Lakers/Mavericks: We’ve Got a Point Guard!

Emile Avanessian —  March 22, 2012

Box Score: Lakers 109, Mavericks 93
Offensive Efficiency: Lakers 123.9, Mavericks 105.7
True Shooting %: Lakers 68.2%, Mavericks 53.5%

On the heels of a brutal come-from-ahead loss in Houston on Tuesday night, the Lakers wrapped up their Texas two-step in Dallas, where the defending champs and administrators of last spring’s postseason humiliation awaited. More tough sledding ahead? Not so much.

The Good: Practically everything. For starters, you know how all season the “Bad” and “Ugly” sections of these reviews have lamented the Lakers’ inability to a) connect from the outside and b) generate any kind of meaningful production off of the bench? Well, on Wednesday night, the Lakers made a phenomenal 50% of their 18 3-point attempts, six of them by bench players. Speaking of which, the Lakers’ bench was outscored by its Mavs’ counterpart by just two points, 38-36, staggering given we’re talking about, y’know, the Lakers’ bench.

In the starting unit, deadly efficiency ruled the day, as Kobe Bryant, operating within the confines of the offense, scored 30 on 11-of-18 from the floor (and 7-of-7 FT), peppering the Mavs from mid-range all night. Meanwhile, Pau Gasol was absolutely masterful. Pau played one of, if not his best game of the season, connecting on 13 of his 16 shots en route to 27 points (to which he added 9 rebounds). Gasol was unstoppable on Wednesday night, not only making 6-of-7 in the paint, but doing significant damage from the outside as well, shooting 8-of-10 from outside the key, including a perfect 7-of-7 from 17-20 feet between the elbow and success on his only 3-point attempt.

Finally, we have Ramon Sessions. Much to the chagrin of the fans of Cleveland, Sessions has sent shockwaves through Lakerland, providing us with a glimpse into a life that heretofore might as well have existed in another galaxy. Not since the days of Nick Van Exel have Laker fans had a young and explosive point guard at the helm. On Wednesday night, Ramon Sessions played the point guard game that this fan base has desperately been waiting for. In 29 minutes, divided into two extended stretches, Ramon was a revelation, connecting on 7 of 8 shots, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc for his 17 points, grabbing 5 rebounds and handing out 9 assists.

Every bit as impressive as his phenomenal stat line was his role in the Lakers’ offense, which only really came to life when he was on the floor. Sessions’ greatest assets are his quickness and speed off the dribble, which he utilized beautifully, starting almost immediately after entering the game with just under five minutes remaining in the first quarter, knifing into the lane and, with excellent decision-making, setting up open jump shots for teammates for each of his 9 assists, including four in a two-minute span late in the first quarter.

We’ve got a point guard!

The Bad: With the third member of their underperforming trio now spending his evenings trying to reign in Russell Westbrook, the “subpar stat line” onus was on Metta World Peace and Steve Blake. Now, truth be told neither of these guys was a complete disaster against the Mavs – MWP managed 4 rebounds, 3 assists and a blocked shot in 25 minutes, while Blake, Mike Brown’s starting point guard “for the foreseeable future,” had two pair, assists and steals, in 17 minutes on the floor – but a combined 7 points on 2-of-9 shooting, even with no turnovers, in 42 minutes is, how can I put this gently, kinda stinky.

The Ugly: Thanks to his averages of 23.7 points and 12.3 rebounds over the last 10 games, Andrew Bynum was obviously a focal point in the Mavericks’ defensive game plan. In the game’s opening minute Bynum grabbed a defensive rebound and converted a pretty reverse layup at the other end. However, rather than building on this dominating this contest the way he has so many of late, that play was the last one of consequence from the big man for some time.

Bynum was (understandably) the target of aggressive double and triple teams on every post touch from that point forward, and was unable to deliver the ball to the open man in a timely or effective manner. This strategy proved particularly effective for the Mavs in the first half, as the Lakers’ perimeter players frequently cut baseline after delivering the ball to Bynum down low. This tactic actually simplified the Mavs’ task, as they doubled aggressively off of the cutter, giving ‘Drew fits and preventing the Lakers from ever establishing him as an offensive threat.

However, the ugliness in Bynum’s performance on Wednesday night is not the result of Mavs’ defense pressuring him into an inefficient offensive game (he was 4-of-5 from the field) or sloppy effort passing out of the post (he didn’t turn the ball over once), but in Andrew’s generally lackadaisical effort. Far too often on Wednesday, Bynum was boxed out on both the offensive and defensive glass by smaller player that have no business doing so. Far too often he jogged back on offense, often not setting up inside the 3-point arc until 10+ seconds of the possession were gone. Perhaps the best example of this lackluster effort came in the first quarter, when, attempting to guard Dirk Nowitzki on the perimeter, Bynum not only failed to get into a defensive stance, but barely had a chance to turn around as the Mavs’ (by far) most potent offensive threat blew by him for a layup.

This is by no means a chronic issue and all’s well that ends well, but for a guy whose untimely ejection set the stage for crushing come-from-ahead loss the night before, Andrew Bynum spent far too much time on Wednesday play with little-to-no spark at all.

Play of the Game: With all of that said, Andrew Bynum linked up with fellow big Pau Gasol with about eight minutes left in the game – this time successfully passing out of a double team – firing a cross-court kick-out to the right corner, from which Pau buried a three-point dagger that put the Lakers ahead 90-76.

On its own this play would not be worthy of PoG, but the brazen, villainous confidence of ‘Drew made it truly memorable. In front of the crowd that is more eager than any other to see him fail (he did, after try to break their gelled-up midget 10 months ago), after making the pass to Gasol, Bynum made his way back down the floor with the ball still in the air, three fingers held aloft for all to see.

Badass.

Unfortunately for the Laker bigs, however, the top spot belong to one Kobe Bean Bryant, who, midway through the third quarter, received a lob from Pau Gasol and finished in a manner that can only be described as sublime.

Emile Avanessian

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152 responses to Lakers/Mavericks: We’ve Got a Point Guard!

  1. Play of the game was kobe’s reverse layup and 1 …. I had to replay at least 2 more times

  2. Zerb,
    I will ever so politely disagree. I have seen that play a hundred times before. I have never seen a seven footer fling a cross court pass through a double team to another seven footer who nails a three pointer with the seven foot beast of a center all the while walking back down the court with three fingers extended and back turned ;)

  3. Oh…

    AND WE HAVE A PG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    But we don’t have a back up PG :( Okay, I know I know. One thing at a time :)

  4. Lakers bench points last 4 games: 31, 30, 29, 36. Championship teams are usually 8 deep and Sessions has made Barnes and Murphy better by getting them open looks. I said before if he can make 2 players better Lakers are much more dangerous. Many of the PnR sets with Pau ended up in scores. At one point Dallas had all the momentum then Sessions came in and demoralized their defense.

    Pau has outplayed Dirk since the sweep. Tonight he had 27-9 and made DIrk take 24 shots to get 26 points. Team defense was superb. Dallas shot 42% and only had 7 off. rebounds

  5. Guys how did Gasol look against an all star player his own height and size? Not so soft huh? Those long set shots are a thing of beauty.

  6. @Zerb: +1.

    @ Emile Avanessian: ‘gelled-up midget’? Really? This from the fan of a team that started Van Exel (6’1) for five seasons? Yeah, granted, JJ Barea is only listed at 6’0, but still.

  7. Aloha Kevin,

    Pointing out the bench scoring production is one of things MB has to consider when planning Sessions minutes. If he does start Sessions, he probably needs to give him an early rest and then bring him back with the 2nd unit. His play with the 2nd unit has revitalized them. Especially Matt Barnes.

  8. Wonder what our bench will look like once Sessions moves to the starting unit.

  9. If LO goes into FA next season, I expect he will want to rejoin the lakers :)

  10. I didn’t like our screen-roll defense on terry. sessions did not do a good job of fighting over screens, and our bigs did not show aggressively enough to stop the ball. there is room for improvement in this department.

    offensively, sessions and this team seem like they were made for each other, though. fewer turnovers and more high quality shots will make it difficult for our opponents to score in transition.

    first time all year i feel sorry for odom.

    drew has this rasheed wallace-esque thing going on right now, where he alternates between being pissed off and amused by the officials.

    did joey crawford not try to bait drew into two quick technicals with that hanging-on-the-rim call? that was foul.

  11. My thinking is that Blake starts, but plays 14 minutes. Sessions comes in at the five-minute mark of the 1st and 3rd quarters. Blake spells Ramon for a couple minutes midway through the 2nd and 4th quarters. This way, Razor Ramon and Matty Ice maximize their court time together. Meanwhile, it helps keep Ramon out of foul trouble, especially against guys like Parker, Westbrook, and of course, Rose in the Finals ;)

    As I mentioned in the previous thread, this strategy works only if MB doesn’t get tempted to keep Blake in the game too long in the 3rd quarter if the Lakers are basically holding steady. He must remember that if they manage to hold steady with Blake in the game, then they’d be blowing away the opposition with Sessions in the game. We were fortunate to maintain that lead against Dallas in the first ten minutes of the 3rd quarter last night with Blake on the floor (only gave up one point of that lead). Kobe made some great plays, Pau couldn’t miss, and the Beaubois/Mahinmi/Kidd trio was ineffective.

    I like the rook, but we’re a better team with Matt Barnes getting the minutes at backup PG. I’d like to see Jordan Hill get some of the Murph/McBob minutes, but I’m sure all of us would.

  12. Some encouraging first steps in Kobe trusting Sessions to do more of the ballhandling and playmaking. During Sessions’ first stint with some of the starters, Kobe got an outlet pass and had a lane along the left sideline for a semi-transition, early offense chance to attack. Sessions was a few steps behind him, but Kobe nontheless gave up the ball and just filled his lane, with the play ending in a Lakers score if I remember correctly.

    Keeping Sessions on the floor with the bench players also gives this unit someone who can create an acceptable shot late in the clock in a quick pick-and-roll. If Blake can accept the upcoming reduction in minutes and can get his 3-point shot on track, I think we’re looking really good again when the playoffs arrive.

