Looking At The Bynum & Gasol Duo

Darius Soriano —  June 1, 2012

This off-season one of the questions the Lakers’ front office will need to ask and answer is whether or not their big man tandem of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum works together well enough to keep in tact. Even with the financial concerns of keeping both in house through the end of Pau’s contract, the decision will likely come down to their utility as playing partners rather than what their cost is on the ledger. The Lakers understand that they’re going to be a high payroll team (Mitch Kupchak said so himself in his exit interview), so the ultimate goal isn’t necessarily saving money but optimizing their roster through right fitting personnel.

It should be said from the outset that having two of the better big men in the league is an embarrassment of riches. Before this past season Gasol had made three consecutive all-star teams while also being named either 2nd or 3rd team all-NBA. During long stretches of the 2011 season Gasol was widely considered the ‘most skilled’ big man in the league. Meanwhile, Bynum too has developed into an all-star and made 2nd team all-NBA this year. Both are fantastic players individually and having both on the same team is a luxury many teams would love to have an opportunity to try and make work.

This season, however, the Lakers were the team that had to make it work and the results were mixed.

Bynum and Gasol shared the court for 1,492 minutes this season, the third highest minute total of any pairing for the Lakers (behind only Kobe/Pau and Kobe/Bynum). In those minutes the team essentially played to their season averages in terms of every major statistical category both traditional and advanced/efficiency based. This, of course, makes complete sense – they played so often together that of course the team’s statistical output would be highly influenced by this paring.

Of course, the stats are only one part of this equation. What matters more is how the players actually meshed. And, this is where we start to see how it didn’t work as well as hoped.

Simply put, Gasol never really seemed comfortable playing the role he was given when sharing the floor with Bynum. As we said all year, Pau traded post touches for perimeter ones. He often acted as a facilitator at the elbow (or higher) in the Lakers’ HORNS sets, catching then holding the ball as the primary decision maker for how a set would evolve. When he wasn’t facilitating, he was spacing the floor, evidenced by his increase in long two pointers attempted and decrease in shots taken close to the basket.

Despite this shift in his offensive role, Pau was still effective if not nearly as decisive. He may have hit 50% of his field goals on the year but he often passed up shots in an attempt to involve others, showing difficulties in balancing his role as a distributor and scorer. He spoke at length about this after the season, saying that he’d need to find ways to be more aggressive while admitting that adjusting to his new role where he had to pursue his looks (rather than having them worked into the general flow of the offense) was challenging.

That said, Pau’s big picture offensive numbers were remarkably consistent whether Bynum was on the floor or not. The difference in FG% was minuscule (.3% better with Bynum on the floor) and his per 48 minute numbers for offensive rebounds were nearly the same. The only marked difference was that with Bynum off the floor Pau scored more (while also taking more FT’s) and assisted less, a natural result considering his role as a distributor when he shared the floor with another offensive threat the caliber of Bynum.

Bynum, on the other hand, did see a pretty big difference in production when Pau was on the floor vs. on the bench. When playing without the Spaniard, Bynum shot 4% better while scoring 4 more points per 48 minutes but also did worse on the offensive glass and committed more turnovers. As an offensive focal point Bynum had much more responsibility as a scorer and much more defensive attention shifted his way. The result was better scoring with the tradeoff being his offensive rebounding and ability to keep possession of the ball suffering. These are products of Bynum’s relative inexperience in being an offensive focal point and will likely improve over time but it’s interesting to see how Gasol’s presence affected his game in both positive and negative ways.

Defensively the Lakers saw the types of results you’d expect when Pau and Bynum shared the floor versus when one of them sat. With both of them in the game the Lakers’ defensive efficiency and rebound rate were both better. Per 48 minutes they blocked more shots, forced more steals, allowed less second chance points, and fouled less. Where they had issues were in transition defense and in points allowed off turnovers. P&R defense also gave them problems as Bynum didn’t always hedge and recover properly and the duo’s lack of foot speed meant that weak side rotations weren’t always timely. These last points are, of course, a major concern for the Lakers and has been for some time so it’s difficult to pin this solely on the Pau/Drew pairing even though their play is symptomatic of the problem.

So, what’s the final conclusion? It’s honestly not as easy to answer that question when you dig in further. Keeping both can definitely still work. The Lakers would need to continue to tweak their sets to better take advantage of each players’ strengths while also adjusting rotations to find personnel groupings that better mesh. And while some of the defensive issues that exist may not ever go away, there are ways to scheme around those as well. We never did see the Lakers play any zone D this year nor did we see any tweaks to the scheme that would sometimes have the bigs playing 20 feet from the hoop trying to contain a ball handler after switching. There’s refining to be done on both sides of the ball and the skill of the players involved is so high it could be worth exploring making some adjustments and gauging the results after a full off-season to better prep.

But, even the most optimistic view can’t hide other truths. In limited minutes this year, some of the Lakers best units were small ball lineups that featured Ron at power forward playing next to Gasol or Bynum. Those sample sizes are extremely small but do fall in line with what we saw in previous seasons where Lamar Odom playing next to either Pau or Drew produced results better than those that featured the twin towers. There’s also the point of whether this coaching staff – or any coaching staff for that matter – has the acumen to integrate two post players into a system that produces elite offense with today’s defensive rules that allow the clogging of the area in and around the paint. Phil Jackson was as great a coach as you’ll find but even he limited their minutes together – their 2 man pairing ranked 16th in minutes played together after Bynum came back from knee surgery – preferring instead to play Gasol and Odom for nearly 300 more minutes together than Bynum and Pau. Some of these results – both this year and last – are due to the Lakers lack of outside shooting but there’s still strong evidence that even with better shooting the spacing will still suffer with two bigs on the floor.

What the Lakers do to try and remedy this remains to be seen. If a trade is made I would not be surprised, though working around the edges wouldn’t surprise me either. However, the fact remains that there’s work to be done to make the Pau/Bynum pairing work for both players and the team at large as long as they’re both on the team.

*Statistical support for this post from NBA.com

Darius Soriano

Posts

163 responses to Looking At The Bynum & Gasol Duo

  1. Fascinating post. Interesting line on how the small ball lineups were most effective. That’s become the way of the league most teams finish games playing small ball. Transition defense and poins off turnovers. Both require foot speed to slow down playing two 7 footers assures that will continue to be a weakness.

  2. Darius: Thank you for your response. I agree with your logic about the fact that we don’t see much of what the FO does behind close doors. We do get the end results however. It is sort of like having a box score without watching the game. So yes – when it comes to the FO – we do not see the game. The box score (losing LO, SB, DF and obtaining RS, JH, JM etc) looks horrible however : ) In my opinion of course : )

  3. rr: Let’s talk about the future. You mention “if they keep Hill”. Hill has some unusual restrictions on him in terms of what the Lakers can offer him. In Sessions’ case, we can offer him more than anyone else can. I am not very enamored with RS and I never thought JH was the 2nd coming that many did after his first couple of decent games. That said – I would keep both. So in my fantasy world of managing a team, we pay RS what it takes and we pay JH what it takes up to the max allowed with his strange restrictions. Now in both cases, I would give them 2 years. If we do not go beyond 14, we are not mortgaging the future and there is no “basketball” reason not to do this. This will however kill the bottom line with taxes and penalties (and yes – this is where I think we should pay up, because we can afford it). What will we do?

  4. I was surprised and interested to learn that Pau still has the highest PPP in the post out of all the players on the team. Didn’t jibe with what I saw on the court, which (I thought) was Pau getting pushed off the post more often than I could ever remember. Without watching the actual post possessions, I wonder how much of the high PPP is due to Pau selectively exploiting favorable post matchups … or is it that his post game really hasn’t diminished at all? Would definitely change how I feel about which of the bigs to keep.

  5. Snoopy,
    I plan on another part to this post that examines the individual games of Bynum and Gasol. Lets just say that the stats and eye-test don’t always agree in terms of overall effectiveness.

  6. We talk about these two in isolation. Everything they do must be factored by who is playing around them and who is coaching them.

    I do think the most telling observation is Pau’s failures in two straight playoffs, under two very different coaches. That is enough to pretty much close the book on him with the Lakers – at his age and skill level.

  7. Pau/Bynum: Good post. One basic issue is that both of them are slow. Aditionally, Kobe at this point:

    a) Needs to be close to the basket a lot
    b) Is a lot slower on D than he once was

    So, the Lakers have a skill overlap problem. I suspect that Pau has lost less to age than some think, and if he is moved, will do well for his new team in 2013.

    Robert: Hill may get offered more than the Lakers can offer him, which I believe is around 3.8M. But, frankly, I doubt that he will. The new CBA is going to really hit guys like Hill and Sessions–the NBA’s lower-middle class. As to Sessions, he has to decide by June 20. My guess is that he opts out, and gets offers similar to what Jordan Farmar got or a bit less. I agree that I would try to keep him. Even if Deron Williams comes here, Sessions would be a good third guard behind Williams and Kobe since Williams is big enough to play off the ball and D up 2s.

    I agree on two years. It is possible some other team will offer 3, but, again, I doubt it. Since Buss gave up #1 picks to get them, he should be willing to spend some to keep them IMO.

  8. Anyone else hearing the Brandon Roy rumors? My Portland friends are being hilarious about it. I think it’s just Vecsey spreading more BS, but he would be a nice pickup if he can still play.

  9. Im going to sound like a snob again. So get ready :( This isn’t a debate. We shouldn’t be looking at this like we have to go back and forth. This isn’t a question. Unless the Lakers trade Bynum for Dwight Howard there is no one on one swap besides for LeBron that makes the Lakers better. Let’s be honest here. Andrew Bynum is a lot better. Check out those without Bynum stats. He didn’t receive any double teams and he didn’t produce more points. His FG percentage in post touches (does that count open dunks) is due to being single covered by back up Centers. Let’s be honest here. Pau is still a good PF. But we need to be honest.

    Oh. And these Roy rumors are great. (edited for trade speculation)

  10. To judge Pau’s performances in the past two playoffs without looking at context is silly. Pau became the third option on offense toward the end of last season under Phil, and his demotion, or under utilization of his skill set, has coincided with his poor playoff showings. Under Phil, Bynum was basically the second option as the season ended and throughout the playoffs.

    I don’t think we can underestimate how much Pau fed off of Kobe’s game, and the fact that Kobe was playing on one leg did not help matters.

    Once Bynum emerged as the primary post option, the two man game between Kobe and Pau all but disappeared. Those give and gos, pick and rolls, and the easy baskets Kobe created for Pau were gone….and as Darius noted, he was suddenly forced to be the floor spreader for Bynum, playing in spots on the floor where he was less comfortable.

