Preview & Chat: The Phoenix Suns

Darius Soriano —  April 7, 2012

Records: Lakers 35-21 (3rd in the West), Suns 28-27 (10th in the West)
Offensive ratings: Lakers 105.7 (11th in the NBA), Suns 105.3 (14th in the NBA)
Defensive ratings: Lakers 103.2 (11th in the NBA), Suns 105.8 (19th in the NBA)
Projected Starting Lineups: Lakers: Ramon Sessions, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Suns: Steve Nash, Shannon Brown, Jared Dudley, Channing Frye, Marcin Gortat
Injuries: Lakers: Kobe Bryant (probable), Ramon Sessions (probable); Suns: Grant Hill (out)

Much like yesterday’s contest, the Lakers are facing a team that’s looking to make the post season and is playing as hard as it can to make that happen. The Suns may have lost last night’s game in Denver, but they’d won 3 in a row before that game and have been making a push towards their goal of avoiding the lottery since the all-star break (going 14-7 in that stretch).

So, the Lakers will need to bounce back from a tough loss last night to the Rockets. But in order to get the win, a few things must work in their favor. A few keys as I see them:

  • The Suns have found their groove on offense with Nash orchestrating the P&R, Gortat providing an excellent roll man and post option, and their shooters knocking down shots. The Lakers will need to contain this action the best way they can, mostly by forcing Nash’s hand as much as they can and attempting to dictate to him what to do with the ball. In recent match ups, Nash has had his way directing the P&R, often finding Gortat for easy baskets on dives to the rim or kicking out to the shooter of his choice against a Lakers’ D that had trouble rotating effectively. I hope to see the Lakers swarm Nash and make his passing angles difficult and try to make him be a scorer rather than a distributor that gets his guys going. With this being a home game for the Suns, their role players will feel more comfortable and can turn a game in their favor by riding the wave that comes from familiar surroundings. Slow down guys like Frye, Dudley, and Brown and the game becomes easier for the Lakers.
  • With Grant Hill out, the question I have is who guards Kobe. Hill has done an admirable job of guarding Kobe in the past, forcing difficult shots that Kobe has hit more than he likely should. With Hill not there to play his physical brand of D against Bean, it will be up to Shannon Brown and Jared Dudley to bring that caliber of defense. Whether they’re up to the challenge or not will be a major factor in who wins this game. As an aside, Brown has the athleticism but lacks the size to challenge Kobe in the post. Brown (as Lakers fans know) also has trouble navigating screens off the ball. These factors should lead to Kobe working more off the ball and using his superior strength to run Shannon off screens and/or work himself into the post where he can use his assortment of fakes to get up good shots.
  • Tempo will be key tonight and though both teams played last night, this will be the Lakers 5th game in 7 nights. The Lakers can’t get into a track meet with the Suns tonight and must control the tempo of the game on both sides of the floor. Last night the Lakers legs were clearly heavy as they were beat to multiple 50/50 balls and were trying to grab rebounds flat footed too often. That mustn’t be the case tonight.
  • To control the tempo, the Lakers must utilize the post in their half court offense. I’ve already mentioned how Kobe can work the low block but he must be joined in working for good post position by Bynum and, especially, Gasol. Pau has a favorable match up against Frye and should be able to get into the post on the his favored left side and go to work. If Pau is able to establish the post, it can serve the dual purpose of getting him going on O and sapping Frye’s legs on D. Since Frye is a jumpshooter that the Suns rely on to space the floor on the P&R, anything that makes him less effective in that role is a bonus.

Lastly, a word on Bynum. Last night was a reminder that Bynum still has a ways to go in maturing on the court and like everyone, I’m frustrated with how this part of his development has stagnated. It’s particularly stressful as a Lakers fan watching him go from being a dominant force on the court to putting himself in positions to not be able to display that dominance due to him lashing out at his opponent. However, like his teammates, I’m trying to keep perspective and be patient with him. As Kobe said, Bynum must find a balance between playing with the emotion that can elevate him to elite status while not letting that emotion boil over in a manner that negatively affects the team. Kobe, of course, knows what it’s like to be a prominent player on a title contender at such a young age. Though, Kobe was also someone that consistently found his way back to the pack and into the role that would help his team achieve at the level they hoped too. Bynum will need to do the same if this team is go as far as they hope to; as far as they, themselves, expect to.

These are hard lessons Bynum is trying to learn and as much as we’d like him to learn them at a pace we’re comfortable with (or not have to learn them at all), this is the process he’s going through and, thus, the one this team is going through. And, for better or for worse, we must travel this path with him as we cheer the whole team on. Hopefully, it’s not much longer before the light turns on for him in this area.

