A New Role For Ron?

Darius Soriano —  June 21, 2012

When the Lakers traded Lamar Odom, they lost a lot of useful qualities. They lost a locker room leader. They lost an unselfish glue guy. Maybe most importantly, however, they lost a talented player with diverse skill that could play all over the floor on both sides of the ball; a player that could use his versatile skill set to effectively play off of his teammates. When looking back to 2011 (and years prior), some of the Lakers best lineups were ones where Odom played PF next to either Gasol or Bynum. His value, in that way, was really immeasurable.

In replacing Odom with Josh McRoberts, Troy Murphy, and (later) Jordan Hill the Lakers went with more traditional archetypes of players and found mixed results. All three players proved useful for stretches, but none could truly approximate the skills Odom brought to the table in a single player (McRoberts came closest but he’s not nearly the talent that 2011 Odom was). This led to Mike Brown shuffling back and forth between them, ultimately settling on Jordan Hill down the stretch of the season as his defensive consistency and work on the glass proved most valuable out of what each brought to the table.

Moving forward, however, it’d be nice if the Lakers could approximate more of what Odom brought to the table in a single player. Interestingly enough, they may have that guy on their roster already. His name is (was) Ron Artest.

Once upon a time, Ron was one of the best two way players in the league and while his decreased athleticism has made him less effective, he’s still got all the facets of his game. He has a good handle, can create off the dribble for himself or teammates, is a decent shooter from the outside, and can post up and finish in the paint. Defensively, we know that Ron can still play well even though his foot speed isn’t quite what it was when he first came to the Lakers. But, overall, these are skills that could translate well to playing some PF if the Lakers decide they want to go small.

In fact, this past season it already started to happen. In some very small sample sizes, the Lakers performed quite well with Ron playing PF in small-ball lineups next to Gasol (mostly) and Bynum (much less frequent). The most standard lineups were those that used a PG (Fisher, Sessions, or Blake), Kobe, Barnes, Ron, and Gasol. Those lineups all produced efficiency differentials of over 10 and performed, on average, much better on both sides of the ball than the Lakers standard personnel groupings.

Of course, with samples as small as the ones I looked at, the results can’t be extrapolated out to longer stretches without taking into account how things could go wrong. Ron’s jumper has been inconsistent and that could compromise spacing. His lack of height and below the rim game would make it an even bigger challenge to post up against bigger players and still be effective. Rebounding could also become an issue should he be matched up against someone with superior quickness and leaping ability that could beat him to the ball.

However, even when considering those potential pitfalls, I’m of the mind that it could work. Simply by having Ron space the floor against traditional PF’s the Lakers could open up their offense more. His ability to knock down open shots or drive past slower closeouts could also boost his effectiveness as a play maker. He still shows good instincts when moving into open space, bodying up his man, and in chasing loose balls, which would aid him when rebounding on both sides of the ball. Defensively he has the foot speed to keep up with most PF’s and has the strength to battle anyone in the post. In the past two seasons the Lakers have switched Ron onto Blake Griffin and Kevin Love on key possessions late in games to get the stops they sought. He held his own against both players and they happen to be two of the better players at that position.

As the league moves forward there will be a greater emphasis on lineup versatility. We’re seeing it right now in the Finals with LeBron and Durant both staples of traditional and small lineups their teams deploy. And while Ron isn’t in those players class as elite talents, his skill set is varied enough and his tenacity more than enough that a part time role as a PF could be worth exploring more in the future. I wouldn’t expect Ron to replace what Odom brought to the team, but he could mirror some of LO’s skills and give the Lakers another option outside of the more one dimensional players they used this past season. And, as we look to what this team needs to be more successful moving forward, that’s surely on the list.

Darius Soriano

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123 responses to A New Role For Ron?

  1. Interesting. Metta would have to be more consistent with his outside shot. I think having a defined role would help him shoot the ball with less hesitation. I believe is lower shooting percentage the last 3 years is due to hesitation and overthinking on his part. His strength and relative quickness compared to PFs would be of great benefit.

  2. PS
    Since the Lakers are likely losing Barnes this year, this move would allow Ebanks to get more playing time at SF.

  3. Go for it u trade gasol then move artest to pf, thus you dont have to take a pf back or worry about a starter in rhe offseason, this way trading gasol for (edited for trade speculation) is a much bigger upgrade as a whole.

