Lakers/Suns: Defense Is A Foreign Word

Rey Moralde —  April 7, 2012

Box Score: Lakers 105, Suns 125
Offensive Efficiency: Lakers 110.5, Suns 131.6
True Shooting %: Lakers 52.0%, Suns 63.4%

The outlook went from bad to worse with Kobe becoming a late scratch in this game due to… uh… tenosynovitis. In other words, his shin is bothering him. Meanwhile, the Suns are fighting for a playoff spot. And the last time the Lakers were in Phoenix? The Suns absolutely plastered them. And no Kobe? Definitely an opportunity for the Suns.

In the meantime, it was up to Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol to hold down the fort. Meanwhile, Mike Brown surprised everybody by starting Devin Ebanks. Remember him? The guy hasn’t had meaningful minutes in months. What about Andrew Goudelock? Hello? Anybody there?

This may seem all over the place. I apologize in advance for this.

The Good
I had some fantastic fried chicken.

The Bad
The Suns scored 125 points. It may very well have been 125,000.

Phoenix did everything to them. The Lakers got beat by penetration. The Lakers couldn’t defend the pick-and-roll. They didn’t close on the shooters. The Suns killed them in transition. And to show how inept the defense was, the Suns only turned the ball over three times. THREE TIMES. In this frenetic pace. Unbelievable. The Lakers tonight were like a bunch of drunk girls in a bar. It was a score every time for Phoenix.

Andrew Bynum didn’t have the legs tonight. Most of his shots were short. He got blocked multiple times early. I thought he seriously was going to shoot 50 times after a 4/14 first quarter (he ended at 10 for 27 with 23 points). He did have 18 boards, at least, but it was really noticeable that he looked out of it.

Pau Gasol had 30 and 13. He knocked down pretty much every jumper in the 4th in a late run. He did what he could on the offensive end. But just like every other Laker, he had trouble rotating and contesting shots.

Ramon Sessions has to be bothered by that shoulder injury. He played only 29 minutes, when he had been getting 35+ as of late. I did notice that he had trouble going left again, which is supposed to be a strength of his. He did have 11 and 9 but he got beat on D, too (which is not his strength).

I mentioned closing out on shooters. The Suns were 14 for 29 from deep. The Lakers only made 1 out of 9. That’s a 39-point difference from behind the arc.

Shannon Brown (20 out of his 24 points in the 3rd) and Michael Redd (23 points) went crazy from the perimeter. I suppose there wasn’t much you can do about that. But I would still like to see more effort on the defensive end.

If there’s any silver lining to this, those names are Devin Ebanks and Metta World Peace. Devin Ebanks did well in his starting role as he hustled for offensive boards and cut to the basket hard. He had 12 points. MWP could’ve been more of a factor if he didn’t get into foul trouble. He was killing in the post. Peace had 19 points from 8/10 shooting.

But once again, this was just a classic SSOL show by the Suns. Hell, if Bassy Telfair is scoring 13 points, you definitely deserve to lose. And I didn’t even mention Steve Nash yet (13 points and 11 assists)!

The Ugly
BENCH POINTS. Suns 58, Lakers 10. Suns had 40 bench points by halftime.

I’m not even going to bother with the play of the game because this was just a horrid, horrid loss. It started out sloppy to begin with to the point you thought you were watching a glorified pick-up game. And you know that this helter-skelter kind of play favors the Suns. When it eventually, uh, settled down, the Suns played that chaotic ball like only they can. Yes, the Lakers were leading at the end of 1, 32-24. But that tempo favored the Suns right from the get-go.

I’ve defended Coach Brown all year and most people have clamored for Andrew Goudelock. I am not the Laker coach and I don’t know the method to his madness (his rotations seem more random/worse than the “auto” substitution mode in NBA2K12). He may have to go to Goudelock at some point but I’m not sure if that necessarily “changes” the game. But what I do hope is that he drills into the heads of his players that they have to play defense. It just keeps getting worse and worse. Kobe or no Kobe, they can make up the lack of offense (which didn’t seem to trouble them tonight) by playing good, hard-nosed defense. And they haven’t either given as much effort as they should have or they’re not making smart plays on the defensive end.

At least, Andrew Bynum didn’t get thrown out of the game?

Well, guys and gals, it’s Saturday night. Move along, knock back a few, and hope they get it together on Monday.

Rey Moralde

Posts

75 responses to Lakers/Suns: Defense Is A Foreign Word

  1. Hope Drew realized what a life without Kobe would look like. He had no room to operate and half his baskets were from handoff assists. Gortat played good defense on him. Still say he lost the game as the leader can’t go 10-27 or you get blame.

    Positives: The role players are in a good groove right now. Metta is really playing exceptional.Pau was the best player on the floor tonight.

    Lakers are having no trouble scoring. Kobe gets rest it’s not ideal but I’d rather be a 8 seed with a close to 100% Kobe than a hurt kobe.

  2. Our bigs are just going in motion on defense – lifeless. Sessions is considered injured and he could not lift the team’s spirit by playing. Athleticism is not just there when Kobe sits down, and Mbrown inserted Ebanks to do the job of Kobe who used to be sitting down on the bench now asked to a yeoman’s job. If he played for short minutes when Kobe was there, at least Kobe’s body is not abused and severely exhausted just to win a game. Those who hate Kobe should know now what is his importance to the team.

    These are all negative observations after a loss, it’s not being pessimistic but more on what can really be done which we have been accustomed in the past being done. If you remember the Championship years with Farmar and Brown and include there Sasha, they were not good players but at least they won games without Kobe. Today, they were only competitive for one quarter, where is team management there in sizing up depth in offense and a reliable defense.

