Wednesday Storylines

Dave Murphy —  April 4, 2012

Last night’s win against the lowly New Jersey Nets was one of those fun, escapist blurs of a game, at least in parts. The fourth quarter reverted to typically ugly form and a result that was closer than it should have been, but not before a bushel of highlights, including Josh McRoberts’ buzzer beater, the Black Swan pecking at an ex-Kardashian, and Kobe’s long distance pinball bouncer that sealed the deal.

Dave McMenamin from ESPN reports that ex-slam dunk whiz Gerald Green may come back full circle to the Lakers.

Andy Kamenetzky from the Land O’Lakers has a podcast up with Kevin Arnovitz and Jordan Heimer, previewing tonight’s rubber match against the Clippers.

Sean Sweeney at Dime has a piece on Kobe and critics.

Greg Beacham’s excellent AP recap on the win, featured in Yahoo Sports.

The folks over at Silver Screen and Roll put up amazingly good links posts – this one from SoCalGal.

Matt Moore at CBS Sports goes postal on Andrew Bynum.

Kevin Chan at Lakers Nation has a preview up for tonight’s game against the kids across the hall.

In one of his excellent looks at greats from the past, Emile Avanessian at Hardwood Hype, makes an HOF case for Bernard King.

And finally this, from Dan Devine at Ball Don’t Lie, about the Lebanese player who scored 113 points in a FIBA game. That is not a typo.


And so, we find ourselves just hours away from yet another game as the back-to-backs continue. I’m of the mind that the torture team of Stern & Silver deliberately screwed this schedule as payback for the players’ audacity during the lockout – file lawsuits against us, will ya?! Regardless, it’s a big game and a chance to put a nice bumper between third and fourth place in the west.

– Dave Murphy

Dave Murphy


to Wednesday Storylines

  1. Kobe last 5 games vs Clippers

    28.2 pts 5.4 reb 4.8 ast 51% fg 18.6 shots

    Lakers last 3 primetime games vs Mia, Bos, Okc

    Bynum: 20.3 pts 13.3 reb 2.6 blk

    Kobe: 27.3 pts 3.3 ast

    Ron 8-15 3pt fg

    Pau: 4-10, 5-11, 4-11


  2. Sessions has shot 50% or better 7 out of 11 games w/ Lakers. Scored in double digits 8 out of 11 games. (Fisher 7 times before he was traded)

    THIS STAT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND. Sessions has 3 double digit assist games in 11 games w/ Lakers (2 games with 9 assist). Fisher had 2 double digit assist games since rejoining the Lakers in 07. That’s 2 out of 371 games excluding playoffs. That’s crazy.

    Maybe this one too. Sessions has shot 8 or more FTs 5 times in 11 games. Fisher did that 4 times….. in 07-08 season. NONE SINCE. Talk about upgrades


  3. Bynum is out of control for all of the basketball reasons that were mentioned.

    Sacramento’s center Cousins has turned the corner the past few games. Capped by a 41 pt game last night in a loss. Cousins came into the league at age 19 and was supposed to be the starting center and savior of the Kings. He played on a team without players like Kobe, Fisher and Pau, and without a master championship coach in Phil Jackson. Yet, he is maturing at a faster clip than Bynum.

    Bynum has to play the games for anyone to get an understanding of his true potential. And, that does not mean merely being on the floor have assing it to get a paycheck. If we want to project a player’s potential based upon his body of work then we have to include Greg Oden as one of the best centers of all time.

    Bynum can talk all he wants to about what he can do, but until he (at minimum) leads the Lakers to the WCF as the 2nd or 1st option he has not earned the right to be nonchalant during the regular season.


  4. Chearn: agree this is a reoccuring theme with Bynum. Horford, Jefferson, Noah, Bogut were better than Bynum last year with their consistency and good play now after 50 games Bynum is all world. Cousins is on the rise and can’t forget about Monroe.