    And defensivly artest should be fine at pf, the slight decrease in some of his defensive effeciency has to do with the speed of players like durant, thusi cant really think of a pf that would have a huge speed bonus on artest, certainly none that could simply blow by him for easy points off the dribble, and none that could simply overpower him. Next to bynum. (if bynum plays hard) you dont really need a shot blocker but somone to play positional defense and boxes out on rebounds. And fimally artest at pf would be a massive boost to our pnr defense as his quick hands, instincts at better lateral movment than gasol or bynum should really help on the pick.

    Also lets say in this scenario we trade gasol for one of the peices that has been discussed, lowry, iggy, etc. That would give us a monster of a defensive lineup. As though ron is no longer quick forca sf, he would be for a pf.

    Overal i really love this idea, make it happen brown

  4. Funky Chicken June 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    It’s pretty clear that the top teams are generally able to play smaller lineups with 3’s at the PF spot. Miami has done it all playoffs long, as did San Antonio and OKC.

    There are advantages and disadvantages from playing MWP in this role. He’s got the strength and quickness to play most opposing PFs and this spot would get him off the 3 pt line where he is pretty bad. However, you can kiss his low post game goodbye because he’s going to have every single shot blocked.

    Ultimately, surrounding Bynum with MWP at the 4, Kobe at the 3, Goudelock at the 2, and Sessions at PG would probably make for a very effective lineup for stretches and would probably offer more team speed, offensive weapons and defense (other than in the backcourt…) than any lineup the Lakers have had in a while.

  5. We all just love to jump on the latest bandwagon, because it seems to be working and why shouldn’t we join the success?

    The problem is the personnel. If you look at Miami and OKC – when they go to a small lineup they have two of the very best players in the NBA at the #4 spot. That fact makes a great deal of difference.

    Usually you go to a small lineup because you can’t match up with a big lineup. With the dearth of bigs in the NBA, this is an increasingly common situation. However, if you have effective bigs and quick, defensive minded players in the 1-3 slots, you can counter this and then you really can pound those small lineups.

    For those who want us to go small, how about we get tougher in spots 1-3 with more defensive players? Just a thought.

  6. Okc losing 4 times in a row seems impossible. The thought of no more basketball has me rooting for game 6.

  7. Kevin/rr: Per Kevin in last thread: “Sad and unfortunate circumstances also contributed to Boston’s prolonged sub .500 team for about 20 years” Well rr, does this remind you of any sad and unfortunate event that we have had?

    .o4: Really liked your post in the prior thread. And please realize as per your post, when I am dumping on the FO, I mean Jimbo; and on those rare occasions I praise the FO, I really mean MK

    rr: The re-build option is a gamble true. 50/50 at best. And you are right – we can’t fully nuke it – due to the KB situation. All true. Also true is that “futzing” also guarantees no banner.

    All: I have a significant announcement. As of this moment, I am officially moving us from “6th” to “8th” for 2013 (hopefully off season moves will change this). Due to my extreme redundancy, please get used to seeing “8th” a lot. Hopefully the Lakers will not back me up the way they did in 2012.

  8. Bosh is destroying Perkins & Ibaka…

    If Bynum & Gasol are such great players like Jim Buss says they are, then why couldn’t they do this???

  9. Its hilarious that all you have to do is breathe on a Heat player and get a foul called, and Thunder players get fouled like crazy yet never get any calls. Just mind baffling

  10. @craig, while i normally agree with your analysis in how and why small ball lijeups work and especially their countes, with the dearth of post scorers in the league ( kobe, duncan, gasols, bynum, dwight, love, miller, and maybe a couple others,) it will be very hard for a team to pound the lakers inside expecially with a player as big strong and long at center.

    What you are missing from. Your analysis of small ball lineups and if the lakers should try it with ron at the four, is normally in thise lineups they use a small quick center as well, or a pf playing center. The lakers have the biggest and 2nd best center in the league and would not go to small ball to sped things up, but to create more mismatches and give them a better pnr defense

  11. I see it the opposite! It’s hilarious how much the referees try to keep OKC in the game. Westbrook gets phantom foul calls all game long!! And so does Durant.

  12. If the answer next year is more outside shots from Metta then Robert may have to adjust the Lakers to 10th in the league.

    The slow, bad outside shooting team has no chance of competing for a title. And anyone who thinks Metta is the answer not named Mitch or Jim is clearly delusional.

    We proved the past two years we can not compete with today’s elite teams.

  13. Anonymous you haven’t watched the games then because even neutral fans say Miami has been getting 6th man help from the refs.

  14. Perfect example, Westbrook got only 3 free throws last game and he was the most active and attacking player on the floor for both teams. This game he’s finally getting the calls he should have had the last game.

  15. more like Heat haters saying that. I dont hear neutral fans saying anything like that.

