Friday Forum

Dave Murphy —  August 10, 2012

It’s the day after the night of the big news, and I don’t know that there’s anything I can say that hasn’t already been said (although you can be sure that it will be said again, many times over). The arrival of Dwight Howard after a prolonged and sometimes awkward dance, is a major milestone in the Lakers’ timeline. Credit Mitch Kupchak, who swung for the fences this summer in his measured and quiet way, and parked a couple well over the fence. There’s also the matter of the Olympics – Team USA is in the midst of their semi-final, playing against Argentina. If they advance, they’ll play Spain. Do I seem at all distracted?

Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports was the first to break the news yesterday, and updates his report this afternoon.

Brian Kamenetzy at the Land O’Lakers examines why it was so crucial to keep Pau in the fold, during the Dwight trade.

Kevin Ding at the OC Register writes about Mitch Kupchak and the magic of the crystal ball.

C.A. Clark at Silver Screen & Roll, reports that it’s official, and breaks down what we got and what we sent.

Mark Medina at the L.A. Times looks at five ways in which Dwight helps the Lakers. Mark also just reported on Jodie Meeks signing for about $3 million over two years.

Ramneet Singh at Lakers Nation brings us Kobe’s reaction.

Steve McPherson at Hardwood Paroxysm takes a Glengarry Glen Ross look at the Lakers’ newest acquisition.

***

To say that the Laker roster looks to be in good shape, is only saying a little. As fans, we have every right to be happy and unapologetic about our good fortune. Yet, it’s still the middle of a long, hot summer. Training camp is months off, and then come the adjustments and acclimation for a team that will look, and play differently. There will be an 82-game regular season and I for one, don’t expect any romp to the finish line. Darius wrote a nice goodbye to a kid that we all watched grow. And best wishes to Josh McRoberts as well. I always liked his hustle and his attitude. From halftime to the start of the 4th quarter as I write – Durant and Carmelo are bombing away, and USA is opening up their lead. Enjoy the weekend, everyone.

* Okay, I cannot NOT update this, moments after posting. Team USA blows it open and goes for gold Sunday!  Yes!!

– Dave Murphy

Dave Murphy

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75 responses to Friday Forum

  1. Great article by Woj. Interesting to me the way the Lakers are upgrading talent, but actually replicating chemistry and team dynamic from past title teams in 09 and 10.

    Leadership, positive energy: Nash replaces Fisher
    Jovial guy, keeping things light, loves candy: D12 replaces Odom

  2. The Jodie Meeks signing is a great signing. His 3 point shooting is going to keep teams honest, and allow Howard and Gasol to go to work down low. The Lakers are going for it, they’re all in.

  3. I’m sorry but picturing Garnett yelling “paint your face clown”!!! is just too hilarious!!!!!! OMG I wish I could have witnessed that.

  4. 4. KG does suck at trash talk, remember the Charlie V cancer stuff

  5. So, we traded an All Star, 24 year old center, with 2 Championships, that played 60 of 66 games and all 12 post season game last year for an All Star, 26 year old center, that missed the last half of the season, including the post-season, destroyed the chemistry of his team, got his Head Coach and General Manager fired, and has never won a ring…

    Imagine if Dwight doesn’t play a game, doesn’t sign, and then goes to the Knicks in 2014.

    In fact, don’t imagine it. Expect it.

  6. FromTheCorner, it is obvious you lived under a rock for the last 6 years. Last season was the 1st season Bynum was healthy. Prior to last season Howard didnt miss a game. So what were u saying again???

  7. So, who’s going to be the best Laker next season?

  8. Lakers have 4 PG’s Nash, Blake, Morris and Duhon. Any chance Lakers buyout Duhon rather than pay him $3 mil for 82 DNP?

    Nash, Kobe, Meeks, Blake, Morris, Duhon, Goudelock. 7 guards seems a bit much.

    Pau, Howard, Jamison, Hill, Sacre (possibly) can match up with any frontcourt in the league.

    Ron, Ebanks may be the weakest position on the team. But if Ron shoots in the mid to high 30s from 3 that changes.

  9. espn has howard missing the beginning of the season, according to sources.

