What to watch for on the court in London

Phillip Barnett —  July 27, 2012

With the Olympic Ceremony already happening (we’ll get to watch it at 7 p.m. on NBC if you’re out here in the West Coast), Team USA hoops is right around the corner. Before they take the floor for the first time in this tournament against Tony Parker’s French National team, lets take a look at some of the positives and negatives that I’ve noticed from Team USA on the floor.

The Positives

The Stretch Four
Throughout the five games Team USA played, one of the problems that we consistently saw was a propensity for taking way too many long range shots. The athleticism on this team should call for a lot more penetrating and finishing around the rim and posting up mis-matches. Everyone who has handled the ball around the perimeter has taken at least one ill-advised three pointer. However, two guys were able to somewhat-consistently knock down shots from behind the arc during the course of the five games — Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony. During the five games, Durant and Anthony combined to shoot .489 from range while the rest of the team shot .404 (it should be noted that Anthony Davis shot a perfect 1.000 from three, he was one-for-one). Furthermore, a lot of those threes were a direct result of either pick-and-pops or guys penetrating, drawing defenders and kicking out to either Durant or Anthony. Of course, both of them took their fair share of ill-advised threes off the dribble, but Durant and Anthony shooting off the catch have been better than anyone else on Team USA. Also, having those two straddle the perimeter or as the pick man in P&Rs have taken opposing fours away from the rim and opened the lanes for guys like Paul, Williams, Westbrook and LeBron to do what they do best. Truehoop’s Beckley Mason has even gone on to say that Melo can take his role as the four for Team USA.

Small Ball Defense
With a roster featuring only one true center, Coach K has had the liberty (or has been forced to depending on how you look at it) to play around with some unique lineups, seeing both LeBron and Anthony spend some time at the 5. While this is a big cause for concern on the interior with the lack of size, it has allowed all five parts of the defense to move interchangeably through screens. With five athletic guys who can all defend along the perimeter, it has given the defense — in these small lineups — the freedom to switch on nearly everything. Because of this, rotations become shorter, they’re able to use their collective athleticism to jump into passing lanes, and it takes the pressure off of one guy to have to work too much on an offensive player who moves around a lot. In the game against Argentina, Kobe was assigned to Manu Ginobili. With the Argentinians running the Flex offense, Ginobili often started sets in the corner and is run through a series of screens to free him up for open jump shots or cuts through the lane. One on possession in particular, Ginobili ran Kobe to one screen and Anthony picked him up. Ginobili ran Anthony to another screen and Deron Williams picked him up. Ginobili then ran Williams to a screen and LeBron picked him up. Ginobili didn’t touch the ball on that possession and a contested jumpshot was taken. Of course, they’ll try to avoid any match ups in which a point guard is forced to take on a big, but they have the speed along the perimeter to really disrupt what opposing offenses are trying to do with their small ball lineups.

The Negatives

Zone Offense
The biggest hole in Team USA’s game is their inability to show any consistency attacking zone defenses. Starting late in the 2nd quarter, Argentina really just packed the paint and allowed the Americans to fire away from the perimeter, keeping Argentina in a game that they were down early. There was very little gap penetration, and all ball rotations were just along the perimeter. Yes, shots opened up, but it was the shots the Argentines wanted Team USA to take. Against Spain, things didn’t look any better against zone defenses. The score doesn’t really coincide with how much Team USA struggled with getting shots around the rim against Spain’s zone because they hit 13-three pointers as a team. The reality is that they shot 54 percent from three against man-to-man and only 25 percent against the zone (numbers per ESPN Stats and Information’s Ryan Fieldman). LeBron has been the best at busting zones, especially when he’s able to catch the ball near the free throw line and either attack or facilitate, but even he has been prone to just taking perimeter jumpers like the rest of the team. We should expect to see many more zones against this Team USA, and I’d like to see them counter with gap penetration and jumpers only after the ball has touched the paint. Putting pressure on the defense by attacking the rim is the easiest way to get teams out of the zone, and if they’re going to try to shoot themselves out of zone defenses, Coach K might want to have both Melo and Durant on the floor simultaneously.