    BUt the bandwagon Thunder lovers are looking for any excuse.

  16. by there very nature, Durant and westbrook shy away from contact and therefore dont attract foul calls (except against lousy defense like the Lakers)…

    they are both fast, but they are both skinny and wimpy and SHY away from contact!

  17. This was a perfect series for Dequean Cook. Brooks should be playing him.

  18. What the crowd in MIA are saying? “SOV” or “FOV”? It’s not MVP…

  19. LMAO anonymous you clearly haven’t seen any games. Why are you cheering for Miami? Is this Aaron secretly?

    You need someone to sit down and watch the game of basketball and explain it to you if you think Westbrook doesn’t like contact.

  20. The Thunder really have settled their dilemma, before they were going to have to give max money to Harden and probably get rid of Ibaka, after his poor performance in the Finals you can split the money because neither is worth a max contract

  21. Perkins sucks! He should get amnestied off this series alone.

    Perkins/Ibaka vs Bosh/LeBron. No way Brooks sees an advantage in this matchup.

  22. LMAO…

    your Thunder are getting punked!

    is it because of foul calls? keep reaching!

  23. They aren’t MY Thunder anonymous I am cheering against Miami because everything they stand for is wrong. You are cheering for Miami because you are a bandwagon fan.

  24. Harden cannot guard Lebron. It’s been already established time and time again in this Finals. Why is there still no adjustments from Scott Brooks. Um there is such a thing as ZONE. It is still legal.

    To think he beat the best coach in the NBA in the previous round.

  25. just come to grips with it and stop making excuses! The HEAT ARE SIMPLY BETTER than your skinny wimpy thunder!

  26. Jayz seriously, I wanted the Spurs to win because Poppovich would have put together a great defensive scheme to guard Miami.

    Harden has been atrocious, Perkins has been terrible, Ibaka has vanished. Durant can’t get the calls he needs, Westbrook has been doing his thing. But the main thing is the Thunder have no shooters, and no bench.

  27. Kevin

    Brooks has done a poor job of rotations in this series. Playing Fisher minutes is just stupid as it kills them on D and match ups.

    You have to get bigger and have guys who can shoot outside not smaller and under sized.

    Also makes Lakers look even weaker when you consider how great he was aganist us and crap in this series.

  28. Anonymous go troll somewhere else, real basketball discussion is required here.

  29. I meant Harden in prior post. Sorry.

  30. I’m thinking Okc is stooked Brooks declined that extension. Some nice coaching candidates out there.

    Ko: Talent got them to finals. Coaching is a main reason they’re losing.

  31. Why is Anon first saying that Westbrook gets phantom foul calls, then saying Westbrook avoids contact which is why he doesn’t get any foul calls?

    My impression is the reffing hasn’t been skewed one way or another. Heat are winning this because they have a better defense, more experience, and has Bosh back. Their struggles against the Pacers and Cs while he was out shows why he’s one of the more underrated players in the league. (Of course he’s one of Miami’s “Big 3” which is why he got the “overrated” label in the first place. So maybe he’s the league’s “most underrated overrated” player.)

  32. I think you’re trolling me. I dont see you saying anything noteworthy or intelligent! Get off your high-horse, you are no basketball guru, so stop flattering yourself!

  33. I brought up free throw stats, i talked about extensions, I talked about bench performance and coaching.

    What have you brought to the conversation that even merits a response?

  34. So i’m bandwagon because i can clearly see the Heat are better? You are just in denial because of your hate for them.

  35. Well maybe we found where Jackson is waiting to coach. Closer to Montana then New York and we know Phil is a front runner.

  36. This is a perfect series for the Heat to win, as they’re the veteran squad. The finals would be much different had the Spurs made it to the finals. The Heat would second guess themselves. Against OKC they don’t have to they’re playing loose their shots are going in and they’re making the extra effort.

    Never thought OKC would lose 4 straight games.

    Durant should take a look at a young LO off rebounds and push the ball end to end.

    Neither of these teams are impressive nor strike fear.

  37. I never said the Heat are not better did I? Why don’t you actually READ my responses. Clearly Miami is the better team if they are up 3-1 only a fool couldn’t see that. I wanted the Spurs to win because I knew the Thunder would probably lose to Miami.

    I’m done acknowledging you. I can have discussions of merit with other posters on here.

  38. As much as the dream team bugs me I have to admit James is by far the best all around player in the NBA.

    Now we see why lame coach Brown won games. It was all James that hid Brown’s incompetence.

    To bad Jimmy was unable to see the obvious.