  13. If Sessions will be on the starting unit, can he run the PnR and slice to the paint easily?, Bynum is clogging the lane and he is so big that 3 players could cover the paint easily. I was just wondering…

  14. #1 & #2 – nice catch! That was a late might misfire with the mouse. I’d wanted to acknowledge what I thought was a really cool play by the bigs, with Kobe’s flip as the PoG. Thought I’d fixed it before anyone could notice. :)

    #6 – I find it virtually impossible to discuss JJB without taking some sort of pot shot at him. So yep, “gelled-up midget.”

    Thanks everyone!!

  15. Nice write-up, Emile. I was thinking during the game, “we haven’t had a PG like this in 20 years”…glad you covered that!

    I was very happy to see Kobe take (mostly) efficient, open shots. Ater all these years, not much he does surprises me any more, but his alley-oop and 1 was awesome…I had to rewind that a few times.

    When Pau’s jumpers are falling like that, just turn out the lights and go home.

  16. Darius, in response to your tweets last night:

    “What’s the fascination w/ starting? If a guy plays the majority of the minutes & finishes games, coming off the bench doesn’t matter.”

    “Does it matter with Harden? With Terry? Did it matter wit Manu? With Odom?”

    It matters for a number of reasons. For example, the goal should be to maximize the number of minutes the best players play. By starting Blake, MB is limiting the maximum number of minutes that Sessions can play.

    Also, Sessions should be starting to increase the effectiveness of the other starters. His ability to break down the defense gets easy hoops for the bigs and limits the double teams.

    Another reason is that Sessions should have maximum time with Kobe to reduce his ball handling, which has been a huge issue this year, resulting in TO and easy baskets for the opponent. Let Blake come in with the second unit and Bynum and concentrate on getting the ball to the big fella.

    As to the second tweet, the examples you gave are with teams that have good or great PG play, so the situations are inapposite. With OKC, Westbrook handles the ball with the first unit and Durant scores, so no need to have another ball-handler/scorer. With DAL, Kidd handles the ball and Dirk scores, so bringing a scorer in Terry off the bench is beneficial to that lineup. SA has Parker and the champ Laker teams had a twilight year Fish in the triangle.

    If we had a good PG AND Sessions, I would agree to bring him off the bench for a shot-in-the-arm with the second unit, but unfortunately we don’t have that luxury.

    Blake is so overmatched by starting PGs that his confidence is getting destroyed. If he is put back in his appropriate role as a backup playing against other backups, his limitations won’t be as glaring.

  17. “gelled up midget” classic

    maybe jj can be kid rock’s side kick, when his gelling days are over.

  18. I think starting matters if we have this aging lineup AND since Kobe has a tendency to stray from the system otherwise.

    Also, against weaker teams, I think it’s probably better to just have a blowout going early and put it away if possible. Our starting lineup with Sessions has that potential as seen by that 40 point quarter we’ve had.

    But otherwise, yeah, starting is overrated. Finishing and playing the bulk of the minutes matters more.

  19. Everyone keeps forgetting the key reason the Lakers managed to hold on for the win last night. Kobe stopped at 18 FGA. I’m sure if he took 2 more shots and broke the arbitrary 20 shot barrier, Lakers would have lost the huge lead in the last two minutes and lost. Even if he had made them, it would have made a difference. I’m sure the points would have counted for the Mavs instead. All because he took 20 shots.

  20. That’s the dilemma to start or not to start. Sessions has proved this year and in the past he can play well off the bench and not miss a beat starting. As long as he finishes games Lakers will be fine. Sessions outplayed one of the best bench players in the league in Terry and held his own vs Milsap Blake can’t do that.

    The bench production has been so drastic these past 4 games. Sessions is a IMPACT player and Lakers have none on the bench besides him. He should stay on the bench because when with the starters he hasn’t had trouble getting his shot off and getting the big 3 looks. The transition has been easy like Pau midway through 08.

  21. “Does it matter with Harden? With Terry? Did it matter with Manu? With Odom?”

    ___

    One problem with this is that the guys who played/play ahead of Ginobili, Odom, Terry, and Harden can/could actually do something to help the team. Blake can’t.

    tviper covered the rest. On a team with better backcourt personnel, you could use Sessions as a supersub. On this team, he needs to be a 32-38 MPG starter.

  22. #16. You could have just replied on twitter. Ha.

    I’m simply trying to see what works best for the entire team right now. Sessions has proven to be an impact player and right now he’s giving a major shot in the arm to a bench unit that’s relied too often on the streakiness of their shooters to be productive this seaosn. Sessions, meanwhile, is scoring well off the bench, making helping Barnes do so as well, and helping make the bench a strength. For this team – one that’s so top heavy with elite players in the starting lineup – I don’t think this can be overvalued.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the bench has been increasing leads, cutting deficits, and turning close games in the Lakers’ favor since Sessions came on board. This has made them a much better *team*. Now, maybe he’ll have that same impact as a starter. I’d imagine he’d be very good with that group too. And, I certainly see and understand the argument that he needs time with that group to develop the chemistry they’ll need to be successful moving forward. That’s not lost on me.

    However, he’s played 29 minutes in each of the last two games and I’d bet his minutes will hover around that level (and, later, go into the low 30′s) for the rest of the year and that he’ll close out nearly every (if not every) game from here on out. Meaning, he’s going to see plenty of minutes with the starters. I simply don’t see the urgency to move him into the starting lineup right now. Down the road that may change for me but I’m not there yet. He’s simply helping the bench too much, which in turn helps the team a great deal and that balance between starting group and bench production has never been better.

  23. I think the bottom line is exactly what Kobe said – Sessions allows Kobe to be a shooting guard. He now has only two responsibilities, scoring and defense (assists and rebounds will come out of the natural flow). This is a huge deal with the triangle being scrapped. Kobe needs to make good decisions, but he doesn’t need to be worried about facilitating when Sessions is on the floor. I loved the end of the half when Sessions had the ball and found the open shooter (who missed which I didn’t love).

    The question is whether Kobe can live with Sessions being the playmaker and floor leader directing the offense. If he does, it can really increase his efficiency and save his energy. He can legitimately chase scoring titles, without hurting the team. I hope Kobe embraces that role and the team moves away from isos. Kobe just doesn’t have the tools he used to for that type of game.

    A final point (to reinforce Tviper’s last paragraph) on the Blake starting or coming off the bench – coming off the bench generally allows Blake to match up against the 2nd team, a more even match for him. I think that really plays to his strength.

  24. #21, too much for tweet character limit!

    Agree with rr that minutes should be 32-38. He is young, energetic, and able to handle minute load that should be correspondingly reduced for KB24.

  25. On this team, he needs to be a 32-38 MPG starter
    ——————-

    Last night he played 29 minutes. That’s 3 minutes less than your bottom range and 10 minutes from the top of that range, which honestly, is high for any player. Bynum’s younger than Sessions and we don’t want him playing that much and he’s a much better player than the new PG.

    If Sessions is playing 30-35 minutes (which, for this team is enough to have a major impact) why does it matter if he starts or not?

  26. One problem with this is that the guys who played/play ahead of Ginobili, Odom, Terry, and Harden can/could actually do something to help the team. Blake can’t.
    ———————

    Last year, DeShawn Stevenson played in front of Terry. Thabo Sefalosha normally plays in front of Harden. When Manu was a sixth man, an old Michael Finley started in front of him. Those guys were semi-useful (defense for Stevenson and Thabo, Finley was okay on offense) but it’s arguing shades of gray about how much more useful they are than Blake who can still run the team well and make sure the offense flows smoothly.

  27. We’ve Got a Point Guard!
    __________________

    “YES” (In my Marv Albert Voice)

    And as I commented on the Game Thread last night, Drew needs to relax … That All-Star Game Selection and Player of the Week Accolade is starting to get to his head:

    1. Getting himself ejected n the 3rd quarter of the Houston game and then giving high-fives to a row of fans sitting courtside before exiting the court. In essence, showing up the refs.

    2. Stating ‘I gotta get my numbers’ after the Rockets loss.

    3. Basically brushing off Metta last night during a sequence n which he failed to secure a defensive rebound, which eventually went out of bounds. Metta came over and reminded him to ‘box out’ and though the audio wasn’t clear to detect what he said back to Metta, Drew’s body language towards his team-mate said it all.

    More than likely, just growing pains and signs of a still maturing individual, but would like to see less of ME and more of TEAM.

  28. Dude,
    Wow… Not only do we disagree for the second time ever but this one I am judging you for ;) Do you really think we should start Blake (the worst starting PG in the league) ? It’s not like having two almost equal guards and wanting to bring the scoring faster one off the bench. It’s a giant chasm. Blake not only has worked well with this second unit in the past but he has looked just awful with the starters. He looks like a not ready for prime time player. Even if you need Ramon with the second unit we should do exactly what we do with Bynum… That’s take him out earlier than normal in the first and third quarters and bring him back in to start the second and fourth quarters with the second unit and Bynum. There are several downsides to bring him off the bench beyond what I have already mentioned. One is Ramon will be forced to play 15 to 17 minutes straight to end the first and second half if you want him to finish games (and I think we all want that)

    Also… I think it’s pretty clear Mike Brown is planning on starting Ramon soon and that was always the plan.

  29. I was dissapointed in Bynum last night.

    Since the Lakers announced that they would be picking up his option – he has been erratic both on and off the court.

    He was completely antagonizing the officials after every call and asking to get a ticky tack tech. And he doesn’t seem to care when he does get a tech. If Dallas was able to spark a run off of that tech and the emotional energy shifted in the building – how would he have felt?

    Complaining to officials every now and then is ok – but brushing them aside and laughing in there face only makes your job harder (Ask Kobe – he has really toned down the complaining in the last few years).

    All it takes is a couple of bad calls to lose a playoff game and change a series. If the officials don’t respect him, those calls will more likely be made against the Lakers. (Not out of malice, but just because of the subconscious effect of dislike of a certain players.)

    Plus, it reflects poorly on the rest of the team. While they complain from time to time – they typically never act like crybabies a la the Kings (2002) or the Celtics (2010).

  30. Mike Brown, the new Phil Jackson?
    ————————————————

    We all can agree the greatest Phil Jackson attribute is his ability to handle his players and the lockeroom. he has made several odd choices over the year that from a basketball standpoint didn’t make sense. But Phil understood his biggest job was not managing the game but personalities.

