Lakers/Hornets: A Forgettable Game With A Memorable Finish

Darius Soriano —  March 31, 2012

Some games are best forgotten quickly. This was one of those games. Facing an undermanned Hornets team, the Lakers played a relaxed and sloppy game but were able to pull out the win down the stretch by the count of 88-85.

The Good:
The Lakers starting big men both had very good games on offense. Gasol went for 21 points on 8 for 14 shooting and added 11 rebounds with 3 assists. The Spaniard did most of his damage right at the front of the rim (shooting 5 for 7 in the restricted area via as a recipient of some good passes via smart cuts and when operating in the P&R. Gasol showed good hands and classic technique, keeping the ball high and finishing well even when in traffic. Bynum, meanwhile, had 19 points on 7 of 10 shooting and contributed 10 rebounds as well. Like Gasol, Bynum did all his damage right at the front of the rim, using his size to carve out space around the rim while using his power and footwork to get off good shots against a defense that was giving him extra attention all game. Both big men contributing a double-double was certainly a product of the Hornets’ lack of viable big men but considering how often the Hornets went zone, it was good to see both bigs take what the D gave them and not force shots once they got their touches. Both did a good job of playing to their strengths and finding the creases in the defense to get good shots.

Ramon Sessions also deserves some praise for his more than solid game. Sessions also had a double-double with 10 points (on 4 for 8 shooting) and 10 assists. Sessions played a controlled game but opportunistic game, seeking out driving lanes when they were there but also slowing the pace and setting up the offense in the half court when nothing was there. Once in the half court, Sessions ran the P&R well and had several good passes to Gasol and Bynum when they opened up near the basket flashing his vision and playmaking skills in the process. Sessions also assisted on two of Ron’s three 3 pointers and one of Blakes triples simply by moving the ball on time to his open mates. Overall, he showed his ability to be a floor general and lead the team.

The Bad:
The Lakers went in the 3rd quarter leading by 4 points but ended it trailing by 6. In the quarter they shot 7 for 19 (37%) and committed 5 turnovers all while allowing the Hornets to make 10 of their 22 attempts from the field. The Lakers came out with little energy on both ends of the floor and all too often let the Hornets get whatever they wanted on offense while allowing them to dictate to them on defense. The Lakers faced a fair amount of zone in this period and showed that they still don’t have a viable plan to consistently attack this defense, often settling for jumpers around the perimeter (Kobe settled for three 3 point attempts during this stretch) without attacking the middle of the zone via passes or dribble penetration. Losing the quarter by 10 allowed the Hornets to gain the momentum and put them in a hole that they tried to dig out of the rest of the game (finally breaking through with Kobe’s three pointer in the closing minute). Against a team that should have been beaten much easier, the 3rd quarter is where the Hornets gained all their confidence and was the reason the game had the tenor it did late.

The Ugly:
Kobe may have hit the game winner but his shooting was horrendous on the night. He missed his first 15 shots and at one point was 2 for 20 (one make less than his horrid 3 for 20 game against the Jazz that was probably the worst game of his career). He missed jumpers and bunnies alike. He settled for too many three pointers (taking 8 on the night) and wasn’t nearly aggressive enough (showing in his 5 FT attempts) in attacking the basket. After a while it was almost comical (while also being painful) watching him miss shot after shot with the crowd ready to explode in cheers but ultimately letting out collective “oooooh’s” when the ball clanked harmlessly off the rim.

That said, this performance told me that Kobe’s tired. Nearly every Kobe miss was off the front rim and the fact that he settled so often against a team that didn’t have a good defensive option to guard him nor shot blockers to protect the rim were evidence enough. However, after the game when asked if fatigue played a part in his shooting woes he admitted that it had (the exact quote was “maybe a little”). For Kobe to even acknowledge fatigue tells me he’s probably very tired as he’ll rarely admit to any weakness in his game or in how he’s feeling. This isn’t to absolve Kobe from shooting poorly. If he’s in the game he must find a way to be effective. So, he either needs to make more of the shots he decides to take or augment his game (like he did in the 1st quarter) and be more of a set up man for the bigs. That said, it’s imperative that Kobe not be on the floor as much as he has been and that’s not on him. He’s not going to ask out of the game so the coaches (namely Mike Brown) must find a way to get him more rest by leaving him on the bench for longer.