    I think Robert and RR are right in the other thread, there were lots of great shooters that Lakers could have recruited during the off season or planned it during the lockout period, Lakers could afford MLE after losing the supposed trade on CP3 but they did not offer it to first class shooters. What do you think if Lakers offered Michael Redd, Caron Butler and used Kobe as a recruiter, don’t you think we could have a better unit?
    I think Robert and RR will accept things what they are, if we just admit that the F/O blew in beefing up the 2nd unit. They dumped and salaries and rest their case on Murphy, Kapono and McBob as the solution plus their rookies. Having said that, we cannot cry over spilled milk but look for solutions based on what we have.

  3. Just thinking about some of the comments on the last thread.

    Shannon Brown had a great game. But he isn’t playing any better this year then he did for us. Besides he was ready to move, he said as much.

    Michael Redd, hasn’t had a great year either.

    Ebanks is not a better option then Matt Barnes at the 3. But perhaps he will start getting some run as Kobe’s back up. Much better the Blake at the 2.

    Andrew had a bad shooting night. But as we all know shooters think they are going to hit the next one. Let’s not forget, Andrew has the 2nd best shooting percentage in the league.

    Gortat is considered a very good center, not power forward. He averages 16 and 10 and is a very good defender.

  4. Michael H-
    But, how is Gortat defending Bynum? He is undersized and Bynum is dominating the entire NBA, right?

    Seriously though, it was only one bad shooting night and hopefully we can get this defense thing down. As to your point about Michael Redd- yeah maybe he hasn’t played all that great this year, but both he and Shannon just outscored Jason Kapono for the entire year.

  5. Michael H,

    You know how much Michael Redd receiving with the Suns – 1M

    How about Shannon Brown? 3.5 M If Lakers offered upped their ante for the 2nd year, don’t you think he would have stayed here? NO, we are too ambitious as a team. We want more athleticism over and above Shannon, so the F/O again moved on cost cutting by going with non-athletic substitutes.

    Perhaps, Robert kept on raising these issues – OK we don’t want LO, Brown, Farmar, Vujacic, these were the role players during the Championship years. Who are the players who technically replaced them? It appears Sessions (Great choice) Barnes (OK), Blake (so-so), McBob (so-so), Murphy (too slow), Kapono (washed out). At least we give a credit to Mitch for shipping out Luke, Jason and Fish. it lessened the load of slow-footed units but we’re still lagging behind on other teams.

    Mbrown got this job because of his resume in converting teams into defensive unit. Did he really convert this team of PJ as a great defensive unit? I think we won games because of our Big 3 period, WP is the only defensive minded player there and the rest leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve to qualify “the rest” too with an exception because Sessions was able to jump start this team.

  6. Brutal, ugly game. When Redd gets hot, can’t an NBA coach assign one guy to get in that shooter’s pocket and stay there if the player does nothing else on D? It’s not like Redd was coming off screens and nailing them. Am I naive to think you can do that at the NBA level-leave the others to play 4 on 4 and COVER the hot guy?

  7. In a shortened season seven footers cannot both play 40 minutes every night and run up and down the court on every possession.

    Pau has played every game without any break.
    In the last four games 41, 38, 37 and 38 minutes.

    Mr Potato is destroying the team to the playoffs

  8. Hindsight is 20/20

    Every team felt that Redd’s injuries made him finished. I dont think most teams looked at him that way.

    Also, second game in a row where MB strictly played Blake at the back up PG spot. I dont think he and Sessions were in at the same time for this game. MB did that for the game against Houston as well. And everyone here clamored for that, but just to point out, both of those games ended in a L. So playing Blake strictly as the back up PG didnt cure all.

    My major complaint with this team is the lack of defense. Everyone wants to blame MB for this bc he is supposedly a defensive coach. But im going to blame everyone. Defense is a mindset and it diesnt matter how good the scheme is, everyone has to buy into it. I dont see the players buying into it… Yet. So it goes to MB, bynum, pau, kobe, sessions. Everyone.

    Thats all for my rant.

  9. Sad how pathetic Steve Blake has become he has no skill whatsoever. I never saw this coming

  10. My two cents concerning defense.
    1)MB not playing the youngsters in this shortned season
    2)kobe/pau/bynum just plain tired
    3)No backup shooting guard
    3)No backup Center.
    4)Starting a shortend season with Kapono/Luke/Fish/Blake
    5)Pau and Kobe getting older
    All these things together equal no legs for defense
    Most of all Mike Brown has no clue

  11. Michael H,

    Your attempt to look at the big picture is appreciated. Sometimes we Laker fans forget that teams and players get up for playing the Lakers. And it is funny to read comments lamenting the loss of Shannon Brown. Last season people on this very site constantly harped on how he was not a good decision maker on the floor and had questionable shot selection, etc. And very few teams were interested in Mike Redd coming off two knee injuries. Lastly, people act like Gortat is Chris Mihm. Marcian is a very productive center. Plus, he becomes especially dangerous when he and Nash run the P&R due to Steve’s ability to delivery pin point passes.

  12. To go along with anon at number 7:

    Good defense also requires a cleanly run offense. Lazy post entry passes or reckless drives and kickouts compromise team defense very easily. This comes from the Lakers not always knowing what they want to do on offense.

  13. The Chicago coach was an assistant coach under Jeff Van Gundy, PG Rose was out long time ago but the Chicago team is still number one seed of the East. That’s the difference between good coach and bad coach.
    When Kupchack gave Steve Blake 4 years deal, once again i know he is not good GM. Phoenix bench players can have one good game, it’s ok, but their bench has three points shooter, we have GLock , but MB did not want to use him, Lakers FO and MB don’t understand the meaning of bench players, they think bench players just show up and play for few minutes while the starters resting, so why we need 9,10 players? I am genius coach, i only need 8.

  14. From the last thread:

    PER

    Redd 13.8
    Kapono 4.5

    Both one-year guys at the vet minimum. Both available. If Redd gets hurt, you can pick up a guy better than Kapono–and the evidence was clear on Kapono before the season. It is not, as Aaron sometimes says, rocket science.

