Sunday’s Leftovers

Darius Soriano —  May 7, 2012

Yesterday’s game 4 win gave the Lakers the road win they sought and put them only a single win away from advancing to round two. The game was hard fought, but like the Lakers have done all season, they made several key plays down the stretch to helped seal a game that could have gone either way. Both star and role players had their hand in the win and as Steve Blake said in a rare trip to the podium post game, game 4 was a total team win.

And since today is a day off and we’ll be right back at it tomorrow for what could be the clinching game, here are some leftover thoughts from yesterday’s thriller:

*In order to win a game there are individual factors and team factors that must go a team’s way. A list of the former include things like Bynum’s intensity and effort on defense or Kobe’s ability to score efficiently. These things matter a great deal and I think it’s fair to say that should several of those variables go the Lakers’ way, they have an excellent chance of winning. However, it’s the team factors that often mean the most over the course of an entire series.

Against the Nuggets, the pace/tempo/flow of the game has been the #1 variable the Lakers need to mark on their side of the ledger. In game 4 there were only 85 possessions (averaged) for both teams and that’s about 11 possessions fewer than the Nuggets averaged during the regular season. That number is skewed somewhat by the Lakers grabbing so many offensive rebounds (more on that later) but the fact remains, the Nuggets didn’t get as many possessions as they’d like and that’s a big win for the Lakers.

However, what I also noticed is that one of the key ways the Lakers attempt to slow down the game is by dragging out their own offensive possessions. They walk the ball up. They make multiple passes into the post, back to the wing, and around the perimeter. They’re not stalling, but they are searching for good shots all while using up the shot clock. The problem is, by using the shot clock, the Lakers put themselves behind the proverbial 8 ball on countless possessions because they find themselves searching for a good look against the ticking time bomb of the 24 second clock staring at them. Kobe took 25 FG’s yesterday and 7 of them were with 5 seconds are less on the shot clock. He made only 2 of them.

My point in all this is that the Lakers must find a way to not only slow the game down, but also work their offense to produce quality looks at the same time. Striking this balance can be a difficult one and it’s why I don’t always put a lot of stock into pure shooting percentages. Sometimes executing the game plan means lower quality looks are the ones that will be available.

*Jordan Hill’s emergence as the 3rd big has been fantastic for the Lakers in a variety of ways. He has the ability to play good defense (especially in the P&R) and his work on the offensive glass has been stellar. I went back and watched all 7 of his offensive rebounds from yesterday’s game and a common them came up: he simply knows how to position himself in the paint and is not scared to go out of area to grab a loose ball. On one rebound in particular he positioned himself on the left side of the basket waiting for the ball to come off the rim to that side. However, when ball came off the rim it bounce to the right side. At that point Hill took his two steps towards the ball, batted it against the hands of the Nugget trying to secure it, then vacuumed the ball up into his own mitts to secure the ball.

It was a relatively minor play in the scheme of things but at the end of the night it counted as one of his team high 11 rebounds. And that’s the thing with Hill when you watch him on tape. He’s consistently doing the little things and at the end of the day they all add up to a strong contribution. For the playoffs his offensive  rebound percentage (the % of Oreb’s he’s grabbing while on the floor) is 20.7%. Said another way, one out of every five Laker misses ends up in his hands when he’s on the floor. The Lakers don’t win yesterday’s game without him.

*Fans (myself included) have bemoaned the Sessions/Blake back court duo for as long as Brown has gone to it. Advanced metrics tell us this pairing isn’t that effective – especially on the defensive end as one of the PG’s is often forced to guard a bigger, stronger player. However, yesterday this pairing held their own. In the 20 minutes they shared the court the Lakers had a plus/minus of +1 and their efficiency differential was a +3.9. These aren’t world beater numbers by any means but they’re the type of numbers the team needs to put up when Brown goes to this pairing.

Of note here is that the main reason Brown has (seemingly) gone to this lineup as often has he has is because the Lakers aren’t getting much production from wing players not named Kobe. Matt Barnes has had a bad shooting series and Devin Ebanks, while having some good moments, has had minimal impact adding little to the table while also taking little off it. Not having a clearly better option means that Blake will be in the mix for those spare minutes at shooting guard. Some nights it won’t pay off, but last night it did. Until Ron gets back, however, this is the roller coaster we ride.