Protecting the Rim
Earlier, I noted how well Team USA has defended teams around the perimeter, stopping them from getting into their sets and forcing contested jump shots and turnovers. On the flip side, they’ve been susceptible to back cuts and hard rolls in P&R sets, especially when Tyson Chandler is on the bench. Case in point is Serge Ibaka’s personal 10-point run early in the game against Spain. Chandler got in early foul trouble and Ibaka scored on a series of P&Rs and back cuts. When the defense wasn’t able to keep the ball on the perimeter, Ibaka had a field day with being guarded by Durant/Anthony/James in the paint. Furthermore, perimeter defenders were repeatedly beat back door in games against Brazil, Spain and Argentina. I remember at least two times where Kobe himself was beat back door by Ginobili in the Argentina game. These things are less of a problem with Tyson Chandler holding down the fort, but with only five fouls allowed in international play, Coach K will really have to watch his minutes should he get in any early foul trouble.

That said, Team USA are the clear favorites to take home the gold as their positives far outweigh their negatives — but their close calls against Brazil and Argentina show that this team is beatable under the right circumstances. Their opening game against France is at 2:30 p.m. local time, which would make it 6:30 a.m. PST, if it did that right (feel free to correct in the comments if necessary).

Phillip Barnett


to What to watch for on the court in London

  1. Here is what to watch for: KB is going to be “The Man”. Not the leading scorer, but he will be the guy everyone is keyed on. Kobe’s intl record will be impecable, as opposed to the blemish on the LeBronze record.

    The olympics are cool, but the focus must remain on D12. The future of our franchise depends on getting him.


  2. Two more negatives: turnovers due to traveling, particularly when catching the ball on the run; and bewildering officiating (this is a given across all Olympic sports) leading to foul trouble.

    One positive: Kevin Love passes off rebounds or inbounds. How does he throw a chest pass that far?!?


  3. Robert,
    Only a Kobe homer would call Kobe “the man” on this team. And to call out LeBron (the guy who just had one of the greatest statistical seasons of all time) out at the same time?


  4. Kobe is a key cog for this team his tenacity and shot making are just what’s neeed. If he can implement the role he’s playing now with the Lakers he can be extremely effective. I’m tlking KG playoff effective not overdue it just do a few things and do them well.

    It is crazy how amazingly talented LeBron is. What they’re doing on offense and defense would NOT work without him. It’s so great to be able to watch this one of a kind player.

    I like how Westbrook has took over Wade’s role coming off the bench being a nuansce on defense. Melo and Durant are playing great too. I still say Chris Paul is the 2nd best player in the league.

    Perimeter wise this team is stacked. It would give the original dream team a run for their money. USA will likely win the gold but it’ll have to have the same superhuman effort we saw from LeBron in the playoffs.

    Still wish Coach K would spare Kobe and play Harden or Westbrook more.


  5. For Kobe watchers, you might want to read this:


    ~~Yes, Aaron, he’s the man according to the reporters.


  6. Edwin/Robert

    That Kobe guy is one cool cat. People saying he’s no longer an elite NBA player has to be crazy. Kobe is still the best sg in the league.

    Best sg’s in the NBA:
    1. Kobe
    2. Dwade
    3. Joe Johnson


  7. Kobe’s Fro’ July 27, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Why is Aaron still here?

    The fact he continues to pose here after losing his credibility with the “Kobe/sessions/fo Gate”is beyond me.

    Trade him already please.


  8. The USA Basketball has no problem in all areas..with tremendous athleticism, speed, bulk, agility that is unparallel against their counterpart in the olympics..the only problem(i mean only simple) that i can see if there opponent zone them for the whole game…in there six exhibition games, only a handful of zone defense are being employed by their counterpart..With each different games, different players exploded for their W… Kobe is being Kobe, to shutdown the enemy biggest scorer.. we can see Lebron/KD/Carmelo carries this team…but a sure gold medal for the Dream Team 2012..good luck.


  9. Well Kobe is still the man. I know it’s the American way to always focus on the young and new. But Kobe Bean Bryant is still an extraordinary basketball talent and will be until the day he retires. Espn and David Stern want to make it all about Lebron but it’ll be about Kobe for me until he retires. Thanks Kobe for 2008, 2009, 2010 three finals in a row and you won two. You and Phil were great and I know you got one more, maybe two more in you. Do the thing!!!