Suns Blogs: Check out Valley of the Suns for your news and notes on this team. They run a very good site and have you covered.

Where you can watch: 7:00PM start on KCAL. Also listen at ESPN Radio 710AM.

Darius Soriano

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136 responses to Preview & Chat: The Phoenix Suns

  1. Lakers w/o Bynum & Pau starting: record 4-2

    97.5 ppg Opponents 90 ppg

    Pau: 19.1 pts – 9.8 reb – 3.5 ast – 2.1 blk

    McRoberts: 5 pts – 6.3 reb – 1.3 – 1 blk

    Murphy: 5.1 pts – 8.3 reb – 1.8 ast

    Lakers are a better team with Bynum but these are the numbers.

  2. Dave,
    I would know who you are talking to at all times re Bynum. Some people were like me in 1999. They have their favorite player (for me it was Eddie Jones). They hate the young superstar (for me back then, Kobe) taking a lot of the attention and credit away from the old star (Eddie Jones). I used to hate Kobe as a kid his first couple years because he was “replacing” my guy Eddie Jones. Some people are afraid of change and new things. We have to forgive some people for being human and resistant to evolution. There has been a changing of the guard on this team. Statistically the best player on this team has been Andrew Bynum. That is hard to swallow understandably by fans of Kobe or Gasol. So we have to realize its perfectly normal for fans and media to overblown tachnicals and three point attempts.

  3. As Darius noted, this is the 5th game in 7 nights. Too bad Jordan Hill can’t play and too bad the FO never got a true backup 2, deciding to try Kapono instead of say, Redd.

  4. Goudelock is a backup 2. He plays well. No idea why he doesn’t see time.

  5. Kevin,
    I just read your comment. Haha. You know we call people out on his site 😉 Who were those four wins against? How many freaking games have the Bulls won without their only good player Derek Rose this season? Those numbers are just silly. In the two games against a bad playoff team (the Rockets) that Bynum got kicked out for the fourth quarter the Lakers couldn’t get stops and Gasol was worthless in the high post down the stretch of both games. Those things are real. Let’s keep things in perspective here. Kobe and Gasol have been very good this year but using every advanced statistic Bynum has been better.

  6. Aaron: last line. Lakers are a better team with Bynum but these are the numbers. What has Bynum proved really?

    Frye loves playing the Lakers last 7 games shooting 44% from 3 (19-43).

    Gortat since joining the Suns vs lakers avg. 19 pts 14 reb 57%.

    Tough game tonight.

  7. Glock is undersized, is sort of a combo guard, and is a rookie late 2nd-round draft pick. I agree he should play a little and have said as much several times, but he is not a true backup 2 in the sense that a guy like Redd or Shannon is.

  8. McHops, is starting to be my favorite hustle player on the Lakers.

  9. Re the second Bynum tech.
    I’m a Rockets fan living in LA and one of our customers came in to talk about the game. He’s a Lakers fan and has seats behind visiting bench.
    His version is Bynum yelled f*** you,motherf***** at McHale as he was running back. The ref happened to be right behind him and T’d him up almost immediately.(Now it’s possible that the ref thought Bynum was yelling at him,but more likely simply the magic words.)

  10. Depth of vocabulary: not NBA players’ strong suit.

  11. Kevin,
    “What has Bynum proved?” I’ll let Jon Hollinger answer that question. “This is nothing that new for Andrew Bynum. Since he has been a starter he has never had a PER under 20. Consistantly playing at an All Star level for his entire career practically without the health and/or touches to make the midseason classic before this year. Everyone should have see this coming of he ever stayed healthy.”

  12. Aaron: we can agree to disagree but we see Bynum the player through different lenses.

    Two wounded teams on a back to back. Should be fun if Suns take early lead and Kobe is limping I may sit him the whole game.

  13. Kevin,
    We could agree to disagree if you were not so wrong haha. You realize the eye test along with every advanced metric says Bynum is a top player in the league and most likley the best player currently on the roster this season. As long as you realize that’s what the advanced stats say we can agree to disagree on the eye test part.

  14. Bynum is being singled out. Why no technicals for the waving, laughing Rockets bench? This is all generated by Stern to keep the league “balanced,” with no run-away winning team. He can’t stand the Lakers, and Bynum is his scapegoat, with instructions to the officials. When the league isn’t run as a dictatorship by Stern, we’ll have the opportunity to see fair contests with genuine winners. Stern’s rules are over the top, and the fans are fed up with excessive fines levied on the best players to keep them grounded. We want to watch basketball, not Stern-ball. It’s time that those he cannot assess fines speak up and demand transparency and honesty in the game.