    Mike Brown probably didn’t take LeBron and his D Leagers to multiple 60 plus win seasons and a NBA Finals birth by accident. He had to make the decision… Do I start LeBron or have him add a spark off the bench? I kid I kid. The guy knows basketball but more importantly he knows his main job is to handle the clubhouse. Mike Brown for the first time tipped his hand (something Phil knew never to do) by stating a reason he isn’t playing Jordan Hill (a player universally known to be better than (Murphy,McBob) is because he thinks it’s disrespectful to right away bench “players that have been contributing the entire season for this new guy nobody has seen”. Yes Mike Brown knows he will be looked at as a joke if he just treats Kobe like his son… So Brown understands he needs to treat every Laker with the same respect. Mike didn’t want to even bench Fisher… I’m assuming signing off on the Houston trade in order to avoid a mercy sittuation.

    Mike Brown was hired by a front office who has pretty much been nothing but brilliant the last decade. He also has an historically great track record… Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt boys.

  31. The last Lakers PG to have 17+ points, 5+ rebounds and 9+ assists in a game since Ramon Sessions was on 3-18-2007 by Smush Parker who has 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 9 assists.

    Gary Payton had 2 such games with the Lakers

    Derek Fisher had 1 game like this in 1998

    Nick Van Excel had 5 games in his Lakers tenure with these stats.

    Kobe Bryant has 63 games with 17+ points, 5+ rebounds, and 9+ assists.

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/pgl_finder.cgi?request=1&player=&match=game&year_min=1997&year_max=2012&age_min=0&age_max=99&team_id=LAL&opp_id=&is_playoffs=N&game_num_min=0&game_num_max=99&game_month=&game_location=&game_result=&is_starter=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos_is_g=Y&c1stat=pts&c1comp=gt&c1val=17&c2stat=trb&c2comp=gt&c2val=5&c3stat=ast&c3comp=gt&c3val=9&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=pts

  32. Tra,
    I’m guessing you were a big Fisher supporter a few years ago “because he brought all the intangibles”? Am I right? I’m only thinking that because most people who worry about intangibles are the same ones who are bothered with players that act a fool amd get technicals and so forth. At this site we don’t discuss parking tickets, off court issues or “bad” body language. We don’t rip Kobe for being one of the league leaders in techs the last several seasons or chastise him for swearing at other players or referees. We try to focus on basketball related activities. If a unnessarry tech that was a Lakers fault leads to a point that costs us the game we will mention it. I understand it doesn’t look good when players act the way they do sometimes and it’s not the way we would want our kids acting but we try not to be a moral authority on this site. I’m sure you understand that and I’m not neccesarrily disagreeing with your opinion.

  33. Let’s all just take a moment to acknowledge that this has been a pretty interesting season.

    I’ve been watching the Lakers a long time. I was a little kid when they won in ’72, I enjoyed it but didn’t really know what was happening. Since then, the Lakers have won 10 titles, and in only 2 of those seasons (’87, ’09) was I absolutely convinced, all year long, that (barring something catastrophic) the Lakers were a slam dunk to win it all. Every other year was peppered with doubt and drama along the way.

    I’m not saying this is going to be a title year, I’m not saying it isn’t. None of us can say. I do think the ceiling for this team is now at the appropriate level, and I wouldn’t have said that before the trade deadline. This year’s squad has doled out plenty of frustration and annoyance to its fan base, through inconsistent and puzzling play at times, but it has clearly shown the ability to play dominant basketball as well. That’s a prerequisite for any team with a hope of a championship.

  34. Darius,
    We disagree on Blake being able start and to help the first unit. Those other players starting over better players are not PGs running the offense. Blake has been unable to run the offense with the first unit. He has struggled to get the Lakers into their sets in a timely fashion and often is unable to do so at all. He looks lost as a starter. He has been a career back up and seems pretty uncomfortable in this role.

  35. Back Up PG
    —————————–

    I think we have a little problem at back up PG. the team is now used to playing with a true PG. I think it will continue to have issues with Steve Blake running the offense. I suggest moving Blake to back up SG (his natural posision) and giving GLock and Morris a crack at that slot. Worse comes to worst you can always go back to Blake.

  36. So about MWP’s lack of scoring and generally poor play at the 3: as we saw last night, if any two of Kobe/Pau/Bynum are hitting a high percentage of shots, the third player is going to have an off game like Bynum did last night. Add Sessions into the equation with 8-12 FGAs a game and the number of shots that can be taken dwindle further.

    My point is that even though MWP is an offensive liability, his defense on certain players (Durant, LeBron, Pierce–not that the Lakers will see Pierce in the playoffs, but he inevitably has 4/14 games against MWP, which is rare for him) makes him situationally extremely valuable. Barnes covers what little scoring they get at the 3, and it’s typically enough–you’re getting 30 out of Kobe, 18-22 out of Pau and Bynum, and Sessions will probably slot into the 12-15 ppg range.

    So that’s 30+20+20+13, 83 points you can pencil in most nights. Add to that about 10 from MWP/Blake, 7 from Barnes…hey, that’s 100 points per game, not bad. Add a sprinkling of bench points and that’s a nice offense.

    Since Sessions will be taking a few shots/touches away from the other players by being a more high-usage guy than Fisher, some numbers may drop. But his presence will probably open up more and easier scoring opportunities for them at the same time. Imagine if Kobe keeps his average but on 22 shots a game instead of 30. Those 8 possessions will end up with someone else shooting what’s most likely a better shot.

    I figure Sessions will be starting as soon as he’s comfortable with the playbook, which is up to his and Brown’s discretion. Mostly Brown’s, but if it’s not within about a week I’ll be annoyed.

    (On a side note, look at Barnes’ career numbers versus this year’s, if nothing else he’s incredibly consistent: http://www.nba.com/playerfile/matt_barnes/)

  37. We still need a backup SG who can hit consisently and play D to maxamize what Sessions has added to the team. Goudelock is lacking against the bigger more physical SG`s. Whatever attitude virus Bynum got on the flight to Houston,hope he gets over it fast.

  38. I agree wholeheartedly with Dude’s breakdown of minutes between Blake and Sessions. Blake can start the 1st and 3rd quarters, with Sessions coming in around the 5 or 6 minute mark and finish the 1st and 3rd. Then bring Blake in for a few minutes in the 2nd and 4th just to give Sessions a little breather. This would mean Sessions would be playing 32-36 minutes, clearly starter minutes. Here’s my reasonings:

    -Sessions speed in transition is wasted while playing with the starters. He can get out in transition but he has no running mates in the starting 5 (Metta? Pau? Drew? Kobe?)
    -We have 3 all world scorers in the starting line-up who can create their own shot, they don’t need to be set up as much as our bench. Furthermore, Sessions scoring will be wasted, as we need our big 3 to get their touches.
    -Brown should play Barnes with Sessions every minute possible. Barnes is practically our only player who runs and cuts and Sessions is clearly getting more out of him than anyone else since Barnes joined the team.
    -Sessions makes Murphy almost look like a contributing backup big. They run the high P&R pretty well together.
    -Sessions is instant offense and clearly bolsters our bench scoring output. A bench that has hovered around being the worst all season in that regard.

    It’s about balance. If we had to pick our best starting 5 I’m sure it would be Sessions-Kobe-Barnes-Pau-Andrew, but then our bench would be Blake-Glock-Metta-Murphy-One Big, which would look pretty damn bad. We don’t need much out of Blake, just bring the ball up, get the ball to our big 3 where they want it, space the floor and knock down open shots. Blake is our lesser PG, so he is easier to “hide” with our starting line-up. That is exactly what Brown did with Fish.

    Does starting matter if Sessions is playing 32-36 minutes a game?

  39. Wow… Look at the breakdown of the starters plus/minus. We can’t keep putting ourselves in that kind of hole by starting Blake. Mike Brown alluded on twitter Ramon will be starting soon.

    Artest +3
    Gasol. +9
    Bynum +16
    Kobe. +9
    Blake. -9

  40. Great win and great play from almost everyone. My only concern right now is Bynum’s attitude…will he continue to be lazy when he doesn’t get the calls he wants?

  41. “No matter what we are not going to let Bynum beat us” -Rick Carlisle before the game

    “Andrew Bynum, on a team with KOBE BRYANT, is the guy the other team is trying to stop before all else. He is entering a point few reach in their careers where he is beyond stats. He is getting so much defensive attention now he is making other players better just by being on the floor” -Max Kellerman

  42. sb dunks,
    Please read comments 27 and 33 for an answer to your very good and legitimate question.

  43. Bynum said “I have to get my numbers” recently. He feels he needs to be involved in the offense and we all know from the past when he’s not he loses focus and his play suffers. Body language was not good last night. Players will have to continue to sacrifice. While most think it’s Kobe who has the most adjusting to do with Ramon it’s not it’s Drew because Kobe will get hs shots. Kobe will get his Isos, Sessions will play PnR and if teams continue to double Drew he’ll lose shots. So if his defens suffers we know why.

    Sessions needs to come off the bench. Those names that were mentioned (Ginobli, Harden, Terry) Lakers need someone to match that firepower off the bench Sessions can. Plus look at bench points and Barnes effectiveness past 4 games.

  44. If starting Blake puts us in a hole, how big of a hole does he create while playing strictly with the second unit? If Blake can’t run the offense with three all stars, do you think he can run it with a Glock, Barnes and Murphy? The big three don’t need to be set up as much as our bench, they create their own shots.

    There’s a reason why our bench production has been dead last all season. Pre-Sessions we averaged around 21 points a game from the bench. With Sessions we’ve averaged 31.5 which would put us at 14th in the league in that category. Our rotation is 8 -9 deep and Sessions gets the most out of our bench players, simple as that.

    Clearly we all agree that Sessions should be getting the lions share of minutes at PG. However, he can’t play 48 minutes a night, we HAVE to play Blake some. So really, the question is where can we play Blake where he is most effective? Or if you prefer, where can we play Blake where is he less detrimental to the team?

  45. I got jumbled around on that last sentence there, should read… Or if you prefer, where can we play Blake where he is least detrimental to the team?

