Lakers’ bank. While Beasley’s 2011-12 salary was in the books for approximately $6.3 million, every player’s salary was prorated to about 80 percent this year because of the lockout-shortened 66-game schedule. The team would further prorate Beasley’s salary because he’d only be a Laker for the final 23 games of the season, which is about 35 percent of the remaining schedule. Do the math and the Lakers will be paying Beasley approximately $1.75 million for the rest of the season. However, the Lakers would be responsible for paying the luxury tax on Beasley’s full season salary — but prorated for the 66-game schedule — of $5 million. The new collective bargaining agreement does not account for an additional prorating of a player’s luxury tax figure if the player is acquired at the trade deadline by a luxury tax-laden team. All told, the only real financial commitment the Lakers will be making for Beasley this season is about $6.8 million.”

    So renting Beasley would not cost over 12 mil for the Buss family.

    Same article also claims Beasley has a player option for next season.. but that can’t be right, everywhere else it says this is his last year of his contract. They might have confused the qualifying offer for PO.


  44. 41 – judging from the comments on that site, Pingalore is a clown (Orlando fans would know best). Even if he’s not making up that rumor, it’s most likely someone in Dwight’s camp planting that nonsense to shift the blame/focus away from Dwight in some small part.

    Making the guess that Howard will be Net isn’t really reaching out on a limb. From all angles it looks like that’s the most likely scenario.


  45. Frank the Tank March 15, 2012 at 2:15 am

    That ESPN article also said beasley is shooting almost 44% from 3 this year! averaging almost 1 a game on 2 shots. We could definitely use this along with his athleticism. If we get Beasley and Sessions now, i will be completely stoked. The Magic can keep Dwight.


  46. The past two games Lakers won in OT, Mitch Kupchak is also working DOUBLE OT for TRADE DEADLINE. Haha, sounds good. Hoping that Minny will just trade Ridnour so that the Lakers will only have to trade a first rounder to the Blazers.


  47. Beaseley and Sessions= WCF where anything can happen…I won’t miss Blake either….at all


  48. My only desire in life is a real point guard. Jack’s 30 points makes him the 9th to get season high against Fisher. Fish is making PG in the league lots of money. Remember Jeremy Lin.

    Blake is not much better. Guy plays lime he sees ghosts the way he passes to nowhere and no one.

    Kobe looks 44 not 34 the last 6 games and is shooting infer 35% to prove it. Will someone tell Brown tbe genius he is not a 21 year old James.

    Considering they went to overtime to beat a bad Jazz team and lost to terrible Wiz and Detroit, I would not be to overwhelmed with Lakers. Still have worst bench, point guards and small forward in the NBA.

    Make a move TODAY Jimmy or get swept in the 2nd round again!


  49. I think we should get Beasley and put Metta World Mess back on the bench. As for the point guard situation. Wouldn’t it better to find a quick combo guard that can make a spot up shot and defend the point reasonably well? Since Kobe needs the ball in his hands, on offense, he would be playing the 1 guard and the combo guard would be playing the 2 guard. On defense, the roles switch. I think this will work out quite well.


  50. Come on Jim & Mitch, you have 6 hours to deliver us that Point Guard (and Wing Scorer, if possible) that we desperately need. Don’t let us down.


  51. Hopefully this is within the forum guidelines for trade talk:

    But – assuming we essentially get Beasley for Blake and that’s all we do – why would we do that?


  52. Robert/Kevin: after last night, no way this team trades for a center. Sorry.


  53. @kehntangibles, it sounds like the Lakers are working on 3 team trade, that for them would be a Dallas’ 1st ruonder +Blake + trade exception for Sessions and Beasley.

    Thus aiming to upgrde both the 1 and the 3 position.


  54. I am getting depressed.

    D12 is supposedly staying in Orlando (how/why?). And the Nets are holding on to DW. So they are both wasting a yr.
    And I have heard nothing about Sessions recently.

    MannyP: Don’t apologize to me, we all have to live with this : ) However thanks : )


  55. Can anyone send a valid link that has some hope in it? For something other than just Beasley?


  56. What exactly does Michael Beasley bring to the Lakers? You need a point guard so bad, so they’re rumored to be ready to trade one of the point guards they do have for a fifth small forward? If the deal for Beasley goes through, I really want to see their lineup feature all five smalls at one point. Luke Walton, Metta World Peace, Michael Beasley, Jason Kapono and Matt Barnes. Overkill of mediocrity.


  57. It would be utterly insane to give up a 1st for Beasley unless you unload a bad contract mwp or luke. We find out what road Jim Buss is taking in a few hours.