    Maybe Ebanks will pick up 10-12 MPG now. I hope so.

    Redd’s performance is yet another feather in the cap of the PHX training staff.

  15. I guess this one goes out to all Kobe haters..

  16. T Rogers,

    The issue isn’t losing Shannon Brown; the issue is failing to replace him. That is partly on the FO and partly on Mike Brown.

    And “very few teams were interested in” Kapono– because he can’t play NBA basketball. Redd, bad knees and all, was a better option and was available for the same price. The FO blew it, plain and simple, and tonight showed why. Doesn’t mean they are dumb, or that we should talk about it every day. But it is what it is.

  17. Suns were able to sign Redd because they have that insane training staff of theirs.

    Read an article the other day and it looks like they’re a decade ahead of other teams in that they actively try to prevent injury by constantly monitoring their players and creating corrective exercises before injury strikes.

    So Redd’s been doing better, and we all know how Hill sort of got resurrected and Nash is still going at 38.

    But yeah, that was off topic, and well, the takeaway was that we’re so reliant on having all three of our big three.

  18. Gave up 125 points and half the comments are about offense? Offense was fine. 105 without Kobe should be a winning total. Defense had no effort – no pressure, no close outs, just standing around waiting to get the ball back. Looked like something you’d see from a team who had quit on their coach. Just saying.

  19. T. Rogers,

    First and foremost, let me greet you and everybody – Happy Easter.

    Again, some of our posts here on this site maybe rosy, some are sad appears to be chicken little as mentioned by Kareem – but it is for the goodness of the team to lament what is good and what is bad? You may not agree with what is a real to others and you consider the loss was just hiccup from your POV. I think that’s the beauty of having a conversation in this blog, it is a site where fans resolved their own outlook or takes about the Lakers without resorting to insults and name calling.

    All I’m saying we could have won this if our healthy players made an effort on defense but we all saw a pathetic performance by everybody. In any analysis whether it is a year end report or anything, you have to include the past moves in order to relate it to the present situations. By the inclusion of the past, it guides someone in making a better decision for the future. It is hindsight but it is also a necessary tool.

    Can you reward an under achieving effort from the game last night? What is then your solution?

  20. Edwin/KenOak/rr: Nice posts !
    FO+MB: Most of our posts touch on one or both of these. Some of us blame the FO : ) Others focus on MB. Some blame the FO for MB as well : ) I think is well documented where I stand (that was for Kareem) with regard to the FO, however if you review my posts, I have been neutral or perhaps even a little supportive of MB. Not that I think MB is doing a great job. This board’s questions about his rotations/schemes are on target. However, with the lack of roster improvement, the aging of key players, + the change from the PJ system, how can we honestly expect a better result (6th best record) than MB has acheived. His real report card will come in the playoffs, however if he gets out of the 1st rnd, on what basis can we say he underperformed?

  21. The dilemna now is what to do with the rest of the regular season. We have some injuries, we are not “in sync”, + we are teetering on the brink of dropping from 3rd to 5th. If we press to keep our seed, this will mean huge minutes for the starters + less rest for the injuires. On the other hand, if we do not press, a drop to the 5th seed will be devastating (this would mean beating Memphis, SA, + OKC all on the road). It would really be nice to face the Clips in the playoffs at some point, because it would really help us in the rest department (to save the travel).

  22. A little worse than missing out on Redd is not predicting what Gerald Green still had left, considering we had him in training camp and our FO got to see him every day. Last I heard, his PER was over 15 in NJ, although I will admit I’ve only seen him play twice this year.

    Worse still is the fact that we have a legitimate backup 2 (with size, youth, athleticism, and Barnes’ cutting skills) on our bench right now in Ebanks. He hasn’t been given a chance alongside a true PG. Let’s hope that changes after last night.

    MB’s fear at this point is clearly that the young guns (GLock or Ebanks) will freeze up in the playoffs under the bright lights, so he keeps trying to get something out of Steve Blake. Phil Jackson himself used to have vets play through rough stretches to prep them for the playoffs. But at some point MB has to acknowledge that Blake might just not be that good, and is most definitely not a 2 guard.

    For someone who supposedly learned at the knee of Popovich, MB doesn’t seem to subscribe to his philosophies of resting his older players, or giving youth a chance (the way Pop has done with Danny Green and Kawhi).

    Also, Harold makes a good point I was thinking about last night. There’s no way to predict what would have happened if Redd had signed here, but Phx’s training staff is far and away the best in the league, and that could play a factor. I’ve often wondered what would happen if Nash left and tried to play elsewhere – would his back issues suddenly become debilitating?

  23. The Lakers are worse than their record indicates and headed for a first round exit.

    I thought this way before last nights game ( and I do get that Kobe didn’t play); nothing happened to make me change my mind vs Phoenix.

    Snoop: If MB is afraid his young players will wilt in the playoffs I think his priorities are “off”. This team is going down in flames regardless.

  24. Ebanks played well he needs backup SG minutes Blake had a couple good games but all faith is lost in him. He shouldn’t see the floor the rest of the year. And to compile things Gilbert Arenas is having an impact on Memphis. Who the heck is scouting these guys? They’re blind.

    Lakers are 4 1/2 games ahead of 8th place. If I’m Brown I sit Gasol vs New Orleans he needs rest. If your going to slip in the standings minus well get your best players a little rest. I hope Kobe sits a week too.

    Fatigue is definitely a factor in the slippage in defense. But if you keep doing something that isn’t working it becomes insane to keep doing so. The same PnR coverage is hurting the Lakers but they continue to run it. Brown has to switch that up. And I have never seen assistant coaches that talk, draw plays and do more than Brown’s assistants. If players are tuning him out it may be because they see him as an assistant coach.