  15. Aaron: I see bait on the line lol. I contend Bynum is not a franchise player. He is playing with 2 HOFers which make his job easy he wouldn’t be as good if he was the best player on a team. He can barely pass out of double teams 7 years in. My eye test also tells me Bynum struggles vs bulky strong guys like Pek and Gortat. Time to move on to see if he can score 30 tonight to make fans happy again.

  16. What’s happening in Mem? Grizz up on Dallas 22-5 with less than 2 minutes to go in the first quarter?! 5 points in 10+ minutes? Wow.

  17. Despite all of the great things that Bynum and Gasol give you on offense, It is the combination of these two players on defense that is the Lakers biggest problem. Opposing point guards continue to torch the Lakers even after the departure of Fisher. This is mainly because the Bynum/Pau combination does not work on the defensive end. Both player are too slow defensively and can’t help on point guards and recover to their man.

    Phil never recognized this last year and so far Mike Brown is making the same mistake. He should start Bynum and bring Pau off the bench and replace Pau with a faster and more athletic Power forward (McRoberts or Hill)

  18. Kevin,
    Bulky Centers like Marc Gasol and Pek? He has dominated both this year. Beleive he is shooting north of 65 percent against them this year. I mean that’s crazy. Both are big strong good players. And he has made them look like D Leaguers.

    Is he playing with two HOFS? Yes he is. But their careers mean nothing today. All that matters is right now. This season Bynum is the one making them look good more than the other way around. How so? He is the one drawing more help defenders and setting up wide open shots for perimter players and Gasol from 15 feet out. Legler recently gave an illustration how Bynum is making his teammates better… He showed a few Kobe drives to the basket where Amdrews man wouldn’t leave him at all… All four times Kobe just marched in for a wide open lay up as the oppositions Center was glued to Drew.

    As fans and people we can’t live in the past and we can’t be afraid of the future. Here is the baiting line 😉 Come with us Kevin… We are all Lakers fans here… We are Lakers fans first and fans of individual players second. Walk with us to another championship. The odds of that championship being won with Andrew Bynum leading the way equally with Kobe Bryant is very likley. Walk with us Kevin. Is he a franchise player? A championship level leading man? All the stats say yes… If he can stay healthy.

  19. It amazes me that in the other thread people are still making excuses for Bynum.

    I think at this point the guy would have to choke one of the Laker girls to death on national television before some folks would be critical. Even then, they’d probably say things like:

    “Well, Kobe acted out at that age.” (Forgetting that Kobe had been the co-best player on three straight championship teams and was a multi-time All-Star)
    “Dwight Howard’s bad too!” (DPOY multiple times, franchise player that has taken his team to the championship and knocked off Lebron in the process)
    “He’s just frustrated by being treated like a third banana on the team.” (Which hasn’t been true at all this year. Pecking order has clearly been Kobe, then Bynum, then Gasol.)
    “The refs weren’t giving him the calls.” (Which does not in any way excuse anything.)
    “He ignores a lot of physical punishment and fouls that don’t get called.” (So did Shaq. So does Kobe. So does Gasol for that matter.)

  20. If you look at San Antonio starters, you see only Duncan , Parker , and three young players, this team has 5 bench players including Jackson, Ginobli, but their bench players can score 45, 50 pts. SA was 3rd in offense, 17th in defense. Lakers team is just above average team (17th in offense, 11th in defense).

  21. UPDATE: Kobe will not play tonight due to his sore shin. It’s being called tenosynovitis of the left shin. Ebanks will start in his place.

  22. Not sad the Lakers didn’t trade Bynum for Howard. Both are behaving pretty badly. I’d describe their behavior more explicitly but the comment would be heavily edited.

    It takes unusual circumstances to make me sympathize with a Van Gundy brother.

    Both ‘drew and Howard seem to be regressing. Reminds of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”.

  23. No Kobe oh this should be interesting. He was limping bad so I’m not surprised.

    Aaron: perfect time for your guy Bynum to step up. Remember I think it was 02 or 03 when Shaq sat out and Kobe had 50 in 3 qtrs. vs Memphis Bynum needs to have one of those games. Not a 20-10 but a monster game.

  24. So it takes a Kobe DNP for an Ebanks sighting? Maybe this can become a positive.

  25. Kobe out tonight, and Ebanks to start. Could be a blessing in disguise if Ebanks shows enough promise to nibble away at Steve Blake’s minutes alongside Sessions.

    Bynum’s attitude and nastiness is just what this team needs. I hope it rubs off on guys like Pau, Barnes, Artest, and Blake, because Derek Fisher isn’t here to retaliate when teams try to punk us anymore

    This team needs to start sticking up for each other. The b.s. Pau(especially Pau) and Bynum have to put up with every game is too provocative to let go.