  5. I hope you are not comparing two PFs in Monroe and Cousins to Bynum. At least compare Bynum to Centers. Yes Monroe is listed at center. But he is 6-9 or 6-10 and plays more like a PF.


  6. Bynum seems like a good kid who remains immature. As Bynum’s game has become dominant he has adopted Kobe prima donna behavior. Arguing at refs, media surliness and individual touches …

    Bynum’s game has progressed and his behavior regressed. Go figure.

    Would Lakers be better off had they traded Bynum for Jason Kidd as Kobe and many bloggers advocated?


  7. Aaron: Cousins, Monroe, Horford, Noah, Jefferson, Bogut, Bynum play center. How would you rank those players?


  8. Here we go again.


  9. any_one_mouse April 4, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    An interesting interview with the one-and-only Dr. O’Neal:

    And yes, you read that right!


  10. Kevin,
    I will just let that question Of yours marinate to all of the Internet to read. Hahahahahahaha


  11. I will indioendantly say that the only pkayers you can argue are centers are Bogut (def a center) and Noah (defensively a 4 and offensively a 5)


  12. any_one_mouse April 4, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I almost forgot – now, Howard wants Van Gundy out of Orlando.

    Make that two prima donna Centers that have issue with their coaches. Yes, I know Magic did it back in the day as well, but I question the motivation behind having all this surface mid-season. Nothing good can come out of it, and the chemistry that you have killed will be very, very hard to re-establish.


  13. I will first rank Centers… Bynum, drop off, Bogut, big drop off and then Noah.

    Now I will compare apples and oranges. All big men. Bynum, Cousins, Horford, Bogut, Jefferson, Monroe, and then Noah.


  14. @mcten: From Elias: Sessions is shooting .533 (49-for-92) overall since joining the Lakers, 2nd in that time span among guards to Tyreke Evans (54%)


  15. Aaron/Kevin
    I am confused by your position here. Those players play the center position. They are centers, right? Charles Barkley was 6’4″, but played power forward.

    I would take almost any of the players on that list for their careers, so far, as opposed to Bynum’s. Now if Bynum had never been injured, then this isn’t even a conversation! His upside is much higher than those other guys. When you talk about what the Lakers needed from Bynum over the last 4 or 5 years, then some of those other guys may have even been a better fit.

    This is a moot point, however, because Bynum has blossomed into a great player. I don’t believe Aaron’s endless diatribe about advanced stats saying that Bynum is a top 5 all-time center or whatever he says, but Bynum is pretty damn good.

    I just don’t think that advanced stats are as telling for the game of basketball, as they are for baseball. They help to tell the story, but they don’t tell the whole story. You have to balance them with the eye-test. Advanced stats tell me that Lebron James is greater than Magic or Kareem, but history tells me something different. The eye-test doesn’t measure up with advanced stats. I’m with you to a certain degree Kevin. I take Darius’s stand on Andrew Bynum- I’m somewhere in the middle. KenOakzitzerland. 🙂 Anyway… flame on.


  16. What’s the fascination of which initials (PF or C) are listed next to a big man’s name on a website?

    When the Lakers play the respective teams of the aforementioned big men (Kevin @ 7) who guards Bynum and who does Bynum guard? If you are guarding a center, and the opposing teams center is guarding you, guess what? You’re playing the center position.

    Cousins 6’11” 270lbs
    Monroe 6’11” 250lbs
    Horford 6’10” 250lbs
    Noah 6’11” 232lbs
    Jefferson 6’10” 289lbs
    Bogut 7’0″ 260lbs
    Bynum 7’0″ 285lbs
    Howard 6’11” 265lbs

    Just because they don’t have a true back to the basket game does not mean they don’t play the center position. Old school center skills are a rarity these days.


  17. Dave can you take this one too please? Horford doesn’t play Center. Dont go by fake listed heights. Go by real height at the draft combine. Horford plays PF whenever they play a real center they start Zaza. Did everyone see Monroe against Bynum. He also is clearly a PF. He was four inches shorter than Drew and coudlnt guard him. I can start at Center… That doesn’t make me a real Center. This isn’t rocket science. Guys like Al Horford are 6-9 and play like a PF.