    Now that we see Ebanks be effective. He and Morris should have rotation spots. If Lakers are one and done no way Brown comes back, right?

  25. KEVIN: Mike Brown is Jim Buss’s hire. Doubt he’s going anywhere. I’d be surprised if that happens.

  26. Kevin: We need to try to avoid 5th or worse. I agree that if we drop to 5th, then getting rest is more important than a drop to 6th or 7th, if it gets that bad. However, the difference between 4th and 5th is huge. So, we have to go for it, + that is unfortunate given that we are tired + nicked.
    RRM: I thought the GM hired the coach? Are you saying that Jimbo had more than 33% of that decision? : )

  27. If the Lakers intentions were to go far in the playoffs this year, they would have secured a coach: a) A year before the lockout, or b) Retained PJ for the shortened season.

    The worse thing the Lakers could have done during a lockout, they did. They hired a completely new coaching staff, they made major trades and they changed from the triangle with a roster full of players that were suited for the triangle and no other system. Then they waited until the trade deadline to make changes to the roster. How pray tell does all of these moves translate into a team that’s vying for a championship?

    Our future franchise player waited until there was no possibility of him getting traded this year to have what amounts to a temper tantrum. I think everyone is comfortable with the notion that the Lakers are rebuilding. Even Kobe, that’s why he’s going for the scoring record this year. And why shouldn’t he? Devoid of any other reason to play during the lockout, he might as well get the scoring title as a player that’s been in the league for 16 years.

    We started the season saying that defense and rebounds win championships, yet everyone wanted offense. I guess no one remembers when the Lakers were winning games based on their defense, when they were winning ugly. Those games were preferable to the Lakers recent games of allowing teams to score 100 or more points in an offensive shoot out, with the Lakers needing heroic shots just to secure the win.

    The Lakers must upgrade their bench, but I fear the Lakers have succumbed to the leagues ideology of rebuilding through the draft.

    Lakers fans are seeking truth as to the operational position this team is seeking this year.

  28. ROBERT: He has final say. Also, Mike Brown’s contract is, I believe, at three years (4th year a team option). So they’re not going to give up on him that easily.

  29. It was a struggle last night, defensively we’re still a step too slow right now for that final push into the playoffs. Need to be a little more sharper even when Kobe isn’t playing.

    Devin Ebanks starting was a surprise, he played alright.

    First post here, love the format and I will abide by the guidelines. I’m glad ad hominem procedures are taken seriously here. At some other sites, it’s lax and creates a bad environment.

  30. Robert,

    It is a tough call. Given how much trouble the Lakers have on the road, one can argue that they should try very hard to hold the 3rd seed, based on the idea that the more frequent off-days in post-season (there are back-to-backs in post-season this year but not many) will give them the rest they need.

    OTOH, the cratering of the defense would seem to be connected to fatigue.
    Of course, if Kobe is out 4-5 games, (there are only 9 left) they could drop to 5th even with Pau and Bynum playing 40 MPG.

    Basically, I think if they are healthy, the Lakers can beat anybody in the West except OKC…and I think they can lose to anybody. So a lot of it may in fact revolve around coaching.

  31. I agree with R.R. Magellan. Hard to see a situation where the Lakers fire MB after this season. Normally I applaud their patience, but with SVG likely becoming available, I kinda wish something would happen (before anyone says something about his grating style, SVG is a phenomenal coach on both sides of the ball. Irks me when the media heads refer to him as a “good” or “a little bit better than average.”)

    I know Lakers fans can be reactionary (myself included), but MB’s work, taken as a whole this season, involves running his starters into the ground, rotational changes that have confused even the most patient of us, and a slippage of defense completely at odds with his identity as a coach. It hasn’t been a great coaching job. With that said, I do think the lack of practice time is having a large impact on our defense. MB could use that time to correct shortcomings and reinforce schemes, and he doesn’t have that luxury.

  32. Last 10 games opp. 16.1 fastbreak points

    in 6 wins opp. 39 paint points
    Starting PG’s shoot 39%

    in 4 losses opp. 46 paint points
    Starting PG’s shoot 48%

    Since Sessions started 10 games ago:

    Starting PG’s average 17.6 ppg 8.3 ast 43% FG — 40% 3ptfg

    Robert: agree Lakers need homecourt. But have been subpar on the road and he should give the young guys a look to see who replaces Blake in rotation. :-)

  33. I agree with RR Magellan about Brown. Brown has three years guaranteed and a large buyout in Year 4. There would have to be major off-court and on-court implosions for him to get fired given the amount of money he is owed.

    IMO if the Lakers lose in the first two rounds, Pau will get traded. That will be the big change. If they make it to the conference finals or the NBA Finals, there will only be small moves around the core. How far they go may also affect whether Sessions stays, but I tend to think they will try pretty hard to keep him.

  34. Snoopy,

    Good post at #30.

  35. SNOOPY: LOVE Stan Van Gundy. This is the guy that took the Orlando Magic to the Finals with Rafer Alston as his point guard (after Jameer Nelson got hurt). Rafer Alston.

  36. snoopy: post is right on. I’d like to add he doesn’t motivate his players. And Boston and Lakers are similiar Doc saw Dooling wasn’t cutting it and put in Bradley. Blake is Dooling and Lakers have Goudelock and Ebanks but haven’t used them. And PnR defense I remember his press conference one of the first things he said was “I can improve the team’s pnr defense”. hasn’t happened.

  37. Edwin,

    Happy Easter to you as well. It’s not that I want everyone to be unrealistically upbeat about the state of the team. Part of the problem I see is people are not being realistic at all. That is especially true for the some of the “realists” on this site. We have to accept the Lakers are not as good as the top teams in the league. They just aren’t. From coaching to bench play to overall discipline this team is not a contender. Truly accepting this would lead to an adjustment in expectations. The groundhog day-like round of comments about Brown’s coaching, Kobe’s shot selection, Bynum’s maturity level, Blake’s overall terribleness, and many other things leads me to believe that some have not accepted the reality of who this Lakers team is. There is nothing wrong with pointing out particular shortcomings. However, when those particulars start piling up its time to call it what it is and change our assessment.