    On defense, Pau is now forced to defend much quicker players like Faried, Ibaka, etc. These guys destroyed Pau in the transition game. Lamar could possibly run with these guys, Gasol can not. It’s a lot easier to keep up with guys like Perkins, Mozgov and McGee than Faried and Ibaka when playing transition defense.

    I’m not fully excusing Pau, because he struggled in the low post as well against guys like Carl Landry, but to ignore the degree in which Pau had to adjust his game on both sides of the floor is plain silly.

  11. Aaron,
    I have the double team stats that I’ll incorporate into the post I’ll write next week. And, by extension of having the double team stats, I also have the stats from single coverage. I’ll repeat what I said to Snoopy: the eye test doesn’t necessarily agree with the stats here. Both in ways fans would expect and ways that they wouldn’t.

  12. And I would still go hard after KG

    Garnett is going to get better offers than the mini-MLE. There is virtually no chance that he will come here. The blowback in Boston if he signed here for the mini-MLE, given Garnett’s post-season performance, would be massive. And that aside, Garnett is still worth far more than 3.5M a year, looking at his impact on both ends.

    I would probably trade Bynum for Deron Williams, if they could pick up a bruiser backup 5 to play 25 decent MPG and keep Hill.

  13. I’ll be very suprsided to see any stats that make any kind of sense here that says anything other than Bynum is a superior player all over the court. Defensivley, offensivley, and on the glass. forget numbers like in the OKC series that showed the only player with an average plus/minus was Bynum himself. And I wonder what the stats say when Bynum and Gasol were switched. Remmenebr… 80 percent of the year Bynum was the first to the bench and first to play with the second unit to start the second and fourth quarters. Of course after 3/4ths of the year Mike Brown swiched them since he decided he needed Bynum to be in the Kobe rotation and play the last 8 minutes of the fourth quarter. Gasol now started the fourth and was benched out at around the 6 min mark of fourth quarters. It would defy PER and defensive statistics dealing with efficiency if any stats showed Gasol was in the conversation with Bynum. But I’m all ears ;)

  14. Darius – thanks, looking forward to it.

    Craig W – That’s the entire problem. Most of what they’ve done over the last year has been influenced by the other. If we’re talking about trading one, it’s difficult to predict how their game will change with the other gone. It’s hard to remove player production from context. It’s a game our FO will have to play well.

  15. Vision will lead Lakers to the old glory days. Few years ago if Lakers decide to let Odom go, and use money to sign PG, you want a big guys, sign a players with 3mil, or 5 mil,Phil might don’t like the idea, but the vision is to keep Lakers in winning, life after Phil.

    If Lakers had a vision they don’t sign Steve Blake, who had the similar game like Fisher, the reason not to sign Blake is Phil can’t coach Lakers forever, you never want 2 PG with the same style . Lakers FO got caught in the moment, now we have to pay the price.

    Same thing if we continue to keep Bynum & Gasol with a lot of money, we don’t have a vision, the only thing you keep Gasol, if you want LeBron James next two years, but if he win NBA Finals with Miami, he may stay in Miami, we want players who can help us to win now and after next two years .The future of Lakers, we need a coach who is offensive coach, sharing the ball, have a system to score and not depending too much on Kobe.

  16. 1/2decaf1/2regular: Pau being a 3rd option he was as effective as he could.He gave his teammates open shots and fed Bynum. He gave Bynum his role, he made the right plays and came up the biggest in a do or die game. His whole career Pau has been on the block and this year he was asked to be Dirk, Aldridge and was effective as he could be in that role. He still accounted for MORE Lakers offense adding up points and assists than Bynum regular season and postseason.

    It’s easy to blame Pau and Odom because they do what’s asked not bang their head against a door hoping to break through. Pau is the gateway from Kobe to Bynum he allows them to play their games and hides Bynum from other teams defense with his passing. Both bigs didn’t come to play every game.

    Nobody on this team can be relied upon except Kobe.

  17. In other news, Carraro has officially been hired as our assistant GM, replacing the spot left vacant after Lester was not extended.

  18. rr: You mentioned @8 that the new CBA would hit the middle class. You are correct. We have seen this movie before in the NFL. There is an elite class (Manning, Rodgers types), there are rookies and low contract types, and there is a very small middle class. Middle class players need to move around quite a bit, because only certain teams are willing to pay them. The NBA, as you state will be the same. How do you win in an environment like that? If you pay up for one of the elite, you must choose wisely (we chose wisely, but got caught with the new CBA at the wrong time). Middle class players should be signed to short term deals (we clearly made some mistakes here). You must be able to bring in young talent and develop it (never our strong suit). However rr, this is not my problem – it is yours. Remember, I am the owner, and you are GM : ) I will never meddle in what you do, I will spend the most legally possible, and I will support you at every turn (thereby making me the perfect owner – I am confident I can do the job). You as the GM need to fix this mess – are you up to your job? : )

  19. Okay Aaron, just a taste of your beloved PER (which I respect as a tool too, btw). As a Center, Bynum’s PER was 23.5 and his PER Against was 14.2 for a differential of 9.3. Great stuff. As a Center, Gasol’s PER was 21.7 and his PER Against was 12.2 for a differential of 9.4.

    So, in just this one statistical example Bynum is the slightly better player on O and the slightly worse player on D (judged by individual production of the man he’s guarding) and in terms of differential, Pau is a hair better. I’d argue that who both guys are playing against matters but as you said Bynum got a lot of time against 2nd stringers playing with the bench. So, did that inflate his numbers?

  20. Robert,

    Good post. And no, I am not up to the job. I will just continue to bloviate here.

    In acquiring Hill and Sessions, the team added two guys whose contracts are running out and gave up #1 picks in each case. If:

    1. They let them walk.
    2. The contracts they sign elsewhere are reasonable.
    3. The FO fails to bring in players of similar value to fill these roles.

    That will, in my opinion, be an indicator that your cynicism about the Jim Buss regime is legit. As I said, long-term, I am concerned. I also did not like the layoffs and letting Lester go.

    But for me, the jury is still out.

  21. rr – That applies to Sessions. But the max we can offer Hill is 3.6. If he takes an offer for 5-6 million, I’d say that’s pretty reasonable but there was nothing else our FO could do in that position.

  22. Darius,
    Pau Gasol was paying defense against back up Centers. Let’s be honest here. That’s all we ask for. Offensively Bynum put up a better PER against constant double teams. We need to be honest on this site. Pau was rarley asked to guard good post Centers this season. Rarley. Darius… Are you sayng you believe Pau Gasol was a better or even comparable post defemder this year? Are you saying that on record?

  23. Aaron,
    I’m not saying anything right now. I’m only responding to your earlier statements. So, here’s what I don’t understand. You said:

    “I’ll be very suprsided to see any stats that make any kind of sense here that says anything other than Bynum is a superior player all over the court.”

    Then you said:

    “It would defy PER and defensive statistics dealing with efficiency if any stats showed Gasol was in the conversation with Bynum.”

    All I did was provide a stat that said just what you said they wouldn’t. That’s it.

  24. 1/2 & 1/2,
    Please see the first part of this post:

    http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2012/05/09/its-getting-crowded-down-here/

    I’m pretty sure Pau was doubled when he got post touches vs the Nuggets.

  25. Lakers F/O should sign Sessions and Hill, they’re the only few quality players that we have here.

    With regards to Gasol and Bynum, both are tradeable provided there is something big and productive in return. To rest our hopes and laurels on these two slow/weak bigs will be another disaster season. Every year is always an analysis-paralysis of miseries. They are not indispensable as we thought they are, their height was not an asset in this playoffs but more of a detriment in causing lack of transition defense.

    Condolence to the families of Orlando Woolridge, he is no superstar but a great role player in late 80’s. We talk so much of Bynum and Gasol and they couldn’t even matched with the role players of the past. At their young age, they’re becoming “ancient” in this league where the PG’s reign over the Centers. Height has been replaced by speed because of the players like Bynum and Gasol who allowed this lilliputian to rule their domain.

    From Season 1, Gasol has been asked to get to the gym put some more weight and muscles. Whatever weight he gained, it’s only good for European basketball. In the case of Bynum, he was tutored by Kareem, the only player that I know who got special tutoring from a Superstar, yet he could not rise up to the occasion in controlling the game. Lakers had a hard time controlling his temper at a young age, a budding prima donna because he’s the pet of Jimbo and our super blogger here, Aaron lol!

  26. Snoopy,

    I know. I don’t think anyone will offer Hill 5-6M however.

  27. 1/2decaf1/2regular: Why would a team double Pau on the perimeter? He was 15 ft away from the basket all year he was giving space to Bynum down low. I vividly remember Pau create open shots for Ron/Blake out of PnR and throwing countless lobs to Bynum. He was doing what was asked which was fitting in. Brown put Kobe in his sweet spots, Bynum in his but forgot about Pau. Every player on the floor is a threat with Pau at C.

    Pau is a post player and is most effective initiating offense in the post. He’s been doing that his whole career at C. The lineup that got Lakers back in the game 2nd qtr vs OKC game 5 was Pau at C Ron at PF. But Brown never went back to it. Pau was turned into a role player he wasn’t utilized right. His salary won’t change the fact he’s still a top 3 center and put up 17/10/3 as a third option. Pau has a skillset unmatched in the league he’s a very unique player.

    Let’s not forget Perkins, Mosgov, McGee manhandling Drew. Whether he was fatigued or not fighting for position his post touches came farther from the basket every postseason game.

  28. We fans know that the next CBA will definitely affect the Lakers badly in terms of spending spree…the front office has a dilemna of which to continue the twin towers strategy,or torn them apart…we also witness the almost genuninely strategic plans to trade Pau/Lamar for CP3 to shred the payroll…IMHO, Lakers need another wing support for Kobe..Look at the top 4 teams now..OKC/SA series,MIA/BOS, all have 2 perimeter threats..to help Kobe wins his 6th ring we must trade one BIG for another WING…whether its PAU or Andrew, its up to the top management…lets hope for another magic wand for Mitch,,

  29. We need to be honest on this site.

    No reason to think Darius was being dishonest.

    decaf,

    You are letting your emotions about Pau get in the way of being objective. FWIW, I also think some people have done that with Bynum, who want him out of town because of his attitude issues. The reasons to trade Bynum are:

    1. You might be able to get Howard or Williams for him.
    2. Pau and Kobe both expire in 2014.
    3. Bynum’s knees may prevent him from being a long-term franchise anchor.

  30. You guys are not rooting hard enough. It seems bad now, after all, we got bounced two years in a row in the second round, our financial situation is horrible, and you guys have to listen to Robert. However, can you imagine listening to a year of commercials and NBA pre-game material commemorating a Celtic banner? It would be worse than the Veto (well maybe not that bad – but close).