  10. This has got to be the greatest off-season for one team in the history of the NBA. Think about it … sure Shaq, Pau, Garnett, and other moves were amazing at the time. But to get two players of the caliber of Nash and Howard, plus the other outstanding bench signings … have all re-made a good team at the tail end of its run into potentially a team for the ages. And if anyone thinks it will be tough to meld into a dominant team, I have two words for you: STEVE. NASH. He made PHX into a regular play-off participant with a quarter of the talent of the lakers … no, make that 10%. This is going to be one of the most amazing seasons ever. Thank you Buss Family and all Lakers supporters everywhere — the greatest professional franchise in our time just gave us another reason to say WE ARE LAKER FANS. My dad would be lovin’ it.

  11. FromTheCorner-

    Aren’t you Aaron’s brother? That comment sounds awfully familiar…

  12. I’m not worried about Howard’s back. Lakers’ training and medical staff have a wee bit of experience with these things called injuries. It’s not exactly like Orlando was dumping damaged goods for whatever they could get. Trade talks between all the interested parties went on for a long time. Medical reports, imaging results, tests, tests and more tests, are all part of the picture. You can never predict with 100% certainty, but the medical conversations are a huge part of sports.

  13. FromTheCorner aka Aaron,

    Who would you rather have:

    Player A:
    3 time defensive player of the year
    5 time all NBA first team
    6 time NBA all star

    Or
    Player B:
    1 time all NBA second team
    1 time NBA all star

    Im pretty sure you’ll be picking player B. But it’s not even close. Lets face it, Bynum is D12 lite. The lakers knew it, we all knew it.

  14. I’d rather see them keep Duhon and move Blake for another SF with ranged shooting ability

  15. That Medina article reads like a Laker dream. The good thing is that it is a dream come true.

    It was destiny

  16. excited for the NBA to start! with the addition of Meeks, and letting go of 1 PG, our team is now good to go.

    nostalgia – it really is a pleasure to be a Laker fan.

  17. Best thing about this trade for me was keeping Gasol. Holy shit I was scared when reading trade rumors that involved the spaniard… Best frontcourt in the league by a light-year.

    Nash, Kobe, RonRon, Pau, Dwight. Los Angeles OMFG Lakers: now with bench upgrades!

  18. I was surprised and somewhat relieved when Dwight said ” I know the Lakers brought me here to play defense mainly. I like to control the paint on both sides of the ball”. I’m sure Kobe, Brown and whoever he talked to brought that up. And that’s honestly what he does best controlling the paint on defense and what a center should do.

    He was real goofy it seemed more excitement than anything though. It didn’t take him but 5 minutes to bring out the impressions. But if that’s how he is then so be it. I’m sure he’s serious about winning also.

  19. Anyone know how good Chris Duhon is? Looks like under the right system he might be an upgrade over Steve Blake.

  20. Last 2 years he was rated below Fish and Blake offense wise. Bad shooting numbers.

  21. I dont want to get greedy. I’m thrilled with the summer so far, but MAN if we can go get Barbosa for the Mini-MLE… I know he’s not a true point, but he’s a playmaker. Barbosa, Meeks, Jamison, Hill makes for a MONSTER 2nd unit…

  22. I do know Dwight will use Gasol’s length the way Drew never seemed to figure out. So much about elite defense is angles and instincts when Drew had that going you saw the Denver game 1 but Dwight has those antennas up every game. When Gasol barely leaves the floor with his arms stretched out an inch away from the block Dwight swats those. Those types of plays have been there for years.

    Dwight has been a monster on the boards with stretch 4s basically his whole career. If that continues (which I expect it to) Pau can leak out for transition opportunities, a quick post up or PnR with Steve with Dwight leaking after him for lobs and putbacks.

    The best defensive big men in the league are KG and Dwight. The impact he’ll bring on that side of the ball can’t be understated. B. Wallace, Garnett, Duncan, Hakeem impact defense.

  23. sald0gg:

    meeks signed for 2 yr 3 million. that’s not the minimum, which means it eats into the MLE, presumably half of it. barbosa is not taking half the mini MLE… then again, judging from this off season, nothing is impossible.