    And yes please trade Aaron and Kevin ain’t far behind. If either of you can do what Kobe can do on the basketball court at 33 then you can talk, otherwise you forcing it.


  10. I point out the pros and cons to everyone’s game on the Lakers. You have to be even keel. I point out the fact Bynum “loafs” then I’ll say he’s he has the most impact on Lakers wins and losses. And I’d be correct both are facts.

    Then I’ll point out Kobe’s 2-10 in the 4th of game 2 played a major role in that loss. And in the same breathe state he was the only one who brought it game 5 vs Denver despite the flu.

    You can’t always point out the positives when there are none. I call a spade a spade.

    Saying Kobe shoots too much sometimes or loses Lakers a game doesn’t change his legacy or my opinion of his superior basketball talents. Can’t be a Kobe apologist all the time.


  11. 10, @ Kevin_:



  12. The olympics are cool, but the focus must remain on D12. The future of our franchise depends on getting him.

    No offense, buddy, but what we focus on here has nothing to do with the future of the franchise. The Lakers will either get Howard or they won’t, no matter what we talk about at the FBG watering hole.


    And I’d be correct both are facts.


    Like it says on the commenting guidelines: In God we trust; everybody else bring data.

    You don’t do it as often as Aaron does, and you make a lot of good points, but a lot of the little dust-ups here come from people calling assertions and opinions “facts.”

    Got a kick out of seeing Pau carrying the Spanish flag and seeing the basketball guys with the other athletes, as well as all the small countries’ teams.


  13. Last thread, there was a link saying that Kobe had lost 16 pounds. Does anyone have an accurate figure for Kobe’s current weight? For years, the Mamba has been listed at 205 lbs. Subtracting 16 from that is 189. That sounds a little light considering that Kobe absorbs a lot of contact. Just curious.


  14. The thing that I’m really looking forward to is the Durant/LBJ pick and roll. How do you stop that with Melo etc on the weak side? Have been impressed with Kobe in the warmups, homing in on D and making things happen without taking a lot of shots. He also knows how to play the international refs as well as anyone on the team.


  15. Aaron,

    You might want to check your facts. When asked who is the most feared player on the USA roster by opponents like Spain Durant was listed first because of his ability to shoot (something Lebron can’t do well). And Kobe still gets more attention overseas than Lebron does.

    It would go like this Kobe/Durant 1A/1B and Lebron 2nd.

    When you see teams try to play zone against USA you will see guys like Kobe, Melo and Durant be the key in this team’s success.


  16. Is NBC going to stream all games on their website or just the ones not shown on cable? Does anyone know if they’re going to tape delay the US/France game and run it later on in the day?

    Pau with the getup was something to behold… I felt that the introductory ceremony was way too scattered and overblown, and I don’t remember Olympics from the 90’s featuring such overwrought theatrics. Maybe I was too young and didn’t want to watch that stuff. To anyone who remembers, did Atlanta or Greece have similarly cinematic/Hollywood intros?


  17. Found NBC’s streaming website for basketball. They allow you to watch all the games live or replayed on there, but you must have a cable or satellite account with an accepted provider to use the service. I’m out of luck…



  18. rr: I post my fair share of numbers. I didn’t need to post them that time because we all saw those things happen last year. Trying to be politically correct all the time only takes you so far and the fun out of sports debate. I’d rather “do it as often as Aaron does” whatever that means and have a lively sports opinion.

    Kareem: I agree the opening ceremony was drawn out. Beijing 08 was nice but this one put me to sleep a few times.


  19. Anyone else getting a kick of out David Stern calling out Dan Fegan? I strongly dislike Stern, but it’s quite funny to watch Fegan get pantsed nationally.


  20. rr: Thanks for letting me know that FB&G does discussion does not influence outcomes and actions : ) And here I thought all along that it was my year long tirade that finally caused the FO to make a move and get Nash : ) I am also banking on the fact that Jim wants his ring kissed, so that will get us D12. Stay focussed.