The Play of the Game:
Obviously Kobe’s game winner is it, but since we covered that earlier, lets go in another direction. As a sucker for big to big passing, this Gasol to Bynum interior dime was great. Even better was how it was set up with Sessions and Kobe running a 1/2 P&R and then Pau setting another screen forcing his man to hedge out on Ramon. After the screen, Pau dove down the lane, made the catch and then shoveled to Drew for the easy dunk. A great action, here:

Darius Soriano

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to Lakers/Hornets: A Forgettable Game With A Memorable Finish

  1. Re: Kobe getting more rest, one idea would be to sub Barnes for him in Q1, and wait to put turnover Blake in the game at the start of the second quarter. That way, Barnes could get some run with Sessions and McRoberts (who comes in for one of the bigs) to push the tempo a bit. Then wait until mid Q2 to put him back in and do something similar in the second half.


  2. Warren Wee Lim March 31, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    I just gotta say… entirely different team from 2001 / 2008, but I get the same tingle. One of those teams overcame a juggernaut Blazers team… the other failed against the Celtics in the Finals.

    Damon Stoudamire / Greg Anthony
    Steve Smith / Bonzi Wells
    Scottie Pippen / Detlef Schrempf
    Rasheed Wallace / Brian Grant
    Arvydas Sabonis / Dale Davis


  3. MB needs to devise an effective 9 man rotation that minimizes Blake court time. Blake should never be in the game for defensive purposes. Jarrett Jack just missed the shot end, he was past Blake.


  4. With the discussion on Kobe being tired and on the substitutions, this does feel like a Mike Brown issue. He needs to better manage his team – win or lose – or he needs to find other employment.

    The Lakers may bow out in the 1st round, but if MB has gotten his rotations in line and his players are able to compete, then I will stand by him this year.

    However, this trash we are seeing now really destroys my faith in his ability to manage either the players or the game. Granted the players must play for him, but he seems as dedicated to the timings on his rotations as Phil Jackson – and Phil lost these guys last year.


  5. Wasnt it Phil Jackson who never fired his best bullets till the playoffs? I’m not going to bash Mike Brown until I see him play Steve Blake more than ten minutes a game and Murphy/McBob over Jordan Hill in the playoffs. Until then i am gonna have faith this is all part of the master plan. These NBA coaches aren’t stupid. But sometimes relationships get in the way. It’s not a video game. We literally had to trade a 37 year old washed up guard because we couldn’t bench him.


  6. It’s amazing how many double digits leads Lakers have blown. Team has shown signs of dominance all about consistency and killer instinct.


  7. The epoxy isn’t setting–and three glue guys that were part of the Jackson championships–as well as Phil et. al–are not here. One glue guy is lost somewhere in Texas, two are making contributions that surprise many–Phil is listening to Kurt’s analyses on TV.

    Some subs need pt and trust–the vets need rest–and the team needs a positive identity that doesn’t depend on pure stubborness. MB might think that he is almost ready to serve sauce Bernaise–but it’s looking more and more like plain old scrambled eggs to me.

    Derek Fisher–we’re so sorry that you’re not here. You would have loved to work with Ram just as you did with Deron at Utah. An uncanny ability to channel confidence and hope is just what we need right now.


  8. Warren Wee Lim April 1, 2012 at 7:25 am

    You will not see a bigger supporter to our front office than me. That doesn’t mean I will be defending them for all they will do in the future, but so far, I am defending all they have done so far.

    The one thing no one was able to anticipate is the CBA. Even Mark Cuban didn’t anticipate to lose Tyson Chandler this way. Thats why we have to work ourselves in the “new rules” system simply because the old rules which we were all used and spoiled to, doesn’t exist anymore.

    Good for you coz you never have to lose any money. If your team fails to do well, all you say is “oh well we’ll be back next year” but the team actually loses money. As easy as it is to spend for me as much as the next guy, I would like to work within the parameters of the new rules. I would like to emphasize that managing a team includes payroll management outside the basketball side of things.

    Lets examine the most recent deals we have done:

    1. Vujacic + LAL 1st for Joe Smith.
    2. Odom for DAL 1st.
    3. Signed Mike Brown.
    4. Walton, Kapono, LAL 1st for Sessions, Eyenga.
    5. Fisher, DAL 1st for Hill.