  24. The back isn’t something you can look at and say “hey… This guy will recover all athletisim” or “oh… This guy will be Luke Walton”. You just don’t know until you get on the court. No matter how good the doctor. At least that’s what I’ve been told. What we do know is the reports say Dwight will most likley be back by early January and he doesn’t have a time table yet for his return. We also know its been five months since surgery and he isn’t cleared to train yet. He himself said “back surgeries are very serious” so we at least know he won’t rush back witch is a great thing. This is the guy who replaces our best player and is supposed to be our best player next year. He is our franchise. This is the freak who has been the second best player in the world for at least the last four years and can carry teams like only LeBron can. He has been that guy for the last seven years but will he be that guy ever again? Back surgeries are a tricky proposition. We have all seen many players never be the same. I mean Luke Walton was a quality NBA player once!!!! Luke Walton!!! Post back surgery he was a Derek Fisher with no jump shot. Dwight has been a 6-10 LeBron James… And we all know what LeBron would be without that athletisim. We also know what he would be like with it. Pretty devastating. As a Lakers fan I pray we see that Dwight. I’m a Deight Howard fan FYI. He has been my second favorite player to watch and listen to for his entire career. Im a fan of comedians. You’ve probably guessed thats why Ron Artest is my favorite player. I’m also a fan of good looking guys who dress well while making fun of Stan Van Gundy. This is a great basketball personality and a giant meal ticket for the Lakers organization. I hope we didn’t put business ahead of pleasure here. That’s why I was on the don’t make this trade bandwagon. I think Bynum has greater potential than what we’ve seen and that Howard has seen his best years (because of serious back surgery that many never fully recover from). Dwight uses raw athletisim to out quick bigger players. He is literally the same size as Joel Anthony. He needs all of it. All of it. By the way… Dwight Howard is my new favorite Laker. Sorry MWP

  25. I do have to say Bynum’s agent David Lee had his poker face on too. There’s not a snowball chance in he wasn’t kept in the loop. Something was brewing he knew Lakers were looking to move Drew. It’s crazy to see how Lakers are able to keep things under wraps like they do.

    Finally, those articles about Lakers FO from Berger and Woj look completely stupid. The rumors hoopshype had of Mitch leaving look foolish as well. All the bad stuff about Jim Buss from these exstingushed journalist “Sources” was just wrong. As a Lakers fan I choose to forever never believe those things again. Major credibilty was lost throughout this whole process.

  26. And yes… Meeks gets second billing. The shooter off the bench was a necessity while the other All Star Center a luxury. And still Howard deserves first, second , third, and fourth billing preceding Jodii. Is the straw that stirs the drink. But the Lakers just solidified their team and bench. We still need a back up PG. I think Barbosa can still thrive their. He can’t use his length at SG. I would have him compete with Morris for that spot. Just please the lord don’t let Steve Blake play.

  27. Not necessarily… With escalating salaries, neeks could be getting the minimum (about 1.3M) and 1.7 option next year. Its feasible under the CBA. All we know is that its 2 years 3M and year 2 is a cluboption. Nowhere does it say its 1.5 each year…

  28. Meant to write Meeks there obviously, damn tiny phone keyboard

  29. with eyenga and mcbobs gone, that’s the last of our trade chips. blake and duhon are both trade liabilities not assets. our next available 1st-rounder for trade is 2019, our 2nd-rounders are worthless, and we can’t send out any more cash. ebanks is worth more to us than any other team. we can only take half mle and vet mins now.

    instead of hoping for another signing, we should just hope somebody out of {blake, duhon, goudelock, morris} plays better.

  30. meeks only played 3 yrs. his min is $885,120. (1.3m is for 10+yr, like jamison)

  31. Surprised nobody asked Mitch about Duhon and Clark. Why them,and how to they figure in Laker plans.

  32. Anyone have a link to the press conference of Dwight acquisition?

    From the corner: haha haha hahahaha it’s either Aaron’s brother, alter ego, or Bill Simmons

    I’d rather have Duhon backing up Nash than Blake. They can do it by committe (slashing and playmaking/shooting) depending on the situation, but i’m betting Goudelock or Morris won’t make the 12-man regular roster. This also means goodbye DJO and Sacre for now. Go refine your games in the D-League coz with Meeks in the fold, this team is STACKED!!!