  21. Aaron: I am a Kobe Homer and everyone here knows that. Unlike you : ) I admit where my allegiances lie. Perhaps you could start doing the same. You could start writing Andrew Alerts. You could update us on significant events like him running up the court, and playing defense and such. With regard to LeBronze: This is a Lakers board. There are Heat boards for idolizing the Bronze medalist and that Punk Wade.


  22. To those who want this site to fall into another homer bonanza… I would prefer to do everything in my power to not let that happen. Kobe in my opinion was the second greatest player to ever play the game… He is not that player anymore. Give it a rest. He is not one of the best pkayers on this national team. I hope Laker fans can appreciate everything he was and still is without lying to themselves.


  23. Robert,
    My allegiances are towards the Lakers. Not Andrew Bynum, not Kobe Bryant, and not Los Angeles. I just state my take on players and teams. People think Andrew Bynum is a favorite player of mine because when I evaluate Lakers he comes out with the highest score. He also has te highest PER anoung Lakers… So I am not the only one. Re LeBron… If you don’t enjoy watching him play I dont know how you enjoy basketball. Don’t rob yourself of enjoying one of the all time greats. You will regret it when he retires… I assure you.


  24. Yes Kobe us no longer the best player in the league ir on the team. No one can argue that. He is ni doubt top 10 in the world which makes him a legend to watch.

    What he is the mist dedicated hard working player I can remember seeing. The guy never stops working on his game and plays hard every minute on the court.

    THAT can not be said for Andrew who has shown to be the laziest player on our team who takes 50% or more of plays off.

    Anyone who thinks they are in the same world as NBA players is clueless. Kobe is Michael like Andrew is Ralph Sampson like. End of argument from a guy who works with and employs former NBA Legends.


  25. Well stated Ko.
    Aaron: KB is no longer the best in the league – that is true. I do think he is the best SG. I would take him over D Wade any day. LeBronze, KD, and possibly D12 are in front of him, but he is certainly somewhere between 3rd-8th in the league. I have him at 3rd best all time behind MJ and KAJ. Also factoring in the work ethic and the fact that this is year 17 and he is truly amazing. By the way, lumping me in as a homer is a little odd. I think some others on the board would call me the opposite, as I bashed the bench, the FO, and our “6th” place position for an entire year. Yes – I am a KB Homer and he deserves all praise he is given.


  26. Thanks to Edwin for linking that terrific article on Kobe. I think it goes to some of the discussion in this thread, about what it means to be the man, what it means about handling yourself in words as well as actions. Kobe is obviously coming into the end run of his NBA player career and it’s interesting to see how he’s changed, not only on the floor, but off. The guy loves sports, loves the Olympics, the opportunity to see others in action. I was struck last night by how he comported himself in the opening ceremonies. All the other NBAers had their digi cams and cells out, filming the parade, themselves. It looked a little comical. Kobe didn’t have a cell. He was just walking, checking it out, being in the moment. He wants to check out diverse competitions, he knows the stories of other athletes outside of basketball. And when it comes to his own particular game, he’s still an elite, and dedicated athlete. Being the man doesn’t mean you have to fly as high, or score as much. He’s still the man.


  27. Great post Dave


  28. And here I thought all along that it was my year long tirade that finally caused the FO to make a move and get Nash : )


    Joke if you like, but you have made references to “staying focused” and “*we* have to save this franchise” as rationales for your repetitiveness on many occasions, and did so again here.

    Obviously, you are aware that this is just a fanboard, but frankly, I didn’t see a good reason for jumping into an Olympics discussion to let us know yet again how important getting Howard is to you. No harm waiting until the next round of rumors, particularly with Kobe trying for his 2nd Gold.


  29. I’d rather “do it as often as Aaron does” whatever that means and have a lively sports opinion.

    It means saying stuff like this:

    I point out the fact Bynum “loafs” then I’ll say he’s he has the most impact on Lakers wins and losses. And I’d be correct both are facts.

    The first statement is mostly subjective, and you offer no proof for the second–it is an assertion. Further, even if you did make a case for it, even with numbers, it would still be arguable due to the fluid nature of basketball stats.


    Joke if you like, but I didn’t really see the point in bringing Howard into an Olympics thread.