  26. Ebanks!

  27. Well, what do you know? Ebanks very active so far. It’s called youth and athleticism. Figure it out MB.

  28. Hopefully this will convince Mike Brown to end the ‘Blake as SG’ experiment forever.

  29. Bynum not looking that great so far as the focal point sans Kobe.


  31. Bynum getting his shots up at a Kobe-esque rate.

  32. He’s 2-11 right now and mostly being single-covered by a smaller Gortat. That’s a bad shooting Kobe night! 😉 Hopefully he can turn that stat line around. We don’t look too bad, so far, and Ebanks is showing why he could actually take a minute or two here and there.

  33. Feel better Kobe, as a true warrior you must be in pain.

    Valuable playing time for Ebanks, we’ll need him in the playoffs.

    Go Lakers!

  34. When was the last time the Lakers had a quarter where they had zero turnovers? And our bench actually beat theirs 4-2. I am guessing this is the first time this year those two things happened in the same quarter : )

  35. Spirited discussion going on about Bynum versus Kobe…pretty funny! Bynum is not the best player on this team yet. I don’t care what your advanced stats say Aaron. Kobe is still the best player despite Bynum having better PER. Next year? Who knows…maybe Bynum will take that step and grab the reins, but he’s not there yet.

  36. Blake comes in and gets the first turnover

  37. Devin Ebanks starts and gets to double figures filling in for Kobe and its only the second quarter. Nice job so far, Ebanks.

  38. Well, it looks like our defensive 3 pt FG % has picked up where it left off last night. Pathetic.

  39. Bench is already down 16-6

  40. Wow, statline of the starting 5 at SG looks like any other laker game. Hopefully they put away the suns big coz you definitely wont get a closer-type game from Ebanks. Just good to see he is taking advantage of the opportunity. Now, how can we get Jordan Hill some time before the playoffs?

  41. Another double digit lead down the drain. Shocking.

  42. Sorry 26-6 now for the bench, and Redd is the designee for the career night this game. Nice pull rr.

  43. 13 points for Redd.

    Those who get snarky when people dare to call out the FO–take note.

  44. Moderation software is flagging anything over two words

  45. 38 got through OK.

    Go Ebanks.

  46. I miss RonRon man! Morris doesn’t know what was about to happen to him..

  47. 54 points for phx 4 mins left

  48. So, this Michael Redd guy is still pretty good. How much is he getting paid?
    Edit to answer my own question. He is making 826k this year. Would have been a nice pickup as a backup SG.

  49. rr: gave you credit Redd b4 – however it is in mod

  50. Our bench should be in moderation

  51. rr: The only thing worse than calling out FO is calling out Bynum : )

  52. Robert @47
    Man, when you are right, you are right. That is the only thing worse lmao!

  53. Has Steve Nash even played the 2nd qtr?

  54. KenOak,

    Redd was not signed until after the season started, but the FO picked Kapono instead.

  55. One of my biggest fears is that because of Mike Brown, we’ll let Ebanks leave without a fair shake, and he’ll become a very productive rotation player elsewhere. He has all the tools. He needs to be put in situations to succeed.

    I’d be happy at his performance tonight if I had any confidence left in MB’s ability to see the obvious.

    Agreed on Redd. It’s true that hindsight is 20-20 and that the FO may have been wary of more injured bench players, but when you look at who we went after by comparison (Kapono) the choice should have been apparent even back then.

  56. Brown throw your defensive schemes in the trash. Get some new ones.

    Franchise Player Bynum 6-16 12 pts 10 reb at half

  57. Snoopy,

    Several of us complained about the Kapono signing at the time. The guy is not an NBA player, in spite of his ability to shoot the 3. Delonte West also signed for the minimum for one year, and when I brought him up, a bunch of people said they didn’t want a headcase, etc. West’s PER is 15.4.

  58. Terrible defense by the Lakers to end the second quarter and just plain horrendous overall in the second quarter giving up 38 points. Lakers still in this game only down 5 at the half.

  59. rr/KenOak: I will give the FO credit for relaizing their mistake quickly with Kapono. It could have been worse, we could have given him a player option : )
    40-6 on the bench now – that is very hard to do.

  60. Kevin,

    Yes. I have been with my man Robert on Brown, seeing the Lakers’ issues as roster-based more than coaching-based. But the recent poor team defense needs to fall in part on Brown, for sure.

  61. Yes – not only complaining when Kapono was signed, but then when he took 3 games off to take pictures while Kobe was playing 45 minutes per game. BTW: We also complained when TM, and JM were signed. 40-6 on the bench now.

  62. rr – That’s what I was saying. Not sure if you were disagreeing with me or not, your comments can be hard to read.

    I wasn’t against the Kapono signing in itself at the time, but I did think Redd or McGrady, despite their injury histories, would have been much better signings.