    The team lost Phil Jackson who basically coached them for a decade. Phil’s staff and system gave the team an identity that was suddenly gone. They brought in a new coach with a totally different game plan. Unfortunately, he was trying to push it on a group of players that really didn’t fit his system. They had no training camp to sort out the details. Shannon Brown left for more money and more minutes. Lamar Odom had an emotional meltdown. Andrew Bynum emerged supplanting the steady balance Kobe and Pau have shared as options 1 and 2 for the last three years. And I haven’t even gotten to personnel moves. I haven’t gotten to the changing landscape with regard to the competition. I haven’t even gotten to the part where the league has created a framework intent on thwarting the Lakers ability to compete. All things considered, it may actually be an accomplishment for them to be where they are now all.

    Does any of that give them an excuse to loaf on defense? No, of course not. Still the gap between who they are now and the top quality contender we’d like them to be won’t be closed by simply rotating faster on defense. Often the overall message in the comments seems to be, “the Lakers would be championship team if they just played championship basketball.” Well of course they would. But when do we start acknowledging they don’t play championship ball because they can’t? Showing flashes is no playing championship ball. I guess my solution to us fans to be patient. The team needs more changes. It is a work in progress. And it will take a while before they become a true contender again.

  38. First let me say this is a excellent site with many thoughtful Laker fans. But you have either been reading a bias media or just guessing as to the current Laker truth. As one who has been involved for several years I feel a need to give you the real situation with the Los Angeles Lakers.

    1-Jim Buss and Phil Jackson have had a major conflict for several years. Phil had little respect for Jim’s knowledge or understanding of the game. Point of fact for the last year plus both Phil and Miss Buss had been lobbying Jerry for Phil, with his physical problems, to take over the position of team President or VP of Player Personal. Sadly, family trumps knowledge in this case. Phil did not speak to Jim for well over a year and that has caused a rift between Miss Buss and her brother. Jim made a concerted decision to rid the Lakers of all that was Phil. Hence the fleecing of the coaching staff, office personal and scouting department. I can personally attest to all of this.
    2-Jim Buss made the decision to hire Mike Brown against the wishes of Mitch and Dr. Buss. He interviewed him several times and liked the fact he was well prepared, claimed to be a defensive coach (Cavs had much better perimeter defenders) and wanted to transition the team to Andrew, Kobe and top point guard . Brown is and was a Jim hire.
    3-Plans were being made to acquire Paul to fit in to this triangle. Jim wanted to cash in and remove LO whom he considered a distraction and wanted to lower payroll through Pau. When the deal fell apart the FO had no backup which happens when you, as Phil guessed, don’t understand the game. Bad bench players were the result.
    4-Money IS a issue. During the champ years a full run to the playoffs meant between $30 and $40 million in profits. Last year with $90 plus million in salaries, translated to $60 plus million in additional fees , over $10 million to Phil, high payroll to long time coaches, scouts and office personal and a short run in the playoffs the team made much, much less . Jerry who is and was heavily vested in real estate also got caught in the real estate downturn. Also don’t forget that there are now five Buss family members receiving salaries and as Phil will tell you they are way overpaid for their experience level.
    The bottom line is Jim is making most team personal decisions. He decided on Brown. Brown was not well thought of in Cleveland and had similar problems with rotations and player respect. Andrew is and was a Jim draft and this has something to do with the power Andrew feels in the organization. Point of fact Andrew would like to leave the Lakers as he has zero respect for Brown and is tired of being the 2nd banana under Kobe. AB wants to got back home to the Nets where he is number one and with a new arena being a few short miles where he grew up and is revered.

    With the current CBA, it is only going to get worse as unqualified management and money are now the status of the current Laker FO and ownership.

  39. Defense last 10 games

    Opp. avg 103 ppg – 45% FG – 40% 3ptfg

  40. *Andrew Bynum needs to play with an edge to be at his best just like Kobe and Artest. So can we all just forget about Bynum being a puppy an get that dog back in the pound and unleash the beast for the rest of his career? Or maybe since Kobe was out we needed someone to shoot 10 for 27 ;)

    *Steve Blake should NEVER EVER play PG in a traditional offense. In my oppinion we lost our big lead early because Steve came in to spell Ramon and we never could get the momentum back. In a playoff game two minutes of bad offense with Blake running the show is the difference between winning and losing.

  41. Oh… And can Ron Artest teach our perimter pkayers how to defend? When shooters have the ball they don’t want to drive to the basket to see Andrew Bynum! The want you to take a step back and get that shot off. Ron is the only player who gets up in their face and makes them out the ball on the floor. I thought Mike Brown knew how to coach defense?

  42. Aaron: agree on Blake. Backup PG is Lakers most important position. that is the x factor for this team. Vasquez really did a number on blake last game I’d put Morris in and see what he can do.