  31. Hill will get more than 3.6 retaining him is a longshot. Ilyosova will set the market and a team will overpay for Hill and Humphries.

    As for Sessions paying him and Blake is foolish. Getting a PG on a rookie contract would be better. Casper Ware and Kendall Marshall should be given a long look by Mitch.

  32. Cesar “Yoodin” Galvan June 1, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Andrew has more trade value compare to Pau Gasol…we must extract the more we can get the better..not like the past Shaq – deal..its either Deron or Dwight or any other superstar that an also be the future of thr franchise..

  33. 34,

    Robert, you said our financial situation is horrible, are you referring to CBA rules per se or the treasury chest of Buss family.

    If the Dodgers was able to command a price of 2.2 billion, how much do you think the goodwill the Lakers have accumulated since 1979 when it was bought by Dr Buss from Jack Cooke for only $67.5 million. Would you still say their situation at this present time horrible? Everything in business is measured by return on investment or (roi) and the barometer comes from annual profit and loss statement of the franchise. Are the Lakers a losing franchise this season, last season or any season?

  34. Hill will get more than 3.6 retaining him is a longshot. Ilyosova will set the market and a team will overpay for Hill and Humphries.

    Perhaps. But at this point, that is just an assertion–and this is the first full-off-season under the new CBA. Hill may get the full MLE somewhere, but he is not a player that is likely to excite any FOs.

    Sessions is different, and more valuable than, Steve Blake. Blake will be 33 years old next year. Both Ware and Marshall will almost certainly be gone long before the Lakers draft.

    What was “foolish” was giving Blake a four-year deal in the first place.

  35. Also, the Lakers already have a PG on a rookie contract.

  36. rr: Maybe Hill will do what Shannon did come back on a short deal and discount. Just think a desperate team will overpay for the top guy like they always do and take Lakers out the market for Hill. I do agree giving Blake and Ron 4 year deals with no outs wasn’t the smartest move. Those contracts are killing us. Morris is a FA.

  37. Darius/rr: I promise you that I did not ask Edwin to post that : )

    Edwin: As you state, the Laker ROI is a winning season every year. We have no rival in the NBA, and only the Yankees are in our league anywhere. The treasury chest is huge. As you point out, the small amount that was paid for the team as compared to what it is worth now, is nothing short of a monumental windfall. So when I say – “We can afford it” – I really mean – we can afford it. Between the rising value of the franchise and the annual profits; the taxes, the revenue sharing, and our entire cap are insignificant financial footnotes. We should make fiscally responsible decisions for “basketball reasons” only, not for bottom line decisions, because as you state – with the Lakers – they are all winning seasons.

    So yes – when I say we have a bad financial situation – I am referring to the cap. I think by business standards we will be OK : )

  38. @41 Robert + Edwin @37,

    What you guys are saying is what I think: If I was Jimbo, I’ll spend as much as I can, even having little to no profit at all with the Lakers (break even….or even a smal loss), but capitalize on Kobe and winning my 1st ring as the Lakers “owner”, or VP of bball.

  39. rr: What do you think of Kendall Marshall’s game? The rondo comparison will be inevitable.

  40. Rob & Magic Phil,

    That’s not our money so they can decide how they want to spend it. I’m just commenting on what Robert was saying that our financial situation is horrible. He got me to a bait to his side of argument of spend, spend, spend. haha!

    GM’s are also gauged based on the decisions they made. Well, in the last decade, Lakers got 5 Championships and 7 times visit to the Finals. That’s not bad at all. In this current decade, we’re pegged only to 2nd round, PJ is gone and Kobe is about to wind up that’s why I’m saying we’re re-visiting the 90’s. We failed to seed the team with young blood or re-energize old blood like what Spurs are doing with their big 3, what we got is a lopsided triangle one A and 2 B’s who are playing a lazy dozy big that make Laker fans bored and uneasy. Having said that I trust Mitch’s magic to make good decisions this summer and I also hope the Superstars who are currently outside of the Lakers would use their common sense in choosing a career path. I can sum it in another analogy: if you are in IT business today, will you settle a good offer from HP who just laid off thousand of employees, compared to a respectable position at Apple? It is time to think different.

  41. Robert, what is this “we” stuff as in “we can afford it” ?

    Are you a partial owner of the Lake Show or something? :0)

    Not to single you out, but it rubs me raw when people refer to the Lakers using the term “we”. I don’t think even Magic can truly use “we” when referring to the Lakers anymore. Can even Jeanie?

    Mods, would you please edit this sort of thing the same way you do wild trade speculation? :0)

  42. Hill is on his third team now. He plays hard but I don’t see him being offered anything too massive. It’s not that he’s not a good player, it’s just that he hasn’t made a solid impression throughout an entire season yet. D’Antoni hated him and he was part of a platoon in Houston. Someone flinging 5 million at him for a few nice moments in the playoffs is unlikely but more power to him if he can get it.

    Sessions should be retained but I’m not a fan of guards who don’t recognize that defense is at least half the game. I don’t want to sit through another game trying to pull hair out of my scalp as he gets abused like a Junior high schooler. Someone that quick should learn the turn angles and shoot the gaps far better than he has thus far in his career. He, Ebanks and Morris need a Summer retreat with a mountain of defensive guard tape/dvd narrated by Ron Artest at his comedic pinnacle.

  43. twin tower only work when you have mobile big man such as Duncan and Robinson…

  44. Warren Wee Lim June 2, 2012 at 5:21 am

    The Jordan Hill situation is for himself, not limited to the Lakers. Meaning, if Hill signs a contract ANYWHERE, he is restricted to that contract. 3.8 Million is the most he can get as starting salary next season.

    If you want my guess on this is that the Lakers will be able to retain him to this contract (his max) next season, with the 2 more seasons on his deal being team options with partial guarantee.

  45. Warren Wee Lim June 2, 2012 at 5:31 am

    I think the Bynum+Gasol duo has been proven that it won’t work with our current framework of a team.

    Simple basketball wisdom dictates that in order for the double to come, your big man has to command it. If and when he has it, he should know how to pass it outside (or the corner) to a floor spacer that will punish the opponents for doubling.

    Mike Brown made the Lakers cross the halfcourt line faster than usual. But this had to come on the final game of the season when we are at the brink of elimination. Mike Brown is a good coach but his offensive sets are too elementary to be in today’s NBA. That said, it would be best to hire someone who could aid him in running this. That said a true court general would be the instant cure.

    Broussard has a pretty good grasp as to the particulars in which this can be achieved. Although his writeup merely speculates about the possibilities, I think thats one possibility that would be an instant salve for the Lakers’ offensive woes.

  46. mikeinchitown June 2, 2012 at 8:06 am

    bynum/gasol: there has to be a solution between sessions running at breakneck speed and bynum jogging leisurely to setup with 10 seconds in the clock. (of course wishful thinking, paul would have solved that problem). tempo/passing w/in triangle allowed gasol to be maximized but with new system+bynum growth, parts just don’t fit. mgt obviously agreed with the paul trade, now the other shoe has to drop. i hope mitch & co are daring enough to remake this team, understanding that status quo will only ensure 2nd round exits.

    i am constantly torn when i watch what little basketball i can bear to watch these days.

    that being said, here’s my desired outcome: celtics over heat… just to get their hopes up, then crushed by the spurs. ahhh… satisfying.

  47. R: When I say “We”, I mean “We”. I am invested in this team : ) Your post is interesting, because I look at unfamiliar posters who do not use “We”, with suspicion : )
    Besides you should not be concerned when Robert uses the term “We”, you should be concerned when Jimbo starts using the term “I”.

  48. Magic Phil @42: Yes – however I am not sure we could legally spend enough to get ourselves to break even : )
    Edwin: I like the reference you made to the 7 Finals trips and 5 titles during the Kobe era. However we have 2 straight years where we have not made the finals. That is a long streak for us, as you know. If we do not make it during Kobe’s contract, it will be like a drought of historic proportion. My only hope is that the FO does “Everything” it can to minimize that drought.

  49. Darius,
    But the PER stats showed Bynum was significantly better offensivley. Two points in PER is a significant difference. Especially in context where Gasol is usually single covered with inferior defenders and Bynum is usually double and triple teamed by the best low post defenders on each team. Just for context… Two PER points was the differece last year between Kobe Bryant and Jeremy Lin or David Lee. This just isn’t a conversation.

    Now… You can have a conversation of which player to trade. That is a conversation. Maybe Gasol has little trade value so the Lakers are better off keeping him. Since Bynum can get you a healthy Dwight Howard (need to wait to see if Howard will ever be the same player again).

  50. Darius,
    Yes… Gasol was doubled against the Nuggets when they had 6-6 SFs guarding him. Are you really saying Gasol was double teamed last year? Cause he was double less than Ramon Sessions was trapped. NBA coaches decided to mostly single cover Kobe and Gasol last year. They didn’t feel either of those guys could hurt them enough one on one to send extra help defenders.

  51. And Darius,
    I love you. And I don’t believe you really think Gasol is in the class of Andrew Bynum at this point in their careers. I don’t think that because I know how much you know basketball. And maybe I shouldn’t be outing you here publicly… But I think the fact Pau Gasol has been your favorite Laker is making you somewhat biased. I could admit when Ron Artest (my fav player) was sucking this year before he got healthy and in shape. I think you should admit Gasol hasn’t been the same player for the last year and a half. The last year under Phil Jackson Gasol was playing his usual role. And the last half of that year including the playoffs showed Pau wasn’t that same dynamic player all over the court , including in the high post (where he dominated for his entire Lakers career until that point). I don’t think your heart is letting your eyes see objectively here.

  52. Aaron,
    You’re filling your own vacuum. I’ve said nothing besides provide a stat. That’s it.

  53. Robert & Edwin,

    It’s not because it’s not my money, it’s because I believe Jimbo should invest in his brand. A ring, at this point (his 1st season as “owner”) will be much more valuable for the Lakers and him than making money with the Lakers.

  54. Just reading a chat wrap from Hollinger about Russell Westbrook’s gunner tendencies-

    “One other thing with Durant that people have trouble appreciating — he still isn’t very good at getting open off the ball. When you saw Russ handle up top for ten seconds looking for something that never materializes, and then improvise a long jump shot, it’s because KD couldn’t get open on a play call.”

    It’s weird to see someone use this type of defense for other players not named Kobe. ;)

    Robert- We didn’t make the finals for something like 9 straight years in the 90’s. Not making it for 2 straight years isn’t a big deal man. I like your posts and your enthusiasm for the Lakers, but seriously dude- your expectations are way out of whack.