    From a payroll thats very close to 100 million, the front office has effectively played the worst possible payroll to work with and turned it into a talent level thats at par, but able to cut 10+ million in salaries 2012 and some 9+ million for 2013.

    Its not just about getting Barbosa for the TPE kind of deals. The deals we do are to manage our payroll according to the new rules, and might I say we’ve done an excellent job so far.


  9. Pump the brakes on hammering the Buss family until season end. Buss family is not super rich like Paul Allen (Blazers), Mickey Arison (Heat) or Mikhail Prokhorov (Nets). Buss can’t afford to lose money on Lakers.

    Buss demonstrated his ownership pedigree by NOT trading Pau Gasol after Chris Paul trade was rescinded. Lakers should be glad NBA said no. Chris Paul, Andrew Bynum and Kobe was not enough. Lakers have better chance keeping Pau and adding Sessions.

    Lakers addressed the their biggest deficiency PG directly. They didn’t trade a strategic asset and create a hole.

    NBA season is a marathon. Absent major injury Lakers definitely have chance to win championship this year. No single regular season loss will determine their championship fate. Lakers must use regular season games to develop offensive flow and defensive consistency for the playoffs. Lakers learned from loss to OKC that they can outplay Thunder. They just have to figure out how to keep their rhythm. (Kobe shooting fewer 3’s leading to opposition fast break baskets would be a good start).


  10. Dear Warren

    Thank you for you opinion on the front office. You left a few things out. They didn’t use that $5 million on tbe worthless trade of Sasha for worthless Smith. Could we use him now?

    They gave away LO and the 1st which we now don’t have and aren’t using the $8.9 million. Both we could use.

    They gave away Fisher and a 1st for nothing and watching Blake play one must ask why.

    They didn’t sign Brown yet filled the roster with Murphy, McRoberts, bad contract of Artest, Blake, Kapono, Walton etc.

    All I feel the FO has done a bad job with the $90 plus million they had to work with the last 2 years.

    As for not costing me. Wrong again. I own a wine and beer distributor and buy season tickets to give to major customers as a incentive to buy our products in a very competitive industry. Those tickets keep going up every year as the team wins and the payroll due to those wins increases.

    This year is the first in many years my customers are asking for Clipper tickets instead. You know the team that just won 5 home games this week and wacked the same Jazz last night that beat the Lakers.

    FO has turned this into a 2nd tier team and lowered the value of it’s tickets while raising the cost each year. That costs me. And lastly they hired Mike Brown because he came at the bargain price of $3 million while making it clear to Phil they would not pay him the $14 million he wanted.


  11. Aaron

    Really? Go back and look at the last two Brown years in Cleveland when LJ and other were laughing at Brown.

    The guy plays Blake and Sessions at the same time. He put Blake in the game last night for Defensive reasons. He won’t play AG because on the air he said he can’t create his own shot. He let’s teams in tbe 2nd half goes on 14 to 2 runs and does nothing. He played Kobe the most minutes in the NBA so he is now beat.

    Really Aaron? If you want to watch a not-stupid coach watch Pop. How he has mixed the young with the old while playing his big 3 30 minutes a game not 43. Or go back to Boston/Cleveland series and watch unsure rotations, confused offense and a clearly much younger but tired James and tell me again you have faith in Mike

    Even my wife has resigned herself to excepting that she can’t change a tigers strips or teach this old dog new tricks. Yet you have faith in Mike Brown?


  12. Ken,
    Read what I wrote again… I’m a big picture guy. I care very little about the regular season. I said wake me up when he is playing Blake, Murphy, and McBob in the playoffs. Everything you said can’t be argued. He is playing those D League level players over guys who by all measurements are much better (GLock/Hill). What’s worse is that at least Murphy/McBob are PFs playing PF. Steve Blake has been a spot up shooting SG playing off Iverson, Roy, and until this year Kobe Bryant in the triangle. Now he is being asked to play PG in a traditional offense for the first full season of his career. The results have been predictably horrifying as his PER is the worst in the league at PG (as Fisher is now playing back up SG for OKC). Sadly his PER is even worse than Fishers anyways. It’s very sad though that in the few games GLock was playing PG he completley changed the offense in a way similar to what Ramin has done. It’s very important to have a PG in this offense that is a threat in PnR’s and getting to the basket. My grandma can see this. For this reason alone Mike Brown has been a bad coach this year. Fortunately the playoffs are what matters.