    C – Howard – 35mpg / Pau 8mpg / Hill 5mpg
    PF – Pau 27mpg / Jamison 16 / Hill 5mpg
    SF – MWP 32 mpg / Jamison 6mpg / Ebanks 10mpg
    SG – Kobe 33mpg / Meeks 15mpg
    PG – Nash 34mpg / Duhon/Blake 14mpg

    Solid 10-man rotation and solid bench with Pau/Hill/Jamison/Meeks/Ebanks/Duhon or Blake

  33. Welcome Dwight Howard!!!!!

    Stay true to yourself and bring it on the court. You’ve always been a character and don’t change that now. Be you!

    Goodbye Josh McRoberts (McHops) and Andrew Bynum good luck!

  34. We have 13 players under contract @ $98M.

    We only have two more slots possible and our taxes the next two years are going to be steep. We better win.

    I, for one, am not going to complain about not signing Barbosa.

  35. Chris Duhon is the one PG in the league that makes Blake look serviceable.

    What’s the final word on what our payroll looks like now? By my count, I have Dwight at $19, Kobe at $27.8, Pau at $19, World Peace at $7.2, and Nash at $9. That’s about $12 million over the tax line right there in the starters. As a rough guess, we’re looking at low-to-mid-90s as far as end payroll, right? I hope this puts one final end to the b*tching about Jim Buss and a willingness to spend. I think all of us were concerned about Jim at one point in time, but hopefully the repetitive everyday posts about Jim running the franchise into the ground can now end.

    Dwight Howard, I think you are one of the most annoying personalities this game has ever seen. I find you to be a cartoonish clown with the emotional maturity of a 7-year-old. But now that you’re wearing our colors, I have no choice but to root for you and blindly support you at every turn.

  36. the other Stephen August 10, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    if anyone hasn’t seen the press conference yet, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I0zaUbs940

  37. wow, this team is perfectly ;0.

    Pau, Dwight, Kobe, Nash, and Ron as starter

    Jamison, Meeks, Jordon Hill, and Ebank form the bench ;0.

  38. I hope this doens’t happen, but Mike Brown is not very good with rotations & limiting starters’ minutes. After Steve Blake plays horribly, he will be tempted to play Steve Nash 35mpg (he can only play 30mpg at this point in his career, just look at the previous few season’s numbers), and he will probably get hurt. The Lakers medical staff is not at the level of the Phoenix Suns, and he’ll probably be hurt for a while. In any case, the team’s weakest link is its head coach now…

  39. Well, the first conference of Dwight Howard this afternoon was a little bit apologetic wherein he included his soul and kept on assuring everyone that he would give this organization 100%. He was asked a question his favorite place in LA, he chose Rodeo Drive than the beach. He did his own driving and mostly on 405 and love to watch Dodgers. Haha, Orlando do not have a baseball team. First impression, Dwight appears to be a tourist in LA on his first conference. He has a lot of things to learn by appointing a personal publicist to assist Superman’s encounter with the Hollywood media.

    WOW! I bow to Jim Buss and Mitch what a great summer. Last year, we were very critical after missing CP3, got instead Kapono, McRoberts, Murphy. Well, in 2012 Fisher gone replaced by Nash; Bynum by Howard and Barnes by Jamison and lately here comes Jodie Meeks. To add icing on the cake, no more Luke Walton to watch during these preseason games. Thank you, Merci, Gracias, Arigato, Danke Shone, Salamat Jim and Mitch, my dinner tonight will be a crow for my humbling admission for the wrongness in all the dissing I made since 2006 and ’07.

  40. @haushinka you are correct sir, i forgot about the veteran escalators. In that case, i wish we had gotten leandro over meeks, but can’t complain about our summer. I just wish steve blake wasn’t so prominently involved in our season…

  41. Dwight Howard 2011-2012

    Vs Okc 2 games: 22 pts 12 reb 1 ast 1.5 blk 1.5 stl (18-32) 51% fg

    Vs SA 2 games: 23 pts 18.5 reb 1 ast 3 blk 1.5 stl (18-31) 58% fg. 20-20 game

    VS Lac 1 game 33 pts 14 reb 1 ast 2 blk 2 stl 71% fg

  42. DH vs Perkins last 8 games 13.7 reb 3 blk 47% fg

  43. I have personal reasons to want Barbosa on the Lakers, even for the vets min (which I think he’s eligible, nah? He’s been with NBA for 10 years or more, right?). But the truth is that we need somebody that can score. All the time.