  39. Anonymous you are trying to bait Stepup

    Please give it a rest we want to talk basketball not watch you try to instigate

  40. You know what’ll be funny. When Brooks starts Ibaka/Perkins 2nd half and watch the lead balloon to 20.

    Stan Van Gundy coaching Okc wouldn’t be fair.

  41. Kevin_: This would be a perfect coaching gig for Phil Jackson. He must be licking his chops right now drooling over coaching this Thunder team.

    Stepup: if Brooks didn’t make the bonehead move in game 3 were he benched Westbrook in the 3rd,(while Durant got his 4th foul) this would have been a different series.

  42. Kevin I think Brooks has clearly shown his lack of coaching prowess this series

    He got lucky by having a great batch of talent and he was basically given the keys to a fancy car

  43. Perkins should not be in the game. He and Fisher should be on the Lakers. Slow, bad foot speed and ego’s bigger then their talent.

    Ahhh kill that thought, Jimbo might read this and trade Pau for them.

  44. Ko: your right on the money with Harden played way too many minutes in game 4. The dude has the same look Lebron had in last years Finals. Someone may have forgotten to tell Harden that the”bright lights” shine brighter in these Finals.

  45. Ko: Jim may just do that. Signing overpaid role players are his thing.

    Then he’ll ask for Brooks as his jockey for next year’s Breeder’s.

  46. Kevin_: This would be a perfect coaching gig for Phil Jackson. He must be licking his chops right now drooling over coaching this Thunder team.

    Stepup: if Brooks didn’t make the bonehead move in game 3 were he benched Westbrook in the 3rd,(while Durant got his 4th foul) this would have been A different series.

  47. Too funny!

    Brooks as a jockey and Brown as the video guy.

    It’s not easy be a Laker fan right now.

    Maybe Dr. Buss should have given West that piece of the team he asked for. Promise you Artest, Blake and the entire bench would never had worn the uniform and Mike Brown would be coaching at at Cathelic School in Santa Ana.

  48. When you sub fisher for your center you must be the Black Sox.

  49. LMAO
    The refs just called a flagrant foul on Fisher for taking a charge!?

    Are you serious?

  50. Brooks is a fool putting fisher in the game. What is he thinking. Karma dude.

  51. Having Mike Brown as coach wasn’t so bad after all. Scott Brooks is just clueless.

    Harden must be counting the millions his losing, every time he misses a shot.

    Heat as champs, Kill me now!

  52. This game is about everyone else not named Lebron and Wade. Holy crap their role players came to play.

  53. The Wade is as good as Kobe convos will get out of hand after this.

  54. Harden, Fisher and Perkins is like watching Murphy, Blake and Artest getting paid to be slugs.

  55. Have to be happy for LeBron. All the greats find a way eventually.

    Ko: Okc players looks sluggish. Murphy, Blake, Artest for other reasons. Chaz has been spiking their drinks all night.

  56. Will someone tells Fisher to retire. Oh wait I said that 3 years ago.

    Will someone ask Fisher to be our head coach.

    Oh wait I said that 6 months ago.

    Will someone tell Riley we want him back.

    Ah never mind. It’s gonna be a long time before Laker fans get basketball in June.

    I need a new hobby.

    Anyone know had to knit?

  57. What the crowd in MIA are saying? “SOV” or “FOV”? It’s not MVP…

  58. and the worst game for OKC came in the biggest game of their season. Heat really dominating this one, exceptional outside shooting.
    there’s no shortcut to championship, especially when your team is young…

    we (lakers) could have put a better fight. but we couldn’t beat OKC, though all games played were close, sigh. we need to get back to championship next year.

  59. Somewhere in Montana, Phil Jackson is licking his chops right now, drooling over coaching this Thunder team. The same way Homer Simpson drools over porkchops. “ummmmm, porkchopssss (insert saliva drooling all over the floor)

  60. Are you sure Jim you want to sign Kapono and not Miller.

    “Of course Jason is a much better shooter and I know basketball.”

    “Don’t ever question me again Mitch”!

  61. Yeah, refs are going wild..but at the end of the day, nobody will remember it. All they’ll remember is how OKC choke bad…

    The end justify the means…

  62. Hey OKC, how do you feel now that you don’t get all the calls?

  63. Somewhere in Montana, Phil Jackson is licking his chops right now, drooling over coaching this Thunder team.

    The same way Homer Simpson drools over porkchops. “mmmmm, porkchopssss (insert saliva drooling all over the floor)

  64. Ugh. Got to give it to Lebron. He played like an MVP all year and continued through the playoffs. I’ve felt like he was the best player in the league for the last 3 or so years, but this is the first year that I would claim that he is not only the best stat stuffer, but also is making everyone on his team better and being completely dominant at the same time. It looks like he has figured it out.