  55. Darius,
    You moved the entire center of the discussion by asking a question that should not be asked seriously. ’twas easy to infer. There is no discussion who is the better player or who was more effective last season. Like I said… The only talking point should be who should be traded… Bynum or Gasol or both? My answer to that question is unless you can get LeBron or (healthy) Dwight I wouldn’t trade Bynum for an individual player. And even if Dwight is healthy I would be worried that with floor spacers and the HGH German knee procedures Bynum will be the better Center next year.

  56. 50,

    Mike, I also go with your wish in this playoffs. For sentimental reasons, I’m cheering for the leprechauns oldies. I see the Lakers in their old system that still works to this day. KG is rejuvenated, Allen and PP produce in spurts while they’re driven by a soup-up PG Rondo. However, in the Finals I will go for Spurs to stop the arrogant leprechaun in his smart tricks with father time.

    Supposing nobody wants to trade with our bigs, we’re stuck with Gasol/Bynum for 3rd year in a row, I hope this so-called preseason training of Mbrown would work in finding them a suitable positioning in the post. What I can’t understand, how they could not control the rebounds for easy follow ups. They should train our greyhounds to speed up the game like Darius Morris, Ramon Sessions, Andrew Goudelock, Ebanks, McRob, Hill. I think those guys could lend a supporting cast to speed up a little bit.

    If we don’t get anything from any trade, what we need to sign are three point shooters. Bellineli wants to play with Kobe, then get him. If Crawford of Blazers is let loose, get him too. If you have Blake, Bellineli, Goudelock and Crawford I think that will ease our perimeter weaknesses.

    All these dream acquisitions will work out as long as our Coach would not mess it up with his crazy, funky rotation throughout the year. He has all the best strategies laid out but could not close out the game with a victory.

  57. Aaron,
    Let’s review.

    I’ve said that I have access to stats that show a variety of things. Both things fans would expect and things that they might not in relation to what the eye test might say about each players’ overall effectiveness. I said this to Snoopy and to you. You then brought up double teams and I mentioned I have stats for those as well and that, again, there are things fans would expect and some things that they might not if they saw these stats.

    From there, *you* constructed an argument for me, have stated why that argument is dumb to make, and then took it a step further and said that *I* inferred it all through my original statements that I’ve seen stats that say interesting things. Again, you’re filling your own vacuum.

    I could be a jerk about this but I’ll take a different route and simply say again that I’m going to write about this next week. This is pretty much all I’m going to say on the matter.

  58. I’m not going to post any trade speculation, but something that Aaron said above got me thinking a little bit about Lebron and the Heat. Let’s say the Heat flame out (pun intended) against the C’s in this series. Would LBJ or Wade then become available? I claim that LBJ was untouchable when he was carrying the Cavs, but could he be traded if they fall on their faces in spectacular fashion?

    Lebron and Kobe together? It’s not quite the same dynamic that he and Wade have because they are both looking to drive to the hoop whereas Kobe is a post player/jumpshooter at this point in his career. One of the reasons that the Heat aren’t quite as good as they could be is that Wade and Bron fill the same niche- their skills overlap a bit too much.

    Anyway, what do you guys think? Darius please feel free to edit if this goes over the line, but I tried not to be too specific.

  59. Another thing, this Eyenga he could be explosive if he learns how to play basketball NBA way. If there is any motivated kid, here is a guy who would listen to a one-on-one tutelage like what they did to Drew. Would you believe that Eyenga could out-jump and out-run our two bigs? He was drafted by the Cavaliers because of his potentials in blocking shots but interned in the D’League without much supervision and attention. Problem is that he is athletic but lack ball handling skills it’s the Kwame syndrome. This is a challenge to our asst. coaches to develop this player because he has all the athletic potentials but never played that long. Look at his contract he is the only player signed up to 2015.

    Will you treat Christian like Luke by letting him rot on the bench or make him a serviceable role player by developing his athleticism and skills at this early stage?

  60. Let’s review… You wrote “Okay Aaron, just a taste of your beloved PER (which I respect as a tool too, btw). As a Center, Bynum’s PER was 23.5 and his PER Against was 14.2 for a differential of 9.3. Great stuff. As a Center, Gasol’s PER was 21.7 and his PER Against was 12.2 for a differential of 9.4.

    So, in just this one statistical example Bynum is the slightly better player on O and the slightly worse player on D (judged by individual production of the man he’s guarding)”

    You litterally said Bynum was only slightly better on offense which of course isn’t true by the numbers you listed. Being two points better on PER is a significant difference especially considering context where one player is swarmed and one player is allowed to play one on one against inferior post defenders.

    I’ll try to be nice because I need to put effort in to not be condescending (oh wait)… Let’s be honest. I wasn’t arguing in a vacuum. You said things that aren’t true and I resp

  61. Let’s review… You wrote “Okay Aaron, just a taste of your beloved PER (which I respect as a tool too, btw). As a Center, Bynum’s PER was 23.5 and his PER Against was 14.2 for a differential of 9.3. Great stuff. As a Center, Gasol’s PER was 21.7 and his PER Against was 12.2 for a differential of 9.4.

    So, in just this one statistical example Bynum is the slightly better player on O and the slightly worse player on D (judged by individual production of the man he’s guarding)”

    You litterally said Bynum was only slightly better on offense which of course isn’t true by the numbers you listed. Being two points better on PER is a significant difference especially considering context where one player is swarmed and one player is allowed to play one on one against inferior post defenders.

    I’ll try to be nice because I need to put effort in to not be condescending (oh wait)… Let’s be honest. I wasn’t arguing in a vacuum. You said things that aren’t true and I responded. A two point differential in PER is the difference between Kobe Bryant and Jeremy Lin this season.

  62. Well I am throwing stats out the window and state that when used properly Pau is still the better offensive player. They had him facilitating and he just did not get the ball in the right spots enough. Now if Andrew can ever learn to just go up with the ball instead of taking that annoying little bunny hop dribble after he catches it, he could become a monster. But that dribble and allows doubles and triples to get there and he struggles at times. When Andrew becomes decisive with the ball he will be much harder to contain. Until then Pau is still better in the post.

  63. A coaches decision whether to double Kobe or not is predicated more on the fact that Kobe will get 25 points whether he is double teamed or triple teamed. So, a coach picks his poison just as all good coaches do it’s a strategy to stop the player that stop making the effort due to the coverage. Moreover, every team puts their best defender on Kobe that’s league strategy.

    Bynum was double and triple teamed not by Kobe’s man or Pau’s man he was doubled by Sessions or MWP’s man. Towards the end of the season teams began doubling off Pau’s man as they realized that he was neutered by the Lakers offense and was no longer the offense threat that he’s been his entire career. Some of that is Pau’s fault for not being assertive with the new coaches. But, do we blame Pau for that? He was the guy that the team deemed worthy of trading at the beginning of the season and he dutifully filled whatever role the Lakers assigned to him in an effort to not ‘rock the boat.’

    We as fans get angry with a player like Jordan Farmar whom did not change his game to fit into PJ’s triangle system. But, as we can see with Pau Gasol when one doesn’t stay true to himself and his game one ends up not pleasing anyone. The same thing happened with Lamar Odom he was asked to start when Bynum was out hurt and return to the bench when Bynum was healthy. He did so with no complaint but eventually he lost his way he no longer knew who he was as a player. And the fans and management screamed about his inconsistency.

    That’s two Lakers that changed their games for Bynum to succeed. Someone’s game will always have to change to accommodate the up and coming youngster. Eddie Jones had to do that when Kobe came. Bynum must now have longevity that is more than nova to compensate the Lakers for two fine basketball players that sacrificed their games in order for him to become great.

    Too bad Pau couldn’t be convinced to come off the Lakers bench like Kevin McHale did the Celtics, then it would be worth it to retain Pau. He’d be an automatic 6th man of the year.

    This is a fascinating time for the Lakers organization. I can’t wait to see the direction they choose.

  64. Personally I think that the twin tower scheme is going to fail because of the redunancy of the two. Both have too many limitations. To slow laterally, which affect their ability to switch or cover man to man. Pau can create shots for Drew but Drew has to think his way through the double team so he is always a fraction off. Both are most effective in the same spots on the floor. Both have too many question marks versus what they are commanding salary wise. Let forget about potential here and lets accept the fact that what we saw is exactly what we are going to have moving forward. Based on that fact alone either or both scare me. Because of lack of insight from a lot of fan’s and the finger pointing at Pau his trade value is diminished, at this point you can not get value for him. If you look at his resume and his age as a center his value should be much much higher and command far more that we can expect right now. MK got tremendous value in the NO trade for Pau and LO. Less than that is unacceptable for a player of Pau’s resume. We won a championship with no contribution from Drew. We won with contributions from Pau and Drew, why arent we using the can Drew and the Lakers win one w/o Pau like so many did with the can kobe win w/o Shaq back and forth. Pau has earned his stripes and his place as one of the best if not the best European player of his generation. Drew is hope. We hope the glimpses of greatness will become reality, we hope the glimpses become consitent, we hope this immaturity will pass, we hope he will get it. I think Drew has 4 times the upside as Pau but i think Pau is smarter more effective when used properly and isnt it interesting the MB chose to give Pau the more demanding role in changing what was effective and not Drew.

  65. Ok Aaron I’ll go at it with you.

    Straight up players that this Lakers team would want for Andrew Bynum, and who the other team absolutely would not do it? I’ll just give 10.

    Lebron.
    Wade.
    Rose
    Howard
    Durant
    Westbrook
    Lamarcus
    DWill
    Paul
    Griffin

    Time to get off your high horse bud. Bynum was a complete no show in the 2nd round – a series he should have dominated as they have, supposedly, 1 player who can guard him 1 on 1. But, he was single covered by Perkins, failed to get him into foul trouble, and never once made any fan think – Andrew Bynum is taking over this game right now. That’s not the player he is. He’s not a gamer.

  66. Oh, and that 2 point differential in per you speak of?

    Again, you are only looking at 1 side of the numbers. Bynum got more minutes this year against 2nd unit scrubs, and looking at the whole year Bynum was a full 2 points worse at the center position.

  67. Cdog! No, don’t do that! We don’t want everyone else to know that stuff about ‘Drew!

    He didn’t dominate because our guards just didn’t pass him the ball. He didn’t dominate because he was triple teamed almost constantly! He didn’t dominate because Kobe is just a chucker and ball hug! ;)

    ‘Drew is obviously, to anyone who knows anything about basketball, the best big man offensively/defensively in the game. I mean let’s be honest here- the stats don’t lie. He can only possibly be traded for the best big man of this generation or the best player of the post-Kobe generation.

    I’m sorry if I come off as condescending, but I just can’t let that pass.