  18. One more thing. Amare was paying “Center” for the majority of his career even though he was really a PF.


  19. Sbdunks,

    Having a back to basket game does count for something, though. In fact, it counts for a lot. I would argue that Bynum’s advantage over everyone on that list (including Howard) is his excellent back to the basket skill set. Bynum is better overall than everyone on that list (save for Howard) precisely because he is skilled at playing with his back to the rim.

    Playing the center position and being a center are two different things.


  20. This debate will need to go on a bit longer as the game preview will not be up for another hour or so. Sorry folks, life circumstances have intervened today.


  21. Horford played C J. SMith played PF. That’s why Atlanta wanted Shaq to put Horford at the 4.

    Bogut, Jefferson, Horford have had better individual careers than Bynum. Not team success but they have been better players until this season next year who knows.

    Cousins has tremendous upside so does Monroe there jumps from year 1 to year 2 are big.

    The gap between those players isn’t huge the one between Howard is that’s why he was left off. Jefferson has just as much offensive game as Bynum he was a 20-10 guy before. Bogut was elite on defense and has a back to the basket game. Horford has game too. Bynum is not a clear cut better player than those guys he is playing next to Kobe and Pau.


  22. sbdunks,
    Why read fake heights? What’s the point? Why not read their draft camp real heights? Of you are too small to guard a seven foot center 275 lbs (normal center size) you’re not a center.


  23. Kevin @22
    I pretty much agree with everything you wrote in this one. I love Bynum’s year that he is having and *if he can keep playing at this level, then it isn’t even close…

    However, if we are taking careers up to this point? There are a couple other names on that list that I would have taken.


  24. “Horford doesn’t play Center”

    Incorrect. Horford started at center all 11 games of this season before he got hurt.

    In 2010-11 he started at center for 47 games, and played PF for 17 games that Collins started at center and 3 games that Pachulia started at center.

    In 2009-10 he started at center for 81 games.

    In 2008-09 he started at center for 56 games, and played PF for 11 games that Pachulia started at center.

    “Horford plays PF whenever they play a real center they start Zaza”

    Incorrect. As you can see above, Horford has only started at PF with Pachulia at C for 14 games in the last 4 seasons.

    We’ve already played our lone matchup with the Hawks this year, and Horford was already out for the season by that time. Going back to the previous 6 games over the last 3 seasons Horford started at center for 5 of those games, and once as a PF next to Collins.


  25. Pts-Reb-Ast-Blk-Fg

    Al Horford best season: 15.3- 9.3- 3.5- 1.0- 50% Career 5 years 12- 9- 2- 1- 53%

    Al Jefferson: 21.0- 11.1- 1.4- 1.4- 50% Career 8 years16.2- 8.9- 1.4- 1.4- 50%

    Andrew Bynum: 17.9- 11.9- 1.5- 2.0- 58% Career 7 years 11.4- 7.7- 1.2- 1.6- 57%

    Andrew Bogut: 15.9- 10.2- 1.8- 2.5- 52% Career 7 years 12.7- 9.3- 2.3- 1.6- 52%

    Bogut, Horford, Jefferson have had multiple seasons like their career years. Bynum has 1. Bynum’s and Jefferson have had similiar seasons this year Jazz 1 game out of 8th spot.


  26. Is anyone else having issues with moderation today or is it just me? It seems like it is taking like 20 minutes to get through moderation.


  27. T. Rogers,

    Oh, don’t get me wrong, a back to the basket game counts for A LOT these days. True centers who are comfortable playing like that are extremely rare these days, that was part of my point. Having said that, big men who lack a back to the basket game doesn’t automatically make them power forwards. If they play against center regularly, they are playing the center position.


    If those are all fake heights is Bynums height fake as well? Or are you just going to cherry pick which are real and which are fake according to who you think is a PF or a C. Like Anonymous said, Bill Russell, widely regarded as one of the games best centers was 6-9. Howard is 6-9 (listed at 6-10) and the games current best center. Obviously, both are under your threshold of 7-0 and 275lbs.