  65. Ko

    i will be your knitting partner

    great posts for the past month!

  66. looks like Derek “Mr. Ring chaser” Fisher gonna have to wait another time for the 6th
    sorry Derek,try again

  67. You know the sad part. James and Wade together get paid about the same as Kobe in 2 years. But then those his and her Ferrari’s are expensive.

    Thanks Just Another.

  68. Let the G.O.A.T bandwagon begin!

    I just threw up and swallowed it all the way back thinking about it.

  69. Hope the critics realize they played a big part of this Miami championship. That sound you hear is the Bayless wagon wheels falling off.

    Looooooooooooooong plane ride home for Okc.

  70. Don’t think Phil would coach this Thunder team. Durant and Westbrook are not the right type of players for the Triangle.

    Thunder need a defensive type coach. Thibs would be perfect if he weren’t already taken.

    Agree that LeBron is finally showing the leadership to match his talent. Well deserved MVP. Though it helps when your role players are all on fire from the 3-pt line, just like the Mavs last year. (Or for that matter, LO and Ariza in 2009 if I recall correctly.)

    Wow, Lakers desperately need 3-pt shooters!

  71. Harden – time to cut his beard off

    is this guy really part of the Olympic team?

    i hope not!

  72. i’m really disgusted that Kobe did not take his scoring title. that is the moment when the Lakers lost their chances to win another TITLE!

  73. It could have been worse : )

    The fact that it wasn’t Boston is one of the few things that was good about the 2012 season.

  74. Jordan, Bird, Magic, Kobe say welcome to the club LeBron.

    Lebron should have been MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and Finals MVP if were honest.

  75. Congratulations to the Heat. Lebron James has grown up and deserves the MVP award.

    Kevin Durant is a beast!

    Lakers where do we go from here?

    just another-“i’m really disgusted that Kobe did not take his scoring title. that is the moment when the Lakers lost their chances to win another TITLE!”

    I thought he should have gone for it because I knew this team wasn’t a championship team. But, I’m a Laker so its never over till it’s over for me, lol!

  76. Reminds me of 2008 though with only a normal beat down, not an epic one. Could be a good thing for the Thunder, like it was for the Lakers. Durant and WB will realize they aren’t as hyped as the media made them out to be. The humiliation will eat at them, drive them to be better. 

    As for the Lakers, the one remotely bright spot is that other superstars like Howard or D-Will will realize they don’t have a shot at a Ring unless they band together too. Lakers will always be an alluring place to play. Maybe they’ll look at how they can force their way to get to the Lakers. Maybe Chris Paul will figure out a way to change teams at Staples. 

    Yes, I’m really reaching here.

  77. Beggining of the game. Bla-bla, Heat scores. 2×0. So on OKC 1st possesion, KD get the ball and initiate the play.

    KD? PG? Are you serious? Why OKC was getting out of its game? 1st possesion, seriously?

    That gave me a feeling on what was about to happen.

    And it did.

    OKC didn’t play like OKC at all. From minute 1.

  78. Where do the LAkers go from here?

    Do everything in their power to get Deron WIlliams AND Dwight Howard.

  79. *

    I kid. I don’t really believe that, just a Phil Jackson tribute. Gotta make that clear before Anonymous comes after me with a chainsaw.

    Despite the bittersweet feeling of the Lakers not being there, this part of the year is the most fun for me. Just seeing the unbridled joy, the emotion, the relief, the celebration. And for us fans, it’s the culmination of months of watching and analyzing and learning and discussing among each other. I feel sorry for the countless people in the world who’d rather turn off their TVs than watch Lebron be happy.

    I could very much see the Thunder coming back the way we did in 2009, and I could see Harden next year pulling what Lebron did this year in the Finals (not to the same extent, but the same theme of redemption after an awful Finals).

    Too bad this only went 5 games. Also happy Turiaf got his first ring.

  80. Jarrett Jack with the Tweet of the night:

    This is the best and worst day of basketball, bc a team wins a championship but now baseball is the only thing on tv. #depressed

  81. Also get someone who can actually shoot. Chalmers, Battier and Miller were huge for Miami.

    Dump Blake, Ron, Sessions. Get some real players.