    Pop has done a great job piling up regular seasons victories with young ball players, unfortunately he has been ousted early in the playoffs since he has adopted his fun and gun style with young players. Much of that does have to do with the fact he has little talent on his team since Duncan hasn’t been a threat in the low st for years.

    If the veteran Blake turns it on in the playoffs we all will be proven wrong. I doubt it though as his shooting is less important than his inability to play PG in this traditional offense and that is something that you don’t just learn in your mid thirties. He doesmt have that skill set amd he never will.

    To add to the Brown regular season rotation stupidly is his playing of Murphy/McBob over Jordan Hill. Why play those D Leaguers over Hill. Hard to say from a basketball perspective. Hill is a better rebounder, defemder, scorer, and passer so the only guess here is that he doesn’t work hard in practice and is a lousy teammate.

    All advanced statistics suggest that if the Lakers removed Blake,Murphy, amd McBob from the rotation in favor of GLock and Hill the differece will be shocking. If you can remove three D League Level players from your rotation and replace them with one average (GLock) back up and one good back up (Hill) the results are predictably severly positive. As long as Mike Brown does this before the playoffs start he still has a chance to be a championship coach this year. And a championship coach isn’t a bad coach.


  13. Warren/Trey: Sorry – there will be no defense or pumping of the brakes here. Our current problems are roster related. Our future problems are contract and payroll related. Those issues fall on the FO. Unlike others, I do not bash MB, so I am not going to lump that in (although I would have preferred Shaw).

    Warren: Your list:

    1) Sasha: So we traded a good bench player and a pick, for a guy who never played and a TPE we never used. This is good?
    2) LO: We traded the 6th man of the year for a TPE, which we have not to date used (bad trade for both teams by the way).
    3) MB: Should have gone with Shaw although my opinion is not as strong as many on this board.
    4) LW/JK/Pick for RS/Eyenga: This was good. However not the spectacular epiphany that some claim.
    5) DF + a pick for Hill: So we traded a pick just to dump DF. We should have just bought him out ourselves. Better yet – kept him – and ditch Blake.

    So this looks like 1 out of 5 to me. Then let me add:

    6) Let Shannon Brown go via FA to save money that could not be used on anyone else (simply profit only).
    7) Messed with Pau’s head during the entire first half of the season.
    8 ) Fired much of the FO admin staff, scouts, and R Lester.
    9) Done significant damage to the Laker FO reputation (not all is fair – but perception is reality).

    You are cheering them for financial savings, but this does nothing for us on the court. If we were setting ourselves up to get under the cap, that would be one thing – but we are not. The financial savings do nothing but add to profits.

    Trey: Yes – nobody knew the full CBA details, but we knew that no matter what – we were way over the cap with an old, slow team, and we did not do anything about it. We tried – but sorry VETO. What we did after the VETO was not good. We have not created a true threat to win the title (yes – punchers chance – but that is it). We also have not improved our future. We currently have no chance of FA until after 14, and we will have to overpay for Sessions just to keep him. We will have issues on the horizon with how to deal with AB’s extension, and then what to do with KB in 14, and that is all just to stay even with where we are now. The Buss family is plenty rich enough, and the Lakers are by far the most profitable team. “IMO” We could have a payroll of $120 million (and more) and still turn a profit. The network deal alone added $120 million +/- to the bottom line, and the value of the franchise has skyrocketed, so we can afford some extra salary and taxes. We need to manage finances for “basketball” reasons, not for profit reasons.

    The Lakers have “middled” themselves. We are “6th” best. We did not (IMO) do everything we could to win now, and we have not set ourselves up for the future by working down to the cap (no chance until after 14). “6th” best is good for many teams, but not for the Lakers. We need a plan to get into the top 3, or we need to re-build and we are doing nether. Staying in this state for the next 2 years, and then re-building in 14 is not a good plan.