  30. rr: Fair enough, however it seems no matter what the topic: Kobe in the Olympics, FO, or D12, there seems to be no shortage of opinions here.
    Edwin/Jayz/Julien/StepUp/Ko/Dave M: Awesome support of our main guy Kobes. Kevin – you get partial credit : )


  31. Thanks for the props Dave M., as usual trying to contribute whatever I can find that is relevant to the thread.

    No worries 1/2 D & R, all is clear that it was not my post. Sometimes, I am also confused on what I’m saying that can be misunderstood because I protect the middle ground. As such, you get hit from both sides of the fence.

    Robert, if you want Dwight to come to LA, you don’t need to kiss the ring of Jim Buss as you said. He is not a pope nor a bishop and his hat is a baseball hat. What you need to do is to get into Rob Hennigan’s brain and tweak it! Without that as a recourse, everything about the trade will be wishful thinking.

    Having said that, our formula for winning is not Howad but to find supplements for Kobe and Nash. We can talk of how great is Kobe yesterday and in this Olympics but father time is no longer on his side after playing for 18 years. You can’t expect him to be productive SG if he averages 40 mins during the season.


  32. Kobe. at 33, is the most agile sg in nba history(aside from mj, where are his contemporary? tracy?carter?iverson? we witness in London, that Kobe is well known internationally, we all know he will do his best for the team, being the senior citizen of the team… whatever and whoever lead this USA Basketball in this Olympics..every one knows..it is Kobe Bean Bryant..whether its Melo/LBJ/Durant lead the way as long as it is an automatic gold medal..im fine with it…its a team effort..


  33. Edwin: LOL – No – Jim is not a pope, however he has the power of one within the Laker organization. You have given me an idea with regard to Hennigan: Perhaps I will start posting on the Magic board. I will lambast their FO relentlessly for their inaction and ineptitude. I will force them to deal D12 : )


  34. rr: Bynum himself said he loafs I don’t need stats to back that up.

    Bynum affects the Lakers win loss column more than any player on the team last year. The eye test tells us that. He’s Dwight Howard when he plays defense.


  35. I’m watching the Olympics, and stopping by twitter now and then. And so many people are beside themselves about NBC screwing the pooch on its online streaming feeds. And it makes me laugh, because I remember watching the Olympics on a small b&w zenith when there were only three networks. And I can still remember some of those moments.


  36. Kobe is in his Magic phase while LeBron is in his Jordan phase in this year’s Olympics, and I’m still having trouble putting Wade before Kobe even at this point in their respective careers (although for a few years I think Wade was better – just not now for some reason).

    Anyway, I think it’s cool that Kobe lost 16 lbs. Not only will that lighten the load on his knee, but I think it may hint that he no longer feels that him posting people up is a viable strategy within the Lakers regardless of how efficient it is for him. It will be interesting to see whether this decision to lose weight came independently of the Nash signing or because of it, but you have to respect the man for trying. Hard.

    To think that I was with Shaq when they split up… Kobe and his team pulled off a marketing miracle.


  37. “I’d like to see them counter with gap penetration and jumpers only after the ball has touched the paint. ”

    Phillip, did you check the roster? There is virtually no one to do that. Scoring the ball isn’t exactly Chandler’s strong point. So that leaves them with Love and Anthony Davis. Everybody else is way more a wing player than a post player. This roster invites some to pack it in.

    That said, I’ll be rooting for this soul:



  38. “It will be interesting to see whether this decision to lose weight came independently of the Nash signing or because of it ..”

    I definitely feel, as you stated Harold, that the weight loss will aleviate some of the stress upon his knees, but in the grand scheme of things, I believe he knows that with the addition of ‘General Nash’, he’ll have to take on more of the responsibility of guarding the oppositions PG. At this point of his career, it’s things such as this (the 16 lb weight loss) that might seem small to others that gives him that competitive edge.

    So, as in regards to your thoughts on whether the weight loss came independently of the Nash signing or because of it, IMO, it’s a combination of both.