    60 – I don’t agree on the McRoberts signing; I thought it was a good move. What other 4’s were available for that price at the time? (Honest question) The move that led to the need for a backup 4 was obviously questionable, but given that we had limited options to search for a backup 4, I liked the McRoberts signing. Maybe my memory’s just going, but I can’t think of better 4’s that were available and would have signed for such a small amount of money.

  63. Come on now guys. Brown is a great coach! Left McRoberts on the bench for 60% of season and left Eubanks on tbe bench the last 12 games.

    Come on! At least he has Andrew’s respect.

    And don’t forget he is a great defensive coach!

  64. Bynum please play some defense. Block a shot quit giving up layups.

    rr: sad it’s some fatigue but teams beat the lakers the same way every game. pnr leading to open shots or drive and kicks

  65. Is that another Anonymous Ken sighting?

  66. Both teams played last night. Can you direct your attention and check the diff. between Gortat and Bynum energy/defense.

  67. Bynum the fans are counting on you. Your shooting is losing this game for us. Step it up

  68. Brown giving some of that swagger back to Kobe. Gotta respect that.

  69. Gah! Why is Bynum pounding the rock and taking bad forced shots! Doesn’t he see that Pau, Metta, and Devin are well about 55% shooting!?

    His chucking is losing this game for us! :)

  70. I was gonna write something, but im too shocked by this.

    Criticize MB for absolutely no semblence of a defensive scheme.

    Kevin, i blame you. If i didnt watch that video on chicago’s no middle defensive scheme, id be ok. But since u made me watch, thats right made me, how i wish we had that defensive intensity…

  71. What exactly is this team’s identity?

    They aren’t good at defense. They aren’t an offensive power house. The try to run, until they slow it down to a snails pace. They can’t shoot, but their bigs don’t crash the boards.

    I just don’t understand.

    I know Kobe is out – but they aren’t this gassed (are they?)

    This team needs to sink their teeth into something and make it theirs. They are middling at everything.

  72. This Shannon Brown guy isn’t playing bad either. He may have been a nice backup, but we didn’t have a chance to get him right?

  73. No fear factor for the Lakers w/o Kobe. Suns saw he wasn’t playing and are playing at a high level.

    Go ahead Drew get your numbers but he is not playing well. Is Drew lifting the team’s play?

    raydiaz1238: drastic difference. Brown needs to watch that video it’ll help

  74. kehntangibles April 7, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    F————-ck. At this point you just tip your hat to Phoenix and move on to the next game.

  75. shannon brown opted out to play more minutes. there were already 3(4 if you count goudelock) point guards on the roster; why would delonte west sign with us? for the hell of it? and Michael Redd’s numbers this season aren’t that great.

  76. Darnit chibi! Stop introducing logic into this conversation. I think we could have gotten Brown back if we would have matched his price. Not certain that he was worth the price, however.

  77. look at pau doing work. bynum needs to stop shooting

  78. Shannon Brown, as expected, developed his game. No surprise here, as his role as KB’s back-up would never get him where he is right now.

  79. Why GLock is getting ZERO minutes?

  80. @76

    S.Brown wants to play more minutes. It doesn’t matter if the FO matched his price. Brown doesn’t want to play as a back-up to Kobe.

  81. bynum 10 – 26 hurting this team. he needs to step up

  82. We are losing 50-8 on the bench. Shannon Brown left for more money. And the money we saved by not signing him did not help us from a “basketball” perspective.

  83. @71 – Our identity is Mike Brown.

  84. With tonight’s loss we’ll be tied with clips in losses…The way we’re playing lately and memphis playing hot we could drop to #5 seed…smh

  85. Im out for the rest of this.

    *clapping hands like vegas dealer*

  86. Our bench was not good last year. We traded LO, we let SB go, we traded Sasha, we did not use either TPE, and we signed Kapono, Josh M, and Troy M. And we are losing 52-8 on the bench. No speculation in this post – just facts.

  87. Mojo

    He got the job because he told the very knowledgable Jim Buss he was a defensive coach.

    8 of the last 10 games over 100 points.

    Ranks them 3rd worst in league in that period.

    Jimmy know basketball and Brown knows

    And Lakers heading for 4th or 5th seed.

  88. man, bynum. way to make me look bad.

  89. 58-10 Nuff said

  90. Just tuned in for the end of the game. Why were Bynum, Gasol, and MWP still in the game down 16 with less than two minutes left in the game? Were they playing lazily, so MB was punishing them for poor play?