  43. Insider @38: Wow – your post is fantastic. While I do not have inside info, I have been saying some of your points for months. I have re-read your post 3 times, because it flows so freely, like blood from our wounded organization. I don’t know if you are new here, or just a new poster, so be warned: If you criticize the FO on here, other posters want eye witness accounts, which are notarized. If you support the FO on the other hand, you are allowed to simply say “Go Jimbo Go”

  44. Kevin,
    Haha. “See what he can do”. Love that simple line. Because it goes against everything the Lakers have done for the last year. I wish we could have seen what Gerald Green could do. I wish we could see what GLock can do. I wish we could see what Ebanks can do. I wish we can see what Morris can do. I have a feeling all these players will be NBA players for a long time. It’s too bad we might not win a championship because Mike Brown won’t try and replace D Leaguers with rookies. Rudy T gave two rookies a chance (Horry/Cassell) and the Rockets won a championship. We aren’t asking for them to start for Kobe’s sake. I don’t know if God exists but those 81 points definatley did ;) More impressive than turning water into wine if you ask me. I think it was snoopy who compares this team to that rockets squad. Well… If we want to win a championship Morris/GLock/Ebanks/Hill are going to have to step into back up PG, SG, and PF. Blake/McBob/Murphy have the experience but not the talent to help this team win it all. It’s been basically the entire season. They are who they are. At some point you have to pull your blank out of your blank if you’re Mike Brown.

  45. Don’t look now but the stage is set for an epic collapse by the Lakers. They have a very unfavorable schedule, are battling fatigue and injuries, are in the midst of the Bynum follies and have lost all their defensive intensity. Definitely not a team trending upwards.

  46. To put things in perspective… Steve Blake is a career back up SG. You aren’t even playing the over the hill veteran at his natural position. You’re playing him at PG in a traditional PG centric offense. It’s almost comical. Want more perspective… Darius Morris probably has more experience running the point in a traditional offense as he has played that position for his entire life. Steve Blake was a SG in high school, college, and then in the pros. He has never played true PG save for this season and for three weeks with the Clippers. He was playing spot up guard off of Allen Iverson, Brandon Roy, and Kobe Bryant (in the triangle). If Mike Brown doesn’t correct this by the playoffs that alone is a fireable offense if you ask me.

  47. 38 was a very good post. Obviously, I can’t prove it, but I do tend to think that is pretty much what is going on and there is a lot of inferential evidence to that effect.

    As I said on the other thread, it seems logical to guess that Kupchak, given his history with the org, would have preferred to hire Brian Shaw and hoped and expected Ronnie Lester would be his successor as GM. So, the fact that Kupchak made public statements in support of the Brown hire doesn’t convince me of anything, nor do other similar statements.

  48. http://www.bareknucks.com/the-cleveland-cavaliers-are-struggling-mike-coach-of-the-year-brown-is-to-blame

    hope brown won’t look this lost come playoffs.

    http://landloyalty.com/?p=15393

    everything in this article has been happening all year.

  49. Insider #38, thanks for your information. I knew Bynum was upset at somebody, but i don’t know exactly 100% why. Fisher when he was in LA, he answered a question regarding why Lakers didn’t win on the road, he said because like in Xmas party, some cousins you don’t like but they show up. Players are not stupid, they know who is the good or bad coach. It only made sense to me, if Lakers trade Blake to Minnesota to get Beasley back, Min will take this trade, yes, Fisher is old but we’ll get Beasley, Sessions. Lakers FO did everything they can to get rid of Fisher including giving away another next year first round draft pick.

  50. OK, so we complain because Blake plays PG and complain when Brown plays Blake at the SG with Sessions at the 1. Make up your mind.

  51. Anonymous: Actually some of us have been complaining about Blake being on the roster at all, and on this subject our mind is firm and made up : ) You can move the chess pieces around all you want, but you can’t start the game with a pawn where a knight is supposed to be.

  52. The main reason I still think this team can beat anybody is because playoffs are a halfcourt game. Espicially this year in lockout ball Knicks, Spurs proved that in 99. Watching the games the past 2 weeks the pace of the game has slowed. Memphis is playing extremely well they are build for the playoffs and a slow pace. And Lakers have 3 phemomenal half court players things should be easy unless Brown makes them hard.

    Lakers having 2 seven footers should make it easier to score and tougher for opponents to score. The problem comes in when teams double team Pau or Drew how effective will the 3 point shooters be. Ron, Kobe, Sessions, Barnes will have to make timely shots all playoffs. Defense should improve with the grind of the playoffs and Lakers utilizing their size to wear teams down. PnR defense will also be a problem if Brown doesn’t fix it. That’s all New Orleans ran last year and Dallas too. Lakers stop PnR they win games.

    Nothing scares me in the playoffs except Durant and Popovich. With Ron playing like it’s 04 that eases my mind on Durant. But with Pop he’s playing chess our coach is playing checkers.

  53. Anonymous
    Exactly… We are saying he can’t play anymore. He shouldn’t be in the rotation. The advanced stats show it as well as the eye test. Now that Fisher is playing back up SG with OKC, Blake is now the leagues worst back up PG statistically. Everyone seems to know this but brown. But this is a business… I’m sure Brown knows it but needs to okay the guy making 4 million a year over a rookie. It’s not a perfect world.

  54. Aaron: So are you now in the camp that it was a mistake to send Fisher and not Blake? Fisher would have been the perfect back up. Or are you buying the team line that having him on the bench would upset our perfect team unity between players and coach? : )
    And yes – I understand that you think our youngsters are the answer. However I think we both realize in the playoffs – that is a dice roll.

  55. 46: Blake was the starting PG for all four years at Maryland, including the season they won the national championship. He averaged between six and eight APG every year, which is as good as it gets in college. I have no idea what he played in high school, but I bet he was probably point there as well. He may be playing horribly now, but it’s not for lack of experience or knowledge.

  56. OKC has a lot more to be scared of than just Durant. You think Westbrook isn’t going to run circles around pretty much whoever guards him? How about Harden coming off the bench with the capability of hanging 20+ on us any given night?

    The Lakers can only beat OKC at this stage by nearly playing perfectly, which they haven’t done all season. If Bynum decided to put the effort into defense that he does into offense, then who knows—-but it sure doesn’ t look to me like he has any interest in doing that.

  57. Robert,

    All info indicates that Houston et al didn’t want Blake–his contract is longer.

    I am all criticizing the FO when warranted, but we need to be aware that we don’t always know what the alternatives were.