*Speaking of Blake, there’s probably not a player I feel better for when he plays well. He’s probably the Laker that fans like to point to first as the guy that doesn’t play up to standard and is often labeled as the weak link on the team. And while on many nights that’s true, it’s never due to lack of effort. He works hard on D and consistently tries to make the right play on O. He’s scrappy and isn’t scared of the big moments. That doesn’t always translate to good play, but when it does I’m happy for him because he’s one player that can never be chided for lack of trying. For me, those types of players have always been easiest to root for.

*I’m not big on commenting about the refereeing but yesterday’s was…interesting, to say the least. I thought the refs called a fairly uneven game that made it difficult for players from both teams to adjust. In the first half contact in the paint was allowed to the point where shoves in the back went largely unpunished only for weaker contact on the perimeter to be whistled. In the 2nd half, the whistles got tighter on paint contact but almost served to overcompensate as several touch calls were made early in the 3rd period. I’m usually of the mind that it’s on the players to adjust to the way that a game is being called but yesterday was one example where I wasn’t (too) mad with either side complaining about the calls made/not made because it wasn’t nearly as consistent as you’d hope it would be in a playoff game.

Darius Soriano

Posts

70 responses to Sunday’s Leftovers

  1. Agreed – Hill just has a nose for the ball. Not the strongest guy, not the tallest, but he understands angles of shot trajectory and has very quick hands – I’ve noticed a few times where another player has position and is pulling in the rebound when Hill slaps it out of their hands.

    Confused on one thing – an LAT report has Hill becoming a free agent this offseason. But Sham Sports has Hill down for a team option for next year. Anyone know for sure which one is right?

  2. Great post, Darius.

    Snoopy, they’re both right, technically. He’ll be a free agent, but with a team option worth 3.6 million.

  3. #1 & #2. Actually, Houston declined his option earlier during the year. So, even though the Lakers traded for him, the Rockets already determined his free agency fate next year. He’ll be an UFA this summer. Pincus has the details.

    http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-pm-paying-jordan-hill

  4. @Snoopy
    I believe that Houston chose not to exercise his team option before they traded him to the Lakers so Hill will be a free agent after this season. The Lakers could still sign him because they do have his bird rights but of course they will have to compete with other teams for his services.

  5. Gut check win. Could be a turning point.

    Jordan Hill is money. Not only does he have the right rebounding mentality and instincts but he is so tenacious that he often boxes out bigger dudes.

    For the definitive take on Gallo’s flop Ding nailed it in his column @ http://www.ocregister.com/sports/lakers-352951-down-gallinari.html

    Kevin Ding is the best…

  6. Frank the Tank May 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    That JA Adande article is pretty terrible. Usually his writing is decent, but for some reason this one really struck me as bad. City college level writing.

  7. And we should resign Hill at least based on the admitedly early but very positive early returns (assuming the price tag is in line with a solid 10/10 guy)

    Really like his approach and fearless attitude.

  8. Thanks guys. In that case, Hill is playing his way into a big payday.

  9. Jordan Hill is our enforcer he enforces his will on games and does it easily. Him, Taj Gibson and Humphries are in for major paydays.

    Pretty Sweet Highlights from game 4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wik9GpiiJmE

  10. This gets overlooked all too often, “Kobe took 25 FG’s yesterday and 7 of them were with 5 seconds or less on the shot clock. He made only 2 of them.” -Darius

  11. 10. I too wish people would acknowledge this when complaining about Kobe’s shooting stats. Just look at what Lebron does when the shot clock is winding down

  12. I’ve commented in the past how this year’s team reminds me of the 08 team in many ways. Emergence of young previously underutilized players, a deadline trade that significantly increased the offensive potency of the team, challenges of integrating new pieces in a short time frame.

    I thought that just like in 08, this team would probably fall short because they don’t have enough time to gel while going up against more established teams. But it positioned the team for a sustained run in the next few years.

    That said, I wonder if Hill can be the Laker’s equivalent of Leon Powe for the 08 Celts. Someone who had a solid college career but was an unheralded NBA role player. But when finally given the opportunity, he was a huge X factor for Celtics. He was vital in many of their victories. Especially in the Finals against the Lakers. Celts don’t win the first two games, especially the second game without Powe’s contribution.

    I would love to see this year be a mix of the Laker and Celtics 08 trends with Hill being that X factor to culminate in a championship.

  13. KenOak/James: With regard to the 5 second thing: It is OK if KB gets the ball with about 10-12 secs, then dribbles it down. The problem is when someone else throws it to him as a bail with 4-6 seconds left. Then what can he do except – turnaround – double teamed – fadeaway? I still love those : )

  14. Reposted from the other thread:

    I didn’t intend it to be condescending and frankly I’ve seen much more blatantly condescending and snide comments by a couple of the more voluminous participants here and I don’t see any complaints about that.