    So where can we find the real heights you are referring to?


  28. Is Bynum playing tonight?


  29. Hahah. Okay. Magic is a Center then. He payed Center on occasion too.

    There is a way to find guys real heights as Darius has mentioned. Check their draft stats before they were drafted. For instance Bynum was listed there at seven feet and Howard was listed at 6-10. Guys like Horford were listed at 6-9.


  30. And again… It’s not just about height. It’s about height and weight and length. Gasol is seven feet but he says he feels more comfortable at PF because of his weight. Dwight Howard is 6-10 but he is so strong he can bang with any seven footer besides Bynum.


  31. sbdunks,

    You can’t really be making the argument that Horford wasn’t always playing out of position for the Hawks. They play him at C ONLY because they don’t have a better line-up option that showcases their great forward depth (Horford, Smith, and Williams) with the worst-contract-in-the-league dam at SG. Zaza isn’t an NBA starter. It would be like saying Pau is a center, which no one in this thread is saying. If you’re purely making a semantic argument between “Horford doesn’t play center” and “Horford is not a player who fits the center archetype” then I’m with you.


    It’s possible that a player can grow a little more after they participate in the combine.


  32. So Aaron, you’re telling me you’ve memorized all power forwards and centers draft heights and we’re all just going to have to take your word for it, or can you give us an actual reference point? I’m not being sarcastic, I actually want to compare the two.

    I know that heights are commonly inflated, so I know what you are getting at. But size is not the lone factor in determining position. A handful of commenters have brought up multiple great centers who were mutiple DPOY award winners who weren’t even close to seven foot. Are Russell, Howard and Ben Wallace not centers? You specifically said 7 foot 275 pounds.

    edit: matt, then you’re with me then =)


  33. Aaron is simply trying to narrow the definition of center down as much as possible, so that he can inflate Bynum’s greatness. A few posts ago he was trying to say that Hakeem Olajuwon was not “really” a center because he was only 6′ 10″ or some such….


  34. Am I the only one who wishes Ken would make a comeback. This game could get ugly and laughter may be needed.


  35. A center is a center regardless of height, size, weight, etc.

    I can’t believe this is even a debate. You could call players a ‘typical’ center or a ‘non-typical’ center, I’ll concede that. Or maybe ‘traditional’ center and a ‘modern’ center, if that helps distinguish styles better.

    But to say somebody isn’t a center because they don’t fit an arbitrary physical requirement is like saying Magic wasn’t a PG because he was too tall and too big, or saying Kobe isn’t a great post player because he’s not 6-10, or saying Barkley was a SF because he wasn’t tall enough to be PF, or like saying Spud and Nate aren’t legit NBA players because they’re not 6 feet tall.


  36. Want to escape the nonsense of arguing the height and weight requirements of a game that’s moving away from positions and into the multi-skilled world of all around basketball? Me too…the game preview is up.

    By the way, when Bynum starts chucking threes, he too will no longer be a Center. 😉


  37. KenOak,
    That is a flat out lie. I called Hakeem the eat Cebter of all time on this site. A center is a combination of height, weight, and length. That’s it. No where does it say a Center can’t dribble the ball or shoot threes like Sam Perkins. No where does it say a PG can’t post up like Gary Payton. Your position is dictated by who you can defend on the other side of the floor. That’s why I’ll always call Magic Johnson a point forward really. He guarded te SFs and PFs on the other team.


  38. Aaron, your argument is flawed.

    Pau guarded DH during the finals, so Pau is a center. He certainly has the size and height for it.

    But Pau is guarded by, say, Amare, and now Amare is a center since Pau is a center.

    Next game, Amare is guarded by Odom, so Odom is now a center.

    Odom is guarded by LeBron, so LeBron is a center.

    LeBron is guarded by Kobe, so Kobe is a center.

    Kobe is guarded by Kidd, so Kidd is a center.