  58. 37,

    Mr. Rogers, here is the good part that I heard from other Laker fans I met at Easter Egg Hunt in the Valley where my son resides. Sometimes when you think outside of the box or outside this site, you also get some uncanny ideas and here is their spin on the loss last night.

    Lakers could not win against the Thunder this year, Thunder slipped to the 2nd position. If Lakers maintains the 3rd slot, they’ll get Memphis where they lost twice. However, if they go on the 4th position, they’ll face Dallas where they won their games in Dallas 2x. On the 2nd round, the next game would be Spurs SA and therefore avoided the Thunder. Lakers have a good chance against SA based on the past performance. Isn’t that a great strategy in defense by avoiding the teams that beat you during the season. this is a familiar strategy done by the Clippers when Sam-I-am was with the team. Although frankly, I’ve never heard a Laker team avoiding any kind of competition but that seems to be logical move wherein Thunder has to beat two teams first before meeting the Lakers in the WCF.

    On the other hand, I think you’re also right whatever analysis-paralysis we’ll come up, Lakers could also lose in 1st round to their favorite whipping team Cuban’s Mavs.that hurts more to be humiliated in two consecutive playoffs. Whoaaa! another never ending whining on the blog, at least crying and analysis will end on the 1st round while we switch immediately to boring baseball. lol!

  59. Looking at the rest of the schedule Memphis has by far the easiest. They should go 7 and 2. Lakers play SA 3 times and OKC and should go 5 and 4. Clipper should go 5 and 5.

    That being said Lakers should be in 3rd with 40 wins Memphis and Clips Tied with 39 with tie breaker making difference. Lakers must win tomorrow or the two Andrew brian cramps in Houston could end up costing a first round win.

  60. 50,

    Robert, since you started with chess analogy, I will supplement it with my thoughts about Blake. Blake is actually a bishop or a SG. If he is focused on one job, he can contribute as perimeter shooter. Right now, the bishop has been trapped by wrongfully characterized as a Queen PG. He cannot improve his shooting because he’s concerned more in feeding his pawns and at the same time chasing his fellow Queen PG. He gets tired, he gets cross-eyed and stressed out, he is blamed on the blog and also at home by Mrs. Blake. hoho! Put Blake to SG and ask Coach Chuck Person to train him as a bishop again.

    What if we have a platoon substitution of two PG in the 2nd unit namely: Glock and Morris, what would happen? Don’t ask them to be productive like Sessions but more on delivery service while using their young legs with less experience in shadowing other bench PG from other team. If Morris is bad, go with Glock or vice versa. Maybe if you trust these kids and given a responsibility, they will produce better than Blake.

  61. can i ask: who here has seen either Glock or Morris play in the last two months? i havent. so im going to give the coaching staff the benefit of the doubt on who they play. lets not forget that they are both rookies.

    Ebanks played and showed he should get time at backup SG and SF. but thats only because I as a fan have something to point to by his play.

    I know we all like our scapegoats when we lose, but Blake was notthe reason we hot trounced by PHX or got beat by Houston.

  62. Josh: Good point. Westbrook has a mismatch almost every night. He’s not consistently great as Durant is though. He’ll lose you a game with turnovers and high volume shooting. Durant will be unstoppable every game unless vintage 04 Ron shows up. I like Harden’s game but the more the balls out of Durant’s hands the better off teams will be.

    raydiaz1238: defense has been horrible last 10 games. 103 pts, 45% fg, 40% 3ptfg

  63. rr: Not like you to defend FO : ) I realize you are trying to be balanced, however: Why did we need to deal with Houston? What did we get from them that was so important? Further, the simple solution if there was no deal – was a buyout (of Blake). Or we could have kept both DF and Blake and sent one of the non-players to D-League. The FO had an agenda with DF. There was no “basketball” urgency to deal him away.

  64. Edwin: When the playoffs start I am hoping that KB returns to his roots for a “Sicilian Defense”. At present our team defense is a “Stalemate”. My real fear is after the season, the FO and this board will realize that our payroll + contracts result in “Checkmate”.

  65. Robert,

    It is pretty hard to buy out a guy who has two years on his deal, and there is no reason to think anyone wanted Steve Blake. The only semi-credible rumor I heard was Blake for Felton, simply because Blake has a history in Portland and Felton has had a terrible year there and has become disliked.

    My issue with the Fisher deal is that Jordan Hill apparently is not going to play. That being the case, they should have kept the pick and either just made Fisher a backup or bought him out.

    Fisher of course has stated that he would have had no problem going to the bench, but again, what else is he going to say? In terms of “agendas”, for the cynically-minded, Fisher was/is tight with Brian Shaw and was a favorite of Phil’s. Jeannie Buss Tweeted sarcastically after Fisher was dealt, referencing David Stern and “basketball reasons.” Basically, all the old gang except for Kobe and Mitch are either gone or were supposed to be gone (Pau) and I think it is pretty clear that Pau will be on the block again unless the team makes a surprisingly deep playoff run.

  66. First off: The Lakers must stay in the 3rd place in order to avoid being the 4th seed and having to play Memphis in the first round. The Lakers do match up well with Memphis because they are one of only two teams that match big man against big man with an above average player to add to the mix. In addition they have OJ Majo who punks Blake and Brown refuses to play Ebanks (who is longer, faster, younger and bigger than Blake).

    Secondly, the Lakers have the ability to run but they should not because they have two laboring bigs. Sessions should run when he has the opportunity or a lane. If Barnes is the game with Sessions, they should run. If Brown would run a second squad with Sessions, Ebanks, Barnes and McRoberts, that squad should run with the big kinda cherry picking.

    Lastly, Andrew actually thinks he’s better than he actually is. He has expressed his desire in an interview to play without the cast of Kobe’s shadow. So he had no problem with being traded to Orlando. I think that is the nature of a big man; always wanting to shine by himself. The kid needs to grow up.