    My point was that Coon writeup is pretty clear on the impact of how spending can affect flexibility down the road. Just because the team has the ability to spend now should mean they automatically should spend it. Rather they need to be careful on how to spend it. The Beasley attempt is a good example of how the team has no qualms on spending if they deem the return justified.

    I have issues with Robert’s continued hammering on spending the money when he hasn’t taken into consideration how it could affect the team in the long term. The team has historically done well because they refuse to make short term moves at the expense of long term health.

    The few times they’ve done that, it has hurt them. Robert’s point that they have money coming in and shouldn’t worry about it isn’t that simple.

    As Coon’s writeup shows, there’s also a lot of money flowing out due to revenue sharing and the impact of the repeater tax. Without careful management of the money the team can easily make less money than they have in the past due to the repeater tax and the increased revenue sharing.

    Depending on how much they are over the cap and where they fall in the repeater rate, the team could easily pay upwards of 80 million a year or more by the time final revenue sharing is figured out.

    Many early reports say the cable deal is 3bill or about 150 mill a year but that’s the max end. Supposedly it’s closer to 2B or 100 mill a year.

    So it’s hard to blame Buss for being conservative. People think there’s all this money coming in but they easily could just break or lose more if they’re not careful on how salaries are spent.

    Furthermore by being over the cap so much, it severely hamstrings the team in trying to make competitive offers.

    Robert, you have repeatedly failed to acknowledge this part of the equation in your complaints about the team not spending money when they have all this new money coming in.

    In reality the team might just break even. And remember they were making 30 mill a year already on rights. So it’s not 100 million on top of the 30 million. It’s only an additional 70 million. Which again is easily wiped out by revenue sharing and repeater tax if team overspends on salary.

    That’s why I pointed you to Coon’s page first. Otherwise further discussion is essentially pointless as we would not be using the same conditions during the discussion.

    Finally FWIW, I do know a fair amount about the cap. Certainly not all of it or as much as an executive , but probably more than the average fan. I’ve been reading Coon since he first originated the cap FAQ back when we used to participate in the Lakers usenet group. I’ve followed it when it was just a handful of questions to where it’s now a ridiculously long and complex document.

    But Coon does a fantastic job in outlining the key points in an easy to read fashion with charts and examples. Understanding his basic writeup, really drives home the complexity of making deals and the multiple factors in a decision.

    Never mind that you first have to find a viable trade before going into the financial impact. It’s easy to complain about not using the TPE, but a lot harder to actually look around the league and see where it can be used and if it’s worth it.

  15. For anyone who hasn’t heard, apparently the lady who walked out onto the court yesterday has a history as Kenyon Martin’s stalker and was yelling “Where’s Kenyon?” at the Denver bench.

    So not only is she creepy, but a failure of a stalker. Martin hasn’t played for the Nuggets in a year.

    Edit: I should be more sensitive. There’s a good chance she has a mental health problem. I hope she sees a psychiatrist and gets help if she needs it.

  16. I believe the main reason why MB is sticking with the Blake/Sessions backcourt was revealed in MB’s postgame interview. MB said that he likes playing Blake because Blake’s been playing with the team the whole season and knows the game plan etc. Ebanks and Goudelock have played minimal minutes while Blake has been playing significant minutes before and after the Sessions trade. Because of the shortened season with no training camp, MB seems to give experience more weight. Makes sense.

  17. Chownoir~ very thoughtful response but unnecessary. Your earlier post was not objectionable to this reader and needs no apology. Not because I largely agree with you but because it was an appropriate counter to a position that has been raised ad nauseum here. The Laker’s situation with respect to payroll, luxury tax, revenue sharing and the long term health of the organization are difficult and complex. Facile arguments to the contrary are not particularly useful. For some reason certain commenters on this site confuse frequency with authority. Simply repeating the same comments does not make them any more true.

  18. I have a beginner’s question about J. Hill specifically and opt-ins/opt-outs in general:

    Do players’ contracts (at least those that have a team or player’s option for a given year) have a defined (negotiated) opt in/out due date that is always set to be prior to the end of the season? If so, to which party’s advantage is this (rather than the alternative of agreeing that the deadline be something like 2 days after the nba finals so both parties could have a clearer sense of the lay of the land). I am assuming it’s to the player’s advantage to have an earlier date (I assume the *team* would rather have as much flexibility as possible, if only to increase that player’s trade value [possibly to a team that has its own ideas whether to opt in or opt out and doesn't want to be hamstrung by the trading team's own ideas])…. but in Hill’s specific case, negotiating for an early opt-in or opt-out date may have cost him an extension with the Lakers, so maybe it wasn’t an item on ‘his side’ of the negotiation.