    The entire NBA is about scoring. You score (no matter how), you’re good; you miss, you’re bad. Unfair, but that’s the new NBA. And Barbosa needs to score with the given situation. Mike Brown will not draw a play for him having Nash, Kobe, Pau, DH, Jamison, Meeks and so many options. Even pratice with those guys might be challenging for most players.

    I’d love Barbosa to succeed with the Lakers, just don’t see it happening.

  44. Sorry FB&G for the premature post. This is the right one.

    DH vs Perkins last 10 games

    20 pts 13.4 reb 0.9 ast 2.3 blk 1.6 stl 43% fg

  45. we’re at 97.7m excluding meeks, sacre, DJO. one of {sacre, DJO, goudelock, morris} is going to get cut and the remaining 3 will be inactive/d-league.

    source: http://hoopshype.com/salaries/la_lakers.htm

  46. “This is the guy who replaces our best player and is supposed to be our best player next year.”

    I know few take you seriously, but you just can’t make stuff like this up. Pure gold.

    As for the trade.. I haven’t gotten my mind around it still. And then signing Meeks extremely cheap? A career 37% three point shooter, which was exactly what the doctor ordered. Wow. Heaven.

  47. Took us two seasons but we turned fish to nash bynum to howard and odom to jamison.

    Hope that’s enough …

  48. I would like to point out that MWP had better shoot the corner 3 well this year, its all he has to do on offense, Anything over 35% and im happy

  49. Here is a good read from Bill Simmons on the Dwight Howard’s trade:

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8254854/mailbag

    How did you sleep last night Dwight as a Laker?

    BTW fellow Laker fans meet Christine Vest, a die-hard Laker fan before becoming Howard’s fan. Do you think our diva will ever leave LA at the end of the season.

    http://ballerwives.com/2011/06/17/dwight-howards-girlfriend-christine-vest/

  50. I have been a big Blake critic over the past two years. He is indecisive and very hesitant, but Im hoping that with the talent upgrade of the bench with Jamison, Meeks, and Hill he can finally calm down and play. Maybe Duhon can come in and push Steve in practice for playing time, he had noone to worry about taking his minutes cause he was the only option.

  51. Next season, Dwight Howard will have a much better, much more energetic press conference.

    Sadly, it will be with Jay Z smiling beside him.

    I would put the over/under for games played this season by Howard at 40.

    If he plays more than 50 games I will be stunned… Back injuries lead to all sorts of complications. Being a freakishly athletic, incredibly tall, and strong human being with long, long, long arms doesn’t not put LESS stress your back…

    Howard gets to rehab in Los Angeles, have a handful of “maybe he still has it” games, get his agent to work the phones to New Jersey, and cash in on a MUCH bigger payday than the Lakers can afford next season.

    And then the Lakers will have… um… starting at Center: ???

    I clearly remember Howard during the Lakers/Magic Finals. He was out worked by Gasol. He was punked by Kobe. He is not, has not been, and won’t be a winner.

    The only real grace to this trade is that it puts Howard in a situation he prefers: To be the second or third banana.

    I will be interested to look back on the careers of Bynum and Howard from this point forward. Odds are that Bynum will have better numbers.

  52. The biggest problem I have with people quoting statistics to prove the worth or weakness of a player is the fact that the game is 5-on-5 and nothing is done in isolation.

    Howard vs Perkins is all about who is surrounding Howard.

    With the current Laker players, if Perkins is able to successfully defense Dwight, he will not be able to pay attention to anyone else (pick-and-roll anyone). If that is the case, then Ibaka must take Pau and Durant on Kobe. That will leave MWP free to go to the glass and Nash will be orchestrating the whole thing. While that is not a slam dunk for the Lakers, it is also a real problem for OKC.