  82. Jarrett Jack as the Lakers PG (I wish).

    I just realized that Juwan Howard won a ring…

    There’s something wrong with the NBA these days…

  83. just another: I only wish that Dr. Buss was still in charge. I only wish that Jerry West were still here. I only wish that PJ were still here. Well I still have Kobe. At least until the AB/Jimbo contract negotiations are completed : )

  84. The out come of this series shouldn’t have surprised anyone. OKC is not equipped to beat Miami. You beat Miami inside. That is their weakness. Indy gave them trouble because they have a post game. Boston took them to the limit because they have a post game. OKC doesn’t have a post game and it showed. Something to think about next time you want to trade Bynum for a PG.

  85. MichaelH: how can we focus on Miami if we can’t get past Okc?

    Bynum had trouble with McGee. And Perkins. And we only made it to the 2nd round AGAIN.

    Finals are a ways away. This off season is where we get better.

  86. 1/2decaf: LeBron is in that class. Rings are a team accomplishment and the 4 and up club has been on better teams than LeBron. As an individual player LeBron is as good if not better than all those guys.

    You can talk Jordan will all you want but he wasn’t going against Kobe, Durant, Wade in their primes and winning. Jordan owned the 90s because the super Celtics, Lakers and Pistons got old and faded.

    LeBron is already a legend. When he’s in his mid 30s and his numbers surpass theirs his greatness will be even more justified.

    Finals: 28.6 pts 10.4 reb 7.4 ast 1.6 stl 47%fg

    Playoffs: 30.5 pts 9.7 reb 5.3 ast 1.9 stl 50% fg

  87. Look at the upside, guys: Dan Gilbert is probably pretty pissed off right now.

  88. Bron Bron has a crown and scepter, he finally got it on the 3rd try. If he stuck with the Cavaliers, he would still be a crown-less King especially with a pure defensive Coach who would tire him a lot. With Miami, he got it on the balance. Well, Durant failed this year but it won’t be long he would get his title too if they stick together and keep on trying.

    Yeah, Aloha Michael the Lakers have two postmen but couldn’t deliver, one is a weakling and the other is moody and inconsistent. I wonder why McGee or Ibaka could beat them on rebounds. I agree with you that if Bynum is traded, it has to be a replacement of a better post man than a PG. Can Bynum get his own crown ala’ Olajuwon or Shaq in the next three seasons? I think the answer there is what Bron Bron said tonight, “he humbled himself (acknowledge his mentor)and went back to basics (capitalize his height advantage).”

  89. rr – yeah, whatever happened to Gilbert’s “promise” the Cavs would win a title before LBJ?

  90. It’s great to see the best player in the league win a title. It’s even better to see him play till the last game of the season (that’s all I care about). The more I get to see him play the happier I am. He is a marvel to watch… He is the biggest reason to love the game right now. I can’t wait to see how good he can actually get.

    Ha… Funny zinger… But Pau is one of the greatest PFs to ever play this game.. And Fisher is one of the greatest speech givers to ever play this game. But it’s true… To carry Fisher to the last two minutes of a game where he could hit big wide open shots is pretty impressive.

  91. It’s clear to me after these Finals are over that the western Conference is officially overrated. OKC basically went through 3 over-the-hill teams to get to the finals. So many people gave them
    credit for them dismantling the Spurs, but as I recall, San Antonio have collapsed under the playoff pressure five years in a row now.

  92. Kevin

    It’s simple. Shooters. with shooters we beat OKC. We did a pretty good job of controlling pace but you can’t play inside out with out the out part working. OKC and Denver both camped out in the paint making it quite difficult to work inside, even for Kobe and his post up game. They dared us to shoot from the outside. Especially Denver. Andrew and Pau had three guys on them every time they touched the ball because Denver was not afraid of our shooters. Would you have been? We need to be able to stretch the floor to open up the paint.

    Andrew averaged 18.9 ppg without an outside threat and he was the 2nd option. He could easily at least add 5 points a game with an outside threat to keep the defense honest. But we have never had that, so how would you even know if it would work or not?

    Bottom line, we could make trades, get into the draft etc but we are not going to be able to get enough quality players to be able to play OKC or Miami’s style of game. Sorry but there isn’t any Lebrons or Durants on the horizon for us. So you build around your strengths, build around your match up advantages. Thats how we do it.

  93. Warren Wee Lim June 22, 2012 at 4:01 am

    Where do the Lakers go from here?

  94. Jon Hendricksen June 22, 2012 at 4:30 am

    Why is this forum called Blue and Gold instead of purple and gold? WTH?

  95. Jon Hendricksen June 22, 2012 at 4:31 am

    BTW Warren, they go to Dwight Howard from here. Kobe is getting old and doesn’t have much time left, so if they don’t get him next year some how, they will be rebuilding.

