Lakers/Nuggets: The Matt Barnes Show

Rey Moralde —  April 13, 2012

Box Score: Lakers 103, Nuggets 97
Offensive Efficiency: Lakers 110.8, Nuggets 104.3
True Shooting %: Lakers 63.3%, Nuggets 50.9%

For the fourth straight game, the Lakers were going to be without Kobe Bryant, who was still out with tuberculosis or whatever that shin injury is called. Looks like it was up to the other guys to step it up again. Also, Coach Mike Brown didn’t coach due to personal reasons. John Kuester, former Detroit head man, had the reins for tonight. I almost expected a mutiny.

And, yes, I totally expected Andrew Bynum to get 35 rebounds in this game.

The Good:
He didn’t. But Bynum ended up with 30 points and was actually efficient in his shooting. He went 11 for 19 on the field and he got to the stripe, too (8 for 11). Granted, it wasn’t exactly pretty early on for Bynum and we’ll get to that later. Oh, and he had eight rebounds. Disappointment.

Against San Antonio, it was Metta World Peace that achieved his Laker career high. Tonight? It was Matt Barnes. He scored 24 points and pulled down 10 caroms (tied for the Laker high!). Yeah, I’m kinda disappointed he doesn’t have much of the El DeBarge hairstyle anymore but he was certainly getting into the rhythm of the night. Barnes hustled everywhere and made all four of his shots behind the arc. They don’t win this game without his potent scoring (YES) and scrappiness. He should’ve worn a hockey mask tonight.

Speaking of Metta, he started off fast on the offensive end. He eventually ended the game with 14 points but his hands were a bigger factor today as he ended up with 5 steals. And he also grabbed 8 boards. The small forwards for the Lakers are kicking it into high gear.

Pau Gasol didn’t have the best scoring game (14 points) but he did have ten boards and three swats. He also helped move the ball around with 5 of the Lakers’ 25 assists. Ramon Sessions struggled but he had a decent line at 7-4-6. And Steve Blake had his third consecutive good game with 7 points, 3 assists, and 2 steals off the pine.

And, of course, Staples Center fans got tacos and the Laker fans on the internet got virtual tacos. Plus the Lakers clinched a playoff spot with the win so don’t panic about that!

The Bad:
Bynum continues to have his issues with double teams (his frustrations probably made him get lax on D in the first half). The Nuggets came back a few times when they started quintuple-teaming (relax… I could get hyperbolic) Bynum even before he receives the ball. Of course, when they stopped doing that, Bynum made them pay.

Andre Miller has a YMCA game that can never be beat. He had a 20-6-6 line. He’s virtually had the same game since he was in college and probably when he was 8 months old. It never ceases to amaze me. And Al Harrington always seems to do well against the Lakers. Al Harrington finished with 18 points and reminded everybody that turtles fight with honor.

The Spurs only had ONE offensive board in the previous game. Tonight? The Nuggets had EIGHTEEN (in overall rebounds, the Lakers still won, 45-40). The Lakers forgot to box out Manimal (Kenneth Faried) and Pierre (JaVale McGee). They combined for 11 offensive boards.

Also, I’d like to know the stats for most double-digit games blown in a season. I believe the Lakers lead in that department. They were up as many as 15 points. Oh, Lakers. You’re so Hollywood. You just have to keep making it dramatic. If I wanted drama, I’d go rewatch my Melrose Place DVDs.

Lastly, I was hoping JaVale McGee would do something moronic. He didn’t and he actually had a very good game (14 points off 7/9 shooting and 10 boards). Though his only misses on the field were critical tip-ins that were botched late in the game.

The Ugly:
Turnovers were the story. The Lakers ended up with 22 giveaways. Gasol had six and Bynum had four. What was maddening was their post entry passes. If messing up a post entry pass was a crime, we’d have a bunch of Lakers in jail now.

Also, it’s amazing that the Nuggets had SIXTY-EIGHT points in the paint. 68 out of their 97. The Nuggets had 21 fastbreak points so even without those, that’s still a ridiculous amount of points in the paint. How about that vaunted frontcourt, eh, Lakers? Oh, well. It was a good thing that the Lakers didn’t get into a shootout/track meet with the Nuggets because that would’ve been disastrous.

The Play Of The Game:
I will go with the steal and the dunk by MWP in the first quarter. It really shows that he’s healthy, too. Keep doing that thang.

The Lakers are now 1 1/2 games ahead of the #4 Clippers. At this point, they’re probably not going to get any higher than the third seed. So they’ll have to keep playing their ball and continue to have momentum as the playoffs inch closer. They may not have Kobe again in their next game. But it’s probably a good thing as his teammates gain more confidence and Bean gets some much-needed rest.

The Lakers’ next game is against the Mavericks on a Sunday matinee. Great. We all know how the Lakers do on a Sunday afternoon. If it doesn’t rain, maybe you’re better off chillin’ in the park and waiting for the sun to go down along with your homies…

Have a great weekend. Even with this ridiculous wind going on in Southern California.

Rey Moralde

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127 responses to Lakers/Nuggets: The Matt Barnes Show

  1. Matt Barnes is giving Jerry Buss his $2 million worth. Is there another veteran NBA player outperforming his contract more than Barnes? Blake makes twice as much as Barnes. Lol.

  2. Two things:
    (1) Barnes and Ron-Ron are seriously awesome right now.
    (2) Drew needs to get a clue on what to do when he’s doubled, and he needs to keep a clue. He was passing out of the double team just fine in the first quarter, but when he returned to the game and the Nuggs continued to double and triple him, he suddenly was reluctant to pass and it hurt us.

    OK three things.
    (3) Sessions is playing with two injuries right now. He’s got a dislocated finger on his shooting hand, and a sprained left shoulder. It’s obvious that the injuries are hampering his effectiveness, but he’s still the best option we’ve got at the point.

    OK four things. Four things.
    (4) Free Jordan Hill! When neither of our two backup bigs is giving us anything and we’re getting killed trying to get a defensive rebound, why not bring in one of the best rebounders in the league?

  3. Tuberculosis? Looks like Magellan has read too many Russian novels. Hey to any readers out there, when Metta World Peace is acting a bit weird doesn’t he kinda remind you of Prince Myshkin? And Bynum is a bit like Anna Karenina: beautiful to watch and alluring for a fan wanting a championship, but really impulsive. Alright back to studying for finals…

  4. Dude-
    You’re spot on. Drew does pretty well with the doubles until he gets frustrated and pouty. Then he starts forcing things.

    Maybe Kobe can come back and allow Sessions to have a break for a game or two. Barnes and Mwp are playing like beasts right now and it is exactly what the doctor ordered. We would be competing for 1st or 2nd in the west if they had played like this all year long.

  5. “Also, it’s amazing that the Nuggets had SIXTY-EIGHT points in the paint”

    Amazing indeed…

    I appreciate Bynum’s effort on offense, but his D is much needed. Remember last game against SAS?

    And kudos to Barnes. Excellent game.

  6. @Treylake – good point, Barnes is definitely earning his $2m plus some. He was a great pickup.

  7. It would be interesting to find out which game is more important to him:
    The 30 rebounds or the 30 points?

    I think he’d say the points.

  8. I can’t wait for Andrew Bynum to dish out 30 assists!

  9. Good recap RR.

    Barnes again had more or equal rebounds then Andrew. Pull out the 30 game and he is under 10 the last 5. Is that called bounded in the mood or not when not.

    Other teams watching him will be all over that in the playoffs. Often feel he would rather force a bad shot then pass out to a open man.

    Still if M and M at small forward continue to shoot well outside and Kobe comes back teams will pay big time for double and triple teams.

    Of couse Drew has to buy into the clear pass not the black hole mentality.

    Crush Dallas Sunday so I can laugh at Cuban on the Shark Tank next week.

  10. R. R. (8)
    Or 30 blocks.

  11. I hope we are appreciating what we are seeing with Bynum. He has maybe the best dexterity I’ve seen in a seven foot player. His hand/eye coordination is incredible. What I’m trying to say is he has incredible hands.