  67. Since Lakers play Spurs 3 times next 9 games I thought I’d look for any weaknesses. Still some more number crunching to do but they don’t beat themselves you have to beat them.

    In losses teams avg. 39.4 paint points ( they give up 39 on average). So no advantage there.

    In losses they shoot 37% from 3 (on the season they shoot 38%) no advantage there

    They turn it over 12 times in losses ( on the season they turn it over 13.3 on average). No advantage there.

    One constant is when Parker shoots bad there beatable. Parker didn’t play in 2 games so in 9 of the 12 losses he shot less than 50%. (6-15, 3-11, 1-8, 10-18, 7-12, 8-18, 10-23, 9-19, 2-11, 4-16, 10-16, 5-12).

    And finally in those losses the a froncourt player has been dominant mostly the PF 16.9 pts – 9.5 reb – 55% FG. Numbers really similiar to Pau’s.

    Conclusion: Have to contain Parker and Pau has to dominant the game.

  68. It

    Very good points.

    Kevin
    If we win one of the three aganist Spurs we will finish third which is huge.

  69. rr: You can buy anyone out – look it up. Besides why not just keep them both – we are playing 8 guys – what difference does it make – other than the bottom line? You mention MK + KB as the sole survivors from the old crew (PG is not old crew). What is the over/under on yrs left for MK? I already asked you about about KB. Let’s see how the deal with AB goes. The house may be cleaned out before too long : ) Not a good thing, but there is an agenda to stick to : )

  70. Robert: not crying over spilled milk but 2 would make a decent back up pg. too bad many were quick to stain his name saying he’s calling mutiny meetings against brown’s offense and couldn’t handle a back up role when payton came he did also in utah with deron. He’s been a model citizen his whole career. how’s blake looking. Still like our chances this year. :-)

  71. Robert,
    I really wish you would ever read most of what I write. Just most of it. Haha. Fisher is retired. Haha. I have always been in the camp that both Fisher and Blake should not be playing at all at PG ever in a traditional offense. If you read my post in this thread you would see that agalock or Morris just by the odds would be a better option than Blake.

    Kevin,
    Fisher is done. He is worse than Blake. It’s not an either/or scenerio. Its a neither/nor scenerio. Fisher is retired. It’s over for him. He is stinking it up at back up SG worse than he ever did in LA.

  72. Raydiaz1238,
    Give the coaching staff the benefit of the doubt? You can’t be serious… Not after letting Gerald Green go amd playing the two worst PGs in the NBA for the entire year. That’s right. Check ESPN. Fisher and Blake are listed as the two worst PGs out of 60 candidates in the NBA. It’s really bad. Just mathematically it would be hard for either GLock or Morris to be as bad.

  73. More Lakers-Spurs: 2 – 2(All Lakers played 4 games, Duncan & Parker 3, Blair all 4)

    Kobe 22.5 pts – 6.7 reb – 5 ast – 36% fg

    Pau 16.5 – 9.7 reb – 59% fg

    Odom was big all games – 9 pts 8 reb, 15 pts 4 reb, 16 pts 6 reb, 23 pts 7 reb. Avg 15.7 pts 6.2 reb ( Barnes and McRoberts could get those averages will they be as effective and timely).

    Brown avg. 8 pts per

    Spurs avg. 27 4th quarter points those games

    Duncan was a non factor avg. 4 pts – 6.3 reb – 19% struggles with length

    Blair made up for Duncan somewhat avg. 10.2 pts – 10.5 reb – 4 off. rebounds per game

    Parker 19.3 pts – 2.6 ast – 51% fg

    Conclusion: Kobe won’t shoot 36% but Green is a solid defender this year. Pau will be his normal self but has to keep Blair under wraps he pounds the boards every game. Bynum should dominate Duncan. Somone on Lakers bench has to fill the 24 pts void of Brown and Odom.

  74. yes: ill give management the. benefit of the doubt on who they play, who they draft, and who they keep. We didnt see Gerald Green play the way he did when he was with the Lakers. he probably wouldnt have had as much time playing on this squad as he has with the Nets (similar to the Lin situation) and yes they played two of the worst statistically guards in the league, but they traded for someone that is a considerable upgrade.

    and u dont know if goudelock would be worse than blake right now. we’ve never seen what he does is pressure situations.

    my point is that as fans we dont see what goes on in practice, in meetings. also, with condensed schedule, coaches will want to rely on veterans to run stuff.

    in an earlier post, u said that blake was really a SG at Maryland, but he actually played PG. he had a total of 972 career assists in college which at the time he was 5th all time in the NCAA. as a coach in this shortened season i can understand why you play a veteran PG.

    my beef with the decisions of MB regarding Blake were playing him at the 2 spot were he was always being ISO’d against bigger 2 guards. but that hasnt happened in the last 2 games and Blake has not played alongside Sessions at all.

    My point is that as fans we dont see everything. we see 48 minutes of game times and we get frustrated with losses and like to place blame for every single one of them. Now that Fisher is gone, we blame Blake and MB. like Blake is the reason why our defense is bad. Our defense is bad probably because of the lack of practice and the new system. if it cant be figured out, then ill blame MB at the end of the season for not figuring it out. but to say that Goudelock would be an improvement at backup PG is just an assumption by fans to think they know how to fix the Lakers. just like it would be an assumption that Green would have had enough minutes on this veteran team to shine the way he has for NJ.

    Even with Blake statistically being terrible, it shouldnt matter. lets not forget that the Lakers won a championship 2 years ago with “the worst starter in the league in Fisher” as you harped on for the last 3 years Aaron.

    Lets focus on the lack of defense the past ten games, or back since the trade deadline. cuz our offense is just fine. its our defense that needs a recharge.

  75. Players don’t like Mike Brown. Nuff said.