    Darius: Everything in here is of course “my opinion”. However I think I have added as many facts and supporting points as the FO supporters have, + I certainly have talked about this more intelligently than the Kobe bashers or Mike Brown bashers talk about those topics. I choose to root for the team and bash the FO, because that is where I see the issue. This is roster related (you have stated we have the same level team as last year and a “level below” OKC et al) and the FO is responsible for that. I know you have a different opinion as to what they could have done about this, but the fact is that they did not do anything about it. As always – thanks for this great board – and for your posts and insights. This board has made this season a little less annoying : )

    All: You can disagree with me, but you must give me credit for consistency (I have been saying stuff like this all year). Further, I have not totally given up on the year, and will root strongly for the Lakers until someone beats us 4 times. I still think we are 1-0 towards our 6-1 stretch now : ) And while I used the word annoying above, I realize that I am a fan of the greatest franchise in the world, and for that – I am very thankful – spoiled and entitled – but thankful : )


  14. Great write up Robert. Well written with spot on salient points. Going to save it and hand it to Jeanne Buss the next time I am at a game. Since Jerry has health problems and Jimmy would throw it out or try to smoke it, Jeanne I feel cares to win more then save money.

    Nice job Robert.


  15. I am not a fan of this FO but would not blame them too for the Laker woes. I think shipping LO to any team was a correct move as he was showing distraction to the team with his reality TV family dragging the Lakers away from basketball. Imagine, if he was still with the Lakers, disgruntled and under performing perhaps, we’ll have another drama. They tried to improve the team by getting CP3, Sessions, Beasley and Crawford but only one became real, it’s not completely hopeless yet and could fill out the 15th slot from players being cut-off or try to get Aaron Brooks. Secondly, what will be the plan of Mitch and Jim if MBrown continue to dive his standings with his players and unwarranted losses at home or guaranteed losses on the road. Is there a fall back Coach for the playoffs?

    On our 3 bigs, Mike Brown’s rotations, I think they’re not both in sync. There is a huge problem of misused of talents on some personnel like Sessions and G-lock; overused of talents on Kobe and Pau by overplaying them for almost 40 minutes per game. It’s not playoffs yet, you can observe the exhaustion accompanied with pains as well on Kobe. The only thing working is his ego and fighting spirit to hide all problems from the spitting venom of envious fans in other teams and hungry media. Mike Brown’s disposition in overusing them would surely haunt him during the playoffs because all his offense are now dependent on the Big 3, without them Lakers will not survive the onslaught on Round One looks like Memphis Grizzlies.


  16. The best/smart move Lakers FO has made since 08 is Phil & Lamar resigning, Ariza and Sessions trade. Nothing else.


  17. Robert

    My response may be stuck in mid world but to make it simple.

    Outstanding write up and worthy of saving. Send it into the LA Times who publishes letters once a week.


  18. I remember Darius wrote on this blog before, if you want to win in the NBA, you got to have a system, i agree with that. Phil with triangle offense, Thibodeau with good defensive scheme to beat Lakers in 2008, and LeBron later, Rick Aldeman with offense. Mike Brown with great defensive scheme can’t beat Orlando and can’t stop Rondo of Boston.

    Jim Buss said on the radio show, the reason Lakers hired Mike Brown because he had good interview ( well preparation). You hire the coach not because he is available, but you look at what he had done in the playoffs, use you mind and don’t follow your heart. In the last two months, i want to see Mike Brown can improve this team. I check the Darius’s ranking and hope this Lakers team can do better in defensively or offensively, i did not see that.

    Rick Aldeman and Kurt Rambis are brave men because they took the coaching jobs of Minnesota, this team is one of the worst team in the NBA. Several weeks ago, Minnesota came to OKC and scored 140 pts without Rubio, it’s unbelievable. After the hiring, Mike Brown said that his strenght is not about X’s and O’s, it’s about management players and egos, if we agree of that, then we shouldn’t discuss about offense or defense of this team. Look at this Lakers team, i can’t see team’s identity.


  19. Robert,

    We don’t know much about the machinations going on during the trade deadline. The mere fact that Mitch was working his butt up to the last second to get Sessions and Beasley and was able to unload Walton, Kapono and Fisher’s contracts, I think that is “enough” to give them credit. If you’re wishing for D12, D’Will and other superstars coming in at the middle of the season, those things require a lot of patience, timing and luck.