  12. And btw… Drew has learned from Kobe. Every tenth time he tries to attack the double team. And just like Kobe… Half the time it works… And half the time it doesn’t. That doesn’t mean he can’t handle double teams. It means he is selfish. Selfish in a good way.

  13. Is there a chance Mike Brown was fired? Head coaches don’t miss games for “personal reasons” right?

  14. Kobe knows Lakers are his team now, but Andrew Bynum is MVP. Won’t be long before Bynum chant begins. Possibly in the playoffs.

    Not sure there is a player this dominant who has so much more room for improvement.

    – Double, Triple team passing, scoring
    – Consistent defensive Intensity
    – Emotion control

    Bynum is about 70% of his potential.
    If he develops the other 30% OMG

    Or maybe I am being to critical…
    OMG now if you are an opponent.

  15. Aaron–again with the double team thing. There is a saying I have for my kids when they harp on something in an effort to “make it so”—its goes like this–”Saying the same thing over and over again isn’t going to make it true.” I admit that I haven’t gotten out my slide rule and checked every advanced metric–but Andrew has, for the most part, been very mediocre when doubled–both in terms of scoring, and in terms of making the defense pay for the double. He is not making his decisions quickly enough, and far too many of his decisions end in a TO.

    There is a reason Drew gets swarmed so much–he doesn’t consistently make the defense pay for swarming him. Once he learns this–he will finally be the elite player you currently have constructed in your mind.

  16. Great game off the bench by Barnes. If he + MWP keep it up, the SF spot will not be a weakness. That said, in spite of Barnes, the bench was still outscored 54-33. Do we ever win that stat? Further, Murphy + McR are just completely disappearing: 20 minutes; 2 pts, 2 Rebs, 0 dimes.

  17. By the way, I know everyone thinks I am the hardest critic of our bench. This is not true however. Amongst Aaron’s many posts last night, he announced that we have 5 All Stars as our starters. Clearly if we do have 5 All Stars, you could have almost anyone on your bench and still be by far the best team in the league. We are not by far the best team in the league, so either Aaron is “incorrect” about the starters or he feels even more strongly about our bench than I do. Which one is it Aaron? : )

  18. @ Robert

    We have an all-NBA starting SG and a second team all NBA starting C, with a top five-”ish” PF, an average (or maybe slightly above-average) starting PG, and a starting SF that has ranged from “disgustingly bad” to “unbelievably good” at various times, and probably is average, “or so.”

    It’s tempting to annoint Sessions as an all-star, but the problem we have as Lakers fans is our point of reference–compared to Fisher and Blake, Sessions seems like an all-Star at times. (Sidebar–last night I have to admit that you can make a case that Blake played a little better than Sessions–last night Sessions was clearly off)

    Similarly, it’s tempting to look at Ron and get carried away about his offensive explosion because he was SO BAD offensively for so much of the season. If he had been playing at even a “merely mediocre” offensive level for the first 90% of the season, this recent explosion wouldn’t seem so remarkable.

    In short, we have two clear all-stars, one bordeline all star, and a couple of average guys in our starting five.

  19. Warren Wee Lim April 14, 2012 at 7:38 am

    I just wanna say this well ahead of time, if there’s a package I’d like Pau to be traded for, it’d be coming from the Nuggets. That Farreid guy is super active. He’d be a Mike Brown type of SF/PF.

  20. Warren Wee Lim April 14, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Robert, I pity you for even minding Aaron at all.

  21. Concerned about Brown;a gym rat doesn`t miss a game unless it`s life or death. Would like to see Hill get some time against Dallas;neither McBob or Murphy are doing it consistently.

  22. Robert,

    Our record is an accumulation of months of games, many of which were had without Sessions. I think there is some truth to what Darius said several days ago, that there are the budding signs of chemistry. Five all stars maybe taking it a little bit far, but maybe Barnes + MWP = 1 all star. If they keep putting up these numbers they’ll be 1 all star + 1 6th man. Sure we can try not to read too much into things, but as the second season fast approaches, these games matter a little more. It’s a what are you doing for me now and not back then.

  23. Tuesday Spurs will be in midst of 3 games 3 nites.

    Will Pop sit 3 amigo’s for Lakers game?

    How hard does Pop push for number #1 seed?

    Spurs are going nowhere in the playoffs no matter the seed. They can’t sneek.

    Memphis, OKC, Lakers or Clippers will end Spurs season. Dallas may even end the “Pop” dream for them so they better enjoy kudos for their regular season.

  24. Must be a serious situation for a NBA coach to miss a game, like the guy or not-wishing the best to the Brown family. I actually think he’s done a pretty good job in a near impossible situation.

    Still amazed how Andre Miller gets to the hole. He’s dumpy, not particularly quick anymore, just knows the angles and when to put the ball up. He also gave the worst interview in the history of the world when with the Clippers. Monotone, obviously disgusted to be with them-right along the lines of “both teams played hard”. Wish it was on YouTube, but it was a long time ago…

    Bynum 30 assists? One year Wilt got tired of the critics saying he didn’t pass enough, and actually led the league in assists-along with 24 points and 24 boards a game.

    Like how the Lakers are passing and sharing the ball, hope it continues when Kobe comes back. He can still get his 25 shots in the flow of the offense-really, Kobe, you can..

  25. Robertt/Kareem,
    I was saying if Ron Artest is truly healthy and keeps playing like the Ron Artest of old… Then the Lakers have five starters playing at an all star level since Ramon has played at that same level since joinging the team. It’s actually hard to ignore Artest at this point. He has dominated games in both ends of the floor. There are just no ifs ands or buts about it. The guy has been an all star in this league. Statistically speaking (with Kobe) the last few weeks we have five starters playing at an elite level. Robert… I have said since we brought in a quality starting PG we have the best team in the league. So as you think “we clearly don’t have the best team in the league” I will ki sly disagree with you. I have said since Ramon entered the starting lineup I think this is a championship team. I said before we traded for Ramon that with a quality PG this is a championship team. So I’m am pretty consistent here. I’m suprised that most NBA analysts didn’t/don’t see it. I think it’s because the Lakers are the Yankees. It’s boring to pick them. Most people root against them. Look at out starting lineup? Everyone. Look at our top 8 players. When you add in a suddenly healthy Ron Artest who now is moving so well he is slowing down on fast breaks to dunk on 6-10 guys? Let’s break down our starting lineup objectively now.

    Ramon Sessions- Statistically a top 5 PG wince joining the Lakers. A Rod Strickland type of talent. He fast, quick, and can shoot from long range. Ramon is a true PG… He is always looking to set up his teammates.

    Kobe- Just still the best SG in the NBA

    Artest- Simce he announced a clean bill of health for the first time in two years… He has quite simply been one of the best players in the NBA. If you throw in his now potent offensivle game and throw that in with his even more dominating than usual defense (he just had five steals last night) its hard to keep pretending he isn’t a star in this league again.

    Gasol- At worst a top 5 PF in the world. At best the second best post player in the world behind fellow teammate Andrew Bynum. The guy can shoot the three and throw in turn around fade alway jumpers.

    Bynum- We don’t even know what we are seeing in this guy. Is he Shaq? Or with those rediculous hands he looks like a cross between Hakeem amd Patrick Eiwing. The guy literally is doing things I haven’t seen seven footers of his size do.
    His quickness is good, his hops are nice, his agility is suprising. But if you throw in all of those things with his length and brut strength… And then combine that with the secret sauce (those historically great hands) you have Andrew Bynum. His coordination and hand/eye coordination is breathtaking. It’s the subtle kind of athletisism that doesmt jump out at you like a Blake Griffin slam dunk… But I assure you it’s more important in making a great NBA player.

    So yea… Since I’ve always been a talent wins NBA championships guy… I really like our chances.

  26. Aaron rumor has it that Brown was reading your 2013 posts about Andrew being the best player in the history of the NBA and went home to blow up his computer.