  68. 57,

    Good Morning Magic Phil, we miss the roll call. To add to what you said, I think Jim Buss should try to seize this moment because of the waning years of his Dad, Dr. Jerry Buss. Another Championship will add more life joys to his old man. All we hear in the media is that they’re a dysfunctional family feuding with sister and her bf, PJ. Gosh, don’t drag the Laker fans your ultimate market to this problem. I tried to search the web, I could not even establish the educational attainment of Jimbo. Is he qualified to be a CEO?

    Why not do something good that will make his Dad happy and proud of his cherished decision in handing down his beloved Lakers. Does the doctor have a long lease of life to witness another Championship parade in Grand and Figueroa? Do it while he still have Kobe and a salvageable product.

    On the other hand, if he just thinks of the bottom line without the products on hand, cutting cost by getting cheap coaches then Lakers will follow the path of Kodak, Circuit City and KMart. They could no longer compete with the new generation of companies. Going back to the Lakers, there are now a new generation of NBA players like Durant, Westbrook, Harden and Rondo together with Lebron, D’Wade, CP3 who are also getting older every season. jimbo should try harder and change his persona from a recluse to be an accommodating owner like his Dad.

  69. Aaron,
    I brought up PER because you said that it would “defy” PER if it even showed they were close. 1.8 points is pretty close to me. You brought up Kobe/Lin and that’s nice to try and make your point. But I can make other points. Like what’s even closer than Kobe/Lin is the .9 difference between Bynum and Greg Monroe or the 1.05 difference between Bynum and Kenneth Faried.

    PER is a great tool but it’s not the end all stat. It’s helpful in collecting boxscore stats and measuring efficiency when on the court. I can use PER to make any point I want in terms of player comparison but I don’t because it’s a single tool.

    Player evaluation is about shades of gray. I think we all understand this. But when talking about the shades we must account for all the shades, not just the ones we want to acknowledge because it makes our case stronger.

    Anyways, I’ll post more on Bynum and Gasol soon. Likely on Monday.

  70. Darius,
    It did more than make my point. Lin and Kobe are ball dominant perimeter players that aren’t double teamed. So very comparable. Bynum and Monroe are post players who like Lin and Kibe are separated by four inches. However, Bynum gets double and triple teamed and Monroe barley gets single teamed. We all saw what happened when he went against Bynum and shot 2 for 17 while Bynum put up a giant game. In NYC against the Lakers Lin had a monster game (yes mostly because of Fisher). Kobe and other needed to switch into Jeremy Lin. Context. We need to be honest here.

  71. And btw… You were the one who brought up the PERs of Bynum and Gasol at Center ;) Not me. However I agree PER is a great tool.

  72. Brown didn’t have enough brass to implement the twin towers offense. When he found out Bynum couldn’t hit the elbow jumper like Robinson that made it easier to scrap it.

    Now it’s all about matchups. Dal and Okc built their teams to beat the Lakers. Both accomplished that now it’s time to matchup with okc.

  73. If drew comes back with the jumper he said he’d work on it may work offensively. The problems as stated in the post will always be transition defense. Teams will continue to run Lakers off the floor because of foot speed.

  74. Aaron calling out Darius on bias about players is sort of like Robert calling out someone on using too many smiley face icons in his posts. ;-

  75. Kevin,

    I like Marshall, but I think he will be a mild disappointment in the NBA. Rondo is kind of a unique player. What do you think?

  76. @KenOak
    With all due respect, you are delusional to think Miami would trade Lebron for anyone. Contrary to what Cdog wrote, I do think that if the Heat fall short again this season Wade would be available at the right price.

  77. @paul l
    Are you sure? Aaron says that bynum is worth Lebron in a trade…

    In all honesty, I think Miami could be more formidable with a trio of wade, dh12/bynum, and bosh than they are currently.

    I do agree that wade would be more likely to go, but isn’t he even more loved by the heat organization and fans than kobe?

  78. Robert – I’m surprised u consider me “unfamiliar” & “suspicious”. I’ve been posting here for quite a while. Oh, maybe it’s because Aaron posts so much it drowns out practically everybody else. :0)

  79. James and Wade are not going anywhere.

  80. I liked this blog so much more before Aaron started posting…

  81. LBJ to the Lakers?

    Are you guys on dope?

    He’s one of the most disfunctional players I can remember. Or you build a team around him, or he will drive you crazy. Adaptation is not on his dictionary.

  82. Funky Chicken June 2, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Aaron, you have initiated and continued a discussion of “who is better” between Bynum and Gasol. Isn’t the issue really whether the Lakers would be better with Bynum and whatever player or players Gasol could fetch via trade versus the Lakers with Gasol and whatever player(s) Bynum would net in a trade?

    Both guys can, and probably should, play the same position, but they are obviously different types of players, with one relying on finesse and multiple moves and the other relying far more on size & length. As weak as Pau has been the last 2 years in the playoffs, it’s more than fair to assume that he wouldn’t have as many statistical no-shows as Andrew Bynum had this year if Pau had been the starting center (playing out of position at PF has clearly hurt him, especially since it is a position that boasts MUCH greater competition in today’s league than the center spot…).

    But that’s not the point. Bynum is younger, bigger, and cheaper, and for those reasons he is also likely to be more valuable to trade partners. So, the real discussion ought to be whether the return on trading Bynum would leave the Lakers better off than the return on trading Pau.

    We’re not supposed to talk about speculative trades here, which makes this proposed discussion difficult, but unless a team like Houston is willing to part with its current starting PF and its best PG in exchange for Pau, it’s hard for me to see the Lakers better with Bynum + Pau’s trade haul as opposed to the alternative….

  83. Bloggers take note:

    Repeating a point over-and-over does not make that point more – or less – true, contrary to what Joseph Stalin said.

  84. Edwin: It doesn’t look like we have any disagreement at all here – I love your post. To answer your question: Jimbo Buss’ qualification for the job is that he is a billionaire’s son. Perhaps someone else knows whether he has a degree or not, but something tells me that it was not a requirement for him to get the job. I also have a felling he did not wear a suit to the interview (or any other clothes that looked decent for that matter). I like your Kodak analogy – well not really – but it is good : )
    Magic Phil: We are in sync. Jimbo should to do what it takes to win a title. The question is – will he?
    R: You are familiar. I wasn’t implying you. We have had many Clip fans and such recently posting on the Veto. They are the one’s who I look for the “we” in their posts. By the way – nice one – with regard to getting drowned out : )

  85. KenOak: No issue with your saying my expectations are way out of whack. Darius and rr say that to me all the time : ) I am going to point you to the archives, because I have posted about the “90’s” many times. That is what I am trying to avoid. We are 2 years in now : ( I will admit that I am a spoiled and entitled Laker fan, however it is with good reason. Before this 2 year drought (yes two years is a drought for the Lakers), the Lakers had made the Finals 31 out of 62 years. We won 16 of those. So we made the Finals 50% of the time, and we won more than 25% of the time. That means a trip to finals every other year and a title every 4 years. So if we miss the finals for the next 2 years like I said, we are way behind our norm : ) I do not think I am being unrealistic, because we are the Lakers. Do you think it is just coincidence that we won 16 titles in 31 trips to the Finals. I do not. It is our destiny. We have also historically been one of the best run franchises in all of professional sports. I do not like the fact that this appears to be changing. During those titles and trips to the finals, we have had multiple owners, multiple GM’s, multiple coaches, and multiple superstars. The current owner, GM, Coach, and Superstars are the ones currently carrying the flag. If they can’t take it to where others have gone before than perhaps they should give the flag to someone else. This of course would start at the top : ) Now – since I know you play poker – I will ask you this. Are the 16 titles and 31 trips to the Finals explained by the Lakers getting dealt Aces all the time? We just got lucky, and now the 60+ years of good karma is coming back with a lot of 7/2 hands? Or – do you – like me – think that we played good cards (we did have Jerry Buss after all)? Further what type of cards are we playing now? From my standpoint – we appear to short stacked, we do not like to go all in, and in the NBA it is very difficult to bluff anyone. Overall a very difficult situation.

  86. Another thing, Robert:

    Your smileys need a nose, like this: :0)

    ok? :0)

  87. Reading this posts about AB vs Pau is stupid. Who cares. Clearly this team can’t win with 2 centers. Someone has to go.

    I used to enjoy the dialog. But the monopolizing by Aaron and the talking down to people is becoming tiring.

    Why would anyone waste responding with a guy who guaranteed Spurs would be out 1st round, Lakers would sweep Nugs and beat OKC. He has been wrong at every turn so one can only assume his view of lazy, lack of respecting, bank in every city Andrew can only be also wrong.

    Darius you have more patience then a parking ticket officer in Detroit.

  88. Anonymous,
    Weird… Cause I was posting here since Kurt was running this shindig and was very friendly with him.

    Funkychicken,
    Weird… Cause I will copy and paste this little ditty I wrote this morning… “There is no discussion who is the better player or who was more effective last season. Like I said… The only talking point should be who should be traded… Bynum or Gasol or both? My answer to that question is unless you can get LeBron or (healthy) Dwight I wouldn’t trade Bynum for an individual player. And even if Dwight is healthy I would be worried that with floor spacers and the HGH German knee procedures Bynum will be the better Center next year.”

    CDog,
    Wade is on the downside and I am confident any GM would trade Wade straight up for Bynum especially considering LeBron and Wade are pretty redundant.

    I won’t even indulge specific PGs as that’s the easiest spot to find great and quality PGs. As you probably have noticed not many quality PGs get traded or signed as FA’s. Just Steve Nash as a big time FA because Cuban thought as I did that PGs are easy to find. Of course Nash turned into a HOF.
    Aldridge? Hahaha
    Love? If he could play defense than yes. But that is half the game.
    Blake? If he could play defense or score in the post.
    Durant? This one is tricky. While SFs are out there… And there are only three quality Centers in the NBA (Howard, Bynum, and Hibburt) I think I would trade Bynum for Durant. And only because of health… It would be a coin flip for me normally.
    I can’t even beleive you would put Rose in there as he just tore his entire knee up and will never be the same player again.

    To quote that brilliant guy Aaron… “You’re what the defense says you’re”. Well… OKC did more to prevent Bynum from touching and scoring the ball than the Lakers did against Durant. And it’s not close. It’s easy to look at points. Easy. But defense is half the game and while Durant is a very good defender… He doesmt change games on that side of the ball the way Bynum does. Listen… Bynum has done it for one year. We will see how the perception changes after a couple more healthy seasons. Everyone will catch up to me.

  89. Without getting into trade speculation. There are several players out there that can help the Lakers. Kyle Lowery as a starting point guard moving Sessions to the 2nd guard and getting rid of Blake. Paul Milsap a consumate scoring semi-big. Gerald Green, a scoring tall 2 guard that can back up Kobe. Earl Clark, a long, athletic player who can play 3 positions. Even Jason Thompson, an established PF who can play center.