    Again, how does this work– is there a specific drop dead date throughout the league for all opt ins/outs, is it negotiated contract to contract, or did Hou just for some reason make their decision ahead of the deadline and, in which case, why would they do that? I seem to remember Shannon Brown elected to opt out after the season concluded, or am I remembering that incorrectly? Is that specific to his situation, or do players’ opt in/out dates have a later deadline that when the option is the teams’?

    Sorry to be such a rube.

  19. Jalen Rose made a good point today. In the OKC series, Metta is going to have such a short leash on defense, especially guarding Harden, dont be surprised if he has major foul trouble

  20. Not sure what Jalen Rose said, but typically he isn’t the best anaylist to take advice from.

    1) Anyone who guards Durant and Harden might get into fould trouble. Artest is better than average at not commiting fouls.

    2) Short leash? Really? And who is going to take his place? A banged up Barnes? Would you trust Ebanks for more than 25 minutes a game?

    If anything the question with metta is going to be his aggresivness. If he is aggresive, then he will be more effective…

    2nd point guys….

    Regarding Hill. He is nice and well rested and he is a good player as well. I doubt he can sustain this level of activity for a long amount of games (although he will still be effective).

    See Vick (had a year off, great shape, once he got banged up a bit he was/is less effective) I expect Hill to drop off a bit later in the playoffs.

  21. Lakers getting Hill and Spurs stealing Jackson were deadline steals. Both having major impact in the playoffs. No way Jerry West had any part in that deal.

  22. @20 – James.

    That is perhaps true, but I doubt it. OKC’s game – especially that of Harden/Perkins – is to play physical in between the plays and do dirty crap. If they favor OKC playing physical and do not let the Lakers play the same way, there will at least be some non-Laker hating media members bringing it up.

    Plus – Artests job isn’t going to be guarding Harden often. There’s a more vital player on that team who with a sweet shooting stroke and real lanky arms that he will be guarding the majority of his minutes. The elbow to Harden was a freak event, and had nothing to do with who was guarding who.

  23. #19. That’s actually not an easy question because of Hill still being on his rookie contract and this being a lockout year with a late start to the season.

    Typically, teams have until October 31st to pick up 3rd and 4th year options for the next year. But, because of the lockout, I’ve no clue what date that was this year. I’ve looked everywhere for it but can not find it.

    In general, for non-rookies, I believe these dates *can* written into contracts. I should also note that these are for *team options* which Hill’s contract had (again, because he’s still on his rookie deal).

    All that said, Larry Coon details key dates here: https://webfiles.uci.edu/lcoon/cbafaq/salarycap.htm#Q58

    And he lists 6/25 as the last date a player can pick up a player option and 6/29 as the last day to pick up a team option. For all the details though, click the link.

  24. 21. When I said short leash, I meant re the refs. They are gonna be on his a## and will be super scared that something will escalate

  25. My repsonse to chownoir from the other thread–and DieTryin illustrates exactly what I was saying:

    ________________________

    Until you understand all that. Not going to bother having a discussion
    ___

    If you don’t think that is condescending…not sure what to tell you. You have been condescending IMO many times, as is the case with a few of the people who go back a long way with the site.

    As to the content, you make some good points. But you miss a key one: if the Lakers go farther in the playoffs, that generates a lot of extra revenue. Like I said, it is reasonable to back the FO and to identify with them. It is also reasonable to expect them to go 100% all-out to get another title before Kobe retires.

  26. Neal, Ginobli, Jackson, Blair, Splitter, Bonner Spurs come at you in waves. They look unstoppable in offense. Pop had to of gone vanilla first game.

  27. Drew – I think James and Rose were saying the refs will be calling MWP’s D tightly, not that Brown will have a short leash on him, so he could easily get in foul trouble quickly. It’s an interesting point. MWP typically gets away with a decent amount of physicality on defense. We’ll see if his game is called any different.

  28. It is also reasonable to expect them to go 100% all-out to get another title before Kobe retires.
    —————-

    What does mean, though? The Lakers have used every free agency exception they have available to them every season. The only player they didn’t retain after last season that they had a chance to was Shannon Brown.

    Every other way to improve the team is via a trade. That comes down to talent evaluation and the ability to actually make a deal which is dependent on factors outside of the Lakers’ control.