    As far as 5 all-stars I have Sessions rated 20th PG and Metta based on tbe season rated 26th.

    Now that’s one big all-star team!

    As for Maloofs, they have serious money problems in both the Palms Casino(took out huge expansion loan in the middle of recession) and a bad money losing team.

    We don’t want these McCort clones in Southern California. We already have Ducks we sure don’t need Turkeys.

  27. mindcrime,
    Again… For the season you can say Artest and Ramon are average starters. But since Ramon joined the starting lineup he and Artest have played like top 5 players at their respective positions. That’s my point. Why can’t Ramon keep playing like this? He is a true PG finally playing with talented guys around him (someone true PGs need). Why can’t Ron Artest keep playing like this? If its true what everyone is saying and Artest really was limited by a sever lumbar problem… Than the Artest we are seeing now is the same Artest we say his entire career before he came to the Lakers.

    Andrew Bynum is playing very well against double teams. He was doubled 33 times last game with the ball. He passed effectively out of the double team 28 times. The only times he didn’t he tried to attack the double teams effect getting off a good shot 3 times and turning it over twice. That’s a fantastic percentage.

  28. Via LA Times…

     3. Bynum handled Denver’s double teams well. Everytime he touched the ball, the Nuggets swarmed him. That’s become the typical routine for the Lakers’ center, particularly without Bryant there to make defenders think twice about fronting the post. Bynum’s 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting looks good on paper. But it remains more impressive how he got them. Bynum scored 10 of his points on fastbreaks and six off teammates’ misses, and 11 of his points came at the free-throw line. And when he faced double teams, Bynum showed patience in passing the ball back out.

    Bynum will continue facing these issues even when Bryant returns. But it’s a good sign that he didn’t allow that to temper his effectiveness in finding other ways to score. Pau Gasol also proved reliable by scoring 14 points on six-of-13 shooting with looks in the post and mid-range area.

    Ko,
    Great. And I have myself rated as the leagues second best SG. Nice. I have Kibe rated as the best of all time eight years ago. Not many care how you rank anything. We are talking about right now. That’s what matters. Right now the way our players are currently playing we have five all star caliber players. No other way of seeing it.

  29. how concerned should we be about Kobe’s health at this point? Are we gonna see him in decent shape for the playoffs? It’s good he’s getting some rest, but this is Kobe – he’d play with an amputated leg if he could.

  30. Dont confuse passing the ball out of the double team with passing it out effectively.
    Just getting it out without turning it over is no big deal.
    Getting it out effectively is actually hitting a cutter or finding the spot up shooter. Andrew rarely does that. Yet.

  31. Drew will need to string together dominant defensive games in the postseason. He wasn’t last night.

    What’s wrong with Sessions? His PnR has been neutralized last 2 games.

    Really hope Kobe isn’t in derrick rose form when he comes back sounds like he may not be back for the regular season.

    Aaron: your over dramatic love for Bynum is quite hilarious. He’s a hofer in your eyes already.

  32. Re the double teams–

    I know we aren’t going to convince you otherwise, Aaron, but it’s easy to say someone is performing well statistically if you set the bar low enough–in this case you have defined the term “effectively” to mean “not a disaster.” That he “passed out of” a double team 28 times without turning it over doesn’t mean that he made the other team pay for the double-team–which is my definition, and most other people’s definition of “effective” Most times, even though Bynum is able to “pass out of” a double team without turning it over, the pass is late, the pass is not placed well (for instance, last night multiple AB passes hit guys set up on the perimeter at their ankles) or the pass is to the wrong guy–not disasters–but nevertheless providing a positive result for the other team–and providing more incentive to keep doubling him until he proves he can adjust–which he hasn’t done.

  33. Re Sessions and Artest:

    Actually, for the season Artest is a demonstrably below-average starter (and I’m giving him credit for his defense here–were it not for that I would say he was horrendous). Even with regard to his recent performance (a very small sample size”) “all-Star” for a SF in the NBA is a high bar–in recent years all star” meant we are talking about Melo, LeBron, Durant, Pierce–Artest even lately isn’t playing to that level. I’m happy for Ron, and happy to be calling him Ron again, but the jury is still out on calling him “all star caliber” right now.

    Sessions might be putting up good numbers since his arrival, but do we really think Sessions is in Westbrook, Rose, Nash, Paul, Parker, Rondo Williams territory? That’s all-star level, and Sessions, while a big upgrade over what LA had, isn’t even close to that level yet.

  34. Considering the Lakers only won by 6 I think they needed all 30 of Bynum’s points. Let’s just accept the fact that Bynum will never be Ben Wallace. Wallace didn’t have to score points on his team. On this team, even with Kobe, Bynum needs to score points for the Lakers to win. And let’s be honest. Sometimes offensive production comes at the expense of defensive production. Bynum is not the only player on this team who sometimes compromises his defense for his offense. It is what it is. They won. On to the next game.

  35. kehntangibles: I’m very concerned he isn’t jumping yet.

    http://www.rotoworld.com/headlines/nba/179104/basketball-headlines?r=1

    trogers: if you think about it if he played the ben wallace role for this team. there unbeatable

  36. For all those concerned about how Drew handles being doubled & tripled team, remember, that doesn’t happen as often with Kobe on the court. Play-off opponents are going to have a difficult time attempting to double team both Drew & Kobe…and then there’s Gasol, Sessions, MWP, & Barnes.

    On that note, isn’t it interesting to see how offensively effective MWP & Barnes are when they get a chance? Guys are stepping up big time.

    Are we starting to see the “new & improved Lakers”? I hope so.

    Hopefully we’ve seen the last of the days when Kobe takes 23 of the Lakers 80 fga’s per game (29%) at an inefficient 43% clip. Especially since 3 of his fellow starters averaging double figure points have fg%’s between .493 & .564 (Sessions, Gasol, & Bynum).

    Here’s to the “New & Improved Lakers”.

  37. Please, forget that ridiculous Bynum/Ben Wallace talk. Bynum is a far more talented & versatile player than Wallace ever was.

  38. Guys… Sometimes you can be too close to the forest to see the trees. Everywhere else in the country they can see the trees here in LA. They can actualy see the tree. That tree is Andrew Bynum. Andrew Bynum has been the best Center in the world since the All Star break. Everyone can see it but die hard lakers fans on this site because too many of you all live in the past. This season Lamar Odom is no longer a quality NBA player and Andrew Bynum is the most dominant player in the NBA. Goerge Karl can see it. Chris Webber and Shaq have seen it from the start of the year. To be honest I’m not alone on the Bynum bandwagon. To be honest there is practically no room left for you guys. You guys are in the minority. The irony… That the biggest Lakers fans are the last ones to realize what Andrew Bynum has become. The guy is leading off ESPN’S FIRST TAKE trading off time with LeBron James. He is becoming a superstar on and off the court. The debate ended a while ago. Catch up please.

  39. Aaron,

    I’m with you on Artest playing out of his mind recently (people using season long statistics are erring, imo). Over the last ten games Artest has played 32 MPG and posted:

    13.1 PPG
    60.1 TS%
    42.5 3PT%
    4.8 RPG
    1.9 APG
    1.2 SPG

    Just to entertain Aaron’s fancies, here are Barnes’ numbers over the same period in 26 MPG:

    7.8 PPG
    50.3 TS%
    32.3 3PT%
    7.3 RPG
    2.8 APG
    —-

    I think that this production from our two SFs is outstanding and those who use season-long statistics to assess the rotation’s current status should stop doing so… it’s clearly inappropriate. As Aaron rightly points out, the three spot has not been a weakness for the last couple weeks. Hopefully this run is extended onward.
    —-

    Also, I don’t care what the LA times or the KBros say about Bynum and double teams. I think that they’re wrong. Bynum was slow passing out when he was caught too far from the hoop to go to work. From the segment you quoted, I think there is some indications that this is true. He got 26 of his 30 points from fast breaks, FTs, and put backs. That means he wasn’t really scoring effectively through the doubles.