    Having said that, IMO, if D12, D’Will and Kobe are all playing together today and the coach is Mike Brown, I think we have still the same problems. I believe Drew and Dwight are almost the same; Deron and Ramon are also similar and Kobe is Kobe while there is no change in direction from Mike Brown who is just as good as an assistant coach for Popovich. He will show the same video, the same dilemma of a good defense without offense or vice versa a good offense without transition defense. As a team, they still need a good support cast to march to the Finals. Let’s use Thunder as an example, if Mike Brown is their Coach dependent entirely on Durant and Westbrook, can Thunders win a Championship if only two players on the verge of exhaustion composed a team?


  20. It’s gotten the point where fans are openly pining for Sasha and Shannon Brown. I think that’s reflective of where fans think this team is and a ton of revisionist history about the value of those players when decisions were made to let them go.


  21. #13 Robert – You hammer the FO but your argument for that presents only half the problem their facing. Totally unreasonable.

    The new CBA arrangement with the lethal luxury tax consequences means the FO can’t improve the future all at once though god knows they tried to.

    They tried to boldly convert an extremely unworkable cap situation created under the old rules with one move in the Paul deal and you give them zero credit for that.

    I don’t see how it’s possible for you to ignore what they we’re obviously trying to do and except for the commissioner’s unprecedented stance, they would have pulled it off. And you ignore that completely.

    So they didn’t re-spend the Sasha money. So what? He had a couple of interesting seasons and then couldn’t contribute. It’s not as if we lost a quality player. What did we lose by sacrificing him and the money we were spending on him? Very little. We need the debt reduction more right now ahyway. I’m sure they would’ve tried to re-use the Sasha money under the old – low consequence – luxury tax associated with the old CBA. but that isn’t the deal anymore.

    Same story with Odom. What does it take for Laker fans to realize he’s washed up? I loved Lamar but he’s the poster child for washed up in the NBA. The FO got rid of him at the precisely correct time. Cuban got fleeced on that deal.

    If Lamar were here with the miserable way he’s played this year some of the fools on this board would be blaming that on Brown as well. If Lamar could somehow pull an amazing comeback, he’ll be available next year for the vet minimum after Cuban buys him out, which he almost certainly will eleact to do. So what did we lose?

    And why is the only acceptable remedy for losing a washed up Lamar to go spend his $9M on something else right now? Isn’t it obvious now that the decision to trade Odom was addition by subtraction when you consider how much better Bynum has been with the added minutes?

    And as far as reuse of the $9M TPE money, that was over cap money that the FO rightly decided to spend to re-sign Lamr under the old CBA back in 2009 when it made sense to hold the team together for another several title runs when there was very little consequence associated with the luxury tax.

    That’s not even remotely the same situation now. Not even close! Now choices have to made. Why would you spend that same $9M now when it will cost you 4 or 5 times that much in penalties in the next two years, not to mention we don’t know that there was anything out there to be gotten in the first place.

    If the FO decides to eat Lamar’s $9M it will mean that the Lakers overall cap situation would be around $70M with a very good chance to avoid the luxury tax expense problem altogether and not having sacrificed much at all.

    Were it me, i would’ve dumped Pau before the deadline for a legitimate starting point guard instead of keeping him and trading for somebody’s backup point guard, and I’m convinced the FO would’ve dumped him to Houston too, for Scola and Lowry and something else from them had Lowry not been hospitalized and out of action for weeks.

    The Sessions deal was a backup plan. Just as the Lowry negotiation was a backup plan to the failed Chris Paul deal. If it wasn’t a backup plan, they would’ve pulled the trigger sooner on Sessions. It’s not as if Cleveland was holding out for something extraordinary.

    As far as Fisher being gone, I agree with you and would’ve kept him over Blake but I happen to also believe the FO knew that would lead to insurrection in the locker room if Brown had to bring Fisher off the bench and start Sessions. If true you can’t argue with the decision to move him and they did save a few bucks on the deal.

    Your assessment about the strong money position the Lakers are inis silly and ignores the bigger issue.

    Nobody out there knows yet, how to navigate effectively through the new CBA. Whether or not the fundamentals have changed in terms of how a franchise goes about securing their future is yet to be learned.