    Mike Brown is putting in his bid for bringing LO back. Even though he can’t be back on the squad until December, there might be some sort of exception given the blocked move for CP3. Even Trevor returning home will help if we do actually make some moves. Having 10 to 12 players who can actually contribute will help the Lakers play more of a San Antonio restful lineup. Keeping Hill, Sessions, Barnes and Ebanks are also keys.

  90. Warren Wee Lim June 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Aaron, you don’t have to be as annoying for us to see your point. We get that you have a man-crush on Bynum. You got facts to support that because clearly he is at this point, the better and more promising player. You don’t have to understand PER and all other basketball stats to know who is younger, you don’t need to know much who has potential to be great and who is 32 and declining.

    However, we are not discussing who’s better but instead who to trade. Perhaps partly coz its been established that the duo cannot be effective together. And if Bynum fetches a new superstar, Gasol and Kobe will be the perfect duo to complement.

  91. Ibaka did not block that shot, Blare got hung by the rim and Ibaka blocked it after it hit the rim. But did you see Blare get up and sprint back down the court to take the charge. Blare has bone on bone on both knees.

  92. R: Are you picking on me? : ) After I gave you a compliment @88? In any case, I only use that type of smiley to avoid “moderation”. Perhaps I will start using yours. I have figured out many reasons why comments go to moderation, but like the CBA, there are many more sub-paragraphs still being deciphered.

    KenOak: I want a Poker analogy in response to 89 : )

  93. Warren Wee Lim June 2, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    And I can’t help but cheer for the Spurs to get this one. Reasons being: Tim Duncan gets to 5 (one up than Shaq) and the Spurs is just a tribute to right management and the right way to play basketball.

  94. I always thought that OKC was to young to win it all this year. But they look like the real deal. No shame in losing to them. And that KD guy, he reminds of Kobe in his prime. The guys automatic.

  95. Jayz: Yes – Let’s root for OKC. No Celtics, No Spurs, and Heat are punks. If OKC wins then we have 4 yrs in a row either winning or losing to the team that does.
    WW: Why do you want TD to exceed Shaq? And for that matter to tie KB? I understand the teamwork envy, but the Spurs are 2nd only to the Celts as our rivals.

  96. Hey Robert,
    Good post at #89 and I agree with you that the Lakers have had an amazing run! Your posts are always entertaining and never negative towards any other posters here. I respect that and I respect the amount of passion that you have for the Lakers. To answer your question about what hand we are playing…

    The Lakeshow has been playing AA or KK for many of those years, but now we’re playing AK offsuit or AQ, and along with that our hand is being played by Mike Brown, Jim Buss, and Mitch Kupchak. Now, you can win with AK- but often it is just a coin flip. (6th best team in the league.)

    I wanna see what we do this off-season before I completely cave in to despair. I think that we can make some moves that may get us back to playing a winning hand.

    You know which guy I want to see leave. He’s the guy that doesn’t give max effort. He’s the guy who pouts and loafs on defense. He’s the guy who is injury prone…. and he just so happens to be our best trading chip.

    I still have hope for this team. I think we need to make at least one big move, but this next season will have a full training camp with this head coach. A full season with actual practice time for our guys.

    By the way- if OKC wins this year it will be 5 years in a row (not 4) that the Lakers have either won or lost to the eventual champions. We lost to the Celts in the finals, then won 2, then lost to the Mavs.

  97. Robert: Here’s my wish list to win the championship this season:

    1. OKC – I’m not a big fan of Durant,but it looks like he took the next step to greatness this season and He may have taken KB’s title as the best closer in the NBA.

    2. Spurs – I’d rather have the Spurs win than Celts or South Beach win the title. They are the lesser of the evil.

    3. Celts – i took the Celtics over the Heat because my hate for Lebron is off the charts.

    4. Heat – Yuck. If the Heat win it all this year, you’ll be hearing next season that Lebron is the G.O.A.T. No way I’m prepared to here that all season long.

    I’m rooting for the western conference.

  98. Chearn,

    Kobe isn’t doubled much anymore because he can’t get the rim the way he used to. Most of his shots are jumpers. There is no need to double a jump shooter who is 25 ft from the rim when he shoots. Plus, him getting 25 points on many nights may take up to 25 shots. Any coach in the league would gladly give an opposing player 25 points under those conditions.

    Bynum is doubled because against most centers one on one he can score at a very high clip. Don’t take that the wrong way. I am not saying Bynum is the second coming of Wilt. But he does score pretty well when single covered. Add in the fact he is close to the rim and it makes sense to double him. And if he is going to be doubled it makes sense for the Lakers to put the ball in his hands frequently.

  99. rr: just seeing your post. Marshall is always under control and looking for teammates. He’s a true pg the same way rondo is. I can see hum having success like kyrie year 1.

  100. Reading through these comments I think we fans are getting caught up playing favorites. Pau seems like a nice guy. As a result we sometimes let him off the hook and make excuses for him. Kobe is a Laker legend. As a result we often look at him through rose colored glasses and fail to him for the player he is now. Bynum is immature and seems to be careless. As a result we minimize even the things he mostly does right. Overall I think we fail to quantify the true value of these players today, right now. Here is a sobering thought. There are four “big 3’s” left playing. Meanwhile, our “big 3″ is on vacation. That tells me that both Kobe and Pau are not as good as they used to be. And Bynum just isn’t ready yet.

  101. Bynym gets double teamed 1 because doubling the post is the easiest 2 coaches know he struggles reading the floor and passing 3 it could lead to turnovers and take him out his game. Superstars find a way no matter what. All other great centers did.

  102. Are people serious with Kobe not getting doubled talk, or am I missing the sarcasm?

  103. @95 – I love the game of basketball more than I love my Lakers. Spurs are playing nice and honest bball like a team should play. So I’ll cheer for them too.

    ps: don’t get me wrong…Lakers forever! But ONCE we’re out, I’m SAS for a week :O)

  104. Warren Wee Lim June 3, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Robert – Like MagicPhil, I love the game as much as I love the Lakers. When all’s said and done, you have to recognize greatness where you see it.

    Tim Duncan deserves a 5th ring, 1 more than Shaq and tied for Kobe. His career has been a tribute to hoops in contrast to hoopla. And between him and KG, whose careers have been both great, TD >>> KG.

  105. @ Aaron – 91

    Rose tore his knee, he’s a year away from even being on the court, and the Chicago Bulls STILL wouldn’t even consider trading him for Bynum. Also – Bynum is the one of the most injury prone players in the league. He’s NEVER played a full 82 game season, and is already doing last resort Kobe knee surgeries in the summer.

    Durant’s one of the best players of this generation, has become elite at nearly every NBA skill, and brings it every night, win or lose. Presti wouldn’t just laugh at Kupchak for asking, he might report it just to make the Lakers look dumb for trying.

    Aldridge is a much better P&R defender. Is Bynum’s equal in the post game. And can stretch the floor better.

    CP3/DWill are not just “average PG’s.” They are elite players who are awesome on both sides of the floor. And they mean more to their teams then Bynum ever will.

    As to Love – Bynum can only play 1 side of the floor as well in most games (because he doesn’t care to play both) and many games he plays NEITHER side – so what are you arguing about. Love is a super elite rebounder and Floor spacer, and can run up and down the court. Even with a big like Pekovic beside him Love was putting up All-NBA numbers when he got hurt. He can also take over NBA games from anywhere on the floor, and his defense is now officially underrated.

    And Griffin – He’s younger. More explosive. Gives his all every night. Improved defensively throughout the season, and gave terrors to Memphis’s very strong front line. And, by the way, he’s a media magnate.

    Wade is far better, on both sides of the floor, than Bynum. Wade creates opportunities for himself and others and is one of the best SG shot blockers ever. He also can lock down most wing players not name Lebron/Durant for long stretches at a time. And when he gets going, theres no stopping him.
    And, even if he’s in his “decline,” he has 4 elite years left. Does Bynum have that many years on his bum joints?

  106. WWL, not only that but I’m tired of the way the refs are affecting the outcome of games. LBJ averages 1 foul per game. ONE!!! He does not play basketball, he play some other sport with his own rules. He goes to the paint in a straight line, bulling his way through the defense like a bowling ball…and he gets the foul…

  107. Warren wee lim,
    That’s why I wrote this early yesterday am. Please read what I actually write before you respond. Thanks…

    “There is no discussion who is the better player or who was more effective last season. Like I said… The only talking point should be who should be traded… Bynum or Gasol or both? My answer to that question is unless you can get LeBron or (healthy) Dwight I wouldn’t trade Bynum for an individual player. And even if Dwight is healthy I would be worried that with floor spacers and the HGH German knee procedures Bynum will be the better Center next year.”

  108. T Rogers:

    True, Kobe can no longer get to the rim consistently due to wear and tear on the knees and the mangled fingers and bad wrist. We don’t see a player with 16 years of deep runs in the playoffs doing what he’s doing in the game of basketball anyway. Kobe has been the no. 1 or the no. 2 option for the Lakers since his 3rd year in the league let’s see how another player (in today’s game) plays after 16 deep playoff runs. What we are witnessing may never happen again because there may never be another dynasty capable of staying relevant for 16 years. The CBA reduces that chance on each ensuing negotiation.

    It makes sense that a coach concedes Kobe’s 25 points, as he averages 25 points. Not that Kobe gets 25 points one night and 10 the next and 7 points the game after that, he averages 25 points. Now, whether that takes 10 shots or 25 shots he’s going to get his points.

    The opposing team makes Kobe earn his points, that’s why they put the team’s best defender on him. In the OKC series Kobe saw three different defenders, Thabo, James and Kevin. That says volumes on what Brooks thinks of Kobe. A team alternates defenders on Kobe because he figures out the defenders tendencies and becomes much more efficient as the game goes on. This is why they don’t put Durant on Bryant until late in the 4th quarter and only in a close game. At this juncture in the game Kobe is fatigued from rebounding, semi-playing defense and creating offensive opportunities for his team mates. Durant’s length bothers Kobe more late in the game than it would early in the game.

    A team double and triple teams Bynum as everyone has stated several times over, “there are only 2-3 good centers in the league.” So what position requires more help on defense the center position or the wing position?

    Additionally, when playing the Lakers everyone knows that if you stop Bynum from scoring he becomes disenchanted with the overall game. He will not rebound, block shots or hustle unless he is scoring. Add to the fact that he can’t and at times will not pass out of double teams, then it’s a no-brainer…you double the center. And, if Bynum passes the ball out to an open player they never take the shot, they pass the ball back to Kobe with 4-5 seconds left on the clock.