  40. Aaron “Bynum has been the best center in the world since the all star break” — 22 pts 11 reb 57%. I would say yes

    “Most dominant player in the nba” — that title will stay with lebron for the foreseeable future.

  41. Seems I may have to write on Bynum and double teams again. Maybe on Monday.

  42. “The debate ended a while ago. Catch up please.”

    +++++++++++++++++++

    And that, Aaron, is why we all throw our hands up and say “that’s Aaron.” I already said I knew we wouldn’t convince you otherwise–you have decided that Drew is some incarnation of Ewing, Shaq and Hakeem–but there is a TON of debate about whether Bynum is what you say he is–the most dominant player in the league.

    I’ll settle for whatever he has been this year plus a little more consistent effort, especially on the defensive end– and be happy with it regardless of the label.

  43. Barnes is avg. as many boards (5.3) off the bench as Kobe (5.4).

  44. #43. Barnes has always been one of the elite rebounding SF’s. If memory serves, he was one of the top two or three SF’s in rebound rate the season before the Lakers signed him. Has a natural nose for the ball and the hustle to go get it. It really adds value to the bench, especially when Bynum sits and he’s on the floor.

  45. Darius: agree his energy is non stop. he’s avg. 8 rebs this month. he should be in next year’s plans.

    Ron is shooting 52% in april. best of his career.

  46. now that drew is commanding double-teams on the catch, brown has responded with a good counter-move.

    whereas the team used to sacrifice offensive rebounds in order to set up their half-court defense and defend in transition, now even their perimeter players are looking to crash the offensive glass.

    it’s a smart move because a double-team scrambles defenses and makes it harder to box out defensive assignments.

    that’s what i see out there. can anyone confirm this?

  47. but there is a TON of debate about whether Bynum is what you say he is–the most dominant player in the league.

    ___

    With Howard out, Bynum is the best all-around center in the NBA as of this minute. “Most dominant” does not necessarily mean “best” but Bynum is obviously not the best player in the league. Aaron likes PER and uses it a lot:

    LeBron James 30.2
    Andrew Bynum 23.3
    Shaq 2001 30.2

    Bynum is having a big year, and as a Laker fan, I am glad he is. But that is as far as it goes.

  48. Pau’s career in April as Laker – 20.4 pts 10.8 reb 3.4 ast 1.3 blk 55% fg

  49. Ha. I never said he is the most dominant player in the league. I said he was the most dominant big man in tw league. Something that is hard to argue. The only other big in the discussion is Dwight. But when Dwight can’t score one on one in the low post against Perkins that puts Bynum over Dwight. Have Darius read you the list of big men putting up Bynums numbers this year. I’ll repeat for him… Hakeem, Dwight, and Andrew Bynum. Pretty short list.

  50. I agree with most of people here say about Bynum…but I was much more impressed by his performance against the Spurs. Rebounds are a very important stat and Drew did excellent on that game; no wonder we beat them with some easy.

  51. I really like our chances in the playoffs now. Metta has been playing well long enough now to consider it a trend. There is no reason to believe it wont continue. If Kobe is healthy and Sessions can heal his shoulder and finger we will be fine. Andrew has given 110% in the playoffs even when hurt. Pau plays hard when he has something to prove. If Blake and Barnes continue to play well we are good to go.

  52. @31 – You ignoring my comments? :D

    Sessions is playing through two injuries right now, a sprained left shoulder and a dislocated finger on his shooting hand. Before he reinjured his finger and injured his shoulder, he was a top five point guard in the league in PER (counting only his games with the Lakers). He is not driving nearly as much, and isn’t running the P&R nearly as much as he was before he hurt himself.

  53. @45 – thats why its inconceivable to compare Bynum to Shaq.

    Shaq was so important to stop that teams purposely had 2 to 3 (often bad) 7 footers that could be tree stumps just to hack him. He terrified teams and the league so much they changed the defensive rules in the lanes and created the Hack-A-Shaq rule (can’t foul intentionally away from the ball in the last 2 minutes)

    And, Shaq was doubled all the time. But by 2000-2002 he had another young, pretty awesome player (I’m guessing you know who it is) and an assortment of shooters (Fox/Shaw/Horry/Fisher/Harper) who spread the floor well enough that it was a mistake to leave them wide open.

    Also, Doubling Shaq meant letting young Kobe destroy you, so it became less of an option, and teams had to hope to shut down all other players other than those 2 to win the game. As in – let Shaq and Kobe have theirs, but make sure the 3rd best guy has 7 points.

    This is Bynum’s first good season – and there have been plenty of games where he was… shall we say…. a liability.

    Maybe lets hold off on the rhetoric of greatest big men since Hakeem?

  54. dude: oh i see it. 2) Three things. but a dislocated finger? I wrote my mid term with a dislocated finger after getting it caught between a beer keg and table. lol ouch.

    He was awful last night hopefully he can rest his injuries. Or find a better way to be effective. we need him

    Aaron: Hakeem?

  55. “This season Lamar Odom is no longer a quality NBA player and Andrew Bynum is the most dominant player in the NBA”

    +++++++++++++++

    Aaron–that was what brought on the “most dominant” rash of comments from the rest of us.

    I’m ready to spare everyone else my nitpicking, though. My point is still this–whatever Drew is (i.e. wherever on the “best ___ in the NBA” list he is) I’ll take it if he will add just a little more consistency in terms of effort–or maybe the word is focus…whichever you prefer….

  56. That’s right. Hakeem “The Dream”. Darius… What was it? Points above 18 PPG, FG percentage above 56 percent, and blocks above 2? Only three guys have done that for an entire season. Hakeem, Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum if he keeps it up for four more games. We can’t ignore all the sings guys. He is putting up numbers few have before him. We are talking about legendary names. Can he stay healthy? I don’t think so. That’s why we have to appreciate this now. It might be our only time watching Andrew Bynum in his prime. We can catch on late like people did with Kobe. We need to appreciate him now.

  57. Mindcrime,
    Fair enough. My mistake. I didn’t mean that. I meant most dominant big man in the league today. As we all know I love me some LeBron. He is having the most dominant year of all time.

  58. Aaron

    Why don’t you think Andrew can stay healthy. Do you expect Kobe to crash full force into his knee again causing 2 years of knee issues?

  59. I won’t comment on your oppinions. But when you “misremember” facts…. Fox, Horry, and Fisher were all mid 30′s percent three point shooters. So… Not really terrifying from the perimeter. Shaq wasn’t doubled all the time because he could be guarded 10 feet from the basket (he didn’t have a long distance hook or shot) and there were more quality Centers in the NBA.

  60. Shaq would get double/triple teamed and still get 30-15. same with Hakeem. Bynum may reach that level. I hope he does so in the postseason.

  61. Michael H,
    Good question. I’ve spoke to many sports medicine docs. They said even before Kobe took out his knee Bynum was high risk. He had knew injuries in high school. He has a wide set pelvis and is knock kneed. That greatly enhances your risk of knee problems. It also limits your risk of ankle injuries. (Remember when Bynum said he had “great ankles”). Well… That’s all without Kobe taking his knee out. Because of that alone he is of greater risk. He was lucky when his miniscus didn’t need to be taken out as was “repaired”. But those ligaments will now be forever “stretched out”. And more vulnerable to tears or displacements. That why he is still wearing that big brace. His knee is fine. It’s just that he needs more support keeping the knee in place with stretched out ligaments. With all of these things in play the odds are against Bynum not getting seriously hurt again. After all… He is a seven feet giant who moves like a PG. He is asking for it anyways.

  62. Aaron
    I see your point however unlike Oden, Bowie and Bill Walton all of Andrews injuies have been a result of common NBA plays. Coming down on a foot, contact etc. And if Howard is developing disk problems I like Andrew over him to stay healthy. He has put a lot of wrk in strengthening his core which helps. Until gets hurt just by running I’m not going to worry about it.