  39. 33,

    Robert, I said yesterday of wishful thinking, “Voila” here is the story:


    ~~Is that an accurate inside story where Sam Amico has 007 in Magic FO or just trying to get interest from Laker fans who are currently glued with Olympics? Only time will tell if this story is real or fantasy to get one’s attention?


  40. Bynum affects the Lakers win loss column more than any player on the team last year. The eye test tells us that

    Fine. And you can find any number of guys, including about 3/4 of the ESPN staff and a few guys here, who will tell you that the main thing that affects the Lakers W/L column is Kobe’s USG and shooting %.

    Opinions are great.


    That’s for sure. There is currently a picture of Durant, Kobe, and Paul up at the ESPN main page. Kobe has his hands up, about to slap hands with Durant. It shows again how severe the damage to his fingers really is.

    As to Howard, my only suggestion is to wait until the next round of rumors. Hennigan himself said “August” and “maybe not at all” and between the hiring of Jacque Vaughn and the Olympics, I doubt that anything will happen with Howard for at least 2-3 weeks, if then.


  41. Carlos Delfino is hitting 3s after 3s.

    Mitch, are you watching that?


  42. 36)dave m,
    You mean the one where you used pliers to changed the channel after the dial broke?


  43. Delfino would be a great edition – yeah he can shoot lights out. Latest DH post — trade likely within 10 days as Magic don’t want to continue circus atmosphere with new Coach Vaughn. I just think he may be headed to LAKE SHOW. SOOOOO sweet. Heck, if you want to know the difference between Bynum and DH and why we need Superman more, read Bill Simmons stories this past week about free agency. He says Howard is the perfect defensive addition for our team and will protect our boys who get blown up on the perimeter by the Westbrooks of the world. Yeah, he is a Celtics lover but Simmons know roundball.


  44. 43,

    the pliers will put you on the right channel, keep holding the rabbit antenna and you get to see the ball games. NBC today means “no basketball coverage” unless you’ve a complete package of cable channels.

    By midnight, I get mesmerized in staring at Bob Costas’ one-inch thick make up? It’s free.


  45. RedsLoveChild July 29, 2012 at 6:13 pm


    Edwin G : Celtic fanatic {for decades} here…coming in peace, not trolling. Remember you well from LakerBlog!

    What is the consensus these days among Laker fans? Do LA fans want to get Howard at the expense of Bynum?

    Everyone happy with acquiring Nash, Jamison?


  46. RLC sup! you found this site. Welcome, don’t stir the Laker fans to the edge, we’re under moderation here.

    I will refer you to our Dwight fanatics on that subject matter. IMO everything is dicey and anything goes.

    Well, if Red were alive, what would he say with the the Celtics roster & new acquisitions in exchange of RA? Would this be the last season of Ainge?


  47. RedsLoveChild July 29, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I`ll behave myself…Once-a-Knight, Everyday Eddie.

    Red would be enormously proud Danny, who he fully endorsed for the GM job in `03.

    On draft day, Ainge committed “armed robbery”, by stealing Sullinger and 7`0″ beast Fab Melo. Then, he signed Jason Terry & Courtney Lee, either one is better than washed-up 37 year old Ray Allen, who can`t guard anyone or create his own shot.

    I`m assuming LA will get D-Howard.

    Where is Jon K, Mamba24, 131-92, etc.?


  48. I’m hoping this coming season can be like Vinokourov’s cycling win. Old dude measures his time then strikes past the 24 year old while his head was turned.

    Watching US basketball, I’d have to say Chris Paul is the best point playing the game that I’ve seen in the present era. For a few years I thought that Deron Williams had him beat but watching how they see the game against the same opponents within the same game has changed my mind. Deron is bigger but is a lesser defender. Bad boy, certainly, but his vision is not like Paul’s.

    Like 2008, the Olympics are going improve the young player’s game even more so.


  49. RedsLoveChild, I remember you.

    Green but polite.

    The answer to your questions are yes and yes.

    How do you feel about your off-season moves? I think the Cs did well.


  50. RedsLoveChild July 30, 2012 at 5:10 am


    How`s it going, Magic Phil?

    As I wrote to Edwin {it`s awaiting moderation}, Danny Ainge stole the 2012 NBA Draft!