  109. I do think that even without Drew clogging up the paint, Pau’s mentally done as a Laker. He needs a change of scenery, and once he puts on a new uni, he will return to his normal self.

    Having said that, the question is not “Do we trade Pau or Drew?”. The question is, what deals are on the table, and which one would make us a better team?

  110. PER can’t measure what is between a player’s ears. We all see the promise of Bynum, but the peripheral issues such as his health, desire and commitment to the Lakers are what create doubt about his future.

    I like the idea of Pau coming off the bench if he is not traded. Especially if his replacement in the starting lineup adds to overall team speed.

    Put me in the camp that thinks Bynum is overrated. I would take Chandler, Noah, Greg Monroe, Derrick Favors, Andrew Bogut, Hibbert or Dwight Howard over an unmotivated Bynum any day of the week. The Bynum I saw against OKC in this playoff didn’t impress me at all.

  111. Avidon: I wouldn’t say Pau’s mentally done as a Laker. His psyche has to be fractured due to the veto and ongoing talks. He didn’t bow out like Odom did and had a good season as a 3rd option. He’s always going to have to look over his shoulder but he can still produce at a high level for Lakers. He proved that this year.

  112. The Busses are not paying $20 million for a bench player. Secondly, Bynum will (barring injury) be playing at least 35 minutes a game, so unless Pau is relegated to 13 minutes of PT, they’ll still have to share major minutes together. In truth having Pau as a 6th man wouldn’t change a ton. MB tried both Pau and Bynum with the bench this year (I’d be interested in the #s to see which was more effective playing with the bench unit). But if the problem is that we can’t maximize their talents while both are on the floor, the only viable option is trading one. Benching one would just be a cosmetic change.

  113. Bynum gets doubled teamed because opposing coaches know he is weak reading the double team. He will be slow to read and react. He will rush his bunny hop step to put up a shot before the doiuble team or turn the ball over. The one thing he cant do consistently is make teams pay for double teaming him by making good post pass decisions.

  114. Realistically, Pau would never be on the Lakers bench making 20 million. Just a wish to not lose one of the better big men in the league.

  115. Since Pau came to the Lakers Pau and Andrew have played with the 2nd unit. Always. We haven’t had or needed a back up center off the bench. The problem now is the supporting cast around them. We can no longer space the floor for them. During the championship run, we had Farmar, Brown, Ariza, Sasha, Fish even Lamar knocking down threes with at least enough consistency to keep defenses honest. Last year and this year, that was not the case.

    Wether we trade Pau or not, shooters must be found to open up the post.

  116. Adding shooters won’t make a difference when a team like Okc can play man to man. There are many defensive schemes to guard the 1in/4out offense like staying at home letting the big score the way Atlanta did to Orlando last year. Now it’s about explosiveness perimeter players. The teams left get ZERO post up play. Duncan and Garnett are close but they get most their points off PnR not backing their guy down every play. All 4 teams are dominant on the perimeter. You can’t scheme against athleticism. That’s what wins now not frontcourt players. No rebounds No rings still holds true the game has just changed where theirs a distinct advantage for guards.

  117. Let me just say something about Bynum. Do you guys remember that game against SAS when he got 30 boards? It wasn’t the boards that was impressive. To me, it was the way he played the game; playing DEFENSE. His mentality of “more touches” it’s ridiculous. He can’t create a play for himself. But when he concentrate on D, then he is a very valuable player.

    He had a couple of games like that and the Lakers destroyed their oponents.

    What puzzles me the most is WHY MB can’t make him play that way….

  118. KenOak: Always enjoy your posts and contribution to this board as well. I like your AQ comparison, and where you have noted that we now have JB, MB, and MK playing the hand. AQ is a tricky hand and many times as you know, it should be folded, although I am not at that point yet either : )

    WW/Magic Phil: I understand your love of the way that SA plays. In my case – they are our #2 rival, so it is tough for me to root for them in any case. Can you at least tell me that you will never ever root for the Celtics no matter how well coached or cohesively they play as a team? : )

  119. Jayz: I am almost totally with you. I can’t stand LeBronze. However, I would rather see it go to him over the Celts/SA. That’s how pitiful this situation is. Well – let’s hope OKC gets it.
    Michael H: All correct – the big question however is: Can we bring in shooters/offense that will help us enough, without trading one of the 2 bigs? I certainly think we should be able to get better than Kapono/Murphy types, but will it be enough better.

  120. @122 Robert,

    Robert, it’s not about admiring the Spurs, it’s about hating the Heat and any other team/player that does not respect the rules of basketball.

    OKC, as good as they are, they are getting some love from the refs, which just validates the way Harden play the game. My son (7 yo) thinks that you have to “use” the refs on your advantage (hey, it’s part of the game, nah?)

    When I cheer for the SAS, I cheer for the game I love so much.

    And, btw, I’m rooting for the C’s against the empire of evil. A finals with SAS against the C’s would be my dream come true. Besides, they can’t get over the Spurs…But just to see Stern’s face of disappointment will make me very happy.

  121. One is dis-interested and the other is moping. When will people come to the realization that LO was way more important to this team than anyone realized. Yes, he played like crap in Dallas, but he was the glue guy on the team that could be placed in the game when one of our bigs was having a sub-par game. Imagine he and Hill in the game at the same time when the two big girls get on their periods. A change of pace that we haven’t had since the first run at the championship.

  122. I don’t care how athletic you are, if you can’t space the floor you can’t win. Shooters open those lanes for the athletic players to drive through. OKC won last night because their 3 bigs were off the charts. Without them, even with Durants game they lose.

    We proved that size can control pace. If we could have made just a respectable percentage of 3’s we win.

  123. @ 119, Magic Phil

    The main components for an individual to succeed at becoming an excellent defensive player are Energy and Effort. Those elements are not something that can not be taught and therefore, Mike Brown can’t be held accountable for Bynum’s defensive tendecies. The same way that Coach Mike Brown should not be praised when Drew plays with passion and desire and the end result is what we saw in the aformentioned San An game, and also game 1 of the Nuggets series. I, like yourself, wish that we can get THAT Bynum on a more consistent basis, but when we don’t, in most cases, it’s the player that needs to be held accountable.

  124. Wade looks old. The common NBA fan says Wade is better than Kobe. I still don’t know how they come to that conclusion. Guess we live in an age where highlights are all fans see.

  125. Robert

    Sorry. You must be yelling at the TV right now. This is a 7-games game series which tells us how far the Lakers have fallen. The old Celts have a real shot and the Lakers have gone fishing.

    Amazing how team play and a real coach can make such a difference!

  126. Ko: Thanks for thinking of me in my time of desperation. I am hoping I do not have to avoid watching sports channels all summer for fear of watching commercials for the Boston Celtic commemorative collector package.

    Magic Phil: The Heat are a modern version of the Pistons. A team we will hate for a couple of years every 20 years or so. The Celtic rivalry is permanent.

    All: Please don’t forget it was insanity to think they would get this far, and also don’t forget the sprained ankles and flu symptons that the West Team will have going into the Finals.

  127. Rondo is amazing!! Lakers passed on him in the draft for Farmar I believe.

  128. Please don’t forget it was insanity to think they would get this far,

    _____

    Once Rose got hurt it was better than even money Boston would get this far.

    Also, MIA still has HCA and we have seen first-hand how much trouble this Boston team has closing big series on the road.

  129. Right now Rondo is top 5 player in the league. Doubt if Bosten would trade him for entire Lakers team plus the cheerleaders.

    He makes the entire offenses work.

  130. Seeing Rondo in action is showing to me: 1) He may rival Paul as the best pure PG in the league; 2) How absolutely horrid the Lakers passing game is right now in comparison.

  131. Oh my god… I’m listening to Jeff Van Gundy say that Paul Pierce did not just travel is butt off on that pump fake. I was under the impression that you could only have 1 pivot foot!!? He picked his right foot up and then picked his left foot up. Travel.

    Ugh. I agree with Robert. We can’t have the Celts win it all.

  132. Chearn,

    I guess we are going back and forth. I am not trying to make the argument that Bynum is the second coming. In fact, my point is not really about Bynum at all. It is about Kobe. Just three years ago opposing coaches would have never considered doubling any Lakers player not named Kobe Bryant. Rick Carlise was quoted earlier this season saying he would not let Bynum beat his team. His concern was clearly on keeping Bynum at bay. Considering the Lakers run over the last few years, that says more about Kobe than it does about Bynum.

    Personally, I think it is time for Kobe to take a page out of Tim Duncan’s book and move to a supporting role. The keys need to be turned over to a younger, better player. That player doesn’t have to be Bynum. But if it is not going to be him then the FO better go out and get someone else. As much I have loved watching Kobe over the years I don’t think he is good enough to be the number one option on a championship team anymore. I know those are fighting words around here, but so be it. We Laker fans need to be honest with ourselves. I think Andrew Bynum has become a distraction in many ways. People can beat down his shortcomings over and over and pretend those are the only things holding the team back. That’s not the case.

  133. Don’t want them to win it all just beat Mr. ” not one, not two, not three etc etc).

    That I will enjoy.

  134. Ko: couldn’t agree more. Felt the same way after game 2 his play has been nothing short of amazing. He knows how to shut trade rumors up. His play does all the talking same can’t be said for our center.

  135. Don’t want them to win it all just beat Mr. ” not one, not two, not three etc etc).
    ————————————
    Exactly

  136. Since none of us like LeBronze or that Punk Wade: Can we please root for them to lose in the Finals? Do we have to let the Celtics get 1 step away? Or (and yes I am being redundant) 1 sprained ankle away?

  137. Rondo was drafted before Farmar. 5 spots before.

    Interesting note though (I didn’t know this before I looked it up): the draft pick used to draft Rajon Rondo (by the Suns) was originally our pick. It was traded to Boston in the Payton/Fox/Mihm/Atkins deal. It was then sent to Atlanta, and then on to Phoenix.

  138. Snoopy2006: Thanks for clearing that up. Same draft spots were mixed up. Could Farmar have progressed like Rondo has had he stayed in LA?

  139. Love the NBA. Hate the Celtics.

  140. The fact that Boston is in the Conference Finals is not a indictment against the Lakers. Chicago was knocked out by Rose and Noah being hurt. Boston would not have beaten Chicago in the second round. It’s about luck. The Lakers played one of the better teams in the League in the second round and had they held two leads, they would have been in position to win the series.

    The Lakers have options. They can stay with what they have and somehow motivate this team into becoming a TEAM. Or, they can trade Pau and get some pieces that they need. Both Houston and Utah have players that can help the Lakers, so maybe a move there will benefit all teams involved.

  141. Busboys: You are correct it is about luck. However a summer of listening to commercials talking about “18”. Followed by pre-season commercials talking about them going for “19” will not be luck – it will be pure misery.