    A key to remember is that Howard won’t be remaining relatively stationary down on the block – like Andrew. He will be working the pick-and-roll and cutting through the lane. Not only does this make it tougher on his defender, but it allows lanes to the basket for Pau, Kobe, and MWP – to say nothing of Nash. This could be the best offense since Showtime.

  53. Can`t see the Lakers keeping both Blake and Duhon and their high $$. Still need a SF,so a trade is possible.

  54. Duhon is a significantly worse option than Blake. If all the Blake critics hate him now, wait until you see Duhon. You’ll be begging for Blake to return.

  55. While we are on a roll: Let’s give Coach K a call right after tomorrow’s game and see if he wants to coach this line up : )

  56. #52. No team can pay Howard more in free agency than the Lakers. They’ll own his Bird Rights which translate to being able to offer an additional year on his contract as well as larger raises from one season to the next. The difference in value the Lakers can offer vs. what another team can will be around 30 million dollars. More importantly though, there’s no way Dwight ends up in Brooklyn unless he’s traded there. They have no cap space to sign him outright. Basically, you’re either misinformed or trying to bait commenters with you hyperbolic comments.

  57. The GMs’ votes for the best center last year: Dwight Howard 96%, Gasol 4%.

    http://www.nba.com/news/features/2012-gm-survey/index.html

  58. Magic Johnson should not have said this:

    http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/05/12/lakers-enter-damage-control-around-magics-mike-brown-statements/

    However, it is the sentiments of every Laker fan, Jim and Mitch. MBrown asked for players, he got it. He asked for an offensive minded Asst Coach, he got an ex Laker, Eddie Jordan. Now the pressure shifts to Mike Brown, hopefully he redeems himself from previous style of MidWest coaching of 2011. No need of smiling, grinning during interviews as if he knows all the answers in fading the last few minutes of every game. All we ask is win those last 3 minutes of the 4th quarter. Metta sets the record for this season @ 73 Wins.

  59. Let’s not forget this gem we also picked up (careful with your volume, it gets loud 7 seconds in).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMhxNms6Gfw

  60. @ On the corner

    Thanks Darius, the man doesth not know what he speaketh of.

    Dallas is the most logical second team D12 might consider. They can offer him the most of any team that does not own his Bird Rights. Brooklyn for the most part blew their chance for Dwight for the foreseeable future.

    As far as medical history. The corner needs to do a little more investigation. Injures to players 7′ and over tend to have longer lasting effects. Dwight is 6’10” and as result, stands a better chance to completely heal.

    The only drawback of signing Howard is that we have to go 10 to 20 games without him, getting himself back in basketball shape and the team getting accustom to playing with a full squad. It might mean Pau has to play center (where he wears down) a year after playing in the Olympics. MB really has to be aware of the minutes he plays everyone, especially Pau and Steve (who should not play more than 28 to 32 minutes a game).

    I hope we can flip either Duhon or Blake for either a capable back-up to Nash or an athletic wing. For some reason I don’t feel like the Lakers are done.

    Darius, do the Lakers have to wait until January 15th to trade Duhon? The guy really sucks. I have watched him and he is way worse than Blake.

  61. I am hoping that the Magic can draft another HOF center. The Lakers are going to need one in about 8 years :)

  62. D12: While obviously I am ecstatic over all of this, there are obvious gambles involved. Will he stay, his health, team chemistry, to name a few. However, most of these were gambles we already had anyway: AB’s heath, would he stay, and team chemistry. My opinion is that he will stay (90% of the time players go for the most money), his back will be fine, after a brief rest over the early season, and our chemistry will improve gradually over the season and will be no worse than it was last year. I feel the Lakers are now the best team in the league (a long way from “6th” for sure), although I wouldn’t argue too much if you want to put them behind Miami. That said, we might be pressed to get the #1 spot in the West, depending on how many games D12 misses. Even without the home court, I would still at this point make us favs over the Thunder. This is all speculative at this point for all of us, as we haven’t even seen the team play together yet. What I do know is that we are now one of the absolute top teams in the league, and that is where we are meant to be. Whether it is Lakers-Celtics; Lakers-Sixers; Lakers-Spurs; or Lakers-Heat, it is destined to be Lakers-Someone. It is the natural order of things in the NBA. This game is FANTASTIC!!!