  46. SBDunks/Kevin,
    I asked you to read those comments for a reason. If you did you would have read that Blake wouldn’t be playing with the second unit if he came off the bench. Ramon would have the exact same rotation as Andrew Bynum. Ramon and Bynum would leave the game early in the first and third quarters and come back into the game with the second unit to start the second and fourth quarters. This way Blake still plays all his minutes with the first unit and Ramon would not have to play 15 to 17 min straight to end the games like he has to now. You’re basically having Ramon play the exact same way rotation wise Andrew Bynum has been playing all year. That way Ramon is always playing with the second unit.

  47. Bynum must be entering the “star player” zone because we are starting to psychoanalyze him the same way we do with Kobe.

  48. Guys, I used to love reading all the comments on the blog. I rarely say anything, but I have been reading this blog from the very beginning. I remember the “Gasoline” headline! I remember having a conversation about how Odom stole my heart with his effort in the last first round game against Phoenix in 2006-07, despite being totally banged up.

    Lately, I start reading this blog’s comments and cringe. And the reason is Aaron. Aaron, can you please speak up once (or twice) on each thread, and let it go?

    I know this is a public comments site, and I have no right to ask anyone to stop. But I think I do have a right to post a heart-felt request. You are making the place inhospitable for those of us who want to see a nice discussion, not a guy with a microphone drowning everyone out. Please STOP. If not, Darius, can you please do something to make him stop?

    I will follow my own advice and make this my only post on the subject for a few months. Even if someone flames me on this thread. It is okay to make your point, assume everyone else is intelligent and understood what you said, and then keep shut and let other people respond, even if they disagree. And if the disagreement is too much to take, stop reading and posting.

  49. Sorry to be chucking up posts left and right (shout out to Kob!) but this is very interesting…

    http://www.nba.com/lakers/news/120322jimbuss_livechat.html

    Ol’ Jimmy boy is chatting and taking questions at 4pm Pacific at lakers.com. Whoever is moderating that will have their hands full I bet. He’s going on Mason & Ireland tomorrow as well.

    In a related story, Chaz is mixing drinks at Busbys in Santa Monica today during happy hour, 4-7pm. Half off all drafts and well drinks =)

  50. Aaron,

    I’m not Guessing, but I Know that you’re a Big Bynum supporter. That’s why I’m not surprised that you responded to my comment. Understood? And yes, I was a Fisher supporter. Even though at this point of his career, he was more detrimental to the Lakers than beneficial. But the fact of the matter is that he was a Laker, a team that I’ve supported for over 30 years. So to do anything other than support him would’ve been foolish, IMO … Also, I’ve been on this Site for over 3 years now, probably not as long as you have, but more than enough time for me to know what we discuss here. But thanks for the heads up … Also, it seems as if other individuals have been recognizing the same things in regards to your boy Drew. Check the comments … And as far as trying to be any type of Authority on this site, nah man, I’ll leave that to you … I’m sure you understand that and btw, thanks for not necessarily disagreeing with my opinion.

  51. Wow… Our boy is all grown up (at least basketball wise ;)) Fox says Andrew Bynum is right behind Dwayne Wade and 10th overall as an MVP candidate.

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/lists/NBA-Top-10-MVP-candidates-LeBron-James-Kevin-Durant-Dwight-Howard-Kobe-Bryant-032112#photo-title=Andrew%20Bynum,%20C,%20Los%20Angeles%20Lakers&photo=30821472

  52. Hey guys, I’ve been reading this blog for a few years now. I don’t comment too much but had a few things on my mind. First off I love that we finally have a point guard! Sessions has been very impressive.

    I agree with Aaron and most here that Sessions needs to start. I believe he should be playing at least 30-35 min a game. I went around the league and checked every starting point guards minutes and they are all above 35 mpg besides a few who are young(Like Darren Collison) or just aren’t very good point guards. We have a good point starting point guard he is around the 20th best point guard in the League IMO.

    Before Sessions came our second unit was starting to work pretty will with glock and black as the backcourt. I think we need to go back to that second unit and we can even have sessions play minutes with them.

    Sessions Kobe Pau and Bynum should each get the majority of the minutes at their position (around 35) and the SF should be split evenly between MWP and barnes depending on match-ups. Certain games MWP is needed for his defense like against Durant and should play more than Matt and in other games like last night Barnes should play more than peace.

    I think we are heading in this direction but I really hope Sessions will be the starter soon and will get around 35 mpg.

  53. For the good of the Lakers overall performance for rest of the season and the playoffs, give the PG Starter to Ramon Sessions. My previous position was to give him time to assimilate with his new teammates and acclimatized with MBrown’s plays. Based on his game repertoire since coming to LA, he is intelligent enough how to facilitate and what is good for the team.

    It should be a two way communication, an on-the-job education for Ramon Sessions and on game-to-game realization for the Lakers hierarchy from Mike Brown & Coaching staff, Big 3 and the bench what is to be learned from the newcomer PG. Our team has been indoctrinated for too long with lackadaisical attitudes of W-L roller coasting along with arrogance and spoils in carelessly holding the ON & OFF switch when they want to. There has to be a new assessment coming from an outsider POV to tell them honestly what is wrong about the Lakers inner objectives as perceived by the league. Are they interested to win the Championship this year or continue bragging rights with their braggadocio attitude in applying greatness based on choice?

    For this month alone, Lakers record is 7 – 5 winning against NBA contenders and losing to cellar dwellers teams. Somebody has to stop that roller coaster performance.

  54. I am seeing the difficulty in starting RS7 now. The bench would go back to what they were doing (losing momentum and leads), can RS7 and the other big three get sufficient shots together? You have to spread out the good players for 48 minutes, don’t you?

  55. If Sessions gets the bulk of the minutes and he finishes off games, then we should not have a problem with Blake starting. As Darius commented, other teams have key players come off the bench. The thing is, Blake has to know his role. He doesn’t have to be a facilitator with that first unit in my opinion, but he has to be able to pick his spots and knock down three’s. It’s a matter of him being able to do that. Blake not being able to be the facilitator/play maker for the second unit is what worries me. I think that’s also what MB is thinking, and that would explain why we’ve seen Sessions-Blake in the back-court at times.

  56. I’m wondering what we will do with our Lamar TPE.

    Eric Gordon would be a fantastic get – he could be our third guard (along with Kobe and Ramon). He is too good a player to not demand a significant raise as he comes off his rookie pay scale.

    Yet, he has been out most of the year with that ankle injury, which might scare some suitors away (in terms of the $$ he’d like to get paid).

    Other than Dallas, I can’t think of another contender that could pay him as much as us.

  57. Pete (Cincinnati) March 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    As a lifelong Cavs fan. It’s great to see Razor Ramon doing so well already.

    As for the “much to the chagrin of fans of Cleveland” comment, that’s just not the case.

    Some Cavs fans may be upset, but the truth of the matter is that Sessions had a player option for next season, and there’s no way he’s re-signing with the Cavs to play backup PG when he could start for nearly half the teams in the league. He would have gotten large contract offers (likely from LA anyway) and been gone from Kyrie’s shadow.

    I for one am happy for both sides. The Lakers got the PG they’ve desperately needed, and the Cavs got some draft flexibility in return for a guy they in all likelihood couldn’t re-sign anyway. Win-win.

  58. Tra,
    I not only don’t disagree… I agree with your opinion. I don’t respond to everybody. I respond to people it seems are bright and know basketball. That is why I responded to you.

  59. Thanks for dropping by Pete. I agree – I don’t think this deal was nearly as bad for the Cavs as some think; it fit both sides. Sessions was leaving anyway, and if Gilbert is willing to rent out some cap space (Walton) in order to get a draft pick (and swap another), it’s not a bad haul for a guy that would otherwise leave you for nothing.

    Zach Lowe, killing it over at the Point Forward as usual – must read for Lakers fans:

    http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2012/03/22/ramon-sessions-has-immediate-impact-with-lakers/

    Here’s the wowzer:

    But in the 100 minutes Sessions has played, the Lakers have scored 114 points per 100 possessions, a mark that would lead the league by a mile, according to NBA.com’s stats tool. Beware of small sample size, of course, but stilll.

  60. Tra,
    And I also was not demeaning when I said I guessed you were a Fisher reporter in the past. The majority of people two to ten years ago have been giant Fisher supporters because the guy, dispite his shortcomings, made clutch shots and always held himself with extreme class. As many know…I am not a class guy, I’m a talent guy. That’s all. I don’t care about body language, profanity, juvenile behavior. All I care about is production on the floor. If I thought Bynum deserved to be ejected I would have been upset with him.

  61. The bench (Barnes & Murphy notably) are producing better than ever before with Ramon leading them. What would the fans rather have, a slightly improved starting unit, or a bench that suddenly produces extremely well?

  62. Actually Aaron, you’re the one who didn’t thoroughly read the posts that I and sbdunks made regarding the Sessions/Blake minutes breakdown. You said that if Sessions didn’t start, he would have to come off the bench and play 15-17 consecutive minutes to close out each half. We both said that Blake should start the 1st and 3rd quarters, with Sessions coming in at the five or six-minute mark. Blake would then come in mid-way through the 2nd and 4th quarters for about two minutes.

    The starting unit can get away with playing alongside Blake for five minutes to start each half. He simply needs to be more aggressive with his shot. This breakdown of minutes would theoretically prevent Sessions from picking up two early fouls in the 1st quarter against the opposition’s really good PG, and/or picking up his 3rd and 4th foul early in the 3rd quarter.

    One more positive factor would be maximizing Ramon’s ability for drawing fouls. With this specific breakdown of minutes, he would be playing the last seven minutes of the 1st and 3rd quarters, and the last four minutes of the 2nd and 4th quarters. The other team is highly likely to be in the penalty during Ramon’s time on the floor, and we know he can draw fouls easily.

  63. This isn’t really a who starts problem, this is more of a Blake needs to play with confidence problem. We all know he’s a capable player and deserves a rotation spot, whether it’s off the bench or in the starting unit. But he needs to shoot with confidence and be assertive.

    Theoretically if he can play like the player he’s capable of, I’m in the camp that believes he should be playing with the starters since his skills are maximized off ball, whereas Ramon’s skills are maximized with the ball in his hands. I agree with most of the points in sbdunks excellent comment #37, especially the Ramon & Barnes matching minutes.

    I would also add – don’t underestimate the value of a change of gear impacting the flow of a game. Points matter, obviously, but to construct the type of runs that get you those points and change the game I believe take some degree of intuition and basketball sense that transcend the box score.