  63. Aaron,

    Just to have fun with you but (As per Basketball reference):
    Ron Harper – Career 3p% = 44.6%

    2000:
    Rice = 36.7%
    Fisher = 34.6%
    Shaw = 38.2%
    Harper = 39.9%

    2001:
    Fisher = 41.2%
    Shaw = 39.9 %
    Harper = 46.9%

    2002 – 3pfg%
    Fisher = 41.1%
    Hunter = 38.0%
    Horry = 37.4
    Devean = 37.1

    This Season:
    Outside of Ramon – 51.8% (thats obscene)
    Our BEST 3 point shooter
    Troy Murphy – 41.8%. – But that requires having troy on the floor.

    The next consistent rotation player that actually contributes?
    Matt Barnes – 33.1%.
    Steve Blake – 32.9%

    So,

    Lets not act like that lakers team wasn’t better at spreading the floor for Shaq.

    They can double Bynum because literally no-one is a threat from 3.

  64. Somehow the Clips can’t stop winning. What’s going on here?

  65. “He is a seven feet giant who moves like a PG.”

    Only if that PG is present day Mark Jackson! (just kidding by the way)

    Please stop with the hyperbole. There’s nobody here you need to convince that Bynum is having a very good or maybe great season, depending on the standards one has for him. But when I see Bynum being beaten down the floor by Marcus “B.C.” Camby, I’m not thinking about him moving like a PG.

    Bynum has finally stayed healthy and he is very good at utilizing his physical advantages over defenders either too small or too light to keep him away from the basket. While his stats may put him in some arbitrary group with Olajuwon, his skills and his achievements so far clearly don’t.

    His footwork in the low post is solid if unspectacular, he is getting better at moving the ball. He’s putting up great stats per game – which is a testament to him being able to stay on the court this season – but his stats per 36 minutes and advanced stats do not show such a great deal of improvement from last season to this season:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bynuman01.html

    - Field goal attempts up, FG% slightly down, which is perfectly OK, since…

    - Usage rate at a career high 23.5

    - 3pt attempts slightly up ;)

    - FT% slightly up from .660 to .680, but has been shooting over .700 in the two seasons before

    - OFF reb per 36 down, DEF reb per 36 up, overall about the same (advanced stats of rebound percentage show the same)

    - Assists per 36 down from 1.8 to 1.4

    - blocks per 36 down from 2.5 to 2.0

    - turnovers per 36 up from 1.8 to 2.6

    - personal fouls per 36 down from 3.4 to 1.7

    So to sum up, with Bynum’s increased role, fortunately he’s been able to keep up his effectiveness in scoring and rebounding, staying at the levels he has scored before but with 3.4 more attempts per 36min.

    He’s been a bit worse in assists, blocks, and turnovers. Assists and turnovers can probably be linked to him still learning the game and now having to face double teams consistently for the first time.

    One thing which is my own interpretation of the numbers (confirmed by my eye test) is that Bynum’s decrease in blocks and fouls goes hand in hand. To me it seems like he challenges way less shots than in previous years, possibly out of fear of getting into foul trouble and not being able to continue his increased role on offense. His rotations when coming from the weak side seem especially hesitant.

    Has anybody had the same feeling about that part of Bynum’s game?

  66. Bynum sure is the talk of the town.

    Fact is Lakers fans have been waiting for this Andrew Bynum for 7 years. Since he’s arrived we are all happy and want him to keep progressing.

    He doesn’t play hard every game he loafs and picks his spots. Doesn’t make him any less of a player that’s just stating the obvious.

    He’s the 2nd best center in the league and is positioned to dominant a position that has grown weak over the years.

    Is he a max player right now? No. That’s the distinct difference between him being very very very good and elite.

    Can he shift the balance of power in the west this year? Yes he’s the key to a Lakers parade in June

  67. Bynum is going to show out in the playoffs. He’s been around for 7 years and sort of has the philosophy of Phil Jackson. Which is to coast during the season but produce spectacularly during the playoffs. At least, I hope this is his thought process.

  68. chearn: i’m hoping he does too. shaq used to let kobe wear himself out in the season then take over the postseason.

  69. Points above 18 PPG, FG percentage above 56 percent, and blocks above 2?
    ————-
    I’m sure there have been plenty of centers who easily accomplished that stat. Kareem did it for over 10 yrs. Keep in mind Aaron, they didn’t record blocks until the 1974 season. You must be pretty young cuz for you to think Bynum is approaching the same class as other legendary centers is absurd. Growing up I watched centers like Kareem, Malone, Parish, Hakeem a.k.a. Akeem (you probably didn’t know that huh?), Robinson, Ewing, etc. and they never took days off like Bynum. If Bynum is so dominant, shouldn’t he be averaging over 25 pts a game with such weak competition at the center position? Shaq avg’d over 25 pts being double and tripled team.

  70. Shaq took plays off, heck he took games off. I think when you are over 7 feet and 300 pounds you have to. Bynum has always given a good effort in the playoffs, even with injuies. There is no reason to think he won’t this year.

  71. So where are all the trade Orlando anything they want for Dwight Howard because he’s so reliable and so durable?

    Orlando re-signs this guy and so their fans can watch them plummet in the standings for the next two weeks. Imagine the reaction of Laker fans if we pulled off that stupid trade and Howard sits with serious back problems.

    Thank goodness our FO doesn’t make hasty decisions as some of the geniuses on forum blue and gold would have them make.

  72. To say Bynum was as good or better than Howard in the beginning of the year was laughable and untrue, but by now there may be a good argument

  73. See… Why can Dave get away with saying smart things but I can’t? People hate me :( I just want you guys to like me. Please? Oh… And Drew is dominating the league. You guys just need to accept it. He isn’t perfect. Not many seven footers are. He has his faults. But he is damn good. He has been a force nobody feel they can compete with. A guy who needs to be double or triple teamed at all times from even 17 feet out. A serious rare weapon. Sad it’s Lakers fans who are the last people to realize.

  74. BYNUM
    PER 23. 2
    WS/48 .176
    ORTG 112 DRTG 99

    HOWARD
    PER 24.2
    WS/48 .188
    ORTG 106 DRTG 95

    Bynum is doing more or less what he has done the last four years; the differences are that he has stayed on the floor and has a somewhat higher usage rate. Howard, OTOH, is/was having his worst year offensively since 2007. He remains ahead of Bynum on D.

    As far as Dave’s #71, the sarcasm directed at people who dare to criticize the FO got old in pre-season. The FO blew the Kapono signing badly and some of us said so at the time. Conceding that their options were limited, the Murphy and McRob moves remain questionable. I was in favor of the Fisher deal, but now they appear to have given away their #1 pick for a guy who either is unable to play or whom Brown refuses to play. The Sessions trade was great. Odom of course has imploded, but the TPE remains unused. Recent moves are a mixed bag.

    And as far as Howard and Bynum, I am pretty sure that Buss would have traded Bynum for Howard straight up. What he said was he wouldn’t trade Gasol as well.

  75. Fans can’t even be critical of Bynum. Pointing out some of his defenencies isn’t calling him a bad player. Kobe bricks he’s killed, Pau gets bulldozed on defense he’s killed. Bynum doesn’t get back on defense it’s let it pass. Look at the year Pau is having very similair to Drew’s but he’s been so consistent every year it’s look like it’s nothing.

    Drew 18.6 pts 12.1 reb 1.4 ast 2.0 blk 56% fg

    Pau 17.3 pts 10.5 reb 3.4 ast 1.4 blk 50% fg

    Drew has been great and Pau hasn’t been far behind that.

  76. I just think the incessant criticism of Bynum’s play, when he scores he’s selfish, when he rebounds but doesn’t score as much then he’s lazy.

    But who’s playing every night carrying his team into the playoffs and who’s laid up with injury at the worst possible time?

    Wasn’t Bynum supposed to be the too often injured prima donna that some couldn’t wait to get rid of?

    Seems to me that the pro Howard camp around here hasn’t been right about any of that since the trade deadline.

    Maybe it’s time to back off Bynum’s play for awhile considering we might have moved him for a guy with a sore back taking up space on the bench.