  91. Lakers franchise player 1st game w/o kobe loses by 20 and shoots 10 – 27. Drew lost this game for Lakers no getting around it

  92. Dude: The starters have to play. We have “no” bench. Literally

  93. I just don’t see us advancing in the playoffs. Our defense is just plain bad. We can’t get enough stops.

  94. @94 – Sure, our bench is terrible, but this is our fifth game in seven days. Why were our starters still in the game when we were down 16 with less than two minutes left? We weren’t going to win the game anyway.

  95. Bynum decided to take all the shots tonight knowing that Kobe wasn’t playing. The dude just wanted his numbers and obviously without success. Horrible!

  96. Being outscored by 39 points from the three and only getting 3 turnovers, which is a season low for a Lakers opponent, is a good recipe for a loss. This was the first game of 10+ points the Lakers were involved in since the road win at Dallas.

  97. What’s up with the 3-9 from the line.

  98. I’m sorry for my bad memory…can’t remember exactly the details…

    But who else was in the room when the Lakers interviewed MB?

    Was Mitch there? Daddy Bus (prob not)?

    Who else, besides Jimbo, is responsible for bringing MB to the Lakers?

    We’re fans, not coaches. We not suppose to know bball like they do…but it’s so clear, all across every single blog, bar, bed, phone…you name it, that MB is a very poor/weak coach. How did Jimbo do that?

    Oh wait…nevermind, the next horse racing is about to start.

  99. Great job by Bynum leading this team. 10 -27 just jacking up bad shots. Wasted good performances from his teammates.

    Anon: exactly.

  100. Does playoff seeding really matter with this team besides homecourt. We can lose to any of the top 8 in the west . As long as we arent playing okc/spurs in the first round we are ok.

  101. Just looking at the numbers. Blake had 0 points on 0-1 shooting, 1 assist, 0 steals, and 3 turnovers in 18 minutes, for a -14. Meanwhile, Telfair had 13 pts, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 0 turnovers in 22 minutes, for a +11. Did the backup PG matchup look as lopsided as it did on paper?

  102. Dude: I am not defending MB. However I must pick my battles and my major beef is with the FO. I will leave MB to you and others : )
    Magic Phil: I will warn you. Jimbo and all his relatives post on this site under fake names : ) They seem to be quiet tonight however : )

  103. Bynum did his best Kobe (10-27 from the field) and Shaq (3-9 from the FT line) impersonation in this game.

  104. We’re headed for a first round loss if we drop to 4 or 5. There is no way this team can beat Memphis. Might as well miss the playoffs and take our chances with the draft. Oh wait, we don’t have a pick…smh. We’re screwed either way.

  105. Dude: We lost 58-10 on the bench. There is no way for that to look anyway other than it did. This game was lost in pre-season and at the TD.

  106. I want to state, for the record, that I don’t believe that Bynum ‘lost’ this game for the Lakers. He had a bad happens- especially when you’re having to take tougher shots all night than you are used to. How many lobs did Bynum get tonight? How many times did Kobe drive the lane and dump it off- oh yeah. How many times did Kobe take a Gasol screen get doubled and pass to a wide open Gasol who then lobbed to Bynum? Oh yeah. Kobe wasn’t playing.

    This loss was not on Bynum. Not alone. He had a pretty productive night on the boards. I wish he would bring That every night. No. This 10-27 stat-line wasn’t the sole reason that we lost. Of course, Gasol was 14-25 so he could have taken a few more shots since his percentage was pretty good. Metta was 8-10 and Ebanks was 6-11- both very good shooting nights. If I just look at the stats, I start to wonder why Bynum was in full on chuck mode, right? Ah, but the eye-test tells a different story. He wasn’t just chucking willy-nilly. He was taking some pretty good shots most of the time. Shots that were, sadly, just a bit more difficult than usual.

    Now. There are a certain handful of posters here that post the same crap about our superstar when he has a poor shooting night. You know who you are. Where are you now when Bynum puts up a horrendous line as the #1 option? 23 points on 27 shots? Ugh.

    Bynum is well on his way to being the next superstar, if he can keep his head on straight, but let’s not give him the keys to the car yet. I happen to believe that this is just a blip on the radar for him, hopefully.

  107. Glove: lol

    Dude: yeah backup PG has been a major problem all season.

    I was expecting more from Bynum he was just chucking up shots. This is our franchise player guys.

    Anon: and people said those 2 games vs houston doesn’t matter.

  108. First off, I am happy for Ebanks. He played well, and deserves more burn, but then again, I am not sure what he did wrong to deserve NO burn.

    That all or none aspect wrt play time I think IS on Mike Brown.

    Second, if you didn’t watch the game, and you hear that the Lakers had 20 offensive rebounds and crushed the Suns on the boards 54 to 36, you figure that they dominated the paint and probably won the game.