  58. Beasley and Sessions would be significant upgrades. Mitch may still have the magic touch. D Howard has become the biggest baby in b-ball. I believe that Kobe doesn’t want him, as reported in this blog. If Bynum stays healthy, we will be a beast(ly) in the playoffs. No one can match our front court. Pau has acted with class. Out.


  59. Kevin – I see the re-builder in you is resurfacing : ) However I agree – either win now – or re-build. If its “win now”, then we need more than just Beasley. Trading picks + absorbing salary does not help a re-build. The one positive is that Blake is through 14, so unloading him would be good.


  60. We really need Sessions, + the problem is that now we will probably pay dearly for him. See previous references to Gilbert and Evil Empire.


  61. Dude,
    We usually agree on everything… But Beasely was listed at 6-8 at the draft camp. He hasn’t played PF since the small ball days his rookie year in Miami. I just don’t see how a slim 6-8 perimter SF can play PF effectively.


  62. Paul,
    In the triangle yes. But in this offense we need a true PG to run PnR and set up the offense. However… With Howard staying in Orlando we might be able to get DWill for Pau Gasol. We will see if the league still feels Gasol is a very good player. If they do we should be the front runners for DWill.


  63. Robert: not sure what to think. Interested to see what Lakers do. Rather have Crawford though.


  64. 1/2decaf: Yes – Beasley is better than nothing, but not much. We need a PG desperately. We are going to have a $90+ payroll, and with that you better be the favorite.

    I have that same bad pain in my gut that I did in December.


  65. 1/2decaf1/2regular,
    I’m not sure you will like this answer but… Trust me. How often have I been wrong on players? Just Kevin Love. I didn’t think he would be a good PF. I thought he would be an average starting PF. Beasely is a average starting SF in this league on both ends of the ball with the potential to be very good. He has all the skills and is liked by his teammates. Nobody thinks he is a bad guy unless you think marijuana is a worse drug than alcohol (which I don’t). In fact I think it’s better than alcohol especially for athletes. This would be a huge get. The guy hasn’t played with a guy that gets double teamed in the post like Bynum. In the passed all his scoring came from creating his own shot. Btw… Thee could use another player on the perimeter who can creat his own shot. If we add a Sessions that would add yet another player who could do the same.

    Better than nothing but no much? Beasely is shooting 43 percent on threes this year. He can get any shot he wants all over the floor. He is a lot better than nothing. And he is only 22 and just getting better.


  66. Can anyone send a valid link that has some hope in it?


    Not seeing it, unless you count Hollinger speculating about Gasol for Williams.

    ESPN LA says another version of the Beasley deal has Ridnour going to Portland, and Blake staying here, and the Lakers using the TPE and a pick on Beasley.

    Most of the fanbase doesn’t really care about Howard, but if Buss does not get a PG here by noon…


  67. Indeed–if Sessions is off the table, Crawford would be better than Beasley. But my guess is Portland won’t do that. They will help out Minnesota, but not the Lakers.

    Also, Ridnour is better than Blake–not much better, but better.


  68. Kevin: It is unfortunately too late to take a re-building stance, so we must try to win now. At this point, we might have to pay up for Beasley and Sessions, which will add salary + strip us of our picks. Our payroll is going to look like the executive team of a Wall Street brokerage firm.


  69. Kevin,
    Crawford used to be very good. But like most little guards over 30 he has fallen off the map. He isn’t the athlete he used to be and is no longer very effective. He is better than anything we have but isn’t as good as Sessions and isn’t as good as Beasely.


  70. Here you go, Robert–this is Kevin Arnovitz:


    One more wrinkle to consider assuming Dwight Howard doesn’t have one final change of heart today: When he signs the waiver of the early termination option in his contract, he’ll become a free agent on July 1, 2013 — the same time the contract of Chris Paul expires with the Los Angeles Clippers.

    Paul agreed to waive the early termination option in his own contrat prior to the deal that sent him from New Orleans to Los Angeles. Uninterested in a one-year rental, the Clippers wanted a guarantee of two seasons from Paul in exchange for the trove of assets they sent to the Hornets.


    Trade Pau, don’t re-up Bynum. Fisher and Walton are off the books. Amnesty Kobe or MWP.


  71. rr: Is Sessions off the table?

    All: Let’s all hope we do not do what we did in December – self inflicted pain. The current version would be trading Pau for non-stars in our desperate need for a PG.


  72. It’s not set in stone Lakers are getting those guys. These “sources” have been wrong a lot. I’d like a back up C to take some minutes from our bigs.


  73. Robert,

    Check your email.


  74. Haha – Altered Beast and E. Honda – nice references in the recap.

    Feelin good about the Lakers’ effort these last two games – slightly worried that a change (trade) might damage chemistry.