  96. @ Jon–Click the “Forum Blue?” link above for the explanation…

  97. kehntangibles June 22, 2012 at 6:06 am

    This is the 3rd time in NBA history that the team with the middle 3 Finals games won all 3 of them – the others were Detroit in 2004 and Miami in 2006. In both of the previous two cases, the losing team (Lakers in 2009 and Dallas in 2011) won it all five years later. So… mark your calendars for 2017, Thunder fans. 😛 By then you’ll presumably have amnestied Perkins and his 35 uncalled moving screens per game

  98. This might be crazy but we should just bring in Shane Battier he could easily play off Kobe and he can shoot three while play elite defense.

  99. I am amazed at how well Miami’s role players performed. Battier’s stats were beyond anything I think any Heat fan would have predicted or wished for. Not saying they won the title, obviously, but it sure helped a lot. Effective outside shooting opens up a lot of the game…

    Michael H — assuming you are correct in your point, what does that say for the Lakers low post options? Why couldn’t the Lakers use that to their advantage? Perhaps that outside shooting thing would have helped.

  100. Scottie Pimpin June 22, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Congrats to Lebron. As much as I would have enjoyed seeing him lose he is an undeniable talent and has been since day one. As a rookie he lived up to the hype and he still has room to grow as a player. If he develops a post game, then he might actually get the 8 championships he promised.

    Some of his ‘decision’ making makes it easy to hate but from a pure basketball perspective he is a joy to watch.

    I expect him to get the rare triple crown of NBA MVP, Finals MVP and Gold Medal in the same year. I think MJ was the only one to do that in ’92. Kobe came close in 08′ though.

  101. Jon#96 – read the history of the blog and the lakers then you will understand

  102. MichaelH: That’s what Blake, Kapono, Murphy were signed for.

    Only working with the mini mid level those are the calibur shooters Lakers will sign.

    Struggled to put away New Orleans and Denver in the first round consecutive years. Lost in the 2nd round 4-0, 4-1 in consecutive years. But sure let’s keep going with a formula that’s not working.

  103. Now The real season begins. Championships are won in the offseason. Managment puts together a roster and players train and improve their games and bodies. The only variables once the season begins are trades and injuries in my opinion. If the Lakers are able to get adequate compensation for Pau Gasol (something they were not able to do during the season) it is crucial they obtain a back up Center. One of the reasons Jordan Hill was so good for the Lakers was because he was coming off the bench against other teams second units and was allowed to play his natural position of PF off a post scoring threat in Bynum or Gasol. That’s probably the under the radar roster move the Lakers need to make if Pau does get traded.

  104. Kevin,

    First of all I only mentioned Andrew in my post. While the FO is being politically correct you can bet that they are looking at every offer for Pau. There are also names floating out on the rumor mill that would be very helpful, that may not cost us Pau. Per the rumors there is even a way for us to get into the middle of the first round without costing Pau.


    You are absolutely right shooting would have helped. all one has to do is look at the finals to see why. Lebron was the MVP and he deserved it. But it was the 3 point shooting of Shane, Mike Miller and Chamers that opened things up for Lebron and Wade. Lack of shooting not only made things tougher for Andrew and Pau inside, it also made things harder for Kobe and Ron in the post as well.

    As currently constructed our team lacks balance. As Miami showed us the role players that can balance a roster does not have to be big names.

  105. They won’t be able to “go small” with MWP at PF without adding perimeter players. They were forced to play Blake at the 2 because of that deficiency. Leaves me longing for Vujacic and Brown, who could probably be had for reasonable salaries. Also, remind me why they went with Blake over Farmar? Farmar is younger, a better defender, and always hit big shots. Seems like they could get him with that trade exception seeing as how the Nets have Williams.

  106. Christian Eyenga’s Twitter says “After celebration last night now is time to get back to work.”

    What exactly was he celebrating? What title did he win?

  107. Steven

    Farmar had attitude issues. He is stubborn, hard to coach and most importantly clashed with Phil. He even asked the Lakers not to tender an offer when he hit restricted free agency. So they didn’t.

  108. Michael H, you are absolutely correct,our supporting cast sucks. I saw MWP tweet about Lebron playing unselfish and I wondered to myself how many wide open 3s did our supporting cast miss? However I still believe our greatest shortcoming is coaching. The type of defensively scheme Brown employs takes too much of a toll on our veteran team. We need a coach who can help us score easily

  109. Ron playing PF would be great for spacing. It would open up the floor and the weakside would not always be occupied by a center. And while a guard is driving to the basket if a defender cheats to help. He can kick it out to the open shooter and not force a tough shot or lob. Miami killed Okc with that the guards forced Ibaka to cheat off Battier and they made them pay.