    The Lakers did not even remotely look like a team tonight, as other than Bynum (his lackadaisical free throw shooting matched his body language on the floor), the individual performances weren’t terrible; it’s just that the lack of purpose was seen on both ends of the ball.

  109. Chicken little wants his sky back. The comments section of each post are the same ‘bloggers’ writing the same things over and over again with addendums of “Like I said” or “I told you so”s. Even when they add stats, its the same stats. The same information rehashed.

    I think it also needs to be said that the Suns were shooting lights out, running some very effective high pnr that’s tough to defend, period.

  110. Mike Redd n the 1st half and Shannon n the 2nd shot lights out, but with that being said, still the worst defensive performance of the year thus far … Bynum sure as hell took advantage of the shooting opportunities with Kobe being out. Too bad he shot the ball terribly. And maybe it was just me, but not once did I see him pass the ball. Did he even have assist? … As others have noted, hope after tonight’s performance that Ebanks can get some mins. But I highly doubt it … On to the Clippers game, hoping that the Kings can give us an assist. But once again, I highly doubt it. More than likely, by the end of the night, we’ll be tied in the lost column with our co-tenants. With them Bears from Memphis tracking us down.

  111. Gortat had 4 blocks. Our two offensive minded 7 footers had, duh, dunna, da zero blocks.

    This team has an identity, they all want to shoot the ball.

    The league only fears Bynum on the offensive end, but that’s not even a threat because they know his stamina is low. However, every player in the league drives the ball straight at Bynum with no fear.

    Bynum shot 10-27 with at least 12 of those shots coming within arms length of the basket against a center that’s not even mentioned as an elite center. But maybe Gortat’s a power forward.

  112. KenOak: I love it when you talk to the haters like that : )
    To follow up on some of your stats. Yes – most of the team actually shot pretty well. We shot 49%. We also rebounded well, crushing them by 18 boards. How do you lose by 20 with those stats? Oh yea – we have to play the junior varsity at the beginning of the 2nd and 4th quarters : )

  113. Don’t know why Sessions keeps going under PnR or lackidasical to get back to his man many open shots were made that way.

    The same PnR defense is being played and it’s not working. CP3 was smart enough to drag out the big for a mismatch and exploited it. Nash and Telfair were coming off the screen with at least 5 ft. all night. I don’t see why a change can’t be made there.

    I have noticed Barnes consitently gets COOKED on defense. his defense is porous at best Shannon was lighting him up like Nick young did the same lebron got hot that sunday and pierce did too after metta went out. He needs help on defense.

    Lastly Brown really needs to use timeous to stop momentum. PJ let players play it out but he has more credibility. Brown’s timeouts are always after the other team has complete momentum.

  114. point guards on the roster; why would delonte west sign with us? for the hell of it? and Michael Redd’s numbers this season aren’t that great.

    No profanity–remember?

    West signed a one-year deal for the minimum with Dallas. He might have chosen that deal over a Lakers deal, or he might not have. He is a combo guard who would have fit very well pre-Sessions and still would fit now. He signed with a Dallas team that has Kidd, Beaubois, Carter, and Terry. His PER is over 15.

    Kapono had a PER of 4.5 when he left the Lakers and has since been released by Cleveland. His PER last was 1.6 and has not been over 10 in three years. Redd’s PER going into tonight was 13.8 and I am sure it went up. Redd was looking for work in pre-season and IIRC his agent even contacted the Lakers.

    I recall your being rude and snarky towards me in pre-season based on my view of the roster. You were wrong about it then, and you are still wrong now.

  115. Ebanks is a better option at SF than Barnes. Hope he gets more time to prove it.

    I kinda missed Kobe tonight.

  116. KenOak: Bynum lost this game imo. He was off he should’ve let his teammates get more shots. 10 -27 more fga than points. As the leader of the team when Kobe’s not playing he has to step up and he didn’t tonight

  117. The same information rehashed.

    Feel free to add something new if you like. This is about the 10th time you have complained about other posters who are too pessimistic for your tastes.

  118. Kareem: For my part – sorry – I am usually not like this in game threads. I am in a bad mood, because my guy did not play, Shannon played great ( a sore spot with me), and the bench was at a new low (even for them). So I have excuses : ) And the sky is not falling. However it is very dark and filled with ominous clouds : )

  119. Hey Robert,
    I’m with ya man! I am coming around to your way of thinking about our FO, as well. There were options out there for us. Arenas, Redd, T-Mac, Shannon. We could have any of them to play backup behind Kobe, but instead we picked up Kapono? How many total minutes has he even played this year?

    Hell. We could have even had that D-Leaguer who torched us the other night! I agree with you that our problems stem mostly from a roster standpoint, but man I’m beginning to lose faith in MB. His rotations just seem off, and that is being polite. His feel for the flow of the game seems poor too.