  77. Howard is playing on a horrible team. Howard has Anderson, Nelson (lower tiered pg), Davis, Richardson and Reidick.

    Meanwhile, Bynum plays with Pau, MWP, Sessions (unproven), Barnes and Kobe.

    Howard has carried that team for the entirety of his career in the league.

    On the other hand, Bynum’s been prepping to play for seven years behind the likes of Pau, MWP, Odom, Fisher and Kobe.

    If Bynum played for the Magic he’d have to play like he did against the Spurs, every night with no games off in order for the team to play 500 ball.

    Guess Bynum should thank his lucky stars, huh?

  78. His size and mass allow Drew to outmatch and overpower his opponents, but it also rapidly depletes his stamina. So, a hundred+ times per game, Drew makes estimates, calculations, and judgments in order to conserve energy and pace himself.

    I think his judgment is pretty good until his emotions factor into the equation. Like size, emotions are a double-edged sword, and when Drew can’t regulate them, he wastes energy doing things that don’t help his team.

    When he figures it out, Drew will key stops on one end of the floor and create high percentage shots on the other. His teams will be famous for piecing together huge runs and blowing teams out.

  79. Pau career as Laker regular season

    18.4 pts 9.9 reb 3.4 ast 1.4 blk 53% fg

    Finals career

    17.2 pts 10.2 reb 3 ast 1.6 blk 54% fg

    Pau’s had a better Laker career than Drew. Dare I say Odom has too. Maybe we should see if Bynum is on Pau’s level as a Laker before we elevate him to others.

  80. Kobe’s status is uncertain, Sessions is nicked, LAC + Memphis are breathing down our necks, + our coach has “something” else on his mind. However not to worry, we have a guy who is the combination of Wilt, Shaq, + Kareem playing Center. Don’t worry about his tendency to pout and loaf occasionally, just get with the program + appreciate how incredible he is + stop worrying about anything else.

  81. I just saw on ESPN Ric Bucher saying that Kobe’s out and that there is something more serious than a shin injury.
    Is this dude trying to scare me ?
    Any thoughts out there in FB & G ?

  82. Howard is the reigning 3x defensive player of the year. The best big man in the game. Has only missed 8 games before this latest injury. One season doesn’t change that.

    Bynum has been a on/off court player for the Lakers his 7 years. And let’s be honest was considered a bust before his breakout year this season. And after 50 great games he’s on d12 level. NO. Bynum isn’t better than Pau.

    Bynum can average 30 and 8 Lakers won’t win anything. If he doesn’t man the paint and rebound Lakers aren’t going anywhere.

    Dave/Aaron: Is asking a center to defend and rebound outrageous? That’s what a center does.

  83. Basically, I think Dave is right when he says some people here criticize Bynum too much. The same is true of Pau, and in a different way, Kobe. Bynum is the 2nd-best center in the NBA and is one of the top 25 or so players in the league. The immaturity card is overplayed. Immature or not, he is still a very fine player and a big asset to the franchise.

    But Kevin is also right: Howard is still the best big man in the game. The gap is narrower, but Howard is still better. Another thing that has narrowed the gap is the fact that Howard now has a red flag on his health record–back issues are a big, big deal. But Howard is still better and likely will be going forward.

    Finally, Robert is also right. This team has issues and is still realistically a second-tier contender. It is great that Barnes and MWP have stepped up in Kobe’s absence–but they are not going to do that every game. The Lakers need Kobe as near to 100% as he can be to have any shot and that is an open question right now. Add that to workload, lack of depth, competition, coaching…we are in for a bumpy ride, and it may well be a short one.

  84. I’ll wager Howard’s back is “injured” because SVG called his B.S. and Howard can’t handle it.

    Which is not to say Howard is malingering. In fact, I’ll bet he is indeed feeling pain. My hunch, though, is that the source of his problem is between his ears, and not due to a “herniated” disc.

  85. Bucher’s a tool, and so long as the Lakers keep playing hard it’s OK that Kobe’s getting a few games off. It’s been fun to watch the ball movement and inside-out game. No knock on Kobe, but it’s nice to see what they other guys can do — similar to a short run last season when Pau really stepped up his game in Kobe’s absence.

  86. The report I’ve seen says Kobe is just now getting to the point where he can run without pain. They’re bringing him back gradually. They’ll work on jumping and changing directions without pain next. All we can do is hope for no setbacks. But it sounds like he’ll be out for a while longer, at least a few more games.

  87. Kevin

    Kevin

    Not sure I understand your bust comment. Bynum has had many stretches of high level play through the years. The general onion has been if he stays healthy he is a dominant player. Well he is healthy and playing at a high level. As far as rebounding, what do you want? He is 3rd in the league averaging over 12 a game. And neither Howard or Love have another double digit rebounder playing with them. Put Howard on the Lakers and he would average 12 also.

  88. #80 Kevin – I said from the moment he was traded that Odom’s career was over and his stint in Dallas would prove the FO knew what they we’re doing inspite of all the objections.

    You want to make comparisons to Bynum with a guy who’s out of the league? Face it, Odom’s departure was a case of addition through subtraction. If he had stayed here he simply would’ve taken minutes away from a much more deserving Bynum.

    As far as Pau goes, Phil was running plays for him from the day he arrived. The only opportunities Andrew ever got before this year was through his only making usually off of an offensive rebound.

    Not surprising that his stats have improved dramatically when the team actually deliberately runs some offense through him.

    #81 Robert – Kobe pouted for years when he couldn’t have his way, majority of Laker fans were okay with it. Kobe has always taken plays off on defense with that center field style of his instead of guarding his man.

    Kareem was sullen and pouty and didn’t always put out the supreme effort. Neither did Shaq or Wilt.

    But somehow you want to hold this kid to a standard very few of our greatest Lakers ever lived up to?

    But none of this was the point I was on.

    Bynum was supposed to be the damaged goods that couldn’t finish the season healthy. But all I see is Howard out for the remainder of the regular season and Kobe? Who knows?

    Meanwhile Bynum plays on.

  89. michaelh: I am finally not judging Bynum off my expectations instead I am accepting the player he is which is a solid one. Opinions on this topic won’t become valid until Lakers are parading in June. Him having 2 rings he should get more leeway for conserving energy on defense in the regular season and scoring more because lakers need his offense. Defense and rebounding wins championships no way he concedes that for his offense in the playoffs.

  90. “No Rebounds, No Rings” – Pat Riley

  91. Dave,

    The picture you paint is dire and melodramatic. This is not a battle of wills, Kobe versus Bynum versus Dwight.

    That said, Kobe has carried the team for years and now you’re going to compare him unfavorably to Bynum’s one healthy stretch run. Remember, if you care to, that just two weeks ago we were losing games because Bynum was getting himself benched or tossed. I believe that Kobe could play through what he’s dealing with, but the team is calculating risks and benefits of not shutting him down. I would say that Kobe’s willingness to sit out these games is an indication that he trusts this team to hold water until his cybernetic core is back from the repair shop.

    As much as you’re complimenting Drew right now, Pau Gasol deserves the same respect. He’s been the good warrior, sacrificing his own game for the team while bearing a good deal of silly criticisms for his supposed ‘softness’. In April, Gasol’s averaging 20.5 PPG, 10.4 RBG, 1.5 BPG, 53.4 TS%. That’s some hard production, if you ask me. And he’s brought it game in, game out.

  92. Dave-
    Dwight Howard has missed 10 games in his 8 year career. Kobe has missed just about 100 games in his 16 year career. ‘Drew has missed about 160 games due to injury in his 7 year career. When it comes to injuries there is no comparisons between these 3 players.

    At the trade deadline I would have made the swap straight up with zero hesitation. I think that any GM in the NBA makes that deal- including the Lakers. The only reason we didn’t was that they wanted Gasol too.

    Guess what? We all would have had egg on our faces because Bynum is still balling and Howard is out with the first significant injury of his career. Here’s the important point. I would still have made that move because the odds were right to make it. It’s just like poker. When you are getting the right odds to make the call for a flush draw, you make the call. Whether your flush hits or not is irrelevant. It was still the right play to make.