    So, when it comes to spending money, that’s one of the points that doesn’t seem to be addressed adequately. How does someone propose the team spend more money if it always involves a trade and there’s no reasonable way to gauge who can be had and for what? And then, how do you propose to evaluate the player at hand while placing a dollar value on how much he’d be worth to the Lakers?

    I can understand saying money is better spent on player X than player Y (like McRoberts or Blake, for example) as those decisions can be judged on the free agent market and we can look at who signed for what and where. But when you involve another team, we’ve no clue what the other team will take in a deal, especially when the CBA dictates how salaries must match or how exceptions can be used, etc, etc. Surely you’d agree these have to be considerations, right?

  29. @rr, really? You’re calling me out to consider me condescending when I post rarely and when I do it’s usually pointing out someone on faulty data or completely illogical assumptions.

    But there are a few posters here who post 10 or 20 more times on every single thread, that make up facts or severely distort facts to tout how they are smarter than anyone else on the site and they don’t read most everyone’s opinion.

    Posters who claim because they have played some college ball and rub shoulders with pro players that they know what’s going on and we don’t. That due to their playing experience and proximity to pro players they pronounce how stupid the coaches are and lack of direction from the front offices.

    Yet I’m the condescending one because I pointed out learning from THE definitive document on how financial matters affect decisions? The point being it’s not useful to have a discussion if we’re not operating under the same facts. I don’t make up facts or claim knowledge that can’t be shared but yet I’m the one in the wrong?

    I suppose I could get offended and claim you are being condescending by the way you said “I make some good points” and nice of you to give me a pat on the back.

    And at the risk of sounding condescending, your point about the team making more money going deeper into the playoffs proves my original contention that having familiarity with Coon’s FAQ is why I don’t want to go deeper into these kinds of discussions.

    It doesn’t matter if they make more money. They already made more money going deep into the playoffs in the championship years and they were still on the thin edge. As Coon points out, it’s a sliding scale, they may make more money, but they give up more too. The net isn’t that much more, at least not in the tens of millions, maybe a few million. Not enough to be considered game changing.

    That’s exactly the kind of thing I didn’t want to be dragged into explaining and getting away from more salient discussions when it would be helpful for all to have a working familiarity with the ground rules.

    I don’t ever pretend to know everything. I freely admit to trying to learn and that’s why I come to this site. At the same time, it irritates me to no end to see baseless and inaccurate opinions stated as fact.

    So if that makes me condescending, so be it.

  30. I think when it comes to posting, the content should be about the Lakers + related items. Statements like “anyone who knows anything about basketball would realize this” or “you should go educate yourself first + then we will speak” – that is not about the Lakers – it is about the other poster. Regardless how wrong or right the person is – shouldn’t we just avoid this?

    It is possible for two people to have an equal intellectual understanding of a situation, + draw exactly opposite conclusions. It doesn’t mean one person understands better or is smarter. Sometimes it just means a difference of opinion.

  31. Chownoir @30

    Great post. There is only one person on this board, who posts regularly, that I have ever really found condescending. I have always found your posts to be thoughtful and well reasoned.

    Back to basketball…We have to close this series out next game. I don’t want this thing to go back to Denver, where jet lag and emotion may win the day for the Nuggets. I think that we can still pull the OKC series out if MWP misses a game.

    I don’t know why, but I am strangely optimistic about playing the Thunder. I claim that Westbrook is going to shoot them out of at least one game. The Spurs really worry me, however. TD is capable of an all-star series I fear.

  32. Ha! The refs will give him a short leash. Missed that entirely. Thanks for the clarification.

    That’s why I’ll never be paid to analyze NBA games like Jalen Rose is :)

  33. Just watching Zmetta’s in Conan(I am in Chicago so it was on here early) he actually was funny in his weird way. Nit pleased that he admits he has spending his time the studio finishing a mix tape.

    Metta you get paid to pkayers basketball not music or professional twitter guy.

    Focus man we need you next series.

    As for posting. We have some very smart basketball fans on here and some not so smart. It’s like life. Some are smart and successful in life some not so much. Chownoir, Robert and several others are excellent and worthy of reading, some you just skip over.

    Come on Griz beat these Flippers and stop Mr. NBA Blake from punking you.

  34. These Clippers fans make me laugh with their “Risen” shirts. If risen is defined by making the playoffs while their fans gather under the Lakers’ 16 championship banners, well, I guess that’s just a different standard for what belongs on a T-shirt.