    Regarding Pau, excellent game, so beautiful to watch last night. But the most important thing he can do for this team right now is to teach Bynum how to read defenses, pass out of double teams, and really command an offense. Pau is masterful at it, but is not as much of a threat as Bynum to score. If he can teach Bynum that, he will improve Bynum’s ability to do damage both scoring the ball and get the rest of the guys, including Pau himself, better shots.

  64. BTW, Ramon’s PER in his four games with the Lakers is 23.7, which would rank him 3rd among point guards behind only Chris Paul and Derrick Rose. Among all NBA players, his 23.7 PER would rank him 8th, ahead of every other Laker. He really has been that good, and I would not be satisfied with MB giving him only 29-30 minutes per game, unless it’s a complete blowout.

  65. @64 – Yeah, I’ve been banging out that point for three days about maximizing the minutes Sessions and Barnes play together as well. They really have great chemistry out there. MB sees it, and that’s why A-Goud has lost his spot in the rotation as backup SG. Against teams where we need Ron-Ron to be a lockdown defender for 36 minutes, this new rotation will still give Barnes 22+ minutes of playing time.

  66. emile: excellent write up on last nite’s game vs mavs. think kinda stinky should be a category all on itself.

    note to coach brown: imbecile is a word to describe someone who has the opportunity to start ramon session and doesn’t. he needs to start every game and play 35-40 mins per game and as the team begins to blow out opponents, and they will, you can begin to cut back on his minutes and insert blake/whoever. can also give some playtime to darius.

    just do it.

    Go Lakers !

  67. Still shaking my head at how lost Lamar looked last night. The cutthroat Laker fan in me has no problem with that – just like I hope Fish bricks every single shot he takes from here on out – but man, I couldn’t help but feel sad watching that performance.

  68. Ashish @48: I guess what you are saying is that 1 guy on this board tends to fire up too many shots. This leads to frequent “isolation”. We won’t even get into shooting percentage, because that would be an entirely different discussion : )
    Dude/Darius: Can’t you control this guy like MB should control Kobe? : ) I guess he is a poster and he is doing what posters do : )
    Aaron: Just like with KB, I do not mind your qty of shots as long as they are done in “the flow” of the conversation : )

  69. Robert, I enjoyed your premise, although to make the Kobe connection you’re already admitting that the gunner cannot be controlled, as that is intrinsic to his nature/dogma/mystique///

  70. Dude,
    I never said Sessions shouldn’t start. Sorry. I said under no circumstances should Ramon come off the bench permanently.

  71. SBDunks/Kevin/Dude,
    I asked you to read those comments for a reason. If you did you would have read that Blake wouldn’t be playing with the second unit if he came off the bench. Ramon would have the exact same rotation as Andrew Bynum. Ramon and Bynum would both start and would both leave the game early in the first and third quarters and come back into the game with the second unit to start the second and fourth quarters. This way Blake still plays all his minutes with the first unit and Ramon would not have to play 15 to 17 min straight to end the games like he has to now. You’re basically having Ramon play the exact same way rotation wise Andrew Bynum has been playing all year. That way Ramon is always playing with the second unit.

  72. Robert,
    Just like with Kobe you will have to take the good with the bad ;)

  73. To Aaron:
    I don’t like you like some other people on here. I can’t speak for others but the reason I don’t like you is because you’re right almost all the time and nobody likes a “know it all”. You seem to be right in the long run more than anyone else on the site and you don’t let anyone forget it… EVER. You are mostly respectful to everyone while being funny and nice… But people don’t like guys that are mostly always right and ALWAYS give their opinion. Having said that, I enjoy almost everything you contribute and I want to thank you all your efforts. I actually thought at first Sessions should be coming off the bench permanently, but because you said differently I automatically figured I was wrong. I also want to thank everyone for challenging Aaron as we always need to challenge the smartest people in the room. History tells us bad things tend to happen if we let the smart people do whatever they want. If they are right they will have to continue to prove themselves… Something talented/smart people have an easy time doing. So thank you Aaron and thank you everyone else for policing him. Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang.

  74. Don,
    Thanks. I can use one friend on this site :(

  75. Seems to me that you should start the guys who are the best at their respective positions unless there is a reason not to. Every “great” bench player cited in the comments to date (Terry, Harden, Ginobili) has certain weaknesses explain their reserve status–the weakness largely being that there are better defenders at their respective positions.

    For what each of these guys bring offensively, there are defensive liabilities that can be pointed to (Stevenson was a MUCH better defender than Terry last year, Sefalosha is a better defender than Harden, and Ginobili played much of his career behind a much better defender in Bruce Bowen).

    We see this exact same thing with Lakers, where MWP starts over Barnes. It’s not that Barnes (or any of the other reserves mentioned above) is a bad defender–it’s just that there is a much better defender in front of him.

    This explanation cannot be used to explain or justify starting Blake over Sessions. Sessions is the best offensive PG on the roster AND the best defensive PG. Teams like OKC, Dallas, and San Antonio have historically had a ton of firepower in the starting lineup, in large part because each of their teams has very good PGs who get everyone involved. So, those teams could afford to put one great scorer on the bench to spark the 2nd unit while allocating that player’s spot in the starting 5 to a very good defender.

    The Lakers do it too. However, the Lakers’ firepower offensively is limited to three guys, all of whom can be dramatically slowed by packing the paint and doubling Kobe if there isn’t a 4th guy out there who can be a threat. Blake, by this point, surely cannot be said to be that guy. Sessions needs to start to make the starting five a lot better offensively. It’s what this team has lacked, even more than a productive bench.

    Besides, another way to look at the “what difference does it make if he comes off the bench” question is “what difference does it make if Sessions radically improves the starting five rather than the bench?”

  76. Aaron: If it’s not broke don’t fix it. Ramon coming off the bench has been great so it should stay that way.

    Kobe hasn’t played 40 minutes in 4 straight games. The change from Barnes to backup SG helped with that.

  77. Kevin,
    “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” That kind of thinking is why MySpace and Friendster got crushed by Facebook. It’s also why the Lakers got crushed by the Mavs last year. Fisher was broke. Blake is broke. The team is 2 and 2 with Blake starting. The rotations are broke. Blake playing with three all stars and an all league type of defender has an awful plus/minus. So I love you but that is my response to that.

    And yes on Barnes. As many know I have been calling for Barnes to be back up SG and SF

  78. I know this is gonna be another Aaron post :( but Sessions will start. I’m almost positive of that. What I think we need to do is worry about Jordan Hill. I’m confident he will eventually get all of Murphy/McBob minutes but I’m not positive. Murphy/McBob have put up D league level numbers this year. It’s been as bas as our PG problem up until now except it’s coming from the bench behind Bynum/Gasol who cover everything up. Jordan Hill as averaged a 15 PER which means he is a starting caliber player. The guy within the next two weeks needs to get all the back up big men minutes (if you ask me)

  79. Aaron: The whole team was broke last year not just the pg position. All Blake has to do is throw it in the post and hit open 3s with the starters on the bench his job would be much more harder.

    The smart thing would be to hide Blake with Lakers 3 best players instead of him gettting exposed. Blake guiding his 2nd unit to avg. 20 pts. a game for 43 games. Sessions has come in and immediately gave the bench a 10 point boost making Barnes better in the process. The 2nd unit needs Sessions more than Kobe, Pau, Bynum do. For 4 consecutive games Sessions has come in and changed the pace. PJ put Odom on the bench and finished him with Pau many times. Same should be done with Sessions

  80. Kevin,
    Please read what I wrote a few hours ago. I said that if Ramon started… Blake would still be playing only with the starting unit. He would play 13 to 15 minutes a game off the bench midway through the first and third quarters only with the starters. Get what I’m saying? His limitations would still be hidden.

  81. Kevin: Of course I know you feel the same, but isn’t it ironic, that there is a discussion about either benching Blake or hiding him, while DF now plays for OKC? Could we not have just kept him? Or perhaps we could have traded for 2 PG’s? We could have picked up Felton (everyone on Portland was available) or other as our backup, if Blake is that pathetic.

  82. Dude: To piggy back on your point Lakes are the only team in the league with 4 players that have a 20+ PER. SAS, OKC have 3.

    Robert: Don’t know how Blake became this bad player. He was better than this to start the season. he was playing his best ball before the rib cartilage injury. Maybe it’s the injury or he just hasn’t got back in a rhythm, but his play can only go up from here. Which is the good part.

  83. I guess people just don’t read my entire posts. People… I agree Blake should only be in with the starters!!! Those are two different arguments/points. Ramon should start and Blake should only play with the starters. How do people not understand this? Ramon plays 35 to 37 minutes a game and Blake plays 13 to 15 minutes a game. It’s not complicated. Ramon and Andrew both start and leave the game around the 5 minute mark in the first and third quarters. They both come back and play with the second unit to start the second and fourth quarters. Is there anyone out there that understands this? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. All anyone says back to me is Ramon shouldn’t start because they need him to play with the second unit so Blake (who has been awful starting) can play with the first unit. Blake should play only with the first unit but coming off the bench for 13 to 16 minutes a game. Is there anyone out there that understands this? This is why I have to say the same thing over and over. Readers are not reading correctly.

  84. 48, 69, 72: It’s like someone keeps shooting 6/24 and thinks they deserve the MVP. ;)

  85. Jeremy,
    I enjoy proving people wrong so it’s not a problem;) But I am Sorry if I come off as a “Know It All”. I try to be respectful of almost every opinion. I’m actually waiting to get on with mason and Ireland (someone I never do) because this issue is a non issue as fas as I’m concerned and I need to squash it right now. Enough is enough. It’s almost like if people we’re saying we should bring Gasol off the bench. Almost.

  86. bringing up 6/24? ouch

  87. Kevin, “hiding” Blake in the starting lineup has the effect of rendering the starting 5 far less effective than they should be. This is has been the problem all year long. A team with the best offensive center, the most skilled 7 footer, AND the best shooting guard should be a much, much better offensive team. There’s a reason they aren’t, and the reason is the league-worst PG play.

    Teams don’t “hide” point guards in the starting lineup. They “hide” guys who are great defensively and who usually play the SG or SF spot (like MWP–or, in the examples I cited in a previous post, Sefalosha, Bowen, and Stevenson). Point guard is far too important a position to put a lesser talent in the starting lineup.