    I’m not going to lie here- I am on the Bynum bandwagon because I have to be, but I do love watching the guy play. He has every single tool that a big man needs to be transcendently great. My biggest gripe about Bynum is that he is only 24 years old, but doesn’t give the effort that he should give on the defensive side of the court. If he would play hard on defense every game, then this team would be extremely difficult to stop.

  93. Dave @72: Thanks for calling me a genius. It is an upgrade from when you called me a fair weather fan.

    Are you really retroactively evaluating whther we should have traded for Howard based on his back injury? Seriously? I mean – obviously we would have all felt differently if we knew that was going to happen, but what does that prove? When a team drafts a player and he gets hurt does that make it a bad pick? Let’e be real.

  94. Aaron@74: You are calling this statement “smart”? I think you answered your own question. If a guy misses dunk, does that mean it was a dumb shot? If a guy makes a half court heave with 20 seconds left on the clock, does that make it a smart shot? So how does Howard getting hurt mean anything other than bad luck for him and Orlando?
    All: I have moved on, but others brought this up, so sorry for discussing things that are irrelevant to future Laker success.

  95. Sometimes, two wins make us so confident that we often forget the bad losses. We deal in comparison of our players on what if situations, instead of applauding all their accomplishments as a team, we get into temporal envy on who is better? I think the best mojo is to be happy that Lakers are in this state without their Superstar. Whether you believe on Kobe or not, 16 years with 5 Championships would be enough to get him back healthy or else we have no chance in the playoffs. However, we are not out of the woods yet especially if Kobe is not playing and Lakers will be against Dallas. Clippers are just lurking with one game behind and that’s not a big of a difference, Lakers could slide to 4th place and changes all the dynamics. Therefore, energy must be sustained, over confidence should be shelved, this is the NBA league and a team that lost in previous match up would try to get back to even the series. The game today is crucial and it’s about positioning in the playoffs.

  96. I don’t want to speak for Dave or rr or Michael H… But having said that… I don’t think we understand where this Bynum hate is coming from to be honest. I a couple weeks gave my guesses. But it just seems odd and out of place. We have a 24 year old super star Center coming into his own. He is putting up rare stats. He is dominating in many ways. He just joined Kareem, Mikan, Baylor and Wilt in a small group of Lakers to grab 30 rebounds on a night where best PF of all time Tim Duncan pulled down two rebounds. We are reading a lot of flat out wrong criticisms, comparisons, and “analysis” from many commentors here. What we all want to ask is “why is there this Bynum jealously/hate from a small group of Lakers fans on this site?”

    Robert,
    I’ll answer for Dave since it appears you didn’t read his comment. He never said anything like that. He was pointing out the irony that many wanted Bynum traded along with other players for Dwight Howard. Since the all star break Bynum not only had outplayed him but he has been far more healthy. It’s ironic. Dave correctly said right now for this season amd playoffs it would be stupid two want the worse and injured player over Bynum. This is no brainer type of stuff. Dave isn’t saying anything even debatable. So stop acting like he did.

  97. We Laker fans simply have to hate somebody – it is that simple.

    Well, the FO traded away LO, Walton, Fish; and Barnes are MWP have been getting better and better. I mean – exactly who are we supposed to hate? Really!!!

    Kobe and Bynum are the only ones left – and they have taken plenty of the hate over the years – why not just hate on them?

  98. Aaron@97
    Hahaha! The hatred isn’t for Andrew Bynum. The hatred is for your overblown hyperbole. Don’t try to change the subject man. In a year or two, Bynum will (hopefully) be averaging 25 and 15 every single game. When he does that, then I will jump all over the bandwagon and hang on for the ride. He isn’t there yet.

    You may be the best that I have ever seen at raising up a straw man and then switching the argument. :)

  99. Aaron: This is what Dave said

    Thank goodness our FO doesn’t make hasty decisions as some of the geniuses on forum blue and gold would have them make. and what not to do.

    I do not apprecaite this. He is stating that the people who were in favor of the trade on this site were wrong and is calling us geniuses.

  100. Dave,
    And just to let you know. I can admit when I’m wrong. I urge others here to do the same. I was wrong. I thought the Lakers should trade Bynum for Howard. I thought although Bynum would be just as good offensivley he couldn’t stay healthy. I was wrong for now. I was mainly wrong because I didn’t think Bynum would become so dominant offensivley. He does things Howard is incapable of doing in the post for the entire offense. That makes him to me better than Dwight Howard. In the playoffs you need guys who can create their own offense and create, via double teams, offense for teammates. But I was wrong. I thought Bynum before the season could get to Dwight’s level as I’ve said before the season started. I didn’t think he would turn into this. It was hard to tell Because it isn’t his agility, hops, or speed that made him this. It’s his hands. He has the best hands I’ve seen from a seven footer. And hands are the mist difficult thing to judge as far as greatness of a player. Drew’s dexterity is the one place where he is elite. The one place where he is a super human athlete. Sure it doesn’t look as jaw dropping as a Blake Griffin slam dunk… But I assure you it makes you a much better player than the Clippers highlight reel.

  101. KenOak: Your poker analogy is perfect. You go all in with pocket aces, and some guy beats you with a 7/2 off. Aaron and Dave would add insult to injury by questioning you for going all in with the aces.

  102. KenOak: Great post @93

  103. “So stop acting like he did.”

    Aaron: Please refrain from telling me what to do

  104. KenOak,
    Sorry. You just changed the subject. The proof is in the pudding. Your comments about Andrew Bynum are all out here for everyone to see and read. Too late. You guys have made your opinions known. I haven’t said anything that is close to being untrue about Andrew Bynum. So that argument doesn’t hold water. You want me to start saying things that might be wrong? I can do that. Up until this point in the season I have said only things that is common knowledge. But here ya go since you want something… Andrew Bynum has been our best player so far this season. Better than Kobe! There ya go. Want proof? His PER is better as well as all advanced statistics. Not only can that be very true but I also believe it. Now to be honest with rest I except Kobe to be as good as Bynum in the postseason but as of now Andrew Bynum has been our best player and it’s hard to argue against it. But I do agree it can at least be argued.

  105. In fairness to Dave- He said, “where are all the people who would have traded anything to get Dwight.”

    I agree that doing the 2 for one, that was speculated about, was not a good trade and that is why our FO didn’t do it. I want to remind everyone that Aaron was in favor of trading Bynum + lesser pieces for DH12 + lesser pieces. For the exact same reason that Dave mentioned- because of his injuries.

  106. I don’t expect Kobe to return to the Lakers until they lose a game. Lakers are currently 3-1 (3 game win streak) w/ him sidelined recovering from a shin issue.

    Don’t get me wrong, Kobe’s is needed to win a title, no question…however I’m hoping they don’t return to the days of Kobe taking 29% of the Lakers fga’s at a 43% rate while his teammates stand around watching…just like us Lakers fans.

  107. KenOak: A little too fair, because you left off the genius part : )

    And yes – Aaron was in favor, and so was I.

    Nobody knew Howard was going to get hurt – so what is the point?

    You should have known the flop was coming with 3 sevens before you went all in with aces against 7/2 : )

  108. It isn’t Bynum hate. Just because I’m not convinced that Bynum is the second coming of Wilt, Kareem, etc., doesn’t make me a “hater”–it makes me objective. I think Bynum has played much better this year on the offensive end, but has regressed (to a lesser degree) on the defensive end. I think overall it has been a solid net positive–but I agree with Phil Jackson–this team’s championship aspirations rise and fall with Drew’s defensive mindset–and he isn’t quite back to par there

  109. Hey Aaron-
    Here is some proof. Kobe is 33 years old. When he was rested, his PER was well above Bynum’s. But, there is only so many minutes that an aging player can play…I mean, hell, he has averaged the 3rd most minutes per game in the association- at 33!