    Will players salaries have to come down as a result of the CBA? You better believe it! Will franchises be able to sustain more than two super stars? Will super stars continue to migrate to the more attractive big market franchises when their contracts permit?

    Nobody knows these things yet Robert. Nobody knows what the secret sauce is going to be. The Lakers have always been a quick study. But that doesn’t mean their prone to impatience or short-term stupidity that sets them back for years.

    We won two NBA titles and made appearances in the finals three of the last four years.

    Good grief man!

    Has it ever occurred to you that maybe, just maybe when you consider all the change that’s happened over the past two years that the Lakers have no control over, your standards for performance by the organization may be just a tad bit high?

    Make friends with reality from time to time. We aren’t going to win championships every year. We will have some retooling and readjusting to do.

    You seem to think we should just be able to rebuild the engine on a high performance sports car whilst it’s going 200 mph. It doesn’t work that way, especially not when the rules of engagement are being yanked out from under you.

    The FO by any measurement, deserves a fair opportunity to assess how this game of franchise management has to be conducted in the new age where severe financial penalties are associated with poor choices if we ever expect them to produce similar results in the future as in the past.

    Sorry for the rant!


  22. Sorry Robert one addiitonal:

    If the FO was managing for profit reasons instead of basketball reasons, how do you go about explaining what they attempted to pull of with Chris Paul?

    Acquiring a max salary superstar for what was certain to result in an extensive, multi-year contract in the face of severe future luxury tax consequences wouldn’t jive with that line of thinking, would it?

    In fact the FO was prepared to take that risk and they proved it right under our noses but many refuse to recognize what is so obviously true.

    Unless you think the Paul deal never existed like some claim the landing on the moon. It’s pretty obvious that this idea they’re chasing profit at every turn is just a bunch of fabricated Hoo Ha!

    For the right deal apparently, the FO is as much prepared to spend and accept the calculated risks for that just as much as they ever have been.

    But it has to be for the right deal! Not just any deal! Much less every deal!


  23. Interesting note from a Point Forward article on the importance of defending the corner 3:

    “We might be seeing the impact of coaching here in lots of cases. Rick Adelman, for one, appears to be a huge difference-maker in terms of defending the corner three. The Timberwolves allowed a league-high 511 corner-three attempts — about 6.2 per game — last season under Kurt Rambis. Under Adelman, the Wolves have allowed about 4.3 corner threes per game, the fifth-lowest amount. They are playing at a slower pace this season, but the decline — about three possessions per game — does not come close to explaining the drop-off in corner threes on its own.

    This is especially so when you look at Adelman’s former team, the Rockets. Houston last season allowed the second-fewest corner-three attempts, trailing only the Bulls, but they’ve allowed more than average this season. In fact, the Rockets are on pace to allow about 30 more corner three tries in this 66-game season than they did in the full 82 last season.

    In what probably amounts to a heavy dose of good luck, the Wolves have held opponents to 28.4 percent shooting on corner threes this season. That is unsustainable, but perhaps another sign of how much Adelman emphasizes contesting this shot.”

    Not meant to be a shot at MB – I have no idea where we stand in terms of corner 3 defense this year – but I found it interesting because Adelman is stereotyped as an offensive coach.

    Good article overall for anyone who’s looking for some Sunday reading:


  24. No, Dave. Rant on. Your points are crystal clear and completely spot on. Sometimes we Laker fans live in an alternate reality. It is good to be brought back to the real world from time to time.


  25. Robert

    Dave also failed to mention in his pro F.O stance that we were 7 minutes away from landing Michael Beasley, when the T-Wolves pulled out of the deal, with no time left to rework it. Now that completely blows away argument your because Beasley has a 8+ mil player option for next year, way above his current market value, yet they were going to pull the trigger to try and win this year. While the F.O have not been completely successful, the effort has been there.


  26. MB is an utter disaster. No command or respect of his team and even his interviews are elementary. Nevertheless, we are stuck with him and the players would be silly to let personality conflict get in a way of competing. Although Bynum’s disinterest and nonchalant ways bother me.

    Anyway, as a 10 year season ticket holder I want to present an offer for my fellow FB&G brethren. Please contact me at if you are interested in going to tonight’s game below face value. I have seats located 18 rows from the court in Sect 115 row 7.

    I still believe there’s time for us to right the ship. All I want to see in the coming weeks is progress (even in defeats) and momentum.