    The Lakers arguably have two of the best players in the league (offensively) at their positions, and a third (Pau) who is among the best. And yet, teams like Denver, Golden State, Houston, Utah, and even Milwaukee (!) have higher efficiency ratings (see: http://espn.go.com/nba/hollinger/teamstats).

    There is only one reason for this: the totally lackluster play of the Lakers’ PG position this year. Now, if you’re going to argue that a radically underperforming starting unit can be made up for with a better bench due to Sessions’ presence with the reserves, that’s one thing, but that suggestion is not one that I think passes the smell test.

    The reason for Sessions starting is the same as the reason for parting with Fisher: if you can radically improve your starting unit’s offensive efficiency (without giving up anything on defense), you minimize the number of times your team needs that inspirational speech or clutch shot that bails out the team–and the better your starters, the less you rely on your bench.

    To do this any other way would suggest that the Lakers should really just start Sessions and bring Kobe off the bench, since Sessions can get Pau and Andrew involved and then the team would have its best scorer coming in with the reserves….

  88. Aaron, it’s because your allocation of the Sessions/Blake minutes leaves fewer minutes per game for the Sessions/Barnes combo. Hiding Blake with the starters lets him go all out on defense for the first five minutes of each half. His job on offense would be to bring the ball up and shoot open threes. It would allow the Lakers to play more of a post-up game with Drew, getting him some touches and letting him get into a rhythm, which would possibly help get more involved defensively as well. Blake could play aggressive defense and not worry about picking up too many fouls.

    Once Sessions and Barnes come in at the five-minute mark, play speeds up. Sessions doesn’t have to worry about early fouls against the other team’s top PG. My only worry with this allocation of minutes is if MB gets tempted to leave Blake in the game for too many minutes in the 3rd quarter if the starting five is maintaining a lead.

  89. At the end of the day, does it really matter if Sessions starts or not? If he’s getting 30+ minutes per game and closing games out, he’ll get some run with the bench and with the starters. The great thing is, Sessions is YOUNG!!, so we can play him for long stretches without him getting gassed or wearing down.

    I saw Sessions play for the first time last night. I’m really impressed. His athleticism is more than I expected, and his basketball IQ is right there with the best players on the team. He even had a turnover on a brilliant pass into the paint that Kobe wasn’t expecting and would have been an easy 2 for Kobe if he had been. The best part is his game is controlled and even though the ball is in his hands a lot, he rarely gets in trouble or lets the defense hone in on him. He made Steve Blake look really bad in comparison.

  90. 48, FWIW, I mostly agree that conversations that are dominated by one person are not really conversations. However, internet conversation doesn’t generally lead to actual communication; Instead it is usually just talking past one another.

    I, too, believe that the comments section here has become much less intellectual and courteous over the past couple of years or so, which pretty much coincided with ESPN affiliation. I feel as though whenever a group of relatively anonymous individuals get together, they feel as though the most important facet of this discussion is their being right, which generally leads to discussing degrading into pissing contests about semantics and trivialities.

    Probably one of the greatest reasons that the comments have become a less intellectual place is that the most intellectual commenters, guys like Bill Bridges, Reed, kwame a., etc. have stopped coming around. And perhaps strongest is that the most intelligent commenter of them all, Darius, now runs the site and is forced into a role of controlling the mob.

    And yet, the only solution to our problem is as a social group to decide to improve the level of discourse and the level of respect shown to other commenters. Since this is unlikely to happen, the sad response is that you learn to read names before comments, know which ones are not worth your time, and be able to distance oneself from the word’s of others.

    This is probably also why I engage in most of my basketball discussions on Twitter, since 140 characters actually force you to engage in some kind of back and forth.

  91. Dude,
    I don’t think it does because Barnes is now the back up SG also. And even if it does it would expand the Lakers best scoring duo as Zack Lowe points out… Kobe and Sessions are scoring like “gang busters when on the floor together.”

  92. And yet, the only solution to our problem is as a social group to decide to improve the level of discourse and the level of respect shown to other commenters.

    __

    Then you, and Darius, need to start by looking in the mirror. Darius has said a few things that were out of line when he was frustrated by the way the discussions have trended; he has been sarcastic more than once, and his stuff has included posts where he has used profanity, which was one of Kurt’s big rules. Your attitude, as the post above shows, could use a little work as well. In the pre-season, several old-school regulars were quite condescending to some of us who thought the team wasn’t that good. Nothing was done about it.

    Also, as your post indicates, you seem to think that the mods and a few others are here to educate the rest of the users on the site. I don’t see it that way. Darius knows a lot about basketball; so do a lot of other people here, including the much-maligned Aaron.

    The trade deadline has passed, and people are talking about the team that the Lakers have–as Darius made it very clear that he prefers. There is a very reasonable disagreement, with good points on both sides, about whether Steve Blake should start, going on.

    I don’t see the problem.

  93. I hate joining the masses but i can’t help it: please Aaron, try to meassure your posting. When I first came it was zephid, one for warren, tacos and lots of technical/tactical explanations I struggled to understand. Suddenly either i’ve become smarter (which i doubt) or the average interest and educational value of the post have lowered. I really loved and respected this site and hope it doesn’t turn into a not so special place.

    Sent from my calculator.

  94. 25 comments on this thread by Aaron, and counting.

    91 – Whatever happened to kwame a and Reed? They used to give some fantastic breakdowns.

  95. If I can give me two cents here…

    I’ve always seen this board as a community and I still do. It’s changed over the years but change is inevitable. I agree with a lot of what Zephid wrote (including how smart I am ;) ) in that the discussion will be dictated by what people choose to discuss.

  96. I don’t mind whether the conversation is dominated by a single person, I’m more than capable of skipping them if they’re worthless and reading them when they’re worth my time. I guess part of my brain is still in SAT/GRE/GMAT/LSAT mode (I didn’t know what to do with my life so I took every stupid test; unfortunately I still don’t).

    So let’s not go overboard with who comments how many times and says what. It takes two to tango and usually a site’s atmosphere degrades when people start to focus on the ‘people’ not the ‘contents,’ and reflexively disagree.

    Anyway, I do think starting Sessions isn’t that big of a deal compared to finding as many effective lineups as possible. We KNOW Pau-Kobe, Pau-Bynum, RS-anyone, RS-Barnes is fairly effective at this point. But those are starter level players. We need to find lineups that involve bench players that are effective.

  97. Oh, and I just saw the post calling me out for being some sort of hypocrite. Kurt blasted people in the comments. I should know, when I first came he blasted me once that I recall vividly. What I learned was that the community mostly polices itself and that those that wanted to discuss the game intelligently ruled this site. I tried to adjust over time and what do you know, Kurt (and others) had a discussion with me about running this site when he left for Pro Basketball Talk.

    What I see now are people encouraging rants about how the coach is stupid and how players are useless and essentially comments taking to what I consider to be the lowest form of internet and talk radio banter.

    Of course not all comments are like this. In fact, many/most aren’t. But I’ve found – like in life – that there are cases where the most opinionated talk the loudest and the most often to try and get people to see things their way. If you look at the commenting guidelines, this is something that’s discouraged.

    I’ve said this countless times before but I don’t like to come to the comments to talk about the tone of the comments. I run this site to talk about basketball. It’s why I write as often as I do (and why I’ll try to write more as the season goes on) and it’s what means the most to me. I really don’t know where to go from here besides to say that I appreciate that so many of you come to this site to talk basketball and the Lakers. Saying any more at this point likely wouldn’t be helpful.

  98. Can we please dispense with the suggestion that any of us is too busy to have to deal with multiple comments by the same person?

    You’re reading and commenting on a blog, in the middle of the day. Either you’re at work in a job where your day isn’t exactly nonstop action, or you’re at home (in the middle of the day) with plenty of time to skim comments–even repetitive ones….

  99. If LA going to start RS7 and take him out at 5-min mark of 1st and back at the start of 2nd qtr, then you’re also going to do that to Murphy and Barnes because this too really compliment and benefit with Sessions is on the floor. Remember Murphy and Barnes
    subbed MWP and Andrew at this point of time and if they will enter and give Sessions some rest then Murphy will be a liability on offense out there. Murphy is really effective when Sessions was running the PnR (or can i say Pick N PoP) and Barnes really benefits with Sessions running in transition. Blake can’t really do that if they do give Sessions some rest.

    Come on guys, don’t only think of the minutes of 1 person (SEssions), because it will also affect the minutes and play of some other players (Barnes, Murphy, McRoberts). We have an awful bench in pre-Sessions trade. Its ok if we let Sessions come off the bench as long as his playing almost 30 mins. a game.

  100. Isn’t it great to have this conversation about whether or not Sessions should be starting? We have the viewpoint of “we need out best 5 guys starting, and we need him to let Kobe be a pure SG and not handle the ball so much”, and then the viewpoint of “he works so well with Barnes, he gets Murphy open looks on the PnR/PnP”.

    How often to we have PROBLEM that is one player making TOO MANY other players better? That’s a problem I (as a Laker fan) enjoy having.

  101. Darius – do you have a link to the post where Kurt blasted you? :D This I have to see to believe.

    FWIW, I actually agree with harold. I don’t mind Aaron’s comments; I was pointing out the numbers in jest. In his own strange way, he’s become a regular part of FB&G (bet Kurt never thought that would happen when he first showed up). Although he does sometimes talk down to others, it’s all a part of the persona. I think he genuinely tries to add to the basketball discussion in his own way, so I don’t have a problem with the posts. I’d much rather get rid of the occasional rants we see after losses, that don’t add anything to the conversation.

    And that’ll be my last comment for a while on the subject, as I agree that we can all self-monitor what we read and talking too much about the nature of the comments can get tiresome too.

  102. I wish the site had the functionality for me to hide comments from certain individuals, like Aaron, or anybody else who gets annoying.

  103. Speaking of taking lots of shots:
    Kobe is 1.1 points up on Durant + 1.5 up on LeBronze. At this point, he + all of us are compelled to go for it. If you want to find a way to peacefully co-exist both on the floor + on this board : ), then let’s figure out the best way to get him 30+ per game so he can get the scoring title. Agreed? : )

  104. I generally don’t have a big problem with Aaron’s posts (all 200 of them). He can come across as a bit of a know-it-all at times, but he obviously loves talking and arguing about Lakers basketball, which is what this site is for.