    When he was rested we saw Kobe at superstar level, but the minutes and injuries took their toll and now…yes Bynum is playing like the best player on the team.

    And wow! You are so defensive about all that hyberbole…. :P

  110. can we stop lumping PER with advanced stats? it is horribly arbitrary, favoring stat stuffers (albeit on a per minute basis). the only reason it is “revered” is because it ranks jordan high, but you can bet that hollinger tweaked it until it ranked jordan high. it makes absolutely no sense to compare two players playing different positions based on individual stats.

  111. Accountability: I was pounding the table for months about D12. Nobody knows what would have happened had we made the move. That said, if we win a title over the next 2 years with the current Big 3, then I agree that this means I would have been wrong to make the trade. Now does that mean I was right if we don’t win? : ) Like I said these things are not possible to judge.

  112. Robert- Awesome!
    “You should have known the flop was coming with 3 sevens before you went all in with aces against 7/2 : )”

    I busted out of a tournament once on pocket aces against 10/2 off-suit. I raised and he pushed me all-in pre-flop. Tripped his tens and that was all she wrote! When I got to work the next day and I was telling the story to some co-workers, (who aren’t poker players.) they couldn’t understand why calling all-in pre-flop with AA was a good play when I clearly had lost the hand!? Ugh! That was ten minutes of my life trying to explain that I can never get back…

    Great post mindcrime 107 and haushinka 109!

  113. Dave: I said Odom has had a better Lakers career than Bynum and I was right. I didn’t mention anything about trades. As you bring up Howard injury didn’t Bynum get a shot in the knee at all star break.

    Bynum has been the best player on the court 1 time in the 4 games Kobe has missed.

  114. Bynum is a solid player who’s made huge strides. And is so physically imposing the looks play the part. If you look closely he rarely boxes out, seldomly gets low for post position. Doesn’t catch the ball in the paint for a man his size that should happen more often. Struggles with double teams. Camps in the paint but doesn’t get called for it. If you watch closely he doesn’t seek the defenders body for contact on the way up to the basket he would get more FTs that way.

    Bynum has tremendous touch around the basket, takes up a lot of space and alters shots. Great Ft shooter for a big man, good offensive rebounder and his footwork is superb.

    What this comes down to is what I’ve always said. Drew is NOT a max player is NOT a cornerstone type player. You would be silly to think you can count on him the way you have with Lakers greats night in and night out.

  115. A lot of hyperbole on both sides of this Bynum debate. What I’ll never understand is the need to try to elevate or lower a player based off how he compares to another.

    Bynum’s had a great year. He can still get better. He wasn’t a bust coming into this year as he was an integral part of three Finals teams and two champions. Yes, he was integral even in 2008 when he was key in helping the Lakers achieve a record that had them at the top of the West before his injury and the Gasol trade. Then in 2009 and 2010, he was a key player.

    And, as I said before, he can still get better. There is room for improvement. I dare not compare him to historical greats at this point in terms of overall game or even impact. His numbers are a product of how good he is AND how good his teammates are. I find it comical that some would claim that Bynum makes his teammates better while not acknowledging that his teammates do the same for him. A sweet shooting and excellent passing 4 man and an all time great perimeter player can only enhance the game of a fantastic post player. Just as the inverse is true.

    Simply put, Bynum deserves his due. As do his teammates. Why argue it another way unless you have a bias?

  116. Darius!
    This this this!
    “And, as I said before, he can still get better. There is room for improvement. I dare not compare him to historical greats at this point in terms of overall game or even impact. His numbers are a product of how good he is AND how good his teammates are. I find it comical that some would claim that Bynum makes his teammates better while not acknowledging that his teammates do the same for him. A sweet shooting and excellent passing 4 man and an all time great perimeter player can only enhance the game of a fantastic post player. Just as the inverse is true.

    Simply put, Bynum deserves his due. As do his teammates. Why argue it another way unless you have a bias?”

    This is why you have a site. I couldn’t agree with you any more.

    I also want to thank you and the other writers on this site for bringing all this together! You do a fantastic job including the moderation that keeps us posters in line…

    There are too many to list here, but I want to say thank you, as well, to all the great regulars who bring me back and keep me reading/posting. I love being a part of this community and being able to trade thoughts and ideas with all of you! (even the ones I don’t agree with!)

  117. I want to go on the record to say that we do not win a title in 2010 without Bynum’s defense and toughness.

    I also truly think that we likely would have won in 2008 with Bynum in the line-up because he would have provided what we sorely lacked in that finals…defense and toughness.

    I want Bynum to succeed! He has every tool necessary to be a great player. I don’t care for some of the things he does, on and off the court, but I still want him to play well. The great thing about Bynum is that not only can he be a dominant force offensively/defensively, but he can also dominate when we need him the most- at the end of games. Shaq could not do that because of his horrid free throw shooting.

  118. Aaron,

    The issue is that you make lofty pronouncements couched in apologism: “We should appreciate Bynum’s year as one of the all-time great years as a center because he has attained stats that only Hakeem and Dwight have accomplished.” What’s funny is that that company is only legitimate because Hakeem is included in it. What about all the other greats (including a number who are considered better than the Dream) not on that list? Are they not elite?

    Drew is having a great year, but by the vaunted PER stat, he’s not even having a superstar year. As Darius so elegantly put it, Bynum is one cog that we need well oiled for our championship machine to roll through the playoffs. If Kobe was forced to carry the team this year (more than he had, pre-Sessions), then I would have no doubts that he would average 35 points. If Drew didn’t have Gasol beside him, perhaps he would average 15 rebounds and receive favorable comparisons to Kevin Love. These are what ifs that, thankfully, we DON’T have to entertain; because then we would be fading like Orlando is so inelegantly doing.

  119. … I’m hoping they don’t return to the days of Kobe taking 29% of the Lakers fga’s at a 43% rate while his teammates stand around watching…
    —————
    Right on point BigCitySid. Especially the part about his teammates standing around watching. MWP, Barnes & Blake will have to continue to be aggressive and not just defer to Kobe upon his return. This will go a long way towards how successful we can/will be come playoff time.

  120. @mcten: Bynum’s 30 reb vs SAS followed by 30 pts vs DEN made him the 1st player since Moses Malone in 1982 to accomplish the feat

  121. Kareem,
    Ha. I completely agree. I never said anything to the contrary. I’m just listing facts. Not my opinions on them. If you want my opinion if i think Hakeem was the best Center of all time. Yes. I do. I think ecause of his ability to close games I put him above Wilt and Shaq. My all time center list is Hakeem and then Shaq and then Wilt. So now you know my opinion.

  122. Aaron – Aren’t you missing a pretty significant center on that list?

    I’ll give you a hint – he was also a laker. He leads the league in all times points scored.
    He perfected (and was the only person to even use) to most unstoppable shot of all time.

    He dominated the league for 2 decades and before that dominated college in a way nobody ever had before.

    Just saying….

    So easily forgotten.

  123. Yes Andrew iis having a great YEAR. Not yet a career.

    In history there have been several centers who had great years. See Ralph Sampson who at 24 years of age in 1984-85 averaged 22 and 11. Due to injuries and personal problems was never to that point again.

    We need Andrew big time but let’s wait to put him on any list until he has had several full seasons with Jabber, Wilt, Shaq numbers. Until then he is not top three on the Laker list and far from on any all-time center list.

  124. Cdog: Aaron was addressing his comment to a guy nicknamed “Kareem” – so obviously he did not forget : )
    “Best”: The word is so vague that it begs debate. When speaking historically, I think you need to speak about “accomplishment”. How many rings?, how many 1st Team All NBA?, etc. So Hakeem could have had 1-2 of the best years, but over a career – comparing him to Kareem – not possible. Fast forward to Bynum: He has 1 ASG nod, + 2 rings as a key, but not lead player. AC Green has 1 ASG nod + 3 rings as a key but not lead player. I do not think either AC Green or AB belong in the historical convo with guys like Kareem + Shaq.

  125. Andrew sick with infection and Kobe out. Not liking this for full squad Dallas.