  63. Already it begins as talking heads debate “Whose Laker team is this?” This will be one of the most scrutinized teams of all times.

    The Lakers need to start developing a bunker mentality right now. For every Laker fan out there, there are just as many Laker haters, many of whom are in the media. If this team is to hoist the O’Brien at the end of the year, they will have to be as mentally tough as they are physically talented.

    Many have rightfully expressed concerns about the final makeup of the team going into next season. I’m going to rest my faith in the Laker braintrust to seperate the wheat from the chaff and put a very competitive team on the court on opening night by refining its bench. If Dwight is not ready, fine. We’ll wait until he’s 100%. We’ve already been patient and have been rewarded for our patience.

    Miami and OKC have set the bar for excellence in the past season. Congrats to the Laker FO for having the chops to go right after them and not concede anything. It’s amazing how quickly things change in the NBA. 2 months ago, OKC looked like it would be dominant in the West for years to come. Today, not so much. Again, amazing.

  64. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/nba/story/2012-08-10/Kobe-Bryan-Dwight-Howard-Lakers-trade-QampA/56957154/1

    Seems Lakers are keeping Duhon. Mitch pointed out the depth at PG w/ Nash, Blake, Duhon and mentioned Morris is only a 2nd year player who didn’t play much last year.

  65. dave m: “my phone’s ringing off the hook” is an expression i like to use when something good has happened in my life. suffice it to say, something good has happened here.

    what is particularly interesting this time around (similar to what the lakers had in “04) is this time they’re bring in an older guy (steve nash); like gary peyton who needs the basketball in order order to be effective offensively, but unlike gary peyton, makes players around him better. and of course the comparisons between dwight howard at his age and karl malone at his age are not worth considering. so what we have here is an interesting mix because the common denominator is an older but definitely wiser kobe bryant. i for one like the new chemistry the laker front office has brought to the forefront and like all laker fans everywhere, are peeing our pants just waiting for the season to begin.

    note to mike brown: this is not a test for you but a testament on how you will be looked upon ten years from now.

    Dave M: continue to keep up the good work.

    Go Lakers !

  66. Van Gundy has an excellent analysis. I hope that Dwight doesn’t just come to LA to have fun. We play for championships. We have fun winning, not just playing. You want fun, get a pinball machine.

    I also didn’t like his comments about putting his own stamp on his tenure with the Lakers. Just play your game (slam dunk, rebound, play defense, and block shots). You can do as you please when it’s your team (after Kobe retires). Right now, concentrate on the task at hand, help get us a cookie.

  67. I’ll also be watching Philly closely this year. We’ll finally get a firm answer to the debate over whether Bynum is a good player made better by the presence of Kobe and Pau, or if he’s a franchise player you can build an elite team around.

  68. Under the radar, but I like the acquisiton of PF Earl Clark. He might be viewed as just a ‘throw in’ within the D-Howard Trade, but he’s athletic, young (24 yrs old), has excellent size (6’10) and a decent mid-range game/jumper. If utilized properly (especially considering the rumors that Howard will be out for some time @ the start of the season), he could be the ‘sleeper’ of this deal.

  69. @#69….

    Good points about Earl Clark. I’ve always liked his skillset. He needs to realize that he has a tremendous opportunity to show what he can do.

  70. I’m loving that Duhon video, Jaybird. We got ourselves Turiaf 2.0

  71. I think OKC is still the team to beat. If they trot out Westbrook, Harden and Durant together, we don’t have an answer. We need another perimeter defender. Unfortunately, I don’t think we. Have the resources to get one.

    Meeks is a good get at his contract, but not a great defender.

  72. Mouse

    The Lakers were leading in the fourth quarter in all but one game. They effectively gave away two games by not making shots and running predictable plays. So now we add a premier point guard and mobile big and you say that we have to adjust to them?!? They will need to adjust to us!!! We need to force teams to play to our strengths not the other way around. If we do that, no one will beat us in a series!!!

  73. Meeks on D: opponents at his position while he was on the floor had the lowest PER in the league for SG-and it wasn’t even close. Other players of whom this is true at their positions are recognizable as good to great D players. Given the general perception of people here that Meeks is mediocre at best as a D player, what do people attribute this to?