    Celtic Nation is ecstatic over Sullinger & Melo. Signing Jason Terry & Courtney Lee was huge, too.

    Ray Allen is way too old to be missed, then he signs with Miami for 1/2 of what Boston offered. They can have him!

    Signing Jeff Green for $36M will prove to be a major mistake. It was Ainge`s only misstep this off-season.

    No concerns about the age of Nash & Jamison? We remember how Payton & Malone turned out in `04.

    Sessions played better than people give him credit for…49% on his 3-point attempts last year. Plus, his legs are 12 years younger than Nash`s.


  51. @ #48, Hale: agreed w/ your assessment of CP3 & D-Will, but with that said I’d prefer D-Will over a career. He’s bigger and not as injury prone. Little guys take a serious beating in this game and tend to have shorter careers. Just the name of the game.

    Latest D-12 rumor: “The Lakers are one of only two teams that Dwight Howard is willing to re-sign with if traded from Orlando. Brooklyn is the other, and Dallas is a dark horse landing spot for Howard in free agency next summer in case both of those options fall through. If the Magic complete a deal with the Lakers, it would effectively shift the balance of power in the Western Conference from Oklahoma City to Los Angeles. With a nucleus of Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Howard and presumably Pau Gasol, the Lakers immediately would become the favorites in the West and a serious threat to succeed Miami as NBA champions.” Oklahoman

    Read more: http://www.insidehoops.com/nba_rumors.shtml#ixzz226zGwojo


  52. Warren Wee Lim July 30, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Eddie Jordan has agreed to join Lakers’ staff.


  53. RedsLoveChild: Thanks for the visit:
    1) I would think that you would not want us to get D12 – correct? Meaning he will be good for us. Can you imagine that there are fans on this very board who do not want him. The Celtic equivalent would be not wanting Garnett when you got him from Minn.
    2) Do you also know there are people on this board who rooted for you this year against the Heat? Can u imagine anyone on your Celtics board ever ever rooting for the Lakers?


  54. RedsLoveChild July 30, 2012 at 9:17 am

    54 : Robert

    1} Having lived through the horror of seeing the Lakers acquire Wilt, Kareem, Shaq…I do live with a certain dread of Howard going to the Lakers.

    However, I also know that Howard is a major “diva”. Combining that with an aging Kobe, and his massive ego, could cause a major pyrotechnic/fireworks display, that could blow the team apart.

    So, I`m kind of split on it. But, overall, I would rather safely see Howard waste his career in ORL.

    2} Not surprised at this point. I see many Celtic fans hating Miami/LeBron way more than LA/Kobe. I don`t understand this mindset at all!


  55. 54, I think a fair number of Celtics fans would root for the Lakers against the Heat.

    Celtics have had the best off-season thus far. Let’s hope we can leap-frog them in the next week with a (ahem) sizable pickup.


  56. 56,

    Red, there is common denominator between the Lakers and Celtics, both teams could see the twilight with highly paid divas. If Howard joins LA, that makes two big steals.

    I think the Lakers got a better deal this summer with acquisition of Nash and Jamison compared to Terry and Lee. Your weakness is in #5 after releasing Stiesma, Garnett is growing old too as PF, he’s not the KG we used to know.

    Hey RLC, I asked that question earlier because Larry Bird will be available for next year. Would you rather stick with Danny Ainge or the fabled Bird?

    On your query about the old gang at LAT, they got dispersed in several sites, some retired or changed identities. Well, we enjoy the new environment which is more calm, less socials and more basketball centric.


    !/2 D & R, what was your former name in the other blog?


  57. 1/2 decaf…

    What a surprise! I’ll embrace your new name and celebrate the good ole days.


    ps: I’m in touch with Justa, from time to time.


  58. From yellow to 1/2 of Lakers cafe, nice choice of a new monicker, welcome home amigo….


  59. Did you know that Mitch Kupchak won a gold medal for the 1976 team in Montreal?

    Phil Ford
    Steve Sheppard
    Adrian Dantley
    Walter Davis
    Quinn Buckner
    Ernie Grunfeld
    Kenneth Carr
    Scott May
    Tate Armstrong
    Tom LaGarde
    Philip Hubbard
    Mitch Kupchak