    But I suppose “Second place, Pacific division” shirts wouldn’t sell so well…

  35. By the way. Gasol looks terrible for Griz. Slow and worthless on offense. What happened to him?

    Chris Paul is truly amazing.

  36. Griffen is just a flop machine! He would fall down if Mugsy Bogues ran into him.

  37. It’s just annoying how much Blake Griffin flops. I mean, the guy is 6’10 250lbs…

  38. The net isn’t that much more, at least not in the tens of millions, maybe a few million

    Didn’t say it was. I have read Coon, too. The “tens of millions” phrase I used came from the Lakers’ franchise valuation. As we have seen time and again, the Dodgers being a recent example, a lot of the value in owning a sports franchise is based on that, as much or more than on year-to-year profits.

    maybe a few million. Not enough to be considered game changing.

    ____

    If they are on “the thin edge” of losing money, as you claim, then it seems to me like a “maybe a few million” net–your words, not mine–is a definite game-changer. If they didn’t see anyone they could get with the TPE as leading to more playoff success, so be it. But we don’t really know what the options might have been, had they been willing to spend the money.

    As to the other posters you mention, they have been criticized quite a bit already.

    Darius,

    Those are fair points, and I have pointed those kinds of things out to Robert both here and in emails. But I don’t really see the problem with questioning the FO or not being too concerned with the bottom line of the Buss Family. As I have pointed out before, while no one knew exactly what the new CBA would look like, it was quite obvious that it was going to hit the Lakers in several areas. The KBros, among many others, were saying this months ahead of the CBA expiration. Yet the Lakers went ahead with the contracts that have been discussed here many times.

  39. Chris Paul is truly amazing.

    Indeed. Jim Buss may be over it, but I am not sure I am.

  40. Listening to Chris Webber is a real chore.

  41. Gut check time for the Grizzlies. TA will need to impose his will defensively.

  42. Thought Paul tried to be too much Kobe there. Allen is a great defender.

    Griz got to win this game.

  43. Clippers have cp3 Grizz don’t have last year’s randolph. Game

  44. Blake griffen is such a douchebag – i really hope they implement a flopping point system so that guys get suspended it’s getting too ridiculous

  45. For those complaining about mike brown, it could be worse: VInnie Del Negro could be our couch. He ices his own teams inbounds!

  46. rr,
    And I don’t see an issue with questioning the front office. But, if we both agree that there are several factors not being mentioned that definitely need to be part of the conversation consistently being ignored, how do you propose those critiques be taken seriously? I mean, that’s not a difference of opinion about a situation. It’s not taking into account all the variables and then critiquing anyway.

    Also, the Lakers handed out big money contracts to players in the hopes of winning more titles. So, maybe I’m not understanding your last point. I’m sure they understood the new CBA would affect them but they went and spent anyway. So, are you saying that they shouldn’t have spent to keep the core of a title contender in place? Again, I’m not sure what your final point is.

  47. I kinda want the Grizz to advance, they seem to match up better with the Spurs…

    But if WC final can be between the Clips and the Lakers? Wow, instant ultra rivalry right there. Nobody’s gonna be chummy after that one…

  48. Oh wow. Is there anything more awkward than Shaq freestyling on Inside the NBA and watching the rest of the crew struggle to hide their embarrassment?

    In clutch moments, the Clips are a 1 man team. And it’s a 1-man team that’s better than at least 20 of the other NBA teams out there, if not more. Studly OT performance.

  49. Clippers have the best 2 players this series and the best player next vs Spurs. Spurs bench will be the difference. Kwahi Leonard may slow cp3 down. Exciting 2nd round in the west if lakers and clips close out.

  50. the other Stephen May 7, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    chownoir, i’ve always found your insight very helpful. please do continue to post. :)

  51. Me and my buddy have a habit of continuously text messaging each other the instant reactions while we watch the game at our respective places. At one point in the 4th, we saw Kobe forcing and missing too many shots, we were like ‘Kobe being Kobe, but he’s lost that ability to make those shots’. In one possession, he got the ball when he was wide open, but instead he chose to drive and bring the ball to the traffic. I didn’t get it.
    Hill was surely money, a relative period of Nuggets offensive stagnancy at the time when Hill and Ebanks were in the lineup. Hill and Ebanks make the extra effort, no slacking at all in any possession.
    I was like ”Blake is a PG and he can’t even pass”, but before i could send that text, he delivered the dagger. His jumpshot looks so smooth, i wonder why doesnt he make them.
    Pau Gasol goes far too selfless at times. Cmon Pau, u’ve got such a big arsenal of moves, unleash em, force the Nuggets to double you too.
    Ramon doesn’t seem to be nervous about taking those big shots any time. I wonder why is he so loose at D. He can atleast show more effort.
    I expect the Lakers to win it in the next game. Without MWP, it might be difficult in first game at OKC…its Kobe’s kobeness, Andrew’s latent beast, MWP’s roughness, Hill and Ebanks’ ‘consider it done’ attitude among the others that will make me root for us till the end, till the fist pumping, till the other teams shaking their heads, till NBA Memes put more of pictures with ‘I might be 3-24, but when i score, i win the ring’…