    Where I can definitely agree with Darius is this bit here:

    “What I see now are people encouraging rants about how the coach is stupid and how players are useless and essentially comments taking to what I consider to be the lowest form of internet and talk radio banter.”

    This is also the kind of stuff that gets on my nerves, a lot more than anything Aaron might post.

  105. I have no problem with Blake starting and Ramon getting off the bench, so long as Ramon gets a majority of the minutes. I havent heard an argument here showing that Blake starting is the cause for the losses that came up lately.

    Case in point vs. Rockets: Blake started that game and left at the 5:01 mark with a lead. bench came in and extended that lead. we lost the game in the end, giving up two leads of +12 points. the leads lost were not due to Blake getting the start, but because the team lost.

    Yesterday, with Blake starting the 3rd quarter, the lakers were efficient and weren’t hurt by him playing almost ten minutes before Sessions came in at around the 2 minute mark. they closed the 3rd quarter with an 8 pt lead. So I dont see a problem with Blake starting a game. even of Blake starts, MB will most likely provide Sessions more minutes.

    I like the instant offense of the bench. i enjoy the change of pace it provides the offense. I enjoy him teaming up with Barnes to provide bench production. And I enjoy Sessions taking advantage of second string point guards.

    i do believe that MB will put him in the starting lineup, but I’ve seen nothing wrong with him coming off the bench.

  106. With regards to the discussion at hand: I think the issue of Sessions starting right now is being overstated. The last 2 losses have largely come as a result of Kobe having an absolute stinker (Utah game) and poor/predictable late-game execution (Houston). Meanwhile, Sessions has made the bench a weapon it simply couldn’t be with Blake.

    As Aaron has said though, I think he has to take over the starting role in the next couple of weeks (unless Brown intends to use him as Blake’s backup in the playoffs, which is a frightening thought).

  107. Fwiw, I also don’t like people going after one commenter as has been the case in this thread. I think comments should be about ideas surrounding the Lakers on the court, not people talking about them off it.

  108. Snoopy,
    I brought up the idea of a trade. It was before Gasol, before Bynum’s emergence, and at the time that the Lakers were supposedly in the mix for KG. I was talking about options for the team and trading Odom (even though I really liked him) because the Lakers needed a viable 2nd option that could score more consistently next to Kobe. Kurt used my comment as an example of why fans shouldn’t be GM’s. Hahahaha.

  109. I want to thank everyone who offered some kind of support today. This site is about Lakers basketball… My favorite thing in life (appologies to my GF) I love talking basketball and I want to keep it about basketball. Jordan Hill anyone ? ;)

  110. @AusPhil

    Yes, it’s a great luxury of a worry to have.

    WE HAVE A PG!

    Now, if we had TWO, then our problem would go away ;)

  111. “I brought up the idea of a trade”

    Does this mean you were speculating? No wonder you were scolded by the mod : )

    Sorry Darius – couldn’t resist : )

  112. Darius,
    I remember those times… I was on the site back then I beleieve. I remember saying the Lakers should not trade Bynum and Lamar for KG because I thought Bynum would be a star in this league. But I said we should do anything we can to trade Odom in a package for KG. Kurt thought we shouldn’t trade Lamar for KG or we shouldn’t trade Bynum and Lamar for KG? Cause I can’t beleieve he thought we shouldn’t package Lamar and assets for KG. That was a no brainer.

  113. 106. Completely agree. Hyperbole is the worst possible element in any discussion.

    Talking of times gone past, imagine if we traded Bynum for Kidd as Kobe implored!

  114. One angle I don’t think anybody is considering wrt Sessions and his place in the rotation: when it comes down to the playoffs and must-win games, Sessions place in the rotation, # of minutes, etc will be dictated by how we game plan for elite PG’s like Westbrook, CP3, etc.

  115. As a guy who posts to much and often repeats my rants I feel like a understand.

    As a huge Laker fan it’s hard to find local people who share my passion.

    My wife tells me to leave.
    My son isva Celtic fan.
    Guys out my local cigar store tell me to shut up and turn the channel to a old movie.

    The only outlet fans like Aaron, I and other have is this site. Which by the way is a huge compliment to the intelligence of this site and the people on it.

    Yes some of us can be quite annoying but the fact that we care and want to discuss and be heard is what makes this site so important.

    Besides it healthier then drugs and alcohol and way cheaper.

  116. Darius – Haha that comment from Kurt does sound vaguely familiar. Although I remember him illustrating why fans shouldn’t be GMs on a couple different occasions.

    Question – I’m not sure if this has been talked about before, but does anyone know specifics of the revenue sharing agreement? Do the Lakers pay a percentage based on their net income (therefore taking the $200 million/yr TV deal into account), or are they fixed at doling out around $50 million as widely reported?

    It’s curious to me that, while revenue sharing has kicked in this year, so has the new TV deal – in other words, the Lakers just bumped their yearly earnings by $150 million. For a franchise that profited ~$40 million last year, that’s an enormous leap, even when you take into account things like the repeater tax hit.

    I just find it curious, that’s all. I wonder if there’s parts of the revenue sharing plan hidden from the public, or some additional pieces of information missing. The numbers that are available would suggest that it was more logical to be worried about profit 3 years ago than today. Even with the estate tax Jim Buss faces, an increase in $150 million per year would more than seem to compensate for a higher payroll.

  117. That takedown in the clipper game on Blake was one of the worst I have ever seen.

    If a Laker did that he would be suspend for 3 years.

    If Clips lose again the coach is gone. And as Ralph Lawler would say!

    Bingo!

  118. Watching Clips-Hornets right now, and while I’ve been hoping we play the Clips in the 1st round due to having a distinct coaching advantage and not having to travel, now I don’t think that will happen. The Clips are simply imploding.

  119. Never thought that I would see the day n which I’m scoreboard watching to see what the Clippers are doing. Wow! Can’t lie, I’m actually viewing the game (which is pretty good, btw) and hoping that the Hornets can hold on.

  120. Tra – I know how you feel. I’ve always kind of had a soft spot for the Clippers, like you’d have for a little cousin from a family who can’t take proper care of him. But now I just want to see them lose, and lose, and lose. Go Hornets!

  121. Zephid, you don’t comment much anymore either. I miss the comments by Bill Bridges, Reed, kwame a.

  122. The chief reason I’m enjoying the Clippers’ collapse along with the Lakers’ recent rise is Bill Simmons’ bet with Flea where Flea would have to wear a Clippers jersey if they won the Pacific, but Simmons would have to wear a Lakers jersey if they did. I can’t wait for him to renege on it, cementing (no, the cement was set ages ago, this is rebar-level) his status as a classic Boston frontrunner.

  123. 121 – I’m actually hoping the Clips do well enough the rest of the season to convince Donald Sterling to keep VDN around. The worse they do, the greater the chance VDN gets canned, the greater the chance they get a real coach that can maximize that team’s potential. Vinny Del Negro is one of our best friends right now. `

  124. A little love for my guy Pau he’s outplayed Dirk since the sweep. Outplaying him on offense and making Dirk work for everything we’ve seen this movie before. After 08 Finals loss he came back and demolished the 09,10 Finals. Good to see Pau’s black swan come out vs Dirk & KG.

    Last 2 games vs Dallas 24-9-4, 27-9-1.

    Held Dirk to 9-22 FG and 10-24 FG.

  125. 123, Chearn, yes, since I’ve started my PhD, I’ve had less time to comment and write for FB&G. When my thoughts are not fully formulated or articulated, I don’t feel compelled to post them, hence my lack of posting.

    94, rr, I don’t think I said anywhere that I intend the mods to “teach” others about basketball. I believe we can treat every person who comes to the site as a resource of basketball knowledge, so long as they make meaningful contributions. However, like Darius said, too often, comments are posted like spitfire vitriol without much thought behind them. These are not meaningful contributions.

    I have nothing truly against Aaron, but he somewhat embodies a lot of things that I don’t think have a place in intellectual conversation: He belittles the thoughts of others, he passes off his subjective views as objective truths, he controls the conversation, he twists facts to fit his perspective, and he claims humor when he engages in what I feel is insulting other commenters. He is by no means the only person who does some of these things, and he does not by any means do them all the time. However, as can be seen, he is perhaps the most frequent one of them all, and thus the most significant.

    I am glad that so many people come to FB&G to talk Lakers basketball. I’m not telling anyone to contain whatever thoughts they have about the Lakers just because they should wait their turn. However, I feel like everyone should have some consideration as to the organization and presentation of their thoughts, such that the conversation becomes more about analysis and discussion than about semantics and expletives.

  126. #127. I thought the winky face emoticon would have made it clear I was joking about me being smart. I guess not.

  127. Reading Kelly Dryer story about LO made me sad. Can’t help but feel that mercenary family that will porn out their daughter or stage phony marriages to make a buck has lots to do with a very kind guys situation.

    Having been a manager in that business myself for several years I saw the bad side and what it can do to people. I had to get out before I lost my sense of value. I hope LO makes it and somehow takes back control of his own life again.

  128. I am a rocket fan and found this site after the trade of jordan hill. I have really enjoyed it. I’ve realy liked jordan and I hope he can fulfill his potential with the lakers. If he can ever find some consistency I believe he could really help yall.

    He was the rockets best rebounder and is a strong 1 on 1 post defender as well. Where he struggles is his def. awareness and help def. He seems to be late allot and just miss assignments. I think this was the main reason for not getting more minutes.

    Offensively he has a decent post game but just hasn’t had the opportunities to really develop confidence. His jumper is very inconsistent and he has the annoying habit of fading away on every one. Anyhow sorry for rambling on so long. I hope someone finds this informative.

  129. Zephid,
    It’s easy to make claims. When I make a claim I back it up with evidence or opinion. Youvhave just made statements without explanation. You said I twists facts and belittle others. Please find something i said today that twisted facts or belittled others. We have a forum so it’s time for a discussion. Copy and paste anything of the “28″ posts I commented today and explain yourself. That’s only fair ;)

  130. half n half @127 – the reason some of us have been coming to this blog for a while is because of Darius (and Kurt before him) as well as some of the other writers/mods. We appreciate what they do and what they bring to the discussion. I also used to come for the comments because there were a number of insightful posters. Now I skip many of the comments.