  120. This was partly a schedule and context loss.

    But the team’s issues on D are real, and tonight’s game drew a bright line under the FO’s failure to land a decent backup 2 when Shannon left (Kobe out, Redd and Shannon combine for 47 points). I find it strange that people seem offended by these issues being brought up.

  121. PER:

    West 15.4
    Redd 13.8
    Kapono 4.5 (since released by Cleveland).

    Kapono’s PER last year was 1.6 and it was 8.4 in 2010.

  122. rr,
    Back up SG has been an issue all season. Not sure why it should ruffle feathers now. I mean, Kobe’s minutes speak to it. There were reasons to not go after West or retain Brown, right or wrong. But, it doesn’t change the fact that they’ve tried to piecemeal things together at that spot and have mostly been unsuccessful.

  123. Kapono was signed 2 days before the cp3 trade that was nixed. Kupchak said he was working on that for a while. I assume it was a package deal with Kapono. He didn’t play well at all but that’s why he was signed no other reason.

  124. Why is the bench a surprise? You get what you pay for, right.

  125. Tonight is the kind of night where fish couldve rallied the bench to play a little harder in the 2nd quarter, take some shots away from bynum and at the very least provided a veteran presence sans kobe. But oh yeah, it was deemed that he wouldn’t tale a bench role well and that 2 more years of (in my opinion) one of the 10 worst players in the league, steve blake, would be a better option going forward

  126. Also, i don’t need to go into detail, but gerald green is a young, super athletic, good shooter who LOVED learning behind kobe on the bench, but we never showed any interest. I am so fed up with the logic displayed when building this team.

  127. I still don’t get the need to lie about the reason for trading Derek Fisher. A simple it was what we thought would be best for the team going forward would have sufficed. Neither, do I get why the Lakers fan base consistently speak ill of a 37 year old player that gave his all when on the floor. It would be nice if some of our younger players played with the heart of that 37 year old.

  128. I wasnt talking bad about fish. I wish we still had him… Further to your point, i wish the young guys were allowed to play and show if they have heart. I refuse to believe that goudelock or morris are worse than steve blake. Refuse.

  129. When is the last time a Laker drew a charge?

  130. rr,

    thank you, but I am quite pessimistic about our championship hopes. It’s not the tone, but the rehashing that really bothers me. The first of my ten complaints included a comment that I agree with people like you and Robert, because you’re obviously keen observers and do your homework. But as Robert himself acknowledged (and his 9 or so posts calling out the FO in this thread alone as testament), there is a line between pointing out fair assessments and overkill.

  131. @131, the last time Derek Fisher wore a Lakers uniform.

    sald0gg, I know you weren’t speaking ill of Derek Fisher, I agree with you. My comments were directed to the FO and Lakers fans that made disparaging comments about Derek Fisher after he was traded. Fisher has already made his value felt by the way he played against the Lakers when OKC couldn’t score. And, dare I say that Fisher’s play will win be the reason OKC win’s a playoff series this season.

    “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” I want to know “What’s Eating Andrew Bynum?” If he continues to play disinterested and uninspired defense the Lakers will get swept in the first round.

  132. Robert

    Brown was hired by Jim Buss as as a defensive coach.

    Last 10 games teams scored over 100 8 times. That’s 27th in the NBA. Things were suppose to get better when they learned the new defense.

    Either they are tuning him out or he can’t coach.

    Either way this team can’t defend and with the 30th rated bench there is little or no chance the new Jimmy/Brown dynasty will get out of the West.

    It’s been said coaching is a 10/10 thing. Great coaches like Pop or Chicago are worth 10 games a year. Bad coaches are worth 10 losses.

    Now how do you rate Brown?

  133. Anonymous,

    This has already been brought up countless times. According to “Jimmy”, Jerry and Mitch have been involved in all major management decisions, including the hiring of Brown and the nixed deal for Paul. Why people insist on attributing all responsibility for the younger Buss is still baffling to me.

  134. According to “Jimmy”, Jerry and Mitch have been involved in all major management decisions, including the hiring of Brown and the nixed deal for Paul. Why people insist on attributing all responsibility for the younger Buss is still baffling to me.–

    This may be true, but OTOH, what is he going to say? “Yeah, I am running the show now. Mitch is just around to place the calls, and we have put the old man out to pasture.” We can’t assume that we know how the FO works based on planned, for-the-record public statements.

    For example, based on Kupchak’s history with the org–serving under West for several years and then taking over–it seems reasonable to guess that Kupchak would have preferred to hire Shaw, and it seems very likely that MK wanted Ronnie Lester to succeed him.

    But if MK was opposed to the Brown hire, he can’t really say that in public, and that goes for a lot of other issues as well.

  135. 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.