    I am really afraid that Game 5 could be the game where we hear “Rondo stole the ball”

  142. Youngsters Lebron and Dwayne found it difficult to be effective down the stretch after having to play the entire 2nd half and be the focal point on offensive. James fouls out due to fatigue and Wade chooses to shoot the three rather than drive to the basket. Welcome to Kobe’s world!!!

    In the playoffs the last two seasons:
    Wade 0-3
    James 0-4
    All others 1-4

  143. This series points out how much weaker the East is then the west. The Heat have a flawed team, especially without Bosh. And the Celtic are were they are only because Rose went down to injury.

  144. Tried to squeeze this in on edit :

    Clutch shots with 10 seconds or less in the playoffs the last two seasons:
    Wade 0-3
    James 0-4
    All others 1-4

    Wonder what Kobe’s is?

  145. Honestly Aaron just go start your own blog, we all like what Darius has to say while you go and try to ruin it with your “knowledge” or lack thereof. You have become a problem on this blog and consistently try to undermine everyone on here. Do some soul searching this offseason or please just don’t come back at all. It. Is. Exhausting.

  146. Even though I can’t stand the guy, Kevin Garnett brings it. The guy goes for 17, 14 and 5 blocks at age 36. That’s beast. Why can’t we expect and get the same out of our bigs? Pau has to be prodded and insulted before he brings it and I have no idea what it takes for Drew to realize that’s he supposed to do. This is why we as Laker fans aren’t happy. We need our bigs to play like bigs even though they are playing superior competition. Miami without Bosh is definitely inferior to anyone we played in the Playoffs.

  147. I knew it all the time…C’s open 20 points early in the game…bla bla bla 2nd quarter…bla bla…3rd quarter…bla bla bla…then on the 4th quarter, no matter what happened before, the (C)Heat will be in a reach…Then, the game will be down the line…etc…etc…

    I described the C’s game to a friend from start to end.

    Very predictable. That make us NBA fans believe that the C’s have a chance, which they don’t. When it matters, the Miami Cheat will get all the calls and we, basketball fans, will say “it is what it is, I’m not gonna quit watching NBA, LeBronze is good, bla bla, etc…”

    I’m sad. Happy that the greenies won, but I know what’s coming…

    It’s time for the chosen one to reign…

  148. Chearn: Wade and LeBron fill the stat sheet the way Kobe can’t at this point in his career. So when Wade shoots like caca all series he gets a pass. Wade is killing Miami right now but it won’t be brought up the way Kobe’s struggles will. And those same people feel the need to point out Wade’s career numbers and his accomplishments. Wade’s not never has been and never will be on Kobe’s level.

  149. Kobe may not be as good as he once was, but he will never mail in his effort. Bynum does not give consistent effort. A player has to earn being the number one option on a team with his hustle, heart and leadership. Andrew is still trying to figure a lot of things out. I hope that if Drew has the German procedure this summer, it will help him to regain his foot speed and athleticism. The way he changes ends of the floor has to improve if he is to become as good as HE thinks he is. It’s a simple game, but if you can’t run, you can’t play.

  150. How fitting is it that Ray Allen referred to PP and LBJ as queens in his press conference! :) lmao

  151. I wonder if the surgery is going to help Bynum as his problem is exacerbated by being knock-kneed. Kobe had the procedure done because of the bone on bone. Brandon Roy should do the procedure due to the same reason.

    @Kevin, agreed. Shaq is the reason many think Wade is on the same level as Kobe.

  152. @ Chearn

    Clutch FGA’s 10 seconds or less last two seasons in the playoffs for the Lakers.
    Kobe was 1-6
    All other Lakers 1-4 (Gasol made the FG in 2011)

  153. The CHeat got no calls. There was way too much flopping going on. It almost ruined the game. There was no way the LaBrawn should have fouled out. The double foul was total bullshit!! Then Pietrus pulled LaBrawn down and got the foul!! Damn, the refs almost killed this game trying to make sure the Celts won.

  154. Wade and his gazillion FTs during Miami’s title run is also something that really isn’t talked about the way Kings-LA game’s FT disparity.

    Me, being a Kobe fan, think the gap between Kobe and Wade is, all things considered, as great as, if not greater than the gap between Jordan and Kobe. Career-as-a-whole wise, that is.

    Still, he is no doubt one of the elite in this league. Just don’t think he ever ‘took over’ Kobe the way stat guys wish to paint it.

  155. Warren Wee Lim June 4, 2012 at 3:07 am

    Aaron, yes I was able to read that. I also know how valuable Bynum is. However, his market value is what teams trade for him and not what you ask for him.

    You can ask for a Lebron, Howard, Wade or any individual players you think have more value or who fit better but chances are you will run out of guys to name and they all hang you up on the phone lines.

    Kobe and Gasol are aging players, but heck they are players that are all-world players even at this stage in their careers. I would trade Gasol first if he hauls me Deron Williams, but if its Bynum they want, you do it.

    Its not easy to be Pau Gasol. You had been traded once in the season and every tell points to him being traded midway. So for someone who is an intellectual player floating in limbo and asked to take several steps back so that Bynum can dominate, I still say he did a heck of a job.

    With Bynum traded, say hypothetically for Deron Williams (they can ask for Sessions and 2 1st rounders I don’t care), that would make Pau the #1 inside option for the Lakers and clearly it shows we are invested on him. That would give him the job security he needs and thus would produce better results.

  156. Darius,

    You’ve done a great job trying to tinker the Lakers into a 2013 championship team through trades, big or small. It’s not a perspective I can honestly embrace.

    Instead, I’m starting from the Laker financial progressions that have been festering for some time–throwing in my discouraged sense of team chemistry and mojo. It leads me in the direction of Kobe amnesty–sooner or later.

    Two years from now, Kobe’s contract expires, along with Pau, Metta, and Steve. If the Laker’s had won NBA championships during all four years, those players collectively could be re-signed for about 50% of their salaries at that point, bringing the team back toward the luxury tax limit–almost manditory by then. Some reward for winning NBA championships!

    If the Lakers wish to keep Andrew Bynum, his increasing salary would have to be factored in, along with other emerging players, suggesting even a 50% reduction in salary from those four players wouldn’t be enough. It’s doubtful that all would agree.

    Simply eliminating Kobe’s salary and slightly adjusting everyone else’s salary would do the trick–now or two years from now.

    But, and this is a big but, the Lakers have not won championships the past two years, and chemistry is deteriorating. By next year, following any of the scenarios we’re considering, it will be clear that the Lakers have embarked upon the trajectory of the New York Knicks–teams that are overpaid, underperform, and are marginal playoff contenders. It doesn’t have to be that way, but that’s what I’m seeing in my crystal ball.

    Ironically, an immediate amnesty for Kobe, carried out with his participation, may be the only way to help both Kobe and the Lakers for the next two years–allowing reconciliation with the Lakers once his current stratospheric contract expires.

    Just for instance, the Chicago Bulls might be able to successfully obtain Kobe’s services for next year through amnesty. Don’t ask me how, but with Kobe, it might well be possible. Replacing the injured Rose, Kobe might lead the Bulls to an NBA championship, finalizing his credentials to displace Michael Jordan on his own turf.

    Meanwhile, without Kobe, the Lakers would begin to create the next generation of Lakerdom–step by step (as I would prefer), or all at once. I’d become optimistic again.

    I don’t think that amnesty for Kobe is being considered yet, and, by the time it is seriously considered, it may not make much difference. We will have become the New York Knicks.

    Welcome to my nightmare.

  157. @ 1/2 decaf–I’m not necessarily disputing that your questions can be validlty asked about Pau’s propensity for “bringing it” (I disagree that Pau’s problem is an effort issue, but we can at least debate the issue) but I wonder why you are singling out the elder Gasol when it was our second-team All-NBA center who was much more-thoroughly lambasted by media and fans alike (and rightfully so–in light of Bynum’s admissions on the subject) for his lack of effort. If you are upset about lack of effort, you should be clamoring for Drew’s departure, not Pau’s–or at the very least, you should be advocating that both of them be gone. I’m not necessarily advocating a departure for either of them, you are–but if you want Gasol gone because of lack of effort, you should want Bynum gone to an even greater degree. Why don’t you?

  158. Dwight will not be available this coming Olympics and Aaron claims Drew is #2 Center in NBA today. Question, will he be invited to the Olympic team as the replacement Center? Let’s see.

    It will be 2 out of three wins on both Conferences. Among the four, I think the Celtics are long shot at least they were able to crash the party due to luck. If Howard and Rose did not sustain injuries, I think Celts would also have gone in ocean fishing together with their rival Lakers long-reach fisherman Gasol and Bynum.

  159. Pau is a euro a skill player not a bruiser. He makes the game look so effortless it seems he’s not trying. Odom was the same way and any time they’re in the zone both are the best player on the floor. If Pau is traded the ball will not move as it does now.

    Blake Griffin and Pau are the only PF or C to average 10 rebs. and 3 ast. Pau had more double doubles than Bynum. 42 – 37

  160. Even if Wade was playing great right now he should never be compared to Kobe. While both players are past their primes, Kobe has been great for much longer than Wade. Kobe’s skill set is much more diverse than Wade’s. It is ridiculous that Wade is still has not evovled his game much at this point in his career. When Kobe was Wade’s age he was a threat off the dribble, at the three point line, and in the post. Wade is still falling down trying to drive to the rim.

  161. 2decaf1/2regular,
    Wade has lost a step yes. Is he currently overrated? Yes I agree. But in his prime he was the third best SG of all time. He won a championship basically by himself (with a little help from the league). That ain’t too shabby. Unfortunaltey based on his poor running michacanics which has been proved to do serious long term damage to the body (running more on heels than palms of the feet) Wade has slowed prematurely.

    Warren Wee Lim,
    Under no circumstances do you trade the best or second best Center in the NBA (when there are only three good Centers) for an older PG who is now the 5th or 6th best PG in the league. It doesmt make sense. That is why the Lakers supposedly only offered Pau and change this past trading deadline for DWill. I mean… I can’t imagine any GM in the history of the league trading a top young Center for an older (not old) PG not named Magic Johnson. It just doesn’t and will never happen. Especially in a league saturated with young, explosive, and skilled PGs. It’s just so dumb on so many levels.

  162. Edwin Gueco,
    Good question. That’s probably why it was asked and answered months ago;) Team USA (trying to put pressure on Bynum) said they only want p,ayers who want to be there. They said Bynum five years ago turned them down and has done so ever since. When asked about it Drew said he wanted to train, improve his game, and get the German knee procedure Kobe got this summer. So… Much like all NBA players… Unless Bynum gets a Olympic kicker in a endorsement deal, he won’t be playing for the national team anytime soon.