    It may also help in defensive transition where LAkers had major troubles last season. Still not convinced he can guard Durant if they go small but it’ll open up the floor offensively.

  110. Snoopy2006- Eyenga might have friends on the Heat, he might be friends with Turiaf. He’s played on several teams and knows quite a few people.

    The last time the Lakers had a pure shooter in his prime was Glen Rice. Shooters have been created with the Lakers, Michael Cooper and Derek Fisher. Goudelock came in as a shooter and the Lakers need to retain him as a role player. Ebanks needs to get the shooting book that Kobe gave to Ariza, he too needs to be on next seasons roster. Provided it’s at the right cost.

    Now days it seems that players and coaches join the Lakers organization as a vehicle for their next contract or move. Where are the players that are proud to be a jersey on with the Lakers in the front? One of the things that made this organization great is that if a player does what they’re supposed to do for the Lakers, the Lakers take care of them during contract negotiation.

    Management needs to have their eyes on the players that are going to be the next great role players and not on the players that are on their last leg. Please no Shane Battier’s, Mike Miller’s, Jason Terry’s or Derek Fisher’s. Look for the next greats Lou Williams, Eric Bledsoe and Nicolas Batum.

    These finals taught me one thing: Engaged skilled bigs like Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum were no where to be found.

  111. You see guys like Griffin, Randolph, Love at PF and think it wouldn’t be so good an idea.

    It has it’s positives and negatives but it won’t change the speed factor and that was an obvious flaw these playoffs. Thinking of ways to improve with an over the hill roster proves were not good enough and need drastic change.

  112. Chearn is a genius. Why didn’t the Heat get young studs like Bledsoe, Lou Williams, and Batum? Oh wait… Cause they are better pkayers and are harder to acquire and much more expensive when they do hit the FA market. Washed up vets like Battier, Mike Miller, and Fisher are cheap and available for a reason.

  113. How would artest at pf not change the speed factor, he is slower for a df but would be fast for a pf, though i only support this move if we trade gasol for a quick sf or pg.

    Also blake has little offensive game would be happy to put ron on him. Only mismatch i m ight see for ron at the pf is randolf.

  114. Clutch: We must remember MWP is not Ron Artest.

  115. If Artest plays the pf position the Lakers are then faced with the dilemma of whom to play at the sf position. Which player will play defense on LBJ, Durant and Anthony? Perimeter shooters and defense need to be addressed.

  116. Blake over Farmar?


    Farmar is not a Triangle guy, and they thought Blake would be.

  117. Ron Artest age 30: 11 pts 4.3 reb 3 ast 41/35/68

    age 31: 8.5 pts 3.2 reb 2.1 ast 39/35/67

    age 32: 7.7 pts 3.4 reb 2.2 ast 39/29/61


    Steve Blake age 30: 7.6 pts 2.3 reb 4 ast 42/42/79

    age 31: 4 pts 1.9 reb 2.2 ast 35/37/86

    age 32: 5.2 reb 1.6 reb 3.3 ast 37/33/77

  118. Matt Barnes age 30: 8.8 pts 5.5 reb 1.7 ast 48/31/74

    age 31: 6.7 pts 4.3 reb 1.3 ast 47/31/77

    age 32: 7.8 pts 5.4 reb 2.0 ast 45/33/74

    I’d like to have Barnes back next year. His game is sustainable. he was really coming on before the injury. If Person is in the gym all summer he can improve his 3 point shooting

    Blake, Metta, Eyenga, Goudelock McRoberts, Metta are the role players under contract currently. Barnes had a more consistent impact than those guys. Hope he’s back next year.

  119. Old and washed up is the current Lakers roster.

    Very washed up is MWP, be it as a SF or a PF.

    Get back Odom? Geez, why not see if Eldon Campbell is available, too?

  120. I mean, check out the Heat and the Thunder: both teams are MUCH more athletic, MUCH faster, and BTW MUCH younger than the Lakers “core”.

    Tweeking around the edges of the Lakers’ worn out roster isn’t going to get it done.

    And yes, it’s clear that there are severe e severe and very real financial restraints in place, particulaly over the next couple seasons.

    It’s gonna be a slog.

  121. @chearn

    First not worried about anthony

    Second i said i liked the mwp move to sf on the condition that gasol is traded for and improvmnt at the sf or pg something like (edited for trade speculation)

    Thus giving us a boost in speed defense shooting and spacing

  122. Btw, I’m not advocatin Ron *starting* at PF. But, in small ball lineups, I think he can play there more with some success.

  123. Lol well darius having thought about it i am advocating it