  52. in game 3, in the last minute, when we had already lost, kobe drove to the hoop and made a ridiculous move (he scored) it was a sick highlight but since the game was already over, I never heard about it or saw it on replay. anybody know what im talking about? anybody know where i can find a clip? thanks…

  53. Never mind. i found it. Here it is if u wanna check it out. Go lakers !

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx0eJ9jmbfo

  54. Stat note:

    3P% ranks, 2011-12 season, offense/defense

    Denver 24th/30th
    Lakers 26th/14th

    In the two close games in the series, Denver went 4/19 and 3/19 from the arc. The Lakers, including the daggers from Blake and Sessions, were 5/17 in Game 4.

    So, one key reason that the Lakers are up 3-1 is that they are facing one of the few teams in the playoffs that is worse on the 3, overall, than they are. While no one stat tells the whole story of course, this is something to watch, in that if Denver can hit a few 3s, that gives them a much better chance to extend the series. Second, here are the 3P% ranks of the other teams still playing in the West:

    SA 1
    OKC 11
    LAC 12
    MEM 25

    So, if the Lakers do close out Denver, it is overwhelmingly likely that future opponents will be better on the 3 than they are.

  55. RR, and those are valid points I’m more than happy to discuss. And a lot of that does come down to opinion. You may consider a few million a game changer but I don’t.

    As for franchise valuation, I don’t consider that when trying to make cash flow decisions. Paper value doesn’t help. Again, my opinion.

    But my original point stands regardless of how my tone was interpreted. It’s hard to have a discussion if someone isn’t taking all the factors into consideration.

  56. rr,
    The FB&G roster is similar to that of the Clippers. Very top heavy. I have learned to respond to the top half only on this site. But you can do what you want. Just my advice to you. What’s your take on the Clips/Griz? I still see a Grizzlies seven game victory. The NBA needs a seven game series to not lose money this round (every series is going short), the Grizzlies are better, and the Clippers have come from double digits down in the fourth quarter for two wins and eaked out a OT win at home. I still favor Memphis in this one.

    It’s also funny that someone on here listed his favorite posters and those are some of the exact ones I skip over.

  57. Been surprised to see no comments about Bynum’s body language late in Sunday’s game when the ball was going to other options. On one of those possessions, his arms hanging at his side, his grumpy look. Lakers won, the bench looked good, so the narrative assumes the team chemistry was all good. Left me wondering which Bynum shows up for game 5.

  58. I feel strangely validated….

  59. Aaron makes me laugh, closes out a thread on condescension w/ several thinly veiled references to him by stating this site is “top-heavy.” Thanks for that.

  60. Braziman,
    Bynum was laughing and smiling walking off the floor. But yes… During the the last few minutes as the competitor he is… He was pissed he didn’t see the ball. Any dominant seven footer who is 7 for 11 shooting against constant double teams would be just as frustrated watching his SG go 10 for 25 and the rest of his team continue to chuck up bricks from the outside before throwing it into the post first. It’s just as frustrating for NBA fans as it is for Bynum. But to be honest… Watching Blake and Barnes get their post passes to Bynum intercepted BY THEIR OWN MAN I would just assume to not have Bynum in the game with Blake and Barnes. And if he is… I don’t mind the lack of post entry passes.

  61. Funky Chicken May 8, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Unless a post is simply repeating, ad nauseum, a previously stated position, I’m not sure why you’d just “skip over” a post merely because it was offered by a particular person.

    Talk about living in a bubble. God forbid you actually read a contrary point of view….

  62. Bynum doesn’t seem to be a preferred go-to guy at the end of games. Is he being able to establish good position? Is it because he’s not handling the double-teams well enough? Are the Lakers getting good offensive opportunities when he’s passing out of double-teams, or is the ball stopping and turnovers happening? Maybe the best thing is for Bynum to concentrate on getting offensive boards and put-backs. His best shot is the lob for a dunk, but that’s not so easy to create.