  27. The Lakers FO has made great decisions the last ten years. The only mistakes they made looking back were signing Walton, Blake and Fisher. The Blake and Fisher (re) signings. And the Fisher resigning was mostly loyalty driven. This FO has done very smart farsighted desisions.


  28. Dave the Chris Paul would have saved the Lakers $20 million that’s why Stern killed the deal.


  29. Kevin

    Half of those years Mitch was the ass’t under Jerry West. Pull off the West years and I think you will find Pau which Jerry had a finger print on.

    I am ok with Mitch but wonder why in his 6 years he has never been able to draft or sign one point guard that was a keeper.


  30. Lakers always get the best of trades it’s FA signings and drafting. Farmar and Blake signed for the same money in the same summer. Mbenga was a nice backup C wouldn’t have to trade a 1st for Joe Smith for insurance. Ariza and Ron got the same money and Trevor was a big part of the finals run in 09. A lot of old guys and dead weight on the bench.

    Ken: Wasn’t a shot at Mitch don’t agree with everything he’s done but the 2 rings justify his moves.


  31. #30 Ken:

    Don’t hide behind that. Use your head.

    Saving $20M in the aggregate wouldn’t have been nearly enough financial restructuring if the goal was strictly to avoid severe future luxury tax exposure.

    1) Kobe $25M going to 30M
    2) Bynum $17M going to $20M
    3) Chris Paul $20M

    3 players eclipsing $70M without having addressed the other 10 to 12 players on the roster?

    Explain how this move could have been substantially motivated by saving money? It’s not supernatural.

    It couldn’t possibly have been. Huge near term cap burden with three max salaries means no avoiding luxury tax hell.

    Not possible to think that deal was motivated that way.


  32. #31 Ken

    That’s easy. One name – Phil Jackson

    Any GM worth his salt knows it’s his job to supply the types of players that allow the coaching staff to implement successfully their philosophy.

    Especially a long term, hugely successful, heavily biased individual like Phil.

    Phil NEVER had a use for a classic point guard. Never wanted one. Look at the record. He didn’t have one to speak of next to Jordan in Chicago either.

    Now comes Mike Brown. Notice that Mitch heavily turned his attention to finding a point guard either through the draft or through trade this year.

    Why the change?

    Obviously because Mike Brown doesn’t share that same belief as Phil did.

    Again the job of a GM is to outfit the coach with kinds of players that allow that coach to successfully implement a style of the play they believe will work.

    Mitch did his job then and continues to do it now.


  33. Bradley has a impact on games the way Goudelock has Drew’s defense not as good though. Dooling has had the same amount of impact Blake has minimal.


  34. Bit late to the party, but I’m with Warren on this one.

    Every decision the FO has made so far, worked out fairly well.

    Ariza turned into a championship, so did Artest. We kept the right person when choosing between Odom and Ariza, and while Brown, Farmar, Sasha were let go, Brown had hit a ceiling with us and kept making bad decisions, Farmar I guess could’ve been a victim of circumstance (triangle) but still we didn’t have use for him, and Sasha was pretty useless by the time we got rid of him, accumulating dumb fouls without hitting threes in the game.

    LO was tough to let go, but I don’t think he would have been much better in LA and his 8.9 TPE, or rather 17.8 in savings (right?) is a very sound business decision when weighed against his possible contribution here while out of shape.

    Luke and Kapono were dead weights, and although Luke was probably a well-liked and semi-leader in the locker room, he was never going to be worth 11 mil or so and as we’re well above the tax territory, having an expiring contract is not that great anyway.

    Fisher again was a difficult trade, but there we saved money again next year as Hill’s next year isn’t guaranteed. I’m sure that if we could’ve traded Blake we would have; but we had to trade one of them and Blake was harder to move.

    I still don’t like the MB signing but I think his emphasis on defense may come in handy in the playoffs. We also needed a new voice as the players seemed to have shut PJ out (maybe not shut out but have gotten used to him) .

    As for our scouting staff, well, other than Bynum, I’m not sure if we ever really had dug up something from the draft anyway. Sure that’s not fair since it’s hard to salvage anything from the draft, but they were missing anyway… and we aren’t about to get lottery picks so the losses won’t be as great.