    Trying to be objective in this (though obviously, I have some strong feelings about it), I think the commenting guidelines are pretty clear. They were set in place to create this particular blog experience. What I don’t get is people coming here, completely disregarding the guidelines and then complaining if they are called on it. The thing is, anyone can start a blog. They can be free and easy to use. Why not do that rather than blowing off the guidelines on another site?

    I have no problems with anyone posting here. Dumb ideas, good ideas, crazy ideas, angry rants, whatever, but as a courtesy to other readers and the mods, is it too much to ask commenters to read and adhere to the guidelines? Again if they don’t like those, start a new blog.

    End of sermon (and mods feel free to delete this is you feel it is inappropriate).

  131. 1/2decaf1/2regular,
    Wow. Thank you. I can’t tell you what that means to me. Because that’s exactly how I’m intending to come off so I’m pleased I can accurately put out via this medium exactly how I am feeling. Again… Those words means a lot to me.

  132. You guys saw how Blake Griffin flopped that tough foul tonight. Dude is a machine Smith gave him a shoulder and Blake fell to the ground acting hurt. The league has gone soft if they suspend Jason Smith. Not to mention Clippers are in 6th place fading fast.

  133. 48,

    “And if the disagreement is too much to take, stop reading and posting.”

    If I may say my 2 cents, I think Ashish suggestion is very reasonable Aaron. We are all free here to express our passion for the Lakers but I noticed your passion too is overflowing, there is too much exuberance in your posts that you failed to allow others to express their opinion contrary to yours. Must you have always have an answer for everything? Must they conform everything to your thinking? Nonetheless, I enjoy reading your post and being a newcomer in this blog, we thank the community and also you for welcoming me or us, maybe annoyed too by our fearless engagement in expression of our biases.

    In the other blog where I came from, we have had experience of a one person vs. everybody. Well there, it turns out into violent confrontations that dragged relatives, threats in super angry posts. At least here, our posts are taken with jest in a gentlemanly fashion. I don’t mind my posts being moderated for about 10-15 minutes, it means I touched again something insightful which I become notorious especially when Lakers become careless in losing a winnable game. In a public forum such as this, very often we are faced with a dilemma on how can we stretch our tolerance on some stupid posts or someone whom we feel to be intolerable? I think Ashish did his job by clearing the air in no-holds bar post. Another way is a test of will of being strong, as a cultured and educated individual in embracing someone who is different from you. Just continue being strong by sharing your own thoughts for the sake of the team. The blog is a mere bridge in conveying your thoughts to others, nobody has the monopoly of correctness, it’s all a matter of opinion. Why be affected by people who think they’re powerful? I like the analogy that if you touch a snake in the corner, surely you will get bitten, therefore why not just learn to live with that snake as well as his rattling. In a nutshell, if you don’t wish to engage into conversation with a particular poster, don’t answer, don’t read his posts, just move on – live and let live.

  134. 1/2decaf1/2regular,
    Not that I am perfect or anything of course haha

    Kevin,
    Yea… I haven’t come to a conclusion about how I feel about flopping. How to police it or if it policies itself in basketball. Just not calling a foul usually results in two points or more if the guy falls down. Right? I am not sure. Thoughts?

  135. I’d like to echo VoRs comment @ 132; I too have frequented this blog for years and came here for the insightful discussions/comments just as much as for the posts themselves. The quality of commenting seems to have declined this year. Thats not because of differing opinions on personnel, shots, trades, rotations, plays etc. but because these comments are filled with one of three things:

    Repetition – repeating the same message and carrying that message thread to thread
    Hyperbole – i.e. you dont care for browns rotations so suddenly that means he is the worst coach in the nba, or blake doesnt score in a game therefore he should be out of the rotation
    Condescension – i.e. you disagree with me so clearly you know nothing about basketball

    If everyone stays away from those three things, there shouldnt be any problem. Sure we’ll disagree but that leads to discussion which is the beauty of this community. We all just need to be respectful of each other, remember we are all here because we have a common love for the lakers, so keep that in mind.

    And sidenote, Zephid, now you made me realize how I miss bill bridges, reed, kwame a. Anyone know where they went?

  136. Aaron: Shouldn’t be a suspension Smith getting thrown out is the penalty. Griffin wasn’t mid air all Smith did was give Blake a shoulder I see no harm in that. Kobe was pushed mid air by Kidd twice on eaach ends of the court yesterday. But since Kobe didn’t flop around it was unnoticed. Blake is over dramatic a lot refs should notice that.

  137. Is there a Dodgers blog site similar to this one?

  138. 132, here are several instances of what I believe to be you belittling other posters:

    32. Aaron wrote on March 22, 2012 at 9:28 am

    “I’m guessing you were a big Fisher supporter a few years ago “because he brought all the intangibles”? Am I right?”

    46. Aaron wrote on March 22, 2012 at 11:09 am

    “I asked you to read those comments for a reason. If you did you would have read that Blake wouldn’t be playing with the second unit if he came off the bench.”

    59. Aaron wrote on March 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    “…I respond to people it seems are bright and know basketball.”

    72. Aaron wrote on March 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    “I asked you to read those comments for a reason. If you did…”

    79. Aaron wrote on March 22, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    “That kind of thinking is why MySpace and Friendster got crushed by Facebook.”

    82. Aaron wrote on March 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    “Please read what I wrote a few hours ago… Get what I’m saying?”

    85. Aaron wrote on March 22, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    “I guess people just don’t read my entire posts. People… Is there anyone out there that understands this? This is why I have to say the same thing over and over. Readers are not reading correctly.”

    —–

    I do not doubt that you will have some response to this, but I think it is a tired issue that I wish to put to rest, so I won’t be responding anymore regarding this line of discussion. I have purposefully left off my interpretation of these quotes, and I leave it to other commenters to determine if they believe these quotes to be belittling or not.

  139. I favor Ramon with the second squad (can’t run alone as well as with Glock and Barnes, even McRob) and for crunch time (to help loosen up the O so KB isn’t taking all the shots-too predictable).

  140. I have nothing truly against Aaron, but he somewhat embodies a lot of things that I don’t think have a place in intellectual conversation: He belittles the thoughts of others, he passes off his subjective views as objective truths, he controls the conversation, he twists facts to fit his perspective, and he claims humor when he engages in what I feel is insulting other commenters.

    Ding ding ding ding. Rhetors are never involved in an intelligent conversation with others, which requires two-way communication and open exchange of ideas. Instead they are forever engaged in a verbal battle to persuade others to accept their point of view as the single truth.

    Since we are on this topic, I do miss the commenters who used to post here when I first came. Their absence is quite noticeable around here.

  141. Wow, what a thread indeed, of comments. As long as RS7 can be as productive as possible, and maximize the capabilities of the most players on the team, I really do not care if he is a ‘starter’ or not. He is young, give him his deserved 38 minutes a game.

  142. From Jim Buss Chat earlier:

    Comment From Hlc31
    “Will Kobe be a Laker for life? Would you consider to use amnesty on him if it meant signing two younger stars? ”

    Jim Buss
    “We look at Kobe as a Laker for life and wouldn’t consider using the amnesty clause on him. Kobe being the player that we all love, one of the greatest Lakers of all time, we view him as family. ”

    Read the rest at Lakers.com.

  143. I like turtles.

  144. Aaron,

    I believe that the league can police flops very easily. All they have to do is give technicals after the game for any call determined a flop. I think that flops are obvious enough and pointed out by the announcing staff that it wouldn’t take a great deal of resources to do it. After the first couple technicals are handed out, players will tone down their flops.

  145. Jesse @144: Please relay this follow up question to Jim Buss: Jimbo, you say Kobe is a Laker for life. His contract expires in 14. What if he wants to play beyond that? What if you have already given AB a max extension? How much are you willing to pay KB + for how long? : )

    I found the most insightful answer from Jimbo during the discussion to be: “Chaz was never a bartender”.

  146. I think it’s premature to judge the impact of Sessions.

    When we see what sort of player he is matched up against Tony Parker or Russell Westbrook or Chris Paul then we’ll know if we’ve hit a home run with this guy or just a single.

    I don’t consider the Mavericks a barometer since we’ve beaten all season anyway without Sessions.

    @Robert, don’t understand your shots a Jim Buss. He explained that the FO brain trust has been considering roster options since the 4 game sweep.

    He explained away this nonsense of there being no scouting arrangement in place in the FO by naming names and roles.

    To suggest that very little could be gleaned from his responses seems to me to deliberately ignore the heavy dimension of criticism that has been directed at the Laker FO based on false information and incompetent reporting.

    When put together with Kobe’s comments which suggests that he is, in fact on board with the FO people and the decisions they’re making, seems to pretty well put to bed all of this nonsense about the young Buss’s desire to run the franchise into the ground.

  147. On #136, Aaron I apologize in advance if you find my analogy offensive, it’s just an objective example on how we should all treat each other in this kind of setting. As I said before, I find you funny and also educational in majority of your posts. No worries Amigo.

    144,

    Thanks for sharing Jesse on Jimbo’s thoughts about Kobe. It is refreshing that he welcomes him in the family. How about those who were traded like D’Fish and LO, are they no longer welcome in the family? In a negative way, it sounds like they’re within a Mafia organization especially when you hear about his relationship with his sister and PJ. However, we would like to thank Jim Buss for giving us Ramon Session, a shot in the arm to prevent us from suffering extended pneumonia hopefully, it will extend our season all the way to the Finals.

  148. emile/darius: let me just put this out there. it’s game 7, or 6 or even 5 in the western conference finals between the lakers and okc. great opportunity for fisher to stick it to the lakers with a timely outside shot, defensive charge, something smart; things he’s noted for. the opposite happens because fisher is and always will be a laker for life.

    game preview forthcoming guys?

    Go Lakers !

  149. A new post is up.

    http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2012/03/23/cant-get-this-play-out-of-my-mind/

    #149. The game preview won’t be up until this afternoon.

  150. Zephid,
    It’s hard for me to believe you really think those quotes were meant to belittle anyone. They were written with a hundred percent sincerity.

  151. Kareem,
    That is definatley the best way to do so. I agree. So it shouldn’t be policed with points… Just money. I can live with that.