  63. chownoir: To wrap this up from my end : ) With regard to 59: LOL – I was listed on there too : ) With regard to “taking all the factors into consideration”: Trust me I do. I do not want the Lakers to spend money without consideration for the future + I do not want them to use TPE’s just for the sake of using them. However I do think we should have upgraded more. Taxes + Revenue sharing are “Business reasons” to possibly not spend money. The cable deal and the Lakers increased capital value are “Business reasons” to possibly spend more money. Let’s throw out the business reasons however and look at what I call “basketball reasons”. For example, if we were trying to get under the cap, this would be a valid “basketball reason” to not use the TPE (not the only one). We clearly are not getting under the cap so if our payroll is $80 or $90 it does not matter for “basketball reasons” (as long as the contracts expire by 2014 when we will be freed of the huge payroll). Not asking you to necessarily agree – just to realize (from this example) that I am considering all of the factors and perhaps drawing a different conclusion. I also choose to think that Mitch is a fine GM and if he had the freedom to fully use the TPE, improve our bench, and expand the payroll, he would have done so. Perhaps I am wrong and Jimbo gave him such authority and Mitch failed to get it done for various reasons (some of which not under his control). However that is not my “opinion” (I agree with your statement about opinions being put forth as facts being annoying – I do not do that – If you review the original post I made to you (#50 of prior thread), it contained 2 smiles and was clearly stating an opinion. It is an opinion I believe in – but it is certainly not a fact. On the other hand – my Kobe Alerts are facts !!!

    All: I do not skip over any posts from anyone. I find them either interesting or amusing – but all of them are worth reading for one reason or another : )

  64. While I generally fall into the category of those who believe that Andrew Bynum is sulking on the court upset that he is not the man and given the ball on every pass, I am also open to the possibility that he is extremely worn-out from this season. He “brought it” to Game 1, where he was a true beast and the Lakers won easily. I am wondering if, from that point, Andrew has already been saving himself for round 2 against Perkins and the Thunder. He really hasn’t looked the same since Game 1, especially on defense.

  65. To avoid further arguments in discussing on too much ado about nothing, it is best that we all get united as one fan under one umbrella whoever you are, and whatever your take about the Lakers. Getting angry in defeat or praising the team to the hilt in victory is part of passion of being a Laker fan. Please don’t take that away, or else there is no more fun in cheering your team. If one is angry and you are not, move on bro…..let it go. If you don’t like this particular Coach or this owner, you don’t agree with the outcome of their decision…..move on bro, we’re now in the playoffs.

    Unfortunately, we get all those wise cracks comments centered on posters/bloggers who are not players nor public figures…. but just fan ranting on defeat or delirious in victory….if you are not fascinated by such emotions, please move on, it is not about you.

    We are all Laker fans in this blog, please adjust your tolerance level to how we interact with people in Los Angeles on everyday dealings. It is composed of different people, different backgrounds with different opinions about life, about their Laker fanaticism expressed in this blog through the exuberance of youth or the wisdom of an elder. We are all one looking at a prism of how we view victory and digest the pains of defeat.

    Lakers, let’s close this game and move on to the next round.

  66. Funky Chicken,
    Do I not always respond back to you? And you often have a different point of view. I won’t though respond back to people who don’t have a point. Just because you have a view doesmt mean you have a point And I should have been more clear. I don’t skip over as much as I glance over. I glance over and sometimes snicker but never respond.

  67. rr: With regard to Aaron’s statement about the FB&G roster: That statement does not apply to you. You are not on the roster. Remember – I named you GM way back in the pre-season : )

  68. The Lakers, almost unnoticed, have added a chemelion like flavor to their aura.

    Other teams can go small–the Lakers can go “young”–fielding a team with Kobe that includes Sessions, Ebanks, Hill, and Bynum–or the Lakers can go “veteran”, fielding a team that includes Blake, MWP/Barnes, Gasol, and Murphy.

    Against the Nuggets, the Youth flavor is very helpful. Against the Thunder, the youth flavor may be critical. Against San Antonio, Miami, and, yes, Boston, the veteran/youth mix and match may shade more toward the veteran overlay.

    The more I see the chemelion flash of colors, the better I like it.

  69. Wow! that was ugly! This is what happens when you dont take what the defense is giving you. They are conceding easy jump shots. Their is no room for the bigs to work inside. We must loosen up their defense with outside shooting. Outside jumpers are only problematic if you miss them. Coach Brown must insert and impower his outside shooters. If they are cold go to the next guy. There will not be room to operate without better outside shooting! There will only be more turnovers if you force it inside against a packed defense!